Pilot study of response inhibition and error processing in the posterior medial prefrontal cortex in healthy youth

Kate Dimond Fitzgerald, Christopher D. Zbrozek, Robert C. Welsh, Jennifer C. Britton, Israel Liberzon, Stephan F. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Recent neuroimaging work suggests that inhibitory and error processing in healthy adults share overlapping, but functionally distinct neural circuitries within the posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC); however, it remains unknown whether the pMFC is differentially engaged by response inhibition compared to error commission in the developing brain. Developmental neuroimaging studies of response inhibition have found pMFC activation, but the possible contribution of error-related activation during inhibitory processing has not been well studied in youth. Method: To examine the processing of correct response inhibition compared to errors in the developing brain, we performed functional magnetic resonance imaging scans in 11 healthy subjects, ages 8-14 years, during an antisaccade task while performance was monitored. Results: Successful antisaccades activated the pre-supplementary motor area. In contrast, errors on the antisaccade task activated the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. Conclusion: The findings suggest the functional sub-specialization of inhibitory and error processing within the pMFC in this pilot sample of children and adolescents. Future neuroimaging studies of developing inhibitory control should examine both between correct and error trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)986-994
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008


  • Anterior cingulate
  • Antisaccade
  • Developmental neuroimaging
  • Error-processing
  • Response inhibition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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