Emotional modulation of the ability to inhibit a prepotent response during childhood

Dev Neuropsychol. 2012;37(8):668-81. doi: 10.1080/87565641.2012.675378.


The present study examined the bottom-up influence of emotional context on response inhibition, an issue that remains largely unstudied in children. Thus, 62 participants, aged from 6 to 13 years old, were assessed with three stop signal tasks: one with circles, one with neutral faces, and one with emotional faces (happy and sad). Results showed that emotional context altered response inhibition ability in childhood. However, no interaction between age and emotional influence on response inhibition was found. Positive emotions were recognized faster than negative emotions, but the valence did not have a significant influence on response inhibition abilities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Face
  • Facial Expression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inhibition, Psychological*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests