Effects of incentives, age, and behavior on brain activation during inhibitory control: a longitudinal fMRI study

Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2015 Feb;11:105-15. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2014.09.003. Epub 2014 Sep 19.


We investigated changes in brain function supporting inhibitory control under age-controlled incentivized conditions, separating age- and performance-related activation in an accelerated longitudinal design including 10- to 22-year-olds. Better inhibitory control correlated with striatal activation during neutral trials, while Age X Behavior interactions in the striatum indicated that in the absence of extrinsic incentives, younger subjects with greater reward circuitry activation successfully engage in greater inhibitory control. Age was negatively correlated with ventral amygdala activation during Loss trials, suggesting that amygdala function more strongly mediates bottom-up processing earlier in development when controlling the negative aspects of incentives to support inhibitory control. Together, these results indicate that with development, reward-modulated cognitive control may be supported by incentive processing transitions in the amygdala, and from facilitative to obstructive striatal function during inhibitory control.

Keywords: Adolescent; Antisaccade; Development; Inhibitory control; Motivation; Reward.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Amygdala / physiology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Child
  • Cognition*
  • Corpus Striatum / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inhibition, Psychological
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Reward*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Young Adult