Behavioral Studies

Behavioral studies suggesting development of the anterior cingulate cortex use behavioral tasks shown to activate this region in imaging studies with adults using Strooplike or go-no go tasks. The assumption is that, if a child can perform the task, then the anterior cingulate must be mature enough to support the behavior. Accordingly, one may track the development of behavioral performance on these tasks across ages to determine the degree of development of the brain structure. A substantial increase in the ability to perform these Stroop-like tasks occurs across the ages of 2-5 years. This evidence is inferential and not conclusive of a specific structure-function relation between the development of the behavior and the anterior cingulate cortex. Clearly, maturation of this region alone is not occurring in isolation of other brain systems' maturation.

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