Task selection and task execution are key constructs in cognitive control development. Yet, little is known about how separable they are and how each contributes to task switching performance. Here, 60 4-5, 61 7-8 and 60 10-11-years-olds completed the double registration procedure, which dissociates these two processes. Task selection yielded both mixing and switch costs, especially in younger children, and task execution mostly yielded switch costs at all age, suggesting that task selection is costlier than task execution. Moreover, both task selection and execution varied with task self-directedness (i.e., to what extent the task is driven by external aids) demands. Whereas task selection and task execution are dissociated regarding performance costs, they nevertheless both contribute to self-directed control.
- cognitive control development
- double registration procedure
- task selection
- task execution
- self-directed control
- mixing costs
- switch costs