Encouraging performance monitoring promotes proactive control in children

Lauren Hadley, Frantzy Acluche, Nicolas Chevalier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Monitoring progression towards one’s goals is essential for efficient cognitive control.Immature performance monitoring may contribute to suboptimal cognitive control engagement in childhood, potentially explaining why children engage control reactively even when proactive control would be more effective. The present study investigated whether encouraging children to actively monitor their performance results in more mature control engagement. EEG data were collected while children and adults performed a flanker task in three conditions in which they were provided no feedback, standard feedback, or were asked to estimate their own feedback. Both age groups accurately estimated their own feedback.Critically, feedback estimation promoted online performance monitoring and proactive engagement of attention and inhibition during the flanker period in children. These findings indicate that proactive control engagement in childhood can be effectively supported by encouraging performance monitoring
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12861
JournalDevelopmental Science
Early online date14 Jun 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Jun 2019


  • cognitive control
  • performance monitoring,
  • children
  • inhibition
  • proactive control
  • event-related potentials

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