Over the course of development, the ability to switch between diVerent tasks on the basis of feedback cues increases profoundly, but the role of performance monitoring remains unclear. Heart rate indexes can provide critical information about how individuals monitor feedback cues indicating that performance should be adjusted. In this study, children of three age groups (8–10, 12–14, and 16–18 years) performed a rule change task in which sorting rules needed to be detected following positive or negative feedback. The number of perseverative errors was lower for 16- to 18-year-olds than for 8- to 10-year-olds, and 12- to 14-year-olds performed at an intermediate level. Consistent with previous Wndings, heart rate slowed following feedback indicating a rule change, and the magnitude of slowing was similar for all age groups. Thus, 8- to 10-year-olds are already able to analyze feedback cues. In contrast, 12- to 14-year-olds and 16- to 18-year-olds, but not 8- to 10-year-olds, showed heart rate slowing following performance errors, suggesting that with age children are increasingly able to monitor their performance online. Performance monitoring may therefore be an important contributor to set-shifting ability.

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doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2006.03.007, hdl.handle.net/1765/12118
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Department of Psychology

Crone, E., Somsen, R., Zanolie, K., & van der Molen, M. (2008). A heart rate analysis of developmental change in feedback processing and rule shifting from childhood to early adulthood. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 95(2), 99–116. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2006.03.007