This study examined the relation between brain activation and cognitive development using event-related brain potentials (ERPs) and a longitudinal design. Five-year-old girls performed a visual recognition ('odd-ball') task and an experimental analogue of the Piagetian conservation of liquid quantity task at three experimental sessions, with one year between consecutive sessions. The data revealed age-related changes in neurocognitive mechanisms common to both tasks. In comparing children before and after a Piagetian transition on a traditional clinical conservation test the data revealed a major shift in performance and ERPs to the experimental analogue of the liquid quantity task. These findings are consistent with a previously performed cross-sectional study and provide strong support for the hypothesis that cognitive transition is related to new neurocognitive mechanisms emerging during childhood. Possible implications of these findings for child neuropsychology are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology