Interference control, the ability to overcome distraction from irrelevant information, undergoes considerable improvement during childhood yet the mechanisms driving these changes remain unclear. The present study investigated the relative influence of interference at the level of the stimulus or the response. 7-, 10- and 20-year-olds completed a flanker paradigm in which stimulus and response interference were experimentally manipulated. The influence of stimulus interference decreased from 7- to 10-years whereas there was no difference in response interference across age groups. The findings demonstrate that a range of processes contribute to the development of interference control, and may influence performance to a greater or lesser extent depending on task requirements and the age of the child.
Cragg, L. (2015). The development of stimulus and response interference control in mid-childhood. Developmental Psychology, doi:10.1037/dev0000074