Abstract

Tillman, C. M., Thorell., L. B., Brocki, K.C., & Bohlin, G. (2008) Motor response inhibition and execution in the Stop-Signal Task: Development and relation to ADHD behaviors in children aged 4 – 12. Child Neuropsychology, 14, 42-59.



The main aim of this study was to investigate the developmental course of motor response inhibition and execution as measured by the stop-signal task in a population-based sample of 525 4- to 12-year-olds. A further aspiration of the study was to enhance the limited knowledge on how the various stop-signal measures relate to ADHD behaviors in a normal sample. We also wanted to contribute to the theoretical understanding of the various stopsignal measures by examining the relations between the stop-signal measures and performance on tasks reflecting other aspects of response inhibition and execution. Our results showed that the ability to inhibit as well as to execute a motor response as measured by the stop-signal task improved with age during childhood. Of specific interest are the findings suggesting that this task captures the development of motor response inhibition in the late preschool years (age 5 years). Both of the inhibition measures derived from the stop-signal task (i.e., SSRT and probability of inhibition) related significantly to teacher ratings of inattention as well as to performance on tasks tapping other aspects of inhibition. The data provided by this study have thus contributed to the scarce knowledge on early development of motor response inhibition, as well as suggested that the stop-signal task may be a valuable tool for capturing deficient motor response inhibition in ADHD behaviors in normal samples.