Poster E28, Monday, March 26, 2:30-4:30 pm, Exhibit Hall C
Longitudinal associations between conflict monitoring and emergent academic skills: an event-related potentials study
Elif Isbell1, Susan Calkins1, Veronica Cole2, Margaret Swingler2, Esther Leerkes1; 1University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Academic readiness and early academic achievement are considered critical for later academic outcomes. Thus, identifying the links between specific cognitive functions and emergent academic skills can have far-reaching consequences for determining pathways to support not only early academic performance, but also later academic achievement. In the present study, we focused on a key aspect of cognitive control: conflict monitoring, i.e. the ability to continuously monitor whether any information deviates from a template relevant for task goals. We investigated the longitudinal associations between conflict monitoring and early academic performance from preschool through the first grade, in a sample of socioeconomically diverse children (N = 278). Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during a Go/No-Go task. A neural index of conflict monitoring was measured as the difference in ERP mean amplitudes of the N2 component elicited by No-Go versus Go trials. An autoregressive cross-lagged panel model revealed that the neural indices of conflict monitoring were associated with academic performance as children transitioned to formal schooling, and these longitudinal relations were specific to math but not reading performance. In particular, larger (i.e. more negative in amplitude) neural indices of conflict monitoring in preschool were associated with gains in math from preschool to kindergarten, and larger neural indices of conflict monitoring in kindergarten were associated with gains in math from kindergarten to first grade. These findings provided electrophysiological evidence for the contribution of conflict monitoring abilities to emergent math skills.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Development & aging