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The Correlation among Neural Dynamic Processing of Conflict Control, Testosterone and Cortisol Levels in 10-Year-Old Children.


ABSTRACT: Cognitive control is related to goal-directed self-regulation abilities, which is fundamental for human development. Conflict control includes the neural processes of conflict monitoring and conflict resolution. Testosterone and cortisol are essential hormones for the development of cognitive functions. However, there are no studies that have investigated the correlation of these two hormones with conflict control in preadolescents. In this study, we aimed to explore whether testosterone, cortisol, and testosterone/cortisol ratio worked differently for preadolescent's conflict control processes in varied conflict control tasks. Thirty-two 10-year-old children (16 boys and 16 girls) were enrolled. They were instructed to accomplish three conflict control tasks with different conflict dimensions, including the Flanker, Simon, and Stroop tasks, and electrophysiological signals were recorded. Salivary samples were collected from each child. The testosterone and cortisol levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The electrophysiological results showed that the incongruent trials induced greater N2/N450 and P3/SP responses than the congruent trials during neural processes of conflict monitoring and conflict resolution in the Flanker and Stroop tasks. The hormonal findings showed that (1) the testosterone/cortisol ratio was correlated with conflict control accuracy and conflict resolution in the Flanker task; (2) the testosterone level was associated with conflict control performance and neural processing of conflict resolution in the Stroop task; (3) the cortisol level was correlated with conflict control performance and neural processing of conflict monitoring in the Simon task. In conclusion, in 10-year-old children, the fewer processes a task needs, the more likely there is an association between the T/C ratios and the behavioral and brain response, and the dual-hormone effects on conflict resolution may be testosterone-driven in the Stroop and Flanker tasks.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5479902 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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