The nature and rate of cognitive maturation from late childhood to adulthood

July 27, 2015

Authors: Jason A Cromer, Adrian J Schembri, Brian T Harel, Paul Maruff

Journal: Frontiers in Psychology

DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00704

Year Published: 2015

To better understand the nature and rate of cognitive change across adolescence, the Cogstate Brief Battery (CBB) was utilized to assess psychomotor function, attention, working memory, and visual learning in individuals aged 10-18 years old. Since all CBB tasks have equivalent perceptual, motor, and linguistic demands as well as being appropriate for both children and adults, this approach allowed direct across-age comparison of multiple cognitive domains. Exponential decreases in reaction time and linear increases in accuracy were observed across adolescent development in a cross-sectional sample of 38,778 individuals and confirmed in a 5788 individual longitudinal sample with 1-year repeat assessments. These results have important implications for the repeated assessment of cognition during development where expected maturational changes in cognition must be accounted for during cognitive testing.

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