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Individual Differences in Inhibitory Control Skills at Three Years of Age
Seventy-three children participated in an investigation of inhibitory control (IC) at 3 years of age. Child IC was measured under various conditions in order to determine the impact that nonverbal and/or motivational task demands had on child IC task performance. Furthermore, task performance was examined with respect to measures of language, temperament, and psychophysiology. Tasks showed different patterns of relations to each of these variables. Furthermore, performance on the Hand Game, our measure of nonverbal IC, was explained by frontal EEG activity and, surprisingly, by language abilities. In contrast, performance on two other IC tasks, Day-Night and Less is More, was not related to measures of language or frontal EEG, perhaps because children performed at chance level on these tasks, indicating that these tasks may be too difficult for 3-year-old children. Implications of these findings are discussed.