Infant and Child Development

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Volume 23 Issue 3 (May/June 2014), Pages i-ii, 217-352

Brain Electrical Activity of Shy and Non‐Shy Preschool‐Aged Children During Executive Function Tasks (pages 259-272)

Psychophysiological and cognitive performance differences exist between shy and non‐shy individuals. Neuroimaging studies have shown identifiable differences in task‐related cortical functioning between adults with and without sensitivity to social events. The current study compared baseline and task measures of EEG power (6–9 Hz) for 125 shy and non‐shy children between the ages of 41 and 55 months who differed in core executive function (EF) skills. Results indicated an increase in medial frontal EEG power from baseline‐to‐task for high EF performers (shy and non‐shy). Shy/low EF performers also demonstrated this increase, but the non‐shy/low EF group did not. For the medial parietal region, only the shy children (high and low EF performers) showed an increase in power from baseline‐to‐task; and for the shy/high EF group, left hemisphere power was greater than the right during baseline and task. This study is believed to be the first continuous‐recording EEG comparison between children who are shy and non‐shy in the context of an EF assessment. These findings highlight differences in medial frontal and medial parietal power for children who differ in shyness and EF skills. They also suggest the value of future research examining strong EF skills as protective and regulatory for shy children. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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