“My brain can stop”: An ERP study of longitudinal prediction of inhibitory control in adolescence

Tzlil Einziger, Mattan S. Ben-Shachar, Tali Devor, Michael Shmueli, Judith G. Auerbach, Andrea Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We examined the longitudinal predictors of electrophysiological and behavioral markers of inhibitory control in adolescence. Participants were 63 adolescent boys who have been followed since birth as part of a prospective longitudinal study on the developmental pathways to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). At 17 years of age, they completed the stop-signal task (SST) while electroencephalography (EEG) was continuously recorded. Inhibitory control was evaluated by the stop-signal reaction time (SSRT) as well as by the amplitude of the event-related potential (ERP) component of N2 during successful inhibition. We found that higher inattention symptoms throughout childhood predicted reduced amplitude (i.e., less negative) of the N2 in adolescence. Furthermore, the N2 amplitude was longitudinally predicted by the early precursors of child familial risk for ADHD and early childhood temperament. Specifically, father’s inattention symptoms (measured in the child’s early infancy) and child’s effortful control at 36 months of age directly predicted the N2 amplitude in adolescence, even beyond the consistency of inattention symptoms throughout development. The SSRT was predicted by ADHD symptoms throughout childhood but not by the early precursors. Our findings emphasize the relevance of early familial and temperamental risk for ADHD to the prediction of a later dysfunction in inhibitory control.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • ADHD
  • ERP
  • Effortful control
  • Familial risk
  • Inhibitory control
  • N2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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