The neural correlates of inhibitory control in 10-month-old infants: A functional near-infrared spectroscopy study

Abigail Fiske*, Carina de Klerk, Katie Y.K. Lui, Liam Collins-Jones, Alexandra Hendry, Isobel Greenhalgh, Anna Hall, Gaia Scerif, Henrik Dvergsdal, Karla Holmboe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


Inhibitory control, a core executive function, emerges in infancy and develops rapidly across childhood. Methodological limitations have meant that studies investigating the neural correlates underlying inhibitory control in infancy are rare. Employing functional near-infrared spectroscopy alongside a novel touchscreen task that measures response inhibition, this study aimed to uncover the neural underpinnings of inhibitory control in 10-month-old infants (N = 135). We found that when inhibition was required, the right prefrontal and parietal cortices were more activated than when there was no inhibitory demand. This demonstrates that inhibitory control in infants as young as 10 months of age is supported by similar brain areas as in older children and adults. With this study we have lowered the age-boundary for localising the neural substrates of response inhibition to the first year of life.
Original languageEnglish
Article number119241
Number of pages14
Early online date7 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the UK Medical Research Council (MR/N008626/1, PI: Karla Holmboe) and by Abigail Fiske's UK Medical Research Council Industrial Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering (iCASE) studentship. The funder was not involved in the conceptualisation, design, data collection, analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022


  • Executive function
  • Response inhibition
  • Infancy
  • Functional near-infrared spectroscopy
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Parietal cortex


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