Speeding-up while growing-up: synchronous functional development of motor and non-motor processes across childhood and adolescence.


  • Śmigasiewicz Kamila
  • Servant Mathieu
  • Ambrosi Solène
  • Blaye Agnès
  • Burle Boris

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Describing the maturation of information processing in children is fundamental for developmental science. Although non-linear changes in reaction times have been well-documented, direct measurement of the development of the different processing components is lacking. In this study, electromyography was used to quantify the maturation of premotor and motor processes on a sample of 114 children (6-14 years-old) and 15 adults. Using a model-based approach, we show that the development of these two components is well-described by an exponential decrease in duration, with the decay rate being equal for the two components. These findings provide the first unbiased evidence in favour of the common developmental rate of nonmotor and motor processes by directly confronting rates of development of different processing components within the same task. This common developmental rate contrasts with the differential physical maturation of region-specific cerebral gray and white matter. Tentative paths of interpretation are proposed in the discussion.

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