Brain Activity During Antisaccades to Faces in Adolescence


  • Afyouni Alia
  • Geringswald Franziska
  • Nazarian Bruno
  • Grosbras Marie-Hélène


  • Adolescence
  • Cognitive control
  • Development
  • Face perception
  • Neuroimaging

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Cognitive control and social perception both change during adolescence, but little is known of the interaction of these 2 processes. We aimed to characterize developmental changes in brain activity related to the influence of a social stimulus on cognitive control and more specifically on inhibitory control. Children (age 8–11, n = 19), adolescents (age 12–17, n = 20), and adults (age 24–40, n = 19) performed an antisaccade task with either faces or cars as visual stimuli, during functional magnetic resonance brain imaging. We replicate the finding of the engagement of the core oculomotor and face perception brain regions in all age-groups, with increased involvement of frontoparietal oculomotor regions and fusiform face regions with age. The antisaccade-related activity was modulated by stimulus category significantly only in adolescents. This interaction was observed mainly in occipitotemporal regions as well as in supplementary motor cortex and postcentral gyrus. These results indicate a special treatment of social stimuli during adolescence.

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