The development of performance-monitoring function in the posterior medial frontal cortex

Kate Dimond Fitzgerald, Suzanne C. Perkins, Mike Angstadt, Timothy Johnson, Emily R. Stern, Robert C. Welsh, Stephan F. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Background: Despite its critical role in performance-monitoring, the development of posterior medial prefrontal cortex (pMFC) in goal-directed behaviors remains poorly understood. Performance monitoring depends on distinct, but related functions that may differentially activate the pMFC, such as monitoring response conflict and detecting errors. Developmental differences in conflict- and error-related activations, coupled with age-related changes in behavioral performance, may confound attempts to map the maturation of pMFC functions. To characterize the development of pMFC-based performance monitoring functions, we segregated interference and error-processing, while statistically controlling for performance. Methods: Twenty-one adults and 23 youth performed an event-related version of the Multi-Source Interference Task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Linear modeling of interference and error contrast estimates derived from the pMFC were regressed on age, while covarying for performance. Results: Interference- and error-processing were associated with robust activation of the pMFC in both youth and adults. Among youth, interference- and error-related activation of the pMFC increased with age, independent of performance. Greater accuracy associated with greater pMFC activity during error commission in both groups. Discussion: Increasing pMFC response to interference and errors occurs with age, likely contributing to the improvement of performance monitoring capacity during development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3463-3473
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


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