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Performance monitoring in children following traumatic brain injury

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Executive control deficits are common sequelae of childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI). The goal of the current study was to assess a specific executive control function, performance monitoring, in children following TBI. Methods: 

Thirty-one children with mild–moderate TBI, 18 with severe TBI, and 37 control children without TBI, of comparable age and sex, performed the stop signal task, a speeded choice reaction time task. On occasion, they were presented with a signal to stop their responses. Performance monitoring was defined as the extent of slowing in go-task reaction time following failure to stop responses. Results: 

The TBI group as a whole demonstrated less post-error slowing than did controls. This finding suggested impaired error monitoring performance. In addition, time since injury and socioeconomic status predicted less slowing after stopped responses. Conclusions: 

We suggest that alterations in performance monitoring expressed as the inability to notice, regulate and adjust behavior to changing situations are an effect of TBI in children.
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Keywords: Performance monitoring; children; head injury; neuropsychology; pediatrics; traumatic brain injury

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario Canada 2: Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA 3: Department of Psychiatry, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 4: University of Texas Health Center, Houston, TX, USA 5: Department of Psychology, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 6: University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada 7: Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego and Children’s Hospital and Health Center, San Diego, CA, USA 8: Department of Psychology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2009

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