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Exploring the role of proactive control in 4-5-year-old children’s sentence processing ability

  • THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • 2018, 31(1), pp.1-23
  • DOI : 10.35574/KJDP.2018.03.31.1.1
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Developmental Psychology
  • Research Area : Social Science > Psychological Science
  • Received : October 17, 2017
  • Accepted : December 28, 2017

Yujin Lee 1 Youngon Choi 1

1중앙대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Cognitive flexibility and proactive control have been considered to play important roles in the sentence processing abilities of preschoolers. In particular, sequential congruency effect measured from a flanker task not only reflects flexible thinking but also taps into proactive control to spontaneously monitor and maintain upcoming goals. The present study attempted to extend prior findings by examining whether proactive control is also an underlying ability that affects 4-5-year-old children’s sentence processing. To examine this, a sentence act-out task, Receptive Expressive Vocabulary Test - Receptive, a verbal fluency task, a go/no-go task, a Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders task, an auditory working memory task, and a flanker task were administered to 4-5-year-olds. The results demonstrated that sequential congruency effect is indeed a significant predictor of the sentence processing ability after child’s age, vocabulary, working memory, and inhibitory ability are controlled for. However, no direct relationship was observed between proactive control and sentence processing measures. The potential role of proactive control is discussed in light of limitations in using a verbal fluency task for its measurement among preschoolers.

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