Inhibition is a key executive function in adults and children for the acquisition and expression of cognitive abilities. Using event-related potentials in a priming adaptation of a Piaget-like numerical task taken from developmental psychology, we report a negative priming effect in adults measured just after the cognitive inhibition of a misleading strategy, the visuospatial length-equals-number bias. This effect was determined in the N200 information processing stage through increased N200 amplitude. We show here that for accuracy in numerical quantification, the adult brain still had to control the childlike cognition biases that are stored in a kind of “developmental memory.”
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© 2006 Massachusetts Institute of Technology