Maturation of cognitive processes from late childhood to adulthood

Beatriz Luna, Krista E. Garver, Trinity A. Urban, Nicole A. Lazar, John A. Sweeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

949 Scopus citations


To characterize cognitive maturation through adolescence, processing speed, voluntary response suppression, and spatial working memory were measured in 8- to 30-year-old (N = 245) healthy participants using oculomotor tasks. Development progressed with a steep initial improvement in performance followed by stabilization in adolescence. Adult-level mature performance began at approximately 15, 14, and 19 years of age for processing speed, response inhibition, and working memory, respectively. Although processes developed independently, processing speed influenced the development of working memory whereas the development of response suppression and working memory were interdependent. These results indicate that processing speed, voluntary response suppression, and working memory mature through late childhood and into adolescence. How brain maturation specific to adolescence may support cognitive maturation is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1357-1372
Number of pages16
JournalChild development
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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