Temperament, defined as individual variation in the reactivity and regulation of emotional, motor, and attentional processes, has been shown to influence emotional and cognitive development during the preschool period (ages 4–5). While relationships between temperament and neural activity have been investigated previously, these have typically investigated individual temperament dimensions selected ad hoc. Since significant correlations exist between various temperament dimensions, it remains unclear whether these findings would replicate while analyzing all temperament dimensions simultaneously. Using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), 4-5-year-old children (N = 118) were administered a Go/No-Go task to assess prefrontal cortex activation during inhibitory control. The relationship between PFC activation and all 15 temperament domains defined by the Children's Behavior Questionnaire (CBQ) was assessed using automatic feature selection via LASSO regression. Results indicate that only the Anger/Frustration dimension was predictive of activation during the inhibitory control task. These findings support previous work showing relationships between irritability and prefrontal activation during executive function and extend those findings by demonstrating the specificity of the activation-irritability relationship among temperament dimensions.
- Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)
- Inhibitory control