The role of the anterior cingulate in automatic and controlled processes: A developmental neuroanatomical study Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Attention
  • Discrimination Learning
  • Dominance, Cerebral
  • Gyrus Cinguli
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual


  • This study examines the role of the anterior cingulate in the development of attention. Task performance relying predominantly on either automatic or controlled processes was correlated with magnetic resonance imaging based measures of the anterior cingulate in 26 normal children ages 5 to 16 years. Attentional measures were assessed with a visual discrimination paradigm. Parasagittal slices from a 3-D, T1-weighted volume data set were used to obtain area measurements of the anterior cingulate. Response latencies decreased with age for both tasks. There were significant correlations between attentional performance and right, but not left, anterior cingulate measures. Performance was faster and more accurate during trials requiring predominantly controlled processes for those children with larger right anterior cingulate measures. The results are consistent with adult neuroimaging findings of activation in the right anterior cingulate during attention tasks and with lesion studies implicating greater right hemisphere involvement in attentional processes.

publication date

  • December 1997



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed ID

  • 8989533

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 61

end page

  • 9


  • 30


  • 1