Childhood Delayed Gratification Tied to Later Impulse Control

In functional imaging, prefrontal cortex differentiates no-go and go trials in high delayers

THURSDAY, Sept. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The ability to delay gratification early in life is indicative of neurological differences which may affect how individuals regulate their behavior years later, according to a study published online Aug. 29 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

B.J. Casey, Ph.D., from the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and colleagues assessed whether delay of gratification in childhood predicts impulse control abilities and sensitivity to alluring cues (happy faces) in 60 individuals now in their mid-forties who underwent "hot" and "cool" versions of a go/no-go task to evaluate a delay-of-gratification task four decades ago. Functional imaging was performed in 26 subjects to test for biased recruitment of frontostriatal circuitry which are needed to suppress responses to alluring cues.

The investigators found that high delayers in preschool were better at suppressing responses to happy but not neutral or fearful faces when compared to preschool low delayers who exhibited low self-control abilities in their twenties and thirties. Sensitivity to environmental hot cues is suggested play a role in individuals' ability to suppress actions to these stimuli. Based on functional imaging, the prefrontal cortex differentiated between no-go and go trials to a greater extent in high delayers. Low delayers exhibited exaggerated recruitment in the ventral striatum.

"Resistance to temptation as measured originally by the delay-of-gratification task is a relatively stable individual difference that predicts reliable biases in frontostriatal circuitries that integrate motivational and control processes," the authors write.

Full Text

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Blunt Chest Trauma
Journal of Trauma Nursing, November/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95

The School Age Child with Congenital Heart Disease
MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2.5 $24.95

Understanding multiple myeloma
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2 $21.95

More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles

Comprehensive Care: Looking Beyond the Presenting Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2015
Free access will expire on March 2, 2015.

Pain and Alzheimer dementia: A largely unrecognized problem
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

Glycemic control in hospitalized patients
Nursing2015 Critical Care, January 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.

More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events