Meta-analysis of the neural correlates of vigilant attention in children and adolescents

Hugo A.E. Morandini, Timothy J. Silk, Kristi Griffiths, Pradeep Rao, Sean D. Hood, Florian D. Zepf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Web of Science)


Vigilant Attention (VA), defined as the ability to maintain attention to cognitively unchallenging activities over a prolonged period of time, is critical to support higher cognitive functions and many behaviours in our everyday life. Evidence has shown that VA rapidly improves throughout childhood and adolescence until young adulthood and tends to decline in older adulthood. Although neuroimaging studies have extensively investigated this cognitive function in adults, the neural correlates of VA in neurotypical children and adolescents remain unclear. The current meta-analysis reviewed and examined functional neuroimaging studies in paediatric populations that used behavioural tasks involving VA. The selected studies (N = 25) were analyzed using the activation likelihood estimation method. Findings showed convergence of activation in mainly right-lateralized brain areas, including dorsomedial frontal cortex and parieto-temporal areas, and are consistent with previous literature on the neural correlates of VA. Results are discussed in terms of their functional and developmental implications for VA in children and adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374-385
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


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