Inhibitory control gains from higher-order cognitive strategy training

Michael A. Motes, Jacquelyn F. Gamino, Sandra B. Chapman, Neena K. Rao, Mandy J. Maguire, Matthew R. Brier, Michael A. Kraut, John Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The present study examined the transfer of higher-order cognitive strategy training to inhibitory control. Middle school students enrolled in a comprehension- and reasoning-focused cognitive strategy training program and passive controls participated. The training program taught students a set of steps for inferring essential gist or themes from materials. Both before and after training or a comparable duration in the case of the passive controls, participants completed a semantically cued Go/No-Go task that was designed to assess the effects of depth of semantic processing on response inhibition and components of event-related potentials (ERP) related to response inhibition. Depth of semantic processing was manipulated by varying the level of semantic categorization required for response selection and inhibition. The SMART-trained group showed inhibitory control gains and changes in fronto-central P3 ERP amplitudes on inhibition trials; whereas, the control group did not. The results provide evidence of the transfer of higher-order cognitive strategy training to inhibitory control and modulation of ERPs associated with semantically cued inhibitory control. The findings are discussed in terms of implications for cognitive strategy training, models of cognitive abilities, and education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-62
Number of pages19
JournalBrain and Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Cognitive control
  • Cognitive strategy training
  • Comprehension
  • Executive function
  • Inhibition
  • Inhibitory control
  • Reasoning
  • Transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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