Cloélia Tissier



Ph.D Student

Paris Descartes University

Brain imaging of inhibitory control development and its intensive training at adolescence

Supervised by Arnaud Cachia

Abstract :

Executive functions (EF), including Inhibitory Control (IC), play a major role in academic and professional achievement, as well as in the pathophysiology of many psychiatric disorders. Adolescence is a critical period in IC development as it is underlain by the protracted maturation of prefrontal cortex until early adulthood. The first objective of this thesis was to examine the neural bases of IC during development and to evaluate their specificities by comparing them with the working memory (WM), another key component of EF. Based on a meta-analysis of IC and WM fMRI studies including 845 children, 1377 adolescents and 10235 adults, we identified changes in functional activity with a shift from a diffuse to a more focal and specialized network with age. These results support the model of dynamic neurofunctional development. Moreover, a large overlap of fronto-parietal regions was found for IC and WM, which raises issues regarding the specificities of IC and WM processes and tasks. Second, we analyzed the long-term effect of early neurodevelopment on IC based on the sulcus morphology, an anatomical brain feature determined during fetal life. We showed, using a longitudinal analysis of 243 MRIs, that folding patterns are fixed from childhood to adulthood. Subsequently, we established that the sulcal polymorphisms of the anterior cingulate cortex and the inferior frontal sulcus complementary contributed to IC efficiency in both children and adults. Finally, we studied IC training in adolescence, a period of high brain plasticity and environmental sensitivity. We examined the effects of an intensive IC training (25 sessions of 15 minutes per day) versus active control training group on touchscreens in 49 adolescents (16-17 years-old) on cognitive and brain levels (fMRI: stop-signal, dot matrix, attentional network and delayed gratification tasks). We also assessed the effect of early neurodevelopmental factors on IC training receptivity. This thesis is part of a new field of interdisciplinary research, at the interface between neurosciences and psychology. It includes translational educational and therapeutic perspectives, with aims at evaluating as finely as possible, using anatomical and functional brain imaging, what pedagogical and therapeutic interventions are likely to help the brain to overcome cognitive difficulties.

press to zoom

press to zoom

press to zoom


Salvia, E., Tissier, C., Charron, S., Herent, P., Vidal, J., Lion, S., Cassotti, M., Oppenheim, C., Houdé, O.*, Borst, G.*, Cachia, A.* (2019). The local properties of bold signal fluctuations at rest monitor inhibitory control training in adolescents. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 38, Article 100664.


Delalande, L., Moyon, M., Tissier, C., Dorrière, V., Guillois, B., Mevel, K., Charron, S., Salvia, E., Poirel, N., Vidal, J ., Lion, S., Oppenheim, C., Houdé, O., Cachia, A., Borst, G. (2019). Complex and subtle structural changes in prefrontal cortex induced by inhibitory control training from childhood to adolescence. Developmental Science, Article e12898.

Tissier, C. Linzarini, A., Allaire-Duquette, G., Mevel, K., Poirel, N., Dolfus, S., Etard, O., Orliac, F., Peyrin, C., Charron, S., Raznahan, A., Houdé, O., Borst, G.*, Cachia, A.* (2018). Sulcal polymorphisms of the IFG and ACC contribute to inhibitory control variability in children and adult. eNeuro, 5(1), ENEURO.0197-17.2018, 1 – 14.

Tissier, C. (2017) Imagerie cérébrale du développement du contrôle inhibiteur et de son entraînement intensif à l'adolescence. [Doctoral dissertation, Université Paris Descartes]


Borst, G., Cachia, A., Tissier, C., Ahr, E., Simon, G., Houdé, O. (2016). Early cerebral constraints on reading skills of school-age children: An MRI study. Mind, Brain Education, 10, 47-54.

Cachia, A., Borst, G., Tissier, C., Fischer, C., Plaze, M., Gay, O., Rivière, D., Gogtay, N., Giedd, J., Mangin, J.-F., Houdé, O., Raznahan, A. (2016). Longitudinal stability of the folding pattern of the anterior cingulate cortex during development. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 19, 122-127.