Inhibitory control in children with agenesis of the corpus callosum compared with typically developing children

Emilyn Soon, Vanessa Siffredi, Peter J Anderson, Vicki A Anderson, Alissandra McIlroy, Richard J Leventer, Amanda G Wood, Megan M Spencer-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: The developmental absence (agenesis) of the corpus callosum (AgCC) is a congenital brain malformation associated with risk for a range of neuropsychological difficulties. Inhibitory control outcomes, including interference control and response inhibition, in children with AgCC are unclear. This study examined interference control and response inhibition: 1) in children with AgCC compared with typically developing (TD) children, 2) in children with different anatomical features of AgCC (complete vs. partial, isolated vs. complex), and 3) associations with white matter volume and microstructure of the anterior (AC) and posterior commissures (PC) and any remnant corpus callosum (CC).

METHODS: Participants were 27 children with AgCC and 32 TD children 8-16 years who completed inhibitory control assessments and brain MRI to define AgCC anatomical features and measure white matter volume and microstructure.

RESULTS: The AgCC cohort had poorer performance and higher rates of below average performance on inhibitory control measures than TD children. Children with complex AgCC had poorer response inhibition performance than children with isolated AgCC. While not statistically significant, there were select medium to large effect sizes for better inhibitory control associated with greater volume and microstructure of the AC and PC, and with reduced volume and microstructure of the remnant CC in partial AgCC.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence of inhibitory control difficulties in children with AgCC. While the sample was small, the study found preliminary evidence that the AC ( f 2=.18) and PC ( f 2=.30) may play a compensatory role for inhibitory control outcomes in the absence of the CC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society : JINS
Early online date14 Apr 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Copyright © INS. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2023


  • executive functions
  • callosal agenesis
  • interference control
  • response inhibition
  • children
  • inhibition


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