This study longitudinally followed children born close to the cut-off date for school entry who subsequently did or did not enter school that year. Schoolchildren displayed larger behavioral improvements in cognitive control than kindergarteners, and also showed increased activation in posterior parietal cortex, a region important for sustained attention, while performing an inhibitory control task. In contrast, longitudinally observed improvements in episodic memory did not differ reliably between the two groups, suggesting that formal school entry primarily promotes brain mechanisms that help children to focus on cognitively demanding tasks.
Nolden, S., Brod, G., Meyer, A.-K., Fandakova, Y., & Shing, Y. L. (2021). Neural correlates of successful memory encoding in kindergarten and early elementary school children: Longitudinal trends and effects of schooling. Cerebral Cortex. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhab046
Filevich, E., Forlim, C. G., Fehrman, C., Forster, C., Paulus, M., Shing, Y. L., & Kühn, S. (2020). I know that I know nothing: Cortical thickness and functional connectivity underlying meta-ignorance ability in pre-schoolers. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 41, Article 100738. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2019.100738
Brod, G., Bunge, S. A., & Shing, Y. L. (2017). Does one year of schooling improve children's cognitive control and alter associated brain activation? Psychological Science, 28(7), 967–978. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797617699838