Moreau, Vincent; Rouleau, Nancie; Morin, Charles M
The objective of this study was to investigate potential relationships between two measures of sleep impairments (i.e., sleep duration and sleep efficiency [SE]) and attention and executive functioning in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Parents of 43 children (mean age = 10 ± 1.8 years) with ADHD completed sleep and behavioral questionnaires. Children also wore a wrist actigraph for seven nights and were subsequently assessed with the Conners' continuous performance test (CPT)-2. A significant relationship was found between lower SE and increased variability in reaction time on the CPT. Shorter sleep duration was associated with a range of executive functioning problems as reported by the parents. The relationships between sleep duration and the executive functioning measures held even after controlling for age, gender, and use of medication, but not the relationships with SE. These results suggest that sleep quantity is an important correlate of executive functioning in children with ADHD.
Cuevas, Kimberly; Bell, Martha Ann
Individual differences in infant attention are theorized to reflect the speed of information processing and are related to later cognitive abilities (i.e., memory, language, and intelligence). This study provides the first systematic longitudinal analysis of infant attention and early childhood executive function (EF; e.g., working memory,…
Stins, J.F.; Tollenaar, M.S.; Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Swaab-Barneveld, H.J.; Verhulst, F.C.; Polderman, T.J.C.; Boomsma, D.I.
The aim of this study was to further refine the cognitive phenotype of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with respect to the ability to sustain attention and executive functioning. Participants were 34 boys with ADHD (combined type) and 28 normal controls. The groups were closely
Stins, J.F.; Tollenaar, M.S.; Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Swaab, H.J.T.; Verhulst, F.C.; Polderman, T.J.C.; Boomsma, D.I.
The aim of this study was to further refine the cognitive phenotype of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with respect to the ability to sustain attention and executive functioning. Participants were 34 boys with ADHD (combined type) and 28 normal controls. The groups were closely
Stins, J.F.; Tollenaar, M.S.; Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Swaab-Barneveld, H.J.T.; Verhulst, F.C.; Polderman, J.C.; Boomsma, D.I.
The aim of this study was to further refine the cognitive phenotype of attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with respect to the ability to sustain attention and executive functioning. Participants were 34 boys with ADHD (combined type) and 28 normal controls. The groups were closely
Grane, Venke Arntsberg; Endestad, Tor; Pinto, Arnfrid Farbu; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin
We investigated performance-derived measures of executive control, and their relationship with self- and informant reported executive functions in everyday life, in treatment-naive adults with newly diagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; n = 36) and in healthy controls (n = 35). Sustained attentional control and response inhibition were examined with the Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.). Delayed responses, increased reaction time variability, and higher omission error rate to Go signals in ADHD patients relative to controls indicated fluctuating levels of attention in the patients. Furthermore, an increment in NoGo commission errors when Go stimuli increased relative to NoGo stimuli suggests reduced inhibition of task-irrelevant stimuli in conditions demanding frequent responding. The ADHD group reported significantly more cognitive and behavioral executive problems than the control group on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A). There were overall not strong associations between task performance and ratings of everyday executive function. However, for the ADHD group, T.O.V.A. omission errors predicted self-reported difficulties on the Organization of Materials scale, and commission errors predicted informant reported difficulties on the same scale. Although ADHD patients endorsed more symptoms of depression and anxiety on the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) than controls, ASEBA scores were not significantly associated with T.O.V.A. performance scores. Altogether, the results indicate multifaceted alteration of attentional control in adult ADHD, and accompanying subjective difficulties with several aspects of executive function in everyday living. The relationships between the two sets of data were modest, indicating that the measures represent non-redundant features of adult ADHD. PMID:25545156
Grane, Venke Arntsberg; Endestad, Tor; Pinto, Arnfrid Farbu; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin
We investigated performance-derived measures of executive control, and their relationship with self- and informant reported executive functions in everyday life, in treatment-naive adults with newly diagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; n = 36) and in healthy controls (n = 35). Sustained attentional control and response inhibition were examined with the Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.). Delayed responses, increased reaction time variability, and higher omission error rate to Go signals in ADHD patients relative to controls indicated fluctuating levels of attention in the patients. Furthermore, an increment in NoGo commission errors when Go stimuli increased relative to NoGo stimuli suggests reduced inhibition of task-irrelevant stimuli in conditions demanding frequent responding. The ADHD group reported significantly more cognitive and behavioral executive problems than the control group on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A). There were overall not strong associations between task performance and ratings of everyday executive function. However, for the ADHD group, T.O.V.A. omission errors predicted self-reported difficulties on the Organization of Materials scale, and commission errors predicted informant reported difficulties on the same scale. Although ADHD patients endorsed more symptoms of depression and anxiety on the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) than controls, ASEBA scores were not significantly associated with T.O.V.A. performance scores. Altogether, the results indicate multifaceted alteration of attentional control in adult ADHD, and accompanying subjective difficulties with several aspects of executive function in everyday living. The relationships between the two sets of data were modest, indicating that the measures represent non-redundant features of adult ADHD.
Venke Arntsberg Grane
Full Text Available We investigated performance-derived measures of executive control, and their relationship with self- and informant reported executive functions in everyday life, in treatment-naive adults with newly diagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; n = 36 and in healthy controls (n = 35. Sustained attentional control and response inhibition were examined with the Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.. Delayed responses, increased reaction time variability, and higher omission error rate to Go signals in ADHD patients relative to controls indicated fluctuating levels of attention in the patients. Furthermore, an increment in NoGo commission errors when Go stimuli increased relative to NoGo stimuli suggests reduced inhibition of task-irrelevant stimuli in conditions demanding frequent responding. The ADHD group reported significantly more cognitive and behavioral executive problems than the control group on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A. There were overall not strong associations between task performance and ratings of everyday executive function. However, for the ADHD group, T.O.V.A. omission errors predicted self-reported difficulties on the Organization of Materials scale, and commission errors predicted informant reported difficulties on the same scale. Although ADHD patients endorsed more symptoms of depression and anxiety on the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA than controls, ASEBA scores were not significantly associated with T.O.V.A. performance scores. Altogether, the results indicate multifaceted alteration of attentional control in adult ADHD, and accompanying subjective difficulties with several aspects of executive function in everyday living. The relationships between the two sets of data were modest, indicating that the measures represent non-redundant features of adult ADHD.
Verhoeven, Katrien; Dick, Bruce; Eccleston, Christopher; Goubert, Liesbet; Crombez, Geert
Directing attention away from pain is often used in children's pain treatment programs to control pain. However, empirical evidence concerning its effectiveness is inconclusive. We therefore sought to understand other influencing factors, including executive function and its role in the pain experience. This study investigates the role of executive functioning in the effectiveness of distraction. School children (n=164) completed executive functioning tasks (inhibition, switching, and working memory) and performed a cold-pressor task. One half of the children simultaneously performed a distracting tone-detection task; the other half did not. Results showed that participants in the distraction group were engaged in the distraction task and were reported to pay significantly less attention to pain than controls. Executive functioning influenced distraction task engagement. More specifically, participants with good inhibition and working memory abilities performed the distraction task better; participants with good switching abilities reported having paid more attention to the distraction task. Furthermore, distraction was found to be ineffective in reducing pain intensity and affect. Executive functioning did not influence the effectiveness of distraction. However, a relationship was found between executive functioning and pain affect, indicating that participants with good inhibition and working memory abilities experienced the cold-pressor task as less stressful and unpleasant. Our findings suggest that distraction as a process for managing pain is complex. While it appears that executive function may play a role in adult distraction, in this study it did not direct attention away from pain. It may instead be involved in the overall pain experience. Copyright © 2013 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Liu, Tai-Ling; Guo, Nai-Wen; Hsiao, Ray C; Hu, Huei-Fan; Yen, Cheng-Fang
This study investigated the relationship of bullying victimization and perpetration with the levels of intelligence, attention, and executive function in children who had received a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The experiences of bullying involvement in 105 children with ADHD were assessed using the Chinese version of the School Bullying Experience Questionnaire. Their scores for four intelligence indexes on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children 4th Edition-Chinese version were determined. Their levels of attention and executive function were assessed using the Comprehensive Nonverbal Attention Test Battery. The results of logistic regression analyses indicated that a high Perceptual Reasoning Index was significantly associated with a decreased risk of being victims of bullying. A high level of executive function was significantly associated with a decreased risk of being victims and perpetrators of bullying. Bullying victimization and perpetration in children with ADHD having a low PRI and low executive function should be routinely surveyed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
As with any cognitive ability, attention is vulnerable to dysfunction. The most common attentional problem is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This brief overview will highlight the symptoms and deficits associated with ADHD, its prevalence in today’s society, the association between executive function impairment and ADHD using Barkley’s (1997) work, and the personal and societal effects of the disorder.
Pierpont, Elizabeth I; Tworog-Dube, Erica; Roberts, Amy E
Emerging research indicates that gene mutations within the RAS-MAPK signaling cascade, which cause Noonan syndrome and related disorders, affect neurophysiologic activity in brain regions underlying attention and executive functions. The present study examined whether children with Noonan syndrome are at heightened risk for symptoms of attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and executive dysfunction relative to an unaffected sibling comparison group, and investigated three key aspects of behavioral attention: auditory attention, sustained attention, and response inhibition. Children and adolescents with Noonan syndrome (n=32, 17 males, 15 females, mean age 11y 3mo, SD 3y) and their unaffected siblings (n=16, eight males, eight females, mean age 11y, SD 3y 6mo) were administered standardized tests of intellectual functioning and clinic-based measures of behavioral attention. Parent ratings of ADHD symptoms, executive functioning, and behavior were also obtained. Children with Noonan syndrome demonstrated higher rates of past ADHD diagnosis, as well as reduced performance compared with unaffected siblings on behavioral attention measures. Parent-rated functional impairments in attention, social skills, working memory, and self-monitoring were more prevalent in the Noonan syndrome group. The relationship between attention regulation skills (sustained attention and inhibitory control) and intellectual test performance was significantly stronger in the Noonan syndrome group than the comparison group. Clinical screening/evaluation for ADHD and executive dysfunction in Noonan syndrome is recommended to facilitate appropriate intervention and to address functional impact on daily life activities. © 2014 Mac Keith Press.
Full Text Available The human attentional system can be subdivided into three functional networks of alerting, orienting, and executive control. Although these networks have been extensively studied in the visuospatial modality, whether the same mechanisms are deployed across different sensory modalities remains unclear. In this study we used the attention network test for visuospatial modality, in addition to two auditory variants with spatial and frequency manipulations to examine cross-modal correlations between network functions. Results showed that among the visual and auditory tasks the effects of executive control, but not effects of alerting and orienting were significantly correlated. These findings suggest that while alerting and orienting functions rely more upon modality specific processes, the executive control of attention coordinates complex behavior via supramodal mechanisms.
Tsygankov, B D; Khannanova, A N; Nekrasova, S V
To study changes in attention and executive functions during psychopharmacotherapy in patients with paranoid schizophrenia, we have examined 120 patients with a first episode of paranoid schizophrenia treated with typical and atypical neuroleptics. Clinical and statistical analyses have revealed the heterogeneity within treatment groups that allowed to define two subgroups. These subgroups were characterized by a differed disease course (favorable or poor type). Before remission was achieved, the effect of atypical neuroleptics on cognitive performance was higher compared to typical neuroleptics. After remission, when doses of neuroleptics were decreased, a type of disease course played a main role. At 6 months after remission, attention and executive functions have improved in subgroups with favorable course of disease regardless of treatment.
Kontaxopoulou, Dionysia; Beratis, Ion N; Fragkiadaki, Stella; Pavlou, Dimosthenis; Yannis, George; Economou, Alexandra; Papanicolaou, Andrew C; Papageorgiou, Sokratis G
The aim of the current study was to investigate the impact of gender and age on incidental and intentional memory in healthy participants and to explore the strength of the association of incidental and intentional memory with attentional and executive functioning. A total number of 47 participants underwent a driving simulation experiment and went through detailed neuropsychological testing. Incidental memory was assessed with a questionnaire that evaluated the memorization of information related to the driving simulator task while intentional memory was assessed using the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised and the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised. The analysis revealed a greater impact of age on incidental as compared to intentional memory. Gender did not appear to have such an effect on either incidental or intentional memory. Finally, attentional and executive functioning were more strongly associated with incidental memory than the intentional memory measures that were utilized in the current study. Ageing appears to affect incidental rather than intentional memory to a greater extent. In addition, attentional and executive functioning seem to play a more important role in incidental than intentional encoding and consolidation processes. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gilsoul, Jessica; Simon, Jessica; Hogge, Michaël; Collette, Fabienne
The executive processes are well known to decline with age, and similar data also exists for attentional capacities and processing speed. Therefore, we investigated whether these two last nonexecutive variables would mediate the effect of age on executive functions (inhibition, shifting, updating, and dual-task coordination). We administered a large battery of executive, attentional and processing speed tasks to 104 young and 71 older people, and we performed mediation analyses with variables showing a significant age effect. All executive and processing speed measures showed age-related effects while only the visual scanning task performance (selective attention) was explained by age when controlled for gender and educational level. Regarding mediation analyses, visual scanning partially mediated the age effect on updating while processing speed partially mediated the age effect on shifting, updating and dual-task coordination. In a more exploratory way, inhibition was also found to partially mediate the effect of age on the three other executive functions. Attention did not greatly influence executive functioning in aging while, in agreement with the literature, processing speed seems to be a major mediator of the age effect on these processes. Interestingly, the global pattern of results seems also to indicate an influence of inhibition but further studies are needed to confirm the role of that variable as a mediator and its relative importance by comparison with processing speed.
Gold, James M; Robinson, Benjamin; Leonard, Carly J; Hahn, Britta; Chen, Shuo; McMahon, Robert P; Luck, Steven J
People with schizophrenia demonstrate impairments in selective attention, working memory, and executive function. Given the overlap in these constructs, it is unclear if these represent distinct impairments or different manifestations of one higher-order impairment. To examine this question, we administered tasks from the basic cognitive neuroscience literature to measure visual selective attention, working memory capacity, and executive function in 126 people with schizophrenia and 122 healthy volunteers. Patients demonstrated deficits on all tasks with the exception of selective attention guided by strong bottom-up inputs. Although the measures of top-down control of selective attention, working memory, and executive function were all intercorrelated, several sources of evidence indicate that working memory and executive function are separate sources of variance. Specifically, both working memory and executive function independently contributed to the discrimination of group status and independently accounted for variance in overall general cognitive ability as assessed by the MATRICS battery. These two cognitive functions appear to be separable features of the cognitive impairments observed in schizophrenia. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Joukje M Oosterman
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Diminished executive function and attentional control has been reported in chronic pain patients. However, the precise pattern of impairment in these aspects of cognition in chronic pain remains unclear. Moreover, a decline in psychomotor speed could potentially influence executive and attentional control performance in pain patients.
Antonini, Tanya N; Ris, M Douglas; Grosshans, David R; Mahajan, Anita; Okcu, M Fatih; Chintagumpala, Murali; Paulino, Arnold; Child, Amanda E; Orobio, Jessica; Stancel, Heather H; Kahalley, Lisa S
This study examines attention, processing speed, and executive functioning in pediatric brain tumor survivors treated with proton beam radiation therapy (PBRT). We examined 39 survivors (age 6-19years) who were 3.61years post-PBRT on average. Craniospinal (CSI; n=21) and focal (n=18) subgroups were analyzed. Attention, processing speed, and executive functioning scores were compared to population norms, and clinical/demographic risk factors were examined. As a group, survivors treated with focal PBRT exhibited attention, processing speed, and executive functioning that did not differ from population norms (all p>0.05). Performance in the CSI group across attention scales was normative (all p>0.05), but areas of relative weakness were identified on one executive functioning subtest and several processing speed subtests (all pexecutive functioning remained intact and within normal limits for survivors treated with focal PBRT. Among survivors treated with CSI, a score pattern emerged that was suggestive of difficulties in underlying component skills (i.e., processing speed) rather than true executive dysfunction. No evidence of profound cognitive impairment was found in either group. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Elosúa, M Rosa; Del Olmo, Sandra; Contreras, María José
In recent years, the interest in Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and its relation to deficits in working memory (WM) and more specifically the different executive functions (EFs) has grown, to the point of confirming that these are quite frequent in this disorder. The aim of this study was precisely to explore differences in executive functioning of WM in fourth grade Primary school children with and without ADHD (26 and 29 children, respectively), introducing rigorous control measures in the tests used. Four EFs were analyzed: divided attention, updating, attentional shifting and inhibition, measured through four tasks, the dual-task paradigm (digits and box-crossing), the N-Back task, the Trail Making Test and the Stroop task, respectively. The results showed that participants with ADHD, compared to children with typical development (TD), exhibited a smaller verbal memory span as well as deficits in the attentional shifting and updating functions. However, a similar performance for the EF of inhibition was found for both groups of participants. Finally, an unexpected result was obtained with regard to the role of divided attention, as children with ADHD were less impaired when performing the double task than participants in the TD group.
Bay, B; Mortensen, E L; Kesmodel, U S
To assess the association of fertility treatment and subfertility with offspring intelligence, attention, and executive functions in 5-year-old singletons. Follow-up study. Denmark 2003-2008. A cohort of 1782 children sampled from the Danish National Birth Cohort. The children were tested with a neuropsychological battery at age five. In addition to tests of intelligence, attention and executive functions, the follow up included extensive information on important covariates. The analyses were conducted using multiple linear regression and adjusted for parental educational level, maternal intelligence, age, parity, body mass index, smoking in pregnancy, alcohol consumption in pregnancy and child gender, child age, and examiner. Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised, the Test of Everyday Attention for Children at Five, and the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions scores. A consistent pattern of nonsignificantly lower scores were only observed for intelligence and executive functions in children born after fertility treatment or by subfertile parents when the results were unadjusted for maternal intelligence and parental educational level. When adjusted for these and other covariates, there were no significant mean differences in intelligence (mean difference -2.8, 95% CI -7.8, 2.2), overall attention (-0.1, 95% CI -0.6, 0.3), or parent-rated executive functions (-0.1, 95% CI -3.0, 2.9) between children born after spontaneous conception and children born to parents conceiving after fertility treatment. Similarly, there were no significant mean differences in intelligence (mean difference 0.6, 95% CI -2.2, 3.4), overall attention (0.1, 95% CI -0.2, 0.4), or parent-rated executive functions (1.0, 95% CI -1.8, 3.7) between children born after spontaneous conception and children born to subfertile parents waiting more than 12 months before conceiving naturally. This study suggests that parental subfertility and fertility treatment are
Armstrong, Nicole M; Surkan, Pamela J; Treisman, Glenn J; Sacktor, Ned C; Irwin, Michael R; Teplin, Linda A; Stall, Ron; Martin, Eileen M; Becker, James T; Munro, Cynthia; Levine, Andrew J; Jacobson, Lisa P; Abraham, Alison G
Older HIV-infected men are at higher risk for both depression and cognitive impairments, compared to HIV-uninfected men. We evaluated the association between longitudinal patterns of depressive symptoms and attention/executive function in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected men aged 50+ years to understand whether HIV infection influenced the long-term effect of depression on attention/executive function. Responses to the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression scale and attention/executive function tests (Trail Making Test Part B and Symbol Digit Modalities Test) were collected semiannually from May 1986 to April 2015 in 1611 men. Group-based trajectory models, stratified by HIV status, were used to identify latent patterns of depressive symptoms and attention/executive function across 12 years of follow-up. We identified three depression patterns for HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected men (rare/never 50.0 vs. 60.6%, periodically depressed 29.6 vs. 24.5%, chronic high 20.5 vs.15.0%, respectively) and three patterns of attention/executive function for HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected men (worst-performing 47.4 vs. 45.1%; average 41.9 vs. 47.0%; best-performing 10.7 vs. 8.0%, respectively). Multivariable logistic regression models were used to assess associations between depression patterns and worst-performing attention/executive function. Among HIV-uninfected men, those in the periodically depressed and chronic high depressed groups had higher odds of membership in the worst-performing attention/executive function group (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.45, 95% CI 1.04, 2.03; AOR = 2.25, 95% CI 1.49, 3.39, respectively). Among HIV-infected men, patterns of depression symptoms were not associated with patterns of attention/executive function. Results suggest that HIV-uninfected, but not HIV-infected, men with chronic high depression are more likely to experience a long-term pattern of attention/executive dysfunction.
M. Rosa Elosúa
Full Text Available In recent years, the interest in Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD and its relation to deficits in working memory (WM and more specifically the different executive functions (EFs has grown, to the point of confirming that these are quite frequent in this disorder. The aim of this study was precisely to explore differences in executive functioning of WM in fourth grade Primary school children with and without ADHD (26 and 29 children, respectively, introducing rigorous control measures in the tests used. Four EFs were analyzed: divided attention, updating, attentional shifting and inhibition, measured through four tasks, the dual-task paradigm (digits and box-crossing, the N-Back task, the Trail Making Test and the Stroop task, respectively. The results showed that participants with ADHD, compared to children with typical development (TD, exhibited a smaller verbal memory span as well as deficits in the attentional shifting and updating functions. However, a similar performance for the EF of inhibition was found for both groups of participants. Finally, an unexpected result was obtained with regard to the role of divided attention, as children with ADHD were less impaired when performing the double task than participants in the TD group.
Denise Balem Yates
Full Text Available This study investigated the relationship between measures of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST and a brief battery of cognitive functions (NEUPSILIN with the goal of providing a better understanding of the association between executive processes and other functions. The sample included 39 people, from 14 to 61 years old, with an average education of 12.38 (SD = 3.65 years of study. The hypothesis that correlations would be moderate to strong between the measures of executive function, working memory, attention and prospective memory from NEUPSILIN and WCST scores was partially corroborated because the intensity of the correlations was below than the expected. Other correlations were also found between the WCST scores and tasks that assess semantic-episodic memory, oral language (inference processing and writing (reading components.
Cremone, Amanda; McDermott, Jennifer M; Spencer, Rebecca M C
Executive attention is impaired following sleep loss in school-aged children, adolescents, and adults. Whether naps improve attention relative to nap deprivation in preschool-aged children is unknown. The aim of this study was to compare executive attention in preschool children following a nap and an interval of wake. Sixty-nine children, 35-70 months of age, completed a Flanker task to assess executive attention following a nap and an equivalent interval of wake. Overall, accuracy was greater after the nap compared with the wake interval. Reaction time(s) did not differ between the nap and wake intervals. Results did not differ between children who napped consistently and those who napped inconsistently, suggesting that naps benefit executive attention of preschoolers regardless of nap habituality. These results indicate that naps enhance attention in preschool children. As executive attention supports executive functioning and learning, nap promotion may improve early education outcomes. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Pediatric Psychology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Normala, I; Abdul, Hamid A R; Azlin, B; Nik Ruzyanei, N J; Hazli, Z; Shah, S A
This is a cross sectional comparison study to assess executive function and attention span in euthymic patients with bipolar 1 disorder. It compares the performance of these two cognitive domains in 40 patients with bipolar 1 disorder to that of 40 healthy normal subjects using Trail Making (TMT), Digit Span (Forward and Backward) and Verbal Fluency (VF) tests. The association between demographic, clinical characteristics and performance in all tests were examined. Patients with bipolar illness showed significant impairment with moderate to large effect sizes (VF = 0.67, TMT A = 0.52, TMT B = 0.81, Digit Forward = 0.97, Digit backward = 1.10) in all tasks of executive and attention functioning. These impairments are observed in the absence of active mood symptoms while duration and severity of illness are not found to have an effect on both cognitive domains. Medications received by patients with bipolar disorder have significant association with performance on executive tasks. The results of this study add on to the existing global evidence of cognitive impairment in bipolar illness despite its cross cultural differences. Its presence in the absence of mania, depression or mixed episode indicates that cognitive impairment is stable even after symptoms recovery.
Gathercole, Susan E.; Alloway, Tracy P.; Kirkwood, Hannah J.; Elliott, Julian G.; Holmes, Joni; Hilton, Kerry A.
The purpose of this study was to explore the profiles of classroom behaviour relating to attention and executive functions in children with very poor working memory, and to test the hypothesis that inattentive behaviour and working memory problems co-occur. Teachers rated problem behaviours of 52 children with low working memory scores aged 5/6…
Full Text Available Attention and executive deficits are disabling symptoms in multiple sclerosis (MS that have been related to disconnection mechanisms. We aimed to investigate changes in structural connectivity in MS and their association with attention and executive performance applying an improved framework that combines high order probabilistic tractography and anatomical exclusion criteria postprocessing. We compared graph theory metrics of structural networks and fractional anisotropy (FA of white matter (WM connections or edges between 72 MS subjects and 38 healthy volunteers (HV and assessed their correlation with cognition. Patients displayed decreased network transitivity, global efficiency and increased path length compared with HV (p < 0.05, corrected. Also, nodal strength was decreased in 26 of 84 gray matter regions. The distribution of nodes with stronger connections or hubs of the network was similar among groups except for the right pallidum and left insula, which became hubs in patients. MS subjects presented reduced edge FA widespread in the network, while FA was increased in 24 connections (p < 0.05, corrected. Decreased integrity of frontoparietal networks, deep gray nuclei and insula correlated with worse attention and executive performance (r between 0.38 and 0.55, p < 0.05, corrected. Contrarily, higher strength in the right transverse temporal cortex and increased FA of several connections (mainly from cingulate, frontal and occipital cortices were associated with worse functioning (r between −0.40 and −0.47, p < 0.05 corrected. In conclusion, structural brain connectivity is disturbed in MS due to widespread impairment of WM connections and gray matter structures. The increased edge connectivity suggests the presence of reorganization mechanisms at the structural level. Importantly, attention and executive performance relates to frontoparietal networks, deep gray nuclei and insula. These results support the relevance of
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Narcolepsy with cataplexy (NC is a disabling sleep disorder characterized by early loss of hypocretin neurons that project to areas involved in the attention network. We characterized the executive control of attention in drug-free patients with NC to determine whether the executive deficits observed in patients with NC are specific to the disease itself or whether they reflect performance changes due to the severity of excessive daytime sleepiness. METHODOLOGY: Twenty-two patients with NC compared to 22 patients with narcolepsy without cataplexy (NwC matched for age, gender, intellectual level, objective daytime sleepiness and number of sleep onset REM periods (SOREMPs were studied. Thirty-two matched healthy controls were included. All participants underwent a standardized interview, completed questionnaires, and neuropsychological tests. All patients underwent a polysomnography followed by multiple sleep latency tests (MSLT, with neuropsychological evaluation performed the same day between MSLT sessions. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Irrespective of diagnosis, patients reported higher self-reported attentional complaints associated with the intensity of depressive symptoms. Patients with NC performed slower and more variably on simple reaction time tasks than patients with NwC, who did not differ from controls. Patients with NC and NwC generally performed slower, reacted more variably, and made more errors than controls on executive functioning tests. Individual profile analyses showed a clear heterogeneity of the severity of executive deficit. This severity was related to objective sleepiness, higher number of SOREMPs on the MSLT, and lower intelligence quotient. The nature and severity of the executive deficits were unrelated to NC and NwC diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that drug-free patients with NC and NwC complained of attention deficit, with altered executive control of attention being explained by the severity of objective
Mendelsohn, Daniel; Riedel, Wim J; Sambeth, Anke
The serotonergic system is implicated in the regulation of mood and cognition. Acute tryptophan depletion (ATD) is an experimental procedure for lowering central serotonin levels. Here, the effects of ATD on psychomotor processing, declarative memory, working memory, executive functions and attention are discussed. The most robust finding is that ATD impairs the consolidation of episodic memory for verbal information. Semantic memory appears to be unaffected by ATD although a limited variety of tasks examined effects in this domain. Similarly, evidence suggests ATD does not influence verbal, spatial and affective working memory. Most studies investigating effects on executive functions have produced non-specific or negative findings. In terms of attention, ATD either does not affect or may improve focused attention and ATD likely does not impact sustained and divided attention or attentional set-shifting. Although ATD is known to affect mood in certain vulnerable populations, the effects of ATD on cognition in non-vulnerable participants are independent of mood changes. Suggestions for future directions and implications for psychiatric illnesses are discussed.
Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Swaab-Barneveld, H.J.; Sonneville, L.M. de; Buitelaar, J.K.
This study examined familiality of attentional control and mental flexibility in multiplex attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) families. The authors hypothesized that siblings of ADHD probands, although not behaviorally expressing ADHD, have deficits in these executive functions and that
Sorge, Geoff B.; Toplak, Maggie E.; Bialystok, Ellen
Attention difficulty is associated with poor performance on executive functioning (EF) tasks, yet EF is enhanced in bilingual children. However, no research to date has investigated the possible interaction between bilingualism and attention ability in children to determine the consequences for EF when both are present. We assessed a sample of…
Kurowski, Brad G; Taylor, H Gerry; Yeates, Keith Owen; Walz, Nicolay C; Stancin, Terry; Wade, Shari L
To evaluate the relationship of family and parenting factors to long-term executive dysfunction and attention problems after early childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI). We hypothesized that the magnitude of executive dysfunction and attention problems would be moderated by family and parenting factors. A multicenter, prospective cohort study that included an orthopedic injury (OI) reference group. Three tertiary academic children's hospital medical centers and one general medical center. Children, ages 3-7 years, hospitalized for OI, moderate TBI, or severe TBI. METHODS AND OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Parental ratings of family functioning and parenting styles were obtained 18 months after the injury occurred. The main outcome measurements, which were parental ratings of children's executive function and attention, were performed at least 24 months after the injury occurred (mean, 39 months; range, 25-63 months). Group comparisons were conducted with use of t-tests, χ(2) analysis, analysis of variance, and Pearson and Spearman correlations. Regression analysis was used to examine associations of the outcomes with family functioning and parenting styles and to test moderating effects of these factors on group differences. Participants with severe TBI demonstrated increased executive dysfunction and attention problems compared with those who sustained moderate TBI or OI. Lower levels of family dysfunction were associated with better executive function and attention across groups but did not moderate group differences. However, attention deficits after severe TBI were exacerbated under conditions of more permissive parenting relative to attention deficits after OIs. Executive function and attention problems persisted on a long-term basis (>24 months) after early childhood TBI, and positive global family functioning and nonpermissive parenting were associated with better outcomes. Better characterization of the optimal family environment for recovery from early childhood
Jarrett, Matthew A
The current study examined attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety symptoms in relation to self-reported executive functioning deficits in emerging adults. College students (N = 421; ages 17-25; 73.1% female) completed self-reports of ADHD, anxiety, and executive functioning in a laboratory setting. Structural equation modeling analyses revealed that self-reported executive functioning deficits were significantly related to all 3 symptom domains. Executive functioning deficits were most strongly related to inattention followed by hyperactivity/impulsivity and anxiety. Analyses based on clinical groups revealed that groups with ADHD and comorbid anxiety showed greater deficits on self-regulation of emotion and self-organization/problem solving than those with ADHD only or anxiety only. Groups with ADHD showed greater deficits with self-motivation and self-restraint than those with anxiety only. All clinical groups differed from a control group on executive functioning deficits. Overall, anxiety symptoms appear to be associated with college students' self-reported executive functioning deficits above and beyond relationships with ADHD symptomatology. Further, those with ADHD and anxiety appear to show increased difficulties with self-regulation of emotion and self-organization/problem solving, a domain which appears to overlap substantially with working memory. Future studies should seek to replicate our findings with a clinical population, utilize both report-based and laboratory task measures of executive functioning, and integrate both state and trait anxiety indices into study designs. Finally, future studies should seek to determine how executive functioning deficits can be best ameliorated in emerging adults with ADHD and anxiety. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
de Jong, Christien G. W.; van de Voorde, Séverine; Roeyers, Herbert; Raymaekers, Ruth; Allen, Albert J.; Knijff, Simone; Verhelst, Helene; Temmink, Alfons H.; Smit, Leo M. E.; Rodriques-Pereira, Rob; Vandenberghe, Dirk; van Welsen, Inge; ter Schuren, Liesbeth; Al-Hakim, Mazim; Amin, Azad; Vlasveld, Laurens; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Sergeant, Joseph A.
The effects of a promising pharmacological treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), atomoxetine, were studied on executive functions in both ADHD and reading disorder (RD) because earlier research demonstrated an overlap in executive functioning deficits in both disorders. In
Bigelow, Robin T; Agrawal, Yuri
A growing body of literature suggests the inner ear vestibular system has a substantial impact on cognitive function. The strongest evidence exists in connecting vestibular function to the cognitive domain of visuospatial ability, which includes spatial memory, navigation, mental rotation, and mental representation of three-dimensional space. Substantial evidence also exists suggesting the vestibular system has an impact on attention and cognitive processing ability. The cognitive domains of memory and executive function are also implicated in a number of studies. We will review the current literature, discuss possible causal links between vestibular dysfunction and cognitive performance, and suggest areas of future research.
Full Text Available Abstract Background We compared the attention abilities of a group of first-episode schizophrenia (FES patients and a group of healthy participants using the Attention Network Test (ANT, a standard procedure that estimates the functional state of three neural networks controlling the efficiency of three different attentional behaviors, i.e., alerting (achieving and maintaining a state of high sensitivity to incoming stimuli, orienting (ability to select information from sensory input, and executive attention (mechanisms for resolving conflict among thoughts, feelings, and actions. Methods We evaluated 22 FES patients from 17 to 29 years of age with a recent history of a single psychotic episode treated only with atypical neuroleptics, and 20 healthy persons matched with FES patients by sex, age, and educational level as the control group. Attention was estimated using the ANT in which participants indicate whether a central horizontal arrow is pointing to the left or the right. The central arrow may be preceded by spatial or temporal cues denoting where and when the arrow will appear, and may be flanked by other arrows (hereafter, flankers pointing in the same or the opposite direction. Results The efficiency of the alerting, orienting, and executive networks was estimated by measuring how reaction time was influenced by congruency between temporal, spatial, and flanker cues. We found that the control group only demonstrated significantly greater attention efficiency than FES patients in the executive attention network. Conclusions FES patients are impaired in executive attention but not in alerting or orienting attention, suggesting that executive attention deficit may be a primary impairment during the progression of the disease.
Chung, Joonho; Seok, Jeong-Ho; Kwon, Min A; Kim, Yong Bae; Joo, Jin-Yang; Hong, Chang-Ki
We prospectively evaluated the effects of preventive surgery for unruptured intracranial aneurysms on attention, executive function, learning and memory. Between March 2012 and June 2013, 56 patients were recruited for this study. Fifty-one patients met the inclusion criteria and were enrolled. Inclusion criteria were as follows: (1) age ≤65 years and (2) planned microsurgery or endovascular surgery for unruptured intracranial aneurysm. Exclusion criteria were as follows: (1) preoperative intelligence quotient attention), WCT (executive function) and VLT (learning and memory) scores did not change significantly between the pre- and postoperative evaluations. The ACCPT, WCT, total VLT scores (verbal learning) and delayed VLT scores (memory) did not differ significantly between patients undergoing microsurgery and those undergoing endovascular surgery. However, ACCPT, WCT and delayed VLT scores decreased postoperatively in patients with leukoaraiosis on preoperative FLAIR images (OR 9.899, p = 0.041; OR 11.421, p = 0.006; OR 2.952, p = 0.024, respectively). Preventive surgery for unruptured intracranial aneurysms did not affect attention, executive function, learning or memory. However, patients with leukoaraiosis on FLAIR images might be prone to deficits in attention, executive function and memory postoperatively, whereas learning might not be affected.
Full Text Available Very preterm birth is associated with an increased prevalence of attention problems and may especially impair executive attention, i.e., top-down control of attentional selection in situations where distracting information interferes with the processing of task-relevant stimuli. While there are initial findings linking structural brain alterations in preterm-born individuals with attention problems, the functional basis of these problems are not well understood. The present study used an fMRI adaptation of the Attentional Network Test to examine the neural correlates of executive attention in a large sample of N = 86 adults born very preterm and/or with very low birth weight (VP/VLBW, and N = 100 term-born controls. Executive attention was measured by comparing task behavior and brain activations associated with the processing of incongruent vs. congruent arrow flanker stimuli. Consistent with subtle impairments of executive attention, the VP/VLBW group showed lower accuracy and a tendency for increased response times during the processing of incongruent stimuli. Both groups showed similar activation patters, especially within expected fronto-cingulo-parietal areas, but no significant between-group differences. Our results argue for a maintained attention-relevant network organization in high-functioning preterm born adults in spite of subtle deficits in executive attention. Gestational age and neonatal treatment variables showed associations with task behavior, and brain activation in the dorsal ACC and lateral occipital areas, suggesting that the degree of prematurity (and related neonatal complications has subtle modulatory influences on executive attention processing.
de Greeff, Johannes W; Bosker, Roel J; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Visscher, Chris; Hartman, E
The aim of this meta-analysis was to provide a systematic review of intervention studies that investigated the effects of physical activity on multiple domains of executive functions, attention and academic performance in preadolescent children (6-12 years of age). In addition, a systematic quantification of the effects of physical activity on these domains is provided. Systematic review and meta-analysis. Searches of electronic databases and examining relevant reviews between 2000 and April 2017 resulted in 31 intervention studies meeting the inclusion criteria. Four subdomains of executive functions (inhibition, working memory, cognitive flexibility and planning), three subdomains of attention (selective, divided and sustained) and three subdomains of academic performance (mathematics, spelling and reading) were distinguished. Effects for different study designs (acute physical activity or longitudinal physical activity programs), type of physical activity (aerobic or cognitively engaging) and duration of intervention were examined separately. Acute physical activity has a positive effect on attention (g=0.43; 95% CI=0.09, 0.77; 6 studies), while longitudinal physical activity programs has a positive effect on executive functions (g=0.24; 95% CI=0.09, 0.39; 12 studies), attention (g=0.90; 95% CI=0.56, 1.24; 1 study) and academic performance (g=0.26; 95% CI=0.02, 0.49; 3 studies). The effects did depend on the subdomain. Positive effects were found for physical activity on executive functions, attention and academic performance in preadolescent children. Largest effects are expected for interventions that aim for continuous regular physical activity over several weeks. Copyright © 2017 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bottcher, Louise; Flachs, Esben Meulengracht; Uldall, Peter
Children with cerebral palsy (CP) are reported to have learning and social problems. The aim of the present study was to examine whether children with CP have impairments in attention or executive function.......Children with cerebral palsy (CP) are reported to have learning and social problems. The aim of the present study was to examine whether children with CP have impairments in attention or executive function....
Geurts, H.M.; Broeders, M.; Nieuwland, M.S.
An endophenotype for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) is executive functioning. In the autism and developmental literature executive dysfunctions has also been linked to theory of mind (ToM) and pragmatic language use. The central question of this review is whether deficits in ToM
Novakovic-Agopian, Tatjana; Chen, Anthony J-W; Rome, Scott; Abrams, Gary; Castelli, Holli; Rossi, Annemarie; McKim, Ryan; Hills, Nancy; D'Esposito, Mark
To assess feasibility and effects of training in goal-oriented attentional self-regulation for patients with brain injury and chronic executive dysfunction. Sixteen individuals with chronic brain injury and mild to moderate executive dysfunction. Participants were divided into 2 groups: one group completed goal-oriented attentional self-regulation training during the first 5 weeks, followed by a brief (2-hour) educational instruction session as a control midway through the second 5 weeks; the other group participated in reverse order. Neuropsychological and functional performance assessed at baseline and at weeks 5 and 10. Participants found training in goal-oriented attentional self-regulation engaging, incorporated some trained strategies into daily life, and reported subjective improvements in personal functioning. At week 5, participants who completed goals training significantly improved on tests of attention and executive function and had fewer functional task failures, while performance did not change after educational instruction. At week 10, participants who crossed over from educational instruction to goals training also significantly improved on attention and executive function tests. Participants who crossed from goals training to educational instruction maintained their week 5 gains. Training in goal-oriented attentional self-regulation is theoretically driven and feasible in a research setting. Pilot results suggest improvements in cognitive and functional domains targeted by the intervention.
Faure, Jean-Baptiste; Marques-Carneiro, José E; Akimana, Gladys; Cosquer, Brigitte; Ferrandon, Arielle; Herbeaux, Karine; Koning, Estelle; Barbelivien, Alexandra; Nehlig, Astrid; Cassel, Jean-Christophe
Temporal lobe epilepsy is a relatively frequent, invalidating, and often refractory neurologic disorder. It is associated with cognitive impairments that affect memory and executive functions. In the rat lithium-pilocarpine temporal lobe epilepsy model, memory impairment and anxiety disorder are classically reported. Here we evaluated sustained visual attention in this model of epilepsy, a function not frequently explored. Thirty-five Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to lithium-pilocarpine status epilepticus. Twenty of them received a carisbamate treatment for 7 days, starting 1 h after status epilepticus onset. Twelve controls received lithium and saline. Five months later, attention was assessed in the five-choice serial reaction time task, a task that tests visual attention and inhibitory control (impulsivity/compulsivity). Neuronal counting was performed in brain regions of interest to the functions studied (hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, nucleus basalis magnocellularis, and pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus). Lithium-pilocarpine rats developed motor seizures. When they were able to learn the task, they exhibited attention impairment and a tendency toward impulsivity and compulsivity. These disturbances occurred in the absence of neuronal loss in structures classically related to attentional performance, although they seemed to better correlate with neuronal loss in hippocampus. Globally, rats that received carisbamate and developed motor seizures were as impaired as untreated rats, whereas those that did not develop overt motor seizures performed like controls, despite evidence for hippocampal damage. This study shows that attention deficits reported by patients with temporal lobe epilepsy can be observed in the lithium-pilocarpine model. Carisbamate prevents the occurrence of motor seizures, attention impairment, impulsivity, and compulsivity in a subpopulation of neuroprotected rats. Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2014 International League Against Epilepsy.
Dietrich, A.; Althaus, M.; Hartman, C.A.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Minderaa, R.B.; van den Hoofdakker, B.J.; Hoekstra, P.J.
Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often show executive function (EF) problems and neurophysiological hypoarousal. Baroreceptor activation, as part of the baroreflex short-term blood pressure regulatory mechanism, has been linked to cortical inhibition and attenuated
Dietrich, A.; Althaus, M.; Hartman, C.A.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Mindera, R.B.; Hoofdakker, B.J. van den; Hoekstra, P.J.
Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often show executive function (EF) problems and neurophysiological hypoarousal. Baroreceptor activation, as part of the baroreflex short-term blood pressure regulatory mechanism, has been linked to cortical inhibition and attenuated
Sommerfeldt, Sasha L; Cullen, Kathryn R; Han, Georges; Fryza, Brandon J; Houri, Alaa K; Klimes-Dougan, Bonnie
Neural network models that guide neuropsychological assessment practices are increasingly used to explicate depression, though a paucity of work has focused on regulatory systems that are under development in adolescence. The purpose of this study was to evaluate subsystems of attention related to executive functioning including alerting, orienting, and executive attention networks, as well as sustained attention with varying working memory load, in a sample of depressed and well adolescents. Neuropsychological functioning in 99 adolescents diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) and 63 adolescent healthy controls (M = 16.6 years old) was assessed on the Attention Network Test (ANT) and the Continuous Performance Test, Identical Pairs. Adolescents with MDD, particularly those who were not medicated, were slower to process conflict (slower reaction time on the Executive Attention scale of the ANT) compared to controls, particularly for those who were not undergoing psychopharmacological treatment. Tentative evidence also suggests that within the MDD group, orienting performance was more impaired in those with a history of comorbid substance use disorder, and alerting was more impaired in those with a history of a suicide attempt. Adolescents with depression showed impaired executive attention, although cognitive performance varied across subgroups of patients. These findings highlight the importance of examining neurocognitive correlates associated with features of depression and suggest an avenue for future research to help guide the development of interventions.
Mary, Alison; Slama, Hichem; Mousty, Philippe; Massat, Isabelle; Capiau, Tatiana; Drabs, Virginie; Peigneux, Philippe
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children has been associated with attentional and executive problems, but also with socioemotional difficulties possibly associated with deficits in Theory of Mind (ToM). Socioemotional problems in ADHD are associated with more negative prognoses, notably interpersonal, educational problems, and an increased risk of developing other psychiatric disorders that emphasize the need to clarify the nature of their ToM deficits. In this study, we hypothesized that ToM dysfunction in children with ADHD is largely attributable to their attentional and/or executive deficits. Thirty-one children with ADHD (8-12 years, IQ > 85) and 31 typically developing (TD) children were assessed using executive functions (inhibition, planning, and flexibility) and attentional tasks, as well as two advanced ToM tasks (Reading the Mind in the Eyes and Faux Pas) involving different levels of executive control. Children with ADHD performed more poorly than TD children in attentional, executive function, and ToM tasks. Linear regression analyses conducted in the ADHD group indicated that inhibition scores predicted performance on the "Faux Pas" task the best, while attention scores were the best for predicting performance on the Reading the Mind in the Eyes task. When controlled for inhibition and attentional variables, ToM performance in children with ADHD was actually similar to TD children. Contrarily, controlling for ToM scores did not normalize performance for inhibition and attentional tasks in children with ADHD. This unidirectional relationship suggests that deficits in the EF and attentional domains are responsible for ToM deficits in ADHD, which therefore may contribute to their socioemotional difficulties.
Thissen, A. J. A. M.; Rommelse, N. N. J.; Hoekstra, P. J.; Hartman, C.; Heslenfeld, D.; Luman, M.; van Lieshout, M.; Franke, B.; Oosterlaan, J.; Buitelaar, J. K.
Background The results of twin and sibling studies suggest that executive functioning is a prime candidate endophenotype in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, studies have not assessed the co-segregation of executive function (EF) deficits from parents to offspring directly,
John K Tsotsos
Full Text Available What are the computational tasks that an executive controller for visual attention must solve? This question is posed in the context of the Selective Tuning model of attention. The range of required computations go beyond top-down bias signals or region-of-interest determinations, and must deal with overt and covert fixations, process timing and synchronization, information routing, memory, matching control to task, spatial localization, priming, and coordination of bottom-up with top-down information. During task execution, results must be monitored to ensure the expected results. This description includes the kinds of elements that are common in the control of any kind of complex machine or system. We seek a mechanistic integration of the above, in other words, algorithms that accomplish control. Such algorithms operate on representations, transforming a representation of one kind into another, which then forms the input to yet another algorithm. Cognitive Programs (CPs are hypothesized to capture exactly such representational transformations via stepwise sequences of operations. CPs, an updated and modernized offspring of Ullman's Visual Routines, impose an algorithmic structure to the set of attentional functions and play a role in the overall shaping of attentional modulation of the visual system so that it provides its best performance. This requires that we consider the visual system as a dynamic, yet general-purpose processor tuned to the task and input of the moment. This differs dramatically from the almost universal cognitive and computational views, which regard vision as a passively observing module to which simple questions about percepts can be posed, regardless of task. Differing from Visual Routines, CPs explicitly involve the critical elements of Visual Task Executive, Visual Attention Executive, and Visual Working Memory. Cognitive Programs provide the software that directs the actions of the Selective Tuning model of visual
Veer, Ilona M.; Luyten, Hans; Mulder, Hanna; van Tuijl, Cathy; Sleegers, Peter J.C.
To study the central role of selective attention in the early development of executive functions (EFs), longitudinal relationships between selective attention, working memory, and simple response inhibition were explored. Selective attention, working memory, and simple response inhibition were
Blum, Nathan J.; Jawad, Abbas F.; Clarke, Angela T.; Power, Thomas J.
Aim: This study investigated whether components of attention and executive functioning improve when children with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are treated with osmotic-release oral system (OROS) methylphenidate. Method: Thirty children (24 males, six females; mean age 8y 6mo, SD 1y 11mo; range 6y 5mo-12y 6mo) with ADHD combined…
Biederman, Joseph; Monuteaux, Michael C.; Doyle, Alysa E.; Seidman, Larry J.; Wilens, Timothy E.; Ferrero, Frances; Morgan, Christie L.; Faraone, Stephen V.
The association between executive function deficits (EFDs) and functional outcomes were examined among children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Participants were children and adolescents with (n = 259) and without (n = 222) ADHD, as ascertained from pediatric and psychiatric clinics. The authors defined EFD as…
Hester, Robert; Garavan, Hugh
In a series of three experiments, increasing working memory (WM) load was demonstrated to reduce the executive control of attention, measured via task-switching and inhibitory control paradigms. Uniquely, our paradigms allowed comparison of the ability to exert executive control when the stimulus was either part of the currently rehearsed memory set or an unrelated distractor item. The results demonstrated a content-specific effect-insofar as switching attention away from, or exerting inhibitory control over, items currently held in WM was especially difficult-compounded by increasing WM load. This finding supports the attentional control theory that active maintenance of competing task goals is critical to executive function and WM capacity; however, it also suggests that the increased salience provided to the contents of WM through active rehearsal exerts a content-specific influence on attentional control. These findings are discussed in relation to cue-induced ruminations, where active rehearsal of evocative information (e.g., negative thoughts in depression or drug-related thoughts in addiction) in WM typically results from environmental cuing. The present study has demonstrated that when information currently maintained in WM is reencountered, it is harder to exert executive control over it. The difficulty with suppressing the processing of these stimuli presumably reinforces the maintenance of these items in WM, due to the greater level of attention they are afforded, and may help to explain how the cue-induced craving/rumination cycle is perpetuated.
Green, Tamar; Bade Shrestha, Sharon; Chromik, Lindsay C; Rutledge, Keetan; Pennington, Bruce F; Hong, David S; Reiss, Allan L
To identify distinct behavioral and cognitive profiles associated with ADHD in Turner syndrome (TS), relative to idiopathic ADHD and neurotypical controls, in order to elucidate X-linked influences contributing to ADHD. We used a multilevel-model approach to compare 49 girls with TS to 37 neurotypical females, aged 5-12, on established measures of behavior (BASC-2) and neurocognitive function (NEPSY). We further compared girls with TS to BASC-2 and NEPSY age-matched reference data obtained from children with idiopathic ADHD. Within the TS group, 51% scored at or above the "at-risk" range for ADHD-associated behaviors on the BASC-2 (TS/+ADHD). The BASC-2 behavioral profile in this TS/+ADHD-subgroup was comparable to a reference group of boys with ADHD with respect to attentional problems and hyperactivity. However, the TS/+ADHD-subgroup had significantly higher hyperactivity scores relative to a reference sample of girls with ADHD (p = 0.016). The behavioral profile in TS was associated with significantly lower attention and executive function scores on the NEPSY relative to neurotypical controls (p = 0.015); but was comparable to scores from a reference sample of children with idiopathic ADHD. Deficits in attention and executive function were not observed in girls with TS having low levels of ADHD-associated behavior (TS/-ADHD). ADHD-associated behavioral and cognitive problems in TS are prevalent and comparable in severity to those found in children with idiopathic ADHD. The ADHD phenotype in TS also appears relatively independent of cognitive features typically associated with TS, like visuospatial weaknesses. These findings suggest that X-linked haploinsufficiency and downstream biological effects contribute to increased risk for ADHD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available This study aimed to investigate if an executive functions (EF intervention could promote these skills in individuals with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. Eighteen children and adolescents, 7-13 years old, divided into experimental (EG, N = 8 and control (CG, N = 10 groups, were assessed in the Block Design and Vocabulary subtests of the WISC III and seven tests of EF. Parents answered two scales, measuring EF and inattention and hyperactivity signs. EG children participated in a program to promote EF in twice-weekly group sessions of one hour each. After 8 months of intervention, groups were assessed again. ANCOVA, controlling for age, intelligence quotient and pretest performance, revealed gains in attention/inhibition and auditory working memory measures for the EG. No effect was found for scales or measures of more complex EF. Results are not conclusive, but they illustrate some promising data about EF interventions in children and adolescents with ADHD.
Wang, Yiji; Dix, Theodore
On the basis of longitudinal data across 9 years, this study examined the contribution of sustained attention and executive function to the poor cognitive and socioemotional adjustment of school-age children whose mothers had depressive symptoms during the child's infancy. Mothers (N = 1,364) reported depressive symptoms across their child's infancy and early childhood. Maternal sensitivity was observed during laboratory interactions at 36 months. At school entry children's sustained attention and executive function were measured with computer-generated tasks. In third grade, cognitive and socioemotional adjustment was assessed with standardized tests and the reports of fathers and teachers. Using structural equation modeling, findings showed that (a) exposure to mothers' depressive symptoms during the child's infancy, independent of later exposure, uniquely predicted children's poor sustained attention and executive function at school entry; (b) deficits in children's sustained attention and executive function occurred because of depressed mothers' tendencies to display insensitive parenting behavior; and (c) these deficits explained in part relations between exposure to mothers' depressive symptoms in infancy and children's poor cognitive and socioemotional adjustment in third grade. Findings highlight the potential importance of children's exposure to mothers' depressive symptoms specifically during the child's infancy for disrupting the development of fundamental cognitive processes that may underlie the adjustment problems children of depressed mothers display in middle childhood. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Schulze-Rauschenbach, Svenja; Lennertz, Leonhard; Ruhrmann, Stephan; Petrovsky, Nadine; Ettinger, Ulrich; Pukrop, Ralf; Dreher, Jan; Klosterkötter, Joachim; Maier, Wolfgang; Wagner, Michael
Neuropsychological deficits are candidate endophenotypes of schizophrenia which can assist to explain the neurocognitive impact of genetic risk variants. The identification of endophenotypes is often based on the familiality of these phenotypes. Several studies demonstrate neuropsychological deficits in unaffected biological relatives of schizophrenia patients without differentiating between genetic and non-genetic factors underlying these deficits. We assessed N=129 unaffected biological parents of schizophrenia patients, N=28 schizophrenia patients (paranoid subtype), and N=143 controls without a family history of schizophrenia with an extensive neuropsychological test battery. Direct comparison of N=22 parents with an ancestral history of schizophrenia (more likely carriers, MLC) and N=17 of their spouses without such a history (less likely carriers, LLC) allowed the separation of genetic and non-genetic aspects in cognition. Overall, parents showed significant deficits in neuropsychological tasks from all cognitive domains with medium effect sizes. Direct comparisons of MLC- and LLC-parents showed that attentional and executive tasks were most strongly affected by genetic loading. To conclude, unaffected parents of schizophrenia patients showed modest yet significant impairments in attention, memory, and executive functioning. In particular, attentional and executive impairments varied most strongly with genetic loading for schizophrenia, prioritising these dysfunctions for genotype-endophenotype analyses. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Vélez-van-Meerbeke, A; Zamora, I P; Guzmán, G; Figueroa, B; López Cabra, C A; Talero-Gutiérrez, C
To identify impairment of executive functions (EF) in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A case-control study was performed on a sample of schoolchildren with low socioeconomic levels in Bogota, Colombia. ADHD was diagnosed using the DSM IV checklist and the Behavior Assessment System for Children scale. Children with cognitive deficits were excluded. We evaluated scores from six measurements of executive function (EF). We conducted a bivariate statistical analysis to compare the variables, a multivariate study controlled by sex and age, and a logistic regression analysis. The study sample included 119 children with ADHD and 85 controls, all aged between 6 and 12 years. Controlling by sex, age, and type of school showed that EF measurements in children with ADHD were significantly more impaired than in controls, especially for measurements of verbal and graphic fluency, Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure, and cognitive flexibility. Comparison of ADHD subgroups showed that results in children with multiple deficits were similar to those in the global ADHD group. Graphic fluency impairment was the sole impairment in cases with only attention deficit or only hyperactivity-impulsivity manifestations. EF measures in children with ADHD revealed more problems, particularly those having to do within planning, inhibition, working memory and cognitive control. Age and sex may affect the degree of EF impairment. Copyright © 2012 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.
Connolly, Samantha L; Wagner, Clara A; Shapero, Benjamin G; Pendergast, Laura L; Abramson, Lyn Y; Alloy, Lauren B
The current study tested the resource allocation hypothesis, examining whether baseline rumination or depressive symptom levels prospectively predicted deficits in executive functioning in an adolescent sample. The alternative to this hypothesis was also evaluated by testing whether lower initial levels of executive functioning predicted increases in rumination or depressive symptoms at follow-up. A community sample of 200 adolescents (ages 12-13) completed measures of depressive symptoms, rumination, and executive functioning at baseline and at a follow-up session approximately 15 months later. Adolescents with higher levels of baseline rumination displayed decreases in selective attention and attentional switching at follow-up. Rumination did not predict changes in working memory or sustained and divided attention. Depressive symptoms were not found to predict significant changes in executive functioning scores at follow-up. Baseline executive functioning was not associated with change in rumination or depression over time. Findings partially support the resource allocation hypothesis that engaging in ruminative thoughts consumes cognitive resources that would otherwise be allocated towards difficult tests of executive functioning. Support was not found for the alternative hypothesis that lower levels of initial executive functioning would predict increased rumination or depressive symptoms at follow-up. Our study is the first to find support for the resource allocation hypothesis using a longitudinal design and an adolescent sample. Findings highlight the potentially detrimental effects of rumination on executive functioning during early adolescence. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Kronenberger, William G; Castellanos, Irina; Pisoni, David B
Delays in the development of executive functioning skills are frequently observed in pediatric neuropsychology populations and can have a broad and significant impact on quality of life. As a result, assessment of executive functioning is often relevant for the development of formulations and recommendations in pediatric neuropsychology clinical work. Questionnaire-based measures of executive functioning behaviors in everyday life have unique advantages and complement traditional neuropsychological measures of executive functioning. Two case studies of children with spina bifida are presented to illustrate the clinical use of a new questionnaire measure of executive and learning-related functioning, the Learning, Executive, and Attention Functioning Scale (LEAF). The LEAF emphasizes clinical utility in assessment by incorporating four characteristics: brevity in administration, breadth of additional relevant content, efficiency of scoring and interpretation, and ease of availability for use. LEAF results were consistent with another executive functioning checklist in documenting everyday behavior problems related to working memory, planning, and organization while offering additional breadth of assessment of domains such as attention, processing speed, and novel problem-solving. These case study results demonstrate the clinical utility of questionnaire-based measurement of executive functioning in pediatric neuropsychology and provide a new measure for accomplishing this goal.
Giesbrecht, Timo; Merckelbach, Harald; Geraerts, Elke; Smeets, Ellen
The concept of dissociation refers to disruptions in attentional control. Attentional control is an executive function. Few studies have addressed the link between dissociation and executive functioning. Our study investigated this relationship in a sample of undergraduate students (N = 185) who completed the Dissociative Experiences Scale and the Random Number Generation Task. We found that minor disruptions in executive functioning were related to a subclass of dissociative experiences, notably dissociative amnesia and the Dissociative Experiences Scale Taxon. However, the two other subscales of the Dissociative Experiences Scale, measuring depersonalization and absorption, were unrelated to executive functioning. Our findings suggest that a failure to inhibit previous responses might contribute to the pathological memory manifestations of dissociation.
Sun, Xiao; Wu, Zhaomin; Cao, Qingjiu; Qian, Ying; Liu, Yong; Yang, Binrang; Chang, Suhua; Yang, Li; Wang, Yufeng
As a childhood-onset psychiatric disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is complicated by phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity. Lifelong executive function deficits in ADHD are described in many literatures and have been proposed as endophenotypes of ADHD. However, its genetic basis is still elusive. In this study, we performed a genome-wide association study of executive function, rated with Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), in ADHD children. We identified one significant variant (rs852004, P = 2.51e-08) for the overall score of BRIEF. The association analyses for each component of executive function found this locus was more associated with inhibit and monitor components. Further principle component analysis and confirmatory factor analysis provided an ADHD-specific executive function pattern including inhibit and monitor factors. SNP rs852004 was mainly associated with the Behavioral Regulation factor. Meanwhile, we found the significant locus was associated with ADHD symptom. The Behavioral Regulation factor mediated its effect on ADHD symptom. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) analyses further showed evidence that this variant affected the activity of inhibition control related brain regions. It provided new insights for the genetic basis of executive function in ADHD.
Bosenbark, Danielle D; Krivitzky, Lauren; Ichord, Rebecca; Jastrzab, Laura; Billinghurst, Lori
Perinatal arterial ischemic stroke (PAIS) is a form of childhood stroke; the majority of those affected experience neurologic sequelae, including motor, language and neurocognitive impairments. This study examines the attention and executive functioning (EF) profiles of children following PAIS, as well as the impact of age and sex. In this single-center cross-sectional study, 40 children aged 3 to 16 years (median age 7.2 years; 58% male) who have suffered a PAIS underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological battery to assess attention and EF. Parents completed behavioral questionnaires regarding real-world functioning. Composite scores were calculated for seven attention and EF domains (Attention, Working Memory, Verbal Retrieval, Inhibitory Control, Flexibility/Shifting, Planning/Organization, and Processing Speed). The results for all measured domains of attention and EF are significantly lower in the participants compared to the normative samples (p attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. Sex is not associated with performance measures or parental report of functioning. The participants demonstrate mild-to-moderate attention and EF impairment compared to the normative population. Clinicians, families, and educators should be informed about the neurocognitive sequelae of PAIS and the need for close developmental surveillance in this population to identify vulnerable children and initiate appropriate therapeutic interventions in a timely fashion.
Biederman, Joseph; Monuteaux, Michael C; Doyle, Alysa E; Seidman, Larry J; Wilens, Timothy E; Ferrero, Frances; Morgan, Christie L; Faraone, Stephen V
The association between executive function deficits (EFDs) and functional outcomes were examined among children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Participants were children and adolescents with (n = 259) and without (n = 222) ADHD, as ascertained from pediatric and psychiatric clinics. The authors defined EFD as at least 2 executive function measures impaired. Significantly more children and adolescents with ADHD had EFDs than did control participants. ADHD with EFDs was associated with an increased risk for grade retention and a decrease in academic achievement relative to (a) ADHD alone, (b) controlled socioeconomic status, (c) learning disabilities, and (d) IQ. No differences were noted in social functioning or psychiatric comorbidity. Children and adolescents with ADHD and EFDs were found to be at high risk for significant impairments in academic functioning. These results support screening children with ADHD for EFDs to prevent academic failure.
Full Text Available The executive function (EF is a set of abilities, which allows us to invoke voluntary control of our behavioral responses. These functions enable human beings to develop and carry out plans, make up analogies, obey social rules, solve problems, adapt to unexpected circumstances, do many tasks simultaneously and locate episodes in time and place. EF includes divided attention and sustained attention, working memory, set-shifting, flexibility, planning and the regulation of goal directed behavior and can be defined as a brain function underlying the human faculty to act or think not only in reaction to external events but also in relation with internal goals and states. EF is mostly associated with dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC. Besides EF, PFC is involved in self-regulation of behavior, i.e. the ability to regulate behavior according to internal goals and constraints, particularly in less structured situations. Self-regulation of behavior is subtended by ventral medial /orbital PFC. Impairment of EF is one of the most commonly observed deficits in schizophrenia through the various disease stages. Impairment in tasks measuring conceptualization, planning, cognitive flexibility, verbal fluency, ability to solve complex problems and working memory occur in schizophrenia. Disorders detected by executive tests are consistent with evidence from functional neuroimaging, which have shown PFC dysfunction in patients while performing these kinds of tasks. Schizophrenics also exhibit deficit in odor identifying, decision-making and self-regulation of behavior suggesting dysfunction of the orbital PFC. However, impairment in executive tests is explained by dysfunction of prefronto-striato-thalamic, prefronto-parietal and prefronto-temporal neural networks mainly. Disorders in executive functions may be considered central facts with respect to schizophrenia and it has been suggested that negative symptoms may be explained by that executive dysfunction.
Polderman, T.J.C.; Posthuma, D.; de Sonneville, L.M.J.; Stins, J.F.; Verhulst, F.C.; Boomsma, D.I.
Executive functioning is an umbrella term for several related cognitive functions like selective- and sustained attention, working memory, and inhibition. Little is known about the stability of executive functioning during childhood. In this study the longitudinal stability of executive functioning
Polderman, Tinca J C; Gosso, M Florencia; Posthuma, Danielle; Van Beijsterveldt, Toos C E M; Heutink, Peter; Verhulst, Frank C; Boomsma, Dorret I
Variation in human behavior may be caused by differences in genotype and by non-genetic differences ("environment") between individuals. The relative contributions of genotype (G) and environment (E) to phenotypic variation can be assessed with the classical twin design. We illustrate this approach with longitudinal data collected in 5 and 12-year-old Dutch twins. At age 5 data on cognitive abilities as assessed with a standard intelligence test (IQ), working memory, selective and sustained attention, and attention problems were collected in 237 twin pairs. Seven years later, 172 twin pairs participated again when they were 12 years old and underwent a similar protocol. Results showed that variation in all phenotypes was influenced by genetic factors. For IQ the heritability estimates increased from 30% at age 5, to 80% at age 12. For executive functioning performance genetic factors accounted for around 50% of the variance at both ages. Attention problems showed high heritabilities (above 60%) at both ages, for maternal and teacher ratings. Longitudinal analyses revealed that executive functioning during childhood was weakly correlated with IQ scores at age 12. Attention problems during childhood, as rated by the mother and the teacher were stronger predictors (r = -0.28 and -0.36, respectively). This association could be attributed to a partly overlapping set of genes influencing attention problems at age 5 and IQ at age 12. IQ performance at age 5 was the best predictor of IQ at age 12. IQ at both ages was influenced by the same genes, whose influence was amplified during development.
Kesmodel, Ulrik Schiøler; Bertrand, J.; Denny, Ch.
Please cite this paper as: Kesmodel U, Bertrand J, Støvring H, Skarpness B, Denny C, Mortensen E, the Lifestyle During Pregnancy Study Group. The effect of different alcohol drinking patterns in early to mid pregnancy on the child's intelligence, attention, and executive function. BJOG 2012......;119:1180-1190. Objective To conduct a combined analysis of the estimated effects of maternal average weekly alcohol consumption, and any binge drinking, in early to mid pregnancy on general intelligence, attention, and executive function in 5-year-old children. Design Follow-up study. Setting Neuropsychological testing...... in four Danish cities 2003-2008. Population A cohort of 1628 women and their children sampled from the Danish National Birth Cohort. Methods Participants were sampled based on maternal alcohol consumption during early pregnancy. At age 5 years, the children were tested for general intelligence, attention...
Miranda-Casas, Ana; Baixauli-Fortea, Immaculada; Colomer-Diago, Carla; Roselló-Miranda, Belén
Although the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria do not overlap, the presence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in individuals with a clinical diagnosis of autism is quite high. At the same time, children with ADHD can have autistic traits, the most prevalent being social and communication difficulties. The analysis of the combination of executive functions and theory of mind (ToM) deficits could help to explain the overlap and differentiation between the two disorders. To review the findings of empirical studies in which children with ADHD and autism have been compared on indicators of executive functions and ToM. The literature review suggests the existence of distinct patterns in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and ADHD when the executive functioning is segmented by components. Children with ADHD experience deficits in inhibitory control, while children with ASD have problems with cognitive flexibility and planning. Regarding the domain of the mentalist skills, there are developmental differences, as well as differences in their severity. Younger children with ASD have greater deficiencies in the ToM compared to children with ADHD, and a primary deficit in social orientation. Although important progress has been made, some issues remain to be clarified, among which we can highlight the analysis of how ToM development affects poor executive functions development, using longitudinal studies that analyze the developmental paths of children with ASD and children with ADHD.
Whittle, Sarah; Pantelis, Christos; Testa, Renee; Tiego, Jeggan; Bellgrove, Mark
Executive attention refers to the goal-directed control of attention. Existing models of executive attention distinguish between three correlated, but empirically dissociable, factors related to selectively attending to task-relevant stimuli (Selective Attention), inhibiting task-irrelevant responses (Response Inhibition), and actively maintaining goal-relevant information (Working Memory Capacity). In these models, Selective Attention and Response Inhibition are moderately strongly correlate...
Nusbaum, Amy T; Whitney, Paul; Cuttler, Carrie; Spradlin, Alexander; Hinson, John M; McLaughlin, Ryan J
Cannabis use has increased rapidly in recent decades. The increase in cannabis use makes it important to understand the potential influence of chronic use on attentional control and other executive functions (EFs). Because cannabis is often used to reduce stress, and because stress can constrain attentional control and EFs, the primary goal of this study was to determine the joint effect of acute stress and chronic cannabis use on specific EFs. Thirty-nine cannabis users and 40 non-users were assigned to either a stress or no stress version of the Maastricht Acute Stress Test. Participants then completed two cognitive tasks that involve EFs: (1) task switching, and (2) a novel Flexible Attentional Control Task. These two tasks provided assessments of vigilant attention, inhibitory control, top-down attentional control, and cognitive flexibility. Salivary cortisol was assessed throughout the study. Reaction time indices showed an interaction between stress and cannabis use on top-down attentional control (p=0.036, n p 2 =0.059). Follow-up tests showed that cannabis users relied less on top-down attentional control than did non-users in the no stress version. Despite not relying on top-down control, the cannabis users showed no overall performance deficits on the tasks. Chronic cannabis users performed cognitive tasks involving EFs as well as non-users while not employing cognitive control processes that are typical for such tasks. These results indicate alterations in cognitive processing in cannabis users, but such alterations do not necessarily lead to global performance deficits. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Finucane, Anne M.; Whiteman, Martha C.; Power, Mick J.
Objective: According to the attention network approach, attention is best understood in terms of three functionally and neuroanatomically distinct networks--alerting, orienting, and executive attention. An important question is whether the experience of emotion differentially influences the efficiency of these networks. Method: This study examines…
Full Text Available The present study was aimed at investigating different aspects of Executive Functions (EF in children with Developmental Dyslexia (DD.A neuropsychological battery tapping verbal fluency, spoonerism, attention, verbal shifting, short-term and working memory was used to assess 60 children with DD and 65 with typical reading abilities.Compared to their controls, children with DD showed deficits in several EF domains such as verbal categorical and phonological fluency, visual-spatial and auditory attention, spoonerism, verbal and visual short-term memory, and verbal working memory. Moreover, exploring predictive relationships between EF measures and reading, we found that spoonerism abilities better explained word and non-word reading deficits. Although to a lesser extent, auditory and visual-spatial attention also explained the increased percentage of variance related to reading deficit.EF deficits found in DD are interpreted as an expression of a deficient functioning of the Central Executive System and are discussed in the context of the recent temporal sampling theory.
Hahn-Markowitz, Jeri; Berger, Itai; Manor, Iris; Maeir, Adina
We examined the effect of the Cognitive-Functional (Cog-Fun) occupational therapy intervention on executive functions and participation among children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We used a randomized, controlled study with a crossover design. One hundred and seven children age 7-10 yr diagnosed with ADHD were allocated to treatment or wait-list control group. The control group received treatment after a 3-mo wait. Outcome measures included the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM). Significant improvements were found on both the BRIEF and COPM after intervention with large treatment effects. Before crossover, significant Time × Group interactions were found on the BRIEF. This study supports the effectiveness of the Cog-Fun intervention in improving executive functions and participation among children with ADHD. Copyright © 2017 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
Verburgh, Lot; Scherder, Erik J. A.; van Lange, Paul A.M.; Oosterlaan, Jaap
Executive functions might be important for successful performance in sports, particularly in team sports requiring quick anticipation and adaptation to continuously changing situations in the field. The executive functions motor inhibition, attention and visuospatial working memory were examined in highly talented soccer players. Eighty-four highly talented youth soccer players (mean age 11.9), and forty-two age-matched amateur soccer players (mean age 11.8) in the age range 8 to 16 years performed a Stop Signal task (motor inhibition), the Attention Network Test (alerting, orienting, and executive attention) and a visuospatial working memory task. The highly talented soccer players followed the talent development program of the youth academy of a professional soccer club and played at the highest national soccer competition for their age. The amateur soccer players played at a regular soccer club in the same geographical region as the highly talented soccer players and play in a regular regional soccer competition. Group differences were tested using analyses of variance. The highly talented group showed superior motor inhibition as measured by stop signal reaction time (SSRT) on the Stop Signal task and a larger alerting effect on the Attention Network Test, indicating an enhanced ability to attain and maintain an alert state. No group differences were found for orienting and executive attention and visuospatial working memory. A logistic regression model with group (highly talented or amateur) as dependent variable and executive function measures that significantly distinguished between groups as predictors showed that these measures differentiated highly talented soccer players from amateur soccer players with 89% accuracy. Highly talented youth soccer players outperform youth amateur players on suppressing ongoing motor responses and on the ability to attain and maintain an alert state; both may be essential for success in soccer. PMID:24632735
Full Text Available Executive functions might be important for successful performance in sports, particularly in team sports requiring quick anticipation and adaptation to continuously changing situations in the field. The executive functions motor inhibition, attention and visuospatial working memory were examined in highly talented soccer players. Eighty-four highly talented youth soccer players (mean age 11.9, and forty-two age-matched amateur soccer players (mean age 11.8 in the age range 8 to 16 years performed a Stop Signal task (motor inhibition, the Attention Network Test (alerting, orienting, and executive attention and a visuospatial working memory task. The highly talented soccer players followed the talent development program of the youth academy of a professional soccer club and played at the highest national soccer competition for their age. The amateur soccer players played at a regular soccer club in the same geographical region as the highly talented soccer players and play in a regular regional soccer competition. Group differences were tested using analyses of variance. The highly talented group showed superior motor inhibition as measured by stop signal reaction time (SSRT on the Stop Signal task and a larger alerting effect on the Attention Network Test, indicating an enhanced ability to attain and maintain an alert state. No group differences were found for orienting and executive attention and visuospatial working memory. A logistic regression model with group (highly talented or amateur as dependent variable and executive function measures that significantly distinguished between groups as predictors showed that these measures differentiated highly talented soccer players from amateur soccer players with 89% accuracy. Highly talented youth soccer players outperform youth amateur players on suppressing ongoing motor responses and on the ability to attain and maintain an alert state; both may be essential for success in soccer.
Sorge, Geoff B.; Toplak, Maggie E.; Bialystok, Ellen
Attention difficulty is associated with poor performance on executive functioning (EF) tasks, yet EF is enhanced in bilingual children. However, no research to date has investigated the possible interaction between bilingualism and attention ability in children to determine the consequences for EF when both are present. We assessed a sample of typically-developing children who were 8- to 11-years old for their ability in attention control and level of bilingualism on the basis of questionnaires completed by parents and teachers. Children performed three tasks requiring aspects of EF: stop signal task (inhibition), flanker task (interference control), and frogs matrices task (spatial working memory). Results from hierarchical regressions confirmed that both attention ability and bilingualism contributed to performance on the EF tasks. Where interaction effects were significant, they showed that attention ability was a stronger predictor for an inhibition task, namely stop signal, and bilingualism a stronger predictor for an interference task, namely flanker. Furthermore, these results allow us to discuss the relation between EF and attention ability. PMID:26875024
Pattij, T.; Wiskerke, J.; Schoffelmeer, A.N.M.
Executive functions are higher-order cognitive processes such as attention, behavioural flexibility, decision-making, inhibitory control, planning, time estimation and working memory that exert top-down control over behaviour. In addition to the role of cannabinoid signaling in other cognitive
Alosco, Michael L; Spitznagel, Mary Beth; Cohen, Ronald; Sweet, Lawrence H; Hayes, Scott M; Josephson, Richard; Hughes, Joel; Gunstad, John
Reduced physical activity (PA) may be one factor that contributes to cognitive decline and dementia in heart failure (HF). Yet, the longitudinal relationship between PA and cognition in HF is poorly understood owing to limitations of past work, including single-time assessments of PA. This is the first study to examine changes in objectively measured PA and cognition over time in HF. At baseline and 12 weeks, 57 HF patients completed psychosocial self-report measures and a neuropsychological battery and wore an accelerometer for 7 days. At baseline, HF patients spent an average of 597.83 (SD 75.91) minutes per day sedentary. Steps per day declined from baseline to the 12-week follow-up; there was also a trend for declines in moderate-vigorous PA. Regression analyses controlling for sex, HF severity, and depressive symptoms showed that decreases in light (P = .08) and moderate-vigorous (P = .04) daily PA emerged as strong predictors of declines in attention/executive function over the 12-week period, but not of memory or language. Reductions in daily PA predicted acute decline in attention/executive function in HF, but not of memory or language. Modifications to daily PA may attenuate cognitive decline, and prospective studies are needed to test this possibility. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Lan Shuai; David Daley; Yu-Feng Wang; Jin-Song Zhang; Yan-Ting Kong; Xin Tan; Ning Ji
Background:Accumulating evidence indicates that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with core deficits in executive function (EF) which predicts poorer academic and occupational functioning.This makes early intervention targeting EF impairments important to prevent long-term negative outcomes.Cognitive training is a potential ADHD treatment target.The present study aimed to explore the efficacy,feasibility,and acceptability of a cognitive training program (targeting child's multiple EF components and involving parent support in daily life),as a nonpharmacological intervention for children with ADHD.Methods:Forty-four school-age children with ADHD and their parents participated in 12 sessions of EF training (last for 12 weeks) and 88 health controls (HC) were also recruited.Training effects were explored using both neuropsychological tests (Stroop color-word test,Rey-Osterrieth complex figure test,trail making test,tower of Hanoi,and false-belief task) and reports of daily life (ADHD rating scale-Ⅳ,Conners' parent rating scale,and behavior rating inventory of executive function [BRIEF]) by analysis of paired sample t-test and Wilcoxon signed-rank test.The differences on EF performances between children with ADHD after training and HC were explored using multivariate analysis.Results:The results (before vs.after EF training) showed that after intervention,the children with ADHD presented better performances of EF both in neuropsychological tests (word interference of Stroop:36.1 ± 14.6 vs.27.1 ± 11.1,t =4.731,P ＜ 0.001;shift time of TMT:194.9 ± 115.4 vs.124.8 ± 72.4,Z =-4.639,P ＜ 0.001;false-belief task:x2 =6.932,P =0.008) and reports of daily life (global executive composite of BRIEF:148.9 ± 17.5 vs.127.8 ± 17.5,t =6.433,P ＜ 0.001).The performances on EF tasks for children with ADHD after EF training could match with the level of HC children.The ADHD symptoms (ADHD rating scale total score:32.4 ± 8.9 vs.22.9 ± 8.2,t =6.331,P
Full Text Available This present study investigated the link between speech-in-speech perception capacities and four executive function components: response suppression, inhibitory control, switching and working memory. We constructed a cross-modal semantic priming paradigm using a written target word and a spoken prime word, implemented in one of two concurrent auditory sentences (cocktail party situation. The prime and target were semantically related or unrelated. Participants had to perform a lexical decision task on visual target words and simultaneously listen to only one of two pronounced sentences. The attention of the participant was manipulated: The prime was in the pronounced sentence listened to by the participant or in the ignored one. In addition, we evaluate the executive function abilities of participants (switching cost, inhibitory-control cost and response-suppression cost and their working memory span. Correlation analyses were performed between the executive and priming measurements. Our results showed a significant interaction effect between attention and semantic priming. We observed a significant priming effect in the attended but not in the ignored condition. Only priming effects obtained in the ignored condition were significantly correlated with some of the executive measurements. However, no correlation between priming effects and working memory capacity was found. Overall, these results confirm, first, the role of attention for semantic priming effect and, second, the implication of executive functions in speech-in-noise understanding capacities.
Gong, Jingbo; Xie, Jingtao; Chen, Gui; Zhang, Yajie; Wang, Suhong
The correlations between neurological soft signs (NSS) in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and their executive function, symptoms of inattention, and hyperactivity-impulsivity and the NSS of their parents remain unclear. This study aimed to examine: (1) the prevalence of NSS in children with ADHD and their parents; (2) the correlation between the NSS of children with ADHD and the NSS of their parents; and (3) the correlation between the NSS of children with ADHD and their executive function and symptoms. NSS were assessed with the Cambridge Neurological Inventory (CNI) in 57 children with ADHD (and 80 parents) and 60 healthy children (and 75 parents). Executive function was measured with the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). Children with ADHD and their parents had significantly higher NSS than normal children and their parents, respectively, and the NSS of children with ADHD were correlated more strongly with the NSS of their fathers than their mothers. No correlation was found between NSS and BRIEF executive function, but Disinhibition in children with ADHD was significantly correlated with hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms. Paternal and maternal NSS provided different predictions for child NSS. It may be that NSS are more likely to be genetically transmitted by fathers. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Brunye, Tad T.; Mahoney, Caroline R.; Lieberman, Harris R.; Taylor, Holly A.
The present work investigated the effects of caffeine (0 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg, 400 mg) on a flanker task designed to test Posner's three visual attention network functions: alerting, orienting, and executive control [Posner, M. I. (2004). "Cognitive neuroscience of attention". New York, NY: Guilford Press]. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind…
Montani, Veronica; De Filippo De Grazia, Michele; Zorzi, Marco
A growing body of evidence suggests that action videogames could enhance a variety of cognitive skills and more specifically attention skills. The aim of this study was to develop a novel adaptive videogame to support the rehabilitation of the most common consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI), that is the impairment of attention and executive functions. TBI patients can be affected by psychomotor slowness and by difficulties in dealing with distraction, maintain a cognitive set for a long time, processing different simultaneously presented stimuli, and planning purposeful behavior. Accordingly, we designed a videogame that was specifically conceived to activate those functions. Playing involves visuospatial planning and selective attention, active maintenance of the cognitive set representing the goal, and error monitoring. Moreover, different game trials require to alternate between two tasks (i.e., task switching) or to perform the two tasks simultaneously (i.e., divided attention/dual-tasking). The videogame is controlled by a multidimensional adaptive algorithm that calibrates task difficulty on-line based on a model of user performance that is updated on a trial-by-trial basis. We report simulations of user performance designed to test the adaptive game as well as a validation study with healthy participants engaged in a training protocol. The results confirmed the involvement of the cognitive abilities that the game is supposed to enhance and suggested that training improved attentional control during play.
Montani, Veronica; De Filippo De Grazia, Michele; Zorzi, Marco
A growing body of evidence suggests that action videogames could enhance a variety of cognitive skills and more specifically attention skills. The aim of this study was to develop a novel adaptive videogame to support the rehabilitation of the most common consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI), that is the impairment of attention and executive functions. TBI patients can be affected by psychomotor slowness and by difficulties in dealing with distraction, maintain a cognitive set for a long time, processing different simultaneously presented stimuli, and planning purposeful behavior. Accordingly, we designed a videogame that was specifically conceived to activate those functions. Playing involves visuospatial planning and selective attention, active maintenance of the cognitive set representing the goal, and error monitoring. Moreover, different game trials require to alternate between two tasks (i.e., task switching) or to perform the two tasks simultaneously (i.e., divided attention/dual-tasking). The videogame is controlled by a multidimensional adaptive algorithm that calibrates task difficulty on-line based on a model of user performance that is updated on a trial-by-trial basis. We report simulations of user performance designed to test the adaptive game as well as a validation study with healthy participants engaged in a training protocol. The results confirmed the involvement of the cognitive abilities that the game is supposed to enhance and suggested that training improved attentional control during play. PMID:24860529
Kray, Jutta; Karbach, Julia; Haenig, Susann; Freitag, Christine
The key cognitive impairments of children with attention deficit/-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) include executive control functions such as inhibitory control, task-switching, and working memory (WM). In this training study we examined whether task-switching training leads to improvements in these functions. Twenty children with combined type ADHD and stable methylphenidate medication performed a single-task and a task-switching training in a crossover training design. The children were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group started with the single-task training and then performed the task-switching training and the other group vice versa. The effectiveness of the task-switching training was measured as performance improvements (relative to the single-task training) on a structurally similar but new switching task and on other executive control tasks measuring inhibitory control and verbal WM as well as on fluid intelligence (reasoning). The children in both groups showed improvements in task-switching, that is, a reduction of switching costs, but not in performing the single-tasks across four training sessions. Moreover, the task-switching training lead to selective enhancements in task-switching performance, that is, the reduction of task-switching costs was found to be larger after task-switching than after single-task training. Similar selective improvements were observed for inhibitory control and verbal WM, but not for reasoning. Results of this study suggest that task-switching training is an effective cognitive intervention that helps to enhance executive control functioning in children with ADHD.
Lanini, Juliana; Galduróz, José Carlos Fernandes; Pompéia, Sabine
Caffeine is widely used, often consumed with food, and improves simple and complex/executive attention under fasting conditions. We investigated whether these cognitive effects are observed when personalized habitual doses of caffeine are ingested by caffeine consumers, whether they are influenced by nutriments and if various executive domains are susceptible to improvement. This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled study including 60 young, healthy, rested males randomly assigned to one of four treatments: placebo fasting, caffeine fasting, placebo meal and caffeine meal. Caffeine doses were individualized for each participant based on their self-reported caffeine consumption at the time of testing (morning). The test battery included measures of simple and sustained attention, executive domains (inhibiting, updating, shifting, dual tasking, planning and accessing long-term memory), control measures of subjective alterations, glucose and insulin levels, skin conductance, heart rate and pupil dilation. Regardless of meal intake, acute habitual doses of caffeine decreased fatigue, and improved simple and sustained attention and executive updating. This executive effect was not secondary to the habitual weekly dose consumed, changes in simple and sustained attention, mood, meal ingestion and increases in cognitive effort. We conclude that the morning caffeine "fix" has positive attentional effects and selectively improved executive updating whether or not caffeine is consumed with food. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Castellanos, Irina; Kronenberger, William G; Pisoni, David B
The psychometric properties of the Learning, Executive, and Attention Functioning (LEAF) scale were investigated in an outpatient clinical pediatric sample. As a part of clinical testing, the LEAF scale, which broadly measures neuropsychological abilities related to executive functioning and learning, was administered to parents of 118 children and adolescents referred for psychological testing at a pediatric psychology clinic; 85 teachers also completed LEAF scales to assess reliability across different raters and settings. Scores on neuropsychological tests of executive functioning and academic achievement were abstracted from charts. Psychometric analyses of the LEAF scale demonstrated satisfactory internal consistency, parent-teacher inter-rater reliability in the small to large effect size range, and test-retest reliability in the large effect size range, similar to values for other executive functioning checklists. Correlations between corresponding subscales on the LEAF and other behavior checklists were large, while most correlations with neuropsychological tests of executive functioning and achievement were significant but in the small to medium range. Results support the utility of the LEAF as a reliable and valid questionnaire-based assessment of delays and disturbances in executive functioning and learning. Applications and advantages of the LEAF and other questionnaire measures of executive functioning in clinical neuropsychology settings are discussed.
Raine, Adrian; Laufer, William S.; Yang, Yaling; Narr, Katherine L.; Thompson, Paul; Toga, Arthur W.
Very little is known on white collar crime and how it differs to other forms of offending. This study tests the hypothesis that white collar criminals have better executive functioning, enhanced information processing, and structural brain superiorities compared to offender controls. Using a case-control design, executive functioning, orienting, and cortical thickness was assessed in 21 white collar criminals matched with 21 controls on age, gender, ethnicity, and general level of criminal offending. White collar criminals had significantly better executive functioning, increased electrodermal orienting, increased arousal, and increased cortical gray matter thickness in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, inferior frontal gyrus, somatosensory cortex, and the temporal-parietal junction compared to controls. Results, while initial, constitute the first findings on neurobiological characteristics of white-collar criminals It is hypothesized that white collar criminals have information-processing and brain superiorities that give them an advantage in perpetrating criminal offenses in occupational settings. PMID:22002326
Full Text Available "nObjective: The purpose of this study is to compare the executive functions children and adolescents who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder "n(ADHD with normal children. "nMethod: Twenty children with ADHD were compared to 19 healthy children terms of some executive functions using the computerized version of Tower London, Continuous Performance Test (CPT, and Stroop Color Test. "nResults: In "Tower of London", the performance of children with ADHD was "nworse than normal children (p<0.05. In Continuous Performance Test, the "ncommission errors in children with ADHD were significantly more than the "nnormal group (p<0.01. In Stroop Test, the time spent to name the colors was "nsignificantly higher in ADHD group. A significant correlation was also found "nbetween the performance of children on Tower of London and CPT (P<0.05. "nConclusions: This study demonstrates that children and adolescents who "nsuffer from ADHD have some impairment of executive functions, particularly "nplanning and inhibition to response, but not in attention.
Krabbe, David; Ellbin, Susanne; Nilsson, Michael; Jonsdottir, Ingibjörg H; Samuelsson, Hans
Cognitive impairment has frequently been shown in patients who seek medical care for stress-related mental health problems. This study aims to extend the current knowledge of cognitive impairments in these patients by focusing on perceived fatigue and effects of distraction during cognitive testing. Executive function and attention were tested in a group of patients with stress-related exhaustion (n = 25) and compared with healthy controls (n = 25). Perceived fatigue was measured before, during and after the test session, and some of the tests were administered with and without standardized auditory distraction. Executive function and complex attention performance were poorer among the patients compared to controls. Interestingly, their performance was not significantly affected by auditory distraction but, in contrast to the controls, they reported a clear-cut increase in mental tiredness, during and after the test session. Thus, patients with stress-related exhaustion manage to perform during distraction but this was achieved at a great cost. These findings are discussed in terms of a possible tendency to adopt a high-effort approach despite cognitive impairments and the likelihood that such an approach will require increased levels of effort, which can result in increased fatigue. We tentatively conclude that increased fatigue during cognitive tasks is a challenge for patients with stress-related exhaustion and plausibly of major importance when returning to work demanding high cognitive performance.
Kingdon, Danielle; Cardoso, Christopher; McGrath, Jennifer J.
Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-like symptoms are common in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). FASD and ADHD groups both display executive function impairments; however, there is ongoing debate whether the pattern and magnitude of executive function deficits differs between these two types of disorders. Methods An electronic literature search was conducted (PubMed, PsychInfo; 1972–2013) to identify studies comparing the executive functioning of children with FASD with ADHD or control groups. FASD groups included those with and without dysmorphy (i.e., FAS, pFAS, ARND, and other FASD diagnoses). Effect sizes (Hedges’ g, standardized mean difference) were calculated. Random effects meta-analytic models were performed using the metafor package for R. Results Fifty-one studies met inclusion criteria (FASD N = 2,115; ADHD N = 453; controls N = 1,990). Children with FASD showed the strongest and most consistent deficits in planning, fluency, and set-shifting compared to controls (Hedges’ g = −0.94, −0.78) and children with ADHD (Hedges’ g = −0.72, −0.32). FASD was associated with moderate to large impairments in working memory, compared to controls (Hedges’ g = −.84, −.58) and small impairments relative to groups with ADHD (Hedges’ g = −.26). Smaller and less consistent deficits were found on measures of inhibition and vigilance relative to controls (Hedges’ g = −0.52, −0.31); FASD and ADHD were not differentiated on these measures. Moderator analyses indicated executive dysfunction was associated with older age, dysmorphy, and larger group differences in IQ. Sex and diagnostic system were not consistently related to effect size. Conclusions While FASD is associated with global executive impairments, executive function weaknesses are most consistent for measures of planning, fluency, and set-shifting. Neuropsychological measures assessing these executive function domains may improve differential diagnosis
Full Text Available A growing body of evidence suggests that action videogames could enhance a variety of cognitive skills and more specifically attention skills. The aim of this study was to develop a novel adaptive videogame to support the rehabilitation of the most common consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI, that is the impairment of attention and executive functions. TBI patients can be affected by psychomotor slowness and by difficulties in dealing with distraction, maintain a cognitive set for a long time, processing different simultaneously presented stimuli, and planning purposeful behaviour. Accordingly, we designed a videogame that was specifically conceived to activate those functions. Playing involves visuospatial planning and selective attention, active maintenance of the cognitive set representing the goal, and error monitoring. Moreover, different game trials require to alternate between two tasks (i.e., task switching or to perform the two tasks simultaneously (i.e., divided attention / dual-tasking. The videogame is controlled by a multidimensional adaptive algorithm that calibrates task difficulty on-line based on a model of user performance that is updated on a trial-by-trial basis. We report simulations of user performance designed to test the adaptive game as well as a validation study with healthy participants engaged in a training protocol. The results confirmed the involvement of the cognitive abilities that the game is supposed to enhance and suggested that training improved attentional control during play.
Bramham, Jessica; Ambery, Fiona; Young, Susan; Morris, Robin; Russell, Ailsa; Xenitidis, Kiriakos; Asherson, Philip; Murphy, Declan
Executive functioning deficits characterize the neuropsychological profiles of the childhood neurodevelopmental disorders of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). This study sought to determine whether similar impairments exist in adults with ADHD (N = 53) and ASD (N = 45) in comparison with a…
Rosello-Miranda, B; Berenguer-Forner, C; Miranda-Casas, A
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) present difficulties in adaptive functioning and learning, possibly associated with failures in executive functioning characteristic of both disorders. To analyze the impact of executive functioning in the adaptive behaviors of socialization and daily life and in learning behaviors in children with ASD and children with ADHD. The participants were 124 children matched in age and intellectual quotient: 37 children with typical development, 52 children with ASD and 35 children with ADHD. Parents reported on their children's adaptive behaviors, while teachers provided information on learning behaviors and executive functioning in daily life. There are significant differences between the groups with ASD and ADHD with the typical development group in all domains evaluated. In addition, the group with ASD had worse socialization skills while persistence in learning was more affected in children with ADHD. Finally, the metacognitive index of executive functioning predicted the socialization and persistence of children with ASD. On the other hand, the index of behavioral regulation and the educational level of the parents predicted the socialization skills in children with ADHD. The results highlight the need to include differentiated executive strategies in the intervention of children with ASD and children with ADHD.
Full Text Available Objective: The relation between autism disorder’s symptoms and cognitive capabilities can help with a better phenotype description of this disorder and can facilitate its pathological evaluation and treatment. Destruction of executive functions seems to be one of the cognitive reasons of potential phenotype in autism disorder. Thus, the present paper aims to study the relationship between executive dysfunction and autism disorder’s symptoms. Materials & Methods: In this cross-sectional research, 50 children with high-functioning autism were selected using convenience sampling method from Behara, Tehranpars and Roshd centers. Then, the GARS test and Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire was completed by therapists and neuropsychological tests of Strop and continuous performance test and shift attention were taken by the subjects. Pearson correlation coefficient and multi-variant regression were used for data analysis. Results: There is a significant positive relationship between selective attention with communicative and social interaction symptoms, sustained attention with social interaction symptoms and repetitive behaviors, shifting attention with communicative, social interaction and repetitive behavior symptoms (P<0.001 (P<0.01 (P<0.05. In addition, the results of regression analysis also revealed that selective attention and shifting attention can predict communication, and sustained attention can predict social interaction and repetitive behaviors symptoms (P<0.01 (P<0.05. Conclusion: The results obtained by this study indicate the significant role of executive functions in autistic symptoms. Thus, it is recommended to consider new treatment interventions in repairing executive functions for treatment of children with autistic disorder.
Full Text Available The key cognitive impairments of children with attention deficit/-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD include executive control functions such as inhibitory control, task switching, and working memory. In this training study we examined whether task-switching training leads to improvements in these functions. Twenty children with combined type ADHD and stable methylphenidate medication performed a single-task and a task-switching training in a crossover training design. The children were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group started with the single-task training and then performed the task-switching training and the other group vice versa. The effectiveness of the task-switching training was measured as performance improvements (relative to the single-task training on a structurally similar but new switching task and on other executive control tasks measuring inhibitory control and verbal working memory as well as on fluid intelligence (reasoning. The children in both groups showed improvements in task switching, that is, a reduction of switching costs, but not in performing the single tasks across four training sessions. Moreover, the task-switching training lead to selective enhancements in task-switching performance, that is, the reduction of task-switching costs was found to be larger after task-switching than after single-task training. Similar selective improvements were observed for inhibitory control and verbal working memory, but not for reasoning. Results of this study suggest that task-switching training is an effective cognitive intervention that helps to enhance executive control functioning in children with ADHD.
Weiss, Karen E; Harbeck-Weber, Cynthia; Zaccariello, Michael J; Kimondo, Jacqueline N; Harrison, Tracy E; Bruce, Barbara K
Despite ample research documenting deficits in executive functioning for adults with chronic pain, the literature on pediatric patients with chronic pain is limited and provides mixed results. The current study sought to further investigate the nature of executive dysfunction in this population and also examine the relationships between pain intensity, duration, and catastrophizing with sustained attention, working memory, and self- and parent-report of executive functioning. Pediatric pain clinic and rehabilitation program. Forty adolescents with chronic pain and their parents participated in this study. Participants completed neuropsychological measures and standardized self-report questionnaires during a 45- to 60-minute testing session. Fifty percent of this sample of adolescents with chronic pain demonstrated significant difficulties on at least one measure, with nine participants indicating difficulties on multiple measures. Pain significantly increased during the testing session. Pain variables of intensity, duration, and catastrophizing are related to sustained attention and working memory. This study adds support to previous findings suggesting subclinical struggles with executive functioning for adolescents with chronic pain. One-half of the sample indicated difficulties in either sustained attention and/or working memory. Future studies that would more thoroughly examine more complex executive functioning skills in this population would be helpful to further guide multidisciplinary treatment of these patients, particularly regarding whether or not school accommodations are warranted. © 2017 American Academy of Pain Medicine. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com
Kapa, Leah L; Plante, Elena; Doubleday, Kevin
The first goal of this research was to compare verbal and nonverbal executive function abilities between preschoolers with and without specific language impairment (SLI). The second goal was to assess the group differences on 4 executive function components in order to determine if the components may be hierarchically related as suggested within a developmental integrative framework of executive function. This study included 26 4- and 5-year-olds diagnosed with SLI and 26 typically developing age- and sex-matched peers. Participants were tested on verbal and nonverbal measures of sustained selective attention, working memory, inhibition, and shifting. The SLI group performed worse compared with typically developing children on both verbal and nonverbal measures of sustained selective attention and working memory, the verbal inhibition task, and the nonverbal shifting task. Comparisons of standardized group differences between executive function measures revealed a linear increase with the following order: working memory, inhibition, shifting, and sustained selective attention. The pattern of results suggests that preschoolers with SLI have deficits in executive functioning compared with typical peers, and deficits are not limited to verbal tasks. A significant linear relationship between group differences across executive function components supports the possibility of a hierarchical relationship between executive function skills.
Plante, Elena; Doubleday, Kevin
Purpose The first goal of this research was to compare verbal and nonverbal executive function abilities between preschoolers with and without specific language impairment (SLI). The second goal was to assess the group differences on 4 executive function components in order to determine if the components may be hierarchically related as suggested within a developmental integrative framework of executive function. Method This study included 26 4- and 5-year-olds diagnosed with SLI and 26 typically developing age- and sex-matched peers. Participants were tested on verbal and nonverbal measures of sustained selective attention, working memory, inhibition, and shifting. Results The SLI group performed worse compared with typically developing children on both verbal and nonverbal measures of sustained selective attention and working memory, the verbal inhibition task, and the nonverbal shifting task. Comparisons of standardized group differences between executive function measures revealed a linear increase with the following order: working memory, inhibition, shifting, and sustained selective attention. Conclusion The pattern of results suggests that preschoolers with SLI have deficits in executive functioning compared with typical peers, and deficits are not limited to verbal tasks. A significant linear relationship between group differences across executive function components supports the possibility of a hierarchical relationship between executive function skills. PMID:28724132
Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder (ASD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD are neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by social impairments. The first objective of this study was to analyze social cognition deficits of children with ADHD, high-functioning ASD (HFASD, and typical development (TD in their performance on explicit and applied measures of theory of mind (ToM. The second objective was to investigate the relationships between executive functions and social cognition in HFASD and ADHD. One hundred and twenty-six 7- to 11-year old children, 52 with HFASD, 35 with ADHD, and 39 with TD, performed the NEPSY-II social perception subtests. Parents estimated their children's ToM skills using the Theory of Mind Inventory (ToMI. Teacher-reported data from the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF were also obtained. The HFASD and ADHD groups showed worse performance on the verbal ToM task than the TD group, and only the performance of the HFASD group was significantly lower than the TD group on the contextual ToM task. Parents also estimated that the HFASD group had more difficulties on the applied ToM than the ADHD and TD groups. Furthermore, there is a different executive function-theory of mind link in the HFASD and ADHD groups: behavioral regulation processes such as inhibition and emotional control are more associated with social cognition in children with ADHD, whereas metacognitive processes such as initiation and planning have a strong association with social cognition in children with HFASD. These findings have implications for understanding social perception deficits in neurodevelopmental disorders, highlighting the need for early intervention.
Scope, Alison; Empson, Janet; McHale, Sue
Cognitive performance was compared between two groups of typically developing children, who had been observed and rated as differing significantly in their attentional skills at school. The participants were 24 8- and 9-year-old children scoring poorly relative to peers, on a classroom observation scale and teacher rating scale for attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity [low-attentional skills (LAS) group] and 24 sex- and age-matched children scoring at a high level compared to peers [high-attentional skills (HAS) group]. The two groups were compared on a series of cognitive tasks to assess executive function (EF). The LAS group performed within the typical range yetat a significantly lower level than the HAS group on the majority of the EF tasks administered, namely working memory and inhibition measures, even though there were no significant differences between the groups on a measure of intellectual ability. Working memory measures followed by measures of inhibition emerged as the best predictors of group membership. These findings provide empirical evidence that there are individual differences in attentional skills. Specifically, that there is a relationship between behavioural inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity and cognitive performance on working memory and inhibitory control tasks.
Miranda Casas, Ana; Fernández Andrés, María Inmaculada; García Castellar, Rosa; Roselló Miranda, Belén; Colomer Diago, Carla
The aim of this work was to study the specificity of deficits in linguistic and executive functioning of students with ADHD and with RCD and to determine the profile of deficits in the comorbid group (ADHD+RCD). Participants in the study were 84 students, ages 12-16 years divided into four groups with an equal number of subjects (N= 21): ADHD, RCD, ADHD+RCD and comparison group (without ADHD and without RCD). We measured vocabulary, oral comprehension, lexical access, verbal and visual working memory, inhibition and attention. The results show that the ADHD+RCD group presents the most important linguistic deficits, followed by the RCD group. On the other hand, the three clinical groups (ADHD, RCD and ADHD+RCD) display greater performance problems in working memory than the comparison group, whereas the two groups with ADHD had more problems in attention and inhibition. These results suggest the dissociation of linguistic and executive deficits that affect the RCD group and ADHD group to a greater extent, respectively. Lastly, the comorbid group showed deficits both in language and in executive skills. We discuss the implications of these findings for designing interventions.
Filmer, Hannah L; Wells-Peris, Roxanne; Dux, Paul E
It was long thought that a key characteristic of object substitution masking (OSM) was the requirement for spatial attention to be dispersed for the mask to impact visual sensitivity. However, recent studies have provided evidence questioning whether spatial attention interacts with OSM magnitude, suggesting that the previous reports reflect the impact of performance being at ceiling for the low attention load conditions. Another technique that has been employed to modulate attention in OSM paradigms involves presenting the target stimulus foveally, but with another demanding task shown immediately prior, and thus taxing executive/temporal attention. Under such conditions, when the two tasks occur in close temporal proximity relatively to greater temporal separation, masking is increased. However this effect could also be influenced by performance being at ceiling in some conditions. Here, we manipulated executive attention for a foveated target using a dual-task paradigm. Critically, ceiling performance was avoided by thresholding the target stimulus prior to it being presented under OSM conditions. We found no evidence for an interaction between executive attention load and masking. Collectively, along with the previous findings, our results provide compelling evidence that OSM as a phenomenon occurs independently of attention.
Berninger, Virginia; Abbott, Robert; Cook, Clayton R.; Nagy, William
Relationships between attention/executive functions and language learning were investigated in students in Grades 4 to 9 (N = 88) with and without specific learning disabilities (SLDs) in multiword syntax in oral and written language (OWL LD), word reading and spelling (dyslexia), and subword letter writing (dysgraphia). Prior…
Zelazo, Philip David; Blair, Clancy B.; Willoughby, Michael T.
Executive function (EF) skills are the attention-regulation skills that make it possible to sustain attention, keep goals and information in mind, refrain from responding immediately, resist distraction, tolerate frustration, consider the consequences of different behaviors, reflect on past experiences, and plan for the future. As EF research…
Kirk R. Daffner
Full Text Available Recent investigations that suggest selective attention is dependent on top-down control mechanisms lead to the expectation that individuals with high executive capacity would exhibit more robust neural indices of selective attention. This prediction was tested by using event-related potentials (ERPs to examine differences in markers of information processing across 25 subjects divided into 2 groups based on high vs. average executive capacity, as defined by neuropsychological test scores. Subjects performed an experimental task requiring selective attention to a specified color. In contrast to expectation, individuals with high and average executive capacity did not differ in the size of ERP indices of selective attention: the anterior Selection Positivity (SP and posterior Selection Negativity (SN. However, there were substantial differences between groups in markers of subsequent processing, including the anterior N2 (a measure of attentional control and the P3a (an index of the orienting of attention. Executive capacity predicted speed of processing at both early and late attentional stages. Individuals with lower executive capacity exhibited prolonged SN, P3a, and P3b latencies. However, the delays in carrying out selective attention operations did not account for subsequent delays in decision making, or explain excessive orienting and reduced attentional control mechanisms in response to stimuli that should have been ignored. SN latency, P3 latency, and the size of the anterior N2 made independent contributions to the variance of executive capacity. In summary, our findings suggest that current views regarding the relationship between top-down control mechanisms and selective attention may need refinement.
Kadish, Navah Ester; Baumann, Matthias; Pietz, Joachim; Schubert-Bast, Susanne; Reuner, Gitta
Our prospective study aimed at the validation of EpiTrack Junior, a neuropsychological screening tool for attention and executive functions in children with epilepsy. Twenty-two children with absence epilepsy aged 8-17 years underwent comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation including EpiTrack Junior and measures of intelligence, verbal and nonverbal memory, word fluency and visuoconstructive organization. Concurrent and discriminant validity of EpiTrack Junior subtests and total score as well as sensitivity and specificity of the total score were analyzed. EpiTrack Junior total score was impaired in 59% of participants. Concurrent validity was demonstrated in 4/6 subtests and for the total score. Discriminant validity was shown with respect to verbal and nonverbal long-term memory. Sensitivity was higher than specificity and highest for the "working memory index". EpiTrack Junior is recommended as a sensitive and time-efficient screening tool for attention and executive functions in children with epilepsy. Impaired results should be followed up with detailed evaluation including information from the parents and school as well as counseling where indicated. © 2013.
Wu, Kitty K; Anderson, Vicki; Castiello, Umberto
This study investigates multiple aspects of executive functioning in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These areas include attentional components, impulsiveness, planning, and problem solving. The rationale of the study is based on neurophysiological studies that suggest frontal lobe dysfunction in ADHD. As frontal lobe functioning is related to abilities in executive control, ADHD is hypothesised to be associated with deficits in various areas of executive functioning. The specific effect of comorbidity of learning disability (LD) was also investigated. Eighty-three children with ADHD and 29 age-matched controls (age 7-13) participated in the study. A battery of neuropsychological tests was utilized to evaluate specific deficits in speed of processing, selective attention, switching attention, sustained attention, attentional capacity, impulsiveness, planning and problem solving. Findings indicated that children with ADHD have slower verbal responses and sustained attention deficit. Deficits in selective attention and attentional capacity observed were largely related to the presence of LD. No specific deficit associated with ADHD or the comorbidity of LD was identified in switching attention, impulsiveness, planning, and problem solving. These results revealed that ADHD is not associated with a general deficit in executive functioning. Instead, ADHD is related to a specific deficit in regulation for attentional resources. The importance of isolating the deficit related to LDs for examining the specific deficit associated with ADHD is highlighted. Results also emphasised the importance of isolating the effect of lower level of abilities (e.g., speed of processing) and the utilization of specific definition for the examination of executive functions.
Guiney, Hayley; Machado, Liana
Research suggests that regular aerobic exercise has the potential to improve executive functioning, even in healthy populations. The purpose of this review is to elucidate which components of executive functioning benefit from such exercise in healthy populations. In light of the developmental time course of executive functions, we consider separately children, young adults, and older adults. Data to date from studies of aging provide strong evidence of exercise-linked benefits related to task switching, selective attention, inhibition of prepotent responses, and working memory capacity; furthermore, cross-sectional fitness data suggest that working memory updating could potentially benefit as well. In young adults, working memory updating is the main executive function shown to benefit from regular exercise, but cross-sectional data further suggest that task-switching and post error performance may also benefit. In children, working memory capacity has been shown to benefit, and cross-sectional data suggest potential benefits for selective attention and inhibitory control. Although more research investigating exercise-related benefits for specific components of executive functioning is clearly needed in young adults and children, when considered across the age groups, ample evidence indicates that regular engagement in aerobic exercise can provide a simple means for healthy people to optimize a range of executive functions.
Langberg, Joshua M; Dvorsky, Melissa R; Evans, Steven W
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the relation between ratings of Executive Function (EF) and academic functioning in a sample of 94 middle-school-aged youth with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; Mage = 11.9; 78 % male; 21 % minority). This study builds on prior work by evaluating associations between multiple specific aspects of EF (e.g., working memory, inhibition, and planning and organization) as rated by both parents and teachers on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), with multiple academic outcomes, including school grades and homework problems. Further, this study examined the relationship between EF and academic outcomes above and beyond ADHD symptoms and controlled for a number of potentially important covariates, including intelligence and achievement scores. The EF Planning and Organization subscale as rated by both parents and teachers predicted school grades above and beyond symptoms of ADHD and relevant covariates. Parent ratings of youth's ability to transition effectively between tasks/situations (Shift subscale) also predicted school grades. Parent-rated symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, and planning and organization abilities were significant in the final model predicting homework problems. In contrast, only symptoms of inattention and the Organization of Materials subscale from the BRIEF were significant in the teacher model predicting homework problems. Organization and planning abilities are highly important aspects academic functioning for middle-school-aged youth with ADHD. Implications of these findings for the measurement of EF, and organization and planning abilities in particular, are discussed along with potential implications for intervention.
Bikic, Aida; Leckman, James F; Christensen, Torben Ø
and both groups received treatment as usual and were assessed in regard to cognitive functions, symptoms, behavioral and functional outcome measures after 8, 12 and 24 weeks. There was no significant effect on the primary outcome, sustained attention (β = - 0.047; CI - 0.247 to 0.153) or the secondary...
Full Text Available This study analyzes differences in metacognitive skills and executive functioning between two groups of students (10-12 years with different levels of metacognitive knowledge (high n = 50, low n = 64. Groups were established based on students' score on a test of knowledge of strategy use. Metacognitive skills were assessed by means of self-report. Students reported the frequency with which they applied these strategies during the phases of planning, execution, and evaluation of learning. Information about student executive functioning was provided by families and teachers, who completed two parallel forms of a behavior rating scale. The results indicated that: a the group with high levels of metacognitive knowledge reported using their metacognitive skills more frequently than their peers in the other group. These differences were statistically significant in the phases of planning and execution; b both family and teachers informed of better levels of executive functioning in the students with high metacognitive knowledge. Statistically significant differences were found in planning, functional memory, focus, and sustained attention. These results show the existence of an association between different levels of metacognitive knowledge, and differences in metacognitive skills and executive functions, and suggest the need to emphasize this set of variables in order to encourage students to acquire increasing levels of control over their learning process.
Joyner, Krystle B.; Silver, Cheryl H.; Stavinoha, Peter L.
Executive functioning is important to assess in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Parent report is used to obtain information about a child's executive functioning; however, parent report can be influenced by many factors. This study's hypothesis was that higher ratings of children's executive dysfunction are…
Kobeleva, Xenia; Firbank, Michael; Peraza, Luis; Gallagher, Peter; Thomas, Alan; Burn, David J.; O'Brien, John; Taylor, John-Paul
Attention and executive dysfunction are features of Lewy body dementia (LBD) but their neuroanatomical basis is poorly understood. To investigate underlying dysfunctional attention-executive network (EXEC) interactions, we examined functional connectivity (FC) in 30 patients with LBD, 20 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), and 21 healthy controls during an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment. Participants performed a modified Attention Network Test (ANT),...
Ana Cristina Pedron
Full Text Available There is no consensus in the literature as to neuropsychological functioning, the severity of obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS and the definitions of the OCS dimensions. We conducted a cross-sectional study investigating the relationship between executive function and OCS severity in the various dimensions, according to the Dimensional Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale criteria. We evaluated 28 patients with OCS, using eight neuropsychological instruments to evaluate executive function. We found that OCS severity in the contamination/cleaning dimension correlates negatively with executive function, inhibitory control and attentional control. Severity in the hoarding dimension correlated positively with cognitive flexibility, visual processing and logical reasoning, whereas it correlated negatively with the capacity to develop efficient complex problem-solving strategies. There was also a positive correlation between severity in the symmetry/ordering dimension and attentional control. Our findings suggest that the profile of executive function in OCD is defined by the severity of the various OCS dimensions.
Szuromi, Bálint; Bitter, István; Czobor, Pál
While the number of symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) decreases with age, a high proportion of adults with ADHD symptoms suffer from persistent functional impairment (Fi) linked to these symptoms. Our objective was to investigate the specific roles of two potentially important predictors of this Fi: the clinical symptom presentation and the deficit in executive functions (EFs). A total of 158 subjects from a community sample positively screened for ADHD were classified into two groups: those with and without Fi. Following a detailed diagnostic process, participants were administered a self-rating scale for ADHD symptoms as well as a neuropsychological test battery containing tests of EF and attention relevant as potential cognitive endophenotypes for ADHD. The overall number as well as the number of inattentive, hyperactive and impulsive symptoms, confirmed both by examiner and self-report, were significantly higher among Fi subjects. The highest odds ratio for Fi was associated with impulsive symptoms. Additionally, self-reported complaints of problems with self-concept were significantly higher among Fi subjects. No significant relationship between Fi and neuropsychological measures of EF and attention was detected. This study revealed that the number of symptoms, in particular that of impulsivity, had a significant impact on Fi in adults with symptoms of ADHD. Furthermore, our results underline the importance of assessing complaints and behaviors related to self-concept, which are not included in DSM-IV diagnostic criteria of ADHD but nonetheless may be associated with functional outcome of the disorder. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Edlin, James M.; Lyle, Keith B.
The simple act of repeatedly looking left and right can enhance subsequent cognition, including divergent thinking, detection of matching letters from visual arrays, and memory retrieval. One hypothesis is that saccade execution enhances subsequent cognition by altering attentional control. To test this hypothesis, we compared performance…
Macniven, J A B; Davis, C; Ho, M-Y; Bradshaw, C M; Szabadi, E; Constantinescu, C S
Cognitive impairments in information processing speed, attention and executive functioning are widely reported in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Several studies have identified impaired performance on the Stroop test in people with MS, yet uncertainty remains over the cause of this phenomenon. In this study, 25 patients with MS were assessed with a neuropsychological test battery including a computerized Stroop test and a computerized test of information processing speed, the Graded Conditional Discrimination Tasks (GCDT). The patient group was compared with an individually age, sex and estimated premorbid IQ-matched healthy control group. The patients' reaction times (RTs) were significantly longer than those of the controls on all Stroop test trials and there was a significantly enhanced absolute (RT(incongruent)-RT(neutral)) and relative (100 x [RT(incongruent)-RT(neutral)]/RT(neutral)) Stroop interference effect for the MS group. The linear function relating RT to stimulus complexity in the GCDT was significantly steeper in the patient group, indicating slowed information processing. The results are discussed with reference to the difference engine model, a theory of diversity in speeded cognition. It is concluded that, in the assessment of people with MS, great caution must be used in the interpretation of performance on neuropsychological tests which rely on RT as the primary measure.
Gamble, Katherine R; Howard, James H; Howard, Darlene V
BACKGROUND/STUDY CONTEXT: Attention Restoration Theory (Kaplan, 1995, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15, 169-182) suggests that exposure to nature improves attention. Berman, Jonides, and Kaplan (2008, Psychological Science, 19, 1207-1212) showed that simply viewing nature pictures improves executive attention in young adults. The present study is the first to investigate this Nature Effect in older adults. The authors investigated whether executive attention could be improved in healthy older adults following brief exposure to nature pictures. Thirty healthy older adults (64-79 years old) and 26 young university students (18-25 years old) participated. They completed the Attention Network Test before and after 6 min of viewing either nature or urban pictures, with random assignment into a picture type. Attention immediately before (most fatigued) and after (most restored) picture viewing was measured, and change in attention was compared between age groups and picture types. Results showed that viewing nature, but not urban, pictures significantly improved executive attention in both older and young adults as measured by the Attention Network Test, with similar effects seen in the two age groups. Alerting and orienting attention scores were not affected by picture viewing. This was the first study to show that viewing nature pictures improves attention in older adults, and to show that it is executive attention, specifically, that is improved. Among a growing number of interventions, nature exposure offers a quick, inexpensive, and enjoyable means to provide a temporary boost in executive attention.
Cordovil De Sousa Uva, Mariana; Luminet, Olivier; Cortesi, Marie; Constant, Eric; Derely, Marc; De Timary, Philippe
The present study examined the effects of protracted alcohol withdrawal on affectivity, craving, selective attention and executive functions (EFs) in alcohol-dependent patients. Selective attention (The D2 Cancellation Test), flexibility (Trail Making Test), inhibition (Stroop Task), decision making (Iowa Gambling Task), craving (Obsessive-Compulsive Drinking Scale) and state affectivity (Positive and Negative Affectivity Schedule) were assessed in alcohol-dependent patients (DSM-IV, n = 35) matched to non-alcohol-dependent participants (n = 22) at the onset (T1: day 1 or 2) and at the end (T2: days 14-18) of protracted withdrawal during rehab. Alcohol-dependent patients' abilities to focus their attention on relevant information, to switch from one pattern to another, to inhibit irrelevant information and to make advantageous choices were lower than those of control participants during both times of a withdrawal cure. No effect of time emerged from analyses for selective attention and EF deficits. Conversely, significant differences between T1 and T2 were observed for craving and affect scores indicating a weakening of alcohol craving and negative affect as well as an improvement of positive affect among patients from onset to the end of cure. Control functions of the Supervisory Attentional System (Norman and Shallice, 1986) were impaired and did not improve during a 3-week withdrawal cure, whereas alcohol craving and negative state affectivity significantly improved in parallel during this period. Implications for understanding the clinical processes of withdrawal are discussed.
Duijkers, Judith C L M; Vissers, Constance Th W M; Egger, Jos I M
In mental health, the term dual-diagnosis is used for the co-occurrence of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) with another mental disorder. These co-occurring disorders can have a shared cause, and can cause/intensify each other's expression. Forming a threat to health and society, dual-diagnosis is associated with relapses in addiction-related behavior and a destructive lifestyle. This is due to a persistent failure to control impulses and the maintaining of inadequate self-regulatory behavior in daily life. Thus, several aspects of executive functioning like inhibitory, shifting and updating processes seem impaired in dual-diagnosis. Executive (dys-)function is currently even seen as a shared underlying key component of most mental disorders. However, the number of studies on diverse aspects of executive functioning in dual-diagnosis is limited. In the present review, a systematic overview of various aspects of executive functioning in dual-diagnosis is presented, striving for a prototypical profile of patients with dual-diagnosis. Looking at empirical results, inhibitory and shifting processes appear to be impaired for SUD combined with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or cluster B personality disorders. Studies involving updating process tasks for dual-diagnosis were limited. More research that zooms in to the full diversity of these executive functions is needed in order to strengthen these findings. Detailed insight in the profile of strengths and weaknesses that underlies one's behavior and is related to diagnostic classifications, can lead to tailor-made assessment and indications for treatment, pointing out which aspects need attention and/or training in one's self-regulative abilities.
Pureza, Janice R.; Fonseca, Rochele P.
Introduction The importance of executive functions (EF) in childhood development, and their role as indicators of health, well-being, professional and academic success have been demonstrated by several studies in the literature. FE are cognitive processes that aim to control and manage behavior to achieve specific goal and included skills planning, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, (executive) attention and the central executive component of working memory (WM). In the context of education, the EF are crucial for continued learning and efficient academic performance due to their involvement in several components of the educational process. Objective The aim of this article was to describe the development and content validity of the CENA Program for Educational Training on the Neuropsychology of Learning, with an emphasis on executive functions and attention. Methods The study involved seven specialists (four responsible for evaluating the program, and three involved in brainstorming), and was carried out in three stages: Background research: neuropsychology and education; Program development - author brainstorming and Evaluation by expert judges The goals, language and methods. Results CENA Program were considered adequate, attesting to its content validity as a school-based neuropsychological intervention. Conclusion Teacher training in school neuropsychology may be an important area for future investment and contribute to academic achievement and student development in the Brazilian education system. PMID:29213497
Johansson, Maria; Marciszko, Carin; Gredebäck, Gustaf; Nyström, Pär; Bohlin, Gunilla
Previous literature suggests that attention processes such as sustained attention would constitute a developmental foundation for the self-regulatory functions executive functioning and effortful control (e.g., Garon, Bryson, & Smith, 2008; Rothbart, Derryberry, & Posner, 1994). Our main aim was to test this hypothesis by studying whether sustained attention at age 1 year can predict individual differences in self-regulatory functions at age 2 years. Longitudinal data from 66 infants and their parents were included in the study. Sustained attention was assessed during free play at age 1 year; executive functioning, measured using an eye-tracking version of the A-not-B task, and effortful control, measured using parental ratings, were assessed at both age 1 and age 2 years. The results did support a longitudinal prediction of individual differences in 2-year-olds' self-regulatory functions as a function of sustained attention at age 1 year. We also found significant improvement in both executive functioning and effortful control over time, and the two self-regulatory constructs were related in toddlerhood but not in infancy. The study helps increase our understanding of the early development of self-regulatory functions necessary for identifying developmental risks and, in the future, for developing new interventions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Lehtonen, Annukka; Howie, Emma; Trump, Dorothy; Huson, Susan M
This systematic review aimed to pull together the findings from research into behavioural systems and attention in children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) and to identify areas that need further study. Relevant papers were identified through searches of electronic databases (MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE) and manual searches through reference lists. In total, 5746 articles were identified and 57 met the inclusion criteria. The data were synthesized using the narrative approach, as the studies varied considerably in terms of participants and measures. The results of the review showed that intelligence, academic skills, visuospatial skills, social competence, and attention are impaired in children with NF1. Evidence of deficits in memory, motor functioning, language, and executive functions was less clear. Research has made marked progress in outlining the behavioural phenotype of NF1. However, although the general areas of impairment are becoming better known, the exact nature of the impairment is still not understood in many areas of behaviour. Care needs to be taken with the way in which behavioural constructs are defined and measured, and the variability of problems in NF1 is a particular challenge. Nevertheless, research is steadily moving towards comprehensive understanding of behaviour in children with NF1. © The Authors. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology © 2012 Mac Keith Press.
Aliakbaryhosseinabadi, Susan; Kamavuako, Ernest Nlandu; Jiang, Ning
attentionlevels onmotor tasks ineachparticipant. Then, a globalfeature distribution was constructed with the projected time-frequency features of all participants from all channels and applied for attention classification during motor movement execution. Results: Time-frequency features led to significantly...... BCI systems with time-frequency features. This is the first step towards an adaptive real-time BCI with an integrated function to reveal attention shifts from the motor task....
Marzocchi, G.M.; Oosterlaan, J.; Zuddas, A.; Cavolina, P.; Geurts, H.; Redigilo, D.; Vio, C.; Sergeant, J.A.
Background: The object of this study was to analyze the executive functioning of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or reading disability (RD) independent of their non-executive deficits. Methods: Three carefully diagnosed groups of children, aged between 7 and 12 years
This study examines language abilities of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and compares these abilities to those of children with specific language impairment (SLI) and typically developing children. Executive functioning, an umbrella term for various higher order
attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ) as these are similar to problems of executive functioning...affect working memory. Also the neurotransmitters active in attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ), which displays symptoms similar to those of... disorders such as autism and attention - deficit / hyperactivity disorder (Zelazo, P.D., 2005). As children grow they learn to chose and select,
Arnould, Annabelle; Rochat, Lucien; Dromer, Emilie; Azouvi, Philippe; Van der Linden, Martial
Apathy is frequently described in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI); its negative consequences particularly affect functional independence. Among apathetic manifestations, lack of initiative and lack of interest have mainly been associated with cognitive impairments. However, few studies have been conducted to precisely identify the underlying cognitive processes. Our aims were (1) to determine the best predictor of apathy from among several cognitive processes, including episodic memory and attention/executive mechanisms and multitasking, and (2) to examine to what extent multitasking could mediate the relationships between specific cognitive processes and lack of initiative/interest. Seventy participants (34 patients with TBI matched with 36 control participants) were given a questionnaire to assess anxio-depressive symptoms, four tasks to assess specific cognitive processes, and one task to assess real-life multitasking. Participants' relatives completed an apathy questionnaire. Multitasking, as assessed by the number of goals not achieved, was the only significant predictor of apathetic manifestations. In addition, the mediation analyses revealed that multitasking performance mediated the relationships between verbal episodic memory and lack of initiative/interest, whereas executive and attentional functions were only indirectly related to lack of initiative/interest due to their significant impacts on multitasking. These results shed new light on the aetiology of apathetic manifestations in patients with TBI, indicating how specific cognitive deficits are expressed in real-life multitasking, and consequently, how they may lead to the development and/or maintenance of apathetic manifestations. © 2016 The British Psychological Society.
Casagrande, Maria; Marotta, Andrea; Canepone, Valeria; Spagna, Alfredo; Rosa, Caterina; Dimaggio, Giancarlo; Pasini, Augusto
The present study examined attentional networks performance in 39 adolescents with dysfunctional personality traits, split into two group, Group Personality Disorders. The attentional performance has been tested by means of a modified version of the Attentional Network Test (ANTI-V) which allows testing both phasic and tonic components of the alerting system, the exogenous aspect of the orienting system, the executive network and their interactions. Results showed that the orienting costs of having an invalid spatial cue were reduced in the Group ≥ 10 criteria compared to the Group splitting the sample into two categorical groups were also observed in a complementary correlation analysis keeping intact the continuous nature of such variables. These findings are consistent with the notion that dysfunctional features of personality disorders may represent the psychological manifestations of a neuropsychological abnormality in attention and executive functioning. Finally, we discuss the implications of this attentional anomaly for dysfunctional personality traits and behaviour.
Tirapu-Ustárroz, J; Muñoz-Céspedes, J M
The terms 'executive functioning' or 'executive control' refer to a set of mechanisms involved in the improvement of cognitive processes to guide them towards the resolution of complex problems. Both the frontal lobes, acting as structure, and the executive processes, acting as function, work with memory contents, operating with information placed in the diencephalic structures and in the medial temporal lobe. Generally, we can state that many works find an association between frontal damage and specific memory shortages like working memory deficit, metamemory problems, source amnesia, or difficulties in the prospective memory. This paper is a critical review of the working memory concept and proposes a new term: the attentional operative system that works with memory contents. Concerning the metamemory, the frontal lobes are essential for monitoring processes in general and for 'the feeling of knowing' kind of judgements in particular. Patients suffering prefrontal damage show serious problems to remember the information source. Thus, the information is rightly remembered but the spatiotemporal context where that information was learned has been forgotten. Finally, the prospective memory deals with remembering to make something in a particular moment in the future and performing the plan previously drawn up.
Holm, Marja E; Aunio, Pirjo; Björn, Piia M; Klenberg, Liisa; Korhonen, Johan; Hannula, Markku S
This study investigates behavioral executive functions (EFs) in the mathematics classroom context among adolescents with different mathematics performance levels. The EF problems were assessed by teachers using a behavioral rating inventory. Using cutoff scores on a standardized mathematics assessment, groups with mathematics difficulties (MD; n = 124), low mathematics performance (LA; n = 140), and average or higher scores (AC; n = 355) were identified. Results showed that the MD group had more problems with distractibility, directing attention, shifting attention, initiative, execution of action, planning, and evaluation than the LA group, whereas the differences in hyperactivity, impulsivity, and sustaining attention were not significant. Compared to the AC group, the MD group showed more problems with all behavioral EFs except hyperactivity and impulsivity, while the LA group showed more problems only with shifting attention. Male adolescents showed more behavioral EF problems than female adolescents, but this gender difference was negligible within the MD group. The practical implications of the results are discussed.
Hudec, Kristen L; Alderson, R Matt; Patros, Connor H G; Lea, Sarah E; Tarle, Stephanie J; Kasper, Lisa J
Motor activity of boys (age 8-12 years) with (n=19) and without (n=18) ADHD was objectively measured with actigraphy across experimental conditions that varied with regard to demands on executive functions. Activity exhibited during two n-back (1-back, 2-back) working memory tasks was compared to activity during a choice-reaction time (CRT) task that placed relatively fewer demands on executive processes and during a simple reaction time (SRT) task that required mostly automatic processing with minimal executive demands. Results indicated that children in the ADHD group exhibited greater activity compared to children in the non-ADHD group. Further, both groups exhibited the greatest activity during conditions with high working memory demands, followed by the reaction time and control task conditions, respectively. The findings indicate that large-magnitude increases in motor activity are predominantly associated with increased demands on working memory, though demands on non-executive processes are sufficient to elicit small to moderate increases in motor activity as well. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Ginani, G E; Tufik, S; Bueno, O F A; Pradella-Hallinan, M; Rusted, J; Pompéia, S
The cholinergic system is involved in the modulation of both bottom-up and top-down attentional control. Top-down attention engages multiple executive control processes, but few studies have investigated whether all or selective elements of executive functions are modulated by the cholinergic system. To investigate the acute effects of the pro-cholinergic donepezil in young, healthy volunteers on distinct components of executive functions we conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, independent-groups design study including 42 young healthy male participants who were randomly assigned to one of three oral treatments: glucose (placebo), donepezil 5 mg or donepezil 7.5 mg. The test battery included measures of different executive components (shifting, updating, inhibition, dual-task performance, planning, access to long-term memory), tasks that evaluated arousal/vigilance/visuomotor performance, as well as functioning of working memory subsidiary systems. Donepezil improved sustained attention, reaction times, dual-task performance and the executive component of digit span. The positive effects in these executive tasks did not correlate with arousal/visuomotor/vigilance measures. Among the various executive domains investigated donepezil selectively increased dual-task performance in a manner that could not be ascribed to improvement in arousal/vigilance/visuomotor performance nor working memory slave systems. Other executive tasks that rely heavily on visuospatial processing may also be modulated by the cholinergic system.
Camila Rosa de Oliveira
Full Text Available ABSTRACT Few studies involving the cognition of middle-aged adults are available in the international literature, particularly investigating the process of cognitive aging, executive components and attention. Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate whether there are differences in performance on neuropsychological tasks of executive functions and sustained attention between two age groups. Methods: The sample consisted of 87 adults aged from 19 to 59 years old, divided into two groups according to the age variable (younger adults and middle-aged adults. All participants were Brazilian and had no sensory, psychiatric or neurological disorders; subjects also had no history of alcohol abuse, and no self-reported use of illicit drugs or antipsychotics. The neuropsychological instruments administered were the Hayling Test, Trail Making Test, Bells Test and verbal fluency tasks. Results: Groups showed no significant differences in relation to sociodemographic variables, educational level or frequency of reading and writing habits. The younger adult group performed better than the middle-aged group on tasks that involved mainly processing speed, cognitive flexibility and lexical search. Conclusions: These findings serve as a valuable reference for cognitive processing in middle-aged adults, since a large number of comparative studies focus only on the younger and later phases of adulthood. Additional studies are needed to investigate possible interaction between different factors such as age and education.
Menghini, D.; Addona, F.; Costanzo, F.; Vicari, S.
Background: The present study was aimed at investigating working memory (WM) and executive functions capacities in individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) as compared with mental-age matched typically developing (TD) children. Method: In order to serve the study goal, a sizeable battery of tasks tapping WM as well as attention, memory, planning,…
Marisa G. Filipe
Full Text Available Little is known about the relationship between prosodic abilities and executive function skills. As deficits in executive functions (EFs and prosodic impairments are characteristics of autism, we examined how EFs are related to prosodic performance in children with high-functioning autism (HFA. Fifteen children with HFA (M = 7.4 years; SD = 1.12, matched to 15 typically developing peers on age, gender, and non-verbal intelligence participated in the study. The Profiling Elements of Prosody in Speech-Communication (PEPS-C was used to assess prosodic performance. The Children’s Color Trails Test (CCTT-1, CCTT-2, and CCTT Interference Index was used as an indicator of executive control abilities. Our findings suggest no relation between prosodic abilities and visual search and processing speed (assessed by CCTT-1, but a significant link between prosodic skills and divided attention, working memory/sequencing, set-switching, and inhibition (assessed by CCTT-2 and CCTT Interference Index. These findings may be of clinical relevance since difficulties in EFs and prosodic deficits are characteristic of many neurodevelopmental disorders. Future studies are needed to further investigate the nature of the relationship between impaired prosody and executive (dysfunction.
Full Text Available Executive function is responsible for directing self behavior in order to purposive and aims such as planning, organizing, problem solving, self-monitoring skills and self regulation. This function is associated with frontal lobe (center of think. The main components of executive function are anticipation (set realistic expectations, understanding the consequences, planning (organization, execution or implementation (maintain flexibility, self-monitoring (emotional control, error recognition. Dysfunction executive (deficit of executive functions is one cause of disability in the client's mental disorders so that clients of mental disorders commonly have difficulty in performing activities of complex psychological like behavior of complex, purposeful, targeted and selective attention, decision-making, judgment, selection, planning, and flexibility. Neuropsychological rehabilitation efforts can be used to improve executive function (executive function thus will significantly improve emotional health, social functioning, and independent skill. The rehabilitation program consists of a variety of techniques that include Cognitive Adaptation Training (CAT, verbalization, goal setting and cognitive remediation.
Full Text Available Modern man lyfestyle contributes to the increasing incidence of metabolic syndrome in the developed world. Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in adults ranges from 20 to 25%, and it tends to increase. Each year, 3.2 million people around the world die from complications associated with this syndrome. Treatment involves cooperation of medical doctors of various specialties, but the decisive factor is patient motivation, given that the treatment requires significant lifestyle changes. Our hypothesis is that metabolic syndrome patients have reduced ability to plan, convert plan into action and effectively implement planned activities, showing signs of dysexecutive syndrome. The term executive functions comes from the English word 'executive', which also means the controlling, in neuropsychology reserved for high-level abilities that influence more basic abilities such as attention, perception, memory, thinking and speaking. The main objective of this study was to determine characteristics of executive functioning in patients with metabolic syndrome. The sample consisted of 61 subjects of both sexes, aged 20 to 60 years, divided into two groups - those with a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome and those without this diagnosis. The results suggest that people with metabolic syndrome showed significantly poorer performance in almost all indicators of executive functions, represented by Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test variables.
Full Text Available Research suggests that being bilingual results in advantages on executive control processes and disadvantages on language tasks relative to monolinguals. Furthermore, the executive function advantage is thought to be larger in older than younger adults, suggesting that bilingualism may buffer against age-related changes in executive function. However, there are potential confounds in some of the previous research, as well as inconsistencies in the literature. The goal of the current investigation was to examine the presence of a bilingual advantage in executive control and a bilingual disadvantage on language tasks in the same sample of young and older monolingual anglophones, monolingual francophones, and French/English bilinguals. Participants completed a series of executive function tasks, including a Stroop task, a Simon task, a sustained attention to response task (SART, the Wisconsin Card Sort Test (WCST, and the digit span subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, and language tasks, including the Boston Naming Test (BNT, and category and letter fluency. The results do not demonstrate an unequivocal advantage for bilinguals on executive function tasks and raise questions about the reliability, robustness and/or specificity of previous findings. The results also did not demonstrate a disadvantage for bilinguals on language tasks. Rather, they suggest that there may be an influence of the language environment. It is concluded that additional research is required to fully characterize any language group differences in both executive function and language tasks.
Poulin-Dubois, Diane; Blaye, Agnes; Coutya, Julie; Bialystok, Ellen
Bilingual children have been shown to outperform monolingual children on tasks measuring executive functioning skills. This advantage is usually attributed to bilinguals' extensive practice in exercising selective attention and cognitive flexibility during language use because both languages are active when one of them is being used. We examined…
Aneta Rita Borkowska
Full Text Available The study was aimed at finding out whether at the early school age the effectiveness of executive functions distinguishes children with ADHD from those of the control group. Besides, the aim was to check to what extent the use of diagnostic methods evaluating executive functions in children at the early school age is justified. The analysis comprised cognitive flexibility, sustained attention, interference control and planning ability. Those methods of neuropsychological evaluation were used which are mostly applied to characterize executive functions: Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, interference task based on the Stroop Interference Test, and tests of verbal fluency and Tower of London. The examined group consisted of 50 children aged 7-10: 25 children with hyperactivity of combined type and 25 children of the control group. Each group consisted of 23 boys and 2 girls. The average age in the criterial group was 8 years and 10 months (SD=10 months, whereas in the control group – 8 years and 6 months (SD=11 months. According to the obtained results, children with ADHD at early school age do not exhibit a wide spectrum of executive functions deficits, which is probably associated with immaturity of executive processes in all children of that age. The findings comprised only difficulties in inhibition of response, monitoring of activity, and ability of executive attention to intentional guidance of the mental effort depending on the task’s requirements. In investigations of children with ADHD at early school age the use of neuropsychological tests and trials designed for evaluation of executive functions is justified only in limited degree. They do not significantly distinguish between children with ADHD and children without this disorder, therefore the results may be mainly of descriptive, and not explanatory, value.
Ruiz-Rizzo, Adriana L; Neitzel, Julia; Müller, Hermann J; Sorg, Christian; Finke, Kathrin
Separable visual attention functions are assumed to rely on distinct but interacting neural mechanisms. Bundesen's "theory of visual attention" (TVA) allows the mathematical estimation of independent parameters that characterize individuals' visual attentional capacity (i.e., visual processing speed and visual short-term memory storage capacity) and selectivity functions (i.e., top-down control and spatial laterality). However, it is unclear whether these parameters distinctively map onto different brain networks obtained from intrinsic functional connectivity, which organizes slowly fluctuating ongoing brain activity. In our study, 31 demographically homogeneous healthy young participants performed whole- and partial-report tasks and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). Report accuracy was modeled using TVA to estimate, individually, the four TVA parameters. Networks encompassing cortical areas relevant for visual attention were derived from independent component analysis of rs-fMRI data: visual, executive control, right and left frontoparietal, and ventral and dorsal attention networks. Two TVA parameters were mapped on particular functional networks. First, participants with higher (vs. lower) visual processing speed showed lower functional connectivity within the ventral attention network. Second, participants with more (vs. less) efficient top-down control showed higher functional connectivity within the dorsal attention network and lower functional connectivity within the visual network. Additionally, higher performance was associated with higher functional connectivity between networks: specifically, between the ventral attention and right frontoparietal networks for visual processing speed, and between the visual and executive control networks for top-down control. The higher inter-network functional connectivity was related to lower intra-network connectivity. These results demonstrate that separable visual attention
Conclusion: This study revealed that although executive functions may be improved by protracted abstinence, executive dysfunctions are not completely relieved, and specific attention to planning and implementation of intervention programs are necessary.
Kane, Michael J.; Meier, Matt E.; Smeekens, Bridget A.; Gross, Georgina M.; Chun, Charlotte A.; Silvia, Paul J.; Kwapil, Thomas R.
A large correlational study took a latent-variable approach to the generality of executive control by testing the individual-differences structure of executive-attention capabilities and assessing their prediction of schizotypy, a multidimensional construct (with negative, positive, disorganized, and paranoid factors) conveying risk for schizophrenia. Although schizophrenia is convincingly linked to executive deficits, the schizotypy literature is equivocal. Subjects completed tasks of working memory capacity (WMC), attention restraint (inhibiting prepotent responses), and attention constraint (focusing visual attention amid distractors), the latter two in an effort to fractionate the “inhibition” construct. We also assessed mind-wandering propensity (via in-task thought probes) and coefficient of variation in response times (RT CoV) from several tasks as more novel indices of executive attention. WMC, attention restraint, attention constraint, mind wandering, and RT CoV were correlated but separable constructs, indicating some distinctions among “attention control” abilities; WMC correlated more strongly with attentional restraint than constraint, and mind wandering correlated more strongly with attentional restraint, attentional constraint, and RT CoV than with WMC. Across structural models, no executive construct predicted negative schizotypy and only mind wandering and RT CoV consistently (but modestly) predicted positive, disorganized, and paranoid schizotypy; stalwart executive constructs in the schizophrenia literature — WMC and attention restraint — showed little to no predictive power, beyond restraint’s prediction of paranoia. Either executive deficits are consequences rather than risk factors for schizophrenia, or executive failures barely precede or precipitate diagnosable schizophrenia symptoms. PMID:27454042
Oosterlaan, Jaap; Scheres, Anouk; Sergeant, Joseph A.
This study investigated (1) whether attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) is associated with executive functioning (EF) deficits while controlling for oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder (ODD/CD), (2) whether ODD/CD is associated with EF deficits while controlling for AD/HD, and (3) whether a combination of AD/HD and ODD/CD…
Água Dias, Andrea; Albuquerque, Cristina P.; Simões, Mário Rodrigues
Children with Borderline Intellectual Functioning (BIF) have received little research attention and have been studied in conjunction with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The present study intends to broaden the knowledge on BIF, by analyzing domains such as verbal memory and visual memory, as well as tasks that rely simultaneously on memory, executive functions and language. A cross-sectional, comparison study was carried out between a group of 40 children with BIF (mean age = 10...
Berthelsen, Donna; Hayes, Nicole; White, Sonia L J; Williams, Kate E
Executive functions are important higher-order cognitive skills for goal-directed thought and action. These capacities contribute to successful school achievement and lifelong wellbeing. The importance of executive functions to children's education begins in early childhood and continues throughout development. This study explores contributions of child and family factors in early childhood to the development of executive function in adolescence. Analyses draw on data from the nationally representative study, Growing up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children . Participants are 4819 children in the Kindergarten Cohort who were recruited at age 4-5 years. Path analyses were employed to examine contributions of early childhood factors, including family socio-economic position (SEP), parenting behaviors, maternal mental health, and a child behavioral risk index, to the development of executive function in adolescence. The influence of children's early self-regulatory behaviors (attentional regulation at 4-5 years and approaches to learning at 6-7 years) were also taken into account. A composite score for the outcome measure of executive function was constructed from scores on three Cogstate computerized tasks for assessing cognition and measured visual attention, visual working memory, and spatial problem-solving. Covariates included child gender, age at assessment of executive function, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, speaking a language other than English at home, and child's receptive vocabulary skills. There were significant indirect effects involving child and family risk factors measured at 4-5 years on executive function at age 14-15 years, mediated by measures of self-regulatory behavior. Child behavioral risk, family SEP and parenting behaviors (anger, warmth, and consistency) were associated with attentional regulation at 4-5 years which, in turn, was significantly associated with approaches to learning at 6-7 years. Both
Modi, Avani C; Vannest, Jennifer; Combs, Angela; Turnier, Luke; Wade, Shari L
Youth with epilepsy demonstrate deficits in executive functioning (EF), the skills necessary for goal-directed behavior (e.g., problem-solving, initiating, monitoring, organization, planning, and working memory). Despite 30-50% of youth with epilepsy demonstrating EF deficits, no extant studies have utilized both performance and questionnaire-based measures to examine the pattern of EF deficits in adolescents with epilepsy. Study aims were to 1) identify the pattern of EF deficits in adolescents with epilepsy and 2) identify which assessment tools are most sensitive to EF deficits in this population (adolescents, ages 13-17, with epilepsy). An exploratory aim was to examine group differences on measures of EF by epilepsy type. Standard performance-based neuropsychological measures (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Version V or Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Working Memory Index-Version IV, Delis Kaplan Executive Functioning System, NIH Toolbox, Test of Everyday Attention for Children) and the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning (BRIEF) comprised the multimethod assessment battery. Depending on the measure, 30% of adolescents with epilepsy had deficits in working memory, 17% in cognitive flexibility/problem solving, 6% in inhibition, and 18% in planning/organization. Attention was a significant problem for 15% of adolescents with epilepsy. Correlations among the various EF measures were quite poor. Across various EF domains, results indicated that adolescents with localization-related epilepsy demonstrated better EF skills compared to adolescents with unclassified epilepsy. Overall, our findings suggest that executive functioning deficits are selective and different from those observed in other neurological populations (e.g., attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), traumatic brain injury) where problems with self-regulation (i.e., inhibition, planning/organization) are more pronounced. These findings support utilizing multiple
Gau, Susan Shur-Fen; Shang, Chi-Yung
Background: Little is known about executive functions among unaffected siblings of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and there is lack of such information from non-Western countries. We examined verbal and nonverbal executive functions in adolescents with ADHD, unaffected siblings and controls to test whether executive…
Full Text Available The notion of working memory was introduced to account for the usage of short-term memory resources by other cognitive tasks such as reasoning, mental arithmetic, language comprehension, and many others. This collaboration between memory and other cognitive tasks can only be achieved by a dedicated working memory system that controls task coordination. To that end, working memory models include executive control. Nevertheless, other attention control systems may be involved in coordination of memory and cognitive tasks calling on memory resources. The present paper briefly reviews the evidence concerning the role of selective attention in working memory activities. A model is proposed in which selective attention control is directly linked to the executive control part of the working memory system. The model assumes that apart from storage of declarative information, the system also includes an executive working memory module that represents the current task set. Control processes are automatically triggered when particular conditions in these modules are met.. As each task set represents the parameter settings and the actions needed to achieve the task goal, it will depend on the specific settings and actions whether selective attention control will have to be shared among the active tasks. Only when such sharing is required, task performance will be affected by the capacity limits of the control system involved.
Jacobson, Lisa A.; Koriakin, Taylor; Lipkin, Paul; Boada, Richard; Frijters, Jan; Lovett, Maureen; Hill, Dina; Willcutt, Erik; Gottwald, Stephanie; Wolf, Maryanne; Bosson-Heenan, Joan; Gruen, Jeffrey R.; Mahone, E. Mark
Competent reading requires various skills beyond those for basic word reading (i.e., core language skills, rapid naming, phonological processing). Contributing “higher-level” or domain-general processes include information processing speed and executive functions (working memory, strategic problem solving, attentional switching). Research in this area has relied on largely Caucasian samples, with limited representation of children from racial or ethnic minority groups. This study examined contributions of executive skills to reading competence in 761 children of minority backgrounds. Hierarchical linear regressions examined unique contributions of executive functions (EF) to word reading, fluency, and comprehension. EF contributed uniquely to reading performance, over and above reading-related language skills; working memory contributed uniquely to all components of reading; while attentional switching, but not problem solving, contributed to isolated and contextual word reading and reading fluency. Problem solving uniquely predicted comprehension, suggesting that this skill may be especially important for reading comprehension in minority youth. Attentional switching may play a unique role in development of reading fluency in minority youth, perhaps as a result of the increased demand for switching between spoken versus written dialects. Findings have implications for educational and clinical practice with regard to reading instruction, remedial reading intervention, and assessment of individuals with reading difficulty. PMID:26755569
Ruiz-Rizzo, Adriana L.; Neitzel, Julia; Müller, Hermann J.; Sorg, Christian; Finke, Kathrin
Separable visual attention functions are assumed to rely on distinct but interacting neural mechanisms. Bundesen's “theory of visual attention” (TVA) allows the mathematical estimation of independent parameters that characterize individuals' visual attentional capacity (i.e., visual processing speed and visual short-term memory storage capacity) and selectivity functions (i.e., top-down control and spatial laterality). However, it is unclear whether these parameters distinctively map onto different brain networks obtained from intrinsic functional connectivity, which organizes slowly fluctuating ongoing brain activity. In our study, 31 demographically homogeneous healthy young participants performed whole- and partial-report tasks and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). Report accuracy was modeled using TVA to estimate, individually, the four TVA parameters. Networks encompassing cortical areas relevant for visual attention were derived from independent component analysis of rs-fMRI data: visual, executive control, right and left frontoparietal, and ventral and dorsal attention networks. Two TVA parameters were mapped on particular functional networks. First, participants with higher (vs. lower) visual processing speed showed lower functional connectivity within the ventral attention network. Second, participants with more (vs. less) efficient top-down control showed higher functional connectivity within the dorsal attention network and lower functional connectivity within the visual network. Additionally, higher performance was associated with higher functional connectivity between networks: specifically, between the ventral attention and right frontoparietal networks for visual processing speed, and between the visual and executive control networks for top-down control. The higher inter-network functional connectivity was related to lower intra-network connectivity. These results demonstrate that separable visual attention
Adriana L. Ruiz-Rizzo
Full Text Available Separable visual attention functions are assumed to rely on distinct but interacting neural mechanisms. Bundesen's “theory of visual attention” (TVA allows the mathematical estimation of independent parameters that characterize individuals' visual attentional capacity (i.e., visual processing speed and visual short-term memory storage capacity and selectivity functions (i.e., top-down control and spatial laterality. However, it is unclear whether these parameters distinctively map onto different brain networks obtained from intrinsic functional connectivity, which organizes slowly fluctuating ongoing brain activity. In our study, 31 demographically homogeneous healthy young participants performed whole- and partial-report tasks and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI. Report accuracy was modeled using TVA to estimate, individually, the four TVA parameters. Networks encompassing cortical areas relevant for visual attention were derived from independent component analysis of rs-fMRI data: visual, executive control, right and left frontoparietal, and ventral and dorsal attention networks. Two TVA parameters were mapped on particular functional networks. First, participants with higher (vs. lower visual processing speed showed lower functional connectivity within the ventral attention network. Second, participants with more (vs. less efficient top-down control showed higher functional connectivity within the dorsal attention network and lower functional connectivity within the visual network. Additionally, higher performance was associated with higher functional connectivity between networks: specifically, between the ventral attention and right frontoparietal networks for visual processing speed, and between the visual and executive control networks for top-down control. The higher inter-network functional connectivity was related to lower intra-network connectivity. These results demonstrate that separable
Gothe, Neha P; Fanning, Jason; Awick, Elizabeth; Chung, David; Wójcicki, Thomas R; Olson, Erin A; Mullen, Sean P; Voss, Michelle; Erickson, Kirk I; Kramer, Arthur F; McAuley, Edward
To examine the relationship between performance on executive function measures and subsequent mobility outcomes in community-dwelling older adults. Randomized controlled clinical trial. Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Community-dwelling older adults (N = 179; mean age 66.4). A 12-month exercise trial with two arms: an aerobic exercise group and a stretching and strengthening group. Established cognitive tests of executive function (flanker task, task switching, and a dual-task paradigm) and the Wisconsin card sort test. Mobility was assessed using the timed 8-foot up and go test and times to climb up and down a flight of stairs. Participants completed the cognitive tests at baseline and the mobility measures at baseline and after 12 months of the intervention. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine whether baseline executive function predicted postintervention functional performance after controlling for age, sex, education, cardiorespiratory fitness, and baseline mobility levels. Selective baseline executive function measurements, particularly performance on the flanker task (β = 0.15-0.17) and the Wisconsin card sort test (β = 0.11-0.16) consistently predicted mobility outcomes at 12 months. The estimates were in the expected direction, such that better baseline performance on the executive function measures predicted better performance on the timed mobility tests independent of intervention. Executive functions of inhibitory control, mental set shifting, and attentional flexibility were predictive of functional mobility. Given the literature associating mobility limitations with disability, morbidity, and mortality, these results are important for understanding the antecedents to poor mobility function that well-designed interventions to improve cognitive performance can attenuate. © 2014, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2014, The American Geriatrics Society.
Full Text Available Recent studies have reported improvements in a variety of cognitive functions following sole working memory (WM training. In spite of the emergence of several successful training paradigms, the scope of transfer effects has remained mixed. This is most likely due to the heterogeneity of cognitive functions that have been measured and tasks that have been applied. In the present study, we approached this issue systematically by investigating transfer effects from WM training to different aspects of executive functioning. Our training task was a demanding WM task that requires simultaneous performance of a visual and an auditory n-back task, while the transfer tasks tapped WM updating, coordination of the performance of multiple simultaneous tasks (i.e., dual-tasks and sequential tasks (i.e., task switching, and the temporal distribution of attentional processing. Additionally, we examined whether WM training improves reasoning abilities; a hypothesis that has so far gained mixed support. Following training, participants showed improvements in the trained task as well as in the transfer WM updating task. As for the other executive functions, trained participants improved in a task switching situation and in attentional processing. There was no transfer to the dual-task situation or to reasoning skills. These results therefore confirm previous findings that WM can be trained, and additionally, they show that the training effects can generalize to various other tasks tapping on executive functions.
Mogg, K; Salum, G A; Bradley, B P; Gadelha, A; Pan, P; Alvarenga, P; Rohde, L A; Pine, D S; Manfro, G G
Research with adults suggests that anxiety is associated with poor control of executive attention. However, in children, it is unclear (a) whether anxiety disorders and non-clinical anxiety are associated with deficits in executive attention, (b) whether such deficits are specific to anxiety versus other psychiatric disorders, and (c) whether there is heterogeneity among anxiety disorders (in particular, specific phobia versus other anxiety disorders). We examined executive attention in 860 children classified into three groups: anxiety disorders (n = 67), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; n = 67) and no psychiatric disorder (n = 726). Anxiety disorders were subdivided into: anxiety disorders excluding specific phobia (n = 43) and specific phobia (n = 21). The Attention Network Task was used to assess executive attention, alerting and orienting. Findings indicated heterogeneity among anxiety disorders, as children with anxiety disorders (excluding specific phobia) showed impaired executive attention, compared with disorder-free children, whereas children with specific phobia showed no executive attention deficit. Among disorder-free children, executive attention was less efficient in those with high, relative to low, levels of anxiety. There were no anxiety-related deficits in orienting or alerting. Children with ADHD not only had poorer executive attention than disorder-free children, but also higher orienting scores, less accurate responses and more variable response times. Impaired executive attention in children (reflected by difficulty inhibiting processing of task-irrelevant information) was not fully explained by general psychopathology, but instead showed specific associations with anxiety disorders (other than specific phobia) and ADHD, as well as with high levels of anxiety symptoms in disorder-free children.
Mullane, Jennifer C.; Corkum, Penny V.; Klein, Raymond M.; McLaughlin, Elizabeth N.; Lawrence, Michael A.
Objective: This study evaluated the alerting, orienting, and executive attention abilities of children with ADHD and their typically developing (TD) peers using a modified version of the adult attention network test (ANT-I). Method: A total of 25 children with ADHD, Combined Type (ADHD-C, mean age = 9.20 years), 20 children with ADHD,…
Hummer, Tom A.; Kronenberger, William G.; Wang, Yang; Dunn, David W.; Mosier, Kristine M.; Kalnin, Andrew J.; Mathews, Vincent P.
The nature of executive dysfunction in youth with disruptive behavior disorders (DBD) remains unclear, despite extensive research in samples of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). To determine the relationship between DBD, ADHD, and executive function deficits in aggressive teens, adolescents with DBD and comorbid ADHD…
Conclusion: The current study demonstrated disrupted recruitment of regions implicated in executive function and impaired connectivity within those regions in children/adolescents with ADHD. There were also indications of heightened representation of emotional stimuli in patients with ADHD. However, as the findings were specific for positive stimuli, the suggestion of a general failure in emotion regulation in ADHD was not supported.
Full Text Available Abstract Background The frontal lobe has been associated to a wide range of cognitive control functions and is also vulnerable to degeneration in old age. A recent study by Thomsen and colleagues showed a difference between a young and old sample in grey matter density and activation in the left middle frontal cortex (MFC and performance on a dichotic listening task. The present study investigated this brain behaviour association within a sample of healthy older individuals, and predicted a positive correlation between performance in a condition requiring executive attention and measures of grey matter structure of the posterior left MFC. Methods A dichotic listening forced attention paradigm was used to measure attention control functions. Subjects were instructed to report only the left or the right ear syllable of a dichotically presented consonant-vowel syllable pair. A conflict situation appears when subjects are instructed to report the left ear stimulus, caused by the conflict with the bottom-up, stimulus-driven right ear advantage. Overcoming this processing conflict was used as a measure of executive attention. Thickness and volumes of frontal lobe regions were derived from automated segmentation of 3D magnetic resonance image acquisitions. Results The results revealed a statistically significant positive correlation between the thickness measure of the left posterior MFC and performance on the dichotic listening measures of executive attention. Follow-up analyses showed that this correlation was only statistically significant in the subgroup that showed the typical bottom-up, stimulus-driven right ear advantage. Conclusion The results suggest that the left MFC is a part of an executive attention network, and that the dichotic listening forced attention paradigm may be a feasible tool for assessing subtle attentional dysfunctions in older adults.
Mackin, R Scott; Areán, Patricia A
Few studies have evaluated the prevalence of impairments of financial capacity among individuals with psychiatric disorders. Late life depression (LLD) is a common psychiatric disorder associated with significant disability and cognitive impairment. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the prevalence and cognitive correlates of impairments of financial capacity among individuals with LLD. Participants included 65 LLD individuals and 32 comparison subjects. Assessments included measures of financial capacity, cognitive functioning, and depression symptom severity. Individuals with LLD exhibited a significantly higher rate of impaired financial capacity (22%) than the comparison group (6%). Results of a multiple regression analysis indicated that performance on measures of executive functioning and attention, but not depression severity, were most strongly associated with financial capacity performance in LLD. Our results suggest impairments of financial capacity in LLD are largely explained by cognitive functioning in these domains.
Cartwright, Kelly B.
Research Findings: Executive function begins to develop in infancy and involves an array of processes, such as attention, inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility, which provide the means by which individuals control their own behavior, work toward goals, and manage complex cognitive processes. Thus, executive function plays a…
Berthelsen, Donna; Hayes, Nicole; White, Sonia L. J.; Williams, Kate E.
Executive functions are important higher-order cognitive skills for goal-directed thought and action. These capacities contribute to successful school achievement and lifelong wellbeing. The importance of executive functions to children’s education begins in early childhood and continues throughout development. This study explores contributions of child and family factors in early childhood to the development of executive function in adolescence. Analyses draw on data from the nationally representative study, Growing up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Participants are 4819 children in the Kindergarten Cohort who were recruited at age 4–5 years. Path analyses were employed to examine contributions of early childhood factors, including family socio-economic position (SEP), parenting behaviors, maternal mental health, and a child behavioral risk index, to the development of executive function in adolescence. The influence of children’s early self-regulatory behaviors (attentional regulation at 4–5 years and approaches to learning at 6–7 years) were also taken into account. A composite score for the outcome measure of executive function was constructed from scores on three Cogstate computerized tasks for assessing cognition and measured visual attention, visual working memory, and spatial problem-solving. Covariates included child gender, age at assessment of executive function, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, speaking a language other than English at home, and child’s receptive vocabulary skills. There were significant indirect effects involving child and family risk factors measured at 4–5 years on executive function at age 14–15 years, mediated by measures of self-regulatory behavior. Child behavioral risk, family SEP and parenting behaviors (anger, warmth, and consistency) were associated with attentional regulation at 4–5 years which, in turn, was significantly associated with approaches to learning at 6
Full Text Available Executive functions are important higher-order cognitive skills for goal-directed thought and action. These capacities contribute to successful school achievement and lifelong wellbeing. The importance of executive functions to children’s education begins in early childhood and continues throughout development. This study explores contributions of child and family factors in early childhood to the development of executive function in adolescence. Analyses draw on data from the nationally representative study, Growing up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Participants are 4819 children in the Kindergarten Cohort who were recruited at age 4–5 years. Path analyses were employed to examine contributions of early childhood factors, including family socio-economic position (SEP, parenting behaviors, maternal mental health, and a child behavioral risk index, to the development of executive function in adolescence. The influence of children’s early self-regulatory behaviors (attentional regulation at 4–5 years and approaches to learning at 6–7 years were also taken into account. A composite score for the outcome measure of executive function was constructed from scores on three Cogstate computerized tasks for assessing cognition and measured visual attention, visual working memory, and spatial problem-solving. Covariates included child gender, age at assessment of executive function, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, speaking a language other than English at home, and child’s receptive vocabulary skills. There were significant indirect effects involving child and family risk factors measured at 4–5 years on executive function at age 14–15 years, mediated by measures of self-regulatory behavior. Child behavioral risk, family SEP and parenting behaviors (anger, warmth, and consistency were associated with attentional regulation at 4–5 years which, in turn, was significantly associated with approaches
Miró, Elena; Martínez, María P; Sánchez, Ana I; Prados, Germán; Lupiáñez, Juan
This study was the first to explore whether individuals with fibromyalgia (FM) have different cognitive alterations (i.e., in alertness, orienting, and executive control) depending on their sex. We also analysed possible gender differences in the relationships between cognitive functioning and some of the main symptoms of FM. Cross-sectional study. Two clinical groups with FM (n = 58 women and n = 20 men) and two healthy control groups (n = 21 women and n = 27 men) aged between 30 and 60 years old participated in this study. Pain intensity, sleep disturbance, depression, anxiety, pain catastrophizing, and daily functioning were evaluated with self-report measures. Attentional function was assessed with the ANT-I task (Attentional Network Test-Interactions). Mixed ANOVAs showed impairment in vigilance and executive control in both male and female patients with FM compared with controls. Control men were faster than control women, but FM eliminated sex differences. In addition, attention deficit was associated with worse daily functioning in women but not in men with FM. Emotional distress and sleep disruption seemed to contribute differently to these cognitive alterations in both sexes. Therapy strategies aimed at reducing emotional distress and sleep disruption are likely to improve cognitive function by enhancing vigilance. Therapies aimed at reducing emotional distress seem to improve attentional function more in women than in men; those aimed at improving sleep quality are likely to reduce a vigilance/alertness deficit in women and executive problems in men. © 2014 The British Psychological Society.
Neuropsychological Profile Related with Executive Function of Chinese Preschoolers with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Neuropsychological Measures and Behavior Rating Scale of Executive Function-Preschool Version.
Zhang, Hui-Feng; Shuai, Lan; Zhang, Jin-Song; Wang, Yu-Feng; Lu, Teng-Fei; Tan, Xin; Pan, Jing-Xue; Shen, Li-Xiao
Previous studies have found that schoolchildren with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) showed difficulties in neuropsychological function. This study aimed to assess neuropsychological function in Chinese preschoolers with ADHD using broad neuropsychological measures and rating scales and to test whether the pattern and severity of neuropsychological weakness differed among ADHD presentations in preschool children. The 226 preschoolers (163 with ADHD and 63 controls) with the age of 4-5 years were included and assessed using the Behavior Rating Scale of Executive Function-Preschool Version (BRIEF-P) and a series of tests to investigate neuropsychological function. Preschoolers with ADHD showed higher scores in all domains of the BRIEF-P (inhibition: 30.64 ± 5.78 vs.20.69 ± 3.86, P ADHD subtypes, all ADHD presentations had higher scores in several domains of the BRIEF-P (P ADHD-combined symptoms (ADHD-C) group had the poorest ratings on inhibition and the ability to Plan/Organize. For neuropsychological measures, the results suggested that the ADHD-C group had poorer performances than the ADHD-predominantly inattentive symptoms (ADHD-I) group on Statue tasks (F = 7.34, η 2 = 0.12, P ADHD-hyperactive/impulsive symptoms group had significantly poorer performances compared to the ADHD-C group in the Block Construction task (F = 4.89, η 2 = 0.067, P = 0.003). However, no significant group differences were found between the ADHD-I group and normal control. Based on the combined evaluation of performance-based neuropsychological tests and the BRIEF-P, preschoolers with ADHD show difficulties of neuropsychological function in many aspects.
This thesis examined inhibition, executive functioning and their possible relation to childhood problems of hyperactivity and inattention, in its clinical form referred to as Attention Deficit Hyper-activity Disorder (ADHD). Concurrent as well as longitudinal relations were of interest, and both clinical and non-clinical samples were studied. Study I demonstrated concurrent relations between executive inhibition and both hyperactivity and conduct problems in preschool. However, the relation ...
Executive functions are thinking skills that assist with reasoning, planning, problem solving, and managing one’s life. The brain areas that underlie these skills are interconnected with and influenced by activity in many different brain areas, some of which are associated with emotion and stress. One consequence of the stress-specific connections is that executive functions, which help us to organize our thinking, tend to be disrupted when stimulation is too high and we are stressed out, or too low when we are bored and lethargic. Given their central role in reasoning and also in managing stress and emotion, scientists have conducted studies, primarily with adults, to determine whether executive functions can be improved by training. By and large, results have shown that they can be, in part through computer-based videogame-like activities. Evidence of wider, more general benefits from such computer-based training, however, is mixed. Accordingly, scientists have reasoned that training will have wider benefits if it is implemented early, with very young children as the neural circuitry of executive functions is developing, and that it will be most effective if embedded in children’s everyday activities. Evidence produced by this research, however, is also mixed. In sum, much remains to be learned about executive function training. Without question, however, continued research on this important topic will yield valuable information about cognitive development. PMID:27906522
Ajilchi, Bita; Nejati, Vahid
This study aimed to investigate and compare the executive functions of students with depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms with those functions in healthy ones. This study was a comparative and non-clinical analysis. The study population comprised all students of Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran. A total of 448 students were recruited using convenience sampling method. They were also screened using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) test comprising 21 items. Of study participants, 30 people were depressed, 27 had anxiety, and 15 suffered from stress. Then, 50 control people were matched with them. Next, both groups were compared using the Stroop test, Wisconsin card sorting, and cognitive ability test. Using MANOVA test, data analysis revealed no significant differences among 4 groups with regard to selective attention and shifting attention. Depressed group reacted rapidly as opposed to the anxiety group with regard to measures of shifting attention and cognitive abilities; it was observed that the memory, inhibition control, planning, and flexibility of the healthy group were better than those of the 3 other groups. The findings of this research raised specific issues in relation to the role of depression, anxiety, and stress in the disruption of the executive functions of sufferers. Selective and shifting attention and cognitive abilities are specifically affected in this regard. Meanwhile, the role of stress in impairing decision making and the major role of anxiety in impairing sustained attention was shown to be considerable.
Biernacki, Marcin P; Tarnowski, Adam; Lengsfeld, Kamila; Lewkowicz, Rafał; Kowalczuk, Krzysztof; Dereń, Miroslaw
Pilots are constantly exposed to a number of environmental factors, which include +Gz load. Physiological changes evoked by +Gz stimuli have already been well investigated in aviation medicine. However, the influence of +Gz stimulation on executive functions in pilots has not yet been thoroughly explored. There were 20 pilot cadets between the ages of 19 and 22 yr who volunteered to participate in the experiment. The subjects were divided into two groups: the G-load group, which was exposed to accelerations in the centrifuge, and the control group, which did not undergo this stimulation. Executive functions were assessed by means of the Schulte tables and the Rey-Osterrieth complex figure test. +Gz load exposure significantly improved attention switching. This relationship was valid for performance speed (M = 268.09 s in the pretest in the G-load group; M = 228.09 s in the posttest in the G-load group) and for the cumulative time of mistakes (M = 26.73 s in the pretest in the G-load group; M = 12 s in the posttest in the G-load group), whereas reproduction of visuospatial stimuli from memory deteriorated significantly under the influence of +Gz stimulation (M = 17.18 points in the posttest in the G-load group; M = 28.18 points in the posttest in the control group). These results suggest that the impact of +Gz load is not homogenous and unidirectional, since it improves attention switching but visuospatial working memory decreases under its influence. These aspects are particularly important for understanding the mechanisms responsible for maintaining situational awareness during the flight.
Ricardo Franco de Lima
Full Text Available Studies have described changes in visual attention and executive function in children with developmental dyslexia. This study intended to compare the performance of children with and without learning difficulties on tasks of visual attention and executive functions. The participants were 23 students, aged between 9 and 14 years old, with a mean age of 10.8 years. They were divided into three groups: (a with learning difficulties; (b with dyslexia; and (c control (without any difficulty. For the evaluation, Tests of Cancellation, Trail Making Test, Stroop Color-Word Test and Tower of London Test were used. The results indicated that children with dyslexia had the worst performance on different measures of attention and executive functions, indicating that such changes may be characteristic of the disorder and keep the deficit in the phonological component of language.Estudos têm descrito alterações na atenção visual e nas funções executivas em crianças com Dislexia do Desenvolvimento. O presente trabalho pretendeu comparar o desempenho de crianças com e sem dificuldades de aprendizagem em tarefas de atenção visual e funções executivas. Participaram 23 estudantes, com idade entre 9 e 14 anos e idade média de 10,8 anos, divididos em três grupos: com dificuldades escolares, com dislexia e controle sem dificuldades. Para a avaliação foram usados os Testes de Cancelamento, Trail Making Test, Stroop Color Word Test e Tower of London. Os resultados indicaram que as crianças com dislexia apresentaram piores desempenhos em diferentes medidas atencionais e das funções executivas, indicando que tais alterações podem ser características do quadro e acompanhar o déficit no componente fonológico da linguagem.
Prätzlich, Martin; Kossowsky, Joe; Gaab, Jens; Krummenacher, Peter
Meditation improves executive functions such as attention and working memory processes. However, it remains unclear to what extent contextual effects contribute to these improvements, since the role of meditation-associated expectations has not been investigated so far. In a randomized, single-blind, deceptive, between-subject design we compared the impact of short-term meditation (MG) on executive functioning with an expectation (ECG) and a passive control group (CG) as well as the effect of positive and negative outcome expectations. Fifty-nine healthy meditation-naïve volunteers participated on three consecutive days (20 min/session). Five groups were examined: 2 MGs, 2 ECGs and 1 CG. While one MG and one ECG were given positive suggestions concerning the effect of meditation on attention, the other two groups were given negative suggestions. MGs practised a focused attention meditation technique; ECGs were told that they were practising meditation but were given instructions for a sham meditation. CG participants sat in silence with their eyes closed. Interference control (Stroop task), selective sustained attention (d2 task), figural and verbal fluency measures of executive functions were assessed. Results indicate that suggestions have a substantial impact on interference control and verbal fluency, with positive suggestions leading to an increase in performance, whereas negative suggestions impeded improvement. This proof of concept study demonstrates the importance of the implementation of a credible ECG to elucidate context effects in meditation processes. It also indicates that suggestions can modulate the small effect of meditation on verbal fluency. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available It has been conjectured that basic individual differences in attentional control influence higher-level executive functioning and subsequent academic performance in children. The current study sets out to complement the limited body of research on early precursors of executive functions. It provides both a cross-sectional, as well as a longitudinal exploration of the relationship between executive functions and more basic attentional control mechanisms, assessed via children’s performance on memory storage tasks, and influenced by individual differences in anxiety. Multiple measures of verbal and visuospatial short-term memory (STM were administered to children between 3 and 6 years old, alongside a nonverbal measure of intelligence, and a parental report of anxiety symptoms. After 9 months, children were re-tested on the same STM measures, at which time we also administered multiple measures of executive functioning: verbal and visuospatial working memory (WM, inhibition, and shifting. A cross-sectional view of STM development indicated that between 3 and 6 years the trajectory of visuospatial STM and executive functions underwent a gradual linear improvement. However, between 5 and 6 years progress in verbal STM performance stagnated. Hierarchical regression models revealed that trait anxiety was negatively associated with WM and shifting, while nonverbal intelligence was positively related to WM span. When age, gender, nonverbal intelligence, and anxiety were controlled for, STM (measured at the first assessment was a very good predictor of overall executive performance. The models were most successful in predicting WM, followed by shifting, yet poorly predicted inhibition measures. Further longitudinal research is needed to directly address the contribution of attentional control mechanisms to emerging executive functioning and to the development of problematic behavior during early development.
Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Chen, Nan; Wang, Zhe; Bell, Martha Ann
We examined the link between household chaos (i.e., noise, clutter, disarray, lack of routines) and maternal executive function (i.e., effortful regulation of attention and memory), and whether it varied as a function of socioeconomic risk (i.e., single parenthood, lower mother and father educational attainment, housing situation, and father unemployment). We hypothesized that: 1) higher levels of household chaos would be linked with poorer maternal executive function, even when controlling for other measures of cognitive functioning (e.g., verbal ability), and 2) this link would be strongest in the most socioeconomically distressed or lowest-socioeconomic status households. The diverse sample included 153 mothers from urban and rural areas who completed a questionnaire and a battery of cognitive executive function tasks and a verbal ability task in the laboratory. Results were mixed for hypothesis 1, and consistent with hypothesis 2. Two-thirds of the variance overlapped between household chaos and maternal executive function, but only in families with high levels of socioeconomic risk. This pattern was not found for chaos and maternal verbal ability, suggesting that the potentially deleterious effects of household chaos may be specific to maternal executive function. The findings implicate household chaos as a powerful statistical predictor of maternal executive function in socioeconomically distressed contexts. PMID:22563703
Doebel, Sabine; Zelazo, Philip David
Engaging executive function often requires overriding a prepotent response in favor of a conflicting but adaptive one. Language may play a key role in this ability by supporting integrated representations of conflicting rules. We tested whether experience with contrastive language that could support such representations benefits executive function in 3-year-old children. Children who received brief experience with language highlighting contrast between objects, attributes, and actions showed greater executive function on two of three 'conflict' executive function tasks than children who received experience with contrasting stimuli only and children who read storybooks with the experimenter, controlling for baseline executive function. Experience with contrasting stimuli did not benefit executive function relative to reading books with the experimenter, indicating experience with contrastive language, rather than experience with contrast generally, was key. Experience with contrastive language also boosted spontaneous attention to contrast, consistent with improvements in representing contrast. These findings indicate a role for language in executive function that is consistent with the Cognitive Complexity and Control theory's key claim that coordinating conflicting rules is critical to overcoming perseveration, and suggest new ideas for testing theories of executive function. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Brown, Thomas E; Holdnack, James; Saylor, Keith; Adler, Lenard; Spencer, Thomas; Williams, David W; Padival, Anoop K; Schuh, Kory; Trzepacz, Paula T; Kelsey, Douglas
To assess the effect of atomoxetine on ADHD-related executive functions over a 6-month period using the Brown Attention-Deficit Disorder Scale (BADDS) for Adults, a normed, 40-item, self-report scale in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. In a randomized, double-blind clinical trial, adults with ADHD received either atomoxetine 25 to 100 mg/day or placebo for 6 months. Patients completed the BADDS to report their current daily functioning in 5 clusters of ADHD-related impairments of executive functioning: (1) Organizing and Activating to Work; (2) Focusing for Tasks; (3) Regulating Alertness and Effort; (4) Modulating Emotions; and (5) Utilizing Working Memory. Mean scores were significantly more improved in the atomoxetine group compared to the placebo group: total score, -27.0 versus -19.0 (p executive function impairments in adults with ADHD as assessed by the BADDS.
Full Text Available The specific aspects of cognition contributing to balance and gait have not been clarified in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD. Twenty PD participants and twenty age- and gender-matched healthy controls were assessed on cognition and clinical mobility tests. General cognition was assessed with the Mini Mental State Exam and Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Exam. Executive function was evaluated using the Trail Making Tests (TMT-A and TMT-B and a computerized cognitive battery which included a series of choice reaction time (CRT tests. Clinical gait and balance measures included the Tinetti, Timed Up & Go, Berg Balance, and Functional Reach tests. PD participants performed significantly worse than the controls on the tests of cognitive and executive function, balance, and gait. PD participants took longer on Trail Making Tests, CRT-Location, and CRT-Colour (inhibition response. Furthermore, executive function, particularly longer times on CRT-Distracter and greater errors on the TMT-B, was associated with worse balance and gait performance in the PD group. Measures of general cognition were not associated with balance and gait measures in either group. For PD participants, attention and executive function were impaired. Components of executive function, particularly those involving inhibition response and distracters, were associated with poorer balance and gait performance in PD.
Delane, Louise; Campbell, Catherine; Bayliss, Donna M; Reid, Corinne; Stephens, Amelia; French, Noel; Anderson, Mike
Children born very preterm (VP, ≤ 32 weeks) exhibit poor performance on tasks of executive functioning. However, it is largely unknown whether this reflects the cumulative impact of non-executive deficits or a separable impairment in executive-level abilities. A dual-task paradigm was used in the current study to differentiate the executive processes involved in performing two simple attention tasks simultaneously. The executive-level contribution to performance was indexed by the within-subject cost incurred to single-task performance under dual-task conditions, termed dual-task cost. The participants included 77 VP children (mean age: 7.17 years) and 74 peer controls (mean age: 7.16 years) who completed Sky Search (selective attention), Score (sustained attention) and Sky Search DT (divided attention) from the Test of Everyday Attention for Children. The divided-attention task requires the simultaneous performance of the selective- and sustained-attention tasks. The VP group exhibited poorer performance on the selective- and divided-attention tasks, and showed a strong trend toward poorer performance on the sustained-attention task. However, there were no significant group differences in dual-task cost. These results suggest a cumulative impact of vulnerable lower-level cognitive processes on dual-tasking or divided attention in VP children, and fail to support the hypothesis that VP children show a separable impairment in executive-level abilities.
Full Text Available The aging of the Western society has become one of the key issues in research. Lately research has shown relationship between improvement in cognitive functioning and involvement in physical activities. The aim of the study was to examine the impact of different types of physical activities on executive functioning. Overall 30 seniors aged from 65 participated in a two-day study. They were divided into three groups per their life-style – aerobic activity, strength training and sedentary. Results indicated differences between the groups in cognitive efficiency (F = 6.791, p < 0.01 and working memory (F = 6.179, p < 0.01 as well as the inhibition of attention (F = 4.311, p < 0.01. The mean scores were higher in the aerobic group. The results indicate that involvement in aerobic physical activity might lessen the decline in executive functioning in seniors.
Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: This pioneering study aimed to evaluate executive attention and working memory in Brazilian narcoleptic outpatients. METHODS: Narcoleptic group: 19 treated narcoleptic outpatients (13 F; 6 M (mean age=37.58; SD = 8.93; control group: 19 subjects (15 F; 4 M (mean age=34.42; SD=12.31. INSTRUMENTS: Epworth Sleepiness Scale - Brazilian Portuguese Version (ESS-BR, Victoria Stroop Test (VST, Trail Making Test (TMT and Letter-Number Sequencing (LNS of WAIS-III. RESULTS: Significant difference at Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS (p<0.001 and at working memory (p=0.009 with worse results for narcoleptic patients. Patients were slower at VST-1 (p=0.002, VST-2 (p=0.045 and at TMT-A (p=0.016, TMT-B (p=0.006 and B-A (p=0.024. CONCLUSION: Narcoleptic patients showed higher degrees of EDS, an impaired executive attention at a temporal level and lower performance in working memory when compared to normal controls.
Cropley, Mark; Zijlstra, Fred R H; Querstret, Dawn; Beck, Sarah
Work-related rumination, that is, perseverative thinking about work during leisure time, has been associated with a range of negative health and wellbeing issues. The present paper examined the association between work-related rumination and cognitive processes centerd around the theoretical construct of executive functioning. Executive functioning is an umbrella term for high level cognitive processes such as planning, working memory, inhibition, mental flexibility; and it underlies how people manage and regulate their goal directed behavior. Three studies are reported. Study I, reports the results of a cross-sectional study of 240 employees, and demonstrates significant correlations between work-related rumination and three proxy measures of executive functioning: cognitive failures (0.33), cognitive flexibility (-0.24), and situational awareness at work (-0.28). Study II ( n = 939), expands on the findings from study 1 and demonstrates that workers reporting medium and high work-related rumination were 2.8 and 5 times, respectively, more likely to report cognitive failures relative to low ruminators. High ruminators also demonstrated greater difficulties with 'lapses of attention' (OR = 4.8), 'lack of focus of attention' (OR = 3.4), and 'absent mindedness' (OR = 4.3). The final study, examined the association between work-related rumination and executive functioning using interview data from 2460 full time workers. Workers were divided into tertiles low, medium, and high. The findings showed that high work-related rumination was associated with deficits in starting (OR = 2.3) and finishing projects (OR = 2.4), fidgeting (OR = 1.9), memory (OR = 2.2), pursuing tasks in order (OR = 1.8), and feeling compelled to do things (OR = 2.0). It was argued that work-related rumination may not be related to work demands per se , but appears to be an executive functioning/control issue. Such findings are important for the design and delivery of intervention programes aimed
Schoemaker, Kim; Bunte, Tessa; Wiebe, Sandra A.; Espy, Kimberly Andrews; Dekovic, Maja; Matthys, Walter
Background: Impairments in executive functions (EF) are consistently associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and to a lesser extent, with disruptive behavior disorder (DBD), that is, oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder, in school-aged children. Recently, larger numbers of children with these disorders are…
Executive functions are thinking skills that assist with reasoning, planning, problem solving, and managing one's life. The brain areas that underlie these skills are interconnected with and influenced by activity in many different brain areas, some of which are associated with emotion and stress. One consequence of the stress-specific connections is that executive functions, which help us to organize our thinking, tend to be disrupted when stimulation is too high and we are stressed out, or too low when we are bored and lethargic. Given their central role in reasoning and also in managing stress and emotion, scientists have conducted studies, primarily with adults, to determine whether executive functions can be improved by training. By and large, results have shown that they can be, in part through computer-based videogame-like activities. Evidence of wider, more general benefits from such computer-based training, however, is mixed. Accordingly, scientists have reasoned that training will have wider benefits if it is implemented early, with very young children as the neural circuitry of executive functions is developing, and that it will be most effective if embedded in children's everyday activities. Evidence produced by this research, however, is also mixed. In sum, much remains to be learned about executive function training. Without question, however, continued research on this important topic will yield valuable information about cognitive development. WIREs Cogn Sci 2017, 8:e1403. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1403 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Chen, Nan; Wang, Zhe; Bell, Martha Ann
We examined the link between household chaos (i.e., noise, clutter, disarray, lack of routines) and maternal executive function (i.e., effortful regulation of attention and memory), and whether it varied as a function of socioeconomic risk (i.e., single parenthood, lower mother and father educational attainment, housing situation, and father unemployment). We hypothesized that: 1) higher levels of household chaos would be linked with poorer maternal executive function, even when controlling for other measures of cognitive functioning (e.g., verbal ability), and 2) this link would be strongest in the most socioeconomically distressed or lowest-socioeconomic status households. The diverse sample included 153 mothers from urban and rural areas who completed a questionnaire and a battery of cognitive executive function tasks and a verbal ability task in the laboratory. Results were mixed for Hypothesis 1, and consistent with Hypothesis 2. Two-thirds of the variance overlapped between household chaos and maternal executive function, but only in families with high levels of socioeconomic risk. This pattern was not found for chaos and maternal verbal ability, suggesting that the potentially deleterious effects of household chaos may be specific to maternal executive function. The findings implicate household chaos as a powerful statistical predictor of maternal executive function in socioeconomically distressed contexts. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved.
Crivello, Cristina; Kuzyk, Olivia; Rodrigues, Monyka; Friend, Margaret; Zesiger, Pascal; Poulin-Dubois, Diane
The mastery of two languages provides bilingual speakers with cognitive benefits over monolinguals, particularly on cognitive flexibility and selective attention. However, extant research is limited to comparisons between monolinguals and bilinguals at a single point in time. This study investigated whether growth in bilingual proficiency, as shown by an increased number of translation equivalents (TEs) over a 7-month period, improves executive function. We hypothesized that bilingual toddlers with a larger increase of TEs would have more practice in switching across lexical systems, boosting executive function abilities. Expressive vocabulary and TEs were assessed at 24 and 31 months of age. A battery of tasks, including conflict, delay, and working memory tasks, was administered at 31 months. As expected, we observed a task-specific advantage in inhibitory control in bilinguals. More important, within the bilingual group, larger increases in the number of TEs predicted better performance on conflict tasks but not on delay tasks. This unique longitudinal design confirms the relation between executive function and early bilingualism. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Smith, Daniel T; Rorden, Chris; Jackson, Stephen R
Shifts of attention can be made overtly by moving the eyes or covertly with attention being allocated to a region of space that does not correspond to the current direction of gaze. However, the precise relationship between eye movements and the covert orienting of attention remains controversial. The influential premotor theory proposes that the covert orienting of attention is produced by the programming of (unexecuted) eye movements and thus predicts a strong relationship between the ability to execute eye movements and the operation of spatial attention. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that impaired spatial attention is observed in an individual (AI) who is neurologically healthy but who cannot execute eye movements as a result of a congenital impairment in the elasticity of her eye muscles. This finding provides direct support for the role of the eye-movement system in the covert orienting of attention and suggests that whereas intact cortical structures may be necessary for normal attentional reflexes, they are not sufficient. The ability to move our eyes is essential for the development of normal patterns of spatial attention.
Berberian, Arthur A; Trevisan, Bruna T; Moriyama, Tais S; Montiel, José M; Oliveira, José Ari C; Seabra, Alessandra G
Working memory impairment is common in schizophrenia and is possibly a cause of multiple features of the disorder. However few studies have replicated such findings of impairment patterns in Brazilian samples. The main target of this study was to assess auditory and visual working memory in patients with schizophrenia, to assess if they work as separate systems, and to correlate working memory deficits with executive functions. Twenty subjects with schizophrenia and twenty healthy subjects matched by gender, age, and schooling have participated. The abilities assessed were auditory and visual working memory, selective attention, inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and planning. Patients showed declines in all measures evaluated, except for a measure reaction time of inhibitory control. Auditory working memory was correlated to selective attention, inhibition, flexibility and planning while Visual working memory to planning and flexibility. The present study suggests that working memory and executive functions deficits are present in patients with schizophrenia in the Brazilian sample evaluated. Alterations in executive functions may lead to incapacity of operation of processes of working memory. These findings may contribute to delineate and develop new strategies of schizophrenia treatment in the Brazilian population.
Ranzini, Mariagrazia; Carbè, Katia; Gevers, Wim
Number interval bisection consists of estimating the mid-number within a pair (1-9=>5). Healthy adults and right-brain damage patients can show biased performance in this task, underestimating and overestimating the mid-number, respectively. The role of visuospatial attention during this task, and its interplay with other cognitive abilities (e.g., working memory) is still object of debate. In this study we explored the relation between visuospatial attention and individual differences in working memory and executive functions during number interval bisection. To manipulate the deployment of visuospatial attention, healthy participants tracked a dot moving to the left or moving to the right while bisecting numerical intervals. We also collected information concerning verbal and visuospatial short-term memory span, and concerning verbal and visuospatial fluency scores. Beside replicating what is typically observed in this task (e.g., underestimation bias), a correlation was observed between verbal short-term memory and bisection bias, and an interesting relation between performance in the number interval bisection, verbal short-term memory, and visuospatial attention. Specifically, performance of those participants with low verbal span was affected by the direction of the moving dot, underestimating at a larger extent when the dot moved leftward than rightward. Finally, it was also observed that participants' verbal fluency ability contributed in the generation of biases in the numerical task. The finding of the involvement of abilities belonging to the verbal domain contributes to unveil the multi-componential nature of number interval bisection. Considering the debate on the nature of number interval bisection and its use in the clinical assessment of deficits following brain damage, this finding may be interesting also from a clinical perspective. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Federico, Francesca; Marotta, Andrea; Martella, Diana; Casagrande, Maria
According to the attention network approach, attention is best understood in terms of three functionally and neuroanatomically distinct networks - alerting, orienting, and executive attention. Recent findings showed that social information influences the efficiency of these networks in adults. Using some social and non-social variants of the Attentional Network Test (ANT), this study was aimed to evaluate the development of the three attention networks in childhood, also assessing the development of the ability to manage social or non-social conflicting information. Sixty-six children (three groups of 6, 8, and 10 years of age) performed three variants of the original ANT, using fish, schematic, or real faces looking to the left or right as target and flanker stimuli. Results showed an improvement from 6 to 8 and 10 years of age in reaction time (RT) and accuracy, together with an improvement of executive control and a decrement in alerting. These developmental changes were not unique to social stimuli, and no differences were observed between social and no-social variants of the ANT. However, independently from the age of the children, a real face positively affected the executive control (as indexed by RTs) as compared to both a schematic face and a fish. Findings of this study suggest that attentional networks are still developing from 6 to 10 years of age and underline the importance of face information in modulating the efficiency of executive control. Statement of contribution What is already known? Younger children made more errors and slower reaction times (RTs) than older children, in line with the majority of the past selective attention studies. Younger children showed both greater conflict and alerting effect than older children. The prediction that younger children would display larger interference effects than older children was supported. What does this study add? Extending the findings observed in adults and children, independently from their age
Full Text Available Attention capacities, alerting responses, orienting to sensory stimulation, and executive monitoring of performance are considered independent yet interrelated systems. These operations play integral roles in regulating the behavior of diverse species along the evolutionary ladder. Each of the primary attention constructs—alerting, orienting, and executive monitoring— involves salient autonomic correlates as evidenced by changes in reactive pupil dilation (PD, heart rate, and skin conductance. Recent technological advances that use remote high-resolution recording may allow the discernment of temporo-spatial attributes of autonomic responses that characterize the alerting, orienting, and executive monitoring networks during free viewing, irrespective of voluntary performance. This may deepen the understanding of the roles of autonomic regulation in these mental operations and may deepen our understanding of behavioral changes in verbal as well as in non-verbal species.The aim of this study was to explore differences between psychosensory pupil dilation responses in alerting, orienting, and executive conflict monitoring tasks to generate estimates of concurrent locus coeruleus (LC noradrenergic input trajectories in healthy human adults using the attention networks test (ANT. The analysis revealed a construct-specific pattern of pupil responses: alerting is characterized by an early component (Pa, its acceleration enables covert orienting, and executive control is evidenced by a prominent late component (Pe. Pupil dilation characteristics seem to be task-sensitive, allowing exploration of mental operations irrespective of conscious voluntary responses. These data may facilitate development of studies designed to assess mental operations in diverse species using autonomic responses.
Olley, Amanda; Malhi, Gin; Sachdev, Perminder
The neurocognitive deficits that underlie the unique features of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are not yet completely understood. This paper reviews the main neuropsychological findings in memory and executive functioning in this disorder, and examines a number of challenges facing this area of research. A selective review of the neuropsychological literature on OCD was conducted using MEDLINE and drawing on literature known to the authors. The neuropsychological profile of OCD appears to be one of primary executive dysfunction. Although memory functioning may be affected, these deficits appear secondary to an executive failure of organizational strategies during encoding. On tasks of executive functioning patients with OCD demonstrate increased response latencies, perseveration of responses, and difficulties utilizing feedback to adapt to change. A statistical meta-analysis was not performed and only the cognitive domains of memory and executive functioning were examined. Given the prominence of chronic doubt and indecision in clinical settings, it is surprising that decision making as a cognitive construct as related to OCD has not received greater attention in the neuropsychological literature. On the basis of emerging literature we suggest that it is a potential area of dysfunction and one that warrants further investigation as it may assist in enhancing our understanding of the pathophysiology of OCD.
Xu, X J; Wang, L L; Zhou, N
To explore the characteristics of ecological executive function in school-aged children with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy and examine the effects of executive function on social adaptive function. A total of 51 school-aged children with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy aged 5-12 years at our hospital and 37 normal ones of the same gender, age and educational level were included. The differences in ecological executive function and social adaptive function were compared between the two groups with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and Child Adaptive Behavior Scale, the Pearson's correlation test and multiple stepwise linear regression were used to explore the impact of executive function on social adaptive function. The scores of school-aged children with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy in global executive composite (GEC), behavioral regulation index (BRI) and metacognition index (MI) of BRIEF ((62±12), (58±13) and (63±12), respectively) were significantly higher than those of the control group ((47±7), (44±6) and (48±8), respectively))(Pchildren with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy in adaptive behavior quotient (ADQ), independence, cognition, self-control ((86±22), (32±17), (49±14), (41±16), respectively) were significantly lower than those of the control group ((120±12), (59±14), (59±7) and (68±10), respectively))(Pchildren with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy. School-aged children with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy may have significantly ecological executive function impairment and social adaptive function reduction. The aspects of BRI, inhibition and working memory in ecological executive function are significantly related with social adaptive function in school-aged children with epilepsy.
García-Villamisar, Domingo; Dattilo, John
Investigations of executive dysfunctions among people with obsessive-compulsive personality disorders (OCPD) have yielded inconsistent results. The authors speculate that obsessive-compulsive personality traits (OCPT) from a nonclinical population may be associated with specific executive dysfunctions relative to working memory, attentional set-shifting, and planning. A sample consisting of 79 adults (39 females, 40 males) was divided into high and low scorers on the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire-4 (PDQ-4; Hyler, 1994). In addition, these participants were interviewed using the SCID-II (First, Spitzer, Gibbon & Williams, 1997) to confirm the presence of symptoms of obsessive-compulsive personality. Participants completed a battery of executive tasks associated with the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), including Spatial Working Memory, Intradimensional/Extradimensional (ID/ED), Attentional Set-Shifting, and Stockings of Cambridge. Also, self-report measures of executive functions as well as of anxiety and depressive symptoms were administered. The analysis of covariance revealed significant differences between participants with OCPT and controls on the Spatial Working Memory tasks, ID/ED tasks, Stockings of Cambridge, and the Dysexecutive Questionnaire (DEX). Nevertheless, there were no significant differences in the number of problems solved in minimum movements. These results suggest that executive dysfunctions are present in people with prominent OCPT and that there is a high convergence between clinical and ecological measures of executive functions in people with obsessive personality traits.
Segers, P.C.J.; Damhuis, C.M.P.; Sande, E. van de; Verhoeven, L.T.W.
We examined the role of executive functioning (EF) and home environment in the prediction of early reading development. In a longitudinal design, we followed 101 Dutch children from kindergarten to second grade. EF (attentional control, action control, short-term memory (STM)) and home factors
Blanco, Nathaniel J; Maddox, W Todd; Gonzalez-Lima, Francisco
Transcranial infrared laser stimulation is a new non-invasive form of low-level light therapy that may have a wide range of neuropsychological applications. It entails using low-power and high-energy-density infrared light from lasers to increase metabolic energy. Preclinical work showed that this intervention can increase cortical metabolic energy, thereby improving frontal cortex-based memory function in rats. Barrett and Gonzalez-Lima (2013, Neuroscience, 230, 13) discovered that transcranial laser stimulation can enhance sustained attention and short-term memory in humans. We extend this line of work to executive function. Specifically, we ask whether transcranial laser stimulation enhances performance in the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task that is considered the gold standard of executive function and is compromised in normal ageing and a number of neuropsychological disorders. We used a laser of a specific wavelength (1,064 nm) that photostimulates cytochrome oxidase - the enzyme catalysing oxygen consumption for metabolic energy production. Increased cytochrome oxidase activity is considered the primary mechanism of action of this intervention. Participants who received laser treatment made fewer errors and showed improved set-shifting ability relative to placebo controls. These results suggest that transcranial laser stimulation improves executive function and may have exciting potential for treating or preventing deficits resulting from neuropsychological disorders or normal ageing. © 2015 The British Psychological Society.
Full Text Available Aims: It is internationally recognised that exercise is beneficial—both physically and mentally. However, only a minority of published research has explored the unique contribution of the exercise task itself. We tested the effect an ‘acute bout of moderate exercise’ had on selective attention, executive function and mood. We hypothesised that acute exercise would improve mood and cognitive performance compared to the controls. Method: 29 females and 11 males aged between 18-50 (M=26.5, SD=8.8 were administered the Stroop Colour-Interference Test, Erikson Flanker Task and Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions (exercise or relaxation. The experimental group (N=20 performed 20 minutes of exercise on a treadmill. The control group (N=20 relaxed for 20 minutes. Measures were taken before and after the intervention. Results: An independent samples t-test compared the differences between post-test and pre-test for the two groups. Results revealed a significant difference between the exercise group and control group on the measures of mood. The exercise group reported increased positive affect (t(38 = 3.10, p = .004, d = .99 and decreased negative affect (t(38 = -3.24, p = .003, d = 1.0 on the post-test. No significant differences between the exercise and control groups were obtained for the two tasks of cognitive performance. Conclusions: A significant difference in the PANAS ratings following exercise offers strong support to earlier research demonstrating that acute exercise improves mood. Although no significant improvement in performance was observed in the two cognitive tasks following acute exercise, it is possible that fitness levels could be the relevant factor, rather than acute exercise as a task. Our findings did not support the hypothesis that acute exercise improves cognitive performance.
Lillard, Angeline S; Li, Hui; Boguszewski, Katie
Children spend a lot of time watching television on its many platforms: directly, online, and via videos and DVDs. Many researchers are concerned that some types of television content appear to negatively influence children's executive function. Because (1) executive function predicts key developmental outcomes, (2) executive function appears to be influenced by some television content, and (3) American children watch large quantities of television (including the content of concern), the issues discussed here comprise a crucial public health issue. Further research is needed to reveal exactly what television content is implicated, what underlies television's effect on executive function, how long the effect lasts, and who is affected. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Boelema, Sarai R.; Harakeh, Zeena; van Zandvoort, Martine J. E.; Reijneveld, Sijmen A.; Verhulst, Frank C.; Ormel, Johan; Vollebergh, Wilma A. M.
Background and Aims Excessive alcohol use is assumed to affect maturation of cognitive functioning in adolescence. However, most existing studies that have tested this hypothesis are seriously flawed due to the use of selective groups and/or cross-sectional designs, which limits the ability to draw firm conclusions. This longitudinal study investigated whether patterns of alcohol use predicted differences in maturation of executive functioning in adolescence. Additionally, gender was tested as a possible moderator. Methods We used data from the Tracking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), which comprises a cohort of 2,230 Dutch adolescents. Maturation of executive functioning was measured by assessing the standardized improvement on each of four basic executive functions (i.e., inhibition, working memory, and shift- and sustained attention) between ages 11 and 19. Participants were assigned to one of six (heavy) drinking groups (i.e., non-drinkers, light drinkers, infrequent heavy drinkers, increased heavy drinkers, decreased heavy drinkers, and chronic heavy drinkers). We conducted linear regression analyses, and adjusted for relevant confounders. Results The six drinking groups did not reveal significant differences in maturation between drinking groups. E.g., maturation executive functioning of chronic heavy drinkers in comparison to non-drinkers; inhibition: B = -0.14, 95% CI [-0.41 to 0.14], working memory: B = -0.03, 95% CI [-0.26 to 0.21], shift attention: B = 0.13, 95% CI [-0.17 to 0.41], sustained attention: B = 0.12, 95% CI [-0.60 to 0.36]. Furthermore, gender was not found to be a significant moderator. Conclusions Four years of weekly heavy drinking (i.e., chronic heavy drinkers) did not result in measurable impairments in four basic executive functions. Thus, regular heavy drinking in adolescence does not seem to affect these basic behavioural measures of executive functioning. PMID:26489080
Boelema, Sarai R; Harakeh, Zeena; van Zandvoort, Martine J E; Reijneveld, Sijmen A; Verhulst, Frank C; Ormel, Johan; Vollebergh, Wilma A M
Excessive alcohol use is assumed to affect maturation of cognitive functioning in adolescence. However, most existing studies that have tested this hypothesis are seriously flawed due to the use of selective groups and/or cross-sectional designs, which limits the ability to draw firm conclusions. This longitudinal study investigated whether patterns of alcohol use predicted differences in maturation of executive functioning in adolescence. Additionally, gender was tested as a possible moderator. We used data from the Tracking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), which comprises a cohort of 2,230 Dutch adolescents. Maturation of executive functioning was measured by assessing the standardized improvement on each of four basic executive functions (i.e., inhibition, working memory, and shift- and sustained attention) between ages 11 and 19. Participants were assigned to one of six (heavy) drinking groups (i.e., non-drinkers, light drinkers, infrequent heavy drinkers, increased heavy drinkers, decreased heavy drinkers, and chronic heavy drinkers). We conducted linear regression analyses, and adjusted for relevant confounders. The six drinking groups did not reveal significant differences in maturation between drinking groups. E.g., maturation executive functioning of chronic heavy drinkers in comparison to non-drinkers; inhibition: B = -0.14, 95% CI [-0.41 to 0.14], working memory: B = -0.03, 95% CI [-0.26 to 0.21], shift attention: B = 0.13, 95% CI [-0.17 to 0.41], sustained attention: B = 0.12, 95% CI [-0.60 to 0.36]. Furthermore, gender was not found to be a significant moderator. Four years of weekly heavy drinking (i.e., chronic heavy drinkers) did not result in measurable impairments in four basic executive functions. Thus, regular heavy drinking in adolescence does not seem to affect these basic behavioural measures of executive functioning.
Linnerud, Ida Cathrine Wang
Background: Executive function difficulties are prevalent in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and there are several indications of a modifying relationship between executive functions and language in children. However, there is limited research on the relationship between executive functioning and language in young children with ASD. The current study compared real-world executive functioning between groups of children with ASD, language disorders (LD), and typical development (T...
Vibholm, Helle Annette; Pedersen, Jesper; Faltinsen, Erlend
OBJECTIVE: This study compared the effectiveness of manualised training, executive, attention, and motor skills (TEAMS) training versus standard treatment in preschool children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We conducted a randomised parallel group, single...
Conclusion: The findings of this research raised specific issues in relation to the role of depression, anxiety, and stress in the disruption of the executive functions of sufferers. Selective and shifting attention and cognitive abilities are specifically affected in this regard. Meanwhile, the role of stress in impairing decision making and the major role of anxiety in impairing sustained attention was shown to be considerable.
Lambek, Rikke; Tannock, Rosemary; Dalsgaard, Søren
The study investigates behavioural, academic, cognitive, and motivational aspects of functioning in school-age children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with and without an executive function deficit (EFD)....
Full Text Available A successful social interaction requires fast, on-line, and active construction of an ever-changing mental-model of another’s person beliefs, expectations, emotions, and desires. It also requires the ability to inhibit inappropriate behaviors, problem-solve, take-turns, and pursue goals in a distraction-rich environment. All these tasks rely on executive functions (EF—working memory, attention/cognitive control, and inhibition. Executive functioning has long been viewed as relatively static. However, starting with recent reports of successful cognitive interventions, this view is changing and now EFs are seen as much more open to both short and long term training, warm-up, and exhaustion effects. Some of the most intriguing evidence comes from research showing how social interaction enhances performance on standard EF tests. Interestingly, the latest research indicates these EF benefits are selectively conferred by certain on-line, dynamic social interactions, which require participants to engage with another person and actively construct the model of their mind. We review this literature and highlight its connection with evolutionary and cultural theories emphasizing links between intelligence and social life.
Jarros, Rafaela Behs; Salum, Giovanni Abrahão; Silva, Cristiano Tschiedel Belem da; Toazza, Rudineia; Becker, Natália; Agranonik, Marilyn; Salles, Jerusa Fumagalli de; Manfro, Gisele Gus
The aim of the present study was to assess children and adolescents with mild and severe anxiety disorders for their performance in attention, verbal episodic memory, working memory, visuoconstructive skills, executive functions, and cognitive global functioning and conduct comparative analyses with the performance of children free from anxiety disorders. Our sample comprised 68 children and adolescents aged 10 to 17 years (41 with current diagnoses of anxiety disorders and 27 controls) selected from a larger cross-sectional community sample of adolescents. Children and adolescents with anxiety disorders were categorized into two groups on the basis of anxiety severity (mild or severe). All participants underwent a neuropsychological assessment battery to evaluate attention, verbal episodic memory, working memory, visuoconstructive skills, and executive and cognitive functions. No differences were found in any neuropsychological tests, with the single exception that the group with mild anxiety had better performance on the Digit Span backward test compared to subjects with severe anxiety and to controls (p = 0.041; η2 = 0.11). Not only might anxiety disorders spare main cognitive functions during adolescence, they may even enhance certain working memory processes.
Rafaela Behs Jarros
Full Text Available Abstract Objective: The aim of the present study was to assess children and adolescents with mild and severe anxiety disorders for their performance in attention, verbal episodic memory, working memory, visuoconstructive skills, executive functions, and cognitive global functioning and conduct comparative analyses with the performance of children free from anxiety disorders. Methods: Our sample comprised 68 children and adolescents aged 10 to 17 years (41 with current diagnoses of anxiety disorders and 27 controls selected from a larger cross-sectional community sample of adolescents. Children and adolescents with anxiety disorders were categorized into two groups on the basis of anxiety severity (mild or severe. All participants underwent a neuropsychological assessment battery to evaluate attention, verbal episodic memory, working memory, visuoconstructive skills, and executive and cognitive functions. Results: No differences were found in any neuropsychological tests, with the single exception that the group with mild anxiety had better performance on the Digit Span backward test compared to subjects with severe anxiety and to controls (p = 0.041; η2 = 0.11. Conclusions: Not only might anxiety disorders spare main cognitive functions during adolescence, they may even enhance certain working memory processes.
Buss, Aaron T; Spencer, John P
Executive function (EF) is a central aspect of cognition that undergoes significant changes in early childhood. Changes in EF in early childhood are robustly predictive of academic achievement and general quality of life measures later in adulthood. We present a dynamic neural field (DNF) model that provides a process-based account of behavior and developmental change in a key task used to probe the early development of executive function—the Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS) task. In the DCCS, children must flexibly switch from sorting cards either by shape or color to sorting by the other dimension. Typically, 3-year-olds, but not 5-year-olds, lack the flexibility to do so and perseverate on the first set of rules when instructed to switch. Using the DNF model, we demonstrate how rule-use and behavioral flexibility come about through a form of dimensional attention. Further, developmental change is captured by increasing the robustness and precision of dimensional attention. Note that although this enables the model to effectively switch tasks, the dimensional attention system does not “know” the details of task-specific performance. Rather, correct performance emerges as a property of system–wide interactions. We show how this captures children’s behavior in quantitative detail across 14 versions of the DCCS task. Moreover, we successfully test a set of novel predictions with 3-year-old children from a version of the task not explained by other theories.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Very little is known about attention deficits in developmental dyscalculia, hence, this study was designed to provide the missing information. We examined attention abilities of participants suffering from developmental dyscalculia using the attention networks test - interactions. This test was designed to examine three different attention networks--executive function, orienting and alerting--and the interactions between them. Methods Fourteen university students that were diagnosed as suffering from developmental dyscalculia--intelligence and reading abilities in the normal range and no indication of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder--and 14 matched controls were tested using the attention networks test - interactions. All participants were given preliminary tests to measure mathematical abilities, reading, attention and intelligence. Results The results revealed deficits in the alerting network--a larger alerting effect--and in the executive function networks--a larger congruity effect in developmental dyscalculia participants. The interaction between the alerting and executive function networks was also modulated by group. In addition, developmental dyscalculia participants were slower to respond in the non-cued conditions. Conclusions These results imply specific attentional deficits in pure developmental dyscalculia. Namely, those with developmental dyscalculia seem to be deficient in the executive function and alertness networks. They suffer from difficulty in recruiting attention, in addition to the deficits in numerical processing.
Askenazi, Sarit; Henik, Avishai
Very little is known about attention deficits in developmental dyscalculia, hence, this study was designed to provide the missing information. We examined attention abilities of participants suffering from developmental dyscalculia using the attention networks test - interactions. This test was designed to examine three different attention networks--executive function, orienting and alerting--and the interactions between them. Fourteen university students that were diagnosed as suffering from developmental dyscalculia--intelligence and reading abilities in the normal range and no indication of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder--and 14 matched controls were tested using the attention networks test-interactions. All participants were given preliminary tests to measure mathematical abilities, reading, attention and intelligence. The results revealed deficits in the alerting network--a larger alerting effect--and in the executive function networks--a larger congruity effect in developmental dyscalculia participants. The interaction between the alerting and executive function networks was also modulated by group. In addition, developmental dyscalculia participants were slower to respond in the non-cued conditions. These results imply specific attentional deficits in pure developmental dyscalculia. Namely, those with developmental dyscalculia seem to be deficient in the executive function and alertness networks. They suffer from difficulty in recruiting attention, in addition to the deficits in numerical processing.
Hass, Michael R.; Patterson, Ashlea; Sukraw, Jocelyn; Sullivan, Brianna M.
Despite the common usage of the term "executive functioning" in neuropsychology, several aspects of this concept remain unsettled. In this paper, we will address some of the issues surrounding the notion of executive functioning and how an understanding of executive functioning and its components might assist school-based practitioners…
Carlson, Stephanie M; Meltzoff, Andrew N
Advanced inhibitory control skills have been found in bilingual speakers as compared to monolingual controls (Bialystok, 1999). We examined whether this effect is generalized to an unstudied language group (Spanish-English bilingual) and multiple measures of executive function by administering a battery of tasks to 50 kindergarten children drawn from three language groups: native bilinguals, monolinguals (English), and English speakers enrolled in second-language immersion kindergarten. Despite having significantly lower verbal scores and parent education/income level, Spanish-English bilingual children's raw scores did not differ from their peers. After statistically controlling for these factors and age, native bilingual children performed significantly better on the executive function battery than both other groups. Importantly, the relative advantage was significant for tasks that appear to call for managing conflicting attentional demands (Conflict tasks); there was no advantage on impulse-control (Delay tasks). These results advance our understanding of both the generalizability and specificity of the compensatory effects of bilingual experience for children's cognitive development.
Rostamian, Somayeh; van Buchem, Mark A; Westendorp, Rudi G J
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association of performance in cognitive domains executive function and memory with incident coronary heart disease and stroke in older participants without dementia. METHODS: We included 3,926 participants (mean age 75 years, 44% male) at risk for cardiovascular diseases...... from the Prospective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER) with Mini-Mental State Examination score ≥24 points. Scores on the Stroop Color-Word Test (selective attention) and the Letter Digit Substitution Test (processing speed) were converted to Z scores and averaged into a composite...... executive function score. Likewise, scores of the Picture Learning Test (immediate and delayed memory) were transformed into a composite memory score. Associations of executive function and memory were longitudinally assessed with risk of coronary heart disease and stroke using multivariable Cox regression...
Schreiber, Jane E.; Possin, Katherine L.; Girard, Jonathan M.; Rey-Casserly, Celiane
Theories of ADHD increasingly highlight the role of neuropsychological impairment in ADHD; however, a consistent and identifiable pattern of performance on tests is not well established. The NIH EXAMINER battery provides measures of common variance across multiple executive function tests within specific domains and was used to characterize which executive functions are most affected in children with ADHD. Thirty-two children (24 male), ages 8–15 years (M=12.02, SD=2.29), diagnosed with ADHD and no comorbid disorder completed the NIH EXAMINER battery. Sixty age and gender matched healthy controls were chosen from a database of participants enrolled in the NIH EXAMINER multi-site study. Children with ADHD performed worse on the working memory score compared with the controls. No differences were found on the cognitive control or fluency scores. For children with ADHD, poorer working memory performance predicted parent report of child learning problems. Cognitive control and fluency scores did not predict learning problems. In summary, working memory emerges as a primary impairment in children with ADHD who have no comorbid disorders. Furthermore, working memory weaknesses may underlie the academic problems often seen in children with ADHD. PMID:24103310
Brown, Thomas E; Brams, Matthew; Gao, Joseph; Gasior, Maria; Childress, Ann
Executive function (EF) impairment in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may account for behavioral symptoms such as poor concentration, impaired working memory, problems in shifting among tasks, and prioritizing and planning complex sets of tasks or completing long-term projects at work or school. Poor self-regulation and control of emotional behaviors frequently are seen in patients with ADHD. This study assessed EF behaviors in adults with ADHD at baseline and after 4 weeks of treatment with lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (LDX). Executive function behavior was assessed using the Brown Attention-Deficit Disorder Scale (BADDS) during the 4-week open-label dose-optimization phase prior to a 2-period, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study of LDX (30-70 mg/day). The ADHD Rating Scale IV (ADHD-RS-IV) with adult prompts assessed ADHD symptoms. Change in EF behavioral symptoms was evaluated based on week 4 BADDS total and cluster scores; analyses of shifts from baseline among subjects with BADDS scores < 50, 50 to 59, 60 to 69, and ≥ 70; and scores less than or greater than baseline 90% confidence range (eg, reliably improved or worsened, respectively). Treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) were described. At week 4, BADDS total and cluster scores were reduced (ie, improved; all P < 0.0001 vs baseline [n = 127]). The ADHD-RS-IV with adult prompts scores also improved (all P < 0.0001 vs baseline). At week 4, 62.7% of subjects had a BADDS total score of < 50, and 78.9% were reliably improved; 1.4% were reliably worsened. Common TEAEs (≥ 5%) during the dose-optimization phase were decreased appetite (36.6%), dry mouth (30.3%), headache (19.7%), insomnia (18.3%), upper respiratory tract infection (9.9%), irritability (8.5%), nausea (7.7%), anxiety (5.6%), and feeling jittery (5.6%). Clinically optimized doses of LDX (30-70 mg/day) significantly improved EF behaviors in adults with ADHD. Treatment-emergent adverse events with LDX were
Ferrara, R; Ansermet, F; Massoni, F; Petrone, L; Onofri, E; Ricci, P; Archer, T; Ricci, S
Earliest notions concerning autism (Autism Spectrum Disorders, ASD) describe the disturbance in executive functioning. Despite altered definition, executive functioning, expressed as higher cognitive skills required complex behaviors linked to the prefrontal cortex, are defective in autism. Specific difficulties in children presenting autism or verbal disabilities at executive functioning levels have been identified. Nevertheless, the developmental deficit of executive functioning in autism is highly diversified with huge individual variation and may even be absent. The aim of the present study to examine the current standing of intact executive functioning intact in ASD. Analysis of ASD populations, whether high-functioning, Asperger's or autism Broad Phenotype, studied over a range of executive functions including response inhibition, planning, cognitive flexibility, cognitive inhibition, and alerting networks indicates an absence of damage/impairment compared to the typically-developed normal control subjects. These findings of intact executive functioning in ASD subjects provide a strong foundation on which to construct applications for growth environments and the rehabilitation of autistic subjects.
Full Text Available Both neuropsychological and functional neuroimaging studies have identified that the posterior parietal lobe (PPL is critical for the attention function. However, the unique role of distinct parietal cortical subregions and their underlying white matter (WM remains in question. In this study, we collected both magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI data in normal participants, and evaluated their attention performance using attention network test (ANT, which could isolate three different attention components: alerting, orienting and executive control. Cortical thickness, surface area and DTI parameters were extracted from predefined PPL subregions and correlated with behavioural performance. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS was used for the voxel-wise statistical analysis. Results indicated structure-behaviour relationships on multiple levels. First, a link between the cortical thickness and WM integrity of the right inferior parietal regions and orienting performance was observed. Specifically, probabilistic tractography demonstrated that the integrity of WM connectivity between the bilateral inferior parietal lobules mediated the orienting performance. Second, the scores of executive control were significantly associated with the WM diffusion metrics of the right supramarginal gyrus. Finally, TBSS analysis revealed that alerting performance was significant correlated with the fractional anisotropy of local WM connecting the right thalamus and supplementary motor area. We conclude that distinct areas and features within PPL are associated with different components of attention. These findings could yield a more complete understanding of the nature of the PPL contribution to visuospatial attention.
Memarmoghaddam, M; Torbati, H T; Sohrabi, M; Mashhadi, A; Kashi, A
Introduction. The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a Selected exercise program on the executive function of children with ADHD. Method. The participants were 40 male students, aged 7-11 years. The participants were randomly assigned into two groups (experimental and control). The experimental group participated in an exercise program for 24 sessions, 90 minutes per session. The control group did not receive any intervention. Before and after the exercise period, all the participants were assessed with Stroop and Go-No-Go tests, and the resulting data were analyzed by using MANCOVA. Result. The results showed that the cognitive inhibition of the children in the experimental group was significantly different compared with the control group (p helps to improve the executive function in children with ADHD.
Meuwissen, Alyssa S.; Zelazo, Philip David
Executive function (EF) refers to the set of core self-regulatory skills required for deliberate, goal-directed problem solving. These skills, which are exercised when children pause and reflect before reacting, provide a foundation for learning in a classroom context. They make it possible to pay attention, think flexibly, keep information in…
Robbins, T W; Arnsten, A F T
We review the modulatory effects of the catecholamine neurotransmitters noradrenaline and dopamine on prefrontal cortical function. The effects of pharmacologic manipulations of these systems, sometimes in comparison with the indoleamine serotonin (5-HT), on performance on a variety of tasks that tap working memory, attentional-set formation and shifting, reversal learning, and response inhibition are compared in rodents, nonhuman primates, and humans using, in a behavioral context, several techniques ranging from microiontophoresis and single-cell electrophysiological recording to pharmacologic functional magnetic resonance imaging. Dissociable effects of drugs and neurotoxins affecting these monoamine systems suggest new ways of conceptualizing state-dependent fronto-executive functions, with implications for understanding the molecular genetic basis of mental illness and its treatment.
Brown, Thomas E.; Holdnack, James; Saylor, Keith; Adler, Lenard; Spencer, Thomas; Williams, David W.; Padival, Anoop K.; Schuh, Kory; Trzepacz, Paula T.; Kelsey, Douglas
Objective: To assess the effect of atomoxetine on ADHD-related executive functions over a 6-month period using the Brown Attention-Deficit Disorder Scale (BADDS) for Adults, a normed, 40-item, self-report scale in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Method: In a randomized, double-blind clinical trial, adults with ADHD…
van Lier, Pol A C; Deater-Deckard, Kirby
Children's executive functions, encompassing inhibitory control, working memory and attention are vital for their self-regulation. With the transition to formal schooling, children need to learn to manage their emotions and behavior in a new and complex social environment that with age increases in the intensity of social interactions with peers and teachers. Stronger executive functions skills facilitate children's social development. In addition, new experiences in the social environments of school also may influence executive function development. The focus of this special section is on this potential impact of elementary school social experiences with peers and teacher on the development of children's executive functions. The collection of papers encompass various aspects of peer and teacher social environments, and cover broad as well as specific facets and measures of executive functions including neural responses. The collection of papers sample developmental periods that span preschool through mid-adolescence. In this introduction, we summarize and highlight the main findings of each of the papers, organized around social interactions with peers and interactions with teachers. We conclude our synopsis with implications for future research, and a specific focus on prevention and intervention.
Stautz, Kaidy; Pechey, Rachel; Couturier, Dominique-Laurent; Deary, Ian J; Marteau, Theresa M
Executive function, impulsivity, and intelligence are correlated markers of cognitive resource that predict health-related behaviours. It is unknown whether executive function and impulsivity are unique predictors of these behaviours after accounting for intelligence. Data from 6069 participants from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children were analysed to investigate whether components of executive function (selective attention, attentional control, working memory, and response inhibition) and impulsivity (parent-rated) measured between ages 8 and 10, predicted having ever drunk alcohol, having ever smoked, fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity, and overweight at age 13, after accounting for intelligence at age 8 and childhood socioeconomic characteristics. Higher intelligence predicted having drunk alcohol, not smoking, greater fruit and vegetable consumption, and not being overweight. After accounting for intelligence, impulsivity predicted alcohol use (odds ratio = 1.10; 99% confidence interval = 1.02, 1.19) and smoking (1.22; 1.11, 1.34). Working memory predicted not being overweight (0.90; 0.81, 0.99). After accounting for intelligence, executive function predicts overweight status but not health-related behaviours in early adolescence, whilst impulsivity predicts the onset of alcohol and cigarette use, all with small effects. This suggests overlap between executive function and intelligence as predictors of health behaviour in this cohort, with trait impulsivity accounting for additional variance.
Full Text Available Executive function is traditionally conceptualized as a set of abilities required to guide behavior toward goals. Here, an integrated theoretical framework for executive function is developed which has its roots in the notion of hierarchical mental models. Further following Duncan (2010a,b, executive function is construed as a hierarchical recursive system of test-operation-test-exit units (Miller, Galanter, and Pribram, 1960. Importantly, it is shown that this framework can be used to model the main regional prefrontal syndromes, which are characterized by apathetic, disinhibited and dysexecutive cognition and behavior, respectively. Implications of these considerations for the neuropsychological assessment of executive function are discussed.
Van Hecke, Amy Vaughan; Mundy, Peter; Block, Jessica J.; Delgado, Christine E. F.; Parlade, Meaghan V.; Pomares, Yuly B.; Hobson, Jessica A.
Infant joint attention is related to behavioral and social outcomes, as well as language in childhood. Recent research and theory suggests that the relations between joint attention and social-behavioral outcomes may reflect the role of executive self-regulatory processes in the development of joint attention. To test this hypothesis two- studies were conducted. The first, cross-sectional study examined the development of responding to joint attention skill (RJA) in terms of increasing executive efficiency of responding between 9 and 18 months of age. The results indicated that development of RJA was characterized by a decreased latency to shift attention in following another person’s gaze and head turn, as well as an increase in the proportion of correct RJA responses exhibited by older infants. The second study examined the longitudinal relations between 12-month measures of responding to joint attention (RJA) and 36-month attention regulation in a delay of gratification task. The results indicated that responding to joint attention at 12-months was significantly related to children’s use of three types of self-regulation behaviors while waiting for a snack reward at 36 months of age. These observations are discussed in light of a developmental theory of attention regulation and joint attention in infancy. PMID:22206892
Gueron-Sela, Noa; Bedford, Rachael; Wagner, Nicholas J; Propper, Cathi B
The goal of this study was to examine the independent and interactive roles of harsh-intrusive maternal behaviors and children's executive function in the development of internalizing behaviors across the first years of school. A diverse sample (58% African American, 42% European American) of 137 children (48% female) was followed from kindergarten (age 5 years) through school entry (ages 6-7 years). At age 5, maternal harsh-intrusive parenting behaviors were rated from a mother-child structured play task, and children completed 3 executive function tasks that measured inhibitory control, working memory, and attention set-shifting. Teachers reported on children's internalizing behaviors at ages 5, 6, and 7. Harsh-intrusive parenting behaviors at age 5 years were positively related to internalizing behaviors in the first years of school, whereas high executive function abilities at age 5 years were related to lower internalizing behaviors in the first years of school. In addition, executive function buffered the association between parenting behaviors and internalizing behaviors such that the link between harsh-intrusive parenting and child internalizing behaviors was evident only among children with low executive function and not among children with high executive function. Interventions that focus on reducing negative parenting behaviors and improving children's executive function may prevent internalizing behaviors from increasing during times of social and academic challenge.
Full Text Available Executive Functions (EF concern a range of abilities including problem-solving, planning, initiation, selfmonitoring,conscious attention, cope with new situations and the ability to modify plans if necessary. It’s a high cognitive function that is crucial for a person to get engaged and maintain daily activities whilst keeping a good quality of life. Problems in the EF were formerly known as Dysexecutive Syndrome (DS. There are many models concerning DS, although the literature on the subject still remains unclear. Several works appoint the effects brought by elderly life, as well as abuse of drugs and some psychopathologies. These factors are known to increase the distress of the frontal circuits and that could be associated to executive deficits. The effects of DS would compromise individuals in day-to-day routine, academic, social and labor fields. There is a growing body of studies trying to determine the causes, implications, associations and the best way to take care of these effects. This work intends to review DS, focusing on the most important fields related to this area, such as psychopathology associations, cognitive reserve, assessment and cognitive rehabilitation programs.
Mandell, D.J.; Ward, S.E.
The neural processes that underlie executive function begin to develop in infancy. However, it is unclear how the behavior manifested by these processes are related or if they can be differentiated early in development. This study seeks to examine early emerging executive functioning skills in
Rigoli, Daniela; Piek, Jan P.; Kane, Robert; Oosterlaan, Jaap
Aim: Research suggests important links between motor coordination and executive functions. The current study examined whether motor coordination predicts working memory, inhibition, and switching performance, extending previous research by accounting for attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptomatology and other confounding factors,…
Sánchez García, Raúl; Sebastián, Miguel Ángel
This article states that research in skill acquisition and execution has underestimated the relevance of some features of attention. We present and theoretically discuss two essential features of attention that have been systematically overlooked in the research of skill acquisition and execution. First, attention alters the appearance of the perceived stimuli in an essential way; and second, attention plays a fundamental role in action, being crucial for solving the so called ’ma...
La Paglia, Filippo; La Cascia, Caterina; Rizzo, Rosalinda; Riva, Giuseppe; La Barbera, Daniele
Executive functions are often impaired in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). We used a Virtual Reality version of the Multiple Errand Test (VMET) - developed dusing the free NeuroVR software (http://www.neurovr.org) - to evaluate the executive functions in daily life in 10 OCD patients and 10 controls. It is performed in a shopping setting where there are items to be bought and information to be obtained. The execution time for the whole task was higher in patients with OCD compared to controls, suggesting that patients with OCD need more time in planning than controls. The same difference was found in the partial errors during the task. Furthermore, the mean rank for and for interpretation failures is higher for controls, while the values of divided attention and the of self correction seems to be lower in controls. We think that obsessive patients tend to work with greater diligence and observance of rules than controls. In conclusion, these results provide initial support for the feasibility of VMET as assessment tool of executive functions. Specifically, the significant correlation found between the VMET and the neuropsychological battery support the ecological validity of VMET as an instrument for the evaluation of executive functions in patients with OCD.
Introduction: The pathophysiologic mechanisms that account for the development and persistence of anorexia nervosa (AN) remain unclear. With respect to the neuropsychological functioning, the executive functions have been reported to be altered, especially cognitive flexibility and decision-making processes. Objectives: The aim of this study was to review the current state of the neuropsychological studies focused on anorexia nervosa, especially those highlighting the executive functions. Met...
Plessen, Kerstin J; Lundervold, Arvid; Grüner, Renate
on the right ear stimulus in the dichotic listening situation is thought to involve the same prefrontal attentional and executive functions that are involved in the suppression of tics, whereas, performance when focusing attention on the left ear stimulus additionally involves a callosal transfer...... to shift attention normally when instructed to focus on the right ear stimulus. When instructed to focus attention on the left ear stimulus, however, performance deteriorated in the TS group. Correlations with CC area further supported the hypothesized presence of deviant callosal functioning in the TS...... of information. In light of presumed disturbances in transfer of information across the corpus callosum, we hypothesized that children with TS would, however, have difficulty modulating the functional lateralization that ensues through a shift of attention to the left side. This hypothesis was tested...
Lee, Kerry; Bull, Rebecca; Ho, Ringo M. H.
Although early studies of executive functioning in children supported Miyake et al.'s (2000) three-factor model, more recent findings supported a variety of undifferentiated or two-factor structures. Using a cohort-sequential design, this study examined whether there were age-related differences in the structure of executive functioning among…
Clément, Francis; Gauthier, Serge; Belleville, Sylvie
Our goal was to test the effect of disease severity on the brain activation associated with two executive processes: manipulation and divided attention. This was achieved by administrating a manipulation task and a divided attention task using functional magnetic resonance imaging to 24 individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 14 healthy controls matched for age, sex and education. The Mattis Dementia Rating Scale was used to divide persons with MCI into those with better and worse cognitive performances. Both tasks were associated with more brain activation in the MCI group with higher cognition than in healthy controls, particularly in the left frontal areas. Correlational analyses indicated that greater activation in a frontostriatal network hyperactivated by the higher-cognition group was related with better task performance, suggesting that these activations may support functional reorganization of a compensatory nature. By contrast, the lower-cognition group failed to show greater cerebral hyperactivation than controls during the divided attention task and, during the manipulation task, and showed less brain activation than controls in the left ventrolateral cortex, a region commonly hypoactivated in patients with Alzheimer's disease. These findings indicate that, during the early phase of MCI, executive functioning benefits from neural reorganization, but that a breakdown of this brain plasticity characterizes the late stages of MCI. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Nikulina, Valentina; Widom, Cathy Spatz
Objective There is extensive evidence of negative consequences of childhood maltreatment for IQ, academic achievement, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and increased attention to neurobiological consequences. However, few prospective studies have assessed the long-term effects of abuse and neglect on executive functioning. The current study examines whether childhood abuse and neglect predicts components of executive functioning and nonverbal reasoning ability in middle adulthood and whether PTSD moderates this relationship. Method Using a prospective cohort design, a large sample (N = 792) of court-substantiated cases of childhood physical and sexual abuse and neglect (ages 0-11) and matched controls were followed into adulthood (mean age = 41). Executive functioning was assessed with the Trail Making B test and non-verbal reasoning with Matrix Reasoning. PTSD (DSM-III-R lifetime diagnosis) was assessed at age 29. Data were analyzed using ordinary least squares regressions, controlling for age, sex, and race and possible confounds of IQ, depression, and excessive alcohol use. Results In multivariate analyses, childhood maltreatment overall and childhood neglect predicted poorer executive functioning and non-verbal reasoning at age 41, whereas physical and sexual abuse did not. A past history of PTSD did not mediate or moderate these relations. Conclusions Childhood maltreatment and neglect specifically have a significant long-term impact on important aspects of adult neuropsychological functioning. These findings suggest the need for targeted efforts dedicated to interventions for neglected children. PMID:23876115
Full Text Available Executive function, impulsivity, and intelligence are correlated markers of cognitive resource that predict health-related behaviours. It is unknown whether executive function and impulsivity are unique predictors of these behaviours after accounting for intelligence.Data from 6069 participants from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children were analysed to investigate whether components of executive function (selective attention, attentional control, working memory, and response inhibition and impulsivity (parent-rated measured between ages 8 and 10, predicted having ever drunk alcohol, having ever smoked, fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity, and overweight at age 13, after accounting for intelligence at age 8 and childhood socioeconomic characteristics.Higher intelligence predicted having drunk alcohol, not smoking, greater fruit and vegetable consumption, and not being overweight. After accounting for intelligence, impulsivity predicted alcohol use (odds ratio = 1.10; 99% confidence interval = 1.02, 1.19 and smoking (1.22; 1.11, 1.34. Working memory predicted not being overweight (0.90; 0.81, 0.99.After accounting for intelligence, executive function predicts overweight status but not health-related behaviours in early adolescence, whilst impulsivity predicts the onset of alcohol and cigarette use, all with small effects. This suggests overlap between executive function and intelligence as predictors of health behaviour in this cohort, with trait impulsivity accounting for additional variance.
Jiang, Wenqing; Li, Yan; Du, Yasong; Fan, Juan
This study aims to explore the feature of emotional regulation and executive functions in oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) children. The emotional regulation and executive functions of adolescents with ODD, as well as the relationship between the two factors were analyzed using tools including Adolescent Daily Emotional Regulation Questionnaire (ADERQ), Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), in comparison with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) children without behavioral problem and healthy children; the ADERQ assessed emotional regulation ability and others were used to assess executive function. Compared to normal children, the ODD group displayed significant differences in the scores of cognitive reappraisal, rumination, expressive suppression, and revealing of negative emotions, as well as in the score of cognitive reappraisal of positive emotions. WCST perseverative errors were well correlated with rumination of negative emotions (r=0.47). Logistic regression revealed that the minimum number of moves in the Stocking of Cambridge (SOC) test (one test in CANTAB) and negative emotion revealing, were strongly associated with ODD diagnosis. Children with ODD showed emotion dysregulation, with negative emotion dysregulation as the main feature. Emotion dysregulation and the lack of ability to plan lead to executive function deficits. The executive function deficits may guide us to understand the deep mechanism under ODD.
Cheng, Dazhi; Yan, Xiuxian; Gao, Zhijie; Xu, Keming; Chen, Qian
Neuropsychological studies indicate that new-onset childhood absence epilepsy (CAE) is associated with deficits in attention and executive functioning. However, the contribution of these deficits to impaired academic performance remains unclear. We aimed to examine whether attention and executive functioning deficits account for the academic difficulties prevalent in patients with new-onset CAE. We analyzed cognitive performance in several domains, including language, mathematics, psychomotor speed, spatial ability, memory, general intelligence, attention, and executive functioning, in 35 children with new-onset CAE and 33 control participants. Patients with new-onset CAE exhibited deficits in mathematics, general intelligence, attention, and executive functioning. Furthermore, attention deficits, as measured by a visual tracing task, accounted for impaired arithmetic performance in the new-onset CAE group. Therefore, attention deficits, rather than impaired general intelligence or executive functioning, may be responsible for arithmetic performance deficits in patients with new-onset CAE.
Camos, Valérie; Barrouillet, Pierre
Working memory is the structure devoted to the maintenance of information at short term during concurrent processing activities. In this respect, the question regarding the nature of the mechanisms and systems fulfilling this maintenance function is of particular importance and has received various responses in the recent past. In the time-based resource-sharing (TBRS) model, we suggest that only two systems sustain the maintenance of information at the short term, counteracting the deleterious effect of temporal decay and interference. A non-attentional mechanism of verbal rehearsal, similar to the one described by Baddeley in the phonological loop model, uses language processes to reactivate phonological memory traces. Besides this domain-specific mechanism, an executive loop allows the reconstruction of memory traces through an attention-based mechanism of refreshing. The present paper reviews evidence of the involvement of these two independent systems in the maintenance of verbal memory items.
Camos, Valérie; Barrouillet, Pierre
Working memory is the structure devoted to the maintenance of information at short term during concurrent processing activities. In this respect, the question regarding the nature of the mechanisms and systems fulfilling this maintenance function is of particular importance and has received various responses in the recent past. In the time-based resource-sharing (TBRS) model, we suggest that only two systems sustain the maintenance of information at the short term, counteracting the deleterious effect of temporal decay and interference. A non-attentional mechanism of verbal rehearsal, similar to the one described by Baddeley in the phonological loop model, uses language processes to reactivate phonological memory traces. Besides this domain-specific mechanism, an executive loop allows the reconstruction of memory traces through an attention-based mechanism of refreshing. The present paper reviews evidence of the involvement of these two independent systems in the maintenance of verbal memory items. PMID:25426049
Full Text Available Working memory is the structure devoted to the maintenance of information at short term during concurrent processing activities. In this respect, the question regarding the nature of the mechanisms and systems fulfilling this maintenance function is of particular importance and has received various responses in the recent past. In the time-based resource-sharing model, we suggest that only two systems sustain the maintenance of information at the short term, counteracting the deleterious effect of temporal decay and interference. A non-attentional mechanism of verbal rehearsal, similar to the one described by Baddeley in the phonological loop model, uses language processes to reactivate phonological memory traces. Besides this domain-specific mechanism, an executive loop allows the reconstruction of memory traces through an attention-based mechanism of refreshing. The present paper reviews evidence of the involvement of these two independent systems in the maintenance of verbal memory items.
Hobson, Christopher W.; Scott, Stephen; Rubia, Katya
Background: Children with oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder (ODD/CD) have shown deficits in "cool" abstract-cognitive, and "hot" reward-related executive function (EF) tasks. However, it is currently unclear to what extent ODD/CD is associated with neuropsychological deficits, independently of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder…
Duncan, Robert; Nguyen, Tutrang; Miao, Alicia; McClelland, Megan; Bailey, Drew
Executive function (EF) is considered a set of interrelated cognitive processes, including inhibitory control, working memory, and attentional shifting, that are connected to the development of the prefrontal cortex and contribute to children's problem solving skills and self regulatory behavior (Best & Miller, 2010; Garon, Bryson, &…
Corsi-Cabrera, M; Rosales-Lagarde, A; del Río-Portilla, Y; Sifuentes-Ortega, R; Alcántara-Quintero, B
Given that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is involved in executive functions and is deactivated and decoupled from posterior associative regions during REM sleep, that Gamma temporal coupling involved in information processing is enhanced during REM sleep, and that adult humans spend about 90 min of every 24h in REM sleep, it might be expected that REM sleep deprivation would modify Gamma temporal coupling and have a deteriorating effect on executive functions. We analyzed EEG Gamma activity and temporal coupling during implementation of a rule-guided task before and after REM sleep deprivation and its effect on verbal fluency, flexible thinking and selective attention. After two nights in the laboratory for adaptation, on the third night subjects (n=18) were randomly assigned to either selective REM sleep deprivation effectuated by awakening them at each REM sleep onset or, the same number of NREM sleep awakenings as a control for unspecific effects of sleep interruptions. Implementation of abstract rules to guide behavior required greater activation and synchronization of Gamma activity in the frontopolar regions after REM sleep reduction from 20.6% at baseline to just 3.93% of total sleep time. However, contrary to our hypothesis, both groups showed an overall improvement in executive task performance and no effect on their capacity to sustain selective attention. These results suggest that after one night of selective REM sleep deprivation executive functions can be compensated by increasing frontal activation and they still require the participation of supervisory control by frontopolar regions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
van der Niet, Anneke G.; Hartman, Esther; Smith, Joanne; Visscher, Chris
Objectives: The relationship between physical fitness and academic achievement in children has received much attention, however, whether executive functioning plays a mediating role in this relationship is unclear. The aim of this study therefore was to investigate the relationships between physical
Baggetta, Peter; Alexander, Patricia A.
Executive function is comprised of different behavioral and cognitive elements and is considered to play a significant role in learning and academic achievement. Educational researchers frequently study the construct. However, because of its complexity functionally, the research on executive function can at times be both confusing and…
Kofler, Michael J; Irwin, Lauren N; Soto, Elia F; Groves, Nicole B; Harmon, Sherelle L; Sarver, Dustin E
Neurocognitive heterogeneity is increasingly recognized as a valid phenomenon in ADHD, with most estimates suggesting that executive dysfunction is present in only about 33%-50% of these children. However, recent critiques question the veracity of these estimates because our understanding of executive functioning in ADHD is based, in large part, on data from single tasks developed to detect gross neurological impairment rather than the specific executive processes hypothesized to underlie the ADHD phenotype. The current study is the first to comprehensively assess heterogeneity in all three primary executive functions in ADHD using a criterion battery that includes multiple tests per construct (working memory, inhibitory control, set shifting). Children ages 8-13 (M = 10.37, SD = 1.39) with and without ADHD (N = 136; 64 girls; 62% Caucasian/Non-Hispanic) completed a counterbalanced series of executive function tests. Accounting for task unreliability, results indicated significantly improved sensitivity and specificity relative to prior estimates, with 89% of children with ADHD demonstrating objectively-defined impairment on at least one executive function (62% impaired working memory, 27% impaired inhibitory control, 38% impaired set shifting; 54% impaired on one executive function, 35% impaired on two or all three executive functions). Children with working memory deficits showed higher parent- and teacher-reported ADHD inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms (BF 10 = 5.23 × 10 4 ), and were slightly younger (BF 10 = 11.35) than children without working memory deficits. Children with vs. without set shifting or inhibitory control deficits did not differ on ADHD symptoms, age, gender, IQ, SES, or medication status. Taken together, these findings confirm that ADHD is characterized by neurocognitive heterogeneity, while suggesting that contemporary, cognitively-informed criteria may provide improved precision for identifying a
Bender, Alex C; Austin, Andrea M; Grodstein, Francine; Bynum, Julie P W
We examined the relationship between health care expenditures and cognition, focusing on differences across cognitive systems defined by global cognition, executive function, or episodic memory. We used linear regression models to compare annual health expenditures by cognitive status in 8125 Nurses' Health Study participants who completed a cognitive battery and were enrolled in Medicare parts A and B. Adjusting for demographics and comorbidity, executive impairment was associated with higher total annual expenditures of $1488 per person (P episodic memory impairment was found. Expenditures exhibited a linear relationship with executive function, but not episodic memory ($584 higher for every 1 standard deviation decrement in executive function; P < .01). Impairment in executive function is specifically and linearly associated with higher health care expenditures. Focusing on management strategies that address early losses in executive function may be effective in reducing costly services. Copyright © 2017 the Alzheimer's Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Blair, Clancy; Raver, C. Cybele; Berry, Daniel J.
In the current article, we contrast 2 analytical approaches to estimate the relation of parenting to executive function development in a sample of 1,292 children assessed longitudinally between the ages of 36 and 60 months of age. Children were administered a newly developed and validated battery of 6 executive function tasks tapping inhibitory control, working memory, and attention shifting. Residualized change analysis indicated that higher quality parenting as indicated by higher scores on widely used measures of parenting at both earlier and later time points predicted more positive gain in executive function at 60 months. Latent change score models in which parenting and executive function over time were held to standards of longitudinal measurement invariance provided additional evidence of the association between change in parenting quality and change in executive function. In these models, cross-lagged paths indicated that in addition to parenting predicting change in executive function, executive function bidirectionally predicted change in parenting quality. Results were robust with the addition of covariates, including child sex, race, maternal education, and household income-to-need. Strengths and drawbacks of the 2 analytic approaches are discussed, and the findings are considered in light of emerging methodological innovations for testing the extent to which executive function is malleable and open to the influence of experience. PMID:23834294
Kouklari, Evangelia-Chrysanthi; Thompson, Trevor; Monks, Claire P.; Tsermentseli, Stella
Previous research has clearly demonstrated that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) involves deficits in multiple neuropsychological functions, such as executive function (EF) and theory of mind (ToM). A conceptual distinction is commonly made between cool and hot EF. In ASD, continued attention has been paid to the cool areas of executive dysfunction.…
Calvo, Alejandra; Bialystok, Ellen
One hundred and seventy-five children who were 6-years old were assigned to one of four groups that differed in socioeconomic status (SES; working class or middle class) and language background (monolingual or bilingual). The children completed tests of nonverbal intelligence, language tests assessing receptive vocabulary and attention based on picture naming, and two tests of executive functioning. All children performed equivalently on the basic intelligence tests, but performance on the language and executive functioning tasks was influenced by both SES and bilingualism. Middle-class children outperformed working-class children on all measures, and bilingual children obtained lower scores than monolingual children on language tests but higher scores than monolingual children on the executive functioning tasks. There were no interactions with either group factors or task factors. Thus, each of SES and bilingualism contribute significantly and independently to children's development irrespective of the child's level on the other factor. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Plessen, Kerstin J; Lundervold, Arvid; Grüner, Renate
on the right ear stimulus in the dichotic listening situation is thought to involve the same prefrontal attentional and executive functions that are involved in the suppression of tics, whereas, performance when focusing attention on the left ear stimulus additionally involves a callosal transfer...... to shift attention normally when instructed to focus on the right ear stimulus. When instructed to focus attention on the left ear stimulus, however, performance deteriorated in the TS group. Correlations with CC area further supported the hypothesized presence of deviant callosal functioning in the TS......We tested the hypothesis that children with Tourette syndrome (TS) would exhibit aberrant brain lateralization compared to a healthy control (HC) group in an attention-modulation version of a verbal dichotic listening task using consonant-vowel syllables. The modulation of attention to focus...
Hofmann, Wilhelm; Schmeichel, Brandon J; Baddeley, Alan D
Self-regulation is a core aspect of adaptive human behavior that has been studied, largely in parallel, through the lenses of social and personality psychology as well as cognitive psychology. Here, we argue for more communication between these disciplines and highlight recent research that speaks to their connection. We outline how basic facets of executive functioning (working memory operations, behavioral inhibition, and task-switching) may subserve successful self-regulation. We also argue that temporary reductions in executive functions underlie many of the situational risk factors identified in the social psychological research on self-regulation and review recent evidence that the training of executive functions holds significant potential for improving poor self-regulation in problem populations. Copyright Â© 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Kane, Michael J; Poole, Bradley J; Tuholski, Stephen W; Engle, Randall W
The executive attention theory of working memory capacity (WMC) proposes that measures of WMC broadly predict higher order cognitive abilities because they tap important and general attention capabilities (R. W. Engle & M. J. Kane, 2004). Previous research demonstrated WMC-related differences in attention tasks that required restraint of habitual responses or constraint of conscious focus. To further specify the executive attention construct, the present experiments sought boundary conditions of the WMC-attention relation. Three experiments correlated individual differences in WMC, as measured by complex span tasks, and executive control of visual search. In feature-absence search, conjunction search, and spatial configuration search, WMC was unrelated to search slopes, although they were large and reliably measured. Even in a search task designed to require the volitional movement of attention (J. M. Wolfe, G. A. Alvarez, & T. S. Horowitz, 2000), WMC was irrelevant to performance. Thus, WMC is not associated with all demanding or controlled attention processes, which poses problems for some general theories of WMC. Copyright 2006 APA, all rights reserved.
Skogan, Annette Holth; Zeiner, Pål; Egeland, Jens; Urnes, Anne-Grethe; Reichborn-Kjennerud, Ted; Aase, Heidi
Recent research has demonstrated that deficits in basic, self-regulatory processes, or executive function (EF), may be related to symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) already during the preschool period. As the majority of studies investigating these relations in young children have been based primarily on clinically administered tests, it is not clear how early symptoms of ADHD may be related to observations of EF in an everyday context. The preschool version of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF-P) was developed to provide information about EF through observable, behavioral manifestations of self-regulation, and is the most commonly used rating scale for EF assessment in children. Relations between symptoms of ADHD reported in the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment interview (PAPA), and EF as measured by the BRIEF-P (parent form), were investigated in a large, nonreferred sample of preschool children (37-47 months, n = 1134) recruited from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The inventory's discriminative ability was examined in a subsample consisting of children who met the diagnostic criteria for either ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) or anxiety disorder, and typically developing controls (n = 308). The four groups were also compared with regard to patterns of EF difficulties reported in the BRIEF-P. Of the five BRIEF-P subscales, Inhibit and Working Memory were the two most closely related to ADHD symptoms, together explaining 38.5% of the variance in PAPA symptom ratings. Based on their scores on the Inhibit and Working Memory subscales (combined), 86.4% of the children in the ADHD and TD groups were correctly classified. ADHD symptoms were associated with more severe difficulties across EF domains, and a different EF profile in comparison to children with other symptoms (anxiety, ODD) and to typically developing controls. Early
Aliakbaryhosseinabadi, Susan; Kamavuako, Ernest Nlandu; Jiang, Ning; Farina, Dario; Mrachacz-Kersting, Natalie
Brain-computer interface (BCI) systems in neuro-rehabilitation use brain signals to control external devices. User status such as attention affects BCI performance; thus detecting the user's attention drift due to internal or external factors is essential for high detection accuracy. An auditory oddball task was applied to divert the users' attention during a simple ankle dorsiflexion movement. Electroencephalogram signals were recorded from eighteen channels. Temporal and time-frequency features were projected to a lower dimension space and used to analyze the effect of two attention levels on motor tasks in each participant. Then, a global feature distribution was constructed with the projected time-frequency features of all participants from all channels and applied for attention classification during motor movement execution. Time-frequency features led to significantly better classification results with respect to the temporal features, particularly for electrodes located over the motor cortex. Motor cortex channels had a higher accuracy in comparison to other channels in the global discrimination of attention level. Previous methods have used the attention to a task to drive external devices, such as the P300 speller. However, here we focus for the first time on the effect of attention drift while performing a motor task. It is possible to explore user's attention variation when performing motor tasks in synchronous BCI systems with time-frequency features. This is the first step towards an adaptive real-time BCI with an integrated function to reveal attention shifts from the motor task. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Rohr, Christiane S; Vinette, Sarah A; Parsons, Kari A L; Cho, Ivy Y K; Dimond, Dennis; Benischek, Alina; Lebel, Catherine; Dewey, Deborah; Bray, Signe
Early childhood is a period of profound neural development and remodeling during which attention skills undergo rapid maturation. Attention networks have been extensively studied in the adult brain, yet relatively little is known about changes in early childhood, and their relation to cognitive development. We investigated the association between age and functional connectivity (FC) within the dorsal attention network (DAN) and the association between FC and attention skills in early childhood. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data was collected during passive viewing in 44 typically developing female children between 4 and 7 years whose sustained, selective, and executive attention skills were assessed. FC of the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and the frontal eye fields (FEF) was computed across the entire brain and regressed against age. Age was positively associated with FC between core nodes of the DAN, the IPS and the FEF, and negatively associated with FC between the DAN and regions of the default-mode network. Further, controlling for age, FC between the IPS and FEF was significantly associated with selective attention. These findings add to our understanding of early childhood development of attention networks and suggest that greater FC within the DAN is associated with better selective attention skills. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gottwald, Janna M.; Achermann, Sheila; Marciszko, Carin; Lindskog, Marcus; Gredebäck, Gustaf
The importance of executive functioning for later life outcomes, along with its potential to be positively affected by intervention programs, motivates the need to find early markers of executive functioning. In this study, 18-month-olds performed three executive-function tasks—involving simple inhibition, working memory, and more complex inhibition—and a motion-capture task assessing prospective motor control during reaching. We demonstrated that prospective motor control, as measured by the peak velocity of the first movement unit, is related to infants’ performance on simple-inhibition and working memory tasks. The current study provides evidence that motor control and executive functioning are intertwined early in life, which suggests an embodied perspective on executive-functioning development. We argue that executive functions and prospective motor control develop from a common source and a single motive: to control action. This is the first demonstration that low-level movement planning is related to higher-order executive control early in life. PMID:27765900
Semeijn, E J; Korten, N C M; Comijs, H C; Michielsen, M; Deeg, D J H; Beekman, A T F; Kooij, J J S
Research illustrates cognitive deficits in children and younger adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Few studies have focused on the cognitive functioning in older adults. This study investigates the association between ADHD and cognitive functioning in older adults. Data were collected in a cross-sectional side study of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA). A diagnostic interview to diagnose ADHD was administered among a subsample (N = 231, age 60-94). ADHD symptoms and diagnosis were assessed with the Diagnostic Interview for ADHD in Adults (DIVA) 2.0. Cognitive functioning was assessed with tests in the domains of executive functioning, information processing speed, memory, and attention/working memory. Regression analyses indicate that ADHD diagnosis and ADHD severity were only negatively associated with cognitive functioning in the attention/working memory domain. When adjusting for depression, these associations were no longer significant. The study shows that ADHD in older adults is associated with lower cognitive functioning in the attention/working memory domain. However, this was partly explained by depressive symptoms.
Hu, Yanmei; Allen, Richard J; Baddeley, Alan D; Hitch, Graham J
We examined the role of executive control in stimulus-driven and goal-directed attention in visual working memory using probed recall of a series of objects, a task that allows study of the dynamics of storage through analysis of serial position data. Experiment 1 examined whether executive control underlies goal-directed prioritization of certain items within the sequence. Instructing participants to prioritize either the first or final item resulted in improved recall for these items, and an increase in concurrent task difficulty reduced or abolished these gains, consistent with their dependence on executive control. Experiment 2 examined whether executive control is also involved in the disruption caused by a post-series visual distractor (suffix). A demanding concurrent task disrupted memory for all items except the most recent, whereas a suffix disrupted only the most recent items. There was no interaction when concurrent load and suffix were combined, suggesting that deploying selective attention to ignore the distractor did not draw upon executive resources. A final experiment replicated the independent interfering effects of suffix and concurrent load while ruling out possible artifacts. We discuss the results in terms of a domain-general episodic buffer in which information is retained in a transient, limited capacity privileged state, influenced by both stimulus-driven and goal-directed processes. The privileged state contains the most recent environmental input together with goal-relevant representations being actively maintained using executive resources.
Thaut, Michael H; Gardiner, James C; Holmberg, Dawn; Horwitz, Javan; Kent, Luanne; Andrews, Garrett; Donelan, Beth; McIntosh, Gerald R
This study examined the immediate effects of neurologic music therapy (NMT) on cognitive functioning and emotional adjustment with brain-injured persons. Four treatment sessions were held, during which participants were given a pre-test, participated in 30 min of NMT that focused on one aspect of rehabilitation (attention, memory, executive function, or emotional adjustment), which was followed by post-testing. Control participants engaged in a pre-test, 30 min of rest, and then a post-test. Treatment participants showed improvement in executive function and overall emotional adjustment, and lessening of depression, sensation seeking, and anxiety. Control participants improved in emotional adjustment and lessening of hostility, but showed decreases in measures of memory, positive affect, and sensation seeking.
Full Text Available Abstract Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD is characterized by inappropriate levels of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and/or inattention. Individuals with ADHD may present limitations with regard to executive functions and performing activities that involve planning and/or attention/concentration. The aim of the study was to investigate the association between dental caries and signs of ADHD in a representative sample of schoolchildren. A representative sample of 851 schoolchildren aged seven to 12 years was randomly selected from public and private schools. Data acquisition involved a clinical dental examination for cavitated permanent and deciduous teeth using the DMFT/dmft indices. Neuropsychological evaluations, including the assessment of intelligence (Raven’s Colored Progressive Matrix Test and executive functions (Corsi Tapping Blocks tests and Digit Span test were also performed. Parents/caregivers and teachers answered the SNAP-IV Questionnaire for the investigation of signs of inattention and hyperactivity in the family and school environment. Parents/caregivers also answered questionnaires addressing socioeconomic and socio-demographic characteristics. Descriptive analysis of the variables and Poisson regression with robust variance were performed. Parental reports of signs of inattention (PR: 1.28; p < 0.05 and hyperactivity (PR: 1.15; p < 0.05 were associated with a greater occurrence of caries. A better performance on the backward order of the Corsi Tapping Blocks tests (PR: 0.94; p < 0.05 and higher level of mother’s schooling were associated with a lower frequency of caries. A better performance on executive function tasks was a protective factor against dental caries, whereas children considered inattentive and/or hyperactive by their parents had a higher prevalence rate of dental caries.
Pascale M. J. Engel de Abreu
Full Text Available This study examined executive functioning and reading achievement in 106 6- to 8-year-old Brazilian children from a range of social backgrounds of whom approximately half lived below the poverty line. A particular focus was to explore the executive function profile of children whose classroom reading performance was judged below standard by their teachers and who were carefully matched to controls on chronological age, sex, school type (Private or Public, domicile (Salvador/BA or São Paulo/SP, and socioeconomic status. Children completed a battery of 12 executive function tasks that were conceptually tapping cognitive flexibility, working memory, inhibition, and selective attention. Each executive function domain was assessed by several tasks. Principal component analysis extracted four factors that were labeled Working Memory/Cognitive Flexibility, Interference Suppression, Selective Attention, and Response Inhibition. Individual differences in executive functioning components made differential contributions to early reading achievement. The Working Memory/Cognitive Flexibility factor emerged as the best predictor of reading. Group comparisons on computed factor scores showed that the struggling readers presented limitations in Working Memory/Cognitive Flexibility, but not in other executive function components, compared to more skilled readers. These results validate the account that working memory capacity provides a crucial building block for the development of early literacy skills and extends it to a population of early readers of Portuguese from Brazil. The study suggests that deficits in working memory/cognitive flexibility might represent one contributing factor to reading difficulties in early readers which might have important implications for interventions for children at risk of school failure.
Wolf, I.; Tost, H.; Ruf, M.; Ende, G.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological disorder of early childhood onset. Defining symptoms are chronic impairments of attention, impulse control and motor hyperactivity that frequently persist until adulthood. Miscellaneous causes of the disorder have been discussed. Accumulating evidence from imaging- and molecular genetic studies strengthened the theory of ADHS being a predominantly inherited disorder of neurobiological origin. In the last 15 years, non-invasive brain imaging methods were successfully implemented in pediatric research. Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies gave major insight into the neurobiological correlates of executive malfunction, inhibitory deficits and psychomotoric soft signs. These findings are in good accordance with brain morphometric data indicating a significant volumetric decrease of major components of striato-thalamo-cortical feedback loops, primarily influencing prefrontal executive functioning (e.g. basal ganglia). Empirical evidence points to a broad array of associated behavioral disturbances like deficient visuomotor abilities and oculomotor dysfunctions. This paper reviews the current empirical evidence derived from prior imaging studies. Special emphasis is given to the relevance of oculomotor dysfunctions in clinical and research settings, as well as their assessment in the MR environment. (orig.) [de
Efeitos de um treino de atenção, memória e funções executivas na cognição de idosos saudáveis Effects of an attention, memory and executive functions training on the cognition of healthy elderly people
Tatiana Quarti Irigaray
Full Text Available INTRODUÇÃO: Estudos mostram declínio significativo em funções cognitivas, como memória, atenção e funções executivas ao longo do processo de envelhecimento normal. OBJETIVO: Verificar os efeitos de um treino de atenção, memória e funções executivas na cognição de idosos saudáveis. MÉTODOS: 76 idosos saudáveis, divididos em grupo experimental (GE e grupo controle (GC, cada um com 38 indivíduos. O GE recebeu doze sessões de treino de atenção, memória e funções executivas. RESULTADOS: O GE no pós-teste apresentou melhor desempenho em tarefas de atenção, memória de trabalho, linguagem (inferências e escrita espontânea, praxia construcional, resolução de problemas e funções executivas. Conclusão: O treino revelou resultados significativos para uma intervenção de doze sessões, indicando que idosos saudáveis podem melhorar seu desempenho cognitivo.INTRODUCTION: Studies show there is a significant decrease in cognitive functions such as attention, memory and executive functions throughout the normal aging process. OBJECTIVE: To verify the effects of an attention, memory and executive functions training on the cognition of healthy elderly people. METHODS: 76 healthy elderly subjects were divided into experimental (EG and control groups (CG, both were composed by 38 participants each. The EG received 12 training sessions in attention, memory and executive functions. RESULTS: In the post-test, the EG presented better performance in tasks of attention, working memory, language (inferences and spontaneous writing, constructional praxia, problems solving, and executive functions. CONCLUSION: The training revealed significant results for a 12-session intervention, indicating that healthy elderly individuals may improve their cognitive functions.
Lewis, Charlie; Koyasu, Masuo; Oh, Seungmi; Ogawa, Ayako; Short, Benjamin; Huang, Zhao
Much of the evidence from the West has shown links between children's developing self-control (executive function), their social experiences, and their social understanding (Carpendale & Lewis, 2006, chapters 5 and 6), across a range of cultures including China. This chapter describes four studies conducted in three Oriental cultures, suggesting that the relationships among social interaction, executive function, and social understanding are different in these cultures, implying that social and executive skills are underpinned by key cultural processes.
Wolters Gregório, Gisela; Ponds, Rudolf W H M; Smeets, Sanne M J; Jonker, Frank; Pouwels, Climmy G J G; Verhey, Frans R; van Heugten, Caroline M
To examine the relationships between executive functioning, coping, depressive symptoms, and quality of life in individuals with neuropsychiatric symptoms after acquired brain injury (ABI). Cross-sectional study. Individuals (n = 93) in the post-acute and chronic phase (>3 months) after ABI and their significant others (N = 58) were recruited from outpatient clinics of four mental health centres in the Netherlands. Outcome measures were the Trail Making Test, Stroop Colour Word Test, Frontal Systems Behavioural Scale, Utrecht Coping List, Patient Health Questionnaire, and Life Satisfaction Questionnaire. Data were analysed with multiple regression analyses. Self-reported executive dysfunction was associated with greater use of passive coping styles (β = .37, p executive functioning (β = -.94, p executive functioning tests were not associated with coping, depressive symptoms, or quality of life. For clinicians, these data indicate that individuals who report greater difficulties with executive functioning after ABI are inclined to use maladaptive passive coping styles, which should be targeted in treatment. In comparison, individuals who report greater difficulties with executive functioning should not be prompted to use problem-focused coping styles. These individuals may benefit from other coping styles, such as the use of seeking social support or acceptance of problems. Coping influences the association between executive functioning and quality of life. Individuals who report difficulties with executive functioning after ABI may be inclined to use passive coping styles, which are maladaptive. Problem-focused coping strategies may be more useful for individuals who have strong executive abilities. This study was a cross-sectional study; thus, a cause-and-effect relationship could not be established between executive functioning, coping, and psychosocial functioning. As this research was part of standard clinical care, non-traditional tests for executive
Jepsen, Jens Richardt M; Fagerlund, Birgitte; Pagsberg, Anne Katrine
The few existing long-term, neuropsychological follow-up studies of early onset schizophrenia (EOS) patients have reported relative stability in some cognitive functions but abnormal developmental trajectories in verbal memory, set shifting, aspects of attention, and speed of information processing...
Impairments in executive functions (EF) are consistently associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and to a lesser extent, with disruptive behavior disorder (DBD), i.e., oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder, in school-aged children. Recently, larger numbers of
A protocol for a three-arm cluster randomized controlled superiority trial investigating the effects of two pedagogical methodologies in Swedish preschool settings on language and communication, executive functions, auditive selective attention, socioemotional skills and early maths skills.
Gerholm, Tove; Hörberg, Thomas; Tonér, Signe; Kallioinen, Petter; Frankenberg, Sofia; Kjällander, Susanne; Palmer, Anna; Taguchi, Hillevi Lenz
During the preschool years, children develop abilities and skills in areas crucial for later success in life. These abilities include language, executive functions, attention, and socioemotional skills. The pedagogical methods used in preschools hold the potential to enhance these abilities, but our knowledge of which pedagogical practices aid which abilities, and for which children, is limited. The aim of this paper is to describe an intervention study designed to evaluate and compare two pedagogical methodologies in terms of their effect on the above-mentioned skills in Swedish preschool children. The study is a randomized control trial (RCT) where two pedagogical methodologies were tested to evaluate how they enhanced children's language, executive functions and attention, socioemotional skills, and early maths skills during an intensive 6-week intervention. Eighteen preschools including 28 units and 432 children were enrolled in a municipality close to Stockholm, Sweden. The children were between 4;0 and 6;0 years old and each preschool unit was randomly assigned to either of the interventions or to the control group. Background information on all children was collected via questionnaires completed by parents and preschools. Pre- and post-intervention testing consisted of a test battery including tests on language, executive functions, selective auditive attention, socioemotional skills and early maths skills. The interventions consisted of 6 weeks of intensive practice of either a socioemotional and material learning paradigm (SEMLA), for which group-based activities and interactional structures were the main focus, or an individual, digitally implemented attention and math training paradigm, which also included a set of self-regulation practices (DIL). All preschools were evaluated with the ECERS-3. If this intervention study shows evidence of a difference between group-based learning paradigms and individual training of specific skills in terms of
Merchán-Naranjo, Jessica; Boada, Leticia; del Rey-Mejías, Ángel; Mayoral, María; Llorente, Cloe; Arango, Celso; Parellada, Mara
Studies of executive function in autism spectrum disorder without intellectual disability (ASD-WID) patients are contradictory. We assessed a wide range of executive functioning cognitive domains in a sample of children and adolescents with ASD-WID and compared them with age-, sex-, and intelligence quotient (IQ)-matched healthy controls. Twenty-four ASD-WID patients (mean age 12.8±2.5 years; 23 males; mean IQ 99.20±18.81) and 32 healthy controls (mean age 12.9±2.7 years; 30 males; mean IQ 106.81±11.02) were recruited. Statistically significant differences were found in all cognitive domains assessed, with better performance by the healthy control group: attention (U=185.0; P=.0005; D=0.90), working memory (T51.48=2.597; P=.006; D=0.72), mental flexibility (U=236.0; P=.007; D=0.67), inhibitory control (U=210.0; P=.002; D=0.71), and problem solving (U=261.0; P=0.021; D=0.62). These statistically significant differences were also found after controlling for IQ. Children and adolescents with ASD-WID have difficulties transforming and mentally manipulating verbal information, longer response latency, attention problems (difficulty set shifting), trouble with automatic response inhibition and problem solving, despite having normal IQ. Considering the low executive functioning profile found in those patients, we recommend a comprehensive intervention including work on non-social problems related to executive cognitive difficulties. Copyright © 2015 SEP y SEPB. Published by Elsevier España. All rights reserved.
Lambek, Rikke; Tannock, Rosemary; Dalsgaard, Soeren; Trillingsgaard, Anegen; Damm, Dorte; Thomsen, Per Hove
Objective: The study investigates behavioural, academic, cognitive, and motivational aspects of functioning in school-age children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with and without an executive function deficit (EFD). Method: Children with ADHD - EFD (n = 22) and children with ADHD + EFD (n = 26) were compared on aspects of…
Nouchi, Rui; Taki, Yasuyuki; Takeuchi, Hikaru; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Akitsuki, Yuko; Shigemune, Yayoi; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Kotozaki, Yuka; Tsukiura, Takashi; Yomogida, Yukihito; Kawashima, Ryuta
The beneficial effects of brain training games are expected to transfer to other cognitive functions, but these beneficial effects are poorly understood. Here we investigate the impact of the brain training game (Brain Age) on cognitive functions in the elderly. Thirty-two elderly volunteers were recruited through an advertisement in the local newspaper and randomly assigned to either of two game groups (Brain Age, Tetris). This study was completed by 14 of the 16 members in the Brain Age group and 14 of the 16 members in the Tetris group. To maximize the benefit of the interventions, all participants were non-gamers who reported playing less than one hour of video games per week over the past 2 years. Participants in both the Brain Age and the Tetris groups played their game for about 15 minutes per day, at least 5 days per week, for 4 weeks. Each group played for a total of about 20 days. Measures of the cognitive functions were conducted before and after training. Measures of the cognitive functions fell into four categories (global cognitive status, executive functions, attention, and processing speed). Results showed that the effects of the brain training game were transferred to executive functions and to processing speed. However, the brain training game showed no transfer effect on any global cognitive status nor attention. Our results showed that playing Brain Age for 4 weeks could lead to improve cognitive functions (executive functions and processing speed) in the elderly. This result indicated that there is a possibility which the elderly could improve executive functions and processing speed in short term training. The results need replication in large samples. Long-term effects and relevance for every-day functioning remain uncertain as yet. UMIN Clinical Trial Registry 000002825.
Full Text Available The beneficial effects of brain training games are expected to transfer to other cognitive functions, but these beneficial effects are poorly understood. Here we investigate the impact of the brain training game (Brain Age on cognitive functions in the elderly.Thirty-two elderly volunteers were recruited through an advertisement in the local newspaper and randomly assigned to either of two game groups (Brain Age, Tetris. This study was completed by 14 of the 16 members in the Brain Age group and 14 of the 16 members in the Tetris group. To maximize the benefit of the interventions, all participants were non-gamers who reported playing less than one hour of video games per week over the past 2 years. Participants in both the Brain Age and the Tetris groups played their game for about 15 minutes per day, at least 5 days per week, for 4 weeks. Each group played for a total of about 20 days. Measures of the cognitive functions were conducted before and after training. Measures of the cognitive functions fell into four categories (global cognitive status, executive functions, attention, and processing speed. Results showed that the effects of the brain training game were transferred to executive functions and to processing speed. However, the brain training game showed no transfer effect on any global cognitive status nor attention.Our results showed that playing Brain Age for 4 weeks could lead to improve cognitive functions (executive functions and processing speed in the elderly. This result indicated that there is a possibility which the elderly could improve executive functions and processing speed in short term training. The results need replication in large samples. Long-term effects and relevance for every-day functioning remain uncertain as yet.UMIN Clinical Trial Registry 000002825.
Brocki, Karin C.; Eninger, Lilianne; Thorell, Lisa B.; Bohlin, Gunilla
The present study, including children at risk for developing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), examined the idea that complex executive functions (EFs) build upon more simple ones. This notion was applied in the study of longitudinal interrelations between core EF components--simple and complex inhibition, selective attention, and…
Full Text Available Executive Function (EF is a multidimensional construct. It includes a set of abilities that allows to execute actions with a purpose, aimed to a goal, in an efficient way. The objective of this work is to explore some of the cognitive abilities that constitute a common factor for EF in 9 years-old children. The chosen instruments: Batería de Evaluación Neuropsicológica de la Función Ejecutiva en niños (ENFEN (Battery of Neuropsychological Assessment for Executive Function in Children, along with the Backward Digits Subtestfrom the WISC-III, were administered to 101 children from private schools of Buenos Aires State, Argentina. The ENFEN consists on EF tasks, including Phonological and Semantic Fluency, Trail Making Test versions for children (gray and colored sets, Interference Task, and Planning disc movements according to a model. An initial confirmatory factor analysis didn’t show significant fit indexes, being the Inhibitory control the variable with the lower and non significant factorial weight. A second model excluding the Inhibitory control measure was conducted, and it showed excellent fit indexes. Therefore, it can be concluded that at this age, some of the cognitive abilities included on the EF are: Phonological and Semantic Fluency, Sustained and Selective attention, Planning and Working memory; which is not the case for Inhibitory Control (measured by the Interference Task in the ENFEN.
Full Text Available The aim of this study was to determine the psychometric properties of the “Assessment of Sensory Processing and Executive Functions in Childhood” (EPYFEI, a questionnaire designed to assess the sensory processing and executive functions of children aged between 3 and 11 years. The EPYFEI was completed by a sample of 1,732 parents of children aged between 3 and 11 years who lived in Spain. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted and showed five main factors: (1 executive attention, working memory, and initiation of actions; (2 general sensory processing; (3 emotional and behavioral self-regulation; (4 supervision, correction of actions, and problem solving; and (5 inhibitory. The reliability of the analysis was high both for the whole questionnaire and for the factors it is composed of. Results provide evidence of the potential usefulness of the EPYFEI in clinical contexts for the early detection of neurodevelopmental disorders, in which there may be a deficit of executive functions and sensory processing.
van der Donk, M.L.A.; Hiemstra-Beernink, A.-C.; Tjeenk-Kalff, A.C.; van der Leij, A.V.; Lindauer, R.J.L.
Background Deficits in executive functioning are of great significance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). One of these executive functions, working memory, plays an important role in academic performance and is often seen as the core deficit of this disorder. There are indications
Lin, Yu-Ju; Lai, Meng-Chuan; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and tic disorders (TD) commonly co-occur. Clarifying the psychiatric comorbidities, executive functions and social adjustment difficulties in children and adolescents of ADHD with and without TD is informative to understand the developmental psychopathology and to identify their specific clinical…
Miller, S E; DeBoer, M D; Scharf, R J
Poor executive functioning is associated with life-long difficulty. Identification of children at risk for executive dysfunction is important for early intervention to improve neurodevelopmental outcomes. This study is designed to examine relationships between birthweight and executive functioning in US children during kindergarten. Our hypothesis was that children with higher birthweights would have better executive function scores. We evaluated data from 17506 US children from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten 2011 cohort. Birthweight and gestational age were obtained by parental survey. Executive functions were directly assessed using the number reverse test and card sort test to measure working memory and cognitive flexibility, respectively. Teacher evaluations were used for additional executive functions. Data were analyzed using SAS to run all linear and logistical regressions. For every kilogram of birthweight, scores of working memory increased by 1.47 (Pexecutive functioning. As birthweight increases executive function scores improve, even among infants born normal weight. Further evaluation of this population including interventions and progression through school is needed.
van der Donk, Marthe L. A.; Hiemstra-Beernink, Anne-Claire; Tjeenk-Kalff, Ariane C.; van der Leij, Aryan V.; Lindauer, Ramón J. L.
Deficits in executive functioning are of great significance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). One of these executive functions, working memory, plays an important role in academic performance and is often seen as the core deficit of this disorder. There are indications that working
Belletier, Clément; Davranche, Karen; Tellier, Idriss S; Dumas, Florence; Vidal, Franck; Hasbroucq, Thierry; Huguet, Pascal
Performing more poorly given one's skill level ("choking") is likely in situations that offer an incentive if a certain outcome is achieved (outcome pressure) or when one is being watched by others-especially when one's performance is being evaluated (monitoring pressure). According to the choking literature, outcome pressure is associated with reduced executive control of attention, whereas monitoring pressure is associated with increased, yet counterproductive, attention to skill processes. Here, we show the first evidence that monitoring pressure-being watched by the experimenter-may lead individuals with higher working memory to choke on a classic measure of executive control-just the task effect thought to result from outcome pressure. Not only does this finding help refine our understanding of the processes underlying choking under monitoring pressure, but it also leads to a new look at classic audience effects, with an important implication for experimental psychology.
Nijdam, Mirjam J; Martens, Irene J M; Reitsma, Johannes B; Gersons, Berthold P R; Olff, Miranda
Individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have neurocognitive deficits in verbal memory and executive functioning. In this study, we examined whether memory and executive functioning changed over the course of treatment and which clinical variables were associated with change. Neuropsychological assessments were administered at baseline and endpoint of a randomized controlled trial as secondary outcome. Trauma survivors (n = 88) diagnosed with PTSD received trauma-focused psychotherapy within a 17-week randomized controlled trial. Neuropsychological tests were the California Verbal Learning Test, Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test, Stroop Color Word Test, and Trail Making Test. Significant, small- to medium-sized improvements in verbal memory, information processing speed, and executive functioning were found after trauma-focused psychotherapy (Cohen's d 0.16-0.68). Greater PTSD symptom decrease was significantly related to better post-treatment neurocognitive performance (all p effect sizes exceed those of practice effects. Future research should determine whether these changes translate into improved functioning in the daily lives of the patients. Patients with PTSD have difficulties performing verbal memory tasks (e.g., remembering a grocery list, recall of a story) and executive functioning tasks (e.g., shifting attention between two tasks, ignoring irrelevant information to complete a task). Verbal memory, information processing speed, and executive functioning significantly improved in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder over the course of trauma-focused psychotherapy. Improvements were equal in size for two different trauma-focused psychotherapies (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy and brief eclectic psychotherapy for PTSD). Medium-sized effects were found for recall of a story, whereas effects in other aspects of verbal memory, information processing speed, and executive functioning were small-sized. No causal
Full Text Available Abstract Background Improved usual gait speed predicts substantial reduction in mortality. A better understanding of the modifiable factors that are independently associated with improved gait speed would ensure that intervention strategies are developed based on a valid theoretical framework. Thus, we examined the independent association of change in executive functions and change in falls-related self-efficacy with improved gait speed among community-dwelling senior women. Methods A secondary analysis of the 135 senior women aged 65 to 75 years old who completed a 12-month randomized controlled trial of resistance training. Usual gait speed was assessed using a 4-meter walk. Three executive processes were assessed by standard neuropsychological tests: 1 set shifting; 2 working memory; and 3 selective attention and response inhibition. A linear regression model was constructed to determine the independent association of change in executive functions and falls-related self-efficacy with change in gait speed. Results Improved selective attention and conflict resolution, and falls-related self-efficacy, were independently associated with improved gait speed after accounting for age, global cognition, baseline gait speed, and change in quadriceps strength. The total variance explained was 24%. Conclusions Interventions that target executive functions and falls-related self-efficacy, in addition to physical functions, to improve gait speed may be more efficacious than those that do not. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00426881
Cramm, Heidi A; Krupa, Terry M; Missiuna, Cheryl A; Lysaght, Rosemary M; Parker, Kevin H
Increasingly recognized as an important factor in the performance of complex, goal-directed tasks, executive functioning is understood in different ways across disciplines. The aim was to explore the ways in which executive functioning is conceptualized, discussed, described, and implied in the occupational therapy literature. A scoping review of the occupational therapy literature was conducted following Levac, Colquhoun, and O'Brien's (2010) recommended methodology. Executive functioning is described both as a set of performance component skills or processes and as the executive occupational performance inherent in complex occupations. Executive functioning is implicit in occupational performance and engagement, and some health conditions seem to be commonly associated with impaired executive functioning. Assessing executive functioning requires dynamic occupation- and performance-based assessment. Interventions targeting executive functioning are grounded in metacognitive approaches. Executive functioning is a complex construct that is conceptualized with considerable variance within the occupational therapy literature, creating barriers to effective service delivery.
Abad-Mas, Luis; Ruiz-Andrés, Rosalía; Moreno-Madrid, Francisca; Sirera-Conca, M Angeles; Cornesse, Marcel; Delgado-Mejía, Iván D; Etchepareborda, Máximo C
A number of different treatments have been proposed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), yet little material has been published in the literature to improve the performance of the mechanisms behind attention, inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility and working memory in these children. We think that a working model that is effective in the treatment of persons with ADHD can only be consolidated by means of a thorough understanding of the syndromes involved in this deficit. In addition to reviewing the latest and most significant proposals aimed at improving the cognitive under-standing of the disorder, this work also refers to three neurobiological syndromes that are recognised as forming part of ADHD, i.e. medial cingulate syndrome, dorsolateral syndrome and orbitofrontal syndrome. Advances in neuroscientific research and the design of computerised treatment materials offer extremely valuable data that will undoubtedly help to improve the results of psychopedagogical and neuropsychological interventions in ADHD, since they provide information about the temporal and spatial equation.
Vasquez, Brandon P; Binns, Malcolm A; Anderson, Nicole D
Little is known about the relationship of executive functioning with age-related increases in response time (RT) distribution indices (intraindividual standard deviation [ISD], and ex-Gaussian parameters mu, sigma, tau). The goals of this study were to (a) replicate findings of age-related changes in response time distribution indices during an engaging touch-screen RT task and (b) investigate age-related changes in the relationship between executive functioning and RT distribution indices. Healthy adults (24 young [aged 18-30], 24 young-old [aged 65-74], and 24 old-old [aged 75-85]) completed a touch-screen attention task and a battery of neuropsychological tests. The relationships between RT performance and executive functions were examined with structural equation modeling (SEM). ISD, mu, and tau, but not sigma, increased with age. SEM revealed tau as the most salient RT index associated with neuropsychological measures of executive functioning. Further analysis demonstrated that correlations between tau and a weighted executive function composite were significant only in the old-old group. Our results replicate findings of greater RT inconsistency in older adults and reveal that executive functioning is related to tau in adults aged 75-85. These results support literature identifying tau as a marker of cognitive control, which deteriorates in old age. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Levine, D.S. [Univ. of Texas, Arlington, TX (United States)
Brain executive function is based in a distributed system whereby prefrontal cortex is interconnected with other cortical. and subcortical loci. Executive function is divided roughly into three interacting parts: affective guidance of responses; linkage among working memory representations; and forming complex behavioral schemata. Neural network models of each of these parts are reviewed and fit into a preliminary theoretical framework.
Poon, Kean; Ho, Connie S-H
Many studies reported high prevalence of reading disability (RD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among delinquent adolescents. Very few have examined their cognitive profile. The present study compared the executive functions (EFs) and severity of delinquency in delinquent adolescents with RD and/or ADHD symptoms (AS). Delinquents with AS (n=29), RD (n=24), comorbidity AS+RD (n=35) were recruited from juvenile institutions along with typically developing controls (n=29) from local schools; all completed EF assessments and self-report questionnaires on delinquency. Results showed that pure AS group exhibited impaired inhibition while the pure RD group was weak in processing speed and visual memory. The comorbidity group showed unique impairments in interference control and significantly higher delinquency severity. The present findings suggest that comorbidity AS+RD may influence delinquency severity. It also provides a more comprehensive picture of the unique EF deficits associated with different groups, allowing for better matching for future identification and intervention programme. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bindman, Samantha W; Pomerantz, Eva M; Roisman, Glenn I
This study evaluated whether the positive association between early autonomy-supportive parenting and children's subsequent achievement is mediated by children's executive functions. Using observations of mothers' parenting from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development ( N = 1,306), analyses revealed that mothers' autonomy support over the first 3 years of life predicted enhanced executive functions (i.e., inhibition, delay of gratification, and sustained attention) during the year prior to kindergarten and academic achievement in elementary and high school even when mothers' warmth and cognitive stimulation, as well as other factors (e.g., children's early general cognitive skills and mothers' educational attainment) were covaried. Mediation analyses demonstrated that over and above other attributes (e.g., temperament), children's executive functions partially accounted for the association between early autonomy-supportive parenting and children's subsequent achievement.
Colomer, Carla; Berenguer, Carmen; Roselló, Belén; Baixauli, Inmaculada; Miranda, Ana
Children diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at risk of experiencing lower academic achievement compared to their peers without ADHD. However, we have a limited understanding of the mechanisms underlying this association. Both the symptoms of the disorder and the executive functions can negatively influence learning behaviors, including motivation, attitude toward learning, or persistence, key aspects of the learning process. The first objective of this study was to compare different components of learning behaviors in children diagnosed with ADHD and typically developing (TD) children. The second objective was to analyze the relationships among learning behaviors, executive functioning, and symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity in both groups. Participants were 35 children diagnosed with ADHD and 37 with TD (7-11 years old), matched on age and IQ. The teachers filled out the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and the Learning Behaviors Scale, which evaluates Competence/motivation, Attitude toward learning, Attention/persistence, and Strategy/flexibility. In addition, parents and teachers filled out the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for ADHD. ANOVAs showed significant differences between children with ADHD and TD children on all the learning behaviors. Moreover, in both the ADHD and TD groups, the behavioral regulation index of the BRIEF predicted the search for strategies, and the metacognition index was a good predictor of motivation. However, attitude toward learning was predicted by metacognition only in the group with ADHD. Therefore, the executive functions had greater power than the typical symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity in predicting learning behaviors of children with ADHD. The findings are in line with other studies that support the influence of the executive functions on performance, highlighting the importance of including their development as a top priority from early ages in the
Engel de Abreu, Pascale M. J.; Abreu, Neander; Nikaedo, Carolina C.; Puglisi, Marina L.; Tourinho, Carlos J.; Miranda, Mônica C.; Befi-Lopes, Debora M.; Bueno, Orlando F. A.; Martin, Romain
This study examined executive functioning and reading achievement in 106 6- to 8-year-old Brazilian children from a range of social backgrounds of whom approximately half lived below the poverty line. A particular focus was to explore the executive function profile of children whose classroom reading performance was judged below standard by their teachers and who were matched to controls on chronological age, sex, school type (private or public), domicile (Salvador/BA or São Paulo/SP) and socioeconomic status. Children completed a battery of 12 executive function tasks that were conceptual tapping cognitive flexibility, working memory, inhibition and selective attention. Each executive function domain was assessed by several tasks. Principal component analysis extracted four factors that were labeled “Working Memory/Cognitive Flexibility,” “Interference Suppression,” “Selective Attention,” and “Response Inhibition.” Individual differences in executive functioning components made differential contributions to early reading achievement. The Working Memory/Cognitive Flexibility factor emerged as the best predictor of reading. Group comparisons on computed factor scores showed that struggling readers displayed limitations in Working Memory/Cognitive Flexibility, but not in other executive function components, compared to more skilled readers. These results validate the account that working memory capacity provides a crucial building block for the development of early literacy skills and extends it to a population of early readers of Portuguese from Brazil. The study suggests that deficits in working memory/cognitive flexibility might represent one contributing factor to reading difficulties in early readers. This might have important implications for how educators might intervene with children at risk of academic under achievement. PMID:24959155
Full Text Available Virtual reality offers a good possibility for the implementation of real-life tasks in a laboratory-based training or testing scenario. Thus, a computerized training in a driving simulator offers an ecological valid training approach. Visual attention had an influence on driving performance, so we used the reverse approach to test the influence of a driving training on visual attention and executive functions. Thirty-seven healthy older participants (mean age: 71.46 ± 4.09; gender: 17 men and 20 women took part in our controlled experimental study. We examined transfer effects from a four-week driving training (three times per week on visual attention, executive function, and motor skill. Effects were analyzed using an analysis of variance with repeated measurements. Therefore, main factors were group and time to show training-related benefits of our intervention. Results revealed improvements for the intervention group in divided visual attention; however, there were benefits neither in the other cognitive domains nor in the additional motor task. Thus, there are no broad training-induced transfer effects from such an ecologically valid training regime. This lack of findings could be addressed to insufficient training intensities or a participant-induced bias following the cancelled randomization process.
Haeger, Mathias; Bock, Otmar; Memmert, Daniel; Hüttermann, Stefanie
Virtual reality offers a good possibility for the implementation of real-life tasks in a laboratory-based training or testing scenario. Thus, a computerized training in a driving simulator offers an ecological valid training approach. Visual attention had an influence on driving performance, so we used the reverse approach to test the influence of a driving training on visual attention and executive functions. Thirty-seven healthy older participants (mean age: 71.46 ± 4.09; gender: 17 men and 20 women) took part in our controlled experimental study. We examined transfer effects from a four-week driving training (three times per week) on visual attention, executive function, and motor skill. Effects were analyzed using an analysis of variance with repeated measurements. Therefore, main factors were group and time to show training-related benefits of our intervention. Results revealed improvements for the intervention group in divided visual attention; however, there were benefits neither in the other cognitive domains nor in the additional motor task. Thus, there are no broad training-induced transfer effects from such an ecologically valid training regime. This lack of findings could be addressed to insufficient training intensities or a participant-induced bias following the cancelled randomization process.
van de Ven, Renate M.; Murre, Jaap M. J.; Veltman, Dick J.; Schmand, Ben A.
Background: Stroke commonly results in cognitive impairments in working memory, attention, and executive function, which may be restored with appropriate training programs. Our aim was to systematically review the evidence for computer-based cognitive training of executive dysfunctions. Methods: Studies were included if they concerned adults who had suffered stroke or other types of acquired brain injury, if the intervention was computer training of executive functions, and if the outcome was related to executive functioning. We searched in MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and The Cochrane Library. Study quality was evaluated based on the CONSORT Statement. Treatment effect was evaluated based on differences compared to pre-treatment and/or to a control group. Results: Twenty studies were included. Two were randomized controlled trials that used an active control group. The other studies included multiple baselines, a passive control group, or were uncontrolled. Improvements were observed in tasks similar to the training (near transfer) and in tasks dissimilar to the training (far transfer). However, these effects were not larger in trained than in active control groups. Two studies evaluated neural effects and found changes in both functional and structural connectivity. Most studies suffered from methodological limitations (e.g., lack of an active control group and no adjustment for multiple testing) hampering differentiation of training effects from spontaneous recovery, retest effects, and placebo effects. Conclusions: The positive findings of most studies, including neural changes, warrant continuation of research in this field, but only if its methodological limitations are addressed. PMID:27148007
Raffard, Stephane; Bayard, Sophie
Schizophrenia is characterized by heterogeneous brain abnormalities involving cerebral regions implied in the executive functioning. The dysexecutive syndrome is one of the most prominent and functionally cognitive features of schizophrenia. Nevertheless, it is not clear to what extend executive deficits are heterogeneous in schizophrenia…
Hou, Ruihua; Moss-Morris, Rona; Risdale, Anna; Lynch, Jeannette; Jeevaratnam, Preshan; Bradley, Brendan P; Mogg, Karin
Cognitive behavioural models of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) propose that attention processes, specifically, enhanced selective attention to health-threat related cues, may play an important role in symptom maintenance. The current study investigated attentional bias towards health-threat stimuli in CFS. It also examined whether individuals with CFS have impaired executive attention, and whether this was related to attentional bias. 27 participants with CFS and 35 healthy controls completed a Visual Probe Task measuring attentional bias, and an Attention Network Test measuring executive attention, alerting and orienting. Participants also completed self-report measures of CFS and mood symptoms. Compared to the control group, the CFS group showed greater attentional bias for health-threat words than pictures; and the CFS group was significantly impaired in executive attention. Furthermore, CFS individuals with poor executive attention showed greater attentional bias to health-threat related words, compared not only to controls but also to CFS individuals with good executive attention. Thus, this study revealed a significant relationship between attentional bias and executive attention in CFS: attentional bias to threat was primarily evident in those with impaired executive attention control. Taking account of individual differences in executive attention control in current intervention models may be beneficial for CFS. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Follmer, D. Jake
This article presents a meta-analytic review of the relation between executive function and reading comprehension. Results (N = 6,673) supported a moderate positive association between executive function and reading comprehension (r = 0.36). Moderator analyses suggested that correlations between executive function and reading comprehension did not…
Mokler, David J; Miller, Christine E; McGaughy, Jill A
Adolescence is a period during which many aspects of executive function are maturing. Much of the literature has focused on discrepancies between sub-cortical and cortical development that is hypothesized to lead to over-processing of reinforcement related stimuli unchecked by fully matured response inhibition. Specifically, maturation of sub-cortical dopaminergic systems that terminate in the nucleus accumbens has been suggested to occur prior to the full maturation of corticopetal dopaminergic systems. However, converging evidence supports the hypothesis that many aspects of cognitive control are critically linked to cortical noradrenergic systems, that the effectiveness of drugs used to treat disorders of executive function, e.g. ADHD, may result primarily from increases in cortical norepinephrine (NE) and that cortical noradrenergic systems mature across adolescence. However, little attention has been given to the development of this system during adolescence or to its influence in executive function. In the present paper, we discuss the developmental trajectory of the noradrenergic system of the forebrain, highlight the interactions between noradrenergic and dopaminergic systems, and highlight the contribution of the immature corticopetal noradrenergic systems in the ontogeny of several aspects of executive function. Finally we compare data from adolescent rats to those gathered after selective depletion of NE in sub-regions of the prefrontal cortex with an emphasis on the similarities in performance of NE lesioned rats and adolescents. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Maiti, Panchanan; Gregg, Laura C; McDonald, Michael P
In Parkinson's disease, cognitive deficits manifest as fronto-striatally-mediated executive dysfunction, with impaired attention, planning, judgment, and impulse control. We examined changes in executive function in mice lesioned with subchronic 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) using a 3-choice serial reaction-time (SRT) task, which included measures of sustained attention and impulse control. Each trial of the baseline SRT task comprised a pseudo-random pre-cue period ranging from 3 to 8 s, followed by a 1-s cue duration. MPTP impaired all measures of impulsive behavior acutely, but with additional training their performance normalized to saline control levels. When challenged with shorter cue durations, MPTP-lesioned mice had significantly slower reaction times than wild-type mice. When challenged with longer pre-cue times, the MPTP-lesioned mice exhibited a loss of impulse control at the longer durations. In lesioned mice, striatal dopamine was depleted by 54% and the number of tyrosine-hydroxylase-positive neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta was reduced by 75%. Serotonin (5-HT) was unchanged in the striatum and prefrontal cortex (PFC), but the ratio of 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid (5-HIAA) to 5-HT was significantly reduced in the MPTP group in the PFC. In lesioned mice, prefrontal 5-HIAA/5-HT was significantly correlated with the executive impairments and striatal norepinephrine was associated with slower reaction times. None of the neurochemical measures was significantly associated with behavior in saline-treated controls. Taken together, these results show that prefrontal 5-HT turnover may play a pivotal role in MPTP-induced executive dysfunction. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Casagrande, Maria; Martella, Diana; Ruggiero, Maria Cleonice; Maccari, Lisa; Paloscia, Claudio; Rosa, Caterina; Pasini, Augusto
The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficiency and interactions of attentional systems in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by considering the effects of reinforcement and auditory warning on each component of attention. Thirty-six drug-naïve children (18 children with ADHD/18 typically developing children) performed two revised versions of the Attentional Network Test, which assess the efficiency of alerting, orienting, and executive systems. In feedback trials, children received feedback about their accuracy, whereas in the no-feedback trials, feedback was not given. In both conditions, children with ADHD performed more slowly than did typically developing children. They also showed impairments in the ability to disengage attention and in executive functioning, which improved when alertness was increased by administering the auditory warning. The performance of the attentional networks appeared to be modulated by the absence or the presence of reinforcement. We suggest that the observed executive system deficit in children with ADHD could depend on their low level of arousal rather than being an independent disorder. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Ayers, Catherine R; Wetherell, Julie Loebach; Schiehser, Dawn; Almklov, Erin; Golshan, Shahrokh; Saxena, Sanjaya
Hoarding disorder (HD) is a chronic and debilitating psychiatric condition. Midlife HD patients have been found to have neurocognitive impairment, particularly in areas of executive functioning, but the extent to which this is due to comorbid psychiatric disorders has not been clear. The purpose of the present investigation was to examine executive functioning in geriatric HD patients without any comorbid Axis I disorders (n = 42) compared with a healthy older adult comparison group (n = 25). We hypothesized that older adults with HD would perform significantly worse on measures of executive functioning (Wisconsin Card Sort Task [Psychological Assessment Resources, Lutz, Florida, USA] ( Psychological Assessment Resources, 2003) and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV digit span and letter-number sequencing tests [Pearson, San Antonio, TX, USA]). Older adults with HD showed significant differences from healthy older controls in multiple aspects of executive functioning. Compared with healthy controls, older adults with HD committed significantly more total, non-perseverative errors and conceptual level responses on the Wisconsin Card Sort Task and had significantly worse performance on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV digit span and letter-number sequencing tests. Hoarding symptom severity was strongly correlated with executive dysfunction in the HD group. Compared with demographically-matched controls, older adults with HD have dysfunction in several domains of executive functioning including mental control, working memory, inhibition, and set shifting. Executive dysfunction is strongly correlated with hoarding severity and is not because of comorbid psychiatric disorders in HD patients. These results have broad clinical implications suggesting that executive functioning should be assessed and taken into consideration when developing intervention strategies for older adults with HD. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
van der Donk Marthe LA
Full Text Available Abstract Background Deficits in executive functioning are of great significance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. One of these executive functions, working memory, plays an important role in academic performance and is often seen as the core deficit of this disorder. There are indications that working memory problems and academic performance can be improved by school-oriented interventions but this has not yet been studied systematically. In this study we will determine the short- and long-term effects of a working memory - and an executive function training applied in a school situation for children with AD(HD, taking individual characteristics, the level of impairment and costs (stepped-care approach into account. Methods/design The study consists of two parts: the first part is a randomised controlled trial with school-aged children (8–12 yrs with AD(HD. Two groups (each n = 50 will be randomly assigned to a well studied computerized working memory training ‘Cogmed’, or to the ‘Paying attention in class’ intervention which is an experimental school-based executive function training. Children will be selected from regular -and special education primary schools in the region of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The second part of the study will determine which specific characteristics are related to non-response of the ‘Paying attention in class’ intervention. School-aged children (8–12 yrs with AD(HD will follow the experimental school-based executive function training ‘Paying attention in class’ (n = 175. Academic performance and neurocognitive functioning (primary outcomes are assessed before, directly after and 6 months after training. Secondary outcome measures are: behaviour in class, behaviour problems and quality of life. Discussion So far, there is limited but promising evidence that working memory – and other executive function interventions can improve academic performance. Little is know about the
Bettcher, Brianne M.; Mungas, Dan; Patel, Nihar; Elofson, Jonathan; Dutt, Shubir; Wynn, Matthew; Watson, Christa L.; Stephens, Melanie; Walsh, Christine M.; Kramer, Joel H.
Executive functions are often considered lynchpin “frontal lobe tasks”, despite accumulating evidence that a broad network of anterior and posterior brain structures supports them. Using a latent variable modeling approach, we assessed whether prefrontal grey matter volumes independently predict executive function performance when statistically differentiated from global atrophy and individual non-frontal lobar volume contributions. We further examined whether fronto-parietal white matter microstructure underlies and independently contributes to executive functions. We developed a latent variable model to decompose lobar grey matter volumes into a global grey matter factor and specific lobar volumes (i.e. prefrontal, parietal, temporal, occipital) that were independent of global grey matter. We then added mean fractional anisotropy (FA) for the superior longitudinal fasciculus (dorsal portion), corpus callosum, and cingulum bundle (dorsal portion) to models that included grey matter volumes related to cognitive variables in previous analyses. Results suggested that the 2-factor model (shifting/inhibition, updating/working memory) plus an information processing speed factor best explained our executive function data in a sample of 202 community dwelling older adults, and was selected as the base measurement model for further analyses. Global grey matter was related to the executive function and speed variables in all four lobar models, but independent contributions of the frontal lobes were not significant. In contrast, when assessing the effect of white matter microstructure, cingulum FA made significant independent contributions to all three executive function and speed variables and corpus callosum FA was independently related to shifting/inhibition and speed. Findings from the current study indicate that while prefrontal grey matter volumes are significantly associated with cognitive neuroscience measures of shifting/inhibition and working memory in healthy
Kennedy, J. R.; Fitzpatrick, W. S.
The computer executive functional system design concepts derived from study of the Space Station/Base are presented. Information Management System hardware configuration as directly influencing the executive design is reviewed. The hardware configuration and generic executive design requirements are considered in detail in a previous report (System Configuration and Executive Requirements Specifications for Reusable Shuttle and Space Station/Base, 9/25/70). This report defines basic system primitives and delineates processes and process control. Supervisor states are considered for describing basic multiprogramming and multiprocessing systems. A high-level computer executive including control of scheduling, allocation of resources, system interactions, and real-time supervisory functions is defined. The description is oriented to provide a baseline for a functional simulation of the computer executive system.
Rosano, C; Aizenstein, H; Cochran, J; Saxton, J; De Kosky, S; Newman, A B; Kuller, L H; Lopez, O L; Carter, C S
Attentional control, motor planning abilities, and executive cognitive functions (ECF) rapidly decline with age. In particular, older adults experience difficulty in manipulating selected motor responses in the presence of conflicting or distracting information. To examine age-related changes in the neural substrates of the attentional and motor planning components of ECF, we assessed the patterns of brain activation in 8 cognitively normal older adults (mean age 81.5) and 20 young individuals (mean age 23.0) while they responded to low and high loads of attentional demands of the Preparing to Overcome Prepotency (POP) task. In the POP task, the selection of one out of two possible motor responses in the presence of increasing attentional task loads determines the accuracy of the performance. Older individuals were slower than young adults (P Brodmann areas 7 and 40), and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dLPFC: Brodmann areas 9, 45, and 46) bilaterally. Compared to young individuals, older adults had lower activation in dLPFC (Brodmann areas 9, 45, and 46: P = 0.007, P = 0.043, and P = 0.040) and Brodmann area 7, P = 0.002. Activation in Brodmann areas 40 and ACC was similar in the two groups (P > 0.05). Among older adults, the most successful performers were those who responded to increasing task loads with greater activation in PPC (Brodmann area 40), despite lower dLPFC activation. Older adults who are able to perform executive control tasks as well as young adults, also seem to implement speed-accuracy trade-off strategies which may rely on increased parietal activation.
Kane, Michael J.; Poole, Bradley J.; Tuholski, Stephen W.; Engle, Randall W.
The executive attention theory of working memory capacity (WMC) proposes that measures of WMC broadly predict higher order cognitive abilities because they tap important and general attention capabilities (R. W. Engle & M. J. Kane, 2004). Previous research demonstrated WMC-related differences in attention tasks that required restraint of habitual…
Shema-Shiratzky, Shirley; Brozgol, Marina; Cornejo-Thumm, Pablo; Geva-Dayan, Karen; Rotstein, Michael; Leitner, Yael; Hausdorff, Jeffrey M; Mirelman, Anat
To examine the feasibility and efficacy of a combined motor-cognitive training using virtual reality to enhance behavior, cognitive function and dual-tasking in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Fourteen non-medicated school-aged children with ADHD, received 18 training sessions during 6 weeks. Training included walking on a treadmill while negotiating virtual obstacles. Behavioral symptoms, cognition and gait were tested before and after the training and at 6-weeks follow-up. Based on parental report, there was a significant improvement in children's social problems and psychosomatic behavior after the training. Executive function and memory were improved post-training while attention was unchanged. Gait regularity significantly increased during dual-task walking. Long-term training effects were maintained in memory and executive function. Treadmill-training augmented with virtual-reality is feasible and may be an effective treatment to enhance behavior, cognitive function and dual-tasking in children with ADHD.
Ahmed, Fayeza S; Miller, L Stephen
Theory of mind (ToM) is the ability to comprehend another person's perspective. Although there is much literature of ToM in children, there is a limited and somewhat inconclusive amount of studies examining ToM in a geriatric population. This study examined ToM's relationship to functional independence. Two tests of ToM, tests of executive function, and a measure of functional ability were administered to cognitively intact older adults. Results showed that 1 test of ToM (Strange Stories test) significantly accounted for variance in functional ability, whereas the other did not (Faux Pas test). In addition, Strange Stories test performance was partially driven by a verbal abstraction-based executive function: proverb interpretation. A multiple mediation model was employed to examine whether executive functions explained the relationship between the Strange Stories test and functional ability. Results showed that both the combined and individual indirect effects of the executive function measures mediated the relationship. We argue that, although components of ToM are associated with functional independence, ToM does not appear to account for additional variance in functional independence beyond executive function measures. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.
Carvalho, Chrissie F; Menezes-Filho, José A; de Matos, Vitor P; Bessa, Jonatas Reis; Coelho-Santos, Juliana; Viana, Gustavo F S; Argollo, Nayara; Abreu, Neander
Exposure to airborne manganese (Mn) has been associated with neurotoxic effects, including motor and cognitive deficits. The main deficits related to excessive exposure to Mn are predominantly the dysfunction of fronto-striatal and dopaminergic circuits observed in animal experimental studies, which are involved in attention, working memory and motor function. The present study aims to assess the association between elevated Mn exposure and performance on executive function and attention neuropsychological tests in children living in two communities near a ferro-manganese alloy plant. Seventy children aged between 7 and 12 years with no history of neurologic disease and an estimated IQ >68 (Vocabulary and Block Design subtests) that had lived near the iron-Mn production alloy plant for at least 1.5 years were included. Participants were assessed for cognitive functioning with neuropsychological measures for sustained attention (Test of Visual Attention - TAVIS-3R), cognitive flexibility (WCST), and verbal and visual working memory (WISC-III Digit Span subtest and Corsi Block). Manganese hair (MnH) levels were used as a biomarker of exposure. Mean scores among study participants were lower than general population norms/averages for block design, digit span, reaction time and commission errors. The median MnH level was 11.48 (range 0.52-55.74) μg/g, and no difference between sexes was observed. Spearman's correlation analysis showed a significant inverse correlation between MnH levels and estimated IQ (rho=-0.448, p=0.0001), Vocabulary (rho=-0.272, p=0.02), Block Design (rho=-0.485, p=0.00002) and Digit Span (rho=-0.410, p=0.0004). Multiple regression analyses detected inverse associations between log MnH and scores on estimated IQ (β=-9.67; 95%CI=-16.97 to -2.37), Block Design (β=-2.50; 95%CI=-3.91 to -1.10) and Digit Span Total (β=-2.59; 95%CI=-4.13 to -1.05) standardized scores and the number of correct answers in forward and backward Digit Span methods, after
van der Donk, Marthe L A; Hiemstra-Beernink, Anne-Claire; Tjeenk-Kalff, Ariane C; van der Leij, Aryan V; Lindauer, Ramón J L
Deficits in executive functioning are of great significance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). One of these executive functions, working memory, plays an important role in academic performance and is often seen as the core deficit of this disorder. There are indications that working memory problems and academic performance can be improved by school-oriented interventions but this has not yet been studied systematically. In this study we will determine the short- and long-term effects of a working memory--and an executive function training applied in a school situation for children with AD(H)D, taking individual characteristics, the level of impairment and costs (stepped-care approach) into account. The study consists of two parts: the first part is a randomised controlled trial with school-aged children (8-12 yrs) with AD(H)D. Two groups (each n = 50) will be randomly assigned to a well studied computerized working memory training 'Cogmed', or to the 'Paying attention in class' intervention which is an experimental school-based executive function training. Children will be selected from regular -and special education primary schools in the region of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The second part of the study will determine which specific characteristics are related to non-response of the 'Paying attention in class' intervention. School-aged children (8-12 yrs) with AD(H)D will follow the experimental school-based executive function training 'Paying attention in class' (n = 175). Academic performance and neurocognitive functioning (primary outcomes) are assessed before, directly after and 6 months after training. Secondary outcome measures are: behaviour in class, behaviour problems and quality of life. So far, there is limited but promising evidence that working memory - and other executive function interventions can improve academic performance. Little is know about the applicability and generalization effects of these interventions in a classroom
Paul D. Loprinzi
Full Text Available Background: No study has evaluated the effects of executive function on follow-up sedentary behavior, which was this study’s purpose. Methods: A longitudinal design was employed among 18 young adult college students (Mage = 23.7 years; 88.9% female. Accelerometer-determined sedentary behavior and physical activity, along with executive function, were assessed at baseline. Approximately 8 weeks later, re-assessment of accelerometer-determined sedentary behavior and physical activity occurred. Executive function was assessed using the Parametric Go/No-Go (PGNG computer task. From this, 2 primary executive function outcome parameters were evaluated, including the Simple Rule and Repeating Rule. Results: After adjusting for baseline sedentary behavior, age, gender, body mass index and baseline moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA, for every 25% increase in the number of correctly identified targets for the Repeating rule at the baseline assessment, participants engaged in 91.8 fewer minutes of sedentary behavior at the follow-up assessment (β = -91.8; 95% CI: -173.5, -10.0; P = 0.03. Results were unchanged when also adjusting for total baseline or follow-up physical activity. Conclusion: Greater executive function is associated with less follow-up sedentary behavior.
Mathias Haeger; Otmar Bock; Daniel Memmert; Stefanie Hüttermann
Virtual reality offers a good possibility for the implementation of real-life tasks in a laboratory-based training or testing scenario. Thus, a computerized training in a driving simulator offers an ecological valid training approach. Visual attention had an influence on driving performance, so we used the reverse approach to test the influence of a driving training on visual attention and executive functions. Thirty-seven healthy older participants (mean age: 71.46 ± 4.09; gender: 17 men and...
Toll, S.W.M.; van der Ven, S.H.G.; Kroesbergen, E.H.; van Luit, J.E.H.
In the past years, an increasing number of studies have investigated executive functions as predictors of individual differences in mathematical abilities. The present longitudinal study was designed to investigate whether the executive functions shifting, inhibition, and working memory differ
Philippot, Pierre; Agrigoroaei, Stefan
Previous findings and the depressive-executive dysfunction hypothesis suggest that the established association between executive functioning and depression is accounted for by repetitive thinking. Investigating the association between executive functioning, repetitive thinking, and depressive mood, the present study empirically tested this mediational model in a sample of older adults, while focusing on both concrete and abstract repetitive thinking. This latter distinction is important given the potential protective role of concrete repetitive thinking, in contrast to the depletive effect of abstract repetitive thinking. A sample of 43 elderly volunteers, between 75 and 95 years of age, completed tests of executive functioning (the Stroop test, the Trail Making test, and the Fluency test), and questionnaires of repetitive thinking and depression. Positive correlations were observed between abstract repetitive thinking and depressive mood, and between concrete repetitive thinking and executive functioning; a negative correlation was observed between depressive mood and executive functioning. Further, mediational analysis evidenced that the relation between executive functioning and depressive mood was mediated by abstract repetitive thinking. The present data provide, for the first time, empirical support to the depressive-executive dysfunction hypothesis: the lack of executive resources would favor a mode of abstract repetitive thinking, which in turn would deplete mood. It suggests that clinical intervention targeting depression in the elderly should take into consideration repetitive thinking modes and the executive resources needed to disengage from rumination.
Richeson, Jennifer A; Baird, Abigail A; Gordon, Heather L; Heatherton, Todd F; Wyland, Carrie L; Trawalter, Sophie; Shelton, J Nicole
We investigated whether individual differences in racial bias among white participants predict the recruitment, and potential depletion, of executive attentional resources during contact with black individuals. White individuals completed an unobtrusive measure of racial bias, then interacted with a black individual, and finally completed an ostensibly unrelated Stroop color-naming test. In a separate functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) session, subjects were presented with unfamiliar black male faces, and the activity of brain regions thought to be critical to executive control was assessed. We found that racial bias predicted activity in right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in response to black faces. Furthermore, activity in this region predicted Stroop interference after an actual interracial interaction, and it statistically mediated the relation between racial bias and Stroop interference. These results are consistent with a resource depletion account of the temporary executive dysfunction seen in racially biased individuals after interracial contact.
Rouw, Romke; van Driel, Joram; Knip, Koen; Richard Ridderinkhof, K.
In grapheme-color synesthesia, a number or letter can evoke two different and possibly conflicting (real and synesthetic) color sensations at the same time. In this study, we investigate the relationship between synesthesia and executive control functions. First, no general skill differences were
Shin, Hee-Sung; Black, David S; Shonkoff, Eleanor Tate; Riggs, Nathaniel R; Pentz, Mary Ann
The study objective was to examine the effects of two conceptually related constructs, self-compassion and dispositional mindfulness, on executive function (EF) proficiency among early adolescents. Executive function refers to a set of psychological processes governing emotional regulation, organization, and planning. While the benefits of positive psychology appear evident for mental health and wellness, little is known about the etiological relationship between dispositional mindfulness and self-compassion in their associations with EF. Two hundred and ten early adolescents attending middle school (age M=12.5 years; SD=0.5; 21% Hispanic, 18% Mixed/bi-racial, 47% White, and 9% Other/Missing; 37.1% on free lunch program) self-reported levels of dispositional mindfulness (Mindful Attention Awareness Scale; MAAS), self-compassion (Self-Compassion Scale; SCS; self-judgment and self-kindness domains), and EF proficiency (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function; BRIEF-SR). A sequential linear regression stepwise approach was taken entering the independent variables as separate models in the following order: self-kindness, self-judgement, and dispositional mindfulness. All models controlled for participant age and sex. SCS self-kindness was not associated with EF proficiency, but SCS self-judgment (reverse-coded) contributed to the variance in EF (β=0.40, p mindfulness appears to outweigh that of specific self-compassion domains, when independent of contemplative training.
Urazán-Torres, Gina Rocío; Puche-Cabrera, Mario José; Caballero-Forero, Mangelli; Rey-Anacona, César Armando
Most of the studies that have examined cognitive and executive functions in conduct disorders (CD) have been conducted on institutionalized male adolescents. In this research the cognitive and executive functions of non-institutionalized Colombian school children with CD were compared with normal school children, all between 6 and 12 years-old. We used a case-control design. The cases were participants who met the diagnostic criteria for CD (n=39) and controls who did not meet these criteria (n=39), according to reports of a professional of the participants' institution, and a structured interview for childhood psychiatric syndromes. The two groups were selected from educational institutions, and there were no differences in age, school grade, or socioeconomic level. The IQ was reviewed, as well as the presence of other mental disorders, serious physical illnesses, and more serious neurological signs. The cognitive and executive functions were evaluated using a child neuropsychological test battery. We found that participants with CD had significantly lower scores in construction abilities, perceptual abilities (tactile, visual and auditory), differed in verbal memory, differed in visual memory, language (repetition, expression and understanding), meta-linguistic abilities, spatial abilities, visual and auditory attention, conceptual abilities, verbal and graphic fluency, and cognitive flexibility. The same differences were found between males, except in repetition, whereas girls showed fewer differences, thus the cognitive and executive performance was poorer in males with CD than in females, especially in verbal and linguistic-related functions. Children with CD could show generalized cognitive and executive deficits. These deficits seem to be more frequent in boys than in girls with CD. Copyright © 2013 Asociación Colombiana de Psiquiatría. Publicado por Elsevier España. All rights reserved.
You, S. Christine; Geschwind, Michael D.; Sha, Sharon J.; Apple, Alexandra; Satris, Gabriella; Wood, Kristie A.; Johnson, Erica T.; Gooblar, Jonathan; Feuerstein, Jeanne S.; Finkbeiner, Steven; Kang, Gail A.; Miller, Bruce L.; Hess, Christopher P.; Kramer, Joel H.; Possin, Katherine L.
Objective We investigated the viability of psychometrically robust executive function measures as markers for premanifest Huntington’s disease (HD). Methods Fifteen premanifest HD subjects and 42 controls were compared on the NIH EXAMINER executive function battery. This battery yields an overall Executive Composite score, plus Working Memory, Cognitive Control, and Fluency Scores that are measured on psychometrically matched scales. The scores were correlated with two disease markers, disease burden and striatal volumes, in the premanifest HD subjects. Results The premanifest HD subjects scored significantly lower on the Working Memory Score. The Executive Composite positively correlated with striatal volumes, and Working Memory Score negatively correlated with disease burden. The Cognitive Control and Fluency Scores did not differ between the groups or correlate significantly with the disease markers. Conclusions The NIH EXAMINER Executive Composite and Working Memory Score are sensitive markers of cognitive dysfunction, striatal volume, and disease burden in premanifest HD. PMID:24375511
Pirila, Silja; van der Meere, Jaap J.; Rantanen, Kati; Jokiluoma, Maria; Eriksson, Kai
Dependent on criteria used, between 35% and 53% of the participants with cerebral palsy fulfilled the criteria of clinically relevant executive function problems as defined by Conners' (1994) Continuous Performance Test. Executive function problems were noticed mainly in participants with bilateral
Schwam, Dina M; King, Tricia Z; Greenberg, Daphne
Tourette syndrome (TS) is a disorder that involves at least one vocal tic and two or more motor tics; however, associated symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention-deficit disorder or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are common. Many children with TS exhibit educational difficulties and one possible explanation may be deficits in executive functioning. The focus of this study was to look at the severity of symptoms often associated with TS (tics and OCD and ADHD symptoms) and its potential relationship with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) Parent Form in 11 children diagnosed with TS aged 8 to 14 years old. The parent of the child completed the BRIEF along with symptom measures evaluating tics, OCD behaviors, and ADHD symptoms. Despite relatively low mean scores on the symptom measures and just a few children exhibiting clinically significant scores on the BRIEF indexes, at least half the children exhibited abnormal scores on the Working Memory, Inhibit, and Shift subscales of the BRIEF. Varying patterns of relationships were found on the BRIEF subscales for each symptom severity scale. Results suggest that the BRIEF may be useful in determining the specific areas of difficulty in a population with variable symptomatology.
Yarnell, Colin M P; Addissie, Yonit A; Hadley, Donald W; Guillen Sacoto, Maria J; Agochukwu, Nneamaka B; Hart, Rachel A; Wiggs, Edythe A; Platte, Petra; Paelecke, Yvonne; Collmann, Hartmut; Schweitzer, Tilmann; Kruszka, Paul; Muenke, Maximilian
To investigate executive function and adaptive behavior in individuals with Muenke syndrome using validated instruments with a normative population and unaffected siblings as controls. Participants in this cross-sectional study included individuals with Muenke syndrome (P250R mutation in FGFR3) and their mutation-negative siblings. Participants completed validated assessments of executive functioning (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function [BRIEF]) and adaptive behavior skills (Adaptive Behavior Assessment System, Second Edition [ABAS-II]). Forty-four with a positive FGFR3 mutation, median age 9 years, range 7 months to 52 years were enrolled. In addition, 10 unaffected siblings served as controls (5 males, 5 females; median age, 13 years; range, 3-18 years). For the General Executive Composite scale of the BRIEF, 32.1% of the cohort had scores greater than +1.5 SD, signifying potential clinical significance. For the General Adaptive Composite of the ABAS-II, 28.2% of affected individuals scored in the 3rd-8th percentile of the normative population, and 56.4% were below the average category (General Executive Composite and the ABAS-II General Adaptive Composite. Individuals with Muenke syndrome are at an increased risk for developing adaptive and executive function behavioral changes compared with a normative population and unaffected siblings. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Taren, Adrienne A; Gianaros, Peter J; Greco, Carol M; Lindsay, Emily K; Fairgrieve, April; Brown, Kirk Warren; Rosen, Rhonda K; Ferris, Jennifer L; Julson, Erica; Marsland, Anna L; Creswell, J David
Mindfulness meditation training has been previously shown to enhance behavioral measures of executive control (e.g., attention, working memory, cognitive control), but the neural mechanisms underlying these improvements are largely unknown. Here, we test whether mindfulness training interventions foster executive control by strengthening functional connections between dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC)-a hub of the executive control network-and frontoparietal regions that coordinate executive function. Thirty-five adults with elevated levels of psychological distress participated in a 3-day randomized controlled trial of intensive mindfulness meditation or relaxation training. Participants completed a resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging scan before and after the intervention. We tested whether mindfulness meditation training increased resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) between dlPFC and frontoparietal control network regions. Left dlPFC showed increased connectivity to the right inferior frontal gyrus (T = 3.74), right middle frontal gyrus (MFG) (T = 3.98), right supplementary eye field (T = 4.29), right parietal cortex (T = 4.44), and left middle temporal gyrus (T = 3.97, all p < .05) after mindfulness training relative to the relaxation control. Right dlPFC showed increased connectivity to right MFG (T = 4.97, p < .05). We report that mindfulness training increases rsFC between dlPFC and dorsal network (superior parietal lobule, supplementary eye field, MFG) and ventral network (right IFG, middle temporal/angular gyrus) regions. These findings extend previous work showing increased functional connectivity among brain regions associated with executive function during active meditation by identifying specific neural circuits in which rsFC is enhanced by a mindfulness intervention in individuals with high levels of psychological distress. Clinicaltrials.gov,NCT01628809.
Russell Jay Hendel
Full Text Available A recent approach to pedagogic challenge, contrastive to the hierarchy approach of Bloom, Anderson, Gagne, Van Hiele, Marzano, Webb and many others, identifies pedagogic challenge with executive function: Pedagogy is defined as challenging if it addresses executive function. Executive function, in turn, is defined by the presence of multiple modalities of topic approach and a multi-parameter development of the topic. This paper discusses operational issues in implementing a teaching methodology based on multi-parameter problems. This paper advocates teaching a multi-parameter topic using a step-by-step incremental approach, introducing one parameter at a time. Examples are presented from trigonometry, actuarial mathematics, statistics and (biblical literary analysis. The paper also discusses the use of the incremental approach for problem creation and remediation.
Full Text Available Over the last two decades, there has been a growing interest in the study of the development of executive functions in preschool children due to their relationship with different cognitive, psychological, social and academic domains. Early detection of individual differences in executive functioning can have major implications for basic and applied research. Consequently, there is a key need for assessment tools adapted to preschool skills: Shape School has been shown to be a suitable task for this purpose. Our study uses Shape School as the main task to analyze development of inhibition, task-switching and working memory in a sample of 304 preschoolers (age range 3.25-6.50 years. Additionally, we include cognitive tasks for the evaluation of verbal variables (vocabulary, word reasoning and short-term memory and performance variables (picture completion and symbol search, so as to analyze their relationship with executive functions. Our results show age-associated improvements in executive functions and the cognitive variables assessed. Furthermore, correlation analyses reveal positive relationships between executive functions and the other cognitive variables. More specifically, using structural equation modeling and including age direct and indirect effects, our results suggest that executive functions explain to a greater extent performance on verbal and performance tasks. These findings provide further information to support research that considers preschool age to be a crucial period for the development of executive functions and their relationship with other cognitive processes
Ersche, Karen D; Clark, Luke; London, Mervyn; Robbins, Trevor W; Sahakian, Barbara J
Cognitive function was assessed in chronic drug users on neurocognitive measures of executive and memory function. Current amphetamine users were contrasted with current opiate users, and these two groups were compared with former users of these substances (abstinent for at least one year). Four groups of participants were recruited: amphetamine-dependent individuals, opiate-dependent individuals, former users of amphetamines, and/or opiates and healthy non-drug taking controls. Participants were administered the Tower of London (TOL) planning task and the 3D-IDED attentional set-shifting task to assess executive function, and Paired Associates Learning and Delayed Pattern Recognition Memory tasks to assess visual memory function. The three groups of substance users showed significant impairments on TOL planning, Pattern Recognition Memory and Paired Associates Learning. Current amphetamine users displayed a greater degree of impairment than current opiate users. Consistent with previous research showing that healthy men are performing better on visuo-spatial tests than women, our male controls remembered significantly more paired associates than their female counterparts. This relationship was reversed in drug users. While performance of female drug users was normal, male drug users showed significant impairment compared to both their female counterparts and male controls. There was no difference in performance between current and former drug users. Neither years of drug abuse nor years of drug abstinence were associated with performance. Chronic drug users display pronounced neuropsychological impairment in the domains of executive and memory function. Impairment persists after several years of drug abstinence and may reflect neuropathology in frontal and temporal cortices. PMID:16160707
A RCT Comparing Daily Mindfulness Meditations, Biofeedback Exercises, and Daily Physical Exercise on Attention Control, Executive Functioning, Mindful Awareness, Self-Compassion, and Worrying in Stressed Young Adults.
de Bruin, Esther I; van der Zwan, J Esi; Bögels, Susan M
Our Western society is characterized by multitasking, competition, and constant time pressure. Negative effects of stress for the individual (anxiety, depression, somatic complaints) and for organizations and society (costs due to work absence) are very high. Thus, time-efficient self-help interventions to address these issues are necessary. This study assessed the effects of daily mindfulness meditations (MM) versus daily heart rate variability biofeedback (HRV-BF) and daily physical exercise (PE) on attention control, executive functioning, mindful awareness, self-compassion, and worrying. Young adults ( n = 75, age range 18 to 40) with elevated stress levels were randomized to MM, HRV-BF, or PE, and measurements were taken at pre-test, post-test, and follow-up. Interventions in all three groups were self-guided and lasted for 5 weeks. Generalized estimating equation analyses showed that overall, all three interventions were effective and did not differ from each other. However, practice time differed between groups, with participants in the PE group practicing much more than participants in the other two groups. Therefore, additional analyses were carried out in two subsamples. The optimal dose sample included only those participants who practiced for at least 70 % of the total prescribed time. In the equal dose sample, home practice intensity was equal for all three groups. Again, the effects of the three interventions did not differ. In conclusion, MM, HRV-BF, and PE are all effective self-help methods to improve attention control, executive functioning, mindful awareness, self-compassion, and worrying, and mindfulness meditation was not found to be more effective than HRV-biofeedback or physical exercise for these cognitive processes.
Ment, Laura; Allan, Walter; Schneider, Karen; Vohr, Betty R.
BACKGROUND: Many preterm children display school difficulties, which may be mediated by impairment in executive function and memory. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate executive and memory function among adolescents born preterm compared with term controls at 16 years. METHODS: A total of 337 of 437 (77%) adolescents born in 1989 to 1992 with a birth weight executive function and memory tasks. Multiple regression analyses were used to compare groups and to identify associations between selected factors and outcomes among preterm subjects. RESULTS: Adolescents born preterm, compared with term controls, showed deficits in executive function in the order of 0.4 to 0.6 SD on tasks of verbal fluency, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, planning/organization, and working memory as well as verbal and visuospatial memory. After exclusion of adolescents with neurosensory disabilities and full-scale IQ executive dysfunction, as measured with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, on the Metacognition Index (odds ratio [OR]: 2.5 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.2–5.1]) and the Global Executive Composite (OR: 4.2 [95% CI: 1.6–10.9]), but not on the Behavioral Regulation index (OR: 1.5 [95% CI: 0.7–3.5]). Among adolescents born preterm, severe brain injury on neonatal ultrasound and lower maternal education were the most consistent factors associated with poor outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Even after exclusion of preterm subjects with significant disabilities, adolescents born preterm in the early 1990s were at increased risk of deficits in executive function and memory. PMID:21300680
Whittingham, Koa; Bodimeade, Harriet L; Lloyd, Owen; Boyd, Roslyn N
To identify whether executive functioning mediates the effect of having unilateral cerebral palsy (CP) on executive functioning in everyday life, psychological functioning, and social functioning. A cross-sectional cohort of 46 children with unilateral CP (25 males, 21 females; mean age 11y 1mo, SD 2y 5mo; 24 right-sided, 22 left-sided) and 20 children with typical development (nine males, 11 females; mean age 10y 10mo, SD 2y 4mo). Cognitive executive functioning was tested using a neuropsychological battery. Executive functioning in everyday life was measured with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF; teacher and parent reports) and psychological and social functioning by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Analysis included analysis of covariance and bootstrapping. Children with unilateral CP were found to have significantly decreased functioning, compared with children with typical development, on the BRIEF Behavioral Regulation Index, the BRIEF Metacognition Index, and on the SDQ emotion, conduct, hyperactivity, and peer problems subscales. Group differences were mediated by cognitive executive functioning for the BRIEF Metacognition Index (teacher and parent report), the BRIEF Behavioral Regulation Index (parent report only), the SDQ conduct subscale, and the SDQ hyperactivity subscale. This study suggests that the increased risk of children with unilateral CP experiencing executive functioning difficulties in everyday life, conduct problems, and hyperactivity can be partly explained by decreased cognitive executive functioning abilities relative to children with typical development. © 2014 Mac Keith Press.
Full Text Available Executive function (EF and language learning play a prominent role in early childhood development. Empirical research continues to point to a concurrent relation between these two faculties. What has been given little attention, however, is the association between EF and speech articulation abilities in children. This study investigated this relation in children aged 4–6 years. Significant correlations indicated that children with better EF [via parental report of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF inventory] exhibited stronger speech sound production abilities in the articulation of the “s” and “sh” sounds. Furthermore, regression analyses revealed that the Global Executive Composite (GEC of EF as measured by the BRIEF, served as a predictor for speech sound proficiency and that speech sound proficiency served as a predictor for the GEC. Together, these results demonstrate the imbricated nature of EF and speech sound production while bearing theoretical and practical implications. From a theoretical standpoint, the close link between EF and speech articulation may indicate a common ontogenetic pathway. From a practical perspective, the results suggest that children with speech difficulties could be at higher risk for EF deficits.
Shin, Min-Sup; Jeon, Hyejin; Kim, Miyoung; Hwang, Taeho; Oh, Seo Jin; Hwangbo, Minsu; Kim, Ki Joong
We sought to determine whether smart-tablet-based neurofeedback could improve executive function-including attention, working memory, and self-regulation-in children with attention problems. Forty children (10-12 years old) with attention problems, as determined by ratings on the Conners Parent Rating Scale, were assigned to either a neurofeedback group that received 16 sessions or a control group. A comprehensive test battery that assessed general intelligence, visual and auditory attention, attentional shifting, response inhibition and behavior rating scales were administered to both groups before neurofeedback training. Several neuropsychological tests were conducted at posttraining and follow-up assessment. Scores on several neuropsychological tests and parent behavior rating scales showed significant improvement in the training group but not in the controls. The improvements remained through the follow-up assessment. This study suggests that the smart-tablet-based neurofeedback training program might improve cognitive function in children with attention problems. © The Author(s) 2015.
Mak, Anselm; Ren, Tao; Fu, Erin Hui-yun; Cheak, Alicia Ai-cia; Ho, Roger Chun-man
To study the functional brain activation signals before and after sufficient disease control in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) without clinical neuropsychiatric symptoms. Blood-oxygen-level-dependent signals during event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging brain were recorded, while 14 new-onset SLE patients and 14 demographically and intelligence quotient matched healthy controls performed the computer-based Wisconsin card sorting test for assessing executive function, which probes strategic planning and goal-directed task performance during feedback evaluation (FE) and response selection (RS), respectively. Composite beta maps were constructed by a general linear model to identify regions of cortical activation. Blood-oxygen-level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging signals were compared between (1) new-onset SLE patients and healthy controls and (2) SLE patients before and after sufficient control of their disease activity. During RS, SLE patients demonstrated significantly higher activation than healthy controls in both caudate bodies and Brodmann area (BA) 9 to enhance event anticipation, attention, and working memory, respectively, to compensate for the reduced activation during FE in BA6, 13, 24, and 32, which serve complex motor planning and decision-making, sensory integration, error detection, and conflict processing, respectively. Despite significant reduction of SLE activity, BA32 was activated during RS to compensate for reduced activation during FE in BA6, 9, 37, and 23/32, which serve motor planning, response inhibition and attention, color processing and word recognition, error detection, and conflict evaluation, respectively. Even without clinically overt neuropsychiatric symptoms, SLE patients recruited additional pathways to execute goal-directed tasks to compensate for their reduced strategic planning skill despite clinically sufficient disease control. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
McKenna, Róisín; Rushe, T.; Woodcock, Kate A.
The structure of executive function (EF) has been the focus of much debate for decades. What is more, the complexity and diversity provided by the developmental period only adds to this contention. The development of executive function plays an integral part in the expression of children's behavioral, cognitive, social, and emotional capabilities. Understanding how these processes are constructed during development allows for effective measurement of EF in this population. This meta-analysis aims to contribute to a better understanding of the structure of executive function in children. A coordinate-based meta-analysis was conducted (using BrainMap GingerALE 2.3), which incorporated studies administering functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during inhibition, switching, and working memory updating tasks in typical children (aged 6–18 years). The neural activation common across all executive tasks was compared to that shared by tasks pertaining only to inhibition, switching or updating, which are commonly considered to be fundamental executive processes. Results support the existence of partially separable but partially overlapping inhibition, switching, and updating executive processes at a neural level, in children over 6 years. Further, the shared neural activation across all tasks (associated with a proposed “unitary” component of executive function) overlapped to different degrees with the activation associated with each individual executive process. These findings provide evidence to support the suggestion that one of the most influential structural models of executive functioning in adults can also be applied to children of this age. However, the findings also call for careful consideration and measurement of both specific executive processes, and unitary executive function in this population. Furthermore, a need is highlighted for a new systematic developmental model, which captures the integrative nature of executive function in children. PMID
Malmir, Maryam; Seifenaraghi, Maryam; Farhud, Dariush D; Afrooz, G Ali; Khanahmadi, Mohammad
According to the mother's key roles in bringing up emotional and cognitive abilities of mentally retarded children and respect to positive psychology in recent decades, this research is administered to assess the relation between mother's happiness level with cognitive- executive functions (i.e. attention, working memory, inhibition and planning) and facial emotional recognition ability as two factors in learning and adjustment skills in mentally retarded children with Down syndrome. This study was an applied research and data were analyzed by Pearson correlation procedure. Population is included all school children with Down syndrome (9-12 yr) that come from Tehran, Iran. Overall, 30 children were selected as an in access sample. After selection and agreement of parents, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R) was performed to determine the student's IQ, and then mothers were invited to fill out the Oxford Happiness Inventory (OHI). Cognitive-executive functions were evaluated by tests as followed: Continues Performance Test (CPT), N-Back, Stroop test (day and night version) and Tower of London. Ekman emotion facial expression test was also accomplished for assessing facial emotional recognition in children with Down syndrome, individually. Mother's happiness level had a positive relation with cognitive-executive functions (attention, working memory, inhibition and planning) and facial emotional recognition in her children with Down syndrome, significantly. Parents' happiness (especially mothers) is a powerful predictor for cognitive and emotional abilities of their children.
MacKenzie, L E; Patterson, V C; Zwicker, A; Drobinin, V; Fisher, H L; Abidi, S; Greve, A N; Bagnell, A; Propper, L; Alda, M; Pavlova, B; Uher, R
Psychotic symptoms are common in children and adolescents and may be early manifestations of liability to severe mental illness (SMI), including schizophrenia. SMI and psychotic symptoms are associated with impairment in executive functions. However, previous studies have not differentiated between 'cold' and 'hot' executive functions. We hypothesized that the propensity for psychotic symptoms is specifically associated with impairment in 'hot' executive functions, such as decision-making in the context of uncertain rewards and losses. In a cohort of 156 youth (mean age 12.5, range 7-24 years) enriched for familial risk of SMI, we measured cold and hot executive functions with the spatial working memory (SWM) task (total errors) and the Cambridge Gambling Task (decision-making), respectively. We assessed psychotic symptoms using the semi-structured Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia interview, Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes, Funny Feelings, and Schizophrenia Proneness Instrument - Child and Youth version. In total 69 (44.23%) youth reported psychotic symptoms on one or more assessments. Cold executive functioning, indexed with SWM errors, was not significantly related to psychotic symptoms [odds ratio (OR) 1.36, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.85-2.17, p = 0.204). Poor hot executive functioning, indexed as decision-making score, was associated with psychotic symptoms after adjustment for age, sex and familial clustering (OR 2.37, 95% CI 1.25-4.50, p = 0.008). The association between worse hot executive functions and psychotic symptoms remained significant in sensitivity analyses controlling for general cognitive ability and cold executive functions. Impaired hot executive functions may be an indicator of risk and a target for pre-emptive early interventions in youth.
Manning, Kevin J; Alexopoulos, George S; Banerjee, Samprit; Morimoto, Sarah Shizuko; Seirup, Joanna K; Klimstra, Sibel A; Yuen, Genevieve; Kanellopoulos, Theodora; Gunning-Dixon, Faith
Executive dysfunction may play a key role in the pathophysiology of late-life depression. Executive dysfunction can be assessed with cognitive tests and subjective report of difficulties with executive skills. The present study investigated the association between subjective report of executive functioning complaints and time to escitalopram treatment response in older adults with major depressive disorder (MDD). 100 older adults with MDD (58 with executive functioning complaints and 42 without executive functioning complaints) completed a 12-week trial of escitalopram. Treatment response over 12 weeks, as measured by repeated Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores, was compared for adults with and without executive complaints using mixed-effects modeling. Mixed effects analysis revealed a significant group × time interaction, F(1, 523.34) = 6.00, p = 0.01. Depressed older adults who reported executive functioning complaints at baseline demonstrated a slower response to escitalopram treatment than those without executive functioning complaints. Self-report of executive functioning difficulties may be a useful prognostic indicator for subsequent speed of response to antidepressant medication. Copyright © 2015 American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available The ontogeny of executive functions is essential in explaining differential and normative developmental trends. Executive functions must be studied from an early age given their consequential effects on mental flexibility, monitoring information, planning, and cognitive control. We propose a differential study in alternative developmental courses through observing typical babies, Down syndrome babies, and babies with risk-factors at birth (due to low weight or to congenital hypothyroidism. Applymg Systematic Observational Methodology, spontaneous babies' activity was registered. The results indicated that: a Typical babies showed better shifting and action flexibility in order to obtain a goal, thus better results; b Among the higher risk-babies, the lower efficacy in executive functioning was observed in underweight babies. Those with hypothyroidism were more in line with the typical babies; c Underweight babies showed a good level of combining actions but they obtained inferior results; d Down syndrome babies displayed more executive functioning difficulty, lower flexibility, high perseveration and less error detection.
Gough, Aisling; Linden, Mark A; Spence, Dale; Halliday, Henry L; Patterson, Christopher C; McGarvey, Lorcan
To assess long-term impairments of executive functioning in adult survivors of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Participants were assessed on measures of executive functioning, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and social functioning. Survivors of BPD (n = 63; 34 males; mean age 24.2 years) were compared with groups comprising preterm (without BPD) (executive functioning relating to problem solving (OR: 5.1, CI: 1.4-19.3), awareness of behavior (OR: 12.7, CI: 1.5-106.4) and organization of their environment (OR: 13.0, CI: 1.6-107.1). Birth weight, HRQoL and social functioning were predictive of deficits in executive functioning. This study represents the largest sample of survivors into adulthood of BPD and is the first to show that deficits in executive functioning persist. Children with BPD should be assessed to identify cognitive impairments and allow early intervention aimed at ameliorating their effects. Implications for Rehabilitation Adults born preterm with very-low birth weight, and particularly those who develop BPD, are at increased risk of exhibiting defects in executive functioning. Clinicians and educators should be made aware of the impact that BPD can have on the long-term development of executive functions. Children and young adults identified as having BPD should be periodically monitored to identify the need for possible intervention.
Coull, J T
Attention and arousal are multi-dimensional psychological processes, which interact closely with one another. The neural substrates of attention, as well as the interaction between arousal and attention, are discussed in this review. After a brief discussion of psychological and neuropsychological theories of attention, event-related potential correlates of attention are discussed. Essentially, attention acts to modulate stimulus-induced electrical potentials (N100/P100, P300, N400), rather than generating any unique potentials of its own. Functional neuroimaging studies of attentional orienting, selective attention, divided attention and sustained attention (and its inter-dependence on underlying levels of arousal) are then reviewed. A distinction is drawn between the brain areas which are crucially involved in the top-down modulation of attention (the 'sources' of attention) and those sensory-association areas whose activity is modulated by attention (the 'sites' of attentional expression). Frontal and parietal (usually right-lateralised) cortices and thalamus are most often associated with the source of attentional modulation. Also, the use of functional neuroimaging to test explicit hypotheses about psychological theories of attention is emphasised. These experimental paradigms form the basis for a 'new generation' of functional imaging studies which exploit the dynamic aspect of imaging and demonstrate how it can be used as more than just a 'brain mapping' device. Finally, a review of psychopharmacological studies in healthy human volunteers outlines the contributions of the noradrenergic, cholinergic and dopaminergic neurotransmitter systems to the neurochemical modulation of human attention and arousal. While, noradrenergic and cholinergic systems are involved in 'low-level' aspects of attention (e.g. attentional orienting), the dopaminergic system is associated with more 'executive' aspects of attention such as attentional set-shifting or working memory.
Tapper, Anthony; Gonzalez, Dave; Roy, Eric; Niechwiej-Szwedo, Ewa
The purpose of this study was to examine executive functions in team sport athletes with and without a history of concussion. Executive functions comprise many cognitive processes including, working memory, attention and multi-tasking. Past research has shown that concussions cause difficulties in vestibular-visual and vestibular-auditory dual-tasking, however, visual-auditory tasks have been examined rarely. Twenty-nine intercollegiate varsity ice hockey athletes (age = 19.13, SD = 1.56; 15 females) performed an experimental dual-task paradigm that required simultaneously processing visual and auditory information. A brief interview, event description and self-report questionnaires were used to assign participants to each group (concussion, no-concussion). Eighteen athletes had a history of concussion and 11 had no concussion history. The two tests involved visuospatial working memory (i.e., Corsi block test) and auditory tone discrimination. Participants completed both tasks individually, then simultaneously. Two outcome variables were measured, Corsi block memory span and auditory tone discrimination accuracy. No differences were shown when each task was performed alone; however, athletes with a history of concussion had a significantly worse performance on the tone discrimination task in the dual-task condition. In conclusion, long-term deficits in executive functions were associated with a prior history of concussion when cognitive resources were stressed. Evaluations of executive functions and divided attention appear to be helpful in discriminating participants with and without a history concussion.
Brunye, Tad T.; Mahoney, Caroline R.; Lieberman, Harris R.; Giles, Grace E.; Taylor, Holly A.
Recent work suggests that a dose of 200-400mg caffeine can enhance both vigilance and the executive control of visual attention in individuals with low caffeine consumption profiles. The present study seeks to determine whether individuals with relatively high caffeine consumption profiles would show similar advantages. To this end, we examined…
Gooch, Debbie; Thompson, Paul; Nash, Hannah M; Snowling, Margaret J; Hulme, Charles
The developmental relationships between executive functions (EF) and early language skills are unclear. This study explores the longitudinal relationships between children's early EF and language skills in a sample of children with a wide range of language abilities including children at risk of dyslexia. In addition, we investigated whether these skills independently predict children's attention/behaviour skills. Data are presented from 243 children at four time points. Children were selected for being at risk of reading difficulties either because of a family history of dyslexia (FR; N = 90) or because of concerns regarding their language development (LI; N = 79) or as typically developing controls (TD; N = 74). The children completed tasks to assess their executive function and language skills at ages 4, 5 and 6 years. At 6 (T4) and 7 years (T5) parents and teachers rated the children's attention/behaviour skills. There was a strong concurrent relationship between language and EF at each assessment. Longitudinal analyses indicated a considerable degree of stability in children's language and EF skills: the influence of language on later EF skills (and vice versa) was weak and not significant in the current sample. Children's EF, but not language, skills at T3 predicted attention/behaviour ratings at T4/T5. There is a strong concurrent association between language and EF skills during the preschool and early school years, when children with language impairment show persistent EF deficits. Latent variables measuring language and EF show high longitudinal stability with little evidence of significant or strong reciprocal influences between these constructs. EF, but not language, skills predict later ratings of children's attention and behaviour. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
Full Text Available Executive functions (EFs is an umbrella term for various cognitive processes controlled by a complex neural activity, which allow the production of different types of behaviors seeking to achieve specific objectives, one of them being inhibitory control. There is a wide consensus that clinical and behavioral alterations associated with EF, such as inhibitory control, are present in various neuropsychiatric disorders. This paper reviews the research literature on the relationship between executive dysfunction, frontal-subcortical neural circuit changes, and the psychopathological processes associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD. A revision on the role of frontal-subcortical neural circuits and their presumable abnormal functioning and the high frequency of neuropsychiatric symptoms could explain the difficulties with putting effector mechanisms into action, giving individuals the necessary tools to act efficiently in their environment. Although neuronal substrate data about ADHD and PTSD has been reported in the literature, it is isolated. Therefore, this review highlights the overlapping of neural substrates in the symptomatology of ADHD and PTSD disorders concerning EFs, especially in the inhibitory component. Thus, the changes related to impaired EF that accompany disorders like ADHD and PTSD could be explained by disturbances that have a direct or indirect impact on the functioning of these loops. Initially, the theoretical model of EF according to current neuropsychology will be presented, focusing on the inhibitory component. In a second stage, this component will be analyzed for each of the disorders of interest, considering the clinical aspects, the etiology and the neurobiological basis. Additionally, commonalities between the two neuropsychiatric conditions will be taken into consideration from the perspectives of cognitive and emotional inhibition. Finally, the
Martínez, Lía; Prada, Edward; Satler, Corina; Tavares, Maria C. H.; Tomaz, Carlos
Executive functions (EFs) is an umbrella term for various cognitive processes controlled by a complex neural activity, which allow the production of different types of behaviors seeking to achieve specific objectives, one of them being inhibitory control. There is a wide consensus that clinical and behavioral alterations associated with EF, such as inhibitory control, are present in various neuropsychiatric disorders. This paper reviews the research literature on the relationship between executive dysfunction, frontal-subcortical neural circuit changes, and the psychopathological processes associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A revision on the role of frontal-subcortical neural circuits and their presumable abnormal functioning and the high frequency of neuropsychiatric symptoms could explain the difficulties with putting effector mechanisms into action, giving individuals the necessary tools to act efficiently in their environment. Although, neuronal substrate data about ADHD and PTSD has been reported in the literature, it is isolated. Therefore, this review highlights the overlapping of neural substrates in the symptomatology of ADHD and PTSD disorders concerning EFs, especially in the inhibitory component. Thus, the changes related to impaired EF that accompany disorders like ADHD and PTSD could be explained by disturbances that have a direct or indirect impact on the functioning of these loops. Initially, the theoretical model of EF according to current neuropsychology will be presented, focusing on the inhibitory component. In a second stage, this component will be analyzed for each of the disorders of interest, considering the clinical aspects, the etiology and the neurobiological basis. Additionally, commonalities between the two neuropsychiatric conditions will be taken into consideration from the perspectives of cognitive and emotional inhibition. Finally, the implications and future
Zhang, Rushao; Hui, Mingqi; Long, Zhiying; Zhao, Xiaojie; Yao, Li
Background Neural substrates underlying motor learning have been widely investigated with neuroimaging technologies. Investigations have illustrated the critical regions of motor learning and further revealed parallel alterations of functional activation during imagination and execution after learning. However, little is known about the functional connectivity associated with motor learning, especially motor imagery learning, although benefits from functional connectivity analysis attract more attention to the related explorations. We explored whether motor imagery (MI) and motor execution (ME) shared parallel alterations of functional connectivity after MI learning. Methodology/Principal Findings Graph theory analysis, which is widely used in functional connectivity exploration, was performed on the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data of MI and ME tasks before and after 14 days of consecutive MI learning. The control group had no learning. Two measures, connectivity degree and interregional connectivity, were calculated and further assessed at a statistical level. Two interesting results were obtained: (1) The connectivity degree of the right posterior parietal lobe decreased in both MI and ME tasks after MI learning in the experimental group; (2) The parallel alterations of interregional connectivity related to the right posterior parietal lobe occurred in the supplementary motor area for both tasks. Conclusions/Significance These computational results may provide the following insights: (1) The establishment of motor schema through MI learning may induce the significant decrease of connectivity degree in the posterior parietal lobe; (2) The decreased interregional connectivity between the supplementary motor area and the right posterior parietal lobe in post-test implicates the dissociation between motor learning and task performing. These findings and explanations further revealed the neural substrates underpinning MI learning and supported that
Full Text Available Bullying is characterized by intentional, repetitive, and persistent aggressive behavior that causes damage to the victim. Many studies investigate the social and emotional aspects related to bullying, but few assess the cognitive aspects it involves. Studies with aggressive individuals indicate impairment in executive functioning and decision-making. The objective of this study was to assess hot and cold executive functions in children who experience bullying. A total of 60 children between 10 and 11 years of age were included in the study. They were divided into four groups: aggressors (bullies, victims, bully-victims, and control. Tests for decision-making, inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility were used. The bully group made more unfavorable choices on the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT, which may indicate difficulties in the decision-making process. The victim group took longer to complete the Trail Making Test (Part B than aggressors, suggesting lower cognitive flexibility in victims. The hypothesis that aggressors would have lower performance in other executive functions such as inhibitory control, working memory and cognitive flexibility has not been confirmed. This study indicates that bullies have an impairment of hot executive functions whereas victims have a comparatively lower performance in cold executive functions. In addition to social and cultural variables, neurocognitive and emotional factors seem to influence the behavior of children in bullying situations.
Victor Polignano Godoy
Full Text Available Abstract Background Considering the importance of Executive Functions to clinical and nonclinical situations, Barkley proposed a new theory of executive functioning based on an evolutionary neuropsychological perspective and clinical research using large samples of clinical and community identified adults and children as well as children with ADHD followed to adulthood. Objective The present study aims to adapt the Barkley Deficits in Executive Functions Scales (BDEFS to Brazilian Portuguese and also assess its construct validity in a sample of normal Brazilian adults. Methods The original version of scale was adapted to Brazilian Portuguese according to the guideline from the ISPOR Task Force. To assess the semantic equivalence between the original and adapted version, both of them were applied into a sample of 25 Brazilian bilingual adults. Finally, 60 Brazilian adults completed the BDEFS and the Brazilian versions of Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11 and Adult Self-Report Scale (ASRS-18 to assess convergent validity. Results The BDEFS Brazilian Portuguese version has semantic correspondence with the original version indicating that the adaptation procedure was successful. The BDEFS correlated significantly with the impulsivity and attention scores from the BIS-11 and ASRS-18 supporting its construct validity. Cronbach’s alpha (α = 0.961 indicated that the BDEFS translated version has satisfactory internal consistency. Discussion Together, these findings indicate the successful adaptation of the BDEFS to Brazilian Portuguese and support its utility in that population.
Full Text Available The aim of the present study is to examine the interrelations of executive function (EF tasks with general cognitive ability and linguistic level in preschool children. The analyses of the correlation between EF sub-domains, particularly inhibition and set-shifting, have been studied to comprehend the ontogenesis of EFs. Task analysis has allowed us to identify which EF sub-domains are prevalent in each task, with particular attention to inhibition and set-shifting definitions. The sample was composed of 40 typically developing children from 48 to 69 months old (M=58 months, SD=5.02; 28 boys and 12 girls. The results give some insight into the development of executive functions, their utility in clinical assessment and indication.
Henry, L.; Bettenay, C.
Background: Executive functioning is increasingly seen as incorporating several component sub-skills and clinical assessments should reflect this complexity. \\ud \\ud Method: Tools for assessing executive functioning in children are reviewed within five key areas, across verbal and visuospatial abilities, with emphasis on batteries of tests. \\ud \\ud Results: There are many appropriate tests for children, although the choice is more limited for those under the age of 8 years. \\ud \\ud Conclusion...
Connolly, Joanna; McNulty, Jonathan P; Boran, Lorraine; Roche, Richard A P; Delany, David; Bokde, Arun L W
The structural networks in the human brain are consistent across subjects, and this is reflected also in that functional networks across subjects are relatively consistent. These findings are not only present during performance of a goal oriented task but there are also consistent functional networks during resting state. It suggests that goal oriented activation patterns may be a function of component networks identified using resting state. The current study examines the relationship between resting state networks measured and patterns of neural activation elicited during a Stroop task. The association between the Stroop-activated networks and the resting state networks was quantified using spatial linear regression. In addition, we investigated if the degree of spatial association of resting state networks with the Stroop task may predict performance on the Stroop task. The results of this investigation demonstrated that the Stroop activated network can be decomposed into a number of resting state networks, which were primarily associated with attention, executive function, visual perception, and the default mode network. The close spatial correspondence between the functional organization of the resting brain and task-evoked patterns supports the relevance of resting state networks in cognitive function.
Krizman, Jennifer; Marian, Viorica; Shook, Anthony; Skoe, Erika; Kraus, Nina
Bilingualism profoundly affects the brain, yielding functional and structural changes in cortical regions dedicated to language processing and executive function [Crinion J, et al. (2006) Science 312:1537–1540; Kim KHS, et al. (1997) Nature 388:171–174]. Comparatively, musical training, another type of sensory enrichment, translates to expertise in cognitive processing and refined biological processing of sound in both cortical and subcortical structures. Therefore, we asked whether bilingualism can also promote experience-dependent plasticity in subcortical auditory processing. We found that adolescent bilinguals, listening to the speech syllable [da], encoded the stimulus more robustly than age-matched monolinguals. Specifically, bilinguals showed enhanced encoding of the fundamental frequency, a feature known to underlie pitch perception and grouping of auditory objects. This enhancement was associated with executive function advantages. Thus, through experience-related tuning of attention, the bilingual auditory system becomes highly efficient in automatically processing sound. This study provides biological evidence for system-wide neural plasticity in auditory experts that facilitates a tight coupling of sensory and cognitive functions. PMID:22547804
Reetzke, Rachel; Maddox, W. Todd; Chandrasekaran, Bharath
Auditory categorization is a natural and adaptive process that allows for the organization of high-dimensional, continuous acoustic information into discrete representations. Studies in the visual domain have identified a rule-based learning system that learns and reasons via a hypothesis-testing process that requires working memory and executive attention. The rule-based learning system in vision shows a protracted development, reflecting the influence of maturing prefrontal function on visual categorization. The aim of the current study is two-fold: (a) to examine the developmental trajectory of rule-based auditory category learning from childhood through adolescence, into early adulthood; and (b) to examine the extent to which individual differences in rule-based category learning relate to individual differences in executive function. Sixty participants with normal hearing, 20 children (age range, 7–12), 21 adolescents (age range, 13–19), and 19 young adults (age range, 20–23), learned to categorize novel dynamic ripple sounds using trial-by-trial feedback. The spectrotemporally modulated ripple sounds are considered the auditory equivalent of the well-studied Gabor patches in the visual domain. Results revealed that auditory categorization accuracy improved with age, with young adults outperforming children and adolescents. Computational modeling analyses indicated that the use of the task-optimal strategy (i.e. a conjunctive rule-based learning strategy) improved with age. Notably, individual differences in executive flexibility significantly predicted auditory category learning success. The current findings demonstrate a protracted development of rule-based auditory categorization. The results further suggest that executive flexibility coupled with perceptual processes play important roles in successful rule-based auditory category learning. PMID:26491987
Full Text Available Ulla Ek,1 Joakim Westerlund,2 Elisabeth Fernell31Department of Special Education, 2Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, 3Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg and the Research and Development Centre, Skaraborg Hospital Skövde, SwedenBackground: The aim of this study was to analyze two main types of cognitive domains in school children with different types and severities of attention-related problems. The cognitive domains examined were general cognitive ability and executive abilities.Methods: Three different clinical samples of pupils with school problems were analyzed to assess their cognitive Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children profiles. In particular, the general cognitive ability index and the executive markers (ie, verbal memory index and processing speed index were of interest. Of the total sample (n = 198, two main groups were contrasted; one met the full criteria for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD/subthreshold ADHD, and one was comprised of those with milder attention problems, insufficient to meet the criteria for ADHD/subthreshold ADHD.Results: It could be demonstrated that both groups had a significantly higher score on the general cognitive ability index than on measures of working memory and processing speed. This difference was more pronounced for boys.Conclusion: These types of cognitive differences need to be considered in children with different kinds of learning, behavior, and attention problems; this is also true for children presenting with an average general intelligence quotient and with milder attention problems. Current educational expectations are demanding for children with mild difficulties, and such cognitive information will add to the understanding of the child's learning problems, hopefully leading to a better adapted education than that conventionally available.Keywords: working memory, processing speed, children, learning and
Jansen, B.R.J.; Lange, E.; van der Molen, M.J.
Adolescents with mild to borderline intellectual disability (MBID) often complete schooling without mastering basic math skills, even though basic math is essential for math-related challenges in everyday life. Limited attention to cognitive skills and low executive functioning (EF) may cause this
Bron, T.I.; Bijlenga, D.; Boonstra, A. M.; Breuk, M.; Pardoen, W.F.H.; Beekman, A.T.F.; Kooij, J.J.S
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is linked to impaired executive functioning (EF). This is the first study to objectively investigate the effects of a long-acting methylphenidate on neurocognitive test performance of adults with ADHD. Twenty-two adults with ADHD participated in a
Maharasingam, Malini; Macniven, Jamie A B; Mason, Oliver J
Korsakoff syndrome (KS) is characterized by dense anterograde and retrograde amnesia. There is often a temporal gradient to the retrograde amnesia, with earlier memories more readily recalled than recent memories. Executive functioning has also been found to be impaired in KS. However, research comparing executive functioning between chronic alcoholics (AL) and patients with KS has been relatively sparse to date. In a group comparison design, executive functioning in 15 KS patients and 16 chronic alcoholic patients was assessed using the Behavioural Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome test (BADS) and other secondary measures. The KS group was found to be significantly more impaired than the AL group on overall performance on the BADS (p Korsakoff patients are significantly more impaired in executive functioning than non-Korsakoff chronic alcoholics. We thank the participants of the study and also acknowledge the support of the University of Nottingham, particularly Nadina Lincoln, and the North East London NHS Foundation Trust. We are also very grateful to the anonymous reviewers of earlier drafts of this manuscript for their invaluable comments.
Campanholo, Kenia Repiso; Boa, Izadora Nogueira Fonte; Hodroj, Flávia Cristina da Silva Araujo; Guerra, Glaucia Rosana Benute; Miotto, Eliane Correa; Lucia, Mara Cristina Souza de
ABSTRACT Executive functions (EFs) regulate human behavior and allow individuals to interact and act in the world. EFs are sensitive to sociodemographic variables such as age, which promotes their decline, and to others that can exert a neuroprotective effect. Objective: To assess the predictive role of education, occupation and family income on decline in executive functions among a sample with a wide age range. Methods: A total of 925 participants aged 18-89 years with 1-28 years' education...
van der Ven, S.H.G.
In this dissertation, the relation between executive functions and mathematical skills in children was investigated. Two main aims were addressed: (1) unraveling the structure of executive functions, and (2) investigating the nature of the relations between executive functions and mathematics.
Kobeleva, Xenia; Firbank, Michael; Peraza, Luis; Gallagher, Peter; Thomas, Alan; Burn, David J; O'Brien, John; Taylor, John-Paul
Attention and executive dysfunction are features of Lewy body dementia (LBD) but their neuroanatomical basis is poorly understood. To investigate underlying dysfunctional attention-executive network (EXEC) interactions, we examined functional connectivity (FC) in 30 patients with LBD, 20 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), and 21 healthy controls during an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment. Participants performed a modified Attention Network Test (ANT), where they were instructed to press a button in response to the majority direction of arrows, which were either all pointing in the same direction or with one pointing in the opposite direction. Network activations during both target conditions and a baseline condition (no target) were derived by (ICA) Independent Component Analysis, and interactions between these networks were examined using the beta series correlations approach. Our study revealed that FC of ventral and dorsal attention networks DAN was reduced in LBD during all conditions, although most prominently during incongruent trials. These alterations in connectivity might be driven by a failure of engagement of ventral attention networks, and consequent over-reliance on the DAN. In contrast, when comparing AD patients with the other groups, we found hyperconnectivity between the posterior part of the default mode network (DMN) and the DAN in all conditions, particularly during incongruent trials. This might be attributable to either a compensatory effect to overcome DMN dysfunction, or be arising as a result of a disturbed transition of the DMN from rest to task. Our results demonstrate that dementia syndromes can be characterized both by hyper- and hypoconnectivity of distinct brain networks, depending on the interplay between task demand and available cognitive resources. However these are dependent upon the underlying pathology, which needs to be taken into account when developing specific cognitive therapies
Kavanaugh, Brian C; Scarborough, Vanessa Ramos; Salorio, Cynthia F
The present study examined clinical and demographic risk factors associated with parent-rated emotional-behavioral and executive functioning in children and adolescents with epilepsy. The medical records of 152 children and adolescents with epilepsy referred for neuropsychological evaluation were reviewed. Results indicated that the sample displayed significantly elevated symptoms across the emotional-behavioral and executive domains assessed. Executive functioning and behavioral symptoms had the highest rates of clinically elevated scores, with lowest rates of elevated scores in internalizing and externalizing emotional problems. Only 34% of those participants with clinically significant emotional-behavioral or executive functioning difficulties had a history of psychological or counseling services, highlighting the underserved mental health needs of this population. In regard to clinical factors, the majority of seizure-related variables were not associated with emotional-behavioral or executive functioning. However, the frequency of seizures (i.e., seizure status) was associated with behavioral regulation aspects of executive functioning, and the age at evaluation was associated with externalizing problems and behavioral symptoms. Family psychiatric history (with the exception of ADHD) was associated with all domains of executive and emotional-behavioral functioning. In summary, emotional-behavioral and executive functioning difficulties frequently co-occur with seizures in childhood epilepsy, with both seizure-related and demographic factors contributing to the presentation of such neurobehavioral comorbidities. The present findings provide treatment providers of childhood epilepsy with important information to assist in better identifying children and adolescents who may be at risk for neurobehavioral comorbidities and may benefit from intervention. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kubesch, Sabine; Walk, Laura; Spitzer, Manfred; Kammer, Thomas; Lainburg, Alyona; Heim, Rudiger; Hille, Katrin
Physical activity is not only beneficial to physical health but also to cognitive functions. In particular, executive functions that are closely related to learning achievement can be improved by acute and recurring physical activity. We examined the effects of a single 30-min physical education program in contrast to a 5-min movement break on…
MALMIR, Maryam; SEIFENARAGHI, Maryam; FARHUD, Dariush D.; AFROOZ, G.Ali; KHANAHMADI, Mohammad
Background: According to the mother’s key roles in bringing up emotional and cognitive abilities of mentally retarded children and respect to positive psychology in recent decades, this research is administered to assess the relation between mother’s happiness level with cognitive- executive functions (i.e. attention, working memory, inhibition and planning) and facial emotional recognition ability as two factors in learning and adjustment skills in mentally retarded children with Down syndrome. Methods: This study was an applied research and data were analyzed by Pearson correlation procedure. Population is included all school children with Down syndrome (9–12 yr) that come from Tehran, Iran. Overall, 30 children were selected as an in access sample. After selection and agreement of parents, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R) was performed to determine the student’s IQ, and then mothers were invited to fill out the Oxford Happiness Inventory (OHI). Cognitive-executive functions were evaluated by tests as followed: Continues Performance Test (CPT), N-Back, Stroop test (day and night version) and Tower of London. Ekman emotion facial expression test was also accomplished for assessing facial emotional recognition in children with Down syndrome, individually. Results: Mother’s happiness level had a positive relation with cognitive-executive functions (attention, working memory, inhibition and planning) and facial emotional recognition in her children with Down syndrome, significantly. Conclusion: Parents’ happiness (especially mothers) is a powerful predictor for cognitive and emotional abilities of their children. PMID:26284205
Schneider, Marc; Retz, Wolfgang; Coogan, Andrew; Thome, Johannes; Rösler, Michael
In this review, we discuss current structural and functional imaging data on ADHD in a neurological and neuroanatomical framework. At present, the literature on adult ADHD is somewhat sparse, and so results from imaging have to therefore be considered mainly from the childhood or adolescence perspective. Most work has considered the impairment of executive functions (motor execution, inhibition, working memory), and as such a number of attention networks and their anatomical correlates are discussed in this review (e.g. the cerebello-(thalamo-)-striato-cortical network seems to play a pivotal role in ADHD pathology from childhood to adulthood). The core findings in ADHD imaging are alterations in the architecture and function of prefrontal cortex and cerebellum. The dorsal part of anterior cingulated cortex (dACC) is an important region for decision making, and executive control is impaired in adult ADHD. Finally, dysfunction of basal ganglia is a consistent finding in childhood and adulthood ADHD, reflecting dysregulation of fronto-striatal circuitry. The cerebellum, and its role in affect and cognition, is also persistently implicated in the pathology of ADHD.
Bellar, D; Glickman, E L; Juvancic-Heltzel, J; Gunstad, J
The present study examined the association between serum insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) concentrations and cognitive function in a sample of healthy, fit older adults (age: 70.8±9.3 years, body mass index (BMI): 27.3±5.7). Participants reported to the laboratory and basic anthropometric data were collected, followed by a fasted blood draw to quantify serum IGF-1. Participants then underwent cognitive testing that included the Mini-Mental Status Exam (MMSE), Trail Making Test A and B, Ruff's 2 and 7 test of selective attention and Letter Number Sequencing. Results showed the participants were generally cognitively intact (MMSE 27.6±1.8). Significant partial correlations (controlled for age, gender and years of education) emerged between serum IGF-1 concentrations and the total (r=0.381, P=0.030) and longest trial (r=0.455, P=0.011) on Letter Number Sequencing. Similar partial correlations yielded significant relationships between serum IGF-1 and Ruff's Automatic Detection Errors (r=-0.495, P=0.006), Controlled Speed Errors (r=-0.598, P=0.002) and errors made on the Trial Making Test part B (r=-0.466, P=0.010). These findings suggest that fasting levels of serum IGF-1 are related to higher levels of cognitive performance in healthy older adults, including working memory, selective attention and executive function. Further work is needed to more clearly determine possible mechanisms. Copyright © 2011 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Wain, Omar; Spinella, Marcello
Moral, religious, and paranormal beliefs share some degree of overlap and play important roles in guiding peoples' behavior. Although partly cultural phenomena, they also have neurobiological components based on functional neuroimaging studies and research in clinical populations. Because all three show relationships to prefrontal system functioning, the current study examined whether they related to executive functions as measured by the Executive Function Inventory in a community sample. As in previous research, religious beliefs related positively to both moral attitudes and paranormal beliefs. Moral attitudes, however, did not relate to paranormal beliefs. Paranormal beliefs related inversely to impulse control and organization, whereas small positive correlations occurred between traditional religious beliefs, impulse control, and empathy. Moral attitudes, on the other hand, showed consistent positive correlations with all executive functions measured, independent of demographic influences. These findings concordantly support that prefrontal systems play a role in morality, religion, and paranormal beliefs.
Russell Jay Hendel
Full Text Available We explore aspects of essay writing requiring high-level organizational capacity and executive function. The literature supports the approach that specific and focused writing-skill mastery leads to reduced anxiety and increased self-efficacy which correlates with improved writing skills. Although essay writing is a complex multi-dimensional task, two particular strategies, tree-diagram and reference methods, specifically address the organizational skills characteristic of executive function. The tree and reference methods presented in this paper address the flow of information, not content, and consequently, the methods presented in this paper apply to mathematics and English as well as to K-12 and college level.
Yang, Juan; Zhou, Shijie; Yao, Shuqiao; Su, Linyan; McWhinnie, Chad
To explore the relationship between theory of mind (ToM) and executive function (EF) in a sample of individuals from mainland China, 20 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), 26 children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and 30 normal control subjects were compared on two batteries of ToM tasks and EF tasks. Children…
Prins, P.J.M.; ten Brink, E.; Dovis, S.; Ponsioen, A.; Geurts, H.M.; de Vries, M.; van der Oord, S.
In the area of childhood attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, there is an urgent need for new, innovative, and child-focused treatments. A computerized executive functioning training with game elements aimed at enhancing self-control was developed. The first results are promising, and the next
Nathan F. Johnson
Full Text Available Age-related declines in endothelial function can lead to cognitive decline. However, little is known about the relationships between endothelial function and specific neurocognitive functions. This study explored the relationship between measures of endothelial function (reactive hyperemia index; RHI, white matter (WM health (fractional anisotropy, FA, and WM hyperintensity volume, WMH, and executive function (Trail Making Test (TMT; Trail B − Trail A. Participants were 36 older adults between the ages of 59 and 69 (mean age = 63.89 years, SD = 2.94. WMH volume showed no relationship with RHI or executive function. However, there was a positive relationship between RHI and FA in the genu and body of the corpus callosum. In addition, higher RHI and FA were each associated with better executive task performance. Tractography was used to localize the WM tracts associated with RHI to specific portions of cortex. Results indicated that the RHI-FA relationship observed in the corpus callosum primarily involved tracts interconnecting frontal regions, including the superior frontal gyrus (SFG and frontopolar cortex, linked with executive function. These findings suggest that superior endothelial function may help to attenuate age-related declines in WM microstructure in portions of the corpus callosum that interconnect prefrontal brain regions involved in executive function.
Di Tella, Marialaura; Castelli, Lorys; Colonna, Fabrizio; Fusaro, Enrico; Torta, Riccardo; Ardito, Rita B; Adenzato, Mauro
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a syndrome primarily characterised by chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain. In the aetiology of this syndrome a crucial role is played by complex interactions among biological, genetic, psychological, and socio-cultural factors. Recently, researchers have started to explore emotional functioning in FM, with their attention focused on alexithymia, a personality construct that affects the regulation of a person's own emotions. On the other hand, the detection and experience of emotional signals from other people have only been sparsely investigated in FM syndrome and no studies have investigated the ability to represent other people's mental states (i.e. Theory of Mind, ToM) in these patients. Here we present the first study investigating a large set of social-cognitive abilities, and the possible relationships between these abilities and the performance on executive-function tasks, in a homogenous sample of patients with FM. Forty women with FM and forty-one healthy women matched for education and age were involved in the study. Social cognition was assessed with a set of validated experimental tasks. Measures of executive function were used to test the correlations between this dimension and the social-cognitive profile of patients with FM. Relationships between social-cognitive abilities and demographic, clinical and psychological variables were also investigated. Patients with FM have impairments both in the regulation of their own affect and in the recognition of other's emotions, as well as in representing other people's mental states. No significant correlations were found between social cognition tasks and the subcomponents of the executive function that were analysed. The results show the presence of several impairments in social cognition skills in patients with FM, which are largely independent of both executive function deficits and symptoms of psychological distress. The impairments reported highlight the importance of adequately
Taconnat, Laurence; Baudouin, Alexia; Fay, Severine; Raz, Naftali; Bouazzaoui, Badiaa; El-Hage, Wissam; Isingrini, Michel; Ergis, Anne-Marie
Executive functioning and memory impairment have been demonstrated in adults with depression. Executive functions and memory are related, mainly when the memory tasks require controlled processes (attentional resource demanding processes)--that is, when a low cognitive support (external aid) is provided. A cross-sectional study was carried out on 45 participants: 21 with depression, and 24 healthy controls matched for age, verbal ability, education level, and anxiety score. Cognitive support was manipulated by providing a categorized word list at encoding, presented either clustered (high cognitive support) or randomized (low cognitive support) to both depressed and healthy adults. The number of words recalled was calculated, and an index of clustering was computed to assess organizational strategies. Participants were also administered cognitive tests (executive functions, cognitive speed, and categorical fluency) to explore the mediators of organizational strategies. Depressed participants had greater difficulty recalling and organizing the words, but the differences between the two groups were reduced for both measures when high cognitive support was provided at encoding. Healthy adults performed better on all cognitive tests. Statistical analyses revealed that in the depressed group, executive functions were the only variable associated with clustering and only when low cognitive support was provided. These findings support the view that the decrement in executive function due to depression may lead to impairment in organization when this mnemonic strategy has to be self-initiated.
Callahan, Patrick M; Terry, Alvin V
The ability to focus one's attention on important environmental stimuli while ignoring irrelevant stimuli is fundamental to human cognition and intellectual function. Attention is inextricably linked to perception, learning and memory, and executive function; however, it is often impaired in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Accordingly, attention is considered as an important therapeutic target in these disorders. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the most common behavioral paradigms of attention that have been used in animals (particularly rodents) and to review the literature where these tasks have been employed to elucidate neurobiological substrates of attention as well as to evaluate novel pharmacological agents for their potential as treatments for disorders of attention. These paradigms include two tasks of sustained attention that were developed as rodent analogues of the human Continuous Performance Task (CPT), the Five-Choice Serial Reaction Time Task (5-CSRTT) and the more recently introduced Five-Choice Continuous Performance Task (5C-CPT), and the Signal Detection Task (SDT) which was designed to emphasize temporal components of attention.
Zhang, Bing; Huang, Guoyan; Wang, Yuqian; He, Haitao; Ren, Jiadong
As the quality of crucial entities can directly affect that of software, their identification and protection become an important premise for effective software development, management, maintenance and testing, which thus contribute to improving the software quality and its attack-defending ability. Most analysis and evaluation on important entities like codes-based static structure analysis are on the destruction of the actual software running. In this paper, from the perspective of software execution process, we proposed an approach to mine dynamic noteworthy functions (DNFM)in software execution sequences. First, according to software decompiling and tracking stack changes, the execution traces composed of a series of function addresses were acquired. Then these traces were modeled as execution sequences and then simplified so as to get simplified sequences (SFS), followed by the extraction of patterns through pattern extraction (PE) algorithm from SFS. After that, evaluating indicators inner-importance and inter-importance were designed to measure the noteworthiness of functions in DNFM algorithm. Finally, these functions were sorted by their noteworthiness. Comparison and contrast were conducted on the experiment results from two traditional complex network-based node mining methods, namely PageRank and DegreeRank. The results show that the DNFM method can mine noteworthy functions in software effectively and precisely.
Ayers, Catherine R; Dozier, Mary E; Wetherell, Julie Loebach; Twamley, Elizabeth W; Schiehser, Dawn M
The current investigation utilized mid-life and late-life participants diagnosed with hoarding disorder (HD) to explore the relationship between executive functioning and hoarding severity. Correlational analyses were used to investigate the associations between executive functioning and hoarding severity in nondemented participants. Multiple regression was used to determine if executive functioning had a unique association with HD severity when accounting for depressive symptoms. Participants were recruited from the San Diego area for HD intervention studies. Participants were 113 nondemented adults aged 50-86 years who met DSM-5 criteria for HD. The mean age of the sample utilized in the analyses was 63.76 years (SD, 7.2; range, 51-85 years). The sample was mostly female (72%), Caucasian (81.4%), and unmarried (78%). Hoarding severity was assessed using the Saving Inventory-Revised and the Clutter Image Rating and depression was assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Executive functioning was assessed using the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST-128) and the Trail Making and Verbal Fluency subtests of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System. Executive function (operationalized as perseveration on the WCST-128) was significantly associated with Clutter Image Ratings. In a multivariate context, executive function and depressive symptom severity were both significant predictors of variance in Clutter Image Rating. Our results suggest that executive function is related to severity of HD symptoms and should be considered as part of the conceptualization of HD. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Meng, Qinglei; Choa, Fow-Sen; Hong, Elliot; Wang, Zhiguang; Islam, Mohammad
In a computer network there are distinct data channels and control channels where massive amount of visual information are transported through data channels but the information streams are routed and controlled by intelligent algorithm through "control channels". Recent studies on cognition and consciousness have shown that the brain control channels are closely related to the brainwave beta (14-40 Hz) and alpha (7-13 Hz) oscillations. The high-beta wave is used by brain to synchronize local neural activities and the alpha oscillation is for desynchronization. When two sensory inputs are simultaneously presented to a person, the high-beta is used to select one of the inputs and the alpha is used to deselect the other so that only one input will get the attention. In this work we demonstrated that we can scan a person's brain using binaural beats technique and identify the individual's preferred control channels. The identified control channels can then be used to influence the subject's brain executive functions. In the experiment, an EEG measurement system was used to record and identify a subject's control channels. After these channels were identified, the subject was asked to do Stroop tests. Binaural beats was again used to produce these control-channel frequencies on the subject's brain when we recorded the completion time of each test. We found that the high-beta signal indeed speeded up the subject's executive function performance and reduced the time to complete incongruent tests, while the alpha signal didn't seem to be able to slow down the executive function performance.
Collette, Fabienne; Angel, Lucie
The existence of processes common to memory systems and executive functioning was evidenced by studies in the domain of cerebral neuroimaging, individual differences (mainly in normal aging) and, to a lesser extent, neuropsychology. Executive functioning depends on a large antero-posterior brain network, some regions of which (the middle dorsolateral and ventrolateral cortex, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex) are involved in a series of executive processes, but also in encoding and retrieval of information in episodic memory and short-term memory. A consequence of lesions in frontal areas is to impair strategical organization of the information to-be-processed (an executive process) and thus leads to a lower memory capacity in frontal patients. Moreover, executive abilities will influence both memory efficiency and the associated brain networks even in people without brain pathology. These data attest to the importance of the relationships between executive and memory processes for an optimal cognitive functioning. Recent advances in neuroimaging and electrophysiology data acquisition and analysis techniques should allow us to better determine and understand the fashion in which these relationships work. © Société de Biologie, 2016.
Donna P. Mann
Full Text Available BACKGROUND. Student role performance for academic success in secondary education is under represented in the occupational therapy literature, despite the persistently high dropout rate in the United States (Stillwell & Sable, 2013. Executive dysfunction is one of many possible contributors to difficulties in the classroom (Dirette & Kolak, 2004 and is a better indicator of school performance than IQ (Diamond, 2012. This research examined executive functioning of both alternative and traditional high school students to determine if there is a relationship between executive function and academic success as measured by cumulative grade point average. METHOD. 132 high school students from three different school settings were given the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Self Report (BRIEF-SR. The Global Executive Composite (GEC and individual subscale scores were compared to GPA. RESULTS. No significant difference in GEC scores was found among settings. Subscale scores for “inhibition” and “task completion” were significantly different in the alternative school setting. A weak negative correlation was seen between the GEC and GPA. However, academically unsuccessful students scored statistically lower on the GEC. CONCLUSION. Global executive dysfunction was not predicted by setting but was seen in academically unsuccessful students.
Thorell, Lisa B; Eninger, Lilianne; Brocki, Karin C; Bohlin, Gunilla
The present study investigated whether the Childhood Executive Function Inventory (CHEXI) can discriminate between young children fulfilling the diagnostic criteria for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and normally developing children. Unlike other executive function rating instruments, the CHEXI focuses specifically on inhibitory control and working memory, without including items that overlap with the diagnostic criteria of ADHD. The CHEXI was found to discriminate very well between children fulfilling the criteria for ADHD and normally developing children, also when controlling for the effect of IQ and socioeconomic status (SES). Both sensitivity and specificity of the two CHEXI subscales were shown to be high using either parent or teacher ratings. The highest overall classification rate was found for parent ratings on the inhibition subscale, with sensitivity and specificity reaching 93.3. To summarize, the CHEXI should be considered a promising measure for identifying young children with ADHD, although it is for future research to determine whether the CHEXI can be successfully used to also discriminate between different psychopathological groups.
Glass, Jennifer M; Buu, Anne; Adams, Kenneth M; Nigg, Joel T; Puttler, Leon I; Jester, Jennifer M; Zucker, Robert A
Neurocognitive deficits in chronic alcoholic men are well documented. Impairments include memory, visual-spatial processing, problem solving and executive function. The cause of impairment could include direct effects of alcohol toxicity, pre-existing cognitive deficits that predispose towards substance abuse, comorbid psychiatric disorders and abuse of substances other than alcohol. Cigarette smoking occurs at higher rates in alcoholism and has been linked to poor cognitive performance, yet the effects of smoking on cognitive function in alcoholism are often ignored. We examined whether chronic alcoholism and chronic smoking have effects on executive function. Alcoholism and smoking were examined in a community-recruited sample of alcoholic and non-alcoholic men (n = 240) using standard neuropsychological and reaction-time measures of executive function. Alcoholism was measured as the average level of alcoholism diagnoses across the study duration (12 years). Smoking was measured in pack-years. Both alcoholism and smoking were correlated negatively with a composite executive function score. For component measures, alcoholism was correlated negatively with a broad range of measures, whereas smoking was correlated negatively with measures that emphasize response speed. In regression analyses, both smoking and alcoholism were significant predictors of executive function composite. However, when IQ is included in the regression analyses, alcoholism severity is no longer significant. Both smoking and alcoholism were related to executive function. However, the effect of alcoholism was not independent of IQ, suggesting a generalized effect, perhaps affecting a wide range of cognitive abilities of which executive function is a component. On the other hand, the effect of smoking on measures relying on response speed were independent of IQ, suggesting a more specific processing speed deficit associated with chronic smoking.
Whedon, Margaret; Perry, Nicole B; Calkins, Susan D; Bell, Martha A
Parasympathetic nervous system functioning in infancy may serve a foundational role in the development of cognitive and socioemotional skills (Calkins, 2007). In this study (N = 297), we investigated the potential indirect effects of cardiac vagal regulation in infancy on children's executive functioning and social competence in preschool via expressive and receptive language in toddlerhood. Vagal regulation was assessed at 10 months during two attention conditions (social, nonsocial) via task-related changes in respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA). A path analysis revealed that decreased RSA from baseline in the nonsocial condition and increased RSA in the social condition were related to larger vocabularies in toddlerhood. Additionally, children's vocabulary sizes were positively related to their executive function and social competence in preschool. Indirect effects from vagal regulation in both contexts to both 4-year outcomes were significant, suggesting that early advances in language may represent a mechanism through which biological functioning in infancy impacts social and cognitive functioning in childhood. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Lesiuk, Teresa; Bugos, Jennifer A; Murakami, Brea
Music listening interventions such as Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation can improve mobility, balance, and gait in Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Yet, the impact of music training on executive functions is not yet known. Deficits in executive functions (e.g., attention, processing speed) in patients with PD result in gait interference, deficits in emotional processing, loss of functional capacity (e.g., intellectual activity, social participation), and reduced quality of life. The model of temporal prediction and timing suggests two networks collectively contribute to movement generation and execution: the basal ganglia-thalamocortical network (BGTC) and the cerebellar-thalamocortical network (CTC). Due to decreases in dopamine responsible for the disruption of the BGTC network in adults with PD, it is hypothesized that rhythmic auditory cues assist patients through recruiting an alternate network, the CTC, which extends to the supplementary motor areas (SMA) and the frontal cortices. In piano training, fine motor finger movements activate the cerebellum and SMA, thereby exercising the CTC network. We hypothesize that exercising the CTC network through music training will contribute to enhanced executive functions. Previous research suggested that music training enhances cognitive performance (i.e., working memory and processing speed) in healthy adults and adults with cognitive impairments. This review and rationale provides support for the use of music training to enhance cognitive outcomes in patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD).
Ntourou, Katerina; Anderson, Julie D; Wagovich, Stacy A
The purpose of this study was to examine the executive function (EF) abilities of preschool children who do (CWS) and do not stutter (CWNS) using a parent-report questionnaire and a behavioral task. Participants were 75 CWS and 75 CWNS between the ages of 3;0 and 5;11 (years; months). Parents rated their children's EF abilities using the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool Version (BRIEF-P; Gioia, Espy, & Isquith, 2003). Children's ability to integrate cognitive flexibility, inhibitory control, and working memory was measured using a behavioral task, the Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders (HTKS; Cameron Ponitz, McClelland, Matthews, & Morrison, 2009). The CWS were judged by their parents as being less proficient in working memory, shift/flexibility, and overall EF than the parents of the CWNS. Children in the CWS group were also 2½ to 7 times more likely than children in the CWNS group to exhibit clinically significant difficulties with EF. Behavioral task findings revealed that 3-year old CWS performed more poorly than their peers on the HTKS. Parental ratings of executive function and working memory were significantly and moderately correlated with receptive and expressive vocabulary skills only for the CWNS group. CWS have more difficulty with EF in everyday life and may experience early delays in their ability to integrate aspects of attention and EF compared to CWNS. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Qian, Ying; Chen, Min; Shuai, Lan; Cao, Qing-Jiu; Yang, Li; Wang, Yu-Feng
As medication does not normalize outcomes of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), especially in real-life functioning, nonpharmacological methods are important to target this field. This randomized controlled clinical trial was designed to evaluate the effects of a comprehensive executive skill training program for school-aged children with ADHD in a relatively large sample. The children (aged 6-12 years) with ADHD were randomized to the intervention or waitlist groups. A healthy control group was composed of gender- and age-matched healthy children. The intervention group received a 12-session training program for multiple executive skills. Executive function (EF), ADHD symptoms, and social functioning in the intervention and waitlist groups were evaluated at baseline and the end of the final training session. The healthy controls (HCs) were only assessed once at baseline. Repeated measures analyses of variance were used to compare EF, ADHD symptoms, and social function between intervention and waitlist groups. Thirty-eight children with ADHD in intervention group, 30 in waitlist group, and 23 healthy children in healthy control group were included in final analysis. At posttreatment, intervention group showed significantly lower Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) total score (135.89 ± 16.80 vs. 146.09 ± 23.92, P= 0.04) and monitoring score (18.05 ± 2.67 vs. 19.77 ± 3.10, P= 0.02), ADHD-IV overall score (41.11 ± 7.48 vs. 47.20 ± 8.47, PADHD-IV overall score (F = 21.72, PADHD-rating scale-IV, and WEISS Functional Impairment Scale-Parent form (WFIRS-P) among the intervention and waitlist groups at posttreatment and HCs at baseline. This randomized controlled study on executive skill training in a relatively large sample provided some evidences that the training could improve EF deficits, reduce problematic symptoms, and potentially enhance the social functioning in school-aged children with ADHD. http
Liu-Ambrose, Teresa; Eng, Janice J
Background Stroke survivors represent a target population in need of intervention strategies to promote cognitive function and prevent dementia. Both exercise and recreational activities are promising strategies. We assessed the effect of a six-month exercise and recreation program on executive functions in adults with chronic stroke. Methods A six-month ancillary study within a multi-centre randomized trial. Twenty-eight chronic stroke survivors (i.e., ≥ 12 months since an index stroke) were randomized to one of two experimental groups: intervention (INT; n=12) or delayed intervention (D-INT; n=16). Participants of the INT group received a six-month community-based structured program that included two sessions of exercise training and one session of recreation and leisure activities per week. Participants of the D-INT group received usual care. The primary outcome measure was the Stroop Test, a cognitive test of selective attention and conflict resolution. Secondary cognitive measures included set shifting and working memory. Mood, functional capacity, and general balance and mobility were additional secondary outcome measures. Results Compared with the D-INT group, the INT group significantly improved selective attention and conflict resolution (p=0.02), working memory (p=0.04), and functional capacity (p=0.02) at the end of the six-month intervention period. Improved selective attention and conflict resolution was significantly associated with functional capacity at six months (r=0.39; p=0.04). Conclusions This is the first randomized study to demonstrate that an exercise and recreation program can significantly benefit executive functions in community-dwelling chronic stroke survivors who are mildly cognitively impaired – a population at high-risk for dementia and functional decline. Thus, clinicians should consider prescribing exercise and recreational activities in the cognitive rehabilitation of chronic stroke survivors. Clinical Trial Registration http
Leve, Leslie D; DeGarmo, David S; Bridgett, David J; Neiderhiser, Jenae M; Shaw, Daniel S; Harold, Gordon T; Natsuaki, Misaki N; Reiss, David
Poor executive functioning has been implicated in children's concurrent and future behavioral difficulties, making work aimed at understanding processes related to the development of early executive function (EF) critical for models of developmental psychopathology. Deficits in EF have been associated with adverse prenatal experiences, genetic influences, and temperament characteristics. However, our ability to disentangle the predictive and independent effects of these influences has been limited by a dearth of genetically informed research designs that also consider prenatal influences. The present study examined EF and language development in a sample of 361 toddlers who were adopted at birth and reared in nonrelative adoptive families. Predictors included genetic influences (as inherited from birth mothers), prenatal risk, and growth in child negative emotionality. Structural equation modeling indicated that the effect of prenatal risk on toddler effortful attention at age 27 months became nonsignificant once genetic influences were considered in the model. In addition, genetic influences had unique effects on toddler effortful attention. Latent growth modeling indicated that increases in toddler negative emotionality from 9 to 27 months were associated with poorer delay of gratification and poorer language development. Similar results were obtained in models incorporating birth father data. Mechanisms of intergenerational transmission of EF deficits are discussed. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved
Buunk, Anne M; Groen, Rob J M; Veenstra, Wencke S; Metzemaekers, Joannes; van der Hoeven, Johannes H; van Dijk, J Marc C; Spikman, Jacoba M
OBJECTIVE: The authors' aim was to investigate cognitive outcome in patients with aneurysmal and angiographically negative subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH and anSAH), by comparing them to healthy controls and to each other. Besides investigating cognitive functions as memory and attention, they
Zimmerman, David L; Ownsworth, Tamara; O'Donovan, Analise; Roberts, Jacqueline; Gullo, Matthew J
Individuals with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) display diverse deficits in social, cognitive and behavioral functioning. To date, there has been mixed findings on the profile of executive function deficits for high-functioning adults (IQ > 70) with ASD. A conceptual distinction is commonly made between "cold" and "hot" executive functions. Cold executive functions refer to mechanistic higher-order cognitive operations (e.g., working memory), whereas hot executive functions entail cognitive abilities supported by emotional awareness and social perception (e.g., social cognition). This study aimed to determine the independence of deficits in hot and cold executive functions for high-functioning adults with ASD. Forty-two adults with ASD (64% male, aged 18-66 years) and 40 age and gender matched controls were administered The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT; emotion recognition and social inference), Letter Number Sequencing (working memory) and Hayling Sentence Completion Test (response initiation and suppression). Between-group analyses identified that the ASD group performed significantly worse than matched controls on all measures of cold and hot executive functions (d = 0.54 - 1.5). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that the ASD sample performed more poorly on emotion recognition and social inference tasks than matched controls after controlling for cold executive functions and employment status. The findings also indicated that the ability to recognize emotions and make social inferences was supported by working memory and response initiation and suppression processes. Overall, this study supports the distinction between hot and cold executive function impairments for adults with ASD. Moreover, it advances understanding of higher-order impairments underlying social interaction difficulties for this population which, in turn, may assist with diagnosis and inform intervention programs.
Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Wang, Zhe; Chen, Nan; Bell, Martha Ann
Background: Maternal executive function and household regulation both are critical aspects of optimal childrearing, but their interplay is not understood. We tested the hypotheses that (a) the link between challenging child conduct problems and harsh parenting would be strongest for mothers with poorer executive function and weakest among those…
McVay, Jennifer C.; Kane, Michael J.
Some people are better readers than others, and this variation in comprehension ability is predicted by measures of working memory capacity (WMC). The primary goal of this study was to investigate the mediating role of mind wandering experiences in the association between WMC and normal individual differences in reading comprehension, as predicted by the executive-attention theory of WMC (e.g., Engle & Kane, 2004). We used a latent-variable, structural-equation-model approach, testing skilled adult readers on three WMC span tasks, seven varied reading comprehension tasks, and three attention-control tasks. Mind wandering was assessed using experimenter-scheduled thought probes during four different tasks (two reading, two attention-control tasks). The results support the executive-attention theory of WMC. Mind wandering across the four tasks loaded onto a single latent factor, reflecting a stable individual difference. Most importantly, mind wandering was a significant mediator in the relationship between WMC and reading comprehension, suggesting that the WMC-comprehension correlation is driven, in part, by attention control over intruding thoughts. We discuss implications for theories of WMC, attention control, and reading comprehension. PMID:21875246
McVay, Jennifer C; Kane, Michael J
Some people are better readers than others, and this variation in comprehension ability is predicted by measures of working memory capacity (WMC). The primary goal of this study was to investigate the mediating role of mind-wandering experiences in the association between WMC and normal individual differences in reading comprehension, as predicted by the executive-attention theory of WMC (e.g., Engle & Kane, 2004). We used a latent-variable, structural-equation-model approach, testing skilled adult readers on 3 WMC span tasks, 7 varied reading-comprehension tasks, and 3 attention-control tasks. Mind wandering was assessed using experimenter-scheduled thought probes during 4 different tasks (2 reading, 2 attention-control). The results support the executive-attention theory of WMC. Mind wandering across the 4 tasks loaded onto a single latent factor, reflecting a stable individual difference. Most important, mind wandering was a significant mediator in the relationship between WMC and reading comprehension, suggesting that the WMC-comprehension correlation is driven, in part, by attention control over intruding thoughts. We discuss implications for theories of WMC, attention control, and reading comprehension.
Mohammad Reza khodaei-Ardakani
Full Text Available Objective: There is evidence for differential executive function in Bipolar I Disorder (BID and schizophrenia that may tend different cognitive deficits and abnormalities. The objective of this sudsy was to compare the executive function of BID and schizophrenic patients. Materials & Methods: We studied 50 patients with BID, and 50 with schizophrenia participants in outpatients' clinic of Rouzbeh hospital. All participants completed the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST the Persian version. The participants were mach in three basic variables which had most contributions in cognitive conditions in patients. They were Age, educational status and period of illness. Results: The two patient groups had compared performance on the WCST in compared with general population (P<0/05. In the WCST, schizophrenic patients showed impairment executive function than BID patients (P<0/05. Conclusion: findings indicated that schizophrenic patients had more dysfunctions executive function than the Bipolar disorder I patients. Although, both disorders may show impairment in executive function, but the dysfunction in schizophrenia greater than Bipolar I Disorder patients.
Brian J Piper
Full Text Available Adoptive children are at increased risk for problematic behaviors but the origin of these individual differences in neurobehavioral function is unclear. This investigation examined whether adopted children with prenatal exposure to a wide variety of recreational drugs exhibited higher scores (i.e. more problems with executive function and psychiatric symptomology. Caregivers of children ages 5 to 18 completed an online survey with items about use of alcohol, nicotine, or methamphetamine during pregnancy followed by the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF, N = 437 including 59 adoptive parents or the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL, N = 549 including 54 adoptive parents. Relative to a comparison group of children raised by their biological parents, adoptive children that were polysubstance exposed during prenatal development exhibited higher rates of academic difficulties and were behind their classmates in math and reading. Adoptive children had statistically and clinically significant higher BRIEF ratings and this pattern was similar for boys and girls. CBCL ratings were significantly increased in adoptive children, particularly for Externalizing and Attention problems. Adoptive children with a history of polysubstance exposures including alcohol, nicotine, and methamphetamine are at heightened risk for difficulties with executive function as well as various psychopathologies. These findings suggest that increased monitoring to identify and implement remediation strategies may be warranted for adopted children with a history of in utero drug exposures.
Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen; Kahn, Rachel E; Lauharatanahirun, Nina; Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Bickel, Warren K; Chiu, Pearl H; King-Casas, Brooks
The current review is guided by the theoretical perspective that emphasizes the regulating role of executive functioning (Carver et al., 2009) and presents studies that elucidate the ways that executive functioning (inhibition and working memory) explain individual differences in adolescent substance use independently or by regulating the reactive system (reward and punishment sensitivity). Behavioral studies indicate that main effects of executive functioning on adolescent substance use are often nonsignificant or weak in effect sizes. In contrast, emerging evidence suggests consistent and stronger regulating effects of executive functioning over reward and punishment sensitivity. Functional neuroimaging studies reveal significant associations between executive functioning task-related hemodynamic responses and substance use with strong effect sizes. There is also direct evidence from studies testing statistical interactions of the regulating effects of EF-related brain activation, and indirect evidence in studies examining functional connectivity, temporal discounting, and reinforced control. We note key future directions and ways to address limitations in existing work. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Zahodne, Laura B; Nowinski, Cindy J; Gershon, Richard C; Manly, Jennifer J
Previous studies showed that control beliefs are more strongly related to global cognition and mortality among adults with low education, providing preliminary evidence that self-efficacy buffers against the negative impact of educational disadvantage on physical and cognitive health. The current study extends these findings to a nationally representative sample of men and women aged 30 to 85 and explores which cognitive domains are most strongly associated with self-efficacy, educational attainment, and their interaction. Data were obtained from 1032 adult (30-85) participants in the United States norming study for the NIH Toolbox. Self-efficacy, executive functioning, working memory, processing speed, episodic memory, and vocabulary were assessed with the NIH Toolbox. Multivariate analysis of covariance and follow-up regressions tested the hypothesis that self-efficacy would be more strongly related to cognitive performance among individuals with lower education, controlling for age, sex, race, ethnicity, education, reading level, testing language, and depressive symptoms. Higher education was associated with higher self-efficacy and better performance on all cognitive tests. Higher self-efficacy was associated with better set-switching and attention/inhibition. Significant self-efficacy by education interactions indicated that associations between self-efficacy and executive abilities were stronger for individuals with lower education. Specifically, individuals with low education but high self-efficacy performed similarly to individuals with high education. This study provides evidence that self-efficacy beliefs buffer against the negative effects of low educational attainment on executive functioning. These results have implications for future policy and/or intervention work aimed at reducing the deleterious effects of educational disadvantage on later cognitive health.
Wong, Alina; Rodriguez, Mabel; Quevedo, Liliana; de Cossio, Lourdes Fernandez; Borges, Ariel; Reyes, Alicia; Corral, Roberto; Blanco, Florentino; Alvarez, Miguel
There is a current debate about the ecological validity of executive function (EF) tests. Consistent with the verisimilitude approach, this research proposes the Ballet Executive Scale (BES), a self-rating questionnaire that assimilates idiosyncratic executive behaviors of classical dance community. The BES was administrated to 149 adolescents,…
Camila de Assis Faria
Full Text Available There are numerous neuropsychological tests for assessing executive functions in aging, which vary according to the different domains assessed. OBJECTIVE: To present a systematic review of the most frequently used instruments for assessing executive functions in older adults with different educational levels in clinical and experimental research. METHODS: We searched for articles published in the last five years, using the PubMed database with the following terms: "neuropsychological tests", "executive functions", and "mild cognitive impairment". There was no language restriction. RESULTS: 25 articles fulfilled all the inclusion criteria. The seven neuropsychological tests most frequently used to evaluate executive functions in aging were:  Trail Making Test (TMT Form B;  Verbal Fluency Test (VFT - F, A and S;  VFT Animals category;  Clock Drawing Test (CDT;  Digits Forward and Backward subtests (WAIS-R or WAIS-III;  Stroop Test; and  Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST and its variants. The domains of executive functions most frequently assessed were: mental flexibility, verbal fluency, planning, working memory, and inhibitory control. CONCLUSION: The study identified the tests and domains of executive functions most frequently used in the last five years by research groups worldwide to evaluate older adults. These results can direct future research and help build evaluation protocols for assessing executive functions, taking into account the different educational levels and socio-demographic profiles of older adults in Brazil.
Slotboom, Jantine; Hoppenbrouwers, Sylco S; Bouman, Yvonne H A; In 't Hout, Willem; Sergiou, Carmen; van der Stigchel, Stefan; Theeuwes, Jan
Impairments in executive functioning give rise to reduced control of behavior and impulses, and are therefore a risk factor for violence and criminal behavior. However, the contribution of specific underlying processes remains unclear. A crucial element of executive functioning, and essential for cognitive control and goal-directed behavior, is visual attention. To further elucidate the importance of attentional functioning in the general offender population, we employed an attentional capture task to measure visual attention. We expected offenders to have impaired visual attention, as revealed by increased attentional capture, compared to healthy controls. When comparing the performance of 62 offenders to 69 healthy community controls, we found our hypothesis to be partly confirmed. Offenders were more accurate overall, more accurate in the absence of distracting information, suggesting superior attention. In the presence of distracting information offenders were significantly less accurate compared to when no distracting information was present. Together, these findings indicate that violent offenders may have superior attention, yet worse control over attention. As such, violent offenders may have trouble adjusting to unexpected, irrelevant stimuli, which may relate to failures in self-regulation and inhibitory control. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Cognitive training has been shown to improve executive functions in middle childhood and adulthood. However, fewer studies have targeted the preschool years – a time when executive functions undergo rapid development. The present study tested the effects of a short four session executive function training program in 54 four-year-olds. The training group significantly improved their working memory from pre-training relative to an active control group. Notably, this effect extended to a task sharing few surface features with the trained tasks, and continued to be apparent three months later. In addition, the benefits of training extended to a measure of mathematical reasoning three months later, indicating that training executive functions during the preschool years has the potential to convey benefits that are both long-lasting and wide-ranging.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Do brain training games work? The beneficial effects of brain training games are expected to transfer to other cognitive functions. Yet in all honesty, beneficial transfer effects of the commercial brain training games in young adults have little scientific basis. Here we investigated the impact of the brain training game (Brain Age on a wide range of cognitive functions in young adults. METHODS: We conducted a double-blind (de facto masking randomized controlled trial using a popular brain training game (Brain Age and a popular puzzle game (Tetris. Thirty-two volunteers were recruited through an advertisement in the local newspaper and randomly assigned to either of two game groups (Brain Age, Tetris. Participants in both the Brain Age and the Tetris groups played their game for about 15 minutes per day, at least 5 days per week, for 4 weeks. Measures of the cognitive functions were conducted before and after training. Measures of the cognitive functions fell into eight categories (fluid intelligence, executive function, working memory, short-term memory, attention, processing speed, visual ability, and reading ability. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Our results showed that commercial brain training game improves executive functions, working memory, and processing speed in young adults. Moreover, the popular puzzle game can engender improvement attention and visuo-spatial ability compared to playing the brain training game. The present study showed the scientific evidence which the brain training game had the beneficial effects on cognitive functions (executive functions, working memory and processing speed in the healthy young adults. CONCLUSIONS: Our results do not indicate that everyone should play brain training games. However, the commercial brain training game might be a simple and convenient means to improve some cognitive functions. We believe that our findings are highly relevant to applications in educational and clinical fields
Nouchi, Rui; Taki, Yasuyuki; Takeuchi, Hikaru; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Nozawa, Takayuki; Kambara, Toshimune; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Miyauchi, Carlos Makoto; Kotozaki, Yuka; Nouchi, Haruka; Kawashima, Ryuta
Do brain training games work? The beneficial effects of brain training games are expected to transfer to other cognitive functions. Yet in all honesty, beneficial transfer effects of the commercial brain training games in young adults have little scientific basis. Here we investigated the impact of the brain training game (Brain Age) on a wide range of cognitive functions in young adults. We conducted a double-blind (de facto masking) randomized controlled trial using a popular brain training game (Brain Age) and a popular puzzle game (Tetris). Thirty-two volunteers were recruited through an advertisement in the local newspaper and randomly assigned to either of two game groups (Brain Age, Tetris). Participants in both the Brain Age and the Tetris groups played their game for about 15 minutes per day, at least 5 days per week, for 4 weeks. Measures of the cognitive functions were conducted before and after training. Measures of the cognitive functions fell into eight categories (fluid intelligence, executive function, working memory, short-term memory, attention, processing speed, visual ability, and reading ability). Our results showed that commercial brain training game improves executive functions, working memory, and processing speed in young adults. Moreover, the popular puzzle game can engender improvement attention and visuo-spatial ability compared to playing the brain training game. The present study showed the scientific evidence which the brain training game had the beneficial effects on cognitive functions (executive functions, working memory and processing speed) in the healthy young adults. Our results do not indicate that everyone should play brain training games. However, the commercial brain training game might be a simple and convenient means to improve some cognitive functions. We believe that our findings are highly relevant to applications in educational and clinical fields. UMIN Clinical Trial Registry 000005618.
Leung, Rachel C; Vogan, Vanessa M; Powell, Tamara L; Anagnostou, Evdokia; Taylor, Margot J
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by socio-communicative impairments. Executive dysfunction may explain some key characteristics of ASD, both social and nonsocial hallmarks. Limited research exists exploring the relations between executive function and social impairment in ASD and few studies have used a comparison control group. Thus, the objective of the present study was to investigate the relations between executive functioning using the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning (BRIEF), social impairment as measured by the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), and overall autistic symptomology as measured by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) in children and adolescents with and without ASD. Seventy children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD and 71 typically developing controls were included in this study. Findings showed that behavioral regulation executive processes (i.e., inhibition, shifting, and emotional control) predicted social function in all children. However, metacognitive executive processes (i.e., initiation, working memory, planning, organization, and monitoring) predicted social function only in children with ASD and not in typically developing children. Our findings suggest a distinct metacognitive executive function-social symptom link in ASD that is not present in the typical population. Understanding components of executive functioning that contribute to the autistic symptomology, particularly in the socio-communicative domain, is crucial for developing effective interventions that target key executive processes as well as underlying behavioral symptoms.
Jansen, Brenda R. J.; De Lange, Eva; Van der Molen, Mariet J.
Adolescents with mild to borderline intellectual disability (MBID) often complete schooling without mastering basic math skills, even though basic math is essential for math-related challenges in everyday life. Limited attention to cognitive skills and low executive functioning (EF) may cause this delay. We aimed to improve math skills in an…
Campanholo, Kenia Repiso; Boa, Izadora Nogueira Fonte; Hodroj, Flávia Cristina da Silva Araujo; Guerra, Glaucia Rosana Benute; Miotto, Eliane Correa; de Lucia, Mara Cristina Souza
Executive functions (EFs) regulate human behavior and allow individuals to interact and act in the world. EFs are sensitive to sociodemographic variables such as age, which promotes their decline, and to others that can exert a neuroprotective effect. To assess the predictive role of education, occupation and family income on decline in executive functions among a sample with a wide age range. A total of 925 participants aged 18-89 years with 1-28 years' education were submitted to assessment of executive functions using the Card Sorting Test (CST), Phonemic Verbal Fluency (FAS) Task and Semantic Verbal Fluency (SVF) Task. Data on income, occupation and educational level were collected for the sample. The data were analyzed using Linear Regression, as well as Pearson's and Spearman's Correlation. Age showed a significant negative correlation (p<0.001) with performance on the CST, FAS and SVF, whereas education, income and occupation were positively associated (p<0.001) with the tasks applied. After application of the multivariate linear regression model, a significant positive relationship with the FAS was maintained only for education (p<0.001) and income (p<0.001). The negative relationship of age (p<0.001) and positive relationship of both education (p<0.001) and income (p<0.001and p=0.003) were evident on the CST and SVF. Educational level and income positively influenced participants' results on executive function tests, attenuating expected decline for age. However, no relationship was found between occupation and the cognitive variables investigated.
Kenia Repiso Campanholo
Full Text Available ABSTRACT Executive functions (EFs regulate human behavior and allow individuals to interact and act in the world. EFs are sensitive to sociodemographic variables such as age, which promotes their decline, and to others that can exert a neuroprotective effect. Objective: To assess the predictive role of education, occupation and family income on decline in executive functions among a sample with a wide age range. Methods: A total of 925 participants aged 18-89 years with 1-28 years' education were submitted to assessment of executive functions using the Card Sorting Test (CST, Phonemic Verbal Fluency (FAS Task and Semantic Verbal Fluency (SVF Task. Data on income, occupation and educational level were collected for the sample. The data were analyzed using Linear Regression, as well as Pearson's and Spearman's Correlation. Results: Age showed a significant negative correlation (p<0.001 with performance on the CST, FAS and SVF, whereas education, income and occupation were positively associated (p<0.001 with the tasks applied. After application of the multivariate linear regression model, a significant positive relationship with the FAS was maintained only for education (p<0.001 and income (p<0.001. The negative relationship of age (p<0.001 and positive relationship of both education (p<0.001 and income (p<0.001 and p=0.003 were evident on the CST and SVF. Conclusion: Educational level and income positively influenced participants' results on executive function tests, attenuating expected decline for age. However, no relationship was found between occupation and the cognitive variables investigated.
Spangler, Derek P; Bell, Martha Ann; Deater-Deckard, Kirby
There is uncertainty about whether respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), a cardiac marker of adaptive emotion regulation, is involved in relatively low or high executive function performance. In the present study, we investigated (a) whether RSA during rest and tasks predict both relatively low and high executive function within a larger quadratic association among the two variables, and (b) the extent to which this quadratic trend was moderated by individual differences in emotion regulation. To achieve these aims, a sample of ethnically and socioeconomically diverse women self-reported reappraisal and emotion suppression. They next experienced a 2-min resting period during which electrocardiogram (ECG) was continually assessed. In the next phase, the women completed an array of executive function and nonexecutive cognitive tasks while ECG was measured throughout. As anticipated, resting RSA showed a quadratic association with executive function that was strongest for high suppression. These results suggest that relatively high resting RSA may predict poor executive function ability when emotion regulation consumes executive control resources needed for ongoing cognitive performance. © 2015 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Steiner, Naomi J; Frenette, Elizabeth C; Rene, Kirsten M; Brennan, Robert T; Perrin, Ellen C
To evaluate the efficacy of 2 computer attention training systems administered in school for children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children in second and fourth grade with a diagnosis of ADHD (n = 104) were randomly assigned to neurofeedback (NF) (n = 34), cognitive training (CT) (n = 34), or control (n = 36) conditions. A 2-point growth model assessed change from pre-post intervention on parent reports (Conners 3-Parent [Conners 3-P]; Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function [BRIEF] rating scale), teacher reports (Swanson, Kotkin, Agler, M-Flynn and Pelham scale [SKAMP]; Conners 3-Teacher [Conners 3-T]), and systematic classroom observations (Behavioral Observation of Students in Schools [BOSS]). Paired t tests and an analysis of covariance assessed change in medication. Children who received NF showed significant improvement compared with those in the control condition on the Conners 3-P Attention, Executive Functioning and Global Index, on all BRIEF summary indices, and on BOSS motor/verbal off-task behavior. Children who received CT showed no improvement compared to the control condition. Children in the NF condition showed significant improvements compared to those in the CT condition on Conners 3-P Executive Functioning, all BRIEF summary indices, SKAMP Attention, and Conners 3-T Inattention subscales. Stimulant medication dosage in methylphenidate equivalencies significantly increased for children in the CT (8.54 mg) and control (7.05 mg) conditions but not for those in the NF condition (0.29 mg). Neurofeedback made greater improvements in ADHD symptoms compared to both the control and CT conditions. Thus, NF is a promising attention training treatment intervention for children with ADHD.
Allee-Smith, Paula J.; Winters, Rebecca R.; Drake, Amanda; Joslin, Amanda K.
The Barkley Deficits in Executive Functioning Scale (BDEFS), authored by Russell A. Barkley and published by Guilford in 2011, is an individually administered assessment tool that may be used to evaluate adults ages 18 to 81. The purpose of this measure is to screen those who may be experiencing executive functioning (EF) deficits in…
van Dijk, Chantal N; van Witteloostuijn, Merel; Vasić, Nada; Avrutin, Sergey; Blom, Elma
When sending text messages on their mobile phone to friends, children often use a special type of register, which is called textese. This register allows the omission of words and the use of textisms: instances of non-standard written language such as 4ever (forever). Previous studies have shown that textese has a positive effect on children's literacy abilities. In addition, it is possible that children's grammar system is affected by textese as well, as grammar rules are often transgressed in this register. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to investigate whether the use of textese influences children's grammar performance, and whether this effect is specific to grammar or language in general. Additionally, studies have not yet investigated the influence of textese on children's cognitive abilities. Consequently, the secondary aim of this study was to find out whether textese affects children's executive functions. To investigate this, 55 children between 10 and 13 years old were tested on a receptive vocabulary and grammar performance (sentence repetition) task and various tasks measuring executive functioning. In addition, text messages were elicited and the number of omissions and textisms in children's messages were calculated. Regression analyses showed that omissions were a significant predictor of children's grammar performance after various other variables were controlled for: the more words children omitted in their text messages, the better their performance on the grammar task. Although textisms correlated (marginally) significantly with vocabulary, grammar and selective attention scores and omissions marginally significantly with vocabulary scores, no other significant effects were obtained for measures of textese in the regression analyses: neither for the language outcomes, nor for the executive function tasks. Hence, our results show that textese is positively related to children's grammar performance. On the other hand, use of textese does
Chantal N van Dijk
Full Text Available When sending text messages on their mobile phone to friends, children often use a special type of register, which is called textese. This register allows the omission of words and the use of textisms: instances of non-standard written language such as 4ever (forever. Previous studies have shown that textese has a positive effect on children's literacy abilities. In addition, it is possible that children's grammar system is affected by textese as well, as grammar rules are often transgressed in this register. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to investigate whether the use of textese influences children's grammar performance, and whether this effect is specific to grammar or language in general. Additionally, studies have not yet investigated the influence of textese on children's cognitive abilities. Consequently, the secondary aim of this study was to find out whether textese affects children's executive functions. To investigate this, 55 children between 10 and 13 years old were tested on a receptive vocabulary and grammar performance (sentence repetition task and various tasks measuring executive functioning. In addition, text messages were elicited and the number of omissions and textisms in children's messages were calculated. Regression analyses showed that omissions were a significant predictor of children's grammar performance after various other variables were controlled for: the more words children omitted in their text messages, the better their performance on the grammar task. Although textisms correlated (marginally significantly with vocabulary, grammar and selective attention scores and omissions marginally significantly with vocabulary scores, no other significant effects were obtained for measures of textese in the regression analyses: neither for the language outcomes, nor for the executive function tasks. Hence, our results show that textese is positively related to children's grammar performance. On the other hand
Roberts, C A; Jones, A; Montgomery, C
Ecstasy/3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) use is proposed to cause damage to serotonergic (5-HT) axons in humans. Therefore, users should show deficits in cognitive processes that rely on serotonin-rich, prefrontal areas of the brain. However, there is inconsistency in findings to support this hypothesis. The aim of the current study was to examine deficits in executive functioning in ecstasy users compared with controls using meta-analysis. We identified k = 39 studies, contributing 89 effect sizes, investigating executive functioning in ecstasy users and polydrug-using controls. We compared function-specific task performance in 1221 current ecstasy users and 1242 drug-using controls, from tasks tapping the executive functions - updating, switching, inhibition and access to long-term memory. The significant main effect demonstrated overall executive dysfunction in ecstasy users [standardized mean difference (SMD) = -0.18, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.26 to -0.11, Z = 5.05, p Ecstasy users showed significant performance deficits in access (SMD = -0.33, 95% CI -0.46 to -0.19, Z = 4.72, p ecstasy users to date and provides a behavioural correlate of potential serotonergic neurotoxicity.
Kok, Rianne; Lucassen, Nicole; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J; van IJzendoorn, Marinus H; Ghassabian, Akhgar; Roza, Sabine J; Govaert, Paul; Jaddoe, Vincent W; Hofman, Albert; Verhulst, Frank C; Tiemeier, Henning
In this longitudinal population-based study (N = 544), we investigated whether early parenting and corpus callosum length predict child executive function abilities at 4 years of age. The length of the corpus callosum in infancy was measured using postnatal cranial ultrasounds at 6 weeks of age. At 3 years, two aspects of parenting were observed: maternal sensitivity during a teaching task and maternal discipline style during a discipline task. Parents rated executive function problems at 4 years of age in five domains of inhibition, shifting, emotional control, working memory, and planning/organizing, using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool Version. Maternal sensitivity predicted less executive function problems at preschool age. A significant interaction was found between corpus callosum length in infancy and maternal use of positive discipline to determine child inhibition problems: The association between a relatively shorter corpus callosum in infancy and child inhibition problems was reduced in children who experienced more positive discipline. Our results point to the buffering potential of positive parenting for children with biological vulnerability.
Full Text Available Subcortical structures are in a strategic functional position within the cognitive networks. Their lesion can interfere with a great number of functions. We studied six patients with thalamic vascular lesions (three left sided, two right sided and one bilateral, to characterize their repercussion in the communicative abilities and the interface between language alterations and other cognitive abilities, as attention, memory and frontal executive. All patients were evaluated through a functional interview (discourse analysis, and the following batteries: Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination, Boston Naming Test, Token Test, Benton Visual Retention Test, Trail Making, Wisconsin Card Sorting and frontal scripts. All patients performed MRI and five underwent SPECT. Results show that these patients present impairment in several cognitive domains, especially attention and executive functions (working memory, planning and self-monitoring; those with right lesions have an additional visuospatial impairment. Such alterations interfere with language abilities, and this fact must be considered in the rehabilitation efforts.As estruturas subcorticais ocupam posições funcionais estratégicas nas redes cognitivas. Sua lesão pode interferir com grande número de funções. Estudamos seis pacientes com lesão vascular talâmica (três à esqueda, dois à direita e um bilateral, para caracterizar a repercussão da lesão nas suas habilidades comunicativas e a interface entre alterações de linguagem e outras habilidades cognitivas, como atenção, memória e executivas frontais. Os pacientes foram avaliados através de entrevista funcional (análise do discurso, testes de Boston para Diagnóstico da Afasia, Nomeação Boston, Token, Múltipla Escolha de Benton, Trail Making, Wisconsin Card Sorting e scripts frontais. Todos os pacientes realizaram ressonância magnética encefálica (RM e cinco realizaram SPECT. Os resultados mostram que os pacientes
Keiser, Ashley; Reddy, Linda
The Pediatric Attention Disorders Diagnostic Screener is a multidimensional, computerized screening tool designed to assess attention and global aspects of executive functioning in children at risk for attention disorders. The screener consists of a semi-structured diagnostic interview, brief parent and teacher rating scales, 3 computer-based…
Full Text Available Oral narrative production develops dramatically from 3 to 5 years of age, and is a key factor in a child’s ability to communicate about the world. Concomitant with this are developments in executive function (EF. For example, executive attention and behavioral inhibition show marked development beginning around 4 years of age. Both EF and oral narrative abilities have important implications for academic success, but the relationship between them is not well understood. The present paper utilizes a cross-lagged design to assess convergent and predictive relations between EF and narrative ability. As a collateral measure, we collected a Language Sample during 10 minutes of free play. Language Sample did not share significant variance with Narrative Production, thus general language growth from Wave 1 to Wave 2 cannot account for the predictive relations between EF and Narrative. Our findings suggest that although EF and Narrative ability appear independent at each wave, they nevertheless support each other over developmental time. Specifically, the ability to maintain focus at 4 years supports subsequent narrative ability and narrative ability at 4 years supports subsequent facility and speed in learning and implementing new rules.
Full Text Available The development of self-regulation in early childhood is related to development of emotional regulation and attention, in particular executive attention (Feldman, 2009; Posner & Rothbart, 1998. As the ability to self-regulate is crucial in life (Casey et al., 2011, it is important to reveal early predictors of self-regulation. The aim of the paper is to present the results of longitudinal studies on the relationships between the functioning of attention, regulation of emotion and later self-regulatory abilities. 310 children were assessed at three time points. At 12 months of age emotional regulation in situation of frustration and attention regulation were assessed. At 18 and 24 months behavioral-emotional regulation in the Snack Delay Task was measured. Additionally parents assessed executive attention using The Early Childhood Behavior Questionnaire when children were 26 months old. Structural equation modelling revealed two different paths to development of self-regulatory abilities at 18 months: emotional (reactive system and emotionalattentional and only one emotional-attentional path at 24 months. The early ability to focus attention and later executive attention functioning revealed to be important predictors of self-regulatory abilities both at 18 and 24 months of age.
Soar, K; Chapman, E; Lavan, N; Jansari, A S; Turner, J J D
Caffeine has been shown to have effects on certain areas of cognition, but in executive functioning the research is limited and also inconsistent. One reason could be the need for a more sensitive measure to detect the effects of caffeine on executive function. This study used a new non-immersive virtual reality assessment of executive functions known as JEF(©) (the Jansari Assessment of Executive Function) alongside the 'classic' Stroop Colour-Word task to assess the effects of a normal dose of caffeinated coffee on executive function. Using a double-blind, counterbalanced within participants procedure 43 participants were administered either a caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee and completed the 'JEF(©)' and Stroop tasks, as well as a subjective mood scale and blood pressure pre- and post condition on two separate occasions a week apart. JEF(©) yields measures for eight separate aspects of executive functions, in addition to a total average score. Findings indicate that performance was significantly improved on the planning, creative thinking, event-, time- and action-based prospective memory, as well as total JEF(©) score following caffeinated coffee relative to the decaffeinated coffee. The caffeinated beverage significantly decreased reaction times on the Stroop task, but there was no effect on Stroop interference. The results provide further support for the effects of a caffeinated beverage on cognitive functioning. In particular, it has demonstrated the ability of JEF(©) to detect the effects of caffeine across a number of executive functioning constructs, which weren't shown in the Stroop task, suggesting executive functioning improvements as a result of a 'typical' dose of caffeine may only be detected by the use of more real-world, ecologically valid tasks. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Mina, Theresia H; Lahti, Marius; Drake, Amanda J; Denison, Fiona C; Räikkönen, Katri; Norman, Jane E; Reynolds, Rebecca M
BackgroundPrenatal maternal obesity has been associated with an increased risk of neurocognitive problems in childhood, but there are fewer studies on executive functioning.MethodsTests and questionnaires to assess neurodevelopment, executive functioning, and the ability to delay gratification were conducted in 113 children (mean (SD)=4.24 (0.63) years of age) born to mothers with very severe obesity (SO, body mass index (BMI)⩾40 kg/m 2 , n=51) or to lean mothers (BMI⩽25 kg/m 2 , n=62).ResultsPrenatal maternal SO predicted poorer neurodevelopment (unstandardized regression coefficient (B)=-0.42, 95% confidence interval (CI) (-0.82; -0.02)), worse problem-solving (odd ratio (OR)=0.60, 95% CI (1.13; 0.07)), and fine motor skills (OR=4.91, 95% CI (1.27; 19.04)), poorer executive functioning in areas of attention, inhibitory control, and working memory (standardized B=3.75, 95% CI (1.01; 13.93)) but not in self-gratification delay. The effects were independent of maternal concurrent psychological well-being and child's BMI, but not independent of maternal education.ConclusionFuture studies should investigate whether perinatal management of maternal obesity could prevent adverse outcomes in child neurodevelopment.
Full Text Available Music listening interventions such as Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation can improve mobility, balance, and gait in Parkinson’s Disease (PD. Yet, the impact of music training on executive functions is not yet known. Deficits in executive functions (e.g., attention, processing speed in patients with PD result in gait interference, deficits in emotional processing, loss of functional capacity (e.g., intellectual activity, social participation, and reduced quality of life. The model of temporal prediction and timing suggests two networks collectively contribute to movement generation and execution: the basal ganglia-thalamocortical network (BGTC and the cerebellar-thalamocortical network (CTC. Due to decreases in dopamine responsible for the disruption of the BGTC network in adults with PD, it is hypothesized that rhythmic auditory cues assist patients through recruiting an alternate network, the CTC, which extends to the supplementary motor areas (SMA and the frontal cortices. In piano training, fine motor finger movements activate the cerebellum and SMA, thereby exercising the CTC network. We hypothesize that exercising the CTC network through music training will contribute to enhanced executive functions. Previous research suggested that music training enhances cognitive performance (i.e., working memory and processing speed in healthy adults and adults with cognitive impairments. This review and rationale provides support for the use of music training to enhance cognitive outcomes in patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD.
Prosen, Simona; Smrtnik Vitulić, Helena
The present study analyses the executive function (EF) skills of 369 students of primary education (n = 116), preschool education (n = 72), social pedagogy (n = 54), and biology (n = 128). It explores how the different groups of students use selected executive skills and whether there are any differences between the groups in this respect. Eleven EF skills were self-assessed using the Executive Skills Questionnaire for Students (Dawson & Guare, 2010). All of the groups of students experien...
Hummer, Tom A; Kronenberger, William G; Wang, Yang; Anderson, Caitlin C; Mathews, Vincent P
Prior research has indicated that self-reported violent media exposure is associated with poorer performance on some neuropsychological tests in adolescents. This study aimed to examine the relationship of executive functioning to violent television viewing in healthy young adult males and examine how brain structure is associated with media exposure measures. Sixty-five healthy adult males (ages 18-29) with minimal video game experience estimated their television viewing habits over the past year and, during the subsequent week, recorded television viewing time and characteristics in a daily media diary. Participants then completed a battery of neuropsychological laboratory tests quantifying executive functions and underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Aggregate measures of executive functioning were not associated with measures of overall television viewing (any content type) during the past week or year. However, the amount of television viewing of violent content only, as indicated by both past-year and daily diary measures, was associated with poorer scores on an aggregate score of inhibition, interference control and attention, with no relationship to a composite working memory score. In addition, violent television exposure, as measured with daily media diaries, was associated with reduced frontoparietal white matter volume. Future longitudinal work is necessary to resolve whether individuals with poor executive function and slower white matter growth are more drawn to violent programming, or if extensive media violence exposure modifies cognitive control mechanisms mediated primarily via prefrontal cortex. Impaired inhibitory mechanisms may be related to reported increases in aggression with higher media violence exposure. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Lanfranchi, S; Jerman, O; Dal Pont, E; Alberti, A; Vianello, R
The present work is aimed at analysing executive function (EF) in adolescents with Down Syndrome (DS). So far, EF has been analysed mainly in adults with DS, showing a pattern of impairment. However, less is known about children and adolescents with this syndrome. Studying adolescents with DS might help us better understand whether performances on EF tasks of individuals with DS are determined by age or by Alzheimer disease, as some studies suggest, or whether their performances are directly related to DS cognitive profile. A battery of EF tasks assessing set shifting, planning/problem-solving, working memory, inhibition/perseveration and fluency, as well as a tasks assessing sustained attention has been administered to a group of 15 adolescents with DS and 15 typically developing children matched for mental age. All EF tasks were selected from previous studies with individuals with intellectual disabilities or from developmental literature and are thought to be useful for the samples considered. The present results revealed that the group of individuals with DS performed at a significantly lower level on tasks assessing set shifting, planning/problem-solving, working memory and inhibition/perseveration, but not on the tasks assessing fluency. In addition, individuals with DS demonstrated a greater number of errors and less strategy use for the sustained attention task. The results suggest a broad impairment in EF in adolescents with DS, and are consistent with several similar studies conducted with adults with DS. We assume that EF deficit is a characteristic of DS.
Piovesana, Adina; Ross, Stephanie; Lloyd, Owen; Whittingham, Koa; Ziviani, Jenny; Ware, Robert S; McKinlay, Lynne; Boyd, Roslyn N
To examine the efficacy of a multi-modal web-based therapy program, Move it to improve it (Mitii™) delivered at home to improve Executive Functioning (EF) in children with an acquired brain injury (ABI). Randomised Waitlist controlled trial. Home environment. Sixty children with an ABI were matched in pairs by age and intelligence quotient then randomised to either 20-weeks of Mitii™ training or 20 weeks of Care As Usual (waitlist control; n=30; 17 males; mean age=11y, 11m (±2y, 6m); Full Scale IQ=76.24±17.84). Fifty-eight children completed baseline assessments (32 males; mean age=11.87±2.47; Full Scale IQ=75.21±16.76). Executive functioning was assessed on four domains: attentional control, cognitive flexibility, goal setting, and information processing using subtests from the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV), Delis-Kaplan Executive Functioning System (D-KEFS), Comprehensive Trail Making Test (CTMT), Tower of London (TOL), and Test of Everyday Attention for Children (Tea-Ch). Executive functioning performance in everyday life was assessed via parent questionnaire (Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning; BRIEF). No differences were observed at baseline measures. Groups were compared at 20-weeks using linear regression with no significant differences found between groups on all measures of EF. Out of a potential total dose of 60 hours, children in the Mitii™ group completed a mean of 17 hours of Mitii™ intervention. Results indicate no additional benefit to receiving Mitii™ compared to standard care. Mitii™, in its current form, was not shown to improve EF in children with ABI.
Curran, R. T.
A flight computer functional executive design for the reusable shuttle is presented. The design is given in the form of functional flowcharts and prose description. Techniques utilized in the regulation of process flow to accomplish activation, resource allocation, suspension, termination, and error masking based on process primitives are considered. Preliminary estimates of main storage utilization by the Executive are furnished. Conclusions and recommendations for timely, effective software-hardware integration in the reusable shuttle avionics system are proposed.
van Hemel-Ruiter, Madelon E; de Jong, Peter J; Ostafin, Brian D; Wiers, Reinout W
This study examined whether attentional bias for alcohol stimuli was associated with alcohol use in young adolescents, and whether the frequently demonstrated relationship between reward sensitivity and adolescent alcohol use would be partly mediated by attentional bias for alcohol cues. In addition, this study investigated the potential moderating role of executive control (EC), and tested whether the relationship between alcohol-related attentional bias and alcohol use was especially present in young adolescents with weak EC. Participants were 86 adolescents (mean age=14.86), who completed a Visual Probe Task (VPT) as an index of attentional bias, a flanker-task based Attention Network Task (ANT) as an index of EC, the sensitivity of punishment and sensitivity of reward questionnaire (SPSRQ) as an index of reward sensitivity, and an alcohol use questionnaire. High reward sensitivity, high alcohol-related attentional bias, and weak EC were all related to alcohol use. The relationship between reward sensitivity and alcohol use was not mediated by alcohol-related attentional bias. As hypothesized, attentional bias was only associated with alcohol use in participants with weak EC. Together, the present findings are consistent with the view that high reward sensitivity and low EC may be considered as risk factors for adolescent alcohol use. The independent contribution of reward sensitivity and attentional bias might suggest that adolescents who are highly reward sensitive and display an attentional bias for alcohol cues are at even higher risk for excessive alcohol use and developing alcohol abuse problems. Future research using a longitudinal approach would allow an examination of these risk factors on subsequent alcohol use. Treatment implications are discussed, including the importance of strengthening EC and reducing the rewarding value of alcohol use. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Horvers, A.; Molenaar, I.; Teepe, R.C.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.
This study explores how children's executive functions influences the way parent and child engage in a technology-enhanced story telling activity (TES). Research has indicated that children's executive functions (inhibitory control, memory and cognitive flexibility) are related to how they engage in
Full Text Available Background—Cannabis is the most popular illicit drug in the Western world. Repeated cannabis use has been associated with short and long-term range of adverse effects. Recently, new types of designer-drugs containing synthetic cannabinoids have been widespread. These synthetic cannabinoid drugs are associated with undesired adverse effects similar to those seen with cannabis use, yet, in more severe and long-lasting forms. Method—A literature search was conducted using electronic bibliographic databases up to 31 December 2017. Specific search strategies were employed using multiple keywords (e.g., “synthetic cannabinoids AND cognition,” “cannabis AND cognition” and “cannabinoids AND cognition”. Results—The search has yielded 160 eligible studies including 37 preclinical studies (5 attention, 25 short-term memory, 7 cognitive flexibility and 44 human studies (16 attention, 15 working memory, 13 cognitive flexibility. Both pre-clinical and clinical studies demonstrated an association between synthetic cannabinoids and executive-function impairment either after acute or repeated consumptions. These deficits differ in severity depending on several factors including the type of drug, dose of use, quantity, age of onset and duration of use. Conclusions—Understanding the nature of the impaired executive function following consumption of synthetic cannabinoids is crucial in view of the increasing use of these drugs.
Tucha, Oliver; Tucha, Lara; Kaumann, Gesa; König, Sebastian; Lange, Katharina M.; Stasik, Dorota; Streather, Zoe; Engelschalk, Tobias; Lange, Klaus W.
Pharmacological treatment of children with ADHD has been shown to be successful; however, medication may not normalize attention functions. The present study was based on a neuropsychological model of attention and assessed the effect of an attention training program on attentional functioning of children with ADHD. Thirty-two children with ADHD and 16 healthy children participated in the study. Children with ADHD were randomly assigned to one of the two conditions, i.e., an attention trainin...
Donath, Lars; Ludyga, Sebastian; Hammes, Daniel; Rossmeissl, Anja; Andergassen, Nadin; Zahner, Lukas; Faude, Oliver
Aging is accompanied by a decline of executive function. Aerobic exercise training induces moderate improvements of cognitive domains (i.e., attention, processing, executive function, memory) in seniors. Most conclusive data are obtained from studies with dementia or cognitive impairment. Confident detection of exercise training effects requires adequate between-day reliability and low day-to-day variability obtained from acute studies, respectively. These absolute and relative reliability measures have not yet been examined for a single aerobic training session in seniors. Twenty-two healthy and physically active seniors (age: 69 ± 3 y, BMI: 24.8 ± 2.2, VO 2peak : 32 ± 6 mL/kg/bodyweight) were enrolled in this randomized controlled cross-over study. A repeated between-day comparison [i.e., day 1 (habituation) vs. day 2 & day 2 vs. day 3] of executive function testing (Eriksen-Flanker-Test, Stroop-Color-Test, Digit-Span, Five-Point-Test) before and after aerobic cycling exercise at 70% of the heart rate reserve [0.7 × (HR max - HR rest )] was conducted. Reliability measures were calculated for pre, post and change scores. Large between-day differences between day 1 and 2 were found for reaction times (Flanker- and Stroop Color testing) and completed figures (Five-Point test) at pre and post testing (0.002 seniors can be presumed.
Zhang, Jingchao; Wang, Guoliang; Zhang, Fangxiang; Zhao, Qian
The protective effect of dexmedetomidine on cognitive dysfunction and decreased attention network function of patients with ischemic cerebrovascular disease after stenting was investigated. Fifty-eight patients with ischemic cerebrovascular disease undergoing stenting in Guizhou Provincial People's Hospital were selected and randomly divided into control group (n=29) and dexmedetomidine group (n=29). The dexmedetomidine group was treated with dexmedetomidine before induced anesthesia, while the control group was given the same dose of normal saline; and the normal volunteers of the same age were selected as the normal group (n=29). At 3 days after operation, the levels of serum S100B and nerve growth factor (NGF) in each group were detected using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was detected via western blotting. Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA) and attention network test (ANT) were performed. Moreover, the cognitive function and attention network function, and the effects of dexmedetomidine on cognitive function and attention network function were evaluated. The concentrations of serum S100B and NGF in dexmedetomidine group was lower than those in control group (Pfunction scores, attention scores, delayed memory scores, targeted network efficiency and executive control network efficiency in dexmedetomidine group were obviously higher than those in control group (Pcognitive function and attention network function of patients with ischemic cerebrovascular disease have a certain degree of damage, and the preoperative administration of dexmedetomidine can effectively improve the patient's cognitive dysfunction and attention network function after operation.
Wolfe, Kelly R.; Walsh, Karin S.; Reynolds, Nina C.; Mitchell, Frances; Reddy, Alyssa T.; Paltin, Iris; Madan-Swain, Avi
Medical advances have resulted in increased survival rates for children with brain tumors. Consequently, issues related to survivorship have become more critical. The use of multimodal treatment, in particular cranial radiation therapy, has been associated with subsequent cognitive decline. Specifically, deficits in executive functions have been reported in survivors of various types of pediatric brain tumor. Survivors are left with difficulties, particularly in self-monitoring, initiation, inhibition, and planning, to name a few. Another domain in which survivors of pediatric brain tumor have been reported to show difficulty is that of social skills. Parents, teachers, and survivors themselves have reported decreased social functioning following treatment. Deficits in executive functions and social skills are likely interrelated in this population, as executive skills are needed to navigate various aspects of social interaction; however, this has yet to be studied empirically. Twenty-four survivors of pediatric brain tumor were assessed using a computerized task of executive functions, as well as paper and pencil measures of social skills and real world executive skills. Social functioning was related to a specific aspect of executive functions, i.e., the survivors’ variability in response time, such that inconsistent responding was associated with better parent-report and survivor-report social skills, independent of intellectual abilities. Additionally, parent-reported real-world global executive abilities predicted parent-reported social skills. The implications of these findings for social skills interventions and future research are discussed. PMID:22420326
Joppich, Gregor; Däuper, Jan; Dengler, Reinhard; Johannes, Sönke; Rodriguez-Fornells, Antoni; Münte, Thomas F
The generation of random sequences is considered to tax different executive functions. To explore the involvement of these functions further, brain potentials were recorded in 16 healthy young adults while either engaging in random number generation (RNG) by pressing the number keys on a computer keyboard in a random sequence or in ordered number generation (ONG) necessitating key presses in the canonical order. Key presses were paced by an external auditory stimulus to yield either fast (1 press/800 ms) or slow (1 press/1300 ms) sequences in separate runs. Attentional demands of random and ordered tasks were assessed by the introduction of a secondary task (key-press to a target tone). The P3 amplitude to the target tone of this secondary task was reduced during RNG, reflecting the greater consumption of attentional resources during RNG. Moreover, RNG led to a left frontal negativity peaking 140 ms after the onset of the pacing stimulus, whenever the subjects produced a true random response. This negativity could be attributed to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and was absent when numbers were repeated. This negativity was interpreted as an index for the inhibition of habitual responses. Finally, in response locked ERPs a negative component was apparent peaking about 50 ms after the key-press that was more prominent during RNG. Source localization suggested a medial frontal source. This effect was tentatively interpreted as a reflection of the greater monitoring demands during random sequence generation.
Zahodne, Laura B.; Nowinski, Cindy J.; Gershon, Richard C.; Manly, Jennifer J.
Objective Previous studies showed that control beliefs are more strongly related to global cognition and mortality among adults with low education, providing preliminary evidence that self-efficacy buffers against the negative impact of educational disadvantage on physical and cognitive health. The current study extends these findings to a nationally-representative sample of men and women aged 30 to 85 and explores which cognitive domains are most strongly associated with self-efficacy, educational attainment, and their interaction. Method Data were obtained from 1,032 adult (30-85) participants in the United States norming study for the NIH Toolbox. Self-efficacy, executive functioning, working memory, processing speed, episodic memory, and vocabulary were assessed with the NIH Toolbox. Multivariate analysis of covariance and follow-up regressions tested the hypothesis that self-efficacy would be more strongly related to cognitive performance among individuals with lower education, controlling for age, sex, race, ethnicity, education, reading level, testing language, and depressive symptoms. Results Higher education was associated with higher self-efficacy and better performance on all cognitive tests. Higher self-efficacy was associated with better set-switching and attention/inhibition. Significant self-efficacy by education interactions indicated that associations between self-efficacy and executive abilities were stronger for individuals with lower education. Specifically, individuals with low education but high self-efficacy performed similarly to individuals with high education. Conclusions This study provides evidence that self-efficacy beliefs buffer against the negative effects of low educational attainment on executive functioning. These results have implications for future policy and/or intervention work aimed at reducing the deleterious effects of educational disadvantage on later cognitive health. PMID:25877284
María Jesús Cardoso-Moreno
Full Text Available Attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD is a common neuro-behavioural disorder with onset in childhood. These children have impaired emotional self-control, self-regulation of drive and motivation. Numerous studies have reported cognitive disabilities in memory, executive functions, spatial abilities and language skills. The main objective of this work is to determine whether a socio-emotional intervention programme could improve executive functions in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The sample of this study consisted of 25 children (8 female and 17 male aged between 8 and 12 years, diagnosed with ADHD and who were not taking any psychopharmacological treatment at the time of the study, and had not taken medication previously. Executive functioning was assessed through the Zoo Map test and Tower of Hanoi puzzle in pre-/post-test design. A socio-emotional intervention programme was implemented. The training consisted of 8 one-hour weekly sessions, on an individual basis. Results indicate that such a programme does lead to improved performance in the execution of tasks that evaluate executive functions. After the intervention, the children took less time to resolve the Zoo Map test. Results for the Hanoi Tower puzzle were also improved after intervention. The children needed a lower number of movements to complete the task.
María Jesús Cardoso-Moreno
Full Text Available Attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD is a common neuro-behavioural disorder with onset in childhood. These children have impaired emotional self-control, self-regulation of drive and motivation. Numerous studies have reported cognitive disabilities in memory, executive functions, spatial abilities and language skills. The main objective of this work is to determine whether a socio-emotional intervention programme could improve executive functions in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The sample of this study consisted of 25 children (8 female and 17 male aged between 8 and 12 years, diagnosed with ADHD and who were not taking any psychopharmacological treatment at the time of the study, and had not taken medication previously. Executive functioning was assessed through the Zoo Map test and Tower of Hanoi puzzle in pre-/post-test design. A socio-emotional intervention programme was implemented. The training consisted of 8 one-hour weekly sessions, on an individual basis. Results indicate that such a programme does lead to improved performance in the execution of tasks that evaluate executive functions. After the intervention, the children took less time to resolve the Zoo Map test. Results for the Hanoi Tower puzzle were also improved after intervention. The children needed a lower number of movements to complete the task.
Boxhoorn, Sara; Lopez, Eva; Schmidt, Catharina; Schulze, Diana; Hänig, Susann; Freitag, Christine M
Attention problems are observed in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Most neuropsychological studies that compared both disorders focused on complex executive functions (EF), but missed to contrast basic attention functions, as well as ASD- and ADHD subtypes. The present study compared EF as well as basic attention functioning of children with the combined subtype (ADHD-C), the predominantly inattentive subtype (ADHD-I), and autism spectrum disorder without ADHD (ASD-) with typically developing controls (TD). Basic attention functions and EF profiles were analysed by testing the comprehensive attention function model of van Zomeren and Brouwer using profile analysis. Additionally, neurocognitive impairments in ASD- and ADHD were regressed on dimensional measures of attention- and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms across and within groups. ADHD-C revealed a strong impairment across measures of EF compared to ASD- and TD. The ADHD-C profile furthermore showed disorder specific impairments in interference control, whereas the ASD- profile showed a disorder specific impairment in basic attention component divided attention. Attention- and hyperactive-impulsive symptom severity did not predict neurocognitive impairments across- or within groups. Study findings thus support disorder and subtype specific attention/EF profiles, which refute the idea of a continuum of ADHD-I, ADHD-C, and ASD with increasing neurocognitive impairments.
Holley, Sarah R; Ewing, Scott T; Stiver, Jordan T; Bloch, Lian
Emotion regulation deficits and executive functioning deficits have independently been shown to increase vulnerability toward engaging in aggressive behaviors. The effects of these risk factors, however, have not been evaluated in relation to one another. This study evaluated the degree to which each was associated with aggressive behaviors in a sample of 168 undergraduate students. Executive functioning (cognitive inhibition and mental flexibility) was assessed with a Stroop-like neuropsychological task. Emotion regulation and aggressive behaviors were assessed via self-report inventories. Results showed main effects for both emotion regulation and executive functioning, as well as a significant interaction, indicating that those who scored lowest in both domains reported engaging in aggressive behaviors the most frequently. When different types of aggression were examined, this interaction was only significant for acts of physical aggression, not for acts of verbal aggression. Therefore, for physical aggression, emotion regulation and executive functioning exerted a moderating effect on one another. The implications are that, at least for acts of physical aggression, relatively strong capabilities in either domain may buffer against tendencies to engage in aggressive behaviors. Thus, both emotion regulation skills and executive functioning abilities may be valuable targets for interventions aiming to reduce aggressive behaviors. © The Author(s) 2015.
Sosic-Vasic, Zrinka; Keis, Oliver; Lau, Maren; Spitzer, Manfred; Streb, Judith
The present study investigates the interplay of executive functions, motivation, and teacher's autonomy support in school context. In a cross-sectional study design 208 students from different school types completed a standardized motivation questionnaire and processed two executive function tasks. All teachers who teach these students were asked about their autonomy supporting behavior by a standardized test. Multilevel analyses assessed the effects of the student's motivation and their teachers' autonomy support on student's executive functions. Our results show considerable relationships between these variables: high executive function capacities came along with teacher's autonomy support and student's intrinsic motivation styles, whereas low executive function capacities were related to external regulation styles. The results indicate the importance of autonomy support in school instruction and disclose the need to popularize the self-regulation approach.
Girotti, Milena; Adler, Samantha M; Bulin, Sarah E; Fucich, Elizabeth A; Paredes, Denisse; Morilak, David A
Prefrontal cortical executive functions comprise a number of cognitive capabilities necessary for goal directed behavior and adaptation to a changing environment. Executive dysfunction that leads to maladaptive behavior and is a symptom of psychiatric pathology can be instigated or exacerbated by stress. In this review we survey research addressing the impact of stress on executive function, with specific focus on working memory, attention, response inhibition, and cognitive flexibility. We then consider the neurochemical pathways underlying these cognitive capabilities and, where known, how stress alters them. Finally, we review work exploring potential pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches that can ameliorate deficits in executive function. Both preclinical and clinical literature indicates that chronic stress negatively affects executive function. Although some of the circuitry and neurochemical processes underlying executive function have been characterized, a great deal is still unknown regarding how stress affects these processes. Additional work focusing on this question is needed in order to make progress on developing interventions that ameliorate executive dysfunction. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Maryam Malmir; Maryam Seifenaraghi; Dariush D Farhud; G Ali Afrooz; Mohammad Khanahmadi
Background: According to the mother?s key roles in bringing up emotional and cognitive abilities of mentally retarded children and respect to positive psychology in recent decades, this research is administered to assess the relation between mother?s happiness level with cognitive- executive functions (i.e. attention, working memory, inhibition and planning) and facial emotional recognition ability as two factors in learning and adjustment skills in mentally retarded children with Down syndro...
Tucha, Oliver; Tucha, Lara; Kaumann, Gesa; König, Sebastian; Lange, Katharina M; Stasik, Dorota; Streather, Zoe; Engelschalk, Tobias; Lange, Klaus W
Pharmacological treatment of children with ADHD has been shown to be successful; however, medication may not normalize attention functions. The present study was based on a neuropsychological model of attention and assessed the effect of an attention training program on attentional functioning of children with ADHD. Thirty-two children with ADHD and 16 healthy children participated in the study. Children with ADHD were randomly assigned to one of the two conditions, i.e., an attention training program which trained aspects of vigilance, selective attention and divided attention, or a visual perception training which trained perceptual skills, such as perception of figure and ground, form constancy and position in space. The training programs were applied in individual sessions, twice a week, for a period of four consecutive weeks. Healthy children did not receive any training. Alertness, vigilance, selective attention, divided attention, and flexibility were examined prior to and following the interventions. Children with ADHD were assessed and trained while on ADHD medications. Data analysis revealed that the attention training used in the present study led to significant improvements of various aspects of attention, including vigilance, divided attention, and flexibility, while the visual perception training had no specific effects. The findings indicate that attention training programs have the potential to facilitate attentional functioning in children with ADHD treated with ADHD drugs.
Altemeier, Leah; Jones, Janine; Abbott, Robert D; Berninger, Virginia W
Results are reported for a study of 2 separate processes of report writing-taking notes while reading source material and composing a report from those notes-and related individual differences in executive functions involved in integrating reading and writing during these writing activities. Third graders (n = 122) and 5th graders (n = 106; overall, 127 girls and 114 boys) completed two reading-writing tasks-read paragraph (mock science text)-write notes and use notes to generate written report, a reading comprehension test, a written expression test, four tests of executive functions (inhibition, verbal fluency, planning, switching attention), and a working memory test. For the read-take notes task, the same combination of variables was best (explained the most variance and each variable added unique variance) for 3rd graders and 5th graders: Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-Second Edition (WIAT-II) Reading Comprehension, Process Assessment of the Learner Test for Reading and Writing (PAL) Copy Task B, WIAT-II Written Expression, and Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) Inhibition. For the use notes to write report task, the best combinations of variables depended on grade level: For 3rd graders, WIAT-II Reading Comprehension, WIAT-II Written Expression, D-KEFS Verbal Fluency, and Tower of Hanoi; for 5th graders, WIAT-II Reading Comprehension, D-KEFS Verbal Fluency, WIAT-II Written Expression, and PAL Alphabet Task. These results add to prior research findings that executive functions contribute to the writing development of elementary-grade students and additionally support the hypothesis that executive functions play a role in developing reading-writing connections.
Lamberts, Kirsten F.; Evans, Jonathan J.; Spikman, Jacoba M.
A major goal of neuropsychological assessment is predicting a person's level of functioning in daily life. Making predictions about everyday executive functioning based on tests is problematic because of the contrast between demands made in the test environment and demands made in everyday life
Kapa, Leah Lynn
Prior research has established an executive function advantage among bilinguals as compared to monolingual peers. These non-linguistic cognitive advantages are largely assumed to result from the experience of managing two linguistic systems. However, the possibility remains that the relationship between bilingualism and executive function is…
Hamilton, Jackie; Radlak, Bogna; Morris, Paul G; Phillips, Louise H
Cognitive deficits following stroke are well documented, but less is known about problems with social skills such as understanding others' thoughts and feelings. This study investigated the effect of stroke on a visual-affective measure of social understanding: the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test (RMET). The aims were to investigate whether right hemisphere stroke was particularly detrimental to this aspect of Theory of Mind (ToM), and investigate the relationship between ToM ability and executive function following stroke. Performance of stroke patients (right hemisphere stroke, n = 15; left hemisphere stroke, n = 15) was compared to that of controls (n = 40) matched for age, years of education, and IQ on tasks measuring ToM and executive functioning. Right hemisphere stroke was associated with impaired ToM ability, but left hemisphere stroke was not. There was no effect of stroke on a matched non-ToM control task. High correlations were found between performance on the RMET and some measures of executive functioning in participants with right hemisphere stroke only. Further analyses suggested that deficits in executive functioning could not statistically explain all of the difficulties shown by stroke participants on the RMET. A reduction in the ability to attribute mental states to others following right hemisphere stroke may adversely affect psychosocial functioning, disrupt interpersonal relationships, and lead to reduced quality of life. The clinical importance of these findings, implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.