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Sample records for childhood executive function

  1. Infant Attention and Early Childhood Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuevas, Kimberly; Bell, Martha Ann

    2014-01-01

    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,…

  2. Genetic analyses of the stability of executive functioning during childhood.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Polderman, T.J.C.; Posthuma, D.; de Sonneville, L.M.J.; Stins, J.F.; Verhulst, F.C.; Boomsma, D.I.

    2007-01-01

    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

  3. Executive Function and Food Approach Behavior in Middle Childhood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karoline eGroppe

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Executive function (EF has long been considered to be a unitary, domain-general cognitive ability. However, recent research suggests differentiating ‘hot’ affective and ‘cool’ cognitive aspects of EF. Yet, findings regarding this two-factor construct are still inconsistent. In particular, the development of this factor structure remains unclear and data on school-aged children is lacking. Furthermore, studies linking EF and overweight or obesity suggest that EF contributes to the regulation of eating behavior. So far, however, the links between EF and eating behavior have rarely been investigated in children and non-clinical populations.First, we examined whether EF can be divided into hot and cool factors or whether they actually correspond to a unitary construct in middle childhood. Second, we examined how hot and cool EF are associated with different eating styles that put children at risk of becoming overweight during development. Hot and cool EF were assessed experimentally in a non-clinical population of 1,657 elementary-school children (aged 6-11 years. The ‘food approach’ behavior was rated mainly via parent questionnaires.Findings indicate that hot EF is distinguishable from cool EF. However, only cool EF seems to represent a coherent functional entity, whereas hot EF does not seem to be a homogenous construct. This was true for a younger and an older subgroup of children. Furthermore, different EF components were correlated with eating styles, such as responsiveness to food, desire to drink, and restrained eating in girls but not in boys. This shows that lower levels of EF are not only seen in clinical populations of obese patients but are already associated with food approach styles in a normal population of elementary school-aged girls. Although the direction of effect still has to be clarified, results point to the possibility that EF constitutes a risk factor for eating styles contributing to the development of

  4. Neural correlates of childhood trauma with executive function in young healthy adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Shaojia; Pan, Fen; Gao, Weijia; Wei, Zhaoguo; Wang, Dandan; Hu, Shaohua; Huang, Manli; Xu, Yi; Li, Lingjiang

    2017-10-03

    The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship among childhood trauma, executive impairments, and altered resting-state brain function in young healthy adults. Twenty four subjects with childhood trauma and 24 age- and gender-matched subjects without childhood trauma were recruited. Executive function was assessed by a series of validated test procedures. Localized brain activity was evaluated by fractional amplitude of low frequency fluctuation (fALFF) method and compared between two groups. Areas with altered fALFF were further selected as seeds in subsequent functional connectivity analysis. Correlations of fALFF and connectivity values with severity of childhood trauma and executive dysfunction were analyzed as well. Subjects with childhood trauma exhibited impaired executive function as assessed by Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and Stroop Color Word Test. Traumatic individuals also showed increased fALFF in the right precuneus and decreased fALFF in the right superior temporal gyrus. Significant correlations of specific childhood trauma severity with executive dysfunction and fALFF value in the right precuneus were found in the whole sample. In addition, individuals with childhood trauma also exhibited diminished precuneus-based connectivity in default mode network with left ventromedial prefrontal cortex, left orbitofrontal cortex, and right cerebellum. Decreased default mode network connectivity was also associated with childhood trauma severity and executive dysfunction. The present findings suggest that childhood trauma is associated with executive deficits and aberrant default mode network functions even in healthy adults. Moreover, this study demonstrates that executive dysfunction is related to disrupted default mode network connectivity.

  5. Prenatal and childhood traffic-related air pollution exposure and childhood executive function and behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Maria H; Gold, Diane R; Rifas-Shiman, Sheryl L; Melly, Steven J; Zanobetti, Antonella; Coull, Brent A; Schwartz, Joel D; Gryparis, Alexandros; Kloog, Itai; Koutrakis, Petros; Bellinger, David C; Belfort, Mandy B; Webster, Thomas F; White, Roberta F; Sagiv, Sharon K; Oken, Emily

    Traffic-related air pollution exposure may influence brain development and function and thus be related to neurobehavioral problems in children, but little is known about windows of susceptibility. Examine associations of gestational and childhood exposure to traffic-related pollution with executive function and behavior problems in children. We studied associations of pre- and postnatal pollution exposures with neurobehavioral outcomes in 1212 children in the Project Viva pre-birth cohort followed to mid-childhood (median age 7.7years). Parents and classroom teachers completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Using validated spatiotemporal models, we estimated exposure to black carbon (BC) and fine particulate matter (PM 2.5 ) in the third trimester of pregnancy, from birth to 3years, from birth to 6years, and in the year before behavioral ratings. We also measured residential distance to major roadways and near-residence traffic density at birth and in mid-childhood. We estimated associations of BC, PM 2.5 , and other traffic exposure measures with BRIEF and SDQ scores, adjusted for potential confounders. Higher childhood BC exposure was associated with higher teacher-rated BRIEF Behavioral Regulation Index (BRI) scores, indicating greater problems: 1.0 points (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.0, 2.1) per interquartile range (IQR) increase in birth-age 6BC, and 1.7 points (95% CI: 0.6, 2.8) for BC in the year prior to behavioral ratings. Mid-childhood residential traffic density was also associated with BRI score (0.6, 95% CI: 0.1, 1.1). Birth-age 3BC was not associated with BRIEF or SDQ scores. Third trimester BC exposure was not associated with teacher-rated BRI scores (-0.2, 95% CI: -1.1, 0.8), and predicted lower scores (fewer problems) on the BRIEF Metacognition Index (-1.2, 95% CI: -2.2, -0.2) and SDQ total difficulties (-0.9, 95% CI: -1.4, -0.4). PM 2.5 exposure was

  6. Emotional Reactivity and Regulation in Infancy Interact to Predict Executive Functioning in Early Childhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ursache, Alexandra; Blair, Clancy; Stifter, Cynthia; Voegtline, Kristin

    2013-01-01

    The relation of observed emotional reactivity and regulation in infancy to executive function in early childhood was examined in a prospective longitudinal sample of 1,292 children from predominantly low-income and rural communities. Children participated in a fear eliciting task at ages 7, 15, and 24 months and completed an executive function…

  7. The interactive roles of parenting, emotion regulation and executive functioning in moral reasoning during middle childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinnant, J Benjamin; Nelson, Jackie A; O'Brien, Marion; Keane, Susan P; Calkins, Susan D

    2013-01-01

    We examined mother-child co-operative behaviour, children's emotion regulation and executive function, as well as combinations of these factors, as predictors of moral reasoning in 89 10-year-old children. Dyadic co-operation was coded from videotaped observations of laboratory puzzle and speech tasks. Emotion regulation was derived from maternal report, and executive functioning was assessed with the Tower of London task. Moral reasoning was coded during mother-child conversations about morally ambiguous, peer-conflict situations. Two significant interactions indicated that children from more co-operative dyads who also had higher executive function skills had higher moral reasoning scores than other children, and children lower in both emotion regulation and executive function had lower moral reasoning scores than other children. The results contribute to the literature on the multiple and interactive levels of influence on moral reasoning in childhood.

  8. The Interactive Roles of Parenting, Emotion Regulation and Executive Functioning in Moral Reasoning during Middle Childhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinnant, J. Benjamin; Nelson, Jackie A.; O’Brien, Marion; Keane, Susan P.; Calkins, Susan D.

    2013-01-01

    We examined mother-child cooperative behavior, children’s emotion regulation and executive function, as well as combinations of these factors, as predictors of moral reasoning in 89 10-year-old children. Dyadic cooperation was coded from videotaped observations of laboratory puzzle and speech tasks. Emotion regulation was derived from maternal report, and executive functioning was assessed with the Tower of London task. Moral reasoning was coded during mother-child conversations about morally ambiguous, peer-conflict situations. Two significant interactions indicated that children from more cooperative dyads who also had higher executive function skills had higher moral reasoning scores than other children, and children lower in both emotion regulation and executive function had lower moral reasoning scores than other children. The results contribute to the literature on the multiple and interactive levels of influence on moral reasoning in childhood. PMID:23650955

  9. Parent-rated emotional-behavioral and executive functioning in childhood epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kavanaugh, Brian C; Scarborough, Vanessa Ramos; Salorio, Cynthia F

    2015-01-01

    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.

  10. Transactional relations between caregiving stress, executive functioning, and problem behavior from early childhood to early adolescence

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaGasse, Linda L.; Conradt, Elisabeth; Karalunas, Sarah L.; Dansereau, Lynne M.; Butner, Jonathan E.; Shankaran, Seetha; Bada, Henrietta; Bauer, Charles R.; Whitaker, Toni M.; Lester, Barry M.

    2016-01-01

    Developmental psychopathologists face the difficult task of identifying the environmental conditions that may contribute to early childhood behavior problems. Highly stressed caregivers can exacerbate behavior problems, while children with behavior problems may make parenting more difficult and increase caregiver stress. Unknown is: (1) how these transactions originate, (2) whether they persist over time to contribute to the development of problem behavior and (3) what role resilience factors, such as child executive functioning, may play in mitigating the development of problem behavior. In the present study, transactional relations between caregiving stress, executive functioning, and behavior problems were examined in a sample of 1,388 children with prenatal drug exposures at three developmental time points: early childhood (birth-age 5), middle childhood (ages 6 to 9), and early adolescence (ages 10 to 13). Transactional relations differed between caregiving stress and internalizing versus externalizing behavior. Targeting executive functioning in evidence-based interventions for children with prenatal substance exposure who present with internalizing problems and treating caregiving psychopathology, depression, and parenting stress in early childhood may be particularly important for children presenting with internalizing behavior. PMID:27427803

  11. History of Childhood Maltreatment and College Academic Outcomes: Indirect Effects of Hot Execution Function

    OpenAIRE

    Welsh, Marilyn C.; Peterson, Eric; Jameson, Molly M.

    2017-01-01

    College students who report a history of childhood maltreatment may be at risk for poor outcomes. In the current study, we conducted an exploratory analysis to examine potential models that statistically mediate associations between aspects of maltreatment and aspects of academic outcome, with a particular focus on executive functions (EF). Consistent with contemporary EF research, we distinguished between relatively “cool” EF tasks (i.e., performed in a context relatively free of emotional o...

  12. Executive functions in early childhood: the role of maternal and paternal parenting practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucassen, Nicole; Kok, Rianne; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J; Van Ijzendoorn, Marinus H; Jaddoe, Vincent W V; Hofman, Albert; Verhulst, Frank C; Lambregtse-Van den Berg, Mijke P; Tiemeier, Henning

    2015-11-01

    We investigated the association between mothers' and fathers' harsh parenting and sensitive parenting practices and child's executive functions (EF) in early childhood in 607 families. We focused on three broad dimensions of child EF: Emergent metacognition, inhibitory self-control, and flexibility measured with the parent-reported Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool Version. Less sensitive parenting of the mother and harsher parenting of the father were related to lower scores of emergent metacognition and inhibitory self-control. Parenting was not associated with child flexibility. This study extends previous research on the association between parenting and EF by the focus on the role of the father and demonstrates independent effects of mother and father on child EF. © 2015 The British Psychological Society.

  13. Cool and Hot Aspects of Executive Function in Childhood Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hybel, Katja Anna; Mortensen, Erik Lykke; Lambek, Rikke

    2017-01-01

    Aspects of executive functioning (EF) have been put forward as endophenotypes in obsessive- compulsive disorder (OCD) and meta-analyses support EF underperformance in adult samples. Childhood-onset OCD has been suggested to constitute a separate neurodevelopmental subtype of the disorder......-17 years of which 70% were female, 50 pairwise age and gender matched non-psychiatric controls (NP) and 38 children and adolescents with mixed anxiety disorders (MA). Participants underwent structured diagnostic interviews and assessment with a battery encompassing cool EF tasks of working memory, set...

  14. Developmental differences in the structure of executive function in middle childhood and adolescence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fen Xu

    Full Text Available Although it has been argued that the structure of executive function (EF may change developmentally, there is little empirical research to examine this view in middle childhood and adolescence. The main objective of this study was to examine developmental changes in the component structure of EF in a large sample (N = 457 of 7-15 year olds. Participants completed batteries of tasks that measured three components of EF: updating working memory (UWM, inhibition, and shifting. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA was used to test five alternative models in 7-9 year olds, 10-12 year olds, and 13-15 year olds. The results of CFA showed that a single-factor EF model best explained EF performance in 7-9-year-old and 10-12-year-old groups, namely unitary EF, though this single factor explained different amounts of variance at these two ages. In contrast, a three-factor model that included UWM, inhibition, and shifting best accounted for the data from 13-15 year olds, namely diverse EF. In sum, during middle childhood, putative measures of UWM, inhibition, and shifting may rely on similar underlying cognitive processes. Importantly, our findings suggest that developmental dissociations in these three EF components do not emerge until children transition into adolescence. These findings provided empirical evidence for the development of EF structure which progressed from unity to diversity during middle childhood and adolescence.

  15. Theory of mind in middle childhood: Longitudinal associations with executive function and social competence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devine, Rory T; White, Naomi; Ensor, Rosie; Hughes, Claire

    2016-05-01

    The vast majority of studies on theory of mind (ToM) have focused on the preschool years. Extending the developmental scope of ToM research presents opportunities to both reassess theoretical accounts of ToM and test its predictive utility. The twin aims of this longitudinal study were to examine developmental relations between ToM, executive function (EF), and teacher-rated social competence in middle childhood. One hundred thirty-seven children (69 males) were followed across a 4-year period spanning middle childhood (M ages at Waves 1 and 2 = 6.05, SD = .35, and 10.81, SD = .35, respectively). Individual differences in ToM were moderately stable across middle childhood. Although there were concurrent associations between ToM and EF at both time points, there were no longitudinal links between these constructs. In contrast, there were concurrent and longitudinal links between ToM and teacher-rated social competence, such that individual differences in ToM predicted later social competence at school. These results are discussed in light of competing theories about the links between ToM and EF and the importance of individual differences in ToM for children's social lives. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. Stability of executive function and predictions to adaptive behavior from middle childhood to pre-adolescence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madeline eHarms

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The shift from childhood to adolescence is characterized by rapid remodeling of the brain and increased risk-taking behaviors. Current theories hypothesize that developmental enhancements in sensitivity to affective environmental cues in adolescence may undermine executive function (EF and increase the likelihood of problematic behaviors. In the current study, we examined the extent to which EF in childhood predicts EF in early adolescence. We also tested whether individual differences in neural responses to affective cues (rewards/punishments in childhood serve as a biological marker for EF, sensation-seeking, academic performance, and social skills in early adolescence. At age 8, 84 children completed a gambling task while event-related potentials (ERPs were recorded. We examined the extent to which selections resulting in rewards or losses in this task elicited (i the P300, a post-stimulus waveform reflecting the allocation of attentional resources toward a stimulus, and (ii the SPN, a pre-stimulus anticipatory waveform reflecting a neural representation of a hunch about an outcome that originates in insula and ventromedial PFC. Children also completed a Dimensional Change Card-Sort (DCCS and Flanker task to measure EF. At age 12, 78 children repeated the DCCS and Flanker and completed a battery of questionnaires. Flanker and DCCS accuracy at age 8 predicted Flanker and DCCS performance at age 12, respectively. Individual differences in the magnitude of P300 (to losses vs. rewards and SPN (preceding outcomes with a high probability of punishment at age 8 predicted self-reported sensation seeking (lower and teacher-rated academic performance (higher at age 12. We suggest there is stability in EF from age 8 to 12, and that childhood neural sensitivity to reward and punishment predicts individual differences in sensation seeking and adaptive behaviors in children entering adolescence.

  17. A longitudinal twin study on IQ, executive functioning, and attention problems during childhood and early adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polderman, Tinca J C; Gosso, M Florencia; Posthuma, Danielle; Van Beijsterveldt, Toos C E M; Heutink, Peter; Verhulst, Frank C; Boomsma, Dorret I

    2006-12-01

    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.

  18. Childhood executive function inventory (CHEXI): a promising measure for identifying young children with ADHD?

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    Thorell, Lisa B; Eninger, Lilianne; Brocki, Karin C; Bohlin, Gunilla

    2010-01-01

    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.

  19. Impairments in real-world executive function increase from childhood to adolescence in autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenthal, Michael; Wallace, Gregory L; Lawson, Rachel; Wills, Meagan C; Dixon, Eunice; Yerys, Benjamin E; Kenworthy, Lauren

    2013-01-01

    Although several studies have investigated developmental trajectories of executive functioning (EF) in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) using lab-based tasks, no study to date has directly measured how EF skills in everyday settings vary at different ages. The current study seeks to extend prior work by evaluating age-related differences in parent-reported EF problems during childhood and adolescence in a large cross-sectional cohort of children with ASD. Children (N = 185) with an ASD without intellectual disability participated in the study. Participants were divided into four groups based on age (5-7, 8-10, 11-13, and 14-18-year-olds). The four age groups did not differ in IQ, sex ratio, or autism symptoms. There were significant age effects (i.e., worsening scores with increasing age) in three of G. A. Gioia, P. K. Isquith, S. Guy, and L. Kenworthy's (2000) BRIEF: Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, Odessa, FL, Psychological Assessment Resources scale scores: Initiate (p = .007), working memory (p = .003), and organization of materials (p = .023). In addition, analysis of the BRIEF scale profile revealed that, although multiple scales were elevated, the shift scale showed the greatest problems in both the youngest and oldest age cohorts. Older children with ASD show greater EF problems compared with the normative sample than younger children with ASD. Specifically, there is a widening divergence from the normative sample in metacognitive executive abilities in children with ASD as they age. This, in combination with significant, albeit more stable, impairments in flexibility, has implications for the challenges faced by high-functioning individuals with ASD as they attempt to enter mainstream work and social environments.

  20. Cool and hot executive function as predictors of aggression in early childhood: Differentiating between the function and form of aggression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poland, Sarah E; Monks, Claire P; Tsermentseli, Stella

    2016-06-01

    Executive function (EF) has been implicated in childhood aggression. Understanding of the role of EF in aggression has been hindered, however, by the lack of research taking into account the function and form of aggression and the almost exclusive focus on cool EF. This study examined the role of cool and hot EF in teacher reported aggression, differentiating between reactive and proactive as well as physical and relational aggression. Children (N = 106) completed laboratory tasks measuring cool (inhibition, planning, working memory) and hot EF (affective decision-making, delay of gratification). Cool, but not hot, EF significantly contributed to understanding of childhood aggression. Inhibition was a central predictor of childhood aggression. Planning and working memory, in contrast, were significant independent predictors of proactive relational aggression only. Added to this, prosocial behaviour moderated the relationship between working memory and reactive relational aggression. This study therefore suggests that cool EF, particularly inhibition, is associated with childhood aggression across the different functions and forms. © 2015 The British Psychological Society.

  1. Specifying Links between Executive Functioning and Theory of Mind during Middle Childhood: Cognitive Flexibility Predicts Social Understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bock, Allison M.; Gallaway, Kristin C.; Hund, Alycia M.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to specify the development of and links between executive functioning and theory of mind during middle childhood. One hundred four 7- to 12-year-old children completed a battery of age-appropriate tasks measuring working memory, inhibition, flexibility, theory of mind, and vocabulary. As expected, spatial working…

  2. Longitudinal Links between Executive Function, Anger, and Aggression in Middle Childhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohlf, Helena L.; Holl, Anna K.; Kirsch, Fabian; Krahé, Barbara; Elsner, Birgit

    2018-01-01

    Previous research has indicated that executive function (EF) is negatively associated with aggressive behavior in childhood. However, there is a lack of longitudinal studies that have examined the effect of deficits in EF on aggression over time and taken into account different forms and functions of aggression at the same time. Furthermore, only few studies have analyzed the role of underlying variables that may explain the association between EF and aggression. The present study examined the prospective paths between EF and different forms (physical and relational) and functions (reactive and proactive) of aggression. The habitual experience of anger was examined as a potential underlying mechanism of the link between EF and aggression, because the tendency to get angry easily has been found to be both a consequence of deficits in EF and a predictor of aggression. The study included 1,652 children (between 6 and 11 years old at the first time point), who were followed over three time points (T1, T2, and T3) covering 3 years. At T1, a latent factor of EF comprised measures of planning, rated via teacher reports, as well as inhibition, set shifting, and working-memory updating, assessed experimentally. Habitual anger experience was assessed via parent reports at T1 and T2. The forms and functions of aggression were measured via teacher reports at all three time points. Structural equation modeling revealed that EF at T1 predicted physical, relational, and reactive aggression at T3, but was unrelated to proactive aggression at T3. Furthermore, EF at T1 was indirectly linked to physical aggression at T3, mediated through habitual anger experience at T2. The results indicate that deficits in EF influence the later occurrence of aggression in middle childhood, and the tendency to get angry easily mediates this relation. PMID:29535615

  3. Longitudinal Links between Executive Function, Anger, and Aggression in Middle Childhood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helena L. Rohlf

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Previous research has indicated that executive function (EF is negatively associated with aggressive behavior in childhood. However, there is a lack of longitudinal studies that have examined the effect of deficits in EF on aggression over time and taken into account different forms and functions of aggression at the same time. Furthermore, only few studies have analyzed the role of underlying variables that may explain the association between EF and aggression. The present study examined the prospective paths between EF and different forms (physical and relational and functions (reactive and proactive of aggression. The habitual experience of anger was examined as a potential underlying mechanism of the link between EF and aggression, because the tendency to get angry easily has been found to be both a consequence of deficits in EF and a predictor of aggression. The study included 1,652 children (between 6 and 11 years old at the first time point, who were followed over three time points (T1, T2, and T3 covering 3 years. At T1, a latent factor of EF comprised measures of planning, rated via teacher reports, as well as inhibition, set shifting, and working-memory updating, assessed experimentally. Habitual anger experience was assessed via parent reports at T1 and T2. The forms and functions of aggression were measured via teacher reports at all three time points. Structural equation modeling revealed that EF at T1 predicted physical, relational, and reactive aggression at T3, but was unrelated to proactive aggression at T3. Furthermore, EF at T1 was indirectly linked to physical aggression at T3, mediated through habitual anger experience at T2. The results indicate that deficits in EF influence the later occurrence of aggression in middle childhood, and the tendency to get angry easily mediates this relation.

  4. Executive function in middle childhood and the relationship with theory of mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Jennifer; Andrews, Glenda; Hogan, Christy; Wang, Si; Shum, David H K

    2018-01-01

    A group of 126 typically developing children (aged 5-12 years) completed three cool executive function tasks (spatial working memory, stop signal, intra-extra dimensional shift), two hot executive function tasks (gambling, delay of gratification), one advanced theory of mind task (strange stories with high versus low affective tone), and a vocabulary test. Older children performed better than younger children, consistent with the protracted development of hot and cool executive functions and theory of mind. Multiple regression analyses showed that hot and cool executive functions were correlated but they predicted theory of mind in different ways.

  5. Can reactivity to stress and family environment explain memory and executive function performance in early and middle childhood?

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    Piccolo, Luciane da Rosa; Salles, Jerusa Fumagalli de; Falceto, Olga Garcia; Fernandes, Carmen Luiza; Grassi-Oliveira, Rodrigo

    2016-01-01

    According to the literature, children's overall reactivity to stress is associated with their socioeconomic status and family environment. In turn, it has been shown that reactivity to stress is associated with cognitive performance. However, few studies have systematically tested these three constructs together. To investigate the relationship between family environment, salivary cortisol measurements and children's memory and executive function performance. Salivary cortisol levels of 70 children aged 9 or 10 years were measured before and after performing tasks designed to assess memory and executive functions. Questionnaires on socioeconomic issues, family environment and maternal psychopathologies were administered to participants' families during the children's early childhood and again when they reached school age. Data were analyzed by calculating correlations between variables and conducting hierarchical regression. High cortisol levels were associated with poorer working memory and worse performance in tasks involving executive functions, and were also associated with high scores for maternal psychopathology (during early childhood and school age) and family dysfunction. Family environment variables and changes in cortisol levels explain around 20% of the variance in performance of cognitive tasks. Family functioning and maternal psychopathology in early and middle childhood and children's stress levels were associated with children's working memory and executive functioning.

  6. Early Childhood Predictors of Post-Kindergarten Executive Function: Behavior, Parent Report, and Psychophysiology

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    Cuevas, Kimberly; Hubble, Morgan; Bell, Martha Ann

    2012-01-01

    Research Findings: This study examined whether children's executive functions before kindergarten would predict variance in executive functions after kindergarten. We obtained behavioral (working memory task performance), parent-reported (temperament-based inhibitory control), and psychophysiological (working memory-related changes in heart rate…

  7. All for one: Contributions of age, socioeconomic factors, executive functioning and social cognition to moral reasoning in childhood.

    OpenAIRE

    Evelyn eVera-Estay; Evelyn eVera-Estay; Anne G Seni; Caroline eChampagne; Miriam H Beauchamp; Miriam H Beauchamp

    2016-01-01

    Moral reasoning (MR) is a sociocognitive skill essential to appropriate social functioning in childhood, and evolves in quality and complexity during ontogenetic development. Whereas past research suggests that MR is related to age, socioeconomic factors, as well as some social and cognitive skills, such as executive functioning, theory of mind, empathy, and affect recognition, their contributions have been studied in silos rather than comprehensively, with little integration of the relative ...

  8. All for One: Contributions of Age, Socioeconomic Factors, Executive Functioning, and Social Cognition to Moral Reasoning in Childhood

    OpenAIRE

    Vera-Estay, Evelyn; Seni, Anne G.; Champagne, Caroline; Beauchamp, Miriam H.

    2016-01-01

    Moral reasoning (MR) is a socio-cognitive skill essential to appropriate social functioning in childhood, and evolves in quality and complexity during ontogenetic development. Past research suggests that MR is related to age, socioeconomic factors, as well as some social and cognitive skills, such as executive functioning (EF), theory of mind (ToM), empathy, and affect recognition. However, their contributions have been studied in silos rather than comprehensively, with little integration of ...

  9. Improving Executive Function in childhood: Evaluation of a training intervention for 5- year-old children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura eTraverso

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Executive function (EF refers to a set of higher order cognitive processes that control and modulate cognition under continuously changing and multiple task demands. EF plays a central role in early childhood, is associated and predictive of important cognitive achievements and has been recognized as a significant aspect of school readiness. This study examines the efficacy of a group based intervention for five-year-old children that focuses on basic components of EF (working memory, inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility. The intervention included 12 sessions, lasted one month and used low-cost materials. Seventy-five children took part in the study. The results indicate that the children who attended the intervention outperformed controls in simple and more complex EF tasks. Specifically, these children exhibited increased abilities to delay gratification, to control on-going responses, to process and update information and to manage high cognitive conflict. These results suggest the possibility that this intervention, which may be easily implemented in educational services, can promote EF during preschool period before the entrance in primary school.

  10. Improving executive function in childhood: evaluation of a training intervention for 5-year-old children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traverso, Laura; Viterbori, Paola; Usai, Maria Carmen

    2015-01-01

    Executive function (EF) refers to a set of higher order cognitive processes that control and modulate cognition under continuously changing and multiple task demands. EF plays a central role in early childhood, is associated and predictive of important cognitive achievements and has been recognized as a significant aspect of school readiness. This study examines the efficacy of a group based intervention for 5-year-old children that focuses on basic components of EF (working memory, inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility). The intervention included 12 sessions, lasted 1 month and used low-cost materials. Seventy-five children took part in the study. The results indicate that the children who attended the intervention outperformed controls in simple and more complex EF tasks. Specifically, these children exhibited increased abilities to delay gratification, to control on-going responses, to process and update information, and to manage high cognitive conflict. These results suggest the possibility that this intervention, which may be easily implemented in educational services, can promote EF during preschool period before the entrance in primary school.

  11. History of Childhood Maltreatment and College Academic Outcomes: Indirect Effects of Hot Execution Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marilyn C. Welsh

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available College students who report a history of childhood maltreatment may be at risk for poor outcomes. In the current study, we conducted an exploratory analysis to examine potential models that statistically mediate associations between aspects of maltreatment and aspects of academic outcome, with a particular focus on executive functions (EF. Consistent with contemporary EF research, we distinguished between relatively “cool” EF tasks (i.e., performed in a context relatively free of emotional or motivational valence and “hot” EF tasks that emphasize performance under more emotionally arousing conditions. Sixty-one male and female college undergraduates self-reported childhood maltreatment history (emotional abuse and neglect, physical abuse and neglect, and sexual abuse on the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ, and were given two EF measures: (1 Go-No-Go (GNG test that included a Color Condition (cool; Neutral Face Condition (warm; and Emotion Face condition (hot, and (2 Iowa Gambling Task (IGT, a measure of risky decision making that reflects hot EF. Academic outcomes were: (1 grade point average (GPA: first-semester, cumulative, and semester concurrent with testing, and (2 Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (SACQ. Correlational patterns suggested two EF scores as potential mediators: GNG reaction time (RT in the Neutral Face condition, and IGT Block 2 adaptive responding. Indirect effects analyses indicated that IGT Block 2 adaptive responding has an indirect effect on the relationship between CTQ Total score and 1st semester GPA, and between CTQ Emotional Abuse and concurrent GPA. Regarding college adaptation, we identified a consistent indirect effect of GNG Neutral Face RT on the relationship between CTQ Emotional Neglect and SACQ total, academic, social, and personal–emotional adaption scores. Our results demonstrate that higher scores on a child maltreatment history self-report negatively predict college academic

  12. Executive Function in Adolescence: Associations with Child and Family Risk Factors and Self-Regulation in Early Childhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berthelsen, Donna; Hayes, Nicole; White, Sonia L. J.; Williams, Kate E.

    2017-01-01

    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

  13. Executive Function in Adolescence: Associations with Child and Family Risk Factors and Self-Regulation in Early Childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berthelsen, Donna; Hayes, Nicole; White, Sonia L J; Williams, Kate E

    2017-01-01

    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

  14. Executive Function in Adolescence: Associations with Child and Family Risk Factors and Self-Regulation in Early Childhood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donna Berthelsen

    2017-06-01

    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

  15. Executive functions and theory of mind as predictors of social adjustment in childhood traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Kristen E; Fountain-Zaragoza, Stephanie; Dennis, Maureen; Taylor, H Gerry; Bigler, Erin D; Rubin, Kenneth; Vannatta, Kathryn; Gerhardt, Cynthia A; Stancin, Terry; Yeates, Keith Owen

    2014-11-15

    This study examined whether executive function and theory of mind mediate the effects of pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) on social adjustment, relative to children with orthopedic injury (OI). Participants included 19 children with severe TBI, 41 children with complicated mild/moderate TBI, and 57 children with OI. They completed measures of executive function, as well as cognitive, affective, and conative theory of mind. Parents provided ratings of children's social adjustment. Children with severe TBI performed more poorly than children with OI on executive function and theory of mind tasks and were rated by parents as having more behavioral symptoms and worse communication and social skills. Executive function and theory of mind were positively correlated with social skills and communication skills, and negatively correlated with behavioral symptoms. In multiple mediator models, theory of mind and executive function were not significant direct predictors of any measure of social adjustment, but mediated the association between injury and adjustment for children with severe TBI. Theory of mind was a significant independent mediator when predicting social skills, but executive function was not. TBI in children, particularly severe injury, is associated with poor social adjustment. The impact of TBI on children's social adjustment is likely mediated by its effects on executive function and theory of mind.

  16. Theory of mind and executive function during middle childhood across cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhenlin; Devine, Rory T; Wong, Keri K; Hughes, Claire

    2016-09-01

    Previous studies with preschoolers have reported "East-West" contrasts in children's executive function (East>West) and theory of mind (Easttheory of mind. With respect to theory of mind, therefore, pedagogical experiences appear to be more salient than factors related to the broad contrast between individualist and collectivist cultures. Our findings also contribute to the debate surrounding the relationship between theory of mind and executive function; although scores on these two sets of tasks were robustly correlated within each country, the double dissociation between delayed theory of mind but superior executive function for children in local schools in Hong Kong compared with their U.K. peers suggests that variation in executive function may be necessary but is not sufficient to explain variation in theory of mind. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. The Contribution of Executive Function to Source Memory Development in Early Childhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajan, Vinaya; Cuevas, Kimberly; Bell, Martha Ann

    2014-01-01

    Age-related differences in episodic memory judgments assessing recall of fact information and the source of this information were examined. The role of executive function (EF) in supporting early episodic memory ability was also explored. Four- and 6-year-old children were taught 10 novel facts from two different sources (experimenter or puppet),…

  18. Salivary Cortisol Mediates Effects of Poverty and Parenting on Executive Functions in Early Childhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Clancy; Granger, Douglas A.; Willoughby, Michael; Mills-Koonce, Roger; Cox, Martha; Greenberg, Mark T.; Kivlighan, Katie T.; Fortunato, Christine K.

    2011-01-01

    In a predominantly low-income population-based longitudinal sample of 1,292 children followed from birth, higher level of salivary cortisol assessed at ages 7, 15, and 24 months was uniquely associated with lower executive function ability and to a lesser extent IQ at age 3 years. Measures of positive and negative aspects of parenting and…

  19. Assessment of Sensory Processing and Executive Functions in Childhood: Development, Reliability, and Validity of the EPYFEI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dulce Romero-Ayuso

    2018-03-01

    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.

  20. All for one: Contributions of age, socioeconomic factors, executive functioning and social cognition to moral reasoning in childhood.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evelyn eVera-Estay

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Moral reasoning (MR is a sociocognitive skill essential to appropriate social functioning in childhood, and evolves in quality and complexity during ontogenetic development. Whereas past research suggests that MR is related to age, socioeconomic factors, as well as some social and cognitive skills, such as executive functioning, theory of mind, empathy, and affect recognition, their contributions have been studied in silos rather than comprehensively, with little integration of the relative and combined contribution of these skills to MR. Furthermore, few studies have addressed the putative links between these factors in childhood, a period during which these skills are in maturation. The aim of this study was to explore what factors predict moral maturity in typically developing children (n=76, 47.4% males, M = 9.2, SD = 1.67 years, explore the potential moderating and mediating role of executive functions and social cognition in the relationship between age and MR maturity, and identify the specific contributions of age, socioeconomic factors, executive functioning and social cognition, using an innovative visual MR assessment tool (So-Moral. The results indicate that MR maturity was correlated with age, executive functioning (inhibition, verbal fluency, and attentional control and social cognition (theory of mind and affect recognition. Neither EF nor social cognition moderated the effect of age on MR maturity. However, verbal fluency and third-order false beliefs had a moderating role in this link. MR maturity in children was predicted by three variables from each of the three domains: age, verbal fluency and third order theory of mind. These results contribute to a better understanding of the underpinnings of MR during childhood, suggesting that MR is not reducible to general developmental factors such as age, but that higher order skills such executive functioning and social cognition also contribute to moral maturity. The findings have

  1. Executive function and childhood stuttering: Parent ratings and evidence from a behavioral task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ntourou, Katerina; Anderson, Julie D; Wagovich, Stacy A

    2018-06-01

    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.

  2. The divergent impact of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met genetic polymorphisms on executive function in adolescents with discrete patterns of childhood adversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Huihui; Li, Jie; Yang, Bei; Ji, Tao; Long, Zhouting; Xing, Qiquan; Shao, Di; Bai, Huayu; Sun, Jiwei; Cao, Fenglin

    2018-02-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val 158 Met functional polymorphisms play a crucial role in the development of executive function (EF), but their effect may be moderated by environmental factors such as childhood adversity. The present study aimed at testing the divergent impact of the COMT Val 158 Met genotype on EF in non-clinical adolescents with discrete patterns of childhood adversity. A total of 341 participants completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, the self-reported version of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, and self-administered questionnaires on familial function. The participants' COMT Val 158 Met genotype was determined. Associations among the variables were explored using latent class analysis and general linear models. We found that Val/Val homozygotes showed significantly worse performance on behavioral shift, relative to Met allele carriers (F=5.921, p=0.015, Partial η 2 =0.018). Moreover, three typical patterns of childhood adversity, namely, low childhood adversity (23.5%), childhood neglect (59.8%), and high childhood adversity (16.7%), were found. Both childhood neglect and high childhood adversity had a negative impact on each aspect of EF and on global EF performance. Importantly, these results provided evidence for significant interaction effects, as adolescents with the Val/Val genotype showed inferior behavioral shift performance than Met carriers (F=6.647, p=0.010, Partial η 2 =0.020) in the presence of high childhood adversity. Furthermore, there were no differences between the genotypes for childhood neglect and low childhood adversity. Overall, this is the first study to show that an interaction between the COMT genotype and childhood adversity affects EF in non-clinical adolescents. These results suggest that the COMT genotype may operate as a susceptibility gene vulnerable to an adverse environment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. The reciprocal relationship between executive function and theory of mind in middle childhood: a one-year longitudinal perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gina eAustin

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available There is robust evidence showing a link between executive function (EF and theory of mind (ToM in 3- to 5-year-olds. However, it is unclear whether this relationship extends to middle childhood. In addition, there has been much discussion about the nature of this relationship. Whereas some authors claim that ToM is needed for EF, others argue that ToM requires EF. To date, however, studies examining the longitudinal relationship between distinct subcomponents of EF (i.e. attention shifting, WM updating, inhibition and ToM in middle childhood are rare.The present study examined 1 the relationship between three EF subcomponents (attention shifting, WM updating, inhibition and ToM in middle childhood, and 2 the longitudinal reciprocal relationships between the EF subcomponents and ToM across a one-year period. EF and ToM measures were assessed experimentally in a sample of 1,657 children (aged 6 to 11 years at time point one (t1 and one year later at time point two (t2.Results showed that the concurrent relationships between all three EF subcomponents and ToM pertained in middle childhood at t1 and t2, respectively, even when age, gender, and fluid intelligence were partialled out. Moreover, cross-lagged structural equation modeling (again, controlling for age, gender, and fluid intelligence, as well as for the earlier levels of the target variables, revealed partial support for the view that early ToM predicts later EF, but stronger evidence for the assumption that early EF predicts later ToM. The latter was found for attention shifting and WM updating, but not for inhibition. This reveals the importance of studying the exact interplay of ToM and EF across childhood development, especially with regard to different EF subcomponents. Most likely, understanding others’ mental states at different levels of perspective-taking requires specific EF subcomponents, suggesting developmental change in the relations between EF and ToM across childhood.

  4. Mindfulness Plus Reflection Training: Effects on Executive Function in Early Childhood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip David Zelazo

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Executive function (EF skills are essential for academic achievement, and poverty-related stress interferes with their development. This pre-test, post-test, follow-up randomized-control trial assessed the impact of an intervention targeting reflection and stress reduction on children's EF skills. Preschool children (N = 218 from schools serving low-income families in two U.S. cities were randomly assigned to one of three options delivered in 30 small-group sessions over 6 weeks: Mindfulness + Reflection training; Literacy training; or Business as Usual (BAU. Sessions were conducted by local teachers trained in a literacy curriculum or Mindfulness + Reflection intervention, which involved calming activities and games that provided opportunities to practice reflection in the context of goal-directed problem solving. EF improved in all groups, but planned contrasts indicated that the Mindfulness + Reflection group significantly outperformed the BAU group at Follow-up (4 weeks post-test. No differences in EF were observed between the BAU and Literacy training groups. Results suggest that a brief, small-group, school-based intervention teaching mindfulness and reflection did not improve EF skills more than literacy training but is promising compared to BAU for improving EF in low-income preschool children several weeks following the intervention.

  5. Executive function predicts cognitive-behavioral therapy response in childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hybel, Katja Anna; Mortensen, Erik Lykke; Lambek, Rikke

    2017-01-01

    Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is considered first-line treatment for childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Despite CBT's efficacy, too many children and adolescents do not fully respond to treatment, making the identification of predictors of treatment response highly relevant...... in CBT for childhood OCD and denotes a possible need for development of enhanced treatments for children and adolescents with OCD and superior EF performance........ Daily life EF behavior in OCD probands improved after treatment relative to controls. The findings suggest that EF performance impacts CBT outcome, and that exposure-based CBT is well-suited for children and adolescents with OCD and poorer EF test performance. This study supports the relevance of EF...

  6. Home Environment as a Predictor of Long-Term Executive Functioning following Early Childhood Traumatic Brain Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durish, Christianne Laliberté; Yeates, Keith Owen; Stancin, Terry; Taylor, H Gerry; Walz, Nicolay C; Wade, Shari L

    2018-01-01

    This study examined the relationship of the home environment to long-term executive functioning (EF) following early childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI). Participants (N=134) were drawn from a larger parent study of 3- to 6-year-old children hospitalized for severe TBI (n=16), complicated mild/moderate TBI (n=44), or orthopedic injury (OI; n=74), recruited prospectively at four tertiary care hospitals in the United States and followed for an average of 6.8 years post-injury. Quality of the home environment, caregiver psychological distress, and general family functioning were assessed shortly after injury (i.e., early home) and again at follow-up (i.e., late home). Participants completed several performance-based measures of EF at follow-up. Hierarchical regression analyses examined the early and late home environment measures as predictors of EF, both as main effects and as moderators of group differences. The early and late home environment were inconsistent predictors of long-term EF across groups. Group differences in EF were significant for only the TEA-Ch Walk/Don't Walk subtest, with poorer performance in the severe TBI group. However, several significant interactions suggested that the home environment moderated group differences in EF, particularly after complicated mild/moderate TBI. The home environment is not a consistent predictor of long-term EF in children with early TBI and OI, but may moderate the effects of TBI on EF. The findings suggest that interventions designed to improve the quality of stimulation in children's home environments might reduce the long-term effects of early childhood TBI on EF. (JINS, 2018, 24, 11-21).

  7. Two Approaches to Estimating the Effect of Parenting on the Development of Executive Function in Early Childhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Clancy; Raver, C. Cybele; Berry, Daniel J.

    2014-01-01

    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…

  8. Two Approaches to Estimating the Effect of Parenting on the Development of Executive Function in Early Childhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Clancy; Raver, C. Cybele; Berry, Daniel J.

    2015-01-01

    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

  9. Caregiver ratings of long-term executive dysfunction and attention problems after early childhood traumatic brain injury: family functioning is important.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurowski, Brad G; Taylor, H Gerry; Yeates, Keith Owen; Walz, Nicolay C; Stancin, Terry; Wade, Shari L

    2011-09-01

    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

  10. Preconception Maternal Iodine Status Is Positively Associated with IQ but Not with Measures of Executive Function in Childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Sian M; Crozier, Sarah R; Miles, Elizabeth A; Gale, Catharine R; Calder, Philip C; Cooper, Cyrus; Inskip, Hazel M; Godfrey, Keith M

    2018-05-15

    Adverse effects of severe maternal iodine deficiency in pregnancy on fetal brain development are well-established, but the effects of milder deficiency are uncertain. Most studies examine iodine status in pregnancy; less is known about iodine nutrition before conception. We examined relations between maternal preconception iodine status and offspring cognitive function, within a prospective mother-offspring cohort. Maternal iodine status was assessed through the use of the ratio of iodine:creatinine concentrations (I/Cr) in spot urine samples [median (IQR) period before conception 3.3 y (2.2-4.7 y)]. Childhood cognitive function was assessed at age 6-7 y. Full-scale IQ was assessed via the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence, and executive function through the use of tests from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB). Analyses (n = 654 mother-child dyads) were adjusted for potential confounders including maternal intelligence, education, and breastfeeding duration. The median (IQR) urinary iodine concentration was 108.4 µg/L (62.2-167.8 µg/L) and the I/Cr ratio 114 µg/g (76-164 µg/g). The preconception I/Cr ratio was positively associated with child IQ, before and after adjustment for potential confounding influences [β = 0.13 (95% CI: 0.04, 0.21)/SD, P = 0.003]. 8.9% of women had a preconception urinary I/Cr ratio function outcomes assessed via CANTAB, before or after adjustment for confounders. The positive association between iodine status before conception and child IQ provides some support for demonstrated links between low maternal iodine status in pregnancy and poorer cognitive function reported in other studies. However, given the negative effects on school performance previously observed in children born to iodine-deficient mothers, the lack of associations with measures of executive function in the present study was unexpected. Further data are needed to establish the public health importance of low preconception

  11. Relations between theory of mind and executive function in middle childhood: A short-term longitudinal study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecce, Serena; Bianco, Federica; Devine, Rory T; Hughes, Claire

    2017-11-01

    Studies with preschool children have shown significant links between children's executive function (EF) and theory of mind (ToM), but few studies have examined these associations in primary school children. To address this gap, we designed a three-wave cross-lagged longitudinal study in which we followed a group of 113 children (61 boys) across three time points from age 9.5-10.5years (mean age at Time 1=112.3months, SD=4.18; mean age at Time 2=118.3months, SD=4.15; mean age at Time 3=124.7months, SD=4.06). At each time point, we measured EF (working memory and inhibitory control), ToM, and language. Our analyses showed (a) moderate rank-order stability of individual differences in both EF and ToM and (b) growth in ToM task performance across time. Cross-lagged longitudinal analyses revealed an asymmetric developmental relation between ToM and working memory. Early working memory predicted later ToM but not vice versa. Our results suggest a specific role for working memory in the ongoing development of ToM in middle childhood. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Genotypes and Parenting Influence on Long-Term Executive Functioning After Moderate to Severe Early Childhood Traumatic Brain Injury: An Exploratory Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurowski, Brad G; Treble-Barna, Amery; Zang, Huaiyu; Zhang, Nanhua; Martin, Lisa J; Yeates, Keith Owen; Taylor, H Gerry; Wade, Shari L

    To examine catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) rs4680 genotypes as moderators of the effects of parenting style on postinjury changes in parent behavior ratings of executive dysfunction following moderate to severe early childhood traumatic brain injury. Research was conducted in an outpatient setting. Participants included children admitted to hospital with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (n = 55) or orthopedic injuries (n = 70) between ages 3 and 7 years. Prospective cohort followed over 7 years postinjury. Parenting Practices Questionnaire and the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning obtained at baseline, 6, 12, and 18 months, and 3.5 and 6.8 years postinjury. DNA was collected from saliva samples, purified using the Oragene (DNA Genotek, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) OG-500 self-collection tubes, and analyzed using TaqMan (Applied Biosystems, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, Massachusetts) assay protocols to identify the COMT rs4680 polymorphism. Linear mixed models revealed a significant genotype × parenting style × time interaction (F = 5.72, P = .02), which suggested that the adverse effects of authoritarian parenting on postinjury development of executive functioning were buffered by the presence of the COMT AA genotype (lower enzyme activity, higher dopamine levels). There were no significant associations of executive functioning with the interaction between genotype and authoritative or permissive parenting ratings. The lower activity COMT rs4680 genotype may buffer the negative effect of authoritarian parenting on long-term executive functioning following injury in early childhood. The findings provide preliminary evidence for associations of parenting style with executive dysfunction in children and for a complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors as contributors to decreases in these problems after traumatic injuries in children. Further investigation is warranted to understand the interplay among genetic and

  13. Educating Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Clancy

    2016-01-01

    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

  14. Executive functions in early childhood: interrelations and structural development of inhibition, set-shifting and working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Stievano

    2013-04-01

    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.

  15. Executive functions in synesthesia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rouw, Romke; van Driel, Joram; Knip, Koen; Richard Ridderinkhof, K.

    2013-01-01

    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

  16. EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING IN SCHIZOPHRENIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gricel eOrellana

    2013-06-01

    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.

  17. Educating executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Clancy

    2017-01-01

    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.

  18. Development of hot and cool executive functions in middle childhood: Three-year growth curves of decision making and working memory updating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lensing, Nele; Elsner, Birgit

    2018-05-07

    Although middle childhood is an important period for the development of hot and cool executive functions (EFs), longitudinal studies investigating trajectories of childhood EF development are still limited and little is known about predictors for individual developmental trajectories. The current study examined the development of two typical facets of cool and hot EFs over a 3-year period during middle childhood, comparing a younger cohort (6- and 7-year-olds at the first wave [T1]; n = 621) and an older cohort (8- and 9-year-olds at T1; n = 975) of children. "Cool" working memory updating (WM) was assessed using a backward digit span task, and "hot" decision making (DM) was assessed using a child variant of the Iowa Gambling Task. Linear latent growth curve analyses revealed evidence for developmental growth as well as interindividual variance in the initial level and rate of change in both EF facets. Initial level of WM was positively associated with age (both between and within cohorts), socioeconomic status, verbal ability, and processing speed, whereas initial levels of DM were, in addition to a (potentially age-related) cohort effect, exclusively predicted by gender, with boys outperforming girls. None of the variables predicted the rate of change, that is, the developmental trajectories. However, younger children, as compared with older children, had slightly steeper WM growth curves over time, hinting at a leveling off in the development of WM during middle childhood. In sum, these data add important evidence to the understanding of hot and cool EF development during middle childhood. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Maternal perinatal mental health and offspring academic achievement at age 16: the mediating role of childhood executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, Rebecca M; Bornstein, Marc H; Cordero, Miguel; Scerif, Gaia; Mahedy, Liam; Evans, Jonathan; Abioye, Abu; Stein, Alan

    2016-04-01

    Elucidating risk pathways for under-achieving at school can inform strategies to reduce the number of adolescents leaving school without passing grades in core subjects. Maternal depression can compromise the quality of parental care and is associated with multiple negative child outcomes. However, only a few small studies have investigated the association between perinatal maternal depression and poor academic achievement in adolescence. The pathways to explain the risks are also unclear. Prospective observational data from 5,801 parents and adolescents taking part in a large UK population cohort (Avon-Longitudinal-Study-of-Parents-and-Children) were used to test associations between maternal and paternal depression and anxiety in the perinatal period, executive function (EF) at age 8, and academic achievement at the end of compulsory school at age 16. Adolescents of postnatally depressed mothers were 1.5 times (1.19, 1.94, p = .001) as likely as adolescents of nondepressed mothers to fail to achieve a 'pass' grade in math; antenatal anxiety was also an independent predictor of poor math. Disruption in different components of EF explained small but significant proportions of these associations: attentional control explained 16% (4%, 27%, p working memory explained 17% (13%, 30%, p = .003) of the association with antenatal anxiety. A similar pattern was seen for language grades, but associations were confounded by maternal education. There was no evidence that paternal factors were independently associated with impaired child EF or adolescent exams. Maternal postnatal depression and antenatal anxiety are risk factors for adolescents underachieving in math. Preventing, identifying, and treating maternal mental health in the perinatal period could, therefore, potentially increase adolescents' academic achievement. Different aspects of EF partially mediated these associations. Further work is needed, but if these pathways are causal, improving EF could reduce

  20. Developmental Changes in Executive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kerry; Bull, Rebecca; Ho, Ringo M. H.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  1. Executive functions in anorexia nervosa

    OpenAIRE

    Jauregui-Lobera, Ignacio

    2014-01-01

    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...

  2. Executive Functions after Age 5: Changes and Correlates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Best, John R.; Miller, Patricia H.; Jones, Lara L.

    2009-01-01

    Research and theorizing on executive function (EF) in childhood has been disproportionately focused on preschool age children. This review paper outlines the importance of examining EF throughout childhood, and even across the lifespan. First, examining EF in older children can address the question of whether EF is a unitary construct. The…

  3. Television and children's executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillard, Angeline S; Li, Hui; Boguszewski, Katie

    2015-01-01

    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.

  4. Metacognitive Monitoring of Executive Control Engagement during Childhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chevalier, Nicolas; Blaye, Agnès

    2016-01-01

    Emerging executive control supports greater autonomy and increasingly adaptive behavior during childhood. The present study addressed whether children's greater monitoring of how they engage control drives executive control development. Gaze position was recorded while twenty-five 6-year-olds and twenty-eight 10-year-olds performed a self-paced…

  5. Early executive function predicts reasoning development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richland, Lindsey E; Burchinal, Margaret R

    2013-01-01

    Analogical reasoning is a core cognitive skill that distinguishes humans from all other species and contributes to general fluid intelligence, creativity, and adaptive learning capacities. Yet its origins are not well understood. In the study reported here, we analyzed large-scale longitudinal data from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development to test predictors of growth in analogical-reasoning skill from third grade to adolescence. Our results suggest an integrative resolution to the theoretical debate regarding contributory factors arising from smaller-scale, cross-sectional experiments on analogy development. Children with greater executive-function skills (both composite and inhibitory control) and vocabulary knowledge in early elementary school displayed higher scores on a verbal analogies task at age 15 years, even after adjusting for key covariates. We posit that knowledge is a prerequisite to analogy performance, but strong executive-functioning resources during early childhood are related to long-term gains in fundamental reasoning skills.

  6. The Relationship between Neuropsychological and Ecological Measurements of Executive Functioning in Childhood and the Prediction of Mathematics Performance. A Pilot Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zorrilla-Silvestre, Lorena; Presentación-Herrero, María Jesús; Gil-Gómez, Jesús

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: This study explored the variables of executive functioning (EF) that permitted the evaluation of EF both at home and at school. The objective was to compare the results of the evaluations of these functions in children aged 5 to 6 years, and see to what extent these variables predicted mathematics performance best. Method: Sixty-six…

  7. Cannabinoid modulation of executive functions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pattij, T.; Wiskerke, J.; Schoffelmeer, A.N.M.

    2008-01-01

    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

  8. Relationships of Attention and Executive Functions to Oral Language, Reading, and Writing Skills and Systems in Middle Childhood and Early Adolescence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berninger, Virginia; Abbott, Robert; Cook, Clayton R.; Nagy, William

    2017-01-01

    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…

  9. [Memory and the executive functions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Cognitive, Not Physical, Engagement in Video Gaming Influences Executive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynn, Rachel M.; Richert, Rebekah A.

    2018-01-01

    Physically active video games (i.e., exergames), which are a prevalent and popular childhood activity, may have benefits to executive-functioning (EF) skills, as they incorporate both cognitive engagement and physical activity. Acute EF change in 147 7- to 12-year-olds was assessed after participation in a 20-min activity. The between-subjects…

  11. Assessing Executive Functioning: A Pragmatic Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hass, Michael R.; Patterson, Ashlea; Sukraw, Jocelyn; Sullivan, Brianna M.

    2014-01-01

    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…

  12. Executive Functions in Developmental Dyslexia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pamela eVarvara

    2014-03-01

    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.

  13. A short executive function training program improves preschoolers’ working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma eBlakey

    2015-11-01

    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.

  14. Resting-state connectivity and executive functions after pediatric arterial ischemic stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salome Kornfeld

    2018-01-01

    Conclusion: Decreased interhemispheric connections after stroke in childhood may indicate a disruption of typical interhemispheric interactions relating to executive functions. The present results emphasize the relationship between functional organization of the brain at rest and cognitive processes.

  15. Executive functioning in low birth weight children entering kindergarten.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, S E; DeBoer, M D; Scharf, R J

    2018-01-01

    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.

  16. +Gz load and executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biernacki, Marcin P; Tarnowski, Adam; Lengsfeld, Kamila; Lewkowicz, Rafał; Kowalczuk, Krzysztof; Dereń, Miroslaw

    2013-05-01

    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.

  17. Examining the relation between ratings of executive functioning and academic achievement: Findings from a cross-cultural study

    OpenAIRE

    Thorell, Lisa B.; Veleiro, Alberto; Siu, Angela F. Y.; Mohammadi, Hiwa

    2012-01-01

    The present study investigated the relation between academic performance and ratings of executive functioning in children aged 6?11 from four countries: Sweden, Spain, Iran, and China. Ratings of executive functioning were made by both parents and teachers using the Childhood Executive Functioning Inventory (CHEXI). The results showed that the Chinese sample was generally rated as having more executive deficits compared to the other samples. The finding that executive functioning deficits are...

  18. A simple hypothesis of executive function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno eKopp

    2012-06-01

    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.

  19. Executive function, episodic memory, and Medicare expenditures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bender, Alex C; Austin, Andrea M; Grodstein, Francine; Bynum, Julie P W

    2017-07-01

    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.

  20. Conceptualization and Operationalization of Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baggetta, Peter; Alexander, Patricia A.

    2016-01-01

    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…

  1. Culture, executive function, and social understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Charlie; Koyasu, Masuo; Oh, Seungmi; Ogawa, Ayako; Short, Benjamin; Huang, Zhao

    2009-01-01

    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.

  2. Understanding the Executive Functioning Heterogeneity in Schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raffard, Stephane; Bayard, Sophie

    2012-01-01

    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…

  3. Neural modeling of prefrontal executive function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Levine, D.S. [Univ. of Texas, Arlington, TX (United States)

    1996-12-31

    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.

  4. Strong Genetic Overlap Between Executive Functions and Intelligence

    OpenAIRE

    Engelhardt, Laura E.; Mann, Frank D.; Briley, Daniel A.; Church, Jessica A.; Harden, K. Paige; Tucker-Drob, Elliot M.

    2016-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) are cognitive processes that control, monitor, and coordinate more basic cognitive processes. EFs play instrumental roles in models of complex reasoning, learning, and decision-making, and individual differences in EFs have been consistently linked with individual differences in intelligence. By middle childhood, genetic factors account for a moderate proportion of the variance in intelligence, and these effects increase in magnitude through adolescence. Genetic infl...

  5. Autism Spectrum Disorder and intact executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrara, R; Ansermet, F; Massoni, F; Petrone, L; Onofri, E; Ricci, P; Archer, T; Ricci, S

    2016-01-01

    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.

  6. Effect of functional overreaching on executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupuy, O; Renaud, M; Bherer, L; Bosquet, L

    2010-09-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate whether cognitive performance was a valid marker of overreaching. 10 well-trained male endurance athletes increased their training load by 100% for 2 weeks. They performed a maximal graded test, a constant speed test, a reaction time task and a computerized version of the Stroop color word-test before and after this overload period. Regarding performance results, five participants were considered as overreached and the five remaining were considered as well-trained. We found no significant differences between groups in performing the Stroop test. Noteworthy, we found a small increase in response time in the more complex condition in overreached athletes (1 188+/-261 to 1 297+/-231 ms, effect size=0.44), while it decreased moderately in the well-trained athletes (1 066+/-175 to 963+/-171 ms, effect size=-0.59). Furthermore, we found an interaction between time and group on initiation time of the reaction time task, since it increased in overreached athletes after the overload period (246+/-24 to 264+/-26 ms, p<0.05), while it remained unchanged in well-trained participants. Participants made very few anticipation errors, whatever the group or the period (error rate <2%).We concluded that an unaccustomed increase in training volume which is accompanied by a decrement in physical performance induces a deterioration of some executive functions. Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart . New York.

  7. Impact of sociodemographic variables on executive functions

    OpenAIRE

    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

    2017-01-01

    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...

  8. The assessment of executive functioning in children

    OpenAIRE

    Henry, L.; Bettenay, C.

    2010-01-01

    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...

  9. Metacognition and executive functioning in Elementary School

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trinidad García

    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.

  10. Executive Functioning Heterogeneity in Pediatric ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kofler, Michael J; Irwin, Lauren N; Soto, Elia F; Groves, Nicole B; Harmon, Sherelle L; Sarver, Dustin E

    2018-04-28

    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

  11. Child Maltreatment and Executive Functioning in Middle Adulthood: A Prospective Examination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikulina, Valentina; Widom, Cathy Spatz

    2013-01-01

    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

  12. Executive functions and self-regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Wilhelm; Schmeichel, Brandon J; Baddeley, Alan D

    2012-03-01

    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 © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Building the blocks of executive functioning: differentiating early developing processes contributing to executive functioning skills

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mandell, D.J.; Ward, S.E.

    2011-01-01

    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

  14. Executive abilities in children with congenital visual impairment in mid-childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bathelt, Joe; de Haan, Michelle; Salt, Alison; Dale, Naomi Jane

    2018-02-01

    The role of vision and vision deprivation in the development of executive function (EF) abilities in childhood is little understood; aspects of EF such as initiative, attention orienting, inhibition, planning and performance monitoring are often measured through visual tasks. Studying the development and integrity of EF abilities in children with congenital visual impairment (VI) may provide important insights into the development of EF and also its possible relationship with vision and non-visual senses. The current study investigates non-visual EF abilities in 18 school-age children of average verbal intelligence with VI of differing levels of severity arising from congenital disorders affecting the eye, retina, or anterior optic nerve. Standard auditory neuropsychological assessments of sustained and divided attention, phonemic, semantic and switching verbal fluency, verbal working memory, and ratings of everyday executive abilities by parents were undertaken. Executive skills were compared to age-matched typically-sighted (TS) typically-developing children and across levels of vision (mild to moderate VI [MVI] or severe to profound VI [SPVI]). The results do not indicate significant differences or deficits on direct assessments of verbal and auditory EF between the groups. However, parent ratings suggest difficulties with everyday executive abilities, with the greatest difficulties in those with SPVI. The findings are discussed as possibly reflecting increased demands of behavioral executive skills for children with VI in everyday situations despite auditory and verbal EF abilities in the typical range for their age. These findings have potential implications for clinical and educational practices.

  15. Enhancing Writing through Strengthened Executive Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell Jay Hendel

    2014-10-01

    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.

  16. Designing pedagogy incorporating executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasserman, Theodore

    2013-01-01

    The National Academy of Neuropsychology defines clinical neuropsychology as "a sub-field of psychology concerned with the applied science of brain-behavior relationships. Clinical neuropsychologists use this knowledge in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and/or rehabilitation of patients across the lifespan with neurological, medical, neurodevelopmental and psychiatric conditions, as well as other cognitive and learning disorders" (National Academy of Neuropsychology, 2011 ). Pediatric neuropsychologists have long been concerned about another area of functionality, making their recommendations educationally relevant. This article describes accommodated metacognitive instruction, a pedagogy based on cognitive neuropsychological principles of learning and used to instruct college faculty on a methodology for teaching in all-inclusive environments.

  17. The emergent executive: a dynamic field theory of the development of executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buss, Aaron T; Spencer, John P

    2014-06-01

    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.

  18. Intergenerational Transmission of Neuropsychological Executive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jester, Jennifer M.; Nigg, Joel T.; Puttler, Leon I.; Long, Jeffrey C.; Fitzgerald, Hiram E.; Zucker, Robert A.

    2009-01-01

    Relationships between parent and child executive functioning were examined, controlling for the critical potential confound of IQ, in a family study involving 434 children (130 girls and 304 boys) and 376 parents from 204 community recruited families at high risk for the development of substance use disorder. Structural equation modeling found…

  19. Executive Functions in Individuals with Williams Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menghini, D.; Addona, F.; Costanzo, F.; Vicari, S.

    2010-01-01

    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,…

  20. Unraveling Executive Functioning in Dual Diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duijkers, Judith C L M; Vissers, Constance Th W M; Egger, Jos I M

    2016-01-01

    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.

  1. Executive functions in persons with metabolic syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Subotić Tatjana

    2016-01-01

    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.

  2. Executive dysfunction in high functioning autism

    OpenAIRE

    Burnett, Hollie

    2017-01-01

    Background: There is presently a lack of consistency in research designed to measure executive functioning (EF) in autism that may be attributable to lack of homogeneity or comorbid conditions (i.e. learning disability or additional diagnosis) in test samples. Aim: A systematic review focused on a subset of EF (verbal fluency: VF) was conducted, using only studies of high-functioning individuals with autism (HFA) without an additional diagnosis or learning disability. An emp...

  3. Functional networks in parallel with cortical development associate with executive functions in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Jidan; Rifkin-Graboi, Anne; Ta, Anh Tuan; Yap, Kar Lai; Chuang, Kai-Hsiang; Meaney, Michael J; Qiu, Anqi

    2014-07-01

    Children begin performing similarly to adults on tasks requiring executive functions in late childhood, a transition that is probably due to neuroanatomical fine-tuning processes, including myelination and synaptic pruning. In parallel to such structural changes in neuroanatomical organization, development of functional organization may also be associated with cognitive behaviors in children. We examined 6- to 10-year-old children's cortical thickness, functional organization, and cognitive performance. We used structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify areas with cortical thinning, resting-state fMRI to identify functional organization in parallel to cortical development, and working memory/response inhibition tasks to assess executive functioning. We found that neuroanatomical changes in the form of cortical thinning spread over bilateral frontal, parietal, and occipital regions. These regions were engaged in 3 functional networks: sensorimotor and auditory, executive control, and default mode network. Furthermore, we found that working memory and response inhibition only associated with regional functional connectivity, but not topological organization (i.e., local and global efficiency of information transfer) of these functional networks. Interestingly, functional connections associated with "bottom-up" as opposed to "top-down" processing were more clearly related to children's performance on working memory and response inhibition, implying an important role for brain systems involved in late childhood. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Executive Functioning in Highly Talented Soccer Players

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    Verburgh, Lot; Scherder, Erik J. A.; van Lange, Paul A.M.; Oosterlaan, Jaap

    2014-01-01

    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

  5. Executive functioning in highly talented soccer players.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lot Verburgh

    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.

  6. The effect of childhood bilectalism and multilingualism on executive control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antoniou, Kyriakos; Grohmann, Kleanthes K; Kambanaros, Maria; Katsos, Napoleon

    2016-04-01

    Several investigations report a positive effect of childhood bilingualism on executive control (EC). An issue that has remained largely unexamined is the role of the typological distance between the languages spoken by bilinguals. In the present study we focus on children who grow up with Cypriot Greek and Standard Modern Greek, two closely related varieties that differ from each other on all levels of language analysis (vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar). We compare the EC performance of such bilectal children to that of English-Greek multilingual children in Cyprus and Standard Modern Greek-speaking monolingual children in Greece. A principal component analysis on six indicators of EC revealed two distinct factors, which we interpreted as representing working memory and inhibition. Multilingual and bilectal children exhibited an advantage over monolinguals that was evident across EC factors and emerged only after statistically controlling for their lower language proficiency. These results demonstrate that similar EC advantages as previously reported for 'true' bilingual speakers can be found in bilectal children, which suggests that minimal typological distance between the varieties spoken by a child suffices to give rise to advantages in EC. They further indicate that the effect of speaking more than one language or dialect on EC performance is located across the EC system without a particular component being selectively affected. This has implications for models of the locus of the bilingual advantage in EC performance. Finally, they show that the emergence of EC advantages in bilinguals is moderated by the level of their language proficiency. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Precursors of executive function in infants with sickle cell anemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogan, Alexandra M; Telfer, Paul T; Kirkham, Fenella J; de Haan, Michelle

    2013-10-01

    Executive dysfunction occurs in sickle cell anemia, but there are few early data. Infants with sickle cell anemia (n = 14) and controls (n = 14) performed the "A-not-B" and Object Retrieval search tasks, measuring precursors of executive function at 9 and 12 months. Significant group differences were not found. However, for the A-not-B task, 7 of 11 sickle cell anemia infants scored in the lower 2 performance categories at 9 months, but only 1 at 12 months (P = .024); controls obtained scores at 12 months that were statistically comparable to the scores they had already obtained at 9 months. On the Object Retrieval task, 9- and 12-month controls showed comparable scores, whereas infants with sickle cell anemia continued to improve (P = .027); at 9 months, those with lower hemoglobin oxygen saturation passed fewer trials (R s = 0.670, P = .024) and took longer to obtain the toy (R s = -0.664, P = .013). Subtle delays in acquiring developmental skills may underlie abnormal executive function in childhood.

  8. Executive functioning: a scoping review of the occupational therapy literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cramm, Heidi A; Krupa, Terry M; Missiuna, Cheryl A; Lysaght, Rosemary M; Parker, Kevin H

    2013-06-01

    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.

  9. Impact of sociodemographic variables on executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2017-01-01

    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.

  10. Impact of sociodemographic variables on executive functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  11. The Role of Inhibitory Control and Executive Functioning in Hyperactivity/ADHD

    OpenAIRE

    Berlin, Lisa

    2003-01-01

    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 ...

  12. Getting the right grasp on executive function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia L R Gonzalez

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Executive Function (EF refers to important socio-emotional and cognitive skills that are known to be highly correlated with both academic and life success. EF is a blanket term that is considered to include self-regulation, working memory, and planning. Recent studies have shown a relationship between EF and motor control. The emergence of motor control coincides with that of EF, hence understanding the relationship between these two domains could have significant implications for early detection and remediation of later EF deficits. The purpose of the current study was to investigate this relationship in young children. This study incorporated the Behavioural Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF and two motor assessments with a focus on precision grasping to test this hypothesis. The BRIEF is comprised of two indices of EF: 1 the Behavioral Regulation Index (BRI containing three subscales: Inhibit, Shift, and Emotional Control; 2 the Metacognition Index (MI containing five subscales: Initiate, Working Memory, Plan/Organize, Organization of Materials, and Monitor. A global executive composite (GEC is derived from the two indices. In this study, right-handed children aged 5-6 and 9-10 were asked to: grasp-to-construct (Lego® models; and grasp-to-place (wooden blocks, while their parents completed the BRIEF questionnaire. Analysis of results indicated significant correlations between the strength of right hand preference for grasping and numerous elements of the BRIEF including the BRI, MI, and GEC. Specifically, the more the right hand was used for grasping the better the EF ratings. In addition, patterns of space-use correlated with the GEC in several subscales of the BRIEF. Finally and remarkably, the results also showed a reciprocal relationship between hand and space use for grasping and EF. These findings are discussed with respect to: 1 the developmental overlap of motor and executive functions; 2 detection of EF deficits through

  13. Preschoolers' Cognitive and Emotional Self-Regulation in Pretend Play: Relations with Executive Functions and Quality of Play

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slot, Pauline Louise; Mulder, Hanna; Verhagen, Josje; Leseman, Paul P. M.

    2017-01-01

    The preschool period is marked by rapid growth of children's self-regulation and related executive functions. Self-regulation is considered an important aspect of school readiness and is related to academic and social--emotional outcomes in childhood. Pretend play, as part of the early childhood curriculum, is hypothesized to support…

  14. Preschoolers' cognitive and emotional self-regulation in pretend play : Relations with executive functions and quality of play

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slot, Pauline Louise; Mulder, Hanna; Verhagen, Josje; Leseman, Paul

    2017-01-01

    The preschool period is marked by rapid growth of children's self-regulation and related executive functions. Self-regulation is considered an important aspect of school readiness and is related to academic and social–emotional outcomes in childhood. Pretend play, as part of the early childhood

  15. Executive functions as predictors of math learning disabilities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Toll, S.W.M.; van der Ven, S.H.G.; Kroesbergen, E.H.; van Luit, J.E.H.

    2011-01-01

    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

  16. The Effect of Executive Function on Science Achievement among Normally Developing 10-Year Olds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederman, Sheri G.

    2012-01-01

    Executive function (EF) is an umbrella term used to identify a set of discrete but interrelated cognitive abilities that enable individuals to engage in goal-directed, future-oriented action in response to a novel context. Developmental studies indicate that EF is predictive of reading and math achievement in middle childhood. The purpose of this…

  17. Abuse, Depressive Symptoms, Executive Functioning, and Overgeneral Memory among a Psychiatric Sample of Children and Adolescents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentino, Kristin; Bridgett, David J.; Hayden, Lisa C.; Nuttall, Amy K.

    2012-01-01

    Prior research has established the independent associations of depressive symptoms and childhood trauma to overgeneral memory (OGM); the present study addresses the potentially interactive effects between these two risk factors on OGM. In addition, the current study comprehensively evaluates whether executive functions (EF) mediate the relation…

  18. Executive Function and Temperamental Fear Concurrently Predict Deception in School-Aged Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babkirk, Sarah; Saunders, Lauren V.; Solomon, Beylul; Kessel, Ellen M.; Crossman, Angela; Gokhan, Nurper; Dennis, Tracy A.

    2015-01-01

    The decision to intentionally withhold truthful information, or deception, is a key component of moral development and may be a precursor to more serious anti-social tendencies. Two factors, executive function (EF) and temperamental fear are each thought to influence childhood deception. Few studies, however, have explored deception in relation to…

  19. Associations between parenting, media use, cumulative risk, and children’s executive functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Linebarger, D.L.; Barr, R.; Lapierre, M.A.; Piotrowski, J.

    2014-01-01

    Objective: This study was designed to examine how parenting style, media exposure, and cumulative risk were associated with executive functioning (EF) during early childhood. Methods: A nationally representative group of US parents/caregivers (N = 1156) with 1 child between 2 and 8 years

  20. Executive Functioning Predicts Academic Achievement in Middle School: A Four-Year Longitudinal Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuels, William Ellery; Tournaki, Nelly; Blackman, Sheldon; Zilinski, Christopher

    2016-01-01

    Executive functioning (EF) is a strong predictor of children's and adolescents' academic performance. Although research indicates that EF can increase during childhood and adolescence, few studies have tracked the effect of EF on academic performance throughout the middle school grades. EF was measured at the end of Grades 6-9 through 21 teachers'…

  1. Executive Function and Reading Comprehension: A Meta-Analytic Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Follmer, D. Jake

    2018-01-01

    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…

  2. Functional neuroimaging and childhood autism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boddaert, Nathalie [Service de Radiologie Pediatrique, Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital, Paris (France); Service Hospitalier Frederic Joliot, DRM, DSV, CEA, Orsay (France); Zilbovicius, Monica [Service Hospitalier Frederic Joliot, DRM, DSV, CEA, Orsay (France); INSERM, Tours [France

    2002-01-01

    Childhood autism is now widely viewed as being of developmental neurobiological origin. Yet, localised structural and functional brain correlates of autism have to be established. Structural brain-imaging studies performed in autistic patients have reported abnormalities such as increased total brain volume and cerebellar abnormalities. However, none of these abnormalities fully account for the full range of autistic symptoms. Functional brain imaging, such as positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and functional MRI (fMRI) have added a new perspective to the study of normal and pathological brain functions. In autism, functional studies have been performed at rest or during activation. However, first-generation functional imaging devices were not sensitive enough to detect any consistent dysfunction. Recently, with improved technology, two independent groups have reported bilateral hypoperfusion of the temporal lobes in autistic children. In addition, activation studies, using perceptive and cognitive paradigms, have shown an abnormal pattern of cortical activation in autistic patients. These results suggest that different connections between particular cortical regions could exist in autism. The purpose of this review is to present the main results of rest and activation studies performed in autism. (orig.)

  3. Executive functioning in pre-school children with autism spectrum disorders: The relationship between executive functioning and language

    OpenAIRE

    Linnerud, Ida Cathrine Wang

    2014-01-01

    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...

  4. Rehabilitation of executive functions: Implications and strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Kluwe-Schiavon

    2013-01-01

    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.

  5. Emotional Availability Modulates Electrophysiological Correlates of Executive Functions in Preschool Children

    OpenAIRE

    Schneider-Hassloff, Henriette; Zw?nitzer, Annabel; K?nster, Anne K.; Mayer, Carmen; Ziegenhain, Ute; Kiefer, Markus

    2016-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) – a set of cognitive control abilities – mediate resilience to stress and are associated with academic achievement and health throughout life. They are crucially linked to prefrontal cortex function as well as to other cortical and subcortical brain functions, which are maturing throughout childhood at different rates. Recent behavioral research suggested that children’s EFs were related to parenting quality and child attachment security, but the neural correlates of...

  6. Strong genetic overlap between executive functions and intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engelhardt, Laura E; Mann, Frank D; Briley, Daniel A; Church, Jessica A; Harden, K Paige; Tucker-Drob, Elliot M

    2016-09-01

    Executive functions (EFs) are cognitive processes that control, monitor, and coordinate more basic cognitive processes. EFs play instrumental roles in models of complex reasoning, learning, and decision making, and individual differences in EFs have been consistently linked with individual differences in intelligence. By middle childhood, genetic factors account for a moderate proportion of the variance in intelligence, and these effects increase in magnitude through adolescence. Genetic influences on EFs are very high, even in middle childhood, but the extent to which these genetic influences overlap with those on intelligence is unclear. We examined genetic and environmental overlap between EFs and intelligence in a racially and socioeconomically diverse sample of 811 twins ages 7 to 15 years (M = 10.91, SD = 1.74) from the Texas Twin Project. A general EF factor representing variance common to inhibition, switching, working memory, and updating domains accounted for substantial proportions of variance in intelligence, primarily via a genetic pathway. General EF continued to have a strong, genetically mediated association with intelligence even after controlling for processing speed. Residual variation in general intelligence was influenced only by shared and nonshared environmental factors, and there remained no genetic variance in general intelligence that was unique of EF. Genetic variance independent of EF did remain, however, in a more specific perceptual reasoning ability. These results provide evidence that genetic influences on general intelligence are highly overlapping with those on EF. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  7. [Ecological executive function characteristics and effects of executive function on social adaptive function in school-aged children with epilepsy].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, X J; Wang, L L; Zhou, N

    2016-02-23

    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.

  8. Child Behavior Problems, Teacher Executive Functions, and Teacher Stress in Head Start Classrooms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman-Krauss, Allison H; Raver, C Cybele; Neuspiel, Juliana M; Kinsel, John

    2014-01-01

    The current article explores the relationship between teachers' perceptions of child behavior problems and preschool teacher job stress, as well as the possibility that teachers' executive functions moderate this relationship. Data came from 69 preschool teachers in 31 early childhood classrooms in 4 Head Start centers and were collected using Web-based surveys and Web-based direct assessment tasks. Multilevel models revealed that higher levels of teachers' perceptions of child behavior problems were associated with higher levels of teacher job stress and that higher teacher executive function skills were related to lower job stress. However, findings did not yield evidence for teacher executive functions as a statistical moderator. Many early childhood teachers do not receive sufficient training for handling children's challenging behaviors. Child behavior problems increase a teacher's workload and consequently may contribute to feelings of stress. However, teachers' executive function abilities may enable them to use effective, cognitive-based behavior management and instructional strategies during interactions with students, which may reduce stress. Providing teachers with training on managing challenging behaviors and enhancing executive functions may reduce their stress and facilitate their use of effective classroom practices, which is important for children's school readiness skills and teachers' health.

  9. Child Behavior Problems, Teacher Executive Functions, and Teacher Stress in Head Start Classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman-Krauss, Allison H.; Raver, C. Cybele; Neuspiel, Juliana M.; Kinsel, John

    2017-01-01

    Research Findings The current article explores the relationship between teachers’ perceptions of child behavior problems and preschool teacher job stress, as well as the possibility that teachers’ executive functions moderate this relationship. Data came from 69 preschool teachers in 31 early childhood classrooms in 4 Head Start centers and were collected using Web-based surveys and Web-based direct assessment tasks. Multilevel models revealed that higher levels of teachers’ perceptions of child behavior problems were associated with higher levels of teacher job stress and that higher teacher executive function skills were related to lower job stress. However, findings did not yield evidence for teacher executive functions as a statistical moderator. Practice or Policy Many early childhood teachers do not receive sufficient training for handling children’s challenging behaviors. Child behavior problems increase a teacher’s workload and consequently may contribute to feelings of stress. However, teachers’ executive function abilities may enable them to use effective, cognitive-based behavior management and instructional strategies during interactions with students, which may reduce stress. Providing teachers with training on managing challenging behaviors and enhancing executive functions may reduce their stress and facilitate their use of effective classroom practices, which is important for children’s school readiness skills and teachers’ health. PMID:28596698

  10. Questionnaire of Executive Function for Dancers: An Ecological Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Alina; Rodriguez, Mabel; Quevedo, Liliana; de Cossio, Lourdes Fernandez; Borges, Ariel; Reyes, Alicia; Corral, Roberto; Blanco, Florentino; Alvarez, Miguel

    2012-01-01

    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,…

  11. Functional neuroanatomy of executive function after neonatal brain injury in adults who were born very preterm.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anastasia K Kalpakidou

    Full Text Available Individuals who were born very preterm (VPT; <33 gestational weeks are at risk of experiencing deficits in tasks involving executive function in childhood and beyond. In addition, the type and severity of neonatal brain injury associated with very preterm birth may exert differential effects on executive functioning by altering its neuroanatomical substrates. Here we addressed this question by investigating with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI the haemodynamic response during executive-type processing using a phonological verbal fluency and a working memory task in VPT-born young adults who had experienced differing degrees of neonatal brain injury. 12 VPT individuals with a history of periventricular haemorrhage and ventricular dilatation (PVH+VD, 17 VPT individuals with a history of uncomplicated periventricular haemorrhage (UPVH, 13 VPT individuals with no history of neonatal brain injury and 17 controls received an MRI scan whilst completing a verbal fluency task with two cognitive loads ('easy' and 'hard' letters. Two groups of VPT individuals (PVH+VD; n = 10, UPVH; n = 8 performed an n-back task with three cognitive loads (1-, 2-, 3-back. Results demonstrated that VPT individuals displayed hyperactivation in frontal, temporal, and parietal cortices and in caudate nucleus, insula and thalamus compared to controls, as demands of the verbal fluency task increased, regardless of type of neonatal brain injury. On the other hand, during the n-back task and as working memory load increased, the PVH+VD group showed less engagement of the frontal cortex than the UPVH group. In conclusion, this study suggests that the functional neuroanatomy of different executive-type processes is altered following VPT birth and that neural activation associated with specific aspects of executive function (i.e., working memory may be particularly sensitive to the extent of neonatal brain injury.

  12. The Relationship Between Social Discomfort and Executive Functioning

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ashburn, Jr, John R

    2003-01-01

    Introversion and behavioral inhibition are stable individual characteristics associated with an over aroused central nervous system and have been associated with relative executive functioning deficits...

  13. Repetitive thinking, executive functioning, and depressive mood in the elderly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philippot, Pierre; Agrigoroaei, Stefan

    2017-11-01

    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.

  14. Executive function in adolescents with Down Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanfranchi, S; Jerman, O; Dal Pont, E; Alberti, A; Vianello, R

    2010-04-01

    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.

  15. Intrauterine exposure to tobacco and executive functioning in high school.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose-Jacobs, Ruth; Richardson, Mark A; Buchanan-Howland, Kathryn; Chen, Clara A; Cabral, Howard; Heeren, Timothy C; Liebschutz, Jane; Forman, Leah; Frank, Deborah A

    2017-07-01

    Executive functioning (EF), an umbrella construct encompassing gradual maturation of cognitive organization/management processes, is important to success in multiple settings including high school. Intrauterine tobacco exposure (IUTE) correlates with negative cognitive/behavioral outcomes, but little is known about its association with adolescent EF and information from real-life contexts is sparse. We evaluated the impact of IUTE on teacher-reported observations of EF in urban high school students controlling for covariates including other intrauterine and adolescent substance exposures. A prospective low-income birth cohort (51% male; 89% African American/Caribbean) was followed through late adolescence (16-18 years old). At birth, intrauterine exposures to cocaine and other substances (52% cocaine, 52% tobacco, 26% marijuana, 26% alcohol) were identified by meconium and/or urine assays, and/or maternal self-report. High school teachers knowledgeable about the student and unaware of study aims were asked to complete the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning-Teacher Form (BRIEF-TF) annually. Teachers completed at least one BRIEF-TF for 131 adolescents. Multivariable analyses included controls for: demographics; intrauterine cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol exposures; early childhood exposures to lead; and violence exposure from school-age to adolescence. IUTE was associated with less optimal BRIEF-TF Behavioral Regulation scores (p <0.05). Other intrauterine substance exposures did not predict less optimal BRIEF-TF scores, nor did exposures to violence, lead, nor adolescents' own substance use. IUTE is associated with offspring's less optimal EF. Prenatal counseling should emphasize abstinence from tobacco, as well as alcohol and illegal substances. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Executive function and health-related quality of life in pediatric epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schraegle, William A; Titus, Jeffrey B

    2016-09-01

    Children and adolescents with epilepsy often show higher rates of executive functioning deficits and are at an increased risk of diminished health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The purpose of the current study was to determine the extent to which executive dysfunction predicts HRQOL in youth with epilepsy. Data included parental ratings on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and the Quality of Life in Childhood Epilepsy (QOLCE) questionnaire for 130 children and adolescents with epilepsy (mean age=11years, 6months; SD=3years, 6months). Our results identified executive dysfunction in nearly half of the sample (49%). Moderate-to-large correlations were identified between the BRIEF and the QOLCE subscales of well-being, cognition, and behavior. The working memory subscale on the BRIEF emerged as the sole significant predictor of HRQOL. These results underscore the significant role of executive function in pediatric epilepsy. Proactive screening for executive dysfunction to identify those at risk of poor HRQOL is merited, and these results bring to question the potential role of behavioral interventions to improve HRQOL in pediatric epilepsy by specifically treating and/or accommodating for executive deficits. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Everyday executive functions in Down syndrome from early childhood to young adulthood: evidence for both unique and shared characteristics compared to youth with sex chromosome trisomy (XXX and XXY).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Nancy Raitano; Anand, Payal; Will, Elizabeth; Adeyemi, Elizabeth I; Clasen, Liv S; Blumenthal, Jonathan D; Giedd, Jay N; Daunhauer, Lisa A; Fidler, Deborah J; Edgin, Jamie O

    2015-01-01

    Executive functions (EF) are thought to be impaired in Down syndrome (DS) and sex chromosome trisomy (Klinefelter and Trisomy X syndromes; +1X). However, the syndromic specificity and developmental trajectories associated with EF difficulties in these groups are poorly understood. The current investigation (a) compared everyday EF difficulties in youth with DS, +1X, and typical development (TD); and (b) examined relations between age and EF difficulties in these two groups and a TD control group cross-sectionally. Study 1 investigated the syndromic specificity of EF profiles on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) in DS (n = 30), +1X (n = 30), and a TD group (n = 30), ages 5-18 years. Study 2 examined age effects on EF in the same cross-sectional sample of participants included in Study 1. Study 3 sought to replicate Study 2's findings for DS by examining age-EF relations in a large independent sample of youth with DS (n = 85) and TD (n = 43), ages 4-24 years. Study 1 found evidence for both unique and shared EF impairments for the DS and +1X groups. Most notably, youth with +1X had relatively uniform EF impairments on the BRIEF scales, while the DS group showed an uneven BRIEF profile with relative strengths and weaknesses. Studies 2 and 3 provided support for fairly similar age-EF relations in the DS and TD groups. In contrast, for the +1X group, findings were mixed; 6 BRIEF scales showed similar age-EF relations to the TD group and 2 showed greater EF difficulties at older ages for +1X. These findings will be discussed within the context of efforts to identify syndrome specific cognitive-behavioral profiles for youth with different genetic syndromes in order to inform basic science investigations into the etiology of EF difficulties in these groups and to develop treatment approaches that are tailored to the needs of these groups.

  18. Less-structured time in children's daily lives predicts self-directed executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, Jane E; Semenov, Andrei D; Michaelson, Laura; Provan, Lindsay S; Snyder, Hannah R; Munakata, Yuko

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) in childhood predict important life outcomes. Thus, there is great interest in attempts to improve EFs early in life. Many interventions are led by trained adults, including structured training activities in the lab, and less-structured activities implemented in schools. Such programs have yielded gains in children's externally-driven executive functioning, where they are instructed on what goal-directed actions to carry out and when. However, it is less clear how children's experiences relate to their development of self-directed executive functioning, where they must determine on their own what goal-directed actions to carry out and when. We hypothesized that time spent in less-structured activities would give children opportunities to practice self-directed executive functioning, and lead to benefits. To investigate this possibility, we collected information from parents about their 6-7 year-old children's daily, annual, and typical schedules. We categorized children's activities as "structured" or "less-structured" based on categorization schemes from prior studies on child leisure time use. We assessed children's self-directed executive functioning using a well-established verbal fluency task, in which children generate members of a category and can decide on their own when to switch from one subcategory to another. The more time that children spent in less-structured activities, the better their self-directed executive functioning. The opposite was true of structured activities, which predicted poorer self-directed executive functioning. These relationships were robust (holding across increasingly strict classifications of structured and less-structured time) and specific (time use did not predict externally-driven executive functioning). We discuss implications, caveats, and ways in which potential interpretations can be distinguished in future work, to advance an understanding of this fundamental aspect of growing up.

  19. Executive Functions in Youth With Spastic Cerebral Palsy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

  20. Executive Function Predicts Artificial Language Learning in Children and Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapa, Leah Lynn

    2013-01-01

    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…

  1. Rumination prospectively predicts executive functioning impairments in adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, Samantha L; Wagner, Clara A; Shapero, Benjamin G; Pendergast, Laura L; Abramson, Lyn Y; Alloy, Lauren B

    2014-03-01

    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.

  2. Test Review: Barkley Deficits in Executive Functioning Scale (BDEFS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allee-Smith, Paula J.; Winters, Rebecca R.; Drake, Amanda; Joslin, Amanda K.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  3. Questionnaire-based assessment of executive functioning: Case studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kronenberger, William G; Castellanos, Irina; Pisoni, David B

    2018-01-01

    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.

  4. Maternal Executive Function, Harsh Parenting, and Child Conduct Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Wang, Zhe; Chen, Nan; Bell, Martha Ann

    2012-01-01

    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…

  5. Executive functioning deficits in young adult survivors of bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gough, Aisling; Linden, Mark A; Spence, Dale; Halliday, Henry L; Patterson, Christopher C; McGarvey, Lorcan

    2015-01-01

    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.

  6. Executive function in different groups of university students

    OpenAIRE

    Prosen, Simona; Smrtnik Vitulić, Helena

    2015-01-01

    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...

  7. Age-Related Differences and Heterogeneity in Executive Functions: Analysis of NAB Executive Functions Module Scores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buczylowska, Dorota; Petermann, Franz

    2016-05-01

    Normative data from the German adaptation of the Neuropsychological Assessment Battery were used to examine age-related differences in 6 executive function tasks. A multivariate analysis of variance was employed to investigate the differences in performance in 484 participants aged 18-99 years. The coefficient of variation was calculated to compare the heterogeneity of scores between 10 age groups. Analyses showed an increase in the dispersion of scores with age, varying from 7% to 289%, in all subtests. Furthermore, age-dependent heterogeneity appeared to be associated with age-dependent decline because the subtests with the greatest increase in dispersion (i.e., Mazes, Planning, and Categories) also exhibited the greatest decrease in mean scores. In contrast, scores for the subtests Letter Fluency, Word Generation, and Judgment had the lowest increase in dispersion with the lowest decrease in mean scores. Consequently, the results presented here show a pattern of age-related differences in executive functioning that is consistent with the concept of crystallized and fluid intelligence. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Assessing executive functions in preschoolers using Shape School Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Nieto

    2016-09-01

    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

  9. Questionnaire-based assessment of executive functioning: Psychometrics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellanos, Irina; Kronenberger, William G; Pisoni, David B

    2018-01-01

    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.

  10. Studying self-awareness in children: validation of the Questionnaire of Executive Functioning (QEF).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geurten, Marie; Catale, Corinne; Geurten, Claire; Wansard, Murielle; Meulemans, Thierry

    2016-05-01

    People with accurate representations of their own cognitive functioning (i.e. cognitive self-awareness) tend to use appropriate strategies to regulate their behavior. Due to the lack of appropriate instruments, few studies have examined the development of this ability among children. This study tested the measurement properties of the self-rating and other-rating forms of the Questionnaire of Executive Functioning (QEF), designed to tap children's knowledge of their executive functioning. Specifically, the construct, convergent, and discriminant validities were investigated and a self-other discrepancy score was computed to assess children's executive self-awareness. Participants were 317 children aged 7-14 years old. Confirmatory factor analyses carried out on the QEF confirmed the eight-factor structure of both versions. There were significant correlations between the QEF and the parent versions of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, the Dysexecutive Questionnaire for Children, and the Childhood Executive Functioning Inventory. Both forms of the QEF were able to distinguish between children who had sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and control participants. A statistical difference was observed between the TBI and control groups on this score, suggesting that TBI may trigger self-awareness impairments in children. The good psychometric properties of the two forms of the QEF were established. Furthermore, results of the analyses carried out on the different discrepancy scores seem to indicate that the QEF could help clinicians to detect patients with self-awareness deficits.

  11. Executive Functioning Skills in Long-Term Users of Cochlear Implants: A Case Control Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisoni, David B.; Henning, Shirley C.; Colson, Bethany G.

    2013-01-01

    Objective To investigate differences in executive functioning between deaf children with cochlear implants (CIs) and normal-hearing (NH) peers. The cognitive effects of auditory deprivation in childhood may extend beyond speech–language skills to more domain-general areas including executive functioning. Methods Executive functioning skills in a sample of 53 prelingually deaf children, adolescents, and young adults who received CIs prior to age 7 years and who had used their CIs for ≥7 years were compared with age- and nonverbal IQ-matched NH peers and with scale norms. Results Despite having above average nonverbal IQ, the CI sample scored lower than the NH sample and test norms on several measures of short-term/working memory, fluency–speed, and inhibition–concentration. Executive functioning was unrelated to most demographic and hearing history characteristics. Conclusions Prelingual deafness and long-term use of CIs was associated with increased risk of weaknesses in executive functioning. PMID:23699747

  12. Hot and cold executive functions in youth with psychotic symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2017-12-01

    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.

  13. An Embodied Account of Early Executive-Function Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gottwald, Janna M.; Achermann, Sheila; Marciszko, Carin; Lindskog, Marcus; Gredebäck, Gustaf

    2016-01-01

    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

  14. The role of executive functioning in quality of life in pediatric intractable epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, Christina Eguizabal; Webbe, Frank; Kim, Gunha; Lee, Ki Hyeong; Westerveld, Michael; Salinas, Christine M

    2016-11-01

    Children with epilepsy are vulnerable to executive dysfunction, but the relationship between executive functioning (EF) and quality of life (QOL) in children with epilepsy is not fully delineated. This exploratory study elucidated the relationship between ecological EF and QOL in pediatric intractable epilepsy. Fifty-four consecutively referred pediatric epilepsy surgery candidates and their parents were administered IQ measures, the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), and the Quality of Life in Childhood Epilepsy (QOLCE) as part of a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation. A significant difference was found in QOL between those with and without clinical impairments on the BRIEF [t(52)=3.93; p<.001]. That is, children with executive dysfunction had lower overall QOL. All seizure variables and BRIEF scales were associated with overall QOL [F(12, 40)=6.508; p=.001; R 2 =.661]. Working memory from the BRIEF was the most frequently elevated scale in our sample (57%). Those with executive dysfunction had 9.7 times the risk of having poor QOL. Poor EF control according to behavior ratings is significantly related to QOL in intractable pediatric epilepsy. Identification of executive dysfunction in home environments is an essential component of presurgical evaluations and target for intervention, which may improve QOL. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Follow-up in Childhood Functional Constipation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Modin, Line; Walsted, Anne-Mette; Rittig, Charlotte Siggaard

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Guidelines recommend close follow-up during treatment of childhood functional constipation. Only sparse evidence exists on how follow-up is best implemented. Our aim was to evaluate if follow-up by phone or self-management through web-based information improved treatment outcomes....... METHODS: In this randomized, controlled trial, conducted in secondary care, 235 children, aged 2-16 years, who fulfilled the Rome III criteria of childhood constipation, were assigned to one of three follow-up regimens: (I) control group (no scheduled contact), (II) phone group (2 scheduled phone contacts......: Improved self-management behavior caused by access to self-motivated web-based information induced faster short-term recovery during treatment of functional constipation. Patient empowerment rather than health care promoted follow-up might be a step towards more effective treatment for childhood...

  16. Executive Functions in Premanifest Huntington’s Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

    2014-01-01

    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

  17. Executive function and bilingualism in young and older adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shanna eKousaie

    2014-07-01

    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.

  18. Bilingualism, social cognition and executive functions: A tale of chickens and eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Simon R; Bak, Thomas H; Allerhand, Michael; Redmond, Paul; Starr, John M; Deary, Ian J; MacPherson, Sarah E

    2016-10-01

    The influence of bilingualism on cognitive functioning is currently a topic of intense scientific debate. The strongest evidence for a cognitive benefit of bilingualism has been demonstrated in executive functions. However, the causal direction of the relationship remains unclear: does learning other languages improve executive functions or are people with better executive abilities more likely to become bilingual? To address this, we examined 90 male participants of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936; 26 were bilingual, 64 monolingual. All participants underwent an intelligence test at age 11 years and were assessed on a wide range of executive and social cognition tasks at age 74. The only notable differences between both groups were found for the Simon Effect (which indexes stimulus-response conflict resolution; β=-.518, p=0.025) and a trend effect for the Faux Pas task (a measure of complex theory of mind; ToM, β=0.432, p=0.060). Controlling for the influence of childhood intelligence, parental and own social class significantly attenuated the bilingual advantage on the Faux Pas test (β=0.058, p=0.816), whereas the Simon task advantage remained (β=-.589, p=0.049). We find some weak evidence that the relationship between bilingualism and cognitive functions may be selective and bi-directional. Pre-existing cognitive and social class differences from childhood may influence both ToM ability in older age and the likelihood of learning another language; yet, bilingualism does not appear to independently contribute to Faux Pas score. Conversely, learning a second language is related to better conflict processing, irrespective of initial childhood ability or social class. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  19. "Braingame Brian": Toward an Executive Function Training Program with Game Elements for Children with ADHD and Cognitive Control Problems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Prins, P.J.M.; ten Brink, E.; Dovis, S.; Ponsioen, A.; Geurts, H.M.; de Vries, M.; van der Oord, S.

    2013-01-01

    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

  20. Mediated Pathways from Maternal Depression and Early Parenting to Children's Executive Function and Externalizing Behaviour Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Claire; Kuhn, Laura

    2018-01-01

    Structural equation models were used to examine pathways from maternal depression and early parenting to children's executive function (EF) and externalizing behaviours in the first nationally representative study to obtain direct assessments of children's kindergarten EF skills (i.e., the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Kindergarten Class of…

  1. Executive Functioning Differences between Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorder in Initiation, Planning and Strategy Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bramham, Jessica; Ambery, Fiona; Young, Susan; Morris, Robin; Russell, Ailsa; Xenitidis, Kiriakos; Asherson, Philip; Murphy, Declan

    2009-01-01

    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…

  2. The typical developmental trajectory of social and executive functions in late adolescence and early adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Sophie Jane; Barker, Lynne Ann; Heavey, Lisa; McHale, Sue

    2013-07-01

    Executive functions and social cognition develop through childhood into adolescence and early adulthood and are important for adaptive goal-oriented behavior (Apperly, Samson, & Humphreys, 2009; Blakemore & Choudhury, 2006). These functions are attributed to frontal networks known to undergo protracted maturation into early adulthood (Barker, Andrade, Morton, Romanowski, & Bowles, 2010; Lebel, Walker, Leemans, Phillips, & Beaulieu, 2008), although social cognition functions are also associated with widely distributed networks. Previously, nonlinear development has been reported around puberty on an emotion match-to-sample task (McGivern, Andersen, Byrd, Mutter, & Reilly, 2002) and for IQ in midadolescence (Ramsden et al., 2011). However, there are currently little data on the typical development of social and executive functions in late adolescence and early adulthood. In a cross-sectional design, 98 participants completed tests of social cognition and executive function, Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (Wechsler, 1999), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (Zigmond & Snaith, 1983), and measures of pubertal development and demographics at ages 17, 18, and 19. Nonlinear age differences for letter fluency and concept formation executive functions were found, with a trough in functional ability in 18-year-olds compared with other groups. There were no age group differences on social cognition measures. Gender accounted for differences on 1 scale of concept formation, 1 dynamic social interaction scale, and 2 empathy scales. The clinical, developmental, and educational implications of these findings are discussed.

  3. Fathers' sensitive parenting and the development of early executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Towe-Goodman, Nissa R; Willoughby, Michael; Blair, Clancy; Gustafsson, Hanna C; Mills-Koonce, W Roger; Cox, Martha J

    2014-12-01

    Using data from a diverse sample of 620 families residing in rural, predominately low-income communities, this study examined longitudinal links between fathers' sensitive parenting in infancy and toddlerhood and children's early executive functioning, as well as the contribution of maternal sensitive parenting. After accounting for the quality of concurrent and prior parental care, children's early cognitive ability, and other child and family factors, fathers' and mothers' sensitive and supportive parenting during play at 24 months predicted children's executive functioning at 3 years of age. In contrast, paternal parenting quality during play at 7 months did not make an independent contribution above that of maternal care, but the links between maternal sensitive and supportive parenting and executive functioning seemed to operate in similar ways during infancy and toddlerhood. These findings add to prior work on early experience and children's executive functioning, suggesting that both fathers and mothers play a distinct and complementary role in the development of these self-regulatory skills.

  4. Hot and cold executive functions in pure opioid users undergoing ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2016-01-12

    Jan 12, 2016 ... use of rationality and logic, such as working memory (WM), cognitive flexibility, response ... For instance, Bracken compared short‑ and long‑term ..... Development of “hot” executive function: The children's gambling task.

  5. Language and executive functioning in children with ADHD

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Parigger, E.M.

    2012-01-01

    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

  6. Supporting executive functions during children's preliteracy learning with the computer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sande, E. van de; Segers, P.C.J.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined how embedded activities to support executive functions helped children to benefit from a computer intervention that targeted preliteracy skills. Three intervention groups were compared on their preliteracy gains in a randomized controlled trial design: an experimental

  7. Early development of executive functions: a differential study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Sastre-Riba

    2015-05-01

    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.

  8. Dissociation in undergraduate students: disruptions in executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giesbrecht, Timo; Merckelbach, Harald; Geraerts, Elke; Smeets, Ellen

    2004-08-01

    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.

  9. Cognitive Functions in Childhood Apraxia of Speech

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nijland, Lian; Terband, Hayo; Maassen, Ben

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is diagnosed on the basis of specific speech characteristics, in the absence of problems in hearing, intelligence, and language comprehension. This does not preclude the possibility that children with this speech disorder might demonstrate additional problems. Method: Cognitive functions were investigated…

  10. A real-life, ecologically valid test of executive functioning : The executive secretarial task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamberts, Kirsten F.; Evans, Jonathan J.; Spikman, Jacoba M.

    2010-01-01

    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

  11. The role of family functioning in childhood dental caries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duijster, D.; Verrips, G.H.W.; Loveren, C. van

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: This study investigated the relationship between family functioning and childhood dental caries. Further objectives were (i) to explore whether oral hygiene behaviours could account for a possible association between family functioning dimensions and childhood dental caries and (ii) to

  12. The role of family functioning in childhood dental caries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duijster, D.; Verrips, G.H.W.; van Loveren, C.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives This study investigated the relationship between family functioning and childhood dental caries. Further objectives were (i) to explore whether oral hygiene behaviours could account for a possible association between family functioning dimensions and childhood dental caries and (ii) to

  13. Bilingualism and age are continuous variables that influence executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Incera, Sara; McLennan, Conor T

    2018-05-01

    We analyzed the effects of bilingualism and age on executive function. We examined these variables along a continuum, as opposed to dichotomizing them. We investigated the impact that bilingualism and age have on two measures of executive control (Stroop and Flanker). The mouse-tracking paradigm allowed us to examine the continuous dynamics of the responses as participants completed each trial. First, we found that the Stroop effect was reduced with younger age and higher levels of bilingualism; however, no Bilingualism by Age interaction emerged. Second, after controlling for baseline, the Flanker effect was not influenced by bilingualism or age. These results support the notion that bilingualism is one way of enhancing some aspects of executive function - specifically those related to the Stroop task - across the adult life span. In sum, different levels of bilingualism, and different ages, result in varying degrees of executive function as measured by the Stroop task.

  14. Executive and Memory Function in Adolescents Born Very Preterm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ment, Laura; Allan, Walter; Schneider, Karen; Vohr, Betty R.

    2011-01-01

    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

  15. Executive functioning in older adults with hoarding disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayers, Catherine R; Wetherell, Julie Loebach; Schiehser, Dawn; Almklov, Erin; Golshan, Shahrokh; Saxena, Sanjaya

    2013-11-01

    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.

  16. The structure of executive functions and relations with early math learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Ven, S.H.G.

    2011-01-01

    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.

  17. Effects of alcoholism severity and smoking on executive neurocognitive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, Jennifer M; Buu, Anne; Adams, Kenneth M; Nigg, Joel T; Puttler, Leon I; Jester, Jennifer M; Zucker, Robert A

    2009-01-01

    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.

  18. Executive Function and Adaptive Behavior in Muenke Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2015-08-01

    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.

  19. NIH EXAMINER: conceptualization and development of an executive function battery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, Joel H; Mungas, Dan; Possin, Katherine L; Rankin, Katherine P; Boxer, Adam L; Rosen, Howard J; Bostrom, Alan; Sinha, Lena; Berhel, Ashley; Widmeyer, Mary

    2014-01-01

    Executive functioning is widely targeted when human cognition is assessed, but there is little consensus on how it should be operationalized and measured. Recognizing the difficulties associated with establishing standard operational definitions of executive functioning, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke entered into a contract with the University of California-San Francisco to develop psychometrically robust executive measurement tools that would be accepted by the neurology clinical trials and clinical research communities. This effort, entitled Executive Abilities: Measures and Instruments for Neurobehavioral Evaluation and Research (EXAMINER), resulted in a series of tasks targeting working memory, inhibition, set shifting, fluency, insight, planning, social cognition and behavior. We describe battery conceptualization and development, data collection, scale construction based on item response theory, and lay the foundation for studying the battery's utility and validity for specific assessment and research goals.

  20. Executive functions in morality, religion, and paranormal beliefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wain, Omar; Spinella, Marcello

    2007-01-01

    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.

  1. Developmental changes in fact and source recall: Contributions from executive function and brain electrical activity

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    Vinaya Rajan

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Source memory involves recollecting the contextual details surrounding a memory episode. When source information is bound together, it makes a memory episodic in nature. Unfortunately, very little is known about the factors that contribute to its formation in early development. This study examined the development of source memory in middle childhood. Measures of executive function were examined as potential sources of variation in fact and source recall. Continuous electroencephalogram (EEG measures were collected during baseline and fact and source retrieval in order to examine memory-related changes in EEG power. Six and 8-year-old children were taught 10 novel facts from two different sources and recall for fact and source information was later tested. Older children were better on fact recall, but both ages were comparable on source recall. However, source recall performance was poor at both ages, suggesting that this ability continues to develop beyond middle childhood. Regression analyses revealed that executive function uniquely predicted variance in source recall performance. Task-related increases in theta power were observed at frontal, temporal and parietal electrode sites during fact and source retrieval. This investigation contributes to our understanding of age-related differences in source memory processing in middle childhood.

  2. Executive Functioning: Relationship with High School Student Role Performance

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    Donna P. Mann

    2015-10-01

    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.

  3. [Memory processes and executive functioning: novel trends for research].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collette, Fabienne; Angel, Lucie

    2015-01-01

    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.

  4. Development of a scale of executive functioning for the RBANS.

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    Spencer, Robert J; Kitchen Andren, Katherine A; Tolle, Kathryn A

    2018-01-01

    The Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) is a cognitive battery that contains scales of several cognitive abilities, but no scale in the instrument is exclusively dedicated to executive functioning. Although the subtests allow for observation of executive-type errors, each error is of fairly low base rate, and healthy and clinical normative data are lacking on the frequency of these types of errors, making their significance difficult to interpret in isolation. The aim of this project was to create an RBANS executive errors scale (RBANS EE) with items comprised of qualitatively dysexecutive errors committed throughout the test. Participants included Veterans referred for outpatient neuropsychological testing. Items were initially selected based on theoretical literature and were retained based on item-total correlations. The RBANS EE (a percentage calculated by dividing the number of dysexecutive errors by the total number of responses) was moderately related to each of seven established measures of executive functioning and was strongly predictive of dichotomous classification of executive impairment. Thus, the scale had solid concurrent validity, justifying its use as a supplementary scale. The RBANS EE requires no additional administration time and can provide a quantified measure of otherwise unmeasured aspects of executive functioning.

  5. Executive function processes predict mobility outcomes in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2014-02-01

    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.

  6. Neuroanatomical Substrates of Executive Functions: Beyond Prefrontal Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bettcher, Brianne M.; Mungas, Dan; Patel, Nihar; Elofson, Jonathan; Dutt, Shubir; Wynn, Matthew; Watson, Christa L.; Stephens, Melanie; Walsh, Christine M.; Kramer, Joel H.

    2016-01-01

    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

  7. Childhood- versus adolescent-onset antisocial youth with conduct disorder: psychiatric illness, neuropsychological and psychosocial function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Vicki A; Kemp, Andrew H; Heard, Robert; Lennings, Christopher J; Hickie, Ian B

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigates whether youths with childhood-onset antisocial behavior have higher rates of psychiatric illness, neuropsychological and psychosocial dysfunction than youths who engage in antisocial behavior for the first time in adolescence. Prior studies have generally focused on single domains of function in heterogeneous samples. The present study also examined the extent to which adolescent-onset antisocial behavior can be considered normative, an assumption of Moffitt's dual taxonomy model. Forty-three subjects (34 males, 9 females, mean age = 15.31, age range 12-21) with a diagnosis of conduct disorder (CD) were recruited through Headspace Services and the Juvenile Justice Community Centre. We compared childhood-onset antisocial youths (n = 23) with adolescent-onset antisocial youths (n = 20) with a conduct disorder, across a battery of psychiatric, neuropsychological and psychosocial measures. Neuropsychological function of both groups was also compared with normative scores from control samples. The childhood-onset group displayed deficits in verbal learning and memory, higher rates of psychosis, childhood maltreatment and more serious violent behavior, all effects associated with a large effect size. Both groups had impaired executive function, falling within the extremely low range (severely impaired). Childhood-onset CD displayed greater cognitive impairment, more psychiatric symptoms and committed more serious violent offences. The finding of severe executive impairment in both childhood- and adolescent-onset groupings challenges the assumption that adolescent-onset antisocial behavior is a normative process.

  8. Childhood- versus adolescent-onset antisocial youth with conduct disorder: psychiatric illness, neuropsychological and psychosocial function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vicki A Johnson

    Full Text Available The present study investigates whether youths with childhood-onset antisocial behavior have higher rates of psychiatric illness, neuropsychological and psychosocial dysfunction than youths who engage in antisocial behavior for the first time in adolescence. Prior studies have generally focused on single domains of function in heterogeneous samples. The present study also examined the extent to which adolescent-onset antisocial behavior can be considered normative, an assumption of Moffitt's dual taxonomy model.Forty-three subjects (34 males, 9 females, mean age = 15.31, age range 12-21 with a diagnosis of conduct disorder (CD were recruited through Headspace Services and the Juvenile Justice Community Centre. We compared childhood-onset antisocial youths (n = 23 with adolescent-onset antisocial youths (n = 20 with a conduct disorder, across a battery of psychiatric, neuropsychological and psychosocial measures. Neuropsychological function of both groups was also compared with normative scores from control samples.The childhood-onset group displayed deficits in verbal learning and memory, higher rates of psychosis, childhood maltreatment and more serious violent behavior, all effects associated with a large effect size. Both groups had impaired executive function, falling within the extremely low range (severely impaired.Childhood-onset CD displayed greater cognitive impairment, more psychiatric symptoms and committed more serious violent offences. The finding of severe executive impairment in both childhood- and adolescent-onset groupings challenges the assumption that adolescent-onset antisocial behavior is a normative process.

  9. Executive function influences sedentary behavior: A longitudinal study

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    Paul D. Loprinzi

    2016-10-01

    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.

  10. Compare of Executive Function in Bipolar I Disorder and Schizophrenia

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    Mohammad Reza khodaei-Ardakani

    2013-10-01

    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.

  11. Executive functions in children who experience bullying situations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wandersonia Medeiros

    2016-08-01

    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.

  12. The Relationship Between Emotion Regulation, Executive Functioning, and Aggressive Behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holley, Sarah R; Ewing, Scott T; Stiver, Jordan T; Bloch, Lian

    2015-06-30

    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.

  13. [An approach to the executive functions in autism spectrum disorder].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martos-Pérez, Juan; Paula-Pérez, Isabel

    2011-03-01

    The psychological hypothesis of executive dysfunction plays a crucial role in explaining the behavioural phenotype of persons with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), along with other hypotheses such as the deficit in the theory of mind or the weak central coherence hypothesis. Yet, none of these hypotheses are mutually exclusive and behaviours that have their origins in one of these three hypotheses are also shaped and upheld by other processes and factors. This article reviews the behavioural manifestation and current state of research on the executive functions in persons with ASD. It also examines its impact on planning, mental flexibility and cognitive skills, generativity, response inhibition, mentalist skills and sense of activity. Although executive dysfunction has become more significant as a hypothesis explaining persons with ASD, there remain some important difficulties in need of further, more detailed research. Moreover, very few intervention programmes have been proved to be effective in minimising the effects of executive dysfunction in autism.

  14. Executive Functioning in Pediatric Chronic Pain: Do Deficits Exist?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Karen E; Harbeck-Weber, Cynthia; Zaccariello, Michael J; Kimondo, Jacqueline N; Harrison, Tracy E; Bruce, Barbara K

    2018-01-01

    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: journals.permissions@oup.com

  15. Elderly with Autism: Executive Functions and Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geurts, Hilde M.; Vissers, Marlies E.

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive autism research is mainly focusing on children and young adults even though we know that autism is a life-long disorder and that healthy aging already has a strong impact on cognitive functioning. We compared the neuropsychological profile of 23 individuals with autism and 23 healthy controls (age range 51-83 years). Deficits were…

  16. Implementing an Executive-Function Syllabus: Operational Issues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell Jay Hendel

    2016-08-01

    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.

  17. Executive function in fibromyalgia: Comparing subjective and objective measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelonch, Olga; Garolera, Maite; Valls, Joan; Rosselló, Lluís; Pifarré, Josep

    2016-04-01

    There is evidence to suggest the existence of an executive dysfunction in people diagnosed with fibromyalgia, although there are certain inconsistencies between studies. Here, we aim to compare executive performance between patients with fibromyalgia and a control group by using subjective and objective cognitive tests, analyzing the influence of patient mood on the results obtained, and studying associations between the two measures. 82 patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia and 42 healthy controls, matched by age and years of education, were assessed using the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Adult Version (BRIEF-A) as a subjective measure of executive functioning. A selection of objective cognitive tests were also used to measure a series of executive functions and to identify symptoms of depression and anxiety. Patients with fibromyalgia perceived greater difficulties than the control group on all of the BRIEF-A scales. However, after adjustments were made for depression and anxiety the only differences that remained were those associated with the working memory scale and the Metacognition and Global Executive Composite index. In the case of the objective cognitive tests, a significantly worse overall performance was evidenced for the fibromyalgia patients. However, this also disappeared when adjustments were made for depression and anxiety. After this adjustment, fibromyalgia patients only performed significantly worse for the interference effect in the Stroop Test. Although there were no significant associations between most of the objective cognitive tests and the BRIEF-A scales, depression and anxiety exhibited strong associations with almost all of the BRIEF-A scales and with several of the objective cognitive tests. Patients with fibromyalgia showed executive dysfunction in subjective and objective measures, although most of this impairment was associated with mood disturbances. Exceptions to this general rule were observed in the

  18. Speech-in-speech perception and executive function involvement.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcela Perrone-Bertolotti

    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.

  19. Alcohol Binge Drinking and Executive Functioning during Adolescent Brain Development

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    Soledad Gil-Hernandez

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Alcohol consumption in adolescents causes negative effects on familiar, social, academic life, as well as neurocognitive alterations. The binge drinking (BD pattern of alcohol is characterized by the alternation of episodes of heavy drinking in a short interval of time, and periods of abstinence, a practice that can result in important brain alterations; even more than regular alcohol consumption. The prefrontal cortex, which acts as neural support for the executive processes, is particularly affected by alcohol; however, not all studies are in agreement about how BD alcohol consumption affects executive functioning. Some research has found that alcohol consumption in adolescence does not significantly affect executive functioning while others found it does. It is possible that these discrepancies could be due to the history of alcohol consumption, that is, at what age the subjects started drinking. The aim of our study is to assess the performance on executive functioning tasks of 13–19-year-old adolescents according to their pattern of alcohol consumption. We hypothesize that BD adolescents will perform worse than non-BD subjects in tasks that evaluate executive functions, and these differences will increase depending on how long they have been consuming alcohol. Three hundred and twenty-two students (48.14% females; age range 13–22 years; mean aged 16.7 ± 2.59 participated in the study; all of them had begun drinking at the age of 13 years. Participant were divided into three groups, according to their age range (13–15, 16–18, and 19–22 years and divided according to their pattern of alcohol consumption (BD and control groups. Then, the subjects were evaluated with neuropsychological tasks that assess executive functions like working memory, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, or self-control among others. The entire sample showed a normal improvement in their executive performance, but this improvement was more stable and robust in

  20. Genetic variant for behavioral regulation factor of executive function and its possible brain mechanism in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xiao; Wu, Zhaomin; Cao, Qingjiu; Qian, Ying; Liu, Yong; Yang, Binrang; Chang, Suhua; Yang, Li; Wang, Yufeng

    2018-05-16

    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.

  1. Mining dynamic noteworthy functions in software execution sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bing; Huang, Guoyan; Wang, Yuqian; He, Haitao; Ren, Jiadong

    2017-01-01

    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.

  2. Everyday psychological functioning in children with unilateral cerebral palsy: does executive functioning play a role?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whittingham, Koa; Bodimeade, Harriet L; Lloyd, Owen; Boyd, Roslyn N

    2014-06-01

    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.

  3. Executive Function in Very Preterm Children at Early School Age

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    C.S.H. Aarnoudse-Moens (Cornelieke); D.P. Smidts (Diana); J. Oosterlaan (Jaap); H.J. Duivenvoorden (Hugo); N. Weisglas-Kuperus (Nynke)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractWe examined whether very preterm (≤30 weeks gestation) children at early school age have impairments in executive function (EF) independent of IQ and processing speed, and whether demographic and neonatal risk factors were associated with EF impairments. A consecutive sample of 50

  4. How storage and executive functions contribute to children's reading comprehension

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nouwens, S.; Groen, M.A.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.

    2016-01-01

    In the current study we investigated the contribution of storage and separate measures of executive functions to reading comprehension in Dutch 5th graders, while controlling for word recognition and vocabulary. In addition we investigated the relationship between this model and working memory as

  5. Executive Functioning Profiles and Test Anxiety in College Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, Patrick S.

    2017-01-01

    The current study attempted to answer whether a specific executive functioning profile for individuals with test anxiety exists and whether deficits in working memory are associated with an earlier onset of test anxiety. Two hundred eighty-four undergraduate students completed a survey on test anxiety and self-report measures of test anxiety and…

  6. Executive Function: Implications for Education. NCER 2017-2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelazo, Philip David; Blair, Clancy B.; Willoughby, Michael T.

    2016-01-01

    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…

  7. Executive Function and the Development of Belief-Desire Psychology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rakoczy, Hannes

    2010-01-01

    In two studies children's performance on tasks requiring the ascription of beliefs and desires was investigated in relation to their executive function. Study 1 (n = 80) showed that 3- and 4-year-olds were more proficient at ascribing subjective, mutually incompatible desires and desire-dependent emotions to two persons than they were at ascribing…

  8. The Effect of Combat Traumatic Brain Injury on Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-01

    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,

  9. Hot and cold executive functions in pure opioid users undergoing ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Context: Methadone maintenance is a standard treatment for opiate‑dependent individuals. ... and Ekman faces test, whereas cold executive functions including working memory (WM), cognitive flexibility, and response inhibition were assessed using n‑back, Wisconsin card sorting test, and the GO/NOGO task, respectively.

  10. Teacher Stress Predicts Child Executive Function: Moderation by School Poverty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuenschwander, Regula; Friedman-Krauss, Allison; Raver, Cybele; Blair, Clancy

    2017-01-01

    Research Findings: Recent research has explored relations between classroom quality and child executive function (EF), but little is known about how teachers' well-being, including stress, relates to child EF--a crucial component of self-regulation. We hypothesized that teacher stress is negatively or curvilinearly related to child EF and…

  11. Quadriceps Strength and Executive Functions in Older Women

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scherder, E. J. A.; Eggermont, L. H. P.; Geuze, R. H.; Vis, J.; Verkerke, G. J.

    Objective: The aim of this study is to answer the question whether the strength of the knee extensor musculus quadriceps (m. quadriceps), in particular, is related to specific executive functions and whether this relationship is independent of aerobic fitness. The clinical relevance of this question

  12. Theory of Mind and Executive Function in Chinese Preschool Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duh, Shinchieh; Paik, Jae H.; Miller, Patricia H.; Gluck, Stephanie C.; Li, Hui; Himelfarb, Igor

    2016-01-01

    Cross-cultural research on children's theory of mind (ToM) understanding has raised questions about its developmental sequence and relationship with executive function (EF). The current study examined how ToM develops (using the tasks from Wellman & Liu, 2004) in relation to 2 EF skills (conflict inhibition, working memory) in 997 Chinese…

  13. How Executive Functions Are Related to Intelligence in Williams Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osorio, Ana; Cruz, Raquel; Sampaio, Adriana; Garayzabal, Elena; Martinez-Regueiro, Rocio; Goncalves, Oscar F.; Carracedo, Angel; Fernandez-Prieto, Montse

    2012-01-01

    Williams syndrome is characterized by impairments in executive functions (EFs). However, it remains unknown how distinct types of EFs relate to intelligence in this syndrome. The present study analyzed performance on working memory, inhibiting and shifting, and its links to IQ in a sample of 17 individuals with WS, and compared them with a group…

  14. Executive Function Deficits in Preschool Children with ADHD and DBD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoemaker, Kim; Bunte, Tessa; Wiebe, Sandra A.; Espy, Kimberly Andrews; Dekovic, Maja; Matthys, Walter

    2012-01-01

    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…

  15. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Executive Function Impairment: An Overview.

    OpenAIRE

    Carruthers, Lindsey.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  16. Executive function training in children with SLI: A pilot study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vugs, B.A.M.; Knoors, H.E.T.; Cuperus, J.M.; Hendriks, M.P.H.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a computer-based executive function (EF) training in children with specific language impairment (SLI). Ten children with SLI, ages 8 to 12 years, completed a 25-session training of visuospatial working memory, inhibition and cognitive

  17. Executive function and decision-making in women with fibromyalgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verdejo-García, Antonio; López-Torrecillas, Francisca; Calandre, Elena Pita; Delgado-Rodríguez, Antonia; Bechara, Antoine

    2009-02-01

    Patients with fibromyalgia (FM) typically report cognitive problems, and they state that these deficits are disturbing in everyday life. Despite these substantial subjective complaints by FM patients, very few studies have addressed objectively the effect of such aversive states on neuropsychological performance. In this study we aimed to examine possible impairment of executive function and decision-making in a sample of 36 women diagnosed with FM and 36 healthy women matched in age, education, and socio-economic status. We contrasted performance of both groups on two measures of executive functioning: the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), which assesses cognitive flexibility skills, and the Iowa Gambling Tasks (IGT; original and variant versions), which assess emotion-based decision-making. We also examined the relationship between executive function performance and pain experience, and between executive function and personality traits of novelty-seeking, harm avoidance, reward dependence, and persistence (measured by the Temperament and Character Inventory-Revised). Results showed that on the WCST, FM women showed poorer performance than healthy comparison women on the number of categories and non-perseverative errors, but not on perseverative errors. FM patients also showed altered learning curve in the original IGT (where reward is immediate and punishment is delayed), suggesting compromised emotion-based decision-making; but not in the variant IGT (where punishment is immediate but reward is delayed), suggesting hypersensitivity to reward. Personality variables were very mildly associated with cognitive performance in FM women.

  18. Executive functioning in chronic alcoholism and Korsakoff syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maharasingam, Malini; Macniven, Jamie A B; Mason, Oliver J

    2013-01-01

    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.

  19. Associations among False Belief Understanding, Counterfactual Reasoning, and Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guajardo, Nicole R.; Parker, Jessica; Turley-Ames, Kandi

    2009-01-01

    The primary purposes of the present study were to clarify previous work on the association between counterfactual thinking and false belief performance to determine (1) whether these two variables are related and (2) if so, whether executive function skills mediate the relationship. A total of 92 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds completed false belief,…

  20. Fathers’ Sensitive Parenting and the Development of Early Executive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Towe-Goodman, Nissa R.; Willoughby, Michael; Blair, Clancy; Gustafsson, Hanna C.; Mills-Koonce, W. Roger; Cox, Martha J.

    2014-01-01

    Using data from a diverse sample of 620 families residing in rural, predominately low-income communities, this study examined longitudinal links between fathers’ sensitive parenting in infancy and toddlerhood and children’s early executive functioning, as well as the contribution of maternal sensitive parenting. After accounting for the quality of concurrent and prior parental care, children’s early cognitive ability, and other child and family factors, fathers’ and mothers’ sensitive and supportive parenting during play at 24-months predicted children’s executive functioning at 3-years of age. In contrast, paternal parenting quality during play at 7-months did not make an independent contribution above that of maternal care, but the links between maternal sensitive and supportive parenting and executive functioning seemed to operate in similar ways during infancy and toddlerhood. These findings add to prior work on early experience and children’s executive functioning, suggesting that both fathers and mothers play a distinct and complementary role in the development of these self-regulatory skills. PMID:25347539

  1. Maturation of Executive Functioning Skills in Early Sequential Bilingualism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalashnikova, Marina; Mattock, Karen

    2014-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that being bilingual from birth is advantageous for the development of skills of social cognition, executive functioning, and metalinguistic awareness due to bilingual children's extensive experience of processing and manipulating two linguistic systems. The present study investigated whether these cognitive…

  2. Executive function behaviours in children with specific language impairment (SLI)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cuperus, J.M.; Vugs, B.A.M.; Scheper, A.R.; Hendriks, M.P.H.

    2014-01-01

    Background: There is growing evidence that linguistic and non-linguistic factors may contribute to the problems associated with specific language impairment (SLI). One factor that has been implicated is executive functioning (EF). Most studies investigating EF in children with SLI use performance

  3. The Effects of Bilingualism on Toddlers' Executive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulin-Dubois, Diane; Blaye, Agnes; Coutya, Julie; Bialystok, Ellen

    2011-01-01

    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…

  4. Executive functioning in adult ADHD: a meta-analytic review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boonstra, A.M.; Oosterlaan, J.; Sergeant, J.A.; Buitelaar, J.K.

    2005-01-01

    Background. Several theoretical explanations of ADHD in children have focused on executive functioning as the main explanatory neuropsychological domain for the disorder. In order to establish if these theoretical accounts are supported by research data for adults with ADHD, we compared

  5. The Relation between Television Exposure and Executive Function among Preschoolers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nathanson, Amy I.; Aladé, Fashina; Sharp, Molly L.; Rasmussen, Eric E.; Christy, Katheryn

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the relations between television exposure during the preschool years and the development of executive function (EF). Data were gathered from 107 parents of preschoolers who provided information on children's television viewing, background television exposure, exposure to specific televised content, and the age at which…

  6. Executive Functioning and Figurative Language Comprehension in Learning Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishara, Saied; Kaplan, Shani

    2016-01-01

    The goal of the research was to examine executive functioning and figurative language comprehension among students with learning disabilities as compared to students without learning disabilities. As part of the research, we examined 20 students with learning disabilities and 21 students with no learning disabilities, both groups of students…

  7. Neuropsychological heterogeneity in executive functioning in autism spectrum disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geurts, H.; Sinzig, J.; Booth, R.; Happé, F.

    2014-01-01

    In most research it is common to report results on a group level. For example, various studies report that children and adults with autism show executive function deficits. However, studies often differ in the pattern of findings. We believe this might be partly due to the heterogeneity of the

  8. Fluid intelligence and executive functioning more alike than different?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aken, L. van; Kessels, R.P.C.; Wingbermühle, P.A.M.; Veld, W.M. van der; Egger, J.I.M.

    2016-01-01

    Objective Fluid intelligence (Gf) has been related to executive functioning (EF) in previous studies, and it is also known to be correlated with crystallized intelligence (Gc). The present study includes representative measures of Gf, Gc, and EF frequently used in clinical practice to examine this

  9. Parenting, corpus callosum, and executive function in preschool children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2014-01-01

    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.

  10. Cognitive and Executive Functions in Colombian School Children with Conduct Disorder: Sex Differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urazán-Torres, Gina Rocío; Puche-Cabrera, Mario José; Caballero-Forero, Mangelli; Rey-Anacona, César Armando

    2013-12-01

    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.

  11. A Developmental Window into Trade-offs in Executive Function: The Case of Task Switching versus Response Inhibition in 6-year-olds

    OpenAIRE

    Blackwell, Katharine A.; Chatham, Christopher H.; Wiseheart, Melody; Munakata, Yuko

    2014-01-01

    Good executive function has been linked to many positive outcomes in academic performance, health, and social competence. However, some aspects of executive function may interfere with other cognitive processes. Childhood provides a unique test case for investigating such cognitive trade-offs, given the dramatic failures and developments observed during this period. For example, most children categorically switch or perseverate when asked to switch between rules on a card-sorting task. To tes...

  12. Informing the Structure of Executive Function in Children: A Meta-Analysis of Functional Neuroimaging Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenna, Róisín; Rushe, T.; Woodcock, Kate A.

    2017-01-01

    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

  13. Executive Function and Diabetes Mellitus - A Stone Left Unturned?

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    2012-01-31

    Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic medical condition that is dependent upon patients self-caring and managing their condition to achieve optimal control. Adherence to medical therapy, making decisions related to lifestyle changes, and self-treating hypoglycaemia for example, require planning and organisational skills that are under the control of a specific domain of cognitive function known as executive function. Executive function has been shown by functional imaging studies such as magnetic resonance imaging to be under the influence of the frontal and prefrontal cortical system. It is now recognised that even in subjects with apparently normal cognition, DM may be associated with impaired executive function (IEF). The exact cause of IEF in DM is still not fully understood. However cerebral microvascular disease and chronic dysglycaemia have been postulated as possible factors contributing to functional neuronal dysfunction leading to IEF. IEF may adversely affect patients\\' abilities to self-manage their diabetes care, potentially cause worsening glycaemic control and difficulty managing risk factors. Several bedside assessment tools to screen for IEF are currently available and have been shown to correlate with functional status. However, more studies are needed to validate these tests against diabetes self-care assessment tools. Until then, clinicians and healthcare workers managing patients with DM should be aware of the potential for IEF in their patients as specific behaviour and education intervention may be needed to help manage patients with diabetes and IEF.

  14. Associations between executive functioning, coping, and psychosocial functioning after acquired brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2015-09-01

    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

  15. Obesity-Associated Biomarkers and Executive Function in Children

    OpenAIRE

    Miller, Alison L.; Jong, Hannah; Lumeng, Julie C.

    2014-01-01

    There is a growing focus on links between obesity and cognitive decline in adulthood, including Alzheimer’s disease. It is also increasingly recognized that obesity in youth is associated with poorer cognitive function, specifically executive functioning skills such as inhibitory control and working memory, which are critical for academic achievement. Emerging literature provides evidence for possible biological mechanisms driven by obesity; obesity-associated biomarkers such as adipokines, o...

  16. The Effect of Executive Function on Science Achievement Among Normally Developing 10-Year Olds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederman, Sheri G.

    Executive function (EF) is an umbrella term used to identify a set of discrete but interrelated cognitive abilities that enable individuals to engage in goal-directed, future-oriented action in response to a novel context. Developmental studies indicate that EF is predictive of reading and math achievement in middle childhood. The purpose of this study was to identify the association between EF and science achievement among normally developing 10 year olds. A sample of fifth grade students from a Northeastern suburban community participated in tests of EF, science, and intelligence. Consistent with adult models of EF, principal components analysis identified a three-factor model of EF organization in middle childhood, including cognitive flexibility, working memory, and inhibition. Multiple regression analyses revealed that executive function processes of cognitive flexibility, working memory, and inhibition were all predictive of science performance. Post hoc analyses revealed that high-performing science students differed significantly from low-performing students in both cognitive flexibility and working memory. These findings suggest that complex academic demands specific to science achievement rely on the emergence and maturation of EF components.

  17. Spaceborne computer executive routine functional design specification. Volume 2: Computer executive design for space station/base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, J. R.; Fitzpatrick, W. S.

    1971-01-01

    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.

  18. Impact of different physical activities on executive functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sneidere K.

    2018-01-01

    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.

  19. On the impacts of working memory training on executive functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiina eSalminen

    2012-06-01

    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.

  20. "Braingame Brian": Toward an Executive Function Training Program with Game Elements for Children with ADHD and Cognitive Control Problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prins, Pier J M; Brink, Esther Ten; Dovis, Sebastiaan; Ponsioen, Albert; Geurts, Hilde M; de Vries, Marieke; van der Oord, Saskia

    2013-02-01

    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 steps involve replication with larger samples, evaluating transfer of training effects to daily life, and enhancing motivation through more gaming elements.

  1. Executive Function as a Risk Factor for Incisor Trauma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyquist, Jillian M; Phillips, Ceib; Stein, Margot; Koroluk, Lorne D

    2018-05-08

    Executive function is the ability to guide behavior to achieve goals or complete tasks. This study explored the relationship between executive function, as assessed by the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function Parent Form Questionnaire (BRIEF ® ) and incisor trauma. This study included children in the mixed dentition with recent incisor trauma (n=28) and a control group (n=30) without recent incisor trauma. Subjects' parents completed the BRIEF ® , while a clinical examination assessed subjects' occlusal relationships. Parents also completed a custom questionnaire that investigated their child's medical history and daily activities. Fisher Exact and unpaired t-tests compared BRIEF ® scores, occlusal characteristics, medical history, and reported daily activities of the two groups. The trauma group had a greater percentage of participants with a Class II dental relationship (p=0.01). There was no significant difference between groups with respect to mean BRIEF ® t-scores within the Global Executive Composite. There was a statistically significant difference between groups with respect to the percentage of subjects with clinically significant (≥65) BRIEF ® t-scores within the Inhibit (p=0.05) and Emotional Control (p=0.02) subscales and Behavioral Regulation Index (p=0.02). There were no statistically significant differences between groups with respect to age, gender, overbite, overjet, medical history, body mass index, or daily activities. Children in the mixed dentition with a Class II dental relationship are at greater risk for incisor injury, as well as those involved in outdoor activities. Specific executive dysfunctions such as impulsivity and poor emotional control may increase the risk for incisor trauma. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  2. Mothers' depressive symptoms in infancy and children's adjustment in grade school: The role of children's sustained attention and executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yiji; Dix, Theodore

    2017-09-01

    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).

  3. Theory of Mind and Executive Functioning Following Stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Jackie; Radlak, Bogna; Morris, Paul G; Phillips, Louise H

    2017-08-01

    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: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Executive function in cancer patients with posttraumatic stress disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Juan; Guo, Juncheng; Jiang, Xiangling

    2017-03-01

    Background Cancer patients with posttraumatic stress disorder can lead to their noncompliant behaviors. However, less is known about the neurocognitive functioning of posttraumatic stress disorder in general cancer types or patient populations. The current study attempted to examine the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder and their relationships with executive function in individuals with cancer. Methods A total of 285 cancer patients with posttraumatic stress disorder and 150 healthy individuals were recruited for the present study. The Clinician Administered PTSD Scale, Tower of Hanoi, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, and Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised Chinese revision were administered to all participants. Results Significant differences in the score of Tower of Hanoi, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, and Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised Chinese revision were observed between the posttraumatic stress disorder group and the healthy control group ( p posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and executive function. Conclusions These findings suggest that individuals with cancer-related posttraumatic stress disorder exhibit more severe impairment in executive function than healthy controls do.

  5. Improving executive function using transcranial infrared laser stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Nathaniel J; Maddox, W Todd; Gonzalez-Lima, Francisco

    2017-03-01

    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.

  6. The Effects of Stress and Executive Functions on Decision Making in an Executive Parallel Task

    OpenAIRE

    McGuigan, Brian

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of acute stress on parallel task performance with the Game of Dice Task (GDT) to measure decision making and the Stroop test.  Two previous studies have found that the combination of stress and a parallel task with the GDT and an executive functions task preserved performance on the GDT for a stress group compared to a control group.  The purpose of this study was to create and use a new parallel task with the GDT and the stroop test to elu...

  7. Articulation Speaks to Executive Function: An Investigation in 4- to 6-Year-Olds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Netelenbos

    2018-02-01

    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.

  8. Increased frontal functional networks in adult survivors of childhood brain tumors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongbo Chen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Childhood brain tumors and associated treatment have been shown to affect brain development and cognitive outcomes. Understanding the functional connectivity of brain many years after diagnosis and treatment may inform the development of interventions to improve the long-term outcomes of adult survivors of childhood brain tumors. This work investigated the frontal region functional connectivity of 16 adult survivors of childhood cerebellar tumors after an average of 14.9 years from diagnosis and 16 demographically-matched controls using resting state functional MRI (rs-fMRI. Independent component analysis (ICA was applied to identify the resting state activity from rs-fMRI data and to select the specific regions associated with executive functions, followed by the secondary analysis of the functional networks connecting these regions. It was found that survivors exhibited differences in the functional connectivity in executive control network (ECN, default mode network (DMN and salience network (SN compared to demographically-matched controls. More specifically, the number of functional connectivity observed in the survivors is higher than that in the controls, and with increased strength, or stronger correlation coefficient between paired seeds, in survivors compared to the controls. Observed hyperconnectivity in the selected frontal functional network thus is consistent with findings in patients with other neurological injuries and diseases.

  9. Baduanjin Mind-Body Intervention Improves the Executive Control Function

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Tingting; Yue, Guang H.; Tian, Yingxue; Jiang, Changhao

    2017-01-01

    This study aims at comparing the effects of the Baduanjin mind-body (BMB) intervention with a conventional relaxation training program on enhancing the executive function. The study also attempts to explore the neural substrates underlying the cognitive effect of BMB intervention using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) technique. Forty-two healthy college students were randomly allocated into either the Baduanjin intervention group or relaxation training (control) group. Training lasted for 8...

  10. Baduanjin Mind-Body Intervention Improves the Executive Control Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Tingting; Yue, Guang H; Tian, Yingxue; Jiang, Changhao

    2016-01-01

    This study aims at comparing the effects of the Baduanjin mind-body (BMB) intervention with a conventional relaxation training program on enhancing the executive function. The study also attempts to explore the neural substrates underlying the cognitive effect of BMB intervention using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) technique. Forty-two healthy college students were randomly allocated into either the Baduanjin intervention group or relaxation training (control) group. Training lasted for 8 weeks (90 min/day, 5 days/week). Each participant was administered the shortened Profile of Mood States to evaluate their mood status and the flanker task to evaluate executive function before and after training. While performing the flanker task, the NIRS data were collected from each participant. After training, individuals who have participated in BMB exercise showed a significant reduction in depressive mood compared with the same measure before the intervention. However, participants in the control group showed no such reduction. The before vs. after measurement difference in the flanker task incongruent trails was significant only for the Baduanjin intervention group. Interestingly, an increase in oxygenated hemoglobin in the left prefrontal cortex was observed during the Incongruent Trails test only after the BMB exercise intervention. These findings implicate that Baduanjin is an effective and easy-to-administering mind-body exercise for improving executive function and perhaps brain self-regulation in a young and healthy population.

  11. Executive functions, parental punishment, and aggression: Direct and moderated relations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatima, Shameem; Sharif, Imran

    2017-12-01

    The main focus of the current study was to assess whether executive functions (EFs) moderate the effect of parental punishment on adolescent aggression. The sample were 370 participants (53% girls, 47% boys) enrolled at secondary and higher secondary levels and ranged in age between 13-19 years (M = 15.5, SD = 1.3). Participants were assessed on a self-report measure of aggression and two punishment measures, in addition to a demographic sheet. Then, they were individually assessed on four tests taken from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Functions System (D-KEFS) namely Trial Making Test (TMT), Design Fluency Test (DFT), Color Word Interference Test (CWIT), and Card Sorting Test (CST) to assess cognitive flexibility, nonverbal fluency, inhibition, and problem-solving ability, respectively. Correlation coefficients indicated that all four executive functioning measures and the two punishment measures were significantly correlated with aggression. Moderation analysis indicated that all EFs moderated the relationship between physical punishment and aggression, and only inhibition and problem-solving ability, but not cognitive flexibility and nonverbal fluency, moderated the relations between symbolic punishment and aggression. The findings support the hypothesis that EFs are protective personal factors that promote healthy adolescent adjustment in the presence of challenging environmental factors.

  12. Executive function impairment in community elderly subjects with questionable dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Linda C W; Lui, Victor W C; Chiu, Helen F K; Chan, Sandra S M; Tam, Cindy W C

    2005-01-01

    The neurocognitive profile of community-dwelling Chinese subjects with 'questionable' dementia was studied. One hundred and fifty-four ambulatory Chinese subjects were recruited from local social centers for the elderly. Each subject was examined using the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR), the Cantonese version of the Mini-Mental State Examination (CMMSE), the Chinese version of the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog), the Category Verbal Fluency Test (CVFT), digit and visual span tests, and the Cambridge Neurological Inventory. The neurocognitive profile of nondemented subjects (CDR 0) was compared with that of subjects with 'questionable' dementia (CDR 0.5). Subjects with 'questionable' dementia were older, and had lower educational levels and global cognitive assessment scores than the controls (CMMSE and ADAS-Cog; t tests, p < 0.001). In addition, they also had significantly lower scores in delayed recall, reverse span, verbal fluency tests and worse performance in complex motor tasks related to executive function (Mann-Whitney tests, p < 0.001). Logistic regression analysis revealed that ADAS-Cog, CVFT, and reverse visual span were significant predictors for the CDR of 'questionable' dementia. Aside from memory impairment, executive function deficits were also present in subjects with 'questionable' dementia. To identify groups cognitively at risk for dementia, concomitant assessments of memory and executive function are suggested.

  13. Structure of four executive functioning tests in healthy older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Frias, Cindy M; Dixon, Roger A; Strauss, Esther

    2006-03-01

    The authors examined the factor structure of 4 indicators of executive functioning derived from 2 new (i.e., Hayling and Brixton) and 2 traditional (i.e., Stroop and Color Trails) tests. Data were from a cross-sectional sample of 55- to 85-year-old healthy adults (N=427) from the Victoria Longitudinal Study. Confirmatory factor analysis (LISREL 8.52) tested both a 2-factor model of Inhibition (Hayling, Stroop) and Shifting (Brixton, Color Trails) and a single-factor model. The 2-factor model did not fit the data because the covariance matrix of the factors was not positive definite. The single-factor model fit the data well, chi(2)(2, N=427)=0.32, p=.85, root-mean-square error of approximation (RMSEA)=.00, comparative fit index (CFI)=1.00, goodness-of-fit index (GFI)=1.00. Moreover, the single-factor structure of executive functioning was invariant (configural and metric) across gender, and invariant (configural with limited metric) across age. Structural relations showed that poorer executive functioning performance was related to older age and lower fluid intelligence, chi(2)(11, N=418)=23.04, p=.02, RMSEA=.05, CFI=.97, GFI=.98.

  14. An Investigation of Executive Functioning in Pediatric Anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Yolanda E; Luke, Anna; Brennan, Elle; Francazio, Sarah; Christopher, Isabella; Flessner, Christopher A

    2018-01-01

    Although science's understanding (e.g., etiology, maintaining factors, etc.) of pediatric anxiety and related problems has grown substantially over recent years, several aspects to anxiety in youths remain elusive, particularly with relation to executive functioning. To this end, the current study sought to examine several facets to executive functioning (i.e., cognitive flexibility, inhibition, planning, working memory) within a transdiagnostic sample of youths exhibiting varying degrees of anxiety symptoms. One hundred six youths completed a comprehensive battery, including several self-report measures (e.g., Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children [MASC] or MASC-2) and an automated neurocognitive battery of several executive functioning tasks (Intradimensional/Extradimensional [IDED], Stop Signal [SST], Spatial Span [SSP], Stockings of Cambridge [SOC] tasks). Regression analyses indicated that youths exhibiting marked anxiety symptoms demonstrated increased planning time and probability of inhibition compared with youths with minimal or no anxiety symptoms. Youths with marked anxiety symptoms similarly demonstrated better cognitive flexibility (i.e., set shifting) compared with youths with minimal anxiety. In addition, analyses indicated a trend such that youths exhibiting marked anxiety symptoms demonstrated poorer working memory compared with youths with no anxiety symptoms. Group classification did not predict remaining outcomes. Limitations and future areas of research are discussed.

  15. The effects of bilingual growth on toddlers' executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crivello, Cristina; Kuzyk, Olivia; Rodrigues, Monyka; Friend, Margaret; Zesiger, Pascal; Poulin-Dubois, Diane

    2016-01-01

    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.

  16. Do Executive Function and Impulsivity Predict Adolescent Health Behaviour after Accounting for Intelligence? Findings from the ALSPAC Cohort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stautz, Kaidy; Pechey, Rachel; Couturier, Dominique-Laurent; Deary, Ian J; Marteau, Theresa M

    2016-01-01

    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.

  17. Do Executive Function and Impulsivity Predict Adolescent Health Behaviour after Accounting for Intelligence? Findings from the ALSPAC Cohort.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaidy Stautz

    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.

  18. Right frontal pole cortical thickness and executive functioning in children with traumatic brain injury: the impact on social problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levan, Ashley; Black, Garrett; Mietchen, Jonathan; Baxter, Leslie; Brock Kirwan, C; Gale, Shawn D

    2016-12-01

    Cognitive and social outcomes may be negatively affected in children with a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI). We hypothesized that executive function would mediate the association between right frontal pole cortical thickness and problematic social behaviors. Child participants with a history of TBI were recruited from inpatient admissions for long-term follow-up (n = 23; average age = 12.8, average time post-injury =3.2 years). Three measures of executive function, the Trail Making Test, verbal fluency test, and the Conners' Continuous Performance Test-Second edition (CPT-II), were administered to each participant while caregivers completed the Childhood Behavior Checklist (CBCL). All participants underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging following cognitive testing. Regression analysis demonstrated right frontal pole cortical thickness significantly predicted social problems. Measures of executive functioning also significantly predicted social problems; however, the mediation model testing whether executive function mediated the relationship between cortical thickness and social problems was not statistically significant. Right frontal pole cortical thickness and omission errors on the CPT-II predicted Social Problems on the CBCL. Results did not indicate that the association between cortical thickness and social problems was mediated by executive function.

  19. Executive Functions in Intellectual Disabilities: A Comparison between Williams Syndrome and Down Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costanzo, Floriana; Varuzza, Cristiana; Menghini, Deny; Addona, Francesca; Gianesini, Tiziana; Vicari, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    Executive functions are a set of high cognitive abilities that control and regulate other functions and behaviors and are crucial for successful adaptation. Deficits in executive functions are frequently described in developmental disorders, which are characterized by disadaptive behavior. However, executive functions are not widely examined in…

  20. Executive functions in young patients with unipolar depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Totić-Poznanović Sanja

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Neuropsychological deficits associated with unipolar depression are seen in a broad range of cognitive domains. Executive deficits may be prominent in depression. Investigation of executive functions in younger adult patients with unipolar depression has been the focus of our study. Twenty-two consecutively depressive inpatients (24-36 years and 21 healthy control subjects, matched on age, gender, education and verbal IQ were included in the study. Neuropsychological tests for executive functions were applied to all subjects. Unipolar young depressives showed significantly reduced number of completed categories and more trials for completion of the first category on Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST. No difference of tasks assessing the short-term memory, total errors on WCST, perseverative and non-perseverative errors, and of both phonemic and semantic conditions of verbal fluency was found between groups. The results suggested that unipolar depressives had specific cognitive style characterized by "negative cognitive set" (stronger negative reaction to negative feedback and by failure to use negative feedback to improve their performance.

  1. Assessing Executive Function components in 9 years old children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Reyes

    2014-05-01

    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.

  2. Executive Functions Contribute Uniquely to Reading Competence in Minority Youth

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2018-01-01

    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

  3. Executing application function calls in response to an interrupt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almasi, Gheorghe; Archer, Charles J.; Giampapa, Mark E.; Gooding, Thomas M.; Heidelberger, Philip; Parker, Jeffrey J.

    2010-05-11

    Executing application function calls in response to an interrupt including creating a thread; receiving an interrupt having an interrupt type; determining whether a value of a semaphore represents that interrupts are disabled; if the value of the semaphore represents that interrupts are not disabled: calling, by the thread, one or more preconfigured functions in dependence upon the interrupt type of the interrupt; yielding the thread; and if the value of the semaphore represents that interrupts are disabled: setting the value of the semaphore to represent to a kernel that interrupts are hard-disabled; and hard-disabling interrupts at the kernel.

  4. Short-term music training enhances verbal intelligence and executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Sylvain; Bialystok, Ellen; Barac, Raluca; Schellenberg, E Glenn; Cepeda, Nicholas J; Chau, Tom

    2011-11-01

    Researchers have designed training methods that can be used to improve mental health and to test the efficacy of education programs. However, few studies have demonstrated broad transfer from such training to performance on untrained cognitive activities. Here we report the effects of two interactive computerized training programs developed for preschool children: one for music and one for visual art. After only 20 days of training, only children in the music group exhibited enhanced performance on a measure of verbal intelligence, with 90% of the sample showing this improvement. These improvements in verbal intelligence were positively correlated with changes in functional brain plasticity during an executive-function task. Our findings demonstrate that transfer of a high-level cognitive skill is possible in early childhood.

  5. Behavioral Executive Functions Among Adolescents With Mathematics Difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Marja E; Aunio, Pirjo; Björn, Piia M; Klenberg, Liisa; Korhonen, Johan; Hannula, Markku S

    2017-07-01

    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.

  6. Obesity-associated biomarkers and executive function in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Alison L; Lee, Hannah J; Lumeng, Julie C

    2015-01-01

    There is a growing focus on links between obesity and cognitive decline in adulthood, including Alzheimer's disease. It is also increasingly recognized that obesity in youth is associated with poorer cognitive function, specifically executive functioning skills such as inhibitory control and working memory, which are critical for academic achievement. Emerging literature provides evidence for possible biological mechanisms driven by obesity; obesity-associated biomarkers such as adipokines, obesity-associated inflammatory cytokines, and obesity-associated gut hormones have been associated with learning, memory, and general cognitive function. To date, examination of obesity-associated biology with brain function has primarily occurred in animal models. The few studies examining such biologically mediated pathways in adult humans have corroborated the animal data, but this body of work has gone relatively unrecognized by the pediatric literature. Despite the fact that differences in these biomarkers have been found in association with obesity in children, the possibility that obesity-related biology could affect brain development in children has not been actively considered. We review obesity-associated biomarkers that have shown associations with neurocognitive skills, specifically executive functioning skills, which have far-reaching implications for child development. Understanding such gut-brain associations early in the lifespan may yield unique intervention implications.

  7. The Role of Age and Executive Function in Auditory Category Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reetzke, Rachel; Maddox, W. Todd; Chandrasekaran, Bharath

    2015-01-01

    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

  8. Teacher Evaluations of Executive Functioning in Schoolchildren Aged 9-12 and the Influence of Age, Sex, Level of Parental Education

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Tetering, Marleen A J; Jolles, Jelle

    2017-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) develop over the period of early childhood and adolescence up until young adulthood. Individual children differ substantially in the pace at which their EFs develop, and characteristics such as sex and the level of parental education (LPE) are thought to contribute to these

  9. Relationship between theory of mind and functional independence is mediated by executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Fayeza S; Miller, L Stephen

    2013-06-01

    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.

  10. Everyday executive functioning influences adaptive skills in autism spectrum disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel K. Peterson

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Adaptive skills are often defined as a set of behaviors or constellation of skills that allow for an individual to function independently and meet environmental demands. Adaptive skills have been linked with an array of social and academic outcomes. Executive functions (EF have been defined as a set of “capacities that enable a person to engage successfully in independent, purposive, self-serving behavior”. While the literature has demonstrated some overlap in the definitions of adaptive skills and the purpose of executive functions, little has been done to investigate the relationship between the two. The current study sought to investigate this relationship within Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD, a clinical grouping that has demonstrated a predisposition towards deficits within both of these functional domains. ASD are oftentimes associated with EF deficits, especially in the domains of cognitive flexibility, planning, and working memory. Deficits in adaptive skills have also been commonly reported in relation to ASD, with a wide range of abilities being noted across previous studies. The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between adaptive skills and EF in individuals with ASD with the idea that an understanding of such relationships may offer insight into possible focus for intervention.

  11. Executive functioning and alcohol binge drinking in university students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parada, María; Corral, Montserrat; Mota, Nayara; Crego, Alberto; Rodríguez Holguín, Socorro; Cadaveira, Fernando

    2012-02-01

    Binge drinking (BD) is prevalent among college students. Studies on alcoholism have shown that the prefrontal cortex is vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of alcohol. The prefrontal cortex undergoes both structural and functional changes during adolescence and young adulthood. Sex differences have been observed in brain maturation and in alcohol-induced damage. The objective of the present study was to analyze the relationship between BD and cognitive functions subserved by the prefrontal cortex in male and female university students. The sample comprised 122 undergraduates (aged 18 to 20 years): 62 BD (30 females) and 60 non-BD (29 females). Executive functions were assessed by WMS-III (Backward Digit Span and Backward Spatial Span), SOPT (abstract designs), Letter Fluency (PMR), BADS (Zoo Map and Key Search) and WCST-3. BD students scored lower in the Backward Digit Span Subtest and generated more perseverative responses in the SOPT In relation to interaction BD by sex, BD males scored lower in the Backward Digit Span test than BD females and non-BD males. BD is associated with poorer performance of executive functions subserved by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The results do not support enhanced vulnerability of women to alcohol neurotoxic effects. These difficulties may reflect developmental delay or frontal lobe dysfunction. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Executive Functioning in Pedophilia and Child Sexual Offending.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massau, Claudia; Tenbergen, Gilian; Kärgel, Christian; Weiß, Simone; Gerwinn, Hannah; Pohl, Alexander; Amelung, Till; Mohnke, Sebastian; Kneer, Jonas; Wittfoth, Matthias; Ristow, Inka; Schiltz, Kolja; Beier, Klaus M; Ponseti, Jorge; Walter, Martin; Kruger, Tillmann H C; Walter, Henrik; Schiffer, Boris

    2017-07-01

    Pedophilia (P) is a psychiatric disease associated with sexual attraction toward children and often accompanied by child sexual offending (CSO). Consequently, it is important to address the understanding of executive dysfunctions that may increase the probability of CSO. Moreover, this research field has been lacking to disentangle executive deficits associated with pedophilia (as a deviant sexual preference) from those associated with CSO (as a deviant sexual behavior). The German multi-sided research network NeMUP offers the opportunity to overcome these limitations. By applying the Cambridge Automated Neuropsychological Test Battery in four carefully matched groups of men: (1) pedophiles with (N=45) and (2) without (N=45) a history of sexual offending against children; (3) child molesters without pedophilia (N=19), and (4) non-offending controls (N=49), we were able to analyze executive functioning in pedophilia and CSO independently. Both CSO groups as compared to both non-CSO groups exhibited worsened response inhibition ability. However, only non-pedophilic offenders showed additionally disabled strategy use ability. Regarding set-shifting abilities, the P+CSO group showed the best performance. We also found that performances were affected by age: only in pedophiles, response inhibition worsened with age, while age-related deficits in set-shifting abilities were restricted to non-pedophilic participants. The latter also differentiated between both sexual preference groups. Our results are the first to demonstrate that executive dysfunctions are related to offense status rather than pedophilic preference. Furthermore, there was evidence for differentiating age and performance correlations between pedophiles and non-pedophiles, which warrants further investigation. (JINS, 2017, 23, 460-470).

  13. Executive functioning and non-verbal intelligence as predictors of bullying in early elementary school

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verlinden, Marina; Veenstra, René; Ghassabian, Akhgar; Jansen, P.W.; Hofman, Albert; Jaddoe, Vincent W. V.; Verhulst, F.C.; Tiemeier, Henning

    Executive function and intelligence are negatively associated with aggression, yet the role of executive function has rarely been examined in the context of school bullying. We studied whether different domains of executive function and non-verbal intelligence are associated with bullying

  14. Executive function in adolescents with PKU and their siblings: Associations with biochemistry

    OpenAIRE

    Sharman, R.; Sullivan, K.; Young, R.; McGill, J.

    2015-01-01

    Previous research shows consistent and marked executive function impairment in children with early and continuously treated phenylketonuria. This between groups analysis (phenylketonuria group vs sibling controls) found no significant differences in executive function (although adolescents with phenylketonuria performed slightly worse than their siblings). Biochemical relationships with executive function were confined to long-term measures of high phenylalanine:tyrosine ratio exposure, as we...

  15. The Mediating Role of Metacognition in the Relationship between Executive Function and Self-Regulated Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Follmer, D. Jake; Sperling, Rayne A.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Researchers have demonstrated significant relations among executive function, metacognition, and self-regulated learning. However, prior research emphasized the use of indirect measures of executive function and did not evaluate how specific executive functions are related to participants' self-regulated learning. Aims: The primary…

  16. Executive Functions in Students With Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ajilchi, Bita; Nejati, Vahid

    2017-01-01

    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.

  17. Endothelial Function Is Associated with White Matter Microstructure and Executive Function in Older Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan F. Johnson

    2017-08-01

    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.

  18. The neuropsychopharmacology of fronto-executive function: monoaminergic modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, T W; Arnsten, A F T

    2009-01-01

    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.

  19. Cognitive models of executive functions development: methodological limitations and theoretical challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florencia Stelzer

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Executive functions (EF have been defined as a series of higher-order cognitive processes which allow the control of thought, behavior and affection according to the achievement of a goal. Such processes present a lengthy postnatal development which matures completely by the end of adolescence. In this article we make a review of some of the main models of EF development during childhood. The aim of this work is to describe the state of the art related to the topic, identifying the main theoretical difficulties and methodological limitations associated with the different proposed paradigms. Finally, some suggestions are given to cope with such difficulties, emphasizing that the development of an ontology of EF could be a viable alternative to counter them. We believe that futture researches should guide their efforts toward the development of that ontology.

  20. Fluid intelligence and executive functioning more alike than different?

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Aken, Loes; Kessels, Roy P C; Wingbermühle, Ellen; van der Veld, William M; Egger, Jos I M

    2016-02-01

    Fluid intelligence (Gf) has been related to executive functioning (EF) in previous studies, and it is also known to be correlated with crystallized intelligence (Gc). The present study includes representative measures of Gf, Gc, and EF frequently used in clinical practice to examine this Gf-EF relation. It is hypothesised that the Gf-EF relation is higher than the Gc-EF relation, and that working memory in particular (as a measure of EF) shows a high contribution to this relation. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed on a mixed neuropsychiatric and non-clinical sample consisting of 188 participants, using the Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test, and three executive tasks of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery, covering working memory, planning skills, and set shifting. The model fitted the data well [χ²(24)=35.25, p=0.07, RMSEA=0.050]. A very high correlation between Gf and EF was found (0.91), with working memory being the most profound indicator. A moderate to high correlation between Gc and EF was present. Current results are consistent with findings of a strong relation between Gf and working memory. Gf and EF are highly correlated. Gf dysfunction in neuropsychiatric patients warrants further EF examination and vice versa. It is discussed that results confirm the need to distinguish between specific versus general fluid/executive functioning, the latter being more involved when task complexity and novelty increase. This distinction can provide a more refined differential diagnosis and improve neuropsychiatric treatment indication.

  1. The relationship between executive functioning and language: Examining vocabulary, syntax, and language learning in preschoolers attending Head Start.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Lisa J; Alexander, Alexandra; Greenfield, Daryl B

    2017-12-01

    Early childhood marks a time of dynamic development within language and cognitive domains. Specifically, a body of research focuses on the development of language as related to executive functions, which are foundational cognitive skills that relate to both academic achievement and social-emotional development during early childhood and beyond. Although there is evidence to support the relationship between language and executive functions, existing studies focus mostly on vocabulary and fail to examine other components of language such as syntax and language learning skills. To address this gap, this study examined the relationship between executive functioning (EF) and three aspects of language: syntax, vocabulary, and language learning. A diverse sample of 182 children (67% Latino and 33% African American) attending Head Start were assessed on both EF and language ability. Findings demonstrated that EF related to a comprehensive latent construct of language composed of vocabulary, syntax, and language learning. EF also related to each individual component of language. This study furthers our understanding of the complex relationship between language and cognitive development by measuring EF as it relates to various components of language in a sample of preschoolers from low-income backgrounds. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Disorganized Symptoms and Executive Functioning Predict Impaired Social Functioning in Subjects at Risk for Psychosis

    OpenAIRE

    Eslami, Ali; Jahshan, Carol; Cadenhead, Kristin S.

    2011-01-01

    Predictors of social functioning deficits were assessed in 22 individuals “at risk” for psychosis. Disorganized symptoms and executive functioning predicted social functioning at follow-up. Early intervention efforts that focus on social and cognitive skills are indicated in this vulnerable population.

  3. Working Memory in the Service of Executive Control Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansouri, Farshad A; Rosa, Marcello G P; Atapour, Nafiseh

    2015-01-01

    Working memory is a type of short-term memory which has a crucial cognitive function that supports ongoing and upcoming behaviors, allowing storage of information across delay periods. The content of this memory may typically include tangible information about features such as the shape, color or texture of an object, and its location and motion relative to the body, as well as phonological information. The neural correlate of working memory has been found in different brain areas that are involved in organizing perceptual or motor functions. In particular, neuronal activity in prefrontal areas encodes task-related information corresponding to working memory across delay periods, and lesions in the prefrontal cortex severely affect the ability to retain this type of memory. Recent studies have further expanded the scope and possible role of working memory by showing that information of a more abstract nature (including a behavior-guiding rule, or the occurrence of a conflict in information processing) can also be maintained in short-term memory, and used for adjusting the allocation of executive control in dynamic environments. It has also been shown that neuronal activity in the prefrontal cortex encodes and maintains information about such abstract entities. These findings suggest that the prefrontal cortex plays crucial roles in the organization of goal-directed behavior by supporting many different mnemonic processes, which maintain a wide range of information required for the executive control of ongoing and upcoming behaviors.

  4. Accessory stimulus modulates executive function during stepping task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Tatsunori; Koyama, Soichiro; Tanabe, Shigeo; Nojima, Ippei

    2015-07-01

    When multiple sensory modalities are simultaneously presented, reaction time can be reduced while interference enlarges. The purpose of this research was to examine the effects of task-irrelevant acoustic accessory stimuli simultaneously presented with visual imperative stimuli on executive function during stepping. Executive functions were assessed by analyzing temporal events and errors in the initial weight transfer of the postural responses prior to a step (anticipatory postural adjustment errors). Eleven healthy young adults stepped forward in response to a visual stimulus. We applied a choice reaction time task and the Simon task, which consisted of congruent and incongruent conditions. Accessory stimuli were randomly presented with the visual stimuli. Compared with trials without accessory stimuli, the anticipatory postural adjustment error rates were higher in trials with accessory stimuli in the incongruent condition and the reaction times were shorter in trials with accessory stimuli in all the task conditions. Analyses after division of trials according to whether anticipatory postural adjustment error occurred or not revealed that the reaction times of trials with anticipatory postural adjustment errors were reduced more than those of trials without anticipatory postural adjustment errors in the incongruent condition. These results suggest that accessory stimuli modulate the initial motor programming of stepping by lowering decision threshold and exclusively under spatial incompatibility facilitate automatic response activation. The present findings advance the knowledge of intersensory judgment processes during stepping and may aid in the development of intervention and evaluation tools for individuals at risk of falls. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  5. Self-reported executive functioning competencies and lifetime aggression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Alan R; Breen, Cody M; Russell, Tiffany D; Nerpel, Brady P; Pogalz, Colton R

    2017-05-08

    Neuropsychological research can be advanced through a better understanding of relationships between executive functioning (EF) behavioral competencies and the expression of aggressive behavior. While performance-based EF measures have been widely examined, links between self-report indices and practical real-life outcomes have not yet been established. Executive Functioning Index subscale scores in this sample (N = 579) were linked to trait hostility (Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire), aggression in the natural environment (Lifetime Acts of Violence Assessment), and conduct disorder symptoms prior to age 15. Significant associations were found between all of the EFI subscales (Motivational Drive, Organization, Strategic Planning, Impulse Control, and Empathy), trait aggression, and conduct disturbance. Lifetime acts of aggression were predicted by all but Organization scores. Physical injuries inflicted on other(s) were 2 to 4 times more likely to occur among respondents generating low (z < -1) EFI subscale scores. While these EFI relationships were modest in size, they are pervasive in scope. These findings provide support for the potential role of perceived EF deficits in moderating lifetime aggression.

  6. Correlation between videogame mechanics and executive functions through EEG analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondéjar, Tania; Hervás, Ramón; Johnson, Esperanza; Gutierrez, Carlos; Latorre, José Miguel

    2016-10-01

    This paper addresses a different point of view of videogames, specifically serious games for health. This paper contributes to that area with a multidisciplinary perspective focus on neurosciences and computation. The experiment population has been pre-adolescents between the ages of 8 and 12 without any cognitive issues. The experiment consisted in users playing videogames as well as performing traditional psychological assessments; during these tasks the frontal brain activity was evaluated. The main goal was to analyse how the frontal lobe of the brain (executive function) works in terms of prominent cognitive skills during five types of game mechanics widely used in commercial videogames. The analysis was made by collecting brain signals during the two phases of the experiment, where the signals were analysed with an electroencephalogram neuroheadset. The validated hypotheses were whether videogames can develop executive functioning and if it was possible to identify which kind of cognitive skills are developed during each kind of typical videogame mechanic. The results contribute to the design of serious games for health purposes on a conceptual level, particularly in support of the diagnosis and treatment of cognitive-related pathologies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. On-line Social Interactions and Executive Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oscar eYbarra

    2012-04-01

    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.

  8. Bilingual experience and executive functioning in young children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Stephanie M; Meltzoff, Andrew N

    2008-03-01

    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.

  9. Specific Language Impairment and Executive Functioning: Parent and Teacher Ratings of Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittke, Kacie; Spaulding, Tammie J.; Schechtman, Calli J.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The current study used the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function--Preschool Version (BRIEF-P; Gioia, Espy, & Isquith, 2003), a rating scale designed to investigate executive behaviors in everyday activities, to examine the executive functioning of preschool children with specific language impairment (SLI) relative to their…

  10. Relationship between Parenting Stress and Ratings of Executive Functioning in Children with ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyner, Krystle B.; Silver, Cheryl H.; Stavinoha, Peter L.

    2009-01-01

    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…

  11. The early development of executive function and its relation to social interaction: A brief review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuke eMoriguchi

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Executive function (EF refers to the ability to execute appropriate actions and to inhibit inappropriate actions for the attainment of a specific goal. Research has shown that this ability develops rapidly during the preschool years. Recently, it has been proposed that research on executive function should consider the importance of social interaction. In this article, recent evidence regarding the early development of executive function and its relation to social interaction has been reviewed. Research consistently showed that social interaction can influence executive function skills in young children. However, the development of executive function may facilitate the cognitive skills that are important for social interaction. Taken together, there might be functional dependency between the development of executive function and social interaction.

  12. Prospective associations between bilingualism and executive function in Latino children: sustained effects while controlling for biculturalism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riggs, Nathaniel R; Shin, Hee-Sung; Unger, Jennifer B; Spruijt-Metz, Donna; Pentz, Mary Ann

    2014-10-01

    The study purpose was to test 1-year prospective associations between English-Spanish bilingualism and executive function in 5th to 6th grade students while controlling for biculturalism. Participants included 182 US Latino students (50 % female). Self-report surveys assessed biculturalism, bilingualism, and executive function (i.e., working memory, organizational skills, inhibitory control, and emotional control, as well as a summary executive function score). General linear model regressions demonstrated that bilingualism significantly predicted the summary executive function score as well as working memory such that bilingual proficiency was positively related to executive function. Results are the first to demonstrate (a) prospective associations between bilingualism to executive function while controlling for the potential third variable of biculturalism, and (b) a principal role for working memory in this relationship. Since executive function is associated with a host of health outcomes, one implication of study findings is that bilingualism may have an indirect protective influence on youth development.

  13. Everyday functioning of people with Parkinson's disease and impairments in executive function: a qualitative investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudlicka, Aleksandra; Hindle, John V; Spencer, Laura E; Clare, Linda

    2017-06-09

    Executive function is the key area of cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease. This study investigated how cognitive difficulties impact on everyday life of people with Parkinson's disease and their carers, and whether they explicitly mention executive-type difficulties. Semistructured interviews with 11 people with Parkinson's disease and six carers were analyzed thematically. People with Parkinson's disease performed within the normal range on cognitive screening tests, but all had abnormal scores on tests of executive function. Despite relatively mild executive deficits and no global cognitive impairment, participants described executive-type difficulties as well as a range of problems in other cognitive domains, such as memory, processing speed and apathy. Cognitive difficulties had a far-reaching impact on everyday life and their significance depended on personal circumstances, such as the level of responsibilities of the person with Parkinson's disease and the extent of available support. By presenting subjective accounts of living with Parkinson's disease and cognitive difficulties, this study improves our understanding of how the observed level of cognitive impairment translates into everyday functioning. The study results have implications for recognizing cognitive difficulties and for planning support for people with Parkinson's disease and their families, and can help identify ways of promoting effective self-management. Implications for rehabilitation Treatment of Parkinson's disease tends to focus on the movement disorder, meaning that cognitive difficulties and their impact can be overlooked. Participants in this study had only relatively mild executive deficits but described a range of cognitive problems, including executive-type difficulties. Cognitive difficulties have an emotional impact and can cause a range of challenges in everyday life, adding to the burden of physical symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Results of this study provide insights

  14. Identification of Resting State Networks Involved in Executive Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, Joanna; McNulty, Jonathan P; Boran, Lorraine; Roche, Richard A P; Delany, David; Bokde, Arun L W

    2016-06-01

    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.

  15. Assessment of Executive Functions in Methamphetamineaddicted Individuals: Emphasis on Duration of Addiction and Abstinence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Majid Farhadian

    2017-03-01

    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.

  16. The union of narrative and executive function: Different but complementary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret eFriend

    2014-05-01

    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.  

  17. Moderating effects of executive functions and the teacher–child relationship on the development of mathematics ability in kindergarten

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Clancy; McKinnon, Rachel D.

    2017-01-01

    Academic preparedness, executive function abilities, and positive relationships with teachers have each been shown to be uniquely important for school readiness and success in the early elementary grades. Few studies, however, have examined the joint influence of these readiness variables on early school outcomes. Using data from a prospective longitudinal sample of 1292 children and families in predominantly low-income and rural communities, we found that executive function at child age 48 months and a higher quality relationship with the kindergarten teacher each uniquely moderated the effect of math ability in preschool on math ability at the end of kindergarten. This effect was seen for math ability as measured by the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten (ECLS-K) mathematics assessment battery but not the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement Applied Problems subtest. For children with lower math ability in preschool as assessed by the ECLS-K Math battery, higher executive function abilities and a more positive relationship with the kindergarten teacher were each associated with a higher than expected level of math ability in kindergarten. Conversely, lowest levels of math ability in kindergarten were observed among children with low math ability in preschool and poor executive function or a less positive relationship with the kindergarten teacher. PMID:28154471

  18. Moderating effects of executive functions and the teacher-child relationship on the development of mathematics ability in kindergarten.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Clancy; McKinnon, Rachel D

    2016-02-01

    Academic preparedness, executive function abilities, and positive relationships with teachers have each been shown to be uniquely important for school readiness and success in the early elementary grades. Few studies, however, have examined the joint influence of these readiness variables on early school outcomes. Using data from a prospective longitudinal sample of 1292 children and families in predominantly low-income and rural communities, we found that executive function at child age 48 months and a higher quality relationship with the kindergarten teacher each uniquely moderated the effect of math ability in preschool on math ability at the end of kindergarten. This effect was seen for math ability as measured by the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten (ECLS-K) mathematics assessment battery but not the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement Applied Problems subtest. For children with lower math ability in preschool as assessed by the ECLS-K Math battery, higher executive function abilities and a more positive relationship with the kindergarten teacher were each associated with a higher than expected level of math ability in kindergarten. Conversely, lowest levels of math ability in kindergarten were observed among children with low math ability in preschool and poor executive function or a less positive relationship with the kindergarten teacher.

  19. [The relationship between executive functions, physical and functional capability in people over 60 years old].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajtar-Zembaty, Anna; Sałakowski, Andrzej; Rajtar-Zembaty, Jakub

    Nowadays it is believed that cognitive decline may contribute to the formation of gait disturbance and increased risk of falls. Currently the importance of executive functions to maintain proper control of gait is emphasized. The aim of the study was to assess the relationship between the level of executive function, functional and physical capability in patients over 60 years of age. The study included 300 patients (199 women and 101 men) aged 60-88 years. In order to screening for cognitive function Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) was used. The following researchers tools were used to conduct functional assessment: a) Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), b) Timed “Up and Go” (TUG) and c) Fast Walking Test. To assess executive fucntion Trail Making Test (TMT) was selected. The relationship between the speed of information processing (part A, TMT), executive functions (Part B, TMT), level of functional and physical capability was observed. The strongest positive correlation was noted between the time of TUG test and TMT part B (r=0.32; pphysical capability in patients over 60 years of age. Cognitive processes play an important role in the control of motor functions therefore it is important to incorporate examination of cognitive functions in the early geriatric diagnosis.

  20. Impact of ADHD and cannabis use on executive functioning in young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamm, Leanne; Epstein, Jeffery N; Lisdahl, Krista M; Molina, Brooke; Tapert, Susan; Hinshaw, Stephen P; Arnold, L Eugene; Velanova, Katerina; Abikoff, Howard; Swanson, James M

    2013-12-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and cannabis use are each associated with specific cognitive deficits. Few studies have investigated the neurocognitive profile of individuals with both an ADHD history and regular cannabis use. The greatest cognitive impairment is expected among ADHD Cannabis Users compared to those with ADHD-only, Cannabis use-only, or neither. Young adults (24.2 ± 1.2 years) with a childhood ADHD diagnosis who did (n=42) and did not (n=45) report past year ≥ monthly cannabis use were compared on neuropsychological measures to a local normative comparison group (LNCG) who did (n=20) and did not (n=21) report past year regular cannabis use. Age, gender, IQ, socioeconomic status, and past year alcohol and smoking were statistical covariates. The ADHD group performed worse than LNCG on verbal memory, processing speed, cognitive interference, decision-making, working memory, and response inhibition. No significant effects for cannabis use emerged. Interactions between ADHD and cannabis were non-significant. Exploratory analyses revealed that individuals who began using cannabis regularly before age 16 (n=27) may have poorer executive functioning (i.e., decision-making, working memory, and response inhibition), than users who began later (n=32); replication is warranted with a larger sample. A childhood diagnosis of ADHD, but not cannabis use in adulthood, was associated with executive dysfunction. Earlier initiation of cannabis use may be linked to poor cognitive outcomes and a significantly greater proportion of the ADHD group began using cannabis before age 16. Regular cannabis use starting after age 16 may not be sufficient to aggravate longstanding cognitive deficits characteristic of ADHD. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Developmental Delays in Executive Function from 3 to 5 Years of Age Predict Kindergarten Academic Readiness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willoughby, Michael T; Magnus, Brooke; Vernon-Feagans, Lynne; Blair, Clancy B

    Substantial evidence has established that individual differences in executive function (EF) in early childhood are uniquely predictive of children's academic readiness at school entry. The current study tested whether growth trajectories of EF across the early childhood period could be used to identify a subset of children who were at pronounced risk for academic impairment in kindergarten. Using data that were collected at the age 3, 4, and 5 home assessments in the Family Life Project ( N = 1,120), growth mixture models were used to identify 9% of children who exhibited impaired EF performance (i.e., persistently low levels of EF that did not show expected improvements across time). Compared to children who exhibited typical trajectories of EF, the delayed group exhibited substantial impairments in multiple indicators of academic readiness in kindergarten (Cohen's ds = 0.9-2.7; odds ratios = 9.8-23.8). Although reduced in magnitude following control for a range of socioeconomic and cognitive (general intelligence screener, receptive vocabulary) covariates, moderate-sized group differences remained (Cohen's ds = 0.2-2.4; odds ratios = 3.9-5.4). Results are discussed with respect to the use of repeated measures of EF as a method of early identification, as well as the resulting translational implications of doing so.

  2. Intervention for executive functions in attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Menezes

    2015-03-01

    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.

  3. Theory of Mind and Executive Functions in Young Bilingual Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahlgren, SvenOlof; Almén, Helena; Dahlgren Sandberg, Annika

    2017-01-01

    Few studies have explored the relationship between theory of mind (ToM), executive function (EF), and bilingualism at the same time. In this study 14 young bilingual children were compared with monolingual children on a test battery composed of 5 ToM tests, 5 EF tests, and 1 test of general language ability. The result showed that despite significantly lower verbal ability, the bilingual children outperformed the monolingual ones on tests of EF. There were no differences in ToM performance. The authors argue that there is a strong relationship between bilingualism and EF, but, contrary to results from earlier studies, they could not find any relationship between bilingualism and ToM. EF did not predict ToM performance. Lack of a significant relationship could be due to the children's young age and consequently their low scores on the ToM tasks.

  4. The joint effect of bilingualism and ADHD on executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mor, Billy; Yitzhaki-Amsalem, Sarin; Prior, Anat

    2015-06-01

    The current study investigated the combined effect of ADHD, previously associated with executive function (EF) deficits, and of bilingualism, previously associated with EF enhancement, on EF. Eighty University students, Hebrew monolinguals and Russian Hebrew bilinguals, with and without ADHD participated. Inhibition tasks were a Numeric Stroop task and a Simon arrows task. Shifting tasks were the Trail Making Test (TMT) and a task-switching paradigm. Participants with ADHD performed worse than controls, but we did not find a bilingual advantage in EF. The negative impact of ADHD was more pronounced for bilinguals than for monolinguals, but only in interference suppression tasks. Bilingual participants with ADHD had the lowest performance. Bilingualism might prove to be an added burden for adults with ADHD, leading to reduced EF abilities. Alternatively, the current findings might be ascribed to over- or under-diagnosis of ADHD due to cultural differences between groups. These issues should be pursued in future research. © 2014 SAGE Publications.

  5. Executive function and self-regulated exergaming adherence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cay eAnderson-Hanley

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The rise in dementia and the evidence of cognitive benefits of exercise for the older adult population together make salient the research into variables affecting cognitive benefit and exercise behavior. One promising avenue for increasing exercise participation has been the introduction of exergaming, a type of exercise that works in combination with virtual reality to enhance both the exercise experience and health outcomes. Past research has revealed that executive function (EF was related to greater use of self-regulatory strategies, which in turn was related to greater adherence to exercise following an intervention (McAuley et al., 2011. Best et al. (2014 found improvement in EF related to adherence to exercise post- intervention. Anderson-Hanley et al. (2012 found that for older adults aerobic exergaming yielded greater cognitive benefit than traditional exercise alone; however, questions remain as to the possible impact of greater cognitive benefit and other factors on participants’ involvement in exercise following the end of an intervention. The current study presents follow-up data exploring the relationship between change in EF, self-regulation, and exercise adherence in the post-intervention (naturalistic period. Herein, it was predicted that improvement in EF during an exercise intervention, would predict subsequent exercise with an exergame during the naturalistic window. Contrary to expectations, results suggest that those with EF decline during the intervention used the exergame more frequently. The results of this study contradict previous literature, but suggest an interesting relationship between change in executive function, self-regulation, and exercise behaviors when exergaming is employed, particularly with older adults with some cognitive decline. We hypothesize that other factors may be at work; perhaps expectation of cognitive benefit might act as a unique motivator or caregivers may be instrumental in adherence.

  6. Cognitive functions in Childhood Apraxia of Speech

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijland, L.; Terband, H.; Maassen, B.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is diagnosed on the basis of specific speech characteristics, in the absence of problems in hearing, intelligence, and language comprehension. This does not preclude the possibility that children with this speech disorder might demonstrate additional

  7. Psychosocial function in the first year after childhood stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenham, Mardee; Anderson, Vicki; Hearps, Stephen; Ditchfield, Michael; Coleman, Lee; Mackay, Mark T; Monagle, Paul; Gordon, Anne L

    2017-10-01

    Childhood stroke disrupts brain development and emerging neural networks. Motor, cognitive, and language deficits are well recognized, yet little is known about psychosocial function after childhood stroke. This study aims to describe psychosocial function within the first year after childhood stroke, and to identify factors associated with outcome. Thirty-seven children were involved in a prospective, longitudinal study investigating recovery over the first year after childhood stroke. Children's social functioning was assessed at 6-months and 12-months poststroke and psychological function at 12-months poststroke, using standardized measures. Mean social function was poorer at both 6-months and 12-months poststroke, compared to prestroke. Psychological problems were more common than expected, with emotional difficulties and hyperactivity-inattention most significantly affected. Poorer social function was associated with older age at onset, acute neurological impairment, and prestroke social impairment. Social and psychological problems were associated with parent mental health. While not all children are affected, psychosocial impairment affects a significant minority after childhood stroke. Older age at onset, acute neurological impairment, prestroke social problems, and poorer parent mental health were associated with deficits. Identifying early predictors of poorer outcome will facilitate early intervention. Of particular importance is parent mental health, suggesting support for families may improve child outcome. © 2017 Mac Keith Press.

  8. Brain potentials index executive functions during random number generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joppich, Gregor; Däuper, Jan; Dengler, Reinhard; Johannes, Sönke; Rodriguez-Fornells, Antoni; Münte, Thomas F

    2004-06-01

    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.

  9. Executive function in paediatric medulloblastoma: The role of cerebrocerebellar connections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, Nicole; Smith, Mary Lou; Greenberg, Mark; Bouffet, Eric; Taylor, Michael D; Laughlin, Suzanne; Malkin, David; Liu, Fang; Moxon-Emre, Iska; Scantlebury, Nadia; Mabbott, Donald

    2017-06-01

    Executive functions (EFs) are involved in the attainment, maintenance, and integration of information; these functions may play a key role in cognitive and behavioural outcomes in children treated for medulloblastoma (MB). At present, it remains unclear which EFs are most sensitive to the treatment effects for MB and whether damage to cerebrocerebellar circuitry is associated with EF. We completed a comprehensive evaluation of EF in 24 children treated for MB and 20 age-matched healthy children (HC) and distilled these measures into components. Six components (C1-C6) were extracted from our model, reflecting dissociable constructs of EF: C1 = cognitive efficiency; C2 = planning/problem-solving; C3 = positive cognitive emotion regulation; C4 = working memory; C5 = negative cognitive emotion regulation; and C6 = mixed cognitive emotion regulation. Group differences were found for C1, C2, C3, and C4; the MB group showed poorer performance on EF tasks and made less use of positive cognitive emotion regulation strategies relative to HC. Compromise to cerebrocerebellar microstructure - cerebro-ponto-cerebellar and cerebello-thalamo-cerebral pathways - was evident in children treated for MB compared to HC. We found that cerebrocerebellar circuitry has a mediating effect on one component of EF following treatment for MB - working memory. © 2015 The British Psychological Society.

  10. Longitudinal associations between parental bonding, parenting stress, and executive functioning in toddlerhood

    OpenAIRE

    De Cock, E.S.A.; Henrichs, J.; Klimstra, T.A.; Maas, A.J.B.M.; Vreeswijk, C.M.J.M.; Meeus, W.H.J.; Van Bakel, H.J.A.

    2017-01-01

    Early executive functioning is an important predictor for future development of children’s cognitive skills and behavioral outcomes. Parenting behavior has proven to be a key environmental determinant of child executive functioning. However, the association of parental affect and cognitions directed to the child with child executive functioning has been understudied. Therefore, in the present study we examine the associations between parental bonding (i.e., the affective tie from parent to ch...

  11. Brazilian Portuguese transcultural adaptation of Barkley Deficits in Executive Functioning Scale (BDEFS)

    OpenAIRE

    Godoy, Victor Polignano; Mata, Fernanda Gomes Da; Conde, Bárbara Romaneli; Souza, Caroline Antunes de Oliveira e; Martins, Ana Luiza Guimarães; Mattos, Paulo; Miranda, Débora Marques de; Malloy-Diniz, Leandro Fernandes

    2015-01-01

    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 Portug...

  12. Neural correlates of executive functions in patients with obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Ming-Chou; Chen, Vincent Chin-Hung; Chao, Seh-Huang; Fang, Ching-Tzu; Liu, Yi-Chun; Weng, Jun-Cheng

    2018-01-01

    Obesity is one of the most challenging problems in human health and is recognized as an important risk factor for many chronic diseases. It remains unclear how the neural systems (e.g., the mesolimbic "reward" and the prefrontal "control" neural systems) are correlated with patients' executive function (EF), conceptualized as the integration of "cool" EF and "hot" EF. "Cool" EF refers to relatively abstract, non-affective operations such as inhibitory control and mental flexibility. "Hot" EF refers to motivationally significant affective operations such as affective decision-making. We tried to find the correlation between structural and functional neuroimaging indices and EF in obese patients. The study population comprised seventeen patients with obesity (seven males and 10 females, BMI = 37.99 ± 5.40, age = 31.82 ± 8.75 year-old) preparing to undergo bariatric surgery. We used noninvasive diffusion tensor imaging, generalized q-sampling imaging, and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the neural correlations between structural and functional neuroimaging indices and EF performances in patients with obesity. We reported that many brain areas are correlated to the patients' EF performances. More interestingly, some correlations may implicate the possible associations of EF and the incentive motivational effects of food. The neural correlation between the left precuneus and middle occipital gyrus and inhibitory control may suggest that patients with a better ability to detect appetitive food may have worse inhibitory control. Also, the neural correlation between the superior frontal blade and affective decision-making may suggest that patients' affective decision-making may be associated with the incentive motivational effects of food. Our results provide evidence suggesting neural correlates of EF in patients with obesity.

  13. Executive Function Training for Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lan Shuai; David Daley; Yu-Feng Wang; Jin-Song Zhang; Yan-Ting Kong; Xin Tan; Ning Ji

    2017-01-01

    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

  14. Balancing Automatic-Controlled Behaviors and Emotional-Salience States: A Dynamic Executive Functioning Hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kluwe-Schiavon, Bruno; Viola, Thiago W; Sanvicente-Vieira, Breno; Malloy-Diniz, Leandro F; Grassi-Oliveira, Rodrigo

    2016-01-01

    Recently, there has been growing interest in understanding how executive functions are conceptualized in psychopathology. Since several models have been proposed, the major issue lies within the definition of executive functioning itself. Theoretical discussions have emerged, narrowing the boundaries between "hot" and "cold" executive functions or between self-regulation and cognitive control. Nevertheless, the definition of executive functions is far from a consensual proposition and it has been suggested that these models might be outdated. Current efforts indicate that human behavior and cognition are by-products of many brain systems operating and interacting at different levels, and therefore, it is very simplistic to assume a dualistic perspective of information processing. Based upon an adaptive perspective, we discuss how executive functions could emerge from the ability to solve immediate problems and to generalize successful strategies, as well as from the ability to synthesize and to classify environmental information in order to predict context and future. We present an executive functioning perspective that emerges from the dynamic balance between automatic-controlled behaviors and an emotional-salience state. According to our perspective, the adaptive role of executive functioning is to automatize efficient solutions simultaneously with cognitive demand, enabling individuals to engage such processes with increasingly complex problems. Understanding executive functioning as a mediator of stress and cognitive engagement not only fosters discussions concerning individual differences, but also offers an important paradigm to understand executive functioning as a continuum process rather than a categorical and multicomponent structure.

  15. Executive Functioning, Barriers to Adherence, and Nonadherence in Adolescent and Young Adult Transplant Recipients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez-Colina, Ana M; Eaton, Cyd K; Lee, Jennifer L; Reed-Knight, Bonney; Loiselle, Kristin; Mee, Laura L; LaMotte, Julia; Liverman, Rochelle; Blount, Ronald L

    2016-08-01

    OBJECTIVE : To evaluate levels of executive functioning in a sample of adolescent and young adult (AYA) transplant recipients, and to examine executive functioning in association with barriers to adherence and medication nonadherence.  METHOD : In all, 41 caregivers and 39 AYAs were administered self- and proxy-report measures.  RESULTS : AYA transplant recipients have significant impairments in executive functioning abilities. Greater dysfunction in specific domains of executive functioning was significantly associated with more barriers to adherence and greater medication nonadherence.  CONCLUSION : AYA transplant recipients are at increased risk for executive dysfunction. The assessment of executive functioning abilities may guide intervention efforts designed to decrease barriers to adherence and promote developmentally appropriate levels of treatment responsibility. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Pediatric Psychology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Executive functioning complaints and escitalopram treatment response in late-life depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manning, Kevin J; Alexopoulos, George S; Banerjee, Samprit; Morimoto, Sarah Shizuko; Seirup, Joanna K; Klimstra, Sibel A; Yuen, Genevieve; Kanellopoulos, Theodora; Gunning-Dixon, Faith

    2015-05-01

    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.

  17. [Formula: see text]Attention and executive functioning profiles in children following perinatal arterial ischemic stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosenbark, Danielle D; Krivitzky, Lauren; Ichord, Rebecca; Jastrzab, Laura; Billinghurst, Lori

    2018-01-01

    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.

  18. Investigating executive functions in children with severe speech and movement disorders using structured tasks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stadskleiv, K.; Tetzchner, S. von; Batorowicz, B.; Balkom, L.J.M. van; Dahlgren-Sandberg, A.; Renner, G.

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions are the basis for goal-directed activity and include planning, monitoring, and inhibition, and language seems to play a role in the development of these functions. There is a tradition of studying executive function in both typical and atypical populations, and the present study

  19. Maternal pre-pregnancy obesity and child ADHD symptoms, executive function and cortical thickness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Buss

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Rationale/statement of the problem : Increasing evidence suggests exposure to adverse conditions in intrauterine life may increase the risk of developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD in childhood. High maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI has been shown to predict child ADHD symptoms; however, the neurocognitive processes underlying this relationship are not known. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that this association is mediated by alterations in child executive function and cortical development. Methods : A population-based cohort of 174 children (mean age = 7.3±0.9 (SD years, 55% girls was evaluated for ADHD symptoms, using the Child Behavior Checklist, and for neurocognitive function, using the Go/No-go Task. This cohort had been followed prospectively from early gestation and birth through infancy and childhood with serial measures of maternal and child prenatal and postnatal factors. In 108 children, a structural MRI scan was acquired and the association between maternal obesity and child cortical thickness was investigated using Freesurfer software. Results : Maternal pre-pregnancy BMI was a significant predictor of child ADHD symptoms (F (1,158=4.80, p = 0.03 and of child performance on the Go/No-go Task (F (1,157=8.37, p=0.004 after controlling for key potential confounding variables. A test of the mediation model revealed that the association between higher maternal pre-pregnancy BMI and child ADHD symptoms was mediated by impaired executive function (inefficient/less attentive processing; Sobel test: t=2.39 (±0.002, SEM; p=0.02. Interestingly, after controlling for key potential confounding variables pre-pregnancy obesity was furthermore associated with region-specific thinner cortices, including regions previously reported to be thinner in children with ADHD, like the prefrontal cortex. Conclusion : To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to report the

  20. Socioeconomic status, white matter, and executive function in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ursache, Alexandra; Noble, Kimberly G

    2016-10-01

    A growing body of evidence links socioeconomic status (SES) to children's brain structure. Few studies, however, have specifically investigated relations of SES to white matter structure. Further, although several studies have demonstrated that family SES is related to development of brain areas that support executive functions (EF), less is known about the role that white matter structure plays in the relation of SES to EF. One possibility is that white matter differences may partially explain SES disparities in EF (i.e., a mediating relationship). Alternatively, SES may differentially shape brain-behavior relations such that the relation of white matter structure to EF may differ as a function of SES (i.e., a moderating relationship). In a diverse sample of 1082 children and adolescents aged 3-21 years, we examined socioeconomic disparities in white matter macrostructure and microstructure. We further investigated relations between family SES, children's white matter volume and integrity in tracts supporting EF, and performance on EF tasks. Socioeconomic status was associated with fractional anisotropy (FA) and volume in multiple white matter tracts. Additionally, family income moderated the relation between white matter structure and cognitive flexibility. Specifically, across multiple tracts of interest, lower FA or lower volume was associated with reduced cognitive flexibility among children from lower income families. In contrast, children from higher income families showed preserved cognitive flexibility in the face of low white matter FA or volume. SES factors did not mediate or moderate links between white matter and either working memory or inhibitory control. This work adds to a growing body of literature suggesting that the socioeconomic contexts in which children develop not only shape cognitive functioning and its underlying neurobiology, but may also shape the relations between brain and behavior.

  1. Infant motor and cognitive abilities and subsequent executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Meng; Liang, Xi; Lu, Shan; Wang, Zhengyan

    2017-11-01

    Although executive function (EF) is widely considered crucial to several aspects of life, the mechanisms underlying EF development remain largely unexplored, especially for infants. From a behavioral or neurodevelopmental perspective, motor and general cognitive abilities are linked with EF. EF development is a multistage process that starts with sensorimotor interactive behaviors, which become basic cognitive abilities and, in turn, mature EF. This study aims to examine how infant motor and general cognitive abilities are linked with their EF at 3 years of age. This work also aims to explore the potential processes of EF development from early movement. A longitudinal study was conducted with 96 infants (55 girls and 41 boys). The infants' motor and general cognitive abilities were assessed at 1 and 2 years of age with Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Second and Third Editions, respectively. Infants' EFs were assessed at 3 years of age with Working Memory Span task, Day-Night task, Wrapped Gift task, and modified Gift-in-Bag task. Children with higher scores for cognitive ability at 2 years of age performed better in working memory, and children with higher scores for gross motor ability at 2 years performed better in cognitive inhibitory control (IC). Motor ability at 1 year and fine/gross motor ability at 2 years indirectly affected cognitive IC via general cognitive ability at 2 years and working memory. EF development is a multistage process that originates from physical movement to simple cognitive function, and then to complex cognitive function. Infants and toddlers can undergo targeted motor training to promote EF development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Executive function predicts theory of mind but not social verbal communication in school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouklari, Evangelia-Chrysanthi; Tsermentseli, Stella; Auyeung, Bonnie

    2018-05-01

    The association between Executive Function (EF) and Theory of Mind (ToM) in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been mainly investigated using false belief tasks, whilst less is known about the EF effect on other ToM facets. Furthermore, the role EF plays in social communication in ASD is mainly assessed using parent-report EF ratings rather than direct assessment. The aim of this study was to shed more light on the effect of performance-based EF measures on ToM and social communication in middle childhood in ASD relative to neurotypical controls. Cross-sectional data were collected from 64 matched, school-aged children with and without ASD (8-12 years old), tested on measures of EF (inhibition, working memory, cognitive flexibility), ToM mental state/emotion recognition and social verbal communication. Significant group differences were observed only in selective EF skills (inhibition &cognitive flexibility) and social verbal communication. EF working memory contributed to the explained variance of ToM but not social verbal communication in middle childhood. These findings suggest that EF and ToM are still associated in middle childhood and EF may be a crucial predictor of ToM across childhood in ASD. Implications are discussed regarding the social-cognitive impairment relationship in ASD. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Spaceborne computer executive routine functional design specification. Volume 1: Functional design of a flight computer executive program for the reusable shuttle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curran, R. T.

    1971-01-01

    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.

  4. Heterogeneity of executive functions among comorbid neurodevelopmental disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dajani, Dina R.; Llabre, Maria M.; Nebel, Mary Beth; Mostofsky, Stewart H.; Uddin, Lucina Q.

    2016-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) are used to set goals, plan for the future, inhibit maladaptive responses, and change behavior flexibly. Although some studies point to specific EF profiles in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) — prevalent and often highly comorbid neurodevelopmental disorders — others have not differentiated them. The objective of the current study was to identify distinct profiles of EF across typically developing (TD) children and children with ASD and ADHD. We employed a latent profile analysis using indicators of EF (e.g., working memory, inhibition, and flexibility) in a mixed group of 8–13 year-olds including TD children (n = 128), children with ASD without ADHD (n = 30), children with ADHD (n = 93), and children with comorbid ASD and ADHD (n = 66). Three EF classes emerged: “above average,” “average,” and “impaired.” EF classes did not reproduce diagnostic categories, suggesting that differences in EF abilities are present within the ASD and ADHD groups. Further, greater EF dysfunction predicted more severe socioemotional problems, such as anxiety/depression. These results highlight the heterogeneity of current diagnostic groups and identify an “impaired” EF group, consisting of children with both ASD and ADHD, which could specifically be targeted for EF intervention. PMID:27827406

  5. Maternal Parenting Attitudes and Preschoolers’ Hot and Cool Executive Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamza Anna

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The relationships between maternal parenting attitudes and preschoolers’ hot and cool executive functions (EF were examined. Forty-eight children aged 3 to 4 years and their mothers took part in the study. Self-report questionnaire concerning parenting attitudes was obtained from the mothers of children who performed a set of EF tasks. Additionally, both maternal and child verbal ability were controlled. It was found that maternal parenting attitudes were related only to child cool EF. Protecting attitude was positively related to child inhibitory control and autonomy support was negatively related to child set-shifting ability. Further analyses revealed that maternal autonomy support accounted for unique variance in child set-shifting, above and beyond the child’s age. On the other hand, protecting attitude accounted for unique variance in child inhibitory control, above and beyond child verbal ability. The findings provide further evidence for the importance of mother-child relationships in children’s EF development.

  6. Automated respiratory sinus arrhythmia measurement: Demonstration using executive function assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegarty-Craver, Meghan; Gilchrist, Kristin H; Propper, Cathi B; Lewis, Gregory F; DeFilipp, Samuel J; Coffman, Jennifer L; Willoughby, Michael T

    2017-08-08

    Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) is a quantitative metric that reflects autonomic nervous system regulation and provides a physiological marker of attentional engagement that supports cognitive and affective regulatory processes. RSA can be added to executive function (EF) assessments with minimal participant burden because of the commercial availability of lightweight, wearable electrocardiogram (ECG) sensors. However, the inclusion of RSA data in large data collection efforts has been hindered by the time-intensive processing of RSA. In this study we evaluated the performance of an automated RSA-scoring method in the context of an EF study in preschool-aged children. The absolute differences in RSA across both scoring methods were small (mean RSA differences = -0.02-0.10), with little to no evidence of bias for the automated relative to the hand-scoring approach. Moreover, the relative rank-ordering of RSA across both scoring methods was strong (rs = .96-.99). Reliable changes in RSA from baseline to the EF task were highly similar across both scoring methods (96%-100% absolute agreement; Kappa = .83-1.0). On the basis of these findings, the automated RSA algorithm appears to be a suitable substitute for hand-scoring in the context of EF assessment.

  7. Is executive cognitive function associated with youth gambling?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betancourt, Laura M; Brodsky, Nancy L; Brown, Caitlin A; McKenna, Kathleen A; Giannetta, Joan M; Yang, Wei; Romer, Daniel; Hurt, Hallam

    2012-06-01

    Our objectives for this report were to identify trajectories of youth gambling behavior, and to examine their relation to executive cognitive function (ECF) and associated problem behaviors. Philadelphia school children, enrolled at ages 10-12 years (n = 387; 49% male), completed three annual assessments of risk behaviors, ECF, impulsivity, problem behaviors and demographics. Across ages 10-15 years, using methods from Nagin et al., two groups were identified: Early Gamblers (n = 111) initiated early and continued in later assessments, and Later Gamblers (n = 276) initiated at later ages and gambled less. Betting money on cards and sports were the most frequently reported gambling behaviors. Using gambling group as outcome, final backward selection logistic regression model showed Early Gamblers are more likely male (P = 0.001), report more active coping (P = 0.042), impulsive behaviors (P ≤ 0.008), and have friends who gamble (P = 0.001). Groups were similar in ECF, parental monitoring, marital status, SES, and race. Early Gamblers had higher incidence of problem behaviors and drug use (all P ≤ 0.006). Two gambling groups were identified in early adolescence with Early Gamblers showing higher levels of impulsivity and comorbid problems but similar levels of ECF compared to Late Gamblers. As more gambling groups are identified through later adolescence, ECF may emerge as a relevant precursor of problem gambling at this later time.

  8. Executive function and parenting in the context of homelessness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monn, Amy R; Narayan, Angela J; Kalstabakken, Amanda W; Schubert, Erin C; Masten, Ann S

    2017-02-01

    There is mounting evidence that maternal executive function (EF) plays a critical role in parenting behavior. However, the majority of the research on this topic has been conducted in low-risk samples. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether individual differences in maternal EF are associated with parenting behavior in the high-risk, high adversity context of family homelessness. The study included 94 mothers and their children, ages 4 to 6 years, living in emergency homeless shelters. Mothers completed a battery of "hot" and "cool" EF tasks as well as a self-report questionnaire of perceived stress. Parenting measures were based on observed parent-child interactions that were later coded for harsh and positive parenting practices. Results indicated that hot EF in mothers was related to positive parenting. The relation between maternal planning ability, assessed by a cool EF task, and harsh parenting was also significant, but only for mothers reporting higher levels of stress. These findings add to a growing body of research suggesting that the influence of EF and other forms of cognitive control on parenting need to be interpreted within the context of environmental stress and adversity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  9. Executive Functions and Prosodic Abilities in Children With High-Functioning Autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marisa G. Filipe

    2018-03-01

    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.

  10. Memory and linguistic/executive functions of children with Borderline Intellectual Functioning

    OpenAIRE

    Água Dias, Andrea; Albuquerque, Cristina P.; Simões, Mário Rodrigues

    2017-01-01

    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...

  11. The role of executive functions in social impairment in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Rachel C; Vogan, Vanessa M; Powell, Tamara L; Anagnostou, Evdokia; Taylor, Margot J

    2016-01-01

    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.

  12. The Role of Control Functions in Mentalizing: Dual-Task Studies of Theory of Mind and Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bull, Rebecca; Phillips, Louise H.; Conway, Claire A.

    2008-01-01

    Conflicting evidence has arisen from correlational studies regarding the role of executive control functions in Theory of Mind. The current study used dual-task manipulations of executive functions (inhibition, updating and switching) to investigate the role of these control functions in mental state and non-mental state tasks. The "Eyes"…

  13. “The Relationship between Executive Functioning, Processing Speed and White Matter Integrity in Multiple Sclerosis”

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genova, Helen M.; DeLuca, John; Chiaravalloti, Nancy; Wylie, Glenn

    2014-01-01

    The primary purpose of the current study was to examine the relationship between performance on executive tasks and white matter integrity, assessed by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). A second aim was to examine how processing speed affects the relationship between executive functioning and FA. This relationship was examined in two executive tasks that rely heavily on processing speed: the Color-Word Interference Test and Trail-Making Test (Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System). It was hypothesized that reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) is related to poor performance on executive tasks in MS, but that this relationship would be affected by the statistical correction of processing speed from the executive tasks. 15 healthy controls and 25 persons with MS participated. Regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between executive functioning and FA, both before and after processing speed was removed from the executive scores. Before processing speed was removed from the executive scores, reduced FA was associated with poor performance on Color-Word Interference Test and Trail-Making Test in a diffuse network including corpus callosum and superior longitudinal fasciculus. However, once processing speed was removed, the relationship between executive functions and FA was no longer significant on the Trail Making test, and significantly reduced and more localized on the Color-Word Interference Test. PMID:23777468

  14. Distinct effects of childhood ADHD and cannabis use on brain functional architecture in young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Clare; Castellanos, F Xavier; Tomaselli, Olivia; Lisdahl, Krista; Tamm, Leanne; Jernigan, Terry; Newman, Erik; Epstein, Jeffery N; Molina, Brooke S G; Greenhill, Laurence L; Potkin, Steven G; Hinshaw, Stephen; Swanson, James M

    2017-01-01

    One of the most salient long-term implications of a childhood diagnosis of ADHD is an increased risk for substance use, abuse, or dependence in adolescence and adulthood. The extent to which cannabis use affects ADHD-related alterations in brain functional organization is unknown, however. To address this research gap, we recruited a sample of 75 individuals aged 21-25 years with and without a childhood diagnosis of ADHD Combined Type, who were either frequent users or non-users of cannabis. These participants have been followed longitudinally since age 7-9.9 years as part of a large multi-site longitudinal study of ADHD, the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD (MTA). We examined task-independent intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) within 9 functional networks using a 2 × 2 design, which compared four groups of participants: (1) individuals with a childhood diagnosis of ADHD who currently use cannabis ( n  = 23); (2) individuals with ADHD who do not currently use cannabis ( n  = 22); (3) comparisons who currently use cannabis ( n  = 15); and (4) comparisons who do not currently use cannabis ( n  = 15). The main effects of childhood ADHD were primarily weakened iFC in networks supporting executive function and somatomotor control. Contrary to expectations, effects of cannabis use were distinct from those of diagnostic group and no interactions were observed. Exploratory brain-behavior analyses suggested that ADHD-related effects were primarily linked with poorer neurocognitive performance. Deficits in the integrity of functional networks supporting executive function and somatomotor control are consistent with the phenotypic and neurocognitive features of ADHD. Our data suggest that cannabis use does not exacerbate ADHD-related alterations, but this finding awaits replication in a larger sample. Longitudinal neuroimaging studies are urgently required to delineate the neurodevelopmental cascade that culminates in positive and negative

  15. Distinct effects of childhood ADHD and cannabis use on brain functional architecture in young adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare Kelly, PhD

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the most salient long-term implications of a childhood diagnosis of ADHD is an increased risk for substance use, abuse, or dependence in adolescence and adulthood. The extent to which cannabis use affects ADHD-related alterations in brain functional organization is unknown, however. To address this research gap, we recruited a sample of 75 individuals aged 21–25 years with and without a childhood diagnosis of ADHD Combined Type, who were either frequent users or non-users of cannabis. These participants have been followed longitudinally since age 7–9.9 years as part of a large multi-site longitudinal study of ADHD, the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD (MTA. We examined task-independent intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC within 9 functional networks using a 2 × 2 design, which compared four groups of participants: (1 individuals with a childhood diagnosis of ADHD who currently use cannabis (n = 23; (2 individuals with ADHD who do not currently use cannabis (n = 22; (3 comparisons who currently use cannabis (n = 15; and (4 comparisons who do not currently use cannabis (n = 15. The main effects of childhood ADHD were primarily weakened iFC in networks supporting executive function and somatomotor control. Contrary to expectations, effects of cannabis use were distinct from those of diagnostic group and no interactions were observed. Exploratory brain-behavior analyses suggested that ADHD-related effects were primarily linked with poorer neurocognitive performance. Deficits in the integrity of functional networks supporting executive function and somatomotor control are consistent with the phenotypic and neurocognitive features of ADHD. Our data suggest that cannabis use does not exacerbate ADHD-related alterations, but this finding awaits replication in a larger sample. Longitudinal neuroimaging studies are urgently required to delineate the neurodevelopmental cascade that culminates in positive and

  16. The role of executive function in children's competent adjustment to middle school.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Lisa A; Williford, Amanda P; Pianta, Robert C

    2011-01-01

    Executive function (EF) skills play an important role in children's cognitive and social functioning. These skills develop throughout childhood, concurrently with a number of developmental transitions and challenges. One of these challenges is the transition from elementary into middle-level schools, which has the potential to significantly disrupt children's academic and social trajectories. However, little is known about the role of EF in children's adjustment during this transition. This study investigated the relation between children's EF skills, assessed both before and during elementary school, and sixth grade academic and social competence. In addition, the influences of the type of school setting attended in sixth grade on children's academic and behavioral outcomes were examined. EF assessed prior to and during elementary school significantly predicted sixth grade competence, as rated by teachers and parents, in both academic and social domains, after controlling for background characteristics. The interactions between type of school setting and EF skills were significant: Parents tended to report more behavioral problems and less regulatory control in children with weaker EF skills who were attending middle school. In contrast, teachers reported greater academic and behavioral difficulty in students with poorer EF attending elementary school settings. In conclusion, children's performance-based EF skills significantly affect adjustment to the academic and behavioral demands of sixth grade, with parent report suggesting greater difficulty for children with poorer EF in settings where children are provided with less external supports (e.g., middle school).

  17. Metacognitive executive function training for young children with ADHD: a proof-of-concept study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamm, Leanne; Nakonezny, Paul A

    2015-09-01

    Executive functions (EF) are impaired in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It may be especially critical for interventions to target EF in early childhood given the developmental progression of EF deficits that may contribute to later functional impairments. This proof-of-concept study examined the initial efficacy of an intervention program on EF and ADHD. We also examined child performance on three neurocognitive tasks assessing cognitive flexibility, auditory/visual attention, and sustained/selective attention. Children with ADHD (ages 3-7) and their parents were randomized to receive an intervention targeting metacognitive EF deficits (n = 13) or to a waitlist control condition (n = 12). Linear model analysis of covariance compared groups on parent EF ratings, blinded clinician ratings of ADHD symptoms and improvement, and child performance on neurocognitive measures. Children who received the intervention significantly improved on parent ratings of attention shifting and emotion regulation in addition to clinician ratings of inattention. Moderate effect sizes showed additional intervention effects on parent ratings of inhibition, memory, and planning, and clinician ratings of hyperactivity/impulsivity and overall improvement. Small effect sizes were observed for improvement on child neurocognitive measures. Although replication with a larger sample and an active control group is needed, EF training with a metacognitive focus is a potentially promising intervention for young children with ADHD.

  18. The Role of Executive Function in Children’s Competent Adjustment to Middle School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Lisa A.; Williford, Amanda P.; Pianta, Robert C.

    2012-01-01

    Executive function (EF) skills play an important role in children’s cognitive and social functioning. These skills develop throughout childhood, concurrently with a number of developmental transitions and challenges. One of these challenges is the transition from elementary into middle-level schools, which has the potential to significantly disrupt children’s academic and social trajectories. However, little is known about the role of EF in children’s adjustment during this transition. This study investigated the relation between children’s EF skills, assessed both before and during elementary school, and sixth grade academic and social competence. In addition, the influences of the type of school setting attended in sixth grade on children’s academic and behavioral outcomes were examined. EF assessed prior to and during elementary school significantly predicted sixth grade competence, as rated by teachers and parents, in both academic and social domains, after controlling for background characteristics. The interactions between type of school setting and EF skills were significant: parents tended to report more behavioral problems and less regulatory control in children with weaker EF skills who were attending middle school. In contrast, teachers reported greater academic and behavioral difficulty in students with poorer EF attending elementary school settings. In conclusion, children’s performance-based EF skills significantly affect adjustment to the academic and behavioral demands of sixth grade, with parent report suggesting greater difficulty for children with poorer EF in settings where children are provided with less external supports (e.g., middle school). PMID:21246422

  19. Childhood Parental Loss and Adult Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyrka, Audrey R.; Wier, Lauren; Price, Lawrence H.; Ross, Nicole; Anderson, George M.; Wilkinson, Charles W.; Carpenter, Linda L.

    2009-01-01

    Background Several decades of research link childhood parental loss with risk for major depression and other forms of psychopathology. A large body of preclinical work on maternal separation and some recent studies of humans with childhood parental loss have demonstrated alterations of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function which could predispose to the development of psychiatric disorders. Methods Eighty-eight healthy adults with no current Axis I psychiatric disorder participated in this study. Forty-four participants experienced parental loss during childhood, including 19 with a history of parental death and 25 with a history of prolonged parental separation. The loss group was compared to a matched group of individuals who reported no history of childhood parental separation or childhood maltreatment. Participants completed diagnostic interviews and questionnaires and the dexamethasone/corticotropin-releasing hormone (Dex/CRH) test. Repeated measures general linear models were used to test the effects of parental loss, a measure of parental care, sex, and age on the hormone responses to the Dex/CRH test. Results Parental loss was associated with increased cortisol responses to the test, particularly in males. The effect of loss was moderated by levels of parental care; participants with parental desertion and very low levels of care had attenuated cortisol responses. ACTH responses to the Dex/CRH test did not differ significantly as a function of parental loss. Conclusions These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that early parental loss induces enduring changes in neuroendocrine function. PMID:18339361

  20. Stereotype threat and executive functions: which functions mediate different threat-related outcomes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rydell, Robert J; Van Loo, Katie J; Boucher, Kathryn L

    2014-03-01

    Stereotype threat research shows that women's math performance can be reduced by activating gender-based math stereotypes. Models of stereotype threat assert that threat reduces cognitive functioning, thereby accounting for its negative effects. This work provides a more detailed understanding of the cognitive processes through which stereotype threat leads women to underperform at math and to take risks, by examining which basic executive functions (inhibition, shifting, and updating) account for these outcomes. In Experiments 1 and 2, women under threat showed reduced inhibition, reduced updating, and reduced math performance compared with women in a control condition (or men); however, only updating accounted for women's poor math performance under threat. In Experiment 3, only updating accounted for stereotype threat's effect on women's math performance, whereas only inhibition accounted for the effect of threat on risk-taking, suggesting that distinct executive functions can account for different stereotype threat-related outcomes.

  1. Prenatal exposure to maternal very severe obesity is associated with impaired neurodevelopment and executive functioning in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mina, Theresia H; Lahti, Marius; Drake, Amanda J; Denison, Fiona C; Räikkönen, Katri; Norman, Jane E; Reynolds, Rebecca M

    2017-07-01

    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.

  2. [Formula: see text]Higher cortisol is associated with poorer executive functioning in preschool children: The role of parenting stress, parent coping and quality of daycare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Shannon L; Cepeda, Ivan; Krieger, Dena; Maggi, Stefania; D'Angiulli, Amedeo; Weinberg, Joanne; Grunau, Ruth E

    2016-01-01

    Child executive functions (cognitive flexibility, inhibitory control, working memory) are key to success in school. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, is known to affect cognition; however, there is limited information about how child cortisol levels, parenting factors and child care context relate to executive functions in young children. The aim of this study was to examine relationships between child cortisol, parenting stress, parent coping, and daycare quality in relation to executive functions in children aged 3-5 years. We hypothesized that (1) poorer executive functioning would be related to higher child cortisol and higher parenting stress, and (2) positive daycare quality and positive parent coping style would buffer the effects of child cortisol and parenting stress on executive functions. A total of 101 children (53 girls, 48 boys, mean age 4.24 years ±0.74) with complete data on all measures were included. Three saliva samples to measure cortisol were collected at the child's daycare/preschool in one morning. Parents completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Preschool Version (BRIEF-P), Parenting Stress Index (PSI), and Ways of Coping Questionnaire (WCQ). The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale - Revised (ECERS-R) was used to measure the quality of daycare. It was found that children with poorer executive functioning had higher levels of salivary cortisol, and their parents reported higher parenting stress. However, parent coping style and quality of daycare did not modulate these relationships. Identifying ways to promote child executive functioning is an important direction for improving school readiness.

  3. Higher cortisol is associated with poorer executive functioning in preschool children: The role of parenting stress, parent coping and quality of daycare

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Shannon L.; Cepeda, Ivan; Krieger, Dena; Maggi, Stefania; D’Angiulli, Amedeo; Weinberg, Joanne; Grunau, Ruth E.

    2016-01-01

    Child executive functions (cognitive flexibility, inhibitory control, working memory) are key to success in school. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, is known to affect cognition; however, there is limited information about how child cortisol levels, parenting factors and child care context relate to executive functions in young children. The aim of this study was to examine relationships between child cortisol, parenting stress, parent coping, and daycare quality in relation to executive functions in children aged 3–5 years. We hypothesized that (1) poorer executive functioning would be related to higher child cortisol and higher parenting stress, and (2) positive daycare quality and positive parent coping style would buffer the effects of child cortisol and parenting stress on executive functions. A total of 101 children (53 girls, 48 boys, mean age 4.24 years ±0.74) with complete data on all measures were included. Three saliva samples to measure cortisol were collected at the child’s daycare/preschool in one morning. Parents completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function – Preschool Version (BRIEF-P), Parenting Stress Index (PSI), and Ways of Coping Questionnaire (WCQ). The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale – Revised (ECERS-R) was used to measure the quality of daycare. It was found that children with poorer executive functioning had higher levels of salivary cortisol, and their parents reported higher parenting stress. However, parent coping style and quality of daycare did not modulate these relationships. Identifying ways to promote child executive functioning is an important direction for improving school readiness. PMID:26335047

  4. Culture-specific links between maternal executive function, parenting, and preschool children's executive function in South Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Min Kyung; Baker, Sara; Whitebread, David

    2018-06-01

    Research on the relationships between parental factors and children's executive function (EF) has been conducted mainly in Western cultures. This study provides the first empirical test, in a non-Western context, of how maternal EF and parenting behaviours relate to child EF. South Korean mothers and their preschool children (N = 95 dyads) completed EF tasks. Two aspects of parental scaffolding were observed during a puzzle task: contingency (i.e., adjusting among levels of scaffolding according to the child's ongoing evidence of understanding) and intrusiveness (i.e., directive, mother-centred interactions). Maternal EF and maternal contingency each accounted for unique variance in child EF, above and beyond child age, child language and maternal education. Maternal intrusiveness, however, was not significantly related to child EF. Additionally, no mediating role of parenting was found in the maternal and child EF link. However, child language was found to partially mediate the link between maternal contingency and child EF. These results complement prior findings by revealing distinctive patterns in the link between maternal EF, parenting behaviours, and child EF in the Korean context. © 2018 The British Psychological Society.

  5. Executive Functions and Working Memory Behaviours in Children with a Poor Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    St. Clair-Thompson, Helen L.

    2011-01-01

    Previous research has suggested that working memory difficulties play an integral role in children's underachievement at school. However, working memory is just one of several executive functions. The extent to which problems in working memory extend to other executive functions is not well understood. In the current study 38 children with a poor…

  6. Longitudinal Associations Between Parental Bonding, Parenting Stress, and Executive Functioning in Toddlerhood

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Cock, Evi S.A.; Henrichs, Jens; Klimstra, Theo A.; Janneke, A.; Vreeswijk, Charlotte M.J.M.; Meeus, Wim H.J.; van Bakel, Hedwig J.A.

    2017-01-01

    Early executive functioning is an important predictor for future development of children’s cognitive skills and behavioral outcomes. Parenting behavior has proven to be a key environmental determinant of child executive functioning. However, the association of parental affect and cognitions directed

  7. Executive Functions as Endophenotypes in ADHD: Evidence from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Battery (CANTAB)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gau, Susan Shur-Fen; Shang, Chi-Yung

    2010-01-01

    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…

  8. Executive functions and parent-child interaction during technology-enhanced storytelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Horvers, A.; Molenaar, I.; Teepe, R.C.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.

    2017-01-01

    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

  9. Test Review: Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function--Self-Report Version

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Justin M.; D'Amato, Rik Carl

    2006-01-01

    The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Self-Report version (BRIEF-SR) is the first self-report measure of executive functioning for adolescents. With the Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act authorization, there is a greater need for appropriate assessment of severely impaired children. Recent studies have…

  10. Executive Functioning in Children, and Its Relations with Reasoning, Reading, and Arithmetic

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Sluis, Sophie; de Jong, Peter F.; van der Leij, Aryan

    2007-01-01

    The aims of this study were to investigate whether the executive functions, inhibition, shifting, and updating, are distinguishable as latent variables (common factors) in children aged 9 to 12, and to examine the relations between these executive functions and reading, arithmetic, and (non)verbal reasoning. Confirmatory factor analysis was used…

  11. The Contribution of Executive Functions to Narrative Writing in Fourth Grade Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drijbooms, Elise; Groen, Margriet A.; Verhoeven, Ludo

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigated the contribution of executive functions to narrative writing in fourth grade children, and evaluated to what extent executive functions contribute differentially to different levels of narrative composition. The written skills of 102 Dutch children in fourth grade were assessed using a narrative picture-elicitation…

  12. Executive functions and predicting the onset of drinking and heavy drinking in young adolescents

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peeters, M.; Janssen, T.; Monshouwer, K.; Boendermaker, W.; Pronk, T.; Wiers, R.; Vollebergh, W.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Executive functioning (EF) has repeatedly been associated with the use and misuse of alcohol and other substances in adolescence. Impairments in executive functions, such as response inhibition and working memory, important for organizing, controlling and planning of behavior have been

  13. Life History Theory and Social Deviance: The Mediating Role of Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenner, C. J.; Bianchi, J.; Figueredo, A. J.; Rushton, J. Philippe; Jacobs, W. J.

    2013-01-01

    The present work examined predicted relations among Life History strategies, Executive Functions, socially antagonistic attitudes, socially antagonistic behaviors, and general intelligence. Life History (LH) theory predicts that Executive Functions and socially antagonistic attitudes and behaviors underpin an interrelated and coherent set of…

  14. Longitudinal associations between parental bonding, parenting stress, and executive functioning in toddlerhood

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Cock, E.S.A.; Henrichs, J.; Klimstra, T.A.; Maas, A.J.B.M.; Vreeswijk, C.M.J.M.; Meeus, W.H.J.; Van Bakel, H.J.A.

    Early executive functioning is an important predictor for future development of children’s cognitive skills and behavioral outcomes. Parenting behavior has proven to be a key environmental determinant of child executive functioning. However, the association of parental affect and cognitions directed

  15. Executive Functioning in Children with ASD : An Analysis of the BRIEF

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blijd-Hoogewys, E. M. A.; Bezemer, M. L.; van Geert, P. L. C.

    2014-01-01

    The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions (BRIEF) screens for executive function deficits in 5- to 18-year-olds. Data of three autism subgroups, according to DSM-IV-TR criteria (N = 35 Autistic Disorder, N = 27 Asperger's Disorder and N = 65 PDD-NOS), were analyzed. The total group has

  16. Insights from Cognitive Neuroscience: The Importance of Executive Function for Early Reading Development and Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Kelly B.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  17. Executive function in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the influence of comorbid depression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, Miranda; Polak, A Rosaura; Witteveen, Anke B; Denys, D.

    BACKGROUND: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated with neurocognitive deficits, such as impaired verbal memory and executive functioning. Less is known about executive function and the role of comorbid depression in PTSD. Recently, studies have shown that verbal memory impairments

  18. Executive function in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the influence of comorbid depression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, Miranda; Polak, A. Rosaura; Witteveen, Anke B.; Denys, Damiaan

    2014-01-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated with neurocognitive deficits, such as impaired verbal memory and executive functioning. Less is known about executive function and the role of comorbid depression in PTSD. Recently, studies have shown that verbal memory impairments may be

  19. Test Review: Delis, D. (2012) "Delis Rating of Executive Function (D-REF)." Bloomington, Minnesota: Pearson

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warnick, Brittany; Drake, Morgan; Vidrine, Stephanie

    2015-01-01

    The Delis Rating of Executive Function (D-REF) is a set of rating scales designed to assess executive functions and their constituent sub-processes in children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 18. More specifically, the D-REF is a supplemental assessment of children and adolescents demonstrating behavioral or cognitive difficulties often…

  20. Executive functions in mono- and bilingual children with language impairment - issues for speech-language pathology.

    OpenAIRE

    Sandgren, Olof; Holmström, Ketty

    2015-01-01

    The clinical assessment of language impairment (LI) in bilingual children imposes challenges for speech-language pathology services. Assessment tools standardized for monolingual populations increase the risk of misinterpreting bilingualism as language impairment. This Perspective article summarizes recent studies on the assessment of bilingual LI and presents new results on including nonlinguistic measures of executive functions in the diagnostic assessment. Executive functions shows clinica...

  1. The Relationship between Media Multitasking and Executive Function in Early Adolescents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgartner, Susanne E.; Weeda, Wouter D.; van der Heijden, Lisa L.; Huizinga, Mariëtte

    2014-01-01

    The increasing prevalence of media multitasking among adolescents is concerning because it may be negatively related to goal-directed behavior. This study investigated the relationship between media multitasking and executive function in 523 early adolescents (aged 11-15; 48% girls). The three central components of executive functions (i.e.,…

  2. Verbal Ability and Executive Functioning Development in Preschoolers at Head Start

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuhs, Mary Wagner; Day, Jeanne D.

    2011-01-01

    Research suggests that executive functioning skills may enhance the school readiness of children from disadvantaged homes. Questions remain, however, concerning both the structure and the stability of executive functioning among preschoolers. In addition, there is a lack of research addressing potential predictors of longitudinal change in…

  3. Executive Functioning in Participants Over Age of 50 with Hoarding Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayers, Catherine R; Dozier, Mary E; Wetherell, Julie Loebach; Twamley, Elizabeth W; Schiehser, Dawn M

    2016-05-01

    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.

  4. The Assessment of Executive Functioning in People with Intellectual Disabilities: An Exploratory Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bevins, Shelley; Hurse, Emily

    2016-01-01

    The following article details a piece of service development work undertaken as part of the Plymouth Down Syndrome Screening Programme. The work aimed to review the use of three measures assessing executive functioning skills used within the Programme as well as with people without Down syndrome. Three tasks assessing executive functioning (the…

  5. Mobile Innovations, Executive Functions, and Educational Developments in Conflict Zones: A Case Study from Palestine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckner, Elizabeth; Kim, Paul

    2012-01-01

    Prior research suggests that exposure to conflict can negatively impact the development of executive functioning, which in turn can affect academic performance. Recognizing the need to better understand the potentially widespread executive function deficiencies among Palestinian students and to help develop educational resources targeted to youth…

  6. Profiles of Everyday Executive Functioning in Young Children with Down Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daunhauer, Lisa A.; Fidler, Deborah J.; Hahn, Laura; Will, Elizabeth; Lee, Nancy Raitano; Hepburn, Susan

    2014-01-01

    We investigated executive functioning (EF) in children with Down syndrome (DS; n = 25) and typically developing (TD) children matched for mental age (MA; n = 23) using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool. We sought to (1) compare children with DS to a developmentally matched control group, and (2) to characterize the EF…

  7. Seeing conflict and engaging control: Experience with contrastive language benefits executive function in preschoolers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doebel, Sabine; Zelazo, Philip David

    2016-12-01

    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.

  8. Differential Relationships between RAN Performance, Behaviour Ratings, and Executive Function Measures: Searching for a Double Dissociation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stringer, Ronald W.; Toplak, Maggie E.; Stanovich, Keith E.

    2004-01-01

    In this study, we investigated the relationships between rapid naming of letters, digits and colours, and reading ability and executive function. We gave fifty-six grade three and four children rapid automatised naming tasks using letters and digits as stimuli, executive function measures including the Stroop task, a working memory task and the…

  9. Passive Heat Exposure Alters Perception and Executive Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel A. Malcolm

    2018-05-01

    and executive function tasks are worse in the heat. An improvement in accuracy on perceptual tasks may suggest a compensatory speed-accuracy trade-off effect occurring within this domain, further highlighting the task dependant nature of heat exposure on cognition.

  10. A self administered executive functions ecological questionnaire (the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Adult Version shows impaired scores in a sample of patients with schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrei Szöke

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Subjective measurements of cognition have seldom been used in schizophrenia. This is mainly due to the assumption that such measurements lack sensitivity in a disorder characterized by poor insight. We investigated the capacity of BRIEF-A (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Adult Version: a self-administered, ecological questionnaire to identify executive deficits in adults with schizophrenia. The global score and each domain-specific score was significantly lower in patients than in healthy controls. BRIEF-A could be a useful complement to objective measurements, providing a subjective assessment of everyday consequences of executive dysfunction in patients with schizophrenia.

  11. The effects of lifelong cognitive lifestyle on executive function in older people with Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hindle, John V; Martin-Forbes, Pamela A; Martyr, Anthony; Bastable, Alexandra J M; Pye, Kirstie L; Mueller Gathercole, Virginia C; Thomas, Enlli M; Clare, Linda

    2017-12-01

    Active lifelong cognitive lifestyles increase cognitive reserve and have beneficial effects on global cognition, cognitive decline and dementia risk in Parkinson's disease (PD). Executive function is particularly impaired even in early PD, and this impacts on quality of life. The effects of lifelong cognitive lifestyle on executive function in PD have not been studied previously. This study examined the association between lifelong cognitive lifestyle, as a proxy measure of cognitive reserve, and executive function in people with PD. Sixty-nine people diagnosed with early PD without dementia were recruited as part of the Bilingualism as a protective factor in Age-related Neurodegenerative Conditions study. Participants completed a battery of tests of executive function. The Lifetime of Experiences Questionnaire was completed as a comprehensive assessment of lifelong cognitive lifestyle. Non-parametric correlations compared clinical measures with executive function scores. Cross-sectional analyses of covariance were performed comparing the performance of low and high cognitive reserve groups on executive function tests. Correlational analyses showed that better executive function scores were associated with younger age, higher levodopa dose and higher Lifetime of Experiences Questionnaire scores. Higher cognitive reserve was associated with better motor function, but high and low cognitive reserve groups did not differ in executive function. Cognitive reserve, although associated with global cognition, does not appear to be associated with executive function. This differential effect may reflect the specific cognitive profile of PD. The long-term effects of cognitive reserve on executive function in PD require further exploration. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  12. The Impact of Motivation and Teachers’ Autonomy Support on Children’s Executive Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zrinka eSosic-Vasic

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  13. The impact of motivation and teachers’ autonomy support on children’s executive functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosic-Vasic, Zrinka; Keis, Oliver; Lau, Maren; Spitzer, Manfred; Streb, Judith

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25762958

  14. The impact of motivation and teachers' autonomy support on children's executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosic-Vasic, Zrinka; Keis, Oliver; Lau, Maren; Spitzer, Manfred; Streb, Judith

    2015-01-01

    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.

  15. The role of family functioning in childhood dental caries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duijster, Denise; Verrips, G H W; van Loveren, Cor

    2014-06-01

    This study investigated the relationship between family functioning and childhood dental caries. Further objectives were (i) to explore whether oral hygiene behaviours could account for a possible association between family functioning dimensions and childhood dental caries and (ii) to explore whether family functioning could mediate the relationship between sociodemographic factors and childhood dental caries. A random sample of 630 5- to 6-year-old children was recruited from six large paediatric dental centres in the Netherlands. Children's dmft scores were extracted from personal dental records. A parental questionnaire and the Gezinsvragenlijst (translation: Family Questionnaire) were used to collect data on sociodemographic characteristics, oral hygiene behaviours and family functioning. Family functioning was assessed on five dimensions: responsiveness, communication, organization, partner-relation and social network. Associations with dmft were analysed using multilevel modelling. Bivariate analysis showed that children from normal functioning families on the dimensions responsiveness, communication, organization and social network had significantly lower dmft scores compared with children from dysfunctional families. Poorer family functioning on all dimensions was associated with an increased likelihood of engaging in less favourable oral hygiene behaviours. Children with lower educated mothers, immigrant children and children of higher birth order were more likely to come from poorer functioning families. In multivariate analysis, organization remained a significant predictor of dmft after adjusting for the other family functioning dimensions and the mother's education level, but it lost statistical significance after adjustment for oral hygiene behaviours. A relationship between family functioning and childhood dental caries was found, which may have operated via oral hygiene behaviours. Family functioning modestly explained socioeconomic inequalities in

  16. Naturally occurring circadian rhythm and sleep duration are related to executive functions in early adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuula, Liisa; Pesonen, Anu-Katriina; Heinonen, Kati; Kajantie, Eero; Eriksson, Johan Gunnar; Andersson, Sture; Lano, Aulikki; Lahti, Jari; Wolke, Dieter; Räikkönen, Katri

    2018-02-01

    Experimental sleep deprivation studies suggest that insufficient sleep and circadian misalignment associates with poorer executive function. It is not known whether this association translates to naturally occurring sleep patterns. A total of 512 of full-term-born members of the Arvo Ylppö Longitudinal Study [mean age = 25.3, standard deviation (SD) = 0.65] (44.3% men) wore actigraphs to define sleep duration, its irregularity and circadian rhythm (sleep mid-point) during a 1-week period (mean 6.9 nights, SD = 1.7). Performance-based executive function was assessed with the Trail-Making Test, Conners' Continuous Performance Test and Stroop. The self-rated adult version of Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function was used to assess trait-like executive function. We found that performance-based and self-reported trait-like executive function correlated only modestly (all correlations ≤0.17). Shorter sleep duration associated with more commission errors. Later circadian rhythm associated with poorer trait-like executive function, as indicated by the Brief Metacognitive Index and the Behavior Regulation Index. Those belonging to the group with the most irregular sleep duration performed slower than others in the Trail-Making Test Part A. All associations were adjusted for sex, age, socioeconomic status and body mass index. In conclusion, naturally occurring insufficient sleep and later circadian rhythm showed modest associations with poorer executive function. Shorter habitual sleep duration was associated with lower scores of performance-based tests of executive function, and later circadian rhythm was associated mainly with poorer trait-like executive function characteristics. Our findings suggest additionally that sleep duration and circadian rhythm associate with different domains of executive function, and there are no additive effects between the two. © 2017 European Sleep Research Society.

  17. Enhancing Executive Functions Among Dutch Elementary School Children Using the Train Your Mind Program : Protocol for a Cluster Randomized Trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bervoets, Joachim; Jonkman, Lisa M; Mulkens, Sandra; de Vries, Hein; Kok, Gerjo

    2018-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Executive functions are higher cognitive control functions, which are essential to physical and psychological well-being, academic performance, and healthy social relationships. Executive functions can be trained, albeit without broad transfer, to this date. Broad transfer entails the

  18. Validating neuropsychological subtypes of ADHD: how do children with and without an executive function deficit differ?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lambek, Rikke; Tannock, Rosemary; Dalsgaard, Søren

    2010-01-01

    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)....

  19. Study the Relationship of Executive Functions with Behavioral Symptoms in Children with High-Functioning Autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vali Shiri

    2015-10-01

    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.

  20. Executive functioning impairment in women treated with chemotherapy for breast cancer: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Christie; Bernstein, Lori J; Rich, Jill B

    2017-11-01

    Women with breast cancer have reported adverse cognitive effects following chemotherapy. Evidence is mixed on whether executive functioning is particularly impaired in women treated with chemotherapy, in part due to the wide range of tasks used to measure executive processes. We performed a systematic review of the published literature to evaluate whether some subcomponents of executive functioning are more vulnerable to impairment than others among breast cancer survivors who had been treated with chemotherapy. Studies published as of April 2017 were identified using three electronic databases (MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and Web of Science) and a manual search of relevant reference lists. The methodological quality of included studies was assessed using a checklist of predefined criteria. Of 1280 identified articles, a total of 41 were included for review. Study findings were categorized into three primary subdomains of executive functioning: inhibition, shifting, and updating. Although there was heterogeneity in the neuropsychological measures used to assess executive functioning, tests could be grouped into the subcomponents they assessed. Inhibition appears relatively spared from the effects of chemotherapy, whereas impairments in shifting and updating are more commonly found following chemotherapy. Examination of subcomponents of executive functioning is recommended to better characterize the nature of executive dysfunction in women treated with chemotherapy. Future studies should include executive functioning tasks of varying complexity, use of multiple tasks to increase reliability, and alternative indices to capture performance, such as within-person variability.

  1. Hyperactivity in boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): The role of executive and non-executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudec, Kristen L; Alderson, R Matt; Patros, Connor H G; Lea, Sarah E; Tarle, Stephanie J; Kasper, Lisa J

    2015-01-01

    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.

  2. Episodic memory and executive functioning in currently depressed patients compared to healthy controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauls, Franz; Petermann, Franz; Lepach, Anja Christina

    2015-01-01

    At present, little is still known about the link between depression, memory and executive functioning. This study examined whether there are memory-related impairments in depressed patients and whether the size of such deficits depends on the age group and on specific types of cognitive measures. Memory performances of 215 clinically depressed patients were compared to the data of a matched control sample. Regression analyses were performed to determine the extent to which executive dysfunctions contributed to episodic memory impairments. When compared with healthy controls, significantly lower episodic memory and executive functioning performances were found for depressed patients of all age groups. Effect sizes appeared to vary across different memory and executive functioning measures. The extent to which executive dysfunctions could explain episodic memory impairments varied depending on the type of measure examined. These findings emphasise the need to consider memory-related functioning of depressed patients in the context of therapeutic treatments.

  3. Rule-based category learning in children: the role of age and executive functioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahel Rabi

    Full Text Available Rule-based category learning was examined in 4-11 year-olds and adults. Participants were asked to learn a set of novel perceptual categories in a classification learning task. Categorization performance improved with age, with younger children showing the strongest rule-based deficit relative to older children and adults. Model-based analyses provided insight regarding the type of strategy being used to solve the categorization task, demonstrating that the use of the task appropriate strategy increased with age. When children and adults who identified the correct categorization rule were compared, the performance deficit was no longer evident. Executive functions were also measured. While both working memory and inhibitory control were related to rule-based categorization and improved with age, working memory specifically was found to marginally mediate the age-related improvements in categorization. When analyses focused only on the sample of children, results showed that working memory ability and inhibitory control were associated with categorization performance and strategy use. The current findings track changes in categorization performance across childhood, demonstrating at which points performance begins to mature and resemble that of adults. Additionally, findings highlight the potential role that working memory and inhibitory control may play in rule-based category learning.

  4. Neurofeedback improves executive functioning in children with autistic spectrum disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kouijzer, M.E.J.; Moor, J.M.H. de; Gerrits, B.J.L.; Congedo, M.; Schie, H.T. van

    2009-01-01

    Seven autistic children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) received a neurofeedback treatment that aimed to improve their level of executive control. Neurofeedback successfully reduced children’s heightened theta/beta ratio by inhibiting theta activation and enhancing beta activation

  5. Neurofeedback Improves Executive Functioning in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouijzer, Mirjam E. J.; de Moor, Jan M. H.; Gerrits, Berrie J. L.; Congedo, Marco; van Schie, Hein T.

    2009-01-01

    Seven autistic children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) received a neurofeedback treatment that aimed to improve their level of executive control. Neurofeedback successfully reduced children's heightened theta/beta ratio by inhibiting theta activation and enhancing beta activation over sessions. Following treatment, children's…

  6. Executive dysfunction is independently associated with reduced functional independence in heart failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alosco, Michael L; Spitznagel, Mary Beth; Raz, Naftali; Cohen, Ronald; Sweet, Lawrence H; Colbert, Lisa H; Josephson, Richard; van Dulmen, Manfred; Hughes, Joel; Rosneck, Jim; Gunstad, John

    2014-03-01

    To examine the independent association between executive function with instrumental activities of daily living and health behaviours in older adults with heart failure. Executive function is an important contributor to functional independence as it consists of cognitive processes needed for decision-making, planning, organising and behavioural monitoring. Impairment in this domain is common in heart failure patients and associated with reduced performance of instrumental activities of daily living in many medical and neurological populations. However, the contribution of executive functions to functional independence and healthy lifestyle choices in heart failure patients has not been fully examined. Cross-sectional analyses. One hundred and seventy-five heart failure patients completed a neuropsychological battery and echocardiogram. Participants also completed the Lawton-Brody Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale and reported current cigarette use. Hierarchical regressions revealed that reduced executive function was independently associated with worse instrumental activity of daily living performance with a specific association for decreased ability to manage medications. Partial correlations showed that executive dysfunction was associated with current cigarette use. Our findings suggest that executive dysfunction is associated with poorer functional independence and contributes to unhealthy behaviours in heart failure. Future studies should examine whether heart failure patients benefit from formal organisation schema (i.e. pill organisers) to maintain independence. Screening of executive function in heart failure patients may provide key insight into their ability to perform daily tasks, including the management of treatment recommendations. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Cardiac vagal regulation in infancy predicts executive function and social competence in preschool: Indirect effects through language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whedon, Margaret; Perry, Nicole B; Calkins, Susan D; Bell, Martha A

    2018-05-21

    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.

  8. Applying an Integrative Framework of Executive Function to Preschoolers With Specific Language Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapa, Leah L; Plante, Elena; Doubleday, Kevin

    2017-08-16

    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.

  9. The most frequently used tests for assessing executive functions in aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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: [1] Trail Making Test (TMT Form B; [2] Verbal Fluency Test (VFT - F, A and S; [3] VFT Animals category; [4] Clock Drawing Test (CDT; [5] Digits Forward and Backward subtests (WAIS-R or WAIS-III; [6] Stroop Test; and [7] 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.

  10. Exploring the relations among physical fitness, executive functioning, and low academic achievement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Bruijn, A G M; Hartman, E; Kostons, D; Visscher, C; Bosker, R J

    2018-03-01

    Physical fitness seems to be related to academic performance, at least when taking the role of executive functioning into account. This assumption is highly relevant for the vulnerable population of low academic achievers because their academic performance might benefit from enhanced physical fitness. The current study examined whether physical fitness and executive functioning are independent predictors of low mathematics and spelling achievement or whether the relation between physical fitness and low achievement is mediated by specific executive functions. In total, 477 students from second- and third-grade classes of 12 primary schools were classified as either low or average-to-high achievers in mathematics and spelling based on their scores on standardized achievement tests. Multilevel structural equation models were built with direct paths between physical fitness and academic achievement and added indirect paths via components of executive functioning: inhibition, verbal working memory, visuospatial working memory, and shifting. Physical fitness was only indirectly related to low achievement via specific executive functions, depending on the academic domain involved. Verbal working memory was a mediator between physical fitness and low achievement in both domains, whereas visuospatial working memory had a mediating role only in mathematics. Physical fitness interventions aiming to improve low academic achievement, thus, could potentially be successful. The mediating effect of executive functioning suggests that these improvements in academic achievement will be preceded by enhanced executive functions, either verbal working memory (in spelling) or both verbal and visuospatial working memory (in mathematics). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. The relationship between executive functions and IQ in Korean children and the comparison with Chinese children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Hyunjoo; Jinyu, An

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the relationship between perceived/performance-based executive function and IQ. Additionally, the relationship between perceived executive function and intelligence was investigated cross-culturally between South Korea and China. Korean children (60; M = 34, F = 26, Mean age = 10.35) were included in study 1, and Korean children (43, M = 23, F = 20, Mean age = 10.05) and Chinese children (56; M = 29, F = 27, Mean age = 10.40) were included in study 2. The Korean-Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-IV, the Stroop test, the CTT-2, and the executive function questionnaire were used for Korean subjects, and the Raven's matrix test and the executive function questionnaire were used for Korean and Chinese subjects. Multiple regression showed that CTT-2(RT), emotional control difficulty, and Color Word within a 45' Stroop test trial were significant predictors of total IQ. The cross-cultural analysis showed a statistically significant difference between the two countries in the emotional control aspect of perceived executive function. There were no interactions between country and intelligence. In conclusion, intelligence was related to overall executive function. Korean children and Chinese children showed cultural differences in processing emotion. These results are expected to contribute to developing therapeutic strategies for executive function in children and to exchanging these strategies between Korea and China.

  12. Effects of a multicomponent exercise on dual-task performance and executive function among older adults

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    Ray-Yau Wang

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Background: Previous studies showed that multicomponent exercise enhanced physical and cognitive functions. This study aimed to investigate the effects of a multicomponent exercise on dual-task performance and executive function and to demonstrate the relationship between improvement in dual-task performance and enhancement in executive function among the elderly. Methods: A total of 27 people completed the intervention, with 16 in the experimental group and 11 in the control group. The 12-week multicomponent exercise lasted 1 h per day and 3 days per week. Participants' gait performance was assessed in dual-task conditions and executive function was examined at both pre- and post-intervention. Results: Results showed significant interaction effects of time x group on all selected gait parameters in both dual-task conditions and the Executive Interview. Compared with the control group, the experimental group showed greater improvements in most measures following intervention. Improved dual-task performance was correlated with enhanced executive function (r = 0.46–0.75. Conclusion: Our results suggested that a multicomponent exercise positively affects dual-task performance and executive function in the elderly. Keywords: Dual-task, Executive function, Exercise, Gait, Older adults

  13. Children's Executive Function Attenuate the Link Between Maternal Intrusiveness and Internalizing Behaviors at School Entry.

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    Gueron-Sela, Noa; Bedford, Rachael; Wagner, Nicholas J; Propper, Cathi B

    2017-10-20

    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.

  14. Do people with chronic pain have impaired executive function? A meta-analytical review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berryman, Carolyn; Stanton, Tasha R; Bowering, K Jane; Tabor, Abby; McFarlane, Alexander; Moseley, G Lorimer

    2014-11-01

    A widely held belief within the clinical community is that chronic pain is associated with cognitive impairment, despite the absence of a definitive systematic review or meta-analysis on the topic. The current systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to establish the current evidence concerning the difference in executive function between people with chronic pain and healthy controls. Six databases were searched for citations related to executive function and chronic pain from inception to June 24, 2013. Two reviewers independently assessed studies for eligibility and extracted relevant data according to the Cochrane Collaboration and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Twenty five studies were included in the review and twenty two studies in the meta-analysis. A small to moderate impairment in executive function performance was found in people with chronic pain across cognitive components, although all studies had a high risk of bias. The current evidence suggests impairment of executive function in people with chronic pain, however, important caveats exist. First, executive function involves many cognitive components and there is no standard test for it. Second, moderators of executive function, such as medication and sleep, were seldom controlled for in studies of executive function performance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Applying an Integrative Framework of Executive Function to Preschoolers With Specific Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plante, Elena; Doubleday, Kevin

    2017-01-01

    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

  16. Rehabilitasi Neuropsikologi Dalam Upaya Memperbaiki Defisit Executive Function (Fungsi Eksekutif Klien Gangguan Mental

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    Nur Fatwikiningsih

    2016-12-01

    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.

  17. Executive Functioning Characteristics Associated with ADHD Comorbidity in Adolescents with Disruptive Behavior Disorders

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    Hummer, Tom A.; Kronenberger, William G.; Wang, Yang; Dunn, David W.; Mosier, Kristine M.; Kalnin, Andrew J.; Mathews, Vincent P.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  18. Formative versus Reflective Measurement in Executive Functions: A Critique of Willoughby et al.

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    Peterson, Eric; Welsh, Marilyn C.

    2014-01-01

    Research into executive functioning (EF) has indeed grown exponentially across the past few decades, but as the Willoughby et al. critique makes clear, there remain fundamental questions to be resolved. The crux of their argument is built upon an examination of the confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) approach to understanding executive processes.…

  19. Executive and Attentional Functions in Chronic Pain: Does Performance Decrease with Increasing Task Load?

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    Joukje M Oosterman

    2012-01-01

    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.

  20. Contrasting deficits on executive functions between ADHD and reading disabled children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marzocchi, G.M.; Oosterlaan, J.; Zuddas, A.; Cavolina, P.; Geurts, H.; Redigilo, D.; Vio, C.; Sergeant, J.A.

    2008-01-01

    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

  1. Executive functioning, motor programming, and functional independence: accounting for variance, people, and time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraybill, Matthew L; Suchy, Yana

    2011-02-01

    Assessing functional independence is an important part of making diagnostic decisions and treatment recommendations but is often complicated by the limitations of self-report and behavioral measures. Alternatively, it may be worthwhile to investigate neurocognitive correlates of incipient functional declines including using tests of executive functioning (EF) and motor programming (MP). The current study examined an electronic MP task and pitted it against other assessment instruments to evaluate its relative utility in assessing both EF and functional independence. Participants were 72 community-dwelling older adults. Results of this study showed that the MP task was correlated with other measures of EF, an efficient and reliable predictor of functionality, useful for identifying at-risk patients, and comparable to a longer battery in terms of sensitivity and specificity.

  2. Hot and cool executive function in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder: Cross-sectional developmental trajectories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouklari, Evangelia-Chrysanthi; Tsermentseli, Stella; Monks, Claire P

    2017-10-20

    The development of executive function (EF) in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has only been investigated using "cool"-cognitive-EF tasks. Little is known about the development of "hot"-affective-EF and whether it follows a similar developmental pathway. This study employed a cross-sectional developmental trajectories approach to examine the developmental changes in cool (working memory, inhibition, and planning) and hot EF (delay discounting and affective decision-making) of ASD participants (n = 79) and controls (n = 91) relative to age and IQ, shedding more light on the hot-cool EF organization. The developmental trajectories of some aspects of cool EF (working memory and planning) differed significantly as a function of age in ASD participants relative to controls. For both hot EFs, no significant age-related changes were found in either group. These findings extend our understanding regarding the maturation of EF from childhood through adolescence in ASD.

  3. Relations Between Executive Functions and Different Symptomatic Dimensions in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Pedron, Ana Cristina; Ferrão, Ygor Arzeno; Gurgel, Léia Gonçalves; Reppold, Caroline Tozzi

    2015-01-01

    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...

  4. The Development of Metaphor Comprehension and Its Relationship with Relational Verbal Reasoning and Executive Function.

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    Nuria Carriedo

    Full Text Available Our main objective was to analyse the different contributions of relational verbal reasoning (analogical and class inclusion and executive functioning to metaphor comprehension across development. We postulated that both relational reasoning and executive functioning should predict individual and developmental differences. However, executive functioning would become increasingly involved when metaphor comprehension is highly demanding, either because of the metaphors' high difficulty (relatively novel metaphors in the absence of a context or because of the individual's special processing difficulties, such as low levels of reading experience or low semantic knowledge. Three groups of participants, 11-year-olds, 15-year-olds and young adults, were assessed in different relational verbal reasoning tasks-analogical and class-inclusion-and in executive functioning tasks-updating information in working memory, inhibition, and shifting. The results revealed clear progress in metaphor comprehension between ages 11 and 15 and between ages 15 and 21. However, the importance of executive function in metaphor comprehension was evident by age 15 and was restricted to updating information in working memory and cognitive inhibition. Participants seemed to use two different strategies to interpret metaphors: relational verbal reasoning and executive functioning. This was clearly shown when comparing the performance of the "more efficient" participants in metaphor interpretation with that of the "less efficient" ones. Whereas in the first case none of the executive variables or those associated with relational verbal reasoning were significantly related to metaphor comprehension, in the latter case, both groups of variables had a clear predictor effect.

  5. The Development of Metaphor Comprehension and Its Relationship with Relational Verbal Reasoning and Executive Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carriedo, Nuria; Corral, Antonio; Montoro, Pedro R; Herrero, Laura; Ballestrino, Patricia; Sebastián, Iraia

    2016-01-01

    Our main objective was to analyse the different contributions of relational verbal reasoning (analogical and class inclusion) and executive functioning to metaphor comprehension across development. We postulated that both relational reasoning and executive functioning should predict individual and developmental differences. However, executive functioning would become increasingly involved when metaphor comprehension is highly demanding, either because of the metaphors' high difficulty (relatively novel metaphors in the absence of a context) or because of the individual's special processing difficulties, such as low levels of reading experience or low semantic knowledge. Three groups of participants, 11-year-olds, 15-year-olds and young adults, were assessed in different relational verbal reasoning tasks-analogical and class-inclusion-and in executive functioning tasks-updating information in working memory, inhibition, and shifting. The results revealed clear progress in metaphor comprehension between ages 11 and 15 and between ages 15 and 21. However, the importance of executive function in metaphor comprehension was evident by age 15 and was restricted to updating information in working memory and cognitive inhibition. Participants seemed to use two different strategies to interpret metaphors: relational verbal reasoning and executive functioning. This was clearly shown when comparing the performance of the "more efficient" participants in metaphor interpretation with that of the "less efficient" ones. Whereas in the first case none of the executive variables or those associated with relational verbal reasoning were significantly related to metaphor comprehension, in the latter case, both groups of variables had a clear predictor effect.

  6. Executive Functions and Social Skills in Survivors of Pediatric Brain Tumor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfe, Kelly R.; Walsh, Karin S.; Reynolds, Nina C.; Mitchell, Frances; Reddy, Alyssa T.; Paltin, Iris; Madan-Swain, Avi

    2012-01-01

    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

  7. Development of affective theory of mind across adolescence: disentangling the role of executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, Nora C; Altgassen, Mareike; Phillips, Louise; Mahy, Caitlin E V; Kliegel, Matthias

    2013-01-01

    Theory of mind, the ability to understand mental states, involves inferences about others' cognitive (cognitive theory of mind) and emotional (affective theory of mind) mental states. The current study explored the role of executive functions in developing affective theory of mind across adolescence. Affective theory of mind and three subcomponents of executive functions (inhibition, updating, and shifting) were measured. Affective theory of mind was positively related to age, and all three executive functions. Specifically, inhibition explained the largest amount of variance in age-related differences in affective theory of mind.

  8. Executive function in adolescents with PKU and their siblings: Associations with biochemistry

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    R. Sharman

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Previous research shows consistent and marked executive function impairment in children with early and continuously treated phenylketonuria. This between groups analysis (phenylketonuria group vs sibling controls found no significant differences in executive function (although adolescents with phenylketonuria performed slightly worse than their siblings. Biochemical relationships with executive function were confined to long-term measures of high phenylalanine:tyrosine ratio exposure, as well as tyrosine exposure independent of phenylalanine. This study suggests that early and continuously treated PKU results in non-significant EF differences (compared to siblings, although the influence of long-term exposure to poorer metabolic control is still evident.

  9. [Ecological validity and multitasking environments in the evaluation of the executive functions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bombín-González, Igor; Cifuentes-Rodríguez, Alicia; Climent-Martínez, Gema; Luna-Lario, Pilar; Cardas-Ibáñez, Jaione; Tirapu-Ustárroz, Javier; Díaz-Orueta, Unai

    2014-07-16

    Evaluation of executive functions is a major issue of neuropsychological assessment, due to the role displayed by these on a cognitive, behavioural and emotional level, and the implication of these functions in daily life functioning. In order to perform a reliable assessment, the strategy traditionally followed for the evaluation of executive functions has been their atomization in different cognitive subprocesses, which is useful in a clinical or a research context. However, in clinical practice it is frequently artificial to disintegrate a global and complex cognitive process, such as executive functions, in a variety of related components; thus, tests designed according to these theoretical processes have low value in clinical procedures (diagnosis, rehabilitation design) due to their poor correspondence with the subject's or patient's clinical reality. The aims of the present work are to revise the concept of ecological validity applied to the evaluation of executive functions, and to perform a critical review of executive functions assessment by means of multitask paradigms as a way to increase the ecological validity and predictive value of the subject's functional performance. After a historical journey around the (low) ecological validity of single-task tests, and the bet in favour of a multitask paradigm for the evaluation of executive functions, up-to-date existing multitask tests are presented meticulously (with their respective advantages and disadvantages). Finally, concrete recommendations about how to develop multitask tests in the future are presented, attending to concrete parameters related to the context, tasks, objectives, rules and scoring.

  10. Are executive functions related to emotional intelligence? A correlational study in schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurtado, M M; Triviño, M; Arnedo, M; Roldán, G; Tudela, P

    2016-12-30

    This research explored the relationship between executive functions (working memory and reasoning subtests of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Trail Making and Stroop tests, fluency and planning tasks, and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test) and emotional intelligence measured by the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test in patients with schizophrenia or borderline personality disorder compared to a control group. As expected, both clinical groups performed worse than the control group in executive functions and emotional intelligence, although the impairment was greater in the borderline personality disorder group. Executive functions significantly correlated with social functioning. Results are discussed in relation to the brain circuits that mediate executive functions and emotional intelligence and the findings obtained with other models of social cognition. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Acute effects of donepezil in healthy young adults underline the fractionation of executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginani, G E; Tufik, S; Bueno, O F A; Pradella-Hallinan, M; Rusted, J; Pompéia, S

    2011-11-01

    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.

  12. Executive functions, physical fitness and mobility in well-functioning older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berryman, Nicolas; Bherer, Louis; Nadeau, Sylvie; Lauzière, Séléna; Lehr, Lora; Bobeuf, Florian; Kergoat, Marie Jeanne; Vu, Thien Tuong Minh; Bosquet, Laurent

    2013-12-01

    The objective of this study was to examine the relationships between executive functions, physical fitness and mobility in well-functioning older adults. Forty-eight well functioning older adults (70.5±5.3years old; 20 men, 28 women) were included in this study. Two median splits were conducted based on each individual's performance for the 10MWT and TUG. Comparisons between groups of slower and faster individuals were made with regard to executive functions and physical fitness parameters. A correlational approach was used to assess the association between variables. Between groups comparisons revealed that faster individuals in mobility tests demonstrate better performances in measures of cognitive flexibility (0.68

  13. Neuropsychological Functioning in Survivors of Childhood Leukemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeb, Roger N.; Regan, Judith M.

    1998-01-01

    Examined neuropsychological functioning of survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia who underwent central-nervous-system prophylactic treatment. Findings replicated past research in showing survivors perform poorly on visual-motor integration tasks and develop a Nonverbal Learning Disability. Findings offer recommendations for future research and…

  14. Functional aspects of spina bifida in childhood

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schoenmakers, Maria Adriana Gerdina Cornelia

    2003-01-01

    Due to advanced medical treatment, more children with spina bifida survive into adulthood. Most outcome studies in the field of spina bifida research focus on disease aspects (‘pathology’) and its relation to one of the domains in the ‘disablement process’ such as physical functioning, cognitive

  15. Trial-Based Functional Analysis and Functional Communication Training in an Early Childhood Setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Joseph M.; Bloom, Sarah E.; Irvin, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    Problem behavior is common in early childhood special education classrooms. Functional communication training (FCT; Carr & Durand, 1985) may reduce problem behavior but requires identification of its function. The trial-based functional analysis (FA) is a method that can be used to identify problem behavior function in schools. We conducted…

  16. Socioeconomic risk moderates the link between household chaos and maternal executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Chen, Nan; Wang, Zhe; Bell, Martha Ann

    2012-06-01

    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.

  17. Socioeconomic Risk Moderates the Link between Household Chaos and Maternal Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Chen, Nan; Wang, Zhe; Bell, Martha Ann

    2012-01-01

    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

  18. Failure to identify an acute exercise effect on executive function assessed by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test

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    Chun-Chih Wang

    2015-03-01

    Conclusion: Acute aerobic exercise failed to influence executive function as assessed by the WCST, revealing that this classical neuropsychological test tapping executive function may not be sensitive to acute exercise. Our findings suggest that acute exercise does not broadly affect the entire family of executive functions, or its effect on a specific aspect of executive function may be task-dependent, as proposed by Etnier and Chang (2009.

  19. The effect of childhood obesity on cardiac functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Üner, Abdurrahman; Doğan, Murat; Epcacan, Zerrin; Epçaçan, Serdar

    2014-03-01

    Obesity is a metabolic disorder defined as excessive accumulation of body fat, which is made up of genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors and has various social, psychological, and medical complications. Childhood obesity is a major indicator of adult obesity. The aim of this study is to evaluate the cardiac functions via electrocardiography (ECG), echocardiography (ECHO), and treadmill test in childhood obesity. A patient group consisting of 30 obese children and a control group consisting of 30 non-obese children were included in the study. The age range was between 8 and 17 years. Anthropometric measurements, physical examination, ECG, ECHO, and treadmill test were done in all patients. P-wave dispersion (PD) was found to be statistically significantly high in obese patients. In ECHO analysis, we found that end-diastolic diameter, end-systolic diameter, left ventricle posterior wall thickness, and interventricular septum were significantly greater in obese children. In treadmill test, exercise capacity was found to be significantly lower and the hemodynamic response to exercise was found to be defective in obese children. Various cardiac structural and functional changes occur in childhood obesity and this condition includes important cardiovascular risks. PD, left ventricle end-systolic and end-diastolic diameter, left ventricle posterior wall thickness, interventricular septum thickness, exercise capacity, and hemodynamic and ECG measurements during exercise testing are useful tests to determine cardiac dysfunctions and potential arrhythmias even in early stages of childhood obesity. Early recognition and taking precautions for obesity during childhood is very important to intercept complications that will occur in adulthood.

  20. Investigating executive functions in children with severe speech and movement disorders using structured tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristine eStadskleiv

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Executive functions are the basis for goal-directed activity and include planning, monitoring, and inhibition, and language seems to play a role in the development of these functions. There is a tradition of studying executive function in both typical and atypical populations, and the present study investigates executive functions in children with severe speech and motor impairments who are communicating using communication aids with graphic symbols, letters and/or words. There are few neuropsychological studies of children in this group and little is known about their cognitive functioning, including executive functions. It was hypothesized that aided communication would tax executive functions more than speech. 29 children using communication aids and 27 naturally speaking children participated. Structured tasks resembling everyday activities, where the action goals had to be reached through communication with a partner, were used to get information about executive functions. The children a directed the partner to perform actions like building a Lego tower from a model the partner could not see and b gave information about an object without naming it to a person who had to guess what object it was. The executive functions of planning, monitoring and impulse control were coded from the children’s on-task behavior. Both groups solved most of the tasks correctly, indicating that aided communicators are able to use language to direct another person to do a complex set of actions. Planning and lack of impulsivity was positively related to task success in both groups. The aided group completed significantly fewer tasks, spent longer time and showed more variation in performance than the comparison group. The aided communicators scored lower on planning and showed more impulsivity than the comparison group, while both groups showed an equal degree of monitoring of the work progress. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that aided language

  1. Sleep, attention, and executive functioning in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreau, Vincent; Rouleau, Nancie; Morin, Charles M

    2013-11-01

    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.

  2. Teachers' Understanding of the Role of Executive Functions in Mathematics Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilmore, Camilla; Cragg, Lucy

    2014-09-01

    Cognitive psychology research has suggested an important role for executive functions, the set of skills that monitor and control thought and action, in learning mathematics. However, there is currently little evidence about whether teachers are aware of the importance of these skills and, if so, how they come by this information. We conducted an online survey of teachers' views on the importance of a range of skills for mathematics learning. Teachers rated executive function skills, and in particular inhibition and shifting, to be important for mathematics. The value placed on executive function skills increased with increasing teaching experience. Most teachers reported that they were aware of these skills, although few knew the term "executive functions." This awareness had come about through their teaching experience rather than from formal instruction. Researchers and teacher educators could do more to highlight the importance of these skills to trainee or new teachers.

  3. Language and executive functioning in the context of specific language impairment and bilingualism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Laloi, A.

    2015-01-01

    The present thesis has investigated how French-speaking monolingual and bilingual children with SLI (specific language impairment) performed on various tasks examining language and executive functioning (EF) abilities, in comparison to monolingual and bilingual peers without SLI. Language was

  4. Teachers' Understanding of the Role of Executive Functions in Mathematics Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilmore, Camilla; Cragg, Lucy

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive psychology research has suggested an important role for executive functions, the set of skills that monitor and control thought and action, in learning mathematics. However, there is currently little evidence about whether teachers are aware of the importance of these skills and, if so, how they come by this information. We conducted an online survey of teachers' views on the importance of a range of skills for mathematics learning. Teachers rated executive function skills, and in particular inhibition and shifting, to be important for mathematics. The value placed on executive function skills increased with increasing teaching experience. Most teachers reported that they were aware of these skills, although few knew the term “executive functions.” This awareness had come about through their teaching experience rather than from formal instruction. Researchers and teacher educators could do more to highlight the importance of these skills to trainee or new teachers. PMID:25674156

  5. Executive functioning predicts reading, mathematics, and theory of mind during the elementary years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantin, Rachelle H; Gnaedinger, Emily K; Gallaway, Kristin C; Hesson-McInnis, Matthew S; Hund, Alycia M

    2016-06-01

    The goal of this study was to specify how executive functioning components predict reading, mathematics, and theory of mind performance during the elementary years. A sample of 93 7- to 10-year-old children completed measures of working memory, inhibition, flexibility, reading, mathematics, and theory of mind. Path analysis revealed that all three executive functioning components (working memory, inhibition, and flexibility) mediated age differences in reading comprehension, whereas age predicted mathematics and theory of mind directly. In addition, reading mediated the influence of executive functioning components on mathematics and theory of mind, except that flexibility also predicted mathematics directly. These findings provide important details about the development of executive functioning, reading, mathematics, and theory of mind during the elementary years. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Baroreflex sensitivity during rest and executive functioning in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The TRAILS study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

  7. Baroreflex sensitivity during rest and executive functioning in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The TRAILS study.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dietrich, A.; Althaus, M.; Hartman, C.A.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Mindera, R.B.; Hoofdakker, B.J. van den; Hoekstra, P.J.

    2012-01-01

    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

  8. Executive functions as predictors of visual-motor integration in children with intellectual disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Memisevic, Haris; Sinanovic, Osman

    2013-12-01

    The goal of this study was to assess the relationship between visual-motor integration and executive functions, and in particular, the extent to which executive functions can predict visual-motor integration skills in children with intellectual disability. The sample consisted of 90 children (54 boys, 36 girls; M age = 11.3 yr., SD = 2.7, range 7-15) with intellectual disabilities of various etiologies. The measure of executive functions were 8 subscales of the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) consisting of Inhibition, Shifting, Emotional Control, Initiating, Working memory, Planning, Organization of material, and Monitoring. Visual-motor integration was measured with the Acadia test of visual-motor integration (VMI). Regression analysis revealed that BRIEF subscales explained 38% of the variance in VMI scores. Of all the BRIEF subscales, only two were statistically significant predictors of visual-motor integration: Working memory and Monitoring. Possible implications of this finding are further elaborated.

  9. Social Cognition, Executive Functions and Self-Report of Psychological Distress in Huntington's Disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Ida Unmack; Vinther-Jensen, Tua; Nielsen, Jørgen Erik

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Huntington's disease (HD) is characterized by motor symptoms, psychiatric symptoms and cognitive impairment in, inter alia, executive functions and social cognition. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between subjective feeling of psychological distress using...... a self-report questionnaire and performances on tests of executive functions and social cognition in a large consecutive cohort of HD patients. METHOD: 50 manifest HD patients were tested in social cognition and executive functions and each answered a self-report questionnaire about current status...... psychological distress was significantly associated with worse performances on social cognitive tests (mean absolute correlation .34) and that there were no significant correlations between perceived psychological distress and performance on tests of executive functions. The correlations between perceived...

  10. Executive Functions: Influence of Sex, Age and Its Relationship With Intelligence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larissa de Oliveira e Ferreira

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available AbstractThe Tower of Hanoi is a tool used to evaluate executive functions. However, few studies describe what functions are evaluated in this test. This study investigates the executive functions, evaluated by the Tower of Hanoi (ToH, and the influence of gender, age and its relationship with intelligence. We evaluated 55 children and adolescents, between the ages of ten and 16, without diagnosed neuropsychiatric disorders. The results showed that the performance and time in to complete the Tower of Hanoi have no discriminative power when comparing age groups and sex; there was also no significant correlation found between the ToH and the execution quotient of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Third Edition (WISC III, perceptual organization and the speed of processing. Only the subtest coding were positively related to the ToH, demonstrating that these instruments may be measuring related aspects of intelligence and executive functions, namely intelligence and working memory.

  11. Bilingualism as a potential strategy to improve executive function in preterm infants: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, Lauren M; Baralt, Melissa; Darcy Mahoney, Ashley E

    2015-01-01

    Preterm birth is associated with long-term deficits in executive functioning and cognitive performance. Using the model of brain plasticity as a theoretical framework, it is possible that preterm infants' neurodevelopmental sequelae can be altered. Evidence suggests that bilingualism confers cognitive advantages on executive functioning, so it is possible that bilingualism may improve preterm infants' neurodevelopment. However, bilingualism has only been studied in term children. This review examined literature that compared the performance of preterm-born children to term children and bilingual children to monolingual children on executive function tasks. To address cognitive disparities in preterm-born children, studies investigating the effect of bilingualism on preterm infants' executive functioning is warranted. Copyright © 2015 National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Ovarian and Uterine Functions in Female Survivors of Childhood Cancers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oktem, Ozgur; Kim, Samuel S; Selek, Ugur; Schatmann, Glenn; Urman, Bulent

    2018-02-01

    Adult survivors of childhood cancers are more prone to developing poor reproductive and obstetrical outcomes than their siblings and the general population as a result of previous exposure to chemotherapy and radiation during childhood. Chemotherapy drugs exert cytotoxic effects systemically and therefore can damage the ovaries, leading to infertility, premature ovarian failure, and, to a lesser extent, spontaneous abortions. They have very limited or no deleterious effects on the uterus that can be recognized clinically. By contrast, radiation is detrimental to both the ovaries and the uterus, thereby causing a greater magnitude of adverse effects on the female reproductive function. These include infertility, premature ovarian failure, miscarriage, fetal growth restrictions, perinatal deaths, preterm births, delivery of small-for-gestational-age infants, preeclampsia, and abnormal placentation. Regrettably, the majority of these adverse outcomes arise from radiation-induced uterine injury and are reported at higher incidence in the adult survivors of childhood cancers who were exposed to uterine radiation during childhood in the form of pelvic, spinal, or total-body irradiation. Recent findings of long-term follow-up studies evaluating reproductive performance of female survivors provided some reassurance to female cancer survivors by documenting that pregnancy and live birth rates were not significantly compromised in survivors, including those who had been treated with alkylating agents and had not received pelvic, cranial, and total-body irradiation. We aimed in this narrative review article to provide an update on the impact of chemotherapy and radiation on the ovarian and uterine function in female survivors of childhood cancer. Adult survivors of childhood cancers are more prone to developing a number of poor reproductive and obstetrical outcomes than their siblings and the general population as a result of previous exposure to chemotherapy and radiation

  13. The puzzle of processing speed, memory, and executive function impairments in schizophrenia: fitting the pieces together.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowles, Emma E M; Weiser, Mark; David, Anthony S; Glahn, David C; Davidson, Michael; Reichenberg, Abraham

    2015-12-01

    Substantial impairment in performance on the digit-symbol substitution task in patients with schizophrenia is well established, which has been widely interpreted as denoting a specific impairment in processing speed. However, other higher order cognitive functions might be more critical to performance on this task. To date, this idea has not been rigorously investigated in patients with schizophrenia. Neuropsychological measures of processing speed, memory, and executive functioning were completed by 125 patients with schizophrenia and 272 control subjects. We implemented a series of confirmatory factor and structural regression modeling to build an integrated model of processing speed, memory, and executive function with which to deconstruct the digit-symbol substitution task and characterize discrepancies between patients with schizophrenia and control subjects. The overall structure of the processing speed, memory, and executive function model was the same across groups (χ(2) = 208.86, p > .05), but the contribution of the specific cognitive domains to coding task performance differed significantly. When completing the task, control subjects relied on executive function and, indirectly, on working memory ability, whereas patients with schizophrenia used an alternative set of cognitive operations whereby they relied on the same processes required to complete verbal fluency tasks. Successful coding task performance relies predominantly on executive function, rather than processing speed or memory. Patients with schizophrenia perform poorly on this task because of an apparent lack of appropriate executive function input; they rely instead on an alternative cognitive pathway. Copyright © 2015 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Comparison the Executive Functions of Inhibition and Problem Solving in Adolescents with and Without Substance Abuse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tahereh masoomi mofrad

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Executive functions are self-regulated functions and show the ability to inhibition, self-changing, planning, organization, using the working memory, solving problems and targeting for homework and school activities. This study compares the executive functions of inhibition and problem solving in adolescents with and without substance abuse. In this causal-comparative study, 15 adolescents with substance abuse and 15 normal adolescents were selected which matched each other with the same age, sex and education. The research tools were Wisconsin Card, was used for assessing the inhibition executive functions, and Heppner and Petersen Questionnaires for problem solving. The results showed that there were statistically significant differences between groups between average score of inhibition executive functions and solving problem (except trend– avoid component. There were not statistically significant differences in the average score of inhibition executive functions and solving problem according to age, sex and education. It is concluded that the drug addicts are weaker than those without substance abuse based on the inhibition executive function and problem solving. These findings can be used for the prevention program.

  15. The effect of negative affect on cognition: Anxiety, not anger, impairs executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Grant S; Moons, Wesley G; Tewell, Carl A; Yonelinas, Andrew P

    2016-09-01

    It is often assumed that negative affect impairs the executive functions that underlie our ability to control and focus our thoughts. However, support for this claim has been mixed. Recent work has suggested that different negative affective states like anxiety and anger may reflect physiologically separable states with distinct effects on cognition. However, the effects of these 2 affective states on executive function have never been assessed. As such, we induced anxiety or anger in participants and examined the effects on executive function. We found that anger did not impair executive function relative to a neutral mood, whereas anxiety did. In addition, self-reports of induced anxiety, but not anger, predicted impairments in executive function. These results support functional models of affect and cognition, and highlight the need to consider differences between anxiety and anger when investigating the influence of negative affect on fundamental cognitive processes such as memory and executive function. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. The Puzzle of Processing Speed, Memory and Executive Function Impairments in Schizophrenia: Fitting the Pieces Together

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowles, Emma E. M.; Weiser, Mark; David, Anthony S.; Glahn, David; Davidson, Michael; Reichenberg, Abraham

    2015-01-01

    Background Substantial impairment in digit-symbol substitution task performance in schizophrenia is well established, which has been widely interpreted as denoting a specific impairment in processing-speed ability. However, other higher-order cognitive functions might be more critical to performance on this task. To date, this has not been rigorously investigated in schizophrenia. Methods One-hundred and twenty-five schizophrenia cases and 272 controls completed neuropsychological measures of processing speed, memory and executive functioning. We implemented a series of confirmatory factor and structural regression modeling in order to build an integrated model of processing speed, memory and executive function with which to deconstruct digit-symbol substitution task and characterize discrepancies between cases and controls. Results The overall structure of the processing speed, memory and executive function model was the same across groups (χ2 = 208.86, p>.05) but the contribution of the specific cognitive domains to coding task performance differed significantly. When completing the task controls relied on executive function and, indirectly, on working memory ability; while schizophrenia cases utilized an alternative set of cognitive operations whereby they relied on the same processes required to complete verbal fluency tasks. Conclusions Successful coding task performance is predominantly reliant on executive function, rather than processing-speed or memory abilities. Schizophrenia patients perform poorly on this task due to an apparent lack of appropriate executive function input, they rely instead on an alternative cognitive pathway. PMID:25863361

  17. Characterizing Cognitive Aging of Working Memory and Executive Function in Animal Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Lynn Bizon

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Executive functions supported by prefrontal cortical systems provide essential control and planning mechanisms to guide goal-directed behavior. As such, age-related alterations in executive functions can mediate profound and widespread deficits on a diverse array of neurocognitive processes. Many of the critical neuroanatomical and functional characteristics of prefrontal cortex are preserved in rodents, allowing for meaningful cross-species comparisons relevant to the study of cognitive aging. In particular, as rodents lend themselves to genetic, cellular and biochemical approaches, rodent models of executive function stand to significantly contribute to our understanding of the critical neurobiological mechanisms that mediate decline of executive processes across the lifespan. Moreover, rodent analogues of executive functions that decline in human aging represent an essential component of a targeted, rational approach for developing and testing effective treatment and prevention therapies for age-related cognitive decline. This paper reviews behavioral approaches used to study executive function in rodents, with a focus on those assays that share a foundation in the psychological and neuroanatomical constructs important for human aging. A particular emphasis is placed on behavioral approaches used to assess working memory and cognitive flexibility, which are sensitive to decline with age across species and for which strong rodent models currently exist. In addition, other approaches in rodent behavior that have potential for providing analogues to functions that reliably decline to human aging (e.g., information processing speed are discussed.

  18. Executive Function in Children with Intellectual Disability--The Effects of Sex, Level and Aetiology of Intellectual Disability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Memisevic, H.; Sinanovic, O.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Executive function is very important in the children's overall development. The goal of this study was to assess the executive function in children with intellectual disability (ID) through the use of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) teacher version. An additional goal was to examine the differences in…

  19. The Factor Structure and Age-Related Factorial Invariance of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latzman, Robert D.; Markon, Kristian E.

    2010-01-01

    There has been an increased interest in the structure of and relations among executive functions.The present study examined the factor structure as well as age-related factorial invariance of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS), a widely used inventory aimed at assessing executive functions. Analyses were first conducted using data…

  20. Independence of Hot and Cold Executive Function Deficits in High-Functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmerman, David L; Ownsworth, Tamara; O'Donovan, Analise; Roberts, Jacqueline; Gullo, Matthew J

    2016-01-01

    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.

  1. Emotional Regulation and Executive Function Deficits in Unmedicated Chinese Children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Jiang, Wenqing; Li, Yan; Du, Yasong; Fan, Juan

    2016-01-01

    Objective This study aims to explore the feature of emotional regulation and executive functions in oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) children. Methods 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 ...

  2. The impact of motivation and teachers? autonomy support on children?s executive functions

    OpenAIRE

    Sosic-Vasic, Zrinka; Keis, Oliver; Lau, Maren; Spitzer, Manfred; Streb, Judith

    2015-01-01

    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 teac...

  3. The Impact of Motivation and Teachers’ Autonomy Support on Children’s Executive Functions

    OpenAIRE

    Zrinka eSosic-Vasic; Oliver eKeis; Maren eLau; Manfred eSpitzer; Manfred eSpitzer; Judith eStreb

    2015-01-01

    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 teach...

  4. Neural Markers and Rehabilitation of Executive Functioning in Veterans with TBI and PTSD

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    1 Award Number: W81XWH-11-1-0796 TITLE: Neural Markers and Rehabilitation of Executive Functioning in Veterans with TBI and PTSD PRINCIPAL...30Sept2015 - 29Sept2016 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE: Neural Markers and Rehabilitation of Executive Functioning in Veterans with TBI and PTSD 5a. CONTRACT... met criteria for TBI during military service, 48.8% of whom reported multiple head injuries. The most common mechanisms of injury included blast

  5. Obesity and unhealthy lifestyle associated with poor executive function among Malaysian adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tee, Joyce Ying Hui; Gan, Wan Ying; Tan, Kit-Aun; Chin, Yit Siew

    2018-01-01

    The understanding on the roles of obesity and lifestyle behaviors in predicting executive function of adolescents has been limited. Low executive function proficiency may have adverse effects on adolescents' school academic performance. This cross-sectional study aimed to examine the relationship between BMI-for-age and multiple lifestyle behaviors (operationalized as meal consumption, physical activity, and sleep quality) with executive function (operationalized as inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility) on a sample of Malaysian adolescents aged between 12 and 16 years (N = 513). Participants were recruited from two randomly selected schools in the state of Selangor in Malaysia. Using a self-administered questionnaire, parent participants provided information concerning their sociodemographic data, whereas adolescent participants provided information regarding their meal consumptions, physical activity, and sleep quality. The modified Harvard step test was used to assess adolescents' aerobic fitness, while Stroop color-word, digit span, and trail-making tests were used to assess adolescents' inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility, respectively. Three separate hierarchical regression analyses were conducted for each outcome namely, inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility. After adjusted for sociodemographic factors and BMI-for-age, differential predictors of inhibition and working memory were found. Habitual sleep efficiency significantly and positively predicted inhibition. Regular dinner intakes, physical activity levels, and sleep quality significantly and positively predicted working memory. Household income emerged as a consistent predictor for all executive function domains. In conclusion, an increased trend of obesity and unhealthy lifestyles among adolescents were found to be associated with poorer executive function. Regular dinner intakes, higher physical activity levels and better sleep quality predicted better

  6. The Effect of Negative Affect on Cognition: Anxiety, Not Anger, Impairs Executive Function

    OpenAIRE

    Shields, Grant S.; Moons, Wesley G.; Tewell, Carl A.; Yonelinas, Andrew P.

    2016-01-01

    It is often assumed that negative affect impairs the executive functions that underlie our ability to control and focus our thoughts. However, support for this claim has been mixed. Recent work has suggested that different negative affective states like anxiety and anger may reflect physiologically separable states with distinct effects on cognition. However, the effects of these two affective states on executive function have never been assessed. As such, we induced anxiety or anger in parti...

  7. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and executive functioning in emerging adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarrett, Matthew A

    2016-02-01

    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).

  8. Executive functions predict weight loss in a medically supervised weight loss programme

    OpenAIRE

    Galioto, R.; Bond, D.; Gunstad, J.; Pera, V.; Rathier, L.; Tremont, G.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Background Deficits in executive functions are related to poorer weight loss after bariatric surgery; however, less is known about the role that these deficits may play during participation in nonsurgical weight loss programmes. This study examined associations between objectively measured executive functions and weight loss during participation in a medically supervised weight loss programme. Methods Twenty?three adult patients (age 50.4???15.1, BMI 44.2???8.8, 68% female, 92% White)...

  9. Motor and Executive Function Profiles in Adult Residents ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Objective: Exposure to elevated levels of manganese (Mn) may be associated with tremor, motor and executive dysfunction (EF), clinically resembling Parkinson’s disease (PD). PD research has identified tremor-dominant (TD) and non-tremor dominant (NTD) profiles. NTD PD presents with bradykinesia, rigidity, and postural sway, and is associated with EF impairment with lower quality of life (QoL). Presence and impact of tremor, motor, and executive dysfunction profiles on health-related QoL and life satisfaction were examined in air-Mn exposed residents of two Ohio, USA towns. Participants and Methods: From two Ohio towns exposed to air-Mn, 186 residents (76 males) aged 30-75 years were administered measures of EF (Animal Naming, ACT, Rey-O Copy, Stroop Color-Word, and Trails B), motor and tremor symptoms (UPDRS), QoL (BRFSS), life satisfaction (SWLS), and positive symptom distress (SCL-90-R). Air-Mn exposure in the two towns was modeled with 10 years of air-monitoring data. Cluster analyses detected the presence of symptom profiles by grouping together residents with similar scores on these measures. Results: Overall, mean air-Mn concentration for the two towns was 0.53 µg/m3 (SD=.92). Two-step cluster analyses identified TD and NTD symptom profiles. Residents in the NTD group lacked EF impairment; EF impairment represented a separate profile. An unimpaired group also emerged. The NTD and EF impairment groups were qualitatively similar, with relatively lo

  10. Age-related commonalities and differences in the relationship between executive functions and intelligence: Analysis of the NAB executive functions module and WAIS-IV scores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buczylowska, Dorota; Petermann, Franz

    2017-01-01

    Data from five subtests of the Executive Functions Module of the German Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (NAB) and all ten core subtests of the German Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale - Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV) were used to examine the relationship between executive functions and intelligence in a comparison of two age groups: individuals aged 18-59 years and individuals aged 60-88 years. The NAB subtests Categories and Word Generation demonstrated a consistent correlation pattern for both age groups. However, the NAB Judgment subtest correlated more strongly with three WAIS-IV indices, the Full Scale IQ (FSIQ), and the General Ability Index (GAI) in the older adult group than in the younger group. Additionally, in the 60-88 age group, the Executive Functions Index (EFI) was more strongly correlated with the Verbal Comprehension Index (VCI) than with the Perceptual Reasoning Index (PRI). Both age groups demonstrated a strong association of the EFI with the FSIQ and the Working Memory Index (WMI). The results imply the potential diagnostic utility of the Judgment subtest and a significant relationship between executive functioning and crystallized intelligence at older ages. Furthermore, it may be concluded that there is a considerable age-independent overlap between the EFI and general intelligence, as well as between the EFI and working memory.

  11. Family socioeconomic status and child executive functions: the roles of language, home environment, and single parenthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarsour, Khaled; Sheridan, Margaret; Jutte, Douglas; Nuru-Jeter, Amani; Hinshaw, Stephen; Boyce, W Thomas

    2011-01-01

    The association between family socioeconomic status (SES) and child executive functions is well-documented. However, few studies have examined the role of potential mediators and moderators. We studied the independent and interactive associations between family SES and single parenthood to predict child executive functions of inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and working memory and examined child expressive language abilities and family home environment as potential mediators of these associations. Sixty families from diverse SES backgrounds with a school-age target child (mean [SD] age = 9.9 [0.96] years) were evaluated. Child executive functioning was measured using a brief battery. The quality of the home environment was evaluated using the Home Observation for the Measurement of the Environment inventory. Family SES predicted the three child executive functions under study. Single parent and family SES were interactively associated with children's inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility; such that children from low SES families who were living with one parent performed less well on executive function tests than children from similarly low SES who were living with two parents. Parental responsivity, enrichment activities and family companionship mediated the association between family SES and child inhibitory control and working memory. This study demonstrates that family SES inequalities are associated with inequalities in home environments and with inequalities in child executive functions. The impact of these disparities as they unfold in the lives of typically developing children merits further investigation and understanding.

  12. Benefits of regular aerobic exercise for executive functioning in healthy populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guiney, Hayley; Machado, Liana

    2013-02-01

    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.

  13. Disentangling the relationship between children's motor ability, executive function and academic achievement.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirko Schmidt

    Full Text Available Even though positive relations between children's motor ability and their academic achievement are frequently reported, the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. Executive function has indeed been proposed, but hardly tested as a potential mediator. The aim of the present study was therefore to examine the mediating role of executive function in the relationship between motor ability and academic achievement, also investigating the individual contribution of specific motor abilities to the hypothesized mediated linkage to academic achievement. At intervals of ten weeks, 236 children aged between 10 and 12 years were tested in terms of their motor ability (t1: cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, motor coordination, core executive functions (t2: updating, inhibition, shifting, and academic achievement (t3: mathematics, reading, spelling. Structural equation modelling revealed executive function to be a mediator in the relation between motor ability and academic achievement, represented by a significant indirect effect. In separate analyses, each of the three motor abilities were positively related to children's academic achievement. However, only in the case of children's motor coordination, the mediation by executive function accounted for a significance percentage of variance of academic achievement data. The results provide evidence in support of models that conceive executive function as a mechanism explaining the relationship that links children's physical activity-related outcomes to academic achievement and strengthen the advocacy for quality physical activity not merely focused on health-related physical fitness outcomes, but also on motor skill development and learning.

  14. An integrative architecture for general intelligence and executive function revealed by lesion mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colom, Roberto; Solomon, Jeffrey; Krueger, Frank; Forbes, Chad; Grafman, Jordan

    2012-01-01

    Although cognitive neuroscience has made remarkable progress in understanding the involvement of the prefrontal cortex in executive control, the broader functional networks that support high-level cognition and give rise to general intelligence remain to be well characterized. Here, we investigated the neural substrates of the general factor of intelligence (g) and executive function in 182 patients with focal brain damage using voxel-based lesion–symptom mapping. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System were used to derive measures of g and executive function, respectively. Impaired performance on these measures was associated with damage to a distributed network of left lateralized brain areas, including regions of frontal and parietal cortex and white matter association tracts, which bind these areas into a coordinated system. The observed findings support an integrative framework for understanding the architecture of general intelligence and executive function, supporting their reliance upon a shared fronto-parietal network for the integration and control of cognitive representations and making specific recommendations for the application of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System to the study of high-level cognition in health and disease. PMID:22396393

  15. Effects of HIV and childhood trauma on brain morphometry and neurocognitive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spies, Georgina; Ahmed-Leitao, Fatima; Fennema-Notestine, Christine; Cherner, Mariana; Seedat, Soraya

    2016-04-01

    A wide spectrum of neurocognitive deficits characterises HIV infection in adults. HIV infection is additionally associated with morphological brain abnormalities affecting neural substrates that subserve neurocognitive function. Early life stress (ELS) also has a direct influence on brain morphology. However, the combined impact of ELS and HIV on brain structure and neurocognitive function has not been examined in an all-female sample with advanced HIV disease. The present study examined the effects of HIV and childhood trauma on brain morphometry and neurocognitive function. Structural data were acquired using a 3T Magnetom MRI scanner, and a battery of neurocognitive tests was administered to 124 women: HIV-positive with ELS (n = 32), HIV-positive without ELS (n = 30), HIV-negative with ELS (n = 31) and HIV-negative without ELS (n = 31). Results revealed significant group volumetric differences for right anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), bilateral hippocampi, corpus callosum, left and right caudate and left and right putamen. Mean regional volumes were lowest in HIV-positive women with ELS compared to all other groups. Although causality cannot be inferred, findings also suggest that alterations in the left frontal lobe, right ACC, left hippocampus, corpus callosum, left and right amygdala and left caudate may be associated with poorer neurocognitive performance in the domains of processing speed, attention/working memory, abstraction/executive functions, motor skills, learning and language/fluency with these effects more pronounced in women living with both HIV and childhood trauma. This study highlights the potential contributory role of childhood trauma to brain alterations and neurocognitive decline in HIV-infected individuals.

  16. Functional fecal retention with encopresis in childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loening-Baucke, Vera

    2004-01-01

    The most common cause of encopresis in children is functional fecal retention (FFR). An international working team suggested that FFR be defined by the following criteria: a history of >12 weeks of passage of encopresis; to compare these patients to those identified as having FFR by historical symptoms or physical examination; to determine whether 1-year treatment outcome varied depending on which definition for FFR was used; and to suggest improvements to the ROME II criteria, if necessary. Data were reviewed from the history and physical examination of 213 children with encopresis. One-year outcomes identified were failure, successful treatment, or full recovery. Only 88 (41%) of the patients with encopresis fit the ROME II criteria for FFR, whereas 181 (85%) had symptoms of FFR by history or physical examination. Thirty-two (15%) patients did not fit criteria for FFR, but only 6 (3%) appeared to have nonretentive fecal soiling. Rates of successful treatment (50%) and recovery (39%) were not significantly different in the two groups. The ROME II criteria for FFR are too restrictive and do not identify many children with encopresis who have symptoms of FFR. The author suggests that the ROME II criteria for FFR could be improved by including the following additional items: a history of BMs that obstruct the toilet, a history of chronic abdominal pain relieved by enemas or laxatives, and the presence of an abdominal fecal mass or rectal fecal mass.

  17. Executive functioning during full and partial remission (positive and negative symptomatic remission) of schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braw, Yoram; Benozio, Avi; Levkovitz, Yechiel

    2012-12-01

    Despite the upsurge of research regarding cognitive impairment in schizophrenia we still lack adequate understanding of the executive functioning of patients in symptomatic remission. Moreover, the cognitive functioning of patients in partial remission has not been studied previously although they comprise a significant proportion of schizophrenia patients. The current study therefore examined the executive functioning of patients in full symptomatic remission and for the first time assessed two sub-groups of patients in partial remission. Executive functioning of five groups was compared; symptomatic patients, patients in positive symptomatic remission, negative symptomatic remission, full symptomatic remission (SP, PSR, NSR, and FSR; N=101) and healthy controls (N=37). A graded cognitive profile was evident between the groups. SP patients exhibited widespread executive dysfunction while the performance of FSR patients was comparable to that of the healthy controls. Both PSR and NSR patients had working memory deficits, with PSR patients showing additional deficits in cognitive planning. The findings are encouraging, tentatively suggesting intact executive functioning among patients in full symptomatic remission. The graded cognitive profile of the patient groups strengthens earlier findings indicating the significant role of negative symptoms in determining executive dysfunction in schizophrenia. The findings point toward potential targets for therapeutic efforts and emphasize the need for further research of sub-groups of schizophrenia patients in partial remission. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Emotion suppression moderates the quadratic association between RSA and executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spangler, Derek P; Bell, Martha Ann; Deater-Deckard, Kirby

    2015-09-01

    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.

  19. Cognitive profile in Duchenne muscular dystrophy boys without intellectual disability: The role of executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battini, R; Chieffo, D; Bulgheroni, S; Piccini, G; Pecini, C; Lucibello, S; Lenzi, S; Moriconi, F; Pane, M; Astrea, G; Baranello, G; Alfieri, P; Vicari, S; Riva, D; Cioni, G; Mercuri, E

    2018-02-01

    The aim of our prospective observational study was to assess profiles of cognitive function and a possible impairment of executive functions in a cohort of boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy without intellectual and behavior disability. Forty Duchenne boys (range of age: 6 years to 11 years and 6 months) were assessed by Wechsler Intelligence scale and battery of tests including tasks assessing working memory and executive functions (inhibition and switching, problem solving and planning). In our cohort some aspects of cognitive function were often impaired. These included multitasking, problem solving, inhibition and working memory necessary to plan and direct goal oriented behavior. Our results support the suggestion that aspects of cognitive function could be impaired even in boys without intellectual disability and support the hypothesis that executive functions may play an important role in specific aspects of cognitive impairment in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. The impact of social disparity on prefrontal function in childhood.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret A Sheridan

    Full Text Available The prefrontal cortex (PFC develops from birth through late adolescence. This extended developmental trajectory provides many opportunities for experience to shape the structure and function of the PFC. To date, a few studies have reported links between parental socioeconomic status (SES and prefrontal function in childhood, raising the possibility that aspects of environment associated with SES impact prefrontal function. Considering that behavioral measures of prefrontal function are associated with learning across multiple domains, this is an important area of investigation. In this study, we used fMRI to replicate previous findings, demonstrating an association between parental SES and PFC function during childhood. In addition, we present two hypothetical mechanisms by which SES could come to affect PFC function of this association: language environment and stress reactivity. We measured language use in the home environment and change in salivary cortisol before and after fMRI scanning. Complexity of family language, but not the child's own language use, was associated with both parental SES and PFC activation. Change in salivary cortisol was also associated with both SES and PFC activation. These observed associations emphasize the importance of both enrichment and adversity-reduction interventions in creating good developmental environments for all children.

  1. Interpersonal Problem-Solving Skills, Executive Function and Learning Potential in Preadolescents with High/Low Family Risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mata, Sara; Gómez-Pérez, M Mar; Molinero, Clara; Calero, M Dolores

    2017-10-30

    Situations generated by high family risk have a negative effect on personal development, especially during preadolescence. Growing up in the presence of risk factors can lead to negative consequences on mental health or on school performance. The objective of this study focuses on individual factors related to this phenomenon during preadolescence. Specifically, we seek to establish whether level of family risk (high vs. low risk) is related to interpersonal problem-solving skills, executive function and learning potential in a sample of preadolescents controlling age, sex, total IQ, verbal comprehension ability and the classroom influences. The participants were 40 children, 23 boys and 17 girls between the ages of 7 and 12, twenty of which had a record on file with the Social and Childhood Protection Services of Information deleted to maintain the integrity of the review process, and therefore, a high family risk situation. The other 20 participants had a low family risk situation. Results show that the preadolescents from high family risk performed worse on interpersonal solving-problem skills and executive function (p family risk. These results highlight the negative effects of high family risk situation in preadolescents and give value of taking into account protective factors such as learning potential when assessing preadolescents from high family risk.

  2. Physical exercise and executive functions in preadolescent children, adolescents and young adults: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verburgh, Lot; Königs, Marsh; Scherder, Erik J A; Oosterlaan, Jaap

    2014-06-01

    The goal of this meta-analysis was to aggregate available empirical studies on the effects of physical exercise on executive functions in preadolescent children (6-12 years of age), adolescents (13-17 years of age) and young adults (18-35 years of age). The electronic databases PubMed, EMBASE and SPORTDiscus were searched for relevant studies reporting on the effects of physical exercise on executive functions. Nineteen studies were selected. There was a significant overall effect of acute physical exercise on executive functions (d=0.52, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.76, pexercise (d=0.14, 95%CI -0.04 to 0.32, p=0.19) on executive functions (Q (1)=5.08, pexercise on the domain's inhibition/interference control (d=0.46, 95% CI 0.33 to 0.60, pexercise on planning (d=0.16, 95% CI 0.18 to 0.89, p=0.18). Results suggest that acute physical exercise enhances executive functioning. The number of studies on chronic physical exercise is limited and it should be investigated whether chronic physical exercise shows effects on executive functions comparable to acute physical exercise. This is highly relevant in preadolescent children and adolescents, given the importance of well-developed executive functions for daily life functioning and the current increase in sedentary behaviour in these age groups. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  3. Pragmatic and executive functions in traumatic brain injury and right brain damage: An exploratory comparative study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolle Zimmermann

    Full Text Available Abstract Objective: To describe the frequency of pragmatic and executive deficits in right brain damaged (RBD and in traumatic brain injury (TBI patients, and to verify possible dissociations between pragmatic and executive functions in these two groups. Methods: The sample comprised 7 cases of TBI and 7 cases of RBD. All participants were assessed by means of tasks from the Montreal Communication Evaluation Battery and executive functions tests including the Trail Making Test, Hayling Test, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, semantic and phonemic verbal fluency tasks, and working memory tasks from the Brazilian Brief Neuropsychological Assessment Battery NEUPSILIN. Z-score was calculated and a descriptive analysis of frequency of deficits (Z< -1.5 was carried out. Results: RBD patients presented with deficits predominantly on conversational and narrative discursive tasks, while TBI patients showed a wider spread pattern of pragmatic deficits. Regarding EF, RBD deficits included predominantly working memory and verbal initiation impairment. On the other hand, TBI individuals again exhibited a general profile of executive dysfunction, affecting mainly working memory, initiation, inhibition, planning and switching. Pragmatic and executive deficits were generally associated upon comparisons of RBD patients and TBI cases, except for two simple dissociations: two post-TBI cases showed executive deficits in the absence of pragmatic deficits. Discussion: Pragmatic and executive deficits can be very frequent following TBI or vascular RBD. There seems to be an association between these abilities, indicating that although they can co-occur, a cause-consequence relationship cannot be the only hypothesis.

  4. Executive functioning and substance use in adolescence: Neurobiological and behavioral perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen; Kahn, Rachel E; Lauharatanahirun, Nina; Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Bickel, Warren K; Chiu, Pearl H; King-Casas, Brooks

    2017-06-01

    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.

  5. The Relationship between Self-Reported Executive Functioning and Risk-Taking Behavior in Urban Homeless Youth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piche, Joshua; Kaylegian, Jaeson; Smith, Dale; Hunter, Scott J

    2018-01-03

    Introduction: Almost 2 million U.S. youth are estimated to live on the streets, in shelters, or in other types of temporary housing at some point each year. Both their age and living situations make them more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors, particularly during adolescence, a time of increased risk taking. Much of self-control appears related to the development of the prefrontal cortex, which is at a particularly crucial period of elaboration and refinement during adolescence and emerging adulthood. Executive processes like decision-making, inhibition, planning, and reasoning may be vulnerable to adversity experienced as a result of homelessness and related impoverishment during childhood and adolescence. No study to date, to our knowledge, has directly investigated differences in risk-taking by homeless youth as it relates to their developing executive control. Objective: Examine the relationship between the level of self-reported executive function (EF) and engagement in risk taking behaviors among a sample of shelter-living urban homeless youth. We predicted that homeless youth who have lower levels of self-reported EF would more readily engage in risky behaviors that could lead to negative outcomes. Participants: One hundred and forty-nine youths between 18 and 22 years of age were recruited from homeless agencies in Chicago. Of this study sample, 53% were female and 76% African American. Measures: All participants completed, as part of a broader neuropsychological assessment, the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning-Adult Version (BRIEF-A), the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), and the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). Analyses: Groups were separated based on level of self-reported EF, with two groups identified: High self-reported EF fell >1 SD above the normative average, and low self-reported EF fell >1 SD below the normative average. All analyses utilized Chi-square and Mann-Whitney tests. Results and

  6. The relationship between depression and executive function and the impact of vascular disease burden in younger and older adults

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lugtenburg, Astrid; Voshaar, Richard C. Oude; Van Zelst, Willeke; Schoevers, Robert A.; Enriquez-Geppert, Stefanie; Zuidersma, Marij

    2017-01-01

    Background: depression is associated with worse executive function, but underlying mechanisms might differ by age. Aims: to investigate whether vascular disease burden affects the association between depression and executive dysfunction differentially by age. Method: among 83,613 participants of

  7. Executive function on the 16-day of bed rest in young healthy men

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishizaki, Yuko; Fukuoka, Hideoki; Tanaka, Hidetaka; Ishizaki, Tatsuro; Fujii, Yuri; Hattori-Uchida, Yuko; Nakamura, Minako; Ohkawa, Kaoru; Kobayashi, Hodaka; Taniuchi, Shoichiro; Kaneko, Kazunari

    2009-05-01

    Microgravity due to prolonged bed rest may cause changes in cerebral circulation, which is related to brain function. We evaluate the effect of simulated microgravity due to a 6° head-down tilt bed rest experiment on executive function among 12 healthy young men. Four kinds of psychoneurological tests—the table tapping test, the trail making test, the pointing test and losing at rock-paper-scissors—were performed on the baseline and on day 16 of the experiment. There was no significant difference in the results between the baseline and day 16 on all tests, which indicated that executive function was not impaired by the 16-day 6° head-down tilting bed rest. However, we cannot conclude that microgravity did not affect executive function because of the possible contribution of the following factors: (1) the timing of tests, (2) the learning effect, or (3) changes in psychophysiology that were too small to affect higher brain function.

  8. The Moderating Role of Executive Functioning in Older Adults' Responses to a Reminder of Mortality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxfield, Molly; Pyszczynski, Tom; Greenberg, Jeff; Pepin, Renee; Davis, Hasker P.

    2011-01-01

    In previous research, older adults responded to mortality salience (MS) with increased tolerance, whereas younger persons responded with increased punitiveness. One possible explanation for this is that many older adults adapt to challenges of later life, such as the prospect of mortality, by becoming more flexible. Recent studies suggest that positively-oriented adaptation is more likely for older adults with high levels of executive functioning. We thus hypothesized that the better an older adult's executive functioning, the more likely MS would result in increased tolerance. Older and younger adults were randomly assigned to MS or control conditions, and then evaluated moral transgressors. As in previous research, younger adults were more punitive following reminders of mortality; executive functioning did not affect their responses. Among older adults, high functioning individuals responded to MS with increased tolerance rather than intolerance, whereas those low in functioning became more punitive. PMID:21728445

  9. The role of executive functioning in children's attentional pain control: an experimental analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verhoeven, Katrien; Dick, Bruce; Eccleston, Christopher; Goubert, Liesbet; Crombez, Geert

    2014-02-01

    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.

  10. Emotional Availability Modulates Electrophysiological Correlates of Executive Functions in Preschool Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider-Hassloff, Henriette; Zwönitzer, Annabel; Künster, Anne K; Mayer, Carmen; Ziegenhain, Ute; Kiefer, Markus

    2016-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) - a set of cognitive control abilities - mediate resilience to stress and are associated with academic achievement and health throughout life. They are crucially linked to prefrontal cortex function as well as to other cortical and subcortical brain functions, which are maturing throughout childhood at different rates. Recent behavioral research suggested that children's EFs were related to parenting quality and child attachment security, but the neural correlates of these associations are unknown. With this study we tested in 4- to 6-year-old healthy children (N = 27) how emotional availability (EA) of the mother-child-interaction was associated with behavioral and electrophysiological correlates of response inhibition (a core EF) in a Go/Nogo task, using event-related potential recordings (ERPs), and with behavioral performance in a Delay of Gratification (DoG) and a Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders task (HTKS). Our data showed that the Go/Nogo task modulated children's ERP components resembling adult electrophysiological indices of response inhibition - the N2 and P3/LPC ERPs-, but the children's N2 and P3/LPC ERPs showed longer latencies. Higher maternal autonomy-fostering behavior and greater child responsiveness were significantly associated with smaller children's N2 Go/Nogo effects at fronto-central and parietal sites and with greater Go/Nogo effects in the N2 time window at occipital sites, over and above children's age and intelligence. Additionally, greater maternal sensitivity and a higher dyadic EA quality of the mother-child-interaction went along with greater occipital Go/Nogo effects in the N2 time window, but this effect clearly diminished when we controlled for children's age and intelligence. Higher maternal autonomy-support was also positively associated with better HTKS performance, and higher dyadic EA quality went along with higher HTKS and DoG scores. However, no significant associations were found between EA variables and

  11. Investigating executive functions in children with severe speech and movement disorders using structured tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stadskleiv, Kristine; von Tetzchner, Stephen; Batorowicz, Beata; van Balkom, Hans; Dahlgren-Sandberg, Annika; Renner, Gregor

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions are the basis for goal-directed activity and include planning, monitoring, and inhibition, and language seems to play a role in the development of these functions. There is a tradition of studying executive function in both typical and atypical populations, and the present study investigates executive functions in children with severe speech and motor impairments who are communicating using communication aids with graphic symbols, letters, and/or words. There are few neuropsychological studies of children in this group and little is known about their cognitive functioning, including executive functions. It was hypothesized that aided communication would tax executive functions more than speech. Twenty-nine children using communication aids and 27 naturally speaking children participated. Structured tasks resembling everyday activities, where the action goals had to be reached through communication with a partner, were used to get information about executive functions. The children (a) directed the partner to perform actions like building a Lego tower from a model the partner could not see and (b) gave information about an object without naming it to a person who had to guess what object it was. The executive functions of planning, monitoring, and impulse control were coded from the children's on-task behavior. Both groups solved most of the tasks correctly, indicating that aided communicators are able to use language to direct another person to do a complex set of actions. Planning and lack of impulsivity was positively related to task success in both groups. The aided group completed significantly fewer tasks, spent longer time and showed more variation in performance than the comparison group. The aided communicators scored lower on planning and showed more impulsivity than the comparison group, while both groups showed an equal degree of monitoring of the work progress. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that aided language tax

  12. Episodic and semantic memory functioning in very old age: Explanations from executive functioning and processing speed theories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pauline E.J. Spaan

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Structural equation modeling was used to investigate whether age-related episodic and semantic memory impairments are better explained by decline in processing speed or executive functioning (or both, rather than directly in terms of memory components. The models tested were based on an extensive review of the literature on cognitive decline in normal aging, up to very old age. A computerized test battery, measuring episodic memory (free and cued recall; recognition, semantic memory (fluency; naming accuracy and latencies, processing speed and executive functioning, was administered to 234 elderly persons ranging from young-old to very old age (55–96 years. To avoid large variance in response times due to physical instead of cognitive limitations, no motor responses were required from participants. Age-related decline in episodic and semantic memory performance was found to be the consequence of declines in processing speed and executive functioning. Processing speed mainly mediated decline of semantic memory, whereas executive functioning mainly mediated episodic memory decline. The most parsimonious model showed that both processing speed and executive functioning attributed to memory decline but independent from one another. The results suggest that at very old age, the impact of executive dysfunctions on episodic memory performance exceeds the influence of cognitive slowing.

  13. Strengths and weaknesses in executive functioning in children with intellectual disability

    OpenAIRE

    Danielsson, H.; Henry, L.; Messer, D. J.; Ronnberg, J.

    2012-01-01

    Children with intellectual disability (ID) were given a comprehensive range of executive functioning measures, which systematically varied in terms of verbal and non-verbal demands. Their performance was compared to the performance of groups matched on mental age (MA) and chronological age (CA), respectively. Twenty-two children were included in each group. Children with ID performed on par with the MA group on switching, verbal executive-loaded working memory and most fluency tasks, but belo...

  14. Selective Attention, Working Memory, and Executive Function as Potential Independent Sources of Cognitive Dysfunction in Schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gold, James M; Robinson, Benjamin; Leonard, Carly J; Hahn, Britta; Chen, Shuo; McMahon, Robert P; Luck, Steven J

    2017-11-11

    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: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Executive Function and Postural Instability in People with Parkinson’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong Xu

    2014-01-01

    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.

  16. A developmental window into trade-offs in executive function: the case of task switching versus response inhibition in 6-year-olds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackwell, Katharine A; Chatham, Christopher H; Wiseheart, Melody; Munakata, Yuko

    2014-09-01

    Good executive function has been linked to many positive outcomes in academic performance, health, and social competence. However, some aspects of executive function may interfere with other cognitive processes. Childhood provides a unique test case for investigating such cognitive trade-offs, given the dramatic failures and developments observed during this period. For example, most children categorically switch or perseverate when asked to switch between rules on a card-sorting task. To test potential trade-offs with the development of task switching abilities, we compared 6-year-olds who switched versus perseverated in a card-sorting task on two aspects of inhibitory control: response inhibition (via a stop signal task) and interference control (via a Simon task). Across two studies, switchers showed worse response inhibition than perseverators, consistent with the idea of cognitive trade-offs; however, switchers showed better interference control than perseverators, consistent with prior work documenting benefits associated with the development of executive function. This pattern of positive and negative associations may reflect aspects of working memory (active maintenance of current goals, and clearing of prior goals) that help children focus on a single task goal but hurt in situations with conflicting goals. Implications for understanding components of executive function and their relationships across development are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Do attentional capacities and processing speed mediate the effect of age on executive functioning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilsoul, Jessica; Simon, Jessica; Hogge, Michaël; Collette, Fabienne

    2018-02-06

    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.

  18. Executive functioning of complicated-mild to moderate traumatic brain injury patients with frontal contusions.

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    Ghawami, Heshmatollah; Sadeghi, Sadegh; Raghibi, Mahvash; Rahimi-Movaghar, Vafa

    2017-01-01

    Executive dysfunctions are among the most prevalent neurobehavioral sequelae of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Using culturally validated tests from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS: Trail Making, Verbal Fluency, Design Fluency, Sorting, Twenty Questions, and Tower) and the Behavioural Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome (BADS: Rule Shift Cards, Key Search, and Modified Six Elements), the current study was the first to examine executive functioning in a group of Iranian TBI patients with focal frontal contusions. Compared with a demographically matched normative sample, the frontal contusion patients showed substantial impairments, with very large effect sizes (p ≤ .003, 1.56 executive measures. Controlling for respective lower-level/fundamental conditions, the differences on the highest-level executive (cognitive switching) conditions were still significant. The frontal patients also committed more errors. Patients with lateral prefrontal (LPFC) contusions were qualitatively worst. For example, only the LPFC patients committed perseverative repetition errors. Altogether, our results support the notion that the frontal lobes, specifically the lateral prefrontal regions, play a critical role in cognitive executive functioning, over and above the contributions of respective lower-level cognitive abilities. The results provide clinical evidence for validity of the cross-culturally adapted versions of the tests.

  19. Longitudinal and concurrent links between memory span, anxiety symptoms, and subsequent executive functioning in young children

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    Laura eVisu-Petra

    2014-05-01

    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.

  20. Impact of Chemotherapy for Childhood Leukemia on Brain Morphology and Function

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    Abolmaali, Nasreddin; Krone, Franziska; Hoffmann, Andre; Holfeld, Elisabeth; Vorwerk, Peter; Kramm, Christof; Gruhn, Bernd; Koustenis, Elisabeth; Hernaiz-Driever, Pablo; Mandal, Rakesh; Suttorp, Meinolf; Hummel, Thomas; Ikonomidou, Chrysanthy; Kirschbaum, Clemens; Smolka, Michael N.

    2013-01-01

    Objective Using multidisciplinary treatment modalities the majority of children with cancer can be cured but we are increasingly faced with therapy-related toxicities. We studied brain morphology and neurocognitive functions in adolescent and young adult survivors of childhood acute, low and standard risk lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), which was successfully treated with chemotherapy. We expected that intravenous and intrathecal chemotherapy administered in childhood will affect grey matter structures, including hippocampus and olfactory bulbs, areas where postnatal neurogenesis is ongoing. Methods We examined 27 ALL-survivors and 27 age-matched healthy controls, ages 15–22 years. ALL-survivors developed disease prior to their 11th birthday without central nervous system involvement, were treated with intrathecal and systemic chemotherapy and received no radiation. Volumes of grey, white matter and olfactory bulbs were measured on T1 and T2 magnetic resonance images manually, using FIRST (FMRIB’s integrated Registration and Segmentation Tool) and voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Memory, executive functions, attention, intelligence and olfaction were assessed. Results Mean volumes of left hippocampus, amygdala, thalamus and nucleus accumbens were smaller in the ALL group. VBM analysis revealed significantly smaller volumes of the left calcarine gyrus, both lingual gyri and the left precuneus. DTI data analysis provided no evidence for white matter pathology. Lower scores in hippocampus-dependent memory were measured in ALL-subjects, while lower figural memory correlated with smaller hippocampal volumes. Interpretation Findings demonstrate that childhood ALL, treated with chemotherapy, is associated with smaller grey matter volumes of neocortical and subcortical grey matter and lower hippocampal memory performance in adolescence and adulthood. PMID:24265700

  1. Physical Performance Is Associated with Executive Functioning in Older African American Women

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    Brooke C. Schneider

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available An older adult's ability to perform physical tasks is predictive of disability onset and is associated with declines in cognition. Risk factors for physical performance declines among African Americans, a group with the highest rates of disability, remain understudied. This study sought to identify demographic, health, and cognitive factors associated with lower-extremity physical performance in a sample of 106 African American women ages 56 to 91. After controlling for global cognitive functioning (Mini Mental State Exam, physical performance was associated with executive functioning (Stroop Color/Word, but not visuospatial construction (WASI Block Design or processing speed (Trail Making Test, Part A. Executive functioning remained associated with physical performance after entry of demographic variables, exercise, depression, disease burden, and body mass index (BMI. Age, and BMI were also significant in this model. Executive functioning, age and BMI are associated with lower-extremity physical performance among older African American women.

  2. Effect of atomoxetine on executive function impairments in adults with ADHD.

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    Brown, Thomas E; Holdnack, James; Saylor, Keith; Adler, Lenard; Spencer, Thomas; Williams, David W; Padival, Anoop K; Schuh, Kory; Trzepacz, Paula T; Kelsey, Douglas

    2011-02-01

    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.

  3. Children's Elementary School Social Experience and Executive Functions Development: Introduction to a Special Section.

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    van Lier, Pol A C; Deater-Deckard, Kirby

    2016-01-01

    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.

  4. Elevated triglycerides are associated with decreased executive function among adolescents with bipolar disorder.

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    Naiberg, M R; Newton, D F; Collins, J E; Dickstein, D P; Bowie, C R; Goldstein, B I

    2016-09-01

    Cardiovascular risk factors that comprise metabolic syndrome (MetS) have been linked with cognition in adults with bipolar disorder (BD). This study examines the association between MetS components and executive function in adolescents with BD. A total of 34 adolescents with BD and 35 healthy control (HC) adolescents were enrolled. MetS components included triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, glucose, waist circumference, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Executive functioning was measured using the intra-extra-dimensional (IED) set-shifting task from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Tests Automated Battery. Adolescents with BD were more likely to have ≥1 MetS components (64.7%) as compared to HC participants (22.9%, χ(2) = 12.29, P = triglyceride levels (ρ = -0.358, P = 0.041 and ρ = -0.396, P = 0.020 respectively). The association of triglycerides with executive function remained significant after controlling for age, IQ, and current use of second-generation antipsychotics. Elevated triglycerides are associated with poorer executive function among adolescents with BD. Studies of behavioural and pharmacological interventions targeting MetS components for the purpose of improving executive function among adolescents with BD are warranted. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Emotional Regulation and Executive Function Deficits in Unmedicated Chinese Children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

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    Jiang, Wenqing; Li, Yan; Du, Yasong; Fan, Juan

    2016-05-01

    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.

  6. Relations of Preschoolers' Visual-Motor and Object Manipulation Skills With Executive Function and Social Behavior.

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    MacDonald, Megan; Lipscomb, Shannon; McClelland, Megan M; Duncan, Rob; Becker, Derek; Anderson, Kim; Kile, Molly

    2016-12-01

    The purpose of this article was to examine specific linkages between early visual-motor integration skills and executive function, as well as between early object manipulation skills and social behaviors in the classroom during the preschool year. Ninety-two children aged 3 to 5 years old (M age  = 4.31 years) were recruited to participate. Comprehensive measures of visual-motor integration skills, object manipulation skills, executive function, and social behaviors were administered in the fall and spring of the preschool year. Our findings indicated that children who had better visual-motor integration skills in the fall had better executive function scores (B = 0.47 [0.20], p gender, Head Start status, and site location, but not after controlling for children's baseline levels of executive function. In addition, children who demonstrated better object manipulation skills in the fall showed significantly stronger social behavior in their classrooms (as rated by teachers) in the spring, including more self-control (B - 0.03 [0.00], p social behavior in the fall and other covariates. Children's visual-motor integration and object manipulation skills in the fall have modest to moderate relations with executive function and social behaviors later in the preschool year. These findings have implications for early learning initiatives and school readiness.

  7. When words lead to solutions: executive function deficits in preschool children with specific language impairment.

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    Roello, Mara; Ferretti, Maria Letizia; Colonnello, Valentina; Levi, Gabriel

    2015-02-01

    Several studies indicate that school-age children with specific language impairment (SLI) have difficulties with tasks that rely on executive functions. Whether executive function deficits in children with SLI emerge during preschool age remains unclear. Our aim was to fill this gap by investigating executive function performances in two age groups of preschoolers with and without SLI. Children with SLI (N=60; young: 53.6±5.3 months; old: 65.4±3.8 months) and age-matched control children (N=58) were tested for problem-representation ability, using the Flexible Item Selection Task (FIST), rule-use skills, using a Stroop-like Day-Night test (D/N), and planning skills, using the Tower of London test (TOL). Older children performed better than younger children did across tasks. Children with SLI had poorer performance, compared to typically developing children, on measures of problem representation, planning skills, and use of rules. Our results clearly indicate that executive function impairment is evident during the preschool period. Although old children with SLI performed better than young children with SLI, their performances were still poor, compared to those of control peers. These findings suggest that children with SLI have altered executive functioning at 53.6 months. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Drawing a dog: The role of working memory and executive function.

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    Panesi, Sabrina; Morra, Sergio

    2016-12-01

    Previous research suggests that young children draw animals by adapting their scheme for the human figure. This can be considered an early form of drawing flexibility. This study investigated preschoolers' ability to draw a dog that is different from the human figure. The role of working memory capacity and executive function was examined. The participants were 123 children (36-73 months old) who were required to draw both a person and a dog. The dog figure was scored on a list of features that could render it different from the human figure. Regression analyses showed that both working memory capacity and executive function predicted development in the dog drawing; the dog drawing score correlated with working memory capacity and executive function, even partialling out age, motor coordination, and drawing ability (measured with Goodenough's Draw-a-Man test). These results suggest that both working memory capacity and executive function play an important role in the early development of drawing flexibility. The implications regarding executive functions and working memory are also discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Effects of the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Stress Management on Executive Function Components.

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    Santos-Ruiz, Ana; Robles-Ortega, Humbelina; Pérez-García, Miguel; Peralta-Ramírez, María Isabel

    2017-02-13

    This study aims to determine whether it is possible to modify executive function in stressed individuals by means of cognitive-behavioral therapy for stress management. Thirty-one people with high levels of perceived stress were recruited into the study (treatment group = 18; wait-list group = 13). The treatment group received 14 weeks of stress management program. Psychological and executive function variables were evaluated in both groups pre and post-intervention. The treatment group showed improved psychological variables of perceived stress (t = 5.492; p = .001), vulnerability to stress (t = 4.061; p = .001) and superstitious thinking (t = 2.961; p = .009). Likewise, the results showed statistically significant differences in personality variables related to executive function, positive urgency (t = 3.585; p = .002) and sensitivity to reward (t = -2.201; p = .042), which improved after the therapy. These variables showed a moderate to high effect size (oscillates between 1.30 for perceived stress and .566 for sensitivity to reward). The cognitive-behavioral therapy for stress management may be an appropriate strategy for improving personality construct components related to executive function, however effects of the therapy are not showed on performance on the tests of executive function applied, as presented studies previous.

  10. Weaknesses in executive functioning predict the initiating of adolescents' alcohol use.

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    Peeters, Margot; Janssen, Tim; Monshouwer, Karin; Boendermaker, Wouter; Pronk, Thomas; Wiers, Reinout; Vollebergh, Wilma

    2015-12-01

    Recently, it has been suggested that impairments in executive functioning might be risk factors for the onset of alcohol use rather than a result of heavy alcohol use. In the present study, we examined whether two aspects of executive functioning, working memory and response inhibition, predicted the first alcoholic drink and first binge drinking episode in young adolescents using discrete survival analyses. Adolescents were selected from several Dutch secondary schools including both mainstream and special education (externalizing behavioral problems). Participants were 534 adolescents between 12 and 14 years at baseline. Executive functioning and alcohol use were assessed four times over a period of two years. Working memory uniquely predicted the onset of first drink (p=.01) and first binge drinking episode (p=.04) while response inhibition only uniquely predicted the initiating of the first drink (p=.01). These results suggest that the association of executive functioning and alcohol consumption found in former studies cannot simply be interpreted as an effect of alcohol consumption, as weaknesses in executive functioning, found in alcohol naïve adolescents, predict the initiating of (binge) drinking. Though, prolonged and heavy alcohol use might further weaken already existing deficiencies. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  11. The effects of screen media content on young children's executive functioning.

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    Huber, Brittany; Yeates, Megan; Meyer, Denny; Fleckhammer, Lorraine; Kaufman, Jordy

    2018-06-01

    Children's exposure to screen-based media has raised concerns for many reasons. One reason is that viewing particular television content has been shown to negatively affect children's executive functioning. Yet, it is unclear whether interacting with a touchscreen device affects executive functioning in the same way as the television research suggests. In the current study, 96 2- and 3-year-old children completed executive functioning measures of working memory and response inhibition and task switching before and after a brief screen intervention consisting of watching an educational television show, playing an educational app, or watching a cartoon. Children's ability to delay gratification was also assessed. Results indicate that the type of screen intervention had a significant effect on executive functioning performance. Children were more likely to delay gratification after playing an educational app than after viewing a cartoon. In particular instances, children's working memory improved after playing the educational app. These findings emphasize that, for young children's executive functioning, interactivity and content may be more important factors to consider than simply "screen time." Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Motor function domains in alternating hemiplegia of childhood.

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    Masoud, Melanie; Gordon, Kelly; Hall, Amanda; Jasien, Joan; Lardinois, Kara; Uchitel, Julie; Mclean, Melissa; Prange, Lyndsey; Wuchich, Jeffrey; Mikati, Mohamad A

    2017-08-01

    To characterize motor function profiles in alternating hemiplegia of childhood, and to investigate interrelationships between these domains and with age. We studied a cohort of 23 patients (9 males, 14 females; mean age 9y 4mo, range 4mo-43y) who underwent standardized tests to assess gross motor, upper extremity motor control, motor speech, and dysphagia functions. Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS), Gross Motor Function Measure-88 (GMFM-88), Manual Ability Classification System (MACS), and Revised Melbourne Assessment (MA2) scales manifested predominantly mild impairments; motor speech, moderate to severe; Modified Dysphagia Outcome and Severity Scale (M-DOSS), mild-to moderate deficits. GMFCS correlated with GMFM-88 scores (Pearson's correlation, p=0.002), MACS (p=0.038), and MA2 fluency (p=0.005) and accuracy (p=0.038) scores. GMFCS did not correlate with motor speech (p=0.399), MA2 dexterity (p=0.247), range of motion (p=0.063), or M-DOSS (p=0.856). Motor speech was more severely impaired than the GMFCS (p<0.013). There was no correlation between any of the assessment tools and age (p=0.210-0.798). Our data establish a detailed profile of motor function in alternating hemiplegia of childhood, argue against the presence of worse motor function in older patients, identify tools helpful in evaluating this population, and identify oropharyngeal function as the more severely affected domain, suggesting that brain areas controlling this function are more affected than others. © 2017 Mac Keith Press.

  13. Selected executive functions in children with ADHD in early school age

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aneta Rita Borkowska

    2010-09-01

    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.

  14. Location of the ischemic focus in rehabilitated stroke patients with impairment of executive functions.

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    Jankowska, Agnieszka M; Klimkiewicz, Robert; Kubsik, Anna; Klimkiewicz, Paulina; Śmigielski, Janusz; Woldańska-Okońska, Marta

    2017-08-01

    Executive dysfunctions are part of the clinical symptoms of a stroke and can inhibit the process of rehabilitation. Patients with impaired executive functions may manifest aggression, impulsiveness, impaired thinking and planning. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of the ischemic focus location on the effectiveness of physiotherapy in improving the executive functions in patients after stroke. Ninety patients after unilateral ischemic cerebral stroke were studied. We studied 45 patients treated at the Department of Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine of the WAM University Hospital of Lodz for 5 weeks. The rehabilitation program included: kinesitherapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, psychological consultations and psychotherapy. The control group consisted of patients who were waiting for admission to the Department of Rehabilitation. The patients in both groups were divided into three subgroups with different locations of stroke: front, back and subcortical. Executive functions were measured by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), the trail making test (TMT - A, TMT - B), the verbal fluency test (VFT). Patients rehabilitated in the hospital with the front and subcortical lesion location reported improvement in executive functions in terms of a greater number of the analyzed indicators of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) than those with the back lesion location. Patients rehabilitated at home with the subcortical lesion location did not experience a significant improvement in executive functions in any of the analyzed indicators of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Most of the indicators, with the exception of the total errors of Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and TMT B, have not been modified by the location of stroke. Executive dysfunction occurs not only in patients with an anterior location of the stroke, but also in the posterior and subcortical locations. Patients with a subcortical location of the stroke require more

  15. Hot and cool executive functions in very and extremely preterm preschool children

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    Tamara Zofia Walczak

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Background In most countries, premature deliveries constitute 5% to 18% of births. Some preterm children, especially those born before 32 weeks of pregnancy, experience serious medical complications, which can affect their subsequent development and functioning. Even those who have an IQ within the normal range can be at risk of worse functioning. This study aimed to investigate the differences in development of hot and cool aspects of executive functions in children born prematurely in comparison to those born on time. It is also focused on evaluating relationships between executive functions in premature children and their socio-emotional competences. Participants and procedure All children participating in the study were preschoolers. The sample consisted of 20 children born before 32 weeks of gestation and 28 term controls (children born on time. Hot and cool aspects of executive functions were examined in both groups using tasks extracted from the Preschool Self-Regulation Assessment (PSRA. Parents of children born prematurely also completed the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ, which is a brief behavioral screening questionnaire that consists of five scales: emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity/inattention, peer relationship problems and prosocial behavior. Results Premature children scored lower for both hot and cool executive functions in comparison to the children born at term in two of the five tasks. In addition, an association between worse executive functioning and more severe problems was found in the preterm group. This link applies to both general and specific problems, such as hyperactivity/inattention and behavioral problems. Conclusions Prematurely born children may have larger deficits both in