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Sample records for executive control function

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. Mindfulness Meditation Training and Executive Control Network Resting State Functional Connectivity: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taren, Adrienne A; Gianaros, Peter J; Greco, Carol M; Lindsay, Emily K; Fairgrieve, April; Brown, Kirk Warren; Rosen, Rhonda K; Ferris, Jennifer L; Julson, Erica; Marsland, Anna L; Creswell, J David

    Mindfulness meditation training has been previously shown to enhance behavioral measures of executive control (e.g., attention, working memory, cognitive control), but the neural mechanisms underlying these improvements are largely unknown. Here, we test whether mindfulness training interventions foster executive control by strengthening functional connections between dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC)-a hub of the executive control network-and frontoparietal regions that coordinate executive function. Thirty-five adults with elevated levels of psychological distress participated in a 3-day randomized controlled trial of intensive mindfulness meditation or relaxation training. Participants completed a resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging scan before and after the intervention. We tested whether mindfulness meditation training increased resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) between dlPFC and frontoparietal control network regions. Left dlPFC showed increased connectivity to the right inferior frontal gyrus (T = 3.74), right middle frontal gyrus (MFG) (T = 3.98), right supplementary eye field (T = 4.29), right parietal cortex (T = 4.44), and left middle temporal gyrus (T = 3.97, all p < .05) after mindfulness training relative to the relaxation control. Right dlPFC showed increased connectivity to right MFG (T = 4.97, p < .05). We report that mindfulness training increases rsFC between dlPFC and dorsal network (superior parietal lobule, supplementary eye field, MFG) and ventral network (right IFG, middle temporal/angular gyrus) regions. These findings extend previous work showing increased functional connectivity among brain regions associated with executive function during active meditation by identifying specific neural circuits in which rsFC is enhanced by a mindfulness intervention in individuals with high levels of psychological distress. Clinicaltrials.gov,NCT01628809.

  6. 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.

  7. 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"…

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Attentional Control and Subjective Executive Function in Treatment-Naive Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grane, Venke Arntsberg; Endestad, Tor; Pinto, Arnfrid Farbu; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin

    2014-01-01

    We investigated performance-derived measures of executive control, and their relationship with self- and informant reported executive functions in everyday life, in treatment-naive adults with newly diagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; n = 36) and in healthy controls (n = 35). Sustained attentional control and response inhibition were examined with the Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.). Delayed responses, increased reaction time variability, and higher omission error rate to Go signals in ADHD patients relative to controls indicated fluctuating levels of attention in the patients. Furthermore, an increment in NoGo commission errors when Go stimuli increased relative to NoGo stimuli suggests reduced inhibition of task-irrelevant stimuli in conditions demanding frequent responding. The ADHD group reported significantly more cognitive and behavioral executive problems than the control group on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A). There were overall not strong associations between task performance and ratings of everyday executive function. However, for the ADHD group, T.O.V.A. omission errors predicted self-reported difficulties on the Organization of Materials scale, and commission errors predicted informant reported difficulties on the same scale. Although ADHD patients endorsed more symptoms of depression and anxiety on the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) than controls, ASEBA scores were not significantly associated with T.O.V.A. performance scores. Altogether, the results indicate multifaceted alteration of attentional control in adult ADHD, and accompanying subjective difficulties with several aspects of executive function in everyday living. The relationships between the two sets of data were modest, indicating that the measures represent non-redundant features of adult ADHD. PMID:25545156

  14. Attentional control and subjective executive function in treatment-naive adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grane, Venke Arntsberg; Endestad, Tor; Pinto, Arnfrid Farbu; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin

    2014-01-01

    We investigated performance-derived measures of executive control, and their relationship with self- and informant reported executive functions in everyday life, in treatment-naive adults with newly diagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; n = 36) and in healthy controls (n = 35). Sustained attentional control and response inhibition were examined with the Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.). Delayed responses, increased reaction time variability, and higher omission error rate to Go signals in ADHD patients relative to controls indicated fluctuating levels of attention in the patients. Furthermore, an increment in NoGo commission errors when Go stimuli increased relative to NoGo stimuli suggests reduced inhibition of task-irrelevant stimuli in conditions demanding frequent responding. The ADHD group reported significantly more cognitive and behavioral executive problems than the control group on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A). There were overall not strong associations between task performance and ratings of everyday executive function. However, for the ADHD group, T.O.V.A. omission errors predicted self-reported difficulties on the Organization of Materials scale, and commission errors predicted informant reported difficulties on the same scale. Although ADHD patients endorsed more symptoms of depression and anxiety on the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) than controls, ASEBA scores were not significantly associated with T.O.V.A. performance scores. Altogether, the results indicate multifaceted alteration of attentional control in adult ADHD, and accompanying subjective difficulties with several aspects of executive function in everyday living. The relationships between the two sets of data were modest, indicating that the measures represent non-redundant features of adult ADHD.

  15. Attentional control and subjective executive function in treatment-naive adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venke Arntsberg Grane

    Full Text Available We investigated performance-derived measures of executive control, and their relationship with self- and informant reported executive functions in everyday life, in treatment-naive adults with newly diagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; n = 36 and in healthy controls (n = 35. Sustained attentional control and response inhibition were examined with the Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.. Delayed responses, increased reaction time variability, and higher omission error rate to Go signals in ADHD patients relative to controls indicated fluctuating levels of attention in the patients. Furthermore, an increment in NoGo commission errors when Go stimuli increased relative to NoGo stimuli suggests reduced inhibition of task-irrelevant stimuli in conditions demanding frequent responding. The ADHD group reported significantly more cognitive and behavioral executive problems than the control group on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A. There were overall not strong associations between task performance and ratings of everyday executive function. However, for the ADHD group, T.O.V.A. omission errors predicted self-reported difficulties on the Organization of Materials scale, and commission errors predicted informant reported difficulties on the same scale. Although ADHD patients endorsed more symptoms of depression and anxiety on the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA than controls, ASEBA scores were not significantly associated with T.O.V.A. performance scores. Altogether, the results indicate multifaceted alteration of attentional control in adult ADHD, and accompanying subjective difficulties with several aspects of executive function in everyday living. The relationships between the two sets of data were modest, indicating that the measures represent non-redundant features of adult ADHD.

  16. Teachers as Air Traffic Controllers: Helping Adolescents Navigate the Unfriendly Skies of Executive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodgkinson, Todd; Parks, Stephanie

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to familiarize teachers with the concept of executive functioning and to provide them with a collection of strategies that they can use to help support middle and high school students with planning, organization, task-initiation, and impulse control.

  17. Working memory and executive function: the influence of content and load on the control of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hester, Robert; Garavan, Hugh

    2005-03-01

    In a series of three experiments, increasing working memory (WM) load was demonstrated to reduce the executive control of attention, measured via task-switching and inhibitory control paradigms. Uniquely, our paradigms allowed comparison of the ability to exert executive control when the stimulus was either part of the currently rehearsed memory set or an unrelated distractor item. The results demonstrated a content-specific effect-insofar as switching attention away from, or exerting inhibitory control over, items currently held in WM was especially difficult-compounded by increasing WM load. This finding supports the attentional control theory that active maintenance of competing task goals is critical to executive function and WM capacity; however, it also suggests that the increased salience provided to the contents of WM through active rehearsal exerts a content-specific influence on attentional control. These findings are discussed in relation to cue-induced ruminations, where active rehearsal of evocative information (e.g., negative thoughts in depression or drug-related thoughts in addiction) in WM typically results from environmental cuing. The present study has demonstrated that when information currently maintained in WM is reencountered, it is harder to exert executive control over it. The difficulty with suppressing the processing of these stimuli presumably reinforces the maintenance of these items in WM, due to the greater level of attention they are afforded, and may help to explain how the cue-induced craving/rumination cycle is perpetuated.

  18. Benefits of Exercise on the Executive Functions in People with Parkinson Disease: A Controlled Clinical Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Renata Terra; Felippe, Lilian Assunção; Bucken Gobbi, Lilian Teresa; Barbieri, Fabio Augusto; Christofoletti, Gustavo

    2017-05-01

    We have made a 3-arm trial (group vs. individual exercise vs. no treatment) to test the effects of a 6-month exercise program upon the executive functions in participants with Parkinson disease. Twenty-four subjects were randomly allocated in 3 groups and undertook individualized exercises (G1, n = 8), group exercises (G2, n = 8), or monitoring (G3, n = 8). Executive functions were evaluated by means of the Wisconsin card sorting test and the Raven colored matrices, both assessed at the beginning of the program and after 6 months. The statistical analyses consisted of the application of repeated measurement tests, with a significant level of 5%. The findings showed similar behavior of groups in terms of the Wisconsin card sorting test (P = 0.792), reporting no benefit of the program on such instrument. Differently, Raven colored matrices evidenced a significant benefit provided by the intervention (P = 0.032). Compared with the control group, individuals from G1 had a substantial improvement on executive functions (P = 0.031) and from G2 had a trend of significance (P = 0.072). Findings of this study show that 6 months of exercise improved some aspects of executive functions when compared with control peers. Individual therapy seems to have a more prominent improvement than group therapy.

  19. The Relations Between Temperament, Character, and Executive Functions in Children With ADHD and Clinical Controls

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drechsler, Renate; Zulauf Logoz, Marina; Walitza, Susanne

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the overlap between executive functions and temperament as measured by two questionnaires and to examine characteristic profiles in children with ADHD and clinical controls. METHOD: Parents of 111 clinically referred children, half of whom...... were diagnosed with ADHD and half with other or no diagnoses, completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and the Cloninger Junior Temperament and Character Inventory (JTCI). RESULTS: Factor analysis of both instruments resulted in three common factors representing aspects...... disorder (CD/ODD) but not ADHD accounted for problems in BRIEF Emotional Control and Self-Monitor and JTCI low Cooperativeness. CONCLUSION: The two instruments only partially overlap and may complement each other....

  20. Executive functioning and general cognitive ability in pregnant women and matched controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onyper, Serge V; Searleman, Alan; Thacher, Pamela V; Maine, Emily E; Johnson, Alicia G

    2010-11-01

    The current study compared the performances of pregnant women with education- and age-matched controls on a variety of measures that assessed perceptual speed, short-term and working memory capacity, subjective memory complaints, sleep quality, level of fatigue, executive functioning, episodic and prospective memory, and crystallized and fluid intelligence. A primary purpose was to test the hypothesis of Henry and Rendell (2007) that pregnancy-related declines in cognitive functioning would be especially evident in tasks that place a high demand on executive processes. We also investigated a parallel hypothesis: that the pregnant women would experience a broad-based reduction in cognitive capability. Very limited support was found for the executive functioning hypothesis. Pregnant women scored lower only on the measure of verbal fluency (Controlled Oral Word Association Test, COWAT) but not on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task or on any working memory measures. Furthermore, group differences in COWAT performance disappeared after controlling for verbal IQ (Shipley vocabulary). In addition, there was no support for the general decline hypothesis. We conclude that pregnancy-associated differences in performance observed in the current study were relatively mild and rarely reached either clinical or practical significance.

  1. Cognitive symptoms facilitatory for diagnoses in neuropsychiatric disorders: executive functions and locus of control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archer, Trevor; Kostrzewa, Richard M; Beninger, Richard J; Palomo, Tomas

    2008-10-01

    Cognitive symptoms, considered in conjunction both with their regional brain and biomarkers as well as affective, attributional and neurodevelopmental components, demonstrate ever-increasing complexity to facilitate conceptualization yet, unavoidably, bedevil diagnosis in neuropsychiatry even before considerations of the enigmatic processes in memory, such as executive function and working memory, are drawn into the myriads of equations that await remedial interpretations. Prefrontal and limbic regions of the brain are involved in a diversity of expressions of cognition, normal or dysfunctional, at synaptic, intracellular and molecular levels that mobilize a concatenation of signaling entities. Serotoninergic neurotransission at prefrontal regions directs cognitive-affective entities that mediate decision-making and goal-directed behaviour. Clinical, non-clinical and basic studies challenge attempts to consolidate the multitude of evidence in order to obtain therapeutic notions to alleviate the disordered status of the diagnosed and yet-to-be diagnosed individuals. Locus of control, a concept of some utility in health-seeking procedures, is examined in three self-report studies from the perspective of a cognitive-emotional situation through observations of ordinary, 'healthy' young and middle-aged individuals, to assess the predictors of internal and external locus of control. A notion based on high level executive functioning in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in individuals characterised by internal locus of control is contrasted with a hypofunctional executive DLPFC, characterising individuals that express an external locus of control, is discussed.

  2. Control channels in the brain and their influence on brain executive functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Qinglei; Choa, Fow-Sen; Hong, Elliot; Wang, Zhiguang; Islam, Mohammad

    2014-05-01

    In a computer network there are distinct data channels and control channels where massive amount of visual information are transported through data channels but the information streams are routed and controlled by intelligent algorithm through "control channels". Recent studies on cognition and consciousness have shown that the brain control channels are closely related to the brainwave beta (14-40 Hz) and alpha (7-13 Hz) oscillations. The high-beta wave is used by brain to synchronize local neural activities and the alpha oscillation is for desynchronization. When two sensory inputs are simultaneously presented to a person, the high-beta is used to select one of the inputs and the alpha is used to deselect the other so that only one input will get the attention. In this work we demonstrated that we can scan a person's brain using binaural beats technique and identify the individual's preferred control channels. The identified control channels can then be used to influence the subject's brain executive functions. In the experiment, an EEG measurement system was used to record and identify a subject's control channels. After these channels were identified, the subject was asked to do Stroop tests. Binaural beats was again used to produce these control-channel frequencies on the subject's brain when we recorded the completion time of each test. We found that the high-beta signal indeed speeded up the subject's executive function performance and reduced the time to complete incongruent tests, while the alpha signal didn't seem to be able to slow down the executive function performance.

  3. Executive functioning and risk-taking behavior in Parkinson's disease patients with impulse control disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineau, Fanny; Roze, Emmanuel; Lacomblez, Lucette; Bonnet, Anne-Marie; Vidailhet, Marie; Czernecki, Virginie; Corvol, Jean-Christophe

    2016-06-01

    Impulse control disorders (ICD) are common in Parkinson's disease (PD) and are associated with dopaminergic medication. The purpose of this study was to investigate executive function and risk-taking behavior in PD patients with ICD. 17 PD patients with ICD (ICD-PD) were compared to 20 PD patients without ICD (CTRL-PD) using neuropsychological and experimental tasks. Executive functions were assessed using standard executive testing (Conner's Performance Test, Modified Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Trail Making Test and phonological verbal fluency). Subjects were also submitted to an experimental gambling task consisted of three decks of money cards: neutral deck (equal opportunity for gains as losses), winning deck (small amount of money with a positive balance) and loser deck (high amount of money with a negative balance), evaluating risk-taking behavior (number of cards picked in each deck) and valuation of the reward (subjective appreciation of the value of each deck). There was no significant difference in executive functioning between groups. Both groups selected more cards in the losing deck (high amount of money) as compared to the neutral deck (Mann-Whitney test, ICD-PD, p = 0.02; CTRL-PD, p = 0.003) and to the winning deck (Mann-Whitney test, ICD-PD p = 0.0001; CTRL-PD p = 0.003), suggesting an increased risk-taking behavior. Interestingly, we found that ICD-PD patients estimated the value of decks differently from CTRL-PD patients, taking into account mainly the positive reinforced value of the decks (Mann-Whitney test, p = 0.04). This study showed that executive pattern and risk-taking behavior are similar between ICD-PD and CTRL-PD patients. However, ICD-PD patients showed a specific deficit of the subjective estimation of the reward. Links between this deficit and metacognitive skills are discussed.

  4. Rule-guided executive control of response inhibition: functional topography of the inferior frontal cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weidong Cai

    Full Text Available The human inferior frontal cortex (IFC is a large heterogeneous structure with distinct cytoarchitectonic subdivisions and fiber connections. It has been found involved in a wide range of executive control processes from target detection, rule retrieval to response control. Since these processes are often being studied separately, the functional organization of executive control processes within the IFC remains unclear.We conducted an fMRI study to examine the activities of the subdivisions of IFC during the presentation of a task cue (rule retrieval and during the performance of a stop-signal task (requiring response generation and inhibition in comparison to a not-stop task (requiring response generation but not inhibition. We utilized a mixed event-related and block design to separate brain activity in correspondence to transient control processes from rule-related and sustained control processes. We found differentiation in control processes within the IFC. Our findings reveal that the bilateral ventral-posterior IFC/anterior insula are more active on both successful and unsuccessful stop trials relative to not-stop trials, suggesting their potential role in the early stage of stopping such as triggering the stop process. Direct countermanding seems to be outside of the IFC. In contrast, the dorsal-posterior IFC/inferior frontal junction (IFJ showed transient activity in correspondence to the infrequent presentation of the stop signal in both tasks and the left anterior IFC showed differential activity in response to the task cues. The IFC subdivisions also exhibited similar but distinct patterns of functional connectivity during response control.Our findings suggest that executive control processes are distributed across the IFC and that the different subdivisions of IFC may support different control operations through parallel cortico-cortical and cortico-striatal circuits.

  5. 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

  6. Executive functions and cognitive deficits in schizophrenia: Comparisons between probands, parents and controls in India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bhatia T

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Cognitive impairment is said to be a core feature of schizophrenia. Executive function is an important cognitive domain. Aim: This study was undertaken to assess cognitive impairment among Indian patients with schizophrenia (Sz or schizoaffective disorder (SzA, compared with their parents and unaffected individuals (controls. Settings and Design: Executive functions as measured by Trail-making Test (TMT, of patients and their parents were compared with controls. The patients were recruited from the Outpatients′ Department (OPD of a government hospital. Materials and Methods: Patients diagnosed as Sz or SzA (n=172 and their parents (n=196: families n=132, 119 fathers and 77 mothers participated. We also included 120 persons with no history of psychiatric illness. Cognitive function was assessed with the TMT. The Information Score of the Post Graduate Institute Battery of Brain Dysfunction test, developed in India for Indian subjects was used as a proxy for general fixed knowledge. Statistical Analysis: Logistic and linear regression was used to compare cognitive deficits of cases, parents and controls. Results: Cases and their parents took significantly more time than controls on Part B of the TMT. There were no statistically significant differences between cases and parents on any of the TMT parameters. Using regression analysis, the most significant correlates of all TMT parameters among cases were with occurrence of auditory hallucinations and current age. Conclusion: Cases, as well as their parents showed more cognitive impairment than controls on the TMT.

  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. 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.

  9. Dopaminergic influences on executive function and impulsive behaviour in impulse control disorders in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leroi, Iracema; Barraclough, Michelle; McKie, Shane; Hinvest, Neal; Evans, Jonathan; Elliott, Rebecca; McDonald, Kathryn

    2013-09-01

    The development of impulse control disorders (ICDs) in Parkinson's disease (PD) may arise from an interaction among cognitive impairment, impulsive responding and dopaminergic state. Dopaminergic state may be influenced by pharmacologic or genotypic (catechol-O-methyltransferase; COMT) factors. We sought to investigate this interaction further by comparing those with (n = 35) and without (n = 55) ICDs on delay-discounting in different pharmacologic conditions (ON or OFF dopaminergic medication) and on response inhibition as well as aspects of executive functioning in the ON state. We then undertook an exploratory sub-group analysis of these same tasks when the overall PD group was divided into different allelic variants of COMT (val/val vs. met/met). A healthy control group (HC; n = 20) was also included. We found that in those with PD and ICDs, 'cognitive flexibility' (set shifting, verbal fluency, and attention) in the ON medication state was not impaired compared with those without ICDs. In contrast, our working memory, or 'cognitive focus', task was impaired in both PD groups compared with the HC group when ON. During the delay-discounting task, the PD with ICDs group expressed greater impulsive choice compared with the PD group without ICDs, when in the ON, but not the OFF, medication state. However, no group difference on the response inhibition task was seen when ON. Finally, the met homozygous group performed differently on tests of executive function compared with the val homozygous group. We concluded that the disparity in levels of impairment among different domains of executive function and impulsive decision-making distinguishes those with ICD in PD from those without ICD, and may in part be affected by dopaminergic status. Both pharmacologic and genotypic influences on dopaminergic state may be important in ICD. © 2013 The British Psychological Society.

  10. Short-term memory in the service of executive control functions

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    Farshad Alizadeh Mansouri

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Short-term memory is a crucial cognitive function for supporting on-going and upcoming behaviours, allowing storage of information across delay periods. The content of this memory may typically include tangible information about features such as the shape, colour or texture of an object, its location and motion relative to the body, or phonological information. The neural correlate of these short-term memories has been found in different brain areas involved in organizing perceptual or motor functions. In particular, neuronal activity in different prefrontal areas encodes task-related information corresponding to short-term memory across delay periods, and lesions in the prefrontal cortex severely affect the ability to hold this type of memory. Recent studies have further expanded the scope and possible role of short-term memory by showing that information of abstract entities such as a behaviour-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 dorsolateral prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortices encodes information about such abstract entities. These findings suggest that the prefrontal cortex plays crucial roles in organizing goal-directed behaviour by supporting various mnemonic processes that maintain a wide range of information in the service of executive control of on-going or upcoming behaviour.

  11. Fathers Matter: The Role of Father Autonomy Support and Control in Preschoolers' Executive Function Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meuwissen, Alyssa S.; Carlson, Stephanie M.

    2015-01-01

    Although previous work has shown that mothers' parenting influences the development of child executive function (important self-control skills developed in the preschool years) the role of fathers' parenting has not been thoroughly investigated. We observed fathers' autonomy support and control in dyadic play with their 3-year-old children (N pairs = 110), and measured father and child EF independently with laboratory tasks. We found that fathers' controlling parenting was significantly inversely related to the child EF composite, above and beyond family income and child verbal ability. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that fathers are important for the development of EF in their children, and suggest fathers should be included in both research and parenting interventions. PMID:26209884

  12. Executive function in weight loss and weight loss maintenance: a conceptual review and novel neuropsychological model of weight control.

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    Gettens, Katelyn M; Gorin, Amy A

    2017-10-01

    Weight loss maintenance is a complex, multifaceted process that presents a significant challenge for most individuals who lose weight. A growing body of literature indicates a strong relationship between cognitive dysfunction and excessive body weight, and suggests that a subset of high-order cognitive processes known as executive functions (EF) likely play an important role in weight management. Recent reviews cover neuropsychological correlates of weight status yet fail to address the role of executive function in the central dilemma of successful weight loss maintenance. In this paper, we provide an overview of the existing literature examining executive functions as they relate to weight status and initial weight loss. Further, we propose a novel conceptual model of the relationships between EF, initial weight loss, and weight loss maintenance, mapping specific executive functions onto strategies known to be associated with both phases of the weight control process. Implications for the development of more efficacious weight loss maintenance interventions are discussed.

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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

  15. Integrating and differentiating aspects of self-regulation: effortful control, executive functioning, and links to negative affectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridgett, David J; Oddi, Kate B; Laake, Lauren M; Murdock, Kyle W; Bachmann, Melissa N

    2013-02-01

    Subdisciplines within psychology frequently examine self-regulation from different frameworks despite conceptually similar definitions of constructs. In the current study, similarities and differences between effortful control, based on the psychobiological model of temperament (Rothbart, Derryberry, & Posner, 1994), and executive functioning are examined and empirically tested in three studies (n = 509). Structural equation modeling indicated that effortful control and executive functioning are strongly associated and overlapping constructs (Study 1). Additionally, results indicated that effortful control is related to the executive function of updating/monitoring information in working memory, but not inhibition (Studies 2 and 3). Study 3 also demonstrates that better updating/monitoring information in working memory and better effortful control were uniquely linked to lower dispositional negative affect, whereas the executive function of low/poor inhibition was uniquely associated with an increased tendency to express negative affect. Furthermore, dispositional negative affect mediated the links between effortful control and, separately, the executive function of updating/monitoring information in working memory and the tendency to express negative affect. The theoretical implications of these findings are discussed, and a potential framework for guiding future work directed at integrating and differentiating aspects of self-regulation is suggested. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

  16. Improving executive functioning in children with ADHD: training multiple executive functions within the context of a computer game. a randomized double-blind placebo controlled trial.

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    Sebastiaan Dovis

    Full Text Available Executive functions (EFs training interventions aimed at ADHD-symptom reduction have yielded mixed results. Generally, these interventions focus on training a single cognitive domain (e.g., working memory [WM], inhibition, or cognitive-flexibility. However, evidence suggests that most children with ADHD show deficits on multiple EFs, and that these EFs are largely related to different brain regions. Therefore, training multiple EFs might be a potentially more effective strategy to reduce EF-related ADHD symptoms.Eighty-nine children with a clinical diagnosis of ADHD (aged 8-12 were randomized to either a full-active-condition where visuospatial WM, inhibition and cognitive-flexibility were trained, a partially-active-condition where inhibition and cognitive-flexibility were trained and the WM-training task was presented in placebo-mode, or to a full placebo-condition. Short-term and long-term (3-months effects of this gamified, 25-session, home-based computer-training were evaluated on multiple outcome domains.During training compliance was high (only 3% failed to meet compliance criteria. After training, only children in the full-active condition showed improvement on measures of visuospatial short-term-memory (STM and WM. Inhibitory performance and interference control only improved in the full-active- and the partially-active condition. No Treatment-condition x Time interactions were found for cognitive-flexibility, verbal WM, complex-reasoning, nor for any parent-, teacher-, or child-rated ADHD behaviors, EF-behaviors, motivational behaviors, or general problem behaviors. Nonetheless, almost all measures showed main Time-effects, including the teacher-ratings.Improvements on inhibition and visuospatial STM and WM were specifically related to the type of treatment received. However, transfer to untrained EFs and behaviors was mostly nonspecific (i.e., only interference control improved exclusively in the two EF training conditions. As such

  17. Supramodal Executive Control of Attention

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    ALFREDO eSPAGNA

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The human attentional system can be subdivided into three functional networks of alerting, orienting, and executive control. Although these networks have been extensively studied in the visuospatial modality, whether the same mechanisms are deployed across different sensory modalities remains unclear. In this study we used the attention network test for visuospatial modality, in addition to two auditory variants with spatial and frequency manipulations to examine cross-modal correlations between network functions. Results showed that among the visual and auditory tasks the effects of executive control, but not effects of alerting and orienting were significantly correlated. These findings suggest that while alerting and orienting functions rely more upon modality specific processes, the executive control of attention coordinates complex behavior via supramodal mechanisms.

  18. Altered attentional control strategies but spared executive functioning in chronic cannabis users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nusbaum, Amy T; Whitney, Paul; Cuttler, Carrie; Spradlin, Alexander; Hinson, John M; McLaughlin, Ryan J

    2017-12-01

    Cannabis use has increased rapidly in recent decades. The increase in cannabis use makes it important to understand the potential influence of chronic use on attentional control and other executive functions (EFs). Because cannabis is often used to reduce stress, and because stress can constrain attentional control and EFs, the primary goal of this study was to determine the joint effect of acute stress and chronic cannabis use on specific EFs. Thirty-nine cannabis users and 40 non-users were assigned to either a stress or no stress version of the Maastricht Acute Stress Test. Participants then completed two cognitive tasks that involve EFs: (1) task switching, and (2) a novel Flexible Attentional Control Task. These two tasks provided assessments of vigilant attention, inhibitory control, top-down attentional control, and cognitive flexibility. Salivary cortisol was assessed throughout the study. Reaction time indices showed an interaction between stress and cannabis use on top-down attentional control (p=0.036, n p 2 =0.059). Follow-up tests showed that cannabis users relied less on top-down attentional control than did non-users in the no stress version. Despite not relying on top-down control, the cannabis users showed no overall performance deficits on the tasks. Chronic cannabis users performed cognitive tasks involving EFs as well as non-users while not employing cognitive control processes that are typical for such tasks. These results indicate alterations in cognitive processing in cannabis users, but such alterations do not necessarily lead to global performance deficits. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Functional neuroimaging indicators of successful executive control in the oldest old.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosano, C; Aizenstein, H; Cochran, J; Saxton, J; De Kosky, S; Newman, A B; Kuller, L H; Lopez, O L; Carter, C S

    2005-12-01

    Attentional control, motor planning abilities, and executive cognitive functions (ECF) rapidly decline with age. In particular, older adults experience difficulty in manipulating selected motor responses in the presence of conflicting or distracting information. To examine age-related changes in the neural substrates of the attentional and motor planning components of ECF, we assessed the patterns of brain activation in 8 cognitively normal older adults (mean age 81.5) and 20 young individuals (mean age 23.0) while they responded to low and high loads of attentional demands of the Preparing to Overcome Prepotency (POP) task. In the POP task, the selection of one out of two possible motor responses in the presence of increasing attentional task loads determines the accuracy of the performance. Older individuals were slower than young adults (P Brodmann areas 7 and 40), and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dLPFC: Brodmann areas 9, 45, and 46) bilaterally. Compared to young individuals, older adults had lower activation in dLPFC (Brodmann areas 9, 45, and 46: P = 0.007, P = 0.043, and P = 0.040) and Brodmann area 7, P = 0.002. Activation in Brodmann areas 40 and ACC was similar in the two groups (P > 0.05). Among older adults, the most successful performers were those who responded to increasing task loads with greater activation in PPC (Brodmann area 40), despite lower dLPFC activation. Older adults who are able to perform executive control tasks as well as young adults, also seem to implement speed-accuracy trade-off strategies which may rely on increased parietal activation.

  20. Building the Brain's "Air Traffic Control" System: How Early Experiences Shape the Development of Executive Function. Working Paper 11

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2011

    2011-01-01

    Being able to focus, hold, and work with information in mind, filter distractions, and switch gears is like having an air traffic control system at a busy airport to manage the arrivals and departures of dozens of planes on multiple runways. In the brain, this air traffic control mechanism is called executive functioning, a group of skills that…

  1. Brain training game improves executive functions and processing speed in the elderly: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nouchi, Rui; Taki, Yasuyuki; Takeuchi, Hikaru; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Akitsuki, Yuko; Shigemune, Yayoi; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Kotozaki, Yuka; Tsukiura, Takashi; Yomogida, Yukihito; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2012-01-01

    The beneficial effects of brain training games are expected to transfer to other cognitive functions, but these beneficial effects are poorly understood. Here we investigate the impact of the brain training game (Brain Age) on cognitive functions in the elderly. Thirty-two elderly volunteers were recruited through an advertisement in the local newspaper and randomly assigned to either of two game groups (Brain Age, Tetris). This study was completed by 14 of the 16 members in the Brain Age group and 14 of the 16 members in the Tetris group. To maximize the benefit of the interventions, all participants were non-gamers who reported playing less than one hour of video games per week over the past 2 years. Participants in both the Brain Age and the Tetris groups played their game for about 15 minutes per day, at least 5 days per week, for 4 weeks. Each group played for a total of about 20 days. Measures of the cognitive functions were conducted before and after training. Measures of the cognitive functions fell into four categories (global cognitive status, executive functions, attention, and processing speed). Results showed that the effects of the brain training game were transferred to executive functions and to processing speed. However, the brain training game showed no transfer effect on any global cognitive status nor attention. Our results showed that playing Brain Age for 4 weeks could lead to improve cognitive functions (executive functions and processing speed) in the elderly. This result indicated that there is a possibility which the elderly could improve executive functions and processing speed in short term training. The results need replication in large samples. Long-term effects and relevance for every-day functioning remain uncertain as yet. UMIN Clinical Trial Registry 000002825.

  2. Brain training game improves executive functions and processing speed in the elderly: a randomized controlled trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Nouchi

    Full Text Available The beneficial effects of brain training games are expected to transfer to other cognitive functions, but these beneficial effects are poorly understood. Here we investigate the impact of the brain training game (Brain Age on cognitive functions in the elderly.Thirty-two elderly volunteers were recruited through an advertisement in the local newspaper and randomly assigned to either of two game groups (Brain Age, Tetris. This study was completed by 14 of the 16 members in the Brain Age group and 14 of the 16 members in the Tetris group. To maximize the benefit of the interventions, all participants were non-gamers who reported playing less than one hour of video games per week over the past 2 years. Participants in both the Brain Age and the Tetris groups played their game for about 15 minutes per day, at least 5 days per week, for 4 weeks. Each group played for a total of about 20 days. Measures of the cognitive functions were conducted before and after training. Measures of the cognitive functions fell into four categories (global cognitive status, executive functions, attention, and processing speed. Results showed that the effects of the brain training game were transferred to executive functions and to processing speed. However, the brain training game showed no transfer effect on any global cognitive status nor attention.Our results showed that playing Brain Age for 4 weeks could lead to improve cognitive functions (executive functions and processing speed in the elderly. This result indicated that there is a possibility which the elderly could improve executive functions and processing speed in short term training. The results need replication in large samples. Long-term effects and relevance for every-day functioning remain uncertain as yet.UMIN Clinical Trial Registry 000002825.

  3. A Chan Dietary Intervention Enhances Executive Functions and Anterior Cingulate Activity in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnes S. Chan

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Executive dysfunctions have been found to be related to repetitive/disinhibited behaviors and social deficits in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs. This study aims to investigate the potential effect of a Shaolin-medicine-based dietary modification on improving executive functions and behavioral symptoms of ASD and exploring the possible underlying neurophysiological mechanisms. Twenty-four children with ASD were randomly assigned into the experimental (receiving dietary modification for one month and the control (no modification groups. Each child was assessed on his/her executive functions, behavioral problems based on parental ratings, and event-related electroencephalography (EEG activity during a response-monitoring task before and after the one month. The experimental group demonstrated significantly improved mental flexibility and inhibitory control after the diet modification, which continued to have a large effect size within the low-functioning subgroup. Such improvements coincided with positive evaluations by their parents on social communication abilities and flexible inhibitory control of daily behaviors and significantly enhanced event-related EEG activity at the rostral and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex. In contrast, the control group did not show any significant improvements. These positive outcomes of a one-month dietary modification on children with ASD have implicated its potential clinical applicability for patients with executive function deficits.

  4. "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

  5. 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.

  6. Brain Oscillatory Correlates of Altered Executive Functioning in Positive and Negative Symptomatic Schizophrenia Patients and Healthy Controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Barbara; Minarik, Tamas; Griesmayr, Birgit; Stelzig-Schoeler, Renate; Aichhorn, Wolfgang; Sauseng, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Working Memory and executive functioning deficits are core characteristics of patients suffering from schizophrenia. Electrophysiological research indicates that altered patterns of neural oscillatory mechanisms underpinning executive functioning are associated with the psychiatric disorder. Such brain oscillatory changes have been found in local amplitude differences at gamma and theta frequencies in task-specific cortical areas. Moreover, interregional interactions are also disrupted as signified by decreased phase coherence of fronto-posterior theta activity in schizophrenia patients. However, schizophrenia is not a one-dimensional psychiatric disorder but has various forms and expressions. A common distinction is between positive and negative symptomatology but most patients have both negative and positive symptoms to some extent. Here, we examined three groups-healthy controls, predominantly negative, and predominantly positive symptomatic schizophrenia patients-when performing a working memory task with increasing cognitive demand and increasing need for executive control. We analyzed brain oscillatory activity in the three groups separately and investigated how predominant symptomatology might explain differences in brain oscillatory patterns. Our results indicate that differences in task specific fronto-posterior network activity (i.e., executive control network) expressed by interregional phase synchronization are able to account for working memory dysfunctions between groups. Local changes in the theta and gamma frequency range also show differences between patients and healthy controls, and more importantly, between the two patient groups. We conclude that differences in oscillatory brain activation patterns related to executive processing can be an indicator for positive and negative symptomatology in schizophrenia. Furthermore, changes in cognitive and especially executive functioning in patients are expressed by alterations in a task-specific fronto

  7. Subjective cognitive complaints and the role of executive cognitive functioning in the working population: a case-control study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecilia U D Stenfors

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cognitive functioning is important for managing work and life in general. However, subjective cognitive complaints (SCC, involving perceived difficulties with concentration, memory, decision making, and clear thinking are common in the general and working population and can be coupled with both lowered well-being and work ability. However, the relation between SCC and cognitive functioning across the adult age-span, and in the work force, is not clear as few population-based studies have been conducted on non-elderly adults. Thus, the present study aimed to test the relation between SCC and executive cognitive functioning in a population-based sample of employees. METHODS: Participants were 233 employees with either high (cases or low (controls levels of SCC. Group differences in neuropsychological test performance on three common executive cognitive tests were analysed through a set of analyses of covariance tests, including relevant covariates. RESULTS & CONCLUSIONS: In line with the a priori hypotheses, a high level of SCC was associated with significantly poorer executive cognitive performance on all three executive cognitive tests used, compared to controls with little SCC. Additionally, symptoms of depression, chronic stress and sleeping problems were found to play a role in the relations between SCC and executive cognitive functioning. No significant associations remained after adjusting for all these factors. The current findings contribute to an increased understanding of what characterizes SCC in the work force and may be used at different levels of prevention of- and intervention for SCC and related problems with executive cognitive functioning.

  8. 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…

  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. Thalamocortical functional connectivity in Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is abnormally enhanced in executive-control and default-mode networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Aaron E L; Abbott, David F; Jackson, Graeme D; Archer, John S

    2017-12-01

    To identify abnormal thalamocortical circuits in the severe epilepsy of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) that may explain the shared electroclinical phenotype and provide potential treatment targets. Twenty patients with a diagnosis of LGS (mean age = 28.5 years) and 26 healthy controls (mean age = 27.6 years) were compared using task-free functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The thalamus was parcellated according to functional connectivity with 10 cortical networks derived using group-level independent component analysis. For each cortical network, we assessed between-group differences in thalamic functional connectivity strength using nonparametric permutation-based tests. Anatomical locations were identified by quantifying spatial overlap with a histologically informed thalamic MRI atlas. In both groups, posterior thalamic regions showed functional connectivity with visual, auditory, and sensorimotor networks, whereas anterior, medial, and dorsal thalamic regions were connected with networks of distributed association cortex (including the default-mode, anterior-salience, and executive-control networks). Four cortical networks (left and right executive-control network; ventral and dorsal default-mode network) showed significantly enhanced thalamic functional connectivity strength in patients relative to controls. Abnormal connectivity was maximal in mediodorsal and ventrolateral thalamic nuclei. Specific thalamocortical circuits are affected in LGS. Functional connectivity is abnormally enhanced between the mediodorsal and ventrolateral thalamus and the default-mode and executive-control networks, thalamocortical circuits that normally support diverse cognitive processes. In contrast, thalamic regions connecting with primary and sensory cortical networks appear to be less affected. Our previous neuroimaging studies show that epileptic activity in LGS is expressed via the default-mode and executive-control networks. Results of the present study suggest that

  11. Striatal Dopamine D2/D3 Receptor Availability Is Associated with Executive Function in Healthy Controls but Not Methamphetamine Users.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael E Ballard

    Full Text Available Dopamine D2/D3 receptor availability in the striatum has been linked with executive function in healthy individuals, and is below control levels among drug addicts, possibly contributing to diminished executive function in the latter group. This study tested for an association of striatal D2/D3 receptor availability with a measure of executive function among research participants who met DSM-IV criteria for methamphetamine dependence.Methamphetamine users and non-user controls (n = 18 per group completed the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and positron emission tomography with [18F]fallypride.The methamphetamine users displayed significantly lower striatal D2/D3 receptor availability on average than controls after controlling for age and education (p = 0.008, but they did not register greater proportions of either perseverative or non-perseverative errors when controlling for education (both ps ≥ 0.622. The proportion of non-perseverative, but not perseverative, errors was negatively correlated with striatal D2/D3 receptor availability among controls (r = -0.588, p = 0.010, but not methamphetamine users (r = 0.281, p = 0.258, and the group-wise interaction was significant (p = 0.030.These results suggest that cognitive flexibility, as measured by perseverative errors on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, is not determined by signaling through striatal D2/D3 receptors in healthy controls, and that in stimulant abusers, who have lower D2/D3 receptor availability, compensation can effectively maintain other executive functions, which are associated with D2/D3 receptor signaling in controls.

  12. Impact of the Cognitive-Functional (Cog-Fun) Intervention on Executive Functions and Participation Among Children With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn-Markowitz, Jeri; Berger, Itai; Manor, Iris; Maeir, Adina

    We examined the effect of the Cognitive-Functional (Cog-Fun) occupational therapy intervention on executive functions and participation among children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We used a randomized, controlled study with a crossover design. One hundred and seven children age 7-10 yr diagnosed with ADHD were allocated to treatment or wait-list control group. The control group received treatment after a 3-mo wait. Outcome measures included the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM). Significant improvements were found on both the BRIEF and COPM after intervention with large treatment effects. Before crossover, significant Time × Group interactions were found on the BRIEF. This study supports the effectiveness of the Cog-Fun intervention in improving executive functions and participation among children with ADHD. Copyright © 2017 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.

  13. 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...

  14. "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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Is inattentional blindness related to individual differences in visual working memory capacity or executive control functioning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannon, Emily M; Richards, Anne

    2010-01-01

    Inattentional blindness (IB) research deals with situations where, under focused attention tasks, salient stimuli that are irrelevant to that task do not reach conscious awareness. Although such research has captured popular imagination, to date very little research has been conducted on whether some are more likely to experience this phenomenon than others. Here we provide evidence that working memory capacity (WMC) contributed to this experience, with lower WMC being predictive of IB. We also investigated whether IB could be more readily explained in terms of domain-specific visual WMC. No group differences in visual WMC were found, nor any differences in the ability to perform the primary IB task. These findings suggest that differences in higher-order executive control of attention contributes to the experience of IB.

  19. Can task-switching training enhance executive control functioning in children with attention deficit/-hyperactivity disorder?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jutta eKray

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The key cognitive impairments of children with attention deficit/-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD include executive control functions such as inhibitory control, task switching, and working memory. In this training study we examined whether task-switching training leads to improvements in these functions. Twenty children with combined type ADHD and stable methylphenidate medication performed a single-task and a task-switching training in a crossover training design. The children were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group started with the single-task training and then performed the task-switching training and the other group vice versa. The effectiveness of the task-switching training was measured as performance improvements (relative to the single-task training on a structurally similar but new switching task and on other executive control tasks measuring inhibitory control and verbal working memory as well as on fluid intelligence (reasoning. The children in both groups showed improvements in task switching, that is, a reduction of switching costs, but not in performing the single tasks across four training sessions. Moreover, the task-switching training lead to selective enhancements in task-switching performance, that is, the reduction of task-switching costs was found to be larger after task-switching than after single-task training. Similar selective improvements were observed for inhibitory control and verbal working memory, but not for reasoning. Results of this study suggest that task-switching training is an effective cognitive intervention that helps to enhance executive control functioning in children with ADHD.

  20. Can task-switching training enhance executive control functioning in children with attention deficit/-hyperactivity disorder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kray, Jutta; Karbach, Julia; Haenig, Susann; Freitag, Christine

    2011-01-01

    The key cognitive impairments of children with attention deficit/-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) include executive control functions such as inhibitory control, task-switching, and working memory (WM). In this training study we examined whether task-switching training leads to improvements in these functions. Twenty children with combined type ADHD and stable methylphenidate medication performed a single-task and a task-switching training in a crossover training design. The children were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group started with the single-task training and then performed the task-switching training and the other group vice versa. The effectiveness of the task-switching training was measured as performance improvements (relative to the single-task training) on a structurally similar but new switching task and on other executive control tasks measuring inhibitory control and verbal WM as well as on fluid intelligence (reasoning). The children in both groups showed improvements in task-switching, that is, a reduction of switching costs, but not in performing the single-tasks across four training sessions. Moreover, the task-switching training lead to selective enhancements in task-switching performance, that is, the reduction of task-switching costs was found to be larger after task-switching than after single-task training. Similar selective improvements were observed for inhibitory control and verbal WM, but not for reasoning. Results of this study suggest that task-switching training is an effective cognitive intervention that helps to enhance executive control functioning in children with ADHD.

  1. Brain training game boosts executive functions, working memory and processing speed in the young adults: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nouchi, Rui; Taki, Yasuyuki; Takeuchi, Hikaru; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Nozawa, Takayuki; Kambara, Toshimune; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Miyauchi, Carlos Makoto; Kotozaki, Yuka; Nouchi, Haruka; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2013-01-01

    Do brain training games work? The beneficial effects of brain training games are expected to transfer to other cognitive functions. Yet in all honesty, beneficial transfer effects of the commercial brain training games in young adults have little scientific basis. Here we investigated the impact of the brain training game (Brain Age) on a wide range of cognitive functions in young adults. We conducted a double-blind (de facto masking) randomized controlled trial using a popular brain training game (Brain Age) and a popular puzzle game (Tetris). Thirty-two volunteers were recruited through an advertisement in the local newspaper and randomly assigned to either of two game groups (Brain Age, Tetris). Participants in both the Brain Age and the Tetris groups played their game for about 15 minutes per day, at least 5 days per week, for 4 weeks. Measures of the cognitive functions were conducted before and after training. Measures of the cognitive functions fell into eight categories (fluid intelligence, executive function, working memory, short-term memory, attention, processing speed, visual ability, and reading ability). Our results showed that commercial brain training game improves executive functions, working memory, and processing speed in young adults. Moreover, the popular puzzle game can engender improvement attention and visuo-spatial ability compared to playing the brain training game. The present study showed the scientific evidence which the brain training game had the beneficial effects on cognitive functions (executive functions, working memory and processing speed) in the healthy young adults. Our results do not indicate that everyone should play brain training games. However, the commercial brain training game might be a simple and convenient means to improve some cognitive functions. We believe that our findings are highly relevant to applications in educational and clinical fields. UMIN Clinical Trial Registry 000005618.

  2. Brain training game boosts executive functions, working memory and processing speed in the young adults: a randomized controlled trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Nouchi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Do brain training games work? The beneficial effects of brain training games are expected to transfer to other cognitive functions. Yet in all honesty, beneficial transfer effects of the commercial brain training games in young adults have little scientific basis. Here we investigated the impact of the brain training game (Brain Age on a wide range of cognitive functions in young adults. METHODS: We conducted a double-blind (de facto masking randomized controlled trial using a popular brain training game (Brain Age and a popular puzzle game (Tetris. Thirty-two volunteers were recruited through an advertisement in the local newspaper and randomly assigned to either of two game groups (Brain Age, Tetris. Participants in both the Brain Age and the Tetris groups played their game for about 15 minutes per day, at least 5 days per week, for 4 weeks. Measures of the cognitive functions were conducted before and after training. Measures of the cognitive functions fell into eight categories (fluid intelligence, executive function, working memory, short-term memory, attention, processing speed, visual ability, and reading ability. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Our results showed that commercial brain training game improves executive functions, working memory, and processing speed in young adults. Moreover, the popular puzzle game can engender improvement attention and visuo-spatial ability compared to playing the brain training game. The present study showed the scientific evidence which the brain training game had the beneficial effects on cognitive functions (executive functions, working memory and processing speed in the healthy young adults. CONCLUSIONS: Our results do not indicate that everyone should play brain training games. However, the commercial brain training game might be a simple and convenient means to improve some cognitive functions. We believe that our findings are highly relevant to applications in educational and clinical fields

  3. +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.

  4. 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

  5. Randomized controlled effectiveness trial of executive function intervention for children on the autism spectrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenworthy, Lauren; Anthony, Laura Gutermuth; Naiman, Daniel Q; Cannon, Lynn; Wills, Meagan C; Luong-Tran, Caroline; Werner, Monica Adler; Alexander, Katie C; Strang, John; Bal, Elgiz; Sokoloff, Jennifer L; Wallace, Gregory L

    2014-04-01

    Unstuck and On Target (UOT) is an executive function (EF) intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) targeting insistence on sameness, flexibility, goal-setting, and planning through a cognitive-behavioral program of self-regulatory scripts, guided/faded practice, and visual/verbal cueing. UOT is contextually-based because it is implemented in school and at home, the contexts in which a child uses EF skills. To evaluate the effectiveness of UOT compared with a social skills intervention (SS), 3rd-5th graders with ASD (mean IQ = 108; UOT n = 47; SS n = 20) received interventions delivered by school staff in small group sessions. Students were matched for gender, age, race, IQ, ASD symptomotolgy, medication status, and parents' education. Interventions were matched for 'dose' of intervention and training. Measures of pre-post change included classroom observations, parent/teacher report, and direct child measures of problem-solving, EF, and social skills. Schools were randomized and evaluators, but not parents or teachers, were blinded to intervention type. Interventions were administered with high fidelity. Children in both groups improved with intervention, but mean change scores from pre- to postintervention indicated significantly greater improvements for UOT than SS groups in: problem-solving, flexibility, and planning/organizing. Also, classroom observations revealed that participants in UOT made greater improvements than SS participants in their ability to follow rules, make transitions, and be flexible. Children in both groups made equivalent improvements in social skills. These data support the effectiveness of the first contextually-based EF intervention for children with ASD. UOT improved classroom behavior, flexibility, and problem-solving in children with ASD. Individuals with variable background/training in ASD successfully implemented UOT in mainstream educational settings. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and

  6. Rehabilitation of executive functions in patients with chronic acquired brain injury with goal management training, external cuing, and emotional regulation: a randomized controlled trial

    OpenAIRE

    Tornås, Sveinung; Løvstad, Marianne; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin; Evans, Jonathan; Endestad, Tor; Hol, Per Kristian; Schanke, Anne-Kristine; Stubberud, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Willful control of thoughts, emotions and behavior is an intrinsically human capacity and a prerequisite for adaptive functioning. This capacity relies on complex higherorder mental processes often denoted as executive functions (EF). Executive control is called for in non-familiar situations, in performing activities involving many sub-goals, or when the circumstances change in unpredictable ways – demanding a volitional change in thinking, behavior and emotions in order to adapt. Thus, habi...

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. Musical training, bilingualism, and executive function: working memory and inhibitory control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Souza, Annalise A; Moradzadeh, Linda; Wiseheart, Melody

    2018-01-01

    The current study investigated whether long-term experience in music or a second language is associated with enhanced cognitive functioning. Early studies suggested the possibility of a cognitive advantage from musical training and bilingualism but have failed to be replicated by recent findings. Further, each form of expertise has been independently investigated leaving it unclear whether any benefits are specifically caused by each skill or are a result of skill learning in general. To assess whether cognitive benefits from training exist, and how unique they are to each training domain, the current study compared musicians and bilinguals to each other, plus to individuals who had expertise in both skills, or neither. Young adults ( n = 153) were categorized into one of four groups: monolingual musician; bilingual musician; bilingual non-musician; and monolingual non-musician. Multiple tasks per cognitive ability were used to examine the coherency of any training effects. Results revealed that musically trained individuals, but not bilinguals, had enhanced working memory. Neither skill had enhanced inhibitory control. The findings confirm previous associations between musicians and improved cognition and extend existing evidence to show that benefits are narrower than expected but can be uniquely attributed to music compared to another specialized auditory skill domain. The null bilingual effect despite a music effect in the same group of individuals challenges the proposition that young adults are at a performance ceiling and adds to increasing evidence on the lack of a bilingual advantage on cognition.

  10. 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…

  11. Perceived social isolation is associated with altered functional connectivity in neural networks associated with tonic alertness and executive control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Layden, Elliot A; Cacioppo, John T; Cacioppo, Stephanie; Cappa, Stefano F; Dodich, Alessandra; Falini, Andrea; Canessa, Nicola

    2017-01-15

    Perceived social isolation (PSI), colloquially known as loneliness, is associated with selectively altered attentional, cognitive, and affective processes in humans, but the neural mechanisms underlying these adjustments remain largely unexplored. Behavioral, eye tracking, and neuroimaging research has identified associations between PSI and implicit hypervigilance for social threats. Additionally, selective executive dysfunction has been evidenced by reduced prepotent response inhibition in social Stroop and dichotic listening tasks. Given that PSI is associated with pre-attentional processes, PSI may also be related to altered resting-state functional connectivity (FC) in the brain. Therefore, we conducted the first resting-state fMRI FC study of PSI in healthy young adults. Five-minute resting-state scans were obtained from 55 participants (31 females). Analyses revealed robust associations between PSI and increased brain-wide FC in areas encompassing the right central operculum and right supramarginal gyrus, and these associations were not explained by depressive symptomatology, objective isolation, or demographics. Further analyses revealed that PSI was associated with increased FC between several nodes of the cingulo-opercular network, a network known to underlie the maintenance of tonic alertness. These regions encompassed the bilateral insula/frontoparietal opercula and ACC/pre-SMA. In contrast, FC between the cingulo-opercular network and right middle/superior frontal gyrus was reduced, a finding associated with diminished executive function in prior literature. We suggest that, in PSI, increased within-network cingulo-opercular FC may be associated with hypervigilance to social threat, whereas reduced right middle/superior frontal gyrus FC to the cingulo-opercular network may be associated with diminished impulse control. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Occipital cortex of blind individuals is functionally coupled with executive control areas of frontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deen, Ben; Saxe, Rebecca; Bedny, Marina

    2015-08-01

    In congenital blindness, the occipital cortex responds to a range of nonvisual inputs, including tactile, auditory, and linguistic stimuli. Are these changes in functional responses to stimuli accompanied by altered interactions with nonvisual functional networks? To answer this question, we introduce a data-driven method that searches across cortex for functional connectivity differences across groups. Replicating prior work, we find increased fronto-occipital functional connectivity in congenitally blind relative to blindfolded sighted participants. We demonstrate that this heightened connectivity extends over most of occipital cortex but is specific to a subset of regions in the inferior, dorsal, and medial frontal lobe. To assess the functional profile of these frontal areas, we used an n-back working memory task and a sentence comprehension task. We find that, among prefrontal areas with overconnectivity to occipital cortex, one left inferior frontal region responds to language over music. By contrast, the majority of these regions responded to working memory load but not language. These results suggest that in blindness occipital cortex interacts more with working memory systems and raise new questions about the function and mechanism of occipital plasticity.

  13. Imbalanced functional link between executive control network and reward network explain the online-game seeking behaviors in Internet gaming disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Guangheng; Lin, Xiao; Hu, Yanbo; Xie, Chunming; Du, Xiaoxia

    2015-03-17

    Literatures have shown that Internet gaming disorder (IGD) subjects show impaired executive control and enhanced reward sensitivities than healthy controls. However, how these two networks jointly affect the valuation process and drive IGD subjects' online-game-seeking behaviors remains unknown. Thirty-five IGD and 36 healthy controls underwent a resting-states scan in the MRI scanner. Functional connectivity (FC) was examined within control and reward network seeds regions, respectively. Nucleus accumbens (NAcc) was selected as the node to find the interactions between these two networks. IGD subjects show decreased FC in the executive control network and increased FC in the reward network when comparing with the healthy controls. When examining the correlations between the NAcc and the executive control/reward networks, the link between the NAcc - executive control network is negatively related with the link between NAcc - reward network. The changes (decrease/increase) in IGD subjects' brain synchrony in control/reward networks suggest the inefficient/overly processing within neural circuitry underlying these processes. The inverse proportion between control network and reward network in IGD suggest that impairments in executive control lead to inefficient inhibition of enhanced cravings to excessive online game playing. This might shed light on the mechanistic understanding of IGD.

  14. The Interplay between Executive Control and Motor Functioning in Williams Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hocking, Darren R.; Thomas, Daniel; Menant, Jasmine C.; Porter, Melanie A.; Smith, Stuart; Lord, Stephen R.; Cornish, Kim M.

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies suggest that individuals with Williams syndrome (WS), a rare genetically based neurodevelopmental disorder, show specific weaknesses in visual attention and response inhibition within the visuospatial domain. Here we examine the extent to which impairments in attentional control extend to the visuomotor domain using a…

  15. Short-term memory in the service of executive control functions

    OpenAIRE

    Farshad Alizadeh Mansouri; Marcello eRosa; Nafiseh eAtapour

    2015-01-01

    Short-term memory is a crucial cognitive function for supporting on-going and upcoming behaviours, allowing storage of information across delay periods. The content of this memory may typically include tangible information about features such as the shape, colour or texture of an object, its location and motion relative to the body, or phonological information. The neural correlate of these short-term memories has been found in different brain areas involved in organizing perceptual or motor ...

  16. Determination of functions of controlling drives of main executive mechanisms of mining excavators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagunova, Yu A.; Komissarov, A. P.; Lukashuk, O. A.

    2018-03-01

    It is shown that a special shovel is a feature of the structure of the drives of the main mechanisms (mechanisms of lifting and pressure) of career excavators with working equipment, the presence in the transfer device of a two-crank-lever mechanism of working equipment that connects the main mechanisms with the working body (bucket). In this case, the transformation of the mechanical energy parameters of the motors into energy-force parameters realized at the cutting edge of the bucket (teeth) takes place depending on the type of the kinematic scheme of the two-link-lever mechanism. The concept of “control function” defining the relationship between the parameters characterizing the position of the bucket in the face (the coordinates of the tip of the cutting edge of the bucket, the digging speed) and the required control level are introduced. These are the values of the lifting and head speeds ensuring the bucket movement along a given trajectory.

  17. Cognitive control and motivation in children with ADHD: How reinforcement interacts with the assessment and training of executive functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dovis, S.

    2014-01-01

    This dissertation focuses on the interaction between two neuropsychological processes that are proposed to play a pivotal role in explaining the problems of children with ADHD: executive functioning (EF) and motivation. We examined the effects of reinforcement on assessment and training of EF in

  18. Executive attention control and emotional responding in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder — A functional MRI study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soonjo Hwang

    2015-01-01

    Conclusion: The current study demonstrated disrupted recruitment of regions implicated in executive function and impaired connectivity within those regions in children/adolescents with ADHD. There were also indications of heightened representation of emotional stimuli in patients with ADHD. However, as the findings were specific for positive stimuli, the suggestion of a general failure in emotion regulation in ADHD was not supported.

  19. 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.

  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. Intelligence, creativity, and cognitive control: The common and differential involvement of executive functions in intelligence and creativity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benedek, Mathias; Jauk, Emanuel; Sommer, Markus; Arendasy, Martin; Neubauer, Aljoscha C.

    2014-01-01

    Intelligence and creativity are known to be correlated constructs suggesting that they share a common cognitive basis. The present study assessed three specific executive abilities – updating, shifting, and inhibition – and examined their common and differential relations to fluid intelligence and creativity (i.e., divergent thinking ability) within a latent variable model approach. Additionally, it was tested whether the correlation of fluid intelligence and creativity can be explained by a common executive involvement. As expected, fluid intelligence was strongly predicted by updating, but not by shifting or inhibition. Creativity was predicted by updating and inhibition, but not by shifting. Moreover, updating (and the personality factor openness) was found to explain a relevant part of the shared variance between intelligence and creativity. The findings provide direct support for the executive involvement in creative thought and shed further light on the functional relationship between intelligence and creativity. PMID:25278640

  2. Executive control of attention in narcolepsy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie Bayard

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Narcolepsy with cataplexy (NC is a disabling sleep disorder characterized by early loss of hypocretin neurons that project to areas involved in the attention network. We characterized the executive control of attention in drug-free patients with NC to determine whether the executive deficits observed in patients with NC are specific to the disease itself or whether they reflect performance changes due to the severity of excessive daytime sleepiness. METHODOLOGY: Twenty-two patients with NC compared to 22 patients with narcolepsy without cataplexy (NwC matched for age, gender, intellectual level, objective daytime sleepiness and number of sleep onset REM periods (SOREMPs were studied. Thirty-two matched healthy controls were included. All participants underwent a standardized interview, completed questionnaires, and neuropsychological tests. All patients underwent a polysomnography followed by multiple sleep latency tests (MSLT, with neuropsychological evaluation performed the same day between MSLT sessions. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Irrespective of diagnosis, patients reported higher self-reported attentional complaints associated with the intensity of depressive symptoms. Patients with NC performed slower and more variably on simple reaction time tasks than patients with NwC, who did not differ from controls. Patients with NC and NwC generally performed slower, reacted more variably, and made more errors than controls on executive functioning tests. Individual profile analyses showed a clear heterogeneity of the severity of executive deficit. This severity was related to objective sleepiness, higher number of SOREMPs on the MSLT, and lower intelligence quotient. The nature and severity of the executive deficits were unrelated to NC and NwC diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that drug-free patients with NC and NwC complained of attention deficit, with altered executive control of attention being explained by the severity of objective

  3. Identifying Balance and Fall Risk in Community-Dwelling Older Women: The Effect of Executive Function on Postural Control

    OpenAIRE

    Muir-Hunter, Susan W.; Clark, Jennifer; McLean, Stephanie; Pedlow, Sam; Van Hemmen, Alysia; Montero Odasso, Manuel; Overend, Tom

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: The mechanisms linking cognition, balance function, and fall risk among older adults are not fully understood. An evaluation of the effect of cognition on balance tests commonly used in clinical practice to assess community-dwelling older adults could enhance the identification of at-risk individuals. The study aimed to determine (1) the association between cognition and clinical tests of balance and (2) the relationship between executive function (EF) and balance under single- and d...

  4. The Efficacy of Adapted MBCT on Core Symptoms and Executive Functioning in Adults With ADHD: A Preliminary Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hepark, Sevket; Janssen, Lotte; de Vries, Alicia; Schoenberg, Poppy L A; Donders, Rogier; Kan, Cornelis C; Speckens, Anne E M

    2015-11-20

    The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of mindfulness as a treatment for adults diagnosed with ADHD. A 12-week-adapted mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) program is compared with a waiting list (WL) group. Adults with ADHD were randomly allocated to MBCT (n = 55) or waitlist (n = 48). Outcome measures included investigator-rated ADHD symptoms (primary), self-reported ADHD symptoms, executive functioning, depressive and anxiety symptoms, patient functioning, and mindfulness skills. MBCT resulted in a significant reduction of ADHD symptoms, both investigator-rated and self-reported, based on per-protocol and intention-to-treat analyses. Significant improvements in executive functioning and mindfulness skills were found. Additional analyses suggested that the efficacy of MBCT in reducing ADHD symptoms and improving executive functioning is partially mediated by an increase in the mindfulness skill "Act With Awareness." No improvements were observed for depressive and anxiety symptoms, and patient functioning. This study provides preliminary support for the effectiveness of MBCT for adults with ADHD. © The Author(s) 2015.

  5. A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study of sapropterin to treat ADHD symptoms and executive function impairment in children and adults with sapropterin-responsive phenylketonuria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burton, B; Grant, M; Feigenbaum, A; Singh, R; Hendren, R; Siriwardena, K; Phillips, J; Sanchez-Valle, A; Waisbren, S; Gillis, J; Prasad, S; Merilainen, M; Lang, W; Zhang, C; Yu, S; Stahl, S

    2015-03-01

    Symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), particularly inattention, and impairments in executive functioning have been reported in early and continuously treated children, adolescents, and adults with phenylketonuria (PKU). In addition, higher blood phenylalanine (Phe) levels have been correlated with the presence of ADHD symptoms and executive functioning impairment. The placebo-controlled PKU ASCEND study evaluated the effects of sapropterin therapy on PKU-associated symptoms of ADHD and executive and global functioning in individuals who had a therapeutic blood Phe response to sapropterin therapy. The presence of ADHD inattentive symptoms and executive functioning deficits was confirmed in this large cohort of 206 children and adults with PKU, of whom 118 responded to sapropterin therapy. In the 38 individuals with sapropterin-responsive PKU and ADHD symptoms at baseline, sapropterin therapy resulted in a significant improvement in ADHD inattentive symptoms in the first 4 weeks of treatment, and improvements were maintained throughout the 26 weeks of treatment. Sapropterin was well-tolerated with a favorable safety profile. The improvements in ADHD inattentive symptoms and aspects of executive functioning in response to sapropterin therapy noted in a large cohort of individuals with PKU indicate that these symptoms are potentially reversible when blood Phe levels are reduced. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. 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.

  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. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. Atomoxetine effects on executive function as measured by the BRIEF--a in young adults with ADHD: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lenard A Adler

    Full Text Available To evaluate the effect of atomoxetine treatment on executive functions in young adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD.In this Phase 4, multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, young adults (18-30 years with ADHD were randomized to receive atomoxetine (20-50 mg BID, N = 220 or placebo (N = 225 for 12 weeks. The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult (BRIEF-A consists of 75 self-report items within 9 nonoverlapping clinical scales measuring various aspects of executive functioning. Mean changes from baseline to 12-week endpoint on the BRIEF-A were analyzed using an ANCOVA model (terms: baseline score, treatment, and investigator.At baseline, there were no significant treatment group differences in the percentage of patients with BRIEF-A composite or index T-scores ≥60 (p>.5, with over 92% of patients having composite scores ≥60 (≥60 deemed clinically meaningful for these analyses. At endpoint, statistically significantly greater mean reductions were seen in the atomoxetine versus placebo group for the BRIEF-A Global Executive Composite (GEC, Behavioral Regulation Index (BRI, and Metacognitive Index (MI scores, as well as the Inhibit, Self-Monitor, Working Memory, Plan/Organize and Task Monitor subscale scores (p<.05, with decreases in scores signifying improvements in executive functioning. Changes in the BRIEF-A Initiate (p = .051, Organization of Materials (p = .051, Shift (p = .090, and Emotional Control (p = .219 subscale scores were not statistically significant. In addition, the validity scales: Inconsistency (p = .644, Infrequency (p = .097, and Negativity (p = .456 were not statistically significant, showing scale validity.Statistically significantly greater improvement in executive function was observed in young adults with ADHD in the atomoxetine versus placebo group as measured by changes in the BRIEF-A scales.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00510276.

  13. A randomised controlled trial of a web-based multi-modal therapy program to improve executive functioning in children and adolescents with acquired brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piovesana, Adina; Ross, Stephanie; Lloyd, Owen; Whittingham, Koa; Ziviani, Jenny; Ware, Robert S; McKinlay, Lynne; Boyd, Roslyn N

    2017-10-01

    To examine the efficacy of a multi-modal web-based therapy program, Move it to improve it (Mitii™) delivered at home to improve Executive Functioning (EF) in children with an acquired brain injury (ABI). Randomised Waitlist controlled trial. Home environment. Sixty children with an ABI were matched in pairs by age and intelligence quotient then randomised to either 20-weeks of Mitii™ training or 20 weeks of Care As Usual (waitlist control; n=30; 17 males; mean age=11y, 11m (±2y, 6m); Full Scale IQ=76.24±17.84). Fifty-eight children completed baseline assessments (32 males; mean age=11.87±2.47; Full Scale IQ=75.21±16.76). Executive functioning was assessed on four domains: attentional control, cognitive flexibility, goal setting, and information processing using subtests from the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV), Delis-Kaplan Executive Functioning System (D-KEFS), Comprehensive Trail Making Test (CTMT), Tower of London (TOL), and Test of Everyday Attention for Children (Tea-Ch). Executive functioning performance in everyday life was assessed via parent questionnaire (Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning; BRIEF). No differences were observed at baseline measures. Groups were compared at 20-weeks using linear regression with no significant differences found between groups on all measures of EF. Out of a potential total dose of 60 hours, children in the Mitii™ group completed a mean of 17 hours of Mitii™ intervention. Results indicate no additional benefit to receiving Mitii™ compared to standard care. Mitii™, in its current form, was not shown to improve EF in children with ABI.

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. How bilingualism shapes the functional architecture of the brain: A study on executive control in early bilinguals and monolinguals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costumero, Víctor; Rodríguez-Pujadas, Aina; Fuentes-Claramonte, Paola; Ávila, César

    2015-12-01

    The existence of a behavioral advantage of bilinguals over monolinguals during executive tasks is controversial. A new approach to this issue is to investigate the effect of bilingualism on neural control when performing these tasks as a window to understand when behavioral differences are produced. Here, we tested if early bilinguals use more language-related networks than monolinguals while performing a go/no-go task that includes infrequent no-go and go trials. The RTs and accuracy in both groups did not differ. An independent component analyses (ICA) revealed, however, that bilinguals used the left fronto-parietal network and the salience network more than monolinguals while processing go infrequent cues and no-go cues, respectively. It was noteworthy that the modulation of these networks had opposite correlates with performance in bilinguals and monolinguals, which suggests that between-group differences were more qualitative than quantitative. Our results suggest that bilinguals may differently develop the involvement of the executive control networks that comprise the left inferior frontal gyrus during cognitive control tasks than monolinguals. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Functional Connectivity Between Anterior Insula and Key Nodes of Frontoparietal Executive Control and Salience Networks Distinguish Bipolar Depression From Unipolar Depression and Healthy Control Subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellard, Kristen K; Zimmerman, Jared P; Kaur, Navneet; Van Dijk, Koene R A; Roffman, Joshua L; Nierenberg, Andrew A; Dougherty, Darin D; Deckersbach, Thilo; Camprodon, Joan A

    2018-05-01

    Patients with bipolar depression are characterized by dysregulation across the full spectrum of mood, differentiating them from patients with unipolar depression. The ability to switch neural resources among the default mode network, salience network, and executive control network (ECN) has been proposed as a key mechanism for adaptive mood regulation. The anterior insula is implicated in the modulation of functional network switching. Differential connectivity between anterior insula and functional networks may provide insights into pathophysiological differences between bipolar and unipolar mood disorders, with implications for diagnosis and treatment. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected from 98 subjects (35 unipolar, 24 bipolar, and 39 healthy control subjects). Pearson correlations were computed between bilateral insula seed regions and a priori defined target regions from the default mode network, salience network, and ECN. After r-to-z transformation, a one-way multivariate analysis of covariance was conducted to identify significant differences in connectivity between groups. Post hoc pairwise comparisons were conducted and Bonferroni corrections were applied. Receiver-operating characteristics were computed to assess diagnostic sensitivity. Patients with bipolar depression evidenced significantly altered right anterior insula functional connectivity with the inferior parietal lobule of the ECN relative to patients with unipolar depression and control subjects. Right anterior insula-inferior parietal lobule connectivity significantly discriminated patients with bipolar depression. Impaired functional connectivity between the anterior insula and the inferior parietal lobule of the ECN distinguishes patients with bipolar depression from those with unipolar depression and healthy control subjects. This finding highlights a pathophysiological mechanism with potential as a therapeutic target and a clinical biomarker for bipolar

  19. Atomoxetine Effects on Executive Function as Measured by the BRIEF-A in Young Adults with ADHD: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adler, Lenard A.; Clemow, David B.; Williams, David W.; Durell, Todd M.

    2014-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the effect of atomoxetine treatment on executive functions in young adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Methods In this Phase 4, multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, young adults (18–30 years) with ADHD were randomized to receive atomoxetine (20–50 mg BID, N = 220) or placebo (N = 225) for 12 weeks. The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult (BRIEF-A) consists of 75 self-report items within 9 nonoverlapping clinical scales measuring various aspects of executive functioning. Mean changes from baseline to 12-week endpoint on the BRIEF-A were analyzed using an ANCOVA model (terms: baseline score, treatment, and investigator). Results At baseline, there were no significant treatment group differences in the percentage of patients with BRIEF-A composite or index T-scores ≥60 (p>.5), with over 92% of patients having composite scores ≥60 (≥60 deemed clinically meaningful for these analyses). At endpoint, statistically significantly greater mean reductions were seen in the atomoxetine versus placebo group for the BRIEF-A Global Executive Composite (GEC), Behavioral Regulation Index (BRI), and Metacognitive Index (MI) scores, as well as the Inhibit, Self-Monitor, Working Memory, Plan/Organize and Task Monitor subscale scores (patomoxetine versus placebo group as measured by changes in the BRIEF-A scales. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00510276 PMID:25148243

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Identifying balance and fall risk in community-dwelling older women: the effect of executive function on postural control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muir-Hunter, Susan W; Clark, Jennifer; McLean, Stephanie; Pedlow, Sam; Van Hemmen, Alysia; Montero Odasso, Manuel; Overend, Tom

    2014-01-01

    The mechanisms linking cognition, balance function, and fall risk among older adults are not fully understood. An evaluation of the effect of cognition on balance tests commonly used in clinical practice to assess community-dwelling older adults could enhance the identification of at-risk individuals. The study aimed to determine (1) the association between cognition and clinical tests of balance and (2) the relationship between executive function (EF) and balance under single- and dual-task testing. Participants (24 women, mean age of 76.18 [SD 16.45] years) completed six clinical balance tests, four cognitive tests, and two measures of physical function. Poor balance function was associated with poor performance on cognitive testing of EF. In addition, the association with EF was strongest under the dual-task timed up-and-go (TUG) test and the Fullerton Advanced Balance Scale. Measures of global cognition were associated only with the dual-task performance of the TUG. Postural sway measured with the Standing Balance Test, under single- or dual-task test conditions, was not associated with cognition. Decreased EF was associated with worse performance on functional measures of balance. The relationship between EF and balance was more pronounced with dual-task testing using a complex cognitive task combined with the TUG.

  3. Identifying Balance and Fall Risk in Community-Dwelling Older Women: The Effect of Executive Function on Postural Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Jennifer; McLean, Stephanie; Pedlow, Sam; Van Hemmen, Alysia; Montero Odasso, Manuel; Overend, Tom

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Purpose: The mechanisms linking cognition, balance function, and fall risk among older adults are not fully understood. An evaluation of the effect of cognition on balance tests commonly used in clinical practice to assess community-dwelling older adults could enhance the identification of at-risk individuals. The study aimed to determine (1) the association between cognition and clinical tests of balance and (2) the relationship between executive function (EF) and balance under single- and dual-task testing. Methods: Participants (24 women, mean age of 76.18 [SD 16.45] years) completed six clinical balance tests, four cognitive tests, and two measures of physical function. Results: Poor balance function was associated with poor performance on cognitive testing of EF. In addition, the association with EF was strongest under the dual-task timed up-and-go (TUG) test and the Fullerton Advanced Balance Scale. Measures of global cognition were associated only with the dual-task performance of the TUG. Postural sway measured with the Standing Balance Test, under single- or dual-task test conditions, was not associated with cognition. Conclusions: Decreased EF was associated with worse performance on functional measures of balance. The relationship between EF and balance was more pronounced with dual-task testing using a complex cognitive task combined with the TUG. PMID:24799756

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Interventions to improve executive functioning and working memory in school-aged children with AD(H)D: a randomised controlled trial and stepped-care approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Donk, Marthe L A; Hiemstra-Beernink, Anne-Claire; Tjeenk-Kalff, Ariane C; van der Leij, Aryan V; Lindauer, Ramón J L

    2013-01-11

    Deficits in executive functioning are of great significance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). One of these executive functions, working memory, plays an important role in academic performance and is often seen as the core deficit of this disorder. There are indications that working memory problems and academic performance can be improved by school-oriented interventions but this has not yet been studied systematically. In this study we will determine the short- and long-term effects of a working memory--and an executive function training applied in a school situation for children with AD(H)D, taking individual characteristics, the level of impairment and costs (stepped-care approach) into account. The study consists of two parts: the first part is a randomised controlled trial with school-aged children (8-12 yrs) with AD(H)D. Two groups (each n = 50) will be randomly assigned to a well studied computerized working memory training 'Cogmed', or to the 'Paying attention in class' intervention which is an experimental school-based executive function training. Children will be selected from regular -and special education primary schools in the region of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The second part of the study will determine which specific characteristics are related to non-response of the 'Paying attention in class' intervention. School-aged children (8-12 yrs) with AD(H)D will follow the experimental school-based executive function training 'Paying attention in class' (n = 175). Academic performance and neurocognitive functioning (primary outcomes) are assessed before, directly after and 6 months after training. Secondary outcome measures are: behaviour in class, behaviour problems and quality of life. So far, there is limited but promising evidence that working memory - and other executive function interventions can improve academic performance. Little is know about the applicability and generalization effects of these interventions in a classroom

  7. Interventions to improve executive functioning and working memory in school-aged children with AD(HD: a randomised controlled trial and stepped-care approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    van der Donk Marthe LA

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Deficits in executive functioning are of great significance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. One of these executive functions, working memory, plays an important role in academic performance and is often seen as the core deficit of this disorder. There are indications that working memory problems and academic performance can be improved by school-oriented interventions but this has not yet been studied systematically. In this study we will determine the short- and long-term effects of a working memory - and an executive function training applied in a school situation for children with AD(HD, taking individual characteristics, the level of impairment and costs (stepped-care approach into account. Methods/design The study consists of two parts: the first part is a randomised controlled trial with school-aged children (8–12 yrs with AD(HD. Two groups (each n = 50 will be randomly assigned to a well studied computerized working memory training ‘Cogmed’, or to the ‘Paying attention in class’ intervention which is an experimental school-based executive function training. Children will be selected from regular -and special education primary schools in the region of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The second part of the study will determine which specific characteristics are related to non-response of the ‘Paying attention in class’ intervention. School-aged children (8–12 yrs with AD(HD will follow the experimental school-based executive function training ‘Paying attention in class’ (n = 175. Academic performance and neurocognitive functioning (primary outcomes are assessed before, directly after and 6 months after training. Secondary outcome measures are: behaviour in class, behaviour problems and quality of life. Discussion So far, there is limited but promising evidence that working memory – and other executive function interventions can improve academic performance. Little is know about the

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. Executive functions and inhibitory control in multilingual children: evidence from second-language learners, bilinguals, and trilinguals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poarch, Gregory J; van Hell, Janet G

    2012-12-01

    In two experiments, we examined inhibitory control processes in three groups of bilinguals and trilinguals that differed in nonnative language proficiency and language learning background. German 5- to 8-year-old second-language learners of English, German-English bilinguals, German-English-Language X trilinguals, and 6- to 8-year-old German monolinguals performed the Simon task and the Attentional Networks Task (ANT). Language proficiencies and socioeconomic status were controlled. We found that the Simon effect advantage, reported in earlier research for bilingual children and adults over monolinguals, differed across groups, with bilinguals and trilinguals showing enhanced conflict resolution over monolinguals and marginally so over second-language learners. In the ANT, bilinguals and trilinguals displayed enhanced conflict resolution over second-language learners. This extends earlier research to child second-language learners and trilinguals, who were in the process of becoming proficient in an additional language, while corroborating earlier findings demonstrating enhanced executive control in bilinguals assumed to be caused by continuous inhibitory control processes necessary in competition resolution between two (or possibly more) languages. The results are interpreted against the backdrop of the developing language systems of the children, both for early second-language learners and for early bilinguals and trilinguals. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Event-Related Potentials in a Cued Go-NoGo Task Associated with Executive Functions in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder; A Case-Control Study

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    Anne L. Høyland

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Executive functions are often affected in autism spectrum disorders (ASD. The underlying biology is however not well known. In the DSM-5, ASD is characterized by difficulties in two domains: Social Interaction and Repetitive and Restricted Behavior, RRB. Insistence of Sameness is part of RRB and has been reported related to executive functions. We aimed to identify differences between ASD and typically developing (TD adolescents in Event Related Potentials (ERPs associated with response preparation, conflict monitoring and response inhibition using a cued Go-NoGo paradigm. We also studied the effect of age and emotional content of paradigm related to these ERPs. We investigated 49 individuals with ASD and 49 TD aged 12–21 years, split into two groups below (young and above (old 16 years of age. ASD characteristics were quantified by the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ and executive functions were assessed with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF, both parent-rated. Behavioral performance and ERPs were recorded during a cued visual Go-NoGo task which included neutral pictures (VCPT and pictures of emotional faces (ECPT. The amplitudes of ERPs associated with response preparation, conflict monitoring, and response inhibition were analyzed. The ASD group showed markedly higher scores than TD in both SCQ and BRIEF. Behavioral data showed no case-control differences in either the VCPT or ECPT in the whole group. While there were no significant case-control differences in ERPs from the combined VCPT and ECPT in the whole sample, the Contingent Negative Variation (CNV was significantly enhanced in the old ASD group (p = 0.017. When excluding ASD with comorbid ADHD we found a significantly increased N2 NoGo (p = 0.016 and N2-effect (p = 0.023 for the whole group. We found no case-control differences in the P3-components. Our findings suggest increased response preparation in adolescents with ASD older than 16 years and

  14. 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.

  15. Effect of Cognitive Rehabilitation on Executive Functions in Adolescent Survivors of Leukemia: A Randomized and Controlled Clinical Trial

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    Omid Amani

    2017-06-01

    Conclusion The results of this study have shown that the effect of cognitive rehabilitation on executive functions reaps significant dividends with regard to the promotion of hope in adolescents who survived leukemia and have been under the chemotherapy. The promotion of hope in participants belonging to the intervention group was more than in the participants of the wait list group. Given the fact that, today, one of the main goals of treatment of chronic diseases such as cancer is to enhance the quality of mental health of the surviving patients, the use of inexpensive and accessible programs like cognitive rehabilitation would be very effective. Consequently, healthcare professionals could attempt to reduce the side effects caused by chemotherapy and radiation, in addition to improving the cognitive issues of affected individuals, by placing emphasis on hope among the concerned patients. Therefore, it is recommended to conduct further research by considering the results of this work in order to develop effective cognitive rehabilitation interventions, thereby, enhancing the coping strategies, quality of life, and mental health of patients who are afflicted with cancer and those who survived cancer. Cognitive rehabilitation services should also be considered for post-treatment follow-up projects. 

  16. 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.

  17. Interventions to improve executive functioning and working memory in school-aged children with AD(H)D: a randomised controlled trial and stepped-care approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Donk, Marthe L. A.; Hiemstra-Beernink, Anne-Claire; Tjeenk-Kalff, Ariane C.; van der Leij, Aryan V.; Lindauer, Ramón J. L.

    2013-01-01

    Deficits in executive functioning are of great significance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). One of these executive functions, working memory, plays an important role in academic performance and is often seen as the core deficit of this disorder. There are indications that working

  18. Interventions to improve executive functioning and working memory in school-aged children with AD(H)D : A randomised controlled trial and stepped-care approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Donk, M.L.A.; Hiemstra-Beernink, A.-C.; Tjeenk-Kalff, A.C.; van der Leij, A.V.; Lindauer, R.J.L.

    2013-01-01

    Background Deficits in executive functioning are of great significance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). One of these executive functions, working memory, plays an important role in academic performance and is often seen as the core deficit of this disorder. There are indications

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The Executive Control of Face Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven Z. Rapcsak

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Patients with frontal lobe damage and cognitively normal elderly individuals demonstrate increased susceptibility to false facial recognition. In this paper we review neuropsychological evidence consistent with the notion that the common functional impairment underlying face memory distortions in both subject populations is a context recollection/source monitoring deficit, coupled with excessive reliance on relatively preserved facial familiarity signals in recognition decisions. In particular, we suggest that due to the breakdown of strategic memory retrieval, monitoring, and decision operations, individuals with frontal lobe impairment caused by focal damage or age-related functional decline do not have a reliable mechanism for attributing the experience of familiarity to the correct context or source. Memory illusions are mostly apparent under conditions of uncertainty when the face cue does not directly elicit relevant identity-specific contextual information, leaving the source of familiarity unspecified or ambiguous. Based on these findings, we propose that remembering faces is a constructive process that requires dynamic interactions between temporal lobe memory systems that operate in an automatic or bottom-up fashion and frontal executive systems that provide strategic top-down control of recollection. Executive memory control functions implemented by prefrontal cortex play a critical role in suppressing false facial recognition and related source memory misattributions.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. What Works Clearinghouse Quick Review of the Report "Exercise Improves Executive Function and Achievement and Alters Brain Activation in Overweight Children: A Randomized, Controlled Trial"

    Science.gov (United States)

    What Works Clearinghouse, 2012

    2012-01-01

    The study examined whether exercise offered to sedentary, overweight children ages 7 to 11 improved executive function--defined as strategy execution when presented with a novel task--and academic performance in reading and math. The study authors analyzed data on about 170 students from Georgia who were recruited in five cohorts from 2003 to…

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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,…

  13. 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,…

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. Effect of Play-based Therapy on Meta-cognitive and Behavioral Aspects of Executive Function: A Randomized, Controlled, Clinical Trial on the Students With Learning Disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karamali Esmaili, Samaneh; Shafaroodi, Narges; Hassani Mehraban, Afsoon; Parand, Akram; Zarei, Masoume; Akbari-Zardkhaneh, Saeed

    2017-01-01

    Although the effect of educational methods on executive function (EF) is well known, training this function by a playful method is debatable. The current study aimed at investigating if a play-based intervention is effective on metacognitive and behavioral skills of EF in students with specific learning disabilities. In the current randomized, clinical trial, 49 subjects within the age range of 7 to 11 years with specific learning disabilities were randomly assigned into the intervention (25 subjects; mean age 8.5±1.33 years) and control (24 subjects; mean age 8.7±1.03 years) groups. Subjects in the intervention group received EF group training based on playing activities; subjects in the control group received no intervention. The behavior rating inventory of executive function (BRIEF) was administered to evaluate the behavioral and cognitive aspects of EF. The duration of the intervention was 6 hours per week for 9 weeks. Multivariate analysis of covariance was used to compare mean changes (before and after) in the BRIEF scores between the groups. The assumptions of multivariate analysis of covariance were examined. After controlling pre-test conditions, the intervention and control groups scored significantly differently on both the metacognition (P=0.002; effect size=0.20) and behavior regulation indices (P=0.01; effect size=0.12) of BRIEF. Play-based therapy is effective on the metacognitive and behavioral aspects of EF in students with specific learning disabilities. Professionals can use play-based therapy rather than educational approaches in clinical practice to enhance EF skills.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. A Proof-of-Concept Randomized Controlled Study of Gabapentin: Effects on Cannabis Use, Withdrawal and Executive Function Deficits in Cannabis-Dependent Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Barbara J; Crean, Rebecca; Goodell, Vivian; Light, John M; Quello, Susan; Shadan, Farhad; Buffkins, Kimberly; Kyle, Mark; Adusumalli, Murali; Begovic, Adnan; Rao, Santosh

    2012-01-01

    There are no FDA-approved pharmacotherapies for cannabis dependence. Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in the world, and patients seeking treatment for primary cannabis dependence represent 25% of all substance use admissions. We conducted a phase IIa proof-of-concept pilot study to examine the safety and efficacy of a calcium channel/GABA modulating drug, gabapentin, for the treatment of cannabis dependence. A 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted in 50 unpaid treatment-seeking male and female outpatients, aged 18–65 years, diagnosed with current cannabis dependence. Subjects received either gabapentin (1200 mg/day) or matched placebo. Manual-guided, abstinence-oriented individual counseling was provided weekly to all participants. Cannabis use was measured by weekly urine toxicology and by self-report using the Timeline Followback Interview. Cannabis withdrawal symptoms were assessed using the Marijuana Withdrawal Checklist. Executive function was measured using subtests from the Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System. Relative to placebo, gabapentin significantly reduced cannabis use as measured both by urine toxicology (p=0.001) and by the Timeline Followback Interview (p=0.004), and significantly decreased withdrawal symptoms as measured by the Marijuana Withdrawal Checklist (pbrain stress systems that are dysregulated in drug dependence and withdrawal. PMID:22373942

  1. A proof-of-concept randomized controlled study of gabapentin: effects on cannabis use, withdrawal and executive function deficits in cannabis-dependent adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Barbara J; Crean, Rebecca; Goodell, Vivian; Light, John M; Quello, Susan; Shadan, Farhad; Buffkins, Kimberly; Kyle, Mark; Adusumalli, Murali; Begovic, Adnan; Rao, Santosh

    2012-06-01

    There are no FDA-approved pharmacotherapies for cannabis dependence. Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in the world, and patients seeking treatment for primary cannabis dependence represent 25% of all substance use admissions. We conducted a phase IIa proof-of-concept pilot study to examine the safety and efficacy of a calcium channel/GABA modulating drug, gabapentin, for the treatment of cannabis dependence. A 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted in 50 unpaid treatment-seeking male and female outpatients, aged 18-65 years, diagnosed with current cannabis dependence. Subjects received either gabapentin (1200 mg/day) or matched placebo. Manual-guided, abstinence-oriented individual counseling was provided weekly to all participants. Cannabis use was measured by weekly urine toxicology and by self-report using the Timeline Followback Interview. Cannabis withdrawal symptoms were assessed using the Marijuana Withdrawal Checklist. Executive function was measured using subtests from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System. Relative to placebo, gabapentin significantly reduced cannabis use as measured both by urine toxicology (p=0.001) and by the Timeline Followback Interview (p=0.004), and significantly decreased withdrawal symptoms as measured by the Marijuana Withdrawal Checklist (pcannabis dependence that merits further study, and provides an alternative conceptual framework for treatment of addiction aimed at restoring homeostasis in brain stress systems that are dysregulated in drug dependence and withdrawal.

  2. Executive Functioning in Highly Talented Soccer Players

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  3. 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.

  4. Young adults perinatally infected with HIV perform more poorly on measures of executive functioning and motor speed than ethnically matched healthy controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willen, Elizabeth J; Cuadra, Anai; Arheart, Kristopher L; Post, M J D; Govind, Varan

    2017-03-01

    Perinatal HIV is associated with significant neurocognitive morbidities, but few studies have examined cognitive impact of early HIV infection on patients surviving to adulthood. The purpose of this study was to evaluate neurocognitive outcomes among a cohort of perinatally infected young adults. Individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 with perinatal infection were recruited for this cross-sectional study along with similarly aged healthy controls. Participants completed an MRI and brief neuropsychological assessment battery. Multivariate analysis of covariance controlling for age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education was completed to detect differences between the HIV+ and control groups. Multivariable linear regression was performed to assess HIV-associated factors potentially impacting neuropsychological findings among the HIV+ group. Twenty-nine HIV+ young adults and 13 healthy controls were included in the study. After adjusting for age and sociodemographic variables, the HIV+ group scored lower on attention/working memory (Digit Span (p = .008) and Letter-Number Sequencing (p = .038)), set-shifting (DKEFS Trail Making Test Condition 4 (p = .026) and motor speed (DKEFS Trail Making Test Condition 5 (p = .003)). For the HIV+ group, nadir CD4 was associated with better Letter-Number Sequencing score (p = .029) and use of highly active antiretroviral therapy was associated with better performance on Category Fluency (p = .040). After controlling for sociodemographic variables, executive dysfunction persists among young adults with perinatal HIV infection in comparison to controls. Future studies to further elucidate the impact of executive dysfunction on independent living and functional outcomes are indicated.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. EXECUTIVE DYSFUNCTION IN ALCOHOL DEPENDENT INDIVIDUALS: A CASE CONTROL STUDY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neethi Valsan

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND The use of alcohol is increasingly prevalent in our country. Being a neurotoxin, it tends to affect elective mental capacities. Frontal lobe is found to be most affected by chronic alcohol use. AIM To study the executive functions in alcohol dependent individuals and to determine any relationship with alcohol intake variables. MATERIALS AND METHODS 30 recently detoxified alcohol dependent individuals attending the De-addiction Clinic of Medical College, Kottayam, was compared to 30 controls on four tests of executive functions, namely, Controlled Word Association Test, Trail Making Test, Stroop Test, and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Statistical analysis of the data has been done using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS Windows version 10. RESULTS Executive function was significantly impaired in the alcohol dependent individuals when compared to normal controls in all the four tests. On analysing the effect of drinking variables on executive functioning, the performance of patients is seen to improve with abstinence in Stroop. Those with a positive family history of ADS in the first degree relatives produced fewer words in verbal fluency. CONCLUSION As the executive impairment remains more or less stable irrespective to the chronicity or amount of alcohol use, it could be assumed that the executive dysfunction observed is a trait marker rather than a state dependent variable.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. A RCT Comparing Daily Mindfulness Meditations, Biofeedback Exercises, and Daily Physical Exercise on Attention Control, Executive Functioning, Mindful Awareness, Self-Compassion, and Worrying in Stressed Young Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Bruin, Esther I; van der Zwan, J Esi; Bögels, Susan M

    2016-01-01

    Our Western society is characterized by multitasking, competition, and constant time pressure. Negative effects of stress for the individual (anxiety, depression, somatic complaints) and for organizations and society (costs due to work absence) are very high. Thus, time-efficient self-help interventions to address these issues are necessary. This study assessed the effects of daily mindfulness meditations (MM) versus daily heart rate variability biofeedback (HRV-BF) and daily physical exercise (PE) on attention control, executive functioning, mindful awareness, self-compassion, and worrying. Young adults ( n  = 75, age range 18 to 40) with elevated stress levels were randomized to MM, HRV-BF, or PE, and measurements were taken at pre-test, post-test, and follow-up. Interventions in all three groups were self-guided and lasted for 5 weeks. Generalized estimating equation analyses showed that overall, all three interventions were effective and did not differ from each other. However, practice time differed between groups, with participants in the PE group practicing much more than participants in the other two groups. Therefore, additional analyses were carried out in two subsamples. The optimal dose sample included only those participants who practiced for at least 70 % of the total prescribed time. In the equal dose sample, home practice intensity was equal for all three groups. Again, the effects of the three interventions did not differ. In conclusion, MM, HRV-BF, and PE are all effective self-help methods to improve attention control, executive functioning, mindful awareness, self-compassion, and worrying, and mindfulness meditation was not found to be more effective than HRV-biofeedback or physical exercise for these cognitive processes.

  14. A pilot randomized controlled trial of the Occupational Goal Intervention method for the improvement of executive functioning in patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vizzotto, Adriana D B; Celestino, Diego L; Buchain, Patricia C; Oliveira, Alexandra M; Oliveira, Graça M R; Di Sarno, Elaine S; Napolitano, Isabel C; Elkis, Helio

    2016-11-30

    Schizophrenia is a chronic disabling mental disorder that involves impairments in several cognitive domains, especially in executive functions (EF), as well as impairments in functional performance. This is particularly true in patients with Treatment-Resistant Schizophrenia (TRS). The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of the Occupational Goal Intervention (OGI) method for the improvement of EF in patients with TRS. In this randomized, controlled, single-blind pilot study, 25 TRS patients were randomly assigned to attend 30 sessions of either OGI or craft activities (control) over a 15-week period and evaluated by the Behavioural Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome (BADS) as the primary outcome and the Direct Assessment of Functional Status (DAFS-BR) as well as the Independent Living Skills Survey (ILSS-BR) as secondary outcomes, all adapted for the Brazilian population. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) was used for monitoring symptom severity. Results showed significant statistical differences, favoring the OGI group in terms of improvement on the BADS, both in subtests (Action Program and Key Search) and the total score. Improvements in EFs were observed by families in various dimensions as measured by different subtests of the ILSS-BR inventory. The OGI group showed no significant results in secondary outcomes (DAFS-BR) except in terms of improvement of communication skills. Although preliminary, our results indicate that the OGI method is efficacious and effective for patients with TRS. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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...

  20. Executive functions and inhibitory control in multilingual children: Evidence from second-language learners, bilinguals, and trilinguals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poarch, G.J.; Hell, J.G. van

    2012-01-01

    In two experiments, we examined inhibitory control processes in three groups of bilinguals and trilinguals that differed in nonnative language proficiency and language learning background. German 5- to 8-year-old second-language learners of English, German–English bilinguals, German–English–Language

  1. Executive Functions and Inhibitory Control in Multilingual Children: Evidence from Second-Language Learners, Bilinguals, and Trilinguals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poarch, Gregory J.; van Hell, Janet G.

    2012-01-01

    In two experiments, we examined inhibitory control processes in three groups of bilinguals and trilinguals that differed in nonnative language proficiency and language learning background. German 5- to 8-year-old second-language learners of English, German-English bilinguals, German-English-Language X trilinguals, and 6- to 8-year-old German…

  2. 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...

  3. Executive function training with game elements for obese children: A novel treatment to enhance self-regulatory abilities for weight-control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verbeken, S.; Braet, C.; Goossens, L.; van der Oord, S.

    2013-01-01

    For obese children behavioral treatment results in only small changes in relative weight and frequent relapse. The current study investigated the effects of an Executive Functioning (EF) training with game-elements on weight loss maintenance in obese children, over and above the care as usual in an

  4. OROS-methylphenidate efficacy on specific executive functioning deficits in adults with ADHD: A randomized, placebo-controlled cross-over study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bron, T.I.; Bijlenga, D.; Boonstra, A. M.; Breuk, M.; Pardoen, W.F.H.; Beekman, A.T.F.; Kooij, J.J.S

    2014-01-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is linked to impaired executive functioning (EF). This is the first study to objectively investigate the effects of a long-acting methylphenidate on neurocognitive test performance of adults with ADHD. Twenty-two adults with ADHD participated in a

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Comparing the executive function of patients with schizophrenia, acute/chronic type I disorder (manic episode, and healthy controls on Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and Continuous Performance Test

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hossein Zare

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: From among various cognitive deficits, deficits in executive processes have an effective role in limiting the patients’ ability to retain, acquire, and re-learn the skills necessary for real-life performance. Thus, the present study aimed to compare the executive function of patients with schizophrenia, acute/chronic type I disorder, and the healthy group. Methods: The present research was an analytical-comparative study. The statistical population consisted of all the outpatients and inpatients with acute/chronic schizophrenia and acute/chronic type I disorder (manic episode visiting Shafa Psychiatric Hospital, Rasht, Iran. Using convenience sampling, 60 male subjects aging 18-49 years old were selected in 2014-2015. They were matched for the variables of sex, age, and education level. The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Continuous Performance Test, and Raven’s Progressive Matrices were administered, and the data were analyzed using MANOVA and Tukey post-hoc test. Results: A significant difference was observed between the acute/chronic schizophrenia group, acute/chronic type I disorder (manic episode, and healthy group on the two tests. Patients with schizophrenia had a weaker executive function and attention deficit compared to those with type I disorder and the healthy group (P0.05. Conclusion: Both schizophrenia and type I disorder patients show deficits in executive function and attention. However, the former group manifests higher impairment in cognitive activities, concept formation, cognitive flexibility, and attention deficit.

  8. 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.

  9. Decision making and executive function in male adolescents with early-onset or adolescence-onset conduct disorder and control subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairchild, Graeme; van Goozen, Stephanie H M; Stollery, Sarah J; Aitken, Michael R F; Savage, Justin; Moore, Simon C; Goodyer, Ian M

    2009-07-15

    Although conduct disorder (CD) is associated with an increased susceptibility to substance use disorders, little is known about decision-making processes or reward mechanisms in CD. This study investigated decision making under varying motivational conditions in CD. Performances on the Risky Choice Task (RCT) and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) were assessed in 156 adolescents (84 control subjects, 34 with adolescence-onset CD, and 38 with early-onset CD). The RCT was performed twice, once under normal motivational conditions and once under conditions of increased motivation and psychosocial stress. Increased motivation and stress led to more cautious decision making and changes in framing effects on the RCT in all groups, although such effects were least pronounced in the early-onset CD group. Participants from both CD subgroups selected the risky choice more frequently than control subjects. Under normal motivational conditions, early-onset CD participants chose the risky choice more frequently in trials occurring after small gains, relative to control subjects and adolescence-onset CD participants. Following adjustment for IQ differences, the groups did not differ significantly in terms of WCST performance. Differences in decision making between control subjects and individuals with CD suggest that the balance between sensitivity to reward and punishment is shifted in this disorder, particularly the early-onset form. Our data on modulation of decision making according to previous outcomes suggest altered reward mechanisms in early-onset CD. The WCST data suggest that impairments in global executive function do not underlie altered decision making in CD.

  10. Effects of Physical-Cognitive Dual Task Training on Executive Function and Gait Performance in Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falbo, S; Condello, G; Capranica, L; Forte, R; Pesce, C

    2016-01-01

    Physical and cognitive training seem to counteract age-related decline in physical and mental function. Recently, the possibility of integrating cognitive demands into physical training has attracted attention. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of twelve weeks of designed physical-cognitive training on executive cognitive function and gait performance in older adults. Thirty-six healthy, active individuals aged 72.30 ± 5.84 years were assigned to two types of physical training with major focus on physical single task (ST) training ( n = 16) and physical-cognitive dual task (DT) training ( n = 20), respectively. They were tested before and after the intervention for executive function (inhibition, working memory) through Random Number Generation and for gait (walking with/without negotiating hurdles) under both single and dual task (ST, DT) conditions. Gait performance improved in both groups, while inhibitory performance decreased after exercise training with ST focus but tended to increase after training with physical-cognitive DT focus. Changes in inhibition performance were correlated with changes in DT walking performance with group differences as a function of motor task complexity (with/without hurdling). The study supports the effectiveness of group exercise classes for older individuals to improve gait performance, with physical-cognitive DT training selectively counteracting the age-related decline in a core executive function essential for daily living.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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,…

  14. 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.

  15. Open- and Closed-Skill Exercise Interventions Produce Different Neurocognitive Effects on Executive Functions in the Elderly: A 6-Month Randomized, Controlled Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia-Liang Tsai

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to explore the effects of open- and closed-skill exercise interventions on the neurocognitive performance of executive functions in the elderly. Sixty-four healthy elderly males were randomly assigned to either a closed-skill (bike riding or brisk walking/jogging, n = 22, open-skill (table tennis, n = 21, or control (n = 21 group. Various neuropsychological [e.g., accuracy rates (AR and reaction time (RT] and electrophysiological [e.g., event-related potential (ERP P3 component] measures were assessed during a variant of the task-switching paradigm, as well as an N-back task at baseline and after either a 6-month exercise intervention or control period. The results showed that, when performing the task-switching paradigm, the two exercise groups relative to control group showed significantly faster RTs in the switch trials after the exercise intervention. However, the RT facilitation in the non-switch and switch trials post-exercise relative to pre-exercise only emerged in the open-skill group. In terms of the N-back task, the two exercise groups significantly increased ARs in the 1-back condition after the exercise intervention, and the beneficial AR effect on the 2-back condition only emerged in the closed-skill group. In addition, the two exercise groups exhibited significantly larger P3 amplitudes on the frontal-to-parietal cortex areas after the exercise intervention relative to the baseline when performing the two cognitive tasks. These neurocognitive results still remained unchanged even when the confounding factors (e.g., cardiorespiratory fitness, social participation, and BMI were controlled for. The present study concluded that, although 6-month open- and closed-skill exercise interventions facilitate overall electrophysiological effects (i.e., increased ERP P3 amplitudes on the frontal-to-parietal cortices in the elderly, the two exercise modes produced different levels of neuropsychologically beneficial effects on

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Executive and Language Control in the Multilingual Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony Pak-Hin Kong

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Neuroimaging studies suggest that the neural network involved in language control may not be specific to bi-/multilingualism but is part of a domain-general executive control system. We report a trilingual case of a Cantonese (L1, English (L2, and Mandarin (L3 speaker, Dr. T, who sustained a brain injury at the age of 77 causing lesions in the left frontal lobe and in the left temporo-parietal areas resulting in fluent aphasia. Dr. T’s executive functions were impaired according to a modified version of the Stroop color-word test and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test performance was characterized by frequent perseveration errors. Dr. T demonstrated pathological language switching and mixing across her three languages. Code switching in Cantonese was more prominent in discourse production than confrontation naming. Our case suggests that voluntary control of spoken word production in trilingual speakers shares neural substrata in the frontobasal ganglia system with domain-general executive control mechanisms. One prediction is that lesions to such a system would give rise to both pathological switching and impairments of executive functions in trilingual speakers.

  20. Executive and language control in the multilingual brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Anthony Pak-Hin; Abutalebi, Jubin; Lam, Karen Sze-Yan; Weekes, Brendan

    2014-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies suggest that the neural network involved in language control may not be specific to bi-/multilingualism but is part of a domain-general executive control system. We report a trilingual case of a Cantonese (L1), English (L2), and Mandarin (L3) speaker, Dr. T, who sustained a brain injury at the age of 77 causing lesions in the left frontal lobe and in the left temporo-parietal areas resulting in fluent aphasia. Dr. T's executive functions were impaired according to a modified version of the Stroop color-word test and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test performance was characterized by frequent perseveration errors. Dr. T demonstrated pathological language switching and mixing across her three languages. Code switching in Cantonese was more prominent in discourse production than confrontation naming. Our case suggests that voluntary control of spoken word production in trilingual speakers shares neural substrata in the frontobasal ganglia system with domain-general executive control mechanisms. One prediction is that lesions to such a system would give rise to both pathological switching and impairments of executive functions in trilingual speakers.

  1. 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...

  2. How do emotion and motivation direct executive control?

    OpenAIRE

    Pessoa, Luiz

    2009-01-01

    Emotion and motivation have crucial roles in determining human behavior. Yet, how they interact with cognitive control functions is less understood. Here, the basic elements of a conceptual framework for understanding how they interact are introduced. More broadly, the `dual competition' framework proposes that emotion and motivation affect both perceptual and executive competition. In particular, the anterior cingulate cortex is hypothesized to be engaged in attentional/effortful control mec...

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. 品行障碍青少年执行功能的对照研究%Executive function of adolescents with conduct disorder: a control study

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    邹志礼; 蒙华庆; 李静; 胡华; 马中锐; 杜莲

    2012-01-01

    目的 使用剑桥神经心理自动化成套测试(CANTAB)探讨青少年品行障碍与执行功能的关系.方法 采用韦氏成人智力测验(WAIS)简易版、CANTAB中的内外空间成套变换(IED)、剑桥袋球(SOC)和空间工作记忆(SWM)对86名品行障碍青少年和110名职高学生进行对照研究.结果 品行障碍青少年的智商水平(98.17±5.07)低于对照组[(103.42±5.40),P<0.01];在IED中,品行障碍青少年的外维转换前期错误数、外维转换期错误数、错误总数[(12.23±9.15)、(16.69±10.57)、(35.44±11.09)次]均多于对照组[(8.31±3.80)、(13.07±10.31)、(25.63±12.24)次,P<0.01],阶段完成数[(7.47±1.96)次]少于对照组[(8.29±0.91)次,P<0.05];在SOC中,品行障碍青少年完成任务的最少步数(7.65±1.96)多于对照组[(6.70±2.05),P<0.01],3步和5步的平均步数多于对照组(P<0.05),4步和5步的起始思考时间短于对照组(P<0.05);在SWM中,品行障碍青少年总的组间搜索错误数[(27.56±18.88)次]多于对照组[ (20.47±18.40)次,P<0.01],在6个和8个盒子中的组间搜索错误数均多于对照组(P<0.01),策略分[(33.84±4.58)分]高于对照组[(32.00 ±5.05)分,P<0.01].结论 品行障碍青少年在执行功能方面存在一定的缺陷.%Objective To study the correlation between conduct disorder and executive function of adolescents using Cambridge neuropsychological test automated battery ( CANTAB ). Methods A control study was performed in 86 adolescents with conduct disorder and 118 normal controls using Wechsler adult intelligence scale short form (WAIS-S) , intra/extra dimensional set shift (IED) , stockings of Cambridge ( SoC ) and spatial working memory (SWM) in CANTAB. Results The intelligence quotient (IQ) of adolescents with conduct disorder was lower than that of normal controls (98. 17 ±5. 07 vs 103.42 ±5. 40, P <0. 01). IED showed that the number of pre-ED errors, EDS errors, and total errors was greater in

  17. [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.

  18. 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…

  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 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.

  6. Remembering the Future of Centralized Control-Decentralized Execution

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sheets, Patrick

    2003-01-01

    ... concepts which should drive system development. To realize the significance of the USAF C2 tenet of "centralized control-decentralized execution," one must understand how C2 is executed, in contingency theaters of operation...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. “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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  18. 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).

  19. 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.

  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

    2014-12-01

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. Virtual reality exercise on a home-based phase III cardiac rehabilitation program, effect on executive function, quality of life and depression, anxiety and stress: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Ágata; Melo, Cristina; Machado, Jorge; Gabriel, Joaquim

    2018-02-01

    To analyse the effect of a six-month home-based phase III cardiac rehabilitation (CR) specific exercise program, performed in a virtual reality (Kinect) or conventional (booklet) environment, on executive function, quality of life and depression, anxiety and stress of subjects with coronary artery disease. A randomized controlled trial was conducted with subjects, who had completed phase II, randomly assigned to intervention group 1 (IG1), whose program encompassed the use of Kinect (n = 11); or intervention group 2 (IG2), a paper booklet (n = 11); or a control group (CG), only subjected to the usual care (n = 11). The three groups received education on cardiovascular risk factors. The assessed parameters, at baseline (M0), 3 (M1) and 6 months (M2), were executive function, control and integration in the implementation of an adequate behaviour in relation to a certain objective, specifically the ability to switch information (Trail Making Test), working memory (Verbal Digit Span test), and selective attention and conflict resolution ability (Stroop test), quality of life (MacNew questionnaire) and depression, anxiety and stress (Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale 21). Descriptive and inferential statistical measures were used, significance level was set at .05. The IG1 revealed significant improvements, in the selective attention and conflict resolution ability, in comparison with the CG in the variable difference M0 - M2 (p = .021) and in comparison with the IG2 in the variable difference M1 - M2 and M0 - M2 (p = .001 and p = .002, respectively). No significant differences were found in the quality of life, and depression, anxiety and stress. The virtual reality format had improved selective attention and conflict resolution ability, revealing the potential of CR, specifically with virtual reality exercise, on executive function. Implications for Rehabilitation In cardiac rehabilitation, especially in phase III, it is

  11. The development and malleability of executive control abilities

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    Nina S Hsu

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Executive control (EC generally refers to the regulation of mental activity. It plays a crucial role in complex cognition, and EC skills predict high-level abilities including language processing, memory, and problem solving, as well as practically relevant outcomes like scholastic achievement. Executive control develops relatively late in ontogeny, and many sub-groups of developmental populations demonstrate an exaggeratedly poor ability to control cognition even alongside the normal protracted growth of EC skills. Given the value of EC to human performance, researchers have sought means to improve it through targeted training; indeed, accumulating evidence suggests that regulatory processes are malleable through experience and practice. Nonetheless, there is a need to understand both whether specific populations might particularly benefit from training, and what cortical mechanisms engage during performance of the tasks used in the training protocols. This contribution has two parts: in Part I, we review EC development and intervention work in select populations. Although promising, the mixed results in this early field make it difficult to draw strong conclusions. To guide future studies, in Part II, we discuss training studies that have included a neuroimaging component—a relatively new enterprise that also has not yet yielded a consistent pattern of results post-training, preventing broad conclusions. We therefore suggest that recent developments in neuroimaging (e.g., multivariate and connectivity approaches may be useful to advance our understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying the malleability of executive control and brain plasticity. In conjunction with behavioral data, these methods may further inform our understanding of the brain-behavior relationship and the extent to which EC is dynamic and malleable, guiding the development of future, targeted interventions to promote executive functioning in both healthy and atypical

  12. How do emotion and motivation direct executive control?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pessoa, Luiz

    2009-04-01

    Emotion and motivation have crucial roles in determining human behavior. Yet, how they interact with cognitive control functions is less understood. Here, the basic elements of a conceptual framework for understanding how they interact are introduced. More broadly, the 'dual competition' framework proposes that emotion and motivation affect both perceptual and executive competition. In particular, the anterior cingulate cortex is hypothesized to be engaged in attentional/effortful control mechanisms and to interact with several other brain structures, including the amygdala and nucleus accumbens, in integrating affectively significant signals with control signals in prefrontal cortex. An implication of the proposal is that emotion and motivation can either enhance or impair behavioral performance depending on how they interact with control functions.

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

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    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.

  14. 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.

  15. On-line Social Interactions and Executive Functions

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    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

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    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. 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.

  8. Training Theory of Mind and Executive Control: A Tool for Improving School Achievement?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kloo, Daniela; Perner, Josef

    2008-01-01

    In the preschool years, there are marked improvements in theory of mind (ToM) and executive functions. And, children's competence in these two core cognitive domains is associated with their academic achievement. Therefore, training ToM and executive control could be a valuable tool for improving children's success in school. This article reviews…

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. A prospective investigation of rumination and executive control in predicting overgeneral autobiographical memory in adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Tracy M; Hunter, Simon C; Rhodes, Sinéad M

    2018-04-01

    The CaR-FA-X model (Williams et al., 2007), or capture and rumination (CaR), functional avoidance (FA), and impaired executive control (X), is a model of overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM). Two mechanisms of the model, rumination and executive control, were examined in isolation and in interaction in order to investigate OGM over time. Across two time points, six months apart, a total of 149 adolescents (13-16 years) completed the minimal-instruction autobiographical memory test, a measure of executive control with both emotional and nonemotional stimuli, and measures of brooding rumination and reflective pondering. The results showed that executive control for emotional information was negatively associated with OGM, but only when reflective pondering levels were high. Therefore, in the context of higher levels of reflective pondering, greater switch costs (i.e., lower executive control) when processing emotional information predicted a decrease in OGM over time.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Adaptations of prefrontal brain activity, executive functions, and gait in healthy elderly following exergame and balance training: A randomized-controlled study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Schättin

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available During aging, the prefrontal cortex (PFC undergoes age-dependent neuronal changes influencing cognitive and motor functions. Motor-learning interventions are hypothesized to ameliorate motor and cognitive deficits in older adults. Especially, video game-based physical exercise might have the potential to train motor in combination with cognitive abilities in older adults. The aim of this study was to compare conventional balance training with video game-based physical exercise, a so-called exergame, on the relative power (RP of electroencephalographic (EEG frequencies over the PFC, executive function (EF, and gait performance. Twenty-seven participants (mean age 79.2 ± 7.3 years were randomly assigned to one of two groups. All participants completed 24 trainings including three times a 30min session/week. The EEG measurements showed that theta RP significantly decreased in favor of the exergame group (L(14 = 6.23, p = 0.007. Comparing pre- vs. post-test, EFs improved both within the exergame (working memory: z = -2.28, p = 0.021; divided attention auditory: z = -2.51, p = 0.009; divided attention visual: z = -2.06, p = 0.040; go/no-go: z = -2.55, p = 0.008; set-shifting: z = -2.90, p = 0.002 and within the balance group (set-shifting: z = -2.04, p = 0.042. Moreover, spatio-temporal gait parameters primarily improved within the exergame group under dual-task conditions (speed normal walking: z = -2.90, p = 0.002; speed fast walking: z = -2.97, p = 0.001; cadence normal walking: z = -2.97, p = 0.001; stride length fast walking: z = -2.69, p = 0.005 and within the balance group under single-task conditions (speed normal walking: z = -2.54, p = 0.009; speed fast walking: z = -1.98, p = 0.049; cadence normal walking: z = -2.79, p = 0.003. These results indicate that exergame training as well as balance training positively influence prefrontal cortex activity and/or function in varying proportion.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. [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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. The contribution of executive control to semantic cognition: Convergent evidence from semantic aphasia and executive dysfunction

    OpenAIRE

    Thompson, Hannah E; Almaghyuli, Azizah; Noonan, Krist A.; Barak, Ohr; Lambon Ralph, Matthew; Jefferies, Elizabeth

    2018-01-01

    Semantic cognition, as described by the Controlled Semantic Cognition (CSC) framework (Rogers, Patterson, Jefferies, & Lambon Ralph, 2015), involves two key components: activation of coherent, generalizable concepts within a heteromodal ‘hub’ in combination with modality-specific features (spokes), and a constraining mechanism that manipulates and gates this knowledge to generate time- and task- appropriate behaviour. Executive-semantic goal representations, largely supported by executive...

  11. 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

  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 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

  14. 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.

  15. Inter-relationships between objective handwriting features and executive control among children with developmental dysgraphia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

    Objective To describe handwriting and executive control features and their inter-relationships among children with developmental dysgraphia, in comparison to controls. Method Participants included 64 children, aged 10–12 years, 32 with dysgraphia based on the Handwriting Proficiency Screening Questionnaire (HPSQ) and 32 matched controls. Children copied a paragraph onto paper affixed to a digitizer that supplied handwriting process objective measures (Computerized Penmanship Evaluation Tool (ComPET). Their written product was evaluated by the Hebrew Handwriting Evaluation (HHE). Parents completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) questionnaire about their child's executive control abilities. Results Significant group differences were found for handwriting performance measures (HHE and ComPET) and executive control domains (BRIEF). Based on one discriminate function, including handwriting performance and executive control measures, 98.4% of the participants were correctly classified into groups. Significant correlations were found in each group between working memory and legibility as well as for other executive domains and handwriting measures. Furthermore, twenty percent of the variability of the mean pressure applied towards the writing surface among children with was explained by their 'emotional control' (BRIEF). Conclusion The results strongly suggest consideration of executive control domains to obtain better insight into handwriting impairment characteristics among children with dysgraphia to improve their identification, evaluation and the intervention process. PMID:29689111

  16. Inter-relationships between objective handwriting features and executive control among children with developmental dysgraphia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenblum, Sara

    2018-01-01

    To describe handwriting and executive control features and their inter-relationships among children with developmental dysgraphia, in comparison to controls. Participants included 64 children, aged 10-12 years, 32 with dysgraphia based on the Handwriting Proficiency Screening Questionnaire (HPSQ) and 32 matched controls. Children copied a paragraph onto paper affixed to a digitizer that supplied handwriting process objective measures (Computerized Penmanship Evaluation Tool (ComPET). Their written product was evaluated by the Hebrew Handwriting Evaluation (HHE). Parents completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) questionnaire about their child's executive control abilities. Significant group differences were found for handwriting performance measures (HHE and ComPET) and executive control domains (BRIEF). Based on one discriminate function, including handwriting performance and executive control measures, 98.4% of the participants were correctly classified into groups. Significant correlations were found in each group between working memory and legibility as well as for other executive domains and handwriting measures. Furthermore, twenty percent of the variability of the mean pressure applied towards the writing surface among children with was explained by their 'emotional control' (BRIEF). The results strongly suggest consideration of executive control domains to obtain better insight into handwriting impairment characteristics among children with dysgraphia to improve their identification, evaluation and the intervention process.

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. Assessment of executive functions in patients with obsessive compulsive disorder by NeuroVR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Paglia, Filippo; La Cascia, Caterina; Rizzo, Rosalinda; Riva, Giuseppe; La Barbera, Daniele

    2012-01-01

    Executive functions are often impaired in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). We used a Virtual Reality version of the Multiple Errand Test (VMET) - developed dusing the free NeuroVR software (http://www.neurovr.org) - to evaluate the executive functions in daily life in 10 OCD patients and 10 controls. It is performed in a shopping setting where there are items to be bought and information to be obtained. The execution time for the whole task was higher in patients with OCD compared to controls, suggesting that patients with OCD need more time in planning than controls. The same difference was found in the partial errors during the task. Furthermore, the mean rank for and for interpretation failures is higher for controls, while the values of divided attention and the of self correction seems to be lower in controls. We think that obsessive patients tend to work with greater diligence and observance of rules than controls. In conclusion, these results provide initial support for the feasibility of VMET as assessment tool of executive functions. Specifically, the significant correlation found between the VMET and the neuropsychological battery support the ecological validity of VMET as an instrument for the evaluation of executive functions in patients with OCD.

  20. The contribution of executive control to semantic cognition: Convergent evidence from semantic aphasia and executive dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Hannah E; Almaghyuli, Azizah; Noonan, Krist A; Barak, Ohr; Lambon Ralph, Matthew A; Jefferies, Elizabeth

    2018-01-03

    Semantic cognition, as described by the controlled semantic cognition (CSC) framework (Rogers et al., , Neuropsychologia, 76, 220), involves two key components: activation of coherent, generalizable concepts within a heteromodal 'hub' in combination with modality-specific features (spokes), and a constraining mechanism that manipulates and gates this knowledge to generate time- and task-appropriate behaviour. Executive-semantic goal representations, largely supported by executive regions such as frontal and parietal cortex, are thought to allow the generation of non-dominant aspects of knowledge when these are appropriate for the task or context. Semantic aphasia (SA) patients have executive-semantic deficits, and these are correlated with general executive impairment. If the CSC proposal is correct, patients with executive impairment should not only exhibit impaired semantic cognition, but should also show characteristics that align with those observed in SA. This possibility remains largely untested, as patients selected on the basis that they show executive impairment (i.e., with 'dysexecutive syndrome') have not been extensively tested on tasks tapping semantic control and have not been previously compared with SA cases. We explored conceptual processing in 12 patients showing symptoms consistent with dysexecutive syndrome (DYS) and 24 SA patients, using a range of multimodal semantic assessments which manipulated control demands. Patients with executive impairments, despite not being selected to show semantic impairments, nevertheless showed parallel patterns to SA cases. They showed strong effects of distractor strength, cues and miscues, and probe-target distance, plus minimal effects of word frequency on comprehension (unlike semantic dementia patients with degradation of conceptual knowledge). This supports a component process account of semantic cognition in which retrieval is shaped by control processes, and confirms that deficits in SA patients reflect

  1. A protocol for a three-arm cluster randomized controlled superiority trial investigating the effects of two pedagogical methodologies in Swedish preschool settings on language and communication, executive functions, auditive selective attention, socioemotional skills and early maths skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerholm, Tove; Hörberg, Thomas; Tonér, Signe; Kallioinen, Petter; Frankenberg, Sofia; Kjällander, Susanne; Palmer, Anna; Taguchi, Hillevi Lenz

    2018-06-19

    During the preschool years, children develop abilities and skills in areas crucial for later success in life. These abilities include language, executive functions, attention, and socioemotional skills. The pedagogical methods used in preschools hold the potential to enhance these abilities, but our knowledge of which pedagogical practices aid which abilities, and for which children, is limited. The aim of this paper is to describe an intervention study designed to evaluate and compare two pedagogical methodologies in terms of their effect on the above-mentioned skills in Swedish preschool children. The study is a randomized control trial (RCT) where two pedagogical methodologies were tested to evaluate how they enhanced children's language, executive functions and attention, socioemotional skills, and early maths skills during an intensive 6-week intervention. Eighteen preschools including 28 units and 432 children were enrolled in a municipality close to Stockholm, Sweden. The children were between 4;0 and 6;0 years old and each preschool unit was randomly assigned to either of the interventions or to the control group. Background information on all children was collected via questionnaires completed by parents and preschools. Pre- and post-intervention testing consisted of a test battery including tests on language, executive functions, selective auditive attention, socioemotional skills and early maths skills. The interventions consisted of 6 weeks of intensive practice of either a socioemotional and material learning paradigm (SEMLA), for which group-based activities and interactional structures were the main focus, or an individual, digitally implemented attention and math training paradigm, which also included a set of self-regulation practices (DIL). All preschools were evaluated with the ECERS-3. If this intervention study shows evidence of a difference between group-based learning paradigms and individual training of specific skills in terms of

  2. 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.

  3. Increased Executive Functioning, Attention, and Cortical Thickness in White-Collar Criminals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raine, Adrian; Laufer, William S.; Yang, Yaling; Narr, Katherine L.; Thompson, Paul; Toga, Arthur W.

    2011-01-01

    Very little is known on white collar crime and how it differs to other forms of offending. This study tests the hypothesis that white collar criminals have better executive functioning, enhanced information processing, and structural brain superiorities compared to offender controls. Using a case-control design, executive functioning, orienting, and cortical thickness was assessed in 21 white collar criminals matched with 21 controls on age, gender, ethnicity, and general level of criminal offending. White collar criminals had significantly better executive functioning, increased electrodermal orienting, increased arousal, and increased cortical gray matter thickness in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, inferior frontal gyrus, somatosensory cortex, and the temporal-parietal junction compared to controls. Results, while initial, constitute the first findings on neurobiological characteristics of white-collar criminals It is hypothesized that white collar criminals have information-processing and brain superiorities that give them an advantage in perpetrating criminal offenses in occupational settings. PMID:22002326

  4. 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

  5. The CB1 Neutral Antagonist Tetrahydrocannabivarin Reduces Default Mode Network and Increases Executive Control Network Resting State Functional Connectivity in Healthy Volunteers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rzepa, Ewelina; Tudge, Luke; McCabe, Ciara

    2015-09-10

    The cannabinoid cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) neutral antagonist tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCv) has been suggested as a possible treatment for obesity, but without the depressogenic side-effects of inverse antagonists such as Rimonabant. However, how THCv might affect the resting state functional connectivity of the human brain is as yet unknown. We examined the effects of a single 10mg oral dose of THCv and placebo in 20 healthy volunteers in a randomized, within-subject, double-blind design. Using resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging and seed-based connectivity analyses, we selected the amygdala, insula, orbitofrontal cortex, and dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) as regions of interest. Mood and subjective experience were also measured before and after drug administration using self-report scales. Our results revealed, as expected, no significant differences in the subjective experience with a single dose of THCv. However, we found reduced resting state functional connectivity between the amygdala seed region and the default mode network and increased resting state functional connectivity between the amygdala seed region and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and between the dmPFC seed region and the inferior frontal gyrus/medial frontal gyrus. We also found a positive correlation under placebo for the amygdala-precuneus connectivity with the body mass index, although this correlation was not apparent under THCv. Our findings are the first to show that treatment with the CB1 neutral antagonist THCv decreases resting state functional connectivity in the default mode network and increases connectivity in the cognitive control network and dorsal visual stream network. This effect profile suggests possible therapeutic activity of THCv for obesity, where functional connectivity has been found to be altered in these regions. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Longitudinal and concurrent links between memory span, anxiety symptoms, and subsequent executive functioning in young children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. Centralized Control/Decentralized Execution: A Valid Tenet of Airpower

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Santicola, Henry J

    2005-01-01

    ...) and Effects-Based Operations (EBO). This paper examines the history of the concept of centralized control/decentralized execution from the advent of modern warfare through Operation Enduring Freedom...

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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,

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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,…

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Neuropsychology of domestic violence: a comparative preliminary study of executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becerra-García, Juan Antonio

    2015-01-01

    In neuropsychological studies of executive functioning in domestic violence offenders, the different investigations conducted have only studied differences within this group or in relation to control groups of non-offenders. To minimize the limitations in relation to comparison groups, the purpose of this study was to compare executive functioning in domestic violence offenders in relation to different groups of offenders (i.e. sexual, violent and non-violent) and a control group of non-offenders, with all groups matched on socio-demographic and clinical characteristics. Executive functioning was tested of all participants with the Trail Making Test (direct and derived scores). Compared with the control group, the domestic violence offenders and sex offenders exhibited the poorest performance on the Trail Making Test part B (time) and on the B-A derived index; whereas, the violent offenders group (i.e. convicted of assault, wounding, homicide etc.) showed a high number of errors in part B. These findings suggest that domestic violence offenders exhibit similar performance on the TMT as sex offenders, where both have poorer cognitive flexibility and executive control. Other violent offenders exhibited different patterns of difficulty on this test (e.g. more impulsivity responses). Executive functioning may be a central psychological process that could help explain the interrelations between domestic and sexual aggression, and could be a relevant construct for common treatment of domestic batterers and sex offenders. © The Author(s) 2014 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.

  3. Role of executive functioning and home environment in early reading development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

    We examined the role of executive functioning (EF) and home environment in the prediction of early reading development. In a longitudinal design, we followed 101 Dutch children from kindergarten to second grade. EF (attentional control, action control, short-term memory (STM)) and home factors

  4. The role of executive functioning in memory performance in pediatric focal epilepsy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepeta, Leigh N.; Casaletto, Kaitlin Blackstone; Terwilliger, Virginia; Facella-Ervolini, Joy; Sady, Maegan; Mayo, Jessica; Gaillard, William D.; Berl, Madison M.

    2016-01-01

    Objective Learning and memory are essential for academic success and everyday functioning, but the pattern of memory skills and its relationship to executive functioning in children with focal epilepsy is not fully delineated. We address a gap in the literature by examining the relationship between memory and executive functioning in a pediatric focal epilepsy population. Methods Seventy children with focal epilepsy and 70 typically developing children matched on age, intellectual functioning, and gender underwent neuropsychological assessment, including measures of intelligence (WASI/DAS), as well as visual (CMS Dot Locations) and verbal episodic memory (WRAML Story Memory and CVLT-C). Executive functioning was measured directly (WISC-IV Digit Span Backward; CELF-IV Recalling Sentences) and by parent report (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF)). Results Children with focal epilepsy had lower delayed free recall scores than controls across visual and verbal memory tasks (p = 0.02; partial η2 = .12). In contrast, recognition memory performance was similar for patients and controls (p = 0.36; partial η2 = .03). Children with focal epilepsy demonstrated difficulties in working memory (p = 0.02; partial η2 = .08) and planning/organization (p = 0.02) compared to controls. Working memory predicted 9–19% of the variance in delayed free recall for verbal and visual memory; organization predicted 9–10% of the variance in verbal memory. Patients with both left and right focal epilepsy demonstrated more difficulty on verbal versus visual tasks (p = 0.002). Memory performance did not differ by location of seizure foci (temporal vs. extra-temporal, frontal vs. extra-frontal). Significance Children with focal epilepsy demonstrated memory ability within age-level expectations, but delayed free recall was inefficient compared to typically developing controls. Memory difficulties were not related to general cognitive impairment or seizure localization

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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).

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. Can executive control be influenced by performance feedback? Two experimental studies with younger and older adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara eDrueke

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Executive control describes a wide range of cognitive processes which are critical for the goal-directed regulation of stimulus processing and action regulation. Previous studies have shown that executive control performance declines with age but yet, it is still not clear whether different internal and external factors - as performance feedback and age - influence these cognitive processes and how they might interact with each other. Therefore, we investigated feedback effects in the flanker task in young as well as in older adults in two experiments. Performance feedback significantly improved executive performance in younger adults at the expense of errors. In older adults, feedback also led to higher error rates, but had no significant effect on executive performance which might be due to stronger interference. Results indicate that executive functions can be positively influenced by performance feedback in younger adults, but not necessarily in older adults.

  13. 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

  14. Oculomotor executive function abnormalities with increased tic severity in Tourette syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeter, Cameron B; Patel, Saumil S; Morris, Jeffrey S; Chuang, Alice Z; Butler, Ian J; Sereno, Anne B

    2015-02-01

    Reports conflict as to whether Tourette syndrome (TS) confers deficits in executive function. This study's aim was to evaluate executive function in youths with TS using oculomotor tasks while controlling for confounds of tic severity, age, medication, and severity of comorbid disorders. Four saccade tasks requiring the executive functions of response generation, response inhibition, and working memory (prosaccade, antisaccade, 0-back, and 1-back) were administered. Twenty youths with TS and low tic severity (TS-low), nineteen with TS and moderate tic severity (TS-moderate), and 29 typically developing control subjects (Controls) completed the oculomotor tasks. There were small differences across groups in the prosaccade task. Controlling for any small sensorimotor differences, TS-moderate subjects had significantly higher error rates than Controls and TS-low subjects in the 0-back and 1-back tasks. In the 1-back task, these patients also took longer to respond than Controls or TS-low subjects. In a highly controlled design, the findings demonstrate for the first time that increased tic severity in TS is associated with impaired response inhibition and impaired working memory and that these executive function deficits cannot be accounted for by differences in age, medication or comorbid symptom severity. © 2014 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

  15. The Contribution of Executive Functions to Participation in School Activities of Children with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zingerevich, Chaya; Patricia D., LaVesser

    2009-01-01

    This study describes the contribution of executive functions to participation in school activities of children diagnosed with ASD ages 6-9 years while controlling for sensory processing. Twenty-four children, ages 73-112 months (S.D. = 11.4), diagnosed with high functioning ASD were assessed with the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Their teachers…

  16. 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

  17. The Role of Executive Functions in Social Cognition among Children with Down Syndrome: Relationship Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amadó, Anna; Serrat, Elisabet; Vallès-Majoral, Eduard

    2016-01-01

    Many studies show a link between social cognition, a set of cognitive and emotional abilities applied to social situations, and executive functions in typical developing children. Children with Down syndrome (DS) show deficits both in social cognition and in some subcomponents of executive functions. However this link has barely been studied in this population. The aim of this study is to investigate the links between social cognition and executive functions among children with DS. We administered a battery of social cognition and executive function tasks (six theory of mind tasks, a test of emotion comprehension, and three executive function tasks) to a group of 30 participants with DS between 4 and 12 years of age. The same tasks were administered to a chronological-age control group and to a control group with the same linguistic development level. Results showed that apart from deficits in social cognition and executive function abilities, children with DS displayed a slight improvement with increasing chronological age and language development in those abilities. Correlational analysis suggested that working memory was the only component that remained constant in the relation patterns of the three groups of participants, being the relation patterns similar among participants with DS and the language development control group. A multiple linear regression showed that working memory explained above 50% of the variability of social cognition in DS participants and in language development control group, whereas in the chronological-age control group this component only explained 31% of the variability. These findings, and specifically the link between working memory and social cognition, are discussed on the basis of their theoretical and practical implications for children with DS. We discuss the possibility to use a working memory training to improve social cognition in this population. PMID:27679588

  18. Executive function disorder in acute traumatic brain injury in Manado, Indonesia

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    Sekplin A.S. Sekeon

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Traumatic brain injury (TBI is known as a major cause of death and chronic disability worldwide. It is one of the leading causes of economic and social problems for patient, family and community. Patients will have serious complication on physics, mental and personality aspect. Executive function disorder is one of the cognitive functions that could be affected by TBI. There is scarcity of data about executive function in acute TBI, especially from developing countries. Our study aimed to investigate the association between acute TBI and executive function disorder. This study was a hospital-based cross-sectional study. Samples consisted of 20 patients and 40 demographically matched controls that meet the inclusion criteria. For executive function measurement we applied TMT-A, TMT-B and Stroop Test. The result showed that mean score of TMT-A for case group was 1.06 minute (95% CI 0.70-1.06 which was longer than control group (0.32 minute. For TMT- B test, the mean score was 2.68 minute (95% CI 2.05-2.8 for case group and 0.77 minute for control group. On Stroop Test 3 we found that the mean score was 17 correct items (95% CI 13.52-20.48 which was lower than control group (52.5. For all of the tests, we detected that acute TBI significantly associate with executive function disorder (p > 0.05. Conclusion: There was a significant association between acute TBI and executive function disorder.

  19. 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.

  20. A training study of theory of mind and executive function in children with autistic spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Naomi; Happé, Francesca

    2005-12-01

    This study investigated the relationship between theory of mind and executive functioning in children with autistic spectrum disorders through a training study. Ten children were trained on theory of mind, whilst ten were trained in executive function. Seven children were assigned to a control group, receiving no intervention. Training programmes were administered individually, lasting for 25 minutes per day for 5-10 days. Children were tested before training, after training and at a two-month follow-up. Significant improvements were seen in performance on theory of mind tasks in both trained groups, whilst the control group showed no improvement. No improvement on the executive function tasks was seen in any of the groups. The implications of these findings are discussed.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

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    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Computer-Based Cognitive Training for Executive Functions after Stroke: A Systematic Review

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    van de Ven, Renate M.; Murre, Jaap M. J.; Veltman, Dick J.; Schmand, Ben A.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Stroke commonly results in cognitive impairments in working memory, attention, and executive function, which may be restored with appropriate training programs. Our aim was to systematically review the evidence for computer-based cognitive training of executive dysfunctions. Methods: Studies were included if they concerned adults who had suffered stroke or other types of acquired brain injury, if the intervention was computer training of executive functions, and if the outcome was related to executive functioning. We searched in MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and The Cochrane Library. Study quality was evaluated based on the CONSORT Statement. Treatment effect was evaluated based on differences compared to pre-treatment and/or to a control group. Results: Twenty studies were included. Two were randomized controlled trials that used an active control group. The other studies included multiple baselines, a passive control group, or were uncontrolled. Improvements were observed in tasks similar to the training (near transfer) and in tasks dissimilar to the training (far transfer). However, these effects were not larger in trained than in active control groups. Two studies evaluated neural effects and found changes in both functional and structural connectivity. Most studies suffered from methodological limitations (e.g., lack of an active control group and no adjustment for multiple testing) hampering differentiation of training effects from spontaneous recovery, retest effects, and placebo effects. Conclusions: The positive findings of most studies, including neural changes, warrant continuation of research in this field, but only if its methodological limitations are addressed. PMID:27148007

  9. Impact of sleep on executive functioning in school-age children with Down syndrome.

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    Esbensen, A J; Hoffman, E K

    2018-06-01

    Sleep problems have an impact on executive functioning in the general population. While children with Down syndrome (DS) are at high risk for sleep problems, the impact of these sleep problems on executive functioning in school-age children with DS is less well documented. Our study examined the relationship between parent-reported and actigraphy-measured sleep duration and sleep quality with parent and teacher reports and neuropsychology assessments of executive functioning among school-age children with DS. Thirty school-age children with DS wore an actigraph watch for a week at home at night. Their parent completed ratings of the child's sleep during that same week. Children completed a neuropsychology assessment of their inhibitory control, ability to shift and working memory. Their parents and teachers completed rating scales to assess these same constructs of executive functioning. Parent reports of restless sleep behaviours on the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ), but not actigraph-measured sleep period or efficiency, were predictive of parent reports of concerns with inhibitory control, shifting and working memory, and of teacher reports of inhibitory control. No measure of sleep was predictive of executive functioning as measured by the neuropsychology assessment. The study findings corroborate the preliminary literature that parent-reported sleep problems are related to executive functioning in school-age children with DS, particularly in the area of inhibitory control across home and school. These findings have implications for understanding contributing factors to academic performance and school behaviour in school-age children with DS. © 2018 MENCAP and International Association of the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Change in body fat mass is independently associated with executive functions in older women: a secondary analysis of a 12-month randomized controlled trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Dao

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: To investigate the independent contribution of change in sub-total body fat and lean mass to cognitive performance, specifically the executive processes of selective attention and conflict resolution, in community-dwelling older women. METHODS: This secondary analysis included 114 women aged 65 to 75 years old. Participants were randomly allocated to once-weekly resistance training, twice-weekly resistance training, or twice-weekly balance and tone training. The primary outcome measure was the executive processes of selective attention and conflict resolution as assessed by the Stroop Test. Sub-total body fat and lean mass were measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA to determine the independent association of change in both sub-total body fat and sub-total body lean mass with Stroop Test performance at trial completion. RESULTS: A multiple linear regression model showed reductions in sub-total body fat mass to be independently associated with better performance on the Stroop Test at trial completion after accounting for baseline Stroop performance, age, baseline global cognitive state, baseline number of comorbidities, baseline depression, and experimental group. The total variance explained was 39.5%; change in sub-total body fat mass explained 3.9% of the variance. Change in sub-total body lean mass was not independently associated with Stroop Test performance (P>0.05. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that reductions in sub-total body fat mass - not sub-total lean mass - is associated with better performance of selective attention and conflict resolution.

  11. Physical Performance Is Associated with Executive Functioning in Older African American Women

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. Effect of atomoxetine on executive function impairments in adults with ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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).

  16. Prospective memory in multiple sclerosis: The impact of cue distinctiveness and executive functioning.

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    Dagenais, Emmanuelle; Rouleau, Isabelle; Tremblay, Alexandra; Demers, Mélanie; Roger, Élaine; Jobin, Céline; Duquette, Pierre

    2016-11-01

    Prospective memory (PM), the ability to remember to do something at the appropriate time in the future, is crucial in everyday life. One way to improve PM performance is to increase the salience of a cue announcing that it is time to act. Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients often report PM failures and there is growing evidence of PM deficits among this population. However, such deficits are poorly characterized and their relation to cognitive status remains unclear. To better understand PM deficits in MS patients, this study investigated the impact of cue salience on PM, and its relation to retrospective memory (RM) and executive deficits. Thirty-nine (39) MS patients were compared to 18 healthy controls on a PM task modulating cue salience during an ongoing general knowledge test. MS patients performed worse than controls on the PM task, regardless of cue salience. MS patients' executive functions contributed significantly to the variance in PM performance, whereas age, education and RM did not. Interestingly, low- and high-executive patients' performance differed when the cue was not salient, but not when it was, suggesting that low-executive MS patients benefited more from cue salience. These findings add to the growing evidence of PM deficits in MS and highlight the contribution of executive functions to certain aspects of PM. In low-executive MS patients, high cue salience improves PM performance by reducing the detection threshold and need for environmental monitoring. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Selective Attention, Working Memory, and Executive Function as Potential Independent Sources of Cognitive Dysfunction in Schizophrenia.

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    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.

  18. Do attentional capacities and processing speed mediate the effect of age on executive functioning?

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    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.

  19. Executive functioning of complicated-mild to moderate traumatic brain injury patients with frontal contusions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. The relationship between theory of mind and the executive functions: Evidence from patients with frontal lobe damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeh, Zai-Ting; Tsai, Ming-Cheng; Tsai, Ming-Dar; Lo, Chiao-Yu; Wang, Kaw-Chen

    2017-01-01

    "Theory of mind" (ToM) refers to the ability to predict others' thoughts, intentions, beliefs, and feelings. Evidence from neuropsychology and functional imaging indicates that ToM is a domain-specific or modular architecture; however, research in development psychology has suggested that ToM is the full development of the executive functions in individuals. Therefore, the relationship between ToM and the executive functions needs to be clarified. Since the frontal lobe plays a critical role in the abilities of ToM and the executive functions, patients with frontal lobe damage were recruited for the present study. Assessments of ToM and the executive functions were performed on 23 patients with frontal lobe damage and 20 healthy controls. When controlling for the executive functions, significant differences between the patient and normal groups were found in the affective component of ToM, but not in the cognitive component. The present study suggests that in various social situations, executing ToM abilities requires logical reasoning processes provided by the executive functions. However, the reasoning processes of affective ToM are independent of executive functions.

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

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    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

  2. Breaking bad habits by improving executive function in individuals with obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allom, Vanessa; Mullan, Barbara; Smith, Evelyn; Hay, Phillipa; Raman, Jayanthi

    2018-04-16

    Two primary factors that contribute to obesity are unhealthy eating and sedentary behavior. These behaviors are particularly difficult to change in the long-term because they are often enacted habitually. Cognitive Remediation Therapy has been modified and applied to the treatment of obesity (CRT-O) with preliminary results of a randomized controlled trial demonstrating significant weight loss and improvements in executive function. The objective of this study was to conduct a secondary data analysis of the CRT-O trial to evaluate whether CRT-O reduces unhealthy habits that contribute to obesity via improvements in executive function. Eighty participants with obesity were randomized to CRT-O or control. Measures of executive function (Wisconsin Card Sort Task and Trail Making Task) and unhealthy eating and sedentary behavior habits were administered at baseline, post-intervention and at 3 month follow-up. Participants receiving CRT-O demonstrated improvements in both measures of executive function and reductions in both unhealthy habit outcomes compared to control. Mediation analyses revealed that change in one element of executive function performance (Wisconsin Card Sort Task perseverance errors) mediated the effect of CRT-O on changes in both habit outcomes. These results suggest that the effectiveness of CRT-O may result from the disruption of unhealthy habits made possible by improvements in executive function. In particular, it appears that cognitive flexibility, as measured by the Wisconsin Card Sort task, is a key mechanism in this process. Improving cognitive flexibility may enable individuals to capitalise on interruptions in unhealthy habits by adjusting their behavior in line with their weight loss goals rather than persisting with an unhealthy choice. The RCT was registered with the Australian New Zealand Registry of Clinical Trials (trial id: ACTRN12613000537752 ).

  3. Children's Elementary School Social Experience and Executive Functions Development: Introduction to a Special Section.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. Early Parenting and the Development of Externalizing Behavior Problems: Longitudinal Mediation Through Children's Executive Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulik, Michael J; Blair, Clancy; Mills-Koonce, Roger; Berry, Daniel; Greenberg, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Path analysis was used to investigate the longitudinal associations among parenting and children's executive function and externalizing behavior problems from 36 to 90 months of age in the Family Life Project (N = 1,115), a study of child development in the context of rural poverty. While controlling for stability in the constructs, semistructured observations of parenting prospectively predicted performance on a battery of executive function tasks and primary caregivers' reports of externalizing behavior. Furthermore, the association between early parenting and later externalizing behavior was longitudinally mediated by executive function, providing support for a process model in which sensitive parenting promotes children's self-regulation, which in turn reduces children's externalizing behavior. © 2015 The Authors. Child Development © 2015 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  9. Executive Function in Preschool-Age Children: Integrating Measurement, Neurodevelopment, and Translational Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, James A., Ed.; McCardle, Peggy, Ed.; Freund, Lisa, Ed.

    2016-01-01

    A primary aim of the neuropsychological revolution has been the mapping of what has come to be known as executive function (EF). This term encompasses a range of mental processes such as working memory, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility that, together, regulate our social behavior, and our emotional and cognitive well-being. In this…

  10. Effect of Atomoxetine on Executive Function Impairments in Adults with ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Thomas E.; Holdnack, James; Saylor, Keith; Adler, Lenard; Spencer, Thomas; Williams, David W.; Padival, Anoop K.; Schuh, Kory; Trzepacz, Paula T.; Kelsey, Douglas

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To assess the effect of atomoxetine on ADHD-related executive functions over a 6-month period using the Brown Attention-Deficit Disorder Scale (BADDS) for Adults, a normed, 40-item, self-report scale in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Method: In a randomized, double-blind clinical trial, adults with ADHD…

  11. The relation between theory of mind and executive functions in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmussen, Carmen; Wyper, Katy; Talwar, Victoria

    2009-01-01

    Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are faced with a range of physical, cognitive, behavioral, and/or learning deficits, as well as poor executive functioning and social skills. Theory of mind (ToM) is the ability to understand that one's own perspective may differ from the perspective of another individual. ToM develops around age 4 and is correlated with performance on executive functioning tasks. The goals of this study were to examine ToM performance in young children with FASD, how age was related to ToM performance, and whether ToM abilities were related to underlying executive function difficulties. Fifty-three children (aged 4 to 8 years) participated: 25 children with FASD and 28 control children. All children were tested on measures of ToM, executive functioning, and receptive vocabulary. More children in the FASD group (44%) failed one or both ToM measures than in the control group (25%). Older children with FASD performed worse on ToM than younger children, but this was not the case for the control group. For the FASD group, ToM performance was correlated with a measure of inhibition, but for the control group, ToM was correlated with visual-spatial working memory. Children with FASD have difficulty on ToM tasks, and this difficulty may be related to underlying deficits in inhibition.

  12. The relationship between media multitasking and executive function in early adolescents

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baumgartner, S.; Weeda, W.; van der Heijden, L.; Huizinga, M.

    2013-01-01

    Media multitasking is an ever more popular form of media consumption, in particular among youth. The increasing prevalence of media multitasking is concerning because frequent media multitasking may be negatively related to children’s cognitive control abilities (i.e. executive function). This study

  13. Executive Function and Mathematics Achievement: Are Effects Construct- and Time-General or Specific?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duncan, Robert; Nguyen, Tutrang; Miao, Alicia; McClelland, Megan; Bailey, Drew

    2016-01-01

    Executive function (EF) is considered a set of interrelated cognitive processes, including inhibitory control, working memory, and attentional shifting, that are connected to the development of the prefrontal cortex and contribute to children's problem solving skills and self regulatory behavior (Best & Miller, 2010; Garon, Bryson, &…

  14. The Role of Executive Functions for Dyadic Literacy Learning in Kindergarten

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Sande, Eva; Segers, Eliane; Verhoeven, Ludo

    2018-01-01

    The current study used a dyadic and coconstructive approach to examine how to embed exercises that support executive functioning into early literacy instruction to empower its effects. Using a randomized controlled trial design with 100 children, we examined the effects of dyadic activities in which children scaffolded each other's learning and…

  15. Executive functioning before and after onset of alcohol use disorder in adolescence. A TRAILS study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boelema, Sarai R.; Harakeh, Zeena; van Zandvoort, Martine J. E.; Reijneveld, Sijmen A.; Verhulst, Frank C.; Ormel, Johan; Vollebergh, Wilma A. M.

    Introduction: The aim of the present study was to investigate whether executive functioning (EF) in early adolescence predicted alcohol use disorder (AUD) in late adolescence and whether adolescents with AUD differed in maturation of EF from controls without a diagnosis. Methods: We used the data

  16. Arithmetic difficulties in children with cerebral palsy are related to executive function and working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenks, Kathleen M; de Moor, Jan; van Lieshout, Ernest C D M

    2009-07-01

    Although it is believed that children with cerebral palsy are at high risk for learning difficulties and arithmetic difficulties in particular, few studies have investigated this issue. Arithmetic ability was longitudinally assessed in children with cerebral palsy in special (n = 41) and mainstream education (n = 16) and controls in mainstream education (n = 16). Second grade executive function and working memory scores were used to predict third grade arithmetic accuracy and response time. Children with cerebral palsy in special education were less accurate and slower than their peers on all arithmetic tests, even after controlling for IQ, whereas children with cerebral palsy in mainstream education performed as well as controls. Although the performance gap became smaller over time, it did not disappear. Children with cerebral palsy in special education showed evidence of executive function and working memory deficits in shifting, updating, visuospatial sketchpad and phonological loop (for digits, not words) whereas children with cerebral palsy in mainstream education only had a deficit in visuospatial sketchpad. Hierarchical regression revealed that, after controlling for intelligence, components of executive function and working memory explained large proportions of unique variance in arithmetic accuracy and response time and these variables were sufficient to explain group differences in simple, but not complex, arithmetic. Children with cerebral palsy are at risk for specific executive function and working memory deficits that, when present, increase the risk for arithmetic difficulties in these children.

  17. Sustained attention and executive functioning performance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stins, J.F.; Tollenaar, M.S.; Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Swaab-Barneveld, H.J.; Verhulst, F.C.; Polderman, T.J.C.; Boomsma, D.I.

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this study was to further refine the cognitive phenotype of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with respect to the ability to sustain attention and executive functioning. Participants were 34 boys with ADHD (combined type) and 28 normal controls. The groups were closely

  18. Sustained attention and executive functioning performance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stins, J.F.; Tollenaar, M.S.; Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Swaab, H.J.T.; Verhulst, F.C.; Polderman, T.J.C.; Boomsma, D.I.

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this study was to further refine the cognitive phenotype of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with respect to the ability to sustain attention and executive functioning. Participants were 34 boys with ADHD (combined type) and 28 normal controls. The groups were closely

  19. Sustained attention and executive functioning performance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stins, J.F.; Tollenaar, M.S.; Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Swaab-Barneveld, H.J.T.; Verhulst, F.C.; Polderman, J.C.; Boomsma, D.I.

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this study was to further refine the cognitive phenotype of attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with respect to the ability to sustain attention and executive functioning. Participants were 34 boys with ADHD (combined type) and 28 normal controls. The groups were closely

  20. From External Regulation to Self-Regulation: Early Parenting Precursors of Young Children's Executive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernier, Annie; Carlson, Stephanie M.; Whipple, Natasha

    2010-01-01

    In keeping with proposals emphasizing the role of early experience in infant brain development, this study investigated the prospective links between quality of parent-infant interactions and subsequent child executive functioning (EF), including working memory, impulse control, and set shifting. Maternal sensitivity, mind-mindedness and autonomy…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Cristina Pedron

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available There is no consensus in the literature as to neuropsychological functioning, the severity of obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS and the definitions of the OCS dimensions. We conducted a cross-sectional study investigating the relationship between executive function and OCS severity in the various dimensions, according to the Dimensional Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale criteria. We evaluated 28 patients with OCS, using eight neuropsychological instruments to evaluate executive function. We found that OCS severity in the contamination/cleaning dimension correlates negatively with executive function, inhibitory control and attentional control. Severity in the hoarding dimension correlated positively with cognitive flexibility, visual processing and logical reasoning, whereas it correlated negatively with the capacity to develop efficient complex problem-solving strategies. There was also a positive correlation between severity in the symmetry/ordering dimension and attentional control. Our findings suggest that the profile of executive function in OCD is defined by the severity of the various OCS dimensions.

  2. Automated procedure execution for space vehicle autonomous control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broten, Thomas A.; Brown, David A.

    1990-01-01

    Increased operational autonomy and reduced operating costs have become critical design objectives in next-generation NASA and DoD space programs. The objective is to develop a semi-automated system for intelligent spacecraft operations support. The Spacecraft Operations and Anomaly Resolution System (SOARS) is presented as a standardized, model-based architecture for performing High-Level Tasking, Status Monitoring and automated Procedure Execution Control for a variety of spacecraft. The particular focus is on the Procedure Execution Control module. A hierarchical procedure network is proposed as the fundamental means for specifying and representing arbitrary operational procedures. A separate procedure interpreter controls automatic execution of the procedure, taking into account the current status of the spacecraft as maintained in an object-oriented spacecraft model.

  3. Location of the ischemic focus in rehabilitated stroke patients with impairment of executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  4. Executive functioning in people with obsessive-compulsive personality traits: evidence of modest impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Villamisar, Domingo; Dattilo, John

    2015-06-01

    Investigations of executive dysfunctions among people with obsessive-compulsive personality disorders (OCPD) have yielded inconsistent results. The authors speculate that obsessive-compulsive personality traits (OCPT) from a nonclinical population may be associated with specific executive dysfunctions relative to working memory, attentional set-shifting, and planning. A sample consisting of 79 adults (39 females, 40 males) was divided into high and low scorers on the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire-4 (PDQ-4; Hyler, 1994). In addition, these participants were interviewed using the SCID-II (First, Spitzer, Gibbon & Williams, 1997) to confirm the presence of symptoms of obsessive-compulsive personality. Participants completed a battery of executive tasks associated with the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), including Spatial Working Memory, Intradimensional/Extradimensional (ID/ED), Attentional Set-Shifting, and Stockings of Cambridge. Also, self-report measures of executive functions as well as of anxiety and depressive symptoms were administered. The analysis of covariance revealed significant differences between participants with OCPT and controls on the Spatial Working Memory tasks, ID/ED tasks, Stockings of Cambridge, and the Dysexecutive Questionnaire (DEX). Nevertheless, there were no significant differences in the number of problems solved in minimum movements. These results suggest that executive dysfunctions are present in people with prominent OCPT and that there is a high convergence between clinical and ecological measures of executive functions in people with obsessive personality traits.

  5. 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.

  6. Hot and cool executive functions in very and extremely preterm preschool children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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 hot and cool aspects of executive functions compared to their peers born at term. Deficits in hot aspect may be reflected in hyperactivity/inattention symptoms and conduct problems, whereas difficulties in

  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.

    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

  8. 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

  9. Profile of Self-Reported Problems with Executive Functioning in College and Professional Football Players

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seichepine, Daniel R.; Stamm, Julie M.; Daneshvar, Daniel H.; Riley, David O.; Baugh, Christine M.; Gavett, Brandon E.; Tripodis, Yorghos; Martin, Brett; Chaisson, Christine; McKee, Ann C.; Cantu, Robert C.; Nowinski, Christopher J.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), such as that experienced by contact-sport athletes, has been associated with the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Executive dysfunction is believed to be among the earliest symptoms of CTE, with these symptoms presenting in the fourth or fifth decade of life. The present study used a well-validated self-report measure to study executive functioning in football players, compared to healthy adults. Sixty-four college and professional football players were administered the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, adult version (BRIEF-A) to evaluate nine areas of executive functioning. Scores on the BRIEF-A were compared to published age-corrected normative scores for healthy adults Relative to healthy adults, the football players indicated significantly more problems overall and on seven of the nine clinical scales, including Inhibit, Shift, Emotional Control, Initiate, Working Memory, Plan/Organize, and Task Monitor. These symptoms were greater in athletes 40 and older, relative to younger players. In sum, football players reported more-frequent problems with executive functioning and these symptoms may develop or worsen in the fifth decade of life. The findings are in accord with a growing body of evidence that participation in football is associated with the development of cognitive changes and dementia as observed in CTE. PMID:23421745

  10. Profile of self-reported problems with executive functioning in college and professional football players.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seichepine, Daniel R; Stamm, Julie M; Daneshvar, Daniel H; Riley, David O; Baugh, Christine M; Gavett, Brandon E; Tripodis, Yorghos; Martin, Brett; Chaisson, Christine; McKee, Ann C; Cantu, Robert C; Nowinski, Christopher J; Stern, Robert A

    2013-07-15

    Repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), such as that experienced by contact-sport athletes, has been associated with the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Executive dysfunction is believed to be among the earliest symptoms of CTE, with these symptoms presenting in the fourth or fifth decade of life. The present study used a well-validated self-report measure to study executive functioning in football players, compared to healthy adults. Sixty-four college and professional football players were administered the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, adult version (BRIEF-A) to evaluate nine areas of executive functioning. Scores on the BRIEF-A were compared to published age-corrected normative scores for healthy adults Relative to healthy adults, the football players indicated significantly more problems overall and on seven of the nine clinical scales, including Inhibit, Shift, Emotional Control, Initiate, Working Memory, Plan/Organize, and Task Monitor. These symptoms were greater in athletes 40 and older, relative to younger players. In sum, football players reported more-frequent problems with executive functioning and these symptoms may develop or worsen in the fifth decade of life. The findings are in accord with a growing body of evidence that participation in football is associated with the development of cognitive changes and dementia as observed in CTE.

  11. 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.

  12. Family-genetic study of executive functioning in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Evidence for an endophenotype?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Swaab-Barneveld, H.J.; Sonneville, L.M. de; Buitelaar, J.K.

    2007-01-01

    This study examined familiality of attentional control and mental flexibility in multiplex attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) families. The authors hypothesized that siblings of ADHD probands, although not behaviorally expressing ADHD, have deficits in these executive functions and that

  13. The contribution of executive control to semantic cognition: Convergent evidence from semantic aphasia and executive dysfunction

    OpenAIRE

    Thompson, Hannah; Almaghyuli, Azizah; Noonan, Krist A.; barak, Ohr; Lambon Ralph, Matthew A.; Jefferies, Elizabeth

    2018-01-01

    Semantic cognition, as described by the controlled semantic cognition (CSC) framework (Rogers et al., 2015, Neuropsychologia, 76, 220), involves two key components: activation of coherent, generalizable concepts within a heteromodal ‘hub’ in combination with modality-specific features (spokes), and a constraining mechanism that manipulates and gates this knowledge to generate time- and task-appropriate behaviour. Executive–semantic goal representations, largely supported by executive regions ...

  14. 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.

  15. Overgeneral autobiographical memory in healthy young and older adults: Differential age effects on components of the capture and rumination, functional avoidance, and impaired executive control (CaRFAX) model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ros, Laura; Latorre, Jose M; Serrano, Juan P; Ricarte, Jorge J

    2017-08-01

    The CaRFAX model (Williams et al., 2007) has been used to explain the causes of overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM; the difficulty to retrieve specific autobiographical memories), a cognitive phenomenon generally related with different psychopathologies. This model proposes 3 different mechanisms to explain OGM: capture and rumination (CaR), functional avoidance (FA) and impaired executive functions (X). However, the complete CaRFAX model has not been tested in nonclinical populations. This study aims to assess the usefulness of the CaRFAX model to explain OGM in 2 healthy samples: a young sample and an older sample, to test for possible age-related differences in the underlying causes of OGM. A total of 175 young (age range: 19-36 years) and 175 older (age range: 53-88 years) participants completed measures of brooding rumination (CaR), functional avoidance (FA), and executive tasks (X). Using structural equation modeling, we found that memory specificity is mainly associated with lower functional avoidance and higher executive functions in the older group, but only with executive functions in young participants. We discuss the different roles of emotional regulation strategies used by young and older people and their relation to the CaRFAX model to explain OGM in healthy people. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. Executive control and faithfulness: only long-term romantic relationships require prefrontal control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueda, Ryuhei; Yanagisawa, Kuniaki; Ashida, Hiroshi; Abe, Nobuhito

    2018-03-01

    Individuals in the early stages of a romantic relationship generally express intense passionate love toward their partners. This observation allows us to hypothesize that the regulation of interest in extra-pair relationships by executive control, which is supported by the function of the prefrontal cortex, is less required in individuals in the early stages of a relationship than it is in those who are in a long-term relationship. To test this hypothesis, we asked male participants in romantic relationships to perform a go/no-go task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which is a well-validated task that can measure right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) activity implicated in executive control. Subsequently, the participants engaged in a date-rating task in which they rated how much they wanted to date unfamiliar females. We found that individuals with higher right VLPFC activity better regulated their interest in dates with unfamiliar females. Importantly, this relationship was found only in individuals with long-term partners, but not in those with short-term partners, indicating that the active regulation of interest in extra-pair relationships is required only in individuals in a long-term relationship. Our findings extend previous findings on executive control in the maintenance of monogamous relationships by highlighting the role of the VLPFC, which varies according to the stage of the romantic relationship.

  17. Meta-analysis of executive functioning in ecstasy/polydrug users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, C A; Jones, A; Montgomery, C

    2016-06-01

    Ecstasy/3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) use is proposed to cause damage to serotonergic (5-HT) axons in humans. Therefore, users should show deficits in cognitive processes that rely on serotonin-rich, prefrontal areas of the brain. However, there is inconsistency in findings to support this hypothesis. The aim of the current study was to examine deficits in executive functioning in ecstasy users compared with controls using meta-analysis. We identified k = 39 studies, contributing 89 effect sizes, investigating executive functioning in ecstasy users and polydrug-using controls. We compared function-specific task performance in 1221 current ecstasy users and 1242 drug-using controls, from tasks tapping the executive functions - updating, switching, inhibition and access to long-term memory. The significant main effect demonstrated overall executive dysfunction in ecstasy users [standardized mean difference (SMD) = -0.18, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.26 to -0.11, Z = 5.05, p Ecstasy users showed significant performance deficits in access (SMD = -0.33, 95% CI -0.46 to -0.19, Z = 4.72, p ecstasy users to date and provides a behavioural correlate of potential serotonergic neurotoxicity.

  18. Acute effects of exercise posture on executive function in transient ischemic attack patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faulkner, James; Stoner, Lee; Grigg, Rebecca; Fryer, Simon; Stone, Keeron; Lambrick, Danielle

    2017-08-01

    In patients with stroke or transient ischemic attacks (TIA), a decline in executive function may limit an individual's ability to process motor tasks and relearn motor skills. The purpose of this study was to assess the acute effect of exercise posture (seated vs. supine cycle ergometry) on executive function and prefrontal cortex perfusion in patients with TIA. Eleven TIA patients (65 ± 10 years) and 15 age-matched, healthy controls (HC; 62 ± 7 years) completed two exercise tests to maximal capacity (one seated, one supine) and two 30-min submaximal exercise tests (one seated, one supine). Executive function was assessed prior to and following (1.5 min post, 15 min post) the submaximal exercise tests using a Stroop task. Prefrontal cortex perfusion (total hemoglobin) was continuously recorded using near-infrared spectroscopy. There was no Posture (seated, supine) × Group (TIA, HC) interaction for the Stroop task (p > .05). HC completed Stroop tasks significantly faster than TIA (51.9[SD = 10.3] vs. 64.2[8.5] s, respectively), while Stroop completion time significantly improved between baseline and 1.5 min post (61.3[10] vs. 58.1[9.4] s, respectively) and 1.5 min post and 15 min post (54.8[8.9] s). Posture and group had no significant influence on prefrontal cortex perfusion (p > .05). In summary, executive function improves to a similar extent in TIA and age-matched, healthy controls following an acute bout of exercise, regardless of exercise posture. As acute improvements in executive function were maintained for 15 min, there could be an important window of opportunity for assigning executive tasks following exercise rehabilitation for patients with TIA. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. A Proof-of-Concept Randomized Controlled Study of Gabapentin: Effects on Cannabis Use, Withdrawal and Executive Function Deficits in Cannabis-Dependent Adults

    OpenAIRE

    Mason, Barbara J; Crean, Rebecca; Goodell, Vivian; Light, John M; Quello, Susan; Shadan, Farhad; Buffkins, Kimberly; Kyle, Mark; Adusumalli, Murali; Begovic, Adnan; Rao, Santosh

    2012-01-01

    There are no FDA-approved pharmacotherapies for cannabis dependence. Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in the world, and patients seeking treatment for primary cannabis dependence represent 25% of all substance use admissions. We conducted a phase IIa proof-of-concept pilot study to examine the safety and efficacy of a calcium channel/GABA modulating drug, gabapentin, for the treatment of cannabis dependence. A 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial w...

  5. Executive Cognitive Functioning and Cardiovascular Autonomic Regulation in a Population-Based sample of Working Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecilia Ulrika Dagsdotter Stenfors

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Executive cognitive functioning is essential in private and working life and is sensitive to stress and aging. Cardiovascular (CV health factors are related to cognitive decline and dementia, but there is relatively few studies of the role of CV autonomic regulation, a key component in stress responses and risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD, and executive processes. An emerging pattern of results from previous studies suggest that different executive processes may be differentially associated with CV autonomic regulationThe aim was thus to study the associations between multiple measures of CV autonomic regulation and measures of different executive cognitive processes. Method: Participants were 119 healthy working adults (79% women, from the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health. Electrocardiogram was sampled for analysis of heart rate variability measures, including the Standard Deviation of NN, here heart beats (SDNN, root of the mean squares of successive differences (RMSSD, high frequency (HF power band from spectral analyses, and QT variability index (QTVI, a measure of myocardial repolarization patterns. Executive cognitive functioning was measured by 7 neuropsychological tests. The relationships between CV autonomic regulation measures and executive cognitive measures were tested with bivariate and partial correlational analyses, controlling for demographic variables and mental health symptoms.Results: Higher SDNN and RMSSD and lower QTVI were significantly associated with better performance on cognitive tests tapping inhibition, updating, shifting and psychomotor speed. After adjustments for demographic factors however (age being the greatest confounder, only QTVI was clearly associated with these executive tests. No such associations were seen for working memory capacity. Conclusion: Poorer cardiovascular autonomic regulation in terms of lower SDNN & RMSSD and higher QTVI was associated with poorer

  6. Executive Cognitive Functioning and Cardiovascular Autonomic Regulation in a Population-Based Sample of Working Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenfors, Cecilia U D; Hanson, Linda M; Theorell, Töres; Osika, Walter S

    2016-01-01

    Objective: Executive cognitive functioning is essential in private and working life and is sensitive to stress and aging. Cardiovascular (CV) health factors are related to cognitive decline and dementia, but there is relatively few studies of the role of CV autonomic regulation, a key component in stress responses and risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), and executive processes. An emerging pattern of results from previous studies suggest that different executive processes may be differentially associated with CV autonomic regulation. The aim was thus to study the associations between multiple measures of CV autonomic regulation and measures of different executive cognitive processes. Method: Participants were 119 healthy working adults (79% women), from the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health. Electrocardiogram was sampled for analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) measures, including the Standard Deviation of NN, here heart beats (SDNN), root of the mean squares of successive differences (RMSSD), high frequency (HF) power band from spectral analyses, and QT variability index (QTVI), a measure of myocardial repolarization patterns. Executive cognitive functioning was measured by seven neuropsychological tests. The relationships between CV autonomic regulation measures and executive cognitive measures were tested with bivariate and partial correlational analyses, controlling for demographic variables, and mental health symptoms. Results: Higher SDNN and RMSSD and lower QTVI were significantly associated with better performance on cognitive tests tapping inhibition, updating, shifting, and psychomotor speed. After adjustments for demographic factors however (age being the greatest confounder), only QTVI was clearly associated with these executive tests. No such associations were seen for working memory capacity . Conclusion: Poorer CV autonomic regulation in terms of lower SDNN and RMSSD and higher QTVI was associated with poorer executive

  7. Short-Term Memory, Executive Control, and Children's Route Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purser, Harry R. M.; Farran, Emily K.; Courbois, Yannick; Lemahieu, Axelle; Mellier, Daniel; Sockeel, Pascal; Blades, Mark

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate route-learning ability in 67 children aged 5 to 11 years and to relate route-learning performance to the components of Baddeley's model of working memory. Children carried out tasks that included measures of verbal and visuospatial short-term memory and executive control and also measures of verbal and…

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. Better executive function under stress mitigates the effects of recent life stress exposure on health in young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Grant S; Moons, Wesley G; Slavich, George M

    2017-01-01

    Executive function is a neuropsychological construct that enables controlled cognitive processing, which has been hypothesized to enhance individuals' resilience to stress. However, little empirical work has directly examined how executive function under different conditions mitigates the negative effects of stress exposure on health. To address this issue, we recruited 110 healthy young adults and assessed their recent life stress exposure, executive function in either a stressful or non-stressful context, and current health complaints. Based on existing research, we hypothesized that individuals exhibiting better executive function following a laboratory-based stressor (but not a control task) would demonstrate weaker associations between recent stress exposure and health because they perceived recent life stressors as being less severe. Consistent with this hypothesis, better executive function during acute stress, but not in the absence of stress, was associated with an attenuated link between participants' recent life stress exposure and their current health complaints. Moreover, this attenuating effect was mediated by lesser perceptions of stressor severity. Based on these data, we conclude that better executive function under stress is associated with fewer health complaints and that these effects may occur by reducing individuals' perceptions of stressor severity. The data thus suggest the possibility of reducing stress-related health problems by enhancing executive function.

  11. Executive Function, Identity, and Career Decision-Making in College Students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marilyn Welsh

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available This study examined the relationship among executive function, identity, and career decision-making as self-reported by 82 college students. Participants were administered measures of executive function, identity status, career decision-making, and an index of verbal intelligence. After controlling for intelligence, self-reported difficulties with the metacognitive component of executive function were related to lower levels of identity achievement and higher levels of moratorium and diffusion. Difficulties with behavioral regulation were associated with higher levels of moratorium and foreclosure. Hierarchical multiple regressions with backward elimination indicated that individual differences in career certainty was best explained by metacognitive control and identity achievement. In contrast, variation in career uncertainty was predicted by verbal intelligence, behavior regulation, and low and high scores on identity achievement and diffusion, respectively. These preliminary results fill a gap in the current literature on career decision-making, suggesting the importance of executive function skills to this milestone process in the lives of emerging adults.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Attention skills and executive functioning in children with Noonan syndrome and their unaffected siblings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierpont, Elizabeth I; Tworog-Dube, Erica; Roberts, Amy E

    2015-04-01

    Emerging research indicates that gene mutations within the RAS-MAPK signaling cascade, which cause Noonan syndrome and related disorders, affect neurophysiologic activity in brain regions underlying attention and executive functions. The present study examined whether children with Noonan syndrome are at heightened risk for symptoms of attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and executive dysfunction relative to an unaffected sibling comparison group, and investigated three key aspects of behavioral attention: auditory attention, sustained attention, and response inhibition. Children and adolescents with Noonan syndrome (n=32, 17 males, 15 females, mean age 11y 3mo, SD 3y) and their unaffected siblings (n=16, eight males, eight females, mean age 11y, SD 3y 6mo) were administered standardized tests of intellectual functioning and clinic-based measures of behavioral attention. Parent ratings of ADHD symptoms, executive functioning, and behavior were also obtained. Children with Noonan syndrome demonstrated higher rates of past ADHD diagnosis, as well as reduced performance compared with unaffected siblings on behavioral attention measures. Parent-rated functional impairments in attention, social skills, working memory, and self-monitoring were more prevalent in the Noonan syndrome group. The relationship between attention regulation skills (sustained attention and inhibitory control) and intellectual test performance was significantly stronger in the Noonan syndrome group than the comparison group. Clinical screening/evaluation for ADHD and executive dysfunction in Noonan syndrome is recommended to facilitate appropriate intervention and to address functional impact on daily life activities. © 2014 Mac Keith Press.

  15. Executive Function Deficits in Seriously Ill Children—Emerging Challenges and Possibilities for Clinical Care

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    Annet Bluschke

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The past years have seen an incredible increase in the quality and success rates of treatments in pediatric medicine. One of the resulting major challenges refers to the management of primary or secondary residual executive function deficits in affected children. These deficits lead to problems in the ability to acquire, understand, and apply abstract and complex knowledge and to plan, direct, and control actions. Executive functions deficits are important to consider because they are highly predictive of functioning in social and academic aspects of daily life. We argue that current clinical practice does not sufficiently account for the complex cognitive processes in this population. This is because widely applied pharmacological interventions only rarely account for the complexity of the underlying neuronal mechanisms and do not fit well into possibly powerful “individualized medicine” approaches. Novel treatment approaches targeting deficits in executive functions in seriously ill children could focus on neuronal oscillations, as these have some specific relations to different aspects of executive function. Importantly, such treatment approaches can be individually tailored to the individuals’ deficits and can be transferred into home-treatment or e-health solutions. These approaches are easy-to-use, can be easily integrated into daily life, and are becoming increasingly cost-effective.

  16. Longitudinal Analysis of Music Education on Executive Functions in Primary School Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaschke, Artur C.; Honing, Henkjan; Scherder, Erik J. A.

    2018-01-01

    Background: Research on the effects of music education on cognitive abilities has generated increasing interest across the scientific community. Nonetheless, longitudinal studies investigating the effects of structured music education on cognitive sub-functions are still rare. Prime candidates for investigating a relationship between academic achievement and music education appear to be executive functions such as planning, working memory, and inhibition. Methods: One hundred and forty-seven primary school children, Mage = 6.4 years, SD = 0.65 were followed for 2.5 years. Participants were randomized into four groups: two music intervention groups, one active visual arts group, and a no arts control group. Neuropsychological tests assessed verbal intelligence and executive functions. Additionally, a national pupil monitor provided data on academic performance. Results: Children in the visual arts group perform better on visuospatial memory tasks as compared to the three other conditions. However, the test scores on inhibition, planning and verbal intelligence increased significantly in the two music groups over time as compared to the visual art and no arts controls. Mediation analysis with executive functions and verbal IQ as mediator for academic performance have shown a possible far transfer effect from executive sub-function to academic performance scores. Discussion: The present results indicate a positive influence of long-term music education on cognitive abilities such as inhibition and planning. Of note, following a two-and-a-half year long visual arts program significantly improves scores on a visuospatial memory task. All results combined, this study supports a far transfer effect from music education to academic achievement mediated by executive sub-functions. PMID:29541017

  17. Longitudinal Analysis of Music Education on Executive Functions in Primary School Children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Artur C. Jaschke

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Background: Research on the effects of music education on cognitive abilities has generated increasing interest across the scientific community. Nonetheless, longitudinal studies investigating the effects of structured music education on cognitive sub-functions are still rare. Prime candidates for investigating a relationship between academic achievement and music education appear to be executive functions such as planning, working memory, and inhibition.Methods: One hundred and forty-seven primary school children, Mage = 6.4 years, SD = 0.65 were followed for 2.5 years. Participants were randomized into four groups: two music intervention groups, one active visual arts group, and a no arts control group. Neuropsychological tests assessed verbal intelligence and executive functions. Additionally, a national pupil monitor provided data on academic performance.Results: Children in the visual arts group perform better on visuospatial memory tasks as compared to the three other conditions. However, the test scores on inhibition, planning and verbal intelligence increased significantly in the two music groups over time as compared to the visual art and no arts controls. Mediation analysis with executive functions and verbal IQ as mediator for academic performance have shown a possible far transfer effect from executive sub-function to academic performance scores.Discussion: The present results indicate a positive influence of long-term music education on cognitive abilities such as inhibition and planning. Of note, following a two-and-a-half year long visual arts program significantly improves scores on a visuospatial memory task. All results combined, this study supports a far transfer effect from music education to academic achievement mediated by executive sub-functions.

  18. Longitudinal Analysis of Music Education on Executive Functions in Primary School Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaschke, Artur C; Honing, Henkjan; Scherder, Erik J A

    2018-01-01

    Background: Research on the effects of music education on cognitive abilities has generated increasing interest across the scientific community. Nonetheless, longitudinal studies investigating the effects of structured music education on cognitive sub-functions are still rare. Prime candidates for investigating a relationship between academic achievement and music education appear to be executive functions such as planning, working memory, and inhibition. Methods: One hundred and forty-seven primary school children, M age = 6.4 years, SD = 0.65 were followed for 2.5 years. Participants were randomized into four groups: two music intervention groups, one active visual arts group, and a no arts control group. Neuropsychological tests assessed verbal intelligence and executive functions. Additionally, a national pupil monitor provided data on academic performance. Results: Children in the visual arts group perform better on visuospatial memory tasks as compared to the three other conditions. However, the test scores on inhibition, planning and verbal intelligence increased significantly in the two music groups over time as compared to the visual art and no arts controls. Mediation analysis with executive functions and verbal IQ as mediator for academic performance have shown a possible far transfer effect from executive sub-function to academic performance scores. Discussion: The present results indicate a positive influence of long-term music education on cognitive abilities such as inhibition and planning. Of note, following a two-and-a-half year long visual arts program significantly improves scores on a visuospatial memory task. All results combined, this study supports a far transfer effect from music education to academic achievement mediated by executive sub-functions.

  19. Executive function needs to be targeted to improve social functioning with Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT) in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penadés, Rafael; Catalán, Rosa; Puig, Olga; Masana, Guillem; Pujol, Núria; Navarro, Víctor; Guarch, Joana; Gastó, Cristóbal

    2010-05-15

    While the role of impaired cognition in accounting for functional outcome in schizophrenia is generally established, the relationship between cognitive and functional change in the context of treatments is far from clear. The current paper tries to identify which cognitive changes lead to improvements in daily functioning among persons with chronic schizophrenia who had current negative symptoms and evidenced neuropsychological impairments. In a previous work, Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT) was compared with a control therapy, involving similar length of therapist contact but different targets. At the end of treatment, CRT conferred a benefit to people with schizophrenia in cognition and functioning [Schizophrenia Research, 87 (2006) 323-331]. Subsequently, analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) were conducted with baseline and cognitive change scores as covariates to test whether cognitive change predicted change in functioning. Additionally, statistical tests to establish the mediation path with significant variables were performed. Although verbal memory, but not executive functioning, was associated with functioning at baseline, it was the improvement in executive functioning that predicted improved daily functioning. Verbal memory played a mediator role in the change process. Consequently, in order to improve daily functioning with CRT, executive function still needs to be targeted in despite of multiple cognitive impairments being present. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Memory and executive functions in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandborg, Sanne Kjær; Hartmann, Tue Borst; Bennedsen, Birgit Egedal; Pedersen, Anders Degn; Thomsen, Per Hove

    2014-03-01

    We investigated whether patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder have poorer memory and executive functions than healthy controls. The relatively inconsistent previous findings on this question reflect a lack of well-matched control groups, the inclusion of patients with comorbidity, and the use of noncomparable neuropsychological tests to assess memory and executive functions. We used well-accepted neuropsychological tests of memory and executive functions to assess 42 patients who had obsessive-compulsive disorder without comorbidity, and 42 healthy controls. We matched the patients and controls pairwise by sex, age, and years of education. The patients performed significantly worse than the controls on the Rey Complex Figure Test, which assesses visuospatial memory and organizational skills. This group difference remained after we controlled for age, education, intelligence, and severity of depressive symptoms. The findings indicate that patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder may have impaired visuospatial memory and organizational skills, and these impairments should be considered in treatment. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00792038.

  1. 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.

  2. The Relationship Between Sleep Complaints, Depression and Executive Functions on Older Adults

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    Katie Moraes Almondes

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Aim: In this manuscript, we report data on the association between executive functions screened by Frontal Assessment Battery, Five Digit Test and Digit Span with self-reported depressive symptoms and sleep complaints in nondemented older adults. Methods: A total sample of 95 nondemented older adults performed Geriatric Depression Scale short version, Frontal Assessment Battery, Five Digit Test, Digit Span and clinical interview. We split participants in groups stratified by age according to: young-old (60-69 years of age, old-old (70-79 years and oldest-old (> 80 years and compared these three groups on the sociodemographic characteristics and executive functions performance. We carried out Poisson regression with robust error variance to verify sleep complaints and depression effects on executive functions performance. Gender, age, years of formal education, use of antidepressants and of benzodiazepines were considered as confounding variables, taking into account executive functions as dependent and sleep complaints and depression as independent variables. Results: Controlling the effect of age, gender, years of formal education, use of benzodiazepines and of antidepressants there was a significant influence of depression in motor programming, inhibitory control and working memory. Individuals without depression show motor programming scores 68,4% higher, inhibitory control scores 3 times greater and working memory scores also 3 times greater than individuals without depression. There was a significant influence of sleep complaints in phonemic fluency, motor programming, inhibitory control and working memory. Individuals without sleep complaints show phonemic fluency scores 2 times greater than, motor programming scores 85,9% higher, inhibitory control scores 3 times greater and working memory scores also 3 times greater than individuals without sleep complaints.Conclusions: Sleep complaints are associated with phonemic fluency, motor

  3. Neurologic music therapy improves executive function and emotional adjustment in traumatic brain injury rehabilitation.

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    Thaut, Michael H; Gardiner, James C; Holmberg, Dawn; Horwitz, Javan; Kent, Luanne; Andrews, Garrett; Donelan, Beth; McIntosh, Gerald R

    2009-07-01

    This study examined the immediate effects of neurologic music therapy (NMT) on cognitive functioning and emotional adjustment with brain-injured persons. Four treatment sessions were held, during which participants were given a pre-test, participated in 30 min of NMT that focused on one aspect of rehabilitation (attention, memory, executive function, or emotional adjustment), which was followed by post-testing. Control participants engaged in a pre-test, 30 min of rest, and then a post-test. Treatment participants showed improvement in executive function and overall emotional adjustment, and lessening of depression, sensation seeking, and anxiety. Control participants improved in emotional adjustment and lessening of hostility, but showed decreases in measures of memory, positive affect, and sensation seeking.

  4. The independent contribution of executive functions to health related quality of life in older women

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    Marra Carlo A

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cognition is a multidimensional construct and to our knowledge, no previous studies have examined the independent contribution of specific domains of cognition to health related quality of life. To determine whether executive functions are independently associated with health related quality of life assessed using Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs calculated from the EuroQol EQ-5D (EQ-5D in older women after adjusting for known covariates, including global cognition. Therefore, we conducted a secondary analysis of community-dwelling older women aged 65-75 years who participated in a 12-month randomized controlled trial of resistance training. We assessed global cognition using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE and executive functions using the: 1 Stroop Test; 2 Trail Making Test (Part B and 3 Digits Verbal Span Backwards Test. We calculated QALYs from the EQ-5D administered at baseline, 6 months and 12 months. Results Our multivariate linear regression model demonstrated the specific executive processes of set shifting and working memory, as measured by Trail Making Test (Part B and Digits Verbal Span Backward Test (p Conclusions Our study highlights the specific executive processes of set shifting and working memory were independently associated with QALYs -- a measure of health related quality of life. Given that executive functions explain variability in QALYs, clinicians may need to consider assessing executive functions when measuring health related quality of life. Further, the EQ-5D may be used to track changes in health status over time and serve as a screening tool for clinicians. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00426881.

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

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    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.

  6. Accessory stimulus modulates executive function during stepping task.

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    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.

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

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    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.

  8. Effects of a selected exercise programon executive function of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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    Memarmoghaddam, M; Torbati, H T; Sohrabi, M; Mashhadi, A; Kashi, A

    2016-01-01

    Introduction. The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a Selected exercise program on the executive function of children with ADHD. Method. The participants were 40 male students, aged 7-11 years. The participants were randomly assigned into two groups (experimental and control). The experimental group participated in an exercise program for 24 sessions, 90 minutes per session. The control group did not receive any intervention. Before and after the exercise period, all the participants were assessed with Stroop and Go-No-Go tests, and the resulting data were analyzed by using MANCOVA. Result. The results showed that the cognitive inhibition of the children in the experimental group was significantly different compared with the control group (p helps to improve the executive function in children with ADHD.

  9. Neuropsychological evaluation of deficits in executive functioning for ADHD children with or without learning disabilities.

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    Wu, Kitty K; Anderson, Vicki; Castiello, Umberto

    2002-01-01

    This study investigates multiple aspects of executive functioning in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These areas include attentional components, impulsiveness, planning, and problem solving. The rationale of the study is based on neurophysiological studies that suggest frontal lobe dysfunction in ADHD. As frontal lobe functioning is related to abilities in executive control, ADHD is hypothesised to be associated with deficits in various areas of executive functioning. The specific effect of comorbidity of learning disability (LD) was also investigated. Eighty-three children with ADHD and 29 age-matched controls (age 7-13) participated in the study. A battery of neuropsychological tests was utilized to evaluate specific deficits in speed of processing, selective attention, switching attention, sustained attention, attentional capacity, impulsiveness, planning and problem solving. Findings indicated that children with ADHD have slower verbal responses and sustained attention deficit. Deficits in selective attention and attentional capacity observed were largely related to the presence of LD. No specific deficit associated with ADHD or the comorbidity of LD was identified in switching attention, impulsiveness, planning, and problem solving. These results revealed that ADHD is not associated with a general deficit in executive functioning. Instead, ADHD is related to a specific deficit in regulation for attentional resources. The importance of isolating the deficit related to LDs for examining the specific deficit associated with ADHD is highlighted. Results also emphasised the importance of isolating the effect of lower level of abilities (e.g., speed of processing) and the utilization of specific definition for the examination of executive functions.

  10. Self-regulatory processes and exercise adherence in older adults: executive function and self-efficacy effects.

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    McAuley, Edward; Mullen, Sean P; Szabo, Amanda N; White, Siobhan M; Wójcicki, Thomas R; Mailey, Emily L; Gothe, Neha P; Olson, Erin A; Voss, Michelle; Erickson, Kirk; Prakash, Ruchika; Kramer, Arthur F

    2011-09-01

    Self-efficacy and the use of self-regulatory strategies are consistently associated with physical activity behavior. Similarly, behavioral inhibition and cognitive resource allocation-indices of executive control function-have also been associated with this health behavior. The purpose of this study was to examine the hypothesis that self-efficacy mediates the relationship between self-regulatory processes, such as executive function, and sustained exercise behavior. Older adults (N=177, mean age=66.44 years) completed measures of executive function, self-reported use of self-regulatory strategies, and self-efficacy prior to and during the first month of a 12-month exercise intervention. Percentage of exercise classes attended over the following 11 months was used to represent adherence. Data were collected from 2007 to 2010 and analyzed in 2010-2011. Structural equation models were tested examining the effect of executive function and strategy use on adherence via efficacy. As hypothesized, results showed significant direct effects of two elements of executive function and of strategy use on self-efficacy and of efficacy on adherence. In addition, there were significant indirect effects of strategy use and executive function on adherence via self-efficacy. Higher levels of executive function and use of self-regulatory strategies at the start of an exercise program enhance beliefs in exercise capabilities, which in turn leads to greater adherence. Copyright © 2011 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Evidence for a role of corticopetal, noradrenergic systems in the development of executive function.

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    Mokler, David J; Miller, Christine E; McGaughy, Jill A

    2017-09-01

    Adolescence is a period during which many aspects of executive function are maturing. Much of the literature has focused on discrepancies between sub-cortical and cortical development that is hypothesized to lead to over-processing of reinforcement related stimuli unchecked by fully matured response inhibition. Specifically, maturation of sub-cortical dopaminergic systems that terminate in the nucleus accumbens has been suggested to occur prior to the full maturation of corticopetal dopaminergic systems. However, converging evidence supports the hypothesis that many aspects of cognitive control are critically linked to cortical noradrenergic systems, that the effectiveness of drugs used to treat disorders of executive function, e.g. ADHD, may result primarily from increases in cortical norepinephrine (NE) and that cortical noradrenergic systems mature across adolescence. However, little attention has been given to the development of this system during adolescence or to its influence in executive function. In the present paper, we discuss the developmental trajectory of the noradrenergic system of the forebrain, highlight the interactions between noradrenergic and dopaminergic systems, and highlight the contribution of the immature corticopetal noradrenergic systems in the ontogeny of several aspects of executive function. Finally we compare data from adolescent rats to those gathered after selective depletion of NE in sub-regions of the prefrontal cortex with an emphasis on the similarities in performance of NE lesioned rats and adolescents. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. [Autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: similarities and differences in executive functioning and theory of mind].

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    Miranda-Casas, Ana; Baixauli-Fortea, Immaculada; Colomer-Diago, Carla; Roselló-Miranda, Belén

    2013-09-06

    Although the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria do not overlap, the presence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in individuals with a clinical diagnosis of autism is quite high. At the same time, children with ADHD can have autistic traits, the most prevalent being social and communication difficulties. The analysis of the combination of executive functions and theory of mind (ToM) deficits could help to explain the overlap and differentiation between the two disorders. To review the findings of empirical studies in which children with ADHD and autism have been compared on indicators of executive functions and ToM. The literature review suggests the existence of distinct patterns in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and ADHD when the executive functioning is segmented by components. Children with ADHD experience deficits in inhibitory control, while children with ASD have problems with cognitive flexibility and planning. Regarding the domain of the mentalist skills, there are developmental differences, as well as differences in their severity. Younger children with ASD have greater deficiencies in the ToM compared to children with ADHD, and a primary deficit in social orientation. Although important progress has been made, some issues remain to be clarified, among which we can highlight the analysis of how ToM development affects poor executive functions development, using longitudinal studies that analyze the developmental paths of children with ASD and children with ADHD.

  13. An fMRI investigation of the impact of interracial contact on executive function.

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    Richeson, Jennifer A; Baird, Abigail A; Gordon, Heather L; Heatherton, Todd F; Wyland, Carrie L; Trawalter, Sophie; Shelton, J Nicole

    2003-12-01

    We investigated whether individual differences in racial bias among white participants predict the recruitment, and potential depletion, of executive attentional resources during contact with black individuals. White individuals completed an unobtrusive measure of racial bias, then interacted with a black individual, and finally completed an ostensibly unrelated Stroop color-naming test. In a separate functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) session, subjects were presented with unfamiliar black male faces, and the activity of brain regions thought to be critical to executive control was assessed. We found that racial bias predicted activity in right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in response to black faces. Furthermore, activity in this region predicted Stroop interference after an actual interracial interaction, and it statistically mediated the relation between racial bias and Stroop interference. These results are consistent with a resource depletion account of the temporary executive dysfunction seen in racially biased individuals after interracial contact.

  14. Mnesic performance and executive functions in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS

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    Isabel Introzzi

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available The Episodic Memory (EM and the Executive Functions (EF are cognitive areas that are affected in patients with diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS. Nowadays there exists scarce works destined to explore the infl uence of the EF on measures of mnesic performance in MS. For this reason, we analyze the effect of the EF on the performance in a set of memory measures. We worked with a clinical group (n=36 and with a control group (n=36 compared by age and educational level. The results show that the clinical group obtained significantly low average values in all the mnesic indexes (with exception of recognition and in all the executive measures. All the executive indexes showed significant associations with some of the indexes of mnesic performance. These findings suggest that the problems in the episodic memory in EM patients could be analyzed as the manifestation of a global disorder that could be similar to the one that involves the EF.

  15. From movement to thought: executive function, embodied cognition, and the cerebellum.

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    Koziol, Leonard F; Budding, Deborah Ely; Chidekel, Dana

    2012-06-01

    This paper posits that the brain evolved for the control of action rather than for the development of cognition per se. We note that the terms commonly used to describe brain-behavior relationships define, and in many ways limit, how we conceptualize and investigate them and may therefore constrain the questions we ask and the utility of the "answers" we generate. Many constructs are so nonspecific and over-inclusive as to be scientifically meaningless. "Executive function" is one such term in common usage. As the construct is increasingly focal in neuroscience research, defining it clearly is critical. We propose a definition that places executive function within a model of continuous sensorimotor interaction with the environment. We posit that control of behavior is the essence of "executive function," and we explore the evolutionary advantage conferred by being able to anticipate and control behavior with both implicit and explicit mechanisms. We focus on the cerebellum's critical role in these control processes. We then hypothesize about the ways in which procedural (skill) learning contributes to the acquisition of declarative (semantic) knowledge. We hypothesize how these systems might interact in the process of grounding knowledge in sensorimotor anticipation, thereby directly linking movement to thought and "embodied cognition." We close with a discussion of ways in which the cerebellum instructs frontal systems how to think ahead by providing anticipatory control mechanisms, and we briefly review this model's potential applications.

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

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    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…

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

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    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…

  18. Degree of Bilingualism Modifies Executive Control in Hispanic Children in the USA

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    Thomas-Sunesson, Danielle; Hakuta, Kenji; Bialystok, Ellen

    2018-01-01

    Past studies examining the cognitive function of bilingual school-aged children have pointed to enhancements in areas of executive control relative to age-matched monolingual children. The majority of these studies has tested children from a middle-class background and compared performance of bilinguals as a discrete group against monolinguals.…

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

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    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.

  20. Early Parenting and the Development of Externalizing Behavior Problems: Longitudinal Mediation through Children’s Executive Function

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    Sulik, Michael J.; Blair, Clancy; Mills-Koonce, Roger; Berry, Daniel; Greenberg, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Path analysis was used to investigate the longitudinal associations among parenting and children’s executive function and externalizing behavior problems from 36 to 90 months of age in the Family Life Project (N = 1,115), a study of child development in the context of rural poverty. While controlling for stability in the constructs, semi-structured observations of parenting prospectively predicted performance on a battery of executive function tasks and primary caregivers’ reports of external...

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

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    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

  2. Self-Reported quality of life in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and executive function impairment treated with lisdexamfetamine dimesylate: a randomized, double-blind, multicenter, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adler, Lenard A; Dirks, Bryan; Deas, Patrick; Raychaudhuri, Aparna; Dauphin, Matthew; Saylor, Keith; Weisler, Richard

    2013-10-09

    This study examined the effects of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (LDX) on quality of life (QOL) in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and clinically significant executive function deficits (EFD). This report highlights QOL findings from a 10-week randomized placebo-controlled trial of LDX (30-70 mg/d) in adults (18-55 years) with ADHD and EFD (Behavior Rating Inventory of EF-Adult, Global Executive Composite [BRIEF-A GEC] ≥65). The primary efficacy measure was the self-reported BRIEF-A; a key secondary measure was self-reported QOL on the Adult ADHD Impact Module (AIM-A). The clinician-completed ADHD Rating Scale version IV (ADHD-RS-IV) with adult prompts and Clinical Global Impressions-Severity (CGI-S) were also employed. The Adult ADHD QoL (AAQoL) was added while the study was in progress. A post hoc analysis examined the subgroup having evaluable results from both AIM-A and AAQoL. Of 161 randomized (placebo, 81; LDX, 80), 159 were included in the safety population. LDX improved AIM-A multi-item domain scores versus placebo; LS mean difference for Performance and Daily Functioning was 21.6 (ES, 0.93, PPsychological Health was 12.1; Life Outlook was 12.5; and Relationships was 7.3. In a post hoc analysis of participants with both AIM-A and AAQoL scores, AIM-A multi-item subgroup analysis scores numerically improved with LDX, with smaller difference for Impact of Symptoms: Daily Interference. The safety profile of LDX was consistent with amphetamine use in previous studies. Overall, adults with ADHD/EFD exhibited self-reported improvement on QOL, using the AIM-A and AAQoL scales in line with medium/large ES; these improvements were paralleled by improvements in EF and ADHD symptoms. The safety profile of LDX was similar to previous studies. ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01101022.

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

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    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.

  4. Executive Function and Internalizing Symptoms in Adolescents and Young Adults With Congenital Heart Disease: The Role of Coping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Jamie L; Gerardo, Gina M; Monti, Jennifer D; Schofield, Kyle A; Vannatta, Kathryn

    2018-01-10

    Executive functioning deficits have been documented among congenital heart disease (CHD) survivors and may contribute to emotional distress. Little research has investigated the role of coping in this association. This study examined the role of coping in accounting for the association between self-reported executive function problems and internalizing symptoms among adolescents and emerging adults (AEAs), as well as young adults (YAs) with CHD. Participants included 74 AEA ( M age  = 19.32  ±  3.47 years, range 15-25 years) and 98 YA CHD survivors ( M age  = 32.00  ±  3.69 years, range 26-39 years), recruited from pediatric and adult outpatient cardiology clinics. Participants completed self-report measures of executive function problems, coping (primary control, secondary control, and disengagement coping), and internalizing symptoms. Lesion severity classification and functional impairment due to symptoms of heart failure were determined from medical chart review. Significant problems in executive function were reported by 5% of AEA and 13% of YA. Coping was not associated with executive function problems or internalizing symptoms for AEA. However, among YA, less use of adaptive coping strategies and more maladaptive coping responses was associated with both more executive function problems and internalizing symptoms. An indirect effect of executive function problems on internalizing symptoms via secondary control coping emerged for YA. Executive function problems may disrupt the ability to use important adaptive coping skills, such as cognitive reappraisal, positive thinking, and acceptance, thereby resulting in greater emotional distress among YA CHD survivors. © The Author(s) 2018. 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

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

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    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.

  6. 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.

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

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    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.  

  8. Bipolar disorder type I and II show distinct relationships between cortical thickness and executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abé, C; Rolstad, S; Petrovic, P; Ekman, C-J; Sparding, T; Ingvar, M; Landén, M

    2018-06-15

    Frontal cortical abnormalities and executive function impairment co-occur in bipolar disorder. Recent studies have shown that bipolar subtypes differ in the degree of structural and functional impairments. The relationships between cognitive performance and cortical integrity have not been clarified and might differ across patients with bipolar disorder type I, II, and healthy subjects. Using a vertex-wise whole-brain analysis, we investigated how cortical integrity, as measured by cortical thickness, correlates with executive performance in patients with bipolar disorder type I, II, and controls (N = 160). We found focal associations between executive function and cortical thickness in the medial prefrontal cortex in bipolar II patients and controls, but not in bipolar I disorder. In bipolar II patients, we observed additional correlations in lateral prefrontal and occipital regions. Our findings suggest that bipolar disorder patients show altered structure-function relationships, and importantly that those relationships may differ between bipolar subtypes. The findings are line with studies suggesting subtype-specific neurobiological and cognitive profiles. This study contributes to a better understanding of brain structure-function relationships in bipolar disorder and gives important insights into the neuropathophysiology of diagnostic subtypes. © 2018 The Authors Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Social skills and executive function among youth with sickle cell disease: a preliminary investigation.

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    Hensler, Molly; Wolfe, Kelly; Lebensburger, Jeffrey; Nieman, Jilian; Barnes, Margaux; Nolan, William; King, Allison; Madan-Swain, Avi

    2014-06-01

    To explore the relationship between executive function (EF) and social skills in youth with sickle cell disease (SCD).   20 youth with SCD completed objective tests of EF (Tasks of Executive Control; Animal Sorting subtest from the Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment-Second Edition), an IQ screener, and paper-and-pencil measures of social skills (Social Skills Improvement System [SSIS]). Primary caregivers completed paper-and-pencil measures of EF (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function) and social skills (SSIS).   EF scores from the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function related to parent- and child-reported social skills such that EF deficits correlated with poorer overall and domain-specific social skills. Similarly, EF scores from the Animal Sorting test related to child-reported social skills. Worse parent-reported EF predicted worse parent-reported social skills above the variance accounted for by IQ.   EF is related to social skills and may be necessary for successful social interaction among youth with SCD. These results provide rationale and guidance for future larger-scale investigations of EF and social skills among children with SCD. © The Author 2014. 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.

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

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    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.

  11. Executive Functioning in Men with Schizophrenia and Substance Use Disorders. Influence of Lifetime Suicide Attempts.

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    Ana Adan

    Full Text Available Lifetime suicide attempts in patients with comorbidity between psychotic disorders and Substance Use Disorder (SUD, known as dual diagnosis, was associated with a worse clinical and cognitive state, poor prognosis and premature death. However, to date no previous study has examined the cognitive performance of these patients considering as independent the presence or absence of lifetime suicide attempts.We explore executive functioning differences between suicide attempters and non-attempters in dual schizophrenia (DS patients and the possible related factors for both executive performance and current suicide risk. Fifty DS male patients in remission of SUD and clinically stables, 24 with and 26 without lifetime suicide attempts, were evaluated. We considered Z scores for all neuropsychological tests and a composite summary score for both premorbid IQ and executive functioning.DS patients showed low performance in set-shifting, planning and problem solving tasks. Those with suicide attempts presented lower composite summary scores, together with worse problem solving skills and decision-making, compared with non-attempters. However, after controlling for alcohol dependence, only differences in decision-making remained. Executive functioning was related to the premorbid intelligence quotient, and several clinical variables (duration, severity, months of abstinence and relapses of SUD, global functioning and negative symptoms. A relationship between current suicide risk, and first-degree relatives with SUD, insight and positive symptoms was also found.Our results suggest that problem solving and, especially, decision-making tasks might be sensitive to cognitive impairment of DS patients related to presence of lifetime suicide attempts. The assessment of these executive functions and cognitive remediation therapy when necessary could be beneficial for the effectiveness of treatment in patients with DS. However, further research is needed to expand

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

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    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.

  13. Executive function and self-regulated exergaming adherence

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    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.

  14. Predictions of Actions and Their Justifications in False-Belief Tasks: The Role of Executive Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Putko Adam

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The main objective of this study was to examine whether children’s ability to justify their action predictions in terms of mental states is related, in a similar way as the ability to predict actions, to such aspects of executive function (EF as executive control and working memory. An additional objective was to check whether the frequency of different types of justifications made by children in false-belief tasks is associated with aforementioned aspects of EF, as well as language. The study included 59 children aged 3-4 years. The ability to predict actions and to justify these predictions was measured with false-belief tasks. Luria’s hand-game was used to assess executive control, and the Counting and Labelling dual-task was used to assess working memory capacity. Language development was controlled using an embedded syntax test. It was found that executive control was a significant predictor of the children’s ability to justify their action predictions in terms of mental states, even when age and language were taken into account. Results also indicated a relationship between the type of justification in the false-belief task and language development. With the development of language children gradually cease to justify their action predictions in terms of current location, and they tend to construct irrelevant justifications before they begin to refer to beliefs. Data suggest that executive control, in contrast to language, is a factor which affects the development of the children’s ability to justify their action predictions only in its later phase, during a shift from irrelevant to correct justifications.

  15. Executive function is affected in autism spectrum disorder, but does not correlate with intelligence.

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    Merchán-Naranjo, Jessica; Boada, Leticia; del Rey-Mejías, Ángel; Mayoral, María; Llorente, Cloe; Arango, Celso; Parellada, Mara

    2016-01-01

    Studies of executive function in autism spectrum disorder without intellectual disability (ASD-WID) patients are contradictory. We assessed a wide range of executive functioning cognitive domains in a sample of children and adolescents with ASD-WID and compared them with age-, sex-, and intelligence quotient (IQ)-matched healthy controls. Twenty-four ASD-WID patients (mean age 12.8±2.5 years; 23 males; mean IQ 99.20±18.81) and 32 healthy controls (mean age 12.9±2.7 years; 30 males; mean IQ 106.81±11.02) were recruited. Statistically significant differences were found in all cognitive domains assessed, with better performance by the healthy control group: attention (U=185.0; P=.0005; D=0.90), working memory (T51.48=2.597; P=.006; D=0.72), mental flexibility (U=236.0; P=.007; D=0.67), inhibitory control (U=210.0; P=.002; D=0.71), and problem solving (U=261.0; P=0.021; D=0.62). These statistically significant differences were also found after controlling for IQ. Children and adolescents with ASD-WID have difficulties transforming and mentally manipulating verbal information, longer response latency, attention problems (difficulty set shifting), trouble with automatic response inhibition and problem solving, despite having normal IQ. Considering the low executive functioning profile found in those patients, we recommend a comprehensive intervention including work on non-social problems related to executive cognitive difficulties. Copyright © 2015 SEP y SEPB. Published by Elsevier España. All rights reserved.

  16. Executive functioning in schizophrenia: Unique and shared variance with measures of fluid intelligence.

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    Martin, A K; Mowry, B; Reutens, D; Robinson, G A

    2015-10-01

    Patients with schizophrenia often display deficits on tasks thought to measure "executive" processes. Recently, it has been suggested that reductions in fluid intelligence test performance entirely explain deficits reported for patients with focal frontal lesions on classical executive tasks. For patients with schizophrenia, it is unclear whether deficits on executive tasks are entirely accountable by fluid intelligence and representative of a common general process or best accounted for by distinct contributions to the cognitive profile of schizophrenia. In the current study, 50 patients with schizophrenia and 50 age, sex and premorbid intelligence matched controls were assessed using a broad neuropsychological battery, including tasks considered sensitive to executive abilities, namely the Hayling Sentence Completion Test (HSCT), word fluency, Stroop test, digit-span backwards, and spatial working memory. Fluid intelligence was measured using both the Matrix reasoning subtest from the Weschler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI) and a composite score derived from a number of cognitive tests. Patients with schizophrenia were impaired on all cognitive measures compared with controls, except smell identification and the optimal betting and risk-taking measures from the Cambridge Gambling Task. After introducing fluid intelligence as a covariate, significant differences remained for HSCT suppression errors, and classical executive function tests such as the Stroop test and semantic/phonemic word fluency, regardless of which fluid intelligence measure was included. Fluid intelligence does not entirely explain impaired performance on all tests considered as reflecting "executive" processes. For schizophrenia, these measures should remain part of a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment alongside a measure of fluid intelligence. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Trait approach and avoidance motivation: lateralized neural activity associated with executive function.

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    Spielberg, Jeffrey M; Miller, Gregory A; Engels, Anna S; Herrington, John D; Sutton, Bradley P; Banich, Marie T; Heller, Wendy

    2011-01-01

    Motivation and executive function are both necessary for the completion of goal-directed behavior. Research investigating the manner in which these processes interact is beginning to emerge and has implicated middle frontal gyrus (MFG) as a site of interaction for relevant neural mechanisms. However, this research has focused on state motivation, and it has not examined functional lateralization. The present study examined the impact of trait levels of approach and avoidance motivation on neural processes associated with executive function. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was conducted while participants performed a color-word Stroop task. Analyses identified brain regions in which trait approach and avoidance motivation (measured by questionnaires) moderated activation associated with executive control. Approach was hypothesized to be associated with left-lateralized MFG activation, whereas avoidance was hypothesized to be associated with right-lateralized MFG activation. Results supported both hypotheses. Present findings implicate areas of middle frontal gyrus in top-down control to guide behavior in accordance with motivational goals. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Neurocognitive functioning over the course of trauma-focused psychotherapy for PTSD: Changes in verbal memory and executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nijdam, Mirjam J; Martens, Irene J M; Reitsma, Johannes B; Gersons, Berthold P R; Olff, Miranda

    2018-05-01

    Individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have neurocognitive deficits in verbal memory and executive functioning. In this study, we examined whether memory and executive functioning changed over the course of treatment and which clinical variables were associated with change. Neuropsychological assessments were administered at baseline and endpoint of a randomized controlled trial as secondary outcome. Trauma survivors (n = 88) diagnosed with PTSD received trauma-focused psychotherapy within a 17-week randomized controlled trial. Neuropsychological tests were the California Verbal Learning Test, Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test, Stroop Color Word Test, and Trail Making Test. Significant, small- to medium-sized improvements in verbal memory, information processing speed, and executive functioning were found after trauma-focused psychotherapy (Cohen's d 0.16-0.68). Greater PTSD symptom decrease was significantly related to better post-treatment neurocognitive performance (all p effect sizes exceed those of practice effects. Future research should determine whether these changes translate into improved functioning in the daily lives of the patients. Patients with PTSD have difficulties performing verbal memory tasks (e.g., remembering a grocery list, recall of a story) and executive functioning tasks (e.g., shifting attention between two tasks, ignoring irrelevant information to complete a task). Verbal memory, information processing speed, and executive functioning significantly improved in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder over the course of trauma-focused psychotherapy. Improvements were equal in size for two different trauma-focused psychotherapies (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy and brief eclectic psychotherapy for PTSD). Medium-sized effects were found for recall of a story, whereas effects in other aspects of verbal memory, information processing speed, and executive functioning were small-sized. No causal

  19. Why are they late? Timing abilities and executive control among students with learning disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grinblat, Nufar; Rosenblum, Sara

    2016-12-01

    While a deficient ability to perform daily tasks on time has been reported among students with learning disabilities (LD), the underlying mechanism behind their 'being late' is still unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the organization in time, time estimation abilities, actual performance time pertaining to specific daily activities, as well as the executive functions of students with LD in comparison to those of controls, and to assess the relationships between these domains among each group. The participants were 27 students with LD, aged 20-30, and 32 gender and age-matched controls who completed the Time Organization and Participation Scale (TOPS) and the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult version (BRIEF-A). In addition, their ability to estimate the time needed to complete the task of preparing a cup of coffee as well as their actual performance time were evaluated. The results indicated that in comparison to controls, students with LD showed significantly inferior organization in time (TOPS) and executive function abilities (BRIEF-A). Furthermore, their time estimation abilities were significantly inferior and they required significantly more time to prepare a cup of coffee. Regression analysis identified the variables that predicted organization in time and task performance time among each group. The significance of the results for both theoretical and clinical implications are discussed. What this paper adds? This study examines the underlying mechanism of the phenomena of being late among students with LD. Following a recent call for using ecologically valid assessments, the functional daily ability of students with LD to prepare a cup of coffee and to organize time were investigated. Furthermore, their time estimation and executive control abilities were examined as a possible underlying mechanism for their lateness. Although previous studies have indicated executive control deficits among students with LD, to our knowledge, this

  20. [Formula: see text]Executive functioning and health-related quality of life in pediatric sickle cell disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Taryn M; Anderson, Lindsay M; Rothman, Jennifer A; Bonner, Melanie J

    2017-11-01

    Research consistently indicates that children with sickle cell disease (SCD) face multiple risk factors for neurocognitive impairment. Despite this, no empirical research to date has examined the impact of neurocognitive functioning on quality of life for this pediatric group. Thus, the current study aims to examine the relationship between executive functioning and quality of life in a sample of children with SCD and further explore psychosocial and family/caregiver resources as moderators of this relationship. A total of 45 children with SCD aged 8 to 16 years and their caregivers completed measures of quality of life, behavioral ratings of executive functioning, and psychosocial functioning. Hierarchical linear regression models were utilized to determine the impact of executive functioning on quality of life and further test the interaction effects of proposed moderating variables. Controlling for age, pain, and socioeconomic status (SES), executive functioning was found to significantly predict child- and parent-reported quality of life among youth with SCD. Psychosocial resources of the primary caregiver or family was not found to moderate the relationship between executive functioning and quality of life. These results provide the first empirical evidence that lower executive skills negatively predict quality of life for children with SCD, supporting clinical and research efforts which aim to establish efficacious interventions that target cognitive decrements within this pediatric population.

  1. 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.

  2. Parental corporal punishment in relation to children's executive function and externalizing behavior problems in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Xiaopei; Wang, Meifang; Wang, Zhengyan

    2018-04-01

    The current study examined the relationship among paternal and maternal corporal punishment (CP), children's executive function (EF), and children's externalizing behavior problems. In total, 328 Chinese preschool-aged children and their parents and teachers participated. Paternal and maternal CP was assessed by father-reports and by mother-reports, respectively. Children's EF was assessed by the Executive Function Touch program. Children's externalizing behavior problems were assessed by mother-reports and by teacher-reports. The results of structural equation modeling generally supported working memory as a mediator linking paternal CP and children's externalizing behaviors and inhibitory control as a mediator linking maternal CP and children's externalizing behaviors. No differences by children's gender were found. The current findings highlight the importance of EF in behavioral outcomes of children who experience parental CP.

  3. When prejudice does not pay: effects of interracial contact on executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richeson, Jennifer A; Shelton, J Nicole

    2003-05-01

    This study examined the influence of interracial interaction on the cognitive functioning of members of a dominant racial group. White participants had a brief interaction with either a White or a Black confederate, and then completed an ostensibly unrelated Stroop color-naming test. Prior to the interaction, participants' racial attitudes regarding Whites and Blacks were measured via the Implicit Association Test. Racial attitudes were predictive of impairment on the Stroop test for individuals who participated in interracial interactions, but not for those who participated in same-race interactions. The results are consistent with recently proposed resource models of self-regulation and executive control in that interracial interaction, a particularly taxing exercise of self-regulation for highly prejudiced individuals, negatively affected performance on a subsequent, yet unrelated, test of executive function.

  4. Working memory assessment in schizophrenia and its correlation with executive functions ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berberian, Arthur A; Trevisan, Bruna T; Moriyama, Tais S; Montiel, José M; Oliveira, José Ari C; Seabra, Alessandra G

    2009-09-01

    Working memory impairment is common in schizophrenia and is possibly a cause of multiple features of the disorder. However few studies have replicated such findings of impairment patterns in Brazilian samples. The main target of this study was to assess auditory and visual working memory in patients with schizophrenia, to assess if they work as separate systems, and to correlate working memory deficits with executive functions. Twenty subjects with schizophrenia and twenty healthy subjects matched by gender, age, and schooling have participated. The abilities assessed were auditory and visual working memory, selective attention, inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and planning. Patients showed declines in all measures evaluated, except for a measure reaction time of inhibitory control. Auditory working memory was correlated to selective attention, inhibition, flexibility and planning while Visual working memory to planning and flexibility. The present study suggests that working memory and executive functions deficits are present in patients with schizophrenia in the Brazilian sample evaluated. Alterations in executive functions may lead to incapacity of operation of processes of working memory. These findings may contribute to delineate and develop new strategies of schizophrenia treatment in the Brazilian population.

  5. Association between chronic musculoskeletal pain and executive function in community-dwelling older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murata, S; Sawa, R; Nakatsu, N; Saito, T; Sugimoto, T; Nakamura, R; Misu, S; Ueda, Y; Ono, R

    2017-11-01

    We examined the association of chronic musculoskeletal pain with executive function in community-dwelling older adults. This cross-sectional study recruited 234 community-dwelling older adults in Japan (mean age: 72.7, women: 62.8%). Chronic musculoskeletal pain was defined as having moderate or more severe pain lasting ≥ 3 months. Executive function was assessed using the Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST), Trail Making Test (TMT) parts A and B, Letter Verbal Fluency Test (LVFT) and Category Verbal Fluency Test (CVFT). Prevalence of chronic musculoskeletal pain was 19% (n = 44). In the univariate analysis, the DSST and CVFT scores were significantly lower in the chronic musculoskeletal pain group than in the control group (DSST: chronic musculoskeletal pain group vs. control group, 40.2 vs. 45.4, respectively, p dwelling older adults. The association of chronic musculoskeletal pain with executive function requires further investigation. Our results suggest an association between moderate-severe chronic musculoskeletal pain and impairments of semantic fluency and processing speed in community-dwelling older adults. © 2017 European Pain Federation - EFIC®.

  6. Executive Functioning and Learning Skills of Adolescent Children Born at Fewer than 26 Weeks of Gestation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Farooqi

    Full Text Available To assess the cognitive and behavioral aspects of executive functioning (EF and learning skills in extremely preterm (EPT children compared with term control children aged 10 to 15 years.A total of 132 of 134 (98% of all eligible survivors EPT children born at the 2 Swedish regional tertiary care centers from 1992 to 1998 (mean age = 12 years, mean birth weight = 718 g, and mean gestational age = 24.4 weeks and 103 matched term controls were assessed. General intelligence was assessed using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-III-R, and cognitive aspects of EF were analyzed using EF-sensitive subscales of the WISC-III-R and Tower test of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function Scale (D-KEFS. Behaviors related to EF and learning skills were assessed using the Five to Fifteen questionnaire, which is a validated parent and teacher instrument. Academic performance in school was assessed by teachers' responses on Achenbach's Teachers Report Form. Analyses performed included multivariate analyses of covariance (ANCOVA and MANCOVA and logistic regression analyses.The EPT children displayed significant deficits in cognitive aspects of EF compared with the controls, exhibiting decreases on the order of 0.9 SD to 1.2 SD for tasks of verbal conceptual reasoning, verbal and non-verbal working memory, processing speed and planning ability (P 70 and without major NSI revealed no interactions, but significant main effects were observed for the behavioral composite executive function score, group status (EPT vs control and FSIQ, for which all effect sizes were medium to large. The corresponding findings of MANCOVA of the parent-reported learning skills were very similar. According to the teachers' ratings, the EPT children were less well adjusted to the school environment.EPT children born in the 1990s who received active perinatal care are at an increased risk of executive dysfunction, even after excluding children with significant

  7. Executive Functioning and Learning Skills of Adolescent Children Born at Fewer than 26 Weeks of Gestation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farooqi, A.; Adamsson, M.; Serenius, F.; Hägglöf, B.

    2016-01-01

    Aims To assess the cognitive and behavioral aspects of executive functioning (EF) and learning skills in extremely preterm (EPT) children compared with term control children aged 10 to 15 years. Methods A total of 132 of 134 (98% of all eligible survivors) EPT children born at the 2 Swedish regional tertiary care centers from 1992 to 1998 (mean age = 12 years, mean birth weight = 718 g, and mean gestational age = 24.4 weeks) and 103 matched term controls were assessed. General intelligence was assessed using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-III-R), and cognitive aspects of EF were analyzed using EF-sensitive subscales of the WISC-III-R and Tower test of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function Scale (D-KEFS). Behaviors related to EF and learning skills were assessed using the Five to Fifteen questionnaire, which is a validated parent and teacher instrument. Academic performance in school was assessed by teachers’ responses on Achenbach’s Teachers Report Form. Analyses performed included multivariate analyses of covariance (ANCOVA and MANCOVA) and logistic regression analyses. Results The EPT children displayed significant deficits in cognitive aspects of EF compared with the controls, exhibiting decreases on the order of 0.9 SD to 1.2 SD for tasks of verbal conceptual reasoning, verbal and non-verbal working memory, processing speed and planning ability (P children with major neurosensory impairment (NSI) or a Full Scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ) of children reported significantly more EF-related behavioral problems. MANCOVA of teacher-reported learning skills in children with FSIQ >70 and without major NSI revealed no interactions, but significant main effects were observed for the behavioral composite executive function score, group status (EPT vs control) and FSIQ, for which all effect sizes were medium to large. The corresponding findings of MANCOVA of the parent-reported learning skills were very similar. According to the teachers

  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 exec