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Sample records for executive control function

  1. 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.

  2. Among three different executive functions, general executive control ability is a key predictor of decision making under objective risk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes eSchiebener

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Executive functioning is supposed to have an important role in decision making under risk. Several studies reported that more advantageous decision-making behavior was accompanied by better performance in tests of executive functioning and that the decision-making process was accompanied by activations in prefrontal and subcortical brain regions associated with executive functioning. However, to what extent different components of executive functions contribute to decision making is still unclear. We tested direct and indirect effects of three executive functions on decision-making performance in a laboratory gambling task, the Game of Dice Task (GDT. Using Brand’s model of decisions under risk (2006 we tested seven structural equation models with three latent variables that represent executive functions supposed to be involved in decision making. The latent variables were general control (represented by the general ability to exert attentional and behavioral self-control that is in accordance with task goals despite interfering information, concept formation (represented by categorization, rule detection, and set maintenance, and monitoring (represented by supervision of cognition and behavior. The seven models indicated that only the latent dimension general control had a direct effect on decision making under risk. Concept formation and monitoring only contributed in terms of indirect effects, when mediated by general control. Thus, several components of executive functioning seem to be involved in decision making under risk. However, general control functions seem to have a key role. They may be important for implementing the calculative and cognitively controlled processes involved in advantageous decision making under risk.

  3. Executive functions in synesthesia.

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

    2013-03-01

    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 obtained between synesthetes and non-synesthetes in classic executive control paradigms. Furthermore, classic executive control effects did not interact with synesthetic behavioral effects. Third, we found support for our hypothesis that inhibition of a synesthetic color takes effort and time. Finally, individual differences analyses showed no relationship between the two skills; performance on a 'normal' Stroop task does not predict performance on a synesthetic Stroop task. Across four studies, the current results consistently show no clear relationship between executive control functions and synesthetic behavioral effects. This raises the question of which mechanisms are at play in synesthetic 'management' during the presence of two conflicting (real and synesthetic) sensations. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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    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.

  5. 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

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28154541

  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. 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.

  9. Executive functions in synesthesia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rouw, R.; van Driel, J.; Knip, K.; Ridderinkhof, K.R.

    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

  10. The role of executive functions in the control of aggressive behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrike M Krämer

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available An extensive literature suggests a link between executive functions and aggressive behavior in humans, pointing mostly to an inverse relationship, i.e. increased tendencies towards aggression in individuals scoring low on executive function tests. This literature is limited, though, in terms of the groups studied and the measures of executive functions. In this paper, we present data from two studies addressing these issues. In a first behavioral study, we asked whether high trait aggressiveness is related to reduced executive functions. A sample of over 600 students performed in an extensive behavioral test-battery including paradigms addressing executive functions such as the Eriksen Flanker task, Stroop task, n-back task and Tower of London. High trait aggressive participants were found to have a significantly reduced latency score in the Tower of London, indicating more impulsive behavior compared to low trait aggressive participants. No other differences were detected. In an EEG-study, we assessed neural and behavioral correlates of error monitoring and response inhibition in participants who were characterized based on their laboratory-induced aggressive behavior in a competitive reaction time task. Participants who retaliated more in the aggression paradigm and had reduced frontal activity when being provoked did not, however, show any reduction in behavioral or neural correlates of executive control compared to the more aggressive participants. Our results question a strong relationship between aggression and executive functions at least for healthy, high-functioning people.

  11. EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING IN SCHIZOPHRENIA

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    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. Executive Functions of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Panic Disorder Patients in Comparison to Healty Controls.

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    Kurt, Emel; Yildirim, Erol; Topçuoğlu, Volkan

    2017-12-01

    Patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) have impaired cognitive functions, including attention, verbal and visual memory, and visual-spatial abilities as well as executive function But some studies did not show any disturbance in executive function of patients with OCD. To date, only few studies have been conducted on neuropsychological functioning of patients with panic disorder (PD). There are limited studies to reach a definite conclusion on executive functions of patients with OCD and those with PD. In this study, we aimed to measure executive functions of patients with OCD and those with PD compared with those of healthy controls. Although there are many studies on cognitive functions of patients with OCD, there appears to be no consistency in results and no findings have been obtained to enable us to reach definite conclusions. Although there are very few studies on neuropsychological functions of patients with PD, impairments on a set of cognitive functions have been demonstrated. To date, no finding with respect to impairment in executive functions of patients with PD has been published. PD and OCD are disorders manifesting similar characteristics, with the presence of anxiety and avoidance behavior. Besides this, patients with OCD also have symptoms such as obsessions and compulsions that are characteristics of this disorder. We aim to compare executive functions in the three groups (patients with OCD, those with PD, and healthy controls) in this study. Seventeen patients with OCD and 15 patients with PD who were diagnosed according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder -IV-TR (DSM-IV-TR) and 26 healthy control subjects were included in this study. Patients who used medication as well as those with medical illnesses and Axis-I comorbidities were excluded. The healthy control group subjects were matched with the patients in terms of age, gender, and education. Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis-I Disorders

  13. The role of executive functioning in children's attentional pain control: an experimental analysis.

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  16. Impact of Attention Training on Academic Achievement, Executive Functioning, and Behavior: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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    Kirk, Hannah; Gray, Kylie; Ellis, Kirsten; Taffe, John; Cornish, Kim

    2017-01-01

    Children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) experience significant difficulties in attention, learning, executive functions, and behavioral regulation. Emerging evidence suggests that computerized cognitive training may remediate these impairments. In a double blind controlled trial, 76 children with IDD (4-11 years) were…

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

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    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.

  18. Executive Functions, Trait Self-Control, and the Intention-Behavior Gap in Physical Activity Behavior.

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    Pfeffer, Ines; Strobach, Tilo

    2017-10-24

    Many people fail to translate their physical activity intentions into behavior. This intention-behavior gap can be explained by (a) explicit trait self-control, (b) implicit executive functions, and (c) their interactions. In 118 participants, the intention-behavior gap was measured in a prospective design. Trait self-control was assessed via self-report questionnaires, whereas executive functioning was measured with test performance in inhibition, updating, and shifting at baseline. Regression analysis showed that (a) higher trait self-control predicts a smaller intention-behavior gap; (b) updating performance is related with this gap; and (c) behavior in tests on inhibition, updating, and shifting moderate the relation between the trait self-control and the intention-behavior gap. The present study showed that the complex pattern that modulates the relation between intended and realized physical activity behavior includes trait self-control, executive functions, as well as the combination of these cognitive components supporting dual-process approaches of self-control including implicit and explicit processing components.

  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. Interaction Between the Development of Postural Control and the Executive Function of Attention

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    Reilly, Dinah S.; van Donkelaar, Paul; Saavedra, Sandy; Woollacott, Marjorie H

    2008-01-01

    The authors examined the interaction between the development of postural control and the development of the executive function of attention in 13 children and 6 adults in dual-task conditions. Participants performed an attentionally demanding cognitive task and a postural task simultaneously. The authors equalized the attentional load of the cognitive task across age groups. Comparative changes in the center of pressure in dual- and single-task conditions indicated that dual tasks interfered ...

  1. The persistent influence of concussion on attention, executive control and neuroelectric function in preadolescent children.

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    Moore, Davis R; Pindus, Dominika M; Raine, Lauren B; Drollette, Eric S; Scudder, Mark R; Ellemberg, Dave; Hillman, Charles H

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this investigation was to examine the influence of pediatric sport-related concussion on brain and cognitive function. To do so, we used a between-participants design, measures of executive control, and event-related potentials (ERPs). The findings demonstrate that children with a history of concussion exhibit behavioral deficits in attention, working memory and impulse control, as well as neuroelectric alterations in ERP indices of visual attention (N1), conflict resolution (N2) and attentional resource allocation (P3). Furthermore, the age at injury related to the magnitude of several concussion-related deficits. Accordingly, a single sports-related concussive incident during childhood (m=2.1years prior to testing) may lead to subtle, yet pervasive alterations in the behavioral and neural indices of attention and executive control, and age at injury may moderate injury outcomes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. The Role of Inhibitory Control in Behavioral and Physiological Expressions of Toddler Executive Function

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    Morasch, Katherine C.; Bell, Martha Ann

    2010-01-01

    Eighty-one toddlers (ranging from 24 to 27 months) participated in a biobehavioral investigation of inhibitory control. Maternal-report measures of inhibitory control were related to laboratory tasks assessing inhibitory abilities under conditions of conflict, delay, and compliance challenge as well as toddler verbal ability. Additionally, unique variance in inhibitory control was explained by task-related changes in brain electrical activity at lateral frontal scalp sites as well as concurrent inhibitory task performance. Implications regarding neural correlates of executive function in early development and a central, organizing role of inhibitory processing in toddlerhood are discussed. PMID:20719337

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

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    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.

  4. 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.

  5. The relationship between executive function and fine motor control in young and older adults.

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    Corti, Emily J; Johnson, Andrew R; Riddle, Hayley; Gasson, Natalie; Kane, Robert; Loftus, Andrea M

    2017-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between executive function (EF) and fine motor control in young and older healthy adults. Participants completed 3 measures of executive function; a spatial working memory (SWM) task, the Stockings of Cambridge task (planning), and the Intra-Dimensional Extra-Dimensional Set-Shift task (set-shifting). Fine motor control was assessed using 3 subtests of the Purdue Pegboard (unimanual, bimanual, sequencing). For the younger adults, there were no significant correlations between measures of EF and fine motor control. For the older adults, all EFs significantly correlated with all measures of fine motor control. Three separate regressions examined whether planning, SWM and set-shifting independently predicted unimanual, bimanual, and sequencing scores for the older adults. Planning was the primary predictor of performance on all three Purdue subtests. A multiple-groups mediation model examined whether planning predicted fine motor control scores independent of participants' age, suggesting that preservation of planning ability may support fine motor control in older adults. Planning remained a significant predictor of unimanual performance in the older age group, but not bimanual or sequencing performance. The findings are discussed in terms of compensation theory, whereby planning is a key compensatory resource for fine motor control in older adults. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  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. Moderators, mediators and nonspecific predictors of outcome after cognitive rehabilitation of executive functions in a randomised controlled trial

    OpenAIRE

    Tornås, Sveinung; Stubberud, Jan; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin; Evans, Jonathan; Schanke, Anne-Kristine; Løvstad, Marianne

    2017-01-01

    Moderators, mediators and nonspecific predictors of treatment after cognitive rehabilitation of executive functions in a randomised controlled trial\\ud \\ud Objective: To explore moderators, mediators and nonspecific predictors of executive functioning after cognitive rehabilitation in a randomised controlled trial, comparing Goal Management Training (GMT) with an active psycho-educative control-intervention, in patients with chronic acquired brain injury.\\ud \\ud Methods: Seventy patients with...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Media violence exposure and executive functioning in aggressive and control adolescents.

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    Kronenberger, William G; Mathews, Vincent P; Dunn, David W; Wang, Yang; Wood, Elisabeth A; Giauque, Ann L; Larsen, Joelle J; Rembusch, Mary E; Lowe, Mark J; Li, Tie-Qiang

    2005-06-01

    The relationship between media violence exposure and executive functioning was investigated in samples of adolescents with no psychiatric diagnosis or with a history of aggressive-disruptive behavior. Age-, gender-, and IQ-matched samples of adolescents who had no Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-fourth edition (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) diagnosis (N = 27) and of adolescents who had DSM-IV Disruptive Behavior Disorder diagnoses (N = 27) completed measures of media violence exposure and tests of executive functioning. Moderate to strong relationships were found between higher amounts of media violence exposure and deficits in self-report, parent-report, and laboratory-based measures of executive functioning. A significant diagnosis by media violence exposure interaction effect was found for Conners' Continuous Performance Test scores, such that the media violence exposure-executive functioning relationship was stronger for adolescents who had Disruptive Behavior Disorder diagnoses. Results indicate that media violence exposure is related to poorer executive functioning, and this relationship may be stronger for adolescents who have a history of aggressive-disruptive behavior. Copyright 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  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. Action versus state orientation moderates the impact of executive functioning on real-life self-control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Max; Krönke, Klaus-Martin; Venz, John; Kräplin, Anja; Bühringer, Gerhard; Smolka, Michael N; Goschke, Thomas

    2016-12-01

    Self-control is commonly assumed to depend on executive functions (EFs). However, it is unclear whether real-life self-control failures result from deficient EF competencies or rather reflect insufficient conflict-induced mobilization of executive control, and whether self-control depends more critically on function-specific EF competencies or general executive functioning (GEF), that is, common competencies that underlie all EFs. Here we investigated whether failure-related action versus state orientation, a personality trait related to the conflict-induced mobilization of cognitive control, moderates the effect of general and function-specific control competencies on self-control. To this end, 240 young adults completed questionnaire measures of action-state orientation and trait self-control, reported everyday self-control failures during 7 consecutive days via smartphone-based experience sampling, and completed 9 EF tasks from which latent variables reflecting GEF as well as inhibition-, updating-, and shifting-specific competencies were derived. Structural equation models confirmed that the effect of GEF on self-control was moderated by action-state orientation: action-oriented compared with more state-oriented participants showed a stronger inverse association between GEF and everyday self-control failures. Corresponding effects of function-specific competencies on self-control were not found. These results highlight that high executive functioning may enable self-controlled behavior only if control is sufficiently mobilized when needed and suggest that self-control may depend more critically on general than function-specific control competencies. More generally, the present study demonstrates the fruitfulness of combining latent-variable models of well-controlled EF tasks with experience sampling of daily self-control and measures of individual differences in control modes to bridge the gap between laboratory research and real-life behavior. (Psyc

  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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dovis, Sebastiaan; Van der Oord, Saskia; Wiers, Reinout W.; Prins, Pier J. M.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction 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. Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusions 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

  17. 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.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  18. Measuring executive function in control subjects and TBI patients with question completion time (QCT).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woods, David L; Yund, E William; Wyma, John M; Ruff, Ron; Herron, Timothy J

    2015-01-01

    Questionnaire completion is a complex task that places demands on cognitive functions subserving reading, introspective memory, decision-making, and motor control. Although computerized questionnaires and surveys are used with increasing frequency in clinical practice, few studies have examined question completion time (QCT), the time required to complete each question. Here, we analyzed QCTs in 172 control subjects and 31 patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) who completed two computerized questionnaires, the 17-question Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Checklist (PCL) and the 25-question Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (CFQ). In control subjects, robust correlations were found between self-paced QCTs on the PCL and CFQ (r = 0.82). QCTs on individual questions correlated strongly with the number of words in the question, indicating the critical role of reading speed. QCTs increased significantly with age, and were reduced in females and in subjects with increased education and computer experience. QCT z-scores, corrected for age, education, computer use, and sex, correlated more strongly with each other than with the results of other cognitive tests. Patients with a history of severe TBI showed significantly delayed QCTs, but QCTs fell within the normal range in patients with a history of mild TBI. When questionnaires are used to gather relevant patient information, simultaneous QCT measures provide reliable and clinically sensitive measures of processing speed and executive function.

  19. Tai Chi and meditation-plus-exercise benefit neural substrates of executive function: a cross-sectional, controlled study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkes, Teresa D; Manselle, Wayne; Woollacott, Marjorie H

    2014-12-01

    We report the first controlled study of Tai Chi effects on the P300 event-related potential, a neuroelectric index of human executive function. Tai Chi is a form of exercise and moving meditation. Exercise and meditation have been associated with enhanced executive function. This cross-sectional, controlled study utilized the P300 event-related potential (ERP) to compare executive network neural function between self-selected long-term Tai Chi, meditation, aerobic fitness, and sedentary groups. We hypothesized that because Tai Chi requires moderate aerobic and mental exertion, this group would show similar or better executive neural function compared to meditation and aerobic exercise groups. We predicted all health training groups would outperform sedentary controls. Fifty-four volunteers (Tai Chi, n=10; meditation, n=16; aerobic exercise, n=16; sedentary, n=12) were tested with the Rockport 1-mile walk (estimated VO2 Max), a well-validated measure of aerobic capacity, and an ecologically valid visuo-spatial, randomized, alternating runs Task Switch test during dense-array electroencephalographic (EEG) recording. Only Tai Chi and meditation plus exercise groups demonstrated larger P3b ERP switch trial amplitudes compared to sedentary controls. Our results suggest long-term Tai Chi practice, and meditation plus exercise may benefit the neural substrates of executive function.

  20. 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

    2017-10-12

    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, np(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.

  1. Executive Functions in Preschool Children with Aggressive Behavior: Impairments in Inhibitory Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raaijmakers, Maartje A. J.; Smidts, Diana P.; Sergeant, Joseph A.; Maassen, Gerard H.; Posthumus, Jocelyne A.; van Engeland, Herman; Matthys, Walter

    2008-01-01

    The question whether executive function (EF) deficits in children are associated with conduct problems remains controversial. Although the origins of aggressive behavior are to be found in early childhood, findings from EF studies in preschool children with aggressive behavior are inconsistent. The current study aimed to investigate whether…

  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 BACKGROUND: 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. METHODS AND RESULTS: 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. CONCLUSIONS: 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. TRIAL REGISTRATION: UMIN Clinical Trial Registry 000002825.

  3. 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

    Background 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. Methods and Results 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. Conclusions 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. Trial Registration UMIN Clinical Trial Registry 000002825 PMID:22253758

  4. 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.

  5. Interaction between the development of postural control and the executive function of attention.

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    Reilly, Dinah S; van Donkelaar, Paul; Saavedra, Sandy; Woollacott, Marjorie H

    2008-03-01

    The authors examined the interaction between the development of postural control and the development of the executive function of attention in 13 children and 6 adults in dual-task conditions. Participants performed an attentionally demanding cognitive task and a postural task simultaneously. The authors equalized the attentional load of the cognitive task across age groups. Comparative changes in the center of pressure in dual- and single-task conditions indicated that dual tasks interfered with postural performance in the wide stance (WS) and the modified Romberg stance (RS). Children at 4-6 years of age (but not children at ages 7-12 years of age or adults) experienced postural control interference in both stance positions, but interference was greater in the RS (p = .018). For all participants, cognitive task performance in RS was unchanged from that in WS. The knowledge gained from the results of this study will contribute to the design and implementation of academic and preacademic programming for young children. Their performance of an intentionally demanding cognitive task would be enhanced by the provision of appropriately sized desks and chairs or their use of an alternate, less demanding position.

  6. Effects of Age, Intelligence and Executive Control Function on Saccadic Reaction Time in Persons with Intellectual Disabilities

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    Haishi, Koichi; Okuzumi, Hideyuki; Kokubun, Mitsuru

    2011-01-01

    The current research aimed to clarify the influence of age, intelligence and executive control function on the central tendency and intraindividual variability of saccadic reaction time in persons with intellectual disabilities. Participants were 44 persons with intellectual disabilities aged between 13 and 57 years whose IQs were between 14 and…

  7. "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

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

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    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.

  9. 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

  10. Executive function predicts response to antiaggression treatment in schizophrenia: a randomized controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krakowski, Menahem I; Czobor, Pal

    2012-01-01

    Despite extensive experience with antipsychotic medications, we have limited capacity to predict which patients will benefit from which medications and for what symptoms. Such prediction is of particular importance for the proper treatment of violence. Our goal was to determine whether executive function predicts outcome of treatment for aggressive behavior and whether such prediction varies across medication groups. Ninety-nine physically aggressive inpatients (aged 18-60 years) with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (diagnosed according to DSM-IV) who completed tests of executive function were randomly assigned in a double-blind, parallel-group, 12-week trial to clozapine (n = 32), olanzapine (n = 32), or haloperidol (n = 35). The number and severity of aggressive events as measured by the Modified Overt Aggression Scale (MOAS) were the outcome measures. Psychopathology and medication side effects were also assessed. The study was conducted from 1999 to 2004. Poor executive function predicted higher levels of aggression, as measured by MOAS scores over the 12-week period, in all 3 medication groups (F(1,98) = 222.2, P aggression in patients with schizophrenia. clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01123408. © Copyright 2012 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.

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

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    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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. [Executive function and behavior in university drinkers].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salcedo Palacios, Dii Dayana; Ramírez Nova, Yeimy Johanna; Acosta Barreto, María Rocío

    2015-01-01

    Establish the profile of executive function and behavior in fifty consumers of alcohol are located in a high-risk level according to the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and which belong to different universities in the city of Bogota. Was used analytical transverse design, and were taken as study variables executive function (inhibition, monitoring, sequencing, planning, cognitive flexibility, working memory, attentional control, categorization and concept formation) and executive behavior (decision making, impulse control, emotional feedback, empathy and theory of mind). Results showed that there is a greater number of cognitive domains of executive function involved in contrast to those of executive behavior. Such is for inhibition, sequencing, attention control (processing speed), categorization, cognitive flexibility, self monitoring and planning. Copyright © 2014 Asociación Colombiana de Psiquiatría. Publicado por Elsevier España. All rights reserved.

  16. Executive function and coping in stroke survivors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kegel, Jessica; Dux, Moira; Macko, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Stroke is a leading cause of disability and sequelae may include physical, emotional, and cognitive impairments. The methods employed to cope with distress, both emotional and cognitive, have not been evaluated in individuals post-stroke. However, research in traumatic brain injury (TBI) suggests that executive function is positively correlated with adaptive coping and negatively correlated with maladaptive coping strategies (Krpan et al., 2007). Examination of these constructs post-stroke may assist with enriching our understanding of cognitive and emotional symptomatology and optimize rehabilitation strategies. The present study aimed to assess the association between executive function and coping strategies in a sample of chronic stroke survivors. The researchers hypothesized that executive function would be positively correlated with adaptive coping strategies and negatively correlated with maladaptive coping strategies. Fifteen stroke survivors were administered a battery of cognitive tests assessing executive function and also completed the Ways of Coping Questionnaire (WAYS), a self-report coping measure. Analyses indicated that executive function deficits were related to increased avoidant coping. Contrary to expectations, executive function was not significantly related to active coping. In addition, post hoc analyses revealed that executive function was a significant predictor of avoidant coping after controlling for demographics. Our data, in accordance with prior work in TBI, suggests that executive function and aspects of coping are associated. Rehabilitation strategies that improve executive function may also lead to utilization of adaptive coping strategies. Research has shown that aerobic exercise increases activation in the frontal lobe and improves executive function (Colcombe & Kramer, 2003; Colcombe et al., 2004). Future studies should examine whether aerobic exercise positively affects executive function and coping in stroke survivors.

  17. Relating effortful control, executive function, and false belief understanding to emerging math and literacy ability in kindergarten.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Clancy; Razza, Rachel Peters

    2007-01-01

    This study examined the role of self-regulation in emerging academic ability in one hundred and forty-one 3- to 5-year-old children from low-income homes. Measures of effortful control, false belief understanding, and the inhibitory control and attention-shifting aspects of executive function in preschool were related to measures of math and literacy ability in kindergarten. Results indicated that the various aspects of child self-regulation accounted for unique variance in the academic outcomes independent of general intelligence and that the inhibitory control aspect of executive function was a prominent correlate of both early math and reading ability. Findings suggest that curricula designed to improve self-regulation skills as well as enhance early academic abilities may be most effective in helping children succeed in school.

  18. "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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Executive control influences linguistic representations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lev-Ari, Shiri; Keysar, Boaz

    2014-02-01

    Although it is known that words acquire their meanings partly from the contexts in which they are used, we proposed that the way in which words are processed can also influence their representation. We further propose that individual differences in the way that words are processed can consequently lead to individual differences in the way that they are represented. Specifically, we showed that executive control influences linguistic representations by influencing the coactivation of competing and reinforcing terms. Consequently, people with poorer executive control perceive the meanings of homonymous terms as being more similar to one another, and those of polysemous terms as being less similar to one another, than do people with better executive control. We also showed that bilinguals with poorer executive control experience greater cross-linguistic interference than do bilinguals with better executive control. These results have implications for theories of linguistic representation and language organization.

  7. Executive Function in Adolescence: A Commentary on Regulatory Control and Depression in Adolescents: Findings from Neuroimaging and Neuropsychological Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luciana, Monica

    2016-01-01

    This commentary addresses the manner in which executive control processes and their development is impacted by major depressive episodes during adolescence. Strengths of the papers within this special section include the breadth of executive functions that were examined, incorporation of biological probes to understand neural mechanisms involved in observed impairments, the use of longitudinal paradigms to assess developmental timing, consideration and modeling of comorbid conditions, and the identification of individual difference factors that may serve as both liabilities and resilience factors. This work is timely; a close examination of negative emotions and how they change during adolescence is needed if we are to fully understand motivation-cognition interactions and how they are impaired by psychopathology. PMID:26743038

  8. Rehabilitation of Executive Functions in Patients with Chronic Acquired Brain Injury with Goal Management Training, External Cuing, and Emotional Regulation: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    Executive dysfunction is a common consequence of acquired brain injury (ABI), causing significant disability in daily life. This randomized controlled trial investigated the efficacy of Goal Management Training (GMT) in improving executive functioning in patients with chronic ABI. Seventy patients with a verified ABI and executive dysfunction were randomly allocated to GMT (n=33) or a psycho-educative active control condition, Brain Health Workshop (BHW) (n=37). In addition, all participants received external cueing by text messages. Neuropsychological tests and self-reported questionnaires of executive functioning were administered pre-intervention, immediately after intervention, and at 6 months follow-up. Assessors were blinded to group allocation. Questionnaire measures indicated significant improvement of everyday executive functioning in the GMT group, with effects lasting at least 6 months post-treatment. Both groups improved on the majority of the applied neuropsychological tests. However, improved performance on tests demanding executive attention was most prominent in the GMT group. The results indicate that GMT combined with external cueing is an effective metacognitive strategy training method, ameliorating executive dysfunction in daily life for patients with chronic ABI. The strongest effects were seen on self-report measures of executive functions 6 months post-treatment, suggesting that strategies learned in GMT were applied and consolidated in everyday life after the end of training. Furthermore, these findings show that executive dysfunction can be improved years after the ABI.

  9. Metacognition and executive functioning in Elementary School

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trinidad García

    Full Text Available This study analyzes differences in metacognitive skills and executive functioning between two groups of students (10-12 years with different levels of metacognitive knowledge (high n = 50, low n = 64. Groups were established based on students' score on a test of knowledge of strategy use. Metacognitive skills were assessed by means of self-report. Students reported the frequency with which they applied these strategies during the phases of planning, execution, and evaluation of learning. Information about student executive functioning was provided by families and teachers, who completed two parallel forms of a behavior rating scale. The results indicated that: a the group with high levels of metacognitive knowledge reported using their metacognitive skills more frequently than their peers in the other group. These differences were statistically significant in the phases of planning and execution; b both family and teachers informed of better levels of executive functioning in the students with high metacognitive knowledge. Statistically significant differences were found in planning, functional memory, focus, and sustained attention. These results show the existence of an association between different levels of metacognitive knowledge, and differences in metacognitive skills and executive functions, and suggest the need to emphasize this set of variables in order to encourage students to acquire increasing levels of control over their learning process.

  10. The Relationship Between Working Memory Capacity and Executive Functioning: Evidence for a Common Executive Attention Construct

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCabe, David P.; Roediger, Henry L.; McDaniel, Mark A.; Balota, David A.; Hambrick, David Z.

    2010-01-01

    Attentional control has been conceptualized as executive functioning by neuropsychologists and as working memory capacity by experimental psychologists. We examined the relationship between these constructs using a factor analytic approach in an adult lifespan sample. Several tests of working memory capacity and executive function were administered to over 200 subjects between the ages of 18-90 years old, along with tests of processing speed and episodic memory. The correlation between working memory capacity and executive functioning constructs was very strong (r = .97), but correlations between these constructs and processing speed were considerably weaker (r's ≈ .79). Controlling for working memory capacity or executive function eliminated age effects on episodic memory, and working memory capacity or executive function accounted for variance in episodic memory beyond that accounted for by processing speed. We conclude that tests of working memory capacity and executive function share a common underlying executive attention component that is strongly predictive of higher-level cognition. PMID:20230116

  11. Musical expertise, bilingualism, and executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bialystok, Ellen; Depape, Anne-Marie

    2009-04-01

    The authors investigated whether intensive musical experience leads to enhancements in executive processing, as has been shown for bilingualism. Young adults who were bilinguals, musical performers (instrumentalists or vocalists), or neither completed 3 cognitive measures and 2 executive function tasks based on conflict. Both executive function tasks included control conditions that assessed performance in the absence of conflict. All participants performed equivalently for the cognitive measures and the control conditions of the executive function tasks, but performance diverged in the conflict conditions. In a version of the Simon task involving spatial conflict between a target cue and its position, bilinguals and musicians outperformed monolinguals, replicating earlier research with bilinguals. In a version of the Stroop task involving auditory and linguistic conflict between a word and its pitch, the musicians performed better than the other participants. Instrumentalists and vocalists did not differ on any measure. Results demonstrate that extended musical experience enhances executive control on a nonverbal spatial task, as previously shown for bilingualism, but also enhances control in a more specialized auditory task, although the effect of bilingualism did not extend to that domain. (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved.

  12. Social inappropriateness, executive control, and aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Julie D; von Hippel, William; Baynes, Kate

    2009-03-01

    Age-related deficits in executive control might lead to socially inappropriate behavior if they compromise the ability to withhold inappropriate responses. Consistent with this possibility, older adults in the current study showed greater social inappropriateness than younger adults--as rated by their peers--and this effect was mediated by deficits in executive control as well as deficits in general cognitive ability. Older adults also responded with greater social inappropriateness to a provocative event in the laboratory, but this effect was unrelated to executive functioning or general cognitive ability. These findings suggest that changes in both social and cognitive factors are important in understanding age-related changes in social behavior.

  13. 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,…

  14. 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…

  15. Income, neural executive processes, and preschool children's executive control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruberry, Erika J; Lengua, Liliana J; Crocker, Leanna Harris; Bruce, Jacqueline; Upshaw, Michaela B; Sommerville, Jessica A

    2017-02-01

    This study aimed to specify the neural mechanisms underlying the link between low household income and diminished executive control in the preschool period. Specifically, we examined whether individual differences in the neural processes associated with executive attention and inhibitory control accounted for income differences observed in performance on a neuropsychological battery of executive control tasks. The study utilized a sample of preschool-aged children (N = 118) whose families represented the full range of income, with 32% of families at/near poverty, 32% lower income, and 36% middle to upper income. Children completed a neuropsychological battery of executive control tasks and then completed two computerized executive control tasks while EEG data were collected. We predicted that differences in the event-related potential (ERP) correlates of executive attention and inhibitory control would account for income differences observed on the executive control battery. Income and ERP measures were related to performance on the executive control battery. However, income was unrelated to ERP measures. The findings suggest that income differences observed in executive control during the preschool period might relate to processes other than executive attention and inhibitory control.

  16. Executive functioning in highly talented soccer players

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verburgh, L.; Scherder, E.J.A.; van Lange, P.A.M.; Oosterlaan, J.

    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

  17. Size and Reversal Learning in the Beagle Dog as a Measure of Executive Function and Inhibitory Control in Aging

    OpenAIRE

    Tapp, P. Dwight; Siwak, Christina T.; Estrada, Jimena; Head, Elizabeth; Muggenburg, Bruce A.; Cotman, Carl W.; Milgram, Norton W.

    2003-01-01

    Several studies converge on the idea that executive processes age earlier than other cognitive processes. As part of a larger effort to investigate age-related changes in executive processes in the dog, inhibitory control was measured in young, middle-aged, old, and senior dogs using size discrimination learning and reversal procedures. Compared to young and middle-aged dogs, old and senior dogs were impaired on both the initial learning of the size task and the reversal of original reward co...

  18. 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…

  19. Annual Research Review: On the relations among self-regulation, self-control, executive functioning, effortful control, cognitive control, impulsivity, risk-taking, and inhibition for developmental psychopathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nigg, Joel T

    2017-04-01

    Self-regulation (SR) is central to developmental psychopathology, but progress has been impeded by varying terminology and meanings across fields and literatures. The present review attempts to move that discussion forward by noting key sources of prior confusion such as measurement-concept confounding, and then arguing the following major points. First, the field needs a domain-general construct of SR that encompasses SR of action, emotion, and cognition and involves both top-down and bottom-up regulatory processes. This does not assume a shared core process across emotion, action, and cognition, but is intended to provide clarity on the extent of various claims about kinds of SR. Second, top-down aspects of SR need to be integrated. These include (a) basic processes that develop early and address immediate conflict signals, such as cognitive control and effortful control (EC), and (b) complex cognition and strategies for addressing future conflict, represented by the regulatory application of complex aspects of executive functioning. Executive function (EF) and cognitive control are not identical to SR because they can be used for other activities, but account for top-down aspects of SR at the cognitive level. Third, impulsivity, risk-taking, and disinhibition are distinct although overlapping; a taxonomy of the kinds of breakdowns of SR associated with psychopathology requires their differentiation. Fourth, different aspects of the SR universe can be organized hierarchically in relation to granularity, development, and time. Low-level components assemble into high-level components. This hierarchical perspective is consistent across literatures. It is hoped that the framework outlined here will facilitate integration and cross-talk among investigators working from different perspectives, and facilitate individual differences research on how SR relates to developmental psychopathology. © 2016 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

  20. 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.

  1. Effect of yoga program on executive functions of adolescents dwelling in an orphan home: A randomized controlled study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purohit, Satya Prakash; Pradhan, Balaram

    2017-01-01

    Executive function (EF) is important for physical and mental health of children. Studies have shown that children with poverty and early life stress have reduced EF. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of Yoga program on the EF of orphan adolescents. Seventy two apparently healthy orphan adolescents randomized and allocated into two groups as Yoga group (n = 40; 14 girls, age = 12.69 ± 1.35 yrs) and Wait List Control (WLC) group (n = 32, 13 girls, age = 12.58 ± 1.52 yrs). Yoga group underwent three months of Yoga program in a schedule of 90 min per day, four days per week whereas the WLC group followed the routine activities. They were assessed by Stroop Color-Word Task, Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST), Digits Span Test and Trial Making Test (TMT) at the beginning and end of the program. The repeated measures ANOVA showed significant difference in time and group interactions (p < 0.05) for all subtests of Stroop Color-Word Task and Digit Span Test and part-A of TMT whereas there were no significant difference found in DSST and TMT (part-B). The post-hoc test with Bonferroni adjustment also showed significant improvements (p < 0.001) within the Yoga group in all test scores while in wrong score of DSST did not exhibit significant reduction. Whereas the WLC group, showed significant improvement (p < 0.05) in Stroop Color, Color-Word score, net score of DSST, Digit Span forward and Digit Span Total. Three months Yoga program was found useful for the young orphan adolescents in improving their executive functions.

  2. Attentional control and executive functioning in school-aged children: Linking self-regulation and parenting strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spruijt, Andrea M; Dekker, Marielle C; Ziermans, Tim B; Swaab, Hanna

    2017-10-09

    Good parenting strategies can shape children's neurocognitive development, yet little is known about the nature of this relation in school-aged children and whether this association shifts with age. We aimed to investigate the relation between parenting strategies observed during a home visit and children's performance-based attentional control and executive functioning (N=98, aged 4-8years). Linear and curvilinear regression analyses showed that children of parents who were more supportive, were less intrusive, and asked more open-ended questions displayed better inhibitory control. In addition, children of parents who asked relatively more open-ended than closed-ended questions showed better performance on inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility tasks. Curvilinear relations indicated the presence of an optimal amount of closed-ended and elaborative questions by parents-that is, not too few and not too many-which is linked to increased performance on attentional and inhibitory control in children. Higher parental intrusiveness and more frequent elaborative questioning were associated with decreased inhibitory control in younger children, whereas no such negative associations were present in older children. These results suggest that susceptibility to certain parenting strategies may shift with age. Our findings underscore the importance of adaptive parenting strategies to both the age and needs of school-aged children, which may positively affect their self-regulation skills. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. The Determinants of Control of Commission’s Executive Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabio Franchino

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this article is twofold. First, I review the political science literature on delegation and control and apply the control side of agency theory to the activities of the Commission. Second, I test McCubbins and Page’s (1987 propositions on the determinants of control. I then conclude with some comments on the impact of these procedures on Commission’s autonomy, with reference to other works on the subject. Hypothesis: McCubbins and Page suggest that the stringency of ex post control is positively correlated with 1 conflict among legislators and 2 uncertainty about the benefits and costs of the policy. Methods: I use logistic regression and a cumulative logit model that test the hypotheses on a stratified sample of non amending secondary legislation adopted from 1987 to 1998. Results: Unanimity rule, conflict between Community institutions and uncertainty about the costs and benefits are key determinants for the establishment of ex post procedural control of Commission’s implementation activities. Conflict and uncertainty are also important factors affecting the degree of stringency in control.

  5. [Are intelligence and executive functions the same thing?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Molina, Alberto; Tirapu-Ustárroz, Javier; Luna-Lario, Pilar; Ibáñez, Joaquín; Duque, Pablo

    2010-06-16

    With the growth of cognitive science, the study of the cognitive components involved in solving tests to assess intelligence become especially significant. From this perspective, the g factor is conceived as the representative of the operation of high-level cognitive processes that control the computational programmes of the brain. Different names have been used to denominate the cognitive processes that underlie the g factor: control processes, executive functioning, executive control or executive functions. We review the relationship between intelligence, on the one hand, and working memory and the executive functions construct, on the other. Furthermore, the article also reviews the relationship between intelligence and the prefrontal cortex, as its possible neuroanatomical substrate. The studies that were surveyed offer different answers to the question of whether intelligence and the executive functions are one and the same thing, the most widely accepted hypothesis being the one that sees intelligence and the executive functions as overlapping in some aspects but not in others.

  6. Executive Control of Attention in Narcolepsy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayard, Sophie; Croisier Langenier, Muriel; Cochen De Cock, Valérie; Scholz, Sabine; Dauvilliers, Yves

    2012-01-01

    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 sleepiness and

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Executive Functions in Savant Artists with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crane, Laura; Pring, Linda; Ryder, Nicola; Hermelin, Beate

    2011-01-01

    Although executive functions have been widely studied in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), there have been no direct empirical studies of executive abilities in savants with ASD. This study assessed three facets of executive ability (fluency, perseveration and monitoring) in savant artists with ASD, compared to non-talented adults…

  13. 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.

  14. Co-Segregation of Social Cognition, Executive Function and Local Processing Style in Children with ASD, Their Siblings and Normal Controls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oerlemans, Anoek M.; Droste, Katharina; van Steijn, Daphne J.; de Sonneville, Leo M. J.; Buitelaar, Jan K.; Rommelse, Nanda N.

    2013-01-01

    Cognitive research proposes that social cognition (SC), executive functions (EF) and local processing style (weak CC) may be fruitful areas for research into the familial-genetic underpinnings of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The performance of 140 children with ASD, 172 siblings and 127 controls on tasks measuring SC (face recognition,…

  15. Improving executive function deficits by playing interactive video-games: secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial for individuals with chronic stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozental-Iluz, Clara; Zeilig, Gabi; Weingarden, Harold; Rand, Debbie

    2016-08-01

    Executive function deficits negatively impact independence and participation in everyday life of individuals with chronic stroke. Therefore, it is important to explore therapeutic interventions to improve executive functions. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a 3-month interactive video-game group intervention compared to a traditional motor group intervention for improving executive functions in individuals with chronic stroke. This study is a secondary analysis of a single-blind randomized controlled trial for improving factors related to physical activity of individuals with chronic stroke. Assessments were administered pre and post the intervention and at 3-month follow-up by assessors blind to treatment allocation. Thirty-nine individuals with chronic stroke with executive function deficits participated in an interactive video-game group intervention (N.=20) or a traditional group intervention (N.=19). The intervention included two 1-hour group sessions per week for three months, either playing video-games or performing traditional exercises/activities. Executive function deficits were assessed using The Trail Making Test (Parts A and B) and by two performance-based assessments; the Bill Paying Task from the Executive Function Performance Test (EFPT) and the Executive Function Route-Finding Task (EFRT). Following intervention, scores for the Bill Paying Task (EFPT) decreased by 27.5% and 36.6% for the participants in the video-game and traditional intervention, respectively (F=17.3, Pvideo-game group with small effect sizes. Effect size was small to medium for the TMT-B (F=0.003, P=0.954) and EFRT (F=1.2, P=0.28), without any statistical significance difference. Interactive video-games provide combined cognitive-motor stimulation and therefore have potential to improve executive functioning of individuals with chronic stroke. Further research is needed. These findings highlight the potential of utilizing interactive video-games in a

  16. 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.

  17. A simple hypothesis of executive function

    OpenAIRE

    Bruno eKopp

    2012-01-01

    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 mode...

  18. A simple hypothesis of executive function

    OpenAIRE

    Kopp, Bruno

    2012-01-01

    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 et al., 1960). Importantly, it is shown that this framework can be used to model the main regio...

  19. 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

  20. A simple hypothesis of executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopp, Bruno

    2012-01-01

    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 et al., 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. Metaphors and models of executive functioning: comment on Giancola (2000).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weingartner, H

    2000-11-01

    Clinical researchers have become increasingly interested in considering the role of normal and impaired executive functioning in psychopathology. The concept of executive functions is, however, often used as a metaphor for a wide range of operations that may, on the one hand, be distinct from one another, but also may be integrated in various ways under different information-processing conditions. A clinician's perspective of executive functioning should take full advantage of the rich body of data and theory that has developed in contemporary cognitive neuroscience around functions such as forms of inhibition and controlled (in contrast to automatic) functions, in a variety of cognitive domains such as making decisions and tracking performance.

  8. Dysfunctional Metacognitive Beliefs Are Associated with Decreased Executive Control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brage Kraft

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Dysfunctional metacognitive beliefs (“metacognitions” and executive control are important factors in mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, but the relationship between these concepts has not been studied systematically. We examined whether there is an association between metacognitions and executive control and hypothesized that decreased executive control statistically predicts increased levels of metacognitions. Two hundred and ninety-nine individuals recruited from the general population and outpatient psychiatric clinics completed the Metacognitions Questionnaire-30 and three subtests from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery corresponding to the three-component model of executive functions. Controlling for current depression and anxiety symptoms, decreased ability to shift between mental sets was associated with increased negative beliefs about the uncontrollability and danger of worry and beliefs about the need to control thoughts. The results suggest a basic association between metacognitions and executive control. Individual differences in executive control could prove important in the personalization of metacognitive therapy.

  9. 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 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 losses in executive function may be effective in reducing costly services. Copyright © 2017 the Alzheimer's Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. Executive control training from middle childhood to adolescence

    OpenAIRE

    Karbach, Julia; Unger, Kerstin

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) include a number of higher-level cognitive control abilities, such as cognitive flexibility, inhibition, and working memory, which are instrumental in supporting action control and the flexible adaptation changing environments. These control functions are supported by the prefrontal cortex and therefore develop rapidly across childhood and mature well into late adolescence. Given that executive control is a strong predictor for various life outcomes, such as academic...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Dissociated Components of Executive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Adrienne M.; Whitney, Paul; Belenky, Gregory; Hinson, John M.; Van Dongen, Hans P.A.

    2010-01-01

    Study Objectives: We studied the effects of sleep deprivation on executive functions using a task battery which included a modified Sternberg task, a probed recall task, and a phonemic verbal fluency task. These tasks were selected because they allow dissociation of some important executive processes from non-executive components of cognition. Design: Subjects were randomized to a total sleep deprivation condition or a control condition. Performance on the executive functions task battery was assessed at baseline, after 51 h of total sleep deprivation (or no sleep deprivation in the control group), and following 2 nights of recovery sleep, at fixed time of day (11:00). Performance was also measured repeatedly throughout the experiment on a control task battery, for which the effects of total sleep deprivation had been documented in previously published studies. Setting: Six consecutive days and nights in a controlled laboratory environment with continuous behavioral monitoring. Participants: Twenty-three healthy adults (age range 22–38 y; 11 women). Twelve subjects were randomized to the sleep deprivation condition; the others were controls. Results: Performance on the control task battery was considerably degraded during sleep deprivation. Overall performance on the modified Sternberg task also showed impairment during sleep deprivation, as compared to baseline and recovery and compared to controls. However, two dissociated components of executive functioning on this task—working memory scanning efficiency and resistance to proactive interference—were maintained at levels equivalent to baseline. On the probed recall task, resistance to proactive interference was also preserved. Executive aspects of performance on the phonemic verbal fluency task showed improvement during sleep deprivation, as did overall performance on this task. Conclusion: Sleep deprivation affected distinct components of cognitive processing differentially. Dissociated non-executive

  16. 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.

  17. Unconscious goal activation and the hijacking of the executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marien, Hans; Custers, Ruud; Hassin, Ran R; Aarts, Henk

    2012-09-01

    Building on research on unconscious human goal pursuit and the dynamic nature of our mental and physical world, this study examined the idea that an unconsciously activated goal hijacks executive control for its own attainment. This "hijacking" of the executive function by an unconscious goal should be evidenced by impaired performance on an unrelated task relying on executive control. The results of 6 experiments show that subliminal activation of a socializing goal, or an idiosyncratic personal goal, or an academic goal, harmed participants' performance on an executive function task, such as inhibition of prepotent responses and detection of text errors during reading. These effects were unique to executive control, were similar when the goal was activated consciously, and were independent of task motivation and perceived inter-goal relatedness between the primed goal and task goal. Furthermore, an unconscious goal occupied executive control to advance itself more strongly when the goal had personal value. Implications for theory and research on unconscious goal pursuit and the executive function are discussed.

  18. WWC Review of the Report "Effects of the FITKids Randomized Controlled Trial on Executive Control and Brain Function." What Works Clearinghouse Single Study Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    What Works Clearinghouse, 2015

    2015-01-01

    This study measured the impact of the "Fitness Improves Thinking in Kids" ("FITKids") afterschool program on the executive control (i.e., maintaining focus, performing multiple cognitive processes) and physical fitness of preadolescent students. The "FITKids" program was held at the University of Illinois' campus and…

  19. Further evidence that not all executive functions are equal

    OpenAIRE

    Was, Christopher A.

    2008-01-01

    The current study presents a comparison of 2 structural equation models describing the relationship between the executive functions of updating and inhibiting. Although it has been argued that working memory capacity is defined by one?s ability to control the focus of attention, the findings of the current study support a view of the executive control of attention that reflects updating and inhibiting as not entirely dependent on the same resources.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Incera, Sara; McLennan, Conor T

    2017-04-24

    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.

  2. Executive functioning and alcohol-related aggression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giancola, Peter R

    2004-11-01

    The primary goal of this investigation was to determine whether executive functioning (EF) would moderate the alcohol-aggression relation. Participants were 310 (152 men and 158 women) healthy social drinkers between 21 and 35 years of age. EF as well as non-EF skills were measured with 13 validated neuropsychological tests. Following the consumption of either an alcoholic or a placebo beverage, participants were tested on a modified version of the Taylor Aggression Paradigm (S. Taylor, 1967), in which mild electric shocks were received from, and administered to, a fictitious opponent. Aggressive behavior was operationalized as the shock intensities administered to the fictitious opponent. EF was negatively related to aggressive behavior for men, regardless of beverage group, even when controlling for non-EF skills. Furthermore, alcohol increased aggression only for men with lower EF scores. Finally, the mere belief that alcohol was consumed suppressed aggression for women but not for men. Copyright 2004 APA.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Theory of mind, humour processing and executive functioning in alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uekermann, J; Channon, S; Winkel, K; Schlebusch, P; Daum, I

    2007-02-01

    Alcoholism is associated with cognitive deficits, which have been interpreted in terms of a specific vulnerability of the frontal lobes to the toxic effects of alcohol. While executive functions in alcoholism have been investigated extensively, only little work has been carried out on social cognition. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between executive functions, theory of mind and humour processing in alcoholism. A comprehensive neuropsychological test battery was administered to 29 alcoholic patients (Alc) and 29 healthy controls (HC). The test battery included measurements of affect, general intellectual abilities, executive functions, humour processing and theory of mind. The two groups were comparable with respect to affective variables, IQ, gender and age. Group comparisons revealed cognitive as well as affective humour processing deficits of alcoholics in comparison with HC. The observed impairments were related to theory of mind and executive functions. The deficits may contribute to interpersonal problems and are thus of relevance to rehabilitation.

  7. 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.

  8. [Executive functions and high intellectual capacity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sastre-Riba, S; Viana-Saenz, L

    2016-01-01

    High intellectual capacity is a process in development in which the executive functions (inhibition, working memory and flexibility) play a role in the optimal manifestation of their potential. To explore the effectiveness of executive functioning among the profiles of high capacity giftedness and (convergent or divergent) talent. The study examines 78 children with high intellectual capacity aged 8-15 years with profiles of giftedness (n = 21), convergent talent (n = 39) or divergent talent (n = 18). A series of tests were administered including the Battery of Differential and General Aptitudes or the Differential Aptitude Test (depending on the age) and the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking, as well as the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, the Corsi Test and the Go-No Go Test by means of the Psychology Experiment Building Language platform. A multivariate analysis of variance was performed to determine the relationship between executive function and intellectual profile. Significant differences are obtained between the profiles studied and the executive functions of flexibility and inhibition, but not in working memory. Working memory is similar across the profiles studied, but the complex profile of giftedness displays better executive functioning, with greater flexibility and inhibition than talent, especially of the convergent type.

  9. 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…

  10. Brain Training Game Boosts Executive Functions, Working Memory and Processing Speed in the Young Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    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 p...

  11. 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

  12. Executive functioning in college students: Evaluation of the Dutch Executive Function Index (EFI-NL)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssen, G.T.L.; Mey, H.R.A. de; Egger, J.I.M.

    2009-01-01

    The Executive Function Index (EFI) is a short self-report questionnaire for the assessment of executive functions (EF) as encountered in daily life. The aim of the present study is to examine the psychometric properties of the Dutch version of the EFI (EFI-NL) in a college student sample (N = 376).

  13. 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.

  14. Direct and indirect influences of executive functions on mathematics achievement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cragg, Lucy; Keeble, Sarah; Richardson, Sophie; Roome, Hannah E; Gilmore, Camilla

    2017-05-01

    Achievement in mathematics is predicted by an individual's domain-specific factual knowledge, procedural skill and conceptual understanding as well as domain-general executive function skills. In this study we investigated the extent to which executive function skills contribute to these three components of mathematical knowledge, whether this mediates the relationship between executive functions and overall mathematics achievement, and if these relationships change with age. Two hundred and ninety-three participants aged between 8 and 25years completed a large battery of mathematics and executive function tests. Domain-specific skills partially mediated the relationship between executive functions and mathematics achievement: Inhibitory control within the numerical domain was associated with factual knowledge and procedural skill, which in turn was associated with mathematical achievement. Working memory contributed to mathematics achievement indirectly through factual knowledge, procedural skill and, to a lesser extent, conceptual understanding. There remained a substantial direct pathway between working memory and mathematics achievement however, which may reflect the role of working memory in identifying and constructing problem representations. These relationships were remarkably stable from 8years through to young adulthood. Our findings help to refine existing multi-component frameworks of mathematics and understand the mechanisms by which executive functions support mathematics achievement. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. [Interactive formats and executive functions in early development].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sastre-Riba, S; Merino-Moreno, N; Poch-Olivé, M L

    2007-03-02

    Cognitive control improve planning, action selection to get a goal (flexibly) and their modifiability. Executive functions are a functional construct related with solving process and goal maintenance. Among executive functions we will study the resistance of interference, stopping irrelevant information and the inhibition of a dominant but inapropiate scheme as well as the influence of the type of tutoring during action execution. We studied 15 infants with alternative courses of development (typical babies and Down' syndrome babies) at a developmental level equivalent to 15 months old, and 6 months later. Infant' spontaneous activity is videotaped longitudinally for a 15 minutes period, activity units are codified by a mixed system of categories and quantified in order to know the significative differences on tutoring types, their dynamic an effects associated with infant's executive functions. a) Adult's directive tutoring is more frequent with Down's syndrome babies than with typical babies; b) Directive tutoring is less adjusted and produces more interferences; c) There is a differential capacity to interference resistance, less present in the Down's syndrome babies; d) Executive functioning shows developmental and differential trends. If development is individual and socially influenced, the individual differential efficacy of executive functions and the type of tutoring contributes to typical or atypical developmental course. Educational and health consequences are proposed.

  16. Designing pedagogy incorporating executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasserman, Theodore

    2013-01-01

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

  17. 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…

  18. Longitudinal antecedents of executive function in preschoolers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, Anne; Stifter, Cynthia A

    2012-01-01

    Despite an extensive history underscoring the role of social processes and child contributions to the development of executive functions (C. Lewis & J. Carpendale, 2009; L. S. Vygotsky, 1987), research on these relations is sparse. To address this gap, 68 mother-child dyads were examined to determine whether maternal attention-directing behaviors (attention maintaining, attention redirection) and toddlers' temperament predicted executive processes during preschool (mean age = 4.5 years, SD = 0.46)-delay and conflict inhibition. Maternal attention maintaining was associated with high levels of conflict inhibition for inhibited and exuberant children, whereas attention redirection was associated with low levels of delay and conflict inhibition for inhibited children. Therefore, maternal attention-directing behaviors may enhance the development of executive functions but only for children with inhibited and exuberant temperaments. © 2012 The Authors. Child Development © 2012 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  19. Exergaming immediately enhances children's executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Best, John R

    2012-09-01

    The current study examined an important aspect of experience--physical activity--that may contribute to children's executive function. The design attempted to tease apart 2 important aspects of children's exercise by examining the separate and combined effects of acute physical activity and cognitive engagement on an aspect of children's executive functioning. In a 2 × 2 within-subject experimental design, children (N = 33, 6 to 10 years old) completed activities that varied systematically in both physical activity (physically active video games versus sedentary video activities) and cognitive engagement (challenging and interactive video games versus repetitive video activities). Cognitive functioning, including executive function, was assessed after each activity by a modified flanker task (Rueda et al., 2004). Whereas cognitive engagement had no effect on any aspect of task performance, physical activity (i.e., exergaming) enhanced children's speed to resolve interference from conflicting visuospatial stimuli. Age comparisons indicated improvements with age in the accuracy of resolving interference and in overall response time. The results extend past research by showing more precisely how physical activity influences executive function and how this effect differs from the improvements that occur with development. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved.

  20. Executive functioning in children with autism and Tourette syndrome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verte, S; Geurts, H.M.; Roeyers, H.; Oosterlaan, J.; Sergeant, J.A.

    2006-01-01

    The main aims of this study were to investigate if children with high-functioning autism (HFA) and children with Tourette syndrome (TS) can be differentiated in their executive functioning (EF) profile compared to normal controls (NCs) and compared to each other and to investigate whether children

  1. Executive functioning in children with autism and Tourette syndrome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verte, S; Geurts, H.M.; Roeyers, H.; Oosterlaan, J.; Sergeant, J.A.

    2005-01-01

    The main aims of this study were to investigate if children with high-functioning autism (HFA) and children with Tourette syndrome (TS) can be differentiated in their executive functioning (EF) profile compared to normal controls (NCs) and compared to each other and to investigate whether children

  2. Executive control training from middle childhood to adolescence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia eKarbach

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Executive functions include a number of higher-level cognitive control abilities, such as cognitive flexibility, inhibition, and working memory serving action control and the flexible adaptation to changes in the environment. These control functions are supported by the prefrontal cortex and therefore develop rapidly across childhood and mature well into late adolescence. Given that executive control is a strong predictor for various life outcomes, such as academic attainment, socioeconomic status, and physical health, numerous training interventions have been designed to improve executive functioning across the lifespan, many of them targeting children and adolescents. Despite the increasing popularity of these trainings, their results are neither robust nor consistent, and the transferability of training-induced performance improvements to untrained tasks seems to be limited. In this review, we provide a selective overview of the developmental literature on process-based cognitive interventions by discussing (1 the concept and the development of executive functions and their neural underpinnings, (2 the effects of different types of executive control training in normally developing children and adolescents, (3 individual differences in training-related performance gains as well as (4 the potential of cognitive training interventions for the application in clinical and educational contexts. Based on recent findings, we consider how transfer of process-based executive control trainings may be supported and how interventions may be tailored to the needs of specific age groups or populations.

  3. Individual Differences in Executive Functions Are Almost Entirely Genetic in Origin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Naomi P.; Miyake, Akira; Young, Susan E.; DeFries, John C.; Corley, Robin P.; Hewitt, John K.

    2008-01-01

    Recent psychological and neuropsychological research suggests that executive functions--the cognitive control processes that regulate thought and action--are multifaceted and that different types of executive functions are correlated but separable. The present multivariate twin study of 3 executive functions (inhibiting dominant responses,…

  4. Effects of acute laboratory stress on executive functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katrin eStarcke

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Recent research indicates that stress can affect executive functioning. However, previous results are mixed with respect to the direction and size of effects, especially when considering different subcomponents of executive functions. The current study systematically investigates the effects of stress on the five components of executive functions proposed by Smith and Jonides (1999: Attention and inhibition; task management; planning; monitoring; and coding. Healthy participants (N = 40 were either exposed to the computerized version of the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test as a stressor (N = 20, or to a rest condition (N = 20. Stress reactions were assessed with heart rate and subjective measures. After the experimental manipulation, all participants performed tasks that measure the different executive functions. The manipulation check indicates that stress induction was successful (i.e., the stress group showed a higher heart rate and higher subjective responses than the control group. The main results demonstrate that stressed participants show a poorer performance compared with unstressed participants in all executive subcomponents, with the exception of monitoring. Effect sizes for the tasks that reveal differences between stressed and unstressed participants are high. We conclude that the laboratory stressor used here overall reduced executive functioning.

  5. Acute aerobic exercise alters executive control network in preadolescent children

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Ai-Guo

    2017-01-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the effect of acute aerobic exercise on executive function (EF) and executive control network (ECN) in preadolescent children, and further explored the neural basis of acute aerobic exercise on EF in these children. We used a within-subjects design with a counterbalanced order. Nine healthy, right-handed children were scanned with resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and performed an EF task both in baseline session and exercise session. T...

  6. 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.

  7. 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 (p<0.001). Gabapentin was also associated with significantly greater improvement in overall performance on tests of executive function (p=0.029). This POC pilot study provides preliminary support for the safety and efficacy of gabapentin for treatment of cannabis 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    van der Donk Marthe LA; Hiemstra-Beernink Anne-Claire; Tjeenk-Kalff Ariane C; van der Leij Aryan V; Lindauer Ramón JL

    2013-01-01

    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 ...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Verbal Fluency: Language or Executive Function Measure?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteside, Douglas M; Kealey, Tammy; Semla, Matthew; Luu, Hien; Rice, Linda; Basso, Michael R; Roper, Brad

    2016-01-01

    Measures of phonemic and semantic verbal fluency, such as FAS and Animal Fluency (Benton, Hamsher, & Sivan, 1989), are often thought to be measures of executive functioning (EF). However, some studies (Henry & Crawford, 2004a , 2004b , 2004c ) have noted there is also a language component to these tasks. The current exploratory factor-analytic study examined the underlying cognitive structure of verbal fluency. Participants were administered language and EF measures, including the Controlled Oral Word Association Test (FAS version), Animal Fluency, Boston Naming Test (BNT), Vocabulary (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III), Wisconsin Card-Sorting Test (WCST, perseverative responses), and Trail-Making Test-Part B (TMT-B). A 2-factor solution was found with the 1st factor, language, having significant loadings for BNT and Vocabulary, while the second factor was labeled EF because of significant loading from the WCST and TMT-B. Surprisingly, FAS and Animal Fluency loaded exclusively on to the language factor and not EF. The current results do not exclude EF as a determinant of verbal fluency, but they do suggest that language processing is the critical component for this task, even without significant aphasic symptoms. Thus, the results indicated that both letter (phonemic) and category (semantic) fluency are related to language, but the relationship to EF is not supported by the results.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil-Hernandez, Soledad; Mateos, Patricia; Porras, Claudia; Garcia-Gomez, Raquel; Navarro, Enrique; Garcia-Moreno, Luis M

    2017-01-01

    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 the control group

  17. Links between executive functions and early literacy and numeracy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Davidse, Neeltje Joanne

    2014-01-01

    The current study extended research on working memory, attention shifting, and inhibitory control problems –indicated as executive functions (EF) – that may play a role in acquiring early literacy and numeracy skills. Four research questions were targeted: 1. Do EF skills interfere with benefiting

  18. Emotion Understanding in Preschool Children: The Role of Executive Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Eva Costa; Osório, Ana; Veríssimo, Manuela; Martins, Carla

    2016-01-01

    This investigation was aimed at studying the relations between executive functions (EFs) and categorical emotion understanding while controlling for preschoolers' IQ, language ability and theory of mind (ToM). Specifically, we wanted to analyse the association between emotion understanding and set shifting, due to the lack of studies with this EF.…

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrone-Bertolotti, Marcela; Tassin, Maxime; Meunier, Fanny

    2017-01-01

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. Executive control training from middle childhood to adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karbach, Julia; Unger, Kerstin

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) include a number of higher-level cognitive control abilities, such as cognitive flexibility, inhibition, and working memory, which are instrumental in supporting action control and the flexible adaptation changing environments. These control functions are supported by the prefrontal cortex and therefore develop rapidly across childhood and mature well into late adolescence. Given that executive control is a strong predictor for various life outcomes, such as academic achievement, socioeconomic status, and physical health, numerous training interventions have been designed to improve executive functioning across the lifespan, many of them targeting children and adolescents. Despite the increasing popularity of these trainings, their results are neither robust nor consistent, and the transferability of training-induced performance improvements to untrained tasks seems to be limited. In this review, we provide a selective overview of the developmental literature on process-based cognitive interventions by discussing (1) the concept and the development of EFs and their neural underpinnings, (2) the effects of different types of executive control training in normally developing children and adolescents, (3) individual differences in training-related performance gains as well as (4) the potential of cognitive training interventions for the application in clinical and educational contexts. Based on recent findings, we consider how transfer of process-based executive control trainings may be supported and how interventions may be tailored to the needs of specific age groups or populations.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Language, bilingualism, and executive functioning in early development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, J Bruce

    2010-12-01

    Okanda, et al. (2010) reported new evidence concerning associations between language ability, bilingualism, and executive functioning early in development. The paper adds to a growing body of literature suggesting that bilingualism is associated with advantages in executive functioning generally, and the Dimensional Change Card Sort task in particular. However, as with all findings that hinge on between-group comparisons, there is a need to exercise caution before drawing firm conclusions about the effects of bilingualism on the development of executive control. Several lines of recent evidence are outlined that challenge key assumptions underlying the standard account of the bilingual advantage. Okanda, et al.'s findings are discussed in light of this evidence.

  6. Executive functioning in children and adolescents with Major Depressive Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Favre, Tricia; Hughes, Carroll; Emslie, Graham; Stavinoha, Peter; Kennard, Beth; Carmody, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    The present investigation examined neurocognitive functioning, focusing on executive functioning (EF), in 39 children and adolescents with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and 24 healthy control subjects all ages 8 to 17 years. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Third Edition along with several measures of executive functioning including the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task, Trail Making Test, Controlled Oral Word Association Test, and the Stroop Color Word Test were administered. The neurocognitive profiles for the group of depressed children and adolescents were grossly intact as most scores on intellectual and EF measures fell within the average range and did not differ from the comparison group. Mental processing speed was decreased in the MDD versus normal control group and 27% of the depressed group performed below average on the Trail Making Test. This investigation provided a good base from which to compare future literature on EF in outpatients with early-onset MDD.

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. Is preschool executive function causally related to academic achievement?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willoughby, Michael T; Kupersmidt, Janis B; Voegler-Lee, Mary E

    2012-01-01

    The primary objective of this study was to reevaluate the well-established result that preschoolers' performance on executive function tasks are positively associated with their performance on academic achievement tests. The current study replicated the previously established concurrent associations between children's performance on EF tasks and academic achievement tests. Specifically, children's performance on measures of inhibitory and motor control were positively associated with their performance on tests of reading, writing, and mathematics achievement (rs = .2-.5); moreover, although diminished in magnitude, most of these associations held up even after including an earlier measure of academic achievement as a covariate (rs = .1-.3). However, the application of an alternative analytic method, fixed effects analysis, a method that capitalizes on repeated measures data to control for all time stable measured and unmeasured covariates, rendered the apparent positive associations between executive function and academic achievement nonsignificant (rs = .0-.1). Taken together, these results suggest that the well-replicated association between executive function abilities and academic achievement may be spurious. Results are discussed with respect to the importance of utilizing analytic methods and research designs that facilitate strong causal inferences between executive function and academic achievement in early childhood, as well as the limitations of making curriculum development recommendations and/or public policy decisions based on studies that have failed to do so.

  10. 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...

  11. Decline in Executive Control during Acute Bouts of Exercise as a Function of Exercise Intensity and Fitness Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labelle, Veronique; Bosquet, Laurent; Mekary, Said; Bherer, Louis

    2013-01-01

    Studies on the effects of acute bouts of cardiovascular exercise on cognitive performances show contradictory findings due to methodological differences (e.g., exercise intensity, cognitive function assessed, participants' aerobic fitness level, etc.). The present study assessed the acute effect of exercise intensity on cognition while controlling…

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. Development of executive functioning in school-age Tunisian children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellaj, Tarek; Salhi, Imen; Le Gall, Didier; Roy, Arnaud

    2016-01-01

    Research regarding executive functioning (EF) in children rarely focuses on populations in African or Middle-Eastern Arabic-speaking countries. The current study used a cross-sectional design to examine the developmental trajectories of school-age Tunisian children in three domains of executive control (inhibition of prepotent responses, cognitive flexibility, and working memory) as well as their mutual interactions and the effects of gender and parents' education level. Inhibitory processes, cognitive flexibility, and working memory were assessed using the Stroop test, a version of the Hayling test adapted for children, simple and alternating tasks of verbal fluency, and verbal and visuospatial span tasks (forward and backward spans). The study population included 120 7- to 12-year-old Tunisian children (60 girls, 60 boys) who were grouped and matched for age, gender, and parents' education level. The results revealed an overall effect of age on executive performance, whereas gender and parents' education level showed non-significant effects. In addition, executive indices were significantly associated with fluid intelligence level. Partial correlation analyses (controlled for age) found significant links between indices that assessed the same executive process, except for inhibitory processes; the temporal indices for inhibitory processes showed relative independence. The correlations between indices that assessed distinct executive processes were weaker (but significant). Overall, the results suggest that executive components in school-age Tunisian children operate according to relatively homogeneous developmental trajectories, marked by peaks of maturity that differ according to the assessed index. A transcultural approach to EF is discussed in terms of the unity and diversity of its components.

  15. [Executive function deficits in ADHD and Asperger syndrome].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paloscia, Claudio; Baglioni, Valentina; Alessandrelli, Riccardo; Rosa, Caterina; Guerini, Rossella; Aceti, Franca; Pasini, Augusto

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate the executive functioning of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder combined subtype (ADHD-C) and Asperger syndrome (AS) compared to a control group. A sample of 79 children (28 ADHD-C; 24 AS; 27 subjects with typical development) was tested on a wide range of tasks related to major domains of executive functioning: inhibition response (prepotent and interference), visual working memory, planning and cognitive flexibility. Patients with AS showed deficits on visual working memory and cognitive flexibility. ADHD-C children were impaired on inhibition control (prepotent response) but also showed deficits on working memory and cognitive flexibility. The only executive functioning measure that differentiated ADHD from AS was inhibition of prepotent response and a more high deficit in cognitive flexibility and working memory in AS compared to ADHD-C. This study confirms recent evidence about the identification of specific executive profiles in these disorders. Other studies are warranted to evaluate the presence and specifity of a dysexecutive syndrome in ADHD and AS in a larger sample with girls.

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

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    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

  17. 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.

  18. Executive functions, depressive symptoms, and college adjustment in women.

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    Wingo, Jana; Kalkut, Erica; Tuminello, Elizabeth; Asconape, Josefina; Han, S Duke

    2013-01-01

    Many students have difficulty adjusting to college, and the contribution of academic and relational factors have been considered in previous research. In particular, depression commonly emerges among college women at this time and could be related to poor adjustment to college. This study examined the relationship between executive functions, depressive symptoms, and college adjustment in college women. Seventy-seven female participants from a midsize urban university completed the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence, College Adjustment Scale, Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition, Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version, and four subtests from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System: the Trail-Making Test, Design Fluency Test, Verbal Fluency Test, and Color-Word Interference Test. After controlling for IQ score, hierarchical regression analyses showed that subjective and objective measures of executive functioning and depressive symptoms were significantly related to college adjustment problems in academic, relational, and psychological areas. The current study provides evidence for a relationship between cognitive abilities, psychiatric symptoms, and college adjustment.

  19. Executive functions and intelligence in typically developing children

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    Buha Nataša

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available With regard to conceptual similarity between executive functions and intelligence, the aim of this research was to determine their correlation in typically developing children. The sample included 114 children of both sexes (59/51.8% of girls, between 8.7 and 10.8 years of age (M=9.80; SD=0.57. Dodrill's Stroop Test, Go/No-Go Task, Listening Span Task, Digit Span Backward, Odd-one-out span, Figure Span Backward, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Twenty Questions Task and Tower of London were used for the assessment of executive functions. Intelligence was assessed by Raven's Progressive Matrices. Pearson's correlation and partial correlation coefficients were used in statistical analysis of the results. A low to moderate correlation was determined between intelligence and the variables of all applied executive functions tasks, both in verbal and non-verbal domain (p≤0.000-0.05. Inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and planning ability correlated with fluid intelligence in the range of r=0.20-0.30, while the correlation with working memory was in the range of r=0.40-0.50. The obtained results confirmed the assumption that intelligence and executive functions were different constructs regardless of their conceptual similarity.

  20. Executive functioning: a conceptual framework for alcohol-related aggression.

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    Giancola, P R

    2000-11-01

    The causal mechanisms underlying alcohol-related aggression are not well understood. This article presents a conceptual framework designed to guide thinking and generate new research in this area of study. According to the framework, executive functioning is both a mediator and a moderator of intoxicated aggression. Literatures describing associations between alcohol and aggression, executive functioning and aggression, and the acute effects of alcohol on executive functioning are reviewed. On the basis of these findings, it is proposed that (a) executive functioning mediates the alcohol-aggression relation in that acute alcohol intoxication disrupts executive functioning, which then heightens the probability of aggression, and (b) executive functioning moderates the alcohol-aggression relation in that acute alcohol consumption is more likely to facilitate aggressive behavior in persons with low, rather than high, executive functioning.

  1. 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

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    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.

  2. Commentary: What's in a word (or words) - on the relations among self-regulation, self-control, executive functioning, effortful control, cognitive control, impulsivity, risk-taking, and inhibition for developmental psychopathology - reflections on Nigg (2017).

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    Eisenberg, Nancy

    2017-04-01

    In Nigg's excellent article, he deals with a variety of complex conceptual issues related to the constructs of self-regulation and executive functioning (EF). Overall, I agree that the terminology proposed by Nigg should be adopted; moreover, the conceptual distinctions he provides should help the field to move forward with regard to the understanding of varied constructs related to self-regulation. In the spirit of further clarification, I questioned Nigg's suggestions that (a) working memory should be considered as part of the construct of top-down regulation and (b) planning is a higher level component of EF but not part of effortful control. In addition, I discussed my perspective on the role of automaticity in defining top-down versus bottom-up self-regulatory processes and the role of flexibility in top-down self-regulatory processes and their relation to personality resiliency. © 2017 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

  3. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Falbo

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  5. The relationship between executive functions and fluid intelligence in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roca, María; Manes, Facundo; Cetkovich, Marcelo; Bruno, Diana; Ibáñez, Agustín; Torralva, Teresa; Duncan, John

    2014-01-01

    An enduring question is unity vs. separability of executive deficits resulting from impaired frontal lobe function. In previous studies, we have asked how executive deficits link to a conventional measure of fluid intelligence, obtained either by standard tests of novel problem-solving, or by averaging performance in a battery of novel tasks. For some classical executive tasks, such as the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), Verbal Fluency, and Trail Making Test B (TMTB), frontal deficits are entirely explained by fluid intelligence. However, on a second set of executive tasks, including tests of multitasking and decision making, deficits exceed those predicted by fluid intelligence loss. In this paper we discuss how these results shed light on the diverse clinical phenomenology observed in frontal dysfunction, and present new data on a group of 15 schizophrenic patients and 14 controls. Subjects were assessed with a range of executive tests and with a general cognitive battery used to derive a measure of fluid intelligence. Group performance was compared and fluid intelligence was introduced as a covariate. In line with our previous results, significant patient-control differences in classical executive tests were removed when fluid intelligence was introduced as a covariate. However, for tests of multitasking and decision making, deficits remained. We relate our findings to those of previous factor analytic studies describing a single principal component, which accounts for much of the variance of schizophrenic patients' cognitive performance. We propose that this general factor reflects low fluid intelligence capacity, which accounts for much but not all cognitive impairment in this patient group. Partialling out the general effects of fluid intelligence, we propose, may clarify the role of additional, more specific cognitive impairments in conditions such as schizophrenia.

  6. The Development of Executive Function in Autism

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    Elizabeth Pellicano

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Autism is a common and often highly debilitating neurodevelopmental condition, whose core behavioral features are believed to be rooted in disrupted neurocognitive processes, including especially “executive function.” Researchers have predominantly focused upon understanding the putative causal relationship between difficulties in EF and autistic symptomatology. This paper suggests, however, that the effects of individual differences in EF should be more far-reaching, playing a significant part in the real-life outcomes of individuals with autism, including their social competence, everyday adaptive behavior, and academic achievement. It further considers the nature of the EF-outcome relationship, including the possible determinants of individual differences in EF, and makes several recommendations for future research.

  7. Executive Control Mediates the Association Between Aerobic Fitness and Emotion Regulation in Preadolescent Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lott, Mark A; Jensen, Chad D

    2017-03-01

    This study evaluated direct and indirect associations between aerobic fitness, executive control, and emotion regulation among a community sample of preadolescent children. Two-hundred and seventy-eight children aged 8-12 years completed measures of aerobic fitness (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run) and executive control (Stroop Test). Parents completed questionnaires assessing child emotion regulation and executive control (Emotion Regulation Checklist; Early Adolescent Temperament Questionnaire). We evaluated associations between these constructs using structural equation modeling. Study findings supported a moderate direct association between childhood aerobic fitness and executive control, a strong direct negative association between executive control and emotion regulation, and a moderate indirect association between aerobic fitness and emotion regulation through executive control. These findings provide preliminary evidence that executive control functions as a mediator between aerobic fitness and emotion regulation and may help explain the mechanism by which aerobic exercise influences emotional well-being among preadolescent children.

  8. Executive and Language Control in the Multilingual Brain

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    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.

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

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    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Chia-Liang; Pan, Chien-Yu; Chen, Fu-Chen; Tseng, Yu-Ting

    2017-01-01

    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 RTs of the

  11. 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.

  12. Precursors of Executive Function in Infants With Sickle Cell Anemia

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:22859700

  13. 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.

  14. Improving executive function using transcranial infrared laser stimulation.

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    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.

  15. Texting while driving, executive function, and impulsivity in college students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Yusuke; Rivera, Esteban A; Modico, James G; Foreman, Anne M; Wirth, Oliver

    2017-05-01

    The purpose of the present study was to investigate the cognitive processes underlying texting while driving. A sample of 120 college students completed a survey to assess how frequently they send and read a text message while driving. Based on this information, students were assigned to one of two groups: 20 students who frequently text while driving and 20 matched-control students who infrequently text while driving but were similar in gender, age, years of education, and years driving. The groups were compared on the extent to which they differed in self-reported measures of executive function and impulsivity. The groups were also compared on a behavioral measure of impulsivity: the extent to which they discounted hypothetical monetary rewards as a function of the delay. For this measure, the students made repeated choices between smaller monetary rewards available immediately and larger rewards available after delays ranging from 1 week to 6 months. The results show that the group of students who frequently text while driving showed (a) significantly lower levels of executive function and (b) higher levels of self-reported impulsivity, although the groups did not differ significantly on the behavioral measure of impulsivity. These results support a general conclusion that drivers with lower levels of executive function and higher levels of impulsivity are more likely to text while driving. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. The cooking task: making a meal of executive functions

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    Doherty, T. A.; Barker, L. A.; Denniss, R.; Jalil, A.; Beer, M. D.

    2015-01-01

    Current standardized neuropsychological tests may fail to accurately capture real-world executive deficits. We developed a computer-based Cooking Task (CT) assessment of executive functions and trialed the measure with a normative group before use with a head-injured population. Forty-six participants completed the computerized CT and subtests from standardized neuropsychological tasks, including the Tower and Sorting Tests of executive function from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) and the Cambridge prospective memory test (CAMPROMPT), in order to examine whether standardized executive function tasks, predicted performance on measurement indices from the CT. Findings showed that verbal comprehension, rule detection and prospective memory contributed to measures of prospective planning accuracy and strategy implementation of the CT. Results also showed that functions necessary for cooking efficacy differ as an effect of task demands (difficulty levels). Performance on rule detection, strategy implementation and flexible thinking executive function measures contributed to accuracy on the CT. These findings raise questions about the functions captured by present standardized tasks particularly at varying levels of difficulty and during dual-task performance. Our preliminary findings also indicate that CT measures can effectively distinguish between executive function and Full Scale IQ abilities. Results of the present study indicate that the CT shows promise as an ecologically valid measure of executive function for future use with a head-injured population and indexes selective executive function’s captured by standardized tests. PMID:25717294

  17. 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.

  18. Executive Functions in the Context of Complex Learning: Malleable Moderators?

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    Schwaighofer, Matthias; Bühner, Markus; Fischer, Frank

    2017-01-01

    Executive functions are crucial for complex learning in addition to prior knowledge. In this article, we argue that executive functions can moderate the effectiveness of instructional approaches that vary with respect to the demand on these functions. In addition, we suggest that engagement in complex activity contexts rather than specific…

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26402219

  6. Executive functions in adults with developmental dyslexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith-Spark, James H; Henry, Lucy A; Messer, David J; Edvardsdottir, Elisa; Zięcik, Adam P

    2016-01-01

    Executive functioning (EF) deficits are well recognized in developmental dyslexia, yet the majority of studies have concerned children rather than adults, ignored the subjective experience of the individual with dyslexia (with regard to their own EFs), and have not followed current theoretical perspectives on EFs. The current study addressed these shortfalls by administering a self-report measure of EF (BRIEF-A; Roth, Isquith, & Gioia, 2005) and experimental tasks to IQ-matched groups of adults with and without dyslexia. The laboratory-based tasks tested the three factors constituting the framework of EF proposed by Miyake et al. (2000). In comparison to the group without dyslexia, the participants with dyslexia self-reported more frequent EF problems in day-to-day life, with these difficulties centering on metacognitive processes (working memory, planning, task monitoring, and organization) rather than on the regulation of emotion and behaviour. The participants with dyslexia showed significant deficits in EF (inhibition, set shifting, and working memory). The findings indicated that dyslexia-related problems have an impact on the daily experience of adults with the condition. Further, EF difficulties are present in adulthood across a range of laboratory-based measures, and, given the nature of the experimental tasks presented, extend beyond difficulties related solely to phonological processing. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Executive function and memory in relation to olfactory deficits in alcohol-dependent patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rupp, Claudia I; Fleischhacker, W Wolfgang; Drexler, Arthur; Hausmann, Armand; Hinterhuber, Hartmann; Kurz, Martin

    2006-08-01

    Prior research indicates that chronic alcoholism is accompanied by olfactory deficits. These have been suggested to reflect dysfunctions in olfactory brain regions. The present study investigated the role of neurocognitive functioning in tests (executive function and memory) sensitive to the functional integrity of brain areas that are crucial to olfactory processing in patients with alcohol dependence. Performance on olfactory functions (detection threshold, quality discrimination, identification), executive function (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test), and memory (German version of the California Verbal Learning Test) was assessed in 32 alcohol-dependent patients and 30 healthy comparison subjects, comparable in age, gender, and smoking status. Compared with controls, alcohol-dependent patients were impaired in all 3 domains, olfactory functions, executive function, and memory. In patients, olfactory discrimination ability was positively correlated with executive function performance. Regression analyses conducted to clarify the relation between group (patients vs controls), executive function, memory, and olfactory functions indicated that group was the only significant predictor of olfactory detection threshold and identification, and both group and executive function were found to be the significant predictors of olfactory discrimination. Olfactory deficits in alcohol dependence appear to be associated with prefrontal cognitive dysfunction. Results indicate that olfactory quality discrimination deficits are related to executive function impairment. These findings add to the available research on frontal lobe dysfunction in alcoholism, suggesting that alcohol-related olfactory discrimination deficits may be associated with impairment in the functional integrity of the prefrontal lobe.

  8. 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…

  9. Evidence for a Role of Executive Functions in Learning Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhodes, Sinéad M.; Booth, Josephine N.; Campbell, Lorna Elise; Blythe, Richard A.; Wheate, Nial J.; Delibegovic, Mirela

    2014-01-01

    Research examining cognition and science learning has focused on working memory, but evidence implicates a broader set of executive functions. The current study examined executive functions and learning of biology in young adolescents. Fifty-six participants, aged 12-13?years, completed tasks of working memory (Spatial Working Memory), inhibition…

  10. Time Monitoring and Executive Functioning in Children and Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantyla, Timo; Carelli, Maria Grazia; Forman, Helen

    2007-01-01

    This study examined time-based prospective memory performance in relation to individual and developmental differences in executive functioning. School-age children and young adults completed six experimental tasks that tapped three basic components of executive functioning: inhibition, updating, and mental shifting. Monitoring performance was…

  11. Executive Functioning and Prospective Memory in Young Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahy, Caitlin E. V.; Moses, Louis J.

    2011-01-01

    The current study examined the role of executive functioning (EF) in children's prospective memory (PM) by assessing the effect of delay and number of intentions to-be-remembered on PM, as well as relations between PM and EF. Ninety-six 4-, 5-, and 6-year-olds completed a PM task and two executive function tasks. The PM task required children to…

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Methods: Hot executive functions including decision‑making and emotion recognition were assessed using the Iowa gambling task 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, ...

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Executive Functions as Predictors of Math Learning Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toll, Sylke W. M.; Van der Ven, Sanne H. G.; Kroesbergen, Evelyn H.; Van Luit, Johannes 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 between low achieving and typically achieving children…

  17. 29 CFR 452.20 - Nature of executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Nature of executive functions. 452.20 Section 452.20 Labor Regulations Relating to Labor OFFICE OF LABOR-MANAGEMENT STANDARDS, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR LABOR-MANAGEMENT... DISCLOSURE ACT OF 1959 Coverage of Election Provisions § 452.20 Nature of executive functions. (a) The...

  18. 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

  19. Introduction: Links between Social Interaction and Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Charlie; Carpendale, Jeremy I. M.

    2009-01-01

    The term executive function is used increasingly within developmental psychology and is often taken to refer to unfolding brain processes. We trace the origins of research on executive function to show that the link with social interaction has a long history. We suggest that a recent frenzy of research exploring methods for studying individual…

  20. Executive functions in young patients with unipolar depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Totić-Poznanović Sanja

    2006-01-01

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

  1. 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…

  2. “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

  3. 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.

  4. Obesity-Associated Biomarkers and Executive Function in Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Alison L.; Jong, Hannah; 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. PMID:25310758

  5. Relationships between Motor and Executive Functions and the Effect of an Acute Coordinative Intervention on Executive Functions in Kindergartners

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marion Stein

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available There is growing evidence indicating positive, causal effects of acute physical activity on cognitive performance of school children, adolescents, and adults. However, only a few studies examined these effects in kindergartners, even though correlational studies suggest moderate relationships between motor and cognitive functions in this age group. One aim of the present study was to examine the correlational relationships between motor and executive functions among 5- to 6-year-olds. Another aim was to test whether an acute coordinative intervention, which was adapted to the individual motor functions of the children, causally affected different executive functions (i.e., motor inhibition, cognitive inhibition, and shifting. Kindergartners (N = 102 were randomly assigned either to a coordinative intervention (20 min or to a control condition (20 min. The coordination group performed five bimanual exercises (e.g., throwing/kicking balls onto targets with the right and left hand/foot, whereas the control group took part in five simple activities that hardly involved coordination skills (e.g., stamping. Children’s motor functions were assessed with the Movement Assessment Battery for Children 2 (Petermann, 2009 in a pre-test (T1, 1 week before the intervention took place. Motor inhibition was assessed with the Simon says task (Carlson and Wang, 2007, inhibition and shifting were assessed with the Hearts and Flowers task (Davidson et al., 2006 in the pre-test and again in a post-test (T2 immediately after the interventions. Results revealed significant correlations between motor functions and executive functions (especially shifting at T1. There was no overall effect of the intervention. However, explorative analyses indicated a three-way interaction, with the intervention leading to accuracy gains only in the motor inhibition task and only if it was tested directly after the intervention. As an unexpected effect, this result needs to be treated

  6. Relationships among Repetitive Behaviors, Sensory Features, and Executive Functions in High Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, Brian A.; McBee, Matthew; Holtzclaw, Tia; Baranek, Grace T.; Bodfish, James W.

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the relationship between repetitive behaviors and sensory processing issues in school-aged children with high functioning autism (HFA). Children with HFA (N = 61) were compared to healthy, typical controls (N = 64) to determine the relationship between these behavioral classes and to examine whether executive dysfunction…

  7. The Amsterdam Executive Function Inventory (AEFI): psychometric properties and demographically-corrected normative data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Elst, W.; Ouwehand, C.; van der Werf, G.; Kuyper, H.; Lee, N.C.; Jolles, J.

    2012-01-01

    The Amsterdam Executive Function Inventory (AEFI) is a newly developed brief self-report questionnaire to assess three important components of the executive aspects of daily-life behavior-that is, Attention, Self-Control and Self-Monitoring, and Planning and Initiative. In a population-based study,

  8. Executive and attentional functions in chronic pain: does performance decrease with increasing task load?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oosterman, J.; Derksen, L.C.; Wijck, A.J. van; Kessels, R.P.C.; Veldhuijzen, D.S.

    2012-01-01

    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

  9. Executive and attentional functions in chronic pain: Does performance decrease with increasing task load?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oosterman, J.M.; Derksen, L.C.; Wijck, A.J.M. van; Kessels, R.P.C.; Veldhuijzen, D.S.

    2012-01-01

    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

  10. Motor assessment in pediatric neuropsychology: relationships to executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaheen, Sandra

    2013-01-01

    Executive function often refers to control behaviors such as "initiating," "sustaining," "inhibiting," and "switching." These mechanisms contribute to regulation of thinking and emotion but can be observed most clearly in the motor system. Neuropsychology has been influenced by "top-down" models of cognitive control that emerged from information-processing theories of cognition. In fact, neural models provide evidence that control processes are highly interactive within the cortico-striatal-cerebellar circuits. Cognition unfolds in response to motor-driven adaptation, and evidence exists for similar firing of brain cells and circuits during "imagined action" as in actual motor behavior. The motor system develops early and yet is not routinely assessed in neuropsychological evaluation of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. This article reviews some of the approaches to motor assessment that have sensitivity to neurodevelopmental disorders, and advocates for inclusion of motor assessment, particularly in evaluating control processes independent of culture, language, and other confounders.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-14

    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.

  14. The Structure of Executive Function in 3-Year-Olds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiebe, Sandra A.; Sheffield, Tiffany; Nelson, Jennifer Mize; Clark, Caron A. C.; Chevalier, Nicolas; Espy, Kimberly Andrews

    2011-01-01

    Although the structure of executive function (EF) during adulthood is characterized by both unity and diversity, recent evidence suggests that preschool EF may be best described by a single factor. The latent structure of EF was examined in 228 3-year-olds using confirmatory factor analysis. Children completed a battery of executive tasks that…

  15. Executive functioning in preschool-aged children with Down syndrome

    OpenAIRE

    Klaus Sarimski

    2017-01-01

    Executive functions are core skills for cognitive processes and social-emotional adaptation. The “Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, Preschool Version (BRIEF-P)” in its German version is an instrument to capture the real-world applications of executive functions. The parents of 50 children with Down syndrome (mean age: 5 years) reported on their observations. In comparison to children with typical development the level of scores in the scales examining “working memory”, “plan/or...

  16. Motor skill experience modulates executive control for task switching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Qiuhua; Chan, Chetwyn C H; Chau, Bolton; Fu, Amy S N

    2017-10-01

    This study aimed to investigate the effect of types of motor skills, including open and closed skills on enhancing proactive and reactive controls for task switching. Thirty-six athletes in open (n=18) or closed (n=18) sports and a control group (n=18) completed the task-switching paradigm and the simple reaction task. The task-switching paradigm drew on the proactive and reactive control of executive functions, whereas the simple reaction task assessed the processing speed. Significant Validity×Group effect revealed that the participants with open skills had a lower switch cost of response time compared to the other two groups when the task cue was 100% valid; whereas the participants regardless of motor skills had a lower switch cost of response time compared to the control group when the task cue was 50% valid. Hierarchical stepwise regression analysis further confirmed these findings. For the simple reaction task, there were no differences found among the three groups. These findings suggest that experience in open skills has benefits of promoting both proactive and reactive controls for task switching, which corresponds to the activity context exposed by the participants. In contrast, experience in closed skills appears to only benefit development of reactive control for task switching. The neural mechanisms for the proactive and reactive controls of executive functions between experts with open and closed skills call for future study. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  17. Peeling the Onion: Why Centralized Control / Decentralized Execution Works

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-04-01

    March–April 2014 Air & Space Power Journal | 24 Feature Peeling the Onion Why Centralized Control / Decentralized Execution Works Lt Col Alan Docauer...DATES COVERED 00-00-2014 to 00-00-2014 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Peeling the Onion : Why Centralized Control / Decentralized Execution Works 5a...Air & Space Power Journal | 25 Docauer Peeling the Onion Feature What Is Centralized Control / Decentralized Execution? Emerging in the aftermath of

  18. Theory of mind in spina bifida: Relationship with intellectual and executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stubberud, Jan

    2017-10-01

    This article investigates emotion recognition ability, a central aspect of Theory of Mind (ToM), in a group of individuals with spina bifida myelomeningocele (SBM) experiencing executive function deficits, and examine associations between emotion recognition, and intellectual and executive functioning. A total of 38 adult subjects with SBM were included in this study, participating in a randomized controlled trial evaluating the effects of a cognitive rehabilitation intervention for executive dysfunction. Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET) was used as a measure of emotion recognition, and neuropsychological tests and questionnaires were utilized as executive function measures. One third of the participants performed poorer on the emotion recognition task compared to normative data. Emotion recognition may represent an area being affected in adults with SBM, and it is related to verbal IQ. Findings also suggest that executive functions and emotion recognition ability in adults with SBM are independent. © 2017 Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Individual differences in anxiety and executive functioning: a multidimensional view.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visu-Petra, Laura; Miclea, Mircea; Visu-Petra, George

    2013-01-01

    The relationship between individual differences in anxiety and executive functioning was investigated in a sample of young adults. Verbal and spatial working memory, resistance to interference, negative priming, and task-switching measures were used to assess three executive functioning dimensions: updating, inhibition, and shifting. An additional index of basic psychomotor speed was added to this cognitive battery. According to the multidimensional interaction model of anxiety proposed by Endler (1997), state (cognitive-worry and autonomic-emotional) and trait (related to social evaluation, physical danger, ambiguous situations, and daily routines) anxiety were assessed in this evaluation context. Results indicated that shifting and inhibition (negative priming) efficiency were negatively related to state (cognitive-worry) and trait (related to social evaluation) anxiety. However, there was a relative advantage of subjects higher in social evaluation apprehensions in their memory updating performance. The results are consistent with several predictions of the attentional control theory (Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007), and are relevant for research regarding the interaction of situational, personality, and cognitive functioning dimensions.

  20. Sentence Comprehension and Its Association with Executive Functions in Patients with Parkinson's Disease

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    Katrien S. F. Colman

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Coexistent impairments in executive functions and language comprehension in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD have been repeatedly observed. In this study, the aim was to provide insights into the interaction between linguistic representation and processing and executive functioning. Therefore, sentence comprehension and executive functions were assessed in 28 Dutch-speaking PD patients and 28 healthy control subjects. Three aspects of the sentence materials were varied: (1 phrase structure complexity, (2 sentence length, and (3 picture congruence. PD patients with mild-to-moderate disease severity showed decreased sentence comprehension compared to healthy control subjects. The difficulties encountered by PD patients were not limited to one aspect of the sentence materials. The same pattern of results was present in healthy control subjects. Deficits in set-switching were specifically associated with the comprehension of passive sentences. Generally, our study confirms that there does not appear to be a language faculty encapsulated from the influence of executive functions.

  1. Examining the relationship between executive functions and restricted, repetitive symptoms of Autistic Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, Brian R; Lincoln, Alan J; Ozonoff, Sally; Lai, Zona

    2005-08-01

    The executive function theory was utilized to examine the relationship between cognitive process and the restricted, repetitive symptoms of Autistic Disorder (AD). Seventeen adults with AD were compared to 17 nonautistic controls on a new executive function battery (Delis-Kaplin Executive Function Scales). Restricted, repetitive symptoms were measured by a variety of instruments (i.e., the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised, Gilliam Autism Rating Scale, and the Aberrant Behavior Checklist). The study replicated the executive function profile that has been reported in adults with AD. In addition to the replication findings, the study found several executive processes (i.e., cognitive flexibility, working memory, and response inhibition) were highly related to the restrictive, repetitive symptoms of AD; whereas, other executive process (i.e., planning and fluency) were not found to be significantly correlated with restricted, repetitive symptoms. Similarly, we found an executive function model consisting of relative strengths and deficits was the best predictor of restricted, repetitive symptoms of autism. The implications for the executive function theory and how the theory predicts core symptoms of autism are discussed.

  2. 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.

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

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

    2014-12-01

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

  4. 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

  5. How do emotion and motivation direct executive control?

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    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.

  6. 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

  7. Executive function influences sedentary behavior: A longitudinal study

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    Loprinzi, Paul D.; Allison Nooe

    2016-01-01

    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....

  8. 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

  9. Trait rumination, depression, and executive functions in early adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Clara A; Alloy, Lauren B; Abramson, Lyn Y

    2015-01-01

    Although deficits in executive functions have been linked with both depression and rumination in adulthood, the nature of the relationship between these constructs is not well understood and remains understudied in adolescence. The present study examined the relationship of rumination and depression to deficits in executive functions in early adolescence, a critical developmental period for the emergence of depression and rumination and the development of executive functions. Participants were 486 early adolescents (52.7% female; 47.1% African American, 48.8% Caucasian; 4.2% Biracial/Multiracial/Other; M age = 12.88 years; SD = .62) and their mothers, recruited through local schools. Measures included (a) a semi-structured diagnostic interview of the mother and adolescent, (b) youth self-report forms assessing depressive symptoms and trait rumination, (c) mother-report forms assessing demographic information, and (d) behavioral tests of executive function (sustained, selective and divided attention, attentional set shifting, and working memory). Gender moderated rumination-set shifting associations, such that rumination predicted better set shifting in boys only. The current level of depressive symptoms moderated rumination-sustained attention associations, such that rumination predicted better sustained attention in those with low levels of depressive symptoms and worse sustained attention in those with high levels of depressive symptoms. Rumination did not predict performance on other measures of executive functions. Likewise, depressive symptoms and diagnosis were not associated with executive functions. Implications for future research are discussed.

  10. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Menezes

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to investigate if an executive functions (EF intervention could promote these skills in individuals with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. Eighteen children and adolescents, 7-13 years old, divided into experimental (EG, N = 8 and control (CG, N = 10 groups, were assessed in the Block Design and Vocabulary subtests of the WISC III and seven tests of EF. Parents answered two scales, measuring EF and inattention and hyperactivity signs. EG children participated in a program to promote EF in twice-weekly group sessions of one hour each. After 8 months of intervention, groups were assessed again. ANCOVA, controlling for age, intelligence quotient and pretest performance, revealed gains in attention/inhibition and auditory working memory measures for the EG. No effect was found for scales or measures of more complex EF. Results are not conclusive, but they illustrate some promising data about EF interventions in children and adolescents with ADHD.

  12. Resilient Control System Execution Agent (ReCoSEA)

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    Craig G. Rieger; Kris Villez

    2012-08-01

    In an increasingly networked world, critical infrastructure systems suffer from two types of vulnerability. The first is the traditionally recognized problem of monitoring the systems for faults and failures, recognizing and analyzing data, and responding with real understanding to the problems of the system. Increasingly complex systems create the opportunity for single points of failure to cascade when inaccurate assessment of system health increases response time or leads to faulty analysis of the problems involved. A second problem involves vulnerability to cyber intrusion, in which bad actors can mask system deterioration or present false data about system status. A resilient system will protect stability, efficiency, and security. To ensure these three states, the system must react to changing conditions within the system with coordination: no one component of the system can be allowed to react to problems without real consideration of the effects of that action on other components within the system. Systems with multi-agent design typically have three layers of action, a management layer, a coordination layer, and an execution layer. A resilient multi-agent system will emphasize functions of the execution layer, which has the responsibility of initiating actions, monitoring, analyzing, and controlling its own processes, while feeding information back to the higher levels of management and coordination. The design concept of a resilient control system execution agent (ReCoSEA) grows out of these underpinnings, and through the use of computational intelligence techniques, this paper suggests an associated design methodology.

  13. Executive Functions in Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder

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    Fernanda Rasch Czermainski

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The literature has shown a strong relationship between executive dysfunction and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD, although there is no consensus on which subprocesses of executive functioning are impaired and/or preserved in this condition. This study aimed to investigate executive function and working memory in children and adolescents with ASD (n = 11 compared to children and adolescents with typical development (n = 19 matched by age, formal education, and nonverbal IQ. The tests used were: Raven’s Colored Progressive Matrices, Stroop Test, Trail Making Test, Rey’s Complex Figure Test, Digit span, Pseudowords span, Working memory, Verbal fluency (orthographic and semantic and Go/no go. The results demonstrate impairment of executive function in the clinical group, especially in planning, flexibility, inhibition, and also visuospatial working memory.

  14. The Disconnected Brain and Executive Function Decline in Aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fjell, Anders M; Sneve, Markus H; Grydeland, Håkon; Storsve, Andreas B; Walhovd, Kristine B

    2017-03-01

    Higher order speeded cognitive abilities depend on efficient coordination of activity across the brain, rendering them vulnerable to age reductions in structural and functional brain connectivity. The concept of "disconnected aging" has been invoked, suggesting that degeneration of connections between distant brain regions cause cognitive reductions. However, it has not been shown that changes in cognitive functions over time can be explained by simultaneous changes in brain connectivity. We followed 119 young and middle-aged (23-52 years) and older (63-86 years) adults for 3.3 years with repeated assessments of structural and functional brain connectivity and executive functions. We found unique age-related longitudinal reductions in executive function over and above changes in more basic cognitive processes. Intriguingly, 82.5% of the age-related decline in executive function could be explained by changes in connectivity over time. While both structural and functional connectivity changes were related to longitudinal reductions in executive function, only structural connectivity change could explain the age-specific decline. This suggests that the major part of the age-related reductions in executive function can be attributed to micro- and macrostructural alterations in brain connectivity. Although correlational in nature, we believe the present results constitute evidence for a "disconnected brain" view on cognitive aging. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Independence of Hot and Cold Executive Function Deficits in High-Functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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    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.

  16. Independence of hot and cold executive function deficits in high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Laird Zimmerman

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available 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 = .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 recognise 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.

  17. The relation of depression and anxiety to measures of executive functioning in a mixed psychiatric sample.

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    Smitherman, Todd A; Huerkamp, Justin K; Miller, Brian I; Houle, Timothy T; O'Jile, Judith R

    2007-06-01

    The relationship between mood and executive functioning is of particular importance to neuropsychologists working with mixed psychiatric samples. The present study evaluated the relation of self-reported depression and anxiety to several common measures of executive functioning: the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, the Trail Making Test, the Controlled Oral Word Association, and the Letter-Number Sequencing subtest of the Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale-III. Records from 86 adult patients evaluated in an outpatient psychiatry unit were examined. Correlations between self-reported depression or anxiety and most measures of executive functioning were small and non-significant. The variance predicted by depression or anxiety after controlling for age, gender, and IQ was minimal (typically < or =3.0%), even after conducting diagnostic subgroup analyses. These results suggest that impaired performance on measures of executive functioning is minimally related to self-reported depression and anxiety within mixed psychiatric settings.

  18. 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.

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

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    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…

  20. Executive function in the context of chronic disease prevention: theory, research and practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Peter A; Marteau, Theresa M

    2014-11-01

    To provide an overview of the nature, organization and measurement of executive function, and describe its significance for preventive medicine theory, research and practice. A conceptual and narrative review linking the operation of executive control systems to health behavior performance and health outcomes, within the context of chronic illness prevention. Stronger executive function is linked with more consistent performance of a variety of health protective behaviors, less performance of health risk behaviors, and greater longevity in the existing observational research literature. These effects are not fully explained by demographic factors such as education, income and socioeconomic status, but may in some cases interact with them, or mediate their effects on other outcomes. Experimental manipulations of executive control suggest that the effect of executive function is causal, particularly in relation to the modulation of appetitive craving responses that may compete with healthy behaviors (or facilitate unhealthy behaviors). Executive function is a potentially important variable in explanatory frameworks for health behavior and health outcomes. The size of effect and its endurance remain uncertain, though the causal status of its influence on some behaviors is becoming increasingly clear. Additional understanding of the relation between executive control and demand imposed by ecological context is an important frontier for research on changing behavior to prevent disease, and may be an explanatory factor in social patterning of these same conditions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. Executive function is an important consideration for coping strategy use in people with multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grech, Lisa B; Kiropoulos, Litza A; Kirby, Katherine M; Butler, Ernest; Paine, Mark; Hester, Robert

    2017-10-01

    Executive function deficits are prevalent in people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS), and PwMS use less adaptive coping than healthy controls. This cross-sectional study assessed whether there is a relationship between executive function and coping in PwMS. One hundred and seven participants with relapsing remitting or secondary progressive MS (n = 83 and 24, respectively; age M = 48.8 ± 11.1 years) completed measures of coping and executive function. A positive relationship was found between verbal fluency and use of active, emotional, and instrumental social support coping, and total executive function and substance abuse coping. There was a negative relationship between coping strategies and core (social support, acceptance, religion, restraint, and total coping), higher order (denial and humor), and total executive function indices (acceptance, religion, behavioral disengagement, denial, and total coping). These directional differences provide support for the importance of specific executive functions in coping strategy utilization. Understanding these relationships will assist psychologists and neuropsychologists with patient psychoeducation, adaptive coping strategy intervention and management for PwMS with reduced executive function ability.

  3. Executive control suppresses pupillary responses to aversive stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Noga; Moyal, Natali; Henik, Avishai

    2015-12-01

    Adaptive behavior depends on the ability to effectively regulate emotional responses. Continuous failure in the regulation of emotions can lead to heightened physiological reactions and to various psychopathologies. Recently, several behavioral and neuroimaging studies showed that exertion of executive control modulates emotion. Executive control is a high-order operation involved in goal-directed behavior, especially in the face of distractors or temptations. However, the role of executive control in regulating emotion-related physiological reactions is unknown. Here we show that exercise of executive control modulates reactivity of both the sympathetic and the parasympathetic components of the autonomic nervous system. Specifically, we demonstrate that both pupillary light reflex and pupil dilation for aversive stimuli are attenuated following recruitment of executive control. These findings offer new insights into the very basic mechanisms of emotion processing and regulation, and can lead to novel interventions for people suffering from emotion dysregulation psychopathologies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Brief executive function training for individuals with severe mental illness: Effects on EEG synchronization and executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Best, Michael W; Gale, Daniel; Tran, Tanya; Haque, Mashal K; Bowie, Christopher R

    2017-09-18

    Executive Functioning (EF) is an important factor for community functioning for people with severe mental illness. Cognitive remediation programs often improve EF, but do so by using multiple therapeutic techniques. Little is known regarding how individual treatment elements promote cognitive improvement. Oscillatory brain activity is a potential neurophysiological mechanism that may change as a result of targeted training on computerized exercises. The current study aimed to examine the effects of a brief EF training program on EEG and neurocognitive measures. 25 people with severe mental illness were randomized to either 2weeks of computerized EF training or control training. Training consisted of 1h training sessions 3 times per week and 40min of daily home training. Assessments examined EEG theta and alpha band oscillatory power during EF tasks and neurocognitive measures of EF. EF training resulted in greater frontal theta power and reduced posterior alpha power during computerized EF tasks than control training. Power in the alpha frequency band over frontal electrode sites did not significantly differ between the two groups as a result of training. Additionally, participants in the EF training experienced significantly greater improvement in EF ability as measured by neurocognitive tests than the control condition. Two weeks of EF training is sufficient to produce neurophysiological and neurocognitive change. Frontal theta power and posterior alpha power may be important neurophysiological markers to consider in cognitive remediation studies, and the addition of a brief executive function training procedure to other psychosocial interventions is worth examining. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. ADHD and executive functioning deficits in OCD youths who hoard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Jennifer M; Samuels, Jack F; Grados, Marco A; Riddle, Mark A; Bienvenu, O Joseph; Goes, Fernando S; Cullen, Bernadette; Wang, Ying; Krasnow, Janice; Murphy, Dennis L; Rasmussen, Steven A; McLaughlin, Nicole C; Piacentini, John; Pauls, David L; Stewart, S Evelyn; Shugart, Yin-Yao; Maher, Brion; Pulver, Ann E; Knowles, James A; Greenberg, Benjamin D; Fyer, Abby J; McCracken, James T; Nestadt, Gerald; Geller, Daniel A

    2016-11-01

    Hoarding is common among youth with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), with up to 26% of OCD youth exhibiting hoarding symptoms. Recent evidence from adult hoarding and OCD cohorts suggests that hoarding symptoms are associated with executive functioning deficits similar to those observed in subjects with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, while hoarding behavior often onsets during childhood, there is little information about executive function deficits and ADHD in affected children and adolescents. The study sample included 431 youths (ages 6-17 years) diagnosed with OCD who participated in the OCD Collaborative Genetics Study and the OCD Collaborative Genetics Association Study and completed a series of clinician-administered and parent report assessments, including diagnostic interviews and measures of executive functioning (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning; BRIEF) and hoarding severity (Hoarding Rating Scale-Interview; HRS-I). 113 youths (26%) had clinically significant levels of hoarding compulsions. Youths with and without hoarding differed significantly on most executive functioning subdomains and composite indices as measured by the parent-rated BRIEF. Groups did not differ in the frequency of full DSM-IV ADHD diagnoses; however, the hoarding group had significantly greater number of inattention and hyperactivity symptoms compared to the non-hoarding group. In multivariate models, we found that overall BRIEF scores were related to hoarding severity, adjusting for age, gender and ADHD symptoms. These findings suggest an association between hoarding and executive functioning deficits in youths with OCD, and assessing executive functioning may be important for investigating the etiology and treatment of children and adolescents with hoarding and OCD. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Executive Function Capacities, Negative Driving Behavior and Crashes in Young Drivers

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    Elizabeth A. Walshe

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Motor vehicle crashes remain a leading cause of injury and death in adolescents, with teen drivers three times more likely to be in a fatal crash when compared to adults. One potential contributing risk factor is the ongoing development of executive functioning with maturation of the frontal lobe through adolescence and into early adulthood. Atypical development resulting in poor or impaired executive functioning (as in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder has been associated with risky driving and crash outcomes. However, executive function broadly encompasses a number of capacities and domains (e.g., working memory, inhibition, set-shifting. In this review, we examine the role of various executive function sub-processes in adolescent driver behavior and crash rates. We summarize the state of methods for measuring executive control and driving outcomes and highlight the great heterogeneity in tools with seemingly contradictory findings. Lastly, we offer some suggestions for improved methods and practical ways to compensate for the effects of poor executive function (such as in-vehicle assisted driving devices. Given the key role that executive function plays in safe driving, this review points to an urgent need for systematic research to inform development of more effective training and interventions for safe driving among adolescents.

  7. Limited health literacy and decline in executive function in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sequeira, Shwetha S; Eggermont, Laura H P; Silliman, Rebecca A; Bickmore, Timothy W; Henault, Lori E; Winter, Michael R; Nelson, Kerrie; Paasche-Orlow, Michael K

    2013-01-01

    Limited health literacy is associated with worse executive function, but the association between limited health literacy and decline in executive function has not been established because of a lack of longitudinal studies. The authors aimed to examine this association by studying a prospective cohort in the setting of a randomized controlled trial to promote walking in older adults. Participants were community-dwelling older adults (65 years of age or older) who scored 2 or more on the Mini-Cog, without depression (score of less than 15 on the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire), and who completed baseline and 12-month evaluations (n = 226). Health literacy was measured using the Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults. Executive function measured at baseline and 12 months using the Trail Making Test (TMT), Controlled Oral Word Association Test, and Category Fluency. The associations between health literacy and 12-month decline in each test of executive function were modeled using multivariate linear regression. Health literacy was found to be limited in 37% of participants. Limited health literacy was associated with reduced performance on all 3 executive function tests. In fully adjusted models, limited health literacy was associated with greater 12-month decline in performance on the TMT than higher health literacy (p = .01). In conclusion, older adults with limited health literacy are at risk for more rapid decline in scores on the TMT, a measure of executive function.

  8. The cooking task: making a meal of executive functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Andrew Doherty

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Current standardised neuropsychological tests may fail to accurately capture real-world executive deficits. We developed a computer-based Cooking Task assessment of executive functions and trialled the measure with a normative group before use with a head-injured population. Forty six participants completed the computerised Cooking Task and subtests from standardised neuropsychological tasks, including the Tower and Sorting Tests of executive function from the D-KEFS, and the CAMPROMPT measure of prospective memory, in order to examine whether standardised executive function tasks, predicted performance on measurement indices from the Cooking Task. Findings showed that verbal comprehension, rule detection and prospective memory contributed to measures of prospective planning accuracy and strategy implementation of the Cooking Task. Results also showed that functions necessary for cooking efficacy differ as an effect of task demands (difficulty levels. Performance on rule detection, strategy implementation and flexible thinking EF measures contributed to accuracy on the Cooking Task Findings raise questions about the functions captured by present standardised tasks particularly at varying levels of difficulty and during dual-task performance. Our preliminary findings also indicate that Cooking Task measures can effectively distinguish between EF and FSIQ abilities. Results of the present study indicate that the Cooking Task shows promise as an ecologically valid measure of executive function for future use with a head-injured population and indexes selective EF’s captured by standardised tests.

  9. Prenatal ethanol exposure impairs executive function in mice into adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marquardt, Kristin; Sigdel, Rahul; Caldwell, Kevin; Brigman, Jonathan L

    2014-12-01

    Despite evidence that prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) can lead to a wide range of impairments in cognitive, social, and emotional behaviors, drinking during pregnancy remains common. Although there is a general understanding that high levels of drinking during pregnancy are unsafe, conflicting evidence regarding the impact of low intake may account for the persistence of this behavior. To investigate the effects of PAE on learning and executive control, we utilized a voluntary paradigm where pregnant mice had access to a saccharin-sweetened 10% alcohol solution for 4 hours, during the dark cycle, throughout gestation. Male and female offspring were tested as adults on a touch-screen discrimination and reversal task mediated by corticostriatal circuits. Consistent with previous findings, PAE did not lead to gross morphological, motor, or sensory alterations in offspring. Both PAE and saccharin control female mice were slower to acquire the discrimination than males, but PAE did not impair associative learning in either sex. During reversal, PAE led to a specific and significant impairment in the early phase, where cortical control is most required to flexibly alter choice behavior. PAE mice showed a significant increase in maladaptive perseverative responses but showed intact learning of the new association during late reversal. Previously, data from clinical studies have suggested that executive control deficits may underlie cognitive, as well as social, problems seen in adolescents with documented PAE. These data demonstrate that even more moderate alcohol exposure during development can lead to impaired cognitive functioning well into adulthood. Copyright © 2015 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collette, Fabienne; Angel, Lucie

    2015-01-01

    The existence of processes common to memory systems and executive functioning was evidenced by studies in the domain of cerebral neuroimaging, individual differences (mainly in normal aging) and, to a lesser extent, neuropsychology. Executive functioning depends on a large antero-posterior brain network, some regions of which (the middle dorsolateral and ventrolateral cortex, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex) are involved in a series of executive processes, but also in encoding and retrieval of information in episodic memory and short-term memory. A consequence of lesions in frontal areas is to impair strategical organization of the information to-be-processed (an executive process) and thus leads to a lower memory capacity in frontal patients. Moreover, executive abilities will influence both memory efficiency and the associated brain networks even in people without brain pathology. These data attest to the importance of the relationships between executive and memory processes for an optimal cognitive functioning. Recent advances in neuroimaging and electrophysiology data acquisition and analysis techniques should allow us to better determine and understand the fashion in which these relationships work. © Société de Biologie, 2016.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-22

    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.

  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. 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.

  14. Executive function and magnitude skills in preschool children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prager, Emily O; Sera, Maria D; Carlson, Stephanie M

    2016-07-01

    Executive function (EF) has been highlighted as a potentially important factor for mathematical understanding. The relation has been well established in school-aged children but has been less explored at younger ages. The current study investigated the relation between EF and mathematics in preschool-aged children. Participants were 142 typically developing 3- and 4-year-olds. Controlling for verbal ability, a significant positive correlation was found between EF and general math abilities in this age group. Importantly, we further examined this relation causally by varying the EF load on a magnitude comparison task. Results suggested a developmental pattern where 3-year-olds' performance on the magnitude comparison task was worst when EF was taxed the most. Conversely, 4-year-olds performed well on the magnitude task despite varying EF demands, suggesting that EF might play a critical role in the development of math concepts. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. A longitudinal intergenerational analysis of executive functions during early childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuevas, Kimberly; Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen; Wang, Zhe; Morasch, Katherine C; Bell, Martha Ann

    2014-03-01

    Despite the importance of executive function (EF) in both clinical and educational contexts, the aetiology of individual differences in early childhood EF remains poorly understood. This study provides the first longitudinal intergenerational analysis of mother-child EF associations during early childhood. A group of children and their mothers (n = 62) completed age-appropriate EF tasks. Mother and child EFs were modestly correlated by 24 months of age, and this association was stable through 48 months. Importantly, maternal-child EF associations were still robust after controlling for verbal ability (potential indicator of verbal/crystallized intelligence) and maternal education (correlate of socio-economic status and verbal intelligence). Potential implications of these findings as well as underlying mechanisms of the maternal-child EF association (gene-environment interplay) are discussed. © 2013 The British Psychological Society.

  16. More rumination and less effective emotion regulation in previously depressed women with preserved executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aker, Martin; Harmer, Catherine; Landrø, Nils Inge

    2014-11-27

    Major depressive disorder is associated with very high recurrence rates, and specific vulnerability factors that increase the risk for repeated episodes should be identified. Impaired executive functions have repeatedly been found in remitted populations. The current study included both neutral and emotional executive tasks, and we expected to find impaired performance in unmedicated previously depressed women compared to controls. Furthermore, we hypothesized that the executive functions inhibition and shifting would be related to the ability to apply cognitive reappraisal and to avoid unhealthy rumination. Inhibition and shifting data derived from neutral and emotional computerized tasks, and questionnaire data on emotion regulation and trait rumination, were obtained from previously depressed (n = 109) and never-depressed women (n = 64) and analyzed in independent samples t-tests. A logistic regression analysis investigated the ability of emotion regulation and rumination to predict depression vulnerability. The associations of executive functions to emotion regulation and rumination were investigated in a series of linear regression analyses. Participants on psychotropic medication were excluded from all analyses of executive performance. Previously depressed participants, the majority of which had experienced recurrent episodes, matched control participants on both neutral and emotional executive tasks. However, significantly more rumination and expressive suppression, and less cognitive reappraisal, were found in the previously depressed group. Executive function was unrelated to rumination and emotion regulation in this sample. Previously depressed women whose executive function was intact were characterized by ruminative tendencies and more frequent use of expressive suppression. Trait rumination and expressive suppression are known to increase depression risk, but were unrelated to executive functions in this population. This indicates that unhealthy

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Relationships among Repetitive Behaviors, Sensory Features, and Executive Functions in High Functioning Autism

    OpenAIRE

    Boyd, Brian A.; McBee, Matthew; Holtzclaw, Tia; Baranek, Grace T.; Bodfish, James W.

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the relationship between repetitive behaviors and sensory processing issues in school-aged children with high functioning autism (HFA). Children with HFA (N = 61) were compared to healthy, typical controls (N = 64) to determine the relationship between these behavioral classes and to examine whether executive dysfunction explained any relationship between the variables. Particular types of repetitive behavior (i.e., stereotypy and compulsions) were related to sensory featu...

  2. Study protocol: The influence of running therapy on executive functions and sleep of prisoners

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meijers, J.; Harte, J.M.; Meynen, G.; Cuijpers, W.J.M.J.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Executive dysfunction appears to be related to increased recidivism. Of note is that sleep disturbances, which are highly prevalent in prisons, may attenuate executive functions. Thus, improving executive functions, either directly or indirectly through the improvement of sleep, may

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Executive function influences sedentary behavior: A longitudinal study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loprinzi, Paul D; Nooe, Allison

    2016-01-01

    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.

  6. Executive function influences sedentary behavior: A longitudinal study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. Does increased physical activity in school affect children's executive function and aerobic fitness?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kvalø, S E; Bru, E; Brønnick, K; Dyrstad, S M

    2017-02-16

    This study seeks to explore whether increased PA in school affects children's executive function and aerobic fitness. The "Active school" study was a 10-month randomized controlled trial. The sample included 449 children (10-11 years old) in five intervention and four control schools. The weekly interventions were 2×45 minutes physically active academic lessons, 5×10 minutes physically active breaks, and 5×10 minutes physically active homework. Aerobic fitness was measured using a 10-minute interval running test. Executive function was tested using four cognitive tests (Stroop, verbal fluency, digit span, and Trail Making). A composite score for executive function was computed and used in analyses. Mixed ANCOVA repeated measures were performed to analyze changes in scores for aerobic fitness and executive function. Analysis showed a tendency for a time×group interaction on executive function, but the results were non-significant F(1, 344)=3.64, P=.057. There was no significant time×group interaction for aerobic fitness. Results indicate that increased physical activity in school might improve children's executive function, even without improvement in aerobic fitness, but a longer intervention period may be required to find significant effects. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Associations between executive function and physical function poststroke: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Sara; Donnellan, Claire; Stokes, Emma

    2013-06-01

    Associations between executive function and physical function poststroke have not been extensively studied. More complex physiotherapy interventions poststroke require a greater degree of cognitive ability, especially executive function. This pilot study aimed to inform the methodology of a larger study by examining the associations between executive function and the performance of basic and complex gait tasks in people poststroke. A cross-sectional pilot study was conducted in a convenience sample of 20 participants recruited from a community-based voluntary stroke organisation and from the outpatient services of two urban hospitals. A battery of tests was used to measure executive function (Trail Making Test, Stroop Word-Colour Test, Zoo Map test, Frontal Assessment Battery and Digit Span backward test). Basic and complex 10metre gait tests were used to mimic aspects of physiotherapy intervention poststroke. Other measures included the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Motor Assessment Scale (MAS). Observational comparisons between participant executive function scores and age- and/or education-matched normative data demonstrated that executive dysfunction ranged between 55% and 100%. Poorer performance in measures of executive function was more frequently associated with poorer performance in complex gait tests compared with basic gait tests. The MAS was not significantly associated with any measure of executive function. Executive dysfunction is a common sequel poststroke which may negatively affect physical performance. Physiotherapists should consider executive dysfunction when developing rehabilitation strategies to improve physical function poststroke. Copyright © 2012 Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Executive Functioning Predicts Academic But Not Social Adjustment to University.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheehan, Whitley A; Iarocci, Grace

    2015-11-03

    Adjusting well academically and socially has been associated with enhanced academic performance and student retention. The purpose of this study was to examine subthreshold levels of ADHD symptoms such as inattention, hyperactivity, and executive functioning as potential predictors of academic and social adjustment in a healthy sample of university students. Participants were 135 undergraduate university students who completed self-report questionnaires. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that metacognition (an aspect of executive function), gender, and age were significant predictors of academic adjustment beyond hyperactivity, inattention, and depression. Depression was the only significant predictor of social adjustment. The BASC-College form may identify depression symptoms predictive of social adjustment, but symptoms of inattention or hyperactivity are not sufficiently sensitive to predict academic adjustment. Measures of executive function that include metacognition such as the BRIEF-A may be most promising in identifying skills predictive of academic adjustment. © The Author(s) 2015.

  13. Relations between key executive functions and aggression in childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granvald, Viktor; Marciszko, Carin

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined relationships between three key executive functions (working memory, inhibition, and mental set-shifting) and multiple types of aggression in a general population sample of 9-year-old children. One hundred and forty-eight children completed a battery of executive function tasks and were rated on aggression by their primary teachers. All executive function (EF) composites were related to a composite measure of aggression. Working memory (WM) was most consistently related to the different types of aggression (overt, relational, reactive, and proactive), whereas inhibition and mental set-shifting only were related to relational and reactive aggression, respectively. Specificity in relations (studied as independent contributions) was generally low with the exception of the relation between WM and relational aggression. Taken together, our results highlight the roles of WM and relational aggression in EF-aggression relations in middle childhood.

  14. Visual-Motor Maturity and Executive Functions in Schoolchildren

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    Ana Luisa Silva de Oliveira

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Visual-motor maturity and executive functions are closely related in the child development process. This study aimed to investigate the relation between visual-motor abilities and executive functions in 83 healthy children between 7 and 10 years old. The tools used were the Bender Gestalt Visual-Motor Test - Gradual Scoring System (B-GSS, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST, Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM, and Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure (ROCF. The correlation between the B-GSS and WCST scores was significantly negative (r = -.23, p < .033, while ROCF variables, such as Total Memory and Total Copy, had a moderate, significant correlation with total B-GSS score (r = -.55, p < .001; r = -.44, p < .001, respectively. The results empirically show the relation between executive functions and visual-motor maturity and are discussed in face of developmental neuropsychology.

  15. The effect of negative affect on cognition: Anxiety, not anger, impairs executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Grant S; Moons, Wesley G; Tewell, Carl A; Yonelinas, Andrew P

    2016-09-01

    It is often assumed that negative affect impairs the executive functions that underlie our ability to control and focus our thoughts. However, support for this claim has been mixed. Recent work has suggested that different negative affective states like anxiety and anger may reflect physiologically separable states with distinct effects on cognition. However, the effects of these 2 affective states on executive function have never been assessed. As such, we induced anxiety or anger in participants and examined the effects on executive function. We found that anger did not impair executive function relative to a neutral mood, whereas anxiety did. In addition, self-reports of induced anxiety, but not anger, predicted impairments in executive function. These results support functional models of affect and cognition, and highlight the need to consider differences between anxiety and anger when investigating the influence of negative affect on fundamental cognitive processes such as memory and executive function. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. Characterizing Cognitive Aging of Working Memory and Executive Function in Animal Models

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    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.

  17. Elderly with autism: Executive functions and memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geurts, H.M.; Vissers, M.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

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

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    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

  19. Lack of executive functions deficits among adult ad hd individuals from a Brazilian clinical sample

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saboya, Eloisa; Coutinho, Gabriel; Segenreich, Daniel; Ayrão, Vanessa; Mattos, Paulo

    2009-01-01

    Executive function deficits have been previously documented in individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Objective The current study aimed to compare measures of executive functions among a clinical sample of adults with ADHD and normal control subjects, matched for age, gender and education. Methods Twenty-three self-referred adults diagnosed with ADHD according to DSM-IV criteria, and twenty-five control subjects were assessed using a neuropsychological battery which included the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Tower of Hanoi, Digit Span, Trail Making Test (A and B), Stroop Test and Raven’s Progressive Matrices. Results The ADHD group did not differ significantly from the control subjects on any of the measures assessed. Conclusion Measures of executive functions using this test battery were unable to discriminate between adults with ADHD and control subjects in this clinical sample. PMID:29213607

  20. Lack of executive function deficits among adult ADHD individuals from a Brazilian clinical sample

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eloisa Saboya

    Full Text Available Abstract Executive function deficits have been previously documented in individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD. Objective: The current study aimed to compare measures of executive functions among a clinical sample of adults with ADHD and normal control subjects, matched for age, gender and education. Methods: Twenty-three self-referred adults diagnosed with ADHD according to DSM-IV criteria, and twenty-five control subjects were assessed using a neuropsychological battery which included the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Tower of Hanoi, Digit Span, Trail Making Test (A and B, Stroop Test and Raven's Progressive Matrices. Results: The ADHD group did not differ significantly from the control subjects on any of the measures assessed. Conclusion: Measures of executive functions using this test battery were unable to discriminate between adults with ADHD and control subjects in this clinical sample.

  1. 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

  2. Executive functioning and dietary intake: Neurocognitive correlates of fruit, vegetable, and saturated fat intake in adults with obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyckoff, Emily P; Evans, Brittney C; Manasse, Stephanie M; Butryn, Meghan L; Forman, Evan M

    2017-04-01

    Obesity is a significant public health issue, and is associated with poor diet. Evidence suggests that eating behavior is related to individual differences in executive functioning. Poor executive functioning is associated with poorer diet (few fruits and vegetables and high saturated fat) in normal weight samples; however, the relationship between these specific dietary behaviors and executive functioning have not been investigated in adults with obesity. The current study examined the association between executive functioning and intake of saturated fat, fruits, and vegetables in an overweight/obese sample using behavioral measures of executive function and dietary recall. One-hundred-ninety overweight and obese adults completed neuropsychological assessments measuring intelligence, planning ability, and inhibitory control followed by three dietary recall assessments within a month prior to beginning a behavioral weight loss treatment program. Inhibitory control and two of the three indices of planning each independently significantly predicted fruit and vegetable consumption such that those with better inhibition and planning ability consumed more fruits and vegetables. No relationship was found between executive functioning and saturated fat intake. Results increase understanding of how executive functioning influences eating behavior in overweight and obese adults, and suggest the importance of including executive functioning training components in dietary interventions for those with obesity. Further research is needed to determine causality as diet and executive functioning may bidirectionally influence each other. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Effects of early psychosocial deprivation on the development of memory and executive function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen J Bos

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the effects of early institutional care on memory and executive functioning. Subjects were participants in the Bucharest Early Intervention Project (BEIP and included institutionalized children, children with a history of institutionalization who were assigned to a foster care intervention, and community children in Bucharest, Romania. Memory and executive functioning were assessed at the age of eight years using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test and Automated Battery (CANTAB. As expected, children with a history of early institutional care performed worse on measures of both visual memory and executive functioning compared to their peers without a history of institutional care. In comparing children randomly assigned to the foster care intervention with their peers who had continued care in the institution, initial comparisons did not show significant differences on any of the memory or executive functioning outcomes. However, for one of the measures of executive functioning, after controlling for birth weight, head circumference, and duration of time spent in early institutional care, the foster care intervention was a significant predictor of scores. These results support and extend previous findings of deficits in memory and executive functioning among school-age children with a history of early deprivation due to institutional care. This study has implications for the millions of children who continue to experience the psychosocial deprivation associated with early institutional care.

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. Executive function deficits in pediatric cerebellar tumor survivors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koustenis, Elisabeth; Hernáiz Driever, Pablo; de Sonneville, Leo; Rueckriegel, Stefan M

    2016-01-01

    Besides motor function the cerebellum subserves frontal lobe functions. Thus, we investigated executive functions in pediatric posterior fossa tumor survivors. We tested information processing, aspects of attention, planning and intelligence in 42 pediatric posterior fossa tumor survivors (mean age 14.63 yrs, SD 5.03). Seventeen low-grade tumor patients (LGCT) were treated with surgery only and 25 high-grade tumors patients (HGCT) received postsurgical adjuvant treatment. We evaluated simple reaction time, executive functioning, i.e. visuospatial memory, inhibition, and mental flexibility using the Amsterdam Neuropsychological Tasks program, whereas forward thinking was assessed with the Tower of London-test. Intelligence was determined using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale. Ataxia was assessed with the International Cooperative Ataxia Rating Scale. About one third of each patient group showed forward thinking scores below one standard deviation of the norm. Impaired forward thinking correlated significantly with degree of ataxia (r = -0.39, p = 0.03) but not with fluid intelligence. Both patient groups exhibited executive function deficits in accuracy and reaction speed in more difficult tasks involving information speed and attention flexibility. Still, HGCT patients were significantly slower and committed more errors. Working memory was inferior in HGCT patients. Pediatric cerebellar tumor survivors with different disease and treatment related brain damage exhibit similar patterns of impairment in executive functioning, concerning forward thinking, inhibition and mental flexibility. The deficits are larger in high-grade tumor patients. The pattern of function loss seen in both groups is most probably due to comparable lesions to cerebro-cerebellar circuits that are known to modulate critical executive functions. Copyright © 2015 European Paediatric Neurology Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. A Working Memory System With Distributed Executive Control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandierendonck, André

    2016-01-01

    Working memory consists of domain-specific storage facilities and domain-general executive control processes. In some working memory theories, these control processes are accounted for via a homunculus, the central executive. In the present article, the author defends a mechanistic view of executive control by adopting the position that executive control is situated in the context of goal-directed behavior to maintain and protect the goal and to select an action to attain the goal. On the basis of findings in task switching and dual tasking, he proposes an adapted multicomponent working memory model in which the central executive is replaced by three interacting components: an executive memory that maintains the task set, a collection of acquired procedural rules, and an engine that executes the procedural rules that match the ensemble of working memory contents. The strongest among the rules that match the ensemble of working memory contents is applied, resulting in changes of the working memory contents or in motor actions. According to this model, goals are attained when the route to the goals is known or can be searched when the route is unknown (problem solving). Empirical evidence for this proposal and new predictions are discussed. © The Author(s) 2015.

  8. Boosting brain functions: Improving executive functions with behavioral training, neurostimulation, and neurofeedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enriquez-Geppert, Stefanie; Huster, René J; Herrmann, Christoph S

    2013-04-01

    Cognitive enhancement is a popular topic, attracting attention both from the general public and the scientific research community. Higher cognitive functions are involved in various aspects of everyday life and have been associated with manifest behavioral and psychiatric mental impairments when deteriorated. The improvement of these so-called executive functions (EFs) is of high individual, social, and economic relevances. This review provides a synopsis of two lines of research, investigating the enhancement of capabilities in executive functioning: a) computerized behavioral trainings, and b) approaches for direct neuromodulation (neurofeedback and transcranial electrostimulation). Task switching, memory updating, response inhibition, and dual task performance are addressed in terms of cognitive functions. It has been shown that behavioral cognitive training leads to enhanced performance in task switching, memory updating, and dual tasks. Similarly, direct neurocognitive modulation of brain regions that are crucially involved in specific EFs also leads to behavioral benefits in response inhibition, task switching, and memory updating. Response inhibition performance has been shown to be improved by neurostimulation of the right inferior frontal cortex, whereas neurostimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex exerts effects on task switching and memory updating. Due to a lack of consistency in experimental methods and findings, a comparison of different training approaches concerning their effectiveness is not yet possible. So far, current data suggest that training gains may indeed generalize to untrained tasks aiming at the same cognitive process, as well as across cognitive domains within executive control. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Impairment of the executive function in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy treatment: a functional MRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, L; Lin, H; Yan, Y; Xu, X; Wang, L; Zhang, J; Yu, Y

    2017-11-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate chemotherapy-induced alterations in the functional framework of the brain, and probe the relationship between these changes and executive function impairments in breast cancer patients. Thirty-three breast cancer patients (BC) after receiving chemotherapy and 31 matched healthy controls (HC) were enrolled in this study. All participants received resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fcMRI) and neuropsychological background tests. The lower functional connectivity of the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) was found in the left postcentral gyrus, left precentral gyrus, right superior temporal gyrus, right cingulate gyrus and right middle frontal gyrus. A significant negative correlation was found between the response time on the Trail Making Tests and the functional connectivity strength between the PCC and right middle frontal and right cingulate gyri in breast cancer patients. In addition, the strength of the functional connectivity between the PCC and right middle frontal gyrus had a negative correlation with the response times on the Stroop Interference Test in breast cancer patients. This study demonstrated that BC patients after receiving chemotherapy have abnormal functional connectivity. These findings suggest that functional connectivity changes might play an important role in chemotherapy-induced executive function impairments in breast cancer patients. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Randomized controlled trials: planning, monitoring, and execution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatfield, Elizabeth; Dicks, Elizabeth; Parfrey, Patrick S

    2015-01-01

    Large integrated multidisciplinary teams have become recognized as an efficient means by which to drive innovation and discovery in clinical research. This chapter describes how to plan, budget and fund these large studies and execute the studies with well-designed governance and monitoring protocols in place, to efficiently manage the large, often dispersed teams involved. Sources of funding are identified, budget development, justification, reporting, financial governance and accountability are described, in addition to the creation and management of the multidisciplinary team that will implement the research plan.

  14. Posttraumatic Psychological Symptoms are Associated with Reduced Inhibitory Control, not General Executive Dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeGutis, Joseph; Esterman, Michael; McCulloch, Bay; Rosenblatt, Andrew; Milberg, William; McGlinchey, Regina

    2015-05-01

    Although there is mounting evidence that greater PTSD symptoms are associated with reduced executive functioning, it is not fully understood whether this association is more global or specific to certain executive function subdomains, such as inhibitory control. We investigated the generality of the association between PTSD symptoms and executive function by administering a broad battery of sensitive executive functioning tasks to a cohort of returning Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans with varying PTSD symptoms. Only tasks related to inhibitory control explained significant variance in PTSD symptoms as well as symptoms of depression, while measures of working memory, measures of switching, and measures simultaneously assessing multiple executive function subdomains did not. Notably, the two inhibitory control measures that showed the highest correlation with PTSD and depressive symptoms, measures of response inhibition and distractor suppression, explained independent variance. These findings suggest that greater posttraumatic psychological symptoms are not associated with a general decline in executive functioning but rather are more specifically related to stopping automatic responses and resisting internal and external distractions.

  15. Fast Modulation of Executive Function by Language Context in Bilinguals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yan Jing

    2013-01-01

    Mastering two languages has been associated with enhancement in human executive control, but previous studies of this phenomenon have exclusively relied on comparisons between bilingual and monolingual individuals. In the present study, we tested a single group of Welsh–English bilinguals engaged in a nonverbal conflict resolution task and manipulated language context by intermittently presenting words in Welsh, English, or both languages. Surprisingly, participants showed enhanced executive capacity to resolve interference when exposed to a mixed compared with a single language context, even though they ignored the irrelevant contextual words. This result was supported by greater response accuracy and reduced amplitude of the P300, an electrophysiological correlate of cognitive interference. Our findings introduce a new level of plasticity in bilingual executive control dependent on fast changing language context rather than long-term language experience. PMID:23946411

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-05

    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. 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. 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 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 training program was feasible to administer and acceptable. The EF training program was feasible and acceptable to children with ADHD and parents. Although replication with a larger sample and an active control group are needed, EF training program with multiple EF focus and parent involving

  18. Emotion suppression moderates the quadratic association between RSA and executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spangler, Derek P; Bell, Martha Ann; Deater-Deckard, Kirby

    2015-09-01

    There is uncertainty about whether respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), a cardiac marker of adaptive emotion regulation, is involved in relatively low or high executive function performance. In the present study, we investigated (a) whether RSA during rest and tasks predict both relatively low and high executive function within a larger quadratic association among the two variables, and (b) the extent to which this quadratic trend was moderated by individual differences in emotion regulation. To achieve these aims, a sample of ethnically and socioeconomically diverse women self-reported reappraisal and emotion suppression. They next experienced a 2-min resting period during which electrocardiogram (ECG) was continually assessed. In the next phase, the women completed an array of executive function and nonexecutive cognitive tasks while ECG was measured throughout. As anticipated, resting RSA showed a quadratic association with executive function that was strongest for high suppression. These results suggest that relatively high resting RSA may predict poor executive function ability when emotion regulation consumes executive control resources needed for ongoing cognitive performance. © 2015 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  19. 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

  20. Executive Function Impairments in High IQ Adults with ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Thomas E.; Reichel, Philipp C.; Quinlan, Donald M.

    2009-01-01

    Objectives: To demonstrate that high IQ adults diagnosed with ADHD suffer from executive function (EF) impairments that: a) can be identified with a combination of standardized measures and self-report data; and b) occur more commonly in this group than in the general population. Method: 157 ADHD adults with IQ greater than or equal to 120 were…

  1. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Lisa A.; Koriakin, Taylor; Lipkin, Paul; Boada, Richard; Frijters, Jan C.; Lovett, Maureen W.; Hill, Dina; Willcutt, Erik; Gottwald, Stephanie; Wolf, Maryanne; Bosson-Heenan, Joan; Gruen, Jeffrey R.; Mahone, E. Mark

    2017-01-01

    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).…

  3. Executive Function: Comparing Bilingual and Monolingual Iranian University Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazemeini, Toktam; Fadardi, Javad Salehi

    2016-01-01

    The study aimed to examine whether Kurdish-Persian early Bilingual university students (EBL) and Persian Monolingual university students (ML) differ on tasks of executive function (EF). Thirty male EBL and 30 male ML students from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad completed a Persian Stroop Color-Word task (SCWT), Backward Digit Span Test (BDST),…

  4. 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

  5. Overcoming Executive Function Deficits with Students with ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Joseph; Reid, Robert

    2011-01-01

    Academic problems are common among students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). One reason for academic problems is the difficulties in executive functions (EF) that are necessary for complex goal-oriented behaviors. Students with ADHD often exhibit EF deficits and as a result have difficulties with tasks that require planning,…

  6. Executive Function in Preschoolers with Primary Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hui-Chun; Gray, Shelley

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether preschoolers with primary language impairment (PLI) show deficits in executive function (EF) compared with their peers with typical development (TD) when inhibition, updating, and mental-set shifting are examined using both linguistically based and visually based tasks. Method: Twenty-two…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. Impulsive and rigid temperament subtypes and executive functioning

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The results indicate that the rigid temperament subtype reacted slower to both complex (executive functioning) and less complex tasks (attention and working memory) than the impulsive temperament subtype. ... Significant differences were maintained with analyses of intelligence and parental education as covariates.

  10. 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…

  11. Executive Functioning in Adult ADHD: A Meta-Analytic Review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    A.M. Boonstra (Marije); J. Oosterlaan (Jaap); J.A. Sergeant (Joseph); J.K. Buitelaar (Jan)

    2005-01-01

    textabstractBackground: 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

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. Executive Function in Preschool Children: Test-Retest Reliability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Danielle M.; Schaefer, Catherine; Pang, Karen; Carlson, Stephanie M.

    2011-01-01

    Research suggests that executive function (EF) may distinguish between children who are well- or ill-prepared for kindergarten; however, little is known about the test-retest reliability of measures of EF for children. We aimed to establish a battery of EF measures that are sensitive to both development and individual differences across the…

  1. The Role of Executive Functions in Numerical Magnitude Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolkman, Meijke E.; Hoijtink, Herbert J. A.; Kroesbergen, Evelyn H.; Leseman, Paul P. M.

    2013-01-01

    Executive functions (EF) are closely related to math performance. Little is known, however, about the role of EF in numerical magnitude skills (NS), although these skills are widely acknowledged to be important precursors of math learning. The current study focuses on the different roles of updating, shifting, and inhibition in NS. EF and NS were…

  2. 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

  3. Critical Thinking, Executive Functions and Their Potential Relationship

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lizarraga, Maria Luisa Sanz de Acedo; Baquedano, Maria Teresa Sanz de Acedo; Villanueva, Oscar Ardaiz

    2012-01-01

    The central issue of this paper is to review the possible relationships between the constructs of critical thinking and executive functions. To do this, we first analyse the essential components of critical thinking from a psychological and neurological point of view. Second, we examine the scope of the cognitive and neurological nature of…

  4. Executive Function Training in Children with SLI: A Pilot Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vugs, Brigitte; Knoors, Harry; Cuperus, Juliane; Hendriks, Marc; Verhoeven, Ludo

    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 flexibility over a 6-week period. Treatment outcome was…

  5. Intellectual Ability and Executive Function in Pediatric Moyamoya Vasculopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Tricia S.; Westmacott, Robyn; Dlamini, Nomazulu; Granite, Leeor; Dirks, Peter; Askalan, Rand; MacGregor, Daune; Moharir, Mahendranath; Deveber, Gabrielle

    2012-01-01

    Aim: Moyamoya vasculopathy is characterized by progressive stenosis of the major arteries of the Circle of Willis, resulting in compromised cerebral blood flow and increased risk of stroke. The objectives of the current study were to examine intellectual and executive functioning of children with moyamoya and to evaluate the impact of moyamoya…

  6. 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

  7. Social Maturity and Executive Function among Deaf Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marschark, Marc; Kronenberger, William G.; Rosica, Mark; Borgna, Georgianna; Convertino, Carol; Durkin, Andreana; Machmer, Elizabeth; Schmitz, Kathryn L.

    2017-01-01

    Two experiments examined relations among social maturity, executive function, language, and cochlear implant (CI) use among deaf high school and college students. Experiment 1 revealed no differences between deaf CI users, deaf nonusers, and hearing college students in measures of social maturity. However, deaf students (both CI users and…

  8. Neuropsychology of Early-Treated Phenylketonuria: Specific Executive Function Deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welsh, Marilyn C.; And Others

    1990-01-01

    Early-treated phenylketonuria (PKU) children and unaffected peers were evaluated on four executive function (EF) tasks and one nonexecutive task. The PKU children scored lower than unaffected children on EF tasks, but not on the nonexecutive task. The PKU children's composite EF score was correlated with concurrent and mean lifetime phenylalanine…

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Physically active academic lessons : Effects on physical fitness and executive functions in primary school children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Greeff, Johannes Wilhelmus

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that physical activity can improve cognitive functions of primary school children, especially the executive functions (functions that are important for goal directed cognition and behavior). Physically active academic lessons, however, do not improve executive functions

  14. 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.

  15. Neuropsychological consequences of alcohol and drug abuse on different components of executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Serrano, María José; Pérez-García, Miguel; Schmidt Río-Valle, Jacqueline; Verdejo-García, Antonio

    2010-09-01

    Several studies have shown alterations in different components of executive functioning in users of different drugs, including cannabis, cocaine and heroin. However, it is difficult to establish a specific association between the use of each of these drugs and executive alterations, since most drug abusers are polysubstance abusers, and alcohol is a ubiquitous confounding factor. Moreover, in order to study the association between consumption of different drugs and executive functioning, the patterns of quantity and duration of drugs used must be considered, given the association between these parameters and the executive functioning alteration degree. Based on the multicomponent approach to executive functions, the aims of the present study were: (i) to analyse the differential contribution of alcohol versus cocaine, heroin and cannabis use on executive functions performance; and (ii) to analyse the contribution made by the severity of the different drugs used (quantity and duration patterns) on these functions in a sample of polysubstance abusers that requested treatment for cannabis-, cocaine- or heroin-related problems. We administered measures of fluency, working memory, analogical reasoning, interference, cognitive flexibility, decision-making and self-regulation to two groups: 60 substance-dependent individuals (SDIs) and 30 healthy control individuals (HCIs). SDIs had significantly poorer performance than HCIs across all of the executive domains assessed. Results from hierarchical regression models showed the existence of common correlates of the use of alcohol, cannabis and cocaine on verbal fluency and decision-making; common correlates of quantity of cannabis and cocaine use on verbal working memory and analogical reasoning; common correlates of duration of cocaine and heroin use on shifting; and specific effects of duration of cocaine use on inhibition measures. These findings indicate that alcohol abuse is negatively associated with fluency and

  16. Executive Function Is Associated With Antisocial Behavior and Aggression in Athletes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Micai, Martina; Kavussanu, Maria; Ring, Christopher

    2015-10-01

    Poor executive function has been linked to increased antisocial and aggressive behavior in clinical and nonclinical populations. The present study investigated the relationship between executive and nonexecutive cognitive function and antisocial behavior in sport as well as reactive and proactive aggression. Cognitive function was assessed in young adult male and female athletes using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB). Antisocial behavior in sport and aggression were assessed via self-report instruments and were found to be positively correlated. Executive function (but not nonexecutive function) scores were negatively correlated with both self-reported antisocial behavior and aggression in males but not females. Our findings suggest that prefrontal deficits among male athletes could contribute to poor impulse control and difficulty in anticipating the consequences of their antisocial and aggressive behavior.

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. Diagnostic Profiles of Patients Differentially Failing Executive Functioning Measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammers, Dustin; Ramirez, Gabriela; Persad, Carol; Heidebrink, Judith; Barbas, Nancy; Giordani, Bruno

    2016-05-01

    Limited research exists to explain differential executive functioning impairment in clinical populations, particularly between the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task (WCST) and the Trail Making Test (TMT). The distribution of clinical diagnoses was examined in patients failing none, one, or both tasks, and executive task performance was compared among dementia-related diagnoses. Two hundred and sixty-six participants received evaluations through an Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, which included executive tasks. Dementia-related diagnoses were established through consensus. Chi-square analyses indicated that TMT failure, with or without WCST failure, possessed higher associations with dementia diagnoses. Repeated measures analysis of variance similarly indicated that participants with dementia, especially mild and moderate severity, performed worse on TMT. Executive dysfunction was observed in dementia-related diagnoses, and TMT failure was implicated in dementia in higher proportions than WCST impairment. Trail Making Test appears more sensitive than WCST for assessing executive impairment across diagnoses, especially when time and resources are limited in screening and clinical settings. © The Author(s) 2015.

  20. Executive Control Goes to School: Implications of Preschool Executive Performance for Observed Elementary Classroom Learning Engagement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Timothy D.; Nelson, Jennifer Mize; James, Tiffany D.; Clark, Caron A. C.; Kidwell, Katherine M.; Espy, Kimberly Andrews

    2017-01-01

    The transition to elementary school is accompanied by increasing demands for children to regulate their attention and behavior within the classroom setting. Executive control (EC) may be critical for meeting these demands; however, few studies have rigorously examined the association between EC and observed classroom behavior. This study examined…

  1. Executive Function Improvement in Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus Following Shunt Surgery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ezequiel Gleichgerrcht

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this investigation was to evaluate improvement of executive functions after shunt surgery in patients with early normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH. Patients with NPH were assessed before and after shunt surgery with tests shown to be sensitive to damage to the prefrontal cortex (PFC. Significant differences were found between basal and follow-up performances on the Boston Naming Test, the backwards digits span, Part B of the Trail Making Test, and the number of words produced on the phonological fluency task. In conclusion, our study reveals that patients with NPH who respond positively to continuous slow lumbar cerebral spinal fluid drainage and receive a ventriculoperitoneal shunt implant, improve their performance on tasks of executive function. Due to the high demand for this form of mental processing in real-life complex scenarios, and based on the severe executive deficits present in both demented and non-demented NPH patients, we encourage the assessment of executive functions in this clinical group.

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

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    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

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

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    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

  4. THE ROLE OF EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS IN SOCIAL COGNITION AMONG CHILDREN WITH DOWN SYNDROME: RELATIONSHIP PATTERNS

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    Anna Amadó

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available 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 (6 theory of mind tasks, a test of emotion comprehension, and 3 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.

  5. 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.

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

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    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…

  7. Rehabilitation of executive functioning in patients with frontal lobe brain damage with Goal Management Training

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    Brian eLevine

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Executive functioning deficits due to brain disease affecting frontal lobe functions cause significant real-life disability, yet solid evidence in support of executive functioning interventions is lacking. Goal Management Training (GMT, an executive functioning intervention that draws upon theories concerning goal processing and sustained attention, has received empirical support in studies of patients with traumatic brain injury, normal aging, and case studies. GMT promotes a mindful approach to complex real-life tasks that pose problems for patients with executive functioning deficits, with a main goal of periodically stopping ongoing behavior to monitor and adjust goals. In this controlled trial, an expanded version of GMT was compared to an alternative intervention, Brain Health Workshop (BHW that was matched to GMT on non-specific characteristics that can affect intervention outcome. Participants included 19 individuals in the chronic phase of recovery from brain disease (predominantly stroke affecting frontal lobe function. Outcome data indicated specific effects of GMT on the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART as well as the Tower Test, a visuospatial problem solving measure that reflected far transfer of training effects. There were no significant effects on self-report questionnaires, likely owing to the complexity of these measures in this heterogeneous patient sample. Overall, these data support the efficacy of GMT in the rehabilitation of executive functioning deficits.

  8. Executive functioning and substance use in adolescence: Neurobiological and behavioral perspectives.

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    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Executive function in children and adolescents with posttraumatic stress disorder 4 and 12 months after the Sichuan earthquake in China.

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    Yang, Rui; Xiang, Yu-Tao; Shuai, Lan; Qian, Ying; Lai, Kelly Y C; Ungvari, Gabor S; Chiu, Helen F K; Wang, Yu-Feng

    2014-01-01

    While several studies have found executive function deficits in adults and maltreated children with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), there are few data on executive function in children and adolescents with PTSD related to natural disasters. The objective of this study was to test executive function changes over time in children and adolescents with PTSD after a magnitude 8.0 earthquake in Sichuan, China. A sample of 34 children and adolescents with diagnosed PTSD following the Sichuan earthquake and 66 matched controls exposed to the same earthquake but without PTSD participated in the study. Executive function was assessed using a battery of interviewer-rated neuropsychological tests and the guardian-rated Behavior Rating Scale of Executive Function (BRIEF) at 4- and 12-month after the earthquake. Children and adolescents with PTSD performed similar to controls in executive function at 4-months after the earthquake. Both groups improved significantly in similar domains of cognition during the following 8 months. The PTSD group exhibited daily deficits in emotional control compared with the controls at the 4-month assessment, but the differences disappeared during the following 8 months. Children and adolescents with PTSD related to a natural disaster have deficits only in the emotional control domain of executive function compared with controls exposed to the same disaster, but even these deficits did not persist. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry © 2013 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

  11. Executive functioning and lateralized semantic priming in older adults

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    Emily J. Helder

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Normal aging is associated with a number of cognitive deficits, including changes in executive functioning. Cabeza (Cabeza, 2002 proposed that hemispheric asymmetry during certain tasks becomes less pronounced in the elderly, reflected in greater bilateral patterns of cortical activation among older adults. Forty-two younger adults and 35 older adults were administered a battery of neuropsychological tests sensitive to frontal functioning. In addition, they completed a lexical decision task to assess lateralized implicit priming at two Stimulus Onset Asynchronies (SOAs (50 ms and 750 ms. Results of accuracy and reaction time data support Cabeza’s model of reduced asymmetry in older adults completing a semantic priming task. Analysis of the contribution of executive functioning revealed its importance in semantic memory processing.

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

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    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.

  13. 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.

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

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    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.

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

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    Ghawami, Heshmatollah; Sadeghi, Sadegh; Raghibi, Mahvash; Rahimi-Movaghar, Vafa

    2017-01-01

    Executive dysfunctions are among the most prevalent neurobehavioral sequelae of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Using culturally validated tests from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS: Trail Making, Verbal Fluency, Design Fluency, Sorting, Twenty Questions, and Tower) and the Behavioural Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome (BADS: Rule Shift Cards, Key Search, and Modified Six Elements), the current study was the first to examine executive functioning in a group of Iranian TBI patients with focal frontal contusions. Compared with a demographically matched normative sample, the frontal contusion patients showed substantial impairments, with very large effect sizes (p ≤ .003, 1.56 executive measures. Controlling for respective lower-level/fundamental conditions, the differences on the highest-level executive (cognitive switching) conditions were still significant. The frontal patients also committed more errors. Patients with lateral prefrontal (LPFC) contusions were qualitatively worst. For example, only the LPFC patients committed perseverative repetition errors. Altogether, our results support the notion that the frontal lobes, specifically the lateral prefrontal regions, play a critical role in cognitive executive functioning, over and above the contributions of respective lower-level cognitive abilities. The results provide clinical evidence for validity of the cross-culturally adapted versions of the tests.

  16. Catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met polymorphism influences prefrontal executive function in early Parkinson's disease.

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    Zhang, Youwen; Feng, Shujun; Nie, Kun; Zhao, Xin; Gan, Rong; Wang, Limin; Zhao, Jiehao; Tang, Hongmei; Gao, Liang; Zhu, Ruiming; Wang, Lijuan; Zhang, Yuhu

    2016-10-15

    The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism has been proposed to be associated with increased risk of Parkinson's disease (PD) and have a specific impact on dopamine-mediated prefrontal executive function in an inverted-U curve manner. We explored the influence of this genetic polymorphism on prefrontal executive function in a well-established Chinese cohort of early PD patients with no current or past history of motor fluctuations or dyskinesias. Cognitive functions were assessed in 250 patients with early PD using Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Chinese Revision (WAIS-RC) and Wechsler Memory Scale-Chinese Revision (WMS-RC). These patients and 300 healthy controls were subsequently genotyped for the COMT gene Val158Met polymorphism. We employed analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and a stratified analysis to determine the associations between the COMT Val158Met genotype and cognitive functions. The COMT Val158Met allele frequency and genotype distributions showed no statistically significant differences between PD patients and controls. However, patients with met/met genotype performed significantly worse on WAIS-RC similarities, a measure of executive function, compared to individuals with val/val genotype. Subsequent ANCOVA analysis revealed that COMT genotype interacted with sex and daily levodopa equivalent dose (LED) to influence executive function. Further stratified analysis showed that the lower-activity COMT met/met genotype has a detrimental effect on executive function among women. Our results demonstrate that COMT Val158Met polymorphism is probably not associated with increased risk of PD, but has an effect on prefrontal executive function interacting with gender and dopaminergic medication. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

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    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.

  18. Executive functions underlying multiplicative reasoning: problem type matters.

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    Agostino, Alba; Johnson, Janice; Pascual-Leone, Juan

    2010-04-01

    We investigated the extent to which inhibition, updating, shifting, and mental-attentional capacity (M-capacity) contribute to children's ability to solve multiplication word problems. A total of 155 children in Grades 3-6 (8- to 13-year-olds) completed a set of multiplication word problems at two levels of difficulty: one-step and multiple-step problems. They also received a reading comprehension test and a battery of inhibition, updating, shifting, and M-capacity measures. Structural equation modeling showed that updating mediated the relationship between multiplication performance (controlling for reading comprehension score) and latent attentional factors M-capacity and inhibition. Updating played a more important role in predicting performance on multiple-step problems than did age, whereas age and updating were equally important predictors on one-step problems. Shifting was not a significant predictor in either model. Implications of proposing executive function updating as a mediator between mathematical cognition and chronological age and attention resources are discussed. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. 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

  20. Improving executive functioning in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

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    Nash, Kelly; Stevens, Sara; Greenbaum, Rachel; Weiner, Judith; Koren, Gideon; Rovet, Joanne

    2015-01-01

    An extensive body of literature has documented executive function (EF) impairments in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD); however, few studies have aimed specifically at improving EF. One treatment program that shows promise for children with FASD is the Alert Program for Self-Regulation®, which is a 12-week treatment specifically designed to target self-regulation, a component of EF. The present study sought to examine if Alert would produce improvements in self-regulation that would generalize to other aspects of EF, behavior, and social skills in children with FASD. Twenty-five children aged 8-12 years diagnosed with an FASD were assigned in alternating sequence to either an immediate treatment (TXT) or a delayed treatment control (DTC) group. Both groups received a comprehensive evaluation of EF at baseline and upon completing therapy (TXT), or after a 12- to 14-week interval from baseline (DTC). Parents also completed questionnaires assessing EF and behavior at both time points. For the TXT group only, parent questionnaires were readministered at 6-month follow-up. At the 12-week follow-up, the TXT group displayed significant improvements in inhibitory control and social cognition. Parents of children in the TXT group reported improved behavioral and emotional regulation, as well as reduced externalizing behavior problems. These behavioral improvements along with further improved parent-rated inhibitory control was maintained at the 6-month follow-up. The EF disabilities in children with FASD can be remediated through a targeted treatment approach aimed at facilitating self-regulation skills.

  1. Intellectual deficits in children with ADHD beyond central executive and non-executive functions.

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    Tillman, Carin M; Bohlin, Gunilla; Sørensen, Lin; Lundervold, Astri J

    2009-12-01

    This study aimed to specify the deficit in intellectual ability in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), by studying the mediating role of impairments in central executive function (EF)-related components (working memory, inhibition, sustained attention) and non-EFs (short-term memory and processing speed). Two hundred and thirty children aged 8-11 years from a population-based sample were assigned to either the ADHD group, the clinical comparison group, or the normal comparison group. The results showed that children with ADHD had poorer fluid and crystallized intelligence, relative to both comparison groups. Further, regarding fluid intelligence, these deficits were not fully mediated by, but rather went beyond, poorer functioning on the studied EF-related components and non-EFs. We tentatively interpret these fluid deficits in children with ADHD as representing deficiencies in a general intellectual resource reflecting executive attentional processes. Concerning crystallized ability, in contrast, the deficit signified impairment in the studied cognitive functions, as indicated by the significant full mediation effect.

  2. The effects of bilingualism and multilingualism on executive functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernardo Kolling Limberger

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Studies have shown that bilinguals and multilinguals have superior performance compared to monolinguals in nonlinguistic tasks that tap into executive functioning. However, studies of bilingual and multilingual advantages in linguistic tasks are fewer and the results are less consensual. In Brazil, the positive effects of executive functions in bilingualism have not been consistently identified in the bilingual populations, especially in speakers of the minority language Hunsrückisch (a German dialect. The main goal of this study was to investigate the performance of bilinguals and multilinguals speakers of Hunsrückisch compared to monolinguals in a nonlinguistic task, the Attentional Network Task, and in a linguistic task, the Sentence Comprehension Task. The results show that multilinguals were faster in comparison to monolinguals in the nonlinguistic task. The results for the linguistic task, in turn, show that the monolinguals had more facility to inhibiting the linguistic interference.

  3. Patients with bipolar disorder show differential executive dysfunctions: A case-control study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Meranda M W; Lui, Simon S Y; Wang, Ya; Tsui, Chi F; Au, Angie C W; Yeung, Hera K H; Yang, Tian-Xiao; Li, Zhi; Cheng, Chi-Wai; Cheung, Eric F C; Chan, Raymond C K

    2016-04-30

    Executive deficits in euthymic bipolar I disorder were examined in a fractionated manner based on the "Supervisory Attentional System" (SAS) model, and the relationship between the degree of executive impairment and the demographic and clinical characteristics of bipolar I participants was explored. A battery of neurocognitive tests capturing specific components of executive function was administered on 30 patients with bipolar I disorder in euthymic state, and compared with 30 healthy controls who were matched by age, gender and IQ. A differential impairment in executive function was demonstrated in euthymic bipolar I participants by using a fractionated approach of the SAS. Euthymic bipolar I patients were found to have significantly poorer performance in immediate and delayed visual memory; and in the executive domains of "initiation", "sustained attention", and "attention allocation and planning". Those with a greater number of executive impairments had lower IQ and higher negative sub-scores on PANSS. These findings might provide a the basis for further studies on identifying the executive components that are associated with particular disease characteristics of bipolar disorder, and those with poorer functional outcome, so that rehabilitation can be focused on the selective domains concerned. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Executive Function Is Associated With Off-Line Motor Learning in People With Chronic Stroke.

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    Al-Dughmi, Mayis; Al-Sharman, Alham; Stevens, Suzanne; Siengsukon, Catherine F

    2017-04-01

    Sleep has been shown to promote off-line motor learning in individuals following stroke. Executive function ability has been shown to be a predictor of participation in rehabilitation and motor recovery following stroke. The purpose of this study was to explore the association between executive function and off-line motor learning in individuals with chronic stroke compared with healthy control participants. Seventeen individuals with chronic stroke (>6 months poststroke) and 9 healthy adults were included in the study. Participants underwent 3 consecutive nights of polysomnography, practiced a continuous tracking task the morning of the third day, and underwent a retention test the morning after the third night. Participants underwent testing on 4 executive function tests after the continuous tracking task retention test. Participants with stroke showed a significant positive correlation between the off-line motor learning score and performance on the Trail-Making Test from Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (r = 0.652; P = 0.005), while the healthy control participants did not. Regression analysis showed that the Trail-Making Test-Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System is a significant predictor of off-line motor learning (P = 0.008). This is the first study to demonstrate that better performance on an executive function test of attention and set-shifting predicts a higher magnitude of off-line motor learning in individuals with chronic stroke. This emphasizes the need to consider attention and set-shifting abilities of individuals following stroke as these abilities are associated with motor learning. This in turn could affect learning of activities of daily living and impact functional recovery following stroke.Video Abstract available for more insights from the authors (see Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, http://links.lww.com/JNPT/A166).

  5. Aging of the Planning Process: The Role of Executive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorel, Olivier; Pennequin, Valerie

    2008-01-01

    This study tested whether the aging of executive functioning is linked to the decline in planning performance. Participants were divided into three groups: group 1 composed of 15 adults with a mean age of 22.7 years, group 2 composed of 15 adults with a mean age of 68.1 years and group 3 composed of 16 adults with a mean age of 78.75 years. Each…

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Executive functioning differences between adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autistic spectrum disorder in initiation, planning and strategy formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-05-01

    Executive functioning deficits characterize the neuropsychological profiles of the childhood neurodevelopmental disorders of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). This study sought to determine whether similar impairments exist in adults with ADHD (N = 53) and ASD (N = 45) in comparison with a healthy control group (N = 31), whether the two disorders can be distinguished on the basis of their executive functioning features, and whether these impairments are related to symptom severity. Both clinical groups were found to exhibit executive functioning deficits. The ADHD group had difficulty withholding a response, with relative preservation of initiation and planning abilities. In contrast, the ASD group exhibited significant impairments in initiation, planning and strategy formation. The specific executive functioning deficits were related to severity of response inhibition impairments in ADHD and stereotyped, repetitive behaviours in ASD. These findings suggest the pattern of executive functioning deficits follows a consistent trajectory into adulthood.

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  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

    2011-01-01

    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…

  13. The Role of the Executive Functions in School Achievement at the End of Grade 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monette, Sebastien; Bigras, Marc; Guay, Marie-Claude

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the role of executive functions (EFs) in early school achievement when a variety of potential confounding factors were controlled. Measures of EF (inhibition, flexibility, and working memory) and school readiness were administered to a sample of 85 kindergartners (39 boys and 46 girls, 5-6 years old). School…

  14. EPA-0533 - Psychopathology and aging: executive function performance on the cambridge neuropsychological test automated battery (CANTAB)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Egger, J.I.M.; Janssen, G.T.L.; Aken, L. van

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Early detection of cognitive change is essential for the diagnosis and timely onset of treatment in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders. Since changes in executive function (EF) are contingent upon age and may compromise assessment accuracy, psychiatric patients and normal controls

  15. What it takes to forgive: When and why executive functioning facilitates forgiveness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pronk, T.M.; Karremans, J.C.T.M.; Overbeek, G.J.; Vermulst, A.A.; Wigboldus, D.H.J.

    2010-01-01

    To establish what it takes to forgive, the present research focused on the cognitive underpinnings of the forgiveness process. We conducted four studies that examined and supported the prediction that executive functioning (a set of cognitive control processes) facilitates forgiveness. First, a

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. The Impact of Parkinson's Disease on Sequence Learning: Perceptual Pattern Learning and Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Amanda; Shin, Jacqueline C.

    2009-01-01

    The current study examined the contribution of brain areas affected by Parkinson's disease (PD) to sequence learning, with a specific focus on response-related processes, spatial attentional control, and executive functioning. Patients with mild PD, patients with moderate PD, and healthy age-matched participants performed three tasks--a sequence…

  19. Associations between Family Environment, Parenting Practices, and Executive Functioning of Children with and without ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Valarie M.; Kelley, Michelle L.

    2009-01-01

    We examined the relationships between executive functioning, family environment, and parenting practices in children diagnosed with ADHD as compared to children without ADHD. Participants were parents (N = 134) of 6- to 12-year-old ADHD and non-ADHD-diagnosed children. Compared to the control group, parents of children diagnosed with ADHD reported…

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 2011 National Drug Control Strategy. Executive Summary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2011

    2011-01-01

    In May of 2010, President Obama released the Administration's inaugural "National Drug Control Strategy", a comprehensive approach to combat the public health and safety consequences posed by drug use. Now, a year later, the Administration is releasing its update building upon that initial "Strategy". The "Strategy" establishes ambitious goals to…

  8. Effect of language proficiency and executive control on verbal fluency performance in bilinguals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Lin; Luk, Gigi; Bialystok, Ellen

    2010-01-01

    We use a time-course analysis to examine the roles of vocabulary size and executive control in bilinguals' verbal fluency performance. Two groups of bilinguals and a group of monolingual adults were tested in English with verbal fluency subtests from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System. The two bilingual groups were equivalent in their self-rated English proficiency but differed in levels of receptive and expressive vocabulary. We hypothesized that the difference between the two bilingual groups in vocabulary and between the monolingual and bilingual groups in executive control would lead to differences in performance on the category and letter fluency tests and dissociate the roles of vocabulary knowledge and executive control in verbal production. Bilinguals and monolinguals performed equivalently in category fluency, but the high-vocabulary bilingual group outperformed both monolinguals and low-vocabulary bilinguals in letter fluency. An analysis of the retrieval time-course functions in letter fluency showed dissociable effects of resources available at the initiation of the trial, considered to reflect vocabulary size, and ability to monitor and retrieve new items using a novel phonemic-based word searching strategy, considered to reflect executive control. The difference in slope of the best-fitting curves reflected enhanced executive control for both bilingual groups compared to monolinguals, whereas the difference in the starting point of the logarithmic functions reflected higher levels of vocabulary for high-vocabulary bilinguals and monolinguals compared to low-vocabulary bilinguals. The results are discussed in terms of the contributions of linguistic resources and executive control to verbal performance.

  9. COMT val158met and 5-HTTLPR genetic polymorphisms moderate executive control in cannabis users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verdejo-García, Antonio; Fagundo, Ana Beatriz; Cuenca, Aida; Rodriguez, Joan; Cuyás, Elisabet; Langohr, Klaus; de Sola Llopis, Susana; Civit, Ester; Farré, Magí; Peña-Casanova, Jordi; de la Torre, Rafael

    2013-07-01

    The adverse effects of cannabis use on executive functions are still controversial, fostering the need for novel biomarkers able to unveil individual differences in the cognitive impact of cannabis consumption. Two common genetic polymorphisms have been linked to the neuroadaptive impact of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) exposure and to executive functions in animals: the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene val158met polymorphism and the SLC6A4 gene 5-HTTLPR polymorphism. We aimed to test if these polymorphisms moderate the harmful effects of cannabis use on executive function in young cannabis users. We recruited 144 participants: 86 cannabis users and 58 non-drug user controls. Both groups were genotyped and matched for genetic makeup, sex, age, education, and IQ. We used a computerized neuropsychological battery to assess different aspects of executive functions: sustained attention (CANTAB Rapid Visual Information Processing Test, RVIP), working memory (N-back), monitoring/shifting (CANTAB ID/ED set shifting), planning (CANTAB Stockings of Cambridge, SOC), and decision-making (Iowa Gambling Task, IGT). We used general linear model-based analyses to test performance differences between cannabis users and controls as a function of genotypes. We found that: (i) daily cannabis use is not associated with executive function deficits; and (ii) COMT val158met and 5-HTTLPR polymorphisms moderate the link between cannabis use and executive performance. Cannabis users carrying the COMT val/val genotype exhibited lower accuracy of sustained attention, associated with a more strict response bias, than val/val non-users. Cannabis users carrying the COMT val allele also committed more monitoring/shifting errors than cannabis users carrying the met/met genotype. Finally, cannabis users carrying the 5-HTTLPR s/s genotype had worse IGT performance than s/s non-users. COMT and SLC6A4 genes moderate the impact of cannabis use on executive functions.

  10. Default mode, executive function, and language functional connectivity networks are compromised in mild Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiler, Marina; Fukuda, Aya; Massabki, Lilian H P; Lopes, Tatila M; Franco, Alexandre R; Damasceno, Benito P; Cendes, Fernando; Balthazar, Marcio L F

    2014-03-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by mental and cognitive problems, particularly with memory, language, visuospatial skills (VS), and executive functions (EF). Advances in the neuroimaging of AD have highlighted dysfunctions in functional connectivity networks (FCNs), especially in the memory related default mode network (DMN). However, little is known about the integrity and clinical significance of FNCs that process other cognitive functions than memory. We evaluated 22 patients with mild AD and 26 healthy controls through a resting state functional MRI scan. We aimed to identify different FCNs: the DMN, language, EF, and VS. Seed-based functional connectivity was calculated by placing a seed in the DMN (posterior cingulate cortex), language (Broca's and Wernicke's areas), EF (right and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex), and VS networks (right and left associative visual cortex). We also performed regression analyses between individual connectivity maps for the different FCNs and the scores on cognitive tests. We found areas with significant decreases in functional connectivity in patients with mild AD in the DMN and Wernicke's area compared with controls. Increased connectivity in patients was observed in the EF network. Regarding multiple linear regression analyses, a significant correlation was only observed between the connectivity of the DMN and episodic memory (delayed recall) scores. In conclusion, functional connectivity alterations in mild AD are not restricted to the DMN. Other FCNs related to language and EF may be altered. However, we only found significant correlations between cognition and functional connectivity in the DMN and episodic memory performance.

  11. Sex-specific associations of testosterone with prefrontal-hippocampal development and executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Tuong-Vi; Lew, Jimin; Albaugh, Matthew D; Botteron, Kelly N; Hudziak, James J; Fonov, Vladimir S; Collins, D Louis; Ducharme, Simon; McCracken, James T

    2017-02-01

    Testosterone is thought to play a crucial role in mediating sexual differentiation of brain structures. Examinations of the cognitive effects of testosterone have also shown beneficial and potentially sex-specific effects on executive function and mnemonic processes. Yet these findings remain limited by an incomplete understanding of the critical timing and brain regions most affected by testosterone, the lack of documented links between testosterone-related structural brain changes and cognition, and the difficulty in distinguishing the effects of testosterone from those of related sex steroids such as of estradiol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Here we examined associations between testosterone, cortico-hippocampal structural covariance, executive function (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function) and verbal memory (California Verbal Learning Test-Children's Version), in a longitudinal sample of typically developing children and adolescents 6-22 yo, controlling for the effects of estradiol, DHEA, pubertal stage, collection time, age, handedness, and total brain volume. We found prefrontal-hippocampal covariance to vary as a function of testosterone levels, but only in boys. Boys also showed a specific association between positive prefrontal-hippocampal covariance (as seen at higher testosterone levels) and lower performance on specific components of executive function (monitoring the action process and flexibly shifting between actions). We also found the association between testosterone and a specific aspect of executive function (monitoring) to be significantly mediated by prefrontal-hippocampal structural covariance. There were no significant associations between testosterone-related cortico-hippocampal covariance and verbal memory. Taken together, these findings highlight the developmental importance of testosterone in supporting sexual differentiation of the brain and sex-specific executive function. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  12. 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.

  13. 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).

  14. Plasticity of Executive Control through Task Switching Training in Adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zinke, Katharina; Einert, Manuela; Pfennig, Lydia; Kliegel, Matthias

    2012-01-01

    Research has shown that cognitive training can enhance performance in executive control tasks. The current study was designed to explore if executive control, specifically task switching, can be trained in adolescents, what particular aspects of executive control may underlie training and transfer effects, and if acute bouts of exercise directly prior to cognitive training enhance training effects. For that purpose, a task switching training was employed that has been shown to be effective in other age groups. A group of adolescents (10-14 years, n = 20) that received a three-session task switching training was compared to a group (n = 20) that received the same task switching training but who exercised on a stationary bike before each training session. Additionally, a no-contact and an exercise only control group were included (both ns = 20). Analyses indicated that both training groups significantly reduced their switching costs over the course of the training sessions for reaction times and error rates, respectively. Analyses indicated transfer to mixing costs in a task switching task that was similar to the one used in training. Far transfer was limited to a choice reaction time task and a tendency for faster reaction times in an updating task. Analyses revealed no additional effects of the exercise intervention. Findings thus indicate that executive control can be enhanced in adolescents through training and that updating may be of particular relevance for the effects of task switching training.

  15. Serotonergic modulation in executive functioning: linking genetic variations to working memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enge, Sören; Fleischhauer, Monika; Lesch, Klaus-Peter; Reif, Andreas; Strobel, Alexander

    2011-11-01

    Emerging evidence from studies using, for example, acute tryptophan depletion or investigating genetic variation of genes related to the serotonin signaling pathway suggest a role of serotonin in executive functions such as top-down attention, working memory and inhibitory control. In the current study, we aimed at extending this evidence by using the n-back task to examine working memory performance of 130 participants via behavioral and neurophysiological indices and by focusing on variations within genes encoding key regulators of the serotonergic system: the serotonin transporter gene-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) and a repeat polymorphism in the transcriptional control region of the monoamine-oxidase gene (MAOA-uVNTR). Because serotonin and norepinephrine systems have been shown to be structurally and functionally highly interrelated, we also examined a novel polymorphism in the promoter region of the norepinephrine transporter gene (NET -3081) in anticipation of epistatic effects. We found that carriers of 5-HTTLPR and MAOA-uVNTR alleles recently implicated in executive processing showed a more efficient executive control of working memory-related performance as evidenced by reaction time, error rate as well as N2 and P3b event-related potential measures. This impact was further supported by interactions with the NET polymorphism. Linking serotonergic influence to mechanisms of inhibitory response control implicated in working memory, our results provide further support for and add new evidence concerning the importance of serotonergic neuromodulation in executive functioning. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalpakidou, Anastasia K; Allin, Matthew P G; Walshe, Muriel; Giampietro, Vincent; McGuire, Philip K; Rifkin, Larry; Murray, Robin M; Nosarti, Chiara

    2014-01-01

    Individuals who were born very preterm (VPT; 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.

  17. Associations between daily physical activity and executive functioning in primary school-aged children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Niet, Anneke G.; Smith, Joanne; Scherder, Erik J. A.; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Hartman, Esther; Visscher, Chris

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: While there is some evidence that aerobic fitness is positively associated with executive functioning in children, evidence for a relation between children's daily physical activity and their executive functioning is limited. The objective was to examine associations between objectively

  18. The role of executive function in posttraumatic stress disorder: A systematic review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Polak, A. Rosaura; Witteveen, Anke B.; Reitsma, Johannes B.; Olff, Miranda

    2012-01-01

    Background: Although posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated with disturbances in verbal memory, studies examining executive functioning in PTSD show mixed results. Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed to compare executive functioning in patients with

  19. Child maltreatment and executive functioning in middle adulthood: a prospective examination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikulina, Valentina; Widom, Cathy Spatz

    2013-07-01

    There is extensive evidence of negative consequences of childhood maltreatment for IQ, academic achievement, and posttraumatic 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. This study examined whether childhood abuse and neglect predicts components of executive functioning and nonverbal reasoning ability in middle adulthood and whether PTSD moderates this relationship. 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 years) and matched controls were followed into adulthood (mean age = 41 years). Executive functioning was assessed with the Trail Making Test-Part B and nonverbal reasoning was assessed with the Matrix Reasoning test. PTSD (DSM-III-R lifetime diagnosis) was assessed at age 29 years. Data were analyzed using ordinary least squares regressions, controlling for age, sex, and race, and possible confounds of IQ, depression, and excessive alcohol use. In multivariate analyses, childhood maltreatment overall and childhood neglect predicted poorer executive functioning and nonverbal reasoning at age 41 years, whereas physical and sexual abuse did not. A past history of PTSD did not mediate or moderate these relations. 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. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

  20. [The effect of age on executive functioning after acquired brain injury in adults].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chevignard, M; Taillefer, C; Poncet, F; Picq, C; Pradat-Diehl, P

    2008-12-01

    Executive functioning deficits have often been described in normal aging. They are also known to be a frequent sequel of traumatic brain injury, where patients may exhibit severe long-standing impairments in instrumental activities of daily living. One could therefore expect that cerebral lesions affecting executive functioning would result in more severe impairments in older patients. We previously developed an ecological assessment of executive functions, consisting of a cooking task, requiring multitasking abilities and known to be sensitive to a dysexecutive syndrome [Cortex 36 (2000) 649-669]. The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of age on the cognitive and ecological assessments of executive functions in a group of patients with acquired brain injury (ABI) resulting in a dysexecutive syndrome. Studies in this area usually focus on patients older than 60 or 65, but we chose to analyze the effect of age in a younger population. We hypothesized that older patients would have poorer performances on the cognitive and ecological tests of executive functioning, when compared to younger patients. Forty-five patients with ABI resulting in frontal lesions and a dysexecutive syndrome participated in this study. Patients underwent a comprehensive battery of cognitive tests assessing executive functioning, as well as the cooking task. We also studied a group of 12 control subjects who performed the cooking task. No effect of age was found on performance in the cooking task in the control group. Age was not related to demographic parameters or injury severity in the ABI group. Although the ABI group was relatively young (mean age: 40.3 years (S.D.=12.5), ranging from 17 to 63), results indicated a significant deleterious effect of age on the cognitive tests of executive functioning in the ABI group. We also highlighted a significant worsening of patients' performance in the cooking task with age, and this effect was found on several variables of task analysis

  1. 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…

  2. The impact of late preterm birth on executive function at preschool age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brumbaugh, Jane E; Hodel, Amanda S; Thomas, Kathleen M

    2014-04-01

    Very preterm birth (impact of late preterm birth (34 to 36 weeks' gestation) on cognition, specifically executive function, is not fully characterized. The aim of this study was to assess whether late preterm children demonstrate impaired executive function compared with full-term children (38 to 42 weeks' gestation). This was a prospective cohort study of 4-year-old children. Preterm (n = 39) and full-term children (n = 44) completed a battery of executive function tasks and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-4. Parents completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool version. Preterm children performed worse on the verbal inhibitory control (p = 0.02) and short-term verbal memory (p = 0.01) tasks. Gestational age predicted performance on the verbal inhibitory control (p = 0.02) and short-term verbal memory (p = 0.04) tasks. There was no group difference in nonverbal inhibitory control (p = 0.45) or spatial memory (p = 0.60). Parents of preterm and full-term children rated their children's behavior similarly (p = 0.79). Late preterm children demonstrated compromised verbal inhibitory control and short-term verbal memory compared with full-term peers. Late preterm children may not be spared from altered brain development. Further research is indicated to determine whether to screen late preterm children for executive function deficits. Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Clinical and neuropsychological assessment of executive function in a sample of children and adolescents with idiopathic epilepsy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Bandeira de Lima

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Objective To compare the executive functions of children and adolescents with idiopathic epilepsy with a control group and to correlate with clinical data, intelligence and academic performance. Method Cross-sectional, descriptive and analytical study. Thirty-one cases and thirty-five controls were evaluated by the WCST (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test.The results were compared with clinical data (seizure type and frequency, disease duration and number of antiepileptic drugs used, IQ (WISC-III and academic performance (APT. Results Patients with epilepsy had poorer executive function scores. There was no positive linear correlation between test scores and epilepsy variables. There was a positive association between academic performance and some executive function results. Conclusion Children with well controlled idiopathic epilepsy may show deficits in executive functions in spite of clinical variables. Those deficits may influence academic performance.

  6. Executive function impairments in depression and bipolar disorder: association with functional impairment and quality of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotrena, Charles; Branco, Laura Damiani; Shansis, Flávio Milman; Fonseca, Rochele Paz

    2016-01-15

    The neuropsychological correlates of major depressive (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BD), and their association with quality of life (QOL) and functioning, have not been sufficiently studied in the literature. The present study aimed to compare executive functions, attention, processing speed, QOL and disability between patients with BD type I, BD type II, MDD and healthy controls. 205 participants (n=37 BDI, 81% female; n=35 BDII, 80% female; n=45 MDD, 69% female; n=89C, 46% female) aged between 18 and 67 years were administered an extensive neurocognitive battery consisting of widely used standardized measures such as the Trail Making Test, the Stroop Color-Word Test and a modified version of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task. Z-scores were compared between groups by ANCOVA. The prevalence of impairments on each measure (Z-scorequality of life and functioning were evaluated through correlational analysis. Patients with MDD showed poor selective and sustained attention, and exhibited impairments in timed tasks, suggesting low efficiency of executive processing. Patients with BDI displayed more widespread cognitive impairment than the remaining groups, and performed worse than subjects with MDD on measures of sustained attention and inhibitory control. Decision-making ability and attentional control were able to distinguish between patients with BDI and BDII. QOL and disability were most impaired in patients with BDI, and more closely associated with cognitive impairment than in the remaining groups. No control of pharmacological variables, clinical or demographic characteristics. Our results provide important information regarding the nature and severity of the cognitive alterations associated with different mood disorders, and may contribute to the diagnosis, rehabilitation and treatment of these conditions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Associations of executive function with sleepiness and sleep duration in adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Basil; Storfer-Isser, Amy; Taylor, H Gerry; Rosen, Carol L; Redline, Susan

    2009-04-01

    Sleep deprivation and sleepiness are associated with poorer school performance, impaired neurobehavioral functioning, and behavioral problems. To determine if adolescents with high levels of sleepiness or short sleep duration have impaired executive functioning. Ours was a cross-sectional analysis of data from 236 healthy adolescents in a community-based cohort study. Sleepiness was measured by using a modified version of the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Participants underwent 5- to 7-day wrist actigraphy at home before overnight polysomnography. Exposure variables were excessive sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale > or = 11) and weekday mean sleep duration. The main outcome measures were the global executive composite scale from the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function and the tower test-total achievement score from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Functioning System. Participants (N = 236) were 13.7 +/- 0.8 years of age, and 52.1% were boys. Mean weekday sleep duration was 7.70 +/- 1.03 hours; 11% slept adolescents had poorer executive functioning on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function global executive composite scale and the Delis-Kaplan Executive Functioning System tower test-total achievement. Analyses adjusted for potential confounders resulted in a modest attenuation of the association with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function and a larger attenuation for the Delis-Kaplan Executive Functioning System. Caregiver education modified the association between sleepiness and the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function outcomes. Among sleepy adolescents, those with less-educated caregivers had greater impairment on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function global executive composite scale. Sleep duration was not significantly associated with executive functioning outcomes. Decrements in selected executive function scales are associated with subjective sleepiness, but not sleep duration, in adolescents. The

  8. Early longitudinal development of executive functioning in two to three year olds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veer, Ilona Maria; van Tuijl, Cathy; Luyten, Johannes W.; Sleegers, P.J.C.

    2015-01-01

    Although previous studies have shown that executive functions can affect student learning, longitudinal studies into how executive functions develop in toddlerhood are still scarce. To get more insights into the developmental nature of executive functions , more research is needed into the

  9. 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

  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. 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. PMID:28114849

  12. Investigating the effects of caffeine on executive functions using traditional Stroop and a new ecologically-valid virtual reality task, the Jansari assessment of Executive Functions (JEF©)

    OpenAIRE

    Soar, Kirstie; Chapman, E.; Sivakuma, N.; Jansari, A.S.; Turner, John J.D.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: Caffeine has been shown to have effects on certain areas of cognition, but in\\ud executive functioning the research is limited and also inconsistent. One reason could be the\\ud need for a more sensitive measure to detect the effects of caffeine on executive function. This\\ud study used a new non-immersive virtual reality assessment of executive functions known as\\ud JEF© (the Jansari Assessment of Executive Function) alongside the ‘classic’ Stroop Colour-\\ud Word task to assess the...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Self-report measures of executive function problems correlate with personality, not performance-based executive function measures, in nonclinical samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, Tom

    2016-04-01

    Researchers and clinicians often measure executive function in patients and normal samples. In addition to cognitive tests that objectively measure executive function, several instruments have been developed that address individuals' everyday experience of executive problems. Such self-report measures of executive problems may have value, but there are questions about the extent to which they tap objectively measurable executive problems or are influenced by variables such as personality. Relationships between self-reported executive problems, personality, and cognitive test performance were assessed in 3 separate, well-powered, methodologically distinct correlational studies using nonclinical samples. These studies used multiple measures of personality and self-reported executive function problems. Across all 3 studies, self-reported executive function problems were found to correlate with neuroticism and with low conscientiousness, with medium to large effect sizes. However self-reported problems did not correlate with performance on Trail Making, Phonemic Fluency, Semantic Fluency, or Digit Span tests tapping executive function. A key implication of these findings is that in nonclinical samples, self-report questionnaires may not be proxies for executive functioning as measured by neuropsychological tests. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved.

  16. Meta-analysis of neuropsychological measures of executive functioning in children and adolescents with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Chun Lun Eric; Lau, Zoe; Lui, Simon S Y; Lok, Eugenia; Tam, Venus; Chan, Quinney; Cheng, Koi Man; Lam, Siu Man; Cheung, Eric F C

    2017-05-01

    Existing literature on the profile of executive dysfunction in autism spectrum disorder showed inconsistent results. Age, comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and cognitive abilities appeared to play a role in confounding the picture. Previous meta-analyses have focused on a few components of executive functions. This meta-analysis attempted to delineate the profile of deficit in several components of executive functioning in children and adolescents with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFASD). Ninety-eight English published case-control studies comparing children and adolescents with HFASD with typically developing controls using well-known neuropsychological measures to assess executive functions were included. Results showed that children and adolescents with HFASD were moderately impaired in verbal working memory (g = 0.67), spatial working memory (g = 0.58), flexibility (g = 0.59), planning (g = 0.62), and generativity (g = 0.60) except for inhibition (g = 0.41). Subgroup analysis showed that impairments were still significant for flexibility (g = 0.57-0.61), generativity (g = 0.52-0.68), and working memory (g = 0.49-0.56) in a sample of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) subjects without comorbid ADHD or when the cognitive abilities of the ASD group and the control group were comparable. This meta-analysis confirmed the presence of executive dysfunction in children and adolescents with HFASD. These deficits are not solely accounted for by the effect of comorbid ADHD and the general cognitive abilities. Our results support the executive dysfunction hypothesis and contribute to the clinical understanding and possible development of interventions to alleviate these deficits in children and adolescents with HFASD. Autism Res 2017, 10: 911-939. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Executive functions of children with developmental dyspraxia: assessment combining neuropsychological and ecological tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toussaint-Thorin, M; Marchal, F; Benkhaled, O; Pradat-Diehl, P; Boyer, F-C; Chevignard, M

    2013-05-01

    To assess executive function in children with developmental dyspraxia. children aged 8 years to 12 years 5 months at the time of the study, diagnosed with developmental dyspraxia between January, 2008 and August, 2009 by a multidisciplinary team in one single center. (1) Paper-and-pencil neuropsychological and ecological tests to assess flexibility, planning, inhibition and prospective memory; (2) two questionnaires answered by parents; (3) the 'Children's Cooking Task' (CCT), an ecological task performed in a real environment (Chevignard et al., 2009 [15]). In this last test, children were compared to matched controls. Non-parametric statistical tests were used. Thirteen patients participated in the study (11 boys-2 girls; mean age 10.3 years [SD=1.3]). Neuropsychological tests highlighted planning and inhibition disorders, but no impaired flexibility. For more than half of the children, the questionnaires indicated impaired executive functions in daily life tasks. Finally, patients showed a significantly increased rate of errors during the CCT, compared with the control group (Pchildren diagnosed with developmental dyspraxia also exhibit executive function disorders. Ecological tests seem more sensitive for identifying executive function disorders than conventional tests. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 < 0.05). Additionally, there was a significant difference between the experimental and control groups in the behavioral inhibition (p < 0.05). Conclusion. An organized physical activity helps to improve the executive function in children with ADHD.

  20. Benefits of sports participation for executive function in disabled athletes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Russo, Francesco; Bultrini, Alessandro; Brunelli, Stefano; Delussu, Anna Sofia; Polidori, Lorenzo; Taddei, Francesco; Traballesi, Marco; Spinelli, Donatella

    2010-12-01

    We investigated the effect of sports activity on physically-disabled individuals using behavioral and electrophysiological techniques. Visual go/no-go discriminative and simple response tasks were used. Participants included 17 disabled athletes, 9 from open-skill (wheelchair basketball) and eight from closed-skill (swimming) sports, and 18 healthy non-athletes. Reaction times of the disabled athletes were slower than those of healthy non-athletes on both tasks (7% and 13% difference, respectively). Intra-individual variations in reaction times, switch cost, and number of false alarms, were higher in the swimmers, but comparable to healthy non-athletes, in the basketball group. Event-related potentials (ERPs) early components P1, N1, and P2 had longer latencies in the disabled athletes. The late P3 component had longer latency and smaller amplitude in the disabled athletes only in the discriminative response task. The N2 component, which reflected inhibition/execution processing in the discriminative response task, was delayed and reduced in the swimmer group, but was comparable to healthy subjects in the basketball group. Our results show that (1) the ERP components related to perceptual processing, and late components related to executive processing, were impaired in disabled subjects; and (2) open-skill sports such as basketball may partially compensate for executive control impairment by fostering the stability of motor responses and favoring response flexibility.

  1. How specific are executive functioning deficits in attention hyperactivity disorder and autism?

    OpenAIRE

    Geurts, H.M.; Verte, S; Oosterlaan, J.; Roeyers, R.; Sergeant, J. A.

    2003-01-01

    Background: The objective of this study is to identify intact and deficient cognitive processes in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and children with high functioning autism (HFA). Method: Three rigorously diagnosed groups of children aged between 6 and 12 years (54 ADHD, 41 HFA, and 41 normal controls) were tested on a wide range of tasks related to five major domains of executive functioning (EF): inhibition, visual working memory, planning, cognitive flexibilit...

  2. How specific are executive functioning deficits in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism?

    OpenAIRE

    Geurts, H.M.; Verté, S.; Oosterlaan, J.; Roeyers, M.; Sergeant, J. A.

    2004-01-01

    Background: The objective of this study is to identify intact and deficient cognitive processes in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and children with high functioning autism (HFA). Method: Three rigorously diagnosed groups of children aged between 6 and 12 years (54 ADHD, 41 HFA, and 41 normal controls) were tested on a wide range of tasks related to five major domains of executive functioning (EF): inhibition, visual working memory, planning, cognitive flexibilit...

  3. Age-Related Differences in the Reliance on Executive Control in Working Memory: Role of Task Demand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isingrini, Michel; Angel, Lucie; Fay, Séverine; Taconnat, Laurence; Lemaire, Patrick; Bouazzaoui, Badiâa

    2015-01-01

    We examined the hypothesis that age-related differences in the reliance on executive control may be better explained by variations of task demand than by a mechanism specifically linked to aging. To this end, we compared the relationship between the performance of young and older adults on two executive functioning tests and an updating working-memory task with different load levels. The results revealed a significant interaction between age, task demand, and individual executive capacities, indicating that executive resources were only involved at lower loads in older adults, and only at higher loads in young adults. Overall, the results are not consistent with the proposition that cognition places greater demand on executive control in older adults. However, they support the view that how much young and older adults rely on executive control to accomplish cognitive tasks depends on task demand. Finally, interestingly these results are consistent with the CRUNCH model accounting for age-related differences in brain activations.

  4. Do better executive functions buffer the effect of current parental depression on adolescent depressive symptoms?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidovich, Shiri; Collishaw, Stephan; Thapar, Ajay K; Harold, Gordon; Thapar, Anita; Rice, Frances

    2016-07-15

    Offspring of parents with a history of major depressive disorder (MDD) and especially those exposed to a current episode of parental depression have been found to be at increased risk for developing depression themselves. Exposure to a current parental depressive episode also reduces the efficacy of interventions in high risk or depressed adolescents. This highlights the need to identify protective factors for adolescents exposed to a current parental depressive episode. Executive functions serve as an important cognitive resource, involved in the ability to regulate mood and thoughts and cope with stressful events. This study examined the buffering role of two components of executive functioning, inhibitory control and mental flexibility, in the association between a current parental episode of MDD and adolescent depressive symptoms. A high-risk sample of 288 adolescent offspring of parents with recurrent major depressive disorder completed an Affective Go/No Go and a Verbal Fluency task. Parents and adolescents underwent psychiatric interviews. In the presence of a current parental depressive episode in the parent, adolescents with better inhibitory control and mental flexibility had fewer depressive symptoms after controlling for age, gender and IQ. Participants were the offspring of depressed parents and it is not clear whether the protective effects of executive functioning observed here would generalise to other populations. Executive functions may protect against adolescent depression in the presence of a parental depressive episode. It may be beneficial to target executive functions in preventive programs for individuals at high-risk for depression. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Executive functions in elementary school children with and without problems in written expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooper, Stephen R; Swartz, Carl W; Wakely, Melissa B; de Kruif, Renée E L; Montgomery, James W

    2002-01-01

    This study examined the executive functioning of 55 elementary school children with and without problems in written expression. Two groups reflecting children with and without significant writing problems were defined by an average primary trait rating across two separate narratives. The groups did not differ in terms of chronological age, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, special education status, or presence of attention problems or receptive vocabulary capabilities; however, they did differ in reading decoding ability, and this variable was controlled for in all analyses. Dependent measures included tasks tapping an array of executive functions grouped conceptually in accordance with a model of executive functioning reflecting the following domains: initiate, sustain, set shifting, and inhibition/stopping. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) procedures revealed statistically significant group differences on the initiation and set shift domains, with the sustaining domain approaching significance. Children with writing problems performed more poorly in each of these domains, although the effect sizes were small. A multiple regression that employed these four factors and the reading decoding variable to predict the primary trait score from the written narratives revealed a statistically significant regression function; however, reading decoding contributed most of the unique variance to the writing outcome. These findings point out the importance of executive functions in the written language process for elementary school students, but highlight the need to examine other variables when studying elementary school-age children with written expression problems.

  6. Task-Based Neurofeedback Training: A Novel Approach Toward Training Executive Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosseini, SM Hadi; Pritchard-Berman, Mika; Sosa, Natasha; Ceja, Angelica; Kesler, Shelli R.

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive training is an emergent approach to improve cognitive functions in various neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases. However, current training programs can be relatively lengthy, making adherence potentially difficult for patients with cognitive difficulties. Previous studies suggest that providing individuals with real-time feedback about the level of brain activity (neurofeedback) can potentially help them learn to control the activation of specific brain regions. In the present study, we developed a novel task-based neurofeedback training paradigm that benefits from the effects of neurofeedback in parallel with computerized training. We focused on executive function training given its core involvement in various developmental and neurodegenerative diseases. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) was employed for providing neurofeedback by measuring changes in oxygenated hemoglobin in the prefrontal cortex. Of the twenty healthy adult participants, ten received real neurofeedback (NFB) on prefrontal activity during cognitive training, and ten were presented with sham feedback (SHAM). Compared with SHAM, the NFB group showed significantly improved executive function performance including measures of working memory after four sessions of training (100 minutes total). The NFB group also showed significantly reduced training-related brain activity in the executive function network including right middle frontal and inferior frontal regions compared with SHAM. Our data suggest that providing neurofeedback along with cognitive training can enhance executive function after a relatively short period of training. Similar designs could potentially be used for patient populations with known neuropathology, potentially helping them to boost/recover the activity in the affected brain regions. PMID:27015711

  7. 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.

  8. The effects of synthetic cannabinoids on executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, K; Kapitány-Fövény, M; Mama, Y; Arieli, M; Rosca, P; Demetrovics, Z; Weinstein, A

    2017-04-01

    There is a growing use of novel psychoactive substances (NPSs) including synthetic cannabinoids. Synthetic cannabinoid products have effects similar to those of natural cannabis but the new synthetic cannabinoids are more potent and dangerous and their use has resulted in various adverse effects. The purpose of the study was to assess whether persistent use of synthetic cannabinoids is associating with impairments of executive function in chronic users. A total of 38 synthetic cannabinoids users, 43 recreational cannabis users, and 41 non-user subjects were studied in two centers in Hungary and Israel. Computerized cognitive function tests, the classical Stroop word-color task, n-back task, and a free-recall memory task were used. Synthetic cannabinoid users performed significantly worse than both recreational and non-cannabis users on the n-back task (less accuracy), the Stroop task (overall slow responses and less accuracy), and the long-term memory task (less word recall). Additionally, they have also shown higher ratings of depression and anxiety compared with both recreational and non-users groups. This study showed impairment of executive function in synthetic cannabinoid users compared with recreational users of cannabis and non-users. This may have major implications for our understanding of the long-term consequences of synthetic cannabinoid based drugs.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Nathan F; Gold, Brian T; Brown, Christopher A; Anggelis, Emily F; Bailey, Alison L; Clasey, Jody L; Powell, David K

    2017-01-01

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Executive Functions in Tobacco Dependence: Importance of Inhibitory Capacities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentin Flaudias

    Full Text Available Executive functions are linked to tobacco dependence and craving. In this cross-sectional study, we assessed the impact of three executive functions: updating, inhibition and shifting processes on tobacco craving and dependence.134 tobacco consumers were included in this study: 81 moderately (Fagerström score 7. Dependence was assessed with the Fagerström test and craving with the tobacco craving questionnaire (TCQ 12. We used the Stroop test and the Hayling test to measure inhibition, the Trail Making Test to measure shifting processes and the n-back test to measure updating processes. A multivariate logistic model was used to assess which variables explained best the level of nicotine dependence.Inhibition (p = 0.002 and updating (p = 0.014 processes, but not shifting processes, were associated with higher tobacco dependence. Inhibition capacity had a significant effect on the nicotine dependence level independently of age, education, time since last cigarette, intellectual quotient, craving, updating and shifting process.Nicotine dependence level seems better explained by inhibition capacities than by craving and updating effects. The capacity to inhibit our behaviours is a good predictor of the severity of tobacco dependence. Our results suggest a prefrontal cortex dysfunction affecting the inhibitory capacities of heavy tobacco dependent smokers. Further studies are needed to investigate the application of these findings in the treatment of tobacco dependence.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  18. Assessing Executive Functions in Preschoolers Using Shape School Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nieto, Marta; Ros, Laura; Medina, Gloria; Ricarte, Jorge J; Latorre, José M

    2016-01-01

    Over the last two decades, there has been a growing interest in the study of the development of executive functions (EF) 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 EFs. Our results show age-associated improvements in EFs and the cognitive variables assessed. Furthermore, correlation analyses reveal positive relationships between EFs and the other cognitive variables. More specifically, using structural equation modeling and including age direct and indirect effects, our results suggest that EFs 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 EFs and their relationship with other cognitive processes.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. Relations of Preschoolers' Visual-Motor and Object Manipulation Skills With Executive Function and Social Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 (Mage = 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 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    Executive functioning is important to assess in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Parent report is used to obtain information about a child's executive functioning; however, parent report can be influenced by many factors. This study's hypothesis was that higher ratings of children's executive dysfunction are…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuke eMoriguchi

    2014-04-01

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

  6. An evidence based review of acute and long-term effects of cannabis use on executive cognitive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crean, Rebecca D; Crane, Natania A; Mason, Barbara J

    2011-03-01

    Cannabis use has been shown to impair cognitive functions on a number of levels-from basic motor coordination to more complex executive function tasks, such as the ability to plan, organize, solve problems, make decisions, remember, and control emotions and behavior. These deficits differ in severity depending on the quantity, recency, age of onset and duration of marijuana use. Understanding how cannabis use impairs executive function is important. Individuals with cannabis-related impairment in executive functions have been found to have trouble learning and applying the skills required for successful recovery, putting them at increased risk for relapse to cannabis use. Here we review the research on the acute, residual, and long-term effects of cannabis use on executive functions, and discuss the implications for treatment.

  7. An Evidence Based Review of Acute and Long-Term Effects of Cannabis Use on Executive Cognitive Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crean, Rebecca D.; Crane, Natania A.; Mason, Barbara J.

    2011-01-01

    Cannabis use has been shown to impair cognitive functions on a number of levels—from basic motor coordination to more complex executive function tasks, such as the ability to plan, organize, solve problems, make decisions, remember, and control emotions and behavior. These deficits differ in severity depending on the quantity, recency, age of onset and duration of marijuana use. Understanding how cannabis use impairs executive function is important. Individuals with cannabis-related impairment in executive functions have been found to have trouble learning and applying the skills required for successful recovery, putting them at increased risk for relapse to cannabis use. Here we review the research on the acute, residual, and long-term effects of cannabis use on executive functions, and discuss the implications for treatment. PMID:21321675

  8. Age-related changes in executive function: a normative study with the Dutch version of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huizinga, M.; Smidts, D.P.

    2011-01-01

    This study examined age-related change in executive function by using a Dutch translation of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF; Gioia et al., 2000) that was applied to a normative sample (age range 5-18 years). In addition, we examined the reliability and factorial

  9. Executive cognitive functioning, alcohol, and aggression: comment on Giancola (2000).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherek, D R

    2000-11-01

    P. R. Giancola (2000) postulated executive cognitive functioning (ECF) as a mechanism to explain the association between alcohol consumption and aggression. Alcohol intoxication disrupts ECF, which heightens the probability of aggression. This is most likely to occur in individuals with low ECF. These propositions are found lacking. The disruption in ECF by alcohol would be greatest among individuals with high ECF, and low-ECF individuals presumably would not experience much further disruption as result of low baseline functioning. These 2 premises appear to be inconsistent. The concept of ECF suffers from the problems associated with hypothetical constructs. Patterns of aggression emerge in young children before the development of cognitive skills associated with ECF, and the association of aggression and low ECF occur as results of environmental risk factors. ECF is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition to explain aggression following alcohol drinking.

  10. 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

    2016-12-01

    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. The primary goals of the current study were to examine and test the relations among executive function, metacognition, and self-regulated learning as well as to examine how self-regulated learning is informed by executive function. The sample comprised 117 undergraduate students attending a large, Mid-Atlantic research university in the United States. Participants were individually administered direct and indirect measures of executive function, metacognition, and self-regulated learning. A mediation model specifying the relations among the regulatory constructs was proposed. In multiple linear regression analyses, executive function predicted metacognition and self-regulated learning. Direct measures of inhibition and shifting accounted for a significant amount of the variance in metacognition and self-regulated learning beyond an indirect measure of executive functioning. Separate mediation analyses indicated that metacognition mediated the relationship between executive functioning and self-regulated learning as well as between specific executive functions and self-regulated learning. The findings of this study are supported by previous research documenting the relations between executive function and self-regulated learning, and extend prior research by examining the manner in which executive function and self-regulated learning are linked. The findings provide initial support for executive functions as key processes, mediated by metacognition, that predict self-regulated learning. Implications for the contribution of executive functions to self-regulated learning are discussed. © 2016 The British Psychological Society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-09

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

  12. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Nathan F. Johnson; Brian T. Gold; Brown, Christopher A.; Anggelis, Emily F.; Bailey, Alison L.; Clasey, Jody L.; Powell, David K.

    2017-01-01

    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 b...

  14. Executive control goes to school: Implications of preschool executive performance for observed elementary classroom learning engagement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Timothy D; Nelson, Jennifer Mize; James, Tiffany D; Clark, Caron A C; Kidwell, Katherine M; Espy, Kimberly Andrews

    2017-05-01

    The transition to elementary school is accompanied by increasing demands for children to regulate their attention and behavior within the classroom setting. Executive control (EC) may be critical for meeting these demands; however, few studies have rigorously examined the association between EC and observed classroom behavior. This study examined EC in preschool (age 5 years 3 months) as a predictor of classroom learning engagement behaviors in first grade, using a battery of performance-based EC tasks and live classroom observations in a longitudinal sample of 313 children. Multilevel modeling results indicated that stronger EC predicted more focused engagement and fewer task management and competing responses, controlling for socioeconomic status, child sex, and age at observations. Results suggest that early EC may support subsequent classroom engagement behaviors that are critical for successful transition to elementary school and long-term learning trajectories. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friend, Margaret; Bates, Raven Phoenix

    2014-01-01

    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 min 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. PMID:24872811

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verlinden, Marina; Veenstra, René; Ghassabian, Akhgar; Jansen, Pauline W; Hofman, Albert; Jaddoe, Vincent W V; Verhulst, Frank C; Tiemeier, Henning

    2014-08-01

    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 involvement in early elementary school. The association was examined in a population-based sample of 1,377 children. At age 4 years we assessed problems in inhibition, shifting, emotional control, working memory and planning/organization, using a validated parental questionnaire (the BRIEF-P). Additionally, we determined child non-verbal IQ at age 6 years. Bullying involvement as a bully, victim or a bully-victim in grades 1-2 of elementary school (mean age 7.7 years) was measured using a peer-nomination procedure. Individual bullying scores were based on the ratings by multiple peers (on average 20 classmates). Analyses were adjusted for various child and maternal socio-demographic and psychosocial covariates. Child score for inhibition problems was associated with the risk of being a bully (OR per SD = 1.35, 95%CI: 1.09-1.66), victim (OR per SD = 1.21, 95%CI: 1.00-1.45) and a bully-victim (OR per SD = 1.55, 95%CI: 1.10-2.17). Children with higher non-verbal IQ were less likely to be victims (OR = 0.99, 95%CI: 0.98-1.00) and bully-victims (OR = 95%CI: 0.93-0.98, respectively). In conclusion, our study showed that peer interactions may be to some extent influenced by children's executive function and non-verbal intelligence. Future studies should examine whether training executive function skills can reduce bullying involvement and improve the quality of peer relationships.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adan, Ana; Capella, Maria Del Mar; Prat, Gemma; Forero, Diego A; López-Vera, Silvia; Navarro, José Francisco

    2017-01-01

    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 our findings

  19. Social Cognition, Executive Functions and Self-Report of Psychological Distress in Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Ida Unmack; Vinther-Jensen, Tua; Nielsen, Jørgen Erik; Gade, Anders; Vogel, Asmus

    2016-12-28

    Huntington's disease (HD) is characterized by motor symptoms, psychiatric symptoms and cognitive impairment in, inter alia, executive functions and social cognition. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between subjective feeling of psychological distress using a self-report questionnaire and performances on tests of executive functions and social cognition in a large consecutive cohort of HD patients. 50 manifest HD patients were tested in social cognition and executive functions and each answered a self-report questionnaire about current status of perceived psychological distress (the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R)). Correlation analyses of test performance and SCL-90-R scores were made as well as stepwise linear regression analyses with the SCL-90-R GSI score and test performances as dependent variables. We found that less psychological distress was significantly associated with worse performances on social cognitive tests (mean absolute correlation .34) and that there were no significant correlations between perceived psychological distress and performance on tests of executive functions. The correlations between perceived psychological distress and performance on social cognitive tests remained significant after controlling for age, Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale-99 total motor score and performance on tests of executive functions. Based on previous findings that insight and apathy are closely connected and may be mediated by overlapping neuroanatomical networks involving the prefrontal cortex and frontostriatal circuits, we speculate that apathy/and or impaired insight may offer an explanation for the correlation between self-report of psychological distress and performance on social cognitive tests in this study.

  20. Pharmacological enhancement of memory and executive functioning in laboratory animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floresco, Stan B; Jentsch, James D

    2011-01-01

    Investigating how different pharmacological compounds may enhance learning, memory, and higher-order cognitive functions in laboratory animals is the first critical step toward the development of cognitive enhancers that may be used to ameliorate impairments in these functions in patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders. Rather than focus on one aspect of cognition, or class of drug, in this review we provide a broad overview of how distinct classes of pharmacological compounds may enhance different types of memory and executive functioning, particularly those mediated by the prefrontal cortex. These include recognition memory, attention, working memory, and different components of behavioral flexibility. A key emphasis is placed on comparing and contrasting the effects of certain drugs on different cognitive and mnemonic functions, highlighting methodological issues associated with this type of research, tasks used to investigate these functions, and avenues for future research. Viewed collectively, studies of the neuropharmacological basis of cognition in rodents and non-human primates have identified targets that will hopefully open new avenues for the treatment of cognitive disabilities in persons affected by mental disorders.

  1. Individual differences in control of language interference in late bilinguals are mainly related to general executive abilities

    OpenAIRE

    Münte Thomas F; Rodriguez-Fornells Antoni; Festman Julia

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Background Recent research based on comparisons between bilinguals and monolinguals postulates that bilingualism enhances cognitive control functions, because the parallel activation of languages necessitates control of interference. In a novel approach we investigated two groups of bilinguals, distinguished by their susceptibility to cross-language interference, asking whether bilinguals with strong language control abilities ("non-switchers") have an advantage in executive function...

  2. Individual differences in control of language interference in late bilinguals are mainly related to general executive abilities

    OpenAIRE

    Festman, J.; Rodríguez Fornells, Antoni; Münte, Thomas F.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Recent research based on comparisons between bilinguals and monolinguals postulates that bilingualism enhances cognitive control functions, because the parallel activation of languages necessitates control of interference. In a novel approach we investigated two groups of bilinguals, distinguished by their susceptibility to cross-language interference, asking whether bilinguals with strong language control abilities ('non-switchers") have an advantage in executive functions (inhib...

  3. The profile of executive function in OCD hoarders and hoarding disorder ☆

    OpenAIRE

    Morein-Zamir, Sharon; Papmeyer, Martina; Pertusa, Alberto; Chamberlain, Samuel R.; Fineberg, Naomi A; Sahakian, Barbara J.; Mataix-Cols, David; Robbins, Trevor W

    2014-01-01

    Hoarding disorder is a new mental disorder in DSM-5. It is classified alongside OCD and other presumably related disorders in the Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders chapter. We examined cognitive performance in two distinct groups comprising individuals with both OCD and severe hoarding, and individuals with hoarding disorder without comorbid OCD. Participants completed executive function tasks assessing inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, spatial planning, probabilistic learni...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

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