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  1. 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.

  2. Executive function (EF) in dyslexia: examining an EF profile associated with dyslexia and comorbid dyslexia-ADHD and exploring the near and far transfer effects of EF training in dyslexia alone.

    OpenAIRE

    Doyle, Caoilainn

    2017-01-01

    Although there are several competing theories to explain dyslexia, no clear causal pathway has been established. Current theories also fail to address associated socio-emotional difficulties and high co-occurrence of dyslexia with ADHD. Executive function (EF), an umbrella term for a triad of high-level cognitive processes associated with pre-frontal brain regions – response inhibition (RI), working memory updating and switching, is a candidate factor for explaining the overlap between dyslex...

  3. Getting the right grasp on executive function

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    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

  4. Executive Functions in Developmental Dyslexia

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    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.

  5. Impact of sociodemographic variables on executive functions

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    Campanholo, Kenia Repiso; Boa, Izadora Nogueira Fonte; Hodroj, Flávia Cristina da Silva Araujo; Guerra, Glaucia Rosana Benute; Miotto, Eliane Correa; Lucia, Mara Cristina Souza de

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Executive functions (EFs) regulate human behavior and allow individuals to interact and act in the world. EFs are sensitive to sociodemographic variables such as age, which promotes their decline, and to others that can exert a neuroprotective effect. Objective: To assess the predictive role of education, occupation and family income on decline in executive functions among a sample with a wide age range. Methods: A total of 925 participants aged 18-89 years with 1-28 years' education...

  6. Executive Functions after Age 5: Changes and Correlates

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Pattern of executive functioning in adolescents with epilepsy: A multimethod measurement approach.

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    Modi, Avani C; Vannest, Jennifer; Combs, Angela; Turnier, Luke; Wade, Shari L

    2018-03-01

    Youth with epilepsy demonstrate deficits in executive functioning (EF), the skills necessary for goal-directed behavior (e.g., problem-solving, initiating, monitoring, organization, planning, and working memory). Despite 30-50% of youth with epilepsy demonstrating EF deficits, no extant studies have utilized both performance and questionnaire-based measures to examine the pattern of EF deficits in adolescents with epilepsy. Study aims were to 1) identify the pattern of EF deficits in adolescents with epilepsy and 2) identify which assessment tools are most sensitive to EF deficits in this population (adolescents, ages 13-17, with epilepsy). An exploratory aim was to examine group differences on measures of EF by epilepsy type. Standard performance-based neuropsychological measures (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Version V or Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Working Memory Index-Version IV, Delis Kaplan Executive Functioning System, NIH Toolbox, Test of Everyday Attention for Children) and the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning (BRIEF) comprised the multimethod assessment battery. Depending on the measure, 30% of adolescents with epilepsy had deficits in working memory, 17% in cognitive flexibility/problem solving, 6% in inhibition, and 18% in planning/organization. Attention was a significant problem for 15% of adolescents with epilepsy. Correlations among the various EF measures were quite poor. Across various EF domains, results indicated that adolescents with localization-related epilepsy demonstrated better EF skills compared to adolescents with unclassified epilepsy. Overall, our findings suggest that executive functioning deficits are selective and different from those observed in other neurological populations (e.g., attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), traumatic brain injury) where problems with self-regulation (i.e., inhibition, planning/organization) are more pronounced. These findings support utilizing multiple

  8. Executive function in different groups of university students

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    Prosen, Simona; Smrtnik Vitulić, Helena

    2015-01-01

    The present study analyses the executive function (EF) skills of 369 students of primary education (n = 116), preschool education (n = 72), social pedagogy (n = 54), and biology (n = 128). It explores how the different groups of students use selected executive skills and whether there are any differences between the groups in this respect. Eleven EF skills were self-assessed using the Executive Skills Questionnaire for Students (Dawson & Guare, 2010). All of the groups of students experien...

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

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    Marisa G. Filipe

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Little is known about the relationship between prosodic abilities and executive function skills. As deficits in executive functions (EFs and prosodic impairments are characteristics of autism, we examined how EFs are related to prosodic performance in children with high-functioning autism (HFA. Fifteen children with HFA (M = 7.4 years; SD = 1.12, matched to 15 typically developing peers on age, gender, and non-verbal intelligence participated in the study. The Profiling Elements of Prosody in Speech-Communication (PEPS-C was used to assess prosodic performance. The Children’s Color Trails Test (CCTT-1, CCTT-2, and CCTT Interference Index was used as an indicator of executive control abilities. Our findings suggest no relation between prosodic abilities and visual search and processing speed (assessed by CCTT-1, but a significant link between prosodic skills and divided attention, working memory/sequencing, set-switching, and inhibition (assessed by CCTT-2 and CCTT Interference Index. These findings may be of clinical relevance since difficulties in EFs and prosodic deficits are characteristic of many neurodevelopmental disorders. Future studies are needed to further investigate the nature of the relationship between impaired prosody and executive (dysfunction.

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

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    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.

  11. Executive dysfunction in high functioning autism

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    Burnett, Hollie

    2017-01-01

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

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

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

    2014-06-01

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

  13. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa: A meta-analysis of executive functioning.

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    Hirst, Rayna B; Beard, Charlotte L; Colby, Katrina A; Quittner, Zoe; Mills, Brent M; Lavender, Jason M

    2017-12-01

    Research investigating the link between eating disorder (ED) diagnosis and executive dysfunction has had conflicting results, yet no meta-analyses have examined the overall association of ED pathology with executive functioning (EF). Effect sizes were extracted from 32 studies comparing ED groups (27 of anorexia nervosa, 9 of bulimia nervosa) with controls to determine the grand mean effect on EF. Analyses included effects for individual EF measures, as well as an age-based subgroup analysis. There was a medium effect of ED diagnosis on executive functioning, with bulimia nervosa demonstrating a larger effect (Hedges's g=-0.70) than anorexia nervosa (g=-0.41). Within anorexia nervosa studies, subgroup analyses were conducted for age and diagnostic subtype. The effect of anorexia nervosa on EF was largest in adults; however, subgroup differences for age were not significant. Anorexia and bulimia nervosa are associated with EF deficits, which are particularly notable for individuals with bulimia nervosa. The present analysis includes recommendations for future studies regarding study design and EF measurement. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Strong Genetic Overlap Between Executive Functions and Intelligence

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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

    2016-01-01

    Executive function (EF) skills are the attention-regulation skills that make it possible to sustain attention, keep goals and information in mind, refrain from responding immediately, resist distraction, tolerate frustration, consider the consequences of different behaviors, reflect on past experiences, and plan for the future. As EF research…

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

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    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…

  17. Core executive functions are associated with success in young elite soccer players.

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    Torbjörn Vestberg

    Full Text Available Physical capacity and coordination cannot alone predict success in team sports such as soccer. Instead, more focus has been directed towards the importance of cognitive abilities, and it has been suggested that executive functions (EF are fundamentally important for success in soccer. However, executive functions are going through a steep development from adolescence to adulthood. Moreover, more complex EF involving manipulation of information (higher level EF develop later than simple executive functions such as those linked to simple working memory capacity (Core EF. The link between EF and success in young soccer players is therefore not obvious. In the present study we investigated whether EF are associated with success in soccer in young elite soccer players. We performed tests measuring core EF (a demanding working memory task involving a variable n-back task; dWM and higher level EF (Design Fluency test; DF. Color-Word Interference Test and Trail Making Test were performed on an exploratory level as they contain a linguistic element. The lower level EF test (dWM was taken from CogStateSport computerized concussion testing and the higher level EF test (DF was from Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System test battery (D-KEFS. In a group of young elite soccer players (n = 30; aged 12-19 years we show that they perform better than the norm in both the dWM (+0.49 SD and DF (+0.86 SD. Moreover, we could show that both dWM and DF correlate with the number of goals the players perform during the season. The effect was more prominent for dWM (r = 0.437 than for DF (r = 0.349, but strongest for a combined measurement (r = 0.550. The effect was still present when we controlled for intelligence, length and age in a partial correlation analysis. Thus, our study suggests that both core and higher level EF may predict success in soccer also in young players.

  18. Empirically Defined Patterns of Executive Function Deficits in Schizophrenia and Their Relation to Everyday Functioning: A Person-Centered Approach

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    Iampietro, Mary; Giovannetti, Tania; Drabick, Deborah A. G.; Kessler, Rachel K.

    2013-01-01

    Executive function (EF) deficits in schizophrenia (SZ) are well documented, although much less is known about patterns of EF deficits and their association to differential impairments in everyday functioning. The present study empirically defined SZ groups based on measures of various EF abilities and then compared these EF groups on everyday action errors. Participants (n=45) completed various subtests from the Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) and the Naturalistic Action Test (NAT), a performance-based measure of everyday action that yields scores reflecting total errors and a range of different error types (e.g., omission, perseveration). Results of a latent class analysis revealed three distinct EF groups, characterized by (a) multiple EF deficits, (b) relatively spared EF, and (c) perseverative responding. Follow-up analyses revealed that the classes differed significantly on NAT total errors, total commission errors, and total perseveration errors; the two classes with EF impairment performed comparably on the NAT but performed worse than the class with relatively spared EF. In sum, people with SZ demonstrate variable patterns of EF deficits, and distinct aspects of these EF deficit patterns (i.e., poor mental control abilities) may be associated with everyday functioning capabilities. PMID:23035705

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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

    2018-06-01

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

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

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

    2012-01-01

    There is a current debate about the ecological validity of executive function (EF) tests. Consistent with the verisimilitude approach, this research proposes the Ballet Executive Scale (BES), a self-rating questionnaire that assimilates idiosyncratic executive behaviors of classical dance community. The BES was administrated to 149 adolescents,…

  2. Executive Functioning in Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders

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    Roelofs, R. L.; Visser, E. M.; Berger, H. J. C.; Prins, J. B.; Van Schrojenstein Lantman-De Valk, H. M. J.; Teunisse, J. P.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Executive functioning (EF) is important for adequate behavioural functioning and crucial for explaining symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in individuals with normal intelligence, but is scarcely studied in individuals with ASD and intellectual disabilities (ID). We therefore study EF in an ID population by comparing…

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

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    Nicole Netelenbos

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Executive function (EF and language learning play a prominent role in early childhood development. Empirical research continues to point to a concurrent relation between these two faculties. What has been given little attention, however, is the association between EF and speech articulation abilities in children. This study investigated this relation in children aged 4–6 years. Significant correlations indicated that children with better EF [via parental report of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF inventory] exhibited stronger speech sound production abilities in the articulation of the “s” and “sh” sounds. Furthermore, regression analyses revealed that the Global Executive Composite (GEC of EF as measured by the BRIEF, served as a predictor for speech sound proficiency and that speech sound proficiency served as a predictor for the GEC. Together, these results demonstrate the imbricated nature of EF and speech sound production while bearing theoretical and practical implications. From a theoretical standpoint, the close link between EF and speech articulation may indicate a common ontogenetic pathway. From a practical perspective, the results suggest that children with speech difficulties could be at higher risk for EF deficits.

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

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    Moriguchi, Yusuke

    2014-01-01

    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 EF should consider the importance of social interaction. In this article, recent evidence regarding the early development of EF and its relation to social interaction has been reviewed. Research consistently showed that social interaction can influence EF skills in young children. However, the development of EF may facilitate the cognitive skills that are important for social interaction. Taken together, there might be functional dependency between the development of EF and social interaction.

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

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    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…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  8. On-line Social Interactions and Executive Functions

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    Oscar eYbarra

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available A successful social interaction requires fast, on-line, and active construction of an ever-changing mental-model of another’s person beliefs, expectations, emotions, and desires. It also requires the ability to inhibit inappropriate behaviors, problem-solve, take-turns, and pursue goals in a distraction-rich environment. All these tasks rely on executive functions (EF—working memory, attention/cognitive control, and inhibition. Executive functioning has long been viewed as relatively static. However, starting with recent reports of successful cognitive interventions, this view is changing and now EFs are seen as much more open to both short and long term training, warm-up, and exhaustion effects. Some of the most intriguing evidence comes from research showing how social interaction enhances performance on standard EF tests. Interestingly, the latest research indicates these EF benefits are selectively conferred by certain on-line, dynamic social interactions, which require participants to engage with another person and actively construct the model of their mind. We review this literature and highlight its connection with evolutionary and cultural theories emphasizing links between intelligence and social life.

  9. Behavioral Executive Functions Among Adolescents With Mathematics Difficulties.

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

    2017-07-01

    This study investigates behavioral executive functions (EFs) in the mathematics classroom context among adolescents with different mathematics performance levels. The EF problems were assessed by teachers using a behavioral rating inventory. Using cutoff scores on a standardized mathematics assessment, groups with mathematics difficulties (MD; n = 124), low mathematics performance (LA; n = 140), and average or higher scores (AC; n = 355) were identified. Results showed that the MD group had more problems with distractibility, directing attention, shifting attention, initiative, execution of action, planning, and evaluation than the LA group, whereas the differences in hyperactivity, impulsivity, and sustaining attention were not significant. Compared to the AC group, the MD group showed more problems with all behavioral EFs except hyperactivity and impulsivity, while the LA group showed more problems only with shifting attention. Male adolescents showed more behavioral EF problems than female adolescents, but this gender difference was negligible within the MD group. The practical implications of the results are discussed.

  10. An emerging role for epigenetic factors in relation to executive function.

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    Ibrahim, Omar; Sutherland, Heidi G; Haupt, Larisa M; Griffiths, Lyn R

    2017-11-20

    Executive function (EF) includes a range of decision-making and higher-order thinking processes. Although the genetic basis of EF has been studied and reviewed, epigenetic factors that influence EF are an emerging field of interest; here, we summarize the current research. Work relating to different word combinations of 'Executive Function' and 'Epigenetic' was identified through three academic search directories. Inclusion criteria were human populations, EF testing, epigenetic testing or genotyping related to epigenetic regulation. To date, 14 studies have been reported, which examined epigenetic variation, in particular DNA methylation, in relation to EF assessments conducted in human subjects, with some positive associations found. Study populations included healthy cohorts, as well as psychiatric and neurological patient cohorts. Epigenetics in relation to EF is an emerging area of investigation with relatively few studies to date. Most assay DNA methylation, with some studies suggesting that epigenetic factors can be associated with EF. EF constitutes complex phenotypic and genotypic correlates that differ because of cohort attributes as well as the targeted task examined. Larger studies are required to further elucidate the contribution of epigenetic factors to EF with the identification of epigenetic modifications influencing EF having potential to provide new biomarkers for neuropsychiatric disorders. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Sebastiaan Dovis

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraybill, Matthew L; Suchy, Yana

    2011-02-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. Early Executive Function at Age Two Predicts Emergent Mathematics and Literacy at Age Five

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulder, Hanna; Verhagen, Josje; Van Der Ven, Sanne H. G.; Slot, Pauline L.; Leseman, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Previous work has shown that individual differences in executive function (EF) are predictive of academic skills in preschoolers, kindergartners, and older children. Across studies, EF is a stronger predictor of emergent mathematics than literacy. However, research on EF in children below age three

  20. 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.

  1. Associations among dispositional mindfulness, self-compassion, and executive function proficiency in early adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Hee-Sung; Black, David S; Shonkoff, Eleanor Tate; Riggs, Nathaniel R; Pentz, Mary Ann

    2016-12-01

    The study objective was to examine the effects of two conceptually related constructs, self-compassion and dispositional mindfulness, on executive function (EF) proficiency among early adolescents. Executive function refers to a set of psychological processes governing emotional regulation, organization, and planning. While the benefits of positive psychology appear evident for mental health and wellness, little is known about the etiological relationship between dispositional mindfulness and self-compassion in their associations with EF. Two hundred and ten early adolescents attending middle school (age M=12.5 years; SD=0.5; 21% Hispanic, 18% Mixed/bi-racial, 47% White, and 9% Other/Missing; 37.1% on free lunch program) self-reported levels of dispositional mindfulness (Mindful Attention Awareness Scale; MAAS), self-compassion (Self-Compassion Scale; SCS; self-judgment and self-kindness domains), and EF proficiency (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function; BRIEF-SR). A sequential linear regression stepwise approach was taken entering the independent variables as separate models in the following order: self-kindness, self-judgement, and dispositional mindfulness. All models controlled for participant age and sex. SCS self-kindness was not associated with EF proficiency, but SCS self-judgment (reverse-coded) contributed to the variance in EF (β=0.40, p mindfulness appears to outweigh that of specific self-compassion domains, when independent of contemplative training.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynn, Rachel M.; Richert, Rebekah A.

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2017-01-01

    Background:Accumulating evidence indicates that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with core deficits in executive function (EF) which predicts poorer academic and occupational functioning.This makes early intervention targeting EF impairments important to prevent long-term negative outcomes.Cognitive training is a potential ADHD treatment target.The present study aimed to explore the efficacy,feasibility,and acceptability of a cognitive training program (targeting child's multiple EF components and involving parent support in daily life),as a nonpharmacological intervention for children with ADHD.Methods:Forty-four school-age children with ADHD and their parents participated in 12 sessions of EF training (last for 12 weeks) and 88 health controls (HC) were also recruited.Training effects were explored using both neuropsychological tests (Stroop color-word test,Rey-Osterrieth complex figure test,trail making test,tower of Hanoi,and false-belief task) and reports of daily life (ADHD rating scale-Ⅳ,Conners' parent rating scale,and behavior rating inventory of executive function [BRIEF]) by analysis of paired sample t-test and Wilcoxon signed-rank test.The differences on EF performances between children with ADHD after training and HC were explored using multivariate analysis.Results:The results (before vs.after EF training) showed that after intervention,the children with ADHD presented better performances of EF both in neuropsychological tests (word interference of Stroop:36.1 ± 14.6 vs.27.1 ± 11.1,t =4.731,P < 0.001;shift time of TMT:194.9 ± 115.4 vs.124.8 ± 72.4,Z =-4.639,P < 0.001;false-belief task:x2 =6.932,P =0.008) and reports of daily life (global executive composite of BRIEF:148.9 ± 17.5 vs.127.8 ± 17.5,t =6.433,P < 0.001).The performances on EF tasks for children with ADHD after EF training could match with the level of HC children.The ADHD symptoms (ADHD rating scale total score:32.4 ± 8.9 vs.22.9 ± 8.2,t =6.331,P

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    The structure of executive function (EF) has been the focus of much debate for decades. What is more, the complexity and diversity provided by the developmental period only adds to this contention. The development of executive function plays an integral part in the expression of children's behavioral, cognitive, social, and emotional capabilities. Understanding how these processes are constructed during development allows for effective measurement of EF in this population. This meta-analysis aims to contribute to a better understanding of the structure of executive function in children. A coordinate-based meta-analysis was conducted (using BrainMap GingerALE 2.3), which incorporated studies administering functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during inhibition, switching, and working memory updating tasks in typical children (aged 6–18 years). The neural activation common across all executive tasks was compared to that shared by tasks pertaining only to inhibition, switching or updating, which are commonly considered to be fundamental executive processes. Results support the existence of partially separable but partially overlapping inhibition, switching, and updating executive processes at a neural level, in children over 6 years. Further, the shared neural activation across all tasks (associated with a proposed “unitary” component of executive function) overlapped to different degrees with the activation associated with each individual executive process. These findings provide evidence to support the suggestion that one of the most influential structural models of executive functioning in adults can also be applied to children of this age. However, the findings also call for careful consideration and measurement of both specific executive processes, and unitary executive function in this population. Furthermore, a need is highlighted for a new systematic developmental model, which captures the integrative nature of executive function in children. PMID

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the executive function (EF) abilities of preschool children who do (CWS) and do not stutter (CWNS) using a parent-report questionnaire and a behavioral task. Participants were 75 CWS and 75 CWNS between the ages of 3;0 and 5;11 (years; months). Parents rated their children's EF abilities using the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool Version (BRIEF-P; Gioia, Espy, & Isquith, 2003). Children's ability to integrate cognitive flexibility, inhibitory control, and working memory was measured using a behavioral task, the Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders (HTKS; Cameron Ponitz, McClelland, Matthews, & Morrison, 2009). The CWS were judged by their parents as being less proficient in working memory, shift/flexibility, and overall EF than the parents of the CWNS. Children in the CWS group were also 2½ to 7 times more likely than children in the CWNS group to exhibit clinically significant difficulties with EF. Behavioral task findings revealed that 3-year old CWS performed more poorly than their peers on the HTKS. Parental ratings of executive function and working memory were significantly and moderately correlated with receptive and expressive vocabulary skills only for the CWNS group. CWS have more difficulty with EF in everyday life and may experience early delays in their ability to integrate aspects of attention and EF compared to CWNS. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederman, Sheri G.

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

  11. Metacognitive Aspects of Executive Function Are Highly Associated with Social Functioning on Parent-Rated Measures in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tonje Torske

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD is characterized by social dysfunction. Even though executive dysfunction has been recognized as important in understanding ASD, the findings are inconsistent. This might be due to different definitions of executive function (EF, which part of EF that has been studied, structured vs. unstructured tasks, inclusion of different moderators (age, IQ, sex and different diagnostic categories within the spectrum. The main finding is that people with ASD have more EF difficulties than normal controls and more difficulties on open-end tasks than on structured cognitive tasks. Since some EF difficulties may not be observable in a laboratory setting, informant measures might have higher ecological validity than neuropsychological tests. Evidence suggests that executive dysfunctions are associated with social impairments, but few studies have investigated the details of this relationship, and it remains unclear what types of EF deficits are relevant for the social problems of individuals with ASD. Here we investigated which EF domains were associated with various domains of social function on parent-rated measures. A total of 86 children and adolescents with a diagnosis of ASD were included and tested for general cognitive abilities. Parents completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF and the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS. Multiple regression analysis revealed significant associations between SRS scores and age, sex, total IQ and the BRIEF indexes. The Metacognition Index from the BRIEF added significantly to the prediction of the SRS total score and the subscales Social Communication, Social Motivation and Autistic Mannerisms. The findings suggest that metacognitive aspects of EF are of particular importance for social abilities in children and adolescents with ASD. Earlier research has shown that typically developing (TD children have a different relationship between EF and social function than

  12. Executive function depletion in children and its impact on theory of mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Lindsey J; Carey, Susan

    2017-07-01

    The current studies provide an experimental, rather than correlational, method for testing hypotheses about the role of executive function (EF) in conceptual development. Previous research has established that adults' tendency to deploy EF can be temporarily diminished by use. Exercising self-control in one context decreases adults' performance on other EF demanding tasks immediately thereafter. Using two different depletion methods, Experiments 1 and 3 extend this finding to preschool-aged children. Experiments 2 and 4 make use of these EF depletion methods to elucidate the role of EF in children's theory of mind reasoning. Experiment 2 shows that EF depletion affects 5-year-olds' ability to predict another's behavior on the basis of that person's false belief, and Experiment 4 shows that this negative effect of depletion extends to 4- and 5-year-olds' ability to explain others' behavior on the basis of their false beliefs. These findings provide direct evidence that EF is required for the expression of an understanding of others' false beliefs across a variety of task demands, even in children who clearly have the capacity to construct such representations. We suggest ways in which depletion may be used as a tool for further investigating the role of executive function in cognitive development. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  13. Relationships between Learning Disability, Executive Function, and Psychopathology in Children with ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattison, Richard E.; Mayes, Susan Dickerson

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Learning disabilities (LD), executive function (EF), and psychopathology were investigated to clarify their relationships in 595 children with ADHD. Method: Standard instruments for IQ, achievement, EF, and parent and teacher ratings of psychopathology were obtained at the time of outpatient evaluation. Results: Comparisons between the…

  14. Executive Functioning and Psychopathology in Psychotherapy for Adolescents with Specific Learning Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopelman-Rubin, Daphne; Klomek, Anat Brunstein; Al-Yagon, Michal; Mufson, Laura; Apter, Alan; Mikulincer, Mario

    2017-01-01

    This study examined the contribution of executive functioning (EF) to improvements in psychiatric symptomatology following I Can Succeed (ICS; Kopelman-Rubin, 2012) psychotherapy, a skill-enhancement intervention designed to target EF and socio-emotional aspects of specific learning disabilities (SLD). Forty adolescents with SLD underwent ICS in…

  15. Interactions between Levels of Attention Ability and Levels of Bilingualism in Children's Executive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorge, Geoff B.; Toplak, Maggie E.; Bialystok, Ellen

    2017-01-01

    Attention difficulty is associated with poor performance on executive functioning (EF) tasks, yet EF is enhanced in bilingual children. However, no research to date has investigated the possible interaction between bilingualism and attention ability in children to determine the consequences for EF when both are present. We assessed a sample of…

  16. Infant Attention and Early Childhood Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuevas, Kimberly; Bell, Martha Ann

    2014-01-01

    Individual differences in infant attention are theorized to reflect the speed of information processing and are related to later cognitive abilities (i.e., memory, language, and intelligence). This study provides the first systematic longitudinal analysis of infant attention and early childhood executive function (EF; e.g., working memory,…

  17. Fine Motor Skills and Executive Function Both Contribute to Kindergarten Achievement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, Claire E.; Brock, Laura L.; Murrah, William M.; Bell, Lindsay H.; Worzalla, Samantha L.; Grissmer, David; Morrison, Frederick J.

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the contribution of executive function (EF) and multiple aspects of fine motor skills to achievement on 6 standardized assessments in a sample of middle-socioeconomic status kindergarteners. Three- and 4-year-olds' (n = 213) fine and gross motor skills were assessed in a home visit before kindergarten, EF was measured at fall…

  18. Assessment of executive function in adolescence: a comparison of traditional and virtual reality tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalonde, Gabrielle; Henry, Mylène; Drouin-Germain, Anne; Nolin, Pierre; Beauchamp, Miriam H

    2013-09-30

    Paper-pencil type tests are traditionally used in the assessment of executive functions (EF); however, concerns have been raised as to whether these represent actual functioning in everyday life. Virtual reality (VR) environments offer a novel alternative for the assessment of cognitive function and therefore have the potential to enhance the evaluation of EF by presenting individuals with stimuli that come closer to reproducing everyday situations. The aims of this study were to (1) establish which traditional paper-pencil EF tests from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) are associated with performance on a VR-Stroop task and (2) compare D-KEFS tests and the VR-Stroop task in their ability to predict everyday EF and behavior, as measured by the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Thirty-eight typically developing adolescents aged between 13 and 17 years completed the ClinicaVR: Classroom-Stroop, and five D-KEFS subtests (Trail Making, Tower, Twenty Questions, Verbal Fluency and Color-Word Interference). Their parents completed the BRIEF and CBCL questionnaires. The results indicate that performance on the VR-Stroop task correlates with both traditional forms of EF assessment (D-KEFS, BRIEF). In particular, performance on the VR-Stroop task was closely associated with performance on a paper-pencil inhibition task. Furthermore, VR-Stroop performance more accurately reflected everyday behavioral EF than paper-pencil tasks. VR appears to offer an ecological perspective on everyday functioning and could be seen as complementary to traditional tests in the assessment of complex cognitive abilities. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Impact of sociodemographic variables on executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campanholo, Kenia Repiso; Boa, Izadora Nogueira Fonte; Hodroj, Flávia Cristina da Silva Araujo; Guerra, Glaucia Rosana Benute; Miotto, Eliane Correa; de Lucia, Mara Cristina Souza

    2017-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) regulate human behavior and allow individuals to interact and act in the world. EFs are sensitive to sociodemographic variables such as age, which promotes their decline, and to others that can exert a neuroprotective effect. To assess the predictive role of education, occupation and family income on decline in executive functions among a sample with a wide age range. A total of 925 participants aged 18-89 years with 1-28 years' education were submitted to assessment of executive functions using the Card Sorting Test (CST), Phonemic Verbal Fluency (FAS) Task and Semantic Verbal Fluency (SVF) Task. Data on income, occupation and educational level were collected for the sample. The data were analyzed using Linear Regression, as well as Pearson's and Spearman's Correlation. Age showed a significant negative correlation (p<0.001) with performance on the CST, FAS and SVF, whereas education, income and occupation were positively associated (p<0.001) with the tasks applied. After application of the multivariate linear regression model, a significant positive relationship with the FAS was maintained only for education (p<0.001) and income (p<0.001). The negative relationship of age (p<0.001) and positive relationship of both education (p<0.001) and income (p<0.001and p=0.003) were evident on the CST and SVF. Educational level and income positively influenced participants' results on executive function tests, attenuating expected decline for age. However, no relationship was found between occupation and the cognitive variables investigated.

  20. Impact of sociodemographic variables on executive functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenia Repiso Campanholo

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Executive functions (EFs regulate human behavior and allow individuals to interact and act in the world. EFs are sensitive to sociodemographic variables such as age, which promotes their decline, and to others that can exert a neuroprotective effect. Objective: To assess the predictive role of education, occupation and family income on decline in executive functions among a sample with a wide age range. Methods: A total of 925 participants aged 18-89 years with 1-28 years' education were submitted to assessment of executive functions using the Card Sorting Test (CST, Phonemic Verbal Fluency (FAS Task and Semantic Verbal Fluency (SVF Task. Data on income, occupation and educational level were collected for the sample. The data were analyzed using Linear Regression, as well as Pearson's and Spearman's Correlation. Results: Age showed a significant negative correlation (p<0.001 with performance on the CST, FAS and SVF, whereas education, income and occupation were positively associated (p<0.001 with the tasks applied. After application of the multivariate linear regression model, a significant positive relationship with the FAS was maintained only for education (p<0.001 and income (p<0.001. The negative relationship of age (p<0.001 and positive relationship of both education (p<0.001 and income (p<0.001 and p=0.003 were evident on the CST and SVF. Conclusion: Educational level and income positively influenced participants' results on executive function tests, attenuating expected decline for age. However, no relationship was found between occupation and the cognitive variables investigated.

  1. Executive Functions and Adaptive Behaviour in Autism Spectrum Disorders with and without Intellectual Disability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panerai, Simonetta; Tasca, Domenica; Ferri, Raffaele; Genitori D'Arrigo, Valentina; Elia, Maurizio

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions (EF) in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been often investigated, although results seem to be rather inconsistent. The first aim of this study was to detect which EF components are common to the ASD continuum (from high- to low-functioning ASD) and identify a possible EF profile for ASD people. Planning, mental flexibility, inhibition of response, generativity, and ecologic EF were investigated. This study was extended not only to high-functioning ASD, but also to ASD with intellectual disability (ID). The second aim was to find EF aspects correlating with adaptive skills in ASD. A total of 61 children participated in the study (27 ASD with and without ID and 34 controls). Results highlight an executive profile characterised by impaired flexibility and deficient planning; these deficits are associated with decreased adaptive ability, particularly socialization, and a deficient shifting in ecologic conditions. These features are present in all ASD subgroups with and without ID; for this reason, they might be assumed as being specific features in ASD. PMID:24829905

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Executive and intellectual functioning in school-aged children with specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuusisto, Marika A; Nieminen, Pirkko E; Helminen, Mika T; Kleemola, Leenamaija

    2017-03-01

    Earlier research and clinical practice show that specific language impairment (SLI) is often associated with nonverbal cognitive deficits and weakened skills in executive functions (EFs). Executive deficits may have a remarkable influence on a child's everyday activities in the home and school environments. However, research information is still limited on EFs in school-aged children with SLI, mostly conducted among English- and Dutch-speaking children. To study whether there are differences in EFs between Finnish-speaking children with SLI and typically developing (TD) peers at school age. EFs are compared between the groups with and without controlling for nonverbal intelligence. Parents and teachers of children with SLI (n = 22) and age- and gender-matched TD peers (n = 22) completed The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions (BRIEF). The mean age of the children was 8,2 years. BRIEF ratings of parents and teachers were compared between the children with SLI and with TD peers by paired analysis using conditional logistic regression models with and without controlling for nonverbal IQ. Intellectual functioning was assessed with the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. Children with SLI had weaker scores in all parent and teacher BRIEF scales compared with TD peers. Statistically significant differences between the groups were found in BRIEF scales Shift, Emotional Control, Initiate, Working Memory, Plan/Organize and Monitor. Differences between the groups were statistically significant also in intellectual functioning. On BRIEF scales some group differences remained statistically significant after controlling for nonverbal IQ. This study provides additional evidence that also Finnish-speaking school-aged children with SLI are at risk of having deficits in EFs in daily life. EFs have been proposed to have an impact on developmental outcomes later in life. In clinical practice it is important to pay attention to EFs in school-aged children with SLI

  5. Parents' Executive Functioning and Involvement in Their Child's Education: An Integrated Literature Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Damali M; Gross, Deborah

    2018-04-01

    Parents' involvement in their children's education is integral to academic success. Several education-based organizations have identified recommendations for how parents can best support their children's learning. However, executive functioning (EF), a high-ordered cognitive skill set, contributes to the extent to which parents can follow through with these recommendations. This integrative review of the literature describes how executive function can affect parents' ability to facilitate and actively participate in their child's education and provides strategies for all school staff to strengthen parent-school partnerships when parents have limitations in EF. EF skills are fluid and influenced by several factors, including parental age, sleep, stress, and mood/affect. Despite possible limitations in parental EF, there are strategies school personnel can employ to strengthen partnership with parents to support their children's academic success. As reforms in education call for increased customization and collaboration with families, parental EF is an important consideration for school personnel. Awareness and understanding of how parents' EF affects children's learning will help schools better support parents in supporting their children's academic success. © 2018 The Authors. Journal of School Health published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American School Health Association.

  6. Development of norms for executive functions in typically-developing Indian urban preschool children and its association with nutritional status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selvam, Sumithra; Thomas, Tinku; Shetty, Priya; Thennarasu, K; Raman, Vijaya; Khanna, Deepti; Mehra, Ruchika; Kurpad, Anura V; Srinivasan, Krishnamachari

    2018-02-01

    Executive functions (EFs) are essential and important for achieving success in children's everyday lives and play a fundamental role in children's cognitive, academic, social, emotional and behavioral functioning. A cross-sectional study was carried out to develop age- and sex-specific norms for EFs using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Preschool Version (BRIEF-P) among 2- to 5-year-olds from urban Bangalore, India. In addition, the association between EFs and anthropometric measures, a marker of nutritional status, is also examined. Primary caregivers of 412 children, equally distributed by age and sex, participated. Raw scores for each domain and indices were converted to standard t-scores and percentiles were computed. A t-score at or above 63 corresponding to the 90th percentile was considered as the cutoff for executive dysfunction in this sample. The prevalence of executive dysfunction is 10% based on the Global Executive Composite score of the BRIEF-P. The cutoff score for identifying executive dysfunction using existing United States (US) norms is higher compared to the cutoff score obtained in the current study. Therefore, using US norms for Indian children could result in the prevalence of executive dysfunction been underestimated. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that stunted and underweight children have significantly elevated EF scores after adjusting for age, sex and socioeconomic status (SES; p < .01). A greater understanding of EFs in preschool children is important for the early identification of executive dysfunction and implementing interventions to improve their future prospects. This study also shows that undernourished children are more likely to have executive dysfunction.

  7. Executive function and self-regulated exergaming adherence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cay eAnderson-Hanley

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Stievano

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study is to examine the interrelations of executive function (EF tasks with general cognitive ability and linguistic level in preschool children. The analyses of the correlation between EF sub-domains, particularly inhibition and set-shifting, have been studied to comprehend the ontogenesis of EFs. Task analysis has allowed us to identify which EF sub-domains are prevalent in each task, with particular attention to inhibition and set-shifting definitions. The sample was composed of 40 typically developing children from 48 to 69 months old (M=58 months, SD=5.02; 28 boys and 12 girls. The results give some insight into the development of executive functions, their utility in clinical assessment and indication.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret eFriend

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Oral narrative production develops dramatically from 3 to 5 years of age, and is a key factor in a child’s ability to communicate about the world. Concomitant with this are developments in executive function (EF. For example, executive attention and behavioral inhibition show marked development beginning around 4 years of age. Both EF and oral narrative abilities have important implications for academic success, but the relationship between them is not well understood. The present paper utilizes a cross-lagged design to assess convergent and predictive relations between EF and narrative ability. As a collateral measure, we collected a Language Sample during 10 minutes of free play. Language Sample did not share significant variance with Narrative Production, thus general language growth from Wave 1 to Wave 2 cannot account for the predictive relations between EF and Narrative. Our findings suggest that although EF and Narrative ability appear independent at each wave, they nevertheless support each other over developmental time. Specifically, the ability to maintain focus at 4 years supports subsequent narrative ability and narrative ability at 4 years supports subsequent facility and speed in learning and implementing new rules.  

  11. Hot and Cool Executive Function and Its Relation to Theory of Mind in Children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouklari, Evangelia-Chrysanthi; Thompson, Trevor; Monks, Claire P.; Tsermentseli, Stella

    2017-01-01

    Previous research has clearly demonstrated that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) involves deficits in multiple neuropsychological functions, such as executive function (EF) and theory of mind (ToM). A conceptual distinction is commonly made between cool and hot EF. In ASD, continued attention has been paid to the cool areas of executive dysfunction.…

  12. Executive Functions in Older Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder : Objective Performance and Subjective Complaints

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Davids, Roeliena C. D.; Groen, Yvonne; Berg, Ina J.; Tucha, Oliver M.; van Balkom, Ingrid D. C.

    Although deficits in Executive Functioning (EF) are reported frequently in young individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), they remain relatively unexplored later in life (> 50 years). We studied objective performance on EF measures (Tower of London, Zoo map, phonetic/semantic fluency) as

  13. The Development of Executive Function and Language Skills in the Early School Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gooch, Debbie; Thompson, Paul; Nash, Hannah M.; Snowling, Margaret J.; Hulme, Charles

    2016-01-01

    Background: The developmental relationships between executive functions (EF) and early language skills are unclear. This study explores the longitudinal relationships between children's early EF and language skills in a sample of children with a wide range of language abilities including children at risk of dyslexia. In addition, we investigated…

  14. Further Examination of the Immediate Impact of Television on Children's Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillard, Angeline S.; Drell, Marissa B.; Richey, Eve M.; Boguszewski, Katherine; Smith, Eric D.

    2015-01-01

    Three studies examined the short-term impact of television (TV) on children's executive function (EF). Study 1 (N = 160) showed that 4- and 6-year-olds' EF is impaired after watching 2 different fast and fantastical shows, relative to that of children who watched a slow, realistic show or played. In Study 2 (N = 60), 4-year-olds' EF was as…

  15. Association of parent-child relationships and executive functioning in South Asian adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatima, Shameem; Sheikh, Hamid; Ardila, Alfredo

    2016-01-01

    It is known that some environmental variables can significantly affect the development of executive functions (EF). The primary aim of this study was to analyze whether some family conditions, such as the adolescent's perception of the quality of parent-child relationships and the socioeconomic status (SES; assessed according to education, occupational status, and income) are significantly associated with EF test scores. There were 370 Pakistani participants ranging in age 13 to 19 years who were selected and then individually administered the following tests taken from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS): Trail Making Test (TMT), Design Fluency Test (DFT), Color Word Interference Test (CWIT), and Card Sorting Test (CST). In addition, a Parent-Child Relationship Scale (PCRS) also was administered. Results showed that perceived "neglect" in the PCRS was negatively associated with the 4 EF test scores. Parents' education and SES were positively associated with 3 EF measures: DFT, CWIT, and CST. Further correlational analyses revealed that inhibition (as measured with the CWIT) and problem-solving ability (as measured with the CST) were significantly associated with the perceived parent-child relationships. Some gender differences also were observed: males outperformed females on TMT, DFT, and CST, while females outperformed males in the CWIT. It was concluded that perceived parent-child relationships, SES, and parents' education are significantly associated with executive function test performance during adolescents. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. 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.

  17. Predictors of Behavioral Regulation in Kindergarten: Household Chaos, Parenting, and Early Executive Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernon-Feagans, Lynne; Garrett-Peters, Patricia; Willoughby, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Behavioral regulation is an important school readiness skill that has been linked to early executive function (EF) and later success in learning and school achievement. Although poverty and related risks, as well as negative parenting, have been associated with poorer EF and behavioral regulation, chaotic home environments may also play a role in…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  19. Age related differences of executive functioning problems in everyday life of children and adolescents in the autism spectrum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Bergh, S.F.W.M.; Scheeren, A.M.; Begeer, S.; Koot, H.M.; Geurts, H.M.

    2014-01-01

    Numerous studies investigated executive functioning (EF) problems in people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) using laboratory EF tasks. As laboratory task performances often differ from real life observations, the current study focused on EF in everyday life of 118 children and adolescents with

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  1. Heterogeneity of executive functions among comorbid neurodevelopmental disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Speed and capacity of working memory and executive function in schizophrenia compared to unipolar depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang Trapp

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Schizophrenia is associated with deficits in working memory (WM and executive functioning (EF that are present from prodrome to chronic stages of the disease and are related to social and occupational functioning. Recent empirical findings suggest that schizophrenia patients might suffer from a specific speed deficit regarding WM operations that also affects EF. To test this hypothesis, executive functioning (EF and working memory (WM performance of 20 schizophrenia (SC patients, 20 patients suffering from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD and 40 healthy control (HC subjects were compared. While schizophrenia patients performed worse in the measure of EF, no difference between the SC and the MDD patients was found regarding WM capacity. However, the SC group was shown to have an impaired speed in encoding, retrieval and manipulation of WM contents compared to the HC group whereas the MDD group showed no such deficit. Furthermore, while in the MDD group only WM capacity was linked to EF performance, in the SC group EF was determined by both WM capacity and WM speed. Hence, increasing the speed of WM operations might be a fruitful target for future therapeutic interventions, and assessing not only the capacity but also the speed of WM might be helpful in identifying candidates for endophenotypic cognitive markers of SC.

  3. 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

  4. Maternal Executive Functioning as a Mechanism in the Intergenerational Transmission of Parenting: Preliminary Evidence

    OpenAIRE

    Bridgett, David J.; Kanya, Meghan J.; Rutherford, Helena J. V.; Mayes, Linda C.

    2016-01-01

    Multiple lines of inquiry, including experimental animal models, have recently converged to suggest that executive functioning (EF) may be one mechanism by which parenting behavior is transmitted across generations. In the current investigation, we empirically test this notion by examining relations between maternal EF and parenting behaviors during mother-infant interactions, and by examining the role of maternal EF in the intergenerational transmission of parenting behavior. Mother-infant d...

  5. The Relation between Executive Function and Theory of Mind Is More than Skin Deep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Stephanie M.; Claxton, Laura J.; Moses, Louis J.

    2015-01-01

    A simple "expression" account of the relation between executive function (EF) and children's developing theory of mind (ToM) has difficulty accounting for the generality of the changes occurring in children's mental-state understanding during the preschool years. The current study of preschool children (N = 43) showed that EF--especially…

  6. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  9. Real-World Executive Functions in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Profiles of Impairment and Associations with Adaptive Functioning and Co-Morbid Anxiety and Depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Gregory L.; Kenworthy, Lauren; Pugliese, Cara E.; Popal, Haroon S.; White, Emily I.; Brodsky, Emily; Martin, Alex

    2016-01-01

    Although executive functioning (EF) difficulties are well documented among children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), little is known about real-world measures of EF among adults with ASD. Therefore, this study examined parent-reported real-world EF problems among 35 adults with ASD without intellectual disability and their…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  11. Relations Between Self-reported Executive Functioning and Speech Perception Skills in Adult Cochlear Implant Users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moberly, Aaron C; Patel, Tirth R; Castellanos, Irina

    2018-02-01

    As a result of their hearing loss, adults with cochlear implants (CIs) would self-report poorer executive functioning (EF) skills than normal-hearing (NH) peers, and these EF skills would be associated with performance on speech recognition tasks. EF refers to a group of high order neurocognitive skills responsible for behavioral and emotional regulation during goal-directed activity, and EF has been found to be poorer in children with CIs than their NH age-matched peers. Moreover, there is increasing evidence that neurocognitive skills, including some EF skills, contribute to the ability to recognize speech through a CI. Thirty postlingually deafened adults with CIs and 42 age-matched NH adults were enrolled. Participants and their spouses or significant others (informants) completed well-validated self-reports or informant-reports of EF, the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Adult (BRIEF-A). CI users' speech recognition skills were assessed in quiet using several measures of sentence recognition. NH peers were tested for recognition of noise-vocoded versions of the same speech stimuli. CI users self-reported difficulty on EF tasks of shifting and task monitoring. In CI users, measures of speech recognition correlated with several self-reported EF skills. The present findings provide further evidence that neurocognitive factors, including specific EF skills, may decline in association with hearing loss, and that some of these EF skills contribute to speech processing under degraded listening conditions.

  12. The Relationship between Executive Functions and Language Abilities in Children: A Latent Variables Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaushanskaya, Margarita; Park, Ji Sook; Gangopadhyay, Ishanti; Davidson, Meghan M.; Weismer, Susan Ellis

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: We aimed to outline the latent variables approach for measuring nonverbal executive function (EF) skills in school-age children, and to examine the relationship between nonverbal EF skills and language performance in this age group. Method: Seventy-one typically developing children, ages 8 through 11, participated in the study. Three EF…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Xiaopei; Wang, Meifang; Wang, Zhengyan

    2018-04-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Individual differences in executive functions, training effects & quality of life of children with autism spectrum disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vries, M.

    2015-01-01

    Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) appear to experience executive functioning (EF) problems, but there are large individual differences in EF-profiles in ASD. In the current study the majority of children with ASD (8-12 years) actually experienced no cognitive flexibility deficits.

  17. Strong genetic overlap between executive functions and intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederman, Sheri G.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Sharman

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Previous research shows consistent and marked executive function impairment in children with early and continuously treated phenylketonuria. This between groups analysis (phenylketonuria group vs sibling controls found no significant differences in executive function (although adolescents with phenylketonuria performed slightly worse than their siblings. Biochemical relationships with executive function were confined to long-term measures of high phenylalanine:tyrosine ratio exposure, as well as tyrosine exposure independent of phenylalanine. This study suggests that early and continuously treated PKU results in non-significant EF differences (compared to siblings, although the influence of long-term exposure to poorer metabolic control is still evident.

  1. The development of executive function and language skills in the early school years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gooch, Debbie; Thompson, Paul; Nash, Hannah M; Snowling, Margaret J; Hulme, Charles

    2016-02-01

    The developmental relationships between executive functions (EF) and early language skills are unclear. This study explores the longitudinal relationships between children's early EF and language skills in a sample of children with a wide range of language abilities including children at risk of dyslexia. In addition, we investigated whether these skills independently predict children's attention/behaviour skills. Data are presented from 243 children at four time points. Children were selected for being at risk of reading difficulties either because of a family history of dyslexia (FR; N = 90) or because of concerns regarding their language development (LI; N = 79) or as typically developing controls (TD; N = 74). The children completed tasks to assess their executive function and language skills at ages 4, 5 and 6 years. At 6 (T4) and 7 years (T5) parents and teachers rated the children's attention/behaviour skills. There was a strong concurrent relationship between language and EF at each assessment. Longitudinal analyses indicated a considerable degree of stability in children's language and EF skills: the influence of language on later EF skills (and vice versa) was weak and not significant in the current sample. Children's EF, but not language, skills at T3 predicted attention/behaviour ratings at T4/T5. There is a strong concurrent association between language and EF skills during the preschool and early school years, when children with language impairment show persistent EF deficits. Latent variables measuring language and EF show high longitudinal stability with little evidence of significant or strong reciprocal influences between these constructs. EF, but not language, skills predict later ratings of children's attention and behaviour. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

  2. Active Workstations Do Not Impair Executive Function in Young and Middle-Age Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehmann, Peter J; Brush, Christopher J; Olson, Ryan L; Bhatt, Shivang N; Banu, Andrea H; Alderman, Brandon L

    2017-05-01

    This study aimed to examine the effects of self-selected low-intensity walking on an active workstation on executive functions (EF) in young and middle-age adults. Using a within-subjects design, 32 young (20.6 ± 2.0 yr) and 26 middle-age (45.6 ± 11.8 yr) adults performed low-intensity treadmill walking and seated control conditions in randomized order on separate days, while completing an EF test battery. EF was assessed using modified versions of the Stroop (inhibition), Sternberg (working memory), Wisconsin Card Sorting (cognitive flexibility), and Tower of London (global EF) cognitive tasks. Behavioral performance outcomes were assessed using composite task z-scores and traditional measures of reaction time and accuracy. Average HR and step count were also measured throughout. The expected task difficulty effects were found for reaction time and accuracy. No significant main effects or interactions as a function of treadmill walking were found for tasks assessing global EF and the three individual EF domains. Accuracy on the Tower of London task was slightly impaired during slow treadmill walking for both age-groups. Middle-age adults displayed longer planning times for more difficult conditions of the Tower of London during walking compared with sitting. A 50-min session of low-intensity treadmill walking on an active workstation resulted in accruing approximately 4500 steps. These findings suggest that executive function performance remains relatively unaffected while walking on an active workstation, further supporting the use of treadmill workstations as an effective approach to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary time in the workplace.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen; Kahn, Rachel E; Lauharatanahirun, Nina; Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Bickel, Warren K; Chiu, Pearl H; King-Casas, Brooks

    2017-06-01

    The current review is guided by the theoretical perspective that emphasizes the regulating role of executive functioning (Carver et al., 2009) and presents studies that elucidate the ways that executive functioning (inhibition and working memory) explain individual differences in adolescent substance use independently or by regulating the reactive system (reward and punishment sensitivity). Behavioral studies indicate that main effects of executive functioning on adolescent substance use are often nonsignificant or weak in effect sizes. In contrast, emerging evidence suggests consistent and stronger regulating effects of executive functioning over reward and punishment sensitivity. Functional neuroimaging studies reveal significant associations between executive functioning task-related hemodynamic responses and substance use with strong effect sizes. There is also direct evidence from studies testing statistical interactions of the regulating effects of EF-related brain activation, and indirect evidence in studies examining functional connectivity, temporal discounting, and reinforced control. We note key future directions and ways to address limitations in existing work. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. Executive function in adolescents with Down Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-01

    The present work is aimed at analysing executive function (EF) in adolescents with Down Syndrome (DS). So far, EF has been analysed mainly in adults with DS, showing a pattern of impairment. However, less is known about children and adolescents with this syndrome. Studying adolescents with DS might help us better understand whether performances on EF tasks of individuals with DS are determined by age or by Alzheimer disease, as some studies suggest, or whether their performances are directly related to DS cognitive profile. A battery of EF tasks assessing set shifting, planning/problem-solving, working memory, inhibition/perseveration and fluency, as well as a tasks assessing sustained attention has been administered to a group of 15 adolescents with DS and 15 typically developing children matched for mental age. All EF tasks were selected from previous studies with individuals with intellectual disabilities or from developmental literature and are thought to be useful for the samples considered. The present results revealed that the group of individuals with DS performed at a significantly lower level on tasks assessing set shifting, planning/problem-solving, working memory and inhibition/perseveration, but not on the tasks assessing fluency. In addition, individuals with DS demonstrated a greater number of errors and less strategy use for the sustained attention task. The results suggest a broad impairment in EF in adolescents with DS, and are consistent with several similar studies conducted with adults with DS. We assume that EF deficit is a characteristic of DS.

  6. Cognitive Reserve in Parkinson's Disease: The Effects of Welsh-English Bilingualism on Executive Function

    OpenAIRE

    Hindle, John V.; Martin-Forbes, Pamela A.; Bastable, Alexandra J. M.; Pye, Kirstie L.; Martyr, Anthony; Whitaker, Christopher J.; Craik, Fergus I. M.; Bialystok, Ellen; Thomas, Enlli M.; Mueller Gathercole, Virginia C.; Clare, Linda

    2015-01-01

    Objective. Bilingualism has been shown to benefit executive function (EF) and delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease. This study aims at examining whether a bilingual advantage applies to EF in Parkinson's disease (PD). Method. In a cross-sectional outpatient cohort of monolingual English (n = 57) and bilingual Welsh/English (n = 46) speakers with PD we evaluated the effects of bilingualism compared with monolingualism on performance on EF tasks. In bilinguals we also assessed the effects of ...

  7. Revisiting the continuum hypothesis: toward an in-depth exploration of executive functions in korsakoff syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brion, Mélanie; Pitel, Anne-Lise; Beaunieux, Hélène; Maurage, Pierre

    2014-01-01

    Korsakoff syndrome (KS) is a neurological state mostly caused by alcohol-dependence and leading to disproportionate episodic memory deficits. KS patients present more severe anterograde amnesia than Alcohol-Dependent Subjects (ADS), which led to the continuum hypothesis postulating a progressive increase in brain and cognitive damages during the evolution from ADS to KS. This hypothesis has been extensively examined for memory but is still debated for other abilities, notably executive functions (EF). EF have up to now been explored by unspecific tasks in KS, and few studies explored their interactions with memory. Exploring EF in KS by specific tasks based on current EF models could thus renew the exploration of the continuum hypothesis. This paper will propose a research program aiming at: (1) clarifying the extent of executive dysfunctions in KS by tasks focusing on specific EF subcomponents; (2) determining the differential EF deficits in ADS and KS; (3) exploring EF-memory interactions in KS with innovative tasks. At the fundamental level, this exploration will test the continuum hypothesis beyond memory. At the clinical level, it will propose new rehabilitation tools focusing on the EF specifically impaired in KS.

  8. Revisiting the continuum hypothesis: towards an in-depth exploration of executive functions in Korsakoff syndrome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mélanie eBrion

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Korsakoff syndrome (KS is a neurological state mostly caused by alcohol-dependence and leading to disproportionate episodic memory deficits. KS patients present more severe anterograde amnesia than alcohol-dependent subjects (ADS, which led to the continuum hypothesis postulating a progressive increase in brain and cognitive damages during the evolution from ADS to KS. This hypothesis has been extensively examined for memory but is still debated for other abilities, notably executive functions (EF. EF have up to now been explored by unspecific tasks in KS, and few studies explored their interactions with memory. Exploring EF in KS by specific tasks based on current EF models could thus renew the exploration of the continuum hypothesis. This paper will propose a research program aiming at: (1 clarifying the extent of executive dysfunctions in KS by tasks focusing on specific EF subcomponents; (2 determining the differential EF deficits in ADS and KS; (3 exploring EF-memory interactions in KS with innovative tasks. At the fundamental level, this exploration will test the continuum hypothesis beyond memory. At the clinical level, it will propose new rehabilitation tools focusing on the EF specifically impaired in KS.

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. What specific facets of executive function are associated with academic functioning in youth with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langberg, Joshua M; Dvorsky, Melissa R; Evans, Steven W

    2013-10-01

    The purpose of the study was to evaluate the relation between ratings of Executive Function (EF) and academic functioning in a sample of 94 middle-school-aged youth with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; Mage = 11.9; 78 % male; 21 % minority). This study builds on prior work by evaluating associations between multiple specific aspects of EF (e.g., working memory, inhibition, and planning and organization) as rated by both parents and teachers on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), with multiple academic outcomes, including school grades and homework problems. Further, this study examined the relationship between EF and academic outcomes above and beyond ADHD symptoms and controlled for a number of potentially important covariates, including intelligence and achievement scores. The EF Planning and Organization subscale as rated by both parents and teachers predicted school grades above and beyond symptoms of ADHD and relevant covariates. Parent ratings of youth's ability to transition effectively between tasks/situations (Shift subscale) also predicted school grades. Parent-rated symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, and planning and organization abilities were significant in the final model predicting homework problems. In contrast, only symptoms of inattention and the Organization of Materials subscale from the BRIEF were significant in the teacher model predicting homework problems. Organization and planning abilities are highly important aspects academic functioning for middle-school-aged youth with ADHD. Implications of these findings for the measurement of EF, and organization and planning abilities in particular, are discussed along with potential implications for intervention.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Eric; Welsh, Marilyn C.

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Fine motor skills and executive function both contribute to kindergarten achievement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, Claire E.; Brock, Laura L.; Murrah, William M.; Bell, Lindsay H.; Worzalla, Samantha L.; Grissmer, David; Morrison, Frederick J.

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the contribution of executive function (EF) and multiple aspects of fine motor skills to achievement on six standardized assessments in a sample of middle-SES kindergarteners. 3- and 4-year-olds’ (N=213) fine and gross motor skills were assessed in a home visit before kindergarten; EF was measured at fall of kindergarten; and Woodcock-Johnson III (WJ III) Tests of Academic Achievement were administered at fall and spring. Correlations indicated that EF and fine motor skills appeared distinct. Further, controlling for background variables, higher levels of both EF and fine motor skills, specifically design copy, predicted higher achievement on multiple subtests at kindergarten entry, as well as improvement from fall to spring. Implications for research on school readiness are discussed. PMID:22537276

  15. Executive Function and Food Approach Behavior in Middle Childhood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karoline eGroppe

    2014-05-01

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

  16. Profiling Online Poker Players: Are Executive Functions Correlated with Poker Ability and Problem Gambling?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiavella, Mauro; Pelagatti, Matteo; Westin, Jerker; Lepore, Gabriele; Cherubini, Paolo

    2018-01-12

    Poker playing and responsible gambling both entail the use of the executive functions (EF), which are higher-level cognitive abilities. This study investigated if online poker players of different ability showed different performances in their EF and if so, which functions were the most discriminating for their playing ability. Furthermore, it assessed if the EF performance was correlated to the quality of gambling, according to self-reported questionnaires (PGSI, SOGS, GRCS). Three poker experts evaluated anonymized poker hand history files and, then, a trained professional administered an extensive neuropsychological test battery. Data analysis determined which variables of the tests correlated with poker ability and gambling quality scores. The highest correlations between EF test results and poker ability and between EF test results and gambling quality assessment showed that mostly different clusters of executive functions characterize the profile of the strong(er) poker player and those ones of the problem gamblers (PGSI and SOGS) and the one of the cognitions related to gambling (GRCS). Taking into consideration only the variables overlapping between PGSI and SOGS, we found some key predictive factors for a more risky and harmful online poker playing: a lower performance in the emotional intelligence competences (Emotional Quotient inventory Short) and, in particular, those grouped in the Intrapersonal scale (emotional self-awareness, assertiveness, self-regard, independence and self-actualization).

  17. Parenting, Family Socioeconomic Status, and Child Executive Functioning: A Longitudinal Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochette, Émilie; Bernier, Annie

    2014-01-01

    Family socioeconomic status (SES) and the quality of maternal behavior are among the few identified predictors of child executive functioning (EF), and they have often been found to have interactive rather than additive effects on other domains of child functioning. The purpose of this study was to explore their interactive effects in the…

  18. The Relationship between Self-Reported Executive Functioning and Risk-Taking Behavior in Urban Homeless Youth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piche, Joshua; Kaylegian, Jaeson; Smith, Dale; Hunter, Scott J

    2018-01-03

    Introduction: Almost 2 million U.S. youth are estimated to live on the streets, in shelters, or in other types of temporary housing at some point each year. Both their age and living situations make them more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors, particularly during adolescence, a time of increased risk taking. Much of self-control appears related to the development of the prefrontal cortex, which is at a particularly crucial period of elaboration and refinement during adolescence and emerging adulthood. Executive processes like decision-making, inhibition, planning, and reasoning may be vulnerable to adversity experienced as a result of homelessness and related impoverishment during childhood and adolescence. No study to date, to our knowledge, has directly investigated differences in risk-taking by homeless youth as it relates to their developing executive control. Objective: Examine the relationship between the level of self-reported executive function (EF) and engagement in risk taking behaviors among a sample of shelter-living urban homeless youth. We predicted that homeless youth who have lower levels of self-reported EF would more readily engage in risky behaviors that could lead to negative outcomes. Participants: One hundred and forty-nine youths between 18 and 22 years of age were recruited from homeless agencies in Chicago. Of this study sample, 53% were female and 76% African American. Measures: All participants completed, as part of a broader neuropsychological assessment, the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning-Adult Version (BRIEF-A), the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), and the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). Analyses: Groups were separated based on level of self-reported EF, with two groups identified: High self-reported EF fell >1 SD above the normative average, and low self-reported EF fell >1 SD below the normative average. All analyses utilized Chi-square and Mann-Whitney tests. Results and

  19. Developing Self-Directed Executive Functioning: Recent Findings and Future Directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, Jane E.; Munakata, Yuko

    2015-01-01

    How do children become increasingly self-directed across development, achieving their goals without help from others? How might such developments be impacted by societal changes in how children spend their time? Children's abilities to achieve their goals are supported by developing executive functions (EFs), cognitive processes that predict…

  20. Executive Functioning in Spanish- and English-Speaking Head Start Preschoolers

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Lisa J.; Greenfield, Daryl B.

    2017-01-01

    A growing percentage of low-income children in the United States come from Spanish-speaking homes and are dual language learners (DLLs). Recent research shows that bilingual children, compared to monolinguals, have enhanced executive functioning (EF), a set of foundational cognitive skills that predict higher social-emotional competence and…

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  3. Assessment of Executive Function in Patients With Substance Use Disorder: A Comparison of Inventory- and Performance-Based Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagen, Egon; Erga, Aleksander H; Hagen, Katrin P; Nesvåg, Sverre M; McKay, James R; Lundervold, Astri J; Walderhaug, Espen

    2016-07-01

    Chronic polysubstance abuse (SUD) is associated with neurophysiological and neuroanatomical changes. Neurocognitive impairment tends to affect quality of life, occupational functioning, and the ability to benefit from therapy. Neurocognitive assessment is thus of importance, but costly and not widely available. Therefore, in a busy clinical setting, procedures that include readily available measures targeting core cognitive deficits would be beneficial. This paper investigates the utility of psychometric tests and a questionnaire-based inventory to assess "hot" and "cold" neurocognitive measures of executive functions (EF) in adults with a substance use disorder. Hot decision-making processes are associated with emotional, affective, and visceral responses, while cold executive functions are associated with rational decision-making. Subjects with polysubstance abuse (n=126) and healthy controls (n=32) were compared on hot (Iowa Gambling Task) and cold (Stroop and the Trail Making Test) measures of EF, in addition to a questionnaire assessing everyday EF related problems (BRIEF-A; Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Adult, self-report version). Information about the substance abuse and social adjustment were assessed by self-report. Logistic regression analyses were applied to assess independent correlates of SUD status and social adjustment. A multiple linear regression was performed to predict the number of previous treatment attempts. The psychometric test of hot EF (the Iowa Gambling Task) did not differentiate the patients with polysubstance abuse from controls, and was not associated with social adjustment. The psychometric tests of cold EF distinguished somewhat between the groups and were associated with one indicator of social adjustment. The BRIEF-A differentiated between groups on all the clinical scales and was associated with three out of five social adjustment indicators ("criminal lifestyle," "conflict with caregiver," and "stable

  4. Evaluating executive function in schoolchildren with symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vélez-van-Meerbeke, A; Zamora, I P; Guzmán, G; Figueroa, B; López Cabra, C A; Talero-Gutiérrez, C

    2013-01-01

    To identify impairment of executive functions (EF) in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A case-control study was performed on a sample of schoolchildren with low socioeconomic levels in Bogota, Colombia. ADHD was diagnosed using the DSM IV checklist and the Behavior Assessment System for Children scale. Children with cognitive deficits were excluded. We evaluated scores from six measurements of executive function (EF). We conducted a bivariate statistical analysis to compare the variables, a multivariate study controlled by sex and age, and a logistic regression analysis. The study sample included 119 children with ADHD and 85 controls, all aged between 6 and 12 years. Controlling by sex, age, and type of school showed that EF measurements in children with ADHD were significantly more impaired than in controls, especially for measurements of verbal and graphic fluency, Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure, and cognitive flexibility. Comparison of ADHD subgroups showed that results in children with multiple deficits were similar to those in the global ADHD group. Graphic fluency impairment was the sole impairment in cases with only attention deficit or only hyperactivity-impulsivity manifestations. EF measures in children with ADHD revealed more problems, particularly those having to do within planning, inhibition, working memory and cognitive control. Age and sex may affect the degree of EF impairment. Copyright © 2012 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helena L. Rohlf

    2018-02-01

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

  7. What the CERAD Battery Can Tell Us about Executive Function as a Higher-Order Cognitive Faculty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rochelle E. Tractenberg

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Executive function (EF is believed to control or influence the integration and application of cognitive functions such as attention and memory and is an important area of research in cognitive aging. Recent studies and reviews have concluded that there is no single test for EF. Results from first-order latent variable modeling have suggested that little, if any, variability in cognitive performance can be directly (and uniquely attributed to EF; so instead, we modeled EF, as it is conceptualized, as a higher-order function, using elements of the CERAD neuropsychological battery. Responses to subtests from two large, independent cohorts of nondemented elderly persons were modeled with three theoretically plausible structural models using confirmatory factor analysis. Robust fit statistics, generated for the two cohorts separately, were consistent and support the conceptualization of EF as a higher-order cognitive faculty. Although not specifically designed to assess EF, subtests of the CERAD battery provide theoretically and empirically robust evidence about the nature of EF in elderly adults.

  8. Flavanol-rich cocoa consumption enhances exercise-induced executive function improvements in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsukamoto, Hayato; Suga, Tadashi; Ishibashi, Aya; Takenaka, Saki; Tanaka, Daichi; Hirano, Yoshitaka; Hamaoka, Takafumi; Goto, Kazushige; Ebi, Kumiko; Isaka, Tadao; Hashimoto, Takeshi

    2018-02-01

    Aerobic exercise is known to acutely improve cognitive functions, such as executive function (EF) and memory function (MF). Additionally, consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa has been reported to acutely improve cognitive function. The aim of this study was to determine whether high cocoa flavanol (CF; HCF) consumption would enhance exercise-induced improvement in cognitive function. To test this hypothesis, we examined the combined effects of HCF consumption and moderate-intensity exercise on EF and MF during postexercise recovery. Ten healthy young men received either an HCF (563 mg of CF) or energy-matched low CF (LCF; 38 mg of CF) beverage 70 min before exercise in a single-blind counterbalanced manner. The men then performed moderate-intensity cycling exercise at 60% of peak oxygen uptake for 30 min. The participants performed a color-word Stroop task and face-name matching task to evaluate EF and MF, respectively, during six time periods throughout the experimental session. EF significantly improved immediately after exercise compared with before exercise in both conditions. However, EF was higher after HCF consumption than after LCF consumption during all time periods because HCF consumption improved EF before exercise. In contrast, HCF consumption and moderate-intensity exercise did not improve MF throughout the experiment. The present findings demonstrated that HCF consumption before moderate-intensity exercise could enhance exercise-induced improvement in EF, but not in MF. Therefore, we suggest that the combination of HCF consumption and aerobic exercise may be beneficial for improving EF. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Assessing Impairment of Executive Function and Psychomotor Speed in Premanifest and Manifest Huntington's Disease Gene-expansion Carriers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Unmack Larsen, Ida; Vinther-Jensen, Tua; Gade, Anders

    2015-01-01

    Executive functions (EF) and psychomotor speed (PMS) has been widely studied in Huntington's disease (HD). Most studies have focused on finding markers of disease progression by comparing group means at different disease stages. Our aim was to investigate performances on nine measures of EF and PMS...

  10. Objective Versus Subjective Measures of Executive Functions: Predictors of Participation and Quality of Life in Parkinson Disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlagsma, Thialda T; Koerts, Janneke; Tucha, Oliver; Dijkstra, Hilde T; Duits, Annelien A; van Laar, Teus; Spikman, Jacoba M

    2017-11-01

    To determine whether objective (neuropsychological tests) and subjective measures (questionnaires) of executive functions (EFs) are associated in patients with Parkinson disease (PD), and to determine to what extent level of participation and quality of life (QoL) of patients with PD can be predicted by these measures of EFs. Correlational research design (case-control and prediction design). Departments of neuropsychology of 3 medical centers. A sample (N=136) of patients with PD (n=42) and their relatives, and controls without PD (n=94). Not applicable. A test battery measuring EFs. In addition, patients, their relatives, and controls completed the Dysexecutive Questionnaire, Brock Adaptive Functioning Questionnaire, and Barkley Deficits in Executive Functioning Scale - time management questionnaires measuring complaints about EFs. Participation and QoL were measured with the Impact on Participation and Autonomy scale and the Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire-39, respectively. Patients with PD showed impairments in EFs on objective tests and reported significantly more complaints about EFs than did controls without PD. No associations were found between patients' performances on objective and subjective measures of EFs. However, both objective and subjective measures predicted patients' level of participation. In addition, subjective measures of EFs predicted QoL in patients with PD. These findings show that objective and subjective measures of EFs are not interchangeable and that both approaches predict level of participation and QoL in patients with PD. However, within this context, sex needs to be taken into account. Copyright © 2017 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Executive Functions, Oral Language and Writing in Preschool Children: Development and Correlations

    OpenAIRE

    Pazeto, Talita de Cassia Batista; Seabra, Alessandra Gotuzo; Dias, Natália Martins

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions (EF) and oral language (OL) are important for learning reading and writing (RW) and for the development of other skills in preschool. The study investigated the progression and the relationships between the performances in these competences in pre-schoolers. Participants were 90 children, mean age 4.91 years, students from Kindergarten years I and II of a private school in SP, assessed, individually, with a battery with nine instruments for EF, OL, and RW. There was increa...

  12. Caregiver Report of Executive Functioning in a Population-Based Sample of Young Children with Down Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Nancy Raitano; Fidler, Deborah J.; Blakeley-Smith, Audrey; Daunhauer, Lisa; Robinson, Cordelia; Hepburn, Susan L.

    2011-01-01

    The current study describes everyday executive function (EF) profiles in young children with Down syndrome. Caregivers of children with Down syndrome (n = 26; chronological ages = 4-10 years; mental ages = 2-4 years) completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool (BRIEF-P; G. A. Gioia, K. A. Espy, & P. K. Isquith, 2003), a…

  13. Differences in Executive Functioning in Children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elosúa, M Rosa; Del Olmo, Sandra; Contreras, María José

    2017-01-01

    In recent years, the interest in Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and its relation to deficits in working memory (WM) and more specifically the different executive functions (EFs) has grown, to the point of confirming that these are quite frequent in this disorder. The aim of this study was precisely to explore differences in executive functioning of WM in fourth grade Primary school children with and without ADHD (26 and 29 children, respectively), introducing rigorous control measures in the tests used. Four EFs were analyzed: divided attention, updating, attentional shifting and inhibition, measured through four tasks, the dual-task paradigm (digits and box-crossing), the N-Back task, the Trail Making Test and the Stroop task, respectively. The results showed that participants with ADHD, compared to children with typical development (TD), exhibited a smaller verbal memory span as well as deficits in the attentional shifting and updating functions. However, a similar performance for the EF of inhibition was found for both groups of participants. Finally, an unexpected result was obtained with regard to the role of divided attention, as children with ADHD were less impaired when performing the double task than participants in the TD group.

  14. Development of a Performance-Based Measure of Executive Functions in Patients with Schizophrenia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    En-Chi Chiu

    Full Text Available A performance-based measure for assessing executive functions (EF is useful to understand patients' real life performance of EF. This study aimed to develop a performance-based measure of executive functions (PEF based on the Lezak model and to examine psychometric properties (i.e., unidimensionality and reliability of the PEF using Rasch analysis in patients with schizophrenia. We developed the PEF in three phases: (1 designing the preliminary version of PEF; (2 consultation with experts, cognitive interviews with patients, and pilot tests on patients to revise the preliminary PEF; (3 establishment of the final version of the PEF and examination of unidimensionality and Rasch reliability. Two hundred patients were assessed using the revised PEF. After deleting items which did not satisfy the Rasch model's expectations, the final version of the PEF contained 1 practice item and 13 test items for assessing the four domains of EF (i.e., volition, planning, purposive action, and effective performance. For unidimensional and multidimensional Rasch analyses, the 4 domains showed good reliability (i.e., 0.77-0.85 and 0.87-0.90, respectively. Our results showed that the PEF had satisfactory unidimensionality and Rasch reliability. Therefore, clinicians and researchers could use the PEF to assess the four domains of EF in patients with schizophrenia.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Executive Functioning in Children and Adolescents With Perinatal HIV Infection and Perinatal HIV Exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Sharon L; Chernoff, Miriam C; Malee, Kathleen M; Sirois, Patricia A; Woods, Steven P; Williams, Paige L; Yildirim, Cenk; Delis, Dean; Kammerer, Betsy

    2016-12-01

    Executive functions (EFs) are critical for management of life activities, but few studies have evaluated EFs in children and adolescents with perinatally acquired HIV (PHIV), who are at risk for problems in academics, behavior, and medication adherence. We compared EFs in youth with PHIV and in perinatally HIV-exposed but uninfected (PHEU) youth. Four Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) subtests were administered to 173 youth with PHIV and 85 PHEU youth, aged 9 to Executive Functioning Study. Youth with PHIV, with or without history of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Class C (AIDS-defining) condition (PHIV/C [n = 45] and PHIV/non-C [n = 128], respectively), were compared with each other and with PHEU youth. Among youth with PHIV, associations with measures of current and past disease severity were evaluated using adjusted linear regression models. The PHIV/C group (mean age, 15.5 years), compared with the PHIV/non-C and PHEU groups (mean ages, 14.5 and 12.9 years, respectively), were significantly slower on the Inhibition and Color Naming/Reading Combined conditions of the Color-Word Interference subtest and made more errors on Inhibition; differences between the PHIV/C and PHEU groups persisted in adjusted models. No differences in adjusted means for fluency or problem-solving were found. The PHIV/non-C and PHEU groups did not differ on any measure. Associations of specific EF measures with HIV RNA viral load, CD4-positive T-lymphocyte percentage, and age at greatest disease severity were observed. Youth with PHIV and previous AIDS-defining conditions performed more poorly on some EF measures. Relationships of EF development with the degree and timing of disease severity require further study. Implications for long-term outcomes and interventions are important avenues for follow-up. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e

  18. Maintained exercise-enhanced brain executive function related to cerebral lactate metabolism in men

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hashimoto, Takeshi; Tsukamoto, Hayato; Takenaka, Saki

    2018-01-01

    . Fourteen healthy, male subjects performed 2 HIIE protocols separated by 60 min of rest. Blood samples were obtained from the right internal jugular venous bulb and from the brachial artery to determine differences across the brain for lactate (a-v difflactate), glucose (diffglucose), oxygen (diffoxygen......High-intensity interval exercise (HIIE) improves cerebral executive function (EF), but the improvement in EF is attenuated after repeated HIIE, perhaps because of lower lactate availability for the brain. This investigation examined whether improved EF after exercise relates to brain lactate uptake......), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF; diffBDNF). EF was evaluated by the color-word Stroop task. The first HIIE improved EF for 40 min, whereas the second HIIE improved EF only immediately after exercise. The a-v diffglucose was unchanged, whereas the a-v diffBDNF increased similarly after both HIIEs...

  19. Assessment of executive functioning in binge-eating disorder independent of weight status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eneva, Kalina T; Arlt, Jean M; Yiu, Angelina; Murray, Susan M; Chen, Eunice Y

    2017-08-01

    Executive functioning (EF) problems may serve as vulnerability or maintenance factors for Binge-Eating Disorder (BED). However, it is unclear if EF problems observed in BED are related to overweight status or BED status. The current study extends this literature by examining EF in overweight and normal-weight BED compared to weight-matched controls. Participants were normal-weight women with BED (n = 23), overweight BED (n = 32), overweight healthy controls (n = 48), and normal-weight healthy controls (n = 29). The EF battery utilized tests from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Toolbox and Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS). After controlling for years of education and minority status, overweight individuals performed more poorly than normal-weight individuals on a task of cognitive flexibility requiring generativity (p < .01), and speed on psychomotor performance tasks (p = .01). Normal-weight and overweight BED performed worse on working memory tasks compared to controls (p = .04). Unexpectedly, normal-weight BED individuals out-performed all other groups on an inhibitory control task (p < .01). No significant differences were found between the four groups on tasks of planning. Regardless of weight status, BED is associated with working memory problems. Replication of the finding that normal-weight BED is associated with enhanced inhibitory control is needed. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Theory of Mind and Executive Function in Preschoolers with Typical Development versus Intellectually Able Preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimhi, Yael; Shoam-Kugelmas, Dana; Agam Ben-Artzi, Galit; Ben-Moshe, Inbal; Bauminger-Zviely, Nirit

    2014-01-01

    Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulties in theory of mind (ToM) and executive function (EF), which may be linked because one domain (EF) affects the other (ToM). Group differences (ASD vs. typical development) were examined in both cognitive domains, as well as EF's associations and regressions with ToM. Participants…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Farooqi

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    Competent reading requires various skills beyond those for basic word reading (i.e., core language skills, rapid naming, phonological processing). Contributing “higher-level” or domain-general processes include information processing speed and executive functions (working memory, strategic problem solving, attentional switching). Research in this area has relied on largely Caucasian samples, with limited representation of children from racial or ethnic minority groups. This study examined contributions of executive skills to reading competence in 761 children of minority backgrounds. Hierarchical linear regressions examined unique contributions of executive functions (EF) to word reading, fluency, and comprehension. EF contributed uniquely to reading performance, over and above reading-related language skills; working memory contributed uniquely to all components of reading; while attentional switching, but not problem solving, contributed to isolated and contextual word reading and reading fluency. Problem solving uniquely predicted comprehension, suggesting that this skill may be especially important for reading comprehension in minority youth. Attentional switching may play a unique role in development of reading fluency in minority youth, perhaps as a result of the increased demand for switching between spoken versus written dialects. Findings have implications for educational and clinical practice with regard to reading instruction, remedial reading intervention, and assessment of individuals with reading difficulty. PMID:26755569

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Quality of life, health status and caregiver burden in Parkinson's disease: relationship to executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudlicka, Aleksandra; Clare, Linda; Hindle, John V

    2014-01-01

    High-quality person-centred care for people with Parkinson's disease (PwPD) and their families relies on identifying and addressing factors that specifically impact on quality of life (QoL). Deficits in executive functions (EF) are common in Parkinson's disease, but their impact on PwPD and their caregivers is not well understood. The present study evaluated how EF contributes to QoL and health status for the PwPD and caregiver burden. Sixty-five PwPD completed measures of QoL, health status and EF, and 50 caregivers rated the EF of the PwPD and their own burden. Multiple regression analyses examined predictors of QoL (general life, health and movement disorders domains), health status and caregiver burden. Quality of life in the health and movement disorders domains was best explained by caregiver-rated EF, whereas QoL in the general life domain was best explained by level of depression. Health status was predicted by self-rated EF, with an objective EF measure also included in the regression model. Caregiver burden was best explained by caregiver-rated EF and disease severity, with general cognition and other factors also included in the regression model. Executive functions-related behavioural problems may contribute to QoL and health status in PwPD and affect caregiver burden. The findings support the view that the concepts of subjective QoL and self-assessed health status are only partially related and should not be seen as identical. Adequate strategies to reduce the impact of EF deficits are needed as this may have the potential to improve QoL in PwPD. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  5. Self-Report Assessment of Executive Functioning in College Students with Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grieve, Adam; Webne-Behrman, Lisa; Couillou, Ryan; Sieben-Schneider, Jill

    2014-01-01

    This study presents a unique assessment of executive functioning (EF) among postsecondary students with disabilities, with the aim of understanding the extent to which students with different disabilities and in different age groups assess their own difficulties with relevant and educationally-adaptive skills such as planning, initiating, managing…

  6. Predicting College Students' Positive Psychology Associated Traits with Executive Functioning Dimensions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Seth

    2016-01-01

    More research is needed that investigates how positive psychology-associated traits are predicted by neurocognitive processes. Correspondingly, the purpose of this study was to ascertain how, and to what extent, four traits, namely, grit, optimism, positive affect, and life satisfaction were predicted by the executive functioning (EF) dimensions…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Claire; Kuhn, Laura

    2018-01-01

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

  10. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and executive functioning in affected and unaffected adolescents and their parents : challenging the endophenotype construct

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thissen, A. J. A. M.; Rommelse, N. N. J.; Hoekstra, P. J.; Hartman, C.; Heslenfeld, D.; Luman, M.; van Lieshout, M.; Franke, B.; Oosterlaan, J.; Buitelaar, J. K.

    Background The results of twin and sibling studies suggest that executive functioning is a prime candidate endophenotype in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, studies have not assessed the co-segregation of executive function (EF) deficits from parents to offspring directly,

  11. Do executive functions explain the covariance between internalizing and externalizing behaviors?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatoum, Alexander S; Rhee, Soo Hyun; Corley, Robin P; Hewitt, John K; Friedman, Naomi P

    2017-11-16

    This study examined whether executive functions (EFs) might be common features of internalizing and externalizing behavior problems across development. We examined relations between three EF latent variables (a common EF factor and factors specific to updating working memory and shifting sets), constructed from nine laboratory tasks administered at age 17, to latent growth intercept (capturing stability) and slope (capturing change) factors of teacher- and parent-reported internalizing and externalizing behaviors in 885 individual twins aged 7 to 16 years. We then estimated the proportion of intercept-intercept and slope-slope correlations predicted by EF as well as the association between EFs and a common psychopathology factor (P factor) estimated from all 9 years of internalizing and externalizing measures. Common EF was negatively associated with the intercepts of teacher-rated internalizing and externalizing behavior in males, and explained 32% of their covariance; in the P factor model, common EF was associated with the P factor in males. Shifting-specific was positively associated with the externalizing slope across sex. EFs did not explain covariation between parent-rated behaviors. These results suggest that EFs are associated with stable problem behavior variation, explain small proportions of covariance, and are a risk factor that that may depend on gender.

  12. The Influence of Feedback of Diagnosis and Executive Function Skills on Rates of False Positive and False Negative Outcomes for ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bender, Stacy L.; Privitera, Gregory J.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined executive function (EF) skills and self-reported symptoms of ADHD. EF skills were measured to determine whether skills were different between groups that reported clinical levels of ADHD symptoms (clinical group) and nonclinical levels of ADHD symptoms (nonclinical group). EF skills in the nonclinical group were also…

  13. The Temporal Association Between Executive Function and Life-Space Mobility in Old Age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poranen-Clark, Taina; von Bonsdorff, Mikaela B; Rantakokko, Merja; Portegijs, Erja; Eronen, Johanna; Pynnönen, Katja; Eriksson, Johan G; Viljanen, Anne; Rantanen, Taina

    2018-05-09

    Life-space mobility, an indicator of community mobility, describes person's movements in terms of the distance from home, the frequency of movement, and the need of assistance for movement. Executive function (EF) is a higher-order cognitive function that supervises motor control and plays a key role in a person's ability to function independently. Cognitive impairment often co-occurs with restricted life-space mobility; however, the direction of the longitudinal associations between EF and life-space mobility is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the temporal associations between EF and life-space mobility among community-dwelling older people. One hundred eight community-dwelling persons aged 76 to 91 years participated in the 2 year follow-up study. EF was measured with the Trail Making Test. The Life-Space Assessment (range 0-120, higher scores indicate more mobility) was used to assess life-space mobility. Cross-lagged model design was used to examine longitudinal relationship between EF and life-space mobility. The model was adjusted for age and gender. Average age of participants at baseline was 82.2 (SD 4.1) years and 59% were women. Better EF at baseline predicted higher life-space mobility at follow-up (path coefficient = 3.81, 95% confidential interval; 0.84, 6.78, p = .012), whereas baseline life-space mobility did not predict EF at follow-up. EF was a determinant of life-space mobility. Supporting EF may enhance maintaining independence and active participation in old age.

  14. Poverty's Impact on Children's Executive Functions: Global Considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haft, Stephanie L.; Hoeft, Fumiko

    2017-01-01

    Poverty detrimentally affects child executive function (EF), a subset of cognitive abilities implicated in reading and other achievement outcomes. Consequently, research has focused on understanding explanatory and mediating mechanisms in this association. This research, however, has mainly involved populations from Western, high-income countries.…

  15. Language and executive functioning in the context of specific language impairment and bilingualism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Laloi, A.

    2015-01-01

    The present thesis has investigated how French-speaking monolingual and bilingual children with SLI (specific language impairment) performed on various tasks examining language and executive functioning (EF) abilities, in comparison to monolingual and bilingual peers without SLI. Language was

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamza Anna

    2016-06-01

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

  17. Fathers matter: The role of father parenting in preschoolers' executive function development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meuwissen, Alyssa S; Carlson, Stephanie M

    2015-12-01

    Although previous work has shown that mothers' parenting influences the development of child executive function (EF; important self-control skills developed during 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 that fathers should be included in both research and parenting interventions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Contribution of Theory of Mind, Executive Functioning, and Pragmatics to Socialization Behaviors of Children with High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berenguer, Carmen; Miranda, Ana; Colomer, Carla; Baixauli, Inmaculada; Roselló, Belén

    2018-01-01

    Social difficulties are a key aspect of autism, but the intervening factors are still poorly understood. This study had two objectives: to compare the profile of ToM skills, executive functioning (EF), and pragmatic competence (PC) of children with high-functioning autism (HFA) and children with typical development (TD), and analyze their mediator…

  19. Interrelations between Executive Function and Symptoms of Hyperactivity/Impulsivity and Inattention in Preschoolers: A Two Year Longitudinal Study

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

    The present study, including children at risk for developing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), examined the idea that complex executive functions (EFs) build upon more simple ones. This notion was applied in the study of longitudinal interrelations between core EF components--simple and complex inhibition, selective attention, and…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. 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

  2. The Minimal and Short-Lived Effects of Minority Language Exposure on the Executive Functions of Frisian-Dutch Bilingual Children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosma, E.; Hoekstra, E.; Versloot, A.; Blom, E.

    Various studies have shown that bilingual children need a certain degree of proficiency in both languages before their bilingual experiences enhance their executive functioning (EF). In the current study, we investigated if degree of bilingualism in Frisian-Dutch children influenced EF and if this

  3. The Role of Executive Functions in the Pragmatic Skills of Children age 4-5

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bénédicte eBlain-Brière

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Several studies suggest that pragmatic skills (PS (i.e. social communication deficits may be linked to executive dysfunction (i.e. cognitive processes required for the regulation of new and complex behaviors in patients with frontal brain injuries. If impairment of executive functions (EF causes PS deficits in otherwise healthy adults, could this mean that EF are necessary for the normal functioning of PS, even more so than cognitive maturation? If so, children with highly developed EF should exhibit higher levels of PS. This study aimed to examine the link between EF and PS among normally developing children. A secondary goal was to compare this relationship to that between intellectual quotient (IQ and PS in order to determine which predictor explained the most variance. Participants were 70 French-speaking preschool children (3;10 to 5;7 years old. The PS coding system, an observational tool developed for this study, was used to codify the children’s PS during a semi-structured conversation with a research assistant. Five types of EF processes were evaluated: self-control, inhibition, flexibility, working memory and planning. IQ was estimated by tallying the scores on a receptive vocabulary test and a visuoconstructive abilities test. The results of the test of differences between correlation coefficients suggest that EF contributed significantly more than IQ to the PS exhibited by preschoolers during conversation. More specifically, higher inhibition skills were correlated with a decrease in talkativeness and assertiveness. EF also appeared to foster quality of speech by promoting the ability to produce fluid utterances, free of unnecessary repetition or hesitation. Moreover, children with a high working memory capacity were more likely to formulate contingent answers and produce utterances that could be clearly understood by the interlocutor. Overall, these findings help us better understand how EF may assist children in everyday social

  4. Psychological disorders and ecological factors affect the development of executive functions: Some perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafika ZEBDI

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The links between deficits in executive functions (EF (e.g., mental flexibility, inhibition capacities..., and some psychological disorders (e.g., anxiety and depressive disorders has been investigated in the past decades or so. Observations evidenced that some deficits in working memory, planning, and mental flexibility were highly correlated with anxiety and depressive disorders. The majority of studies focused on adults’ population, whereas it seems important to adopt a developmental perspective to fully understand the dynamic of these EF/psychological disorders relations. We suggest two axis on which to focus in future research: (i relations between EF and anxiety traits through development; and (ii the possible role of external factors such as parent-child relationships on the development of EF.

  5. The Relationship between Theory of Mind and Executive Function in a Sample of Children from Mainland China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Juan; Zhou, Shijie; Yao, Shuqiao; Su, Linyan; McWhinnie, Chad

    2009-01-01

    To explore the relationship between theory of mind (ToM) and executive function (EF) in a sample of individuals from mainland China, 20 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), 26 children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and 30 normal control subjects were compared on two batteries of ToM tasks and EF tasks. Children…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Test Review: Naglieri, J. A., Goldstein, S. (2013), "Comprehensive Executive Function Inventory." North Tonawanda, NY: Multi-Health Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenwick, Melanie; McCrimmon, Adam W.

    2015-01-01

    This article provides a description and review of the "Comprehensive Executive Function Inventory" (CEFI; Naglieri & Goldstein, 2013), published by Multi-Health Systems Inc. (MHS). It is a rating scale developed to measure a wide array of Executive Function (EF) abilities in individuals aged 5 through 18 years. Completed by a parent,…

  8. Hot and Cool Executive Function: Foundations for Learning and Healthy Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meuwissen, Alyssa S.; Zelazo, Philip David

    2014-01-01

    Executive function (EF) refers to the set of core self-regulatory skills required for deliberate, goal-directed problem solving. These skills, which are exercised when children pause and reflect before reacting, provide a foundation for learning in a classroom context. They make it possible to pay attention, think flexibly, keep information in…

  9. Differences in Executive Functioning in Children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Rosa Elosúa

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, the interest in Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD and its relation to deficits in working memory (WM and more specifically the different executive functions (EFs has grown, to the point of confirming that these are quite frequent in this disorder. The aim of this study was precisely to explore differences in executive functioning of WM in fourth grade Primary school children with and without ADHD (26 and 29 children, respectively, introducing rigorous control measures in the tests used. Four EFs were analyzed: divided attention, updating, attentional shifting and inhibition, measured through four tasks, the dual-task paradigm (digits and box-crossing, the N-Back task, the Trail Making Test and the Stroop task, respectively. The results showed that participants with ADHD, compared to children with typical development (TD, exhibited a smaller verbal memory span as well as deficits in the attentional shifting and updating functions. However, a similar performance for the EF of inhibition was found for both groups of participants. Finally, an unexpected result was obtained with regard to the role of divided attention, as children with ADHD were less impaired when performing the double task than participants in the TD group.

  10. Benefits of Physical Exercise on Executive Functions in Older People with Parkinson's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Katia; de Quadros, Antonio Carlos, Jr.; Santos, Ruth Ferreira; Stella, Florindo; Gobbi, Lilian Teresa Bucken; Gobbi, Sebastiao

    2009-01-01

    The benefits of physical exercise on cognitive functioning have been reported in the literature, but the potential benefits to slow the eventual decline in executive functioning (EF) caused by neurodegeneration from Parkinson's Disease (PD) have rarely been studied. Thus the objective of this study was to analyze the effects of a multimodal…

  11. Hot Executive Function Following Moderate-to-Late Preterm Birth: Altered Delay Discounting at 4 Years of Age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodel, Amanda S.; Brumbaugh, Jane E.; Morris, Alyssa R.; Thomas, Kathleen M.

    2016-01-01

    Interest in monitoring long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes of children born moderate-to-late preterm (32-36 weeks gestation) is increasing. Moderate-to-late preterm birth has a negative impact on academic achievement, which may relate to differential development of executive function (EF). Prior studies reporting deficits in EF in preterm…

  12. A continuum of executive function deficits in early subcortical vascular cognitive impairment: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sudo, Felipe Kenji; Amado, Patricia; Alves, Gilberto Sousa; Laks, Jerson; Engelhardt, Eliasz

    2017-01-01

    Subcortical Vascular Cognitive Impairment (SVCI) is a clinical continuum of vascular-related cognitive impairment, including Vascular Mild Cognitive Impairment (VaMCI) and Vascular Dementia. Deficits in Executive Function (EF) are hallmarks of the disorder, but the best methods to assess this function have yet to be determined. The insidious and almost predictable course of SVCI and the multidimensional concept of EF suggest that a temporal dissociation of impairments in EF domains exists early in the disorder. This study aims to review and analyze data from the literature about performance of VaMCI patients on the most used EF tests through a meta-analytic approach. Medline, Web of Knowledge and PsycINFO were searched, using the terms: "vascular mild cognitive impairment" OR "vascular cognitive impairment no dementia" OR "vascular mild neurocognitive disorder" AND "dysexecutive" OR "executive function". Meta-analyses were conducted for each of the selected tests, using random-effect models. Systematic review showed major discrepancies among the results of the studies included. Meta-analyses evidenced poorer performance on the Trail-Making Test part B and the Stroop color test by VaMCI patients compared to controls. A continuum of EF impairments has been proposed in SVCI. Early deficits appear to occur in cognitive flexibility and inhibitory control.

  13. Poor Executive Functions among Children with Moderate-into-Severe Asthma: Evidence from WCST Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taha, Haitham

    2017-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) measures of 27 asthmatic children, with general learning difficulties, were tested by using the Wisconsin card sorting test (WCST), and were compared to the performances of 30 non-asthmatic children with general learning difficulties. The results revealed that the asthmatic group has poor performance through all the WCST psychometric parameters and especially the perseverative errors one. The results were discussed in light of the postulation that poor EFs could be associated with the learning difficulties of asthmatic children. Neurophysiological framework has been suggested to explain the etiology of poor EFs among children with moderate into severe asthma.

  14. Efficiency of Executive Function: A Two-Generation Cross-Cultural Comparison of Samples From Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellefson, Michelle R; Ng, Florrie Fei-Yin; Wang, Qian; Hughes, Claire

    2017-05-01

    Although Asian preschoolers acquire executive functions (EFs) earlier than their Western counterparts, little is known about whether this advantage persists into later childhood and adulthood. To address this gap, in the current study we gave four computerized EF tasks (providing measures of inhibition, working memory, cognitive flexibility, and planning) to a large sample ( n = 1,427) of 9- to 16-year-olds and their parents. All participants lived in either the United Kingdom or Hong Kong. Our findings highlight the importance of combining developmental and cultural perspectives and show both similarities and contrasts across sites. Specifically, adults' EF performance did not differ between the two sites; age-related changes in executive function for both the children and the parents appeared to be culturally invariant, as did a modest intergenerational correlation. In contrast, school-age children and young adolescents in Hong Kong outperformed their United Kingdom counterparts on all four EF tasks, a difference consistent with previous findings from preschool children.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ursache, Alexandra; Noble, Kimberly G

    2016-10-01

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

  16. The Effect of Maltreatment Type on Adolescent Executive Functioning and Inner Speech

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirke-Smith, Mimi; Henry, Lucy A.; Messer, David

    2016-01-01

    There are indications that different types of maltreatment can lead to different cognitive and behavioural outcomes. This study investigated whether maltreatment type was related to executive functioning (EF) abilities and the use of inner speech. Forty maltreated adolescents and a comparison group of 40 non-maltreated typically developing…

  17. Progress in reading and spelling of dyslexic children is not affected by executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walda, Sietske A E; van Weerdenburg, Marjolijn; Wijnants, Maarten L; Bosman, Anna M T

    2014-12-01

    Although poor reading and spelling skills have been associated with weak skills of executive functioning (EF), its role in literacy is not undisputed. Because EF has different theoretical underpinnings, methods of analysis and of assessing, it has led to varying and often contrasting results in its effects in children with dyslexia. The present study has two goals. The first goal is to establish the relationship between a large number of EF tasks and reading and spelling skills in a large number of Dutch dyslexic children (n = 229). More interesting, however, is the second aim. To what extent do EF skills predict progress in reading and spelling in dyslexic children who attended a remediation programme? The results revealed small, but significant relationships between EF and reading and spelling skills, but no relationships between EF and progress in reading and spelling. It is concluded that training EF skills is unlikely to enhance reading and spelling skills. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Executive functions, oral language and writing in preschool children: Development and correlations

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    Talita de Cassia Batista Pazeto

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Executive functions (EF and oral language (OL are important for learning reading and writing (RW and for the development of other skills in preschool. The study investigated the progression and the relationships between the performances in these competences in pre-schoolers. Participants were 90 children, mean age 4.91 years, students from Kindergarten years I and II of a private school in SP, assessed, individually, with a battery with nine instruments for EF, OL, and RW. There was increase of the performances as a result of educational level for all OL and RW measures, but only for attention in the field of EF. Significant correlations were found between the measurements assessing the same cognitive domain, as well as inter-domain, although portraying a different pattern. The results indicate that OL and RW seem to develop rapidly in the course of preschool, while the EF have slower development. The fields of OL and RW, EF and RW are more interdependent, and EF and OL are relatively independent.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Executive Functioning Skills in Preschool-Age Children With Cochlear Implants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beer, Jessica; Kronenberger, William G.; Castellanos, Irina; Colson, Bethany G.; Henning, Shirley C.; Pisoni, David B.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine whether deficits in executive functioning (EF) in children with cochlear implants (CIs) emerge as early as the preschool years. Method Two groups of children ages 3 to 6 years participated in this cross-sectional study: 24 preschoolers who had CIs prior to 36 months of age and 21 preschoolers with normal hearing (NH). All were tested on normed measures of working memory, inhibition-concentration, and organization-integration. Parents completed a normed rating scale of problem behaviors related to EF. Comparisons of EF skills of children with CIs were made to peers with NH and to published nationally representative norms. Results Preschoolers with CIs showed significantly poorer performance on inhibition-concentration and working memory compared with peers with NH and with national norms. No group differences were found in visual memory or organization-integration. When data were controlled for language, differences in performance measures of EF remained, whereas differences in parent-reported problems with EF were no longer significant. Hearing history was generally unrelated to EF. Conclusions This is the first study to demonstrate that EF deficits found in older children with CIs begin to emerge as early as preschool years. The ability to detect these deficits early has important implications for early intervention and habilitation after cochlear implantation. PMID:24686747

  1. Intergenerational associations in executive function between mothers and children in the context of risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Matthew H; Shimomaeda, Lisa; Giuliano, Ryan J; Skowron, Elizabeth A

    2017-12-01

    Executive functioning (EF) is critical for school readiness and other important life skills. Previous investigations have often neglected the important influence of parental EF skills in shaping their own children's EF. This study attempted to replicate recent empirical work that has shown that maternal EF is positively related to child EF. An ecological theoretical framework was used to examine the maternal EF-child EF link in family environments characterized by significant risk and socioeconomic adversity. Data from 38 mother-child dyads revealed that larger maternal working memory capacity was associated with greater child accuracy and slower reaction times on a child-friendly Go/No-Go task of response inhibition but not on an Emotional Go/No-Go task. This finding suggests that in contexts of risk and adversity, slower reaction times, instead of reflecting weaker EF skills, might reflect an adaptive skill-that is, exercising appropriate caution and careful responding on a challenging task. Results provide additional evidence of an intergenerational link between maternal EF and child EF and yield new insights into the nature of EF in adverse environments. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Maternal Depressive Symptoms, Mother-Child Interactions, and Children's Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gueron-Sela, Noa; Camerota, Marie; Willoughby, Michael T.; Vernon-Feagans, Lynne; Cox, Martha J.

    2018-01-01

    This study examined the independent and mediated associations between maternal depression symptoms (MDS), mother-child interaction, and child executive function (EF) in a prospective longitudinal sample of 1,037 children (50% boys) from predominantly low-income and rural communities. When children were 6, 15 and 24 months of age, mothers reported…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Motor and Executive Function Profiles in Adult Residents ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Objective: Exposure to elevated levels of manganese (Mn) may be associated with tremor, motor and executive dysfunction (EF), clinically resembling Parkinson’s disease (PD). PD research has identified tremor-dominant (TD) and non-tremor dominant (NTD) profiles. NTD PD presents with bradykinesia, rigidity, and postural sway, and is associated with EF impairment with lower quality of life (QoL). Presence and impact of tremor, motor, and executive dysfunction profiles on health-related QoL and life satisfaction were examined in air-Mn exposed residents of two Ohio, USA towns. Participants and Methods: From two Ohio towns exposed to air-Mn, 186 residents (76 males) aged 30-75 years were administered measures of EF (Animal Naming, ACT, Rey-O Copy, Stroop Color-Word, and Trails B), motor and tremor symptoms (UPDRS), QoL (BRFSS), life satisfaction (SWLS), and positive symptom distress (SCL-90-R). Air-Mn exposure in the two towns was modeled with 10 years of air-monitoring data. Cluster analyses detected the presence of symptom profiles by grouping together residents with similar scores on these measures. Results: Overall, mean air-Mn concentration for the two towns was 0.53 µg/m3 (SD=.92). Two-step cluster analyses identified TD and NTD symptom profiles. Residents in the NTD group lacked EF impairment; EF impairment represented a separate profile. An unimpaired group also emerged. The NTD and EF impairment groups were qualitatively similar, with relatively lo

  5. Using an adoption design to separate genetic, prenatal, and temperament influences on toddler executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leve, Leslie D; DeGarmo, David S; Bridgett, David J; Neiderhiser, Jenae M; Shaw, Daniel S; Harold, Gordon T; Natsuaki, Misaki N; Reiss, David

    2013-06-01

    Poor executive functioning has been implicated in children's concurrent and future behavioral difficulties, making work aimed at understanding processes related to the development of early executive function (EF) critical for models of developmental psychopathology. Deficits in EF have been associated with adverse prenatal experiences, genetic influences, and temperament characteristics. However, our ability to disentangle the predictive and independent effects of these influences has been limited by a dearth of genetically informed research designs that also consider prenatal influences. The present study examined EF and language development in a sample of 361 toddlers who were adopted at birth and reared in nonrelative adoptive families. Predictors included genetic influences (as inherited from birth mothers), prenatal risk, and growth in child negative emotionality. Structural equation modeling indicated that the effect of prenatal risk on toddler effortful attention at age 27 months became nonsignificant once genetic influences were considered in the model. In addition, genetic influences had unique effects on toddler effortful attention. Latent growth modeling indicated that increases in toddler negative emotionality from 9 to 27 months were associated with poorer delay of gratification and poorer language development. Similar results were obtained in models incorporating birth father data. Mechanisms of intergenerational transmission of EF deficits are discussed. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved

  6. Puberty suppression and executive functioning : An fMRI-study in adolescents with gender dysphoria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Staphorsius, Annemieke S; Kreukels, Baudewijntje P C; Cohen-Kettenis, Peggy T; Veltman, Dick J; Burke, Sarah M; Schagen, Sebastian E E; Wouters, Femke M; Delemarre-van de Waal, Henriëtte A; Bakker, J.

    Adolescents with gender dysphoria (GD) may be treated with gonadotropin releasing hormone analogs (GnRHa) to suppress puberty and, thus, the development of (unwanted) secondary sex characteristics. Since adolescence marks an important period for the development of executive functioning (EF), we

  7. Puberty suppression and executive functioning: An fMRI-study in adolescents with gender dysphoria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Staphorsius, A.S.; Kreukels, B.P.C.; Cohen-Kettenis, P.T.; Veltman, D.J.; Burke, S.M.; Schagen, S.E.E.; Wouters, F.M.; Delemarre-van de Waal, H.A.; Bakker, J.

    2015-01-01

    Adolescents with gender dysphoria (GD) may be treated with gonadotropin releasing hormone analogs (GnRHa) to suppress puberty and, thus, the development of (unwanted) secondary sex characteristics. Since adolescence marks an important period for the development of executive functioning (EF), we

  8. Major Depressive Disorder Is Associated with Broad Impairments on Neuropsychological Measures of Executive Function: A Meta-Analysis and Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, Hannah R.

    2013-01-01

    Cognitive impairments are now widely acknowledged as an important aspect of major depressive disorder (MDD), and it has been proposed that executive function (EF) may be particularly impaired in patients with MDD. However, the existence and nature of EF impairments associated with depression remain strongly debated. Although many studies have…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Tetering, Marleen A J; Jolles, Jelle

    2017-01-01

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

  10. Psychological Disorders and Ecological Factors Affect the Development of Executive Functions: Some Perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zebdi, Rafika; Goyet, Louise; Pinabiaux, Charlotte; Guellaï, Bahia

    2016-01-01

    The links between deficits in executive functions (EFs) (e.g., mental flexibility, inhibition capacities, etc.) and some psychological disorders (e.g., anxiety and depressive disorders) have been investigated in the past decades or so. Observations evidenced that some deficits in working memory, planning, and mental flexibility were highly correlated with anxiety and depressive disorders. The majority of studies focused on adults' population, whereas it seems important to adopt a developmental perspective to fully understand the dynamic relation of these EF/psychological disorders. We suggest to focus on the following two axes in future research: (i) relations between EF and anxiety traits through development and (ii) the possible role of external factors such as parent-child relationships on the development of EF.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Investigation of Cool and Hot Executive Function in ODD/CD Independently of ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobson, Christopher W.; Scott, Stephen; Rubia, Katya

    2011-01-01

    Background: Children with oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder (ODD/CD) have shown deficits in "cool" abstract-cognitive, and "hot" reward-related executive function (EF) tasks. However, it is currently unclear to what extent ODD/CD is associated with neuropsychological deficits, independently of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Everyday Prospective Memory and Executive Function Deficits Associated with Exposure to Second-Hand Smoke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas M. Heffernan

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This study explored whether exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS has a detrimental impact upon everyday memory in two groups of non-smokers; one which reported regular exposure to SHS and one that reported never having been exposed to SHS. Thirty-four non-smokers who reported having been regularly exposed to SHS (SHS group and 34 non-smokers who reported never having been exposed to SHS (non-SHS group were compared on self-reports of prospective memory (PM: remembering future intentions and/or activities and executive function (EF: those processes involved in attention, multitasking and decision-making. The Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire (PRMQ assessed everyday PM lapses; the Executive Function Questionnaire (EFQ assessed self-reported problems in EF; a drug-use questionnaire and a mood questionnaire were also administered. Two univariate ANCOVAs were applied to the PM and EF data, controlling for between-group differences in age, weekly alcohol use, anxiety and depression scores, and self-reported retrospective memory scores. The SHS group reported significantly more lapses on the PRMQ and more deficits on the EFQ than the non-SHS group. These findings provide new insights into PM and EF deficits associated with prolonged exposure to SHS in a group of non-smokers. Possible explanations and suggestions for future research are also considered.

  16. Baroreflex sensitivity during rest and executive functioning in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The TRAILS study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dietrich, A.; Althaus, M.; Hartman, C.A.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Minderaa, R.B.; van den Hoofdakker, B.J.; Hoekstra, P.J.

    Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often show executive function (EF) problems and neurophysiological hypoarousal. Baroreceptor activation, as part of the baroreflex short-term blood pressure regulatory mechanism, has been linked to cortical inhibition and attenuated

  17. Baroreflex sensitivity during rest and executive functioning in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The TRAILS study.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dietrich, A.; Althaus, M.; Hartman, C.A.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Mindera, R.B.; Hoofdakker, B.J. van den; Hoekstra, P.J.

    2012-01-01

    Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often show executive function (EF) problems and neurophysiological hypoarousal. Baroreceptor activation, as part of the baroreflex short-term blood pressure regulatory mechanism, has been linked to cortical inhibition and attenuated

  18. Verbal Processing Speed and Executive Functioning in Long-Term Cochlear Implant Users

    Science.gov (United States)

    AuBuchon, Angela M.; Pisoni, David B.; Kronenberger, William G.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to report how "verbal rehearsal speed" (VRS), a form of covert speech used to maintain verbal information in working memory, and another verbal processing speed measure, perceptual encoding speed, are related to 3 domains of executive function (EF) at risk in cochlear implant (CI) users: verbal…

  19. A Secure Base from Which to Regulate: Attachment Security in Toddlerhood as a Predictor of Executive Functioning at School Entry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernier, Annie; Beauchamp, Miriam H.; Carlson, Stephanie M.; Lalonde, Gabrielle

    2015-01-01

    In light of emerging evidence suggesting that the affective quality of parent-child relationships may relate to individual differences in young children's executive functioning (EF) skills, the aim of this study was to investigate the prospective associations between attachment security in toddlerhood and children's EF skills in kindergarten.…

  20. Siblings, Theory of Mind, and Executive Functioning in Children Aged 3-6 Years: New Longitudinal Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAlister, Anna R.; Peterson, Candida C.

    2013-01-01

    Longitudinal data were obtained from 157 children aged 3 years 3 months to 5 years 6 months at Time 1. At Time 2 these children had aged an average of 12 months. Theory of mind (ToM) and executive functioning (EF) were measured at both time points. Results suggest that Time 1 ToM scores predict Time 2 EF scores. Detailed examination of sibling…

  1. Psychometric properties and convergent and predictive validity of an executive function test battery for two-year-olds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanna eMulder

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Executive function (EF is an important predictor of numerous developmental outcomes, such as academic achievement and behavioral adjustment. Although a plethora of measurement instruments exists to assess executive function in children, only few of these are suitable for toddlers, and even fewer have undergone psychometric evaluation. The present study evaluates the psychometric properties and validity of an assessment battery for measuring EF in two-year-olds. A sample of 2437 children were administered the assessment battery at a mean age of 2;4 years (SD = 0;3 years in a large-scale field study. Measures of both hot EF (snack and gift delay tasks and cool EF (six boxes, memory for location, and visual search task were included. Confirmatory Factor Analyses showed that a two-factor hot and cool EF model fitted the data better than a one-factor model. Measurement invariance was supported across groups differing in age, gender, socioeconomic status (SES, home language, and test setting. Criterion and convergent validity were evaluated by examining relationships between EF and age, gender, SES, home language, and parent and teacher reports of children’s attention and inhibitory control. Predictive validity of the test battery was investigated by regressing children’s pre-academic skills and behavioral problems at age three on the latent hot and cool EF factors at age two years. The test battery showed satisfactory psychometric quality and criterion, convergent, and predictive validity. Whereas cool EF predicted both pre-academic skills and behavior problems one year later, hot EF predicted behavior problems only. These results show that EF can be assessed with psychometrically sound instruments in children as young as two years, and that EF tasks can be reliably applied in large scale field research. The current instruments offer new opportunities for investigating EF in early childhood, and for evaluating interventions targeted at improving

  2. The Co-Occurring Development of Executive Function Skills and Receptive Vocabulary in Preschool-Aged Children: A Look at the Direction of the Developmental Pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiland, Christina; Barata, M. Clara; Yoshikawa, Hirokazu

    2014-01-01

    Despite consensus in the developmental literature regarding the role of executive function (EF) skills in supporting the development of language skills during the preschool years, we know relatively little about the associations between EF skills, including all EF components, and vocabulary skills among preschool-aged children. In this paper, we…

  3. Executive Function Buffers the Association between Early Math and Later Academic Skills

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew D. Ribner

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Extensive evidence has suggested that early academic skills are a robust indicator of later academic achievement; however, there is mixed evidence of the effectiveness of intervention on academic skills in early years to improve later outcomes. As such, it is clear there are other contributing factors to the development of academic skills. The present study tests the role of executive function (EF (a construct made up of skills complicit in the achievement of goal-directed tasks in predicting 5th grade math and reading ability above and beyond math and reading ability prior to school entry, and net of other cognitive covariates including processing speed, vocabulary, and IQ. Using a longitudinal dataset of N = 1292 participants representative of rural areas in two distinctive geographical parts of the United States, the present investigation finds EF at age 5 strongly predicts 5th grade academic skills, as do cognitive covariates. Additionally, investigation of an interaction between early math ability and EF reveals the magnitude of the association between early math and later math varies as a function of early EF, such that participants who have high levels of EF can “catch up” to peers who perform better on assessments of early math ability. These results suggest EF is pivotal to the development of academic skills throughout elementary school. Implications for further research and practice are discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florencia Stelzer

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Impact of executive functions on school and peer functions in youths with ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, Huey-Ling; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen

    2014-05-01

    Youths with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to have social dysfunction at school. The authors explored the role of key executive functions (EF, i.e., spatial working memory and spatial planning) on school and peer functions in 511 youths with persistent ADHD according to the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria and 124 non-ADHD controls without any EF deficits. All the participants were assessed by a semi-structured psychiatric interview to confirm their previous and current diagnosis of ADHD and other psychiatric disorders and by the Spatial Working Memory (SWM) and Stocking of Cambridge (SOC) tasks. The participants and their parents reported the participants' school functions and peer relationships. There were three ADHD subgroups: (1) ADHD with deficits in both SWM and SOC tasks (n=121); (2) ADHD with deficit in either SWM or SOC task (n=185); (3) ADHD without deficits in SWM or SOC task (n=205). All the three ADHD groups, regardless of EF deficits, had lower school grade, poorer attitude toward school work, poorer school interactions, more behavioral problems at school, and more severe problems in peer relationships than non-ADHD controls. Multivariate analyses revealed positive associations between deficit in the SWM task and school and peer dysfunctions, and between deficits in the SOC task and impaired peer interactions. Older age and psychiatric comorbidity also contributed to increased risk of school and peer dysfunctions. Our findings suggest that deficits in EF, such as spatial working memory and planning, might be associated with school and peer dysfunctions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Contribution of Theory of Mind, Executive Functioning, and Pragmatics to Socialization Behaviors of Children with High-Functioning Autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berenguer, Carmen; Miranda, Ana; Colomer, Carla; Baixauli, Inmaculada; Roselló, Belén

    2018-02-01

    Social difficulties are a key aspect of autism, but the intervening factors are still poorly understood. This study had two objectives: to compare the profile of ToM skills, executive functioning (EF), and pragmatic competence (PC) of children with high-functioning autism (HFA) and children with typical development (TD), and analyze their mediator role in social functioning. The participants were 52 children with HFA and 37 children with TD matched on age, intelligence quotient, and expressive vocabulary. Significant differences were found on measures of ToM, both explicit and applied, EF, and PC between children with HFA and TD. Multiple mediation analysis revealed that applied ToM skills and PC mediated the relations between autism symptoms and social functioning. Implications for social cognitive interventions to address these findings are discussed.

  9. Solitary Active Videogame Play Improves Executive Functioning More Than Collaborative Play for Children with Special Needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynn, Rachel M; Colon, Nirmaliz

    2016-12-01

    This pilot study examined the impact of playing an active videogame on executive functioning (EF) skills for children with special needs, who typically have lower EF skills. Acute EF change was measured in 36 children with a range of special needs, including mental health disorders and developmental disabilities. Participants were assigned to one of two active videogame conditions: playing alone and playing with a peer. Two different EF tasks were conducted pre- and postplay. Children who played alone increased their accuracy performance more than children in the paired-play condition on two measures of EF. The study explored potential covariates of prior videogame experience, age, and enjoyment, but none of these variables related to EF change. This study's findings support active videogame play as an activity that can boost EF skills for children with special needs when they play alone. Future research should continue to examine the relationships between EF and active videogame play with a peer to elucidate the contributions of social interactions.

  10. Maternal depressive symptoms, mother-child interactions, and children's executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gueron-Sela, Noa; Camerota, Marie; Willoughby, Michael T; Vernon-Feagans, Lynne; Cox, Martha J

    2018-01-01

    This study examined the independent and mediated associations between maternal depression symptoms (MDS), mother-child interaction, and child executive function (EF) in a prospective longitudinal sample of 1,037 children (50% boys) from predominantly low-income and rural communities. When children were 6, 15 and 24 months of age, mothers reported their level of depressive symptomatology. At 24 and 36 months of age, mother-child interactions during play were rated for warmth-sensitivity and harsh-intrusiveness, and dyadic joint attention and maternal language complexity were assessed from a book sharing activity. Children's EF (i.e., inhibitory control, working memory, and set shifting) were assessed at ages 36 and 48 months using a battery of six tasks. Results indicated that MDS at ages 15 and 24 months were negatively associated with children's EF at age 48 months. Additionally, harsh-intrusive mother-child interactions partially mediated this link. Although warmth-sensitivity, dyadic joint attention and maternal language complexity were all longitudinally related to EF, they did not serve as mediating mechanisms between MDS and EF. These results were obtained while controlling for multiple demographic factors, children's earlier cognitive abilities, maternal general distress and childcare experiences. Findings from this study identify 1 mechanism through which early exposure to MDS could be related to children's EF. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  11. Executive Functions in Preschool Children with ADHD and DBD: Assessment, Development and Role of Environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schoemaker, K.

    2013-01-01

    Impairments in executive functions (EF) are consistently associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and to a lesser extent, with disruptive behavior disorder (DBD), i.e., oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder, in school-aged children. Recently, larger numbers of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Tetering, Marleen A J; Jolles, Jelle

    2017-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) develop over the period of early childhood and adolescence up until young adulthood. Individual children differ substantially in the pace at which their EFs develop, and characteristics such as sex and the level of parental education (LPE) are thought to contribute to these differences. In the present study, we assessed age-related changes in EFs as perceived and evaluated by teachers and parents as well as the influence of sex and LPE on their evaluations. We used a newly developed observer-report questionnaire, the Amsterdam Executive Function Inventory (AEFI). The AEFI assesses three important components of the executive aspects of daily life behavior in 13 questions: Attention; Self-control and Self-monitoring; and Planning and Initiative taking. Teachers and parents evaluated these aspects of executive functioning in 186 schoolchildren in grades 3-6 (age: 9-12 years). Age effects within grades and differences in social economic status between the four participating schools were controlled. Results showed a significant increase in teacher-perceived EFs from third to fourth grades and from fifth to sixth grades. This development was influenced both by the sex of the child and by the LPE. As perceived by teachers, the component self-control and self-monitoring was higher for girls than for boys, and planning abilities were higher for children from families with a higher LPE. Additional analyses showed that there is a systematic and statistically significant difference between the evaluations of the teachers and that of parents. Parents reported higher scores for planning, whereas teachers reported higher scores for self-control and self-monitoring. Evaluations by parents and teachers were different for girls, but not for boys. These findings are important because they imply that the development of EFs as perceived by parents and teachers is influenced by child-related factors. Second, there are clear differences in evaluations between

  13. Relationship between Motor Skill Competency and Executive Function in Children with Down's Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schott, N.; Holfelder, B.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Previous studies suggest that children with Down's syndrome (DS), a genetically based neurodevelopmental disorder, demonstrate motor problems and cognitive deficits. The first aim of this study was to examine motor skills and executive functions (EFs) in school-age children with DS. The second aim was to investigate the relationship…

  14. Links between theory of mind and executive function in young children with autism: clues to developmental primacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellicano, Elizabeth

    2007-07-01

    There has been much theoretical discussion of a functional link between theory of mind (ToM) and executive function (EF) in autism. This study sought to establish the relationship between ToM and EF in young children with autism (M = 5 years, 6 months) and to examine issues of developmental primacy. Thirty children with autism and 40 typically developing children, matched on age and ability, were assessed on a battery of tasks measuring ToM (1st- and 2nd-order false belief) and components of EF (planning, set shifting, inhibition). A significant correlation emerged between ToM and EF variables in the autism group, independent of age and ability, while ToM and higher order planning ability remained significantly related in the comparison group. Examination of the pattern of ToM-EF impairments in the autism group revealed dissociations in 1 direction only: impaired ToM with intact EF. These findings support the view that EF may be 1 important factor in the advancement of ToM understanding in autism. The theoretical implications of these findings are discussed. Copyright 2007 APA.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip David Zelazo

    2018-02-01

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

  16. What Would Batman Do? Self-Distancing Improves Executive Function in Young Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Rachel E.; Carlson, Stephanie M.

    2016-01-01

    This experimental research assessed the influence of graded levels of self-distancing--psychological distancing from one's egocentric perspective--on executive function (EF) in young children. Three- (n = 48) and 5-year-old (n = 48) children were randomly assigned to one of four manipulations of distance from the self (from proximal to distal:…

  17. Hot and Cool Executive Functions in Adolescence: Development and Contributions to Important Developmental Outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poon, Kean

    2018-01-01

    Despite significant theoretical advancement in the area of child neuropsychology, limited attention has been paid to the developmental features of adolescence. The present study intends to address this issue in relation to executive function (EF). EF refers to the psychological processes that underlie goal-directed behavior; recent studies separate cool EF (psychological process involves pure logic and critical analysis) and hot EF (psychological process driven by emotion). Although neurological findings suggest that adolescence is a sensitive period for EF development, data on comparing the developmental progression in hot or cool EFs is highly missing. Moreover, while evidence has confirmed the relationships between EF and day-to-day functioning, whether and how hot and cool EFs contribute to core developmental outcomes in adolescence is still remained unknown. The current study aims to enhance our understanding of the development and impacts of hot and cool EFs in adolescence. A total of 136 typically developing adolescents from age 12 to 17 completed four cool EF tasks including Backward digit span, Contingency naming test, Stockings of Cambridge, and Stroop Color and Word test, and one hot task on Cambridge gambling task. Data on academic performance and psychological adjustment was also collected. Results showed that cool and hot EF exhibited different patterns of age-related growth in adolescence. Specifically, cool EF ascended with age while hot EF showed a bell-shaped development. Moreover, there were correlations among cool EF measures but no association between cool and hot EFs. Further, cool EF was a better predictor of academic performance, while hot EF uniquely related to emotional problems. The results provide evidence for the association among cool EF tests and the differentiation of hot and cool EFs. The bell-shaped development of hot EF might suggest a period of heightened risk-taking propensity in middle adolescence. Given the plastic nature of

  18. Hot and Cool Executive Functions in Adolescence: Development and Contributions to Important Developmental Outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kean Poon

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite significant theoretical advancement in the area of child neuropsychology, limited attention has been paid to the developmental features of adolescence. The present study intends to address this issue in relation to executive function (EF. EF refers to the psychological processes that underlie goal-directed behavior; recent studies separate cool EF (psychological process involves pure logic and critical analysis and hot EF (psychological process driven by emotion. Although neurological findings suggest that adolescence is a sensitive period for EF development, data on comparing the developmental progression in hot or cool EFs is highly missing. Moreover, while evidence has confirmed the relationships between EF and day-to-day functioning, whether and how hot and cool EFs contribute to core developmental outcomes in adolescence is still remained unknown. The current study aims to enhance our understanding of the development and impacts of hot and cool EFs in adolescence. A total of 136 typically developing adolescents from age 12 to 17 completed four cool EF tasks including Backward digit span, Contingency naming test, Stockings of Cambridge, and Stroop Color and Word test, and one hot task on Cambridge gambling task. Data on academic performance and psychological adjustment was also collected. Results showed that cool and hot EF exhibited different patterns of age-related growth in adolescence. Specifically, cool EF ascended with age while hot EF showed a bell-shaped development. Moreover, there were correlations among cool EF measures but no association between cool and hot EFs. Further, cool EF was a better predictor of academic performance, while hot EF uniquely related to emotional problems. The results provide evidence for the association among cool EF tests and the differentiation of hot and cool EFs. The bell-shaped development of hot EF might suggest a period of heightened risk-taking propensity in middle adolescence. Given the

  19. 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…

  20. Executive function in children with prenatal cocaine exposure (12-15years).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minnes, Sonia; Min, Meeyoung O; Short, Elizabeth J; Wu, Miaoping; Lang, Adelaide; Yoon, Susan; Singer, Lynn T

    Prenatal exposure to cocaine (PCE) may alter areas of the brain dense with monoamine receptors such as the prefrontal cortex and negatively affect cognitive processes implicated in executive function (EF). This study investigated the effects of PCE on EF at 12 and 15years. EF was examined in 189 PCE and 183 non-cocaine exposed (NCE) children who were primarily African American and of low socioeconomic status. Caregivers rated their child on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) at ages 12 and 15. The BRIEF includes two summary scales and eight subscales: Behavioral Regulation Index (BRI) (Inhibit, Shift, and Emotion) and Metacognition Index (MI) (Monitor, Working Memory, Plan/Organize, Organization of Materials and Task Completion). Two additional measures were included at age 15 (BRIEF Self-Report and the CANTAB Stockings of Cambridge (SOC)). Girls with PCE were perceived by caregivers to have more behavioral regulation problems at age 12 (p<0.005) and more metacognitive problems at age 12 (p<0.003) than NCE females, but there was no association for males. PCE girls improved in behavioral regulation (p<0.05) and metacognition (p<0.04) from 12 to 15years compared to NCE girls based on caregiver report. By self-report PCE was associated with problems of inhibition (p<0.006). Girls with PCE performed more poorly on number of moves to complete the SOC, requiring planning and problem solving, than NCE girls. Prenatally cocaine exposed girls were perceived by caregivers as having problems of behavioral regulation, and by self-report, inhibitory control problems. Girls with PCE also performed more poorly on a task of planning and problem solving at age 15 which corresponded to caregiver report at age 12. Early assessment and remediation of these weaknesses in girls may improve school performance and behavior associated with poor EF. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  1. Behavioral and neural correlates of executive functioning in musicians and non-musicians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Zuk

    Full Text Available Executive functions (EF are cognitive capacities that allow for planned, controlled behavior and strongly correlate with academic abilities. Several extracurricular activities have been shown to improve EF, however, the relationship between musical training and EF remains unclear due to methodological limitations in previous studies. To explore this further, two experiments were performed; one with 30 adults with and without musical training and one with 27 musically trained and untrained children (matched for general cognitive abilities and socioeconomic variables with a standardized EF battery. Furthermore, the neural correlates of EF skills in musically trained and untrained children were investigated using fMRI. Adult musicians compared to non-musicians showed enhanced performance on measures of cognitive flexibility, working memory, and verbal fluency. Musically trained children showed enhanced performance on measures of verbal fluency and processing speed, and significantly greater activation in pre-SMA/SMA and right VLPFC during rule representation and task-switching compared to musically untrained children. Overall, musicians show enhanced performance on several constructs of EF, and musically trained children further show heightened brain activation in traditional EF regions during task-switching. These results support the working hypothesis that musical training may promote the development and maintenance of certain EF skills, which could mediate the previously reported links between musical training and enhanced cognitive skills and academic achievement.

  2. The ecological and construct validity of a newly developed measure of executive function: the Virtual Library Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renison, Belinda; Ponsford, Jennie; Testa, Renee; Richardson, Barry; Brownfield, Kylie

    2012-05-01

    Virtual reality (VR) assessment paradigms have the potential to address the limited ecological validity of pen and paper measures of executive function (EF) and the pragmatic and reliability issues associated with functional measures. To investigate the ecological validity and construct validity of a newly developed VR measure of EF, the Virtual Library Task (VLT); a real life analogous task--the Real Library Task (RLT); and five neuropsychological measures of EF were administered to 30 patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and 30 healthy Controls. Significant others for each participant also completed the Dysexecutive Questionnaire (DEX), which is a behavioral rating scale of everyday EF. Performances on the VLT and the RLT were significantly positively correlated indicating that VR performance is similar to real world performance. The TBI group performed significantly worse than the Control group on the VLT and the Modified Six Elements Test (MSET) but the other four neuropsychological measures of EF failed to differentiate the groups. Both the MSET and the VLT significantly predicted everyday EF suggesting that they are both ecologically valid tools for the assessment of EF. The VLT has the advantage over the MSET of providing objective measurement of individual components of EF.

  3. Developmental trajectories of fronto-executive functions in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome: A preliminary study

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Howley, S A

    2011-01-01

    22qll.2 deletion syndrome (22qllDS) is associated with borderline-mild intellectual disability and specific neurocognitive deficits, particularly in prefrontally-mediated executive functions (EF). There is evidence for white matter abnormalities in frontal cortical regions in 22qllDS, however little is known about the development of EF across the age range. Forty-eight individuals with 22qllDS were divided into 3 age groups: Child (7 male; n = 16; 6–11 years; M (SD) age = 8.4 (1.7); mean FSIQ = 72.9); Adolescent (7 male; n = 15; 12–15 years; M (SD) age = 13.1 (0.8); mean FSIQ = 68.0) and Adult (7 male; n = 17; 16–45 years; M (SD) age = 28.8 (11.5); mean FSIQ = 69.6). Forty healthy controls were also recruited and divided into the same 3 age groups: Child (6 male; 6–11 years, n = 12; M (SD) age = 9.3 (1.7); mean FSIQ = 99.1); Adolescent (6 male; 12–15 years; n = 12; M (SD) age = 13.2 (1.1); mean FSIQ = 100.9) and Adult (6 male; 16–45 years; n = 16; M (SD) age = 28.8 (9.4); mean FSIQ = 109). All participants completed standardised tests of a range of executive functions, specifically working memory, planning, problem-solving, strategy formation, cognitive flexibility and inhibition, and cross-sectional developmental trajectories of each function were constructed. No age-mediated improvements on EF tasks were observed in the 22qllDS groups, with the exception of verbal working memory. The control group exhibited significant age-mediated improvements in working memory, strategy formation and planning efficiency. These findings support the hypothesis that 22qllDS individuals experience atypical development of neuroanatomical regions and networks associated with EF in typical individuals. Future longitudinal work is required to examine intra-individual development of executive and non-executive cognitive processes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-08

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

  5. The potential adverse effect of energy drinks on executive functions in early adolescence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamara Van Batenburg-Eddes

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Manufacturers of energy drinks (EDs claim their products improve cognitive performance. Young adolescents are in a critical developmental phase. The impact of ED intake on their development is not yet clear. Therefore, we studied the associations of both caffeine intake and ED consumption with executive functions (EFs, and the role of pubertal status and sleeping problems. Methods. A sample of 509 participants (mean age: 13.1 years, SD 0.85 participated in the study. The level of pubertal development was classified in five pubertal status categories. Participants were asked to report their caffeine (for example coffee and ED consumption for each day of the week. In addition, they indicated sleep quality by reporting problems falling asleep or waking up and/or interrupted sleep. EFs were assessed by self- and parent reports of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF. Results. Consuming on average one or more ED(s a day was associated with more problems in self-reported behavior regulation and metacognition, and with more problems in parent-reported metacognition. Only high caffeine consumption (two or more cups a day was associated with parent-reported problems with metacognition. The sum of caffeine and ED use was associated with a higher amount of problems with self-reported metacognition and parent reported behavior regulation. The effect estimates for the association between caffeine and ED use combined and EFs did not exceed those of EDs or caffeine separately. Adjusting for pubertal status, gender, educational level, number of sleeping problems and hours of sleep did not change the effect estimates substantially. Conclusion. The observed associations between ED consumption and EFs suggest that regular consumption of EDs - even in moderate amounts – may have a negative impact on daily life behaviors related to EF in young adolescents.

  6. Cognitive reserve in Parkinson's disease: the effects of welsh-english bilingualism on executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hindle, John V; Martin-Forbes, Pamela A; Bastable, Alexandra J M; Pye, Kirstie L; Martyr, Anthony; Whitaker, Christopher J; Craik, Fergus I M; Bialystok, Ellen; Thomas, Enlli M; Mueller Gathercole, Virginia C; Clare, Linda

    2015-01-01

    Objective. Bilingualism has been shown to benefit executive function (EF) and delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease. This study aims at examining whether a bilingual advantage applies to EF in Parkinson's disease (PD). Method. In a cross-sectional outpatient cohort of monolingual English (n = 57) and bilingual Welsh/English (n = 46) speakers with PD we evaluated the effects of bilingualism compared with monolingualism on performance on EF tasks. In bilinguals we also assessed the effects of the degree of daily usage of each language and the degree of bilingualism. Results. Monolinguals showed an advantage in performance of language tests. There were no differences in performance of EF tests in monolinguals and bilinguals. Those who used Welsh less in daily life had better performance on one test of English vocabulary. The degree of bilingualism correlated with one test of nonverbal reasoning and one of working memory but with no other tests of EF. Discussion. The reasons why the expected benefit in EF in Welsh-English bilinguals with PD was not found require further study. Future studies in PD should include other language pairs, analysis of the effects of the degree of bilingualism, and longitudinal analysis of cognitive decline or dementia together with structural or functional neuroimaging.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamm, Leanne; Nakonezny, Paul A

    2015-09-01

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

  8. Executive functioning deficits among adults with Bipolar Disorder (types I and II): A systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickinson, Tania; Becerra, Rodrigo; Coombes, Jacqui

    2017-08-15

    Executive functioning (EF) deficits contribute to a significant proportion of the burden of disease associated with bipolar disorder (BD). Yet, there is still debate in the literature regarding the exact profile of executive functioning in BD. The purpose of the present project was to assess whether EF deficits exist among adults suffering BD, and whether these deficits (if apparent) differ by BD subtype. A systematic search identified relevant literature. Randomised controlled trials that used neuropsychological assessment to investigate EF among adults 16-65 years) with a remitted DSM diagnosis of BD (type I or II) were included. Studies were published between 1994 and 2015. A systematic review and meta-analysis were undertaken. For individual studies, standardised mean differences (Cohen's d) and 95% confidence intervals were calculated and represented in forest plots to illustrate differences in executive performance between groups. Summary effects were produced and tests of heterogeneity employed to assess the dispersion and generalisability of results. Thirty-six studies met criteria for inclusion. Six domains of EF were identified: Set-shifting (SS), inhibition (INH), planning (PLA), verbal fluency (VF), working memory (WM), and attention (ATT). BD1s performed worse than HCs in all domains. BD2s demonstrated impairment in VF, WM, SS, and ATT. The results were mixed for comparisons between BD1s and BD2s, but revealed that BD2s can experience similar (or sometimes greater) EF impairment. Only a limited number of studies that included BD2 samples were available for inclusion in the current study. Subgroup analysis to elucidate potential moderators of within-study variance was not undertaken. This is the first systematic review and meta-analysis to have compared the EF of remitted BD1s, BD2s, and HCs. The results provided useful insight into the EF profile of patients with BD, and offered commentary as to some of the contradictory results reported in the

  9. The Relationship of Everyday Executive Function and Autism Spectrum Disorder Symptoms in Preschoolers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etemad, Pontea

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between executive functioning (EF), as manifested in everyday behavior, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms, and adaptive behaviors in a sample of preschoolers with ASD. Quantitative data from a clinical database were analyzed for this study. Participants in the ASD group (n=52) were a…

  10. Evaluation of a teacher training program to enhance executive functions in preschool children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walk, Laura M; Evers, Wiebke F; Quante, Sonja; Hille, Katrin

    2018-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) play a critical role in cognitive and social development. During preschool years, children show not only rapid improvement in their EFs, but also appear sensitive to developmentally appropriate interventions. EMIL is a training program for German preschool teachers that was developed and implemented to improve the EFs of preschoolers. The aim of the present study was to evaluate its effects on the EFs of children between three and six years old. The teacher training (eight sessions, 28.5 hours) was implemented in four preschools. The EFs of children of the intervention group (n = 72, 32 girls, Mage = 48 months) and the control group of four other matched preschools (n = 61, 27 girls, Mage = 48 months) were tested before, during, and after the intervention using different measures assessing working memory, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility. The intervention group showed significant gains on three out of seven EF tests (behavioral inhibition, visual-spatial working memory, and combined EFs) compared to the control group. Post hoc analyses for children with low initial EFs scores revealed that participation in the intervention led to significant gains in inhibitory control, visual-spatial working memory, and phonological working memory as well as a marginally significant difference for combined EFs. However, effect sizes were rather small. The results suggest that teacher training can lead to significant improvements in preschooler's EFs. Although preliminary, the results could contribute to the discussion on how teacher training can facilitate the improvement of EFs in preschool children.

  11. Executive functions in adolescents with spina bifida: relations with autonomy development and parental intrusiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuminello, Elizabeth R; Holmbeck, Grayson N; Olson, Rick

    2012-01-01

    The current study was part of a larger longitudinal investigation and examined the relation of parent-report and performance measures of executive functioning (EF) with measures of behavioral and emotional autonomy and parental intrusiveness in adolescents with and without spina bifida (SB; n=65 in a comparison sample and 61 in an SB sample; M age=14.55, SD=0.63). For both groups, higher levels of parent-reported EF problems predicted higher levels of observed child dependency and lower levels of teacher-reported intrinsic motivation. Higher scores on performance EF measures predicted lower levels of observed child dependency and observed maternal intrusiveness for both groups. In adolescents with SB only, higher performance EF scores predicted higher intrinsic motivation and emotional autonomy from both mother and father and predicted lower levels of observed paternal intrusiveness. While causal conclusions cannot be drawn, EFs appear to be closely related to autonomy development and parental intrusiveness, particularly for adolescents with SB. These results suggest that the inclusion of EF training in interventions targeting adolescents with SB may be beneficial for autonomy development.

  12. A pilot study of the efficacy of a computerized executive functioning remediation training with game elements for children with ADHD in an outpatient setting: outcome on parent and teacher-rated executive functioning and ADHD behavior

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Oord, S.; Ponsioen, A.J.G.B.; Geurts, H.M.; ten Brink, E.L.; Prins, P.J.M.

    2014-01-01

    Objective: This pilot study tested the short- and long-term efficacy (9 weeks follow-up) of an executive functioning (EF) remediation training with game elements for children with ADHD in an outpatient clinical setting, using a randomized controlled wait-list design. Furthermore, in a subsample,

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fen Xu

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

  14. A pilot study of the efficacy of a computerized executive functioning remediation training with game elements for children with ADHD in an outpatient setting: outcome on parent- and teacher-rated executive functioning and ADHD behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Oord, S; Ponsioen, A J G B; Geurts, H M; Ten Brink, E L; Prins, P J M

    2014-11-01

    This pilot study tested the short- and long-term efficacy (9 weeks follow-up) of an executive functioning (EF) remediation training with game elements for children with ADHD in an outpatient clinical setting, using a randomized controlled wait-list design. Furthermore, in a subsample, that is, those treated with methylphenidate, additive effects of the EF training were assessed. A total of 40 children (aged 8-12 years) were randomized to the EF training or wait-list. The training consisted of a 25-session training of inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and working memory. Treatment outcome was assessed by parent- and teacher-rated EF, ADHD, oppositional deviant disorder, and conduct disorder symptoms. Children in the EF training showed significantly more improvement than those in the wait-list condition on parent-rated EF and ADHD behavior in the total sample and in the subsample treated with methylphenidate. Effects were maintained at follow-up. This pilot study shows promising evidence for the efficacy of an EF training with game elements. © 2012 SAGE Publications.

  15. Association between central obesity and executive function as assessed by stroop task performance: A functional near-infrared spectroscopy study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhangyan Deng

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have suggested a link between executive function (EF and obesity. Studies often adopt body mass index (BMI, which reflects the distribution of subcutaneous fat, as the sole marker of obesity; however, BMI is inappropriate to distinguish central obesity, which indicates the centralized distribution of visceral fat. Visceral fat compared with subcutaneous fat represents greater relative lipid turnover and may increase the risk of cognitive decline in older adults. However, the relationship between EF and central obesity is largely unknown, particularly in young adults. Therefore, we used waist circumference (WC as a marker of central obesity and investigated different sensitivities between BMI and WC in the brain function. A total of 26 healthy young adults (aged 18–25 years; 42% female underwent functional near-infrared spectroscopy assessments. EF was assessed using the Stroop task, which is a classical measurement of EF. A significant Stroop effect was observed in the behavioral and hemodynamic data. In addition, we observed that behavioral interference on the Stroop task varied much more in subjects with higher BMI and WC than those subjects with lower. Elevated BMI and WC were associated with a decreased hemodynamic response during the Stroop task specifically in the prefrontal cortex (PFC. Compared to BMI, WC was more closely connected with inhibitory control and revealed right lateralized PFC activation. Our findings suggest that WC is a reliable indicator of brain function in young adults and propose a relationship between EF and central obesity.

  16. Effects of a Psychosocial Intervention on the Executive Functioning in Children with ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, Ana; Presentacion, M. Jesus; Siegenthaler, Rebeca; Jara, Pilar

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of an intensive psychosocial intervention on the executive functioning (EF) in children with ADHD. The treatment was carried out in a coordinated manner over a period of 10 weeks with 27 children with ADHD aged 7 to 10, their parents, and their teachers. A battery of neuropsychological tasks was…

  17. Executive functioning performance predicts subjective and physiological acute stress reactivity: preliminary results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendrawan, Donny; Yamakawa, Kaori; Kimura, Motohiro; Murakami, Hiroki; Ohira, Hideki

    2012-06-01

    Individual differences in baseline executive functioning (EF) capacities have been shown to predict state anxiety during acute stressor exposure. However, no previous studies have clearly demonstrated the relationship between EF and physiological measures of stress. The present study investigated the efficacy of several well-known EF tests (letter fluency, Stroop test, and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test) in predicting both subjective and physiological stress reactivity during acute psychosocial stress exposure. Our results show that letter fluency served as the best predictor for both types of reactivity. Specifically, the higher the letter fluency score, the lower the acute stress reactivity after controlling for the baseline stress response, as indicated by lower levels of state anxiety, negative mood, salivary cortisol, and skin conductance. Moreover, the predictive power of the letter fluency test remained significant for state anxiety and cortisol indices even after further adjustments for covariates by adding the body mass index (BMI) as a covariate. Thus, good EF performance, as reflected by high letter fluency scores, may dampen acute stress responses, which suggests that EF processes are directly associated with aspects of stress regulation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Identifying patterns of motor performance, executive functioning, and verbal ability in preschool children: A latent profile analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houwen, Suzanne; Kamphorst, Erica; van der Veer, Gerda; Cantell, Marja

    2018-04-30

    A relationship between motor performance and cognitive functioning is increasingly being recognized. Yet, little is known about the precise nature of the relationship between both domains, especially in early childhood. To identify distinct constellations of motor performance, executive functioning (EF), and verbal ability in preschool aged children; and to explore how individual and contextual variables are related to profile membership. The sample consisted of 119 3- to 4-year old children (62 boys; 52%). The home based assessments consisted of a standardized motor test (Movement Assessment Battery for Children - 2), five performance-based EF tasks measuring inhibition and working memory, and the Receptive Vocabulary subtest from the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence Third Edition. Parents filled out the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Preschool version. Latent profile analysis (LPA) was used to delineate profiles of motor performance, EF, and verbal ability. Chi-square statistics and multinomial logistic regression analysis were used to examine whether profile membership was predicted by age, gender, risk of motor coordination difficulties, ADHD symptomatology, language problems, and socioeconomic status (SES). LPA yielded three profiles with qualitatively distinct response patterns of motor performance, EF, and verbal ability. Quantitatively, the profiles showed most pronounced differences with regard to parent ratings and performance-based tests of EF, as well as verbal ability. Risk of motor coordination difficulties and ADHD symptomatology were associated with profile membership, whereas age, gender, language problems, and SES were not. Our results indicate that there are distinct subpopulations of children who show differential relations with regard to motor performance, EF, and verbal ability. The fact that we found both quantitative as well as qualitative differences between the three patterns of profiles underscores

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buss, Aaron T; Spencer, John P

    2014-06-01

    Executive function (EF) is a central aspect of cognition that undergoes significant changes in early childhood. Changes in EF in early childhood are robustly predictive of academic achievement and general quality of life measures later in adulthood. We present a dynamic neural field (DNF) model that provides a process-based account of behavior and developmental change in a key task used to probe the early development of executive function—the Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS) task. In the DCCS, children must flexibly switch from sorting cards either by shape or color to sorting by the other dimension. Typically, 3-year-olds, but not 5-year-olds, lack the flexibility to do so and perseverate on the first set of rules when instructed to switch. Using the DNF model, we demonstrate how rule-use and behavioral flexibility come about through a form of dimensional attention. Further, developmental change is captured by increasing the robustness and precision of dimensional attention. Note that although this enables the model to effectively switch tasks, the dimensional attention system does not “know” the details of task-specific performance. Rather, correct performance emerges as a property of system–wide interactions. We show how this captures children’s behavior in quantitative detail across 14 versions of the DCCS task. Moreover, we successfully test a set of novel predictions with 3-year-old children from a version of the task not explained by other theories.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    Perinatal arterial ischemic stroke (PAIS) is a form of childhood stroke; the majority of those affected experience neurologic sequelae, including motor, language and neurocognitive impairments. This study examines the attention and executive functioning (EF) profiles of children following PAIS, as well as the impact of age and sex. In this single-center cross-sectional study, 40 children aged 3 to 16 years (median age 7.2 years; 58% male) who have suffered a PAIS underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological battery to assess attention and EF. Parents completed behavioral questionnaires regarding real-world functioning. Composite scores were calculated for seven attention and EF domains (Attention, Working Memory, Verbal Retrieval, Inhibitory Control, Flexibility/Shifting, Planning/Organization, and Processing Speed). The results for all measured domains of attention and EF are significantly lower in the participants compared to the normative samples (p attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. Sex is not associated with performance measures or parental report of functioning. The participants demonstrate mild-to-moderate attention and EF impairment compared to the normative population. Clinicians, families, and educators should be informed about the neurocognitive sequelae of PAIS and the need for close developmental surveillance in this population to identify vulnerable children and initiate appropriate therapeutic interventions in a timely fashion.

  1. Nonverbal Executive Function Is Mediated by Language: A Study of Deaf and Hearing Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botting, Nicola; Jones, Anna; Marshall, Chloe; Denmark, Tanya; Atkinson, Joanna; Morgan, Gary

    2017-01-01

    Studies have suggested that language and executive function (EF) are strongly associated. Indeed, the two are difficult to separate, and it is particularly difficult to determine whether one skill is more dependent on the other. Deafness provides a unique opportunity to disentangle these skills because in this case, language difficulties have a…

  2. Relationship between Executive Functioning and Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder in 6-8 Year Old Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neely, Rachel Jane; Green, Jessica Leigh; Sciberras, Emma; Hazell, Philip; Anderson, Vicki

    2016-01-01

    This study examined relationships between executive functioning (EF) and ADHD/ASD symptoms in 339 6-8 year-old children to characterise EF profiles associated with ADHD and ADHD + ASD. ADHD status was assessed using screening surveys and diagnostic interviews. ASD symptoms were measured using the Social Communication Questionnaire, and children…

  3. Cognitive Reserve in Parkinson’s Disease: The Effects of Welsh-English Bilingualism on Executive Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John V. Hindle

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. Bilingualism has been shown to benefit executive function (EF and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. This study aims at examining whether a bilingual advantage applies to EF in Parkinson’s disease (PD. Method. In a cross-sectional outpatient cohort of monolingual English (n=57 and bilingual Welsh/English (n=46 speakers with PD we evaluated the effects of bilingualism compared with monolingualism on performance on EF tasks. In bilinguals we also assessed the effects of the degree of daily usage of each language and the degree of bilingualism. Results. Monolinguals showed an advantage in performance of language tests. There were no differences in performance of EF tests in monolinguals and bilinguals. Those who used Welsh less in daily life had better performance on one test of English vocabulary. The degree of bilingualism correlated with one test of nonverbal reasoning and one of working memory but with no other tests of EF. Discussion. The reasons why the expected benefit in EF in Welsh-English bilinguals with PD was not found require further study. Future studies in PD should include other language pairs, analysis of the effects of the degree of bilingualism, and longitudinal analysis of cognitive decline or dementia together with structural or functional neuroimaging.

  4. The relationship between motor performance and parent-rated executive functioning in 3- to 5-year-old children: What is the role of confounding variables?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Houwen, Suzanne; van der Veer, Gerda; Visser, Jan; Cantell, Marja

    It is generally agreed that motor performance and executive functioning (EF) are intertwined. As the literature on this issue concerning preschool children is scarce, we examined the relationship between motor performance and parent-rated EF in a sample of 3- to 5-year-old children with different

  5. Parent ratings of executive function in young preschool children with symptoms of attention-deficit/-hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skogan, Annette Holth; Zeiner, Pål; Egeland, Jens; Urnes, Anne-Grethe; Reichborn-Kjennerud, Ted; Aase, Heidi

    2015-04-15

    Recent research has demonstrated that deficits in basic, self-regulatory processes, or executive function (EF), may be related to symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) already during the preschool period. As the majority of studies investigating these relations in young children have been based primarily on clinically administered tests, it is not clear how early symptoms of ADHD may be related to observations of EF in an everyday context. The preschool version of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF-P) was developed to provide information about EF through observable, behavioral manifestations of self-regulation, and is the most commonly used rating scale for EF assessment in children. Relations between symptoms of ADHD reported in the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment interview (PAPA), and EF as measured by the BRIEF-P (parent form), were investigated in a large, nonreferred sample of preschool children (37-47 months, n = 1134) recruited from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The inventory's discriminative ability was examined in a subsample consisting of children who met the diagnostic criteria for either ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) or anxiety disorder, and typically developing controls (n = 308). The four groups were also compared with regard to patterns of EF difficulties reported in the BRIEF-P. Of the five BRIEF-P subscales, Inhibit and Working Memory were the two most closely related to ADHD symptoms, together explaining 38.5% of the variance in PAPA symptom ratings. Based on their scores on the Inhibit and Working Memory subscales (combined), 86.4% of the children in the ADHD and TD groups were correctly classified. ADHD symptoms were associated with more severe difficulties across EF domains, and a different EF profile in comparison to children with other symptoms (anxiety, ODD) and to typically developing controls. Early

  6. The independent and interacting effects of hedonic hunger and executive function on binge eating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manasse, Stephanie M; Espel, Hallie M; Forman, Evan M; Ruocco, Anthony C; Juarascio, Adrienne S; Butryn, Meghan L; Zhang, Fengqing; Lowe, Michael R

    2015-06-01

    Poor executive function (EF; pre-frontal cognitive control processes governing goal-directed behavior) and elevated hedonic hunger (i.e., preoccupation with palatable foods in the absence of physiological hunger) are theoretical risk and maintenance factors for binge eating (BE) distinct from general obesity. Recent theoretical models posit that dysregulated behavior such as BE may result from a combination of elevated appetitive drive (e.g., hedonic hunger) and decreased EF (e.g., inhibitory control and delayed discounting). The present study sought to test this model in distinguishing BE from general obesity by examining the independent and interactive associations of EF and hedonic hunger with BE group status (i.e., odds of categorization in BE group versus non-BE group). Treatment-seeking overweight and obese women with BE (n = 31) and without BE (OW group; n = 43) were assessed on measures of hedonic hunger and EF (inhibitory control and delay discounting). Elevated hedonic hunger increased the likelihood of categorization in the BE group, regardless of EF. When hedonic hunger was low, poor EF increased the likelihood of categorization in the BE group. Results indicate that the interplay of increased appetitive drives and decreased cognitive function may distinguish BE from overweight/obesity. Future longitudinal investigations of the combinatory effect of hedonic hunger and EF in increasing risk for developing BE are warranted, and may inform future treatment development to target these factors. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Continuous executive function disruption interferes with application of an information integration categorization strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, Sarah J; Matsuki, Kazunaga; Minda, John Paul

    2014-07-01

    Category learning is often characterized as being supported by two separate learning systems. A verbal system learns rule-defined (RD) categories that can be described using a verbal rule and relies on executive functions (EFs) to learn via hypothesis testing. A nonverbal system learns non-rule-defined (NRD) categories that cannot be described by a verbal rule and uses automatic, procedural learning. The verbal system is dominant in that adults tend to use it during initial learning but may switch to the nonverbal system when the verbal system is unsuccessful. The nonverbal system has traditionally been thought to operate independently of EFs, but recent studies suggest that EFs may play a role in the nonverbal system-specifically, to facilitate the transition away from the verbal system. Accordingly, continuously interfering with EFs during the categorization process, so that EFs are never fully available to facilitate the transition, may be more detrimental to the nonverbal system than is temporary EF interference. Participants learned an NRD or an RD category while EFs were untaxed, taxed temporarily, or taxed continuously. When EFs were continuously taxed during NRD categorization, participants were less likely to use a nonverbal categorization strategy than when EFs were temporarily taxed, suggesting that when EFs were unavailable, the transition to the nonverbal system was hindered. For the verbal system, temporary and continuous interference had similar effects on categorization performance and on strategy use, illustrating that EFs play an important but different role in each of the category-learning systems.

  8. Interactions between Levels of Attention Ability and Levels of Bilingualism in Children’s Executive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorge, Geoff B.; Toplak, Maggie E.; Bialystok, Ellen

    2016-01-01

    Attention difficulty is associated with poor performance on executive functioning (EF) tasks, yet EF is enhanced in bilingual children. However, no research to date has investigated the possible interaction between bilingualism and attention ability in children to determine the consequences for EF when both are present. We assessed a sample of typically-developing children who were 8- to 11-years old for their ability in attention control and level of bilingualism on the basis of questionnaires completed by parents and teachers. Children performed three tasks requiring aspects of EF: stop signal task (inhibition), flanker task (interference control), and frogs matrices task (spatial working memory). Results from hierarchical regressions confirmed that both attention ability and bilingualism contributed to performance on the EF tasks. Where interaction effects were significant, they showed that attention ability was a stronger predictor for an inhibition task, namely stop signal, and bilingualism a stronger predictor for an interference task, namely flanker. Furthermore, these results allow us to discuss the relation between EF and attention ability. PMID:26875024

  9. Executive functions in adolescents with binge-eating disorder and obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kittel, Rebekka; Schmidt, Ricarda; Hilbert, Anja

    2017-08-01

    Binge-eating disorder (BED) in adults is associated with alterations in executive functions (EF) and obesity. Much less is known about these relationships in adolescents, including whether poor EF are associated with eating disorder psychopathology and/or elevated body mass index. This study examined EF in response to neutral stimuli in youth with BED. Adolescents with BED and obesity (n = 22), individually matched adolescents with obesity (n = 22), and normal weight (n = 22) completed neuropsychological tests targeting inhibition (Color-Word Interference Test), sustained attention (D2 Concentration Endurance Test), cognitive flexibility (Comprehensive Trail Making Test), and decision-making (Iowa Gambling Task). Adolescents with BED and obesity displayed significantly poorer inhibitory control compared to normal-weight adolescents. This effect persisted after controlling for the level of secondary education. However, initial differences between adolescents with obesity and normal-weight controls regarding inhibitory control and sustained attention vanished after controlling for education. The three groups did not differ regarding cognitive flexibility and decision-making. Moreover, adolescents with BED and obesity did not perform worse than adolescents with obesity on any of the neuropsychological tests. Overall, our results indicate that adolescent BED is associated with only a few alterations in general EF, specifically inhibitory control, and underline BED and educational level as confounding factors in neuropsychological research on obesity. To further delineate EF profiles of adolescents with BED, future research should focus on EF in response to disorder-related stimuli and experimental settings with high ecological validity. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Bilingual Advantages in Executive Functioning: Problems in Convergent Validity, Discriminant Validity, and the Identification of the Theoretical Constructs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenneth R. Paap

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available A sample of 58 bilingual and 62 monolingual university students completed four tasks commonly used to test for bilingual advantages in executive functioning (EF: antisaccade, flanker, Simon, and color-shape switching. Across the four tasks, 13 different indices were derived that are assumed to reflect individual differences in inhibitory control, monitoring, or switching. The effects of bilingualism on the 13 measures were explored by directly comparing the means of the two language groups and through regression analyses using a continuous measure of bilingualism and multiple demographic characteristics as predictors. Across the 13 different measures and two types of data analysis there were very few significant results and those that did occur supported a monolingual advantage. An equally important goal was to assess the convergent validity through cross-task correlations of indices assume to measure the same component of executive functioning. Most of the correlations using difference-score measures were nonsignificant and many near zero. Although modestly higher levels of convergent validity are sometimes reported, a review of the existing literature suggests that bilingual advantages (or disadvantages may reflect task-specific differences that are unlikely to generalize to important general differences in EF. Finally, as cautioned by Salthouse, assumed measures of executive functioning may also be threatened by a lack of divergent validity that separates individual or group differences in EF from those in general fluid intelligence or simple processing speed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Parents' Executive Functioning and Involvement in Their Child's Education: An Integrated Literature Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Damali M.; Gross, Deborah

    2018-01-01

    Background: Parents' involvement in their children's education is integral to academic success. Several education-based organizations have identified recommendations for how parents can best support their children's learning. However, executive functioning (EF), a high-ordered cognitive skill set, contributes to the extent to which parents can…

  13. The association between theory of mind, executive function, and the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Catherine R G; Simonoff, Emily; Baird, Gillian; Pickles, Andrew; Marsden, Anita J S; Tregay, Jenifer; Happé, Francesca; Charman, Tony

    2018-01-01

    It has been strongly argued that atypical cognitive processes in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) contribute to the expression of behavioural symptoms. Comprehensive investigation of these claims has been limited by small and unrepresentative sample sizes and the absence of wide-ranging task batteries. The current study investigated the cognitive abilities of 100 adolescents with ASD (mean age = 15 years 6 months), using 10 tasks to measure the domains of theory of mind (ToM) and executive function (EF). We used structural equation modelling as a statistically robust way of exploring the associations between cognition and parent-reported measures of social communication and restricted and repetitive behaviours (RRBs). We found that ToM ability was associated with both social communication symptoms and RRBs. EF was a correlate of ToM but had no direct association with parent-reported symptom expression. Our data suggest that in adolescence ToM ability, but not EF, is directly related to autistic symptom expression. Autism Res 2018, 11: 95-109. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. The behaviours that are common to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have been linked to differences in thinking ability. We assessed autistic adolescents and found that social communication difficulties and the presence of restricted and repetitive behaviours related to difficulties in understanding other peoples' minds (theory of mind). In contrast, these behaviours were not associated with the general thinking abilities involved in planning and executing tasks (executive function). © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Contributions of executive function and spatial skills to preschool mathematics achievement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verdine, Brian N; Irwin, Casey M; Golinkoff, Roberta Michnick; Hirsh-Pasek, Kathryn

    2014-10-01

    Early mathematics achievement is highly predictive of later mathematics performance. Here we investigated the influence of executive function (EF) and spatial skills, two generalizable skills often overlooked in mathematics curricula, on mathematics performance in preschoolers. Children (N=44) of varying socioeconomic status (SES) levels were assessed at 3 years of age on a new assessment of spatial skill (Test of Spatial Assembly, TOSA) and a vocabulary measure (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, PPVT). The same children were tested at 4 years of age on the Beery Test of Visual-Motor Integration (VMI) as well as on measures of EF and mathematics. The TOSA was created specifically as an assessment for 3-year-olds, allowing the investigation of links among spatial, EF, and mathematical skills earlier than previously possible. Results of a hierarchical regression indicate that EF and spatial skills predict 70% of the variance in mathematics performance without an explicit math test, EF is an important predictor of math performance as prior research suggested, and spatial skills uniquely predict 27% of the variance in mathematics skills. Additional research is needed to understand whether EF is truly malleable and whether EF and spatial skills may be leveraged to support early mathematics skills, especially for lower SES children who are already falling behind in these skill areas by 3 and 4 years of age. These findings indicate that both skills are part of an important foundation for mathematics performance and may represent pathways for improving school readiness for mathematics. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. 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

  16. The Classroom as a Developmental Context for Cognitive Development: A Meta-Analysis on the Importance of Teacher-Student Interactions for Children's Executive Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandenbroucke, Loren; Spilt, Jantine; Verschueren, Karine; Piccinin, Claire; Baeyens, Dieter

    2018-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs), important cognitive processes that enable goal-directed behavior, develop due to maturation and environmental stimulation. The current study systematically reviews and synthesizes evidence on the association between teacher-student interactions and EFs. The search resulted in 28 studies, from which 23 studies provided…

  17. Improvements to executive function during exercise training predict maintenance of physical activity over the following year

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John eBest

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that exercise training benefits cognitive, neural, and physical health markers in older adults. It is likely that these positive effects will diminish if participants return to sedentary lifestyles following training cessation. Theory posits that that the neurocognitive processes underlying self-regulation, namely executive function (EF, are important to maintaining positive health behaviors. Therefore, we examined whether better EF performance in older women would predict greater adherence to routine physical activity (PA over 1 year following a 12-month resistance exercise training randomized controlled trial. The study sample consisted of 125 community-dwelling women aged 65 to 75 years old. Our primary outcome measure was self-reported PA, as measured by the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE, assessed on a monthly basis from month 13 to month 25. Executive function was assessed using the Stroop Test at baseline (month 0 and post-training (month 12. Latent growth curve analyses showed that, on average, PA decreased during the follow-up period but at a decelerating rate. Women who made greater improvements to EF during the training period showed better adherence to PA during the 1-year follow-up period (β = -.36, p .10. Overall, these findings suggest that improving EF plays an important role in whether older women maintain higher levels of PA following exercise training and that this association is only apparent after training when environmental support for PA is low.

  18. Executive Dysfunction among Children with Reading Comprehension Deficits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locascio, Gianna; Mahone, E. Mark; Eason, Sarah H.; Cutting, Laurie E.

    2010-01-01

    Emerging research supports the contribution of executive function (EF) to reading comprehension; however, a unique pattern has not been established for children who demonstrate comprehension difficulties despite average word recognition ability (specific reading comprehension deficit; S-RCD). To identify particular EF components on which children…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Executive Functioning and Engagement in Physical and Relational Aggression among Children with ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McQuade, Julia D; Breaux, Rosanna P; Miller, Rose; Mathias, Laney

    2017-07-01

    Although evidence suggests that executive functioning (EF) impairments are implicated in physically aggressive behavior (e.g., hitting) these cognitive impairments have rarely been examined with regard to relational aggression (e.g., gossip, systematic exclusion). Studies also have not examined if EF impairments underlie the expression of aggression in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and if child gender moderates risk. Children with and without clinical elevations in ADHD symptoms (N = 124; ages 8-12 years; 48 % male) completed a battery of EF tests. Parent and teacher report of ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) symptoms and teacher report of engagement in physical and relational aggression were collected. Models tested the unique association of EF abilities with physical and relational aggression and the indirect effect through the expression of ADHD or ODD behaviors; child gender was also tested as a moderator. EF impairment was uniquely associated with physical aggression, but better EF ability was associated with relational aggression. For boys, poor EF also was indirectly associated with greater physical aggression through the expression of ADHD behaviors. However, ADHD symptoms were unrelated to relational aggression. ODD symptoms also predicted physical aggression for boys but relational aggression for girls. Results suggest that there are multiple and distinct factors associated with engagement in physical and relational aggression and that better EF may actually promote relational aggression. Established models of physical aggression should not be assumed to map on to explanations of relational aggression.

  2. Which Executive Functioning Deficits Are Associated with AD/HD, ODD/CD and Comorbid AD/HD+ODD/CD? (Attention Deficit/hyperactivity Disorder)(Oppositional Defiant Disorder)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oosterlaan, Jaap; Scheres, Anouk; Sergeant, Joseph A.

    2005-01-01

    This study investigated (1) whether attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) is associated with executive functioning (EF) deficits while controlling for oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder (ODD/CD), (2) whether ODD/CD is associated with EF deficits while controlling for AD/HD, and (3) whether a combination of AD/HD and ODD/CD…

  3. The influence of hot and cool executive function on the development of eating styles related to overweight in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groppe, Karoline; Elsner, Birgit

    2015-04-01

    Studies linking executive function (EF) and overweight suggest that a broad range of executive functions might influence weight via obesity-related behaviors, such as particular eating styles. Currently, however, longitudinal studies investigating this assumption in children are rare. We hypothesized that lower hot and cool EF predicts a stronger increase in eating styles related to greater weight gain (food approach) and a weaker increase in eating styles related to less weight gain (food avoidance) over a 1-year period. Hot (delay of gratification, affective decision-making) and cool (attention shifting, inhibition, working memory updating) EF was assessed experimentally in a sample of 1657 elementary-school children (German school classes 1-3) at two time points, approximately one year apart. The children's food-approach and food-avoidance behavior was rated mainly via parent questionnaires at both time points. As expected, lower levels of hot and cool EF predicted a stronger increase in several food-approach eating styles across a 1-year period, mainly in girls. Unexpectedly, poorer performance on the affective decision-making task also predicted an increase in certain food-avoidance styles, namely, slowness in eating and satiety responsiveness, in girls. Results implicate that lower EF is not only seen in eating-disordered or obese individuals but also acts as a risk factor for an increase in particular eating styles that play a role in the development of weight problems in children. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Selective attention relates to the development of executive functions in 2,5- to 3-year-olds : A longitudinal study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veer, Ilona M.; Luyten, Hans; Mulder, Hanna; van Tuijl, Cathy; Sleegers, Peter J.C.

    2017-01-01

    To study the central role of selective attention in the early development of executive functions (EFs), longitudinal relationships between selective attention, working memory, and simple response inhibition were explored. Selective attention, working memory, and simple response inhibition were

  5. Family demographic profiles and their relationship with the quality of executive functioning subcomponents in kindergarten.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandenbroucke, Loren; Verschueren, Karine; Ceulemans, Eva; De Smedt, Bert; De Roover, Kim; Baeyens, Dieter

    2016-06-01

    Executive functioning (EF), needed for goal-oriented behaviour, thoughts, and emotions, is important for various life domains. This study examined the relationship between family demographics and EF subcomponents. A kindergarten sample was tested on subcomponents of working memory, inhibition, and cognitive flexibility. Parents provided information on demographic variables. For 78 children both EF and demographic data were available. First, demographic profiles were identified within the sample. Two profiles were found: A low-risk profile of mainly two-biological-parent, high-income families with a highly educated mother who did not smoke during pregnancy and a high-risk profile of low-income families with a young, low-educated mother who more often smoked during pregnancy. Second, children with different demographic profiles were compared on EF subcomponents. Results indicate differential relations between family demographics and EF subcomponents: Whereas for most EF subcomponents no association with family demographics was found, high-risk children performed better on response shifting and tended to perform worse on verbal memory than low-risk children. Parenting stress decreased performance only for high-risk children. Although this study found limited impact of family demographics for EF, further longitudinal research can provide nuanced insights about which factors influence specific EF subcomponents during which developmental periods and guide targeted prevention of EF difficulties. © 2015 The British Psychological Society.

  6. Early Executive Function at Age Two Predicts Emergent Mathematics and Literacy at Age Five.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulder, Hanna; Verhagen, Josje; Van der Ven, Sanne H G; Slot, Pauline L; Leseman, Paul P M

    2017-01-01

    Previous work has shown that individual differences in executive function (EF) are predictive of academic skills in preschoolers, kindergartners, and older children. Across studies, EF is a stronger predictor of emergent mathematics than literacy. However, research on EF in children below age three is scarce, and it is currently unknown whether EF, as assessed in toddlerhood, predicts emergent academic skills a few years later. This longitudinal study investigates whether early EF, assessed at two years, predicts (emergent) academic skills, at five years. It examines, furthermore, whether early EF is a significantly stronger predictor of emergent mathematics than of emergent literacy, as has been found in previous work on older children. A sample of 552 children was assessed on various EF and EF-precursor tasks at two years. At age five, these children performed several emergent mathematics and literacy tasks. Structural Equation Modeling was used to investigate the relationships between early EF and academic skills, modeled as latent factors. Results showed that early EF at age two was a significant and relatively strong predictor of both emergent mathematics and literacy at age five, after controlling for receptive vocabulary, parental education, and home language. Predictive relations were significantly stronger for mathematics than literacy, but only when a verbal short-term memory measure was left out as an indicator to the latent early EF construct. These findings show that individual differences in emergent academic skills just prior to entry into the formal education system can be traced back to individual differences in early EF in toddlerhood. In addition, these results highlight the importance of task selection when assessing early EF as a predictor of later outcomes, and call for further studies to elucidate the mechanisms through which individual differences in early EF and precursors to EF come about.

  7. Early Executive Function at Age Two Predicts Emergent Mathematics and Literacy at Age Five

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanna Mulder

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Previous work has shown that individual differences in executive function (EF are predictive of academic skills in preschoolers, kindergartners, and older children. Across studies, EF is a stronger predictor of emergent mathematics than literacy. However, research on EF in children below age three is scarce, and it is currently unknown whether EF, as assessed in toddlerhood, predicts emergent academic skills a few years later. This longitudinal study investigates whether early EF, assessed at two years, predicts (emergent academic skills, at five years. It examines, furthermore, whether early EF is a significantly stronger predictor of emergent mathematics than of emergent literacy, as has been found in previous work on older children. A sample of 552 children was assessed on various EF and EF-precursor tasks at two years. At age five, these children performed several emergent mathematics and literacy tasks. Structural Equation Modeling was used to investigate the relationships between early EF and academic skills, modeled as latent factors. Results showed that early EF at age two was a significant and relatively strong predictor of both emergent mathematics and literacy at age five, after controlling for receptive vocabulary, parental education, and home language. Predictive relations were significantly stronger for mathematics than literacy, but only when a verbal short-term memory measure was left out as an indicator to the latent early EF construct. These findings show that individual differences in emergent academic skills just prior to entry into the formal education system can be traced back to individual differences in early EF in toddlerhood. In addition, these results highlight the importance of task selection when assessing early EF as a predictor of later outcomes, and call for further studies to elucidate the mechanisms through which individual differences in early EF and precursors to EF come about.

  8. The Associations among Preschool Children's Growth in Early Reading, Executive Function, and Invented Spelling Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chenyi; Bingham, Gary E.; Quinn, Margaret F.

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine associations among children's emergent literacy (early reading), language, executive function (EF), and invented spelling skills across prekindergarten. Participants included 123, primarily African American, 4-year-old children enrolled in a variety of prekindergarten settings. In addition to…

  9. Effect of Mini-Trampoline Physical Activity on Executive Functions in Preschool Children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu Wen

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The study investigated the effect of mini-trampoline physical activity on the development of executive functions (EF in Chinese preschool children. Fifty-seven children aged 3–5 were randomly assigned to an intervention group (n=29 and a control group (n=28. The children in the intervention and control group had the same classes and care service in the preschool, but children in the intervention group had an extra 20 min of trampoline training after school for 5 school days per week in the 10-week intervention. Spatial conflict arrow (SCA, animal Go/NoGo (GNG, working memory span (WMS, and flexible item selection (FIS were used to assess children’s EF before and after the intervention. Results revealed that no significant differences emerged in the SCA, GNG, WMS, and FIS tests between two groups postintervention. Findings indicated that a 10-week trampoline PA training may not be sufficient to trigger the improvement of preschool children’s EF. Future research with larger representative samples is warranted to discern the dose-response evidence in enhancing young children’s EF through physical activity.

  10. The link between impaired theory of mind and executive function in children with cerebral palsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaoming; Wang, Kai; Wu, Jianxian; Hong, Yongfeng; Zhao, Jingpu; Feng, Xiaojun; Xu, Mei; Wang, Min; Ndasauka, Yamikani; Zhang, Xiaochu

    2014-07-01

    The aim of the study was to explore the relationship between theory of mind (ToM) deficits and executive function (EF) impairments in children with cerebral palsy (CP), 42 CP with children and 42 typically developing (TD) children, acting as controls, were assessed on the tasks of ToM (false belief and faux pas) and EF (inhibition, updating and shifting). Results showed that CP children had deficits both in ToM and EF tasks. The correlation analyses showed that two EF components (inhibition and updating) were strongly related to false belief and faux pas in both two groups. We also found correlation between shifting and false belief and faux pas. However, this correlation was only found in TD children and not in children with CP. These findings suggest that children with CP lag behind TD children in both ToM and EF. Further, the results reveal, interestingly, that ToM deficits in CP children might be related to their inhibition and updating impairments, but not to shifting impairments. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura eTraverso

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Foundations of mathematics and literacy: The role of executive functioning components.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purpura, David J; Schmitt, Sara A; Ganley, Colleen M

    2017-01-01

    The current study investigated the relations between the three cognitive processes that comprise executive functioning (EF)-response inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility-and individual components of mathematics and literacy skills in preschool children. Participants were 125 preschool children ranging in age from 3.12 to 5.26years (M=4.17years, SD=0.58). Approximately 53.2% were female, and the sample was predominantly Caucasian (69.8%). Results suggest that the components of EF may be differentially related to the specific components of early mathematics and literacy. For mathematics, response inhibition was broadly related to most components. Working memory was related to more advanced mathematics skills that involve comparison or combination of numbers and quantities. Cognitive flexibility was related to more conceptual or abstract mathematics skills. For early literacy, response inhibition and cognitive flexibility were related to print knowledge, and working memory was related only to phonological awareness. None of the EF components was related to vocabulary. These findings provide initial evidence for better understanding the ways in which EF components and academic skills are related and measured. Furthermore, the findings provide a foundation for further study of the components of each domain using a broader and more diverse array of measures. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Anxiety in Williams Syndrome: The Role of Social Behaviour, Executive Functions and Change over Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng-Cordell, Elise; Hanley, Mary; Kelly, Alyssa; Riby, Deborah M.

    2018-01-01

    Anxiety is a prevalent mental health issue for individuals with Williams syndrome (WS). Relatively little is known about the developmental course of anxiety, or how it links with core features of WS, namely social and executive functioning (EF). In this study, parent-reports of anxiety were compared across a 4-year period (N = 17), and links…

  15. Executive dysfunction in schizophrenia and its association with mentalizing abilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavilán, José M; García-Albea, José E

    2015-01-01

    Patients with schizophrenia have been found impaired in important aspects of their basic and social cognition. Our aim in this study is to explore the relationship between executive function (EF) and theory of mind (ToM) deficiencies in patients that suffer the illness. Twenty-two Spanish-speaking inpatients and 22 healthy controls matched in age, sex, education, language dominance, and premorbid IQ were assessed in EF and ToM abilities. The former were assessed using 10 tasks that covered 5 cognitive dimensions and the latter using 3 different tasks. Correlation analyses were used to explore the level of association between executive and mentalizing abilities. A series of discriminant function analyses were carried out to examine the relative contribution of each executive and mentalizing task to discriminate between patients and controls. Patients showed impairments in both, executive and ToM abilities. The correlation analyses showed a virtual absence of association between EF and ToM abilities within the group of patients, and an almost opposite pattern within the healthy group. ToM performance was more accurate than executive performance to discriminate patients from controls. Although EFs and ToM deficits come into view together in schizophrenia, they appear to belong to different and relatively independent cognitive domains. Copyright © 2013 SEP y SEPB. Published by Elsevier España. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  18. Iowa Gambling Task Performance and Executive Function Predict Low-income Urban Preadolescents’ Risky Behaviors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ursache, Alexandra; Raver, C. Cybele

    2015-01-01

    This study examines preadolescents’ reports of risk-taking as predicted by two different, but related inhibitory control systems involving sensitivity to reward and loss on the one hand, and higher order processing in the context of cognitive conflict, known as executive functioning (EF), on the other. Importantly, this study examines these processes with a sample of inner-city, low-income preadolescents and as such examines the ways in which these processes may be related to risky behaviors as a function of children's levels of both concurrent and chronic exposure to household poverty. As part of a larger longitudinal study, 382 children (ages 9 -11) provided a self-report of risky behaviors and participated in the Iowa Gambling task, assessing bias for infrequent loss (preference for infrequent, high magnitude versus frequent, low magnitude loss) and the Hearts and Flowers task assessing executive functioning. Results demonstrated that a higher bias for infrequent loss was associated with higher risky behaviors for children who demonstrated lower EF. Furthermore, bias for infrequent loss was most strongly associated with higher risk-taking for children facing highest levels of poverty. Implications for early identification and prevention of risk-taking in inner-city preadolescents are discussed. PMID:26412918

  19. The Use of Canonical Correlation Analysis to Assess the Relationship Between Executive Functioning and Verbal Memory in Older Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Silva Moreira MSc

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Executive functioning (EF, which is considered to govern complex cognition, and verbal memory (VM are constructs assumed to be related. However, it is not known the magnitude of the association between EF and VM, and how sociodemographic and psychological factors may affect this relationship, including in normal aging. In this study, we assessed different EF and VM parameters, via a battery of neurocognitive/psychological tests, and performed a Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA to explore the connection between these constructs, in a sample of middle-aged and older healthy individuals without cognitive impairment ( N = 563, 50+ years of age. The analysis revealed a positive and moderate association between EF and VM independently of gender, age, education, global cognitive performance level, and mood. These results confirm that EF presents a significant association with VM performance.

  20. Effects of prefrontal tDCS on executive function: Methodological considerations revealed by meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imburgio, Michael J; Orr, Joseph M

    2018-05-01

    A meta-analysis of studies using single-session transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to target the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) was undertaken to examine the effect of stimulation on executive function (EF) in healthy samples. 27 studies were included in analyses, yielding 71 effect sizes. The most relevant measure for each task was determined a priori and used to calculate Hedge's g. Methodological characteristics of each study were examined individually as potential moderators of effect size. Stimulation effects on three domains of EF (inhibition of prepotent responses, mental set shifting, and information updating and monitoring) were analyzed separately. In line with previous work, the current study found no significant effect of anodal unilateral tDCS, cathodal unilateral tDCS, or bilateral tDCS on EF. Further moderator and subgroup analyses were only carried out for anodal unilateral montages due to the small number of studies using other montages. Subgroup analyses revealed a significant effect of anodal unilateral tDCS on updating tasks, but not on inhibition or set-shifting tasks. Cathode location significantly moderated the effect of anodal unilateral tDCS. Extracranial cathodes yielded a significant effect on EF while cranial cathodes yielded no effect. Anode size also significantly moderated effect of anodal unilateral tDCS, with smaller anodes being more effective than larger anodes. In summary, anodal DLPFC stimulation is more effective at improving updating ability than inhibition and set-shifting ability, but anodal stimulation can significantly improve general executive function when extracranial cathodes or small anodes are used. Future meta-analyses may examine how stimulation's effects on specific behavioral tasks, rather than broader domains, might be affected by methodological moderators. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. The Impact of Behavioural Executive Functioning and Intelligence on Math Abilities in Children with Intellectual Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dekker, M. C.; Ziermans, T. B.; Swaab, H.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Little is known about the role of behavioural executive functioning (EF) skills and level of intelligence (IQ) on math abilities in children with mild to borderline intellectual disabilities. Method: Teachers of 63 children attending a school for special education (age: 10 to 13 years; IQ: 50 to 85) filled out a Behaviour Rating…

  2. Are resting state spectral power measures related to executive functions in healthy young adults?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Shirley; Todder, Doron; Deutsch, Inbal; Garbi, Dror; Getter, Nir; Meiran, Nachshon

    2018-01-08

    Resting-state electroencephalogram (rsEEG) has been found to be associated with psychopathology, intelligence, problem solving, academic performance and is sometimes used as a supportive physiological indicator of enhancement in cognitive training interventions (e.g. neurofeedback, working memory training). In the current study, we measured rsEEG spectral power measures (relative power, between-band ratios and asymmetry) in one hundred sixty five young adults who were also tested on a battery of executive function (EF). We specifically focused on upper Alpha, Theta and Beta frequency bands given their putative role in EF. Our indices enabled finding correlations since they had decent-to-excellent internal and retest reliability and very little range restriction relative to a nation-wide representative large sample. Nonetheless, Bayesian statistical inference indicated support for the null hypothesis concerning lack of monotonic correlation between EF and rsEEG spectral power measures. Therefore, we conclude that, contrary to the quite common interpretation, these rsEEG spectral power measures do not indicate individual differences in the measured EF abilities. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Math practice and its influence on math skills and executive functions in adolescents with mild to borderline intellectual disability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jansen, B.R.J.; Lange, E.; van der Molen, M.J.

    2013-01-01

    Adolescents with mild to borderline intellectual disability (MBID) often complete schooling without mastering basic math skills, even though basic math is essential for math-related challenges in everyday life. Limited attention to cognitive skills and low executive functioning (EF) may cause this

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Individual Differences in Executive Function and Central Coherence Predict Developmental Changes in Theory of Mind in Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellicano, Elizabeth

    2010-01-01

    There is strong evidence to suggest that individuals with autism show atypicalities in multiple cognitive domains, including theory of mind (ToM), executive function (EF), and central coherence (CC). In this study, the longitudinal relationships among these 3 aspects of cognition in autism were investigated. Thirty-seven cognitively able children…

  6. Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices Regarding the Role of Executive Functions in Reading and Arithmetic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapoport, Shirley; Rubinsten, Orly; Katzir, Tami

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigated early elementary school teachers’ beliefs and practices regarding the role of Executive Functions (EFs) in reading and arithmetic. A new research questionnaire was developed and judged by professionals in the academia and the field. Reponses were obtained from 144 teachers from Israel. Factor analysis divided the questionnaire into three valid and reliable subscales, reflecting (1) beliefs regarding the contribution of EFs to reading and arithmetic, (2) pedagogical practices, and (3) a connection between the cognitive mechanisms of reading and arithmetic. Findings indicate that teachers believe EFs affect students’ performance in reading and arithmetic. These beliefs were also correlated with pedagogical practices. Additionally, special education teachers’ scored higher on the different subscales compared to general education teachers. These findings shed light on the way teachers perceive the cognitive foundations of reading and arithmetic and indicate to which extent these perceptions guide their teaching practices. PMID:27799917

  7. Teachers' Beliefs and Practices Regarding the Role of Executive Functions in Reading and Arithmetic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapoport, Shirley; Rubinsten, Orly; Katzir, Tami

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigated early elementary school teachers' beliefs and practices regarding the role of Executive Functions (EFs) in reading and arithmetic. A new research questionnaire was developed and judged by professionals in the academia and the field. Reponses were obtained from 144 teachers from Israel. Factor analysis divided the questionnaire into three valid and reliable subscales, reflecting (1) beliefs regarding the contribution of EFs to reading and arithmetic, (2) pedagogical practices, and (3) a connection between the cognitive mechanisms of reading and arithmetic. Findings indicate that teachers believe EFs affect students' performance in reading and arithmetic. These beliefs were also correlated with pedagogical practices. Additionally, special education teachers' scored higher on the different subscales compared to general education teachers. These findings shed light on the way teachers perceive the cognitive foundations of reading and arithmetic and indicate to which extent these perceptions guide their teaching practices.

  8. Sex differences in parent-reported executive functioning and adaptive behavior in children and young adults with autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Emily I; Wallace, Gregory L; Bascom, Julia; Armour, Anna C; Register-Brown, Kelly; Popal, Haroon S; Ratto, Allison B; Martin, Alex; Kenworthy, Lauren

    2017-10-01

    This study is the largest to date examining executive function and adaptive skills in females with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Its primary aim was to utilize parent ratings of real-world executive functioning and adaptive behavior to better understand whether females with ASD differ from males with ASD in these areas of everyday functioning. We compared 79 females with ASD to 158 males with ASD (ages 7-18) who were statistically matched on age, IQ, and level of ADHD or ASD traits. All participants were assessed using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and a subset (56 females and 130 males) also received the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS). Females were rated by parents as having greater problems with executive function on the BRIEF. Parents also rated females as exhibiting more difficulties than males on the Daily Living Skills domain of the VABS. There was a correlation between increased global EF difficulty and decreased adaptive ability in both males and females. Our results indicate relative weaknesses for females compared to males diagnosed with ASD on executive function and daily living skills. These differences occur in the absence of sex differences in our sample in age, IQ, clinician ratings of core ASD symptomatology, parent ratings of ADHD symptoms, and parent-reported social and communication adaptive skills on the VABS. These findings indicate specific liabilities in real world EF and daily living skills for females with ASD and have important implications for targeting their treatments. Autism Res 2017, 10: 1653-1662. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  10. Boys with Oppositional Defiant Disorder/Conduct Disorder Show Impaired Adaptation During Stress: An Executive Functioning Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoorl, Jantiene; van Rijn, Sophie; de Wied, Minet; van Goozen, Stephanie; Swaab, Hanna

    2018-04-01

    Evidence for problems in executive functioning (EF) in children with oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder (ODD/CD) is mixed and the impact stress may have on EF is understudied. Working memory, sustained attention, inhibition and cognitive flexibility of boys with ODD/CD (n = 65) and non-clinical controls (n = 32) were examined under typical and stressful test conditions. Boys with ODD/CD showed impaired working memory under typical testing conditions, and impairments in working memory and sustained attention under stressful conditions. In contrast to controls, performance on sustained attention, cognitive flexibility and inhibition was less influenced by stress in boys with ODD/CD. These results suggest that boys with ODD/CD show impairments in adaptation to the environment whereas typically developing boys show adaptive changes in EF.

  11. Characterizing executive functioning in older special populations: from cognitively elite to cognitively impaired.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-11-01

    The authors examined the structure and invariance of executive functions (EF) across (a) a continuum of cognitive status in 3 groups of older adults (cognitively elite [CE], cognitively normal [CN], and cognitively impaired [CI]) and (b) a 3-year longitudinal interval. Using latent variable analyses (LISREL 8.80), the authors tested 3-factor models ("Inhibition": Hayling [Burgess & Shallice, 1997], Stroop [Regard, 1981]; "Shifting": Brixton [Burgess & Shallice, 1997], Color Trails [D'Elia et al., 1996]; and "Updating": Reading and Computational Span [Salthouse & Babcock, 1991]) and 1-factor models within each group. Participants (initial N = 570; 53-90 years) were from the Victoria Longitudinal Study (Sample 3, Waves 1 and 2). Cross-sectionally, the authors observed a 3-factor EF structure especially for the CE group and 1-factor solutions for all 3 groups. Longitudinally, temporal invariance was supported for the 3-factor model (CE and CN groups) and the 1-factor model (CI and CN groups). Subgroups with higher cognitive status and greater 3-year stability performed better on EF factors than corresponding groups with lower cognitive status and less stability. Studies of EF structure, performance, dedifferentiation, and dysfunction will benefit from considering initial cognitive status and longitudinal stability.

  12. Maternal executive functioning as a mechanism in the intergenerational transmission of parenting: Preliminary evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridgett, David J; Kanya, Meghan J; Rutherford, Helena J V; Mayes, Linda C

    2017-02-01

    Multiple lines of inquiry, including experimental animal models, have recently converged to suggest that executive functioning (EF) may be one mechanism by which parenting behavior is transmitted across generations. In the current investigation, we empirically test this notion by examining relations between maternal EF and parenting behaviors during mother-infant interactions, and by examining the role of maternal EF in the intergenerational transmission of parenting behavior. Mother-infant dyads (N = 150) in a longitudinal study participated. Mothers were administered measures of EF (working memory and inhibition), reported on the parenting they received from their parents (i.e., the infants' maternal grandparents), and were observed interacting with their 8-month-old infants. SEM findings indicated that the negative parenting mothers received from their own parents was significantly related to poorer maternal EF, and that poorer maternal EF was significantly related to subsequent engagement in more negative parenting practices (e.g., intrusiveness, displays of negativity) with their own infant. A significant indirect effect, through maternal EF, was observed between maternal report of her experiences of negative parenting received while growing up and her own use of negative parenting practices. Our findings make two contributions. First, we add to existing work that has primarily considered relations between parent EF and parenting behavior while interacting with older children by showing that maternal EF affects children, via maternal parenting behavior, beginning very early in life. Second, we provide key evidence of the role of EF in the intergenerational transmission of parenting. Additional implications of these findings, as well as important future directions, are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  13. Influence of autism traits and executive functioning on quality of life in children with an autism spectrum disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vries, M.; Geurts, H.

    2015-01-01

    Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) often experience a low Quality of Life (QoL). We studied if IQ, early language development, current autism traits, and daily Executive Functions (EFs) are related to QoL in children (aged 8-12 years) with ASD (N = 120) and typically developing (TD)

  14. Executive Functioning and School Readiness among Preschoolers with Externalizing Problems: The Moderating Role of the Student-Teacher Relationship

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graziano, Paulo A.; Garb, Leanna R.; Ros, Rosmary; Hart, Katie; Garcia, Alexis

    2016-01-01

    Research Findings: The objective of this study was to examine the student-teacher relationship as a potential moderator of the link between executive functioning (EF) and children's early school readiness among a clinical sample of preschoolers with externalizing behavior problems (EBP). Participants for the study included 139 preschool children…

  15. The Relations between Television Exposure and Executive Function in Chinese Preschoolers: The Moderated Role of Parental Mediation Behaviors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiaohui; Chen, Zhe; Wang, Zhenhong; Zhu, Liqi

    2017-01-01

    The present study examined the relations between preschoolers’ television exposure and executive functions (EF). One hundred and nineteen 3- to 6-year-old children and their parents participated. Parents filled in a questionnaire regarding children’s television viewing time, television content and parental mediation behaviors about their child’s television viewing. The children were asked to finish six EF tasks, including the backward digit span task, the spatial span task, the boy–girl Stroop, the Simon task, the flanker task and the Tower of Hanoi task that assessed working memory, inhibition and planning, respectively. Children’s vocabulary was tested using Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, and included as control variables in addition to socioeconomic status of the participated families. The results showed that television viewing time and child-directed educational programs were positively associated with EF. In addition, television content fully mediated the effect of television viewing time on EF and parental restrictive approach strategies moderated the effect of television viewing time on EF. PMID:29089912

  16. A randomized trial of teen online problem solving for improving executive function deficits following pediatric traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wade, Shari L; Walz, Nicolay C; Carey, JoAnne; Williams, Kendra M; Cass, Jennifer; Herren, Luke; Mark, Erin; Yeates, Keith Owen

    2010-01-01

    To examine the efficacy of teen online problem solving (TOPS) in improving executive function (EF) deficits following traumatic brain injury (TBI) in adolescence. Families of adolescents (aged 11-18 years) with moderate to severe TBI were recruited from the trauma registry of 2 tertiary-care children's hospitals and then randomly assigned to receive TOPS (n = 20), a cognitive-behavioral, skill-building intervention, or access to online resources regarding TBI (Internet resource comparison; n = 21). Parent and teen reports of EF were assessed at baseline and a posttreatment follow-up (mean = 7.88 months later). Improvements in self-reported EF skills were moderated by TBI severity, with teens with severe TBI in the TOPS treatment reporting significantly greater improvements than did those with severe TBI in the Internet resource comparison. The treatment groups did not differ on parent ratings of EF at the follow up. Findings suggest that TOPS may be effective in improving EF skills among teens with severe TBI.

  17. Executive Functions as Predictors of School Performance and Social Relationships: Primary and Secondary School Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zorza, Juan Pablo; Marino, Julián; Acosta Mesas, Alberto

    2016-05-12

    This study examined the relationship between executive functions (EFs) and school performance in primary and secondary school students aged 8 to 13 years (N = 146, M = 10.4, 45.8% girls). EFs were evaluated using the Trail Making Test (TMT), Verbal Fluency (VF), and the Stroop Test. Students' GPAs and teachers' assessment of academic skills were used to measure school performance. To evaluate the students' social behavior, participants were asked to rate all their classmates' prosocial behavior and nominate three students with whom they preferred to do school activities; teachers also provided evaluations of students' social skills. EF measures explained 41% (p = .003, f 2 = .694) of variability in school performance and 29% (p = .005, f 2 = .401) of variance in social behavior in primary school students. The predictive power of EFs was found to be lower for secondary school students, although the TMT showed significant prediction and explained 13% (p = .004, f 2 = .149) of variance in school performance and 15% (p = .008, f 2 = .176) in peer ratings of prosocial behavior. This paper discusses the relevance of EFs in the school environment and their different predictive power in primary and secondary school students.

  18. Parasympathetic Nervous System Reactivity Moderates Associations Between Children's Executive Functioning and Social and Academic Competence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McQuade, Julia D; Penzel, Taylor E; Silk, Jennifer S; Lee, Kyung Hwa

    2017-10-01

    This study examined whether children with poor executive functioning (EF) evidenced less social and academic impairments, compared to other children, if they demonstrated adaptive parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) regulation during experiences of failure. Participants with and without clinical elevations in ADHD symptoms (N = 61; 9-13 years; 48% male; 85% Caucasian) were administered a battery of EF tests and completed manipulated social and cognitive failure tasks. While participants completed failure tasks, respiratory sinus arrhythmia reactivity (RSA-R) was measured as an indicator of PNS reactivity. Children's social and academic impairment in daily life was assessed based on parent and teacher report on multiple measures. RSA-R during social failure moderated the association between poor EF and adult-rated social impairment and RSA-R during cognitive failure moderated the association between poor EF and adult-rated academic impairment. Simple effects indicated that poor EF was significantly associated with impairment when children demonstrated RSA activation (increased PNS activity) but not when children demonstrated RSA withdrawal (decreases in PNS activity). Domain-crossed models (e.g., reactivity to social failure predicting academic impairment) were not significant, suggesting that the moderating effect of RSA-R was domain-specific. Results suggest that not all children with poor EF evidence social and academic impairment; RSA withdrawal during experiences of failure may be protective specifically for children with impaired EF skills.

  19. Effects of Exergame Play on EF in Children and Adolescents at a Summer Camp for Low Income Youth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynn, Rachel M; Richert, Rebekah A; Staiano, Amanda E; Wartella, Ellen; Calvert, Sandra L

    2014-01-01

    Past research has suggested exergame play improves adolescents' executive function (EF) skills. EF change in 70 African American and Hispanic/Latino 10- to 16-year-olds participating in an inner-city summer camp was assessed following five 30-minute exergame play sessions. Children's EF scores improved from pre- to posttest, and factors related to this change were examined. The number of exergame sessions the participants attended predicted posttest scores. In addition, level of achievement during game play was related to EF scores. Finally, the children's level of enjoyment was not related to EF; however, frustration and boredom during game play were negatively related to EF. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for the relationship between exergame play and cognitive benefits for adolescent players.

  20. To boost or to CRUNCH? Effect of effortful encoding on episodic memory in older adults is dependent on executive functioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Fu

    Full Text Available It is essential to develop effective interventions aimed at ameliorating age-related cognitive decline. Previous studies found that effortful encoding benefits episodic memory in older adults. However, to date it is unclear whether this benefit is different for individuals with strong versus weak executive functioning (EF. Fifty-one older adults were recruited and divided into low (N = 26 and high (N = 25 functioning groups, based on their EF capacity. All participants performed a semantic and a perceptual incidental encoding task. Each encoding task was performed under four difficulty levels to establish different effort levels. Encoding was followed by a recognition task. Results showed that the high EF group benefitted from increased effort in both tasks. However, the low EF group only showed a beneficial effect under low levels of effort. Results are consistent with the Compensation-Related Utilization of Neural Circuits Hypothesis (CRUNCH and suggest that future research directed at developing efficient memory strategies to reduce negative cognitive aging effects should take individual cognitive differences among older adults into account, such as differences in EF.

  1. Executive Functions and Child Problem Behaviors Are Sensitive to Family Disruption: A Study of Children of Mothers Working Overseas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewage, Chandana; Bohlin, Gunilla; Wijewardena, Kumudu; Lindmark, Gunilla

    2011-01-01

    Mothers in Sri Lanka are increasingly seeking overseas employment, resulting in disruption of the childcare environment. The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of maternal migration on executive function (EF) and behavior, thereby also contributing to the scientific understanding of environmental effects--or more specifically…

  2. Children's Executive Function and High-Calorie, Low-Nutrient Food Intake: Mediating Effects of Child-Perceived Adult Fast Food Intake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tate, Eleanor B.; Unger, Jennifer B.; Chou, Chih-Ping; Spruijt-Metz, Donna; Pentz, Mary Ann; Riggs, Nathaniel R.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: This study tested the relationships among child executive function (EF), child-perceived parent fast food intake, and child self-reported subsequent consumption of high-calorie, low-nutrient (HCLN) food. Design: One year and 6-month longitudinal observation from a larger randomized controlled trial. Setting. Southern California…

  3. Individual differences in executive function and central coherence predict developmental changes in theory of mind in autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellicano, Elizabeth

    2010-03-01

    There is strong evidence to suggest that individuals with autism show atypicalities in multiple cognitive domains, including theory of mind (ToM), executive function (EF), and central coherence (CC). In this study, the longitudinal relationships among these 3 aspects of cognition in autism were investigated. Thirty-seven cognitively able children with an autism spectrum condition were assessed on tests targeting ToM (false-belief prediction), EF (planning ability, cognitive flexibility, and inhibitory control), and CC (local processing) at intake and again 3 years later. Time 1 EF and CC skills were longitudinally predictive of change in children's ToM test performance, independent of age, language, nonverbal intelligence, and early ToM skills. Predictive relations in the opposite direction were not significant, and there were no developmental links between EF and CC. Rather than showing problems in ToM, EF and CC as co-occurring and independent atypicalities in autism, these findings suggest that early domain-general skills play a critical role in shaping the developmental trajectory of children's ToM.

  4. The Link between Preschoolers' Executive Function and Theory of Mind and the Role of Epistemic States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning, Anne; Spinath, Frank M.; Aschersleben, Gisa

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the specific relation between 3- to 6-year-olds' performance on a task measuring executive function (EF), the Dimensional Change Card Sort task (DCCS), and different developmental attainments in their theory of mind (ToM) by employing a battery of scaled ToM tasks that were comparable in task format and task…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider-Hassloff, Henriette; Zwönitzer, Annabel; Künster, Anne K; Mayer, Carmen; Ziegenhain, Ute; Kiefer, Markus

    2016-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) - a set of cognitive control abilities - mediate resilience to stress and are associated with academic achievement and health throughout life. They are crucially linked to prefrontal cortex function as well as to other cortical and subcortical brain functions, which are maturing throughout childhood at different rates. Recent behavioral research suggested that children's EFs were related to parenting quality and child attachment security, but the neural correlates of these associations are unknown. With this study we tested in 4- to 6-year-old healthy children (N = 27) how emotional availability (EA) of the mother-child-interaction was associated with behavioral and electrophysiological correlates of response inhibition (a core EF) in a Go/Nogo task, using event-related potential recordings (ERPs), and with behavioral performance in a Delay of Gratification (DoG) and a Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders task (HTKS). Our data showed that the Go/Nogo task modulated children's ERP components resembling adult electrophysiological indices of response inhibition - the N2 and P3/LPC ERPs-, but the children's N2 and P3/LPC ERPs showed longer latencies. Higher maternal autonomy-fostering behavior and greater child responsiveness were significantly associated with smaller children's N2 Go/Nogo effects at fronto-central and parietal sites and with greater Go/Nogo effects in the N2 time window at occipital sites, over and above children's age and intelligence. Additionally, greater maternal sensitivity and a higher dyadic EA quality of the mother-child-interaction went along with greater occipital Go/Nogo effects in the N2 time window, but this effect clearly diminished when we controlled for children's age and intelligence. Higher maternal autonomy-support was also positively associated with better HTKS performance, and higher dyadic EA quality went along with higher HTKS and DoG scores. However, no significant associations were found between EA variables and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. The Neuropsychology of Adolescent Sexual Offending: Testing an Executive Dysfunction Hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morais, Hugo B; Joyal, Christian C; Alexander, Apryl A; Fix, Rebecca L; Burkhart, Barry R

    2016-12-01

    Although executive dysfunctions are commonly hypothesized to contribute to sexual deviance or aggression, evidence of this relationship is scarce and its specificity is unproven, especially among adolescents. The objective of this study was to compare the executive functioning (EF) of adolescents with sexual offense convictions (ASOC) to that of non-sex-delinquents (NSD). A secondary goal was to assess the relationship among specific sexual offense characteristics (i.e., victim age), history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), and EF. It was hypothesized that as a group, ASOC would present similar EF profiles as NSD. It was further hypothesized that ASOC with child victims would present significantly higher rates of CSA and more severe impairment of EF than ASOC with peer-aged or older victims and NSD. A total of 183 male adolescents (127 ASOC and 56 NSD) were interviewed to collect demographic information, sexual development history, history of CSA, an assessment of living conditions, and history of delinquency and sexual offending. Participants were administered the Delis-Kaplan Executive Functioning System and the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Youth Version. In accord with the first hypothesis, ASOC and NSD presented similar EF scores, well below normative values. Thus, EF deficits may not characterize the profiles of adolescents with sexual behavior problems. Contrarily to our second hypothesis, however, offending against children and or experiencing CSA were not associated with poorer EF performance. On the contrary, ASOC with child victims obtained significantly higher scores on measures of higher order EF than both ASOC with peer-aged or older victims and NSD. Implications of these results and future directions are discussed. © The Author(s) 2015.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  9. Similarities and differences between children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and those with obsessive compulsive disorder: executive functioning and repetitive behaviour.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scheeren, Anke M; Begeer, Sander; Banerjee, Robin; Meerum Terwogt, Mark; Koot, Hans M

    2010-01-01

    In order to examine hypothesized underlying neurocognitive processes in repetitive behaviour, children and adolescents (7-16 years) with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) were compared on a range of executive function (EF) measures. Performance on

  10. An Early Years Toolbox for Assessing Early Executive Function, Language, Self-Regulation, and Social Development: Validity, Reliability, and Preliminary Norms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Steven J.; Melhuish, Edward

    2017-01-01

    Several methods of assessing executive function (EF), self-regulation, language development, and social development in young children have been developed over previous decades. Yet new technologies make available methods of assessment not previously considered. In resolving conceptual and pragmatic limitations of existing tools, the Early Years…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Math Practice and Its Influence on Math Skills and Executive Functions in Adolescents with Mild to Borderline Intellectual Disability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, Brenda R. J.; De Lange, Eva; Van der Molen, Mariet J.

    2013-01-01

    Adolescents with mild to borderline intellectual disability (MBID) often complete schooling without mastering basic math skills, even though basic math is essential for math-related challenges in everyday life. Limited attention to cognitive skills and low executive functioning (EF) may cause this delay. We aimed to improve math skills in an…

  13. The Role of Make-Believe Play in the Development of Executive Function: Status of Research and Future Directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berk, Laura E.; Meyers, Adena B.

    2013-01-01

    The authors discuss the association between make-believe play and the development of executive-function (EF) skills in young children. Some forty years ago, Lev S. Vygotsky first proposed that make-believe fosters the development of symbolic thought and self-regulation. Since then, a small body of research has produced evidence of an association…

  14. [Formula: see text]Executive functions and social information processing in adolescents with severe behavior problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Nieuwenhuijzen, M; Van Rest, M M; Embregts, P J C M; Vriens, A; Oostermeijer, S; Van Bokhoven, I; Matthys, W

    2017-02-01

    One tradition in research for explaining aggression and antisocial behavior has focused on social information processing (SIP). Aggression and antisocial behavior have also been studied from the perspective of executive functions (EFs), the higher-order cognitive abilities that affect other cognitive processes, such as social cognitive processes. The main goal of the present study is to provide insight into the relation between EFs and SIP in adolescents with severe behavior problems. Because of the hierarchical relation between EFs and SIP, we examined EFs as predictors of SIP. We hypothesized that, first, focused attention predicts encoding and interpretation, second, inhibition predicts interpretation, response generation, evaluation, and selection, and third, working memory predicts response generation and selection. The participants consisted of 94 respondents living in residential facilities aged 12-20 years, all showing behavior problems in the clinical range according to care staff. EFs were assessed using subtests from the Amsterdam Neuropsychological Test battery. Focused attention was measured by the Flanker task, inhibition by the GoNoGo task, and working memory by the Visual Spatial Sequencing task. SIP was measured by video vignettes and a structured interview. The results indicate that positive evaluation of aggressive responses is predicted by impaired inhibition and selection of aggressive responses by a combination of impaired focused attention and inhibition. It is concluded that different components of EFs as higher-order cognitive abilities affect SIP.

  15. Distinct Patterns of Everyday Executive Function Problems Distinguish Children With Tourette Syndrome From Children With ADHD or Autism Spectrum Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hovik, Kjell Tore; Egeland, Jens; Isquith, Peter K; Gioia, Gerard; Skogli, Erik Winther; Andersen, Per Normann; Øie, Merete

    2017-08-01

    The aim is to investigate the everyday executive function (EF) in children with Tourette syndrome (TS), Inattentive or Combined presentations of ADHD (ADHD-I/ADHD-C), autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and typically developing children (TDC). Nineteen TS, 33 ADHD-C, 43 ADHD-I, 34 ASD, and 50 TDC participated (8-17 years). Parents completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). TS, ADHD-C, ADHD-I, or ASD were rated with significantly more regulation problems on all scales compared with TDC. Considerable overlap of symptoms between clinical groups made differentiation difficult on individual scales. Scale configurations showed children with TS to have more problems with emotional control (EC) than cognitive flexibility in relation to children with ASD, more problems with EC than inhibitory control in relation to ADHD-C, and more problems with EC than planning/organizing in relation to ADHD-I. Paired BRIEF scales dissociated EF problems in children with TS from children with ADHD-C, ADHD-I, or ASD. Clinical relevance is discussed.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Emerging Executive Functioning and Motor Development in Infants at High and Low Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    St John, Tanya; Estes, Annette M; Dager, Stephen R; Kostopoulos, Penelope; Wolff, Jason J; Pandey, Juhi; Elison, Jed T; Paterson, Sarah J; Schultz, Robert T; Botteron, Kelly; Hazlett, Heather; Piven, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Existing evidence suggests executive functioning (EF) deficits may be present in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by 3 years of age. It is less clear when, prior to 3 years, EF deficits may emerge and how EF unfold over time. The contribution of motor skill difficulties to poorer EF in children with ASD has not been systematically studied. We investigated the developmental trajectory of EF in infants at high and low familial risk for ASD (HR and LR) and the potential associations between motor skills, diagnostic group, and EF performance. Participants included 186 HR and 76 LR infants. EF (A-not-B), motor skills (Fine and Gross Motor), and cognitive ability were directly assessed at 12 months and 24 months of age. Participants were directly evaluated for ASD at 24 months using DSM-IV-TR criteria and categorized as HR-ASD, HR-Negative, and LR-Negative. HR-ASD and HR-Negative siblings demonstrated less improvement in EF over time compared to the LR-Negative group. Motor skills were associated with group and EF performance at 12 months. No group differences were found at 12 months, but at 24 months, the HR-ASD and HR-Negative groups performed worse than the LR-Negative group overall after controlling for visual reception and maternal education. On reversal trials, the HR-ASD group performed worse than the LR-Negative group. Motor skills were associated with group and EF performance on reversal trials at 24 months. Findings suggest that HR siblings demonstrate altered EF development and that motor skills may play an important role in this process.

  18. Socioeconomic status and Oppositional Defiant Disorder in preschoolers: parenting practices and executive functioning as mediating variables

    OpenAIRE

    Roser eGranero; Roser eGranero; Leonie eLouwaars; Lourdes eEzpeleta; Lourdes eEzpeleta

    2015-01-01

    Objectives. To investigate the mediating mechanisms of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) in preschoolers through pathways analysis, considering the family socioeconomic status (SES) as the independent variable and the parenting style and the children’s executive functioning (EF) as the mediating factors.Method. Sample included 622 three years-old children from the general population. Multi-informant reports from parents and teachers were analyzed.Results. Structural Equation Modeling showed...

  19. Socioeconomic status and oppositional defiant disorder in preschoolers: parenting practices and executive functioning as mediating variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granero, Roser; Louwaars, Leonie; Ezpeleta, Lourdes

    2015-01-01

    To investigate the mediating mechanisms of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) in preschoolers through pathways analysis, considering the family socioeconomic status (SES) as the independent variable and the parenting style and the children's executive functioning (EF) as the mediating factors. The sample included 622 three-year-old children from the general population. Multi-informant reports from parents and teachers were analyzed. Structural Equation Modeling showed that the associations between SES, EF, parenting style and ODD levels differed by children's gender: (a) for girls, the association of low SES and high ODD scores was partially mediated by difficulties in EF inhibition, and parenting practices defined by corporal punishment and inconsistent discipline obtained a quasi-significant indirect effect into the association between SES and ODD; (b) for boys, SES and EF (inhibition and emotional control) had a direct effect on ODD with no mediation. SES seems a good indicator to identify children at high-risk for prevention and intervention programs for ODD. Girls with ODD in families of low SES may particularly benefit from parent training practices and training in inhibition control.

  20. Callous-unemotional traits moderate executive function in children with ASD and ADHD: A pilot event-related potential study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Tye

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD and autism spectrum disorder (ASD are associated with varied executive function (EF difficulties. Callous-unemotional (CU traits, a proposed antecedent of adult psychopathy, are often associated with intact or enhanced EF. Here we test whether CU traits may therefore modulate EF in ASD and ADHD, in which EF is typically impaired. We collected CU traits and measured event-related potentials (ERPs that index EF during a cued-continuous performance test (CPT-OX in boys with ASD, ADHD, comorbid ASD + ADHD and typical controls. We examined attentional orienting at cues (Cue-P3, inhibitory processing at non-targets (NoGo-P3 and conflict monitoring between target and non-target trials (Go-N2 vs. NoGo-N2. In children with ASD, higher CU traits were associated with an enhanced increase in N2 amplitude in NoGo trials compared to Go trials, which suggests relatively superior conflict monitoring and a potential cognitive strength associated with CU traits. The results emphasise the importance of considering the effects of co-occurring traits in the assessment of heterogeneity of EF profiles in neurodevelopmental disorders.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  2. Behavioural Problems in 2-Year-Olds: Links with Individual Differences in Theory of Mind, Executive Function and Harsh Parenting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Claire; Ensor, Rosie

    2006-01-01

    Background: Cognitive and family factors are implicated in the origins of behavioural problems, but little is known about their independence or interplay. Methods: We present data from 127 two-year-olds from predominantly disadvantaged families who completed tests of "theory of mind" (ToM), executive function (EF) and verbal ability. Researchers'…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  4. Theory-of-mind in individuals with Alström syndrome is related to executive functions, and verbal ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frölander, Hans-Erik; Möller, Claes; Rudner, Mary; Mishra, Sushmit; Marshall, Jan D; Piacentini, Heather; Lyxell, Björn

    2015-01-01

    This study focuses on cognitive prerequisites for the development of theory-of-mind (ToM), the ability to impute mental states to self and others in young adults with Alström syndrome (AS). AS is a rare and quite recently described recessively inherited ciliopathic disorder which causes progressive sensorineural hearing loss and juvenile blindness, as well as many other organ dysfunctions. Two cognitive abilities were considered; Phonological working memory (WM) and executive functions (EF), both of importance in speech development. Ten individuals (18-37 years) diagnosed with AS, and 20 individuals with no known impairment matched for age, gender, and educational level participated. Sensory functions were measured. Information about motor functions and communicative skills was obtained from responses to a questionnaire. ToM was assessed using Happés strange stories, verbal ability by a vocabulary test, phonological WM by means of an auditory presented non-word serial recall task and EF by tests of updating and inhibition. The AS group performed at a significantly lower level than the control group in both the ToM task and the EF tasks. A significant correlation was observed between recall of non-words and EF in the AS group. Updating, but not inhibition, correlated significantly with verbal ability, whereas both updating and inhibition were significantly related to the ability to initiate and sustain communication. Poorer performance in the ToM and EF tasks were related to language perseverance and motor mannerisms. The AS group displayed a delayed ToM as well as reduced phonological WM, EF, and verbal ability. A significant association between ToM and EF, suggests a compensatory role of EF. This association may reflect the importance of EF to perceive and process input from the social environment when the social interaction is challenged by dual sensory loss. We argue that limitations in EF capacity in individuals with AS, to some extent, may be related to

  5. Theory-of-mind in individuals with Alström syndrome is related to Executive functions, and verbal ability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans-Erik Ivert Frölander

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Objective: This study focuses on cognitive prerequisites for the development of Theory-of-mind (ToM, the ability to impute mental states to self and others in young adults with Alström syndrome (AS. AS is a recessively inherited ciliopathic disorder causing progressive hearing loss and juvenile blindness, both of which affect communication, as well as other dysfunctions. Two cognitive abilities were considered; Phonological working memory and Executive functions (EF, both of importance in speech development . Methods: Ten individuals (18–37 years with AS, and 20 nondisabled individuals matched for age, gender and educational level participated. Sensory functions were measured. Information about motor functions and communicative skills was obtained from questionnaire data. ToM was assessed using Happés strange stories, verbal ability by a vocabulary test, phonological WM by an auditory presented serial-recall task and EF by tests of updating and inhibition. Results: The AS group performed significantly poorer than the control group in both the ToM task and the EF tasks. A relation was established between recall of non-words and EF in the AS group. Updating, but not inhibition, correlated with verbal ability, whereas both updating and inhibition related to the ability to initiate and sustain communication. Individuals with AS displayed a high degree of variance in performance across tasks and those with a relatively high ToM performance performed within the range of the control group, in EF tasks. Poorer ToM and EF performance were related to language perseverance and motor mannerisms.Conclusions: The AS group demonstrated delayed ToM, reduced phonological WM, EF and verbal ability and for the first time an association between ToM and EF in AS was found. This association is suggested to reflect the importance of EF in developing the capacity to perceive and process input from the social environment. Limitations in EF may be related to

  6. Theory-of-mind in individuals with Alström syndrome is related to executive functions, and verbal ability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frölander, Hans-Erik; Möller, Claes; Rudner, Mary; Mishra, Sushmit; Marshall, Jan D.; Piacentini, Heather; Lyxell, Björn

    2015-01-01

    Objective: This study focuses on cognitive prerequisites for the development of theory-of-mind (ToM), the ability to impute mental states to self and others in young adults with Alström syndrome (AS). AS is a rare and quite recently described recessively inherited ciliopathic disorder which causes progressive sensorineural hearing loss and juvenile blindness, as well as many other organ dysfunctions. Two cognitive abilities were considered; Phonological working memory (WM) and executive functions (EF), both of importance in speech development. Methods: Ten individuals (18–37 years) diagnosed with AS, and 20 individuals with no known impairment matched for age, gender, and educational level participated. Sensory functions were measured. Information about motor functions and communicative skills was obtained from responses to a questionnaire. ToM was assessed using Happés strange stories, verbal ability by a vocabulary test, phonological WM by means of an auditory presented non-word serial recall task and EF by tests of updating and inhibition. Results: The AS group performed at a significantly lower level than the control group in both the ToM task and the EF tasks. A significant correlation was observed between recall of non-words and EF in the AS group. Updating, but not inhibition, correlated significantly with verbal ability, whereas both updating and inhibition were significantly related to the ability to initiate and sustain communication. Poorer performance in the ToM and EF tasks were related to language perseverance and motor mannerisms. Conclusion: The AS group displayed a delayed ToM as well as reduced phonological WM, EF, and verbal ability. A significant association between ToM and EF, suggests a compensatory role of EF. This association may reflect the importance of EF to perceive and process input from the social environment when the social interaction is challenged by dual sensory loss. We argue that limitations in EF capacity in individuals with

  7. Alcohol use longitudinally predicts adjustment and impairment in college students with ADHD: The role of executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langberg, Joshua M; Dvorsky, Melissa R; Kipperman, Kristen L; Molitor, Stephen J; Eddy, Laura D

    2015-06-01

    The primary aim of this study was to evaluate whether alcohol consumption longitudinally predicts the adjustment, overall functioning, and grade point average (GPA) of college students with ADHD and to determine whether self-report of executive functioning (EF) mediates these relationships. Sixty-two college students comprehensively diagnosed with ADHD completed ratings at the beginning and end of the school year. Regression analyses revealed that alcohol consumption rated at the beginning of the year significantly predicted self-report of adjustment and overall impairment at the end of the year, above and beyond ADHD symptoms and baseline levels of adjustment/impairment but did not predict GPA. Exploratory multiple mediator analyses suggest that alcohol use impacts impairment primarily through EF deficits in self-motivation. EF deficits in the motivation to refrain from pursuing immediately rewarding behaviors in order to work toward long-term goals appear to be particularly important in understanding why college students with ADHD who consume alcohol have a higher likelihood of experiencing significant negative outcomes. The implications of these findings for the prevention of the negative functional outcomes often experienced by college students with ADHD are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Executive dysfunction among children with reading comprehension deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locascio, Gianna; Mahone, E Mark; Eason, Sarah H; Cutting, Laurie E

    2010-01-01

    Emerging research supports the contribution of executive function (EF) to reading comprehension; however, a unique pattern has not been established for children who demonstrate comprehension difficulties despite average word recognition ability (specific reading comprehension deficit; S-RCD). To identify particular EF components on which children with S-RCD struggle, a range of EF skills was compared among 86 children, ages 10 to 14, grouped by word reading and comprehension abilities: 24 average readers, 44 with word recognition deficits (WRD), and 18 S-RCD. An exploratory principal components analysis of EF tests identified three latent factors, used in subsequent group comparisons: Planning/ Spatial Working Memory, Verbal Working Memory, and Response Inhibition. The WRD group exhibited deficits (relative to controls) on Verbal Working Memory and Inhibition factors; S-RCD children performed more poorly than controls on the Planning factor. Further analyses suggested the WRD group's poor performance on EF factors was a by-product of core deficits linked to WRD (after controlling for phonological processing, this group no longer showed EF deficits). In contrast, the S-RCD group's poor performance on the planning component remained significant after controlling for phonological processing. Findings suggest reading comprehension difficulties are linked to executive dysfunction; in particular, poor strategic planning/organizing may lead to reading comprehension problems.

  11. Emerging Executive Functioning and Motor Development in Infants at High and Low Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    St. John, Tanya; Estes, Annette M.; Dager, Stephen R.; Kostopoulos, Penelope; Wolff, Jason J.; Pandey, Juhi; Elison, Jed T.; Paterson, Sarah J.; Schultz, Robert T.; Botteron, Kelly; Hazlett, Heather; Piven, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Existing evidence suggests executive functioning (EF) deficits may be present in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by 3 years of age. It is less clear when, prior to 3 years, EF deficits may emerge and how EF unfold over time. The contribution of motor skill difficulties to poorer EF in children with ASD has not been systematically studied. We investigated the developmental trajectory of EF in infants at high and low familial risk for ASD (HR and LR) and the potential associations between motor skills, diagnostic group, and EF performance. Participants included 186 HR and 76 LR infants. EF (A-not-B), motor skills (Fine and Gross Motor), and cognitive ability were directly assessed at 12 months and 24 months of age. Participants were directly evaluated for ASD at 24 months using DSM-IV-TR criteria and categorized as HR-ASD, HR-Negative, and LR-Negative. HR-ASD and HR-Negative siblings demonstrated less improvement in EF over time compared to the LR-Negative group. Motor skills were associated with group and EF performance at 12 months. No group differences were found at 12 months, but at 24 months, the HR-ASD and HR-Negative groups performed worse than the LR-Negative group overall after controlling for visual reception and maternal education. On reversal trials, the HR-ASD group performed worse than the LR-Negative group. Motor skills were associated with group and EF performance on reversal trials at 24 months. Findings suggest that HR siblings demonstrate altered EF development and that motor skills may play an important role in this process. PMID:27458411

  12. Impact of Perinatally Acquired HIV Disease Upon Longitudinal Changes in Memory and Executive Functioning.

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    Malee, Kathleen M; Chernoff, Miriam C; Sirois, Patricia A; Williams, Paige L; Garvie, Patricia A; Kammerer, Betsy L; Harris, Lynnette L; Nozyce, Molly L; Yildirim, Cenk; Nichols, Sharon L

    2017-08-01

    Little is known regarding effects of perinatally acquired HIV infection (PHIV) on longitudinal change in memory and executive functioning (EF) during adolescence despite the importance of these skills for independence in adulthood. PHIV (n = 144) and perinatally HIV-exposed uninfected youth (PHEU, n = 79), ages 12-17, completed standardized tests of memory and EF at baseline and 2 years later. Changes from baseline for each memory and EF outcome were compared between PHEU and PHIV youth with (PHIV/C, n = 39) and without (PHIV/non-C, n = 105) history of CDC class C (AIDS-defining) diagnoses. Among PHIV youth, associations of baseline and past disease severity with memory and EF performance at follow-up were evaluated using adjusted linear regression models. Participants were primarily black (79%); 16% were Hispanic; 55% were female. Mean memory and EF scores at follow-up generally fell in the low-average to average range. Pairwise comparison of adjusted mean change from baseline to follow-up revealed significantly greater change for PHIV/non-C compared with PHEU youth in only one verbal recognition task, with a difference in mean changes for PHIV/non-C versus PHEU of -0.99 (95% CI: -1.80 to -0.19; P = 0.02). Among youth with PHIV, better immunologic status at baseline was positively associated with follow-up measures of verbal recall and recognition and cognitive inhibition/flexibility. Past AIDS-defining diagnoses and higher peak viral load were associated with lower performance across multiple EF tasks at follow-up. Youth with PHIV demonstrated stable memory and EF during a 2-year period of adolescence, allowing cautious optimism regarding long-term outcomes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

    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. We used the data from the Tracking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), a cohort of 2230 Dutch adolescents. Working memory, inhibition, and attention were measured at ages 11 and 19. At age 19, lifetime DSM-IV diagnoses were determined, resulting in a control group (n = 1111) and two AUD groups, i.e., alcohol abusers (n = 381) and alcohol dependents (n = 51). Regression analyses assessed whether EF at age 11 predicted the transition to AUD in late adolescence and whether AUD affected maturation of EF from age 11 to 19. EF in early adolescence did not predict AUD in late adolescence. A significant interaction effect emerged between gender and alcohol dependence for shift attention (β = 0.12, SE=0.36), with girls showing smaller maturational rates. This effect remained significant after controlling for alcohol intake (ages 16 and 19) and comorbid psychiatric disorders. Our results do not replicate the finding that EF in early adolescence is a significant predictor of AUD in late adolescence. Furthermore, for the majority of tasks, adolescents with AUD do not differ in EF maturation over the course of adolescence. Alcohol dependent girls however, show less maturation of shift attention. This is independent of the quantity of alcohol intake, which could suggest that non-normative maturation of EF is associated with the behavioural components of AUD. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Influence of Autism Traits and Executive Functioning on Quality of Life in Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

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    de Vries, Marieke; Geurts, Hilde

    2015-01-01

    Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) often experience a low Quality of Life (QoL). We studied if IQ, early language development, current autism traits, and daily Executive Functions (EFs) are related to QoL in children (aged 8-12 years) with ASD (N = 120) and typically developing (TD) children (N = 76). Children with ASD showed a lower…

  15. Cloning and Characterization of EF-Tu and EF-Ts from Pseudomonas aeruginosa

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    Stephanie O. Palmer

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We have cloned genes encoding elongation factors EF-Tu and EF-Ts from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and expressed and purified the proteins to greater than 95% homogeneity. Sequence analysis indicated that P. aeruginosa EF-Tu and EF-Ts are 84% and 55% identical to E. coli counterparts, respectively. P. aeruginosa EF-Tu was active when assayed in GDP exchange assays. Kinetic parameters for the interaction of EF-Tu with GDP in the absence of EF-Ts were observed to be = 33 μM, = 0.003 s−1, and the specificity constant was  s−1 μM−1. In the presence of EF-Ts, these values were shifted to = 2 μM, = 0.005 s−1, and the specificity constant was  s−1 μM−1. The equilibrium dissociation constants governing the binding of EF-Tu to GDP ( were 30–75 nM and to GTP ( were 125–200 nM. EF-Ts stimulated the exchange of GDP by EF-Tu 10-fold. P. aeruginosa EF-Tu was active in forming a ternary complex with GTP and aminoacylated tRNA and was functional in poly(U-dependent binding of Phe-tRNAPhe at the A-site of P. aeruginosa ribosomes. P. aeruginosa EF-Tu was active in poly(U-programmed polyphenylalanine protein synthesis system composed of all P. aeruginosa components.

  16. Executive Function Features in Drug-naive Children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

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    Xu, Manfei; Jiang, Wenqing; DU, Yasong; Li, Yan; Fan, Juan

    2017-08-25

    Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) that is characterized by markedly defiant, disobedient, and disruptive behavior in younger children has been regarded as disruptive behavior disorder (DBD), together with conduct disorder (CD). However, in contrast to CD, ODD does not include severe aggressive or antisocial behavior. This study aimed to examine executive function (EF) features of children with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Cross sectional design was used in this study. The EF of children with ODD and pure attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were compared with children without a psychiatric disorder, using the Stroop Color-Word Tests A and B, Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (Fourth Edition; WISC-IV), Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), and Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) corrected for age. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify risk factors for EF deficits characteristic of ODD and ADHD. The ODD group exhibited significantly lower scores in both Stroop Color-Word Tests, the backwards digital span of the WISC-IV, and the categories completed and perseverative responses of the WCST, and significantly higher scores in spatial working memory (SWM) between errors, and the strategy in SWM of the CANTAB compared with the control group. When the ODD group was designated as 1 and the ADHD group was designated as 0, digital span (X1) fit the regression equation very well. Children with ODD perform substantially worse in EF tasks. Responsive inhibition appears to be uniquely associated with ODD development, while responsive inhibition and working memory appear to be associated with ADHD.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

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

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    Putko Adam

    2014-12-01

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

  19. Do Chinese Children With Math Difficulties Have a Deficit in Executive Functioning?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaochen Wang

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Several studies have shown that Executive Functioning (EF is a unique predictor of mathematics performance. However, whether or not children with mathematics difficulties (MD experience deficits in EF remains unclear. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine if Chinese children with MD experience deficits in EF. We assessed 23 children with MD (9 girls, mean age = 10.40 years, 30 children with reading difficulties and MD (RDMD; 12 girls, mean age = 10.82 years, and 31 typically-developing (TD peers (16 girls, mean age = 10.41 years on measures of inhibition (Color-Word Stroop, Inhibition, shifting of attention (Planned Connections, Rapid Alternating Stimuli, working memory (Digit Span Backwards, Listening Span, processing speed (Visual Matching, Planned Search, reading (Character Recognition, Sentence Verification, and mathematics (Addition and Subtraction Fluency, Math Standard Achievement Test. The results of MANOVA analyses showed first that the performance of the MD children in all EF tasks was worse than their TD peers. Second, with the exception of the shifting tasks in which the MD children performed better than the RDMD children, the performance of the two groups was similar in all measures of working memory and inhibition. Finally, covarying for the effects of processing speed eliminated almost all differences between the TD and MD groups (the only exception was Listening Span as well as the differences between the MD and RDMD groups in shifting of attention. Taken together, our findings suggest that although Chinese children with MD (with or without comorbid reading difficulties experience significant deficits in all EF skills, most of their deficits can be accounted by lower-level deficits in processing speed.

  20. White matter integrity in veterans with mild traumatic brain injury: associations with executive function and loss of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorg, Scott F; Delano-Wood, Lisa; Luc, Norman; Schiehser, Dawn M; Hanson, Karen L; Nation, Daniel A; Lanni, Elisa; Jak, Amy J; Lu, Kun; Meloy, M J; Frank, Lawrence R; Lohr, James B; Bondi, Mark W

    2014-01-01

    We investigated using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and the association between white matter integrity and executive function (EF) performance in postacute mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). In addition, we examined whether injury severity, as measured by loss of consciousness (LOC) versus alterations in consciousness (AOC), is related to white matter microstructural alterations and neuropsychological outcome. Thirty Iraq and Afghanistan War era veterans with a history of mTBI and 15 healthy veteran control participants. There were no significant overall group differences between control and mTBI participants on DTI measures. However, a subgroup of mTBI participants with EF decrements (n = 13) demonstrated significantly decreased fractional anisotropy of prefrontal white matter, corpus callosum, and cingulum bundle structures compared with mTBI participants without EF decrements (n = 17) and control participants. Participants having mTBI with LOC were more likely to evidence reduced EF performances and disrupted ventral prefrontal white matter integrity when compared with either mTBI participants without LOC or control participants. Findings suggest that altered white matter integrity contributes to reduced EF in subgroups of veterans with a history of mTBI and that LOC may be a risk factor for reduced EF as well as associated changes to ventral prefrontal white matter.

  1. Socioeconomic status and Oppositional Defiant Disorder in preschoolers: parenting practices and executive functioning as mediating variables

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roser eGranero

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. To investigate the mediating mechanisms of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD in preschoolers through pathways analysis, considering the family socioeconomic status (SES as the independent variable and the parenting style and the children’s executive functioning (EF as the mediating factors.Method. Sample included 622 three years-old children from the general population. Multi-informant reports from parents and teachers were analyzed.Results. Structural Equation Modeling showed that children’s gender achieved a moderating role into the pathways valuing the underlying process between SES, EF, parenting style and ODD levels: a for girls, the association of low SES and high ODD scores was mediated by parenting practices (punishment and inconsistent discipline and by difficulties in EF inhibition, and a direct predictive effect on ODD level was achieved for SES, punishment and inconsistence in rearing style and inhibition; b for boys, SES and EF (inhibition and emotional control had a direct effect on ODD with no mediation.Conclusion. SES seems a good indicator to identify at high-risk children for prevention and intervention programs for ODD. Girls with ODD in families of low SES may particularly benefit from parent training practices and training in inhibition control.

  2. Developmental trends of hot and cool executive function in school-aged children with and without autism spectrum disorder: Links with theory of mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-26

    The development of executive function (EF) in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been investigated using only "cool"-cognitive EF tasks while there is limited knowledge regarding the development of "hot"-affective EF. Although cool EF development and its links to theory of mind (ToM) have been widely examined, understanding of the influence of hot EF to ToM mechanisms is minimal. The present study introduced a longitudinal design to examine the developmental changes in cool and hot EF of children with ASD (n = 45) and matched (to age and IQ) controls (n = 37) as well as the impact of EF on ToM development over a school year. For children with ASD, although selective cool (working memory and inhibition) and hot (affective decision making) EF domains presented age-related improvements, they never reached the performance level of the control group. Early cool working memory predicted later ToM in both groups but early hot delay discounting predicted later ToM only in the ASD group. No evidence was found for the reverse pattern (early ToM predicting later EF). These findings suggest that improvements in some EF aspects are evident in school age in ASD and highlight the crucial role that both cool and hot EF play in ToM development.

  3. Socioeconomic Status, Subjective Social Status, and Perceived Stress: Associations with Stress Physiology and Executive Functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ursache, Alexandra; Noble, Kimberly G; Blair, Clancy

    2015-01-01

    Several studies have investigated associations between socioeconomic status (SES) and indicators of children's physiological and cognitive self-regulation. Although objective measures of family SES may be good proxies for families' experiences of disadvantage, less is known about subjective aspects of families' experiences. We hypothesize that subjective social status (SSS) and perceived stress may be important independent predictors of children's stress physiology and executive functioning (EF). Eighty-two children from diverse SES backgrounds were administered EF measures and provided saliva samples for cortisol assay. Caregivers reported on objective SES, SSS, and perceived stress. Results suggest that SES and SSS are both independently and positively related to EF. In models predicting stress physiology, higher perceived stress was associated with lower baseline cortisol. Moreover, SES and age interacted to predict cortisol levels such that among younger children, lower SES was associated with higher cortisol, whereas among older children, lower SES was associated with lower cortisol. Results highlight the importance of considering both objective and subjective indicators of families' SES and stressful experiences in relation to multiple aspects of children's self-regulation.

  4. Systematic Observation: Relevance of This Approach in Preschool Executive Function Assessment and Association with Later Academic Skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escolano-Pérez, Elena; Herrero-Nivela, Maria Luisa; Blanco-Villaseñor, Angel; Anguera, M Teresa

    2017-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) are high-level cognitive processes that allow us to coordinate our actions, thoughts, and emotions, enabling us to perform complex tasks. An increasing number of studies have highlighted the role of EFs in building a solid foundation for subsequent development and learning and shown that EFs are associated with good adjustment and academic skills. The main objective of this study was to analyze whether EF levels in 44 Spanish children in the last year of preschool were associated with levels of literacy and math skills the following year, that is, in the first year of compulsory education. We used a multi-method design, which consisted of systematic observation to observe preschool children during play and selective methodology to assess their reading, writing, and math skills in the first year of compulsory primary education. General linear modeling was used to estimate the percentage of variability in academic skills in the first year of primary school that was explained by preschool EF abilities. The results showed that preschool EF level, together with participants and the instrument used to assess academic skills, explained 99% of the variance of subsequent academic performance. Another objective was to determine whether our findings were generalizable to the reference population. To make this determination, we estimated the optimal sample size for assessing preschool EFs. To do this, we performed a generalizability analysis. The resulting generalizability coefficient showed that our sample of 44 students was sufficient for assessing preschool EFs. Therefore, our results are generalizable to the reference population. Our results are consistent with previous reports that preschool EF abilities may be associated with subsequent literacy and math skills. Early assessment of EFs may therefore contribute to identifying children who are likely to experience later learning difficulties and guide the design of suitable interventions for the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Do baseline executive functions mediate prospective memory performance under a moderate dose of alcohol?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Hugo Smith-Spark

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Prospective memory (PM is memory for delayed intentions. While deleterious effects of acute doses of alcohol on PM have been documented previously using between-subjects comparisons, the current study adopted a single blind placebo-controlled within-subjects design to explore whether the extent to which alcohol-related impairments in PM are mediated by executive functions (EFs. To this end, 52 male social drinkers with no history of substance-related treatment were tested using two parallel versions of a clinical measure of PM (the Memory for Intentions Test; Raskin, Buckheit & Sherrod, 2010, and a battery of EF measures. Testing took place on two occasions, with the order of administration of the alcohol and placebo conditions being fully counterbalanced. Overall, PM was worse under alcohol and participants showed deficits on five of the six subscales making up the clinical test. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses demonstrated that EFs did not predict PM performance decrements overall but did predict performance when time cues were presented and when verbal responses were required. Phonemic fluency was the strongest of the EF predictors; a greater capacity to gain controlled access to information in long-term memory predicted a smaller difference between placebo- and alcohol-related performance on both the time cue and verbal response scales. Prospective memory is crucial to compliance with, and response to, both therapy programmes and alcohol harm prevention campaigns. The results indicate that individual differences in cognitive function need to be taken into account when designing such interventions in order to increase their effectiveness.

  7. Do Baseline Executive Functions Mediate Prospective Memory Performance under a Moderate Dose of Alcohol?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith-Spark, James H; Moss, Antony C; Dyer, Kyle R

    2016-01-01

    Prospective memory (PM) is memory for delayed intentions. While deleterious effects of acute doses of alcohol on PM have been documented previously using between-subjects comparisons, the current study adopted a single blind placebo-controlled within-subjects design to explore whether the extent to which alcohol-related impairments in PM are mediated by executive functions (EFs). To this end, 52 male social drinkers with no history of substance-related treatment were tested using two parallel versions of a clinical measure of PM (the Memory for Intentions Test; Raskin et al., 2010), and a battery of EF measures. Testing took place on two occasions, with the order of administration of the alcohol and placebo conditions being fully counterbalanced. Overall, PM was worse under alcohol and participants showed deficits on five of the six subscales making up the clinical test. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses demonstrated that EFs did not predict PM performance decrements overall but did predict performance when time cues were presented and when verbal responses were required. Phonemic fluency was the strongest of the EF predictors; a greater capacity to gain controlled access to information in long-term memory predicted a smaller difference between placebo- and alcohol-related performance on both the time cue and verbal response scales. PM is crucial to compliance with, and response to, both therapy programs and alcohol harm prevention campaigns. The results indicate that individual differences in cognitive function need to be taken into account when designing such interventions in order to increase their effectiveness.

  8. Peer victimization and changes in physical and relational aggression: The moderating role of executive functioning abilities.

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    McQuade, Julia D

    2017-09-01

    This study is the first to examine whether executive functioning (EF) abilities moderate longitudinal associations between peer victimization and engagement in physically and relationally aggressive behavior. Participants were 61 children (9-13 years, M = 10.68, SD = 1.28; 48% male) drawn from a partially clinical sample who were assessed at two time points, approximately 12 months apart. At time 1, children were administered a battery of EF tests; adult reports of children's relational and physical victimization and use of relational and physical aggression were collected. At time 2, adult-reported aggression was re-collected. Regression analyses tested whether EF ability moderated the association between peer victimization and increased engagement in aggression. Form-specific (e.g., physical victimization predicting physical aggression) and cross-form (e.g., physical victimization predicting relational aggression) models were tested. EF moderated the association between physical victimization and increases in physical aggression over time and between relational victimization and increases in relational aggression over time. Physical victimization predicted increases in physical aggression only among children with poor EF. However, relational victimization predicted increases in relational aggression for children with good EF skills but decreases in relational aggression for children with poor EF skills. Interaction effects for cross-form models were not significant. Results suggest that there are distinct risk factors implicated in children's engagement in physical and relational aggression. Established cognitive vulnerability models for engagement in physical aggression should not be assumed to apply to engagement in relational aggression. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. A Pilot Trial of Mindfulness Meditation Training for ADHD in Adulthood: Impact on Core Symptoms, Executive Functioning, and Emotion Dysregulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, John T; McIntyre, Elizabeth M; English, Joseph S; Dennis, Michelle F; Beckham, Jean C; Kollins, Scott H

    2017-11-01

    Mindfulness meditation training is garnering increasing empirical interest as an intervention for ADHD in adulthood, although no studies of mindfulness as a standalone treatment have included a sample composed entirely of adults with ADHD or a comparison group. The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of mindfulness meditation for ADHD, executive functioning (EF), and emotion dysregulation symptoms in an adult ADHD sample. Adults with ADHD were stratified by ADHD medication status and otherwise randomized into an 8-week group-based mindfulness treatment ( n = 11) or waitlist group ( n = 9). Treatment feasibility and acceptability were positive. In addition, self-reported ADHD and EF symptoms (assessed in the laboratory and ecological momentary assessment), clinician ratings of ADHD and EF symptoms, and self-reported emotion dysregulation improved for the treatment group relative to the waitlist group over time with large effect sizes. Improvement was not observed for EF tasks. Findings support preliminary treatment efficacy, though require larger trials.

  10. Executive function and falls in older adults: new findings from a five-year prospective study link fall risk to cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirelman, Anat; Herman, Talia; Brozgol, Marina; Dorfman, Moran; Sprecher, Elliot; Schweiger, Avraham; Giladi, Nir; Hausdorff, Jeffrey M

    2012-01-01

    Recent findings suggest that executive function (EF) plays a critical role in the regulation of gait in older adults, especially under complex and challenging conditions, and that EF deficits may, therefore, contribute to fall risk. The objective of this study was to evaluate if reduced EF is a risk factor for future falls over the course of 5 years of follow-up. Secondary objectives were to assess whether single and dual task walking abilities, an alternative window into EF, were associated with fall risk. We longitudinally followed 256 community-living older adults (age: 76.4±4.5 yrs; 61% women) who were dementia free and had good mobility upon entrance into the study. At baseline, a computerized cognitive battery generated an index of EF, attention, a closely related construct, and other cognitive domains. Gait was assessed during single and dual task conditions. Falls data were collected prospectively using monthly calendars. Negative binomial regression quantified risk ratios (RR). After adjusting for age, gender and the number of falls in the year prior to the study, only the EF index (RR: .85; CI: .74-.98, p = .021), the attention index (RR: .84; CI: .75-.94, p = .002) and dual tasking gait variability (RR: 1.11; CI: 1.01-1.23; p = .027) were associated with future fall risk. Other cognitive function measures were not related to falls. Survival analyses indicated that subjects with the lowest EF scores were more likely to fall sooner and more likely to experience multiple falls during the 66 months of follow-up (pfalls was predicted by performance on EF and attention tests conducted 5 years earlier. The present results link falls among older adults to cognition, indicating that screening EF will likely enhance fall risk assessment, and that treatment of EF may reduce fall risk.

  11. Theory of mind and its relationship with executive functions and emotion recognition in borderline personality disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baez, Sandra; Marengo, Juan; Perez, Ana; Huepe, David; Font, Fernanda Giralt; Rial, Veronica; Gonzalez-Gadea, María Luz; Manes, Facundo; Ibanez, Agustin

    2015-09-01

    Impaired social cognition has been claimed to be a mechanism underlying the development and maintenance of borderline personality disorder (BPD). One important aspect of social cognition is the theory of mind (ToM), a complex skill that seems to be influenced by more basic processes, such as executive functions (EF) and emotion recognition. Previous ToM studies in BPD have yielded inconsistent results. This study assessed the performance of BPD adults on ToM, emotion recognition, and EF tasks. We also examined whether EF and emotion recognition could predict the performance on ToM tasks. We evaluated 15 adults with BPD and 15 matched healthy controls using different tasks of EF, emotion recognition, and ToM. The results showed that BPD adults exhibited deficits in the three domains, which seem to be task-dependent. Furthermore, we found that EF and emotion recognition predicted the performance on ToM. Our results suggest that tasks that involve real-life social scenarios and contextual cues are more sensitive to detect ToM and emotion recognition deficits in BPD individuals. Our findings also indicate that (a) ToM variability in BPD is partially explained by individual differences on EF and emotion recognition; and (b) ToM deficits of BPD patients are partially explained by the capacity to integrate cues from face, prosody, gesture, and social context to identify the emotions and others' beliefs. © 2014 The British Psychological Society.

  12. Simians in the Shape School: A comparative study of executive attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Kristin; Beran, Michael J; Espy, Kimberly Andrews; Washburn, David A

    2018-01-08

    Executive functions (EF) have been studied extensively in children and adults. However, EF tasks for young children can be difficult to administer and interpret. Espy (1997, Developmental Neuropsychology, 13, 495-499) designed the Shape School task to measure inhibition and switching in preschool-aged children. Shape School presents cartoon-like characters that children must flexibly name by their color, their shape, or both, depending on cues that indicate the appropriate rule. Shape School has been found to be age sensitive as well as predictive of performance on other EF tasks. We presented a computerized analogue of Shape School to seven rhesus macaques. Monkeys were trained to categorize characters by color or shape, or to inhibit this response, depending on whether the characters had eyes open, eyes closed, or wore hats. Monkeys performed above chance on the inhibition and switching components of the task. Long runs of a single classification rule and long runs of noninhibition trials had no significant impact on performance when the rule changed or inhibition was required. This nonverbal adaptation of Shape School can measure EF in nonhuman animals and could be used in conjunction with other EF tasks to provide a clearer picture of both human and nonhuman executive functions.

  13. Development and content validity of the CENA Program for Educational Training on the Neuropsychology of Learning, with an emphasis on executive functions and attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pureza, Janice R.; Fonseca, Rochele P.

    2017-01-01

    Introduction The importance of executive functions (EF) in childhood development, and their role as indicators of health, well-being, professional and academic success have been demonstrated by several studies in the literature. FE are cognitive processes that aim to control and manage behavior to achieve specific goal and included skills planning, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, (executive) attention and the central executive component of working memory (WM). In the context of education, the EF are crucial for continued learning and efficient academic performance due to their involvement in several components of the educational process. Objective The aim of this article was to describe the development and content validity of the CENA Program for Educational Training on the Neuropsychology of Learning, with an emphasis on executive functions and attention. Methods The study involved seven specialists (four responsible for evaluating the program, and three involved in brainstorming), and was carried out in three stages: Background research: neuropsychology and education; Program development - author brainstorming and Evaluation by expert judges The goals, language and methods. Results CENA Program were considered adequate, attesting to its content validity as a school-based neuropsychological intervention. Conclusion Teacher training in school neuropsychology may be an important area for future investment and contribute to academic achievement and student development in the Brazilian education system. PMID:29213497

  14. ADHD in girls and boys – gender differences in co-existing symptoms and executive function measures

    OpenAIRE

    Skogli, Erik Winther; Teicher, Martin H; Andersen, Per Normann; Hovik, Kjell Tore; Øie, Merete

    2013-01-01

    Background: ADHD is diagnosed and treated more often in males than in females. Research on gender differences suggests that girls may be consistently underidentified and underdiagnosed because of differences in the expression of the disorder among boys and girls. One aim of the present study was to assess in a clinical sample of medication naïve boys and girls with ADHD, whether there were significant gender x diagnosis interactions in co-existing symptom severity and executive function (EF) ...

  15. Educating Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Clancy

    2016-01-01

    Executive functions are thinking skills that assist with reasoning, planning, problem solving, and managing one’s life. The brain areas that underlie these skills are interconnected with and influenced by activity in many different brain areas, some of which are associated with emotion and stress. One consequence of the stress-specific connections is that executive functions, which help us to organize our thinking, tend to be disrupted when stimulation is too high and we are stressed out, or too low when we are bored and lethargic. Given their central role in reasoning and also in managing stress and emotion, scientists have conducted studies, primarily with adults, to determine whether executive functions can be improved by training. By and large, results have shown that they can be, in part through computer-based videogame-like activities. Evidence of wider, more general benefits from such computer-based training, however, is mixed. Accordingly, scientists have reasoned that training will have wider benefits if it is implemented early, with very young children as the neural circuitry of executive functions is developing, and that it will be most effective if embedded in children’s everyday activities. Evidence produced by this research, however, is also mixed. In sum, much remains to be learned about executive function training. Without question, however, continued research on this important topic will yield valuable information about cognitive development. PMID:27906522

  16. Specific Preschool Executive Functions Predict Unique Aspects of Mathematics Development: A 3-Year Longitudinal Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simanowski, Stefanie; Krajewski, Kristin

    2017-08-10

    This study assessed the extent to which executive functions (EF), according to their factor structure in 5-year-olds (N = 244), influenced early quantity-number competencies, arithmetic fluency, and mathematics school achievement throughout first and second grades. A confirmatory factor analysis resulted in updating as a first, and inhibition and shifting as a combined second factor. In the structural equation model, updating significantly affected knowledge of the number word sequence, suggesting a facilitatory effect on basic encoding processes in numerical materials that can be learnt purely by rote. Shifting and inhibition significantly influenced quantity to number word linkages, indicating that these processes promote developing a profound understanding of numbers. These results show the supportive role of specific EF for specific aspects of a numerical foundation. © 2017 The Authors. Child Development © 2017 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  17. Functional impairment in adults positively screened for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: the role of symptom presentation and executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szuromi, Bálint; Bitter, István; Czobor, Pál

    2013-10-01

    While the number of symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) decreases with age, a high proportion of adults with ADHD symptoms suffer from persistent functional impairment (Fi) linked to these symptoms. Our objective was to investigate the specific roles of two potentially important predictors of this Fi: the clinical symptom presentation and the deficit in executive functions (EFs). A total of 158 subjects from a community sample positively screened for ADHD were classified into two groups: those with and without Fi. Following a detailed diagnostic process, participants were administered a self-rating scale for ADHD symptoms as well as a neuropsychological test battery containing tests of EF and attention relevant as potential cognitive endophenotypes for ADHD. The overall number as well as the number of inattentive, hyperactive and impulsive symptoms, confirmed both by examiner and self-report, were significantly higher among Fi subjects. The highest odds ratio for Fi was associated with impulsive symptoms. Additionally, self-reported complaints of problems with self-concept were significantly higher among Fi subjects. No significant relationship between Fi and neuropsychological measures of EF and attention was detected. This study revealed that the number of symptoms, in particular that of impulsivity, had a significant impact on Fi in adults with symptoms of ADHD. Furthermore, our results underline the importance of assessing complaints and behaviors related to self-concept, which are not included in DSM-IV diagnostic criteria of ADHD but nonetheless may be associated with functional outcome of the disorder. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Brain Network Modularity Predicts Exercise-Related Executive Function Gains in Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baniqued, Pauline L; Gallen, Courtney L; Voss, Michelle W; Burzynska, Agnieszka Z; Wong, Chelsea N; Cooke, Gillian E; Duffy, Kristin; Fanning, Jason; Ehlers, Diane K; Salerno, Elizabeth A; Aguiñaga, Susan; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F; D'Esposito, Mark

    2017-01-01

    Recent work suggests that the brain can be conceptualized as a network comprised of groups of sub-networks or modules. The extent of segregation between modules can be quantified with a modularity metric, where networks with high modularity have dense connections within modules and sparser connections between modules. Previous work has shown that higher modularity predicts greater improvements after cognitive training in patients with traumatic brain injury and in healthy older and young adults. It is not known, however, whether modularity can also predict cognitive gains after a physical exercise intervention. Here, we quantified modularity in older adults ( N = 128, mean age = 64.74) who underwent one of the following interventions for 6 months (NCT01472744 on ClinicalTrials.gov): (1) aerobic exercise in the form of brisk walking (Walk), (2) aerobic exercise in the form of brisk walking plus nutritional supplement (Walk+), (3) stretching, strengthening and stability (SSS), or (4) dance instruction. After the intervention, the Walk, Walk+ and SSS groups showed gains in cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), with larger effects in both walking groups compared to the SSS and Dance groups. The Walk, Walk+ and SSS groups also improved in executive function (EF) as measured by reasoning, working memory, and task-switching tests. In the Walk, Walk+, and SSS groups that improved in EF, higher baseline modularity was positively related to EF gains, even after controlling for age, in-scanner motion and baseline EF. No relationship between modularity and EF gains was observed in the Dance group, which did not show training-related gains in CRF or EF control. These results are consistent with previous studies demonstrating that individuals with a more modular brain network organization are more responsive to cognitive training. These findings suggest that the predictive power of modularity may be generalizable across interventions aimed to enhance aspects of cognition and that

  19. Brain Network Modularity Predicts Exercise-Related Executive Function Gains in Older Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pauline L. Baniqued

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent work suggests that the brain can be conceptualized as a network comprised of groups of sub-networks or modules. The extent of segregation between modules can be quantified with a modularity metric, where networks with high modularity have dense connections within modules and sparser connections between modules. Previous work has shown that higher modularity predicts greater improvements after cognitive training in patients with traumatic brain injury and in healthy older and young adults. It is not known, however, whether modularity can also predict cognitive gains after a physical exercise intervention. Here, we quantified modularity in older adults (N = 128, mean age = 64.74 who underwent one of the following interventions for 6 months (NCT01472744 on ClinicalTrials.gov: (1 aerobic exercise in the form of brisk walking (Walk, (2 aerobic exercise in the form of brisk walking plus nutritional supplement (Walk+, (3 stretching, strengthening and stability (SSS, or (4 dance instruction. After the intervention, the Walk, Walk+ and SSS groups showed gains in cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF, with larger effects in both walking groups compared to the SSS and Dance groups. The Walk, Walk+ and SSS groups also improved in executive function (EF as measured by reasoning, working memory, and task-switching tests. In the Walk, Walk+, and SSS groups that improved in EF, higher baseline modularity was positively related to EF gains, even after controlling for age, in-scanner motion and baseline EF. No relationship between modularity and EF gains was observed in the Dance group, which did not show training-related gains in CRF or EF control. These results are consistent with previous studies demonstrating that individuals with a more modular brain network organization are more responsive to cognitive training. These findings suggest that the predictive power of modularity may be generalizable across interventions aimed to enhance aspects of cognition and

  20. Age-related changes in executive control and their relationships with activity performance in handwriting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenblum, Sara; Engel-Yeger, Batya; Fogel, Yael

    2013-04-01

    Deterioration in the frontal and prefrontal cortex associated with executive functions (EF) occurs with age and may be associated with changes in daily performance. The aim of the present study was to describe changes occurring with age in Executive Functions (EF) and handwriting activity, as well as to analyze relationships between age, EF and handwriting performance. The study population included 80 healthy participants (aged 31 to 76+) living in the community. After answering five questions about their writing habits, the participants completed the Behavioral Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome (BADS). In addition, they performed a handwriting task on a digitizer included in the Computerized Penmanship Evaluation Tool (ComPET), which provides kinematic measures of the handwriting process. Significant differences were found between the four age groups for both EF and temporal and spatial handwriting measures. A series of regressions indicated that age predicted 35% of the variance of the BADS profile score (EF control) and 32% of the variance of in-air time while writing. The results of this study indicated age effect on both EF control and handwriting performance. Possible implications for further research and clinical evaluation and intervention are discussed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Executive Dysfunction in School-Age Children With ADHD

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lambek, Rikke; Tannock, Rosemary; Dalsgaard, Søren

    2011-01-01

    Objective: The study examined executive function deficits (EFD) in school-age children (7 to 14 years) with ADHD. Method: A clinical sample of children diagnosed with ADHD (n = 49) was compared to a population sample (n = 196) on eight executive function (EF) measures. Then, the prevalence of EFD...... in clinical and non-clinical children was examined at the individual level according to three methods previously applied to define EFD, and a fourth method was included to control for the effect of age on performance. Results: Children with ADHD were significantly more impaired on measures of EF than children...... without ADHD at the group level. However, only about 50% of children with ADHD were found to have EFD at the individual level, and results appeared relatively robust across methods applied to define EFD. Conclusion: As a group, children with ADHD displayed more problems on neuropsychological measures...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gina eAustin

    2014-06-01

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

  3. Association of COMT and PRODH gene variants with intelligence quotient (IQ) and executive functions in 22q11.2DS subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carmel, Miri; Zarchi, Omer; Michaelovsky, Elena; Frisch, Amos; Patya, Miriam; Green, Tamar; Gothelf, Doron; Weizman, Abraham

    2014-09-01

    The 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) carries the highest genetic risk factor for the development of schizophrenia. We investigated the association of genetic variants in two schizophrenia candidate genes with executive function (EF) and IQ in 22q11.2DS individuals. Ninety two individuals with 22q11.2 deletion were studied for the genetic association between COMT and PRODH variants and EF and IQ. Subjects were divided into children (under 12 years old), adolescents (between 12 and 18 years old) and adults (older than 18 years), and genotyped for the COMT Val158Met (rs4680) and PRODH Arg185Trp (rs4819756) polymorphisms. The participants underwent psychiatric evaluation and EF assessment. Our main finding is a significant influence of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism on both IQ and EF performance. Specifically, 22q11.2DS subjects with Met allele displayed higher IQ scores in all age groups compared to Val carriers, reaching significance in both adolescents and adults. The Met allele carriers performed better than Val carriers in EF tasks, being statistically significant in the adult group. PRODH Arg185Trp variant did not affect IQ or EF in our 22q11.2DS cohort. In conclusion, functional COMT variant, but not PRODH, affects IQ and EF in 22q11.2DS subjects during neurodevelopment with a maximal effect at adulthood. Future studies should monitor the cognitive performance of the same individuals from childhood to old age. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marilyn C. Welsh

    2017-07-01

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

  5. Educating executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Clancy

    2017-01-01

    Executive functions are thinking skills that assist with reasoning, planning, problem solving, and managing one's life. The brain areas that underlie these skills are interconnected with and influenced by activity in many different brain areas, some of which are associated with emotion and stress. One consequence of the stress-specific connections is that executive functions, which help us to organize our thinking, tend to be disrupted when stimulation is too high and we are stressed out, or too low when we are bored and lethargic. Given their central role in reasoning and also in managing stress and emotion, scientists have conducted studies, primarily with adults, to determine whether executive functions can be improved by training. By and large, results have shown that they can be, in part through computer-based videogame-like activities. Evidence of wider, more general benefits from such computer-based training, however, is mixed. Accordingly, scientists have reasoned that training will have wider benefits if it is implemented early, with very young children as the neural circuitry of executive functions is developing, and that it will be most effective if embedded in children's everyday activities. Evidence produced by this research, however, is also mixed. In sum, much remains to be learned about executive function training. Without question, however, continued research on this important topic will yield valuable information about cognitive development. WIREs Cogn Sci 2017, 8:e1403. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1403 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Executive function and falls in older adults: new findings from a five-year prospective study link fall risk to cognition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anat Mirelman

    Full Text Available Recent findings suggest that executive function (EF plays a critical role in the regulation of gait in older adults, especially under complex and challenging conditions, and that EF deficits may, therefore, contribute to fall risk. The objective of this study was to evaluate if reduced EF is a risk factor for future falls over the course of 5 years of follow-up. Secondary objectives were to assess whether single and dual task walking abilities, an alternative window into EF, were associated with fall risk.We longitudinally followed 256 community-living older adults (age: 76.4±4.5 yrs; 61% women who were dementia free and had good mobility upon entrance into the study. At baseline, a computerized cognitive battery generated an index of EF, attention, a closely related construct, and other cognitive domains. Gait was assessed during single and dual task conditions. Falls data were collected prospectively using monthly calendars. Negative binomial regression quantified risk ratios (RR. After adjusting for age, gender and the number of falls in the year prior to the study, only the EF index (RR: .85; CI: .74-.98, p = .021, the attention index (RR: .84; CI: .75-.94, p = .002 and dual tasking gait variability (RR: 1.11; CI: 1.01-1.23; p = .027 were associated with future fall risk. Other cognitive function measures were not related to falls. Survival analyses indicated that subjects with the lowest EF scores were more likely to fall sooner and more likely to experience multiple falls during the 66 months of follow-up (p<0.02.These findings demonstrate that among community-living older adults, the risk of future falls was predicted by performance on EF and attention tests conducted 5 years earlier. The present results link falls among older adults to cognition, indicating that screening EF will likely enhance fall risk assessment, and that treatment of EF may reduce fall risk.

  7. Math practice and its influence on math skills and executive functions in adolescents with mild to borderline intellectual disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, Brenda R J; De Lange, Eva; Van der Molen, Mariët J

    2013-05-01

    Adolescents with mild to borderline intellectual disability (MBID) often complete schooling without mastering basic math skills, even though basic math is essential for math-related challenges in everyday life. Limited attention to cognitive skills and low executive functioning (EF) may cause this delay. We aimed to improve math skills in an MBID-sample using computerized math training. Also, it was investigated whether EF and math performance were related and whether computerized math training had beneficial effects on EF. The sample consisted of a total of 58 adolescents (12-15 years) from special education. Participants were randomly assigned to either the experimental group or a treatment as usual (TAU) group. In the experimental condition, participants received 5 weeks of training. Math performance and EF were assessed before and after the training period. Math performance improved equally in both groups. However, frequently practicing participants improved more than participants in the control group. Visuo-spatial memory skills were positively related to addition and subtraction skills. Transfer effects from math training to EF were absent. It is concluded that math skills may increase if a reasonable effort in practicing math skills is made. The relation between visuo-spatial memory skills provides opportunities for improving math performance. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Motivational interviewing combined with chess accelerates improvement in executive functions in cocaine dependent patients: a one-month prospective study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves, Priscila Dib; Ometto, Mariella; Bechara, Antoine; Malbergier, André; Amaral, Ricardo; Nicastri, Sergio; Martins, Paula A; Beraldo, Livia; dos Santos, Bernardo; Fuentes, Daniel; Andrade, Arthur G; Busatto, Geraldo F; Cunha, Paulo Jannuzzi

    2014-08-01

    In cocaine-dependent individuals, executive function (EF) deficits are associated with poor treatment outcomes. Psychological interventions and pharmacological approaches have produced only modest effect sizes. To date, studies of this topic have been few and limited. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of a new model of intervention, which integrates chess and Motivational Interviewing, Motivational Chess (MC) METHODS: We evaluated 46 cocaine-dependent inpatients (aged 18-45), in two groups-MC (n=26); and active comparison-AC (n=20). Using neuropsychological tests and an impulsivity scale, we assessed the subjects before and after the study period (one month of abstinence monitored by urine toxicology screening). The MC and AC groups did not differ at baseline. In the post-intervention assessment (after one month), both groups showed significant improvements in attention, mental flexibility, inhibitory control, abstraction abilities, and decision-making (p<0.01). In addition, the improvement in working memory was more significant in the MC group than in the AC group (group-by-time interaction, p=01). One month of abstinence was sufficient to improve various attentional and executive domains in cocaine-dependent subjects. The MC intervention was associated with greater improvements in EFs, especially working memory, suggesting that tailored interventions focusing on complex EFs accelerate the process of cognitive recovery during the initial period of abstinence. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  10. Predictors and Prognostic Value of Worsening Renal Function During Admission in HFpEF Versus HFrEF: Data From the KorAHF (Korean Acute Heart Failure) Registry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Jeehoon; Park, Jin Joo; Cho, Young-Jin; Oh, Il-Young; Park, Hyun-Ah; Lee, Sang Eun; Kim, Min-Seok; Cho, Hyun-Jai; Lee, Hae-Young; Choi, Jin Oh; Hwang, Kyung-Kuk; Kim, Kye Hun; Yoo, Byung-Su; Kang, Seok-Min; Baek, Sang Hong; Jeon, Eun-Seok; Kim, Jae-Joong; Cho, Myeong-Chan; Chae, Shung Chull; Oh, Byung-Hee; Choi, Dong-Ju

    2018-03-13

    Worsening renal function (WRF) is associated with adverse outcomes in patients with heart failure. We investigated the predictors and prognostic value of WRF during admission, in patients with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) versus those with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). A total of 5625 patients were enrolled in the KorAHF (Korean Acute Heart Failure) registry. WRF was defined as an absolute increase in creatinine of ≥0.3 mg/dL. Transient WRF was defined as recovery of creatinine at discharge, whereas persistent WRF was indicated by a nonrecovered creatinine level. HFpEF and HFrEF were defined as a left ventricle ejection fraction ≥50% and ≤40%, respectively. Among the total population, WRF occurred in 3101 patients (55.1%). By heart failure subgroup, WRF occurred more frequently in HFrEF (57.0% versus 51.3%; P failure subgroups. Among various predictors of WRF, chronic renal failure was the strongest predictor. WRF was an independent predictor of adverse in-hospital outcomes (HFrEF: odds ratio; 2.75; 95% confidence interval, 1.50-5.02; P =0.001; HFpEF: odds ratio, 9.48; 95% confidence interval, 1.19-75.89; P =0.034) and 1-year mortality (HFrEF: hazard ratio, 1.41; 95% confidence interval, 1.12-1.78; P =0.004 versus HFpEF: hazard ratio, 1.72; 95% confidence interval, 1.23-2.42; P =0.002). Transient WRF was a risk factor for 1-year mortality, whereas persistent WRF had no additive risk compared to transient WRF. In patients with acute heart failure patients, WRF is an independent predictor of adverse in-hospital and follow-up outcomes in both HFrEF and HFpEF, though with a different effect size. URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT01389843. © 2018 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-23

    To explore the characteristics of ecological executive function in school-aged children with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy and examine the effects of executive function on social adaptive function. A total of 51 school-aged children with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy aged 5-12 years at our hospital and 37 normal ones of the same gender, age and educational level were included. The differences in ecological executive function and social adaptive function were compared between the two groups with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and Child Adaptive Behavior Scale, the Pearson's correlation test and multiple stepwise linear regression were used to explore the impact of executive function on social adaptive function. The scores of school-aged children with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy in global executive composite (GEC), behavioral regulation index (BRI) and metacognition index (MI) of BRIEF ((62±12), (58±13) and (63±12), respectively) were significantly higher than those of the control group ((47±7), (44±6) and (48±8), respectively))(Pchildren with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy in adaptive behavior quotient (ADQ), independence, cognition, self-control ((86±22), (32±17), (49±14), (41±16), respectively) were significantly lower than those of the control group ((120±12), (59±14), (59±7) and (68±10), respectively))(Pchildren with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy. School-aged children with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy may have significantly ecological executive function impairment and social adaptive function reduction. The aspects of BRI, inhibition and working memory in ecological executive function are significantly related with social adaptive function in school-aged children with epilepsy.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madeline eHarms

    2014-04-01

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

  13. [Formula: see text]Executive functioning and its relation to ASD and ADHD symptomatology in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.

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    de Sonneville, Leo M J; Hidding, Elske; van Engeland, Herman; Vorstman, Jacob A S; Sijmens-Morcus, Monique E J; Swaab, Hanna

    2018-01-01

    Children with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS; velo-cardio-facial-syndrome) are at risk for the developmental disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In this study, the relation between executive functioning (EF) and the severity of ADHD and ASD symptoms is examined, since EF is known to be important in relation to emotional and behavioral problems. The participants consist of 58 children (38 females) with a mean age of 13.5 years (SD 2.6). Standardized assessment was used to evaluate the severity of ASD and ADHD symptomatology. The major aspects of EF, i.e., cognitive flexibility, inhibition, sustained attention, distractibility, working memory and reaction speed, were evaluated. The profile of EF in 22q11DS was found to be characterized by weaker performance compared to the norms on all subdomains of EF. Poor cognitive flexibility and inhibition, as well as high distractibility, were found to be related to more severe ASD symptoms, while poor quality of sustained attention and high distractibility were found to be related to more severe ADHD symptoms. It is concluded that children with 22q11DS experience impairments in EF, and that the degree of impairment on specific EF subdomains is related to the severity of ASD and/or ADHD symptomatology. These results may help in defining the mediating role of neurocognitive dysfunctions in the development of social and behavioral problems in 22q11DS.

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

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

    2017-11-01

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

  15. Maternal executive function, heart rate, and EEG alpha reactivity interact in the prediction of harsh parenting.

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    Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Bell, Martha Ann

    2017-02-01

    Do physiological and behavioral performance indicators of effortful cognitive self-regulation converge additively or interactively in their statistical prediction of individual differences in harsh parenting? To answer this question, we examined heart rate (HR) and electroencephalography alpha (α) reactivity during executive function (EF) tasks, along with observed and self-reported indicators of harsh parenting. A socioeconomically diverse sample of 115 mothers with 3- to 7-year-old children completed questionnaires and a laboratory visit. Three quarters of the mothers showed typical patterns of task reactivity that were interpretable (i.e., increases in HR and decreases in α). Among them, we found no evidence to suggest that variance in harsh parenting was associated with magnitude of HR or α reactivity independently. Instead, the physiological variables interacted to enhance the EF statistical effect. EF explained one third of the variance in harsh parenting among mothers showing the largest α decreases when accompanied by modest to moderate (rather than substantial) HR increases. Physiological indicators can clarify the role and estimation of the strength of the effect of direct behavioral measures of cognitive regulation in the etiology of harsh parenting behaviors. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. Television and children's executive function.

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    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.

  17. Contrasting deficits on executive functions in Chinese delinquent adolescents with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder symptoms and/or reading disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poon, Kean; Ho, Connie S-H

    2014-11-01

    Many studies reported high prevalence of reading disability (RD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among delinquent adolescents. Very few have examined their cognitive profile. The present study compared the executive functions (EFs) and severity of delinquency in delinquent adolescents with RD and/or ADHD symptoms (AS). Delinquents with AS (n=29), RD (n=24), comorbidity AS+RD (n=35) were recruited from juvenile institutions along with typically developing controls (n=29) from local schools; all completed EF assessments and self-report questionnaires on delinquency. Results showed that pure AS group exhibited impaired inhibition while the pure RD group was weak in processing speed and visual memory. The comorbidity group showed unique impairments in interference control and significantly higher delinquency severity. The present findings suggest that comorbidity AS+RD may influence delinquency severity. It also provides a more comprehensive picture of the unique EF deficits associated with different groups, allowing for better matching for future identification and intervention programme. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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...

  19. Do Theory of Mind and Executive Function Deficits Underlie the Adverse Outcomes Associated with Profound Early Deprivation?: Findings from the English and Romanian Adoptees Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colvert, Emma; Rutter, Michael; Kreppner, Jana; Beckett, Celia; Castle, Jenny; Groothues, Christine; Hawkins, Amanda; Stevens, Suzanne; Sonuga-Barke, Edmund J. S.

    2008-01-01

    Theory of Mind (ToM) and Executive Function (EF) have been associated with autism and with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and hence might play a role in similar syndromes found following profound early institutional deprivation. In order to examine this possibility the current study included a group of 165 Romanian adoptees, of…

  20. Not just a sum of its parts: How tasks of the theory of mind scale relate to executive function across time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doenyas, Ceymi; Yavuz, H Melis; Selcuk, Bilge

    2018-02-01

    There is a well-established relationship between theory of mind (ToM) and executive function (EF) during the preschool years. However, less is known about the concurrent and longitudinal relations between EF and specific tasks tapping different aspects of ToM. The current study investigated the ToM-EF relationship across 1 year in 3- to 5-year-old Turkish children using the ToM battery of Wellman and Liu (2004), which measures understanding of diverse desires (DD), diverse beliefs (DB), knowledge access (KA), contents false belief (CFB), explicit false belief (EFB), and hidden emotion (HE). This battery has not yet been used in its entirety to test the predictive relations between ToM and EF. We used peg-tapping and day-night tasks to measure EF. Our sample comprised 150 Turkish preschool children (69 girls) aged 36-60 months at Time 1 (T1) and 49-73 months at Time 2 (T2). Using the ToM composite with all six tasks, when child's age, receptive language, and T1 ability level (EF or ToM) were controlled, T1 EF significantly predicted T2 ToM, whereas T1 ToM did not predict T2 EF. Among DD, DB, KA, false belief understanding (FBU: the composite score of CFB and EFB), and HE, only KA and FBU were significantly associated with EF at T1 and T2. Further regression analyses showed that KA did not have a predictive relationship with EF. Instead, FBU drove the predictive EF-ToM relationship across time. Thus, in Turkish children, earlier EF predicts later ToM, but especially the FBU component, in this well-validated battery. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  1. Parent, Peer, and Executive Function Relationships to Early Adolescent E-Cigarette Use: A Substance Use Pathway?

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    Pentz, Mary Ann; Shin, HeeSung; Riggs, Nathaniel; Unger, Jennifer B.; Collison, Katherine L.; Chou, Chih-Ping

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Little is known about influences on e-cigarette use among early adolescents. This study examined influences that have been previously found to be associated with gateway drug use in adolescents: demographic (age, gender, ethnicity, free lunch), social contextual influences of parents and peers, and executive function deficits (EF). Methods A cross-sectional survey was administered to 410 7th grade students from two diverse school districts in Southern California (M age=12.4 years, 48.3% female, 34.9% on free lunch (low socioeconomic status), 45.1% White, 25.4% Hispanic/Latino, 14.9% Mixed/bi-racial.) Logistic regression analyses examined influences of demographic, parent e-cigarette ownership and peer use, and EF on lifetime e-cigarette, and gateway drug use (cigarette and/or alcohol use). Results Lifetime use prevalence was 11.0% for e-cigarettes, 6.8% for cigarettes, and 38.1% for alcohol. Free lunch and age were marginally related to e-cigarette use (pe-cigarette ownership was associated with use of all substances, while peer use was associated with gateway drug use (p’sE-cigarette and gateway drug use may have common underlying risk factors in early adolescence, including parent and peer modeling of substance use, as well as EF deficits. Future research is needed to examine longitudinal relationships of demographics, parent and peer modeling, and EF deficits to e-cigarette use in larger samples, trajectories of e-cigarette use compared to use of other substances, and the potential of EF skills training programs to prevent e-cigarette use. PMID:25462657

  2. Pragmatic and executive functions in traumatic brain injury and right brain damage: An exploratory comparative study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolle Zimmermann

    Full Text Available Abstract Objective: To describe the frequency of pragmatic and executive deficits in right brain damaged (RBD and in traumatic brain injury (TBI patients, and to verify possible dissociations between pragmatic and executive functions in these two groups. Methods: The sample comprised 7 cases of TBI and 7 cases of RBD. All participants were assessed by means of tasks from the Montreal Communication Evaluation Battery and executive functions tests including the Trail Making Test, Hayling Test, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, semantic and phonemic verbal fluency tasks, and working memory tasks from the Brazilian Brief Neuropsychological Assessment Battery NEUPSILIN. Z-score was calculated and a descriptive analysis of frequency of deficits (Z< -1.5 was carried out. Results: RBD patients presented with deficits predominantly on conversational and narrative discursive tasks, while TBI patients showed a wider spread pattern of pragmatic deficits. Regarding EF, RBD deficits included predominantly working memory and verbal initiation impairment. On the other hand, TBI individuals again exhibited a general profile of executive dysfunction, affecting mainly working memory, initiation, inhibition, planning and switching. Pragmatic and executive deficits were generally associated upon comparisons of RBD patients and TBI cases, except for two simple dissociations: two post-TBI cases showed executive deficits in the absence of pragmatic deficits. Discussion: Pragmatic and executive deficits can be very frequent following TBI or vascular RBD. There seems to be an association between these abilities, indicating that although they can co-occur, a cause-consequence relationship cannot be the only hypothesis.

  3. Open-label administration of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate improves executive function impairments and symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Thomas E; Brams, Matthew; Gao, Joseph; Gasior, Maria; Childress, Ann

    2010-09-01

    Executive function (EF) impairment in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may account for behavioral symptoms such as poor concentration, impaired working memory, problems in shifting among tasks, and prioritizing and planning complex sets of tasks or completing long-term projects at work or school. Poor self-regulation and control of emotional behaviors frequently are seen in patients with ADHD. This study assessed EF behaviors in adults with ADHD at baseline and after 4 weeks of treatment with lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (LDX). Executive function behavior was assessed using the Brown Attention-Deficit Disorder Scale (BADDS) during the 4-week open-label dose-optimization phase prior to a 2-period, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study of LDX (30-70 mg/day). The ADHD Rating Scale IV (ADHD-RS-IV) with adult prompts assessed ADHD symptoms. Change in EF behavioral symptoms was evaluated based on week 4 BADDS total and cluster scores; analyses of shifts from baseline among subjects with BADDS scores < 50, 50 to 59, 60 to 69, and ≥ 70; and scores less than or greater than baseline 90% confidence range (eg, reliably improved or worsened, respectively). Treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) were described. At week 4, BADDS total and cluster scores were reduced (ie, improved; all P < 0.0001 vs baseline [n = 127]). The ADHD-RS-IV with adult prompts scores also improved (all P < 0.0001 vs baseline). At week 4, 62.7% of subjects had a BADDS total score of < 50, and 78.9% were reliably improved; 1.4% were reliably worsened. Common TEAEs (≥ 5%) during the dose-optimization phase were decreased appetite (36.6%), dry mouth (30.3%), headache (19.7%), insomnia (18.3%), upper respiratory tract infection (9.9%), irritability (8.5%), nausea (7.7%), anxiety (5.6%), and feeling jittery (5.6%). Clinically optimized doses of LDX (30-70 mg/day) significantly improved EF behaviors in adults with ADHD. Treatment-emergent adverse events with LDX were

  4. Social Cognition and Executive Functions As Key Factors for Effective Pedagogy in Higher Education.

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    Correia, Rut; Navarrete, Gorka

    2017-01-01

    Higher education (HE) faces the challenge of responding to an increasing diversity. In this context, more attention is being paid to teachers and teaching skills positively related to students learning. Beyond the knowledges identified as key components of an effective teacher, teachers also need to be capable of unraveling what their students think and believe, and how they accommodate the new information. More importantly, teachers need to be able to adapt their own teaching to their audience's needs. In learners, social cognition (SC) has been related to a better receptivity to the different teacher-student interactions. Since these interactions are bidirectional, SC could also help to explain teachers' receptiveness to the information available in feedback situations. However, little is known about how SC is related to teacher development, and therefore teaching effectiveness, in HE. In addition, executive functions (EFs), closely related to SC, could play a key role in the ability to self-regulate their own teaching to better answering their students emerging needs. Although there is wide evidence regarding the association of EFs to performance in high demanding settings, as far as we know, there are no studies exploring the relationship between teachers' EFs and teaching effectiveness in HE. Establishing a positive association between teaching effectiveness and these socio-cognitive functions could be a promising first step in designing professional development programs that promote HE academics' ability to understand and care about students thoughts and emotions, to eventually adapt their teaching to their students needs for a better learning.

  5. Understanding the cognitive and genetic underpinnings of procrastination: Evidence for shared genetic influences with goal management and executive function abilities.

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    Gustavson, Daniel E; Miyake, Akira; Hewitt, John K; Friedman, Naomi P

    2015-12-01

    Previous research has suggested that individual differences in procrastination are tied to everyday goal-management abilities, but little research has been conducted on specific cognitive abilities that may underlie tendencies for procrastination, such as executive functions (EFs). In this study, we used behavioral genetics methodology to investigate 2 hypotheses about the relationships between procrastination and EF ability: (a) that procrastination is negatively correlated with general EF ability, and (b) that this relationship is due to the genetic components of procrastination that are most related to other everyday goal-management abilities. The results confirmed both of these hypotheses. Procrastination was related to worse general EF ability at both the phenotypic and genetic levels, and this relationship was due to the component of procrastination shared with self-report measures of everyday goal-management failures. These results were observed even after controlling for potential self-report biases stemming from the urge to respond in a socially desirable manner. Together, these findings provide strong evidence for growing theories of procrastination emphasizing the importance of goal-related cognitive abilities and further highlight important genetic influences that underlie procrastination. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  6. 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…

  7. A structural equation modeling of executive functions, IQ and mathematical skills in primary students: Differential effects on number production, mental calculus and arithmetical problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arán Filippetti, Vanessa; Richaud, María Cristina

    2017-10-01

    Though the relationship between executive functions (EFs) and mathematical skills has been well documented, little is known about how both EFs and IQ differentially support diverse math domains in primary students. Inconsistency of results may be due to the statistical techniques employed, specifically, if the analysis is conducted with observed variables, i.e., regression analysis, or at the latent level, i.e., structural equation modeling (SEM). The current study explores the contribution of both EFs and IQ in mathematics through an SEM approach. A total of 118 8- to 12-year-olds were administered measures of EFs, crystallized (Gc) and fluid (Gf) intelligence, and math abilities (i.e., number production, mental calculus and arithmetical problem-solving). Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) offered support for the three-factor solution of EFs: (1) working memory (WM), (2) shifting, and (3) inhibition. Regarding the relationship among EFs, IQ and math abilities, the results of the SEM analysis showed that (i) WM and age predict number production and mental calculus, and (ii) shifting and sex predict arithmetical problem-solving. In all of the SEM models, EFs partially or totally mediated the relationship between IQ, age and math achievement. These results suggest that EFs differentially supports math abilities in primary-school children and is a more significant predictor of math achievement than IQ level.

  8. How preschool executive functioning predicts several aspects of math achievement in Grades 1 and 3: A longitudinal study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viterbori, Paola; Usai, M Carmen; Traverso, Laura; De Franchis, Valentina

    2015-12-01

    This longitudinal study analyzes whether selected components of executive function (EF) measured during the preschool period predict several indices of math achievement in primary school. Six EF measures were assessed in a sample of 5-year-old children (N = 175). The math achievement of the same children was then tested in Grades 1 and 3 using both a composite math score and three single indices of written calculation, arithmetical facts, and problem solving. Using previous results obtained from the same sample of children, a confirmatory factor analysis examining the latent EF structure in kindergarten indicated that a two-factor model provided the best fit for the data. In this model, inhibition and working memory (WM)-flexibility were separate dimensions. A full structural equation model was then used to test the hypothesis that math achievement (the composite math score and single math scores) in Grades 1 and 3 could be explained by the two EF components comprising the kindergarten model. The results indicate that the WM-flexibility component measured during the preschool period substantially predicts mathematical achievement, especially in Grade 3. The math composite scores were predicted by the WM-flexibility factor at both grade levels. In Grade 3, both problem solving and arithmetical facts were predicted by the WM-flexibility component. The results empirically support interventions that target EF as an important component of early childhood mathematics education. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Quality of Maternal Parenting of 9-Month-Old Infants Predicts Executive Function Performance at 2 and 3 Years of Age

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    Nanhua Cheng

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Whereas the effects of maternal parenting quality during infants’ 2nd year on later executive function (EF have been studied extensively, less is known about the impact of maternal parenting quality during the 1st year. The aim of this study was to examine whether maternal parenting during infants’ 1st year predicted EF performance at 2 and 3 years of age in a Chinese sample. Data were collected from 96 mother-infant dyads (42 males when the infants were 6, 9, 25, and 38 months old. Cognitive development as a control variable was measured with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II at 6 months. At 9 months, three aspects of maternal parenting quality (sensitivity, mind-mindedness, and encouragement of autonomy were assessed with MBQS, mind-mindedness coding system, and encouragement of autonomy coding schema within a 15-min mother–infant interaction. Three aspects of EF (working memory, inhibitory control, and delay EF were measured at 25 and 38 months with age-appropriate tasks. Hierarchical regression analysis showed that maternal mind-mindedness had a more important effect than did the encouragement of autonomy and maternal sensitivity during infants’ preverbal period. More precisely, maternal mind-mindedness at 9 months predicted inhibitory control at 2 and 3 years, and maternal encouragement of autonomy predicted performance on delay EF tasks at 3 years, maternal sensitivity had no observed effect on children’s EF. This study suggests that maternal parenting quality during the 1st year (maternal mind-mindedness and encouragement of autonomy, but not maternal sensitivity impacts later EF development.

  10. Assessing Executive Dysfunction in Neurodegenerative Disorders: A Critical Review of Brief Neuropsychological Tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helena S. Moreira

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Executive function (EF has been defined as a multifaceted construct that involves a variety of high-level cognitive abilities such as planning, working memory, mental flexibility, and inhibition. Being able to identify deficits in EF is important for the diagnosis and monitoring of several neurodegenerative disorders, and thus their assessment is a topic of much debate. In particular, there has been a growing interest in the development of neuropsychological screening tools that can potentially provide a reliable quick measure of EF. In this review, we critically discuss the four screening tools of EF currently available in the literature: Executive Interview-25 (EXIT 25, Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB, INECO Frontal Screening (IFS, and FRONTIER Executive Screen (FES. We first describe their features, and then evaluate their psychometric properties, the existing evidence on their neural correlates, and the empirical work that has been conducted in clinical populations. We conclude that the four screening tools generally present appropriate psychometric properties, and are sensitive to impairments in EF in several neurodegenerative conditions. However, more research will be needed mostly with respect to normative data and neural correlates, and to determine the extent to which these tools add specific information to the one provided by global cognition screening tests. More research directly comparing the available tools with each other will also be important to establish in which conditions each of them can be most useful.

  11. Autism Spectrum Disorder and intact executive functioning.

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    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.

  12. Handwriting measures as reflectors of Executive Functions among adults withDevelopmental Coordination Disorders (DCD.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara eRosenblum

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Planning ahead and organizational abilities in time and space are ingredients of high-level cognitive functions labelled as ‘Executive Functions’ (EF required for daily activities such as writing or home management. EF deficits are considered a possible underlying brain mechanism involved in Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD. The aim of the study was to compare the handwriting process measures and the planning and organizational abilities in space and time of students with DCD with those of matched controls and to find whether handwriting measures can predict daily planning and organizational abilities among students with DCD. Method: 30 students diagnosed with DCD, between the ages of 24-41, and 30 age- and gender-matched controls participated in the study. They filled out the Handwriting Proficiency Screening Questionnaire (HPSQ and the Adult Developmental Co-ordination Disorders Checklist (ADC. Furthermore, they copied a paragraph on a digitizer that is part of a computerized system (ComPET.Results: Significant group differences were found for the HPSQ subscales scores as well as for the temporal and spatial measures of the paragraph copy task. Significant group differences were also found for the planning and organizational abilities in space and time as reflected through the ADC subscales. Significant medium correlations were found in both groups between the mean HPSQ time subscale and the ADC-B subscale mean score (r=.50 /.58 p<.05. Series of regression analyses indicated that two handwriting performance measures (mean HPSQ time subscale and mean stroke duration predicted 19% of planning and organizational abilities as reflected through daily functions (ADC-B (F (3, 54 = 38.37, β= . 40 p<.0001.Conclusion: The results support previous evidence about EF deficits as an underlying brain mechanism involved in motor coordination disorders, their significance as related to theoretical models of handwriting and daily function among

  13. The interpretation of proverbs by elderly with high, medium and low educational level: Abstract reasoning as an aspect of executive functions

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    Wachholz, Thalita Bianchi de Oliveira; Yassuda, Mônica Sanches

    2011-01-01

    It is now known that cognitive functions tend to decline with age. Executive functions (EF) are among the first abilities to decline with aging. A subcomponent of the EF is abstract reasoning. The Test of Proverbs is an instrument that can be used to evaluate the capacity of abstract reasoning. Objective To examine the association of performance in interpretation of proverbs, with education and with episodic memory and EF tasks. Methods A total of 67 individuals aged between 60 and 75 years were evaluated, and divided into three categories of education: 1-4 years, 5-8 years, and 9 or more years of schooling. The instruments used were a sociodemographic questionnaire (gender, age, marital status, education, income, previous occupation, current occupation and health perception), the Mini Mental State Examination, Brief Cognitive Screening Battery; Geriatric Depression Scale; Forward and Backward Digit Span (WAIS-III), and the Test of Proverbs. Results A high impact of education was seen on the interpretation of proverbs, with lower performance among the elderly with less education. A significant association between performance on the Test of Proverbs and scores on the MMSE, GDS, and verbal fluency tests was found. There was a modest association with incidental memory. Conclusions The capacity to interpret proverbs is strongly associated with education and with performance on other EF tasks. PMID:29213717

  14. Parkinson's patients' executive profile and goals they set for improvement: Why is cognitive rehabilitation not common practice?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlagsma, T T; Koerts, J; Fasotti, L; Tucha, O; van Laar, T; Dijkstra, H; Spikman, J M

    2016-01-01

    Impairments in executive functions (EF) are the core cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Surprisingly, cognitive rehabilitation is not routinely offered to patients with PD. However, in patients with acquired brain injury (ABI), cognitive rehabilitation, in particular strategic executive training, is common practice and has been shown to be effective. In this study, we determined whether PD patients have different needs and aims with regard to strategic executive training than ABI patients, and whether possible differences might be a reason for not offering this kind of cognitive rehabilitation programme to patients with PD. Patients' needs and aims were operationalised by individually set goals, which were classified into domains of EF and daily life. In addition, patients with PD and ABI were compared on their cognitive, in particular EF, profile. Overall, PD patients' goals and cognitive profile were similar to those of patients with ABI. Therefore, based on the findings of this study, there is no reason to assume that strategic executive training cannot be part of standard therapy in PD. However, when strategic executive training is applied in clinical practice, disease-specific characteristics need to be taken into account.

  15. Executive functioning and local-global visual processing: candidate endophenotypes for autism spectrum disorder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Eylen, Lien; Boets, Bart; Cosemans, Nele; Peeters, Hilde; Steyaert, Jean; Wagemans, Johan; Noens, Ilse

    2017-03-01

    Heterogeneity within autism spectrum disorder (ASD) hampers insight in the etiology and stimulates the search for endophenotypes. Endophenotypes should meet several criteria, the most important being the association with ASD and the higher occurrence rate in unaffected ASD relatives than in the general population. We evaluated these criteria for executive functioning (EF) and local-global (L-G) visual processing. By administering an extensive cognitive battery which increases the validity of the measures, we examined which of the cognitive anomalies shown by ASD probands also occur in their unaffected relatives (n = 113) compared to typically developing (TD) controls (n = 100). Microarrays were performed, so we could exclude relatives from probands with a de novo mutation in a known ASD susceptibility copy number variant, thus increasing the probability that genetic risk variants are shared by the ASD relatives. An overview of studies investigating EF and L-G processing in ASD relatives was also provided. For EF, ASD relatives - like ASD probands - showed impairments in response inhibition, cognitive flexibility and generativity (specifically, ideational fluency), and EF impairments in daily life. For L-G visual processing, the ASD relatives showed no anomalies on the tasks, but they reported more attention to detail in daily life. Group differences were similar for siblings and for parents of ASD probands, and yielded larger effect sizes in a multiplex subsample. The group effect sizes for the comparison between ASD probands and TD individuals were generally larger than those of the ASD relatives compared to TD individuals. Impaired cognitive flexibility, ideational fluency and response inhibition are strong candidate endophenotypes for ASD. They could help to delineate etiologically more homogeneous subgroups, which is clinically important to allow assigning ASD probands to different, more targeted, interventions. © 2016 Association for Child and Adolescent

  16. 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.

  17. Persian version of frontal assessment battery: Correlations with formal measures of executive functioning and providing normative data for Persian population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asaadi, Sina; Ashrafi, Farzad; Omidbeigi, Mahmoud; Nasiri, Zahra; Pakdaman, Hossein; Amini-Harandi, Ali

    2016-01-05

    Cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) mainly involves executive function (EF). The frontal assessment battery (FAB) is an efficient tool for the assessment of EFs. The aims of this study were to determine the validity and reliability of the psychometric properties of the Persian version of FAB and assess its correlation with formal measures of EFs to provide normative data for the Persian version of FAB in patients with PD. The study recruited 149 healthy participants and 49 patients with idiopathic PD. In PD patients, FAB results were compared to their performance on EF tests. Reliability analysis involved test-retest reliability and internal consistency, whereas validity analysis involved convergent validity approach. FAB scores compared in normal controls and in PD patients matched for age, education, and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score. In PD patients, FAB scores were significantly decreased compared to normal controls, and correlated with Stroop test and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). In healthy subjects, FAB scores varied according to the age, education, and MMSE. In the FAB subtest analysis, the performances of PD patients were worse than the healthy participants on similarities, fluency tasks, and Luria's motor series. Persian version of FAB could be used as a reliable scale for the assessment of frontal lobe functions in Iranian patients with PD. Furthermore, normative data provided for the Persian version of this test improve the accuracy and confidence in the clinical application of the FAB.

  18. Designing sequence to control protein function in an EF-hand protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bunick, Christopher G; Nelson, Melanie R; Mangahas, Sheryll; Hunter, Michael J; Sheehan, Jonathan H; Mizoue, Laura S; Bunick, Gerard J; Chazin, Walter J

    2004-05-19

    The extent of conformational change that calcium binding induces in EF-hand proteins is a key biochemical property specifying Ca(2+) sensor versus signal modulator function. To understand how differences in amino acid sequence lead to differences in the response to Ca(2+) binding, comparative analyses of sequence and structures, combined with model building, were used to develop hypotheses about which amino acid residues control Ca(2+)-induced conformational changes. These results were used to generate a first design of calbindomodulin (CBM-1), a calbindin D(9k) re-engineered with 15 mutations to respond to Ca(2+) binding with a conformational change similar to that of calmodulin. The gene for CBM-1 was synthesized, and the protein was expressed and purified. Remarkably, this protein did not exhibit any non-native-like molten globule properties despite the large number of mutations and the nonconservative nature of some of them. Ca(2+)-induced changes in CD intensity and in the binding of the hydrophobic probe, ANS, implied that CBM-1 does undergo Ca(2+) sensorlike conformational changes. The X-ray crystal structure of Ca(2+)-CBM-1 determined at 1.44 A resolution reveals the anticipated increase in hydrophobic surface area relative to the wild-type protein. A nascent calmodulin-like hydrophobic docking surface was also found, though it is occluded by the inter-EF-hand loop. The results from this first calbindomodulin design are discussed in terms of progress toward understanding the relationships between amino acid sequence, protein structure, and protein function for EF-hand CaBPs, as well as the additional mutations for the next CBM design.

  19. [Neuropsychological models of autism spectrum disorders - behavioral evidence and functional imaging].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dziobek, Isabel; Bölte, Sven

    2011-03-01

    To review neuropsychological models of theory of mind (ToM), executive functions (EF), and central coherence (CC) as framework for cognitive abnormalities in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Behavioral and functional imaging studies are described that assess social-cognitive, emotional, and executive functions as well as locally oriented perception in ASD. Impairments in ToM and EF as well as alterations in CC are frequently replicated phenomena in ASD. Especially problems concerning social perception and ToM have high explanatory value for clinical symptomatology. Brain activation patterns differ between individuals with and without ASD for ToM, EF, und CC functions. An approach focussing on reduced cortical connectivity seems to be increasingly favored over explanations focussing on single affected brain sites. A better understanding of the complexities of ASD in future research demands the integration of clinical, neuropsychological, functional imaging, and molecular genetics evidence. Weaknesses in ToM and EF as well as strengths in detail-focussed perception should be used for individual intervention planning.

  20. 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

  1. Post-error adaptation in adults with high functioning autism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bogte, Hans; Flamma, Bert; van der Meere, Jaap; van Engeland, Herman

    2007-01-01

    Deficits in executive function (EF), i.e. function of the prefrontal cortex, may be central in the etiology of autism. One of the various aspects of EF is error detection and adjusting behavior after an error. In cognitive tests, adults normally slow down their responding on the next trial after

  2. Executive functions in anorexia nervosa

    OpenAIRE

    Jauregui-Lobera, Ignacio

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: The pathophysiologic mechanisms that account for the development and persistence of anorexia nervosa (AN) remain unclear. With respect to the neuropsychological functioning, the executive functions have been reported to be altered, especially cognitive flexibility and decision-making processes. Objectives: The aim of this study was to review the current state of the neuropsychological studies focused on anorexia nervosa, especially those highlighting the executive functions. Met...

  3. Independent value added by diffusion MRI for prediction of cognitive function in older adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia A Scott

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to determine whether white matter microstructure measured by diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI provides independent information about baseline level or change in executive function (EF or memory (MEM in older adults with and without cognitive impairment. Longitudinal data was acquired from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI study from phases GO and 2 (2009–2015. ADNI participants included were diagnosed as cognitively normal (n = 46, early mild cognitive impairment (MCI (n = 48, late MCI (n = 29, and dementia (n = 39 at baseline. We modeled the association between dMRI-based global white matter mean diffusivity (MD and baseline level and change in EF and MEM composite scores, in models controlling for baseline bilateral hippocampal volume, regional cerebral FDG PET metabolism and global cerebral AV45 PET uptake. EF and MEM composite scores were measured at baseline, 6, 12, 24 and 36 months. In the baseline late MCI and dementia groups, greater global MD was associated with lesser baseline EF, but not EF change nor MEM baseline or change. As expected, lesser hippocampal volume and lesser FDG PET metabolism was associated with greater rates of EF and MEM decline. In ADNI-GO/2 participants, white matter integrity provided independent information about current executive function, but was not sensitive to future cognitive change. Since individuals experiencing executive function declines progress to dementia more rapidly than those with only memory impairment, better biomarkers of future executive function decline are needed.

  4. 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…

  5. High IQ May "Mask" the Diagnosis of ADHD by Compensating for Deficits in Executive Functions in Treatment-Naïve Adults With ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milioni, Ana Luiza Vidal; Chaim, Tiffany Moukbel; Cavallet, Mikael; de Oliveira, Nathalya Moleda; Annes, Marco; Dos Santos, Bernardo; Louzã, Mario; da Silva, Maria Aparecida; Miguel, Carmen Silvia; Serpa, Mauricio Henriques; Zanetti, Marcus V; Busatto, Geraldo; Cunha, Paulo Jannuzzi

    2017-04-01

    To evaluate and compare the performance of adults with ADHD with high and standard IQ in executive functions (EF) tasks. We investigated the neuropsychological performance of 51 adults with ADHD, compared with 33 healthy controls (HC) while performing a wide battery of neuropsychological tests that measure executive functioning. Adults with clinical diagnosis of ADHD were divided into two groups according to their IQ level (IQ ≥ 110-ADHD group with more elevated IQ, and IQ IQ). The ADHD group with standard IQ presented a worse executive functioning compared with the HC group in the following measures: Stroop 2 ( p = .000) and 3 ( p = .000), Trail Making Test (TMT) B ( p = .005), Wisconsin Card-Sorting Test (WCST)-perseverative errors ( p = .022) and failures to maintain set ( p = .020), Continuous Performance Test (CPT)-omission errors ( p = .005) and commission errors ( p = .000), and Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB)-conceptualization ( p = .016). The ADHD group with more elevated IQ presented only impairments in the CPT-commission errors ( p = .019) when compared with the control group. Adults with ADHD and more elevated IQ show less evidence of executive functioning deficits compared with those with ADHD and standard IQ, suggesting that a higher degree of intellectual efficiency may compensate deficits in executive functions, leading to problems in establishing a precise clinical diagnosis.

  6. The benefits of executive control training and the implications for language processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erika K. Hussey

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Recent psycholinguistics research suggests that the executive function (EF skill known as conflict resolution—the ability to adjust behavior in the service of resolving among incompatible representations—is important for several language processing tasks such as lexical and syntactic ambiguity resolution, verbal fluency, and common-ground assessment. Here, we discuss work showing that various EF skills can be enhanced through consistent practice with working memory tasks that tap these EFs, and, moreover, that improvements on the training tasks transfer across domains to novel tasks that may rely on shared underlying EFs. These findings have implications for language processing and could launch new research exploring if EF training, within a process-specific framework, could be used as a remediation tool for improving general language use. Indeed, work in our lab demonstrates that EF training that increases conflict-resolution processes has selective benefits on an untrained sentence-processing task requiring syntactic ambiguity resolution, which relies on shared conflict-resolution functions. Given claims that conflict-resolution abilities contribute to a range of linguistic skills, EF training targeting this process could theoretically yield wider performance gains beyond garden-path recovery. We offer some hypotheses on the potential benefits of EF training as a component of interventions to mitigate general difficulties in language processing. However, there are caveats to consider as well, which we also address.

  7. Executive Dysfunctions: The role in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity and Post-traumatic Stress neuropsychiatric disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lía Martínez

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Executive functions (EFs is an umbrella term for various cognitive processes controlled by a complex neural activity, which allow the production of different types of behaviors seeking to achieve specific objectives, one of them being inhibitory control. There is a wide consensus that clinical and behavioral alterations associated with EF, such as inhibitory control, are present in various neuropsychiatric disorders. This paper reviews the research literature on the relationship between executive dysfunction, frontal-subcortical neural circuit changes, and the psychopathological processes associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD. A revision on the role of frontal-subcortical neural circuits and their presumable abnormal functioning and the high frequency of neuropsychiatric symptoms could explain the difficulties with putting effector mechanisms into action, giving individuals the necessary tools to act efficiently in their environment. Although neuronal substrate data about ADHD and PTSD has been reported in the literature, it is isolated. Therefore, this review highlights the overlapping of neural substrates in the symptomatology of ADHD and PTSD disorders concerning EFs, especially in the inhibitory component. Thus, the changes related to impaired EF that accompany disorders like ADHD and PTSD could be explained by disturbances that have a direct or indirect impact on the functioning of these loops. Initially, the theoretical model of EF according to current neuropsychology will be presented, focusing on the inhibitory component. In a second stage, this component will be analyzed for each of the disorders of interest, considering the clinical aspects, the etiology and the neurobiological basis. Additionally, commonalities between the two neuropsychiatric conditions will be taken into consideration from the perspectives of cognitive and emotional inhibition. Finally, the

  8. Executive Dysfunctions: The Role in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity and Post-traumatic Stress Neuropsychiatric Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, Lía; Prada, Edward; Satler, Corina; Tavares, Maria C. H.; Tomaz, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) is an umbrella term for various cognitive processes controlled by a complex neural activity, which allow the production of different types of behaviors seeking to achieve specific objectives, one of them being inhibitory control. There is a wide consensus that clinical and behavioral alterations associated with EF, such as inhibitory control, are present in various neuropsychiatric disorders. This paper reviews the research literature on the relationship between executive dysfunction, frontal-subcortical neural circuit changes, and the psychopathological processes associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A revision on the role of frontal-subcortical neural circuits and their presumable abnormal functioning and the high frequency of neuropsychiatric symptoms could explain the difficulties with putting effector mechanisms into action, giving individuals the necessary tools to act efficiently in their environment. Although, neuronal substrate data about ADHD and PTSD has been reported in the literature, it is isolated. Therefore, this review highlights the overlapping of neural substrates in the symptomatology of ADHD and PTSD disorders concerning EFs, especially in the inhibitory component. Thus, the changes related to impaired EF that accompany disorders like ADHD and PTSD could be explained by disturbances that have a direct or indirect impact on the functioning of these loops. Initially, the theoretical model of EF according to current neuropsychology will be presented, focusing on the inhibitory component. In a second stage, this component will be analyzed for each of the disorders of interest, considering the clinical aspects, the etiology and the neurobiological basis. Additionally, commonalities between the two neuropsychiatric conditions will be taken into consideration from the perspectives of cognitive and emotional inhibition. Finally, the implications and future

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    The psychometric properties of the Learning, Executive, and Attention Functioning (LEAF) scale were investigated in an outpatient clinical pediatric sample. As a part of clinical testing, the LEAF scale, which broadly measures neuropsychological abilities related to executive functioning and learning, was administered to parents of 118 children and adolescents referred for psychological testing at a pediatric psychology clinic; 85 teachers also completed LEAF scales to assess reliability across different raters and settings. Scores on neuropsychological tests of executive functioning and academic achievement were abstracted from charts. Psychometric analyses of the LEAF scale demonstrated satisfactory internal consistency, parent-teacher inter-rater reliability in the small to large effect size range, and test-retest reliability in the large effect size range, similar to values for other executive functioning checklists. Correlations between corresponding subscales on the LEAF and other behavior checklists were large, while most correlations with neuropsychological tests of executive functioning and achievement were significant but in the small to medium range. Results support the utility of the LEAF as a reliable and valid questionnaire-based assessment of delays and disturbances in executive functioning and learning. Applications and advantages of the LEAF and other questionnaire measures of executive functioning in clinical neuropsychology settings are discussed.

  11. Conceptualization and Operationalization of Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baggetta, Peter; Alexander, Patricia A.

    2016-01-01

    Executive function is comprised of different behavioral and cognitive elements and is considered to play a significant role in learning and academic achievement. Educational researchers frequently study the construct. However, because of its complexity functionally, the research on executive function can at times be both confusing and…

  12. Executive Functioning Heterogeneity in Pediatric ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-28

    Neurocognitive heterogeneity is increasingly recognized as a valid phenomenon in ADHD, with most estimates suggesting that executive dysfunction is present in only about 33%-50% of these children. However, recent critiques question the veracity of these estimates because our understanding of executive functioning in ADHD is based, in large part, on data from single tasks developed to detect gross neurological impairment rather than the specific executive processes hypothesized to underlie the ADHD phenotype. The current study is the first to comprehensively assess heterogeneity in all three primary executive functions in ADHD using a criterion battery that includes multiple tests per construct (working memory, inhibitory control, set shifting). Children ages 8-13 (M = 10.37, SD = 1.39) with and without ADHD (N = 136; 64 girls; 62% Caucasian/Non-Hispanic) completed a counterbalanced series of executive function tests. Accounting for task unreliability, results indicated significantly improved sensitivity and specificity relative to prior estimates, with 89% of children with ADHD demonstrating objectively-defined impairment on at least one executive function (62% impaired working memory, 27% impaired inhibitory control, 38% impaired set shifting; 54% impaired on one executive function, 35% impaired on two or all three executive functions). Children with working memory deficits showed higher parent- and teacher-reported ADHD inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms (BF 10  = 5.23 × 10 4 ), and were slightly younger (BF 10  = 11.35) than children without working memory deficits. Children with vs. without set shifting or inhibitory control deficits did not differ on ADHD symptoms, age, gender, IQ, SES, or medication status. Taken together, these findings confirm that ADHD is characterized by neurocognitive heterogeneity, while suggesting that contemporary, cognitively-informed criteria may provide improved precision for identifying a

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

    We examined the relationship between health care expenditures and cognition, focusing on differences across cognitive systems defined by global cognition, executive function, or episodic memory. We used linear regression models to compare annual health expenditures by cognitive status in 8125 Nurses' Health Study participants who completed a cognitive battery and were enrolled in Medicare parts A and B. Adjusting for demographics and comorbidity, executive impairment was associated with higher total annual expenditures of $1488 per person (P episodic memory impairment was found. Expenditures exhibited a linear relationship with executive function, but not episodic memory ($584 higher for every 1 standard deviation decrement in executive function; P < .01). Impairment in executive function is specifically and linearly associated with higher health care expenditures. Focusing on management strategies that address early losses in executive function may be effective in reducing costly services. Copyright © 2017 the Alzheimer's Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Executive functions and self-regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

    Self-regulation is a core aspect of adaptive human behavior that has been studied, largely in parallel, through the lenses of social and personality psychology as well as cognitive psychology. Here, we argue for more communication between these disciplines and highlight recent research that speaks to their connection. We outline how basic facets of executive functioning (working memory operations, behavioral inhibition, and task-switching) may subserve successful self-regulation. We also argue that temporary reductions in executive functions underlie many of the situational risk factors identified in the social psychological research on self-regulation and review recent evidence that the training of executive functions holds significant potential for improving poor self-regulation in problem populations. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. An Embodied Account of Early Executive-Function Development

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    The importance of executive functioning for later life outcomes, along with its potential to be positively affected by intervention programs, motivates the need to find early markers of executive functioning. In this study, 18-month-olds performed three executive-function tasks—involving simple inhibition, working memory, and more complex inhibition—and a motion-capture task assessing prospective motor control during reaching. We demonstrated that prospective motor control, as measured by the peak velocity of the first movement unit, is related to infants’ performance on simple-inhibition and working memory tasks. The current study provides evidence that motor control and executive functioning are intertwined early in life, which suggests an embodied perspective on executive-functioning development. We argue that executive functions and prospective motor control develop from a common source and a single motive: to control action. This is the first demonstration that low-level movement planning is related to higher-order executive control early in life. PMID:27765900

  17. Culture, executive function, and social understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    Much of the evidence from the West has shown links between children's developing self-control (executive function), their social experiences, and their social understanding (Carpendale & Lewis, 2006, chapters 5 and 6), across a range of cultures including China. This chapter describes four studies conducted in three Oriental cultures, suggesting that the relationships among social interaction, executive function, and social understanding are different in these cultures, implying that social and executive skills are underpinned by key cultural processes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolters Gregório, Gisela; Ponds, Rudolf W H M; Smeets, Sanne M J; Jonker, Frank; Pouwels, Climmy G J G; Verhey, Frans R; van Heugten, Caroline M

    2015-09-01

    To examine the relationships between executive functioning, coping, depressive symptoms, and quality of life in individuals with neuropsychiatric symptoms after acquired brain injury (ABI). Cross-sectional study. Individuals (n = 93) in the post-acute and chronic phase (>3 months) after ABI and their significant others (N = 58) were recruited from outpatient clinics of four mental health centres in the Netherlands. Outcome measures were the Trail Making Test, Stroop Colour Word Test, Frontal Systems Behavioural Scale, Utrecht Coping List, Patient Health Questionnaire, and Life Satisfaction Questionnaire. Data were analysed with multiple regression analyses. Self-reported executive dysfunction was associated with greater use of passive coping styles (β = .37, p executive functioning (β = -.94, p executive functioning tests were not associated with coping, depressive symptoms, or quality of life. For clinicians, these data indicate that individuals who report greater difficulties with executive functioning after ABI are inclined to use maladaptive passive coping styles, which should be targeted in treatment. In comparison, individuals who report greater difficulties with executive functioning should not be prompted to use problem-focused coping styles. These individuals may benefit from other coping styles, such as the use of seeking social support or acceptance of problems. Coping influences the association between executive functioning and quality of life. Individuals who report difficulties with executive functioning after ABI may be inclined to use passive coping styles, which are maladaptive. Problem-focused coping strategies may be more useful for individuals who have strong executive abilities. This study was a cross-sectional study; thus, a cause-and-effect relationship could not be established between executive functioning, coping, and psychosocial functioning. As this research was part of standard clinical care, non-traditional tests for executive

  19. Intraindividual variability in executive functions but not speed of processing or conflict resolution predicts performance differences in gait speed in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holtzer, Roee; Mahoney, Jeannette; Verghese, Joe

    2014-08-01

    The relationship between executive functions (EF) and gait speed is well established. However, with the exception of dual tasking, the key components of EF that predict differences in gait performance have not been determined. Therefore, the current study was designed to determine whether processing speed, conflict resolution, and intraindividual variability in EF predicted variance in gait performance in single- and dual-task conditions. Participants were 234 nondemented older adults (mean age 76.48 years; 55% women) enrolled in a community-based cohort study. Gait speed was assessed using an instrumented walkway during single- and dual-task conditions. The flanker task was used to assess EF. Results from the linear mixed effects model showed that (a) dual-task interference caused a significant dual-task cost in gait speed (estimate = 35.99; 95% CI = 33.19-38.80) and (b) of the cognitive predictors, only intraindividual variability was associated with gait speed (estimate = -.606; 95% CI = -1.11 to -.10). In unadjusted analyses, the three EF measures were related to gait speed in single- and dual-task conditions. However, in fully adjusted linear regression analysis, only intraindividual variability predicted performance differences in gait speed during dual tasking (B = -.901; 95% CI = -1.557 to -.245). Among the three EF measures assessed, intraindividual variability but not speed of processing or conflict resolution predicted performance differences in gait speed. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Exploring links between language and cognition in autism spectrum disorders: Complement sentences, false belief, and executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephanie, Durrleman; Julie, Franck

    2015-01-01

    A growing body of work indicates a close relation between complement clause sentences and Theory of Mind (ToM) in children with autism (e.g., Tager-Flusberg, & Joseph (2005). In Astington, & Baird (Eds.), Why language matters for theory of mind (pp. 298-318). New York, NY, US: Oxford University Press, Lind, & Bowler (2009). Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39(6), 929). However, this link is based primarily on success at a specific complement clause task and a verbal false-belief (FB) task. One cannot exclude that the link found between these tasks may be a by-product of their both presupposing similar levels of language skills. It is also an open question if the role of complementation in ToM success is a privileged one as compared to that of other abilities which have been claimed to be an important factor for ToM understanding in autism, namely executive functioning (EF) (Pellicano (2007). Developmental Psychology 43, 974). Indeed the role played by complementation may be conceived of as an indirect one, mediated by some more general cognitive function related to EF. This study is the first to examine the relation between theory of mind assessed both verbally and non-verbally and various types of complement clause sentences as well as executive functions in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Our participants included 17 children and adolescents with ASD (aged 6 to 16) and a younger TD control group matched on non-verbal IQ (aged 4 to 9 years). Three tasks assessing complements of verbs of cognition, verbs of communication and verbs of perception were conducted. ToM tasks involved a verbal ToM task (Sally-Anne, Baron-Cohen et al. (1985). Cognition, 21(1), 37) as well as a non-verbal one (Colle et al. (2007). Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37(4), 716). Indexes of executive functions were collected via a computerized version of the Dimensional Change Card-Sorting task (Frye et al., 1995). Standardized measures of vocabulary

  1. Impaired left ventricular systolic function reserve limits cardiac output and exercise capacity in HFpEF patients due to systemic hypertension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henein, Michael; Mörner, Stellan; Lindmark, Krister; Lindqvist, Per

    2013-09-30

    Heart failure (HF) patients with preserved left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (EF) (HFpEF) due to systemic hypertension (SHT) are known to have limited exercise tolerance. Despite having normal EF at rest, we hypothesize that these patients have abnormal systolic function reserve limiting their exercise capacity. Seventeen patients with SHT (mean age 68 ± 9 years) but no valve disease and 14 healthy individuals (mean age of 65 ± 10 years) underwent resting and peak exercise echocardiography using conventional, tissue Doppler and speckle tracking techniques. The differences between resting and peak exercise values were also analyzed (Δ). Exercise capacity was determined as the workload divided by body surface area. Resting values for left atrial (LA) volume/BSA (r=-0.66, pexercise capacity. LVEF increased during exercise in normals (mean Δ EF=10 ± 8%) but failed to do so in patients (mean Δ EF=0.6 ± 9%, pexercise in patients, to the same extent as it did in normals (0.2 ± 0.2 vs. 0.6 ± 0.3 1/s, pexercise (Δ) in LV lateral wall systolic velocity from tissue Doppler (s') (0.71, pexercise capacity independent of changes in heart rate. HFpEF patients with hypertensive LV disease have significantly limited exercise capacity which is related to left atrial enlargement as well as compromised LV systolic function at the time of the symptoms. The limited myocardial systolic function reserve seems to be underlying important explanation for their limited exercise capacity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. The Minimal and Short-Lived Effects of Minority Language Exposure on the Executive Functions of Frisian-Dutch Bilingual Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosma, Evelyn; Hoekstra, Eric; Versloot, Arjen; Blom, Elma

    2017-01-01

    Various studies have shown that bilingual children need a certain degree of proficiency in both languages before their bilingual experiences enhance their executive functioning (EF). In the current study, we investigated if degree of bilingualism in Frisian-Dutch children influenced EF and if this effect was sustained over a 3-year period. To this end, longitudinal data were analyzed from 120 Frisian-Dutch bilingual children who were 5- or 6-years-old at the first time of testing. EF was measured with two attention and two working memory tasks. Degree of bilingualism was defined as language balance based on receptive vocabulary and expressive morphology scores in both languages. In a context with a minority and a majority language, such as the Frisian-Dutch context, chances for becoming proficient in both languages are best for children who speak the minority language at home. Therefore, in a subsequent analysis, we examined whether minority language exposure predicted language balance and whether there was a relationship between minority language exposure and EF, mediated by language balance. The results showed that intensity of exposure to Frisian at home, mediated by language balance, had an impact on one of the attention tasks only. It predicted performance on this task at time 1, but not at time 2 and 3. This partially confirms previous evidence that the cognitive effects of bilingualism are moderated by degree of bilingualism and furthermore reveals that substantial minority language exposure at home indirectly affects bilingual children's cognitive development, namely through mediation with degree of bilingualism. However, the findings also demonstrate that the effect of bilingualism on EF is limited and unstable.

  3. The Minimal and Short-Lived Effects of Minority Language Exposure on the Executive Functions of Frisian-Dutch Bilingual Children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evelyn Bosma

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Various studies have shown that bilingual children need a certain degree of proficiency in both languages before their bilingual experiences enhance their executive functioning (EF. In the current study, we investigated if degree of bilingualism in Frisian-Dutch children influenced EF and if this effect was sustained over a 3-year period. To this end, longitudinal data were analyzed from 120 Frisian-Dutch bilingual children who were 5- or 6-years-old at the first time of testing. EF was measured with two attention and two working memory tasks. Degree of bilingualism was defined as language balance based on receptive vocabulary and expressive morphology scores in both languages. In a context with a minority and a majority language, such as the Frisian-Dutch context, chances for becoming proficient in both languages are best for children who speak the minority language at home. Therefore, in a subsequent analysis, we examined whether minority language exposure predicted language balance and whether there was a relationship between minority language exposure and EF, mediated by language balance. The results showed that intensity of exposure to Frisian at home, mediated by language balance, had an impact on one of the attention tasks only. It predicted performance on this task at time 1, but not at time 2 and 3. This partially confirms previous evidence that the cognitive effects of bilingualism are moderated by degree of bilingualism and furthermore reveals that substantial minority language exposure at home indirectly affects bilingual children’s cognitive development, namely through mediation with degree of bilingualism. However, the findings also demonstrate that the effect of bilingualism on EF is limited and unstable.

  4. The Minimal and Short-Lived Effects of Minority Language Exposure on the Executive Functions of Frisian-Dutch Bilingual Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosma, Evelyn; Hoekstra, Eric; Versloot, Arjen; Blom, Elma

    2017-01-01

    Various studies have shown that bilingual children need a certain degree of proficiency in both languages before their bilingual experiences enhance their executive functioning (EF). In the current study, we investigated if degree of bilingualism in Frisian-Dutch children influenced EF and if this effect was sustained over a 3-year period. To this end, longitudinal data were analyzed from 120 Frisian-Dutch bilingual children who were 5- or 6-years-old at the first time of testing. EF was measured with two attention and two working memory tasks. Degree of bilingualism was defined as language balance based on receptive vocabulary and expressive morphology scores in both languages. In a context with a minority and a majority language, such as the Frisian-Dutch context, chances for becoming proficient in both languages are best for children who speak the minority language at home. Therefore, in a subsequent analysis, we examined whether minority language exposure predicted language balance and whether there was a relationship between minority language exposure and EF, mediated by language balance. The results showed that intensity of exposure to Frisian at home, mediated by language balance, had an impact on one of the attention tasks only. It predicted performance on this task at time 1, but not at time 2 and 3. This partially confirms previous evidence that the cognitive effects of bilingualism are moderated by degree of bilingualism and furthermore reveals that substantial minority language exposure at home indirectly affects bilingual children’s cognitive development, namely through mediation with degree of bilingualism. However, the findings also demonstrate that the effect of bilingualism on EF is limited and unstable. PMID:28900405

  5. Children's executive function and high-calorie, low-nutrient food intake: mediating effects of child-perceived adult fast food intake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tate, Eleanor B; Unger, Jennifer B; Chou, Chih-Ping; Spruijt-Metz, Donna; Pentz, Mary Ann; Riggs, Nathaniel R

    2015-04-01

    This study tested the relationships among child executive function (EF), child-perceived parent fast food intake, and child self-reported subsequent consumption of high-calorie, low-nutrient (HCLN) food. One year and 6-month longitudinal observation from a larger randomized controlled trial. Southern California elementary schools. Fourth- and fifth-grade children (N = 1,005) participating in the Pathways to Health obesity prevention program. Child EF problems were associated with higher concurrent HCLN intake (B = 0.29, SE = 0.10, p fast food intake (indirect effect = 0.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [0.11, 0.25], p problems did not significantly predict higher HCLN intake a year and a half later (B = 0.01, SE = 0.10, p = .92, n = 848) but did have a significant indirect effect through higher perceived parent fast food intake (indirect effect = 0.05, 95% CI = [0.02, 0.10], p fast food intake, contributing to their own unhealthy food intake. However, EF problems may not directly affect HCLN intake across time, except when problems are associated with child perception of more frequent parent consumption of convenience foods. Future research is needed to investigate the possibility that helping children perceive and understand role models' convenience food consumption may improve child dietary consumption patterns. © 2014 Society for Public Health Education.

  6. Effects of bilingualism on the age of onset and progression of MCI and AD: evidence from executive function tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bialystok, Ellen; Craik, Fergus I M; Binns, Malcolm A; Ossher, Lynn; Freedman, Morris

    2014-03-01

    Previous articles have reported that bilingualism is associated with a substantial delay in the onset of both Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). The present study reports results from 74 MCI patients and 75 AD patients; approximately half of the patients in each group were bilingual. All patients were interviewed to obtain details of their language use, onset of their condition, and lifestyle habits. Patients performed three executive function (EF) tests from the D-KEFS battery (Trails, Color-Word Interference, Verbal Fluency) on 3 occasions over a period of approximately 1 year. Results replicated the finding that bilingual patients are several years older than comparable monolinguals at both age of symptom onset and date of first clinic visit. This result could not be attributed to language group differences in such lifestyle variables as diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, or social activity. On the first testing occasion, performance on the EF tasks was generally comparable between the language groups, contesting arguments that bilinguals wait longer before attending the clinic. Finally, EF performance tended to decline over the 3 sessions, but no differences were found between monolinguals and bilinguals in the rate of decline. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evelyn eVera-Estay

    2016-03-01

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

  9. An Early Years Toolbox for Assessing Early Executive Function, Language, Self-Regulation, and Social Development: Validity, Reliability, and Preliminary Norms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Steven J; Melhuish, Edward

    2017-06-01

    Several methods of assessing executive function (EF), self-regulation, language development, and social development in young children have been developed over previous decades. Yet new technologies make available methods of assessment not previously considered. In resolving conceptual and pragmatic limitations of existing tools, the Early Years Toolbox (EYT) offers substantial advantages for early assessment of language, EF, self-regulation, and social development. In the current study, results of our large-scale administration of this toolbox to 1,764 preschool and early primary school students indicated very good reliability, convergent validity with existing measures, and developmental sensitivity. Results were also suggestive of better capture of children's emerging abilities relative to comparison measures. Preliminary norms are presented, showing a clear developmental trajectory across half-year age groups. The accessibility of the EYT, as well as its advantages over existing measures, offers considerably enhanced opportunities for objective measurement of young children's abilities to enable research and educational applications.

  10. Executive function in children with high and low attentional skills: correspondences between behavioural and cognitive profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scope, Alison; Empson, Janet; McHale, Sue

    2010-06-01

    Cognitive performance was compared between two groups of typically developing children, who had been observed and rated as differing significantly in their attentional skills at school. The participants were 24 8- and 9-year-old children scoring poorly relative to peers, on a classroom observation scale and teacher rating scale for attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity [low-attentional skills (LAS) group] and 24 sex- and age-matched children scoring at a high level compared to peers [high-attentional skills (HAS) group]. The two groups were compared on a series of cognitive tasks to assess executive function (EF). The LAS group performed within the typical range yetat a significantly lower level than the HAS group on the majority of the EF tasks administered, namely working memory and inhibition measures, even though there were no significant differences between the groups on a measure of intellectual ability. Working memory measures followed by measures of inhibition emerged as the best predictors of group membership. These findings provide empirical evidence that there are individual differences in attentional skills. Specifically, that there is a relationship between behavioural inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity and cognitive performance on working memory and inhibitory control tasks.

  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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Handwriting measures as reflectors of executive functions among adults with Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenblum, Sara

    2013-01-01

    Planning ahead and organizational abilities in time and space are ingredients of high-level cognitive functions labeled as ‘Executive Functions’ (EF) required for daily activities such as writing or home management. EF deficits are considered a possible underlying brain mechanism involved in Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD). The aim: of the study was to compare the handwriting process measures and the planning and organizational abilities in space and time of students with DCD with those of matched controls and to find whether handwriting measures can predict daily planning and organizational abilities among students with DCD. Method: 30 students diagnosed with DCD, between the ages of 24–41, and 30 age- and gender-matched controls participated in the study. They filled out the Handwriting Proficiency Screening Questionnaire (HPSQ) and the Adult Developmental Co-ordination Disorders Checklist (ADC). Furthermore, they copied a paragraph on a digitizer that is part of a computerized system Computerised Penmanship Evaluation Toll (ComPET). Results: Significant group differences were found for the HPSQ subscales scores as well as for the temporal and spatial measures of the paragraph copy task. Significant group differences were also found for the planning and organizational abilities in space and time as reflected through the ADC subscales. Significant medium correlations were found in both groups between the mean HPSQ time subscale and the ADC-B subscale mean score (r = 0.50/0.58, p handwriting performance measures (mean HPSQ time subscale and mean stroke duration) predicted 19% of planning and organizational abilities as reflected through daily functions (ADC-B) [F(3, 54) = 38.37, β = 0.40, p handwriting and daily function among DCD will be examined. PMID:23805113

  16. 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.

  17. The test-retest reliability of the latent construct of executive function depends on whether tasks are represented as formative or reflective indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willoughby, Michael T; Kuhn, Laura J; Blair, Clancy B; Samek, Anya; List, John A

    2017-10-01

    This study investigates the test-retest reliability of a battery of executive function (EF) tasks with a specific interest in testing whether the method that is used to create a battery-wide score would result in differences in the apparent test-retest reliability of children's performance. A total of 188 4-year-olds completed a battery of computerized EF tasks twice across a period of approximately two weeks. Two different approaches were used to create a score that indexed children's overall performance on the battery-i.e., (1) the mean score of all completed tasks and (2) a factor score estimate which used confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Pearson and intra-class correlations were used to investigate the test-retest reliability of individual EF tasks, as well as an overall battery score. Consistent with previous studies, the test-retest reliability of individual tasks was modest (rs ≈ .60). The test-retest reliability of the overall battery scores differed depending on the scoring approach (r mean  = .72; r factor_ score  = .99). It is concluded that the children's performance on individual EF tasks exhibit modest levels of test-retest reliability. This underscores the importance of administering multiple tasks and aggregating performance across these tasks in order to improve precision of measurement. However, the specific strategy that is used has a large impact on the apparent test-retest reliability of the overall score. These results replicate our earlier findings and provide additional cautionary evidence against the routine use of factor analytic approaches for representing individual performance across a battery of EF tasks.

  18. [Effect of parents' occupational and life environment exposure during six months before pregnancy on executive function of preschool children].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, Lingling; Shao, Ting; Tao, Huihui; Sun, Yanli; Yan, Shuangqin; Gu, Chunli; Cao, Hui; Huang, Kun; Tao, Fangbiao; Tong, Shilu

    2016-02-01

    To examine the effect of parents' occupational and life exposure during six months before pregnancy on executive function of preschool children. Pregnant women involved in the study came from the Ma'anshan Birth Cohort Study,a part of the China-Anhui Birth Cohort Study. Between October 2008 and October 2010, pregnant women who accepted pregnancy care in four municipal medical and health institutions in Ma'anshan city were recruited as study objects. A total of 5,084 pregnant women and 4,669 singleton live births entered in this cohort. Between April 2014 and April 2015, a total of 3,803 pre-school children were followed up. Finally, except 32 preschool children did not have EF evaluation result, there were 3,771 children included in this study. By using self-designed " Maternal health handbook", we researched parents' general demographic characteristics, and life and occupational exposure during six months before pregnancy. To research preschool children's executive function, we used the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool Version (BRIEF-P). Univariate and multivariate statistical method was used to analyze the association of parents' life and occupational exposure during six months before pregnancy and preschool children's EF. 3,771 preschool children's detected rate of inhibitory self-control index (ISCI), flexibility index (FI), emergent metacognition index (EMI) and global executive composite (GEC) dysplasia were 4.8% (182), 2.3% (88), 16.5% (623) and 8.6% (324) respectively. During six months before pregnancy, children whose parents were lived in a noise environment (OR=1.86, 95% CI: 1.36-2.54), whose maternal were exposed to pesticides were the risk of ISCI dysplasia(OR=3.60, 95% CI: 1.45-8.95). During six months before pregnancy, children whose maternal were exposed to pesticides (OR=6.72, 95% CI: 2.50-18.07) and whose father were exposed to occupational lead (OR=2.10, 95% CI: 1.25-3.54) were the risk of FI dysplasia. During six months

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-30

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

  20. 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…

  1. Effect of an Ecological Executive Skill Training Program for School-aged Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Ying; Chen, Min; Shuai, Lan; Cao, Qing-Jiu; Yang, Li; Wang, Yu-Feng

    2017-07-05

    As medication does not normalize outcomes of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), especially in real-life functioning, nonpharmacological methods are important to target this field. This randomized controlled clinical trial was designed to evaluate the effects of a comprehensive executive skill training program for school-aged children with ADHD in a relatively large sample. The children (aged 6-12 years) with ADHD were randomized to the intervention or waitlist groups. A healthy control group was composed of gender- and age-matched healthy children. The intervention group received a 12-session training program for multiple executive skills. Executive function (EF), ADHD symptoms, and social functioning in the intervention and waitlist groups were evaluated at baseline and the end of the final training session. The healthy controls (HCs) were only assessed once at baseline. Repeated measures analyses of variance were used to compare EF, ADHD symptoms, and social function between intervention and waitlist groups. Thirty-eight children with ADHD in intervention group, 30 in waitlist group, and 23 healthy children in healthy control group were included in final analysis. At posttreatment, intervention group showed significantly lower Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) total score (135.89 ± 16.80 vs. 146.09 ± 23.92, P= 0.04) and monitoring score (18.05 ± 2.67 vs. 19.77 ± 3.10, P= 0.02), ADHD-IV overall score (41.11 ± 7.48 vs. 47.20 ± 8.47, PADHD-IV overall score (F = 21.72, PADHD-rating scale-IV, and WEISS Functional Impairment Scale-Parent form (WFIRS-P) among the intervention and waitlist groups at posttreatment and HCs at baseline. This randomized controlled study on executive skill training in a relatively large sample provided some evidences that the training could improve EF deficits, reduce problematic symptoms, and potentially enhance the social functioning in school-aged children with ADHD. http

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-08-01

    The concept of dissociation refers to disruptions in attentional control. Attentional control is an executive function. Few studies have addressed the link between dissociation and executive functioning. Our study investigated this relationship in a sample of undergraduate students (N = 185) who completed the Dissociative Experiences Scale and the Random Number Generation Task. We found that minor disruptions in executive functioning were related to a subclass of dissociative experiences, notably dissociative amnesia and the Dissociative Experiences Scale Taxon. However, the two other subscales of the Dissociative Experiences Scale, measuring depersonalization and absorption, were unrelated to executive functioning. Our findings suggest that a failure to inhibit previous responses might contribute to the pathological memory manifestations of dissociation.

  3. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lensing, Nele; Elsner, Birgit

    2018-05-07

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

  5. Electrostatics effects on Ca(2+) binding and conformational changes in EF-hand domains: Functional implications for EF-hand proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ababou, Abdessamad; Zaleska, Mariola

    2015-12-01

    Mutations of Gln41 and Lys75 with nonpolar residues in the N-terminal domain of calmodulin (N-Cam) revealed the importance of solvation energetics in conformational change of Ca(2+) sensor EF-hand domains. While in general these domains have polar residues at these corresponding positions yet the extent of their conformational response to Ca(2+) binding and their Ca(2+) binding affinity can be different from N-Cam. Consequently, here we address the charge state of the polar residues at these positions. The results show that the charge state of these polar residues can affect substantially the conformational change and the Ca(2+) binding affinity of our N-Cam variants. Since all the variants kept their conformational activity in the presence of Ca(2+) suggests that the differences observed among them mainly originate from the difference in their molecular dynamics. Hence we propose that the molecular dynamics of Ca(2+) sensor EF-hand domains is a key factor in the multifunctional aspect of EF-hand proteins. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. Neuroanatomical Substrates of Executive Functions: Beyond Prefrontal Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Executive functions are often considered lynchpin “frontal lobe tasks”, despite accumulating evidence that a broad network of anterior and posterior brain structures supports them. Using a latent variable modeling approach, we assessed whether prefrontal grey matter volumes independently predict executive function performance when statistically differentiated from global atrophy and individual non-frontal lobar volume contributions. We further examined whether fronto-parietal white matter microstructure underlies and independently contributes to executive functions. We developed a latent variable model to decompose lobar grey matter volumes into a global grey matter factor and specific lobar volumes (i.e. prefrontal, parietal, temporal, occipital) that were independent of global grey matter. We then added mean fractional anisotropy (FA) for the superior longitudinal fasciculus (dorsal portion), corpus callosum, and cingulum bundle (dorsal portion) to models that included grey matter volumes related to cognitive variables in previous analyses. Results suggested that the 2-factor model (shifting/inhibition, updating/working memory) plus an information processing speed factor best explained our executive function data in a sample of 202 community dwelling older adults, and was selected as the base measurement model for further analyses. Global grey matter was related to the executive function and speed variables in all four lobar models, but independent contributions of the frontal lobes were not significant. In contrast, when assessing the effect of white matter microstructure, cingulum FA made significant independent contributions to all three executive function and speed variables and corpus callosum FA was independently related to shifting/inhibition and speed. Findings from the current study indicate that while prefrontal grey matter volumes are significantly associated with cognitive neuroscience measures of shifting/inhibition and working memory in healthy

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1971-01-01

    The computer executive functional system design concepts derived from study of the Space Station/Base are presented. Information Management System hardware configuration as directly influencing the executive design is reviewed. The hardware configuration and generic executive design requirements are considered in detail in a previous report (System Configuration and Executive Requirements Specifications for Reusable Shuttle and Space Station/Base, 9/25/70). This report defines basic system primitives and delineates processes and process control. Supervisor states are considered for describing basic multiprogramming and multiprocessing systems. A high-level computer executive including control of scheduling, allocation of resources, system interactions, and real-time supervisory functions is defined. The description is oriented to provide a baseline for a functional simulation of the computer executive system.

  9. Education for Sustainability (EfS): Practice and Practice Architectures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemmis, Stephen; Mutton, Rebecca

    2012-01-01

    This paper reports some findings from an investigation of educational practice in ten (formal and informal) education for sustainability (EfS) initiatives, to characterise exemplary practice in school and community education for sustainability, considered crucial to Australia's future. The study focused on rural/regional Australia, specifically…

  10. Heart Failure with Recovered EF and Heart Failure with Mid-Range EF: Current Recommendations and Controversies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unkovic, Peter; Basuray, Anupam

    2018-04-03

    This review explores key features and potential management controversies in two emerging populations in heart failure: heart failure with recovered ejection fraction (HF-recovered EF) and heart failure with mid-range ejection fraction (HFmrEF). While HF-recovered EF patients have better outcomes than heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), they continue to have symptoms, persistent biomarker elevations, and abnormal outcomes suggesting a continued disease process. HFmrEF patients appear to have features of HFrEF and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), but have a high prevalence of ischemic heart disease and may represent a transitory phase between the HFrEF and HFpEF. Management strategies have insufficient data to warrant standardization at this time. HF-recovered EF and HFmrEF represent new populations with unmet needs and expose the pitfalls of an EF basis for heart failure classification.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

    Executive functioning is an umbrella term for several related cognitive functions like selective- and sustained attention, working memory, and inhibition. Little is known about the stability of executive functioning during childhood. In this study the longitudinal stability of executive functioning

  12. Self-report measures of Executive Functioning are a determinant of academic performance in first-year students at a university of applied sciences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria A.E. Baars

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies in late adolescents (age 17+ show that brain development may proceed till around the 25th year of age. This implies that study performance in higher education could be dependent upon the stage of brain maturation and neuropsychological development. Individual differences in development of neuropsychological skills may thus have a substantial influence on the outcome of the educational process. This hypothesis was evaluated in a large survey of 1760 first-year students at a University of Applied Sciences, of which 1332 are included in the current analyses. This was because of their fit within the age range we pre-set (17-20 years’ old at start of studies. Student characteristics and three behavioural ratings of executive functioning (EF were evaluated with regard to their influence on academic performance. Self-report measures were used: self-reported attention, planning, and self-control & self-monitoring. Results showed that students with better self-reported EF at the start of the first year of their studies obtained more study credits at the end of that year than students with a lower EF self-rating. The correlation between self-control & self-monitoring on the one hand, and study progress on the other, appeared to differ for male and female students and to be influenced by the level of prior education. The results of this large-scale study could have practical relevance. The profound individual differences between students may at least partly be a consequence of their stage of development as an adolescent. Students who show lower levels of attention control, planning and self-control/self-monitoring can be expected to have a problem in study planning and study progress monitoring and hence study progress. The findings imply that interventions directed at the training of these (executive functions should be developed and used in higher education in order to improve academic achievement, learning attitude and motivation.

  13. Impaired theory of mind in Chinese children and adolescents with idiopathic generalized epilepsy: Association with behavioral manifestations of executive dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ting; Chen, Lingyan; Wang, Yu; Zhang, Mengmeng; Wang, Lanlan; Xu, Xiangjun; Xiao, Gairong; Chen, Jing; Shen, Yeru; Zhou, Nong

    2018-02-01

    Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder with a core feature of cognitive impairments. Previous studies showed that patients with focal epilepsy have deficits in both theory of mind (ToM) and executive function (EF). However, there are few studies of ToM in patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE), especially in populations with pediatric epilepsy. The aim of this study was to examine the characteristics of ToM and EF, including some of their subcomponents, and explore the relationship between them in Chinese children with IGE. We recruited 54 children and adolescents with IGE as the experimental subjects and 37 typically developing children and adolescents as control subjects. Both groups completed ToM tests, namely, second-order false belief tasks (FBTs) and faux pas tasks (FPTs). Their caregivers completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) at the same time. Children and adolescents with IGE displayed worse performance on some of the FBTs and FPTs than healthy controls (pchildren with newly diagnosed epilepsy displayed significant deficits in FBT, FPT, and distinct subscales of EF. Our results revealed significant impairments in ToM and EF in children and adolescents with IGE compared with healthy controls. We found significant correlations between ToM and two subcomponents of EF (inhibition and working memory) in children with IGE. Additionally, the duration of seizures affected ToM in patients but was a less powerful predictor than the two subcomponents of EF. Even for children with new-onset seizures and without medication, the deficits in ToM and some distinct subscales of EF were apparent. This result has clinical implications for both nonpharmaceutical therapies and cognitive rehabilitation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Specificity of executive function and theory of mind performance in relation to attention-deficit/hyperactivity symptoms in autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukito, Steve; Jones, Catherine R G; Pickles, Andrew; Baird, Gillian; Happé, Francesca; Charman, Tony; Simonoff, Emily

    2017-01-01

    Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) frequently demonstrate symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Previous findings in children with ASD have suggested that these symptoms are associated with an impairment in executive function (EF) abilities. However, studies rarely considered this association within a single framework that controls for other related factors such as Theory of Mind (ToM) abilities and ASD symptoms. We used structural equation modeling to explore the relations among EF, ToM, and symptoms of ASD and ADHD, using data from a population-based sample of 100 adolescents with ASD and full-scale IQ ≥ 50 (the Special Needs and Autism Project (SNAP) cohort). The study used a multi-measure and multi-informant approach, where performance of inhibition, planning, switching, and working memory tasks indexed EF and performance on tasks involving mentalizing indexed ToM. Measures of ASD and ADHD symptoms included parent and teacher reports and direct observation of the children. Shared source of symptom reporting was accounted for with a parental rating latent factor indexed by symptom measures reported by parents. Impairments in EF abilities were specifically associated with ADHD symptoms while impaired ToM was specifically associated with ASD symptoms, when accounting for the associations of each cognitive domain with the other factors. ASD and ADHD symptom latent factors were also correlated, but this association became nonsignificant once the shared source of reporting from parents was accounted for and within a model that also controlled for the correlated pathway between EF and ToM factors. The specific relations between the cognitive domains and behavioral symptoms remained even after controlling for IQ. In this ASD sample, symptoms of ADHD and ASD are underpinned by separate cognitive domains. The association between EF and ToM impairments is a likely partial explanation for the co-occurrence of ADHD symptoms in ASD

  15. Utilization of Frontal Assessment Battery and Executive Interview 25 in assessing for dysexecutive syndrome and its association with diabetes self-care in elderly patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thabit, H; Kennelly, S M; Bhagarva, A; Ogunlewe, M; McCormack, P M E; McDermott, J H; Sreenan, S

    2009-12-01

    Executive function (EF) comprises a set of cognitive skills that controls the execution of complex activities. In the context of diabetes, this may include patients' self-monitoring and daily management of their condition. We compared two different measures of EF in a population of elderly patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and studied its relationship with diabetes self-care. Fifty patients (34 males) had EF assessed using Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB) and Executive Interview 25 (EXIT25). Diabetes self-care was assessed using the Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities (SDSCA) scale. Haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), lipid levels, blood pressure and diabetes duration were recorded. The mean age of the patients was 67.0+/-7.5 years and mean duration of diabetes was 8.1+/-6.4 years. Mean HbA1c was 7.0+/-1.2%, and mean fasting plasma glucose, cholesterol and LDL-C were 7.0+/-1.7mM, 4.0+/-0.9mM and 2.1+/-0.7mM respectively. Mean EXIT25 score was 9.5+/-4.6 in the range of normal EF (14% had EXIT25 score>15, indicating impaired EF). Mean FAB score was 13.7+/-3.3 (48% having scores<15, indicating impaired EF), suggesting a degree of dysexecutive syndrome involving frontal lobe functions. EXIT25 score was inversely correlated with SDSCA (r=-0.3, p<0.05) but no significant correlation between FAB and SDSCA or HbA1c, diabetes duration, lipid levels and blood pressure with EXIT25, FAB or SDCSA was found. A substantial proportion of elderly patients with T2DM may have dysexecutive syndrome and impairment in EF may impact on self-care in this group.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Fayeza S; Miller, L Stephen

    2013-06-01

    Theory of mind (ToM) is the ability to comprehend another person's perspective. Although there is much literature of ToM in children, there is a limited and somewhat inconclusive amount of studies examining ToM in a geriatric population. This study examined ToM's relationship to functional independence. Two tests of ToM, tests of executive function, and a measure of functional ability were administered to cognitively intact older adults. Results showed that 1 test of ToM (Strange Stories test) significantly accounted for variance in functional ability, whereas the other did not (Faux Pas test). In addition, Strange Stories test performance was partially driven by a verbal abstraction-based executive function: proverb interpretation. A multiple mediation model was employed to examine whether executive functions explained the relationship between the Strange Stories test and functional ability. Results showed that both the combined and individual indirect effects of the executive function measures mediated the relationship. We argue that, although components of ToM are associated with functional independence, ToM does not appear to account for additional variance in functional independence beyond executive function measures. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

  18. HFpEF and HFrEF Display Different Phenotypes as Assessed by IGF-1 and IGFBP-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faxén, Ulrika Ljung; Hage, Camilla; Benson, Lina; Zabarovskaja, Stanislava; Andreasson, Anna; Donal, Erwan; Daubert, Jean-Claude; Linde, Cecilia; Brismar, Kerstin; Lund, Lars H

    2017-04-01

    Anabolic drive is impaired in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) but insufficiently studied in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) mediates growth hormone effects and IGF binding protein 1 (IGFBP-1) regulates IGF-1 activity. We tested the hypothesis that HFpEF and HFrEF are similar with regard to IGF-1 and IGFBP-1. In patients with HFpEF (n = 79), HFrEF (n = 85), and controls (n = 136), we analyzed serum IGF-1 and IGFBP-1 concentrations, correlations, and associations with outcome. Age-standardized scores of IGF-1 were higher in HFpEF, median arbitrary units (interquartile range); 1.21 (0.57-1.96) vs HFrEF, 0.09 (-1.40-1.62), and controls, 0.22 (-0.47-0.96), P overall IGF-1 was associated with outcomes in HFrEF, hazard ratio per natural logarithmic increase in IGF-1 SD score 0.51 (95% confidence interval 0.32-0.82, P = .005), but not significantly in HFpEF. IGFBP-1 was not associated with outcomes in either HFpEF nor HFrEF. HFpEF and HFrEF phenotypes were similar with regard to increased IGFBP-1 concentrations but differed regarding IGF-1 levels and prognostic role. HFrEF and HFpEF may display different impairment in anabolic drive. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Cumulative Risk Disparities in Children's Neurocognitive Functioning: A Developmental Cascade Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wade, Mark; Browne, Dillon T.; Plamondon, Andre; Daniel, Ella; Jenkins, Jennifer M.

    2016-01-01

    The current longitudinal study examined the role of cumulative social risk on children's theory of mind (ToM) and executive functioning (EF) across early development. Further, we also tested a cascade model of development in which children's social cognition at 18 months was hypothesized to predict ToM and EF at age 4.5 through intermediary…

  2. 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.

  3. Executive functions in synesthesia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

    In grapheme-color synesthesia, a number or letter can evoke two different and possibly conflicting (real and synesthetic) color sensations at the same time. In this study, we investigate the relationship between synesthesia and executive control functions. First, no general skill differences were

  4. Executive Functions in Premanifest Huntington’s Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, S. Christine; Geschwind, Michael D.; Sha, Sharon J.; Apple, Alexandra; Satris, Gabriella; Wood, Kristie A.; Johnson, Erica T.; Gooblar, Jonathan; Feuerstein, Jeanne S.; Finkbeiner, Steven; Kang, Gail A.; Miller, Bruce L.; Hess, Christopher P.; Kramer, Joel H.; Possin, Katherine L.

    2014-01-01

    Objective We investigated the viability of psychometrically robust executive function measures as markers for premanifest Huntington’s disease (HD). Methods Fifteen premanifest HD subjects and 42 controls were compared on the NIH EXAMINER executive function battery. This battery yields an overall Executive Composite score, plus Working Memory, Cognitive Control, and Fluency Scores that are measured on psychometrically matched scales. The scores were correlated with two disease markers, disease burden and striatal volumes, in the premanifest HD subjects. Results The premanifest HD subjects scored significantly lower on the Working Memory Score. The Executive Composite positively correlated with striatal volumes, and Working Memory Score negatively correlated with disease burden. The Cognitive Control and Fluency Scores did not differ between the groups or correlate significantly with the disease markers. Conclusions The NIH EXAMINER Executive Composite and Working Memory Score are sensitive markers of cognitive dysfunction, striatal volume, and disease burden in premanifest HD. PMID:24375511

  5. 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

  6. Executive Function and Adaptive Behavior in Muenke Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yarnell, Colin M P; Addissie, Yonit A; Hadley, Donald W; Guillen Sacoto, Maria J; Agochukwu, Nneamaka B; Hart, Rachel A; Wiggs, Edythe A; Platte, Petra; Paelecke, Yvonne; Collmann, Hartmut; Schweitzer, Tilmann; Kruszka, Paul; Muenke, Maximilian

    2015-08-01

    To investigate executive function and adaptive behavior in individuals with Muenke syndrome using validated instruments with a normative population and unaffected siblings as controls. Participants in this cross-sectional study included individuals with Muenke syndrome (P250R mutation in FGFR3) and their mutation-negative siblings. Participants completed validated assessments of executive functioning (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function [BRIEF]) and adaptive behavior skills (Adaptive Behavior Assessment System, Second Edition [ABAS-II]). Forty-four with a positive FGFR3 mutation, median age 9 years, range 7 months to 52 years were enrolled. In addition, 10 unaffected siblings served as controls (5 males, 5 females; median age, 13 years; range, 3-18 years). For the General Executive Composite scale of the BRIEF, 32.1% of the cohort had scores greater than +1.5 SD, signifying potential clinical significance. For the General Adaptive Composite of the ABAS-II, 28.2% of affected individuals scored in the 3rd-8th percentile of the normative population, and 56.4% were below the average category (General Executive Composite and the ABAS-II General Adaptive Composite. Individuals with Muenke syndrome are at an increased risk for developing adaptive and executive function behavioral changes compared with a normative population and unaffected siblings. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. Contributions to Executive Dysfunction in Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and History of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jurick, Sarah M; Crocker, Laura D; Sanderson-Cimino, Mark; Keller, Amber V; Trenova, Liljana S; Boyd, Briana L; Twamley, Elizabeth W; Rodgers, Carie S; Schiehser, Dawn M; Aupperle, Robin L; Jak, Amy J

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), history of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), and executive function (EF) difficulties are prevalent in Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Veterans. We evaluated the contributions of injury variables, lower-order cognitive component processes (processing speed/attention), and psychological symptoms to EF. OEF/OIF Veterans (N = 65) with PTSD and history of mTBI were administered neuropsychological tests of EF and self-report assessments of PTSD and depression. Those impaired on one or more EF measures had higher PTSD and depression symptoms and lower processing speed/attention performance than those with intact performance on all EF measures. Across participants, poorer attention/processing speed performance and higher psychological symptoms were associated with worse performance on specific aspects of EF (eg, inhibition and switching) even after accounting for injury variables. Although direct relationships between EF and injury variables were equivocal, there was an interaction between measures of injury burden and processing speed/attention such that those with greater injury burden exhibited significant and positive relationships between processing speed/attention and inhibition/switching, whereas those with lower injury burden did not. Psychological symptoms as well as lower-order component processes of EF (attention and processing speed) contribute significantly to executive dysfunction in OEF/OIF Veterans with PTSD and history of mTBI. However, there may be equivocal relationships between injury variables and EF that warrant further study. Results provide groundwork for more fully understanding cognitive symptoms in OEF/OIF Veterans with PTSD and history of mTBI that can inform psychological and cognitive interventions in this population.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Cortical deficits of emotional face processing in adults with ADHD: its relation to social cognition and executive function.

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    Ibáñez, Agustin; Petroni, Agustin; Urquina, Hugo; Torrente, Fernando; Torralva, Teresa; Hurtado, Esteban; Guex, Raphael; Blenkmann, Alejandro; Beltrachini, Leandro; Muravchik, Carlos; Baez, Sandra; Cetkovich, Marcelo; Sigman, Mariano; Lischinsky, Alicia; Manes, Facundo

    2011-01-01

    Although it has been shown that adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have impaired social cognition, no previous study has reported the brain correlates of face valence processing. This study looked for behavioral, neuropsychological, and electrophysiological markers of emotion processing for faces (N170) in adult ADHD compared to controls matched by age, gender, educational level, and handedness. We designed an event-related potential (ERP) study based on a dual valence task (DVT), in which faces and words were presented to test the effects of stimulus type (faces, words, or face-word stimuli) and valence (positive versus negative). Individual signatures of cognitive functioning in participants with ADHD and controls were assessed with a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation, including executive functioning (EF) and theory of mind (ToM). Compared to controls, the adult ADHD group showed deficits in N170 emotion modulation for facial stimuli. These N170 impairments were observed in the absence of any deficit in facial structural processing, suggesting a specific ADHD impairment in early facial emotion modulation. The cortical current density mapping of N170 yielded a main neural source of N170 at posterior section of fusiform gyrus (maximum at left hemisphere for words and right hemisphere for faces and simultaneous stimuli). Neural generators of N170 (fusiform gyrus) were reduced in ADHD. In those patients, N170 emotion processing was associated with performance on an emotional inference ToM task, and N170 from simultaneous stimuli was associated with EF, especially working memory. This is the first report to reveal an adult ADHD-specific impairment in the cortical modulation of emotion for faces and an association between N170 cortical measures and ToM and EF.

  11. Executive and Memory Function in Adolescents Born Very Preterm

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

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Many preterm children display school difficulties, which may be mediated by impairment in executive function and memory. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate executive and memory function among adolescents born preterm compared with term controls at 16 years. METHODS: A total of 337 of 437 (77%) adolescents born in 1989 to 1992 with a birth weight executive function and memory tasks. Multiple regression analyses were used to compare groups and to identify associations between selected factors and outcomes among preterm subjects. RESULTS: Adolescents born preterm, compared with term controls, showed deficits in executive function in the order of 0.4 to 0.6 SD on tasks of verbal fluency, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, planning/organization, and working memory as well as verbal and visuospatial memory. After exclusion of adolescents with neurosensory disabilities and full-scale IQ executive dysfunction, as measured with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, on the Metacognition Index (odds ratio [OR]: 2.5 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.2–5.1]) and the Global Executive Composite (OR: 4.2 [95% CI: 1.6–10.9]), but not on the Behavioral Regulation index (OR: 1.5 [95% CI: 0.7–3.5]). Among adolescents born preterm, severe brain injury on neonatal ultrasound and lower maternal education were the most consistent factors associated with poor outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Even after exclusion of preterm subjects with significant disabilities, adolescents born preterm in the early 1990s were at increased risk of deficits in executive function and memory. PMID:21300680

  12. Distinct effects of protracted withdrawal on affect, craving, selective attention and executive functions among alcohol-dependent patients.

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    Cordovil De Sousa Uva, Mariana; Luminet, Olivier; Cortesi, Marie; Constant, Eric; Derely, Marc; De Timary, Philippe

    2010-01-01

    The present study examined the effects of protracted alcohol withdrawal on affectivity, craving, selective attention and executive functions (EFs) in alcohol-dependent patients. Selective attention (The D2 Cancellation Test), flexibility (Trail Making Test), inhibition (Stroop Task), decision making (Iowa Gambling Task), craving (Obsessive-Compulsive Drinking Scale) and state affectivity (Positive and Negative Affectivity Schedule) were assessed in alcohol-dependent patients (DSM-IV, n = 35) matched to non-alcohol-dependent participants (n = 22) at the onset (T1: day 1 or 2) and at the end (T2: days 14-18) of protracted withdrawal during rehab. Alcohol-dependent patients' abilities to focus their attention on relevant information, to switch from one pattern to another, to inhibit irrelevant information and to make advantageous choices were lower than those of control participants during both times of a withdrawal cure. No effect of time emerged from analyses for selective attention and EF deficits. Conversely, significant differences between T1 and T2 were observed for craving and affect scores indicating a weakening of alcohol craving and negative affect as well as an improvement of positive affect among patients from onset to the end of cure. Control functions of the Supervisory Attentional System (Norman and Shallice, 1986) were impaired and did not improve during a 3-week withdrawal cure, whereas alcohol craving and negative state affectivity significantly improved in parallel during this period. Implications for understanding the clinical processes of withdrawal are discussed.

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

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    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.

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

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    MacKenzie, L E; Patterson, V C; Zwicker, A; Drobinin, V; Fisher, H L; Abidi, S; Greve, A N; Bagnell, A; Propper, L; Alda, M; Pavlova, B; Uher, R

    2017-12-01

    Psychotic symptoms are common in children and adolescents and may be early manifestations of liability to severe mental illness (SMI), including schizophrenia. SMI and psychotic symptoms are associated with impairment in executive functions. However, previous studies have not differentiated between 'cold' and 'hot' executive functions. We hypothesized that the propensity for psychotic symptoms is specifically associated with impairment in 'hot' executive functions, such as decision-making in the context of uncertain rewards and losses. In a cohort of 156 youth (mean age 12.5, range 7-24 years) enriched for familial risk of SMI, we measured cold and hot executive functions with the spatial working memory (SWM) task (total errors) and the Cambridge Gambling Task (decision-making), respectively. We assessed psychotic symptoms using the semi-structured Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia interview, Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes, Funny Feelings, and Schizophrenia Proneness Instrument - Child and Youth version. In total 69 (44.23%) youth reported psychotic symptoms on one or more assessments. Cold executive functioning, indexed with SWM errors, was not significantly related to psychotic symptoms [odds ratio (OR) 1.36, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.85-2.17, p = 0.204). Poor hot executive functioning, indexed as decision-making score, was associated with psychotic symptoms after adjustment for age, sex and familial clustering (OR 2.37, 95% CI 1.25-4.50, p = 0.008). The association between worse hot executive functions and psychotic symptoms remained significant in sensitivity analyses controlling for general cognitive ability and cold executive functions. Impaired hot executive functions may be an indicator of risk and a target for pre-emptive early interventions in youth.

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

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

    2015-05-01

    Executive dysfunction may play a key role in the pathophysiology of late-life depression. Executive dysfunction can be assessed with cognitive tests and subjective report of difficulties with executive skills. The present study investigated the association between subjective report of executive functioning complaints and time to escitalopram treatment response in older adults with major depressive disorder (MDD). 100 older adults with MDD (58 with executive functioning complaints and 42 without executive functioning complaints) completed a 12-week trial of escitalopram. Treatment response over 12 weeks, as measured by repeated Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores, was compared for adults with and without executive complaints using mixed-effects modeling. Mixed effects analysis revealed a significant group × time interaction, F(1, 523.34) = 6.00, p = 0.01. Depressed older adults who reported executive functioning complaints at baseline demonstrated a slower response to escitalopram treatment than those without executive functioning complaints. Self-report of executive functioning difficulties may be a useful prognostic indicator for subsequent speed of response to antidepressant medication. Copyright © 2015 American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Early development of executive functions: a differential study

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    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Estudio comparativo de las funciones ejecutivas entre pacientes con enfermedad de Parkinson y pacientes con enfermedad degenerativa cerebelosa Comparison study of executive functions in Parkinson's disease and degenerative cerebellar disease's patients

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    Carlos G. Abel

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: Comparar el rendimiento en tareas de función ejecutiva (FE en sujetos con enfermedad de Parkinson (EP leve a moderada (Hoehn y Yahr OBJECTIVE: To compare executive functions (EF in non-demented mild to moderate Parkinson's disease (PD (Hoehn and Yahr <3 and pure degenerative cerebellar disease (CD in order to evaluate th