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Sample records for executive function measures

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  2. 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

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

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

    2018-01-01

    Delays in the development of executive functioning skills are frequently observed in pediatric neuropsychology populations and can have a broad and significant impact on quality of life. As a result, assessment of executive functioning is often relevant for the development of formulations and recommendations in pediatric neuropsychology clinical work. Questionnaire-based measures of executive functioning behaviors in everyday life have unique advantages and complement traditional neuropsychological measures of executive functioning. Two case studies of children with spina bifida are presented to illustrate the clinical use of a new questionnaire measure of executive and learning-related functioning, the Learning, Executive, and Attention Functioning Scale (LEAF). The LEAF emphasizes clinical utility in assessment by incorporating four characteristics: brevity in administration, breadth of additional relevant content, efficiency of scoring and interpretation, and ease of availability for use. LEAF results were consistent with another executive functioning checklist in documenting everyday behavior problems related to working memory, planning, and organization while offering additional breadth of assessment of domains such as attention, processing speed, and novel problem-solving. These case study results demonstrate the clinical utility of questionnaire-based measurement of executive functioning in pediatric neuropsychology and provide a new measure for accomplishing this goal.

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

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    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.

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

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  7. On the relationship between executive functions of working memory and components derived from fluid intelligence measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Xuezhu; Schweizer, Karl; Wang, Tengfei; Chu, Pei; Gong, Qin

    2017-10-01

    The aim of the current study is to provide new insights into the relationship between executive functions and intelligence measures in considering the item-position effect observed in intelligence items. Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM) and Horn's LPS reasoning test were used to assess fluid intelligence which served as criterion in investigating the relationship between intelligence and executive functions. A battery of six experimental tasks measured the updating, shifting, and inhibition processes of executive functions. Data were collected from 205 university students. Fluid intelligence showed substantial correlations with the updating and inhibition processes and no correlation with the shifting process without considering the item-position effect. Next, the fixed-link model was applied to APM and LPS data separately to decompose them into an ability component and an item-position component. The results of relating the components to executive functions showed that the updating and shifting processes mainly contributed to the item-position component whereas the inhibition process was mainly associated with the ability component of each fluid intelligence test. These findings suggest that improvements in the efficiency of updating and shifting processes are likely to occur during the course of completing intelligence measures and inhibition is important for intelligence in general. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

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    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.

  9. An Embodied Account of Early Executive-Function Development

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    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

  10. The role of test-retest reliability in measuring individual and group differences in executive functioning.

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    Paap, Kenneth R; Sawi, Oliver

    2016-12-01

    Studies testing for individual or group differences in executive functioning can be compromised by unknown test-retest reliability. Test-retest reliabilities across an interval of about one week were obtained from performance in the antisaccade, flanker, Simon, and color-shape switching tasks. There is a general trade-off between the greater reliability of single mean RT measures, and the greater process purity of measures based on contrasts between mean RTs in two conditions. The individual differences in RT model recently developed by Miller and Ulrich was used to evaluate the trade-off. Test-retest reliability was statistically significant for 11 of the 12 measures, but was of moderate size, at best, for the difference scores. The test-retest reliabilities for the Simon and flanker interference scores were lower than those for switching costs. Standard practice evaluates the reliability of executive-functioning measures using split-half methods based on data obtained in a single day. Our test-retest measures of reliability are lower, especially for difference scores. These reliability measures must also take into account possible day effects that classical test theory assumes do not occur. Measures based on single mean RTs tend to have acceptable levels of reliability and convergent validity, but are "impure" measures of specific executive functions. The individual differences in RT model shows that the impurity problem is worse than typically assumed. However, the "purer" measures based on difference scores have low convergent validity that is partly caused by deficiencies in test-retest reliability. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

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

    2009-01-01

    Neurocognitive deficits in chronic alcoholic men are well documented. Impairments include memory, visual-spatial processing, problem solving and executive function. The cause of impairment could include direct effects of alcohol toxicity, pre-existing cognitive deficits that predispose towards substance abuse, comorbid psychiatric disorders and abuse of substances other than alcohol. Cigarette smoking occurs at higher rates in alcoholism and has been linked to poor cognitive performance, yet the effects of smoking on cognitive function in alcoholism are often ignored. We examined whether chronic alcoholism and chronic smoking have effects on executive function. Alcoholism and smoking were examined in a community-recruited sample of alcoholic and non-alcoholic men (n = 240) using standard neuropsychological and reaction-time measures of executive function. Alcoholism was measured as the average level of alcoholism diagnoses across the study duration (12 years). Smoking was measured in pack-years. Both alcoholism and smoking were correlated negatively with a composite executive function score. For component measures, alcoholism was correlated negatively with a broad range of measures, whereas smoking was correlated negatively with measures that emphasize response speed. In regression analyses, both smoking and alcoholism were significant predictors of executive function composite. However, when IQ is included in the regression analyses, alcoholism severity is no longer significant. Both smoking and alcoholism were related to executive function. However, the effect of alcoholism was not independent of IQ, suggesting a generalized effect, perhaps affecting a wide range of cognitive abilities of which executive function is a component. On the other hand, the effect of smoking on measures relying on response speed were independent of IQ, suggesting a more specific processing speed deficit associated with chronic smoking.

  12. 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.

  13. Executive Functions in Premanifest Huntington’s Disease

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    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

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

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    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.

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

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    Gothe, Neha P; Fanning, Jason; Awick, Elizabeth; Chung, David; Wójcicki, Thomas R; Olson, Erin A; Mullen, Sean P; Voss, Michelle; Erickson, Kirk I; Kramer, Arthur F; McAuley, Edward

    2014-02-01

    To examine the relationship between performance on executive function measures and subsequent mobility outcomes in community-dwelling older adults. Randomized controlled clinical trial. Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Community-dwelling older adults (N = 179; mean age 66.4). A 12-month exercise trial with two arms: an aerobic exercise group and a stretching and strengthening group. Established cognitive tests of executive function (flanker task, task switching, and a dual-task paradigm) and the Wisconsin card sort test. Mobility was assessed using the timed 8-foot up and go test and times to climb up and down a flight of stairs. Participants completed the cognitive tests at baseline and the mobility measures at baseline and after 12 months of the intervention. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine whether baseline executive function predicted postintervention functional performance after controlling for age, sex, education, cardiorespiratory fitness, and baseline mobility levels. Selective baseline executive function measurements, particularly performance on the flanker task (β = 0.15-0.17) and the Wisconsin card sort test (β = 0.11-0.16) consistently predicted mobility outcomes at 12 months. The estimates were in the expected direction, such that better baseline performance on the executive function measures predicted better performance on the timed mobility tests independent of intervention. Executive functions of inhibitory control, mental set shifting, and attentional flexibility were predictive of functional mobility. Given the literature associating mobility limitations with disability, morbidity, and mortality, these results are important for understanding the antecedents to poor mobility function that well-designed interventions to improve cognitive performance can attenuate. © 2014, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2014, The American Geriatrics Society.

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

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    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.

  17. 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

  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. Rumination prospectively predicts executive functioning impairments in adolescents.

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    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.

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

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    Wain, Omar; Spinella, Marcello

    2007-01-01

    Moral, religious, and paranormal beliefs share some degree of overlap and play important roles in guiding peoples' behavior. Although partly cultural phenomena, they also have neurobiological components based on functional neuroimaging studies and research in clinical populations. Because all three show relationships to prefrontal system functioning, the current study examined whether they related to executive functions as measured by the Executive Function Inventory in a community sample. As in previous research, religious beliefs related positively to both moral attitudes and paranormal beliefs. Moral attitudes, however, did not relate to paranormal beliefs. Paranormal beliefs related inversely to impulse control and organization, whereas small positive correlations occurred between traditional religious beliefs, impulse control, and empathy. Moral attitudes, on the other hand, showed consistent positive correlations with all executive functions measured, independent of demographic influences. These findings concordantly support that prefrontal systems play a role in morality, religion, and paranormal beliefs.

  1. Effects of assisted training with neurofeedback on EEG measures, executive function and mood in a healthy sample

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milena Vasquez

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The training in neurofeedback (NF consists of teaching individuals to modify, adjust and enhance their brain activity pattern. The aim of our research was to evaluate the effect of training on cognitive processes, specifically executive function, and mood in a non-clinical sample. A sample of 30 female college students were assigned to three groups: RH: right hemisphere (n = 10, LH: left hemisphere (n = 10 and control (n = 10. The dominance pattern of beta and the inhibition of the theta pattern were trained in a single session. Measures of executive function (Iowa Gambling Test and questionnaires of mood were taken pre and post training. We found that NF training produced significant positive changes in executive performance in the RH group. In the EEG a tendency to improve beta rhythm after the training emerged too. Additionally, significant correlations were found between executive performance and negative mood in relation to theta frequency band. We conclude that the protocol seems effective to enhance some aspects of executive function as well as to decrease theta power improves the negative mood.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. [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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    The Barkley Deficits in Executive Functioning Scale (BDEFS), authored by Russell A. Barkley and published by Guilford in 2011, is an individually administered assessment tool that may be used to evaluate adults ages 18 to 81. The purpose of this measure is to screen those who may be experiencing executive functioning (EF) deficits in…

  7. Television and children's executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Children spend a lot of time watching television on its many platforms: directly, online, and via videos and DVDs. Many researchers are concerned that some types of television content appear to negatively influence children's executive function. Because (1) executive function predicts key developmental outcomes, (2) executive function appears to be influenced by some television content, and (3) American children watch large quantities of television (including the content of concern), the issues discussed here comprise a crucial public health issue. Further research is needed to reveal exactly what television content is implicated, what underlies television's effect on executive function, how long the effect lasts, and who is affected. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Executive Functioning in Highly Talented Soccer Players

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions might be important for successful performance in sports, particularly in team sports requiring quick anticipation and adaptation to continuously changing situations in the field. The executive functions motor inhibition, attention and visuospatial working memory were examined in highly talented soccer players. Eighty-four highly talented youth soccer players (mean age 11.9), and forty-two age-matched amateur soccer players (mean age 11.8) in the age range 8 to 16 years performed a Stop Signal task (motor inhibition), the Attention Network Test (alerting, orienting, and executive attention) and a visuospatial working memory task. The highly talented soccer players followed the talent development program of the youth academy of a professional soccer club and played at the highest national soccer competition for their age. The amateur soccer players played at a regular soccer club in the same geographical region as the highly talented soccer players and play in a regular regional soccer competition. Group differences were tested using analyses of variance. The highly talented group showed superior motor inhibition as measured by stop signal reaction time (SSRT) on the Stop Signal task and a larger alerting effect on the Attention Network Test, indicating an enhanced ability to attain and maintain an alert state. No group differences were found for orienting and executive attention and visuospatial working memory. A logistic regression model with group (highly talented or amateur) as dependent variable and executive function measures that significantly distinguished between groups as predictors showed that these measures differentiated highly talented soccer players from amateur soccer players with 89% accuracy. Highly talented youth soccer players outperform youth amateur players on suppressing ongoing motor responses and on the ability to attain and maintain an alert state; both may be essential for success in soccer. PMID:24632735

  12. Executive functioning in highly talented soccer players.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lot Verburgh

    Full Text Available Executive functions might be important for successful performance in sports, particularly in team sports requiring quick anticipation and adaptation to continuously changing situations in the field. The executive functions motor inhibition, attention and visuospatial working memory were examined in highly talented soccer players. Eighty-four highly talented youth soccer players (mean age 11.9, and forty-two age-matched amateur soccer players (mean age 11.8 in the age range 8 to 16 years performed a Stop Signal task (motor inhibition, the Attention Network Test (alerting, orienting, and executive attention and a visuospatial working memory task. The highly talented soccer players followed the talent development program of the youth academy of a professional soccer club and played at the highest national soccer competition for their age. The amateur soccer players played at a regular soccer club in the same geographical region as the highly talented soccer players and play in a regular regional soccer competition. Group differences were tested using analyses of variance. The highly talented group showed superior motor inhibition as measured by stop signal reaction time (SSRT on the Stop Signal task and a larger alerting effect on the Attention Network Test, indicating an enhanced ability to attain and maintain an alert state. No group differences were found for orienting and executive attention and visuospatial working memory. A logistic regression model with group (highly talented or amateur as dependent variable and executive function measures that significantly distinguished between groups as predictors showed that these measures differentiated highly talented soccer players from amateur soccer players with 89% accuracy. Highly talented youth soccer players outperform youth amateur players on suppressing ongoing motor responses and on the ability to attain and maintain an alert state; both may be essential for success in soccer.

  13. Theory of Mind and Executive Functioning Following Stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

    Cognitive deficits following stroke are well documented, but less is known about problems with social skills such as understanding others' thoughts and feelings. This study investigated the effect of stroke on a visual-affective measure of social understanding: the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test (RMET). The aims were to investigate whether right hemisphere stroke was particularly detrimental to this aspect of Theory of Mind (ToM), and investigate the relationship between ToM ability and executive function following stroke. Performance of stroke patients (right hemisphere stroke, n = 15; left hemisphere stroke, n = 15) was compared to that of controls (n = 40) matched for age, years of education, and IQ on tasks measuring ToM and executive functioning. Right hemisphere stroke was associated with impaired ToM ability, but left hemisphere stroke was not. There was no effect of stroke on a matched non-ToM control task. High correlations were found between performance on the RMET and some measures of executive functioning in participants with right hemisphere stroke only. Further analyses suggested that deficits in executive functioning could not statistically explain all of the difficulties shown by stroke participants on the RMET. A reduction in the ability to attribute mental states to others following right hemisphere stroke may adversely affect psychosocial functioning, disrupt interpersonal relationships, and lead to reduced quality of life. The clinical importance of these findings, implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    Despite ample research documenting deficits in executive functioning for adults with chronic pain, the literature on pediatric patients with chronic pain is limited and provides mixed results. The current study sought to further investigate the nature of executive dysfunction in this population and also examine the relationships between pain intensity, duration, and catastrophizing with sustained attention, working memory, and self- and parent-report of executive functioning. Pediatric pain clinic and rehabilitation program. Forty adolescents with chronic pain and their parents participated in this study. Participants completed neuropsychological measures and standardized self-report questionnaires during a 45- to 60-minute testing session. Fifty percent of this sample of adolescents with chronic pain demonstrated significant difficulties on at least one measure, with nine participants indicating difficulties on multiple measures. Pain significantly increased during the testing session. Pain variables of intensity, duration, and catastrophizing are related to sustained attention and working memory. This study adds support to previous findings suggesting subclinical struggles with executive functioning for adolescents with chronic pain. One-half of the sample indicated difficulties in either sustained attention and/or working memory. Future studies that would more thoroughly examine more complex executive functioning skills in this population would be helpful to further guide multidisciplinary treatment of these patients, particularly regarding whether or not school accommodations are warranted. © 2017 American Academy of Pain Medicine. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by socio-communicative impairments. Executive dysfunction may explain some key characteristics of ASD, both social and nonsocial hallmarks. Limited research exists exploring the relations between executive function and social impairment in ASD and few studies have used a comparison control group. Thus, the objective of the present study was to investigate the relations between executive functioning using the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning (BRIEF), social impairment as measured by the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), and overall autistic symptomology as measured by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) in children and adolescents with and without ASD. Seventy children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD and 71 typically developing controls were included in this study. Findings showed that behavioral regulation executive processes (i.e., inhibition, shifting, and emotional control) predicted social function in all children. However, metacognitive executive processes (i.e., initiation, working memory, planning, organization, and monitoring) predicted social function only in children with ASD and not in typically developing children. Our findings suggest a distinct metacognitive executive function-social symptom link in ASD that is not present in the typical population. Understanding components of executive functioning that contribute to the autistic symptomology, particularly in the socio-communicative domain, is crucial for developing effective interventions that target key executive processes as well as underlying behavioral symptoms.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

    Executive dysfunction may play a key role in the pathophysiology of late-life depression. Executive dysfunction can be assessed with cognitive tests and subjective report of difficulties with executive skills. The present study investigated the association between subjective report of executive functioning complaints and time to escitalopram treatment response in older adults with major depressive disorder (MDD). 100 older adults with MDD (58 with executive functioning complaints and 42 without executive functioning complaints) completed a 12-week trial of escitalopram. Treatment response over 12 weeks, as measured by repeated Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores, was compared for adults with and without executive complaints using mixed-effects modeling. Mixed effects analysis revealed a significant group × time interaction, F(1, 523.34) = 6.00, p = 0.01. Depressed older adults who reported executive functioning complaints at baseline demonstrated a slower response to escitalopram treatment than those without executive functioning complaints. Self-report of executive functioning difficulties may be a useful prognostic indicator for subsequent speed of response to antidepressant medication. Copyright © 2015 American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcela Perrone-Bertolotti

    Full Text Available This present study investigated the link between speech-in-speech perception capacities and four executive function components: response suppression, inhibitory control, switching and working memory. We constructed a cross-modal semantic priming paradigm using a written target word and a spoken prime word, implemented in one of two concurrent auditory sentences (cocktail party situation. The prime and target were semantically related or unrelated. Participants had to perform a lexical decision task on visual target words and simultaneously listen to only one of two pronounced sentences. The attention of the participant was manipulated: The prime was in the pronounced sentence listened to by the participant or in the ignored one. In addition, we evaluate the executive function abilities of participants (switching cost, inhibitory-control cost and response-suppression cost and their working memory span. Correlation analyses were performed between the executive and priming measurements. Our results showed a significant interaction effect between attention and semantic priming. We observed a significant priming effect in the attended but not in the ignored condition. Only priming effects obtained in the ignored condition were significantly correlated with some of the executive measurements. However, no correlation between priming effects and working memory capacity was found. Overall, these results confirm, first, the role of attention for semantic priming effect and, second, the implication of executive functions in speech-in-noise understanding capacities.

  18. Executive Function and Postural Instability in People with Parkinson’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong Xu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The specific aspects of cognition contributing to balance and gait have not been clarified in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD. Twenty PD participants and twenty age- and gender-matched healthy controls were assessed on cognition and clinical mobility tests. General cognition was assessed with the Mini Mental State Exam and Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Exam. Executive function was evaluated using the Trail Making Tests (TMT-A and TMT-B and a computerized cognitive battery which included a series of choice reaction time (CRT tests. Clinical gait and balance measures included the Tinetti, Timed Up & Go, Berg Balance, and Functional Reach tests. PD participants performed significantly worse than the controls on the tests of cognitive and executive function, balance, and gait. PD participants took longer on Trail Making Tests, CRT-Location, and CRT-Colour (inhibition response. Furthermore, executive function, particularly longer times on CRT-Distracter and greater errors on the TMT-B, was associated with worse balance and gait performance in the PD group. Measures of general cognition were not associated with balance and gait measures in either group. For PD participants, attention and executive function were impaired. Components of executive function, particularly those involving inhibition response and distracters, were associated with poorer balance and gait performance in PD.

  19. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-16

    The first goal of this research was to compare verbal and nonverbal executive function abilities between preschoolers with and without specific language impairment (SLI). The second goal was to assess the group differences on 4 executive function components in order to determine if the components may be hierarchically related as suggested within a developmental integrative framework of executive function. This study included 26 4- and 5-year-olds diagnosed with SLI and 26 typically developing age- and sex-matched peers. Participants were tested on verbal and nonverbal measures of sustained selective attention, working memory, inhibition, and shifting. The SLI group performed worse compared with typically developing children on both verbal and nonverbal measures of sustained selective attention and working memory, the verbal inhibition task, and the nonverbal shifting task. Comparisons of standardized group differences between executive function measures revealed a linear increase with the following order: working memory, inhibition, shifting, and sustained selective attention. The pattern of results suggests that preschoolers with SLI have deficits in executive functioning compared with typical peers, and deficits are not limited to verbal tasks. A significant linear relationship between group differences across executive function components supports the possibility of a hierarchical relationship between executive function skills.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plante, Elena; Doubleday, Kevin

    2017-01-01

    Purpose The first goal of this research was to compare verbal and nonverbal executive function abilities between preschoolers with and without specific language impairment (SLI). The second goal was to assess the group differences on 4 executive function components in order to determine if the components may be hierarchically related as suggested within a developmental integrative framework of executive function. Method This study included 26 4- and 5-year-olds diagnosed with SLI and 26 typically developing age- and sex-matched peers. Participants were tested on verbal and nonverbal measures of sustained selective attention, working memory, inhibition, and shifting. Results The SLI group performed worse compared with typically developing children on both verbal and nonverbal measures of sustained selective attention and working memory, the verbal inhibition task, and the nonverbal shifting task. Comparisons of standardized group differences between executive function measures revealed a linear increase with the following order: working memory, inhibition, shifting, and sustained selective attention. Conclusion The pattern of results suggests that preschoolers with SLI have deficits in executive functioning compared with typical peers, and deficits are not limited to verbal tasks. A significant linear relationship between group differences across executive function components supports the possibility of a hierarchical relationship between executive function skills. PMID:28724132

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Incera, Sara; McLennan, Conor T

    2018-05-01

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

  4. Executive functioning in chronic alcoholism and Korsakoff syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Korsakoff syndrome (KS) is characterized by dense anterograde and retrograde amnesia. There is often a temporal gradient to the retrograde amnesia, with earlier memories more readily recalled than recent memories. Executive functioning has also been found to be impaired in KS. However, research comparing executive functioning between chronic alcoholics (AL) and patients with KS has been relatively sparse to date. In a group comparison design, executive functioning in 15 KS patients and 16 chronic alcoholic patients was assessed using the Behavioural Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome test (BADS) and other secondary measures. The KS group was found to be significantly more impaired than the AL group on overall performance on the BADS (p Korsakoff patients are significantly more impaired in executive functioning than non-Korsakoff chronic alcoholics. We thank the participants of the study and also acknowledge the support of the University of Nottingham, particularly Nadina Lincoln, and the North East London NHS Foundation Trust. We are also very grateful to the anonymous reviewers of earlier drafts of this manuscript for their invaluable comments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

    To identify whether executive functioning mediates the effect of having unilateral cerebral palsy (CP) on executive functioning in everyday life, psychological functioning, and social functioning. A cross-sectional cohort of 46 children with unilateral CP (25 males, 21 females; mean age 11y 1mo, SD 2y 5mo; 24 right-sided, 22 left-sided) and 20 children with typical development (nine males, 11 females; mean age 10y 10mo, SD 2y 4mo). Cognitive executive functioning was tested using a neuropsychological battery. Executive functioning in everyday life was measured with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF; teacher and parent reports) and psychological and social functioning by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Analysis included analysis of covariance and bootstrapping. Children with unilateral CP were found to have significantly decreased functioning, compared with children with typical development, on the BRIEF Behavioral Regulation Index, the BRIEF Metacognition Index, and on the SDQ emotion, conduct, hyperactivity, and peer problems subscales. Group differences were mediated by cognitive executive functioning for the BRIEF Metacognition Index (teacher and parent report), the BRIEF Behavioral Regulation Index (parent report only), the SDQ conduct subscale, and the SDQ hyperactivity subscale. This study suggests that the increased risk of children with unilateral CP experiencing executive functioning difficulties in everyday life, conduct problems, and hyperactivity can be partly explained by decreased cognitive executive functioning abilities relative to children with typical development. © 2014 Mac Keith Press.

  6. 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.

  7. Autism Spectrum Disorder and intact executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Earliest notions concerning autism (Autism Spectrum Disorders, ASD) describe the disturbance in executive functioning. Despite altered definition, executive functioning, expressed as higher cognitive skills required complex behaviors linked to the prefrontal cortex, are defective in autism. Specific difficulties in children presenting autism or verbal disabilities at executive functioning levels have been identified. Nevertheless, the developmental deficit of executive functioning in autism is highly diversified with huge individual variation and may even be absent. The aim of the present study to examine the current standing of intact executive functioning intact in ASD. Analysis of ASD populations, whether high-functioning, Asperger's or autism Broad Phenotype, studied over a range of executive functions including response inhibition, planning, cognitive flexibility, cognitive inhibition, and alerting networks indicates an absence of damage/impairment compared to the typically-developed normal control subjects. These findings of intact executive functioning in ASD subjects provide a strong foundation on which to construct applications for growth environments and the rehabilitation of autistic subjects.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

    The present study investigated whether the Childhood Executive Function Inventory (CHEXI) can discriminate between young children fulfilling the diagnostic criteria for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and normally developing children. Unlike other executive function rating instruments, the CHEXI focuses specifically on inhibitory control and working memory, without including items that overlap with the diagnostic criteria of ADHD. The CHEXI was found to discriminate very well between children fulfilling the criteria for ADHD and normally developing children, also when controlling for the effect of IQ and socioeconomic status (SES). Both sensitivity and specificity of the two CHEXI subscales were shown to be high using either parent or teacher ratings. The highest overall classification rate was found for parent ratings on the inhibition subscale, with sensitivity and specificity reaching 93.3. To summarize, the CHEXI should be considered a promising measure for identifying young children with ADHD, although it is for future research to determine whether the CHEXI can be successfully used to also discriminate between different psychopathological groups.

  9. Executive and Memory Function in Adolescents Born Very Preterm

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Many preterm children display school difficulties, which may be mediated by impairment in executive function and memory. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate executive and memory function among adolescents born preterm compared with term controls at 16 years. METHODS: A total of 337 of 437 (77%) adolescents born in 1989 to 1992 with a birth weight executive function and memory tasks. Multiple regression analyses were used to compare groups and to identify associations between selected factors and outcomes among preterm subjects. RESULTS: Adolescents born preterm, compared with term controls, showed deficits in executive function in the order of 0.4 to 0.6 SD on tasks of verbal fluency, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, planning/organization, and working memory as well as verbal and visuospatial memory. After exclusion of adolescents with neurosensory disabilities and full-scale IQ executive dysfunction, as measured with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, on the Metacognition Index (odds ratio [OR]: 2.5 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.2–5.1]) and the Global Executive Composite (OR: 4.2 [95% CI: 1.6–10.9]), but not on the Behavioral Regulation index (OR: 1.5 [95% CI: 0.7–3.5]). Among adolescents born preterm, severe brain injury on neonatal ultrasound and lower maternal education were the most consistent factors associated with poor outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Even after exclusion of preterm subjects with significant disabilities, adolescents born preterm in the early 1990s were at increased risk of deficits in executive function and memory. PMID:21300680

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacKenzie, L E; Patterson, V C; Zwicker, A; Drobinin, V; Fisher, H L; Abidi, S; Greve, A N; Bagnell, A; Propper, L; Alda, M; Pavlova, B; Uher, R

    2017-12-01

    Psychotic symptoms are common in children and adolescents and may be early manifestations of liability to severe mental illness (SMI), including schizophrenia. SMI and psychotic symptoms are associated with impairment in executive functions. However, previous studies have not differentiated between 'cold' and 'hot' executive functions. We hypothesized that the propensity for psychotic symptoms is specifically associated with impairment in 'hot' executive functions, such as decision-making in the context of uncertain rewards and losses. In a cohort of 156 youth (mean age 12.5, range 7-24 years) enriched for familial risk of SMI, we measured cold and hot executive functions with the spatial working memory (SWM) task (total errors) and the Cambridge Gambling Task (decision-making), respectively. We assessed psychotic symptoms using the semi-structured Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia interview, Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes, Funny Feelings, and Schizophrenia Proneness Instrument - Child and Youth version. In total 69 (44.23%) youth reported psychotic symptoms on one or more assessments. Cold executive functioning, indexed with SWM errors, was not significantly related to psychotic symptoms [odds ratio (OR) 1.36, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.85-2.17, p = 0.204). Poor hot executive functioning, indexed as decision-making score, was associated with psychotic symptoms after adjustment for age, sex and familial clustering (OR 2.37, 95% CI 1.25-4.50, p = 0.008). The association between worse hot executive functions and psychotic symptoms remained significant in sensitivity analyses controlling for general cognitive ability and cold executive functions. Impaired hot executive functions may be an indicator of risk and a target for pre-emptive early interventions in youth.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma eBlakey

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive training has been shown to improve executive functions in middle childhood and adulthood. However, fewer studies have targeted the preschool years – a time when executive functions undergo rapid development. The present study tested the effects of a short four session executive function training program in 54 four-year-olds. The training group significantly improved their working memory from pre-training relative to an active control group. Notably, this effect extended to a task sharing few surface features with the trained tasks, and continued to be apparent three months later. In addition, the benefits of training extended to a measure of mathematical reasoning three months later, indicating that training executive functions during the preschool years has the potential to convey benefits that are both long-lasting and wide-ranging.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soar, K; Chapman, E; Lavan, N; Jansari, A S; Turner, J J D

    2016-10-01

    Caffeine has been shown to have effects on certain areas of cognition, but in executive functioning the research is limited and also inconsistent. One reason could be the need for a more sensitive measure to detect the effects of caffeine on executive function. This study used a new non-immersive virtual reality assessment of executive functions known as JEF(©) (the Jansari Assessment of Executive Function) alongside the 'classic' Stroop Colour-Word task to assess the effects of a normal dose of caffeinated coffee on executive function. Using a double-blind, counterbalanced within participants procedure 43 participants were administered either a caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee and completed the 'JEF(©)' and Stroop tasks, as well as a subjective mood scale and blood pressure pre- and post condition on two separate occasions a week apart. JEF(©) yields measures for eight separate aspects of executive functions, in addition to a total average score. Findings indicate that performance was significantly improved on the planning, creative thinking, event-, time- and action-based prospective memory, as well as total JEF(©) score following caffeinated coffee relative to the decaffeinated coffee. The caffeinated beverage significantly decreased reaction times on the Stroop task, but there was no effect on Stroop interference. The results provide further support for the effects of a caffeinated beverage on cognitive functioning. In particular, it has demonstrated the ability of JEF(©) to detect the effects of caffeine across a number of executive functioning constructs, which weren't shown in the Stroop task, suggesting executive functioning improvements as a result of a 'typical' dose of caffeine may only be detected by the use of more real-world, ecologically valid tasks. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan F. Johnson

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Age-related declines in endothelial function can lead to cognitive decline. However, little is known about the relationships between endothelial function and specific neurocognitive functions. This study explored the relationship between measures of endothelial function (reactive hyperemia index; RHI, white matter (WM health (fractional anisotropy, FA, and WM hyperintensity volume, WMH, and executive function (Trail Making Test (TMT; Trail B − Trail A. Participants were 36 older adults between the ages of 59 and 69 (mean age = 63.89 years, SD = 2.94. WMH volume showed no relationship with RHI or executive function. However, there was a positive relationship between RHI and FA in the genu and body of the corpus callosum. In addition, higher RHI and FA were each associated with better executive task performance. Tractography was used to localize the WM tracts associated with RHI to specific portions of cortex. Results indicated that the RHI-FA relationship observed in the corpus callosum primarily involved tracts interconnecting frontal regions, including the superior frontal gyrus (SFG and frontopolar cortex, linked with executive function. These findings suggest that superior endothelial function may help to attenuate age-related declines in WM microstructure in portions of the corpus callosum that interconnect prefrontal brain regions involved in executive function.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donna P. Mann

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND. Student role performance for academic success in secondary education is under represented in the occupational therapy literature, despite the persistently high dropout rate in the United States (Stillwell & Sable, 2013. Executive dysfunction is one of many possible contributors to difficulties in the classroom (Dirette & Kolak, 2004 and is a better indicator of school performance than IQ (Diamond, 2012. This research examined executive functioning of both alternative and traditional high school students to determine if there is a relationship between executive function and academic success as measured by cumulative grade point average. METHOD. 132 high school students from three different school settings were given the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Self Report (BRIEF-SR. The Global Executive Composite (GEC and individual subscale scores were compared to GPA. RESULTS. No significant difference in GEC scores was found among settings. Subscale scores for “inhibition” and “task completion” were significantly different in the alternative school setting. A weak negative correlation was seen between the GEC and GPA. However, academically unsuccessful students scored statistically lower on the GEC. CONCLUSION. Global executive dysfunction was not predicted by setting but was seen in academically unsuccessful students.

  1. Mining dynamic noteworthy functions in software execution sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    As the quality of crucial entities can directly affect that of software, their identification and protection become an important premise for effective software development, management, maintenance and testing, which thus contribute to improving the software quality and its attack-defending ability. Most analysis and evaluation on important entities like codes-based static structure analysis are on the destruction of the actual software running. In this paper, from the perspective of software execution process, we proposed an approach to mine dynamic noteworthy functions (DNFM)in software execution sequences. First, according to software decompiling and tracking stack changes, the execution traces composed of a series of function addresses were acquired. Then these traces were modeled as execution sequences and then simplified so as to get simplified sequences (SFS), followed by the extraction of patterns through pattern extraction (PE) algorithm from SFS. After that, evaluating indicators inner-importance and inter-importance were designed to measure the noteworthiness of functions in DNFM algorithm. Finally, these functions were sorted by their noteworthiness. Comparison and contrast were conducted on the experiment results from two traditional complex network-based node mining methods, namely PageRank and DegreeRank. The results show that the DNFM method can mine noteworthy functions in software effectively and precisely.

  2. Executive Functions in Developmental Dyslexia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pamela eVarvara

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The present study was aimed at investigating different aspects of Executive Functions (EF in children with Developmental Dyslexia (DD.A neuropsychological battery tapping verbal fluency, spoonerism, attention, verbal shifting, short-term and working memory was used to assess 60 children with DD and 65 with typical reading abilities.Compared to their controls, children with DD showed deficits in several EF domains such as verbal categorical and phonological fluency, visual-spatial and auditory attention, spoonerism, verbal and visual short-term memory, and verbal working memory. Moreover, exploring predictive relationships between EF measures and reading, we found that spoonerism abilities better explained word and non-word reading deficits. Although to a lesser extent, auditory and visual-spatial attention also explained the increased percentage of variance related to reading deficit.EF deficits found in DD are interpreted as an expression of a deficient functioning of the Central Executive System and are discussed in the context of the recent temporal sampling theory.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.…

  5. 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…

  6. Executive dysfunction in high functioning autism

    OpenAIRE

    Burnett, Hollie

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kok, Rianne; Lucassen, Nicole; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J; van IJzendoorn, Marinus H; Ghassabian, Akhgar; Roza, Sabine J; Govaert, Paul; Jaddoe, Vincent W; Hofman, Albert; Verhulst, Frank C; Tiemeier, Henning

    2014-01-01

    In this longitudinal population-based study (N = 544), we investigated whether early parenting and corpus callosum length predict child executive function abilities at 4 years of age. The length of the corpus callosum in infancy was measured using postnatal cranial ultrasounds at 6 weeks of age. At 3 years, two aspects of parenting were observed: maternal sensitivity during a teaching task and maternal discipline style during a discipline task. Parents rated executive function problems at 4 years of age in five domains of inhibition, shifting, emotional control, working memory, and planning/organizing, using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool Version. Maternal sensitivity predicted less executive function problems at preschool age. A significant interaction was found between corpus callosum length in infancy and maternal use of positive discipline to determine child inhibition problems: The association between a relatively shorter corpus callosum in infancy and child inhibition problems was reduced in children who experienced more positive discipline. Our results point to the buffering potential of positive parenting for children with biological vulnerability.

  9. An integrative architecture for general intelligence and executive function revealed by lesion mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colom, Roberto; Solomon, Jeffrey; Krueger, Frank; Forbes, Chad; Grafman, Jordan

    2012-01-01

    Although cognitive neuroscience has made remarkable progress in understanding the involvement of the prefrontal cortex in executive control, the broader functional networks that support high-level cognition and give rise to general intelligence remain to be well characterized. Here, we investigated the neural substrates of the general factor of intelligence (g) and executive function in 182 patients with focal brain damage using voxel-based lesion–symptom mapping. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System were used to derive measures of g and executive function, respectively. Impaired performance on these measures was associated with damage to a distributed network of left lateralized brain areas, including regions of frontal and parietal cortex and white matter association tracts, which bind these areas into a coordinated system. The observed findings support an integrative framework for understanding the architecture of general intelligence and executive function, supporting their reliance upon a shared fronto-parietal network for the integration and control of cognitive representations and making specific recommendations for the application of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System to the study of high-level cognition in health and disease. PMID:22396393

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-16

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Normative data for Farsi-speaking Iranians in the United States on measures of executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avila, Justina F; Verney, Steven P; Kauzor, Kaitlyn; Flowers, Amina; Mehradfar, Maryam; Razani, Jill

    2018-01-09

    As the Farsi-speaking Iranian population continues to grow in the United States, examination of their cognitive performance is an imperative first step to providing this group with culturally competent services. Thirty-six healthy primarily Farsi-speaking Iranian adults completed Farsi-translated and adapted versions of three frequently used measures of executive/subcortical functioning: Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), Trail Making Test (TMT), and Color Trails Test (CTT). Participants' performance on each measure was compared to published normative data resulting in 0-85% of cognitively and medically healthy individuals being classified as impaired depending on the executive/subcortical test score examined, with the highest impairment rates for specific WCST outcome scores. These findings raise questions for the use of published norms with Farsi-speaking Iranians residing in the US. The present study provided normative data from this group of Farsi-speaking Iranians on the Farsi-translated and adapted versions of the WCST, TMT, and CTT.

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marilyn Welsh

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Follmer, D. Jake; Sperling, Rayne A.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrei Szöke

    2013-02-01

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

  1. Sleep, attention, and executive functioning in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreau, Vincent; Rouleau, Nancie; Morin, Charles M

    2013-11-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate potential relationships between two measures of sleep impairments (i.e., sleep duration and sleep efficiency [SE]) and attention and executive functioning in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Parents of 43 children (mean age = 10 ± 1.8 years) with ADHD completed sleep and behavioral questionnaires. Children also wore a wrist actigraph for seven nights and were subsequently assessed with the Conners' continuous performance test (CPT)-2. A significant relationship was found between lower SE and increased variability in reaction time on the CPT. Shorter sleep duration was associated with a range of executive functioning problems as reported by the parents. The relationships between sleep duration and the executive functioning measures held even after controlling for age, gender, and use of medication, but not the relationships with SE. These results suggest that sleep quantity is an important correlate of executive functioning in children with ADHD.

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

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    Zimmerman, David L; Ownsworth, Tamara; O'Donovan, Analise; Roberts, Jacqueline; Gullo, Matthew J

    2016-01-01

    Individuals with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) display diverse deficits in social, cognitive and behavioral functioning. To date, there has been mixed findings on the profile of executive function deficits for high-functioning adults (IQ > 70) with ASD. A conceptual distinction is commonly made between "cold" and "hot" executive functions. Cold executive functions refer to mechanistic higher-order cognitive operations (e.g., working memory), whereas hot executive functions entail cognitive abilities supported by emotional awareness and social perception (e.g., social cognition). This study aimed to determine the independence of deficits in hot and cold executive functions for high-functioning adults with ASD. Forty-two adults with ASD (64% male, aged 18-66 years) and 40 age and gender matched controls were administered The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT; emotion recognition and social inference), Letter Number Sequencing (working memory) and Hayling Sentence Completion Test (response initiation and suppression). Between-group analyses identified that the ASD group performed significantly worse than matched controls on all measures of cold and hot executive functions (d = 0.54 - 1.5). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that the ASD sample performed more poorly on emotion recognition and social inference tasks than matched controls after controlling for cold executive functions and employment status. The findings also indicated that the ability to recognize emotions and make social inferences was supported by working memory and response initiation and suppression processes. Overall, this study supports the distinction between hot and cold executive function impairments for adults with ASD. Moreover, it advances understanding of higher-order impairments underlying social interaction difficulties for this population which, in turn, may assist with diagnosis and inform intervention programs.

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

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

    2009-02-01

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

  4. Drawing a dog: The role of working memory and executive function.

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    Panesi, Sabrina; Morra, Sergio

    2016-12-01

    Previous research suggests that young children draw animals by adapting their scheme for the human figure. This can be considered an early form of drawing flexibility. This study investigated preschoolers' ability to draw a dog that is different from the human figure. The role of working memory capacity and executive function was examined. The participants were 123 children (36-73 months old) who were required to draw both a person and a dog. The dog figure was scored on a list of features that could render it different from the human figure. Regression analyses showed that both working memory capacity and executive function predicted development in the dog drawing; the dog drawing score correlated with working memory capacity and executive function, even partialling out age, motor coordination, and drawing ability (measured with Goodenough's Draw-a-Man test). These results suggest that both working memory capacity and executive function play an important role in the early development of drawing flexibility. The implications regarding executive functions and working memory are also discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. The effects of screen media content on young children's executive functioning.

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    Huber, Brittany; Yeates, Megan; Meyer, Denny; Fleckhammer, Lorraine; Kaufman, Jordy

    2018-06-01

    Children's exposure to screen-based media has raised concerns for many reasons. One reason is that viewing particular television content has been shown to negatively affect children's executive functioning. Yet, it is unclear whether interacting with a touchscreen device affects executive functioning in the same way as the television research suggests. In the current study, 96 2- and 3-year-old children completed executive functioning measures of working memory and response inhibition and task switching before and after a brief screen intervention consisting of watching an educational television show, playing an educational app, or watching a cartoon. Children's ability to delay gratification was also assessed. Results indicate that the type of screen intervention had a significant effect on executive functioning performance. Children were more likely to delay gratification after playing an educational app than after viewing a cartoon. In particular instances, children's working memory improved after playing the educational app. These findings emphasize that, for young children's executive functioning, interactivity and content may be more important factors to consider than simply "screen time." Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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

    2017-12-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esbensen, A J; Hoffman, E K

    2018-06-01

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

  9. Executive functions as predictors of visual-motor integration in children with intellectual disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Memisevic, Haris; Sinanovic, Osman

    2013-12-01

    The goal of this study was to assess the relationship between visual-motor integration and executive functions, and in particular, the extent to which executive functions can predict visual-motor integration skills in children with intellectual disability. The sample consisted of 90 children (54 boys, 36 girls; M age = 11.3 yr., SD = 2.7, range 7-15) with intellectual disabilities of various etiologies. The measure of executive functions were 8 subscales of the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) consisting of Inhibition, Shifting, Emotional Control, Initiating, Working memory, Planning, Organization of material, and Monitoring. Visual-motor integration was measured with the Acadia test of visual-motor integration (VMI). Regression analysis revealed that BRIEF subscales explained 38% of the variance in VMI scores. Of all the BRIEF subscales, only two were statistically significant predictors of visual-motor integration: Working memory and Monitoring. Possible implications of this finding are further elaborated.

  10. Executive Functions and Social Skills in Survivors of Pediatric Brain Tumor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfe, Kelly R.; Walsh, Karin S.; Reynolds, Nina C.; Mitchell, Frances; Reddy, Alyssa T.; Paltin, Iris; Madan-Swain, Avi

    2012-01-01

    Medical advances have resulted in increased survival rates for children with brain tumors. Consequently, issues related to survivorship have become more critical. The use of multimodal treatment, in particular cranial radiation therapy, has been associated with subsequent cognitive decline. Specifically, deficits in executive functions have been reported in survivors of various types of pediatric brain tumor. Survivors are left with difficulties, particularly in self-monitoring, initiation, inhibition, and planning, to name a few. Another domain in which survivors of pediatric brain tumor have been reported to show difficulty is that of social skills. Parents, teachers, and survivors themselves have reported decreased social functioning following treatment. Deficits in executive functions and social skills are likely interrelated in this population, as executive skills are needed to navigate various aspects of social interaction; however, this has yet to be studied empirically. Twenty-four survivors of pediatric brain tumor were assessed using a computerized task of executive functions, as well as paper and pencil measures of social skills and real world executive skills. Social functioning was related to a specific aspect of executive functions, i.e., the survivors’ variability in response time, such that inconsistent responding was associated with better parent-report and survivor-report social skills, independent of intellectual abilities. Additionally, parent-reported real-world global executive abilities predicted parent-reported social skills. The implications of these findings for social skills interventions and future research are discussed. PMID:22420326

  11. Socioeconomic Risk Moderates the Link between Household Chaos and Maternal Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    We examined the link between household chaos (i.e., noise, clutter, disarray, lack of routines) and maternal executive function (i.e., effortful regulation of attention and memory), and whether it varied as a function of socioeconomic risk (i.e., single parenthood, lower mother and father educational attainment, housing situation, and father unemployment). We hypothesized that: 1) higher levels of household chaos would be linked with poorer maternal executive function, even when controlling for other measures of cognitive functioning (e.g., verbal ability), and 2) this link would be strongest in the most socioeconomically distressed or lowest-socioeconomic status households. The diverse sample included 153 mothers from urban and rural areas who completed a questionnaire and a battery of cognitive executive function tasks and a verbal ability task in the laboratory. Results were mixed for hypothesis 1, and consistent with hypothesis 2. Two-thirds of the variance overlapped between household chaos and maternal executive function, but only in families with high levels of socioeconomic risk. This pattern was not found for chaos and maternal verbal ability, suggesting that the potentially deleterious effects of household chaos may be specific to maternal executive function. The findings implicate household chaos as a powerful statistical predictor of maternal executive function in socioeconomically distressed contexts. PMID:22563703

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  15. Executive Functions: Influence of Sex, Age and Its Relationship With Intelligence

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    Larissa de Oliveira e Ferreira

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available AbstractThe Tower of Hanoi is a tool used to evaluate executive functions. However, few studies describe what functions are evaluated in this test. This study investigates the executive functions, evaluated by the Tower of Hanoi (ToH, and the influence of gender, age and its relationship with intelligence. We evaluated 55 children and adolescents, between the ages of ten and 16, without diagnosed neuropsychiatric disorders. The results showed that the performance and time in to complete the Tower of Hanoi have no discriminative power when comparing age groups and sex; there was also no significant correlation found between the ToH and the execution quotient of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Third Edition (WISC III, perceptual organization and the speed of processing. Only the subtest coding were positively related to the ToH, demonstrating that these instruments may be measuring related aspects of intelligence and executive functions, namely intelligence and working memory.

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

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    Sekplin A.S. Sekeon

    2015-01-01

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

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

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    Cecilia Ulrika Dagsdotter Stenfors

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Socioeconomic risk moderates the link between household chaos and maternal executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

    We examined the link between household chaos (i.e., noise, clutter, disarray, lack of routines) and maternal executive function (i.e., effortful regulation of attention and memory), and whether it varied as a function of socioeconomic risk (i.e., single parenthood, lower mother and father educational attainment, housing situation, and father unemployment). We hypothesized that: 1) higher levels of household chaos would be linked with poorer maternal executive function, even when controlling for other measures of cognitive functioning (e.g., verbal ability), and 2) this link would be strongest in the most socioeconomically distressed or lowest-socioeconomic status households. The diverse sample included 153 mothers from urban and rural areas who completed a questionnaire and a battery of cognitive executive function tasks and a verbal ability task in the laboratory. Results were mixed for Hypothesis 1, and consistent with Hypothesis 2. Two-thirds of the variance overlapped between household chaos and maternal executive function, but only in families with high levels of socioeconomic risk. This pattern was not found for chaos and maternal verbal ability, suggesting that the potentially deleterious effects of household chaos may be specific to maternal executive function. The findings implicate household chaos as a powerful statistical predictor of maternal executive function in socioeconomically distressed contexts. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved.

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lenard A Adler

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

  3. Metacognition and executive functioning in Elementary School

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    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.

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

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    Laura eVisu-Petra

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available It has been conjectured that basic individual differences in attentional control influence higher-level executive functioning and subsequent academic performance in children. The current study sets out to complement the limited body of research on early precursors of executive functions. It provides both a cross-sectional, as well as a longitudinal exploration of the relationship between executive functions and more basic attentional control mechanisms, assessed via children’s performance on memory storage tasks, and influenced by individual differences in anxiety. Multiple measures of verbal and visuospatial short-term memory (STM were administered to children between 3 and 6 years old, alongside a nonverbal measure of intelligence, and a parental report of anxiety symptoms. After 9 months, children were re-tested on the same STM measures, at which time we also administered multiple measures of executive functioning: verbal and visuospatial working memory (WM, inhibition, and shifting. A cross-sectional view of STM development indicated that between 3 and 6 years the trajectory of visuospatial STM and executive functions underwent a gradual linear improvement. However, between 5 and 6 years progress in verbal STM performance stagnated. Hierarchical regression models revealed that trait anxiety was negatively associated with WM and shifting, while nonverbal intelligence was positively related to WM span. When age, gender, nonverbal intelligence, and anxiety were controlled for, STM (measured at the first assessment was a very good predictor of overall executive performance. The models were most successful in predicting WM, followed by shifting, yet poorly predicted inhibition measures. Further longitudinal research is needed to directly address the contribution of attentional control mechanisms to emerging executive functioning and to the development of problematic behavior during early development.

  5. Neural modeling of prefrontal executive function

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bevins, Shelley; Hurse, Emily

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Episodic and semantic memory functioning in very old age: Explanations from executive functioning and processing speed theories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pauline E.J. Spaan

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Structural equation modeling was used to investigate whether age-related episodic and semantic memory impairments are better explained by decline in processing speed or executive functioning (or both, rather than directly in terms of memory components. The models tested were based on an extensive review of the literature on cognitive decline in normal aging, up to very old age. A computerized test battery, measuring episodic memory (free and cued recall; recognition, semantic memory (fluency; naming accuracy and latencies, processing speed and executive functioning, was administered to 234 elderly persons ranging from young-old to very old age (55–96 years. To avoid large variance in response times due to physical instead of cognitive limitations, no motor responses were required from participants. Age-related decline in episodic and semantic memory performance was found to be the consequence of declines in processing speed and executive functioning. Processing speed mainly mediated decline of semantic memory, whereas executive functioning mainly mediated episodic memory decline. The most parsimonious model showed that both processing speed and executive functioning attributed to memory decline but independent from one another. The results suggest that at very old age, the impact of executive dysfunctions on episodic memory performance exceeds the influence of cognitive slowing.

  8. 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.

  9. The Effects of Bilingualism on Toddlers' Executive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    Bilingual children have been shown to outperform monolingual children on tasks measuring executive functioning skills. This advantage is usually attributed to bilinguals' extensive practice in exercising selective attention and cognitive flexibility during language use because both languages are active when one of them is being used. We examined…

  10. 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…

  11. Executive functioning predicts reading, mathematics, and theory of mind during the elementary years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantin, Rachelle H; Gnaedinger, Emily K; Gallaway, Kristin C; Hesson-McInnis, Matthew S; Hund, Alycia M

    2016-06-01

    The goal of this study was to specify how executive functioning components predict reading, mathematics, and theory of mind performance during the elementary years. A sample of 93 7- to 10-year-old children completed measures of working memory, inhibition, flexibility, reading, mathematics, and theory of mind. Path analysis revealed that all three executive functioning components (working memory, inhibition, and flexibility) mediated age differences in reading comprehension, whereas age predicted mathematics and theory of mind directly. In addition, reading mediated the influence of executive functioning components on mathematics and theory of mind, except that flexibility also predicted mathematics directly. These findings provide important details about the development of executive functioning, reading, mathematics, and theory of mind during the elementary years. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-15

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

  13. 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…

  14. Urinary brain-derived neurotrophic factor as a biomarker of executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koven, Nancy S; Collins, Larisa R

    2014-01-01

    Neurotrophins such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are vital for neuronal survival and adaptive plasticity. With high BDNF gene expression in the prefrontal cortex, BDNF is a potential regulatory factor for building and maintaining cognitive reserves. Recent studies suggest that individual differences in executive functioning, a broad cognitive domain reliant upon frontal lobe structure and function, are governed in part by variance in BDNF polymorphisms. However, as neurogenetic data are not necessarily indicative of in vivo neurochemistry, this study examines the relationship between executive functioning and the neurotransmitter by measuring peripheral BDNF levels. Fifty-two healthy young adults completed a battery of standardized executive function tests. BDNF levels, adjusted for creatinine, were quantified with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of urine samples taken at the time of testing. BDNF concentration was positively associated with cognitive flexibility but had no relationship with working memory, abstract reasoning/planning, self-monitoring/response inhibition, or fluency. These results individuate cognitive flexibility as the specific facet of executive functioning associated with in vivo BDNF levels. This study also validates urinary BDNF as a peripheral biomarker of cognition in healthy adults. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  15. Association between insulin and executive functioning in alcohol dependence: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Changwoo; Bae, Hwallip; Won, Sung-Doo; Lim, Jaeyoung; Kim, Dai-Jin

    2015-01-01

    Alcohol dependence is a disorder ascribable to multiple factors and leads to cognitive impairment. Given that insulin dysregulation can cause cognitive impairment, patients with alcohol dependence are likely to develop insulin dysregulation such as that in diabetes. The purposes of this study are to identify an association between cognitive functioning and insulin and to investigate insulin as the biomarker of cognitive functioning in alcohol-dependent patients. Serum insulin levels were measured and cognitive functions were assessed in 45 patients with chronic alcoholism. The Korean version of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease (CERAD-K), a battery of cognitive function tests, was used to assess cognitive functioning. Serum insulin levels were not significantly correlated with most CERAD-K scores, but there was a significant negative correlation with scores on the Trail Making Test B, which is designed to measure executive functioning. Lower serum insulin levels were associated with slower executive functioning responses on the Trail Making Test B, suggesting that executive functioning may be in proportion to serum insulin levels. Thus, in patients with alcohol dependence, insulin level is associated with cognitive functioning. In addition, the present findings suggest that insulin level is a potential biomarker for determining cognitive functioning.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Examining the Latent Structure of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karr, Justin E; Hofer, Scott M; Iverson, Grant L; Garcia-Barrera, Mauricio A

    2018-05-04

    The current study aimed to determine whether the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) taps into three executive function factors (inhibition, shifting, fluency) and to assess the relationship between these factors and tests of executive-related constructs less often measured in latent variable research: reasoning, abstraction, and problem solving. Participants included 425 adults from the D-KEFS standardization sample (20-49 years old; 50.1% female; 70.1% White). Eight alternative measurement models were compared based on model fit, with test scores assigned a priori to three factors: inhibition (Color-Word Interference, Tower), shifting (Trail Making, Sorting, Design Fluency), and fluency (Verbal/Design Fluency). The Twenty Questions, Word Context, and Proverb Tests were predicted in separate structural models. The three-factor model fit the data well (CFI = 0.938; RMSEA = 0.047), although a two-factor model, with shifting and fluency merged, fit similarly well (CFI = 0.929; RMSEA = 0.048). A bifactor model fit best (CFI = 0.977; RMSEA = 0.032) and explained the most variance in shifting indicators, but rarely converged among 5,000 bootstrapped samples. When the three first-order factors simultaneously predicted the criterion variables, only shifting was uniquely predictive (p measuring executive-related constructs and provide a framework through which clinicians can interpret D-KEFS results.

  18. An Investigation of Executive Functioning in Pediatric Anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  19. Regional MRI Perfusion Measures Predict Motor/Executive Function in Patients with Clinically Isolated Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Efrosini Z. Papadaki

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Patients with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS demonstrate brain hemodynamic changes and also suffer from difficulties in processing speed, memory, and executive functions. Objective. To explore whether brain hemodynamic disturbances in CIS patients correlate with executive functions. Methods. Thirty CIS patients and forty-three healthy subjects, matched for age, gender, education level, and FSIQ, were administered tests of visuomotor learning and set shifting ability. Cerebral blood volume (CBV, cerebral blood flow (CBF, and mean transit time (MTT values were estimated in normal-appearing white matter (NAWM and normal-appearing deep gray Matter (NADGM structures, using a perfusion MRI technique. Results. CIS patients showed significantly elevated reaction time (RT on both tasks, while their CBV and MTT values were globally increased, probably due to inflammatory vasodilation. Significantly, positive correlation coefficients were found between error rates on the inhibition condition of the visuomotor learning task and CBV values in occipital, periventricular NAWM and both thalami. On the set shifting condition of the respective task significant, positive associations were found between error rates and CBV values in the semioval center and periventricular NAWM bilaterally. Conclusion. Impaired executive function in CIS patients correlated positively with elevated regional CBV values thought to reflect inflammatory processes.

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. Acute effects of donepezil in healthy young adults underline the fractionation of executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginani, G E; Tufik, S; Bueno, O F A; Pradella-Hallinan, M; Rusted, J; Pompéia, S

    2011-11-01

    The cholinergic system is involved in the modulation of both bottom-up and top-down attentional control. Top-down attention engages multiple executive control processes, but few studies have investigated whether all or selective elements of executive functions are modulated by the cholinergic system. To investigate the acute effects of the pro-cholinergic donepezil in young, healthy volunteers on distinct components of executive functions we conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, independent-groups design study including 42 young healthy male participants who were randomly assigned to one of three oral treatments: glucose (placebo), donepezil 5 mg or donepezil 7.5 mg. The test battery included measures of different executive components (shifting, updating, inhibition, dual-task performance, planning, access to long-term memory), tasks that evaluated arousal/vigilance/visuomotor performance, as well as functioning of working memory subsidiary systems. Donepezil improved sustained attention, reaction times, dual-task performance and the executive component of digit span. The positive effects in these executive tasks did not correlate with arousal/visuomotor/vigilance measures. Among the various executive domains investigated donepezil selectively increased dual-task performance in a manner that could not be ascribed to improvement in arousal/vigilance/visuomotor performance nor working memory slave systems. Other executive tasks that rely heavily on visuospatial processing may also be modulated by the cholinergic system.

  3. Executive functions predict weight loss in a medically supervised weight loss programme

    OpenAIRE

    Galioto, R.; Bond, D.; Gunstad, J.; Pera, V.; Rathier, L.; Tremont, G.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Background Deficits in executive functions are related to poorer weight loss after bariatric surgery; however, less is known about the role that these deficits may play during participation in nonsurgical weight loss programmes. This study examined associations between objectively measured executive functions and weight loss during participation in a medically supervised weight loss programme. Methods Twenty?three adult patients (age 50.4???15.1, BMI 44.2???8.8, 68% female, 92% White)...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

    Executive functioning is an umbrella term for several related cognitive functions like selective- and sustained attention, working memory, and inhibition. Little is known about the stability of executive functioning during childhood. In this study the longitudinal stability of executive functioning

  5. Development of affective theory of mind across adolescence: disentangling the role of executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, Nora C; Altgassen, Mareike; Phillips, Louise; Mahy, Caitlin E V; Kliegel, Matthias

    2013-01-01

    Theory of mind, the ability to understand mental states, involves inferences about others' cognitive (cognitive theory of mind) and emotional (affective theory of mind) mental states. The current study explored the role of executive functions in developing affective theory of mind across adolescence. Affective theory of mind and three subcomponents of executive functions (inhibition, updating, and shifting) were measured. Affective theory of mind was positively related to age, and all three executive functions. Specifically, inhibition explained the largest amount of variance in age-related differences in affective theory of mind.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Executive functions are important higher-order cognitive skills for goal-directed thought and action. These capacities contribute to successful school achievement and lifelong wellbeing. The importance of executive functions to children's education begins in early childhood and continues throughout development. This study explores contributions of child and family factors in early childhood to the development of executive function in adolescence. Analyses draw on data from the nationally representative study, Growing up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children . Participants are 4819 children in the Kindergarten Cohort who were recruited at age 4-5 years. Path analyses were employed to examine contributions of early childhood factors, including family socio-economic position (SEP), parenting behaviors, maternal mental health, and a child behavioral risk index, to the development of executive function in adolescence. The influence of children's early self-regulatory behaviors (attentional regulation at 4-5 years and approaches to learning at 6-7 years) were also taken into account. A composite score for the outcome measure of executive function was constructed from scores on three Cogstate computerized tasks for assessing cognition and measured visual attention, visual working memory, and spatial problem-solving. Covariates included child gender, age at assessment of executive function, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, speaking a language other than English at home, and child's receptive vocabulary skills. There were significant indirect effects involving child and family risk factors measured at 4-5 years on executive function at age 14-15 years, mediated by measures of self-regulatory behavior. Child behavioral risk, family SEP and parenting behaviors (anger, warmth, and consistency) were associated with attentional regulation at 4-5 years which, in turn, was significantly associated with approaches to learning at 6-7 years. Both

  7. WCST and NEUPSILIN: relationships among executive functions, attention, memory and language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise Balem Yates

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the relationship between measures of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST and a brief battery of cognitive functions (NEUPSILIN with the goal of providing a better understanding of the association between executive processes and other functions. The sample included 39 people, from 14 to 61 years old, with an average education of 12.38 (SD = 3.65 years of study. The hypothesis that correlations would be moderate to strong between the measures of executive function, working memory, attention and prospective memory from NEUPSILIN and WCST scores was partially corroborated because the intensity of the correlations was below than the expected. Other correlations were also found between the WCST scores and tasks that assess semantic-episodic memory, oral language (inference processing and writing (reading components.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    In the current article, we contrast 2 analytical approaches to estimate the relation of parenting to executive function development in a sample of 1,292 children assessed longitudinally between the ages of 36 and 60 months of age. Children were administered a newly developed and validated battery of 6 executive function tasks tapping inhibitory control, working memory, and attention shifting. Residualized change analysis indicated that higher quality parenting as indicated by higher scores on widely used measures of parenting at both earlier and later time points predicted more positive gain in executive function at 60 months. Latent change score models in which parenting and executive function over time were held to standards of longitudinal measurement invariance provided additional evidence of the association between change in parenting quality and change in executive function. In these models, cross-lagged paths indicated that in addition to parenting predicting change in executive function, executive function bidirectionally predicted change in parenting quality. Results were robust with the addition of covariates, including child sex, race, maternal education, and household income-to-need. Strengths and drawbacks of the 2 analytic approaches are discussed, and the findings are considered in light of emerging methodological innovations for testing the extent to which executive function is malleable and open to the influence of experience. PMID:23834294

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Investigating the impact of nicotine on executive functions using a novel virtual reality assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansari, Ashok S; Froggatt, Daniel; Edginton, Trudi; Dawkins, Lynne

    2013-05-01

    Nicotine is known to enhance aspects of cognitive functioning in abstinent smokers, but the effects on specific areas of executive functions and in non-smokers are inconclusive. This may be due in part to the poor sensitivity of tests used to assess executive functions. This study used a new virtual reality assessment of executive functions known as JEF (the Jansari assessment of Executive Functions) to address this issue. A 2 × 2 design manipulating group (smokers and never-smokers) and drug [nicotine (4 mg for smokers; 2 mg for never smokers) versus placebo gum]. School of Psychology; University of East London. Seventy-two participants (aged 18-54 years): 36 minimally deprived (2 hours) smokers and 36 never-smokers. Components of executive function were measured using the virtual reality paradigm JEF, which assesses eight cognitive constructs simultaneously as well as providing an overall performance measure. Univariate analyses of variance revealed that nicotine improved overall JEF performance, time-based prospective memory and event-based prospective memory in smokers (P < 0.01), but not in never-smokers. Action-based prospective memory was enhanced in both groups (P < 0.01) and never-smokers out-performed smokers on selective thinking and adaptive thinking (P < 0.01). Executive functioning and prospective memory as aspects of cognitive performance can be enhanced by nicotine gum in smokers who have abstained for as little as 2 hours. © 2012 The Authors, Addiction © 2012 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  11. 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

  12. Neuropsychological Profile Related with Executive Function of Chinese Preschoolers with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Neuropsychological Measures and Behavior Rating Scale of Executive Function-Preschool Version.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hui-Feng; Shuai, Lan; Zhang, Jin-Song; Wang, Yu-Feng; Lu, Teng-Fei; Tan, Xin; Pan, Jing-Xue; Shen, Li-Xiao

    2018-03-20

    Previous studies have found that schoolchildren with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) showed difficulties in neuropsychological function. This study aimed to assess neuropsychological function in Chinese preschoolers with ADHD using broad neuropsychological measures and rating scales and to test whether the pattern and severity of neuropsychological weakness differed among ADHD presentations in preschool children. The 226 preschoolers (163 with ADHD and 63 controls) with the age of 4-5 years were included and assessed using the Behavior Rating Scale of Executive Function-Preschool Version (BRIEF-P) and a series of tests to investigate neuropsychological function. Preschoolers with ADHD showed higher scores in all domains of the BRIEF-P (inhibition: 30.64 ± 5.78 vs.20.69 ± 3.86, P ADHD subtypes, all ADHD presentations had higher scores in several domains of the BRIEF-P (P ADHD-combined symptoms (ADHD-C) group had the poorest ratings on inhibition and the ability to Plan/Organize. For neuropsychological measures, the results suggested that the ADHD-C group had poorer performances than the ADHD-predominantly inattentive symptoms (ADHD-I) group on Statue tasks (F = 7.34, η 2 = 0.12, P ADHD-hyperactive/impulsive symptoms group had significantly poorer performances compared to the ADHD-C group in the Block Construction task (F = 4.89, η 2 = 0.067, P = 0.003). However, no significant group differences were found between the ADHD-I group and normal control. Based on the combined evaluation of performance-based neuropsychological tests and the BRIEF-P, preschoolers with ADHD show difficulties of neuropsychological function in many aspects.

  13. Task-based neurofeedback training: A novel approach toward training executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosseini, S M Hadi; Pritchard-Berman, Mika; Sosa, Natasha; Ceja, Angelica; Kesler, Shelli R

    2016-07-01

    Cognitive training is an emergent approach to improve cognitive functions in various neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases. However, current training programs can be relatively lengthy, making adherence potentially difficult for patients with cognitive difficulties. Previous studies suggest that providing individuals with real-time feedback about the level of brain activity (neurofeedback) can potentially help them learn to control the activation of specific brain regions. In the present study, we developed a novel task-based neurofeedback training paradigm that benefits from the effects of neurofeedback in parallel with computerized training. We focused on executive function training given its core involvement in various developmental and neurodegenerative diseases. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) was employed for providing neurofeedback by measuring changes in oxygenated hemoglobin in the prefrontal cortex. Of the twenty healthy adult participants, ten received real neurofeedback (NFB) on prefrontal activity during cognitive training, and ten were presented with sham feedback (SHAM). Compared with SHAM, the NFB group showed significantly improved executive function performance including measures of working memory after four sessions of training (100min total). The NFB group also showed significantly reduced training-related brain activity in the executive function network including right middle frontal and inferior frontal regions compared with SHAM. Our data suggest that providing neurofeedback along with cognitive training can enhance executive function after a relatively short period of training. Similar designs could potentially be used for patient populations with known neuropathology, potentially helping them to boost/recover the activity in the affected brain regions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ray-Yau Wang

    2018-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and executive functioning in emerging adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarrett, Matthew A

    2016-02-01

    The current study examined attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety symptoms in relation to self-reported executive functioning deficits in emerging adults. College students (N = 421; ages 17-25; 73.1% female) completed self-reports of ADHD, anxiety, and executive functioning in a laboratory setting. Structural equation modeling analyses revealed that self-reported executive functioning deficits were significantly related to all 3 symptom domains. Executive functioning deficits were most strongly related to inattention followed by hyperactivity/impulsivity and anxiety. Analyses based on clinical groups revealed that groups with ADHD and comorbid anxiety showed greater deficits on self-regulation of emotion and self-organization/problem solving than those with ADHD only or anxiety only. Groups with ADHD showed greater deficits with self-motivation and self-restraint than those with anxiety only. All clinical groups differed from a control group on executive functioning deficits. Overall, anxiety symptoms appear to be associated with college students' self-reported executive functioning deficits above and beyond relationships with ADHD symptomatology. Further, those with ADHD and anxiety appear to show increased difficulties with self-regulation of emotion and self-organization/problem solving, a domain which appears to overlap substantially with working memory. Future studies should seek to replicate our findings with a clinical population, utilize both report-based and laboratory task measures of executive functioning, and integrate both state and trait anxiety indices into study designs. Finally, future studies should seek to determine how executive functioning deficits can be best ameliorated in emerging adults with ADHD and anxiety. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gold, James M; Robinson, Benjamin; Leonard, Carly J; Hahn, Britta; Chen, Shuo; McMahon, Robert P; Luck, Steven J

    2017-11-11

    People with schizophrenia demonstrate impairments in selective attention, working memory, and executive function. Given the overlap in these constructs, it is unclear if these represent distinct impairments or different manifestations of one higher-order impairment. To examine this question, we administered tasks from the basic cognitive neuroscience literature to measure visual selective attention, working memory capacity, and executive function in 126 people with schizophrenia and 122 healthy volunteers. Patients demonstrated deficits on all tasks with the exception of selective attention guided by strong bottom-up inputs. Although the measures of top-down control of selective attention, working memory, and executive function were all intercorrelated, several sources of evidence indicate that working memory and executive function are separate sources of variance. Specifically, both working memory and executive function independently contributed to the discrimination of group status and independently accounted for variance in overall general cognitive ability as assessed by the MATRICS battery. These two cognitive functions appear to be separable features of the cognitive impairments observed in schizophrenia. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Executive functions are important higher-order cognitive skills for goal-directed thought and action. These capacities contribute to successful school achievement and lifelong wellbeing. The importance of executive functions to children’s education begins in early childhood and continues throughout development. This study explores contributions of child and family factors in early childhood to the development of executive function in adolescence. Analyses draw on data from the nationally representative study, Growing up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Participants are 4819 children in the Kindergarten Cohort who were recruited at age 4–5 years. Path analyses were employed to examine contributions of early childhood factors, including family socio-economic position (SEP), parenting behaviors, maternal mental health, and a child behavioral risk index, to the development of executive function in adolescence. The influence of children’s early self-regulatory behaviors (attentional regulation at 4–5 years and approaches to learning at 6–7 years) were also taken into account. A composite score for the outcome measure of executive function was constructed from scores on three Cogstate computerized tasks for assessing cognition and measured visual attention, visual working memory, and spatial problem-solving. Covariates included child gender, age at assessment of executive function, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, speaking a language other than English at home, and child’s receptive vocabulary skills. There were significant indirect effects involving child and family risk factors measured at 4–5 years on executive function at age 14–15 years, mediated by measures of self-regulatory behavior. Child behavioral risk, family SEP and parenting behaviors (anger, warmth, and consistency) were associated with attentional regulation at 4–5 years which, in turn, was significantly associated with approaches to learning at 6

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donna Berthelsen

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Executive functions are important higher-order cognitive skills for goal-directed thought and action. These capacities contribute to successful school achievement and lifelong wellbeing. The importance of executive functions to children’s education begins in early childhood and continues throughout development. This study explores contributions of child and family factors in early childhood to the development of executive function in adolescence. Analyses draw on data from the nationally representative study, Growing up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Participants are 4819 children in the Kindergarten Cohort who were recruited at age 4–5 years. Path analyses were employed to examine contributions of early childhood factors, including family socio-economic position (SEP, parenting behaviors, maternal mental health, and a child behavioral risk index, to the development of executive function in adolescence. The influence of children’s early self-regulatory behaviors (attentional regulation at 4–5 years and approaches to learning at 6–7 years were also taken into account. A composite score for the outcome measure of executive function was constructed from scores on three Cogstate computerized tasks for assessing cognition and measured visual attention, visual working memory, and spatial problem-solving. Covariates included child gender, age at assessment of executive function, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, speaking a language other than English at home, and child’s receptive vocabulary skills. There were significant indirect effects involving child and family risk factors measured at 4–5 years on executive function at age 14–15 years, mediated by measures of self-regulatory behavior. Child behavioral risk, family SEP and parenting behaviors (anger, warmth, and consistency were associated with attentional regulation at 4–5 years which, in turn, was significantly associated with approaches

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Executive functions and psychiatric symptoms in drug-refractory juvenile myoclonic epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Jordana; Thomas, Rhys H; Church, Carla; Rees, Mark I; Marson, Anthony G; Baker, Gus A

    2014-06-01

    The pattern of executive dysfunction reported in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) resembles that of patients with cluster B personality disorders. This study examined whether executive dysfunction and maladaptive behavior reported in patients with JME are related. Sixty patients with drug-refractory JME were administered tests of intellect, memory, and executive dysfunction. Anxiety, depression, personality traits, impact of epilepsy, and perceived cognitive effects of antiepileptic drugs were measured. Half of the cohort exhibited moderate to severe anxiety symptoms. The patients performed most poorly on naming ability and inhibition switching. Duration of epilepsy exacerbated poor performance on inhibition switching. Females presented with pathological scores for neurotic and introvert traits and males for introvert traits. Abnormal personality traits and psychiatric disorders were associated with worse intellectual and executive functioning. People with extreme Eysenck Personality Scale - Brief Version (EPQ-BV) scores demonstrated the greatest level of executive impairment. Furthermore, the same degree of dysfunction was not seen in any individual with unremarkable EPQ-BV scores. This study indicates that specific patterns of executive dysfunction are related to maladaptive behavior in JME. Distinct behavioral patterns may be used to identify functional and anatomical differences between people with JME and for stratification to enable gene discovery. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Strengths and weaknesses in executive functioning in children with intellectual disability

    OpenAIRE

    Danielsson, H.; Henry, L.; Messer, D. J.; Ronnberg, J.

    2012-01-01

    Children with intellectual disability (ID) were given a comprehensive range of executive functioning measures, which systematically varied in terms of verbal and non-verbal demands. Their performance was compared to the performance of groups matched on mental age (MA) and chronological age (CA), respectively. Twenty-two children were included in each group. Children with ID performed on par with the MA group on switching, verbal executive-loaded working memory and most fluency tasks, but belo...

  16. Executive Functioning Profiles and Test Anxiety in College Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, Patrick S.

    2017-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Bilingual experience and executive functioning in young children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Stephanie M; Meltzoff, Andrew N

    2008-03-01

    Advanced inhibitory control skills have been found in bilingual speakers as compared to monolingual controls (Bialystok, 1999). We examined whether this effect is generalized to an unstudied language group (Spanish-English bilingual) and multiple measures of executive function by administering a battery of tasks to 50 kindergarten children drawn from three language groups: native bilinguals, monolinguals (English), and English speakers enrolled in second-language immersion kindergarten. Despite having significantly lower verbal scores and parent education/income level, Spanish-English bilingual children's raw scores did not differ from their peers. After statistically controlling for these factors and age, native bilingual children performed significantly better on the executive function battery than both other groups. Importantly, the relative advantage was significant for tasks that appear to call for managing conflicting attentional demands (Conflict tasks); there was no advantage on impulse-control (Delay tasks). These results advance our understanding of both the generalizability and specificity of the compensatory effects of bilingual experience for children's cognitive development.

  19. Elevated triglycerides are associated with decreased executive function among adolescents with bipolar disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naiberg, M R; Newton, D F; Collins, J E; Dickstein, D P; Bowie, C R; Goldstein, B I

    2016-09-01

    Cardiovascular risk factors that comprise metabolic syndrome (MetS) have been linked with cognition in adults with bipolar disorder (BD). This study examines the association between MetS components and executive function in adolescents with BD. A total of 34 adolescents with BD and 35 healthy control (HC) adolescents were enrolled. MetS components included triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, glucose, waist circumference, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Executive functioning was measured using the intra-extra-dimensional (IED) set-shifting task from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Tests Automated Battery. Adolescents with BD were more likely to have ≥1 MetS components (64.7%) as compared to HC participants (22.9%, χ(2) = 12.29, P = triglyceride levels (ρ = -0.358, P = 0.041 and ρ = -0.396, P = 0.020 respectively). The association of triglycerides with executive function remained significant after controlling for age, IQ, and current use of second-generation antipsychotics. Elevated triglycerides are associated with poorer executive function among adolescents with BD. Studies of behavioural and pharmacological interventions targeting MetS components for the purpose of improving executive function among adolescents with BD are warranted. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Motor activity of boys (age 8-12 years) with (n=19) and without (n=18) ADHD was objectively measured with actigraphy across experimental conditions that varied with regard to demands on executive functions. Activity exhibited during two n-back (1-back, 2-back) working memory tasks was compared to activity during a choice-reaction time (CRT) task that placed relatively fewer demands on executive processes and during a simple reaction time (SRT) task that required mostly automatic processing with minimal executive demands. Results indicated that children in the ADHD group exhibited greater activity compared to children in the non-ADHD group. Further, both groups exhibited the greatest activity during conditions with high working memory demands, followed by the reaction time and control task conditions, respectively. The findings indicate that large-magnitude increases in motor activity are predominantly associated with increased demands on working memory, though demands on non-executive processes are sufficient to elicit small to moderate increases in motor activity as well. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  1. Executive functions in children who experience bullying situations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wandersonia Medeiros

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Bullying is characterized by intentional, repetitive, and persistent aggressive behavior that causes damage to the victim. Many studies investigate the social and emotional aspects related to bullying, but few assess the cognitive aspects it involves. Studies with aggressive individuals indicate impairment in executive functioning and decision-making. The objective of this study was to assess hot and cold executive functions in children who experience bullying. A total of 60 children between 10 and 11 years of age were included in the study. They were divided into four groups: aggressors (bullies, victims, bully-victims, and control. Tests for decision-making, inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility were used. The bully group made more unfavorable choices on the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT, which may indicate difficulties in the decision-making process. The victim group took longer to complete the Trail Making Test (Part B than aggressors, suggesting lower cognitive flexibility in victims. The hypothesis that aggressors would have lower performance in other executive functions such as inhibitory control, working memory and cognitive flexibility has not been confirmed. This study indicates that bullies have an impairment of hot executive functions whereas victims have a comparatively lower performance in cold executive functions. In addition to social and cultural variables, neurocognitive and emotional factors seem to influence the behavior of children in bullying situations.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-20

    The goal of this study was to examine the independent and interactive roles of harsh-intrusive maternal behaviors and children's executive function in the development of internalizing behaviors across the first years of school. A diverse sample (58% African American, 42% European American) of 137 children (48% female) was followed from kindergarten (age 5 years) through school entry (ages 6-7 years). At age 5, maternal harsh-intrusive parenting behaviors were rated from a mother-child structured play task, and children completed 3 executive function tasks that measured inhibitory control, working memory, and attention set-shifting. Teachers reported on children's internalizing behaviors at ages 5, 6, and 7. Harsh-intrusive parenting behaviors at age 5 years were positively related to internalizing behaviors in the first years of school, whereas high executive function abilities at age 5 years were related to lower internalizing behaviors in the first years of school. In addition, executive function buffered the association between parenting behaviors and internalizing behaviors such that the link between harsh-intrusive parenting and child internalizing behaviors was evident only among children with low executive function and not among children with high executive function. Interventions that focus on reducing negative parenting behaviors and improving children's executive function may prevent internalizing behaviors from increasing during times of social and academic challenge.

  4. The assessment of executive functioning in children

    OpenAIRE

    Henry, L.; Bettenay, C.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Executive functioning is increasingly seen as incorporating several component sub-skills and clinical assessments should reflect this complexity. \\ud \\ud Method: Tools for assessing executive functioning in children are reviewed within five key areas, across verbal and visuospatial abilities, with emphasis on batteries of tests. \\ud \\ud Results: There are many appropriate tests for children, although the choice is more limited for those under the age of 8 years. \\ud \\ud Conclusion...

  5. Executive function and bilingualism in young and older adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shanna eKousaie

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Research suggests that being bilingual results in advantages on executive control processes and disadvantages on language tasks relative to monolinguals. Furthermore, the executive function advantage is thought to be larger in older than younger adults, suggesting that bilingualism may buffer against age-related changes in executive function. However, there are potential confounds in some of the previous research, as well as inconsistencies in the literature. The goal of the current investigation was to examine the presence of a bilingual advantage in executive control and a bilingual disadvantage on language tasks in the same sample of young and older monolingual anglophones, monolingual francophones, and French/English bilinguals. Participants completed a series of executive function tasks, including a Stroop task, a Simon task, a sustained attention to response task (SART, the Wisconsin Card Sort Test (WCST, and the digit span subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, and language tasks, including the Boston Naming Test (BNT, and category and letter fluency. The results do not demonstrate an unequivocal advantage for bilinguals on executive function tasks and raise questions about the reliability, robustness and/or specificity of previous findings. The results also did not demonstrate a disadvantage for bilinguals on language tasks. Rather, they suggest that there may be an influence of the language environment. It is concluded that additional research is required to fully characterize any language group differences in both executive function and language tasks.

  6. [Memory and the executive functions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tirapu-Ustárroz, J; Muñoz-Céspedes, J M

    The terms 'executive functioning' or 'executive control' refer to a set of mechanisms involved in the improvement of cognitive processes to guide them towards the resolution of complex problems. Both the frontal lobes, acting as structure, and the executive processes, acting as function, work with memory contents, operating with information placed in the diencephalic structures and in the medial temporal lobe. Generally, we can state that many works find an association between frontal damage and specific memory shortages like working memory deficit, metamemory problems, source amnesia, or difficulties in the prospective memory. This paper is a critical review of the working memory concept and proposes a new term: the attentional operative system that works with memory contents. Concerning the metamemory, the frontal lobes are essential for monitoring processes in general and for 'the feeling of knowing' kind of judgements in particular. Patients suffering prefrontal damage show serious problems to remember the information source. Thus, the information is rightly remembered but the spatiotemporal context where that information was learned has been forgotten. Finally, the prospective memory deals with remembering to make something in a particular moment in the future and performing the plan previously drawn up.

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Lier, Pol A C; Deater-Deckard, Kirby

    2016-01-01

    Children's executive functions, encompassing inhibitory control, working memory and attention are vital for their self-regulation. With the transition to formal schooling, children need to learn to manage their emotions and behavior in a new and complex social environment that with age increases in the intensity of social interactions with peers and teachers. Stronger executive functions skills facilitate children's social development. In addition, new experiences in the social environments of school also may influence executive function development. The focus of this special section is on this potential impact of elementary school social experiences with peers and teacher on the development of children's executive functions. The collection of papers encompass various aspects of peer and teacher social environments, and cover broad as well as specific facets and measures of executive functions including neural responses. The collection of papers sample developmental periods that span preschool through mid-adolescence. In this introduction, we summarize and highlight the main findings of each of the papers, organized around social interactions with peers and interactions with teachers. We conclude our synopsis with implications for future research, and a specific focus on prevention and intervention.

  9. 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.

  10. Impact of sociodemographic variables on executive functions

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Ven, S.H.G.

    2011-01-01

    In this dissertation, the relation between executive functions and mathematical skills in children was investigated. Two main aims were addressed: (1) unraveling the structure of executive functions, and (2) investigating the nature of the relations between executive functions and mathematics.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Villamisar, Domingo; Dattilo, John

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    The present study examined clinical and demographic risk factors associated with parent-rated emotional-behavioral and executive functioning in children and adolescents with epilepsy. The medical records of 152 children and adolescents with epilepsy referred for neuropsychological evaluation were reviewed. Results indicated that the sample displayed significantly elevated symptoms across the emotional-behavioral and executive domains assessed. Executive functioning and behavioral symptoms had the highest rates of clinically elevated scores, with lowest rates of elevated scores in internalizing and externalizing emotional problems. Only 34% of those participants with clinically significant emotional-behavioral or executive functioning difficulties had a history of psychological or counseling services, highlighting the underserved mental health needs of this population. In regard to clinical factors, the majority of seizure-related variables were not associated with emotional-behavioral or executive functioning. However, the frequency of seizures (i.e., seizure status) was associated with behavioral regulation aspects of executive functioning, and the age at evaluation was associated with externalizing problems and behavioral symptoms. Family psychiatric history (with the exception of ADHD) was associated with all domains of executive and emotional-behavioral functioning. In summary, emotional-behavioral and executive functioning difficulties frequently co-occur with seizures in childhood epilepsy, with both seizure-related and demographic factors contributing to the presentation of such neurobehavioral comorbidities. The present findings provide treatment providers of childhood epilepsy with important information to assist in better identifying children and adolescents who may be at risk for neurobehavioral comorbidities and may benefit from intervention. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Family socioeconomic status and child executive functions: the roles of language, home environment, and single parenthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarsour, Khaled; Sheridan, Margaret; Jutte, Douglas; Nuru-Jeter, Amani; Hinshaw, Stephen; Boyce, W Thomas

    2011-01-01

    The association between family socioeconomic status (SES) and child executive functions is well-documented. However, few studies have examined the role of potential mediators and moderators. We studied the independent and interactive associations between family SES and single parenthood to predict child executive functions of inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and working memory and examined child expressive language abilities and family home environment as potential mediators of these associations. Sixty families from diverse SES backgrounds with a school-age target child (mean [SD] age = 9.9 [0.96] years) were evaluated. Child executive functioning was measured using a brief battery. The quality of the home environment was evaluated using the Home Observation for the Measurement of the Environment inventory. Family SES predicted the three child executive functions under study. Single parent and family SES were interactively associated with children's inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility; such that children from low SES families who were living with one parent performed less well on executive function tests than children from similarly low SES who were living with two parents. Parental responsivity, enrichment activities and family companionship mediated the association between family SES and child inhibitory control and working memory. This study demonstrates that family SES inequalities are associated with inequalities in home environments and with inequalities in child executive functions. The impact of these disparities as they unfold in the lives of typically developing children merits further investigation and understanding.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-09-01

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

  16. Are executive functions related to emotional intelligence? A correlational study in schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurtado, M M; Triviño, M; Arnedo, M; Roldán, G; Tudela, P

    2016-12-30

    This research explored the relationship between executive functions (working memory and reasoning subtests of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Trail Making and Stroop tests, fluency and planning tasks, and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test) and emotional intelligence measured by the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test in patients with schizophrenia or borderline personality disorder compared to a control group. As expected, both clinical groups performed worse than the control group in executive functions and emotional intelligence, although the impairment was greater in the borderline personality disorder group. Executive functions significantly correlated with social functioning. Results are discussed in relation to the brain circuits that mediate executive functions and emotional intelligence and the findings obtained with other models of social cognition. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiina eSalminen

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have reported improvements in a variety of cognitive functions following sole working memory (WM training. In spite of the emergence of several successful training paradigms, the scope of transfer effects has remained mixed. This is most likely due to the heterogeneity of cognitive functions that have been measured and tasks that have been applied. In the present study, we approached this issue systematically by investigating transfer effects from WM training to different aspects of executive functioning. Our training task was a demanding WM task that requires simultaneous performance of a visual and an auditory n-back task, while the transfer tasks tapped WM updating, coordination of the performance of multiple simultaneous tasks (i.e., dual-tasks and sequential tasks (i.e., task switching, and the temporal distribution of attentional processing. Additionally, we examined whether WM training improves reasoning abilities; a hypothesis that has so far gained mixed support. Following training, participants showed improvements in the trained task as well as in the transfer WM updating task. As for the other executive functions, trained participants improved in a task switching situation and in attentional processing. There was no transfer to the dual-task situation or to reasoning skills. These results therefore confirm previous findings that WM can be trained, and additionally, they show that the training effects can generalize to various other tasks tapping on executive functions.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Sandgren, Olof; Holmström, Ketty

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marra Carlo A

    2010-04-01

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

  1. Enhancing Writing through Strengthened Executive Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell Jay Hendel

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available We explore aspects of essay writing requiring high-level organizational capacity and executive function. The literature supports the approach that specific and focused writing-skill mastery leads to reduced anxiety and increased self-efficacy which correlates with improved writing skills. Although essay writing is a complex multi-dimensional task, two particular strategies, tree-diagram and reference methods, specifically address the organizational skills characteristic of executive function. The tree and reference methods presented in this paper address the flow of information, not content, and consequently, the methods presented in this paper apply to mathematics and English as well as to K-12 and college level.

  2. Executive functions, physical fitness and mobility in well-functioning older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berryman, Nicolas; Bherer, Louis; Nadeau, Sylvie; Lauzière, Séléna; Lehr, Lora; Bobeuf, Florian; Kergoat, Marie Jeanne; Vu, Thien Tuong Minh; Bosquet, Laurent

    2013-12-01

    The objective of this study was to examine the relationships between executive functions, physical fitness and mobility in well-functioning older adults. Forty-eight well functioning older adults (70.5±5.3years old; 20 men, 28 women) were included in this study. Two median splits were conducted based on each individual's performance for the 10MWT and TUG. Comparisons between groups of slower and faster individuals were made with regard to executive functions and physical fitness parameters. A correlational approach was used to assess the association between variables. Between groups comparisons revealed that faster individuals in mobility tests demonstrate better performances in measures of cognitive flexibility (0.68

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  6. Is Work-Related Rumination Associated with Deficits in Executive Functioning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cropley, Mark; Zijlstra, Fred R H; Querstret, Dawn; Beck, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    Work-related rumination, that is, perseverative thinking about work during leisure time, has been associated with a range of negative health and wellbeing issues. The present paper examined the association between work-related rumination and cognitive processes centerd around the theoretical construct of executive functioning. Executive functioning is an umbrella term for high level cognitive processes such as planning, working memory, inhibition, mental flexibility; and it underlies how people manage and regulate their goal directed behavior. Three studies are reported. Study I, reports the results of a cross-sectional study of 240 employees, and demonstrates significant correlations between work-related rumination and three proxy measures of executive functioning: cognitive failures (0.33), cognitive flexibility (-0.24), and situational awareness at work (-0.28). Study II ( n = 939), expands on the findings from study 1 and demonstrates that workers reporting medium and high work-related rumination were 2.8 and 5 times, respectively, more likely to report cognitive failures relative to low ruminators. High ruminators also demonstrated greater difficulties with 'lapses of attention' (OR = 4.8), 'lack of focus of attention' (OR = 3.4), and 'absent mindedness' (OR = 4.3). The final study, examined the association between work-related rumination and executive functioning using interview data from 2460 full time workers. Workers were divided into tertiles low, medium, and high. The findings showed that high work-related rumination was associated with deficits in starting (OR = 2.3) and finishing projects (OR = 2.4), fidgeting (OR = 1.9), memory (OR = 2.2), pursuing tasks in order (OR = 1.8), and feeling compelled to do things (OR = 2.0). It was argued that work-related rumination may not be related to work demands per se , but appears to be an executive functioning/control issue. Such findings are important for the design and delivery of intervention programes aimed

  7. Is Work-related Rumination Associated with deficits in Executive Functioning?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Cropley

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available AbstractWork-related rumination, that is, perseverative thinking about work during leisure time, has been associated with a range of negative health and wellbeing issues. The present paper examined the association between work-related rumination and cognitive processes centred around the theoretical construct of executive functioning. Executive functioning is an umbrella term for high level cognitive processes such as planning, working memory, inhibition, mental flexibility; and it underlies how people manage and regulate their goal directed behaviour. Three studies are reported. Study I, reports the results of a cross-sectional study of 240 employees, and demonstrates significant correlations between work-related rumination and three proxy measures of executive functioning: cognitive failures (.33, cognitive flexibility (-.24 and situational awareness at work (-.28. Study II (n = 939, expands on the findings from study 1 and demonstrates that workers reporting medium and high work-related rumination were 2.8 and 5 times, respectively, more likely to report cognitive failures relative to low ruminators. High ruminators also demonstrated greater difficulties with ‘lapses of attention’ (OR = 4.8, ‘lack of focus of attention’ (OR = 3.4, and ‘absent mindedness’ (OR = 4.3. The final study, examined the association between work-related rumination and executive functioning using interview data from 2460 full time workers. Workers were divided into tertiles low, medium and high. The findings showed that high work-related rumination was associated with deficits in starting (OR = 2.3 and finishing projects (OR = 2.4, fidgeting (OR = 1.9, memory (OR = 2.2, pursuing tasks in order (OR = 1.8, and feeling compelled to do things (OR = 2.0. It was argued that work-related rumination may not be related to work demands per se, but appears to be an executive functioning/control issue. Such findings are important for the design and delivery of

  8. Validation of the Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Adult Version (BRIEF-A) in the obese with and without binge eating disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouel, Melissa; Raman, Jayanthi; Hay, Phillipa; Smith, Evelyn

    2016-12-01

    Obesity and binge eating disorder (BED) are both associated with deficiencies in executive function. The Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Adult Version (BRIEF-A) is a self-report measure that assesses executive function. This study aimed to examine the psychometric properties of the BRIEF-A in an obese population, with and without BED, and to explore the differences on the BRIEF-A in the obese, with and without BED, compared to normative sample. 98 obese participants (70 BED) completed the BRIEF-A, DASS-21 and several performance-based measures of executive function. 30 participants completed a repeat assessment two months later. There was evidence of good internal consistency and test-retest reliability, however evidence for construct and convergent validity was mixed. Additionally, it was found that obese individuals report significantly more executive function difficulties on the BRIEF-A than the normative sample. Further, obese with BED report more executive function difficulties than those without. This study shows some evidence of sound psychometric properties of the BRIEF-A in an obese sample, however more research is required to understand the nature of executive function being measured. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Mouth rinsing with a carbohydrate solution attenuates exercise-induced decline in executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konishi, Kana; Kimura, Tetsuya; Yuhaku, Atsushi; Kurihara, Toshiyuki; Fujimoto, Masahiro; Hamaoka, Takafumi; Sanada, Kiyoshi

    2017-01-01

    A decline in executive function could have a negative influence on the control of actions in dynamic situations, such as sports activities. Mouth rinsing with a carbohydrate solution could serve as an effective treatment for preserving the executive function in exercise. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of mouth rinsing with a carbohydrate solution on executive function after sustained moderately high-intensity exercise. Eight young healthy participants completed 65 min of running at 75% V̇O 2 max with two mouth-rinsing conditions: with a carbohydrate solution (CHO) or with water (CON). Executive function was assessed before and after exercise by using the incongruent task of the Stroop Color and Word Test. The levels of blood glucose; and plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), epinephrine, and norepinephrine (NE) were evaluated. A two-way repeated-measures ANOVA, with condition (CHO and CON) and time (pre-exercise and post-exercise) as factors, was used to examine the main and interaction effects on the outcome measures. The reaction time in the incongruent condition of the Stroop test significantly increased after exercise in CON (pre-exercise 529 ± 45 ms vs. post-exercise 547 ± 60 ms, P  = 0.029) but not in CHO (pre-exercise 531 ± 54 ms vs. post-exercise 522 ± 80 ms), which resulted in a significant interaction (condition × time) on the reaction time ( P  = 0.028). The increased reaction time in CON indicates a decline in the executive function, which was attenuated in CHO. Increases in plasma epinephrine and NE levels demonstrated a trend toward attenuation accompanying CHO ( P  exercise, and that such attenuation seems to be unrelated to carbohydrate metabolic pathway but rather attributed, in part, to the inhibition of the excessive release of stress hormones.

  10. Cannabinoid modulation of executive functions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

    Executive functions are higher-order cognitive processes such as attention, behavioural flexibility, decision-making, inhibitory control, planning, time estimation and working memory that exert top-down control over behaviour. In addition to the role of cannabinoid signaling in other cognitive

  11. Executive functions in persons with metabolic syndrome

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    Subotić Tatjana

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Modern man lyfestyle contributes to the increasing incidence of metabolic syndrome in the developed world. Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in adults ranges from 20 to 25%, and it tends to increase. Each year, 3.2 million people around the world die from complications associated with this syndrome. Treatment involves cooperation of medical doctors of various specialties, but the decisive factor is patient motivation, given that the treatment requires significant lifestyle changes. Our hypothesis is that metabolic syndrome patients have reduced ability to plan, convert plan into action and effectively implement planned activities, showing signs of dysexecutive syndrome. The term executive functions comes from the English word 'executive', which also means the controlling, in neuropsychology reserved for high-level abilities that influence more basic abilities such as attention, perception, memory, thinking and speaking. The main objective of this study was to determine characteristics of executive functioning in patients with metabolic syndrome. The sample consisted of 61 subjects of both sexes, aged 20 to 60 years, divided into two groups - those with a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome and those without this diagnosis. The results suggest that people with metabolic syndrome showed significantly poorer performance in almost all indicators of executive functions, represented by Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test variables.

  12. Handwriting measures as reflectors of Executive Functions among adults withDevelopmental Coordination Disorders (DCD.

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    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. 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.

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

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

    2016-05-01

    The current investigation utilized mid-life and late-life participants diagnosed with hoarding disorder (HD) to explore the relationship between executive functioning and hoarding severity. Correlational analyses were used to investigate the associations between executive functioning and hoarding severity in nondemented participants. Multiple regression was used to determine if executive functioning had a unique association with HD severity when accounting for depressive symptoms. Participants were recruited from the San Diego area for HD intervention studies. Participants were 113 nondemented adults aged 50-86 years who met DSM-5 criteria for HD. The mean age of the sample utilized in the analyses was 63.76 years (SD, 7.2; range, 51-85 years). The sample was mostly female (72%), Caucasian (81.4%), and unmarried (78%). Hoarding severity was assessed using the Saving Inventory-Revised and the Clutter Image Rating and depression was assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Executive functioning was assessed using the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST-128) and the Trail Making and Verbal Fluency subtests of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System. Executive function (operationalized as perseveration on the WCST-128) was significantly associated with Clutter Image Ratings. In a multivariate context, executive function and depressive symptom severity were both significant predictors of variance in Clutter Image Rating. Our results suggest that executive function is related to severity of HD symptoms and should be considered as part of the conceptualization of HD. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Impaired financial capacity in late life depression is associated with cognitive performance on measures of executive functioning and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackin, R Scott; Areán, Patricia A

    2009-09-01

    Few studies have evaluated the prevalence of impairments of financial capacity among individuals with psychiatric disorders. Late life depression (LLD) is a common psychiatric disorder associated with significant disability and cognitive impairment. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the prevalence and cognitive correlates of impairments of financial capacity among individuals with LLD. Participants included 65 LLD individuals and 32 comparison subjects. Assessments included measures of financial capacity, cognitive functioning, and depression symptom severity. Individuals with LLD exhibited a significantly higher rate of impaired financial capacity (22%) than the comparison group (6%). Results of a multiple regression analysis indicated that performance on measures of executive functioning and attention, but not depression severity, were most strongly associated with financial capacity performance in LLD. Our results suggest impairments of financial capacity in LLD are largely explained by cognitive functioning in these domains.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collette, Fabienne; Angel, Lucie

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandgren, Olof; Holmström, Ketty

    2015-01-01

    The clinical assessment of language impairment (LI) in bilingual children imposes challenges for speech-language pathology services. Assessment tools standardized for monolingual populations increase the risk of misinterpreting bilingualism as LI. This Perspective article summarizes recent studies on the assessment of bilingual LI and presents new results on including non-linguistic measures of executive functions in the diagnostic assessment. Executive functions shows clinical utility as less subjected to language use and exposure than linguistic measures. A possible bilingual advantage, and consequences for speech-language pathology practices and future research are discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Background: Maternal executive function and household regulation both are critical aspects of optimal childrearing, but their interplay is not understood. We tested the hypotheses that (a) the link between challenging child conduct problems and harsh parenting would be strongest for mothers with poorer executive function and weakest among those…

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

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    Mohammad Reza khodaei-Ardakani

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Objective: There is evidence for differential executive function in Bipolar I Disorder (BID and schizophrenia that may tend different cognitive deficits and abnormalities. The objective of this sudsy was to compare the executive function of BID and schizophrenic patients. Materials & Methods: We studied 50 patients with BID, and 50 with schizophrenia participants in outpatients' clinic of Rouzbeh hospital. All participants completed the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST the Persian version. The participants were mach in three basic variables which had most contributions in cognitive conditions in patients. They were Age, educational status and period of illness. Results: The two patient groups had compared performance on the WCST in compared with general population (P<0/05. In the WCST, schizophrenic patients showed impairment executive function than BID patients (P<0/05. Conclusion: findings indicated that schizophrenic patients had more dysfunctions executive function than the Bipolar disorder I patients. Although, both disorders may show impairment in executive function, but the dysfunction in schizophrenia greater than Bipolar I Disorder patients.

  2. 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.

  3. Higher levels of cardiovascular fitness are associated with better executive function and prefrontal oxygenation in younger and older women

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    Olivier eDupuy

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Aim: Many studies have suggested that physical exercise training improves cognition and more selectively executive functions. There is a growing interest to clarify the neurophysiological mechanisms that underlie this effect. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the neurophysiological changes in cerebral oxygenation associated with physical fitness level and executive functions. Method: In this study, 22 younger and 36 older women underwent a maximal graded continuous test (i.e., O2max in order to classifyassign them into a fitness group (higher vs. lower fit. All participants completed neuropsychological paper and pencil testing and a computerized Stroop task (which contained executive and non-executive conditions in which the change in pPrefrontal cortex oxygenation change was evaluated in all participants with a near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS. system during a computerized Stroop task (which contains executive and non-executive conditions. Results: Our findings revealed a Fitness x Condition interaction (p < .05 such that higher fit women scored better on measures of executive functions than lower fit women. In comparison to lower fit women, higher fit women had faster reaction times in the switching (executiveExecutive condition of the computerized Stroop task. No significant effect was observed ion the non-executive condition of the test and no interactions were found with age. In measures of cerebral oxygenation (ΔHbT and ΔHbO2, we found a main effect of fitness on cerebral oxygenation during the Stroop task such that only high fit women demonstrated a significant increase in the right inferior frontal gyrus. Discussion/Conclusion:Higher fit individuals who demonstrate better cardiorespiratory functions (as measured by O2max show faster reaction times and greater cerebral oxygenation in the right inferior frontal gyrus than women with lower fitness levels. The lack of interaction with age, suggests that good

  4. Adolescent Heavy Drinking Does Not Affect Maturation of Basic Executive Functioning: Longitudinal Findings from the 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.

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Excessive alcohol use is assumed to affect maturation of cognitive functioning in adolescence. However, most existing studies that have tested this hypothesis are seriously flawed due to the use of selective groups and/or cross-sectional designs, which limits the ability to draw firm conclusions. This longitudinal study investigated whether patterns of alcohol use predicted differences in maturation of executive functioning in adolescence. Additionally, gender was tested as a possible moderator. Methods We used data from the Tracking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), which comprises a cohort of 2,230 Dutch adolescents. Maturation of executive functioning was measured by assessing the standardized improvement on each of four basic executive functions (i.e., inhibition, working memory, and shift- and sustained attention) between ages 11 and 19. Participants were assigned to one of six (heavy) drinking groups (i.e., non-drinkers, light drinkers, infrequent heavy drinkers, increased heavy drinkers, decreased heavy drinkers, and chronic heavy drinkers). We conducted linear regression analyses, and adjusted for relevant confounders. Results The six drinking groups did not reveal significant differences in maturation between drinking groups. E.g., maturation executive functioning of chronic heavy drinkers in comparison to non-drinkers; inhibition: B = -0.14, 95% CI [-0.41 to 0.14], working memory: B = -0.03, 95% CI [-0.26 to 0.21], shift attention: B = 0.13, 95% CI [-0.17 to 0.41], sustained attention: B = 0.12, 95% CI [-0.60 to 0.36]. Furthermore, gender was not found to be a significant moderator. Conclusions Four years of weekly heavy drinking (i.e., chronic heavy drinkers) did not result in measurable impairments in four basic executive functions. Thus, regular heavy drinking in adolescence does not seem to affect these basic behavioural measures of executive functioning. PMID:26489080

  5. Adolescent Heavy Drinking Does Not Affect Maturation of Basic Executive Functioning: Longitudinal Findings from the 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

    2015-01-01

    Excessive alcohol use is assumed to affect maturation of cognitive functioning in adolescence. However, most existing studies that have tested this hypothesis are seriously flawed due to the use of selective groups and/or cross-sectional designs, which limits the ability to draw firm conclusions. This longitudinal study investigated whether patterns of alcohol use predicted differences in maturation of executive functioning in adolescence. Additionally, gender was tested as a possible moderator. We used data from the Tracking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), which comprises a cohort of 2,230 Dutch adolescents. Maturation of executive functioning was measured by assessing the standardized improvement on each of four basic executive functions (i.e., inhibition, working memory, and shift- and sustained attention) between ages 11 and 19. Participants were assigned to one of six (heavy) drinking groups (i.e., non-drinkers, light drinkers, infrequent heavy drinkers, increased heavy drinkers, decreased heavy drinkers, and chronic heavy drinkers). We conducted linear regression analyses, and adjusted for relevant confounders. The six drinking groups did not reveal significant differences in maturation between drinking groups. E.g., maturation executive functioning of chronic heavy drinkers in comparison to non-drinkers; inhibition: B = -0.14, 95% CI [-0.41 to 0.14], working memory: B = -0.03, 95% CI [-0.26 to 0.21], shift attention: B = 0.13, 95% CI [-0.17 to 0.41], sustained attention: B = 0.12, 95% CI [-0.60 to 0.36]. Furthermore, gender was not found to be a significant moderator. Four years of weekly heavy drinking (i.e., chronic heavy drinkers) did not result in measurable impairments in four basic executive functions. Thus, regular heavy drinking in adolescence does not seem to affect these basic behavioural measures of executive functioning.

  6. The relationship between executive functioning, central coherence, and repetitive behaviors in the high-functioning autism spectrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    South, Mikle; Ozonoff, Sally; McMahon, William M

    2007-09-01

    This study examined the relationship between everyday repetitive behavior (primary symptoms of autism) and performance on neuropsychological tests of executive function and central coherence (secondary symptoms). It was hypothesized that the frequency and intensity of repetitive behavior would be positively correlated with laboratory measures of cognitive rigidity and weak central coherence. Participants included 19 individuals (ages 10-19) with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (ASD group) and 18 age- and IQ-matched typically developing controls (TD group). There was partial support in the ASD group for the link between repetitive behavior and executive performance (the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task). There was no support for a link between repetitive behavior and measures of central coherence (a Gestalt Closure test and the Embedded Figures Test). Further research on repetitive behaviors in autism may benefit from a focus on narrow behavioral and cognitive constructs rather than general categories.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camila de Assis Faria

    Full Text Available There are numerous neuropsychological tests for assessing executive functions in aging, which vary according to the different domains assessed. OBJECTIVE: To present a systematic review of the most frequently used instruments for assessing executive functions in older adults with different educational levels in clinical and experimental research. METHODS: We searched for articles published in the last five years, using the PubMed database with the following terms: "neuropsychological tests", "executive functions", and "mild cognitive impairment". There was no language restriction. RESULTS: 25 articles fulfilled all the inclusion criteria. The seven neuropsychological tests most frequently used to evaluate executive functions in aging were: [1] Trail Making Test (TMT Form B; [2] Verbal Fluency Test (VFT - F, A and S; [3] VFT Animals category; [4] Clock Drawing Test (CDT; [5] Digits Forward and Backward subtests (WAIS-R or WAIS-III; [6] Stroop Test; and [7] Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST and its variants. The domains of executive functions most frequently assessed were: mental flexibility, verbal fluency, planning, working memory, and inhibitory control. CONCLUSION: The study identified the tests and domains of executive functions most frequently used in the last five years by research groups worldwide to evaluate older adults. These results can direct future research and help build evaluation protocols for assessing executive functions, taking into account the different educational levels and socio-demographic profiles of older adults in Brazil.

  11. 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.

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

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

    2013-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-15

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

  17. 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).

  18. Brain levels of high-energy phosphate metabolites and executive function in geriatric depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, David G; Joe, Elizabeth B; Jensen, J Eric; Ravichandran, Caitlin; Forester, Brent P

    2016-11-01

    Depression in late life has been associated with difficulties in cognitive processing, particularly in the domains of executive function, processing speed and memory, and increases the risk of developing dementia suggesting a neurodegenerative phenotype. Mitochondrial dysfunction is frequently an early event in neurodegenerative illnesses and may be operative in patients with late life depression. Phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy (31P MRS) allows for the quantification of bioenergetic molecules produced by mitochondria. Ten patients with late life depression and eight normal elderly controls were studied with Stroop color and interference tests, which are widely used measures of processing speed and executive function, respectively, followed by (31P) MRS 3-dimensional chemical-shift imaging measuring levels of adenosine triphosphate, phosphocreatine, inorganic phosphate, and pH over the whole brain. In all subjects, gray matter phosphocreatine was positively associated with Stroop interference. Levels of white matter adenosine triphosphate were associated with Stroop interference in subjects with late life depression but not normal elderly. There was also a complementary association between white matter inorganic phosphate and Stroop interference in late life depression patients. These findings suggest two independent sources of executive function dependence on bioenergetic state in the aging brain. The dependence of executive function performance in subjects with late life depression on ATP in white matter may be associated with mitochondrial impairment and is consistent with predictions of the vascular depression hypothesis. Further research with wider neuropsychological testing targeting bioenergetic markers could help clarify the scope of these effects. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venke Arntsberg Grane

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

  5. Study Protocol: The influence of Running Therapy on executive functions and sleep of prisoners [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesse Meijers

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Executive dysfunction appears to be related to increased recidivism. Of note is that sleep disturbances, which are highly prevalent in prisons, may attenuate executive functions. Thus, improving executive functions, either directly or indirectly through the improvement of sleep, may reduce recidivism. It is hypothesised that physical exercise, in the form of Running Therapy, has a direct positive effect on executive functions as well as an indirect effect through the improvement of sleep. Methods/Design: Seventy two (N = 72 detainees in various penitentiary institutions in the Netherlands will be recruited in this study. A baseline measurement, including six neuropsychological tests of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB, an assessment of sleep quality and duration using the Actiwatch (Actiwatch 2, Philips Respironics, Murrysville, PA, USA and various other measurements will be administered before the start of the treatment. After 3 months of Running Therapy, participants will be assessed again with the same tests for neuropsychological and physical functioning. Primary outcomes are executive functioning and various sleep variables. Discussion: This study will be the first to investigate the possible influence of Running Therapy on the cognitive functioning, sleep and aggression in prisoners.

  6. Association between two distinct executive tasks in schizophrenia: a functional transcranial Doppler sonography study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theodoridou Anastasia

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder involving impairments in executive functioning, which are important cognitive processes that can be assessed by planning tasks such as the Stockings of Cambridge (SOC, and tasks of rule learning/abstraction such as the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST. We undertook this study to investigate the association between performance during separate phases of SOC and WCST, including mean cerebral blood flow velocity (MFV measurements in chronic schizophrenia. Methods Functional transcranial Doppler sonography (fTCD was used to assess bilateral MFV changes in the middle (MCA and anterior (ACA cerebral arteries. Twenty-two patients with chronic schizophrenia and 20 healthy subjects with similar sociodemographic characteristics performed SOC and WCST during fTCD measurements of the MCA and the ACA. The SOC was varied in terms of easy and difficult problems, and also in terms of separate phases, namely mental planning and movement execution. The WCST performance was assessed separately for maintaining set and set shifting. This allowed us to examine the impact of problem difficulty and the impact of separate phases of a planning task on distinct intervals of WCST. Simultaneous registration of MFV was carried out to investigate the linkage of brain perfusion during the tasks. Results In patients, slowing of movement execution during easy problems (SOC was associated with slowing during maintaining set (WCST (P Conclusion The results of this study demonstrate performance and brain perfusion abnormalities in the association pattern of two different tasks of executive functioning in schizophrenia, and they support the notion that executive functions have a pathological functional correlate predominantly in the lateral hemispheres of the brain. This study also underpins the scientific potential of fTCD in assessing brain perfusion in patients with schizophrenia.

  7. Ghrelin is a possible new predictor associated with executive function in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Siting; Zuo, Xuyang; Li, Yuan; Jiang, Tian; Zhang, Nan; Dai, Fang; Chen, Qiaoer; Zhang, Qiu

    2017-05-01

    The aim of the present research was to study the ghrelin level, executive function and their possible association in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. A total of 370 people were recruited between March 2015 and March 2016 in this study. Among them, 212 participants were patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and 158 participants were included as the control group. Their blood sample was analyzed for the level of ghrelin and other clinical indexes. Cognitive function was measured by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, and executive function was evaluated by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. In the type 2 diabetes mellitus group, age, years of education, duration of diabetes, fasting blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin, hypertension and waist-to-hip ratio were correlated with total Montreal Cognitive Assessment scores. No association was found between ghrelin level and total Montreal Cognitive Assessment score in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, ghrelin was found to be a significant predictor for executive function impairment measured by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The level of serum ghrelin might be a biomarker of executive function and become a strong predictor of executive function impairment in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Ghrelin might have a potential protective effect against cognitive function impairment in type 2 diabetes patients. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Diabetes Investigation published by Asian Association for the Study of Diabetes (AASD) and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  8. Association of television violence exposure with executive functioning and white matter volume in young adult males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hummer, Tom A; Kronenberger, William G; Wang, Yang; Anderson, Caitlin C; Mathews, Vincent P

    2014-07-01

    Prior research has indicated that self-reported violent media exposure is associated with poorer performance on some neuropsychological tests in adolescents. This study aimed to examine the relationship of executive functioning to violent television viewing in healthy young adult males and examine how brain structure is associated with media exposure measures. Sixty-five healthy adult males (ages 18-29) with minimal video game experience estimated their television viewing habits over the past year and, during the subsequent week, recorded television viewing time and characteristics in a daily media diary. Participants then completed a battery of neuropsychological laboratory tests quantifying executive functions and underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Aggregate measures of executive functioning were not associated with measures of overall television viewing (any content type) during the past week or year. However, the amount of television viewing of violent content only, as indicated by both past-year and daily diary measures, was associated with poorer scores on an aggregate score of inhibition, interference control and attention, with no relationship to a composite working memory score. In addition, violent television exposure, as measured with daily media diaries, was associated with reduced frontoparietal white matter volume. Future longitudinal work is necessary to resolve whether individuals with poor executive function and slower white matter growth are more drawn to violent programming, or if extensive media violence exposure modifies cognitive control mechanisms mediated primarily via prefrontal cortex. Impaired inhibitory mechanisms may be related to reported increases in aggression with higher media violence exposure. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, Megan; Lipscomb, Shannon; McClelland, Megan M; Duncan, Rob; Becker, Derek; Anderson, Kim; Kile, Molly

    2016-12-01

    The purpose of this article was to examine specific linkages between early visual-motor integration skills and executive function, as well as between early object manipulation skills and social behaviors in the classroom during the preschool year. Ninety-two children aged 3 to 5 years old (M age  = 4.31 years) were recruited to participate. Comprehensive measures of visual-motor integration skills, object manipulation skills, executive function, and social behaviors were administered in the fall and spring of the preschool year. Our findings indicated that children who had better visual-motor integration skills in the fall had better executive function scores (B = 0.47 [0.20], p gender, Head Start status, and site location, but not after controlling for children's baseline levels of executive function. In addition, children who demonstrated better object manipulation skills in the fall showed significantly stronger social behavior in their classrooms (as rated by teachers) in the spring, including more self-control (B - 0.03 [0.00], p social behavior in the fall and other covariates. Children's visual-motor integration and object manipulation skills in the fall have modest to moderate relations with executive function and social behaviors later in the preschool year. These findings have implications for early learning initiatives and school readiness.

  10. When words lead to solutions: executive function deficits in preschool children with specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roello, Mara; Ferretti, Maria Letizia; Colonnello, Valentina; Levi, Gabriel

    2015-02-01

    Several studies indicate that school-age children with specific language impairment (SLI) have difficulties with tasks that rely on executive functions. Whether executive function deficits in children with SLI emerge during preschool age remains unclear. Our aim was to fill this gap by investigating executive function performances in two age groups of preschoolers with and without SLI. Children with SLI (N=60; young: 53.6±5.3 months; old: 65.4±3.8 months) and age-matched control children (N=58) were tested for problem-representation ability, using the Flexible Item Selection Task (FIST), rule-use skills, using a Stroop-like Day-Night test (D/N), and planning skills, using the Tower of London test (TOL). Older children performed better than younger children did across tasks. Children with SLI had poorer performance, compared to typically developing children, on measures of problem representation, planning skills, and use of rules. Our results clearly indicate that executive function impairment is evident during the preschool period. Although old children with SLI performed better than young children with SLI, their performances were still poor, compared to those of control peers. These findings suggest that children with SLI have altered executive functioning at 53.6 months. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. Independent effects of bilingualism and socioeconomic status on language ability and executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvo, Alejandra; Bialystok, Ellen

    2014-03-01

    One hundred and seventy-five children who were 6-years old were assigned to one of four groups that differed in socioeconomic status (SES; working class or middle class) and language background (monolingual or bilingual). The children completed tests of nonverbal intelligence, language tests assessing receptive vocabulary and attention based on picture naming, and two tests of executive functioning. All children performed equivalently on the basic intelligence tests, but performance on the language and executive functioning tasks was influenced by both SES and bilingualism. Middle-class children outperformed working-class children on all measures, and bilingual children obtained lower scores than monolingual children on language tests but higher scores than monolingual children on the executive functioning tasks. There were no interactions with either group factors or task factors. Thus, each of SES and bilingualism contribute significantly and independently to children's development irrespective of the child's level on the other factor. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmussen, Carmen; Wyper, Katy; Talwar, Victoria

    2009-01-01

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

  13. Executive function in different groups of university students

    OpenAIRE

    Prosen, Simona; Smrtnik Vitulić, Helena

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curran, R. T.

    1971-01-01

    A flight computer functional executive design for the reusable shuttle is presented. The design is given in the form of functional flowcharts and prose description. Techniques utilized in the regulation of process flow to accomplish activation, resource allocation, suspension, termination, and error masking based on process primitives are considered. Preliminary estimates of main storage utilization by the Executive are furnished. Conclusions and recommendations for timely, effective software-hardware integration in the reusable shuttle avionics system are proposed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nur Fatwikiningsih

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Executive function is responsible for directing self behavior in order to purposive and aims such as planning, organizing, problem solving, self-monitoring skills and self regulation. This function is associated with frontal lobe (center of think. The main components of executive function are anticipation (set realistic expectations, understanding the consequences, planning (organization, execution or implementation (maintain flexibility, self-monitoring (emotional control, error recognition. Dysfunction executive (deficit of executive functions is one cause of disability in the client's mental disorders so that clients of mental disorders commonly have difficulty in performing  activities of complex psychological like behavior of complex, purposeful, targeted and selective attention, decision-making, judgment, selection, planning, and flexibility. Neuropsychological rehabilitation efforts can be used to improve executive function (executive function thus will significantly improve emotional health, social functioning, and independent skill.  The rehabilitation program consists of a variety of techniques that include Cognitive Adaptation Training (CAT, verbalization, goal setting and cognitive remediation.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

    This study explores how children's executive functions influences the way parent and child engage in a technology-enhanced story telling activity (TES). Research has indicated that children's executive functions (inhibitory control, memory and cognitive flexibility) are related to how they engage in

  18. Strengths and Weaknesses in Executive Functioning in Children with Intellectual Disability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielsson, Henrik; Henry, Lucy; Messer, David; Ronnberg, Jerker

    2012-01-01

    Children with intellectual disability (ID) were given a comprehensive range of executive functioning measures, which systematically varied in terms of verbal and non-verbal demands. Their performance was compared to the performance of groups matched on mental age (MA) and chronological age (CA), respectively. Twenty-two children were included in…

  19. Research Review: Executive function deficits in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder – a meta-analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingdon, Danielle; Cardoso, Christopher; McGrath, Jennifer J.

    2018-01-01

    Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-like symptoms are common in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). FASD and ADHD groups both display executive function impairments; however, there is ongoing debate whether the pattern and magnitude of executive function deficits differs between these two types of disorders. Methods An electronic literature search was conducted (PubMed, PsychInfo; 1972–2013) to identify studies comparing the executive functioning of children with FASD with ADHD or control groups. FASD groups included those with and without dysmorphy (i.e., FAS, pFAS, ARND, and other FASD diagnoses). Effect sizes (Hedges’ g, standardized mean difference) were calculated. Random effects meta-analytic models were performed using the metafor package for R. Results Fifty-one studies met inclusion criteria (FASD N = 2,115; ADHD N = 453; controls N = 1,990). Children with FASD showed the strongest and most consistent deficits in planning, fluency, and set-shifting compared to controls (Hedges’ g = −0.94, −0.78) and children with ADHD (Hedges’ g = −0.72, −0.32). FASD was associated with moderate to large impairments in working memory, compared to controls (Hedges’ g = −.84, −.58) and small impairments relative to groups with ADHD (Hedges’ g = −.26). Smaller and less consistent deficits were found on measures of inhibition and vigilance relative to controls (Hedges’ g = −0.52, −0.31); FASD and ADHD were not differentiated on these measures. Moderator analyses indicated executive dysfunction was associated with older age, dysmorphy, and larger group differences in IQ. Sex and diagnostic system were not consistently related to effect size. Conclusions While FASD is associated with global executive impairments, executive function weaknesses are most consistent for measures of planning, fluency, and set-shifting. Neuropsychological measures assessing these executive function domains may improve differential diagnosis

  20. Benefits of regular aerobic exercise for executive functioning in healthy populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guiney, Hayley; Machado, Liana

    2013-02-01

    Research suggests that regular aerobic exercise has the potential to improve executive functioning, even in healthy populations. The purpose of this review is to elucidate which components of executive functioning benefit from such exercise in healthy populations. In light of the developmental time course of executive functions, we consider separately children, young adults, and older adults. Data to date from studies of aging provide strong evidence of exercise-linked benefits related to task switching, selective attention, inhibition of prepotent responses, and working memory capacity; furthermore, cross-sectional fitness data suggest that working memory updating could potentially benefit as well. In young adults, working memory updating is the main executive function shown to benefit from regular exercise, but cross-sectional data further suggest that task-switching and post error performance may also benefit. In children, working memory capacity has been shown to benefit, and cross-sectional data suggest potential benefits for selective attention and inhibitory control. Although more research investigating exercise-related benefits for specific components of executive functioning is clearly needed in young adults and children, when considered across the age groups, ample evidence indicates that regular engagement in aerobic exercise can provide a simple means for healthy people to optimize a range of executive functions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jankowska, Agnieszka M; Klimkiewicz, Robert; Kubsik, Anna; Klimkiewicz, Paulina; Śmigielski, Janusz; Woldańska-Okońska, Marta

    2017-08-01

    Executive dysfunctions are part of the clinical symptoms of a stroke and can inhibit the process of rehabilitation. Patients with impaired executive functions may manifest aggression, impulsiveness, impaired thinking and planning. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of the ischemic focus location on the effectiveness of physiotherapy in improving the executive functions in patients after stroke. Ninety patients after unilateral ischemic cerebral stroke were studied. We studied 45 patients treated at the Department of Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine of the WAM University Hospital of Lodz for 5 weeks. The rehabilitation program included: kinesitherapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, psychological consultations and psychotherapy. The control group consisted of patients who were waiting for admission to the Department of Rehabilitation. The patients in both groups were divided into three subgroups with different locations of stroke: front, back and subcortical. Executive functions were measured by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), the trail making test (TMT - A, TMT - B), the verbal fluency test (VFT). Patients rehabilitated in the hospital with the front and subcortical lesion location reported improvement in executive functions in terms of a greater number of the analyzed indicators of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) than those with the back lesion location. Patients rehabilitated at home with the subcortical lesion location did not experience a significant improvement in executive functions in any of the analyzed indicators of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Most of the indicators, with the exception of the total errors of Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and TMT B, have not been modified by the location of stroke. Executive dysfunction occurs not only in patients with an anterior location of the stroke, but also in the posterior and subcortical locations. Patients with a subcortical location of the stroke require more

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilsoul, Jessica; Simon, Jessica; Hogge, Michaël; Collette, Fabienne

    2018-02-06

    The executive processes are well known to decline with age, and similar data also exists for attentional capacities and processing speed. Therefore, we investigated whether these two last nonexecutive variables would mediate the effect of age on executive functions (inhibition, shifting, updating, and dual-task coordination). We administered a large battery of executive, attentional and processing speed tasks to 104 young and 71 older people, and we performed mediation analyses with variables showing a significant age effect. All executive and processing speed measures showed age-related effects while only the visual scanning task performance (selective attention) was explained by age when controlled for gender and educational level. Regarding mediation analyses, visual scanning partially mediated the age effect on updating while processing speed partially mediated the age effect on shifting, updating and dual-task coordination. In a more exploratory way, inhibition was also found to partially mediate the effect of age on the three other executive functions. Attention did not greatly influence executive functioning in aging while, in agreement with the literature, processing speed seems to be a major mediator of the age effect on these processes. Interestingly, the global pattern of results seems also to indicate an influence of inhibition but further studies are needed to confirm the role of that variable as a mediator and its relative importance by comparison with processing speed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-30

    Emotion regulation deficits and executive functioning deficits have independently been shown to increase vulnerability toward engaging in aggressive behaviors. The effects of these risk factors, however, have not been evaluated in relation to one another. This study evaluated the degree to which each was associated with aggressive behaviors in a sample of 168 undergraduate students. Executive functioning (cognitive inhibition and mental flexibility) was assessed with a Stroop-like neuropsychological task. Emotion regulation and aggressive behaviors were assessed via self-report inventories. Results showed main effects for both emotion regulation and executive functioning, as well as a significant interaction, indicating that those who scored lowest in both domains reported engaging in aggressive behaviors the most frequently. When different types of aggression were examined, this interaction was only significant for acts of physical aggression, not for acts of verbal aggression. Therefore, for physical aggression, emotion regulation and executive functioning exerted a moderating effect on one another. The implications are that, at least for acts of physical aggression, relatively strong capabilities in either domain may buffer against tendencies to engage in aggressive behaviors. Thus, both emotion regulation skills and executive functioning abilities may be valuable targets for interventions aiming to reduce aggressive behaviors. © The Author(s) 2015.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigates the interplay of executive functions, motivation, and teacher's autonomy support in school context. In a cross-sectional study design 208 students from different school types completed a standardized motivation questionnaire and processed two executive function tasks. All teachers who teach these students were asked about their autonomy supporting behavior by a standardized test. Multilevel analyses assessed the effects of the student's motivation and their teachers' autonomy support on student's executive functions. Our results show considerable relationships between these variables: high executive function capacities came along with teacher's autonomy support and student's intrinsic motivation styles, whereas low executive function capacities were related to external regulation styles. The results indicate the importance of autonomy support in school instruction and disclose the need to popularize the self-regulation approach.

  8. 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,…

  9. The Puzzle of Processing Speed, Memory and Executive Function Impairments in Schizophrenia: Fitting the Pieces Together

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowles, Emma E. M.; Weiser, Mark; David, Anthony S.; Glahn, David; Davidson, Michael; Reichenberg, Abraham

    2015-01-01

    Background Substantial impairment in digit-symbol substitution task performance in schizophrenia is well established, which has been widely interpreted as denoting a specific impairment in processing-speed ability. However, other higher-order cognitive functions might be more critical to performance on this task. To date, this has not been rigorously investigated in schizophrenia. Methods One-hundred and twenty-five schizophrenia cases and 272 controls completed neuropsychological measures of processing speed, memory and executive functioning. We implemented a series of confirmatory factor and structural regression modeling in order to build an integrated model of processing speed, memory and executive function with which to deconstruct digit-symbol substitution task and characterize discrepancies between cases and controls. Results The overall structure of the processing speed, memory and executive function model was the same across groups (χ2 = 208.86, p>.05) but the contribution of the specific cognitive domains to coding task performance differed significantly. When completing the task controls relied on executive function and, indirectly, on working memory ability; while schizophrenia cases utilized an alternative set of cognitive operations whereby they relied on the same processes required to complete verbal fluency tasks. Conclusions Successful coding task performance is predominantly reliant on executive function, rather than processing-speed or memory abilities. Schizophrenia patients perform poorly on this task due to an apparent lack of appropriate executive function input, they rely instead on an alternative cognitive pathway. PMID:25863361

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

    A major goal of neuropsychological assessment is predicting a person's level of functioning in daily life. Making predictions about everyday executive functioning based on tests is problematic because of the contrast between demands made in the test environment and demands made in everyday life

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapa, Leah Lynn

    2013-01-01

    Prior research has established an executive function advantage among bilinguals as compared to monolingual peers. These non-linguistic cognitive advantages are largely assumed to result from the experience of managing two linguistic systems. However, the possibility remains that the relationship between bilingualism and executive function is…

  12. Social Skills Intervention Participation and Associated Improvements in Executive Function Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shawn E. Christ

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder (ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in social communication. It has been postulated that such difficulties are related to disruptions in underlying cognitive processes such as executive function. The present study examined potential changes in executive function performance associated with participation in the Social Competence Intervention (SCI program, a short-term intervention designed to improve social competence in adolescents with ASD. Laboratory behavioral performance measures were used to separately evaluate potential intervention-related changes in individual executive function component processes (i.e., working memory, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility in a sample of 22 adolescents with ASD both before and after intervention. For comparison purposes, a demographically matched sample of 14 individuals without ASD was assessed at identical time intervals. Intervention-related improvements were observed on the working memory task, with gains evident in spatial working memory and, to a slightly lesser degree, verbal working memory. Significant improvements were also found for a working memory-related aspect of the task switching test (i.e., mixing costs. Taken together, these findings provide preliminary support for the hypothesis that participation in the SCI program is accompanied by changes in underlying neurocognitive processes such as working memory.

  13. Incidental and Intentional Memory: Their Relation with Attention and Executive Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kontaxopoulou, Dionysia; Beratis, Ion N; Fragkiadaki, Stella; Pavlou, Dimosthenis; Yannis, George; Economou, Alexandra; Papanicolaou, Andrew C; Papageorgiou, Sokratis G

    2017-08-01

    The aim of the current study was to investigate the impact of gender and age on incidental and intentional memory in healthy participants and to explore the strength of the association of incidental and intentional memory with attentional and executive functioning. A total number of 47 participants underwent a driving simulation experiment and went through detailed neuropsychological testing. Incidental memory was assessed with a questionnaire that evaluated the memorization of information related to the driving simulator task while intentional memory was assessed using the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised and the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised. The analysis revealed a greater impact of age on incidental as compared to intentional memory. Gender did not appear to have such an effect on either incidental or intentional memory. Finally, attentional and executive functioning were more strongly associated with incidental memory than the intentional memory measures that were utilized in the current study. Ageing appears to affect incidental rather than intentional memory to a greater extent. In addition, attentional and executive functioning seem to play a more important role in incidental than intentional encoding and consolidation processes. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Emotional verbal fluency: a new task on emotion and executive function interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sass, Katharina; Fetz, Karolina; Oetken, Sarah; Habel, Ute; Heim, Stefan

    2013-09-01

    The present study introduces "Emotional Verbal Fluency" as a novel (partially computerized) task, which is aimed to investigate the interaction between emotionally loaded words and executive functions. Verbal fluency tasks are thought to measure executive functions but the interaction with emotional aspects is hardly investigated. In the current study, a group of healthy subjects (n = 21, mean age 25 years, 76% females) were asked to generate items that are either part of a semantic category (e.g., plants, toys, vehicles; standard semantic verbal fluency) or can trigger the emotions joy, anger, sadness, fear and disgust. The results of the task revealed no differences between performance on semantic and emotional categories, suggesting a comparable task difficulty for healthy subjects. Hence, these first results on the comparison between semantic and emotional verbal fluency seem to highlight that both might be suitable for examining executive functioning. However, an interaction was found between the category type and repetition (first vs. second sequence of the same category) with larger performance decrease for semantic in comparison to emotional categories. Best performance overall was found for the emotional category "joy" suggesting a positivity bias in healthy subjects. To conclude, emotional verbal fluency is a promising approach to investigate emotional components in an executive task, which may stimulate further research, especially in psychiatric patients who suffer from emotional as well as cognitive deficits.

  18. Emotional Verbal Fluency: A New Task on Emotion and Executive Function Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Oetken

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The present study introduces “Emotional Verbal Fluency” as a novel (partially computerized task, which is aimed to investigate the interaction between emotionally loaded words and executive functions. Verbal fluency tasks are thought to measure executive functions but the interaction with emotional aspects is hardly investigated. In the current study, a group of healthy subjects (n = 21, mean age 25 years, 76% females were asked to generate items that are either part of a semantic category (e.g., plants, toys, vehicles; standard semantic verbal fluency or can trigger the emotions joy, anger, sadness, fear and disgust. The results of the task revealed no differences between performance on semantic and emotional categories, suggesting a comparable task difficulty for healthy subjects. Hence, these first results on the comparison between semantic and emotional verbal fluency seem to highlight that both might be suitable for examining executive functioning. However, an interaction was found between the category type and repetition (first vs. second sequence of the same category with larger performance decrease for semantic in comparison to emotional categories. Best performance overall was found for the emotional category “joy” suggesting a positivity bias in healthy subjects. To conclude, emotional verbal fluency is a promising approach to investigate emotional components in an executive task, which may stimulate further research, especially in psychiatric patients who suffer from emotional as well as cognitive deficits.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Comparison among Children with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Nonverbal Learning Disorder and Typically Developing Children on Measures of Executive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semrud-Clikeman, Margaret; Fine, Jodene Goldenring; Bledsoe, Jesse

    2014-01-01

    It has been suggested that children with nonverbal learning disabilities (NLD) or Asperger's Syndrome (AS) may show difficulties with executive functioning. There were 3 groups in this study who completed a neuropsychological battery of visual-spatial, executive functioning, and reasoning tasks; AS (n = 37), NLD (n = 31), and controls…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. Executive functioning independently predicts self-rated health and improvement in self-rated health over time among community-dwelling older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McHugh, Joanna Edel; Lawlor, Brian A

    2016-01-01

    Self-rated health, as distinct from objective measures of health, is a clinically informative metric among older adults. The purpose of our study was to examine the cognitive and psychosocial factors associated with self-rated health. 624 participants over the age of 60 were assessed at baseline, and of these, 510 were contacted for a follow-up two years later. Measures of executive function and self-rated health were assessed at baseline, and self-rated health was assessed at follow-up. We employed multiple linear regression analyses to investigate the relationship between executive functioning and self-rated health, while controlling for demographic, psychosocial and biological variables. Controlling for other relevant variables, executive functioning independently and solely predicted self-rated health, both at a cross-sectional level, and also over time. Loneliness was also found to cross-sectionally predict self-rated health, although this relationship was not present at a longitudinal level. Older adults' self-rated health may be related to their executive functioning and to their loneliness. Self-rated health appeared to improve over time, and the extent of this improvement was also related to executive functioning at baseline. Self-rated health may be a judgement made of one's functioning, especially executive functioning, which changes with age and therefore may be particularly salient in the reflections of older adults.

  4. Executive functioning in a racially diverse sample of children who are overweight and at risk for eating disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldschmidt, Andrea B; O'Brien, Setareh; Lavender, Jason M; Pearson, Carolyn M; Le Grange, Daniel; Hunter, Scott J

    2018-05-01

    Difficulties with executive functioning may underlie both overweight and loss of control (LOC) eating behavior across the age spectrum, but there is a relative paucity of research in children with both conditions. This study aimed to characterize general executive functioning among children with overweight and LOC eating as compared to their overweight and normal-weight peers. Participants were 75 racially diverse children (58.7% female; 81.3% African-American), aged 9-12y (M age = 10.5 ± 1.1), of whom 26 were overweight/obese and endorsed LOC eating (OW-LOC), 34 were overweight controls (OW-CON), and 15 were normal-weight controls (NW-CON). All children completed interview-based measures of eating pathology, and behavioral measures of executive functioning. Parents reported on behavioral facets of children's executive functioning. Groups were compared across parent-report measures and behavioral tasks using analyses of covariance (ANCOVAs) and multivariate analyses of covariance (MANCOVAs) which adjusted for general intellectual functioning. Significant group differences were revealed on a behavioral measure of planning, the Tower of London task [F (5,65) = 3.52; p = 0.007], and a behavioral measure of working memory, the List Sorting task [F (2,71) = 6.45; p = 0.003]. Post-hoc tests revealed that OW-LOC and OW-CON performed worse than NW-CON on the Tower of London, with relative decrements in accuracy rather than performance time. Further, OW-LOC performed worse than both OW-CON and NW-CON on the List Sorting task. Overweight with or without concomitant LOC eating in children may characterize a unique pattern of executive dysfunction. Interventions for eating- and weight-related problems in youth should address underlying deficits in planning and working memory. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Behavioral and Neural Correlates of Executive Function: Interplay between Inhibition and Updating Processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Na Young; Wittenberg, Ellen; Nam, Chang S

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated the interaction between two executive function processes, inhibition and updating, through analyses of behavioral, neurophysiological, and effective connectivity metrics. Although, many studies have focused on behavioral effects of executive function processes individually, few studies have examined the dynamic causal interactions between these two functions. A total of twenty participants from a local university performed a dual task combing flanker and n-back experimental paradigms, and completed the Operation Span Task designed to measure working memory capacity. We found that both behavioral (accuracy and reaction time) and neurophysiological (P300 amplitude and alpha band power) metrics on the inhibition task (i.e., flanker task) were influenced by the updating load (n-back level) and modulated by working memory capacity. Using independent component analysis, source localization (DIPFIT), and Granger Causality analysis of the EEG time-series data, the present study demonstrated that manipulation of cognitive demand in a dual executive function task influenced the causal neural network. We compared connectivity across three updating loads (n-back levels) and found that experimental manipulation of working memory load enhanced causal connectivity of a large-scale neurocognitive network. This network contains the prefrontal and parietal cortices, which are associated with inhibition and updating executive function processes. This study has potential applications in human performance modeling and assessment of mental workload, such as the design of training materials and interfaces for those performing complex multitasking under stress.

  6. Behavioral and Neural Correlates of Executive Function: Interplay between Inhibition and Updating Processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Na Young Kim

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the interaction between two executive function processes, inhibition and updating, through analyses of behavioral, neurophysiological, and effective connectivity metrics. Although, many studies have focused on behavioral effects of executive function processes individually, few studies have examined the dynamic causal interactions between these two functions. A total of twenty participants from a local university performed a dual task combing flanker and n-back experimental paradigms, and completed the Operation Span Task designed to measure working memory capacity. We found that both behavioral (accuracy and reaction time and neurophysiological (P300 amplitude and alpha band power metrics on the inhibition task (i.e., flanker task were influenced by the updating load (n-back level and modulated by working memory capacity. Using independent component analysis, source localization (DIPFIT, and Granger Causality analysis of the EEG time-series data, the present study demonstrated that manipulation of cognitive demand in a dual executive function task influenced the causal neural network. We compared connectivity across three updating loads (n-back levels and found that experimental manipulation of working memory load enhanced causal connectivity of a large-scale neurocognitive network. This network contains the prefrontal and parietal cortices, which are associated with inhibition and updating executive function processes. This study has potential applications in human performance modeling and assessment of mental workload, such as the design of training materials and interfaces for those performing complex multitasking under stress.

  7. Executive Functioning and School Performance Among Pediatric Survivors of Complex Congenital Heart Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerstle, Melissa; Beebe, Dean W.; Drotar, Dennis; Cassedy, Amy; Marino, Bradley S.

    2016-01-01

    Objective To investigate the presence and severity of real-world impairments in executive functioning– responsible for children’s regulatory skills (metacognition, behavioral regulation) – and its potential impact on school performance among pediatric survivors of complex congenital heart disease (CHD). Study design Survivors of complex CHD aged 8–16 years (n=143)and their parents/guardians from a regional CHD survivor registry participated (81% participation rate). Parents completed proxy measures of executive functioning, school competency, and school-related quality of life (QOL). Patients also completed a measure of school QOL and underwent IQ testing. Patients were categorized into two groups based on heart lesion complexity: two-ventricle or single-ventricle. Results Survivors of complex CHD performed significantly worse than norms for executive functioning, IQ, school competency, and school QOL. Metacognition was more severely affected than behavioral regulation, and metacognitive deficits were more often present in older children. Even after taking into account demographic factors, disease severity, and IQ, metacognition uniquely and strongly predicted poorer school performance. In exploratory analyses, patients with single-ventricle lesions were rated as having lower school competency and school QOL, and patients with two-ventricle lesions were rated as having poorer behavioral regulation. Conclusions Survivors of complex CHD experience greater executive functioning difficulties than healthy peers, with metacognition particularly impacted and particularly relevant for day-to-day school performance. Especially in older children, clinicians should watch for metacognitive deficits, such as problems with organization, planning, self-monitoring, and follow-through on tasks. PMID:26875011

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  9. Staying on Task: Age-Related Changes in the Relationship Between Executive Functioning and Response Time Consistency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasquez, Brandon P; Binns, Malcolm A; Anderson, Nicole D

    2016-03-01

    Little is known about the relationship of executive functioning with age-related increases in response time (RT) distribution indices (intraindividual standard deviation [ISD], and ex-Gaussian parameters mu, sigma, tau). The goals of this study were to (a) replicate findings of age-related changes in response time distribution indices during an engaging touch-screen RT task and (b) investigate age-related changes in the relationship between executive functioning and RT distribution indices. Healthy adults (24 young [aged 18-30], 24 young-old [aged 65-74], and 24 old-old [aged 75-85]) completed a touch-screen attention task and a battery of neuropsychological tests. The relationships between RT performance and executive functions were examined with structural equation modeling (SEM). ISD, mu, and tau, but not sigma, increased with age. SEM revealed tau as the most salient RT index associated with neuropsychological measures of executive functioning. Further analysis demonstrated that correlations between tau and a weighted executive function composite were significant only in the old-old group. Our results replicate findings of greater RT inconsistency in older adults and reveal that executive functioning is related to tau in adults aged 75-85. These results support literature identifying tau as a marker of cognitive control, which deteriorates in old age. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. The relationship of theory of mind and executive functions in normal, deaf and cochlear-implanted children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farideh Nazarzadeh

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Background and Aim : Theory of mind refers to the ability to understand the others have mental states that can be different from one's own mental states or facts. This study aimed to investigate the relationship of theory of mind and executive functions in normal hearing, deaf, and cochlear-implanted children.Methods: The study population consisted of normal, deaf and cochlear-implanted girl students in Mashhad city, Iran. Using random sampling, 30 children (10 normal, 10 deaf and 10 cochlear-implanted in age groups of 8-12 years old were selected. To measure the theoty of mind, theory of mind 38-item scale and to assess executive function, Coolidge neuropsychological and personality test was used. Research data were analyzed using the Spearman correlation coefficient, analysis of variance and Kruskal-Wallis tests.Results: There was a significant difference between the groups in the theory of mind and executive function subscales, organization, planning-decision-making, and inhibition. Between normal and deaf groups (p=0.01, as well as cochlear-implanted and deaf groups (p=0.01, there was significant difference in planning decision-making subscale. There was not any significant relationship between the theory of mind and executive functions generally or the theory of mind and executive function subscales in these three groups independently.Conclusion: Based on our findings, cochlear-implanted and deaf children have lower performance in theory of mind and executive function compared with normal hearing children.

  11. Associations between physical performance and executive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: gait speed and the timed "up & go" test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGough, Ellen L; Kelly, Valerie E; Logsdon, Rebecca G; McCurry, Susan M; Cochrane, Barbara B; Engel, Joyce M; Teri, Linda

    2011-08-01

    Older adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) are at higher risk for developing Alzheimer disease. Physical performance decline on gait and mobility tasks in conjunction with executive dysfunction has implications for accelerated functional decline, disability, and institutionalization in sedentary older adults with aMCI. The purpose of this study was to examine whether performance on 2 tests commonly used by physical therapists (usual gait speed and Timed "Up & Go" Test [TUG]) are associated with performance on 2 neuropsychological tests of executive function (Trail Making Test, part B [TMT-B], and Stroop-Interference, calculated from the Stroop Word Color Test) in sedentary older adults with aMCI. The study was a cross-sectional analysis of 201 sedentary older adults with memory impairment participating in a longitudinal intervention study of cognitive function, aging, exercise, and health promotion. Physical performance speed on gait and mobility tasks was measured via usual gait speed and the TUG (at fast pace). Executive function was measured with the TMT-B and Stroop-Interference measures. Applying multiple linear regression, usual gait speed was associated with executive function on both the TMT-B (β=-0.215, P=.003) and Stroop-Interference (β=-0.195, P=.01) measures, indicating that slower usual gait speed was associated with lower executive function performance. Timed "Up & Go" Test scores (in logarithmic transformation) also were associated with executive function on both the TMT-B (β=0.256, Pfunction performance. All associations remained statistically significant after adjusting for age, sex, depressive symptoms, medical comorbidity, and body mass index. The cross-sectional nature of this study does not allow for inferences of causation. Physical performance speed was associated with executive function after adjusting for age, sex, and age-related factors in sedentary older adults with aMCI. Further research is needed to determine

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Juan; Guo, Juncheng; Jiang, Xiangling

    2017-03-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    McGuigan, Brian

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schraegle, William A; Titus, Jeffrey B

    2016-09-01

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

  18. Associative reinstatement memory measures hippocampal function in Parkinson's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohn, Melanie; Giannoylis, Irene; De Belder, Maya; Saint-Cyr, Jean A; McAndrews, Mary Pat

    2016-09-01

    In Parkinson's Disease (PD), hippocampal atrophy is associated with rapid cognitive decline. Hippocampal function is typically assessed using memory tests but current clinical tools (e.g., free recall) also rely on executive functions or use material that is not optimally engaging hippocampal memory networks. Because of the ubiquity of executive dysfunction in PD, our ability to detect true memory deficits is suboptimal. Our previous behavioural and neuroimaging work in other populations suggests that an experimental memory task - Associative Reinstatement Memory (ARM) - may prove useful in investigating hippocampal function in PD. In this study, we investigated whether ARM is compromised in PD and we assessed its convergent and divergent validity by comparing it to standardized measures of memory and of attention and executive functioning in PD, respectively. Using fMRI, we also investigated whether performance in PD relates to degree of hippocampal engagement. Fifteen participants with PD and 13 age-matched healthy controls completed neuropsychological testing as well as an ARM fMRI recognition paradigm in which they were instructed to identify word pairs comprised of two studied words (intact or rearranged pairs) and those containing at least one new word (new or half new pairs). ARM is measured by the differences in hit rates between intact and rearranged pairs. Behaviourally, ARM was poorer in PD relative to controls and was correlated with verbal memory measures, but not with attention or executive functioning in the PD group. Hippocampal activation associated with ARM was reduced in PD relative to controls and covaried with ARM scores in both groups. To conclude, ARM is a sensitive measure of hippocampal memory function that is unaffected by attention or executive dysfunction in PD. Our study highlights the benefit of integrating cognitive neuroscience frameworks and novel experimental tasks to improve the practice of clinical neuropsychology in PD

  19. The puzzle of processing speed, memory, and executive function impairments in schizophrenia: fitting the pieces together.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowles, Emma E M; Weiser, Mark; David, Anthony S; Glahn, David C; Davidson, Michael; Reichenberg, Abraham

    2015-12-01

    Substantial impairment in performance on the digit-symbol substitution task in patients with schizophrenia is well established, which has been widely interpreted as denoting a specific impairment in processing speed. However, other higher order cognitive functions might be more critical to performance on this task. To date, this idea has not been rigorously investigated in patients with schizophrenia. Neuropsychological measures of processing speed, memory, and executive functioning were completed by 125 patients with schizophrenia and 272 control subjects. We implemented a series of confirmatory factor and structural regression modeling to build an integrated model of processing speed, memory, and executive function with which to deconstruct the digit-symbol substitution task and characterize discrepancies between patients with schizophrenia and control subjects. The overall structure of the processing speed, memory, and executive function model was the same across groups (χ(2) = 208.86, p > .05), but the contribution of the specific cognitive domains to coding task performance differed significantly. When completing the task, control subjects relied on executive function and, indirectly, on working memory ability, whereas patients with schizophrenia used an alternative set of cognitive operations whereby they relied on the same processes required to complete verbal fluency tasks. Successful coding task performance relies predominantly on executive function, rather than processing speed or memory. Patients with schizophrenia perform poorly on this task because of an apparent lack of appropriate executive function input; they rely instead on an alternative cognitive pathway. Copyright © 2015 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  1. Sensorimotor and executive function slowing in anesthesiology residents after overnight shifts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, George W; Shankar, Bairavi; Klier, Eliana M; Chuang, Alice Z; El Marjiya-Villarreal, Salma; Nwokolo, Omonele O; Sharma, Aanchal; Sereno, Anne B

    2017-08-01

    Medical residents working overnight call shifts experience sleep deprivation and circadian clock disruption. This leads to deficits in sensorimotor function and increases in workplace accidents. Using quick tablet-based tasks, we investigate whether measureable executive function differences exist following a single overnight call versus routine shift, and whether factors like stress, rest and caffeine affect these measures. A prospective, observational, longitudinal, comparison study was conducted. An academic tertiary hospital's main operating room suite staffed by attending anesthesiologists, anesthesiology residents, anesthesiologist assistants and nurse anesthetists. Subjects were 30 anesthesiology residents working daytime shifts and 30 peers working overnight call shifts from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Before and after their respective work shifts, residents completed the Stanford Sleepiness Scale (SSS) and the ProPoint and AntiPoint tablet-based tasks. These latter tasks are designed to measure sensorimotor and executive functions, respectively. The SSS is a self-reported measure of sleepiness. Response times (RTs) are measured in the pointing tasks. Call residents exhibited increased RTs across their shifts (post-pre) on both ProPoint (p=0.002) and AntiPoint (pRoutine residents. Increased stress was associated with decreases in AntiPoint RT for Routine (p=0.007), but with greater increases in sleepiness for Call residents (proutine daytime shift residents, (2) sensorimotor slowing is greater in overnight Call residents who drink caffeine habitually, and (3) increased stress during a shift reduces (improves) cognitive RTs during routine daytime but not overnight call shifts. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Neurogranin as a predictor of memory and executive function decline in MCI patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Headley, Alison; De Leon-Benedetti, Andres; Dong, Chuanhui; Levin, Bonnie; Loewenstein, David; Camargo, Christian; Rundek, Tatjana; Zetterberg, Henrik; Blennow, Kaj; Wright, Clinton B; Sun, Xiaoyan

    2018-03-06

    To determine whether high CSF levels of neurogranin (Ng) predict longitudinal decline in memory and executive function during early-stage Alzheimer disease (AD). Baseline levels of CSF Ng were studied in relation to cross-sectional and longitudinal cognitive performance over 8 years. Data were obtained from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative database, and participants with normal cognition (n = 111) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) (n = 193) were included. High levels of CSF Ng were associated with poor baseline memory scores (β = -0.21, p the rate of decline by tertiles was examined, CSF Ng was a level-dependent predictor of memory function, whereby the group with highest levels of Ng showed the fastest rates of decline in both memory and executive function. When examined separately, elevated Ng was associated with cognitive decline in participants with MCI but not in those with normal cognition. The levels of CSF Ng were not associated with cognitive measures when tau and amyloid 42 (Aβ 42 ) were controlled for in these analyses. High CSF Ng associates with poor memory scores in participants with MCI cross-sectionally and with poor memory and executive function longitudinally. The association of Ng with cognitive measures disappears when tau and Aβ 42 are included in the statistical models. Our findings suggest that CSF Ng may serve as a biomarker of cognition. Synaptic dysfunction contributes to cognitive impairment in early-stage AD. © 2018 American Academy of Neurology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doebel, Sabine; Zelazo, Philip David

    2016-12-01

    Engaging executive function often requires overriding a prepotent response in favor of a conflicting but adaptive one. Language may play a key role in this ability by supporting integrated representations of conflicting rules. We tested whether experience with contrastive language that could support such representations benefits executive function in 3-year-old children. Children who received brief experience with language highlighting contrast between objects, attributes, and actions showed greater executive function on two of three 'conflict' executive function tasks than children who received experience with contrasting stimuli only and children who read storybooks with the experimenter, controlling for baseline executive function. Experience with contrasting stimuli did not benefit executive function relative to reading books with the experimenter, indicating experience with contrastive language, rather than experience with contrast generally, was key. Experience with contrastive language also boosted spontaneous attention to contrast, consistent with improvements in representing contrast. These findings indicate a role for language in executive function that is consistent with the Cognitive Complexity and Control theory's key claim that coordinating conflicting rules is critical to overcoming perseveration, and suggest new ideas for testing theories of executive function. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background Considering the importance of Executive Functions to clinical and nonclinical situations, Barkley proposed a new theory of executive functioning based on an evolutionary neuropsychological perspective and clinical research using large samples of clinical and community identified adults and children as well as children with ADHD followed to adulthood. Objective The present study aims to adapt the Barkley Deficits in Executive Functions Scales (BDEFS) to Brazilian Portug...

  6. Obesity and unhealthy lifestyle associated with poor executive function among Malaysian adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tee, Joyce Ying Hui; Gan, Wan Ying; Tan, Kit-Aun; Chin, Yit Siew

    2018-01-01

    The understanding on the roles of obesity and lifestyle behaviors in predicting executive function of adolescents has been limited. Low executive function proficiency may have adverse effects on adolescents' school academic performance. This cross-sectional study aimed to examine the relationship between BMI-for-age and multiple lifestyle behaviors (operationalized as meal consumption, physical activity, and sleep quality) with executive function (operationalized as inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility) on a sample of Malaysian adolescents aged between 12 and 16 years (N = 513). Participants were recruited from two randomly selected schools in the state of Selangor in Malaysia. Using a self-administered questionnaire, parent participants provided information concerning their sociodemographic data, whereas adolescent participants provided information regarding their meal consumptions, physical activity, and sleep quality. The modified Harvard step test was used to assess adolescents' aerobic fitness, while Stroop color-word, digit span, and trail-making tests were used to assess adolescents' inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility, respectively. Three separate hierarchical regression analyses were conducted for each outcome namely, inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility. After adjusted for sociodemographic factors and BMI-for-age, differential predictors of inhibition and working memory were found. Habitual sleep efficiency significantly and positively predicted inhibition. Regular dinner intakes, physical activity levels, and sleep quality significantly and positively predicted working memory. Household income emerged as a consistent predictor for all executive function domains. In conclusion, an increased trend of obesity and unhealthy lifestyles among adolescents were found to be associated with poorer executive function. Regular dinner intakes, higher physical activity levels and better sleep quality predicted better

  7. 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.

  8. Executive functioning in Cornelia de Lange syndrome: domain asynchrony and age-related performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, Donna; Moss, Jo; Nelson, Lisa; Groves, Laura; Oliver, Chris

    2017-08-15

    The aim of this study was to examine executive functioning in adolescents and adults with Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) to identify a syndrome and age-related profile of cognitive impairment. Participants were 24 individuals with CdLS aged 13-42 years (M = 22; SD = 8.98), and a comparable contrast group of 21 individuals with Down syndrome (DS) aged 15-33 years (M = 24; SD = 5.82). Measures were selected to test verbal and visual fluency, inhibition, perseverance/flexibility, and working memory and comprised both questionnaire and performance tests. Individuals with CdLS showed significantly greater impairment on tasks requiring flexibility and inhibition (rule switch) and on forwards span capacity. These impairments were also reported in the parent/carer-rated questionnaire measures. Backwards Digit Span was significantly negatively correlated with chronological age in CdLS, indicating increased deficits with age. This was not identified in individuals with DS. The relative deficits in executive functioning task performance are important in understanding the behavioural phenotype of CdLS. Prospective longitudinal follow-up is required to examine further the changes in executive functioning with age and if these map onto observed changes in behaviour in CdLS. Links with recent research indicating heightened responses to oxidative stress in CdLS may also be important.

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-09

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

  13. [Ecological validity and multitasking environments in the evaluation of the executive functions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bombín-González, Igor; Cifuentes-Rodríguez, Alicia; Climent-Martínez, Gema; Luna-Lario, Pilar; Cardas-Ibáñez, Jaione; Tirapu-Ustárroz, Javier; Díaz-Orueta, Unai

    2014-07-16

    Evaluation of executive functions is a major issue of neuropsychological assessment, due to the role displayed by these on a cognitive, behavioural and emotional level, and the implication of these functions in daily life functioning. In order to perform a reliable assessment, the strategy traditionally followed for the evaluation of executive functions has been their atomization in different cognitive subprocesses, which is useful in a clinical or a research context. However, in clinical practice it is frequently artificial to disintegrate a global and complex cognitive process, such as executive functions, in a variety of related components; thus, tests designed according to these theoretical processes have low value in clinical procedures (diagnosis, rehabilitation design) due to their poor correspondence with the subject's or patient's clinical reality. The aims of the present work are to revise the concept of ecological validity applied to the evaluation of executive functions, and to perform a critical review of executive functions assessment by means of multitask paradigms as a way to increase the ecological validity and predictive value of the subject's functional performance. After a historical journey around the (low) ecological validity of single-task tests, and the bet in favour of a multitask paradigm for the evaluation of executive functions, up-to-date existing multitask tests are presented meticulously (with their respective advantages and disadvantages). Finally, concrete recommendations about how to develop multitask tests in the future are presented, attending to concrete parameters related to the context, tasks, objectives, rules and scoring.

  14. The effect of prolonged light intensity exercise in the heat on executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Sarah M; Erin, Jennifer R; Pryor, Riana R; Khorana, Priya; Suyama, Joe; Guyette, Frank X; Reis, Steven E; Hostler, David

    2013-09-01

    When people are involved in outdoor activities, it is important to be able to assess a situation and make rational decisions. The goal of this study is to determine the effects of 90 minutes of light-intensity exercise in a hot environment on executive functioning capabilities of healthy individuals. In this prospective laboratory study, 40 healthy male and female subjects 18 to 45 years of age performed treadmill exercise while wearing athletic clothing and a backpack in either a hot or temperate environment. Vital signs, core and skin temperature, and perceptual measures (thermal sensation, sweating, comfort, and perceived exertion) were measured before, during, and after the treadmill test. Cognitive function was measured before and after the treadmill test using the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and a Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT). Subjects in the hot condition reached a similar core temp of 38.2° ± 0.5°C vs 37.7° ± 0.3°C (P = .325) in the temperate group but had a higher heart rate (P affect executive function or vigilance. Copyright © 2013 Wilderness Medical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Early executive function predicts reasoning development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richland, Lindsey E; Burchinal, Margaret R

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richeson, Jennifer A; Shelton, J Nicole

    2003-05-01

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

  18. Executive functions, visual-motor coordination, physical fitness and academic achievement: Longitudinal relations in typically developing children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberer, Nicole; Gashaj, Venera; Roebers, Claudia M

    2018-04-01

    The present longitudinal study included different school readiness factors measured in kindergarten with the aim to predict later academic achievement in second grade. Based on data of N = 134 children, the predictive power of executive functions, visual-motor coordination and physical fitness on later academic achievement was estimated using a latent variable approach. By entering all three predictors simultaneously into the model to predict later academic achievement, significant effects of executive functions and visual-motor coordination on later academic achievement were found. The influence of physical fitness was found to be substantial but indirect via executive functions. The cognitive stimulation hypothesis as well as the automaticity hypothesis are discussed as an explanation for the reported relations. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  20. Teachers' Understanding of the Role of Executive Functions in Mathematics Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilmore, Camilla; Cragg, Lucy

    2014-09-01

    Cognitive psychology research has suggested an important role for executive functions, the set of skills that monitor and control thought and action, in learning mathematics. However, there is currently little evidence about whether teachers are aware of the importance of these skills and, if so, how they come by this information. We conducted an online survey of teachers' views on the importance of a range of skills for mathematics learning. Teachers rated executive function skills, and in particular inhibition and shifting, to be important for mathematics. The value placed on executive function skills increased with increasing teaching experience. Most teachers reported that they were aware of these skills, although few knew the term "executive functions." This awareness had come about through their teaching experience rather than from formal instruction. Researchers and teacher educators could do more to highlight the importance of these skills to trainee or new teachers.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buczylowska, Dorota; Petermann, Franz

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  4. Executive functioning, emotion regulation, eating self-regulation, and weight status in low-income preschool children: how do they relate?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Sheryl O; Power, Thomas G; O'Connor, Teresia M; Orlet Fisher, Jennifer

    2015-06-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine relationships between child eating self-regulation, child non-eating self-regulation, and child BMIz in a low-income sample of Hispanic families with preschoolers. The eating in the absence of hunger task as well as parent-report of child satiety responsiveness and food responsiveness were used to assess child eating self-regulation. Two laboratory tasks assessing executive functioning, a parent questionnaire assessing child effortful control (a temperament dimension related to executive functioning), and the delay of gratification and gift delay tasks assessing child emotion regulation were used to assess child non-eating self-regulation. Bivariate correlations were run among all variables in the study. Hierarchical linear regression analyses assessed: (1) child eating self-regulation associations with the demographic, executive functioning, effortful control, and emotion regulation measures; and (2) child BMI z-score associations with executive functioning, effortful control, emotion regulation measures, and eating self-regulation measures. Within child eating self-regulation, only the two parent-report measures were related. Low to moderate positive correlations were found between measures of executive functioning, effortful control, and emotion regulation. Only three relationships were found between child eating self-regulation and other forms of child self-regulation: eating in the absence of hunger was positively associated with delay of gratification, and poor regulation on the gift delay task was associated positively with maternal reports of food responsiveness and negatively with parent-reports of satiety responsiveness. Regression analyses showed that child eating self-regulation was associated with child BMIz but other forms of child self-regulation were not. Implications for understanding the role of self-regulation in the development of child obesity are discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All

  5. 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…

  6. Weaknesses in executive functioning predict the initiating of adolescents' alcohol use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peeters, Margot; Janssen, Tim; Monshouwer, Karin; Boendermaker, Wouter; Pronk, Thomas; Wiers, Reinout; Vollebergh, Wilma

    2015-12-01

    Recently, it has been suggested that impairments in executive functioning might be risk factors for the onset of alcohol use rather than a result of heavy alcohol use. In the present study, we examined whether two aspects of executive functioning, working memory and response inhibition, predicted the first alcoholic drink and first binge drinking episode in young adolescents using discrete survival analyses. Adolescents were selected from several Dutch secondary schools including both mainstream and special education (externalizing behavioral problems). Participants were 534 adolescents between 12 and 14 years at baseline. Executive functioning and alcohol use were assessed four times over a period of two years. Working memory uniquely predicted the onset of first drink (p=.01) and first binge drinking episode (p=.04) while response inhibition only uniquely predicted the initiating of the first drink (p=.01). These results suggest that the association of executive functioning and alcohol consumption found in former studies cannot simply be interpreted as an effect of alcohol consumption, as weaknesses in executive functioning, found in alcohol naïve adolescents, predict the initiating of (binge) drinking. Though, prolonged and heavy alcohol use might further weaken already existing deficiencies. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Nouchi

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

  10. Getting the right grasp on executive function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia L R Gonzalez

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-10

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

  13. Circadian Rhythms in Executive Function during the Transition to Adolescence: The Effect of Synchrony between Chronotype and Time of Day

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Constanze; Cowell, Jason M.; Wiprzycka, Ursula J.; Goldstein, David; Ralph, Martin; Hasher, Lynn; Zelazo, Philip David

    2012-01-01

    To explore the influence of circadian rhythms on executive function during early adolescence, we administered a battery of executive function measures (including a Go-Nogo task, the Iowa Gambling Task, a Self-ordered Pointing task, and an Intra/Extradimensional Shift task) to Morning-preference and Evening-preference participants (N = 80) between…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuhs, Mary Wagner; Day, Jeanne D.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-03

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zrinka eSosic-Vasic

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The present study investigates the interplay of executive functions, motivation and teacher’s autonomy support in school context. In a cross-sectional study design 208 students from different school types completed a standardized motivation questionnaire and processed two executive function tasks. All teachers who teach these students were asked about their autonomy supporting behavior by a standardized test. Multilevel analyses assessed the effects of the student’s motivation and their teachers’ autonomy support on student’s executive functions. Our results show considerable relationships between these variables: high executive function capacities came along with teacher’s autonomy support and student’s intrinsic motivation styles, whereas low executive function capacities were related to external regulation styles. The results indicate the importance of autonomy support in school instruction and disclose the need to popularize the self-regulation approach.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigates the interplay of executive functions, motivation, and teacher’s autonomy support in school context. In a cross-sectional study design 208 students from different school types completed a standardized motivation questionnaire and processed two executive function tasks. All teachers who teach these students were asked about their autonomy supporting behavior by a standardized test. Multilevel analyses assessed the effects of the student’s motivation and their teachers’ autonomy support on student’s executive functions. Our results show considerable relationships between these variables: high executive function capacities came along with teacher’s autonomy support and student’s intrinsic motivation styles, whereas low executive function capacities were related to external regulation styles. The results indicate the importance of autonomy support in school instruction and disclose the need to popularize the self-regulation approach. PMID:25762958

  19. Teachers' Understanding of the Role of Executive Functions in Mathematics Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilmore, Camilla; Cragg, Lucy

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive psychology research has suggested an important role for executive functions, the set of skills that monitor and control thought and action, in learning mathematics. However, there is currently little evidence about whether teachers are aware of the importance of these skills and, if so, how they come by this information. We conducted an online survey of teachers' views on the importance of a range of skills for mathematics learning. Teachers rated executive function skills, and in particular inhibition and shifting, to be important for mathematics. The value placed on executive function skills increased with increasing teaching experience. Most teachers reported that they were aware of these skills, although few knew the term “executive functions.” This awareness had come about through their teaching experience rather than from formal instruction. Researchers and teacher educators could do more to highlight the importance of these skills to trainee or new teachers. PMID:25674156

  20. Intergenerational Transmission of Neuropsychological Executive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-15

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

  2. Age-related commonalities and differences in the relationship between executive functions and intelligence: Analysis of the NAB executive functions module and WAIS-IV scores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buczylowska, Dorota; Petermann, Franz

    2017-01-01

    Data from five subtests of the Executive Functions Module of the German Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (NAB) and all ten core subtests of the German Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale - Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV) were used to examine the relationship between executive functions and intelligence in a comparison of two age groups: individuals aged 18-59 years and individuals aged 60-88 years. The NAB subtests Categories and Word Generation demonstrated a consistent correlation pattern for both age groups. However, the NAB Judgment subtest correlated more strongly with three WAIS-IV indices, the Full Scale IQ (FSIQ), and the General Ability Index (GAI) in the older adult group than in the younger group. Additionally, in the 60-88 age group, the Executive Functions Index (EFI) was more strongly correlated with the Verbal Comprehension Index (VCI) than with the Perceptual Reasoning Index (PRI). Both age groups demonstrated a strong association of the EFI with the FSIQ and the Working Memory Index (WMI). The results imply the potential diagnostic utility of the Judgment subtest and a significant relationship between executive functioning and crystallized intelligence at older ages. Furthermore, it may be concluded that there is a considerable age-independent overlap between the EFI and general intelligence, as well as between the EFI and working memory.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Lynn Bizon

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Executive functions supported by prefrontal cortical systems provide essential control and planning mechanisms to guide goal-directed behavior. As such, age-related alterations in executive functions can mediate profound and widespread deficits on a diverse array of neurocognitive processes. Many of the critical neuroanatomical and functional characteristics of prefrontal cortex are preserved in rodents, allowing for meaningful cross-species comparisons relevant to the study of cognitive aging. In particular, as rodents lend themselves to genetic, cellular and biochemical approaches, rodent models of executive function stand to significantly contribute to our understanding of the critical neurobiological mechanisms that mediate decline of executive processes across the lifespan. Moreover, rodent analogues of executive functions that decline in human aging represent an essential component of a targeted, rational approach for developing and testing effective treatment and prevention therapies for age-related cognitive decline. This paper reviews behavioral approaches used to study executive function in rodents, with a focus on those assays that share a foundation in the psychological and neuroanatomical constructs important for human aging. A particular emphasis is placed on behavioral approaches used to assess working memory and cognitive flexibility, which are sensitive to decline with age across species and for which strong rodent models currently exist. In addition, other approaches in rodent behavior that have potential for providing analogues to functions that reliably decline to human aging (e.g., information processing speed are discussed.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Selected executive functions in children with ADHD in early school age

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aneta Rita Borkowska

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The study was aimed at finding out whether at the early school age the effectiveness of executive functions distinguishes children with ADHD from those of the control group. Besides, the aim was to check to what extent the use of diagnostic methods evaluating executive functions in children at the early school age is justified. The analysis comprised cognitive flexibility, sustained attention, interference control and planning ability. Those methods of neuropsychological evaluation were used which are mostly applied to characterize executive functions: Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, interference task based on the Stroop Interference Test, and tests of verbal fluency and Tower of London. The examined group consisted of 50 children aged 7-10: 25 children with hyperactivity of combined type and 25 children of the control group. Each group consisted of 23 boys and 2 girls. The average age in the criterial group was 8 years and 10 months (SD=10 months, whereas in the control group – 8 years and 6 months (SD=11 months. According to the obtained results, children with ADHD at early school age do not exhibit a wide spectrum of executive functions deficits, which is probably associated with immaturity of executive processes in all children of that age. The findings comprised only difficulties in inhibition of response, monitoring of activity, and ability of executive attention to intentional guidance of the mental effort depending on the task’s requirements. In investigations of children with ADHD at early school age the use of neuropsychological tests and trials designed for evaluation of executive functions is justified only in limited degree. They do not significantly distinguish between children with ADHD and children without this disorder, therefore the results may be mainly of descriptive, and not explanatory, value.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Improving executive function using transcranial infrared laser stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

    Transcranial infrared laser stimulation is a new non-invasive form of low-level light therapy that may have a wide range of neuropsychological applications. It entails using low-power and high-energy-density infrared light from lasers to increase metabolic energy. Preclinical work showed that this intervention can increase cortical metabolic energy, thereby improving frontal cortex-based memory function in rats. Barrett and Gonzalez-Lima (2013, Neuroscience, 230, 13) discovered that transcranial laser stimulation can enhance sustained attention and short-term memory in humans. We extend this line of work to executive function. Specifically, we ask whether transcranial laser stimulation enhances performance in the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task that is considered the gold standard of executive function and is compromised in normal ageing and a number of neuropsychological disorders. We used a laser of a specific wavelength (1,064 nm) that photostimulates cytochrome oxidase - the enzyme catalysing oxygen consumption for metabolic energy production. Increased cytochrome oxidase activity is considered the primary mechanism of action of this intervention. Participants who received laser treatment made fewer errors and showed improved set-shifting ability relative to placebo controls. These results suggest that transcranial laser stimulation improves executive function and may have exciting potential for treating or preventing deficits resulting from neuropsychological disorders or normal ageing. © 2015 The British Psychological Society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. The Relationship Between Social Discomfort and Executive Functioning

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ashburn, Jr, John R

    2003-01-01

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

  12. MPTP-induced executive dysfunction is associated with altered prefrontal serotonergic function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maiti, Panchanan; Gregg, Laura C; McDonald, Michael P

    2016-02-01

    In Parkinson's disease, cognitive deficits manifest as fronto-striatally-mediated executive dysfunction, with impaired attention, planning, judgment, and impulse control. We examined changes in executive function in mice lesioned with subchronic 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) using a 3-choice serial reaction-time (SRT) task, which included measures of sustained attention and impulse control. Each trial of the baseline SRT task comprised a pseudo-random pre-cue period ranging from 3 to 8 s, followed by a 1-s cue duration. MPTP impaired all measures of impulsive behavior acutely, but with additional training their performance normalized to saline control levels. When challenged with shorter cue durations, MPTP-lesioned mice had significantly slower reaction times than wild-type mice. When challenged with longer pre-cue times, the MPTP-lesioned mice exhibited a loss of impulse control at the longer durations. In lesioned mice, striatal dopamine was depleted by 54% and the number of tyrosine-hydroxylase-positive neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta was reduced by 75%. Serotonin (5-HT) was unchanged in the striatum and prefrontal cortex (PFC), but the ratio of 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid (5-HIAA) to 5-HT was significantly reduced in the MPTP group in the PFC. In lesioned mice, prefrontal 5-HIAA/5-HT was significantly correlated with the executive impairments and striatal norepinephrine was associated with slower reaction times. None of the neurochemical measures was significantly associated with behavior in saline-treated controls. Taken together, these results show that prefrontal 5-HT turnover may play a pivotal role in MPTP-induced executive dysfunction. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  16. The Influence of Texting Language on Grammar and Executive Functions in Primary School Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dijk, Chantal N; van Witteloostuijn, Merel; Vasić, Nada; Avrutin, Sergey; Blom, Elma

    2016-01-01

    When sending text messages on their mobile phone to friends, children often use a special type of register, which is called textese. This register allows the omission of words and the use of textisms: instances of non-standard written language such as 4ever (forever). Previous studies have shown that textese has a positive effect on children's literacy abilities. In addition, it is possible that children's grammar system is affected by textese as well, as grammar rules are often transgressed in this register. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to investigate whether the use of textese influences children's grammar performance, and whether this effect is specific to grammar or language in general. Additionally, studies have not yet investigated the influence of textese on children's cognitive abilities. Consequently, the secondary aim of this study was to find out whether textese affects children's executive functions. To investigate this, 55 children between 10 and 13 years old were tested on a receptive vocabulary and grammar performance (sentence repetition) task and various tasks measuring executive functioning. In addition, text messages were elicited and the number of omissions and textisms in children's messages were calculated. Regression analyses showed that omissions were a significant predictor of children's grammar performance after various other variables were controlled for: the more words children omitted in their text messages, the better their performance on the grammar task. Although textisms correlated (marginally) significantly with vocabulary, grammar and selective attention scores and omissions marginally significantly with vocabulary scores, no other significant effects were obtained for measures of textese in the regression analyses: neither for the language outcomes, nor for the executive function tasks. Hence, our results show that textese is positively related to children's grammar performance. On the other hand, use of textese does

  17. The Influence of Texting Language on Grammar and Executive Functions in Primary School Children.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chantal N van Dijk

    Full Text Available When sending text messages on their mobile phone to friends, children often use a special type of register, which is called textese. This register allows the omission of words and the use of textisms: instances of non-standard written language such as 4ever (forever. Previous studies have shown that textese has a positive effect on children's literacy abilities. In addition, it is possible that children's grammar system is affected by textese as well, as grammar rules are often transgressed in this register. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to investigate whether the use of textese influences children's grammar performance, and whether this effect is specific to grammar or language in general. Additionally, studies have not yet investigated the influence of textese on children's cognitive abilities. Consequently, the secondary aim of this study was to find out whether textese affects children's executive functions. To investigate this, 55 children between 10 and 13 years old were tested on a receptive vocabulary and grammar performance (sentence repetition task and various tasks measuring executive functioning. In addition, text messages were elicited and the number of omissions and textisms in children's messages were calculated. Regression analyses showed that omissions were a significant predictor of children's grammar performance after various other variables were controlled for: the more words children omitted in their text messages, the better their performance on the grammar task. Although textisms correlated (marginally significantly with vocabulary, grammar and selective attention scores and omissions marginally significantly with vocabulary scores, no other significant effects were obtained for measures of textese in the regression analyses: neither for the language outcomes, nor for the executive function tasks. Hence, our results show that textese is positively related to children's grammar performance. On the other hand

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soledad Gil-Hernandez

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-07

    Executive functions are higher cognitive control functions, which are essential to physical and psychological well-being, academic performance, and healthy social relationships. Executive functions can be trained, albeit without broad transfer, to this date. Broad transfer entails the translation of improved cognitive functions to daily life (behaviors). The intervention Train your Mind was designed to train executive functions among elementary school children aged 9 to 11 years, and obtain broad transfer in terms of enhanced physical activity, healthy eating, and socioemotional regulation. This paper aims to describe the cluster randomized trial to test the effectiveness of the Train your Mind intervention. Train your Mind was integrated into the existing school curriculum for 8 months (25 weeks excluding holidays). The effectiveness of the intervention was tested in a cluster randomized trial comprising 13 schools, 34 groups (school classes), and 800 children, using a battery of 6 computer tasks at pre- and postmeasurement. Each of the 3 core executive functions was measured by 2 tasks (Flanker and Go/No-Go; N-Back and Running Span; Attention Switching Task and Dots/Triangles). Moreover, we administered questionnaires that measure emotion-regulation, cognitive errors, physical activity, dietary habits, and the psycho-social determinants of diet and physical activity. Body mass index was also measured. Multilevel analyses will account for clustering at the school and group levels, and randomization took place at the school level. Results are currently being analyzed. The main purpose of this study is to test Train your Mind's effectiveness in enhancing executive functions. Second, we investigate whether increased executive functions lead to improved physical activity and healthy eating. If found effective, executive function training could easily be integrated into school curricula everywhere, and as such, boost health, academic performance, and emotion

  20. Memory and executive functioning in obsessive-compulsive disorder: a selective review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olley, Amanda; Malhi, Gin; Sachdev, Perminder

    2007-12-01

    The neurocognitive deficits that underlie the unique features of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are not yet completely understood. This paper reviews the main neuropsychological findings in memory and executive functioning in this disorder, and examines a number of challenges facing this area of research. A selective review of the neuropsychological literature on OCD was conducted using MEDLINE and drawing on literature known to the authors. The neuropsychological profile of OCD appears to be one of primary executive dysfunction. Although memory functioning may be affected, these deficits appear secondary to an executive failure of organizational strategies during encoding. On tasks of executive functioning patients with OCD demonstrate increased response latencies, perseveration of responses, and difficulties utilizing feedback to adapt to change. A statistical meta-analysis was not performed and only the cognitive domains of memory and executive functioning were examined. Given the prominence of chronic doubt and indecision in clinical settings, it is surprising that decision making as a cognitive construct as related to OCD has not received greater attention in the neuropsychological literature. On the basis of emerging literature we suggest that it is a potential area of dysfunction and one that warrants further investigation as it may assist in enhancing our understanding of the pathophysiology of OCD.

  1. Disentangling the relationship between children's motor ability, executive function and academic achievement.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirko Schmidt

    Full Text Available Even though positive relations between children's motor ability and their academic achievement are frequently reported, the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. Executive function has indeed been proposed, but hardly tested as a potential mediator. The aim of the present study was therefore to examine the mediating role of executive function in the relationship between motor ability and academic achievement, also investigating the individual contribution of specific motor abilities to the hypothesized mediated linkage to academic achievement. At intervals of ten weeks, 236 children aged between 10 and 12 years were tested in terms of their motor ability (t1: cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, motor coordination, core executive functions (t2: updating, inhibition, shifting, and academic achievement (t3: mathematics, reading, spelling. Structural equation modelling revealed executive function to be a mediator in the relation between motor ability and academic achievement, represented by a significant indirect effect. In separate analyses, each of the three motor abilities were positively related to children's academic achievement. However, only in the case of children's motor coordination, the mediation by executive function accounted for a significance percentage of variance of academic achievement data. The results provide evidence in support of models that conceive executive function as a mechanism explaining the relationship that links children's physical activity-related outcomes to academic achievement and strengthen the advocacy for quality physical activity not merely focused on health-related physical fitness outcomes, but also on motor skill development and learning.

  2. Prefrontal-Thalamic Anatomical Connectivity and Executive Cognitive Function in Schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giraldo-Chica, Monica; Rogers, Baxter P; Damon, Stephen M; Landman, Bennett A; Woodward, Neil D

    2018-03-15

    Executive cognitive functions, including working memory, cognitive flexibility, and inhibition, are impaired in schizophrenia. Executive functions rely on coordinated information processing between the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and thalamus, particularly the mediodorsal nucleus. This raises the possibility that anatomical connectivity between the PFC and mediodorsal thalamus may be 1) reduced in schizophrenia and 2) related to deficits in executive function. The current investigation tested these hypotheses. Forty-five healthy subjects and 62 patients with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder completed a battery of tests of executive function and underwent diffusion-weighted imaging. Probabilistic tractography was used to quantify anatomical connectivity between six cortical regions, including PFC, and the thalamus. Thalamocortical anatomical connectivity was compared between healthy subjects and patients with schizophrenia using region-of-interest and voxelwise approaches, and the association between PFC-thalamic anatomical connectivity and severity of executive function impairment was examined in patients. Anatomical connectivity between the thalamus and PFC was reduced in schizophrenia. Voxelwise analysis localized the reduction to areas of the mediodorsal thalamus connected to lateral PFC. Reduced PFC-thalamic connectivity in schizophrenia correlated with impaired working memory but not cognitive flexibility and inhibition. In contrast to reduced PFC-thalamic connectivity, thalamic connectivity with somatosensory and occipital cortices was increased in schizophrenia. The results are consistent with models implicating disrupted PFC-thalamic connectivity in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and mechanisms of cognitive impairment. PFC-thalamic anatomical connectivity may be an important target for procognitive interventions. Further work is needed to determine the implications of increased thalamic connectivity with sensory cortex. Copyright © 2017 Society of

  3. 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…

  4. Executive functions predict weight loss in a medically supervised weight loss programme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bond, D.; Gunstad, J.; Pera, V.; Rathier, L.; Tremont, G.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Background Deficits in executive functions are related to poorer weight loss after bariatric surgery; however, less is known about the role that these deficits may play during participation in nonsurgical weight loss programmes. This study examined associations between objectively measured executive functions and weight loss during participation in a medically supervised weight loss programme. Methods Twenty‐three adult patients (age 50.4 ± 15.1, BMI 44.2 ± 8.8, 68% female, 92% White) enrolled in a medically supervised weight loss programme, involving prescription of a very low calorie diet and strategies to change eating and activity behaviours, underwent comprehensive computerized testing of executive functions at baseline. Weight was obtained at baseline and 8 weeks. Demographic and clinical information were obtained through medical chart review. Results Participants lost an average of 9.8 ± 3.4% of their initial body weight at 8 weeks. Fewer correct responses on a set‐shifting task and faster reaction time on a response inhibition task were associated with lower weight loss percentage at 8 weeks after adjusting for age, education and depressive symptoms. There were no associations between performance on tests of working memory or planning and weight loss. Conclusions This study shows that worse performance on a set‐shifting task (indicative of poorer cognitive flexibility) and faster reaction times on a response inhibition test (indicative of higher impulsivity) are associated with lower weight loss among participants in a medically supervised weight loss programme. Pre‐treatment assessment of executive functions may be useful in identifying individuals who may be at risk for suboptimal treatment outcomes. Future research is needed to replicate these findings in larger samples and identify underlying mechanisms. PMID:28090338

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Cristina Pedron

    2015-08-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Profile of Executive and Memory Function Associated with Amphetamine and Opiate Dependence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ersche, Karen D; Clark, Luke; London, Mervyn; Robbins, Trevor W; Sahakian, Barbara J

    2007-01-01

    Cognitive function was assessed in chronic drug users on neurocognitive measures of executive and memory function. Current amphetamine users were contrasted with current opiate users, and these two groups were compared with former users of these substances (abstinent for at least one year). Four groups of participants were recruited: amphetamine-dependent individuals, opiate-dependent individuals, former users of amphetamines, and/or opiates and healthy non-drug taking controls. Participants were administered the Tower of London (TOL) planning task and the 3D-IDED attentional set-shifting task to assess executive function, and Paired Associates Learning and Delayed Pattern Recognition Memory tasks to assess visual memory function. The three groups of substance users showed significant impairments on TOL planning, Pattern Recognition Memory and Paired Associates Learning. Current amphetamine users displayed a greater degree of impairment than current opiate users. Consistent with previous research showing that healthy men are performing better on visuo-spatial tests than women, our male controls remembered significantly more paired associates than their female counterparts. This relationship was reversed in drug users. While performance of female drug users was normal, male drug users showed significant impairment compared to both their female counterparts and male controls. There was no difference in performance between current and former drug users. Neither years of drug abuse nor years of drug abstinence were associated with performance. Chronic drug users display pronounced neuropsychological impairment in the domains of executive and memory function. Impairment persists after several years of drug abstinence and may reflect neuropathology in frontal and temporal cortices. PMID:16160707

  8. Pupil Dilation and EEG Alpha Frequency Band Power Reveal Load on Executive Functions for Link-Selection Processes during Text Reading.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Scharinger

    Full Text Available Executive working memory functions play a central role in reading comprehension. In the present research we were interested in additional load imposed on executive functions by link-selection processes during computer-based reading. For obtaining process measures, we used a methodology of concurrent electroencephalographic (EEG and eye-tracking data recording that allowed us to compare epochs of pure text reading with epochs of hyperlink-like selection processes in an online reading situation. Furthermore, this methodology allowed us to directly compare the two physiological load-measures EEG alpha frequency band power and pupil dilation. We observed increased load on executive functions during hyperlink-like selection processes on both measures in terms of decreased alpha frequency band power and increased pupil dilation. Surprisingly however, the two measures did not correlate. Two additional experiments were conducted that excluded potential perceptual, motor, or structural confounds. In sum, EEG alpha frequency band power and pupil dilation both turned out to be sensitive measures for increased load during hyperlink-like selection processes in online text reading.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  11. Executive functions in young patients with unipolar depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Totić-Poznanović Sanja

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    The mastery of two languages provides bilingual speakers with cognitive benefits over monolinguals, particularly on cognitive flexibility and selective attention. However, extant research is limited to comparisons between monolinguals and bilinguals at a single point in time. This study investigated whether growth in bilingual proficiency, as shown by an increased number of translation equivalents (TEs) over a 7-month period, improves executive function. We hypothesized that bilingual toddlers with a larger increase of TEs would have more practice in switching across lexical systems, boosting executive function abilities. Expressive vocabulary and TEs were assessed at 24 and 31 months of age. A battery of tasks, including conflict, delay, and working memory tasks, was administered at 31 months. As expected, we observed a task-specific advantage in inhibitory control in bilinguals. More important, within the bilingual group, larger increases in the number of TEs predicted better performance on conflict tasks but not on delay tasks. This unique longitudinal design confirms the relation between executive function and early bilingualism. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. Intact short-term memory and impaired executive functions in obsessive compulsive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demeter, Gyula; Racsmány, Mihály; Csigó, Katalin; Harsányi, András; Németh, Attila; Döme, László

    2013-01-30

    Previous neuropsychological studies produced inconsistent results with tasks tapping short-term verbal and visual-spatial memory and executive functions in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of deficits in these cognitive domains. A further goal was to describe the distribution of patients in different impairment ranges for all functions, and clarify the relationship between symptom severity and cognitive impairments. Thirty patients with OCD (DSM-IV) and 30 healthy volunteers were compared using well-known neuropsychological tasks. We assessed short-term verbal memory with the Digit Span Forward and Digit Span Backward Tasks, short-term visual-spatial memory with the Corsi Block Tapping Task, while we measured the level of executive functions with the StroopTask and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Compared with a matched healthy control group, the performance of OCD patients was in the impaired range only in the two executive tasks. We find a significant positive correlations between the Y-BOCS (Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale) total scores and the number of perseverative responses (r(28) = 0.409, p short-term memory is intact in OCD. This is in line with neuropsychological model of OCD that the deficit of cognitive and behavioral inhibition are responsible for the main cognitive findings of this disorder, most prevalently the deficit in set shifting and prepotent response inhibition.

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

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    2012-01-31

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Executive function, impulsivity, and intelligence are correlated markers of cognitive resource that predict health-related behaviours. It is unknown whether executive function and impulsivity are unique predictors of these behaviours after accounting for intelligence. Data from 6069 participants from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children were analysed to investigate whether components of executive function (selective attention, attentional control, working memory, and response inhibition) and impulsivity (parent-rated) measured between ages 8 and 10, predicted having ever drunk alcohol, having ever smoked, fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity, and overweight at age 13, after accounting for intelligence at age 8 and childhood socioeconomic characteristics. Higher intelligence predicted having drunk alcohol, not smoking, greater fruit and vegetable consumption, and not being overweight. After accounting for intelligence, impulsivity predicted alcohol use (odds ratio = 1.10; 99% confidence interval = 1.02, 1.19) and smoking (1.22; 1.11, 1.34). Working memory predicted not being overweight (0.90; 0.81, 0.99). After accounting for intelligence, executive function predicts overweight status but not health-related behaviours in early adolescence, whilst impulsivity predicts the onset of alcohol and cigarette use, all with small effects. This suggests overlap between executive function and intelligence as predictors of health behaviour in this cohort, with trait impulsivity accounting for additional variance.

  19. [Intensity of negative symptoms, working memory and executive functions disturbances in schizophrenic patients in partial remission period].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hintze, Beata; Borkowska, Alina

    2011-01-01

    The aim of the study was to assess the correlation between the level of working memory and executive functions impairment in schizophrenic subjects in their partial remission period and the intensity of psychopathological symptoms measured by PANSS scale. 45 patients with schizophrenia were included in the study (28 male and 17 female), aged 18-46 (mean 27 +/- 7) years during partial remission of psychopathological symptoms (PANSS partial remission period, the significant dysfunctions of working memory and executive functions show association with negative (not positive) schizophrenic symptoms.

  20. Poverty as a Predictor of 4-Year-Olds’ Executive Function: New Perspectives on Models of Differential Susceptibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raver, C. Cybele; Blair, Clancy; Willoughby, Michael

    2017-01-01

    In a predominantly low-income, population-based longitudinal sample of 1,259 children followed from birth, results suggest that chronic exposure to poverty and the strains of financial hardship were each uniquely predictive of young children’s performance on measures of executive functioning. Results suggest that temperament-based vulnerability serves as a statistical moderator of the link between poverty-related risk and children’s executive functioning. Implications for models of ecology and biology in shaping the development of children’s self-regulation are discussed. PMID:22563675

  1. Do attachment patterns predict aggression in a context of social rejection? An executive functioning account.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Yuanxiao; Ma, Haijing; Chen, Xu; Ran, Guangming; Zhang, Xing

    2017-07-01

    People tend to respond to rejection and attack with aggression. The present research examined the modulation role of attachment patterns on provoked aggression following punishment and proposed an executive functioning account of attachment patterns' modulating influence based on the General Aggression Model. Attachment style was measured using the Experiences in Close Relationships inventory. Experiments 1a and b and 2 adopted a social rejection task and assessed subsequent unprovoked and provoked aggression with different attachment patterns. Moreover, Experiment 1b and 2 used a Stroop task to examine whether differences in provoked aggression by attachment patterns are due to the amount of executive functioning following social rejection, or after unprovoked punishment, or even before social rejection. Anxiously attached participants displayed significant more provoked aggression than securely and avoidantly attached participants in provoked aggression following unprovoked punishment in Experiments 1 and 2. Meanwhile, subsequent Stroop tests indicated anxiously attached participants experienced more executive functioning depletion after social rejection and unprovoked aggression. The present findings support the General Aggression Model and suggest that provoked aggression is predicted by attachment patterns in the context of social rejection; different provoked aggression may depend on the degree of executive functioning that individuals preserved in aggressive situations. The current study contributes to our understanding of the importance of the role of attachment patterns in modulating aggressive behavior accompanying unfair social encounters. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Ida Unmack; Vinther-Jensen, Tua; Nielsen, Jørgen Erik

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Huntington's disease (HD) is characterized by motor symptoms, psychiatric symptoms and cognitive impairment in, inter alia, executive functions and social cognition. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between subjective feeling of psychological distress using...... a self-report questionnaire and performances on tests of executive functions and social cognition in a large consecutive cohort of HD patients. METHOD: 50 manifest HD patients were tested in social cognition and executive functions and each answered a self-report questionnaire about current status...... psychological distress was significantly associated with worse performances on social cognitive tests (mean absolute correlation .34) and that there were no significant correlations between perceived psychological distress and performance on tests of executive functions. The correlations between perceived...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamara Zofia Walczak

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Background In most countries, premature deliveries constitute 5% to 18% of births. Some preterm children, especially those born before 32 weeks of pregnancy, experience serious medical complications, which can affect their subsequent development and functioning. Even those who have an IQ within the normal range can be at risk of worse functioning. This study aimed to investigate the differences in development of hot and cool aspects of executive functions in children born prematurely in comparison to those born on time. It is also focused on evaluating relationships between executive functions in premature children and their socio-emotional competences. Participants and procedure All children participating in the study were preschoolers. The sample consisted of 20 children born before 32 weeks of gestation and 28 term controls (children born on time. Hot and cool aspects of executive functions were examined in both groups using tasks extracted from the Preschool Self-Regulation Assessment (PSRA. Parents of children born prematurely also completed the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ, which is a brief behavioral screening questionnaire that consists of five scales: emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity/inattention, peer relationship problems and prosocial behavior. Results Premature children scored lower for both hot and cool executive functions in comparison to the children born at term in two of the five tasks. In addition, an association between worse executive functioning and more severe problems was found in the preterm group. This link applies to both general and specific problems, such as hyperactivity/inattention and behavioral problems. Conclusions Prematurely born children may have larger deficits both in hot and cool aspects of executive functions compared to their peers born at term. Deficits in hot aspect may be reflected in hyperactivity/inattention symptoms and conduct problems, whereas difficulties in

  4. Impact of different physical activities on executive functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sneidere K.

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The aging of the Western society has become one of the key issues in research. Lately research has shown relationship between improvement in cognitive functioning and involvement in physical activities. The aim of the study was to examine the impact of different types of physical activities on executive functioning. Overall 30 seniors aged from 65 participated in a two-day study. They were divided into three groups per their life-style – aerobic activity, strength training and sedentary. Results indicated differences between the groups in cognitive efficiency (F = 6.791, p < 0.01 and working memory (F = 6.179, p < 0.01 as well as the inhibition of attention (F = 4.311, p < 0.01. The mean scores were higher in the aerobic group. The results indicate that involvement in aerobic physical activity might lessen the decline in executive functioning in seniors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-02-01

    To assess the effect of atomoxetine on ADHD-related executive functions over a 6-month period using the Brown Attention-Deficit Disorder Scale (BADDS) for Adults, a normed, 40-item, self-report scale in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. In a randomized, double-blind clinical trial, adults with ADHD received either atomoxetine 25 to 100 mg/day or placebo for 6 months. Patients completed the BADDS to report their current daily functioning in 5 clusters of ADHD-related impairments of executive functioning: (1) Organizing and Activating to Work; (2) Focusing for Tasks; (3) Regulating Alertness and Effort; (4) Modulating Emotions; and (5) Utilizing Working Memory. Mean scores were significantly more improved in the atomoxetine group compared to the placebo group: total score, -27.0 versus -19.0 (p executive function impairments in adults with ADHD as assessed by the BADDS.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  8. Impact of short-term meditation and expectation on executive brain functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prätzlich, Martin; Kossowsky, Joe; Gaab, Jens; Krummenacher, Peter

    2016-01-15

    Meditation improves executive functions such as attention and working memory processes. However, it remains unclear to what extent contextual effects contribute to these improvements, since the role of meditation-associated expectations has not been investigated so far. In a randomized, single-blind, deceptive, between-subject design we compared the impact of short-term meditation (MG) on executive functioning with an expectation (ECG) and a passive control group (CG) as well as the effect of positive and negative outcome expectations. Fifty-nine healthy meditation-naïve volunteers participated on three consecutive days (20 min/session). Five groups were examined: 2 MGs, 2 ECGs and 1 CG. While one MG and one ECG were given positive suggestions concerning the effect of meditation on attention, the other two groups were given negative suggestions. MGs practised a focused attention meditation technique; ECGs were told that they were practising meditation but were given instructions for a sham meditation. CG participants sat in silence with their eyes closed. Interference control (Stroop task), selective sustained attention (d2 task), figural and verbal fluency measures of executive functions were assessed. Results indicate that suggestions have a substantial impact on interference control and verbal fluency, with positive suggestions leading to an increase in performance, whereas negative suggestions impeded improvement. This proof of concept study demonstrates the importance of the implementation of a credible ECG to elucidate context effects in meditation processes. It also indicates that suggestions can modulate the small effect of meditation on verbal fluency. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Recognition of faces and names: multimodal physiological correlates of memory and executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Meghan B; Shirk, Steven D; McLaren, Donald G; Dodd, Jessica S; Ezzati, Ali; Ally, Brandon A; Atri, Alireza

    2016-06-01

    We sought to characterize electrophysiological, eye-tracking and behavioral correlates of face-name recognition memory in healthy younger adults using high-density electroencephalography (EEG), infrared eye-tracking (ET), and neuropsychological measures. Twenty-one participants first studied 40 face-name (FN) pairs; 20 were presented four times (4R) and 20 were shown once (1R). Recognition memory was assessed by asking participants to make old/new judgments for 80 FN pairs, of which half were previously studied items and half were novel FN pairs (N). Simultaneous EEG and ET recording were collected during recognition trials. Comparisons of event-related potentials (ERPs) for correctly identified FN pairs were compared across the three item types revealing classic ERP old/new effects including 1) relative positivity (1R > N) bi-frontally from 300 to 500 ms, reflecting enhanced familiarity, 2) relative positivity (4R > 1R and 4R > N) in parietal areas from 500 to 800 ms, reflecting enhanced recollection, and 3) late frontal effects (1R > N) from 1000 to 1800 ms in right frontal areas, reflecting post-retrieval monitoring. ET analysis also revealed significant differences in eye movements across conditions. Exploration of cross-modality relationships suggested associations between memory and executive function measures and the three ERP effects. Executive function measures were associated with several indicators of saccadic eye movements and fixations, which were also associated with all three ERP effects. This novel characterization of face-name recognition memory performance using simultaneous EEG and ET reproduced classic ERP and ET effects, supports the construct validity of the multimodal FN paradigm, and holds promise as an integrative tool to probe brain networks supporting memory and executive functioning.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verhoeven, Katrien; Dick, Bruce; Eccleston, Christopher; Goubert, Liesbet; Crombez, Geert

    2014-02-01

    Directing attention away from pain is often used in children's pain treatment programs to control pain. However, empirical evidence concerning its effectiveness is inconclusive. We therefore sought to understand other influencing factors, including executive function and its role in the pain experience. This study investigates the role of executive functioning in the effectiveness of distraction. School children (n=164) completed executive functioning tasks (inhibition, switching, and working memory) and performed a cold-pressor task. One half of the children simultaneously performed a distracting tone-detection task; the other half did not. Results showed that participants in the distraction group were engaged in the distraction task and were reported to pay significantly less attention to pain than controls. Executive functioning influenced distraction task engagement. More specifically, participants with good inhibition and working memory abilities performed the distraction task better; participants with good switching abilities reported having paid more attention to the distraction task. Furthermore, distraction was found to be ineffective in reducing pain intensity and affect. Executive functioning did not influence the effectiveness of distraction. However, a relationship was found between executive functioning and pain affect, indicating that participants with good inhibition and working memory abilities experienced the cold-pressor task as less stressful and unpleasant. Our findings suggest that distraction as a process for managing pain is complex. While it appears that executive function may play a role in adult distraction, in this study it did not direct attention away from pain. It may instead be involved in the overall pain experience. Copyright © 2013 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristine eStadskleiv

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Executive functions are the basis for goal-directed activity and include planning, monitoring, and inhibition, and language seems to play a role in the development of these functions. There is a tradition of studying executive function in both typical and atypical populations, and the present study investigates executive functions in children with severe speech and motor impairments who are communicating using communication aids with graphic symbols, letters and/or words. There are few neuropsychological studies of children in this group and little is known about their cognitive functioning, including executive functions. It was hypothesized that aided communication would tax executive functions more than speech. 29 children using communication aids and 27 naturally speaking children participated. Structured tasks resembling everyday activities, where the action goals had to be reached through communication with a partner, were used to get information about executive functions. The children a directed the partner to perform actions like building a Lego tower from a model the partner could not see and b gave information about an object without naming it to a person who had to guess what object it was. The executive functions of planning, monitoring and impulse control were coded from the children’s on-task behavior. Both groups solved most of the tasks correctly, indicating that aided communicators are able to use language to direct another person to do a complex set of actions. Planning and lack of impulsivity was positively related to task success in both groups. The aided group completed significantly fewer tasks, spent longer time and showed more variation in performance than the comparison group. The aided communicators scored lower on planning and showed more impulsivity than the comparison group, while both groups showed an equal degree of monitoring of the work progress. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that aided language

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-08

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

  18. The Effect of Group Therapy With Transactional Analysis Approach on Emotional Intelligence, Executive Functions and Drug Dependency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forghani, Masoomeh; Ghanbari Hashem Abadi, Bahram Ali

    2016-06-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of group psychotherapy with transactional analysis (TA) approach on emotional intelligence (EI), executive functions and substance dependency among drug-addicts at rehabilitation centers in Mashhad city, Iran, in 2013. In this quasi-experimental study with pretest, posttest, case- control stages, 30 patients were selected from a rehabilitation center and randomly divided into two groups. The case group received 12 sessions of group psychotherapy with transactional analysis approach. Then the effects of independent variable (group psychotherapy with TA approach) on EI, executive function and drug dependency were assessed. The Bar-on test was used for EI, Stroop test for measuring executive function and morphine test, meth-amphetamines and B2 test for evaluating drug dependency. Data were analyzed using multifactorial covariance analysis, Levenes' analysis, MANCOVA, t-student and Pearson correlation coefficient tests t with SPSS software. Our results showed that group psychotherapy with the TA approach was effective in improving EI, executive functions and decreasing drug dependency (P addicts and prevents addiction recurrence by improving the coping capabilities and some mental functions of the subjects. However, there are some limitations regarding this study including follow-up duration and sample size.

  19. Goal Management Training for rehabilitation of executive functions: a systematic review of effectiveness in patients with acquired brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasny-Pacini, Agata; Chevignard, Mathilde; Evans, Jonathan

    2014-01-01

    To determine if Goal Management Training (GMT) is effective for the rehabilitation of executive functions following brain injury when administered alone or in combination with other interventions. Systematic review, with quality appraisal specific to executive functions research and calculation of effect sizes. Twelve studies were included. Four studies were "Proof-of-principle" studies, testing the potential effectiveness of GMT and eight were rehabilitation studies. Effectiveness was greater when GMT was combined with other interventions. The most effective interventions appeared to be those combing GMT with: Problem Solving Therapy; personal goal setting; external cueing or prompting apply GMT to the current task; personal homework to increase patients' commitment and training intensity; ecological and daily life training activities rather than paper-and-pencil, office-type tasks. Level of support for GMT was higher for studies measuring outcome in terms of increases in participation in everyday activities rather than on measures of executive impairment. Comprehensive rehabilitation programs incorporating GMT, but integrating other approaches, are effective in executive function rehabilitation following brain injury in adults. There is insufficient evidence to support use of GMT as a stand-alone intervention.

  20. Executive function and cerebral blood flow on dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in cases of subcortical infarction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hasegawa, Akira; Utsumi, Hiroya

    2006-01-01

    In order to clarify the extent of dysexecutive function of patients with subcortical infarctions, participants of this study underwent neuropsychological tests and single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT). These participants were categorized into two groups; patients with basal ganglia lesions (BG group) (n=5) and those with white matter lesions (WM group) (n=12). Participants were administered executive function tests as a part of a comprehensive neuropsychological battery. Administered executive measures included the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), the Ruff Figural Fluency Test (RFFT), the Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT), and the Trait Making Test; Parts A and B. There were no group differences in their age, years of education and global cognitive performance. Student's t-tests were conducted to determine group differences in executive function. As a result, the number of total errors, the number of perseverative errors and the number of categories completed on the WCST were significantly worse for the BG group than for the WM group. These groups did not differ on other measures administered. In addition, all participants underwent SPECT, and their results were compared with the normal control data. Hypoperfusion was found on parts of the bilateral frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes for the BG and WM groups. These tendencies stood out in the right hemisphere of the BG group. The BG group exhibited decreased cerebral blood flow (CBF) on the area of right side dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) (e.g., Brodmann area 44). These analyses revealed that individuals with BG lesions showed significant executive declines that might be associated with decreased CBF in the subcortical-frontal system. It may support the idea that BG is connected with DLPFC via frontal-subcortical neuronal circuit. Patients with BG lesions may experience dysexecutive function due to the phenomenon of diaschisis from the disruption of this circuit. (author)

  1. Infant Attention and Early Childhood Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuevas, Kimberly; Bell, Martha Ann

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becerra-García, Juan Antonio

    2015-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  6. Absolute and relative reliability of acute effects of aerobic exercise on executive function in seniors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donath, Lars; Ludyga, Sebastian; Hammes, Daniel; Rossmeissl, Anja; Andergassen, Nadin; Zahner, Lukas; Faude, Oliver

    2017-10-25

    Aging is accompanied by a decline of executive function. Aerobic exercise training induces moderate improvements of cognitive domains (i.e., attention, processing, executive function, memory) in seniors. Most conclusive data are obtained from studies with dementia or cognitive impairment. Confident detection of exercise training effects requires adequate between-day reliability and low day-to-day variability obtained from acute studies, respectively. These absolute and relative reliability measures have not yet been examined for a single aerobic training session in seniors. Twenty-two healthy and physically active seniors (age: 69 ± 3 y, BMI: 24.8 ± 2.2, VO 2peak : 32 ± 6 mL/kg/bodyweight) were enrolled in this randomized controlled cross-over study. A repeated between-day comparison [i.e., day 1 (habituation) vs. day 2 & day 2 vs. day 3] of executive function testing (Eriksen-Flanker-Test, Stroop-Color-Test, Digit-Span, Five-Point-Test) before and after aerobic cycling exercise at 70% of the heart rate reserve [0.7 × (HR max - HR rest )] was conducted. Reliability measures were calculated for pre, post and change scores. Large between-day differences between day 1 and 2 were found for reaction times (Flanker- and Stroop Color testing) and completed figures (Five-Point test) at pre and post testing (0.002 seniors can be presumed.

  7. Decreased serum level of NGF in alcohol-dependent patients with declined executive function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bae H

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Hwallip Bae,1 Youngsun Ra,1 Changwoo Han,2 Dai-Jin Kim3 1Department of Psychiatry, Myongji Hospital, Goyang, 2Department of Psychiatry, Keyo Hospital, Uiwang, 3Department of Psychiatry, Seoul St Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, South Korea Abstract: The role of neurotrophic factors has been highlighted as a cause of decline in the cognitive function of alcohol-dependent patients. It is known that nerve-growth factor (NGF, one of the neurotrophins, is related to the growth and differentiation of nerve cells, as well as to a decline in cognitive function. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between decreased NGF levels and cognitive decline in alcohol-dependent patients. The serum concentration of NGF was measured in 38 patients with chronic alcohol dependence, and several neuropsychological tests were also performed for cognitive function assessment. The results indicated a significant correlation between serum NGF level and the trail-making test part B, which evaluates executive function, but did not show a significant correlation with other cognitive function tests. An increased serum level of NGF was associated with a decreased completion time in the trail-making test B, and this finding indicates that a high serum level of NGF is related to greater executive function. This finding may imply a protective role of NGF in preventing neuron damage among patients with alcohol dependence. Larger controlled studies will be necessary in the future to investigate this issue further. Keywords: nerve-growth factor, alcohol dependence, executive function, trail-making test

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Netelenbos

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stadskleiv, Kristine; von Tetzchner, Stephen; Batorowicz, Beata; van Balkom, Hans; Dahlgren-Sandberg, Annika; Renner, Gregor

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions are the basis for goal-directed activity and include planning, monitoring, and inhibition, and language seems to play a role in the development of these functions. There is a tradition of studying executive function in both typical and atypical populations, and the present study investigates executive functions in children with severe speech and motor impairments who are communicating using communication aids with graphic symbols, letters, and/or words. There are few neuropsychological studies of children in this group and little is known about their cognitive functioning, including executive functions. It was hypothesized that aided communication would tax executive functions more than speech. Twenty-nine children using communication aids and 27 naturally speaking children participated. Structured tasks resembling everyday activities, where the action goals had to be reached through communication with a partner, were used to get information about executive functions. The children (a) directed the partner to perform actions like building a Lego tower from a model the partner could not see and (b) gave information about an object without naming it to a person who had to guess what object it was. The executive functions of planning, monitoring, and impulse control were coded from the children's on-task behavior. Both groups solved most of the tasks correctly, indicating that aided communicators are able to use language to direct another person to do a complex set of actions. Planning and lack of impulsivity was positively related to task success in both groups. The aided group completed significantly fewer tasks, spent longer time and showed more variation in performance than the comparison group. The aided communicators scored lower on planning and showed more impulsivity than the comparison group, while both groups showed an equal degree of monitoring of the work progress. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that aided language tax

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaidy Stautz

    Full Text Available Executive function, impulsivity, and intelligence are correlated markers of cognitive resource that predict health-related behaviours. It is unknown whether executive function and impulsivity are unique predictors of these behaviours after accounting for intelligence.Data from 6069 participants from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children were analysed to investigate whether components of executive function (selective attention, attentional control, working memory, and response inhibition and impulsivity (parent-rated measured between ages 8 and 10, predicted having ever drunk alcohol, having ever smoked, fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity, and overweight at age 13, after accounting for intelligence at age 8 and childhood socioeconomic characteristics.Higher intelligence predicted having drunk alcohol, not smoking, greater fruit and vegetable consumption, and not being overweight. After accounting for intelligence, impulsivity predicted alcohol use (odds ratio = 1.10; 99% confidence interval = 1.02, 1.19 and smoking (1.22; 1.11, 1.34. Working memory predicted not being overweight (0.90; 0.81, 0.99.After accounting for intelligence, executive function predicts overweight status but not health-related behaviours in early adolescence, whilst impulsivity predicts the onset of alcohol and cigarette use, all with small effects. This suggests overlap between executive function and intelligence as predictors of health behaviour in this cohort, with trait impulsivity accounting for additional variance.

  11. Validation of a Comprehensive Executive Learning and Development Measure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akrofi, Solomon; Clarke, Nicholas; Vernon, Guy

    2011-01-01

    Evaluating the returns on intangible assets in general and executive human capital in particular is still a challenging endeavour. One possible means of addressing this challenge involves developing a broad measure of executive learning and development (L&D), encapsulating both the formal and informal activities that closely reflect the dynamic…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Theory of mind and emotional functioning in fibromyalgia syndrome: an investigation of the relationship between social cognition and executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Tella, Marialaura; Castelli, Lorys; Colonna, Fabrizio; Fusaro, Enrico; Torta, Riccardo; Ardito, Rita B; Adenzato, Mauro

    2015-01-01

    Fibromyalgia (FM) is a syndrome primarily characterised by chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain. In the aetiology of this syndrome a crucial role is played by complex interactions among biological, genetic, psychological, and socio-cultural factors. Recently, researchers have started to explore emotional functioning in FM, with their attention focused on alexithymia, a personality construct that affects the regulation of a person's own emotions. On the other hand, the detection and experience of emotional signals from other people have only been sparsely investigated in FM syndrome and no studies have investigated the ability to represent other people's mental states (i.e. Theory of Mind, ToM) in these patients. Here we present the first study investigating a large set of social-cognitive abilities, and the possible relationships between these abilities and the performance on executive-function tasks, in a homogenous sample of patients with FM. Forty women with FM and forty-one healthy women matched for education and age were involved in the study. Social cognition was assessed with a set of validated experimental tasks. Measures of executive function were used to test the correlations between this dimension and the social-cognitive profile of patients with FM. Relationships between social-cognitive abilities and demographic, clinical and psychological variables were also investigated. Patients with FM have impairments both in the regulation of their own affect and in the recognition of other's emotions, as well as in representing other people's mental states. No significant correlations were found between social cognition tasks and the subcomponents of the executive function that were analysed. The results show the presence of several impairments in social cognition skills in patients with FM, which are largely independent of both executive function deficits and symptoms of psychological distress. The impairments reported highlight the importance of adequately

  14. Impact of executive function deficits and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on academic outcomes in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biederman, Joseph; Monuteaux, Michael C; Doyle, Alysa E; Seidman, Larry J; Wilens, Timothy E; Ferrero, Frances; Morgan, Christie L; Faraone, Stephen V

    2004-10-01

    The association between executive function deficits (EFDs) and functional outcomes were examined among children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Participants were children and adolescents with (n = 259) and without (n = 222) ADHD, as ascertained from pediatric and psychiatric clinics. The authors defined EFD as at least 2 executive function measures impaired. Significantly more children and adolescents with ADHD had EFDs than did control participants. ADHD with EFDs was associated with an increased risk for grade retention and a decrease in academic achievement relative to (a) ADHD alone, (b) controlled socioeconomic status, (c) learning disabilities, and (d) IQ. No differences were noted in social functioning or psychiatric comorbidity. Children and adolescents with ADHD and EFDs were found to be at high risk for significant impairments in academic functioning. These results support screening children with ADHD for EFDs to prevent academic failure.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

    To evaluate the relationship of family and parenting factors to long-term executive dysfunction and attention problems after early childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI). We hypothesized that the magnitude of executive dysfunction and attention problems would be moderated by family and parenting factors. A multicenter, prospective cohort study that included an orthopedic injury (OI) reference group. Three tertiary academic children's hospital medical centers and one general medical center. Children, ages 3-7 years, hospitalized for OI, moderate TBI, or severe TBI. METHODS AND OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Parental ratings of family functioning and parenting styles were obtained 18 months after the injury occurred. The main outcome measurements, which were parental ratings of children's executive function and attention, were performed at least 24 months after the injury occurred (mean, 39 months; range, 25-63 months). Group comparisons were conducted with use of t-tests, χ(2) analysis, analysis of variance, and Pearson and Spearman correlations. Regression analysis was used to examine associations of the outcomes with family functioning and parenting styles and to test moderating effects of these factors on group differences. Participants with severe TBI demonstrated increased executive dysfunction and attention problems compared with those who sustained moderate TBI or OI. Lower levels of family dysfunction were associated with better executive function and attention across groups but did not moderate group differences. However, attention deficits after severe TBI were exacerbated under conditions of more permissive parenting relative to attention deficits after OIs. Executive function and attention problems persisted on a long-term basis (>24 months) after early childhood TBI, and positive global family functioning and nonpermissive parenting were associated with better outcomes. Better characterization of the optimal family environment for recovery from early childhood

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    There is no consensus in the literature as to neuropsychological functioning, the severity of obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) and the definitions of the OCS dimensions. We conducted a cross-sectional study investigating the relationship between executive function and OCS severity in the various dimensions, according to the Dimensional Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale criteria. We evaluated 28 patients with OCS, using eight neuropsychological instruments to evaluate executive function...

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  1. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastiaan Dovis

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

    Background: The object of this study was to analyze the executive functioning of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or reading disability (RD) independent of their non-executive deficits. Methods: Three carefully diagnosed groups of children, aged between 7 and 12 years

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Executive Functions in Individuals with Williams Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

    Background: The present study was aimed at investigating working memory (WM) and executive functions capacities in individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) as compared with mental-age matched typically developing (TD) children. Method: In order to serve the study goal, a sizeable battery of tasks tapping WM as well as attention, memory, planning,…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  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. Language and executive functioning in children with ADHD

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Parigger, E.M.

    2012-01-01

    This study examines language abilities of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and compares these abilities to those of children with specific language impairment (SLI) and typically developing children. Executive functioning, an umbrella term for various higher order

  14. Association of Lipid Peroxidation and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor with Executive Function in Adolescent Bipolar Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newton, Dwight F; Naiberg, Melanie R; Andreazza, Ana C; Scola, Gustavo; Dickstein, Daniel P; Goldstein, Benjamin I

    2017-02-01

    Executive dysfunction is common and impairing in youth bipolar disorder (BD), and oxidative stress (OS) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) have been implicated in executive deficits of adult BD. This study aimed to determine the association between OS and executive dysfunction in BD adolescents and the influence of BDNF on this association. Serum levels of lipid hydroperoxides (LPH) and 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE) and BDNF levels were measured in 29 BD and 25 control adolescents. The intra-extra-dimensional (IED) set-shifting task assessed executive function. Lower IED scores indicated better performance. High and low BDNF subgroups were defined by median split. IED Z-scores were impaired in the BD group compared to controls, whereas biomarker levels were not significantly different between groups. LPH-BDNF correlations were significantly different between BD and controls (Z = 2.046, p = 0.041). In high BDNF BD subjects, LPH was significantly positively correlated with IED completed stage trials (ρ = 0.755, p = 0.001) and pre-extra-dimensional shift errors (ρ = 0.588, p = 0.017). Correlations were opposite in controls. In a linear model, LPH, BDNF, and the LPH-BDNF interaction each significantly explained variance of IED total trials (adjusted) (model r 2  = 0.187, F = 2.811, p = 0.035). There is a negative association between LPH and executive function in BD adolescents, which may be modulated by BDNF. LPH and BDNF may be useful biomarkers of executive function in BD. These findings highlight the importance of examining multiple peripheral biomarkers in relation to cognitive functions in BD adolescents. Future studies should explore these factors in longitudinal designs to determine the directionality of observed associations.

  15. Bilingualism as a potential strategy to improve executive function in preterm infants: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, Lauren M; Baralt, Melissa; Darcy Mahoney, Ashley E

    2015-01-01

    Preterm birth is associated with long-term deficits in executive functioning and cognitive performance. Using the model of brain plasticity as a theoretical framework, it is possible that preterm infants' neurodevelopmental sequelae can be altered. Evidence suggests that bilingualism confers cognitive advantages on executive functioning, so it is possible that bilingualism may improve preterm infants' neurodevelopment. However, bilingualism has only been studied in term children. This review examined literature that compared the performance of preterm-born children to term children and bilingual children to monolingual children on executive function tasks. To address cognitive disparities in preterm-born children, studies investigating the effect of bilingualism on preterm infants' executive functioning is warranted. Copyright © 2015 National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Decision-making and cognitive abilities: A review of associations between Iowa Gambling Task performance, executive functions, and intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toplak, Maggie E; Sorge, Geoff B; Benoit, André; West, Richard F; Stanovich, Keith E

    2010-07-01

    The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) has been used to study decision-making differences in many different clinical and developmental samples. It has been suggested that IGT performance captures abilities that are separable from cognitive abilities, including executive functions and intelligence. The purpose of the current review was to examine studies that have explicitly examined the relationship between IGT performance and these cognitive abilities. We included 43 studies that reported correlational analyses with IGT performance, including measures of inhibition, working memory, and set-shifting as indices of executive functions, as well as measures of verbal, nonverbal, and full-scale IQ as indices of intelligence. Overall, only a small proportion of the studies reported a statistically significant relationship between IGT performance and these cognitive abilities. The majority of studies reported a non-significant relationship. Of the minority of studies that reported statistically significant effects, effect sizes were, at best, small to modest, and confidence intervals were large, indicating that considerable variability in performance on the IGT is not captured by current measures of executive function and intelligence. These findings highlight the separability between decision-making on the IGT and cognitive abilities, which is consistent with recent conceptualizations that differentiate rationality from intelligence. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Social cognition and executive functioning predictors of supervisors' appraisal of interpersonal behaviour in the workplace following acquired brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeates, Giles; Rowberry, Michelle; Dunne, Stephen; Goshawk, Michelle; Mahadevan, Mythreyi; Tyerman, Ruth; Salter, Mandy; Hillier, Martin; Berry, Alister; Tyerman, Andy

    2016-03-23

    Social cognition and executive functioning difficulties following acquired brain injury have been linked to negative employment outcomes, such as demotion and loss of vocational roles. These are very counter-intuitive and challenging difficulties for other employees and work supervisors who have little or no brain injury knowledge, whose perceptions of play a key role in their responses to these difficulties and the final outcome of such problems for vocational status. This study aimed to study the relationship between social cognition and executive functioning difficulties and the perceptions of work supervisors' appraisal of survivor interpersonal behaviour and social skills in the workplace. The performance of 73 survivors of acquired brain injury (47% TBI, 38% CVA, 15% other ABI type; 73% male; mean age 45.44 years, range 19-64 years; mean time since injury 6.36 years, range 10.5-31.33 years), currently in a vocational rehabilitation placement) on neuropsychological tests of executive functioning and social cognition was measured. Informant ratings on the Social Skills Factor subscale from the Work Personality Profile (WPP, Bolton & Roessler, 1986) were used as the primary outcome measure, a vocational functioning questionnaire assessing social and presentational aspects of workplace behaviour. The raters were non-clinical workplace informants acting in a supervisory role (supervisory placement providers and job coaches). Correlational analysis identified significant associations between the WPP and survivor goal-orientated planning and implementation, mentalising ability, recognition of positive and negative emotions, and recognition of simple sarcasm (all significant at p executive functioning explained 32 % of the variance in the WPP ratings (F (2, 52) =  12.15, p executive functioning and social cognition difficulties for the perceptions and appraisal of work colleagues, consistent with other studies that have identified negative vocational outcomes

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

    Children with Borderline Intellectual Functioning (BIF) have received little research attention and have been studied in conjunction with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The present study intends to broaden the knowledge on BIF, by analyzing domains such as verbal memory and visual memory, as well as tasks that rely simultaneously on memory, executive functions and language. A cross-sectional, comparison study was carried out between a group of 40 children with BIF (mean age = 10...

  20. On-line Social Interactions and Executive Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oscar eYbarra

    2012-04-01

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

  1. The impact of executive function on response to cognitive behavioral therapy in late-life depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodkind, Madeleine S; Gallagher-Thompson, Dolores; Thompson, Larry W; Kesler, Shelli R; Anker, Lauren; Flournoy, John; Berman, Mika P; Holland, Jason M; O'Hara, Ruth M

    2016-04-01

    Late-life depression (LLD) is a common and debilitating condition among older adults. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has strong empirical support for the treatment of depression in all ages, including in LLD. In teaching patients to identify, monitor, and challenge negative patterns in their thinking, CBT for LLD relies heavily on cognitive processes and, in particular, executive functioning, such as planning, sequencing, organizing, and selectively inhibiting information. It may be that the effectiveness of CBT lies in its ability to train these cognitive areas. Participants with LLD completed a comprehensive neuropsychological battery before enrolling in CBT. The current study examined the relationship between neuropsychological function prior to treatment and response to CBT. When using three baseline measures of executive functioning that quantify set shifting, cognitive flexibility, and response inhibition to predict treatment response, only baseline Wisconsin Card Sort Task performance was associated with a significant drop in depression symptoms after CBT. Specifically, worse performance on the Wisconsin Card Sort Task was associated with better treatment response. These results suggest that CBT, which teaches cognitive techniques for improving psychiatric symptoms, may be especially beneficial in LLD if relative weaknesses in specific areas of executive functioning are present. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  3. Effects of the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Stress Management on Executive Function Components.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos-Ruiz, Ana; Robles-Ortega, Humbelina; Pérez-García, Miguel; Peralta-Ramírez, María Isabel

    2017-02-13

    This study aims to determine whether it is possible to modify executive function in stressed individuals by means of cognitive-behavioral therapy for stress management. Thirty-one people with high levels of perceived stress were recruited into the study (treatment group = 18; wait-list group = 13). The treatment group received 14 weeks of stress management program. Psychological and executive function variables were evaluated in both groups pre and post-intervention. The treatment group showed improved psychological variables of perceived stress (t = 5.492; p = .001), vulnerability to stress (t = 4.061; p = .001) and superstitious thinking (t = 2.961; p = .009). Likewise, the results showed statistically significant differences in personality variables related to executive function, positive urgency (t = 3.585; p = .002) and sensitivity to reward (t = -2.201; p = .042), which improved after the therapy. These variables showed a moderate to high effect size (oscillates between 1.30 for perceived stress and .566 for sensitivity to reward). The cognitive-behavioral therapy for stress management may be an appropriate strategy for improving personality construct components related to executive function, however effects of the therapy are not showed on performance on the tests of executive function applied, as presented studies previous.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Absolute and relative reliability of acute effects of aerobic exercise on executive function in seniors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lars Donath

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Aging is accompanied by a decline of executive function. Aerobic exercise training induces moderate improvements of cognitive domains (i.e., attention, processing, executive function, memory in seniors. Most conclusive data are obtained from studies with dementia or cognitive impairment. Confident detection of exercise training effects requires adequate between-day reliability and low day-to-day variability obtained from acute studies, respectively. These absolute and relative reliability measures have not yet been examined for a single aerobic training session in seniors. Methods Twenty-two healthy and physically active seniors (age: 69 ± 3 y, BMI: 24.8 ± 2.2, VO2peak: 32 ± 6 mL/kg/bodyweight were enrolled in this randomized controlled cross-over study. A repeated between-day comparison [i.e., day 1 (habituation vs. day 2 & day 2 vs. day 3] of executive function testing (Eriksen-Flanker-Test, Stroop-Color-Test, Digit-Span, Five-Point-Test before and after aerobic cycling exercise at 70% of the heart rate reserve [0.7 × (HRmax – HRrest] was conducted. Reliability measures were calculated for pre, post and change scores. Results Large between-day differences between day 1 and 2 were found for reaction times (Flanker- and Stroop Color testing and completed figures (Five-Point test at pre and post testing (0.002 < p < 0.05, 0.16 < ɳp 2 < 0.38. These differences notably declined when comparing day 2 and 3. Absolute between days variability (CoV dropped from 10 to 5% when comparing day 2 vs. day 3 instead of day 1 vs. day 2. Also ICC ranges increased from day 1 vs. day 2 (0.65 < ICC < 0.87 to day 2 vs. day 3 (0.40 < ICC < 0.93. Interestingly, reliability measures for pre-post change scores were low (0.02 < ICC < 0.71. These data did not improve when comparing day 2 with day 3. During inhibition tests, reaction times showed excellent reliability values compared to the poor to fair reliability of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

    The structural networks in the human brain are consistent across subjects, and this is reflected also in that functional networks across subjects are relatively consistent. These findings are not only present during performance of a goal oriented task but there are also consistent functional networks during resting state. It suggests that goal oriented activation patterns may be a function of component networks identified using resting state. The current study examines the relationship between resting state networks measured and patterns of neural activation elicited during a Stroop task. The association between the Stroop-activated networks and the resting state networks was quantified using spatial linear regression. In addition, we investigated if the degree of spatial association of resting state networks with the Stroop task may predict performance on the Stroop task. The results of this investigation demonstrated that the Stroop activated network can be decomposed into a number of resting state networks, which were primarily associated with attention, executive function, visual perception, and the default mode network. The close spatial correspondence between the functional organization of the resting brain and task-evoked patterns supports the relevance of resting state networks in cognitive function.

  8. Physical exercise and executive functions in preadolescent children, adolescents and young adults: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verburgh, Lot; Königs, Marsh; Scherder, Erik J A; Oosterlaan, Jaap

    2014-06-01

    The goal of this meta-analysis was to aggregate available empirical studies on the effects of physical exercise on executive functions in preadolescent children (6-12 years of age), adolescents (13-17 years of age) and young adults (18-35 years of age). The electronic databases PubMed, EMBASE and SPORTDiscus were searched for relevant studies reporting on the effects of physical exercise on executive functions. Nineteen studies were selected. There was a significant overall effect of acute physical exercise on executive functions (d=0.52, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.76, pexercise (d=0.14, 95%CI -0.04 to 0.32, p=0.19) on executive functions (Q (1)=5.08, pexercise on the domain's inhibition/interference control (d=0.46, 95% CI 0.33 to 0.60, pexercise on planning (d=0.16, 95% CI 0.18 to 0.89, p=0.18). Results suggest that acute physical exercise enhances executive functioning. The number of studies on chronic physical exercise is limited and it should be investigated whether chronic physical exercise shows effects on executive functions comparable to acute physical exercise. This is highly relevant in preadolescent children and adolescents, given the importance of well-developed executive functions for daily life functioning and the current increase in sedentary behaviour in these age groups. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  9. Preserved re-experience of discrete emotions: Amnesia and executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanciu, Marian Andrei; Rafal, Robert D; Turnbull, Oliver H

    2018-02-07

    Amnesic patients can re-experience emotions elicited by forgotten events, suggesting that brain systems for episodic and emotional memory are independent. However, the range of such emotional memories remains under-investigated (most studies employing just positive-negative emotion dyads), and executive function may also play a role in the re-experience of emotions. This is the first investigation of the intensity of the emotional re-experience of a range of discrete emotions (anger, fear, sadness, and happiness) for a group of amnesic patients. Twenty Korsakoff syndrome (KS) patients and 20 neurologically normal controls listened to four novel emotional vignettes selectively eliciting the four basic emotions. Emotional experience was measured using pen-and-paper Visual Analogue Mood Scales and episodic memory using verbal recollections. After 30 min, the recollection of stories was severely impaired for the patient group, but the emotional re-experience was no different from that of controls. Notably, there was no relationship between episodic recall and the intensity of the four emotions, such that even profoundly amnesic patients reported moderate levels of the target emotion. Exploratory analyses revealed negative correlations between the intensity of basic emotions and executive functions (e.g., cognitive flexibility and response inhibition) for controls but not patients. The results suggest that discrete emotions can be re-experienced independently of episodic memory, and that the re-experience of certain discrete emotions appears to be dampened by executive control. KS patients with absent or mild cognitive symptoms should benefit from emotion-regulation interventions aimed at reducing the recognized affective burden associated with their episodic memory deficit. © 2018 The British Psychological Society.

  10. Executive Functioning, Cortisol Reactivity, and Symptoms of Psychopathology in Girls with Premature Adrenarche

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sontag-Padilla, Lisa M.; Dorn, Lorah D.; Tissot, Abbigail; Susman, Elizabeth J.; Beers, Sue R.; Rose, Susan R.

    2012-01-01

    The study examined the interaction between early maturational timing [as measured by premature adrenarche (PA)] and executive functioning and cortisol reactivity on symptoms of psychopathology. The study included 76 girls aged 6 through 8 years (mean = 7.50; SD = .85) with PA (n = 40) and on-time adrenarche (n = 36). Girls completed a battery of psychological and neuropsychological tests and blood sampling for cortisol. Parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist. Results demonstrated that girls with PA with lower levels of executive functioning had higher externalizing and anxious symptoms compared to other girls. Additionally, girls with PA who demonstrated increases in serum cortisol had higher externalizing symptoms than those with stable patterns. Finally, girls with PA who demonstrated decreases in cortisol reported higher depressive symptoms. Findings from this study provide important information concerning the impact of cognitive functioning and stress reactivity on adjustment to early maturation in girls with PA. Results of this research may inform screening and intervention efforts for girls who may be at greatest risk for emotional and behavioral problems as a result of early maturation. PMID:22293005

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikulina, Valentina; Widom, Cathy Spatz

    2013-01-01

    Objective There is extensive evidence of negative consequences of childhood maltreatment for IQ, academic achievement, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and increased attention to neurobiological consequences. However, few prospective studies have assessed the long-term effects of abuse and neglect on executive functioning. The current study examines whether childhood abuse and neglect predicts components of executive functioning and nonverbal reasoning ability in middle adulthood and whether PTSD moderates this relationship. Method Using a prospective cohort design, a large sample (N = 792) of court-substantiated cases of childhood physical and sexual abuse and neglect (ages 0-11) and matched controls were followed into adulthood (mean age = 41). Executive functioning was assessed with the Trail Making B test and non-verbal reasoning with Matrix Reasoning. PTSD (DSM-III-R lifetime diagnosis) was assessed at age 29. Data were analyzed using ordinary least squares regressions, controlling for age, sex, and race and possible confounds of IQ, depression, and excessive alcohol use. Results In multivariate analyses, childhood maltreatment overall and childhood neglect predicted poorer executive functioning and non-verbal reasoning at age 41, whereas physical and sexual abuse did not. A past history of PTSD did not mediate or moderate these relations. Conclusions Childhood maltreatment and neglect specifically have a significant long-term impact on important aspects of adult neuropsychological functioning. These findings suggest the need for targeted efforts dedicated to interventions for neglected children. PMID:23876115

  14. +Gz load and executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

    Pilots are constantly exposed to a number of environmental factors, which include +Gz load. Physiological changes evoked by +Gz stimuli have already been well investigated in aviation medicine. However, the influence of +Gz stimulation on executive functions in pilots has not yet been thoroughly explored. There were 20 pilot cadets between the ages of 19 and 22 yr who volunteered to participate in the experiment. The subjects were divided into two groups: the G-load group, which was exposed to accelerations in the centrifuge, and the control group, which did not undergo this stimulation. Executive functions were assessed by means of the Schulte tables and the Rey-Osterrieth complex figure test. +Gz load exposure significantly improved attention switching. This relationship was valid for performance speed (M = 268.09 s in the pretest in the G-load group; M = 228.09 s in the posttest in the G-load group) and for the cumulative time of mistakes (M = 26.73 s in the pretest in the G-load group; M = 12 s in the posttest in the G-load group), whereas reproduction of visuospatial stimuli from memory deteriorated significantly under the influence of +Gz stimulation (M = 17.18 points in the posttest in the G-load group; M = 28.18 points in the posttest in the control group). These results suggest that the impact of +Gz load is not homogenous and unidirectional, since it improves attention switching but visuospatial working memory decreases under its influence. These aspects are particularly important for understanding the mechanisms responsible for maintaining situational awareness during the flight.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ajilchi, Bita; Nejati, Vahid

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate and compare the executive functions of students with depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms with those functions in healthy ones. This study was a comparative and non-clinical analysis. The study population comprised all students of Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran. A total of 448 students were recruited using convenience sampling method. They were also screened using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) test comprising 21 items. Of study participants, 30 people were depressed, 27 had anxiety, and 15 suffered from stress. Then, 50 control people were matched with them. Next, both groups were compared using the Stroop test, Wisconsin card sorting, and cognitive ability test. Using MANOVA test, data analysis revealed no significant differences among 4 groups with regard to selective attention and shifting attention. Depressed group reacted rapidly as opposed to the anxiety group with regard to measures of shifting attention and cognitive abilities; it was observed that the memory, inhibition control, planning, and flexibility of the healthy group were better than those of the 3 other groups. The findings of this research raised specific issues in relation to the role of depression, anxiety, and stress in the disruption of the executive functions of sufferers. Selective and shifting attention and cognitive abilities are specifically affected in this regard. Meanwhile, the role of stress in impairing decision making and the major role of anxiety in impairing sustained attention was shown to be considerable.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Failure to identify an acute exercise effect on executive function assessed by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Chih Wang

    2015-03-01

    Conclusion: Acute aerobic exercise failed to influence executive function as assessed by the WCST, revealing that this classical neuropsychological test tapping executive function may not be sensitive to acute exercise. Our findings suggest that acute exercise does not broadly affect the entire family of executive functions, or its effect on a specific aspect of executive function may be task-dependent, as proposed by Etnier and Chang (2009.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Episodic memory and organizational strategy in free recall in unipolar depression: the role of cognitive support and executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taconnat, Laurence; Baudouin, Alexia; Fay, Severine; Raz, Naftali; Bouazzaoui, Badiaa; El-Hage, Wissam; Isingrini, Michel; Ergis, Anne-Marie

    2010-08-01

    Executive functioning and memory impairment have been demonstrated in adults with depression. Executive functions and memory are related, mainly when the memory tasks require controlled processes (attentional resource demanding processes)--that is, when a low cognitive support (external aid) is provided. A cross-sectional study was carried out on 45 participants: 21 with depression, and 24 healthy controls matched for age, verbal ability, education level, and anxiety score. Cognitive support was manipulated by providing a categorized word list at encoding, presented either clustered (high cognitive support) or randomized (low cognitive support) to both depressed and healthy adults. The number of words recalled was calculated, and an index of clustering was computed to assess organizational strategies. Participants were also administered cognitive tests (executive functions, cognitive speed, and categorical fluency) to explore the mediators of organizational strategies. Depressed participants had greater difficulty recalling and organizing the words, but the differences between the two groups were reduced for both measures when high cognitive support was provided at encoding. Healthy adults performed better on all cognitive tests. Statistical analyses revealed that in the depressed group, executive functions were the only variable associated with clustering and only when low cognitive support was provided. These findings support the view that the decrement in executive function due to depression may lead to impairment in organization when this mnemonic strategy has to be self-initiated.

  2. Academic procrastination in college students: the role of self-reported executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabin, Laura A; Fogel, Joshua; Nutter-Upham, Katherine E

    2011-03-01

    Procrastination, or the intentional delay of due tasks, is a widespread phenomenon in college settings. Because procrastination can negatively impact learning, achievement, academic self-efficacy, and quality of life, research has sought to understand the factors that produce and maintain this troublesome behavior. Procrastination is increasingly viewed as involving failures in self-regulation and volition, processes commonly regarded as executive functions. The present study was the first to investigate subcomponents of self-reported executive functioning associated with academic procrastination in a demographically diverse sample of college students aged 30 years and below (n = 212). We included each of nine aspects of executive functioning in multiple regression models that also included various demographic and medical/psychiatric characteristics, estimated IQ, depression, anxiety, neuroticism, and conscientiousness. The executive function domains of initiation, plan/organize, inhibit, self-monitor, working memory, task monitor, and organization of materials were significant predictors of academic procrastination in addition to increased age and lower conscientiousness. Results enhance understanding of the neuropsychological correlates of procrastination and may lead to practical suggestions or interventions to reduce its harmful effects on students' academic performance and well-being.

  3. Neurological soft signs in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Their relationship to executive function and parental neurological soft signs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Jingbo; Xie, Jingtao; Chen, Gui; Zhang, Yajie; Wang, Suhong

    2015-07-30

    The correlations between neurological soft signs (NSS) in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and their executive function, symptoms of inattention, and hyperactivity-impulsivity and the NSS of their parents remain unclear. This study aimed to examine: (1) the prevalence of NSS in children with ADHD and their parents; (2) the correlation between the NSS of children with ADHD and the NSS of their parents; and (3) the correlation between the NSS of children with ADHD and their executive function and symptoms. NSS were assessed with the Cambridge Neurological Inventory (CNI) in 57 children with ADHD (and 80 parents) and 60 healthy children (and 75 parents). Executive function was measured with the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). Children with ADHD and their parents had significantly higher NSS than normal children and their parents, respectively, and the NSS of children with ADHD were correlated more strongly with the NSS of their fathers than their mothers. No correlation was found between NSS and BRIEF executive function, but Disinhibition in children with ADHD was significantly correlated with hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms. Paternal and maternal NSS provided different predictions for child NSS. It may be that NSS are more likely to be genetically transmitted by fathers. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.