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Sample records for executive functioning abilities

  1. 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.

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

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    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.

  3. Engineering Play: Exploring Associations with Executive Function, Mathematical Ability, and Spatial Ability in Preschool

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    Gold, Zachary Samuel

    Engineering play is a new perspective on preschool education that views constructive play as an engineering design process that parallels the way engineers think and work when they develop engineered solutions to human problems (Bairaktarova, Evangelou, Bagiati, & Brophy, 2011). Early research from this perspective supports its use in framing play as a key learning context. However, no research to date has examined associations between engineering play and other factors linked with early school success, such as executive function, mathematical ability, and spatial ability. Additionally, more research is needed to further validate a new engineering play observational measure. This study had two main goals: (1) to gather early validity data on the engineering play measure as a potentially useful instrument for documenting the occurrence of children's engineering play behaviors in educational contexts, such as block play. This was done by testing the factor structure of the engineering play behaviors in this sample and their association with preschoolers' planning, a key aspect of the engineering design process; (2) to explore associations between preschoolers' engineering play and executive function, mathematical ability, and spatial ability. Participants included 110 preschoolers (62 girls; 48 boys; M = 58.47 months) from 10 classrooms in the Midwest United States coded for their frequency of engagement in each of the nine engineering play behaviors. A confirmatory factor analysis resulted in one engineering play factor including six of the engineering play behaviors. A series of marginal regression models revealed that the engineering play factor was significantly and positively associated with the spatial horizontal rotation transformation. However, engineering play was not significantly related to planning ability, executive function, informal mathematical abilities, or other spatial transformation skills. Follow-up analyses revealed significant positive

  4. Vestibular involvement in cognition: Visuospatial ability, attention, executive function, and memory.

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    Bigelow, Robin T; Agrawal, Yuri

    2015-01-01

    A growing body of literature suggests the inner ear vestibular system has a substantial impact on cognitive function. The strongest evidence exists in connecting vestibular function to the cognitive domain of visuospatial ability, which includes spatial memory, navigation, mental rotation, and mental representation of three-dimensional space. Substantial evidence also exists suggesting the vestibular system has an impact on attention and cognitive processing ability. The cognitive domains of memory and executive function are also implicated in a number of studies. We will review the current literature, discuss possible causal links between vestibular dysfunction and cognitive performance, and suggest areas of future research.

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

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

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    Blair, Clancy; McKinnon, Rachel D.

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Clancy; McKinnon, Rachel D

    2016-02-01

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

  8. How Do Executive Functions Fit with the Cattell-Horn-Carroll Model? Some Evidence from a Joint Factor Analysis of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System and the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities

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    Floyd, Randy G.; Bergeron, Renee; Hamilton, Gloria; Parra, Gilbert R.

    2010-01-01

    This study investigated the relations among executive functions and cognitive abilities through a joint exploratory factor analysis and joint confirmatory factor analysis of 25 test scores from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System and the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities. Participants were 100 children and adolescents…

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

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

    2018-01-12

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

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

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    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.

  11. Decision-making and cognitive abilities: A review of associations between Iowa Gambling Task performance, executive functions, and intelligence.

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    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.

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

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

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    Gavilán, José M; García-Albea, José E

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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.

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

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    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…

  17. A simple hypothesis of executive function

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    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.

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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

    2018-02-01

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

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

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    Grinblat, Nufar; Rosenblum, Sara

    2016-12-01

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

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

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

    2018-04-30

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

  3. 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.

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Gamma power in rural Pakistani children: Links to executive function and verbal ability

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    Amanda R. Tarullo

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Children in low- and middle-income countries are at high risk of cognitive deficits due to environmental deprivation that compromises brain development. Despite the high prevalence of unrealized cognitive potential, very little is known about neural correlates of cognition in this population. We assessed resting EEG power and cognitive ability in 105 highly disadvantaged 48-month-old children in rural Pakistan. An increase in EEG power in gamma frequency bands (21–30 Hz and 31–45 Hz was associated with better executive function. For girls, EEG gamma power also related to higher verbal IQ. This study identifies EEG gamma power as a neural marker of cognitive function in disadvantaged children in low- and middle-income countries. Elevated gamma power may be a particularly important protective factor for girls, who may experience greater deprivation due to gender inequality.

  6. 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.

  7. The assessment of executive functioning in children

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    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...

  8. Executive Functions in Developmental Dyslexia

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    Pamela eVarvara

    2014-03-01

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

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Work Participation and Executive Abilities in Patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin van der Hiele

    Full Text Available The majority of patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS are unable to retain employment within 10 years from disease onset. Executive abilities, such as planning, working memory, attention, problem solving, inhibition and mental flexibility may have a direct impact on the ability to maintain a job. This study investigated differences in subjective and objective executive abilities between relapsing-remitting MS patients with and without a paid job. We included 55 relapsing-remitting MS patients from a community-based sample (47 females; mean age: 47 years; 36% employed. Patients underwent neurological, cognitive and psychological assessments at their homes, including an extensive executive test battery. We found that unemployed patients had a longer disease duration (t(53=2.76, p=0.008 and reported more organising and planning problems (χ2(1=6.3, p=0.012, higher distractibility (Kendall's tau-b= -0.24, p=0.03 and more cognitive fatigue (U=205.0, p=0.028, r=-0.30 than employed patients. Unemployed patients completed slightly less categories on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (U=243.5, p=0.042, r=-0.28. Possible influential factors such as age, educational level, physical functioning, depression and anxiety did not differ between groups. In conclusion, while relapsing-remitting MS patients without a paid job reported more executive problems and cognitive fatigue than patients with a paid job, little differences were found in objective executive abilities. Further research is needed to examine possible causal relations.

  11. Work Participation and Executive Abilities in Patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Hiele, Karin; van Gorp, Dennis; Ruimschotel, Rob; Kamminga, Noëlle; Visser, Leo; Middelkoop, Huub

    2015-01-01

    The majority of patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) are unable to retain employment within 10 years from disease onset. Executive abilities, such as planning, working memory, attention, problem solving, inhibition and mental flexibility may have a direct impact on the ability to maintain a job. This study investigated differences in subjective and objective executive abilities between relapsing-remitting MS patients with and without a paid job. We included 55 relapsing-remitting MS patients from a community-based sample (47 females; mean age: 47 years; 36% employed). Patients underwent neurological, cognitive and psychological assessments at their homes, including an extensive executive test battery. We found that unemployed patients had a longer disease duration (t(53)=2.76, p=0.008) and reported more organising and planning problems (χ2(1)=6.3, p=0.012), higher distractibility (Kendall's tau-b= -0.24, p=0.03) and more cognitive fatigue (U=205.0, p=0.028, r=-0.30) than employed patients. Unemployed patients completed slightly less categories on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (U=243.5, p=0.042, r=-0.28). Possible influential factors such as age, educational level, physical functioning, depression and anxiety did not differ between groups. In conclusion, while relapsing-remitting MS patients without a paid job reported more executive problems and cognitive fatigue than patients with a paid job, little differences were found in objective executive abilities. Further research is needed to examine possible causal relations.

  12. 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

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. The development and malleability of executive control abilities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina S Hsu

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Executive Functioning and Visuospatial Abilities in Bulimia Nervosa with or without a Previous History of Anorexia Nervosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Degortes, Daniela; Tenconi, Elena; Santonastaso, Paolo; Favaro, Angela

    2016-03-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate executive functioning and visuospatial abilities in patients with bulimia nervosa (BN), with a particular interest in exploring the impact of a previous diagnosis of anorexia nervosa (AN). Several neuropsychological tasks were administered to 89 BN patients (52 with a previous history of AN and 37 without previous AN) and 160 healthy women. A poorer performance on set-shifting measures (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test) was found only in BN patients with a previous history of AN. Decision-making abilities (Iowa Gambling Task) were significantly impaired in the whole sample of BN patients, but difficulties were more pronounced in the subgroup with previous AN. Finally, we did not find any differences in response inhibition and visuospatial abilities between the two samples of BN patients and healthy women. Our findings support the idea that cognitive abilities in patients with BN are more impaired in the presence of a prior history of AN. The clinical and treatment implications of our findings should be explored in future studies. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Executive Functioning in Highly Talented Soccer Players

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  13. 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,…

  14. 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.

  15. [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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

    Most of the studies that have examined cognitive and executive functions in conduct disorders (CD) have been conducted on institutionalized male adolescents. In this research the cognitive and executive functions of non-institutionalized Colombian school children with CD were compared with normal school children, all between 6 and 12 years-old. We used a case-control design. The cases were participants who met the diagnostic criteria for CD (n=39) and controls who did not meet these criteria (n=39), according to reports of a professional of the participants' institution, and a structured interview for childhood psychiatric syndromes. The two groups were selected from educational institutions, and there were no differences in age, school grade, or socioeconomic level. The IQ was reviewed, as well as the presence of other mental disorders, serious physical illnesses, and more serious neurological signs. The cognitive and executive functions were evaluated using a child neuropsychological test battery. We found that participants with CD had significantly lower scores in construction abilities, perceptual abilities (tactile, visual and auditory), differed in verbal memory, differed in visual memory, language (repetition, expression and understanding), meta-linguistic abilities, spatial abilities, visual and auditory attention, conceptual abilities, verbal and graphic fluency, and cognitive flexibility. The same differences were found between males, except in repetition, whereas girls showed fewer differences, thus the cognitive and executive performance was poorer in males with CD than in females, especially in verbal and linguistic-related functions. Children with CD could show generalized cognitive and executive deficits. These deficits seem to be more frequent in boys than in girls with CD. Copyright © 2013 Asociación Colombiana de Psiquiatría. Publicado por Elsevier España. All rights reserved.

  4. 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

  5. Executive Functioning in Pedophilia and Child Sexual Offending.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  6. 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).

  7. Understanding the cognitive and genetic underpinnings of procrastination: Evidence for shared genetic influences with goal management and executive function abilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustavson, Daniel E; Miyake, Akira; Hewitt, John K; Friedman, Naomi P

    2015-12-01

    Previous research has suggested that individual differences in procrastination are tied to everyday goal-management abilities, but little research has been conducted on specific cognitive abilities that may underlie tendencies for procrastination, such as executive functions (EFs). In this study, we used behavioral genetics methodology to investigate 2 hypotheses about the relationships between procrastination and EF ability: (a) that procrastination is negatively correlated with general EF ability, and (b) that this relationship is due to the genetic components of procrastination that are most related to other everyday goal-management abilities. The results confirmed both of these hypotheses. Procrastination was related to worse general EF ability at both the phenotypic and genetic levels, and this relationship was due to the component of procrastination shared with self-report measures of everyday goal-management failures. These results were observed even after controlling for potential self-report biases stemming from the urge to respond in a socially desirable manner. Together, these findings provide strong evidence for growing theories of procrastination emphasizing the importance of goal-related cognitive abilities and further highlight important genetic influences that underlie procrastination. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Pharmacy executive leadership issues and associated skills, knowledge, and abilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meadows, Andrew B; Maine, Lucinda L; Keyes, Elizabeth K; Pearson, Kathy; Finstuen, Kenn

    2005-01-01

    To identify challenges that current and future pharmacy executives are facing or will face in the future and to define what skills, knowledge, and abilities (SKAs) are required to successfully negotiate these challenges. Delphi method for executive decision making. Civilian pharmacy profession. 110 pharmacists who graduated from the GlaxoSmithKline Executive Management Program for Pharmacy Leaders. Two iterations of the Delphi method for executive decision making separated by an expert panel content analysis. Round 1--participants were asked to identify five major issues they believed to be of greatest importance to pharmacy leaders in the next 5-10 years and name specific SKAs that might be needed by future leaders to successfully deal with those issues. An expert panel reviewed the issues, classified issues into specific domains, and titled each domain. Round 2-participants rated the SKAs on a 7-point scale according to their individual assessment of importance in each domain. For Delphi rounds 1 and 2, response rates were 21.8% and 18.2%, respectively. More than 100 total issue statements were identified. The expert panel sorted the issues into five domains: management and development of the pharmacy workforce, pharmacy finance, total quality management of work-flow systems, influences on the practice of pharmacy, and professional pharmacy leadership. Five of the top 15 SKAs-and all four highest ranked items--came from the professional pharmacy leadership domain, including ability to see the big picture, ability to demonstrate the value of pharmacy services, ability to lead and manage in an ethical manner, and skills for influencing an organization's senior leadership. Through successful integration of communication skills, critical thinking, and problem solving techniques, future public-sector pharmacy executives will be better equipped to effectively position their organizations and the profession for the challenges that lie ahead.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans-Erik Ivert Frölander

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Rehabilitation of executive functions: Implications and strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Kluwe-Schiavon

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Executive Functions (EF concern a range of abilities including problem-solving, planning, initiation, selfmonitoring,conscious attention, cope with new situations and the ability to modify plans if necessary. It’s a high cognitive function that is crucial for a person to get engaged and maintain daily activities whilst keeping a good quality of life. Problems in the EF were formerly known as Dysexecutive Syndrome (DS. There are many models concerning DS, although the literature on the subject still remains unclear. Several works appoint the effects brought by elderly life, as well as abuse of drugs and some psychopathologies. These factors are known to increase the distress of the frontal circuits and that could be associated to executive deficits. The effects of DS would compromise individuals in day-to-day routine, academic, social and labor fields. There is a growing body of studies trying to determine the causes, implications, associations and the best way to take care of these effects. This work intends to review DS, focusing on the most important fields related to this area, such as psychopathology associations, cognitive reserve, assessment and cognitive rehabilitation programs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Pragmatic Ability Deficit in Schizophrenia and Associated Theory of Mind and Executive Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoming Li

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Deficits in pragmatic abilities have frequently been observed in patients with schizophrenia. The objective of the study was to investigate the relationship between pragmatic deficits, ToM deficits and executive dysfunctions in schizophrenia. A group of 42 schizophrenic patients and 42 healthy controls were assessed on irony task (one type of pragmatic language, two subcomponents of ToM (cognitive and affective, and three subcomponents of EF (inhibition, updating, and switching. The clinical symptoms in schizophrenia were assessed using the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. The schizophrenia group exhibited significant impairments in all above tasks compared to the control group. Correlation results found that irony scores were correlated with the two subcomponents of ToM and two of the three subcomponents of EF (inhibition and updating. The regression analysis revealed that the cognitive ToM and inhibition predicted 9.2% and 29.9% of the variance of irony comprehension in the patient group, and inhibition was the best predictor for performance on irony task. Irony understanding was related to positive symptoms, but not to negative symptoms. The results suggest that the ability to interpret pragmatic language depends on schizophrenic patients’ ability to infer mental states and the ability of inhibition. It provides empirical evidence for a particular target of inhibition for rehabilitation and intervention programs developed for schizophrenic patients.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Emotional Regulation and Executive Function Deficits in Unmedicated Chinese Children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Wenqing; Li, Yan; Du, Yasong; Fan, Juan

    2016-05-01

    This study aims to explore the feature of emotional regulation and executive functions in oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) children. The emotional regulation and executive functions of adolescents with ODD, as well as the relationship between the two factors were analyzed using tools including Adolescent Daily Emotional Regulation Questionnaire (ADERQ), Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), in comparison with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) children without behavioral problem and healthy children; the ADERQ assessed emotional regulation ability and others were used to assess executive function. Compared to normal children, the ODD group displayed significant differences in the scores of cognitive reappraisal, rumination, expressive suppression, and revealing of negative emotions, as well as in the score of cognitive reappraisal of positive emotions. WCST perseverative errors were well correlated with rumination of negative emotions (r=0.47). Logistic regression revealed that the minimum number of moves in the Stocking of Cambridge (SOC) test (one test in CANTAB) and negative emotion revealing, were strongly associated with ODD diagnosis. Children with ODD showed emotion dysregulation, with negative emotion dysregulation as the main feature. Emotion dysregulation and the lack of ability to plan lead to executive function deficits. The executive function deficits may guide us to understand the deep mechanism under ODD.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Cognitive correlates of spatial navigation: Associations between executive functioning and the virtual Morris Water Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korthauer, L E; Nowak, N T; Frahmand, M; Driscoll, I

    2017-01-15

    Although effective spatial navigation requires memory for objects and locations, navigating a novel environment may also require considerable executive resources. The present study investigated associations between performance on the virtual Morris Water Task (vMWT), an analog version of a nonhuman spatial navigation task, and neuropsychological tests of executive functioning and spatial performance in 75 healthy young adults. More effective vMWT performance (e.g., lower latency and distance to reach hidden platform, greater distance in goal quadrant on a probe trial, fewer path intersections) was associated with better verbal fluency, set switching, response inhibition, and ability to mentally rotate objects. Findings also support a male advantage in spatial navigation, with sex moderating several associations between vMWT performance and executive abilities. Overall, we report a robust relationship between executive functioning and navigational skill, with some evidence that men and women may differentially recruit cognitive abilities when navigating a novel environment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatima, Shameem; Sharif, Imran

    2017-12-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. [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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Artur C. Jaschke

    2018-02-01

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

  12. Thinking outside the executive functions box: theory of mind and pragmatic abilities in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geurts, H.M.; Broeders, M.; Nieuwland, M.S.

    2010-01-01

    An endophenotype for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) is executive functioning. In the autism and developmental literature executive dysfunctions has also been linked to theory of mind (ToM) and pragmatic language use. The central question of this review is whether deficits in ToM

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Objective: This study focuses on cognitive prerequisites for the development of theory-of-mind (ToM), the ability to impute mental states to self and others in young adults with Alstrom syndrome (AS). AS is a rare and quite recently described recessively inherited ciliopathic disorder which causes progressive sensorineural hearing loss and juvenile blindness, as well as many other organ dysfunctions. Two cognitive abilities were considered; Phonological working memory (WM) and executive funct...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Linnerud, Ida Cathrine Wang

    2014-01-01

    Background: Executive function difficulties are prevalent in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and there are several indications of a modifying relationship between executive functions and language in children. However, there is limited research on the relationship between executive functioning and language in young children with ASD. The current study compared real-world executive functioning between groups of children with ASD, language disorders (LD), and typical development (T...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret eFriend

    2014-05-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. Executive Dysfunction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabinovici, Gil D.; Stephens, Melanie L.; Possin, Katherine L.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose of Review: Executive functions represent a constellation of cognitive abilities that drive goal-oriented behavior and are critical to the ability to adapt to an ever-changing world. This article provides a clinically oriented approach to classifying, localizing, diagnosing, and treating disorders of executive function, which are pervasive in clinical practice. Recent Findings: Executive functions can be split into four distinct components: working memory, inhibition, set shifting, and fluency. These components may be differentially affected in individual patients and act together to guide higher-order cognitive constructs such as planning and organization. Specific bedside and neuropsychological tests can be applied to evaluate components of executive function. While dysexecutive syndromes were first described in patients with frontal lesions, intact executive functioning relies on distributed neural networks that include not only the prefrontal cortex, but also the parietal cortex, basal ganglia, thalamus, and cerebellum. Executive dysfunction arises from injury to any of these regions, their white matter connections, or neurotransmitter systems. Dysexecutive symptoms therefore occur in most neurodegenerative diseases and in many other neurologic, psychiatric, and systemic illnesses. Management approaches are patient specific and should focus on treatment of the underlying cause in parallel with maximizing patient function and safety via occupational therapy and rehabilitation. Summary: Executive dysfunction is extremely common in patients with neurologic disorders. Diagnosis and treatment hinge on familiarity with the clinical components and neuroanatomic correlates of these complex, high-order cognitive processes. PMID:26039846

  7. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, Jane E.; Munakata, Yuko

    2015-01-01

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

  9. The Effect of Negative Affect on Cognition: Anxiety, Not Anger, Impairs Executive Function

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    It is often assumed that negative affect impairs the executive functions that underlie our ability to control and focus our thoughts. However, support for this claim has been mixed. Recent work has suggested that different negative affective states like anxiety and anger may reflect physiologically separable states with distinct effects on cognition. However, the effects of these two affective states on executive function have never been assessed. As such, we induced anxiety or anger in parti...

  10. Executive Functions of Divers Are Selectively Impaired at 20-Meter Water Depth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabian Steinberg

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Moving and acting underwater within recreational or occupational activities require intact executive functions, since they subserve higher cognitive functions such as successful self-regulation, coping with novel situations, and decision making; all of which could be influenced by nitrogen narcosis due to elevated partial pressure under water. However, specific executive functions that could provide a differentiated view on humans’ cognitive performance ability have not yet been systematically analyzed in full-water immersion, which is a research gap addressed within this approach to contribute to a better understanding of nitrogen narcosis. In this study, 20 young, healthy, and certified recreational divers participated and performed three different executive-function tests: the Stroop test (Inhibition, the Number/Letter test (Task switching, the 2-back test (Updating/Working memory, and a simple reaction time test (Psychomotor performance. These tests were performed once on land, at 5-meter (m water depth, and at 20-meter (m water depth of an indoor diving facility in standardized test conditions (26°C in all water depths. A water-proofed and fully operational tablet computer was used to present visual stimuli and to register reaction times. Performance of the simple reaction time test was not different between underwater and land testing, suggesting that reaction times were not biased by the utilization of the tablet in water immersion. Executive functions were not affected by the shallow water immersion of 5-m water depth. However, performance scores in 20-m water depth revealed a decreased performance in the incongruent test condition (i.e., an index of inhibitory control ability of the Stroop test, while all other tests were unaffected. Even though only one out of the three tested cognitive domains was affected, the impairment of inhibitory control ability even in relatively shallow water of 20-m is a critical component that should be

  11. Executive Functions of Divers Are Selectively Impaired at 20-Meter Water Depth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinberg, Fabian; Doppelmayr, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Moving and acting underwater within recreational or occupational activities require intact executive functions, since they subserve higher cognitive functions such as successful self-regulation, coping with novel situations, and decision making; all of which could be influenced by nitrogen narcosis due to elevated partial pressure under water. However, specific executive functions that could provide a differentiated view on humans' cognitive performance ability have not yet been systematically analyzed in full-water immersion, which is a research gap addressed within this approach to contribute to a better understanding of nitrogen narcosis. In this study, 20 young, healthy, and certified recreational divers participated and performed three different executive-function tests: the Stroop test (Inhibition), the Number/Letter test (Task switching), the 2-back test (Updating/Working memory), and a simple reaction time test (Psychomotor performance). These tests were performed once on land, at 5-meter (m) water depth, and at 20-meter (m) water depth of an indoor diving facility in standardized test conditions (26°C in all water depths). A water-proofed and fully operational tablet computer was used to present visual stimuli and to register reaction times. Performance of the simple reaction time test was not different between underwater and land testing, suggesting that reaction times were not biased by the utilization of the tablet in water immersion. Executive functions were not affected by the shallow water immersion of 5-m water depth. However, performance scores in 20-m water depth revealed a decreased performance in the incongruent test condition (i.e., an index of inhibitory control ability) of the Stroop test, while all other tests were unaffected. Even though only one out of the three tested cognitive domains was affected, the impairment of inhibitory control ability even in relatively shallow water of 20-m is a critical component that should be considered for

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  17. Executive Functions, Time Organization and Quality of Life among Adults with Learning Disabilities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kineret Sharfi

    Full Text Available This study compared the executive functions, organization in time and perceived quality of life (QoL of 55 adults with learning disabilities (LD with those of 55 matched controls (mean age 30 years. Furthermore, relationships and predictive relationships between these variables among the group with LD were examined.All participants completed the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Functions (BRIEF-A, the Time Organization and Participation (TOPS, A-C and the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL questionnaires. Chi-square tests, independent t-tests and MANOVA were used to examine group differences in each of the subscales scores and ratings of each instrument. Pearson correlations and regression predictive models were used to examine the relationships between the variables in the group with LD.Adults with LD had significantly poorer executive functions (BRIEF-A, deficient organization in time abilities (TOPS A-B, accompanied with negative emotional response (TOPS- C, and lower perceived QoL (physical, psychological, social and environmental in comparison to adults without LD. Regression analysis revealed that Initiation (BRIEF-A significantly predicted approximately 15% of the participants' organization in time abilities (TOPS A, B scores beyond group membership. Furthermore, initiation, emotional control (BRIEF-A subscales and emotional responses following unsuccessful organization of time (TOPS-C together accounted for 39% of the variance of psychological QoL beyond the contribution of group membership.Deficits in initiation and emotional executive functions as well as organization in time abilities and emotional responses to impairments in organizing time affect the QoL of adults with LD and thus should be considered in further research as well as in clinical applications.

  18. Executive Functions, Time Organization and Quality of Life among Adults with Learning Disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharfi, Kineret; Rosenblum, Sara

    2016-01-01

    This study compared the executive functions, organization in time and perceived quality of life (QoL) of 55 adults with learning disabilities (LD) with those of 55 matched controls (mean age 30 years). Furthermore, relationships and predictive relationships between these variables among the group with LD were examined. All participants completed the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Functions (BRIEF-A), the Time Organization and Participation (TOPS, A-C) and the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL) questionnaires. Chi-square tests, independent t-tests and MANOVA were used to examine group differences in each of the subscales scores and ratings of each instrument. Pearson correlations and regression predictive models were used to examine the relationships between the variables in the group with LD. Adults with LD had significantly poorer executive functions (BRIEF-A), deficient organization in time abilities (TOPS A-B), accompanied with negative emotional response (TOPS- C), and lower perceived QoL (physical, psychological, social and environmental) in comparison to adults without LD. Regression analysis revealed that Initiation (BRIEF-A) significantly predicted approximately 15% of the participants' organization in time abilities (TOPS A, B scores) beyond group membership. Furthermore, initiation, emotional control (BRIEF-A subscales) and emotional responses following unsuccessful organization of time (TOPS-C) together accounted for 39% of the variance of psychological QoL beyond the contribution of group membership. Deficits in initiation and emotional executive functions as well as organization in time abilities and emotional responses to impairments in organizing time affect the QoL of adults with LD and thus should be considered in further research as well as in clinical applications.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  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

    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.

  3. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

    The neural processes that underlie executive function begin to develop in infancy. However, it is unclear how the behavior manifested by these processes are related or if they can be differentiated early in development. This study seeks to examine early emerging executive functioning skills in

  5. Executive 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.

  6. Comparison the Executive Functions of Inhibition and Problem Solving in Adolescents with and Without Substance Abuse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tahereh masoomi mofrad

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Executive functions are self-regulated functions and show the ability to inhibition, self-changing, planning, organization, using the working memory, solving problems and targeting for homework and school activities. This study compares the executive functions of inhibition and problem solving in adolescents with and without substance abuse. In this causal-comparative study, 15 adolescents with substance abuse and 15 normal adolescents were selected which matched each other with the same age, sex and education. The research tools were Wisconsin Card, was used for assessing the inhibition executive functions, and Heppner and Petersen Questionnaires for problem solving. The results showed that there were statistically significant differences between groups between average score of inhibition executive functions and solving problem (except trend– avoid component. There were not statistically significant differences in the average score of inhibition executive functions and solving problem according to age, sex and education. It is concluded that the drug addicts are weaker than those without substance abuse based on the inhibition executive function and problem solving. These findings can be used for the prevention program.

  7. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brooke C. Schneider

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available An older adult's ability to perform physical tasks is predictive of disability onset and is associated with declines in cognition. Risk factors for physical performance declines among African Americans, a group with the highest rates of disability, remain understudied. This study sought to identify demographic, health, and cognitive factors associated with lower-extremity physical performance in a sample of 106 African American women ages 56 to 91. After controlling for global cognitive functioning (Mini Mental State Exam, physical performance was associated with executive functioning (Stroop Color/Word, but not visuospatial construction (WASI Block Design or processing speed (Trail Making Test, Part A. Executive functioning remained associated with physical performance after entry of demographic variables, exercise, depression, disease burden, and body mass index (BMI. Age, and BMI were also significant in this model. Executive functioning, age and BMI are associated with lower-extremity physical performance among older African American women.

  9. 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…

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  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

    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

  13. 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.

  14. Resting-state functional connectivity and pitch identification ability in non-musicians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiancheng eHou

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have used task-related fMRI to investigate the neural basis of pitch identification (PI, but no study has examined the associations between resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC and PI ability. Using a large sample of Chinese non-musicians (N = 320, with 56 having prior musical training, the current study examined the associations among musical training, PI ability, and RSFC. Results showed that musical training was associated with increased RSFC within the networks for multiple cognitive functions (such as vision, phonology, semantics, auditory encoding, and executive functions. PI ability was associated with RSFC with regions for perceptual and auditory encoding for participants with musical training, and with RSFC with regions for short-term memory, semantics, and phonology for participants without musical training.

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  17. Taking your own path: Individual differences in executive function and language processing skills in child learners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodard, Kristina; Pozzan, Lucia; Trueswell, John C

    2016-01-01

    Children as old as 5 or 6 years display selective difficulties in revising initial interpretive commitments, as indicated by both online and offline measures of sentence comprehension. It is likely, however, that individual children differ in how well they can recover from misinterpretations and in the age at which they become adult-like in these abilities. To better understand the cognitive functions that support sentence processing and revision, the current work investigated how individual differences in children's ability to interpret temporarily ambiguous sentences relate to individual differences in other linguistic and domain-general cognitive abilities. Children were tested over 2 days on a battery of executive function, working memory, and language comprehension tasks. Performance on these tasks was then used to predict online and offline measures of children's ability to revise initial misinterpretations of temporarily ambiguous sentences. We found two measures of children's cognitive flexibility to be related to their ambiguity resolution abilities. These results provide converging evidence for the hypothesis that the ability to revise initial interpretive commitments is supported by domain-general executive function abilities, which are highly variable and not fully developed in children. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. Peer victimization and changes in physical and relational aggression: The moderating role of executive functioning abilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McQuade, Julia D

    2017-09-01

    This study is the first to examine whether executive functioning (EF) abilities moderate longitudinal associations between peer victimization and engagement in physically and relationally aggressive behavior. Participants were 61 children (9-13 years, M = 10.68, SD = 1.28; 48% male) drawn from a partially clinical sample who were assessed at two time points, approximately 12 months apart. At time 1, children were administered a battery of EF tests; adult reports of children's relational and physical victimization and use of relational and physical aggression were collected. At time 2, adult-reported aggression was re-collected. Regression analyses tested whether EF ability moderated the association between peer victimization and increased engagement in aggression. Form-specific (e.g., physical victimization predicting physical aggression) and cross-form (e.g., physical victimization predicting relational aggression) models were tested. EF moderated the association between physical victimization and increases in physical aggression over time and between relational victimization and increases in relational aggression over time. Physical victimization predicted increases in physical aggression only among children with poor EF. However, relational victimization predicted increases in relational aggression for children with good EF skills but decreases in relational aggression for children with poor EF skills. Interaction effects for cross-form models were not significant. Results suggest that there are distinct risk factors implicated in children's engagement in physical and relational aggression. Established cognitive vulnerability models for engagement in physical aggression should not be assumed to apply to engagement in relational aggression. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haft, Stephanie L.; Hoeft, Fumiko

    2017-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Carruthers, Lindsey.

    2016-01-01

    As with any cognitive ability, attention is vulnerable to dysfunction. The most common attentional problem is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This brief overview will highlight the symptoms and deficits associated with ADHD, its prevalence in today’s society, the association between executive function impairment and ADHD using Barkley’s (1997) work, and the personal and societal effects of the disorder.

  2. 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,…

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moriguchi, Yusuke

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Laloi, A.

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Role of theory of mind and executive function in explaining social intelligence: a structural equation modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeh, Zai-Ting

    2013-01-01

    Social intelligence is the ability to understand others and the social context effectively and thus to interact with people successfully. Research has suggested that the theory of mind (ToM) and executive function may play important roles in explaining social intelligence. The specific aim of the present study was to test with structural equation modeling (SEM) the hypothesis that performance on ToM tasks is more associated with social intelligence in the elderly than is performance on executive functions. One hundred and seventy-seven participants (age 56-96) completed ToM, executive function, and other basic cognition tasks, and were rated with social intelligence scales. The SEM results showed that ToM and executive function were strongly correlated (0.54); however, only the path coefficient from ToM to social intelligence, and not from executive function, was significant (0.37). ToM performance, but not executive function, was strongly correlated with social intelligence among elderly individuals. ToM and executive function might play different roles in social behavior during normal aging; however, based on the present results, it is possible that ToM might play an important role in social intelligence.

  10. An Embodied Account of Early Executive-Function Development

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    The importance of executive functioning for later life outcomes, along with its potential to be positively affected by intervention programs, motivates the need to find early markers of executive functioning. In this study, 18-month-olds performed three executive-function tasks—involving simple inhibition, working memory, and more complex inhibition—and a motion-capture task assessing prospective motor control during reaching. We demonstrated that prospective motor control, as measured by the peak velocity of the first movement unit, is related to infants’ performance on simple-inhibition and working memory tasks. The current study provides evidence that motor control and executive functioning are intertwined early in life, which suggests an embodied perspective on executive-functioning development. We argue that executive functions and prospective motor control develop from a common source and a single motive: to control action. This is the first demonstration that low-level movement planning is related to higher-order executive control early in life. PMID:27765900

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Longitudinal analysis of music education on executive functions in primary school children

    OpenAIRE

    Jaschke, A.C.; Honing, H.; Scherder, E.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 ...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 p...

  19. Developmental changes in decision making under risk: The role of executive functions and reasoning abilities in 8- to 19-year-old decision makers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiebener, Johannes; García-Arias, María; García-Villamisar, Domingo; Cabanyes-Truffino, Javier; Brand, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that children and adolescents often tend toward risky decisions despite explicit knowledge about the potential negative consequences. This phenomenon has been suggested to be associated with the immaturity of brain areas involved in cognitive control functions. Particularly, "frontal lobe functions," such as executive functions and reasoning, mature until young adulthood and are thought to be involved in age-related changes in decision making under explicit risk conditions. We investigated 112 participants, aged 8-19 years, with a frequently used task assessing decisions under risk, the Game of Dice Task (GDT). Additionally, we administered the Modified Card Sorting Test assessing executive functioning (categorization, cognitive flexibility, and strategy maintenance) as well as the Ravens Progressive Matrices assessing reasoning. The results showed that risk taking in the GDT decreased with increasing age and this effect was not moderated by reasoning but by executive functions: Particularly, young persons with weak executive functioning showed very risky decision making. Thus, the individual maturation of executive functions, associated with areas in the prefrontal cortex, seems to be an important factor in young peoples' behavior in risky decision-making situations.

  20. 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.

  1. Rumination prospectively predicts executive functioning impairments in adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

    The current study tested the resource allocation hypothesis, examining whether baseline rumination or depressive symptom levels prospectively predicted deficits in executive functioning in an adolescent sample. The alternative to this hypothesis was also evaluated by testing whether lower initial levels of executive functioning predicted increases in rumination or depressive symptoms at follow-up. A community sample of 200 adolescents (ages 12-13) completed measures of depressive symptoms, rumination, and executive functioning at baseline and at a follow-up session approximately 15 months later. Adolescents with higher levels of baseline rumination displayed decreases in selective attention and attentional switching at follow-up. Rumination did not predict changes in working memory or sustained and divided attention. Depressive symptoms were not found to predict significant changes in executive functioning scores at follow-up. Baseline executive functioning was not associated with change in rumination or depression over time. Findings partially support the resource allocation hypothesis that engaging in ruminative thoughts consumes cognitive resources that would otherwise be allocated towards difficult tests of executive functioning. Support was not found for the alternative hypothesis that lower levels of initial executive functioning would predict increased rumination or depressive symptoms at follow-up. Our study is the first to find support for the resource allocation hypothesis using a longitudinal design and an adolescent sample. Findings highlight the potentially detrimental effects of rumination on executive functioning during early adolescence. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Lobar microbleeds are associated with a decline in executive functioning in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Irene B; Gu, Yian; Guzaman, Vanessa A; Wiegman, Anne F; Schupf, Nicole; Manly, Jennifer J; Luchsinger, José A; Viswanathan, Anand; Martinez-Ramirez, Sergi; Greenberg, Steven M; Mayeux, Richard; Brickman, Adam M

    2014-01-01

    Normal aging is associated with a decline in cognitive abilities, particularly in the domains of psychomotor speed and executive functioning. However, 'aging,' per se, is not a cause of cognitive decline but rather a variable that likely captures multiple accumulating biological changes over time that collectively affect mental abilities. Recent work has focused on the role of cerebrovascular disease as one of the biological changes. In the current study, we examined whether lobar microbleeds - magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) signal voids due to hemosiderin deposits secondary to cerebral amyloid angiopathy - are associated with cognitive decline in normal aging. Previous studies that reported a relationship between the presence of lobar microbleeds and decreased cognitive abilities have been primarily cross-sectional. Here, we used a retrospective longitudinal design to examine whether the presence of lobar microbleeds is associated with the rate of cognitive decline among non-demented older adults. Participants came from an ongoing longitudinal community-based aging study, in which subjects are evaluated at 18-24 months intervals and received a full medical, neurological, and neuropsychological examination at each of the follow-up visits. Gradient echo MRI scans were available on 197 non-demented participants (mean age: 84.15 ± 5.02 years). Microbleeds were rated visually on axial view and divided into subcortical (basal ganglia, cerebellum) and lobar (frontal, temporal, parietal, occipital lobe) regions, and confirmed with coronal and sagittal views to exclude artifacts. Cognition was assessed with a neuropsychological battery, providing summary scores for memory, language, executive, and visuospatial abilities. Using general estimating equations (GEE), we compared cognition cross-sectionally between individuals with 2 or more (n = 11) and fewer than 2 (n = 186) lobar microbleeds and examined longitudinal cognitive change beginning 9.47 ± 3.13 years before the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    Poor executive functioning is associated with life-long difficulty. Identification of children at risk for executive dysfunction is important for early intervention to improve neurodevelopmental outcomes. This study is designed to examine relationships between birthweight and executive functioning in US children during kindergarten. Our hypothesis was that children with higher birthweights would have better executive function scores. We evaluated data from 17506 US children from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten 2011 cohort. Birthweight and gestational age were obtained by parental survey. Executive functions were directly assessed using the number reverse test and card sort test to measure working memory and cognitive flexibility, respectively. Teacher evaluations were used for additional executive functions. Data were analyzed using SAS to run all linear and logistical regressions. For every kilogram of birthweight, scores of working memory increased by 1.47 (Pexecutive functioning. As birthweight increases executive function scores improve, even among infants born normal weight. Further evaluation of this population including interventions and progression through school is needed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

    Increasingly recognized as an important factor in the performance of complex, goal-directed tasks, executive functioning is understood in different ways across disciplines. The aim was to explore the ways in which executive functioning is conceptualized, discussed, described, and implied in the occupational therapy literature. A scoping review of the occupational therapy literature was conducted following Levac, Colquhoun, and O'Brien's (2010) recommended methodology. Executive functioning is described both as a set of performance component skills or processes and as the executive occupational performance inherent in complex occupations. Executive functioning is implicit in occupational performance and engagement, and some health conditions seem to be commonly associated with impaired executive functioning. Assessing executive functioning requires dynamic occupation- and performance-based assessment. Interventions targeting executive functioning are grounded in metacognitive approaches. Executive functioning is a complex construct that is conceptualized with considerable variance within the occupational therapy literature, creating barriers to effective service delivery.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  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. Metacognition and executive functioning in Elementary School

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trinidad García

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

  16. Development of Affective Theory of Mind Across Adolescence: Disentangling the Role of Executive Functions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vetter, N.C.; Altgassen, A.M.; Phillips, L.H.; Mahy, C.E.V.; Kliegel, M.

    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

  17. Neural modeling of prefrontal executive function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1996-12-31

    Brain executive function is based in a distributed system whereby prefrontal cortex is interconnected with other cortical. and subcortical loci. Executive function is divided roughly into three interacting parts: affective guidance of responses; linkage among working memory representations; and forming complex behavioral schemata. Neural network models of each of these parts are reviewed and fit into a preliminary theoretical framework.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Putko Adam

    2014-12-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Relationship between grey matter integrity and executive abilities in aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manard, Marine; Bahri, Mohamed Ali; Salmon, Eric; Collette, Fabienne

    2016-07-01

    This cross-sectional study was designed to investigate grey matter changes that occur in healthy aging and the relationship between grey matter characteristics and executive functioning. Thirty-six young adults (18-30 years old) and 43 seniors (60-75 years old) were included. A general executive score was derived from a large battery of neuropsychological tests assessing three major aspects of executive functioning (inhibition, updating and shifting). Age-related grey matter changes were investigated by comparing young and older adults using voxel-based morphometry and voxel-based cortical thickness methods. A widespread difference in grey matter volume was found across many brain regions, whereas cortical thinning was mainly restricted to central areas. Multivariate analyses showed age-related changes in relatively similar brain regions to the respective univariate analyses but appeared more limited. Finally, in the older adult sample, a significant relationship between global executive performance and decreased grey matter volume in anterior (i.e. frontal, insular and cingulate cortex) but also some posterior brain areas (i.e. temporal and parietal cortices) as well as subcortical structures was observed. Results of this study highlight the distribution of age-related effects on grey matter volume and show that cortical atrophy does not appear primarily in "frontal" brain regions. From a cognitive viewpoint, age-related executive functioning seems to be related to grey matter volume but not to cortical thickness. Therefore, our results also highlight the influence of methodological aspects (from preprocessing to statistical analysis) on the pattern of results, which could explain the lack of consensus in literature. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annet Bluschke

    2018-04-01

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

  3. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-08-01

    The concept of dissociation refers to disruptions in attentional control. Attentional control is an executive function. Few studies have addressed the link between dissociation and executive functioning. Our study investigated this relationship in a sample of undergraduate students (N = 185) who completed the Dissociative Experiences Scale and the Random Number Generation Task. We found that minor disruptions in executive functioning were related to a subclass of dissociative experiences, notably dissociative amnesia and the Dissociative Experiences Scale Taxon. However, the two other subscales of the Dissociative Experiences Scale, measuring depersonalization and absorption, were unrelated to executive functioning. Our findings suggest that a failure to inhibit previous responses might contribute to the pathological memory manifestations of dissociation.

  5. Mothers' Predictions of Their Son's Executive Functioning Skills: Relations to Child Behavior Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Charlotte

    2011-01-01

    This study examined mothers' ability to accurately predict their sons' performance on executive functioning tasks in relation to the child's behavior problems. One-hundred thirteen mothers and their 4-7 year old sons participated. From behind a one-way mirror, mothers watched their sons perform tasks assessing inhibition and planning skills.…

  6. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  8. Pharmacy executives: leadership issues and associated skills, knowledge, and abilities in the U.S. Department of Defense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meadows, Andrew B; Finstuen, Kenn; Hudak, Ronald P

    2003-01-01

    To identify the issues or problems that current and aspiring U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) pharmacy executives will face in the future and to define the skills, knowledge, and abilities (SKAs) required to successfully address these issues. Delphi method for executive decision making. DoD. Ninety-three pharmacists serving in the military grades of lieutenant colonel/commander and colonel/captain, as well as pharmacists selected for promotion to those grades. iterations of the Delphi method for executive decision making separated by an expert panel content analysis. Round 1--participants identified five major issues believed to be of greatest importance to pharmacy executives and reported specific SKAs that might be needed to successfully manage those issues. An expert panel sorted these issues into meaningful domains, then provided an appropriate title for each domain. Round 2--on a 7-point scale, respondents rated the SKA items according to their assessment of how much a future DoD pharmacy executive would need each SKA. Response rates were 44.1% and 46.2% for Delphi rounds 1 and 2, respectively. The first round generated 62 unique issues facing pharmacy executives. The expert panel reviewed and sorted the issues into eight domains and selected an appropriate title for each domain. The domains identified by the panel were human resources, pharmacy operations/business practices, information management and technology, financial resources, formulary management, drug therapy management, pharmacy benefit management, and leadership. During round 2, 73.3% of the top 15 rated SKAs came from the drug therapy management, leadership, and formulary management domains. The three highest-rated SKAs were "ability to see the big picture," "ability to build strong relations with medical staffs," and "skills in both writing and verbal communication." The issues facing future DoD pharmacy executives will require them to expand their clinical abilities as well as their ability to

  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. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

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    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-30

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

  18. Research Paper: Executive Functions in Students With Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Symptoms

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    Bita Ajilchi

    2017-05-01

    Conclusion: 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.

  19. Mother's Happiness with Cognitive - Executive Functions and Facial Emotional Recognition in School Children with Down Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malmir, Maryam; Seifenaraghi, Maryam; Farhud, Dariush D; Afrooz, G Ali; Khanahmadi, Mohammad

    2015-05-01

    According to the mother's key roles in bringing up emotional and cognitive abilities of mentally retarded children and respect to positive psychology in recent decades, this research is administered to assess the relation between mother's happiness level with cognitive- executive functions (i.e. attention, working memory, inhibition and planning) and facial emotional recognition ability as two factors in learning and adjustment skills in mentally retarded children with Down syndrome. This study was an applied research and data were analyzed by Pearson correlation procedure. Population is included all school children with Down syndrome (9-12 yr) that come from Tehran, Iran. Overall, 30 children were selected as an in access sample. After selection and agreement of parents, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R) was performed to determine the student's IQ, and then mothers were invited to fill out the Oxford Happiness Inventory (OHI). Cognitive-executive functions were evaluated by tests as followed: Continues Performance Test (CPT), N-Back, Stroop test (day and night version) and Tower of London. Ekman emotion facial expression test was also accomplished for assessing facial emotional recognition in children with Down syndrome, individually. Mother's happiness level had a positive relation with cognitive-executive functions (attention, working memory, inhibition and planning) and facial emotional recognition in her children with Down syndrome, significantly. Parents' happiness (especially mothers) is a powerful predictor for cognitive and emotional abilities of their children.

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

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    Rachel K. Peterson

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowles, Emma E M; Weiser, Mark; David, Anthony S; Glahn, David 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.

  2. Right prefrontal activity reflects the ability to overcome sleepiness during working memory tasks: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy study.

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    Motoyasu Honma

    Full Text Available It has been speculated that humans have an inherent ability to overcome sleepiness that counteracts homeostatic sleep pressure. However, it remains unclear which cortical substrate activities are involved in the ability to overcome sleepiness during the execution of cognitive tasks. Here we sought to confirm that this ability to overcome sleepiness in task execution improves performance on cognitive tasks, showing activation of neural substrates in the frontal cortex, by using a modified n-back (2- and 0-back working memory task and functional near-infrared spectroscopy. The change in alertness was just correlated with performances on the 2-back task. Activity in the right prefrontal cortex changed depending on alertness changes on the 2- and 0-back tasks independently, which indicates that activity in this region clearly reflects the ability to overcome sleepiness; it may contribute to the function of providing sufficient activity to meet the task load demands. This study reveals characteristics of the ability to overcome sleepiness during the n-back working memory task which goes beyond the attention-control function traditionally proposed.

  3. Executive function influences sedentary behavior: A longitudinal study

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    Paul D. Loprinzi

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: No study has evaluated the effects of executive function on follow-up sedentary behavior, which was this study’s purpose. Methods: A longitudinal design was employed among 18 young adult college students (Mage = 23.7 years; 88.9% female. Accelerometer-determined sedentary behavior and physical activity, along with executive function, were assessed at baseline. Approximately 8 weeks later, re-assessment of accelerometer-determined sedentary behavior and physical activity occurred. Executive function was assessed using the Parametric Go/No-Go (PGNG computer task. From this, 2 primary executive function outcome parameters were evaluated, including the Simple Rule and Repeating Rule. Results: After adjusting for baseline sedentary behavior, age, gender, body mass index and baseline moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA, for every 25% increase in the number of correctly identified targets for the Repeating rule at the baseline assessment, participants engaged in 91.8 fewer minutes of sedentary behavior at the follow-up assessment (β = -91.8; 95% CI: -173.5, -10.0; P = 0.03. Results were unchanged when also adjusting for total baseline or follow-up physical activity. Conclusion: Greater executive function is associated with less follow-up sedentary behavior.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Executive Functions in Premanifest Huntington’s Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, S. Christine; Geschwind, Michael D.; Sha, Sharon J.; Apple, Alexandra; Satris, Gabriella; Wood, Kristie A.; Johnson, Erica T.; Gooblar, Jonathan; Feuerstein, Jeanne S.; Finkbeiner, Steven; Kang, Gail A.; Miller, Bruce L.; Hess, Christopher P.; Kramer, Joel H.; Possin, Katherine L.

    2014-01-01

    Objective We investigated the viability of psychometrically robust executive function measures as markers for premanifest Huntington’s disease (HD). Methods Fifteen premanifest HD subjects and 42 controls were compared on the NIH EXAMINER executive function battery. This battery yields an overall Executive Composite score, plus Working Memory, Cognitive Control, and Fluency Scores that are measured on psychometrically matched scales. The scores were correlated with two disease markers, disease burden and striatal volumes, in the premanifest HD subjects. Results The premanifest HD subjects scored significantly lower on the Working Memory Score. The Executive Composite positively correlated with striatal volumes, and Working Memory Score negatively correlated with disease burden. The Cognitive Control and Fluency Scores did not differ between the groups or correlate significantly with the disease markers. Conclusions The NIH EXAMINER Executive Composite and Working Memory Score are sensitive markers of cognitive dysfunction, striatal volume, and disease burden in premanifest HD. PMID:24375511

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  11. Assessing executive functions in preschoolers using Shape School Task

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    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederman, Sheri G.

    2012-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Lindsey J; Carey, Susan

    2017-07-01

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

  16. Mother’s Happiness with Cognitive - Executive Functions and Facial Emotional Recognition in School Children with Down Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    MALMIR, Maryam; SEIFENARAGHI, Maryam; FARHUD, Dariush D.; AFROOZ, G.Ali; KHANAHMADI, Mohammad

    2015-01-01

    Background: According to the mother’s key roles in bringing up emotional and cognitive abilities of mentally retarded children and respect to positive psychology in recent decades, this research is administered to assess the relation between mother’s happiness level with cognitive- executive functions (i.e. attention, working memory, inhibition and planning) and facial emotional recognition ability as two factors in learning and adjustment skills in mentally retarded children with Down syndrome. Methods: This study was an applied research and data were analyzed by Pearson correlation procedure. Population is included all school children with Down syndrome (9–12 yr) that come from Tehran, Iran. Overall, 30 children were selected as an in access sample. After selection and agreement of parents, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R) was performed to determine the student’s IQ, and then mothers were invited to fill out the Oxford Happiness Inventory (OHI). Cognitive-executive functions were evaluated by tests as followed: Continues Performance Test (CPT), N-Back, Stroop test (day and night version) and Tower of London. Ekman emotion facial expression test was also accomplished for assessing facial emotional recognition in children with Down syndrome, individually. Results: Mother’s happiness level had a positive relation with cognitive-executive functions (attention, working memory, inhibition and planning) and facial emotional recognition in her children with Down syndrome, significantly. Conclusion: Parents’ happiness (especially mothers) is a powerful predictor for cognitive and emotional abilities of their children. PMID:26284205

  17. 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.

  18. Early development of executive functions: a differential study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Sastre-Riba

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The ontogeny of executive functions is essential in explaining differential and normative developmental trends. Executive functions must be studied from an early age given their consequential effects on mental flexibility, monitoring information, planning, and cognitive control. We propose a differential study in alternative developmental courses through observing typical babies, Down syndrome babies, and babies with risk-factors at birth (due to low weight or to congenital hypothyroidism. Applymg Systematic Observational Methodology, spontaneous babies' activity was registered. The results indicated that: a Typical babies showed better shifting and action flexibility in order to obtain a goal, thus better results; b Among the higher risk-babies, the lower efficacy in executive functioning was observed in underweight babies. Those with hypothyroidism were more in line with the typical babies; c Underweight babies showed a good level of combining actions but they obtained inferior results; d Down syndrome babies displayed more executive functioning difficulty, lower flexibility, high perseveration and less error detection.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Exogenous orienting of attention depends upon the ability to execute eye movements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Daniel T; Rorden, Chris; Jackson, Stephen R

    2004-05-04

    Shifts of attention can be made overtly by moving the eyes or covertly with attention being allocated to a region of space that does not correspond to the current direction of gaze. However, the precise relationship between eye movements and the covert orienting of attention remains controversial. The influential premotor theory proposes that the covert orienting of attention is produced by the programming of (unexecuted) eye movements and thus predicts a strong relationship between the ability to execute eye movements and the operation of spatial attention. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that impaired spatial attention is observed in an individual (AI) who is neurologically healthy but who cannot execute eye movements as a result of a congenital impairment in the elasticity of her eye muscles. This finding provides direct support for the role of the eye-movement system in the covert orienting of attention and suggests that whereas intact cortical structures may be necessary for normal attentional reflexes, they are not sufficient. The ability to move our eyes is essential for the development of normal patterns of spatial attention.

  3. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamza Anna

    2016-06-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Language processing and executive functions in early treated adults with phenylketonuria (PKU).

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Felice, Sara; Romani, Cristina; Geberhiwot, Tarekegn; MacDonald, Anita; Palermo, Liana

    We provide an in-depth analysis of language functions in early-treated adults with phenylketonuria (AwPKUs, N = 15-33), as compared to age- and education-matched controls (N = 24-32; N varying across tasks), through: a. narrative production (the Cinderella story), b. language pragmatics comprehension (humour, metaphors, inferred meaning), c. prosody discrimination d. lexical inhibitory control and planning (Blocked Cyclic Naming; Hayling Sentence Completion Test, Burgess & Shallice, 1997). AwPKUs exhibited intact basic language processing (lexical retrieval, phonology/articulation, sentence construction). Instead, deficits emerged in planning and reasoning abilities. Compared to controls, AwPKUs were: less informative in narrative production (lower rate of Correct Information Units); slower in metaphorical understanding and inferred meaning; less accurate in focused lexical-search (Hayling test). These results suggest that i) executive deficits in PKU cannot be explained by an accumulation of lower-order deficits and/or general speed impairments, ii) executive functions engage dedicated neurophysiological resources, rather than simply being an emergent property of lower-level systems.

  7. Regional frontal gray matter volume associated with executive function capacity as a risk factor for vehicle crashes in normal aging adults.

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    Hiroyuki Sakai

    Full Text Available Although low executive functioning is a risk factor for vehicle crashes among elderly drivers, the neural basis of individual differences in this cognitive ability remains largely unknown. Here we aimed to examine regional frontal gray matter volume associated with executive functioning in normal aging individuals, using voxel-based morphometry (VBM. To this end, 39 community-dwelling elderly volunteers who drove a car on a daily basis participated in structural magnetic resonance imaging, and completed two questionnaires concerning executive functioning and risky driving tendencies in daily living. Consequently, we found that participants with low executive function capacity were prone to risky driving. Furthermore, VBM analysis revealed that lower executive function capacity was associated with smaller gray matter volume in the supplementary motor area (SMA. Thus, the current data suggest that SMA volume is a reliable predictor of individual differences in executive function capacity as a risk factor for vehicle crashes among elderly persons. The implication of our results is that regional frontal gray matter volume might underlie the variation in driving tendencies among elderly drivers. Therefore, detailed driving behavior assessments might be able to detect early neurodegenerative changes in the frontal lobe in normal aging adults.

  8. 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.

  9. [Memory and the executive functions].

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Visual Scanning Patterns and Executive Function in Relation to Facial Emotion Recognition in Aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Circelli, Karishma S.; Clark, Uraina S.; Cronin-Golomb, Alice

    2012-01-01

    Objective The ability to perceive facial emotion varies with age. Relative to younger adults (YA), older adults (OA) are less accurate at identifying fear, anger, and sadness, and more accurate at identifying disgust. Because different emotions are conveyed by different parts of the face, changes in visual scanning patterns may account for age-related variability. We investigated the relation between scanning patterns and recognition of facial emotions. Additionally, as frontal-lobe changes with age may affect scanning patterns and emotion recognition, we examined correlations between scanning parameters and performance on executive function tests. Methods We recorded eye movements from 16 OA (mean age 68.9) and 16 YA (mean age 19.2) while they categorized facial expressions and non-face control images (landscapes), and administered standard tests of executive function. Results OA were less accurate than YA at identifying fear (precognition of sad expressions and with scanning patterns for fearful, sad, and surprised expressions. Conclusion We report significant age-related differences in visual scanning that are specific to faces. The observed relation between scanning patterns and executive function supports the hypothesis that frontal-lobe changes with age may underlie some changes in emotion recognition. PMID:22616800

  12. Mother's Happiness with Cognitive - Executive Functions and Facial Emotional Recognition in School Children with Down Syndrome.

    OpenAIRE

    Maryam Malmir; Maryam Seifenaraghi; Dariush D Farhud; G Ali Afrooz; Mohammad Khanahmadi

    2015-01-01

    Background: According to the mother?s key roles in bringing up emotional and cognitive abilities of mentally retarded children and respect to positive psychology in recent decades, this research is administered to assess the relation between mother?s happiness level with cognitive- executive functions (i.e. attention, working memory, inhibition and planning) and facial emotional recognition ability as two factors in learning and adjustment skills in mentally retarded children with Down syndro...

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  15. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Ven, S.H.G.

    2011-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Contributions of Motivation, Early Numeracy Skills, and Executive Functioning to Mathematical Performance. A Longitudinal Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercader, Jessica; Miranda, Ana; Presentación, M Jesús; Siegenthaler, Rebeca; Rosel, Jesús F

    2017-01-01

    The main goal of this longitudinal study is to examine the power of different variables and its dynamic interactions in predicting mathematical performance. The model proposed in this study includes indicators of motivational constructs (learning motivation and attributions), executive functioning (inhibition and working memory), and early numeracy skills (logical operations, counting, and magnitude comparison abilities), assessed during kindergarten, and mathematical performance in the second year of Primary Education. The sample consisted of 180 subjects assessed in two moments (5-6 and 7-8 years old). The results showed an indirect effect of initial motivation on later mathematical performance. Executive functioning and early numeracy skills mediated the effect of motivation on later mathematic achievement. Practical implications of these findings for mathematics education are discussed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Nouchi

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wain, Omar; Spinella, Marcello

    2007-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

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    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.

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

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

    2017-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

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    Donna P. Mann

    2015-10-01

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

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

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    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).

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

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    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

  10. 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.

  11. Contributions of Motivation, Early Numeracy Skills, and Executive Functioning to Mathematical Performance. A Longitudinal Study

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    Jessica Mercader

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The main goal of this longitudinal study is to examine the power of different variables and its dynamic interactions in predicting mathematical performance. The model proposed in this study includes indicators of motivational constructs (learning motivation and attributions, executive functioning (inhibition and working memory, and early numeracy skills (logical operations, counting, and magnitude comparison abilities, assessed during kindergarten, and mathematical performance in the second year of Primary Education. The sample consisted of 180 subjects assessed in two moments (5–6 and 7–8 years old. The results showed an indirect effect of initial motivation on later mathematical performance. Executive functioning and early numeracy skills mediated the effect of motivation on later mathematic achievement. Practical implications of these findings for mathematics education are discussed.

  12. A Proposed Functional Abilities Classification Tool for Developmental Disorders Affecting Learning and Behaviour

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    Benjamin Klein

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Children with developmental disorders affecting learning and behaviour (DDALB (e.g., attention, social communication, language, and learning disabilities, etc. require individualized support across multiple environments to promote participation, quality of life, and developmental outcomes. Support to enhance participation is based largely on individual profiles of functioning (e.g., communication, cognitive, social skills, executive functioning, etc., which are highly heterogeneous within medical diagnoses. Currently educators, clinicians, and parents encounter widespread difficulties in meeting children’s needs as there is lack of universal classification of functioning and disability for use in school environments. Objective: a practical tool for functional classification broadly applicable for children with DDALB could facilitate the collaboration, identification of points of entry of support, individual program planning, and reassessment in a transparent, equitable process based on functional need and context. We propose such a tool, the Functional Abilities Classification Tool (FACT based on the concepts of the ICF (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. FACT is intended to provide ability and participation classification that is complementary to medical diagnosis. For children presenting with difficulties, the proposed tool initially classifies participation over several environments. Then, functional abilities are classified and personal factors and environment are described. Points of entry for support are identified given an analysis of functional ability profile, personal factors, environmental features, and pattern of participation. Conclusion: case examples, use of the tool and implications for children, agencies, and the system are described.

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

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

    2009-07-01

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

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

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    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…

  15. 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.

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

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

    2017-06-01

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

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

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    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.

  18. The impact of executive function on response to cognitive behavioral therapy in late-life depression.

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    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.

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

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    Paolo Stievano

    2013-04-01

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

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

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    Camila de Assis Faria

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

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

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    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.

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

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    Cecilia U D Stenfors

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

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

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    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.

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

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    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

  7. Impact of sociodemographic variables on executive functions.

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

  8. Impact of sociodemographic variables on executive functions

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    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.

  9. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. Cognitive abilities and functional capacity in older adults: results from the modified Scales of Independent Behavior-Revised.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Jing Ee; Hultsch, David F; Strauss, Esther

    2009-04-01

    The relationship between cognitive and functional abilities was examined in a sample of community-dwelling older adults. Self and informant (e.g., spouse) reports of participants' functional status were obtained on the modified Scales of Independent Behavior-Revised (mSIB-R). Participants also completed measures of processing speed, episodic memory, executive functioning, and verbal ability. Results showed that the mSIB-R correlated positively with cognitive variables. Hierarchical regression analyses suggested that each mSIB-R factor is predicted by somewhat different cognitive variables, after adjusting for demographic, health, and motor variables. This report-based measure was as accurate as a performance-based measure in classifying cognitive groups. Informant social/cognitive engagement and self physical/environment engagement factors showed the most promise in this regard. The findings reveal links between cognitive and functional abilities in a sample with varying degrees of cognitive impairment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  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. Pragmatic and executive functions in traumatic brain injury and right brain damage: An exploratory comparative study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolle Zimmermann

    Full Text Available Abstract Objective: To describe the frequency of pragmatic and executive deficits in right brain damaged (RBD and in traumatic brain injury (TBI patients, and to verify possible dissociations between pragmatic and executive functions in these two groups. Methods: The sample comprised 7 cases of TBI and 7 cases of RBD. All participants were assessed by means of tasks from the Montreal Communication Evaluation Battery and executive functions tests including the Trail Making Test, Hayling Test, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, semantic and phonemic verbal fluency tasks, and working memory tasks from the Brazilian Brief Neuropsychological Assessment Battery NEUPSILIN. Z-score was calculated and a descriptive analysis of frequency of deficits (Z< -1.5 was carried out. Results: RBD patients presented with deficits predominantly on conversational and narrative discursive tasks, while TBI patients showed a wider spread pattern of pragmatic deficits. Regarding EF, RBD deficits included predominantly working memory and verbal initiation impairment. On the other hand, TBI individuals again exhibited a general profile of executive dysfunction, affecting mainly working memory, initiation, inhibition, planning and switching. Pragmatic and executive deficits were generally associated upon comparisons of RBD patients and TBI cases, except for two simple dissociations: two post-TBI cases showed executive deficits in the absence of pragmatic deficits. Discussion: Pragmatic and executive deficits can be very frequent following TBI or vascular RBD. There seems to be an association between these abilities, indicating that although they can co-occur, a cause-consequence relationship cannot be the only hypothesis.

  2. 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.

  3. Self-Efficacy Buffers the Relationship between Educational Disadvantage and Executive Functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahodne, Laura B; Nowinski, Cindy J; Gershon, Richard C; Manly, Jennifer J

    2015-04-01

    Previous studies showed that control beliefs are more strongly related to global cognition and mortality among adults with low education, providing preliminary evidence that self-efficacy buffers against the negative impact of educational disadvantage on physical and cognitive health. The current study extends these findings to a nationally representative sample of men and women aged 30 to 85 and explores which cognitive domains are most strongly associated with self-efficacy, educational attainment, and their interaction. Data were obtained from 1032 adult (30-85) participants in the United States norming study for the NIH Toolbox. Self-efficacy, executive functioning, working memory, processing speed, episodic memory, and vocabulary were assessed with the NIH Toolbox. Multivariate analysis of covariance and follow-up regressions tested the hypothesis that self-efficacy would be more strongly related to cognitive performance among individuals with lower education, controlling for age, sex, race, ethnicity, education, reading level, testing language, and depressive symptoms. Higher education was associated with higher self-efficacy and better performance on all cognitive tests. Higher self-efficacy was associated with better set-switching and attention/inhibition. Significant self-efficacy by education interactions indicated that associations between self-efficacy and executive abilities were stronger for individuals with lower education. Specifically, individuals with low education but high self-efficacy performed similarly to individuals with high education. This study provides evidence that self-efficacy beliefs buffer against the negative effects of low educational attainment on executive functioning. These results have implications for future policy and/or intervention work aimed at reducing the deleterious effects of educational disadvantage on later cognitive health.

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Children's Learning in Scientific Thinking: Instructional Approaches and Roles of Variable Identification and Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blums, Angela

    The present study examines instructional approaches and cognitive factors involved in elementary school children's thinking and learning the Control of Variables Strategy (CVS), a critical aspect of scientific reasoning. Previous research has identified several features related to effective instruction of CVS, including using a guided learning approach, the use of self-reflective questions, and learning in individual and group contexts. The current study examined the roles of procedural and conceptual instruction in learning CVS and investigated the role of executive function in the learning process. Additionally, this study examined how learning to identify variables is a part of the CVS process. In two studies (individual and classroom experiments), 139 third, fourth, and fifth grade students participated in hands-on and paper and pencil CVS learning activities and, in each study, were assigned to either a procedural instruction, conceptual instruction, or control (no instruction) group. Participants also completed a series of executive function tasks. The study was carried out with two parts--Study 1 used an individual context and Study 2 was carried out in a group setting. Results indicated that procedural and conceptual instruction were more effective than no instruction, and the ability to identify variables was identified as a key piece to the CVS process. Executive function predicted ability to identify variables and predicted success on CVS tasks. Developmental differences were present, in that older children outperformed younger children on CVS tasks, and that conceptual instruction was slightly more effective for older children. Some differences between individual and group instruction were found, with those in the individual context showing some advantage over the those in the group setting in learning CVS concepts. Conceptual implications about scientific thinking and practical implications in science education are discussed.

  11. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

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    Andrew D. Ribner

    2017-05-01

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

  14. Does Adolescent Risk Taking Imply Weak Executive Function? A Prospective Study of Relations between Working Memory Performance, Impulsivity, and Risk Taking in Early Adolescence

    OpenAIRE

    Romer, Daniel; Betancourt, Laura M.; Brodsky, Nancy L.; Giannetta, Joan M.; Yang, Wei; Hurt, Hallam

    2011-01-01

    Studies of brain development suggest that the increase in risk taking observed during adolescence may be due to insufficient prefrontal executive function compared to a more rapidly developing subcortical motivation system. We examined executive function as assessed by working memory ability in a community sample of youth (n = 387, ages 10 to 12 at baseline) in three annual assessments to determine its relation to two forms of impulsivity (sensation seeking and acting without thinking) and a ...

  15. C-Speak Aphasia alternative communication program for people with severe aphasia: importance of executive functioning and semantic knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholas, Marjorie; Sinotte, Michele P; Helm-Estabrooks, Nancy

    2011-06-01

    Learning how to use a computer-based communication system can be challenging for people with severe aphasia even if the system is not word-based. This study explored cognitive and linguistic factors relative to how they affected individual patients' ability to communicate expressively using C-Speak Aphasia (CSA), an alternative communication computer program that is primarily picture-based. Ten individuals with severe non-fluent aphasia received at least six months of training with CSA. To assess carryover of training, untrained functional communication tasks (i.e., answering autobiographical questions, describing pictures, making telephone calls, describing a short video, and two writing tasks) were repeatedly probed in two conditions: (1) using CSA in addition to natural forms of communication, and (2) using only natural forms of communication, e.g., speaking, writing, gesturing, drawing. Four of the 10 participants communicated more information on selected probe tasks using CSA than they did without the computer. Response to treatment was also examined in relation to baseline measures of non-linguistic executive function skills, pictorial semantic abilities, and auditory comprehension. Only nonlinguistic executive function skills were significantly correlated with treatment response.

  16. C-Speak Aphasia Alternative Communication Program for People with Severe Aphasia: Importance of Executive Functioning and Semantic Knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholas, Marjorie; Sinotte, Michele P.; Helm-Estabrooks, Nancy

    2011-01-01

    Learning how to use a computer-based communication system can be challenging for people with severe aphasia even if the system is not word-based. This study explored cognitive and linguistic factors relative to how they affected individual patients’ ability to communicate expressively using C-Speak Aphasia, (CSA), an alternative communication computer program that is primarily picture-based. Ten individuals with severe non-fluent aphasia received at least six months of training with CSA. To assess carryover of training, untrained functional communication tasks (i.e., answering autobiographical questions, describing pictures, making telephone calls, describing a short video, and two writing tasks) were repeatedly probed in two conditions: 1) using CSA in addition to natural forms of communication, and 2) using only natural forms of communication, e.g., speaking, writing, gesturing, drawing. Four of the ten participants communicated more information on selected probe tasks using CSA than they did without the computer. Response to treatment also was examined in relation to baseline measures of non-linguistic executive function skills, pictorial semantic abilities, and auditory comprehension. Only nonlinguistic executive function skills were significantly correlated with treatment response. PMID:21506045

  17. 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…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnes S. Chan

    2012-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. [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.

  1. 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.

  2. The role of executive function in children's source monitoring with varying retrieval strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earhart, Becky; Roberts, Kim P.

    2014-01-01

    Previous research on the relationship between executive function and source monitoring in young children has been inconclusive, with studies finding conflicting results about whether working memory and inhibitory control are related to source-monitoring ability. In this study, the role of working memory and inhibitory control in recognition memory and source monitoring with two different retrieval strategies were examined. Children (N = 263) aged 4–8 participated in science activities with two sources. They were later given a recognition and source-monitoring test, and completed measures of working memory and inhibitory control. During the source-monitoring test, half of the participants were asked about sources serially (one after the other) whereas the other half of the children were asked about sources in parallel (considering both sources simultaneously). Results demonstrated that working memory was a predictor of source-monitoring accuracy in both conditions, but inhibitory control was only related to source accuracy in the parallel condition. When age was controlled these relationships were no longer significant, suggesting that a more general cognitive development factor is a stronger predictor of source monitoring than executive function alone. Interestingly, the children aged 4–6 years made more accurate source decisions in the parallel condition than in the serial condition. The older children (aged 7–8) were overall more accurate than the younger children, and their accuracy did not differ as a function of interview condition. Suggestions are provided to guide further research in this area that will clarify the diverse results of previous studies examining whether executive function is a cognitive prerequisite for effective source monitoring. PMID:24847302

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

    BackgroundPrenatal maternal obesity has been associated with an increased risk of neurocognitive problems in childhood, but there are fewer studies on executive functioning.MethodsTests and questionnaires to assess neurodevelopment, executive functioning, and the ability to delay gratification were conducted in 113 children (mean (SD)=4.24 (0.63) years of age) born to mothers with very severe obesity (SO, body mass index (BMI)⩾40 kg/m 2 , n=51) or to lean mothers (BMI⩽25 kg/m 2 , n=62).ResultsPrenatal maternal SO predicted poorer neurodevelopment (unstandardized regression coefficient (B)=-0.42, 95% confidence interval (CI) (-0.82; -0.02)), worse problem-solving (odd ratio (OR)=0.60, 95% CI (1.13; 0.07)), and fine motor skills (OR=4.91, 95% CI (1.27; 19.04)), poorer executive functioning in areas of attention, inhibitory control, and working memory (standardized B=3.75, 95% CI (1.01; 13.93)) but not in self-gratification delay. The effects were independent of maternal concurrent psychological well-being and child's BMI, but not independent of maternal education.ConclusionFuture studies should investigate whether perinatal management of maternal obesity could prevent adverse outcomes in child neurodevelopment.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The relationship of theory of mind and executive functions to symptom type and severity in children with autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph, Robert M; Tager-Flusberg, Helen

    2004-01-01

    Although neurocognitive impairments in theory of mind and in executive functions have both been hypothesized to play a causal role in autism, there has been little research investigating the explanatory power of these impairments with regard to autistic symptomatology. The present study examined the degree to which individual differences in theory of mind and executive functions could explain variations in the severity of autism symptoms. Participants included 31 verbal, school-aged children with autism who were administered a battery of tests assessing the understanding of mental states (knowledge and false belief) and executive control skills (working memory, combined working memory and inhibitory control, and planning) and who were behaviorally evaluated for autism severity in the three core symptom domains. Whereas theory of mind and executive control abilities explained the significant variance beyond that accounted for by language level in communication symptoms, neither explained the significant variance in reciprocal social interaction or repetitive behaviors symptoms. These findings are discussed in terms of a proposed distinction between higher level, cognitive-linguistic aspects of theory of mind and related executive control skills, and more fundamental social-perceptual processes involved in the apprehension of mental state information conveyed through eyes, faces, and voices, which may be more closely linked to autistic deficits in social reciprocity.

  8. Inhibition and Updating, but Not Switching, Predict Developmental Dyslexia and Individual Variation in Reading Ability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caoilainn Doyle

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available To elucidate the core executive function profile (strengths and weaknesses in inhibition, updating, and switching associated with dyslexia, this study explored executive function in 27 children with dyslexia and 29 age matched controls using sensitive z-mean measures of each ability and controlled for individual differences in processing speed. This study found that developmental dyslexia is associated with inhibition and updating, but not switching impairments, at the error z-mean composite level, whilst controlling for processing speed. Inhibition and updating (but not switching error composites predicted both dyslexia likelihood and reading ability across the full range of variation from typical to atypical. The predictive relationships were such that those with poorer performance on inhibition and updating measures were significantly more likely to have a diagnosis of developmental dyslexia and also demonstrate poorer reading ability. These findings suggest that inhibition and updating abilities are associated with developmental dyslexia and predict reading ability. Future studies should explore executive function training as an intervention for children with dyslexia as core executive functions appear to be modifiable with training and may transfer to improved reading ability.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Self-Efficacy Buffers the Relationship between Educational Disadvantage and Executive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahodne, Laura B.; Nowinski, Cindy J.; Gershon, Richard C.; Manly, Jennifer J.

    2016-01-01

    Objective Previous studies showed that control beliefs are more strongly related to global cognition and mortality among adults with low education, providing preliminary evidence that self-efficacy buffers against the negative impact of educational disadvantage on physical and cognitive health. The current study extends these findings to a nationally-representative sample of men and women aged 30 to 85 and explores which cognitive domains are most strongly associated with self-efficacy, educational attainment, and their interaction. Method Data were obtained from 1,032 adult (30-85) participants in the United States norming study for the NIH Toolbox. Self-efficacy, executive functioning, working memory, processing speed, episodic memory, and vocabulary were assessed with the NIH Toolbox. Multivariate analysis of covariance and follow-up regressions tested the hypothesis that self-efficacy would be more strongly related to cognitive performance among individuals with lower education, controlling for age, sex, race, ethnicity, education, reading level, testing language, and depressive symptoms. Results Higher education was associated with higher self-efficacy and better performance on all cognitive tests. Higher self-efficacy was associated with better set-switching and attention/inhibition. Significant self-efficacy by education interactions indicated that associations between self-efficacy and executive abilities were stronger for individuals with lower education. Specifically, individuals with low education but high self-efficacy performed similarly to individuals with high education. Conclusions This study provides evidence that self-efficacy beliefs buffer against the negative effects of low educational attainment on executive functioning. These results have implications for future policy and/or intervention work aimed at reducing the deleterious effects of educational disadvantage on later cognitive health. PMID:25877284

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-09

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

  14. [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.

  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. Self-reported strategies in decisions under risk: role of feedback, reasoning abilities, executive functions, short-term-memory, and working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiebener, Johannes; Brand, Matthias

    2015-11-01

    In decisions under objective risk conditions information about the decision options' possible outcomes and the rules for outcomes' occurrence are provided. Thus, deciders can base decision-making strategies on probabilistic laws. In many laboratory decision-making tasks, choosing the option with the highest winning probability in all trials (=maximization strategy) is probabilistically regarded the most rational behavior. However, individuals often behave less optimal, especially in case the individuals have lower cognitive functions or in case no feedback about consequences is provided in the situation. It is still unclear which cognitive functions particularly predispose individuals for using successful strategies and which strategies profit from feedback. We investigated 195 individuals with two decision-making paradigms, the Game of Dice Task (GDT) (with and without feedback), and the Card Guessing Game. Thereafter, participants reported which strategies they had applied. Interaction effects (feedback × strategy), effect sizes, and uncorrected single group comparisons suggest that feedback in the GDT tended to be more beneficial to individuals reporting exploratory strategies (e.g., use intuition). In both tasks, the self-reported use of more principled and more rational strategies was accompanied by better decision-making performance and better performances in reasoning and executive functioning tasks. The strategy groups did not significantly differ in most short-term and working-memory tasks. Thus, particularly individual differences in reasoning and executive functions seem to predispose individuals toward particular decision-making strategies. Feedback seems to be useful for individuals who rather explore the decision-making situation instead of following a certain plan.

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farshad Alizadeh Mansouri

    2015-12-01

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

  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. Functional ability of community dwelling elderly. Criterion-related validity of a new measure of functional ability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schultz-Larsen, K; Avlund, K; Kreiner, S

    1992-01-01

    Criterion-related validity of a new measure of functional ability was conducted according to a causal model based on conceptual models employed in the area of rehabilitative and geriatric medicine. The criteria variables included concurrent diagnosed diseases, global self-rated health, drug...... consumption and general practitioner (GP) consultations. The measure of functional ability was developed with the intention of achieving a high degree of discrimination among a group of community dwelling elderly. Data were derived from a sample survey of 70-year-old men and women conducted in 1984...... different unidimensional index scales of functional ability divided into two types, with reduced speed and tiredness as subdimensions. The two scale types were mobility function and lower limb function. Early losses of ability together with global self-rated health were treated as outcome measures...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Claire; Ensor, Rosie

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederman, Sheri G.

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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  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. 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

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Damali M; Gross, Deborah

    2018-04-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larissa de Oliveira e Ferreira

    2015-12-01

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

  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. 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.

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. 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.,…

  8. Validation of the Early Functional Abilities scale

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Ingrid; Kreiner, Svend; Engberg, Aase W

    2018-01-01

    model item analysis. A secondary objective was to examine the relationship between the Early Functional Abilities scale and the Functional Independence Measurement™, in order to establish the criterion validity of the Early Functional Abilities scale and to compare the sensitivity of measurements using......), facio-oral, sensorimotor and communicative/cognitive functions. Removal of one item from the sensorimotor scale confirmed unidimensionality for each of the 4 subscales, but not for the entire scale. The Early Functional Abilities subscales are sensitive to differences between patients in ranges in which......OBJECTIVE: The Early Functional Abilities scale assesses the restoration of brain function after brain injury, based on 4 dimensions. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the validity, objectivity, reliability and measurement precision of the Early Functional Abilities scale by Rasch...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-02-01

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

  10. General versus executive cognitive ability in pupils with ADHD and with milder attention problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ek U

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Ulla Ek,1 Joakim Westerlund,2 Elisabeth Fernell31Department of Special Education, 2Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, 3Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg and the Research and Development Centre, Skaraborg Hospital Skövde, SwedenBackground: The aim of this study was to analyze two main types of cognitive domains in school children with different types and severities of attention-related problems. The cognitive domains examined were general cognitive ability and executive abilities.Methods: Three different clinical samples of pupils with school problems were analyzed to assess their cognitive Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children profiles. In particular, the general cognitive ability index and the executive markers (ie, verbal memory index and processing speed index were of interest. Of the total sample (n = 198, two main groups were contrasted; one met the full criteria for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD/subthreshold ADHD, and one was comprised of those with milder attention problems, insufficient to meet the criteria for ADHD/subthreshold ADHD.Results: It could be demonstrated that both groups had a significantly higher score on the general cognitive ability index than on measures of working memory and processing speed. This difference was more pronounced for boys.Conclusion: These types of cognitive differences need to be considered in children with different kinds of learning, behavior, and attention problems; this is also true for children presenting with an average general intelligence quotient and with milder attention problems. Current educational expectations are demanding for children with mild difficulties, and such cognitive information will add to the understanding of the child's learning problems, hopefully leading to a better adapted education than that conventionally available.Keywords: working memory, processing speed, children, learning and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  12. The Relationship Between Social Discomfort and Executive Functioning

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ashburn, Jr, John R

    2003-01-01

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

  13. 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"…

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Gender differences in multitasking reflect spatial ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mäntylä, Timo

    2013-04-01

    Demands involving the scheduling and interleaving of multiple activities have become increasingly prevalent, especially for women in both their paid and unpaid work hours. Despite the ubiquity of everyday requirements to multitask, individual and gender-related differences in multitasking have gained minimal attention in past research. In two experiments, participants completed a multitasking session with four gender-fair monitoring tasks and separate tasks measuring executive functioning (working memory updating) and spatial ability (mental rotation). In both experiments, males outperformed females in monitoring accuracy. Individual differences in executive functioning and spatial ability were independent predictors of monitoring accuracy, but only spatial ability mediated gender differences in multitasking. Menstrual changes accentuated these effects, such that gender differences in multitasking (and spatial ability) were eliminated between males and females who were in the menstrual phase of the menstrual cycle but not between males and females who were in the luteal phase. These findings suggest that multitasking involves spatiotemporal task coordination and that gender differences in multiple-task performance reflect differences in spatial ability.

  17. 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

  18. 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 ).

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. Impact of altering proximity on snack food intake in individuals with high and low executive function: study protocol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer A. Hunter

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite attempts to improve diet at population level, people living in material and social deprivation continue to consume unhealthy diets. Executive function - the ability to regulate behaviour and resist impulses – is weaker in individuals living in deprivation. Dietary interventions that educate and persuade people to reflect on and actively change behaviour may therefore disproportionately benefit individuals who are socioeconomically advantaged and have stronger executive function, thus exacerbating inequalities in health resulting from unhealthy diets. In contrast, manipulating environmental cues, such as how far away a food is placed, does not appeal to reasoned action and is thought to operate largely outside of awareness to influence behaviour. People eat more of a food when it is placed closer to them, an effect seemingly robust to context, food quality and body-weight status. However, previous studies of this ‘proximity effect’ are limited by small samples consisting mainly of university staff or students, biased towards higher socio-economic position and therefore likely stronger executive function. This study aims to test the hypothesis that placing food further away from a person decreases intake of that food regardless of executive function. Methods/Design 156 members of the general public, recruited from low and high socio-economic groups, will be randomised to one of two conditions varying in the proximity of a snack food relative to their position: 20 cm or 70 cm. Participants are told they will be taking part in a relaxation study – and are fully debriefed at the conclusion of the session. The primary outcome is the proportion of participants eating any amount of snack food and the secondary outcome is the mean amount eaten. Executive function is assessed using the Stroop task. Discussion The proposed study takes a novel step by investigating the effect of proximity on snack food intake in a

  9. 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).

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  1. Early Functional Abilities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lorentzen, Jakob; Poulsen, Ingrid

    2005-01-01

    Early Functional Abilities (EFA), - en skala til evaluering af behandlingsforløb af svært hjerneskadede patienter i forbindelse med tidlig rehabilitering. Formål At monitorere og dokumentere rehabiliteringsforløbet for svært hjerneskadede patienter, hvor funktionsniveauet endnu ikke kan registreres...

  2. 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

  3. Item response theory analyses of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System card sorting subtest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, Mercedes; Cho, Sun-Joo; Cutting, Laurie E

    2018-02-02

    In the current study, we examined the dimensionality of the 16-item Card Sorting subtest of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Functioning System assessment in a sample of 264 native English-speaking children between the ages of 9 and 15 years. We also tested for measurement invariance for these items across age and gender groups using item response theory (IRT). Results of the exploratory factor analysis indicated that a two-factor model that distinguished between verbal and perceptual items provided the best fit to the data. Although the items demonstrated measurement invariance across age groups, measurement invariance was violated for gender groups, with two items demonstrating differential item functioning for males and females. Multigroup analysis using all 16 items indicated that the items were more effective for individuals whose IRT scale scores were relatively high. A single-group explanatory IRT model using 14 non-differential item functioning items showed that for perceptual ability, females scored higher than males and that scores increased with age for both males and females; for verbal ability, the observed increase in scores across age differed for males and females. The implications of these findings are discussed.

  4. The item level psychometrics of the behaviour rating inventory of executive function-adult (BRIEF-A) in a TBI sample.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waid-Ebbs, J Kay; Wen, Pey-Shan; Heaton, Shelley C; Donovan, Neila J; Velozo, Craig

    2012-01-01

    To determine whether the psychometrics of the BRIEF-A are adequate for individuals diagnosed with TBI. A prospective observational study in which the BRIEF-A was collected as part of a larger study. Informant ratings of the 75-item BRIEF-A on 89 individuals diagnosed with TBI were examined to determine items level psychometrics for each of the two BRIEF-A indexes: Behaviour Rating Index (BRI) and Metacognitive Index (MI). Patients were either outpatients or at least 1 year post-injury. Each index measured a latent trait, separating individuals into five-to-six ability levels and demonstrated good reliability (0.94 and 0.96). Four items were identified that did not meet the infit criteria. The results provide support for the use of the BRIEF-A as a supplemental assessment of executive function in TBI populations. However, further validation is needed with other measures of executive function. Recommendations include use of the index scores over the Global Executive Composite score and use of the difficulty hierarchy for setting therapy goals.

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Functional Ability, Community Reintegration and Participation ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Conclusion: Functional ability which appears to be related to stroke laterality showed positive association with both community reintegration and participation restriction. This suggests that improving the functional ability of the stroke survivors may reduce participation restriction and enhance their reintegration into the ...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. The role of decision-making ability in HIV/AIDS: impact on prospective memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulehan, Kelly; Byrd, Desiree; Arentoft, Alyssa; Monzones, Jennifer; Fuentes, Armando; Fraser, Felicia; Rosario, Ana; Morgello, Susan; Mindt, Monica Rivera

    2014-01-01

    Prospective memory (ProM), a form of episodic memory related to execution of future intentions, is important for everyday functioning. Among persons living with HIV (PLWH), executive dysfunction is implicated in ProM impairments. However, specific subcomponents of executive functioning involved in ProM deficits remain poorly understood. Unlike more "traditional" neurocognitive (NC) measures of executive functioning associated with dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (i.e., conceptual reasoning, abstraction), those associated with medial orbitofrontal/ventromedial prefrontal (mOF/vmP) cortex (i.e., decision making, inhibitory control, goal-oriented behavior) have yet to be examined in ProM. This study characterized ProM ability in a sample of 89 HIV-seropositive adults and examined the unique role of decision-making ability in ProM. Participants completed a standard NC battery, the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT; a decision-making measure), and the Memory for Intentions Screening Test (MIST; a ProM measure). Correlational analyses revealed that both traditional executive functioning measures and the IGT were associated with ProM. Regression analyses revealed that the IGT significantly predicted ProM, even after accounting for NC measures. Among all NC measures, only executive functioning significantly contributed to ProM. Further examination of mOF/vmP-sensitive executive dysfunction within this population is needed as PLWH may require more tailored treatment recommendations due to specific decision-making difficulties that can impact medication management.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. A developmental window into trade-offs in executive function: the case of task switching versus response inhibition in 6-year-olds.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

    Good executive function has been linked to many positive outcomes in academic performance, health, and social competence. However, some aspects of executive function may interfere with other cognitive processes. Childhood provides a unique test case for investigating such cognitive trade-offs, given the dramatic failures and developments observed during this period. For example, most children categorically switch or perseverate when asked to switch between rules on a card-sorting task. To test potential trade-offs with the development of task switching abilities, we compared 6-year-olds who switched versus perseverated in a card-sorting task on two aspects of inhibitory control: response inhibition (via a stop signal task) and interference control (via a Simon task). Across two studies, switchers showed worse response inhibition than perseverators, consistent with the idea of cognitive trade-offs; however, switchers showed better interference control than perseverators, consistent with prior work documenting benefits associated with the development of executive function. This pattern of positive and negative associations may reflect aspects of working memory (active maintenance of current goals, and clearing of prior goals) that help children focus on a single task goal but hurt in situations with conflicting goals. Implications for understanding components of executive function and their relationships across development are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Compliant Task Execution and Learning for Safe Mixed-Initiative Human-Robot Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Shuonan; Conrad, Patrick R.; Shah, Julie A.; Williams, Brian C.; Mittman, David S.; Ingham, Michel D.; Verma, Vandana

    2011-01-01

    We introduce a novel task execution capability that enhances the ability of in-situ crew members to function independently from Earth by enabling safe and efficient interaction with automated systems. This task execution capability provides the ability to (1) map goal-directed commands from humans into safe, compliant, automated actions, (2) quickly and safely respond to human commands and actions during task execution, and (3) specify complex motions through teaching by demonstration. Our results are applicable to future surface robotic systems, and we have demonstrated these capabilities on JPL's All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer (ATHLETE) robot.

  1. 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...

  2. Individualized piano instruction enhances executive functioning and working memory in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bugos, J A; Perlstein, W M; McCrae, C S; Brophy, T S; Bedenbaugh, P H

    2007-07-01

    This study evaluates transfer from domain-specific, sensorimotor training to cognitive abilities associated with executive function. We examined Individualized Piano Instruction (IPI) as a potential cognitive intervention to mitigate normal age-related cognitive decline in older adults. Thirty-one musically naïve community-dwelling older adults (ages 60-85) were randomly assigned to either the experimental group (n = 16) or control group (n = 15). Neuropsychological assessments were administered at three time points: pre-training, following six months of intervention, and following a three-month delay. The experimental group significantly improved performance on the Trail Making Test and Digit Symbol measures as compared to healthy controls. Results of this study suggest that IPI may serve as an effective cognitive intervention for age-related cognitive decline.

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. Relations between prospective memory, cognitive abilities, and brain structure in adolescents who vary in prenatal drug exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robey, Alison; Buckingham-Howes, Stacy; Salmeron, Betty Jo; Black, Maureen M.; Riggins, Tracy

    2014-01-01

    This investigation examined how prospective memory (PM) relates to cognitive abilities (i.e., executive function, attention, working memory, and retrospective memory), and brain structure in adolescents who vary in prenatal drug exposure (PDE). The sample included 105 (55 female, 50 male) urban, primarily African American adolescents (mean age 15.5 years) from low socioeconomic status (SES) families; 56% (n=59) were prenatally exposed to drugs (heroin and/or cocaine) and 44% (n=46) were not prenatally exposed, but similar in age, gender, race, and SES. Executive functioning, attentional control, working memory, retrospective memory, and overall cognitive ability were assessed by validated performance measures. Executive functioning was also measured by caregiver report. A subset of 52 adolescents completed MRI scans, which provided measures of subcortical gray matter volumes and thickness of prefrontal, parietal and temporal cortices. Results revealed no differences in PM performance by PDE status, even after adjusting for age and IQ. Executive function, retrospective memory, cortical thickness in frontal and parietal regions, and volume of subcortical regions (i.e., putamen and hippocampus) were related to PM performance in the sample overall, even after adjusting for age, IQ, and total gray matter volume. Findings suggest that variations in PM ability during adolescence are robustly related to individual differences in cognitive abilities, in particular executive function and retrospective memory, and brain structure, but do not vary by PDE status. PMID:24630759

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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,…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Farooqi

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

  13. 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

  14. Age-related variance in decisions under ambiguity is explained by changes in reasoning, executive functions, and decision-making under risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiebener, Johannes; Brand, Matthias

    2017-06-01

    Previous literature has explained older individuals' disadvantageous decision-making under ambiguity in the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) by reduced emotional warning signals preceding decisions. We argue that age-related reductions in IGT performance may also be explained by reductions in certain cognitive abilities (reasoning, executive functions). In 210 participants (18-86 years), we found that the age-related variance on IGT performance occurred only in the last 60 trials. The effect was mediated by cognitive abilities and their relation with decision-making performance under risk with explicit rules (Game of Dice Task). Thus, reductions in cognitive functions in older age may be associated with both a reduced ability to gain explicit insight into the rules of the ambiguous decision situation and with failure to choose the less risky options consequently after the rules have been understood explicitly. Previous literature may have underestimated the relevance of cognitive functions for age-related decline in decision-making performance under ambiguity.

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

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    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.

  16. 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.

  17. “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

  18. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara eRosenblum

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Planning ahead and organizational abilities in time and space are ingredients of high-level cognitive functions labelled as ‘Executive Functions’ (EF required for daily activities such as writing or home management. EF deficits are considered a possible underlying brain mechanism involved in Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD. The aim of the study was to compare the handwriting process measures and the planning and organizational abilities in space and time of students with DCD with those of matched controls and to find whether handwriting measures can predict daily planning and organizational abilities among students with DCD. Method: 30 students diagnosed with DCD, between the ages of 24-41, and 30 age- and gender-matched controls participated in the study. They filled out the Handwriting Proficiency Screening Questionnaire (HPSQ and the Adult Developmental Co-ordination Disorders Checklist (ADC. Furthermore, they copied a paragraph on a digitizer that is part of a computerized system (ComPET.Results: Significant group differences were found for the HPSQ subscales scores as well as for the temporal and spatial measures of the paragraph copy task. Significant group differences were also found for the planning and organizational abilities in space and time as reflected through the ADC subscales. Significant medium correlations were found in both groups between the mean HPSQ time subscale and the ADC-B subscale mean score (r=.50 /.58 p<.05. Series of regression analyses indicated that two handwriting performance measures (mean HPSQ time subscale and mean stroke duration predicted 19% of planning and organizational abilities as reflected through daily functions (ADC-B (F (3, 54 = 38.37, β= . 40 p<.0001.Conclusion: The results support previous evidence about EF deficits as an underlying brain mechanism involved in motor coordination disorders, their significance as related to theoretical models of handwriting and daily function among

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellicano, Elizabeth

    2007-07-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. +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.

  8. Risk approximation in decision making: approximative numeric abilities predict advantageous decisions under objective risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Silke M; Schiebener, Johannes; Delazer, Margarete; Brand, Matthias

    2018-01-22

    Many decision situations in everyday life involve mathematical considerations. In decisions under objective risk, i.e., when explicit numeric information is available, executive functions and abilities to handle exact numbers and ratios are predictors of objectively advantageous choices. Although still debated, exact numeric abilities, e.g., normative calculation skills, are assumed to be related to approximate number processing skills. The current study investigates the effects of approximative numeric abilities on decision making under objective risk. Participants (N = 153) performed a paradigm measuring number-comparison, quantity-estimation, risk-estimation, and decision-making skills on the basis of rapid dot comparisons. Additionally, a risky decision-making task with exact numeric information was administered, as well as tasks measuring executive functions and exact numeric abilities, e.g., mental calculation and ratio processing skills, were conducted. Approximative numeric abilities significantly predicted advantageous decision making, even beyond the effects of executive functions and exact numeric skills. Especially being able to make accurate risk estimations seemed to contribute to superior choices. We recommend approximation skills and approximate number processing to be subject of future investigations on decision making under risk.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anastasia K Kalpakidou

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

  14. 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.

  15. Cerebral Hemodynamics and Executive Function During Exercise and Recovery in Normobaric Hypoxia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavres, Jon; Gerhart, Hayden D; Kim, Jung-Hyun; Glickman, Ellen L; Seo, Yongsuk

    2017-10-01

    Hypoxia and exercise each exhibit opposing effects on executive function, and the mechanisms for this are not entirely clear. This study examined the influence of cerebral oxygenation and perfusion on executive function during exercise and recovery in normobaric hypoxia (NH) and normoxia (N). There were 18 subjects who completed cycling trials in NH (12.5% FIo2) and N (20.93% FIo2). Right prefrontal cortex (PFC) oxyhemoglobin (O2Hb) and middle cerebral artery blood velocity (MCAbv) were collected during executive function challenges [mathematical processing and running memory continuous performance task (RMCPT)] at baseline, following 30 min of acclimation, during 20 min of cycling (60% Vo2max), and at 1, 15, 30, and 45 min following exercise. Results indicated effects of time for Math, RMCPT, and O2Hb; but not for MCAbv. Results also indicated effects of condition for O2Hb. Math scores were improved by 8.0% during exercise and remained elevated at 30 min of recovery (12.5%), RMCPT scores significantly improved at all time points (7.5-11.9%), and O2Hb increased by 662.2% and 440.9% during exercise in N and NH, respectively, and remained elevated through 15 min of recovery in both conditions. These results support the influence of PFC oxygenation and perfusion on executive function during exercise and recovery in N and NH.Stavres J, Gerhart HD, Kim J-H, Glickman EL, Seo Y. Cerebral hemodynamics and executive function during exercise and recovery in normobaric hypoxia. Aerosp Med Hum Perform 2017; 88(10):911-917.

  16. Relations among prospective memory, cognitive abilities, and brain structure in adolescents who vary in prenatal drug exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robey, Alison; Buckingham-Howes, Stacy; Salmeron, Betty Jo; Black, Maureen M; Riggins, Tracy

    2014-11-01

    This investigation examined how prospective memory (PM) relates to cognitive abilities (i.e., executive function, attention, working memory, and retrospective memory) and brain structure in adolescents who vary in prenatal drug exposure (PDE). The sample consisted of 105 (55 female and 50 male) urban, primarily African American adolescents (mean age=15.5 years) from low socioeconomic status (SES) families. Approximately 56% (n=59) were prenatally exposed to drugs (heroin and/or cocaine) and 44% (n=46) were not prenatally exposed, but the adolescents were similar in age, gender, race, and SES. Executive functioning, attentional control, working memory, retrospective memory, and overall cognitive ability were assessed by validated performance measures. Executive functioning was also measured by caregiver report. A subset of 52 adolescents completed MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans, which provided measures of subcortical gray matter volumes and thickness of prefrontal, parietal, and temporal cortices. Results revealed no differences in PM performance by PDE status, even after adjusting for age and IQ. Executive function, retrospective memory, cortical thickness in frontal and parietal regions, and volume of subcortical regions (i.e., putamen and hippocampus) were related to PM performance in the sample overall, even after adjusting for age, IQ, and total gray matter volume. Findings suggest that variations in PM ability during adolescence are robustly related to individual differences in cognitive abilities, in particular executive function and retrospective memory, and brain structure, but do not vary by PDE status. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Self-Reported Executive Functioning in Everyday Life in Parkinson's Disease after Three Months of Subthalamic Deep Brain Stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pham, Uyen Ha Gia; Andersson, Stein; Toft, Mathias; Pripp, Are Hugo; Konglund, Ane Eidahl; Dietrichs, Espen; Malt, Ulrik Fredrik; Skogseid, Inger Marie; Haraldsen, Ira Ronit Hebolt; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin

    2015-01-01

    Objective. Studies on the effect of subthalamic deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) on executive functioning in Parkinson's disease (PD) are still controversial. In this study we compared self-reported daily executive functioning in PD patients before and after three months of STN-DBS. We also examined whether executive functioning in everyday life was associated with motor symptoms, apathy, and psychiatric symptoms. Method. 40 PD patients were examined with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A), the Symptom Checklist 90-Revised (SCL-90-R), and the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES-S). Results. PD patients reported significant improvement in daily life executive functioning after 3 months of STN-DBS. Anxiety scores significantly declined, while other psychiatric symptoms remained unchanged. The improvement of self-reported executive functioning did not correlate with motor improvement after STN-DBS. Apathy scores remained unchanged after surgery. Only preoperative depressed mood had predictive value to the improvement of executive function and appears to prevent potentially favorable outcomes from STN-DBS on some aspects of executive function. Conclusion. PD patients being screened for STN-DBS surgery should be evaluated with regard to self-reported executive functioning. Depressive symptoms in presurgical PD patients should be treated. Complementary information about daily life executive functioning in PD patients might enhance further treatment planning of STN-DBS.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  19. Quadriceps Strength and Executive Functions in Older Women

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meuwissen, Alyssa S; Carlson, Stephanie M

    2015-12-01

    Although previous work has shown that mothers' parenting influences the development of child executive function (EF; important self-control skills developed during the preschool years), the role of fathers' parenting has not been thoroughly investigated. We observed fathers' autonomy support and control in dyadic play with their 3-year-old children (N pairs=110) and measured father and child EF independently with laboratory tasks. We found that fathers' controlling parenting was significantly inversely related to the child EF composite, above and beyond family income and child verbal ability. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that fathers are important for the development of EF in their children and suggest that fathers should be included in both research and parenting interventions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-15

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Obesity-Associated Biomarkers and Executive Function in Children

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Executive functioning during full and partial remission (positive and negative symptomatic remission) of schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braw, Yoram; Benozio, Avi; Levkovitz, Yechiel

    2012-12-01

    Despite the upsurge of research regarding cognitive impairment in schizophrenia we still lack adequate understanding of the executive functioning of patients in symptomatic remission. Moreover, the cognitive functioning of patients in partial remission has not been studied previously although they comprise a significant proportion of schizophrenia patients. The current study therefore examined the executive functioning of patients in full symptomatic remission and for the first time assessed two sub-groups of patients in partial remission. Executive functioning of five groups was compared; symptomatic patients, patients in positive symptomatic remission, negative symptomatic remission, full symptomatic remission (SP, PSR, NSR, and FSR; N=101) and healthy controls (N=37). A graded cognitive profile was evident between the groups. SP patients exhibited widespread executive dysfunction while the performance of FSR patients was comparable to that of the healthy controls. Both PSR and NSR patients had working memory deficits, with PSR patients showing additional deficits in cognitive planning. The findings are encouraging, tentatively suggesting intact executive functioning among patients in full symptomatic remission. The graded cognitive profile of the patient groups strengthens earlier findings indicating the significant role of negative symptoms in determining executive dysfunction in schizophrenia. The findings point toward potential targets for therapeutic efforts and emphasize the need for further research of sub-groups of schizophrenia patients in partial remission. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    St. Clair-Thompson, Helen L.

    2011-01-01

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

  11. 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…

  12. Neural Basis of Enhanced Executive Function in Older Video Game Players: An fMRI Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ping; Zhu, Xing-Ting; Qi, Zhigang; Huang, Silin; Li, Hui-Jie

    2017-01-01

    Video games have been found to have positive influences on executive function in older adults; however, the underlying neural basis of the benefits from video games has been unclear. Adopting a task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study targeted at the flanker task, the present study aims to explore the neural basis of the improved executive function in older adults with video game experiences. Twenty video game players (VGPs) and twenty non-video game players (NVGPs) of 60 years of age or older participated in the present study, and there are no significant differences in age ( t = 0.62, p = 0.536), gender ratio ( t = 1.29, p = 0.206) and years of education ( t = 1.92, p = 0.062) between VGPs and NVGPs. The results show that older VGPs present significantly better behavioral performance than NVGPs. Older VGPs activate greater than NVGPs in brain regions, mainly in frontal-parietal areas, including the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the left supramarginal gyrus, the right angular gyrus, the right precuneus and the left paracentral lobule. The present study reveals that video game experiences may have positive influences on older adults in behavioral performance and the underlying brain activation. These results imply the potential role that video games can play as an effective tool to improve cognitive ability in older adults.

  13. Neural Basis of Enhanced Executive Function in Older Video Game Players: An fMRI Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ping Wang

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Video games have been found to have positive influences on executive function in older adults; however, the underlying neural basis of the benefits from video games has been unclear. Adopting a task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI study targeted at the flanker task, the present study aims to explore the neural basis of the improved executive function in older adults with video game experiences. Twenty video game players (VGPs and twenty non-video game players (NVGPs of 60 years of age or older participated in the present study, and there are no significant differences in age (t = 0.62, p = 0.536, gender ratio (t = 1.29, p = 0.206 and years of education (t = 1.92, p = 0.062 between VGPs and NVGPs. The results show that older VGPs present significantly better behavioral performance than NVGPs. Older VGPs activate greater than NVGPs in brain regions, mainly in frontal-parietal areas, including the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the left supramarginal gyrus, the right angular gyrus, the right precuneus and the left paracentral lobule. The present study reveals that video game experiences may have positive influences on older adults in behavioral performance and the underlying brain activation. These results imply the potential role that video games can play as an effective tool to improve cognitive ability in older adults.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vali Shiri

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The relation between autism disorder’s symptoms and cognitive capabilities can help with a better phenotype description of this disorder and can facilitate its pathological evaluation and treatment. Destruction of executive functions seems to be one of the cognitive reasons of potential phenotype in autism disorder. Thus, the present paper aims to study the relationship between executive dysfunction and autism disorder’s symptoms. Materials & Methods: In this cross-sectional research, 50 children with high-functioning autism were selected using convenience sampling method from Behara, Tehranpars and Roshd centers. Then, the GARS test and Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire was completed by therapists and neuropsychological tests of Strop and continuous performance test and shift attention were taken by the subjects. Pearson correlation coefficient and multi-variant regression were used for data analysis. Results: There is a significant positive relationship between selective attention with communicative and social interaction symptoms, sustained attention with social interaction symptoms and repetitive behaviors, shifting attention with communicative, social interaction and repetitive behavior symptoms (P<0.001 (P<0.01 (P<0.05. In addition, the results of regression analysis also revealed that selective attention and shifting attention can predict communication, and sustained attention can predict social interaction and repetitive behaviors symptoms (P<0.01 (P<0.05. Conclusion: The results obtained by this study indicate the significant role of executive functions in autistic symptoms. Thus, it is recommended to consider new treatment interventions in repairing executive functions for trea