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Sample records for executive functioning predict

  1. Executive functions predict conceptual learning of science.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

    We examined the relationship between executive functions and both factual and conceptual learning of science, specifically chemistry, in early adolescence. Sixty-three pupils in their second year of secondary school (aged 12-13 years) participated. Pupils completed tasks of working memory (Spatial Working Memory), inhibition (Stop-Signal), attention set-shifting (ID/ED), and planning (Stockings of Cambridge), from the CANTAB. They also participated in a chemistry teaching session, practical, and assessment on the topic of acids and alkalis designed specifically for this study. Executive function data were related to (1) the chemistry assessment which included aspects of factual and conceptual learning and (2) a recent school science exam. Correlational analyses between executive functions and both the chemistry assessment and science grades revealed that science achievements were significantly correlated with working memory. Linear regression analysis revealed that visuospatial working memory ability was predictive of chemistry performance. Interestingly, this relationship was observed solely in relation to the conceptual learning condition of the assessment highlighting the role of executive functions in understanding and applying knowledge about what is learned within science teaching. © 2016 The British Psychological Society.

  2. Early executive function predicts reasoning development.

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    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.

  3. A Unitary Executive Function Predicts Intelligence in Children

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    Brydges, Christopher R.; Reid, Corinne L.; Fox, Allison M.; Anderson, Mike

    2012-01-01

    Executive functions (EF) and intelligence are of critical importance to success in many everyday tasks. Working memory, or updating, which is one latent variable identified in confirmatory factor analytic models of executive functions, predicts intelligence (both fluid and crystallised) in adults, but inhibition and shifting do not (Friedman et…

  4. 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.

  5. Executive functions predict the success of top-soccer players.

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    Vestberg, Torbjörn; Gustafson, Roland; Maurex, Liselotte; Ingvar, Martin; Petrovic, Predrag

    2012-01-01

    While the importance of physical abilities and motor coordination is non-contested in sport, more focus has recently been turned toward cognitive processes important for different sports. However, this line of studies has often investigated sport-specific cognitive traits, while few studies have focused on general cognitive traits. We explored if measures of general executive functions can predict the success of a soccer player. The present study used standardized neuropsychological assessment tools assessing players' general executive functions including on-line multi-processing such as creativity, response inhibition, and cognitive flexibility. In a first cross-sectional part of the study we compared the results between High Division players (HD), Lower Division players (LD) and a standardized norm group. The result shows that both HD and LD players had significantly better measures of executive functions in comparison to the norm group for both men and women. Moreover, the HD players outperformed the LD players in these tests. In the second prospective part of the study, a partial correlation test showed a significant correlation between the result from the executive test and the numbers of goals and assists the players had scored two seasons later. The results from this study strongly suggest that results in cognitive function tests predict the success of ball sport players.

  6. Executive Functions Predict the Success of Top-Soccer Players

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vestberg, Torbjörn; Gustafson, Roland; Maurex, Liselotte; Ingvar, Martin; Petrovic, Predrag

    2012-01-01

    While the importance of physical abilities and motor coordination is non-contested in sport, more focus has recently been turned toward cognitive processes important for different sports. However, this line of studies has often investigated sport-specific cognitive traits, while few studies have focused on general cognitive traits. We explored if measures of general executive functions can predict the success of a soccer player. The present study used standardized neuropsychological assessment tools assessing players' general executive functions including on-line multi-processing such as creativity, response inhibition, and cognitive flexibility. In a first cross-sectional part of the study we compared the results between High Division players (HD), Lower Division players (LD) and a standardized norm group. The result shows that both HD and LD players had significantly better measures of executive functions in comparison to the norm group for both men and women. Moreover, the HD players outperformed the LD players in these tests. In the second prospective part of the study, a partial correlation test showed a significant correlation between the result from the executive test and the numbers of goals and assists the players had scored two seasons later. The results from this study strongly suggest that results in cognitive function tests predict the success of ball sport players. PMID:22496850

  7. Executive functions predict the success of top-soccer players.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torbjörn Vestberg

    Full Text Available While the importance of physical abilities and motor coordination is non-contested in sport, more focus has recently been turned toward cognitive processes important for different sports. However, this line of studies has often investigated sport-specific cognitive traits, while few studies have focused on general cognitive traits. We explored if measures of general executive functions can predict the success of a soccer player. The present study used standardized neuropsychological assessment tools assessing players' general executive functions including on-line multi-processing such as creativity, response inhibition, and cognitive flexibility. In a first cross-sectional part of the study we compared the results between High Division players (HD, Lower Division players (LD and a standardized norm group. The result shows that both HD and LD players had significantly better measures of executive functions in comparison to the norm group for both men and women. Moreover, the HD players outperformed the LD players in these tests. In the second prospective part of the study, a partial correlation test showed a significant correlation between the result from the executive test and the numbers of goals and assists the players had scored two seasons later. The results from this study strongly suggest that results in cognitive function tests predict the success of ball sport players.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapa, Leah Lynn

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuenschwander, Regula; Friedman-Krauss, Allison; Raver, Cybele; Blair, Clancy

    2017-01-01

    Research Findings: Recent research has explored relations between classroom quality and child executive function (EF), but little is known about how teachers' well-being, including stress, relates to child EF--a crucial component of self-regulation. We hypothesized that teacher stress is negatively or curvilinearly related to child EF and…

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

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    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.

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

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    Marshall, Seth

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    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.…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Executive Functioning Predicts School Readiness and Success: Implications for Assessment and Intervention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantin, Rachelle H.; Mann, Trisha D.; Hund, Alycia M.

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, executive functioning (EF) has received increasing attention from researchers and practitioners focusing on how EF predicts important outcomes such as success at school and in life. For example, EF has been described as the single best predictor of school readiness (Blair & Razza, 2007). Moreover, EF has been implicated in…

  15. Critical Flicker Fusion Predicts Executive Function in Younger and Older Adults.

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    Mewborn, Catherine; Renzi, Lisa M; Hammond, Billy R; Miller, L Stephen

    2015-11-01

    Critical flicker fusion (CFF), a measure of visual processing speed, has often been regarded as a basic metric underlying a number of higher cognitive functions. To test this, we measured CFF, global cognition, and several cognitive subdomains. Because age is a strong covariate for most of these variables, both younger (n = 72) and older (n = 57) subjects were measured. Consistent with expectations, age was inversely related to CFF and performance on all of the cognitive measures except for visual memory. In contrast, age-adjusted CFF thresholds were only positively related to executive function. Results showed that CFF predicted executive function across both age groups and accounted for unique variance in performance above and beyond age and global cognitive status. The current findings suggest that CFF may be a unique predictor of executive dysfunction. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

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    Krakowski, Menahem I; Czobor, Pal

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Stability of executive function and predictions to adaptive behavior from middle childhood to pre-adolescence

    OpenAIRE

    Harms, Madeline B.; Zayas, Vivian; Meltzoff, Andrew N.; Carlson, Stephanie M.

    2014-01-01

    The shift from childhood to adolescence is characterized by rapid remodeling of the brain and increased risk-taking behaviors. Current theories hypothesize that developmental enhancements in sensitivity to affective environmental cues in adolescence may undermine executive function (EF) and increase the likelihood of problematic behaviors. In the current study, we examined the extent to which EF in childhood predicts EF in early adolescence. We also tested whether individual differences in ne...

  18. How executive functions predict development in syntactic complexity of narrative writing in the upper elementary grades.

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

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the contribution of transcription skills, oral language skills, and executive functions to growth in narrative writing between fourth and sixth grade. While text length and story content of narratives did not increase with age, syntactic complexity of narratives showed a clear developmental progression. Results from path analyses revealed that later syntactic complexity of narrative writing was, in addition to initial syntactic complexity, predicted by oral grammar, inhibition, and planning. These results are discussed in light of the changes that characterize writing development in the upper elementary grades. More specifically, this study emphasizes the relevance of syntactic complexity as a developmental marker as well as the importance of executive functions for later writing development.

  19. Everyday executive function impairments predict comorbid psychopathology in autism spectrum and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders.

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    Lawson, Rachel A; Papadakis, Alison A; Higginson, Christopher I; Barnett, Jeffrey E; Wills, Meagan C; Strang, John F; Wallace, Gregory L; Kenworthy, Lauren

    2015-05-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) both have psychiatric comorbidities and distinctive profiles of executive dysfunction. Although there is evidence that executive function (EF) plays a role in the expression of specific behaviors and psychiatric symptoms, it is not known whether specific EF deficits in ASD and ADHD may be pathways to comorbidities in the disorders. This study examines whether parent reported problems with flexibility in ASD and inhibition in ADHD mediate the disorders' associations with anxiety/depression and oppositional/aggressive behavior, respectively. Parent report data from the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) were obtained for 125 children (70 ASD, 55 ADHD Hyperactive/Impulsive or Combined type) as part of a neuropsychological assessment. Diagnostic status, BRIEF Shift (shifting/flexibility) and Inhibit (behavioral inhibition) scale scores, and CBCL Anxious/Depressed (anxiety/depression) and Aggressive Behavior (oppositionality/aggression) scale scores were analyzed with a path analysis to investigate the relation of flexibility and inhibition to comorbid symptoms in children with ASD and ADHD. In a path model with good fit ASD predicted greater inflexibility which predicted greater anxiety/depression, while ADHD predicted greater disinhibition that predicted greater aggression, consistent with our mediational hypotheses. Unexpectedly, the greater inflexibility associated with ASD also predicted greater aggression. Findings support the importance of everyday EF problems in ASD and ADHD as predictors of comorbid psychopathology and as crucial intervention targets for potential prevention and mitigation of comorbid symptoms. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  20. Executive function does not predict coping with symptoms in stable patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia

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    Walraven Wil

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Associations between coping with and control over psychotic symptoms were examined using the Maastricht Assessment of Coping Strategies-24, testing the hypothesis that the cognitive domain of executive functioning predicted quality and quantity of coping. Methods MACS-24 was administered to 32 individuals with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. For each of 24 symptoms, experience of distress, type of coping and the resulting degree of perceived control were assessed. Coping types were reduced to two contrasting coping categories: symptomatic coping (SC and non-symptomatic coping (NSC; combining active problem solving, passive illness behaviour, active problem avoiding, and passive problem avoiding. Cognitive functioning was assessed using the GIT (Groninger Intelligence Test, the Zoo map (BADS: Behavioural Assessment of Dysexecutive function, Stroop-test and Trail making. Results Cognitive function was not associated with frequency of coping, nor did cognitive function differentially predict SC or NSC. Cognitive function similarly was not associated with symptom distress or level of perceived control over the symptom. Conclusion There was no evidence that cognitive function predicts quantity or quality of coping with symptoms in people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Variation in the realm of emotion regulation and social cognition may be more predictive of coping with psychotic symptoms.

  1. Executive function does not predict coping with symptoms in stable patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Maarten; Krabbendam, Lydia; Delespaul, Philippe; Huistra, Karola; Walraven, Wil; van Os, Jim

    2008-01-01

    Background Associations between coping with and control over psychotic symptoms were examined using the Maastricht Assessment of Coping Strategies-24, testing the hypothesis that the cognitive domain of executive functioning predicted quality and quantity of coping. Methods MACS-24 was administered to 32 individuals with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. For each of 24 symptoms, experience of distress, type of coping and the resulting degree of perceived control were assessed. Coping types were reduced to two contrasting coping categories: symptomatic coping (SC) and non-symptomatic coping (NSC; combining active problem solving, passive illness behaviour, active problem avoiding, and passive problem avoiding). Cognitive functioning was assessed using the GIT (Groninger Intelligence Test), the Zoo map (BADS: Behavioural Assessment of Dysexecutive function), Stroop-test and Trail making. Results Cognitive function was not associated with frequency of coping, nor did cognitive function differentially predict SC or NSC. Cognitive function similarly was not associated with symptom distress or level of perceived control over the symptom. Conclusion There was no evidence that cognitive function predicts quantity or quality of coping with symptoms in people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Variation in the realm of emotion regulation and social cognition may be more predictive of coping with psychotic symptoms. PMID:18510757

  2. Tests of executive functioning predict scores on the MacAndrew Alcoholism Scale.

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    Deckel, A W

    1999-02-01

    1. Previous work reported that tests of executive functioning (EF) predict the risk of alcoholism in subject populations selected for a "high density" of a family history of alcoholism and/or the presence of sociopathic traits. The current experiment examined the ability of EF tests to predict the risk of alcoholism, as measured by the MacAndrew Alcoholism Scale (MAC), in outpatient subjects referred to a general neuropsychological testing service. 2. Sixty-eight male and female subjects referred for neuropsychological testing were assessed for their past drinking histories and administered the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised, the Trails (Part B) Test, and the MAC. Principal Components analysis (PCA) reduced the number of EF tests to two measures, including one that loaded on the WCST, and one that loaded on the Similarities, Picture Arrangement, and Trails tests. Multiple hierarchical regression first removed the variance from demographic variables, alcohol consumption, and verbal (i.e., Vocabulary) and non-verbal (i.e., Block Design) IQ, and then entered the executive functioning factors into the prediction of the MAC. 3. Seventy-six percent of the subjects were classified as either light, infrequent, or non-drinkers on the Quantity-Frequency-Variability scale. The factor derived from the WCST on PCA significantly added to the prediction of risk on the MAC (p = .0063), as did scores on Block Design (p = .033). Relatively more impaired scores on the WCST factor and Block Design were predictive of higher scores on the MAC. The other factors were not associated with MAC scores. 4. These results support the hypothesis that decrements in EF are associated with risk factors for alcoholism, even in populations where the density of alcoholic behaviors are not unusually high. When taken in conjunction with other findings, these results implicate EF test scores, and prefrontal brain functioning, in the neurobiology of the risk for

  3. Can memory and executive functions in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder predict outcome of cognitive behavioural therapy?

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

    2016-01-01

    Most studies find that patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have impaired memory and executive functions. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is the recommended psychotherapeutic treatment of patients with OCD. We hypothesized that impairments in memory and executive functions would predict poor outcome of CBT. To investigate whether memory and executive functions in patients with OCD could predict outcome of CBT. We assessed 39 patients with OCD before CBT with neuropsychological tests of memory and executive functions, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, and the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale. Furthermore, we assessed severity of OCD symptoms before and after CBT using the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale. There were no statistically significant differences between recovered (41%) and non-recovered patients (59%) on any neuropsychological test variables or on any baseline demographic variables. Furthermore, change in OCD symptoms was not predicted by neuropsychological test performances or baseline severity of OCD symptoms. The only statistically significant finding was that non-recovered patients had lower social functioning before CBT than recovered patients (p = 0.018, d = 0.797). Memory and executive functions in patients with OCD could not predict outcome of CBT, but level of social functioning may be a predictor of CBT outcome. Some of the main clinical implications are that we cannot use memory and executive functions, or baseline severity of OCD symptoms to determine which patients should be offered CBT.

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

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    Kaidy Stautz

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

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    John eBest

    2014-05-01

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

  7. Decreases in daily physical activity predict acute decline in attention and executive function in heart failure.

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    Alosco, Michael L; Spitznagel, Mary Beth; Cohen, Ronald; Sweet, Lawrence H; Hayes, Scott M; Josephson, Richard; Hughes, Joel; Gunstad, John

    2015-04-01

    Reduced physical activity (PA) may be one factor that contributes to cognitive decline and dementia in heart failure (HF). Yet, the longitudinal relationship between PA and cognition in HF is poorly understood owing to limitations of past work, including single-time assessments of PA. This is the first study to examine changes in objectively measured PA and cognition over time in HF. At baseline and 12 weeks, 57 HF patients completed psychosocial self-report measures and a neuropsychological battery and wore an accelerometer for 7 days. At baseline, HF patients spent an average of 597.83 (SD 75.91) minutes per day sedentary. Steps per day declined from baseline to the 12-week follow-up; there was also a trend for declines in moderate-vigorous PA. Regression analyses controlling for sex, HF severity, and depressive symptoms showed that decreases in light (P = .08) and moderate-vigorous (P = .04) daily PA emerged as strong predictors of declines in attention/executive function over the 12-week period, but not of memory or language. Reductions in daily PA predicted acute decline in attention/executive function in HF, but not of memory or language. Modifications to daily PA may attenuate cognitive decline, and prospective studies are needed to test this possibility. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanna Mulder

    2017-10-01

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

  10. Stability of executive function and predictions to adaptive behavior from middle childhood to pre-adolescence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madeline eHarms

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The shift from childhood to adolescence is characterized by rapid remodeling of the brain and increased risk-taking behaviors. Current theories hypothesize that developmental enhancements in sensitivity to affective environmental cues in adolescence may undermine executive function (EF and increase the likelihood of problematic behaviors. In the current study, we examined the extent to which EF in childhood predicts EF in early adolescence. We also tested whether individual differences in neural responses to affective cues (rewards/punishments in childhood serve as a biological marker for EF, sensation-seeking, academic performance, and social skills in early adolescence. At age 8, 84 children completed a gambling task while event-related potentials (ERPs were recorded. We examined the extent to which selections resulting in rewards or losses in this task elicited (i the P300, a post-stimulus waveform reflecting the allocation of attentional resources toward a stimulus, and (ii the SPN, a pre-stimulus anticipatory waveform reflecting a neural representation of a hunch about an outcome that originates in insula and ventromedial PFC. Children also completed a Dimensional Change Card-Sort (DCCS and Flanker task to measure EF. At age 12, 78 children repeated the DCCS and Flanker and completed a battery of questionnaires. Flanker and DCCS accuracy at age 8 predicted Flanker and DCCS performance at age 12, respectively. Individual differences in the magnitude of P300 (to losses vs. rewards and SPN (preceding outcomes with a high probability of punishment at age 8 predicted self-reported sensation seeking (lower and teacher-rated academic performance (higher at age 12. We suggest there is stability in EF from age 8 to 12, and that childhood neural sensitivity to reward and punishment predicts individual differences in sensation seeking and adaptive behaviors in children entering adolescence.

  11. Stability of executive function and predictions to adaptive behavior from middle childhood to pre-adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harms, Madeline B; Zayas, Vivian; Meltzoff, Andrew N; Carlson, Stephanie M

    2014-01-01

    The shift from childhood to adolescence is characterized by rapid remodeling of the brain and increased risk-taking behaviors. Current theories hypothesize that developmental enhancements in sensitivity to affective environmental cues in adolescence may undermine executive function (EF) and increase the likelihood of problematic behaviors. In the current study, we examined the extent to which EF in childhood predicts EF in early adolescence. We also tested whether individual differences in neural responses to affective cues (rewards/punishments) in childhood serve as a biological marker for EF, sensation-seeking, academic performance, and social skills in early adolescence. At age 8, 84 children completed a gambling task while event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded. We examined the extent to which selections resulting in rewards or losses in this task elicited (i) the P300, a post-stimulus waveform reflecting the allocation of attentional resources toward a stimulus, and (ii) the SPN, a pre-stimulus anticipatory waveform reflecting a neural representation of a "hunch" about an outcome that originates in insula and ventromedial PFC. Children also completed a Dimensional Change Card-Sort (DCCS) and Flanker task to measure EF. At age 12, 78 children repeated the DCCS and Flanker and completed a battery of questionnaires. Flanker and DCCS accuracy at age 8 predicted Flanker and DCCS performance at age 12, respectively. Individual differences in the magnitude of P300 (to losses vs. rewards) and SPN (preceding outcomes with a high probability of punishment) at age 8 predicted self-reported sensation seeking (lower) and teacher-rated academic performance (higher) at age 12. We suggest there is stability in EF from age 8 to 12, and that childhood neural sensitivity to reward and punishment predicts individual differences in sensation seeking and adaptive behaviors in children entering adolescence.

  12. Executive function predicts risk of falls in older adults without balance impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buracchio, Teresa J; Mattek, Nora C; Dodge, Hiroko H; Hayes, Tamara L; Pavel, Misha; Howieson, Diane B; Kaye, Jeffrey A

    2011-11-09

    Executive dysfunction has previously been found to be a risk factor for falls. The aim of this study is to investigate the association between executive dysfunction and risk of falling and to determine if this association is independent of balance. Participants were 188 community-dwelling individuals aged 65 and older. All participants underwent baseline and annual evaluations with review of health history, standardized neurologic examination, neuropsychological testing, and qualitative and quantitative assessment of motor function. Falls were recorded prospectively using weekly online health forms. During 13 months of follow-up, there were 65 of 188 participants (34.6%) who reported at least one fall. Univariate analysis showed that fallers were more likely to have lower baseline scores in executive function than non-fallers (p = 0.03). Among participants without balance impairment we found that higher executive function z-scores were associated with lower fall counts (p = 0.03) after adjustment for age, sex, health status and prior history of falls using negative binomial regression models. This relationship was not present among participants with poor balance. Lower scores on executive function tests are a risk factor for falls in participants with minimal balance impairment. However, this effect is attenuated in individuals with poor balance where physical or more direct motor systems factors may play a greater role in fall risk.

  13. Executive function predicts risk of falls in older adults without balance impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buracchio Teresa J

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Executive dysfunction has previously been found to be a risk factor for falls. The aim of this study is to investigate the association between executive dysfunction and risk of falling and to determine if this association is independent of balance. Methods Participants were 188 community-dwelling individuals aged 65 and older. All participants underwent baseline and annual evaluations with review of health history, standardized neurologic examination, neuropsychological testing, and qualitative and quantitative assessment of motor function. Falls were recorded prospectively using weekly online health forms. Results During 13 months of follow-up, there were 65 of 188 participants (34.6% who reported at least one fall. Univariate analysis showed that fallers were more likely to have lower baseline scores in executive function than non-fallers (p = 0.03. Among participants without balance impairment we found that higher executive function z-scores were associated with lower fall counts (p = 0.03 after adjustment for age, sex, health status and prior history of falls using negative binomial regression models. This relationship was not present among participants with poor balance. Conclusions Lower scores on executive function tests are a risk factor for falls in participants with minimal balance impairment. However, this effect is attenuated in individuals with poor balance where physical or more direct motor systems factors may play a greater role in fall risk.

  14. Right Forceps Minor and Anterior Thalamic Radiation Predict Executive Function Skills in Young Bilingual Adults.

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    Mamiya, Ping C; Richards, Todd L; Kuhl, Patricia K

    2018-01-01

    Executive function (EF) skills enhance learning across domains, and are particularly linked to the acquisition of a second language. Previous studies have shown that bilingual individuals show enhanced EF skills in cognitive tasks where they attended a targeted dimension of a stimulus while inhibiting other competing cues. Brain imaging revealed that bilingual young adults' performances in the Stroop color-naming task were related to the volume of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and inferior frontal lobe. Subjects who had greater white-matter in the frontal cortex showed enhanced performances in the same task, suggesting that brain fiber pathways connecting ACC to the frontal region may be related to the Stroop color-naming task. No studies to date have examined the tissue properties of brain fiber pathways connecting these brain regions and their association with subjects' EF performances. Importantly, there are no data establishing whether bilingual subjects exhibit different reaction times when words are presented in their first versus second language. To study these questions, we used behavioral and unbiased whole-brain analyses, recruiting 21 Chinese students. Using the Stroop color-naming task, we measured subjects' reaction times (RTs) in which color names were displayed using fonts that matched the named color (congruent task) or mismatched the color (incongruent task). Students performed the task twice, first in English, the subjects' second language, then in Chinese, the subjects' primary language. Results from whole-brain analysis showed that students' RTs in both the English and Chinese tasks were significantly correlated with the mode of anisotropy (MO) in a brain cluster containing the forceps minor and anterior thalamic radiation in the right hemisphere. We also found that fractional anisotropy (FA) significantly predicted students' RTs, with higher FA predicting shorter RT. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that right forceps minor and

  15. Brain Network Modularity Predicts Exercise-Related Executive Function Gains in Older Adults

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    Pauline L. Baniqued

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent work suggests that the brain can be conceptualized as a network comprised of groups of sub-networks or modules. The extent of segregation between modules can be quantified with a modularity metric, where networks with high modularity have dense connections within modules and sparser connections between modules. Previous work has shown that higher modularity predicts greater improvements after cognitive training in patients with traumatic brain injury and in healthy older and young adults. It is not known, however, whether modularity can also predict cognitive gains after a physical exercise intervention. Here, we quantified modularity in older adults (N = 128, mean age = 64.74 who underwent one of the following interventions for 6 months (NCT01472744 on ClinicalTrials.gov: (1 aerobic exercise in the form of brisk walking (Walk, (2 aerobic exercise in the form of brisk walking plus nutritional supplement (Walk+, (3 stretching, strengthening and stability (SSS, or (4 dance instruction. After the intervention, the Walk, Walk+ and SSS groups showed gains in cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF, with larger effects in both walking groups compared to the SSS and Dance groups. The Walk, Walk+ and SSS groups also improved in executive function (EF as measured by reasoning, working memory, and task-switching tests. In the Walk, Walk+, and SSS groups that improved in EF, higher baseline modularity was positively related to EF gains, even after controlling for age, in-scanner motion and baseline EF. No relationship between modularity and EF gains was observed in the Dance group, which did not show training-related gains in CRF or EF control. These results are consistent with previous studies demonstrating that individuals with a more modular brain network organization are more responsive to cognitive training. These findings suggest that the predictive power of modularity may be generalizable across interventions aimed to enhance aspects of cognition and

  16. Brain Network Modularity Predicts Exercise-Related Executive Function Gains in Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baniqued, Pauline L; Gallen, Courtney L; Voss, Michelle W; Burzynska, Agnieszka Z; Wong, Chelsea N; Cooke, Gillian E; Duffy, Kristin; Fanning, Jason; Ehlers, Diane K; Salerno, Elizabeth A; Aguiñaga, Susan; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F; D'Esposito, Mark

    2017-01-01

    Recent work suggests that the brain can be conceptualized as a network comprised of groups of sub-networks or modules. The extent of segregation between modules can be quantified with a modularity metric, where networks with high modularity have dense connections within modules and sparser connections between modules. Previous work has shown that higher modularity predicts greater improvements after cognitive training in patients with traumatic brain injury and in healthy older and young adults. It is not known, however, whether modularity can also predict cognitive gains after a physical exercise intervention. Here, we quantified modularity in older adults ( N = 128, mean age = 64.74) who underwent one of the following interventions for 6 months (NCT01472744 on ClinicalTrials.gov): (1) aerobic exercise in the form of brisk walking (Walk), (2) aerobic exercise in the form of brisk walking plus nutritional supplement (Walk+), (3) stretching, strengthening and stability (SSS), or (4) dance instruction. After the intervention, the Walk, Walk+ and SSS groups showed gains in cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), with larger effects in both walking groups compared to the SSS and Dance groups. The Walk, Walk+ and SSS groups also improved in executive function (EF) as measured by reasoning, working memory, and task-switching tests. In the Walk, Walk+, and SSS groups that improved in EF, higher baseline modularity was positively related to EF gains, even after controlling for age, in-scanner motion and baseline EF. No relationship between modularity and EF gains was observed in the Dance group, which did not show training-related gains in CRF or EF control. These results are consistent with previous studies demonstrating that individuals with a more modular brain network organization are more responsive to cognitive training. These findings suggest that the predictive power of modularity may be generalizable across interventions aimed to enhance aspects of cognition and that

  17. Maternal Executive Function, Heart Rate, and EEG Alpha Reactivity Interact in the Prediction of Harsh Parenting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Bell, Martha Ann

    2016-01-01

    Do physiological and behavioral performance indicators of effortful cognitive self-regulation converge additively or interactively in their statistical prediction of individual differences in harsh parenting? To answer this question, we examined heart rate (HR) and EEG alpha (α) reactivity during executive function (EF) tasks, along with observed and self-reported indicators of harsh parenting. A socioeconomically diverse sample of 115 mothers with 3-to-7-year old children completed questionnaires and a laboratory visit. Three-quarters of the mothers showed typical patterns of task reactivity that were interpretable (i.e., increases in HR and decreases in α). Among them, we found no evidence to suggest that variance in harsh parenting was associated with magnitude of HR or α reactivity independently. Instead, the physiological variables interacted to enhance the EF statistical effect. EF explained one-third of the variance in harsh parenting among mothers showing the largest α decreases when accompanied by modest to moderate (rather than substantial) HR increases. Physiological indicators can clarify the role and estimation of the strength of the effect of direct behavioral measures of cognitive regulation, in the etiology of harsh parenting behaviors. PMID:28165280

  18. Maternal executive function, heart rate, and EEG alpha reactivity interact in the prediction of harsh parenting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Bell, Martha Ann

    2017-02-01

    Do physiological and behavioral performance indicators of effortful cognitive self-regulation converge additively or interactively in their statistical prediction of individual differences in harsh parenting? To answer this question, we examined heart rate (HR) and electroencephalography alpha (α) reactivity during executive function (EF) tasks, along with observed and self-reported indicators of harsh parenting. A socioeconomically diverse sample of 115 mothers with 3- to 7-year-old children completed questionnaires and a laboratory visit. Three quarters of the mothers showed typical patterns of task reactivity that were interpretable (i.e., increases in HR and decreases in α). Among them, we found no evidence to suggest that variance in harsh parenting was associated with magnitude of HR or α reactivity independently. Instead, the physiological variables interacted to enhance the EF statistical effect. EF explained one third of the variance in harsh parenting among mothers showing the largest α decreases when accompanied by modest to moderate (rather than substantial) HR increases. Physiological indicators can clarify the role and estimation of the strength of the effect of direct behavioral measures of cognitive regulation in the etiology of harsh parenting behaviors. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  19. Do Executive Function Deficits Predict Later Substance Use Disorders among Adolescents and Young Adults?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilens, Timothy E.; Martelon, MaryKate; Fried, Ronna; Petty, Carter; Bateman, Clancey; Biederman, Joseph

    2011-01-01

    Objective: There is increasing interest regarding the risk and overlap of executive function deficits (EFDs) in stable cigarette smoking and substance use disorders (SUD). Therefore, we examined whether earlier EFD was a risk factor for subsequent cigarette smoking and SUD and further explored the relationship between EFD and SUD. Method: We…

  20. How executive functions predict development in syntactic complexity of narrative writing in the upper elementary grades

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Drijbooms, E.; Groen, M.A.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the contribution of transcription skills, oral language skills, and executive functions to growth in narrative writing between fourth and sixth grade. While text length and story content of narratives did not increase with age, syntactic complexity of narratives

  1. Behavioral Self-Regulation and Executive Function Both Predict Visuomotor Skills and Early Academic Achievement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Derek R.; Miao, Alicia; Duncan, Robert; McClelland, Megan M.

    2014-01-01

    The present study explored direct and interactive effects between behavioral self-regulation (SR) and two measures of executive function (EF, inhibitory control and working memory), with a fine motor measure tapping visuomotor skills (VMS) in a sample of 127 prekindergarten and kindergarten children. It also examined the relative contribution of…

  2. Executive function and IQ predict mathematical and attention problems in very preterm children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aarnoudse-Moens, Cornelieke Sandrine Hanan; Weisglas-Kuperus, Nynke; Duivenvoorden, Hugo Joseph; van Goudoever, Johannes Bernard; Oosterlaan, Jaap

    2013-01-01

    Objective of this study was to examine the impact of executive function (EF) on mathematical and attention problems in very preterm (gestational age ≤ 30 weeks) children. Participants were 200 very preterm (mean age 8.2 ± 2.5 years) and 230 term children (mean age 8.3 ± 2.3 years) without severe

  3. Executive Function and IQ Predict Mathematical and Attention Problems in Very Preterm Children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    C.S.H. Aarnoudse-Moens (Cornelieke); N. Weisglas-Kuperus (Nynke); H.J. Duivenvoorden (Hugo); J.B. van Goudoever (Hans); J. Oosterlaan (Jaap)

    2013-01-01

    textabstractObjective of this study was to examine the impact of executive function (EF) on mathematical and attention problems in very preterm (gestational age ≤ 30 weeks) children. Participants were 200 very preterm (mean age 8.2 ± 2.5 years) and 230 term children (mean age 8.3 ± 2.3 years)

  4. 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.

  5. Catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158met polymorphism interacts with early experience to predict executive functions in early childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Clancy; Sulik, Michael; Willoughby, Michael; Mills-Koonce, Roger; Petrill, Stephen; Bartlett, Christopher; Greenberg, Mark

    2015-11-01

    Numerous studies demonstrate that the Methionine variant of the catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met polymorphism, which confers less efficient catabolism of catecholamines, is associated with increased focal activation of prefrontal cortex (PFC) and higher levels of executive function abilities. By and large, however, studies of COMT Val158Met have been conducted with adult samples and do not account for the context in which development is occurring. Effects of early adversity on stress response physiology and the inverted U shape relating catecholamine levels to neural activity in PFC indicate the need to take into account early experience when considering relations between genes such as COMT and executive cognitive ability. Consistent with this neurobiology, we find in a prospective longitudinal sample of children and families (N = 1292) that COMT Val158Met interacts with early experience to predict executive function abilities in early childhood. Specifically, the Valine variant of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism, which confers more rather than less efficient catabolism of catecholamines is associated with higher executive function abilities at child ages 48 and 60 months and with faster growth of executive function for children experiencing early adversity, as indexed by cumulative risk factors in the home at child ages 7, 15, 24, and 36 months. Findings indicate the importance of the early environment for the relation between catecholamine genes and developmental outcomes and demonstrate that the genetic moderation of environmental risk is detectable in early childhood. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  7. Everyday executive function predicts adaptive and internalizing behavior among children with and without autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardiner, Emily; Iarocci, Grace

    2018-02-01

    Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) demonstrate challenges with executive function (EF), adaptive behavior, and mental health, all of which place long-term wellbeing at risk. In the current study we examined the relation between parent-rated EF and adaptive functioning and internalizing symptoms (anxiety, depression), as we expected that identifying the specific EF domains most closely related to these indices of functioning would illuminate opportunities for targeted intervention. Participants included 59 children and adolescents with ASD (M = 10.1 years) and 67 who were typically developing (TD) (M = 9.4 years) matched on age, IQ, mental age, and maternal education. Caregivers completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of EF (BRIEF) and Behavior Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC-2). Parents rated children with ASD as demonstrating significantly more challenges across most of the examined BRIEF and BASC-2 indices and scales, with the exception of organization of materials (BRIEF) and anxiety (BASC-2). For both groups, metacognitive EF processes emerged as strongly associated with practical, conceptual, and social skills, though different BRIEF scales emerged as significant across the component subdomains. In terms of the relation with mental health, BRIEF index scores were unrelated to anxiety for both groups. Behavior regulation, however, was significantly associated with depression symptoms for children with and without ASD. The findings highlight the possibility that targeting particular EF domains among individuals with and without ASD may not only have direct benefit for behavior regulation and metacognitive abilities, but may also extend to other areas of life, including adaptive behavior and concomitant internalizing symptomatology. Autism Res 2018, 11: 284-295. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. We examined whether parents' ratings of their children's flexibility and ability to

  8. Reduced FDG-PET brain metabolism and executive function predict clinical progression in elderly healthy subjects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Ewers

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Brain changes reminiscent of Alzheimer disease (AD have been previously reported in a substantial portion of elderly cognitive healthy (HC subjects. The major aim was to evaluate the accuracy of MRI assessed regional gray matter (GM volume, 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET, and neuropsychological test scores to identify those HC subjects who subsequently convert to mild cognitive impairment (MCI or AD dementia. We obtained in 54 healthy control (HC subjects a priori defined region of interest (ROI values of medial temporal and parietal FDG-PET and medial temporal GM volume. In logistic regression analyses, these ROI values were tested together with neuropsychological test scores (free recall, trail making test B (TMT-B as predictors of HC conversion during a clinical follow-up between 3 and 4 years. In voxel-based analyses, FDG-PET and MRI GM maps were compared between HC converters and HC non-converters. Out of the 54 HC subjects, 11 subjects converted to MCI or AD dementia. Lower FDG-PET ROI values were associated with higher likelihood of conversion (p = 0.004, with the area under the curve (AUC yielding 82.0% (95% CI = (95.5%, 68.5%. The GM volume ROI was not a significant predictor (p = 0.07. TMT-B but not the free recall tests were a significant predictor (AUC = 71% (95% CI = 50.4%, 91.7%. For the combination of FDG-PET and TMT-B, the AUC was 93.4% (sensitivity = 82%, specificity = 93%. Voxel-based group comparison showed reduced FDG-PET metabolism within the temporo-parietal and prefrontal cortex in HC converters. In conclusion, medial temporal and-parietal FDG-PET and executive function show a clinically acceptable accuracy for predicting clinical progression in elderly HC subjects.

  9. Executive functions in synesthesia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

    In grapheme-color synesthesia, a number or letter can evoke two different and possibly conflicting (real and synesthetic) color sensations at the same time. In this study, we investigate the relationship between synesthesia and executive control functions. First, no general skill differences were

  10. 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.

  11. Specific Preschool Executive Functions Predict Unique Aspects of Mathematics Development: A 3-Year Longitudinal Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simanowski, Stefanie; Krajewski, Kristin

    2017-08-10

    This study assessed the extent to which executive functions (EF), according to their factor structure in 5-year-olds (N = 244), influenced early quantity-number competencies, arithmetic fluency, and mathematics school achievement throughout first and second grades. A confirmatory factor analysis resulted in updating as a first, and inhibition and shifting as a combined second factor. In the structural equation model, updating significantly affected knowledge of the number word sequence, suggesting a facilitatory effect on basic encoding processes in numerical materials that can be learnt purely by rote. Shifting and inhibition significantly influenced quantity to number word linkages, indicating that these processes promote developing a profound understanding of numbers. These results show the supportive role of specific EF for specific aspects of a numerical foundation. © 2017 The Authors. Child Development © 2017 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  12. Processing speed and executive functions predict real-world everyday living skills in adolescents with early-onset schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puig, O; Penadés, R; Baeza, I; Sánchez-Gistau, V; De la Serna, E; Fonrodona, L; Andrés-Perpiñá, S; Bernardo, M; Castro-Fornieles, J

    2012-06-01

    Cognition and clinical variables are known to be among the most predictive factors of real-world social functioning and daily living skills in adult-onset schizophrenia. Fewer studies have focused on their impact in adolescents with early-onset schizophrenia (EOS). The aim of this study is to examine the relationships and the predictive value of cognition and clinical variables on real-world daily living skills in a sample of adolescents with EOS. Cognitive, clinical and real-world everyday living skills measures were administered to 45 clinically and pharmacologically stabilized adolescent outpatients with EOS and 45 healthy control subjects matched by age and sex. Multi-variant analyses to compare cognitive and real-world functioning profiles between patients and controls and regression analysis to identify predictors of real-world functioning scores in patients were used. Adolescents with EOS showed a generalized cognitive and real-world daily living skills dysfunction. Several cognitive and clinical variables significantly correlated with real-world daily living skills functioning but only the processing speed and executive functions emerged as independent predictors of everyday living skills scores, explaining 25.1% of the variance. Slowness in processing information and executive dysfunction showed a significant impact on real-world daily living skills in EOS, independently from clinical symptoms and other cognitive variables. Nevertheless, much of the variance in the daily living skills measure remained unaccounted for, suggesting that other factors were involved as well in this young population.

  13. Executive Function Predicts Adaptive Behavior in Children with Histories of Heavy Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ware, Ashley L.; Crocker, Nicole; O’Brien, Jessica W.; Deweese, Benjamin N.; Roesch, Scott C.; Coles, Claire D.; Kable, Julie A.; May, Philip A.; Kalberg, Wendy O.; Sowell, Elizabeth R.; Jones, Kenneth Lyons; Riley, Edward P.; Mattson, Sarah N.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose of Study Prenatal exposure to alcohol often results in disruption to discrete cognitive and behavioral domains, including executive function (EF) and adaptive functioning. In the current study, the relation between these two domains was examined in children with histories of heavy prenatal alcohol exposure, non-exposed children with a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and typically developing controls. Methods As part of a multisite study, three groups of children (8-18y, M = 12.10) were tested: children with histories of heavy prenatal alcohol exposure (ALC, N=142), non-exposed children with ADHD (ADHD, N=82), and typically developing controls (CON, N=133) who did not have ADHD or a history of prenatal alcohol exposure. Children completed subtests of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) and their primary caregivers completed the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-II (VABS). Data were analyzed using regression analyses. Results Analyses showed that EF measures were predictive of adaptive abilities and significant interactions between D-KEFS measures and group were present. For the ADHD group, the relation between adaptive abilities and EF was more general, with three of the four EF measures showing a significant relation with adaptive score. In contrast, for the ALC group, this relation was specific to the nonverbal EF measures. In the CON group, performance on EF tasks did not predict adaptive scores over the influence of age. Conclusion These results support prior research in ADHD suggesting that EF deficits are predictive of poorer adaptive behavior and extend this finding to include children with heavy prenatal exposure to alcohol. However, the relation between EF and adaptive ability differed by group, suggesting unique patterns of abilities in these children. These results provide enhanced understanding of adaptive deficits in these populations, as well as demonstrate the ecological validity of laboratory

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulder, Hanna|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/322944880; Hoofs, Huub; Verhagen, Josje|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/277955882; van der Veen, Ineke; Leseman, Paul P M|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/070760810

    2014-01-01

    Executive function (EF) is an important predictor of numerous developmental outcomes, such as academic achievement and behavioral adjustment. Although a plethora of measurement instruments exists to assess executive function in children, only few of these are suitable for toddlers, and even fewer

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanna eMulder

    2014-07-01

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

  16. Executive function predicts adaptive behavior in children with histories of heavy prenatal alcohol exposure and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ware, Ashley L; Crocker, Nicole; O'Brien, Jessica W; Deweese, Benjamin N; Roesch, Scott C; Coles, Claire D; Kable, Julie A; May, Philip A; Kalberg, Wendy O; Sowell, Elizabeth R; Jones, Kenneth Lyons; Riley, Edward P; Mattson, Sarah N

    2012-08-01

    Prenatal exposure to alcohol often results in disruption to discrete cognitive and behavioral domains, including executive function (EF) and adaptive functioning. In the current study, the relation between these 2 domains was examined in children with histories of heavy prenatal alcohol exposure, nonexposed children with a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and typically developing controls. As part of a multisite study, 3 groups of children (8 to 18 years, M = 12.10) were tested: children with histories of heavy prenatal alcohol exposure (ALC, n = 142), nonexposed children with ADHD (ADHD, n = 82), and typically developing controls (CON, n = 133) who did not have ADHD or a history of prenatal alcohol exposure. Children completed subtests of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS), and their primary caregivers completed the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-II. Data were analyzed using regression analyses. Analyses showed that EF measures were predictive of adaptive abilities, and significant interactions between D-KEFS measures and group were present. For the ADHD group, the relation between adaptive abilities and EF was more general, with 3 of the 4 EF measures showing a significant relation with adaptive score. In contrast, for the ALC group, this relation was specific to the nonverbal EF measures. In the CON group, performance on EF tasks did not predict adaptive scores over the influence of age. These results support prior research in ADHD, suggesting that EF deficits are predictive of poorer adaptive behavior and extend this finding to include children with heavy prenatal exposure to alcohol. However, the relation between EF and adaptive ability differed by group, suggesting unique patterns of abilities in these children. These results provide enhanced understanding of adaptive deficits in these populations, as well as demonstrate the ecological validity of laboratory measures of EF. Copyright © 2012 by the Research

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  18. How preschool executive functioning predicts several aspects of math achievement in Grades 1 and 3: A longitudinal study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viterbori, Paola; Usai, M Carmen; Traverso, Laura; De Franchis, Valentina

    2015-12-01

    This longitudinal study analyzes whether selected components of executive function (EF) measured during the preschool period predict several indices of math achievement in primary school. Six EF measures were assessed in a sample of 5-year-old children (N = 175). The math achievement of the same children was then tested in Grades 1 and 3 using both a composite math score and three single indices of written calculation, arithmetical facts, and problem solving. Using previous results obtained from the same sample of children, a confirmatory factor analysis examining the latent EF structure in kindergarten indicated that a two-factor model provided the best fit for the data. In this model, inhibition and working memory (WM)-flexibility were separate dimensions. A full structural equation model was then used to test the hypothesis that math achievement (the composite math score and single math scores) in Grades 1 and 3 could be explained by the two EF components comprising the kindergarten model. The results indicate that the WM-flexibility component measured during the preschool period substantially predicts mathematical achievement, especially in Grade 3. The math composite scores were predicted by the WM-flexibility factor at both grade levels. In Grade 3, both problem solving and arithmetical facts were predicted by the WM-flexibility component. The results empirically support interventions that target EF as an important component of early childhood mathematics education. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McHugh, Joanna Edel; Lawlor, Brian A

    2016-01-01

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

  20. DWI and complex brain network analysis predicts vascular cognitive impairment in spontaneous hypertensive rats undergoing executive function tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Gil, Xavier; Amat-Roldan, Iván; Tudela, Raúl; Castañé, Anna; Prats-Galino, Alberto; Planas, Anna M; Farr, Tracy D; Soria, Guadalupe

    2014-01-01

    The identification of biomarkers of vascular cognitive impairment is urgent for its early diagnosis. The aim of this study was to detect and monitor changes in brain structure and connectivity, and to correlate them with the decline in executive function. We examined the feasibility of early diagnostic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to predict cognitive impairment before onset in an animal model of chronic hypertension: Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats. Cognitive performance was tested in an operant conditioning paradigm that evaluated learning, memory, and behavioral flexibility skills. Behavioral tests were coupled with longitudinal diffusion weighted imaging acquired with 126 diffusion gradient directions and 0.3 mm(3) isometric resolution at 10, 14, 18, 22, 26, and 40 weeks after birth. Diffusion weighted imaging was analyzed in two different ways, by regional characterization of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) indices, and by assessing changes in structural brain network organization based on Q-Ball tractography. Already at the first evaluated times, DTI scalar maps revealed significant differences in many regions, suggesting loss of integrity in white and gray matter of spontaneously hypertensive rats when compared to normotensive control rats. In addition, graph theory analysis of the structural brain network demonstrated a significant decrease of hierarchical modularity, global and local efficacy, with predictive value as shown by regional three-fold cross validation study. Moreover, these decreases were significantly correlated with the behavioral performance deficits observed at subsequent time points, suggesting that the diffusion weighted imaging and connectivity studies can unravel neuroimaging alterations even overt signs of cognitive impairment become apparent.

  1. Executive Functions in Developmental Dyslexia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pamela eVarvara

    2014-03-01

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

  2. Impairment of executive function and attention predicts onset of affective disorder in healthy high-risk twins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vinberg, Maj; Miskowiak, Kamilla W; Kessing, Lars Vedel

    2013-01-01

    To investigate whether measures of cognitive function can predict onset of affective disorder in individuals at heritable risk.......To investigate whether measures of cognitive function can predict onset of affective disorder in individuals at heritable risk....

  3. Specifying Links between Executive Functioning and Theory of Mind during Middle Childhood: Cognitive Flexibility Predicts Social Understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bock, Allison M.; Gallaway, Kristin C.; Hund, Alycia M.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to specify the development of and links between executive functioning and theory of mind during middle childhood. One hundred four 7- to 12-year-old children completed a battery of age-appropriate tasks measuring working memory, inhibition, flexibility, theory of mind, and vocabulary. As expected, spatial working…

  4. Do Hours Spent Viewing Television at Ages 3 and 4 Predict Vocabulary and Executive Functioning at Age 5?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blankson, A. Nayena; O'Brien, Marion; Leerkes, Esther M.; Calkins, Susan D.; Marcovitch, Stuart D.

    2015-01-01

    We examined the impact of television viewing at ages 3 and 4 on vocabulary and at age 5 on executive functioning in the context of home learning environment and parental scaffolding. Children (N = 263) were seen in the lab when they were 3 years old and then again at ages 4 and 5. Parents completed measures assessing child television viewing and…

  5. DWI and complex brain network analysis predicts vascular cognitive impairment in spontaneous hypertensive rats undergoing executive function tests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xavier eLópez-Gil

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The identification of biomarkers of vascular cognitive impairment is urgent for its early diagnosis. The aim of this study was to detect and monitor changes in brain structure and connectivity, and to correlate them with the decline in executive function. We examined the feasibility of early diagnostic magnetic resonance imaging to predict cognitive impairment before onset in an animal model of chronic hypertension: Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats. Cognitive performance was tested in an operant conditioning paradigm that evaluated learning, memory and behavioral flexibility skills. Behavioral tests were coupled with longitudinal diffusion weighted imaging acquired with 126 diffusion gradient directions and 0.3 mm3 isometric resolution at 10, 14, 18, 22, 26 and 40 weeks after birth. Diffusion weighted imaging was analyzed in 2 different ways, by regional characterization of diffusion tensor imaging indices, and by assessing changes in structural brain network organization based on Q-Ball tractography. Already at the first evaluated times, diffusion tensor imaging scalar maps revealed significant differences in many regions, suggesting loss of integrity in white and grey matter of spontaneously hypertensive rats when compared to normotensive control rats. In addition, graph theory analysis of the structural brain network demonstrated a significant decrease of hierarchical modularity, global and local efficacy, with predictive value as shown by regional 3-fold cross validation study. Moreover, these decreases were significantly correlated with the behavioral performance deficits observed at subsequent time points, suggesting that the diffusion weighted imaging and connectivity studies can unravel neuroimaging alterations even overt signs of cognitive impairment become apparent.

  6. The Brief Cognitive Assessment Tool (BCAT): a new test emphasizing contextual memory, executive functions, attentional capacity, and the prediction of instrumental activities of daily living.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansbach, William E; MacDougall, Elizabeth E; Rosenzweig, Andrew S

    2012-01-01

    The Brief Cognitive Assessment Tool (BCAT) is a new screening measure for cognitive dysfunction that emphasizes contextual memory and executive control functions. A total of 104 older adults referred for neuropsychological evaluation were recruited from assisted-living facilities. Psychometric analyses confirmed strong evidence for reliability, construct validity, and predictive validity. The BCAT's utility for identifying dementia versus mild cognitive impairment was excellent, with a sensitivity of .99, a specificity of .77, and an area under the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve of .95. Executive control, contextual memory, and attentional capacity items were the best predictors of diagnostic category and of instrumental activities of daily living.

  7. Interactions between Callous Unemotional Behaviors and Executive Function in Early Childhood Predict later Aggression and Lower Peer-liking in Late-childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waller, Rebecca; Hyde, Luke W; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R; Olson, Sheryl L

    2017-04-01

    Callous unemotional (CU) behaviors are linked to aggression, behavior problems, and difficulties in peer relationships in children and adolescents. However, few studies have examined whether early childhood CU behaviors predict aggression or peer-rejection during late-childhood or potential moderation of this relationship by executive function. The current study examined whether the interaction of CU behaviors and executive function in early childhood predicted different forms of aggression in late-childhood, including proactive, reactive, and relational aggression, as well as how much children were liked by their peers. Data from cross-informant reports and multiple observational tasks were collected from a high-risk sample (N = 240; female = 118) at ages 3 and 10 years old. Parent reports of CU behaviors at age 3 predicted teacher reports of reactive, proactive, and relational aggression, as well as lower peer-liking at age 10. Moderation analysis showed that specifically at high levels of CU behaviors and low levels of observed executive function, children were reported by teachers as showing greater reactive and proactive aggression, and were less-liked by peers. Findings demonstrate that early childhood CU behaviors and executive function have unique main and interactive effects on both later aggression and lower peer-liking even when taking into account stability in behavior problems over time. By elucidating how CU behaviors and deficits in executive function potentiate each other during early childhood, we can better characterize the emergence of severe and persistent behavior and interpersonal difficulties across development.

  8. Predictive Value of Traditional Measures of Executive Function on Broad Abilities of the Cattell-Horn-Carroll Theory of Cognitive Abilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Aken, Loes; van der Heijden, Paul T; Oomens, Wouter; Kessels, Roy P C; Egger, Jos I M

    2017-09-01

    The neuropsychological construct of executive functions (EFs), and the psychometric Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) theory of cognitive abilities are both approaches that attempt to describe cognitive functioning. The coherence between EF and CHC abilities has been mainly studied using factor-analytical techniques. Through multivariate regression analysis, the current study now assesses the integration of these latent constructs in clinical assessment. The predictive power of six widely used executive tasks on five CHC measures (crystallized and fluid intelligence, visual processing, short-term memory, and processing speed) is examined. Results indicate that executive tasks-except for the Stroop and the Tower of London-predict overall performance on the intelligence tests. Differentiation in predicting performance between the CHC abilities is limited, due to a high shared variance between these abilities. It is concluded that executive processes such as planning and inhibition have a unique variance that is not well-represented in intelligence tests. Implications for the use of EF tests and operationalization of CHC measures in clinical practice are discussed.

  9. A Modified Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test Predicts Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia Better Than Executive Function Tests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthias L. Schroeter

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD is characterized by deep alterations in behavior and personality. Although revised diagnostic criteria agree for executive dysfunction as most characteristic, impairments in social cognition are also suggested. The study aimed at identifying those neuropsychological and behavioral parameters best discriminating between bvFTD and healthy controls. Eighty six patients were diagnosed with possible or probable bvFTD according to Rascovsky et al. (2011 and compared with 43 healthy age-matched controls. Neuropsychological performance was assessed with a modified Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET, Stroop task, Trail Making Test (TMT, Hamasch-Five-Point Test (H5PT, and semantic and phonemic verbal fluency tasks. Behavior was assessed with the Apathy Evaluation Scale, Frontal Systems Behavioral Scale, and Bayer Activities of Daily Living Scale. Each test’s discriminatory power was investigated by Receiver Operating Characteristic curves calculating the area under the curve (AUC. bvFTD patients performed significantly worse than healthy controls in all neuropsychological tests. Discriminatory power (AUC was highest in behavioral questionnaires, high in verbal fluency tasks and the RMET, and lower in executive function tests such as the Stroop task, TMT and H5PT. As fluency tasks depend on several cognitive functions, not only executive functions, results suggest that the RMET discriminated better between bvFTD and control subjects than other executive tests. Social cognition should be incorporated into diagnostic criteria for bvFTD in the future, such as in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11, as already suggested in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5.

  10. Cannabinoid modulation of executive functions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  11. [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.

  12. Executive functioning in highly talented soccer players

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions might be important for successful performance in sports, particularly in team sports requiring quick anticipation and adaptation to continuously changing situations in the field. The executive functions motor inhibition, attention and visuospatial working memory were examined in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  14. Predicting word reading and comprehension with executive function and speed measures across development: a latent variable analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher, Micaela E; Miyake, Akira; Keenan, Janice M; Pennington, Bruce; DeFries, John C; Wadsworth, Sally J; Willcutt, Erik; Olson, Richard K

    2012-08-01

    The present study explored whether different executive control and speed measures (working memory, inhibition, processing speed, and naming speed) independently predict individual differences in word reading and reading comprehension. Although previous studies suggest these cognitive constructs are important for reading, the authors analyze the constructs simultaneously to test whether each is a unique predictor. Latent variables from 483 participants (ages 8-16 years) were used to portion each cognitive and reading construct into its unique and shared variance. In these models 2 specific issues are addressed: (a) Given that the wide age range may span the theoretical transition from "learning to read" to "reading to learn," the authors first test whether the relation between word reading and reading comprehension is stable across 2 age groups (ages 8-10 and 11-16); and (b) the main theoretical question of interest: whether what is shared and what is separable for word reading and reading comprehension are associated with individual differences in working memory, inhibition, and measures of processing and naming speed. The results indicated that (a) the relation between word reading and reading comprehension is largely invariant across the age groups, and (b) working memory and general processing speed, but not inhibition or the speeded naming of non-alphanumeric stimuli, are unique predictors of both word reading and comprehension, with working memory equally important for both reading abilities and processing speed more important for word reading. These results have implications for understanding why reading comprehension and word reading are highly correlated yet separable . (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).

  15. Predicting Word Reading and Comprehension with Executive Function and Speed Measures Across Development: A Latent Variable Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher, Micaela E.; Miyake, Akira; Keenan, Janice M.; Pennington, Bruce; DeFries, John C.; Wadsworth, Sally J.; Willcutt, Erik; Olson, Richard K.

    2012-01-01

    The present study explored whether different executive control and speed measures (working memory, inhibition, processing speed, and naming speed) independently predict individual differences in word reading and reading comprehension. Although previous studies suggest these cognitive constructs are important for reading, we analyze the constructs simultaneously to test whether each is a unique predictor. We used latent variables from 483 participants (ages 8 to 16) to portion each cognitive and reading construct into its unique and shared variance. In these models we address two specific issues: (a) given that our wide age range may span the theoretical transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn,” we first test whether the relation between word reading and reading comprehension is stable across two age groups (ages 8 to 10 and 11 to 16); and (b) the main theoretical question of interest: whether what is shared and what is separable for word reading and reading comprehension are associated with individual differences in working memory, inhibition, and measures of processing and naming speed. The results indicated that: (a) the relation between word reading and reading comprehension is largely invariant across the age groups; (b) working memory and general processing speed, but not inhibition or the speeded naming of non-alphanumeric stimuli, are unique predictors of both word reading and comprehension, with working memory equally important for both reading abilities and processing speed more important for word reading. These results have implications for understanding why reading comprehension and word reading are highly correlated yet separable. PMID:22352396

  16. Load-related brain activation predicts spatial working memory performance in youth aged 9–12 and is associated with executive function at earlier ages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Anna S.; Klein, Daniel N.; Leung, Hoi-Chung

    2015-01-01

    Spatial working memory is a central cognitive process that matures through adolescence in conjunction with major changes in brain function and anatomy. Here we focused on late childhood and early adolescence to more closely examine the neural correlates of performance variability during this important transition period. Using a modified spatial 1-back task with two memory load conditions in an fMRI study, we examined the relationship between load-dependent neural responses and task performance in a sample of 39 youth aged 9–12 years. Our data revealed that between-subject differences in task performance was predicted by load-dependent deactivation in default network regions, including the ventral anterior cingulate cortex (vACC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). Although load-dependent increases in activation in prefrontal and posterior parietal regions were only weakly correlated with performance, increased prefrontal-parietal coupling was associated with better performance. Furthermore, behavioral measures of executive function from as early as age 3 predicted current load-dependent deactivation in vACC and PCC. These findings suggest that both task positive and task negative brain activation during spatial working memory contributed to successful task performance in late childhood/early adolescence. This may serve as a good model for studying executive control deficits in developmental disorders. PMID:26562059

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. A simple hypothesis of executive function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno eKopp

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Executive function is traditionally conceptualized as a set of abilities required to guide behavior toward goals. Here, an integrated theoretical framework for executive function is developed which has its roots in the notion of hierarchical mental models. Further following Duncan (2010a,b, executive function is construed as a hierarchical recursive system of test-operation-test-exit units (Miller, Galanter, and Pribram, 1960. Importantly, it is shown that this framework can be used to model the main regional prefrontal syndromes, which are characterized by apathetic, disinhibited and dysexecutive cognition and behavior, respectively. Implications of these considerations for the neuropsychological assessment of executive function are discussed.

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. Executive function and coping in stroke survivors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kegel, Jessica; Dux, Moira; Macko, Richard

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. Executive Function and Early Reading Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foy, Judith G.; Mann, Virginia A.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine how executive function skills in verbal and nonverbal auditory tasks are related to early reading skills in beginning readers. Kindergarteners (N = 41, aged 5 years) completed verbal (phonemes) and nonverbal (environmental sounds) Continuous Performance tasks yielding measures of executive function (misses,…

  5. Executive Function Subcomponents and their Relations to Everyday Functioning in Healthy Older Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAlister, Courtney; Schmitter-Edgecombe, Maureen

    2016-01-01

    Everyday functioning and its executive functioning cognitive correlates (i.e., switching, inhibition, and updating) were investigated in healthy older adults (HOAs) using multiple methods of functional status. In addition to whether computerized experimental tasks would better dissociate these subcomponents than neuropsychological measures of executive functioning, we were also interested in the contributions of both experimental and neuropsychological measures of executive function subcomponents to functional abilities. Seventy HOAs (45 young-old and 25 old-old) and 70 younger adults completed executive function and neuropsychological tests. In addition to self- and informant questionnaires of functional abilities, HOAs completed two performance-based measures. An aging effect was found on all executive function measures. Old-old older adults and their informants did not report more functional difficulties but demonstrated more difficulties on performance-based measures relative to young-old participants. For the HOAs, after controlling for age and education, the neuropsychological measures of executive functioning, but not experimental measures, explained a significant amount of variance in the informant-report and both performance-based measures. Updating measures differentially predicted performance-based measures, while switching was important for questionnaire and performance-based measures. The contribution of executive functioning to functional status when measured with experimental measures specifically designed to isolate the executive subcomponent was not as strong as hypothesized. Further research examining the value of isolating executive function subcomponents in neuropsychological assessment and the prediction of functional abilities in older adults is warranted. PMID:27206842

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Trait Rumination, Depression, and Executive Functions in Early Adolescence

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Although deficits in executive functions have been linked with both depression and rumination in adulthood, the nature of the relationship between these constructs is not well understood and remains understudied in adolescence. The present study examined the relationship of rumination and depression to deficits in executive functions in early adolescence, a critical developmental period for the emergence of depression and rumination and the development of executive functions. Participants were 486 early adolescents (52.7% female; 47.1% African American, 48.8% Caucasian; 4.2% Biracial/Multiracial/Other; M age = 12.88 years; SD = .62) and their mothers, recruited through local schools. Measures included (a) a semi-structured diagnostic interview of the mother and adolescent, (b) youth self-report forms assessing depressive symptoms and trait rumination, (c) mother-report forms assessing demographic information, and (d) behavioral tests of executive function (sustained, selective and divided attention, attentional set shifting, and working memory). Gender moderated rumination-set shifting associations, such that rumination predicted better set shifting in boys only. The current level of depressive symptoms moderated rumination-sustained attention associations, such that rumination predicted better sustained attention in those with low levels of depressive symptoms and worse sustained attention in those with high levels of depressive symptoms. Rumination did not predict performance on other measures of executive functions. Likewise, depressive symptoms and diagnosis were not associated with executive functions. Implications for future research are discussed. PMID:24839132

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Quality of Maternal Parenting of 9-Month-Old Infants Predicts Executive Function Performance at 2 and 3 Years of Age

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nanhua Cheng

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Whereas the effects of maternal parenting quality during infants’ 2nd year on later executive function (EF have been studied extensively, less is known about the impact of maternal parenting quality during the 1st year. The aim of this study was to examine whether maternal parenting during infants’ 1st year predicted EF performance at 2 and 3 years of age in a Chinese sample. Data were collected from 96 mother-infant dyads (42 males when the infants were 6, 9, 25, and 38 months old. Cognitive development as a control variable was measured with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II at 6 months. At 9 months, three aspects of maternal parenting quality (sensitivity, mind-mindedness, and encouragement of autonomy were assessed with MBQS, mind-mindedness coding system, and encouragement of autonomy coding schema within a 15-min mother–infant interaction. Three aspects of EF (working memory, inhibitory control, and delay EF were measured at 25 and 38 months with age-appropriate tasks. Hierarchical regression analysis showed that maternal mind-mindedness had a more important effect than did the encouragement of autonomy and maternal sensitivity during infants’ preverbal period. More precisely, maternal mind-mindedness at 9 months predicted inhibitory control at 2 and 3 years, and maternal encouragement of autonomy predicted performance on delay EF tasks at 3 years, maternal sensitivity had no observed effect on children’s EF. This study suggests that maternal parenting quality during the 1st year (maternal mind-mindedness and encouragement of autonomy, but not maternal sensitivity impacts later EF development.

  11. 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.

  12. Maternal executive function, harsh parenting, and child conduct problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

    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 with better executive function, and (b) this mechanism would be further moderated by the degree of household chaos. The socioeconomically diverse sample included 147 mothers of 3-to-7 year old children. Mothers completed questionnaires and a laboratory assessment of executive function. Consistent with hypotheses, harsh parenting was linked with child conduct problems only among mothers with poorer executive function. This effect was particularly strong in calm, predictable environments, but was not evident in chaotic environments. Maternal executive function is critical to minimizing harsh parenting in the context of challenging child behavior, but this self-regulation process may not operate well in chaotic environments. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry © 2012 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  14. [Executive functions and high intellectual capacity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sastre-Riba, S; Viana-Saenz, L

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Designing pedagogy incorporating executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasserman, Theodore

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donna P. Mann

    2015-10-01

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

  19. 29 CFR 452.19 - Executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... fact has executive or policy-making authority or responsibility, although he may not occupy a position identified as an officer under the constitution and bylaws of the organization. Authorization to perform such functions need not be contained in any provision of the constitution or bylaws or other document but may be...

  20. Unraveling Executive Functioning in Dual Diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duijkers, Judith C L M; Vissers, Constance Th W M; Egger, Jos I M

    2016-01-01

    In mental health, the term dual-diagnosis is used for the co-occurrence of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) with another mental disorder. These co-occurring disorders can have a shared cause, and can cause/intensify each other's expression. Forming a threat to health and society, dual-diagnosis is associated with relapses in addiction-related behavior and a destructive lifestyle. This is due to a persistent failure to control impulses and the maintaining of inadequate self-regulatory behavior in daily life. Thus, several aspects of executive functioning like inhibitory, shifting and updating processes seem impaired in dual-diagnosis. Executive (dys-)function is currently even seen as a shared underlying key component of most mental disorders. However, the number of studies on diverse aspects of executive functioning in dual-diagnosis is limited. In the present review, a systematic overview of various aspects of executive functioning in dual-diagnosis is presented, striving for a prototypical profile of patients with dual-diagnosis. Looking at empirical results, inhibitory and shifting processes appear to be impaired for SUD combined with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or cluster B personality disorders. Studies involving updating process tasks for dual-diagnosis were limited. More research that zooms in to the full diversity of these executive functions is needed in order to strengthen these findings. Detailed insight in the profile of strengths and weaknesses that underlies one's behavior and is related to diagnostic classifications, can lead to tailor-made assessment and indications for treatment, pointing out which aspects need attention and/or training in one's self-regulative abilities.

  1. 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…

  2. Executive Functioning in Highly Talented Soccer Players

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Executive functioning in highly talented soccer players.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lot Verburgh

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  5. Evaluation of Specific Executive Functioning Skills and the Processes Underlying Executive Control in Schizophrenia

    OpenAIRE

    Savla, Gauri N.; Twamley, Elizabeth W.; Thompson, Wesley K.; Delis, Dean C.; Jeste, Dilip V.; Palmer, Barton W.

    2010-01-01

    Schizophrenia is associated with executive dysfunction. Yet, the degree to which executive functions are impaired differentially, or above and beyond underlying basic cognitive processes is less clear. Participants included 145 matched pairs of individuals with schizophrenia (SCs) and normal comparison subjects (NCs). Executive functions were assessed with 10 tasks of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS), in terms of “achievement scores” reflecting overall performance on the ta...

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Evaluation of a differentiation model of preschoolers’ executive functions

    OpenAIRE

    Howard, Steven J.; Okely, Anthony D.; Ellis, Yvonne G.

    2015-01-01

    Despite the prominent role of executive functions in children’s emerging competencies, there remains debate regarding the structure and development of executive functions. In an attempt to reconcile these discrepancies, a differentiation model of executive function development was evaluated in the early years using 6-month age groupings. Specifically, 281 preschoolers completed measures of working memory, inhibition, and shifting. Results contradicted suggestions that executive functions foll...

  9. 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…

  10. Evaluation of a differentiation model of preschoolers’ executive functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Steven J.; Okely, Anthony D.; Ellis, Yvonne G.

    2015-01-01

    Despite the prominent role of executive functions in children’s emerging competencies, there remains debate regarding the structure and development of executive functions. In an attempt to reconcile these discrepancies, a differentiation model of executive function development was evaluated in the early years using 6-month age groupings. Specifically, 281 preschoolers completed measures of working memory, inhibition, and shifting. Results contradicted suggestions that executive functions follow a single trajectory of progressive separation in childhood, instead suggesting that these functions may undergo a period of integration in the preschool years. These results highlight potential problems with current practices and theorizing in executive function research. PMID:25852603

  11. Evaluation of a differentiation model of preschoolers' executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Steven J; Okely, Anthony D; Ellis, Yvonne G

    2015-01-01

    Despite the prominent role of executive functions in children's emerging competencies, there remains debate regarding the structure and development of executive functions. In an attempt to reconcile these discrepancies, a differentiation model of executive function development was evaluated in the early years using 6-month age groupings. Specifically, 281 preschoolers completed measures of working memory, inhibition, and shifting. Results contradicted suggestions that executive functions follow a single trajectory of progressive separation in childhood, instead suggesting that these functions may undergo a period of integration in the preschool years. These results highlight potential problems with current practices and theorizing in executive function research.

  12. Getting the right grasp on executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, Claudia L R; Mills, Kelly J; Genee, Inge; Li, Fangfang; Piquette, Noella; Rosen, Nicole; Gibb, Robbin

    2014-01-01

    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 Behavioral 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 tasks

  13. The interactive effect of social pain and executive functioning on aggression: an fMRI experiment

    OpenAIRE

    Chester, David S.; Eisenberger, Naomi I.; Pond, Richard S.; Richman, Stephanie B.; Bushman, Brad J.; DeWall, C. Nathan

    2013-01-01

    Social rejection often increases aggression, but the neural mechanisms underlying this effect remain unclear. This experiment tested whether neural activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and anterior insula in response to social rejection predicted greater subsequent aggression. Additionally, it tested whether executive functioning moderated this relationship. Participants completed a behavioral measure of executive functioning, experienced social rejection while undergoing f...

  14. Early Mastery Motivation as a Predictor of Executive Function in Young Adults with Developmental Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauser-Cram, Penny; Woodman, Ashley Cynthia; Heyman, Miriam

    2014-01-01

    The role of early childhood mastery motivation as a predictor of executive function 20 years later was examined in a sample of 39 individuals who had early diagnosed developmental disabilities. Multilevel modeling was used to analyze predictors of accuracy and response time on a Flanker task measuring executive function. As predicted, participants…

  15. 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), parental-reported (temperament-based inhibitory control), and psychophysiological (working memory-related changes in heart rate and brain electrical activity) measures of executive functions from a group of preschool-aged children. After children finished kindergarten, approximately 2 years later, parents were asked to complete an assessment of children's executive function skills. A regression analysis revealed that pre-kindergarten behavioral, parental-reported, and psychophysiological measures accounted for variance in post-kindergarten executive functions. Specifically, working memory task performance, temperament-based inhibitory control, and working memory-related changes in brain electrical activity accounted for unique variance in post-kindergarten executive functions. These data provide a unique contribution to the executive function literature: No other study has examined whether behavioral, psychophysiological, and parental-reported executive function measures can account for unique variance in future executive function. PRACTICE OR POLICY: These findings are discussed in relation to children's transition to school and executive function training programs.

  16. 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.

  17. The interactive effect of social pain and executive functioning on aggression: an fMRI experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chester, David S; Eisenberger, Naomi I; Pond, Richard S; Richman, Stephanie B; Bushman, Brad J; Dewall, C Nathan

    2014-05-01

    Social rejection often increases aggression, but the neural mechanisms underlying this effect remain unclear. This experiment tested whether neural activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and anterior insula in response to social rejection predicted greater subsequent aggression. Additionally, it tested whether executive functioning moderated this relationship. Participants completed a behavioral measure of executive functioning, experienced social rejection while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging and then completed a task in which they could aggress against a person who rejected them using noise blasts . We found that dACC activation and executive functioning interacted to predict aggression. Specifically, participants with low executive functioning showed a positive association between dACC activation and aggression, whereas individuals with high executive functioning showed a negative association. Similar results were found for the left anterior insula. These findings suggest that social pain can increase or decrease aggression, depending on an individual's regulatory capability.

  18. Executive Function in Previously Institutionalized Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merz, Emily C; Harlé, Katia M; Noble, Kimberly G; McCall, Robert B

    2016-06-01

    In studies of children adopted from institutions, being raised in an institution has been associated consistently with an increased risk of persistent cognitive, academic, and social-emotional problems. These findings raise questions about the neurocognitive mechanisms that contribute to these negative outcomes. Theory and models based on studies of animals indicate that development of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and executive function (EF) may be particularly susceptible to environmental influences during early childhood. In this article, we review recent studies of postinstitutionalized children that examined EF components such as inhibitory control, working memory, shifting, and planning. We then describe emerging research on the structure and function of the PFC. Converging evidence suggests both EF difficulties and alterations in development of the PFC following early institutionalization. We conclude by discussing possible explanations for these findings and implications for prevention and intervention, and by offering suggestions for ongoing research.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Executive function across the life span.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelazo, Philip David; Craik, Fergus I M; Booth, Laura

    2004-01-01

    The development and determinants of executive function (EF) were studied in children (mean age=8.8 years), young adults ( M= 22.3 years), and elderly adults (M = 71.1 years). EF was indexed by perseverative responding on two bidimensional sorting tasks (Visually Cued Color-Shape task and Auditorily Cued Number-Numeral task), and age-related changes in EF were considered in relation to estimates of conscious vs. unconscious memory that were obtained using the process dissociation procedure (PDP). Results revealed the rise and fall of EF across the life span, with significant quadratic trends found for performance on both sorting tasks and for the conscious recollection component (C) of the PDP task. Regression analyses indicated that PDP estimates of conscious memory accounted for variation in performance on the visual sorting task, but not on the auditory sorting task. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for hierarchical models of EF and its development.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. The effects of bilingual growth on toddlers’ executive function

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    The mastery of two languages provides bilingual speakers with cognitive benefits over monolinguals, particularly on cognitive flexibility and selective attention. However, extant research is limited to comparisons between monolinguals and bilinguals at a single point in time. This study investigated whether growth in bilingual proficiency, as shown by an increased number of translation equivalents (TEs) over a 7-month period, improves executive function. We hypothesized that bilingual toddlers with a larger increase of TEs would have more practice in switching across lexical systems, boosting executive function abilities. Expressive vocabulary and TEs were assessed at 24 and 31 months of age. A battery of tasks, including conflict, delay, and working memory tasks, was administered at 31 months. As expected, we observed a task-specific advantage in inhibitory control in bilinguals. More important, within the bilingual group, larger increases in the number of TEs predicted better performance on conflict tasks but not on delay tasks. This unique longitudinal design confirms the relation between executive function and early bilingualism. PMID:26402219

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwaighofer, Matthias; Bühner, Markus; Fischer, Frank

    2017-01-01

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

  8. [Ecological executive function characteristics and effects of executive function on quality of life in young adult epileptics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lanlan; Zhou, Nong

    2014-05-06

    To explore the characteristics of ecological executive function in young adults with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy and examine the effects of executive function on quality of life. Fifty-five epileptics (EP) and 39 matched healthy controls (HC) aged 18-44 years at our hospital were selected. The differences in ecological executive function and quality of life were compared between two groups with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-adult version (BRIEF-A) and QOLIE-31. Comparing with controls, the epileptics yielded higher scores significantly on most subscales of BRIEF-A (P Young adults with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy may have significant executive function impairment. The aspects of emotional control, BRI, working memory and inhibition in ecological executive function are significantly related with quality of life in epilepsy.

  9. Evaluation of specific executive functioning skills and the processes underlying executive control in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savla, Gauri N; Twamley, Elizabeth W; Thompson, Wesley K; Delis, Dean C; Jeste, Dilip V; Palmer, Barton W

    2011-01-01

    Schizophrenia is associated with executive dysfunction. Yet, the degree to which executive functions are impaired differentially, or above and beyond underlying basic cognitive processes is less clear. Participants included 145 matched pairs of individuals with schizophrenia (SCs) and normal comparison subjects (NCs). Executive functions were assessed with 10 tasks of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS), in terms of "achievement scores" reflecting overall performance on the task. Five of these tasks (all measuring executive control) were further examined in terms of their basic component (e.g., processing speed) scores and contrast scores (reflecting residual higher order skills adjusted for basic component skills). Group differences were examined via multivariate analysis of variance. SCs had worse performance than NCs on all achievement scores, but the greatest SC-NC difference was that for the Trails Switching task. SCs also had worse performance than NCs on all basic component skills. Of the executive control tasks, only Trails Switching continued to be impaired after accounting for impairments in underlying basic component skills. Much of the impairment in executive functions in schizophrenia may reflect the underlying component skills rather than higher-order functions. However, the results from one task suggest that there might be additional impairment in some aspects of executive control.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-16

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

  11. Executive functions in adults with developmental dyslexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Verbal Fluency: Language or Executive Function Measure?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Executive function in adolescents with Down Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-01

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

  14. Neuropsychological assessment of executive functions following pediatric traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaines, K Drorit; Soper, Henry V

    2018-01-01

    Assessment of executive functions in the adult is best captured at the stage where full maturation of brain development occurs. Assessment of executive functions of children, however, is considerably more complicated. First, assessment of executive functioning in children represents a snapshot of these developing functions at a particular time linked stage, which may have implications for further development. Second, neuropsychological measures available to assess executive functions in children are limited in number and scope and may not be sensitive to the gradual developmental changes. The present article provides an overview of the salient neurodevelopmental stages of executive functioning and discusses the utilization of recently developed neuropsychological measures to assess these stages. Comments on clinical implications of these findings regarding Traumatic Brain Injury will be provided.

  15. IMPAIRED EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING IN PEDIATRIC TRICHOTILLOMANIA (HAIR PULLING DISORDER).

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

    No neurocognitive examinations of pediatric trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder; HPD) have taken place. As a result, science's understanding of the underlying pathophysiology associated with HPD in youths is greatly lacking. The present study seeks to begin to address this gap in the literature via examination of executive functioning in a stimulant-free sample of children with HPD. Sixteen and 23 children between 9 and 17 years of age meeting DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for HPD or classified as a healthy control, respectively, were recruited (N = 39) to complete structured interviews, self-reports, and a subset of tests from the Cambridge Automatic Neurocognitive Test Assessment Battery (CANTAB) assessing cognitive flexibility/reversal learning (intradimensional/extradimensional; IED), working memory (spatial span; SSP), and planning and organization (Stocking of Cambridge; SOC). Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that, after controlling for appropriate covariates, diagnostic status predicted impaired performance on both the IED (reversal learning only) and SOC (planning and organization) but failed to predict cognitive flexibility or working memory capacity. Correlational analyses revealed that pulling severity was strongly related to working memory capacity, while disparate relationships between pulling styles (automatic, focused pulling) were evident with respect to working memory and planning and organization. Children with HPD performed more poorly on tasks of executive functioning as compared to controls. Correlational analyses suggest potentially distinct pathophysiology underlying automatic and focused pulling warranting further research. Limitations and future areas of inquiry are discussed. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Training and Transfer Effects of Executive Functions in Preschool Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorell, Lisa B.; Lindqvist, Sofia; Nutley, Sissela Bergman; Bohlin, Gunilla; Klingberg, Torkel

    2009-01-01

    Executive functions, including working memory and inhibition, are of central importance to much of human behavior. Interventions intended to improve executive functions might therefore serve an important purpose. Previous studies show that working memory can be improved by training, but it is unknown if this also holds for inhibition, and whether…

  17. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Methods: Hot executive functions including decision‑making and emotion recognition were assessed using the Iowa gambling task and Ekman faces test, whereas cold executive functions including working memory (WM), cognitive flexibility, and response inhibition were assessed using n‑back, Wisconsin card sorting test, ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2016-01-12

    Jan 12, 2016 ... Methods: Hot executive functions including decision‑making and emotion recognition were assessed using the Iowa gambling task and Ekman faces test, whereas cold executive functions including working memory (WM), cognitive flexibility, and response inhibition were assessed using n‑back, Wisconsin ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 29 CFR 452.20 - Nature of executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

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

  2. Time Monitoring and Executive Functioning in Children and Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  3. Executive Functioning and Prospective Memory in Young Children

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Executive Functions as Predictors of Math Learning Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toll, Sylke W. M.; Van der Ven, Sanne H. G.; Kroesbergen, Evelyn H.; Van Luit, Johannes E. H.

    2011-01-01

    In the past years, an increasing number of studies have investigated executive functions as predictors of individual differences in mathematical abilities. The present longitudinal study was designed to investigate whether the executive functions shifting, inhibition, and working memory differ between low achieving and typically achieving children…

  5. Impaired executive function in male MDMA ("ecsatsy") users.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alting von Geusau, N.J.; Stalenhoef, P.; Huizinga, M.; Snel, J.; Ridderinkhof, K.R.

    2004-01-01

    Rationale: Long-term users of ecstasy have shown impaired performance on a multitude of cognitive abilities (most notably memory, attention, executive function). Research into the pattern of MDMA effects on executive functions remains fragmented, however. Objectives: To determine more systematically

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Executive functions and consumption of fruits/ vegetables and high saturated fat foods in young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limbers, Christine A; Young, Danielle

    2015-05-01

    Executive functions play a critical role in regulating eating behaviors and have been shown to be associated with overeating which over time can result in overweight and obesity. There has been a paucity of research examining the associations among healthy dietary behaviors and executive functions utilizing behavioral rating scales of executive functioning. The objective of the present cross-sectional study was to evaluate the associations among fruit and vegetable consumption, intake of foods high in saturated fat, and executive functions using the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning-Adult Version. A total of 240 university students completed the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning-Adult Version, the 26-Item Eating Attitudes Test, and the Diet subscale of the Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities Questionnaire. Multiple linear regression analysis was conducted with two separate models in which fruit and vegetable consumption and saturated fat intake were the outcomes. Demographic variables, body mass index, and eating styles were controlled for in the analysis. Better initiation skills were associated with greater intake of fruits and vegetables in the last 7 days (standardized beta = -0.17; p Executive functions that predict fruit and vegetable consumption are distinct from those that predict avoidance of foods high in saturated fat. Future research should investigate whether continued skill enhancement in initiation and inhibition following standard behavioral interventions improves long-term maintenance of weight loss. © The Author(s) 2015.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Habitual exercise instigation (vs. execution) predicts healthy adults' exercise frequency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, L Alison; Gardner, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    Habit is thought to be conducive to health behavior maintenance, because habits prompt behavior with minimal cognitive resources. The precise role of habit in determining complex behavioral sequences, such as exercise, has been underresearched. It is possible that the habit process may initiate a behavioral sequence (instigation habit) or that, after instigation, movement through the sequence is automated (execution habit). We hypothesized that exercise instigation habit can be empirically distinguished from exercise execution habit and that instigation habit strength is most predictive of future exercise and reflective of longitudinal exercise behavior change. Further, we evaluated whether patterned exercise action-that is, engaging in the same exercise actions from session to session-can be distinct from exercise execution habit. Healthy adults (N = 123) rated their exercise instigation and execution habit strengths, patterned exercise actions, and exercise frequency in baseline and 1-month follow-up surveys. Participants reported exercise engagement via electronic daily diaries for 1 month. Hypotheses were tested with regression analyses and repeated-measures analyses of variance. Exercise instigation habit strength was the only unique predictor of exercise frequency. Frequency profiles (change from high to low or low to high, no change high, no change low) were associated with changes in instigation habit but not with execution habit or patterned exercise action. Results suggest that the separable components of exercise sessions may be more or less automatic, and they point to the importance of developing instigation habit for establishing frequent exercise. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  11. 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...

  12. 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.  

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friend, Margaret; Bates, Raven Phoenix

    2014-01-01

    Oral narrative production develops dramatically from 3 to 5 years of age, and is a key factor in a child's ability to communicate about the world. Concomitant with this are developments in executive function (EF). For example, executive attention and behavioral inhibition show marked development beginning around 4 years of age. Both EF and oral narrative abilities have important implications for academic success, but the relationship between them is not well understood. The present paper utilizes a cross-lagged design to assess convergent and predictive relations between EF and narrative ability. As a collateral measure, we collected a Language Sample during 10 min of free play. Language Sample did not share significant variance with Narrative Production, thus general language growth from Wave 1 to Wave 2 cannot account for the predictive relations between EF and Narrative. Our findings suggest that although EF and Narrative ability appear independent at each Wave, they nevertheless support each other over developmental time. Specifically, the ability to maintain focus at 4 years supports subsequent narrative ability and narrative ability at 4 years supports subsequent facility and speed in learning and implementing new rules. PMID:24872811

  14. Assessing executive functions in preschoolers using Shape School Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Nieto

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Over the last two decades, there has been a growing interest in the study of the development of executive functions in preschool children due to their relationship with different cognitive, psychological, social and academic domains. Early detection of individual differences in executive functioning can have major implications for basic and applied research. Consequently, there is a key need for assessment tools adapted to preschool skills: Shape School has been shown to be a suitable task for this purpose. Our study uses Shape School as the main task to analyze development of inhibition, task-switching and working memory in a sample of 304 preschoolers (age range 3.25-6.50 years. Additionally, we include cognitive tasks for the evaluation of verbal variables (vocabulary, word reasoning and short-term memory and performance variables (picture completion and symbol search, so as to analyze their relationship with executive functions. Our results show age-associated improvements in executive functions and the cognitive variables assessed. Furthermore, correlation analyses reveal positive relationships between executive functions and the other cognitive variables. More specifically, using structural equation modeling and including age direct and indirect effects, our results suggest that executive functions explain to a greater extent performance on verbal and performance tasks. These findings provide further information to support research that considers preschool age to be a crucial period for the development of executive functions and their relationship with other cognitive processes

  15. CONTRIBUTION OF FRONTAL CEREBRAL BLOOD FLOW MEASURED BY 99mTc-BICISATE SPECT AND EXECUTIVE FUNCTION DEFICITS TO PREDICTING TREATMENT OUTCOME IN ALCOHOL-DEPENDENT PATIENTS

    OpenAIRE

    Noël, Xavier; Sferrazza, Rita; Van der Linden, Martial; Paternot, Jacques; Verhas, Michel; Hanak, Catherine; Pelc, Isidore; Verbanck, Paul

    2017-01-01

    — Aim: To determine whether inhibition and working memory deficits, and reduced regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) (previously shown to be related), measured at the end of a detoxification programme, predict alcoholic relapse 2 months later. Methods: Twenty uncomplicated alcoholic inpatients were investigated at the end of detoxification, at least 7 days since the last dose of diazepam, and a mean of 18.8 days since the last drink. Their performance was assessed on the inhibition (Hayling) t...

  16. Executive function in individuals with subthreshold autism traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christ, Shawn E; Kanne, Stephen M; Reiersen, Angela M

    2010-09-01

    Recent research has documented increased psychosocial difficulties in individuals who report higher-than-typical autistic traits but without an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis. Less is known, however, regarding the cognitive profile of individuals with subthreshold autism symptomatology. The objective of the present study was to provide additional insight into this issue and examine whether young adults who report higher degrees of autism traits also report experiencing increased difficulties with executive control. The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function was utilized to evaluate behavioral aspects of executive functioning in 66 and 28 individuals who endorsed high and low subthreshold levels of autism symptomatology, respectively. After accounting for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptomatology at both the group and individual participant levels, we found that autism traits continued to explain a significant amount of variance in participants' overall level of executive function (Global Executive Composite) as well as within most individual executive domains. Interestingly, the high and low trait groups did not differ on the inhibitory control and organization of materials scales, areas of functioning that appears to be largely spared in individuals with ASD as well. Findings from the present study are consistent with past research linking ASD and executive control impairment. In addition, ASD and ADHD traits were associated with unique contributions to the executive control profile of individuals with subthreshold autism symptomatology. This finding underscores the importance of accounting for ADHD symptomatology in studying ASD. Copyright 2010 APA, all rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Executive functioning in high-IQ adults with ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antshel, K M; Faraone, S V; Maglione, K; Doyle, A E; Fried, R; Seidman, L J; Biederman, J

    2010-11-01

    To examine the association between psychological tests of executive functioning and functional outcomes among high-IQ adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Subjects were high-IQ adults with (n=64) and without ADHD (n=53). Subjects were administered a battery of neuropsychological tests assessing executive functioning. High-IQ adults with ADHD performed less well than those without ADHD on several psychological tests of executive functioning, including the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), Stroop Color and Word Test, Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (ROCF), California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT) and an auditory continuous performance test (CPT). Test performance in the high-IQ adult ADHD group, however, was average. In the entire sample, performance on several tests of executive functioning including the ROCF and the CVLT were significant predictors of real-world functioning. High-IQ adults with ADHD perform less well on tests of executive functioning relative to high-IQ control participants. Performance on several tests of executive functioning was a significant predictor of functioning.

  20. 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.

  1. Executive Functions in Premanifest Huntington’s Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Are self-reported symptoms of executive dysfunction associated with objective executive function performance following mild to moderate traumatic brain injury?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiehser, Dawn M.; Delis, Dean C.; Filoteo, J. Vincent; Delano-Wood, Lisa; Han, S. Duke; Jak, Amy J.; Drake, Angela I.; Bondi, Mark W.

    2012-01-01

    Background and objective We examined the relationship between self-reported pre- and post-injury changes in executive dysfunction, apathy, disinhibition, and depression, and performance on neuropsychological tests of executive function, attention/processing speed, and memory in relation to mood levels and effort test performance in individuals in the early stages of recovery from mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI). Method Participants were 71 noncombat military personnel who were in a semiacute stage of recovery (<3 months post injury) from mild to moderate TBI. Pre- and post-TBI behaviors were assessed with the Frontal Systems Behavior Scale (FrSBe; Grace & Malloy, 2001) and correlated with levels of depressive symptoms, effort test performance, and performance on objective measures of attention, executive function, and memory. Results Self-reported symptoms of executive dysfunction generally failed to predict performance on objective measures of executive function and memory, although they predicted poorer performance on measures of attention/processing speed. Instead, higher levels of depressive symptomatology best predicted poorer performance on measures of executive function and memory. However, the relationship between memory performance and TBI symptoms was no longer significant when effort performance was controlled. Conclusions Our findings suggest that, among individuals in early recovery from mild to moderate TBI, self-reported depressive symptoms, rather than patients’ cognitive complaints, are associated with objective executive function. However, self-reported cognitive complaints may be associated with objectively measured inattention and slow processing speed. PMID:21958432

  4. Contribution of frontal cerebral blood flow measured by (99m)Tc-Bicisate spect and executive function deficits to predicting treatment outcome in alcohol-dependent patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noël, Xavier; Sferrazza, Rita; Van Der Linden, Martial; Paternot, Jacques; Verhas, Michel; Hanak, Catherine; Pelc, Isidore; Verbanck, Paul

    2002-01-01

    To determine whether inhibition and working memory deficits, and reduced regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) (previously shown to be related), measured at the end of a detoxification programme, predict alcoholic relapse 2 months later. Twenty uncomplicated alcoholic inpatients were investigated at the end of detoxification, at least 7 days since the last dose of diazepam, and a mean of 18.8 days since the last drink. Their performance was assessed on the inhibition (Hayling) test, working memory (Alpha-span task), episodic memory (California Verbal Learning Test) and abstract reasoning (Progressive Matrices). Frontal CBF was assessed at the same time with a semiquantitative (99m)Tc-Bicisate SPECT procedure. Patients were contacted 2 months later. Patients who abstained (n = 9) did not differ from those who relapsed (n = 11) on age, gender, smoking, duration of alcohol misuse, number of previous detoxifications, amount of ethanol consumed the month prior to admission to the detoxification programme, state anxiety, trait anxiety, or depression. Relapsed subjects had shown a lower uptake of (99m)Tc-Bicisate in the bilateral medial frontal gyrus (n = 9; mean ratio +/- SD = 0.69 +/- 0.006) than abstainers (n = 11; 0.85 +/- 0.19), and poorer performance on the Alpha-span task and the Hayling test. The other tests were not different. Inhibition and working memory deficits, associated with low levels of CBF in the medial frontal gyrus, are related to the difficulty of maintaining short-term abstinence from alcohol.

  5. 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

  6. The Development of Metaphor Comprehension and Its Relationship with Relational Verbal Reasoning and Executive Function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nuria Carriedo

    Full Text Available Our main objective was to analyse the different contributions of relational verbal reasoning (analogical and class inclusion and executive functioning to metaphor comprehension across development. We postulated that both relational reasoning and executive functioning should predict individual and developmental differences. However, executive functioning would become increasingly involved when metaphor comprehension is highly demanding, either because of the metaphors' high difficulty (relatively novel metaphors in the absence of a context or because of the individual's special processing difficulties, such as low levels of reading experience or low semantic knowledge. Three groups of participants, 11-year-olds, 15-year-olds and young adults, were assessed in different relational verbal reasoning tasks-analogical and class-inclusion-and in executive functioning tasks-updating information in working memory, inhibition, and shifting. The results revealed clear progress in metaphor comprehension between ages 11 and 15 and between ages 15 and 21. However, the importance of executive function in metaphor comprehension was evident by age 15 and was restricted to updating information in working memory and cognitive inhibition. Participants seemed to use two different strategies to interpret metaphors: relational verbal reasoning and executive functioning. This was clearly shown when comparing the performance of the "more efficient" participants in metaphor interpretation with that of the "less efficient" ones. Whereas in the first case none of the executive variables or those associated with relational verbal reasoning were significantly related to metaphor comprehension, in the latter case, both groups of variables had a clear predictor effect.

  7. The Development of Metaphor Comprehension and Its Relationship with Relational Verbal Reasoning and Executive Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carriedo, Nuria; Corral, Antonio; Montoro, Pedro R; Herrero, Laura; Ballestrino, Patricia; Sebastián, Iraia

    2016-01-01

    Our main objective was to analyse the different contributions of relational verbal reasoning (analogical and class inclusion) and executive functioning to metaphor comprehension across development. We postulated that both relational reasoning and executive functioning should predict individual and developmental differences. However, executive functioning would become increasingly involved when metaphor comprehension is highly demanding, either because of the metaphors' high difficulty (relatively novel metaphors in the absence of a context) or because of the individual's special processing difficulties, such as low levels of reading experience or low semantic knowledge. Three groups of participants, 11-year-olds, 15-year-olds and young adults, were assessed in different relational verbal reasoning tasks-analogical and class-inclusion-and in executive functioning tasks-updating information in working memory, inhibition, and shifting. The results revealed clear progress in metaphor comprehension between ages 11 and 15 and between ages 15 and 21. However, the importance of executive function in metaphor comprehension was evident by age 15 and was restricted to updating information in working memory and cognitive inhibition. Participants seemed to use two different strategies to interpret metaphors: relational verbal reasoning and executive functioning. This was clearly shown when comparing the performance of the "more efficient" participants in metaphor interpretation with that of the "less efficient" ones. Whereas in the first case none of the executive variables or those associated with relational verbal reasoning were significantly related to metaphor comprehension, in the latter case, both groups of variables had a clear predictor effect.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma eBlakey

    2015-11-01

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

  9. Subjective rating of executive functions in mild Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogarty, Jennifer; Almklov, Erin; Borrie, Michael; Wells, Jennie; Roth, Robert M

    2017-11-01

    Subjective cognitive decline is considered to be a core feature of pre-Alzheimer's disease (AD) conditions, the vast majority of literature having focused on memory concerns. Neuropsychological studies have implicated executive dysfunction on objective performance measures in AD, but no research has evaluated whether individuals with AD have concerns about their executive functions and whether it differs from their caregiver's concerns. In the present study, we sought to evaluate self- and informant ratings of executive functioning in patients with mild AD. Participants were 23 patients with mild AD and 32 healthy elderly controls (HC) and their informants who completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Adult version. Patients with AD and their informants reported greater executive dysfunction than the HC group and their informants, respectively, and patients reported greater difficulty than their informants. The largest effect size for both self- and informant ratings was obtained for the Working Memory scale. These findings indicate that subjective cognitive concerns in mild AD extend beyond the memory domain to executive functions. That greater difficulty was endorsed by patients than their informants suggests that at least in the mild stage of AD some awareness of executive dysfunction may be maintained in some patients. Implications for clinical care are discussed.

  10. Executive function and self-regulated exergaming adherence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cay eAnderson-Hanley

    2014-12-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Memisevic, Haris; Sinanovic, Osman

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-16

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

  14. Executive functions and school success in primary school children

    OpenAIRE

    Rakickienė, Lauryna

    2015-01-01

    Executive functions are higher order cognitive processes regulating and coordinating other cognitive abilities and behaviour, giving direction for dynamics of human cognition and letting individual achieve its goals. The doctoral thesis aims to explore the executive functions in primary school children and to determine how they contribute to school success, including academic and social success. 101 children attending the second grade participated in the study. All subjects were tested on 9 s...

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Incera, Sara; McLennan, Conor T

    2018-05-01

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

  17. Effects of Acute Laboratory Stress on Executive Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starcke, Katrin; Wiesen, Carina; Trotzke, Patrick; Brand, Matthias

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Positive mood and executive function: evidence from stroop and fluency tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Louise H; Bull, Rebecca; Adams, Ewan; Fraser, Lisa

    2002-03-01

    Contrasting predictions have been made about the effects of positive mood states on the performance of frontal lobe tests that tap executive functions such as inhibition, switching, and strategy use. It has been argued that positive mood is likely to improve some cognitive processes, particularly those dependent on the frontal cortex and anterior cingulate of the brain. However, there is some evidence that happy mood may impair executive functioning. The current experiments investigated the effects of positive mood on Stoop and fluency tests, which are frequently used to assess executive function. Positive mood impaired performance on a switching condition of the Stroop test, but improved performance on a creative uses test of fluency. The effect of positive mood on an executive task may therefore depend on whether a task is inherently motivating or is impaired by diffuse semantic activation.

  20. 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).

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

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    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 treatment of children with autistic disorder.

  2. Effects of sleep deprivation on dissociated components of executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  4. [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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Reza khodaei-Ardakani

    2013-10-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Executive Functions in Children Who Experience Bullying Situations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medeiros, Wandersonia; Torro-Alves, Nelson; Malloy-Diniz, Leandro F; Minervino, Carla M

    2016-01-01

    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, 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.

  9. Apathy is associated with executive functioning in first episode psychosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agartz Ingrid

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The underlying nature of negative symptoms in psychosis is poorly understood. Investigation of the relationship between the different negative subsymptoms and neurocognition is one approach to understand more of the underlying nature. Apathy, one of the subsymptoms, is also a common symptom in other brain disorders. Its association with neurocognition, in particular executive functioning, is well documented in other brain disorders, but only studied in one former study of chronic patients with schizophrenia. This study investigates the association between apathy and neurocognitive functioning in patients with first episode psychosis (FEP, with the hypothesis that apathy is more associated with tests representing executive function than tests representing other neurocognitive domains. Methods Seventy-one FEP patients were assessed with an extensive neuropsychological test battery. Level of apathy was assessed with the abridged Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES-C-Apathy. Results AES-C-Apathy was only significantly associated with tests from the executive domain [Semantic fluency (r = .37, p Conclusion We replicated in FEP patients the relationship between apathy and executive functioning reported in another study for chronic patients with schizophrenia. We also found apathy in FEP to have the same relationship to executive functioning, as assessed with the Verbal fluency tests, as that reported in patients with other brain disorders, pointing to a common underlying nature of this symptom across disorders.

  10. Apathy is associated with executive functioning in first episode psychosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faerden, Ann; Vaskinn, Anja; Finset, Arnstein; Agartz, Ingrid; Ann Barrett, Elizabeth; Friis, Svein; Simonsen, Carmen; Andreassen, Ole A; Melle, Ingrid

    2009-01-08

    The underlying nature of negative symptoms in psychosis is poorly understood. Investigation of the relationship between the different negative subsymptoms and neurocognition is one approach to understand more of the underlying nature. Apathy, one of the subsymptoms, is also a common symptom in other brain disorders. Its association with neurocognition, in particular executive functioning, is well documented in other brain disorders, but only studied in one former study of chronic patients with schizophrenia. This study investigates the association between apathy and neurocognitive functioning in patients with first episode psychosis (FEP), with the hypothesis that apathy is more associated with tests representing executive function than tests representing other neurocognitive domains. Seventy-one FEP patients were assessed with an extensive neuropsychological test battery. Level of apathy was assessed with the abridged Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES-C-Apathy). AES-C-Apathy was only significantly associated with tests from the executive domain [Semantic fluency (r = .37, p co-occuring depression, positive symptoms or use of antipsychotic medication did not significantly influence the results. We replicated in FEP patients the relationship between apathy and executive functioning reported in another study for chronic patients with schizophrenia. We also found apathy in FEP to have the same relationship to executive functioning, as assessed with the Verbal fluency tests, as that reported in patients with other brain disorders, pointing to a common underlying nature of this symptom across disorders.

  11. Executive function influences sedentary behavior: A longitudinal study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul D. Loprinzi

    2016-10-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Executive Functions in Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brady, Danielle I.; Saklofske, Donald H.; Schwean, Vicki L.; Montgomery, Janine M.; Thorne, Keoma J.; McCrimmon, Adam W.

    2017-01-01

    Researchers have proposed that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized, at least in part, by executive function (EF) difficulties associated with the integrity of the frontal lobe. Given the paucity of research regarding EFs in young adults with high functioning ASD (HF-ASD), this research involves an examination of various indices of EF…

  14. How child's play impacts executive function--related behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaheen, Sandra

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions refer to an array of organizing and self-regulating behaviors often associated with maturation of the prefrontal cortex. In fact, young children with rudimentary neurodevelopment of the prefrontal cortex develop ways to inhibit impulses and regulate behavior from a very early age. Can executive functioning be impacted by intervention, practice, or training? What interventions impact development of executive function in childhood, and how can these be studied? Several programs are reviewed that propose to positively impact executive/self-regulation skills. Evidence-based programs are contrasted with popular programs that have little empirical basis but have apparent wide acceptance by educators and families. As self-regulation has critical implications for later school and life success, interventions may well attenuate the negative consequences of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, brain injury, and social stressors. Programs with active play components may be more successful in eliciting improved executive function (defined here as self-regulation) because of the importance of motor learning early on and because of the social motivation aspects of learning. Caution is advised in the recommendation of programs where there is little empirical basis to support program claims. Carefully planned outcome studies can help bring the most effective components of programs to the mainstream.

  15. Executive function in preschool children: examination through everyday behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isquith, Peter K; Gioia, Gerard A; Espy, Kimberly Andrews

    2004-01-01

    Clinical assessment of executive function in preschool-age children is challenging given limited availability of standardized tasks and preschoolers' variable ability to participate in lengthy formal evaluation procedures. Given the benefits of ecological validity of measuring behavior by rating scales, the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (Gioia, Isquith, Guy, & Kenworthy, 2000) was modified for use with children ages 2 through 5 years to assess executive functions in an everyday context. The scale development process, based on samples of 460 parents and 302 teachers, yielded a single 63-item measure with 5 related, but nonoverlapping, scales, with good internal consistency and temporal stability. Exploratory factor analyses identified 3 consistent factors: Emergent Metacognition, Flexibility, and Inhibitory Self-Control across parent and teacher samples. In a second study with a mixed sample of preschool children with various developmental disorders, parents and teachers rated these preschool children as having greater executive difficulties in most domains than matched controls. Such rating-scale methodology may be a useful complementary tool by which to reliably assess executive functions in preschool children via everyday behaviors in the natural environment.

  16. Implementing an Executive-Function Syllabus: Operational Issues

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    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.

  17. Visual-Motor Maturity and Executive Functions in Schoolchildren

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    Ana Luisa Silva de Oliveira

    2016-08-01

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

  18. Elderly with Autism: Executive Functions and Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geurts, Hilde M.; Vissers, Marlies E.

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive autism research is mainly focusing on children and young adults even though we know that autism is a life-long disorder and that healthy aging already has a strong impact on cognitive functioning. We compared the neuropsychological profile of 23 individuals with autism and 23 healthy controls (age range 51-83 years). Deficits were…

  19. Elderly with autism: Executive functions and memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geurts, H.M.; Vissers, M.E.

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive autism research is mainly focusing on children and young adults even though we know that autism is a life-long disorder and that healthy aging already has a strong impact on cognitive functioning. We compared the neuropsychological profile of 23 individuals with autism and 23 healthy

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura eVisu-Petra

    2014-05-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Executive Function as a Mediator between SES and Academic Achievement throughout Childhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Gwendolyn M.; Farah, Martha J.

    2017-01-01

    Childhood socioeconomic status (SES), as measured by parental education and family income, is highly predictive of academic achievement, but little is known about how specific cognitive systems shape SES disparities in achievement outcomes. This study investigated the extent to which executive function (EF) mediated associations between parental…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Relations among Executive Function, Number Sense, and Mathematics Achievement in Kindergartners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irwin, Casey Marie

    2013-01-01

    Early number sense knowledge is highly predictive of later math achievement (Herbers et al., in press; Jordan, Kaplan, Ramineni, & Locuniak, 2009; Obradovic i et al., 2009). However, research suggests that variables beyond number competencies contribute to students' mathematics achievement, most notably, executive function (Blair & Razza,…

  6. An Examination of the Relationship between Motor Coordination and Executive Functions in Adolescents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigoli, Daniela; Piek, Jan P.; Kane, Robert; Oosterlaan, Jaap

    2012-01-01

    Aim: Research suggests important links between motor coordination and executive functions. The current study examined whether motor coordination predicts working memory, inhibition, and switching performance, extending previous research by accounting for attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptomatology and other confounding factors,…

  7. Longitudinal Examination of Adaptive Behavior in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Influence of Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pugliese, Cara E.; Anthony, Laura Gutermuth; Strang, John F.; Dudley, Katerina; Wallace, Gregory L.; Naiman, Daniel Q.; Kenworthy, Lauren

    2016-01-01

    This study characterizes longitudinal change in adaptive behavior in 64 children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) without intellectual disability evaluated on multiple occasions, and examines whether prior estimate of executive function (EF) problems predicts future adaptive behavior scores. Compared to standardized estimates…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soledad Gil-Hernandez

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brooke C. Schneider

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Socioeconomic status and executive function: developmental trajectories and mediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hackman, Daniel A; Gallop, Robert; Evans, Gary W; Farah, Martha J

    2015-09-01

    Childhood socioeconomic status (SES) predicts executive function (EF), but fundamental aspects of this relation remain unknown: the developmental course of the SES disparity, its continued sensitivity to SES changes during that course, and the features of childhood experience responsible for the SES-EF relation. Regarding course, early disparities would be expected to grow during development if caused by accumulating stressors at a given constant level of SES. Alternatively, they would narrow if schooling partly compensates for the effects of earlier deprivation, allowing lower-SES children to 'catch up'. The potential for later childhood SES change to affect EF is also unknown. Regarding mediating factors, previous analyses produced mixed answers, possibly due to correlation amongst candidate mediators. We address these issues with measures of SES, working memory and planning, along with multiple candidate mediators, from the NICHD Study of Early Childcare (n = 1009). Early family income-to-needs and maternal education predicted planning by first grade, and income-to-needs predicted working memory performance at 54 months. Effects of early SES remained consistent through middle childhood, indicating that the relation between early indicators of SES and EF emerges in childhood and persists without narrowing or widening across early and middle childhood. Changes in family income-to-needs were associated with significant changes in planning and trend-level changes in working memory. Mediation analyses supported the role of early childhood home characteristics in explaining the association between SES and EF, while early childhood maternal sensitivity was specifically implicated in the association between maternal education and planning. Early emerging and persistent SES-related differences in EF, partially explained by characteristics of the home and family environment, are thus a potential source of socioeconomic disparities in achievement and health across

  13. The Role of Frontal Executive Functions in Hypnosis and Hypnotic Suggestibility

    OpenAIRE

    Parris, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    There is both theoretical and empirical evidence supporting a role for frontal executive functions (FEFs) in hypnosis and hypnotic suggestibility. However, the precise nature of this involvement is debated. While there is clear evidence that FEFs are impaired under hypnosis, the cause of this decreased function is unclear. Theories make differing predictions as to the role of FEFs in hypnotic suggestibility, with some arguing that decreased baseline (normal function outside of the hypnotic co...

  14. Mindfulness meditation practice and executive functioning: Breaking down the benefit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallant, Sara N

    2016-02-01

    This paper focuses on evidence for mindfulness meditation-related benefits to executive functioning, processes important for much of human volitional behaviour. Miyake et al. (2000) have shown that executive functions can be fractionated into three distinct domains including inhibition, working memory updating, and mental set shifting. Considering these separable domains, it is important to determine whether the effects of mindfulness can generalize to all three sub-functions or are specific to certain domains. To address this, the current review applied Miyake et al.'s (2000) fractionated model of executive functioning to the mindfulness literature. Empirical studies assessing the benefits of mindfulness to measures tapping the inhibition, updating, and shifting components of executive functioning were examined. Results suggest a relatively specific as opposed to general benefit resulting from mindfulness, with consistent inhibitory improvement, but more variable advantages to the updating and shifting domains. Recommendations surrounding application of mindfulness practice and future research are discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. The Effect of Combat Traumatic Brain Injury on Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-01

    attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ) as these are similar to problems of executive functioning...affect working memory. Also the neurotransmitters active in attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ), which displays symptoms similar to those of... disorders such as autism and attention - deficit / hyperactivity disorder (Zelazo, P.D., 2005). As children grow they learn to chose and select,

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynn, Rachel M.; Richert, Rebekah A.

    2018-01-01

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

  20. Executive Functioning and Figurative Language Comprehension in Learning Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishara, Saied; Kaplan, Shani

    2016-01-01

    The goal of the research was to examine executive functioning and figurative language comprehension among students with learning disabilities as compared to students without learning disabilities. As part of the research, we examined 20 students with learning disabilities and 21 students with no learning disabilities, both groups of students…

  1. Critical Thinking, Executive Functions and Their Potential Relationship

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Supporting Executive Functions during Children's Preliteracy Learning with the Computer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van de Sande, E.; Segers, E.; Verhoeven, L.

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined how embedded activities to support executive functions helped children to benefit from a computer intervention that targeted preliteracy skills. Three intervention groups were compared on their preliteracy gains in a randomized controlled trial design: an experimental group that worked with software to stimulate early…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Competent reading requires various skills beyond those for basic word reading (i.e., core language skills, rapid naming, phonological processing). Contributing "higher-level" or domain-general processes include information processing speed and executive functions (working memory, strategic problem solving, attentional switching).…

  4. Executive Functions: Insights into Ways to Help More Children Thrive

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diamond, Adele

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions enable children to pay attention, follow instructions, apply what they have learned, have those "aha!" moments in which they grasp how multiple facts interrelate, think of creative solutions, obey social norms such as waiting their turn and not butting in line or jumping out of their seat, mentally construct a plan,…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Links between executive functions and early literacy and numeracy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Davidse, Neeltje Joanne

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Executive Function Deficits in Preschool Children with ADHD and DBD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoemaker, Kim; Bunte, Tessa; Wiebe, Sandra A.; Espy, Kimberly Andrews; Dekovic, Maja; Matthys, Walter

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Theory of Mind and Executive Function in Chinese Preschool Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duh, Shinchieh; Paik, Jae H.; Miller, Patricia H.; Gluck, Stephanie C.; Li, Hui; Himelfarb, Igor

    2016-01-01

    Cross-cultural research on children's theory of mind (ToM) understanding has raised questions about its developmental sequence and relationship with executive function (EF). The current study examined how ToM develops (using the tasks from Wellman & Liu, 2004) in relation to 2 EF skills (conflict inhibition, working memory) in 997 Chinese…

  9. Associations among False Belief Understanding, Counterfactual Reasoning, and Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guajardo, Nicole R.; Parker, Jessica; Turley-Ames, Kandi

    2009-01-01

    The primary purposes of the present study were to clarify previous work on the association between counterfactual thinking and false belief performance to determine (1) whether these two variables are related and (2) if so, whether executive function skills mediate the relationship. A total of 92 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds completed false belief,…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. The Relation between Television Exposure and Executive Function among Preschoolers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nathanson, Amy I.; Aladé, Fashina; Sharp, Molly L.; Rasmussen, Eric E.; Christy, Katheryn

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the relations between television exposure during the preschool years and the development of executive function (EF). Data were gathered from 107 parents of preschoolers who provided information on children's television viewing, background television exposure, exposure to specific televised content, and the age at which…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Maturation of Executive Functioning Skills in Early Sequential Bilingualism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalashnikova, Marina; Mattock, Karen

    2014-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that being bilingual from birth is advantageous for the development of skills of social cognition, executive functioning, and metalinguistic awareness due to bilingual children's extensive experience of processing and manipulating two linguistic systems. The present study investigated whether these cognitive…

  17. Time's up! Involvement of metamemory knowledge, executive functions, and time monitoring in children's prospective memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geurten, Marie; Lejeune, Caroline; Meulemans, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    This study examined time-based prospective memory (PM) in children and explored the possible involvement of metamemory knowledge and executive functions in the use of an appropriate time-monitoring strategy depending on the ongoing task's difficulty. Specifically, a sample of 72 typically developing children aged 4, 6, and 9 years old were given an original PM paradigm composed of both an ongoing procedural activity and a PM task. Half of the participants (expert group) were trained in the ongoing activity before the prospective test. As expected, results show that time monitoring had a positive effect on children's PM performance. Furthermore, mediation analyses reveal that strategic time monitoring was predicted by metamemory knowledge in the expert group but only by executive functions in the novice group. Overall, these findings provide interesting avenues to explain how metamemory knowledge, strategy use, and executive functions interact to improve PM performance during childhood.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Greeff, Johannes Wilhelmus

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Sedentary Time, Physical Activity, and Executive Function in a Longitudinal Study of Youth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickel, Eric E

    2017-03-01

    This study examined associations between sedentary time, physical activity (PA), and executive function among youth participating in the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. Sedentary time and PA (light, moderate, vigorous, and moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA)) were objectively assessed at 9 and 15 years, while executive function (inhibition, working memory, and fluid intelligence) were assessed at 15 years. Regression models were used to examine associations. Sedentary time at 9 years predicted fluid intelligence at 15 years (B = 0.031), whereas increased sedentary time from 9 to 15 years predicted higher inhibition (B = 0.003), working memory (B = 0.074), and fluid intelligence (B = 0.029). Relatively lower levels of working memory at 15 years were predicted from increased levels of light PA, moderate PA, and MVPA from 9 to 15 years (B = -0.075, -0.293, and -0.173, respectively). At 15 years, inhibition, working memory, and fluid intelligence were significantly associated with sedentary time (B = 0.003, 0.055, and 0.045, respectively). Childhood sedentary time and PA may affect executive function at 15 years; however, prospective studies are needed to examine the concurrent change in both sedentary time and PA with executive function.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  5. Brain structure, executive function and appetitive traits in adolescent obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Groot, C J; van den Akker, E L T; Rings, E H H M; Delemarre-van de Waal, H A; van der Grond, J

    2017-08-01

    Children with obesity show differences in brain structure, executive function and appetitive traits when compared with lean peers. Little is known on the relationship between brain structure and these traits. To investigate the relationship between differences in brain structure and executive function and appetitive traits, in obese and lean adolescents. MRI was used to measure cortical thickness and subcortical volumes. Executive function was measured by a Stop Signal-and a Choice Delay Task. Appetitive traits were measured using the Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire. Adolescents with obesity had greater volumes of the pallidum; 1.78 mL (SE 0.03, p=0.014), when compared with controls; 1.65 mL (SE 0.02). In the group with obesity, greater pallidum volume was positively associated with the ability to delay reward in the Choice Delay Task (p=0.012). The association between pallidum volumes and Choice Delay Task in obese adolescents supports the hypothesis that the pallidum plays an important role in executive dysfunction in obese children. © 2016 World Obesity Federation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. Improvement of functioning of executive devices of radio electronic facilities

    OpenAIRE

    V. G. Smolyaninov; A. N. Sukhopara

    2012-01-01

    Efficiency of functioning of RES which electromagnetic executive devices (EIU), mechanisms and engines, enter in the complement of, determined their power and dynamic descriptions which provide of the continuous mode of operations of RES with maximal KPD. Possibility of improvement of functioning of EIU is rotined by a construct effektive managements without additional sensors, due to control of electromagnetic procesov in the own construction of EIU through control of size of current i...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Context in the development of executive functions in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guare, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Assessments of and interventions for executive functions have occupied a central role for neuropsychologists working with children with acquired brain injuries during the past three decades. More recently, awareness has grown about the role that executive functions play for all children and the significant impact they have on behavior and performance in home, school, and community settings. This article posits that demonstration of these functions in a real-world context is the standard by which assessment and intervention strategies should be judged. I then propose that contextually based interventions offer the best probability for meeting this standard. Support for this position is provided by the educational and behavioral literature on learning and transfer and by the neuroscience literature on pattern recognition and embodied cognition.

  12. 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.

  13. Default Mode Network in the Effects of ¿9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on Human Executive Function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bossong, M.G.; Jansma, J.M.; Hell, van H.H.; Jager, G.; Kahn, R.S.; Ramsey, N.F.

    2013-01-01

    Evidence is increasing for involvement of the endocannabinoid system in cognitive functions including attention and executive function, as well as in psychiatric disorders characterized by cognitive deficits, such as schizophrenia. Executive function appears to be associated with both modulation of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venke Arntsberg Grane

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  18. Improving executive function using transcranial infrared laser stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  19. Executive 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. Evaluation of Executive Functions in Patients With Childhood Absence Epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gencpinar, Pinar; Kalay, Zuhal; Turgut, Sevil; Bozkurt, Öznur; Duman, Özgür; Ozel, Deniz; Haspolat, Senay

    2016-06-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the executive function of patients with typical absence epilepsy. Thirty-eight (19 healthy children and 19 patients) individuals were enrolled in this study. Neurocognitive function tests, such as the Serial Digit Learning Test, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Visual Aural Digit Span Test-Form B, KAS-Animal Test, Trail Making Test-A Time Test, and STROOP Test, were given to all of the participants. There was a significant difference between the groups on the Serial Digit Learning Test (P = .037) and on a subtest of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. As for the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test performance, there were significant differences in perseverative errors and perseverative responses between the patient and control groups (P = .011 and P = .010, respectively). Long-term risk for learning impairments, failure in executive abilities, and short-term memory and attention disorders can occur in children with absence epilepsy. © The Author(s) 2016.

  1. Executive function assessment in New Zealand 2-year olds born at risk of neonatal hypoglycemia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith M Ansell

    Full Text Available A growing number of babies are born with perinatal risk factors that may impair later development. These children are often assessed at 2 years to help predict outcome and direct support services. Executive function is an important predictor of academic achievement and behavior, but there are limited assessments of executive function in 2-year-olds and few have been tested in at-risk populations. Therefore, we developed a battery of four age-appropriate tasks to assess executive function in 2-year-olds. At 24 months' corrected age 368 children completed tasks assessing attention, inhibition, working memory and cognitive flexibility. Scores on different tasks were weakly correlated, suggesting that they measured separate aspects of executive function, with combined scores for this cohort approximating a normal distribution. Significantly more boys (67% than girls (57% were unable to inhibit their behavior on the Snack Delay Task and girls (M = 3.24, SD = 2.4 had higher mean scores than boys (M = 2.7, SD = 2.7 on the Ducks and Buckets Reverse Categorization Task of working memory. Performance was significantly affected by family socioeconomic status. Mean scores were lower on all four individual tasks and on the global score of overall performance in children from a low household income ($70,001. Maternal education was only associated with scores on the working memory task and the global score; and a measure of neighborhood deprivation was only associated with scores on the two inhibitory tasks and the global score. Our findings confirm the feasibility of assessing executive function in 2-year-olds, and its ability to discriminate effects of socioeconomic status, a common confounder in child development research. Further development and standardization of this test battery comparing at-risk children with a normative population would provide a much-needed measure of executive function in early childhood.

  2. Is Preschool Executive Function Causally Related to Academic Achievement?

    OpenAIRE

    Willoughby, Michael T.; Kupersmidt, Janis; Voegler-Lee, Mary

    2011-01-01

    The primary objective of this study was to re-evaluate the well-established result that preschoolers’ performance on executive function tasks are positively associated with their performance on academic achievement tests. The current study replicated the previously established concurrent associations between children’s performance on EF tasks and academic achievement tests. Specifically, children’s performance on measures of inhibitory and motor control were positively associated with their p...

  3. Semantic memory and frontal executive function during transient global amnesia.

    OpenAIRE

    Hodges, J R

    1994-01-01

    To assess semantic memory and frontal executive function, two patients underwent neuropsychological testing during transient global amnesia (TGA) and after an interval of 6-8 weeks. In spite of a profound deficit in anterograde verbal and non-verbal memory, semantic memory was normal, as judged by category fluency measures, picture naming, and picture-word and picture-picture matching, and reading ability was normal. Similarly, there were no deficits on a number of tests known to be sensitive...

  4. Apathy is associated with executive functioning in first episode psychosis

    OpenAIRE

    Faerden, Ann; Vaskinn, Anja; Finset, Arnstein; Agartz, Ingrid; Ann Barrett, Elizabeth; Friis, Svein; Simonsen, Carmen; Andreassen, Ole A; Melle, Ingrid

    2009-01-01

    Background The underlying nature of negative symptoms in psychosis is poorly understood. Investigation of the relationship between the different negative subsymptoms and neurocognition is one approach to understand more of the underlying nature. Apathy, one of the subsymptoms, is also a common symptom in other brain disorders. Its association with neurocognition, in particular executive functioning, is well documented in other brain disorders, but only studied in one former...

  5. Executive functions and adaptive functioning in young adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavro, Gillian M; Ettenhofer, Mark L; Nigg, Joel T

    2007-03-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with impairments in occupational, social, and educational functioning in adults. This study examined relations of adaptive impairment to ADHD symptom domains (inattentive-disorganized and hyperactive-impulsive) and to deficits in executive functioning (EF) in 195 well-characterized adults (105 ADHD, 90 non-ADHD, between ages 18 and 37). Participants completed a battery of EF measures as well as assessments of adaptive functioning. Confirmatory factor analyses were used to validate latent factors for adaptive functioning and EF. In a measurement model, weaker EF was associated with poorer adaptive functioning (r = -.30). When multi-informant composite variables for current inattentive-disorganized and hyperactive-impulsive ADHD symptoms were included in the structural model, EF no longer predicted adaptive functioning. While both symptom composites were similarly related to EF (inattentive-disorganized r = .36; hyperactive-impulsive r = .29), inattentive-disorganized symptoms accounted for more variance in adaptive functioning (67.2% vs. 3.6%). Furthermore, for retrospectively reported childhood symptoms of ADHD, only the inattentive-disorganized symptom domain was related to EF or adaptive impairment. These results suggest that, in adults with ADHD, inattentive-disorganized symptoms may be the primary contributor to key aspects of poorer adaptive function and may be the behavioral path through which EF deficits lead to adaptive impairment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiebener, Johannes; Wegmann, Elisa; Gathmann, Bettina; Laier, Christian; Pawlikowski, Mirko; Brand, Matthias

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Executive Functions and Motor Ability Contribute to Children's Participation in Daily Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberg, Limor; Jacobi, Shani; Bart, Orit

    2017-01-01

    Executive functions are crucial for efficient daily functioning. However, the contribution of executive functions to the participation in daily life activities of children, have been inadequately studied. The study aimed to examine the unique contribution of executive functions, beyond motor ability, to the diversity and independence of children's…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Executive dysfunction occurs in sickle cell anemia, but there are few early data. Infants with sickle cell anemia (n = 14) and controls (n = 14) performed the “A-not-B” and Object Retrieval search tasks, measuring precursors of executive function at 9 and 12 months. Significant group differences were not found. However, for the A-not-B task, 7 of 11 sickle cell anemia infants scored in the lower 2 performance categories at 9 months, but only 1 at 12 months (P = .024); controls obtained scores at 12 months that were statistically comparable to the scores they had already obtained at 9 months. On the Object Retrieval task, 9- and 12-month controls showed comparable scores, whereas infants with sickle cell anemia continued to improve (P = .027); at 9 months, those with lower hemoglobin oxygen saturation passed fewer trials (R s = 0.670, P = .024) and took longer to obtain the toy (R s = –0.664, P = .013). Subtle delays in acquiring developmental skills may underlie abnormal executive function in childhood. PMID:22859700

  11. Executive functions in young patients with unipolar depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Totić-Poznanović Sanja

    2006-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  14. Attachment Security and Developmental Patterns of Growth in Executive Functioning During Early Elementary School.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matte-Gagné, Célia; Bernier, Annie; Sirois, Marie-Soleil; Lalonde, Gabrielle; Hertz, Sarah

    2017-05-29

    Despite the extensive research demonstrating the importance of child executive functioning (EF) for school adjustment, little longitudinal work has formally examined developmental change in EF during the early school years. Based on a sample of 106 mother-child dyads, the current longitudinal study investigated patterns of growth in child performance on three executive tasks between kindergarten (M age  = 6 years) and Grade 3 (M age  = 9 years), and the predictive role of earlier mother-child attachment security in these patterns. The results suggest that early elementary school is a period of significant developmental improvement in child EF, although child performance on different EF tasks follows distinct trajectories across time. The study also provides evidence for a sustained relation between children's early attachment security and their ongoing acquisition of executive skills. © 2017 The Authors. Child Development © 2017 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  15. The relation between executive functions and school performance in healthy adolescents

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boschloo, Annemarie; Krabbendam, Lydia; De Groot, Renate; Jolles, Jelle

    2012-01-01

    Boschloo, A., Krabbendam, L., De Groot, R., & Jolles, J. (2012, April). The relation between executive functions and school performance in healthy adolescents. Poster presented at the Development of executive functions workshop, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

  16. The development of executive functions and early mathematics: A dynamic relationship

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Ven, S.H.G.; Kroesbergen, E.H.; Boom, J.; Leseman, P.P.M.

    2012-01-01

    Background. The relationship between executive functions and mathematical skills has been studied extensively, but results are inconclusive, and how this relationship evolves longitudinally is largely unknown. Aim. The aim was to investigate the factor structure of executive functions in inhibition,

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Executive function skills and academic achievement gains in prekindergarten: Contributions of learning-related behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesbitt, Kimberly Turner; Farran, Dale Clark; Fuhs, Mary Wagner

    2015-07-01

    Although research suggests associations between children's executive function skills and their academic achievement, the specific mechanisms that may help explain these associations in early childhood are unclear. This study examined whether children's (N = 1,103; M age = 54.5 months) executive function skills at the beginning of prekindergarten (pre-K) predict their learning-related behaviors in the classroom and whether these behaviors then mediate associations between children's executive function skills and their pre-K literacy, language, and mathematic gains. Learning-related behaviors were quantified in terms of (a) higher levels of involvement in learning opportunities; (b) greater frequency of participation in activities that require sequential steps; (c) more participation in social-learning interactions; and (d) less instances of being unoccupied, disruptive, or in time out. Results indicated that children's learning-related behaviors mediated associations between executive function skills and literacy and mathematics gains through children's level of involvement, sequential learning behaviors, and disengagement from the classroom. The implications of the findings for early childhood education are discussed. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  1. Prefrontal cortex and executive function in young children: a review of NIRS studies

    OpenAIRE

    Moriguchi, Yusuke; Hiraki, Kazuo

    2013-01-01

    Executive function refers to the higher-order cognitive control process for the attainment of a specific goal. There are several subcomponents of executive function, such as inhibition, cognitive shifting, and working memory. Extensive neuroimaging research in adults has revealed that the lateral prefrontal cortex plays an important role in executive function. Developmental studies have reported behavioral evidence showing that executive function changes significantly during preschool years. ...

  2. 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

  3. Executive Functions in Learning Processes: Do They Benefit from Physical Activity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barenberg, Jonathan; Berse, Timo; Dutke, Stephan

    2011-01-01

    As executive functions play an essential role in learning processes, approaches capable of enhancing executive functioning are of particular interest to educational psychology. Recently, the hypothesis has been advanced that executive functioning may benefit from changes in neurobiological processes induced by physical activity. The present…

  4. A Show of Hands: Relations between Young Children's Gesturing and Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, Gina; Miller, Patricia H.

    2013-01-01

    This study brought together 2 literatures--gesturing and executive function--in order to examine the possible role of gesture in children's executive function. Children (N = 41) aged 2½-6 years performed a sorting-shift executive function task (Dimensional Change Card Sort). Responses of interest included correct sorting, response latency,…

  5. 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…

  6. Executive functioning and alcohol binge drinking in university students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parada, María; Corral, Montserrat; Mota, Nayara; Crego, Alberto; Rodríguez Holguín, Socorro; Cadaveira, Fernando

    2012-02-01

    Binge drinking (BD) is prevalent among college students. Studies on alcoholism have shown that the prefrontal cortex is vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of alcohol. The prefrontal cortex undergoes both structural and functional changes during adolescence and young adulthood. Sex differences have been observed in brain maturation and in alcohol-induced damage. The objective of the present study was to analyze the relationship between BD and cognitive functions subserved by the prefrontal cortex in male and female university students. The sample comprised 122 undergraduates (aged 18 to 20 years): 62 BD (30 females) and 60 non-BD (29 females). Executive functions were assessed by WMS-III (Backward Digit Span and Backward Spatial Span), SOPT (abstract designs), Letter Fluency (PMR), BADS (Zoo Map and Key Search) and WCST-3. BD students scored lower in the Backward Digit Span Subtest and generated more perseverative responses in the SOPT In relation to interaction BD by sex, BD males scored lower in the Backward Digit Span test than BD females and non-BD males. BD is associated with poorer performance of executive functions subserved by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The results do not support enhanced vulnerability of women to alcohol neurotoxic effects. These difficulties may reflect developmental delay or frontal lobe dysfunction. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel K. Peterson

    2015-11-01

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

  8. Evening chronotype and sleepiness predict impairment in executive abilities and academic performance of adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen-Zion, Mairav; Shiloh, Elisheva

    2018-01-01

    The study aim was to better understand sleep and sleep-related factors affecting everyday executive capacities and academic performance among healthy adolescents. A cross-sectional survey on sleep, phase preference, academic performance and executive functions of high-school students was conducted. Female gender, grade status, sleepiness and evening chronotype accounted for approximately 25-30% of the variance in daily executive ability. Sleep duration was a weak predictor of executive skills. Lower school grades were associated with increased sleepiness, evening preference and poorer executive skills. These findings support the need for health education on ways to attenuate sleepiness and delayed phase in this population.

  9. 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).

  10. Examining the Association Between Executive Functions and Developmental Domains of Low-Income Children in the United States and Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonen, Mubeccel; Guler-Yildiz, Tulin; Ulker-Erdem, Ayca; Garcia, Aileen; Raikes, Helen; Acar, Ibrahim H; Ozkan-Yildiz, Feyza; Karlidag, Ipek; Ucus, Sukran; Davis, Dawn L

    2018-01-01

    This study examined the relations between executive functions and developmental domains of preschool children from low-income families through an intercultural perspective in the U.S. and Turkey. A total of 471 children and their primary caregivers participated in the Turkey part of the study, while 286 children and their parents engaged in U.S. Regression analyses revealed that fine motor, problem solving, and executive functions of children between two contexts were significantly different from each other. In the U.S., executive functions predicted communication, problem solving, and fine motor development, whereas in the Turkish sample, executive functions did not predict domain scores. Child gender predicted four of five developmental outcomes in the U.S., whereas maternal education predicted two of five outcomes in Turkey. In addition, invariance testing demonstrated that predictors to outcomes were not significantly different between the two countries. Country differences from the first set of outcomes were explained in the context of the research sites, children's socialization, and cultural expectations surrounding child development. This study raises questions about relations between executive functions and developmental domains for future research.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan F. Johnson

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Predicting protein structure classes from function predictions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sommer, I.; Rahnenfuhrer, J.; de Lichtenberg, Ulrik

    2004-01-01

    membership. Even for structural families of small size, family members receive significantly higher scores. For some examples, we show that the relevant functional features identified by this method are biologically meaningful. The proposed approach can be used to improve existing sequence......We introduce a new approach to using the information contained in sequence-to-function prediction data in order to recognize protein template classes, a critical step in predicting protein structure. The data on which our method is based comprise probabilities of functional categories; for given...... query sequences these probabilities are obtained by a neural net that has previously been trained on a variety of functionally important features. On a training set of sequences we assess the relevance of individual functional categories for identifying a given structural family. Using a combination...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  18. 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

    2017-02-01

    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. Seventy children with focal epilepsy and 70 typically developing children matched on age, intellectual functioning, and gender underwent neuropsychological assessment, including measures of intelligence (Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence [WASI]/Differential Ability Scales [DAS]), as well as visual Children's Memory Scale (CMS Dot Locations) and verbal episodic memory (Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning [WRAML] Story Memory and California Verbal Learning Test for Children [CVLT-C]). Executive functioning was measured directly (WISC-IV Digit Span Backward; Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals, Fourth Edition (CELF-IV) Recalling Sentences) and by parent report (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function [BRIEF]). Children with focal epilepsy had lower delayed free-recall scores than controls across visual and verbal memory tasks (p = 0.02; partial η 2 = 0.12). In contrast, recognition memory performance was similar for patients and controls (p = 0.36; partial η 2 = 0.03). Children with focal epilepsy demonstrated difficulties in working memory (p = 0.02; partial η 2 = 0.08) 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. extratemporal, frontal vs. extrafrontal). Children with focal epilepsy demonstrated memory

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The Rule of Four, Executive Function and Neural Exercises

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell Jay Hendel

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Deborah Hughes-Hallet has made many significant contributions to Calculus pedagogy. Among the tools she has introduced is the rule of four, which requires successful pedagogy to simultaneously address four approaches to each course concept, verbal, graphical, algebraic and numeric. We explore examples of this rule of X approach in other disciplines: i Literary analysis is enhanced through the rule of two, a simultaneous approach of grammar and literary analysis; ii Actuarial mathematics requires a rule of six, a simultaneous approach of verbal, graphical, algebraic, calculator, modules, and English conventions; (iii Masters of Tic-Tac-Toe and Chess use a rule of two, simultaneously approaching the game positionally and combinatorically. We offer a unified and deep analysis of the rule of X approach by relating it to executive function, the area of the brain responsible for organizing and synthesizing multiple brain areas. We conclude the paper with an illustration of classroom activities that strengthen executive function and improve pedagogy. Our results are content independent, depending exclusively on paths of information flow, and consequently, our analysis is cybernetic in flavor [1]. [1] American Society of Cybernetics, www.asc-cybernetics.org/

  3. Accessory stimulus modulates executive function during stepping task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Tatsunori; Koyama, Soichiro; Tanabe, Shigeo; Nojima, Ippei

    2015-07-01

    When multiple sensory modalities are simultaneously presented, reaction time can be reduced while interference enlarges. The purpose of this research was to examine the effects of task-irrelevant acoustic accessory stimuli simultaneously presented with visual imperative stimuli on executive function during stepping. Executive functions were assessed by analyzing temporal events and errors in the initial weight transfer of the postural responses prior to a step (anticipatory postural adjustment errors). Eleven healthy young adults stepped forward in response to a visual stimulus. We applied a choice reaction time task and the Simon task, which consisted of congruent and incongruent conditions. Accessory stimuli were randomly presented with the visual stimuli. Compared with trials without accessory stimuli, the anticipatory postural adjustment error rates were higher in trials with accessory stimuli in the incongruent condition and the reaction times were shorter in trials with accessory stimuli in all the task conditions. Analyses after division of trials according to whether anticipatory postural adjustment error occurred or not revealed that the reaction times of trials with anticipatory postural adjustment errors were reduced more than those of trials without anticipatory postural adjustment errors in the incongruent condition. These results suggest that accessory stimuli modulate the initial motor programming of stepping by lowering decision threshold and exclusively under spatial incompatibility facilitate automatic response activation. The present findings advance the knowledge of intersensory judgment processes during stepping and may aid in the development of intervention and evaluation tools for individuals at risk of falls. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuke eMoriguchi

    2014-04-01

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

  5. Lexical quality and executive control predict children's first and second language reading comprehension

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raudszus, H.; Segers, P.C.J.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.

    2018-01-01

    This study compared how lexical quality (vocabulary and decoding) and executive control (working memory and inhibition) predict reading comprehension directly as well as indirectly, via syntactic integration, in monolingual and bilingual fourth grade children. The participants were 76 monolingual

  6. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. 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.

    2018-01-01

    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. PMID:29379462

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Majid Farhadian

    2017-03-01

    Conclusion: This study revealed that although executive functions may be improved by protracted abstinence, executive dysfunctions are not completely relieved, and specific attention to planning and implementation of intervention programs are necessary.

  10. 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

  11. Adaptive functioning following pediatric traumatic brain injury: Relationship to executive function and processing speed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shultz, Emily L; Hoskinson, Kristen R; Keim, Madelaine C; Dennis, Maureen; Taylor, H Gerry; Bigler, Erin D; Rubin, Kenneth H; Vannatta, Kathryn; Gerhardt, Cynthia A; Stancin, Terry; Yeates, Keith Owen

    2016-10-01

    Pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) may affect children's ability to perform everyday tasks (i.e., adaptive functioning). Guided by the American Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) model, we explored the association between TBI and adaptive functioning at increasing levels of specificity (global, AAIDD domains, and subscales). We also examined the contributions of executive function and processing speed as mediators of TBI's effects on adaptive functioning. Children (ages 8-13) with severe TBI (STBI; n = 19), mild-moderate TBI (MTBI; n = 50), or orthopedic injury (OI; n = 60) completed measures of executive function (TEA-Ch) and processing speed (WISC-IV) an average of 2.7 years postinjury (SD = 1.2; range: 1-5.3). Parents rated children's adaptive functioning (ABAS-II, BASC-2, CASP). STBI had lower global adaptive functioning (η2 = .04-.08) than the MTBI and OI groups, which typically did not differ. Deficits in the STBI group were particularly evident in the social domain, with specific deficits in social participation, leisure, and social adjustment (η2 = .06-.09). Jointly, executive function and processing speed were mediators of STBI's effects on global adaptive functioning and in conceptual and social domains. In the STBI group, executive function mediated social functioning, and processing speed mediated social participation. Children with STBI experience deficits in adaptive functioning, particularly in social adjustment, with less pronounced deficits in conceptual and practical skills. Executive function and processing speed may mediate the effects of STBI on adaptive functioning. Targeting adaptive functioning and associated cognitive deficits for intervention may enhance quality of life for pediatric TBI survivors. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  12. The Emergent Executive: A Dynamic Field Theory of the Development of Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buss, Aaron T.; Spencer, John P.

    2015-01-01

    A dynamic neural field (DNF) model is presented which provides a process-based account of behavior and developmental change in a key task used to probe the early development of executive function—the Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS) task. In the DCCS, children must flexibly switch from sorting cards either by shape or color to sorting by the other dimension. Typically, 3-year-olds, but not 4-year-olds, lack the flexibility to do so and perseverate on the first set of rules when instructed to switch. In the DNF model, rule-use and behavioral flexibility come about through a form of dimensional attention which modulates activity within different cortical fields tuned to specific feature dimensions. In particular, we capture developmental change by increasing the strength of excitatory and inhibitory neural interactions in the dimensional attention system as well as refining the connectivity between this system and the feature-specific cortical fields. Note that although this enables the model to effectively switch tasks, the dimensional attention system does not ‘know’ the details of task-specific performance. Rather, correct performance emerges as a property of system-wide neural interactions. We show how this captures children's behavior in quantitative detail across 12 versions of the DCCS task. Moreover, we successfully test a set of novel predictions with 3-year-old children from a version of the task not explained by other theories. PMID:24818836

  13. Late life anxiety is associated with decreased memory and executive functioning in community dwelling older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yochim, Brian P; Mueller, Anne E; Segal, Daniel L

    2013-08-01

    This study assessed the degree to which anxiety and depression symptoms are associated with memory and executive functioning among community-dwelling older adults (N=120; M age=74.9 years, SD=7.2 years; 62% women). Participants completed the Geriatric Anxiety Scale, Geriatric Depression Scale, Comorbidity Index, California Verbal Learning Test, Second Edition (CVLT-II), and the Trail Making, Verbal Fluency, and 20 Questions subtests of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS). Multiple regression analyses indicated that anxiety and depression predicted poorer ability to learn new information (CVLT-II, Trials 1-5). Both anxiety and depression predicted performance on the D-KEFS Trail Making test, Number-Letter Switching condition. Anxiety, but not depression, predicted decreased categorization as measured by the D-KEFS 20 Questions, Initial Abstraction Score. Depression but not anxiety, predicted performance on D-KEFS Letter Fluency and Category Fluency. Findings suggest that anxiety and depression have unique relationships with cognitive functioning in community-dwelling older adults. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Assessing executive and community functioning among homeless persons with substance use disorders using the executive function performance test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raphael-Greenfield, Emily

    2012-09-01

    This study investigates the utility of an occupational therapy assessment of executive and performance functioning and indicators of community adjustment among adults with histories of homelessness and substance abuse. A sample of 60 individuals living in a supported housing programme was interviewed about community living experiences and was assessed using the Executive Function Performance Test (EFPT). A descriptive and correlational study design was used. Measurable levels of cognitive and task impairment were documented, in older adults, non-US citizens and those diagnosed with cognitive impairments. Those who had completed a supported education/employment programme (Total EFPT t = -2.83, 0.008) performed better as did those who were employed (Total EFPT t = -2.33, 0.03), met regularly with their case managers (cooking t = -2.07, 0.04), had hobbies (paying bills r = -0.31, 0.02) and had longer periods of abstinence (organization/planning t = -3.59, 0.001). Limitations of the study include the unanticipated need by the clients for additional translation services. Future directions include a randomized controlled intervention study using the EFPT. An implication of this study for occupational therapists working with homeless clients who abuse substances is the importance of assessing and treating their cognitive impairments as well as providing these services within housing first agencies. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  15. Is there a relationship between executive functions and academic success in children with neurofibromatosis type 1?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilboa, Yafit; Rosenblum, Sara; Fattal-Valevski, Aviva; Toledano-Alhadef, Hagit; Josman, Naomi

    2014-01-01

    The present study aimed to compare the executive function (EF) of children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) to those of typically developing children and to investigate whether those abilities could predict the child's academic success in terms of academic skills and enablers. Twenty-nine children with NF1 and 27 age-and-gender-matched controls (aged 8-16 years) were examined with two tests to measure EF in an ecologically valid manner: the Behavioural Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome in Children (BADS-C) and the parent questionnaire for the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). In order to evaluate academic success we used the Academic Competence Evaluation Scales (ACES). The performance of the NF1 group was significantly lower on the Water and Key search subtest of the BADS-C and on four scales of the BRIEF: initiate; working memory; plan/organise and organisation of materials. Significant correlations and predictive models via regression analysis were generated for: BADS-C, BRIEF and ACES scores. Based on these findings, children with NF1 have executive dysfunction that partially accounts for their difficulties in academic achievements.

  16. Executive function in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: the NIH EXAMINER battery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreiber, Jane E; Possin, Katherine L; Girard, Jonathan M; Rey-Casserly, Celiane

    2014-01-01

    Theories of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increasingly highlight the role of neuropsychological impairment in ADHD; however, a consistent and identifiable pattern of performance on tests is not well established. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Executive Abilities: Measures and Instruments for Neurobehavioral Evaluation and Research (EXAMINER) battery provides measures of common variance across multiple executive function tests within specific domains and was used to characterize which executive functions are most affected in children with ADHD. Thirty-two children (24 male), ages 8-15 years (M = 12.02; SD = 2.29), diagnosed with ADHD and no comorbid disorder completed the NIH EXAMINER battery. Sixty age and gender matched healthy controls were chosen from a database of participants enrolled in the NIH EXAMINER multi-site study. Children with ADHD performed worse on the working memory score compared with the controls. No differences were found on the cognitive control or fluency scores. For children with ADHD, poorer working memory performance predicted parent report of child learning problems. Cognitive control and fluency scores did not predict learning problems. In summary, working memory emerges as a primary impairment in children with ADHD who have no comorbid disorders. Furthermore, working memory weaknesses may underlie the academic problems often seen in children with ADHD.

  17. Improving some cognitive functions, specifically executive functions in grade R learners

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stef Esterhuizen

    2014-07-01

    and output phases of the designed learning process, as well as the characteristics of their inhibitory control functions. A striking finding was the improvement noted in the children’s application of the following executive functions, namely working memory, cognitive flexibility and inhibitory control.

  18. False action memories in older adults: relationship with executive functions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindner, Isabel; Davidson, Patrick S R

    2014-01-01

    Merely observing another person performing an action can make young people later misremember having performed this action themselves (the observation-inflation effect). We examined this type of memory error in healthy older adults. Overall, both young and older adult groups showed robust observation inflation. Although the number of people committing observation-inflation errors did not differ between age groups, those older adults who were prone to this illusion showed a greater observation-inflation effect compared to the corresponding young. At the same time, observation also had beneficial effects on subsequent action memory, especially in older adults. Surprisingly, executive functioning was not correlated with the degree to which older adults made observation-inflation errors, but it was related to the degree to which older adults benefited from observation. We consider accounts of observation inflation based on source monitoring, familiarity misattribution, and motor simulation.

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Menezes

    2015-03-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    de Greeff, Johannes Wilhelmus

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that physical activity can improve cognitive functions of primary school children, especially the executive functions (functions that are important for goal directed cognition and behavior). Physically active academic lessons, however, do not improve executive functions in primary school children. This is the conclusion of the thesis of UMCG-researcher Marck de Greeff. A two-year teaching method (called ‘Fit & Vaardig op school’) was developed to improve executive...

  2. Executive functions in children with developmental coordination disorder: a 2-year follow-up study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardi, Marialivia; Leonard, Hayley C; Hill, Elisabeth L; Botting, Nicola; Henry, Lucy A

    2018-03-01

    Executive function impairments have been identified in children with poor motor skills, with and without a diagnosis of developmental coordination disorder (DCD). However, most studies are cross-sectional. This study investigates the development of executive function in children with poor motor skills over 2 years. Children aged 7 to 11 years (n=51) were assessed twice, 2 years apart, on verbal and nonverbal measures of executive functions: executive-loaded working memory (ELWM); fluency; response inhibition; planning; and cognitive flexibility. Typically developing children (n=17) were compared with those with a clinical diagnosis of DCD (n=17) and those with identified motor difficulties (n=17) but no formal diagnosis of DCD. Developmental gains in executive function were similar between groups, although a gap between children with poor motor skills and typically developing children on nonverbal executive functions persisted. Specifically, children with DCD performed significantly more poorly than typically developing children on all nonverbal executive function tasks and verbal fluency tasks at both time points; and children with motor difficulties but no diagnosis of DCD showed persistent executive function problems in nonverbal tasks of ELWM and fluency. Children with DCD and motor difficulties demonstrated executive function difficulties over 2 years, which may affect activities of daily living and academic achievement, in addition to their motor deficit. Executive function difficulties in children with poor motor skills persist throughout middle childhood. Children with motor difficulties, without a developmental coordination disorder (DCD) diagnosis, demonstrate less pervasive executive function difficulties than those with DCD. Executive function problems in the groups with motor difficulties and DCD affect mostly nonverbal domains. All groups showed similar developmental gains in executive function. © 2017 Mac Keith Press.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-18

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

  4. Risk factors for executive function difficulties in preschool and early school-age preterm children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Meagher, Sari; Kemp, Nenagh; Norris, Kimberley; Anderson, Peter; Skilbeck, Clive

    2017-09-01

    To investigate the relationship between executive functioning and social and perinatal risk factors in four- to five-year-old preterm children. Using standardised measures of general intelligence and performance-based executive function (EF) tests prior to starting kindergarten, 141 children born preterm (preterm and the term comparison groups were compared on measures of intelligence and EFs using independent-groups t-tests, and multivariate regression analyses were performed to identify factors predictive of intelligence and executive functioning in the preterm group. The preterm group performed significantly more poorly than the comparison group on all intelligence and EF tests. The parental reports of the preterm and term comparison children's EF did not differ significantly, but the teachers reported elevated EF difficulties for the preterm group. Higher social risk, in particular lower educational level of the main caregiver, was the strongest predictor for the preterm children's intelligence and EF results. Social risk factors are strongly associated with impaired early EF outcomes in preterm children. ©2017 Foundation Acta Paediatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  6. Longitudinal Associations Between Objectively Measured Physical Activity and Development of Executive Functioning Across the Transition to First Grade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandenbroucke, Loren; Seghers, Jan; Verschueren, Karine; Wijtzes, Anne I; Baeyens, Dieter

    2016-08-01

    The current study investigates how children's amount of daily physical activity relates to subcomponents of executive functions, the cognitive processes needed for goal-directed behavior. Previous studies rarely determined this association at the subcomponent level and did not explicitly examine the period when children make the transition to first grade, despite its importance for the development of executive functions. In a sample of 54 children, working memory, inhibition, and cognitive flexibility were thoroughly measured at the subcomponent level at the end of kindergarten and first grade. In the middle of first grade, children wore a pedometer for 7 consecutive days. Regression analyses showed that performance on a measure of the visuospatial sketchpad, the central executive, and fluency was predicted by children's amount of daily physical activity after controlling for initial task performance. The development of the visuospatial sketchpad (working memory), the central executive (working memory), and fluency (cognitive flexibility) might be improved by increasing the amount of time being physically active. However, as other subcomponents of executive functioning were not affected, the role of other aspects of physical activity, such as intensity and content, in the development of executive functions should be further investigated.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    In a predominantly low-income, population-based longitudinal sample of 1,259 children followed from birth, results suggest that chronic exposure to poverty and the strains of financial hardship were each uniquely predictive of young children's performance on measures of executive functioning. Results suggest that temperament-based vulnerability…

  8. Examining an Executive Function Rating Scale as a Predictor of Achievement in Children at Risk for Behavior Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadeh, Shanna S.; Burns, Matthew K.; Sullivan, Amanda L.

    2012-01-01

    Evidence suggests that executive function (EF) may be a potent and malleable predictor of academic achievement in children. Schools may be able to use this predictive power if researchers develop EF measures that not only have ecological and construct validity, but also are also efficient and affordable. To this end, Garcia-Barrera and colleagues…

  9. Prefrontal cortex and executive function in young children: A review of NIRS studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuke eMoriguchi

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Executive function refers to the higher-order cognitive control process for the attainment of a specific goal. There are several subcomponents of executive function, such as inhibition, cognitive shifting, and working memory. Extensive neuroimaging research in adults has revealed that the lateral prefrontal cortex plays an important role in executive function. Developmental studies have reported behavioral evidence showing that executive function changes significantly during preschool years. However, the neural mechanism of executive function in young children is still unclear. This article reviews recent near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS research that examined the relationship between the development of executive function and the lateral prefrontal cortex. Specifically, this review focuses on cognitive shifting, inhibitory control, and working memory in young children. Research has consistently shown significant prefrontal activation during tasks in typically developed children, but this activation may be abnormal in children with developmental disorders. Finally, methodological issues and future directions are discussed.

  10. Executive functioning among patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and their relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gvirts, Hila Z; Harari, Hagai; Braw, Yoram; Shefet, Daphna; Shamay-Tsoory, Simone G; Levkovitz, Yechiel

    2012-12-20

    Studies focusing on executive functioning in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) have shown divergent results. Moreover, little attention has been paid to the potential role of deficits in executive functions as markers of familial vulnerability to BPD. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate executive functions in both patients BPD and their unaffected first-degree relatives (parents). We examined executive functions in four groups: patients with BPD (n=27), age-matched healthy controls (n=29), healthy unaffected parents of patients in the BPD group (n=20) and their respective age-matched controls (n=22). We administered tests that tapped three domains of executive functions: cognitive planning, sustained attention, and spatial working memory. All tests form part of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) battery. BPD patients displayed deficient executive functioning as compared to healthy controls in the domains of cognitive planning, sustained attention and working memory. Both BPD patients and their parents showed reduced latency to initiate the first move on the planning task [CANTAB's Tower of London]. All other measurements of executive functions did not differ significantly between parents of BPD patients and their respective healthy controls. Results should be replicated with a larger sample size. BPD patients demonstrate a generalized profile of executive dysfunction. In the group comprising their parents, however, we found a lack of evidence for executive dysfunctions. Hence, executive dysfunctions do not appear to be markers of familial vulnerability for BPD. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  14. Brain potentials index executive functions during random number generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joppich, Gregor; Däuper, Jan; Dengler, Reinhard; Johannes, Sönke; Rodriguez-Fornells, Antoni; Münte, Thomas F

    2004-06-01

    The generation of random sequences is considered to tax different executive functions. To explore the involvement of these functions further, brain potentials were recorded in 16 healthy young adults while either engaging in random number generation (RNG) by pressing the number keys on a computer keyboard in a random sequence or in ordered number generation (ONG) necessitating key presses in the canonical order. Key presses were paced by an external auditory stimulus to yield either fast (1 press/800 ms) or slow (1 press/1300 ms) sequences in separate runs. Attentional demands of random and ordered tasks were assessed by the introduction of a secondary task (key-press to a target tone). The P3 amplitude to the target tone of this secondary task was reduced during RNG, reflecting the greater consumption of attentional resources during RNG. Moreover, RNG led to a left frontal negativity peaking 140 ms after the onset of the pacing stimulus, whenever the subjects produced a true random response. This negativity could be attributed to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and was absent when numbers were repeated. This negativity was interpreted as an index for the inhibition of habitual responses. Finally, in response locked ERPs a negative component was apparent peaking about 50 ms after the key-press that was more prominent during RNG. Source localization suggested a medial frontal source. This effect was tentatively interpreted as a reflection of the greater monitoring demands during random sequence generation.

  15. Directed Attention as a Common Resource for Executive Functioning and Self-Regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, Stephen; Berman, Marc G

    2010-01-01

    Research on executive functioning and on self-regulation have each identified a critical resource that is central to that domain and is susceptible to depletion. In addition, studies have shown that self-regulation tasks and executive-functioning tasks interact with each other, suggesting that they may share resources. Other research has focused specifically on restoring what we propose is the shared resource between self-regulation and executive functioning. Utilizing a theory-based natural environment intervention, these studies have found improvements in executive-functioning performance and self-regulation effectiveness, suggesting that the natural environment intervention restores this shared resource. © The Author(s) 2010.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filipe, Marisa G; Frota, Sónia; Vicente, Selene G

    2018-01-01

    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 (dys)function.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ursache, Alexandra; Noble, Kimberly G

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Path analysis was used to investigate the longitudinal associations among parenting and children’s executive function and externalizing behavior problems from 36 to 90 months of age in the Family Life Project (N = 1,115), a study of child development in the context of rural poverty. While controlling for stability in the constructs, semi-structured observations of parenting prospectively predicted performance on a battery of executive function tasks and primary caregivers’ reports of externalizing behavior. Furthermore, the association between early parenting and later externalizing behavior was longitudinally mediated by executive function, providing support for a process model in which sensitive parenting promotes children’s self-regulation, which in turn reduces children’s externalizing behavior. PMID:26082032

  3. [Neuropsychological evaluation of the executive functions by means of virtual reality].

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-16

    Executive functions include a wide range of self regulatory functions that allow control, organization and coordination of other cognitive functions, emotional responses and behaviours. The traditional approach to evaluate these functions, by means of paper and pencil neuropsychological tests, shows a greater than expected performance within the normal range for patients whose daily life difficulties would predict an inferior performance. These discrepancies suggest that classical neuropsychological tests may not adequately reproduce the complexity and dynamic nature of real life situations. Latest developments in the field of virtual reality offer interesting options for the neuropsychological assessment of many cognitive processes. Virtual reality reproduces three-dimensional environments with which the patient interacts in a dynamic way, with a sense of immersion in the environment similar to the presence and exposure to a real environment. Furthermore, the presentation of these stimuli, as well as distractors and other variables, may be controlled in a systematic way. Moreover, more consistent and precise answers may be obtained, and an in-depth analysis of them is possible. The present review shows current problems in neuropsychological evaluation of executive functions and latest advances in the consecution of higher preciseness and validity of the evaluation by means of new technologies and virtual reality, with special mention to some developments performed in Spain.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marisa G. Filipe

    2018-03-01

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

  5. Neurological soft signs in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Their relationship to executive function and parental neurological soft signs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Jingbo; Xie, Jingtao; Chen, Gui; Zhang, Yajie; Wang, Suhong

    2015-07-30

    The correlations between neurological soft signs (NSS) in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and their executive function, symptoms of inattention, and hyperactivity-impulsivity and the NSS of their parents remain unclear. This study aimed to examine: (1) the prevalence of NSS in children with ADHD and their parents; (2) the correlation between the NSS of children with ADHD and the NSS of their parents; and (3) the correlation between the NSS of children with ADHD and their executive function and symptoms. NSS were assessed with the Cambridge Neurological Inventory (CNI) in 57 children with ADHD (and 80 parents) and 60 healthy children (and 75 parents). Executive function was measured with the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). Children with ADHD and their parents had significantly higher NSS than normal children and their parents, respectively, and the NSS of children with ADHD were correlated more strongly with the NSS of their fathers than their mothers. No correlation was found between NSS and BRIEF executive function, but Disinhibition in children with ADHD was significantly correlated with hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms. Paternal and maternal NSS provided different predictions for child NSS. It may be that NSS are more likely to be genetically transmitted by fathers. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  7. Executive functioning in preschoolers with specific language impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Constance eVissers

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The pathogenesis of Specific Language Impairment (SLI is still largely beyond our understanding. In this review, a neuropsychological perspective on language impairments in SLI is taken, focusing specifically on executive functioning (EF in preschoolers (age range: 2.6-6.1 years with SLI. Based on the studies described in this review, it can be concluded that similar to school-aged children with SLI, preschoolers with SLI show difficulties in working memory, inhibition and shifting, as revealed by both performance based measures and behavioural ratings. It seems plausible that a complex, reciprocal relationship exists between language and EF throughout development. Future research is needed to examine if, and if yes how, language and EF interact in SLI. Broad neuropsychological assessment in which both language and EF are taken into account may contribute to early detection of SLI. This in turn can lead to early and tailored treatment of children with (suspected SLI aimed not only at stimulating language development but also at strengthening EF.

  8. Strong genetic overlap between executive functions and intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  9. Strong Genetic Overlap Between Executive Functions and Intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) are cognitive processes that control, monitor, and coordinate more basic cognitive processes. EFs play instrumental roles in models of complex reasoning, learning, and decision-making, and individual differences in EFs have been consistently linked with individual differences in intelligence. By middle childhood, genetic factors account for a moderate proportion of the variance in intelligence, and these effects increase in magnitude through adolescence. Genetic influences on EFs are very high, even in middle childhood, but the extent to which these genetic influences overlap with those on intelligence is unclear. We examined genetic and environmental overlap between EFs and intelligence in a racially and socioeconomically diverse sample of 811 twins ages 7-15 years (M = 10.91, SD = 1.74) from the Texas Twin Project. A general EF factor representing variance common to inhibition, switching, working memory, and updating domains accounted for substantial proportions of variance in intelligence, primarily via a genetic pathway. General EF continued to have a strong, genetically-mediated association with intelligence even after controlling for processing speed. Residual variation in general intelligence was influenced only by shared and nonshared environmental factors, and there remained no genetic variance in general intelligence that was unique of EF. Genetic variance independent of EF did remain, however, in a more specific perceptual reasoning ability. These results provide evidence that genetic influences on general intelligence are highly overlapping with those on EF. PMID:27359131

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Phishing suspiciousness in older and younger adults: The role of executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavett, Brandon E; Zhao, Rui; John, Samantha E; Bussell, Cara A; Roberts, Jennifer R; Yue, Chuan

    2017-01-01

    Phishing is the spoofing of Internet websites or emails aimed at tricking users into entering sensitive information, with such goals as financial or identity theft. The current study sought to determine whether age is associated with increased susceptibility to phishing and whether tests of executive functioning can predict phishing susceptibility. A total of 193 cognitively intact participants, 91 younger adults and 102 older adults, were primarily recruited through a Psychology department undergraduate subject pool and a gerontology research registry, respectively. The Executive Functions Module from the Neuropsychological Assessment Battery and the Iowa Gambling Task were the primary cognitive predictors of reported phishing suspiciousness. Other predictors included age group (older vs. younger), sex, education, race, ethnicity, prior knowledge of phishing, prior susceptibility to phishing, and whether or not browsing behaviors were reportedly different in the laboratory setting versus at home. A logistic regression, which accounted for a 22.7% reduction in error variance compared to the null model and predicted phishing suspiciousness with 73.1% (95% CI [66.0, 80.3]) accuracy, revealed three statistically significant predictors: the main effect of education (b = 0.58, SE = 0.27) and the interactions of age group with prior awareness of phishing (b = 2.31, SE = 1.12) and performance on the Neuropsychological Assessment Battery Mazes test (b = 0.16, SE = 0.07). Whether or not older adults reported being suspicious of the phishing attacks used in this study was partially explained by educational history and prior phishing knowledge. This suggests that simple educational interventions may be effective in reducing phishing vulnerability. Although one test of executive functioning was found useful for identifying those at risk of phishing susceptibility, four tests were not found to be useful; these results speak to the need for more ecologically valid tools in

  13. Phishing suspiciousness in older and younger adults: The role of executive functioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandon E Gavett

    Full Text Available Phishing is the spoofing of Internet websites or emails aimed at tricking users into entering sensitive information, with such goals as financial or identity theft. The current study sought to determine whether age is associated with increased susceptibility to phishing and whether tests of executive functioning can predict phishing susceptibility. A total of 193 cognitively intact participants, 91 younger adults and 102 older adults, were primarily recruited through a Psychology department undergraduate subject pool and a gerontology research registry, respectively. The Executive Functions Module from the Neuropsychological Assessment Battery and the Iowa Gambling Task were the primary cognitive predictors of reported phishing suspiciousness. Other predictors included age group (older vs. younger, sex, education, race, ethnicity, prior knowledge of phishing, prior susceptibility to phishing, and whether or not browsing behaviors were reportedly different in the laboratory setting versus at home. A logistic regression, which accounted for a 22.7% reduction in error variance compared to the null model and predicted phishing suspiciousness with 73.1% (95% CI [66.0, 80.3] accuracy, revealed three statistically significant predictors: the main effect of education (b = 0.58, SE = 0.27 and the interactions of age group with prior awareness of phishing (b = 2.31, SE = 1.12 and performance on the Neuropsychological Assessment Battery Mazes test (b = 0.16, SE = 0.07. Whether or not older adults reported being suspicious of the phishing attacks used in this study was partially explained by educational history and prior phishing knowledge. This suggests that simple educational interventions may be effective in reducing phishing vulnerability. Although one test of executive functioning was found useful for identifying those at risk of phishing susceptibility, four tests were not found to be useful; these results speak to the need for more ecologically valid

  14. The Role of Age and Executive Function in Auditory Category Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reetzke, Rachel; Maddox, W. Todd; Chandrasekaran, Bharath

    2015-01-01

    Auditory categorization is a natural and adaptive process that allows for the organization of high-dimensional, continuous acoustic information into discrete representations. Studies in the visual domain have identified a rule-based learning system that learns and reasons via a hypothesis-testing process that requires working memory and executive attention. The rule-based learning system in vision shows a protracted development, reflecting the influence of maturing prefrontal function on visual categorization. The aim of the current study is two-fold: (a) to examine the developmental trajectory of rule-based auditory category learning from childhood through adolescence, into early adulthood; and (b) to examine the extent to which individual differences in rule-based category learning relate to individual differences in executive function. Sixty participants with normal hearing, 20 children (age range, 7–12), 21 adolescents (age range, 13–19), and 19 young adults (age range, 20–23), learned to categorize novel dynamic ripple sounds using trial-by-trial feedback. The spectrotemporally modulated ripple sounds are considered the auditory equivalent of the well-studied Gabor patches in the visual domain. Results revealed that auditory categorization accuracy improved with age, with young adults outperforming children and adolescents. Computational modeling analyses indicated that the use of the task-optimal strategy (i.e. a conjunctive rule-based learning strategy) improved with age. Notably, individual differences in executive flexibility significantly predicted auditory category learning success. The current findings demonstrate a protracted development of rule-based auditory categorization. The results further suggest that executive flexibility coupled with perceptual processes play important roles in successful rule-based auditory category learning. PMID:26491987

  15. The role of age and executive function in auditory category learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reetzke, Rachel; Maddox, W Todd; Chandrasekaran, Bharath

    2016-02-01

    Auditory categorization is a natural and adaptive process that allows for the organization of high-dimensional, continuous acoustic information into discrete representations. Studies in the visual domain have identified a rule-based learning system that learns and reasons via a hypothesis-testing process that requires working memory and executive attention. The rule-based learning system in vision shows a protracted development, reflecting the influence of maturing prefrontal function on visual categorization. The aim of the current study was twofold: (a) to examine the developmental trajectory of rule-based auditory category learning from childhood through adolescence and into early adulthood and (b) to examine the extent to which individual differences in rule-based category learning relate to individual differences in executive function. A sample of 60 participants with normal hearing-20 children (age range=7-12years), 21 adolescents (age range=13-19years), and 19 young adults (age range=20-23years)-learned to categorize novel dynamic "ripple" sounds using trial-by-trial feedback. The spectrotemporally modulated ripple sounds are considered the auditory equivalent of the well-studied "Gabor" patches in the visual domain. Results reveal that auditory categorization accuracy improved with age, with young adults outperforming children and adolescents. Computational modeling analyses indicated that the use of the task-optimal strategy (i.e., a conjunctive rule-based learning strategy) improved with age. Notably, individual differences in executive flexibility significantly predicted auditory category learning success. The current findings demonstrate a protracted development of rule-based auditory categorization. The results further suggest that executive flexibility coupled with perceptual processes play important roles in successful rule-based auditory category learning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Support for the Logical Execution Time Model on a Time-predictable Multicore Processor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kluge, Florian; Schoeberl, Martin; Ungerer, Theo

    2016-01-01

    The logical execution time (LET) model increases the compositionality of real-time task sets. Removal or addition of tasks does not influence the communication behavior of other tasks. In this work, we extend a multicore operating system running on a time-predictable multicore processor to support...... the LET model. For communication between tasks we use message passing on a time-predictable network-on-chip to avoid the bottleneck of shared memory. We report our experiences and present results on the costs in terms of memory and execution time....

  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. Cognitive reserve and self-efficacy as moderators of the relationship between stress exposure and executive functioning among spousal dementia caregivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pertl, M M; Hannigan, C; Brennan, S; Robertson, I H; Lawlor, B A

    2017-04-01

    A substantial literature has reported that stress negatively impacts on cognitive processes. As dementia caregiving can be stressful, it has been hypothesized that the challenges of dementia care may increase caregivers' own vulnerability to cognitive decline. Prefrontal processes are thought to be most vulnerable to stress; however, few studies have examined whether greater caregiver stress predicts poorer executive dysfunction, and no previous research has considered potential moderators of this relationship. We examined (1) whether greater psychological stress mediated a relationship between caregiver stress exposure and executive functioning and (2) whether greater self-efficacy and cognitive reserve (CR) moderated this relationship. Spousal dementia caregivers (n = 253) completed the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire (stress exposure), the Perceived Stress Scale, the National Adult Reading Test (CR), the Fortinsky dementia-specific caregiver self-efficacy scale, and the Color Trails Test (executive functioning). Moderated mediation was tested using the PROCESS macro. Age, gender, and dementia risk factors were included as covariates. Greater stress exposure indirectly predicted executive functioning through psychological stress. Stronger relationships between greater psychological stress and poorer executive functioning were observed among caregivers with lower CR; there was no evidence that self-efficacy moderated the relationship between stress exposure and psychological stress. Our findings are in line with the idea that greater psychological stress in response to challenges associated with dementia care predicts poorer caregiver executive functioning, particularly among caregivers with low CR. However, these findings are cross sectional; it is also possible that poorer executive functioning contributes to greater caregiver stress.

  19. Executive Function and Food Approach Behavior in Middle Childhood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karoline eGroppe

    2014-05-01

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

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. Executive Function in Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: the NIH EXAMINER battery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreiber, Jane E.; Possin, Katherine L.; Girard, Jonathan M.; Rey-Casserly, Celiane

    2014-01-01

    Theories of ADHD increasingly highlight the role of neuropsychological impairment in ADHD; however, a consistent and identifiable pattern of performance on tests is not well established. The NIH EXAMINER battery provides measures of common variance across multiple executive function tests within specific domains and was used to characterize which executive functions are most affected in children with ADHD. Thirty-two children (24 male), ages 8–15 years (M=12.02, SD=2.29), diagnosed with ADHD and no comorbid disorder completed the NIH EXAMINER battery. Sixty age and gender matched healthy controls were chosen from a database of participants enrolled in the NIH EXAMINER multi-site study. Children with ADHD performed worse on the working memory score compared with the controls. No differences were found on the cognitive control or fluency scores. For children with ADHD, poorer working memory performance predicted parent report of child learning problems. Cognitive control and fluency scores did not predict learning problems. In summary, working memory emerges as a primary impairment in children with ADHD who have no comorbid disorders. Furthermore, working memory weaknesses may underlie the academic problems often seen in children with ADHD. PMID:24103310

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Theoretical and Statistical Derivation of a Screener for the Behavioral Assessment of Executive Functions in Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Barrera, Mauricio A.; Kamphaus, Randy W.; Bandalos, Deborah

    2011-01-01

    The problem of valid measurement of psychological constructs remains an impediment to scientific progress, and the measurement of executive functions is not an exception. This study examined the statistical and theoretical derivation of a behavioral screener for the estimation of executive functions in children from the well-established Behavior…

  8. Designing Homework to Mediate Executive Functioning Deficits in Students with Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockall, Nancy

    2017-01-01

    Designing homework to mediate executive functioning disorders of students with disabilities is critical to their future academic success. The article explains and defines different executive functions of the brain and how these impact students' ability to benefit from homework assignments. Specific strategies are provided for designing…

  9. 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

  10. Executive functions are associated with gait and balance in community-living elderly people.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Iersel, M.B. van; Kessels, R.P.C.; Bloem, B.R.; Verbeek, A.L.M.; Olde Rikkert, M.G.M.

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Cognition influences gait and balance in elderly people. Executive functions seem to play a key role in this mechanism. Previous studies used only a single test to probe executive functions, and outcome measures were restricted to gait variables. We extend this prior work by examining

  11. Executive Functions Are Associated With Gait and Balance in Community-Living Elderly People

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Iersel, M.B. van; Kessels, R.P.C.; Bloem, B.R.; Verbeek, A.L.M.; Olde Rikkert, M.G.M.

    2008-01-01

    Background. Cognition influences gait and balance in elderly people. Executive functions seem to play a key role in this mechanism. Previous studies used only a single test to probe executive functions, and outcome measures were restricted to gait variables. We extend this prior work by examining

  12. Executive Functions as Endophenotypes in ADHD: Evidence from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Battery (CANTAB)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gau, Susan Shur-Fen; Shang, Chi-Yung

    2010-01-01

    Background: Little is known about executive functions among unaffected siblings of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and there is lack of such information from non-Western countries. We examined verbal and nonverbal executive functions in adolescents with ADHD, unaffected siblings and controls to test whether executive…

  13. Test Review: Delis, D. (2012) "Delis Rating of Executive Function (D-REF)." Bloomington, Minnesota: Pearson

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warnick, Brittany; Drake, Morgan; Vidrine, Stephanie

    2015-01-01

    The Delis Rating of Executive Function (D-REF) is a set of rating scales designed to assess executive functions and their constituent sub-processes in children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 18. More specifically, the D-REF is a supplemental assessment of children and adolescents demonstrating behavioral or cognitive difficulties often…

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sequeira, S.S.; Eggermont, L.H.P.; Silliman, R.A.; Bickmore, T.W.; Henault, L.E.; Winter, M.R.; Nelson, K; Paasche-Orlow, M.K.

    2013-01-01

    Limited health literacy is associated with worse executive function, but the association between limited health literacy and decline in executive function has not been established because of a lack of longitudinal studies. The authors aimed to examine this association by studying a prospective

  17. Executive Function Differences between Bilingual ArabicEnglish and Monolingual Arabic Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdelgafar, Ghada Mohammed; Moawad, Ruba AbdelMatloub

    2015-01-01

    This study aimed to explore the differences between Arabic-English bilingual and monolingual Arabic children on a battery of executive functions. Prior research on the influence of bilingualism on cognitive abilities and executive functions has shown mixed results. Some results suggested that bilinguals perform significantly better than…

  18. Executive Function and Metacognition in Students with Learning Disabilities: New Approaches to Assessment and Intervention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meltzer, Lynn

    2013-01-01

    Success in our 21st century schools is linked with students' mastery of a wide range of academic and technological skills that rely heavily on executive function processes. This article describes a theoretical paradigm for understanding, assessing, and teaching that emphasizes the central importance of six executive function processes: goal…

  19. Evidence for Causal Relations between Executive Functions and Alphabetic Skills Based on Longitudinal Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kegel, Cornelia A. T.; Bus, Adriana G.

    2014-01-01

    Children showing poor executive functioning may not fully benefit from learning experiences at home and school and may lag behind in literacy skills. This hypothesis was tested in a sample of 276 kindergarten children. Executive functions and literacy skills were tested at about 61?months and again a year later. In line with earlier studies,…

  20. The contribution of executive functions to narrative writing in fourth grade children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Drijbooms, E.; Groen, M.A.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.

    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

  1. Executive Function Variation in Children with Conduct Problems: Influences of Coexisting Reading Difficulties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kallitsoglou, Angeliki

    2018-01-01

    It is unknown whether children with conduct problems (CP) and poor reading (PR) skills exhibit more profound executive function impairments than children with CP only and whether such impairments are explained by coexisting PR. Executive functions were compared in four groups of 7- to 8-year-old children: 26 CP only, 35 PR only, 27 CP-PR, and 31…

  2. The Development of Executive Functions and Early Mathematics: A Dynamic Relationship

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van der Ven, Sanne H. G.; Kroesbergen, Evelyn H.; Boom, Jan; Leseman, Paul P. M.

    2012-01-01

    Background: The relationship between executive functions and mathematical skills has been studied extensively, but results are inconclusive, and how this relationship evolves longitudinally is largely unknown. Aim: The aim was to investigate the factor structure of executive functions in inhibition, shifting, and updating; the longitudinal…

  3. Executive Function Skills and Academic Achievement Gains in Prekindergarten: Contributions of Learning-Related Behaviors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesbitt, Kimberly Turner; Farran, Dale Clark; Fuhs, Mary Wagner

    2015-01-01

    Although research suggests associations between children's executive function skills and their academic achievement, the specific mechanisms that may help explain these associations in early childhood are unclear. This study examined whether children's (N = 1,103; M age = 54.5 months) executive function skills at the beginning of prekindergarten…

  4. Mobile Innovations, Executive Functions, and Educational Developments in Conflict Zones: A Case Study from Palestine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckner, Elizabeth; Kim, Paul

    2012-01-01

    Prior research suggests that exposure to conflict can negatively impact the development of executive functioning, which in turn can affect academic performance. Recognizing the need to better understand the potentially widespread executive function deficiencies among Palestinian students and to help develop educational resources targeted to youth…

  5. Effects of Physical Activity on Children's Executive Function: Contributions of Experimental Research on Aerobic Exercise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Best, John R.

    2010-01-01

    Executive function refers to the cognitive processes necessary for goal-directed cognition and behavior, which develop across childhood and adolescence. Recent experimental research indicates that both acute and chronic aerobic exercise promote children's executive function. Furthermore, there is tentative evidence that not all forms of aerobic…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. Insights from Cognitive Neuroscience: The Importance of Executive Function for Early Reading Development and Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Kelly B.

    2012-01-01

    Research Findings: Executive function begins to develop in infancy and involves an array of processes, such as attention, inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility, which provide the means by which individuals control their own behavior, work toward goals, and manage complex cognitive processes. Thus, executive function plays a…

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. Executive Function and Behavioral Problems in Students with Visual Impairments at Mainstream and Special Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyl, Vera; Hintermair, Manfred

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: In this study, executive function of school-aged children with visual impairments (that is, those who are blind or have low vision) is examined in the context of behavioral problems and communicative competence. Methods: Teachers assessed the executive function of a sample of 226 visually impaired students from mainstream schools and…

  14. 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.,…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-14

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

  16. 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.

  17. Influence of internet addiction on executive function and learning attention in Taiwanese school-aged children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuo, Shu-Yu; Chen, Yu-Ting; Chang, Yu-Kai; Lee, Pi-Hsia; Liu, Mei-Ju; Chen, Su-Ru

    2018-01-31

    This study aims to evaluate the executive function and learning attention in children with internet addiction (IA). Children aged 10-12 were screened by Chinese Internet Addiction Scale to compose the IA group and internet nonaddiction group. Their executive functions were evaluated by Stroop color and word test, Wisconsin card sorting test, and Wechsler digit span test. Learning attention was evaluated by Chinese concentration questionnaire. Executive function and learning attention were lower in the IA group than in the internet nonaddiction group. Executive function and learning attention are compromised by IA in children. Early interventions into the IA should be planned to maintain the normal development of executive function and learning attention in childhood. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarai R Boelema

    Full Text Available 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.

  2. Executive Functions and Social Competence in Young Children 6 Months Following Traumatic Brain Injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganesalingam, Kalaichelvi; Yeates, Keith Owen; Taylor, H. Gerry; Walz, Nicolay Chertkoff; Stancin, Terry; Wade, Shari

    2011-01-01

    Objective This study examined the impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in young children on executive functions and social competence, and particularly on the role of executive functions as a predictor of social competence. Method Data were drawn from a prospective, longitudinal study. Participants were children aged 3.0 to 6.11 years at time of injury. The initial sample included 23 with severe TBI, 64 with moderate TBI, and 119 with orthopedic injuries (OI). All participants were assessed at 3 and 6 months post injury. Executive functions were assessed using neuropsychological tests (Delayed Alternation task and Shape School) and parent ratings on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function and Child Behavior Questionnaire. Parents rated children’s social competence on the Adaptive Behavior Assessment System, Preschool and Kindergarten Behavior Scales, and Home and Community Social Behavior Scales. Results Children with severe TBI displayed more negative outcomes than children with OI on neuropsychological tests and ratings of executive functions, and ratings of social competence (η2 ranged from 0.03 to 0.11). Neuropsychological tests of executive functions had significant but weak relationships with behavioral ratings of executive functions (ΔR2 ranged from .06 to .08). Behavioral ratings of executive functions were strongly related to social competence (ΔR2 ranged from .32 to .42), although shared rater and method variance likely contributed to these associations. Conclusions Severe TBI in young children negatively impacts executive functions and social competence. Executive functions may be an important determinant of social competence following TBI. PMID:21463038

  3. 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.

  4. The Impact of Inattention, Hyperactivity/Impulsivity Symptoms, and Executive Functions on Learning Behaviors of Children with ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Children diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at risk of experiencing lower academic achievement compared to their peers without ADHD. However, we have a limited understanding of the mechanisms underlying this association. Both the symptoms of the disorder and the executive functions can negatively influence learning behaviors, including motivation, attitude toward learning, or persistence, key aspects of the learning process. The first objective of this study was to compare different components of learning behaviors in children diagnosed with ADHD and typically developing (TD) children. The second objective was to analyze the relationships among learning behaviors, executive functioning, and symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity in both groups. Participants were 35 children diagnosed with ADHD and 37 with TD (7-11 years old), matched on age and IQ. The teachers filled out the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and the Learning Behaviors Scale, which evaluates Competence/motivation, Attitude toward learning, Attention/persistence, and Strategy/flexibility. In addition, parents and teachers filled out the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for ADHD. ANOVAs showed significant differences between children with ADHD and TD children on all the learning behaviors. Moreover, in both the ADHD and TD groups, the behavioral regulation index of the BRIEF predicted the search for strategies, and the metacognition index was a good predictor of motivation. However, attitude toward learning was predicted by metacognition only in the group with ADHD. Therefore, the executive functions had greater power than the typical symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity in predicting learning behaviors of children with ADHD. The findings are in line with other studies that support the influence of the executive functions on performance, highlighting the importance of including their development as a top priority from early ages in the

  5. Lexical Quality and Executive Control Predict Children's First and Second Language Reading Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raudszus, Henriette; Segers, Eliane; Verhoeven, Ludo

    2018-01-01

    This study compared how lexical quality (vocabulary and decoding) and executive control (working memory and inhibition) predict reading comprehension directly as well as indirectly, via syntactic integration, in monolingual and bilingual fourth grade children. The participants were 76 monolingual and 102 bilingual children (mean age 10 years,…

  6. Validating neuropsychological subtypes of ADHD: how do children with and without an executive function deficit differ?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lambek, Rikke; Tannock, Rosemary; Dalsgaard, Søren

    2010-01-01

    The study investigates behavioural, academic, cognitive, and motivational aspects of functioning in school-age children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with and without an executive function deficit (EFD)....

  7. Resting-state connectivity and executive functions after pediatric arterial ischemic stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salome Kornfeld

    2018-01-01

    Conclusion: Decreased interhemispheric connections after stroke in childhood may indicate a disruption of typical interhemispheric interactions relating to executive functions. The present results emphasize the relationship between functional organization of the brain at rest and cognitive processes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-12

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

  9. 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.

  10. Executive Functioning and School Adjustment: The Mediational Role of Pre-kindergarten Learning-related Behaviors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasser, Tyler R.; Bierman, Karen L.; Heinrichs, Brenda

    2016-01-01

    164 four-year-old children (14% Latino American, 30% African American, 56% European American; 57% girls) in 22 Head Start classrooms were followed through third grade. Growth curve models were used to estimate the predictive associations between pre-kindergarten executive function (EF) skills and trajectories of academic skill development (math, literacy, overall academic functioning) and social-emotional adjustment at school (social competence, aggression), controlling for child sex, race, verbal IQ, and pre-kindergarten baseline scores. Direct developmental pathways were examined, along with indirect pathways, in which the association between preschool EF and elementary school adjustment was mediated by classroom learning behaviors. Preschool EF significantly predicted later math skills, academic functioning, and social competence, and marginally predicted later literacy skills. Preschool learning behaviors fully mediated the association between EF and later literacy skills and social competence, but did not mediate associations between EF and later math skills or academic functioning. Implications for developmental theory and early education are discussed. PMID:27231409

  11. Scoring function to predict solubility mutagenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deutsch Christopher

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mutagenesis is commonly used to engineer proteins with desirable properties not present in the wild type (WT protein, such as increased or decreased stability, reactivity, or solubility. Experimentalists often have to choose a small subset of mutations from a large number of candidates to obtain the desired change, and computational techniques are invaluable to make the choices. While several such methods have been proposed to predict stability and reactivity mutagenesis, solubility has not received much attention. Results We use concepts from computational geometry to define a three body scoring function that predicts the change in protein solubility due to mutations. The scoring function captures both sequence and structure information. By exploring the literature, we have assembled a substantial database of 137 single- and multiple-point solubility mutations. Our database is the largest such collection with structural information known so far. We optimize the scoring function using linear programming (LP methods to derive its weights based on training. Starting with default values of 1, we find weights in the range [0,2] so that predictions of increase or decrease in solubility are optimized. We compare the LP method to the standard machine learning techniques of support vector machines (SVM and the Lasso. Using statistics for leave-one-out (LOO, 10-fold, and 3-fold cross validations (CV for training and prediction, we demonstrate that the LP method performs the best overall. For the LOOCV, the LP method has an overall accuracy of 81%. Availability Executables of programs, tables of weights, and datasets of mutants are available from the following web page: http://www.wsu.edu/~kbala/OptSolMut.html.

  12. Computer Assisted Design, Prediction, and Execution of Economical Organic Syntheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gothard, Nosheen Akber

    The synthesis of useful organic molecules via simple and cost-effective routes is a core challenge in organic chemistry. In industry or academia, organic chemists use their chemical intuition, technical expertise and published procedures to determine an optimal pathway. This approach, not only takes time and effort, but also is cost prohibitive. Many potential optimal routes scratched on paper fail to get experimentally tested. In addition, with new methods being discovered daily are often overlooked by established techniques. This thesis reports a computational technique that assist the discovery of economical synthetic routes to useful organic targets. Organic chemistry exists as a network where chemicals are connected by reactions, analogous to citied connected by roads in a geographic map. This network topology of organic reactions in the network of organic chemistry (NOC) allows the application of graph-theory to devise algorithms for synthetic optimization of organic targets. A computational approach comprised of customizable algorithms, pre-screening filters, and existing chemoinformatic techniques is capable of answering complex questions and perform mechanistic tasks desired by chemists such as optimization of organic syntheses. One-pot reactions are central to modern synthesis since they save resources and time by avoiding isolation, purification, characterization, and production of chemical waste after each synthetic step. Sometimes, such reactions are identified by chance or, more often, by careful inspection of individual steps that are to be wired together. Algorithms are used to discover one-pot reactions and validated experimentally. Which demonstrate that the computationally predicted sequences can indeed by carried out experimentally in good overall yields. The experimental examples are chosen to from small networks of reactions around useful chemicals such as quinoline scaffolds, quinoline-based inhibitors of phosphoinositide 3-kinase delta (PI3

  13. Can specific deficits in executive functioning explain the negative symptoms of schizophrenia? A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donohoe, G; Robertson, I H

    2003-04-01

    The relationship between clinical symptoms and neurocognitive impairment has been a growing interest in the field of schizophrenia research. We review the empirical evidence for whether some schizophrenia symptoms can be viewed as expressions of disordered executive functioning. A specific focus of our review is Frith's (1992) neurocognitive theory of negative symptoms, and whether this theory is supported by studies of executive functioning in schizophrenia. The current trend towards viewing executive functioning in terms of fractionable cognitive processes is discussed. Difficulties with traditional clinical measures (e.g. the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test; WCST) in separating these processes are highlighted. Neurocognitive studies of schizophrenia are then reviewed in terms of this fractionated view of executive processes. We conclude that a more specific approach to executive functioning deficits in schizophrenia using more selective measures is needed before stronger conclusions can be drawn about their relationship to clinical symptoms.

  14. Emotion regulation, executive functioning and quality of life following stroke : a research portfolio

    OpenAIRE

    Yule, Mhairi

    2013-01-01

    Systematic review Executive dysfunction is commonly reported following stroke with most research in this area focused on frontal lobe lesions. A systematic review was carried out to evaluate the evidence of executive dysfunction following stroke as compared to control groups. It was found that executive functions are consistently impaired following stroke and is not limited to frontal lobe lesions. Processing speed, mental flexibility, attention and working memory impairment...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Neurofeedback Improves Executive Functioning in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouijzer, Mirjam E. J.; de Moor, Jan M. H.; Gerrits, Berrie J. L.; Congedo, Marco; van Schie, Hein T.

    2009-01-01

    Seven autistic children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) received a neurofeedback treatment that aimed to improve their level of executive control. Neurofeedback successfully reduced children's heightened theta/beta ratio by inhibiting theta activation and enhancing beta activation over sessions. Following treatment, children's…

  17. Impulsive and rigid temperament subtypes and executive functioning

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aim of this study was to explore differences between the executive performance profiles in second order temperament trait configurations consisted of levels of harm avoidance (HA) and novelty seeking (NS). These trait configurations yield the impulsive temperament subtype (high NS and low HA) and the rigid ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camila de Assis Faria

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Coping mediates and moderates the relationship between executive functions and psychological adjustment in multiple sclerosis.

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

    2016-03-01

    To identify the moderating and mediating relationship of different coping strategies between executive function and stress, depression and anxiety in people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS). Participants were 107 people with relapsing remitting or secondary progressive multiple sclerosis who were administered tasks of executive function and completed self-report measures of stress, depression, anxiety, and coping. An indirect relationship was found between executive function and psychosocial adjustment through maladaptive coping strategies: behavioral and mental disengagement, and substance abuse; adaptive coping strategies: acceptance, active, positive reinterpretation, and growth, as well as for an index of adaptive coping. In general, a relationship was found between better performance on tasks of executive function and psychosocial adjustment when adaptive coping strategies were low, as opposed to high, or maladaptive coping strategies were high, as opposed to low. Some unexpected findings are also discussed. Executive function and psychosocial adjustment is mediated and moderated by coping strategies used by PwMS. Well-preserved executive function provides relative protection from poorer adjustment in the presence of high maladaptive or low adaptive coping. PwMS who perform poorly on tasks of executive function benefit from using less cognitively demanding adaptive coping strategies to enhance adjustment outcomes and further research in this area would be advantageous to underpin effective intervention strategies. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

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

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    Faria, Camila de Assis; Alves, Heloisa Veiga Dias; Charchat-Fichman, Helenice

    2015-01-01

    There are numerous neuropsychological tests for assessing executive functions in aging, which vary according to the different domains assessed. 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. 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. 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. 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. The role of executive functions in the control of aggressive behavior

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    Ulrike M Krämer

    2011-07-01

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

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

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    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

  5. A bidirectional relationship between executive function and health behavior: evidence, implications, and future directions

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    Julia Allan

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Physically active lifestyles and other health-enhancing behaviors play an important role in preserving executive function into old age. Conversely, emerging research suggests that executive functions facilitate participation in a broad range of healthy behaviors including physical activity and reduced fatty food, tobacco and alcohol consumption. They do this by supporting the volition, planning, performance monitoring, and inhibition necessary to enact intentions and override urges to engage in health damaging behavior. Here, we focus firstly on evidence suggesting that health-enhancing behaviors can induce improvements in executive function. We then switch our focus to findings linking executive function to the consistent performance of health-promoting behaviors and the avoidance of health risk behaviors. We suggest that executive function, health behavior, and disease processes are interdependent. In particular, we argue that a positive feedback loop may exist whereby health behavior-induced changes in executive function foster subsequent health-enhancing behaviors, which in turn help sustain efficient executive functions and good health. We conclude by outlining the implications of this reciprocal relationship for intervention strategies, the design of research studies, and the study of healthy ageing.

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

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    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.

  7. The relationship between executive functions and IQ in Korean children and the comparison with Chinese children.

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    Song, Hyunjoo; Jinyu, An

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the relationship between perceived/performance-based executive function and IQ. Additionally, the relationship between perceived executive function and intelligence was investigated cross-culturally between South Korea and China. Korean children (60; M = 34, F = 26, Mean age = 10.35) were included in study 1, and Korean children (43, M = 23, F = 20, Mean age = 10.05) and Chinese children (56; M = 29, F = 27, Mean age = 10.40) were included in study 2. The Korean-Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-IV, the Stroop test, the CTT-2, and the executive function questionnaire were used for Korean subjects, and the Raven's matrix test and the executive function questionnaire were used for Korean and Chinese subjects. Multiple regression showed that CTT-2(RT), emotional control difficulty, and Color Word within a 45' Stroop test trial were significant predictors of total IQ. The cross-cultural analysis showed a statistically significant difference between the two countries in the emotional control aspect of perceived executive function. There were no interactions between country and intelligence. In conclusion, intelligence was related to overall executive function. Korean children and Chinese children showed cultural differences in processing emotion. These results are expected to contribute to developing therapeutic strategies for executive function in children and to exchanging these strategies between Korea and China.

  8. Developmental changes in fact and source recall: Contributions from executive function and brain electrical activity

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    Vinaya Rajan

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Source memory involves recollecting the contextual details surrounding a memory episode. When source information is bound together, it makes a memory episodic in nature. Unfortunately, very little is known about the factors that contribute to its formation in early development. This study examined the development of source memory in middle childhood. Measures of executive function were examined as potential sources of variation in fact and source recall. Continuous electroencephalogram (EEG measures were collected during baseline and fact and source retrieval in order to examine memory-related changes in EEG power. Six and 8-year-old children were taught 10 novel facts from two different sources and recall for fact and source information was later tested. Older children were better on fact recall, but both ages were comparable on source recall. However, source recall performance was poor at both ages, suggesting that this ability continues to develop beyond middle childhood. Regression analyses revealed that executive function uniquely predicted variance in source recall performance. Task-related increases in theta power were observed at frontal, temporal and parietal electrode sites during fact and source retrieval. This investigation contributes to our understanding of age-related differences in source memory processing in middle childhood.

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

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    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.

  10. Executive Functions of Six-Year-Old Boys with Normal Birth Weight and Gestational Age

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    Phua, Desiree Yee-Ling; Rifkin-Graboi, Anne; Saw, Seang-Mei; Meaney, Michael J.; Qiu, Anqi

    2012-01-01

    Impaired fetal development, reflected by low birth weight or prematurity, predicts an increased risk for psychopathology, especially attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Such effects cut across the normal range of birth weight and gestation. Despite the strength of existing epidemiological data, cognitive pathways that link fetal development to mental health are largely unknown. In this study we examined the relation of birth weight (>2500 g) and gestational age (37–41 weeks) within the normal range with specific executive functions in 195 Singaporean six-year-old boys of Chinese ethnicity. Birth weight adjusted for gestational age was used as indicator of fetal growth while gestational age was indicative of fetal maturity. Linear regression revealed that increased fetal growth within the normal range is associated with an improved ability to learn rules during the intra/extra-dimensional shift task and to retain visual information for short period of time during the delayed matching to sample task. Moreover, faster and consistent reaction times during the stop-signal task were observed among boys born at term, but with higher gestational age. Hence, even among boys born at term with normal birth weight, variations in fetal growth and maturity showed distinct effects on specific executive functions. PMID:22558470

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

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    Joukje M Oosterman

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Diminished executive function and attentional control has been reported in chronic pain patients. However, the precise pattern of impairment in these aspects of cognition in chronic pain remains unclear. Moreover, a decline in psychomotor speed could potentially influence executive and attentional control performance in pain patients.

  12. Is There a Role for Executive Functions in the Development of Mathematics Ability?

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    Blair, Clancy; Knipe, Hilary; Gamson, David

    2008-01-01

    This article examines the role of working memory, attention shifting, and inhibitory control executive cognitive functions in the development of mathematics knowledge and ability in children. It suggests that an examination of the executive cognitive demand of mathematical thinking can complement procedural and conceptual knowledge-based…

  13. Motor planning and performance in transitive and intransitive gesture execution and imagination: Does EEG (RP) activity predict hemodynamic (fNIRS) response?

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    Balconi, Michela; Cortesi, Livia; Crivelli, Davide

    2017-05-01

    The interplay between neural structures and processes underlying motor planning and proper movement initiation and guidance is still a matter of debate. The present study aimed at investigating cortical correlates of motor planning and production when execution and imagery of real-life gestures are performed, with an additional focus on potential specificities of meaningful transitive/intransitive gestures. Electrophysiological (Readiness Potential - RP) and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) measures were analyzed to investigate the relationship between processes supporting action planning, execution and imagination. Participants were instructed to observe videos presenting various gestures and then to execute or to imagine them. We observed comparable RP before gesture execution and imagination, with a "facilitation effect" of transitive gestures in particular for imagination. Further, while the supplementary motor regions showed similar O 2 Hb profiles during both execution and imagination of transitive/intransitive gestures, premotor and posterior parietal areas showed specificities respectively for execution processes and transitive gesture execution. Finally, regression analyses showed that RP amplitude is a predictive factor of subsequent hemodynamic brain activity during action production. Such predictive role was modulated by both task and gesture type factors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

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    Kraybill, Matthew L; Suchy, Yana

    2011-02-01

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

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

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    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.

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

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

    2016-12-30

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

  17. Study of relationship between obesity and executive functions among high school students in Bushehr, Iran.

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    Qavam, Soqra Ebrahimi; Anisan, Abbas; Fathi, Marjan; Pourabbasi, Ata

    2015-01-01

    Obesity is one of the most challenging problems of public health in the present century and can have some serious impacts on cognitive abilities in children and adolescents. This study has tried to investigate the relationship between obesity and executive functioning, particularly in planning- organizing and problem solving among a group of adolescents. Some 120 male high school students in the 15 to 18 year age range were included. BMI and executive functions were measured with validetes tools and tests in cases. There is a significant difference between the executive functions such as planning-organizing and problem solving in obese, overweight and normal students. According to our results it seems the obese adolescents have poorer executive functions than normal weight peers. This is important for families and school staff to design and follow some therapeutic plans for weight reduction in adolescents in order to help them improve their skills in some functions such as planning-organizing and problem solving.

  18. A Rationale for Music Training to Enhance Executive Functions in Parkinson’s Disease: An Overview of the Problem

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    Teresa Lesiuk

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Music listening interventions such as Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation can improve mobility, balance, and gait in Parkinson’s Disease (PD. Yet, the impact of music training on executive functions is not yet known. Deficits in executive functions (e.g., attention, processing speed in patients with PD result in gait interference, deficits in emotional processing, loss of functional capacity (e.g., intellectual activity, social participation, and reduced quality of life. The model of temporal prediction and timing suggests two networks collectively contribute to movement generation and execution: the basal ganglia-thalamocortical network (BGTC and the cerebellar-thalamocortical network (CTC. Due to decreases in dopamine responsible for the disruption of the BGTC network in adults with PD, it is hypothesized that rhythmic auditory cues assist patients through recruiting an alternate network, the CTC, which extends to the supplementary motor areas (SMA and the frontal cortices. In piano training, fine motor finger movements activate the cerebellum and SMA, thereby exercising the CTC network. We hypothesize that exercising the CTC network through music training will contribute to enhanced executive functions. Previous research suggested that music training enhances cognitive performance (i.e., working memory and processing speed in healthy adults and adults with cognitive impairments. This review and rationale provides support for the use of music training to enhance cognitive outcomes in patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD.

  19. A Rationale for Music Training to Enhance Executive Functions in Parkinson's Disease: An Overview of the Problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lesiuk, Teresa; Bugos, Jennifer A; Murakami, Brea

    2018-04-22

    Music listening interventions such as Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation can improve mobility, balance, and gait in Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Yet, the impact of music training on executive functions is not yet known. Deficits in executive functions (e.g., attention, processing speed) in patients with PD result in gait interference, deficits in emotional processing, loss of functional capacity (e.g., intellectual activity, social participation), and reduced quality of life. The model of temporal prediction and timing suggests two networks collectively contribute to movement generation and execution: the basal ganglia-thalamocortical network (BGTC) and the cerebellar-thalamocortical network (CTC). Due to decreases in dopamine responsible for the disruption of the BGTC network in adults with PD, it is hypothesized that rhythmic auditory cues assist patients through recruiting an alternate network, the CTC, which extends to the supplementary motor areas (SMA) and the frontal cortices. In piano training, fine motor finger movements activate the cerebellum and SMA, thereby exercising the CTC network. We hypothesize that exercising the CTC network through music training will contribute to enhanced executive functions. Previous research suggested that music training enhances cognitive performance (i.e., working memory and processing speed) in healthy adults and adults with cognitive impairments. This review and rationale provides support for the use of music training to enhance cognitive outcomes in patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD).

  20. Changes in executive functions and self-efficacy are independently associated with improved usual gait speed in older women

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    Hsu Chun

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Improved usual gait speed predicts substantial reduction in mortality. A better understanding of the modifiable factors that are independently associated with improved gait speed would ensure that intervention strategies are developed based on a valid theoretical framework. Thus, we examined the independent association of change in executive functions and change in falls-related self-efficacy with improved gait speed among community-dwelling senior women. Methods A secondary analysis of the 135 senior women aged 65 to 75 years old who completed a 12-month randomized controlled trial of resistance training. Usual gait speed was assessed using a 4-meter walk. Three executive processes were assessed by standard neuropsychological tests: 1 set shifting; 2 working memory; and 3 selective attention and response inhibition. A linear regression model was constructed to determine the independent association of change in executive functions and falls-related self-efficacy with change in gait speed. Results Improved selective attention and conflict resolution, and falls-related self-efficacy, were independently associated with improved gait speed after accounting for age, global cognition, baseline gait speed, and change in quadriceps strength. The total variance explained was 24%. Conclusions Interventions that target executive functions and falls-related self-efficacy, in addition to physical functions, to improve gait speed may be more efficacious than those that do not. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00426881

  1. Modulation of Higher-Order Olfaction Components on Executive Functions in Humans.

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    Fagundo, Ana B; Jiménez-Murcia, Susana; Giner-Bartolomé, Cristina; Islam, Mohammed Anisul; de la Torre, Rafael; Pastor, Antoni; Casanueva, Felipe F; Crujeiras, Ana B; Granero, Roser; Baños, Rosa; Botella, Cristina; Fernández-Real, Jose M; Frühbeck, Gema; Gómez-Ambrosi, Javier; Menchón, José M; Tinahones, Francisco J; Fernández-Aranda, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    The prefrontal (PFC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) appear to be associated with both executive functions and olfaction. However, there is little data relating olfactory processing and executive functions in humans. The present study aimed at exploring the role of olfaction on executive functioning, making a distinction between primary and more cognitive aspects of olfaction. Three executive tasks of similar difficulty were used. One was used to assess hot executive functions (Iowa Gambling Task-IGT), and two as a measure of cold executive functioning (Stroop Colour and Word Test-SCWT and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test-WCST). Sixty two healthy participants were included: 31 with normosmia and 31 with hyposmia. Olfactory abilities were assessed using the ''Sniffin' Sticks'' test and the olfactory threshold, odour discrimination and odour identification measures were obtained. All participants were female, aged between 18 and 60. Results showed that participants with hyposmia displayed worse performance in decision making (IGT; Cohen's-d = 0.91) and cognitive flexibility (WCST; Cohen's-d between 0.54 and 0.68) compared to those with normosmia. Multiple regression adjusted by the covariates participants' age and education level showed a positive association between odour identification and the cognitive inhibition response (SCWT-interference; Beta = 0.29; p = .034). The odour discrimination capacity was not a predictor of the cognitive executive performance. Our results suggest that both hot and cold executive functions seem to be associated with higher-order olfactory functioning in humans. These results robustly support the hypothesis that olfaction and executive measures have a common neural substrate in PFC and OFC, and suggest that olfaction might be a reliable cognitive marker in psychiatric and neurologic disorders.

  2. Failure to identify an acute exercise effect on executive function assessed by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test

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    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.

  3. Default mode network in the effects of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC on human executive function.

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    Matthijs G Bossong

    Full Text Available Evidence is increasing for involvement of the endocannabinoid system in cognitive functions including attention and executive function, as well as in psychiatric disorders characterized by cognitive deficits, such as schizophrenia. Executive function appears to be associated with both modulation of active networks and inhibition of activity in the default mode network. In the present study, we examined the role of the endocannabinoid system in executive function, focusing on both the associated brain network and the default mode network. A pharmacological functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI study was conducted with a placebo-controlled, cross-over design, investigating effects of the endocannabinoid agonist Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC on executive function in 20 healthy volunteers, using a continuous performance task with identical pairs. Task performance was impaired after THC administration, reflected in both an increase in false alarms and a reduction in detected targets. This was associated with reduced deactivation in a set of brain regions linked to the default mode network, including posterior cingulate cortex and angular gyrus. Less deactivation was significantly correlated with lower performance after THC. Regions that were activated by the continuous performance task, notably bilateral prefrontal and parietal cortex, did not show effects of THC. These findings suggest an important role for the endocannabinoid system in both default mode modulation and executive function. This may be relevant for psychiatric disorders associated with executive function deficits, such as schizophrenia and ADHD.

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

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    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

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

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    Kristine eStadskleiv

    2014-09-01

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

  6. The Factor Structure and Age-Related Factorial Invariance of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latzman, Robert D.; Markon, Kristian E.

    2010-01-01

    There has been an increased interest in the structure of and relations among executive functions.The present study examined the factor structure as well as age-related factorial invariance of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS), a widely used inventory aimed at assessing executive functions. Analyses were first conducted using data…

  7. Executive Function in Children with Intellectual Disability--The Effects of Sex, Level and Aetiology of Intellectual Disability

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    Memisevic, H.; Sinanovic, O.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Executive function is very important in the children's overall development. The goal of this study was to assess the executive function in children with intellectual disability (ID) through the use of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) teacher version. An additional goal was to examine the differences in…

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

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    Katrien S. F. Colman

    2011-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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 (Eastinternational schools in Hong Kong) performed poorly on age-appropriate tests of theory 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.

  11. Executive functions and the self-regulation of eating behavior: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dohle, Simone; Diel, Katharina; Hofmann, Wilhelm

    2018-05-01

    In order to pursue the long-term goal of losing weight, a dieter needs to resist the urge to eat appealing, tasty foods. Beside sufficient motivation to resist these foods, dieters also need the capacity for successful self-regulation, and this capacity is strongly related to executive functions. Executive function is an umbrella term encompassing a number of interrelated higher-order cognitive processes that allow people to take goal-directed action. In this review, we outline how basic facets of executive functioning (updating, inhibiting, and shifting) contribute to the successful self-regulation of eating behavior. Moreover, we identify aspects of the self-regulation of eating behavior that are still under-researched. We conclude by outlining the implications of the extant research for intervention strategies and the design of future research studies on the role of executive functions for the self-regulation of eating behavior. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  16. The Comparison of the Executive-Neurological Functions of the Narcotic Addicted and Normal Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fereshteh Amini

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Aim: The purpose of present research was the comparison of executive-neurological functions of narcotics addicted and normal adults. Method: In this causal-comparative study 38 narcotics addicted person selected of two addiction treatment clinics in Tehran, and 38 normal persons selected through available sampling. The both groups assessed by neuropsychological tests namely: the Wisconsin classification cards. Results: The analysis of data indicated the significant difference on executive functions of addicted and normal groups. That is addicted group were poorer than normal group on executive functions. Conclusion: The findings of present research showed the addicts have weaker executive functions than the normal persons. In other words, the addicts showed impairments on cognitive flexibility and formation of change concepts.

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Lynn Bizon

    2012-09-01

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

  19. Cognitive reserve and executive function: Effect on judgment of health and safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinrichs, Kristin H; Hayek, Alex; Kalmbach, David; Gabel, Nicolette; Bieliauskas, Linas A

    2016-01-01

    Individuals with the same neurological conditions do not necessarily manifest the same behavioral presentation, which suggests differences in resilience and vulnerability among individuals, a concept known as cognitive reserve. This study sought to explore the relationship among cognitive reserve, executive functioning, and health and safety judgment among a sample of older adult inpatients in an extended medical care unit at a Veterans Health Administration hospital. We hypothesized that cognitive reserve, as determined by an estimate of premorbid intellectual ability, would act as a protective factor against poor judgment in older adults with executive dysfunction. Participants included 200 Veterans who completed a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment, including measures of health and safety judgment, executive functioning, global cognitive functioning, and premorbid intellectual ability. After controlling for global cognitive functioning, executive functioning abilities did not have an effect on judgment abilities among those with high estimated intellectual ability. However, executive functioning had a significant effect on judgment abilities among those with low estimated intellectual ability. Our results suggest that intact executive functioning is critical for making appropriate health and safety decisions for patients with lower measured intellectual abilities and provide further support for the cognitive reserve model. Clinical implications are also discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  1. Prefrontal Cortex and Executive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Meta-Analysis of Structural Neuroimaging Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Peng; Raz, Naftali

    2014-01-01

    Lesion studies link the prefrontal cortex (PFC) to executive functions. However, the evidence from in vivo investigations in healthy people is mixed, and there are no quantitative estimates of the association strength. To examine the relationship between PFC volume and cortical thickness with executive cognition in healthy adults, we conducted a meta-analysis of studies that assessed executive functions and PFC volume (31 samples,) and PFC thickness (10 samples) in vivo, N=3272 participants. We found that larger PFC volume and greater PFC thickness were associated with better executive performance. Stronger associations between executive functions and PFC volume were linked to greater variance in the sample age but was unrelated to the mean age of a sample. Strength of association between cognitive and neuroanatomical indices depended on the executive task used in the study. PFC volume correlated stronger with Wisconsin Card Sorting Test than with digit backwards span, Trail Making Test and verbal fluency. Significant effect size was observed in lateral and medial but not orbital PFC. The results support the “bigger is better” hypothesis of brain-behavior relation in healthy adults and suggest different neural correlates across the neuropsychological tests used to assess executive functions. PMID:24568942

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Laird Zimmerman

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Individuals with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD display diverse deficits in social, cognitive and behavioral functioning. To date, there has been mixed findings on the profile of executive function deficits for high-functioning adults (IQ >70 with ASD. A conceptual distinction is commonly made between cold and hot executive functions. Cold executive functions refer to mechanistic higher-order cognitive operations (e.g., working memory, whereas hot executive functions entail cognitive abilities supported by emotional awareness and social perception (e.g., social cognition. This study aimed to determine the independence of deficits in hot and cold executive functions for high-functioning adults with ASD. Forty-two adults with ASD (64% male, aged 18-66 years and 40 age and gender matched controls were administered The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT; emotion recognition and social inference, Letter Number Sequencing (working memory and Hayling Sentence Completion Test (response initiation and suppression. Between-group analyses identified that the ASD group performed significantly worse than matched controls on all measures of cold and hot executive functions (d = .54-1.5. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that the ASD sample performed more poorly on emotion recognition and social inference tasks than matched controls after controlling for cold executive functions and employment status. The findings also indicated that the ability to recognise emotions and make social inferences was supported by working memory and response initiation and suppression processes. Overall, this study supports the distinction between hot and cold executive function impairments for adults with ASD. Moreover, it advances understanding of higher-order impairments underlying social interaction difficulties for this population which, in turn, may assist with diagnosis and inform intervention programs.

  3. Lexical quality and executive control predict children’s first and second language reading comprehension

    OpenAIRE

    Raudszus, Henriette; Segers, Eliane; Verhoeven, Ludo

    2017-01-01

    This study compared how lexical quality (vocabulary and decoding) and executive control (working memory and inhibition) predict reading comprehension directly as well as indirectly, via syntactic integration, in monolingual and bilingual fourth grade children. The participants were 76 monolingual and 102 bilingual children (mean age 10 years, SD = 5 months) learning to read Dutch in the Netherlands. Bilingual children showed lower Dutch vocabulary, syntactic integration and reading comprehens...

  4. 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).

  5. The Executive Functions of Rejected Children in an Urban Elementary School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naylor, Gregory

    2013-01-01

    The relationship between Executive Functions and Peer Rejection was explored. Thirty-Five students in an urban elementary school, (mean 10.7 years of age (sd=2.8), 34% male, and 88% African American) completed measures of executive functions: KABC-II Rover, The Wisconsin Card Sort and NEPSY-II Statue (below age 9) or The Iowa Gambling Task (age 9…

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Fantasy Orientation Constructs and Related Executive Function Development in Preschool: Developmental Benefits to Executive Functions by Being a Fantasy-Oriented Child

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierucci, Jillian M.; O'Brien, Christopher T.; McInnis, Melissa A.; Gilpin, Ansley Tullos; Barber, Angela B.

    2014-01-01

    This study explored unique constructs of fantasy orientation and whether there are developmental benefits for fantasy-oriented children. By age 3, children begin developing executive functions, with some children exhibiting high fantasy orientation in their cognitions and behaviors. Preschoolers ("n" = 106) completed fantasy orientation…

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen J Bos

    2009-09-01

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

  10. Disentangling the relationship between children’s motor ability, executive function and academic achievement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egger, Fabienne; Benzing, Valentin; Jäger, Katja; Conzelmann, Achim; Roebers, Claudia M.; Pesce, Caterina

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28817625

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Mirko; Egger, Fabienne; Benzing, Valentin; Jäger, Katja; Conzelmann, Achim; Roebers, Claudia M; Pesce, Caterina

    2017-01-01

    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.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  14. Executive functions are associated with gait and balance in community-living elderly people.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Iersel, Marianne B; Kessels, Roy P C; Bloem, Bastiaan R; Verbeek, André L M; Olde Rikkert, Marcel G M

    2008-12-01

    Cognition influences gait and balance in elderly people. Executive functions seem to play a key role in this mechanism. Previous studies used only a single test to probe executive functions, and outcome measures were restricted to gait variables. We extend this prior work by examining the association between two different executive functions and measures of both gait and balance, with and without two different cognitive dual tasks. This is a cross-sectional study with randomly selected community-living elderly people. Executive functions were tested with the Trail Making Test Parts A and B and the Stroop Color Word Test; memory with Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) subtests. Patients walked without and with two dual tasks (subtracting serial sevens and animal naming). Main outcomes focused on gait (velocity, stride length, and stride time variability), measured on an electronic walkway, and balance, measured as trunk movements during walking. Associations were assessed with multiple regression models. One hundred elderly people, with a mean age 80.6 years (range 75-93 years) participated. Both dual tasks decreased gait velocity and increased variability and trunk sway. Executive functions were associated with only stride length variability and mediolateral trunk sway during performance of animal naming as the dual task. Memory was not associated with the gait and balance variables. In community-living elderly people, executive functions are associated with gait and balance impairment during a challenging dual-task condition that also depends on executive integrity. Next steps will be to explore the value of executive functions in defining fall-risk profiles and in fall-prevention interventions for frail patients.

  15. The longitudinal development of social and executive functions in late adolescence and early adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Sophie J; Barker, Lynne A; Heavey, Lisa; McHale, Sue

    2015-01-01

    Our earlier work suggests that, executive functions and social cognition show protracted development into late adolescence and early adulthood (Taylor et al., 2013). However, it remains unknown whether these functions develop linearly or non-linearly corresponding to dynamic changes to white matter density at these age ranges. Executive functions are particularly in demand during the transition to independence and autonomy associated with this age range (Ahmed and Miller, 2011). Previous research examining executive function (Romine and Reynolds, 2005) and social cognition (Dumontheil et al., 2010a) in late adolescence has utilized a cross sectional design. The current study employed a longitudinal design with 58 participants aged 17, 18, and 19 years completing social cognition and executive function tasks, Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (Wechsler, 1999), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (Watson et al., 1988), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (Zigmond and Snaith, 1983) at Time 1 with follow up testing 12-16 months later. Inhibition, rule detection, strategy generation and planning executive functions and emotion recognition with dynamic stimuli showed longitudinal development between time points. Self-report empathy and emotion recognition functions using visual static and auditory stimuli were stable by age 17 whereas concept formation declined between time points. The protracted development of some functions may reflect continued brain maturation into late adolescence and early adulthood including synaptic pruning (Sowell et al., 2001) and changes to functional connectivity (Stevens et al., 2007) and/or environmental change. Clinical implications, such as assessing the effectiveness of rehabilitation following Head Injury, are discussed.

  16. Apathy and Executive Function in Healthy Elderly-Resting State fMRI Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawagoe, Toshikazu; Onoda, Keiichi; Yamaguchi, Shuhei

    2017-01-01

    Apathy is a quantitative reduction in goal-directed behaviors, having three subtypes. Despite executive deterioration in healthy aging, researchers have not investigated the "cognitive-deficit" subtype of apathy in healthy populations, which would result from executive dysfunction. We hypothesized that a relationship between apathy and executive function (EF) would be found in healthy older adults, accompanied with neural deterioration with functional dysconnectivity between the striatum and frontal region as suggested by previous studies. A total of 100 healthy adults in a health examination system database were analyzed. The present study indicates that apathy is substantially associated with executive deterioration, which can be partially ascribed to decreased functional connectivity between the frontal and ventral striatum. Despite some limitations, our findings may contribute to research on healthy psychological aging.

  17. Apathy and Executive Function in Healthy Elderly—Resting State fMRI Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toshikazu Kawagoe

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Apathy is a quantitative reduction in goal-directed behaviors, having three subtypes. Despite executive deterioration in healthy aging, researchers have not investigated the “cognitive-deficit” subtype of apathy in healthy populations, which would result from executive dysfunction. We hypothesized that a relationship between apathy and executive function (EF would be found in healthy older adults, accompanied with neural deterioration with functional dysconnectivity between the striatum and frontal region as suggested by previous studies. A total of 100 healthy adults in a health examination system database were analyzed. The present study indicates that apathy is substantially associated with executive deterioration, which can be partially ascribed to decreased functional connectivity between the frontal and ventral striatum. Despite some limitations, our findings may contribute to research on healthy psychological aging.

  18. Contributions of Executive Function and Spatial Skills to Preschool Mathematics Achievement

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Early mathematics achievement is highly predictive of later mathematics performance. Here we investigate the influence of executive function (EF) and spatial skills, two generalizable skills often overlooked in mathematics curricula, on mathematics performance in preschoolers. Children (N = 44) of varying socio-economic status (SES) levels were assessed at age three on a new assessment of spatial skill (Test of Spatial Assembly, TOSA) and a vocabulary measure (the PPVT-4). The same children were tested at age four on the Beery Test of Visual-Motor Integration (VMI), as well as measures of EF, and mathematics. The TOSA was created specifically as an assessment for 3-year-olds, allowing the investigation of links between spatial, EF, and mathematical skills earlier than previously possible. Results of a hierarchical regression indicate that EF and spatial skills predict 70% of the variance in mathematics performance without an explicit math test, EF is an important predictor of math performance as prior research suggested, and spatial skills uniquely predict 27% of the variance in mathematics skills. Additional research is needed to understand if EF is truly malleable and whether EF and spatial skills may be leveraged to support early mathematics skills, especially for lower-SES children who are already falling behind in these skill areas by ages 3 and 4. These findings indicate that both skills are part of an important foundation for mathematics performance and may represent pathways for improving school readiness for mathematics. PMID:24874186

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-12

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

  1. Cognitive profile in Duchenne muscular dystrophy boys without intellectual disability: The role of executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battini, R; Chieffo, D; Bulgheroni, S; Piccini, G; Pecini, C; Lucibello, S; Lenzi, S; Moriconi, F; Pane, M; Astrea, G; Baranello, G; Alfieri, P; Vicari, S; Riva, D; Cioni, G; Mercuri, E

    2018-02-01

    The aim of our prospective observational study was to assess profiles of cognitive function and a possible impairment of executive functions in a cohort of boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy without intellectual and behavior disability. Forty Duchenne boys (range of age: 6 years to 11 years and 6 months) were assessed by Wechsler Intelligence scale and battery of tests including tasks assessing working memory and executive functions (inhibition and switching, problem solving and planning). In our cohort some aspects of cognitive function were often impaired. These included multitasking, problem solving, inhibition and working memory necessary to plan and direct goal oriented behavior. Our results support the suggestion that aspects of cognitive function could be impaired even in boys without intellectual disability and support the hypothesis that executive functions may play an important role in specific aspects of cognitive impairment in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. 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, pexecutive functions (Q (1)=5.08, pexecutive 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew D. Ribner

    2017-05-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Lexical quality and executive control predict children's first and second language reading comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raudszus, Henriette; Segers, Eliane; Verhoeven, Ludo

    2018-01-01

    This study compared how lexical quality (vocabulary and decoding) and executive control (working memory and inhibition) predict reading comprehension directly as well as indirectly, via syntactic integration, in monolingual and bilingual fourth grade children. The participants were 76 monolingual and 102 bilingual children (mean age 10 years, SD  = 5 months) learning to read Dutch in the Netherlands. Bilingual children showed lower Dutch vocabulary, syntactic integration and reading comprehension skills, but better decoding skills than their monolingual peers. There were no differences in working memory or inhibition. Multigroup path analysis showed relatively invariant connections between predictors and reading comprehension for monolingual and bilingual readers. For both groups, there was a direct effect of lexical quality on reading comprehension. In addition, lexical quality and executive control indirectly influenced reading comprehension via syntactic integration. The groups differed in that inhibition more strongly predicted syntactic integration for bilingual than for monolingual children. For a subgroup of bilingual children, for whom home language vocabulary data were available ( n  = 56), there was an additional positive effect of home language vocabulary on second language reading comprehension. Together, the results suggest that similar processes underlie reading comprehension in first and second language readers, but that syntactic integration requires more executive control in second language reading. Moreover, bilingual readers additionally benefit from first language vocabulary to arrive at second language reading comprehension.

  6. Effectiveness of goal management training® in improving executive functions: A meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamenova, Vessela; Levine, Brian

    2018-03-14

    Our objective was to review the literature and quantitatively summarise the effectiveness of Goal Management Training® (GMT) (alone or in combination with other training approaches) in improving executive functions in adult populations. Ovid, Scopus, Web of Science, and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global were searched for articles citing "goal management training". Any group trials (n > 3) in adults that used multiple-session GMT programmes were included in the analyses. Outcome variables were extracted and classified into one of nine cognitive measures domains: executive functioning tasks, everyday executive functioning tasks, subjective executive tasks rated by the patient, subjective executive tasks rated by proxy, working memory, speed of processing, long-term memory, instrumental activities of daily living and general mental health status questionnaires. A total of 21 publications, containing 19 separate treatment group samples were included in the final analyses. Significantly positive small to moderate effect sizes were observed in all cognitive measure domains (except speed of processing) with effects maintained at follow-up assessments for all followed-up outcome measures, except for subjective ratings by patients and proxy. The analysis suggests that GMT is an effective intervention, leading to moderate improvements in executive functions that are usually maintained at follow-up.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian eLevine

    2011-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Micai, Martina; Kavussanu, Maria; Ring, Christopher

    2015-10-01

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

  10. Executive function on the 16-day of bed rest in young healthy men

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishizaki, Yuko; Fukuoka, Hideoki; Tanaka, Hidetaka; Ishizaki, Tatsuro; Fujii, Yuri; Hattori-Uchida, Yuko; Nakamura, Minako; Ohkawa, Kaoru; Kobayashi, Hodaka; Taniuchi, Shoichiro; Kaneko, Kazunari

    2009-05-01

    Microgravity due to prolonged bed rest may cause changes in cerebral circulation, which is related to brain function. We evaluate the effect of simulated microgravity due to a 6° head-down tilt bed rest experiment on executive function among 12 healthy young men. Four kinds of psychoneurological tests—the table tapping test, the trail making test, the pointing test and losing at rock-paper-scissors—were performed on the baseline and on day 16 of the experiment. There was no significant difference in the results between the baseline and day 16 on all tests, which indicated that executive function was not impaired by the 16-day 6° head-down tilting bed rest. However, we cannot conclude that microgravity did not affect executive function because of the possible contribution of the following factors: (1) the timing of tests, (2) the learning effect, or (3) changes in psychophysiology that were too small to affect higher brain function.

  11. Executive Functions and the Improvement of Thinking Abilities: The Intervention in Reading Comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Madruga, Juan A; Gómez-Veiga, Isabel; Vila, José Ó

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a preliminary theory of executive functions that address in a specific way their relationship with working memory (WM) and higher-level cognition. It includes: (a) four core on-line WM executive functions that are involved in every novel and complex cognitive task; (b) two higher order off-line executive functions, planning and revision, that are required to resolving the most complex intellectual abilities; and (c) emotional control that is involved in any complex, novel and difficult task. The main assumption is that efficiency on thinking abilities may be improved by specific instruction or training on the executive functions necessary to solving novel and complex tasks involved in these abilities. Evidence for the impact of our training proposal on WM's executive functions involved in higher-level cognitive abilities comes from three studies applying an adaptive program designed to improve reading comprehension in primary school students by boosting the core WM's executive functions involved in it: focusing on relevant information, switching (or shifting) between representations or tasks, connecting incoming information from text with long-term representations, updating of the semantic representation of the text in WM, and inhibition of irrelevant information. The results are consistent with the assumption that cognitive enhancements from the training intervention may have affected not only a specific but also a more domain-general mechanism involved in various executive functions. We discuss some methodological issues in the studies of effects of WM training on reading comprehension. The perspectives and limitations of our approach are finally discussed.

  12. Ecological validity of executive function tests in moderate traumatic brain injury in Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adjorlolo, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    While executive functioning (EF) tests are frequently administered in several Sub-Saharan African countries, studies examining their predictive relationships with real-world behaviors (i.e. ecological validity) are nonexistent. The present study investigated the predictive relationship between the Stroop Test, Controlled Oral Word Association Test, and Trail Making Test (TMT), a general cognitive screening test, Revised Quick Cognitive Screening Test (RQCST), and measures of activities of daily living, quality of life, and cognitive failures in Ghana. A total of 50 literate urban dwellers who were diagnosed with moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) were administered the neuropsychological tests and the self-report measures stated above. The informant version of the Cognitive failure questionnaire (CFQ) was completed by 50 'significant other' who knew the patients very well. There was no statistically significant difference between the self and informant versions of the CFQ. Some EF test scores, specifically the Stroop Test, TMT and EF composite scores, correlated significantly with the outcome measures, with correlations ranging from .29 to .55. The RQCST explained 40-49% variance in the outcome measures, while the addition of the EF composite score not only resulted in 57-62% variance accounted for but also added incremental validity to the RQCST in predicting the behavioral measures, with the exception of cognitive failures. This study has shown that although EF test scores, specifically the Stroop Test, TMT and EF composite scores, can be used to predict real-world behavior after moderate TBI in Ghana, such predictions are likely to be limited. The general implication for cross-cultural neuropsychology is that the (limited) ecological validity of EF tests may not necessarily be affected by whether the tests were administered in settings where they have not been standardized. This argument is, however, tenable granted that the test taker's backgrounds are

  13. 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

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