Richland, Lindsey E; Burchinal, Margaret R
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.
Connolly, Samantha L; Wagner, Clara A; Shapero, Benjamin G; Pendergast, Laura L; Abramson, Lyn Y; Alloy, Lauren B
The current study tested the resource allocation hypothesis, examining whether baseline rumination or depressive symptom levels prospectively predicted deficits in executive functioning in an adolescent sample. The alternative to this hypothesis was also evaluated by testing whether lower initial levels of executive functioning predicted increases in rumination or depressive symptoms at follow-up. A community sample of 200 adolescents (ages 12-13) completed measures of depressive symptoms, rumination, and executive functioning at baseline and at a follow-up session approximately 15 months later. Adolescents with higher levels of baseline rumination displayed decreases in selective attention and attentional switching at follow-up. Rumination did not predict changes in working memory or sustained and divided attention. Depressive symptoms were not found to predict significant changes in executive functioning scores at follow-up. Baseline executive functioning was not associated with change in rumination or depression over time. Findings partially support the resource allocation hypothesis that engaging in ruminative thoughts consumes cognitive resources that would otherwise be allocated towards difficult tests of executive functioning. Support was not found for the alternative hypothesis that lower levels of initial executive functioning would predict increased rumination or depressive symptoms at follow-up. Our study is the first to find support for the resource allocation hypothesis using a longitudinal design and an adolescent sample. Findings highlight the potentially detrimental effects of rumination on executive functioning during early adolescence. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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
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.
Kapa, Leah Lynn
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…
Eslami, Ali; Jahshan, Carol; Cadenhead, Kristin S.
Predictors of social functioning deficits were assessed in 22 individuals “at risk” for psychosis. Disorganized symptoms and executive functioning predicted social functioning at follow-up. Early intervention efforts that focus on social and cognitive skills are indicated in this vulnerable population.
Neuenschwander, Regula; Friedman-Krauss, Allison; Raver, Cybele; Blair, Clancy
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…
Cantin, Rachelle H; Gnaedinger, Emily K; Gallaway, Kristin C; Hesson-McInnis, Matthew S; Hund, Alycia M
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.
Barker, Jane E; Semenov, Andrei D; Michaelson, Laura; Provan, Lindsay S; Snyder, Hannah R; Munakata, Yuko
Executive functions (EFs) in childhood predict important life outcomes. Thus, there is great interest in attempts to improve EFs early in life. Many interventions are led by trained adults, including structured training activities in the lab, and less-structured activities implemented in schools. Such programs have yielded gains in children's externally-driven executive functioning, where they are instructed on what goal-directed actions to carry out and when. However, it is less clear how children's experiences relate to their development of self-directed executive functioning, where they must determine on their own what goal-directed actions to carry out and when. We hypothesized that time spent in less-structured activities would give children opportunities to practice self-directed executive functioning, and lead to benefits. To investigate this possibility, we collected information from parents about their 6-7 year-old children's daily, annual, and typical schedules. We categorized children's activities as "structured" or "less-structured" based on categorization schemes from prior studies on child leisure time use. We assessed children's self-directed executive functioning using a well-established verbal fluency task, in which children generate members of a category and can decide on their own when to switch from one subcategory to another. The more time that children spent in less-structured activities, the better their self-directed executive functioning. The opposite was true of structured activities, which predicted poorer self-directed executive functioning. These relationships were robust (holding across increasingly strict classifications of structured and less-structured time) and specific (time use did not predict externally-driven executive functioning). We discuss implications, caveats, and ways in which potential interpretations can be distinguished in future work, to advance an understanding of this fundamental aspect of growing up.
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…
Peeters, Margot; Janssen, Tim; Monshouwer, Karin; Boendermaker, Wouter; Pronk, Thomas; Wiers, Reinout; Vollebergh, Wilma
Recently, it has been suggested that impairments in executive functioning might be risk factors for the onset of alcohol use rather than a result of heavy alcohol use. In the present study, we examined whether two aspects of executive functioning, working memory and response inhibition, predicted the first alcoholic drink and first binge drinking episode in young adolescents using discrete survival analyses. Adolescents were selected from several Dutch secondary schools including both mainstream and special education (externalizing behavioral problems). Participants were 534 adolescents between 12 and 14 years at baseline. Executive functioning and alcohol use were assessed four times over a period of two years. Working memory uniquely predicted the onset of first drink (p=.01) and first binge drinking episode (p=.04) while response inhibition only uniquely predicted the initiating of the first drink (p=.01). These results suggest that the association of executive functioning and alcohol consumption found in former studies cannot simply be interpreted as an effect of alcohol consumption, as weaknesses in executive functioning, found in alcohol naïve adolescents, predict the initiating of (binge) drinking. Though, prolonged and heavy alcohol use might further weaken already existing deficiencies. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Mann, Trisha D.; Hund, Alycia M.; Hesson-McInnis, Matthew S.; Roman, Zachary J.
The current study specified the extent to which hot and cool aspects of executive functioning predicted academic and social-emotional indicators of school readiness. It was unique in focusing on positive aspects of social-emotional readiness, rather than problem behaviors. One hundred four 3-5-year-old children completed tasks measuring executive…
Mulder, Hanna; Verhagen, Josje; Van Der Ven, Sanne H. G.; Slot, Pauline L.; Leseman, Paul
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
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.…
Benson, Jeannette E.; Sabbagh, Mark A.; Carlson, Stephanie M.; Zelazo, Philip David
Twenty-four 3.5-year-old children who initially showed poor performance on false-belief tasks participated in a training protocol designed to promote performance on these tasks. Our aim was to determine whether the extent to which children benefited from training was predicted by their performance on a battery of executive functioning tasks.…
Full Text Available The main objective of this study was to examine whether children’s ability to justify their action predictions in terms of mental states is related, in a similar way as the ability to predict actions, to such aspects of executive function (EF as executive control and working memory. An additional objective was to check whether the frequency of different types of justifications made by children in false-belief tasks is associated with aforementioned aspects of EF, as well as language. The study included 59 children aged 3-4 years. The ability to predict actions and to justify these predictions was measured with false-belief tasks. Luria’s hand-game was used to assess executive control, and the Counting and Labelling dual-task was used to assess working memory capacity. Language development was controlled using an embedded syntax test. It was found that executive control was a significant predictor of the children’s ability to justify their action predictions in terms of mental states, even when age and language were taken into account. Results also indicated a relationship between the type of justification in the false-belief task and language development. With the development of language children gradually cease to justify their action predictions in terms of current location, and they tend to construct irrelevant justifications before they begin to refer to beliefs. Data suggest that executive control, in contrast to language, is a factor which affects the development of the children’s ability to justify their action predictions only in its later phase, during a shift from irrelevant to correct justifications.
Ma, Yuanxiao; Ma, Haijing; Chen, Xu; Ran, Guangming; Zhang, Xing
People tend to respond to rejection and attack with aggression. The present research examined the modulation role of attachment patterns on provoked aggression following punishment and proposed an executive functioning account of attachment patterns' modulating influence based on the General Aggression Model. Attachment style was measured using the Experiences in Close Relationships inventory. Experiments 1a and b and 2 adopted a social rejection task and assessed subsequent unprovoked and provoked aggression with different attachment patterns. Moreover, Experiment 1b and 2 used a Stroop task to examine whether differences in provoked aggression by attachment patterns are due to the amount of executive functioning following social rejection, or after unprovoked punishment, or even before social rejection. Anxiously attached participants displayed significant more provoked aggression than securely and avoidantly attached participants in provoked aggression following unprovoked punishment in Experiments 1 and 2. Meanwhile, subsequent Stroop tests indicated anxiously attached participants experienced more executive functioning depletion after social rejection and unprovoked aggression. The present findings support the General Aggression Model and suggest that provoked aggression is predicted by attachment patterns in the context of social rejection; different provoked aggression may depend on the degree of executive functioning that individuals preserved in aggressive situations. The current study contributes to our understanding of the importance of the role of attachment patterns in modulating aggressive behavior accompanying unfair social encounters. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Ryan, Kelly A; Vederman, Aaron C; Kamali, Masoud; Marshall, David; Weldon, Anne L; McInnis, Melvin G; Langenecker, Scott A
Functional recovery, including return to work, in Bipolar Disorder (BD) lags behind clinical recovery and may be incomplete when acute mood symptoms have subsided. We examined impact of cognition on work status and underemployment in a sample of 156 Euthymic-BD and 143 controls (HC) who were divided into working/not working groups. Clinical, health, social support, and personality data were collected, and eight cognitive factors were derived from a battery of neuropsychological tests. The HC groups outperformed the BD groups on seven of eight cognitive factors. The working-BD group outperformed the not working-BD group on 4 cognitive factors composed of tasks of emotion processing and executive functioning including processing speed and set shifting. Emotion processing and executive tasks were predictive of BD unemployment, after accounting for number of mood episodes. Four cognitive factors accounted for a significant amount of the variance in work status among the BD participants. Results indicate that patients with BD who are unemployed/unable to work exhibit greater difficulties processing emotional information and on executive tasks that comprise a set shifting or interference resolution component as compared to those who are employed, independent of other factors. These cognitive and affective factors are suggested as targets for treatment and/or accommodations. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Peeters, M.; Janssen, T.; Monshouwer, K.; Boendermaker, W.; Pronk, T.; Wiers, R.; Vollebergh, W.
Background: Executive functioning (EF) has repeatedly been associated with the use and misuse of alcohol and other substances in adolescence. Impairments in executive functions, such as response inhibition and working memory, important for organizing, controlling and planning of behavior have been
Ursache, Alexandra; Raver, C. Cybele
This study examines preadolescents’ reports of risk-taking as predicted by two different, but related inhibitory control systems involving sensitivity to reward and loss on the one hand, and higher order processing in the context of cognitive conflict, known as executive functioning (EF), on the other. Importantly, this study examines these processes with a sample of inner-city, low-income preadolescents and as such examines the ways in which these processes may be related to risky behaviors as a function of children's levels of both concurrent and chronic exposure to household poverty. As part of a larger longitudinal study, 382 children (ages 9 -11) provided a self-report of risky behaviors and participated in the Iowa Gambling task, assessing bias for infrequent loss (preference for infrequent, high magnitude versus frequent, low magnitude loss) and the Hearts and Flowers task assessing executive functioning. Results demonstrated that a higher bias for infrequent loss was associated with higher risky behaviors for children who demonstrated lower EF. Furthermore, bias for infrequent loss was most strongly associated with higher risk-taking for children facing highest levels of poverty. Implications for early identification and prevention of risk-taking in inner-city preadolescents are discussed. PMID:26412918
Stautz, Kaidy; Pechey, Rachel; Couturier, Dominique-Laurent; Deary, Ian J; Marteau, Theresa M
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.
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.
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.
Alosco, Michael L; Spitznagel, Mary Beth; Cohen, Ronald; Sweet, Lawrence H; Hayes, Scott M; Josephson, Richard; Hughes, Joel; Gunstad, John
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.
Ursache, Alexandra; Blair, Clancy; Stifter, Cynthia; Voegtline, Kristin
The relation of observed emotional reactivity and regulation in infancy to executive function in early childhood was examined in a prospective longitudinal sample of 1,292 children from predominantly low-income and rural communities. Children participated in a fear eliciting task at ages 7, 15, and 24 months and completed an executive function…
Galioto, R.; Bond, D.; Gunstad, J.; Pera, V.; Rathier, L.; Tremont, G.
Summary Background Deficits in executive functions are related to poorer weight loss after bariatric surgery; however, less is known about the role that these deficits may play during participation in nonsurgical weight loss programmes. This study examined associations between objectively measured executive functions and weight loss during participation in a medically supervised weight loss programme. Methods Twenty?three adult patients (age 50.4???15.1, BMI 44.2???8.8, 68% female, 92% White)...
Hendrawan, Donny; Yamakawa, Kaori; Kimura, Motohiro; Murakami, Hiroki; Ohira, Hideki
Individual differences in baseline executive functioning (EF) capacities have been shown to predict state anxiety during acute stressor exposure. However, no previous studies have clearly demonstrated the relationship between EF and physiological measures of stress. The present study investigated the efficacy of several well-known EF tests (letter fluency, Stroop test, and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test) in predicting both subjective and physiological stress reactivity during acute psychosocial stress exposure. Our results show that letter fluency served as the best predictor for both types of reactivity. Specifically, the higher the letter fluency score, the lower the acute stress reactivity after controlling for the baseline stress response, as indicated by lower levels of state anxiety, negative mood, salivary cortisol, and skin conductance. Moreover, the predictive power of the letter fluency test remained significant for state anxiety and cortisol indices even after further adjustments for covariates by adding the body mass index (BMI) as a covariate. Thus, good EF performance, as reflected by high letter fluency scores, may dampen acute stress responses, which suggests that EF processes are directly associated with aspects of stress regulation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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.
Mulder, Hanna; Verhagen, Josje; Van der Ven, Sanne H G; Slot, Pauline L; Leseman, Paul P M
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.
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.
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
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
Pauline L. Baniqued
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
Willoughby, Michael T; Magnus, Brooke; Vernon-Feagans, Lynne; Blair, Clancy B
Substantial evidence has established that individual differences in executive function (EF) in early childhood are uniquely predictive of children's academic readiness at school entry. The current study tested whether growth trajectories of EF across the early childhood period could be used to identify a subset of children who were at pronounced risk for academic impairment in kindergarten. Using data that were collected at the age 3, 4, and 5 home assessments in the Family Life Project ( N = 1,120), growth mixture models were used to identify 9% of children who exhibited impaired EF performance (i.e., persistently low levels of EF that did not show expected improvements across time). Compared to children who exhibited typical trajectories of EF, the delayed group exhibited substantial impairments in multiple indicators of academic readiness in kindergarten (Cohen's ds = 0.9-2.7; odds ratios = 9.8-23.8). Although reduced in magnitude following control for a range of socioeconomic and cognitive (general intelligence screener, receptive vocabulary) covariates, moderate-sized group differences remained (Cohen's ds = 0.2-2.4; odds ratios = 3.9-5.4). Results are discussed with respect to the use of repeated measures of EF as a method of early identification, as well as the resulting translational implications of doing so.
Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Bell, Martha Ann
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).
Wilens, Timothy E.; Martelon, MaryKate; Fried, Ronna; Petty, Carter; Bateman, Clancey; Biederman, Joseph
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…
Babkirk, Sarah; Saunders, Lauren V.; Solomon, Beylul; Kessel, Ellen M.; Crossman, Angela; Gokhan, Nurper; Dennis, Tracy A.
The decision to intentionally withhold truthful information, or deception, is a key component of moral development and may be a precursor to more serious anti-social tendencies. Two factors, executive function (EF) and temperamental fear are each thought to influence childhood deception. Few studies, however, have explored deception in relation to…
Samuels, William Ellery; Tournaki, Nelly; Blackman, Sheldon; Zilinski, Christopher
Executive functioning (EF) is a strong predictor of children's and adolescents' academic performance. Although research indicates that EF can increase during childhood and adolescence, few studies have tracked the effect of EF on academic performance throughout the middle school grades. EF was measured at the end of Grades 6-9 through 21 teachers'…
Lillard, Angeline S; Li, Hui; Boguszewski, Katie
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.
Bond, D.; Gunstad, J.; Pera, V.; Rathier, L.; Tremont, G.
Summary Background Deficits in executive functions are related to poorer weight loss after bariatric surgery; however, less is known about the role that these deficits may play during participation in nonsurgical weight loss programmes. This study examined associations between objectively measured executive functions and weight loss during participation in a medically supervised weight loss programme. Methods Twenty‐three adult patients (age 50.4 ± 15.1, BMI 44.2 ± 8.8, 68% female, 92% White) enrolled in a medically supervised weight loss programme, involving prescription of a very low calorie diet and strategies to change eating and activity behaviours, underwent comprehensive computerized testing of executive functions at baseline. Weight was obtained at baseline and 8 weeks. Demographic and clinical information were obtained through medical chart review. Results Participants lost an average of 9.8 ± 3.4% of their initial body weight at 8 weeks. Fewer correct responses on a set‐shifting task and faster reaction time on a response inhibition task were associated with lower weight loss percentage at 8 weeks after adjusting for age, education and depressive symptoms. There were no associations between performance on tests of working memory or planning and weight loss. Conclusions This study shows that worse performance on a set‐shifting task (indicative of poorer cognitive flexibility) and faster reaction times on a response inhibition test (indicative of higher impulsivity) are associated with lower weight loss among participants in a medically supervised weight loss programme. Pre‐treatment assessment of executive functions may be useful in identifying individuals who may be at risk for suboptimal treatment outcomes. Future research is needed to replicate these findings in larger samples and identify underlying mechanisms. PMID:28090338
Efrosini Z. Papadaki
Full Text Available Background. Patients with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS demonstrate brain hemodynamic changes and also suffer from difficulties in processing speed, memory, and executive functions. Objective. To explore whether brain hemodynamic disturbances in CIS patients correlate with executive functions. Methods. Thirty CIS patients and forty-three healthy subjects, matched for age, gender, education level, and FSIQ, were administered tests of visuomotor learning and set shifting ability. Cerebral blood volume (CBV, cerebral blood flow (CBF, and mean transit time (MTT values were estimated in normal-appearing white matter (NAWM and normal-appearing deep gray Matter (NADGM structures, using a perfusion MRI technique. Results. CIS patients showed significantly elevated reaction time (RT on both tasks, while their CBV and MTT values were globally increased, probably due to inflammatory vasodilation. Significantly, positive correlation coefficients were found between error rates on the inhibition condition of the visuomotor learning task and CBV values in occipital, periventricular NAWM and both thalami. On the set shifting condition of the respective task significant, positive associations were found between error rates and CBV values in the semioval center and periventricular NAWM bilaterally. Conclusion. Impaired executive function in CIS patients correlated positively with elevated regional CBV values thought to reflect inflammatory processes.
Executive functions are thinking skills that assist with reasoning, planning, problem solving, and managing one’s life. The brain areas that underlie these skills are interconnected with and influenced by activity in many different brain areas, some of which are associated with emotion and stress. One consequence of the stress-specific connections is that executive functions, which help us to organize our thinking, tend to be disrupted when stimulation is too high and we are stressed out, or too low when we are bored and lethargic. Given their central role in reasoning and also in managing stress and emotion, scientists have conducted studies, primarily with adults, to determine whether executive functions can be improved by training. By and large, results have shown that they can be, in part through computer-based videogame-like activities. Evidence of wider, more general benefits from such computer-based training, however, is mixed. Accordingly, scientists have reasoned that training will have wider benefits if it is implemented early, with very young children as the neural circuitry of executive functions is developing, and that it will be most effective if embedded in children’s everyday activities. Evidence produced by this research, however, is also mixed. In sum, much remains to be learned about executive function training. Without question, however, continued research on this important topic will yield valuable information about cognitive development. PMID:27906522
Rouw, Romke; van Driel, Joram; Knip, Koen; Richard Ridderinkhof, K.
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
Full Text Available The executive function (EF is a set of abilities, which allows us to invoke voluntary control of our behavioral responses. These functions enable human beings to develop and carry out plans, make up analogies, obey social rules, solve problems, adapt to unexpected circumstances, do many tasks simultaneously and locate episodes in time and place. EF includes divided attention and sustained attention, working memory, set-shifting, flexibility, planning and the regulation of goal directed behavior and can be defined as a brain function underlying the human faculty to act or think not only in reaction to external events but also in relation with internal goals and states. EF is mostly associated with dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC. Besides EF, PFC is involved in self-regulation of behavior, i.e. the ability to regulate behavior according to internal goals and constraints, particularly in less structured situations. Self-regulation of behavior is subtended by ventral medial /orbital PFC. Impairment of EF is one of the most commonly observed deficits in schizophrenia through the various disease stages. Impairment in tasks measuring conceptualization, planning, cognitive flexibility, verbal fluency, ability to solve complex problems and working memory occur in schizophrenia. Disorders detected by executive tests are consistent with evidence from functional neuroimaging, which have shown PFC dysfunction in patients while performing these kinds of tasks. Schizophrenics also exhibit deficit in odor identifying, decision-making and self-regulation of behavior suggesting dysfunction of the orbital PFC. However, impairment in executive tests is explained by dysfunction of prefronto-striato-thalamic, prefronto-parietal and prefronto-temporal neural networks mainly. Disorders in executive functions may be considered central facts with respect to schizophrenia and it has been suggested that negative symptoms may be explained by that executive dysfunction.
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.
Shaffer, Anne; Obradović, Jelena
Parenting is a cognitive, emotional, and behavioral endeavor, yet limited research investigates parents' executive functions and emotion regulation as predictors of how parents interact with their children. The current study is a multimethod investigation of parental self-regulation in relation to the quality of parenting behavior and parent-child interactions in a diverse sample of parents and kindergarten-age children. Using path analyses, we tested how parent executive functions (inhibitory control) and lack of emotion regulation strategies uniquely relate to both sensitive/responsive behaviors and positive/collaborative behaviors during observed interaction tasks. In our analyses, we accounted for parent education, financial stress, and social support as socioeconomic factors that likely relate to parent executive function and emotion regulation skills. In a diverse sample of primary caregivers (N = 102), we found that direct assessment of parent inhibitory control was positively associated with sensitive/responsive behaviors, whereas parent self-reported difficulties in using emotion regulation strategies were associated with lower levels of positive and collaborative dyadic behaviors. Parent education and financial stress predicted inhibitory control, and social support predicted emotion regulation difficulties; parent education was also a significant predictor of sensitive/responsive behaviors. Greater inhibitory control skills and fewer difficulties identifying effective emotion regulation strategies were not significantly related in our final path model. We discuss our findings in the context of current and emerging parenting interventions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Simanowski, Stefanie; Krajewski, Kristin
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.
Puig, O; Penadés, R; Baeza, I; Sánchez-Gistau, V; De la Serna, E; Fonrodona, L; Andrés-Perpiñá, S; Bernardo, M; Castro-Fornieles, J
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.
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
Langberg, Joshua M; Dvorsky, Melissa R; Kipperman, Kristen L; Molitor, Stephen J; Eddy, Laura D
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).
Viterbori, Paola; Usai, M Carmen; Traverso, Laura; De Franchis, Valentina
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.
McHugh, Joanna Edel; Lawlor, Brian A
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.
There is strong evidence to suggest that individuals with autism show atypicalities in multiple cognitive domains, including theory of mind (ToM), executive function (EF), and central coherence (CC). In this study, the longitudinal relationships among these 3 aspects of cognition in autism were investigated. Thirty-seven cognitively able children with an autism spectrum condition were assessed on tests targeting ToM (false-belief prediction), EF (planning ability, cognitive flexibility, and inhibitory control), and CC (local processing) at intake and again 3 years later. Time 1 EF and CC skills were longitudinally predictive of change in children's ToM test performance, independent of age, language, nonverbal intelligence, and early ToM skills. Predictive relations in the opposite direction were not significant, and there were no developmental links between EF and CC. Rather than showing problems in ToM, EF and CC as co-occurring and independent atypicalities in autism, these findings suggest that early domain-general skills play a critical role in shaping the developmental trajectory of children's ToM.
Lee, Kerry; Bull, Rebecca; Ho, Ringo M. H.
Although early studies of executive functioning in children supported Miyake et al.'s (2000) three-factor model, more recent findings supported a variety of undifferentiated or two-factor structures. Using a cohort-sequential design, this study examined whether there were age-related differences in the structure of executive functioning among…
Zorrilla-Silvestre, Lorena; Presentación-Herrero, María Jesús; Gil-Gómez, Jesús
Introduction: This study explored the variables of executive functioning (EF) that permitted the evaluation of EF both at home and at school. The objective was to compare the results of the evaluations of these functions in children aged 5 to 6 years, and see to what extent these variables predicted mathematics performance best. Method: Sixty-six…
Campanholo, Kenia Repiso; Boa, Izadora Nogueira Fonte; Hodroj, Flávia Cristina da Silva Araujo; Guerra, Glaucia Rosana Benute; Miotto, Eliane Correa; Lucia, Mara Cristina Souza de
ABSTRACT Executive functions (EFs) regulate human behavior and allow individuals to interact and act in the world. EFs are sensitive to sociodemographic variables such as age, which promotes their decline, and to others that can exert a neuroprotective effect. Objective: To assess the predictive role of education, occupation and family income on decline in executive functions among a sample with a wide age range. Methods: A total of 925 participants aged 18-89 years with 1-28 years' education...
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.
Introduction: The pathophysiologic mechanisms that account for the development and persistence of anorexia nervosa (AN) remain unclear. With respect to the neuropsychological functioning, the executive functions have been reported to be altered, especially cognitive flexibility and decision-making processes. Objectives: The aim of this study was to review the current state of the neuropsychological studies focused on anorexia nervosa, especially those highlighting the executive functions. Met...
Vinberg, Maj; Miskowiak, Kamilla W; Kessing, Lars Vedel
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....
Bock, Allison M.; Gallaway, Kristin C.; Hund, Alycia M.
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…
There is strong evidence to suggest that individuals with autism show atypicalities in multiple cognitive domains, including theory of mind (ToM), executive function (EF), and central coherence (CC). In this study, the longitudinal relationships among these 3 aspects of cognition in autism were investigated. Thirty-seven cognitively able children…
Blankson, A. Nayena; O'Brien, Marion; Leerkes, Esther M.; Calkins, Susan D.; Marcovitch, Stuart D.
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…
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.
Matthias L. Schroeter
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.
Whedon, Margaret; Perry, Nicole B; Calkins, Susan D; Bell, Martha A
Parasympathetic nervous system functioning in infancy may serve a foundational role in the development of cognitive and socioemotional skills (Calkins, 2007). In this study (N = 297), we investigated the potential indirect effects of cardiac vagal regulation in infancy on children's executive functioning and social competence in preschool via expressive and receptive language in toddlerhood. Vagal regulation was assessed at 10 months during two attention conditions (social, nonsocial) via task-related changes in respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA). A path analysis revealed that decreased RSA from baseline in the nonsocial condition and increased RSA in the social condition were related to larger vocabularies in toddlerhood. Additionally, children's vocabulary sizes were positively related to their executive function and social competence in preschool. Indirect effects from vagal regulation in both contexts to both 4-year outcomes were significant, suggesting that early advances in language may represent a mechanism through which biological functioning in infancy impacts social and cognitive functioning in childhood. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Pattij, T.; Wiskerke, J.; Schoffelmeer, A.N.M.
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
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.
Hass, Michael R.; Patterson, Ashlea; Sukraw, Jocelyn; Sullivan, Brianna M.
Despite the common usage of the term "executive functioning" in neuropsychology, several aspects of this concept remain unsettled. In this paper, we will address some of the issues surrounding the notion of executive functioning and how an understanding of executive functioning and its components might assist school-based practitioners…
Kouklari, Evangelia-Chrysanthi; Tsermentseli, Stella; Auyeung, Bonnie
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.
Huang, Anna S; Klein, Daniel N; Leung, Hoi-Chung
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. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Huang, Anna S.; Klein, Daniel N.; Leung, Hoi-Chung
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
Biernacki, Marcin P; Tarnowski, Adam; Lengsfeld, Kamila; Lewkowicz, Rafał; Kowalczuk, Krzysztof; Dereń, Miroslaw
Pilots are constantly exposed to a number of environmental factors, which include +Gz load. Physiological changes evoked by +Gz stimuli have already been well investigated in aviation medicine. However, the influence of +Gz stimulation on executive functions in pilots has not yet been thoroughly explored. There were 20 pilot cadets between the ages of 19 and 22 yr who volunteered to participate in the experiment. The subjects were divided into two groups: the G-load group, which was exposed to accelerations in the centrifuge, and the control group, which did not undergo this stimulation. Executive functions were assessed by means of the Schulte tables and the Rey-Osterrieth complex figure test. +Gz load exposure significantly improved attention switching. This relationship was valid for performance speed (M = 268.09 s in the pretest in the G-load group; M = 228.09 s in the posttest in the G-load group) and for the cumulative time of mistakes (M = 26.73 s in the pretest in the G-load group; M = 12 s in the posttest in the G-load group), whereas reproduction of visuospatial stimuli from memory deteriorated significantly under the influence of +Gz stimulation (M = 17.18 points in the posttest in the G-load group; M = 28.18 points in the posttest in the control group). These results suggest that the impact of +Gz load is not homogenous and unidirectional, since it improves attention switching but visuospatial working memory decreases under its influence. These aspects are particularly important for understanding the mechanisms responsible for maintaining situational awareness during the flight.
Lamberts, Kirsten F.; Evans, Jonathan J.; Spikman, Jacoba M.
A major goal of neuropsychological assessment is predicting a person's level of functioning in daily life. Making predictions about everyday executive functioning based on tests is problematic because of the contrast between demands made in the test environment and demands made in everyday life
Campanholo, Kenia Repiso; Boa, Izadora Nogueira Fonte; Hodroj, Flávia Cristina da Silva Araujo; Guerra, Glaucia Rosana Benute; Miotto, Eliane Correa; de Lucia, Mara Cristina Souza
Executive functions (EFs) regulate human behavior and allow individuals to interact and act in the world. EFs are sensitive to sociodemographic variables such as age, which promotes their decline, and to others that can exert a neuroprotective effect. To assess the predictive role of education, occupation and family income on decline in executive functions among a sample with a wide age range. A total of 925 participants aged 18-89 years with 1-28 years' education were submitted to assessment of executive functions using the Card Sorting Test (CST), Phonemic Verbal Fluency (FAS) Task and Semantic Verbal Fluency (SVF) Task. Data on income, occupation and educational level were collected for the sample. The data were analyzed using Linear Regression, as well as Pearson's and Spearman's Correlation. Age showed a significant negative correlation (p<0.001) with performance on the CST, FAS and SVF, whereas education, income and occupation were positively associated (p<0.001) with the tasks applied. After application of the multivariate linear regression model, a significant positive relationship with the FAS was maintained only for education (p<0.001) and income (p<0.001). The negative relationship of age (p<0.001) and positive relationship of both education (p<0.001) and income (p<0.001and p=0.003) were evident on the CST and SVF. Educational level and income positively influenced participants' results on executive function tests, attenuating expected decline for age. However, no relationship was found between occupation and the cognitive variables investigated.
Kenia Repiso Campanholo
Full Text Available ABSTRACT Executive functions (EFs regulate human behavior and allow individuals to interact and act in the world. EFs are sensitive to sociodemographic variables such as age, which promotes their decline, and to others that can exert a neuroprotective effect. Objective: To assess the predictive role of education, occupation and family income on decline in executive functions among a sample with a wide age range. Methods: A total of 925 participants aged 18-89 years with 1-28 years' education were submitted to assessment of executive functions using the Card Sorting Test (CST, Phonemic Verbal Fluency (FAS Task and Semantic Verbal Fluency (SVF Task. Data on income, occupation and educational level were collected for the sample. The data were analyzed using Linear Regression, as well as Pearson's and Spearman's Correlation. Results: Age showed a significant negative correlation (p<0.001 with performance on the CST, FAS and SVF, whereas education, income and occupation were positively associated (p<0.001 with the tasks applied. After application of the multivariate linear regression model, a significant positive relationship with the FAS was maintained only for education (p<0.001 and income (p<0.001. The negative relationship of age (p<0.001 and positive relationship of both education (p<0.001 and income (p<0.001 and p=0.003 were evident on the CST and SVF. Conclusion: Educational level and income positively influenced participants' results on executive function tests, attenuating expected decline for age. However, no relationship was found between occupation and the cognitive variables investigated.
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.
Bender, Alex C; Austin, Andrea M; Grodstein, Francine; Bynum, Julie P W
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.
Baggetta, Peter; Alexander, Patricia A.
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…
Lewis, Charlie; Koyasu, Masuo; Oh, Seungmi; Ogawa, Ayako; Short, Benjamin; Huang, Zhao
Much of the evidence from the West has shown links between children's developing self-control (executive function), their social experiences, and their social understanding (Carpendale & Lewis, 2006, chapters 5 and 6), across a range of cultures including China. This chapter describes four studies conducted in three Oriental cultures, suggesting that the relationships among social interaction, executive function, and social understanding are different in these cultures, implying that social and executive skills are underpinned by key cultural processes.
Raffard, Stephane; Bayard, Sophie
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…
Levine, D.S. [Univ. of Texas, Arlington, TX (United States)
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.
Ferrara, R; Ansermet, F; Massoni, F; Petrone, L; Onofri, E; Ricci, P; Archer, T; Ricci, S
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.
Gough, Aisling; Linden, Mark A; Spence, Dale; Halliday, Henry L; Patterson, Christopher C; McGarvey, Lorcan
To assess long-term impairments of executive functioning in adult survivors of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Participants were assessed on measures of executive functioning, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and social functioning. Survivors of BPD (n = 63; 34 males; mean age 24.2 years) were compared with groups comprising preterm (without BPD) (executive functioning relating to problem solving (OR: 5.1, CI: 1.4-19.3), awareness of behavior (OR: 12.7, CI: 1.5-106.4) and organization of their environment (OR: 13.0, CI: 1.6-107.1). Birth weight, HRQoL and social functioning were predictive of deficits in executive functioning. This study represents the largest sample of survivors into adulthood of BPD and is the first to show that deficits in executive functioning persist. Children with BPD should be assessed to identify cognitive impairments and allow early intervention aimed at ameliorating their effects. Implications for Rehabilitation Adults born preterm with very-low birth weight, and particularly those who develop BPD, are at increased risk of exhibiting defects in executive functioning. Clinicians and educators should be made aware of the impact that BPD can have on the long-term development of executive functions. Children and young adults identified as having BPD should be periodically monitored to identify the need for possible intervention.
Holtzer, Roee; Mahoney, Jeannette; Verghese, Joe
The relationship between executive functions (EF) and gait speed is well established. However, with the exception of dual tasking, the key components of EF that predict differences in gait performance have not been determined. Therefore, the current study was designed to determine whether processing speed, conflict resolution, and intraindividual variability in EF predicted variance in gait performance in single- and dual-task conditions. Participants were 234 nondemented older adults (mean age 76.48 years; 55% women) enrolled in a community-based cohort study. Gait speed was assessed using an instrumented walkway during single- and dual-task conditions. The flanker task was used to assess EF. Results from the linear mixed effects model showed that (a) dual-task interference caused a significant dual-task cost in gait speed (estimate = 35.99; 95% CI = 33.19-38.80) and (b) of the cognitive predictors, only intraindividual variability was associated with gait speed (estimate = -.606; 95% CI = -1.11 to -.10). In unadjusted analyses, the three EF measures were related to gait speed in single- and dual-task conditions. However, in fully adjusted linear regression analysis, only intraindividual variability predicted performance differences in gait speed during dual tasking (B = -.901; 95% CI = -1.557 to -.245). Among the three EF measures assessed, intraindividual variability but not speed of processing or conflict resolution predicted performance differences in gait speed. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Polderman, T.J.C.; Posthuma, D.; de Sonneville, L.M.J.; Stins, J.F.; Verhulst, F.C.; Boomsma, D.I.
Executive functioning is an umbrella term for several related cognitive functions like selective- and sustained attention, working memory, and inhibition. Little is known about the stability of executive functioning during childhood. In this study the longitudinal stability of executive functioning
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.
Dupuy, O; Renaud, M; Bherer, L; Bosquet, L
The aim of this study was to investigate whether cognitive performance was a valid marker of overreaching. 10 well-trained male endurance athletes increased their training load by 100% for 2 weeks. They performed a maximal graded test, a constant speed test, a reaction time task and a computerized version of the Stroop color word-test before and after this overload period. Regarding performance results, five participants were considered as overreached and the five remaining were considered as well-trained. We found no significant differences between groups in performing the Stroop test. Noteworthy, we found a small increase in response time in the more complex condition in overreached athletes (1 188+/-261 to 1 297+/-231 ms, effect size=0.44), while it decreased moderately in the well-trained athletes (1 066+/-175 to 963+/-171 ms, effect size=-0.59). Furthermore, we found an interaction between time and group on initiation time of the reaction time task, since it increased in overreached athletes after the overload period (246+/-24 to 264+/-26 ms, p<0.05), while it remained unchanged in well-trained participants. Participants made very few anticipation errors, whatever the group or the period (error rate <2%).We concluded that an unaccustomed increase in training volume which is accompanied by a decrement in physical performance induces a deterioration of some executive functions. Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart . New York.
Henry, L.; Bettenay, C.
Background: Executive functioning is increasingly seen as incorporating several component sub-skills and clinical assessments should reflect this complexity. \\ud \\ud Method: Tools for assessing executive functioning in children are reviewed within five key areas, across verbal and visuospatial abilities, with emphasis on batteries of tests. \\ud \\ud Results: There are many appropriate tests for children, although the choice is more limited for those under the age of 8 years. \\ud \\ud Conclusion...
Towe-Goodman, Nissa R; Willoughby, Michael; Blair, Clancy; Gustafsson, Hanna C; Mills-Koonce, W Roger; Cox, Martha J
Using data from a diverse sample of 620 families residing in rural, predominately low-income communities, this study examined longitudinal links between fathers' sensitive parenting in infancy and toddlerhood and children's early executive functioning, as well as the contribution of maternal sensitive parenting. After accounting for the quality of concurrent and prior parental care, children's early cognitive ability, and other child and family factors, fathers' and mothers' sensitive and supportive parenting during play at 24 months predicted children's executive functioning at 3 years of age. In contrast, paternal parenting quality during play at 7 months did not make an independent contribution above that of maternal care, but the links between maternal sensitive and supportive parenting and executive functioning seemed to operate in similar ways during infancy and toddlerhood. These findings add to prior work on early experience and children's executive functioning, suggesting that both fathers and mothers play a distinct and complementary role in the development of these self-regulatory skills.
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.
Kofler, Michael J; Irwin, Lauren N; Soto, Elia F; Groves, Nicole B; Harmon, Sherelle L; Sarver, Dustin E
Neurocognitive heterogeneity is increasingly recognized as a valid phenomenon in ADHD, with most estimates suggesting that executive dysfunction is present in only about 33%-50% of these children. However, recent critiques question the veracity of these estimates because our understanding of executive functioning in ADHD is based, in large part, on data from single tasks developed to detect gross neurological impairment rather than the specific executive processes hypothesized to underlie the ADHD phenotype. The current study is the first to comprehensively assess heterogeneity in all three primary executive functions in ADHD using a criterion battery that includes multiple tests per construct (working memory, inhibitory control, set shifting). Children ages 8-13 (M = 10.37, SD = 1.39) with and without ADHD (N = 136; 64 girls; 62% Caucasian/Non-Hispanic) completed a counterbalanced series of executive function tests. Accounting for task unreliability, results indicated significantly improved sensitivity and specificity relative to prior estimates, with 89% of children with ADHD demonstrating objectively-defined impairment on at least one executive function (62% impaired working memory, 27% impaired inhibitory control, 38% impaired set shifting; 54% impaired on one executive function, 35% impaired on two or all three executive functions). Children with working memory deficits showed higher parent- and teacher-reported ADHD inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms (BF 10 = 5.23 × 10 4 ), and were slightly younger (BF 10 = 11.35) than children without working memory deficits. Children with vs. without set shifting or inhibitory control deficits did not differ on ADHD symptoms, age, gender, IQ, SES, or medication status. Taken together, these findings confirm that ADHD is characterized by neurocognitive heterogeneity, while suggesting that contemporary, cognitively-informed criteria may provide improved precision for identifying a
Hofmann, Wilhelm; Schmeichel, Brandon J; Baddeley, Alan D
Self-regulation is a core aspect of adaptive human behavior that has been studied, largely in parallel, through the lenses of social and personality psychology as well as cognitive psychology. Here, we argue for more communication between these disciplines and highlight recent research that speaks to their connection. We outline how basic facets of executive functioning (working memory operations, behavioral inhibition, and task-switching) may subserve successful self-regulation. We also argue that temporary reductions in executive functions underlie many of the situational risk factors identified in the social psychological research on self-regulation and review recent evidence that the training of executive functions holds significant potential for improving poor self-regulation in problem populations. Copyright Â© 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Mandell, D.J.; Ward, S.E.
The neural processes that underlie executive function begin to develop in infancy. However, it is unclear how the behavior manifested by these processes are related or if they can be differentiated early in development. This study seeks to examine early emerging executive functioning skills in
Russell Jay Hendel
Full Text Available We explore aspects of essay writing requiring high-level organizational capacity and executive function. The literature supports the approach that specific and focused writing-skill mastery leads to reduced anxiety and increased self-efficacy which correlates with improved writing skills. Although essay writing is a complex multi-dimensional task, two particular strategies, tree-diagram and reference methods, specifically address the organizational skills characteristic of executive function. The tree and reference methods presented in this paper address the flow of information, not content, and consequently, the methods presented in this paper apply to mathematics and English as well as to K-12 and college level.
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.
Bettcher, Brianne M.; Mungas, Dan; Patel, Nihar; Elofson, Jonathan; Dutt, Shubir; Wynn, Matthew; Watson, Christa L.; Stephens, Melanie; Walsh, Christine M.; Kramer, Joel H.
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
Cuevas, Kimberly; Bell, Martha Ann
Individual differences in infant attention are theorized to reflect the speed of information processing and are related to later cognitive abilities (i.e., memory, language, and intelligence). This study provides the first systematic longitudinal analysis of infant attention and early childhood executive function (EF; e.g., working memory,…
Jester, Jennifer M.; Nigg, Joel T.; Puttler, Leon I.; Long, Jeffrey C.; Fitzgerald, Hiram E.; Zucker, Robert A.
Relationships between parent and child executive functioning were examined, controlling for the critical potential confound of IQ, in a family study involving 434 children (130 girls and 304 boys) and 376 parents from 204 community recruited families at high risk for the development of substance use disorder. Structural equation modeling found…
Menghini, D.; Addona, F.; Costanzo, F.; Vicari, S.
Background: The present study was aimed at investigating working memory (WM) and executive functions capacities in individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) as compared with mental-age matched typically developing (TD) children. Method: In order to serve the study goal, a sizeable battery of tasks tapping WM as well as attention, memory, planning,…
Donna P. Mann
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.
Spencer, Robert J; Kitchen Andren, Katherine A; Tolle, Kathryn A
The Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) is a cognitive battery that contains scales of several cognitive abilities, but no scale in the instrument is exclusively dedicated to executive functioning. Although the subtests allow for observation of executive-type errors, each error is of fairly low base rate, and healthy and clinical normative data are lacking on the frequency of these types of errors, making their significance difficult to interpret in isolation. The aim of this project was to create an RBANS executive errors scale (RBANS EE) with items comprised of qualitatively dysexecutive errors committed throughout the test. Participants included Veterans referred for outpatient neuropsychological testing. Items were initially selected based on theoretical literature and were retained based on item-total correlations. The RBANS EE (a percentage calculated by dividing the number of dysexecutive errors by the total number of responses) was moderately related to each of seven established measures of executive functioning and was strongly predictive of dichotomous classification of executive impairment. Thus, the scale had solid concurrent validity, justifying its use as a supplementary scale. The RBANS EE requires no additional administration time and can provide a quantified measure of otherwise unmeasured aspects of executive functioning.
Duijkers, Judith C L M; Vissers, Constance Th W M; Egger, Jos I M
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.
Full Text Available Modern man lyfestyle contributes to the increasing incidence of metabolic syndrome in the developed world. Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in adults ranges from 20 to 25%, and it tends to increase. Each year, 3.2 million people around the world die from complications associated with this syndrome. Treatment involves cooperation of medical doctors of various specialties, but the decisive factor is patient motivation, given that the treatment requires significant lifestyle changes. Our hypothesis is that metabolic syndrome patients have reduced ability to plan, convert plan into action and effectively implement planned activities, showing signs of dysexecutive syndrome. The term executive functions comes from the English word 'executive', which also means the controlling, in neuropsychology reserved for high-level abilities that influence more basic abilities such as attention, perception, memory, thinking and speaking. The main objective of this study was to determine characteristics of executive functioning in patients with metabolic syndrome. The sample consisted of 61 subjects of both sexes, aged 20 to 60 years, divided into two groups - those with a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome and those without this diagnosis. The results suggest that people with metabolic syndrome showed significantly poorer performance in almost all indicators of executive functions, represented by Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test variables.
Background: There is presently a lack of consistency in research designed to measure executive functioning (EF) in autism that may be attributable to lack of homogeneity or comorbid conditions (i.e. learning disability or additional diagnosis) in test samples. Aim: A systematic review focused on a subset of EF (verbal fluency: VF) was conducted, using only studies of high-functioning individuals with autism (HFA) without an additional diagnosis or learning disability. An emp...
Verburgh, Lot; Scherder, Erik J. A.; van Lange, Paul A.M.; Oosterlaan, Jaap
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
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.
Wenner, C. J.; Bianchi, J.; Figueredo, A. J.; Rushton, J. Philippe; Jacobs, W. J.
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…
Kok, Rianne; Lucassen, Nicole; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J; van IJzendoorn, Marinus H; Ghassabian, Akhgar; Roza, Sabine J; Govaert, Paul; Jaddoe, Vincent W; Hofman, Albert; Verhulst, Frank C; Tiemeier, Henning
In this longitudinal population-based study (N = 544), we investigated whether early parenting and corpus callosum length predict child executive function abilities at 4 years of age. The length of the corpus callosum in infancy was measured using postnatal cranial ultrasounds at 6 weeks of age. At 3 years, two aspects of parenting were observed: maternal sensitivity during a teaching task and maternal discipline style during a discipline task. Parents rated executive function problems at 4 years of age in five domains of inhibition, shifting, emotional control, working memory, and planning/organizing, using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool Version. Maternal sensitivity predicted less executive function problems at preschool age. A significant interaction was found between corpus callosum length in infancy and maternal use of positive discipline to determine child inhibition problems: The association between a relatively shorter corpus callosum in infancy and child inhibition problems was reduced in children who experienced more positive discipline. Our results point to the buffering potential of positive parenting for children with biological vulnerability.
Cramm, Heidi A; Krupa, Terry M; Missiuna, Cheryl A; Lysaght, Rosemary M; Parker, Kevin H
Increasingly recognized as an important factor in the performance of complex, goal-directed tasks, executive functioning is understood in different ways across disciplines. The aim was to explore the ways in which executive functioning is conceptualized, discussed, described, and implied in the occupational therapy literature. A scoping review of the occupational therapy literature was conducted following Levac, Colquhoun, and O'Brien's (2010) recommended methodology. Executive functioning is described both as a set of performance component skills or processes and as the executive occupational performance inherent in complex occupations. Executive functioning is implicit in occupational performance and engagement, and some health conditions seem to be commonly associated with impaired executive functioning. Assessing executive functioning requires dynamic occupation- and performance-based assessment. Interventions targeting executive functioning are grounded in metacognitive approaches. Executive functioning is a complex construct that is conceptualized with considerable variance within the occupational therapy literature, creating barriers to effective service delivery.
Riggs, Nathaniel R; Shin, Hee-Sung; Unger, Jennifer B; Spruijt-Metz, Donna; Pentz, Mary Ann
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.
Claudia L R Gonzalez
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
Toll, S.W.M.; van der Ven, S.H.G.; Kroesbergen, E.H.; van Luit, J.E.H.
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
Towe-Goodman, Nissa R.; Willoughby, Michael; Blair, Clancy; Gustafsson, Hanna C.; Mills-Koonce, W. Roger; Cox, Martha J.
Using data from a diverse sample of 620 families residing in rural, predominately low-income communities, this study examined longitudinal links between fathers’ sensitive parenting in infancy and toddlerhood and children’s early executive functioning, as well as the contribution of maternal sensitive parenting. After accounting for the quality of concurrent and prior parental care, children’s early cognitive ability, and other child and family factors, fathers’ and mothers’ sensitive and supportive parenting during play at 24-months predicted children’s executive functioning at 3-years of age. In contrast, paternal parenting quality during play at 7-months did not make an independent contribution above that of maternal care, but the links between maternal sensitive and supportive parenting and executive functioning seemed to operate in similar ways during infancy and toddlerhood. These findings add to prior work on early experience and children’s executive functioning, suggesting that both fathers and mothers play a distinct and complementary role in the development of these self-regulatory skills. PMID:25347539
Follmer, D. Jake
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…
Linnerud, Ida Cathrine Wang
Background: Executive function difficulties are prevalent in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and there are several indications of a modifying relationship between executive functions and language in children. However, there is limited research on the relationship between executive functioning and language in young children with ASD. The current study compared real-world executive functioning between groups of children with ASD, language disorders (LD), and typical development (T...
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.
Wilson, Jennifer; Andrews, Glenda; Hogan, Christy; Wang, Si; Shum, David H K
A group of 126 typically developing children (aged 5-12 years) completed three cool executive function tasks (spatial working memory, stop signal, intra-extra dimensional shift), two hot executive function tasks (gambling, delay of gratification), one advanced theory of mind task (strange stories with high versus low affective tone), and a vocabulary test. Older children performed better than younger children, consistent with the protracted development of hot and cool executive functions and theory of mind. Multiple regression analyses showed that hot and cool executive functions were correlated but they predicted theory of mind in different ways.
Cuevas, Kimberly; Hubble, Morgan; Bell, Martha Ann
Research Findings: This study examined whether children's executive functions before kindergarten would predict variance in executive functions after kindergarten. We obtained behavioral (working memory task performance), parent-reported (temperament-based inhibitory control), and psychophysiological (working memory-related changes in heart rate…
Xu, X J; Wang, L L; Zhou, N
To explore the characteristics of ecological executive function in school-aged children with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy and examine the effects of executive function on social adaptive function. A total of 51 school-aged children with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy aged 5-12 years at our hospital and 37 normal ones of the same gender, age and educational level were included. The differences in ecological executive function and social adaptive function were compared between the two groups with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and Child Adaptive Behavior Scale, the Pearson's correlation test and multiple stepwise linear regression were used to explore the impact of executive function on social adaptive function. The scores of school-aged children with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy in global executive composite (GEC), behavioral regulation index (BRI) and metacognition index (MI) of BRIEF ((62±12), (58±13) and (63±12), respectively) were significantly higher than those of the control group ((47±7), (44±6) and (48±8), respectively))(Pchildren with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy in adaptive behavior quotient (ADQ), independence, cognition, self-control ((86±22), (32±17), (49±14), (41±16), respectively) were significantly lower than those of the control group ((120±12), (59±14), (59±7) and (68±10), respectively))(Pchildren with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy. School-aged children with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy may have significantly ecological executive function impairment and social adaptive function reduction. The aspects of BRI, inhibition and working memory in ecological executive function are significantly related with social adaptive function in school-aged children with epilepsy.
Leung, Rachel C; Vogan, Vanessa M; Powell, Tamara L; Anagnostou, Evdokia; Taylor, Margot J
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.
Wong, Alina; Rodriguez, Mabel; Quevedo, Liliana; de Cossio, Lourdes Fernandez; Borges, Ariel; Reyes, Alicia; Corral, Roberto; Blanco, Florentino; Alvarez, Miguel
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,…
Murphy, Yolanda E; Luke, Anna; Brennan, Elle; Francazio, Sarah; Christopher, Isabella; Flessner, Christopher A
Although science's understanding (e.g., etiology, maintaining factors, etc.) of pediatric anxiety and related problems has grown substantially over recent years, several aspects to anxiety in youths remain elusive, particularly with relation to executive functioning. To this end, the current study sought to examine several facets to executive functioning (i.e., cognitive flexibility, inhibition, planning, working memory) within a transdiagnostic sample of youths exhibiting varying degrees of anxiety symptoms. One hundred six youths completed a comprehensive battery, including several self-report measures (e.g., Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children [MASC] or MASC-2) and an automated neurocognitive battery of several executive functioning tasks (Intradimensional/Extradimensional [IDED], Stop Signal [SST], Spatial Span [SSP], Stockings of Cambridge [SOC] tasks). Regression analyses indicated that youths exhibiting marked anxiety symptoms demonstrated increased planning time and probability of inhibition compared with youths with minimal or no anxiety symptoms. Youths with marked anxiety symptoms similarly demonstrated better cognitive flexibility (i.e., set shifting) compared with youths with minimal anxiety. In addition, analyses indicated a trend such that youths exhibiting marked anxiety symptoms demonstrated poorer working memory compared with youths with no anxiety symptoms. Group classification did not predict remaining outcomes. Limitations and future areas of research are discussed.
Crivello, Cristina; Kuzyk, Olivia; Rodrigues, Monyka; Friend, Margaret; Zesiger, Pascal; Poulin-Dubois, Diane
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.
Kluwe-Schiavon, Bruno; Viola, Thiago W; Sanvicente-Vieira, Breno; Malloy-Diniz, Leandro F; Grassi-Oliveira, Rodrigo
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.
Ashburn, Jr, John R
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...
Jacobson, Lisa A.; Koriakin, Taylor; Lipkin, Paul; Boada, Richard; Frijters, Jan; Lovett, Maureen; Hill, Dina; Willcutt, Erik; Gottwald, Stephanie; Wolf, Maryanne; Bosson-Heenan, Joan; Gruen, Jeffrey R.; Mahone, E. Mark
Competent reading requires various skills beyond those for basic word reading (i.e., core language skills, rapid naming, phonological processing). Contributing “higher-level” or domain-general processes include information processing speed and executive functions (working memory, strategic problem solving, attentional switching). Research in this area has relied on largely Caucasian samples, with limited representation of children from racial or ethnic minority groups. This study examined contributions of executive skills to reading competence in 761 children of minority backgrounds. Hierarchical linear regressions examined unique contributions of executive functions (EF) to word reading, fluency, and comprehension. EF contributed uniquely to reading performance, over and above reading-related language skills; working memory contributed uniquely to all components of reading; while attentional switching, but not problem solving, contributed to isolated and contextual word reading and reading fluency. Problem solving uniquely predicted comprehension, suggesting that this skill may be especially important for reading comprehension in minority youth. Attentional switching may play a unique role in development of reading fluency in minority youth, perhaps as a result of the increased demand for switching between spoken versus written dialects. Findings have implications for educational and clinical practice with regard to reading instruction, remedial reading intervention, and assessment of individuals with reading difficulty. PMID:26755569
Philippot, Pierre; Agrigoroaei, Stefan
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.
Buss, Aaron T; Spencer, John P
Executive function (EF) is a central aspect of cognition that undergoes significant changes in early childhood. Changes in EF in early childhood are robustly predictive of academic achievement and general quality of life measures later in adulthood. We present a dynamic neural field (DNF) model that provides a process-based account of behavior and developmental change in a key task used to probe the early development of executive function—the Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS) task. In the DCCS, children must flexibly switch from sorting cards either by shape or color to sorting by the other dimension. Typically, 3-year-olds, but not 5-year-olds, lack the flexibility to do so and perseverate on the first set of rules when instructed to switch. Using the DNF model, we demonstrate how rule-use and behavioral flexibility come about through a form of dimensional attention. Further, developmental change is captured by increasing the robustness and precision of dimensional attention. Note that although this enables the model to effectively switch tasks, the dimensional attention system does not “know” the details of task-specific performance. Rather, correct performance emerges as a property of system–wide interactions. We show how this captures children’s behavior in quantitative detail across 14 versions of the DCCS task. Moreover, we successfully test a set of novel predictions with 3-year-old children from a version of the task not explained by other theories.
Lanfranchi, S; Jerman, O; Dal Pont, E; Alberti, A; Vianello, R
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.
Stewart, Tracy M; Hunter, Simon C; Rhodes, Sinéad M
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.
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
Allee-Smith, Paula J.; Winters, Rebecca R.; Drake, Amanda; Joslin, Amanda K.
The Barkley Deficits in Executive Functioning Scale (BDEFS), authored by Russell A. Barkley and published by Guilford in 2011, is an individually administered assessment tool that may be used to evaluate adults ages 18 to 81. The purpose of this measure is to screen those who may be experiencing executive functioning (EF) deficits in…
Kronenberger, William G; Castellanos, Irina; Pisoni, David B
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.
Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Wang, Zhe; Chen, Nan; Bell, Martha Ann
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…
Phillips, L Alison; Gardner, Benjamin
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).
Prosen, Simona; Smrtnik Vitulić, Helena
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...
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.
Buczylowska, Dorota; Petermann, Franz
Normative data from the German adaptation of the Neuropsychological Assessment Battery were used to examine age-related differences in 6 executive function tasks. A multivariate analysis of variance was employed to investigate the differences in performance in 484 participants aged 18-99 years. The coefficient of variation was calculated to compare the heterogeneity of scores between 10 age groups. Analyses showed an increase in the dispersion of scores with age, varying from 7% to 289%, in all subtests. Furthermore, age-dependent heterogeneity appeared to be associated with age-dependent decline because the subtests with the greatest increase in dispersion (i.e., Mazes, Planning, and Categories) also exhibited the greatest decrease in mean scores. In contrast, scores for the subtests Letter Fluency, Word Generation, and Judgment had the lowest increase in dispersion with the lowest decrease in mean scores. Consequently, the results presented here show a pattern of age-related differences in executive functioning that is consistent with the concept of crystallized and fluid intelligence. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tee, Joyce Ying Hui; Gan, Wan Ying; Tan, Kit-Aun; Chin, Yit Siew
The understanding on the roles of obesity and lifestyle behaviors in predicting executive function of adolescents has been limited. Low executive function proficiency may have adverse effects on adolescents' school academic performance. This cross-sectional study aimed to examine the relationship between BMI-for-age and multiple lifestyle behaviors (operationalized as meal consumption, physical activity, and sleep quality) with executive function (operationalized as inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility) on a sample of Malaysian adolescents aged between 12 and 16 years (N = 513). Participants were recruited from two randomly selected schools in the state of Selangor in Malaysia. Using a self-administered questionnaire, parent participants provided information concerning their sociodemographic data, whereas adolescent participants provided information regarding their meal consumptions, physical activity, and sleep quality. The modified Harvard step test was used to assess adolescents' aerobic fitness, while Stroop color-word, digit span, and trail-making tests were used to assess adolescents' inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility, respectively. Three separate hierarchical regression analyses were conducted for each outcome namely, inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility. After adjusted for sociodemographic factors and BMI-for-age, differential predictors of inhibition and working memory were found. Habitual sleep efficiency significantly and positively predicted inhibition. Regular dinner intakes, physical activity levels, and sleep quality significantly and positively predicted working memory. Household income emerged as a consistent predictor for all executive function domains. In conclusion, an increased trend of obesity and unhealthy lifestyles among adolescents were found to be associated with poorer executive function. Regular dinner intakes, higher physical activity levels and better sleep quality predicted better
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
Castellanos, Irina; Kronenberger, William G; Pisoni, David B
The psychometric properties of the Learning, Executive, and Attention Functioning (LEAF) scale were investigated in an outpatient clinical pediatric sample. As a part of clinical testing, the LEAF scale, which broadly measures neuropsychological abilities related to executive functioning and learning, was administered to parents of 118 children and adolescents referred for psychological testing at a pediatric psychology clinic; 85 teachers also completed LEAF scales to assess reliability across different raters and settings. Scores on neuropsychological tests of executive functioning and academic achievement were abstracted from charts. Psychometric analyses of the LEAF scale demonstrated satisfactory internal consistency, parent-teacher inter-rater reliability in the small to large effect size range, and test-retest reliability in the large effect size range, similar to values for other executive functioning checklists. Correlations between corresponding subscales on the LEAF and other behavior checklists were large, while most correlations with neuropsychological tests of executive functioning and achievement were significant but in the small to medium range. Results support the utility of the LEAF as a reliable and valid questionnaire-based assessment of delays and disturbances in executive functioning and learning. Applications and advantages of the LEAF and other questionnaire measures of executive functioning in clinical neuropsychology settings are discussed.
Miller, S E; DeBoer, M D; Scharf, R J
Poor executive functioning is associated with life-long difficulty. Identification of children at risk for executive dysfunction is important for early intervention to improve neurodevelopmental outcomes. This study is designed to examine relationships between birthweight and executive functioning in US children during kindergarten. Our hypothesis was that children with higher birthweights would have better executive function scores. We evaluated data from 17506 US children from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten 2011 cohort. Birthweight and gestational age were obtained by parental survey. Executive functions were directly assessed using the number reverse test and card sort test to measure working memory and cognitive flexibility, respectively. Teacher evaluations were used for additional executive functions. Data were analyzed using SAS to run all linear and logistical regressions. For every kilogram of birthweight, scores of working memory increased by 1.47 (Pexecutive functioning. As birthweight increases executive function scores improve, even among infants born normal weight. Further evaluation of this population including interventions and progression through school is needed.
King, Alan R; Breen, Cody M; Russell, Tiffany D; Nerpel, Brady P; Pogalz, Colton R
Neuropsychological research can be advanced through a better understanding of relationships between executive functioning (EF) behavioral competencies and the expression of aggressive behavior. While performance-based EF measures have been widely examined, links between self-report indices and practical real-life outcomes have not yet been established. Executive Functioning Index subscale scores in this sample (N = 579) were linked to trait hostility (Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire), aggression in the natural environment (Lifetime Acts of Violence Assessment), and conduct disorder symptoms prior to age 15. Significant associations were found between all of the EFI subscales (Motivational Drive, Organization, Strategic Planning, Impulse Control, and Empathy), trait aggression, and conduct disturbance. Lifetime acts of aggression were predicted by all but Organization scores. Physical injuries inflicted on other(s) were 2 to 4 times more likely to occur among respondents generating low (z < -1) EFI subscale scores. While these EFI relationships were modest in size, they are pervasive in scope. These findings provide support for the potential role of perceived EF deficits in moderating lifetime aggression.
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
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.
Gottwald, Janna M.; Achermann, Sheila; Marciszko, Carin; Lindskog, Marcus; Gredebäck, Gustaf
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Connolly, Joanna; McNulty, Jonathan P; Boran, Lorraine; Roche, Richard A P; Delany, David; Bokde, Arun L W
The structural networks in the human brain are consistent across subjects, and this is reflected also in that functional networks across subjects are relatively consistent. These findings are not only present during performance of a goal oriented task but there are also consistent functional networks during resting state. It suggests that goal oriented activation patterns may be a function of component networks identified using resting state. The current study examines the relationship between resting state networks measured and patterns of neural activation elicited during a Stroop task. The association between the Stroop-activated networks and the resting state networks was quantified using spatial linear regression. In addition, we investigated if the degree of spatial association of resting state networks with the Stroop task may predict performance on the Stroop task. The results of this investigation demonstrated that the Stroop activated network can be decomposed into a number of resting state networks, which were primarily associated with attention, executive function, visual perception, and the default mode network. The close spatial correspondence between the functional organization of the resting brain and task-evoked patterns supports the relevance of resting state networks in cognitive function.
Dahlgren, SvenOlof; Almén, Helena; Dahlgren Sandberg, Annika
Few studies have explored the relationship between theory of mind (ToM), executive function (EF), and bilingualism at the same time. In this study 14 young bilingual children were compared with monolingual children on a test battery composed of 5 ToM tests, 5 EF tests, and 1 test of general language ability. The result showed that despite significantly lower verbal ability, the bilingual children outperformed the monolingual ones on tests of EF. There were no differences in ToM performance. The authors argue that there is a strong relationship between bilingualism and EF, but, contrary to results from earlier studies, they could not find any relationship between bilingualism and ToM. EF did not predict ToM performance. Lack of a significant relationship could be due to the children's young age and consequently their low scores on the ToM tasks.
Jan 12, 2016 ... use of rationality and logic, such as working memory (WM), cognitive flexibility, response ... For instance, Bracken compared short‑ and long‑term ..... Development of “hot” executive function: The children's gambling task.
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.
This study examines language abilities of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and compares these abilities to those of children with specific language impairment (SLI) and typically developing children. Executive functioning, an umbrella term for various higher order
Sande, E. van de; Segers, P.C.J.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.
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
Full Text Available The ontogeny of executive functions is essential in explaining differential and normative developmental trends. Executive functions must be studied from an early age given their consequential effects on mental flexibility, monitoring information, planning, and cognitive control. We propose a differential study in alternative developmental courses through observing typical babies, Down syndrome babies, and babies with risk-factors at birth (due to low weight or to congenital hypothyroidism. Applymg Systematic Observational Methodology, spontaneous babies' activity was registered. The results indicated that: a Typical babies showed better shifting and action flexibility in order to obtain a goal, thus better results; b Among the higher risk-babies, the lower efficacy in executive functioning was observed in underweight babies. Those with hypothyroidism were more in line with the typical babies; c Underweight babies showed a good level of combining actions but they obtained inferior results; d Down syndrome babies displayed more executive functioning difficulty, lower flexibility, high perseveration and less error detection.
Giesbrecht, Timo; Merckelbach, Harald; Geraerts, Elke; Smeets, Ellen
The concept of dissociation refers to disruptions in attentional control. Attentional control is an executive function. Few studies have addressed the link between dissociation and executive functioning. Our study investigated this relationship in a sample of undergraduate students (N = 185) who completed the Dissociative Experiences Scale and the Random Number Generation Task. We found that minor disruptions in executive functioning were related to a subclass of dissociative experiences, notably dissociative amnesia and the Dissociative Experiences Scale Taxon. However, the two other subscales of the Dissociative Experiences Scale, measuring depersonalization and absorption, were unrelated to executive functioning. Our findings suggest that a failure to inhibit previous responses might contribute to the pathological memory manifestations of dissociation.
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.
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.
Carriedo, Nuria; Corral, Antonio; Montoro, Pedro R; Herrero, Laura; Ballestrino, Patricia; Sebastián, Iraia
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.
Wolfe, Kelly R.; Walsh, Karin S.; Reynolds, Nina C.; Mitchell, Frances; Reddy, Alyssa T.; Paltin, Iris; Madan-Swain, Avi
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
Sarsour, Khaled; Sheridan, Margaret; Jutte, Douglas; Nuru-Jeter, Amani; Hinshaw, Stephen; Boyce, W Thomas
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.
Memisevic, Haris; Sinanovic, Osman
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.
Bombín-González, Igor; Cifuentes-Rodríguez, Alicia; Climent-Martínez, Gema; Luna-Lario, Pilar; Cardas-Ibáñez, Jaione; Tirapu-Ustárroz, Javier; Díaz-Orueta, Unai
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.
Incera, Sara; McLennan, Conor T
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.
Ment, Laura; Allan, Walter; Schneider, Karen; Vohr, Betty R.
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
Ayers, Catherine R; Wetherell, Julie Loebach; Schiehser, Dawn; Almklov, Erin; Golshan, Shahrokh; Saxena, Sanjaya
Hoarding disorder (HD) is a chronic and debilitating psychiatric condition. Midlife HD patients have been found to have neurocognitive impairment, particularly in areas of executive functioning, but the extent to which this is due to comorbid psychiatric disorders has not been clear. The purpose of the present investigation was to examine executive functioning in geriatric HD patients without any comorbid Axis I disorders (n = 42) compared with a healthy older adult comparison group (n = 25). We hypothesized that older adults with HD would perform significantly worse on measures of executive functioning (Wisconsin Card Sort Task [Psychological Assessment Resources, Lutz, Florida, USA] ( Psychological Assessment Resources, 2003) and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV digit span and letter-number sequencing tests [Pearson, San Antonio, TX, USA]). Older adults with HD showed significant differences from healthy older controls in multiple aspects of executive functioning. Compared with healthy controls, older adults with HD committed significantly more total, non-perseverative errors and conceptual level responses on the Wisconsin Card Sort Task and had significantly worse performance on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV digit span and letter-number sequencing tests. Hoarding symptom severity was strongly correlated with executive dysfunction in the HD group. Compared with demographically-matched controls, older adults with HD have dysfunction in several domains of executive functioning including mental control, working memory, inhibition, and set shifting. Executive dysfunction is strongly correlated with hoarding severity and is not because of comorbid psychiatric disorders in HD patients. These results have broad clinical implications suggesting that executive functioning should be assessed and taken into consideration when developing intervention strategies for older adults with HD. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
van der Ven, S.H.G.
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.
Spangler, Derek P; Bell, Martha Ann; Deater-Deckard, Kirby
There is uncertainty about whether respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), a cardiac marker of adaptive emotion regulation, is involved in relatively low or high executive function performance. In the present study, we investigated (a) whether RSA during rest and tasks predict both relatively low and high executive function within a larger quadratic association among the two variables, and (b) the extent to which this quadratic trend was moderated by individual differences in emotion regulation. To achieve these aims, a sample of ethnically and socioeconomically diverse women self-reported reappraisal and emotion suppression. They next experienced a 2-min resting period during which electrocardiogram (ECG) was continually assessed. In the next phase, the women completed an array of executive function and nonexecutive cognitive tasks while ECG was measured throughout. As anticipated, resting RSA showed a quadratic association with executive function that was strongest for high suppression. These results suggest that relatively high resting RSA may predict poor executive function ability when emotion regulation consumes executive control resources needed for ongoing cognitive performance. © 2015 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Glass, Jennifer M; Buu, Anne; Adams, Kenneth M; Nigg, Joel T; Puttler, Leon I; Jester, Jennifer M; Zucker, Robert A
Neurocognitive deficits in chronic alcoholic men are well documented. Impairments include memory, visual-spatial processing, problem solving and executive function. The cause of impairment could include direct effects of alcohol toxicity, pre-existing cognitive deficits that predispose towards substance abuse, comorbid psychiatric disorders and abuse of substances other than alcohol. Cigarette smoking occurs at higher rates in alcoholism and has been linked to poor cognitive performance, yet the effects of smoking on cognitive function in alcoholism are often ignored. We examined whether chronic alcoholism and chronic smoking have effects on executive function. Alcoholism and smoking were examined in a community-recruited sample of alcoholic and non-alcoholic men (n = 240) using standard neuropsychological and reaction-time measures of executive function. Alcoholism was measured as the average level of alcoholism diagnoses across the study duration (12 years). Smoking was measured in pack-years. Both alcoholism and smoking were correlated negatively with a composite executive function score. For component measures, alcoholism was correlated negatively with a broad range of measures, whereas smoking was correlated negatively with measures that emphasize response speed. In regression analyses, both smoking and alcoholism were significant predictors of executive function composite. However, when IQ is included in the regression analyses, alcoholism severity is no longer significant. Both smoking and alcoholism were related to executive function. However, the effect of alcoholism was not independent of IQ, suggesting a generalized effect, perhaps affecting a wide range of cognitive abilities of which executive function is a component. On the other hand, the effect of smoking on measures relying on response speed were independent of IQ, suggesting a more specific processing speed deficit associated with chronic smoking.
Pham, Uyen Ha Gia; Andersson, Stein; Toft, Mathias; Pripp, Are Hugo; Konglund, Ane Eidahl; Dietrichs, Espen; Malt, Ulrik Fredrik; Skogseid, Inger Marie; Haraldsen, Ira Ronit Hebolt; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin
Objective. Studies on the effect of subthalamic deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) on executive functioning in Parkinson's disease (PD) are still controversial. In this study we compared self-reported daily executive functioning in PD patients before and after three months of STN-DBS. We also examined whether executive functioning in everyday life was associated with motor symptoms, apathy, and psychiatric symptoms. Method. 40 PD patients were examined with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A), the Symptom Checklist 90-Revised (SCL-90-R), and the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES-S). Results. PD patients reported significant improvement in daily life executive functioning after 3 months of STN-DBS. Anxiety scores significantly declined, while other psychiatric symptoms remained unchanged. The improvement of self-reported executive functioning did not correlate with motor improvement after STN-DBS. Apathy scores remained unchanged after surgery. Only preoperative depressed mood had predictive value to the improvement of executive function and appears to prevent potentially favorable outcomes from STN-DBS on some aspects of executive function. Conclusion. PD patients being screened for STN-DBS surgery should be evaluated with regard to self-reported executive functioning. Depressive symptoms in presurgical PD patients should be treated. Complementary information about daily life executive functioning in PD patients might enhance further treatment planning of STN-DBS.
Yarnell, Colin M P; Addissie, Yonit A; Hadley, Donald W; Guillen Sacoto, Maria J; Agochukwu, Nneamaka B; Hart, Rachel A; Wiggs, Edythe A; Platte, Petra; Paelecke, Yvonne; Collmann, Hartmut; Schweitzer, Tilmann; Kruszka, Paul; Muenke, Maximilian
To investigate executive function and adaptive behavior in individuals with Muenke syndrome using validated instruments with a normative population and unaffected siblings as controls. Participants in this cross-sectional study included individuals with Muenke syndrome (P250R mutation in FGFR3) and their mutation-negative siblings. Participants completed validated assessments of executive functioning (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function [BRIEF]) and adaptive behavior skills (Adaptive Behavior Assessment System, Second Edition [ABAS-II]). Forty-four with a positive FGFR3 mutation, median age 9 years, range 7 months to 52 years were enrolled. In addition, 10 unaffected siblings served as controls (5 males, 5 females; median age, 13 years; range, 3-18 years). For the General Executive Composite scale of the BRIEF, 32.1% of the cohort had scores greater than +1.5 SD, signifying potential clinical significance. For the General Adaptive Composite of the ABAS-II, 28.2% of affected individuals scored in the 3rd-8th percentile of the normative population, and 56.4% were below the average category (General Executive Composite and the ABAS-II General Adaptive Composite. Individuals with Muenke syndrome are at an increased risk for developing adaptive and executive function behavioral changes compared with a normative population and unaffected siblings. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Kramer, Joel H; Mungas, Dan; Possin, Katherine L; Rankin, Katherine P; Boxer, Adam L; Rosen, Howard J; Bostrom, Alan; Sinha, Lena; Berhel, Ashley; Widmeyer, Mary
Executive functioning is widely targeted when human cognition is assessed, but there is little consensus on how it should be operationalized and measured. Recognizing the difficulties associated with establishing standard operational definitions of executive functioning, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke entered into a contract with the University of California-San Francisco to develop psychometrically robust executive measurement tools that would be accepted by the neurology clinical trials and clinical research communities. This effort, entitled Executive Abilities: Measures and Instruments for Neurobehavioral Evaluation and Research (EXAMINER), resulted in a series of tasks targeting working memory, inhibition, set shifting, fluency, insight, planning, social cognition and behavior. We describe battery conceptualization and development, data collection, scale construction based on item response theory, and lay the foundation for studying the battery's utility and validity for specific assessment and research goals.
Shields, Grant S; Moons, Wesley G; Tewell, Carl A; Yonelinas, Andrew P
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).
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.
Wain, Omar; Spinella, Marcello
Moral, religious, and paranormal beliefs share some degree of overlap and play important roles in guiding peoples' behavior. Although partly cultural phenomena, they also have neurobiological components based on functional neuroimaging studies and research in clinical populations. Because all three show relationships to prefrontal system functioning, the current study examined whether they related to executive functions as measured by the Executive Function Inventory in a community sample. As in previous research, religious beliefs related positively to both moral attitudes and paranormal beliefs. Moral attitudes, however, did not relate to paranormal beliefs. Paranormal beliefs related inversely to impulse control and organization, whereas small positive correlations occurred between traditional religious beliefs, impulse control, and empathy. Moral attitudes, on the other hand, showed consistent positive correlations with all executive functions measured, independent of demographic influences. These findings concordantly support that prefrontal systems play a role in morality, religion, and paranormal beliefs.
Rose-Jacobs, Ruth; Richardson, Mark A; Buchanan-Howland, Kathryn; Chen, Clara A; Cabral, Howard; Heeren, Timothy C; Liebschutz, Jane; Forman, Leah; Frank, Deborah A
Executive functioning (EF), an umbrella construct encompassing gradual maturation of cognitive organization/management processes, is important to success in multiple settings including high school. Intrauterine tobacco exposure (IUTE) correlates with negative cognitive/behavioral outcomes, but little is known about its association with adolescent EF and information from real-life contexts is sparse. We evaluated the impact of IUTE on teacher-reported observations of EF in urban high school students controlling for covariates including other intrauterine and adolescent substance exposures. A prospective low-income birth cohort (51% male; 89% African American/Caribbean) was followed through late adolescence (16-18 years old). At birth, intrauterine exposures to cocaine and other substances (52% cocaine, 52% tobacco, 26% marijuana, 26% alcohol) were identified by meconium and/or urine assays, and/or maternal self-report. High school teachers knowledgeable about the student and unaware of study aims were asked to complete the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning-Teacher Form (BRIEF-TF) annually. Teachers completed at least one BRIEF-TF for 131 adolescents. Multivariable analyses included controls for: demographics; intrauterine cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol exposures; early childhood exposures to lead; and violence exposure from school-age to adolescence. IUTE was associated with less optimal BRIEF-TF Behavioral Regulation scores (p <0.05). Other intrauterine substance exposures did not predict less optimal BRIEF-TF scores, nor did exposures to violence, lead, nor adolescents' own substance use. IUTE is associated with offspring's less optimal EF. Prenatal counseling should emphasize abstinence from tobacco, as well as alcohol and illegal substances. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Collette, Fabienne; Angel, Lucie
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.
Paul D. Loprinzi
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.
Mohammad Reza khodaei-Ardakani
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.
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.
Holley, Sarah R; Ewing, Scott T; Stiver, Jordan T; Bloch, Lian
Emotion regulation deficits and executive functioning deficits have independently been shown to increase vulnerability toward engaging in aggressive behaviors. The effects of these risk factors, however, have not been evaluated in relation to one another. This study evaluated the degree to which each was associated with aggressive behaviors in a sample of 168 undergraduate students. Executive functioning (cognitive inhibition and mental flexibility) was assessed with a Stroop-like neuropsychological task. Emotion regulation and aggressive behaviors were assessed via self-report inventories. Results showed main effects for both emotion regulation and executive functioning, as well as a significant interaction, indicating that those who scored lowest in both domains reported engaging in aggressive behaviors the most frequently. When different types of aggression were examined, this interaction was only significant for acts of physical aggression, not for acts of verbal aggression. Therefore, for physical aggression, emotion regulation and executive functioning exerted a moderating effect on one another. The implications are that, at least for acts of physical aggression, relatively strong capabilities in either domain may buffer against tendencies to engage in aggressive behaviors. Thus, both emotion regulation skills and executive functioning abilities may be valuable targets for interventions aiming to reduce aggressive behaviors. © The Author(s) 2015.
Blair, Clancy; Raver, C. Cybele; Berry, Daniel J.
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
Schraegle, William A; Titus, Jeffrey B
Children and adolescents with epilepsy often show higher rates of executive functioning deficits and are at an increased risk of diminished health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The purpose of the current study was to determine the extent to which executive dysfunction predicts HRQOL in youth with epilepsy. Data included parental ratings on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and the Quality of Life in Childhood Epilepsy (QOLCE) questionnaire for 130 children and adolescents with epilepsy (mean age=11years, 6months; SD=3years, 6months). Our results identified executive dysfunction in nearly half of the sample (49%). Moderate-to-large correlations were identified between the BRIEF and the QOLCE subscales of well-being, cognition, and behavior. The working memory subscale on the BRIEF emerged as the sole significant predictor of HRQOL. These results underscore the significant role of executive function in pediatric epilepsy. Proactive screening for executive dysfunction to identify those at risk of poor HRQOL is merited, and these results bring to question the potential role of behavioral interventions to improve HRQOL in pediatric epilepsy by specifically treating and/or accommodating for executive deficits. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Martos-Pérez, Juan; Paula-Pérez, Isabel
The psychological hypothesis of executive dysfunction plays a crucial role in explaining the behavioural phenotype of persons with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), along with other hypotheses such as the deficit in the theory of mind or the weak central coherence hypothesis. Yet, none of these hypotheses are mutually exclusive and behaviours that have their origins in one of these three hypotheses are also shaped and upheld by other processes and factors. This article reviews the behavioural manifestation and current state of research on the executive functions in persons with ASD. It also examines its impact on planning, mental flexibility and cognitive skills, generativity, response inhibition, mentalist skills and sense of activity. Although executive dysfunction has become more significant as a hypothesis explaining persons with ASD, there remain some important difficulties in need of further, more detailed research. Moreover, very few intervention programmes have been proved to be effective in minimising the effects of executive dysfunction in autism.
Weiss, Karen E; Harbeck-Weber, Cynthia; Zaccariello, Michael J; Kimondo, Jacqueline N; Harrison, Tracy E; Bruce, Barbara K
Despite ample research documenting deficits in executive functioning for adults with chronic pain, the literature on pediatric patients with chronic pain is limited and provides mixed results. The current study sought to further investigate the nature of executive dysfunction in this population and also examine the relationships between pain intensity, duration, and catastrophizing with sustained attention, working memory, and self- and parent-report of executive functioning. Pediatric pain clinic and rehabilitation program. Forty adolescents with chronic pain and their parents participated in this study. Participants completed neuropsychological measures and standardized self-report questionnaires during a 45- to 60-minute testing session. Fifty percent of this sample of adolescents with chronic pain demonstrated significant difficulties on at least one measure, with nine participants indicating difficulties on multiple measures. Pain significantly increased during the testing session. Pain variables of intensity, duration, and catastrophizing are related to sustained attention and working memory. This study adds support to previous findings suggesting subclinical struggles with executive functioning for adolescents with chronic pain. One-half of the sample indicated difficulties in either sustained attention and/or working memory. Future studies that would more thoroughly examine more complex executive functioning skills in this population would be helpful to further guide multidisciplinary treatment of these patients, particularly regarding whether or not school accommodations are warranted. © 2017 American Academy of Pain Medicine. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com
Geurts, Hilde M.; Vissers, Marlies E.
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…
Russell Jay Hendel
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.
Gelonch, Olga; Garolera, Maite; Valls, Joan; Rosselló, Lluís; Pifarré, Josep
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
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.
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
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.
Richeson, Jennifer A; Baird, Abigail A; Gordon, Heather L; Heatherton, Todd F; Wyland, Carrie L; Trawalter, Sophie; Shelton, J Nicole
We investigated whether individual differences in racial bias among white participants predict the recruitment, and potential depletion, of executive attentional resources during contact with black individuals. White individuals completed an unobtrusive measure of racial bias, then interacted with a black individual, and finally completed an ostensibly unrelated Stroop color-naming test. In a separate functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) session, subjects were presented with unfamiliar black male faces, and the activity of brain regions thought to be critical to executive control was assessed. We found that racial bias predicted activity in right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in response to black faces. Furthermore, activity in this region predicted Stroop interference after an actual interracial interaction, and it statistically mediated the relation between racial bias and Stroop interference. These results are consistent with a resource depletion account of the temporary executive dysfunction seen in racially biased individuals after interracial contact.
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…
Segers, P.C.J.; Damhuis, C.M.P.; Sande, E. van de; Verhoeven, L.T.W.
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
Rigoli, Daniela; Piek, Jan P.; Kane, Robert; Oosterlaan, Jaap
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,…
White, Lisa J.; Greenfield, Daryl B.
A growing percentage of low-income children in the United States come from Spanish-speaking homes and are dual language learners (DLLs). Recent research shows that bilingual children, compared to monolinguals, have enhanced executive functioning (EF), a set of foundational cognitive skills that predict higher social-emotional competence and…
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
Brooke C. Schneider
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.
Zhang, Bing; Huang, Guoyan; Wang, Yuqian; He, Haitao; Ren, Jiadong
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.
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...
Whittingham, Koa; Bodimeade, Harriet L; Lloyd, Owen; Boyd, Roslyn N
To identify whether executive functioning mediates the effect of having unilateral cerebral palsy (CP) on executive functioning in everyday life, psychological functioning, and social functioning. A cross-sectional cohort of 46 children with unilateral CP (25 males, 21 females; mean age 11y 1mo, SD 2y 5mo; 24 right-sided, 22 left-sided) and 20 children with typical development (nine males, 11 females; mean age 10y 10mo, SD 2y 4mo). Cognitive executive functioning was tested using a neuropsychological battery. Executive functioning in everyday life was measured with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF; teacher and parent reports) and psychological and social functioning by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Analysis included analysis of covariance and bootstrapping. Children with unilateral CP were found to have significantly decreased functioning, compared with children with typical development, on the BRIEF Behavioral Regulation Index, the BRIEF Metacognition Index, and on the SDQ emotion, conduct, hyperactivity, and peer problems subscales. Group differences were mediated by cognitive executive functioning for the BRIEF Metacognition Index (teacher and parent report), the BRIEF Behavioral Regulation Index (parent report only), the SDQ conduct subscale, and the SDQ hyperactivity subscale. This study suggests that the increased risk of children with unilateral CP experiencing executive functioning difficulties in everyday life, conduct problems, and hyperactivity can be partly explained by decreased cognitive executive functioning abilities relative to children with typical development. © 2014 Mac Keith Press.
Dajani, Dina R.; Llabre, Maria M.; Nebel, Mary Beth; Mostofsky, Stewart H.; Uddin, Lucina Q.
Executive functions (EFs) are used to set goals, plan for the future, inhibit maladaptive responses, and change behavior flexibly. Although some studies point to specific EF profiles in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) — prevalent and often highly comorbid neurodevelopmental disorders — others have not differentiated them. The objective of the current study was to identify distinct profiles of EF across typically developing (TD) children and children with ASD and ADHD. We employed a latent profile analysis using indicators of EF (e.g., working memory, inhibition, and flexibility) in a mixed group of 8–13 year-olds including TD children (n = 128), children with ASD without ADHD (n = 30), children with ADHD (n = 93), and children with comorbid ASD and ADHD (n = 66). Three EF classes emerged: “above average,” “average,” and “impaired.” EF classes did not reproduce diagnostic categories, suggesting that differences in EF abilities are present within the ASD and ADHD groups. Further, greater EF dysfunction predicted more severe socioemotional problems, such as anxiety/depression. These results highlight the heterogeneity of current diagnostic groups and identify an “impaired” EF group, consisting of children with both ASD and ADHD, which could specifically be targeted for EF intervention. PMID:27827406
C.S.H. Aarnoudse-Moens (Cornelieke); D.P. Smidts (Diana); J. Oosterlaan (Jaap); H.J. Duivenvoorden (Hugo); N. Weisglas-Kuperus (Nynke)
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
Nouwens, S.; Groen, M.A.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.
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
O'Donnell, Patrick S.
The current study attempted to answer whether a specific executive functioning profile for individuals with test anxiety exists and whether deficits in working memory are associated with an earlier onset of test anxiety. Two hundred eighty-four undergraduate students completed a survey on test anxiety and self-report measures of test anxiety and…
Zelazo, Philip David; Blair, Clancy B.; Willoughby, Michael T.
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…
In two studies children's performance on tasks requiring the ascription of beliefs and desires was investigated in relation to their executive function. Study 1 (n = 80) showed that 3- and 4-year-olds were more proficient at ascribing subjective, mutually incompatible desires and desire-dependent emotions to two persons than they were at ascribing…
Flynn, Rachel M.; Richert, Rebekah A.
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…
Best, John R.; Miller, Patricia H.; Jones, Lara L.
Research and theorizing on executive function (EF) in childhood has been disproportionately focused on preschool age children. This review paper outlines the importance of examining EF throughout childhood, and even across the lifespan. First, examining EF in older children can address the question of whether EF is a unitary construct. The…
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,
Context: Methadone maintenance is a standard treatment for opiate‑dependent individuals. ... 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, and the GO/NOGO task, respectively.
Scherder, E. J. A.; Eggermont, L. H. P.; Geuze, R. H.; Vis, J.; Verkerke, G. J.
Objective: The aim of this study is to answer the question whether the strength of the knee extensor musculus quadriceps (m. quadriceps), in particular, is related to specific executive functions and whether this relationship is independent of aerobic fitness. The clinical relevance of this question
Duh, Shinchieh; Paik, Jae H.; Miller, Patricia H.; Gluck, Stephanie C.; Li, Hui; Himelfarb, Igor
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…
Osorio, Ana; Cruz, Raquel; Sampaio, Adriana; Garayzabal, Elena; Martinez-Regueiro, Rocio; Goncalves, Oscar F.; Carracedo, Angel; Fernandez-Prieto, Montse
Williams syndrome is characterized by impairments in executive functions (EFs). However, it remains unknown how distinct types of EFs relate to intelligence in this syndrome. The present study analyzed performance on working memory, inhibiting and shifting, and its links to IQ in a sample of 17 individuals with WS, and compared them with a group…
Schoemaker, Kim; Bunte, Tessa; Wiebe, Sandra A.; Espy, Kimberly Andrews; Dekovic, Maja; Matthys, Walter
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…
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.
Vugs, B.A.M.; Knoors, H.E.T.; Cuperus, J.M.; Hendriks, M.P.H.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a computer-based executive function (EF) training in children with specific language impairment (SLI). Ten children with SLI, ages 8 to 12 years, completed a 25-session training of visuospatial working memory, inhibition and cognitive
Verdejo-García, Antonio; López-Torrecillas, Francisca; Calandre, Elena Pita; Delgado-Rodríguez, Antonia; Bechara, Antoine
Patients with fibromyalgia (FM) typically report cognitive problems, and they state that these deficits are disturbing in everyday life. Despite these substantial subjective complaints by FM patients, very few studies have addressed objectively the effect of such aversive states on neuropsychological performance. In this study we aimed to examine possible impairment of executive function and decision-making in a sample of 36 women diagnosed with FM and 36 healthy women matched in age, education, and socio-economic status. We contrasted performance of both groups on two measures of executive functioning: the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), which assesses cognitive flexibility skills, and the Iowa Gambling Tasks (IGT; original and variant versions), which assess emotion-based decision-making. We also examined the relationship between executive function performance and pain experience, and between executive function and personality traits of novelty-seeking, harm avoidance, reward dependence, and persistence (measured by the Temperament and Character Inventory-Revised). Results showed that on the WCST, FM women showed poorer performance than healthy comparison women on the number of categories and non-perseverative errors, but not on perseverative errors. FM patients also showed altered learning curve in the original IGT (where reward is immediate and punishment is delayed), suggesting compromised emotion-based decision-making; but not in the variant IGT (where punishment is immediate but reward is delayed), suggesting hypersensitivity to reward. Personality variables were very mildly associated with cognitive performance in FM women.
Maharasingam, Malini; Macniven, Jamie A B; Mason, Oliver J
Korsakoff syndrome (KS) is characterized by dense anterograde and retrograde amnesia. There is often a temporal gradient to the retrograde amnesia, with earlier memories more readily recalled than recent memories. Executive functioning has also been found to be impaired in KS. However, research comparing executive functioning between chronic alcoholics (AL) and patients with KS has been relatively sparse to date. In a group comparison design, executive functioning in 15 KS patients and 16 chronic alcoholic patients was assessed using the Behavioural Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome test (BADS) and other secondary measures. The KS group was found to be significantly more impaired than the AL group on overall performance on the BADS (p Korsakoff patients are significantly more impaired in executive functioning than non-Korsakoff chronic alcoholics. We thank the participants of the study and also acknowledge the support of the University of Nottingham, particularly Nadina Lincoln, and the North East London NHS Foundation Trust. We are also very grateful to the anonymous reviewers of earlier drafts of this manuscript for their invaluable comments.
Guajardo, Nicole R.; Parker, Jessica; Turley-Ames, Kandi
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,…
Kalashnikova, Marina; Mattock, Karen
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…
Cuperus, J.M.; Vugs, B.A.M.; Scheper, A.R.; Hendriks, M.P.H.
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
Poulin-Dubois, Diane; Blaye, Agnes; Coutya, Julie; Bialystok, Ellen
Bilingual children have been shown to outperform monolingual children on tasks measuring executive functioning skills. This advantage is usually attributed to bilinguals' extensive practice in exercising selective attention and cognitive flexibility during language use because both languages are active when one of them is being used. We examined…
Boonstra, A.M.; Oosterlaan, J.; Sergeant, J.A.; Buitelaar, J.K.
Background. Several theoretical explanations of ADHD in children have focused on executive functioning as the main explanatory neuropsychological domain for the disorder. In order to establish if these theoretical accounts are supported by research data for adults with ADHD, we compared
Nathanson, Amy I.; Aladé, Fashina; Sharp, Molly L.; Rasmussen, Eric E.; Christy, Katheryn
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…
Bishara, Saied; Kaplan, Shani
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…
Geurts, H.; Sinzig, J.; Booth, R.; Happé, F.
In most research it is common to report results on a group level. For example, various studies report that children and adults with autism show executive function deficits. However, studies often differ in the pattern of findings. We believe this might be partly due to the heterogeneity of the
Aken, L. van; Kessels, R.P.C.; Wingbermühle, P.A.M.; Veld, W.M. van der; Egger, J.I.M.
Objective Fluid intelligence (Gf) has been related to executive functioning (EF) in previous studies, and it is also known to be correlated with crystallized intelligence (Gc). The present study includes representative measures of Gf, Gc, and EF frequently used in clinical practice to examine this
Sepeta, Leigh N.; Casaletto, Kaitlin Blackstone; Terwilliger, Virginia; Facella-Ervolini, Joy; Sady, Maegan; Mayo, Jessica; Gaillard, William D.; Berl, Madison M.
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
McKenna, Róisín; Rushe, T.; Woodcock, Kate A.
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
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.
Sulik, Michael J; Blair, Clancy; Mills-Koonce, Roger; Berry, Daniel; Greenberg, Mark
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, semistructured 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. © 2015 The Authors. Child Development © 2015 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Lan Shuai; David Daley; Yu-Feng Wang; Jin-Song Zhang; Yan-Ting Kong; Xin Tan; Ning Ji
Background:Accumulating evidence indicates that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with core deficits in executive function (EF) which predicts poorer academic and occupational functioning.This makes early intervention targeting EF impairments important to prevent long-term negative outcomes.Cognitive training is a potential ADHD treatment target.The present study aimed to explore the efficacy,feasibility,and acceptability of a cognitive training program (targeting child's multiple EF components and involving parent support in daily life),as a nonpharmacological intervention for children with ADHD.Methods:Forty-four school-age children with ADHD and their parents participated in 12 sessions of EF training (last for 12 weeks) and 88 health controls (HC) were also recruited.Training effects were explored using both neuropsychological tests (Stroop color-word test,Rey-Osterrieth complex figure test,trail making test,tower of Hanoi,and false-belief task) and reports of daily life (ADHD rating scale-Ⅳ,Conners' parent rating scale,and behavior rating inventory of executive function [BRIEF]) by analysis of paired sample t-test and Wilcoxon signed-rank test.The differences on EF performances between children with ADHD after training and HC were explored using multivariate analysis.Results:The results (before vs.after EF training) showed that after intervention,the children with ADHD presented better performances of EF both in neuropsychological tests (word interference of Stroop:36.1 ± 14.6 vs.27.1 ± 11.1,t =4.731,P ＜ 0.001;shift time of TMT:194.9 ± 115.4 vs.124.8 ± 72.4,Z =-4.639,P ＜ 0.001;false-belief task:x2 =6.932,P =0.008) and reports of daily life (global executive composite of BRIEF:148.9 ± 17.5 vs.127.8 ± 17.5,t =6.433,P ＜ 0.001).The performances on EF tasks for children with ADHD after EF training could match with the level of HC children.The ADHD symptoms (ADHD rating scale total score:32.4 ± 8.9 vs.22.9 ± 8.2,t =6.331,P
Wolters Gregório, Gisela; Ponds, Rudolf W H M; Smeets, Sanne M J; Jonker, Frank; Pouwels, Climmy G J G; Verhey, Frans R; van Heugten, Caroline M
To examine the relationships between executive functioning, coping, depressive symptoms, and quality of life in individuals with neuropsychiatric symptoms after acquired brain injury (ABI). Cross-sectional study. Individuals (n = 93) in the post-acute and chronic phase (>3 months) after ABI and their significant others (N = 58) were recruited from outpatient clinics of four mental health centres in the Netherlands. Outcome measures were the Trail Making Test, Stroop Colour Word Test, Frontal Systems Behavioural Scale, Utrecht Coping List, Patient Health Questionnaire, and Life Satisfaction Questionnaire. Data were analysed with multiple regression analyses. Self-reported executive dysfunction was associated with greater use of passive coping styles (β = .37, p executive functioning (β = -.94, p executive functioning tests were not associated with coping, depressive symptoms, or quality of life. For clinicians, these data indicate that individuals who report greater difficulties with executive functioning after ABI are inclined to use maladaptive passive coping styles, which should be targeted in treatment. In comparison, individuals who report greater difficulties with executive functioning should not be prompted to use problem-focused coping styles. These individuals may benefit from other coping styles, such as the use of seeking social support or acceptance of problems. Coping influences the association between executive functioning and quality of life. Individuals who report difficulties with executive functioning after ABI may be inclined to use passive coping styles, which are maladaptive. Problem-focused coping strategies may be more useful for individuals who have strong executive abilities. This study was a cross-sectional study; thus, a cause-and-effect relationship could not be established between executive functioning, coping, and psychosocial functioning. As this research was part of standard clinical care, non-traditional tests for executive
Panesi, Sabrina; Morra, Sergio
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.
Miller, Alison L.; Jong, Hannah; Lumeng, Julie C.
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...
Esbensen, A J; Hoffman, E K
Sleep problems have an impact on executive functioning in the general population. While children with Down syndrome (DS) are at high risk for sleep problems, the impact of these sleep problems on executive functioning in school-age children with DS is less well documented. Our study examined the relationship between parent-reported and actigraphy-measured sleep duration and sleep quality with parent and teacher reports and neuropsychology assessments of executive functioning among school-age children with DS. Thirty school-age children with DS wore an actigraph watch for a week at home at night. Their parent completed ratings of the child's sleep during that same week. Children completed a neuropsychology assessment of their inhibitory control, ability to shift and working memory. Their parents and teachers completed rating scales to assess these same constructs of executive functioning. Parent reports of restless sleep behaviours on the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ), but not actigraph-measured sleep period or efficiency, were predictive of parent reports of concerns with inhibitory control, shifting and working memory, and of teacher reports of inhibitory control. No measure of sleep was predictive of executive functioning as measured by the neuropsychology assessment. The study findings corroborate the preliminary literature that parent-reported sleep problems are related to executive functioning in school-age children with DS, particularly in the area of inhibitory control across home and school. These findings have implications for understanding contributing factors to academic performance and school behaviour in school-age children with DS. © 2018 MENCAP and International Association of the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Kennedy, J. R.; Fitzpatrick, W. S.
The computer executive functional system design concepts derived from study of the Space Station/Base are presented. Information Management System hardware configuration as directly influencing the executive design is reviewed. The hardware configuration and generic executive design requirements are considered in detail in a previous report (System Configuration and Executive Requirements Specifications for Reusable Shuttle and Space Station/Base, 9/25/70). This report defines basic system primitives and delineates processes and process control. Supervisor states are considered for describing basic multiprogramming and multiprocessing systems. A high-level computer executive including control of scheduling, allocation of resources, system interactions, and real-time supervisory functions is defined. The description is oriented to provide a baseline for a functional simulation of the computer executive system.
Nikulina, Valentina; Widom, Cathy Spatz
Objective There is extensive evidence of negative consequences of childhood maltreatment for IQ, academic achievement, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and increased attention to neurobiological consequences. However, few prospective studies have assessed the long-term effects of abuse and neglect on executive functioning. The current study examines whether childhood abuse and neglect predicts components of executive functioning and nonverbal reasoning ability in middle adulthood and whether PTSD moderates this relationship. Method Using a prospective cohort design, a large sample (N = 792) of court-substantiated cases of childhood physical and sexual abuse and neglect (ages 0-11) and matched controls were followed into adulthood (mean age = 41). Executive functioning was assessed with the Trail Making B test and non-verbal reasoning with Matrix Reasoning. PTSD (DSM-III-R lifetime diagnosis) was assessed at age 29. Data were analyzed using ordinary least squares regressions, controlling for age, sex, and race and possible confounds of IQ, depression, and excessive alcohol use. Results In multivariate analyses, childhood maltreatment overall and childhood neglect predicted poorer executive functioning and non-verbal reasoning at age 41, whereas physical and sexual abuse did not. A past history of PTSD did not mediate or moderate these relations. Conclusions Childhood maltreatment and neglect specifically have a significant long-term impact on important aspects of adult neuropsychological functioning. These findings suggest the need for targeted efforts dedicated to interventions for neglected children. PMID:23876115
Penadés, Rafael; Catalán, Rosa; Puig, Olga; Masana, Guillem; Pujol, Núria; Navarro, Víctor; Guarch, Joana; Gastó, Cristóbal
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.
Full Text Available The aging of the Western society has become one of the key issues in research. Lately research has shown relationship between improvement in cognitive functioning and involvement in physical activities. The aim of the study was to examine the impact of different types of physical activities on executive functioning. Overall 30 seniors aged from 65 participated in a two-day study. They were divided into three groups per their life-style – aerobic activity, strength training and sedentary. Results indicated differences between the groups in cognitive efficiency (F = 6.791, p < 0.01 and working memory (F = 6.179, p < 0.01 as well as the inhibition of attention (F = 4.311, p < 0.01. The mean scores were higher in the aerobic group. The results indicate that involvement in aerobic physical activity might lessen the decline in executive functioning in seniors.
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.
Yeh, Zai-Ting; Tsai, Ming-Cheng; Tsai, Ming-Dar; Lo, Chiao-Yu; Wang, Kaw-Chen
"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.
Nyquist, Jillian M; Phillips, Ceib; Stein, Margot; Koroluk, Lorne D
Executive function is the ability to guide behavior to achieve goals or complete tasks. This study explored the relationship between executive function, as assessed by the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function Parent Form Questionnaire (BRIEF ® ) and incisor trauma. This study included children in the mixed dentition with recent incisor trauma (n=28) and a control group (n=30) without recent incisor trauma. Subjects' parents completed the BRIEF ® , while a clinical examination assessed subjects' occlusal relationships. Parents also completed a custom questionnaire that investigated their child's medical history and daily activities. Fisher Exact and unpaired t-tests compared BRIEF ® scores, occlusal characteristics, medical history, and reported daily activities of the two groups. The trauma group had a greater percentage of participants with a Class II dental relationship (p=0.01). There was no significant difference between groups with respect to mean BRIEF ® t-scores within the Global Executive Composite. There was a statistically significant difference between groups with respect to the percentage of subjects with clinically significant (≥65) BRIEF ® t-scores within the Inhibit (p=0.05) and Emotional Control (p=0.02) subscales and Behavioral Regulation Index (p=0.02). There were no statistically significant differences between groups with respect to age, gender, overbite, overjet, medical history, body mass index, or daily activities. Children in the mixed dentition with a Class II dental relationship are at greater risk for incisor injury, as well as those involved in outdoor activities. Specific executive dysfunctions such as impulsivity and poor emotional control may increase the risk for incisor trauma. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Hamilton, Jackie; Radlak, Bogna; Morris, Paul G; Phillips, Louise H
Cognitive deficits following stroke are well documented, but less is known about problems with social skills such as understanding others' thoughts and feelings. This study investigated the effect of stroke on a visual-affective measure of social understanding: the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test (RMET). The aims were to investigate whether right hemisphere stroke was particularly detrimental to this aspect of Theory of Mind (ToM), and investigate the relationship between ToM ability and executive function following stroke. Performance of stroke patients (right hemisphere stroke, n = 15; left hemisphere stroke, n = 15) was compared to that of controls (n = 40) matched for age, years of education, and IQ on tasks measuring ToM and executive functioning. Right hemisphere stroke was associated with impaired ToM ability, but left hemisphere stroke was not. There was no effect of stroke on a matched non-ToM control task. High correlations were found between performance on the RMET and some measures of executive functioning in participants with right hemisphere stroke only. Further analyses suggested that deficits in executive functioning could not statistically explain all of the difficulties shown by stroke participants on the RMET. A reduction in the ability to attribute mental states to others following right hemisphere stroke may adversely affect psychosocial functioning, disrupt interpersonal relationships, and lead to reduced quality of life. The clinical importance of these findings, implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yang, Juan; Guo, Juncheng; Jiang, Xiangling
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.
Blanco, Nathaniel J; Maddox, W Todd; Gonzalez-Lima, Francisco
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.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of acute stress on parallel task performance with the Game of Dice Task (GDT) to measure decision making and the Stroop test. Two previous studies have found that the combination of stress and a parallel task with the GDT and an executive functions task preserved performance on the GDT for a stress group compared to a control group. The purpose of this study was to create and use a new parallel task with the GDT and the stroop test to elu...
Grane, Venke Arntsberg; Endestad, Tor; Pinto, Arnfrid Farbu; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin
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
Grane, Venke Arntsberg; Endestad, Tor; Pinto, Arnfrid Farbu; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin
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.
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.
Chen, Tingting; Yue, Guang H.; Tian, Yingxue; Jiang, Changhao
This study aims at comparing the effects of the Baduanjin mind-body (BMB) intervention with a conventional relaxation training program on enhancing the executive function. The study also attempts to explore the neural substrates underlying the cognitive effect of BMB intervention using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) technique. Forty-two healthy college students were randomly allocated into either the Baduanjin intervention group or relaxation training (control) group. Training lasted for 8...
Engelhardt, Laura E.; Mann, Frank D.; Briley, Daniel A.; Church, Jessica A.; Harden, K. Paige; Tucker-Drob, Elliot M.
Executive functions (EFs) are cognitive processes that control, monitor, and coordinate more basic cognitive processes. EFs play instrumental roles in models of complex reasoning, learning, and decision-making, and individual differences in EFs have been consistently linked with individual differences in intelligence. By middle childhood, genetic factors account for a moderate proportion of the variance in intelligence, and these effects increase in magnitude through adolescence. Genetic infl...
Karr, Justin E; Hofer, Scott M; Iverson, Grant L; Garcia-Barrera, Mauricio A
The current study aimed to determine whether the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) taps into three executive function factors (inhibition, shifting, fluency) and to assess the relationship between these factors and tests of executive-related constructs less often measured in latent variable research: reasoning, abstraction, and problem solving. Participants included 425 adults from the D-KEFS standardization sample (20-49 years old; 50.1% female; 70.1% White). Eight alternative measurement models were compared based on model fit, with test scores assigned a priori to three factors: inhibition (Color-Word Interference, Tower), shifting (Trail Making, Sorting, Design Fluency), and fluency (Verbal/Design Fluency). The Twenty Questions, Word Context, and Proverb Tests were predicted in separate structural models. The three-factor model fit the data well (CFI = 0.938; RMSEA = 0.047), although a two-factor model, with shifting and fluency merged, fit similarly well (CFI = 0.929; RMSEA = 0.048). A bifactor model fit best (CFI = 0.977; RMSEA = 0.032) and explained the most variance in shifting indicators, but rarely converged among 5,000 bootstrapped samples. When the three first-order factors simultaneously predicted the criterion variables, only shifting was uniquely predictive (p measuring executive-related constructs and provide a framework through which clinicians can interpret D-KEFS results.
Chen, Tingting; Yue, Guang H; Tian, Yingxue; Jiang, Changhao
This study aims at comparing the effects of the Baduanjin mind-body (BMB) intervention with a conventional relaxation training program on enhancing the executive function. The study also attempts to explore the neural substrates underlying the cognitive effect of BMB intervention using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) technique. Forty-two healthy college students were randomly allocated into either the Baduanjin intervention group or relaxation training (control) group. Training lasted for 8 weeks (90 min/day, 5 days/week). Each participant was administered the shortened Profile of Mood States to evaluate their mood status and the flanker task to evaluate executive function before and after training. While performing the flanker task, the NIRS data were collected from each participant. After training, individuals who have participated in BMB exercise showed a significant reduction in depressive mood compared with the same measure before the intervention. However, participants in the control group showed no such reduction. The before vs. after measurement difference in the flanker task incongruent trails was significant only for the Baduanjin intervention group. Interestingly, an increase in oxygenated hemoglobin in the left prefrontal cortex was observed during the Incongruent Trails test only after the BMB exercise intervention. These findings implicate that Baduanjin is an effective and easy-to-administering mind-body exercise for improving executive function and perhaps brain self-regulation in a young and healthy population.
Fatima, Shameem; Sharif, Imran
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.
Lam, Linda C W; Lui, Victor W C; Chiu, Helen F K; Chan, Sandra S M; Tam, Cindy W C
The neurocognitive profile of community-dwelling Chinese subjects with 'questionable' dementia was studied. One hundred and fifty-four ambulatory Chinese subjects were recruited from local social centers for the elderly. Each subject was examined using the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR), the Cantonese version of the Mini-Mental State Examination (CMMSE), the Chinese version of the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog), the Category Verbal Fluency Test (CVFT), digit and visual span tests, and the Cambridge Neurological Inventory. The neurocognitive profile of nondemented subjects (CDR 0) was compared with that of subjects with 'questionable' dementia (CDR 0.5). Subjects with 'questionable' dementia were older, and had lower educational levels and global cognitive assessment scores than the controls (CMMSE and ADAS-Cog; t tests, p < 0.001). In addition, they also had significantly lower scores in delayed recall, reverse span, verbal fluency tests and worse performance in complex motor tasks related to executive function (Mann-Whitney tests, p < 0.001). Logistic regression analysis revealed that ADAS-Cog, CVFT, and reverse visual span were significant predictors for the CDR of 'questionable' dementia. Aside from memory impairment, executive function deficits were also present in subjects with 'questionable' dementia. To identify groups cognitively at risk for dementia, concomitant assessments of memory and executive function are suggested.
de Frias, Cindy M; Dixon, Roger A; Strauss, Esther
The authors examined the factor structure of 4 indicators of executive functioning derived from 2 new (i.e., Hayling and Brixton) and 2 traditional (i.e., Stroop and Color Trails) tests. Data were from a cross-sectional sample of 55- to 85-year-old healthy adults (N=427) from the Victoria Longitudinal Study. Confirmatory factor analysis (LISREL 8.52) tested both a 2-factor model of Inhibition (Hayling, Stroop) and Shifting (Brixton, Color Trails) and a single-factor model. The 2-factor model did not fit the data because the covariance matrix of the factors was not positive definite. The single-factor model fit the data well, chi(2)(2, N=427)=0.32, p=.85, root-mean-square error of approximation (RMSEA)=.00, comparative fit index (CFI)=1.00, goodness-of-fit index (GFI)=1.00. Moreover, the single-factor structure of executive functioning was invariant (configural and metric) across gender, and invariant (configural with limited metric) across age. Structural relations showed that poorer executive functioning performance was related to older age and lower fluid intelligence, chi(2)(11, N=418)=23.04, p=.02, RMSEA=.05, CFI=.97, GFI=.98.
Sulik, Michael J.; Blair, Clancy; Mills-Koonce, Roger; Berry, Daniel; Greenberg, Mark
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 external...
Full Text Available The past years have seen an incredible increase in the quality and success rates of treatments in pediatric medicine. One of the resulting major challenges refers to the management of primary or secondary residual executive function deficits in affected children. These deficits lead to problems in the ability to acquire, understand, and apply abstract and complex knowledge and to plan, direct, and control actions. Executive functions deficits are important to consider because they are highly predictive of functioning in social and academic aspects of daily life. We argue that current clinical practice does not sufficiently account for the complex cognitive processes in this population. This is because widely applied pharmacological interventions only rarely account for the complexity of the underlying neuronal mechanisms and do not fit well into possibly powerful “individualized medicine” approaches. Novel treatment approaches targeting deficits in executive functions in seriously ill children could focus on neuronal oscillations, as these have some specific relations to different aspects of executive function. Importantly, such treatment approaches can be individually tailored to the individuals’ deficits and can be transferred into home-treatment or e-health solutions. These approaches are easy-to-use, can be easily integrated into daily life, and are becoming increasingly cost-effective.
Costanzo, Floriana; Varuzza, Cristiana; Menghini, Deny; Addona, Francesca; Gianesini, Tiziana; Vicari, Stefano
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…
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.
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.
Hogan, Alexandra M; Telfer, Paul T; Kirkham, Fenella J; de Haan, Michelle
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.
Almasi, Gheorghe; Archer, Charles J.; Giampapa, Mark E.; Gooding, Thomas M.; Heidelberger, Philip; Parker, Jeffrey J.
Executing application function calls in response to an interrupt including creating a thread; receiving an interrupt having an interrupt type; determining whether a value of a semaphore represents that interrupts are disabled; if the value of the semaphore represents that interrupts are not disabled: calling, by the thread, one or more preconfigured functions in dependence upon the interrupt type of the interrupt; yielding the thread; and if the value of the semaphore represents that interrupts are disabled: setting the value of the semaphore to represent to a kernel that interrupts are hard-disabled; and hard-disabling interrupts at the kernel.
Holm, Marja E; Aunio, Pirjo; Björn, Piia M; Klenberg, Liisa; Korhonen, Johan; Hannula, Markku S
This study investigates behavioral executive functions (EFs) in the mathematics classroom context among adolescents with different mathematics performance levels. The EF problems were assessed by teachers using a behavioral rating inventory. Using cutoff scores on a standardized mathematics assessment, groups with mathematics difficulties (MD; n = 124), low mathematics performance (LA; n = 140), and average or higher scores (AC; n = 355) were identified. Results showed that the MD group had more problems with distractibility, directing attention, shifting attention, initiative, execution of action, planning, and evaluation than the LA group, whereas the differences in hyperactivity, impulsivity, and sustaining attention were not significant. Compared to the AC group, the MD group showed more problems with all behavioral EFs except hyperactivity and impulsivity, while the LA group showed more problems only with shifting attention. Male adolescents showed more behavioral EF problems than female adolescents, but this gender difference was negligible within the MD group. The practical implications of the results are discussed.
Miller, Alison L; Lee, Hannah J; Lumeng, Julie C
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.
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.
Jenks, Kathleen M; de Moor, Jan; van Lieshout, Ernest C D M
Although it is believed that children with cerebral palsy are at high risk for learning difficulties and arithmetic difficulties in particular, few studies have investigated this issue. Arithmetic ability was longitudinally assessed in children with cerebral palsy in special (n = 41) and mainstream education (n = 16) and controls in mainstream education (n = 16). Second grade executive function and working memory scores were used to predict third grade arithmetic accuracy and response time. Children with cerebral palsy in special education were less accurate and slower than their peers on all arithmetic tests, even after controlling for IQ, whereas children with cerebral palsy in mainstream education performed as well as controls. Although the performance gap became smaller over time, it did not disappear. Children with cerebral palsy in special education showed evidence of executive function and working memory deficits in shifting, updating, visuospatial sketchpad and phonological loop (for digits, not words) whereas children with cerebral palsy in mainstream education only had a deficit in visuospatial sketchpad. Hierarchical regression revealed that, after controlling for intelligence, components of executive function and working memory explained large proportions of unique variance in arithmetic accuracy and response time and these variables were sufficient to explain group differences in simple, but not complex, arithmetic. Children with cerebral palsy are at risk for specific executive function and working memory deficits that, when present, increase the risk for arithmetic difficulties in these children.
Allen, Taryn M; Anderson, Lindsay M; Rothman, Jennifer A; Bonner, Melanie J
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.
Ahmed, Fayeza S; Miller, L Stephen
Theory of mind (ToM) is the ability to comprehend another person's perspective. Although there is much literature of ToM in children, there is a limited and somewhat inconclusive amount of studies examining ToM in a geriatric population. This study examined ToM's relationship to functional independence. Two tests of ToM, tests of executive function, and a measure of functional ability were administered to cognitively intact older adults. Results showed that 1 test of ToM (Strange Stories test) significantly accounted for variance in functional ability, whereas the other did not (Faux Pas test). In addition, Strange Stories test performance was partially driven by a verbal abstraction-based executive function: proverb interpretation. A multiple mediation model was employed to examine whether executive functions explained the relationship between the Strange Stories test and functional ability. Results showed that both the combined and individual indirect effects of the executive function measures mediated the relationship. We argue that, although components of ToM are associated with functional independence, ToM does not appear to account for additional variance in functional independence beyond executive function measures. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.
Rachel K. Peterson
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.
Parada, María; Corral, Montserrat; Mota, Nayara; Crego, Alberto; Rodríguez Holguín, Socorro; Cadaveira, Fernando
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.
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
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).
Nielsen, Ulrik Dam; H. Brodtkorb, Astrid; Jensen, Jørgen Juncher
This article studies a procedure that facilitates short-time, deterministic predictions of the wave-induced motion of a marine vessel, where it is understood that the future motion of the vessel is calculated ahead of time. Such predictions are valuable to assist in the execution of many marine......-induced response in study. Thus, predicted (future) values ahead of time for a given time history recording are computed through a mathematical combination of the sample autocorrelation function and previous measurements recorded just prior to the moment of action. Importantly, the procedure does not need input...... show that predictions can be successfully made in a time horizon corresponding to about 8-9 wave periods ahead of current time (the moment of action)....
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
Sharman, R.; Sullivan, K.; Young, R.; McGill, J.
Previous research shows consistent and marked executive function impairment in children with early and continuously treated phenylketonuria. This between groups analysis (phenylketonuria group vs sibling controls) found no significant differences in executive function (although adolescents with phenylketonuria performed slightly worse than their siblings). Biochemical relationships with executive function were confined to long-term measures of high phenylalanine:tyrosine ratio exposure, as we...
Follmer, D. Jake; Sperling, Rayne A.
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…
Ajilchi, Bita; Nejati, Vahid
This study aimed to investigate and compare the executive functions of students with depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms with those functions in healthy ones. This study was a comparative and non-clinical analysis. The study population comprised all students of Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran. A total of 448 students were recruited using convenience sampling method. They were also screened using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) test comprising 21 items. Of study participants, 30 people were depressed, 27 had anxiety, and 15 suffered from stress. Then, 50 control people were matched with them. Next, both groups were compared using the Stroop test, Wisconsin card sorting, and cognitive ability test. Using MANOVA test, data analysis revealed no significant differences among 4 groups with regard to selective attention and shifting attention. Depressed group reacted rapidly as opposed to the anxiety group with regard to measures of shifting attention and cognitive abilities; it was observed that the memory, inhibition control, planning, and flexibility of the healthy group were better than those of the 3 other groups. The findings of this research raised specific issues in relation to the role of depression, anxiety, and stress in the disruption of the executive functions of sufferers. Selective and shifting attention and cognitive abilities are specifically affected in this regard. Meanwhile, the role of stress in impairing decision making and the major role of anxiety in impairing sustained attention was shown to be considerable.
Grekin, Emily R; Brennan, Patricia A; Hammen, Constance
This study examines the relationship between parental alcohol use disorders (AUDs) and child violent and nonviolent delinquency. It also explores the mediating effects of executive functioning and chronic family stress on the parental AUD/child delinquency relationship. Participants were 816 families with children (414 boys and 402 girls) born between 1981 and 1984 at Mater Misericordiae Mother's Hospital in Brisbane, Australia. Parents and children completed semistructured interviews, questionnaires and neuropsychological tests that assessed parental alcohol use, family psychiatric history, chronic family stress, child delinquency and child executive functioning. Paternal (but not maternal) AUDs predicted child violent and nonviolent delinquency. Executive functioning mediated the relationship between paternal AUDs and violent delinquency, whereas family stress mediated the relationship between paternal AUDs and both violent and nonviolent delinquency. Results support a biosocial conceptualization of the paternal AUD/delinquency relationship. They suggest that paternal AUDs may be associated with child executive functioning and family stress, which may in turn lead to child delinquency.
Nathan F. Johnson
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.
Hensler, Molly; Wolfe, Kelly; Lebensburger, Jeffrey; Nieman, Jilian; Barnes, Margaux; Nolan, William; King, Allison; Madan-Swain, Avi
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: email@example.com.
Robbins, T W; Arnsten, A F T
We review the modulatory effects of the catecholamine neurotransmitters noradrenaline and dopamine on prefrontal cortical function. The effects of pharmacologic manipulations of these systems, sometimes in comparison with the indoleamine serotonin (5-HT), on performance on a variety of tasks that tap working memory, attentional-set formation and shifting, reversal learning, and response inhibition are compared in rodents, nonhuman primates, and humans using, in a behavioral context, several techniques ranging from microiontophoresis and single-cell electrophysiological recording to pharmacologic functional magnetic resonance imaging. Dissociable effects of drugs and neurotoxins affecting these monoamine systems suggest new ways of conceptualizing state-dependent fronto-executive functions, with implications for understanding the molecular genetic basis of mental illness and its treatment.
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.
Sharfi, Kineret; Rosenblum, Sara
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.
Oberer, Nicole; Gashaj, Venera; Roebers, Claudia M
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.
van Aken, Loes; Kessels, Roy P C; Wingbermühle, Ellen; van der Veld, William M; Egger, Jos I M
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.
Mansouri, Farshad A; Rosa, Marcello G P; Atapour, Nafiseh
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.
Watanabe, Tatsunori; Koyama, Soichiro; Tanabe, Shigeo; Nojima, Ippei
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.
Mondéjar, Tania; Hervás, Ramón; Johnson, Esperanza; Gutierrez, Carlos; Latorre, José Miguel
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.
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.
Carlson, Stephanie M; Meltzoff, Andrew N
Advanced inhibitory control skills have been found in bilingual speakers as compared to monolingual controls (Bialystok, 1999). We examined whether this effect is generalized to an unstudied language group (Spanish-English bilingual) and multiple measures of executive function by administering a battery of tasks to 50 kindergarten children drawn from three language groups: native bilinguals, monolinguals (English), and English speakers enrolled in second-language immersion kindergarten. Despite having significantly lower verbal scores and parent education/income level, Spanish-English bilingual children's raw scores did not differ from their peers. After statistically controlling for these factors and age, native bilingual children performed significantly better on the executive function battery than both other groups. Importantly, the relative advantage was significant for tasks that appear to call for managing conflicting attentional demands (Conflict tasks); there was no advantage on impulse-control (Delay tasks). These results advance our understanding of both the generalizability and specificity of the compensatory effects of bilingual experience for children's cognitive development.
Wittke, Kacie; Spaulding, Tammie J.; Schechtman, Calli J.
Purpose: The current study used the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function--Preschool Version (BRIEF-P; Gioia, Espy, & Isquith, 2003), a rating scale designed to investigate executive behaviors in everyday activities, to examine the executive functioning of preschool children with specific language impairment (SLI) relative to their…
Joyner, Krystle B.; Silver, Cheryl H.; Stavinoha, Peter L.
Executive functioning is important to assess in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Parent report is used to obtain information about a child's executive functioning; however, parent report can be influenced by many factors. This study's hypothesis was that higher ratings of children's executive dysfunction are…
Raudszus, H.; Segers, P.C.J.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.
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
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.
Phillips, L. Alison; Gardner, Benjamin
Objective: 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 emp...
Kudlicka, Aleksandra; Hindle, John V; Spencer, Laura E; Clare, Linda
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
Mercader, Jessica; Miranda, Ana; Presentación, M Jesús; Siegenthaler, Rebeca; Rosel, Jesús F
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.
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.
Richeson, Jennifer A; Shelton, J Nicole
This study examined the influence of interracial interaction on the cognitive functioning of members of a dominant racial group. White participants had a brief interaction with either a White or a Black confederate, and then completed an ostensibly unrelated Stroop color-naming test. Prior to the interaction, participants' racial attitudes regarding Whites and Blacks were measured via the Implicit Association Test. Racial attitudes were predictive of impairment on the Stroop test for individuals who participated in interracial interactions, but not for those who participated in same-race interactions. The results are consistent with recently proposed resource models of self-regulation and executive control in that interracial interaction, a particularly taxing exercise of self-regulation for highly prejudiced individuals, negatively affected performance on a subsequent, yet unrelated, test of executive function.
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.
Levan, Ashley; Black, Garrett; Mietchen, Jonathan; Baxter, Leslie; Brock Kirwan, C; Gale, Shawn D
Cognitive and social outcomes may be negatively affected in children with a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI). We hypothesized that executive function would mediate the association between right frontal pole cortical thickness and problematic social behaviors. Child participants with a history of TBI were recruited from inpatient admissions for long-term follow-up (n = 23; average age = 12.8, average time post-injury =3.2 years). Three measures of executive function, the Trail Making Test, verbal fluency test, and the Conners' Continuous Performance Test-Second edition (CPT-II), were administered to each participant while caregivers completed the Childhood Behavior Checklist (CBCL). All participants underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging following cognitive testing. Regression analysis demonstrated right frontal pole cortical thickness significantly predicted social problems. Measures of executive functioning also significantly predicted social problems; however, the mediation model testing whether executive function mediated the relationship between cortical thickness and social problems was not statistically significant. Right frontal pole cortical thickness and omission errors on the CPT-II predicted Social Problems on the CBCL. Results did not indicate that the association between cortical thickness and social problems was mediated by executive function.
Rajtar-Zembaty, Anna; Sałakowski, Andrzej; Rajtar-Zembaty, Jakub
Nowadays it is believed that cognitive decline may contribute to the formation of gait disturbance and increased risk of falls. Currently the importance of executive functions to maintain proper control of gait is emphasized. The aim of the study was to assess the relationship between the level of executive function, functional and physical capability in patients over 60 years of age. The study included 300 patients (199 women and 101 men) aged 60-88 years. In order to screening for cognitive function Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) was used. The following researchers tools were used to conduct functional assessment: a) Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), b) Timed “Up and Go” (TUG) and c) Fast Walking Test. To assess executive fucntion Trail Making Test (TMT) was selected. The relationship between the speed of information processing (part A, TMT), executive functions (Part B, TMT), level of functional and physical capability was observed. The strongest positive correlation was noted between the time of TUG test and TMT part B (r=0.32; pphysical capability in patients over 60 years of age. Cognitive processes play an important role in the control of motor functions therefore it is important to incorporate examination of cognitive functions in the early geriatric diagnosis.
Goodkind, Madeleine S; Gallagher-Thompson, Dolores; Thompson, Larry W; Kesler, Shelli R; Anker, Lauren; Flournoy, John; Berman, Mika P; Holland, Jason M; O'Hara, Ruth M
Late-life depression (LLD) is a common and debilitating condition among older adults. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has strong empirical support for the treatment of depression in all ages, including in LLD. In teaching patients to identify, monitor, and challenge negative patterns in their thinking, CBT for LLD relies heavily on cognitive processes and, in particular, executive functioning, such as planning, sequencing, organizing, and selectively inhibiting information. It may be that the effectiveness of CBT lies in its ability to train these cognitive areas. Participants with LLD completed a comprehensive neuropsychological battery before enrolling in CBT. The current study examined the relationship between neuropsychological function prior to treatment and response to CBT. When using three baseline measures of executive functioning that quantify set shifting, cognitive flexibility, and response inhibition to predict treatment response, only baseline Wisconsin Card Sort Task performance was associated with a significant drop in depression symptoms after CBT. Specifically, worse performance on the Wisconsin Card Sort Task was associated with better treatment response. These results suggest that CBT, which teaches cognitive techniques for improving psychiatric symptoms, may be especially beneficial in LLD if relative weaknesses in specific areas of executive functioning are present. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Headley, Alison; De Leon-Benedetti, Andres; Dong, Chuanhui; Levin, Bonnie; Loewenstein, David; Camargo, Christian; Rundek, Tatjana; Zetterberg, Henrik; Blennow, Kaj; Wright, Clinton B; Sun, Xiaoyan
To determine whether high CSF levels of neurogranin (Ng) predict longitudinal decline in memory and executive function during early-stage Alzheimer disease (AD). Baseline levels of CSF Ng were studied in relation to cross-sectional and longitudinal cognitive performance over 8 years. Data were obtained from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative database, and participants with normal cognition (n = 111) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) (n = 193) were included. High levels of CSF Ng were associated with poor baseline memory scores (β = -0.21, p the rate of decline by tertiles was examined, CSF Ng was a level-dependent predictor of memory function, whereby the group with highest levels of Ng showed the fastest rates of decline in both memory and executive function. When examined separately, elevated Ng was associated with cognitive decline in participants with MCI but not in those with normal cognition. The levels of CSF Ng were not associated with cognitive measures when tau and amyloid 42 (Aβ 42 ) were controlled for in these analyses. High CSF Ng associates with poor memory scores in participants with MCI cross-sectionally and with poor memory and executive function longitudinally. The association of Ng with cognitive measures disappears when tau and Aβ 42 are included in the statistical models. Our findings suggest that CSF Ng may serve as a biomarker of cognition. Synaptic dysfunction contributes to cognitive impairment in early-stage AD. © 2018 American Academy of Neurology.
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.
Mor, Billy; Yitzhaki-Amsalem, Sarin; Prior, Anat
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.
Harper, David G; Joe, Elizabeth B; Jensen, J Eric; Ravichandran, Caitlin; Forester, Brent P
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.
Joppich, Gregor; Däuper, Jan; Dengler, Reinhard; Johannes, Sönke; Rodriguez-Fornells, Antoni; Münte, Thomas F
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.
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
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.
Zhong, Jidan; Rifkin-Graboi, Anne; Ta, Anh Tuan; Yap, Kar Lai; Chuang, Kai-Hsiang; Meaney, Michael J; Qiu, Anqi
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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...
Godoy, Victor Polignano; Mata, Fernanda Gomes Da; Conde, Bárbara Romaneli; Souza, Caroline Antunes de Oliveira e; Martins, Ana Luiza Guimarães; Mattos, Paulo; Miranda, Débora Marques de; Malloy-Diniz, Leandro Fernandes
Abstract Background Considering the importance of Executive Functions to clinical and nonclinical situations, Barkley proposed a new theory of executive functioning based on an evolutionary neuropsychological perspective and clinical research using large samples of clinical and community identified adults and children as well as children with ADHD followed to adulthood. Objective The present study aims to adapt the Barkley Deficits in Executive Functions Scales (BDEFS) to Brazilian Portug...
Ho, Ming-Chou; Chen, Vincent Chin-Hung; Chao, Seh-Huang; Fang, Ching-Tzu; Liu, Yi-Chun; Weng, Jun-Cheng
Obesity is one of the most challenging problems in human health and is recognized as an important risk factor for many chronic diseases. It remains unclear how the neural systems (e.g., the mesolimbic "reward" and the prefrontal "control" neural systems) are correlated with patients' executive function (EF), conceptualized as the integration of "cool" EF and "hot" EF. "Cool" EF refers to relatively abstract, non-affective operations such as inhibitory control and mental flexibility. "Hot" EF refers to motivationally significant affective operations such as affective decision-making. We tried to find the correlation between structural and functional neuroimaging indices and EF in obese patients. The study population comprised seventeen patients with obesity (seven males and 10 females, BMI = 37.99 ± 5.40, age = 31.82 ± 8.75 year-old) preparing to undergo bariatric surgery. We used noninvasive diffusion tensor imaging, generalized q-sampling imaging, and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the neural correlations between structural and functional neuroimaging indices and EF performances in patients with obesity. We reported that many brain areas are correlated to the patients' EF performances. More interestingly, some correlations may implicate the possible associations of EF and the incentive motivational effects of food. The neural correlation between the left precuneus and middle occipital gyrus and inhibitory control may suggest that patients with a better ability to detect appetitive food may have worse inhibitory control. Also, the neural correlation between the superior frontal blade and affective decision-making may suggest that patients' affective decision-making may be associated with the incentive motivational effects of food. Our results provide evidence suggesting neural correlates of EF in patients with obesity.
Yu, Shao Hua; Zhu, Jun Peng; Xu, You; Zheng, Lei Lei; Chai, Hao; He, Wei; Liu, Wei Bo; Li, Hui Chun; Wang, Wei
To study the contribution of executive function to abnormal recognition of facial expressions of emotion in schizophrenia patients. Abnormal recognition of facial expressions of emotion was assayed according to Japanese and Caucasian facial expressions of emotion (JACFEE), Wisconsin card sorting test (WCST), positive and negative symptom scale, and Hamilton anxiety and depression scale, respectively, in 88 paranoid schizophrenia patients and 75 healthy volunteers. Patients scored higher on the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale and the Hamilton Anxiety and Depression Scales, displayed lower JACFEE recognition accuracies and poorer WCST performances. The JACFEE recognition accuracy of contempt and disgust was negatively correlated with the negative symptom scale score while the recognition accuracy of fear was positively with the positive symptom scale score and the recognition accuracy of surprise was negatively with the general psychopathology score in patients. Moreover, the WCST could predict the JACFEE recognition accuracy of contempt, disgust, and sadness in patients, and the perseverative errors negatively predicted the recognition accuracy of sadness in healthy volunteers. The JACFEE recognition accuracy of sadness could predict the WCST categories in paranoid schizophrenia patients. Recognition accuracy of social-/moral emotions, such as contempt, disgust and sadness is related to the executive function in paranoid schizophrenia patients, especially when regarding sadness. Copyright © 2012 The Editorial Board of Biomedical and Environmental Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Gutiérrez-Colina, Ana M; Eaton, Cyd K; Lee, Jennifer L; Reed-Knight, Bonney; Loiselle, Kristin; Mee, Laura L; LaMotte, Julia; Liverman, Rochelle; Blount, Ronald L
OBJECTIVE : To evaluate levels of executive functioning in a sample of adolescent and young adult (AYA) transplant recipients, and to examine executive functioning in association with barriers to adherence and medication nonadherence. METHOD : In all, 41 caregivers and 39 AYAs were administered self- and proxy-report measures. RESULTS : AYA transplant recipients have significant impairments in executive functioning abilities. Greater dysfunction in specific domains of executive functioning was significantly associated with more barriers to adherence and greater medication nonadherence. CONCLUSION : AYA transplant recipients are at increased risk for executive dysfunction. The assessment of executive functioning abilities may guide intervention efforts designed to decrease barriers to adherence and promote developmentally appropriate levels of treatment responsibility. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Pediatric Psychology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Manning, Kevin J; Alexopoulos, George S; Banerjee, Samprit; Morimoto, Sarah Shizuko; Seirup, Joanna K; Klimstra, Sibel A; Yuen, Genevieve; Kanellopoulos, Theodora; Gunning-Dixon, Faith
Executive dysfunction may play a key role in the pathophysiology of late-life depression. Executive dysfunction can be assessed with cognitive tests and subjective report of difficulties with executive skills. The present study investigated the association between subjective report of executive functioning complaints and time to escitalopram treatment response in older adults with major depressive disorder (MDD). 100 older adults with MDD (58 with executive functioning complaints and 42 without executive functioning complaints) completed a 12-week trial of escitalopram. Treatment response over 12 weeks, as measured by repeated Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores, was compared for adults with and without executive complaints using mixed-effects modeling. Mixed effects analysis revealed a significant group × time interaction, F(1, 523.34) = 6.00, p = 0.01. Depressed older adults who reported executive functioning complaints at baseline demonstrated a slower response to escitalopram treatment than those without executive functioning complaints. Self-report of executive functioning difficulties may be a useful prognostic indicator for subsequent speed of response to antidepressant medication. Copyright © 2015 American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gerstle, Melissa; Beebe, Dean W.; Drotar, Dennis; Cassedy, Amy; Marino, Bradley S.
Objective To investigate the presence and severity of real-world impairments in executive functioning– responsible for children’s regulatory skills (metacognition, behavioral regulation) – and its potential impact on school performance among pediatric survivors of complex congenital heart disease (CHD). Study design Survivors of complex CHD aged 8–16 years (n=143)and their parents/guardians from a regional CHD survivor registry participated (81% participation rate). Parents completed proxy measures of executive functioning, school competency, and school-related quality of life (QOL). Patients also completed a measure of school QOL and underwent IQ testing. Patients were categorized into two groups based on heart lesion complexity: two-ventricle or single-ventricle. Results Survivors of complex CHD performed significantly worse than norms for executive functioning, IQ, school competency, and school QOL. Metacognition was more severely affected than behavioral regulation, and metacognitive deficits were more often present in older children. Even after taking into account demographic factors, disease severity, and IQ, metacognition uniquely and strongly predicted poorer school performance. In exploratory analyses, patients with single-ventricle lesions were rated as having lower school competency and school QOL, and patients with two-ventricle lesions were rated as having poorer behavioral regulation. Conclusions Survivors of complex CHD experience greater executive functioning difficulties than healthy peers, with metacognition particularly impacted and particularly relevant for day-to-day school performance. Especially in older children, clinicians should watch for metacognitive deficits, such as problems with organization, planning, self-monitoring, and follow-through on tasks. PMID:26875011
Stadskleiv, K.; Tetzchner, S. von; Batorowicz, B.; Balkom, L.J.M. van; Dahlgren-Sandberg, A.; Renner, G.
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
Raver, C. Cybele; Blair, Clancy; Willoughby, Michael
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
Ursache, Alexandra; Noble, Kimberly G
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.
Wu, Meng; Liang, Xi; Lu, Shan; Wang, Zhengyan
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.
Anastasia K Kalpakidou
Full Text Available Individuals who were born very preterm (VPT; <33 gestational weeks are at risk of experiencing deficits in tasks involving executive function in childhood and beyond. In addition, the type and severity of neonatal brain injury associated with very preterm birth may exert differential effects on executive functioning by altering its neuroanatomical substrates. Here we addressed this question by investigating with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI the haemodynamic response during executive-type processing using a phonological verbal fluency and a working memory task in VPT-born young adults who had experienced differing degrees of neonatal brain injury. 12 VPT individuals with a history of periventricular haemorrhage and ventricular dilatation (PVH+VD, 17 VPT individuals with a history of uncomplicated periventricular haemorrhage (UPVH, 13 VPT individuals with no history of neonatal brain injury and 17 controls received an MRI scan whilst completing a verbal fluency task with two cognitive loads ('easy' and 'hard' letters. Two groups of VPT individuals (PVH+VD; n = 10, UPVH; n = 8 performed an n-back task with three cognitive loads (1-, 2-, 3-back. Results demonstrated that VPT individuals displayed hyperactivation in frontal, temporal, and parietal cortices and in caudate nucleus, insula and thalamus compared to controls, as demands of the verbal fluency task increased, regardless of type of neonatal brain injury. On the other hand, during the n-back task and as working memory load increased, the PVH+VD group showed less engagement of the frontal cortex than the UPVH group. In conclusion, this study suggests that the functional neuroanatomy of different executive-type processes is altered following VPT birth and that neural activation associated with specific aspects of executive function (i.e., working memory may be particularly sensitive to the extent of neonatal brain injury.
Lalonde, Gabrielle; Henry, Mylène; Drouin-Germain, Anne; Nolin, Pierre; Beauchamp, Miriam H
Paper-pencil type tests are traditionally used in the assessment of executive functions (EF); however, concerns have been raised as to whether these represent actual functioning in everyday life. Virtual reality (VR) environments offer a novel alternative for the assessment of cognitive function and therefore have the potential to enhance the evaluation of EF by presenting individuals with stimuli that come closer to reproducing everyday situations. The aims of this study were to (1) establish which traditional paper-pencil EF tests from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) are associated with performance on a VR-Stroop task and (2) compare D-KEFS tests and the VR-Stroop task in their ability to predict everyday EF and behavior, as measured by the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Thirty-eight typically developing adolescents aged between 13 and 17 years completed the ClinicaVR: Classroom-Stroop, and five D-KEFS subtests (Trail Making, Tower, Twenty Questions, Verbal Fluency and Color-Word Interference). Their parents completed the BRIEF and CBCL questionnaires. The results indicate that performance on the VR-Stroop task correlates with both traditional forms of EF assessment (D-KEFS, BRIEF). In particular, performance on the VR-Stroop task was closely associated with performance on a paper-pencil inhibition task. Furthermore, VR-Stroop performance more accurately reflected everyday behavioral EF than paper-pencil tasks. VR appears to offer an ecological perspective on everyday functioning and could be seen as complementary to traditional tests in the assessment of complex cognitive abilities. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Curran, R. T.
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.
Full Text Available The relationships between maternal parenting attitudes and preschoolers’ hot and cool executive functions (EF were examined. Forty-eight children aged 3 to 4 years and their mothers took part in the study. Self-report questionnaire concerning parenting attitudes was obtained from the mothers of children who performed a set of EF tasks. Additionally, both maternal and child verbal ability were controlled. It was found that maternal parenting attitudes were related only to child cool EF. Protecting attitude was positively related to child inhibitory control and autonomy support was negatively related to child set-shifting ability. Further analyses revealed that maternal autonomy support accounted for unique variance in child set-shifting, above and beyond the child’s age. On the other hand, protecting attitude accounted for unique variance in child inhibitory control, above and beyond child verbal ability. The findings provide further evidence for the importance of mother-child relationships in children’s EF development.
Hegarty-Craver, Meghan; Gilchrist, Kristin H; Propper, Cathi B; Lewis, Gregory F; DeFilipp, Samuel J; Coffman, Jennifer L; Willoughby, Michael T
Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) is a quantitative metric that reflects autonomic nervous system regulation and provides a physiological marker of attentional engagement that supports cognitive and affective regulatory processes. RSA can be added to executive function (EF) assessments with minimal participant burden because of the commercial availability of lightweight, wearable electrocardiogram (ECG) sensors. However, the inclusion of RSA data in large data collection efforts has been hindered by the time-intensive processing of RSA. In this study we evaluated the performance of an automated RSA-scoring method in the context of an EF study in preschool-aged children. The absolute differences in RSA across both scoring methods were small (mean RSA differences = -0.02-0.10), with little to no evidence of bias for the automated relative to the hand-scoring approach. Moreover, the relative rank-ordering of RSA across both scoring methods was strong (rs = .96-.99). Reliable changes in RSA from baseline to the EF task were highly similar across both scoring methods (96%-100% absolute agreement; Kappa = .83-1.0). On the basis of these findings, the automated RSA algorithm appears to be a suitable substitute for hand-scoring in the context of EF assessment.
Betancourt, Laura M; Brodsky, Nancy L; Brown, Caitlin A; McKenna, Kathleen A; Giannetta, Joan M; Yang, Wei; Romer, Daniel; Hurt, Hallam
Our objectives for this report were to identify trajectories of youth gambling behavior, and to examine their relation to executive cognitive function (ECF) and associated problem behaviors. Philadelphia school children, enrolled at ages 10-12 years (n = 387; 49% male), completed three annual assessments of risk behaviors, ECF, impulsivity, problem behaviors and demographics. Across ages 10-15 years, using methods from Nagin et al., two groups were identified: Early Gamblers (n = 111) initiated early and continued in later assessments, and Later Gamblers (n = 276) initiated at later ages and gambled less. Betting money on cards and sports were the most frequently reported gambling behaviors. Using gambling group as outcome, final backward selection logistic regression model showed Early Gamblers are more likely male (P = 0.001), report more active coping (P = 0.042), impulsive behaviors (P ≤ 0.008), and have friends who gamble (P = 0.001). Groups were similar in ECF, parental monitoring, marital status, SES, and race. Early Gamblers had higher incidence of problem behaviors and drug use (all P ≤ 0.006). Two gambling groups were identified in early adolescence with Early Gamblers showing higher levels of impulsivity and comorbid problems but similar levels of ECF compared to Late Gamblers. As more gambling groups are identified through later adolescence, ECF may emerge as a relevant precursor of problem gambling at this later time.
Monn, Amy R; Narayan, Angela J; Kalstabakken, Amanda W; Schubert, Erin C; Masten, Ann S
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).
Engelhardt, Laura E; Mann, Frank D; Briley, Daniel A; Church, Jessica A; Harden, K Paige; Tucker-Drob, Elliot M
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).
Marisa G. Filipe
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.
Climent-Martínez, Gema; Luna-Lario, Pilar; Bombín-González, Igor; Cifuentes-Rodríguez, Alicia; Tirapu-Ustárroz, Javier; Díaz-Orueta, Unai
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.
Água Dias, Andrea; Albuquerque, Cristina P.; Simões, Mário Rodrigues
Children with Borderline Intellectual Functioning (BIF) have received little research attention and have been studied in conjunction with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The present study intends to broaden the knowledge on BIF, by analyzing domains such as verbal memory and visual memory, as well as tasks that rely simultaneously on memory, executive functions and language. A cross-sectional, comparison study was carried out between a group of 40 children with BIF (mean age = 10...
Sulik, Michael J.; Blair, Clancy; Mills-Koonce, Roger; Berry, Daniel; Greenberg, Mark
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
Bindman, Samantha W; Pomerantz, Eva M; Roisman, Glenn I
This study evaluated whether the positive association between early autonomy-supportive parenting and children's subsequent achievement is mediated by children's executive functions. Using observations of mothers' parenting from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development ( N = 1,306), analyses revealed that mothers' autonomy support over the first 3 years of life predicted enhanced executive functions (i.e., inhibition, delay of gratification, and sustained attention) during the year prior to kindergarten and academic achievement in elementary and high school even when mothers' warmth and cognitive stimulation, as well as other factors (e.g., children's early general cognitive skills and mothers' educational attainment) were covaried. Mediation analyses demonstrated that over and above other attributes (e.g., temperament), children's executive functions partially accounted for the association between early autonomy-supportive parenting and children's subsequent achievement.
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.
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
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
Gong, Jingbo; Xie, Jingtao; Chen, Gui; Zhang, Yajie; Wang, Suhong
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.
Kluge, Florian; Schoeberl, Martin; Ungerer, Theo
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....
Reetzke, Rachel; Maddox, W. Todd; Chandrasekaran, Bharath
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
Bull, Rebecca; Phillips, Louise H.; Conway, Claire A.
Conflicting evidence has arisen from correlational studies regarding the role of executive control functions in Theory of Mind. The current study used dual-task manipulations of executive functions (inhibition, updating and switching) to investigate the role of these control functions in mental state and non-mental state tasks. The "Eyes"…
Genova, Helen M.; DeLuca, John; Chiaravalloti, Nancy; Wylie, Glenn
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
Rydell, Robert J; Van Loo, Katie J; Boucher, Kathryn L
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.
Benedek, Mathias; Jauk, Emanuel; Sommer, Markus; Arendasy, Martin; Neubauer, Aljoscha C.
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
Pertl, M M; Hannigan, C; Brennan, S; Robertson, I H; Lawlor, B A
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.
Schreiber, Jane E.; Possin, Katherine L.; Girard, Jonathan M.; Rey-Casserly, Celiane
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
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.
Thorell, Lisa B.; Veleiro, Alberto; Siu, Angela F. Y.; Mohammadi, Hiwa
The present study investigated the relation between academic performance and ratings of executive functioning in children aged 6?11 from four countries: Sweden, Spain, Iran, and China. Ratings of executive functioning were made by both parents and teachers using the Childhood Executive Functioning Inventory (CHEXI). The results showed that the Chinese sample was generally rated as having more executive deficits compared to the other samples. The finding that executive functioning deficits are...
Langberg, Joshua M; Dvorsky, Melissa R; Evans, Steven W
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.
Lee, Min Kyung; Baker, Sara; Whitebread, David
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.
St. Clair-Thompson, Helen L.
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…
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.
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
Gau, Susan Shur-Fen; Shang, Chi-Yung
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…
Horvers, A.; Molenaar, I.; Teepe, R.C.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.
This study explores how children's executive functions influences the way parent and child engage in a technology-enhanced story telling activity (TES). Research has indicated that children's executive functions (inhibitory control, memory and cognitive flexibility) are related to how they engage in
Walker, Justin M.; D'Amato, Rik Carl
The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Self-Report version (BRIEF-SR) is the first self-report measure of executive functioning for adolescents. With the Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act authorization, there is a greater need for appropriate assessment of severely impaired children. Recent studies have…
van der Sluis, Sophie; de Jong, Peter F.; van der Leij, Aryan
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…
Drijbooms, Elise; Groen, Margriet A.; Verhoeven, Ludo
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…
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
Blijd-Hoogewys, E. M. A.; Bezemer, M. L.; van Geert, P. L. C.
The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions (BRIEF) screens for executive function deficits in 5- to 18-year-olds. Data of three autism subgroups, according to DSM-IV-TR criteria (N = 35 Autistic Disorder, N = 27 Asperger's Disorder and N = 65 PDD-NOS), were analyzed. The total group has
Cartwright, Kelly B.
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…
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
Olff, Miranda; Polak, A. Rosaura; Witteveen, Anke B.; Denys, Damiaan
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
Warnick, Brittany; Drake, Morgan; Vidrine, Stephanie
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…
Sandgren, Olof; Holmström, Ketty
The clinical assessment of language impairment (LI) in bilingual children imposes challenges for speech-language pathology services. Assessment tools standardized for monolingual populations increase the risk of misinterpreting bilingualism as language impairment. This Perspective article summarizes recent studies on the assessment of bilingual LI and presents new results on including nonlinguistic measures of executive functions in the diagnostic assessment. Executive functions shows clinica...
Baumgartner, Susanne E.; Weeda, Wouter D.; van der Heijden, Lisa L.; Huizinga, Mariëtte
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.,…
Fuhs, Mary Wagner; Day, Jeanne D.
Research suggests that executive functioning skills may enhance the school readiness of children from disadvantaged homes. Questions remain, however, concerning both the structure and the stability of executive functioning among preschoolers. In addition, there is a lack of research addressing potential predictors of longitudinal change in…
Ayers, Catherine R; Dozier, Mary E; Wetherell, Julie Loebach; Twamley, Elizabeth W; Schiehser, Dawn M
The current investigation utilized mid-life and late-life participants diagnosed with hoarding disorder (HD) to explore the relationship between executive functioning and hoarding severity. Correlational analyses were used to investigate the associations between executive functioning and hoarding severity in nondemented participants. Multiple regression was used to determine if executive functioning had a unique association with HD severity when accounting for depressive symptoms. Participants were recruited from the San Diego area for HD intervention studies. Participants were 113 nondemented adults aged 50-86 years who met DSM-5 criteria for HD. The mean age of the sample utilized in the analyses was 63.76 years (SD, 7.2; range, 51-85 years). The sample was mostly female (72%), Caucasian (81.4%), and unmarried (78%). Hoarding severity was assessed using the Saving Inventory-Revised and the Clutter Image Rating and depression was assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Executive functioning was assessed using the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST-128) and the Trail Making and Verbal Fluency subtests of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System. Executive function (operationalized as perseveration on the WCST-128) was significantly associated with Clutter Image Ratings. In a multivariate context, executive function and depressive symptom severity were both significant predictors of variance in Clutter Image Rating. Our results suggest that executive function is related to severity of HD symptoms and should be considered as part of the conceptualization of HD. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Bevins, Shelley; Hurse, Emily
The following article details a piece of service development work undertaken as part of the Plymouth Down Syndrome Screening Programme. The work aimed to review the use of three measures assessing executive functioning skills used within the Programme as well as with people without Down syndrome. Three tasks assessing executive functioning (the…
Buckner, Elizabeth; Kim, Paul
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…
Daunhauer, Lisa A.; Fidler, Deborah J.; Hahn, Laura; Will, Elizabeth; Lee, Nancy Raitano; Hepburn, Susan
We investigated executive functioning (EF) in children with Down syndrome (DS; n = 25) and typically developing (TD) children matched for mental age (MA; n = 23) using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool. We sought to (1) compare children with DS to a developmentally matched control group, and (2) to characterize the EF…
Doebel, Sabine; Zelazo, Philip David
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.
Stringer, Ronald W.; Toplak, Maggie E.; Stanovich, Keith E.
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…
Rachel A. Malcolm
and executive function tasks are worse in the heat. An improvement in accuracy on perceptual tasks may suggest a compensatory speed-accuracy trade-off effect occurring within this domain, further highlighting the task dependant nature of heat exposure on cognition.
Brand, Matthias; Schiebener, Johannes; Pertl, Marie-Theres; Delazer, Margarete
Recent models on decision making under risk conditions have suggested that numerical abilities are important ingredients of advantageous decision-making performance, but empirical evidence is still limited. The results of our first study show that logical reasoning and basic mental calculation capacities predict ratio processing and that ratio processing predicts decision making under risk. In the second study, logical reasoning together with executive functions predicted probability processing (numeracy and probability knowledge), and probability processing predicted decision making under risk. These findings suggest that increasing an individual's understanding of ratios and probabilities should lead to more advantageous decisions under risk conditions.
Full Text Available Subjective measurements of cognition have seldom been used in schizophrenia. This is mainly due to the assumption that such measurements lack sensitivity in a disorder characterized by poor insight. We investigated the capacity of BRIEF-A (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Adult Version: a self-administered, ecological questionnaire to identify executive deficits in adults with schizophrenia. The global score and each domain-specific score was significantly lower in patients than in healthy controls. BRIEF-A could be a useful complement to objective measurements, providing a subjective assessment of everyday consequences of executive dysfunction in patients with schizophrenia.
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
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.
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.
Sosic-Vasic, Zrinka; Keis, Oliver; Lau, Maren; Spitzer, Manfred; Streb, Judith
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
Sosic-Vasic, Zrinka; Keis, Oliver; Lau, Maren; Spitzer, Manfred; Streb, Judith
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.
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.
Kuula, Liisa; Pesonen, Anu-Katriina; Heinonen, Kati; Kajantie, Eero; Eriksson, Johan Gunnar; Andersson, Sture; Lano, Aulikki; Lahti, Jari; Wolke, Dieter; Räikkönen, Katri
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.
Bervoets, Joachim; Jonkman, Lisa M; Mulkens, Sandra; de Vries, Hein; Kok, Gerjo
BACKGROUND: Executive functions are higher cognitive control functions, which are essential to physical and psychological well-being, academic performance, and healthy social relationships. Executive functions can be trained, albeit without broad transfer, to this date. Broad transfer entails the
Raudszus, Henriette; Segers, Eliane; Verhoeven, Ludo
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,…
Boelema, Sarai R.; Harakeh, Zeena; van Zandvoort, Martine J. E.; Reijneveld, Sijmen A.; Verhulst, Frank C.; Ormel, Johan; Vollebergh, Wilma A. M.
Background and Aims Excessive alcohol use is assumed to affect maturation of cognitive functioning in adolescence. However, most existing studies that have tested this hypothesis are seriously flawed due to the use of selective groups and/or cross-sectional designs, which limits the ability to draw firm conclusions. This longitudinal study investigated whether patterns of alcohol use predicted differences in maturation of executive functioning in adolescence. Additionally, gender was tested as a possible moderator. Methods We used data from the Tracking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), which comprises a cohort of 2,230 Dutch adolescents. Maturation of executive functioning was measured by assessing the standardized improvement on each of four basic executive functions (i.e., inhibition, working memory, and shift- and sustained attention) between ages 11 and 19. Participants were assigned to one of six (heavy) drinking groups (i.e., non-drinkers, light drinkers, infrequent heavy drinkers, increased heavy drinkers, decreased heavy drinkers, and chronic heavy drinkers). We conducted linear regression analyses, and adjusted for relevant confounders. Results The six drinking groups did not reveal significant differences in maturation between drinking groups. E.g., maturation executive functioning of chronic heavy drinkers in comparison to non-drinkers; inhibition: B = -0.14, 95% CI [-0.41 to 0.14], working memory: B = -0.03, 95% CI [-0.26 to 0.21], shift attention: B = 0.13, 95% CI [-0.17 to 0.41], sustained attention: B = 0.12, 95% CI [-0.60 to 0.36]. Furthermore, gender was not found to be a significant moderator. Conclusions Four years of weekly heavy drinking (i.e., chronic heavy drinkers) did not result in measurable impairments in four basic executive functions. Thus, regular heavy drinking in adolescence does not seem to affect these basic behavioural measures of executive functioning. PMID:26489080
Boelema, Sarai R; Harakeh, Zeena; van Zandvoort, Martine J E; Reijneveld, Sijmen A; Verhulst, Frank C; Ormel, Johan; Vollebergh, Wilma A M
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.
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.
Lambek, Rikke; Tannock, Rosemary; Dalsgaard, Søren
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)....
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.
Schiavella, Mauro; Pelagatti, Matteo; Westin, Jerker; Lepore, Gabriele; Cherubini, Paolo
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).
Woodard, Kristina; Pozzan, Lucia; Trueswell, John C
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.
Colomer, Carla; Berenguer, Carmen; Roselló, Belén; Baixauli, Inmaculada; Miranda, Ana
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
Yao, Christie; Bernstein, Lori J; Rich, Jill B
Women with breast cancer have reported adverse cognitive effects following chemotherapy. Evidence is mixed on whether executive functioning is particularly impaired in women treated with chemotherapy, in part due to the wide range of tasks used to measure executive processes. We performed a systematic review of the published literature to evaluate whether some subcomponents of executive functioning are more vulnerable to impairment than others among breast cancer survivors who had been treated with chemotherapy. Studies published as of April 2017 were identified using three electronic databases (MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and Web of Science) and a manual search of relevant reference lists. The methodological quality of included studies was assessed using a checklist of predefined criteria. Of 1280 identified articles, a total of 41 were included for review. Study findings were categorized into three primary subdomains of executive functioning: inhibition, shifting, and updating. Although there was heterogeneity in the neuropsychological measures used to assess executive functioning, tests could be grouped into the subcomponents they assessed. Inhibition appears relatively spared from the effects of chemotherapy, whereas impairments in shifting and updating are more commonly found following chemotherapy. Examination of subcomponents of executive functioning is recommended to better characterize the nature of executive dysfunction in women treated with chemotherapy. Future studies should include executive functioning tasks of varying complexity, use of multiple tasks to increase reliability, and alternative indices to capture performance, such as within-person variability.
Hudec, Kristen L; Alderson, R Matt; Patros, Connor H G; Lea, Sarah E; Tarle, Stephanie J; Kasper, Lisa J
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.
Pauls, Franz; Petermann, Franz; Lepach, Anja Christina
At present, little is still known about the link between depression, memory and executive functioning. This study examined whether there are memory-related impairments in depressed patients and whether the size of such deficits depends on the age group and on specific types of cognitive measures. Memory performances of 215 clinically depressed patients were compared to the data of a matched control sample. Regression analyses were performed to determine the extent to which executive dysfunctions contributed to episodic memory impairments. When compared with healthy controls, significantly lower episodic memory and executive functioning performances were found for depressed patients of all age groups. Effect sizes appeared to vary across different memory and executive functioning measures. The extent to which executive dysfunctions could explain episodic memory impairments varied depending on the type of measure examined. These findings emphasise the need to consider memory-related functioning of depressed patients in the context of therapeutic treatments.
Kouijzer, M.E.J.; Moor, J.M.H. de; Gerrits, B.J.L.; Congedo, M.; Schie, H.T. van
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
Kouijzer, Mirjam E. J.; de Moor, Jan M. H.; Gerrits, Berrie J. L.; Congedo, Marco; van Schie, Hein T.
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…
Alosco, Michael L; Spitznagel, Mary Beth; Raz, Naftali; Cohen, Ronald; Sweet, Lawrence H; Colbert, Lisa H; Josephson, Richard; van Dulmen, Manfred; Hughes, Joel; Rosneck, Jim; Gunstad, John
To examine the independent association between executive function with instrumental activities of daily living and health behaviours in older adults with heart failure. Executive function is an important contributor to functional independence as it consists of cognitive processes needed for decision-making, planning, organising and behavioural monitoring. Impairment in this domain is common in heart failure patients and associated with reduced performance of instrumental activities of daily living in many medical and neurological populations. However, the contribution of executive functions to functional independence and healthy lifestyle choices in heart failure patients has not been fully examined. Cross-sectional analyses. One hundred and seventy-five heart failure patients completed a neuropsychological battery and echocardiogram. Participants also completed the Lawton-Brody Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale and reported current cigarette use. Hierarchical regressions revealed that reduced executive function was independently associated with worse instrumental activity of daily living performance with a specific association for decreased ability to manage medications. Partial correlations showed that executive dysfunction was associated with current cigarette use. Our findings suggest that executive dysfunction is associated with poorer functional independence and contributes to unhealthy behaviours in heart failure. Future studies should examine whether heart failure patients benefit from formal organisation schema (i.e. pill organisers) to maintain independence. Screening of executive function in heart failure patients may provide key insight into their ability to perform daily tasks, including the management of treatment recommendations. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Kapa, Leah L; Plante, Elena; Doubleday, Kevin
The first goal of this research was to compare verbal and nonverbal executive function abilities between preschoolers with and without specific language impairment (SLI). The second goal was to assess the group differences on 4 executive function components in order to determine if the components may be hierarchically related as suggested within a developmental integrative framework of executive function. This study included 26 4- and 5-year-olds diagnosed with SLI and 26 typically developing age- and sex-matched peers. Participants were tested on verbal and nonverbal measures of sustained selective attention, working memory, inhibition, and shifting. The SLI group performed worse compared with typically developing children on both verbal and nonverbal measures of sustained selective attention and working memory, the verbal inhibition task, and the nonverbal shifting task. Comparisons of standardized group differences between executive function measures revealed a linear increase with the following order: working memory, inhibition, shifting, and sustained selective attention. The pattern of results suggests that preschoolers with SLI have deficits in executive functioning compared with typical peers, and deficits are not limited to verbal tasks. A significant linear relationship between group differences across executive function components supports the possibility of a hierarchical relationship between executive function skills.
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:  Trail Making Test (TMT Form B;  Verbal Fluency Test (VFT - F, A and S;  VFT Animals category;  Clock Drawing Test (CDT;  Digits Forward and Backward subtests (WAIS-R or WAIS-III;  Stroop Test; and  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.
de Bruijn, A G M; Hartman, E; Kostons, D; Visscher, C; Bosker, R J
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.
Song, Hyunjoo; Jinyu, An
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.
Full Text Available Summary: Background: Previous studies showed that multicomponent exercise enhanced physical and cognitive functions. This study aimed to investigate the effects of a multicomponent exercise on dual-task performance and executive function and to demonstrate the relationship between improvement in dual-task performance and enhancement in executive function among the elderly. Methods: A total of 27 people completed the intervention, with 16 in the experimental group and 11 in the control group. The 12-week multicomponent exercise lasted 1 h per day and 3 days per week. Participants' gait performance was assessed in dual-task conditions and executive function was examined at both pre- and post-intervention. Results: Results showed significant interaction effects of time x group on all selected gait parameters in both dual-task conditions and the Executive Interview. Compared with the control group, the experimental group showed greater improvements in most measures following intervention. Improved dual-task performance was correlated with enhanced executive function (r = 0.46–0.75. Conclusion: Our results suggested that a multicomponent exercise positively affects dual-task performance and executive function in the elderly. Keywords: Dual-task, Executive function, Exercise, Gait, Older adults
Gueron-Sela, Noa; Bedford, Rachael; Wagner, Nicholas J; Propper, Cathi B
The goal of this study was to examine the independent and interactive roles of harsh-intrusive maternal behaviors and children's executive function in the development of internalizing behaviors across the first years of school. A diverse sample (58% African American, 42% European American) of 137 children (48% female) was followed from kindergarten (age 5 years) through school entry (ages 6-7 years). At age 5, maternal harsh-intrusive parenting behaviors were rated from a mother-child structured play task, and children completed 3 executive function tasks that measured inhibitory control, working memory, and attention set-shifting. Teachers reported on children's internalizing behaviors at ages 5, 6, and 7. Harsh-intrusive parenting behaviors at age 5 years were positively related to internalizing behaviors in the first years of school, whereas high executive function abilities at age 5 years were related to lower internalizing behaviors in the first years of school. In addition, executive function buffered the association between parenting behaviors and internalizing behaviors such that the link between harsh-intrusive parenting and child internalizing behaviors was evident only among children with low executive function and not among children with high executive function. Interventions that focus on reducing negative parenting behaviors and improving children's executive function may prevent internalizing behaviors from increasing during times of social and academic challenge.
Berryman, Carolyn; Stanton, Tasha R; Bowering, K Jane; Tabor, Abby; McFarlane, Alexander; Moseley, G Lorimer
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.
Plante, Elena; Doubleday, Kevin
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
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.
Full Text Available Paralinguistic style, involving features of speech such as pitch and volume, is an important aspect of one’s communicative competence. However, little is known about the behavioral traits and cognitive skills that relate to these aspects of speech. This study examined the extent to which ADHD traits and executive functioning related to the paralinguistic styles of 8- to 12-year-old children and their mothers. Data was collected via parent report (ADHD traits, independent laboratory tasks of executive functioning (working memory, inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and an interactive problem-solving task (completed by mothers and children jointly which was coded for paralinguistic speech elements (i.e., pitch level/variability; volume level/variability. Dyadic data analyses revealed that elevated ADHD traits in children were associated with a more exaggerated paralinguistic style (i.e., elevated and more variable pitch/volume for both mothers and children. Mothers’ paralinguistic style was additionally predicted by an interaction of mothers’ and children’s ADHD traits, such that mothers with elevated ADHD traits showed exaggerated paralinguistic styles particularly when their children also had elevated ADHD traits. Highlighting a cognitive mechanism, children with weaker inhibitory control showed more exaggerated paralinguistic styles.
Powell, Lindsey J; Carey, Susan
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.
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.
Leve, Leslie D; DeGarmo, David S; Bridgett, David J; Neiderhiser, Jenae M; Shaw, Daniel S; Harold, Gordon T; Natsuaki, Misaki N; Reiss, David
Poor executive functioning has been implicated in children's concurrent and future behavioral difficulties, making work aimed at understanding processes related to the development of early executive function (EF) critical for models of developmental psychopathology. Deficits in EF have been associated with adverse prenatal experiences, genetic influences, and temperament characteristics. However, our ability to disentangle the predictive and independent effects of these influences has been limited by a dearth of genetically informed research designs that also consider prenatal influences. The present study examined EF and language development in a sample of 361 toddlers who were adopted at birth and reared in nonrelative adoptive families. Predictors included genetic influences (as inherited from birth mothers), prenatal risk, and growth in child negative emotionality. Structural equation modeling indicated that the effect of prenatal risk on toddler effortful attention at age 27 months became nonsignificant once genetic influences were considered in the model. In addition, genetic influences had unique effects on toddler effortful attention. Latent growth modeling indicated that increases in toddler negative emotionality from 9 to 27 months were associated with poorer delay of gratification and poorer language development. Similar results were obtained in models incorporating birth father data. Mechanisms of intergenerational transmission of EF deficits are discussed. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved
Gooch, Debbie; Thompson, Paul; Nash, Hannah M; Snowling, Margaret J; Hulme, Charles
The developmental relationships between executive functions (EF) and early language skills are unclear. This study explores the longitudinal relationships between children's early EF and language skills in a sample of children with a wide range of language abilities including children at risk of dyslexia. In addition, we investigated whether these skills independently predict children's attention/behaviour skills. Data are presented from 243 children at four time points. Children were selected for being at risk of reading difficulties either because of a family history of dyslexia (FR; N = 90) or because of concerns regarding their language development (LI; N = 79) or as typically developing controls (TD; N = 74). The children completed tasks to assess their executive function and language skills at ages 4, 5 and 6 years. At 6 (T4) and 7 years (T5) parents and teachers rated the children's attention/behaviour skills. There was a strong concurrent relationship between language and EF at each assessment. Longitudinal analyses indicated a considerable degree of stability in children's language and EF skills: the influence of language on later EF skills (and vice versa) was weak and not significant in the current sample. Children's EF, but not language, skills at T3 predicted attention/behaviour ratings at T4/T5. There is a strong concurrent association between language and EF skills during the preschool and early school years, when children with language impairment show persistent EF deficits. Latent variables measuring language and EF show high longitudinal stability with little evidence of significant or strong reciprocal influences between these constructs. EF, but not language, skills predict later ratings of children's attention and behaviour. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
Hummer, Tom A.; Kronenberger, William G.; Wang, Yang; Dunn, David W.; Mosier, Kristine M.; Kalnin, Andrew J.; Mathews, Vincent P.
The nature of executive dysfunction in youth with disruptive behavior disorders (DBD) remains unclear, despite extensive research in samples of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). To determine the relationship between DBD, ADHD, and executive function deficits in aggressive teens, adolescents with DBD and comorbid ADHD…
Peterson, Eric; Welsh, Marilyn C.
Research into executive functioning (EF) has indeed grown exponentially across the past few decades, but as the Willoughby et al. critique makes clear, there remain fundamental questions to be resolved. The crux of their argument is built upon an examination of the confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) approach to understanding executive processes.…
Joukje M Oosterman
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.
Marzocchi, G.M.; Oosterlaan, J.; Zuddas, A.; Cavolina, P.; Geurts, H.; Redigilo, D.; Vio, C.; Sergeant, J.A.
Background: The object of this study was to analyze the executive functioning of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or reading disability (RD) independent of their non-executive deficits. Methods: Three carefully diagnosed groups of children, aged between 7 and 12 years
Kraybill, Matthew L; Suchy, Yana
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.
Pedron, Ana Cristina; Ferrão, Ygor Arzeno; Gurgel, Léia Gonçalves; Reppold, Caroline Tozzi
There is no consensus in the literature as to neuropsychological functioning, the severity of obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) and the definitions of the OCS dimensions. We conducted a cross-sectional study investigating the relationship between executive function and OCS severity in the various dimensions, according to the Dimensional Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale criteria. We evaluated 28 patients with OCS, using eight neuropsychological instruments to evaluate executive function...
Vetter, Nora C; Altgassen, Mareike; Phillips, Louise; Mahy, Caitlin E V; Kliegel, Matthias
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.
Full Text Available Previous research shows consistent and marked executive function impairment in children with early and continuously treated phenylketonuria. This between groups analysis (phenylketonuria group vs sibling controls found no significant differences in executive function (although adolescents with phenylketonuria performed slightly worse than their siblings. Biochemical relationships with executive function were confined to long-term measures of high phenylalanine:tyrosine ratio exposure, as well as tyrosine exposure independent of phenylalanine. This study suggests that early and continuously treated PKU results in non-significant EF differences (compared to siblings, although the influence of long-term exposure to poorer metabolic control is still evident.
Hurtado, M M; Triviño, M; Arnedo, M; Roldán, G; Tudela, P
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.
Ginani, G E; Tufik, S; Bueno, O F A; Pradella-Hallinan, M; Rusted, J; Pompéia, S
The cholinergic system is involved in the modulation of both bottom-up and top-down attentional control. Top-down attention engages multiple executive control processes, but few studies have investigated whether all or selective elements of executive functions are modulated by the cholinergic system. To investigate the acute effects of the pro-cholinergic donepezil in young, healthy volunteers on distinct components of executive functions we conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, independent-groups design study including 42 young healthy male participants who were randomly assigned to one of three oral treatments: glucose (placebo), donepezil 5 mg or donepezil 7.5 mg. The test battery included measures of different executive components (shifting, updating, inhibition, dual-task performance, planning, access to long-term memory), tasks that evaluated arousal/vigilance/visuomotor performance, as well as functioning of working memory subsidiary systems. Donepezil improved sustained attention, reaction times, dual-task performance and the executive component of digit span. The positive effects in these executive tasks did not correlate with arousal/visuomotor/vigilance measures. Among the various executive domains investigated donepezil selectively increased dual-task performance in a manner that could not be ascribed to improvement in arousal/vigilance/visuomotor performance nor working memory slave systems. Other executive tasks that rely heavily on visuospatial processing may also be modulated by the cholinergic system.
McAlister, Anna R.; Peterson, Candida C.
Longitudinal data were obtained from 157 children aged 3 years 3 months to 5 years 6 months at Time 1. At Time 2 these children had aged an average of 12 months. Theory of mind (ToM) and executive functioning (EF) were measured at both time points. Results suggest that Time 1 ToM scores predict Time 2 EF scores. Detailed examination of sibling…
Berryman, Nicolas; Bherer, Louis; Nadeau, Sylvie; Lauzière, Séléna; Lehr, Lora; Bobeuf, Florian; Kergoat, Marie Jeanne; Vu, Thien Tuong Minh; Bosquet, Laurent
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
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.
Wang, Yiji; Dix, Theodore
On the basis of longitudinal data across 9 years, this study examined the contribution of sustained attention and executive function to the poor cognitive and socioemotional adjustment of school-age children whose mothers had depressive symptoms during the child's infancy. Mothers (N = 1,364) reported depressive symptoms across their child's infancy and early childhood. Maternal sensitivity was observed during laboratory interactions at 36 months. At school entry children's sustained attention and executive function were measured with computer-generated tasks. In third grade, cognitive and socioemotional adjustment was assessed with standardized tests and the reports of fathers and teachers. Using structural equation modeling, findings showed that (a) exposure to mothers' depressive symptoms during the child's infancy, independent of later exposure, uniquely predicted children's poor sustained attention and executive function at school entry; (b) deficits in children's sustained attention and executive function occurred because of depressed mothers' tendencies to display insensitive parenting behavior; and (c) these deficits explained in part relations between exposure to mothers' depressive symptoms in infancy and children's poor cognitive and socioemotional adjustment in third grade. Findings highlight the potential importance of children's exposure to mothers' depressive symptoms specifically during the child's infancy for disrupting the development of fundamental cognitive processes that may underlie the adjustment problems children of depressed mothers display in middle childhood. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
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
Lesiuk, Teresa; Bugos, Jennifer A; Murakami, Brea
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).
Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Chen, Nan; Wang, Zhe; Bell, Martha Ann
We examined the link between household chaos (i.e., noise, clutter, disarray, lack of routines) and maternal executive function (i.e., effortful regulation of attention and memory), and whether it varied as a function of socioeconomic risk (i.e., single parenthood, lower mother and father educational attainment, housing situation, and father unemployment). We hypothesized that: 1) higher levels of household chaos would be linked with poorer maternal executive function, even when controlling for other measures of cognitive functioning (e.g., verbal ability), and 2) this link would be strongest in the most socioeconomically distressed or lowest-socioeconomic status households. The diverse sample included 153 mothers from urban and rural areas who completed a questionnaire and a battery of cognitive executive function tasks and a verbal ability task in the laboratory. Results were mixed for Hypothesis 1, and consistent with Hypothesis 2. Two-thirds of the variance overlapped between household chaos and maternal executive function, but only in families with high levels of socioeconomic risk. This pattern was not found for chaos and maternal verbal ability, suggesting that the potentially deleterious effects of household chaos may be specific to maternal executive function. The findings implicate household chaos as a powerful statistical predictor of maternal executive function in socioeconomically distressed contexts. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved.
Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Chen, Nan; Wang, Zhe; Bell, Martha Ann
We examined the link between household chaos (i.e., noise, clutter, disarray, lack of routines) and maternal executive function (i.e., effortful regulation of attention and memory), and whether it varied as a function of socioeconomic risk (i.e., single parenthood, lower mother and father educational attainment, housing situation, and father unemployment). We hypothesized that: 1) higher levels of household chaos would be linked with poorer maternal executive function, even when controlling for other measures of cognitive functioning (e.g., verbal ability), and 2) this link would be strongest in the most socioeconomically distressed or lowest-socioeconomic status households. The diverse sample included 153 mothers from urban and rural areas who completed a questionnaire and a battery of cognitive executive function tasks and a verbal ability task in the laboratory. Results were mixed for hypothesis 1, and consistent with hypothesis 2. Two-thirds of the variance overlapped between household chaos and maternal executive function, but only in families with high levels of socioeconomic risk. This pattern was not found for chaos and maternal verbal ability, suggesting that the potentially deleterious effects of household chaos may be specific to maternal executive function. The findings implicate household chaos as a powerful statistical predictor of maternal executive function in socioeconomically distressed contexts. PMID:22563703
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.
Van Nieuwenhuijzen, M; Van Rest, M M; Embregts, P J C M; Vriens, A; Oostermeijer, S; Van Bokhoven, I; Matthys, W
One tradition in research for explaining aggression and antisocial behavior has focused on social information processing (SIP). Aggression and antisocial behavior have also been studied from the perspective of executive functions (EFs), the higher-order cognitive abilities that affect other cognitive processes, such as social cognitive processes. The main goal of the present study is to provide insight into the relation between EFs and SIP in adolescents with severe behavior problems. Because of the hierarchical relation between EFs and SIP, we examined EFs as predictors of SIP. We hypothesized that, first, focused attention predicts encoding and interpretation, second, inhibition predicts interpretation, response generation, evaluation, and selection, and third, working memory predicts response generation and selection. The participants consisted of 94 respondents living in residential facilities aged 12-20 years, all showing behavior problems in the clinical range according to care staff. EFs were assessed using subtests from the Amsterdam Neuropsychological Test battery. Focused attention was measured by the Flanker task, inhibition by the GoNoGo task, and working memory by the Visual Spatial Sequencing task. SIP was measured by video vignettes and a structured interview. The results indicate that positive evaluation of aggressive responses is predicted by impaired inhibition and selection of aggressive responses by a combination of impaired focused attention and inhibition. It is concluded that different components of EFs as higher-order cognitive abilities affect SIP.
Tuminello, Elizabeth R; Holmbeck, Grayson N; Olson, Rick
The current study was part of a larger longitudinal investigation and examined the relation of parent-report and performance measures of executive functioning (EF) with measures of behavioral and emotional autonomy and parental intrusiveness in adolescents with and without spina bifida (SB; n=65 in a comparison sample and 61 in an SB sample; M age=14.55, SD=0.63). For both groups, higher levels of parent-reported EF problems predicted higher levels of observed child dependency and lower levels of teacher-reported intrinsic motivation. Higher scores on performance EF measures predicted lower levels of observed child dependency and observed maternal intrusiveness for both groups. In adolescents with SB only, higher performance EF scores predicted higher intrinsic motivation and emotional autonomy from both mother and father and predicted lower levels of observed paternal intrusiveness. While causal conclusions cannot be drawn, EFs appear to be closely related to autonomy development and parental intrusiveness, particularly for adolescents with SB. These results suggest that the inclusion of EF training in interventions targeting adolescents with SB may be beneficial for autonomy development.
Walda, Sietske A E; van Weerdenburg, Marjolijn; Wijnants, Maarten L; Bosman, Anna M T
Although poor reading and spelling skills have been associated with weak skills of executive functioning (EF), its role in literacy is not undisputed. Because EF has different theoretical underpinnings, methods of analysis and of assessing, it has led to varying and often contrasting results in its effects in children with dyslexia. The present study has two goals. The first goal is to establish the relationship between a large number of EF tasks and reading and spelling skills in a large number of Dutch dyslexic children (n = 229). More interesting, however, is the second aim. To what extent do EF skills predict progress in reading and spelling in dyslexic children who attended a remediation programme? The results revealed small, but significant relationships between EF and reading and spelling skills, but no relationships between EF and progress in reading and spelling. It is concluded that training EF skills is unlikely to enhance reading and spelling skills. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Cameron, Claire E.; Brock, Laura L.; Murrah, William M.; Bell, Lindsay H.; Worzalla, Samantha L.; Grissmer, David; Morrison, Frederick J.
This study examined the contribution of executive function (EF) and multiple aspects of fine motor skills to achievement on six standardized assessments in a sample of middle-SES kindergarteners. 3- and 4-year-olds’ (N=213) fine and gross motor skills were assessed in a home visit before kindergarten; EF was measured at fall of kindergarten; and Woodcock-Johnson III (WJ III) Tests of Academic Achievement were administered at fall and spring. Correlations indicated that EF and fine motor skills appeared distinct. Further, controlling for background variables, higher levels of both EF and fine motor skills, specifically design copy, predicted higher achievement on multiple subtests at kindergarten entry, as well as improvement from fall to spring. Implications for research on school readiness are discussed. PMID:22537276
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
Moreau, Vincent; Rouleau, Nancie; Morin, Charles M
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.
Hinnant, J Benjamin; Nelson, Jackie A; O'Brien, Marion; Keane, Susan P; Calkins, Susan D
We examined mother-child co-operative behaviour, children's emotion regulation and executive function, as well as combinations of these factors, as predictors of moral reasoning in 89 10-year-old children. Dyadic co-operation was coded from videotaped observations of laboratory puzzle and speech tasks. Emotion regulation was derived from maternal report, and executive functioning was assessed with the Tower of London task. Moral reasoning was coded during mother-child conversations about morally ambiguous, peer-conflict situations. Two significant interactions indicated that children from more co-operative dyads who also had higher executive function skills had higher moral reasoning scores than other children, and children lower in both emotion regulation and executive function had lower moral reasoning scores than other children. The results contribute to the literature on the multiple and interactive levels of influence on moral reasoning in childhood.
Gilmore, Camilla; Cragg, Lucy
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.
Hinnant, J. Benjamin; Nelson, Jackie A.; O’Brien, Marion; Keane, Susan P.; Calkins, Susan D.
We examined mother-child cooperative behavior, children’s emotion regulation and executive function, as well as combinations of these factors, as predictors of moral reasoning in 89 10-year-old children. Dyadic cooperation was coded from videotaped observations of laboratory puzzle and speech tasks. Emotion regulation was derived from maternal report, and executive functioning was assessed with the Tower of London task. Moral reasoning was coded during mother-child conversations about morally ambiguous, peer-conflict situations. Two significant interactions indicated that children from more cooperative dyads who also had higher executive function skills had higher moral reasoning scores than other children, and children lower in both emotion regulation and executive function had lower moral reasoning scores than other children. The results contribute to the literature on the multiple and interactive levels of influence on moral reasoning in childhood. PMID:23650955
Wang, Zhenlin; Devine, Rory T; Wong, Keri K; Hughes, Claire
Previous studies with preschoolers have reported "East-West" contrasts in children's executive function (East>West) and theory of mind (Easttheory of mind. With respect to theory of mind, therefore, pedagogical experiences appear to be more salient than factors related to the broad contrast between individualist and collectivist cultures. Our findings also contribute to the debate surrounding the relationship between theory of mind and executive function; although scores on these two sets of tasks were robustly correlated within each country, the double dissociation between delayed theory of mind but superior executive function for children in local schools in Hong Kong compared with their U.K. peers suggests that variation in executive function may be necessary but is not sufficient to explain variation in theory of mind. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The present thesis has investigated how French-speaking monolingual and bilingual children with SLI (specific language impairment) performed on various tasks examining language and executive functioning (EF) abilities, in comparison to monolingual and bilingual peers without SLI. Language was
Gilmore, Camilla; Cragg, Lucy
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
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
Dietrich, A.; Althaus, M.; Hartman, C.A.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Mindera, R.B.; Hoofdakker, B.J. van den; 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
Larsen, Ida Unmack; Vinther-Jensen, Tua; Nielsen, Jørgen Erik
OBJECTIVE: Huntington's disease (HD) is characterized by motor symptoms, psychiatric symptoms and cognitive impairment in, inter alia, executive functions and social cognition. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between subjective feeling of psychological distress using...... a self-report questionnaire and performances on tests of executive functions and social cognition in a large consecutive cohort of HD patients. METHOD: 50 manifest HD patients were tested in social cognition and executive functions and each answered a self-report questionnaire about current status...... psychological distress was significantly associated with worse performances on social cognitive tests (mean absolute correlation .34) and that there were no significant correlations between perceived psychological distress and performance on tests of executive functions. The correlations between perceived...
Larissa de Oliveira e Ferreira
Full Text Available AbstractThe Tower of Hanoi is a tool used to evaluate executive functions. However, few studies describe what functions are evaluated in this test. This study investigates the executive functions, evaluated by the Tower of Hanoi (ToH, and the influence of gender, age and its relationship with intelligence. We evaluated 55 children and adolescents, between the ages of ten and 16, without diagnosed neuropsychiatric disorders. The results showed that the performance and time in to complete the Tower of Hanoi have no discriminative power when comparing age groups and sex; there was also no significant correlation found between the ToH and the execution quotient of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Third Edition (WISC III, perceptual organization and the speed of processing. Only the subtest coding were positively related to the ToH, demonstrating that these instruments may be measuring related aspects of intelligence and executive functions, namely intelligence and working memory.
Head, Lauren M; Baralt, Melissa; Darcy Mahoney, Ashley E
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.
Knowles, Emma E M; Weiser, Mark; David, Anthony S; Glahn, David C; Davidson, Michael; Reichenberg, Abraham
Substantial impairment in performance on the digit-symbol substitution task in patients with schizophrenia is well established, which has been widely interpreted as denoting a specific impairment in processing speed. However, other higher order cognitive functions might be more critical to performance on this task. To date, this idea has not been rigorously investigated in patients with schizophrenia. Neuropsychological measures of processing speed, memory, and executive functioning were completed by 125 patients with schizophrenia and 272 control subjects. We implemented a series of confirmatory factor and structural regression modeling to build an integrated model of processing speed, memory, and executive function with which to deconstruct the digit-symbol substitution task and characterize discrepancies between patients with schizophrenia and control subjects. The overall structure of the processing speed, memory, and executive function model was the same across groups (χ(2) = 208.86, p > .05), but the contribution of the specific cognitive domains to coding task performance differed significantly. When completing the task, control subjects relied on executive function and, indirectly, on working memory ability, whereas patients with schizophrenia used an alternative set of cognitive operations whereby they relied on the same processes required to complete verbal fluency tasks. Successful coding task performance relies predominantly on executive function, rather than processing speed or memory. Patients with schizophrenia perform poorly on this task because of an apparent lack of appropriate executive function input; they rely instead on an alternative cognitive pathway. Copyright © 2015 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Tahereh masoomi mofrad
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.
Knowles, Emma E. M.; Weiser, Mark; David, Anthony S.; Glahn, David; Davidson, Michael; Reichenberg, Abraham
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
Jennifer Lynn Bizon
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.
Memisevic, H.; Sinanovic, O.
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…
Latzman, Robert D.; Markon, Kristian E.
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…
Zimmerman, David L; Ownsworth, Tamara; O'Donovan, Analise; Roberts, Jacqueline; Gullo, Matthew J
Individuals with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) display diverse deficits in social, cognitive and behavioral functioning. To date, there has been mixed findings on the profile of executive function deficits for high-functioning adults (IQ > 70) with ASD. A conceptual distinction is commonly made between "cold" and "hot" executive functions. Cold executive functions refer to mechanistic higher-order cognitive operations (e.g., working memory), whereas hot executive functions entail cognitive abilities supported by emotional awareness and social perception (e.g., social cognition). This study aimed to determine the independence of deficits in hot and cold executive functions for high-functioning adults with ASD. Forty-two adults with ASD (64% male, aged 18-66 years) and 40 age and gender matched controls were administered The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT; emotion recognition and social inference), Letter Number Sequencing (working memory) and Hayling Sentence Completion Test (response initiation and suppression). Between-group analyses identified that the ASD group performed significantly worse than matched controls on all measures of cold and hot executive functions (d = 0.54 - 1.5). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that the ASD sample performed more poorly on emotion recognition and social inference tasks than matched controls after controlling for cold executive functions and employment status. The findings also indicated that the ability to recognize emotions and make social inferences was supported by working memory and response initiation and suppression processes. Overall, this study supports the distinction between hot and cold executive function impairments for adults with ASD. Moreover, it advances understanding of higher-order impairments underlying social interaction difficulties for this population which, in turn, may assist with diagnosis and inform intervention programs.
Jiang, Wenqing; Li, Yan; Du, Yasong; Fan, Juan
Objective This study aims to explore the feature of emotional regulation and executive functions in oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) children. Methods The emotional regulation and executive functions of adolescents with ODD, as well as the relationship between the two factors were analyzed using tools including Adolescent Daily Emotional Regulation Questionnaire (ADERQ), Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), in comparison with ...
Sosic-Vasic, Zrinka; Keis, Oliver; Lau, Maren; Spitzer, Manfred; Streb, Judith
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 teac...
Zrinka eSosic-Vasic; Oliver eKeis; Maren eLau; Manfred eSpitzer; Manfred eSpitzer; Judith eStreb
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 teach...
1 Award Number: W81XWH-11-1-0796 TITLE: Neural Markers and Rehabilitation of Executive Functioning in Veterans with TBI and PTSD PRINCIPAL...30Sept2015 - 29Sept2016 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE: Neural Markers and Rehabilitation of Executive Functioning in Veterans with TBI and PTSD 5a. CONTRACT... met criteria for TBI during military service, 48.8% of whom reported multiple head injuries. The most common mechanisms of injury included blast
Shields, Grant S.; Moons, Wesley G.; Tewell, Carl A.; Yonelinas, Andrew P.
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...
Jarrett, Matthew A
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).
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
Buczylowska, Dorota; Petermann, Franz
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.
Guiney, Hayley; Machado, Liana
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.
Full Text Available Even though positive relations between children's motor ability and their academic achievement are frequently reported, the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. Executive function has indeed been proposed, but hardly tested as a potential mediator. The aim of the present study was therefore to examine the mediating role of executive function in the relationship between motor ability and academic achievement, also investigating the individual contribution of specific motor abilities to the hypothesized mediated linkage to academic achievement. At intervals of ten weeks, 236 children aged between 10 and 12 years were tested in terms of their motor ability (t1: cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, motor coordination, core executive functions (t2: updating, inhibition, shifting, and academic achievement (t3: mathematics, reading, spelling. Structural equation modelling revealed executive function to be a mediator in the relation between motor ability and academic achievement, represented by a significant indirect effect. In separate analyses, each of the three motor abilities were positively related to children's academic achievement. However, only in the case of children's motor coordination, the mediation by executive function accounted for a significance percentage of variance of academic achievement data. The results provide evidence in support of models that conceive executive function as a mechanism explaining the relationship that links children's physical activity-related outcomes to academic achievement and strengthen the advocacy for quality physical activity not merely focused on health-related physical fitness outcomes, but also on motor skill development and learning.
Colom, Roberto; Solomon, Jeffrey; Krueger, Frank; Forbes, Chad; Grafman, Jordan
Although cognitive neuroscience has made remarkable progress in understanding the involvement of the prefrontal cortex in executive control, the broader functional networks that support high-level cognition and give rise to general intelligence remain to be well characterized. Here, we investigated the neural substrates of the general factor of intelligence (g) and executive function in 182 patients with focal brain damage using voxel-based lesion–symptom mapping. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System were used to derive measures of g and executive function, respectively. Impaired performance on these measures was associated with damage to a distributed network of left lateralized brain areas, including regions of frontal and parietal cortex and white matter association tracts, which bind these areas into a coordinated system. The observed findings support an integrative framework for understanding the architecture of general intelligence and executive function, supporting their reliance upon a shared fronto-parietal network for the integration and control of cognitive representations and making specific recommendations for the application of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System to the study of high-level cognition in health and disease. PMID:22396393
Full Text Available Several studies have suggested a bilingual advantage in executive functions, presumably due to bilinguals’ massive practice with language switching that requires executive resources, but the results are still somewhat controversial. Previous studies are also plagued by the inherent limitations of a natural groups design where the participant groups are bound to differ in many ways in addition to the variable used to classify them. In an attempt to introduce a complementary analysis approach, we employed multiple regression to study whether the performance of 30-75-year-old Finnish-Swedish bilinguals (n= 38 on tasks measuring different executive functions (inhibition, updating, and set shifting could be predicted by the frequency of language switches in everyday life (as measured by a language switching questionnaire, L2 age of acquisition, or by the self-estimated degree of use of both languages in everyday life. Most consistent effects were found for the set shifting task where a higher rate of everyday language switches was related to a smaller mixing cost in errors. Mixing cost is thought to reflect top-down management of competing task sets, thus resembling the bilingual situation where decisions of which language to use has to be made in each conversation. These findings provide additional support to the idea that some executive functions in bilinguals are affected by a lifelong experience in language switching and, perhaps even more importantly, suggest a complementary approach to the study of this issue.
Kavanaugh, Brian C; Scarborough, Vanessa Ramos; Salorio, Cynthia F
The present study examined clinical and demographic risk factors associated with parent-rated emotional-behavioral and executive functioning in children and adolescents with epilepsy. The medical records of 152 children and adolescents with epilepsy referred for neuropsychological evaluation were reviewed. Results indicated that the sample displayed significantly elevated symptoms across the emotional-behavioral and executive domains assessed. Executive functioning and behavioral symptoms had the highest rates of clinically elevated scores, with lowest rates of elevated scores in internalizing and externalizing emotional problems. Only 34% of those participants with clinically significant emotional-behavioral or executive functioning difficulties had a history of psychological or counseling services, highlighting the underserved mental health needs of this population. In regard to clinical factors, the majority of seizure-related variables were not associated with emotional-behavioral or executive functioning. However, the frequency of seizures (i.e., seizure status) was associated with behavioral regulation aspects of executive functioning, and the age at evaluation was associated with externalizing problems and behavioral symptoms. Family psychiatric history (with the exception of ADHD) was associated with all domains of executive and emotional-behavioral functioning. In summary, emotional-behavioral and executive functioning difficulties frequently co-occur with seizures in childhood epilepsy, with both seizure-related and demographic factors contributing to the presentation of such neurobehavioral comorbidities. The present findings provide treatment providers of childhood epilepsy with important information to assist in better identifying children and adolescents who may be at risk for neurobehavioral comorbidities and may benefit from intervention. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Braw, Yoram; Benozio, Avi; Levkovitz, Yechiel
Despite the upsurge of research regarding cognitive impairment in schizophrenia we still lack adequate understanding of the executive functioning of patients in symptomatic remission. Moreover, the cognitive functioning of patients in partial remission has not been studied previously although they comprise a significant proportion of schizophrenia patients. The current study therefore examined the executive functioning of patients in full symptomatic remission and for the first time assessed two sub-groups of patients in partial remission. Executive functioning of five groups was compared; symptomatic patients, patients in positive symptomatic remission, negative symptomatic remission, full symptomatic remission (SP, PSR, NSR, and FSR; N=101) and healthy controls (N=37). A graded cognitive profile was evident between the groups. SP patients exhibited widespread executive dysfunction while the performance of FSR patients was comparable to that of the healthy controls. Both PSR and NSR patients had working memory deficits, with PSR patients showing additional deficits in cognitive planning. The findings are encouraging, tentatively suggesting intact executive functioning among patients in full symptomatic remission. The graded cognitive profile of the patient groups strengthens earlier findings indicating the significant role of negative symptoms in determining executive dysfunction in schizophrenia. The findings point toward potential targets for therapeutic efforts and emphasize the need for further research of sub-groups of schizophrenia patients in partial remission. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Jennifer A. Hunter
general population sample consisting of those with high and low executive function, appropriately powered to detect the predicted proximity effect. If this effect occurs irrespective of executive function and socio-economic position, it may have potential to reduce inequalities patterned by socio-economic position if implemented in real-world settings such as shops or restaurants. Trial registration Registered with the ISRCTN registry: ISRCTN46995850 on 07 October 2015.
Verdine, Brian N; Irwin, Casey M; Golinkoff, Roberta Michnick; Hirsh-Pasek, Kathryn
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.
Zorza, Juan Pablo; Marino, Julián; Acosta Mesas, Alberto
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.
Grech, Lisa B; Kiropoulos, Litza A; Kirby, Katherine M; Butler, Ernest; Paine, Mark; Hester, Robert
The experience of cognitive deficits and emotional dysfunction are prevalent in people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS), although research examining their interaction has provided inconsistent findings. The current study examined the ability of executive function to predict psychosocial adjustment in PwMS. One hundred and seven PwMS underwent cognitive assessment and completed measures of stress, depression, anxiety, and quality of life (QoL). There was limited support for a relationship. There was no relationship between objective cognitive tasks and state or trait anxiety, mental health QoL, overall QoL, or stress frequency. The only relationship with depression was found when the Beck Depression Inventory Fast-Screen was used, with a task of planning when the timing element was removed. A measure of error rates on a task of cognitive flexibility predicted physical health QoL, and severity, but not frequency, of stress was predicted by a task of working memory. The results of this study highlight the need for further research into the relationship between cognitive deficits and psychosocial adjustment because of the conflicting findings between studies and call for a common measurement framework for future investigation.
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
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.
Andrew D. Ribner
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.
Raudszus, Henriette; Segers, Eliane; Verhoeven, Ludo
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.
Verburgh, Lot; Königs, Marsh; Scherder, Erik J A; Oosterlaan, Jaap
The goal of this meta-analysis was to aggregate available empirical studies on the effects of physical exercise on executive functions in preadolescent children (6-12 years of age), adolescents (13-17 years of age) and young adults (18-35 years of age). The electronic databases PubMed, EMBASE and SPORTDiscus were searched for relevant studies reporting on the effects of physical exercise on executive functions. Nineteen studies were selected. There was a significant overall effect of acute physical exercise on executive functions (d=0.52, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.76, pexercise (d=0.14, 95%CI -0.04 to 0.32, p=0.19) on executive functions (Q (1)=5.08, pexercise on the domain's inhibition/interference control (d=0.46, 95% CI 0.33 to 0.60, pexercise on planning (d=0.16, 95% CI 0.18 to 0.89, p=0.18). Results suggest that acute physical exercise enhances executive functioning. The number of studies on chronic physical exercise is limited and it should be investigated whether chronic physical exercise shows effects on executive functions comparable to acute physical exercise. This is highly relevant in preadolescent children and adolescents, given the importance of well-developed executive functions for daily life functioning and the current increase in sedentary behaviour in these age groups. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
Lu, Shaojia; Pan, Fen; Gao, Weijia; Wei, Zhaoguo; Wang, Dandan; Hu, Shaohua; Huang, Manli; Xu, Yi; Li, Lingjiang
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.
Full Text Available Abstract Objective: To describe the frequency of pragmatic and executive deficits in right brain damaged (RBD and in traumatic brain injury (TBI patients, and to verify possible dissociations between pragmatic and executive functions in these two groups. Methods: The sample comprised 7 cases of TBI and 7 cases of RBD. All participants were assessed by means of tasks from the Montreal Communication Evaluation Battery and executive functions tests including the Trail Making Test, Hayling Test, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, semantic and phonemic verbal fluency tasks, and working memory tasks from the Brazilian Brief Neuropsychological Assessment Battery NEUPSILIN. Z-score was calculated and a descriptive analysis of frequency of deficits (Z< -1.5 was carried out. Results: RBD patients presented with deficits predominantly on conversational and narrative discursive tasks, while TBI patients showed a wider spread pattern of pragmatic deficits. Regarding EF, RBD deficits included predominantly working memory and verbal initiation impairment. On the other hand, TBI individuals again exhibited a general profile of executive dysfunction, affecting mainly working memory, initiation, inhibition, planning and switching. Pragmatic and executive deficits were generally associated upon comparisons of RBD patients and TBI cases, except for two simple dissociations: two post-TBI cases showed executive deficits in the absence of pragmatic deficits. Discussion: Pragmatic and executive deficits can be very frequent following TBI or vascular RBD. There seems to be an association between these abilities, indicating that although they can co-occur, a cause-consequence relationship cannot be the only hypothesis.
Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen; Kahn, Rachel E; Lauharatanahirun, Nina; Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Bickel, Warren K; Chiu, Pearl H; King-Casas, Brooks
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.
Leyhe, Thomas; Saur, Ralf; Eschweiler, Gerhard W; Milian, Monika
Proverb interpretation is assumed to reflect executive functions. We hypothesized that proverb interpretation is impaired in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) diagnosed as single-domain impairment by common neuropsychological testing. We compared performance in a proverb interpretation test in single-domain aMCI patients and patients with early Alzheimer's disease (EAD). The groups with aMCI and EAD performed significantly worse than healthy controls. Both patient groups gave concrete answers with a similar frequency. However, patients with EAD tended to give senseless answers more frequently. Our data suggest that in patients diagnosed as single-domain aMCI, deterioration of executive functions is detectable with subtle and appropriate neuropsychological testing. Implementation of these procedures may improve the early prediction of AD.
Lugtenburg, Astrid; Voshaar, Richard C. Oude; Van Zelst, Willeke; Schoevers, Robert A.; Enriquez-Geppert, Stefanie; Zuidersma, Marij
Background: depression is associated with worse executive function, but underlying mechanisms might differ by age. Aims: to investigate whether vascular disease burden affects the association between depression and executive dysfunction differentially by age. Method: among 83,613 participants of
Ishizaki, Yuko; Fukuoka, Hideoki; Tanaka, Hidetaka; Ishizaki, Tatsuro; Fujii, Yuri; Hattori-Uchida, Yuko; Nakamura, Minako; Ohkawa, Kaoru; Kobayashi, Hodaka; Taniuchi, Shoichiro; Kaneko, Kazunari
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.
Maxfield, Molly; Pyszczynski, Tom; Greenberg, Jeff; Pepin, Renee; Davis, Hasker P.
In previous research, older adults responded to mortality salience (MS) with increased tolerance, whereas younger persons responded with increased punitiveness. One possible explanation for this is that many older adults adapt to challenges of later life, such as the prospect of mortality, by becoming more flexible. Recent studies suggest that positively-oriented adaptation is more likely for older adults with high levels of executive functioning. We thus hypothesized that the better an older adult's executive functioning, the more likely MS would result in increased tolerance. Older and younger adults were randomly assigned to MS or control conditions, and then evaluated moral transgressors. As in previous research, younger adults were more punitive following reminders of mortality; executive functioning did not affect their responses. Among older adults, high functioning individuals responded to MS with increased tolerance rather than intolerance, whereas those low in functioning became more punitive. PMID:21728445
Verhoeven, Katrien; Dick, Bruce; Eccleston, Christopher; Goubert, Liesbet; Crombez, Geert
Directing attention away from pain is often used in children's pain treatment programs to control pain. However, empirical evidence concerning its effectiveness is inconclusive. We therefore sought to understand other influencing factors, including executive function and its role in the pain experience. This study investigates the role of executive functioning in the effectiveness of distraction. School children (n=164) completed executive functioning tasks (inhibition, switching, and working memory) and performed a cold-pressor task. One half of the children simultaneously performed a distracting tone-detection task; the other half did not. Results showed that participants in the distraction group were engaged in the distraction task and were reported to pay significantly less attention to pain than controls. Executive functioning influenced distraction task engagement. More specifically, participants with good inhibition and working memory abilities performed the distraction task better; participants with good switching abilities reported having paid more attention to the distraction task. Furthermore, distraction was found to be ineffective in reducing pain intensity and affect. Executive functioning did not influence the effectiveness of distraction. However, a relationship was found between executive functioning and pain affect, indicating that participants with good inhibition and working memory abilities experienced the cold-pressor task as less stressful and unpleasant. Our findings suggest that distraction as a process for managing pain is complex. While it appears that executive function may play a role in adult distraction, in this study it did not direct attention away from pain. It may instead be involved in the overall pain experience. Copyright © 2013 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Stadskleiv, Kristine; von Tetzchner, Stephen; Batorowicz, Beata; van Balkom, Hans; Dahlgren-Sandberg, Annika; Renner, Gregor
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
Kudlicka, Aleksandra; Clare, Linda; Hindle, John V
High-quality person-centred care for people with Parkinson's disease (PwPD) and their families relies on identifying and addressing factors that specifically impact on quality of life (QoL). Deficits in executive functions (EF) are common in Parkinson's disease, but their impact on PwPD and their caregivers is not well understood. The present study evaluated how EF contributes to QoL and health status for the PwPD and caregiver burden. Sixty-five PwPD completed measures of QoL, health status and EF, and 50 caregivers rated the EF of the PwPD and their own burden. Multiple regression analyses examined predictors of QoL (general life, health and movement disorders domains), health status and caregiver burden. Quality of life in the health and movement disorders domains was best explained by caregiver-rated EF, whereas QoL in the general life domain was best explained by level of depression. Health status was predicted by self-rated EF, with an objective EF measure also included in the regression model. Caregiver burden was best explained by caregiver-rated EF and disease severity, with general cognition and other factors also included in the regression model. Executive functions-related behavioural problems may contribute to QoL and health status in PwPD and affect caregiver burden. The findings support the view that the concepts of subjective QoL and self-assessed health status are only partially related and should not be seen as identical. Adequate strategies to reduce the impact of EF deficits are needed as this may have the potential to improve QoL in PwPD. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Pauline E.J. Spaan
Full Text Available Structural equation modeling was used to investigate whether age-related episodic and semantic memory impairments are better explained by decline in processing speed or executive functioning (or both, rather than directly in terms of memory components. The models tested were based on an extensive review of the literature on cognitive decline in normal aging, up to very old age. A computerized test battery, measuring episodic memory (free and cued recall; recognition, semantic memory (fluency; naming accuracy and latencies, processing speed and executive functioning, was administered to 234 elderly persons ranging from young-old to very old age (55–96 years. To avoid large variance in response times due to physical instead of cognitive limitations, no motor responses were required from participants. Age-related decline in episodic and semantic memory performance was found to be the consequence of declines in processing speed and executive functioning. Processing speed mainly mediated decline of semantic memory, whereas executive functioning mainly mediated episodic memory decline. The most parsimonious model showed that both processing speed and executive functioning attributed to memory decline but independent from one another. The results suggest that at very old age, the impact of executive dysfunctions on episodic memory performance exceeds the influence of cognitive slowing.
Danielsson, H.; Henry, L.; Messer, D. J.; Ronnberg, J.
Children with intellectual disability (ID) were given a comprehensive range of executive functioning measures, which systematically varied in terms of verbal and non-verbal demands. Their performance was compared to the performance of groups matched on mental age (MA) and chronological age (CA), respectively. Twenty-two children were included in each group. Children with ID performed on par with the MA group on switching, verbal executive-loaded working memory and most fluency tasks, but belo...
This thesis examined inhibition, executive functioning and their possible relation to childhood problems of hyperactivity and inattention, in its clinical form referred to as Attention Deficit Hyper-activity Disorder (ADHD). Concurrent as well as longitudinal relations were of interest, and both clinical and non-clinical samples were studied. Study I demonstrated concurrent relations between executive inhibition and both hyperactivity and conduct problems in preschool. However, the relation ...
Chung, Kevin K. H.; McBride-Chang, Catherine
Eighty-five Hong Kong Chinese children were tested across both the 2nd and 3rd years of kindergarten (ages 4-5 years) on tasks of inhibitory control, working memory, vocabulary knowledge, phonological awareness, morphological awareness, and word reading. With age, vocabulary knowledge, and metalinguistic skills statistically controlled, the…
Gold, James M; Robinson, Benjamin; Leonard, Carly J; Hahn, Britta; Chen, Shuo; McMahon, Robert P; Luck, Steven J
People with schizophrenia demonstrate impairments in selective attention, working memory, and executive function. Given the overlap in these constructs, it is unclear if these represent distinct impairments or different manifestations of one higher-order impairment. To examine this question, we administered tasks from the basic cognitive neuroscience literature to measure visual selective attention, working memory capacity, and executive function in 126 people with schizophrenia and 122 healthy volunteers. Patients demonstrated deficits on all tasks with the exception of selective attention guided by strong bottom-up inputs. Although the measures of top-down control of selective attention, working memory, and executive function were all intercorrelated, several sources of evidence indicate that working memory and executive function are separate sources of variance. Specifically, both working memory and executive function independently contributed to the discrimination of group status and independently accounted for variance in overall general cognitive ability as assessed by the MATRICS battery. These two cognitive functions appear to be separable features of the cognitive impairments observed in schizophrenia. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full Text Available The specific aspects of cognition contributing to balance and gait have not been clarified in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD. Twenty PD participants and twenty age- and gender-matched healthy controls were assessed on cognition and clinical mobility tests. General cognition was assessed with the Mini Mental State Exam and Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Exam. Executive function was evaluated using the Trail Making Tests (TMT-A and TMT-B and a computerized cognitive battery which included a series of choice reaction time (CRT tests. Clinical gait and balance measures included the Tinetti, Timed Up & Go, Berg Balance, and Functional Reach tests. PD participants performed significantly worse than the controls on the tests of cognitive and executive function, balance, and gait. PD participants took longer on Trail Making Tests, CRT-Location, and CRT-Colour (inhibition response. Furthermore, executive function, particularly longer times on CRT-Distracter and greater errors on the TMT-B, was associated with worse balance and gait performance in the PD group. Measures of general cognition were not associated with balance and gait measures in either group. For PD participants, attention and executive function were impaired. Components of executive function, particularly those involving inhibition response and distracters, were associated with poorer balance and gait performance in PD.
Gilsoul, Jessica; Simon, Jessica; Hogge, Michaël; Collette, Fabienne
The executive processes are well known to decline with age, and similar data also exists for attentional capacities and processing speed. Therefore, we investigated whether these two last nonexecutive variables would mediate the effect of age on executive functions (inhibition, shifting, updating, and dual-task coordination). We administered a large battery of executive, attentional and processing speed tasks to 104 young and 71 older people, and we performed mediation analyses with variables showing a significant age effect. All executive and processing speed measures showed age-related effects while only the visual scanning task performance (selective attention) was explained by age when controlled for gender and educational level. Regarding mediation analyses, visual scanning partially mediated the age effect on updating while processing speed partially mediated the age effect on shifting, updating and dual-task coordination. In a more exploratory way, inhibition was also found to partially mediate the effect of age on the three other executive functions. Attention did not greatly influence executive functioning in aging while, in agreement with the literature, processing speed seems to be a major mediator of the age effect on these processes. Interestingly, the global pattern of results seems also to indicate an influence of inhibition but further studies are needed to confirm the role of that variable as a mediator and its relative importance by comparison with processing speed.
Ghawami, Heshmatollah; Sadeghi, Sadegh; Raghibi, Mahvash; Rahimi-Movaghar, Vafa
Executive dysfunctions are among the most prevalent neurobehavioral sequelae of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Using culturally validated tests from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS: Trail Making, Verbal Fluency, Design Fluency, Sorting, Twenty Questions, and Tower) and the Behavioural Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome (BADS: Rule Shift Cards, Key Search, and Modified Six Elements), the current study was the first to examine executive functioning in a group of Iranian TBI patients with focal frontal contusions. Compared with a demographically matched normative sample, the frontal contusion patients showed substantial impairments, with very large effect sizes (p ≤ .003, 1.56 executive measures. Controlling for respective lower-level/fundamental conditions, the differences on the highest-level executive (cognitive switching) conditions were still significant. The frontal patients also committed more errors. Patients with lateral prefrontal (LPFC) contusions were qualitatively worst. For example, only the LPFC patients committed perseverative repetition errors. Altogether, our results support the notion that the frontal lobes, specifically the lateral prefrontal regions, play a critical role in cognitive executive functioning, over and above the contributions of respective lower-level cognitive abilities. The results provide clinical evidence for validity of the cross-culturally adapted versions of the tests.
Masley, Steven C; Roetzheim, Richard; Clayton, Gwendolyn; Presby, Angela; Sundberg, Kelley; Masley, Lucas V
Rates of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease are increasing rapidly. None of the current treatment regimens for Alzheimer's disease are effective in arresting progression. Lifestyle choices may prevent cognitive decline. This study aims to clarify which factors best predict cognitive function. This was a prospective cross-sectional analysis of 799 men and women undergoing health and cognitive testing every 1 to 3 years at an outpatient center. This study utilizes data collected from the first patient visit. Participant ages were 18 to 88 (mean = 50.7) years and the sample was 26.6% female and 73.4% male. Measurements were made of body composition, fasting laboratory and anthropometric measures, strength and aerobic fitness, nutrient and dietary intake, and carotid intimal media thickness (IMT). Each participant was tested with a computerized neurocognitive test battery. Cognitive outcomes were assessed in bivariate analyses using t-tests and correlation coefficients and in multivariable analysis (controlling for age) using multiple linear regression. The initial bivariate analyses showed better Neurocognitive Index (NCI) scores with lower age, greater fitness scores (push-up strength, VO 2 max, and exercise duration during treadmill testing), and lower fasting glucose levels. Better cognitive flexibility scores were also noted with younger age, lower systolic blood pressure, lower body fat, lower carotid IMT scores, greater fitness, and higher alcohol intake. After controlling for age, factors that remained associated with better NCI scores include no tobacco use, lower fasting glucose levels, and better fitness (aerobic and strength). Higher cognitive flexibility scores remained associated with greater aerobic and strength fitness, lower body fat, and higher intake of alcohol. Modifiable biomarkers that impact cognitive performance favorably include greater aerobic fitness and strength, lower blood sugar levels, greater alcohol intake, lower body
Brown, Thomas E; Holdnack, James; Saylor, Keith; Adler, Lenard; Spencer, Thomas; Williams, David W; Padival, Anoop K; Schuh, Kory; Trzepacz, Paula T; Kelsey, Douglas
To assess the effect of atomoxetine on ADHD-related executive functions over a 6-month period using the Brown Attention-Deficit Disorder Scale (BADDS) for Adults, a normed, 40-item, self-report scale in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. In a randomized, double-blind clinical trial, adults with ADHD received either atomoxetine 25 to 100 mg/day or placebo for 6 months. Patients completed the BADDS to report their current daily functioning in 5 clusters of ADHD-related impairments of executive functioning: (1) Organizing and Activating to Work; (2) Focusing for Tasks; (3) Regulating Alertness and Effort; (4) Modulating Emotions; and (5) Utilizing Working Memory. Mean scores were significantly more improved in the atomoxetine group compared to the placebo group: total score, -27.0 versus -19.0 (p executive function impairments in adults with ADHD as assessed by the BADDS.