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
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
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"…
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
Sass, Katharina; Fetz, Karolina; Oetken, Sarah; Habel, Ute; Heim, Stefan
The present study introduces "Emotional Verbal Fluency" as a novel (partially computerized) task, which is aimed to investigate the interaction between emotionally loaded words and executive functions. Verbal fluency tasks are thought to measure executive functions but the interaction with emotional aspects is hardly investigated. In the current study, a group of healthy subjects (n = 21, mean age 25 years, 76% females) were asked to generate items that are either part of a semantic category (e.g., plants, toys, vehicles; standard semantic verbal fluency) or can trigger the emotions joy, anger, sadness, fear and disgust. The results of the task revealed no differences between performance on semantic and emotional categories, suggesting a comparable task difficulty for healthy subjects. Hence, these first results on the comparison between semantic and emotional verbal fluency seem to highlight that both might be suitable for examining executive functioning. However, an interaction was found between the category type and repetition (first vs. second sequence of the same category) with larger performance decrease for semantic in comparison to emotional categories. Best performance overall was found for the emotional category "joy" suggesting a positivity bias in healthy subjects. To conclude, emotional verbal fluency is a promising approach to investigate emotional components in an executive task, which may stimulate further research, especially in psychiatric patients who suffer from emotional as well as cognitive deficits.
Full Text Available The present study introduces “Emotional Verbal Fluency” as a novel (partially computerized task, which is aimed to investigate the interaction between emotionally loaded words and executive functions. Verbal fluency tasks are thought to measure executive functions but the interaction with emotional aspects is hardly investigated. In the current study, a group of healthy subjects (n = 21, mean age 25 years, 76% females were asked to generate items that are either part of a semantic category (e.g., plants, toys, vehicles; standard semantic verbal fluency or can trigger the emotions joy, anger, sadness, fear and disgust. The results of the task revealed no differences between performance on semantic and emotional categories, suggesting a comparable task difficulty for healthy subjects. Hence, these first results on the comparison between semantic and emotional verbal fluency seem to highlight that both might be suitable for examining executive functioning. However, an interaction was found between the category type and repetition (first vs. second sequence of the same category with larger performance decrease for semantic in comparison to emotional categories. Best performance overall was found for the emotional category “joy” suggesting a positivity bias in healthy subjects. To conclude, emotional verbal fluency is a promising approach to investigate emotional components in an executive task, which may stimulate further research, especially in psychiatric patients who suffer from emotional as well as cognitive deficits.
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
Soar, K; Chapman, E; Lavan, N; Jansari, A S; Turner, J J D
Caffeine has been shown to have effects on certain areas of cognition, but in executive functioning the research is limited and also inconsistent. One reason could be the need for a more sensitive measure to detect the effects of caffeine on executive function. This study used a new non-immersive virtual reality assessment of executive functions known as JEF(©) (the Jansari Assessment of Executive Function) alongside the 'classic' Stroop Colour-Word task to assess the effects of a normal dose of caffeinated coffee on executive function. Using a double-blind, counterbalanced within participants procedure 43 participants were administered either a caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee and completed the 'JEF(©)' and Stroop tasks, as well as a subjective mood scale and blood pressure pre- and post condition on two separate occasions a week apart. JEF(©) yields measures for eight separate aspects of executive functions, in addition to a total average score. Findings indicate that performance was significantly improved on the planning, creative thinking, event-, time- and action-based prospective memory, as well as total JEF(©) score following caffeinated coffee relative to the decaffeinated coffee. The caffeinated beverage significantly decreased reaction times on the Stroop task, but there was no effect on Stroop interference. The results provide further support for the effects of a caffeinated beverage on cognitive functioning. In particular, it has demonstrated the ability of JEF(©) to detect the effects of caffeine across a number of executive functioning constructs, which weren't shown in the Stroop task, suggesting executive functioning improvements as a result of a 'typical' dose of caffeine may only be detected by the use of more real-world, ecologically valid tasks. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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.
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...
Booth, Josephine N; Boyle, James M E; Kelly, Steve W
Research studies have implicated executive functions in reading difficulties (RD). But while some studies have found children with RD to be impaired on tasks of executive function other studies report unimpaired performance. A meta-analysis was carried out to determine whether these discrepant findings can be accounted for by differences in the tasks of executive function that are utilized. A total of 48 studies comparing the performance on tasks of executive function of children with RD with their typically developing peers were included in the meta-analysis, yielding 180 effect sizes. An overall effect size of 0.57 (SE .03) was obtained, indicating that children with RD have impairments on tasks of executive function. However, effect sizes varied considerably suggesting that the impairment is not uniform. Moderator analysis revealed that task modality and IQ-achievement discrepancy definitions of RD influenced the magnitude of effect; however, the age and gender of participants and the nature of the RD did not have an influence. While the children's RD were associated with executive function impairments, variation in effect size is a product of the assessment task employed, underlying task demands, and definitional criteria.
Moradzadeh, Linda; Blumenthal, Galit; Wiseheart, Melody
This study investigated whether musical training and bilingualism are associated with enhancements in specific components of executive function, namely, task switching and dual-task performance. Participants (n = 153) belonging to one of four groups (monolingual musician, bilingual musician, bilingual non-musician, or monolingual non-musician)…
Full Text Available Abstract Background Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder involving impairments in executive functioning, which are important cognitive processes that can be assessed by planning tasks such as the Stockings of Cambridge (SOC, and tasks of rule learning/abstraction such as the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST. We undertook this study to investigate the association between performance during separate phases of SOC and WCST, including mean cerebral blood flow velocity (MFV measurements in chronic schizophrenia. Methods Functional transcranial Doppler sonography (fTCD was used to assess bilateral MFV changes in the middle (MCA and anterior (ACA cerebral arteries. Twenty-two patients with chronic schizophrenia and 20 healthy subjects with similar sociodemographic characteristics performed SOC and WCST during fTCD measurements of the MCA and the ACA. The SOC was varied in terms of easy and difficult problems, and also in terms of separate phases, namely mental planning and movement execution. The WCST performance was assessed separately for maintaining set and set shifting. This allowed us to examine the impact of problem difficulty and the impact of separate phases of a planning task on distinct intervals of WCST. Simultaneous registration of MFV was carried out to investigate the linkage of brain perfusion during the tasks. Results In patients, slowing of movement execution during easy problems (SOC was associated with slowing during maintaining set (WCST (P Conclusion The results of this study demonstrate performance and brain perfusion abnormalities in the association pattern of two different tasks of executive functioning in schizophrenia, and they support the notion that executive functions have a pathological functional correlate predominantly in the lateral hemispheres of the brain. This study also underpins the scientific potential of fTCD in assessing brain perfusion in patients with schizophrenia.
Kray, Jutta; Karbach, Julia; Haenig, Susann; Freitag, Christine
The key cognitive impairments of children with attention deficit/-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) include executive control functions such as inhibitory control, task-switching, and working memory (WM). In this training study we examined whether task-switching training leads to improvements in these functions. Twenty children with combined type ADHD and stable methylphenidate medication performed a single-task and a task-switching training in a crossover training design. The children were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group started with the single-task training and then performed the task-switching training and the other group vice versa. The effectiveness of the task-switching training was measured as performance improvements (relative to the single-task training) on a structurally similar but new switching task and on other executive control tasks measuring inhibitory control and verbal WM as well as on fluid intelligence (reasoning). The children in both groups showed improvements in task-switching, that is, a reduction of switching costs, but not in performing the single-tasks across four training sessions. Moreover, the task-switching training lead to selective enhancements in task-switching performance, that is, the reduction of task-switching costs was found to be larger after task-switching than after single-task training. Similar selective improvements were observed for inhibitory control and verbal WM, but not for reasoning. Results of this study suggest that task-switching training is an effective cognitive intervention that helps to enhance executive control functioning in children with ADHD.
Full Text Available The key cognitive impairments of children with attention deficit/-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD include executive control functions such as inhibitory control, task switching, and working memory. In this training study we examined whether task-switching training leads to improvements in these functions. Twenty children with combined type ADHD and stable methylphenidate medication performed a single-task and a task-switching training in a crossover training design. The children were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group started with the single-task training and then performed the task-switching training and the other group vice versa. The effectiveness of the task-switching training was measured as performance improvements (relative to the single-task training on a structurally similar but new switching task and on other executive control tasks measuring inhibitory control and verbal working memory as well as on fluid intelligence (reasoning. The children in both groups showed improvements in task switching, that is, a reduction of switching costs, but not in performing the single tasks across four training sessions. Moreover, the task-switching training lead to selective enhancements in task-switching performance, that is, the reduction of task-switching costs was found to be larger after task-switching than after single-task training. Similar selective improvements were observed for inhibitory control and verbal working memory, but not for reasoning. Results of this study suggest that task-switching training is an effective cognitive intervention that helps to enhance executive control functioning in children with ADHD.
Spedden, Meaghan E; Malling, Anne Sofie B; Andersen, Ken K
The objective was to examine associations between motor and executive function across the adult lifespan and to investigate the role of motor complexity in these associations. Young, middle-aged and older adults (n = 82; 19-83y) performed two gross-motor tasks with different levels of complexity...... and a Stroop-like computer task. Performance was decreased in older adults. The association between motor and cognitive performance was significant for older adults in the complex motor task (p = 0.03, rs = -0.41), whereas no significant associations were found for young or middle-aged groups, suggesting...... that the link between gross-motor and executive function emerges with age and depends on motor complexity....
Cardoso, Caroline de Oliveira; Zimmermann, Nicolle; Paraná, Camila Borges; Gindri, Gigiane; de Pereira, Ana Paula Almeida; Fonseca, Rochele Paz
Over recent years, neuropsychological research has been increasingly concerned with the need to develop more ecologically valid instruments for the assessment of executive functions. The Hotel Task is one of the most widely used ecological measures of executive functioning, and provides an assessment of planning, organization, self-monitoring and cognitive flexibility. Objective The goal of this study was to adapt the Hotel Task for use in the Brazilian population. Methods The sample comprised 27 participants (three translators, six expert judges, seven healthy adults, ten patients with traumatic brain injuries and one hotel manager). The adaptation process consisted of five steps, which were repeated until a satisfactory version of the task was produced. The steps were as follows: (1) Translation; (2) Development of new stimuli and brainstorming among the authors; (3) Analysis by expert judges; (4) Pilot studies; (5) Assessment by an expert in business administration and hotel management. Results The adapted version proved adequate and valid for the assessment of executive functions. However, further research must be conducted to obtain evidence of the reliability, as well as the construct and criterion validity, sensitivity and specificity, of the Hotel Task. Conclusion Many neurological and/or psychiatric populations may benefit from the adapted task, since it may make significant contributions to the assessment of dysexecutive syndromes and their impact on patient functioning. PMID:29213957
Cardoso, Caroline de Oliveira; Zimmermann, Nicolle; Paraná, Camila Borges; Gindri, Gigiane; de Pereira, Ana Paula Almeida; Fonseca, Rochele Paz
Over recent years, neuropsychological research has been increasingly concerned with the need to develop more ecologically valid instruments for the assessment of executive functions. The Hotel Task is one of the most widely used ecological measures of executive functioning, and provides an assessment of planning, organization, self-monitoring and cognitive flexibility. The goal of this study was to adapt the Hotel Task for use in the Brazilian population. The sample comprised 27 participants (three translators, six expert judges, seven healthy adults, ten patients with traumatic brain injuries and one hotel manager). The adaptation process consisted of five steps, which were repeated until a satisfactory version of the task was produced. The steps were as follows:(1) Translation;(2) Development of new stimuli and brainstorming among the authors;(3) Analysis by expert judges;(4) Pilot studies;(5) Assessment by an expert in business administration and hotel management. The adapted version proved adequate and valid for the assessment of executive functions. However, further research must be conducted to obtain evidence of the reliability, as well as the construct and criterion validity, sensitivity and specificity, of the Hotel Task. Many neurological and/or psychiatric populations may benefit from the adapted task, since it may make significant contributions to the assessment of dysexecutive syndromes and their impact on patient functioning.
Beltracchi, L.; Lindsay, R.W.
Human error in execution of critical functions and tasks can be costly. The Three Mile Island and the Chernobyl Accidents are examples of results from human error in the nuclear industry. There are similar errors that could no doubt be cited from other industries. This paper discusses a strategy to minimize common mode human error in the execution of critical functions and tasks. The strategy consists of the use of human redundancy, and also diversity in human cognitive behavior: skill-, rule-, and knowledge-based behavior. The authors contend that the use of diversity in human cognitive behavior is possible, and it minimizes common mode error
Anastas, Jason R.; Stephen, Damian G.; Dixon, James A.
Recent approaches to cognition explain cognitive phenomena in terms of interaction-dominant dynamics. In the current experiment, we extend this approach to executive function, a construct used to describe flexible, goal-oriented behavior. Participants were asked to perform a widely used executive function task, card sorting, under two conditions. In one condition, participants were given a rule with which to sort the cards. In the other condition, participants had to induce the rule from experimenter feedback. The motion of each participant’s hand was tracked during the sorting task. Detrended fluctuation analysis was performed on the inter-point time series using a windowing strategy to capture changes over each trial. For participants in the induction condition, the Hurst exponent sharply increased and then decreased. The Hurst exponents for the explicit condition did not show this pattern. Our results suggest that executive function may be understood in terms of changes in stability that arise from interaction-dominant dynamics.
Korthauer, L E; Nowak, N T; Frahmand, M; Driscoll, I
Although effective spatial navigation requires memory for objects and locations, navigating a novel environment may also require considerable executive resources. The present study investigated associations between performance on the virtual Morris Water Task (vMWT), an analog version of a nonhuman spatial navigation task, and neuropsychological tests of executive functioning and spatial performance in 75 healthy young adults. More effective vMWT performance (e.g., lower latency and distance to reach hidden platform, greater distance in goal quadrant on a probe trial, fewer path intersections) was associated with better verbal fluency, set switching, response inhibition, and ability to mentally rotate objects. Findings also support a male advantage in spatial navigation, with sex moderating several associations between vMWT performance and executive abilities. Overall, we report a robust relationship between executive functioning and navigational skill, with some evidence that men and women may differentially recruit cognitive abilities when navigating a novel environment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Ntourou, Katerina; Anderson, Julie D; Wagovich, Stacy A
The purpose of this study was to examine the executive function (EF) abilities of preschool children who do (CWS) and do not stutter (CWNS) using a parent-report questionnaire and a behavioral task. Participants were 75 CWS and 75 CWNS between the ages of 3;0 and 5;11 (years; months). Parents rated their children's EF abilities using the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool Version (BRIEF-P; Gioia, Espy, & Isquith, 2003). Children's ability to integrate cognitive flexibility, inhibitory control, and working memory was measured using a behavioral task, the Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders (HTKS; Cameron Ponitz, McClelland, Matthews, & Morrison, 2009). The CWS were judged by their parents as being less proficient in working memory, shift/flexibility, and overall EF than the parents of the CWNS. Children in the CWS group were also 2½ to 7 times more likely than children in the CWNS group to exhibit clinically significant difficulties with EF. Behavioral task findings revealed that 3-year old CWS performed more poorly than their peers on the HTKS. Parental ratings of executive function and working memory were significantly and moderately correlated with receptive and expressive vocabulary skills only for the CWNS group. CWS have more difficulty with EF in everyday life and may experience early delays in their ability to integrate aspects of attention and EF compared to CWNS. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Mezzacappa, E; Kindlon, D; Earls, F
We examined executive functions using performance tasks in 126 boys aged 6 to 16 years. who attended public schools and therapeutic schools for children with emotional and behavioral problems. Children were further grouped based on the presence or absence of substantiated abuse histories. Based on their abuse histories and schools of origin, children were classified as Therapeutic, Abused (TA, N = 25). Therapeutic, Nonabused (TN, N = 52), and Public School (PS, N = 48). Controlling IQ and medication status, we compared children in the three groups on teacher ratings of behavior, on experimenter observations of behavior during testing, and on performance tasks challenging the capacities to inhibit an act in progress, and to passively avoid responses associated with adverse consequences. We examined mean group differences in symptoms, behaviors, and task performance, as well as differential age-dependent changes in these dimensions. Independent of abuse history, therapeutic school children demonstrated comparable levels of internalizing and externalizing symptoms, and comparable levels of redirections to task during testing-sessions, that were significantly higher than those of the public school children. Both groups of therapeutic school children also showed comparable overall performance on the capacities to inhibit an act in progress, and to passively avoid responses associated with adverse consequences that were poorer than the performance of children from the public school. Children with histories of substantiated abuse showed diminished improvement with increasing age in the capacity to passively avoid responses associated with adverse consequences when compared not only to the public school children, but also to the children from the therapeutic schools without histories of abuse. Our findings complement reports of behavioral observations of abused children, and reports associating child abuse with altered cognitive development in other areas of competence
Vasquez, Brandon P; Binns, Malcolm A; Anderson, Nicole D
Little is known about the relationship of executive functioning with age-related increases in response time (RT) distribution indices (intraindividual standard deviation [ISD], and ex-Gaussian parameters mu, sigma, tau). The goals of this study were to (a) replicate findings of age-related changes in response time distribution indices during an engaging touch-screen RT task and (b) investigate age-related changes in the relationship between executive functioning and RT distribution indices. Healthy adults (24 young [aged 18-30], 24 young-old [aged 65-74], and 24 old-old [aged 75-85]) completed a touch-screen attention task and a battery of neuropsychological tests. The relationships between RT performance and executive functions were examined with structural equation modeling (SEM). ISD, mu, and tau, but not sigma, increased with age. SEM revealed tau as the most salient RT index associated with neuropsychological measures of executive functioning. Further analysis demonstrated that correlations between tau and a weighted executive function composite were significant only in the old-old group. Our results replicate findings of greater RT inconsistency in older adults and reveal that executive functioning is related to tau in adults aged 75-85. These results support literature identifying tau as a marker of cognitive control, which deteriorates in old age. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hosseini, S M Hadi; Pritchard-Berman, Mika; Sosa, Natasha; Ceja, Angelica; Kesler, Shelli R
Cognitive training is an emergent approach to improve cognitive functions in various neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases. However, current training programs can be relatively lengthy, making adherence potentially difficult for patients with cognitive difficulties. Previous studies suggest that providing individuals with real-time feedback about the level of brain activity (neurofeedback) can potentially help them learn to control the activation of specific brain regions. In the present study, we developed a novel task-based neurofeedback training paradigm that benefits from the effects of neurofeedback in parallel with computerized training. We focused on executive function training given its core involvement in various developmental and neurodegenerative diseases. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) was employed for providing neurofeedback by measuring changes in oxygenated hemoglobin in the prefrontal cortex. Of the twenty healthy adult participants, ten received real neurofeedback (NFB) on prefrontal activity during cognitive training, and ten were presented with sham feedback (SHAM). Compared with SHAM, the NFB group showed significantly improved executive function performance including measures of working memory after four sessions of training (100min total). The NFB group also showed significantly reduced training-related brain activity in the executive function network including right middle frontal and inferior frontal regions compared with SHAM. Our data suggest that providing neurofeedback along with cognitive training can enhance executive function after a relatively short period of training. Similar designs could potentially be used for patient populations with known neuropathology, potentially helping them to boost/recover the activity in the affected brain regions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Moradzadeh, Linda; Blumenthal, Galit; Wiseheart, Melody
This study investigated whether musical training and bilingualism are associated with enhancements in specific components of executive function, namely, task switching and dual-task performance. Participants (n = 153) belonging to one of four groups (monolingual musician, bilingual musician, bilingual non-musician, or monolingual non-musician) were matched on age and socioeconomic status and administered task switching and dual-task paradigms. Results demonstrated reduced global and local switch costs in musicians compared with non-musicians, suggesting that musical training can contribute to increased efficiency in the ability to shift flexibly between mental sets. On dual-task performance, musicians also outperformed non-musicians. There was neither a cognitive advantage for bilinguals relative to monolinguals, nor an interaction between music and language to suggest additive effects of both types of experience. These findings demonstrate that long-term musical training is associated with improvements in task switching and dual-task performance. Copyright © 2014 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Tapper, Anthony; Gonzalez, Dave; Roy, Eric; Niechwiej-Szwedo, Ewa
The purpose of this study was to examine executive functions in team sport athletes with and without a history of concussion. Executive functions comprise many cognitive processes including, working memory, attention and multi-tasking. Past research has shown that concussions cause difficulties in vestibular-visual and vestibular-auditory dual-tasking, however, visual-auditory tasks have been examined rarely. Twenty-nine intercollegiate varsity ice hockey athletes (age = 19.13, SD = 1.56; 15 females) performed an experimental dual-task paradigm that required simultaneously processing visual and auditory information. A brief interview, event description and self-report questionnaires were used to assign participants to each group (concussion, no-concussion). Eighteen athletes had a history of concussion and 11 had no concussion history. The two tests involved visuospatial working memory (i.e., Corsi block test) and auditory tone discrimination. Participants completed both tasks individually, then simultaneously. Two outcome variables were measured, Corsi block memory span and auditory tone discrimination accuracy. No differences were shown when each task was performed alone; however, athletes with a history of concussion had a significantly worse performance on the tone discrimination task in the dual-task condition. In conclusion, long-term deficits in executive functions were associated with a prior history of concussion when cognitive resources were stressed. Evaluations of executive functions and divided attention appear to be helpful in discriminating participants with and without a history concussion.
Full Text Available The most significant segment during the process of solving mathematical tasks is translation from mathematical to native language, in the basis o which, among others, are the following factors: resistance to distraction and forming adequate verbal strategies. The goal of this research is to evaluate the contribution of some aspects of executive functions in explaining the variance of solving illustrative mathematical tasks in students with mild intellectual disability. The sample consists of 90 students with mild intellectual disability aged from 12 to 16 (M=14.7; SD=1.6, of both sexes (44.4% boys and 55.6% girls. The Twenty questions test and the Stroop test were used to estimate the executive functions. Verbal problem tasks were used for the purpose of understanding mathematical language The obtained results show that the estimated aspects of executive functions are significant predictors of understanding mathematical language in students with intellectual disabilities. The strongest predictor is distraction resistance (p=0.01.
Full Text Available Research suggests that being bilingual results in advantages on executive control processes and disadvantages on language tasks relative to monolinguals. Furthermore, the executive function advantage is thought to be larger in older than younger adults, suggesting that bilingualism may buffer against age-related changes in executive function. However, there are potential confounds in some of the previous research, as well as inconsistencies in the literature. The goal of the current investigation was to examine the presence of a bilingual advantage in executive control and a bilingual disadvantage on language tasks in the same sample of young and older monolingual anglophones, monolingual francophones, and French/English bilinguals. Participants completed a series of executive function tasks, including a Stroop task, a Simon task, a sustained attention to response task (SART, the Wisconsin Card Sort Test (WCST, and the digit span subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, and language tasks, including the Boston Naming Test (BNT, and category and letter fluency. The results do not demonstrate an unequivocal advantage for bilinguals on executive function tasks and raise questions about the reliability, robustness and/or specificity of previous findings. The results also did not demonstrate a disadvantage for bilinguals on language tasks. Rather, they suggest that there may be an influence of the language environment. It is concluded that additional research is required to fully characterize any language group differences in both executive function and language tasks.
Ângela Fernandes; Nuno Rocha; Rubim Santos; João Manuel R. S. Tavares
The aim of this study was to analyze the efficacy of cognitive-motor dual-task training compared with single-task training on balance and executive functions in individuals with Parkinson's disease. Fifteen subjects, aged between 39 and 75 years old, were randomly assigned to the dual-task training group (n = 8) and single-task training group (n = 7). The training was run twice a week for 6 weeks. The single-task group received balance training and the dual-task group performed cognitive task...
Booth, Josephine N.; Boyle, James M. E.; Kelly, Steve W.
Research studies have implicated executive functions in reading difficulties (RD). But while some studies have found children with RD to be impaired on tasks of executive function other studies report unimpaired performance. A meta-analysis was carried out to determine whether these discrepant findings can be accounted for by differences in the…
Full Text Available Few studies to date have investigated the background network in the cognitive state relying on executive function in mild cognitive impairment (MCI patients. Using the index of degree of centrality (DC, we explored distant synchronization of background network in MCI during a hybrid delayed-match-to-sample task (DMST, which mainly relies on the working memory component of executive function. We observed significant interactions between group and cognitive state in the bilateral posterior cingulate cortex (PCC and the ventral subregion of precuneus. For normal control (NC group, the long distance functional connectivity (FC of the PCC/precuneus with the other regions of the brain was higher in rest state than that working memory state. For MCI patients, however, this pattern altered. There was no significant difference between rest and working memory state. The similar pattern was observed in the other cluster located in the right angular gyrus. To examine whether abnormal DC in PCC/precuneus and angular gyrus partially resulted from the deficit of FC between these regions and the other parts in the whole brain, we conducted a seed-based correlation analysis with these regions as seeds. The results indicated that the FC between bilateral PCC/precuneus and the right inferior parietal lobule (IPL increased from rest to working memory state for NC participants. For MCI patients, however, there was no significant change between rest and working memory state. The similar pattern was observed for the FC between right angular gyrus and right anterior insula. However, there was no difference between MCI and NC groups in global efficiency and modularity. It may indicate a lack of efficient reorganization from rest state to a working memory state in the brain network of MCI patients. The present study demonstrates the altered distant synchronization of background network in MCI during a task relying on executive function. The results provide a new
Blackwell, Katharine A; Chatham, Christopher H; Wiseheart, Melody; Munakata, Yuko
Good executive function has been linked to many positive outcomes in academic performance, health, and social competence. However, some aspects of executive function may interfere with other cognitive processes. Childhood provides a unique test case for investigating such cognitive trade-offs, given the dramatic failures and developments observed during this period. For example, most children categorically switch or perseverate when asked to switch between rules on a card-sorting task. To test potential trade-offs with the development of task switching abilities, we compared 6-year-olds who switched versus perseverated in a card-sorting task on two aspects of inhibitory control: response inhibition (via a stop signal task) and interference control (via a Simon task). Across two studies, switchers showed worse response inhibition than perseverators, consistent with the idea of cognitive trade-offs; however, switchers showed better interference control than perseverators, consistent with prior work documenting benefits associated with the development of executive function. This pattern of positive and negative associations may reflect aspects of working memory (active maintenance of current goals, and clearing of prior goals) that help children focus on a single task goal but hurt in situations with conflicting goals. Implications for understanding components of executive function and their relationships across development are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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.
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.
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
Gathmann, Bettina; Pawlikowski, Mirko; Schöler, Tobias; Brand, Matthias
Previous studies demonstrated that executive functions are crucial for advantageous decision making under risk and that therefore decision making is disrupted when working memory capacity is demanded while working on a decision task. While some studies also showed that emotions can affect decision making under risk, it is unclear how affective processing and executive functions predict decision-making performance in interaction. The current experimental study used a between-subjects design to examine whether affective pictures (positive and negative pictures compared to neutral pictures), included in a parallel executive task (working memory 2-back task), have an impact on decision making under risk as assessed by the Game of Dice Task (GDT). Moreover, the performance GDT plus 2-back task was compared to the performance in the GDT without any additional task (GDT solely). The results show that the performance in the GDT differed between groups (positive, negative, neutral, and GDT solely). The groups with affective pictures, especially those with positive pictures in the 2-back task, showed more disadvantageous decisions in the GDT than the groups with neutral pictures and the group performing the GDT without any additional task. However, executive functions moderated the effect of the affective pictures. Regardless of affective influence, subjects with good executive functions performed advantageously in the GDT. These findings support the assumption that executive functions and emotional processing interact in predicting decision making under risk.
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
Falbo, S; Condello, G; Capranica, L; Forte, R; Pesce, C
Physical and cognitive training seem to counteract age-related decline in physical and mental function. Recently, the possibility of integrating cognitive demands into physical training has attracted attention. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of twelve weeks of designed physical-cognitive training on executive cognitive function and gait performance in older adults. Thirty-six healthy, active individuals aged 72.30 ± 5.84 years were assigned to two types of physical training with major focus on physical single task (ST) training ( n = 16) and physical-cognitive dual task (DT) training ( n = 20), respectively. They were tested before and after the intervention for executive function (inhibition, working memory) through Random Number Generation and for gait (walking with/without negotiating hurdles) under both single and dual task (ST, DT) conditions. Gait performance improved in both groups, while inhibitory performance decreased after exercise training with ST focus but tended to increase after training with physical-cognitive DT focus. Changes in inhibition performance were correlated with changes in DT walking performance with group differences as a function of motor task complexity (with/without hurdling). The study supports the effectiveness of group exercise classes for older individuals to improve gait performance, with physical-cognitive DT training selectively counteracting the age-related decline in a core executive function essential for daily living.
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
Dong, Shuonan; Conrad, Patrick R.; Shah, Julie A.; Williams, Brian C.; Mittman, David S.; Ingham, Michel D.; Verma, Vandana
We introduce a novel task execution capability that enhances the ability of in-situ crew members to function independently from Earth by enabling safe and efficient interaction with automated systems. This task execution capability provides the ability to (1) map goal-directed commands from humans into safe, compliant, automated actions, (2) quickly and safely respond to human commands and actions during task execution, and (3) specify complex motions through teaching by demonstration. Our results are applicable to future surface robotic systems, and we have demonstrated these capabilities on JPL's All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer (ATHLETE) robot.
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
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.
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.
Starcke, Katrin; Pawlikowski, Mirko; Wolf, Oliver T; Altstötter-Gleich, Christine; Brand, Matthias
Recent research suggests two ways of making decisions: an intuitive and an analytical one. The current study examines whether a secondary executive task interferes with advantageous decision-making in the Game of Dice Task (GDT), a decision-making task with explicit and stable rules that taps executive functioning. One group of participants performed the original GDT solely, two groups performed either the GDT and a 1-back or a 2-back working memory task as a secondary task simultaneously. Results show that the group which performed the GDT and the secondary task with high executive load (2-back) decided less advantageously than the group which did not perform a secondary executive task. These findings give further evidence for the view that decision-making under risky conditions taps into the rational-analytical system which acts in a serial and not parallel way as performance on the GDT is disturbed by a parallel task that also requires executive resources.
Espy, K A; Kaufmann, P M; McDiarmid, M D; Glisky, M L
The A-not-B (AB) task has been hypothesized to measure executive/frontal lobe function; however, the developmental and measurement characteristics of this task have not been investigated. Performances on AB and comparison tasks adapted from developmental and neuroscience literature was examined in 117 preschool children (ages 23-66 months). Age significantly predicted performance on AB, Delayed Alternation, Spatial Reversal, Color Reversal, and Self-Control tasks. A four-factor analytic model best fit task performance data. AB task indices loaded on two factors with measures from the Self-Control and Delayed Alternation tasks, respectively. AB indices did not load with those from the reversal tasks despite similarities in task administration and presumed cognitive demand (working memory). These results indicate that AB is sensitive to individual differences in age-related performance in preschool children and suggest that AB performance is related to both working memory and inhibition processes in this age range.
Fernandes, Ângela; Rocha, Nuno; Santos, Rubim; Tavares, João Manuel R S
The aim of this study was to analyze the efficacy of cognitive-motor dual-task training compared with single-task training on balance and executive functions in individuals with Parkinson's disease. Fifteen subjects, aged between 39 and 75 years old, were randomly assigned to the dual-task training group (n = 8) and single-task training group (n = 7). The training was run twice a week for 6 weeks. The single-task group received balance training and the dual-task group performed cognitive tasks simultaneously with the balance training. There were no significant differences between the two groups at baseline. After the intervention, the results for mediolateral sway with eyes closed were significantly better for the dual-task group and anteroposterior sway with eyes closed was significantly better for the single-task group. The results suggest superior outcomes for the dual-task training compared to the single-task training for static postural control, except in anteroposterior sway with eyes closed.
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.
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.
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
Full Text Available Background: Aripiprazole is an atypical antipsychotic drug that is characterized by partial dopamine D2 receptor agonism. Its pharmacodynamic profile is proposed to be beneficial in the treatment of cognitive impairment, which is prevalent in psychotic disorders. This study compared brain activation characteristics produced by aripiprazole with that of haloperidol, a typical D2 receptor antagonist, during a task targeting executive functioning.Methods: Healthy participants received an acute oral dose of haloperidol, aripiprazole or placebo before performing an executive functioning task while blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI was carried out. Results: There was a tendency towards reduced performance in the aripiprazole group compared to the two other groups. The image analysis yielded a strong task-related BOLD-fMRI response within each group. An uncorrected between-group analysis showed that aripiprazole challenge resulted in stronger activation in the frontal and temporal gyri and the putamen compared with haloperidol challenge, but after correcting for multiple testing there was no significant group difference. Conclusion: No significant group differences between aripiprazole and haloperidol in frontal cortical activation were obtained when corrected for multiple comparisons.This study is registered in ClinicalTrials.gov (identifier: 2009-016222-14; https://clinicaltrials.gov/.
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.
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.
Blackwell, Katharine A.; Chatham, Christopher H.; Wiseheart, Melody; Munakata, Yuko
Good executive function has been linked to many positive outcomes in academic performance, health, and social competence. However, some aspects of executive function may interfere with other cognitive processes. Childhood provides a unique test case for investigating such cognitive trade-offs, given the dramatic failures and developments observed during this period. For example, most children categorically switch or perseverate when asked to switch between rules on a card-sorting task. To tes...
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.
Jeter, Cameron B; Patel, Saumil S; Morris, Jeffrey S; Chuang, Alice Z; Butler, Ian J; Sereno, Anne B
Reports conflict as to whether Tourette syndrome (TS) confers deficits in executive function. This study's aim was to evaluate executive function in youths with TS using oculomotor tasks while controlling for confounds of tic severity, age, medication, and severity of comorbid disorders. Four saccade tasks requiring the executive functions of response generation, response inhibition, and working memory (prosaccade, antisaccade, 0-back, and 1-back) were administered. Twenty youths with TS and low tic severity (TS-low), nineteen with TS and moderate tic severity (TS-moderate), and 29 typically developing control subjects (Controls) completed the oculomotor tasks. There were small differences across groups in the prosaccade task. Controlling for any small sensorimotor differences, TS-moderate subjects had significantly higher error rates than Controls and TS-low subjects in the 0-back and 1-back tasks. In the 1-back task, these patients also took longer to respond than Controls or TS-low subjects. In a highly controlled design, the findings demonstrate for the first time that increased tic severity in TS is associated with impaired response inhibition and impaired working memory and that these executive function deficits cannot be accounted for by differences in age, medication or comorbid symptom severity. © 2014 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
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.
Wiederkehr, S; Barat, M; Dehail, P; de Sèze, M; Lozes-Boudillon, S; Giroire, J-M
At the chronic stage, severe traumatic brain injured (TBI) patients experience difficulty in making decisions. Several studies have demonstrated the involvement of the prefrontal cortex, in particular the orbitofrontal region, in decision-making. The aim of the present study was to validate a decision-making task in this population and to ascertain whether the components of their dysexecutive syndrome may affect their decision-making and lead to difficulties for social rehabilitation. Fifteen TBI patients and 15 controlled subjects matched for age, sex and years of education were assessed by a battery of executive tests (GREFEX) and by the gambling task (GT). The TBI subjects performed significantly worse than the controlled group in five out of six GREFEX tests. The TBI choices are significantly more disadvantageous than the choices of the control group when considering the three last blocks of 20 cards of the GT. The GT total score correlated significantly with execution time of the Stroop interference condition and the Trail Making Task B, as well as with the two measures (correct sequence span and number of crossed boxes) of the double condition of Baddeley's task. We postulate that executive functioning (supervisory attentional system) influence performance in the gambling task through mechanisms of inhibitory control, divided attention and working memory. Thus, this task seems to be determined by multiple factors; the process of decision-making may depend on frontal integrity.
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.
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.
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
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.
Delane, Louise; Campbell, Catherine; Bayliss, Donna M; Reid, Corinne; Stephens, Amelia; French, Noel; Anderson, Mike
Children born very preterm (VP, ≤ 32 weeks) exhibit poor performance on tasks of executive functioning. However, it is largely unknown whether this reflects the cumulative impact of non-executive deficits or a separable impairment in executive-level abilities. A dual-task paradigm was used in the current study to differentiate the executive processes involved in performing two simple attention tasks simultaneously. The executive-level contribution to performance was indexed by the within-subject cost incurred to single-task performance under dual-task conditions, termed dual-task cost. The participants included 77 VP children (mean age: 7.17 years) and 74 peer controls (mean age: 7.16 years) who completed Sky Search (selective attention), Score (sustained attention) and Sky Search DT (divided attention) from the Test of Everyday Attention for Children. The divided-attention task requires the simultaneous performance of the selective- and sustained-attention tasks. The VP group exhibited poorer performance on the selective- and divided-attention tasks, and showed a strong trend toward poorer performance on the sustained-attention task. However, there were no significant group differences in dual-task cost. These results suggest a cumulative impact of vulnerable lower-level cognitive processes on dual-tasking or divided attention in VP children, and fail to support the hypothesis that VP children show a separable impairment in executive-level abilities.
Salvucci, Dario D
As cognitive architectures move to account for increasingly complex real-world tasks, one of the most pressing challenges involves understanding and modeling human multitasking. Although a number of existing models now perform multitasking in real-world scenarios, these models typically employ customized executives that schedule tasks for the particular domain but do not generalize easily to other domains. This article outlines a general executive for the Adaptive Control of Thought-Rational (ACT-R) cognitive architecture that, given independent models of individual tasks, schedules and interleaves the models' behavior into integrated multitasking behavior. To demonstrate the power of the proposed approach, the article describes an application to the domain of driving, showing how the general executive can interleave component subtasks of the driving task (namely, control and monitoring) and interleave driving with in-vehicle secondary tasks (radio tuning and phone dialing). 2005 Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
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.
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.
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
Roberts, C A; Jones, A; Montgomery, C
Ecstasy/3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) use is proposed to cause damage to serotonergic (5-HT) axons in humans. Therefore, users should show deficits in cognitive processes that rely on serotonin-rich, prefrontal areas of the brain. However, there is inconsistency in findings to support this hypothesis. The aim of the current study was to examine deficits in executive functioning in ecstasy users compared with controls using meta-analysis. We identified k = 39 studies, contributing 89 effect sizes, investigating executive functioning in ecstasy users and polydrug-using controls. We compared function-specific task performance in 1221 current ecstasy users and 1242 drug-using controls, from tasks tapping the executive functions - updating, switching, inhibition and access to long-term memory. The significant main effect demonstrated overall executive dysfunction in ecstasy users [standardized mean difference (SMD) = -0.18, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.26 to -0.11, Z = 5.05, p Ecstasy users showed significant performance deficits in access (SMD = -0.33, 95% CI -0.46 to -0.19, Z = 4.72, p ecstasy users to date and provides a behavioural correlate of potential serotonergic neurotoxicity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Allom, Vanessa; Mullan, Barbara; Smith, Evelyn; Hay, Phillipa; Raman, Jayanthi
Two primary factors that contribute to obesity are unhealthy eating and sedentary behavior. These behaviors are particularly difficult to change in the long-term because they are often enacted habitually. Cognitive Remediation Therapy has been modified and applied to the treatment of obesity (CRT-O) with preliminary results of a randomized controlled trial demonstrating significant weight loss and improvements in executive function. The objective of this study was to conduct a secondary data analysis of the CRT-O trial to evaluate whether CRT-O reduces unhealthy habits that contribute to obesity via improvements in executive function. Eighty participants with obesity were randomized to CRT-O or control. Measures of executive function (Wisconsin Card Sort Task and Trail Making Task) and unhealthy eating and sedentary behavior habits were administered at baseline, post-intervention and at 3 month follow-up. Participants receiving CRT-O demonstrated improvements in both measures of executive function and reductions in both unhealthy habit outcomes compared to control. Mediation analyses revealed that change in one element of executive function performance (Wisconsin Card Sort Task perseverance errors) mediated the effect of CRT-O on changes in both habit outcomes. These results suggest that the effectiveness of CRT-O may result from the disruption of unhealthy habits made possible by improvements in executive function. In particular, it appears that cognitive flexibility, as measured by the Wisconsin Card Sort task, is a key mechanism in this process. Improving cognitive flexibility may enable individuals to capitalise on interruptions in unhealthy habits by adjusting their behavior in line with their weight loss goals rather than persisting with an unhealthy choice. The RCT was registered with the Australian New Zealand Registry of Clinical Trials (trial id: ACTRN12613000537752 ).
Full Text Available Recent studies have suggested a link between executive function (EF and obesity. Studies often adopt body mass index (BMI, which reflects the distribution of subcutaneous fat, as the sole marker of obesity; however, BMI is inappropriate to distinguish central obesity, which indicates the centralized distribution of visceral fat. Visceral fat compared with subcutaneous fat represents greater relative lipid turnover and may increase the risk of cognitive decline in older adults. However, the relationship between EF and central obesity is largely unknown, particularly in young adults. Therefore, we used waist circumference (WC as a marker of central obesity and investigated different sensitivities between BMI and WC in the brain function. A total of 26 healthy young adults (aged 18–25 years; 42% female underwent functional near-infrared spectroscopy assessments. EF was assessed using the Stroop task, which is a classical measurement of EF. A significant Stroop effect was observed in the behavioral and hemodynamic data. In addition, we observed that behavioral interference on the Stroop task varied much more in subjects with higher BMI and WC than those subjects with lower. Elevated BMI and WC were associated with a decreased hemodynamic response during the Stroop task specifically in the prefrontal cortex (PFC. Compared to BMI, WC was more closely connected with inhibitory control and revealed right lateralized PFC activation. Our findings suggest that WC is a reliable indicator of brain function in young adults and propose a relationship between EF and central obesity.
Dekkers, Tycho J; Agelink van Rentergem, Joost A; Koole, Alette; van den Wildenberg, Wery P M; Popma, Arne; Bexkens, Anika; Stoffelsen, Reino; Diekmann, Anouk; Huizenga, Hilde M
Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are characterized by deficits in their executive functioning and motivation. In addition, these children are characterized by a decline in performance as time-on-task increases (i.e., time-on-task effects). However, it is unknown whether these time-on-task effects should be attributed to deficits in executive functioning or to deficits in motivation. Some studies in typically developing (TD) adults indicated that time-on-task effects should be interpreted as depletion of executive resources, but other studies suggested that they represent depletion of motivation. We, therefore, investigated, in children with and without ADHD, whether there were time-on-task effects on executive functions, such as inhibition and (in)attention, and whether these were best explained by depletion of executive resources or depletion of motivation. The stop-signal task (SST), which generates both indices of inhibition (stop-signal reaction time) and attention (reaction time variability and errors), was administered in 96 children (42 ADHD, 54 TD controls; aged 9-13). To differentiate between depletion of resources and depletion of motivation, the SST was administered twice. Half of the participants was reinforced during second task performance, potentially counteracting depletion of motivation. Multilevel analyses indicated that children with ADHD were more affected by time-on-task than controls on two measures of inattention, but not on inhibition. In the ADHD group, reinforcement only improved performance on one index of attention (i.e., reaction time variability). The current findings suggest that time-on-task effects in children with ADHD occur specifically in the attentional domain, and seem to originate in both depletion of executive resources and depletion of motivation. Clinical implications for diagnostics, psycho-education, and intervention are discussed.
Hommersom, Arjen; Groot, Perry; Lucas, Peter; Balser, Michael; Schmitt, Jonathan
The use of a medical guideline can be seen as the execution of computational tasks, sequentially or in parallel, in the face of patient data. It has been shown that many of such guidelines can be represented as a 'network of tasks', i.e., as a number of steps that have a specific function or goal. To investigate the quality of such guidelines we propose a formalization of criteria for good practice medicine a guideline should comply to. We use this theory in conjunction with medical background knowledge to verify the quality of a guideline dealing with diabetes mellitus type 2 using the interactive theorem prover KIV. Verification using task execution and background knowledge is a novel approach to quality checking of medical guidelines.
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.
Elizabeth A Walshe
Full Text Available The role of cognition is becoming increasingly central to our understanding of the complexity of walking gait. Here, we report two experiments which investigated the cognitive and neural processes underlying older adult gait and fall-risk. Experiment 1 employed a dual-task paradigm in young and older adults, to assess the relative effects of higher-level executive function tasks (n-Back, Serial Subtraction and visuo-spatial Clock task in comparison to non-executive distracter tasks (motor response task and alphabet recitation on gait. All dual-tasks elicited changes in gait for both young and older adults, relative to baseline walking. Significantly greater dual-task costs were observed for the executive tasks in the older adult group, as hypothesized. Experiment 2 compared normal walking gait, seated cognitive performances and concurrent event-related brain potentials (ERPs in healthy young and older adults, to older adult fallers. No significant differences in cognitive performances were found between fallers and non-fallers. However, a clear P3a peak was evident on the Stroop task for older non-fallers, which was notably absent in older fallers. This may be indicative of the presence of some cortically-based compensatory process in this group, contributing to their reduced risk of falling. We argue that executive functions play a prominent role in walking and gait, but the role of higher cognition as a predictor of fall-risk needs further investigation.
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.
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
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.
Strobach, Tilo; Frensch, Peter A; Schubert, Torsten
We examined the relation of action video game practice and the optimization of executive control skills that are needed to coordinate two different tasks. As action video games are similar to real life situations and complex in nature, and include numerous concurrent actions, they may generate an ideal environment for practicing these skills (Green & Bavelier, 2008). For two types of experimental paradigms, dual-task and task switching respectively; we obtained performance advantages for experienced video gamers compared to non-gamers in situations in which two different tasks were processed simultaneously or sequentially. This advantage was absent in single-task situations. These findings indicate optimized executive control skills in video gamers. Similar findings in non-gamers after 15 h of action video game practice when compared to non-gamers with practice on a puzzle game clarified the causal relation between video game practice and the optimization of executive control skills. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Toplak, Maggie E; Sorge, Geoff B; Benoit, André; West, Richard F; Stanovich, Keith E
The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) has been used to study decision-making differences in many different clinical and developmental samples. It has been suggested that IGT performance captures abilities that are separable from cognitive abilities, including executive functions and intelligence. The purpose of the current review was to examine studies that have explicitly examined the relationship between IGT performance and these cognitive abilities. We included 43 studies that reported correlational analyses with IGT performance, including measures of inhibition, working memory, and set-shifting as indices of executive functions, as well as measures of verbal, nonverbal, and full-scale IQ as indices of intelligence. Overall, only a small proportion of the studies reported a statistically significant relationship between IGT performance and these cognitive abilities. The majority of studies reported a non-significant relationship. Of the minority of studies that reported statistically significant effects, effect sizes were, at best, small to modest, and confidence intervals were large, indicating that considerable variability in performance on the IGT is not captured by current measures of executive function and intelligence. These findings highlight the separability between decision-making on the IGT and cognitive abilities, which is consistent with recent conceptualizations that differentiate rationality from intelligence. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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
Full Text Available Abstract Background Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD is a heterogeneous disorder from both clinical and pathogenic viewpoints. Executive function deficits are considered among the most important pathogenic pathways leading to ADHD and may index part of the heterogeneity in this disorder. Methods To investigate the relationship between the dopamine transporter gene (SLC6A3 3'-UTR VNTR genotypes and executive function in children with ADHD, 196 children diagnosed with ADHD were sequentially recruited, genotyped, and tested using a battery of three neuropsychological tests aimed at assessing the different aspects of executive functioning. Results Taking into account a correction for multiple comparisons, the main finding of this study is a significant genotype effect on performances on the Tower of London (F = 6.902, p = 0.009 and on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Third Edition (WISC-III Freedom From Distractibility Index (F = 7.125, p = 0.008, as well as strong trends on Self Ordered Pointing Task error scores (F = 4,996 p = 0.026 and WISC-III Digit Span performance (F = 6.28, p = 0.023. Children with the 9/10 genotype exhibited, on average, a poorer performance on all four measures compared to children with the 10/10 genotype. No effect of genotype on Wisconsin Card Sorting Test measures of performance was detected. Conclusion Results are compatible with the view that SLC6A3 genotype may modulate components of executive function performance in children with ADHD.
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
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…
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.
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.
Faulkner, James; Stoner, Lee; Grigg, Rebecca; Fryer, Simon; Stone, Keeron; Lambrick, Danielle
In patients with stroke or transient ischemic attacks (TIA), a decline in executive function may limit an individual's ability to process motor tasks and relearn motor skills. The purpose of this study was to assess the acute effect of exercise posture (seated vs. supine cycle ergometry) on executive function and prefrontal cortex perfusion in patients with TIA. Eleven TIA patients (65 ± 10 years) and 15 age-matched, healthy controls (HC; 62 ± 7 years) completed two exercise tests to maximal capacity (one seated, one supine) and two 30-min submaximal exercise tests (one seated, one supine). Executive function was assessed prior to and following (1.5 min post, 15 min post) the submaximal exercise tests using a Stroop task. Prefrontal cortex perfusion (total hemoglobin) was continuously recorded using near-infrared spectroscopy. There was no Posture (seated, supine) × Group (TIA, HC) interaction for the Stroop task (p > .05). HC completed Stroop tasks significantly faster than TIA (51.9[SD = 10.3] vs. 64.2[8.5] s, respectively), while Stroop completion time significantly improved between baseline and 1.5 min post (61.3 vs. 58.1[9.4] s, respectively) and 1.5 min post and 15 min post (54.8[8.9] s). Posture and group had no significant influence on prefrontal cortex perfusion (p > .05). In summary, executive function improves to a similar extent in TIA and age-matched, healthy controls following an acute bout of exercise, regardless of exercise posture. As acute improvements in executive function were maintained for 15 min, there could be an important window of opportunity for assigning executive tasks following exercise rehabilitation for patients with TIA. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Jimenez, Jon J.; Yang, Runze; Nathoo, Nabeela; Varshney, Vishal P.; Golestani, Ali-Mohammad; Goodyear, Bradley G.; Metz, Luanne M.; Dunn, Jeff F.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) impairs brain activity through demyelination and loss of axons. Increased brain activity is accompanied by increases in microvascular hemoglobin oxygen saturation (oxygenation) and total hemoglobin, which can be measured using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Due to the potentially reduced size and integrity of the white matter tracts within the corpus callosum, it may be expected that MS patients have reduced functional communication between the left and right sides of the brain; this could potentially be an indicator of disease progression. To assess interhemispheric communication in MS, we used fNIRS during a unilateral motor task and the resting state. The magnitude of the change in hemoglobin parameters in the motor cortex was significantly reduced in MS patients during the motor task relative to healthy control subjects. There was also a significant decrease in interhemispheric communication between the motor cortices (expressed as coherence) in MS patients compared to controls during the motor task, but not during the resting state. fNIRS assessment of interhemispheric coherence during task execution may be a useful marker in disorders with white matter damage or axonal loss, including MS.
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
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.
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.
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: email@example.com.
Renison, Belinda; Ponsford, Jennie; Testa, Renee; Richardson, Barry; Brownfield, Kylie
Virtual reality (VR) assessment paradigms have the potential to address the limited ecological validity of pen and paper measures of executive function (EF) and the pragmatic and reliability issues associated with functional measures. To investigate the ecological validity and construct validity of a newly developed VR measure of EF, the Virtual Library Task (VLT); a real life analogous task--the Real Library Task (RLT); and five neuropsychological measures of EF were administered to 30 patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and 30 healthy Controls. Significant others for each participant also completed the Dysexecutive Questionnaire (DEX), which is a behavioral rating scale of everyday EF. Performances on the VLT and the RLT were significantly positively correlated indicating that VR performance is similar to real world performance. The TBI group performed significantly worse than the Control group on the VLT and the Modified Six Elements Test (MSET) but the other four neuropsychological measures of EF failed to differentiate the groups. Both the MSET and the VLT significantly predicted everyday EF suggesting that they are both ecologically valid tools for the assessment of EF. The VLT has the advantage over the MSET of providing objective measurement of individual components of EF.
Kim, Na Young; Wittenberg, Ellen; Nam, Chang S
This study investigated the interaction between two executive function processes, inhibition and updating, through analyses of behavioral, neurophysiological, and effective connectivity metrics. Although, many studies have focused on behavioral effects of executive function processes individually, few studies have examined the dynamic causal interactions between these two functions. A total of twenty participants from a local university performed a dual task combing flanker and n-back experimental paradigms, and completed the Operation Span Task designed to measure working memory capacity. We found that both behavioral (accuracy and reaction time) and neurophysiological (P300 amplitude and alpha band power) metrics on the inhibition task (i.e., flanker task) were influenced by the updating load (n-back level) and modulated by working memory capacity. Using independent component analysis, source localization (DIPFIT), and Granger Causality analysis of the EEG time-series data, the present study demonstrated that manipulation of cognitive demand in a dual executive function task influenced the causal neural network. We compared connectivity across three updating loads (n-back levels) and found that experimental manipulation of working memory load enhanced causal connectivity of a large-scale neurocognitive network. This network contains the prefrontal and parietal cortices, which are associated with inhibition and updating executive function processes. This study has potential applications in human performance modeling and assessment of mental workload, such as the design of training materials and interfaces for those performing complex multitasking under stress.
Na Young Kim
Full Text Available This study investigated the interaction between two executive function processes, inhibition and updating, through analyses of behavioral, neurophysiological, and effective connectivity metrics. Although, many studies have focused on behavioral effects of executive function processes individually, few studies have examined the dynamic causal interactions between these two functions. A total of twenty participants from a local university performed a dual task combing flanker and n-back experimental paradigms, and completed the Operation Span Task designed to measure working memory capacity. We found that both behavioral (accuracy and reaction time and neurophysiological (P300 amplitude and alpha band power metrics on the inhibition task (i.e., flanker task were influenced by the updating load (n-back level and modulated by working memory capacity. Using independent component analysis, source localization (DIPFIT, and Granger Causality analysis of the EEG time-series data, the present study demonstrated that manipulation of cognitive demand in a dual executive function task influenced the causal neural network. We compared connectivity across three updating loads (n-back levels and found that experimental manipulation of working memory load enhanced causal connectivity of a large-scale neurocognitive network. This network contains the prefrontal and parietal cortices, which are associated with inhibition and updating executive function processes. This study has potential applications in human performance modeling and assessment of mental workload, such as the design of training materials and interfaces for those performing complex multitasking under stress.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Aliakbaryhosseinabadi, Susan; Kamavuako, Ernest Nlandu; Jiang, Ning
attentionlevels onmotor tasks ineachparticipant. Then, a globalfeature distribution was constructed with the projected time-frequency features of all participants from all channels and applied for attention classification during motor movement execution. Results: Time-frequency features led to significantly...... BCI systems with time-frequency features. This is the first step towards an adaptive real-time BCI with an integrated function to reveal attention shifts from the motor task....
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.
Nijdam, Mirjam J; Martens, Irene J M; Reitsma, Johannes B; Gersons, Berthold P R; Olff, Miranda
Individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have neurocognitive deficits in verbal memory and executive functioning. In this study, we examined whether memory and executive functioning changed over the course of treatment and which clinical variables were associated with change. Neuropsychological assessments were administered at baseline and endpoint of a randomized controlled trial as secondary outcome. Trauma survivors (n = 88) diagnosed with PTSD received trauma-focused psychotherapy within a 17-week randomized controlled trial. Neuropsychological tests were the California Verbal Learning Test, Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test, Stroop Color Word Test, and Trail Making Test. Significant, small- to medium-sized improvements in verbal memory, information processing speed, and executive functioning were found after trauma-focused psychotherapy (Cohen's d 0.16-0.68). Greater PTSD symptom decrease was significantly related to better post-treatment neurocognitive performance (all p effect sizes exceed those of practice effects. Future research should determine whether these changes translate into improved functioning in the daily lives of the patients. Patients with PTSD have difficulties performing verbal memory tasks (e.g., remembering a grocery list, recall of a story) and executive functioning tasks (e.g., shifting attention between two tasks, ignoring irrelevant information to complete a task). Verbal memory, information processing speed, and executive functioning significantly improved in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder over the course of trauma-focused psychotherapy. Improvements were equal in size for two different trauma-focused psychotherapies (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy and brief eclectic psychotherapy for PTSD). Medium-sized effects were found for recall of a story, whereas effects in other aspects of verbal memory, information processing speed, and executive functioning were small-sized. No causal
Carroll, Ellen L; Bright, Peter
Strong correlations between measures of fluid intelligence (or Spearman's g) and working memory are widely reported in the literature, but there is considerable controversy concerning the nature of underlying mechanisms driving this relationship. In the four experiments presented here we consider the role of response conflict and task complexity in the context of real-time task execution demands (Experiments 1-3) and also address recent evidence that g confers an advantage at the level of task conceptualisation rather than (or in addition to) task execution (Experiment 4). We observed increased sensitivity of measured fluid intelligence to task performance in the presence (vs. the absence) of response conflict, and this relationship remained when task complexity was reduced. Performance-g correlations were also observed in the absence of response conflict, but only in the context of high task complexity. Further, we present evidence that differences in conceptualisation or 'modelling' of task instructions prior to execution had an important mediating effect on observed correlations, but only when the task encompassed a strong element of response inhibition. Our results suggest that individual differences in ability reflect, in large part, variability in the efficiency with which the relational complexity of task constraints are held in mind. It follows that fluid intelligence may support successful task execution through the construction of effective action plans via optimal allocation of limited resources. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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,…
Demeter, Gyula; Racsmány, Mihály; Csigó, Katalin; Harsányi, András; Németh, Attila; Döme, László
Previous neuropsychological studies produced inconsistent results with tasks tapping short-term verbal and visual-spatial memory and executive functions in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of deficits in these cognitive domains. A further goal was to describe the distribution of patients in different impairment ranges for all functions, and clarify the relationship between symptom severity and cognitive impairments. Thirty patients with OCD (DSM-IV) and 30 healthy volunteers were compared using well-known neuropsychological tasks. We assessed short-term verbal memory with the Digit Span Forward and Digit Span Backward Tasks, short-term visual-spatial memory with the Corsi Block Tapping Task, while we measured the level of executive functions with the StroopTask and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Compared with a matched healthy control group, the performance of OCD patients was in the impaired range only in the two executive tasks. We find a significant positive correlations between the Y-BOCS (Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale) total scores and the number of perseverative responses (r(28) = 0.409, p short-term memory is intact in OCD. This is in line with neuropsychological model of OCD that the deficit of cognitive and behavioral inhibition are responsible for the main cognitive findings of this disorder, most prevalently the deficit in set shifting and prepotent response inhibition.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The anterior prefrontal cortex (PFC exhibits activation during some cognitive tasks, including episodic memory, reasoning, attention, multitasking, task sets, decision making, mentalizing, and processing of self-referenced information. However, the medial part of anterior PFC is part of the default mode network (DMN, which shows deactivation during various goal-directed cognitive tasks compared to a resting baseline. One possible factor for this pattern is that activity in the anterior medial PFC (MPFC is affected by dynamic allocation of attentional resources depending on task demands. We investigated this possibility using an event related fMRI with a face working memory task. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Sixteen students participated in a single fMRI session. They were asked to form a task set to remember the faces (Face memory condition or to ignore them (No face memory condition, then they were given 6 seconds of preparation period before the onset of the face stimuli. During this 6-second period, four single digits were presented one at a time at the center of the display, and participants were asked to add them and to remember the final answer. When participants formed a task set to remember faces, the anterior MPFC exhibited activation during a task preparation period but deactivation during a task execution period within a single trial. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results suggest that the anterior MPFC plays a role in task set formation but is not involved in execution of the face working memory task. Therefore, when attentional resources are allocated to other brain regions during task execution, the anterior MPFC shows deactivation. The results suggest that activation and deactivation in the anterior MPFC are affected by dynamic allocation of processing resources across different phases of processing.
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.
Ouerchefani, Riadh; Ouerchefani, Naoufel; Allain, Philippe; Ben Rejeb, Mohamed Riadh; Le Gall, Didier
The results of previous studies are inconsistent in regard to the relationship between the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), working-memory (WM), and executive tasks, and whether these cognitive processes could be considered as mechanisms underlying a decision-making deficit. Moreover, the relationship between the IGT and executive measures is examined based on a limited number of executive tasks, within different populations showing diffuse damage. In addition, there are fewer studies carried out within control participants, with those studies also being inconclusive. It is also suggested that the association of the IGT performance with executive tasks depends on whether the IGT was running under ambiguity or under risk. In this work, all of these issues are studied. Results showed that both patients with ventromedial (VMPFC, N = 10) and dorsolateral (DLPFC, N = 10) prefrontal cortex lesions are significantly impaired on almost all executive tasks, WM tasks, and the IGT. Furthermore, when the IGT is run under risk, there are significant correlations between executive measures and the IGT for the DLPFC patients and the control participants (N = 34) but not the VMPFC patients. No correlation was found between WM tasks and the IGT for both frontal subgroups and control participants. These findings suggested that the mechanisms underlying the IGT deficit differ according to the lesion locations. © 2018 The British Psychological Society.
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.
Brand, Matthias; Roth-Bauer, Martina; Driessen, Martin; Markowitsch, Hans J
Recent evidence suggests that individuals with opiate dependence may have cognitive dysfunctions particularly within the spectrum of executive functioning and emotional processing. Such dysfunctions can also compromise daily decisions associated with risk-taking behaviors. However, it remains unclear whether patients addicted to opiates show impaired decision-making on gambling tasks that specify explicit rules for rewards and punishments and provide information about probabilities associated with different long-term outcomes. In this study, we examined 18 individuals with opiate dependence and 18 healthy comparison subjects, matched for age, gender, and education with the Game of Dice Task (GDT). The GDT is a gambling task with explicit rules for gains and losses and fix winning probabilities. In addition, all subjects completed a neuropsychological test battery that primarily focused on executive functions and a personality questionnaire. On the GDT, patients chose the risky alternatives more frequently than the control group. Patients' GDT performance was related to executive functioning but not to other neuropsychological constructs, personality or dependence specific variables with one exception that is the number of days of abstinence. Thus, patients with opiate dependence demonstrate abnormalities in decision-making that might be neuropsychologically associated with dysfunctional behavior in patients' daily lives. Decision-making and other neuropsychological functioning should be considered in the treatment of opiate dependence.
Calvo, Alejandra; Bialystok, Ellen
One hundred and seventy-five children who were 6-years old were assigned to one of four groups that differed in socioeconomic status (SES; working class or middle class) and language background (monolingual or bilingual). The children completed tests of nonverbal intelligence, language tests assessing receptive vocabulary and attention based on picture naming, and two tests of executive functioning. All children performed equivalently on the basic intelligence tests, but performance on the language and executive functioning tasks was influenced by both SES and bilingualism. Middle-class children outperformed working-class children on all measures, and bilingual children obtained lower scores than monolingual children on language tests but higher scores than monolingual children on the executive functioning tasks. There were no interactions with either group factors or task factors. Thus, each of SES and bilingualism contribute significantly and independently to children's development irrespective of the child's level on the other factor. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Hahn, Constanze; Cowell, Jason M.; Wiprzycka, Ursula J.; Goldstein, David; Ralph, Martin; Hasher, Lynn; Zelazo, Philip David
To explore the influence of circadian rhythms on executive function during early adolescence, we administered a battery of executive function measures (including a Go-Nogo task, the Iowa Gambling Task, a Self-ordered Pointing task, and an Intra/Extradimensional Shift task) to Morning-preference and Evening-preference participants (N = 80) between…
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.
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.
Salvucci, Dario D.
As cognitive architectures move to account for increasingly complex real-world tasks, one of the most pressing challenges involves understanding and modeling human multitasking. Although a number of existing models now perform multitasking in real-world scenarios, these models typically employ customized executives that schedule tasks for the…
Cajueiro, Daniel O.; Maldonado, Wilfredo L.
In order to explain the empirical evidence that the dynamics of human activity may not be well modeled by Poisson processes, a model based on queuing processes was built in the literature [A. L. Barabasi, Nature (London) 435, 207 (2005)]. The main assumption behind that model is that people execute their tasks based on a protocol that first executes the high priority item. In this context, the purpose of this paper is to analyze the validity of that hypothesis assuming that people are rational agents that make their decisions in order to minimize the cost of keeping nonexecuted tasks on the list. Therefore, we build and analytically solve a dynamic programming model with two priority types of tasks and show that the validity of this hypothesis depends strongly on the structure of the instantaneous costs that a person has to face if a given task is kept on the list for more than one period. Moreover, one interesting finding is that in one of the situations the protocol used to execute the tasks generates complex one-dimensional dynamics.
Roello, Mara; Ferretti, Maria Letizia; Colonnello, Valentina; Levi, Gabriel
Several studies indicate that school-age children with specific language impairment (SLI) have difficulties with tasks that rely on executive functions. Whether executive function deficits in children with SLI emerge during preschool age remains unclear. Our aim was to fill this gap by investigating executive function performances in two age groups of preschoolers with and without SLI. Children with SLI (N=60; young: 53.6±5.3 months; old: 65.4±3.8 months) and age-matched control children (N=58) were tested for problem-representation ability, using the Flexible Item Selection Task (FIST), rule-use skills, using a Stroop-like Day-Night test (D/N), and planning skills, using the Tower of London test (TOL). Older children performed better than younger children did across tasks. Children with SLI had poorer performance, compared to typically developing children, on measures of problem representation, planning skills, and use of rules. Our results clearly indicate that executive function impairment is evident during the preschool period. Although old children with SLI performed better than young children with SLI, their performances were still poor, compared to those of control peers. These findings suggest that children with SLI have altered executive functioning at 53.6 months. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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…
Dixit, Abhinav; Mittal, Tushar
Sleep is an important factor affecting cognitive performance. Sleep deprivation results in fatigue, lack of concentration, confusion and sleepiness along with anxiety, depression and irritability. Sleep deprivation can have serious consequences in professions like armed forces and medicine where quick decisions and actions need to be taken. Color-Word Stroop task is one of the reliable tests to assess attention and it analyzes the processing of information in two dimensions i.e., reading of words and naming of colour. The evidence regarding the effect of sleep deprivation on Stroop interference is conflicting. The present study evaluated the effect of 24 hours of sleep deprivation on reaction time and interference in Stroop task. The present study was done on 30 healthy male medical student volunteers in the age group of 18-25 years after taking their consent and clearance from Institute Ethics Committee. Recordings of Stroop task were at three times: baseline (between 7-9 am), after 12 hours (7-9 pm) and after 24 hours (7-9 am, next day). The subjects were allowed to perform normal daily activities. The study revealed a significant increase in reaction time after 24 hours of sleep deprivation in comparison to baseline and after 12 hours of sleep deprivation. There was no significant change in interference and facilitation after sleep deprivation in comparison to baseline. The number of errors also did not show any significant change after sleep deprivation. The study indicated that there was slowing of responses without change in executive functions after 24 hours of sleep deprivation. It is probable that 24 hours of sleep deprivation does not bring about change in areas of brain affecting executive functions in healthy individuals who have normal sleep cycle. The present study indicated that in professions like armed forces and medicine working 24 hours at a stretch can lead to decrease in motor responses without affecting information processing and judgment
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…
Rabin, Laura A; Fogel, Joshua; Nutter-Upham, Katherine E
Procrastination, or the intentional delay of due tasks, is a widespread phenomenon in college settings. Because procrastination can negatively impact learning, achievement, academic self-efficacy, and quality of life, research has sought to understand the factors that produce and maintain this troublesome behavior. Procrastination is increasingly viewed as involving failures in self-regulation and volition, processes commonly regarded as executive functions. The present study was the first to investigate subcomponents of self-reported executive functioning associated with academic procrastination in a demographically diverse sample of college students aged 30 years and below (n = 212). We included each of nine aspects of executive functioning in multiple regression models that also included various demographic and medical/psychiatric characteristics, estimated IQ, depression, anxiety, neuroticism, and conscientiousness. The executive function domains of initiation, plan/organize, inhibit, self-monitor, working memory, task monitor, and organization of materials were significant predictors of academic procrastination in addition to increased age and lower conscientiousness. Results enhance understanding of the neuropsychological correlates of procrastination and may lead to practical suggestions or interventions to reduce its harmful effects on students' academic performance and well-being.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
Amadó, Anna; Serrat, Elisabet; Vallès-Majoral, Eduard
Many studies show a link between social cognition, a set of cognitive and emotional abilities applied to social situations, and executive functions in typical developing children. Children with Down syndrome (DS) show deficits both in social cognition and in some subcomponents of executive functions. However this link has barely been studied in this population. The aim of this study is to investigate the links between social cognition and executive functions among children with DS. We administered a battery of social cognition and executive function tasks (six theory of mind tasks, a test of emotion comprehension, and three executive function tasks) to a group of 30 participants with DS between 4 and 12 years of age. The same tasks were administered to a chronological-age control group and to a control group with the same linguistic development level. Results showed that apart from deficits in social cognition and executive function abilities, children with DS displayed a slight improvement with increasing chronological age and language development in those abilities. Correlational analysis suggested that working memory was the only component that remained constant in the relation patterns of the three groups of participants, being the relation patterns similar among participants with DS and the language development control group. A multiple linear regression showed that working memory explained above 50% of the variability of social cognition in DS participants and in language development control group, whereas in the chronological-age control group this component only explained 31% of the variability. These findings, and specifically the link between working memory and social cognition, are discussed on the basis of their theoretical and practical implications for children with DS. We discuss the possibility to use a working memory training to improve social cognition in this population. PMID:27679588
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.
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.
Huber, Brittany; Yeates, Megan; Meyer, Denny; Fleckhammer, Lorraine; Kaufman, Jordy
Children's exposure to screen-based media has raised concerns for many reasons. One reason is that viewing particular television content has been shown to negatively affect children's executive functioning. Yet, it is unclear whether interacting with a touchscreen device affects executive functioning in the same way as the television research suggests. In the current study, 96 2- and 3-year-old children completed executive functioning measures of working memory and response inhibition and task switching before and after a brief screen intervention consisting of watching an educational television show, playing an educational app, or watching a cartoon. Children's ability to delay gratification was also assessed. Results indicate that the type of screen intervention had a significant effect on executive functioning performance. Children were more likely to delay gratification after playing an educational app than after viewing a cartoon. In particular instances, children's working memory improved after playing the educational app. These findings emphasize that, for young children's executive functioning, interactivity and content may be more important factors to consider than simply "screen time." Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Smith, Laurel B; Radomski, Mary Vining; Davidson, Leslie Freeman; Finkelstein, Marsha; Weightman, Margaret M; McCulloch, Karen L; Scherer, Matthew R
OBJECTIVES. Executive functioning deficits may result from concussion. The Charge of Quarters (CQ) Duty Task is a multitask assessment designed to assess executive functioning in servicemembers after concussion. In this article, we discuss the rationale and process used in the development of the CQ Duty Task and present pilot data from the preliminary evaluation of interrater reliability (IRR). METHOD. Three evaluators observed as 12 healthy participants performed the CQ Duty Task and measured performance using various metrics. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) quantified IRR. RESULTS. The ICC for task completion was .94. ICCs for other assessment metrics were variable. CONCLUSION. Preliminary IRR data for the CQ Duty Task are encouraging, but further investigation is needed to improve IRR in some domains. Lessons learned in the development of the CQ Duty Task could benefit future test development efforts with populations other than the military. Copyright © 2014 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
García-Villamisar, Domingo; Dattilo, John
Investigations of executive dysfunctions among people with obsessive-compulsive personality disorders (OCPD) have yielded inconsistent results. The authors speculate that obsessive-compulsive personality traits (OCPT) from a nonclinical population may be associated with specific executive dysfunctions relative to working memory, attentional set-shifting, and planning. A sample consisting of 79 adults (39 females, 40 males) was divided into high and low scorers on the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire-4 (PDQ-4; Hyler, 1994). In addition, these participants were interviewed using the SCID-II (First, Spitzer, Gibbon & Williams, 1997) to confirm the presence of symptoms of obsessive-compulsive personality. Participants completed a battery of executive tasks associated with the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), including Spatial Working Memory, Intradimensional/Extradimensional (ID/ED), Attentional Set-Shifting, and Stockings of Cambridge. Also, self-report measures of executive functions as well as of anxiety and depressive symptoms were administered. The analysis of covariance revealed significant differences between participants with OCPT and controls on the Spatial Working Memory tasks, ID/ED tasks, Stockings of Cambridge, and the Dysexecutive Questionnaire (DEX). Nevertheless, there were no significant differences in the number of problems solved in minimum movements. These results suggest that executive dysfunctions are present in people with prominent OCPT and that there is a high convergence between clinical and ecological measures of executive functions in people with obsessive personality traits.
Social intelligence is the ability to understand others and the social context effectively and thus to interact with people successfully. Research has suggested that the theory of mind (ToM) and executive function may play important roles in explaining social intelligence. The specific aim of the present study was to test with structural equation modeling (SEM) the hypothesis that performance on ToM tasks is more associated with social intelligence in the elderly than is performance on executive functions. One hundred and seventy-seven participants (age 56-96) completed ToM, executive function, and other basic cognition tasks, and were rated with social intelligence scales. The SEM results showed that ToM and executive function were strongly correlated (0.54); however, only the path coefficient from ToM to social intelligence, and not from executive function, was significant (0.37). ToM performance, but not executive function, was strongly correlated with social intelligence among elderly individuals. ToM and executive function might play different roles in social behavior during normal aging; however, based on the present results, it is possible that ToM might play an important role in social intelligence.
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
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.
La Paglia, Filippo; La Cascia, Caterina; Rizzo, Rosalinda; Riva, Giuseppe; La Barbera, Daniele
Executive functions are often impaired in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). We used a Virtual Reality version of the Multiple Errand Test (VMET) - developed dusing the free NeuroVR software (http://www.neurovr.org) - to evaluate the executive functions in daily life in 10 OCD patients and 10 controls. It is performed in a shopping setting where there are items to be bought and information to be obtained. The execution time for the whole task was higher in patients with OCD compared to controls, suggesting that patients with OCD need more time in planning than controls. The same difference was found in the partial errors during the task. Furthermore, the mean rank for and for interpretation failures is higher for controls, while the values of divided attention and the of self correction seems to be lower in controls. We think that obsessive patients tend to work with greater diligence and observance of rules than controls. In conclusion, these results provide initial support for the feasibility of VMET as assessment tool of executive functions. Specifically, the significant correlation found between the VMET and the neuropsychological battery support the ecological validity of VMET as an instrument for the evaluation of executive functions in patients with OCD.
Tamara Zofia Walczak
Full Text Available Background In most countries, premature deliveries constitute 5% to 18% of births. Some preterm children, especially those born before 32 weeks of pregnancy, experience serious medical complications, which can affect their subsequent development and functioning. Even those who have an IQ within the normal range can be at risk of worse functioning. This study aimed to investigate the differences in development of hot and cool aspects of executive functions in children born prematurely in comparison to those born on time. It is also focused on evaluating relationships between executive functions in premature children and their socio-emotional competences. Participants and procedure All children participating in the study were preschoolers. The sample consisted of 20 children born before 32 weeks of gestation and 28 term controls (children born on time. Hot and cool aspects of executive functions were examined in both groups using tasks extracted from the Preschool Self-Regulation Assessment (PSRA. Parents of children born prematurely also completed the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ, which is a brief behavioral screening questionnaire that consists of five scales: emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity/inattention, peer relationship problems and prosocial behavior. Results Premature children scored lower for both hot and cool executive functions in comparison to the children born at term in two of the five tasks. In addition, an association between worse executive functioning and more severe problems was found in the preterm group. This link applies to both general and specific problems, such as hyperactivity/inattention and behavioral problems. Conclusions Prematurely born children may have larger deficits both in hot and cool aspects of executive functions compared to their peers born at term. Deficits in hot aspect may be reflected in hyperactivity/inattention symptoms and conduct problems, whereas difficulties in
Solianik, Rima; Satas, Andrius; Mickeviciene, Dalia; Cekanauskaite, Agne; Valanciene, Dovile; Majauskiene, Daiva; Skurvydas, Albertas
This study aimed to explore the effect of prolonged speed-accuracy motor task on the indicators of psychological, cognitive, psychomotor and motor function. Ten young men aged 21.1 ± 1.0 years performed a fast- and accurate-reaching movement task and a control task. Both tasks were performed for 2 h. Despite decreased motivation, and increased perception of effort as well as subjective feeling of fatigue, speed-accuracy motor task performance improved during the whole period of task execution. After the motor task, the increased working memory function and prefrontal cortex oxygenation at rest and during conflict detection, and the decreased efficiency of incorrect response inhibition and visuomotor tracking were observed. The speed-accuracy motor task increased the amplitude of motor-evoked potentials, while grip strength was not affected. These findings demonstrate that to sustain the performance of 2-h speed-accuracy task under conditions of self-reported fatigue, task-relevant functions are maintained or even improved, whereas less critical functions are impaired.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Macizo, Pedro; Bajo, Teresa; Soriano, Maria Felipa
Working Memory (WM) span predicts subjects' performance in control executive tasks and, in addition, it has been related to the capacity to inhibit irrelevant information. In this paper we investigate the role of WM span in two executive tasks focusing our attention on inhibitory components of both tasks. High and low span participants recalled targets words rejecting irrelevant items at the same time (Experiment 1) and they generated random numbers (Experiment 2). Results showed a clear relation between WM span and performance in both tasks. In addition, analyses of intrusion errors (Experiment 1) and stereotyped responses (Experiment 2) indicated that high span individuals were able to efficiently use the inhibitory component implied in both tasks. The pattern of data provides support to the relation between WM span and control executive tasks through an inhibitory mechanism.
Jaschke, Artur C.; Honing, Henkjan; Scherder, Erik J. A.
Background: Research on the effects of music education on cognitive abilities has generated increasing interest across the scientific community. Nonetheless, longitudinal studies investigating the effects of structured music education on cognitive sub-functions are still rare. Prime candidates for investigating a relationship between academic achievement and music education appear to be executive functions such as planning, working memory, and inhibition. Methods: One hundred and forty-seven primary school children, Mage = 6.4 years, SD = 0.65 were followed for 2.5 years. Participants were randomized into four groups: two music intervention groups, one active visual arts group, and a no arts control group. Neuropsychological tests assessed verbal intelligence and executive functions. Additionally, a national pupil monitor provided data on academic performance. Results: Children in the visual arts group perform better on visuospatial memory tasks as compared to the three other conditions. However, the test scores on inhibition, planning and verbal intelligence increased significantly in the two music groups over time as compared to the visual art and no arts controls. Mediation analysis with executive functions and verbal IQ as mediator for academic performance have shown a possible far transfer effect from executive sub-function to academic performance scores. Discussion: The present results indicate a positive influence of long-term music education on cognitive abilities such as inhibition and planning. Of note, following a two-and-a-half year long visual arts program significantly improves scores on a visuospatial memory task. All results combined, this study supports a far transfer effect from music education to academic achievement mediated by executive sub-functions. PMID:29541017
Jaschke, Artur C; Honing, Henkjan; Scherder, Erik J A
Background: Research on the effects of music education on cognitive abilities has generated increasing interest across the scientific community. Nonetheless, longitudinal studies investigating the effects of structured music education on cognitive sub-functions are still rare. Prime candidates for investigating a relationship between academic achievement and music education appear to be executive functions such as planning, working memory, and inhibition. Methods: One hundred and forty-seven primary school children, M age = 6.4 years, SD = 0.65 were followed for 2.5 years. Participants were randomized into four groups: two music intervention groups, one active visual arts group, and a no arts control group. Neuropsychological tests assessed verbal intelligence and executive functions. Additionally, a national pupil monitor provided data on academic performance. Results: Children in the visual arts group perform better on visuospatial memory tasks as compared to the three other conditions. However, the test scores on inhibition, planning and verbal intelligence increased significantly in the two music groups over time as compared to the visual art and no arts controls. Mediation analysis with executive functions and verbal IQ as mediator for academic performance have shown a possible far transfer effect from executive sub-function to academic performance scores. Discussion: The present results indicate a positive influence of long-term music education on cognitive abilities such as inhibition and planning. Of note, following a two-and-a-half year long visual arts program significantly improves scores on a visuospatial memory task. All results combined, this study supports a far transfer effect from music education to academic achievement mediated by executive sub-functions.
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.
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.
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.
Regina Lynn Leckie
Full Text Available Executive function declines with age, but engaging in aerobic exercise may attenuate decline. One mechanism by which aerobic exercise may preserve executive function is through the up-regulation of brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF, which also declines with age. The present study examined BDNF as a mediator of the effects of a 1-year walking intervention on executive function in 90 older adults (mean age = 66.82. Participants were randomized to a stretching and toning control group or a moderate intensity walking intervention group. BDNF serum levels and performance on a task-switching paradigm were collected at baseline and follow-up. We found that age moderated the effect of intervention group on changes in BDNF levels, with those in the highest age quartile showing the greatest increase in BDNF after 1-year of moderate intensity walking exercise (p = .036. The mediation analyses revealed that BDNF mediated the effect of the intervention on task-switch accuracy, but did so as a function of age, such that exercise-induced changes in BDNF mediated the effect of exercise on task-switch performance only for individuals over the age of 71. These results demonstrate that both age and BDNF serum levels are important factors to consider when investigating the mechanisms by which exercise interventions influence cognitive outcomes, particularly in elderly populations.
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
Background Manipulating task difficulty is a useful way of elucidating the functional recruitment of the brain’s executive control network. In a Stroop task, pre-exposing the irrelevant word using varying stimulus onset asynchronies (‘negative’ SOAs) modulates the amount of behavioural interference and facilitation, suggesting disparate mechanisms of cognitive processing in each SOA. The current study employed a Stroop task with three SOAs (−400, -200, 0 ms), using functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate for the first time the neural effects of SOA manipulation. Of specific interest were 1) how SOA affects the neural representation of interference and facilitation; 2) response priming effects in negative SOAs; and 3) attentional effects of blocked SOA presentation. Results The results revealed three regions of the executive control network that were sensitive to SOA during Stroop interference; the 0 ms SOA elicited the greatest activation of these areas but experienced relatively smaller behavioural interference, suggesting that the enhanced recruitment led to more efficient conflict processing. Response priming effects were localized to the right inferior frontal gyrus, which is consistent with the idea that this region performed response inhibition in incongruent conditions to overcome the incorrectly-primed response, as well as more general action updating and response preparation. Finally, the right superior parietal lobe was sensitive to blocked SOA presentation and was most active for the 0 ms SOA, suggesting that this region is involved in attentional control. Conclusions SOA exerted both trial-specific and block-wide effects on executive processing, providing a unique paradigm for functional investigations of the cognitive control network. PMID:23902451
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.…
Muñoz Ladrón de Guevara, Cristina; Fernández-Serrano, María José; Reyes Del Paso, Gustavo A; Duschek, Stefan
Several investigations suggest the presence of deterioration of executive function in fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). The study quantified executive functions in patients with FMS. A wide array of functions was assessed, including updating, shifting and inhibition, as well as decision making and mental planning. Moreover, clinical variables were investigated as possible mediators of executive dysfunction, including pain severity, psychiatric comorbidity, medication and body mass index (BMI). Fifty-two FMS patients and 32 healthy controls completed a battery of 14 neuropsychological tests. Clinical interviews were conducted and the McGill Pain Questionnaire, Beck Depression Inventory, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Fatigue Severity Scale and Oviedo Quality of Sleep Questionnaire were presented. Patients performed poorer than controls on the Letter Number Sequencing, Arithmetic and Similarities subtests of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, the Spatial Span subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale, an N-back task, a verbal fluency task, the Ruff Figural Fluency Test, the Inhibition score of the Stroop Test, the Inhibition and Shifting scores of the Five Digits Test, the Key Search Test and the Zoo Map Task. Moreover, patients exhibited less steep learning curves on the Iowa Gambling Task. Among clinical variables, BMI and pain severity explained the largest proportion of performance variance. This study demonstrated impairments in executive functions of updating, shifting inhibition, decision making and planning in FMS. While the mediating role of pain in cognitive impairments in FMS had been previously established, the influence of BMI is a novel finding. Overweight and obesity should be considered by FMS researchers, and in the treatment of the condition.
Full Text Available Aim: Many studies have suggested that physical exercise training improves cognition and more selectively executive functions. There is a growing interest to clarify the neurophysiological mechanisms that underlie this effect. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the neurophysiological changes in cerebral oxygenation associated with physical fitness level and executive functions. Method: In this study, 22 younger and 36 older women underwent a maximal graded continuous test (i.e., O2max in order to classifyassign them into a fitness group (higher vs. lower fit. All participants completed neuropsychological paper and pencil testing and a computerized Stroop task (which contained executive and non-executive conditions in which the change in pPrefrontal cortex oxygenation change was evaluated in all participants with a near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS. system during a computerized Stroop task (which contains executive and non-executive conditions. Results: Our findings revealed a Fitness x Condition interaction (p < .05 such that higher fit women scored better on measures of executive functions than lower fit women. In comparison to lower fit women, higher fit women had faster reaction times in the switching (executiveExecutive condition of the computerized Stroop task. No significant effect was observed ion the non-executive condition of the test and no interactions were found with age. In measures of cerebral oxygenation (ΔHbT and ΔHbO2, we found a main effect of fitness on cerebral oxygenation during the Stroop task such that only high fit women demonstrated a significant increase in the right inferior frontal gyrus. Discussion/Conclusion:Higher fit individuals who demonstrate better cardiorespiratory functions (as measured by O2max show faster reaction times and greater cerebral oxygenation in the right inferior frontal gyrus than women with lower fitness levels. The lack of interaction with age, suggests that good
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.
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: email@example.com.
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...
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
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.
Artur C. Jaschke
Full Text Available Background: Research on the effects of music education on cognitive abilities has generated increasing interest across the scientific community. Nonetheless, longitudinal studies investigating the effects of structured music education on cognitive sub-functions are still rare. Prime candidates for investigating a relationship between academic achievement and music education appear to be executive functions such as planning, working memory, and inhibition.Methods: One hundred and forty-seven primary school children, Mage = 6.4 years, SD = 0.65 were followed for 2.5 years. Participants were randomized into four groups: two music intervention groups, one active visual arts group, and a no arts control group. Neuropsychological tests assessed verbal intelligence and executive functions. Additionally, a national pupil monitor provided data on academic performance.Results: Children in the visual arts group perform better on visuospatial memory tasks as compared to the three other conditions. However, the test scores on inhibition, planning and verbal intelligence increased significantly in the two music groups over time as compared to the visual art and no arts controls. Mediation analysis with executive functions and verbal IQ as mediator for academic performance have shown a possible far transfer effect from executive sub-function to academic performance scores.Discussion: The present results indicate a positive influence of long-term music education on cognitive abilities such as inhibition and planning. Of note, following a two-and-a-half year long visual arts program significantly improves scores on a visuospatial memory task. All results combined, this study supports a far transfer effect from music education to academic achievement mediated by executive sub-functions.
Anne L. Høyland
Full Text Available Executive functions are often affected in autism spectrum disorders (ASD. The underlying biology is however not well known. In the DSM-5, ASD is characterized by difficulties in two domains: Social Interaction and Repetitive and Restricted Behavior, RRB. Insistence of Sameness is part of RRB and has been reported related to executive functions. We aimed to identify differences between ASD and typically developing (TD adolescents in Event Related Potentials (ERPs associated with response preparation, conflict monitoring and response inhibition using a cued Go-NoGo paradigm. We also studied the effect of age and emotional content of paradigm related to these ERPs. We investigated 49 individuals with ASD and 49 TD aged 12–21 years, split into two groups below (young and above (old 16 years of age. ASD characteristics were quantified by the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ and executive functions were assessed with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF, both parent-rated. Behavioral performance and ERPs were recorded during a cued visual Go-NoGo task which included neutral pictures (VCPT and pictures of emotional faces (ECPT. The amplitudes of ERPs associated with response preparation, conflict monitoring, and response inhibition were analyzed. The ASD group showed markedly higher scores than TD in both SCQ and BRIEF. Behavioral data showed no case-control differences in either the VCPT or ECPT in the whole group. While there were no significant case-control differences in ERPs from the combined VCPT and ECPT in the whole sample, the Contingent Negative Variation (CNV was significantly enhanced in the old ASD group (p = 0.017. When excluding ASD with comorbid ADHD we found a significantly increased N2 NoGo (p = 0.016 and N2-effect (p = 0.023 for the whole group. We found no case-control differences in the P3-components. Our findings suggest increased response preparation in adolescents with ASD older than 16 years and
Cox, Simon R; Bak, Thomas H; Allerhand, Michael; Redmond, Paul; Starr, John M; Deary, Ian J; MacPherson, Sarah E
The influence of bilingualism on cognitive functioning is currently a topic of intense scientific debate. The strongest evidence for a cognitive benefit of bilingualism has been demonstrated in executive functions. However, the causal direction of the relationship remains unclear: does learning other languages improve executive functions or are people with better executive abilities more likely to become bilingual? To address this, we examined 90 male participants of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936; 26 were bilingual, 64 monolingual. All participants underwent an intelligence test at age 11 years and were assessed on a wide range of executive and social cognition tasks at age 74. The only notable differences between both groups were found for the Simon Effect (which indexes stimulus-response conflict resolution; β=-.518, p=0.025) and a trend effect for the Faux Pas task (a measure of complex theory of mind; ToM, β=0.432, p=0.060). Controlling for the influence of childhood intelligence, parental and own social class significantly attenuated the bilingual advantage on the Faux Pas test (β=0.058, p=0.816), whereas the Simon task advantage remained (β=-.589, p=0.049). We find some weak evidence that the relationship between bilingualism and cognitive functions may be selective and bi-directional. Pre-existing cognitive and social class differences from childhood may influence both ToM ability in older age and the likelihood of learning another language; yet, bilingualism does not appear to independently contribute to Faux Pas score. Conversely, learning a second language is related to better conflict processing, irrespective of initial childhood ability or social class. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Elosúa, M Rosa; Del Olmo, Sandra; Contreras, María José
In recent years, the interest in Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and its relation to deficits in working memory (WM) and more specifically the different executive functions (EFs) has grown, to the point of confirming that these are quite frequent in this disorder. The aim of this study was precisely to explore differences in executive functioning of WM in fourth grade Primary school children with and without ADHD (26 and 29 children, respectively), introducing rigorous control measures in the tests used. Four EFs were analyzed: divided attention, updating, attentional shifting and inhibition, measured through four tasks, the dual-task paradigm (digits and box-crossing), the N-Back task, the Trail Making Test and the Stroop task, respectively. The results showed that participants with ADHD, compared to children with typical development (TD), exhibited a smaller verbal memory span as well as deficits in the attentional shifting and updating functions. However, a similar performance for the EF of inhibition was found for both groups of participants. Finally, an unexpected result was obtained with regard to the role of divided attention, as children with ADHD were less impaired when performing the double task than participants in the TD group.
Fisher, Naomi; Happé, Francesca
This study investigated the relationship between theory of mind and executive functioning in children with autistic spectrum disorders through a training study. Ten children were trained on theory of mind, whilst ten were trained in executive function. Seven children were assigned to a control group, receiving no intervention. Training programmes were administered individually, lasting for 25 minutes per day for 5-10 days. Children were tested before training, after training and at a two-month follow-up. Significant improvements were seen in performance on theory of mind tasks in both trained groups, whilst the control group showed no improvement. No improvement on the executive function tasks was seen in any of the groups. The implications of these findings are discussed.
Clément, Francis; Gauthier, Serge; Belleville, Sylvie
Our goal was to test the effect of disease severity on the brain activation associated with two executive processes: manipulation and divided attention. This was achieved by administrating a manipulation task and a divided attention task using functional magnetic resonance imaging to 24 individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 14 healthy controls matched for age, sex and education. The Mattis Dementia Rating Scale was used to divide persons with MCI into those with better and worse cognitive performances. Both tasks were associated with more brain activation in the MCI group with higher cognition than in healthy controls, particularly in the left frontal areas. Correlational analyses indicated that greater activation in a frontostriatal network hyperactivated by the higher-cognition group was related with better task performance, suggesting that these activations may support functional reorganization of a compensatory nature. By contrast, the lower-cognition group failed to show greater cerebral hyperactivation than controls during the divided attention task and, during the manipulation task, and showed less brain activation than controls in the left ventrolateral cortex, a region commonly hypoactivated in patients with Alzheimer's disease. These findings indicate that, during the early phase of MCI, executive functioning benefits from neural reorganization, but that a breakdown of this brain plasticity characterizes the late stages of MCI. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Goethals, Ingeborg; Van de Wiele, Christophe; Dierckx, Rudi [Division of Nuclear Medicine, Polikliniek 7, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, 9000, Ghent (Belgium); Audenaert, Kurt [Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent (Belgium)
This review presents neuroimaging studies which have explored the functional anatomy of a variety of cognitive processes represented by the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Overall, these studies have demonstrated that standard prefrontal neuroactivation tasks recruit a widely distributed network within the brain of which the PFC consistently forms a part. As such, these results are in keeping with the notion that executive functions within the PFC rely not only on anterior (mainly prefrontal) brain areas, but also on posterior (mainly parietal) brain regions. Moreover, intervention of similar brain regions in a large number of different executive tasks suggests that higher-level cognitive functions may best be understood in terms of an interactive network of specialised anterior as well as posterior brain regions. (orig.)
Goethals, Ingeborg; Van de Wiele, Christophe; Dierckx, Rudi; Audenaert, Kurt
This review presents neuroimaging studies which have explored the functional anatomy of a variety of cognitive processes represented by the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Overall, these studies have demonstrated that standard prefrontal neuroactivation tasks recruit a widely distributed network within the brain of which the PFC consistently forms a part. As such, these results are in keeping with the notion that executive functions within the PFC rely not only on anterior (mainly prefrontal) brain areas, but also on posterior (mainly parietal) brain regions. Moreover, intervention of similar brain regions in a large number of different executive tasks suggests that higher-level cognitive functions may best be understood in terms of an interactive network of specialised anterior as well as posterior brain regions. (orig.)
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.
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…
Martin, A K; Mowry, B; Reutens, D; Robinson, G A
Patients with schizophrenia often display deficits on tasks thought to measure "executive" processes. Recently, it has been suggested that reductions in fluid intelligence test performance entirely explain deficits reported for patients with focal frontal lesions on classical executive tasks. For patients with schizophrenia, it is unclear whether deficits on executive tasks are entirely accountable by fluid intelligence and representative of a common general process or best accounted for by distinct contributions to the cognitive profile of schizophrenia. In the current study, 50 patients with schizophrenia and 50 age, sex and premorbid intelligence matched controls were assessed using a broad neuropsychological battery, including tasks considered sensitive to executive abilities, namely the Hayling Sentence Completion Test (HSCT), word fluency, Stroop test, digit-span backwards, and spatial working memory. Fluid intelligence was measured using both the Matrix reasoning subtest from the Weschler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI) and a composite score derived from a number of cognitive tests. Patients with schizophrenia were impaired on all cognitive measures compared with controls, except smell identification and the optimal betting and risk-taking measures from the Cambridge Gambling Task. After introducing fluid intelligence as a covariate, significant differences remained for HSCT suppression errors, and classical executive function tests such as the Stroop test and semantic/phonemic word fluency, regardless of which fluid intelligence measure was included. Fluid intelligence does not entirely explain impaired performance on all tests considered as reflecting "executive" processes. For schizophrenia, these measures should remain part of a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment alongside a measure of fluid intelligence. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Perrotin, Audrey; Isingrini, Michel; Souchay, Céline; Clarys, David; Taconnat, Laurence
This research investigated adult age differences in a metamemory monitoring task-episodic feeling-of-knowing (FOK) and in an episodic memory task-cued recall. Executive functioning and processing speed were examined as mediators of these age differences. Young and elderly adults were administered an episodic FOK task, a cued recall task, executive tests and speed tests. Age-related decline was observed on all the measures. Correlation analyses revealed a pattern of double dissociation which indicates a specific relationship between executive score and FOK accuracy, and between speed score and cued recall. When executive functioning and processing speed were evaluated concurrently on FOK and cued recall variables, hierarchical regression analyses showed that executive score was a better mediator of age-related variance in FOK, and that speed score was the better mediator of age-related variance in cued recall.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
Background Several investigations suggest the presence of deterioration of executive function in fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). The study quantified executive functions in patients with FMS. A wide array of functions was assessed, including updating, shifting and inhibition, as well as decision making and mental planning. Moreover, clinical variables were investigated as possible mediators of executive dysfunction, including pain severity, psychiatric comorbidity, medication and body mass index (BMI). Methods Fifty-two FMS patients and 32 healthy controls completed a battery of 14 neuropsychological tests. Clinical interviews were conducted and the McGill Pain Questionnaire, Beck Depression Inventory, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Fatigue Severity Scale and Oviedo Quality of Sleep Questionnaire were presented. Results Patients performed poorer than controls on the Letter Number Sequencing, Arithmetic and Similarities subtests of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, the Spatial Span subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale, an N-back task, a verbal fluency task, the Ruff Figural Fluency Test, the Inhibition score of the Stroop Test, the Inhibition and Shifting scores of the Five Digits Test, the Key Search Test and the Zoo Map Task. Moreover, patients exhibited less steep learning curves on the Iowa Gambling Task. Among clinical variables, BMI and pain severity explained the largest proportion of performance variance. Conclusions This study demonstrated impairments in executive functions of updating, shifting inhibition, decision making and planning in FMS. While the mediating role of pain in cognitive impairments in FMS had been previously established, the influence of BMI is a novel finding. Overweight and obesity should be considered by FMS researchers, and in the treatment of the condition. PMID:29694417
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
Ersche, Karen D; Clark, Luke; London, Mervyn; Robbins, Trevor W; Sahakian, Barbara J
Cognitive function was assessed in chronic drug users on neurocognitive measures of executive and memory function. Current amphetamine users were contrasted with current opiate users, and these two groups were compared with former users of these substances (abstinent for at least one year). Four groups of participants were recruited: amphetamine-dependent individuals, opiate-dependent individuals, former users of amphetamines, and/or opiates and healthy non-drug taking controls. Participants were administered the Tower of London (TOL) planning task and the 3D-IDED attentional set-shifting task to assess executive function, and Paired Associates Learning and Delayed Pattern Recognition Memory tasks to assess visual memory function. The three groups of substance users showed significant impairments on TOL planning, Pattern Recognition Memory and Paired Associates Learning. Current amphetamine users displayed a greater degree of impairment than current opiate users. Consistent with previous research showing that healthy men are performing better on visuo-spatial tests than women, our male controls remembered significantly more paired associates than their female counterparts. This relationship was reversed in drug users. While performance of female drug users was normal, male drug users showed significant impairment compared to both their female counterparts and male controls. There was no difference in performance between current and former drug users. Neither years of drug abuse nor years of drug abstinence were associated with performance. Chronic drug users display pronounced neuropsychological impairment in the domains of executive and memory function. Impairment persists after several years of drug abstinence and may reflect neuropathology in frontal and temporal cortices. PMID:16160707
Shawn E. Christ
Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder (ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in social communication. It has been postulated that such difficulties are related to disruptions in underlying cognitive processes such as executive function. The present study examined potential changes in executive function performance associated with participation in the Social Competence Intervention (SCI program, a short-term intervention designed to improve social competence in adolescents with ASD. Laboratory behavioral performance measures were used to separately evaluate potential intervention-related changes in individual executive function component processes (i.e., working memory, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility in a sample of 22 adolescents with ASD both before and after intervention. For comparison purposes, a demographically matched sample of 14 individuals without ASD was assessed at identical time intervals. Intervention-related improvements were observed on the working memory task, with gains evident in spatial working memory and, to a slightly lesser degree, verbal working memory. Significant improvements were also found for a working memory-related aspect of the task switching test (i.e., mixing costs. Taken together, these findings provide preliminary support for the hypothesis that participation in the SCI program is accompanied by changes in underlying neurocognitive processes such as working memory.
Onyper, Serge V; Searleman, Alan; Thacher, Pamela V; Maine, Emily E; Johnson, Alicia G
The current study compared the performances of pregnant women with education- and age-matched controls on a variety of measures that assessed perceptual speed, short-term and working memory capacity, subjective memory complaints, sleep quality, level of fatigue, executive functioning, episodic and prospective memory, and crystallized and fluid intelligence. A primary purpose was to test the hypothesis of Henry and Rendell (2007) that pregnancy-related declines in cognitive functioning would be especially evident in tasks that place a high demand on executive processes. We also investigated a parallel hypothesis: that the pregnant women would experience a broad-based reduction in cognitive capability. Very limited support was found for the executive functioning hypothesis. Pregnant women scored lower only on the measure of verbal fluency (Controlled Oral Word Association Test, COWAT) but not on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task or on any working memory measures. Furthermore, group differences in COWAT performance disappeared after controlling for verbal IQ (Shipley vocabulary). In addition, there was no support for the general decline hypothesis. We conclude that pregnancy-associated differences in performance observed in the current study were relatively mild and rarely reached either clinical or practical significance.
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
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.
Altemeier, Leah; Jones, Janine; Abbott, Robert D; Berninger, Virginia W
Results are reported for a study of 2 separate processes of report writing-taking notes while reading source material and composing a report from those notes-and related individual differences in executive functions involved in integrating reading and writing during these writing activities. Third graders (n = 122) and 5th graders (n = 106; overall, 127 girls and 114 boys) completed two reading-writing tasks-read paragraph (mock science text)-write notes and use notes to generate written report, a reading comprehension test, a written expression test, four tests of executive functions (inhibition, verbal fluency, planning, switching attention), and a working memory test. For the read-take notes task, the same combination of variables was best (explained the most variance and each variable added unique variance) for 3rd graders and 5th graders: Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-Second Edition (WIAT-II) Reading Comprehension, Process Assessment of the Learner Test for Reading and Writing (PAL) Copy Task B, WIAT-II Written Expression, and Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) Inhibition. For the use notes to write report task, the best combinations of variables depended on grade level: For 3rd graders, WIAT-II Reading Comprehension, WIAT-II Written Expression, D-KEFS Verbal Fluency, and Tower of Hanoi; for 5th graders, WIAT-II Reading Comprehension, D-KEFS Verbal Fluency, WIAT-II Written Expression, and PAL Alphabet Task. These results add to prior research findings that executive functions contribute to the writing development of elementary-grade students and additionally support the hypothesis that executive functions play a role in developing reading-writing connections.
Tillema, M.; van den Bergh, H.; Rijlaarsdam, G.; Sanders, T.
Current theory about writing states that the quality of (meta)cognitive processing (i.e. planning, text production, revising, et cetera) is, at least partly, determined by the temporal distribution of (meta)cognitive activities across task execution. Put simply, the quality of task execution is
Full Text Available Distributed Computing has achieved tremendous development since cloud computing was proposed in 2006, and played a vital role promoting rapid growth of data collecting and analysis models, e.g., Internet of things, Cyber-Physical Systems, Big Data Analytics, etc. Hadoop has become a data convergence platform for sensor networks. As one of the core components, MapReduce facilitates allocating, processing and mining of collected large-scale data, where speculative execution strategies help solve straggler problems. However, there is still no efficient solution for accurate estimation on execution time of run-time tasks, which can affect task allocation and distribution in MapReduce. In this paper, task execution data have been collected and employed for the estimation. A two-phase regression (TPR method is proposed to predict the finishing time of each task accurately. Detailed data of each task have drawn interests with detailed analysis report being made. According to the results, the prediction accuracy of concurrent tasks’ execution time can be improved, in particular for some regular jobs.
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.…
M. Rosa Elosúa
Full Text Available In recent years, the interest in Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD and its relation to deficits in working memory (WM and more specifically the different executive functions (EFs has grown, to the point of confirming that these are quite frequent in this disorder. The aim of this study was precisely to explore differences in executive functioning of WM in fourth grade Primary school children with and without ADHD (26 and 29 children, respectively, introducing rigorous control measures in the tests used. Four EFs were analyzed: divided attention, updating, attentional shifting and inhibition, measured through four tasks, the dual-task paradigm (digits and box-crossing, the N-Back task, the Trail Making Test and the Stroop task, respectively. The results showed that participants with ADHD, compared to children with typical development (TD, exhibited a smaller verbal memory span as well as deficits in the attentional shifting and updating functions. However, a similar performance for the EF of inhibition was found for both groups of participants. Finally, an unexpected result was obtained with regard to the role of divided attention, as children with ADHD were less impaired when performing the double task than participants in the TD group.
Olley, Amanda; Malhi, Gin; Sachdev, Perminder
The neurocognitive deficits that underlie the unique features of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are not yet completely understood. This paper reviews the main neuropsychological findings in memory and executive functioning in this disorder, and examines a number of challenges facing this area of research. A selective review of the neuropsychological literature on OCD was conducted using MEDLINE and drawing on literature known to the authors. The neuropsychological profile of OCD appears to be one of primary executive dysfunction. Although memory functioning may be affected, these deficits appear secondary to an executive failure of organizational strategies during encoding. On tasks of executive functioning patients with OCD demonstrate increased response latencies, perseveration of responses, and difficulties utilizing feedback to adapt to change. A statistical meta-analysis was not performed and only the cognitive domains of memory and executive functioning were examined. Given the prominence of chronic doubt and indecision in clinical settings, it is surprising that decision making as a cognitive construct as related to OCD has not received greater attention in the neuropsychological literature. On the basis of emerging literature we suggest that it is a potential area of dysfunction and one that warrants further investigation as it may assist in enhancing our understanding of the pathophysiology of OCD.
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…
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.
Agrawal, Divy; Kruse, Sebastian; Ouzzani, Mourad; Papotti, Paolo; Quiane-Ruiz, Jorge-Arnulfo; Tang, Nan; Zaki, Mohammed J.; Ba, Lamine; Berti-Equille, Laure; Chawla, Sanjay; Elmagarmid, Ahmed; Hammady, Hossam; Idris, Yasser; Kaoudi, Zoi; Khayyat, Zuhair
Many emerging applications, from domains such as healthcare and oil & gas, require several data processing systems for complex analytics. This demo paper showcases Rheem, a framework that provides multi-platform task execution for such applications. It features a three-layer data processing abstraction and a new query optimization approach for multi-platform settings. We will demonstrate the strengths of Rheem by using real-world scenarios from three different applications, namely, machine learning, data cleaning, and data fusion. © 2016 ACM.
Many emerging applications, from domains such as healthcare and oil & gas, require several data processing systems for complex analytics. This demo paper showcases Rheem, a framework that provides multi-platform task execution for such applications. It features a three-layer data processing abstraction and a new query optimization approach for multi-platform settings. We will demonstrate the strengths of Rheem by using real-world scenarios from three different applications, namely, machine learning, data cleaning, and data fusion. © 2016 ACM.
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…
van Dijk, Chantal N; van Witteloostuijn, Merel; Vasić, Nada; Avrutin, Sergey; Blom, Elma
When sending text messages on their mobile phone to friends, children often use a special type of register, which is called textese. This register allows the omission of words and the use of textisms: instances of non-standard written language such as 4ever (forever). Previous studies have shown that textese has a positive effect on children's literacy abilities. In addition, it is possible that children's grammar system is affected by textese as well, as grammar rules are often transgressed in this register. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to investigate whether the use of textese influences children's grammar performance, and whether this effect is specific to grammar or language in general. Additionally, studies have not yet investigated the influence of textese on children's cognitive abilities. Consequently, the secondary aim of this study was to find out whether textese affects children's executive functions. To investigate this, 55 children between 10 and 13 years old were tested on a receptive vocabulary and grammar performance (sentence repetition) task and various tasks measuring executive functioning. In addition, text messages were elicited and the number of omissions and textisms in children's messages were calculated. Regression analyses showed that omissions were a significant predictor of children's grammar performance after various other variables were controlled for: the more words children omitted in their text messages, the better their performance on the grammar task. Although textisms correlated (marginally) significantly with vocabulary, grammar and selective attention scores and omissions marginally significantly with vocabulary scores, no other significant effects were obtained for measures of textese in the regression analyses: neither for the language outcomes, nor for the executive function tasks. Hence, our results show that textese is positively related to children's grammar performance. On the other hand, use of textese does
Chantal N van Dijk
Full Text Available When sending text messages on their mobile phone to friends, children often use a special type of register, which is called textese. This register allows the omission of words and the use of textisms: instances of non-standard written language such as 4ever (forever. Previous studies have shown that textese has a positive effect on children's literacy abilities. In addition, it is possible that children's grammar system is affected by textese as well, as grammar rules are often transgressed in this register. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to investigate whether the use of textese influences children's grammar performance, and whether this effect is specific to grammar or language in general. Additionally, studies have not yet investigated the influence of textese on children's cognitive abilities. Consequently, the secondary aim of this study was to find out whether textese affects children's executive functions. To investigate this, 55 children between 10 and 13 years old were tested on a receptive vocabulary and grammar performance (sentence repetition task and various tasks measuring executive functioning. In addition, text messages were elicited and the number of omissions and textisms in children's messages were calculated. Regression analyses showed that omissions were a significant predictor of children's grammar performance after various other variables were controlled for: the more words children omitted in their text messages, the better their performance on the grammar task. Although textisms correlated (marginally significantly with vocabulary, grammar and selective attention scores and omissions marginally significantly with vocabulary scores, no other significant effects were obtained for measures of textese in the regression analyses: neither for the language outcomes, nor for the executive function tasks. Hence, our results show that textese is positively related to children's grammar performance. On the other hand
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.
Kawasaki, Masahiro; Kitajo, Keiichi; Yamaguchi, Yoko
Working memory (WM) tasks require not only distinct functions such as a storage buffer and central executive functions, but also coordination among these functions. Neuroimaging studies have revealed the contributions of different brain regions to different functional roles in WM tasks; however, little is known about the neural mechanism governing their coordination. Electroencephalographic (EEG) rhythms, especially theta and alpha, are known to appear over distributed brain regions during WM tasks, but the rhythms associated with task-relevant regional coupling have not been obtained thus far. In this study, we conducted time-frequency analyses for EEG data in WM tasks that include manipulation periods and memory storage buffer periods. We used both auditory WM tasks and visual WM tasks. The results successfully demonstrated function-specific EEG activities. The frontal theta amplitudes increased during the manipulation periods of both tasks. The alpha amplitudes increased during not only the manipulation but also the maintenance periods in the temporal area for the auditory WM and the parietal area for the visual WM. The phase synchronization analyses indicated that, under the relevant task conditions, the temporal and parietal regions show enhanced phase synchronization in the theta bands with the frontal region, whereas phase synchronization between theta and alpha is significantly enhanced only within the individual areas. Our results suggest that WM task-relevant brain regions are coordinated by distant theta synchronization for central executive functions, by local alpha synchronization for the memory storage buffer, and by theta-alpha coupling for inter-functional integration.
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.
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...
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.
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.
Chung, Kevin Kien Hoa; Lam, Chun Bun; Cheung, Ka Chun
This cross-sectional study examined the associations of visuomotor integration and executive functioning with Chinese word reading and writing in kindergarten children. A total of 369 Chinese children (mean age = 57.99 months; 55% of them were girls) from Hong Kong, China, completed tasks on visuomotor integration, executive functioning, and…
Mahy, Caitlin E V; Moses, Louis J; Kliegel, Matthias
The current study examined the impact of age, ongoing task (OT) difficulty, and cue salience on 4- and 5-year-old children's prospective memory (PM) and also explored the relation between individual differences in executive function (working memory, inhibition, and shifting) and PM. OT difficulty and cue salience are predicted to affect the detection of PM cues based on the multiprocess framework, yet neither has been thoroughly investigated in young children. OT difficulty was manipulated by requiring children to sort cards according to the size of pictured items (easy) or by opposite size (difficult), and cue salience was manipulated by placing a red border around half of the target cues (salient) and no border around the other cues (non-salient). The 5-year-olds outperformed the 4-year-olds on the PM task, and salient PM cues resulted in better PM cues compared with non-salient cues. There was no main effect of OT difficulty, and the interaction between cue salience and OT difficulty was not significant. However, a planned comparison revealed that the combination of non-salient cues and a difficult OT resulted in significantly worse PM performance than that in all of the other conditions. Inhibition accounted for significant variance in PM performance for non-salient cues and for marginally significant variance for salient cues. Furthermore, individual differences in inhibition fully mediated the effect of age on PM performance. Results are discussed in the context of the multiprocess framework and with reference to preschoolers' difficulty with the executive demands of dividing attention between the OT and PM task. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Piccolo, Luciane da Rosa; Salles, Jerusa Fumagalli de; Falceto, Olga Garcia; Fernandes, Carmen Luiza; Grassi-Oliveira, Rodrigo
According to the literature, children's overall reactivity to stress is associated with their socioeconomic status and family environment. In turn, it has been shown that reactivity to stress is associated with cognitive performance. However, few studies have systematically tested these three constructs together. To investigate the relationship between family environment, salivary cortisol measurements and children's memory and executive function performance. Salivary cortisol levels of 70 children aged 9 or 10 years were measured before and after performing tasks designed to assess memory and executive functions. Questionnaires on socioeconomic issues, family environment and maternal psychopathologies were administered to participants' families during the children's early childhood and again when they reached school age. Data were analyzed by calculating correlations between variables and conducting hierarchical regression. High cortisol levels were associated with poorer working memory and worse performance in tasks involving executive functions, and were also associated with high scores for maternal psychopathology (during early childhood and school age) and family dysfunction. Family environment variables and changes in cortisol levels explain around 20% of the variance in performance of cognitive tasks. Family functioning and maternal psychopathology in early and middle childhood and children's stress levels were associated with children's working memory and executive functioning.
Berger, Barbara; Minarik, Tamas; Griesmayr, Birgit; Stelzig-Schoeler, Renate; Aichhorn, Wolfgang; Sauseng, Paul
Working Memory and executive functioning deficits are core characteristics of patients suffering from schizophrenia. Electrophysiological research indicates that altered patterns of neural oscillatory mechanisms underpinning executive functioning are associated with the psychiatric disorder. Such brain oscillatory changes have been found in local amplitude differences at gamma and theta frequencies in task-specific cortical areas. Moreover, interregional interactions are also disrupted as signified by decreased phase coherence of fronto-posterior theta activity in schizophrenia patients. However, schizophrenia is not a one-dimensional psychiatric disorder but has various forms and expressions. A common distinction is between positive and negative symptomatology but most patients have both negative and positive symptoms to some extent. Here, we examined three groups-healthy controls, predominantly negative, and predominantly positive symptomatic schizophrenia patients-when performing a working memory task with increasing cognitive demand and increasing need for executive control. We analyzed brain oscillatory activity in the three groups separately and investigated how predominant symptomatology might explain differences in brain oscillatory patterns. Our results indicate that differences in task specific fronto-posterior network activity (i.e., executive control network) expressed by interregional phase synchronization are able to account for working memory dysfunctions between groups. Local changes in the theta and gamma frequency range also show differences between patients and healthy controls, and more importantly, between the two patient groups. We conclude that differences in oscillatory brain activation patterns related to executive processing can be an indicator for positive and negative symptomatology in schizophrenia. Furthermore, changes in cognitive and especially executive functioning in patients are expressed by alterations in a task-specific fronto
van de Ven, Renate M.; Murre, Jaap M. J.; Veltman, Dick J.; Schmand, Ben A.
Background: Stroke commonly results in cognitive impairments in working memory, attention, and executive function, which may be restored with appropriate training programs. Our aim was to systematically review the evidence for computer-based cognitive training of executive dysfunctions. Methods: Studies were included if they concerned adults who had suffered stroke or other types of acquired brain injury, if the intervention was computer training of executive functions, and if the outcome was related to executive functioning. We searched in MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and The Cochrane Library. Study quality was evaluated based on the CONSORT Statement. Treatment effect was evaluated based on differences compared to pre-treatment and/or to a control group. Results: Twenty studies were included. Two were randomized controlled trials that used an active control group. The other studies included multiple baselines, a passive control group, or were uncontrolled. Improvements were observed in tasks similar to the training (near transfer) and in tasks dissimilar to the training (far transfer). However, these effects were not larger in trained than in active control groups. Two studies evaluated neural effects and found changes in both functional and structural connectivity. Most studies suffered from methodological limitations (e.g., lack of an active control group and no adjustment for multiple testing) hampering differentiation of training effects from spontaneous recovery, retest effects, and placebo effects. Conclusions: The positive findings of most studies, including neural changes, warrant continuation of research in this field, but only if its methodological limitations are addressed. PMID:27148007
De Neys, Wim
Human reasoning has been shown to overly rely on intuitive, heuristic processing instead of a more demanding analytic inference process. Four experiments tested the central claim of current dual-process theories that analytic operations involve time-consuming executive processing whereas the heuristic system would operate automatically. Participants solved conjunction fallacy problems and indicative and deontic selection tasks. Experiment 1 established that making correct analytic inferences demanded more processing time than did making heuristic inferences. Experiment 2 showed that burdening the executive resources with an attention-demanding secondary task decreased correct, analytic responding and boosted the rate of conjunction fallacies and indicative matching card selections. Results were replicated in Experiments 3 and 4 with a different secondary-task procedure. Involvement of executive resources for the deontic selection task was less clear. Findings validate basic processing assumptions of the dual-process framework and complete the correlational research programme of K. E. Stanovich and R. F. West (2000).
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.
Pedroso, Renata V; Ayán, Carlos; Fraga, Francisco J; da Silva, Thays M V; Cancela, José M; Santos-Galduròz, Ruth F
The aim of this study was to verify the effects of functional-task training on cognitive function, activities of daily living (ADL) performance, and functional fitness in community-dwelling older adults with diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). A total of 57 participants (22 functional-task training group [FTG], 21 social gathering group [SGG], 14 control group [CG]) were recruited. Participants in both intervention groups carried out three 1-hr sessions per week of a functional-task program and social gathering activities for 12 weeks. Significant improvements were observed in executive functions (TMT, t-test, p = .03) in the SGG and in upper limb strength (arm curl, t-test, p = .01) in the FTG. Functional-task training has no significant effect on cognitive function, ADL, and functional fitness among people with AD, although it may contribute to slowing down the process of deterioration this illness causes.
Friedman-Krauss, Allison H; Raver, C Cybele; Neuspiel, Juliana M; Kinsel, John
The current article explores the relationship between teachers' perceptions of child behavior problems and preschool teacher job stress, as well as the possibility that teachers' executive functions moderate this relationship. Data came from 69 preschool teachers in 31 early childhood classrooms in 4 Head Start centers and were collected using Web-based surveys and Web-based direct assessment tasks. Multilevel models revealed that higher levels of teachers' perceptions of child behavior problems were associated with higher levels of teacher job stress and that higher teacher executive function skills were related to lower job stress. However, findings did not yield evidence for teacher executive functions as a statistical moderator. Many early childhood teachers do not receive sufficient training for handling children's challenging behaviors. Child behavior problems increase a teacher's workload and consequently may contribute to feelings of stress. However, teachers' executive function abilities may enable them to use effective, cognitive-based behavior management and instructional strategies during interactions with students, which may reduce stress. Providing teachers with training on managing challenging behaviors and enhancing executive functions may reduce their stress and facilitate their use of effective classroom practices, which is important for children's school readiness skills and teachers' health.
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.
Todorov, Ivo; Del Missier, Fabio; Mäntylä, Timo
Coordinating multiple tasks with narrow deadlines is particularly challenging for older adults because of age related decline in cognitive control functions. We tested the hypothesis that multiple task performance reflects age- and gender-related differences in executive functioning and spatial ability. Young and older adults completed a multitasking session with four monitoring tasks as well as separate tasks measuring executive functioning and spatial ability. For both age groups, men exceeded women in multitasking, measured as monitoring accuracy. Individual differences in executive functioning and spatial ability were independent predictors of young adults' monitoring accuracy, but only spatial ability was related to sex differences. For older adults, age and executive functioning, but not spatial ability, predicted multitasking performance. These results suggest that executive functions contribute to multiple task performance across the adult life span and that reliance on spatial skills for coordinating deadlines is modulated by age.
Full Text Available Coordinating multiple tasks with narrow deadlines is particularly challenging for older adults because of age related decline in cognitive control functions. We tested the hypothesis that multiple task performance reflects age- and gender-related differences in executive functioning and spatial ability. Young and older adults completed a multitasking session with four monitoring tasks as well as separate tasks measuring executive functioning and spatial ability. For both age groups, men exceeded women in multitasking, measured as monitoring accuracy. Individual differences in executive functioning and spatial ability were independent predictors of young adults' monitoring accuracy, but only spatial ability was related to sex differences. For older adults, age and executive functioning, but not spatial ability, predicted multitasking performance. These results suggest that executive functions contribute to multiple task performance across the adult life span and that reliance on spatial skills for coordinating deadlines is modulated by age.
Di Tella, Marialaura; Castelli, Lorys; Colonna, Fabrizio; Fusaro, Enrico; Torta, Riccardo; Ardito, Rita B; Adenzato, Mauro
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a syndrome primarily characterised by chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain. In the aetiology of this syndrome a crucial role is played by complex interactions among biological, genetic, psychological, and socio-cultural factors. Recently, researchers have started to explore emotional functioning in FM, with their attention focused on alexithymia, a personality construct that affects the regulation of a person's own emotions. On the other hand, the detection and experience of emotional signals from other people have only been sparsely investigated in FM syndrome and no studies have investigated the ability to represent other people's mental states (i.e. Theory of Mind, ToM) in these patients. Here we present the first study investigating a large set of social-cognitive abilities, and the possible relationships between these abilities and the performance on executive-function tasks, in a homogenous sample of patients with FM. Forty women with FM and forty-one healthy women matched for education and age were involved in the study. Social cognition was assessed with a set of validated experimental tasks. Measures of executive function were used to test the correlations between this dimension and the social-cognitive profile of patients with FM. Relationships between social-cognitive abilities and demographic, clinical and psychological variables were also investigated. Patients with FM have impairments both in the regulation of their own affect and in the recognition of other's emotions, as well as in representing other people's mental states. No significant correlations were found between social cognition tasks and the subcomponents of the executive function that were analysed. The results show the presence of several impairments in social cognition skills in patients with FM, which are largely independent of both executive function deficits and symptoms of psychological distress. The impairments reported highlight the importance of adequately
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.
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…
Takemiya, Hiroshi; Yamagishi, Nobuhiro; Imamura, Toshiyuki
At the Center for Promotion of Computational Science and Engineering, a software environment PPExe has been developed to support scientific computing on a parallel computer cluster (distributed parallel scientific computing). TME (Task Mapping Editor) is one of components of the PPExe and provides a visual programming environment for distributed parallel scientific computing. Users can specify data dependence among tasks (programs) visually as a data flow diagram and map these tasks onto computers interactively through GUI of TME. The specified tasks are processed by other components of PPExe such as Meta-scheduler, RIM (Resource Information Monitor), and EMS (Execution Management System) according to the execution order of these tasks determined by TME. In this report, we describe the usage of TME. (author)
Full Text Available The aim of the present study is to examine the interrelations of executive function (EF tasks with general cognitive ability and linguistic level in preschool children. The analyses of the correlation between EF sub-domains, particularly inhibition and set-shifting, have been studied to comprehend the ontogenesis of EFs. Task analysis has allowed us to identify which EF sub-domains are prevalent in each task, with particular attention to inhibition and set-shifting definitions. The sample was composed of 40 typically developing children from 48 to 69 months old (M=58 months, SD=5.02; 28 boys and 12 girls. The results give some insight into the development of executive functions, their utility in clinical assessment and indication.
Moore, Tara L; Schettler, Stephen P; Killiany, Ronald J; Rosene, Douglas L; Moss, Mark B
Executive function is a term used to describe the cognitive processes subserved by the prefrontal cortex (PFC). An extensive body of work has characterized the effects of damage to the PFC in nonhuman primates, but it has focused primarily on the capacity of recognition and working memory. One limitation in studies of the functional parcellation of the PFC has been the absence of tests that assess executive function or its functional components. The current study used an adaptation of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, a classic test of frontal lobe and executive function in humans, to assess the effects of bilateral lesions in the dorsolateral PFC on executive function in the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta). The authors used the category set-shifting task, which requires the monkey to establish a pattern of responding to a specific category (color or shape) based on reward contingency, maintain that pattern of responding, and then shift to responding to a different category when the reward contingency changes. Rhesus monkeys with lesions of the dorsolateral PFC were impaired in abstraction, establishing a response pattern to a specific category and maintaining and shifting that response pattern on the category set-shifting task. (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved.
Dagenais, Emmanuelle; Rouleau, Isabelle; Tremblay, Alexandra; Demers, Mélanie; Roger, Élaine; Jobin, Céline; Duquette, Pierre
Prospective memory (PM), the ability to remember to do something at the appropriate time in the future, is crucial in everyday life. One way to improve PM performance is to increase the salience of a cue announcing that it is time to act. Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients often report PM failures and there is growing evidence of PM deficits among this population. However, such deficits are poorly characterized and their relation to cognitive status remains unclear. To better understand PM deficits in MS patients, this study investigated the impact of cue salience on PM, and its relation to retrospective memory (RM) and executive deficits. Thirty-nine (39) MS patients were compared to 18 healthy controls on a PM task modulating cue salience during an ongoing general knowledge test. MS patients performed worse than controls on the PM task, regardless of cue salience. MS patients' executive functions contributed significantly to the variance in PM performance, whereas age, education and RM did not. Interestingly, low- and high-executive patients' performance differed when the cue was not salient, but not when it was, suggesting that low-executive MS patients benefited more from cue salience. These findings add to the growing evidence of PM deficits in MS and highlight the contribution of executive functions to certain aspects of PM. In low-executive MS patients, high cue salience improves PM performance by reducing the detection threshold and need for environmental monitoring. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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…
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.
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.
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
Normala, I; Abdul, Hamid A R; Azlin, B; Nik Ruzyanei, N J; Hazli, Z; Shah, S A
This is a cross sectional comparison study to assess executive function and attention span in euthymic patients with bipolar 1 disorder. It compares the performance of these two cognitive domains in 40 patients with bipolar 1 disorder to that of 40 healthy normal subjects using Trail Making (TMT), Digit Span (Forward and Backward) and Verbal Fluency (VF) tests. The association between demographic, clinical characteristics and performance in all tests were examined. Patients with bipolar illness showed significant impairment with moderate to large effect sizes (VF = 0.67, TMT A = 0.52, TMT B = 0.81, Digit Forward = 0.97, Digit backward = 1.10) in all tasks of executive and attention functioning. These impairments are observed in the absence of active mood symptoms while duration and severity of illness are not found to have an effect on both cognitive domains. Medications received by patients with bipolar disorder have significant association with performance on executive tasks. The results of this study add on to the existing global evidence of cognitive impairment in bipolar illness despite its cross cultural differences. Its presence in the absence of mania, depression or mixed episode indicates that cognitive impairment is stable even after symptoms recovery.
Eneva, Kalina T; Arlt, Jean M; Yiu, Angelina; Murray, Susan M; Chen, Eunice Y
Executive functioning (EF) problems may serve as vulnerability or maintenance factors for Binge-Eating Disorder (BED). However, it is unclear if EF problems observed in BED are related to overweight status or BED status. The current study extends this literature by examining EF in overweight and normal-weight BED compared to weight-matched controls. Participants were normal-weight women with BED (n = 23), overweight BED (n = 32), overweight healthy controls (n = 48), and normal-weight healthy controls (n = 29). The EF battery utilized tests from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Toolbox and Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS). After controlling for years of education and minority status, overweight individuals performed more poorly than normal-weight individuals on a task of cognitive flexibility requiring generativity (p < .01), and speed on psychomotor performance tasks (p = .01). Normal-weight and overweight BED performed worse on working memory tasks compared to controls (p = .04). Unexpectedly, normal-weight BED individuals out-performed all other groups on an inhibitory control task (p < .01). No significant differences were found between the four groups on tasks of planning. Regardless of weight status, BED is associated with working memory problems. Replication of the finding that normal-weight BED is associated with enhanced inhibitory control is needed. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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.
Henning, Anne; Spinath, Frank M.; Aschersleben, Gisa
The aim of this study was to assess the specific relation between 3- to 6-year-olds' performance on a task measuring executive function (EF), the Dimensional Change Card Sort task (DCCS), and different developmental attainments in their theory of mind (ToM) by employing a battery of scaled ToM tasks that were comparable in task format and task…
Aneta Rita Borkowska
Full Text Available The study was aimed at finding out whether at the early school age the effectiveness of executive functions distinguishes children with ADHD from those of the control group. Besides, the aim was to check to what extent the use of diagnostic methods evaluating executive functions in children at the early school age is justified. The analysis comprised cognitive flexibility, sustained attention, interference control and planning ability. Those methods of neuropsychological evaluation were used which are mostly applied to characterize executive functions: Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, interference task based on the Stroop Interference Test, and tests of verbal fluency and Tower of London. The examined group consisted of 50 children aged 7-10: 25 children with hyperactivity of combined type and 25 children of the control group. Each group consisted of 23 boys and 2 girls. The average age in the criterial group was 8 years and 10 months (SD=10 months, whereas in the control group – 8 years and 6 months (SD=11 months. According to the obtained results, children with ADHD at early school age do not exhibit a wide spectrum of executive functions deficits, which is probably associated with immaturity of executive processes in all children of that age. The findings comprised only difficulties in inhibition of response, monitoring of activity, and ability of executive attention to intentional guidance of the mental effort depending on the task’s requirements. In investigations of children with ADHD at early school age the use of neuropsychological tests and trials designed for evaluation of executive functions is justified only in limited degree. They do not significantly distinguish between children with ADHD and children without this disorder, therefore the results may be mainly of descriptive, and not explanatory, value.
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.
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).
Bjekic, J.; Zivanovic, M.; Puric, D.; Oosterman, J.M.; Filipovic, S.R.
There is a growing body of evidence that a higher level of cognitive inhibition is associated with lower experimental pain sensitivity. However, a systematic examination of the association between executive functions, which include not only inhibition but also updating and shifting, and experimental
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
Denise Balem Yates
Full Text Available This study investigated the relationship between measures of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST and a brief battery of cognitive functions (NEUPSILIN with the goal of providing a better understanding of the association between executive processes and other functions. The sample included 39 people, from 14 to 61 years old, with an average education of 12.38 (SD = 3.65 years of study. The hypothesis that correlations would be moderate to strong between the measures of executive function, working memory, attention and prospective memory from NEUPSILIN and WCST scores was partially corroborated because the intensity of the correlations was below than the expected. Other correlations were also found between the WCST scores and tasks that assess semantic-episodic memory, oral language (inference processing and writing (reading components.
Goldschmidt, Andrea B; O'Brien, Setareh; Lavender, Jason M; Pearson, Carolyn M; Le Grange, Daniel; Hunter, Scott J
Difficulties with executive functioning may underlie both overweight and loss of control (LOC) eating behavior across the age spectrum, but there is a relative paucity of research in children with both conditions. This study aimed to characterize general executive functioning among children with overweight and LOC eating as compared to their overweight and normal-weight peers. Participants were 75 racially diverse children (58.7% female; 81.3% African-American), aged 9-12y (M age = 10.5 ± 1.1), of whom 26 were overweight/obese and endorsed LOC eating (OW-LOC), 34 were overweight controls (OW-CON), and 15 were normal-weight controls (NW-CON). All children completed interview-based measures of eating pathology, and behavioral measures of executive functioning. Parents reported on behavioral facets of children's executive functioning. Groups were compared across parent-report measures and behavioral tasks using analyses of covariance (ANCOVAs) and multivariate analyses of covariance (MANCOVAs) which adjusted for general intellectual functioning. Significant group differences were revealed on a behavioral measure of planning, the Tower of London task [F (5,65) = 3.52; p = 0.007], and a behavioral measure of working memory, the List Sorting task [F (2,71) = 6.45; p = 0.003]. Post-hoc tests revealed that OW-LOC and OW-CON performed worse than NW-CON on the Tower of London, with relative decrements in accuracy rather than performance time. Further, OW-LOC performed worse than both OW-CON and NW-CON on the List Sorting task. Overweight with or without concomitant LOC eating in children may characterize a unique pattern of executive dysfunction. Interventions for eating- and weight-related problems in youth should address underlying deficits in planning and working memory. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Williams, George W; Shankar, Bairavi; Klier, Eliana M; Chuang, Alice Z; El Marjiya-Villarreal, Salma; Nwokolo, Omonele O; Sharma, Aanchal; Sereno, Anne B
Medical residents working overnight call shifts experience sleep deprivation and circadian clock disruption. This leads to deficits in sensorimotor function and increases in workplace accidents. Using quick tablet-based tasks, we investigate whether measureable executive function differences exist following a single overnight call versus routine shift, and whether factors like stress, rest and caffeine affect these measures. A prospective, observational, longitudinal, comparison study was conducted. An academic tertiary hospital's main operating room suite staffed by attending anesthesiologists, anesthesiology residents, anesthesiologist assistants and nurse anesthetists. Subjects were 30 anesthesiology residents working daytime shifts and 30 peers working overnight call shifts from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Before and after their respective work shifts, residents completed the Stanford Sleepiness Scale (SSS) and the ProPoint and AntiPoint tablet-based tasks. These latter tasks are designed to measure sensorimotor and executive functions, respectively. The SSS is a self-reported measure of sleepiness. Response times (RTs) are measured in the pointing tasks. Call residents exhibited increased RTs across their shifts (post-pre) on both ProPoint (p=0.002) and AntiPoint (pRoutine residents. Increased stress was associated with decreases in AntiPoint RT for Routine (p=0.007), but with greater increases in sleepiness for Call residents (proutine daytime shift residents, (2) sensorimotor slowing is greater in overnight Call residents who drink caffeine habitually, and (3) increased stress during a shift reduces (improves) cognitive RTs during routine daytime but not overnight call shifts. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Friedman-Krauss, Allison H.; Raver, C. Cybele; Neuspiel, Juliana M.; Kinsel, John
Research Findings The current article explores the relationship between teachers’ perceptions of child behavior problems and preschool teacher job stress, as well as the possibility that teachers’ executive functions moderate this relationship. Data came from 69 preschool teachers in 31 early childhood classrooms in 4 Head Start centers and were collected using Web-based surveys and Web-based direct assessment tasks. Multilevel models revealed that higher levels of teachers’ perceptions of child behavior problems were associated with higher levels of teacher job stress and that higher teacher executive function skills were related to lower job stress. However, findings did not yield evidence for teacher executive functions as a statistical moderator. Practice or Policy Many early childhood teachers do not receive sufficient training for handling children’s challenging behaviors. Child behavior problems increase a teacher’s workload and consequently may contribute to feelings of stress. However, teachers’ executive function abilities may enable them to use effective, cognitive-based behavior management and instructional strategies during interactions with students, which may reduce stress. Providing teachers with training on managing challenging behaviors and enhancing executive functions may reduce their stress and facilitate their use of effective classroom practices, which is important for children’s school readiness skills and teachers’ health. PMID:28596698
Naiberg, M R; Newton, D F; Collins, J E; Dickstein, D P; Bowie, C R; Goldstein, B I
Cardiovascular risk factors that comprise metabolic syndrome (MetS) have been linked with cognition in adults with bipolar disorder (BD). This study examines the association between MetS components and executive function in adolescents with BD. A total of 34 adolescents with BD and 35 healthy control (HC) adolescents were enrolled. MetS components included triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, glucose, waist circumference, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Executive functioning was measured using the intra-extra-dimensional (IED) set-shifting task from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Tests Automated Battery. Adolescents with BD were more likely to have ≥1 MetS components (64.7%) as compared to HC participants (22.9%, χ(2) = 12.29, P = triglyceride levels (ρ = -0.358, P = 0.041 and ρ = -0.396, P = 0.020 respectively). The association of triglycerides with executive function remained significant after controlling for age, IQ, and current use of second-generation antipsychotics. Elevated triglycerides are associated with poorer executive function among adolescents with BD. Studies of behavioural and pharmacological interventions targeting MetS components for the purpose of improving executive function among adolescents with BD are warranted. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Blanton, Cynthia A; Green, Michael W; Kretsch, Mary J
Evidence of the relationship between altered cognitive function and depleted Fe status is accumulating in women of reproductive age but the degree of Fe deficiency associated with negative neuropsychological outcomes needs to be delineated. Data are limited regarding this relationship in university women in whom optimal cognitive function is critical to academic success. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between body Fe, in the absence of Fe-deficiency anaemia, and neuropsychological function in young college women. Healthy, non-anaemic undergraduate women (n 42) provided a blood sample and completed a standardised cognitive test battery consisting of one manual (Tower of London (TOL), a measure of central executive function) and five computerised (Bakan vigilance task, mental rotation, simple reaction time, immediate word recall and two-finger tapping) tasks. Women's body Fe ranged from - 4·2 to 8·1 mg/kg. General linear model ANOVA revealed a significant effect of body Fe on TOL planning time (P= 0·002). Spearman's correlation coefficients showed a significant inverse relationship between body Fe and TOL planning time for move categories 4 (r - 0·39, P= 0·01) and 5 (r - 0·47, P= 0·002). Performance on the computerised cognitive tasks was not affected by body Fe level. These findings suggest that Fe status in the absence of anaemia is positively associated with central executive function in otherwise healthy college women.
Turnbull, O.H.; Evans, C.E.Y.; Bunce, A.; Carzolio, B.; O'Connor, J.
The role of emotion in complex decision-making can be assessed on the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), a widely used neuropsychological measure that may tap a different aspect of executive function than that assessed by conventional measures. Most notably, the 'feeling' about which decks are good or bad, often described in relation to IGT performance,…
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.
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.
Gaillardin, Florence; Baudry, Stéphane
This study assessed the influence of attention division, working memory and executive function on stair ascent and descent in young and older adults. Twenty young (25.5 ± 2.1 yrs) and 20 older adults (68.4 ± 5.4 yrs) ascended and descended a 3-step staircase with no simultaneous cognitive task (single-motor task) or while performing a cognitive task (dual-task condition). The cognitive task involved either 1) recalling a word list of the subject's word-span minus 2 words (SPAN-2) to assess the attention division effect, 2) a word list of subject's word-span (SPAN-O) to assess the working memory effect, or 3) recalling in alphabetical order, a word list of the subject's word-span (SPAN-A) to assess the executive function effect. Word-span corresponds to the longest string of words that can be recalled correctly. The duration of ascent and descent of stairs was used to assess the cognitive-motor interaction. Stair ascent and descent duration did not differ between age groups for the single-motor task, and was similar between single-motor task and SPAN-2 in both groups (p > 0.05). In contrast, stair ascent and descent duration increased with SPAN-O compared with SPAN-2 for both groups (p SPAN-A than SPAN-O only in older adults. Healthy aging was not associated with a decrease in the capacity to perform motor-cognitive dual tasks that involved ascending and descending of stairs when the cognitive task only required working memory. However, the decrease in dual-task performance involving executive functioning may reflect a subclinical cognitive decline in healthy older adults. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
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
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.
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...
Spielberg, Jeffrey M; Miller, Gregory A; Engels, Anna S; Herrington, John D; Sutton, Bradley P; Banich, Marie T; Heller, Wendy
Motivation and executive function are both necessary for the completion of goal-directed behavior. Research investigating the manner in which these processes interact is beginning to emerge and has implicated middle frontal gyrus (MFG) as a site of interaction for relevant neural mechanisms. However, this research has focused on state motivation, and it has not examined functional lateralization. The present study examined the impact of trait levels of approach and avoidance motivation on neural processes associated with executive function. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was conducted while participants performed a color-word Stroop task. Analyses identified brain regions in which trait approach and avoidance motivation (measured by questionnaires) moderated activation associated with executive control. Approach was hypothesized to be associated with left-lateralized MFG activation, whereas avoidance was hypothesized to be associated with right-lateralized MFG activation. Results supported both hypotheses. Present findings implicate areas of middle frontal gyrus in top-down control to guide behavior in accordance with motivational goals. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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...
Hughes, Sheryl O; Power, Thomas G; O'Connor, Teresia M; Orlet Fisher, Jennifer
The purpose of the present study was to examine relationships between child eating self-regulation, child non-eating self-regulation, and child BMIz in a low-income sample of Hispanic families with preschoolers. The eating in the absence of hunger task as well as parent-report of child satiety responsiveness and food responsiveness were used to assess child eating self-regulation. Two laboratory tasks assessing executive functioning, a parent questionnaire assessing child effortful control (a temperament dimension related to executive functioning), and the delay of gratification and gift delay tasks assessing child emotion regulation were used to assess child non-eating self-regulation. Bivariate correlations were run among all variables in the study. Hierarchical linear regression analyses assessed: (1) child eating self-regulation associations with the demographic, executive functioning, effortful control, and emotion regulation measures; and (2) child BMI z-score associations with executive functioning, effortful control, emotion regulation measures, and eating self-regulation measures. Within child eating self-regulation, only the two parent-report measures were related. Low to moderate positive correlations were found between measures of executive functioning, effortful control, and emotion regulation. Only three relationships were found between child eating self-regulation and other forms of child self-regulation: eating in the absence of hunger was positively associated with delay of gratification, and poor regulation on the gift delay task was associated positively with maternal reports of food responsiveness and negatively with parent-reports of satiety responsiveness. Regression analyses showed that child eating self-regulation was associated with child BMIz but other forms of child self-regulation were not. Implications for understanding the role of self-regulation in the development of child obesity are discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All
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.
Willoughby, Michael T; Kuhn, Laura J; Blair, Clancy B; Samek, Anya; List, John A
This study investigates the test-retest reliability of a battery of executive function (EF) tasks with a specific interest in testing whether the method that is used to create a battery-wide score would result in differences in the apparent test-retest reliability of children's performance. A total of 188 4-year-olds completed a battery of computerized EF tasks twice across a period of approximately two weeks. Two different approaches were used to create a score that indexed children's overall performance on the battery-i.e., (1) the mean score of all completed tasks and (2) a factor score estimate which used confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Pearson and intra-class correlations were used to investigate the test-retest reliability of individual EF tasks, as well as an overall battery score. Consistent with previous studies, the test-retest reliability of individual tasks was modest (rs ≈ .60). The test-retest reliability of the overall battery scores differed depending on the scoring approach (r mean = .72; r factor_ score = .99). It is concluded that the children's performance on individual EF tasks exhibit modest levels of test-retest reliability. This underscores the importance of administering multiple tasks and aggregating performance across these tasks in order to improve precision of measurement. However, the specific strategy that is used has a large impact on the apparent test-retest reliability of the overall score. These results replicate our earlier findings and provide additional cautionary evidence against the routine use of factor analytic approaches for representing individual performance across a battery of EF tasks.
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.
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…
Prätzlich, Martin; Kossowsky, Joe; Gaab, Jens; Krummenacher, Peter
Meditation improves executive functions such as attention and working memory processes. However, it remains unclear to what extent contextual effects contribute to these improvements, since the role of meditation-associated expectations has not been investigated so far. In a randomized, single-blind, deceptive, between-subject design we compared the impact of short-term meditation (MG) on executive functioning with an expectation (ECG) and a passive control group (CG) as well as the effect of positive and negative outcome expectations. Fifty-nine healthy meditation-naïve volunteers participated on three consecutive days (20 min/session). Five groups were examined: 2 MGs, 2 ECGs and 1 CG. While one MG and one ECG were given positive suggestions concerning the effect of meditation on attention, the other two groups were given negative suggestions. MGs practised a focused attention meditation technique; ECGs were told that they were practising meditation but were given instructions for a sham meditation. CG participants sat in silence with their eyes closed. Interference control (Stroop task), selective sustained attention (d2 task), figural and verbal fluency measures of executive functions were assessed. Results indicate that suggestions have a substantial impact on interference control and verbal fluency, with positive suggestions leading to an increase in performance, whereas negative suggestions impeded improvement. This proof of concept study demonstrates the importance of the implementation of a credible ECG to elucidate context effects in meditation processes. It also indicates that suggestions can modulate the small effect of meditation on verbal fluency. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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.
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.
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
Chiang, Huey-Ling; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen
Youths with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to have social dysfunction at school. The authors explored the role of key executive functions (EF, i.e., spatial working memory and spatial planning) on school and peer functions in 511 youths with persistent ADHD according to the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria and 124 non-ADHD controls without any EF deficits. All the participants were assessed by a semi-structured psychiatric interview to confirm their previous and current diagnosis of ADHD and other psychiatric disorders and by the Spatial Working Memory (SWM) and Stocking of Cambridge (SOC) tasks. The participants and their parents reported the participants' school functions and peer relationships. There were three ADHD subgroups: (1) ADHD with deficits in both SWM and SOC tasks (n=121); (2) ADHD with deficit in either SWM or SOC task (n=185); (3) ADHD without deficits in SWM or SOC task (n=205). All the three ADHD groups, regardless of EF deficits, had lower school grade, poorer attitude toward school work, poorer school interactions, more behavioral problems at school, and more severe problems in peer relationships than non-ADHD controls. Multivariate analyses revealed positive associations between deficit in the SWM task and school and peer dysfunctions, and between deficits in the SOC task and impaired peer interactions. Older age and psychiatric comorbidity also contributed to increased risk of school and peer dysfunctions. Our findings suggest that deficits in EF, such as spatial working memory and planning, might be associated with school and peer dysfunctions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Hobson, Christopher W.; Scott, Stephen; Rubia, Katya
Background: Children with oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder (ODD/CD) have shown deficits in "cool" abstract-cognitive, and "hot" reward-related executive function (EF) tasks. However, it is currently unclear to what extent ODD/CD is associated with neuropsychological deficits, independently of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder…
Ehmann, Peter J; Brush, Christopher J; Olson, Ryan L; Bhatt, Shivang N; Banu, Andrea H; Alderman, Brandon L
This study aimed to examine the effects of self-selected low-intensity walking on an active workstation on executive functions (EF) in young and middle-age adults. Using a within-subjects design, 32 young (20.6 ± 2.0 yr) and 26 middle-age (45.6 ± 11.8 yr) adults performed low-intensity treadmill walking and seated control conditions in randomized order on separate days, while completing an EF test battery. EF was assessed using modified versions of the Stroop (inhibition), Sternberg (working memory), Wisconsin Card Sorting (cognitive flexibility), and Tower of London (global EF) cognitive tasks. Behavioral performance outcomes were assessed using composite task z-scores and traditional measures of reaction time and accuracy. Average HR and step count were also measured throughout. The expected task difficulty effects were found for reaction time and accuracy. No significant main effects or interactions as a function of treadmill walking were found for tasks assessing global EF and the three individual EF domains. Accuracy on the Tower of London task was slightly impaired during slow treadmill walking for both age-groups. Middle-age adults displayed longer planning times for more difficult conditions of the Tower of London during walking compared with sitting. A 50-min session of low-intensity treadmill walking on an active workstation resulted in accruing approximately 4500 steps. These findings suggest that executive function performance remains relatively unaffected while walking on an active workstation, further supporting the use of treadmill workstations as an effective approach to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary time in the workplace.
Corsi-Cabrera, M; Rosales-Lagarde, A; del Río-Portilla, Y; Sifuentes-Ortega, R; Alcántara-Quintero, B
Given that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is involved in executive functions and is deactivated and decoupled from posterior associative regions during REM sleep, that Gamma temporal coupling involved in information processing is enhanced during REM sleep, and that adult humans spend about 90 min of every 24h in REM sleep, it might be expected that REM sleep deprivation would modify Gamma temporal coupling and have a deteriorating effect on executive functions. We analyzed EEG Gamma activity and temporal coupling during implementation of a rule-guided task before and after REM sleep deprivation and its effect on verbal fluency, flexible thinking and selective attention. After two nights in the laboratory for adaptation, on the third night subjects (n=18) were randomly assigned to either selective REM sleep deprivation effectuated by awakening them at each REM sleep onset or, the same number of NREM sleep awakenings as a control for unspecific effects of sleep interruptions. Implementation of abstract rules to guide behavior required greater activation and synchronization of Gamma activity in the frontopolar regions after REM sleep reduction from 20.6% at baseline to just 3.93% of total sleep time. However, contrary to our hypothesis, both groups showed an overall improvement in executive task performance and no effect on their capacity to sustain selective attention. These results suggest that after one night of selective REM sleep deprivation executive functions can be compensated by increasing frontal activation and they still require the participation of supervisory control by frontopolar regions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Performing two cognitively demanding tasks at the same time is known to decrease performance. The current study investigates the underlying executive functions of a dual-tasking situation involving the simultaneous performance of decision making under explicit risk and a working memory task. It is suggested that making a decision and performing a working memory task at the same time should particularly require monitoring - an executive control process supervising behavior and the state of processing on two tasks. To test the role of a supervisory/monitoring function in such a dual-tasking situation we investigated 122 participants with the Game of Dice Task plus 2-back task (GDT plus 2-back task. This dual task requires participants to make decisions under risk and to perform a 2-back working memory task at the same time. Furthermore, a task measuring a set of several executive functions gathered in the term concept formation (Modified Card Sorting Test, MCST and the newly developed Balanced Switching Task (BST, measuring monitoring in particular, were used. The results demonstrate that concept formation and monitoring are involved in the simultaneous performance of decision making under risk and a working memory task. In particular, the mediation analysis revealed that BST performance partially mediates the influence of MCST performance on the GDT plus 2-back task. These findings suggest that monitoring is one important subfunction for superior performance in a dual-tasking situation including decision making under risk and a working memory task.
Gathmann, Bettina; Schiebener, Johannes; Wolf, Oliver T.; Brand, Matthias
Performing two cognitively demanding tasks at the same time is known to decrease performance. The current study investigates the underlying executive functions of a dual-tasking situation involving the simultaneous performance of decision making under explicit risk and a working memory task. It is suggested that making a decision and performing a working memory task at the same time should particularly require monitoring—an executive control process supervising behavior and the state of processing on two tasks. To test the role of a supervisory/monitoring function in such a dual-tasking situation we investigated 122 participants with the Game of Dice Task plus 2-back task (GDT plus 2-back task). This dual task requires participants to make decisions under risk and to perform a 2-back working memory task at the same time. Furthermore, a task measuring a set of several executive functions gathered in the term concept formation (Modified Card Sorting Test, MCST) and the newly developed Balanced Switching Task (BST), measuring monitoring in particular, were used. The results demonstrate that concept formation and monitoring are involved in the simultaneous performance of decision making under risk and a working memory task. In particular, the mediation analysis revealed that BST performance partially mediates the influence of MCST performance on the GDT plus 2-back task. These findings suggest that monitoring is one important subfunction for superior performance in a dual-tasking situation including decision making under risk and a working memory task. PMID:25741308
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.
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…
Todorov, Ivo; Del Missier, Fabio; Mäntylä, Timo
Coordinating multiple tasks with narrow deadlines is particularly challenging for older adults because of age related decline in cognitive control functions. We tested the hypothesis that multiple task performance reflects age- and gender-related differences in executive functioning and spatial ability. Young and older adults completed a multitasking session with four monitoring tasks as well as separate tasks measuring executive functioning and spatial ability. For both age groups, men excee...
Reid, Donna; Moss, Jo; Nelson, Lisa; Groves, Laura; Oliver, Chris
The aim of this study was to examine executive functioning in adolescents and adults with Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) to identify a syndrome and age-related profile of cognitive impairment. Participants were 24 individuals with CdLS aged 13-42 years (M = 22; SD = 8.98), and a comparable contrast group of 21 individuals with Down syndrome (DS) aged 15-33 years (M = 24; SD = 5.82). Measures were selected to test verbal and visual fluency, inhibition, perseverance/flexibility, and working memory and comprised both questionnaire and performance tests. Individuals with CdLS showed significantly greater impairment on tasks requiring flexibility and inhibition (rule switch) and on forwards span capacity. These impairments were also reported in the parent/carer-rated questionnaire measures. Backwards Digit Span was significantly negatively correlated with chronological age in CdLS, indicating increased deficits with age. This was not identified in individuals with DS. The relative deficits in executive functioning task performance are important in understanding the behavioural phenotype of CdLS. Prospective longitudinal follow-up is required to examine further the changes in executive functioning with age and if these map onto observed changes in behaviour in CdLS. Links with recent research indicating heightened responses to oxidative stress in CdLS may also be important.
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
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.
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.
Rasmussen, Carmen; Wyper, Katy; Talwar, Victoria
Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are faced with a range of physical, cognitive, behavioral, and/or learning deficits, as well as poor executive functioning and social skills. Theory of mind (ToM) is the ability to understand that one's own perspective may differ from the perspective of another individual. ToM develops around age 4 and is correlated with performance on executive functioning tasks. The goals of this study were to examine ToM performance in young children with FASD, how age was related to ToM performance, and whether ToM abilities were related to underlying executive function difficulties. Fifty-three children (aged 4 to 8 years) participated: 25 children with FASD and 28 control children. All children were tested on measures of ToM, executive functioning, and receptive vocabulary. More children in the FASD group (44%) failed one or both ToM measures than in the control group (25%). Older children with FASD performed worse on ToM than younger children, but this was not the case for the control group. For the FASD group, ToM performance was correlated with a measure of inhibition, but for the control group, ToM was correlated with visual-spatial working memory. Children with FASD have difficulty on ToM tasks, and this difficulty may be related to underlying deficits in inhibition.
Zhang, Rushao; Hui, Mingqi; Long, Zhiying; Zhao, Xiaojie; Yao, Li
Background Neural substrates underlying motor learning have been widely investigated with neuroimaging technologies. Investigations have illustrated the critical regions of motor learning and further revealed parallel alterations of functional activation during imagination and execution after learning. However, little is known about the functional connectivity associated with motor learning, especially motor imagery learning, although benefits from functional connectivity analysis attract more attention to the related explorations. We explored whether motor imagery (MI) and motor execution (ME) shared parallel alterations of functional connectivity after MI learning. Methodology/Principal Findings Graph theory analysis, which is widely used in functional connectivity exploration, was performed on the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data of MI and ME tasks before and after 14 days of consecutive MI learning. The control group had no learning. Two measures, connectivity degree and interregional connectivity, were calculated and further assessed at a statistical level. Two interesting results were obtained: (1) The connectivity degree of the right posterior parietal lobe decreased in both MI and ME tasks after MI learning in the experimental group; (2) The parallel alterations of interregional connectivity related to the right posterior parietal lobe occurred in the supplementary motor area for both tasks. Conclusions/Significance These computational results may provide the following insights: (1) The establishment of motor schema through MI learning may induce the significant decrease of connectivity degree in the posterior parietal lobe; (2) The decreased interregional connectivity between the supplementary motor area and the right posterior parietal lobe in post-test implicates the dissociation between motor learning and task performing. These findings and explanations further revealed the neural substrates underpinning MI learning and supported that
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.
Stavres, Jon; Gerhart, Hayden D; Kim, Jung-Hyun; Glickman, Ellen L; Seo, Yongsuk
Hypoxia and exercise each exhibit opposing effects on executive function, and the mechanisms for this are not entirely clear. This study examined the influence of cerebral oxygenation and perfusion on executive function during exercise and recovery in normobaric hypoxia (NH) and normoxia (N). There were 18 subjects who completed cycling trials in NH (12.5% FIo2) and N (20.93% FIo2). Right prefrontal cortex (PFC) oxyhemoglobin (O2Hb) and middle cerebral artery blood velocity (MCAbv) were collected during executive function challenges [mathematical processing and running memory continuous performance task (RMCPT)] at baseline, following 30 min of acclimation, during 20 min of cycling (60% Vo2max), and at 1, 15, 30, and 45 min following exercise. Results indicated effects of time for Math, RMCPT, and O2Hb; but not for MCAbv. Results also indicated effects of condition for O2Hb. Math scores were improved by 8.0% during exercise and remained elevated at 30 min of recovery (12.5%), RMCPT scores significantly improved at all time points (7.5-11.9%), and O2Hb increased by 662.2% and 440.9% during exercise in N and NH, respectively, and remained elevated through 15 min of recovery in both conditions. These results support the influence of PFC oxygenation and perfusion on executive function during exercise and recovery in N and NH.Stavres J, Gerhart HD, Kim J-H, Glickman EL, Seo Y. Cerebral hemodynamics and executive function during exercise and recovery in normobaric hypoxia. Aerosp Med Hum Perform 2017; 88(10):911-917.
van den Bergh, S.F.W.M.; Scheeren, A.M.; Begeer, S.; Koot, H.M.; Geurts, H.M.
Numerous studies investigated executive functioning (EF) problems in people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) using laboratory EF tasks. As laboratory task performances often differ from real life observations, the current study focused on EF in everyday life of 118 children and adolescents with
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.
Vatansever, D; Menon, D K; Manktelow, A E; Sahakian, B J; Stamatakis, E A
Initially described as task-induced deactivations during goal-directed paradigms of high attentional load, the unresolved functionality of default mode regions has long been assumed to interfere with task performance. However, recent evidence suggests a potential default mode network involvement in fulfilling cognitive demands. We tested this hypothesis in a finger opposition paradigm with task and fixation periods which we compared with an independent resting state scan using functional magnetic resonance imaging and a comprehensive analysis pipeline including activation, functional connectivity, behavioural and graph theoretical assessments. The results indicate task specific changes in the default mode network topography. Behaviourally, we show that increased connectivity of the posterior cingulate cortex with the left superior frontal gyrus predicts faster reaction times. Moreover, interactive and dynamic reconfiguration of the default mode network regions' functional connections illustrates their involvement with the task at hand with higher-level global parallel processing power, yet preserved small-world architecture in comparison with rest. These findings demonstrate that the default mode network does not disengage during this paradigm, but instead may be involved in task relevant processing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Holmes, Avram J; Pizzagalli, Diego A
Emerging evidence suggests that depression is associated with executive dysfunction, particularly after committing errors or receiving negative performance feedback. To test this hypothesis, 57 participants performed two executive tasks known to elicit errors (the Simon and Stroop Tasks) during positive or negative performance feedback. Participants with elevated depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory scores >or= 13) were characterized by impaired posterror and postconflict performance adjustments, especially during emotionally negative task-related feedback. Additionally, for both tasks, depressive symptoms were inversely related to postconflict reaction time adjustments following negative, but not positive, feedback. These findings suggest that subclinical depression is associated with impairments in behavioral adjustments after internal (perceived failure) and external feedback about deficient task performance. (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved.
Karpinski, Aryn C.; Scullin, Matthew H.
Eighty preschoolers, ages 3 to 5 years old, completed a 4-phase study in which they experienced a live event and received a pressured, suggestive interview about the event a week later. Children were also administered batteries of theory of mind and executive function tasks, as well as the Video Suggestibility Scale for Children (VSSC), which…
Full Text Available Lifetime suicide attempts in patients with comorbidity between psychotic disorders and Substance Use Disorder (SUD, known as dual diagnosis, was associated with a worse clinical and cognitive state, poor prognosis and premature death. However, to date no previous study has examined the cognitive performance of these patients considering as independent the presence or absence of lifetime suicide attempts.We explore executive functioning differences between suicide attempters and non-attempters in dual schizophrenia (DS patients and the possible related factors for both executive performance and current suicide risk. Fifty DS male patients in remission of SUD and clinically stables, 24 with and 26 without lifetime suicide attempts, were evaluated. We considered Z scores for all neuropsychological tests and a composite summary score for both premorbid IQ and executive functioning.DS patients showed low performance in set-shifting, planning and problem solving tasks. Those with suicide attempts presented lower composite summary scores, together with worse problem solving skills and decision-making, compared with non-attempters. However, after controlling for alcohol dependence, only differences in decision-making remained. Executive functioning was related to the premorbid intelligence quotient, and several clinical variables (duration, severity, months of abstinence and relapses of SUD, global functioning and negative symptoms. A relationship between current suicide risk, and first-degree relatives with SUD, insight and positive symptoms was also found.Our results suggest that problem solving and, especially, decision-making tasks might be sensitive to cognitive impairment of DS patients related to presence of lifetime suicide attempts. The assessment of these executive functions and cognitive remediation therapy when necessary could be beneficial for the effectiveness of treatment in patients with DS. However, further research is needed to expand
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.
Seichepine, Daniel R; Stamm, Julie M; Daneshvar, Daniel H; Riley, David O; Baugh, Christine M; Gavett, Brandon E; Tripodis, Yorghos; Martin, Brett; Chaisson, Christine; McKee, Ann C; Cantu, Robert C; Nowinski, Christopher J; Stern, Robert A
Repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), such as that experienced by contact-sport athletes, has been associated with the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Executive dysfunction is believed to be among the earliest symptoms of CTE, with these symptoms presenting in the fourth or fifth decade of life. The present study used a well-validated self-report measure to study executive functioning in football players, compared to healthy adults. Sixty-four college and professional football players were administered the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, adult version (BRIEF-A) to evaluate nine areas of executive functioning. Scores on the BRIEF-A were compared to published age-corrected normative scores for healthy adults Relative to healthy adults, the football players indicated significantly more problems overall and on seven of the nine clinical scales, including Inhibit, Shift, Emotional Control, Initiate, Working Memory, Plan/Organize, and Task Monitor. These symptoms were greater in athletes 40 and older, relative to younger players. In sum, football players reported more-frequent problems with executive functioning and these symptoms may develop or worsen in the fifth decade of life. The findings are in accord with a growing body of evidence that participation in football is associated with the development of cognitive changes and dementia as observed in CTE.
Hodgkinson, Todd; Parks, Stephanie
The purpose of this article is to familiarize teachers with the concept of executive functioning and to provide them with a collection of strategies that they can use to help support middle and high school students with planning, organization, task-initiation, and impulse control.
Pascale M. J. Engel de Abreu
Full Text Available This study examined executive functioning and reading achievement in 106 6- to 8-year-old Brazilian children from a range of social backgrounds of whom approximately half lived below the poverty line. A particular focus was to explore the executive function profile of children whose classroom reading performance was judged below standard by their teachers and who were carefully matched to controls on chronological age, sex, school type (Private or Public, domicile (Salvador/BA or São Paulo/SP, and socioeconomic status. Children completed a battery of 12 executive function tasks that were conceptually tapping cognitive flexibility, working memory, inhibition, and selective attention. Each executive function domain was assessed by several tasks. Principal component analysis extracted four factors that were labeled Working Memory/Cognitive Flexibility, Interference Suppression, Selective Attention, and Response Inhibition. Individual differences in executive functioning components made differential contributions to early reading achievement. The Working Memory/Cognitive Flexibility factor emerged as the best predictor of reading. Group comparisons on computed factor scores showed that the struggling readers presented limitations in Working Memory/Cognitive Flexibility, but not in other executive function components, compared to more skilled readers. These results validate the account that working memory capacity provides a crucial building block for the development of early literacy skills and extends it to a population of early readers of Portuguese from Brazil. The study suggests that deficits in working memory/cognitive flexibility might represent one contributing factor to reading difficulties in early readers which might have important implications for interventions for children at risk of school failure.
Morey, Rajendra A.; Inan, Seniha; Mitchell, Teresa V.; Perkins, Diana O.; Lieberman, Jeffrey A.; Belger, Aysenil
Context Individuals experiencing prodromal symptoms of schizophrenia (ultra-high-risk group) demonstrate impaired performance on tasks of executive function, attention, and working memory. The neurobiological underpinnings of such executive deficits in ultra-high-risk individuals remains unclear. Objective We assessed frontal and striatal functions during a visual oddball continuous performance task, in ultra-high-risk, early, and chronic schizophrenic patients with the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging. Design Cross-sectional case-control design. Setting Community; outpatient clinic. Patients Fifty-two individuals (control, n = 16; ultra-high risk, n = 10; early, n = 15; chronic, n = 11) from a referred clinical sample and age- and sex-matched control volunteers underwent scanning. Main Outcome Measures Percentage of active voxels and percentage signal change calculated for the anterior cingulate gyrus (ACG), middle frontal gyrus (MFG), inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), basal ganglia, and thalamus. Performance on the visual oddball task was measured with percentage of hits and d′ (a measure based on the hit rate and the false-alarm rate). Results The ultra-high-risk group showed significantly smaller differential activation between task-relevant and task-irrelevant stimuli in the frontal regions (ACG, IFG, MFG) than the control group. Frontostriatal activation associated with target stimuli in the early and chronic groups was significantly lower than the control group, while the ultra-high-risk group showed a trend toward the early group. Conclusions Our findings suggest that prefrontal function begins to decline before the onset of syndromally defined illness and hence may represent a vulnerability marker in assessing the risk of developing psychotic disorders among ultra-high-risk individuals. PMID:15753238
Cropley, Mark; Zijlstra, Fred R H; Querstret, Dawn; Beck, Sarah
Work-related rumination, that is, perseverative thinking about work during leisure time, has been associated with a range of negative health and wellbeing issues. The present paper examined the association between work-related rumination and cognitive processes centerd around the theoretical construct of executive functioning. Executive functioning is an umbrella term for high level cognitive processes such as planning, working memory, inhibition, mental flexibility; and it underlies how people manage and regulate their goal directed behavior. Three studies are reported. Study I, reports the results of a cross-sectional study of 240 employees, and demonstrates significant correlations between work-related rumination and three proxy measures of executive functioning: cognitive failures (0.33), cognitive flexibility (-0.24), and situational awareness at work (-0.28). Study II ( n = 939), expands on the findings from study 1 and demonstrates that workers reporting medium and high work-related rumination were 2.8 and 5 times, respectively, more likely to report cognitive failures relative to low ruminators. High ruminators also demonstrated greater difficulties with 'lapses of attention' (OR = 4.8), 'lack of focus of attention' (OR = 3.4), and 'absent mindedness' (OR = 4.3). The final study, examined the association between work-related rumination and executive functioning using interview data from 2460 full time workers. Workers were divided into tertiles low, medium, and high. The findings showed that high work-related rumination was associated with deficits in starting (OR = 2.3) and finishing projects (OR = 2.4), fidgeting (OR = 1.9), memory (OR = 2.2), pursuing tasks in order (OR = 1.8), and feeling compelled to do things (OR = 2.0). It was argued that work-related rumination may not be related to work demands per se , but appears to be an executive functioning/control issue. Such findings are important for the design and delivery of intervention programes aimed
Full Text Available AbstractWork-related rumination, that is, perseverative thinking about work during leisure time, has been associated with a range of negative health and wellbeing issues. The present paper examined the association between work-related rumination and cognitive processes centred around the theoretical construct of executive functioning. Executive functioning is an umbrella term for high level cognitive processes such as planning, working memory, inhibition, mental flexibility; and it underlies how people manage and regulate their goal directed behaviour. Three studies are reported. Study I, reports the results of a cross-sectional study of 240 employees, and demonstrates significant correlations between work-related rumination and three proxy measures of executive functioning: cognitive failures (.33, cognitive flexibility (-.24 and situational awareness at work (-.28. Study II (n = 939, expands on the findings from study 1 and demonstrates that workers reporting medium and high work-related rumination were 2.8 and 5 times, respectively, more likely to report cognitive failures relative to low ruminators. High ruminators also demonstrated greater difficulties with ‘lapses of attention’ (OR = 4.8, ‘lack of focus of attention’ (OR = 3.4, and ‘absent mindedness’ (OR = 4.3. The final study, examined the association between work-related rumination and executive functioning using interview data from 2460 full time workers. Workers were divided into tertiles low, medium and high. The findings showed that high work-related rumination was associated with deficits in starting (OR = 2.3 and finishing projects (OR = 2.4, fidgeting (OR = 1.9, memory (OR = 2.2, pursuing tasks in order (OR = 1.8, and feeling compelled to do things (OR = 2.0. It was argued that work-related rumination may not be related to work demands per se, but appears to be an executive functioning/control issue. Such findings are important for the design and delivery of
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.
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.
Schiebener, Johannes; García-Arias, María; García-Villamisar, Domingo; Cabanyes-Truffino, Javier; Brand, Matthias
Previous studies have shown that children and adolescents often tend toward risky decisions despite explicit knowledge about the potential negative consequences. This phenomenon has been suggested to be associated with the immaturity of brain areas involved in cognitive control functions. Particularly, "frontal lobe functions," such as executive functions and reasoning, mature until young adulthood and are thought to be involved in age-related changes in decision making under explicit risk conditions. We investigated 112 participants, aged 8-19 years, with a frequently used task assessing decisions under risk, the Game of Dice Task (GDT). Additionally, we administered the Modified Card Sorting Test assessing executive functioning (categorization, cognitive flexibility, and strategy maintenance) as well as the Ravens Progressive Matrices assessing reasoning. The results showed that risk taking in the GDT decreased with increasing age and this effect was not moderated by reasoning but by executive functions: Particularly, young persons with weak executive functioning showed very risky decision making. Thus, the individual maturation of executive functions, associated with areas in the prefrontal cortex, seems to be an important factor in young peoples' behavior in risky decision-making situations.
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.
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
Full Text Available The human inferior frontal cortex (IFC is a large heterogeneous structure with distinct cytoarchitectonic subdivisions and fiber connections. It has been found involved in a wide range of executive control processes from target detection, rule retrieval to response control. Since these processes are often being studied separately, the functional organization of executive control processes within the IFC remains unclear.We conducted an fMRI study to examine the activities of the subdivisions of IFC during the presentation of a task cue (rule retrieval and during the performance of a stop-signal task (requiring response generation and inhibition in comparison to a not-stop task (requiring response generation but not inhibition. We utilized a mixed event-related and block design to separate brain activity in correspondence to transient control processes from rule-related and sustained control processes. We found differentiation in control processes within the IFC. Our findings reveal that the bilateral ventral-posterior IFC/anterior insula are more active on both successful and unsuccessful stop trials relative to not-stop trials, suggesting their potential role in the early stage of stopping such as triggering the stop process. Direct countermanding seems to be outside of the IFC. In contrast, the dorsal-posterior IFC/inferior frontal junction (IFJ showed transient activity in correspondence to the infrequent presentation of the stop signal in both tasks and the left anterior IFC showed differential activity in response to the task cues. The IFC subdivisions also exhibited similar but distinct patterns of functional connectivity during response control.Our findings suggest that executive control processes are distributed across the IFC and that the different subdivisions of IFC may support different control operations through parallel cortico-cortical and cortico-striatal circuits.
Chiu, George L.; Eichenberger, Alexandre E.; O' Brien, John K. P.
The present disclosure relates generally to a dedicated memory structure (that is, hardware device) holding data for detecting available worker thread(s) and informing available worker thread(s) of task(s) to execute.
Bervoets, Joachim; Jonkman, Lisa M; Mulkens, Sandra; de Vries, Hein; Kok, Gerjo
Executive functions are higher cognitive control functions, which are essential to physical and psychological well-being, academic performance, and healthy social relationships. Executive functions can be trained, albeit without broad transfer, to this date. Broad transfer entails the translation of improved cognitive functions to daily life (behaviors). The intervention Train your Mind was designed to train executive functions among elementary school children aged 9 to 11 years, and obtain broad transfer in terms of enhanced physical activity, healthy eating, and socioemotional regulation. This paper aims to describe the cluster randomized trial to test the effectiveness of the Train your Mind intervention. Train your Mind was integrated into the existing school curriculum for 8 months (25 weeks excluding holidays). The effectiveness of the intervention was tested in a cluster randomized trial comprising 13 schools, 34 groups (school classes), and 800 children, using a battery of 6 computer tasks at pre- and postmeasurement. Each of the 3 core executive functions was measured by 2 tasks (Flanker and Go/No-Go; N-Back and Running Span; Attention Switching Task and Dots/Triangles). Moreover, we administered questionnaires that measure emotion-regulation, cognitive errors, physical activity, dietary habits, and the psycho-social determinants of diet and physical activity. Body mass index was also measured. Multilevel analyses will account for clustering at the school and group levels, and randomization took place at the school level. Results are currently being analyzed. The main purpose of this study is to test Train your Mind's effectiveness in enhancing executive functions. Second, we investigate whether increased executive functions lead to improved physical activity and healthy eating. If found effective, executive function training could easily be integrated into school curricula everywhere, and as such, boost health, academic performance, and emotion
Full Text Available It has been speculated that humans have an inherent ability to overcome sleepiness that counteracts homeostatic sleep pressure. However, it remains unclear which cortical substrate activities are involved in the ability to overcome sleepiness during the execution of cognitive tasks. Here we sought to confirm that this ability to overcome sleepiness in task execution improves performance on cognitive tasks, showing activation of neural substrates in the frontal cortex, by using a modified n-back (2- and 0-back working memory task and functional near-infrared spectroscopy. The change in alertness was just correlated with performances on the 2-back task. Activity in the right prefrontal cortex changed depending on alertness changes on the 2- and 0-back tasks independently, which indicates that activity in this region clearly reflects the ability to overcome sleepiness; it may contribute to the function of providing sufficient activity to meet the task load demands. This study reveals characteristics of the ability to overcome sleepiness during the n-back working memory task which goes beyond the attention-control function traditionally proposed.
Shields, Grant S; Moons, Wesley G; Slavich, George M
Executive function is a neuropsychological construct that enables controlled cognitive processing, which has been hypothesized to enhance individuals' resilience to stress. However, little empirical work has directly examined how executive function under different conditions mitigates the negative effects of stress exposure on health. To address this issue, we recruited 110 healthy young adults and assessed their recent life stress exposure, executive function in either a stressful or non-stressful context, and current health complaints. Based on existing research, we hypothesized that individuals exhibiting better executive function following a laboratory-based stressor (but not a control task) would demonstrate weaker associations between recent stress exposure and health because they perceived recent life stressors as being less severe. Consistent with this hypothesis, better executive function during acute stress, but not in the absence of stress, was associated with an attenuated link between participants' recent life stress exposure and their current health complaints. Moreover, this attenuating effect was mediated by lesser perceptions of stressor severity. Based on these data, we conclude that better executive function under stress is associated with fewer health complaints and that these effects may occur by reducing individuals' perceptions of stressor severity. The data thus suggest the possibility of reducing stress-related health problems by enhancing executive function.
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.
Semrud-Clikeman, Margaret; Fine, Jodene Goldenring; Bledsoe, Jesse
It has been suggested that children with nonverbal learning disabilities (NLD) or Asperger's Syndrome (AS) may show difficulties with executive functioning. There were 3 groups in this study who completed a neuropsychological battery of visual-spatial, executive functioning, and reasoning tasks; AS (n = 37), NLD (n = 31), and controls…
van der Ven, Sanne H G; Kroesbergen, Evelyn H; Boom, Jan; Leseman, Paul P M
An increasing number of studies has investigated the latent factor structure of executive functions. Some studies found a three-factor structure of inhibition, shifting, and updating, but others could not replicate this finding. We assumed that the task choices and scoring methods might be responsible for these contradictory findings. Therefore, we selected tasks in which input modality was varied, controlled for baseline speed, and used both speed and accuracy scores, in order to investigate whether a three factor model with inhibition, shifting, and updating could still be replicated. In a group of 211 children, who were tested at the beginning of grade 1, at approximately 6 years of age, and again after 18 months, the best fitting model was not the three-factor model, but instead consisted of an updating factor and a combined inhibition and shifting factor, besides two baseline speed factors (verbal and motor). We argue that these results might indicate that the structural organization of executive functions might be different in children than in adults, but that there might also be an alternative explanation: the distinction in executive functions might not accurately represent cognitive structures but instead be a methodological artefact. © 2012 The British Psychological Society.
Pineau, Fanny; Roze, Emmanuel; Lacomblez, Lucette; Bonnet, Anne-Marie; Vidailhet, Marie; Czernecki, Virginie; Corvol, Jean-Christophe
Impulse control disorders (ICD) are common in Parkinson's disease (PD) and are associated with dopaminergic medication. The purpose of this study was to investigate executive function and risk-taking behavior in PD patients with ICD. 17 PD patients with ICD (ICD-PD) were compared to 20 PD patients without ICD (CTRL-PD) using neuropsychological and experimental tasks. Executive functions were assessed using standard executive testing (Conner's Performance Test, Modified Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Trail Making Test and phonological verbal fluency). Subjects were also submitted to an experimental gambling task consisted of three decks of money cards: neutral deck (equal opportunity for gains as losses), winning deck (small amount of money with a positive balance) and loser deck (high amount of money with a negative balance), evaluating risk-taking behavior (number of cards picked in each deck) and valuation of the reward (subjective appreciation of the value of each deck). There was no significant difference in executive functioning between groups. Both groups selected more cards in the losing deck (high amount of money) as compared to the neutral deck (Mann-Whitney test, ICD-PD, p = 0.02; CTRL-PD, p = 0.003) and to the winning deck (Mann-Whitney test, ICD-PD p = 0.0001; CTRL-PD p = 0.003), suggesting an increased risk-taking behavior. Interestingly, we found that ICD-PD patients estimated the value of decks differently from CTRL-PD patients, taking into account mainly the positive reinforced value of the decks (Mann-Whitney test, p = 0.04). This study showed that executive pattern and risk-taking behavior are similar between ICD-PD and CTRL-PD patients. However, ICD-PD patients showed a specific deficit of the subjective estimation of the reward. Links between this deficit and metacognitive skills are discussed.
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.
Yang, Juan; Zhou, Shijie; Yao, Shuqiao; Su, Linyan; McWhinnie, Chad
To explore the relationship between theory of mind (ToM) and executive function (EF) in a sample of individuals from mainland China, 20 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), 26 children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and 30 normal control subjects were compared on two batteries of ToM tasks and EF tasks. Children…
Stephanie, Durrleman; Julie, Franck
A growing body of work indicates a close relation between complement clause sentences and Theory of Mind (ToM) in children with autism (e.g., Tager-Flusberg, & Joseph (2005). In Astington, & Baird (Eds.), Why language matters for theory of mind (pp. 298-318). New York, NY, US: Oxford University Press, Lind, & Bowler (2009). Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39(6), 929). However, this link is based primarily on success at a specific complement clause task and a verbal false-belief (FB) task. One cannot exclude that the link found between these tasks may be a by-product of their both presupposing similar levels of language skills. It is also an open question if the role of complementation in ToM success is a privileged one as compared to that of other abilities which have been claimed to be an important factor for ToM understanding in autism, namely executive functioning (EF) (Pellicano (2007). Developmental Psychology 43, 974). Indeed the role played by complementation may be conceived of as an indirect one, mediated by some more general cognitive function related to EF. This study is the first to examine the relation between theory of mind assessed both verbally and non-verbally and various types of complement clause sentences as well as executive functions in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Our participants included 17 children and adolescents with ASD (aged 6 to 16) and a younger TD control group matched on non-verbal IQ (aged 4 to 9 years). Three tasks assessing complements of verbs of cognition, verbs of communication and verbs of perception were conducted. ToM tasks involved a verbal ToM task (Sally-Anne, Baron-Cohen et al. (1985). Cognition, 21(1), 37) as well as a non-verbal one (Colle et al. (2007). Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37(4), 716). Indexes of executive functions were collected via a computerized version of the Dimensional Change Card-Sorting task (Frye et al., 1995). Standardized measures of vocabulary
Ryder, Jeffrey W.; Buxton, Roxanne E.; Redd, Elizabeth; Scott-Pandorf, Melissa; Hackney, Kyle J.; Fiedler, James; Ploutz-Snyder, Robert J.; Bloomberg, Jacob J.; Ploutz-Snyder, Lori L.
PURPOSE: The ability to predict task performance using physiological performance metrics is vital to ensure that astronauts can execute their jobs safely and effectively. This investigation used a weighted suit to evaluate task performance at various ratios of strength, power, and endurance to body weight. METHODS: Twenty subjects completed muscle performance tests and functional tasks representative of those that would be required of astronauts during planetary exploration (see table for specific tests/tasks). Subjects performed functional tasks while wearing a weighted suit with additional loads ranging from 0-120% of initial body weight. Performance metrics were time to completion for all tasks except hatch opening, which consisted of total work. Task performance metrics were plotted against muscle metrics normalized to "body weight" (subject weight + external load; BW) for each trial. Fractional polynomial regression was used to model the relationship between muscle and task performance. CONCLUSION: LPMIF/BW is the best predictor of performance for predominantly lower-body tasks that are ambulatory and of short duration. LPMIF/BW is a very practical predictor of occupational task performance as it is quick and relatively safe to perform. Accordingly, bench press work best predicts hatch-opening work performance.
Kontaxopoulou, Dionysia; Beratis, Ion N; Fragkiadaki, Stella; Pavlou, Dimosthenis; Yannis, George; Economou, Alexandra; Papanicolaou, Andrew C; Papageorgiou, Sokratis G
The aim of the current study was to investigate the impact of gender and age on incidental and intentional memory in healthy participants and to explore the strength of the association of incidental and intentional memory with attentional and executive functioning. A total number of 47 participants underwent a driving simulation experiment and went through detailed neuropsychological testing. Incidental memory was assessed with a questionnaire that evaluated the memorization of information related to the driving simulator task while intentional memory was assessed using the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised and the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised. The analysis revealed a greater impact of age on incidental as compared to intentional memory. Gender did not appear to have such an effect on either incidental or intentional memory. Finally, attentional and executive functioning were more strongly associated with incidental memory than the intentional memory measures that were utilized in the current study. Ageing appears to affect incidental rather than intentional memory to a greater extent. In addition, attentional and executive functioning seem to play a more important role in incidental than intentional encoding and consolidation processes. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Seichepine, Daniel R.; Stamm, Julie M.; Daneshvar, Daniel H.; Riley, David O.; Baugh, Christine M.; Gavett, Brandon E.; Tripodis, Yorghos; Martin, Brett; Chaisson, Christine; McKee, Ann C.; Cantu, Robert C.; Nowinski, Christopher J.
Abstract Repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), such as that experienced by contact-sport athletes, has been associated with the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Executive dysfunction is believed to be among the earliest symptoms of CTE, with these symptoms presenting in the fourth or fifth decade of life. The present study used a well-validated self-report measure to study executive functioning in football players, compared to healthy adults. Sixty-four college and professional football players were administered the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, adult version (BRIEF-A) to evaluate nine areas of executive functioning. Scores on the BRIEF-A were compared to published age-corrected normative scores for healthy adults Relative to healthy adults, the football players indicated significantly more problems overall and on seven of the nine clinical scales, including Inhibit, Shift, Emotional Control, Initiate, Working Memory, Plan/Organize, and Task Monitor. These symptoms were greater in athletes 40 and older, relative to younger players. In sum, football players reported more-frequent problems with executive functioning and these symptoms may develop or worsen in the fifth decade of life. The findings are in accord with a growing body of evidence that participation in football is associated with the development of cognitive changes and dementia as observed in CTE. PMID:23421745
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.
Leroi, Iracema; Barraclough, Michelle; McKie, Shane; Hinvest, Neal; Evans, Jonathan; Elliott, Rebecca; McDonald, Kathryn
The development of impulse control disorders (ICDs) in Parkinson's disease (PD) may arise from an interaction among cognitive impairment, impulsive responding and dopaminergic state. Dopaminergic state may be influenced by pharmacologic or genotypic (catechol-O-methyltransferase; COMT) factors. We sought to investigate this interaction further by comparing those with (n = 35) and without (n = 55) ICDs on delay-discounting in different pharmacologic conditions (ON or OFF dopaminergic medication) and on response inhibition as well as aspects of executive functioning in the ON state. We then undertook an exploratory sub-group analysis of these same tasks when the overall PD group was divided into different allelic variants of COMT (val/val vs. met/met). A healthy control group (HC; n = 20) was also included. We found that in those with PD and ICDs, 'cognitive flexibility' (set shifting, verbal fluency, and attention) in the ON medication state was not impaired compared with those without ICDs. In contrast, our working memory, or 'cognitive focus', task was impaired in both PD groups compared with the HC group when ON. During the delay-discounting task, the PD with ICDs group expressed greater impulsive choice compared with the PD group without ICDs, when in the ON, but not the OFF, medication state. However, no group difference on the response inhibition task was seen when ON. Finally, the met homozygous group performed differently on tests of executive function compared with the val homozygous group. We concluded that the disparity in levels of impairment among different domains of executive function and impulsive decision-making distinguishes those with ICD in PD from those without ICD, and may in part be affected by dopaminergic status. Both pharmacologic and genotypic influences on dopaminergic state may be important in ICD. © 2013 The British Psychological Society.
Miranda, Ana; Presentacion, M. Jesus; Siegenthaler, Rebeca; Jara, Pilar
The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of an intensive psychosocial intervention on the executive functioning (EF) in children with ADHD. The treatment was carried out in a coordinated manner over a period of 10 weeks with 27 children with ADHD aged 7 to 10, their parents, and their teachers. A battery of neuropsychological tasks was…
Krasny-Pacini, Agata; Chevignard, Mathilde; Evans, Jonathan
To determine if Goal Management Training (GMT) is effective for the rehabilitation of executive functions following brain injury when administered alone or in combination with other interventions. Systematic review, with quality appraisal specific to executive functions research and calculation of effect sizes. Twelve studies were included. Four studies were "Proof-of-principle" studies, testing the potential effectiveness of GMT and eight were rehabilitation studies. Effectiveness was greater when GMT was combined with other interventions. The most effective interventions appeared to be those combing GMT with: Problem Solving Therapy; personal goal setting; external cueing or prompting apply GMT to the current task; personal homework to increase patients' commitment and training intensity; ecological and daily life training activities rather than paper-and-pencil, office-type tasks. Level of support for GMT was higher for studies measuring outcome in terms of increases in participation in everyday activities rather than on measures of executive impairment. Comprehensive rehabilitation programs incorporating GMT, but integrating other approaches, are effective in executive function rehabilitation following brain injury in adults. There is insufficient evidence to support use of GMT as a stand-alone intervention.
Kenneth R. Paap
Full Text Available A sample of 58 bilingual and 62 monolingual university students completed four tasks commonly used to test for bilingual advantages in executive functioning (EF: antisaccade, flanker, Simon, and color-shape switching. Across the four tasks, 13 different indices were derived that are assumed to reflect individual differences in inhibitory control, monitoring, or switching. The effects of bilingualism on the 13 measures were explored by directly comparing the means of the two language groups and through regression analyses using a continuous measure of bilingualism and multiple demographic characteristics as predictors. Across the 13 different measures and two types of data analysis there were very few significant results and those that did occur supported a monolingual advantage. An equally important goal was to assess the convergent validity through cross-task correlations of indices assume to measure the same component of executive functioning. Most of the correlations using difference-score measures were nonsignificant and many near zero. Although modestly higher levels of convergent validity are sometimes reported, a review of the existing literature suggests that bilingual advantages (or disadvantages may reflect task-specific differences that are unlikely to generalize to important general differences in EF. Finally, as cautioned by Salthouse, assumed measures of executive functioning may also be threatened by a lack of divergent validity that separates individual or group differences in EF from those in general fluid intelligence or simple processing speed.
Sorge, Geoff B.; Toplak, Maggie E.; Bialystok, Ellen
Attention difficulty is associated with poor performance on executive functioning (EF) tasks, yet EF is enhanced in bilingual children. However, no research to date has investigated the possible interaction between bilingualism and attention ability in children to determine the consequences for EF when both are present. We assessed a sample of…
van der Ven, S.H.G.; Kroesbergen, E.H.; Boom, J.; Leseman, P.P.M.
An increasing number of studies has investigated the latent factor structure of executive functions. Some studies found a three-factor structure of inhibition, shifting, and updating, but others could not replicate this finding. We assumed that the task choices and scoring methods might be
Borges, Sheila de Melo; Radanovic, Márcia; Forlenza, Orestes Vicente
Motor disorders may occur in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and at early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD), particularly under divided attention conditions. We examined functional mobility in 104 older adults (42 with MCI, 26 with mild AD, and 36 cognitively healthy) using the Timed Up and Go test (TUG) under 4 experimental conditions: TUG single task, TUG plus a cognitive task, TUG plus a manual task, and TUG plus a cognitive and a manual task. Statistically significant differences in mean time of execution were found in all four experimental conditions when comparing MCI and controls (p .8, p .7, p < .001 for MCI vs. AD). The authors conclude that functional motor deficits occurring in MCI can be assessed by the TUG test, in single or dual task modality.
South, Mikle; Ozonoff, Sally; McMahon, William M
This study examined the relationship between everyday repetitive behavior (primary symptoms of autism) and performance on neuropsychological tests of executive function and central coherence (secondary symptoms). It was hypothesized that the frequency and intensity of repetitive behavior would be positively correlated with laboratory measures of cognitive rigidity and weak central coherence. Participants included 19 individuals (ages 10-19) with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (ASD group) and 18 age- and IQ-matched typically developing controls (TD group). There was partial support in the ASD group for the link between repetitive behavior and executive performance (the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task). There was no support for a link between repetitive behavior and measures of central coherence (a Gestalt Closure test and the Embedded Figures Test). Further research on repetitive behaviors in autism may benefit from a focus on narrow behavioral and cognitive constructs rather than general categories.
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.
Sophie Jane Taylor
Full Text Available Our earlier work suggests that executive functions and social cognition show protracted development into late adolescence and early adulthood (Taylor, Barker, Heavey and McHale, 2013. However, it remains unknown whether these functions develop linearly or non-linearly corresponding to dynamic changes to white matter density at these age ranges. Executive functions are particularly in demand during the transition to independence and autonomy associated with this age range (Ahmed and Miller, 2011. Previous research examining executive function (Romine and Reynolds, 2005 and social cognition (Dumontheil, Apperly and Blakemore, 2010 in late adolescence has utilised a cross sectional design. The current study employed a longitudinal design with 58 participants aged 17, 18 and 19 years completing social cognition and executive function tasks, Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (Wechsler, 1999, Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (Watson, Clark and Tellegen, 1988 and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (Zigmond and Snaith, 1983 at Time 1 with follow up testing 12 to 16 months later. Inhibition, rule detection, strategy generation and planning executive functions and emotion recognition with dynamic stimuli showed longitudinal development between time points. Self-report empathy and emotion recognition functions using visual static and auditory stimuli were stable by age 17 whereas concept formation declined between time points. The protracted development of some functions may reflect continued brain maturation into late adolescence and early adulthood including synaptic pruning (Sowell, Thompson, Tessner and Toga, 2001 and changes to functional connectivity (Stevens, Kiehl, Pearlson and Calhouln, 2007 and/or environmental change. Clinical implications, such as assessing the effectiveness of rehabilitation following Head Injury, are discussed.
Baguena, N; Thomas-Antérion, C; Sciessere, K; Truche, A; Extier, C; Guyot, E; Paris, N
Assessment of executive functions in an everyday life activity, evaluating brain injury subjects with script generation and execution tasks. We compared a script generation task to a script execution task, whereby subjects had to make a cooked dish. Two grids were used for the quotation, qualitative and quantitative, as well as the calculation of an anosognosis score. We checked whether the execution task was more sensitive to a dysexecutive disorder than the script generation task and compared the scores obtained in this evaluation with those from classical frontal tests. Twelve subjects with brain injury 6 years+/-4.79 ago and 12 healthy control subjects were tested. The subjects carried out a script generation task whereby they had to explain the necessary stages to make a chocolate cake. They also had to do a script execution task corresponding to the cake making. The 2 quotation grids were operational and complementary. The quantitative grid is more sensitive to a dysexecutive disorder. The brain injury subjects made more errors in the execution task. It is important to evaluate the executive functions of subjects with brain injury in everyday life tasks, not just in psychometric or script-generation tests. Indeed the ecological realization of a very simple task can reveal executive function difficulties such as the planning or the sequencing of actions, which are under-evaluated in laboratory tests.
Rosano, C; Aizenstein, H; Cochran, J; Saxton, J; De Kosky, S; Newman, A B; Kuller, L H; Lopez, O L; Carter, C S
Attentional control, motor planning abilities, and executive cognitive functions (ECF) rapidly decline with age. In particular, older adults experience difficulty in manipulating selected motor responses in the presence of conflicting or distracting information. To examine age-related changes in the neural substrates of the attentional and motor planning components of ECF, we assessed the patterns of brain activation in 8 cognitively normal older adults (mean age 81.5) and 20 young individuals (mean age 23.0) while they responded to low and high loads of attentional demands of the Preparing to Overcome Prepotency (POP) task. In the POP task, the selection of one out of two possible motor responses in the presence of increasing attentional task loads determines the accuracy of the performance. Older individuals were slower than young adults (P Brodmann areas 7 and 40), and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dLPFC: Brodmann areas 9, 45, and 46) bilaterally. Compared to young individuals, older adults had lower activation in dLPFC (Brodmann areas 9, 45, and 46: P = 0.007, P = 0.043, and P = 0.040) and Brodmann area 7, P = 0.002. Activation in Brodmann areas 40 and ACC was similar in the two groups (P > 0.05). Among older adults, the most successful performers were those who responded to increasing task loads with greater activation in PPC (Brodmann area 40), despite lower dLPFC activation. Older adults who are able to perform executive control tasks as well as young adults, also seem to implement speed-accuracy trade-off strategies which may rely on increased parietal activation.
Walshe, Elizabeth A.; Patterson, Matthew R.; Commins, Se?n; Roche, Richard A. P.
The role of cognition is becoming increasingly central to our understanding of the complexity of walking gait. In particular, higher-level executive functions are suggested to play a key role in gait and fall-risk, but the specific underlying neurocognitive processes remain unclear. Here, we report two experiments which investigated the cognitive and neural processes underlying older adult gait and falls. Experiment 1 employed a dual-task (DT) paradigm in young and older adults, to assess the...
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.
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.
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.
Full Text Available Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD is characterized by social dysfunction. Even though executive dysfunction has been recognized as important in understanding ASD, the findings are inconsistent. This might be due to different definitions of executive function (EF, which part of EF that has been studied, structured vs. unstructured tasks, inclusion of different moderators (age, IQ, sex and different diagnostic categories within the spectrum. The main finding is that people with ASD have more EF difficulties than normal controls and more difficulties on open-end tasks than on structured cognitive tasks. Since some EF difficulties may not be observable in a laboratory setting, informant measures might have higher ecological validity than neuropsychological tests. Evidence suggests that executive dysfunctions are associated with social impairments, but few studies have investigated the details of this relationship, and it remains unclear what types of EF deficits are relevant for the social problems of individuals with ASD. Here we investigated which EF domains were associated with various domains of social function on parent-rated measures. A total of 86 children and adolescents with a diagnosis of ASD were included and tested for general cognitive abilities. Parents completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF and the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS. Multiple regression analysis revealed significant associations between SRS scores and age, sex, total IQ and the BRIEF indexes. The Metacognition Index from the BRIEF added significantly to the prediction of the SRS total score and the subscales Social Communication, Social Motivation and Autistic Mannerisms. The findings suggest that metacognitive aspects of EF are of particular importance for social abilities in children and adolescents with ASD. Earlier research has shown that typically developing (TD children have a different relationship between EF and social function than
Engel de Abreu, Pascale M. J.; Abreu, Neander; Nikaedo, Carolina C.; Puglisi, Marina L.; Tourinho, Carlos J.; Miranda, Mônica C.; Befi-Lopes, Debora M.; Bueno, Orlando F. A.; Martin, Romain
This study examined executive functioning and reading achievement in 106 6- to 8-year-old Brazilian children from a range of social backgrounds of whom approximately half lived below the poverty line. A particular focus was to explore the executive function profile of children whose classroom reading performance was judged below standard by their teachers and who were matched to controls on chronological age, sex, school type (private or public), domicile (Salvador/BA or São Paulo/SP) and socioeconomic status. Children completed a battery of 12 executive function tasks that were conceptual tapping cognitive flexibility, working memory, inhibition and selective attention. Each executive function domain was assessed by several tasks. Principal component analysis extracted four factors that were labeled “Working Memory/Cognitive Flexibility,” “Interference Suppression,” “Selective Attention,” and “Response Inhibition.” Individual differences in executive functioning components made differential contributions to early reading achievement. The Working Memory/Cognitive Flexibility factor emerged as the best predictor of reading. Group comparisons on computed factor scores showed that struggling readers displayed limitations in Working Memory/Cognitive Flexibility, but not in other executive function components, compared to more skilled readers. These results validate the account that working memory capacity provides a crucial building block for the development of early literacy skills and extends it to a population of early readers of Portuguese from Brazil. The study suggests that deficits in working memory/cognitive flexibility might represent one contributing factor to reading difficulties in early readers. This might have important implications for how educators might intervene with children at risk of academic under achievement. PMID:24959155
Desai, Sagar J; Allman, Brian L; Rajakumar, Nagalingam
Impairment of executive function is a core feature of schizophrenia. Preclinical studies indicate that injections of either N-methyl d-aspartate (NMDA) or dopamine D 1 receptor blockers impair executive function. Despite the prevailing notion based on postmortem findings in schizophrenia that cortical areas have marked suppression of glutamate and dopamine, recent in vivo imaging studies suggest that abnormalities of these neurotransmitters in living patients may be quite subtle. Thus, we hypothesized that modest impairments in both glutamate and dopamine function can act synergistically to cause executive dysfunction. In the present study, we investigated the effect of combined administration of "behaviorally sub-effective" doses of NMDA and dopamine D 1 receptor antagonists on executive function. An operant conditioning-based set-shifting task was used to assess behavioral flexibility in rats that were systemically injected with NMDA and dopamine D 1 receptor antagonists individually or in combination prior to task performance. Separate injections of the NMDA receptor antagonist, MK-801, and the dopamine D 1 receptor antagonist, SCH 23390, at low doses did not impair set-shifting; however, the combined administration of these same behaviorally sub-effective doses of the antagonists significantly impaired the performance during set-shifting without affecting learning, retrieval of the memory of the initial rule, latency of responses or the number of omissions. The combined treatment also produced an increased number of perseverative errors. Our results indicate that NMDA and D 1 receptor blockade act synergistically to cause behavioral inflexibility, and as such, subtle abnormalities in glutamatergic and dopaminergic systems may act cooperatively to cause deficits in executive function. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder (ASD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD are neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by social impairments. The first objective of this study was to analyze social cognition deficits of children with ADHD, high-functioning ASD (HFASD, and typical development (TD in their performance on explicit and applied measures of theory of mind (ToM. The second objective was to investigate the relationships between executive functions and social cognition in HFASD and ADHD. One hundred and twenty-six 7- to 11-year old children, 52 with HFASD, 35 with ADHD, and 39 with TD, performed the NEPSY-II social perception subtests. Parents estimated their children's ToM skills using the Theory of Mind Inventory (ToMI. Teacher-reported data from the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF were also obtained. The HFASD and ADHD groups showed worse performance on the verbal ToM task than the TD group, and only the performance of the HFASD group was significantly lower than the TD group on the contextual ToM task. Parents also estimated that the HFASD group had more difficulties on the applied ToM than the ADHD and TD groups. Furthermore, there is a different executive function-theory of mind link in the HFASD and ADHD groups: behavioral regulation processes such as inhibition and emotional control are more associated with social cognition in children with ADHD, whereas metacognitive processes such as initiation and planning have a strong association with social cognition in children with HFASD. These findings have implications for understanding social perception deficits in neurodevelopmental disorders, highlighting the need for early intervention.
Xiang, Yu-Tao; Shum, David; Chiu, Helen F K; Tang, Wai-Kwong; Ungvari, Gabor S
The objective of this study was to explore the influence of socio-demographic and clinical factors and neurocognitive variables (i.e. prospective and retrospective memory, executive functioning, and intelligence) on social functioning in Chinese schizophrenia patients. The study sample comprised 110 Chinese schizophrenia patients. Their clinical condition and social functioning were evaluated with the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) and the Functional Needs Assessment (FNA), respectively. Three prospective memory (PM) tasks (time-, event-, and activity-based), three tests of executive functioning (the Design Fluency Test [DFT], Tower of London [TOL], and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test [WCST]), one test of intelligence (Raven's Progressive Matrices), and two retrospective memory (RM) tasks (the immediate and delayed recall conditions of the Logical Memory subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scales-Revised [WMS-R]) were administered to all patients. In correlation analyses higher education and better performance on the WCST (categories completed) and the Logical Memory subtests (delayed and immediate) of the WMS-R are significantly correlated with better social functioning, whereas a lower WCST score (perseverative errors) and more severe negative symptoms are associated with poorer social functioning. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that higher education and a lower WCST score (perseverative errors) independently contribute to better social functioning. Unexpectedly, most socio-demographic and clinical factors do not seem to have a significant impact on social functioning of Chinese schizophrenia patients living in a Chinese society. Negative symptoms and certain cognitive deficits were the main predictors of social functioning and they should be the main targets for antipsychotic treatment and psychosocial interventions to improve social adjustment in Chinese schizophrenia patients.
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…
McGough, Ellen L; Kelly, Valerie E; Logsdon, Rebecca G; McCurry, Susan M; Cochrane, Barbara B; Engel, Joyce M; Teri, Linda
Older adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) are at higher risk for developing Alzheimer disease. Physical performance decline on gait and mobility tasks in conjunction with executive dysfunction has implications for accelerated functional decline, disability, and institutionalization in sedentary older adults with aMCI. The purpose of this study was to examine whether performance on 2 tests commonly used by physical therapists (usual gait speed and Timed "Up & Go" Test [TUG]) are associated with performance on 2 neuropsychological tests of executive function (Trail Making Test, part B [TMT-B], and Stroop-Interference, calculated from the Stroop Word Color Test) in sedentary older adults with aMCI. The study was a cross-sectional analysis of 201 sedentary older adults with memory impairment participating in a longitudinal intervention study of cognitive function, aging, exercise, and health promotion. Physical performance speed on gait and mobility tasks was measured via usual gait speed and the TUG (at fast pace). Executive function was measured with the TMT-B and Stroop-Interference measures. Applying multiple linear regression, usual gait speed was associated with executive function on both the TMT-B (β=-0.215, P=.003) and Stroop-Interference (β=-0.195, P=.01) measures, indicating that slower usual gait speed was associated with lower executive function performance. Timed "Up & Go" Test scores (in logarithmic transformation) also were associated with executive function on both the TMT-B (β=0.256, Pfunction performance. All associations remained statistically significant after adjusting for age, sex, depressive symptoms, medical comorbidity, and body mass index. The cross-sectional nature of this study does not allow for inferences of causation. Physical performance speed was associated with executive function after adjusting for age, sex, and age-related factors in sedentary older adults with aMCI. Further research is needed to determine
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.
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…
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maiti, Panchanan; Gregg, Laura C; McDonald, Michael P
In Parkinson's disease, cognitive deficits manifest as fronto-striatally-mediated executive dysfunction, with impaired attention, planning, judgment, and impulse control. We examined changes in executive function in mice lesioned with subchronic 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) using a 3-choice serial reaction-time (SRT) task, which included measures of sustained attention and impulse control. Each trial of the baseline SRT task comprised a pseudo-random pre-cue period ranging from 3 to 8 s, followed by a 1-s cue duration. MPTP impaired all measures of impulsive behavior acutely, but with additional training their performance normalized to saline control levels. When challenged with shorter cue durations, MPTP-lesioned mice had significantly slower reaction times than wild-type mice. When challenged with longer pre-cue times, the MPTP-lesioned mice exhibited a loss of impulse control at the longer durations. In lesioned mice, striatal dopamine was depleted by 54% and the number of tyrosine-hydroxylase-positive neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta was reduced by 75%. Serotonin (5-HT) was unchanged in the striatum and prefrontal cortex (PFC), but the ratio of 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid (5-HIAA) to 5-HT was significantly reduced in the MPTP group in the PFC. In lesioned mice, prefrontal 5-HIAA/5-HT was significantly correlated with the executive impairments and striatal norepinephrine was associated with slower reaction times. None of the neurochemical measures was significantly associated with behavior in saline-treated controls. Taken together, these results show that prefrontal 5-HT turnover may play a pivotal role in MPTP-induced executive dysfunction. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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.
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
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…
Konishi, Kana; Kimura, Tetsuya; Yuhaku, Atsushi; Kurihara, Toshiyuki; Fujimoto, Masahiro; Hamaoka, Takafumi; Sanada, Kiyoshi
A decline in executive function could have a negative influence on the control of actions in dynamic situations, such as sports activities. Mouth rinsing with a carbohydrate solution could serve as an effective treatment for preserving the executive function in exercise. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of mouth rinsing with a carbohydrate solution on executive function after sustained moderately high-intensity exercise. Eight young healthy participants completed 65 min of running at 75% V̇O 2 max with two mouth-rinsing conditions: with a carbohydrate solution (CHO) or with water (CON). Executive function was assessed before and after exercise by using the incongruent task of the Stroop Color and Word Test. The levels of blood glucose; and plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), epinephrine, and norepinephrine (NE) were evaluated. A two-way repeated-measures ANOVA, with condition (CHO and CON) and time (pre-exercise and post-exercise) as factors, was used to examine the main and interaction effects on the outcome measures. The reaction time in the incongruent condition of the Stroop test significantly increased after exercise in CON (pre-exercise 529 ± 45 ms vs. post-exercise 547 ± 60 ms, P = 0.029) but not in CHO (pre-exercise 531 ± 54 ms vs. post-exercise 522 ± 80 ms), which resulted in a significant interaction (condition × time) on the reaction time ( P = 0.028). The increased reaction time in CON indicates a decline in the executive function, which was attenuated in CHO. Increases in plasma epinephrine and NE levels demonstrated a trend toward attenuation accompanying CHO ( P exercise, and that such attenuation seems to be unrelated to carbohydrate metabolic pathway but rather attributed, in part, to the inhibition of the excessive release of stress hormones.
Full Text Available Estradiol and progesterone levels vary along the menstrual cycle and have multiple neuroactive effects, including on the dopaminergic system. Dopamine relates to executive functions in an “inverted U-shaped” manner and its levels are increased by estradiol. Accordingly, dopamine dependent changes in executive functions along the menstrual cycle have been previously studied in the pre-ovulatory phase, when estradiol levels peak. Specifically it has been demonstrated that working memory is enhanced during the pre-ovulatory phase in women with low dopamine baseline levels, but impaired in women with high dopamine baseline levels. However, the role of progesterone, which peaks in the luteal cycle phase, has not been taken into account previously. Therefore, the main goals of the present study were to extend these findings (i to the luteal cycle phase and (ii to other executive functions. Furthermore, the usefulness of the eye blink rate (EBR as an indicator of dopamine baseline levels in menstrual cycle research was explored. 36 naturally cycling women were tested during three cycle phases (menses–low sex hormones; pre-ovulatory–high estradiol; luteal–high progesterone and estradiol. During each session, women performed a verbal N-back task, as measure of working memory, and a single trial version of the Stroop task, as measure of response inhibition and cognitive flexibility. Hormone levels were assessed from saliva samples and spontaneous eye blink rate was recorded during menses. In the N-back task, women were faster during the luteal phase the higher their progesterone levels, irrespective of their dopamine baseline levels. In the Stroop task, we found a dopamine-cycle interaction, which was also driven by the luteal phase and progesterone levels. For women with higher EBR performance decreased during the luteal phase, whereas for women with lower EBR performance improved during the luteal phase. These findings suggest an important
Bouso, José Carlos; Fábregas, Josep Maria; Antonijoan, Rosa Maria; Rodríguez-Fornells, Antoni; Riba, Jordi
Ayahuasca, a South American psychotropic plant tea containing the psychedelic 5-HT2A receptor agonist N,N-dimethyltryptamine, has been shown to increase regional cerebral blood flow in prefrontal brain regions after acute administration to humans. Despite interactions at this level, neuropsychological studies have not found cognitive deficits in abstinent long-term users. Here, we wished to investigate the effects of acute ayahuasca intake on neuropsychological performance, specifically on working memory and executive function. Twenty-four ayahuasca users (11 long-term experienced users and 13 occasional users) were assessed in their habitual setting using the Stroop, Sternberg, and Tower of London tasks prior to and following ayahuasca intake. Errors in the Sternberg task increased, whereas reaction times in the Stroop task decreased and accuracy was maintained for the whole sample following ayahuasca intake. Interestingly, results in the Tower of London showed significantly increased execution and resolution times and number of movements for the occasional but not the experienced users. Additionally, a correlation analysis including all subjects showed that impaired performance in the Tower of London was inversely correlated with lifetime ayahuasca use. Acute ayahuasca administration impaired working memory but decreased stimulus-response interference. Interestingly, detrimental effects on higher cognition were only observed in the less experienced group. Rather than leading to increased impairment, greater prior exposure to ayahuasca was associated with reduced incapacitation. Compensatory or neuromodulatory effects associated with long-term ayahuasca intake could underlie preserved executive function in experienced users.
Jones, Catherine R G; Simonoff, Emily; Baird, Gillian; Pickles, Andrew; Marsden, Anita J S; Tregay, Jenifer; Happé, Francesca; Charman, Tony
It has been strongly argued that atypical cognitive processes in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) contribute to the expression of behavioural symptoms. Comprehensive investigation of these claims has been limited by small and unrepresentative sample sizes and the absence of wide-ranging task batteries. The current study investigated the cognitive abilities of 100 adolescents with ASD (mean age = 15 years 6 months), using 10 tasks to measure the domains of theory of mind (ToM) and executive function (EF). We used structural equation modelling as a statistically robust way of exploring the associations between cognition and parent-reported measures of social communication and restricted and repetitive behaviours (RRBs). We found that ToM ability was associated with both social communication symptoms and RRBs. EF was a correlate of ToM but had no direct association with parent-reported symptom expression. Our data suggest that in adolescence ToM ability, but not EF, is directly related to autistic symptom expression. Autism Res 2018, 11: 95-109. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. The behaviours that are common to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have been linked to differences in thinking ability. We assessed autistic adolescents and found that social communication difficulties and the presence of restricted and repetitive behaviours related to difficulties in understanding other peoples' minds (theory of mind). In contrast, these behaviours were not associated with the general thinking abilities involved in planning and executing tasks (executive function). © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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.
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
Taylor, Sophie Jane; Barker, Lynne Ann; Heavey, Lisa; McHale, Sue
Executive functions and social cognition develop through childhood into adolescence and early adulthood and are important for adaptive goal-oriented behavior (Apperly, Samson, & Humphreys, 2009; Blakemore & Choudhury, 2006). These functions are attributed to frontal networks known to undergo protracted maturation into early adulthood (Barker, Andrade, Morton, Romanowski, & Bowles, 2010; Lebel, Walker, Leemans, Phillips, & Beaulieu, 2008), although social cognition functions are also associated with widely distributed networks. Previously, nonlinear development has been reported around puberty on an emotion match-to-sample task (McGivern, Andersen, Byrd, Mutter, & Reilly, 2002) and for IQ in midadolescence (Ramsden et al., 2011). However, there are currently little data on the typical development of social and executive functions in late adolescence and early adulthood. In a cross-sectional design, 98 participants completed tests of social cognition and executive function, Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (Wechsler, 1999), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (Zigmond & Snaith, 1983), and measures of pubertal development and demographics at ages 17, 18, and 19. Nonlinear age differences for letter fluency and concept formation executive functions were found, with a trough in functional ability in 18-year-olds compared with other groups. There were no age group differences on social cognition measures. Gender accounted for differences on 1 scale of concept formation, 1 dynamic social interaction scale, and 2 empathy scales. The clinical, developmental, and educational implications of these findings are discussed.
Berthelsen, Donna; Hayes, Nicole; White, Sonia L J; Williams, Kate E
Executive functions are important higher-order cognitive skills for goal-directed thought and action. These capacities contribute to successful school achievement and lifelong wellbeing. The importance of executive functions to children's education begins in early childhood and continues throughout development. This study explores contributions of child and family factors in early childhood to the development of executive function in adolescence. Analyses draw on data from the nationally representative study, Growing up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children . Participants are 4819 children in the Kindergarten Cohort who were recruited at age 4-5 years. Path analyses were employed to examine contributions of early childhood factors, including family socio-economic position (SEP), parenting behaviors, maternal mental health, and a child behavioral risk index, to the development of executive function in adolescence. The influence of children's early self-regulatory behaviors (attentional regulation at 4-5 years and approaches to learning at 6-7 years) were also taken into account. A composite score for the outcome measure of executive function was constructed from scores on three Cogstate computerized tasks for assessing cognition and measured visual attention, visual working memory, and spatial problem-solving. Covariates included child gender, age at assessment of executive function, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, speaking a language other than English at home, and child's receptive vocabulary skills. There were significant indirect effects involving child and family risk factors measured at 4-5 years on executive function at age 14-15 years, mediated by measures of self-regulatory behavior. Child behavioral risk, family SEP and parenting behaviors (anger, warmth, and consistency) were associated with attentional regulation at 4-5 years which, in turn, was significantly associated with approaches to learning at 6-7 years. Both
Aliakbaryhosseinabadi, Susan; Kamavuako, Ernest Nlandu; Jiang, Ning; Farina, Dario; Mrachacz-Kersting, Natalie
Brain-computer interface (BCI) systems in neuro-rehabilitation use brain signals to control external devices. User status such as attention affects BCI performance; thus detecting the user's attention drift due to internal or external factors is essential for high detection accuracy. An auditory oddball task was applied to divert the users' attention during a simple ankle dorsiflexion movement. Electroencephalogram signals were recorded from eighteen channels. Temporal and time-frequency features were projected to a lower dimension space and used to analyze the effect of two attention levels on motor tasks in each participant. Then, a global feature distribution was constructed with the projected time-frequency features of all participants from all channels and applied for attention classification during motor movement execution. Time-frequency features led to significantly better classification results with respect to the temporal features, particularly for electrodes located over the motor cortex. Motor cortex channels had a higher accuracy in comparison to other channels in the global discrimination of attention level. Previous methods have used the attention to a task to drive external devices, such as the P300 speller. However, here we focus for the first time on the effect of attention drift while performing a motor task. It is possible to explore user's attention variation when performing motor tasks in synchronous BCI systems with time-frequency features. This is the first step towards an adaptive real-time BCI with an integrated function to reveal attention shifts from the motor task. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Results from 5 SD patients and 4 SA patients in our ongoing study suggest similar patterns of impairment on both semantic and executive function tasks for both patient groups. Both showed multi-modal semantic deficits via poor performance on at least 3 out of 5 semantic tasks tapping different modalities. Also, SA and SD patients showed no difference in consistency across semantic tasks (see Fig. 1a & b. Both groups also showed consistently poor performance on trail-making and verbal Stroop tasks compared to controls (see Figs. 1c & 1d. SD patients seem to be less impaired on both span measures (word span range: 2.17 – 4.43; digit span: 3.17 – 5.5 than SA patients (word span range: 1.63 – 3.75; digit span: 1.17 – 4.17, and performance was variable for both groups on non-verbal Stroop and picture-word interference. SD patients found many executive tasks too difficult to understand, which may be the reason for limited prior data for them on EF tasks.. These findings suggest that the use of syndrome categories like semantic dementia and comprehension-impaired stroke aphasia are not useful in distinguishing between storage and access deficits. Patients classified as having SD seem as likely as SA patients to have certain kinds of executive deficits and SA patients may be as likely as SD patients to show consistency across semantic tasks. The results imply that some other behavioral or neuroanatomical basis rather than syndrome classification should be used to address the hypothesized separation of storage vs. control aspects of semantic memory.
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.
Nicholas, Marjorie; Sinotte, Michele P; Helm-Estabrooks, Nancy
Learning how to use a computer-based communication system can be challenging for people with severe aphasia even if the system is not word-based. This study explored cognitive and linguistic factors relative to how they affected individual patients' ability to communicate expressively using C-Speak Aphasia (CSA), an alternative communication computer program that is primarily picture-based. Ten individuals with severe non-fluent aphasia received at least six months of training with CSA. To assess carryover of training, untrained functional communication tasks (i.e., answering autobiographical questions, describing pictures, making telephone calls, describing a short video, and two writing tasks) were repeatedly probed in two conditions: (1) using CSA in addition to natural forms of communication, and (2) using only natural forms of communication, e.g., speaking, writing, gesturing, drawing. Four of the 10 participants communicated more information on selected probe tasks using CSA than they did without the computer. Response to treatment was also examined in relation to baseline measures of non-linguistic executive function skills, pictorial semantic abilities, and auditory comprehension. Only nonlinguistic executive function skills were significantly correlated with treatment response.
Nicholas, Marjorie; Sinotte, Michele P.; Helm-Estabrooks, Nancy
Learning how to use a computer-based communication system can be challenging for people with severe aphasia even if the system is not word-based. This study explored cognitive and linguistic factors relative to how they affected individual patients’ ability to communicate expressively using C-Speak Aphasia, (CSA), an alternative communication computer program that is primarily picture-based. Ten individuals with severe non-fluent aphasia received at least six months of training with CSA. To assess carryover of training, untrained functional communication tasks (i.e., answering autobiographical questions, describing pictures, making telephone calls, describing a short video, and two writing tasks) were repeatedly probed in two conditions: 1) using CSA in addition to natural forms of communication, and 2) using only natural forms of communication, e.g., speaking, writing, gesturing, drawing. Four of the ten participants communicated more information on selected probe tasks using CSA than they did without the computer. Response to treatment also was examined in relation to baseline measures of non-linguistic executive function skills, pictorial semantic abilities, and auditory comprehension. Only nonlinguistic executive function skills were significantly correlated with treatment response. PMID:21506045
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.
Brion, Mélanie; Pitel, Anne-Lise; Beaunieux, Hélène; Maurage, Pierre
Korsakoff syndrome (KS) is a neurological state mostly caused by alcohol-dependence and leading to disproportionate episodic memory deficits. KS patients present more severe anterograde amnesia than Alcohol-Dependent Subjects (ADS), which led to the continuum hypothesis postulating a progressive increase in brain and cognitive damages during the evolution from ADS to KS. This hypothesis has been extensively examined for memory but is still debated for other abilities, notably executive functions (EF). EF have up to now been explored by unspecific tasks in KS, and few studies explored their interactions with memory. Exploring EF in KS by specific tasks based on current EF models could thus renew the exploration of the continuum hypothesis. This paper will propose a research program aiming at: (1) clarifying the extent of executive dysfunctions in KS by tasks focusing on specific EF subcomponents; (2) determining the differential EF deficits in ADS and KS; (3) exploring EF-memory interactions in KS with innovative tasks. At the fundamental level, this exploration will test the continuum hypothesis beyond memory. At the clinical level, it will propose new rehabilitation tools focusing on the EF specifically impaired in KS.
Full Text Available Korsakoff syndrome (KS is a neurological state mostly caused by alcohol-dependence and leading to disproportionate episodic memory deficits. KS patients present more severe anterograde amnesia than alcohol-dependent subjects (ADS, which led to the continuum hypothesis postulating a progressive increase in brain and cognitive damages during the evolution from ADS to KS. This hypothesis has been extensively examined for memory but is still debated for other abilities, notably executive functions (EF. EF have up to now been explored by unspecific tasks in KS, and few studies explored their interactions with memory. Exploring EF in KS by specific tasks based on current EF models could thus renew the exploration of the continuum hypothesis. This paper will propose a research program aiming at: (1 clarifying the extent of executive dysfunctions in KS by tasks focusing on specific EF subcomponents; (2 determining the differential EF deficits in ADS and KS; (3 exploring EF-memory interactions in KS with innovative tasks. At the fundamental level, this exploration will test the continuum hypothesis beyond memory. At the clinical level, it will propose new rehabilitation tools focusing on the EF specifically impaired in KS.
De Felice, Sara; Romani, Cristina; Geberhiwot, Tarekegn; MacDonald, Anita; Palermo, Liana
We provide an in-depth analysis of language functions in early-treated adults with phenylketonuria (AwPKUs, N = 15-33), as compared to age- and education-matched controls (N = 24-32; N varying across tasks), through: a. narrative production (the Cinderella story), b. language pragmatics comprehension (humour, metaphors, inferred meaning), c. prosody discrimination d. lexical inhibitory control and planning (Blocked Cyclic Naming; Hayling Sentence Completion Test, Burgess & Shallice, 1997). AwPKUs exhibited intact basic language processing (lexical retrieval, phonology/articulation, sentence construction). Instead, deficits emerged in planning and reasoning abilities. Compared to controls, AwPKUs were: less informative in narrative production (lower rate of Correct Information Units); slower in metaphorical understanding and inferred meaning; less accurate in focused lexical-search (Hayling test). These results suggest that i) executive deficits in PKU cannot be explained by an accumulation of lower-order deficits and/or general speed impairments, ii) executive functions engage dedicated neurophysiological resources, rather than simply being an emergent property of lower-level systems.
Hellings, P. W.; Scadding, G.; Alobid, I.; Bachert, C.; Fokkens, W. J.; Gerth van Wijk, R.; Gevaerts, P.; Guilemany, J.; Kalogjera, L.; Lund, V. J.; Mullol, J.; Passalacqua, G.; Toskala, E.; van Drunen, C. M.
This Executive Summary of the EAACI Task Force document on Diagnostic Tools in Rhinology provides the readers with an over- view of the currently available tools for diagnosis of nasal and sino-nasal disease, published in full version in the first issue of Clini- cal and Translational Allergy. A
Chabran, Eléna; Roquet, Daniel; Gounot, Daniel; Sourty, Marion; Armspach, Jean-Paul; Blanc, Frédéric
Limited research has been done on the functional connectivity in visuoperceptual regions in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) patients. This study aimed to investigate the functional connectivity differences between a task condition and an inter-task resting state condition within a visuoperceptual paradigm, in DLB patients compared with Alzheimer disease (AD) patients and healthy elderly control subjects. Twenty-six DLB, 29 AD, and 22 healthy subjects underwent a detailed clinical and neuropsychological examination along with a functional MRI during the different conditions of a visuoperceptual paradigm. Functional images were analyzed using group-level spatial independent component analysis and seed-based connectivity analyses. While the DLB patients scored well and did not differ from the control and AD groups in terms of functional activity and connectivity during the task conditions, they showed decreased functional connectivity in visuoperceptual regions during the resting state condition, along with a temporal impairment of the default-mode network activity. Functional connectivity disturbances were also found within two attentional-executive networks and between these networks and visuoperceptual regions. We found a specific functional profile in the switching between task and resting state conditions in DLB patients. This result could help better characterize functional impairments in DLB and their contribution to several core symptoms of this pathology such as visual hallucinations and cognitive fluctuations. © 2018 S. Karger AG, Basel.
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.
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
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.
Moreno, Sylvain; Bialystok, Ellen; Barac, Raluca; Schellenberg, E Glenn; Cepeda, Nicholas J; Chau, Tom
Researchers have designed training methods that can be used to improve mental health and to test the efficacy of education programs. However, few studies have demonstrated broad transfer from such training to performance on untrained cognitive activities. Here we report the effects of two interactive computerized training programs developed for preschool children: one for music and one for visual art. After only 20 days of training, only children in the music group exhibited enhanced performance on a measure of verbal intelligence, with 90% of the sample showing this improvement. These improvements in verbal intelligence were positively correlated with changes in functional brain plasticity during an executive-function task. Our findings demonstrate that transfer of a high-level cognitive skill is possible in early childhood.
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
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.
This slide presentation reviews the Functional Task Test (FTT), an interdisciplinary testing regimen that has been developed to evaluate astronaut postflight functional performance and related physiological changes. The objectives of the project are: (1) to develop a set of functional tasks that represent critical mission tasks for the Constellation Program, (2) determine the ability to perform these tasks after space flight, (3) Identify the key physiological factors that contribute to functional decrements and (4) Use this information to develop targeted countermeasures.
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
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
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
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.
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.
Ren, Xuezhu; Schweizer, Karl; Wang, Tengfei; Chu, Pei; Gong, Qin
The aim of the current study is to provide new insights into the relationship between executive functions and intelligence measures in considering the item-position effect observed in intelligence items. Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM) and Horn's LPS reasoning test were used to assess fluid intelligence which served as criterion in investigating the relationship between intelligence and executive functions. A battery of six experimental tasks measured the updating, shifting, and inhibition processes of executive functions. Data were collected from 205 university students. Fluid intelligence showed substantial correlations with the updating and inhibition processes and no correlation with the shifting process without considering the item-position effect. Next, the fixed-link model was applied to APM and LPS data separately to decompose them into an ability component and an item-position component. The results of relating the components to executive functions showed that the updating and shifting processes mainly contributed to the item-position component whereas the inhibition process was mainly associated with the ability component of each fluid intelligence test. These findings suggest that improvements in the efficiency of updating and shifting processes are likely to occur during the course of completing intelligence measures and inhibition is important for intelligence in general. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Nowadays, sensor networks are composed of a great number of tiny resource-constraint nodes, whose management is increasingly more complex. In fact, although collaborative or choreographic task execution schemes are which fit in the most perfect way with the nature of sensor networks, they are rarely implemented because of the high resource consumption of these algorithms (especially if networks include many resource-constrained devices. On the contrary, hierarchical networks are usually designed, in whose cusp it is included a heavy orchestrator with a remarkable processing power, being able to implement any necessary management solution. However, although this orchestration approach solves most practical management problems of sensor networks, a great amount of the operation time is wasted while nodes request the orchestrator to address a conflict and they obtain the required instructions to operate. Therefore, in this paper it is proposed a new mechanism for self-managed and choreographed task execution in sensor networks. The proposed solution considers only a lightweight gateway instead of traditional heavy orchestrators and a hardware-supported algorithm, which consume a negligible amount of resources in sensor nodes. The gateway avoids the congestion of the entire sensor network and the hardware-supported algorithm enables a choreographed task execution scheme, so no particular node is overloaded. The performance of the proposed solution is evaluated through numerical and electronic ModelSim-based simulations.
Byun, Kyeongho; Hyodo, Kazuki; Suwabe, Kazuya; Ochi, Genta; Sakairi, Yosuke; Kato, Morimasa; Dan, Ippeita; Soya, Hideaki
Despite the practical implication of mild exercise, little is known about its influence on executive function and its neural substrates. To address these issues, the present study examined the effect of an acute bout of mild exercise on executive function and attempted to identify potential neural substrates using non-invasive functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Twenty-five young individuals performed a color-word matching Stroop task (CWST) and a two-dimensional scale to measure changes of psychological mood states both before and after a 10-minute exercise session on a cycle ergometer at light intensity (30% v(·)o2peak) and, for the control session, without exercise. Cortical hemodynamic changes in the prefrontal area were monitored with fNIRS during the CWST in both sessions. The acute bout of mild exercise led to improved Stroop performance, which was positively correlated with increased arousal levels. It also evoked cortical activations regarding Stroop interference on the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and frontopolar area. These activations significantly corresponded with both improved cognitive performance and increased arousal levels. Concurrently, this study provides empirical evidence that an acute bout of mild exercise improves executive function mediated by the exercise-induced arousal system, which intensifies cortical activation in task-related prefrontal sub-regions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Bezemer, P.J.; Maassen, G.F.; van den Bosch, F.A.J.; Volberda, H.W.
textabstractDuring the last decade, globalization and liberalization of financial markets, changing societal expectations and corporate governance scandals have increased the attention for the fiduciary duties of non-executive directors. In this context, recent corporate governance reform initiatives have emphasized the control task and independence of non-executive directors. However, little attention has been paid to their impact on the external and internal service tasks of non-executive d...
Hagen, Egon; Erga, Aleksander H; Hagen, Katrin P; Nesvåg, Sverre M; McKay, James R; Lundervold, Astri J; Walderhaug, Espen
Chronic polysubstance abuse (SUD) is associated with neurophysiological and neuroanatomical changes. Neurocognitive impairment tends to affect quality of life, occupational functioning, and the ability to benefit from therapy. Neurocognitive assessment is thus of importance, but costly and not widely available. Therefore, in a busy clinical setting, procedures that include readily available measures targeting core cognitive deficits would be beneficial. This paper investigates the utility of psychometric tests and a questionnaire-based inventory to assess "hot" and "cold" neurocognitive measures of executive functions (EF) in adults with a substance use disorder. Hot decision-making processes are associated with emotional, affective, and visceral responses, while cold executive functions are associated with rational decision-making. Subjects with polysubstance abuse (n=126) and healthy controls (n=32) were compared on hot (Iowa Gambling Task) and cold (Stroop and the Trail Making Test) measures of EF, in addition to a questionnaire assessing everyday EF related problems (BRIEF-A; Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Adult, self-report version). Information about the substance abuse and social adjustment were assessed by self-report. Logistic regression analyses were applied to assess independent correlates of SUD status and social adjustment. A multiple linear regression was performed to predict the number of previous treatment attempts. The psychometric test of hot EF (the Iowa Gambling Task) did not differentiate the patients with polysubstance abuse from controls, and was not associated with social adjustment. The psychometric tests of cold EF distinguished somewhat between the groups and were associated with one indicator of social adjustment. The BRIEF-A differentiated between groups on all the clinical scales and was associated with three out of five social adjustment indicators ("criminal lifestyle," "conflict with caregiver," and "stable
Full Text Available Moving and acting underwater within recreational or occupational activities require intact executive functions, since they subserve higher cognitive functions such as successful self-regulation, coping with novel situations, and decision making; all of which could be influenced by nitrogen narcosis due to elevated partial pressure under water. However, specific executive functions that could provide a differentiated view on humans’ cognitive performance ability have not yet been systematically analyzed in full-water immersion, which is a research gap addressed within this approach to contribute to a better understanding of nitrogen narcosis. In this study, 20 young, healthy, and certified recreational divers participated and performed three different executive-function tests: the Stroop test (Inhibition, the Number/Letter test (Task switching, the 2-back test (Updating/Working memory, and a simple reaction time test (Psychomotor performance. These tests were performed once on land, at 5-meter (m water depth, and at 20-meter (m water depth of an indoor diving facility in standardized test conditions (26°C in all water depths. A water-proofed and fully operational tablet computer was used to present visual stimuli and to register reaction times. Performance of the simple reaction time test was not different between underwater and land testing, suggesting that reaction times were not biased by the utilization of the tablet in water immersion. Executive functions were not affected by the shallow water immersion of 5-m water depth. However, performance scores in 20-m water depth revealed a decreased performance in the incongruent test condition (i.e., an index of inhibitory control ability of the Stroop test, while all other tests were unaffected. Even though only one out of the three tested cognitive domains was affected, the impairment of inhibitory control ability even in relatively shallow water of 20-m is a critical component that should be
Steinberg, Fabian; Doppelmayr, Michael
Moving and acting underwater within recreational or occupational activities require intact executive functions, since they subserve higher cognitive functions such as successful self-regulation, coping with novel situations, and decision making; all of which could be influenced by nitrogen narcosis due to elevated partial pressure under water. However, specific executive functions that could provide a differentiated view on humans' cognitive performance ability have not yet been systematically analyzed in full-water immersion, which is a research gap addressed within this approach to contribute to a better understanding of nitrogen narcosis. In this study, 20 young, healthy, and certified recreational divers participated and performed three different executive-function tests: the Stroop test (Inhibition), the Number/Letter test (Task switching), the 2-back test (Updating/Working memory), and a simple reaction time test (Psychomotor performance). These tests were performed once on land, at 5-meter (m) water depth, and at 20-meter (m) water depth of an indoor diving facility in standardized test conditions (26°C in all water depths). A water-proofed and fully operational tablet computer was used to present visual stimuli and to register reaction times. Performance of the simple reaction time test was not different between underwater and land testing, suggesting that reaction times were not biased by the utilization of the tablet in water immersion. Executive functions were not affected by the shallow water immersion of 5-m water depth. However, performance scores in 20-m water depth revealed a decreased performance in the incongruent test condition (i.e., an index of inhibitory control ability) of the Stroop test, while all other tests were unaffected. Even though only one out of the three tested cognitive domains was affected, the impairment of inhibitory control ability even in relatively shallow water of 20-m is a critical component that should be considered for
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.
Mak, Anselm; Ren, Tao; Fu, Erin Hui-yun; Cheak, Alicia Ai-cia; Ho, Roger Chun-man
To study the functional brain activation signals before and after sufficient disease control in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) without clinical neuropsychiatric symptoms. Blood-oxygen-level-dependent signals during event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging brain were recorded, while 14 new-onset SLE patients and 14 demographically and intelligence quotient matched healthy controls performed the computer-based Wisconsin card sorting test for assessing executive function, which probes strategic planning and goal-directed task performance during feedback evaluation (FE) and response selection (RS), respectively. Composite beta maps were constructed by a general linear model to identify regions of cortical activation. Blood-oxygen-level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging signals were compared between (1) new-onset SLE patients and healthy controls and (2) SLE patients before and after sufficient control of their disease activity. During RS, SLE patients demonstrated significantly higher activation than healthy controls in both caudate bodies and Brodmann area (BA) 9 to enhance event anticipation, attention, and working memory, respectively, to compensate for the reduced activation during FE in BA6, 13, 24, and 32, which serve complex motor planning and decision-making, sensory integration, error detection, and conflict processing, respectively. Despite significant reduction of SLE activity, BA32 was activated during RS to compensate for reduced activation during FE in BA6, 9, 37, and 23/32, which serve motor planning, response inhibition and attention, color processing and word recognition, error detection, and conflict evaluation, respectively. Even without clinically overt neuropsychiatric symptoms, SLE patients recruited additional pathways to execute goal-directed tasks to compensate for their reduced strategic planning skill despite clinically sufficient disease control. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
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.
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.
Simon, Sharon S; Tusch, Erich S; Holcomb, Phillip J; Daffner, Kirk R
The classic account of the load theory (LT) of attention suggests that increasing cognitive load leads to greater processing of task-irrelevant stimuli due to competition for limited executive resource that reduces the ability to actively maintain current processing priorities. Studies testing this hypothesis have yielded widely divergent outcomes. The inconsistent results may, in part, be related to variability in executive capacity (EC) and task difficulty across subjects in different studies. Here, we used a cross-modal paradigm to investigate whether augmented working memory (WM) load leads to increased early distracter processing, and controlled for the potential confounders of EC and task difficulty. Twenty-three young subjects were engaged in a primary visual WM task, under high and low load conditions, while instructed to ignore irrelevant auditory stimuli. Demands of the high load condition were individually titrated to make task difficulty comparable across subjects with differing EC. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were used to measure neural activity in response to stimuli presented in both the task relevant modality (visual) and task-irrelevant modality (auditory). Behavioral results indicate that the load manipulation and titration procedure of the primary visual task were successful. ERPs demonstrated that in response to visual target stimuli, there was a load-related increase in the posterior slow wave, an index of sustained attention and effort. Importantly, under high load, there was a decrease of the auditory N1 in response to distracters, a marker of early auditory processing. These results suggest that increased WM load is associated with enhanced attentional engagement and protection from distraction in a cross-modal setting, even after controlling for task difficulty and EC. Our findings challenge the classic LT and offer support for alternative models.
Sharon Sanz Simon
Full Text Available The classic account of the Load Theory (LT of attention suggests that increasing cognitive load leads to greater processing of task-irrelevant stimuli due to competition for limited executive resource that reduces the ability to actively maintain current processing priorities. Studies testing this hypothesis have yielded widely divergent outcomes. The inconsistent results may, in part, be related to variability in executive capacity (EC and task difficulty across subjects in different studies. Here, we used a cross-modal paradigm to investigate whether augmented working memory (WM load leads to increased early distracter processing, and controlled for the potential confounders of EC and task difficulty. Twenty-three young subjects were engaged in a primary visual WM task, under high and low load conditions, while instructed to ignore irrelevant auditory stimuli. Demands of the high load condition were individually titrated to make task difficulty comparable across subjects with differing EC. Event-related potentials (ERPs were used to measure neural activity in response to stimuli presented in both the task relevant modality (visual and task-irrelevant modality (auditory. Behavioral results indicate that the load manipulation and titration procedure of the primary visual task were successful. ERPs demonstrated that in response to visual target stimuli, there was a load-related increase in the posterior slow wave, an index of sustained attention and effort. Importantly, under high load, there was a decrease of the auditory N1 in response to distracters, a marker of early auditory processing. These results suggest that increased WM load is associated with enhanced attentional engagement and protection from distraction in a cross-modal setting, even after controlling for task difficulty and EC. Our findings challenge the classic LT and offer support for alternative models.
Wang, L; Wu, L; Lin, X; Zhang, Y; Zhou, H; Du, X; Dong, G
The present study identified the neural mechanism of risky decision-making in Internet gaming disorder (IGD) under a probability discounting task. Independent component analysis was used on the functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 19 IGD subjects (22.2 ± 3.08 years) and 21 healthy controls (HC, 22.8 ± 3.5 years). For the behavioral results, IGD subjects prefer the risky to the fixed options and showed shorter reaction time compared to HC. For the imaging results, the IGD subjects showed higher task-related activity in default mode network (DMN) and less engagement in the executive control network (ECN) than HC when making the risky decisions. Also, we found the activities of DMN correlate negatively with the reaction time and the ECN correlate positively with the probability discounting rates. The results suggest that people with IGD show altered modulation in DMN and deficit in executive control function, which might be the reason for why the IGD subjects continue to play online games despite the potential negative consequences. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
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.
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.
...; (m) the Federal Housing Finance Agency; (n) the Office of Thrift Supervision; (o) the Office of the... outreach with representatives of financial institutions, corporate entities, nonprofit organizations, State... Corporate Fraud Task Force created by Executive Order 13271 of July 9, 2002. Executive Order 13271 is hereby...
Berthelsen, Donna; Hayes, Nicole; White, Sonia L. J.; Williams, Kate E.
Executive functions are important higher-order cognitive skills for goal-directed thought and action. These capacities contribute to successful school achievement and lifelong wellbeing. The importance of executive functions to children’s education begins in early childhood and continues throughout development. This study explores contributions of child and family factors in early childhood to the development of executive function in adolescence. Analyses draw on data from the nationally representative study, Growing up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Participants are 4819 children in the Kindergarten Cohort who were recruited at age 4–5 years. Path analyses were employed to examine contributions of early childhood factors, including family socio-economic position (SEP), parenting behaviors, maternal mental health, and a child behavioral risk index, to the development of executive function in adolescence. The influence of children’s early self-regulatory behaviors (attentional regulation at 4–5 years and approaches to learning at 6–7 years) were also taken into account. A composite score for the outcome measure of executive function was constructed from scores on three Cogstate computerized tasks for assessing cognition and measured visual attention, visual working memory, and spatial problem-solving. Covariates included child gender, age at assessment of executive function, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, speaking a language other than English at home, and child’s receptive vocabulary skills. There were significant indirect effects involving child and family risk factors measured at 4–5 years on executive function at age 14–15 years, mediated by measures of self-regulatory behavior. Child behavioral risk, family SEP and parenting behaviors (anger, warmth, and consistency) were associated with attentional regulation at 4–5 years which, in turn, was significantly associated with approaches to learning at 6
Full Text Available Executive functions are important higher-order cognitive skills for goal-directed thought and action. These capacities contribute to successful school achievement and lifelong wellbeing. The importance of executive functions to children’s education begins in early childhood and continues throughout development. This study explores contributions of child and family factors in early childhood to the development of executive function in adolescence. Analyses draw on data from the nationally representative study, Growing up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Participants are 4819 children in the Kindergarten Cohort who were recruited at age 4–5 years. Path analyses were employed to examine contributions of early childhood factors, including family socio-economic position (SEP, parenting behaviors, maternal mental health, and a child behavioral risk index, to the development of executive function in adolescence. The influence of children’s early self-regulatory behaviors (attentional regulation at 4–5 years and approaches to learning at 6–7 years were also taken into account. A composite score for the outcome measure of executive function was constructed from scores on three Cogstate computerized tasks for assessing cognition and measured visual attention, visual working memory, and spatial problem-solving. Covariates included child gender, age at assessment of executive function, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, speaking a language other than English at home, and child’s receptive vocabulary skills. There were significant indirect effects involving child and family risk factors measured at 4–5 years on executive function at age 14–15 years, mediated by measures of self-regulatory behavior. Child behavioral risk, family SEP and parenting behaviors (anger, warmth, and consistency were associated with attentional regulation at 4–5 years which, in turn, was significantly associated with approaches
LaGasse, Linda L.; Conradt, Elisabeth; Karalunas, Sarah L.; Dansereau, Lynne M.; Butner, Jonathan E.; Shankaran, Seetha; Bada, Henrietta; Bauer, Charles R.; Whitaker, Toni M.; Lester, Barry M.
Developmental psychopathologists face the difficult task of identifying the environmental conditions that may contribute to early childhood behavior problems. Highly stressed caregivers can exacerbate behavior problems, while children with behavior problems may make parenting more difficult and increase caregiver stress. Unknown is: (1) how these transactions originate, (2) whether they persist over time to contribute to the development of problem behavior and (3) what role resilience factors, such as child executive functioning, may play in mitigating the development of problem behavior. In the present study, transactional relations between caregiving stress, executive functioning, and behavior problems were examined in a sample of 1,388 children with prenatal drug exposures at three developmental time points: early childhood (birth-age 5), middle childhood (ages 6 to 9), and early adolescence (ages 10 to 13). Transactional relations differed between caregiving stress and internalizing versus externalizing behavior. Targeting executive functioning in evidence-based interventions for children with prenatal substance exposure who present with internalizing problems and treating caregiving psychopathology, depression, and parenting stress in early childhood may be particularly important for children presenting with internalizing behavior. PMID:27427803
Full Text Available Different types of exercise training have the potential to induce structural and functional brain plasticity in the elderly. Thereby, functional brain adaptations were observed during cognitive tasks in functional magnetic resonance imaging studies that correlated with improved cognitive performance. This study aimed to investigate if exercise training induces functional brain plasticity during challenging treadmill walking and elicits associated changes in cognitive executive functions. Forty-two elderly participants were recruited and randomly assigned to either interactive cognitive-motor video game dancing (DANCE or balance and stretching training (BALANCE. The 8-week intervention included three sessions of 30 minutes per week and was completed by 33 participants (mean age 74.9±6.9 years. Prefrontal cortex (PFC activity during preferred and fast walking speed on a treadmill was assessed applying functional near infrared spectroscopy pre- and post-intervention. Additionally, executive functions comprising shifting, inhibition, and working memory were assessed. The results showed that both interventions significantly reduced left and right hemispheric PFC oxygenation during the acceleration of walking (p < .05 or trend, r = .25 to .36, while DANCE showed a larger reduction at the end of the 30-second walking task compared to BALANCE in the left PFC (F(1, 31 = 3.54, p = .035, r = .32. These exercise training induced modulations in PFC oxygenation correlated with improved executive functions (p < .05 or trend, r = .31 to .50. The observed reductions in PFC activity may release cognitive resources to focus attention on other processes while walking, which could be relevant to improve mobility and falls prevention in the elderly. This study provides a deeper understanding of the associations between exercise training, brain function during walking, and cognition in older adults.
Hybel, Katja Anna; Mortensen, Erik Lykke; Lambek, Rikke
Aspects of executive functioning (EF) have been put forward as endophenotypes in obsessive- compulsive disorder (OCD) and meta-analyses support EF underperformance in adult samples. Childhood-onset OCD has been suggested to constitute a separate neurodevelopmental subtype of the disorder......-17 years of which 70% were female, 50 pairwise age and gender matched non-psychiatric controls (NP) and 38 children and adolescents with mixed anxiety disorders (MA). Participants underwent structured diagnostic interviews and assessment with a battery encompassing cool EF tasks of working memory, set...
Água Dias, Andrea B; Albuquerque, Cristina P; Simões, Mário R
Children with Borderline Intellectual Functioning (BIF) have received a minimal amount of research attention and have been studied in conjunction with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The present study intends to broaden the knowledge of 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 = 10.03; 24 male and 16 female), and a control group of 40 normal children of the same age, gender, and socioeconomic level as the BIF group. The WISC-III Full Scale IQs of the BIF group ranged from 71 to 84. The following instruments were used: Word List, Narrative Memory, Rey Complex Figure, Face Memory, Rapid Naming (both RAN and RAS tests), and Verbal Fluency. The results showed deficits in children with BIF in verbal short-term memory, rapid naming, phonemic verbal fluency, and visual short-term memory, specifically in a visual recognition task, when compared with the control group. Long-term verbal memory was impaired only in older children with BIF and long-term visual memory showed no deficit. Verbal short-term memory stands out as a limitation and visual long-term memory as a strength. Correlations between the WISC-III and neuropsychological tests scores were predominantly low. The study expands the neuropsychological characterization of children with BIF and the implications of the deficits and strengths are stressed.
Ishihara, Toru; Sugasawa, Shigemi; Matsuda, Yusuke; Mizuno, Masao
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between sports experience (i.e., tennis experience) and executive function in children while controlling for physical activity and physical fitness. Sixty-eight participants (6-12 years old, 34 males and 34 females) were enrolled in regular tennis lessons (mean = 2.4 years, range = 0.1-7.3 years) prior to the study. Executive functions, including inhibitory control (the Stroop Color-Word Test), working memory (the 2-back Task), and cognitive flexibility (the Local-global Task) were evaluated. Participants' levels of daily physical activity, ranging from moderate to vigorous, were evaluated using triaxial accelerometers. The total score for physical fitness was assessed using the Tennis Field Test. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed interaction effects between gender and tennis experience on participants' reaction time (RT) on the switch cost of the Local-global Task after controlling for age, BMI, gender, physical activity, physical fitness, and tennis experience. Longer tennis experience was associated with shorter switch cost in males but not in females. Higher scores on physical fitness were positively associated with lower interference scores on the Stroop Color-Word Test, RT on the 2-back Task, and RT in the switching condition of the Local-global Task, after controlling for age, BMI, gender, and physical activity. In conclusion, all three foundational components of executive function (i.e., inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility) were more strongly related to physical fitness than to physical activity in males and females, whereas greater cognitive flexibility was related to tennis experience only in the males. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Full Text Available The human attentional system can be subdivided into three functional networks of alerting, orienting, and executive control. Although these networks have been extensively studied in the visuospatial modality, whether the same mechanisms are deployed across different sensory modalities remains unclear. In this study we used the attention network test for visuospatial modality, in addition to two auditory variants with spatial and frequency manipulations to examine cross-modal correlations between network functions. Results showed that among the visual and auditory tasks the effects of executive control, but not effects of alerting and orienting were significantly correlated. These findings suggest that while alerting and orienting functions rely more upon modality specific processes, the executive control of attention coordinates complex behavior via supramodal mechanisms.
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
Huang, Tao; Tarp, Jakob; Domazet, Sidsel Louise
OBJECTIVE: To examine the associations of adiposity and aerobic fitness with executive function and math performance in Danish adolescents. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional analyses were conducted with data on 525 adolescents attending sixth and seventh grades from 14 schools in the 5 main regions...... of Denmark. A modified Eriksen flanker task was used to assess inhibitory control, a key aspect of executive function. Academic performance was assessed by a customized math test. Aerobic fitness was assessed by an intermittent shuttle-run test (Andersen test). RESULTS: Body mass index (BMI) was negatively......). Aerobic fitness was positively associated with math score (P math score (P > .05). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that aerobic fitness is positively associated with both inhibitory control and math performance in adolescents. Adiposity is negatively...
Victor Polignano Godoy
Full Text Available 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 Portuguese and also assess its construct validity in a sample of normal Brazilian adults. Methods The original version of scale was adapted to Brazilian Portuguese according to the guideline from the ISPOR Task Force. To assess the semantic equivalence between the original and adapted version, both of them were applied into a sample of 25 Brazilian bilingual adults. Finally, 60 Brazilian adults completed the BDEFS and the Brazilian versions of Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11 and Adult Self-Report Scale (ASRS-18 to assess convergent validity. Results The BDEFS Brazilian Portuguese version has semantic correspondence with the original version indicating that the adaptation procedure was successful. The BDEFS correlated significantly with the impulsivity and attention scores from the BIS-11 and ASRS-18 supporting its construct validity. Cronbach’s alpha (α = 0.961 indicated that the BDEFS translated version has satisfactory internal consistency. Discussion Together, these findings indicate the successful adaptation of the BDEFS to Brazilian Portuguese and support its utility in that population.
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...
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
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.
McAlister, Courtney; Schmitter-Edgecombe, Maureen
Everyday multitasking and its cognitive correlates were investigated in an older adult population using a naturalistic task, the Day Out Task. Fifty older adults and 50 younger adults prioritized, organized, initiated and completed a number of subtasks in a campus apartment to prepare for a day out (e.g., gather ingredients for a recipe, collect change for a bus ride). Participants also completed tests assessing cognitive constructs important in multitasking. Compared to younger adults, the older adults took longer to complete the everyday tasks and more poorly sequenced the subtasks. Although they initiated, completed, and interweaved a similar number of subtasks, the older adults demonstrated poorer task quality and accuracy, completing more subtasks inefficiently. For the older adults, reduced prospective memory abilities were predictive of poorer task sequencing, while executive processes and prospective memory were predictive of inefficiently completed subtasks. The findings suggest that executive dysfunction and prospective memory difficulties may contribute to the age-related decline of everyday multitasking abilities in healthy older adults. PMID:23557096
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…
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.
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...
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.
Boselie, Jantine J L M; Vancleef, Linda M G; Peters, Madelon L
Persistent pain can lead to difficulties in executive task performance. Three core executive functions that are often postulated are inhibition, updating, and shifting. Optimism, the tendency to expect that good things happen in the future, has been shown to protect against pain-induced performance deterioration in executive function updating. This study tested whether this protective effect of a temporary optimistic state by means of a writing and visualization exercise extended to executive function shifting. A 2 (optimism: optimism vs no optimism) × 2 (pain: pain vs no pain) mixed factorial design was conducted. Participants (N = 61) completed a shifting task once with and once without concurrent painful heat stimulation after an optimism or neutral manipulation. Results showed that shifting performance was impaired when experimental heat pain was applied during task execution, and that optimism counteracted pain-induced deterioration in task-shifting performance. Experimentally-induced heat pain impairs shifting task performance and manipulated optimism or induced optimism counteracted this pain-induced performance deterioration. Identifying psychological factors that may diminish the negative effect of persistent pain on the ability to function in daily life is imperative. Copyright © 2016 American Pain Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Welsh, Marilyn C.; Peterson, Eric; Jameson, Molly M.
College students who report a history of childhood maltreatment may be at risk for poor outcomes. In the current study, we conducted an exploratory analysis to examine potential models that statistically mediate associations between aspects of maltreatment and aspects of academic outcome, with a particular focus on executive functions (EF). Consistent with contemporary EF research, we distinguished between relatively “cool” EF tasks (i.e., performed in a context relatively free of emotional o...
Full Text Available It has been well documented an executive dysfunction in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD and with Reading Disorder (RD. The purpose of the present study was to test an alternative hypothesis that deficits in executive functioning within ADHD may be partially due to an impairment of the automatic processing. In addition, since the co-occurrence between ADHD and RD, we tested the hypothesis that the automatic processing may be a possible common cognitive factor between ADHD and RD. We investigated the automatic processing of selective visual attention through two experiments. 12 children with ADHD, 17 with ADHD+RD and 29 typically developing children, matched