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Sample records for engaging executive functions

  1. Lifestyle engagement affects cognitive status differences and trajectories on executive functions in older adults.

    PubMed

    de Frias, Cindy M; Dixon, Roger A

    2014-02-01

    The authors first examined the concurrent moderating role of lifestyle engagement on the relation between cognitive status (cognitively elite, cognitively normal [CN], and cognitively impaired [CI]) and executive functioning (EF) in older adults. Second, the authors examined whether baseline participation in lifestyle activities predicted differential 4.5-year stabilities and transitions in cognitive status. Participants (initial N = 501; 53-90 years) were from the Victoria Longitudinal Study. EF was represented by a 1-factor structure. Lifestyle activities were measured in multiple domains of engagement (e.g., cognitive, physical, and social). Two-wave status stability groups included sustained normal aging, transitional early impairment, and chronic impairment. Hierarchical regressions showed that baseline participation in social activities moderated cognitive status differences in EF. CI adults with high (but not low) social engagement performed equivalently to CN adults on EF. Longitudinally, logistic regressions showed that engagement in physical activities was a significant predictor of stability of cognitive status. CI adults who were more engaged in physical activities were more likely to improve in their cognitive status over time than their more sedentary peers. Participation in cognitive activities was a significant predictor of maintenance in a higher cognitive status group. Given that lifestyle engagement plays a detectable role in healthy, normal, and impaired neuropsychological aging, further research in activity-related associations and interventions is recommended. PMID:24323561

  2. Executive Functions

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Adele

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) make possible mentally playing with ideas; taking the time to think before acting; meeting novel, unanticipated challenges; resisting temptations; and staying focused. Core EFs are inhibition [response inhibition (self-control—resisting temptations and resisting acting impulsively) and interference control (selective attention and cognitive inhibition)], working memory, and cognitive flexibility (including creatively thinking “outside the box,” seeing anything from different perspectives, and quickly and flexibly adapting to changed circumstances). The developmental progression and representative measures of each are discussed. Controversies are addressed (e.g., the relation between EFs and fluid intelligence, self-regulation, executive attention, and effortful control, and the relation between working memory and inhibition and attention). The importance of social, emotional, and physical health for cognitive health is discussed because stress, lack of sleep, loneliness, or lack of exercise each impair EFs. That EFs are trainable and can be improved with practice is addressed, including diverse methods tried thus far. PMID:23020641

  3. Cognitively Engaging Chronic Physical Activity, But Not Aerobic Exercise, Affects Executive Functions in Primary School Children: A Group-Randomized Controlled Trial.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Mirko; Jäger, Katja; Egger, Fabienne; Roebers, Claudia M; Conzelmann, Achim

    2015-12-01

    Although the positive effects of different kinds of physical activity (PA) on cognitive functioning have already been demonstrated in a variety of studies, the role of cognitive engagement in promoting children's executive functions is still unclear. The aim of the current study was therefore to investigate the effects of two qualitatively different chronic PA interventions on executive functions in primary school children. Children (N = 181) aged between 10 and 12 years were assigned to either a 6-week physical education program with a high level of physical exertion and high cognitive engagement (team games), a physical education program with high physical exertion but low cognitive engagement (aerobic exercise), or to a physical education program with both low physical exertion and low cognitive engagement (control condition). Executive functions (updating, inhibition, shifting) and aerobic fitness (multistage 20-m shuttle run test) were measured before and after the respective condition. Results revealed that both interventions (team games and aerobic exercise) have a positive impact on children's aerobic fitness (4-5% increase in estimated VO2max). Importantly, an improvement in shifting performance was found only in the team games and not in the aerobic exercise or control condition. Thus, the inclusion of cognitive engagement in PA seems to be the most promising type of chronic intervention to enhance executive functions in children, providing further evidence for the importance of the qualitative aspects of PA. PMID:26866766

  4. The Contributions of "Hot" and "Cool" Executive Function to Children's Academic Achievement, Learning-Related Behaviors, and Engagement in Kindergarten

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brock, Laura L.; Rimm-Kaufman, Sara E.; Nathanson, Lori; Grimm, Kevin J.

    2009-01-01

    Executive functioning (EF) refers to higher order thought processes considered foundational for problem-solving. EF has both "cool" cognitive and "hot" emotional components. This study asks: (a) what are the relative contributions of "hot" and "cool" EF to children's academic achievement? (b) What are the relative contributions of "hot" and "cool"…

  5. Multisensory Executive Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hunt, Amelia R.; Kingstone, Alan

    2004-01-01

    To better understand the prefrontal circuitry that putatively supports executive functions, such as those involved in switching tasks, we asked whether a current task set is open equally to receiving information from any sensory modality or if it is to some degree modality-specific. Subjects were presented with a sequence of digits to be…

  6. Executive functioning in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Orellana, Gricel; Slachevsky, Andrea

    2013-01-01

    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 (WM), 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 WM 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 EFs may be considered central facts with respect to schizophrenia and it has been suggested that negative symptoms may be explained by that executive dysfunction. PMID:23805107

  7. Executive Functioning in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Orellana, Gricel; Slachevsky, Andrea

    2013-01-01

    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 (WM), 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 WM 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 EFs may be considered central facts with respect to schizophrenia and it has been suggested that negative symptoms may be explained by that executive dysfunction. PMID:23805107

  8. Metacognitive Monitoring of Executive Control Engagement during Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chevalier, Nicolas; Blaye, Agnès

    2016-01-01

    Emerging executive control supports greater autonomy and increasingly adaptive behavior during childhood. The present study addressed whether children's greater monitoring of how they engage control drives executive control development. Gaze position was recorded while twenty-five 6-year-olds and twenty-eight 10-year-olds performed a self-paced…

  9. Television and children's executive function.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Children spend a lot of time watching television on its many platforms: directly, online, and via videos and DVDs. Many researchers are concerned that some types of television content appear to negatively influence children's executive function. Because (1) executive function predicts key developmental outcomes, (2) executive function appears to be influenced by some television content, and (3) American children watch large quantities of television (including the content of concern), the issues discussed here comprise a crucial public health issue. Further research is needed to reveal exactly what television content is implicated, what underlies television's effect on executive function, how long the effect lasts, and who is affected. PMID:25735946

  10. Exergaming immediately enhances children's executive function.

    PubMed

    Best, John R

    2012-09-01

    The current study examined an important aspect of experience--physical activity--that may contribute to children's executive function. The design attempted to tease apart 2 important aspects of children's exercise by examining the separate and combined effects of acute physical activity and cognitive engagement on an aspect of children's executive functioning. In a 2 × 2 within-subject experimental design, children (N = 33, 6 to 10 years old) completed activities that varied systematically in both physical activity (physically active video games versus sedentary video activities) and cognitive engagement (challenging and interactive video games versus repetitive video activities). Cognitive functioning, including executive function, was assessed after each activity by a modified flanker task (Rueda et al., 2004). Whereas cognitive engagement had no effect on any aspect of task performance, physical activity (i.e., exergaming) enhanced children's speed to resolve interference from conflicting visuospatial stimuli. Age comparisons indicated improvements with age in the accuracy of resolving interference and in overall response time. The results extend past research by showing more precisely how physical activity influences executive function and how this effect differs from the improvements that occur with development. PMID:22148945

  11. Developmental Changes in Executive Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Kerry; Bull, Rebecca; Ho, Ringo M. H.

    2013-01-01

    Although early studies of executive functioning in children supported Miyake et al.'s (2000) three-factor model, more recent findings supported a variety of undifferentiated or two-factor structures. Using a cohort-sequential design, this study examined whether there were age-related differences in the structure of executive functioning among…

  12. Executive Function in Nephropathic Cystinosis

    PubMed Central

    Ballantyne, Angela O.; Spilkin, Amy M.; Trauner, Doris A.

    2013-01-01

    Objective We studied executive function in children and adolescents with cystinosis. Background Cystinosis is a genetic metabolic disorder in which the amino acid cystine accumulates in all organs of the body, including the brain. Previous research has shown that individuals with cystinosis have visuospatial deficits, but normal intelligence and intact verbal abilities. Better understanding of the behavioral phenotype associated with cystinosis could have important implications for treatment. Methods Twenty-eight children with cystinosis and 24 control participants (age range 8-17 years) underwent selected Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) tests for neuropsychological assessment of executive function, and the participants’ parents completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). Results Participants with cystinosis performed significantly more poorly than controls on all D-KEFS indices examined and on the BRIEF Metacognition Index and Global Executive Composite. Conclusions Executive function is an area of potential risk in cystinosis. Our data have implications not only for the function of affected children and adolescents in school and daily life, but also for disease management and treatment adherence. Our findings can aid in the design and implementation of interventions and lead to a greater understanding of brain-behavior relationships in cystinosis. PMID:23538568

  13. Lacking power impairs executive functions.

    PubMed

    Smith, Pamela K; Jostmann, Nils B; Galinsky, Adam D; van Dijk, Wilco W

    2008-05-01

    Four experiments explored whether lacking power impairs executive functioning, testing the hypothesis that the cognitive presses of powerlessness increase vulnerability to performance decrements during complex executive tasks. In the first three experiments, low power impaired performance on executive-function tasks: The powerless were less effective than the powerful at updating (Experiment 1), inhibiting (Experiment 2), and planning (Experiment 3). Existing research suggests that the powerless have difficulty distinguishing between what is goal relevant and what is goal irrelevant in the environment. A fourth experiment established that the executive-function impairment associated with low power is driven by goal neglect. The current research implies that the cognitive alterations arising from powerlessness may help foster stable social hierarchies and that empowering employees may reduce costly organizational errors. PMID:18466404

  14. Metacognitive Monitoring of Executive Control Engagement During Childhood.

    PubMed

    Chevalier, Nicolas; Blaye, Agnès

    2016-07-01

    Emerging executive control supports greater autonomy and increasingly adaptive behavior during childhood. The present study addressed whether children's greater monitoring of how they engage control drives executive control development. Gaze position was recorded while twenty-five 6-year-olds and twenty-eight 10-year-olds performed a self-paced task-switching paradigm in which they could proactively prepare for the next task for as long as they wanted before completing it. Gaze trajectories and performance showed that younger children were less well prepared than older children when they triggered the target, even though they could have taken longer to fully prepare. With age, children better monitor how they engage control, highlighting the contribution of metacognitive processes to executive control development. PMID:27084764

  15. Multiprocessor execution of functional programs

    SciTech Connect

    Goldberg, B. )

    1988-10-01

    Functional languages have recently gained attention as vehicles for programming in a concise and element manner. In addition, it has been suggested that functional programming provides a natural methodology for programming multiprocessor computers. This paper describes research that was performed to demonstrate that multiprocessor execution of functional programs on current multiprocessors is feasible, and results in a significant reduction in their execution times. Two implementations of the functional language ALFL were built on commercially available multiprocessors. Alfalfa is an implementation on the Intel iPSC hypercube multiprocessor, and Buckwheat is an implementation on the Encore Multimax shared-memory multiprocessor. Each implementation includes a compiler that performs automatic decomposition of ALFL programs and a run-time system that supports their execution. The compiler is responsible for detecting the inherent parallelism in a program, and decomposing the program into a collection of tasks, called serial combinators, that can be executed in parallel. The abstract machine model supported by Alfalfa and Buckwheat is called heterogeneous graph reduction, which is a hybrid of graph reduction and conventional stack-oriented execution. This model supports parallelism, lazy evaluation, and higher order functions while at the same time making efficient use of the processors in the system. The Alfalfa and Buckwheat runtime systems support dynamic load balancing, interprocessor communication (if required), and storage management. A large number of experiments were performed on Alfalfa and Buckwheat for a variety of programs. The results of these experiments, as well as the conclusions drawn from them, are presented.

  16. Executive function in CHARGE syndrome.

    PubMed

    Hartshorne, Timothy S; Nicholas, Jude; Grialou, Tina L; Russ, Joanna M

    2007-07-01

    This study addressed the presence of executive dysfunction in children with CHARGE syndrome, a genetic disorder with multiple physical anomalies and severe challenging behaviors. Ninety-eight children were included in the study. More than half received clinically significant scores on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF; Gioia et al., 2000) scales of Shift, Monitor, and the Behavioral Regulation Index, with additional high scores on Inhibit and the Global Executive Composite. Associations were found with the age the child first walked, scores on the Autism Behavior Checklist (ABC; Krug et al., 1993), and being classified as deafblind. Difficulties with making transitions and flexible problem solving, monitoring their work and their effect on others, and acting on impulse, may be related to the behavioral difficulties exhibited by children with CHARGE. Interventions targeting improved self-regulation may help to manage this challenging behavior. PMID:17564850

  17. Multiprocessor execution of functional programs

    SciTech Connect

    Goldberg, B.F.

    1988-01-01

    Functional languages have recently gained attention as vehicles for programming in a concise and elegant manner. In addition, it has been suggested that functional programming provides a natural methodology for programming multiprocessor computers. This dissertation demonstrates that multiprocessor execution of functional programs is feasible, and results in a significant reduction in their execution times. Two implementations of the functional language ALFL were built on commercially available multiprocessors. ALFL is an implementation on the Intel iPSC hypercube multiprocessor, and Buckwheat is an implementation on the Encore Multimax shared-memory multiprocessor. Each implementation includes a compiler that performs automatic decomposition of ALFL programs. The compiler is responsible for detecting the inherent parallelism in a program, and decomposing the program into a collection of tasks, called serial combinators, that can be executed in parallel. One of the primary goals of the compiler is to generate serial combinators exhibiting the coarsest granularity possibly without sacrificing useful parallelism. This dissertation describes the algorithms used by the compiler to analyze, decompose, and optimize functional programs. The abstract machine model supported by Alfalfa and Buckwheat is called heterogeneous graph reduction, which is a hybrid of graph reduction and conventional stack-oriented execution. This model supports parallelism, lazy evaluation, and higher order functions while at the same time making efficient use of the processors in the system. The Alfalfa and Buckwheat run-time systems support dynamic load balancing, interprocessor communication (if required) and storage management. A large number of experiments were performed on Alfalfa and Buckwheat for a variety of programs. The results of these experiments, as well as the conclusions drawn from them, are presented.

  18. On the Evolutionary Origins of Executive Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ardila, Alfredo

    2008-01-01

    In this paper it is proposed that the prefrontal lobe participates in two closely related but different executive function abilities: (1) "metacognitive executive functions": problem solving, planning, concept formation, strategy development and implementation, controlling attention, working memory, and the like; that is, executive functions as…

  19. Assessing Executive Functioning: A Pragmatic Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hass, Michael R.; Patterson, Ashlea; Sukraw, Jocelyn; Sullivan, Brianna M.

    2014-01-01

    Despite the common usage of the term "executive functioning" in neuropsychology, several aspects of this concept remain unsettled. In this paper, we will address some of the issues surrounding the notion of executive functioning and how an understanding of executive functioning and its components might assist school-based practitioners…

  20. Rumination prospectively predicts executive functioning impairments in adolescents

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Background and objectives 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. Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusions 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. PMID:23978629

  1. Executive functions in developmental dyslexia

    PubMed Central

    Varvara, Pamela; Varuzza, Cristiana; Sorrentino, Anna C. P.; Vicari, Stefano; Menghini, Deny

    2014-01-01

    The present study was aimed at investigating different aspects of Executive Functions (EF) in children with Developmental Dyslexia (DD). A neuropsychological battery tapping verbal fluency, spoonerism, attention, verbal shifting, short-term and working memory was used to assess 60 children with DD and 65 with typical reading (TR) abilities. Compared to their controls, children with DD showed deficits in several EF domains such as verbal categorical and phonological fluency, visual-spatial and auditory attention, spoonerism, verbal and visual short-term memory, and verbal working memory. Moreover, exploring predictive relationships between EF measures and reading, we found that spoonerism abilities better explained word and non-word reading deficits. Although to a lesser extent, auditory and visual-spatial attention also explained the increased percentage of variance related to reading deficit. EF deficits found in DD are interpreted as an expression of a deficient functioning of the Central Executive System and are discussed in the context of the recent temporal sampling theory. PMID:24639640

  2. Executive control and felt concentrative engagement following intensive meditation training

    PubMed Central

    Zanesco, Anthony P.; King, Brandon G.; MacLean, Katherine A.; Saron, Clifford D.

    2013-01-01

    Various forms of mental training have been shown to improve performance on cognitively demanding tasks. Individuals trained in meditative practices, for example, show generalized improvements on a variety of tasks assessing attentional performance. A central claim of this training, derived from contemplative traditions, posits that improved attentional performance is accompanied by subjective increases in the stability and clarity of concentrative engagement with one's object of focus, as well as reductions in felt cognitive effort as expertise develops. However, despite frequent claims of mental stability following training, the phenomenological correlates of meditation-related attentional improvements have yet to be characterized. In a longitudinal study, we assessed changes in executive control (performance on a 32-min response inhibition task) and retrospective reports of task engagement (concentration, motivation, and effort) following one month of intensive, daily Vipassana meditation training. Compared to matched controls, training participants exhibited improvements in response inhibition accuracy and reductions in reaction time variability. The training group also reported increases in concentration, but not effort or motivation, during task performance. Critically, increases in concentration predicted improvements in reaction time variability, suggesting a link between the experience of concentrative engagement and ongoing fluctuations in attentional stability. By incorporating experiential measures of task performance, the present study corroborates phenomenological accounts of stable, clear attentional engagement with the object of meditative focus following extensive training. These results provide initial evidence that meditation-related changes in felt experience accompany improvements in adaptive, goal-directed behavior, and that such shifts may reflect accurate awareness of measurable changes in performance. PMID:24065902

  3. Executive Functions in Savant Artists with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crane, Laura; Pring, Linda; Ryder, Nicola; Hermelin, Beate

    2011-01-01

    Although executive functions have been widely studied in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), there have been no direct empirical studies of executive abilities in savants with ASD. This study assessed three facets of executive ability (fluency, perseveration and monitoring) in savant artists with ASD, compared to non-talented adults…

  4. Musical Expertise, Bilingualism, and Executive Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bialystok, Ellen; DePape, Anne-Marie

    2009-01-01

    The authors investigated whether intensive musical experience leads to enhancements in executive processing, as has been shown for bilingualism. Young adults who were bilinguals, musical performers (instrumentalists or vocalists), or neither completed 3 cognitive measures and 2 executive function tasks based on conflict. Both executive function…

  5. Conceptualization and Operationalization of Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baggetta, Peter; Alexander, Patricia A.

    2016-01-01

    Executive function is comprised of different behavioral and cognitive elements and is considered to play a significant role in learning and academic achievement. Educational researchers frequently study the construct. However, because of its complexity functionally, the research on executive function can at times be both confusing and…

  6. Executive Functions in Children with Dyslexia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reiter, Astrid; Tucha, Oliver; Lange, Klaus W.

    2005-01-01

    There is little data available concerning the executive functions of children with dyslexia. The small number of existing studies in this field focus on single aspects of these functions such as working memory. The aim of the present study was therefore to assess a variety of aspects of executive functioning in children with dyslexia. Forty-two…

  7. Executive control functions in simulated driving.

    PubMed

    Mäntylä, Timo; Karlsson, Martin J; Marklund, Markus

    2009-01-01

    Teenage novice drivers have elevated crash rates compared with more experienced drivers. This study examined the hypothesis that driving accidents in young adults are associated with individual and developmental differences in prefrontally-mediated executive control functions. High-school students completed a simulated driving task and six experimental tasks that tapped three basic components of executive functioning (response inhibition, working memory updating, and mental shifting). Individual differences in executive functioning were related to simulated driving performance, and these effects were selective in that the updating component of executive functioning was the primary predictor of driving performance. Furthermore, the observed effects were accentuated in participants with minimal experience of computer games, suggesting that computer game skills compensated for inefficient working memory functions. The results of this study suggest that individual and developmental differences in executive functions contribute to driving accidents in young adults. PMID:19205943

  8. Understanding the Executive Functioning Heterogeneity in Schizophrenia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raffard, Stephane; Bayard, Sophie

    2012-01-01

    Schizophrenia is characterized by heterogeneous brain abnormalities involving cerebral regions implied in the executive functioning. The dysexecutive syndrome is one of the most prominent and functionally cognitive features of schizophrenia. Nevertheless, it is not clear to what extend executive deficits are heterogeneous in schizophrenia…

  9. Executive Functions Development and Playing Games

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petty, Ana Lucia; de Souza, Maria Thereza C. Coelho

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to discuss executive functions and playing games, considering Piaget's work (1967) and the neuropsychological framework (Barkley, 1997, 2000; Cypel, 2007). Two questions guide the discussion: What are the intersections between playing games and the development of executive functions? Can we stimulate children with learning…

  10. Executive Function and Early Reading Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foy, Judith G.; Mann, Virginia A.

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Inhibition, Executive Function, and Freezing of Gait

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Rajal G.; Klein, Krystal A.; Nomura, Mariko; Fleming, Michael; Mancini, Martina; Giladi, Nir; Nutt, John G.; Horak, Fay B.

    2014-01-01

    Background Studies suggest that freezing of gait (FoG) in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) is associated with declines in executive function (EF). However, EF is multi-faceted, including three dissociable components: inhibiting prepotent responses, switching between task sets, and updating working memory. Objective This study investigated which aspect of EF is most strongly associated with FoG in PD. Method Three groups were studied: adults with PD (with and without FoG) and age-matched, healthy adults. All participants completed a battery of cognitive tasks previously shown to discriminate among the three EF components. Participants also completed a turning-in-place task that was scored for FoG by neurologists blind to subjects’ self-reported FoG. Results Compared to both other groups, participants with FoG showed significant performance deficits in tasks associated with inhibitory control, even after accounting for differences in disease severity, but no significant deficits in task-switching or updating working memory. Surprisingly, the strongest effect was an intermittent tendency of participants with FoG to hesitate, and thus miss the response window, on go trials in the Go-Nogo task. The FoG group also made slower responses in the conflict condition of the Stroop task. Physician-rated FoG scores were correlated both with failures to respond on go trials and with failures to inhibit responses on nogo trials in the Go-Nogo task. Conclusion These results suggest that FoG is associated with a specific inability to appropriately engage and release inhibition, rather than with a general executive deficit. PMID:24496099

  12. SPECIFIC EFFECTS OF ANGER RUMINATION ON PARTICULAR EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS (.).

    PubMed

    Ding, Xinfang; Yang, Yin; Qian, Mingyi; Gordon-Hollingsworth, Arlene

    2015-12-01

    The effects of two types of rumination on different kinds of executive functions were investigated. Fifty-nine participants (M age = 22.8 yr., SD = 2.5) were assigned to one of three conditions and instructed either to: (1) ruminate in a self-distanced way, (2) ruminate in a self-immersed way, or (3) think about the layout of their campus following anger induction. Afterward, the participants were directed to finish tasks designed to assess three kinds of executive functions: shifting, inhibition, and updating. Results showed that self-immersed rumination impaired shifting ability the most, while participants engaged in self-distanced rumination showed the worst performance on the inhibition task. No significant difference was found in the updating task. These results suggest that rumination influenced particular executive functions in different ways. PMID:26595287

  13. Effect of functional overreaching on executive functions.

    PubMed

    Dupuy, O; Renaud, M; Bherer, L; Bosquet, L

    2010-09-01

    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. PMID:20544582

  14. Executive Function Mechanisms of Theory of Mind

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ahmed, Fayeza S.; Miller, L. Stephen

    2011-01-01

    This study examined the relationship between Executive Function (EF) and Theory of Mind (ToM) using the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) and three tests of ToM (Reading the Mind in the Eyes test (RMET), Strange Stories test, and Faux Pas test). Separate regression analyses were conducted, and EF predictors varied by ToM test. No EF…

  15. Prospective memory and executive function in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Kondel, Tejinder K

    2002-01-01

    Experimental studies of normal subjects have shown that the intention to perform an action speeds word recognition for items related to that intention (Goschke & Kuhl, 1993). This phenomenon--the intention superiority effect (ISE)--is thought to be mediated by frontal executive functions. Since schizophrenia is characteristically associated with forms of frontal-executive dysfunction, an impaired ISE might be expected in this patient group. A script-learning paradigm was used to investigate the ISE in 10 schizophrenics who do show evidence of executive dysfunction and in 10 who do not. As predicted, only the former showed an ISE; however, all schizophrenics showed an ISE to words semantically related to the intention. It seems that the ability to form specific intentions is impaired only in schizophrenics with executive dysfunction; however, they retain the ability to form more generalized intentions. PMID:12030477

  16. Executive Function and Language in Deaf Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Figueras, Berta; Edwards, Lindsey; Langdon, Dawn

    2008-01-01

    The relationship between language and executive function (EF) and their development in children have been the focus of recent debate and are of theoretical and clinical importance. Exploration of these functions in children with a peripheral hearing loss has the potential to be informative from both perspectives. This study compared the EF and…

  17. [EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS AND PSYCHOPATHOLOGY: CURRENT STATUS].

    PubMed

    Balbi, Paula; Roussos, Andrés

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this review is to bring clinicians closer to the current discussion about the complex concept of Executive Functions in mental disorders that the DSM includes in axis 1, such as Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Social Phobia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The present controversies about the definitions of Executive Functions are exposed as well as the importance of its study. The article also presents the idea that patients with these disorders suffer alterations in their Executive Functions and as the knowledge in this area is fragmented and contradictory, it is important to continue its study. Fi- nally, the review concludes that not only it is necessary to define the neuropsychological profile in different disorders but also to work together with the clinicians to build a common place of study and discussion. PMID:26323107

  18. Longitudinal antecedents of executive function in preschoolers.

    PubMed

    Conway, Anne; Stifter, Cynthia A

    2012-01-01

    Despite an extensive history underscoring the role of social processes and child contributions to the development of executive functions (C. Lewis & J. Carpendale, 2009; L. S. Vygotsky, 1987), research on these relations is sparse. To address this gap, 68 mother-child dyads were examined to determine whether maternal attention-directing behaviors (attention maintaining, attention redirection) and toddlers' temperament predicted executive processes during preschool (mean age = 4.5 years, SD = 0.46)-delay and conflict inhibition. Maternal attention maintaining was associated with high levels of conflict inhibition for inhibited and exuberant children, whereas attention redirection was associated with low levels of delay and conflict inhibition for inhibited children. Therefore, maternal attention-directing behaviors may enhance the development of executive functions but only for children with inhibited and exuberant temperaments. PMID:22469209

  19. Executive Functions in Individuals with Intellectual Disability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danielsson, Henrik; Henry, Lucy; Ronnberg, Jerker; Nilsson, Lars-Goran

    2010-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate executive functions in adults with intellectual disability, and compare them to a closely matched control group longitudinally for 5 years. In the Betula database, a group of adults with intellectual disability (ID, n = 46) was defined from measures of verbal and non-verbal IQ. A control group, with…

  20. Promoting Executive Function in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meltzer, Lynn

    2010-01-01

    Accessible and practical, this book helps teachers incorporate executive function processes--such as planning, organizing, prioritizing, and self-checking--into the classroom curriculum. Chapters provide effective strategies for optimizing what K-12 students learn by improving how they learn. Noted authority Lynn Meltzer and her research…

  1. Executive functions predict conceptual learning of science.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    We examined the relationship between executive functions and both factual and conceptual learning of science, specifically chemistry, in early adolescence. Sixty-three pupils in their second year of secondary school (aged 12-13 years) participated. Pupils completed tasks of working memory (Spatial Working Memory), inhibition (Stop-Signal), attention set-shifting (ID/ED), and planning (Stockings of Cambridge), from the CANTAB. They also participated in a chemistry teaching session, practical, and assessment on the topic of acids and alkalis designed specifically for this study. Executive function data were related to (1) the chemistry assessment which included aspects of factual and conceptual learning and (2) a recent school science exam. Correlational analyses between executive functions and both the chemistry assessment and science grades revealed that science achievements were significantly correlated with working memory. Linear regression analysis revealed that visuospatial working memory ability was predictive of chemistry performance. Interestingly, this relationship was observed solely in relation to the conceptual learning condition of the assessment highlighting the role of executive functions in understanding and applying knowledge about what is learned within science teaching. PMID:26751597

  2. Intergenerational Transmission of Neuropsychological Executive Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Executive functions in borderline personality disorder.

    PubMed

    Hagenhoff, Meike; Franzen, Nele; Koppe, Georgia; Baer, Nina; Scheibel, Niki; Sammer, Gebhard; Gallhofer, Bernd; Lis, Stefanie

    2013-11-30

    Different domains of executive function such as working memory and response inhibition were investigated together with elementary cognitive processes in borderline personality disorder (BPD). Patients with BPD (N=28) were compared to nonpatient controls (NP, N=28) on eight tasks (e.g. n-back, Go/NoGo, CPT-AX). In order to separate impairments in different cognitive domains and to assess the influence of more elementary cognitive processes on executive functioning, tasks were embedded in a reaction-time-decomposition approach. BPD patients solved tasks with accuracies comparable to those of nonpatients. The only exception was the n-back task, for which working memory is required: here, error rates were higher and increased more prominently in BPD patients depending on working memory load. In most tasks, movement times were shorter for BPD patients than for nonpatients, while the quality of task-solving was comparable. The faster processing in the BPD group was observable starting with the simplest task, i.e. a simple reaction-time task. These findings suggest that domains of executive functioning are differentially affected in BPD. In contrast to load-dependent deficits in working memory, response inhibition processes were unimpaired. Faster action-related processes could be observed in BPD patients in a variety of tasks; however, these did not influence executive functioning. PMID:23764434

  4. Infant Attention and Early Childhood Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cuevas, Kimberly; Bell, Martha Ann

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Executive Function in Adolescents with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

    Background: 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…

  6. Executive Functions in Individuals with Williams Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Menghini, D.; Addona, F.; Costanzo, F.; Vicari, S.

    2010-01-01

    Background: The present study was aimed at investigating working memory (WM) and executive functions capacities in individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) as compared with mental-age matched typically developing (TD) children. Method: In order to serve the study goal, a sizeable battery of tasks tapping WM as well as attention, memory, planning,…

  7. Executive Function in Williams and Down Syndromes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carney, Daniel P. J.; Brown, Janice H.; Henry, Lucy A.

    2013-01-01

    Williams (WS) and Down (DS) syndromes are characterised by roughly opposing ability profiles. Relative verbal strengths and visuospatial difficulties have been reported in those with WS, while expressive language difficulties have been observed in individuals with DS. Few investigations into the executive function (EF) skills of these groups have…

  8. Longitudinal Antecedents of Executive Function in Preschoolers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conway, Anne; Stifter, Cynthia A.

    2012-01-01

    Despite an extensive history underscoring the role of social processes and child contributions to the development of executive functions (C. Lewis & J. Carpendale, 2009; L. S. Vygotsky, 1987), research on these relations is sparse. To address this gap, 68 mother-child dyads were examined to determine whether maternal attention-directing behaviors…

  9. Executive Functions: Formative versus Reflective Measurement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Willoughby, Michael; Holochwost, Steven J.; Blanton, Zane E.; Blair, Clancy B.

    2014-01-01

    The primary objective of this article was to critically evaluate the routine use of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) for representing an individual's performance across a battery of executive function tasks. A conceptual review and statistical reanalysis of N = 10 studies that used CFA methods of EF tasks was undertaken. Despite evidence of…

  10. The hippocampus and executive functions in depression

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Shahbaz Ali; Ryali, VSSR; Bhat, Pookala Shivaram; Prakash, Jyoti; Srivastava, Kalpana; Khanam, Shagufta

    2015-01-01

    Background: The relationship between depression, hippocampus (HC), and executive dysfunctions seems complex and has been the focus of research. Recent evidence indicates a possible role of HC in executive dysfunction seen in depression. No such studies on Indian population have been done. Aim: To look for changes in HC and executive functions in depression. Settings and Design: A cross-sectional analytical controlled study. Sample size 50 (controls 50). Materials and Methods: Hippocampal volume and executive dysfunction was measured using structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), respectively. Findings on these two parameters were compared between depressives and healthy matched controls as well as between first episode (FE) and recurrent depressives and across the severity of depression (mild, moderate, and severe). Statistical Analysis: Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17 was used for analysis. Normally distributed continuous variables were analyzed with independent t-tests. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used for multiple comparisons. Categorical data were compared with χ2 or Fisher's exact test. Clinical correlations were conducted using Pearson correlations. Result: Depressed patients had a smaller left (Lt) hippocampal volume as well as poor performance on several measures of executive functions. Smaller hippocampal volume was found even in FE. Those who had a past burden of depressive illness had an even smaller hippocampal volume. No direct correlation was found between the HC volume and cognitive dysfunction. Conclusion: Depressive illness appears to be toxic to the HC. The relationship between HC and executive dysfunction in depression may be indirect through its functional connections. PMID:26257478

  11. Unraveling Executive Functioning in Dual Diagnosis.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    In mental health, the term dual-diagnosis is used for the co-occurrence of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) with another mental disorder. These co-occurring disorders can have a shared cause, and can cause/intensify each other's expression. Forming a threat to health and society, dual-diagnosis is associated with relapses in addiction-related behavior and a destructive lifestyle. This is due to a persistent failure to control impulses and the maintaining of inadequate self-regulatory behavior in daily life. Thus, several aspects of executive functioning like inhibitory, shifting and updating processes seem impaired in dual-diagnosis. Executive (dys-)function is currently even seen as a shared underlying key component of most mental disorders. However, the number of studies on diverse aspects of executive functioning in dual-diagnosis is limited. In the present review, a systematic overview of various aspects of executive functioning in dual-diagnosis is presented, striving for a prototypical profile of patients with dual-diagnosis. Looking at empirical results, inhibitory and shifting processes appear to be impaired for SUD combined with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or cluster B personality disorders. Studies involving updating process tasks for dual-diagnosis were limited. More research that zooms in to the full diversity of these executive functions is needed in order to strengthen these findings. Detailed insight in the profile of strengths and weaknesses that underlies one's behavior and is related to diagnostic classifications, can lead to tailor-made assessment and indications for treatment, pointing out which aspects need attention and/or training in one's self-regulative abilities. PMID:27445939

  12. Unraveling Executive Functioning in Dual Diagnosis

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    In mental health, the term dual-diagnosis is used for the co-occurrence of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) with another mental disorder. These co-occurring disorders can have a shared cause, and can cause/intensify each other’s expression. Forming a threat to health and society, dual-diagnosis is associated with relapses in addiction-related behavior and a destructive lifestyle. This is due to a persistent failure to control impulses and the maintaining of inadequate self-regulatory behavior in daily life. Thus, several aspects of executive functioning like inhibitory, shifting and updating processes seem impaired in dual-diagnosis. Executive (dys-)function is currently even seen as a shared underlying key component of most mental disorders. However, the number of studies on diverse aspects of executive functioning in dual-diagnosis is limited. In the present review, a systematic overview of various aspects of executive functioning in dual-diagnosis is presented, striving for a prototypical profile of patients with dual-diagnosis. Looking at empirical results, inhibitory and shifting processes appear to be impaired for SUD combined with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or cluster B personality disorders. Studies involving updating process tasks for dual-diagnosis were limited. More research that zooms in to the full diversity of these executive functions is needed in order to strengthen these findings. Detailed insight in the profile of strengths and weaknesses that underlies one’s behavior and is related to diagnostic classifications, can lead to tailor-made assessment and indications for treatment, pointing out which aspects need attention and/or training in one’s self-regulative abilities. PMID:27445939

  13. Imaging the genetics of executive function.

    PubMed

    Greene, Ciara M; Braet, Wouter; Johnson, Katherine A; Bellgrove, Mark A

    2008-09-01

    Recent advances in neuroimaging technologies have allowed ever more detailed studies of the human brain. The combination of neuroimaging techniques with genetics may provide a more sensitive measure of the influence of genetic variants on cognitive function than behavioural measures alone. Here we present a review of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of genetic links to executive functions, focusing on sustained attention, working memory and response inhibition. In addition to studies in the normal population, we also address findings from three clinical populations: schizophrenia, ADHD and autism spectrum disorders. While the findings in the populations studied do not always converge, they all point to the usefulness of neuroimaging techniques such as fMRI as potential endophenotypes for parsing the genetic aetiology of executive function. PMID:18178303

  14. Executive Functioning in Highly Talented Soccer Players

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Executive functioning in highly talented soccer players.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Early executive function predicts reasoning development.

    PubMed

    Richland, Lindsey E; Burchinal, Margaret R

    2013-01-01

    Analogical reasoning is a core cognitive skill that distinguishes humans from all other species and contributes to general fluid intelligence, creativity, and adaptive learning capacities. Yet its origins are not well understood. In the study reported here, we analyzed large-scale longitudinal data from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development to test predictors of growth in analogical-reasoning skill from third grade to adolescence. Our results suggest an integrative resolution to the theoretical debate regarding contributory factors arising from smaller-scale, cross-sectional experiments on analogy development. Children with greater executive-function skills (both composite and inhibitory control) and vocabulary knowledge in early elementary school displayed higher scores on a verbal analogies task at age 15 years, even after adjusting for key covariates. We posit that knowledge is a prerequisite to analogy performance, but strong executive-functioning resources during early childhood are related to long-term gains in fundamental reasoning skills. PMID:23184588

  17. Development patterns of executive functions in children.

    PubMed

    Juric, Lorena Canet; Richards, María M; Introzzi, Isabel; Andrés, María Laura; Urquijo, Sebastián

    2013-01-01

    Executive Functions (EF) exercise control over an individual's conduct and thinking through a set of functionally independent processes, among which are cognitive flexibility (reactive and spontaneous), working memory and planning. The development patterns of these components appear to have stages of acceleration and deceleration during childhood. Studies analyzing their development in Spanish-speaking children were not found in our area. Therefore, this study will analyze the development patterns of the cited executive functions with the objective of establishing relationships and comparisons, and identifying the stages of acceleration and stagnation for each component. The study's sample consists of 274 schoolchildren between the ages of 6 and 8 (119 in first grade, 61 in second grade and 94 in third grade). Participants were evaluated using the following instruments from the Neuropsychological Assessment of Children test battery (known by the acronym ENI in Spanish): Verbal Fluency (semantic and phonemic); Cognitive Flexibility; Mexican Pyramid; and Backward Digit Span. Three different development patterns were detected, as well as different interactions between the executive components. Additionally, three empirical types were established based on the patterns and relationships between components. PMID:23866237

  18. On-line social interactions and executive functions

    PubMed Central

    Ybarra, Oscar; Winkielman, Piotr

    2012-01-01

    A successful social interaction often requires on-line and active construction of an ever-changing mental-model of another person’s beliefs, expectations, emotions, and desires. It also requires the ability to maintain focus, problem-solve, and flexibly pursue goals in a distraction-rich environment, as well as the ability to take-turns and inhibit inappropriate behaviors. Many of 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 suggests that engaging in 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 mentally engage with another person and actively construct a model of their mind. We review this literature and highlight its connection with evolutionary and cultural theories emphasizing links between intelligence and sociality. PMID:22509160

  19. The Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System: A Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swanson, Jewel

    2005-01-01

    The Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS; Delis, Kaplan, & Kramer, 2001a) is a set of standardized tests for comprehensively assessing higher-level cognitive functions, referred to as "executive functions," in both children and adults (aged 8 to 89). Executive functions draw on the individual's more fundamental or primary cognitive…

  20. Infant Attention and Early Childhood Executive Function

    PubMed Central

    Cuevas, Kimberly; Bell, Martha Ann

    2013-01-01

    Individual differences in infant attention are theorized to reflect the speed of information processing and are related to later cognitive abilities (i.e., memory, language, intelligence). This study provides the first systematic longitudinal analysis of infant attention and early childhood executive function (EF; e.g., working memory, inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility). A group of 5-month-olds (n = 201) were classified as short or long lookers. At 24, 36, and 48 months of age, children completed age-appropriate EF tasks. Infant short lookers (i.e., more efficient information processors) exhibited higher EF throughout early childhood as compared to infant long lookers, even after controlling for verbal ability (a potential indicator of intelligence). These findings are discussed in relation to the emergence of executive attention. PMID:23711103

  1. A Naturalistic Study of Executive Function and Mathematical Problem-Solving

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kotsopoulos, Donna; Lee, Joanne

    2012-01-01

    Our goal in this research was to understand the specific challenges middle-school students face when engaging in mathematical problem-solving by using executive function (i.e., shifting, updating, and inhibiting) of working memory as a functional construct for the analysis. Using modified talk-aloud protocols, real-time naturalistic analysis of…

  2. Acute cardiovascular exercise and executive control function.

    PubMed

    Hillman, Charles H; Snook, Erin M; Jerome, Gerald J

    2003-06-01

    Acute cardiovascular exercise effects on cognitive function were examined using an executive control task by comparing neuroelectric and behavioral performance at baseline with post-exercise in 20 undergraduates. A within-subjects design was used to assess the P3 component of an event-related brain potential (ERP) and behavioral performance using a task that varied the amount of executive control required. The baseline session involved participation on the Eriksen flankers task followed by a graded maximal exercise test to measure cardiovascular fitness. The exercise session consisted of a 30-min acute bout of exercise on a treadmill followed by the Eriksen flankers task after heart rate returned to within 10% of pre-exercise levels. Across midline recordings sites, results indicated larger P3 amplitude following acute exercise compared to baseline. Shorter P3 latency was observed during the baseline Eriksen flankers task for the neutral compared to the incompatible condition; an effect not found following the acute bout of exercise. These findings suggest that acute bouts of cardiovascular exercise affect neuroelectric processes underlying executive control through the increased allocation of neuroelectric resources and through changes in cognitive processing and stimulus classification speed. PMID:12798990

  3. Executive Function and the Promotion of Social-Emotional Competence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riggs, Nathaniel R.; Jahromi, Laudan B.; Razza, Rachel P.; Dillworth-Bart, Janean E.; Mueller, Ulrich

    2006-01-01

    Executive function is understood as an umbrella term encompassing a number of interrelated sub-skills necessary for purposeful, goal-directed activity. Research suggests a vital role for executive function in children's social-emotional development. However, executive function is rarely considered in models of intervention programs that attempt to…

  4. Getting the right grasp on executive function.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Preschool Executive Functioning Abilities Predict Early Mathematics Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Caron A. C.; Pritchard, Verena E.; Woodward, Lianne J.

    2010-01-01

    Impairments in executive function have been documented in school-age children with mathematical learning difficulties. However, the utility and specificity of preschool executive function abilities in predicting later mathematical achievement are poorly understood. This study examined linkages between children's developing executive function…

  6. Executive Function and Emotion Regulation Strategy Use in Adolescents.

    PubMed

    Lantrip, Crystal; Isquith, Peter K; Koven, Nancy S; Welsh, Kathleen; Roth, Robert M

    2016-01-01

    Development of emotion regulation strategy use involves a transition from reliance on suppression during childhood to greater use of reappraisal in adolescence and adulthood-a transition that parallels developmental changes in executive functions. We evaluated the relationship between emotion regulation strategy use and executive functioning in the everyday life of 70 typically developing adolescents who completed the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire for Youth and the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Self-Report. Results indicated that greater reliance on reappraisal was associated with better executive functions, while reliance on suppression was related to poorer executive functions. Findings suggest that adolescents who rely on reappraisal may have more cognitive resources to help them remain attentive and well regulated in their daily lives. On the other hand, if better executive functions facilitate the use of reappraisal, adolescents' ability to regulate their emotions could potentially be enhanced via supports for executive functions. PMID:25650638

  7. Executive function and language in deaf children.

    PubMed

    Figueras, Berta; Edwards, Lindsey; Langdon, Dawn

    2008-01-01

    The relationship between language and executive function (EF) and their development in children have been the focus of recent debate and are of theoretical and clinical importance. Exploration of these functions in children with a peripheral hearing loss has the potential to be informative from both perspectives. This study compared the EF and language skills of 8- to 12-year-old children with cochlear implants (n = 22) and nonimplanted deaf children (n = 25) with those of age-matched hearing controls (n = 22). Implanted and nonimplanted deaf children performed below the level of hearing children on tests assessing oral receptive language, as well as on a number of EF tests, but no significant differences emerged between the implanted and nonimplanted deaf groups. Language ability was significantly positively associated with EF in both hearing and deaf children. Possible interpretations of these findings are suggested and the theoretical and clinical implications considered. PMID:18252699

  8. A real-life, ecologically valid test of executive functioning: the executive secretarial task.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

    A major goal of neuropsychological assessment is predicting a person's level of functioning in daily life. Making predictions about everyday executive functioning based on tests is problematic because of the contrast between demands made in the test environment and demands made in everyday life (Shallice & Burgess, 1991). As executive functions play an important role in independent functioning, tests with robust psychometric properties and ecologically validity are needed. We developed the Executive Secretarial Task (EST) and assessed 92 participants: 35 brain-injured patients and 57 controls. Analyses showed the EST is sensitive to executive problems and has concurrent and ecological validity. PMID:19408184

  9. [Development of executive functions in preterm children].

    PubMed

    Borradori Tolsa, C; Barisnikov, K; Lejeune, F; Hüppi, P

    2014-09-01

    The rate of children born prematurely has increased considerably in the last few decades, and their developmental outcome remains of great concern. The literature on the impact of prematurity has reported a wide range of cognitive and behavioral problems that may be related to deficits in executive function (EF) skills. EF refers to a series of high-level processes (selective attention, inhibition, set shifting, working memory, planning, goal setting) that develop throughout childhood and adolescence and play an important role in cognitive and social development as well as in school achievement. EF skills have been linked to the prefrontal cortex, as well as to other neural networks and brain regions including the basal ganglia and cerebellum. This paper focuses on studies related to the development of EF and social behavior in children born preterm. The preschool period is a critical time to perform neuropsychological assessment in addition to IQ testing, and to detect the child's specific needs in order to adapt effective intervention to enhance the development of executive processes in these high-risk children. PMID:25089045

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lederman, Sheri G.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

    Children begin performing similarly to adults on tasks requiring executive functions in late childhood, a transition that is probably due to neuroanatomical fine-tuning processes, including myelination and synaptic pruning. In parallel to such structural changes in neuroanatomical organization, development of functional organization may also be associated with cognitive behaviors in children. We examined 6- to 10-year-old children's cortical thickness, functional organization, and cognitive performance. We used structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify areas with cortical thinning, resting-state fMRI to identify functional organization in parallel to cortical development, and working memory/response inhibition tasks to assess executive functioning. We found that neuroanatomical changes in the form of cortical thinning spread over bilateral frontal, parietal, and occipital regions. These regions were engaged in 3 functional networks: sensorimotor and auditory, executive control, and default mode network. Furthermore, we found that working memory and response inhibition only associated with regional functional connectivity, but not topological organization (i.e., local and global efficiency of information transfer) of these functional networks. Interestingly, functional connections associated with "bottom-up" as opposed to "top-down" processing were more clearly related to children's performance on working memory and response inhibition, implying an important role for brain systems involved in late childhood. PMID:23448875

  12. A Developmental Perspective on Executive Function

    PubMed Central

    Best, John R.; Miller, Patricia H.

    2010-01-01

    This review paper examines theoretical and methodological issues in the construction of a developmental perspective on executive function (EF) in childhood and adolescence. Unlike most reviews of EF, which focus on preschoolers, this review focuses on studies that include large age ranges. It outlines the development of the foundational components of EF—inhibition, working memory, and shifting. Cognitive and neurophysiological assessments show that although EF emerges during the first few years of life, it continues to strengthen significantly throughout childhood and adolescence. The components vary somewhat in their developmental trajectories. The paper relates the findings to longstanding issues of development (e.g., developmental sequences, trajectories, and processes) and suggests research needed for constructing a developmental framework encompassing early childhood through adolescence. PMID:21077853

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

    PubMed Central

    Best, John R.

    2011-01-01

    Executive function refers to the cognitive processes necessary for goal-directed cognition and behavior, which develop across childhood and adolescence. Recent experimental research indicates that both acute and chronic aerobic exercise promote children’s executive function. Furthermore, there is tentative evidence that not all forms of aerobic exercise benefit executive function equally: Cognitively-engaging exercise appears to have a stronger effect than non-engaging exercise on children’s executive function. This review discusses this evidence as well as the mechanisms that may underlie the association between exercise and executive function. Research from a variety of disciplines is covered, including developmental psychology, kinesiology, cognitive neuroscience, and biopsychology. Finally, these experimental findings are placed within the larger context of known links between action and cognition in infancy and early childhood, and the clinical and practical implications of this research are discussed. PMID:21818169

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. A Bidirectional Relationship between Executive Function and Health Behavior: Evidence, Implications, and Future Directions

    PubMed Central

    Allan, Julia L.; McMinn, David; Daly, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Physically active lifestyles and other health-enhancing behaviors play an important role in preserving executive function into old age. Conversely, emerging research suggests that executive functions facilitate participation in a broad range of healthy behaviors including physical activity and reduced fatty food, tobacco, and alcohol consumption. They do this by supporting the volition, planning, performance monitoring, and inhibition necessary to enact intentions and override urges to engage in health damaging behavior. Here, we focus firstly on evidence suggesting that health-enhancing behaviors can induce improvements in executive function. We then switch our focus to findings linking executive function to the consistent performance of health-promoting behaviors and the avoidance of health risk behaviors. We suggest that executive function, health behavior, and disease processes are interdependent. In particular, we argue that a positive feedback loop may exist whereby health behavior-induced changes in executive function foster subsequent health-enhancing behaviors, which in turn help sustain efficient executive functions and good health. We conclude by outlining the implications of this reciprocal relationship for intervention strategies, the design of research studies, and the study of healthy aging. PMID:27601977

  16. A Bidirectional Relationship between Executive Function and Health Behavior: Evidence, Implications, and Future Directions.

    PubMed

    Allan, Julia L; McMinn, David; Daly, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Physically active lifestyles and other health-enhancing behaviors play an important role in preserving executive function into old age. Conversely, emerging research suggests that executive functions facilitate participation in a broad range of healthy behaviors including physical activity and reduced fatty food, tobacco, and alcohol consumption. They do this by supporting the volition, planning, performance monitoring, and inhibition necessary to enact intentions and override urges to engage in health damaging behavior. Here, we focus firstly on evidence suggesting that health-enhancing behaviors can induce improvements in executive function. We then switch our focus to findings linking executive function to the consistent performance of health-promoting behaviors and the avoidance of health risk behaviors. We suggest that executive function, health behavior, and disease processes are interdependent. In particular, we argue that a positive feedback loop may exist whereby health behavior-induced changes in executive function foster subsequent health-enhancing behaviors, which in turn help sustain efficient executive functions and good health. We conclude by outlining the implications of this reciprocal relationship for intervention strategies, the design of research studies, and the study of healthy aging. PMID:27601977

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Current standardized neuropsychological tests may fail to accurately capture real-world executive deficits. We developed a computer-based Cooking Task (CT) assessment of executive functions and trialed the measure with a normative group before use with a head-injured population. Forty-six participants completed the computerized CT and subtests from standardized neuropsychological tasks, including the Tower and Sorting Tests of executive function from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) and the Cambridge prospective memory test (CAMPROMPT), in order to examine whether standardized executive function tasks, predicted performance on measurement indices from the CT. Findings showed that verbal comprehension, rule detection and prospective memory contributed to measures of prospective planning accuracy and strategy implementation of the CT. Results also showed that functions necessary for cooking efficacy differ as an effect of task demands (difficulty levels). Performance on rule detection, strategy implementation and flexible thinking executive function measures contributed to accuracy on the CT. These findings raise questions about the functions captured by present standardized tasks particularly at varying levels of difficulty and during dual-task performance. Our preliminary findings also indicate that CT measures can effectively distinguish between executive function and Full Scale IQ abilities. Results of the present study indicate that the CT shows promise as an ecologically valid measure of executive function for future use with a head-injured population and indexes selective executive function’s captured by standardized tests. PMID:25717294

  18. A canonical correlation analysis of intelligence and executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Davis, Andrew S; Pierson, Eric E; Finch, W Holmes

    2011-01-01

    Executive functioning is one of the most researched and debated topics in neuropsychology. Although neuropsychologists routinely consider executive functioning and intelligence in their assessment process, more information is needed regarding the relationship between these constructs. This study reports the results of a canonical correlation study between the most widely used measure of adult intelligence, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, 3rd edition (WAIS-III; Wechsler, 1997), and the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS; Delis, Kaplan, & Kramer, 2001). The results suggest that, despite considerable shared variability, the measures of executive functioning maintain unique variance that is not encapsulated in the construct of global intelligence. PMID:21390902

  19. Functional Neuroanatomy of Executive Function after Neonatal Brain Injury in Adults Who Were Born Very Preterm

    PubMed Central

    Kalpakidou, Anastasia K.; Allin, Matthew P. G.; Walshe, Muriel; Giampietro, Vincent; McGuire, Philip K.; Rifkin, Larry; Murray, Robin M.; Nosarti, Chiara

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25438043

  20. Verbal Fluency: Language or Executive Function Measure?

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Measures of phonemic and semantic verbal fluency, such as FAS and Animal Fluency (Benton, Hamsher, & Sivan, 1989), are often thought to be measures of executive functioning (EF). However, some studies (Henry & Crawford, 2004a , 2004b , 2004c ) have noted there is also a language component to these tasks. The current exploratory factor-analytic study examined the underlying cognitive structure of verbal fluency. Participants were administered language and EF measures, including the Controlled Oral Word Association Test (FAS version), Animal Fluency, Boston Naming Test (BNT), Vocabulary (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III), Wisconsin Card-Sorting Test (WCST, perseverative responses), and Trail-Making Test-Part B (TMT-B). A 2-factor solution was found with the 1st factor, language, having significant loadings for BNT and Vocabulary, while the second factor was labeled EF because of significant loading from the WCST and TMT-B. Surprisingly, FAS and Animal Fluency loaded exclusively on to the language factor and not EF. The current results do not exclude EF as a determinant of verbal fluency, but they do suggest that language processing is the critical component for this task, even without significant aphasic symptoms. Thus, the results indicated that both letter (phonemic) and category (semantic) fluency are related to language, but the relationship to EF is not supported by the results. PMID:26111011

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Introduction: Links between Social Interaction and Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, Charlie; Carpendale, Jeremy I. M.

    2009-01-01

    The term executive function is used increasingly within developmental psychology and is often taken to refer to unfolding brain processes. We trace the origins of research on executive function to show that the link with social interaction has a long history. We suggest that a recent frenzy of research exploring methods for studying individual…

  5. Executive Functions as Predictors of Math Learning Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 29 CFR 452.20 - Nature of executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 2 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Nature of executive functions. 452.20 Section 452.20 Labor Regulations Relating to Labor OFFICE OF LABOR-MANAGEMENT STANDARDS, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR LABOR-MANAGEMENT... DISCLOSURE ACT OF 1959 Coverage of Election Provisions § 452.20 Nature of executive functions. (a)...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kapa, Leah Lynn

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Revisiting Executive Function Measurement: Implications for Lifespan Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiebe, Sandra A.; McFall, G. Peggy

    2014-01-01

    Since Miyake and his colleagues (2000) published their seminal paper on the use of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to parse executive function (EF), CFA methods have become ubiquitous in EF research. In their interesting and thoughtful Focus article, "Executive Function: Formative Versus Reflective Measurement," Willoughby and…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Executive Function in Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sinha, Preeti; Sagar, Rajesh; Mehta, Manju

    2008-01-01

    Aim: To assess executive functions in medication naive children with attention deficit/hyperactivity (ADHD). Method: Group matched (age and gender) children with ADHD (N=30) and healthy children (N=30) in the age range of 6-14 years were compared on measures of executive functions (response inhibition, working memory, cognitive flexibility,…

  11. 29 CFR 452.20 - Nature of executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

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

  12. 29 CFR 452.20 - Nature of executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 2 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Nature of executive functions. 452.20 Section 452.20 Labor Regulations Relating to Labor OFFICE OF LABOR-MANAGEMENT STANDARDS, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR LABOR-MANAGEMENT... DISCLOSURE ACT OF 1959 Coverage of Election Provisions § 452.20 Nature of executive functions. (a)...

  13. 29 CFR 452.20 - Nature of executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 2 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Nature of executive functions. 452.20 Section 452.20 Labor Regulations Relating to Labor OFFICE OF LABOR-MANAGEMENT STANDARDS, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR LABOR-MANAGEMENT... DISCLOSURE ACT OF 1959 Coverage of Election Provisions § 452.20 Nature of executive functions. (a)...

  14. 29 CFR 452.20 - Nature of executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 2 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Nature of executive functions. 452.20 Section 452.20 Labor Regulations Relating to Labor OFFICE OF LABOR-MANAGEMENT STANDARDS, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR LABOR-MANAGEMENT... DISCLOSURE ACT OF 1959 Coverage of Election Provisions § 452.20 Nature of executive functions. (a)...

  15. A Unitary Executive Function Predicts Intelligence in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Time Monitoring and Executive Functioning in Children and Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

  17. Executive Functioning and Prospective Memory in Young Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Executive Function in Education: From Theory to Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meltzer, Lynn, Ed.

    2007-01-01

    This uniquely integrative book brings together leading researchers and practitioners from education, neuroscience, and psychology. It presents a theoretical framework for understanding executive function difficulties together with a range of effective approaches to assessment and instruction. Coverage includes executive function processes in…

  19. Assessing Executive Functions: A Life-Span Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reynolds, Cecil R.; Horton, Arthur MacNeill, Jr.

    2008-01-01

    Despite many disagreements on the utility of neuropsychological applications in schools, executive function measures have been found to be useful across a variety of areas and ages. In addition, many disagreements are extant in discussions of the maturational course of the development of executive functioning abilities that are dependent on…

  20. Executive functioning and positive psychological characteristics: a replication and extension.

    PubMed

    Kruger, Gert H J

    2011-04-01

    Positive psychological characteristics and executive function are correlated with gratitude, satisfaction with life, and forgiveness. The goal of this study was to replicate these findings while examining two additional constructs, namely, hope and optimism. 113 students (25 men, 88 women) between the ages of 17 to 24 years (M = 19.4, SD = 1.5) volunteered to participate. Positive correlations between executive function and gratitude were found but mixed results were obtained for forgiveness and satisfaction with life. Hope and optimism correlated positively with executive function and hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that they contributed significantly to the explanation of executive functioning. Further investigation into relationships between executive functioning, its neurobiological substrates, and positive psychological attributes is recommended. PMID:21675562

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-01

    The generation of random sequences is considered to tax different executive functions. To explore the involvement of these functions further, brain potentials were recorded in 16 healthy young adults while either engaging in random number generation (RNG) by pressing the number keys on a computer keyboard in a random sequence or in ordered number generation (ONG) necessitating key presses in the canonical order. Key presses were paced by an external auditory stimulus to yield either fast (1 press/800 ms) or slow (1 press/1300 ms) sequences in separate runs. Attentional demands of random and ordered tasks were assessed by the introduction of a secondary task (key-press to a target tone). The P3 amplitude to the target tone of this secondary task was reduced during RNG, reflecting the greater consumption of attentional resources during RNG. Moreover, RNG led to a left frontal negativity peaking 140 ms after the onset of the pacing stimulus, whenever the subjects produced a true random response. This negativity could be attributed to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and was absent when numbers were repeated. This negativity was interpreted as an index for the inhibition of habitual responses. Finally, in response locked ERPs a negative component was apparent peaking about 50 ms after the key-press that was more prominent during RNG. Source localization suggested a medial frontal source. This effect was tentatively interpreted as a reflection of the greater monitoring demands during random sequence generation. PMID:15140558

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

    PubMed

    Buczylowska, Dorota; Petermann, Franz

    2016-05-01

    Normative data from the German adaptation of the Neuropsychological Assessment Battery were used to examine age-related differences in 6 executive function tasks. A multivariate analysis of variance was employed to investigate the differences in performance in 484 participants aged 18-99 years. The coefficient of variation was calculated to compare the heterogeneity of scores between 10 age groups. Analyses showed an increase in the dispersion of scores with age, varying from 7% to 289%, in all subtests. Furthermore, age-dependent heterogeneity appeared to be associated with age-dependent decline because the subtests with the greatest increase in dispersion (i.e., Mazes, Planning, and Categories) also exhibited the greatest decrease in mean scores. In contrast, scores for the subtests Letter Fluency, Word Generation, and Judgment had the lowest increase in dispersion with the lowest decrease in mean scores. Consequently, the results presented here show a pattern of age-related differences in executive functioning that is consistent with the concept of crystallized and fluid intelligence. PMID:26953227

  3. The Structure of Executive Function in 3-Year-Olds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiebe, Sandra A.; Sheffield, Tiffany; Nelson, Jennifer Mize; Clark, Caron A. C.; Chevalier, Nicolas; Espy, Kimberly Andrews

    2011-01-01

    Although the structure of executive function (EF) during adulthood is characterized by both unity and diversity, recent evidence suggests that preschool EF may be best described by a single factor. The latent structure of EF was examined in 228 3-year-olds using confirmatory factor analysis. Children completed a battery of executive tasks that…

  4. Ecological validity of neuropsychological and personality measures of executive functions.

    PubMed

    Ready, R E; Stierman, L; Paulsen, J S

    2001-08-01

    Associations between two types of measures of executive functions, namely, neuropsychological and personality, and measures of real-world behavior were investigated. Undergraduate students were administered neuropsychological measures of executive functions and completed a personality questionnaire developed to measure traits central to the construct of executive functions. Participants also reported on their behavior. Hierarchical regressions indicated that neuropsychological and personality measures of executive functions were significant predictors of different types of behavior. Neuropsychological measures predicted work behaviors and personality measures predicted substance use, risk-taking, and aggressive behaviors. Findings highlight the importance of including personality assessment in standard neuropsychological assessment in order to maximize ability to predict real-world behaviors relevant to independent and socially responsible functioning. PMID:11778769

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

    PubMed

    Gallant, Sara N

    2016-02-01

    This paper focuses on evidence for mindfulness meditation-related benefits to executive functioning, processes important for much of human volitional behaviour. Miyake et al. (2000) have shown that executive functions can be fractionated into three distinct domains including inhibition, working memory updating, and mental set shifting. Considering these separable domains, it is important to determine whether the effects of mindfulness can generalize to all three sub-functions or are specific to certain domains. To address this, the current review applied Miyake et al.'s (2000) fractionated model of executive functioning to the mindfulness literature. Empirical studies assessing the benefits of mindfulness to measures tapping the inhibition, updating, and shifting components of executive functioning were examined. Results suggest a relatively specific as opposed to general benefit resulting from mindfulness, with consistent inhibitory improvement, but more variable advantages to the updating and shifting domains. Recommendations surrounding application of mindfulness practice and future research are discussed. PMID:26784917

  6. Executive Functions in Premanifest Huntington’s Disease

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Executive function and bilingualism in young and older adults

    PubMed Central

    Kousaie, Shanna; Sheppard, Christine; Lemieux, Maude; Monetta, Laura; Taler, Vanessa

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25120442

  8. Executive cognitive function and heavy drinking behavior among college students.

    PubMed

    Blume, A W; Marlatt, G A; Schmaling, K B

    2000-09-01

    Executive cognitive functions (ECFs) seem important for motivating change and self-regulation of problem drinking. Evidence for executive cognitive deficits have been found among heavy-drinking college students. Although college students who abuse alcohol often experience a variety of negative consequences related to their drinking behavior, executive cognitive dysfunction may interfere with recognizing consequences and responding skillfully to avoid future harm. Fifty college students with drinking problems completed assessments of ECFs. Greater negative drinking consequences and short-term memory function significantly predicted greater awareness of drinking problems. ECF may be an important factor for motivation to change drinking behavior among college students. PMID:10998956

  9. Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Dissociated Components of Executive Functioning

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Electrocortical indices of selective attention predict adolescent executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Lackner, Christine L; Santesso, Diane L; Dywan, Jane; Wade, Terrance J; Segalowitz, Sidney J

    2013-05-01

    Executive functioning is considered a powerful predictor of behavioral and mental health outcomes during adolescence. Our question was whether executive functioning skills, normally considered "top-down" processes, are related to automatic aspects of selective attention. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from typically-developing 12-14-year-old adolescents as they responded to tones presented in attended and unattended channels in an auditory selective attention task. Examining these ERPs in relation to parental reports on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) revealed that an early frontal positivity (EFP) elicited by to-be-ignored/unattended tones was larger in those with poorer executive functions, driven by scores on the BRIEF Metacognition Index. As is traditionally found, N1 amplitudes were more negative for the to-be-attended rather than unattended tones. Additionally, N1 latencies to unattended tones correlated with parent-ratings on the BRIEF Behavior Regulation Index, where shorter latencies predicted better executive functions. Results suggest that the ability to disengage attention from distractor information in the early stages of stimulus processing is associated with adolescent executive functioning skills. PMID:23528784

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. The Neural Circuitry of Executive Functions in Healthy Subjects and Parkinson's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Leh, Sandra E; Petrides, Michael; Strafella, Antonio P

    2010-01-01

    In our constantly changing environment, we are frequently faced with altered circumstances requiring generation and monitoring of appropriate strategies, when novel plans of action must be formulated and conducted. The abilities that we call upon to respond accurately to novel situations are referred to as ‘executive functions', and are frequently engaged to deal with conditions in which routine activation of behavior would not be sufficient for optimal performance. Here, we summarize important findings that may help us understand executive functions and their underlying neuronal correlates. We focus particularly on observations from imaging technology, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging, position emission tomography, diffusion tensor imaging, and transcranial magnetic stimulation, which in the past few years have provided the bulk of information on the neurobiological underpinnings of the executive functions. Further, emphasis will be placed on recent insights from Parkinson's disease (PD), in which the underlying dopaminergic abnormalities have provided new exciting information into basic molecular mechanisms of executive dysfunction, and which may help to disentangle the cortical/subcortical networks involved in executive processes. PMID:19657332

  14. The neural circuitry of executive functions in healthy subjects and Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Leh, Sandra E; Petrides, Michael; Strafella, Antonio P

    2010-01-01

    In our constantly changing environment, we are frequently faced with altered circumstances requiring generation and monitoring of appropriate strategies, when novel plans of action must be formulated and conducted. The abilities that we call upon to respond accurately to novel situations are referred to as 'executive functions', and are frequently engaged to deal with conditions in which routine activation of behavior would not be sufficient for optimal performance. Here, we summarize important findings that may help us understand executive functions and their underlying neuronal correlates. We focus particularly on observations from imaging technology, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging, position emission tomography, diffusion tensor imaging, and transcranial magnetic stimulation, which in the past few years have provided the bulk of information on the neurobiological underpinnings of the executive functions. Further, emphasis will be placed on recent insights from Parkinson's disease (PD), in which the underlying dopaminergic abnormalities have provided new exciting information into basic molecular mechanisms of executive dysfunction, and which may help to disentangle the cortical/subcortical networks involved in executive processes. PMID:19657332

  15. Attentional networks reveal executive function deficits in posttraumatic stress disorder.

    PubMed

    Leskin, Lorraine P; White, Patricia M

    2007-05-01

    Executive function was assessed with the Trail Making Test (Army Individual Test Battery; M. D. Lezak, 1983), the Comprehensive Trail Making Test (C. Reynolds, 2002), and a neurocognitive measure of executive control (Attentional Network Task [ANT]; J. I. Fan, B. D. McCandliss, T. Somer, A. Raz, & M. I. Posner, 2002) in 19 undergraduates with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD; Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptom Scale-Self-Report version; E. B. Foa, D. S. Riggs, C. V. Dancu, & B. O. Rothbaum, 1993), 15 high trauma participants without PTSD, and 18 low trauma control participants. Although groups did not differ on any trail making task or on the ANT measures of alerting or orienting, PTSD participants were significantly more impaired on the ANT executive network index than were high or low trauma control participants, even when level of depressive symptoms was covaried. Previous animal research identified a relationship between dopamine and the ANT measure of executive function. Elevated PTSD symptom severity and levels of hyperarousal, reexperiencing, and avoidance-numbing were associated significantly with executive function deficits indexed by the ANT. These results indicate a potentially subtle but specific deficit in executive function and a possible relationship between PTSD symptoms and irregularities in dopamine function. PMID:17484590

  16. Effects of Acute Laboratory Stress on Executive Functions

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Recent research indicates that stress can affect executive functioning. However, previous results are mixed with respect to the direction and size of effects, especially when considering different subcomponents of executive functions. The current study systematically investigates the effects of stress on the five components of executive functions proposed by Smith and Jonides (1999): attention and inhibition; task management; planning; monitoring; and coding. Healthy participants (N = 40) were either exposed to the computerized version of the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test as a stressor (N = 20), or to a rest condition (N = 20). Stress reactions were assessed with heart rate and subjective measures. After the experimental manipulation, all participants performed tasks that measure the different executive functions. The manipulation check indicates that stress induction was successful (i.e., the stress group showed a higher heart rate and higher subjective responses than the control group). The main results demonstrate that stressed participants show a poorer performance compared with unstressed participants in all executive subcomponents, with the exception of monitoring. Effect sizes for the tasks that reveal differences between stressed and unstressed participants are high. We conclude that the laboratory stressor used here overall reduced executive functioning. PMID:27065926

  17. Many Experts, Many Audiences: Public Engagement with Science and Informal Science Education. A CAISE Inquiry Group Report. Executive Summary

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCallie, Ellen; Bell, Larry; Lohwater, Tiffany; Falk, John H.; Lehr, Jane L.; Lewenstein, Bruce V.; Needham, Cynthia; Wiehe, Ben

    2009-01-01

    Science and technology are embedded in every aspect of modern life. This executive summary describes how Public Engagement with Science (PES), in the context of informal science education (ISE), can provide opportunities for public awareness of and participation in science and technology. PES is an approach that has developed in the last 10 years…

  18. NIH EXAMINER: Conceptualization and Development of an Executive Function Battery

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    Executive functioning is widely targeted when human cognition is assessed, but there is little consensus on how it should be operationalized and measured. Recognizing the difficulties associated with establishing standard operational definitions of executive functioning, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke entered into a contract with the University of California-San Francisco to develop psychometrically robust executive measurement tools that would be accepted by the neurology clinical trials and clinical research communities. This effort, entitled Executive Abilities: Measures and Instruments for Neurobehavioral Evaluation and Research (EXAMINER), resulted in a series of tasks targeting working memory, inhibition, set shifting, fluency, insight, planning, social cognition and behavior. We describe battery conceptualization and development, data collection, scale construction based on item response theory, and lay the foundation for studying the battery’s utility and validity for specific assessment and research goals. PMID:24103232

  19. Higher-Order Mentalising and Executive Functioning

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Higher-order mentalising is the ability to represent the beliefs and desires of other people at multiple, iterated levels – a capacity that sets humans apart from other species. However, there has not yet been a systematic attempt to determine what cognitive processes underlie this ability. Here we present three correlational studies assessing the extent to which performance on higher-order mentalising tasks relates to emotion recognition, self-reported empathy and self-inhibition. In Study 1a and 1b, examining emotion recognition and empathy, a relationship was identified between individual differences in the ability to mentalise and an emotion recognition task (the Reading the Mind in the Eyes task), but no correlation was found with the Empathy Quotient, a self-report scale of empathy. Study 2 investigated whether a relationship exists between individual mentalising abilities and four different forms of self-inhibition: motor inhibition, executive inhibition, automatic imitation and temporal discounting. Results demonstrate that only temporal discounting performance relates to mentalising ability; suggesting that cognitive skills relevant to representation of the minds of others’ are not influenced by the ability to perform more basic inhibition. Higher-order mentalising appears to rely on the cognitive architecture that serves both low-level social cognition (emotion recognition), and complex forms of inhibition. PMID:26543298

  20. Decreased functional connectivity in an executive control network is related to impaired executive function in Internet gaming disorder

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Guangheng; Lin, Xiao; Potenza, Marc N.

    2015-01-01

    Background Resting brain spontaneous neural activities across cortical regions have been correlated with specific functional properties in psychiatric groups. Individuals with Internet gaming disorder (IGD) demonstrate impaired executive control. Thus, it is important to examine executive control networks (ECNs) during resting states and their relationships to executive control during task performance. Methods Thirty-five IGD and 36 healthy control participants underwent a resting-state fMRI scan and performed a Stroop task inside and outside of the MRI scanner. Correlations between Stroop effect and functional connectivity among ECN regions of interest (ROIs) were calculated within and between groups. Results IGD subjects show lower functional connectivity in ECNs than do HC participants during resting state; functional-connectivity measures in ECNs were negatively correlated with Stroop effect and positively correlated with brain activations in executive-control regions across groups. Within groups, negative trends were found between Stroop effect and functional connectivity in ECNs in IGD and HC groups, separately; positive trends were found between functional connectivity in ECNs and brain activations in Stroop task in IGD and HC groups, separately. Conclusions Higher functional connectivity in ECNs may underlie better executive control and may provide resilience with respect to IGD. Lower functional connectivity in ECNs may represent an important feature in understanding and treating IGD. PMID:25445475

  1. Executive function subcomponents and their relations to everyday functioning in healthy older adults.

    PubMed

    McAlister, Courtney; Schmitter-Edgecombe, Maureen

    2016-10-01

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

  2. Neuroanatomical substrates of executive functions: Beyond prefrontal structures.

    PubMed

    Bettcher, Brianne M; Mungas, Dan; Patel, Nihar; Elofson, Jonathan; Dutt, Shubir; Wynn, Matthew; Watson, Christa L; Stephens, Melanie; Walsh, Christine M; Kramer, Joel H

    2016-05-01

    Executive functions are often considered lynchpin "frontal lobe tasks", despite accumulating evidence that a broad network of anterior and posterior brain structures supports them. Using a latent variable modelling approach, we assessed whether prefrontal grey matter volumes independently predict executive function performance when statistically differentiated from global atrophy and individual non-frontal lobar volume contributions. We further examined whether fronto-parietal white matter microstructure underlies and independently contributes to executive functions. We developed a latent variable model to decompose lobar grey matter volumes into a global grey matter factor and specific lobar volumes (i.e. prefrontal, parietal, temporal, occipital) that were independent of global grey matter. We then added mean fractional anisotropy (FA) for the superior longitudinal fasciculus (dorsal portion), corpus callosum, and cingulum bundle (dorsal portion) to models that included grey matter volumes related to cognitive variables in previous analyses. Results suggested that the 2-factor model (shifting/inhibition, updating/working memory) plus an information processing speed factor best explained our executive function data in a sample of 202 community dwelling older adults, and was selected as the base measurement model for further analyses. Global grey matter was related to the executive function and speed variables in all four lobar models, but independent contributions of the frontal lobes were not significant. In contrast, when assessing the effect of white matter microstructure, cingulum FA made significant independent contributions to all three executive function and speed variables and corpus callosum FA was independently related to shifting/inhibition and speed. Findings from the current study indicate that while prefrontal grey matter volumes are significantly associated with cognitive neuroscience measures of shifting/inhibition and working memory in healthy

  3. Vitamin D and executive function: a preliminary report.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Anita L; Dahl, Lisbeth; Bakke, Lene; Thayer, Julian F

    2011-10-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between vitamin D levels and cognition, both executive and nonexecutive functions, in men incarcerated in a Norwegian prison. Participants were divided into high vitamin D and low vitamin D groups based on established criteria (high level > or = 50 nmol/L; low level < 50 nmol/L). The mean vitamin D concentration was 69 (SD = 12) and 38 (SD = 9) nmol/L in the high-level group (n = 14) and the low level group (n = 11), respectively. Results revealed that the high vitamin D group had significantly more correct responses than the low vitamin D group on the executive function task. There was no difference between the groups on the nonexecutive function task. The reaction time data indicated that the high levels of correct responses in the high vitamin D group on the executive function tasks were not due to a speed-accuracy trade-off. PMID:22185082

  4. Executive Functions in Children Who Experience Bullying Situations

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Bullying is characterized by intentional, repetitive, and persistent aggressive behavior that causes damage to the victim. Many studies investigate the social and emotional aspects related to bullying, but few assess the cognitive aspects it involves. Studies with aggressive individuals indicate impairment in executive functioning and decision-making. The objective of this study was to assess hot and cold executive functions in children who experience bullying. A total of 60 children between 10 and 11 years of age were included in the study. They were divided into four groups: aggressors (bullies), victims, bully-victims, and control. Tests for decision-making, inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility were used. The bully group made more unfavorable choices on the Iowa Gambling Task, which may indicate difficulties in the decision-making process. The victim group took longer to complete the Trail Making Test (Part B) than aggressors, suggesting lower cognitive flexibility in victims. The hypothesis that aggressors would have lower performance in other executive functions such as inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility has not been confirmed. This study indicates that bullies have an impairment of hot executive functions whereas victims have a comparatively lower performance in cold executive functions. In addition to social and cultural variables, neurocognitive and emotional factors seem to influence the behavior of children in bullying situations. PMID:27616998

  5. Executive Functions in Children Who Experience Bullying Situations.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Bullying is characterized by intentional, repetitive, and persistent aggressive behavior that causes damage to the victim. Many studies investigate the social and emotional aspects related to bullying, but few assess the cognitive aspects it involves. Studies with aggressive individuals indicate impairment in executive functioning and decision-making. The objective of this study was to assess hot and cold executive functions in children who experience bullying. A total of 60 children between 10 and 11 years of age were included in the study. They were divided into four groups: aggressors (bullies), victims, bully-victims, and control. Tests for decision-making, inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility were used. The bully group made more unfavorable choices on the Iowa Gambling Task, which may indicate difficulties in the decision-making process. The victim group took longer to complete the Trail Making Test (Part B) than aggressors, suggesting lower cognitive flexibility in victims. The hypothesis that aggressors would have lower performance in other executive functions such as inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility has not been confirmed. This study indicates that bullies have an impairment of hot executive functions whereas victims have a comparatively lower performance in cold executive functions. In addition to social and cultural variables, neurocognitive and emotional factors seem to influence the behavior of children in bullying situations. PMID:27616998

  6. Balance, executive functions and falls in elderly with Alzheimer's disease (AD): a longitudinal study.

    PubMed

    Pedroso, Renata Valle; Coelho, Flávia Gomes de Melo; Santos-Galduróz, Ruth Ferreira; Costa, José Luiz Riani; Gobbi, Sebastião; Stella, Florindo

    2012-01-01

    Elderly individuals with AD are more susceptible to falls, which might be associated with decrements in their executive functions and balance, among other things. We aimed to analyze the effects of a program of dual task physical activity on falls, executive functions and balance of elderly individuals with AD. We studied 21 elderly with probable AD, allocated to two groups: the training group (TG), with 10 elderly who participated in a program of dual task physical activity; and the control group (CG), with 11 elderly who were not engaged in regular practice of physical activity. The Clock Drawing Test (CDT) and the Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB) were used in the assessment of the executive functions, while the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and the Timed Up-and-Go (TUG)-test evaluated balance. The number of falls was obtained by means of a questionnaire. We observed a better performance of the TG as regards balance and executive functions. Moreover, the lower the number of steps in the TUG scale, the higher the scores in the CDT, and in the FAB. The practice of regular physical activity with dual task seems to have contributed to the maintenance and improvement of the motor and cognitive functions of the elderly with AD. PMID:21774999

  7. Insight and executive functioning in schizophrenia: a multidimensional approach.

    PubMed

    Raffard, Stéphane; Bayard, Sophie; Gely-Nargeot, Marie-Christine; Capdevielle, Delphine; Maggi, Maximilien; Barbotte, Emeline; Morris, Davina; Boulenger, Jean-Philippe

    2009-05-30

    Past research suggests that unawareness of illness in schizophrenia is associated with deficits in executive functions; however, the relationships between executive processes and the various dimensions of insight are still unclear. Recent models of executive functioning have proposed that four executive processes - inhibition, updating, shifting and dual task coordination - are moderately related yet separable. In this study, we proposed to investigate and clarify the relationships between insight dimensions and the aforementioned four executive components. A total of 60 patients were administered the Test for Attentional Performance and the Scale to Assess Unawareness of Mental Disorder. The effect of potential confounding variables such as medication, symptomatology, demography, psycho-affective state, and general processing speed were also examined in a preliminary statistical analysis. We found that both awareness of disorder and awareness of response to medication were significantly related to Updating. Awareness of the social consequences of the disease was significantly related to Updating, Divided Attention and Inhibition Processes. The analysis indicates that poor insight in schizophrenia may be partially related to executive dysfunction. Finally, our study emphasizes the possible role of neuropsychological intervention in improving patients' insight into illness. PMID:19395049

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-01

    This study examined the immediate effects of neurologic music therapy (NMT) on cognitive functioning and emotional adjustment with brain-injured persons. Four treatment sessions were held, during which participants were given a pre-test, participated in 30 min of NMT that focused on one aspect of rehabilitation (attention, memory, executive function, or emotional adjustment), which was followed by post-testing. Control participants engaged in a pre-test, 30 min of rest, and then a post-test. Treatment participants showed improvement in executive function and overall emotional adjustment, and lessening of depression, sensation seeking, and anxiety. Control participants improved in emotional adjustment and lessening of hostility, but showed decreases in measures of memory, positive affect, and sensation seeking. PMID:19673815

  9. Effects of a Cognitively Demanding Aerobic Intervention During Recess on Children's Physical Fitness and Executive Functioning.

    PubMed

    van der Niet, Anneke G; Smith, Joanne; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Scherder, Erik J A; Hartman, Esther; Visscher, Chris

    2016-02-01

    The objective of this study was to analyze the effects of a physical activity program including both aerobic exercise and cognitively engaging physical activities on children's physical fitness and executive functions. Children from 3 primary schools (aged 8-12 years) were recruited. A quasi-experimental design was used. Children in the intervention group (n = 53; 19 boys, 34 girls) participated in a 22-week physical activity program for 30 min during lunch recess, twice a week. Children in the control group (n = 52; 32 boys, 20 girls) followed their normal lunch routine. Aerobic fitness, speed and agility, and muscle strength were assessed using the Eurofit test battery. Executive functions were assessed using tasks measuring inhibition (Stroop test), working memory (Visual Memory Span test, Digit Span test), cognitive flexibility (Trailmaking test), and planning (Tower of London). Children in the intervention group showed significantly greater improvement than children in the control group on the Stroop test and Digit Span test, reflecting enhanced inhibition and verbal working memory skills, respectively. No differences were found on any of the physical fitness variables. A physical activity program including aerobic exercise and cognitively engaging physical activities can enhance aspects of executive functioning in primary school children. PMID:26252883

  10. Modulating executive functioning: trait motivational reactivity and resting HRV.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Rachel L; Potter, Robert F; Lang, Annie; Pisoni, David B

    2015-01-01

    This study assessed relationships among individual differences in trait motivational reactivity, executive functioning, and neurovisceral regulation of emotion and attention indexed via resting heart rate variability (rHRV). We derived predictions regarding these relationships according to neurovisceral neural network theory. Because lower rHRV has been suggested as an endophenotype of less adaptive behaviour, low rHRV individuals were predicted to have high aversive and low appetitive trait motivational reactivity, while high rHRV individuals were predicted to have high reactivity in both appetitive and aversive motivational systems. These predictions were supported. Motivational reactivity also was related to executive functioning deficits, although the pattern of results was not in the predicted direction. Results suggest that trait motivational reactivity scores are related to visceral responses proposed in the neurovisceral integration circuit as well as in the modulation of these responses by higher-order cognitive control systems related to executive function. PMID:24606341

  11. Elderly with Autism: Executive Functions and Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geurts, Hilde M.; Vissers, Marlies E.

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Executive functions and social cognition in highly lethal self-injuring patients with borderline personality disorder.

    PubMed

    Williams, Gregory E; Daros, Alexander R; Graves, Bryanna; McMain, Shelley F; Links, Paul S; Ruocco, Anthony C

    2015-04-01

    Risk for potentially lethal self-injurious behavior in borderline personality disorder (BPD) may be associated with deficits in neuropsychological functions and social cognition. In particular, individuals with BPD engaging in more medically damaging self-injurious behaviors may have more severe executive function deficits and altered emotion perception as compared to patients engaging in less lethal acts. In the current study, 58 patients with BPD reporting a lifetime history of self-injurious behavior were administered neuropsychological measures of response inhibition, planning and problem-solving,and tests of facial emotion recognition and discrimination. Patients who engaged in more medically lethal self-injurious behaviors reported engaging in impulsive behaviors more frequently and displayed neuropsychological deficits in problem-solving and response inhibition. They were also less accurate in recognizing happy facial expressions and in discerning subtle differences in emotional intensity in sad facial expressions. These findings suggest that patients with BPD that engage in more physically damaging self-injurious behaviors may have greater difficulties with behavioral control and employ less efficient problem-solving strategies. Problems in facial emotion recognition and discrimination may contribute to interpersonal difficulties in patients with BPD who self-injure. PMID:25602784

  13. Executive function abnormalities in pathological gamblers

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Pathological gambling (PG) is an impulse control disorder characterized by persistent and maladaptive gambling behaviors with disruptive consequences for familial, occupational and social functions. The pathophysiology of PG is still unclear, but it is hypothesized that it might include environmental factors coupled with a genetic vulnerability and dysfunctions of different neurotransmitters and selected brain areas. Our study aimed to evaluate a group of patients suffering from PG by means of some neuropsychological tests in order to explore the brain areas related to the disorder. Methods Twenty outpatients (15 men, 5 women), with a diagnosis of PG according to DSM-IV criteria, were included in the study and evaluated with a battery of neuropsychological tests: the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), the Wechsler Memory Scale revised (WMS-R) and the Verbal Associative Fluency Test (FAS). The results obtained in the patients were compared with normative values of matched healthy control subjects. Results The PG patients showed alterations at the WCST only, in particular they had a great difficulty in finding alternative methods of problem-solving and showed a decrease, rather than an increase, in efficiency, as they progressed through the consecutive phases of the test. The mean scores of the other tests were within the normal range. Conclusion Our findings showed that patients affected by PG, in spite of normal intellectual, linguistic and visual-spatial abilities, had abnormalities emerging from the WCST, in particular they could not learn from their mistakes and look for alternative solutions. Our results would seem to confirm an altered functioning of the prefrontal areas which might provoke a sort of cognitive "rigidity" that might predispose to the development of impulsive and/or compulsive behaviors, such as those typical of PG. PMID:18371193

  14. 5-HTTLPR, victimization and ecological executive function of adolescents.

    PubMed

    Liu, JiaJia; Cao, Fenglin; Li, Ping; Lou, Fenglan; Lavebratt, Catharina

    2016-03-30

    Executive function (EF) plays an important role in guiding peer relationship, school performance and behavior control. Children exposed to traumatic environments have been reported to perform poorer in EF tasks. We explored if the relationship between victimization and EF was dependent on the functional variation 5-HTTLPR in a non-clinical sample of adolescents. Data on demographics, victimization and daily life EF were collected from school students (Han Chinese, n=2125). All those reporting executive dysfunction (n=169), and classmate controls (n=208), were genotyped for the 5-HTTLPR. It was shown that the number of victimizations associated positively with executive dysfunction (ED). This association was particularly strong in those homozygous for the short allele of 5-HTTLPR, whilst a statistical 5-HTTLPR×victimization interaction on ED was found. Our findings suggest that adolescents with a genotype conferring a low 5-HTT activity are more vulnerable to a childhood adversity-associated ED in their daily life. PMID:26921052

  15. The effects of bilingualism on toddlers’ executive functioning

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Bilingual children have been shown to outperform monolingual children on tasks measuring executive functioning skills. This advantage is usually attributed to bilinguals’ extensive practice in exercising selective attention and cognitive flexibility during language use because both languages are active when one of them is being used. We examined whether this advantage is observed in 24-month-olds who have had much less experience in language production. A battery of executive functioning tasks and the cognitive scale of the Bayley test were administered to 63 monolingual and bilingual children. Native bilingual children performed significantly better than monolingual children on the Stroop task, with no difference between groups on the other tasks, confirming the specificity of bilingual effects to conflict tasks reported in older children. These results demonstrate that bilingual advantages in executive control emerge at an age not previously shown. PMID:21122877

  16. Language, Social, and Executive Functions in High Functioning Autism: A Continuum of Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Landa, Rebecca J.; Goldberg, Melissa C.

    2005-01-01

    This study examined language and executive functions (EF) in high-functioning school-aged individuals with autism and individually matched controls. Relationships between executive, language, and social functioning were also examined. Participants with autism exhibited difficulty on measures of expressive grammar, figurative language, planning,…

  17. Intellectual Ability and Executive Function in Pediatric Moyamoya Vasculopathy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Tricia S.; Westmacott, Robyn; Dlamini, Nomazulu; Granite, Leeor; Dirks, Peter; Askalan, Rand; MacGregor, Daune; Moharir, Mahendranath; Deveber, Gabrielle

    2012-01-01

    Aim: Moyamoya vasculopathy is characterized by progressive stenosis of the major arteries of the Circle of Willis, resulting in compromised cerebral blood flow and increased risk of stroke. The objectives of the current study were to examine intellectual and executive functioning of children with moyamoya and to evaluate the impact of moyamoya…

  18. Toddlers Benefit from Labeling on an Executive Function Search Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Stephanie E.; Marcovitch, Stuart

    2011-01-01

    Although labeling improves executive function (EF) performance in children older than 3 years, the results from studies with younger children have been equivocal. In the current study, we assessed performance in a computerized multistep multilocation search task with older 2-year-olds. The correct search location was either (a) not marked by a…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    In this longitudinal population-based study (N = 544), we investigated whether early parenting and corpus callosum length predict child executive function abilities at 4 years of age. The length of the corpus callosum in infancy was measured using postnatal cranial ultrasounds at 6 weeks of age. At 3 years, two aspects of parenting were observed: maternal sensitivity during a teaching task and maternal discipline style during a discipline task. Parents rated executive function problems at 4 years of age in five domains of inhibition, shifting, emotional control, working memory, and planning/organizing, using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool Version. Maternal sensitivity predicted less executive function problems at preschool age. A significant interaction was found between corpus callosum length in infancy and maternal use of positive discipline to determine child inhibition problems: The association between a relatively shorter corpus callosum in infancy and child inhibition problems was reduced in children who experienced more positive discipline. Our results point to the buffering potential of positive parenting for children with biological vulnerability. PMID:24028215

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    The primary objective of this study was to reevaluate the well-established result that preschoolers' performance on executive function tasks are positively associated with their performance on academic achievement tests. The current study replicated the previously established concurrent associations between children's performance on EF tasks and academic achievement tests. Specifically, children's performance on measures of inhibitory and motor control were positively associated with their performance on tests of reading, writing, and mathematics achievement (rs = .2-.5); moreover, although diminished in magnitude, most of these associations held up even after including an earlier measure of academic achievement as a covariate (rs = .1-.3). However, the application of an alternative analytic method, fixed effects analysis, a method that capitalizes on repeated measures data to control for all time stable measured and unmeasured covariates, rendered the apparent positive associations between executive function and academic achievement nonsignificant (rs = .0-.1). Taken together, these results suggest that the well-replicated association between executive function abilities and academic achievement may be spurious. Results are discussed with respect to the importance of utilizing analytic methods and research designs that facilitate strong causal inferences between executive function and academic achievement in early childhood, as well as the limitations of making curriculum development recommendations and/or public policy decisions based on studies that have failed to do so. PMID:21707258

  2. Critical Thinking, Executive Functions and Their Potential Relationship

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. How Executive Functions Are Related to Intelligence in Williams Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Osorio, Ana; Cruz, Raquel; Sampaio, Adriana; Garayzabal, Elena; Martinez-Regueiro, Rocio; Goncalves, Oscar F.; Carracedo, Angel; Fernandez-Prieto, Montse

    2012-01-01

    Williams syndrome is characterized by impairments in executive functions (EFs). However, it remains unknown how distinct types of EFs relate to intelligence in this syndrome. The present study analyzed performance on working memory, inhibiting and shifting, and its links to IQ in a sample of 17 individuals with WS, and compared them with a group…

  4. Executive Functions after Age 5: Changes and Correlates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Best, John R.; Miller, Patricia H.; Jones, Lara L.

    2009-01-01

    Research and theorizing on executive function (EF) in childhood has been disproportionately focused on preschool age children. This review paper outlines the importance of examining EF throughout childhood, and even across the lifespan. First, examining EF in older children can address the question of whether EF is a unitary construct. The…

  5. Executive Functioning in Children with Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henry, Lucy A.; Messer, David J.; Nash, Gilly

    2012-01-01

    Background: A limited range of evidence suggests that children with specific language impairment (SLI) have difficulties with higher order thinking and reasoning skills (executive functioning, EF). This study involved a comprehensive investigation of EF in this population taking into account the contributions of age, nonverbal IQ and verbal…

  6. Overcoming Executive Function Deficits with Students with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Joseph; Reid, Robert

    2011-01-01

    Academic problems are common among students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). One reason for academic problems is the difficulties in executive functions (EF) that are necessary for complex goal-oriented behaviors. Students with ADHD often exhibit EF deficits and as a result have difficulties with tasks that require planning,…

  7. Maturation of Executive Functioning Skills in Early Sequential Bilingualism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalashnikova, Marina; Mattock, Karen

    2014-01-01

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

  8. A Qualitative Case Study: Teacher Perceptions of Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, Stacey L. E.

    2016-01-01

    Executive function (EF) is becoming a more widely used term to explain student behaviors, yet research on EF in education is limited. This qualitative study addressed a gap in literature by examining teacher perceptions of students with EF deficits, as well as teacher preparedness and desire to learn more about EF. Perceptions of third grade,…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Technology for Transition and Postsecondary Success: Supporting Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayes, Gillian; Hosaflook, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    This six-page (tri-fold) laminated reference guide by Gillian Hayes and Stephen Hosaflook focuses on readily available tools for augmenting and supporting the development of executive function skills, such as time and task management, organization, and self-regulation. These skills are crucial for accomplishing a variety of transition-related…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. The Effects of Parental Scaffolding on Preschoolers' Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hammond, Stuart I.; Muller, Ulrich; Carpendale, Jeremy I. M.; Bibok, Maximilian B.; Liebermann-Finestone, Dana P.

    2012-01-01

    The present study explores the effects of parental scaffolding of children's problem solving on the development of executive function (EF). Eighty-two children were assessed at 2, 3, and 4 years of age on a variety of EF tasks and, at ages 2 and 3, on a problem-solving puzzle with which parents offered structured assistance (i.e., scaffolding).…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aarnoudse-Moens, Cornelieke S. H.; Smidts, Diana P.; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Duivenvoorden, Hugo J.; Weisglas-Kuperus, Nynke

    2009-01-01

    We examined whether very preterm ([less than or equal to] 30 weeks gestation) children at early school age have impairments in executive function (EF) independent of IQ and processing speed, and whether demographic and neonatal risk factors were associated with EF impairments. A consecutive sample of 50 children (27 boys and 23 girls) born very…

  14. The Role of Executive Functions in Numerical Magnitude Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kolkman, Meijke E.; Hoijtink, Herbert J. A.; Kroesbergen, Evelyn H.; Leseman, Paul P. M.

    2013-01-01

    Executive functions (EF) are closely related to math performance. Little is known, however, about the role of EF in numerical magnitude skills (NS), although these skills are widely acknowledged to be important precursors of math learning. The current study focuses on the different roles of updating, shifting, and inhibition in NS. EF and NS were…

  15. Incidence of Executive Functions on Reading Comprehension Performance in Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Demagistri, Maria Silvina; Richards, Maria Marta; Canet Juric, Lorena

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: Reading comprehension is a complex cognitive skill that has been associated with executive functions such as working memory (WM) and inhibition. Given that the development of these abilities continues through late adolescence, this study seeks to explore the role that both processes play with respect to varying levels of reading…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. The Effects of Bilingualism on Toddlers' Executive Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Emotion Understanding in Preschool Children: The Role of Executive Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martins, Eva Costa; Osório, Ana; Veríssimo, Manuela; Martins, Carla

    2016-01-01

    This investigation was aimed at studying the relations between executive functions (EFs) and categorical emotion understanding while controlling for preschoolers' IQ, language ability and theory of mind (ToM). Specifically, we wanted to analyse the association between emotion understanding and set shifting, due to the lack of studies with this EF.…

  19. Executive functioning in chronic alcoholism and Korsakoff syndrome.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Korsakoff syndrome (KS) is characterized by dense anterograde and retrograde amnesia. There is often a temporal gradient to the retrograde amnesia, with earlier memories more readily recalled than recent memories. Executive functioning has also been found to be impaired in KS. However, research comparing executive functioning between chronic alcoholics (AL) and patients with KS has been relatively sparse to date. In a group comparison design, executive functioning in 15 KS patients and 16 chronic alcoholic patients was assessed using the Behavioural Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome test (BADS) and other secondary measures. The KS group was found to be significantly more impaired than the AL group on overall performance on the BADS (p < .05). 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. PMID:23656524

  20. Socioeconomic Status and Executive Function: Developmental Trajectories and Mediation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

    Childhood socioeconomic status (SES) predicts executive function (EF), but fundamental aspects of this relation remain unknown: the developmental course of the SES disparity, its continued sensitivity to SES changes during that course, and the features of childhood experience responsible for the SES-EF relation. Regarding course, early disparities…

  1. Evaluation of Executive Functioning in People with Intellectual Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Willner, P.; Bailey, R.; Parry, R.; Dymond, S.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Executive functioning (EF) is an important concept in cognitive psychology that has rarely been studied in people with intellectual disabilities (IDs). The aim of this study was to examine the validity of two test batteries and the structure of EF in this client group. Methods: We administered the children's version of the Behavioural…

  2. Executive functions, depressive symptoms, and college adjustment in women.

    PubMed

    Wingo, Jana; Kalkut, Erica; Tuminello, Elizabeth; Asconape, Josefina; Han, S Duke

    2013-01-01

    Many students have difficulty adjusting to college, and the contribution of academic and relational factors have been considered in previous research. In particular, depression commonly emerges among college women at this time and could be related to poor adjustment to college. This study examined the relationship between executive functions, depressive symptoms, and college adjustment in college women. Seventy-seven female participants from a midsize urban university completed the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence, College Adjustment Scale, Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition, Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version, and four subtests from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System: the Trail-Making Test, Design Fluency Test, Verbal Fluency Test, and Color-Word Interference Test. After controlling for IQ score, hierarchical regression analyses showed that subjective and objective measures of executive functioning and depressive symptoms were significantly related to college adjustment problems in academic, relational, and psychological areas. The current study provides evidence for a relationship between cognitive abilities, psychiatric symptoms, and college adjustment. PMID:23397999

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. The Effect of Vigorous Intensity Acute Exercise on Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillips, David Spencer

    2012-01-01

    The effect of physical activity (PA) and consequent influence on cognition within adult seniors has been widely published. However, there is a paucity of causal research relating PA and cognition to schoolchildren within an authentic setting. Also, little is known about the required intensity and dosage of PA to effect executive function (EF)…

  5. Bilingual Experience and Executive Functioning in Young Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carlson, Stephanie M.; Meltzoff, Andrew N.

    2008-01-01

    Advanced inhibitory control skills have been found in bilingual speakers as compared to monolingual controls ( Bialystok, 1999 ). We examined whether this effect is generalized to an unstudied language group (Spanish-English bilingual) and multiple measures of executive function by administering a battery of tasks to 50 kindergarten children drawn…

  6. Frontotemporal function]al connectivity and executive functions contribute to episodic memory performance.

    PubMed

    Blankenship, Tashauna L; O'Neill, Meagan; Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Diana, Rachel A; Bell, Martha Ann

    2016-09-01

    The contributions of hemispheric-specific electrophysiology (electroencephalogram or EEG) and independent executive functions (inhibitory control, working memory, cognitive flexibility) to episodic memory performance were examined using abstract paintings. Right hemisphere frontotemporal functional connectivity during encoding and retrieval, measured via EEG alpha coherence, statistically predicted performance on recency but not recognition judgments for the abstract paintings. Theta coherence, however, did not predict performance. Likewise, cognitive flexibility statistically predicted performance on recency judgments, but not recognition. These findings suggest that recognition and recency operate via separate electrophysiological and executive mechanisms. PMID:27388478

  7. Questionnaire of executive function for dancers: an ecological approach.

    PubMed

    Wong, Alina; Rodríguez, Mabel; Quevedo, Liliana; Fernández de Cossío, Lourdes; Borges, Ariel; Reyes, Alicia; Corral, Roberto; Blanco, Florentino; Alvarez, Miguel

    2012-09-01

    There is a current debate about the ecological validity of executive function (EF) tests. Consistent with the verisimilitude approach, this research proposes the ballet executive scale (BES), a self-rating questionnaire that assimilates idiosyncratic executive behaviors of classical dance community. The BES was administrated to 149 adolescents, students of the Cuban Ballet School. Results present a Cronbach's alpha coefficient of .80 and a split-half Spearman-Brown coefficient r (SB) = .81. An exploratory factor analysis describes a bifactorial pattern of EF dimensions, with a self-regulation component, which explains more than 40% of variance, and a Developmental component, which accounts for more than 20% of variance. The questionnaire's total scores fit linear regression models with two external criteria of academic records, confirming concurrent validity. These findings support the hypothesis that the internalization of specific contextual cultural meanings has a mediating influence in the development of EF. PMID:21266371

  8. Executive function and cerebrovascular reactivity in pediatric hypertension.

    PubMed

    Ostrovskaya, Maria A; Rojas, Mary; Kupferman, Juan C; Lande, Marc B; Paterno, Kara; Brosgol, Yuri; Pavlakis, Steven G

    2015-04-01

    Primary hypertension is associated with decreased performance on neurocognitive testing and a blunted cerebrovascular reactivity to hypercapnia. Parents of 14 children with hypertension and prehypertension completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions. Children underwent 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and transcranial Doppler with reactivity measurement using time-averaged maximum mean velocity and end-tidal carbon dioxide during hypercapnia-rebreathing test. Comparing the reactivity slope for the patients to historical controls showed a statistically significant difference (t = -5.19, df = 13, P < .001), with lower slopes. Pearson correlations of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions scores with the reactivity slopes showed a statistically significant inverse relationship with Behavioral Regulation Index (r = -.60, P = .02), Metacognition Index (r = -.40, P = .05), and the Global Executive Component (r = -.53, P = .05). Children with hypertension have decreased executive function, and this correlates to low transcranial Doppler-reactivity slopes, suggesting that the brain is a target organ in hypertensive children. PMID:23877480

  9. Impact of IQ Discrepancy on Executive Function in High-Functioning Autism: Insight into Twice Exceptionality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalbfleisch, M. Layne; Loughan, Ashlee R.

    2012-01-01

    We examined the impact of IQ discrepancy (IQD) within (1) and above (1+) one standard deviation on executive function in HFA using the BRIEF. We hypothesized that IQD would benefit executive function. IQD 1 is hallmarked by deficits in BRIEF indices and subscales inhibit, shift, initiate, working memory, planning and organization, and monitor…

  10. Meta-analysis of 41 Functional Neuroimaging Studies of Executive Function in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Minzenberg, Michael J.; Laird, Angela R.; Thelen, Sarah; Carter, Cameron S.; Glahn, David C.

    2010-01-01

    Context: Prefrontal cortical dysfunction is frequently reported in schizophrenia. It remains unclear whether this represents the coincidence of several prefrontal region- and process-specific impairments or a more unitary dysfunction in a superordinate cognitive control network. Whether these impairments are properly considered reflective of hypofrontality vs hyperfrontality remains unresolved. Objectives: To test whether common nodes of the cognitive control network exhibit altered activity across functional neuroimaging studies of executive cognition in schizophrenia and to evaluate the direction of these effects. Data Sources: PubMed database. Study Selection: Forty-one English-language, peer-reviewed articles published prior to February 2007 were included. All reports used functional neuroimaging during executive function performance by adult patients with schizophrenia and reported whole-brain analyses in standard stereotactic space. Tasks primarily included the delayed match-to-sample, N-back, AX-CPT, and Stroop tasks. Data Extraction: Activation likelihood estimation modeling reported activation maxima as the center of a 3-dimensional gaussian function in the meta-analysis, with statistical thresholding and correction for multiple comparisons. Data Synthesis: In within-group analyses, healthy controls and patients activated a similarly distributed cortical-subcortical network, prominently including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC), ventrolateral PFC, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and thalamus. In between-group analyses, patients showed reduced activation in the left dorsolateral PFC, rostral/dorsal ACC, left thalamus (with significant co-occurrence of these areas), and inferior/ posterior cortical areas. Increased activation was observed in several midline cortical areas. Activation within groups varied modestly by task. Conclusions: Healthy adults and schizophrenic patients activate a qualitatively similar neural network during executive task

  11. Spaceborne computer executive routine functional design specification. Volume 2: Computer executive design for space station/base

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kennedy, J. R.; Fitzpatrick, W. S.

    1971-01-01

    The computer executive functional system design concepts derived from study of the Space Station/Base are presented. Information Management System hardware configuration as directly influencing the executive design is reviewed. The hardware configuration and generic executive design requirements are considered in detail in a previous report (System Configuration and Executive Requirements Specifications for Reusable Shuttle and Space Station/Base, 9/25/70). This report defines basic system primitives and delineates processes and process control. Supervisor states are considered for describing basic multiprogramming and multiprocessing systems. A high-level computer executive including control of scheduling, allocation of resources, system interactions, and real-time supervisory functions is defined. The description is oriented to provide a baseline for a functional simulation of the computer executive system.

  12. Selective alterations within executive functions in adolescents with excess weight.

    PubMed

    Verdejo-García, Antonio; Pérez-Expósito, Manuel; Schmidt-Río-Valle, Jacqueline; Fernández-Serrano, Maria J; Cruz, Francisco; Pérez-García, Miguel; López-Belmonte, Gemma; Martín-Matillas, Miguel; Martín-Lagos, Jose A; Marcos, Ascension; Campoy, Cristina

    2010-08-01

    Increasing evidence underscores overlapping neurobiological pathways to addiction and obesity. In both conditions, reward processing of preferred stimuli is enhanced, whereas the executive control system that would normally regulate reward-driven responses is altered. This abnormal interaction can be greater in adolescence, a period characterized by relative immaturity of executive control systems coupled with the relative maturity of reward processing systems. The aim of this study is to explore neuropsychological performance of adolescents with excess weight (n = 27, BMI range 24-51 kg/m(2)) vs. normal-weight adolescents (n = 34, BMI range 17-24 kg/m(2)) on a comprehensive battery of executive functioning tests, including measures of working memory (letter-number sequencing), reasoning (similarities), planning (zoo map), response inhibition (five-digit test (FDT)-interference and Stroop), flexibility (FDT-switching and trail-making test (TMT)), self-regulation (revised-strategy application test (R-SAT)), and decision-making (Iowa gambling task (IGT)). We also aimed to explore personality traits of impulsivity and sensitivity to reward. Independent sample t- and Z Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests showed significant differences between groups on indexes of inhibition, flexibility, and decision-making (excess-weight participants performed poorer than controls), but not on tests of working memory, planning, and reasoning, nor on personality measures. Moreover, regression models showed a significant association between BMI and flexibility performance. These results are indicative of selective alterations of particular components of executive functions in overweight adolescents. PMID:20057376

  13. BDNF mediates improvements in executive function following a 1-year exercise intervention.

    PubMed

    Leckie, Regina L; Oberlin, Lauren E; Voss, Michelle W; Prakash, Ruchika S; Szabo-Reed, Amanda; Chaddock-Heyman, Laura; Phillips, Siobhan M; Gothe, Neha P; Mailey, Emily; Vieira-Potter, Victoria J; Martin, Stephen A; Pence, Brandt D; Lin, Mingkuan; Parasuraman, Raja; Greenwood, Pamela M; Fryxell, Karl J; Woods, Jeffrey A; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F; Erickson, Kirk I

    2014-01-01

    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 = 0.036). 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. PMID:25566019

  14. Does the Iowa Gambling Task Measure Executive Function?

    PubMed Central

    Gansler, David A.; Jerram, Matthew W.; Vannorsdall, Tracy D.; Schretlen, David J.

    2011-01-01

    The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) is assumed to measure executive functioning, but this has not been empirically tested by means of both convergent and discriminant validity. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to test whether the IGT is an executive function (EF) task (convergent validity) and whether it is not related to other neuropsychological domains (discriminant validity). Healthy community-dwelling participants (N = 214) completed a comprehensive neuropsychological battery. We analyzed the conventional IGT metric and three alternative metrics based on the overall difference of advantageous minus disadvantageous choices made during the last 60 IGT responses and advantageous minus disadvantageous choices based on two specific decks of cards (D minus A). An a priori six-factor hierarchical model of neuropsychological functioning was confirmed with SEM. Attention and processing speed were grouped as “non-associative” factors. Fluency, executive functioning, visual learning/memory, and verbal learning/memory were grouped as higher-level “associative” factors. Of the non-associative factors, attention, but not speed, predicted IGT performance. When each associative factor was entered along with attention, only EF improved the model fit and that was only for metrics based on trials 41–100. SEM indicates metrics based on trails 1–100 are influenced by attention, and metrics based on trails 41–100 are influenced by attention and EF. Its associative strength with attention is twice that of EF. Conceptually, the IGT is a multi-trait task involving novel problem-solving and attentional domains to a greater extent, and executive functioning to a lesser extent. PMID:22015855

  15. Child Peer Abuse and Perceptions of Executive-Functioning Competencies.

    PubMed

    Mugge, Jessica R; Chase, Samantha L; King, Alan R

    2016-01-01

    Executive functioning (EF) research has been extended during the past decade to include self-reported estimates of perceived competency in completing routine behaviors associated with these neurological functions. Self-report measures such as the Executive Functioning Index (EFI) and Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF-A) have been found to be useful in focusing attention on potential areas of EF deficiency. Prior research has focused disproportionately on genetic and biological, rather than developmental, origins of EF. Retrospective accounts of childhood bullying were linked to adult EFI and BRIEF-A subscale scores in three independent samples in this report. Level of perceived competency in organizational skills was linked to childhood bullying experiences in all three samples. Effect sizes for these respective associations ranged from .50 to .74. Childhood bullying was not associated with deficits on any of the Continuous Performance Test subscales. Being bullied during development may alter self-perceptions of strengths and weaknesses in selected areas of EF. Systematic investigation of broader samples and testing tasks may reveal complex connections between childhood bullying and the acquisition of skills associated with EF. PMID:25650723

  16. Associations among false belief understanding, counterfactual reasoning, and executive function.

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

    The primary purposes of the present study were to clarify previous work on the association between counterfactual thinking and false belief performance to determine (1) whether these two variables are related and (2) if so, whether executive function skills mediate the relationship. A total of 92 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds completed false belief, counterfactual, working memory, representational flexibility, and language measures. Counterfactual reasoning accounted for limited unique variance in false belief. Both working memory and representational flexibility partially mediated the relationship between counterfactual and false belief. Children, like adults, also generated various types of counterfactual statements to differing degrees. Results demonstrated the importance of language and executive function for both counterfactual and false belief. Implications are discussed. PMID:19994575

  17. Relationships between measures of auditory verbal learning and executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Vanderploeg, R D; Schinka, J A; Retzlaff, P

    1994-04-01

    Relationships between performance on the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT) and executive abilities were examined. In a sample of 115 neurological cases principal components factor analysis produced five theoretically and clinically meaningful CVLT factors. The five CVLT factors reflected general verbal learning (CVLT1), response discrimination (CVLT2), a proactive interference effect or "working memory" (CVLT3), serial learning strategy (CVLT4), and a retroactive interference effect (CVLT5). Canonical correlation between executive function measures and the five CVLT factor scores yielded one significant canonical variable accounting for 29 percent of the variance in the data. Two CVLT factors (CVLT1 and CVLT3), the Trail Making Test Part B, and Digit Span were significantly correlated with the canonical variate. Higher levels of memory performance were associated with better attention and mental tracking. Based on the present findings, attentional aspects of executive abilities appear to play a role in learning and working memory. Other aspects of executive abilities (abstraction, problem-solving, planning) appear to have minimal relationships with memory processes. PMID:8021311

  18. HANOIPC3: a computer program to evaluate executive functions.

    PubMed

    Guevara, M A; Rizo, L; Ruiz-Díaz, M; Hernández-González, M

    2009-08-01

    This article describes a computer program (HANOIPC3) based on the Tower of Hanoi game that, by analyzing a series of parameters during execution, allows a fast and accurate evaluation of data related to certain executive functions, especially planning, organizing and problem-solving. This computerized version has only one level of difficulty based on the use of 3 disks, but it stipulates an additional rule: only one disk may be moved at a time, and only to an adjacent peg (i.e., no peg can be skipped over). In the original version--without this stipulation--the minimum number of movements required to complete the task is 7, but under the conditions of this computerized version this increases to 26. HANOIPC3 has three important advantages: (1) it allows a researcher or clinician to modify the rules by adding or removing certain conditions, thus augmenting the utility and flexibility in test execution and the interpretation of results; (2) it allows to provide on-line feedback to subjects about their execution; and, (3) it creates a specific file to store the scores that correspond to the parameters obtained during trials. The parameters that can be measured include: latencies (time taken for each movement, measured in seconds), total test time, total number of movements, and the number of correct and incorrect movements. The efficacy and adaptability of this program has been confirmed. PMID:19303660

  19. Intellectual deficits in children with ADHD beyond central executive and non-executive functions.

    PubMed

    Tillman, Carin M; Bohlin, Gunilla; Sørensen, Lin; Lundervold, Astri J

    2009-12-01

    This study aimed to specify the deficit in intellectual ability in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), by studying the mediating role of impairments in central executive function (EF)-related components (working memory, inhibition, sustained attention) and non-EFs (short-term memory and processing speed). Two hundred and thirty children aged 8-11 years from a population-based sample were assigned to either the ADHD group, the clinical comparison group, or the normal comparison group. The results showed that children with ADHD had poorer fluid and crystallized intelligence, relative to both comparison groups. Further, regarding fluid intelligence, these deficits were not fully mediated by, but rather went beyond, poorer functioning on the studied EF-related components and non-EFs. We tentatively interpret these fluid deficits in children with ADHD as representing deficiencies in a general intellectual resource reflecting executive attentional processes. Concerning crystallized ability, in contrast, the deficit signified impairment in the studied cognitive functions, as indicated by the significant full mediation effect. PMID:19825866

  20. Mental Playmates: Siblings, Executive Functioning and Theory of Mind

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McAlister, Anna; Peterson, Candida C.

    2006-01-01

    This study assessed the theory of mind (ToM) and executive functioning (EF) abilities of 124 typically developing preschool children aged 3 to 5 years in relation to whether or not they had a child-aged sibling (i.e. a child aged 1 to 12 years) at home with whom to play and converse. On a ToM battery that included tests of false belief,…

  1. Early Adolescent Executive Functioning, Intrauterine Exposures and Own Drug Use

    PubMed Central

    Rose-Jacobs, Ruth; Soenksen, Shayna; Appugliese, Danielle P.; Cabral, Howard J.; Richardson, Mark A.; Beeghly, Marjorie; Heeren, Timothy C.; Frank, Deborah A.

    2011-01-01

    Individual differences in adolescents' executive functioning are often attributed either to intrauterine substance exposure or to adolescents' own substance use, but both predictors typically have not been evaluated simultaneously in the same study. This prospective study evaluated whether intrauterine drug exposures, the adolescents' own substance use, and/or their potential interactions are related to poorer executive functioning after controlling for important contextual variables. Analyses were based on data collected on a sample of 137 predominantly African-American/ African Caribbean adolescents from low-income urban backgrounds who were followed since their term birth. Intrauterine substance exposures (cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, cigarettes) and adolescents' substance use were documented using a combination of biological assays and maternal and adolescent self-report. At 12-14 years of age, examiners masked to intrauterine exposures and current substance use assessed the adolescents using the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS), an age-referenced instrument evaluating multiple dimensions of executive functioning (EF). Results of covariate-controlled analyses in this study suggest that when intrauterine substance exposures and young adolescents' substance use variables were in the same analysis models, subtle differences in specific EF outcomes were identifiable in this non-referred sample. While further study with larger samples is indicated, these findings suggest that 1) research on adolescent substance use and intrauterine exposure research should evaluate both predictors simultaneously; 2) subtle neurocognitive effects associated with specific intrauterine drug exposures can be identified during early adolescence; and 3) intrauterine substance exposure effects may differ from those associated with adolescents' own drug use. PMID:21371553

  2. Aging of the Planning Process: The Role of Executive Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sorel, Olivier; Pennequin, Valerie

    2008-01-01

    This study tested whether the aging of executive functioning is linked to the decline in planning performance. Participants were divided into three groups: group 1 composed of 15 adults with a mean age of 22.7 years, group 2 composed of 15 adults with a mean age of 68.1 years and group 3 composed of 16 adults with a mean age of 78.75 years. Each…

  3. Executive function on the Psychology Experiment Building Language tests.

    PubMed

    Piper, Brian J; Li, Victoria; Eiwaz, Massarra A; Kobel, Yuliyana V; Benice, Ted S; Chu, Alex M; Olsen, Reid H J; Rice, Douglas Z; Gray, Hilary M; Mueller, Shane T; Raber, Jacob

    2012-03-01

    The measurement of executive function has a long history in clinical and experimental neuropsychology. The goal of the present report was to determine the profile of behavior across the lifespan on four computerized measures of executive function contained in the recently developed Psychology Experiment Building Language (PEBL) test battery http://pebl.sourceforge.net/ and evaluate whether this pattern is comparable to data previously obtained with the non-PEBL versions of these tests. Participants (N = 1,223; ages, 5-89 years) completed the PEBL Trail Making Test (pTMT), the Wisconsin Card Sort Test (pWCST; Berg, Journal of General Psychology, 39, 15-22, 1948; Grant & Berg, Journal of Experimental Psychology, 38, 404-411, 1948), the Tower of London (pToL), or a time estimation task (Time-Wall). Age-related effects were found over all four tests, especially as age increased from young childhood through adulthood. For several tests and measures (including pToL and pTMT), age-related slowing was found as age increased in adulthood. Together, these findings indicate that the PEBL tests provide valid and versatile new research tools for measuring executive functions. PMID:21534005

  4. Executive Function Moderates the Relation between Coping and Depressive Symptoms

    PubMed Central

    Morris, Matthew C.; Evans, Lindsay D.; Rao, Uma; Garber, Judy

    2014-01-01

    Background and Objectives Identifying risk factors early in the course of depression has important implications for prevention, given that the likelihood of recurrence increases with each successive episode. Design This study examined relations among coping, executive functioning, and depressive symptom trajectories in a sample of remitted-depressed (n = 32) and never-depressed (n = 36) young adults (ages 18 to 31). Methods Participants completed a clinical interview, a measure of coping, and tasks assessing two components of executive function -- inhibition and cognitive flexibility. Participants were re-assessed regarding the timing and severity of depressive symptoms that had occurred during the interval period (mean = 35.16 weeks, SD = 9.03). Results Among never-depressed individuals, less primary control coping (e.g., problem-solving) and greater disengagement coping (e.g., avoidance) predicted increases in depressive symptoms. Greater secondary control coping (e.g., acceptance) predicted decreases in depressive symptoms and was unrelated to depression history. Higher inhibition scores predicted less increase in depressive symptoms for individuals reporting less primary control coping or more disengagement coping. Higher cognitive flexibility scores predicted less increase in depressive symptoms among individuals reporting less secondary control coping. Conclusions Interventions aiming to enhance either coping strategies or executive functions may reduce risk for depression recurrence. PMID:24866556

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Development of additional tasks for the executive function performance test.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Bridget; Baum, Carolyn; Moore, Jennifer; Ehrlich-Jones, Linda; Spoeri, Susan; Doherty, Meghan; Wolf, Timothy J

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE. The Executive Function Performance Test (EFPT) is a reliable and valid performance-based assessment of executive function for people with stroke. The objective of this study was to enhance the clinical utility of the EFPT by developing and testing additional tasks for the EFPT in the Alternate EFPT (aEFPT). METHOD. We performed a cross-sectional study with poststroke participants (n = 25) and healthy control participants (n = 25). All participants completed a neuropsychological assessment battery and both the EFPT and the aEFPT. RESULTS. No statistically significant differences were found between the EFPT and the aEFPT when examining total scores, construct scores, and two overall task scores. Correlations between the aEFPT and the neuropsychological measures were adequate to strong (r2s = .59-.83). CONCLUSION. The aEFPT tasks are comparable to the original EFPT tasks, providing occupational therapy practitioners with additional tasks that can be used clinically to identify performance-based executive function deficits in people with stroke. PMID:25397771

  7. Executive Function Deficits in Patients after Cerebellar Neurosurgery.

    PubMed

    Mak, Monika; Tyburski, Ernest; Madany, Łukasz; Sokołowski, Andrzej; Samochowiec, Agnieszka

    2016-01-01

    The cerebellum has long been perceived as a structure responsible for the human motor function. According to the contemporary approach, however, it plays a significant role in complex behavior regulatory processes. The aim of this study was to describe executive functions in patients after cerebellar surgery. The study involved 30 patients with cerebellar pathology. The control group comprised 30 neurologically and mentally healthy individuals, matched for sex, age, and number of years of education. Executive functions were measured by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), Stroop Color Word Test (SCWT), Trail Making Test (TMT), and working memory by the Digit Span. Compared to healthy controls, patients made more Errors and Perseverative errors in the WCST, gave more Perseverative responses, and had a lower Number of categories completed. The patients exhibited higher response times in all three parts of the SCWT and TMT A and B. No significant differences between the two groups were reported in their performance of the SCWT and TMT with regard to the measures of absolute or relative interference. The patients had lower score on the backward Digit Span. Patients with cerebellar pathology may exhibit some impairment within problem solving and working memory. Their worse performance on the SCWT and TMT could, in turn, stem from their poor motor-somatosensory control, and not necessarily executive deficits. Our results thus support the hypothesis of the cerebellum's mediating role in the regulation of the activity of the superordinate cognitive control network in the brain. (JINS, 2016, 22, 47-57). PMID:26626541

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Executive functioning is supposed to have an important role in decision making under risk. Several studies reported that more advantageous decision-making behavior was accompanied by better performance in tests of executive functioning and that the decision-making process was accompanied by activations in prefrontal and subcortical brain regions associated with executive functioning. However, to what extent different components of executive functions contribute to decision making is still unclear. We tested direct and indirect effects of three executive functions on decision-making performance in a laboratory gambling task, the Game of Dice Task (GDT). Using Brand's model of decisions under risk (2006) we tested seven structural equation models with three latent variables that represent executive functions supposed to be involved in decision making. The latent variables were general control (represented by the general ability to exert attentional and behavioral self-control that is in accordance with task goals despite interfering information), concept formation (represented by categorization, rule detection, and set maintenance), and monitoring (represented by supervision of cognition and behavior). The seven models indicated that only the latent dimension general control had a direct effect on decision making under risk. Concept formation and monitoring only contributed in terms of indirect effects, when mediated by general control. Thus, several components of executive functioning seem to be involved in decision making under risk. However, general control functions seem to have a key role. They may be important for implementing the calculative and cognitively controlled processes involved in advantageous decision making under risk. PMID:25520690

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Executive Function, Neural Circuitry, and Genetic Mechanisms in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Eisenberg, Daniel Paul; Berman, Karen Faith

    2010-01-01

    After decades of research aimed at elucidating the pathophysiology and etiology of schizophrenia, it has become increasingly apparent that it is an illness knowing few boundaries. Psychopathological manifestations extend across several domains, impacting multiple facets of real-world functioning for the affected individual. Even within one such domain, arguably the most enduring, difficult to treat, and devastating to long-term functioning—executive impairment—there are not only a host of disrupted component processes, but also a complex underlying dysfunctional neural architecture. Further, just as implicated brain structures (eg, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) through postmortem and neuroimaging techniques continue to show alterations in multiple, interacting signaling pathways, so too does evolving understanding of genetic risk factors suggest multiple molecular entry points to illness liability. With this expansive network of interactions in mind, the present chapter takes a systems-level approach to executive dysfunction in schizophrenia, by identifying key regions both within and outside of the frontal lobes that show changes in schizophrenia and are important in cognitive control neural circuitry, summarizing current knowledge of their relevant functional interactions, and reviewing emerging links between schizophrenia risk genetics and characteristic executive circuit aberrancies observed with neuroimaging methods. PMID:19693005

  11. Behavior ratings of executive function among preschoolers with ADHD.

    PubMed

    Mahone, E Mark; Hoffman, Jennifer

    2007-07-01

    The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool Version (BRIEF-P; Gioia, Espy, & Isquith, 2003) was developed to assess executive function (EF) behaviors in children aged 2 to 5 years. We compared parent ratings of 25 preschool children with ADHD to 25 age-, sex-, and SES-matched controls from the BRIEF-P standardization sample. Children with ADHD were rated significantly higher than controls (p < .01) on all five primary scales (Inhibit, Shift, Emotional Control, Working Memory, Plan/Organize), and on all four indices (Inhibitory Self Control, Flexibility, Emerging Metacognition, General Executive Composite). The largest effect size was on the Working Memory scale. All five BRIEF-P clinical scales were significantly intercorrelated in the control group, and seven of ten scale intercorrelations were significant in the ADHD group. Within the ADHD group, the BRIEF-P Index scores were significantly correlated with ratings on the Conners' Parent Rating Scale, but only moderately correlated with an estimate of Verbal IQ. The BRIEF-P had low, non-significant correlations with performance-based measures of EF, and patterns of correlations were not significantly different than those between the BRIEF-P and non-EF measures (sensorimotor, receptive vocabulary). Similar to its predecessor, the BRIEF-P is sensitive to symptoms of ADHD, but appears to measure different elements of EF than those tapped by performance-based measures. PMID:17613979

  12. Executing application function calls in response to an interrupt

    SciTech Connect

    Almasi, Gheorghe; Archer, Charles J.; Giampapa, Mark E.; Gooding, Thomas M.; Heidelberger, Philip; Parker, Jeffrey J.

    2010-05-11

    Executing application function calls in response to an interrupt including creating a thread; receiving an interrupt having an interrupt type; determining whether a value of a semaphore represents that interrupts are disabled; if the value of the semaphore represents that interrupts are not disabled: calling, by the thread, one or more preconfigured functions in dependence upon the interrupt type of the interrupt; yielding the thread; and if the value of the semaphore represents that interrupts are disabled: setting the value of the semaphore to represent to a kernel that interrupts are hard-disabled; and hard-disabling interrupts at the kernel.

  13. Poly-victimization and executive functions in junior college students.

    PubMed

    Li, Yang; Dong, Fanghong; Cao, Fenglin; Cui, Naixue; Li, Jie; Long, Zhouting

    2013-12-01

    This study sought to characterize executive dysfunctions in poly-victimized students without posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and the relationship between neuropsychological and behavioral rating measures of executive functions (EFs). Based on self-report data of exposure to victimization and PTSD symptoms, 259 junior college students aged 18-21 years were classified into four groups: poly-victimization with PTSD symptoms (PVP), poly-victimization without PTSD symptoms (PVnP), non-poly-victimization (nPV), and non-victimization (nV). Respondents also completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A). Of the 259 participants, 131 were administered a battery of neuropsychological tests from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Testing Automated Battery (CANTAB). The PVP group and the PVnP group performed worse than the nV group on most BRIEF-A scales. When compared with the nPV group, the PVP group demonstrated poorer performance on the scales of Inhibit, Shift, Emotional Control, Initiate, and Working Memory, while the PVnP group performed more poorly on the Working Memory scale and the Task Monitor scale. For all BRIEF-A scales, no significant differences were detected between the PVP group and the PVnP group. This study showed no between-group differences for most of the neuropsychological tests except for the Stop Signal Task (SST), and no correlations between these two measures of EFs. Overall, we found evidence of an association between deficits in EFs and poly-victimization. Although our study raises questions about the relationship between these two measures of EFs, it suggests that the use of the BRIEF-A in conjunction with the CANTAB provides a more complete assessment of the executive dysfunctions. PMID:24580571

  14. Does Speaking Two Dialects in Daily Life Affect Executive Functions? An Event-Related Potential Study

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yan Jing; Zhang, Haoyun; Guo, Taomei

    2016-01-01

    Whether using two languages enhances executive functions is a matter of debate. Here, we take a novel perspective to examine the bilingual advantage hypothesis by comparing bi-dialect with mono-dialect speakers’ performance on a non-linguistic task that requires executive control. Two groups of native Chinese speakers, one speaking only the standard Chinese Mandarin and the other also speaking the Southern-Min dialect, which differs from the standard Chinese Mandarin primarily in phonology, performed a classic Flanker task. Behavioural results showed no difference between the two groups, but event-related potentials recorded simultaneously revealed a number of differences, including an earlier P2 effect in the bi-dialect as compared to the mono-dialect group, suggesting that the two groups engage different underlying neural processes. Despite differences in the early ERP component, no between-group differences in the magnitude of the Flanker effects, which is an index of conflict resolution, were observed in the N2 component. Therefore, these findings suggest that speaking two dialects of one language does not enhance executive functions. Implications of the current findings for the bilingual advantage hypothesis are discussed. PMID:26991456

  15. Does Speaking Two Dialects in Daily Life Affect Executive Functions? An Event-Related Potential Study.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yan Jing; Zhang, Haoyun; Guo, Taomei

    2016-01-01

    Whether using two languages enhances executive functions is a matter of debate. Here, we take a novel perspective to examine the bilingual advantage hypothesis by comparing bi-dialect with mono-dialect speakers' performance on a non-linguistic task that requires executive control. Two groups of native Chinese speakers, one speaking only the standard Chinese Mandarin and the other also speaking the Southern-Min dialect, which differs from the standard Chinese Mandarin primarily in phonology, performed a classic Flanker task. Behavioural results showed no difference between the two groups, but event-related potentials recorded simultaneously revealed a number of differences, including an earlier P2 effect in the bi-dialect as compared to the mono-dialect group, suggesting that the two groups engage different underlying neural processes. Despite differences in the early ERP component, no between-group differences in the magnitude of the Flanker effects, which is an index of conflict resolution, were observed in the N2 component. Therefore, these findings suggest that speaking two dialects of one language does not enhance executive functions. Implications of the current findings for the bilingual advantage hypothesis are discussed. PMID:26991456

  16. The emergent executive: a dynamic field theory of the development of executive function.

    PubMed

    Buss, Aaron T; Spencer, John P

    2014-06-01

    Executive function (EF) is a central aspect of cognition that undergoes significant changes in early childhood. Changes in EF in early childhood are robustly predictive of academic achievement and general quality of life measures later in adulthood. We present a dynamic neural field (DNF) model that provides a process-based account of behavior and developmental change in a key task used to probe the early development of executive function—the Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS) task. In the DCCS, children must flexibly switch from sorting cards either by shape or color to sorting by the other dimension. Typically, 3-year-olds, but not 5-year-olds, lack the flexibility to do so and perseverate on the first set of rules when instructed to switch. Using the DNF model, we demonstrate how rule-use and behavioral flexibility come about through a form of dimensional attention. Further, developmental change is captured by increasing the robustness and precision of dimensional attention. Note that although this enables the model to effectively switch tasks, the dimensional attention system does not “know” the details of task-specific performance. Rather, correct performance emerges as a property of system–wide interactions. We show how this captures children’s behavior in quantitative detail across 14 versions of the DCCS task. Moreover, we successfully test a set of novel predictions with 3-year-old children from a version of the task not explained by other theories. PMID:24818836

  17. Context, engagement, and the (multiple) functions of negativity bias.

    PubMed

    Federico, Christopher M; Johnston, Christopher D; Lavine, Howard G

    2014-06-01

    Hibbing and colleagues argue that political attitudes may be rooted in individual differences in negativity bias. Here, we highlight the complex, conditional nature of the relationship between negativity bias and ideology by arguing that the political impact of negativity bias should vary as a function of (1) issue domain and (2) political engagement. PMID:24970433

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

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Fayeza S; Miller, L Stephen

    2013-06-01

    Theory of mind (ToM) is the ability to comprehend another person's perspective. Although there is much literature of ToM in children, there is a limited and somewhat inconclusive amount of studies examining ToM in a geriatric population. This study examined ToM's relationship to functional independence. Two tests of ToM, tests of executive function, and a measure of functional ability were administered to cognitively intact older adults. Results showed that 1 test of ToM (Strange Stories test) significantly accounted for variance in functional ability, whereas the other did not (Faux Pas test). In addition, Strange Stories test performance was partially driven by a verbal abstraction-based executive function: proverb interpretation. A multiple mediation model was employed to examine whether executive functions explained the relationship between the Strange Stories test and functional ability. Results showed that both the combined and individual indirect effects of the executive function measures mediated the relationship. We argue that, although components of ToM are associated with functional independence, ToM does not appear to account for additional variance in functional independence beyond executive function measures. PMID:23795763

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barenberg, Jonathan; Berse, Timo; Dutke, Stephan

    2011-01-01

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

  20. The Effects of Environment on Children's Executive Function: A Study of Three Private Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bagby, Janet; Barnard-Brak, Lucy; Sulak, Tracey; Jones, Natalie; Walter, Mary

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the executive function of 4th- to 6th-grade students in three distinctively different private school environments: a Montessori school, a classical school, and a Catholic school. Using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, parent-teacher dyads rated the executive function of 112 students.…

  1. Individual Differences in Executive Functions Are Almost Entirely Genetic in Origin

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Friedman, Naomi P.; Miyake, Akira; Young, Susan E.; DeFries, John C.; Corley, Robin P.; Hewitt, John K.

    2008-01-01

    Recent psychological and neuropsychological research suggests that executive functions--the cognitive control processes that regulate thought and action--are multifaceted and that different types of executive functions are correlated but separable. The present multivariate twin study of 3 executive functions (inhibiting dominant responses,…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Neill, Gina; Miller, Patricia H.

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Self-report measures of executive function problems correlate with personality, not performance-based executive function measures, in nonclinical samples.

    PubMed

    Buchanan, Tom

    2016-04-01

    Researchers and clinicians often measure executive function in patients and normal samples. In addition to cognitive tests that objectively measure executive function, several instruments have been developed that address individuals' everyday experience of executive problems. Such self-report measures of executive problems may have value, but there are questions about the extent to which they tap objectively measurable executive problems or are influenced by variables such as personality. Relationships between self-reported executive problems, personality, and cognitive test performance were assessed in 3 separate, well-powered, methodologically distinct correlational studies using nonclinical samples. These studies used multiple measures of personality and self-reported executive function problems. Across all 3 studies, self-reported executive function problems were found to correlate with neuroticism and with low conscientiousness, with medium to large effect sizes. However self-reported problems did not correlate with performance on Trail Making, Phonemic Fluency, Semantic Fluency, or Digit Span tests tapping executive function. A key implication of these findings is that in nonclinical samples, self-report questionnaires may not be proxies for executive functioning as measured by neuropsychological tests. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26191609

  4. Modeling the emergent executive: implications for the structure and development of executive function.

    PubMed

    Wiebe, Sandra A

    2014-06-01

    In this Monograph, Buss and Spencer develop a novel theory of preschool executive function (EF) based on the principles of dynamic systems theory (DST). In this commentary, I discuss how this model contributes to our understanding of EF and highlight challenges that remain to be addressed. First, I discuss Buss and Spencer's model in the context of existing theories, and in terms of the processes thought to underlie developmental improvements in card-sorting. Next, I explore implications for our understanding of the structure of EF in early childhood. Finally, I suggest possible extensions of this approach to later development, including whether and how this work might shed light on relations between individual differences in early EF and later developmental outcomes. PMID:24818832

  5. Executive functioning in adults and children with developmental dyslexia.

    PubMed

    Brosnan, Mark; Demetre, James; Hamill, Stephen; Robson, Kate; Shepherd, Haidee; Cody, Gerard

    2002-01-01

    The performance of developmentally dyslexic children and adults was studied upon a range of tasks that involved executive functioning. Both adult and child samples of dyslexics were found to under-perform on the group-embedded figures test. This test required the identification of constituent parts from within complex visual arrays, with good performance necessitating the inhibition of the processing of the surrounding context. A general deficit on visual-spatial tasks was eliminated as an explanation as dyslexics performed normally upon a range of other non-verbal assessments. The dyslexics consistently demonstrated a deficit in digit span tasks, a decrement that was increased with distractors, again suggesting difficulties in inhibiting the processing of the surrounding context. A deficit was also identified upon a verbal fluency task without a deficit in vocabulary level. Additionally, a specific deficit in the recollection of the temporal order of the presentation of items was in evidence, without a deficit in the recognition of the items themselves. The findings taken as a whole suggest that dyslexic individuals show deficiencies in executive functions relating to inhibition of distractors and to sequencing of events, a set of tasks associated with left prefrontal cortex functioning in the acquired neuropsychology literature. PMID:12208010

  6. Executive Functions in Tobacco Dependence: Importance of Inhibitory Capacities

    PubMed Central

    Flaudias, Valentin; Picot, Marie Christine; Lopez-Castroman, Jorge; Llorca, Pierre-Michel; Schmitt, Audrey; Perriot, Jean; Georgescu, Vera; Courtet, Philippe; Quantin, Xavier; Guillaume, Sébastien

    2016-01-01

    Background Executive functions are linked to tobacco dependence and craving. In this cross-sectional study, we assessed the impact of three executive functions: updating, inhibition and shifting processes on tobacco craving and dependence. Method 134 tobacco consumers were included in this study: 81 moderately (Fagerström score <7) and 53 heavily dependent (Fagerström score >7). Dependence was assessed with the Fagerström test and craving with the tobacco craving questionnaire (TCQ 12). We used the Stroop test and the Hayling test to measure inhibition, the Trail Making Test to measure shifting processes and the n-back test to measure updating processes. A multivariate logistic model was used to assess which variables explained best the level of nicotine dependence. Results Inhibition (p = 0.002) and updating (p = 0.014) processes, but not shifting processes, were associated with higher tobacco dependence. Inhibition capacity had a significant effect on the nicotine dependence level independently of age, education, time since last cigarette, intellectual quotient, craving, updating and shifting process. Conclusions Nicotine dependence level seems better explained by inhibition capacities than by craving and updating effects. The capacity to inhibit our behaviours is a good predictor of the severity of tobacco dependence. Our results suggest a prefrontal cortex dysfunction affecting the inhibitory capacities of heavy tobacco dependent smokers. Further studies are needed to investigate the application of these findings in the treatment of tobacco dependence. PMID:26953688

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Working memory is a type of short-term memory which has a crucial cognitive function that supports ongoing and upcoming behaviors, allowing storage of information across delay periods. The content of this memory may typically include tangible information about features such as the shape, color or texture of an object, and its location and motion relative to the body, as well as phonological information. The neural correlate of working memory has been found in different brain areas that are involved in organizing perceptual or motor functions. In particular, neuronal activity in prefrontal areas encodes task-related information corresponding to working memory across delay periods, and lesions in the prefrontal cortex severely affect the ability to retain this type of memory. Recent studies have further expanded the scope and possible role of working memory by showing that information of a more abstract nature (including a behavior-guiding rule, or the occurrence of a conflict in information processing) can also be maintained in short-term memory, and used for adjusting the allocation of executive control in dynamic environments. It has also been shown that neuronal activity in the prefrontal cortex encodes and maintains information about such abstract entities. These findings suggest that the prefrontal cortex plays crucial roles in the organization of goal-directed behavior by supporting many different mnemonic processes, which maintain a wide range of information required for the executive control of ongoing and upcoming behaviors. PMID:26696841

  8. Working Memory in the Service of Executive Control Functions

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Working memory is a type of short-term memory which has a crucial cognitive function that supports ongoing and upcoming behaviors, allowing storage of information across delay periods. The content of this memory may typically include tangible information about features such as the shape, color or texture of an object, and its location and motion relative to the body, as well as phonological information. The neural correlate of working memory has been found in different brain areas that are involved in organizing perceptual or motor functions. In particular, neuronal activity in prefrontal areas encodes task-related information corresponding to working memory across delay periods, and lesions in the prefrontal cortex severely affect the ability to retain this type of memory. Recent studies have further expanded the scope and possible role of working memory by showing that information of a more abstract nature (including a behavior-guiding rule, or the occurrence of a conflict in information processing) can also be maintained in short-term memory, and used for adjusting the allocation of executive control in dynamic environments. It has also been shown that neuronal activity in the prefrontal cortex encodes and maintains information about such abstract entities. These findings suggest that the prefrontal cortex plays crucial roles in the organization of goal-directed behavior by supporting many different mnemonic processes, which maintain a wide range of information required for the executive control of ongoing and upcoming behaviors. PMID:26696841

  9. Bilingual experience and executive functioning in young children

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Stephanie M.; Meltzoff, Andrew N.

    2013-01-01

    Advanced inhibitory control skills have been found in bilingual speakers as compared to monolingual controls (Bialystok, 1999). We examined whether this effect is generalized to an unstudied language group (Spanish-English bilingual) and multiple measures of executive function by administering a battery of tasks to 50 kindergarten children drawn from three language groups: native bilinguals, monolinguals (English), and English speakers enrolled in second-language immersion kindergarten. Despite having significantly lower verbal scores and parent education/income level, Spanish-English bilingual children’s raw scores did not differ from their peers. After statistically controlling for these factors and age, native bilingual children performed significantly better on the executive function battery than both other groups. Importantly, the relative advantage was significant for tasks that appear to call for managing conflicting attentional demands (Conflict tasks); there was no advantage on impulse-control (Delay tasks). These results advance our understanding of both the generalizability and specificity of the compensatory effects of bilingual experience for children’s cognitive development. PMID:18333982

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Interventions shown to aid executive function development in children 4 to 12 years old.

    PubMed

    Diamond, Adele; Lee, Kathleen

    2011-08-19

    To be successful takes creativity, flexibility, self-control, and discipline. Central to all those are executive functions, including mentally playing with ideas, giving a considered rather than an impulsive response, and staying focused. Diverse activities have been shown to improve children's executive functions: computerized training, noncomputerized games, aerobics, martial arts, yoga, mindfulness, and school curricula. All successful programs involve repeated practice and progressively increase the challenge to executive functions. Children with worse executive functions benefit most from these activities; thus, early executive-function training may avert widening achievement gaps later. To improve executive functions, focusing narrowly on them may not be as effective as also addressing emotional and social development (as do curricula that improve executive functions) and physical development (shown by positive effects of aerobics, martial arts, and yoga). PMID:21852486

  13. Interventions shown to Aid Executive Function Development in Children 4–12 Years Old *

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Adele; Lee, Kathleen

    2011-01-01

    To be successful takes creativity, flexibility, self-control, and discipline. Central to all those are ‘executive functions,’ including mentally playing with ideas, giving a considered rather than an impulsive response, and staying focused. Diverse activities have been shown to improve children’s executive functions – computerized training, non-computerized games, aerobics, martial arts, yoga, mindfulness, and school curricula. Central to all these is repeated practice and constantly challenging executive functions. Children with worse executive functions initially, benefit most; thus early executive-function training may avert widening achievement gaps later. To improve executive functions, focusing narrowly on them may not be as effective as also addressing emotional and social development (as do curricula that improve executive functions) and physical development (shown by positive effects of aerobics, martial arts, and yoga). PMID:21852486

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    The study purpose was to test 1-year prospective associations between English-Spanish bilingualism and executive function in 5th to 6th grade students while controlling for biculturalism. Participants included 182 US Latino students (50 % female). Self-report surveys assessed biculturalism, bilingualism, and executive function (i.e., working memory, organizational skills, inhibitory control, and emotional control, as well as a summary executive function score). General linear model regressions demonstrated that bilingualism significantly predicted the summary executive function score as well as working memory such that bilingual proficiency was positively related to executive function. Results are the first to demonstrate (a) prospective associations between bilingualism to executive function while controlling for the potential third variable of biculturalism, and (b) a principal role for working memory in this relationship. Since executive function is associated with a host of health outcomes, one implication of study findings is that bilingualism may have an indirect protective influence on youth development. PMID:23632808

  15. Relating Worry and Executive Functioning During Childhood: The Moderating Role of Age.

    PubMed

    Geronimi, Elena M C; Patterson, Heather L; Woodruff-Borden, Janet

    2016-06-01

    The associations between worry and executive functioning across development have not been previously explored. Examining the interrelationships between these variables in childhood may further elucidate the cognitive nature of worry as well as its developmental course. Hypotheses predicted that difficulties with executive functioning would correlate with child worry; based on extant literature, age-related hypotheses were proposed for particular aspects of executive functioning. Children (N = 130) participated in the present study. Difficulties with executive functioning and child worry were assessed. Results demonstrated that each executive functioning subscale correlated with worry. The relations between worry and several facets of executive functioning were no longer significant at older ages, while the relations between worry and the facets of inhibition, shifting, and emotional control did not demonstrate age-related interaction effects. Overall, the findings suggest that worry is associated with executive functioning at young ages and that this association takes distinct forms during different childhood stages. PMID:26268800

  16. Executive Functions after Age 5: Changes and Correlates

    PubMed Central

    Best, John R.; Miller, Patricia H.; Jones, Lara L.

    2009-01-01

    Research and theorizing on executive function (EF) in childhood has been disproportionately focused on preschool age children. This review paper outlines the importance of examining EF throughout childhood, and even across the lifespan. First, examining EF in older children can address the question of whether EF is a unitary construct. The relations among the EF components, particularly as they are recruited for complex tasks, appear to change over the course of development. Second, much of the development of EF, especially working memory, shifting, and planning, occurs after age 5. Third, important applications of EF research concern the role of school-age children’s EF in various aspects of school performance, as well as social functioning and emotional control. Future research needs to examine a more complete developmental span, from early childhood through late adulthood, in order to address developmental issues adequately. PMID:20161467

  17. Influence of organizational functioning on client engagement in treatment.

    PubMed

    Greener, Jack M; Joe, George W; Simpson, D Dwayne; Rowan-Szal, Grace A; Lehman, Wayne E K

    2007-09-01

    This study focused on the relationship between organizational functioning factors measured in a staff survey using the Texas Christian University (TCU) Organizational Readiness for Change assessment and client-level engagement measured by the TCU Client Evaluation of Self and Treatment in drug treatment programs. The sample consisted of 531 clinical and counseling staff and 3,475 clients from 163 substance abuse treatment programs located in nine states from three regional Addiction Technology Transfer Centers. Measures of client engagement in treatment (rapport, satisfaction, and participation) were shown to be higher in programs with more positive staff ratings of organizational functioning. In particular, these programs had fewer agency needs and more favorable ratings for their resources, staff attributes, and climate. These findings help establish the importance of addressing organizational factors as part of an overall strategy for improving treatment effectiveness. PMID:17433863

  18. Identification of Resting State Networks Involved in Executive Function.

    PubMed

    Connolly, Joanna; McNulty, Jonathan P; Boran, Lorraine; Roche, Richard A P; Delany, David; Bokde, Arun L W

    2016-06-01

    The structural networks in the human brain are consistent across subjects, and this is reflected also in that functional networks across subjects are relatively consistent. These findings are not only present during performance of a goal oriented task but there are also consistent functional networks during resting state. It suggests that goal oriented activation patterns may be a function of component networks identified using resting state. The current study examines the relationship between resting state networks measured and patterns of neural activation elicited during a Stroop task. The association between the Stroop-activated networks and the resting state networks was quantified using spatial linear regression. In addition, we investigated if the degree of spatial association of resting state networks with the Stroop task may predict performance on the Stroop task. The results of this investigation demonstrated that the Stroop activated network can be decomposed into a number of resting state networks, which were primarily associated with attention, executive function, visual perception, and the default mode network. The close spatial correspondence between the functional organization of the resting brain and task-evoked patterns supports the relevance of resting state networks in cognitive function. PMID:26935902

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

    PubMed Central

    Friend, Margaret; Bates, Raven Phoenix

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Prenatal ethanol exposure impairs executive function in mice into adulthood

    PubMed Central

    Marquardt, Kristin; Sigdel, Rahul; Caldwell, Kevin; Brigman, Jonathan L.

    2014-01-01

    Background Despite evidence that prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) can lead to a wide range of impairments in cognitive, social and emotional behaviors, drinking during pregnancy remains common. Although there is a general understanding that high levels of drinking during pregnancy are unsafe, conflicting evidence regarding the impact of low intake may account for the persistence of this behavior. Methods In order to investigate the effects of PAE on learning and executive control we utilized a voluntary paradigm where pregnant mice had access to a saccharin sweetened 10% alcohol solution for 4 hours, during the dark cycle, throughout gestation. Male and female offspring were tested as adults on a touch-screen discrimination and reversal task mediated by corticostriatal circuits. Results Consistent with previous findings, PAE did not lead to gross morphological, motor or sensory alterations in offspring. Both PAE and saccharin control female mice were slower to acquire the discrimination than males, but PAE did not impair associative learning in either sex. During reversal, PAE led to a specific and significant impairment in the early phase, where cortical control is most required to flexibly alter choice behavior. PAE mice showed a significant increase in maladaptive perseverative responses but showed intact learning of the new association during late reversal. Conclusions Previously, data from clinical studies have suggested that executive control deficits may underlie cognitive, as well as social, problems seen in adolescents with documented PAE. These data demonstrate that even more moderate alcohol exposure during development can lead to impaired cognitive functioning well into adulthood. PMID:25581651

  1. Executive functioning: developmental consequences on adolescents with histories of maltreatment.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

    Research suggests that children exposed to maltreatment have deficits in executive functioning (EF) but few studies have focused on the adolescent age group. We investigated whether maltreated adolescents had lower EF abilities compared to a group of non-maltreated adolescents. Forty adolescents with histories of child maltreatment, together with a comparison group of 40 non-maltreated adolescents matched for age, completed a comprehensive battery of EF tasks. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses, controlling for IQ, were carried out using each of the EF measures as dependent variables to examine group differences. Maltreated adolescents had significantly lower performance than non-maltreated adolescents on tasks assessing executive loaded working memory, fluency, and inhibition, although switching was not impaired. Emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD) were included in additional regression analyses to examine whether these variables would explain the group differences. The inclusion of EBD variables had some effect on group differences, as expected, but did not eliminate them. These findings support the theory that impairments in EF may be one underlying reason why adolescents with histories of maltreatment struggle to cope both inside and outside the classroom. PMID:24684281

  2. Altered executive function in the welders: A functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    PubMed

    Seo, Jeehye; Chang, Yongmin; Jang, Kyung Eun; Park, Jang Woo; Kim, Yang-Tae; Park, Sin-Jae; Jeong, Kyoung Sook; Kim, Ahro; Kim, Suk Hwan; Kim, Yangho

    2016-01-01

    Chronic exposure to manganese (Mn) can lead to impairments in motor and cognitive functions. Several recent studies reported Mn-induced executive dysfunction. The present study compared the neural correlates of ongoing executive function of welders and healthy controls. Fifty-three welders and 44 healthy controls were enrolled. Participants were given functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans and performed two modified versions of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task (WCST) that differed in cognitive demand, and a task that established a high-level baseline (HLB) condition. Card Sorting Test and Word-Color Test were also used to assess executive performance. Neural activation of the bilateral superior-frontal cortex, right-inferior parietal cortex, and bilateral insula cortex were greater in healthy controls than in welders when contrasting the difficult version of the WCST with the HLB. There were also correlations between executive functions by the Card Sorting Test and Word-Color Test, and brain activation in the insula cortex using the WCST. Our results indicated that welders had altered neural processing related to executive function in the prefrontal cortex under conditions of high cognitive demand. Welders also had less activation of the insula cortex, a part of a larger network comprising the lateral prefrontal cortex and parietal cortex. PMID:27208889

  3. Pharmacological Enhancement of Memory and Executive Functioning in Laboratory Animals

    PubMed Central

    Floresco, Stan B; Jentsch, James D

    2011-01-01

    Investigating how different pharmacological compounds may enhance learning, memory, and higher-order cognitive functions in laboratory animals is the first critical step toward the development of cognitive enhancers that may be used to ameliorate impairments in these functions in patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders. Rather than focus on one aspect of cognition, or class of drug, in this review we provide a broad overview of how distinct classes of pharmacological compounds may enhance different types of memory and executive functioning, particularly those mediated by the prefrontal cortex. These include recognition memory, attention, working memory, and different components of behavioral flexibility. A key emphasis is placed on comparing and contrasting the effects of certain drugs on different cognitive and mnemonic functions, highlighting methodological issues associated with this type of research, tasks used to investigate these functions, and avenues for future research. Viewed collectively, studies of the neuropharmacological basis of cognition in rodents and non-human primates have identified targets that will hopefully open new avenues for the treatment of cognitive disabilities in persons affected by mental disorders. PMID:20844477

  4. Effects of continuous and intermittent exercise on executive function in children aged 8-10 years.

    PubMed

    Lambrick, Danielle; Stoner, Lee; Grigg, Rebecca; Faulkner, James

    2016-09-01

    Understanding the effects of acute exercise on executive function in prepubescent children may be important for the enhancement of school performance. This study assessed the effect of an acute bout of continuous (CONT) or intermittent (INT), moderate-intensity treadmill exercise on executive function in young children. Twenty healthy children, mean (SD); age: 8.8 (0.8) years; height: 140 (9) cm; weight: 36 (11) kg; boys: n = 9, performed a graded-exercise test to determine maximal oxygen uptake, and two 15-min submaximal bouts of treadmill exercise; protocols were either CONT or INT. During CONT, participants ran at 90% of gas exchange threshold. During INT, participants performed six consecutive 2.5 min blocks of exercise, which were designed to reflect children's typical activity patterns, comprising 45 s at a heavy intensity, 33 s at a moderate intensity, 10 s at a severe intensity, and 62 s at a low intensity. Participants performed the Stroop task before the submaximal exercise bouts and after, at 1-, 15-, and 30-min intervals. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) measured cerebral perfusion and oxygenation. Regardless of condition, Stroop performance was improved at 1 min after compared to before, 54.9 (9.8) s versus 57.9 (11) s, respectively, p < .01, and improvements were maintained until 30 min after. NIRS (oxyhemoglobin, total hemoglobin) explained a significant amount of variance in the change in Stroop performance for INT only (49%, p < .05). An acute bout of exercise, of either an intermittent or continuous nature, improves executive function in children, and effects are maintained for ≤ 30 min following exercise cessation. Accordingly, it is recommended that children should engage in physical activity during periods of school recess. PMID:27314635

  5. Private Speech and Executive Functioning among High-Functioning Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Winsler, Adam; Abar, Beau; Feder, Michael A.; Schunn, Christian D.; Rubio, David Alarcon

    2007-01-01

    Private speech used by high-functioning children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) (n=33) during two executive functioning tasks was compared to that of typically developing children (n=28), and children with ADHD (n=21). Children with ASD were as likely as others to talk to themselves and their speech was similarly relevant and likely to…

  6. Working Memory and Executive Function Profiles of Individuals with Borderline Intellectual Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alloway, T. P.

    2010-01-01

    Background: The aim of the present study was to investigate the following issues: (1) Do students with borderline intellectual functioning have a pervasive pattern of impaired working memory skills across both verbal and visuo-spatial domains? (2) Is there evidence for impairment in executive function skills, and which tasks indicate greater…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lederman, Sheri G.

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

  8. Sibling composition, executive function, and children's thinking about mental diversity.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, Katie; Lagattuta, Kristin Hansen; Sayfan, Liat

    2015-04-01

    Prior investigations of relations between sibling composition and theory of mind have focused almost exclusively on false belief understanding in children 6 years of age and younger. The current work expands previous research by examining whether sibling composition predicts 4- to 11-year-olds' (N=192) more advanced mental state reasoning on interpretive theory of mind tasks. Even when controlling for age and executive function, children with a greater number of older siblings or with more same-sex siblings demonstrated stronger knowledge in both their predictions and explanations that people with different past experiences can have diverse interpretations of ambiguous stimuli. These data provide some of the first documentation of sibling constellations that predict individual differences in theory of mind during middle childhood. PMID:25687549

  9. The effects of parental scaffolding on preschoolers' executive function.

    PubMed

    Hammond, Stuart I; Müller, Ulrich; Carpendale, Jeremy I M; Bibok, Maximilian B; Liebermann-Finestone, Dana P

    2012-01-01

    The present study explores the effects of parental scaffolding of children's problem solving on the development of executive function (EF). Eighty-two children were assessed at 2, 3, and 4 years of age on a variety of EF tasks and, at ages 2 and 3, on a problem-solving puzzle with which parents offered structured assistance (i.e., scaffolding). Unlike previous studies of parental scaffolding, children's EF was examined at each time point. Scaffolding at age 3 was found to have a direct effect on EF at age 4. Furthermore, scaffolding at age 2 had an indirect on EF at age 4 through the child's verbal ability at age 3. PMID:21928877

  10. Executive function and magnitude skills in preschool children.

    PubMed

    Prager, Emily O; Sera, Maria D; Carlson, Stephanie M

    2016-07-01

    Executive function (EF) has been highlighted as a potentially important factor for mathematical understanding. The relation has been well established in school-aged children but has been less explored at younger ages. The current study investigated the relation between EF and mathematics in preschool-aged children. Participants were 142 typically developing 3- and 4-year-olds. Controlling for verbal ability, a significant positive correlation was found between EF and general math abilities in this age group. Importantly, we further examined this relation causally by varying the EF load on a magnitude comparison task. Results suggested a developmental pattern where 3-year-olds' performance on the magnitude comparison task was worst when EF was taxed the most. Conversely, 4-year-olds performed well on the magnitude task despite varying EF demands, suggesting that EF might play a critical role in the development of math concepts. PMID:27082019

  11. A Short Executive Function Training Program Improves Preschoolers’ Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Blakey, Emma; Carroll, Daniel J.

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive training has been shown to improve executive functions (EFs) in middle childhood and adulthood. However, fewer studies have targeted the preschool years—a time when EFs undergo rapid development. The present study tested the effects of a short four session EF 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 3 months later. In addition, the benefits of training extended to a measure of mathematical reasoning 3 months later, indicating that training EFs during the preschool years has the potential to convey benefits that are both long-lasting and wide-ranging. PMID:26635710

  12. A Longitudinal Intergenerational Analysis of Executive Functions During Early Childhood

    PubMed Central

    Cuevas, Kimberly; Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen; Wang, Zhe; Morasch, Katherine C.; Bell, Martha Ann

    2013-01-01

    Despite the importance of executive function (EF) in both clinical and educational contexts, the etiology of individual differences in early childhood EF remains poorly understood. This study provides the first longitudinal intergenerational analysis of mother-child EF associations during early childhood. A group of children and their mothers (n = 62) completed age-appropriate EF tasks. Mother and child EF were modestly correlated by 24 months of age and this association was stable through 48 months. Importantly, maternal-child EF associations were still robust after controlling for verbal ability (potential indicator of verbal/crystallized intelligence) and maternal education (correlate of socioeconomic status and verbal intelligence). Potential implications of these findings as well as underlying mechanisms of the maternal-child EF association (gene-environment interplay) are discussed. PMID:25284715

  13. Executive function and endocrinological responses to acute resistance exercise

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Chia-Liang; Wang, Chun-Hao; Pan, Chien-Yu; Chen, Fu-Chen; Huang, Tsang-Hai; Chou, Feng-Ying

    2014-01-01

    This study had the following two aims: First, to explore the effects of acute resistance exercise (RE, i.e., using exercise machines to contract and stretch muscles) on behavioral and electrophysiological performance when performing a cognitive task involving executive functioning in young male adults; Second, to investigate the potential biochemical mechanisms of such facilitative effects using two neurotrophic factors [i.e., growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)] and the cortisol levels elicited by such an exercise intervention mode with two different exercise intensities. Sixty young male adults were recruited and randomly assigned to a high-intensity (HI) exercise group, moderate-intensity (MI) exercise group, and non-exercise-intervention (NEI) group. Blood samples were taken, and the behavioral and electrophysiological indices were simultaneously measured when individuals performed a Go/No-Go task combined with the Erikson Flanker paradigm at baseline and after either an acute bout of 30 min of moderate- or high-intensity RE or a control period. The results showed that the acute RE could not only benefit the subjects' behavioral (i.e., RTs and accuracy) performance, as found in previous studies, but also increase the P3 amplitude. Although the serum GH and IGF-1 levels were significantly increased via moderate or high intensity RE in both the MI and HI groups, the increased serum levels of neurotrophic factors were significantly decreased about 20 min after exercise. In addition, such changes were not correlated with the changes in cognitive (i.e., behavioral and electrophysiological) performance. In contrast, the serum levels of cortisol in the HI and MI groups were significantly lower after acute RE, and the changes in cortisol levels were significantly associated with the changes in electrophysiological (i.e., P3 amplitude) performance. The findings suggest the beneficial effects of acute RE on executive functioning could be due to

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    It is often assumed that negative affect impairs the executive functions that underlie our ability to control and focus our thoughts. However, support for this claim has been mixed. Recent work has suggested that different negative affective states like anxiety and anger may reflect physiologically separable states with distinct effects on cognition. However, the effects of these 2 affective states on executive function have never been assessed. As such, we induced anxiety or anger in participants and examined the effects on executive function. We found that anger did not impair executive function relative to a neutral mood, whereas anxiety did. In addition, self-reports of induced anxiety, but not anger, predicted impairments in executive function. These results support functional models of affect and cognition, and highlight the need to consider differences between anxiety and anger when investigating the influence of negative affect on fundamental cognitive processes such as memory and executive function. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27100367

  15. Evidence for an association between gender-role identity and a measure of executive function.

    PubMed

    Norvilitis, Jill M; Reid, Howard M

    2002-02-01

    Two studies assessed the relation between gender role and executive function. In Study One (N = 234) analyses indicated that among college students executive function, assessed by the Coolidge and Griego scale, is related to masculine gender-role classification, measured by the Bem Sex-role Inventory. This relationship remained significant when biological sex was controlled. Further, factor analysis of the Bem Sex-role Inventory identified six components, three related to executive function. Two of these scales were associated with masculine characteristics, and the third was associated with the denial of several feminine items. Study Two (N = 53) further assessed the relationship among undergraduates through additional measures of executive functions and mood, in addition to the Bem Sex-role Inventory. In this study, executive functioning, as measured by the Coolidge and Griego scale, was again generally related to masculinity. Psychological well-being was not related to gender identity or executive functioning. PMID:11899009

  16. Shyness and Vocabulary: The Roles of Executive Functioning and Home Environmental Stimulation

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    Although shyness has often been found to be negatively related to vocabulary, few studies have examined the processes that produce or modify this relation. The present study examined executive functioning skills and home environmental stimulation as potential mediating and moderating mechanisms. A sample of 3.5-year-old children (N=254) were administered executive functioning tasks and a vocabulary test during a laboratory visit. Mothers completed questionnaires assessing child shyness and home environmental stimulation. Our primary hypothesis was that executive functioning mediates the association between shyness and vocabulary, and home environmental stimulation moderates the relation between executive functioning and vocabulary. Alternative hypotheses were also tested. Results indicated that children with better executive functioning skills developed stronger vocabularies when reared in more, versus less, stimulating environments. Implications of these results are discussed in terms of the role of shyness, executive functioning, and home environmental stimulation in early vocabulary development. PMID:22096267

  17. Do ADHD and executive dysfunctions, measured by the hebrew version of Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Functions (BRIEF), completely overlap?

    PubMed

    Linder, Neta; Kroyzer, Naama; Maeir, Adina; Wertman-Elad, Raya; Pollak, Yehuda

    2010-01-01

    The centrality of executive function deficits (EFD) in attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is well accepted albeit EFD is not synonymous with ADHD. The purpose of the present study was to examine the extent to which ADHD and EF overlap and to validate the Hebrew version of the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Functions (BRIEF). Parents of 178 children with and without ADHD completed the BRIEF and the ADHD-Rating Scale. Significant differences were found between groups on each scale even after controlling for the other scale. Internal consistency analysis supported the reliability of the Hebrew version of the BRIEF. We conclude that ADHD and Executive Dysfunctions do not completely overlap. PMID:20521184

  18. Executive and attention functioning among children in the PANDAS subgroup.

    PubMed

    Hirschtritt, Matthew E; Hammond, Christopher J; Luckenbaugh, David; Buhle, Jason; Thurm, Audrey E; Casey, B J; Swedo, Susan E

    2009-03-01

    Evidence from past studies indicates that adults and children with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Tourette syndrome (TS) experience subtle neuropsychological deficits. Less is known about neuropsychological functioning of children and adolescents with a symptom course consistent with the PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infection) subgroup of OCD and tics. To provide such information, we administered three tests of attention control and two of executive function to 67 children and adolescents (ages 5-16) diagnosed with OCD and/or tics and a symptom course consistent with the PANDAS subgroup and 98 healthy volunteers (HV) matched by age, sex, and IQ. In a paired comparison of the two groups, the PANDAS subjects were less accurate than HV in a test of response suppression. Further, in a two-step linear regression analysis of the PANDAS group in which clinical variables were added stepwise into the model and in the second step matching variables (age, sex, and IQ) were added, IQ emerged as a predictor of performance on this task. In the same analysis, ADHD diagnosis and age emerged as predictors of response time in a continuous performance task. Subdividing the PANDAS group by primary psychiatric diagnosis revealed that subjects with TS or OCD with tics exhibited a longer response time compared to controls than subjects with OCD only, replicating previous findings within TS and OCD. This study demonstrates that children with PANDAS exhibit neuropsychological profiles similar to those of their primary psychiatric diagnosis. PMID:18622810

  19. Sources of data about children's executive functioning: review and commentary.

    PubMed

    Silver, Cheryl H

    2014-01-01

    Accurate measurement of a child's executive functioning (EF) is important for diagnosis, description of functional impairment, and treatment planning. EF assessment typically consists of administration of a battery of performance-based tests involving abilities such as attention, inhibition, reasoning, planning, and mental flexibility. In recent years, observer (e.g., parent) rating scales have been added to the typical EF battery. However, research has revealed that performance-based tests and parent rating scales are not highly correlated. In other words, level of impairment indicated by one source of data often does not match level of impairment indicated by the other source of data. This disagreement places the clinician in a difficult situation when attempting to interpret evaluation results. The profession of pediatric neuropsychology needs to provide guidance about handling this disagreement. Using the current assessment tools, specific EF subdomains may need to be examined systematically to identify precisely where the disagreements lie. Perhaps the relative validity of the two data sources can be determined, and decisions can be made about what to emphasize and what/when to interpret cautiously. Alternatively, perhaps the goal should be to develop and/or refine measurement tools to increase agreement in order to improve accuracy and validity of test interpretation. At this time, the results of performance-based tests and rating scales of EF are being used together but are not being integrated. Evidence-based practice requires that more work be done to enhance the use of these two sources of data. PMID:23030631

  20. Prenatal polybrominated diphenyl ether and perfluoroalkyl substance exposures and executive function in school-age children.

    PubMed

    Vuong, Ann M; Yolton, Kimberly; Webster, Glenys M; Sjödin, Andreas; Calafat, Antonia M; Braun, Joseph M; Dietrich, Kim N; Lanphear, Bruce P; Chen, Aimin

    2016-05-01

    Executive function is a critical behavioral trait rarely studied in relation to potential neurotoxicants. Prenatal exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) has been associated with adverse neurodevelopment, but there is limited research on executive function. Data from 256 mother-child pairs in the Health Outcomes and Measures of the Environment Study, a prospective birth cohort (2003-2006, Cincinnati, OH), was used to examine maternal serum PBDEs and PFASs and executive function in children ages 5 and 8 years. Maternal serum PBDEs and PFASs were measured at 16±3 weeks gestation. Executive function was assessed with the parent-rated Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), which yields composite measures: behavioral regulation index, metacognition index, and global executive composite. Higher BRIEF scores indicate executive function impairments. Linear mixed models and generalized estimating equations were used to estimate covariate-adjusted associations between PBDEs and PFASs and executive function. A 10-fold increase in BDE-153 was associated with poorer behavior regulation (β=3.23, 95% CI 0.60, 5.86). Higher odds of having a score ≥60 in behavior regulation (OR=3.92, 95% CI 1.76, 8.73) or global executive functioning (OR=2.34, 95% CI 1.05, 5.23) was observed with increased BDE-153. Each ln-unit increase in perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was associated with poorer behavior regulation (β=3.14, 95% CI 0.68, 5.61), metacognition (β=3.10, 95% CI 0.62, 5.58), and global executive functioning (β=3.38, 95% CI 0.86, 5.90). However, no association was observed between perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and executive function. Prenatal exposures to BDE-153 and PFOS may be associated with executive function deficits in school-age children. PMID:26832761

  1. A bidirectional relationship between physical activity and executive function in older adults

    PubMed Central

    Daly, Michael; McMinn, David; Allan, Julia L.

    2015-01-01

    Physically active lifestyles contribute to better executive function. However, it is unclear whether high levels of executive function lead people to be more active. This study uses a large sample and multi-wave data to identify whether a reciprocal association exists between physical activity and executive function. Participants were 4555 older adults tracked across four waves of the English Longitudinal Study of Aging. In each wave executive function was assessed using a verbal fluency test and a letter cancelation task and participants reported their physical activity levels. Fixed effects regressions showed that changes in executive function corresponded with changes in physical activity. In longitudinal multilevel models low levels of physical activity led to subsequent declines in executive function. Importantly, poor executive function predicted reductions in physical activity over time. This association was found to be over 50% larger in magnitude than the contribution of physical activity to changes in executive function. This is the first study to identify evidence for a robust bidirectional link between executive function and physical activity in a large sample of older adults tracked over time. PMID:25628552

  2. Impaired executive functioning after left anterior insular stroke: a case report.

    PubMed

    Markostamou, Ioanna; Rudolf, Jobst; Tsiptsios, Iakovos; Kosmidis, Mary H

    2015-01-01

    Given the insular's anatomic complexity and functional interconnectivity, acute lesions may result in varied clinical presentations, including autonomic, somatosensory, perceptual, motor, affective, and cognitive deficits. Although functional neuroimaging studies have demonstrated its role in executive functions, no clinical manifestations have been reported to date. We present the case of a woman with an acute left anterior insular infarction leading to executive (i.e., word and design fluency, mental flexibility, sustained attention, inhibitory control), but not language, visuoperceptual, or memory impairment. This case confirms the left anterior insula's involvement in executive functioning and suggests that an infarction may result in executive impairment. PMID:25537237

  3. Executive Function Late Effects in Survivors of Pediatric Brain Tumors and Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Winter, Amanda L.; Conklin, Heather M.; Tyc, Vida L.; Stancel, Heather; Hinds, Pamela S.; Hudson, Melissa M.; Kahalley, Lisa S.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND Survivors of pediatric brain tumors (BT) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are at risk for neurocognitive late effects related to executive function. PROCEDURE Survivors of BT (48) and ALL (50) completed neurocognitive assessment. Executive function was compared to estimated IQ and population norms by diagnostic group. RESULTS Both BT and ALL demonstrated relative executive function weaknesses. As a group, BT survivors demonstrated weaker executive functioning than expected for age. Those BT survivors with deficits exhibited a profile suggestive of global executive dysfunction, while affected ALL survivors tended to demonstrate specific rapid naming deficits. CONCLUSION Findings suggest that pediatric BT and ALL survivors may exhibit different profiles of executive function late effects, which may necessitate distinct intervention plans. PMID:25126830

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    OBJECTIVE : To evaluate levels of executive functioning in a sample of adolescent and young adult (AYA) transplant recipients, and to examine executive functioning in association with barriers to adherence and medication nonadherence.  METHOD : In all, 41 caregivers and 39 AYAs were administered self- and proxy-report measures.  RESULTS : AYA transplant recipients have significant impairments in executive functioning abilities. Greater dysfunction in specific domains of executive functioning was significantly associated with more barriers to adherence and greater medication nonadherence.  CONCLUSION : AYA transplant recipients are at increased risk for executive dysfunction. The assessment of executive functioning abilities may guide intervention efforts designed to decrease barriers to adherence and promote developmentally appropriate levels of treatment responsibility. PMID:26567316

  5. The effects of fantastical pretend-play on the development of executive functions: An intervention study.

    PubMed

    Thibodeau, Rachel B; Gilpin, Ansley T; Brown, Melissa M; Meyer, Brooke A

    2016-05-01

    Although recent correlational studies have found a relationship between fantasy orientation (FO; i.e., a child's propensity to play in a fantastical realm) and higher order cognitive skills called executive functions (EFs), no work has addressed the causality and directionality of this relationship. The current study experimentally examined the directionality of the observed relationship between FO and EF development in preschool-aged children through an innovative play intervention employing a randomized controlled design. A sample of 110 children between the ages of 3 and 5years were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: fantastical pretend-play intervention, non-imaginative play intervention, or business-as-usual control. Results revealed that children who participated in a 5-week fantastical pretend-play intervention showed improvements in EFs, whereas children in the other two conditions did not. Within the fantastical pretend-play condition, children who were highly engaged in the play and those who were highly fantastical demonstrated the greatest gains in EFs. These data provide evidence for the equifinal relationship between fantasy-oriented play and EF development, such that engaging in fantasy-oriented play may be one of many ways to directly enhance EF development. PMID:26835841

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Neuropsychological functioning in youth with obsessive compulsive disorder: an examination of executive function and memory impairment.

    PubMed

    Lewin, Adam B; Larson, Michael J; Park, Jennifer M; McGuire, Joseph F; Murphy, Tanya K; Storch, Eric A

    2014-04-30

    Preliminary research suggests neuropsychological deficits in youth with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) similar to those in adults; however, small samples and methodological confounds limit interpretation. We aimed to examine the rates and clinical correlates of cognitive sequelae in youth with OCD, focusing on executive functioning and memory abilities. Youth ages 7-17 years with OCD (N=96) completed a hypothesis-driven neuropsychological battery (including the Rey-Osterreith Complex Figure, California Verbal Learning Test, and subtests of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System and Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning) that primarily assessed executive functioning, memory and processing speed. Cognitive sequelae were identified in 65% of youth (37% using a more stringent definition of impairment). Magnitude of cognitive sequelae was not associated with OCD severity or age; however, greater neuropsychological impairments were found amongst youth prescribed atypical neuroleptics and those diagnosed with comorbid tic disorders. Comorbidity burden was associated with presence of neuropsychological impairment, but was not specific to any single test. Findings suggest that the presence of cognitive sequelae is prevalent amongst treatment-seeking youth with OCD. Deficits were found in executive functioning and non-verbal memory performance but these impairments were not associated with OCD severity. PMID:24508366

  8. Individual Differences in Executive Functions Are Almost Entirely Genetic in Origin

    PubMed Central

    Friedman, Naomi P.; Miyake, Akira; Young, Susan E.; DeFries, John C.; Corley, Robin P.; Hewitt, John K.

    2009-01-01

    Recent psychological and neuropsychological research suggests that executive functions — the cognitive control processes that regulate thought and action — are multifaceted and that different types of executive functions are correlated but separable. The present multivariate twin study of three executive functions (inhibiting dominant responses, updating working memory representations, and shifting between task sets), measured as latent variables, examined why people vary in these executive control abilities and why these abilities are correlated but separable from a behavioral genetic perspective. Results indicated that executive functions are correlated because they are influenced by a highly heritable (99%) common factor that goes beyond general intelligence or perceptual speed, and they are separable because of additional genetic influences unique to particular executive functions. This combination of general and specific genetic influences places executive functions among the most heritable psychological traits. These results highlight the potential of genetic approaches for uncovering the biological underpinnings of executive functions and suggest a need for examining multiple types of executive functions to distinguish different levels of genetic influences. PMID:18473654

  9. Diversity of approaches in assessment of executive functions in stroke: limited evidence?

    PubMed Central

    Conti, Juliana; Sterr, Annette; Brucki, Sônia Maria Dozzi; Conforto, Adriana B.

    2015-01-01

    Stroke is a leading cause of disability worldwide. Cognitive functions and, in particular, executive function, are commonly affected after stroke, leading to impairments in performance of daily activities, decrease in social participation and in quality of life. Appropriate assessment and understanding of executive dysfunction are important, firstly to develop better rehabilitation strategies for executive functions per se and secondly to consider executive function abilities on rehabilitation strategies in general. The purpose of this review was to identify the most widely used assessment tools of executive dysfunction for patients with stroke, and their psychometric properties. We systematically reviewed manuscripts published in English in databases from 1999 to 2015. We identified 35 publications. The most frequently used instruments were the Stroop, Digit Span and Trail making tests. Psychometric properties were described for the Executive Function Performance Test, Executive Clock Drawing Task, Chinese Frontal Assessment Battery and Virtual Action Planning – Supermarket, and two subtests of the Cambridge Cognitive Examination – Revised. There is a paucity of tools to reliably measure executive dysfunction after stroke, despite the fact that executive dysfunction is frequent. Identification of the best tools for executive dysfunction assessment is necessary to address important gaps in research and in clinical practice. PMID:26623442

  10. Activities and Programs That Improve Children’s Executive Functions

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Adele

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs; e.g., reasoning, working memory, and self-control) can be improved. Good news indeed, since EFs are critical for school and job success and for mental and physical health. Various activities appear to improve children’s EFs. The best evidence exists for computer-based training, traditional martial arts, and two school curricula. Weaker evidence, though strong enough to pass peer review, exists for aerobics, yoga, mindfulness, and other school curricula. Here I address what can be learned from the research thus far, including that EFs need to be progressively challenged as children improve and that repeated practice is key. Children devote time and effort to activities they love; therefore, EF interventions might use children’s motivation to advantage. Focusing narrowly on EFs or aerobic activity alone appears not to be as efficacious in improving EFs as also addressing children’s emotional, social, and character development (as do martial arts, yoga, and curricula shown to improve EFs). Children with poorer EFs benefit more from training; hence, training might provide them an opportunity to “catch up” with their peers and not be left behind. Remaining questions include how long benefits of EF training last and who benefits most from which activities. PMID:25328287

  11. Executive functions in kindergarteners with high levels of disruptive behaviours.

    PubMed

    Monette, Sébastien; Bigras, Marc; Guay, Marie-Claude

    2015-11-01

    Executive function (EF) deficits have yet to be demonstrated convincingly in children with disruptive behaviour disorders (DBD), as only a few studies have reported these. The presence of EF weaknesses in children with DBD has often been contested on account of the high comorbidity between DBD and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and of methodological shortcomings regarding EF measures. Against this background, the link between EF and disruptive behaviours in kindergarteners was investigated using a carefully selected battery of EF measures. Three groups of kindergarteners were compared: (1) a group combining high levels of disruptive behaviours and ADHD symptoms (COMB); (2) a group presenting high levels of disruptive/aggressive behaviours and low levels of ADHD symptoms (AGG); and (3) a normative group (NOR). Children in the COMB and AGG groups presented weaker inhibition capacities compared with normative peers. Also, only the COMB group showed weaker working memory capacities compared with the NOR group. Results support the idea that preschool children with DBD have weaker inhibition capacities and that this weakness could be common to both ADHD and DBD. PMID:26198079

  12. Does executive function matter for preschoolers' problem behaviors?

    PubMed

    Hughes, Claire; Ensor, Rosie

    2008-01-01

    Early problem behaviors are associated with a variety of cognitive deficits: in verbal ability, executive function (EF) and theory of mind (ToM). Previous studies with different age-groups yield contrasting results: for 2-year-olds, ToM skills appear particularly salient (Hughes & Ensor, 2006), but for 4-year-olds EF appears more important (Hughes, White, Sharpen, & Dunn, 2000). To examine this apparent developmental change in the relative salience of cognitive deficits we followed 122 children from Hughes and Ensor's (2006) sample at ages 3 and 4. Tests of ToM, EF and verbal ability were included at each time-point and multi-informant, multi-measure, multi-setting ratings provided aggregate measures of problem behaviors. ToM and verbal ability showed non-specific associations with problem behaviors, but associations between EF and problem behaviors were strong and specific. In addition, age-3 EF mediated relations between age-2 verbal ability and age-4 problem behaviors. PMID:17914667

  13. Theory of mind and executive function in Chinese preschool children.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    [Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported in Vol 52(4) of Developmental Psychology (see record 2016-13852-001). In the article, there were two errors in Table 6. The coefficient between WM and Age was incorrectly set as .46; it should have been .46. Further, the coefficient between WM and Gender should be .00 instead of .00. The correct version is provided.] 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 preschoolers (ages 3, 4, 5) in Chengdu, China. Compared with prior research with other Chinese and non-Chinese children, some general patterns in development were replicated in this sample. However, the children showed culture-specific reversals in the developmental sequence of ToM. For example, Chengdu children performed differently on the 2 false-belief tasks that were thought to be equivalent. Furthermore, conflict inhibition as well as working memory uniquely predicted ToM performance. We discuss the issues of ToM development as they relate to test items and cross-cultural-and subcultural-differences. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26845504

  14. Executive functioning in preschoolers with specific language impairment

    PubMed Central

    Vissers, Constance; Koolen, Sophieke; Hermans, Daan; Scheper, Annette; Knoors, Harry

    2015-01-01

    The pathogenesis of Specific Language Impairment (SLI) is still largely beyond our understanding. In this review, a neuropsychological perspective on language impairments in SLI is taken, focusing specifically on executive functioning (EF) in preschoolers (age range: 2.6–6.1 years) with SLI. Based on the studies described in this review, it can be concluded that similar to school-aged children with SLI, preschoolers with SLI show difficulties in working memory, inhibition and shifting, as revealed by both performance based measures and behavioral ratings. It seems plausible that a complex, reciprocal relationship exists between language and EF throughout development. Future research is needed to examine if, and if yes how, language and EF interact in SLI. Broad neuropsychological assessment in which both language and EF are taken into account may contribute to early detection of SLI. This in turn can lead to early and tailored treatment of children with (suspected) SLI aimed not only at stimulating language development but also at strengthening EF. PMID:26539136

  15. Atlas-based diffusion tensor imaging correlates of executive function

    PubMed Central

    Nowrangi, Milap A.; Okonkwo, Ozioma; Lyketsos, Constantine; Oishi, Kenichi; Mori, Susumu; Albert, Marilyn; Mielke, Michelle M.

    2015-01-01

    Impairment in executive function (EF) is commonly found in Alzheimer’s Dementia (AD) and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Atlas-based Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) methods may be useful in relating regional integrity to EF measures in MCI and AD. 66 participants (25 NC, 22 MCI, and 19 AD) received DTI scans and clinical evaluation. DTI scans were applied to a pre-segmented atlas and fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) were calculated. ANOVA was used to assess group differences in frontal, parietal, and cerebellar regions. For regions differing between groups (p<0.01), linear regression examined the relationship between EF scores and regional FA and MD. Anisotropy and diffusivity in frontal and parietal lobe white matter (WM) structures were associated with EF scores in MCI and only frontal lobe structures in AD. EF was more strongly associated with FA than MD. The relationship between EF and anisotropy and diffusivity was strongest in MCI. These results suggest that regional WM integrity is compromised in MCI and AD and that FA may be a better correlate of EF than MD. PMID:25318544

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by socio-communicative impairments. Executive dysfunction may explain some key characteristics of ASD, both social and nonsocial hallmarks. Limited research exists exploring the relations between executive function and social impairment in ASD and few studies have used a comparison control group. Thus, the objective of the present study was to investigate the relations between executive functioning using the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning (BRIEF), social impairment as measured by the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), and overall autistic symptomology as measured by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) in children and adolescents with and without ASD. Seventy children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD and 71 typically developing controls were included in this study. Findings showed that behavioral regulation executive processes (i.e., inhibition, shifting, and emotional control) predicted social function in all children. However, metacognitive executive processes (i.e., initiation, working memory, planning, organization, and monitoring) predicted social function only in children with ASD and not in typically developing children. Our findings suggest a distinct metacognitive executive function-social symptom link in ASD that is not present in the typical population. Understanding components of executive functioning that contribute to the autistic symptomology, particularly in the socio-communicative domain, is crucial for developing effective interventions that target key executive processes as well as underlying behavioral symptoms. PMID:25731979

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

  18. Executive function and food approach behavior in middle childhood

    PubMed Central

    Groppe, Karoline; Elsner, Birgit

    2014-01-01

    Executive function (EF) has long been considered to be a unitary, domain-general cognitive ability. However, recent research suggests differentiating “hot” affective and “cool” cognitive aspects of EF. Yet, findings regarding this two-factor construct are still inconsistent. In particular, the development of this factor structure remains unclear and data on school-aged children is lacking. Furthermore, studies linking EF and overweight or obesity suggest that EF contributes to the regulation of eating behavior. So far, however, the links between EF and eating behavior have rarely been investigated in children and non-clinical populations. First, we examined whether EF can be divided into hot and cool factors or whether they actually correspond to a unitary construct in middle childhood. Second, we examined how hot and cool EF are associated with different eating styles that put children at risk of becoming overweight during development. Hot and cool EF were assessed experimentally in a non-clinical population of 1657 elementary-school children (aged 6–11 years). The “food approach” behavior was rated mainly via parent questionnaires. Findings indicate that hot EF is distinguishable from cool EF. However, only cool EF seems to represent a coherent functional entity, whereas hot EF does not seem to be a homogenous construct. This was true for a younger and an older subgroup of children. Furthermore, different EF components were correlated with eating styles, such as responsiveness to food, desire to drink, and restrained eating in girls but not in boys. This shows that lower levels of EF are not only seen in clinical populations of obese patients but are already associated with food approach styles in a normal population of elementary school-aged girls. Although the direction of effect still has to be clarified, results point to the possibility that EF constitutes a risk factor for eating styles contributing to the development of overweight in the long

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Social rejection often increases aggression, but the neural mechanisms underlying this effect remain unclear. This experiment tested whether neural activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and anterior insula in response to social rejection predicted greater subsequent aggression. Additionally, it tested whether executive functioning moderated this relationship. Participants completed a behavioral measure of executive functioning, experienced social rejection while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging and then completed a task in which they could aggress against a person who rejected them using noise blasts . We found that dACC activation and executive functioning interacted to predict aggression. Specifically, participants with low executive functioning showed a positive association between dACC activation and aggression, whereas individuals with high executive functioning showed a negative association. Similar results were found for the left anterior insula. These findings suggest that social pain can increase or decrease aggression, depending on an individual’s regulatory capability. PMID:23482622

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    Social rejection often increases aggression, but the neural mechanisms underlying this effect remain unclear. This experiment tested whether neural activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and anterior insula in response to social rejection predicted greater subsequent aggression. Additionally, it tested whether executive functioning moderated this relationship. Participants completed a behavioral measure of executive functioning, experienced social rejection while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging and then completed a task in which they could aggress against a person who rejected them using noise blasts . We found that dACC activation and executive functioning interacted to predict aggression. Specifically, participants with low executive functioning showed a positive association between dACC activation and aggression, whereas individuals with high executive functioning showed a negative association. Similar results were found for the left anterior insula. These findings suggest that social pain can increase or decrease aggression, depending on an individual's regulatory capability. PMID:23482622

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

    Stereotype threat research shows that women's math performance can be reduced by activating gender-based math stereotypes. Models of stereotype threat assert that threat reduces cognitive functioning, thereby accounting for its negative effects. This work provides a more detailed understanding of the cognitive processes through which stereotype threat leads women to underperform at math and to take risks, by examining which basic executive functions (inhibition, shifting, and updating) account for these outcomes. In Experiments 1 and 2, women under threat showed reduced inhibition, reduced updating, and reduced math performance compared with women in a control condition (or men); however, only updating accounted for women's poor math performance under threat. In Experiment 3, only updating accounted for stereotype threat's effect on women's math performance, whereas only inhibition accounted for the effect of threat on risk-taking, suggesting that distinct executive functions can account for different stereotype threat-related outcomes. PMID:24345711

  2. Perinatal medical variables predict executive function within a sample of preschoolers born very low birth weight.

    PubMed

    Duvall, Susanne W; Erickson, Sarah J; MacLean, Peggy; Lowe, Jean R

    2015-05-01

    The goal was to identify perinatal predictors of early executive dysfunction in preschoolers born very low birth weight. Fifty-seven preschoolers completed 3 executive function tasks: Dimensional Change Card Sort-Separated (inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility), Bear Dragon (inhibition and working memory), and Gift Delay Open (inhibition). Relationships between executive function and perinatal medical severity factors (gestational age, days on ventilation, size for gestational age, maternal steroids, and number of surgeries) and chronological age were investigated by multiple linear regression and logistic regression. Different perinatal medical severity factors were predictive of executive function tasks, with gestational age predicting Bear Dragon and Gift Open; and number of surgeries and maternal steroids predicting performance on Dimensional Change Card Sort-Separated. By understanding the relationship between perinatal medical severity factors and preschool executive outcomes, we can identify children at highest risk for future executive dysfunction, thereby focusing targeted early intervention services. PMID:25117418

  3. Assessment of Executive Functions in Prader-Willi Syndrome and Relationship with Intellectual Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chevalere, J.; Postal, V.; Jauregui, J.; Copet, P.; Laurier, V.; Thuilleaux, D.

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: The aim of the present study was to determine whether individuals with Prader--Willi syndrome (PWS) have impaired global executive functioning and whether this deficit is linked with intellectual disability. Another objective focussed on the variability in performance of intellectual quotient (IQ) and executive functions (EF)…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bevins, Shelley; Hurse, Emily

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Executive Functions among Youth with Down Syndrome and Co-Existing Neurobehavioural Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pritchard, A. E.; Kalback, S.; McCurdy, M.; Capone, G. T.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Executive function (EF) deficits are :a recognised component of the cognitive phenotype of youth with Down Syndrome (DS). Recent research in this area emphasises the use of behaviour ratings, such as the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions-Preschool Version (BRIEF-P), to capture the real-world applications of executive…

  7. Helping Students Take Control of Everyday Executive Functions: The Attention Fix

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moraine, Paula

    2012-01-01

    This book presents an innovative model for strengthening and developing executive function in any student, including those with attention, memory, organization, planning, inhibition, initiative, and flexibility difficulties. It provides guidance on how to support each student's evolving executive function, and how to encourage those who are ready…

  8. Alternative Measurement Paradigms for Measuring Executive Functions: SEM (Formative and Reflective Models) and IRT (Rasch Models)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Engelhard, George, Jr.; Wang, Jue

    2014-01-01

    The authors of the Focus article pose important questions regarding whether or not performance-based tasks related to executive functioning are best viewed as reflective or formative indicators. Miyake and Friedman (2012) define executive functioning (EF) as "a set of general-purpose control mechanisms, often linked to the prefrontal cortex…

  9. Executive Functioning and Preschoolers' Understanding of False Beliefs, False Photographs, and False Signs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sabbagh, Mark A.; Moses, Louis J.; Shiverick, Sean

    2006-01-01

    Two studies were conducted to investigate the specificity of the relationship between preschoolers' emerging executive functioning skills and false belief understanding. Study 1 (N=44) showed that 3- to 5-year-olds' performance on an executive functioning task that required selective suppression of actions predicted performance on false belief…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fuhs, Mary Wagner; Day, Jeanne D.

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Family Environment and Parent-Child Relationships as Related to Executive Functioning in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schroeder, Valarie M.; Kelley, Michelle L.

    2010-01-01

    The present study examines the associations between family environment, parenting practices and executive functions in normally developing children. One hundred parents of children between the ages of 5 and 12 completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions from the Family Environment Scale and the Parent-Child Relationship…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    St. Clair-Thompson, Helen L.

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Profiles of Everyday Executive Functioning in Young Children with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daunhauer, Lisa A.; Fidler, Deborah J.; Hahn, Laura; Will, Elizabeth; Lee, Nancy Raitano; Hepburn, Susan

    2014-01-01

    We investigated executive functioning (EF) in children with Down syndrome (DS; n = 25) and typically developing (TD) children matched for mental age (MA; n = 23) using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool. We sought to (1) compare children with DS to a developmentally matched control group, and (2) to characterize the EF…

  14. Test Review: J. A. Naglieri & S. Goldstein "Comprehensive Executive Function Inventory." Toronto, Ontario, Canada: MHS, 2013

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Climie, Emma A.; Cadogan, Sarah; Goukon, Rina

    2014-01-01

    The "Comprehensive Executive Function Inventory" (CEFI; Naglieri & Goldstein, 2013), published by Multi-Health Systems Inc. (MHS), is a new executive function (EF) rating scale for children and youth ages 5 to 18 years. The CEFI strives to accurately assess EF abilities based on self, parent, and teacher reports, and provides…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Executive Function and Reading Aptitude: A Grounded Theory Analysis of Teacher Perspectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nordman, Jenny

    2013-01-01

    This qualitative, grounded theory study investigated teacher perspectives on the relationship between executive function and reading aptitude. The influence of executive function may be underestimated in terms of its impact on reading aptitude, which could have significant implications on how reading aptitude is currently defined. The foundational…

  17. Using an Adoption Design to Separate Genetic, Prenatal, and Temperament Influences on Toddler Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leve, Leslie D.; DeGarmo, David S.; Bridgett, David J.; Neiderhiser, Jenae M.; Shaw, Daniel S.; Harold, Gordon T.; Natsuaki, Misaki N.; Reiss, David

    2013-01-01

    Poor executive functioning has been implicated in children's concurrent and future behavioral difficulties, making work aimed at understanding processes related to the development of early executive function (EF) critical for models of developmental psychopathology. Deficits in EF have been associated with adverse prenatal experiences, genetic…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cartwright, Kelly B.

    2012-01-01

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

  19. How Do Families Help or Hinder the Emergence of Early Executive Function?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hughes, Claire H.; Ensor, Rosie A.

    2009-01-01

    This chapter describes longitudinal findings from a socially diverse sample of 125 British children seen at ages two and four. Four models of social influence on executive function are tested, using multiple measures of family life as well as comprehensive assessments of children's executive functions. Our results confirm the importance of…

  20. Response-Time Variability Is Related to Parent Ratings of Inattention, Hyperactivity, and Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gomez-Guerrero, Lorena; Martin, Cristina Dominguez; Mairena, Maria Angeles; Di Martino, Adriana; Wang, Jing; Mendelsohn, Alan L.; Dreyer, Benard P.; Isquith, Peter K.; Gioia, Gerard; Petkova, Eva; Castellanos, F. Xavier

    2011-01-01

    Objective: Individuals with ADHD are often characterized as inconsistent across many contexts. ADHD is also associated with deficits in executive function. We examined the relationships between response time (RT) variability on five brief computer tasks to parents' ratings of ADHD-related features and executive function in a group of children with…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Strategies for Addressing the Executive Function Impairments of Students Prenatally Exposed to Alcohol and Other Drugs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watson, Silvana M. R.; Westby, Carol E.

    2003-01-01

    This article reviews critical learning and behavioral problems of children exposed prenatally to alcohol and other drugs, especially executive function deficits. It considers risk factors associated with prenatal drug exposure and effective classroom interventions for executive function deficits in nonverbal working memory, internalization of…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Best, John R.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

  6. Early Childhood Predictors of Post-Kindergarten Executive Function: Behavior, Parent Report, and Psychophysiology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cuevas, Kimberly; Hubble, Morgan; Bell, Martha Ann

    2012-01-01

    Research Findings: This study examined whether children's executive functions before kindergarten would predict variance in executive functions after kindergarten. We obtained behavioral (working memory task performance), parent-reported (temperament-based inhibitory control), and psychophysiological (working memory-related changes in heart rate…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. The Influence of Family Factors on the Executive Functioning of Adult Children of Alcoholics in College

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schroeder, Valarie M.; Kelley, Michelle L.

    2008-01-01

    This study examined executive functioning in college aged adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs; n = 84) and non-ACOAs (188). We examined whether characteristics of the family environment and family responsibility in one's family of origin were associated with executive functioning above the contribution of ACOA status. ACOAs reported more…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warnick, Brittany; Drake, Morgan; Vidrine, Stephanie

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buckner, Elizabeth; Kim, Paul

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abdelgafar, Ghada Mohammed; Moawad, Ruba AbdelMatloub

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Executive Functions in Children: Associations with Aggressive Behavior and Appraisal Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Mesha L.; Weiss, Bahr; Lochman, John E.

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated whether and how deficits in executive functioning and distortions in appraisal processing are related to subtypes of aggressive behavior. The sample included 83 boys assessed using multi-informant reports and performance measures. Deficits in two executive functions, response inhibition and planning ability were related…

  16. Age differences in high frequency phasic heart rate variability and performance response to increased executive function load in three executive function tasks

    PubMed Central

    Byrd, Dana L.; Reuther, Erin T.; McNamara, Joseph P. H.; DeLucca, Teri L.; Berg, William K.

    2015-01-01

    The current study examines similarity or disparity of a frontally mediated physiological response of mental effort among multiple executive functioning tasks between children and adults. Task performance and phasic heart rate variability (HRV) were recorded in children (6 to 10 years old) and adults in an examination of age differences in executive functioning skills during periods of increased demand. Executive load levels were varied by increasing the difficulty levels of three executive functioning tasks: inhibition (IN), working memory (WM), and planning/problem solving (PL). Behavioral performance decreased in all tasks with increased executive demand in both children and adults. Adults’ phasic high frequency HRV was suppressed during the management of increased IN and WM load. Children’s phasic HRV was suppressed during the management of moderate WM load. HRV was not suppressed during either children’s or adults’ increasing load during the PL task. High frequency phasic HRV may be most sensitive to executive function tasks that have a time-response pressure, and simply requiring performance on a self-paced task requiring frontal lobe activation may not be enough to generate HRV responsitivity to increasing demand. PMID:25798113

  17. Greater Utilization of Neural-Circuits Related to Executive Functions is Associated with Better Reading: A Longitudinal fMRI Study Using the Verb Generation Task

    PubMed Central

    Horowitz-Kraus, Tzipi; Vannest, Jennifer J.; Gozdas, Elveda; Holland, Scott K.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: Reading is an acquired-developmental ability that relies on intact language and executive function skills. Verbal fluency tasks (such as verb generation) also engage language and executive function skills. Performance of such tasks matures with normal language development, and is independent of reading proficiency. In this longitudinal fMRI study, we aim to examine the association between maturation of neural-circuits supporting both executive functions and language (assessed using verb generation) with reading proficiency achieved in adolescence with a focus on left-lateralization typical for language proficiency. Methods: Normalized fMRI data from the verb generation task was collected from 16 healthy children at ages 7, 11, and 17 years and was correlated with reading scores at 17 years of age. Lateralization indices were calculated in key language, reading, and executive function-related regions in all age groups. Results: Typical development was associated with (i) increasingly left-lateralized patterns in language regions (ii) more profound left-lateralized activation for reading and executive function-related regions when correlating with reading scores, (iii) greater involvement of frontal and parietal regions (in older children), and of the anterior frontal cortex (in younger children). Conclusion: We suggest that reading and verb generation share mutual neural-circuits during development with major reliance on regions related to executive functions and reading. The results are discussed in the context of the dual-networks architecture model. PMID:24999322

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  19. The relationship of maternal mentalization and executive functioning to maternal recognition of infant cues and bonding.

    PubMed

    Turner, Jennifer M; Wittkowski, Anja; Hare, Dougal Julian

    2008-11-01

    The study examined associations between maternal mentalization ability, executive functioning, recognition of infant cues, and bonding in a non-clinical sample of mothers. It employed a correlational design. Sixty-four mothers of young infants completed assessments of mentalization ability, executive functioning, and bonding. Photographs of infant facial expressions were utilized to assess ability to recognize infant cues of emotion, but this was not found to correlate with either maternal mentalization or executive functioning ability. Whilst a trend towards a significant positive relationship between mothers' cued ability to attribute mental states and their ability to recognize infant facial expressions was observed, no significant relationships were found between bonding scores and performance on the executive functioning and mentalization measures. The present study contributes to our current understanding of the influence of maternal cognitive factors, specifically mentalization and executive functioning, on the development of the mother-infant relationship. Future research, methodological issues, and clinical and theoretical implications are discussed. PMID:18315938

  20. Executive function moderates the intention-behavior link for physical activity and dietary behavior.

    PubMed

    Hall, Peter A; Fong, Geoffrey T; Epp, Lynette J; Elias, Lorin J

    2008-01-01

    Dominant theories of health behavior posit that social-cognitive and conative variables are sufficient to explain health behavior tendencies. The current studies challenge this assumption in two ways: (1) by demonstrating that unique variance in health protective behavior is predictable by knowing about individual differences in executive functioning, and (2) by demonstrating that executive function moderates the association between intention and behavior. In Studies 1 and 2, participants completed a computer-based task of executive function (Go/NoGo task) and articulated 1-week behavioral intentions for physical activity (Study 1) and dietary behavior (Study 2). Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that executive function predicts unique variance in both behaviors, and strongly moderates the association between behavioral intention and behavioral performance. Together behavioral intention and executive function explain more variance in health protective behavior than 'rational actor' models that have been widely adopted and disseminated. PMID:25160480

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Executive Dysfunction is Independently Associated with Reduced Functional Independence in Heart Failure

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    Aims and Objectives To examine the independent association between executive function with instrumental activities of daily living and health behaviors in older adults with heart failure. Background Executive function is an important contributor to functional independence as it consists of cognitive processes needed for decision-making, planning, organizing, and behavioral 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. Design Cross-sectional analyses. Methods 175 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. Results Hierarchical regressions revealed 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 executive dysfunction was associated with current cigarette use. Conclusions Our findings suggest that executive dysfunction is associated with poorer functional independence and contributes to unhealthy behaviors in heart failure. Future studies should examine whether heart failure patients benefit from formal organization schemae (i.e., pill organizers) to maintain independence. Relevance to Clinical Practice Screening of executive function in heart failure patients may provide key insight into their ability to perform daily tasks, including management of treatment recommendations. PMID:23650879

  4. Coordination of Executive Functions in Monolingual and Bilingual Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bialystok, Ellen

    2011-01-01

    Two groups of 8-year-old children who were monolingual or bilingual completed a complex classification task in which they made semantic judgments on stimuli that were presented either visually or auditorily. The task requires coordinating a variety of executive control components, specifically working memory, inhibition, and shifting. When each of…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-15

    This study examined whether executive function and theory of mind mediate the effects of pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) on social adjustment, relative to children with orthopedic injury (OI). Participants included 19 children with severe TBI, 41 children with complicated mild/moderate TBI, and 57 children with OI. They completed measures of executive function, as well as cognitive, affective, and conative theory of mind. Parents provided ratings of children's social adjustment. Children with severe TBI performed more poorly than children with OI on executive function and theory of mind tasks and were rated by parents as having more behavioral symptoms and worse communication and social skills. Executive function and theory of mind were positively correlated with social skills and communication skills, and negatively correlated with behavioral symptoms. In multiple mediator models, theory of mind and executive function were not significant direct predictors of any measure of social adjustment, but mediated the association between injury and adjustment for children with severe TBI. Theory of mind was a significant independent mediator when predicting social skills, but executive function was not. TBI in children, particularly severe injury, is associated with poor social adjustment. The impact of TBI on children's social adjustment is likely mediated by its effects on executive function and theory of mind. PMID:25003478

  7. The Role of Executive Functions in the Control of Aggressive Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Krämer, Ulrike M.; Kopyciok, Robert P. J.; Richter, Sylvia; Rodriguez-Fornells, Antoni; Münte, Thomas F.

    2011-01-01

    An extensive literature suggests a link between executive functions and aggressive behavior in humans, pointing mostly to an inverse relationship, i.e., increased tendencies toward aggression in individuals scoring low on executive function tests. This literature is limited, though, in terms of the groups studied and the measures of executive functions. In this paper, we present data from two studies addressing these issues. In a first behavioral study, we asked whether high trait aggressiveness is related to reduced executive functions. A sample of over 600 students performed in an extensive behavioral test battery including paradigms addressing executive functions such as the Eriksen Flanker task, Stroop task, n-back task, and Tower of London (TOL). High trait aggressive participants were found to have a significantly reduced latency score in the TOL, indicating more impulsive behavior compared to low trait aggressive participants. No other differences were detected. In an EEG-study, we assessed neural and behavioral correlates of error monitoring and response inhibition in participants who were characterized based on their laboratory-induced aggressive behavior in a competitive reaction time task. Participants who retaliated more in the aggression paradigm and had reduced frontal activity when being provoked did not, however, show any reduction in behavioral or neural correlates of executive control compared to the less aggressive participants. Our results question a strong relationship between aggression and executive functions at least for healthy, high-functioning people. PMID:21747775

  8. Mediating Effect of Executive Function on Memory in Normal Aging Adults

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Min-Jae; Kwon, Jun Soo

    2013-01-01

    Objective We hypothesize that the effect of aging on memory is mediated by executive function. Methods Two hundred and thirty healthy adults (101 male, 129 female) were recruited for the study. We used a promising, newly developed, computerized neuropsychological test for the measurement of executive function and memory. The data were analyzed using structural equation modeling and path analysis. Results The full mediation model showed a good fit to the data. However, chi-squared (χ2) tests for model comparison indicated that the partial mediation model better fits our data. Thus, the partial mediation model was used as the final model. In terms of auditory-verbal memory, the effect of aging on memory was fully mediated by executive function. However, visuo-spatial memory was significantly affected both indirectly (through executive function) and directly (by aging). Gender differences were not significant in this model. Conclusion This study demonstrated the importance of executive function in the memory functioning of normal aging adults. It is noteworthy that modality differences were found between auditory-verbal and visuo-spatial memory. Aging is not the only factor that drives memory decline, and its direct, adverse effect on memory was more prominent in the visuo-spatial memory task than auditory-verbal memory task. Since performance in both modalities is fully or partially mediated by executive function, it is important to train normal aging adults in executive control skills, such as planning, strategy formation, and rapid decision making. PMID:23798957

  9. The role of executive functions in the control of aggressive behavior.

    PubMed

    Krämer, Ulrike M; Kopyciok, Robert P J; Richter, Sylvia; Rodriguez-Fornells, Antoni; Münte, Thomas F

    2011-01-01

    An extensive literature suggests a link between executive functions and aggressive behavior in humans, pointing mostly to an inverse relationship, i.e., increased tendencies toward aggression in individuals scoring low on executive function tests. This literature is limited, though, in terms of the groups studied and the measures of executive functions. In this paper, we present data from two studies addressing these issues. In a first behavioral study, we asked whether high trait aggressiveness is related to reduced executive functions. A sample of over 600 students performed in an extensive behavioral test battery including paradigms addressing executive functions such as the Eriksen Flanker task, Stroop task, n-back task, and Tower of London (TOL). High trait aggressive participants were found to have a significantly reduced latency score in the TOL, indicating more impulsive behavior compared to low trait aggressive participants. No other differences were detected. In an EEG-study, we assessed neural and behavioral correlates of error monitoring and response inhibition in participants who were characterized based on their laboratory-induced aggressive behavior in a competitive reaction time task. Participants who retaliated more in the aggression paradigm and had reduced frontal activity when being provoked did not, however, show any reduction in behavioral or neural correlates of executive control compared to the less aggressive participants. Our results question a strong relationship between aggression and executive functions at least for healthy, high-functioning people. PMID:21747775

  10. Executive Functioning Characteristics Associated with ADHD Comorbidity in Adolescents with Disruptive Behavior Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hummer, Tom A.; Kronenberger, William G.; Wang, Yang; Dunn, David W.; Mosier, Kristine M.; Kalnin, Andrew J.; Mathews, Vincent P.

    2011-01-01

    The nature of executive dysfunction in youth with disruptive behavior disorders (DBD) remains unclear, despite extensive research in samples of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). To determine the relationship between DBD, ADHD, and executive function deficits in aggressive teens, adolescents with DBD and comorbid ADHD…

  11. Is There a Role for Executive Functions in the Development of Mathematics Ability?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blair, Clancy; Knipe, Hilary; Gamson, David

    2008-01-01

    This article examines the role of working memory, attention shifting, and inhibitory control executive cognitive functions in the development of mathematics knowledge and ability in children. It suggests that an examination of the executive cognitive demand of mathematical thinking can complement procedural and conceptual knowledge-based…

  12. Formative versus Reflective Measurement in Executive Functions: A Critique of Willoughby et al.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peterson, Eric; Welsh, Marilyn C.

    2014-01-01

    Research into executive functioning (EF) has indeed grown exponentially across the past few decades, but as the Willoughby et al. critique makes clear, there remain fundamental questions to be resolved. The crux of their argument is built upon an examination of the confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) approach to understanding executive processes.…

  13. Emotional Reactivity and Regulation in Infancy Interact to Predict Executive Functioning in Early Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ursache, Alexandra; Blair, Clancy; Stifter, Cynthia; Voegtline, Kristin

    2013-01-01

    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…

  14. Linking Executive Function and Peer Problems from Early Childhood Through Middle Adolescence.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Christopher J; Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen; Deater-Deckard, Kirby

    2016-01-01

    Peer interactions and executive function play central roles in the development of healthy children, as peer problems have been indicative of lower cognitive competencies such as self-regulatory behavior and poor executive function has been indicative of problem behaviors and social dysfunction. However, few studies have focused on the relation between peer interactions and executive function and the underlying mechanisms that may create this link. Using a national sample (n = 1164, 48.6% female) from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD), we analyzed executive function and peer problems (including victimization and rejection) across three waves within each domain (executive function or peer problems), beginning in early childhood and ending in middle adolescence. Executive function was measured as a multi-method, multi-informant composite including reports from parents on the Children's Behavior Questionnaire and Child Behavior Checklist and child's performance on behavioral tasks including the Continuous Performance Task, Woodcock-Johnson, Tower of Hanoi, Operation Span Task, Stroop, and Tower of London. Peer problems were measured as a multi-informant composite including self, teacher, and afterschool caregiver reports on multiple peer-relationship scales. Using a cross-lagged design, our Structural Equation Modeling findings suggested that experiencing peer problems contributed to lower executive function later in childhood and better executive function reduced the likelihood of experiencing peer problems later in childhood and middle adolescence, although these relations weakened as a child moves into adolescence. The results highlight that peer relationships are involved in the development of strengths and deficits in executive function and vice versa. PMID:26096194

  15. Mindfulness, Authentic Functioning, and Work Engagement: A Growth Modeling Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leroy, Hannes; Anseel, Frederik; Dimitrova, Nicoletta G.; Sels, Luc

    2013-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that mindfulness helps reduce symptoms of work stress but research has yet to clarify "whether" and "how" mindfulness is linked to work engagement. Using self-determination theory we hypothesize that mindfulness is positively related to work engagement and that this relationship can be better understood through…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Our main objective was to analyse the different contributions of relational verbal reasoning (analogical and class inclusion) and executive functioning to metaphor comprehension across development. We postulated that both relational reasoning and executive functioning should predict individual and developmental differences. However, executive functioning would become increasingly involved when metaphor comprehension is highly demanding, either because of the metaphors' high difficulty (relatively novel metaphors in the absence of a context) or because of the individual's special processing difficulties, such as low levels of reading experience or low semantic knowledge. Three groups of participants, 11-year-olds, 15-year-olds and young adults, were assessed in different relational verbal reasoning tasks-analogical and class-inclusion-and in executive functioning tasks-updating information in working memory, inhibition, and shifting. The results revealed clear progress in metaphor comprehension between ages 11 and 15 and between ages 15 and 21. However, the importance of executive function in metaphor comprehension was evident by age 15 and was restricted to updating information in working memory and cognitive inhibition. Participants seemed to use two different strategies to interpret metaphors: relational verbal reasoning and executive functioning. This was clearly shown when comparing the performance of the "more efficient" participants in metaphor interpretation with that of the "less efficient" ones. Whereas in the first case none of the executive variables or those associated with relational verbal reasoning were significantly related to metaphor comprehension, in the latter case, both groups of variables had a clear predictor effect. PMID:26954501

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

    PubMed Central

    Montoro, Pedro R.; Herrero, Laura; Ballestrino, Patricia; Sebastián, Iraia

    2016-01-01

    Our main objective was to analyse the different contributions of relational verbal reasoning (analogical and class inclusion) and executive functioning to metaphor comprehension across development. We postulated that both relational reasoning and executive functioning should predict individual and developmental differences. However, executive functioning would become increasingly involved when metaphor comprehension is highly demanding, either because of the metaphors’ high difficulty (relatively novel metaphors in the absence of a context) or because of the individual’s special processing difficulties, such as low levels of reading experience or low semantic knowledge. Three groups of participants, 11-year-olds, 15-year-olds and young adults, were assessed in different relational verbal reasoning tasks—analogical and class-inclusion—and in executive functioning tasks—updating information in working memory, inhibition, and shifting. The results revealed clear progress in metaphor comprehension between ages 11 and 15 and between ages 15 and 21. However, the importance of executive function in metaphor comprehension was evident by age 15 and was restricted to updating information in working memory and cognitive inhibition. Participants seemed to use two different strategies to interpret metaphors: relational verbal reasoning and executive functioning. This was clearly shown when comparing the performance of the "more efficient" participants in metaphor interpretation with that of the "less efficient” ones. Whereas in the first case none of the executive variables or those associated with relational verbal reasoning were significantly related to metaphor comprehension, in the latter case, both groups of variables had a clear predictor effect. PMID:26954501

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Previous research shows consistent and marked executive function impairment in children with early and continuously treated phenylketonuria. This between groups analysis (phenylketonuria group vs sibling controls) found no significant differences in executive function (although adolescents with phenylketonuria performed slightly worse than their siblings). Biochemical relationships with executive function were confined to long-term measures of high phenylalanine:tyrosine ratio exposure, as well as tyrosine exposure independent of phenylalanine. This study suggests that early and continuously treated PKU results in non-significant EF differences (compared to siblings), although the influence of long-term exposure to poorer metabolic control is still evident. PMID:26937416

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Previous research shows consistent and marked executive function impairment in children with early and continuously treated phenylketonuria. This between groups analysis (phenylketonuria group vs sibling controls) found no significant differences in executive function (although adolescents with phenylketonuria performed slightly worse than their siblings). Biochemical relationships with executive function were confined to long-term measures of high phenylalanine:tyrosine ratio exposure, as well as tyrosine exposure independent of phenylalanine. This study suggests that early and continuously treated PKU results in non-significant EF differences (compared to siblings), although the influence of long-term exposure to poorer metabolic control is still evident. PMID:26937416

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

    PubMed Central

    Buss, Aaron T.; Spencer, John P.

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Practice on conflict tasks promotes executive function of working memory in the elderly.

    PubMed

    Osaka, Mariko; Yaoi, Ken; Otsuka, Yuki; Katsuhara, Maya; Osaka, Naoyuki

    2012-07-15

    Effects of practice on a conflict task in elderly individuals are examined with a focus on its impact on executive function in working memory. During a short-term practice period, healthy elderly participants practiced switching attention using a Stroop task that involved a conflict between a task relevant stimulus and an irrelevant stimulus. To explore neural substrates underlying practice effects, two working memory tasks were used: a focus reading span test (F-RST) and a non-focus reading span test (NF-RST); the NF-RST test demanded greater switching attention due to a conflict between the relevant task stimulus and an irrelevant task stimulus, thus requiring an attention switch from the latter to the former. Following the Stroop task practice, fMRI data showed that participants who had engaged in practice had significant increases in activation in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), the left inferior parietal lobule (IPL), the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the precuneus regions during the NF-RST. By contrast, a control group, which did not practice, showed no significant increases in these regions. Results suggest that practice on conflict tasks in elderly individuals activated regions related to conflict perceiving and attention switching regions as well as attention-maintenance regions thereby improving performance on tasks requiring a high degree of attention control of working memory. PMID:22579495

  2. Modulation of Higher-Order Olfaction Components on Executive Functions in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Fagundo, Ana B.; Jiménez-Murcia, Susana; Giner-Bartolomé, Cristina; Islam, Mohammed Anisul; de la Torre, Rafael; Pastor, Antoni; Casanueva, Felipe F.; Crujeiras, Ana B.; Granero, Roser; Baños, Rosa; Botella, Cristina; Fernández-Real, Jose M.; Frühbeck, Gema; Gómez-Ambrosi, Javier; Menchón, José M.; Tinahones, Francisco J.; Fernández-Aranda, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    The prefrontal (PFC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) appear to be associated with both executive functions and olfaction. However, there is little data relating olfactory processing and executive functions in humans. The present study aimed at exploring the role of olfaction on executive functioning, making a distinction between primary and more cognitive aspects of olfaction. Three executive tasks of similar difficulty were used. One was used to assess hot executive functions (Iowa Gambling Task-IGT), and two as a measure of cold executive functioning (Stroop Colour and Word Test-SCWT and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test-WCST). Sixty two healthy participants were included: 31 with normosmia and 31 with hyposmia. Olfactory abilities were assessed using the ‘‘Sniffin’ Sticks’’ test and the olfactory threshold, odour discrimination and odour identification measures were obtained. All participants were female, aged between 18 and 60. Results showed that participants with hyposmia displayed worse performance in decision making (IGT; Cohen’s-d = 0.91) and cognitive flexibility (WCST; Cohen’s-d between 0.54 and 0.68) compared to those with normosmia. Multiple regression adjusted by the covariates participants’ age and education level showed a positive association between odour identification and the cognitive inhibition response (SCWT-interference; Beta = 0.29; p = .034). The odour discrimination capacity was not a predictor of the cognitive executive performance. Our results suggest that both hot and cold executive functions seem to be associated with higher-order olfactory functioning in humans. These results robustly support the hypothesis that olfaction and executive measures have a common neural substrate in PFC and OFC, and suggest that olfaction might be a reliable cognitive marker in psychiatric and neurologic disorders. PMID:26083418

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    There is uncertainty about whether respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), a cardiac marker of adaptive emotion regulation, is involved in relatively low or high executive function performance. In the present study, we investigated: (1) whether RSA during rest and tasks predict both relatively low and high executive function within a larger quadratic association among the two variables, and (2) 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 two-minute resting period during which ECG was continually assessed. In the next phase, the women completed an array of executive function and non-executive 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. PMID:26018941

  4. Effect of age on exercise-induced alterations in cognitive executive function: relationship to cerebral perfusion.

    PubMed

    Lucas, Samuel J E; Ainslie, Philip N; Murrell, Carissa J; Thomas, Kate N; Franz, Elizabeth A; Cotter, James D

    2012-08-01

    Regular exercise improves the age-related decline in cerebral blood flow (CBF) and is associated with improved cognitive function; however, less is known about the direct relationship between CBF and cognitive function. We examined the influence of healthy aging on the capability of acute exercise to improve cognition, and whether exercise-induced improvements in cognition are related to CBF and cortical hemodynamics. Middle cerebral artery blood flow velocity (MCAv; Doppler) and cortical hemodynamics (NIRS) were measured in 13 young (24±5 y) and 9 older (62±3 y) participants at rest and during cycling at 30% and 70% of heart rate range (HRR). Cognitive performance was assessed using a computer-adapted Stroop task (i.e., test of executive function cognition) at rest and during exercise. Average response times on the Stroop task were slower for the older compared to younger group for both simple and difficult tasks (P<0.01). Independent of age, difficult-task response times improved during exercise (P<0.01), with the improvement greater at 70% HRR exercise (P=0.04 vs. 30% HRR). Higher MCAv was correlated with faster response times for simple and difficult tasks at rest (R(2)=0.47 and R(2)=0.47, respectively), but this relation uncoupled progressively during exercise. Exercise-induced increases in MCAv were similar and unaltered during cognitive tasks for both age groups. In contrast, prefrontal cortical hemodynamic NIRS measures [oxyhemoglobin (O(2)Hb) and total hemoglobin (tHb)] were differentially affected by exercise intensity, age and cognitive task; e.g., there were smaller increases in [O(2)Hb] and [tHb] in the older group between exercise intensities (P<0.05). These data indicate that: 1) Regardless of age, cognitive (executive) function is improved while exercising; 2) while MCAv is strongly related to cognition at rest, this relation becomes uncoupled during exercise, and 3) there is dissociation between global CBF and regional cortical oxygenation and

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  6. Executive Function Mediates Effects of Gestational Age on Functional Outcomes and Behavior in Preschoolers

    PubMed Central

    Loe, Irene M.; Feldman, Heidi M.; Huffman, Lynne C.

    2014-01-01

    Objective To investigate the role of executive function (EF) skills, measured by parent-rating and performance-based instruments, as mediators of the effects of gestational age on functional outcomes and behavior symptoms in preterm and full term preschoolers. Patients and methods Children born preterm (n=70; mean gestational age 29.6 weeks and mean birth weight 1365g) were compared to children born full term (n=79) on composite measures of EF (using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function and a performance-based EF battery), adaptive function, prereading skills, and behavior symptoms. For the entire sample, mediation analyses examined the effect of gestational age on outcomes with EF as mediator. Results Compared to children born full term, children born preterm had significantly higher parent-rated EF scores and lower performance-based EF scores, both indicating more problems; further, children born preterm had lower adaptive function and prereading scores and more problematic behavior. Gestational age contributed to adaptive function, prereading skills, and behavior symptoms for all children. EF acted as a mediator of gestational age for all three outcomes; different patterns emerged for parent-rated and performance-based EF evaluations. For adaptive function, both EF measures significantly mediated effects of gestational age; for prereading skills, only performance-based EF was significant; for behavior symptoms, only parent-rated EF was significant. Conclusions We propose standard assessment of EF, using both parent-rating and performance-based EF measures, in young preterm children and other children at risk of EF impairments. EF skills are measurable, mediate important functional outcomes, and may serve as intervention targets. PMID:24906034

  7. Executive Function in Children with Intellectual Disability--The Effects of Sex, Level and Aetiology of Intellectual Disability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Memisevic, H.; Sinanovic, O.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Executive function is very important in the children's overall development. The goal of this study was to assess the executive function in children with intellectual disability (ID) through the use of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) teacher version. An additional goal was to examine the differences in…

  8. Assessing the Link between Executive Functions and Aggressive Behaviours of Children Who Are Deaf: Impact of Early Special Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sipal, Rafet Firat; Bayhan, Pinar

    2010-01-01

    Introduction: Relation between constructing complex mental structures and language skills cause delays in development of executive functions of deaf children. When the importance of language skills in development of executive functions and frequency of aggressive behaviours of deaf children are considered, investigation of executive functions of…

  9. The Factor Structure and Age-Related Factorial Invariance of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Latzman, Robert D.; Markon, Kristian E.

    2010-01-01

    There has been an increased interest in the structure of and relations among executive functions.The present study examined the factor structure as well as age-related factorial invariance of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS), a widely used inventory aimed at assessing executive functions. Analyses were first conducted using data…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Age-related differences in episodic memory judgments assessing recall of fact information and the source of this information were examined. The role of executive function in supporting early episodic memory ability was also explored. Four- and 6-year-old children were taught 10 novel facts from two different sources (experimenter or puppet) and memory for both fact and source information was later tested. Measures of working memory, inhibitory control, and set-shifting were obtained to produce an indicator of children’s executive function. Six-year-olds recalled more fact and source information than 4-year-olds. Regression analyses revealed that age, language ability, and executive function accounted for unique variance in children’s fact recall and source recall performance. These findings suggest a link between episodic memory and executive function, and we propose that developmental investigations should further explore this association. PMID:24829540

  11. Specific early number skills mediate the association between executive functioning skills and mathematics achievement.

    PubMed

    Fuhs, Mary Wagner; Hornburg, Caroline Byrd; McNeil, Nicole M

    2016-08-01

    A growing literature reports significant associations between children's executive functioning skills and their mathematics achievement. The purpose of this study was to examine if specific early number skills, such as quantity discrimination, number line estimation, number sets identification, fast counting, and number word comprehension, mediate this association. In 141 kindergarteners, cross-sectional analyses controlling for IQ revealed that number sets identification (but not the other early number skills) mediated the association between executive functioning skills and mathematics achievement. A longitudinal analysis showed that higher executive functioning skills predicted higher number sets identification in kindergarten, which in turn predicted growth in mathematics achievement from kindergarten to second grade. Results suggest that executive functioning skills may help children quickly and accurately identify number sets as wholes instead of getting distracted by the individual components of the sets, and this focus on sets, in turn, may help children learn more advanced mathematics concepts in the early elementary grades. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27337509

  12. Executive Function Differences Between Bilingual Arabic-English and Monolingual Arabic Children.

    PubMed

    Abdelgafar, Ghada Mohammed; Moawad, Ruba AbdelMatloub

    2015-10-01

    This study aimed to explore the differences between Arabic-English bilingual and monolingual Arabic children on a battery of executive functions. Prior research on the influence of bilingualism on cognitive abilities and executive functions has shown mixed results. Some results suggested that bilinguals perform significantly better than monolinguals, while others showed that monolinguals perform significantly better. Other studies showed no significant differences between both groups, findings which were argued to be due to methodological issues. A total of 50 Arabic monolingual and Arabic-English bilingual children ranging 7-10 years of age participated in the current study. Six executive function tasks, divided into two categories (inhibition of improper response tasks, and behavioral operational control tasks), were administered. Results did not show significant differences for most executive functions. PMID:25056578

  13. Conceptualizing the relations between executive functions and self-regulated learning.

    PubMed

    Garner, Joanna Kate

    2009-07-01

    An interdisciplinary approach to comparing constructs can inform theoretical and applied perspectives. In this study, the author considered executive functions and self-regulated learning to clarify mutual conceptual relations. College students (N = 108) completed the Executive Function Index (M. Spinella, 2005) and the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (P. R. Pintrich, D. A. F. Smith, T. Garcia, & W. J. McKeachie, 1991) Analyses revealed points of overlap and separation. The executive functions of planning, impulse control, and motivational drive were significant predictors of cognitive strategy use, metacognitive strategy use, and academic effort regulation. Attributional and affective components of self-regulated learning failed to correlate with executive functions. Overall, results suggested an overlapping relation rather than a hierarchical relation between the construct clusters. PMID:19606646

  14. Less is more: executive function and symbolic representation in preschool children.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Stephanie M; Davis, Angela C; Leach, Jamie G

    2005-08-01

    Executive function is recognized as a critical component of children's cognitive and social development. In two studies, a measure of executive function that had been used in research with chimpanzees was adapted for preschoolers. On this task, called Less Is More, children must point to a smaller reward (two candies) to receive a larger reward (five candies). In Study 1 (N= 101), performance was significantly related to age (3 vs. 4), verbal ability, and established measures of executive function. In Study 2 (N= 128), symbolic representations substituted for real candies in this task. Three-year-olds' performance improved significantly as a function of symbolic distancing. This research has implications for the role of symbol systems in the development of executive control over thought and action. PMID:16102063

  15. The interactive roles of parenting, emotion regulation and executive functioning in moral reasoning during middle childhood.

    PubMed

    Hinnant, J Benjamin; Nelson, Jackie A; O'Brien, Marion; Keane, Susan P; Calkins, Susan D

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23650955

  16. Effects of acute physical exercise on executive functions: a comparison between aerobic and strength exercise.

    PubMed

    Alves, Christiano Rodrigues; Gualano, Bruno; Takao, Pollyana Pereira; Avakian, Paula; Fernandes, Rafael Mistura; Morine, Diego; Takito, Monica Yuri

    2012-08-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the effects of acute aerobic and strength exercises on selected executive functions. A counterbalanced, crossover, randomized trial was performed. Forty-two healthy women were randomly submitted to three different conditions: (1) aerobic exercise, (2) strength exercise, and (3) control condition. Before and after each condition, executive functions were measured by the Stroop Test and the Trail Making Test. Following the aerobic and strength sessions, the time to complete the Stroop "non-color word" and "color word" condition was lower when compared with that of the control session. The performance in the Trail Making Test was unchanged. In conclusion, both acute aerobic and strength exercises improve the executive functions. Nevertheless, this positive effect seems to be task and executive function dependent. PMID:22889693

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    The goal of this study was to specify how executive functioning components predict reading, mathematics, and theory of mind performance during the elementary years. A sample of 93 7- to 10-year-old children completed measures of working memory, inhibition, flexibility, reading, mathematics, and theory of mind. Path analysis revealed that all three executive functioning components (working memory, inhibition, and flexibility) mediated age differences in reading comprehension, whereas age predicted mathematics and theory of mind directly. In addition, reading mediated the influence of executive functioning components on mathematics and theory of mind, except that flexibility also predicted mathematics directly. These findings provide important details about the development of executive functioning, reading, mathematics, and theory of mind during the elementary years. PMID:26914106

  18. Limited Health Literacy and Decline in Executive Function in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Sequeira, Shwetha S.; Eggermont, Laura H. P.; Silliman, Rebecca A.; Bickmore, Timothy W.; Henault, Lori E.; Winter, Michael R.; Nelson, Kerrie; Paasche-Orlow, Michael K.

    2013-01-01

    Limited health literacy is associated with worse executive function, but the association between limited health literacy and decline in executive function has not been established because of a lack of longitudinal studies. The authors aimed to examine this association by studying a prospective cohort in the setting of a randomized controlled trial to promote walking in older adults. Participants were community-dwelling older adults (65 years of age or older) who scored 2 or more on the Mini-Cog, without depression (score of less than 15 on the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire), and who completed baseline and 12-month evaluations (n = 226). Health literacy was measured using the Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults. Executive function measured at baseline and 12 months using the Trail Making Test (TMT), Controlled Oral Word Association Test, and Category Fluency. The associations between health literacy and 12-month decline in each test of executive function were modeled using multivariate linear regression. Health literacy was found to be limited in 37% of participants. Limited health literacy was associated with reduced performance on all 3 executive function tests. In fully adjusted models, limited health literacy was associated with greater 12-month decline in performance on the TMT than higher health literacy (p = .01). In conclusion, older adults with limited health literacy are at risk for more rapid decline in scores on the TMT, a measure of executive function. PMID:24093352

  19. Prefrontal Cortex and Executive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Meta-Analysis of Structural Neuroimaging Studies

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Peng; Raz, Naftali

    2014-01-01

    Lesion studies link the prefrontal cortex (PFC) to executive functions. However, the evidence from in vivo investigations in healthy people is mixed, and there are no quantitative estimates of the association strength. To examine the relationship between PFC volume and cortical thickness with executive cognition in healthy adults, we conducted a meta-analysis of studies that assessed executive functions and PFC volume (31 samples,) and PFC thickness (10 samples) in vivo, N=3272 participants. We found that larger PFC volume and greater PFC thickness were associated with better executive performance. Stronger associations between executive functions and PFC volume were linked to greater variance in the sample age but was unrelated to the mean age of a sample. Strength of association between cognitive and neuroanatomical indices depended on the executive task used in the study. PFC volume correlated stronger with Wisconsin Card Sorting Test than with digit backwards span, Trail Making Test and verbal fluency. Significant effect size was observed in lateral and medial but not orbital PFC. The results support the “bigger is better” hypothesis of brain-behavior relation in healthy adults and suggest different neural correlates across the neuropsychological tests used to assess executive functions. PMID:24568942

  20. Executive functioning and self-reported depressive symptoms within an adolescent inpatient population.

    PubMed

    Kavanaugh, Brian; Holler, Karen

    2014-01-01

    Although the relationship between executive dysfunction and depressive disorders has been well established in the adult population, research within the adolescent population has produced mixed results. The present study examined executive-functioning subdomains in varying levels of self-reported depression within an adolescent inpatient sample diagnosed with primary mood disorders. Via retrospective chart review, the sample consisted of those adolescents (ages 13-18 years) who completed a combined psychological/neuropsychological assessment during hospitalization (N = 105). When the sample was divided into adolescents with mood disorders with self-reported depressive symptoms and adolescents with mood disorders without self-reported depressive symptoms, no differences in various executive functions were identified. There were also no correlations between overall self-reported depressive symptoms and overall executive functioning. However, there were negative correlations between select executive subdomains (e.g., problem solving and response inhibition) and certain depressive symptom subdomains (e.g., negative mood and interpersonal problems). Based on these findings, there was no difference in executive functions between mood disorders with depressive symptoms and mood disorders without depressive symptoms, although there may be select executive subdomains that are particularly involved in certain depressive symptoms, providing important information for the treatment of adolescent depression. PMID:24716871

  1. Exploring the factor on sensory motor function of upper limb associated with executive function in communitydwelling older adults

    PubMed Central

    Hayashi, Hiroyuki; Nakashima, Daiki; Matsuoka, Hiroka; Iwai, Midori; Nakamura, Shugo; Kubo, Ayumi; Tomiyama, Naoki

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Exercise, such as cardiovascular fitness training, has been shown to have utility in improving executive function but is difficult for older adults with low mobility to perform. Accordingly, there is interest in the development of regimens other than high mobility exercises for older adults with low mobility. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the association between sensory motor function of the upper limb and executive function in community-dwelling older adults. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 57 right-handed, independent, community-dwelling older adults. Sensory motor function of upper limb, including range of motion, strength, sensation, finger dexterity, and comprehensive hand function was measured in both hands. Executive function was assessed using the Delta Trail Making Test. Multiple regression analysis indicated the finger dexterity of the non-dominant hand as independently associated with executive function (β = –0.414, P < 0.001). The findings of the present study may facilitate the development of exercise regimens for improving executive function that are more suitable for older adults with limited physical fitness levels. As this was a cross-sectional study, further studies are required to validate the efficacy of non-dominant finger dexterity training for improving executive function in older adults. PMID:27578912

  2. Exploring the factor on sensory motor function of upper limb associated with executive function in communitydwelling older adults.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Hiroyuki; Nakashima, Daiki; Matsuoka, Hiroka; Iwai, Midori; Nakamura, Shugo; Kubo, Ayumi; Tomiyama, Naoki

    2016-08-01

    Exercise, such as cardiovascular fitness training, has been shown to have utility in improving executive function but is difficult for older adults with low mobility to perform. Accordingly, there is interest in the development of regimens other than high mobility exercises for older adults with low mobility. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the association between sensory motor function of the upper limb and executive function in community-dwelling older adults. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 57 right-handed, independent, community-dwelling older adults. Sensory motor function of upper limb, including range of motion, strength, sensation, finger dexterity, and comprehensive hand function was measured in both hands. Executive function was assessed using the Delta Trail Making Test. Multiple regression analysis indicated the finger dexterity of the non-dominant hand as independently associated with executive function (β = -0.414, P < 0.001). The findings of the present study may facilitate the development of exercise regimens for improving executive function that are more suitable for older adults with limited physical fitness levels. As this was a cross-sectional study, further studies are required to validate the efficacy of non-dominant finger dexterity training for improving executive function in older adults. PMID:27578912

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Individuals with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) display diverse deficits in social, cognitive and behavioral functioning. To date, there has been mixed findings on the profile of executive function deficits for high-functioning adults (IQ > 70) with ASD. A conceptual distinction is commonly made between “cold” and “hot” executive functions. Cold executive functions refer to mechanistic higher-order cognitive operations (e.g., working memory), whereas hot executive functions entail cognitive abilities supported by emotional awareness and social perception (e.g., social cognition). This study aimed to determine the independence of deficits in hot and cold executive functions for high-functioning adults with ASD. Forty-two adults with ASD (64% male, aged 18–66 years) and 40 age and gender matched controls were administered The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT; emotion recognition and social inference), Letter Number Sequencing (working memory) and Hayling Sentence Completion Test (response initiation and suppression). Between-group analyses identified that the ASD group performed significantly worse than matched controls on all measures of cold and hot executive functions (d = 0.54 − 1.5). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that the ASD sample performed more poorly on emotion recognition and social inference tasks than matched controls after controlling for cold executive functions and employment status. The findings also indicated that the ability to recognize emotions and make social inferences was supported by working memory and response initiation and suppression processes. Overall, this study supports the distinction between hot and cold executive function impairments for adults with ASD. Moreover, it advances understanding of higher-order impairments underlying social interaction difficulties for this population which, in turn, may assist with diagnosis and inform intervention programs. PMID:26903836

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Individuals with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) display diverse deficits in social, cognitive and behavioral functioning. To date, there has been mixed findings on the profile of executive function deficits for high-functioning adults (IQ > 70) with ASD. A conceptual distinction is commonly made between "cold" and "hot" executive functions. Cold executive functions refer to mechanistic higher-order cognitive operations (e.g., working memory), whereas hot executive functions entail cognitive abilities supported by emotional awareness and social perception (e.g., social cognition). This study aimed to determine the independence of deficits in hot and cold executive functions for high-functioning adults with ASD. Forty-two adults with ASD (64% male, aged 18-66 years) and 40 age and gender matched controls were administered The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT; emotion recognition and social inference), Letter Number Sequencing (working memory) and Hayling Sentence Completion Test (response initiation and suppression). Between-group analyses identified that the ASD group performed significantly worse than matched controls on all measures of cold and hot executive functions (d = 0.54 - 1.5). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that the ASD sample performed more poorly on emotion recognition and social inference tasks than matched controls after controlling for cold executive functions and employment status. The findings also indicated that the ability to recognize emotions and make social inferences was supported by working memory and response initiation and suppression processes. Overall, this study supports the distinction between hot and cold executive function impairments for adults with ASD. Moreover, it advances understanding of higher-order impairments underlying social interaction difficulties for this population which, in turn, may assist with diagnosis and inform intervention programs. PMID:26903836

  5. The Executive Functions of Rejected Children in an Urban Elementary School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naylor, Gregory

    2013-01-01

    The relationship between Executive Functions and Peer Rejection was explored. Thirty-Five students in an urban elementary school, (mean 10.7 years of age (sd=2.8), 34% male, and 88% African American) completed measures of executive functions: KABC-II Rover, The Wisconsin Card Sort and NEPSY-II Statue (below age 9) or The Iowa Gambling Task (age 9…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Less-structured time in children's daily lives predicts self-directed executive functioning

    PubMed Central

    Barker, Jane E.; Semenov, Andrei D.; Michaelson, Laura; Provan, Lindsay S.; Snyder, Hannah R.; Munakata, Yuko

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) in childhood predict important life outcomes. Thus, there is great interest in attempts to improve EFs early in life. Many interventions are led by trained adults, including structured training activities in the lab, and less-structured activities implemented in schools. Such programs have yielded gains in children's externally-driven executive functioning, where they are instructed on what goal-directed actions to carry out and when. However, it is less clear how children's experiences relate to their development of self-directed executive functioning, where they must determine on their own what goal-directed actions to carry out and when. We hypothesized that time spent in less-structured activities would give children opportunities to practice self-directed executive functioning, and lead to benefits. To investigate this possibility, we collected information from parents about their 6–7 year-old children's daily, annual, and typical schedules. We categorized children's activities as “structured” or “less-structured” based on categorization schemes from prior studies on child leisure time use. We assessed children's self-directed executive functioning using a well-established verbal fluency task, in which children generate members of a category and can decide on their own when to switch from one subcategory to another. The more time that children spent in less-structured activities, the better their self-directed executive functioning. The opposite was true of structured activities, which predicted poorer self-directed executive functioning. These relationships were robust (holding across increasingly strict classifications of structured and less-structured time) and specific (time use did not predict externally-driven executive functioning). We discuss implications, caveats, and ways in which potential interpretations can be distinguished in future work, to advance an understanding of this fundamental aspect of growing up

  8. Bilingualism and the Development of Executive Function: The Role of Attention

    PubMed Central

    Bialystok, Ellen

    2015-01-01

    This paper reviews research examining the effect of bilingualism on children’s cognitive development, and in particular, executive function. Studies reporting bilingual advantages in various tasks are described with the purpose of identifying the process or executive function component that might be responsible for this bilingual advantage. Several possibilities are discussed, such as inhibitory control. Finally, the role of attention is proposed as a fundamental process that initiates developmental differences in bilingual children from as early as infancy. PMID:26019718

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

    PubMed

    Jarrett, Matthew A

    2016-02-01

    The current study examined attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety symptoms in relation to self-reported executive functioning deficits in emerging adults. College students (N = 421; ages 17-25; 73.1% female) completed self-reports of ADHD, anxiety, and executive functioning in a laboratory setting. Structural equation modeling analyses revealed that self-reported executive functioning deficits were significantly related to all 3 symptom domains. Executive functioning deficits were most strongly related to inattention followed by hyperactivity/impulsivity and anxiety. Analyses based on clinical groups revealed that groups with ADHD and comorbid anxiety showed greater deficits on self-regulation of emotion and self-organization/problem solving than those with ADHD only or anxiety only. Groups with ADHD showed greater deficits with self-motivation and self-restraint than those with anxiety only. All clinical groups differed from a control group on executive functioning deficits. Overall, anxiety symptoms appear to be associated with college students' self-reported executive functioning deficits above and beyond relationships with ADHD symptomatology. Further, those with ADHD and anxiety appear to show increased difficulties with self-regulation of emotion and self-organization/problem solving, a domain which appears to overlap substantially with working memory. Future studies should seek to replicate our findings with a clinical population, utilize both report-based and laboratory task measures of executive functioning, and integrate both state and trait anxiety indices into study designs. Finally, future studies should seek to determine how executive functioning deficits can be best ameliorated in emerging adults with ADHD and anxiety. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26121381

  10. Fantasy Orientation Constructs and Related Executive Function Development in Preschool: Developmental Benefits to Executive Functions by Being a Fantasy-Oriented Child

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pierucci, Jillian M.; O'Brien, Christopher T.; McInnis, Melissa A.; Gilpin, Ansley Tullos; Barber, Angela B.

    2014-01-01

    This study explored unique constructs of fantasy orientation and whether there are developmental benefits for fantasy-oriented children. By age 3, children begin developing executive functions, with some children exhibiting high fantasy orientation in their cognitions and behaviors. Preschoolers ("n" = 106) completed fantasy orientation…

  11. Effects of Acute Aerobic Exercise on Executive Function in Older Women

    PubMed Central

    Peiffer, Roseann; Darby, Lynn A.; Fullenkamp, Adam; Morgan, Amy L.

    2015-01-01

    Acute aerobic exercise may increase cognitive processing speed among tasks demanding a substantial degree of executive function. Few studies have investigated executive function after acute exercise in older adults across various exercise intensities. Healthy females 60-75 years of age (n = 11) who were not on medications completed 20-min exercise sessions at a moderate (50%VO2max) exercise intensity and a vigorous (75%VO2max) exercise intensity. Modified flanker tasks (reaction times) and d2 tests of sustained and selective attention (components of executive function) were completed before, immediately after, and 30-min post-exercise. Results indicated that older adult females had improved scores on the modified flanker task reaction times (RTT, RTI, RTC) and d2 tests immediately after both moderate and vigorous intensity aerobic exercise. Some of these effects were maintained 30 min post-exercise. These findings suggest that an acute bout of exercise, regardless of intensity, can improve performance on tests of executive function in older women. Key points Few studies have investigated the effects of the intensity of exercise on executive function in older women Executive function improved after 20-min of aerobic exercise regardless of exercise intensity in older women Findings from the study were not confounded by prescribed medications; all participants who were older women were not taking any medications PMID:26336345

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    Previous studies with preschoolers have reported "East-West" contrasts in children's executive function (East>West) and theory of mind (Eastexecutive function tasks. That is, with respect to executive function, general cultural influences appear to be salient. In contrast, compared with their U.K. counterparts, children attending local schools in Hong Kong (but not those attending British-based international schools in Hong Kong) performed poorly on age-appropriate tests of theory of mind. With respect to theory of mind, therefore, pedagogical experiences appear to be more salient than factors related to the broad contrast between individualist and collectivist cultures. Our findings also contribute to the debate surrounding the relationship between theory of mind and executive function; although scores on these two sets of tasks were robustly correlated within each country, the double dissociation between delayed theory of mind but superior executive function for children in local schools in Hong Kong compared with their U.K. peers suggests that variation in executive function may be necessary but is not sufficient to explain variation in theory of mind. PMID:26592766

  14. Emotional reactivity and regulation in infancy interact to predict executive functioning in early childhood.

    PubMed

    Ursache, Alexandra; Blair, Clancy; Stifter, Cynthia; Voegtline, Kristin

    2013-01-01

    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 battery at age 48 months. Results indicated that the relation of child negative emotional reactivity at 15 months of age to executive functioning at 48 months of age was dependent on observed emotion regulation. High levels of executive function ability were observed among children who exhibited high levels of emotional reactivity and high levels of the regulation of this reactivity. In contrast, low levels of executive function ability were observed among children who exhibited high levels of reactivity but low levels of regulation. Among children exhibiting low levels of emotional reactivity, emotion regulation was unrelated to executive functioning. Moreover, emotionally reactive infants exhibiting high levels of emotion regulation were more likely to have primary caregivers who exhibited high levels of positive parenting behavior in a parent-child interaction task. Results provide support for a neurobiologically informed developmental model in which the regulation of emotional arousal is one mechanism whereby supportive environments are associated with higher levels of self-regulation ability for highly reactive infants. Findings are discussed with implications for differential susceptibility and biological sensitivity theories of child by context interaction. PMID:22563678

  15. The Contributions of Parental Management Language to Executive Function in Preschool Children

    PubMed Central

    Bindman, Samantha W.; Hindman, Annemarie H.; Bowles, Ryan P.; Morrison, Frederick J.

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated relations between preschoolers’ emergent executive function skills and their interactions with parents, with particular focus on the verbal utterances parents use to guide children’s behavior (i.e., management language). Parent-child dyads (N = 127) were videotaped during a structured play task and the frequency of two types of management language, Direction (high control) and Suggestion (low control), was observed. Children’s executive function was assessed using the Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders (HTKS) task. Latent growth modeling was used to investigate relations between management language and the development of children’s executive function. Direction language (i.e., commands) was negatively associated with children’s age three executive function but not significantly related to the rate of executive function development over time. Conversely, Suggestion language (i.e., questions and statements that offer children some degree of choice) was positively related to executive function at age three but negatively related to growth. The potential importance of management language as a parenting behavior that contributes to various aspects of children’s self-regulation during preschool and kindergarten is discussed. PMID:23997425

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    The association between family socioeconomic status (SES) and child executive functions is well-documented. However, few studies have examined the role of potential mediators and moderators. We studied the independent and interactive associations between family SES and single parenthood to predict child executive functions of inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and working memory and examined child expressive language abilities and family home environment as potential mediators of these associations. Sixty families from diverse SES backgrounds with a school-age target child (mean [SD] age = 9.9 [0.96] years) were evaluated. Child executive functioning was measured using a brief battery. The quality of the home environment was evaluated using the Home Observation for the Measurement of the Environment inventory. Family SES predicted the three child executive functions under study. Single parent and family SES were interactively associated with children's inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility; such that children from low SES families who were living with one parent performed less well on executive function tests than children from similarly low SES who were living with two parents. Parental responsivity, enrichment activities and family companionship mediated the association between family SES and child inhibitory control and working memory. This study demonstrates that family SES inequalities are associated with inequalities in home environments and with inequalities in child executive functions. The impact of these disparities as they unfold in the lives of typically developing children merits further investigation and understanding. PMID:21073770

  17. Executive function deficits in early Alzheimer's disease and their relations with episodic memory.

    PubMed

    Baudic, Sophie; Barba, Gianfranco Dalla; Thibaudet, Marie Claude; Smagghe, Alain; Remy, Philippe; Traykov, Latchezar

    2006-01-01

    Previous research suggests that patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are impaired on executive function early in the course of disease, but negative findings were reported. To evaluate the performance on executive tasks in early AD and to determine the involvement of memory on the outcome of executive tasks. Thirty-six AD patients were divided into two subgroups on the basis of the MMSE: very mild and mild. The comparison with 17 normal controls shows that very mild AD patients had deficits on visuospatial short-term memory, episodic memory, flexibility and self-monitoring abilities, concept formation and reasoning. The mild AD patients showed additional deficits on the Similarities test. Episodic memory and executive deficits occur in the very early stage of AD and precede impairment in constructional praxis, language and sustained attention. With the progression of the disease, additional deficit is observed in abstract thinking. In mild AD, memory failure is also related to executive impairment. PMID:16125364

  18. Aerobic and Cognitive Exercise (ACE) Pilot Study for Older Adults: Executive Function Improves with Cognitive Challenge While Exergaming.

    PubMed

    Barcelos, Nicole; Shah, Nikita; Cohen, Katherine; Hogan, Michael J; Mulkerrin, Eamon; Arciero, Paul J; Cohen, Brian D; Kramer, Arthur F; Anderson-Hanley, Cay

    2015-11-01

    Dementia cases are increasing worldwide; thus, investigators seek to identify interventions that might prevent or ameliorate cognitive decline in later life. Extensive research confirms the benefits of physical exercise for brain health, yet only a fraction of older adults exercise regularly. Interactive mental and physical exercise, as in aerobic exergaming, not only motivates, but has also been found to yield cognitive benefit above and beyond traditional exercise. This pilot study sought to investigate whether greater cognitive challenge while exergaming would yield differential outcomes in executive function and generalize to everyday functioning. Sixty-four community based older adults (mean age=82) were randomly assigned to pedal a stationary bike, while interactively engaging on-screen with: (1) a low cognitive demand task (bike tour), or (2) a high cognitive demand task (video game). Executive function (indices from Trails, Stroop and Digit Span) was assessed before and after a single-bout and 3-month exercise intervention. Significant group × time interactions were found after a single-bout (Color Trails) and after 3 months of exergaming (Stroop; among 20 adherents). Those in the high cognitive demand group performed better than those in the low cognitive dose condition. Everyday function improved across both exercise conditions. Pilot data indicate that for older adults, cognitive benefit while exergaming increased concomitantly with higher doses of interactive mental challenge. PMID:26581789

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-03-01

    Contrasting predictions have been made about the effects of positive mood states on the performance of frontal lobe tests that tap executive functions such as inhibition, switching, and strategy use. It has been argued that positive mood is likely to improve some cognitive processes, particularly those dependent on the frontal cortex and anterior cingulate of the brain. However, there is some evidence that happy mood may impair executive functioning. The current experiments investigated the effects of positive mood on Stoop and fluency tests, which are frequently used to assess executive function. Positive mood impaired performance on a switching condition of the Stroop test, but improved performance on a creative uses test of fluency. The effect of positive mood on an executive task may therefore depend on whether a task is inherently motivating or is impaired by diffuse semantic activation. PMID:12899364

  20. Executive functioning and the impact of a hearing loss: performance-based measures and the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF).

    PubMed

    Oberg, Elizabeth; Lukomski, Jennifer

    2011-01-01

    The impact of deafness on a child's rated executive functioning behaviors and performance capabilities on neurological, cognitive, and achievement domains were examined in a sample of 22 deaf students (ages 5 to 18). The parent and teacher ratings on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) showed significant positive correlations (p < .01) on six of the eight clinical scales. There were significant correlations between the BRIEF reports and the students' scores on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, the (Children's) Color Trails Test, and the Woodcock-Johnson: Writing Fluency subtest. The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test: Total Errors scale and the Writing Fluency subtest accounted for 70% variance of the parent BRIEF Global Executive Composite and 65% of the variance for the teacher report on this same composite scale. Students with genetic deafness were rated with significantly less challenges with executive functioning (p < .05) on BRIEF scales and performed significantly better on select student measures than students with other causes of deafness. PMID:21480012

  1. Autobiographical memory and executive function in early dementia of Alzheimer type.

    PubMed

    Greene, J D; Hodges, J R; Baddeley, A D

    1995-12-01

    We studied executive function and autobiographical memory in a cohort of 33 DAT patients [divided into minimal (MMSE 24-30) and mild (MMSE 17-23) groups] and in 30 normal controls. Autobiographical memory, as assessed by autobiographical fluency and the Autobiographical Memory Interview (AMI), was impaired in DAT patients, even those with minimal disease. There was evidence of a gentle temporal gradient on the incident but not the personal semantic component of the AMI, suggesting that the two components are dissociable. Executive function was assessed by two separate dual performance tasks and letter fluency. Although there was a trend for minimal DAT patients to be impaired on executive tasks, this only reached significance for the mild group. Regression analysis suggested that the divided attention component of working memory was involved in the retrieval of personal semantic autobiographical memory, but verbal fluency was more important in the retrieval of autobiographical incidents. There was thus a dissociation in the type of executive function implicated in different subcomponents of autobiographical memory, arguing for subcomponents within executive function and autobiographical memory. The autobiographical memory deficit in DAT reflects, we argue, both impairment in retrieval processes, linked to executive function, and a loss of memory stores. PMID:8745122

  2. Neuropsychological consequences of alcohol and drug abuse on different components of executive functions.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Serrano, María José; Pérez-García, Miguel; Schmidt Río-Valle, Jacqueline; Verdejo-García, Antonio

    2010-09-01

    Several studies have shown alterations in different components of executive functioning in users of different drugs, including cannabis, cocaine and heroin. However, it is difficult to establish a specific association between the use of each of these drugs and executive alterations, since most drug abusers are polysubstance abusers, and alcohol is a ubiquitous confounding factor. Moreover, in order to study the association between consumption of different drugs and executive functioning, the patterns of quantity and duration of drugs used must be considered, given the association between these parameters and the executive functioning alteration degree. Based on the multicomponent approach to executive functions, the aims of the present study were: (i) to analyse the differential contribution of alcohol versus cocaine, heroin and cannabis use on executive functions performance; and (ii) to analyse the contribution made by the severity of the different drugs used (quantity and duration patterns) on these functions in a sample of polysubstance abusers that requested treatment for cannabis-, cocaine- or heroin-related problems. We administered measures of fluency, working memory, analogical reasoning, interference, cognitive flexibility, decision-making and self-regulation to two groups: 60 substance-dependent individuals (SDIs) and 30 healthy control individuals (HCIs). SDIs had significantly poorer performance than HCIs across all of the executive domains assessed. Results from hierarchical regression models showed the existence of common correlates of the use of alcohol, cannabis and cocaine on verbal fluency and decision-making; common correlates of quantity of cannabis and cocaine use on verbal working memory and analogical reasoning; common correlates of duration of cocaine and heroin use on shifting; and specific effects of duration of cocaine use on inhibition measures. These findings indicate that alcohol abuse is negatively associated with fluency and

  3. Mapping the association of global executive functioning onto diverse measures of psychopathic traits.

    PubMed

    Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R; Brazil, Inti A; Ryan, Jonathan; Kohlenberg, Nathaniel J; Neumann, Craig S; Newman, Joseph P

    2015-10-01

    Psychopathic individuals display a callous-coldhearted approach to interpersonal and affective situations and engage in impulsive and antisocial behaviors. Despite early conceptualizations suggesting that psychopathy is related to enhanced cognitive functioning, research examining executive functioning (EF) in psychopathy has yielded few such findings. It is possible that some psychopathic trait dimensions are more related to EF than others. Research using a 2-factor or 4-facet model of psychopathy highlights some dimension-specific differences in EF, but this research is limited in scope. Another complicating factor in teasing apart the EF-psychopathy relationship is the tendency to use different psychopathy assessments for incarcerated versus community samples. In this study, an EF battery and multiple measures of psychopathic dimensions were administered to a sample of male prisoners (N = 377). Results indicate that using the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), the independent effect of Factor 2 was related to worse EF, but neither the independent effect of Factor 1 nor the unique variance of the Factors (1 or 2) were related to EF. Using a 4-facet model, the independent effects of Facet2 (Affect) and Facet4 (Antisocial) were related to worse EF, but when examining the unique effects, only Facet2 remained significant. Finally, the questionnaire-based measure, Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire-Brief, of Fearless Dominance was related to better EF performance, whereas PCL-R Factor 1 was unrelated to EF. Overall, the results reveal the complex relationship among EF and behaviors characteristic of psychopathy-related dimensions. Moreover, they demonstrate the interpersonal and affective traits measured by these distinct assessments are differentially related to EF. PMID:26011576

  4. Increasing the Utility of EF Assessment of Executive Function in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salimpoor, Valorie Niloufar; Desrocher, Mary

    2006-01-01

    Executive functions (EF) are a group of interrelated complex mental abilities that are involved in planning and initiating goals and carrying them through despite interruptions. As these functions are typically higher-order and involved in integrating other, more basic, lower-order functions, they are difficult to assess directly, and executive…

  5. Rehabilitation of executive functioning in patients with frontal lobe brain damage with goal management training.

    PubMed

    Levine, Brian; Schweizer, Tom A; O'Connor, Charlene; Turner, Gary; Gillingham, Susan; Stuss, Donald T; Manly, Tom; Robertson, Ian H

    2011-01-01

    Executive functioning deficits due to brain disease affecting frontal lobe functions cause significant real-life disability, yet solid evidence in support of executive functioning interventions is lacking. Goal Management Training (GMT), an executive functioning intervention that draws upon theories concerning goal processing and sustained attention, has received empirical support in studies of patients with traumatic brain injury, normal aging, and case studies. GMT promotes a mindful approach to complex real-life tasks that pose problems for patients with executive functioning deficits, with a main goal of periodically stopping ongoing behavior to monitor and adjust goals. In this controlled trial, an expanded version of GMT was compared to an alternative intervention, Brain Health Workshop that was matched to GMT on non-specific characteristics that can affect intervention outcome. Participants included 19 individuals in the chronic phase of recovery from brain disease (predominantly stroke) affecting frontal lobe function. Outcome data indicated specific effects of GMT on the Sustained Attention to Response Task as well as the Tower Test, a visuospatial problem-solving measure that reflected far transfer of training effects. There were no significant effects on self-report questionnaires, likely owing to the complexity of these measures in this heterogeneous patient sample. Overall, these data support the efficacy of GMT in the rehabilitation of executive functioning deficits. PMID:21369362

  6. Rehabilitation of Executive Functioning in Patients with Frontal Lobe Brain Damage with Goal Management Training

    PubMed Central

    Levine, Brian; Schweizer, Tom A.; O'Connor, Charlene; Turner, Gary; Gillingham, Susan; Stuss, Donald T.; Manly, Tom; Robertson, Ian H.

    2011-01-01

    Executive functioning deficits due to brain disease affecting frontal lobe functions cause significant real-life disability, yet solid evidence in support of executive functioning interventions is lacking. Goal Management Training (GMT), an executive functioning intervention that draws upon theories concerning goal processing and sustained attention, has received empirical support in studies of patients with traumatic brain injury, normal aging, and case studies. GMT promotes a mindful approach to complex real-life tasks that pose problems for patients with executive functioning deficits, with a main goal of periodically stopping ongoing behavior to monitor and adjust goals. In this controlled trial, an expanded version of GMT was compared to an alternative intervention, Brain Health Workshop that was matched to GMT on non-specific characteristics that can affect intervention outcome. Participants included 19 individuals in the chronic phase of recovery from brain disease (predominantly stroke) affecting frontal lobe function. Outcome data indicated specific effects of GMT on the Sustained Attention to Response Task as well as the Tower Test, a visuospatial problem-solving measure that reflected far transfer of training effects. There were no significant effects on self-report questionnaires, likely owing to the complexity of these measures in this heterogeneous patient sample. Overall, these data support the efficacy of GMT in the rehabilitation of executive functioning deficits. PMID:21369362

  7. Reliability, validity, and clinical utility of the Executive Function Performance Test: a measure of executive function in a sample of people with stroke.

    PubMed

    Baum, Carolyn M; Connor, Lisa Tabor; Morrison, Tracy; Hahn, Michelle; Dromerick, Alexander W; Edwards, Dorothy F

    2008-01-01

    This study examined the reliability and validity of the Executive Function Performance Test (EFPT). The EFPT assesses executive function deficits in the performance of real-world tasks. It uses a structured cueing and scoring system to assess higher-level cognitive functions, specifically initiation, organization, sequencing safety and judgment, and task completion. Seventy-three participants with mild to moderate stroke and 22 age- and education-matched controls completed the 4 EFPT tasks (cooking, using the telephone, managing medications, and paying bills). Significant differences were found between participants with mild and moderate stroke and healthy control participants. The EFPT can help occupational therapists determine the level of support needed by people with cognitive impairments to perform complex instrumental tasks. Objective information derived from this assessment is an essential part of the process of determining whether the person can live independently and helping families understand how to support the performance of their family members at home. PMID:18712007

  8. Executive (Dys)Functioning and Impulsivity as Possible Vulnerability Factors for Aggression in Forensic Patients.

    PubMed

    Tonnaer, Franca; Cima, Maaike; Arntz, Arnoud

    2016-04-01

    This study investigated whether executive dysfunction and impulsivity are both predictors of reactive aggression and is the first to use behavioral assessment of aggression in response to provocation by means of a personalized boxing body opponent bag giving harassing feedback. Aggressive behavior, self-reported aggression, executive functioning (ie, working memory, flexibility, and divided attention), and impulsivity dimensions (i.e., Sensation Seeking, Impulsive Decision Making, and [inadequate] Response Inhibition) were measured in 44 incarcerated psychiatric patients. Results show that both executive functioning (working memory) and impulsivity (Impulsive Decision Making) predicted self-reported reactive aggression, whereas Response Inhibition was the only predictor for reactive aggressive behavioral responses. The study suggests that Response Inhibition is a stronger predictor of reactive aggressive behavior than executive capacities of working memory, flexibility, and divided attention. Therefore, future research should investigate whether (inadequate) Response Inhibition could also be a valuable predictor for violent recidivism. PMID:26894312

  9. Executive function on the 16-day of bed rest in young healthy men

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishizaki, Yuko; Fukuoka, Hideoki; Tanaka, Hidetaka; Ishizaki, Tatsuro; Fujii, Yuri; Hattori-Uchida, Yuko; Nakamura, Minako; Ohkawa, Kaoru; Kobayashi, Hodaka; Taniuchi, Shoichiro; Kaneko, Kazunari

    2009-05-01

    Microgravity due to prolonged bed rest may cause changes in cerebral circulation, which is related to brain function. We evaluate the effect of simulated microgravity due to a 6° head-down tilt bed rest experiment on executive function among 12 healthy young men. Four kinds of psychoneurological tests—the table tapping test, the trail making test, the pointing test and losing at rock-paper-scissors—were performed on the baseline and on day 16 of the experiment. There was no significant difference in the results between the baseline and day 16 on all tests, which indicated that executive function was not impaired by the 16-day 6° head-down tilting bed rest. However, we cannot conclude that microgravity did not affect executive function because of the possible contribution of the following factors: (1) the timing of tests, (2) the learning effect, or (3) changes in psychophysiology that were too small to affect higher brain function.

  10. The Moderating Role of Executive Functioning in Older Adults' Responses to a Reminder of Mortality

    PubMed Central

    Maxfield, Molly; Pyszczynski, Tom; Greenberg, Jeff; Pepin, Renee; Davis, Hasker P.

    2011-01-01

    In previous research, older adults responded to mortality salience (MS) with increased tolerance, whereas younger persons responded with increased punitiveness. One possible explanation for this is that many older adults adapt to challenges of later life, such as the prospect of mortality, by becoming more flexible. Recent studies suggest that positively-oriented adaptation is more likely for older adults with high levels of executive functioning. We thus hypothesized that the better an older adult's executive functioning, the more likely MS would result in increased tolerance. Older and younger adults were randomly assigned to MS or control conditions, and then evaluated moral transgressors. As in previous research, younger adults were more punitive following reminders of mortality; executive functioning did not affect their responses. Among older adults, high functioning individuals responded to MS with increased tolerance rather than intolerance, whereas those low in functioning became more punitive. PMID:21728445

  11. Executive Functions and the Improvement of Thinking Abilities: The Intervention in Reading Comprehension

    PubMed Central

    García-Madruga, Juan A.; Gómez-Veiga, Isabel; Vila, José Ó.

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a preliminary theory of executive functions that address in a specific way their relationship with working memory (WM) and higher-level cognition. It includes: (a) four core on-line WM executive functions that are involved in every novel and complex cognitive task; (b) two higher order off-line executive functions, planning and revision, that are required to resolving the most complex intellectual abilities; and (c) emotional control that is involved in any complex, novel and difficult task. The main assumption is that efficiency on thinking abilities may be improved by specific instruction or training on the executive functions necessary to solving novel and complex tasks involved in these abilities. Evidence for the impact of our training proposal on WM's executive functions involved in higher-level cognitive abilities comes from three studies applying an adaptive program designed to improve reading comprehension in primary school students by boosting the core WM's executive functions involved in it: focusing on relevant information, switching (or shifting) between representations or tasks, connecting incoming information from text with long-term representations, updating of the semantic representation of the text in WM, and inhibition of irrelevant information. The results are consistent with the assumption that cognitive enhancements from the training intervention may have affected not only a specific but also a more domain-general mechanism involved in various executive functions. We discuss some methodological issues in the studies of effects of WM training on reading comprehension. The perspectives and limitations of our approach are finally discussed. PMID:26869961

  12. Executive Functions and the Improvement of Thinking Abilities: The Intervention in Reading Comprehension.

    PubMed

    García-Madruga, Juan A; Gómez-Veiga, Isabel; Vila, José Ó

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a preliminary theory of executive functions that address in a specific way their relationship with working memory (WM) and higher-level cognition. It includes: (a) four core on-line WM executive functions that are involved in every novel and complex cognitive task; (b) two higher order off-line executive functions, planning and revision, that are required to resolving the most complex intellectual abilities; and (c) emotional control that is involved in any complex, novel and difficult task. The main assumption is that efficiency on thinking abilities may be improved by specific instruction or training on the executive functions necessary to solving novel and complex tasks involved in these abilities. Evidence for the impact of our training proposal on WM's executive functions involved in higher-level cognitive abilities comes from three studies applying an adaptive program designed to improve reading comprehension in primary school students by boosting the core WM's executive functions involved in it: focusing on relevant information, switching (or shifting) between representations or tasks, connecting incoming information from text with long-term representations, updating of the semantic representation of the text in WM, and inhibition of irrelevant information. The results are consistent with the assumption that cognitive enhancements from the training intervention may have affected not only a specific but also a more domain-general mechanism involved in various executive functions. We discuss some methodological issues in the studies of effects of WM training on reading comprehension. The perspectives and limitations of our approach are finally discussed. PMID:26869961

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

    PubMed

    Limbers, Christine A; Young, Danielle

    2015-05-01

    Executive functions play a critical role in regulating eating behaviors and have been shown to be associated with overeating which over time can result in overweight and obesity. There has been a paucity of research examining the associations among healthy dietary behaviors and executive functions utilizing behavioral rating scales of executive functioning. The objective of the present cross-sectional study was to evaluate the associations among fruit and vegetable consumption, intake of foods high in saturated fat, and executive functions using the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning-Adult Version. A total of 240 university students completed the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning-Adult Version, the 26-Item Eating Attitudes Test, and the Diet subscale of the Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities Questionnaire. Multiple linear regression analysis was conducted with two separate models in which fruit and vegetable consumption and saturated fat intake were the outcomes. Demographic variables, body mass index, and eating styles were controlled for in the analysis. Better initiation skills were associated with greater intake of fruits and vegetables in the last 7 days (standardized beta = -0.17; p < 0.05). Stronger inhibitory control was associated with less consumption of high fat foods in the last 7 days (standardized beta = 0.20; p < 0.05) in the multiple linear regression analysis. Executive functions that predict fruit and vegetable consumption are distinct from those that predict avoidance of foods high in saturated fat. Future research should investigate whether continued skill enhancement in initiation and inhibition following standard behavioral interventions improves long-term maintenance of weight loss. PMID:25903247

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

    PubMed Central

    Stadskleiv, Kristine; von Tetzchner, Stephen; Batorowicz, Beata; van Balkom, Hans; Dahlgren-Sandberg, Annika; Renner, Gregor

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Stadskleiv, Kristine; von Tetzchner, Stephen; Batorowicz, Beata; van Balkom, Hans; Dahlgren-Sandberg, Annika; Renner, Gregor

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Executive functioning in anorexia nervosa patients and their unaffected relatives.

    PubMed

    Galimberti, Elisa; Fadda, Emma; Cavallini, Maria Cristina; Martoni, Riccardo Maria; Erzegovesi, Stefano; Bellodi, Laura

    2013-08-15

    Formal genetic studies suggested a substantial genetic influence for anorexia nervosa (AN), but currently results are inconsistent. The use of the neurocognitive endophenotype approach may facilitate our understanding of the AN pathophysiology. We investigated decision-making, set-shifting and planning in AN patients (n=29) and their unaffected relatives (n=29) compared to healthy probands (n=29) and their relatives (n=29). The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), the Tower of Hanoi (ToH) and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) were administered. Concordance rates and heritability indices were also calculated in probands/relatives. Impaired performance on the IGT and the WCST were found in both AN probands and their relatives, although planning appeared to be preserved. The IGT heritability index suggested the presence of genetic effects that influence this measure. No evidence for genetic effects was found for the WCST. The results suggest the presence of a shared dysfunctional executive profile in women with AN and their unaffected relatives, characterized by deficient decision-making and set-shifting. Concordance analysis strongly suggests that these impairments aggregate in AN families, supporting the hypothesis that they may constitute biological markers for AN. Decision-making impairment presents a moderate heritability, suggesting that decision-making may be a candidate endophenotype for AN. PMID:23122554

  17. Executive Functioning of Combat Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

    PubMed

    Gaines, Katy D; Soper, Henry V; Berenji, Gholam R

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates neuropsychological deficits in recently deployed veterans with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Veterans discharged from 2007 to 2012 were recruited from Veterans Affairs clinics. Independent groups of participants with mTBI (n = 57) and those without TBI (n = 57) were administered the Beck Depression Inventory-II, Combat Exposure Scale, Word Memory Test, and the Self-Awareness of Deficits Interview. Neuropsychological instruments included the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test, Letter and Category Fluency, Trail-Making Test-Parts A and B, Christiansen H-abbreviated, Soper Neuropsychology Screen, Wechsler Memory Scale subtests Logical Memory I and II, and the Street Completion Test. The mTBI group performed significantly worse on all of the executive and nonexecutive measurements with the exception of Category Fluency, after controlling for age, depression effort, and combat exposure. Depression and combat exposure were greater for the mTBI group. The mTBI group scored poorer on effort, but only the Multiple Choice subtest was significant. The mTBI group had good awareness of their deficits. PMID:26496530

  18. Study Protocol: The influence of Running Therapy on executive functions and sleep of prisoners

    PubMed Central

    Meijers, Jesse; Harte, Joke; Meynen, Gerben; Cuijpers, Pim

    2015-01-01

    Background: Executive dysfunction appears to be related to increased recidivism. Of note is that sleep disturbances, which are highly prevalent in prisons, may attenuate executive functions. Thus, improving executive functions, either directly or indirectly through the improvement of sleep, may reduce recidivism. It is hypothesised that physical exercise, in the form of Running Therapy, has a direct positive effect on executive functions as well as an indirect effect through the improvement of sleep. Methods/Design: Seventy two (N = 72) detainees in various penitentiary institutions in the Netherlands will be recruited in this study. A baseline measurement, including six neuropsychological tests of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), an assessment of sleep quality and duration using the Actiwatch (Actiwatch 2, Philips Respironics, Murrysville, PA, USA) and various other measurements will be administered before the start of the treatment. After 3 months of Running Therapy, participants will be assessed again with the same tests for neuropsychological and physical functioning. Primary outcomes are executive functioning and various sleep variables. Discussion: This study will be the first to investigate the possible influence of Running Therapy on the cognitive functioning, sleep and aggression in prisoners. PMID:26664703

  19. Maltreatment is associated with specific impairments in executive functions: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Augusti, Else-Marie; Melinder, Annika

    2013-12-01

    Child maltreatment is associated with a host of adverse consequences. Few studies exist that map maltreated children's performance on neurocognitive tests particularly sensitive to brain and behavior associations. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether maltreated children differed in their executive functioning compared to their nonmaltreated peers, and if they did so in specific ways. Tasks aimed at measuring set shifting, spatial working memory, and inhibition were administered. Trauma-related symptomatology was further assessed to study the potential effect of maltreatment-related psychopathology on executive functioning. A univariate analysis of variance showed that maltreated children (n = 21) performed significantly poorer compared to their nonmaltreated peers (n = 22) on the Spatial Working Memory task. Symptoms of trauma-related psychopathology were not associated with performance on the executive functions tests. In conclusion, maltreatment was not associated with a global deficit in children's executive functions. Thus, when considering maltreated children's cognitive functioning, specific measures of executive functions should be applied. PMID:24243621

  20. Cognitive and behavioral aspects of executive functions in children born very preterm.

    PubMed

    Ritter, Barbara Catherine; Perrig, Walter; Steinlin, Maja; Everts, Regula

    2014-03-01

    This study investigated whether children aged between 8 and 12 years born very preterm (VPT) and/or at very low birth weight (VLBW) performed lower than same-aged term-born controls in cognitive and behavioral aspects of three executive functions: inhibition, working memory, and shifting. Special attention was given to sex differences. Fifty-two VPT/VLBW children (26 girls, 50%) born in the cohort of 1998-2003 and 36 same-aged term-born children (18 girls, 50%) were recruited. As cognitive measures, children completed tasks of inhibition (Color-Word Interference Test, D-KEFS; Delis, Kaplan, & Kramer, 2001), working memory (digit span backwards, HAWIK-IV; Petermann & Petermann, 2008), and shifting (Trail Making Test, number-letter-switching, D-KEFS; Delis et al., 2001). As behavioral measures, mothers completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF; Gioia, Isquith, Guy, & Kenworthy, 2000). Scales of interest were inhibit, working memory, and shift. Analyses of the cognitive aspects of executive functions revealed that VPT/VLBW children performed significantly lower than controls in the shifting task but not in the working memory and inhibition tasks. Analyses of behavioral aspects of executive functions revealed that VPT/VLBW children displayed more problems than the controls in working memory in everyday life but not in inhibition and shifting. No sex differences could be detected either in cognitive or behavioral aspects of executive functions. To conclude, cognitive and behavioral measures of executive functions were not congruent in VPT/VLBW children. In clinical practice, the combination of cognitive and behavioral instruments is required to disclose children's executive difficulties. PMID:23458400

  1. Sensory Processing in Preterm Preschoolers and Its Association with Executive Function

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Jenna N.; Feldman, Heidi M.; Huffman, Lynne C.; Loe, Irene M.

    2015-01-01

    Background Symptoms of abnormal sensory processing have been related to preterm birth, but have not yet been studied specifically in preterm preschoolers. The degree of association between sensory processing and other domains is important for understanding the role of sensory processing symptoms in the development of preterm children. Aims To test two related hypotheses: (1) preterm preschoolers have more sensory processing symptoms than full term preschoolers and (2) sensory processing is associated with both executive function and adaptive function in preterm preschoolers. Study Design Cross-sectional study Subjects Preterm children (≤34 weeks of gestation; n = 54) and full term controls (≥37 weeks of gestation; n = 73) ages 3-5 years. Outcome Measures Sensory processing was assessed with the Short Sensory Profile. Executive function was assessed with (1) parent ratings on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function- Preschool version and (2) a performance-based battery of tasks. Adaptive function was assessed with the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-II. Results Preterm preschoolers showed significantly more sensory symptoms than full term controls. A higher percentage of preterm than full term preschoolers had elevated numbers of sensory symptoms (37% vs. 12%). Sensory symptoms in preterm preschoolers were associated with scores on executive function measures, but were not significantly associated with adaptive function. Conclusions Preterm preschoolers exhibited more sensory symptoms than full term controls. Preterm preschoolers with elevated numbers of sensory symptoms also showed executive function impairment. Future research should further examine whether sensory processing and executive function should be considered independent or overlapping constructs. PMID:25706317

  2. The profile of executive functioning in amnestic mild cognitive impairment: disproportionate deficits in inhibitory control.

    PubMed

    Johns, Erin K; Phillips, Natalie A; Belleville, Sylvie; Goupil, Diane; Babins, Lennie; Kelner, Nora; Ska, Bernadette; Gilbert, Brigitte; Massoud, Fadi; de Boysson, Chloé; Duncan, Hilary D; Chertkow, Howard

    2012-05-01

    Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) represents a group of individuals who are highly likely to develop Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although aMCI is typically conceptualized as involving predominantly deficits in episodic memory, recent studies have demonstrated that deficits in executive functioning may also be present, and thorough categorization of cognitive functioning in MCI may improve early diagnosis and treatment of AD. We first provide an extensive review of neuropsychology studies that examined executive functioning in MCI. We then present data on executive functioning across multiple sub-domains (divided attention, working memory, inhibitory control, verbal fluency, and planning) in 40 aMCI patients (single or multiple domain) and 32 normal elderly controls (NECs). MCI patients performed significantly worse than NECs in all 5 sub-domains, and there was impairment (>1.0 SD below the mean of NECs) in all sub-domains. Impairment on each test was frequent, with 100% of MCI patients exhibiting a deficit in at least one sub-domain of executive functioning. Inhibitory control was the most frequently and severely impaired. These results indicate that executive dysfunction in multiple sub-domains is common in aMCI and highlights the importance of a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation for fully characterizing the nature and extent of cognitive deficits in MCI. PMID:22370245

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Children's executive functions, encompassing inhibitory control, working memory and attention are vital for their self-regulation. With the transition to formal schooling, children need to learn to manage their emotions and behavior in a new and complex social environment that with age increases in the intensity of social interactions with peers and teachers. Stronger executive functions skills facilitate children's social development. In addition, new experiences in the social environments of school also may influence executive function development. The focus of this special section is on this potential impact of elementary school social experiences with peers and teacher on the development of children's executive functions. The collection of papers encompass various aspects of peer and teacher social environments, and cover broad as well as specific facets and measures of executive functions including neural responses. The collection of papers sample developmental periods that span preschool through mid-adolescence. In this introduction, we summarize and highlight the main findings of each of the papers, organized around social interactions with peers and interactions with teachers. We conclude our synopsis with implications for future research, and a specific focus on prevention and intervention. PMID:26687502

  4. Smoking during Pregnancy Is a Risk Factor for Executive Function Deficits in Preschool-aged Children

    PubMed Central

    Daseking, M.; Petermann, F.; Tischler, T.; Waldmann, H.-C.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Maternal nicotine use during pregnancy has a negative impact on the child. Numerous studies have demonstrated an association between smoking during pregnancy and psychological deficits. This study looks at deficits in executive functioning in preschool-aged children. Methods: The executive functioning of preschool children was assessed by asking parents to complete the parental form of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions – Preschool Version (BRIEF-P, German version). The results for preschool children whose mothers had smoked during pregnancy (n = 71) were compared with those of a control group. In a subsample, parental assessments of children of smokers (n = 42) and non-smokers (n = 27) were complemented by the teacher form of the BRIEF-P (German version), which allowed inter-rater agreement (parents vs. preschool teachers) to be assessed. Results: An increased incidence of executive function deficits was noted in the children of smokers, based on parental assessment. Clinically relevant deficits were particularly evident with regard to inhibition, with inhibitory deficits in children of smokers found to be almost four times higher than in the control group (p = 0.006). Inhibitory deficits were reported both by parents and by preschool teachers. Discussion: The increased percentage of executive function deficits described here, particularly the increased inhibitory deficits, confirms the current state of research on smoking during pregnancy. Poor inhibition or impulse control is a key symptom of ADHD. PMID:25684788

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

    Several studies indicate that school-age children with specific language impairment (SLI) have difficulties with tasks that rely on executive functions. Whether executive function deficits in children with SLI emerge during preschool age remains unclear. Our aim was to fill this gap by investigating executive function performances in two age groups of preschoolers with and without SLI. Children with SLI (N=60; young: 53.6±5.3 months; old: 65.4±3.8 months) and age-matched control children (N=58) were tested for problem-representation ability, using the Flexible Item Selection Task (FIST), rule-use skills, using a Stroop-like Day-Night test (D/N), and planning skills, using the Tower of London test (TOL). Older children performed better than younger children did across tasks. Children with SLI had poorer performance, compared to typically developing children, on measures of problem representation, planning skills, and use of rules. Our results clearly indicate that executive function impairment is evident during the preschool period. Although old children with SLI performed better than young children with SLI, their performances were still poor, compared to those of control peers. These findings suggest that children with SLI have altered executive functioning at 53.6 months. PMID:25528081

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

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Wenqing; Li, Yan; Fan, Juan

    2016-01-01

    Objective This study aims to explore the feature of emotional regulation and executive functions in oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) children. Methods The emotional regulation and executive functions of adolescents with ODD, as well as the relationship between the two factors were analyzed using tools including Adolescent Daily Emotional Regulation Questionnaire (ADERQ), Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), in comparison with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) children without behavioral problem and healthy children; the ADERQ assessed emotional regulation ability and others were used to assess executive function. Results Compared to normal children, the ODD group displayed significant differences in the scores of cognitive reappraisal, rumination, expressive suppression, and revealing of negative emotions, as well as in the score of cognitive reappraisal of positive emotions. WCST perseverative errors were well correlated with rumination of negative emotions (r=0.47). Logistic regression revealed that the minimum number of moves in the Stocking of Cambridge (SOC) test (one test in CANTAB) and negative emotion revealing, were strongly associated with ODD diagnosis. Conclusion Children with ODD showed emotion dysregulation, with negative emotion dysregulation as the main feature. Emotion dysregulation and the lack of ability to plan lead to executive function deficits. The executive function deficits may guide us to understand the deep mechanism under ODD. PMID:27247593

  7. Media violence exposure and executive functioning in aggressive and control adolescents.

    PubMed

    Kronenberger, William G; Mathews, Vincent P; Dunn, David W; Wang, Yang; Wood, Elisabeth A; Giauque, Ann L; Larsen, Joelle J; Rembusch, Mary E; Lowe, Mark J; Li, Tie-Qiang

    2005-06-01

    The relationship between media violence exposure and executive functioning was investigated in samples of adolescents with no psychiatric diagnosis or with a history of aggressive-disruptive behavior. Age-, gender-, and IQ-matched samples of adolescents who had no Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-fourth edition (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) diagnosis (N = 27) and of adolescents who had DSM-IV Disruptive Behavior Disorder diagnoses (N = 27) completed measures of media violence exposure and tests of executive functioning. Moderate to strong relationships were found between higher amounts of media violence exposure and deficits in self-report, parent-report, and laboratory-based measures of executive functioning. A significant diagnosis by media violence exposure interaction effect was found for Conners' Continuous Performance Test scores, such that the media violence exposure-executive functioning relationship was stronger for adolescents who had Disruptive Behavior Disorder diagnoses. Results indicate that media violence exposure is related to poorer executive functioning, and this relationship may be stronger for adolescents who have a history of aggressive-disruptive behavior. PMID:15468343

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Recently, it has been suggested that impairments in executive functioning might be risk factors for the onset of alcohol use rather than a result of heavy alcohol use. In the present study, we examined whether two aspects of executive functioning, working memory and response inhibition, predicted the first alcoholic drink and first binge drinking episode in young adolescents using discrete survival analyses. Adolescents were selected from several Dutch secondary schools including both mainstream and special education (externalizing behavioral problems). Participants were 534 adolescents between 12 and 14 years at baseline. Executive functioning and alcohol use were assessed four times over a period of two years. Working memory uniquely predicted the onset of first drink (p=.01) and first binge drinking episode (p=.04) while response inhibition only uniquely predicted the initiating of the first drink (p=.01). These results suggest that the association of executive functioning and alcohol consumption found in former studies cannot simply be interpreted as an effect of alcohol consumption, as weaknesses in executive functioning, found in alcohol naïve adolescents, predict the initiating of (binge) drinking. Though, prolonged and heavy alcohol use might further weaken already existing deficiencies. PMID:25936585

  9. Baseline burnout symptoms predict visuospatial executive function during survival school training in special operations military personnel.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Charles A; Russell, Bartlett; McNeil, Jeff; Maxwell, Jeff; Snyder, Peter J; Southwick, Steven M; Pietrzak, Robert H

    2011-05-01

    Burnout symptoms, which are characterized by exhaustion, cynicism, and a reduced sense of professional efficacy, may deleteriously affect cognitive function in military personnel. A total of 32 U.S. Military Special Operations personnel enrolled in Survival School completed measures of trauma history, dissociation, and burnout before training. They then completed the Groton Maze Learning Test (GMLT), a neuropsychological measure of integrative visuospatial executive function during three field-based phases of Survival School-enemy evasion, captivity/interrogation, and escape/release from captivity. Lower pre-training perceptions of professional efficacy were associated with reduced executive function during all of the field-based phases of Survival School, even after adjustment for years of education, cynicism, and baseline GMLT scores. Magnitudes of decrements in executive function in Marines with low efficacy relative to those with high efficacy increased as training progressed and ranged from .58 during enemy evasion to .99 during escape/release from captivity. Pre-training perceptions of burnout may predict visuospatial executive function during naturalistic training-related stress in military personnel. Assessment of burnout symptoms, particularly perceptions of professional efficacy, may help identify military personnel at risk for stress-related executive dysfunction. PMID:21466738

  10. The relationships among heart rate variability, executive functions, and clinical variables in patients with panic disorder.

    PubMed

    Hovland, Anders; Pallesen, Ståle; Hammar, Åsa; Hansen, Anita Lill; Thayer, Julian F; Tarvainen, Mika P; Nordhus, Inger Hilde

    2012-12-01

    Heart rate variability (HRV) is reduced in patients who suffer from panic disorder (PD). Reduced HRV is related to hypoactivity in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which negatively affects executive functioning. The present study assessed the relationships between vagally mediated HRV at baseline and measures of executive functioning in 36 patients with PD. Associations between these physiological and cognitive measures and panic-related variables were also investigated. HRV was measured using HF-power (ms(2)), and executive functions were assessed with the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and the Color-Word Interference Test (CWIT) from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS). Panic-related variables comprised panic frequency, panic-related distress, and duration of PD. Performance on the neuropsychological measures correlated significantly with HRV. Both panic-related distress and duration of PD were inversely related with measures of HRV and cognitive inhibition. The current findings support the purported relationship between HRV and executive functions involving the PFC. PMID:23069273

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

    PubMed

    García-Villamisar, Domingo; Dattilo, John

    2015-06-01

    Investigations of executive dysfunctions among people with obsessive-compulsive personality disorders (OCPD) have yielded inconsistent results. The authors speculate that obsessive-compulsive personality traits (OCPT) from a nonclinical population may be associated with specific executive dysfunctions relative to working memory, attentional set-shifting, and planning. A sample consisting of 79 adults (39 females, 40 males) was divided into high and low scorers on the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire-4 (PDQ-4; Hyler, 1994). In addition, these participants were interviewed using the SCID-II (First, Spitzer, Gibbon & Williams, 1997) to confirm the presence of symptoms of obsessive-compulsive personality. Participants completed a battery of executive tasks associated with the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), including Spatial Working Memory, Intradimensional/Extradimensional (ID/ED), Attentional Set-Shifting, and Stockings of Cambridge. Also, self-report measures of executive functions as well as of anxiety and depressive symptoms were administered. The analysis of covariance revealed significant differences between participants with OCPT and controls on the Spatial Working Memory tasks, ID/ED tasks, Stockings of Cambridge, and the Dysexecutive Questionnaire (DEX). Nevertheless, there were no significant differences in the number of problems solved in minimum movements. These results suggest that executive dysfunctions are present in people with prominent OCPT and that there is a high convergence between clinical and ecological measures of executive functions in people with obsessive personality traits. PMID:23445476

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Objective. Studies on the effect of subthalamic deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) on executive functioning in Parkinson's disease (PD) are still controversial. In this study we compared self-reported daily executive functioning in PD patients before and after three months of STN-DBS. We also examined whether executive functioning in everyday life was associated with motor symptoms, apathy, and psychiatric symptoms. Method. 40 PD patients were examined with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A), the Symptom Checklist 90-Revised (SCL-90-R), and the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES-S). Results. PD patients reported significant improvement in daily life executive functioning after 3 months of STN-DBS. Anxiety scores significantly declined, while other psychiatric symptoms remained unchanged. The improvement of self-reported executive functioning did not correlate with motor improvement after STN-DBS. Apathy scores remained unchanged after surgery. Only preoperative depressed mood had predictive value to the improvement of executive function and appears to prevent potentially favorable outcomes from STN-DBS on some aspects of executive function. Conclusion. PD patients being screened for STN-DBS surgery should be evaluated with regard to self-reported executive functioning. Depressive symptoms in presurgical PD patients should be treated. Complementary information about daily life executive functioning in PD patients might enhance further treatment planning of STN-DBS. PMID:26167329

  13. Familial Clustering of Executive Functioning in Affected Sibling Pair Families with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slaats-Willemse, Dorine; Swaab-Barneveld, Hanna; De Sonneville, Leo; Buitelaar, Jan

    2005-01-01

    Objective: To investigate familial clustering of executive functioning (i.e., response inhibition, fine visuomotor functioning, and attentional control) in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-affected sibling pairs. Method: Fifty-two affected sibling pairs aged 6 to 18 years and diagnosed with ADHD according to DSM-IV performed the…

  14. The Typical Developmental Trajectory of Social and Executive Functions in Late Adolescence and Early Adulthood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

    Executive functions and social cognition develop through childhood into adolescence and early adulthood and are important for adaptive goal-oriented behavior (Apperly, Samson, & Humphreys, 2009; Blakemore & Choudhury, 2006). These functions are attributed to frontal networks known to undergo protracted maturation into early adulthood…

  15. Executive Functioning in Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roelofs, R. L.; Visser, E. M.; Berger, H. J. C.; Prins, J. B.; Van Schrojenstein Lantman-De Valk, H. M. J.; Teunisse, J. P.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Executive functioning (EF) is important for adequate behavioural functioning and crucial for explaining symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in individuals with normal intelligence, but is scarcely studied in individuals with ASD and intellectual disabilities (ID). We therefore study EF in an ID population by comparing…

  16. Executive and Visuo-Motor Function in Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sachse, Michael; Schlitt, Sabine; Hainz, Daniela; Ciaramidaro, Angela; Schirman, Shella; Walter, Henrik; Poustka, Fritz; Bolte, Sven; Freitag, Christine M.

    2013-01-01

    This study broadly examines executive (EF) and visuo-motor function in 30 adolescent and adult individuals with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in comparison to 28 controls matched for age, gender, and IQ. ASD individuals showed impaired spatial working memory, whereas planning, cognitive flexibility, and inhibition were spared.…

  17. Benefits of Physical Exercise on Executive Functions in Older People with Parkinson's Disease

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tanaka, Katia; de Quadros, Antonio Carlos, Jr.; Santos, Ruth Ferreira; Stella, Florindo; Gobbi, Lilian Teresa Bucken; Gobbi, Sebastiao

    2009-01-01

    The benefits of physical exercise on cognitive functioning have been reported in the literature, but the potential benefits to slow the eventual decline in executive functioning (EF) caused by neurodegeneration from Parkinson's Disease (PD) have rarely been studied. Thus the objective of this study was to analyze the effects of a multimodal…

  18. Parenting, Family Socioeconomic Status, and Child Executive Functioning: A Longitudinal Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rochette, Émilie; Bernier, Annie

    2014-01-01

    Family socioeconomic status (SES) and the quality of maternal behavior are among the few identified predictors of child executive functioning (EF), and they have often been found to have interactive rather than additive effects on other domains of child functioning. The purpose of this study was to explore their interactive effects in the…

  19. Brain Structure and Executive Functions in Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Systematic Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weierink, Lonneke; Vermeulen, R. Jeroen; Boyd, Roslyn N.

    2013-01-01

    This systematic review aimed to establish the current knowledge about brain structure and executive function (EF) in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Five databases were searched (up till July 2012). Six articles met the inclusion criteria, all included structural brain imaging though no functional brain imaging. Study quality was assessed using…

  20. Validating Neuropsychological Subtypes of ADHD: How Do Children "with" and "without" an Executive Function Deficit Differ?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lambek, Rikke; Tannock, Rosemary; Dalsgaard, Soeren; Trillingsgaard, Anegen; Damm, Dorte; Thomsen, Per Hove

    2010-01-01

    Objective: The study investigates behavioural, academic, cognitive, and motivational aspects of functioning in school-age children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with and without an executive function deficit (EFD). Method: Children with ADHD - EFD (n = 22) and children with ADHD + EFD (n = 26) were compared on aspects of…

  1. Executive Function Performance and Trauma Exposure in a Community Sample of Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DePrince, Anne P.; Weinzierl, Kristin M.; Combs, Melody D.

    2009-01-01

    Objective: Though children exposed to familial violence are reported to have difficulties with a range of emotional and behavioral problems (e.g., lower school achievement) that implicate executive function (EF) deficits, relatively little research has specifically examined EF as a function of trauma exposure in children. Methods: Based on parent…

  2. Executive function deficits in congenital heart disease: why is intervention important?

    PubMed

    Calderon, Johanna; Bellinger, David C

    2015-10-01

    It is widely recognised that children with congenital heart disease (CHD) are at high risk for neurodevelopmental impairments including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder symptoms. Executive function impairments are one of the most prominent neurodevelopmental features associated with CHD. These deficits can have widespread debilitating repercussions in children's neurocognitive, behavioural, and psycho-social development. There is a crucial gap in research regarding the efficacy of preventive or treatment strategies for these important cognitive morbidities. Executive functions are complex neurocognitive skills highly amenable to improvement. Evidence-based interventions have shown promising results in other paediatric populations, strongly suggesting that they might also benefit the growing population of children with CHD. In this review, we summarise the available data on executive function impairments in children and adolescents with CHD. We underline the important co-morbidity of executive dysfunction with other cognitive and psychiatric issues in CHD, which raises awareness of the crucial need to prevent or at least mitigate these deficits. Finally, we summarise future avenues for research in terms of interventions that may help reduce executive function impairments in youth with CHD. PMID:26082199

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Executive dysfunction has previously been found to be a risk factor for falls. The aim of this study is to investigate the association between executive dysfunction and risk of falling and to determine if this association is independent of balance. Methods Participants were 188 community-dwelling individuals aged 65 and older. All participants underwent baseline and annual evaluations with review of health history, standardized neurologic examination, neuropsychological testing, and qualitative and quantitative assessment of motor function. Falls were recorded prospectively using weekly online health forms. Results During 13 months of follow-up, there were 65 of 188 participants (34.6%) who reported at least one fall. Univariate analysis showed that fallers were more likely to have lower baseline scores in executive function than non-fallers (p = 0.03). Among participants without balance impairment we found that higher executive function z-scores were associated with lower fall counts (p = 0.03) after adjustment for age, sex, health status and prior history of falls using negative binomial regression models. This relationship was not present among participants with poor balance. Conclusions Lower scores on executive function tests are a risk factor for falls in participants with minimal balance impairment. However, this effect is attenuated in individuals with poor balance where physical or more direct motor systems factors may play a greater role in fall risk. PMID:22070602

  4. Assessment of executive functions in patients with obsessive compulsive disorder by NeuroVR.

    PubMed

    La Paglia, Filippo; La Cascia, Caterina; Rizzo, Rosalinda; Riva, Giuseppe; La Barbera, Daniele

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22954836

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

    PubMed

    Becerra-García, Juan Antonio

    2015-01-01

    In neuropsychological studies of executive functioning in domestic violence offenders, the different investigations conducted have only studied differences within this group or in relation to control groups of non-offenders. To minimize the limitations in relation to comparison groups, the purpose of this study was to compare executive functioning in domestic violence offenders in relation to different groups of offenders (i.e. sexual, violent and non-violent) and a control group of non-offenders, with all groups matched on socio-demographic and clinical characteristics. Executive functioning was tested of all participants with the Trail Making Test (direct and derived scores). Compared with the control group, the domestic violence offenders and sex offenders exhibited the poorest performance on the Trail Making Test part B (time) and on the B-A derived index; whereas, the violent offenders group (i.e. convicted of assault, wounding, homicide etc.) showed a high number of errors in part B. These findings suggest that domestic violence offenders exhibit similar performance on the TMT as sex offenders, where both have poorer cognitive flexibility and executive control. Other violent offenders exhibited different patterns of difficulty on this test (e.g. more impulsivity responses). Executive functioning may be a central psychological process that could help explain the interrelations between domestic and sexual aggression, and could be a relevant construct for common treatment of domestic batterers and sex offenders. PMID:24644222

  6. Prefrontal executive function and adaptive behavior in complex environments.

    PubMed

    Koechlin, Etienne

    2016-04-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) subserves higher cognitive abilities such as planning, reasoning and creativity. Here we review recent findings from both empirical and theoretical studies providing new insights about these cognitive abilities and their neural underpinnings in the PFC as overcoming key adaptive limitations in reinforcement learning. We outline a unified theoretical framework describing the PFC function as implementing an algorithmic solution approximating statistically optimal, but computationally intractable, adaptive processes. The resulting PFC functional architecture combines learning, planning, reasoning and creativity processes for balancing exploitation and exploration behaviors and optimizing behavioral adaptations in uncertain, variable and open-ended environments. PMID:26687618

  7. Bifactor Modeling of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) in a Chilean Sample.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Salas, Claudia Paz; Ramos, Carlos; Oliva, Karen; Ortega, Alonso

    2016-06-01

    The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions evaluates executive functioning through the observation of students' performance in real contexts. Most psychometric studies of the scale have only tested the first-order structure, despite the hierarchical configuration of its theoretical model. A bifactor model was conducted on a normative sample of 5- to 18-year-old Chileans (M age = 11.3 years, SD = 3.7) to test a hierarchical structure of three first-order factors and an independent second-order factor. Bifactor analyses showed best fit for the proposed hierarchical structure. Findings supported a method to evaluate executive functioning models that provides a general global factor score that may complement existing indices and thus help clinicians to make better inferences. PMID:27216945

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Critical flicker fusion (CFF), a measure of visual processing speed, has often been regarded as a basic metric underlying a number of higher cognitive functions. To test this, we measured CFF, global cognition, and several cognitive subdomains. Because age is a strong covariate for most of these variables, both younger (n = 72) and older (n = 57) subjects were measured. Consistent with expectations, age was inversely related to CFF and performance on all of the cognitive measures except for visual memory. In contrast, age-adjusted CFF thresholds were only positively related to executive function. Results showed that CFF predicted executive function across both age groups and accounted for unique variance in performance above and beyond age and global cognitive status. The current findings suggest that CFF may be a unique predictor of executive dysfunction. PMID:26370250

  9. Does the BRIEF-P Predict Specific Executive Function Components in Preschoolers?

    PubMed

    Garon, Nancy M; Piccinin, Claire; Smith, Isabel M

    2016-01-01

    The current study explored the association between the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool (BRIEF-P; Gioia, Espy, & Isquith, 2003 ) and a new battery of direct executive function (EF) measures designed for preschoolers. Forty-two typically developing 3- to 5-year-olds were given the Preschool Executive Function Battery (PEFB; Garon, Smith & Bryson, 2014); their mothers filled out the BRIEF-P. The findings support distinct associations between 3 BRIEF-P scales and corresponding direct EF measures. In particular, a strong association was found between the BRIEF-P Inhibition scale and children's performance on the PEFB Inhibition measure. The findings indicate that parent ratings of preschoolers' everyday EF behavior are related to performance on the PEFB, a laboratory measure. These findings have implications for early screening of children's EF difficulties as well as for future research. PMID:25923441

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

    PubMed

    Calvo, Alejandra; Bialystok, Ellen

    2014-03-01

    One hundred and seventy-five children who were 6-years old were assigned to one of four groups that differed in socioeconomic status (SES; working class or middle class) and language background (monolingual or bilingual). The children completed tests of nonverbal intelligence, language tests assessing receptive vocabulary and attention based on picture naming, and two tests of executive functioning. All children performed equivalently on the basic intelligence tests, but performance on the language and executive functioning tasks was influenced by both SES and bilingualism. Middle-class children outperformed working-class children on all measures, and bilingual children obtained lower scores than monolingual children on language tests but higher scores than monolingual children on the executive functioning tasks. There were no interactions with either group factors or task factors. Thus, each of SES and bilingualism contribute significantly and independently to children's development irrespective of the child's level on the other factor. PMID:24374020

  11. The scaling behavior of hand motions reveals self-organization during an executive function task

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anastas, Jason R.; Stephen, Damian G.; Dixon, James A.

    2011-05-01

    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.

  12. A Neuropsychological Study of Personality: Trait Openness in Relation to Intelligence, Fluency, and Executive Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Schretlen, David J.; van der Hulst, Egberdina J.; Pearlson, Godfrey D.; Gordon, Barry

    2010-01-01

    Openness is a personality trait that has been linked to intelligence and divergent thinking. DeYoung, Peterson, and Higgins (2005) theorized that trait Openness depends on dopamine function, especially in the prefrontal cortex. We tested their theory in 335 healthy adults by hypothesizing that individual differences in Openness would correlate more strongly with performance on tests of executive function than on tests of intelligence and fluency. However, Openness correlated more strongly with verbal/crystallized intelligence (Gc; r=0.44) than with executive functioning (r=0.16) and fluency (r=0.24). Further, the partial correlation between Openness and Gc increased from r=0.26 among young adults to r=0.53 among elderly adults. These findings suggest that Openness is more closely associated with the acquisition of broad verbal intellectual skills and knowledge than with executive abilities localized to a specific brain region or neurotransmitter system. PMID:20408002

  13. Independent Effects of Bilingualism and Socioeconomic Status on Language Ability and Executive Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Calvo, Alejandra; Bialystok, Ellen

    2014-01-01

    One hundred and seventy-five children who were 6-years old were assigned to one of four groups that differed in socioeconomic status (SES; working class or middle class) and language background (monolingual or bilingual). The children completed tests of nonverbal intelligence, language tests assessing receptive vocabulary and attention based on picture naming, and two tests of executive functioning. All children performed equivalently on the basic intelligence tests, but performance on the language and executive functioning tasks was influenced by both SES and bilingualism. Middle-class children outperformed working-class children on all measures, and bilingual children obtained lower scores than monolingual children on language tests but higher scores than monolingual children on the executive functioning tasks. There were no interactions with either group factors or task factors. Thus, each of SES and bilingualism contribute significantly and independently to children’s development irrespective of the child’s level on the other factor. PMID:24374020

  14. Factorial validity of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF)-Teacher form.

    PubMed

    Peters, Christine; Algina, James; Smith, Stephen W; Daunic, Ann P

    2012-01-01

    Deficits in executive function (self-regulatory mechanisms) have been linked with many childhood disorders including attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, and conduct disorder. Executive functioning is typically assessed by individually administering performance-based measures in a clinical setting. However, performance-based methods are inefficient for school psychologists. A more feasibly implemented measure for applied settings is the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), but researchers have raised questions about the internal validity and the proposed factors. In this study, we examined the factor structure of the teacher form of the BRIEF in a sample of 2,044 general education elementary students and 131 teachers in a multilevel design. Results revealed support for a model with three factors at Level 1 and one general factor at Level 2. The results of our study do not support the current two-factor model of the published BRIEF protocol. PMID:21819277

  15. 3 CFR 13598 - Executive Order 13598 of January 27, 2012. Assignment of Functions Relating to Certain Promotion...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 3 The President 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Executive Order 13598 of January 27, 2012. Assignment of Functions Relating to Certain Promotion and Appointment Actions in the Armed Forces 13598 Order 13598 Presidential Documents Executive Orders Executive Order 13598 of January 27, 2012 EO...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    Ecstasy/3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) use is proposed to cause damage to serotonergic (5-HT) axons in humans. Therefore, users should show deficits in cognitive processes that rely on serotonin-rich, prefrontal areas of the brain. However, there is inconsistency in findings to support this hypothesis. The aim of the current study was to examine deficits in executive functioning in ecstasy users compared with controls using meta-analysis. We identified k = 39 studies, contributing 89 effect sizes, investigating executive functioning in ecstasy users and polydrug-using controls. We compared function-specific task performance in 1221 current ecstasy users and 1242 drug-using controls, from tasks tapping the executive functions - updating, switching, inhibition and access to long-term memory. The significant main effect demonstrated overall executive dysfunction in ecstasy users [standardized mean difference (SMD) = -0.18, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.26 to -0.11, Z = 5.05, p < 0.001, I 2 = 82%], with a significant subgroup effect (χ 2 = 22.06, degrees of freedom = 3, p < 0.001, I 2 = 86.4%) demonstrating differential effects across executive functions. Ecstasy users showed significant performance deficits in access (SMD = -0.33, 95% CI -0.46 to -0.19, Z = 4.72, p < 0.001, I 2 = 74%), switching (SMD = -0.19, 95% CI -0.36 to -0.02, Z = 2.16, p < 0.05, I 2 = 85%) and updating (SMD = -0.26, 95% CI -0.37 to -0.15, Z = 4.49, p < 0.001, I 2 = 82%). No differences were observed in inhibitory control. We conclude that this is the most comprehensive analysis of executive function in ecstasy users to date and provides a behavioural correlate of potential serotonergic neurotoxicity. PMID:26966023

  17. Age- and schooling-related effects on executive functions in young children: a natural experiment.

    PubMed

    Burrage, Marie S; Ponitz, Claire Cameron; McCready, Elizabeth A; Shah, Priti; Sims, Brian C; Jewkes, Abigail M; Morrison, Frederick J

    2008-11-01

    We employed a cutoff design in order to examine age- and schooling-related effects on executive functions. Specifically, we looked at development of working memory and response inhibition over the period of 1 school year in prekindergarten and kindergarten students born within 4 months of each other. All children improved on executive function and word-decoding tasks from the beginning to the end of the year. Additionally, we found prekindergarten- and kindergarten-schooling effects for the working memory and word-decoding tasks (p < .05), and a trend-level prekindergarten-schooling effect for the response inhibition task (p < .10). PMID:18982508

  18. Perspectives on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: executive functions, working memory, and language disabilities.

    PubMed

    Westby, Carol; Watson, Silvana

    2004-08-01

    The conceptualization of the nature of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has changed in the last decade. ADHD is now viewed as a neurologically based condition with primary deficits in executive functions and working memory (WM). Students with ADHD have deficits in discourse organization, inferring, and monitoring that are related to their executive function and WM deficits. A large number of students with ADHD also have comorbid reading and language disabilities that exist in addition to the deficits directly associated with the ADHD. Comprehensive evaluation of students with ADHD is essential to address their specific learning needs. PMID:15359368

  19. Effects of Physical Exercise on Executive Functions: Going beyond Simply Moving to Moving with Thought

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Adele

    2015-01-01

    Studies of the cognitive benefits of physical activity need to move beyond simple aerobic activities that require little thought (treadmill running, riding a stationary bicycle, or rapid walking) and resistance training. Many studies have looked at this in older adults, and the evidence points strongly to those activities having little or no cognitive benefit, certainly little or no improvement to the executive functions that depend on prefrontal cortex. There is encouraging evidence for other types of physical activity improving executive functions; however they have received far less study. PMID:26000340

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

    PubMed

    Sandgren, Olof; Holmström, Ketty

    2015-01-01

    The clinical assessment of language impairment (LI) in bilingual children imposes challenges for speech-language pathology services. Assessment tools standardized for monolingual populations increase the risk of misinterpreting bilingualism as LI. This Perspective article summarizes recent studies on the assessment of bilingual LI and presents new results on including non-linguistic measures of executive functions in the diagnostic assessment. Executive functions shows clinical utility as less subjected to language use and exposure than linguistic measures. A possible bilingual advantage, and consequences for speech-language pathology practices and future research are discussed. PMID:26283999

  1. A strategy for minimizing common mode human error in executing critical functions and tasks

    SciTech Connect

    Beltracchi, L.; Lindsay, R.W.

    1992-05-01

    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.

  2. A strategy for minimizing common mode human error in executing critical functions and tasks

    SciTech Connect

    Beltracchi, L. ); Lindsay, R.W. )

    1992-01-01

    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.

  3. The longitudinal development of social and executive functions in late adolescence and early adulthood

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Sophie J.; Barker, Lynne A.; Heavey, Lisa; McHale, Sue

    2015-01-01

    Our earlier work suggests that, executive functions and social cognition show protracted development into late adolescence and early adulthood (Taylor et al., 2013). However, it remains unknown whether these functions develop linearly or non-linearly corresponding to dynamic changes to white matter density at these age ranges. Executive functions are particularly in demand during the transition to independence and autonomy associated with this age range (Ahmed and Miller, 2011). Previous research examining executive function (Romine and Reynolds, 2005) and social cognition (Dumontheil et al., 2010a) in late adolescence has utilized a cross sectional design. The current study employed a longitudinal design with 58 participants aged 17, 18, and 19 years completing social cognition and executive function tasks, Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (Wechsler, 1999), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (Watson et al., 1988), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (Zigmond and Snaith, 1983) at Time 1 with follow up testing 12–16 months later. Inhibition, rule detection, strategy generation and planning executive functions and emotion recognition with dynamic stimuli showed longitudinal development between time points. Self-report empathy and emotion recognition functions using visual static and auditory stimuli were stable by age 17 whereas concept formation declined between time points. The protracted development of some functions may reflect continued brain maturation into late adolescence and early adulthood including synaptic pruning (Sowell et al., 2001) and changes to functional connectivity (Stevens et al., 2007) and/or environmental change. Clinical implications, such as assessing the effectiveness of rehabilitation following Head Injury, are discussed. PMID:26441579

  4. The longitudinal development of social and executive functions in late adolescence and early adulthood.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Sophie J; Barker, Lynne A; Heavey, Lisa; McHale, Sue

    2015-01-01

    Our earlier work suggests that, executive functions and social cognition show protracted development into late adolescence and early adulthood (Taylor et al., 2013). However, it remains unknown whether these functions develop linearly or non-linearly corresponding to dynamic changes to white matter density at these age ranges. Executive functions are particularly in demand during the transition to independence and autonomy associated with this age range (Ahmed and Miller, 2011). Previous research examining executive function (Romine and Reynolds, 2005) and social cognition (Dumontheil et al., 2010a) in late adolescence has utilized a cross sectional design. The current study employed a longitudinal design with 58 participants aged 17, 18, and 19 years completing social cognition and executive function tasks, Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (Wechsler, 1999), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (Watson et al., 1988), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (Zigmond and Snaith, 1983) at Time 1 with follow up testing 12-16 months later. Inhibition, rule detection, strategy generation and planning executive functions and emotion recognition with dynamic stimuli showed longitudinal development between time points. Self-report empathy and emotion recognition functions using visual static and auditory stimuli were stable by age 17 whereas concept formation declined between time points. The protracted development of some functions may reflect continued brain maturation into late adolescence and early adulthood including synaptic pruning (Sowell et al., 2001) and changes to functional connectivity (Stevens et al., 2007) and/or environmental change. Clinical implications, such as assessing the effectiveness of rehabilitation following Head Injury, are discussed. PMID:26441579

  5. Reliability and validity of the executive function and occupational routines scale (EFORTS).

    PubMed

    Frisch, Carmit; Rosenblum, Sara

    2014-09-01

    Sustainable daily routines during childhood are important both for children and their parents. Although their affective completion requires well developed executive functions (EF), this issue has not been studied until now. The current study examined the reliability and validity of the Executive Functions and Occupational Routines Scale - EFORTS (developed in Hebrew) which measures children's executive control in their daily routines. Internal consistency and construct and convergent validity were examined by applying the EFORTS and the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions/preschool version (BRIEF/P) to 261 children (129 boys, 132 girls) between the ages 3 and 10 (mean=6.1, SD=1.43). The findings indicate that the EFORTS is a reliable and valid tool for examining children's executive control in three occupational daily routines, focusing specifically on metacognitive manifestations of EF. These findings suggest that the EFORTS can be a useful tool to assess children with EF deficits, and may serve targeting intervention programs toward the accomplishment of daily occupational goals. PMID:24887646

  6. The Contribution of Executive Functions to Participation in School Activities of Children with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zingerevich, Chaya; Patricia D., LaVesser

    2009-01-01

    This study describes the contribution of executive functions to participation in school activities of children diagnosed with ASD ages 6-9 years while controlling for sensory processing. Twenty-four children, ages 73-112 months (S.D. = 11.4), diagnosed with high functioning ASD were assessed with the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Their teachers…

  7. Apathy in Parkinson's disease is related to executive function, gender and age but not to depression

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Antonia; Zimmermann, Ronan; Gschwandtner, Ute; Hatz, Florian; Bousleiman, Habib; Schwarz, Nadine; Fuhr, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Deficits in executive functions occur in up to 93% of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Apathy, a reduction of motivation and goal-directed behavior is an important part of the syndrome; affecting both the patients as well as their social environment. Executive functions can be subdivided into three different processes: initiation, shifting and inhibition. We examined the hypotheses, (1) that apathy in patients with Parkinson's disease is only related to initiation and not to shifting and inhibition, and (2) that depression and severity of motor signs correlate with apathy. Fifty-one non-demented patients (19 = female) with PD were evaluated for apathy, depression and executive functions. Executive function variables were summarized with an index variable according to the defined executive processes. Linear regression with stepwise elimination procedure was used to select significant predictors. The significant model (R2 = 0.41; p < 0.01) revealed influences of initiation (b = −0.79; p < 0.01), gender (b = −7.75; p < 0.01), age (b = −0.07; p < 0.05) and an age by gender interaction (b = 0.12; p < 0.01) on apathy in Parkinson's disease. Motor signs, depression and level of education did not influence the relation. These results support an association of apathy and deficits of executive function in PD. Initiation strongly correlates with apathy, whereas depression does not. We conclude, that initiation dysfunction in a patient with Parkinson's disease heralds apathy. Apathy and depression can be dissociated. Additionally, apathy is influenced by age and gender: older age correlates with apathy in men, whereas in women it seems to protect against it. PMID:25642187

  8. Methylphenidate Enhances Executive Function and Optimizes Prefrontal Function in Both Health and Cocaine Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Moeller, Scott J.; Honorio, Jean; Tomasi, Dardo; Parvaz, Muhammad A.; Woicik, Patricia A.; Volkow, Nora D.; Goldstein, Rita Z.

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested dopamine to be involved in error monitoring/processing, possibly through impact on reinforcement learning. The current study tested whether methylphenidate (MPH), an indirect dopamine agonist, modulates brain and behavioral responses to error, and whether such modulation is more pronounced in cocaine-addicted individuals, in whom dopamine neurotransmission is disrupted. After receiving oral MPH (20 mg) or placebo (counterbalanced), 15 healthy human volunteers and 16 cocaine-addicted individuals completed a task of executive function (the Stroop color word) during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). During MPH, despite not showing differences on percent accuracy and reaction time, all subjects committed fewer total errors and slowed down more after committing errors, suggestive of more careful responding. In parallel, during MPH all subjects showed reduced dorsal anterior cingulate cortex response to the fMRI contrast error>correct. In the cocaine subjects only, MPH also reduced error>correct activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (controls instead showed lower error>correct response in this region during placebo). Taken together, MPH modulated dopaminergically innervated prefrontal cortical areas involved in error-related processing, and such modulation was accentuated in the cocaine subjects. These results are consistent with a dopaminergic contribution to error-related processing during a cognitive control task. PMID:23162047

  9. Methylphenidate enhances executive function and optimizes prefrontal function in both health and cocaine addiction.

    PubMed

    Moeller, Scott J; Honorio, Jean; Tomasi, Dardo; Parvaz, Muhammad A; Woicik, Patricia A; Volkow, Nora D; Goldstein, Rita Z

    2014-03-01

    Previous studies have suggested dopamine to be involved in error monitoring/processing, possibly through impact on reinforcement learning. The current study tested whether methylphenidate (MPH), an indirect dopamine agonist, modulates brain and behavioral responses to error, and whether such modulation is more pronounced in cocaine-addicted individuals, in whom dopamine neurotransmission is disrupted. After receiving oral MPH (20 mg) or placebo (counterbalanced), 15 healthy human volunteers and 16 cocaine-addicted individuals completed a task of executive function (the Stroop color word) during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). During MPH, despite not showing differences on percent accuracy and reaction time, all subjects committed fewer total errors and slowed down more after committing errors, suggestive of more careful responding. In parallel, during MPH all subjects showed reduced dorsal anterior cingulate cortex response to the fMRI contrast error>correct. In the cocaine subjects only, MPH also reduced error>correct activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (controls instead showed lower error>correct response in this region during placebo). Taken together, MPH modulated dopaminergically innervated prefrontal cortical areas involved in error-related processing, and such modulation was accentuated in the cocaine subjects. These results are consistent with a dopaminergic contribution to error-related processing during a cognitive control task. PMID:23162047

  10. A review of executive function deficits in autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Craig, Francesco; Margari, Francesco; Legrottaglie, Anna R; Palumbi, Roberto; de Giambattista, Concetta; Margari, Lucia

    2016-01-01

    Executive dysfunction has been shown to be a promising endophenotype in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This article reviewed 26 studies that examined executive function comparing ASD and/or ADHD children. In light of findings from this review, the ASD + ADHD group appears to share impairment in both flexibility and planning with the ASD group, while it shares the response inhibition deficit with the ADHD group. Conversely, deficit in attention, working memory, preparatory processes, fluency, and concept formation does not appear to be distinctive in discriminating from ASD, ADHD, or ASD + ADHD group. On the basis of neurocognitive endophenotype, the common co-occurrence of executive function deficits seems to reflect an additive comorbidity, rather than a separate condition with distinct impairments. PMID:27274255

  11. A review of executive function deficits in autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    PubMed Central

    Craig, Francesco; Margari, Francesco; Legrottaglie, Anna R; Palumbi, Roberto; de Giambattista, Concetta; Margari, Lucia

    2016-01-01

    Executive dysfunction has been shown to be a promising endophenotype in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This article reviewed 26 studies that examined executive function comparing ASD and/or ADHD children. In light of findings from this review, the ASD + ADHD group appears to share impairment in both flexibility and planning with the ASD group, while it shares the response inhibition deficit with the ADHD group. Conversely, deficit in attention, working memory, preparatory processes, fluency, and concept formation does not appear to be distinctive in discriminating from ASD, ADHD, or ASD + ADHD group. On the basis of neurocognitive endophenotype, the common co-occurrence of executive function deficits seems to reflect an additive comorbidity, rather than a separate condition with distinct impairments. PMID:27274255

  12. Naturally-occurring expressive suppression in daily life depletes executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Franchow, Emilie I; Suchy, Yana

    2015-02-01

    The depleting impact of experimentally manipulated expressive suppression (ES) on cognition (especially executive functioning and related processes) has been well established (Baumeister, 2002a). However, the impact of ES that occurs naturally in the course of daily life has not been examined. Sixty two adults (M = 22.89 years old) completed questions about recent ES burden (over the past 2 weeks and on the test day) and completed cognitive measures assessing executive functioning, working memory, and speed of information processing. Individuals with higher-than-usual burden of ES on the test day exhibited poorer executive performance and those with high ES over the past 2 weeks exhibited poorer processing speed above and beyond depression, suggesting that ES burden as it occurs in the course of daily life is associated with compromised cognitive performance. PMID:25111882

  13. Speed and accuracy on tests of executive function in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    PubMed

    Roth, Robert M; Baribeau, Jacinthe; Milovan, Denise L; O'Connor, Kieron

    2004-04-01

    Slowness in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has been attributed to intrusive thoughts or meticulousness. Recent research suggests that slowness in OCD may be particularly evident on tests of executive function subserved by frontostriatal circuitry. In the present study, the speed and accuracy of responding on neuropsychological tests of executive functions and psychomotor speed were investigated in 27 non-depressed, unmedicated adults with OCD and 27 healthy controls. The only group difference was that patients took significantly longer to copy a complex geometric design than controls. This finding was unrelated to residual depression or overall OCD symptom severity. Results suggest that slowness in OCD may be most apparent on executive tests requiring self-initiated organizational strategies, consistent with frontostriatal abnormality. PMID:15050790

  14. The effect of electroconvulsive therapy on executive functioning in a treatment-resistant man with depression: a case report.

    PubMed

    Getz, Glen E; Edner, Benjamin J; Nickell, P V

    2014-03-01

    This case examines the executive functioning in a 42-year-old married white man before receiving and after an index course of electroconvulsive therapy for 4 weeks using right unilateral lead placement. Results indicate clear cognitive improvements on objective measures of executive functioning, attention, and memory after electroconvulsive therapy. However, the patient expressed continued elevated impairments on the subjective questionnaire examining behaviors thought to be controlled by executive functioning. PMID:24553321

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    Cognitive training is an emergent approach to improve cognitive functions in various neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases. However, current training programs can be relatively lengthy, making adherence potentially difficult for patients with cognitive difficulties. Previous studies suggest that providing individuals with real-time feedback about the level of brain activity (neurofeedback) can potentially help them learn to control the activation of specific brain regions. In the present study, we developed a novel task-based neurofeedback training paradigm that benefits from the effects of neurofeedback in parallel with computerized training. We focused on executive function training given its core involvement in various developmental and neurodegenerative diseases. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) was employed for providing neurofeedback by measuring changes in oxygenated hemoglobin in the prefrontal cortex. Of the twenty healthy adult participants, ten received real neurofeedback (NFB) on prefrontal activity during cognitive training, and ten were presented with sham feedback (SHAM). Compared with SHAM, the NFB group showed significantly improved executive function performance including measures of working memory after four sessions of training (100min total). The NFB group also showed significantly reduced training-related brain activity in the executive function network including right middle frontal and inferior frontal regions compared with SHAM. Our data suggest that providing neurofeedback along with cognitive training can enhance executive function after a relatively short period of training. Similar designs could potentially be used for patient populations with known neuropathology, potentially helping them to boost/recover the activity in the affected brain regions. PMID:27015711

  16. Executive functions, impulsivity, and inhibitory control in adolescents: A structural equation model.

    PubMed

    Fino, Emanuele; Melogno, Sergio; Iliceto, Paolo; D'Aliesio, Sara; Pinto, Maria Antonietta; Candilera, Gabriella; Sabatello, Ugo

    2014-01-01

    Background. Adolescence represents a critical period for brain development, addressed by neurodevelopmental models to frontal, subcortical-limbic, and striatal activation, a pattern associated with rise of impulsivity and deficits in inhibitory control. The present study aimed at studying the association between self-report measures of impulsivity and inhibitory control with executive function in adolescents, employing structural equation modeling. Method. Tests were administered to 434 high school students. Acting without thinking was measured through the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale and the Dickman Impulsivity Inventory, reward sensitivity through the Behavioral Activation System, and sensation seeking through the Zuckerman-Kuhlman-Aluja Personali- ty Questionnaire. Inhibitory control was assessed through the Behavioral Inhibition System. The performance at the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task indicated executive function. Three models were specified using Sample Covariance Matrix, and the estimated parameters using Maximum Likelihood. Results. In the final model, impulsivity and inhibitory control predicted executive function, but sensation seeking did not. The fit of the model to data was excellent. Conclusions. The hypothesis that inhibitory control and impulsivity are predictors of executive function was supported. Our results appear informative of the validity of self-report measures to examine the relation between impulsivity traits rather than others to regulatory function of cognition and behavior. PMID:25157298

  17. Executive functions in elementary school children with and without problems in written expression.

    PubMed

    Hooper, Stephen R; Swartz, Carl W; Wakely, Melissa B; de Kruif, Renée E L; Montgomery, James W

    2002-01-01

    This study examined the executive functioning of 55 elementary school children with and without problems in written expression. Two groups reflecting children with and without significant writing problems were defined by an average primary trait rating across two separate narratives. The groups did not differ in terms of chronological age, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, special education status, or presence of attention problems or receptive vocabulary capabilities; however, they did differ in reading decoding ability, and this variable was controlled for in all analyses. Dependent measures included tasks tapping an array of executive functions grouped conceptually in accordance with a model of executive functioning reflecting the following domains: initiate, sustain, set shifting, and inhibition/stopping. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) procedures revealed statistically significant group differences on the initiation and set shift domains, with the sustaining domain approaching significance. Children with writing problems performed more poorly in each of these domains, although the effect sizes were small. A multiple regression that employed these four factors and the reading decoding variable to predict the primary trait score from the written narratives revealed a statistically significant regression function; however, reading decoding contributed most of the unique variance to the writing outcome. These findings point out the importance of executive functions in the written language process for elementary school students, but highlight the need to examine other variables when studying elementary school-age children with written expression problems. PMID:15490900

  18. Child Maltreatment and Executive Functioning in Middle Adulthood: A Prospective Examination

    PubMed Central

    Nikulina, Valentina; Widom, Cathy Spatz

    2013-01-01

    Objective There is extensive evidence of negative consequences of childhood maltreatment for IQ, academic achievement, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and increased attention to neurobiological consequences. However, few prospective studies have assessed the long-term effects of abuse and neglect on executive functioning. The current study examines whether childhood abuse and neglect predicts components of executive functioning and nonverbal reasoning ability in middle adulthood and whether PTSD moderates this relationship. Method Using a prospective cohort design, a large sample (N = 792) of court-substantiated cases of childhood physical and sexual abuse and neglect (ages 0-11) and matched controls were followed into adulthood (mean age = 41). Executive functioning was assessed with the Trail Making B test and non-verbal reasoning with Matrix Reasoning. PTSD (DSM-III-R lifetime diagnosis) was assessed at age 29. Data were analyzed using ordinary least squares regressions, controlling for age, sex, and race and possible confounds of IQ, depression, and excessive alcohol use. Results In multivariate analyses, childhood maltreatment overall and childhood neglect predicted poorer executive functioning and non-verbal reasoning at age 41, whereas physical and sexual abuse did not. A past history of PTSD did not mediate or moderate these relations. Conclusions Childhood maltreatment and neglect specifically have a significant long-term impact on important aspects of adult neuropsychological functioning. These findings suggest the need for targeted efforts dedicated to interventions for neglected children. PMID:23876115

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Dimensions of Executive Functioning in Schizophrenia and Their Relationship With Processing Speed

    PubMed Central

    Savla, Gauri N.; Twamley, Elizabeth W.; Delis, Dean C.; Roesch, Scott C.; Jeste, Dilip V.; Palmer, Barton W.

    2012-01-01

    Context: The nature of executive dysfunction in schizophrenia is nebulous, due to inconsistencies in conceptualizing and operationalizing the construct, and the broader question of whether schizophrenia is best characterized in terms of specific vs generalized cognitive deficits. The current study aimed to determine whether executive functions represent unitary vs diverse constructs in schizophrenia. Methods: Participants included 145 community-dwelling individuals with schizophrenia. Executive functions were measured with the Delis-Kaplan Executive Functioning System (D-KEFS). We conducted an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) with principal axis factoring, as well as parallel analyses to examine the latent constructs underlying the D-KEFS tasks, a second EFA on weighted residuals of the D-KEFS tasks (after accounting for processing speed measured with the Digit Symbol task), and bivariate correlations to examine relationships between the D-KEFS components and relevant demographic and clinical variables, crystallized verbal knowledge, and functional capacity. Results: EFA of the D-KEFS tasks yielded 2 factors (cognitive flexibility/timed tests and abstraction). EFA of the processing speed-weighted D-KEFS residuals also yielded 2 factors (cognitive flexibility and abstraction). Cognitive flexibility was negatively correlated with psychopathology. Better abstraction was associated with higher education, shorter illness duration, and better functional capacity. Both factors were positively correlated with crystallized verbal knowledge. Conclusions: Executive functions in schizophrenia could be parsed into 2 partially related but separable subconstructs. Future efforts to elucidate functional outcomes as well as neurobiological underpinnings of schizophrenia may be facilitated by attending to the distinction between cognitive flexibility and abstraction. PMID:21163899

  2. The contribution of executive functions deficits to impaired episodic memory in individuals with alcoholism.

    PubMed

    Noël, Xavier; Van der Linden, Martial; Brevers, Damien; Campanella, Salvatore; Hanak, Catherine; Kornreich, Charles; Verbanck, Paul

    2012-06-30

    Individuals with alcoholism commonly exhibit impaired performance on episodic memory tasks. However, the contribution of their impaired executive functioning to poor episodic memory remains to be clarified. Thirty-six recently detoxified and sober asymptomatic alcoholic men and 36 matched non-alcoholic participants were tested for processing speed, prepotent response inhibition, mental flexibility, coordination of dual-task and a verbal episodic memory task. Compared with non-alcoholic individuals, the alcoholic patients showed impaired executive functions combined with below normal performance on both free and delayed recall. In contrast, processing speed, cued recall and recognition were preserved. Regression analyses revealed that 47% of alcoholics' episodic memory's free recall performance was predicted by mental flexibility and that 49% of their delayed recall performance was predicted by mental flexibility, manipulation of dual-task and prepotent response inhibition. Regarding participants' executive predictors of episodic memory performance, the slopes of β coefficients were significantly different between the two groups, with alcoholics requiring more their executive system than non-alcoholics. Once detoxified, alcoholic patients showed episodic memory deficits mainly characterized by impaired effortful (executive) processes. Compared with controls, patients used effortful learning strategies, which are nonetheless less efficient. PMID:22377577

  3. Modulation of Irisin and Physical Activity on Executive Functions in Obesity and Morbid obesity

    PubMed Central

    Fagundo, A. B.; Jiménez-Murcia, S.; Giner-Bartolomé, C.; Agüera, Z.; Sauchelli, S.; Pardo, M.; Crujeiras, A. B.; Granero, R.; Baños, R.; Botella, C.; de la Torre, R.; Fernández-Real, J. M.; Fernández-García, J. C.; Frühbeck, G.; Rodríguez, A.; Mallorquí-Bagué, N.; Tárrega, S.; Tinahones, F. J.; Rodriguez, R.; Ortega, F.; Menchón, J. M.; Casanueva, F. F.; Fernández-Aranda, F.

    2016-01-01

    Whether the executive profile is different between obesity (OB) and morbid obesity (MO) remains unclear. Recent evidence suggests that physical activity (PA) can act as a cognitive enhancer. Irisin is a recently discovered hormone associated with some of the positive effects of PA. The objective of the study was to investigate the executive profile in OB and MO, and to explore the role of PA and irisin. 114 participants were included (21 OB, 44 MO and 49 healthy controls-HC) in the study and assessed with the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Stroop Color and Word Test, and Iowa Gambling Task. All participants were female, aged between 18 and 60 years. Results showed a similar dysfunctional profile on decision making in OB and MO compared with HC. Thus, no specific neuropsychological profiles between OB and MO can be clearly observed in our sample. However, a negative correlation was found between irisin and executive functioning. These results demonstrate a specific executive profile in OB and a relevant and negative modulation of irisin on executive functioning. Although irisin might be a promising target for the treatment of obesity, its effects on cognition might be considered when thinking about its therapeutic use. PMID:27476477

  4. Modulation of Irisin and Physical Activity on Executive Functions in Obesity and Morbid obesity.

    PubMed

    Fagundo, A B; Jiménez-Murcia, S; Giner-Bartolomé, C; Agüera, Z; Sauchelli, S; Pardo, M; Crujeiras, A B; Granero, R; Baños, R; Botella, C; de la Torre, R; Fernández-Real, J M; Fernández-García, J C; Frühbeck, G; Rodríguez, A; Mallorquí-Bagué, N; Tárrega, S; Tinahones, F J; Rodriguez, R; Ortega, F; Menchón, J M; Casanueva, F F; Fernández-Aranda, F

    2016-01-01

    Whether the executive profile is different between obesity (OB) and morbid obesity (MO) remains unclear. Recent evidence suggests that physical activity (PA) can act as a cognitive enhancer. Irisin is a recently discovered hormone associated with some of the positive effects of PA. The objective of the study was to investigate the executive profile in OB and MO, and to explore the role of PA and irisin. 114 participants were included (21 OB, 44 MO and 49 healthy controls-HC) in the study and assessed with the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Stroop Color and Word Test, and Iowa Gambling Task. All participants were female, aged between 18 and 60 years. Results showed a similar dysfunctional profile on decision making in OB and MO compared with HC. Thus, no specific neuropsychological profiles between OB and MO can be clearly observed in our sample. However, a negative correlation was found between irisin and executive functioning. These results demonstrate a specific executive profile in OB and a relevant and negative modulation of irisin on executive functioning. Although irisin might be a promising target for the treatment of obesity, its effects on cognition might be considered when thinking about its therapeutic use. PMID:27476477

  5. Impact of executive functions on school and peer functions in youths with ADHD.

    PubMed

    Chiang, Huey-Ling; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen

    2014-05-01

    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. PMID:24636025

  6. Is executive function intact after pediatric intracranial hemorrhage? A sample of Mexican children with hemophilia.

    PubMed

    Morales, Guadalupe; Matute, Esmeralda; Murray, Joan; Hardy, David J; O'Callaghan, Erin T; Tlacuilo-Parra, Alberto

    2013-10-01

    The goal of this study was to examine executive functioning outcomes in children with hemophilia who have suffered intracranial hemorrhage. We assessed 10 boys with hemophilia with intracranial hemorrhage; 6 boys with hemophilia without intracranial hemorrhage; and 10 healthy boys as controls. Intellectual functioning was assessed with subscales from the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Mexican Revision. Concept formation and reasoning, cognitive flexibility, and planning and organization domains from a neuropsychological assessment battery for Spanish-speaking children were employed for our analysis. Results indicated that children with intracranial hemorrhage demonstrated significant impairment on some measures of executive function compared with the control groups. All differences reflected poorer performance by the intracranial hemorrhage group. These results may reflect the impact of disruption to immature brain circuits and the deficiency of functional specificity within the immature brain. This is the only known study examining neuropsychological functioning in Mexican youth with hemophilia. PMID:23872342

  7. Four converging measures of temporal discounting and their relationships with intelligence, executive functions, thinking dispositions, and behavioral outcomes.

    PubMed

    Basile, Alexandra G; Toplak, Maggie E

    2015-01-01

    Temporal discounting is the tendency to devalue temporally distant rewards. Past studies have examined the k-value, the indifference point, and the area under the curve as dependent measures on this task. The current study included these three measures and a fourth measure, called the interest rate total score, which differentiated good from poor choices. The interest rate total score was based on scoring only those items in which the delayed choice should be preferred given the expected return based on simple interest rates. In addition, associations with several individual difference measures were examined including intelligence, executive functions (inhibition, working memory, and set-shifting), thinking dispositions [Need for Cognition and Consideration of Future Consequences (CFCs)] and engagement in substance use and gambling behavior. A staircase temporal discounting task was examined in a sample of 99 university students. Replicating previous studies, temporal discounting increased with longer delays to reward and decreased with higher reward magnitudes. A hyperbolic function accounted for more variance in temporal discounting than an exponential function. Reaction time at the indifference point was significantly longer than at the other choice points. The four dependent measures of temporal discounting were all significantly correlated and were also significantly associated with our individual difference measures. That is, the tendency to wait for a larger delayed reward on all of the temporal discounting measures was associated with higher intelligence, higher executive functions, and more CFCs. Associations between our measures of temporal discounting and outcomes related to substance use and gambling behavior were modest in our university sample. PMID:26097462

  8. Four converging measures of temporal discounting and their relationships with intelligence, executive functions, thinking dispositions, and behavioral outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Basile, Alexandra G.; Toplak, Maggie E.

    2015-01-01

    Temporal discounting is the tendency to devalue temporally distant rewards. Past studies have examined the k-value, the indifference point, and the area under the curve as dependent measures on this task. The current study included these three measures and a fourth measure, called the interest rate total score, which differentiated good from poor choices. The interest rate total score was based on scoring only those items in which the delayed choice should be preferred given the expected return based on simple interest rates. In addition, associations with several individual difference measures were examined including intelligence, executive functions (inhibition, working memory, and set-shifting), thinking dispositions [Need for Cognition and Consideration of Future Consequences (CFCs)] and engagement in substance use and gambling behavior. A staircase temporal discounting task was examined in a sample of 99 university students. Replicating previous studies, temporal discounting increased with longer delays to reward and decreased with higher reward magnitudes. A hyperbolic function accounted for more variance in temporal discounting than an exponential function. Reaction time at the indifference point was significantly longer than at the other choice points. The four dependent measures of temporal discounting were all significantly correlated and were also significantly associated with our individual difference measures. That is, the tendency to wait for a larger delayed reward on all of the temporal discounting measures was associated with higher intelligence, higher executive functions, and more CFCs. Associations between our measures of temporal discounting and outcomes related to substance use and gambling behavior were modest in our university sample. PMID:26097462

  9. The Influence of Relational Knowledge and Executive Function on Preschoolers' Repeating Pattern Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Michael R.; Rittle-Johnson, Bethany; Loehr, Abbey M.; Fyfe, Emily R.

    2016-01-01

    Children's knowledge of repeating patterns (e.g., ABBABB) is a central component of early mathematics, but the developmental mechanisms underlying this knowledge are currently unknown. We sought clarity on the importance of relational knowledge and executive function (EF) to preschoolers' understanding of repeating patterns. One hundred…

  10. Working memory and executive function decline across normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Kirova, Anna-Mariya; Bays, Rebecca B; Lagalwar, Sarita

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease marked by deficits in episodic memory, working memory (WM), and executive function. Examples of executive dysfunction in AD include poor selective and divided attention, failed inhibition of interfering stimuli, and poor manipulation skills. Although episodic deficits during disease progression have been widely studied and are the benchmark of a probable AD diagnosis, more recent research has investigated WM and executive function decline during mild cognitive impairment (MCI), also referred to as the preclinical stage of AD. MCI is a critical period during which cognitive restructuring and neuroplasticity such as compensation still occur; therefore, cognitive therapies could have a beneficial effect on decreasing the likelihood of AD progression during MCI. Monitoring performance on working memory and executive function tasks to track cognitive function may signal progression from normal cognition to MCI to AD. The present review tracks WM decline through normal aging, MCI, and AD to highlight the behavioral and neurological differences that distinguish these three stages in an effort to guide future research on MCI diagnosis, cognitive therapy, and AD prevention. PMID:26550575

  11. Executive Functioning Deficits in Relation to Symptoms of ADHD and/or ODD in Preschool Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thorell, Lisa B.; Wahlstedt, Cecilia

    2006-01-01

    The present study investigated the relation between executive functioning and symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) in children aged 4-6. A population-based sample (n = 201) was used and laboratory measures of inhibition, working memory and verbal fluency and teacher ratings of…

  12. Executive Functioning in Normal Aging: A Study of Action Planning Using the Zoo Map Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allain, P.; Nicoleau, S.; Pinon, K.; Etcharry-Bouyx, F.; Barre, J.; Berrut, G.; Dubas, F.; Gall, D.L.

    2005-01-01

    A particularly important aspect of executive functioning involves the ability to form and carry out complex plans, that is to say planning. This study aimed to investigate planning in 18 older and 16 younger normal participants using an ecological planning subtask derived from the Behavioural Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome test battery,…

  13. Early Childcare, Executive Functioning, and the Moderating Role of Early Stress Physiology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berry, Daniel; Willoughby, Michael T.; Blair, Clancy; Ursache, Alexandra; Granger, Douglas A.

    2014-01-01

    Intervention studies indicate that children's childcare experiences can be leveraged to support the development of executive functioning (EF). The role of more normative childcare experiences is less clear. Increasingly, theory and empirical work suggest that individual differences in children's physiological stress systems may be…

  14. Could training executive function improve treatment outcomes for eating disorders?☆

    PubMed Central

    Juarascio, Adrienne S.; Manasse, Stephanie M.; Espel, Hallie M.; Kerrigan, Stephanie G.; Forman, Evan M.

    2016-01-01

    Current gold standard treatments for eating disorders (EDs) lack satisfactory efficacy, and traditional psychological treatments do not directly address executive functioning deficits underpinning ED pathology. The goal of this paper is to explore the potential for enhancing ED treatment outcomes by improving executive functioning deficits that have been demonstrated to underlie eating pathology. To achieve our objective, we (1) review existing evidence for executive functioning deficits that underpin EDs and consider the extent to which these deficits could be targeted in neurocognitive training programs, (2) present the evidence for the one ED neurocognitive training program well-studied to date (Cognitive Remediation Therapy), (3) discuss the utility of neurocognitive training programs that have been developed for other psychiatric disorders with similar deficits, and (4) provide suggestions for the future development and research of neurocognitive training programs for EDs. Despite the fact that the body of empirical work on neurocognitive training programs for eating disorders is very small, we conclude that their potential is high given the combined evidence for the role of deficits in executive functioning in EDs, the initial promise of Cognitive Remediation Training, and the success in treating related conditions with neurocognitive training. Based on the evidence to date, it appears that the development and empirical evaluation of neurocognitive training programs for EDs is warranted. PMID:25777264

  15. Investigation of Cool and Hot Executive Function in ODD/CD Independently of ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hobson, Christopher W.; Scott, Stephen; Rubia, Katya

    2011-01-01

    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…

  16. Oculomotor executive function abnormalities with increased tic severity in Tourette syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Jeter, Cameron B.; Patel, Saumil S.; Morris, Jeffrey S.; Chuang, Alice Z.; Butler, Ian J.; Sereno, Anne B.

    2014-01-01

    Background 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. Method 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 twenty-nine typically developing control subjects (Controls) completed the oculomotor tasks. Results 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. Conclusions 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. PMID:25040172

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Contributions of Modern Measurement Theory to Measuring Executive Function in Early Childhood: An Empirical Demonstration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Willoughby, Michael T.; Wirth, R. J.; Blair, Clancy B.

    2011-01-01

    This study demonstrates the merits of evaluating a newly developed battery of executive function tasks, designed for use in early childhood, from the perspective of item response theory (IRT). The battery was included in the 48-month assessment of the Family Life Project, a prospective longitudinal study of 1292 children oversampled from…

  19. The Role of Executive Functions Skills and Self-Regulation Behaviors in School Readiness and Adjustment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sasser, Tyler R.; Bierman, Karen L.

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine co-variation in the development of self-regulatory skills evident in pre-kindergarten and evaluate the implications of that variation for school adjustment in kindergarten and first grade. Measures of self-regulatory skill development included: direct assessments of EF (executive function) (e.g., Peg Tapping,…

  20. Demographic and Familial Predictors of Early Executive Function Development: Contribution of a Person-Centered Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rhoades, Brittany L.; Greenberg, Mark T.; Lanza, Stephanie T.; Blair, Clancy

    2011-01-01

    Executive function (EF) skills are integral components of young children's growing competence, but little is known about the role of early family context and experiences in their development. We examined how demographic and familial risks during infancy predicted EF competence at 36 months of age in a large, predominantly low-income sample of…

  1. Systematic review: are overweight and obese individuals impaired on behavioural tasks of executive functioning?

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, Sian; Gilbert, Sam; Serpell, Lucy

    2013-06-01

    This review was aimed at systematically investigating the evidence suggesting that obese individuals demonstrate impaired performance on behavioural tasks examining executive functioning abilities. A systematic review of literature was carried out by searching five separate databases (PsycINFO, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and PubMed) and a hand search of relevant journals. Twenty-one empirical papers were identified from the search criteria and the results were considered in relation to different executive functioning domains. There is little consistency of results both within and across different domains of executive functioning. The review suggests that obese individuals show difficulties with decision-making, planning and problem-solving when compared to healthy weight controls, with fewer difficulties reported on tasks examining verbal fluency and learning and memory. A lack of replication and underreporting of descriptive data is a key limitation of studies in this area and further research is needed to examine the mechanisms underpinning the relationship between obesity and executive functioning. PMID:23381140

  2. Personality Factors in Elementary School Children: Contributions to Academic Performance over and above Executive Functions?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neuenschwander, Regula; Cimeli, Patrizia; Rothlisberger, Marianne; Roebers, Claudia M.

    2013-01-01

    Unique contributions of Big Five personality factors to academic performance in young elementary school children were explored. Extraversion and Openness (labeled "Culture" in our study) uniquely contributed to academic performance, over and above the contribution of executive functions in first and second grade children (N = 446). Well…

  3. Superintendent-Business Executive Collaboration in Intermediary Organizations: Moral Agency and Democratic Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bennett, Jeffrey V.; McKee, Tiffany; Martin, Staci

    2014-01-01

    This case study describes collaboration between business executives and superintendents to influence local/regional K-12 educational change. Specifically, we examine participant like-mindedness about the ethics and appropriate focus of K-12 intermediary collaboration, the extent of democratic functioning, and key individuals to involve. Data…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. The 5-HT2A serotonin receptor in executive function: Implications for neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Aznar, Susana; Hervig, Mona El-Sayed

    2016-05-01

    Executive function entails the interplay of a group of cognitive processes enabling the individual to anticipate consequences, attain self-control, and undertake appropriate goal-directed behaviour. Serotonin signalling at serotonin 2A receptors (5-HT2AR) has important effects on these behavioural and cognitive pathways, with the prefrontal cortex (PFC) as the central actor. Indeed, the 5-HT2ARs are highly expressed in PFC, where they modulate cortical activity and local network oscillations (brain waves). Numerous psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases result in disrupted executive function. Animal and human studies have linked these disorders with alterations in the 5-HT2AR system, making this an important pharmacological target for the treatment of disorders with impaired cognitive function. This review aims to describe the current state of knowledge on the role of 5-HT2AR signalling in components of executive function, and how 5-HT2AR systems may relate to executive dysfunctions occurring in psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. We hope thereby to provide insight into how pharmacotherapy targeting the 5-HT2AR may ameliorate (or exacerbate) aspects of these disorders. PMID:26891819

  6. Predictors of Behavioral Regulation in Kindergarten: Household Chaos, Parenting, and Early Executive Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vernon-Feagans, Lynne; Garrett-Peters, Patricia; Willoughby, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Behavioral regulation is an important school readiness skill that has been linked to early executive function (EF) and later success in learning and school achievement. Although poverty and related risks, as well as negative parenting, have been associated with poorer EF and behavioral regulation, chaotic home environments may also play a role in…

  7. Changes and Challenges in 20 Years of Research into the Development of Executive Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hughes, Claire

    2011-01-01

    This review of 20 years of developmental research on Executive Functions (EF) offers a broad-brushstroke picture that touches on multiple issues including: (i) findings from typical and atypical groups, from infancy to adolescence; (ii) advances in assessment tools and in statistical analysis; (iii) the interplay between EF and other cognitive…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Can Executive Functions Explain the Relationship between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Social Adjustment?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang-Pollock, Cynthia L.; Mikami, Amori Yee; Pfiffner, Linda; McBurnett, Keith

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the ability of executive functions (EF) to account for the relationship between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) status and social adjustment as indexed by parent and teacher report and by performance on a standardized observational "chat room" task. Children with the Combined subtype (ADHD-C; n = 23), the…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Prekindergarten Children's Executive Functioning Skills and Achievement Gains: The Utility of Direct Assessments and Teacher Ratings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

    An accumulating body of evidence suggests that young children who exhibit greater executive functioning (EF) skills in early childhood also achieve more academically. The goal of the present study was to examine the unique contributions of direct assessments and teacher ratings of children's EF skills at the beginning of prekindergarten (pre-k) to…

  13. Relationship between Motor Skill Competency and Executive Function in Children with Down's Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schott, N.; Holfelder, B.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Previous studies suggest that children with Down's syndrome (DS), a genetically based neurodevelopmental disorder, demonstrate motor problems and cognitive deficits. The first aim of this study was to examine motor skills and executive functions (EFs) in school-age children with DS. The second aim was to investigate the relationship…

  14. Relationships between Learning Disability, Executive Function, and Psychopathology in Children with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mattison, Richard E.; Mayes, Susan Dickerson

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Learning disabilities (LD), executive function (EF), and psychopathology were investigated to clarify their relationships in 595 children with ADHD. Method: Standard instruments for IQ, achievement, EF, and parent and teacher ratings of psychopathology were obtained at the time of outpatient evaluation. Results: Comparisons between the…

  15. Executive Function Skills and School Success in Young Children Experiencing Homelessness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Masten, Ann S.; Herbers, Janette E.; Desjardins, Christopher David; Cutuli, J. J.; McCormick, Christopher M.; Sapienza, Julianna K.; Long, Jeffrey D.; Zelazo, Philip David

    2012-01-01

    The authors examined the role of executive function (EF) skills as a predictor of kindergarten or first-grade adjustment in 138 children living in shelters for homeless families. During the summer, children completed a battery of six EF tasks and three IQ measures. Teachers later rated children's school adjustment in five domains of achievement…

  16. Executive Function and Temperamental Fear Concurrently Predict Deception in School-Aged Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Babkirk, Sarah; Saunders, Lauren V.; Solomon, Beylul; Kessel, Ellen M.; Crossman, Angela; Gokhan, Nurper; Dennis, Tracy A.

    2015-01-01

    The decision to intentionally withhold truthful information, or deception, is a key component of moral development and may be a precursor to more serious anti-social tendencies. Two factors, executive function (EF) and temperamental fear are each thought to influence childhood deception. Few studies, however, have explored deception in relation to…

  17. Promoting Language and Executive Function in Educational Settings: The Drežancic Method

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cozzani, Francesca; Zanobini, Mirella; Usai, Maria Carmen

    2016-01-01

    Research Findings: This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of linguistic training based on the use of the Drežancic method in educational settings. It is hypothesized that characteristics of this method, based on the typical stages of linguistic and cognitive development, could influence both language competence and executive function (EF). A…

  18. Executive Function in the Classroom: Practical Strategies for Improving Performance and Enhancing Skills for All Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaufman, Christopher

    2010-01-01

    Students with strong executive function skills hold the keys to school and social success--from attention and impulse control to time management and organization. Now K-12 teachers have a practical, highly readable guide to enhancing these critical skills for "all" students, with and without learning disabilities. Through the author's memorable…

  19. Distinguishing Sluggish Cognitive Tempo from ADHD in Children and Adolescents: Executive Functioning, Impairment, and Comorbidity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barkley, Russell A.

    2013-01-01

    Controversy continues as to whether sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) is a subtype of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or a distinct disorder. This study examined differences between these disorders in demographics, executive functioning (EF), impairment, and prior professional diagnoses to address the issue. There were 1,800 children…

  20. The Interplay of Language on Executive Functions in Children with ASD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akbar, Maysa; Loomis, Rebecca; Paul, Rhea

    2013-01-01

    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disability characterized by deficits in social interaction and communication and by repetitive behaviors and restricted interests. Prior research has revealed executive function (EF) deficits in children with ASD. It has been suggested that these EF impairments are associated with language…

  1. Executive Functioning in Childhood Epilepsy: Parent-Report and Cognitive Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parrish, Joy; Geary, Elizabeth; Jones, Jana; Seth, Raj; Hermann, Bruce; Seidenberg, Michael

    2007-01-01

    There is considerable interest in the assessment of executive function (EF) in pediatric clinical populations but only a few well-standardized measures exist. We examined EF in 53 children aged 8 to 18 years with recent onset epilepsy (31 males, 22 females) and 50 control children (23 males, 27 females) using the Behavior Rating Inventory of…

  2. Examining the Impact of Traffic Environment and Executive Functioning on Children's Pedestrian Behaviors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barton, Benjamin K.; Morrongiello, Barbara A.

    2011-01-01

    The process of integrating visual information and planning a safe crossing is cognitively demanding for many young children. We assessed relations between traffic characteristics, aspects of children's executive functioning (EF), and pedestrian behavior, with the aim being to determine whether well-developed EF would predict safer pedestrian…

  3. Time Perception, Phonological Skills and Executive Function in Children with Dyslexia and/or ADHD Symptoms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gooch, Debbie; Snowling, Margaret; Hulme, Charles

    2011-01-01

    Background: Deficits in time perception (the ability to judge the duration of time intervals) have been found in children with both attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia. This paper investigates time perception, phonological skills and executive functions in children with dyslexia and/or ADHD symptoms (AS). Method: Children…

  4. Individual Differences in Executive Functioning Predict Preschoolers' Improvement from Theory-of-Mind Training

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benson, Jeannette E.; Sabbagh, Mark A.; Carlson, Stephanie M.; Zelazo, Philip David

    2013-01-01

    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.…

  5. Language Ability and Verbal and Nonverbal Executive Functioning in Deaf Students Communicating in Spoken English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Remine, Maria D.; Care, Esther; Brown, P. Margaret

    2008-01-01

    The internal use of language during problem solving is considered to play a key role in executive functioning. This role provides a means for self-reflection and self-questioning during the formation of rules and plans and a capacity to control and monitor behavior during problem-solving activity. Given that increasingly sophisticated language is…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barker, Jane E.; Munakata, Yuko

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnston, Charlotte

    2011-01-01

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

  8. The Impact of Parkinson's Disease on Sequence Learning: Perceptual Pattern Learning and Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Price, Amanda; Shin, Jacqueline C.

    2009-01-01

    The current study examined the contribution of brain areas affected by Parkinson's disease (PD) to sequence learning, with a specific focus on response-related processes, spatial attentional control, and executive functioning. Patients with mild PD, patients with moderate PD, and healthy age-matched participants performed three tasks--a sequence…

  9. Social Factors in the Development of Early Executive Functioning: A Closer Look at the Caregiving Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bernier, Annie; Carlson, Stephanie M.; Deschenes, Marie; Matte-Gagne, Celia

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated prospective links between quality of the early caregiving environment and children's subsequent executive functioning (EF). Sixty-two families were met on five occasions, allowing for assessment of maternal interactive behavior, paternal interactive behavior, and child attachment security between 1 and 2 years of age, and…

  10. From External Regulation to Self-Regulation: Early Parenting Precursors of Young Children's Executive Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bernier, Annie; Carlson, Stephanie M.; Whipple, Natasha

    2010-01-01

    In keeping with proposals emphasizing the role of early experience in infant brain development, this study investigated the prospective links between quality of parent-infant interactions and subsequent child executive functioning (EF), including working memory, impulse control, and set shifting. Maternal sensitivity, mind-mindedness and autonomy…

  11. Pre-University Tuition in Science and Technology Can Influence Executive Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Méndez, Marta; Arias, Natalia; Menéndez, José R.; Villar, José R.; Neira, Ángel; Romano, Pedro V.; Núñez, José Carlos; Arias, Jorge L.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: Scientific and technological areas include tuition based on highly visuo-spatial specialization and problem solving. Spatial skills and problem solving are embedded in a curriculum that promotes understanding of Science and technical subjects. These abilities are related to the development of executive functions (EFs). We aim to…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

    Prior research has indicated that self-reported violent media exposure is associated with poorer performance on some neuropsychological tests in adolescents. This study aimed to examine the relationship of executive functioning to violent television viewing in healthy young adult males and examine how brain structure is associated with media exposure measures. Sixty-five healthy adult males (ages 18-29) with minimal video game experience estimated their television viewing habits over the past year and, during the subsequent week, recorded television viewing time and characteristics in a daily media diary. Participants then completed a battery of neuropsychological laboratory tests quantifying executive functions and underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Aggregate measures of executive functioning were not associated with measures of overall television viewing (any content type) during the past week or year. However, the amount of television viewing of violent content only, as indicated by both past-year and daily diary measures, was associated with poorer scores on an aggregate score of inhibition, interference control and attention, with no relationship to a composite working memory score. In addition, violent television exposure, as measured with daily media diaries, was associated with reduced frontoparietal white matter volume. Future longitudinal work is necessary to resolve whether individuals with poor executive function and slower white matter growth are more drawn to violent programming, or if extensive media violence exposure modifies cognitive control mechanisms mediated primarily via prefrontal cortex. Impaired inhibitory mechanisms may be related to reported increases in aggression with higher media violence exposure. PMID:24836970

  13. Phonological Storage and Executive Function Deficits in Children with Mathematics Difficulties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peng, Peng; Congying, Sun; Beilei, Li; Sha, Tao

    2012-01-01

    Children with mathematics difficulties suffer from working memory deficits. This study investigated the deficit profile of phonological storage and executive functions in working memory among children with mathematics difficulties. Based on multiple instruments and two assessment points, 68 children were screened out of 805 fifth graders. Of these…

  14. Fine Motor Skills and Executive Function Both Contribute to Kindergarten Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cameron, Claire E.; Brock, Laura L.; Murrah, William M.; Bell, Lindsay H.; Worzalla, Samantha L.; Grissmer, David; Morrison, Frederick J.

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the contribution of executive function (EF) and multiple aspects of fine motor skills to achievement on 6 standardized assessments in a sample of middle-socioeconomic status kindergarteners. Three- and 4-year-olds' (n = 213) fine and gross motor skills were assessed in a home visit before kindergarten, EF was measured at fall…

  15. Child Behavior Problems, Teacher Executive Functions, and Teacher Stress in Head Start Classrooms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Friedman-Krauss, Allison H.; Raver, C. Cybele; Neuspiel, Juliana M.; Kinsel, John

    2014-01-01

    Research Findings: The current article explores the relationship between teachers' perceptions of child behavior problems and preschool teacher job stress, as well as the possibility that teachers' executive functions moderate this relationship. Data came from 69 preschool teachers in 31 early childhood classrooms in 4 Head Start centers…

  16. Intraindividual Differences in Executive Functions during Childhood: The Role of Emotions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pnevmatikos, Dimitris; Trikkaliotis, Ioannis

    2013-01-01

    Intraindividual differences in executive functions (EFs) have been rarely investigated. In this study, we addressed the question of whether the emotional fluctuations that schoolchildren experience in their classroom settings could generate substantial intraindividual differences in their EFs and, more specifically, in the fundamental unifying…

  17. The influence of the parents' educational level on the development of executive functions.

    PubMed

    Ardila, Alfredo; Rosselli, Monica; Matute, Esmeralda; Guajardo, Soledad

    2005-01-01

    Information about the influence of educational variables on the development of executive functions is limited. The aim of this study was to analyze the relation of the parents' educational level and the type of school the child attended (private or public school) to children's executive functioning test performance. Six hundred twenty-two participants, ages 5 to 14 years (276 boys, 346 girls) were selected from Colombia and Mexico and grouped according to three variables: age (5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, and 13-14 years), gender (boys and girls), and school type (private and public). Eight executive functioning tests taken from the Evaluacion Neuropsicologica Infantil; Matute, Rosselli, Ardila, & Ostrosky, (in press) were individually administered: Semantic Verbal Fluency, Phonemic Verbal Fluency, Semantic Graphic Fluency, Nonsemantic Graphic Fluency, Matrices, Similarities, Card Sorting, and the Mexican Pyramid. There was a significant effect of age on all the test scores and a significant effect of type of school attended on all but Semantic Verbal Fluency and Nonsemantic Graphic Fluency tests. Most children's test scores, particularly verbal test scores, significantly correlated with parents' educational level. Our results suggest that the differences in test scores between the public and private school children depended on some conditions existing outside the school, such as the parents' level of education. Implications of these findings for the understanding of the influence of environmental factors on the development of executive functions are presented. PMID:15992255

  18. Dual-Language Education for Low-Income Children: Preliminary Evidence of Benefits for Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Esposito, Alena G.; Baker-Ward, Lynne

    2013-01-01

    This investigation is an initial examination of possible enhancement of executive function through a dual-language (50:50) education model. The ethnically diverse, low-income sample of 120 children from Grades K, 2, and 4 consisted of approximately equal numbers of children enrolled in dual-language and traditional classrooms. Dual-language…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    Although research suggests associations between children's executive function skills and their academic achievement, the specific mechanisms that may help explain these associations in early childhood are unclear. This study examined whether children's (N = 1,103; M age = 54.5 months) executive function skills at the beginning of prekindergarten (pre-K) predict their learning-related behaviors in the classroom and whether these behaviors then mediate associations between children's executive function skills and their pre-K literacy, language, and mathematic gains. Learning-related behaviors were quantified in terms of (a) higher levels of involvement in learning opportunities; (b) greater frequency of participation in activities that require sequential steps; (c) more participation in social-learning interactions; and (d) less instances of being unoccupied, disruptive, or in time out. Results indicated that children's learning-related behaviors mediated associations between executive function skills and literacy and mathematics gains through children's level of involvement, sequential learning behaviors, and disengagement from the classroom. The implications of the findings for early childhood education are discussed. PMID:26010383

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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