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Sample records for adult executive function

  1. 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…

  2. Executive Function Impairments in High IQ Adults with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Thomas E.; Reichel, Philipp C.; Quinlan, Donald M.

    2009-01-01

    Objectives: To demonstrate that high IQ adults diagnosed with ADHD suffer from executive function (EF) impairments that: a) can be identified with a combination of standardized measures and self-report data; and b) occur more commonly in this group than in the general population. Method: 157 ADHD adults with IQ greater than or equal to 120 were…

  3. Executive function in older adults: a structural equation modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Hull, Rachel; Martin, Randi C; Beier, Margaret E; Lane, David; Hamilton, A Cris

    2008-07-01

    Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM) were used to study the organization of executive functions in older adults. The four primary goals were to examine (a) whether executive functions were supported by one versus multiple underlying factors, (b) which underlying skill(s) predicted performance on complex executive function tasks, (c) whether performance on analogous verbal and nonverbal tasks was supported by separable underlying skills, and (d) how patterns of performance generally compared with those of young adults. A sample of 100 older adults completed 10 tasks, each designed to engage one of three control processes: mental set shifting (Shifting), information updating or monitoring (Updating), and inhibition of prepotent responses (Inhibition). CFA identified robust Shifting and Updating factors, but the Inhibition factor failed to emerge, and there was no evidence for verbal and nonverbal factors. SEM showed that Updating was the best predictor of performance on each of the complex tasks the authors assessed (the Tower of Hanoi and the Wisconsin Card Sort). Results are discussed in terms of insight for theories of cognitive aging and executive function. PMID:18590362

  4. 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…

  5. Fronto-cerebellar systems are associated with infant motor and adult executive functions in healthy adults but not in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Ridler, Khanum; Veijola, Juha M; Tanskanen, Päivikki; Miettunen, Jouko; Chitnis, Xavier; Suckling, John; Murray, Graham K; Haapea, Marianne; Jones, Peter B; Isohanni, Matti K; Bullmore, Edward T

    2006-10-17

    Delineating longitudinal relationships between early developmental markers, adult cognitive function, and adult brain structure could clarify the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia. We aimed to identify brain structural correlates of infant motor development (IMD) and adult executive function in nonpsychotic adults and to test for abnormal associations between these measures in people with schizophrenia. Representative samples of nonpsychotic adults (n = 93) and people with schizophrenia (n = 49) were drawn from the Northern Finland 1966 general population birth cohort. IMD was prospectively assessed at age 1 year; executive function testing and MRI were completed at age 33-35 years. We found that earlier motor development in infancy was correlated with superior executive function in nonpsychotic subjects. Earlier motor development was also normally associated with increased gray matter density in adult premotor cortex, striatum, and cerebellum and increased white matter density in frontal and parietal lobes. Adult executive function was normally associated with increased gray matter density in a fronto-cerebellar system that partially overlapped, but was not identical to, the gray matter regions normally associated with IMD. People with schizophrenia had relatively delayed IMD and impaired adult executive function in adulthood. Furthermore, they demonstrated no normative associations between fronto-cerebellar structure, IMD, or executive function. We conclude that frontal cortico-cerebellar systems correlated with adult executive function are anatomically related to systems associated with normal infant motor development. Disruption of this anatomical system may underlie both the early developmental and adult cognitive abnormalities in schizophrenia.

  6. The moderating role of executive functioning in older adults' responses to a reminder of mortality.

    PubMed

    Maxfield, Molly; Pyszczynski, Tom; Greenberg, Jeff; Pepin, Renee; Davis, Hasker P

    2012-03-01

    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. Thus, we 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 after 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.

  7. 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…

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. Effect of Atomoxetine on Executive Function Impairments in Adults with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Thomas E.; Holdnack, James; Saylor, Keith; Adler, Lenard; Spencer, Thomas; Williams, David W.; Padival, Anoop K.; Schuh, Kory; Trzepacz, Paula T.; Kelsey, Douglas

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To assess the effect of atomoxetine on ADHD-related executive functions over a 6-month period using the Brown Attention-Deficit Disorder Scale (BADDS) for Adults, a normed, 40-item, self-report scale in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Method: In a randomized, double-blind clinical trial, adults with ADHD…

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.…

  14. Deficient cardiovascular stress reactivity predicts poor executive functions in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Hirvikoski, Tatja; Olsson, Erik M G; Nordenstrom, Anna; Lindholm, Torun; Nordstrom, Anna-Lena; Lajic, Svetlana

    2011-01-01

    Associations between cardiovascular stress markers, subjective stress reactivity, and executive functions were studied in 60 adults (30 with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, and 30 controls) using the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT, a test of executive functions) as a cognitive stressor. Despite higher self-perceived stress, the adults with ADHD showed lower or atypical cardiovascular stress reactivity, which was associated with poorer performance on PASAT. Using cardiovascular stress markers, subjective stress, and results on PASAT as predictors in a logistic regression, 83.3% of the ADHD group and 86.9% of the controls could be classified correctly.

  15. Acute Hypoglycemia Impairs Executive Cognitive Function in Adults With and Without Type 1 Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Graveling, Alex J.; Deary, Ian J.; Frier, Brian M.

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVE Acute hypoglycemia impairs cognitive function in several domains. Executive cognitive function governs organization of thoughts, prioritization of tasks, and time management. This study examined the effect of acute hypoglycemia on executive function in adults with and without diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Thirty-two adults with and without type 1 diabetes with no vascular complications or impaired awareness of hypoglycemia were studied. Two hyperinsulinemic glucose clamps were performed at least 2 weeks apart in a single-blind, counterbalanced order, maintaining blood glucose at 4.5 mmol/L (euglycemia) or 2.5 mmol/L (hypoglycemia). Executive functions were assessed with a validated test suite (Delis-Kaplan Executive Function). A general linear model (repeated-measures ANOVA) was used. Glycemic condition (euglycemia or hypoglycemia) was the within-participant factor. Between-participant factors were order of session (euglycemia-hypoglycemia or hypoglycemia-euglycemia), test battery used, and diabetes status (with or without diabetes). RESULTS Compared with euglycemia, executive functions (with one exception) were significantly impaired during hypoglycemia; lower test scores were recorded with more time required for completion. Large Cohen d values (>0.8) suggest that hypoglycemia induces decrements in aspects of executive function with large effect sizes. In some tests, the performance of participants with diabetes was more impaired than those without diabetes. CONCLUSIONS Executive cognitive function, which is necessary to carry out many everyday activities, is impaired during hypoglycemia in adults with and without type 1 diabetes. This important aspect of cognition has not received previous systematic study with respect to hypoglycemia. The effect size is large in terms of both accuracy and speed. PMID:23780950

  16. 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

  17. Executive function and emotional focus in autobiographical memory specificity in older adults.

    PubMed

    Holland, Carol A; Ridout, Nathan; Walford, Edward; Geraghty, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    The current study examined the role of executive function in retrieval of specific autobiographical memories in older adults with regard to control of emotion during retrieval. Older and younger adults retrieved memories of specific events in response to emotionally positive, negative and neutral word cues. Contributions of inhibitory and updating elements of executive function to variance in autobiographical specificity were assessed to determine processes involved in the commonly found age-related reduction in specificity. A negative relationship between age and specificity was only found in retrieval to neutral cues. Alternative explanations of this age preservation of specificity of emotional recall are explored, within the context of control of emotion in the self-memory system and preserved emotional processing and positivity effect in older adults. The pattern of relationships suggests updating, rather than inhibition, as the source of age-related reduction in specificity, but that emotional processing (particularly of positively valenced memories) is not influenced by age-related variance in executive control. The tendency of older adults to focus on positive material may thus act as a buffer against detrimental effects of reduced executive function capacity on autobiographical retrieval, representing a possible target for interventions to improve specificity of autobiographical memory retrieval in older adults. PMID:22873516

  18. Analysis of Narrative Discourse Structure as an Ecologically Relevant Measure of Executive Function in Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cannizzaro, Michael S.; Coelho, Carl A.

    2013-01-01

    This study examined the narrative discourse production and executive function (EF) abilities of 46 neuro-typical adults (18-98 years old). Two questions were addressed: Is the analysis of narrative structure sensitive to changes associated with aging? & What is the relationship between measures of narrative structure and EF? Narratives were…

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Executive Cognitive Functioning and Cardiovascular Autonomic Regulation in a Population-Based Sample of Working Adults

    PubMed Central

    Stenfors, Cecilia U. D.; Hanson, Linda M.; Theorell, Töres; Osika, Walter S.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: Executive cognitive functioning is essential in private and working life and is sensitive to stress and aging. Cardiovascular (CV) health factors are related to cognitive decline and dementia, but there is relatively few studies of the role of CV autonomic regulation, a key component in stress responses and risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), and executive processes. An emerging pattern of results from previous studies suggest that different executive processes may be differentially associated with CV autonomic regulation. The aim was thus to study the associations between multiple measures of CV autonomic regulation and measures of different executive cognitive processes. Method: Participants were 119 healthy working adults (79% women), from the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health. Electrocardiogram was sampled for analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) measures, including the Standard Deviation of NN, here heart beats (SDNN), root of the mean squares of successive differences (RMSSD), high frequency (HF) power band from spectral analyses, and QT variability index (QTVI), a measure of myocardial repolarization patterns. Executive cognitive functioning was measured by seven neuropsychological tests. The relationships between CV autonomic regulation measures and executive cognitive measures were tested with bivariate and partial correlational analyses, controlling for demographic variables, and mental health symptoms. Results: Higher SDNN and RMSSD and lower QTVI were significantly associated with better performance on cognitive tests tapping inhibition, updating, shifting, and psychomotor speed. After adjustments for demographic factors however (age being the greatest confounder), only QTVI was clearly associated with these executive tests. No such associations were seen for working memory capacity. Conclusion: Poorer CV autonomic regulation in terms of lower SDNN and RMSSD and higher QTVI was associated with poorer executive

  7. Differential contributions of executive and episodic memory functions to problem solving in younger and older adults.

    PubMed

    Vandermorris, Susan; Sheldon, Signy; Winocur, Gordon; Moscovitch, Morris

    2013-11-01

    The relationship of higher order problem solving to basic neuropsychological processes likely depends on the type of problems to be solved. Well-defined problems (e.g., completing a series of errands) may rely primarily on executive functions. Conversely, ill-defined problems (e.g., navigating socially awkward situations) may, in addition, rely on medial temporal lobe (MTL) mediated episodic memory processes. Healthy young (N = 18; M = 19; SD = 1.3) and old (N = 18; M = 73; SD = 5.0) adults completed a battery of neuropsychological tests of executive and episodic memory function, and experimental tests of problem solving. Correlation analyses and age group comparisons demonstrated differential contributions of executive and autobiographical episodic memory function to well-defined and ill-defined problem solving and evidence for an episodic simulation mechanism underlying ill-defined problem solving efficacy. Findings are consistent with the emerging idea that MTL-mediated episodic simulation processes support the effective solution of ill-defined problems, over and above the contribution of frontally mediated executive functions. Implications for the development of intervention strategies that target preservation of functional independence in older adults are discussed.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. The relationship between cognitive reserve and functional ability is mediated by executive functioning in older adults.

    PubMed

    Puente, Antonio Nicolas; Lindbergh, Cutter A; Miller, L Stephen

    2015-01-01

    It has been noted in the literature that cognitive reserve (CR) predicts future functional ability (FA), but the association between CR and current FA is rather limited. This investigation aimed to explicate this relationship, and hypothesized it would be mediated by executive functioning (EF). To best understand the relationship between CR and FA, we recruited and tested independent community-dwelling older adults (OAs). Bivariate correlations and hierarchical regressions were completed to determine the association between CR and FA. Both individual CR measures and a composite CR score were used. Mediation analyses were completed to examine our hypothesis that EF would mediate the CR and FA relationship. All measures of CR were positively related to and predictive of FA. Although the highest zero-order correlation across the independent CR proxies was between income and FA (r = .417), education accounted for the greatest amount of variance in FA, 8.3% after controlling for age and Mini-Mental State Examination performance. Furthermore, the CR composite had a higher correlation (r = .447) and accounted for more variance than any of the independent proxies. Complete mediation was found between a CR composite and FA via an internally consistent D-KEFS composite score (Cronbach's α = .795). This suggests that as CR increases so does EF, which in turn improves FA. Thus, future investigations could determine the effect on FA in OAs by improving EF. PMID:25664575

  11. Cognitive adaptations to stressful environments: When childhood adversity enhances adult executive function.

    PubMed

    Mittal, Chiraag; Griskevicius, Vladas; Simpson, Jeffry A; Sung, Sooyeon; Young, Ethan S

    2015-10-01

    Can growing up in a stressful childhood environment enhance certain cognitive functions? Drawing participants from higher-income and lower-income backgrounds, we tested how adults who grew up in harsh or unpredictable environments fared on 2 types of executive function tasks: inhibition and shifting. People who experienced unpredictable childhoods performed worse at inhibition (overriding dominant responses), but performed better at shifting (efficiently switching between different tasks). This finding is consistent with the notion that shifting, but not inhibition, is especially useful in unpredictable environments. Importantly, differences in executive function between people who experienced unpredictable versus predictable childhoods emerged only when they were tested in uncertain contexts. This catalyst suggests that some individual differences related to early life experience are manifested under conditions of uncertainty in adulthood. Viewed as a whole, these findings indicate that adverse childhood environments do not universally impair mental functioning, but can actually enhance specific types of cognitive performance in the face of uncertainty. PMID:26414842

  12. Reading Performance of Young Adults With ADHD Diagnosed in Childhood: Relations With Executive Functioning.

    PubMed

    Miranda, Ana; Mercader, Jessica; Fernández, M Inmaculada; Colomer, Carla

    2013-10-22

    Objective: To study reading performance of young adults with ADHD and its relation with executive functioning. Method: Thirty young adults with a childhood diagnosis of ADHD and 30 with normal development (ND) were compared on reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. Furthermore, ADHD with reading disabilities (ADHD+RD) and ADHD without reading disabilities (ADHD-RD) subgroups were compared using self-report and informant-report versions of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult version (BRIEF-A). Results: Adults with ADHD obtained significantly worse results than the ND adults on reading speed, responses to literal questions, and a cloze test. Although the comparison of the ADHD+RD and ADHD-RD groups did not show significant differences on the BRIEF-A subscales, the ADHD+RD group surpassed the critical percentile (85) on more subscales, with working memory and metacognition especially affected. Conclusion: The findings point out that reading should be assessed in individuals with ADHD as part of their evaluation to design effective early interventions. (J. of Att. Dis. XXXX; XX(X) XX-XX).

  13. Reading Performance of Young Adults With ADHD Diagnosed in Childhood: Relations With Executive Functioning.

    PubMed

    Miranda, Ana; Mercader, Jessica; Fernández, M Inmaculada; Colomer, Carla

    2013-10-22

    Objective: To study reading performance of young adults with ADHD and its relation with executive functioning. Method: Thirty young adults with a childhood diagnosis of ADHD and 30 with normal development (ND) were compared on reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. Furthermore, ADHD with reading disabilities (ADHD+RD) and ADHD without reading disabilities (ADHD-RD) subgroups were compared using self-report and informant-report versions of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult version (BRIEF-A). Results: Adults with ADHD obtained significantly worse results than the ND adults on reading speed, responses to literal questions, and a cloze test. Although the comparison of the ADHD+RD and ADHD-RD groups did not show significant differences on the BRIEF-A subscales, the ADHD+RD group surpassed the critical percentile (85) on more subscales, with working memory and metacognition especially affected. Conclusion: The findings point out that reading should be assessed in individuals with ADHD as part of their evaluation to design effective early interventions. (J. of Att. Dis. XXXX; XX(X) XX-XX). PMID:24149941

  14. Cardiovascular risks and brain function: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study of executive function in older adults.

    PubMed

    Chuang, Yi-Fang; Eldreth, Dana; Erickson, Kirk I; Varma, Vijay; Harris, Gregory; Fried, Linda P; Rebok, George W; Tanner, Elizabeth K; Carlson, Michelle C

    2014-06-01

    Cardiovascular (CV) risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia are associated with cognitive impairment and risk of dementia in older adults. However, the mechanisms linking them are not clear. This study aims to investigate the association between aggregate CV risk, assessed by the Framingham general cardiovascular risk profile, and functional brain activation in a group of community-dwelling older adults. Sixty participants (mean age: 64.6 years) from the Brain Health Study, a nested study of the Baltimore Experience Corps Trial, underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging using the Flanker task. We found that participants with higher CV risk had greater task-related activation in the left inferior parietal region, and this increased activation was associated with poorer task performance. Our results provide insights into the neural systems underlying the relationship between CV risk and executive function. Increased activation of the inferior parietal region may offer a pathway through which CV risk increases risk for cognitive impairment.

  15. Exercise mode and executive function in older adults: an ERP study of task-switching.

    PubMed

    Dai, Chih-Ta; Chang, Yu-Kai; Huang, Chung-Ju; Hung, Tsung-Min

    2013-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between exercise mode and executive function and its effect on behavior and neuroelectric activity. Forty-eight older adults were classified into open-skill, closed-skill, and irregular exercise groups based on their experience of exercise participation. Executive function was measured via a task-switching paradigm, in which the behavioral indices and event-related potentials elicited by task-switching were assessed. The results revealed that the exercise groups, regardless of the exercise mode, exhibited faster reaction times in both global and local switches than the irregular exercise group, regardless of the within-task conditions. Similarly, larger P3 amplitudes were observed in both exercise groups compared to the irregular exercise group. Moreover, additional facilitation effects of open-skill exercises on global switch costs were observed, whereas no differences in local switch costs were found among the three groups. The results replicate previous studies that have reported generally improved executive function after participation in exercises; additionally, they extend the current knowledge by indicating that these cognitive improvements in specific aspects of executive function could also be obtained from open-skill exercises.

  16. Inferior Prefrontal Cortex Mediates the Relationship between Phosphatidylcholine and Executive Functions in Healthy, Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Zamroziewicz, Marta K.; Zwilling, Chris E.; Barbey, Aron K.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: This study examines the neural mechanisms that mediate the relationship between phosphatidylcholine and executive functions in cognitively intact older adults. We hypothesized that higher plasma levels of phosphatidylcholine are associated with better performance on a particular component of the executive functions, namely cognitive flexibility, and that this relationship is mediated by gray matter structure of regions within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) that have been implicated in cognitive flexibility. Methods: We examined 72 cognitively intact adults between the ages of 65 and 75 in an observational, cross-sectional study to investigate the relationship between blood biomarkers of phosphatidylcholine, tests of cognitive flexibility (measured by the Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System Trail Making Test), and gray matter structure of regions within the PFC. A three-step mediation analysis was implemented using multivariate linear regressions and we controlled for age, sex, education, income, depression status, and body mass index. Results: The mediation analysis revealed that gray matter thickness of one region within the PFC, the left inferior PFC (Brodmann’s Area 45), mediates the relationship between phosphatidylcholine blood biomarkers and cognitive flexibility. Conclusion: These results suggest that particular nutrients may slow or prevent age-related cognitive decline by influencing specific structures within the brain. This report demonstrates a novel structural mediation between plasma phosphatidylcholine levels and cognitive flexibility. Future work should examine the potential mechanisms underlying this mediation, including phosphatidylcholine-dependent cell membrane integrity of the inferior PFC and phosphatidylcholine-dependent cholinergic projections to the inferior PFC. PMID:27733825

  17. The Relationship between Sleep Complaints, Depression, and Executive Functions on Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    de Almondes, Katie M.; Costa, Mônica V.; Malloy-Diniz, Leandro F.; Diniz, Breno S.

    2016-01-01

    Aim: In this manuscript, we report data on the association between executive functions screened by Frontal Assessment Battery, Five Digit Test and Digit Span with self-reported depressive symptoms and sleep complaints in non-demented older adults. Methods: A total sample of 95 non-demented older adults performed Geriatric Depression Scale short version, Frontal Assessment Battery, Five Digit Test, Digit Span, and clinical interview. We split participants in groups stratified by age according to: young-old (60–69 years of age), old-old (70–79 years), and oldest-old (>80 years) and compared these three groups on the sociodemographic characteristics and executive functions performance. We carried out Poisson regression with robust error variance to verify sleep complaints and depression effects on executive functions performance. Gender, age, years of formal education, use of antidepressants and of benzodiazepines were considered as confounding variables, taking into account executive functions as dependent and sleep complaints and depression as independent variables. Results: Controlling the effect of age, gender, years of formal education, use of benzodiazepines and of antidepressants there was a significant influence of depression in motor programming, inhibitory control, and working memory. Individuals without depression show motor programming scores 68.4% higher, inhibitory control scores 3 times greater and working memory scores also 3 times greater than individuals without depression. There was a significant influence of sleep complaints in phonemic fluency, motor programming, inhibitory control, and working memory. Individuals without sleep complaints show phonemic fluency scores 2 times greater than, motor programming scores 85.9% higher, inhibitory control scores 3 times greater and working memory scores also 3 times greater than individuals without sleep complaints. Conclusions: Sleep complaints are associated with phonemic fluency, motor programming

  18. Lap time variation and executive function in older adults: the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Qu; Simonsick, Eleanor M.; Resnick, Susan M.; Shardell, Michelle D.; Ferrucci, Luigi; Studenski, Stephanie A.

    2015-01-01

    Background: poor cognitive and motor performance predicts neurological dysfunction. Variable performance may be a subclinical indicator of emerging neurological problems. Objective: examine the cross-sectional association between a clinically accessible measure of variable walking and executive function. Methods: older adults aged 60 or older from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (n = 811) with data on the 400-m walk test and cognition. Based on ten 40-m laps, we calculated mean lap time (MLT) and variation in time across ten 40-m laps (lap time variation, LTV). Executive function tests assessed attention and short-term memory (digit span forward and backward), psychomotor speed [Trail Making Test (TMT) part A] and multicomponent tasks requiring cognitive flexibility [TMT part B, part B-A (Delta TMT) and digit symbol substitution test (DSST)]. Multivariate linear regression analysis examined the cross-sectional association between LTV and executive function, adjusted for MLT, age, sex and education, as well as the LTV × MLT interaction. Results: the LTV was univariately associated with all executive function tests except digit span (P < 0.001); after adjustment, the association with TMT part A remained (standardised β = 0.142, P = 0.002). There was an interaction between MLT and LTV; among fast walkers, greater LTV was associated with a greater Delta TMT (β for LTV × MLT = −1.121, P = 0.016) after adjustment. Conclusion: at any walking speed, greater LTV is associated with psychomotor slowing. Among persons with faster walking speed, variation is associated with worse performance on a complex measure of cognitive flexibility. A simple measure of variability in walking time is independently associated with psychomotor slowing. PMID:26082177

  19. NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (CB): Validation of Executive Function Measures in Adults

    PubMed Central

    Zelazo, Philip David; Anderson, Jacob E.; Richler, Jennifer; Wallner-Allen, Kathleen; Beaumont, Jennifer L.; Conway, Kevin P.; Gershon, Richard; Weintraub, Sandra

    2015-01-01

    This study describes psychometric properties of the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (NIHTB-CB) executive function measures in an adult sample. The NIHTB-CB was designed for use in epidemiologic studies and clinical trials for ages 3 to 85. A total of 268 self-described healthy adults were recruited at four university-based sites, using stratified sampling guidelines to target demographic variability for age (20–85 years), gender, education and ethnicity. The NIHTB-CB contains two computer-based instruments assessing executive function: the Dimensional Change Card Sort (a measure of cognitive flexibility) and a flanker task (a measure of inhibitory control and selective attention). Participants completed the NIHTB-CB, corresponding gold standard convergent and discriminant measures, and sociodemographic questionnaires. A subset of participants (N = 89) was retested 7 to 21 days later. Results reveal excellent sensitivity to age-related changes during adulthood, excellent test–retest reliability, and adequate to good convergent and discriminant validity. The NIH Toolbox EF measures can be used effectively in epidemiologic and clinical studies. PMID:24960301

  20. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. COMT Val158Met Genotype and Individual Differences in Executive Function in Healthy Adults

    PubMed Central

    Wishart, Heather A.; Roth, Robert M.; Saykin, Andrew J.; Rhodes, C. Harker; Tsongalis, Gregory J.; Pattin, Kristine A.; Moore, Jason H.; Mcallister, Thomas W.

    2011-01-01

    The Val158Met polymorphism of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene may be related to individual differences in cognition, likely via modulation of prefrontal dopamine catabolism. However, the available studies have yielded mixed results, possibly in part because they do not consistently account for other genes that affect cognition. We hypothesized that COMT Met allele homozygosity, which is associated with higher levels of prefrontal dopamine, would predict better executive function as measured using standard neuropsychological testing, and that other candidate genes might interact with COMT to modulate this effect. Participants were 95 healthy, right-handed adults who underwent genotyping and cognitive testing. COMT genotype predicted executive ability as measured by the Trail-Making Test, even after covarying for demographics and APOE, BDNF and ANKK1 genotype. There was a COMT-ANKK1 interaction in which individuals having both the COMT Val allele and the ANKK1 T allele showed the poorest performance. This study suggests the heterogeneity in COMT effects reported in the literature may be due in part to gene-gene interactions that influence central dopaminergic systems. PMID:21144101

  3. Validating the measurement of executive functions in an occupational context for adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Stern, Adi; Maeir, Adina

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE. The objectives of this study were to better understand the cognitive profile of adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), their occupational performance, and their quality of life (QoL) and to examine the validity of a cognitive-functional evaluation (CFE) battery for these adults. METHOD. Eighty-one adults with ADHD and 58 without ADHD completed ADHD symptom ratings, the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version, and the Adult ADHD Quality-of-Life Scale. An occupational performance interview was administered to the ADHD group. RESULTS. A broad range of occupational concerns were reported. We found significant differences between groups on all measures. In the ADHD group, we found medium significant correlations among the measures. CONCLUSION. Adults with ADHD experience cognitive and functional difficulties in their daily lives associated with QoL. The results support the use of a CFE battery that has been shown to be sensitive and specific for these adults. PMID:25397767

  4. Validating the measurement of executive functions in an occupational context for adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Stern, Adi; Maeir, Adina

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE. The objectives of this study were to better understand the cognitive profile of adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), their occupational performance, and their quality of life (QoL) and to examine the validity of a cognitive-functional evaluation (CFE) battery for these adults. METHOD. Eighty-one adults with ADHD and 58 without ADHD completed ADHD symptom ratings, the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version, and the Adult ADHD Quality-of-Life Scale. An occupational performance interview was administered to the ADHD group. RESULTS. A broad range of occupational concerns were reported. We found significant differences between groups on all measures. In the ADHD group, we found medium significant correlations among the measures. CONCLUSION. Adults with ADHD experience cognitive and functional difficulties in their daily lives associated with QoL. The results support the use of a CFE battery that has been shown to be sensitive and specific for these adults.

  5. What component of executive functions contributes to normal and impaired reading comprehension in young adults?

    PubMed

    Georgiou, George K; Das, J P

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was two-fold: (a) to examine what component of executive functions (EF) - planning and working memory - predicts reading comprehension in young adults (Study 1), and (b) to examine if less skilled comprehenders experience deficits in the EF components (Study 2). In Study 1, we assessed 178 university students (120 females; mean age=21.82 years) on planning (Planned Connections, Planned Codes, and Planned Patterns), working memory (Listening Span, Digit Span Backward, and Digit Memory), and reading comprehension (Nelson-Denny Reading Test). The results of structural equation modeling indicated that only planning was a significant predictor of reading comprehension. In Study 2, we assessed 30 university students with a specific reading comprehension deficit (19 females; mean age=23.01 years) and 30 controls (18 females; mean age=22.77 years) on planning (Planned Connections and Crack the Code) and working memory (Listening Span and Digit Span Backward). The results showed that less skilled comprehenders performed significantly poorer than controls only in planning. Taken together, the findings of both studies suggest that planning is the preeminent component of EF that is driving its relationship with reading comprehension in young adults.

  6. Naturalistic assessment of executive function and everyday multitasking in healthy older adults.

    PubMed

    McAlister, Courtney; Schmitter-Edgecombe, Maureen

    2013-01-01

    Everyday multitasking and its cognitive correlates were investigated in an older adult population using a naturalistic task, the Day Out Task. Fifty older adults and 50 younger adults prioritized, organized, initiated, and completed a number of subtasks in a campus apartment to prepare for a day out (e.g., gather ingredients for a recipe, collect change for a bus ride). Participants also completed tests assessing cognitive constructs important in multitasking. Compared to younger adults, the older adults took longer to complete the everyday tasks and more poorly sequenced the subtasks. Although they initiated, completed, and interweaved a similar number of subtasks, the older adults demonstrated poorer task quality and accuracy, completing more subtasks inefficiently. For the older adults, reduced prospective memory abilities were predictive of poorer task sequencing, while executive processes and prospective memory were predictive of inefficiently completed subtasks. The findings suggest that executive dysfunction and prospective memory difficulties may contribute to the age-related decline of everyday multitasking abilities in healthy older adults.

  7. Executive function and self-regulated exergaming adherence among older adults.

    PubMed

    Anderson-Hanley, Cay; Arciero, Paul J; Barcelos, Nicole; Nimon, Joseph; Rocha, Tracey; Thurin, Marisa; Maloney, Molly

    2014-01-01

    The rise in dementia and the evidence of cognitive benefits of exercise for the older adult population together make salient the research into variables affecting cognitive benefit and exercise behavior. One promising avenue for increasing exercise participation has been the introduction of exergaming, a type of exercise that works in combination with virtual reality to enhance both the exercise experience and health outcomes. Past research has revealed that executive function (EF) was related to greater use of self-regulatory strategies, which in turn was related to greater adherence to exercise following an intervention (McAuley et al., 2011). Best et al. (2014) found improvement in EF related to adherence to exercise post- intervention. Anderson-Hanley et al. (2012) found that for older adults aerobic exergaming yielded greater cognitive benefit than traditional exercise alone; however, questions remain as to the possible impact of greater cognitive benefit and other factors on participants' involvement in exercise following the end of an intervention. The current study presents follow-up data exploring the relationship between EF, self-regulation, and exercise behavior in the post-intervention (naturalistic) period. Herein, it was predicted that higher EF at the start of the naturalistic window, would predict subsequent exercise with an exergame. Contrary to expectations, results suggest that those with poorer EF are likely to exergame more frequently. The results of this study contradict previous literature, but suggest an interesting relationship between EF, self-regulation, and exercise behaviors when exergaming is employed, particularly with older adults with some cognitive decline. We hypothesize that other factors may be at work, perhaps expectation of cognitive benefit might act as a unique motivator. PMID:25538608

  8. Executive function and self-regulated exergaming adherence among older adults

    PubMed Central

    Anderson-Hanley, Cay; Arciero, Paul J.; Barcelos, Nicole; Nimon, Joseph; Rocha, Tracey; Thurin, Marisa; Maloney, Molly

    2014-01-01

    The rise in dementia and the evidence of cognitive benefits of exercise for the older adult population together make salient the research into variables affecting cognitive benefit and exercise behavior. One promising avenue for increasing exercise participation has been the introduction of exergaming, a type of exercise that works in combination with virtual reality to enhance both the exercise experience and health outcomes. Past research has revealed that executive function (EF) was related to greater use of self-regulatory strategies, which in turn was related to greater adherence to exercise following an intervention (McAuley et al., 2011). Best et al. (2014) found improvement in EF related to adherence to exercise post- intervention. Anderson-Hanley et al. (2012) found that for older adults aerobic exergaming yielded greater cognitive benefit than traditional exercise alone; however, questions remain as to the possible impact of greater cognitive benefit and other factors on participants’ involvement in exercise following the end of an intervention. The current study presents follow-up data exploring the relationship between EF, self-regulation, and exercise behavior in the post-intervention (naturalistic) period. Herein, it was predicted that higher EF at the start of the naturalistic window, would predict subsequent exercise with an exergame. Contrary to expectations, results suggest that those with poorer EF are likely to exergame more frequently. The results of this study contradict previous literature, but suggest an interesting relationship between EF, self-regulation, and exercise behaviors when exergaming is employed, particularly with older adults with some cognitive decline. We hypothesize that other factors may be at work, perhaps expectation of cognitive benefit might act as a unique motivator. PMID:25538608

  9. Impairment in occupational functioning and adult ADHD: the predictive utility of executive function (EF) ratings versus EF tests.

    PubMed

    Barkley, Russell A; Murphy, Kevin R

    2010-05-01

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with deficits in executive functioning (EF). ADHD in adults is also associated with impairments in major life activities, particularly occupational functioning. We investigated the extent to which EF deficits assessed by both tests and self-ratings contributed to the degree of impairment in 11 measures involving self-reported occupational problems, employer reported workplace adjustment, and clinician rated occupational adjustment. Three groups of adults were recruited as a function of their severity of ADHD: ADHD diagnosis (n = 146), clinical controls self-referring for ADHD but not diagnosed with it (n = 97), and community controls (n = 109). Groups were combined and regression analyses revealed that self-ratings of EF were significantly predictive of impairments in all 11 measures of occupational adjustment. Although several tests of EF also did so, they contributed substantially less than did the EF ratings, particularly when analyzed jointly with the ratings. We conclude that EF deficits contribute to the impairments in occupational functioning that occur in conjunction with adult ADHD. Ratings of EF in daily life contribute more to such impairments than do EF tests, perhaps because, as we hypothesize, each assesses a different level in the hierarchical organization of EF as a meta-construct.

  10. Effects of gender and executive function on visuospatial working memory in adult obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    PubMed

    Martoni, Riccardo Maria; Salgari, Giulia; Galimberti, Elisa; Cavallini, Maria Cristina; O'Neill, Joseph

    2015-12-01

    Visuospatial working memory (VSWM) is the ability of the brain to transiently store and manipulate visual information. VSWM deficiencies have been reported in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), but not consistently, perhaps due to variability in task design and clinical patient factors. To explore this variability, this study assessed effects of the design factors task difficulty and executive organizational strategy and of the clinical factors gender, OCD symptom dimension, and duration of illness on VSWM in OCD. The CANTAB spatial working memory, spatial recognition memory, delayed matching to sample, and stop signal tasks were administered to 42 adult OCD patients and 42 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Aims were to detect a possible VSWM deficit in the OCD sample, to evaluate influences of the above task and patient factors, to determine the specificity of the deficit to the visuospatial subdomain, and to examine effects of sustained attention as potential neurocognitive confound. We confirmed previous findings of a VSWM deficit in OCD that was more severe for greater memory load (task difficulty) and that was affected by task strategy (executive function). We failed to demonstrate significant deficits in neighboring or confounding neurocognitive subdomains (visual object recognition or visual object short-term memory, sustained attention). Notably, the VSWM deficit was only significant for female patients, adding to evidence for sexual dimorphism in OCD. Again as in prior work, more severe OCD symptoms in the symmetry dimension (but no other dimension) significantly negatively impacted VSWM. Duration of illness had no significant effect on VSWM. VSWM deficits in OCD appear more severe with higher task load and may be mediated through poor task strategy. Such deficits may present mainly in female patients and in (male and female) patients with symmetry symptoms. PMID:25972085

  11. 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

  12. Real-World Executive Functions in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Profiles of Impairment and Associations with Adaptive Functioning and Co-Morbid Anxiety and Depression

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wallace, Gregory L.; Kenworthy, Lauren; Pugliese, Cara E.; Popal, Haroon S.; White, Emily I.; Brodsky, Emily; Martin, Alex

    2016-01-01

    Although executive functioning (EF) difficulties are well documented among children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), little is known about real-world measures of EF among adults with ASD. Therefore, this study examined parent-reported real-world EF problems among 35 adults with ASD without intellectual disability and their…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Development of the Updating Executive Function: From 7-Year-Olds to Young Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carriedo, Nuria; Corral, Antonio; Montoro, Pedro R.; Herrero, Laura; Rucián, Mercedes

    2016-01-01

    Updating information in working memory (WM) is a critical executive function responsible both for continuously replacing outdated information with new relevant data and to suppress or inhibit content that is no longer relevant according to task demands. The goal of the present research is twofold: First, we aimed to study updating development in…

  15. Executive Functions in Older Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Objective Performance and Subjective Complaints

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davids, Roeliena C.; Groen, Yvonne; Berg, Ina J.; Tucha, Oliver M.; van Balkom, Ingrid D.

    2016-01-01

    Although deficits in Executive Functioning (EF) are reported frequently in young individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), they remain relatively unexplored later in life (>50 years). We studied objective performance on EF measures (Tower of London, Zoo map, phonetic/semantic fluency) as well as subjective complaints (self- and proxy…

  16. Development of the updating executive function: From 7-year-olds to young adults.

    PubMed

    Carriedo, Nuria; Corral, Antonio; Montoro, Pedro R; Herrero, Laura; Rucián, Mercedes

    2016-04-01

    Updating information in working memory (WM) is a critical executive function responsible both for continuously replacing outdated information with new relevant data and to suppress or inhibit content that is no longer relevant according to task demands. The goal of the present research is twofold: First, we aimed to study updating development in 548 participants of 4 different age ranges--7-, 11-, and 15-year-olds and young adults--using the updating task devised by R. De Beni and P. Palladino (2004), which allows differentiating maintenance and inhibition processes. Second, we attempted to determine the relation between these processes across development as well as the differentiation among different types of inhibition processes tapped by this task. Results showed that there was an improvement of memory performance with age along with an upgrading of inhibitory efficiency. However, whereas in memory performance, a progressive increase was observed until the age of 15 years followed by stabilization, in inhibition, a continuous progressive increase was observed until young adulthood. Importantly, results showed that development of the different inhibitory mechanisms does not progress equally. All the groups committed more errors related to inefficient suppression mechanisms in WM than errors related to control of long-term memory interference. Principal component analysis showed that updating implies different subprocesses: active maintenance/suppression of information in WM and control of proactive interference. Developmental trajectories showed that the maintenance/suppression of information in the WM component continues to develop far beyond adolescence but that proactive interference control is responsible for variations in updating across development. PMID:26882119

  17. Development of the updating executive function: From 7-year-olds to young adults.

    PubMed

    Carriedo, Nuria; Corral, Antonio; Montoro, Pedro R; Herrero, Laura; Rucián, Mercedes

    2016-04-01

    Updating information in working memory (WM) is a critical executive function responsible both for continuously replacing outdated information with new relevant data and to suppress or inhibit content that is no longer relevant according to task demands. The goal of the present research is twofold: First, we aimed to study updating development in 548 participants of 4 different age ranges--7-, 11-, and 15-year-olds and young adults--using the updating task devised by R. De Beni and P. Palladino (2004), which allows differentiating maintenance and inhibition processes. Second, we attempted to determine the relation between these processes across development as well as the differentiation among different types of inhibition processes tapped by this task. Results showed that there was an improvement of memory performance with age along with an upgrading of inhibitory efficiency. However, whereas in memory performance, a progressive increase was observed until the age of 15 years followed by stabilization, in inhibition, a continuous progressive increase was observed until young adulthood. Importantly, results showed that development of the different inhibitory mechanisms does not progress equally. All the groups committed more errors related to inefficient suppression mechanisms in WM than errors related to control of long-term memory interference. Principal component analysis showed that updating implies different subprocesses: active maintenance/suppression of information in WM and control of proactive interference. Developmental trajectories showed that the maintenance/suppression of information in the WM component continues to develop far beyond adolescence but that proactive interference control is responsible for variations in updating across development.

  18. Effects of a single bout of walking on psychophysiologic responses and executive function in elderly adults: a pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Hatta, Arihiro; Nishihira, Yoshiaki; Higashiura, Takuro

    2013-01-01

    Background The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a single bout of walking on mood, psychophysiologic responses, and executive function in elderly adults. Methods Twenty healthy, elderly adults (10 women and 10 men; mean age 70.50 ± 3.4 years) participated in this study. Mood, as assessed by the Profile of Mood States, and salivary α-amylase activity were examined before and after walking. Executive functions were also evaluated by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Results Negative feeling scores such as tension-anxiety, anger-hostility, and confusion significantly improved after walking. No significant differences were found for either salivary α-amylase activities or Wisconsin Card Sorting Test scores before and after walking. However, the changes in salivary α-amylase activity before and after walking correlated positively with the number of total errors and perseverative errors of Nelson in the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Conclusion These results suggest that moderate exercise, such as self-paced one-time walking, induces beneficial psychologic effects in elderly adults. Meanwhile, the significant increase in salivary α-amylase activity after walking might temporarily cause deterioration of executive function. PMID:23888111

  19. The Influence of Executive Functioning on Facial and Subjective Pain Responses in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive decline is known to reduce reliability of subjective pain reports. Although facial expressions of pain are generally considered to be less affected by this decline, empirical support for this assumption is sparse. The present study therefore examined how cognitive functioning relates to facial expressions of pain and whether cognition acts as a moderator between nociceptive intensity and facial reactivity. Facial and subjective responses of 51 elderly participants to mechanical stimulation at three intensities levels (50 kPa, 200 kPa, and 400 kPa) were assessed. Moreover, participants completed a neuropsychological examination of executive functioning (planning, cognitive inhibition, and working memory), episodic memory, and psychomotor speed. The results showed that executive functioning has a unique relationship with facial reactivity at low pain intensity levels (200 kPa). Moreover, cognitive inhibition (but not other executive functions) moderated the effect of pressure intensity on facial pain expressions, suggesting that the relationship between pressure intensity and facial reactivity was less pronounced in participants with high levels of cognitive inhibition. A similar interaction effect was found for cognitive inhibition and subjective pain report. Consequently, caution is needed when interpreting facial (as well as subjective) pain responses in individuals with a high level of cognitive inhibition. PMID:27274618

  20. Executive function is necessary for the regulation of the stepping activity when stepping in place in older adults.

    PubMed

    Dalton, Christopher; Sciadas, Ria; Nantel, Julie

    2016-10-01

    To determine the effect of age on stepping performance and to compare the cognitive demand required to regulate repetitive stepping between older and younger adults while performing a stepping in place task (SIP). Fourteen younger (25.4 ± 6.5) and 15 older adults (71.0 ± 9.0) participated in this study. They performed a seated category fluency task and Stroop test, followed by a 60 s SIP task. Following this, both the cognitive and motor tasks were performed simultaneously. We assessed cognitive performance, SIP cycle duration, asymmetry, and arrhythmicity. Compared to younger adults, older adults had larger SIP arrhythmicity both as a single task and when combined with the Category (p < 0.001) and Stroop (p < 0.01) tasks. Older adults also had larger arrhythmicity when dual tasking compared to SIP alone (p < 0.001). Older adults showed greater SIP asymmetry when combined with Category (p = 0.006) and Stroop (p = 0.06) tasks. Finally, they had lower cognitive performance than younger adults in both single and dual tasks (p < 0.01). Age and type of cognitive task performed with the motor task affected different components of stepping. While SIP arrhythmicity was larger for all conditions in older compared to younger adults, cycle duration was not different, and asymmetry tended to be larger during SIP when paired with a verbal fluency task. SIP does not require a high level of control for dynamic stability, therefore demonstrating that higher-level executive function is necessary for the regulation of stepping activity independently of the regulation of postural balance. Furthermore, older adults may lack the cognitive resources needed to adequately regulate stepping activity while performing a cognitive task relying on the executive function.

  1. Physical Activity Is Associated with Reduced Implicit Learning but Enhanced Relational Memory and Executive Functioning in Young Adults.

    PubMed

    Stillman, Chelsea M; Watt, Jennifer C; Grove, George A; Wollam, Mariegold E; Uyar, Fatma; Mataro, Maria; Cohen, Neal J; Howard, Darlene V; Howard, James H; Erickson, Kirk I

    2016-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that physical activity improves explicit memory and executive cognitive functioning at the extreme ends of the lifespan (i.e., in older adults and children). However, it is unknown whether these associations hold for younger adults who are considered to be in their cognitive prime, or for implicit cognitive functions that do not depend on motor sequencing. Here we report the results of a study in which we examine the relationship between objectively measured physical activity and (1) explicit relational memory, (2) executive control, and (3) implicit probabilistic sequence learning in a sample of healthy, college-aged adults. The main finding was that physical activity was positively associated with explicit relational memory and executive control (replicating previous research), but negatively associated with implicit learning, particularly in females. These results raise the intriguing possibility that physical activity upregulates some cognitive processes, but downregulates others. Possible implications of this pattern of results for physical health and health habits are discussed. PMID:27584059

  2. Physical Activity Is Associated with Reduced Implicit Learning but Enhanced Relational Memory and Executive Functioning in Young Adults

    PubMed Central

    Watt, Jennifer C.; Grove, George A.; Wollam, Mariegold E.; Uyar, Fatma; Mataro, Maria; Cohen, Neal J.; Howard, Darlene V.; Howard, James H.; Erickson, Kirk I.

    2016-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that physical activity improves explicit memory and executive cognitive functioning at the extreme ends of the lifespan (i.e., in older adults and children). However, it is unknown whether these associations hold for younger adults who are considered to be in their cognitive prime, or for implicit cognitive functions that do not depend on motor sequencing. Here we report the results of a study in which we examine the relationship between objectively measured physical activity and (1) explicit relational memory, (2) executive control, and (3) implicit probabilistic sequence learning in a sample of healthy, college-aged adults. The main finding was that physical activity was positively associated with explicit relational memory and executive control (replicating previous research), but negatively associated with implicit learning, particularly in females. These results raise the intriguing possibility that physical activity upregulates some cognitive processes, but downregulates others. Possible implications of this pattern of results for physical health and health habits are discussed. PMID:27584059

  3. The Association between a Single Bout of Moderate Physical Activity and Executive Function in Young Adults with Down Syndrome: A Preliminary Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, C.-C.; Ringenbach, S. D. R.; Crews, D.; Kulinna, P. H.; Amazeen, Eric L.

    2015-01-01

    Background: This study was aimed at investigating the impact of a single exercise intervention on executive function in young adults with Down syndrome (DS). Methods: Considering the relations among executive function, physical and mental health and early onset of Alzheimer's disease in this population, we tested three components of executive…

  4. Characterising the Profile of Everyday Executive Functioning and Relation to IQ in Adults with Williams Syndrome: Is the BRIEF Adult Version a Valid Rating Scale?

    PubMed

    Hocking, Darren R; Reeve, Jessica; Porter, Melanie A

    2015-01-01

    Although there is evidence of a distinct profile of executive dysfunction in Williams syndrome (WS), a rare genetically based neurodevelopmental disorder, the utility of informant reports of everyday executive function (EF) impairments and their relation to intelligence is not yet clear. Here we aimed to evaluate the functional impact of executive dysfunction in adults with WS and to establish the validity of child and adult versions of the most commonly used rating scale for EF assessment, the Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). We were also interested in whether distinct components of everyday EF relate to intelligence in WS. Parent report child (BRIEF-C) and adult (BRIEF-A) ratings were collected on 20 adults with WS (aged 18.5 to 53 years), with a mean IQ of 60.95 (SD = 17.67). Neuropsychological measures of EF included: The Shape School Test (Espy, 2007); select subdomains of EF from the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities, Australian Adaptation (WJ III COG); and select subdomains from the Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales, Second Edition-Parent Survey (Vineland-II). Results showed that the BRIEF-A, but not the BRIEF-C, was the most highly correlated with neuropsychological measures of EF, suggesting that it was a valid measure of the profile of EF impairments in adults with WS. The profile of everyday EF dysfunction revealed relative impairments in monitoring, working memory, planning and organisation in WS. In addition, both neuropsychological and rating scale measures showed an association between the shifting component of EF and intelligence. These findings indicate that the BRIEF-A is a valid measure of the multidimensional nature of real-world impairments in EF, and highlight its utility as a less labor intensive and low-cost screening tool for measuring specific EF impairments that could become the focus of targeted intervention in adults with WS.

  5. Characterising the Profile of Everyday Executive Functioning and Relation to IQ in Adults with Williams Syndrome: Is the BRIEF Adult Version a Valid Rating Scale?

    PubMed

    Hocking, Darren R; Reeve, Jessica; Porter, Melanie A

    2015-01-01

    Although there is evidence of a distinct profile of executive dysfunction in Williams syndrome (WS), a rare genetically based neurodevelopmental disorder, the utility of informant reports of everyday executive function (EF) impairments and their relation to intelligence is not yet clear. Here we aimed to evaluate the functional impact of executive dysfunction in adults with WS and to establish the validity of child and adult versions of the most commonly used rating scale for EF assessment, the Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). We were also interested in whether distinct components of everyday EF relate to intelligence in WS. Parent report child (BRIEF-C) and adult (BRIEF-A) ratings were collected on 20 adults with WS (aged 18.5 to 53 years), with a mean IQ of 60.95 (SD = 17.67). Neuropsychological measures of EF included: The Shape School Test (Espy, 2007); select subdomains of EF from the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities, Australian Adaptation (WJ III COG); and select subdomains from the Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales, Second Edition-Parent Survey (Vineland-II). Results showed that the BRIEF-A, but not the BRIEF-C, was the most highly correlated with neuropsychological measures of EF, suggesting that it was a valid measure of the profile of EF impairments in adults with WS. The profile of everyday EF dysfunction revealed relative impairments in monitoring, working memory, planning and organisation in WS. In addition, both neuropsychological and rating scale measures showed an association between the shifting component of EF and intelligence. These findings indicate that the BRIEF-A is a valid measure of the multidimensional nature of real-world impairments in EF, and highlight its utility as a less labor intensive and low-cost screening tool for measuring specific EF impairments that could become the focus of targeted intervention in adults with WS. PMID:26355600

  6. Characterising the Profile of Everyday Executive Functioning and Relation to IQ in Adults with Williams Syndrome: Is the BRIEF Adult Version a Valid Rating Scale?

    PubMed Central

    Porter, Melanie A.

    2015-01-01

    Although there is evidence of a distinct profile of executive dysfunction in Williams syndrome (WS), a rare genetically based neurodevelopmental disorder, the utility of informant reports of everyday executive function (EF) impairments and their relation to intelligence is not yet clear. Here we aimed to evaluate the functional impact of executive dysfunction in adults with WS and to establish the validity of child and adult versions of the most commonly used rating scale for EF assessment, the Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). We were also interested in whether distinct components of everyday EF relate to intelligence in WS. Parent report child (BRIEF-C) and adult (BRIEF-A) ratings were collected on 20 adults with WS (aged 18.5 to 53 years), with a mean IQ of 60.95 (SD = 17.67). Neuropsychological measures of EF included: The Shape School Test (Espy, 2007); select subdomains of EF from the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities, Australian Adaptation (WJ III COG); and select subdomains from the Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales, Second Edition—Parent Survey (Vineland-II). Results showed that the BRIEF-A, but not the BRIEF-C, was the most highly correlated with neuropsychological measures of EF, suggesting that it was a valid measure of the profile of EF impairments in adults with WS. The profile of everyday EF dysfunction revealed relative impairments in monitoring, working memory, planning and organisation in WS. In addition, both neuropsychological and rating scale measures showed an association between the shifting component of EF and intelligence. These findings indicate that the BRIEF-A is a valid measure of the multidimensional nature of real-world impairments in EF, and highlight its utility as a less labor intensive and low-cost screening tool for measuring specific EF impairments that could become the focus of targeted intervention in adults with WS. PMID:26355600

  7. Validity and reliability of the behavior rating inventory of executive function - adult version in a clinical sample with eating disorders.

    PubMed

    Ciszewski, Stefanie; Francis, Kylie; Mendella, Paul; Bissada, Hany; Tasca, Giorgio A

    2014-04-01

    This study is a preliminary investigation of the reliability and validity of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Adult Version (BRIEF-A) in a clinical sample of patients with eating disorders (ED). Participants were 252 adult females who were referred to a centre for the treatment of EDs, as well as 31 individuals who completed the informant version of the BRIEF-A. Patients completed the BRIEF-A and other psychological measures on one occasion during their initial clinic visit, and informants nominated by patients completed the informant version at home. Reliability analyses revealed high internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha) of the two indices (Metacognition Index and Behavioral Regulation Index), and for the Global Executive Composite (GEC) of the BRIEF-A (α = .96). Convergent validity was shown by a high positive relationship between the self-report and informant-report versions of the BRIEF-A, and between the GEC and the Anxiety and Depression scales. Construct validity was assessed by an exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. The BRIEF-A may be a reliable and valid tool for measuring executive functioning (EF) in an ED population, and may serve as an initial screening tool of EF for clinicians and researchers.

  8. Executive Values, Executive Functions, and the Humanities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pichler, Joseph A.

    The benefits of studying the humanities to the business executive are considered. The humanities can help develop both the values and functional skills that are necessary for executive success. Competence in value analysis helps future executives to understand the full implications of the economic system, especially when it is followed by the…

  9. Confirmatory factor analysis of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult version in healthy adults and application to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Roth, Robert M; Lance, Charles E; Isquith, Peter K; Fischer, Adina S; Giancola, Peter R

    2013-08-01

    The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A) is a questionnaire measure designed to assess executive functioning in everyday life. Analysis of data from the BRIEF-A standardization sample yielded a two-factor solution (labeled Behavioral Regulation and Metacognition). The present investigation employed confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to evaluate four alternative models of the factor structure of the BRIEF-A self-report form in a sample of 524 healthy young adults. Results indicated that a three-factor model best fits the data: a Metacognition factor, a Behavioral Regulation factor consisting of the Inhibit and Self-Monitor scales, and an Emotional Regulation factor composed of the Emotional Control and Shift scales. The three factors contributed 14%, 19%, and 24% of unique variance to the model, respectively, and a second-order general factor accounted for 41% of variance overall. This three-factor solution is consistent with recent CFAs of the Parent report form of the BRIEF. Furthermore, although the Behavioral Regulation factor score in the two-factor model did not differ between adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and a matched healthy comparison group, greater impairment on the Behavioral Regulation factor but not the Emotional Regulation factor was found using the three-factor model. Together, these findings support the multidimensional nature of executive function and the clinical relevance of a three-factor model of the BRIEF-A.

  10. Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version in Healthy Adults and Application to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Roth, Robert M.; Lance, Charles E.; Isquith, Peter K.; Fischer, Adina S.; Giancola, Peter R.

    2013-01-01

    The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A) is a questionnaire measure designed to assess executive functioning in everyday life. Analysis of data from the BRIEF-A standardization sample yielded a two-factor solution (labeled Behavioral Regulation and Metacognition). The present investigation employed confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to evaluate four alternative models of the factor structure of the BRIEF-A self-report form in a sample of 524 healthy young adults. Results indicated that a three-factor model best fits the data: a Metacognition factor, a Behavioral Regulation factor consisting of the Inhibit and Self-Monitor scales, and an Emotional Regulation factor composed of the Emotional Control and Shift scales. The three factors contributed 14%, 19%, and 24% of unique variance to the model, respectively, and a second-order general factor accounted for 41% of variance overall. This three-factor solution is consistent with recent CFAs of the Parent report form of the BRIEF. Furthermore, although the Behavioral Regulation factor score in the two-factor model did not differ between adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and a matched healthy comparison group, greater impairment on the Behavioral Regulation factor but not the Emotional Regulation factor was found using the three-factor model. Together, these findings support the multidimensional nature of executive function and the clinical relevance of a three-factor model of the BRIEF-A. PMID:23676185

  11. Schizotypal Traits are Associated with Poorer Executive Functioning in Healthy Adults

    PubMed Central

    Louise, Stephanie; Gurvich, Caroline; Neill, Erica; Tan, Eric J.; Van Rheenen, Tamsyn E.; Rossell, Susan

    2015-01-01

    Previous research has shown mild forms of the neurocognitive impairments seen in schizophrenia among healthy individuals exhibiting high schizotypal traits. This study aimed to explore associations between schizotypy and cognitive performance in an adult community sample. Ninety-five females and 79 males completed the Oxford–Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences (O-LIFE), which measures four separable aspects of schizotypy: cognitive disorganization, unusual experiences, introvertive anhedonia, and impulsive non-conformity. Subsequently, participants were administered a neurocognitive battery incorporating measures of executive skills including inhibition, cognitive flexibility, reasoning, and problem solving along with measures of attention and processing speed and both verbal and spatial working memory. In line with predictions, the current study found that higher scores on the subscales of unusual experiences, cognitive disorganization, and impulsive non-conformity related to worse performance on a measure of inhibition. Additionally, as introvertive anhedonia increased, both attention and processing speed and reasoning and problem-solving performance became more impaired. In conclusion, this study extends schizotypy literature by examining the subscales of the O-LIFE, and enables inferences to be drawn in relation to cognitive impairment in schizophrenia. PMID:26082726

  12. Exergame and Balance Training Modulate Prefrontal Brain Activity during Walking and Enhance Executive Function in Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Eggenberger, Patrick; Wolf, Martin; Schumann, Martina; de Bruin, Eling D

    2016-01-01

    Different types of exercise training have the potential to induce structural and functional brain plasticity in the elderly. Thereby, functional brain adaptations were observed during cognitive tasks in functional magnetic resonance imaging studies that correlated with improved cognitive performance. This study aimed to investigate if exercise training induces functional brain plasticity during challenging treadmill walking and elicits associated changes in cognitive executive functions. Forty-two elderly participants were recruited and randomly assigned to either interactive cognitive-motor video game dancing (DANCE) or balance and stretching training (BALANCE). The 8-week intervention included three sessions of 30 min per week and was completed by 33 participants (mean age 74.9 ± 6.9 years). Prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity during preferred and fast walking speed on a treadmill was assessed applying functional near infrared spectroscopy pre- and post-intervention. Additionally, executive functions comprising shifting, inhibition, and working memory were assessed. The results showed that both interventions significantly reduced left and right hemispheric PFC oxygenation during the acceleration of walking (p < 0.05 or trend, r = 0.25-0.36), while DANCE showed a larger reduction at the end of the 30-s walking task compared to BALANCE in the left PFC [F (1, 31) = 3.54, p = 0.035, r = 0.32]. These exercise training induced modulations in PFC oxygenation correlated with improved executive functions (p < 0.05 or trend, r = 0.31-0.50). The observed reductions in PFC activity may release cognitive resources to focus attention on other processes while walking, which could be relevant to improve mobility and falls prevention in the elderly. This study provides a deeper understanding of the associations between exercise training, brain function during walking, and cognition in older adults.

  13. Exergame and Balance Training Modulate Prefrontal Brain Activity during Walking and Enhance Executive Function in Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Eggenberger, Patrick; Wolf, Martin; Schumann, Martina; de Bruin, Eling D

    2016-01-01

    Different types of exercise training have the potential to induce structural and functional brain plasticity in the elderly. Thereby, functional brain adaptations were observed during cognitive tasks in functional magnetic resonance imaging studies that correlated with improved cognitive performance. This study aimed to investigate if exercise training induces functional brain plasticity during challenging treadmill walking and elicits associated changes in cognitive executive functions. Forty-two elderly participants were recruited and randomly assigned to either interactive cognitive-motor video game dancing (DANCE) or balance and stretching training (BALANCE). The 8-week intervention included three sessions of 30 min per week and was completed by 33 participants (mean age 74.9 ± 6.9 years). Prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity during preferred and fast walking speed on a treadmill was assessed applying functional near infrared spectroscopy pre- and post-intervention. Additionally, executive functions comprising shifting, inhibition, and working memory were assessed. The results showed that both interventions significantly reduced left and right hemispheric PFC oxygenation during the acceleration of walking (p < 0.05 or trend, r = 0.25-0.36), while DANCE showed a larger reduction at the end of the 30-s walking task compared to BALANCE in the left PFC [F (1, 31) = 3.54, p = 0.035, r = 0.32]. These exercise training induced modulations in PFC oxygenation correlated with improved executive functions (p < 0.05 or trend, r = 0.31-0.50). The observed reductions in PFC activity may release cognitive resources to focus attention on other processes while walking, which could be relevant to improve mobility and falls prevention in the elderly. This study provides a deeper understanding of the associations between exercise training, brain function during walking, and cognition in older adults. PMID:27148041

  14. Exergame and Balance Training Modulate Prefrontal Brain Activity during Walking and Enhance Executive Function in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Eggenberger, Patrick; Wolf, Martin; Schumann, Martina; de Bruin, Eling D.

    2016-01-01

    Different types of exercise training have the potential to induce structural and functional brain plasticity in the elderly. Thereby, functional brain adaptations were observed during cognitive tasks in functional magnetic resonance imaging studies that correlated with improved cognitive performance. This study aimed to investigate if exercise training induces functional brain plasticity during challenging treadmill walking and elicits associated changes in cognitive executive functions. Forty-two elderly participants were recruited and randomly assigned to either interactive cognitive-motor video game dancing (DANCE) or balance and stretching training (BALANCE). The 8-week intervention included three sessions of 30 min per week and was completed by 33 participants (mean age 74.9 ± 6.9 years). Prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity during preferred and fast walking speed on a treadmill was assessed applying functional near infrared spectroscopy pre- and post-intervention. Additionally, executive functions comprising shifting, inhibition, and working memory were assessed. The results showed that both interventions significantly reduced left and right hemispheric PFC oxygenation during the acceleration of walking (p < 0.05 or trend, r = 0.25–0.36), while DANCE showed a larger reduction at the end of the 30-s walking task compared to BALANCE in the left PFC [F(1, 31) = 3.54, p = 0.035, r = 0.32]. These exercise training induced modulations in PFC oxygenation correlated with improved executive functions (p < 0.05 or trend, r = 0.31–0.50). The observed reductions in PFC activity may release cognitive resources to focus attention on other processes while walking, which could be relevant to improve mobility and falls prevention in the elderly. This study provides a deeper understanding of the associations between exercise training, brain function during walking, and cognition in older adults. PMID:27148041

  15. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INSULIN-RESISTANCE PROCESSING SPEED AND SPECIFIC EXECUTIVE FUNCTION PROFILES IN NEUROLOGICALLY-INTACT OLDER ADULTS

    PubMed Central

    Frazier, Darvis T.; Bettcher, Brianne M.; Dutt, Shubir; Patel, Nihar; Mungas, Dan; Miller, Joshua; Green, Ralph; Kramer, Joel H.

    2016-01-01

    Objective This study investigated the relationship between insulin-resistance and constituent components of executive function in a sample of neurologically-intact older adult subjects using the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR) and latent factors of working memory, cognitive control and processing speed derived from confirmatory factor analysis. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), mean arterial pressure (MAP), along with body mass index (BMI) and white matter hypointensity (WMH) were used to control for vascular risk factors, adiposity and cerebrovascular injury. Methods The study included 119 elderly subjects recruited from the University of California, San Francisco Memory and Aging Center. Subjects underwent neuropsychological assessment, fasting blood draw and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Partial correlations and linear regression models were used to examine the HOMA-IR-executive function relationship. Results Pearson correlation adjusting for age showed a significant relationship between HOMA-IR and working memory (rp=−.18, p=.047), a trend with cognitive control (rp=−.17, p=.068), and no relationship with processing speed (rp=.013, p=.892). Linear regression models adjusting for demographic factors (age, education and gender), LDL, MAP, BMI and WMH indicated that HOMA-IR was negatively associated with cognitive control (r=−.256; p=.026) and working memory (r=−.234; p=.054). Conclusions These results suggest a greater level of peripheral insulin-resistance is associated with decreased cognitive control and working memory. After controlling for demographic factors, vascular risk, adiposity and cerebrovascular injury, HOMA-IR remained significantly associated with cognitive control, with working memory showing a trend. These findings substantiate the insulin-resistance-executive function hypothesis and suggest a complex interaction, demonstrated by the differential impact of insulin-resistance on processing speed and specific aspects of

  16. Executive functions in synesthesia.

    PubMed

    Rouw, Romke; van Driel, Joram; Knip, Koen; Richard Ridderinkhof, K

    2013-03-01

    In grapheme-color synesthesia, a number or letter can evoke two different and possibly conflicting (real and synesthetic) color sensations at the same time. In this study, we investigate the relationship between synesthesia and executive control functions. First, no general skill differences were obtained between synesthetes and non-synesthetes in classic executive control paradigms. Furthermore, classic executive control effects did not interact with synesthetic behavioral effects. Third, we found support for our hypothesis that inhibition of a synesthetic color takes effort and time. Finally, individual differences analyses showed no relationship between the two skills; performance on a 'normal' Stroop task does not predict performance on a synesthetic Stroop task. Across four studies, the current results consistently show no clear relationship between executive control functions and synesthetic behavioral effects. This raises the question of which mechanisms are at play in synesthetic 'management' during the presence of two conflicting (real and synesthetic) sensations.

  17. 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…

  18. Motor and Executive Function Profiles in Adult Residents Environmentally Exposed to Manganese

    EPA Science Inventory

    Objective: Exposure to elevated levels of manganese (Mn) may be associated with tremor, motor and executive dysfunction (EF), clinically resembling Parkinson’s disease (PD). PD research has identified tremor-dominant (TD) and non-tremor dominant (NTD) profiles. NTD PD pres...

  19. 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

  20. Reduced functional segregation between the default mode network and the executive control network in healthy older adults: A longitudinal study.

    PubMed

    Ng, Kwun Kei; Lo, June C; Lim, Joseph K W; Chee, Michael W L; Zhou, Juan

    2016-06-01

    The effects of age on functional connectivity (FC) of intrinsic connectivity networks (ICNs) have largely been derived from cross-sectional studies. Far less is known about longitudinal changes in FC and how they relate to ageing-related cognitive decline. We evaluated intra- and inter-network FC in 78 healthy older adults two or three times over a period of 4years. Using linear mixed modeling we found progressive loss of functional specialization with ageing, evidenced by a decline in intra-network FC within the executive control (ECN) and default mode networks (DMN). In contrast, longitudinal inter-network FC between ECN and DMN showed a u-shaped trajectory whereby functional segregation between these two networks initially increased over time and later decreased as participants aged. The rate of loss in functional segregation between ECN and DMN was associated with ageing-related decline in processing speed. The observed longitudinal FC changes and their associations with processing speed remained after correcting for longitudinal reduction in gray matter volume. These findings help connect ageing-related changes in FC with ageing-related decline in cognitive performance and underscore the value of collecting concurrent longitudinal imaging and behavioral data.

  1. A head-to-head randomized clinical trial of methylphenidate and atomoxetine treatment for executive function in adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Ni, Hsing-Chang; Shang, Chi-Yung; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen; Lin, Yu-Ju; Huang, Hui-Chun; Yang, Li-Kuang

    2013-10-01

    Results regarding the effects of methylphenidate and atomoxetine on executive functions were inconsistent and no study has directly compared the efficacy of these two medications in improving executive functions in adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We conducted an 8-10 wk, open-label, head-to-head, randomized clinical trial involving adults with a clinical diagnosis of ADHD confirmed by psychiatric interview. The two treatment arms were immediate-release methylphenidate (IR-methylphenidate) (n = 31) and atomoxetine once daily (n = 32). Executive functions were assessed by the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), including spatial working memory, spatial span, intra-extra dimensional set shifts, rapid visual information processing and Stockings of Cambridge (SOC). In addition to the symptom assessments at baseline (week 0), visit 2 (week 4-5) and visit 3 (week 8–10), they received CANTAB assessments at baseline and visit 3 (60.4 ± 6.3 d). Compared to baseline, adults treated with atomoxetine showed significant improvement in spatial working memory, spatial short-term memory, sustained attention and spatial planning at visit 3; adults treated with IR-methylphenidate showed significant improvement in spatial working memory at visit 3. Comparing the magnitude of improvement in executive functions between these two medications, the effect was generally similar for the two groups, although atomoxetine might have significantly greater efficacy than IR-methylphenidate in terms of improving spatial planning (SOC). Our results provide evidence to support that both IR-methylphenidate and atomoxetine improved various executive functions in adults with ADHD with greater improvement in atomoxetine than IR-methylphenidate in spatial planning.

  2. Cognitive variability in adults with ADHD and AS: disentangling the roles of executive functions and social cognition.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Gadea, Maria Luz; Baez, Sandra; Torralva, Teresa; Castellanos, Francisco Xavier; Rattazzi, Alexia; Bein, Victoria; Rogg, Katharina; Manes, Facundo; Ibanez, Agustin

    2013-02-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Asperger's Syndrome (AS) share a heterogeneous cognitive profile. Studies assessing executive functions (EF) and social cognition in both groups have found preserved and impaired performances. These inconsistent findings would be partially explained by the cognitive variability reported in these disorders. First, the present study explored the inter-individual variability in EF and social cognition in both patient groups. Second, we compared differential characteristics and commonalities in the cognitive profiles of EF and social cognition between ADHD, AS and control adults. We assessed 22 patients with ADHD, 23 adults with AS and 21 matched typically developing subjects using different measures of EF (working memory, cognitive flexibility and multitasking) and social cognition (theory of mind and decision-making). Group comparisons and multiple case series analyses (MCSA) were conducted. The between-group comparisons showed an EF deficit in working memory in ADHD and a theory of mind (ToM) impairment in AS. The MCSA evidenced that, compared to controls, ADHD patients had a higher inter-individual variability in EF, while individuals with AS had a more heterogeneous profile in social cognition tasks compared to both groups. Finally, the AS and ADHD groups presented higher task-related variability compared to controls and shared a common heterogeneous profile in EF. This is the first study to compare variability in EF and social cognition profiles of ADHD and AS. We propose that heterogeneity in EF performance is a link between ADHD and AS which may explain the overlap of symptomatology between both diagnoses. In addition, patients with AS seem to show a unique heterogeneous profile in ToM which may explain the low probability of finding AS symptoms in patients with ADHD.

  3. 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…

  4. Executive function in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder during treatment with atomoxetine in a randomized, placebo-controlled, withdrawal study.

    PubMed

    Adler, Lenard; Tanaka, Yoko; Williams, David; Trzepacz, Paula T; Goto, Taro; Allen, Albert J; Escobar, Rodrigo; Upadhyaya, Himanshu P

    2014-08-01

    We assessed the executive function in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) during atomoxetine treatment in a randomized withdrawal trial. Responders (Conners' ADHD Rating Scale-Investigator Rated: Screening Version [adult prompts] ≥30% reduction from baseline and Clinical Global Impression Scale-ADHD Severity score ≤3) to open-label atomoxetine (40-100 mg/d, 12 weeks) entered a 37-week double-blind maintenance period. Patients who maintained response (double-blind atomoxetine for 12 weeks) were randomized 1:1 to atomoxetine (80-100 mg/d, n = 266) or placebo (n = 258) for 25 weeks (total duration, 1 year). Patients and investigators were blinded to response criteria and randomization timing. Change in executive function was assessed with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A) Self-Report and Informant T scores from the randomization to the last-observation-carried-forward postrandomization week 25 (after week 17). Of the enrolled patients (n = 2017; mean age, 33.2 years; male, 58.7%), 524 responders were randomized. During open-label atomoxetine, subscales and individual items on both BRIEF-A questionnaires showed significant improvement (P < 0.001). After randomization, the following T scores improved significantly (P ≤ 0.05) with patients in the atomoxetine group versus those in the placebo group: global executive composite, behavioral regulation, and metacognition indices; plan/organize, working memory, inhibit, task monitor and shift (both BRIEF-A questionnaires), emotional control and organization of materials (BRIEF-A Informant), and initiate (BRIEF-A Self-Report). Atomoxetine significantly improved the executive function compared with placebo, which was maintained for 25 weeks or more; the executive function of patients in the placebo group worsened but did not return to baseline levels after randomization.

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. Cognitive Variability in Adults with ADHD and AS: Disentangling the Roles of Executive Functions and Social Cognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gonzalez-Gadea, Maria Luz; Baez, Sandra; Torralva, Teresa; Castellanos, Francisco Xavier; Rattazzi, Alexia; Bein, Victoria; Rogg, Katharina; Manes, Facundo; Ibanez, Agustin

    2013-01-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Asperger's Syndrome (AS) share a heterogeneous cognitive profile. Studies assessing executive functions (EF) and social cognition in both groups have found preserved and impaired performances. These inconsistent findings would be partially explained by the cognitive variability reported in these…

  8. Childhood Executive Function Continues to Predict Outcomes in Young Adult Females with and without Childhood-Diagnosed ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Meghan; Nevado-Montenegro, Adriana J.; Hinshaw, Stephen P.

    2012-01-01

    We prospectively followed an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse sample of preadolescent girls with ADHD (n = 140) and matched comparison girls (n = 88) over a period of 10 years, from middle childhood through late adolescence/young adulthood. Our aim was to examine the ability of childhood measures of executive function (EF) to predict…

  9. Emotional Intelligence, Theory of Mind, and Executive Functions as Predictors of Social Outcomes in Young Adults with Asperger Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Montgomery, Janine M.; Stoesz, Brenda M.; McCrimmon, Adam W.

    2013-01-01

    Social difficulties are frequently cited as a core deficit of individuals with Asperger syndrome (AS). This deficit is particularly evident when processing of emotional information is required in social situations. Deficits in theory of mind and executive functions are the two explanatory hypotheses for social deficits in AS that are predominant…

  10. 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…

  11. Super-oxide anion production and antioxidant enzymatic activities associated with the executive functions in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of healthy adult samples.

    PubMed

    Pesce, M; Rizzuto, A; La Fratta, I; Tatangelo, R; Campagna, G; Iannasso, M; Ferrone, A; Franceschelli, S; Speranza, L; Patruno, A; De Lutiis, M A; Felaco, M; Grilli, A

    2016-05-01

    Executive Functions (EFs) involve a set of high cognitive abilities impairment which have been successfully related to a redox omeostasis imbalance in several psychiatric disorders. Firstly, we aimed to investigate the relationship between executive functioning and some oxidative metabolism parameters in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMCs) from healthy adult samples. The Brown Attention-Deficit Disorder Scales were administered to assess five specific facets of executive functioning. Total superoxide anion production, Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD), Catalase (CAT), Glutathione Reductase (GR) and Glutathione Peroxidase (GPx) activities were evaluated on proteins extracted from the PBMCs. We found significant positive correlations between superoxide anion production and the total score of the 'Brown' Scale and some of its clusters. The GPx and CAT activities were negatively associated with the total score and some clusters. In a linear regression analysis, these biological variables were indicated as the most salient predictors of the total score, explaining the 24% variance (adjusted R(2)=0.24, ANOVA, p<.001). This study provides novel evidence that Executive Functions have underpinnings in the oxidative metabolism, as ascertained in healthy subjects. PMID:26646400

  12. Executive functions in individuals with intellectual disability.

    PubMed

    Danielsson, Henrik; Henry, Lucy; Rönnberg, Jerker; Nilsson, Lars-Göran

    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 two people for every person with intellectual disability (n=92), was chosen by matching on the following criterion in order of priority: IQ higher than 85, age, sex, sample, level of education, and years of education. Three types of tasks of executive functions were included on two occasions, with 5 years between testing sessions: The Tower of Hanoi, executively loaded dual task versions of word recall, and verbal fluency. Adults with ID showed significant impairments on verbal fluency and on the executively loaded dual task word recall task (at encoding but not at recall). There were no group differences on the Tower of Hanoi. No significant differences between the two test occasions were found. The results are interpreted in terms of individuals with ID having problems with speed of accessing lexical items and difficulties with working memory-related executive control at encoding, which includes shifting between tasks. There are, however, not necessarily problems with inhibition. The dual task results additionally imply that the adults with intellectual disability were more sensitive to strategy interruptions at encoding, but that dividing attention at recall did not have such detrimental effects. PMID:20728303

  13. 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…

  14. Exploring the Effects of an "Everyday" Activity Program on Executive Function and Memory in Older Adults: Experience Corps[R

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carlson, Michelle C.; Saczynski, Jane S.; Rebok, George W.; Seeman, Teresa; Glass, Thomas A.; McGill, Sylvia; Tielsch, James; Frick, Kevin D.; Hill, Joel; Fried, Linda P.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: There is little empirical translation of multimodal cognitive activity programs in "real-world" community-based settings. This study sought to demonstrate in a short-term pilot randomized trial that such an activity program improves components of cognition critical to independent function among sedentary older adults at greatest risk.…

  15. 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

  16. Executive functions improvement following a 5-month aquaerobics program in older adults: Role of cardiac vagal control in inhibition performance.

    PubMed

    Albinet, Cédric T; Abou-Dest, Amira; André, Nathalie; Audiffren, Michel

    2016-03-01

    The aims of this study were to examine the effects of aerobic exercise on measures of executive performance and their relationships with changes in cardiorespiratory fitness, cardiac vagal control (heart rate variability) and psychological variables. Thirty-six sedentary seniors aged 60-75 years were randomly assigned to a swimming and aquaerobics program or a stretching program two times a week for 21 weeks. Executive functions (inhibition, updating of working memory and cognitive flexibility) and cardiorespiratory fitness (estimated VO2max) were assessed at the start, after 10 weeks of program and at the end of the program. Resting HRV and measures of psychological outcomes (depression, self-efficacy, decisional balance) were obtained at the start and at the end of the program. Participants of both groups significantly improved their VO2max level, their psychological state and their performance for the 2-back task. Only the participants in the aquaerobics group significantly improved their vagally-mediated HRV and their performance for the Stroop test and the verbal running-span test at the end of the program. Only improvements in cardiac vagal control and in inhibition were shown to be functionally related. These results are discussed in line with the model of neurovisceral integration. PMID:26812613

  17. Executive functions improvement following a 5-month aquaerobics program in older adults: Role of cardiac vagal control in inhibition performance.

    PubMed

    Albinet, Cédric T; Abou-Dest, Amira; André, Nathalie; Audiffren, Michel

    2016-03-01

    The aims of this study were to examine the effects of aerobic exercise on measures of executive performance and their relationships with changes in cardiorespiratory fitness, cardiac vagal control (heart rate variability) and psychological variables. Thirty-six sedentary seniors aged 60-75 years were randomly assigned to a swimming and aquaerobics program or a stretching program two times a week for 21 weeks. Executive functions (inhibition, updating of working memory and cognitive flexibility) and cardiorespiratory fitness (estimated VO2max) were assessed at the start, after 10 weeks of program and at the end of the program. Resting HRV and measures of psychological outcomes (depression, self-efficacy, decisional balance) were obtained at the start and at the end of the program. Participants of both groups significantly improved their VO2max level, their psychological state and their performance for the 2-back task. Only the participants in the aquaerobics group significantly improved their vagally-mediated HRV and their performance for the Stroop test and the verbal running-span test at the end of the program. Only improvements in cardiac vagal control and in inhibition were shown to be functionally related. These results are discussed in line with the model of neurovisceral integration.

  18. The benefits of endurance exercise and Tai Chi Chuan for the task-switching aspect of executive function in older adults: an ERP study.

    PubMed

    Fong, Dong-Yang; Chi, Li-Kang; Li, Fuzhong; Chang, Yu-Kai

    2014-01-01

    This study was designed to determine the relationship between physical activity and the task-switching aspect of executive function by investigating the modulating roles of age, modality of physical activity, and type of cognitive function using behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) assessments. Sixty-four participants were assigned to one of four groups based on age and history of physical activity: older adults performing endurance exercise (OEE), older adults practicing Tai Chi Chuan (OTC), older adults with a sedentary lifestyle (OSL), and young adults (YA). Study participants completed a task-switching task under homogeneous and heterogeneous conditions while ERPs were recorded. The results revealed that YA had shortest reaction times compared with the three older adults groups, with OSL exhibiting the longest reaction time. YA also exhibited shorter P3 latency than OSL. No differences were observed in P3 amplitude between YA, OEE, and OTC; however, all three groups had significantly larger P3 amplitude compared with OSL in both task conditions. In conclusion, age and participation in physical activity influence the relationship between physical activity and task-switching, and a positive relationship was observed regardless of the modality of physical activity and type of cognitive function. Our ERP findings support the model of the scaffolding theory of aging and cognition (STAC) and suggest that regular participation in endurance exercise and Tai Chi Chuan may have equivalent beneficial effects on cognition at the behavioral and neuroelectric levels. PMID:25389403

  19. The benefits of endurance exercise and Tai Chi Chuan for the task-switching aspect of executive function in older adults: an ERP study

    PubMed Central

    Fong, Dong-Yang; Chi, Li-Kang; Li, Fuzhong; Chang, Yu-Kai

    2014-01-01

    This study was designed to determine the relationship between physical activity and the task-switching aspect of executive function by investigating the modulating roles of age, modality of physical activity, and type of cognitive function using behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) assessments. Sixty-four participants were assigned to one of four groups based on age and history of physical activity: older adults performing endurance exercise (OEE), older adults practicing Tai Chi Chuan (OTC), older adults with a sedentary lifestyle (OSL), and young adults (YA). Study participants completed a task-switching task under homogeneous and heterogeneous conditions while ERPs were recorded. The results revealed that YA had shortest reaction times compared with the three older adults groups, with OSL exhibiting the longest reaction time. YA also exhibited shorter P3 latency than OSL. No differences were observed in P3 amplitude between YA, OEE, and OTC; however, all three groups had significantly larger P3 amplitude compared with OSL in both task conditions. In conclusion, age and participation in physical activity influence the relationship between physical activity and task-switching, and a positive relationship was observed regardless of the modality of physical activity and type of cognitive function. Our ERP findings support the model of the scaffolding theory of aging and cognition (STAC) and suggest that regular participation in endurance exercise and Tai Chi Chuan may have equivalent beneficial effects on cognition at the behavioral and neuroelectric levels. PMID:25389403

  20. The Relationship Between Working Memory Capacity and Executive Functioning: Evidence for a Common Executive Attention Construct

    PubMed Central

    McCabe, David P.; Roediger, Henry L.; McDaniel, Mark A.; Balota, David A.; Hambrick, David Z.

    2010-01-01

    Attentional control has been conceptualized as executive functioning by neuropsychologists and as working memory capacity by experimental psychologists. We examined the relationship between these constructs using a factor analytic approach in an adult lifespan sample. Several tests of working memory capacity and executive function were administered to over 200 subjects between the ages of 18-90 years old, along with tests of processing speed and episodic memory. The correlation between working memory capacity and executive functioning constructs was very strong (r = .97), but correlations between these constructs and processing speed were considerably weaker (r's ≈ .79). Controlling for working memory capacity or executive function eliminated age effects on episodic memory, and working memory capacity or executive function accounted for variance in episodic memory beyond that accounted for by processing speed. We conclude that tests of working memory capacity and executive function share a common underlying executive attention component that is strongly predictive of higher-level cognition. PMID:20230116

  1. 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.

  2. The Role of Executive Function in Independent Living Skills in Female Adolescents and Young Adults With Fragile X Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Martin, Arianna; Quintin, Eve-Marie; Hall, Scott S; Reiss, Allan L

    2016-09-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is associated with executive function (EF) and independent living skills (ILS) deficits. We examined the role of childhood EF in ILS during adolescence/early adulthood in females with FXS and two comparison groups in the same age range (matched for IQ [IQ/Age group] and with another genetic condition, Turner syndrome [TS group]). EF and ILS were significantly higher for the FXS group than the IQ/Age group but did not differ from the TS group. For the FXS group, age and EF were significant predictors of ILS during adolescence/early adulthood, but there were no statistically significant longitudinal associations between EF and ILS. Our findings suggest that impairments in EF may have a significant effect on ILS in FXS. PMID:27611354

  3. Effectiveness of executive functions training within a virtual supermarket for adults with traumatic brain injury: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Jacoby, Michele; Averbuch, Sara; Sacher, Yaron; Katz, Noomi; Weiss, Patrice L; Kizony, Rachel

    2013-03-01

    Impairments of executive functions (EF) significantly affect the ability to lead an independent lifestyle. Virtual environments offer a way to rehabilitate EF due to their ecological validity. The purpose of this pilot study was to examine the effectiveness of a virtual reality (VR) supermarket (VMall) for treatment of EF in patients with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), compared to conventional occupational therapy (OT), in order to provide initial data regarding the effect sizes for calculation of sample size as well as to establish an intervention protocol for future Randomized Control Trials (RCTs). Twelve men and women, aged 19-55 years, who had TBI resulting in EF impairments participated in this study. Outcome measures were the Multiple Errands Test-Simplified Version (MET-SV) and the Executive Function Performance Test (EFPT). Cognitive treatment provided to both groups was based on the same principles; the participants in the experimental group received 10 45-min VR-based treatment sessions and the control group participants received 10 sessions of occupational therapy cognitive retraining without VR. Baseline performance prior to intervention showed no statistically significant differences between groups. Most participants improved their performance after therapy. Following a Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons, no significant between or within group differences were found, Nevertheless, large effect sizes (0.51) for the percent (%) relative change of the MET-SV total score and EFPT total score after intervention were high in favor of the experimental group indicating a larger improvement in EF. Based on this pilot study, results show a trend towards an advantage to VR therapy compared to cognitive retraining OT without VR, as it leads to greater improvement in complex everyday activities. PMID:23292820

  4. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism and its implication in executive functions in adult offspring of alcohol-dependent probands.

    PubMed

    Benzerouk, Farid; Gierski, Fabien; Gorwood, Philip; Ramoz, Nicolas; Stefaniak, Nicolas; Hübsch, Bérengère; Kaladjian, Arthur; Limosin, Frédéric

    2013-06-01

    Impairment of executive functions (EFs) mediated by the prefrontal lobe is regarded as a cognitive endophenotype of alcohol dependence, being observed both in probands and in healthy offspring. Given its impact on the anatomy of the prefrontal cortex, the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism may well be involved in this specific endophenotype. Forty-six healthy adult children of alcoholics (HACA) and 82 healthy controls (HC) took part in the study. All the participants were assessed with the Diagnostic Interview for Genetic Studies, and their family histories of alcohol and substance use were assessed with the Family Informant Schedule and Criteria. The Trail Making Test, Arithmetic Switching Task, Stroop Color-Word Test and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test were administered to assess EFs. An overall executive factor score was calculated using factorial analyses. Genotyping of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism was performed using the TaqMan® allelic discrimination assay. HACA had significantly lower EFs performance than HC. Genetic analysis showed that BDNF genotype distributions were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in the HACA and HC. Genotype and allele distributions did not differ significantly between the two groups. Participants with the Met allele performed significantly more poorly than participants with the Val allele, and a group by allele interaction was observed, the BDNF Met allele being associated with a poorer executive factor score in the HACA group. These results suggest that the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism may contribute to alcohol dependence vulnerability via lower EFs performance.

  5. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism and its implication in executive functions in adult offspring of alcohol-dependent probands.

    PubMed

    Benzerouk, Farid; Gierski, Fabien; Gorwood, Philip; Ramoz, Nicolas; Stefaniak, Nicolas; Hübsch, Bérengère; Kaladjian, Arthur; Limosin, Frédéric

    2013-06-01

    Impairment of executive functions (EFs) mediated by the prefrontal lobe is regarded as a cognitive endophenotype of alcohol dependence, being observed both in probands and in healthy offspring. Given its impact on the anatomy of the prefrontal cortex, the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism may well be involved in this specific endophenotype. Forty-six healthy adult children of alcoholics (HACA) and 82 healthy controls (HC) took part in the study. All the participants were assessed with the Diagnostic Interview for Genetic Studies, and their family histories of alcohol and substance use were assessed with the Family Informant Schedule and Criteria. The Trail Making Test, Arithmetic Switching Task, Stroop Color-Word Test and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test were administered to assess EFs. An overall executive factor score was calculated using factorial analyses. Genotyping of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism was performed using the TaqMan® allelic discrimination assay. HACA had significantly lower EFs performance than HC. Genetic analysis showed that BDNF genotype distributions were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in the HACA and HC. Genotype and allele distributions did not differ significantly between the two groups. Participants with the Met allele performed significantly more poorly than participants with the Val allele, and a group by allele interaction was observed, the BDNF Met allele being associated with a poorer executive factor score in the HACA group. These results suggest that the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism may contribute to alcohol dependence vulnerability via lower EFs performance. PMID:23582695

  6. Musical expertise, bilingualism, and executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Bialystok, Ellen; Depape, Anne-Marie

    2009-04-01

    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 tasks included control conditions that assessed performance in the absence of conflict. All participants performed equivalently for the cognitive measures and the control conditions of the executive function tasks, but performance diverged in the conflict conditions. In a version of the Simon task involving spatial conflict between a target cue and its position, bilinguals and musicians outperformed monolinguals, replicating earlier research with bilinguals. In a version of the Stroop task involving auditory and linguistic conflict between a word and its pitch, the musicians performed better than the other participants. Instrumentalists and vocalists did not differ on any measure. Results demonstrate that extended musical experience enhances executive control on a nonverbal spatial task, as previously shown for bilingualism, but also enhances control in a more specialized auditory task, although the effect of bilingualism did not extend to that domain.

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. Psychometric properties of the Barkley Deficits in Executive Functioning Scale: A Spanish-language version in a community sample of Puerto Rican adults

    PubMed Central

    Vélez-Pastrana, María C.; González, Rafael A.; Cardona, Javier Rodríguez; Baerga, Paloma Purcell; Rodríguez, Ángel Alicea; Levin, Frances R.

    2015-01-01

    Performance-based measures have shown some limitation in the assessment of Executive Functions (EF) and rating scales have been proposed as an alternative. Our aim was to conduct a comprehensive psychometric evaluation of the Barkley Deficits in Executive Functioning Scale (BDEFS), as administered in 452 Latino community adults (65.5% female). The BDEFS was back-translated into Spanish. We performed exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to assess the structure of the translated BDEFS and to compare it with the original 5-factor structure based on the English language version. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) was performed to test the original language structure of the instrument, and also a modified version with items that loaded equally in both versions. The Adult Self-Report Scale (ASRS) was used to screen for ADHD symptoms. We assessed invariance on the latent factor’s mean by age and gender, and to estimate associations with ADHD symptom dimensions. The 5-factor structure of the BDEFS was partially supported by EFA/CFA, in which 78 out of 89 items loaded similar to the original English language structure. Factor scores were significantly associated with ADHD symptom dimensions. Model-based contrasts revealed that inattention was primarily associated with disorganization, time-management and motivational aspects of EF; hyperactivity was predominantly related to self-restraint and self-regulation factors. The BDEFS seemingly assesses similar dimensions of the EF construct in English and in the present Spanish language versions. Factor scores were differentially associated with ADHD subtypes. Replication and confirmation of the Spanish language BDEFS in a larger sample is advised. PMID:26302104

  11. Executive Function in Adolescents with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martel, Michelle; Nikolas, Molly; Nigg, Joel T.

    2007-01-01

    A study is conducted to determine the specificity of executive function weakness in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) during adolescence. Results suggest that executive function weakness in ADHD is specifically associated with symptoms of inattention-disorganization.

  12. Myeloperoxidase levels predict executive function.

    PubMed

    Haslacher, H; Perkmann, T; Lukas, I; Barth, A; Ponocny-Seliger, E; Michlmayr, M; Scheichenberger, V; Wagner, O; Winker, R

    2012-12-01

    The main purpose of the study was to investigate whether baseline myeloperoxidase (MPO) levels are associated with executive cognitive function in individuals with high physical activity. Baseline serum MPO levels of 56 elderly marathon runners and 58 controls were assessed by ELISA. Standardized tests were applied to survey domain-specific cognitive functions. Changes in brain morphology were visualized by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). High baseline serum MPO levels correlated with worse outcome in tests assessing executive cognitive function in athletes but not in the control group (NAI maze test p<0.05, Trail Making Test ratio p<0.01). In control participants, subcortical white matter hyperintensities were associated with higher scores on the Geriatric Depression Scale (p<0.05), whereas athletes seem to be protected from this effect. During strenuous exercising, MPO as well as its educts may be elevated due to increased oxygen intake and excretion of pro-inflammatory mediators inducing host tissue damage via oxidative stress. This outweighs the potential benefits of physical activity on cognitive function.

  13. Myeloperoxidase levels predict executive function.

    PubMed

    Haslacher, H; Perkmann, T; Lukas, I; Barth, A; Ponocny-Seliger, E; Michlmayr, M; Scheichenberger, V; Wagner, O; Winker, R

    2012-12-01

    The main purpose of the study was to investigate whether baseline myeloperoxidase (MPO) levels are associated with executive cognitive function in individuals with high physical activity. Baseline serum MPO levels of 56 elderly marathon runners and 58 controls were assessed by ELISA. Standardized tests were applied to survey domain-specific cognitive functions. Changes in brain morphology were visualized by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). High baseline serum MPO levels correlated with worse outcome in tests assessing executive cognitive function in athletes but not in the control group (NAI maze test p<0.05, Trail Making Test ratio p<0.01). In control participants, subcortical white matter hyperintensities were associated with higher scores on the Geriatric Depression Scale (p<0.05), whereas athletes seem to be protected from this effect. During strenuous exercising, MPO as well as its educts may be elevated due to increased oxygen intake and excretion of pro-inflammatory mediators inducing host tissue damage via oxidative stress. This outweighs the potential benefits of physical activity on cognitive function. PMID:22855218

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. Adult Learning in Executive Development Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wuestewald, Todd

    2016-01-01

    Executive development programs (EDPs) have undergone significant change since their introduction in the early 20th century. As an adjunct or alternative to traditional education, EDPs are considered an efficient means of imparting critical, functional, and social-behavior skills to current and future organizational leaders. Consequently, such…

  17. 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

  18. OROS-methylphenidate efficacy on specific executive functioning deficits in adults with ADHD: a randomized, placebo-controlled cross-over study.

    PubMed

    Bron, Tannetje I; Bijlenga, Denise; Boonstra, A Marije; Breuk, Minda; Pardoen, Willem F H; Beekman, Aartjan T F; Kooij, J J Sandra

    2014-04-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is linked to impaired executive functioning (EF). This is the first study to objectively investigate the effects of a long-acting methylphenidate on neurocognitive test performance of adults with ADHD. Twenty-two adults with ADHD participated in a 6-weeks study examining the effect of osmotic-release oral system methylphenidate (OROS-mph) on continuous performance tests (CPTs; objective measures), and on the self-reported ADHD rating scale (subjective measure) using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over design. OROS-mph significantly improved reaction time variability (RTV), commission errors (CE) and d-prime (DP) as compared to baseline (Cohen's d>.50), but did not affect hit reaction time (HRT) or omission errors (OE). Compared to placebo, OROS-mph only significantly influenced RTV on one of two CPTs (p<.050). Linear regression analyses showed predictive ability of more beneficial OROS-mph effects in ADHD patients with higher EF severity (RTV: β=.670, t=2.097, p=.042; omission errors (OE): β=-.098, t=-4.759, p<.001), and with more severe ADHD symptoms (RTV: F=6.363, p=.019; HRT: F=3.914, p=.061). Side effects rates were substantially but non-significantly greater for OROS-mph compared to placebo (77% vs. 46%, p=.063). OROS-mph effects indicated RTV as the most sensitive parameter for measuring both neuropsychological and behavioral deficits in adults with ADHD. These findings suggest RTV as an endophenotypic parameter for ADHD symptomatology, and propose CPTs as an objective method for monitoring methylphenidate titration. PMID:24508533

  19. 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…

  20. Latent Structure of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A) After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

    PubMed

    Donders, Jacobus; Strong, Carrie-Ann H

    2016-02-01

    One hundred persons with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) and their informants completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A) within 1-12 months after injury. Exploratory maximum-likelihood factor analysis with oblique rotation revealed that although a traditional 2-factor model fit the informant-report data well, a 3-factor solution fit the self-report data relatively best. These factors were labeled Metacognition, Behavioral Regulation, and Emotional Regulation. The presence of a premorbid history of outpatient psychiatric treatment was strongly predictive of higher scores (reflecting more perceived problems) on each of these 3 factors. Lower educational attainment was associated with higher scores on the Behavioral Regulation factor, whereas absence of intracranial findings on neuroimaging was associated with higher scores on the Emotional Regulation factor. It is concluded that, after mild TBI, self-report data on the BRIEF-A can be interpreted along a 3-factorial model and that high elevations on this instrument are strongly affected by premorbid complications.

  1. Intraindividual Variability in Executive Functions but Not Speed of Processing or Conflict Resolution Predicts Performance Differences in Gait Speed in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Mahoney, Jeannette; Verghese, Joe

    2014-01-01

    Background. The relationship between executive functions (EF) and gait speed is well established. However, with the exception of dual tasking, the key components of EF that predict differences in gait performance have not been determined. Therefore, the current study was designed to determine whether processing speed, conflict resolution, and intraindividual variability in EF predicted variance in gait performance in single- and dual-task conditions. Methods. Participants were 234 nondemented older adults (mean age 76.48 years; 55% women) enrolled in a community-based cohort study. Gait speed was assessed using an instrumented walkway during single- and dual-task conditions. The flanker task was used to assess EF. Results. Results from the linear mixed effects model showed that (a) dual-task interference caused a significant dual-task cost in gait speed (estimate = 35.99; 95% CI = 33.19–38.80) and (b) of the cognitive predictors, only intraindividual variability was associated with gait speed (estimate = −.606; 95% CI = −1.11 to −.10). In unadjusted analyses, the three EF measures were related to gait speed in single- and dual-task conditions. However, in fully adjusted linear regression analysis, only intraindividual variability predicted performance differences in gait speed during dual tasking (B = −.901; 95% CI = −1.557 to −.245). Conclusion. Among the three EF measures assessed, intraindividual variability but not speed of processing or conflict resolution predicted performance differences in gait speed. PMID:24285744

  2. Neural correlates of executive attention in adults born very preterm.

    PubMed

    Daamen, Marcel; Bäuml, Josef G; Scheef, Lukas; Meng, Chun; Jurcoane, Alina; Jaekel, Julia; Sorg, Christian; Busch, Barbara; Baumann, Nicole; Bartmann, Peter; Wolke, Dieter; Wohlschläger, Afra; Boecker, Henning

    2015-01-01

    Very preterm birth is associated with an increased prevalence of attention problems and may especially impair executive attention, i.e., top-down control of attentional selection in situations where distracting information interferes with the processing of task-relevant stimuli. While there are initial findings linking structural brain alterations in preterm-born individuals with attention problems, the functional basis of these problems are not well understood. The present study used an fMRI adaptation of the Attentional Network Test to examine the neural correlates of executive attention in a large sample of N = 86 adults born very preterm and/or with very low birth weight (VP/VLBW), and N = 100 term-born controls. Executive attention was measured by comparing task behavior and brain activations associated with the processing of incongruent vs. congruent arrow flanker stimuli. Consistent with subtle impairments of executive attention, the VP/VLBW group showed lower accuracy and a tendency for increased response times during the processing of incongruent stimuli. Both groups showed similar activation patters, especially within expected fronto-cingulo-parietal areas, but no significant between-group differences. Our results argue for a maintained attention-relevant network organization in high-functioning preterm born adults in spite of subtle deficits in executive attention. Gestational age and neonatal treatment variables showed associations with task behavior, and brain activation in the dorsal ACC and lateral occipital areas, suggesting that the degree of prematurity (and related neonatal complications) has subtle modulatory influences on executive attention processing. PMID:26640769

  3. 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…

  4. A simple hypothesis of executive function

    PubMed Central

    Kopp, Bruno

    2012-01-01

    Executive function is traditionally conceptualized as a set of abilities required to guide behavior toward goals. Here, an integrated theoretical framework for executive function is developed which has its roots in the notion of hierarchical mental models. Further following Duncan (2010a,b), executive function is construed as a hierarchical recursive system of test-operation-test-exit units (Miller et al., 1960). Importantly, it is shown that this framework can be used to model the main regional prefrontal syndromes, which are characterized by apathetic, disinhibited and dysexecutive cognition, and behavior, respectively. Implications of these considerations for the neuropsychological assessment of executive function are discussed. PMID:22679423

  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. Culture, executive function, and social understanding.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Charlie; Koyasu, Masuo; Oh, Seungmi; Ogawa, Ayako; Short, Benjamin; Huang, Zhao

    2009-01-01

    Much of the evidence from the West has shown links between children's developing self-control (executive function), their social experiences, and their social understanding (Carpendale & Lewis, 2006, chapters 5 and 6), across a range of cultures including China. This chapter describes four studies conducted in three Oriental cultures, suggesting that the relationships among social interaction, executive function, and social understanding are different in these cultures, implying that social and executive skills are underpinned by key cultural processes. PMID:19306275

  7. Examining the Relationship between Executive Functions and Restricted, Repetitive Symptoms of Autistic Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lopez, Brian R.; Lincoln, Alan J.; Ozonoff, Sally; Lai, Zona

    2005-01-01

    The executive function theory was utilized to examine the relationship between cognitive process and the restricted, repetitive symptoms of Autistic Disorder (AD). Seventeen adults with AD were compared to 17 nonautistic controls on a new executive function battery (Delis-Kaplin Executive Function Scales). Restricted, repetitive symptoms were…

  8. Can executive control be influenced by performance feedback? Two experimental studies with younger and older adults

    PubMed Central

    Drueke, Barbara; Boecker, Maren; Mainz, Verena; Gauggel, Siegfried; Mungard, Lydia

    2012-01-01

    Executive control describes a wide range of cognitive processes which are critical for the goal-directed regulation of stimulus processing and action regulation. Previous studies have shown that executive control performance declines with age but yet, it is still not clear whether different internal and external factors—as performance feedback and age—influence these cognitive processes and how they might interact with each other. Therefore, we investigated feedback effects in the flanker task in young as well as in older adults in two experiments. Performance feedback significantly improved executive performance in younger adults at the expense of errors. In older adults, feedback also led to higher error rates, but had no significant effect on executive performance which might be due to stronger interference. Results indicate that executive functions can be positively influenced by performance feedback in younger adults, but not necessarily in older adults. PMID:22529793

  9. Children's Executive Function and High-Calorie, Low-Nutrient Food Intake: Mediating Effects of Child-Perceived Adult Fast Food Intake

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tate, Eleanor B.; Unger, Jennifer B.; Chou, Chih-Ping; Spruijt-Metz, Donna; Pentz, Mary Ann; Riggs, Nathaniel R.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: This study tested the relationships among child executive function (EF), child-perceived parent fast food intake, and child self-reported subsequent consumption of high-calorie, low-nutrient (HCLN) food. Design: One year and 6-month longitudinal observation from a larger randomized controlled trial. Setting. Southern California…

  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. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. Life after Adolescent and Adult Moderate and Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: Self-Reported Executive, Emotional, and Behavioural Function 2-5 Years after Injury.

    PubMed

    Finnanger, Torun Gangaune; Olsen, Alexander; Skandsen, Toril; Lydersen, Stian; Vik, Anne; Evensen, Kari Anne I; Catroppa, Cathy; Håberg, Asta K; Andersson, Stein; Indredavik, Marit S

    2015-01-01

    Survivors of moderate-severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) are at risk for long-term cognitive, emotional, and behavioural problems. This prospective cohort study investigated self-reported executive, emotional, and behavioural problems in the late chronic phase of moderate and severe TBI, if demographic characteristics (i.e., age, years of education), injury characteristics (Glasgow Coma Scale score, MRI findings such as traumatic axonal injury (TAI), or duration of posttraumatic amnesia), symptoms of depression, or neuropsychological variables in the first year after injury predicted long-term self-reported function. Self-reported executive, emotional, and behavioural functioning were assessed among individuals with moderate and severe TBI (N = 67, age range 15-65 years at time of injury) 2-5 years after TBI, compared to a healthy matched control group (N = 72). Results revealed significantly more attentional, emotional regulation, and psychological difficulties in the TBI group than controls. Demographic and early clinical variables were associated with poorer cognitive and emotional outcome. Fewer years of education and depressive symptoms predicted greater executive dysfunction. Younger age at injury predicted more aggressive and rule-breaking behaviour. TAI and depressive symptoms predicted Internalizing problems and greater executive dysfunction. In conclusion, age, education, TAI, and depression appear to elevate risk for poor long-term outcome, emphasising the need for long-term follow-up of patients presenting with risk factors. PMID:26549936

  14. Life after Adolescent and Adult Moderate and Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: Self-Reported Executive, Emotional, and Behavioural Function 2–5 Years after Injury

    PubMed Central

    Finnanger, Torun Gangaune; Olsen, Alexander; Skandsen, Toril; Lydersen, Stian; Vik, Anne; Evensen, Kari Anne I.; Catroppa, Cathy; Håberg, Asta K.; Andersson, Stein; Indredavik, Marit S.

    2015-01-01

    Survivors of moderate-severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) are at risk for long-term cognitive, emotional, and behavioural problems. This prospective cohort study investigated self-reported executive, emotional, and behavioural problems in the late chronic phase of moderate and severe TBI, if demographic characteristics (i.e., age, years of education), injury characteristics (Glasgow Coma Scale score, MRI findings such as traumatic axonal injury (TAI), or duration of posttraumatic amnesia), symptoms of depression, or neuropsychological variables in the first year after injury predicted long-term self-reported function. Self-reported executive, emotional, and behavioural functioning were assessed among individuals with moderate and severe TBI (N = 67, age range 15–65 years at time of injury) 2–5 years after TBI, compared to a healthy matched control group (N = 72). Results revealed significantly more attentional, emotional regulation, and psychological difficulties in the TBI group than controls. Demographic and early clinical variables were associated with poorer cognitive and emotional outcome. Fewer years of education and depressive symptoms predicted greater executive dysfunction. Younger age at injury predicted more aggressive and rule-breaking behaviour. TAI and depressive symptoms predicted Internalizing problems and greater executive dysfunction. In conclusion, age, education, TAI, and depression appear to elevate risk for poor long-term outcome, emphasising the need for long-term follow-up of patients presenting with risk factors. PMID:26549936

  15. 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

  16. Intergenerational Transmission of Neuropsychological Executive Functioning

    PubMed Central

    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, 304 boys) and 376 parents from 204 community recruited families at high risk for the development of substance use disorder. Structural equation modeling found evidence of separate executive functioning and intelligence (IQ) latent variables. Mother’s and father’s executive functioning were associated with child’s executive functioning (beta = 0.34 for father-child, 0.51 for mother-child), independently of parental IQ, which as expected was associated with child’s IQ (beta = 0.52 for father-child, 0.54 for mother-child). Familial correlations also showed a significant relationship of executive functioning between parents and offspring. These findings clarify that key elements of the executive functioning construct are reliably differentiable from IQ, and are transmitted in families. This work supports the utility of the construct of executive function in further study of the mechanisms and etiology of externalizing psychopathologies. PMID:19243871

  17. 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)…

  18. Profiling Executive Dysfunction in Adults with Autism and Comorbid Learning Disability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnard, Louise; Muldoon, Kevin; Hasan, Reem; O'Brien, Gregory; Stewart, Mary

    2008-01-01

    Executive dysfunction is thought to be primary to autism. We examined differences in executive function between 20 adults with autism and learning disability and 23 individuals with learning disabilities outside the autistic spectrum. All participants were matched for chronological age and full-scale IQ, and were given a battery of tasks assessing…

  19. Executive functioning, memory, and learning in phenylketonuria.

    PubMed

    Channon, Shelley; German, Elaine; Cassina, Cristina; Lee, Philip

    2004-10-01

    The executive deficit hypothesis of treated phenylketonuria (PKU) suggests that dopaminergic depletion in the lateral prefrontal cortex leads to selective executive impairment. This was examined by comparing adults with PKU on a lifelong diet with a matched healthy control group. Those with PKU were impaired on selective and sustained attention, working memory (Self-Ordered Pointing), and letter fluency. However, they failed to show differential sensitivity to increased cognitive load on the attentional and working memory tasks, and they did not differ significantly on the remaining executive tasks (rule finding, inhibition, and multitasking). Nor did they differ significantly on recall or recognition memory. Overall, the findings provided little support for the executive deficit hypothesis. A possible explanation in terms of slowed information processing speed is explored.

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. Episodic memory and executive function impairments in non-demented older adults: which are the respective and combined effects on gait performances?

    PubMed

    Beauchet, Olivier; Launay, Cyrille P; Fantino, Bruno; Annweiler, Cédric; Allali, Gilles

    2015-08-01

    Gait control depends in part on cognition. This study aims to examine the separate and combined effects of episodic memory and executive function impairments on the mean value and the coefficient of variation (CoV) of stride time among non-demented older community dwellers. Based on a cross-sectional design, 1458 older community dwellers without dementia (70.6 ± 4.9 years; 49.2 % female) were recruited and separated into cognitively healthy individuals (CHI) and individuals with cognitive impairment. A score ≤5/6 on the Short Mini-Mental State Examination defined episodic memory impairment. Impaired executive function was defined by errors on the clock-drawing test. Mean value and CoV of stride time were measured by the GAITRite® system. A total of 517 participants (35.5 %) had cognitive impairment in at least one cognitive domain. Participants with memory impairment (P = 0.006) and those with combined cognitive impairments (P < 0.001) had greater (i.e., worse gait performance) mean value of stride time (P = 0.006) compared to CHI. Participants with combined cognitive impairment had a greater CoV of stride time (i.e., worse gait performance) compared to CHI (P = 0.004) and to those with separate memory impairment (P = 0.037). Among participants with combined cognitive impairments, mean value and CoV of stride time had the highest effect size (respectively, effect size = 0.49 [95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.27;0.71] and effect size = 0.40 [95 %CI 0.18;0.62]). Participants with episodic memory or executive impairments had a greater mean value and CoV of stride time compared to those with no cognitive impairment. Combined episodic memory and executive impairments exceeded the sum of separate impairments on gait performances, suggesting a complex interplay going beyond a simple additive effect. PMID:26160251

  3. 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

  4. A Proof-of-Concept Randomized Controlled Study of Gabapentin: Effects on Cannabis Use, Withdrawal and Executive Function Deficits in Cannabis-Dependent Adults

    PubMed Central

    Mason, Barbara J; Crean, Rebecca; Goodell, Vivian; Light, John M; Quello, Susan; Shadan, Farhad; Buffkins, Kimberly; Kyle, Mark; Adusumalli, Murali; Begovic, Adnan; Rao, Santosh

    2012-01-01

    There are no FDA-approved pharmacotherapies for cannabis dependence. Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in the world, and patients seeking treatment for primary cannabis dependence represent 25% of all substance use admissions. We conducted a phase IIa proof-of-concept pilot study to examine the safety and efficacy of a calcium channel/GABA modulating drug, gabapentin, for the treatment of cannabis dependence. A 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted in 50 unpaid treatment-seeking male and female outpatients, aged 18–65 years, diagnosed with current cannabis dependence. Subjects received either gabapentin (1200 mg/day) or matched placebo. Manual-guided, abstinence-oriented individual counseling was provided weekly to all participants. Cannabis use was measured by weekly urine toxicology and by self-report using the Timeline Followback Interview. Cannabis withdrawal symptoms were assessed using the Marijuana Withdrawal Checklist. Executive function was measured using subtests from the Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System. Relative to placebo, gabapentin significantly reduced cannabis use as measured both by urine toxicology (p=0.001) and by the Timeline Followback Interview (p=0.004), and significantly decreased withdrawal symptoms as measured by the Marijuana Withdrawal Checklist (p<0.001). Gabapentin was also associated with significantly greater improvement in overall performance on tests of executive function (p=0.029). This POC pilot study provides preliminary support for the safety and efficacy of gabapentin for treatment of cannabis dependence that merits further study, and provides an alternative conceptual framework for treatment of addiction aimed at restoring homeostasis in brain stress systems that are dysregulated in drug dependence and withdrawal. PMID:22373942

  5. A proof-of-concept randomized controlled study of gabapentin: effects on cannabis use, withdrawal and executive function deficits in cannabis-dependent adults.

    PubMed

    Mason, Barbara J; Crean, Rebecca; Goodell, Vivian; Light, John M; Quello, Susan; Shadan, Farhad; Buffkins, Kimberly; Kyle, Mark; Adusumalli, Murali; Begovic, Adnan; Rao, Santosh

    2012-06-01

    There are no FDA-approved pharmacotherapies for cannabis dependence. Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in the world, and patients seeking treatment for primary cannabis dependence represent 25% of all substance use admissions. We conducted a phase IIa proof-of-concept pilot study to examine the safety and efficacy of a calcium channel/GABA modulating drug, gabapentin, for the treatment of cannabis dependence. A 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted in 50 unpaid treatment-seeking male and female outpatients, aged 18-65 years, diagnosed with current cannabis dependence. Subjects received either gabapentin (1200 mg/day) or matched placebo. Manual-guided, abstinence-oriented individual counseling was provided weekly to all participants. Cannabis use was measured by weekly urine toxicology and by self-report using the Timeline Followback Interview. Cannabis withdrawal symptoms were assessed using the Marijuana Withdrawal Checklist. Executive function was measured using subtests from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System. Relative to placebo, gabapentin significantly reduced cannabis use as measured both by urine toxicology (p=0.001) and by the Timeline Followback Interview (p=0.004), and significantly decreased withdrawal symptoms as measured by the Marijuana Withdrawal Checklist (p<0.001). Gabapentin was also associated with significantly greater improvement in overall performance on tests of executive function (p=0.029). This POC pilot study provides preliminary support for the safety and efficacy of gabapentin for treatment of cannabis dependence that merits further study, and provides an alternative conceptual framework for treatment of addiction aimed at restoring homeostasis in brain stress systems that are dysregulated in drug dependence and withdrawal.

  6. Executive Coaching Practices in the Adult Workplace

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campone, Francine

    2015-01-01

    This chapter provides an overview of key principles and practices in executive coaching. Coaching is discussed as a reflective learning opportunity and offers the theoretical grounding, strategies, and case studies for each of four key elements of a coaching engagement.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

    Hoarding is common among youth with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), with up to 26% of OCD youth exhibiting hoarding symptoms. Recent evidence from adult hoarding and OCD cohorts suggests that hoarding symptoms are associated with executive functioning deficits similar to those observed in subjects with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, while hoarding behavior often onsets during childhood, there is little information about executive function deficits and ADHD in affected children and adolescents. The study sample included 431 youths (ages 6-17 years) diagnosed with OCD who participated in the OCD Collaborative Genetics Study and the OCD Collaborative Genetics Association Study and completed a series of clinician-administered and parent report assessments, including diagnostic interviews and measures of executive functioning (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning; BRIEF) and hoarding severity (Hoarding Rating Scale-Interview; HRS-I). 113 youths (26%) had clinically significant levels of hoarding compulsions. Youths with and without hoarding differed significantly on most executive functioning subdomains and composite indices as measured by the parent-rated BRIEF. Groups did not differ in the frequency of full DSM-IV ADHD diagnoses; however, the hoarding group had significantly greater number of inattention and hyperactivity symptoms compared to the non-hoarding group. In multivariate models, we found that overall BRIEF scores were related to hoarding severity, adjusting for age, gender and ADHD symptoms. These findings suggest an association between hoarding and executive functioning deficits in youths with OCD, and assessing executive functioning may be important for investigating the etiology and treatment of children and adolescents with hoarding and OCD. PMID:27501140

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. Executive function influences sedentary behavior: A longitudinal study

    PubMed Central

    Loprinzi, Paul D.; Nooe, Allison

    2016-01-01

    Background: No study has evaluated the effects of executive function on follow-up sedentary behavior, which was this study’s purpose. Methods: A longitudinal design was employed among 18 young adult college students (Mage = 23.7 years; 88.9% female). Accelerometer-determined sedentary behavior and physical activity, along with executive function, were assessed at baseline. Approximately 8 weeks later, re-assessment of accelerometer-determined sedentary behavior and physical activity occurred. Executive function was assessed using the Parametric Go/No-Go (PGNG) computer task. From this, 2 primary executive function outcome parameters were evaluated, including the Simple Rule and Repeating Rule. Results: After adjusting for baseline sedentary behavior, age, gender, body mass index and baseline moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), for every 25% increase in the number of correctly identified targets for the Repeating rule at the baseline assessment, participants engaged in 91.8 fewer minutes of sedentary behavior at the follow-up assessment (β = -91.8; 95% CI: -173.5, -10.0; P = 0.03). Results were unchanged when also adjusting for total baseline or follow-up physical activity. Conclusion: Greater executive function is associated with less follow-up sedentary behavior. PMID:27766234

  12. EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS IN DEPRESSION: A CLINICAL REPORT

    PubMed Central

    Tandon, Rajul; Singh, Anand Pratap; Sinha, P.K.; Trivedi, J.K.

    2002-01-01

    Fifty patients of depression and thirty normal subjects were assessed using clinical rating scales and also for the executive functions by Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). The depressed subjects demonstrated poor performance on WCST suggesting cognitive inflexibility and prefrontal dysfunction. More severe illness was associated with greater impairment in the executive functioning. This pattern of result in conjunction with previous studies supported the idea that depressed patients may have fixed frontally based dysfunction and calls for the use of cognitive assessment and rehabilitation in the patients with depression. PMID:21206597

  13. Longitudinal antecedents of executive function in preschoolers

    PubMed Central

    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 (Lewis & Carpendale, 2009; Vygotsky, 1987), research on these relations is sparse. To address this gap, sixty-eight 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

  14. 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

  15. Fluid intelligence, working memory and executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Colom, Roberto; Rubio, Víctor J; Shih, Pei Chun; Santacreu, José

    2006-11-01

    The causes underlying the correlation between working memory and fluid intelligence remain unknown. There are some researchers who argue that the answer can be found on the presumed executive component of working memory. However, the available empirical evidence is far from conclusive. The present study tested a sample of 229 participants. Intelligence, working memory, and executive functioning were measured by one analytic reasoning test (TRASI), a dual task combining a primary task of deductive reasoning with a secondary task of counting, and the Tower of Hanoi task, respectively. All the 3 measures were computer administered. The results indicate that the shared variance between executive functioning and working memory do not account for the relationship between intelligence and working memory. Some theoretical implications are discussed. PMID:17296123

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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,…

  20. 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…

  1. Examining Executive Functioning in Boys with ADHD.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Codding, Robin S.; Lewandowski, Lawrence; Gordon, Michael

    This study examined executive functioning (EF) in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) boys ages 6-12 on a parent-report measure from Barkley's model. Mothers of 40 boys (20 with ADHD-HI or ADHD-C, and 20 without ADHD) completed the ADHD Symptom Checklist (ADHD-SC4), Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL-P), School-Home Information Profile…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Executive functions after orbital or lateral prefrontal lesions: Neuropsychological profiles and self-reported executive functions in everyday living

    PubMed Central

    LØVSTAD, M.; FUNDERUD, I.; ENDESTAD, T.; DUE-TØNNESSEN, P.; MELING, T. R.; LINDGREN, M.; KNIGHT, R. T.; SOLBAKK, A. K.

    2014-01-01

    Objective This study examined the effects of chronic focal lesions to the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) or orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) on neuropsychological test performance and self-reported executive functioning in everyday living. Methods Fourteen adults with OFC lesions were compared to 10 patients with LPFC injuries and 21 healthy controls. Neuropsychological tests with emphasis on measures of cognitive executive function were administered along with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions (BRIEF-A) and a psychiatric screening instrument. Results The LPFC group differed from healthy controls on neuropsychological tests of sustained mental effort, response inhibition, working memory and mental switching, while the BRIEF-A provided more clinically important information on deficits in everyday life in the OFC group compared to the LPFC group. Correlations between neuropsychological test results and BRIEF-A were weak, while the BRIEF-A correlated strongly with emotional distress. Conclusions It was demonstrated that LPFC damage is particularly prone to cause cognitive executive deficit, while OFC injury is more strongly associated with self-reported dysexecutive symptoms in everyday living. The study illustrates the challenge of identifying executive deficit in individual patients and the lack of strong anatomical specificity of the currently employed methods. There is a need for an integrative methodological approach where standard testing batteries are supplemented with neuropsychiatric and frontal-specific rating scales. PMID:22731818

  8. Aging of the planning process: the role of executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Sorel, Olivier; Pennequin, Valérie

    2008-03-01

    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 participant took tests for shifting, inhibition, updating and processing speed. Planning was evaluated by the Tower of Hanoi task with 3 and 4 disks. Analyses of variance showed a main age effect on the many executive functioning and planning measures assessed. Analyses of regression indicated that combined processing speed and shifting accounted for 58.33% of performance on the 3-disk version, while processing speed accounted for only 36.86% of performance on the 4-disk version. These results are discussed in relation to two levels of the planning process: formulation and execution. PMID:17884265

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Assessing executive functioning: on the validity, reliability, and sensitivity of a click/point random number generation task in healthy adults and patients with cognitive decline.

    PubMed

    Maes, Joseph H R; Eling, Paul A T M; Reelick, Miriam F; Kessels, Roy P C

    2011-03-01

    In random number generation (RNG) tasks, used to assess executive functioning, participants are asked to generate a random sequence of digits at a paced rate, either verbally or by writing. Some previous studies used an alternative format in which participants had to randomly press different response keys, assuming that this task version demands the same cognitive processes as those implied in the standard version. The present study examined the validity of this assumption. To this end, the construct validity, reliability, and sensitivity of a conceptually similar task version of the key-press task were examined. Participants had to randomly click on, or point to, the digits 1-9, laid out orderly in a 3 × 3 grid on a computer screen. Psychometric properties of this task were examined, based on the performance of 131 healthy participants and 80 patients with cognitive decline. The results suggest that the click/point RNG task version can be used as a reliable and valid substitute for standard task versions that use the same response set and response pacing rate as those used in the present study. This task might be a useful alternative, demanding no separate recording and recoding of responses, and being suitable for use with patients with speech or writing problems.

  12. Adult Basic Education Outreach Project. Final Report (Executive Summary).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alberta Vocational Centre, Edmonton.

    An executive report summarizes the Alberta Vocational Centre's development of a portable individualized, competency-based learning system for use in an adult basic education program in a non-institutional community location. The report deals with the project's rationale, development (including management, curricular development, budget, and site…

  13. 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.

  14. Executive function mechanisms of theory of mind.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Fayeza S; Stephen Miller, L

    2011-05-01

    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 domains accounted for significant variance in RMET scores; only estimated IQ scores were significant predictors of RMET performance. Verbal fluency and deductive reasoning were significant predictors of performance on the Strange Stories test, while verbal fluency, problem solving, and gender accounted for a significant variance in the Faux Pas test. Results suggest that the ToM tests each utilized differing cognitive mechanisms.

  15. 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

  16. The influence of functional social support on executive functioning in middle-aged African Americans

    PubMed Central

    Sims, Regina C.; Levy, Shellie-Anne; Mwendwa, Denée T.; Callender, Clive O.; Campbell, Alfonso L.

    2012-01-01

    Social support has a positive influence on cognitive functioning and buffers cognitive decline in older adults. This study examined the relations between social support and executive functioning in middle-aged adults. A community-based sample of African Americans completed the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List, a measure of functions of social support, and two measures of executive functioning, the Stroop Color Word Test and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Hierarchical regression analyses were used to explore the hypothesis that different facets of perceived social support influence performance on measures of executive functioning. After controlling for age, gender, and education, social support facets including belonging support, self-esteem support, appraisal support, and tangible support were significant predictors of Stroop performance. In addition, tangible support significantly predicted WCST performance. These findings add to previous literature on social support and cognition; however, findings for middle-aged adults are unique and suggest that social support has a positive influence on some executive functions in African Americans prior to old age. PMID:21614697

  17. Exceptional Lexical Skills but Executive Language Deficits in School Starters and Young Adults with Turners Syndrome: Implications for X Chromosome Effects on Brain Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Temple, Christine M.; Shephard, Elizabeth E.

    2012-01-01

    TS school starters had enhanced receptive and expressive language on standardised assessment (CELF-P) and enhanced rhyme judgements, spoonerisms, and lexical decision, indicating enhanced phonological skills and word representations. There was marginal but consistent advantage across lexico-semantic tasks. On executive tasks, speeded naming of…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Getting the right grasp on executive function

    PubMed Central

    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

  3. Uncontrolled eating is associated with reduced executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Calvo, D; Galioto, R; Gunstad, J; Spitznagel, M B

    2014-06-01

    Accumulating evidence indicates obesity is associated with reduced cognitive functioning, particularly attention and executive function, as well as maladaptive eating behaviour such as uncontrolled eating. The current study examined relationships between eating patterns and attention/executive function test performance in lean and obese individuals. Sixty-two (32 lean, 30 obese) healthy young adults (21.13 ± 2.31 years; 56.5% female) completed the abbreviated Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ-R18) to assess eating patterns, including uncontrolled eating, cognitive restraint, and emotional eating. The Go/No-Go (GNG), Running Memory Continuous Performance Test (RCMPT) and Standard Continuous Performance Test from the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics-4 were administered as measures of executive functioning and attention. An independent samples t-test revealed greater report of uncontrolled eating in obese compared with lean participants (t[60] = -2.174, P < 0.05; d = -0.55) but no differences in cognitive restraint or emotional eating. Multivariate analysis of variance revealed cognitive differences between lean and obese groups (F[6, 54] = 3.86, P < 0.005; λ = 0.70; ηp(2) = 0.30), which were driven by GNG reaction time (F[1, 59] = 8.36, P < 0.01, d = 0.74). Pearson bivariate correlations revealed a positive correlation between uncontrolled eating and reaction time on GNG (r = 0.343, P < 0.05) and RMCPT (r = 0.267, P < 0.05) in all participants. Relative to lean participants, obese individuals reported higher levels of uncontrolled eating and exhibited slower performance on a task of inhibitory control. In the full sample, greater self-reported dyscontrol in eating behaviour was related to slower inhibitory control and working memory. Results support a link between executive function and control of eating behaviour. Obese individuals may be more vulnerable to difficulties in these domains relative to those who are lean.

  4. Attenuated Readiness Potential in the Absence of Executive Dysfunction in Adults With ADHD.

    PubMed

    Seo, Bo-Kyung; Sartory, Gudrun; Kis, Bernhard; Scherbaum, Norbert; Müller, Bernhard W

    2013-10-25

    Objective: Patients with ADHD display a decreased contingent negative variation in Go/NoGo tasks. It is unclear whether the attenuation is due to deficits of executive function or to disorder of motor planning. The readiness potential (RP) recorded during self-initiated movements could cast light on this question. Method: RP was recorded in 25 stably medicated adult ADHD patients and 21 healthy controls matched for age, education, and verbal IQ. Participants also completed neuropsychological tests of executive function. Results: Compared with healthy controls, ADHD patients showed significantly diminished RP peaks and also decreased negativity in preparation of the movement at frontal locations. There were no significant group differences with regard to tests of executive function. Conclusion: In adults with ADHD, deficits of motor organization are also manifest in situations not involving external stimulus processing. The attenuated RP occurred in the absence of executive dysfunction. Results are consistent with partial independence between motor and executive dysfunction in ADHD. (J. of Att. Dis. XXXX; XX(X) XX-XX).

  5. A New Measure for Assessing Executive Function across a Wide Age Range: Children and Adults Find "Happy-Sad" More Difficult than "Day-Night"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lagattuta, Kristin Hansen; Sayfan, Liat; Monsour, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Two experiments examined 4- to 11-year-olds' and adults' performance (N = 350) on two variants of a Stroop-like card task: the "day-night task" (say "day" when shown a moon and "night" when shown a sun) and a new "happy-sad task" (say "happy" for a sad face and "sad" for a happy face). Experiment 1 featured colored cartoon drawings. In Experiment…

  6. 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

  7. 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,…

  8. Plasma omega-3 PUFA and white matter mediated executive decline in older adults

    PubMed Central

    Bowman, Gene L.; Dodge, Hiroko H.; Mattek, Nora; Barbey, Aron K.; Silbert, Lisa C.; Shinto, Lynne; Howieson, Diane B.; Kaye, Jeffrey A.; Quinn, Joseph F.

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: Cross-sectional studies have identified long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid 20:5n-3 and docosahexaenoic acid 22:6n-3 (O3PUFA) in association with fewer white matter lesions and better executive function in older adults. We hypothesized that O3PUFA are associated with less executive decline over time and that total white matter hyperintensity volume (WMH) mediates this association. Methods: Eighty-six non-demented older adults were followed over 4 years after measurement of plasma O3PUFA with annual evaluations of cognitive function. A subset of these participants also had brain MRI of total WMH available to conduct a formal mediation analysis of a putative relationship between O3PUFA and cognitive function. Results: Mean age at baseline was 86, 62% were female and 11% carried the APOE4 allele. Each 100 μg/ml increase in plasma O3PUFA associated with 4 s less change in executive decline per year of aging (p = 0.02, fully adjusted model). O3PUFA was not associated with verbal memory or global cognitive changes. The significance of the association between O3PUFA and better executive function was lost once WMH was added to the regression model. Conclusion: Executive decline with age appears to be a cognitive domain particularly sensitive to plasma O3PUFA in longitudinal examination. O3PUFA may modulate executive functioning by mechanisms underlying the development of WMH, a biologically plausible hypothesis that warrants further investigation. PMID:24379780

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

    PubMed

    Raphael-Greenfield, Emily

    2012-09-01

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

  10. Nonclinical obsessive-compulsive symptoms and executive functions in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Kumbhani, Sheba R; Roth, Robert M; Kruck, Carrie L; Flashman, Laura A; McAllister, Thomas W

    2010-01-01

    The impact of nonclinical obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) on neuropsychological functioning in schizophrenia has received little investigation. The authors evaluated whether severity and subtype of OCS are associated with executive functioning in schizophrenia. Twenty-nine patients with schizophrenia and 32 healthy comparison subjects completed questionnaire and performance-based measures of executive functioning. Overall OCS severity in patients was associated with poorer monitoring and cognitive flexibility. Obsessing, hoarding, and checking were related to poorer executive functioning in daily life. Performance-based scores showed few correlations with OCS. Findings indicate that severity of nonclinical OCS subtypes contributes to the heterogeneity of executive functions in schizophrenia.

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

    PubMed Central

    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 1) the link between challenging child conduct problems and harsh parenting would be strongest for mothers with poorer executive function and weakest among those with better executive function, and 2) this mechanism would be further moderated by the degree of household chaos. Methods The socioeconomically diverse sample included 147 mothers of 3-to-7 year old children. Mothers completed questionnaires and a laboratory assessment of executive function. Results Consistent with hypotheses, harsh parenting was linked with child conduct problems only among mothers with poorer executive function. This effect was particularly strong in calm, predictable environments, but was not evident in chaotic environments. Conclusion Maternal executive function is critical to minimizing harsh parenting in the context of challenging child behavior, but this self-regulation process may not operate well in chaotic environments. PMID:22764829

  12. Executive Function in SLI: Recent Advances and Future Directions

    PubMed Central

    Plante, Elena

    2015-01-01

    This paper provides a review of recent research on executive function abilities in children with specific language impairment (SLI). Across several studies, children with SLI are reported to perform worse than typically developing peers on measures of sustained attention, working memory, inhibition, and attention shifting. However, few studies have considered multiple executive function components simultaneously and even fewer have examined the underlying relationship between executive function deficits and impaired language acquisition. We argue that in order to fully understand the nature of executive function deficits in SLI, the field must move past simply identifying weaknesses to instead test models of executive function development and explore the nature of the relationship between executive function and language. Future research directions are recommended in order to achieve these goals. PMID:26543795

  13. The utility of IFS (INECO Frontal Screening) for the detection of executive dysfunction in adults with bipolar disorder and ADHD.

    PubMed

    Baez, Sandra; Ibanez, Agustin; Gleichgerrcht, Ezequiel; Perez, Ana; Roca, María; Manes, Facundo; Torralva, Teresa

    2014-05-15

    Bipolar disorder (BD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults share clinical symptoms. Both disorders present with executive functioning impairment. The detection of executive dysfunction usually requires the administration of an extensive neuropsychological battery. The Institute of Cognitive Neurology (INECO) Frontal Screening (IFS) is an efficient tool, which has been demonstrated to be useful for the detection of executive deficits in other diseases involving the prefrontal cortex. This study assessed the usefulness of the IFS in detecting the executive dysfunction of BD and ADHD adults, by means of a receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis and a multigroup discriminant function analysis. Twenty-four BD, 25 ADHD patients and 25 controls were assessed with a battery that included the IFS and other measures of executive functioning. Our results showed that both patient groups performed significantly lower than controls on the IFS total score. Using a 27.5 point cut-off score, the IFS showed good sensitivity and acceptable specificity to detect executive impairments in BD and ADHD patients. The IFS discriminated between controls and each patient group more reliably than other executive functions measures. Our results suggest that this tool could be a useful instrument to assess executive functions in BD and ADHD patients.

  14. Building the blocks of executive functioning: Differentiating early developing processes contributing to executive functioning skills

    PubMed Central

    Mandell, Dorothy J.; Ward, Sarah E.

    2011-01-01

    The neural processes that underlie executive function begin to develop in infancy. However, it is unclear how the behavior manifested by these processes are related or if they can be differentiated early in development. This study seeks to examine early emerging executive functioning skills in monkeys (M. fascicularis) by using an error analysis approach where traditional measures of the tasks, as well as identification of major error patterns are related. Results show that during the infancy and early juvenile period, two processes that help support set-maintenance could be differentiated: modulation of responses to novelty and persistence despite negative feedback. The results suggest that these two aspects of set-maintenance were largely independent. Modulation of responses to novelty was most prominent in the infancy and early juvenile period. The ability to persist with a response set despite negative feedback emerged in the early juvenile period and was related to task performance until the end of the study. PMID:21563178

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Dual-task and electrophysiological markers of executive cognitive processing in older adult gait and fall-risk.

    PubMed

    Walshe, Elizabeth A; Patterson, Matthew R; Commins, Seán; Roche, Richard A P

    2015-01-01

    The role of cognition is becoming increasingly central to our understanding of the complexity of walking gait. In particular, higher-level executive functions are suggested to play a key role in gait and fall-risk, but the specific underlying neurocognitive processes remain unclear. Here, we report two experiments which investigated the cognitive and neural processes underlying older adult gait and falls. Experiment 1 employed a dual-task (DT) paradigm in young and older adults, to assess the relative effects of higher-level executive function tasks (n-Back, Serial Subtraction and visuo-spatial Clock task) in comparison to non-executive distracter tasks (motor response task and alphabet recitation) on gait. All DTs elicited changes in gait for both young and older adults, relative to baseline walking. Significantly greater DT costs were observed for the executive tasks in the older adult group. Experiment 2 compared normal walking gait, seated cognitive performances and concurrent event-related brain potentials (ERPs) in healthy young and older adults, to older adult fallers. No significant differences in cognitive performances were found between fallers and non-fallers. However, an initial late-positivity, considered a potential early P3a, was evident on the Stroop task for older non-fallers, which was notably absent in older fallers. We argue that executive control functions play a prominent role in walking and gait, but the use of neurocognitive processes as a predictor of fall-risk needs further investigation.

  18. Executive function treatment and intervention in schools.

    PubMed

    Otero, Tulio M; Barker, Lauren A; Naglieri, Jack A

    2014-01-01

    This selective review article examines treatment and intervention strategies for executive function (EF) deficits within the school environment. We begin by providing a broad definition of EF. We then examine the scope of EF deficits within the school setting and identify profiles of special populations of students who present with such deficits. A focus is placed on the developmental trajectory that both EF and the frontal lobes follow and how this drives the selection and effectiveness of treatments and interventions at particular "critical periods" throughout a child's academic career. Direct and indirect school-based diagnostic assessment methods to identify EF deficits in students will be briefly reviewed. Against that background, various treatment methods and intervention strategies to remediate both cognitive and affective EF deficits within the confines of the school setting will be presented. Individual and group intervention strategies will be presented as will their current acceptance within the scientific community and applicability to the educational arena. The importance of incorporating school-based neuropsychological assessment methods that aid in the differential diagnosis of academic and behavioral difficulties directly related to EF will also be discussed, as the accurate identification of these impairments is necessary to facilitate data-based decision making when selecting the most appropriate interventions following a developmental model in educational settings. Topics addressing EF treatment modalities and research-based interventions for clinical and school-based practitioners to consider within educational settings will also be presented as suggestions for future research with pediatric populations. PMID:25010086

  19. Preschool children with lower executive function may be more vulnerable to emotional-based eating in the absence of hunger

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Decreased executive function has been linked to unhealthy eating behaviors and obesity in older children and adults, however little is known about this relationship in young children. A pilot project in a research-based preschool was conducted to examine the relationships between executive function...

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. Theory of Mind, Attention, and Executive Function in Kindergarten Boys

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGlamery, Mary Elizabeth; Ball, Steven E.; Henley, Tracy B.; Besozzi, Megan

    2007-01-01

    The present study explored the relationship between theory of mind (ToM), attention, and executive function in 66 kindergarten boys drawn from four rural school districts. Three stories designed to test understanding of first and second order mental states were administered. Executive function and attention were assessed, respectively, by scores…

  7. 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…

  8. 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)...

  9. 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)...

  10. 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)...

  11. 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)...

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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,…

  17. 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)...

  18. Effects of Acute Aerobic Exercise on Executive Function in Older Women.

    PubMed

    Peiffer, Roseann; Darby, Lynn A; Fullenkamp, Adam; Morgan, Amy L

    2015-09-01

    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 pointsFew studies have investigated the effects of the intensity of exercise on executive function in older womenExecutive function improved after 20-min of aerobic exercise regardless of exercise intensity in older womenFindings from the study were not confounded by prescribed medications; all participants who were older women were not taking any medications.

  19. 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

  20. Attentional costs of visually guided walking: effects of age, executive function and stepping-task demands.

    PubMed

    Mazaheri, Masood; Roerdink, Melvyn; Bood, Robert Jan; Duysens, Jacques; Beek, Peter J; Peper, C Lieke E

    2014-01-01

    During walking, attention needs to be flexibly allocated to deal with varying environmental constraints. This ability may be affected by aging and lower overall executive function. The present study examined the influence of aging and executive function on the attentional costs of visually guided walking under different task demands. Three groups, young adults (n=15) and elderly adults with higher (n=16) and lower (n=10) executive function, walked on a treadmill in three conditions: uncued walking and walking with regular and irregular patterns of visual stepping targets projected onto the belt. Attentional costs were assessed using a secondary probe reaction time task and corrected by subtracting baseline single-task reaction time, yielding an estimate of the additional attentional costs of each walking condition. We found that uncued walking was more attentionally demanding for elderly than for young participants. In young participants, the attentional costs increased significantly from uncued to regularly cued to irregularly cued walking, whereas for the higher executive function group, attentional costs only increased significantly from regularly cued to irregularly cued walking. For the group with lower executive function, no significant differences were observed. The observed decreased flexibility of elderly, especially those with lower executive function, to allocate additional attentional resources to more challenging walking conditions may be attributed to the already increased attentional costs of uncued walking, presumably required for visuomotor and/or balance control of walking.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Elevated body mass index is associated with executive dysfunction in otherwise healthy adults.

    PubMed

    Gunstad, John; Paul, Robert H; Cohen, Ronald A; Tate, David F; Spitznagel, Mary Beth; Gordon, Evian

    2007-01-01

    There is growing evidence that obesity is linked to adverse neurocognitive outcome, including reduced cognitive functioning and Alzheimer disease. However, no study to date has determined whether the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and cognitive performance varies as a function of age. We examined attention and executive function in a cross-section of 408 healthy persons across the adult life span (20-82 years). Bivariate correlation showed that BMI was inversely related to performance on all cognitive tests. After controlling for possible confounding factors, overweight and obese adults (BMI > 25) exhibited poorer executive function test performance than normal weight adults (BMI, 18.5-24.9). No differences emerged in attention test performance, and there was no evidence of a BMI x age interaction for either cognitive domain. These results provide further evidence for the relationship between elevated BMI and reduced cognitive performance and suggest that this relationship does not vary with age. Further research is needed to identify the etiology of these deficits and whether they resolve after weight loss.

  7. Cognitive Functioning and Work Success in Adults with Dyslexia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leather, Carol; Hogh, Henriette; Seiss, Ellen; Everatt, John

    2011-01-01

    Dyslexic adults completed questionnaires designed to investigate relationships between cognitive functioning, especially executive aspects, and work success. The study was designed to determine whether quantitative support could be provided for the model of adult dyslexic success derived from the work of Gerber and his colleagues (Gerber,…

  8. 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…

  9. Effects of Bilingualism and Aging on Executive Function and Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Bialystok, Ellen; Poarch, Gregory; Luo, Lin; Craik, Fergus I.M.

    2014-01-01

    Two studies are reported in which younger and older monolingual and bilingual adults performed executive function tasks. In Study 1, 130 participants performed a Stroop task and bilinguals in both age groups showed less interference than monolinguals with a greater benefit for older adults. In Study 2, 108 participants performed a complex working memory task based on verbal or nonverbal stimuli. Bilinguals showed less interference than monolinguals, with a larger bilingual advantage in the older adult group and in the nonverbal task. Together, these results show that bilingual advantages in executive function depend on characteristics of the participants and features of the tasks, with larger effects found for older than younger adults and for complex tasks using nonverbal material. PMID:25244487

  10. Effects of bilingualism and aging on executive function and working memory.

    PubMed

    Bialystok, Ellen; Poarch, Gregory; Luo, Lin; Craik, Fergus I M

    2014-09-01

    Two studies are reported in which younger and older monolingual and bilingual adults performed executive function tasks. In Study 1, 130 participants performed a Stroop task and bilinguals in both age groups showed less interference than monolinguals with a greater benefit for older adults. In Study 2, 108 participants performed a complex working memory task based on verbal or nonverbal stimuli. Bilinguals showed less interference than monolinguals, with a larger bilingual advantage in the older adult group and in the nonverbal task. Together, these results show that bilingual advantages in executive function depend on characteristics of the participants and features of the tasks, with larger effects found for older than younger adults and for complex tasks using nonverbal material.

  11. Executive Functioning and Processing Speed in Age-Related Differences in Memory: Contribution of a Coding Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baudouin, Alexia; Clarys, David; Vanneste, Sandrine; Isingrini, Michel

    2009-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine executive dysfunctioning and decreased processing speed as potential mediators of age-related differences in episodic memory. We compared the performances of young and elderly adults in a free-recall task. Participants were also given tests to measure executive functions and perceptual processing speed…

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Executive Function and Measures of Fall Risk Among People With Obesity.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xuefang; Nussbaum, Maury A; Madigan, Michael L

    2016-06-01

    This study investigated the relationship between obesity and executive function, and between executive function and fall risk (as estimated from select gait parameters). Of the 39 young adults (age = 21.3 ± 2.6 years) recruited from the local university population via email announcement, 19 were in the obese group (based upon BMI and body fat percentage) and 20 were in the nonobese comparison group. Executive function was assessed using standardized tests including the Stroop test for selective attention; Trail Making test for divided attention, visuomotor tracking, and cognitive flexibility; the Verbal Fluency test for semantic memory; and the Digit-span test for working memory. Participants performed single- and dual-task walking (walking while talking) to evaluate fall risk during gait as measured by minimum toe clearance, required coefficient of friction, stance time, and stance-time variability. The obese group had lower scores for selective attention, semantic memory, and working memory. All participants had gait changes suggestive of a higher fall risk, for example, lower minimum toe clearance, longer stance time, and increased stance variability, during dual-task walking compared with single-task walking, and executive function scores (selective attention) were associated with gait (stance-time variability) during dual-task walking. Results indicate obesity was negatively associated with executive function among young adults and could increase fall risk. PMID:27170627

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  17. Executive Function Is Associated With Antisocial Behavior and Aggression in Athletes.

    PubMed

    Micai, Martina; Kavussanu, Maria; Ring, Christopher

    2015-10-01

    Poor executive function has been linked to increased antisocial and aggressive behavior in clinical and nonclinical populations. The present study investigated the relationship between executive and nonexecutive cognitive function and antisocial behavior in sport as well as reactive and proactive aggression. Cognitive function was assessed in young adult male and female athletes using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB). Antisocial behavior in sport and aggression were assessed via self-report instruments and were found to be positively correlated. Executive function (but not nonexecutive function) scores were negatively correlated with both self-reported antisocial behavior and aggression in males but not females. Our findings suggest that prefrontal deficits among male athletes could contribute to poor impulse control and difficulty in anticipating the consequences of their antisocial and aggressive behavior.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Executive functions in clinical and preclinical Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Allain, P; Etcharry-Bouyx, F; Verny, C

    2013-10-01

    Executive functions is an umbrella term describing a wide range of higher order processes that allow the flexible modification of thought and behaviour in response to changing cognitive or environmental contexts. Impairment of executive functions is common in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. These deficits negatively affect everyday activities and hamper the ability to cope with other cognitive or behavioural disorders. In this paper, we propose a synthesis of the knowledge on executive impairments in clinical and preclinical Alzheimer's disease, mostly leaning on the current studies made in this domain. We made some propositions for neuropsychological assessment of executive functions in preclinical and clinical phases of Alzheimer's disease. We hope that this overview will provide a useful insight into an area that is still insufficiently explored in the field of the neuropsychology of Alzheimer's disease.

  4. Executive function improvement in normal pressure hydrocephalus following shunt surgery.

    PubMed

    Gleichgerrcht, Ezequiel; Cervio, Andrés; Salvat, Jorge; Loffredo, Anselmo Rodríguez; Vita, Luciana; Roca, María; Torralva, Teresa; Manes, Facundo

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this investigation was to evaluate improvement of executive functions after shunt surgery in patients with early normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH). Patients with NPH were assessed before and after shunt surgery with tests shown to be sensitive to damage to the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Significant differences were found between basal and follow-up performances on the Boston Naming Test, the backwards digits span, Part B of the Trail Making Test, and the number of words produced on the phonological fluency task. In conclusion, our study reveals that patients with NPH who respond positively to continuous slow lumbar cerebral spinal fluid drainage and receive a ventriculoperitoneal shunt implant, improve their performance on tasks of executive function. Due to the high demand for this form of mental processing in real-life complex scenarios, and based on the severe executive deficits present in both demented and non-demented NPH patients, we encourage the assessment of executive functions in this clinical group.

  5. Executive and Attention Functioning Among Children in the Pandas Subgroup

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    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

  6. Executive Function Among Preschool Children: Unitary Versus Distinct Abilities

    PubMed Central

    Lerner, Matthew D.; Lonigan, Christopher J.

    2015-01-01

    Working memory (WM) and inhibitory control (IC) are considered related but separable executive functions (EFs) among adults and adolescents. Although available evidence suggests that these constructs have not diverged especially among younger preschool children, questions remain regarding the age at which separable factors emerge. This study used confirmatory factor analysis to test a 2-factor model of EF among 289 preschool children whose ages ranged from 45 to 63 months (M = 55.74, SD = 7.56). As hypothesized, the model including separate but related factors provided a significantly better fit than a unitary model, indicating the presence of distinct WM and IC factors. Based on evidence that WM and IC measured during preschool relate differently to a variety of academic and behavioral outcomes, it was hypothesized that a model including separate factors for each EF would fit the observed data better than a single-factor model. Although the two-factor model provided the best fit for the full sample, the correlation between WM and IC factors was significantly higher for younger (ϕ =.95) than older (ϕ =.68) children, indicating increasing divergence as a function of age. PMID:25642020

  7. 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

  8. The role of control functions in mentalizing: dual-task studies of theory of mind and executive function.

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

    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' pictorial test of Theory of Mind showed specific dual-task costs when concurrently performed with an inhibitory secondary task. In contrast, interference effects on a verbal 'Stories' task were general, occurring on both mental state and non-mental state tasks, and across all types of executive function. These findings from healthy functioning adults should help to guide decisions about appropriate methods of assessing ToM in clinical populations, and interpreting deficits in performance in such tasks in the context of more general cognitive dysfunction.

  9. 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

  10. Motor preparation, motor execution, attention, and executive functions in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    PubMed

    Klimkeit, Ester I; Mattingley, Jason B; Sheppard, Dianne M; Lee, Paul; Bradshaw, John L

    2005-04-01

    Attention and executive functions were investigated in medicated and unmedicated children with ADHD combined type using a novel selective reaching task. This task involved responding as rapidly as possible to a target while at times having to ignore a distractor. Results indicated that unmedicated children with ADHD showed slow and inaccurate responding. Slow responding reflected problems at the stage of movement preparation but not movement execution. An attentional impairment, rather than a motor planning problem per se, appeared to underlie the slow movement preparation. Inaccurate responding reflected problems with response inhibition and selective attention, impulsivity, set-shifting, and difficulties in maintaining vigilance. Although medicated children with ADHD did not show slow movement preparation, they did show some response inaccuracy, resulting especially from impulsive responding. These findings suggest that ADHD is characterized by slow motor preparation (but not motor execution), and deficits in selective attention, vigilance, and executive functions. Preliminary results suggest that stimulant medication may resolve some of these motor, attentional and executive function deficits.

  11. Clinical practice guideline (update): Adult Sinusitis Executive Summary.

    PubMed

    Rosenfeld, Richard M; Piccirillo, Jay F; Chandrasekhar, Sujana S; Brook, Itzhak; Kumar, Kaparaboyna Ashok; Kramper, Maggie; Orlandi, Richard R; Palmer, James N; Patel, Zara M; Peters, Anju; Walsh, Sandra A; Corrigan, Maureen D

    2015-04-01

    The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation has published a supplement to this issue featuring the updated "Clinical Practice Guideline: Adult Sinusitis" as a supplement to Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. To assist in implementing the guideline recommendations, this article summarizes the rationale, purpose, and key action statements. The 14 developed recommendations address diagnostic accuracy for adult rhinosinusitis, the appropriate use of ancillary tests to confirm diagnosis and guide management (including radiography, nasal endoscopy, computed tomography, and testing for allergy and immune function), and the judicious use of systemic and topical therapy. Emphasis was also placed on identifying multiple chronic conditions that would modify management of rhinosinusitis, including asthma, cystic fibrosis, immunocompromised state, and ciliary dyskinesia. An updated guideline is needed as a result of new clinical trials, new systematic reviews, and the lack of consumer participation in the initial guideline development group. PMID:25833927

  12. Improving test interpretation for detecting executive dysfunction in adults and older adults: prevalence of low scores on the test of verbal conceptualization and fluency.

    PubMed

    Brooks, Brian L; Iverson, Grant L; Lanting, Shawnda C; Horton, Arthur M; Reynolds, Cecil R

    2012-01-01

    Knowing the prevalence of low scores on a battery of executive-functioning tests supplements clinical interpretation and can reduce the likelihood of misdiagnosing deficits in executive functioning. The purpose of this study is to examine the base rates of low scores on the Test of Verbal Conceptualization and Fluency (TVCF; Reynolds & Horton, 2006 ) in healthy adults (n = 332; M (age) = 33.0 years, SD = 10.5, range = 20-59) and older adults (n = 138; M (age) = 74.9 years, SD = 7.8, range = 60-89) from the TVCF standardization sample. The TVCF consists of four tests of executive functioning (i.e., Category Fluency, Letter Naming, Classification, and Trails C) that provide five age-adjusted T-scores. The prevalence of low scores was examined in the total sample and was stratified by educational level. When the five T-scores were considered simultaneously, having one or more scores that were 1 standard deviation (SD) below the mean was found in 28% of healthy adults and 38% of older adults. Education-based differences were also present with more lenient cutoff scores (e.g., 1 SD) but not with more conservative cutoffs. Consistent with the existing literature on other test batteries, at least one low subtest score on the TVCF is common in healthy adults and older adults.

  13. 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

  14. NIH EXAMINER: conceptualization and development of an executive function battery.

    PubMed

    Kramer, Joel H; Mungas, Dan; Possin, Katherine L; Rankin, Katherine P; Boxer, Adam L; Rosen, Howard J; Bostrom, Alan; Sinha, Lena; Berhel, Ashley; Widmeyer, Mary

    2014-01-01

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

  15. NIH EXAMINER: conceptualization and development of an executive function battery.

    PubMed

    Kramer, Joel H; Mungas, Dan; Possin, Katherine L; Rankin, Katherine P; Boxer, Adam L; Rosen, Howard J; Bostrom, Alan; Sinha, Lena; Berhel, Ashley; Widmeyer, Mary

    2014-01-01

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

  16. A functional neuroimaging study of motivation and executive function.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Stephan F; Welsh, Robert C; Wager, Tor D; Phan, K Luan; Fitzgerald, Kate D; Gehring, William J

    2004-03-01

    Executive functions, such as working memory, must intersect with functions that determine value for the organism. Functional imaging work in humans and single-unit recordings in non-human primates provide evidence that PFC might integrate motivational context with working memory. With functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we addressed the question of motivation and working memory, using a trial-related design in an object-working memory task. The design permitted the analysis of BOLD signal at separate stages, corresponding to encoding, maintenance, and retrieval. Subjects were motivated by a financial incentive during the task, such that they could gain a high or a low reward. The two different levels of reward also entailed greater or lesser risk of losing money for incorrect responses. In the high, relative to the low, reward condition, subjects shifted response bias, and showed a trend to greater sensitivity. We found main effects in fMRI BOLD signal for reward, which overlapped with BOLD effects for maintenance of information, in the right superior frontal sulcus and bilateral intraparietal sulcus. We also found an interaction between reward and retrieval from working memory in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Main effects of load and reward occurred in adjacent regions of the ventrolateral PFC during retrieval. The data demonstrate that when subjects perform a simple working memory task, financial incentives motivate performance and interact with some of the same neural networks that process various stages of working memory. Areas of overlap and interaction may integrate information about value, or they may represent a general effect of motivation increasing neural effort.

  17. 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

  18. Executive Function and Postural Instability in People with Parkinson's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Dong; Cole, Michael H.; Mengersen, Kerrie; Silburn, Peter A.; Qiu, Feng; Graepel, Cara; Kerr, Graham K.

    2014-01-01

    The specific aspects of cognition contributing to balance and gait have not been clarified in people with Parkinson's disease (PD). Twenty PD participants and twenty age- and gender-matched healthy controls were assessed on cognition and clinical mobility tests. General cognition was assessed with the Mini Mental State Exam and Addenbrooke's Cognitive Exam. Executive function was evaluated using the Trail Making Tests (TMT-A and TMT-B) and a computerized cognitive battery which included a series of choice reaction time (CRT) tests. Clinical gait and balance measures included the Tinetti, Timed Up & Go, Berg Balance, and Functional Reach tests. PD participants performed significantly worse than the controls on the tests of cognitive and executive function, balance, and gait. PD participants took longer on Trail Making Tests, CRT-Location, and CRT-Colour (inhibition response). Furthermore, executive function, particularly longer times on CRT-Distracter and greater errors on the TMT-B, was associated with worse balance and gait performance in the PD group. Measures of general cognition were not associated with balance and gait measures in either group. For PD participants, attention and executive function were impaired. Components of executive function, particularly those involving inhibition response and distracters, were associated with poorer balance and gait performance in PD. PMID:25136474

  19. 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

  20. Aging and Strategic Retrieval in a Cued-Recall Test: The Role of Executive Functions and Fluid Intelligence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taconnat, Laurence; Clarys, David; Vanneste, Sandrine; Bouazzaoui, Badiaa; Isingrini, Michel

    2007-01-01

    Cued-recall in episodic memory was investigated in relation to low and high cognitive support at retrieval, executive function level and fluid intelligence level in 81 healthy adults divided first into two age groups (young and elderly adults). The first analyses showed that age-related differences were greater when a low cognitive support was…

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Memory impairment in schizophrenia: its' relationship to executive function.

    PubMed

    Nathaniel-James, D A; Brown, R; Ron, M A

    1996-08-23

    The presence of memory impairment in schizophrenia has frequently been documented but much less attention has been given to the qualitative aspects of this impairment and its association to executive function. Using a cognitive-process approach, we examined memory and executive function in 25 patients who met DSM-III-R criteria for schizophrenia. Patients were matched with 25 healthy volunteers. The schizophrenic group was found to have a significant impairment in immediate memory, with relatively spared long-delay memory. Performance on verbal learning and recognition memory was similar to that of controls. Memory deficits were present irrespective of the encoding strategies used and were unrelated to chronicity. In addition, the schizophrenics performed worse than controls on tests of executive function, but the degree of impairment was greater on tests of response initiation and suppression. This pattern of performance resembled that found in patients with subcortical or frontal lesions which was supported by some significant correlations between aspects of memory and executive function. Our results suggest that in schizophrenia, specific executive functions may make a selective contribution to the pattern of memory performance in schizophrenia which is subserved by frontal and to a lesser extent hippocampal/diencephalic systems.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Shaheen, Sandra

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions refer to an array of organizing and self-regulating behaviors often associated with maturation of the prefrontal cortex. In fact, young children with rudimentary neurodevelopment of the prefrontal cortex develop ways to inhibit impulses and regulate behavior from a very early age. Can executive functioning be impacted by intervention, practice, or training? What interventions impact development of executive function in childhood, and how can these be studied? Several programs are reviewed that propose to positively impact executive/self-regulation skills. Evidence-based programs are contrasted with popular programs that have little empirical basis but have apparent wide acceptance by educators and families. As self-regulation has critical implications for later school and life success, interventions may well attenuate the negative consequences of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, brain injury, and social stressors. Programs with active play components may be more successful in eliciting improved executive function (defined here as self-regulation) because of the importance of motor learning early on and because of the social motivation aspects of learning. Caution is advised in the recommendation of programs where there is little empirical basis to support program claims. Carefully planned outcome studies can help bring the most effective components of programs to the mainstream. PMID:25010084

  7. 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

  8. Relations between key executive functions and aggression in childhood.

    PubMed

    Granvald, Viktor; Marciszko, Carin

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined relationships between three key executive functions (working memory, inhibition, and mental set-shifting) and multiple types of aggression in a general population sample of 9-year-old children. One hundred and forty-eight children completed a battery of executive function tasks and were rated on aggression by their primary teachers. All executive function (EF) composites were related to a composite measure of aggression. Working memory (WM) was most consistently related to the different types of aggression (overt, relational, reactive, and proactive), whereas inhibition and mental set-shifting only were related to relational and reactive aggression, respectively. Specificity in relations (studied as independent contributions) was generally low with the exception of the relation between WM and relational aggression. Taken together, our results highlight the roles of WM and relational aggression in EF-aggression relations in middle childhood.

  9. 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

  10. 29 CFR 452.19 - Executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... identified as an officer under the constitution and bylaws of the organization. Authorization to perform such functions need not be contained in any provision of the constitution or bylaws or other document but may be... governing body) or if the constitution or bylaws of the union designate such positions as officers....

  11. 29 CFR 452.19 - Executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... identified as an officer under the constitution and bylaws of the organization. Authorization to perform such functions need not be contained in any provision of the constitution or bylaws or other document but may be... governing body) or if the constitution or bylaws of the union designate such positions as officers....

  12. 29 CFR 452.19 - Executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... identified as an officer under the constitution and bylaws of the organization. Authorization to perform such functions need not be contained in any provision of the constitution or bylaws or other document but may be... governing body) or if the constitution or bylaws of the union designate such positions as officers....

  13. 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

  14. Executive Function and Adaptive Behavior in Muenke Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Yarnell, Colin M.P.; Addissie, Yonit A.; Hadley, Donald W.; Sacoto, Maria J. Guillen; Agochukwu, Nneamaka B.; Hart, Rachel A.; Wiggs, Edythe A.; Platte, Petra; Paelecke, Yvonne; Collmann, Hartmut; Schweitzer, Tilmann; Kruszka, Paul; Muenke, Maximilian

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To investigate executive function and adaptive behavior in persons with Muenke syndrome using validated instruments with a normative population and unaffected siblings as controls. Study design Participants in a cross sectional study included individuals with Muenke syndrome (P250R mutation in FGFR3) and their mutation negative siblings. Participants completed validated assessments of executive functioning (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function; BRIEF) and adaptive behavior skills (Adaptive Behavior Assessment System; ABAS-II). Results Forty-four FGFR3 mutation positive individuals, median age 9 years, range 7 months to 52 years were enrolled. Additionally, 10 unaffected siblings were used as controls (5 males, 5 females, median age of 13 years, range 3 to 18 years). For the General Executive Composite scale of the BRIEF, 32.1% of the cohort had scores greater than +1.5 SD, signifying ―Potential Clinical Significance. For the General Adaptive Composite of the ABAS-II, 28.2% of affected individuals scored in the 3rd – 8th percentile of the normative population and 56.4% were below the ―Average category (less than the 25th percentile). Multiple regression analysis did not show that craniosynostosis was a predictor of BRIEF (P = 0.7) and ABAS-II scores (P = 0.7). In the sibling pair analysis, affected siblings performed significantly poorer in the BRIEF General Executive Composite and the ABAS-II General Adaptive Composite. Conclusion Individuals with Muenke syndrome are at an increased risk for developing adaptive and executive function behavioral changes when compared with a normative population and unaffected siblings. PMID:26028288

  15. The Moderating Effect of Personality Type on the Relationship between Leisure Activity and Executive Control in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Nikki L.; Lin, Feng Vankee; Parisi, Jeanine M.; Kolanowski, Ann

    2016-01-01

    We examined the moderating effect of personality on the association between leisure activities and executive control in healthy community-dwelling older adults. We found two distinct personality typologies: individuals with a Resilient personality were characterized by emotional stability and self-confidence; whereas, those who resembled an Overcontrolled personality tended to be introverted, but also low on neuroticism. Resilient individuals were more likely than Overcontrolled individuals to demonstrate higher executive function and attention as a result of participation in mental activities. These results suggest that personality might be important to include in studies that test the efficacy of activity interventions for improving cognition. PMID:27087715

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Does Executive Function Matter for Preschoolers' Problem Behaviors?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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,…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    Using data from a diverse sample of 620 families residing in rural, predominately low-income communities, this study examined longitudinal links between fathers' sensitive parenting in infancy and toddlerhood and children's early executive functioning, as well as the contribution of maternal sensitive parenting. After accounting for the quality of concurrent and prior parental care, children's early cognitive ability, and other child and family factors, fathers' and mothers' sensitive and supportive parenting during play at 24 months predicted children's executive functioning at 3 years of age. In contrast, paternal parenting quality during play at 7 months did not make an independent contribution above that of maternal care, but the links between maternal sensitive and supportive parenting and executive functioning seemed to operate in similar ways during infancy and toddlerhood. These findings add to prior work on early experience and children's executive functioning, suggesting that both fathers and mothers play a distinct and complementary role in the development of these self-regulatory skills. PMID:25347539

  12. Brief Report: Specific Executive Function Profiles in Three Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozonoff, Sally; Jensen, Jenise

    1999-01-01

    This study compared executive functions in children with autism (N=40), Tourette syndrome (N=30), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (N=24), or controls (N=29). Groups differed in patterns of performance on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task, a measure of flexibility, the Tower of Hanoi, a measure of planning capacity, and the Stroop, a test of…

  13. Neuropsychology of Early-Treated Phenylketonuria: Specific Executive Function Deficits.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Welsh, Marilyn C.; And Others

    1990-01-01

    Early-treated phenylketonuria (PKU) children and unaffected peers were evaluated on four executive function (EF) tasks and one nonexecutive task. The PKU children scored lower than unaffected children on EF tasks, but not on the nonexecutive task. The PKU children's composite EF score was correlated with concurrent and mean lifetime phenylalanine…

  14. 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.…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Fathers’ Sensitive Parenting and the Development of Early Executive Functioning

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Using data from a diverse sample of 620 families residing in rural, predominately low-income communities, this study examined longitudinal links between fathers’ sensitive parenting in infancy and toddlerhood and children’s early executive functioning, as well as the contribution of maternal sensitive parenting. After accounting for the quality of concurrent and prior parental care, children’s early cognitive ability, and other child and family factors, fathers’ and mothers’ sensitive and supportive parenting during play at 24-months predicted children’s executive functioning at 3-years of age. In contrast, paternal parenting quality during play at 7-months did not make an independent contribution above that of maternal care, but the links between maternal sensitive and supportive parenting and executive functioning seemed to operate in similar ways during infancy and toddlerhood. These findings add to prior work on early experience and children’s executive functioning, suggesting that both fathers and mothers play a distinct and complementary role in the development of these self-regulatory skills. PMID:25347539

  19. 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,…

  20. 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,…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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).…

  4. Development of executive functioning in school-age Tunisian children.

    PubMed

    Bellaj, Tarek; Salhi, Imen; Le Gall, Didier; Roy, Arnaud

    2016-01-01

    Research regarding executive functioning (EF) in children rarely focuses on populations in African or Middle-Eastern Arabic-speaking countries. The current study used a cross-sectional design to examine the developmental trajectories of school-age Tunisian children in three domains of executive control (inhibition of prepotent responses, cognitive flexibility, and working memory) as well as their mutual interactions and the effects of gender and parents' education level. Inhibitory processes, cognitive flexibility, and working memory were assessed using the Stroop test, a version of the Hayling test adapted for children, simple and alternating tasks of verbal fluency, and verbal and visuospatial span tasks (forward and backward spans). The study population included 120 7- to 12-year-old Tunisian children (60 girls, 60 boys) who were grouped and matched for age, gender, and parents' education level. The results revealed an overall effect of age on executive performance, whereas gender and parents' education level showed non-significant effects. In addition, executive indices were significantly associated with fluid intelligence level. Partial correlation analyses (controlled for age) found significant links between indices that assessed the same executive process, except for inhibitory processes; the temporal indices for inhibitory processes showed relative independence. The correlations between indices that assessed distinct executive processes were weaker (but significant). Overall, the results suggest that executive components in school-age Tunisian children operate according to relatively homogeneous developmental trajectories, marked by peaks of maturity that differ according to the assessed index. A transcultural approach to EF is discussed in terms of the unity and diversity of its components. PMID:26165251

  5. Is the behavior rating inventory of executive function more strongly associated with measures of impairment or executive function?

    PubMed

    McAuley, Tara; Chen, Shirley; Goos, Lisa; Schachar, Russell; Crosbie, Jennifer

    2010-05-01

    The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) is commonly used in the assessment of children and adolescents presenting with a wide range of concerns. It is unclear, however, whether the questionnaire is more closely related to general measures of behavioral disruption and impairment or to specific measures of executive function. In the present study, associations between the Behavioral Regulation Index and Metacognition Index of the BRIEF and cognitive, behavioral, and academic measures were examined in a sample of clinic-referred youth (n = 60) and healthy youth (n = 37) 6-15 years of age. Measures included ratings of inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms in youth, ratings of how well youth functioned in their everyday environments, youth's scores on measures of reading and math, and youth's scores on measures of inhibition, performance monitoring, and working memory. Although both BRIEF indices were strongly related to parent and teacher ratings of behavioral disruption and impairment, neither was associated with youth's scores on the performance-based tasks of executive function. These findings support the use of the BRIEF as a clinical tool for assessing a broad range of concerns, but raise questions about the relation of the BRIEF to performance-based tasks that are commonly used to assess executive function.

  6. Not just scenery: Viewing nature pictures improves executive attention in older adults

    PubMed Central

    Gamble, Katherine R.; Howard, James H.; Howard, Darlene V.

    2016-01-01

    Background/Study Context Attention Restoration Theory (Kaplan, 1995) suggests that exposure to nature improves attention. Berman, Jonides and Kaplan (2008) showed that simply viewing nature pictures improves executive attention in young adults. The present study is the first to investigate this Nature Effect in older adults. We investigated whether executive attention could be improved in healthy older adults following brief exposure to nature pictures. Methods Thirty healthy older adults (64–79 years old) and 26 young university students (18–25 years old) participated. They completed the Attention Network Test before and after six minutes of viewing either nature or urban pictures, with random assignment into a picture type. Attention immediately before (most fatigued) and after (most restored) picture viewing was measured, and change in attention was compared between age groups and picture types. Results Results showed that viewing nature, but not urban, pictures significantly improved executive attention in both older and young adults as measured by the Attention Network Test, with similar effects seen in the two age groups. Alerting and orienting attention scores were not affected by picture-viewing. Conclusion This was the first study to show that viewing nature pictures improves attention in older adults, and to show that it is executive attention, specifically, that is improved. Among a growing number of interventions, nature exposure offers a quick, inexpensive, and enjoyable means to provide a temporary boost in executive attention. PMID:25321942

  7. Visceral fat is associated with lower executive functioning in adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, Deborah H.; Leonard, Gabriel; Perron, Michel; Richer, Louis; Syme, Catriona; Veillette, Suzanne; Pausova, Zdenka; Paus, Tomáš

    2016-01-01

    Background Obesity, a major risk factor for cardiometabolic disease, is associated with lower cognitive performance from childhood to senescence, especially on tasks of executive function. In the cardiovascular domain, fat stored viscerally rather than elsewhere in the body carries particularly high risk. It is unknown whether this is also true in case of obesity-cognition relationships. The aim of this study is to assess the cross-sectional relationship between visceral fat (VF) and cognitive performance in a community sample of healthy adolescents. Methods In a community-based sample of 983 adolescents (12–18 years old, 480 males), VF was quantified using magnetic resonance imaging, total body fat was measured using a multifrequency bioimpedance and cognitive performance was assessed using a battery of cognitive tests measuring executive function and memory. Results We found that larger volumes of VF were associated with lower performance on six measures of executive function (p=0.0001 to 0.02). We also found that the association of VF with executive function was moderated by sex for a subset of measures, such that relationship was present mainly in females and not in males (sex-by-VF interaction: p=0.001 to 0.04). These relationships were independent of the quantity of total body fat and a number of potential confounders, including age, puberty stage and household income. Conclusions Our results suggest that the adverse association between obesity and executive function may be attributed to fat stored viscerally and not to fat stored elsewhere in the body. They also suggest that females compared with males may be more sensitive to the potentially detrimental effects of VF on cognition. PMID:23797144

  8. Thalamus and language: interface with attention, memory and executive functions.

    PubMed

    Radanovic, Marcia; Azambuja, Mariana; Mansur, Letícia Lessa; Porto, Cláudia Sellitto; Scaff, Milberto

    2003-03-01

    Subcortical structures are in a strategic functional position within the cognitive networks. Their lesion can interfere with a great number of functions. We studied six patients with thalamic vascular lesions (three left sided, two right sided and one bilateral), to characterize their repercussion in the communicative abilities and the interface between language alterations and other cognitive abilities, as attention, memory and frontal executive. All patients were evaluated through a functional interview (discourse analysis), and the following batteries: Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination, Boston Naming Test, Token Test, Benton Visual Retention Test, Trail Making, Wisconsin Card Sorting and frontal scripts. All patients performed MRI and five underwent SPECT. Results show that these patients present impairment in several cognitive domains, especially attention and executive functions (working memory, planning and self-monitoring); those with right lesions have an additional visuospatial impairment. Such alterations interfere with language abilities, and this fact must be considered in the rehabilitation efforts. PMID:12715016

  9. 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

  10. What's Cooking? - Cognitive Training of Executive Function in the Elderly.

    PubMed

    Wang, Man-Ying; Chang, Chien-Yu; Su, Shou-Yi

    2011-01-01

    Executive function involves the efficient and adaptive engagement of the control processes of updating, shifting, and inhibition (Miyake, 2000) to guide behavior toward a goal. It is associated with decrements in many other cognitive functions due to aging (West, 1996; Raz, 2000) with itself particularly vulnerable to the effect of aging (Treitz et al., 2007). Cognitive training in the form of structural experience with executive coordination demands exhibited effective enhancement in the elderly (Hertzog et al., 2008). The current study was thus aimed at the development and evaluation of a training regime for executive function in the elderly. The breakfast cooking task of Craik and Bialystok (2006) was adapted into a multitasking training task in a session (pre-test vs. post-test) by group (control vs. training). In the training condition, participants constantly switched, updated, and planned in order to control the cooking of several foods and concurrently performed a table setting secondary task. Training gains were exhibited on task related measures. Transfer effect was selectively observed on the letter-number sequencing and digit symbol coding test. The cooking training produced short term increase in the efficiency of executive control processing. These effects were interpreted in terms of the process overlap between the training and the transfer tasks.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Guare, Richard

    2014-01-01

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

  16. The relationship between executive functions and fluid intelligence in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Roca, María; Manes, Facundo; Cetkovich, Marcelo; Bruno, Diana; Ibáñez, Agustín; Torralva, Teresa; Duncan, John

    2013-01-01

    An enduring question is unity vs. separability of executive deficits resulting from impaired frontal lobe function. In previous studies, we have asked how executive deficits link to a conventional measure of fluid intelligence, obtained either by standard tests of novel problem-solving, or by averaging performance in a battery of novel tasks. For some classical executive tasks, such as the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), Verbal Fluency, and Trail Making Test B (TMTB), frontal deficits are entirely explained by fluid intelligence. However, on a second set of executive tasks, including tests of multitasking and decision making, deficits exceed those predicted by fluid intelligence loss. In this paper we discuss how these results shed light on the diverse clinical phenomenology observed in frontal dysfunction, and present new data on a group of 15 schizophrenic patients and 14 controls. Subjects were assessed with a range of executive tests and with a general cognitive battery used to derive a measure of fluid intelligence. Group performance was compared and fluid intelligence was introduced as a covariate. In line with our previous results, significant patient-control differences in classical executive tests were removed when fluid intelligence was introduced as a covariate. However, for tests of multitasking and decision making, deficits remained. We relate our findings to those of previous factor analytic studies describing a single principal component, which accounts for much of the variance of schizophrenic patients' cognitive performance. We propose that this general factor reflects low fluid intelligence capacity, which accounts for much but not all cognitive impairment in this patient group. Partialling out the general effects of fluid intelligence, we propose, may clarify the role of additional, more specific cognitive impairments in conditions such as schizophrenia. PMID:24605092

  17. Computer-Based Cognitive Training for Executive Functions after Stroke: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    van de Ven, Renate M.; Murre, Jaap M. J.; Veltman, Dick J.; Schmand, Ben A.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Stroke commonly results in cognitive impairments in working memory, attention, and executive function, which may be restored with appropriate training programs. Our aim was to systematically review the evidence for computer-based cognitive training of executive dysfunctions. Methods: Studies were included if they concerned adults who had suffered stroke or other types of acquired brain injury, if the intervention was computer training of executive functions, and if the outcome was related to executive functioning. We searched in MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and The Cochrane Library. Study quality was evaluated based on the CONSORT Statement. Treatment effect was evaluated based on differences compared to pre-treatment and/or to a control group. Results: Twenty studies were included. Two were randomized controlled trials that used an active control group. The other studies included multiple baselines, a passive control group, or were uncontrolled. Improvements were observed in tasks similar to the training (near transfer) and in tasks dissimilar to the training (far transfer). However, these effects were not larger in trained than in active control groups. Two studies evaluated neural effects and found changes in both functional and structural connectivity. Most studies suffered from methodological limitations (e.g., lack of an active control group and no adjustment for multiple testing) hampering differentiation of training effects from spontaneous recovery, retest effects, and placebo effects. Conclusions: The positive findings of most studies, including neural changes, warrant continuation of research in this field, but only if its methodological limitations are addressed. PMID:27148007

  18. Subjective Cognitive Complaints and the Role of Executive Cognitive Functioning in the Working Population: A Case-Control Study

    PubMed Central

    Stenfors, Cecilia U. D.; Marklund, Petter; Magnusson Hanson, Linda L.; Theorell, Töres; Nilsson, Lars-Göran

    2013-01-01

    Background Cognitive functioning is important for managing work and life in general. However, subjective cognitive complaints (SCC), involving perceived difficulties with concentration, memory, decision making, and clear thinking are common in the general and working population and can be coupled with both lowered well-being and work ability. However, the relation between SCC and cognitive functioning across the adult age-span, and in the work force, is not clear as few population-based studies have been conducted on non-elderly adults. Thus, the present study aimed to test the relation between SCC and executive cognitive functioning in a population-based sample of employees. Methods Participants were 233 employees with either high (cases) or low (controls) levels of SCC. Group differences in neuropsychological test performance on three common executive cognitive tests were analysed through a set of analyses of covariance tests, including relevant covariates. Results & Conclusions In line with the a priori hypotheses, a high level of SCC was associated with significantly poorer executive cognitive performance on all three executive cognitive tests used, compared to controls with little SCC. Additionally, symptoms of depression, chronic stress and sleeping problems were found to play a role in the relations between SCC and executive cognitive functioning. No significant associations remained after adjusting for all these factors. The current findings contribute to an increased understanding of what characterizes SCC in the work force and may be used at different levels of prevention of- and intervention for SCC and related problems with executive cognitive functioning. PMID:24386185

  19. Episodic memory and organizational strategy in free recall in unipolar depression: the role of cognitive support and executive functions.

    PubMed

    Taconnat, Laurence; Baudouin, Alexia; Fay, Severine; Raz, Naftali; Bouazzaoui, Badiaa; El-Hage, Wissam; Isingrini, Michel; Ergis, Anne-Marie

    2010-08-01

    Executive functioning and memory impairment have been demonstrated in adults with depression. Executive functions and memory are related, mainly when the memory tasks require controlled processes (attentional resource demanding processes)--that is, when a low cognitive support (external aid) is provided. A cross-sectional study was carried out on 45 participants: 21 with depression, and 24 healthy controls matched for age, verbal ability, education level, and anxiety score. Cognitive support was manipulated by providing a categorized word list at encoding, presented either clustered (high cognitive support) or randomized (low cognitive support) to both depressed and healthy adults. The number of words recalled was calculated, and an index of clustering was computed to assess organizational strategies. Participants were also administered cognitive tests (executive functions, cognitive speed, and categorical fluency) to explore the mediators of organizational strategies. Depressed participants had greater difficulty recalling and organizing the words, but the differences between the two groups were reduced for both measures when high cognitive support was provided at encoding. Healthy adults performed better on all cognitive tests. Statistical analyses revealed that in the depressed group, executive functions were the only variable associated with clustering and only when low cognitive support was provided. These findings support the view that the decrement in executive function due to depression may lead to impairment in organization when this mnemonic strategy has to be self-initiated.

  20. 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

  1. 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,…

  2. Exercise and fitness modulate cognitive function in older adults.

    PubMed

    Chu, Chien-Heng; Chen, Ai-Guo; Hung, Tsung-Min; Wang, Chun-Chih; Chang, Yu-Kai

    2015-12-01

    This study investigated the effects of acute exercise on cognitive function and the modulatory role of fitness in the relationship between exercise and cognition. Forty-six healthy older adults, categorized into higher or lower fitness groups, completed the Stroop test after both 30 min of aerobic exercise and a reading control with a counterbalanced order. Our findings demonstrated that acute exercise leads to general improvements in 2 types of cognitive functions and to specific improvements in executive function. Additionally, older adults with initially higher fitness levels experienced greater beneficial effects from acute exercise.

  3. Prefrontal executive function associated coupling relates to Huntington's disease stage.

    PubMed

    Unschuld, Paul G; Liu, Xinyang; Shanahan, Megan; Margolis, Russell L; Bassett, Susan S; Brandt, Jason; Schretlen, David J; Redgrave, Graham W; Hua, Jun; Hock, Christoph; Reading, Sarah A; van Zijl, Peter C M; Pekar, James J; Ross, Christopher A

    2013-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG)-repeat expansion in the huntingtin (HTT) gene. Early changes that may precede clinical manifestation of movement disorder include executive dysfunction. The aim of this study was to identify functional network correlates of impaired higher cognitive functioning in relation to HD stage. Blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) functional-magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and structural-MRI were performed in 53 subjects with the HD-mutation (41 prodromals, 12 early affected) and 52 controls. Disease stage was estimated for each subject with HD-mutation based on age, length of the CAG-repeat expansion mutation and also putaminal atrophy. The Tower of London test was administered with three levels of complexity during fMRI as a challenge of executive function. Functional brain networks of interest were identified based on cortical gray matter voxel-clusters with significantly enhanced task-related functional coupling to the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) area. While prodromal HD-subjects showed similar performance levels as controls, multivariate analysis of task-related functional coupling to the MPFC identified reduced connectivity in prodromal and early manifest HD-subjects for a cluster including mainly parts of the left premotor area. Secondary testing indicated a significant moderator effect for task complexity on group differences and on the degree of correlation to measures of HD stage. Our data suggest that impaired premotor-MPFC coupling reflects HD stage related dysfunction of cognitive systems involved in executive function and may be present in prodromal HD-subjects that are still cognitively normal. Additional longitudinal studies may reveal temporal relationships between impaired task-related premotor-MPFC coupling and other brain changes in HD.

  4. Executive function plays a role in coordinating different perspectives, particularly when one's own perspective is involved.

    PubMed

    Fizke, Ella; Barthel, Dana; Peters, Thomas; Rakoczy, Hannes

    2014-03-01

    While developmental experiments with children and elderly subjects, work with neuropsychological patients and adult experimental studies have consistently found close relations between executive function and theory of mind, the foundation of this relation still remains somewhat unclear. One prominent account holds that executive function is specifically involved in ascribing such mental states, paradigmatically beliefs, that aim at representing the world truly because ascribing such states requires inhibition of normative defaults (beliefs being true) (e.g. Sabbagh, Moses, & Shiverick, 2006). The present studies systematically tested for the role of executive function in different forms of mental state ascription as a function of the type of state ascribed (beliefs or desires) and the first person involvement of the ascriber (whether she herself has an attitude conflicting with one to be ascribed to someone else) in young children. The results reveal that (i) executive function is related not only to belief ascription but equally to desire ascription when both are matched in terms of logical complexity (such that two subjective attitudes have to be ascribed to two agents that are incompatible with each other). (ii) Both for desires and for beliefs, these relations are strongest in such tasks where the ascriber herself is one of the two agents, i.e. has a belief or desire herself that stands in contrast to that to be ascribed to someone else. All in all, these findings suggest that executive function figures in coordinating perspectives more generally, not only epistemic ones, and in particular in coordinating others' and one's own conflicting perspectives.

  5. Effects of selective REM sleep deprivation on prefrontal gamma activity and executive functions.

    PubMed

    Corsi-Cabrera, M; Rosales-Lagarde, A; del Río-Portilla, Y; Sifuentes-Ortega, R; Alcántara-Quintero, B

    2015-05-01

    Given that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is involved in executive functions and is deactivated and decoupled from posterior associative regions during REM sleep, that Gamma temporal coupling involved in information processing is enhanced during REM sleep, and that adult humans spend about 90 min of every 24h in REM sleep, it might be expected that REM sleep deprivation would modify Gamma temporal coupling and have a deteriorating effect on executive functions. We analyzed EEG Gamma activity and temporal coupling during implementation of a rule-guided task before and after REM sleep deprivation and its effect on verbal fluency, flexible thinking and selective attention. After two nights in the laboratory for adaptation, on the third night subjects (n=18) were randomly assigned to either selective REM sleep deprivation effectuated by awakening them at each REM sleep onset or, the same number of NREM sleep awakenings as a control for unspecific effects of sleep interruptions. Implementation of abstract rules to guide behavior required greater activation and synchronization of Gamma activity in the frontopolar regions after REM sleep reduction from 20.6% at baseline to just 3.93% of total sleep time. However, contrary to our hypothesis, both groups showed an overall improvement in executive task performance and no effect on their capacity to sustain selective attention. These results suggest that after one night of selective REM sleep deprivation executive functions can be compensated by increasing frontal activation and they still require the participation of supervisory control by frontopolar regions.

  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 on the Psychology Experiment Building Language tests

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2013-01-01

    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

  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. Social strain and executive function across the lifespan: The dark (and light) sides of social engagement

    PubMed Central

    Tun, Patricia A.; Miller-Martinez, Dana; Lachman, Margie E.; Seeman, Teresa

    2012-01-01

    We investigated how the association between social strain and cognitive efficiency varies with task demands across adulthood, from latencies on simpler speeded tasks to tests involving executive function. Participants (N= 3280) were drawn from the MIDUS survey, a large, diverse national sample of adults who completed cognitive tests including speeded task-switching (Tun & Lachman, 2008). After controlling for demographic and health variables, we found that higher levels of reported social strain were associated with slower processing speed, particularly for the complex task-switching test relative to simpler speeded tests. Effects of strain were greatest for those with the lowest general cognitive ability. Moreover, those with very high levels of social strain but low levels of social support gave the poorest task-switching performance. These findings provide further evidence for the complex relationship between the social environment and cognition across adulthood, particularly the association between efficiency of executive functions and negative social interactions. PMID:22873285

  10. An exploration of the role of executive functions in preschoolers' phonological development.

    PubMed

    Torrington Eaton, Catherine; Ratner, Nan Bernstein

    2016-01-01

    There is limited yet compelling evidence that domain-general processes may contribute to speech sound change. This study explored whether executive functions contribute to the achievement of adult-like speech production. Children who are 4 to 5 years old, 42 with high-average speech production skills, 11 with low-average and nine with speech sound disorder (SSD), participated in a battery of executive function and speech production tasks. Performance accuracy was compared across groups and also correlated with speech sound accuracy from a single-word naming task. Children with SSD demonstrated poorer performance than other groups on forward digit span, whereas children with low-average speech skills underperformed their peers on the Flexible Item Selection Task (FIST). These preliminary results suggest that children with speech errors may have less mature working memory than peers who have mastered phonological targets earlier in development. PMID:27315456

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Executing application function calls in response to an interrupt

    DOEpatents

    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.

  15. Reliability and Validity of the BRIEF-A for Assessing Deaf College Students' Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hauser, Peter C.; Lukomski, Jennifer; Samar, Vince

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated the reliability and validity of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions-Adult Form (BRIEF-A) when used with deaf college students. The BRIEF-A was administered to 176 deaf and 184 hearing students of whom 25 deaf students and 56 hearing students self-identified as having an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity…

  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.

  17. Individual differences in common factors of emotional traits and executive functions predict functional connectivity of the amygdala.

    PubMed

    Rohr, C S; Dreyer, F R; Aderka, I M; Margulies, D S; Frisch, S; Villringer, A; Okon-Singer, H

    2015-10-15

    Evidence suggests that individual differences in emotion control are associated with frontoparietal-limbic networks and linked to emotional traits and executive functions. In a first attempt to directly target the link between emotional traits and executive functions using resting-state fMRI analysis, 43 healthy adults completed a test battery including executive tasks and emotional trait self-assessments that were subjected to a principal component analysis. Of the three factors detected, two explained 40.4% of the variance and were further investigated. Both factors suggest a relation between emotional traits and executive functions. Specifically, the first factor consisted of measures related to inhibitory control and negative affect, and the second factor was related to reward and positive affect. To investigate whether this interplay between emotional traits and executive functions is reflected in neural connectivity, we used resting-state fMRI to explore the functional connectivity of the amygdala as a starting point, and progressed to other seed-based analyses based on the initial findings. We found that the first factor predicted the strength of connectivity between brain regions known to be involved in the cognitive control of emotion, including the amygdala and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, whereas the second factor predicted the strength of connectivity between brain regions known to be involved in reward and attention, including the amygdala, the caudate and the thalamus. These findings suggest that individual differences in the ability to inhibit negative affect are mediated by prefrontal-limbic pathways, while the ability to be positive and use rewarding information is mediated by a network that includes the amygdala and thalamostriatal regions.

  18. 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,…

  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. No Interrelation of Motor Planning and Executive Functions across Young Ages.

    PubMed

    Wunsch, Kathrin; Pfister, Roland; Henning, Anne; Aschersleben, Gisa; Weigelt, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined the developmental trajectories of motor planning and executive functioning in children. To this end, we tested 217 participants with three motor tasks, measuring anticipatory planning abilities (i.e., the bar-transport-task, the sword-rotation-task and the grasp-height-task), and three cognitive tasks, measuring executive functions (i.e., the Tower-of-Hanoi-task, the Mosaic-task, and the D2-attention-endurance-task). Children were aged between 3 and 10 years and were separated into age groups by 1-year bins, resulting in a total of eight groups of children and an additional group of adults. Results suggested (1) a positive developmental trajectory for each of the sub-tests, with better task performance as children get older; (2) that the performance in the separate tasks was not correlated across participants in the different age groups; and (3) that there was no relationship between performance in the motor tasks and in the cognitive tasks used in the present study when controlling for age. These results suggest that both, motor planning and executive functions are rather heterogeneous domains of cognitive functioning with fewer interdependencies than often suggested. PMID:27462285

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  2. No Interrelation of Motor Planning and Executive Functions across Young Ages

    PubMed Central

    Wunsch, Kathrin; Pfister, Roland; Henning, Anne; Aschersleben, Gisa; Weigelt, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined the developmental trajectories of motor planning and executive functioning in children. To this end, we tested 217 participants with three motor tasks, measuring anticipatory planning abilities (i.e., the bar-transport-task, the sword-rotation-task and the grasp-height-task), and three cognitive tasks, measuring executive functions (i.e., the Tower-of-Hanoi-task, the Mosaic-task, and the D2-attention-endurance-task). Children were aged between 3 and 10 years and were separated into age groups by 1-year bins, resulting in a total of eight groups of children and an additional group of adults. Results suggested (1) a positive developmental trajectory for each of the sub-tests, with better task performance as children get older; (2) that the performance in the separate tasks was not correlated across participants in the different age groups; and (3) that there was no relationship between performance in the motor tasks and in the cognitive tasks used in the present study when controlling for age. These results suggest that both, motor planning and executive functions are rather heterogeneous domains of cognitive functioning with fewer interdependencies than often suggested. PMID:27462285

  3. Effects of lurasidone on executive function in common marmosets.

    PubMed

    Murai, Takeshi; Nakako, Tomokazu; Ikejiri, Masaru; Ishiyama, Takeo; Taiji, Mutsuo; Ikeda, Kazuhito

    2013-06-01

    Cognitive impairment is one of the major symptoms of schizophrenia, and is considered largely due to dysfunctions in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Lurasidone, a novel atypical antipsychotic agent with high binding affinity for dopamine D2, serotonin 5-HT7, 5-HT2A and 5-HT1A receptors has been reported to have superior efficacy in rodents' models of cognitive impairment. However, the beneficial effect of lurasidone on cognitive impairment has not been evaluated in non-human primates. In this study, we investigated the effect of lurasidone on executive function, which is one of the cognitive domains, in common marmosets and compared the results to those of other antipsychotics. The effects of lurasidone, haloperidol, olanzapine, risperidone, quetiapine and clozapine on executive function were evaluated in naïve marmosets using the object retrieval with detours (ORD) task. Before drug treatment, marmosets' success rates in the easy trial of the test were almost 90%. However, maximum success in the difficult trial of the task reached only 50% after 8 days of training. Haloperidol, olanzapine and risperidone decreased correct performance even in the easy trial of the task. All drugs, except lurasidone, impaired success rate in the difficult trial. On the other hand, lurasidone dose-dependently increased marmosets' success rates in the difficult trial with significant effect at 10mg/kg. In conclusion, we have shown in this study that lurasidone, unlike conventional antipsychotics, improves cognition associated with executive function in common marmosets. These findings suggest that lurasidone would be more useful for treatment of schizophrenia cognitive impairment than other antipsychotics.

  4. Age of Onset of Marijuana Use and Executive Function

    PubMed Central

    Gruber, Staci A.; Sagar, Kelly A.; Dahlgren, Mary Kathryn; Racine, Megan; Lukas, Scott E.

    2012-01-01

    Marijuana (MJ) remains the most widely abused illicit substance in the United States, and in recent years, a decline in perceived risk of MJ use has been accompanied by a simultaneous increase in rates of use among adolescents. In the current study, we hypothesized that chronic MJ smokers would perform cognitive tasks, specifically those that require executive function more poorly than control subjects, and that individuals who started smoking MJ regularly prior to age 16 (early onset) would have more difficulty than those who started after age 16 (late onset). Thirty-four chronic, heavy MJ smokers separated into early and late onset groups and 28 non-MJ smoking controls completed a battery of neurocognitive measures. As hypothesized, MJ smokers performed more poorly than controls on several measures of executive function. Age of onset analyses revealed that these between-group differences were largely attributed to the early onset group, who were also shown to smoke twice as often and nearly three times as much MJ per week relative to the late onset smokers. Age of onset, frequency and magnitude of MJ use were all shown to impact cognitive performance. Findings suggest that earlier MJ onset is related to poorer cognitive function and increased frequency and magnitude of MJ use relative to later MJ onset. Exposure to MJ during a period of neurodevelopmental vulnerability, such as adolescence, may result in altered brain development and enduring neuropsychological changes. PMID:22103843

  5. The Neuropsychopharmacology of Fronto-Executive Function: Monoaminergic Modulation

    PubMed Central

    Robbins, T.W.; Arnsten, A.F.T.

    2010-01-01

    We review the modulatory effects of the catecholamine neurotransmitters noradrenaline and dopamine on prefrontal cortical function. The effects of pharmacologic manipulations of these systems, sometimes in comparison with the indoleamine serotonin (5-HT), on performance on a variety of tasks that tap working memory, attentional-set formation and shifting, reversal learning, and response inhibition are compared in rodents, nonhuman primates, and humans using, in a behavioral context, several techniques ranging from microiontophoresis and single-cell electrophysiological recording to pharmacologic functional magnetic resonance imaging. Dissociable effects of drugs and neurotoxins affecting these monoamine systems suggest new ways of conceptualizing state-dependent fronto-executive functions, with implications for understanding the molecular genetic basis of mental illness and its treatment. PMID:19555290

  6. Contrasting emotion processing and executive functioning in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Soncin, Stephen; Brien, Donald C; Coe, Brian C; Marin, Alina; Munoz, Douglas P

    2016-10-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder (BD) are highly comorbid and share executive function and emotion processing deficits, complicating diagnoses despite distinct clinical features. We compared performance on an oculomotor task that assessed these processes to capture subtle differences between ADHD and BD. The interaction between emotion processing and executive functioning may be informative because, although these processes overlap anatomically, certain regions that are compromised in each network are different in ADHD and BD. Adults, aged 18-62, with ADHD (n = 22), BD (n = 20), and healthy controls (n = 21) performed an interleaved pro- and antisaccade task (looking toward vs. looking away from a visual target, respectively). Task irrelevant emotional faces (fear, happy, sad, neutral) were presented on a subset of trials either before or with the target. The ADHD group made more direction errors (looked in the wrong direction) than controls. Presentation of negatively valenced (fear, sad) and ambiguous (neutral) emotional faces increased saccadic reaction time in BD only compared to controls, whereas longer presentation of sad faces modestly increased group differences. The antisaccade task differentiated ADHD from controls. Emotional processing further impaired processing speed in BD. We propose that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is critical in both processing systems, but the inhibitory signal this region generates is impacted by dysfunction in the emotion processing network, possibly at the orbitofrontal cortex, in BD. These results suggest there are differences in how emotion processing and executive functioning interact, which could be utilized to improve diagnostic specificity. (PsycINFO Database Record

  7. Relations between Short-term Memory Deficits, Semantic Processing, and Executive Function

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Corinne M.; Martin, Randi C.; Martin, Nadine

    2012-01-01

    Background Previous research has suggested separable short-term memory (STM) buffers for the maintenance of phonological and lexical-semantic information, as some patients with aphasia show better ability to retain semantic than phonological information and others show the reverse. Recently, researchers have proposed that deficits to the maintenance of semantic information in STM are related to executive control abilities. Aims The present study investigated the relationship of executive function abilities with semantic and phonological short-term memory (STM) and semantic processing in such patients, as some previous research has suggested that semantic STM deficits and semantic processing abilities are critically related to specific or general executive function deficits. Method and Procedures 20 patients with aphasia and STM deficits were tested on measures of short-term retention, semantic processing, and both complex and simple executive function tasks. Outcome and Results In correlational analyses, we found no relation between semantic STM and performance on simple or complex executive function tasks. In contrast, phonological STM was related to executive function performance in tasks that had a verbal component, suggesting that performance in some executive function tasks depends on maintaining or rehearsing phonological codes. Although semantic STM was not related to executive function ability, performance on semantic processing tasks was related to executive function, perhaps due to similar executive task requirements in both semantic processing and executive function tasks. Conclusions Implications for treatment and interpretations of executive deficits are discussed. PMID:22736889

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Assessing Executive Functions in Preschoolers Using Shape School Task

    PubMed Central

    Nieto, Marta; Ros, Laura; Medina, Gloria; Ricarte, Jorge J.; Latorre, José M.

    2016-01-01

    Over the last two decades, there has been a growing interest in the study of the development of executive functions (EF) in preschool children due to their relationship with different cognitive, psychological, social and academic domains. Early detection of individual differences in executive functioning can have major implications for basic and applied research. Consequently, there is a key need for assessment tools adapted to preschool skills: Shape School has been shown to be a suitable task for this purpose. Our study uses Shape School as the main task to analyze development of inhibition, task-switching and working memory in a sample of 304 preschoolers (age range 3.25–6.50 years). Additionally, we include cognitive tasks for the evaluation of verbal variables (vocabulary, word reasoning and short-term memory) and performance variables (picture completion and symbol search), so as to analyze their relationship with EFs. Our results show age-associated improvements in EFs and the cognitive variables assessed. Furthermore, correlation analyses reveal positive relationships between EFs and the other cognitive variables. More specifically, using structural equation modeling and including age direct and indirect effects, our results suggest that EFs explain to a greater extent performance on verbal and performance tasks. These findings provide further information to support research that considers preschool age to be a crucial period for the development of EFs and their relationship with other cognitive processes. PMID:27729896

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Executive function and fluid intelligence after frontal lobe lesions.

    PubMed

    Roca, María; Parr, Alice; Thompson, Russell; Woolgar, Alexandra; Torralva, Teresa; Antoun, Nagui; Manes, Facundo; Duncan, John

    2010-01-01

    Many tests of specific 'executive functions' show deficits after frontal lobe lesions. These deficits appear on a background of reduced fluid intelligence, best measured with tests of novel problem solving. For a range of specific executive tests, we ask how far frontal deficits can be explained by a general fluid intelligence loss. For some widely used tests, e.g. Wisconsin Card Sorting, we find that fluid intelligence entirely explains frontal deficits. When patients and controls are matched on fluid intelligence, no further frontal deficit remains. For these tasks too, deficits are unrelated to lesion location within the frontal lobe. A second group of tasks, including tests of both cognitive (e.g. Hotel, Proverbs) and social (Faux Pas) function, shows a different pattern. Deficits are not fully explained by fluid intelligence and the data suggest association with lesions in the right anterior frontal cortex. Understanding of frontal lobe deficits may be clarified by separating reduced fluid intelligence, important in most or all tasks, from other more specific impairments and their associated regions of damage.

  15. Disorganized symptoms and executive functioning predict impaired social functioning in subjects at risk for psychosis.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. 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…

  17. Habitual physical activity (HPA) as a factor in sustained executive function in Alzheimer-type dementia: a cohort study.

    PubMed

    Farina, Nicolas; Tabet, Naji; Rusted, Jennifer

    2014-01-01

    Evidence from studies on healthy older adults and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) populations suggests that physical activity interventions have a positive effect on executive function. In this study, we consider whether HPA is positively associated with executive function in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Eighty-two participants with a diagnosis of mild to moderate AD completed six measures of executive function. Objective measures of physical status were taken. In addition, informants completed questionnaires on the participants' HPA and other lifestyle factors. A composite measure of executive function was the primary outcome. A multistage multiple regression was used to determine how much variance HPA accounted for. The final model comprised disease severity, cognitive reserve, cognitive activities, neuropsychiatric status and HPA status. The final model accounted for a total of 57% of the variance of executive performance, of which HPA itself accounted for 8% of the variance. HPA status is associated executive performance in an AD population even after controlling for key covariates. The findings encourage clinicians to recommend HPA and its cognitive benefits to AD patients and their carers.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Making working memory work: a meta-analysis of executive-control and working memory training in older adults.

    PubMed

    Karbach, Julia; Verhaeghen, Paul

    2014-11-01

    This meta-analysis examined the effects of process-based executive-function and working memory training (49 articles, 61 independent samples) in older adults (> 60 years). The interventions resulted in significant effects on performance on the trained task and near-transfer tasks; significant results were obtained for the net pretest-to-posttest gain relative to active and passive control groups and for the net effect at posttest relative to active and passive control groups. Far-transfer effects were smaller than near-transfer effects but were significant for the net pretest-to-posttest gain relative to passive control groups and for the net gain at posttest relative to both active and passive control groups. We detected marginally significant differences in training-induced improvements between working memory and executive-function training, but no differences between the training-induced improvements observed in older adults and younger adults, between the benefits associated with adaptive and nonadaptive training, or between the effects in active and passive control conditions. Gains did not vary with total training time.

  3. Making working memory work: A meta-analysis of executive control and working memory training in younger and older adults

    PubMed Central

    Karbach, Julia; Verhaeghen, Paul

    2015-01-01

    This meta-analysis examined the effects of process-based cognitive training (49 studies) in the domains of executive function and working memory in older adults (>60 years). The interventions resulted in significant effects on the trained task (pre-to-posttest net gain: MSD = 0.5 compared to active control, MSD = 0.8 compared to passive control; net posttest effect: MSD = 1.2 compared to active control, MSD = 1.1 compared to passive control), significant near transfer (pre-post: MSD = 0.3, 0.3; posttest: MSD = 0.6, 0.4); far-transfer effects were significant in 3 out of 4 comparisons (pre-post: MSD = 0.2, 0.2; net gain at posttest: MSD = 0.3, 0.2, ns). We detected small differences in training-induced improvements between working-memory and executive-functioning training, but none between older adults and the younger-adult samples included in these studies, adaptive and non-adaptive training, or active and passive control conditions. Gains did not vary with total training time. PMID:25298292

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Pharmacological enhancement of memory and executive functioning in laboratory animals.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. Linking Resting-State Networks in the Prefrontal Cortex to Executive Function: A Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy Study

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Jia; Liu, Jiangang; Jiang, Xin; Zhou, Guifei; Chen, Guowei; Ding, Xiao P.; Fu, Genyue; Lee, Kang

    2016-01-01

    Executive function (EF) plays vital roles in our everyday adaptation to the ever-changing environment. However, limited existing studies have linked EF to the resting-state brain activity. The functional connectivity in the resting state between the sub-regions of the brain can reveal the intrinsic neural mechanisms involved in cognitive processing of EF without disturbance from external stimuli. The present study investigated the relations between the behavioral executive function (EF) scores and the resting-state functional network topological properties in the Prefrontal Cortex (PFC). We constructed complex brain functional networks in the PFC from 90 healthy young adults using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). We calculated the correlations between the typical network topological properties (regional topological properties and global topological properties) and the scores of both the Total EF and components of EF measured by computer-based Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB). We found that the Total EF scores were positively correlated with regional properties in the right dorsal superior frontal gyrus (SFG), whereas the opposite pattern was found in the right triangular inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Different EF components were related to different regional properties in various PFC areas, such as planning in the right middle frontal gyrus (MFG), working memory mainly in the right MFG and triangular IFG, short-term memory in the left dorsal SFG, and task switch in the right MFG. In contrast, there were no significant findings for global topological properties. Our findings suggested that the PFC plays an important role in individuals' behavioral performance in the executive function tasks. Further, the resting-state functional network can reveal the intrinsic neural mechanisms involved in behavioral EF abilities. PMID:27774047

  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. Motor assessment in pediatric neuropsychology: relationships to executive function.

    PubMed

    Shaheen, Sandra

    2013-01-01

    Executive function often refers to control behaviors such as "initiating," "sustaining," "inhibiting," and "switching." These mechanisms contribute to regulation of thinking and emotion but can be observed most clearly in the motor system. Neuropsychology has been influenced by "top-down" models of cognitive control that emerged from information-processing theories of cognition. In fact, neural models provide evidence that control processes are highly interactive within the cortico-striatal-cerebellar circuits. Cognition unfolds in response to motor-driven adaptation, and evidence exists for similar firing of brain cells and circuits during "imagined action" as in actual motor behavior. The motor system develops early and yet is not routinely assessed in neuropsychological evaluation of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. This article reviews some of the approaches to motor assessment that have sensitivity to neurodevelopmental disorders, and advocates for inclusion of motor assessment, particularly in evaluating control processes independent of culture, language, and other confounders.

  14. Motor assessment in pediatric neuropsychology: relationships to executive function.

    PubMed

    Shaheen, Sandra

    2013-01-01

    Executive function often refers to control behaviors such as "initiating," "sustaining," "inhibiting," and "switching." These mechanisms contribute to regulation of thinking and emotion but can be observed most clearly in the motor system. Neuropsychology has been influenced by "top-down" models of cognitive control that emerged from information-processing theories of cognition. In fact, neural models provide evidence that control processes are highly interactive within the cortico-striatal-cerebellar circuits. Cognition unfolds in response to motor-driven adaptation, and evidence exists for similar firing of brain cells and circuits during "imagined action" as in actual motor behavior. The motor system develops early and yet is not routinely assessed in neuropsychological evaluation of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. This article reviews some of the approaches to motor assessment that have sensitivity to neurodevelopmental disorders, and advocates for inclusion of motor assessment, particularly in evaluating control processes independent of culture, language, and other confounders. PMID:23745952

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

    PubMed Central

    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 preschool period using Conflict and Delay subtests that had a cool (abstract) or hot (extrinsic reward) focus. Results from 151 children in three age groups (2.5, 3.5, and 4.5) suggested acceptable same-day test-retest reliability on all but Delay-Cool subtasks. These findings will inform appropriate measurement selection and development for future studies. PMID:21643523

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

    PubMed

    Menezes, Amanda; Dias, Natália Martins; Trevisan, Bruna Tonietti; Carreiro, Luiz Renato R; Seabra, Alessandra Gotuzo

    2015-03-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Research Findings This study examined whether children’s executive functions before kindergarten would predict variance in executive functions after kindergarten. We obtained behavioral (working memory task performance), parental-reported (temperament-based inhibitory control), and psychophysiological (working memory-related changes in heart rate and brain electrical activity) measures of executive functions from a group of preschool-aged children. After children finished kindergarten, approximately 2 years later, parents were asked to complete an assessment of children’s executive function skills. A regression analysis revealed that pre-kindergarten behavioral, parental-reported, and psychophysiological measures accounted for variance in post-kindergarten executive functions. Specifically, working memory task performance, temperament-based inhibitory control, and working memory-related changes in brain electrical activity accounted for unique variance in post-kindergarten executive functions. These data provide a unique contribution to the executive function literature: No other study has examined whether behavioral, psychophysiological, and parental-reported executive function measures can account for unique variance in future executive function. Practice or Policy These findings are discussed in relation to children’s transition to school and executive function training programs. PMID:22711983

  19. 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

  20. Executive functions: performance-based measures and the behavior rating inventory of executive function (BRIEF) in adolescents with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    PubMed

    Toplak, Maggie E; Bucciarelli, Stefania M; Jain, Umesh; Tannock, Rosemary

    2009-01-01

    Performance-based measures and ratings of executive functions were examined in a sample of adolescents with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and comparison controls. Performance-based measures of executive function included inhibition, working memory, set shifting, and planning, and ratings of these same executive functions were completed by parents and teachers. Adolescents with ADHD demonstrated lower executive function performance than controls and displayed elevated ratings on the executive function ratings by parents and teachers. Significant associations were obtained between the performance-based measures and the parent and teacher ratings, but each measure was not uniquely associated with its respective scale on the rating scales. When performance-based measures and ratings were examined as predictors of ADHD status, the parent and teacher ratings entered as significant predictors of ADHD status. Further commonality analyses indicated that performance-based measures accounted for little unique variance in predicting ADHD status and also displayed little overlap with the behavioral ratings. These findings highlight the diagnostic utility of behavioral ratings of executive function in predicting ADHD status; however, behavioral ratings should not be assumed to be a proxy for performance on measures of executive function in clinical practice.

  1. 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

  2. Lisdexamfetamine Dimesylate Augmentation in Adults With Persistent Executive Dysfunction After Partial or Full Remission of Major Depressive Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Madhoo, Manisha; Keefe, Richard SE; Roth, Robert M; Sambunaris, Angelo; Wu, James; Trivedi, Madhukar H; Anderson, Colleen S; Lasser, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Evaluate lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (LDX) augmentation of antidepressant monotherapy for executive dysfunction in partially or fully remitted major depressive disorder (MDD). This randomized, placebo-controlled study (NCT00985725) enrolled 143 adults (18–55 years) with mild MDD (Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) score ⩽18) and executive dysfunction (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A) Self-Report Global Executive Composite (GEC) T score ⩾60) on stable antidepressant monotherapy for ⩾8 weeks. After 2 weeks of screening, participants were randomized to 9 weeks of double-blind LDX (20–70 mg/day) or placebo augmentation, followed by 2 weeks of single-blind placebo. The primary end point was change from baseline to week 9/end of study (EOS) in BRIEF-A Self-Report GEC T score; secondary assessments included the BRIEF-A Informant Report, MADRS, and treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs). Of 143 randomized participants, 119 completed double-blind treatment (placebo, n=59; LDX, n=60). Mean±standard deviation (SD) BRIEF-A GEC T scores decreased from baseline (placebo, 74.2±8.88; LDX, 76.8±9.66) to week 9/EOS (placebo, 61.4±14.61; LDX, 55.2±16.15); the LS mean (95% CI) treatment difference significantly favored LDX (−8.0 (−12.7, −3.3); P=0.0009). The LS mean (95% CI) treatment difference for MADRS total score also significantly favored LDX (−1.9 (−3.7, 0.0); P=0.0465). TEAE rates were 73.6% with placebo and 78.9% with LDX; serious TEAE rates were 4.2 and 2.8%. In this trial, LDX augmentation significantly improved executive dysfunction and depressive symptoms in participants with mild MDD. The safety profile of LDX was consistent with prior studies in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. PMID:24309905

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Compensating for Executive Function Impairments after TBI: A Single Case Study of Functional Intervention.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turkstra, Lyn S.; Flora, Tracy L.

    2002-01-01

    Compensatory strategies were designed to enable a client with traumatic brain injury to obtain professional employment. In a series of speech-language therapy sessions, compensatory strategies targeting impairments in executive function were developed, refined, and trained in mock-interview situations. Significant improvements were noted in…

  7. Prefrontal Engagement and Reduced Default Network Suppression Co-occur and Are Dynamically Coupled in Older Adults: The Default-Executive Coupling Hypothesis of Aging.

    PubMed

    Turner, Gary R; Spreng, R Nathan

    2015-12-01

    Reduced executive control is a hallmark of neurocognitive aging. Poor modulation of lateral pFC activity in the context of increasing task challenge in old adults and a "failure to deactivate" the default network during cognitive control tasks have been observed. Whether these two patterns represent discrete mechanisms of neurocognitive aging or interact into older adulthood remains unknown. We examined whether altered pFC and default network dynamics co-occur during goal-directed planning over increasing levels of difficulty during performance on the Tower of London task. We used fMRI to investigate task- and age-related changes in brain activation and functional connectivity across four levels of task challenge. Frontoparietal executive control regions were activated and default network regions were suppressed during planning relative to counting performance in both groups. Older adults, unlike young, failed to modulate brain activity in executive control and default regions as planning demands increased. Critically, functional connectivity analyses revealed bilateral dorsolateral pFC coupling in young adults and dorsolateral pFC to default coupling in older adults with increased planning complexity. We propose a default-executive coupling hypothesis of aging. First, this hypothesis suggests that failure to modulate control and default network activity in response to increasing task challenge are linked in older adulthood. Second, functional brain changes involve greater coupling of lateral pFC and the default network as cognitive control demands increase in older adults. We speculate that these changes reflect an adaptive shift in cognitive approach as older adults come to rely more upon stored representations to support goal-directed task performance.

  8. 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

  9. Spaceborne computer executive routine functional design specification. Volume 1: Functional design of a flight computer executive program for the reusable shuttle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curran, R. T.

    1971-01-01

    A flight computer functional executive design for the reusable shuttle is presented. The design is given in the form of functional flowcharts and prose description. Techniques utilized in the regulation of process flow to accomplish activation, resource allocation, suspension, termination, and error masking based on process primitives are considered. Preliminary estimates of main storage utilization by the Executive are furnished. Conclusions and recommendations for timely, effective software-hardware integration in the reusable shuttle avionics system are proposed.

  10. Recognition of faces and names: multimodal physiological correlates of memory and executive function.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Meghan B; Shirk, Steven D; McLaren, Donald G; Dodd, Jessica S; Ezzati, Ali; Ally, Brandon A; Atri, Alireza

    2016-06-01

    We sought to characterize electrophysiological, eye-tracking and behavioral correlates of face-name recognition memory in healthy younger adults using high-density electroencephalography (EEG), infrared eye-tracking (ET), and neuropsychological measures. Twenty-one participants first studied 40 face-name (FN) pairs; 20 were presented four times (4R) and 20 were shown once (1R). Recognition memory was assessed by asking participants to make old/new judgments for 80 FN pairs, of which half were previously studied items and half were novel FN pairs (N). Simultaneous EEG and ET recording were collected during recognition trials. Comparisons of event-related potentials (ERPs) for correctly identified FN pairs were compared across the three item types revealing classic ERP old/new effects including 1) relative positivity (1R > N) bi-frontally from 300 to 500 ms, reflecting enhanced familiarity, 2) relative positivity (4R > 1R and 4R > N) in parietal areas from 500 to 800 ms, reflecting enhanced recollection, and 3) late frontal effects (1R > N) from 1000 to 1800 ms in right frontal areas, reflecting post-retrieval monitoring. ET analysis also revealed significant differences in eye movements across conditions. Exploration of cross-modality relationships suggested associations between memory and executive function measures and the three ERP effects. Executive function measures were associated with several indicators of saccadic eye movements and fixations, which were also associated with all three ERP effects. This novel characterization of face-name recognition memory performance using simultaneous EEG and ET reproduced classic ERP and ET effects, supports the construct validity of the multimodal FN paradigm, and holds promise as an integrative tool to probe brain networks supporting memory and executive functioning. PMID:26116280

  11. Contrasting emotion processing and executive functioning in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Soncin, Stephen; Brien, Donald C; Coe, Brian C; Marin, Alina; Munoz, Douglas P

    2016-10-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder (BD) are highly comorbid and share executive function and emotion processing deficits, complicating diagnoses despite distinct clinical features. We compared performance on an oculomotor task that assessed these processes to capture subtle differences between ADHD and BD. The interaction between emotion processing and executive functioning may be informative because, although these processes overlap anatomically, certain regions that are compromised in each network are different in ADHD and BD. Adults, aged 18-62, with ADHD (n = 22), BD (n = 20), and healthy controls (n = 21) performed an interleaved pro- and antisaccade task (looking toward vs. looking away from a visual target, respectively). Task irrelevant emotional faces (fear, happy, sad, neutral) were presented on a subset of trials either before or with the target. The ADHD group made more direction errors (looked in the wrong direction) than controls. Presentation of negatively valenced (fear, sad) and ambiguous (neutral) emotional faces increased saccadic reaction time in BD only compared to controls, whereas longer presentation of sad faces modestly increased group differences. The antisaccade task differentiated ADHD from controls. Emotional processing further impaired processing speed in BD. We propose that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is critical in both processing systems, but the inhibitory signal this region generates is impacted by dysfunction in the emotion processing network, possibly at the orbitofrontal cortex, in BD. These results suggest there are differences in how emotion processing and executive functioning interact, which could be utilized to improve diagnostic specificity. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27537826

  12. The association between aerobic fitness and executive function is mediated by prefrontal cortex volume.

    PubMed

    Weinstein, Andrea M; Voss, Michelle W; Prakash, Ruchika Shaurya; Chaddock, Laura; Szabo, Amanda; White, Siobhan M; Wojcicki, Thomas R; Mailey, Emily; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F; Erickson, Kirk I

    2012-07-01

    Aging is marked by a decline in cognitive function, which is often preceded by losses in gray matter volume. Fortunately, higher cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) levels are associated with an attenuation of age-related losses in gray matter volume and a reduced risk for cognitive impairment. Despite these links, we have only a rudimentary understanding of whether fitness-related increases in gray matter volume lead to elevated cognitive function. In this cross-sectional study, we examined whether the association between higher aerobic fitness levels and elevated executive function was mediated by greater gray matter volume in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). One hundred and forty-two older adults (mean age=66.6 years) completed structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, CRF assessments, and performed Stroop and spatial working memory (SPWM) tasks. Gray matter volume was assessed using an optimized voxel-based morphometry approach. Consistent with our predictions, higher fitness levels were associated with: (a) better performance on both the Stroop and SPWM tasks, and (b) greater gray matter volume in several regions, including the dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC). Volume of the right inferior frontal gyrus and precentral gyrus mediated the relationship between CRF and Stroop interference while a non-overlapping set of regions bilaterally in the DLPFC mediated the association between CRF and SPWM accuracy. These results suggest that specific regions of the DLPFC differentially relate to inhibition and spatial working memory. Thus, fitness may influence cognitive function by reducing brain atrophy in targeted areas in healthy older adults.

  13. 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

  14. Strong genetic overlap between executive functions and intelligence.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  15. Activities and Programs That Improve Children's Executive Functions.

    PubMed

    Diamond, Adele

    2012-10-01

    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

  16. Executive Functioning, Irritability, and Alcohol-Related Aggression

    PubMed Central

    Godlaski, Aaron J.; Giancola, Peter R.

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to examine: a) whether irritability mediates the relation between executive functioning (EF) and alcohol-related aggression and b) whether the alcohol-aggression relation is better explained by the interactive effects of EF and irritability above and beyond the effects of either variable alone. EF was measured using seven well-established neuropsychological tests. Irritability was assessed with the Caprara Irritability Scale. Participants were 313 male and female social drinkers between 21 and 35 years of age. Following the consumption of an alcohol or a placebo beverage, participants were tested on a laboratory aggression task in which electric shocks were given to and received from a fictitious opponent under the guise of a competitive reaction-time task. Aggression was operationalized as the shock intensities administered to the fictitious opponent. Results indicated that irritability successfully mediated the relation between EF and intoxicated aggression for men only. Despite the fact that irritability and EF both independently moderated the alcohol-aggression relation in previous studies, no significant interaction for their combined effect was detected here. The findings are discussed, in part, within a cognitive neoassociationistic framework for aggressive behavior. PMID:19769424

  17. Executive function and suicidality: a systematic qualitative review

    PubMed Central

    Bredemeier, Keith; Miller, Ivan W.

    2015-01-01

    Deficits in executive function (EF) have been proposed as a possible explanation for the “cognitive rigidity” often observed in suicidal individuals. This article provides a systematic review of the existing literature testing relations between EF and suicidality, across various diagnostic and demographic populations, using the influential multidimensional model of EF proposed by Miyake and colleagues (2000) as an organizing framework. Forty-three journal articles on this topic published before January of 2014 were reviewed. Collectively, results from these studies provide tentative support for an association between EF deficits and suicidality. However, there is some evidence that this association is moderated other factors (e.g., suicide attempt lethality). Importantly, this relationship may vary across diagnostic groups. Specifically, more studies that used depressive disorder samples reported some positive findings (75%), followed by mixed diagnostic samples (54%). In contrast, fewer positive findings have emerged from studies with bipolar or psychotic disorder samples (29% and 33% respectively), and some even found that suicidality is associated with better EF in individuals with psychotic disorders. Firm conclusions about relationships between specific dimensions of EF and/or aspects of suicidality are difficult to draw this time. Limitations of the existing literature and corresponding directions for future research are discussed. PMID:26135816

  18. 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

  19. Activities and Programs That Improve Children's Executive Functions.

    PubMed

    Diamond, Adele

    2012-10-01

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Long-term effects of executive process training in young and old adults.

    PubMed

    Sandberg, Petra; Stigsdotter Neely, Anna

    2016-10-01

    Prior studies have examined the magnitude of training and transfer effects after process-based training in early and late adulthood. However, little is known about how long-lasting these effects are. Here we investigate the degree of stability of training gains and transfer effects in younger and older adults 18 months after completion of executive process training, tapping updating, inhibition, and shifting. From the original sample, 24 out of 30 older participants, and 19 out of 29 young adults, returned for follow-up assessment at which the criterion and transfer tests from pre- and post-test were re-administered. The results demonstrated stability of training gains in the updating criterion task (Letter Memory Running Span), and in a near transfer updating task (Number Memory Running Span) for both age groups. The young adults improved performance in two complex working memory tasks immediately after training. These transfer effects did not survive across time. Our results provide evidence that executive process training has its greatest effect on transfer tasks with a substantial process overlap with the trained tasks: only those effects are maintained over an 18 month period in both early and late adulthood.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Neuropsychological Functioning in Adults with Asperger Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ambery, Fiona Z.; Russell, Ailsa J.; Perry, Katie; Morris, Robin; Murphy, Declan G. M.

    2006-01-01

    There is some consensus in the literature regarding the cognitive profile of people with Asperger syndrome (AS). Findings to date suggest that a proportion of people with AS have higher verbal than performance IQ, a non-verbal learning disability (NVLD) and impairments in some aspects of executive function (EF). However, there are few published…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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.,…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heyl, Vera; Hintermair, Manfred

    2015-01-01

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

  15. The Role of Executive Functions in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Testing Predictions from Two Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Donghyung; Riccio, Cynthia A.; Hynd, George W.

    2004-01-01

    The role of executive functions in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) varies considerably depending on the models of ADHD. We examined the interrelationship of two major executive functions (i.e., inhibition and working memory) with behavioral, emotional, and school problems in a group of children who had a comprehensive…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Test Review: Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function--Self-Report Version

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walker, Justin M.; D'Amato, Rik Carl

    2006-01-01

    The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Self-Report version (BRIEF-SR) is the first self-report measure of executive functioning for adolescents. With the Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act authorization, there is a greater need for appropriate assessment of severely impaired children. Recent studies have…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  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. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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,…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Practitioner Review: Do Performance-Based Measures and Ratings of Executive Function Assess the Same Construct?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Toplak, Maggie E.; West, Richard F.; Stanovich, Keith E.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Both performance-based and rating measures are commonly used to index executive function in clinical and neuropsychological assessments. They are intended to index the same broad underlying mental construct of executive function. The association between these two types of measures was investigated in the current article. Method and…

  18. Executive Functions and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Implications of Two Conflicting Views

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Thomas E.

    2006-01-01

    While increasing numbers of articles and books refer to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as a disorder of "executive function" of the mind, two conflicting views have emerged about how ADHD and executive function are related. In one view it is argued that some, but not all, who meet the fourth edition of the "Diagnostic and…

  19. Self-Regulation and Inhibition in Comorbid ADHD Children: An Evaluation of Executive Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sarkis, Stephanie Moulton; Sarkis, Elias H.; Marshall, David; Archer, James

    2005-01-01

    The relationship between executive function and comorbid diagnoses in ADHD children is examined. One hundred six children between 7 and 15 years of age are assessed using the Tower of London (TOL), a test of executive function, and the Kiddie Schedule of Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia, Present and Lifetime Version, a diagnostic interview.…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

    Moriguchi, Yusuke; Hiraki, Kazuo

    2013-01-01

    Executive function (EF) refers to the higher-order cognitive control process for the attainment of a specific goal. There are several subcomponents of EF, such as inhibition, cognitive shifting, and working memory. Extensive neuroimaging research in adults has revealed that the lateral prefrontal cortex plays an important role in EF. Developmental studies have reported behavioral evidence showing that EF changes significantly during preschool years. However, the neural mechanism of EF in young children is still unclear. This article reviews recent near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) research that examined the relationship between the development of EF and the lateral prefrontal cortex. Specifically, this review focuses on inhibitory control, cognitive shifting, and working memory in young children. Research has consistently shown significant prefrontal activation during tasks in typically developed children, but this activation may be abnormal in children with developmental disorders. Finally, methodological issues and future directions are discussed. PMID:24381551

  3. Theory of mind and its relationship with executive functions and emotion recognition in borderline personality disorder.

    PubMed

    Baez, Sandra; Marengo, Juan; Perez, Ana; Huepe, David; Font, Fernanda Giralt; Rial, Veronica; Gonzalez-Gadea, María Luz; Manes, Facundo; Ibanez, Agustin

    2015-09-01

    Impaired social cognition has been claimed to be a mechanism underlying the development and maintenance of borderline personality disorder (BPD). One important aspect of social cognition is the theory of mind (ToM), a complex skill that seems to be influenced by more basic processes, such as executive functions (EF) and emotion recognition. Previous ToM studies in BPD have yielded inconsistent results. This study assessed the performance of BPD adults on ToM, emotion recognition, and EF tasks. We also examined whether EF and emotion recognition could predict the performance on ToM tasks. We evaluated 15 adults with BPD and 15 matched healthy controls using different tasks of EF, emotion recognition, and ToM. The results showed that BPD adults exhibited deficits in the three domains, which seem to be task-dependent. Furthermore, we found that EF and emotion recognition predicted the performance on ToM. Our results suggest that tasks that involve real-life social scenarios and contextual cues are more sensitive to detect ToM and emotion recognition deficits in BPD individuals. Our findings also indicate that (a) ToM variability in BPD is partially explained by individual differences on EF and emotion recognition; and (b) ToM deficits of BPD patients are partially explained by the capacity to integrate cues from face, prosody, gesture, and social context to identify the emotions and others' beliefs. PMID:24766847

  4. Theory of mind and its relationship with executive functions and emotion recognition in borderline personality disorder.

    PubMed

    Baez, Sandra; Marengo, Juan; Perez, Ana; Huepe, David; Font, Fernanda Giralt; Rial, Veronica; Gonzalez-Gadea, María Luz; Manes, Facundo; Ibanez, Agustin

    2015-09-01

    Impaired social cognition has been claimed to be a mechanism underlying the development and maintenance of borderline personality disorder (BPD). One important aspect of social cognition is the theory of mind (ToM), a complex skill that seems to be influenced by more basic processes, such as executive functions (EF) and emotion recognition. Previous ToM studies in BPD have yielded inconsistent results. This study assessed the performance of BPD adults on ToM, emotion recognition, and EF tasks. We also examined whether EF and emotion recognition could predict the performance on ToM tasks. We evaluated 15 adults with BPD and 15 matched healthy controls using different tasks of EF, emotion recognition, and ToM. The results showed that BPD adults exhibited deficits in the three domains, which seem to be task-dependent. Furthermore, we found that EF and emotion recognition predicted the performance on ToM. Our results suggest that tasks that involve real-life social scenarios and contextual cues are more sensitive to detect ToM and emotion recognition deficits in BPD individuals. Our findings also indicate that (a) ToM variability in BPD is partially explained by individual differences on EF and emotion recognition; and (b) ToM deficits of BPD patients are partially explained by the capacity to integrate cues from face, prosody, gesture, and social context to identify the emotions and others' beliefs.

  5. Anterior cingulate cortex mediates the relationship between O3PUFAs and executive functions in APOE e4 carriers

    PubMed Central

    Zamroziewicz, Marta K.; Paul, Erick J.; Rubin, Rachael D.; Barbey, Aron K.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Although diet has a substantial influence on the aging brain, the relationship between biomarkers of diet and aspects of brain health remains unclear. This study examines the neural mechanisms that mediate the relationship between omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (O3PUFAs) and executive functions in at-risk (APOE e4 carriers), cognitively intact older adults. We hypothesized that higher levels of O3PUFAs are associated with better performance in a particular component of the executive functions, namely cognitive flexibility, and that this relationship is mediated by gray matter volume of a specific region thought to be important for cognitive flexibility, the anterior cingulate cortex. Methods: We examined 40 cognitively intact adults between the ages of 65 and 75 with the APOE e4 polymorphism to investigate the relationship between biomarkers of O3PUFAs, tests of cognitive flexibility (measured by the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System Trail Making Test), and gray matter volume within regions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Results: A mediation analysis revealed that gray matter volume within the left rostral anterior cingulate cortex partially mediates the relationship between O3PUFA biomarkers and cognitive flexibility. Conclusion: These results suggest that the anterior cingulate cortex acts as a mediator of the relationship between O3PUFAs and cognitive flexibility in cognitively intact adults thought to be at risk for cognitive decline. Through their link to executive functions and neuronal measures of PFC volume, O3PUFAs show potential as a nutritional therapy to prevent dysfunction in the aging brain. PMID:26052283

  6. Improving executive functioning in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Nash, Kelly; Stevens, Sara; Greenbaum, Rachel; Weiner, Judith; Koren, Gideon; Rovet, Joanne

    2015-01-01

    An extensive body of literature has documented executive function (EF) impairments in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD); however, few studies have aimed specifically at improving EF. One treatment program that shows promise for children with FASD is the Alert Program for Self-Regulation®, which is a 12-week treatment specifically designed to target self-regulation, a component of EF. The present study sought to examine if Alert would produce improvements in self-regulation that would generalize to other aspects of EF, behavior, and social skills in children with FASD. Twenty-five children aged 8-12 years diagnosed with an FASD were assigned in alternating sequence to either an immediate treatment (TXT) or a delayed treatment control (DTC) group. Both groups received a comprehensive evaluation of EF at baseline and upon completing therapy (TXT), or after a 12- to 14-week interval from baseline (DTC). Parents also completed questionnaires assessing EF and behavior at both time points. For the TXT group only, parent questionnaires were readministered at 6-month follow-up. At the 12-week follow-up, the TXT group displayed significant improvements in inhibitory control and social cognition. Parents of children in the TXT group reported improved behavioral and emotional regulation, as well as reduced externalizing behavior problems. These behavioral improvements along with further improved parent-rated inhibitory control was maintained at the 6-month follow-up. The EF disabilities in children with FASD can be remediated through a targeted treatment approach aimed at facilitating self-regulation skills.

  7. Preschool children with lower executive function may be more vulnerable to emotional-based eating in the absence of hunger.

    PubMed

    Pieper, Joy Rickman; Laugero, Kevin D

    2013-03-01

    Decreased executive function (EF) has been linked to unhealthy eating behaviors and obesity in older children and adults, however little is known about this relationship in young children. One possible reason for this association is that individuals with degraded EF are more vulnerable to emotional-based overeating. Emotional eating may thus be more likely to occur in persons with lower self-control or ability to regulate emotions. A pilot project in a research-based preschool was conducted to examine the relationships between executive function, emotional arousal and eating in the absence of hunger (EAH) in 3-6year-old children. Executive function was measured through child-completed tasks, parent questionnaires, and standardized teacher reports. Emotional arousal was measured via skin conductance. Children who had lower cognitive development scores as indicated by teacher reports had higher EAH. Increased emotional arousal was associated with increased EAH, but only in a subgroup of children who had a lower capacity for emotional regulation as suggested by lower delay of gratification scores, lower effortful control (parent questionnaire), and overall lower teacher-reported cognitive development. Further studies are necessary to determine whether interventions to improve executive function and emotional regulation in young children may also have the benefit of improving eating behaviors and decreasing risk of obesity in the long run.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Language proficiency and executive control in proactive interference: evidence from monolingual and bilingual children and adults.

    PubMed

    Bialystok, Ellen; Feng, Xiaojia

    2009-01-01

    Two studies are reported in which monolingual and bilingual children (Study 1) and adults (Study 2) completed a memory task involving proactive interference. In both cases, the bilinguals attained lower scores on a vocabulary test than monolinguals but performed the same on the proactive interference task. For the children, bilinguals made fewer intrusions from previous lists even though they recalled the same number of words. For the adults, bilinguals recalled more words than monolinguals when the scores were corrected for differences in vocabulary. In addition, there was a strong effect of vocabulary in which higher vocabulary participants recalled more words irrespective of language group. These results point to the important role of vocabulary in verbal performance and memory. They also suggest that bilinguals may compensate for weaker language proficiency with their greater executive control to achieve the same or better levels of performance as monolinguals.

  11. Fast modulation of executive function by language context in bilinguals.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yan Jing; Thierry, Guillaume

    2013-08-14

    Mastering two languages has been associated with enhancement in human executive control, but previous studies of this phenomenon have exclusively relied on comparisons between bilingual and monolingual individuals. In the present study, we tested a single group of Welsh-English bilinguals engaged in a nonverbal conflict resolution task and manipulated language context by intermittently presenting words in Welsh, English, or both languages. Surprisingly, participants showed enhanced executive capacity to resolve interference when exposed to a mixed compared with a single language context, even though they ignored the irrelevant contextual words. This result was supported by greater response accuracy and reduced amplitude of the P300, an electrophysiological correlate of cognitive interference. Our findings introduce a new level of plasticity in bilingual executive control dependent on fast changing language context rather than long-term language experience.

  12. Fast Modulation of Executive Function by Language Context in Bilinguals

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yan Jing

    2013-01-01

    Mastering two languages has been associated with enhancement in human executive control, but previous studies of this phenomenon have exclusively relied on comparisons between bilingual and monolingual individuals. In the present study, we tested a single group of Welsh–English bilinguals engaged in a nonverbal conflict resolution task and manipulated language context by intermittently presenting words in Welsh, English, or both languages. Surprisingly, participants showed enhanced executive capacity to resolve interference when exposed to a mixed compared with a single language context, even though they ignored the irrelevant contextual words. This result was supported by greater response accuracy and reduced amplitude of the P300, an electrophysiological correlate of cognitive interference. Our findings introduce a new level of plasticity in bilingual executive control dependent on fast changing language context rather than long-term language experience. PMID:23946411

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. Assessing the Executive Function Deficits of Patients with Parkinsons Disease

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Culbertson, William; Moberg, Paul; Duda, John; Stern, Matthew; Weintraub, Daniel

    2004-01-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate the utility of the Tower of London-Drexel (TOL DX ) in assessing the executive deficits associated with Parkinsons disease (PD). We sought to determine whether the TOL DX would differentiate between (a) patients with PD and healthy control participants (HCP), (b) demented and nondemented patients, and (c)…

  17. Movement preparation and execution: differential functional activation patterns after traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Gooijers, Jolien; Beets, Iseult A M; Albouy, Genevieve; Beeckmans, Kurt; Michiels, Karla; Sunaert, Stefan; Swinnen, Stephan P

    2016-09-01

    Years following the insult, patients with traumatic brain injury often experience persistent motor control problems, including bimanual coordination deficits. Previous studies revealed that such deficits are related to brain structural white and grey matter abnormalities. Here, we assessed, for the first time, cerebral functional activation patterns during bimanual movement preparation and performance in patients with traumatic brain injury, using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Eighteen patients with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (10 females; aged 26.3 years, standard deviation = 5.2; age range: 18.4-34.6 years) and 26 healthy young adults (15 females; aged 23.6 years, standard deviation = 3.8; age range: 19.5-33 years) performed a complex bimanual tracking task, divided into a preparation (2 s) and execution (9 s) phase, and executed either in the presence or absence of augmented visual feedback. Performance on the bimanual tracking task, expressed as the average target error, was impaired for patients as compared to controls (P < 0.001) and for trials in the absence as compared to the presence of augmented visual feedback (P < 0.001). At the cerebral level, movement preparation was characterized by reduced neural activation in the patient group relative to the control group in frontal (bilateral superior frontal gyrus, right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex), parietal (left inferior parietal lobe) and occipital (right striate and extrastriate visual cortex) areas (P's < 0.05). During the execution phase, however, the opposite pattern emerged, i.e. traumatic brain injury patients showed enhanced activations compared with controls in frontal (left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, left lateral anterior prefrontal cortex, and left orbitofrontal cortex), parietal (bilateral inferior parietal lobe, bilateral superior parietal lobe, right precuneus, right primary somatosensory cortex), occipital (right striate and extrastriate visual cortices), and

  18. Movement preparation and execution: differential functional activation patterns after traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Gooijers, Jolien; Beets, Iseult A M; Albouy, Genevieve; Beeckmans, Kurt; Michiels, Karla; Sunaert, Stefan; Swinnen, Stephan P

    2016-09-01

    Years following the insult, patients with traumatic brain injury often experience persistent motor control problems, including bimanual coordination deficits. Previous studies revealed that such deficits are related to brain structural white and grey matter abnormalities. Here, we assessed, for the first time, cerebral functional activation patterns during bimanual movement preparation and performance in patients with traumatic brain injury, using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Eighteen patients with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (10 females; aged 26.3 years, standard deviation = 5.2; age range: 18.4-34.6 years) and 26 healthy young adults (15 females; aged 23.6 years, standard deviation = 3.8; age range: 19.5-33 years) performed a complex bimanual tracking task, divided into a preparation (2 s) and execution (9 s) phase, and executed either in the presence or absence of augmented visual feedback. Performance on the bimanual tracking task, expressed as the average target error, was impaired for patients as compared to controls (P < 0.001) and for trials in the absence as compared to the presence of augmented visual feedback (P < 0.001). At the cerebral level, movement preparation was characterized by reduced neural activation in the patient group relative to the control group in frontal (bilateral superior frontal gyrus, right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex), parietal (left inferior parietal lobe) and occipital (right striate and extrastriate visual cortex) areas (P's < 0.05). During the execution phase, however, the opposite pattern emerged, i.e. traumatic brain injury patients showed enhanced activations compared with controls in frontal (left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, left lateral anterior prefrontal cortex, and left orbitofrontal cortex), parietal (bilateral inferior parietal lobe, bilateral superior parietal lobe, right precuneus, right primary somatosensory cortex), occipital (right striate and extrastriate visual cortices), and

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Executive Functions and Theory of Mind as Predictors of Social Adjustment in Childhood Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Abstract 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.…

  6. Age-Related Changes in Children's Executive Functions and Strategy Selection: A Study in Computational Estimation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lemaire, Patrick; Lecacheur, Mireille

    2011-01-01

    Third, fifth, and seventh graders selected the best strategy (rounding up or rounding down) for estimating answers to two-digit addition problems. Executive function measures were collected for each individual. Data showed that (a) children's skill at both strategy selection and execution improved with age and (b) increased efficiency in executive…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. Contrasting Deficits on Executive Functions between ADHD and Reading Disabled Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marzocchi, Gian Marco; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Zuddas, Alessandro; Cavolina, Pina; Geurts, Hilde; Redigolo, Debora; Vio, Claudio; Sergeant, Joseph A.

    2008-01-01

    Background: The object of this study was to analyze the executive functioning of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or reading disability (RD) independent of their non-executive deficits. Methods: Three carefully diagnosed groups of children, aged between 7 and 12 years (35 ADHD, 22 RD and 30 typically developing…

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Functional neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Praag, Henriette; Schinder, Alejandro F.; Christie, Brian R.; Toni, Nicolas; Palmer, Theo D.; Gage, Fred H.

    2002-02-01

    There is extensive evidence indicating that new neurons are generated in the dentate gyrus of the adult mammalian hippocampus, a region of the brain that is important for learning and memory. However, it is not known whether these new neurons become functional, as the methods used to study adult neurogenesis are limited to fixed tissue. We use here a retroviral vector expressing green fluorescent protein that only labels dividing cells, and that can be visualized in live hippocampal slices. We report that newly generated cells in the adult mouse hippocampus have neuronal morphology and can display passive membrane properties, action potentials and functional synaptic inputs similar to those found in mature dentate granule cells. Our findings demonstrate that newly generated cells mature into functional neurons in the adult mammalian brain.

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

    PubMed

    Deckel, A W

    1999-02-01

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

  15. Development of affective theory of mind across adolescence: disentangling the role of executive functions.

    PubMed

    Vetter, Nora C; Altgassen, Mareike; Phillips, Louise; Mahy, Caitlin E V; Kliegel, Matthias

    2013-01-01

    Theory of mind, the ability to understand mental states, involves inferences about others' cognitive (cognitive theory of mind) and emotional (affective theory of mind) mental states. The current study explored the role of executive functions in developing affective theory of mind across adolescence. Affective theory of mind and three subcomponents of executive functions (inhibition, updating, and shifting) were measured. Affective theory of mind was positively related to age, and all three executive functions. Specifically, inhibition explained the largest amount of variance in age-related differences in affective theory of mind.

  16. Age-Related Differences in Memory and Executive Functions in Healthy "APOE"[epsilon]4 Carriers: The Contribution of Individual Differences in Prefrontal Volumes and Systolic Blood Pressure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bender, Andrew R.; Raz, Naftali

    2012-01-01

    Advanced age and vascular risk are associated with declines in the volumes of multiple brain regions, especially the prefrontal cortex, and the hippocampus. Older adults, even unencumbered by declining health, perform less well than their younger counterparts in multiple cognitive domains, such as episodic memory, executive functions, and speed of…

  17. Life-long music practice and executive control in older adults: An event-related potential study.

    PubMed

    Moussard, Aline; Bermudez, Patrick; Alain, Claude; Tays, William; Moreno, Sylvain

    2016-07-01

    Recent research has indicated that music practice can influence cognitive processing across the lifespan. Although extensive musical experience may have a mitigating effect on cognitive decline in older adults, the nature of changes to brain functions underlying performance benefits remains underexplored. The present study was designed to investigate the underlying neural mechanisms that may support apparent beneficial effects of life-long musical practice on cognition. We recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) in older musicians (N=17; average age=69.2) and non-musicians (N=17; average age=69.9), matched for age and education, while they completed an executive control task (visual go/no-go). Whereas both groups showed similar response speed and accuracy on go trials, older musicians showed fewer no-go errors. ERP recordings revealed the typical N2/P3 complex, but the nature of these responses differed between groups in that (1) older musicians showed larger N2 and P3 effects ('no-go minus go' amplitude), with the N2 amplitude being correlated with behavioral accuracy for no-go trials and (2) the topography of the P3 response was more anterior in musicians. Moreover, P3 amplitude was correlated with measures of musical experience in musicians. In our discussion of these results, we propose that music practice may have conferred an executive control advantage for musicians in later life. PMID:27021953

  18. Benefits of sports participation for executive function in disabled athletes.

    PubMed

    Di Russo, Francesco; Bultrini, Alessandro; Brunelli, Stefano; Delussu, Anna Sofia; Polidori, Lorenzo; Taddei, Francesco; Traballesi, Marco; Spinelli, Donatella

    2010-12-01

    We investigated the effect of sports activity on physically-disabled individuals using behavioral and electrophysiological techniques. Visual go/no-go discriminative and simple response tasks were used. Participants included 17 disabled athletes, 9 from open-skill (wheelchair basketball) and eight from closed-skill (swimming) sports, and 18 healthy non-athletes. Reaction times of the disabled athletes were slower than those of healthy non-athletes on both tasks (7% and 13% difference, respectively). Intra-individual variations in reaction times, switch cost, and number of false alarms, were higher in the swimmers, but comparable to healthy non-athletes, in the basketball group. Event-related potentials (ERPs) early components P1, N1, and P2 had longer latencies in the disabled athletes. The late P3 component had longer latency and smaller amplitude in the disabled athletes only in the discriminative response task. The N2 component, which reflected inhibition/execution processing in the discriminative response task, was delayed and reduced in the swimmer group, but was comparable to healthy subjects in the basketball group. Our results show that (1) the ERP components related to perceptual processing, and late components related to executive processing, were impaired in disabled subjects; and (2) open-skill sports such as basketball may partially compensate for executive control impairment by fostering the stability of motor responses and favoring response flexibility.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-16

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

  1. Behavioral and Neural Correlates of Executive Functioning in Musicians and Non-Musicians

    PubMed Central

    Zuk, Jennifer; Benjamin, Christopher; Kenyon, Arnold; Gaab, Nadine

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions (EF) are cognitive capacities that allow for planned, controlled behavior and strongly correlate with academic abilities. Several extracurricular activities have been shown to improve EF, however, the relationship between musical training and EF remains unclear due to methodological limitations in previous studies. To explore this further, two experiments were performed; one with 30 adults with and without musical training and one with 27 musically trained and untrained children (matched for general cognitive abilities and socioeconomic variables) with a standardized EF battery. Furthermore, the neural correlates of EF skills in musically trained and untrained children were investigated using fMRI. Adult musicians compared to non-musicians showed enhanced performance on measures of cognitive flexibility, working memory, and verbal fluency. Musically trained children showed enhanced performance on measures of verbal fluency and processing speed, and significantly greater activation in pre-SMA/SMA and right VLPFC during rule representation and task-switching compared to musically untrained children. Overall, musicians show enhanced performance on several constructs of EF, and musically trained children further show heightened brain activation in traditional EF regions during task-switching. These results support the working hypothesis that musical training may promote the development and maintenance of certain EF skills, which could mediate the previously reported links between musical training and enhanced cognitive skills and academic achievement. PMID:24937544

  2. Behavioral and neural correlates of executive functioning in musicians and non-musicians.

    PubMed

    Zuk, Jennifer; Benjamin, Christopher; Kenyon, Arnold; Gaab, Nadine

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions (EF) are cognitive capacities that allow for planned, controlled behavior and strongly correlate with academic abilities. Several extracurricular activities have been shown to improve EF, however, the relationship between musical training and EF remains unclear due to methodological limitations in previous studies. To explore this further, two experiments were performed; one with 30 adults with and without musical training and one with 27 musically trained and untrained children (matched for general cognitive abilities and socioeconomic variables) with a standardized EF battery. Furthermore, the neural correlates of EF skills in musically trained and untrained children were investigated using fMRI. Adult musicians compared to non-musicians showed enhanced performance on measures of cognitive flexibility, working memory, and verbal fluency. Musically trained children showed enhanced performance on measures of verbal fluency and processing speed, and significantly greater activation in pre-SMA/SMA and right VLPFC during rule representation and task-switching compared to musically untrained children. Overall, musicians show enhanced performance on several constructs of EF, and musically trained children further show heightened brain activation in traditional EF regions during task-switching. These results support the working hypothesis that musical training may promote the development and maintenance of certain EF skills, which could mediate the previously reported links between musical training and enhanced cognitive skills and academic achievement. PMID:24937544

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

    PubMed

    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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Relation of Executive Functioning to Pragmatic Outcome following Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Douglas, Jacinta M.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: This study was designed to explore the behavioral nature of pragmatic impairment following severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to evaluate the contribution of executive skills to the experience of pragmatic difficulties after TBI. Method: Participants were grouped into 43 TBI dyads (TBI adults and close relatives) and 43 control…

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

    PubMed Central

    Best, John R.; Nagamatsu, Lindsay S.; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that exercise training benefits cognitive, neural, and physical health markers in older adults. It is likely that these positive effects will diminish if participants return to sedentary lifestyles following training cessation. Theory posits that that the neurocognitive processes underlying self-regulation, namely executive function (EF), are important to maintaining positive health behaviors. Therefore, we examined whether better EF performance in older women would predict greater adherence to routine physical activity (PA) over 1 year following a 12-month resistance exercise training randomized controlled trial. The study sample consisted of 125 community-dwelling women aged 65–75 years old. Our primary outcome measure was self-reported PA, as measured by the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE), assessed on a monthly basis from month 13 to month 25. Executive function was assessed using the Stroop Test at baseline (month 0) and post-training (month 12). Latent growth curve analyses showed that, on average, PA decreased during the follow-up period but at a decelerating rate. Women who made greater improvements to EF during the training period showed better adherence to PA during the 1-year follow-up period (β = −0.36, p < 0.05); this association was unmitigated by the addition of covariates (β = −0.44, p < 0.05). As expected, EF did not predict changes in PA during the training period (p > 0.10). Overall, these findings suggest that improving EF plays an important role in whether older women maintain higher levels of PA following exercise training and that this association is only apparent after training when environmental support for PA is low. PMID:24904387

  10. The role of executive functions in the pragmatic skills of children age 4–5

    PubMed Central

    Blain-Brière, Bénédicte; Bouchard, Caroline; Bigras, Nathalie

    2014-01-01

    Several studies suggest that pragmatic skills (PS) (i.e., social communication) deficits may be linked to executive dysfunction (i.e., cognitive processes required for the regulation of new and complex behaviors) in patients with frontal brain injuries. If impairment of executive functions (EF) causes PS deficits in otherwise healthy adults, could this mean that EF are necessary for the normal functioning of PS, even more so than cognitive maturation? If so, children with highly developed EF should exhibit higher levels of PS. This study aimed to examine the link between EF and PS among normally developing children. A secondary goal was to compare this relationship to that between intellectual quotient (IQ) and PS in order to determine which predictor explained the most variance. Participants were 70 French-speaking preschool children (3;10–5;7 years old). The PS coding system, an observational tool developed for this study, was used to codify the children's PS during a semi-structured conversation with a research assistant. Five types of EF processes were evaluated: self-control, inhibition, flexibility, working memory and planning. IQ was estimated by tallying the scores on a receptive vocabulary test and a visuoconstructive abilities test. The results of the test of differences between correlation coefficients suggest that EF contributed significantly more than IQ to the PS exhibited by preschoolers during conversation. More specifically, higher inhibition skills were correlated with a decrease in talkativeness and assertiveness. EF also appeared to foster quality of speech by promoting the ability to produce fluid utterances, free of unnecessary repetition or hesitation. Moreover, children with a high working memory capacity were more likely to formulate contingent answers and produce utterances that could be clearly understood by the interlocutor. Overall, these findings help us better understand how EF may assist children in everyday social interactions

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. The Interactive Roles of Parenting, Emotion Regulation and Executive Functioning in Moral Reasoning during Middle Childhood

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    We examined mother-child cooperative behavior, children’s emotion regulation and executive function, as well as combinations of these factors, as predictors of moral reasoning in 89 10-year-old children. Dyadic cooperation was coded from videotaped observations of laboratory puzzle and speech tasks. Emotion regulation was derived from maternal report, and executive functioning was assessed with the Tower of London task. Moral reasoning was coded during mother-child conversations about morally ambiguous, peer-conflict situations. Two significant interactions indicated that children from more cooperative dyads who also had higher executive function skills had higher moral reasoning scores than other children, and children lower in both emotion regulation and executive function had lower moral reasoning scores than other children. The results contribute to the literature on the multiple and interactive levels of influence on moral reasoning in childhood. PMID:23650955

  17. 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

  18. Sleep, attention, and executive functioning in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Moreau, Vincent; Rouleau, Nancie; Morin, Charles M

    2013-11-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate potential relationships between two measures of sleep impairments (i.e., sleep duration and sleep efficiency [SE]) and attention and executive functioning in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Parents of 43 children (mean age = 10 ± 1.8 years) with ADHD completed sleep and behavioral questionnaires. Children also wore a wrist actigraph for seven nights and were subsequently assessed with the Conners' continuous performance test (CPT)-2. A significant relationship was found between lower SE and increased variability in reaction time on the CPT. Shorter sleep duration was associated with a range of executive functioning problems as reported by the parents. The relationships between sleep duration and the executive functioning measures held even after controlling for age, gender, and use of medication, but not the relationships with SE. These results suggest that sleep quantity is an important correlate of executive functioning in children with ADHD.

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

    PubMed

    Memisevic, Haris; Sinanovic, Osman

    2013-12-01

    The goal of this study was to assess the relationship between visual-motor integration and executive functions, and in particular, the extent to which executive functions can predict visual-motor integration skills in children with intellectual disability. The sample consisted of 90 children (54 boys, 36 girls; M age = 11.3 yr., SD = 2.7, range 7-15) with intellectual disabilities of various etiologies. The measure of executive functions were 8 subscales of the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) consisting of Inhibition, Shifting, Emotional Control, Initiating, Working memory, Planning, Organization of material, and Monitoring. Visual-motor integration was measured with the Acadia test of visual-motor integration (VMI). Regression analysis revealed that BRIEF subscales explained 38% of the variance in VMI scores. Of all the BRIEF subscales, only two were statistically significant predictors of visual-motor integration: Working memory and Monitoring. Possible implications of this finding are further elaborated. PMID:24665807

  20. 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