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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 and bilingualism in young and older adults

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Research suggests that being bilingual results in advantages on executive control processes and disadvantages on language tasks relative to monolinguals. Furthermore, the executive function advantage is thought to be larger in older than younger adults, suggesting that bilingualism may buffer against age-related changes in executive function. However, there are potential confounds in some of the previous research, as well as inconsistencies in the literature. The goal of the current investigation was to examine the presence of a bilingual advantage in executive control and a bilingual disadvantage on language tasks in the same sample of young and older monolingual anglophones, monolingual francophones, and French/English bilinguals. Participants completed a series of executive function tasks, including a Stroop task, a Simon task, a sustained attention to response task (SART), the Wisconsin Card Sort Test (WCST), and the digit span subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, and language tasks, including the Boston Naming Test (BNT), and category and letter fluency. The results do not demonstrate an unequivocal advantage for bilinguals on executive function tasks and raise questions about the reliability, robustness and/or specificity of previous findings. The results also did not demonstrate a disadvantage for bilinguals on language tasks. Rather, they suggest that there may be an influence of the language environment. It is concluded that additional research is required to fully characterize any language group differences in both executive function and language tasks. PMID:25120442

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

    PubMed

    McAlister, Courtney; Schmitter-Edgecombe, Maureen

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-01-01

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

  5. 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…

  6. The Moderating Role of Executive Functioning in Older Adults' Responses to a Reminder of Mortality

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    In previous research, older adults responded to mortality salience (MS) with increased tolerance, whereas younger persons responded with increased punitiveness. One possible explanation for this is that many older adults adapt to challenges of later life, such as the prospect of mortality, by becoming more flexible. Recent studies suggest that positively-oriented adaptation is more likely for older adults with high levels of executive functioning. We thus hypothesized that the better an older adult's executive functioning, the more likely MS would result in increased tolerance. Older and younger adults were randomly assigned to MS or control conditions, and then evaluated moral transgressors. As in previous research, younger adults were more punitive following reminders of mortality; executive functioning did not affect their responses. Among older adults, high functioning individuals responded to MS with increased tolerance rather than intolerance, whereas those low in functioning became more punitive. PMID:21728445

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Min-Jae; Kwon, Jun Soo

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Individuals who were born very preterm (VPT; <33 gestational weeks) are at risk of experiencing deficits in tasks involving executive function in childhood and beyond. In addition, the type and severity of neonatal brain injury associated with very preterm birth may exert differential effects on executive functioning by altering its neuroanatomical substrates. Here we addressed this question by investigating with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) the haemodynamic response during executive-type processing using a phonological verbal fluency and a working memory task in VPT-born young adults who had experienced differing degrees of neonatal brain injury. 12 VPT individuals with a history of periventricular haemorrhage and ventricular dilatation (PVH+VD), 17 VPT individuals with a history of uncomplicated periventricular haemorrhage (UPVH), 13 VPT individuals with no history of neonatal brain injury and 17 controls received an MRI scan whilst completing a verbal fluency task with two cognitive loads (‘easy’ and ‘hard’ letters). Two groups of VPT individuals (PVH+VD; n = 10, UPVH; n = 8) performed an n-back task with three cognitive loads (1-, 2-, 3-back). Results demonstrated that VPT individuals displayed hyperactivation in frontal, temporal, and parietal cortices and in caudate nucleus, insula and thalamus compared to controls, as demands of the verbal fluency task increased, regardless of type of neonatal brain injury. On the other hand, during the n-back task and as working memory load increased, the PVH+VD group showed less engagement of the frontal cortex than the UPVH group. In conclusion, this study suggests that the functional neuroanatomy of different executive-type processes is altered following VPT birth and that neural activation associated with specific aspects of executive function (i.e., working memory) may be particularly sensitive to the extent of neonatal brain injury. PMID:25438043

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Executive and Visuo-Motor Function in Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sachse, Michael; Schlitt, Sabine; Hainz, Daniela; Ciaramidaro, Angela; Schirman, Shella; Walter, Henrik; Poustka, Fritz; Bolte, Sven; Freitag, Christine M.

    2013-01-01

    This study broadly examines executive (EF) and visuo-motor function in 30 adolescent and adult individuals with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in comparison to 28 controls matched for age, gender, and IQ. ASD individuals showed impaired spatial working memory, whereas planning, cognitive flexibility, and inhibition were spared.…

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

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Peng; Raz, Naftali

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and executive functioning in emerging adults.

    PubMed

    Jarrett, Matthew A

    2016-02-01

    The current study examined attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety symptoms in relation to self-reported executive functioning deficits in emerging adults. College students (N = 421; ages 17-25; 73.1% female) completed self-reports of ADHD, anxiety, and executive functioning in a laboratory setting. Structural equation modeling analyses revealed that self-reported executive functioning deficits were significantly related to all 3 symptom domains. Executive functioning deficits were most strongly related to inattention followed by hyperactivity/impulsivity and anxiety. Analyses based on clinical groups revealed that groups with ADHD and comorbid anxiety showed greater deficits on self-regulation of emotion and self-organization/problem solving than those with ADHD only or anxiety only. Groups with ADHD showed greater deficits with self-motivation and self-restraint than those with anxiety only. All clinical groups differed from a control group on executive functioning deficits. Overall, anxiety symptoms appear to be associated with college students' self-reported executive functioning deficits above and beyond relationships with ADHD symptomatology. Further, those with ADHD and anxiety appear to show increased difficulties with self-regulation of emotion and self-organization/problem solving, a domain which appears to overlap substantially with working memory. Future studies should seek to replicate our findings with a clinical population, utilize both report-based and laboratory task measures of executive functioning, and integrate both state and trait anxiety indices into study designs. Finally, future studies should seek to determine how executive functioning deficits can be best ameliorated in emerging adults with ADHD and anxiety. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26121381

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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. PMID:25545156

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

    PubMed

    Limbers, Christine A; Young, Danielle

    2015-05-01

    Executive functions play a critical role in regulating eating behaviors and have been shown to be associated with overeating which over time can result in overweight and obesity. There has been a paucity of research examining the associations among healthy dietary behaviors and executive functions utilizing behavioral rating scales of executive functioning. The objective of the present cross-sectional study was to evaluate the associations among fruit and vegetable consumption, intake of foods high in saturated fat, and executive functions using the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning-Adult Version. A total of 240 university students completed the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning-Adult Version, the 26-Item Eating Attitudes Test, and the Diet subscale of the Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities Questionnaire. Multiple linear regression analysis was conducted with two separate models in which fruit and vegetable consumption and saturated fat intake were the outcomes. Demographic variables, body mass index, and eating styles were controlled for in the analysis. Better initiation skills were associated with greater intake of fruits and vegetables in the last 7 days (standardized beta = -0.17; p < 0.05). Stronger inhibitory control was associated with less consumption of high fat foods in the last 7 days (standardized beta = 0.20; p < 0.05) in the multiple linear regression analysis. Executive functions that predict fruit and vegetable consumption are distinct from those that predict avoidance of foods high in saturated fat. Future research should investigate whether continued skill enhancement in initiation and inhibition following standard behavioral interventions improves long-term maintenance of weight loss. PMID:25903247

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Pilot study on executive function and adaptive skills in adolescents and young adults with mitochondrial disease.

    PubMed

    Schreiber, Hope

    2012-12-01

    High-functioning adolescents and young adults with mitochondrial disease are now attempting transitions to postsecondary environments. This pilot and case study explores factors that interfere with their successful transition through behavior-rating scales addressing academic skills and behavior. In the Behavior Assessment System for Children, Second Edition, Spearman correlation matrices showed that students' attitude to school was associated with depression and anxiety. Mothers' reports linked internalizing disorders with somatic symptoms. Two case studies, with Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function profiles, show the role executive functions play in academic success. Attention to both cognitive and psychiatric concerns may increase success in academics and enhance the sense of well-being in older students with mitochondrial disease. PMID:22628220

  11. Executive Functions in Older Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Objective Performance and Subjective Complaints.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    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 reported BRIEF) in 36 ASD and 36 typically developed individuals (n = 72). High functioning older adults with ASD reported EF-impairments in metacognition, but did not deviate in EF task performance, except for a longer execution time of the Tower of London. The need for additional time to complete daily tasks may contribute to impairments in daily life and may be correlated to a higher level of experienced EF-difficulties in ASD. PMID:27278313

  12. Role of sleep continuity and total sleep time in executive function across the adult lifespan.

    PubMed

    Wilckens, Kristine A; Woo, Sarah G; Kirk, Afton R; Erickson, Kirk I; Wheeler, Mark E

    2014-09-01

    The importance of sleep for cognition in young adults is well established, but the role of habitual sleep behavior in cognition across the adult life span remains unknown. We examined the relationship between sleep continuity and total sleep time as assessed with a sleep-detection device, and cognitive performance using a battery of tasks in young (n = 59, mean age = 23.05) and older (n = 53, mean age = 62.68) adults. Across age groups, higher sleep continuity was associated with better cognitive performance. In the younger group, higher sleep continuity was associated with better working memory and inhibitory control. In the older group, higher sleep continuity was associated with better inhibitory control, memory recall, and verbal fluency. Very short and very long total sleep time was associated with poorer working memory and verbal fluency, specifically in the younger group. Total sleep time was not associated with cognitive performance in any domains for the older group. These findings reveal that sleep continuity is important for executive function in both young and older adults, but total sleep time may be more important for cognition in young adults. PMID:25244484

  13. The role of sleep continuity and total sleep time in executive function across the adult lifespan

    PubMed Central

    Wilckens, Kristine A.; Woo, Sarah G.; Kirk, Afton R.; Erickson, Kirk I.; Wheeler, Mark E.

    2015-01-01

    The importance of sleep for cognition in young adults is well established, but the role of habitual sleep behavior in cognition across the adult lifespan remains unknown. We examined the relationship between sleep continuity and total sleep time assessed with a sleep detection device and cognitive performance using a battery of tasks in young (n = 59, mean age = 23.05) and older (n = 53, mean age = 62.68) adults. Across age groups, higher sleep continuity was associated with better cognitive performance. In the younger group, higher sleep continuity was associated with better working memory and inhibitory control. In the older group, higher sleep continuity was associated with better inhibitory control, memory recall, and verbal fluency. Very short and very long total sleep time was associated with poorer working memory and verbal fluency, specifically in the younger group. Total sleep time was not associated with cognitive performance in any domains for the older group. These findings reveal that sleep continuity is important for executive function in both young and older adults, but total sleep time may be more important for cognition in young adults. PMID:25244484

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. The Relationship Between Executive Functions and Quality of Life in Adults With ADHD.

    PubMed

    Stern, Adi; Pollak, Yehuda; Bonne, Omer; Malik, Elad; Maeir, Adina

    2013-11-01

    Objective: Adult ADHD is associated with impaired quality of life (QoL) and deficient executive function (EF). Given the absence of studies examining the relationship between EF and health-related quality of life (HRQL) in this population, the purpose of the present study was to do so, by the use of rating scales and tests. Method: Adults with ADHD (n = 81) completed ADHD and EF questionnaires and a neuropsychological battery. Results: Small to large significant correlations were found between EF ratings and HRQL for most of the variables. No significant correlations were found between all but one EF test and HRQL. Both ADHD symptoms and EF rating, but not the EF test, were found to have a unique contribution to the HRQL. Conclusion: These results strengthen the ecological validity of the EF rating scales and their utility in identifying EF deficits with real-world implications for adults with ADHD. (J. of Att. Dis. XXXX; XX(X) XX-XX). PMID:24189201

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:26704777

  19. Naturalistic Assessment of Executive Function and Everyday Multitasking in Healthy Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23557096

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Executive Functioning Differences between Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorder in Initiation, Planning and Strategy Formation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bramham, Jessica; Ambery, Fiona; Young, Susan; Morris, Robin; Russell, Ailsa; Xenitidis, Kiriakos; Asherson, Philip; Murphy, Declan

    2009-01-01

    Executive functioning deficits characterize the neuropsychological profiles of the childhood neurodevelopmental disorders of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). This study sought to determine whether similar impairments exist in adults with ADHD (N = 53) and ASD (N = 45) in comparison with a…

  3. Impact of ADHD and Cannabis Use on Executive Functioning in Young Adults

    PubMed Central

    Tamm, Leanne; Epstein, Jeffery N.; Lisdahl, Krista M.; Tapert, Susan; Hinshaw, Stephen P.; Arnold, L. Eugene; Velanova, Katerina; Abikoff, Howard; Swanson, James M.

    2013-01-01

    Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and cannabis use are each associated with specific cognitive deficits. Few studies have investigated the neurocognitive profile of individuals with both an ADHD history and regular cannabis use. The greatest cognitive impairment is expected among ADHD Cannabis Users compared to those with ADHD-only, Cannabis use-only, or neither. Methods Young adults (24.2±1.2 years) with a childhood ADHD diagnosis who did (n=42) and did not (n=45) report past year ≥ monthly cannabis use were compared on neuropsychological measures to a local normative comparison group (LNCG) who did (n=20) and did not (n=21) report past year regular cannabis use. Age, gender, IQ, socioeconomic status, and past year alcohol and smoking were statistical covariates. Results The ADHD group performed worse than LNCG on verbal memory, processing speed, cognitive interference, decision-making, working memory, and response inhibition. No significant effects for cannabis use emerged. Interactions between ADHD and cannabis were non-significant. Exploratory analyses revealed that individuals who began using cannabis regularly before age 16 (n=27) may have poorer executive functioning (i.e., decision-making, working memory, and response inhibition), than users who began later (n=32); replication is warranted with a larger sample. Conclusions A childhood diagnosis of ADHD, but not cannabis use in adulthood, was associated with executive dysfunction. Earlier initiation of cannabis use may be linked to poor cognitive outcomes and a significantly greater proportion of the ADHD group began using cannabis before age 16. Regular cannabis use starting after age 16 may not be sufficient to aggravate longstanding cognitive deficits characteristic of ADHD. PMID:23992650

  4. 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

  5. Handwriting measures as reflectors of executive functions among adults with Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD)

    PubMed Central

    Rosenblum, Sara

    2013-01-01

    Planning ahead and organizational abilities in time and space are ingredients of high-level cognitive functions labeled as ‘Executive Functions’ (EF) required for daily activities such as writing or home management. EF deficits are considered a possible underlying brain mechanism involved in Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD). The aim: of the study was to compare the handwriting process measures and the planning and organizational abilities in space and time of students with DCD with those of matched controls and to find whether handwriting measures can predict daily planning and organizational abilities among students with DCD. Method: 30 students diagnosed with DCD, between the ages of 24–41, and 30 age- and gender-matched controls participated in the study. They filled out the Handwriting Proficiency Screening Questionnaire (HPSQ) and the Adult Developmental Co-ordination Disorders Checklist (ADC). Furthermore, they copied a paragraph on a digitizer that is part of a computerized system Computerised Penmanship Evaluation Toll (ComPET). Results: Significant group differences were found for the HPSQ subscales scores as well as for the temporal and spatial measures of the paragraph copy task. Significant group differences were also found for the planning and organizational abilities in space and time as reflected through the ADC subscales. Significant medium correlations were found in both groups between the mean HPSQ time subscale and the ADC-B subscale mean score (r = 0.50/0.58, p < 0.05). Series of regression analyses indicated that two handwriting performance measures (mean HPSQ time subscale and mean stroke duration) predicted 19% of planning and organizational abilities as reflected through daily functions (ADC-B) [F(3, 54) = 38.37, β = 0.40, p < 0.0001]. Conclusion: The results support previous evidence about EF deficits as an underlying brain mechanism involved in motor coordination disorders, their significance as related to theoretical

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Executive dysfunction has previously been found to be a risk factor for falls. The aim of this study is to investigate the association between executive dysfunction and risk of falling and to determine if this association is independent of balance. Methods Participants were 188 community-dwelling individuals aged 65 and older. All participants underwent baseline and annual evaluations with review of health history, standardized neurologic examination, neuropsychological testing, and qualitative and quantitative assessment of motor function. Falls were recorded prospectively using weekly online health forms. Results During 13 months of follow-up, there were 65 of 188 participants (34.6%) who reported at least one fall. Univariate analysis showed that fallers were more likely to have lower baseline scores in executive function than non-fallers (p = 0.03). Among participants without balance impairment we found that higher executive function z-scores were associated with lower fall counts (p = 0.03) after adjustment for age, sex, health status and prior history of falls using negative binomial regression models. This relationship was not present among participants with poor balance. Conclusions Lower scores on executive function tests are a risk factor for falls in participants with minimal balance impairment. However, this effect is attenuated in individuals with poor balance where physical or more direct motor systems factors may play a greater role in fall risk. PMID:22070602

  7. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Critical flicker fusion (CFF), a measure of visual processing speed, has often been regarded as a basic metric underlying a number of higher cognitive functions. To test this, we measured CFF, global cognition, and several cognitive subdomains. Because age is a strong covariate for most of these variables, both younger (n = 72) and older (n = 57) subjects were measured. Consistent with expectations, age was inversely related to CFF and performance on all of the cognitive measures except for visual memory. In contrast, age-adjusted CFF thresholds were only positively related to executive function. Results showed that CFF predicted executive function across both age groups and accounted for unique variance in performance above and beyond age and global cognitive status. The current findings suggest that CFF may be a unique predictor of executive dysfunction. PMID:26370250

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26882119

  12. Brain Training Game Boosts Executive Functions, Working Memory and Processing Speed in the Young Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Nouchi, Rui; Taki, Yasuyuki; Takeuchi, Hikaru; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Nozawa, Takayuki; Kambara, Toshimune; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Miyauchi, Carlos Makoto; Kotozaki, Yuka; Nouchi, Haruka; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2013-01-01

    Background Do brain training games work? The beneficial effects of brain training games are expected to transfer to other cognitive functions. Yet in all honesty, beneficial transfer effects of the commercial brain training games in young adults have little scientific basis. Here we investigated the impact of the brain training game (Brain Age) on a wide range of cognitive functions in young adults. Methods We conducted a double-blind (de facto masking) randomized controlled trial using a popular brain training game (Brain Age) and a popular puzzle game (Tetris). Thirty-two volunteers were recruited through an advertisement in the local newspaper and randomly assigned to either of two game groups (Brain Age, Tetris). Participants in both the Brain Age and the Tetris groups played their game for about 15 minutes per day, at least 5 days per week, for 4 weeks. Measures of the cognitive functions were conducted before and after training. Measures of the cognitive functions fell into eight categories (fluid intelligence, executive function, working memory, short-term memory, attention, processing speed, visual ability, and reading ability). Results and Discussion Our results showed that commercial brain training game improves executive functions, working memory, and processing speed in young adults. Moreover, the popular puzzle game can engender improvement attention and visuo-spatial ability compared to playing the brain training game. The present study showed the scientific evidence which the brain training game had the beneficial effects on cognitive functions (executive functions, working memory and processing speed) in the healthy young adults. Conclusions Our results do not indicate that everyone should play brain training games. However, the commercial brain training game might be a simple and convenient means to improve some cognitive functions. We believe that our findings are highly relevant to applications in educational and clinical fields. Trial

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Targeting alertness to improve cognition in older adults: A preliminary report of benefits in executive function and skill acquisition.

    PubMed

    Van Vleet, Thomas M; DeGutis, Joseph M; Merzenich, Michael M; Simpson, Gregory V; Zomet, Ativ; Dabit, Sawsan

    2016-09-01

    Efficient self-regulation of alertness declines with age exacerbating normal declines in performance across multiple cognitive domains, including learning and skill acquisition. Previous cognitive intervention studies have shown that it is possible to enhance alertness in patients with acquired brain injury and marked attention impairments, and that this benefit generalizes to improvements in more global cognitive functions. In the current preliminary studies, we sought to test whether this approach, that targets both tonic (over a period of minutes) and phasic (moment-to-moment) alertness, can improve key executive functioning declines in older adults, and enhance the rate of skill acquisition. The results of both Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrate that, compared to active control (AC) training, alertness training significantly enhanced performance in several validated executive function measures. In Experiment 2, alertness training significantly improved skill acquisition compared to AC training in a well-characterized speed of processing (SOP) task, with the largest benefits shown in the most challenging SOP blocks. The results of the current study suggest that targeting intrinsic alertness through cognitive training provides a novel approach to improve executive functions in older adults and may be a useful adjunct treatment to enhance benefits gained in other clinically validated treatments. PMID:27372902

  16. Intra-individual lap time variation of the 400-m walk, an early mobility indicator of executive function decline in high-functioning older adults?

    PubMed

    Tian, Qu; Resnick, Susan M; Ferrucci, Luigi; Studenski, Stephanie A

    2015-12-01

    Higher intra-individual lap time variation (LTV) of the 400-m walk is cross-sectionally associated with poorer attention in older adults. Whether higher LTV predicts decline in executive function and whether the relationship is accounted for by slower walking remain unanswered. The main objective of this study was to examine the relationship between baseline LTV and longitudinal change in executive function. We used data from 347 participants aged 60 years and older (50.7% female) from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Longitudinal assessments of executive function were conducted between 2007 and 2013, including attention (Trails A, Digit Span Forward Test), cognitive flexibility and set shifting (Trails B, Delta TMT: Trials B minus Trials A), visuoperceptual speed (Digit Symbol Substitution Test), and working memory (Digit Span Backward Test). LTV and mean lap time (MLT) were obtained from the 400-m walk test concurrent with the baseline executive function assessment. LTV was computed as variability of lap time across ten 40-m laps based on individual trajectories. A linear mixed-effects model was used to examine LTV in relation to changes in executive function, adjusted for age, sex, education, and MLT. Higher LTV was associated with greater decline in performance on Trails B (β = 4.322, p < 0.001) and delta TMT (β = 4.230, p < 0.001), independent of covariates. Findings remained largely unchanged after further adjustment for MLT. LTV was not associated with changes in other executive function measures (all p > 0.05). In high-functioning older adults, higher LTV in the 400-m walk predicts executive function decline involving cognitive flexibility and set shifting over a long period of time. High LTV may be an early indicator of executive function decline independent of MLT. PMID:26561401

  17. 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…

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Aerobic and Cognitive Exercise (ACE) Pilot Study for Older Adults: Executive Function Improves with Cognitive Challenge While Exergaming.

    PubMed

    Barcelos, Nicole; Shah, Nikita; Cohen, Katherine; Hogan, Michael J; Mulkerrin, Eamon; Arciero, Paul J; Cohen, Brian D; Kramer, Arthur F; Anderson-Hanley, Cay

    2015-11-01

    Dementia cases are increasing worldwide; thus, investigators seek to identify interventions that might prevent or ameliorate cognitive decline in later life. Extensive research confirms the benefits of physical exercise for brain health, yet only a fraction of older adults exercise regularly. Interactive mental and physical exercise, as in aerobic exergaming, not only motivates, but has also been found to yield cognitive benefit above and beyond traditional exercise. This pilot study sought to investigate whether greater cognitive challenge while exergaming would yield differential outcomes in executive function and generalize to everyday functioning. Sixty-four community based older adults (mean age=82) were randomly assigned to pedal a stationary bike, while interactively engaging on-screen with: (1) a low cognitive demand task (bike tour), or (2) a high cognitive demand task (video game). Executive function (indices from Trails, Stroop and Digit Span) was assessed before and after a single-bout and 3-month exercise intervention. Significant group × time interactions were found after a single-bout (Color Trails) and after 3 months of exergaming (Stroop; among 20 adherents). Those in the high cognitive demand group performed better than those in the low cognitive dose condition. Everyday function improved across both exercise conditions. Pilot data indicate that for older adults, cognitive benefit while exergaming increased concomitantly with higher doses of interactive mental challenge. PMID:26581789

  1. Executive function impairment and recidivism in adult protective services clients referred for a decision making capacity assessment.

    PubMed

    Terracina, Katherine A; Aamodt, Whitley W; Schillerstrom, Jason E

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to determine if recidivistic Adult Protective Services (APS) cases referred for a decision-making capacity assessment were more cognitively impaired than nonrecidivistic cases. A retrospective medical record review of neuropsychological and demographic data was gathered during decisional capacity assessments. Recidivistic clients were those referred to APS more than once; those with a single open case were nonrecidivistic. Mean neuropsychological test scores were compared between recidivistic (n = 138) and nonrecidivistic (n = 95) subjects. No significant differences were found for age, gender, ethnicity, education, or dwelling status. Both recidivistic and nonrecidivistic cases performed poorly in all cognitive domains. Recidivistic clients performed significantly worse on measures of executive function (CLOX1, EXIT25). Executive function impairments seem to be one risk factor for recidivism in APS referrals. With 60% of cases referred for decision capacity assessments being recidivistic, identifying risk factors may help identify when targeted interventions are indicated to preclude recurrence of abuse. PMID:25495662

  2. Driving in young adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: knowledge, performance, adverse outcomes, and the role of executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Barkley, Russell A; Murphy, Kevin R; Dupaul, George I; Bush, Tracie

    2002-07-01

    Past studies find that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) creates a higher risk for adverse driving outcomes. This study comprehensively evaluated driving in adults with ADHD by comparing 105 young adults with the disorder (age 17-28) to 64 community control (CC) adults on five domains of driving ability and a battery of executive function tasks. The ADHD group self-reported significantly more traffic citations, particularly for speeding, vehicular crashes, and license suspensions than the CC group, with most of these differences corroborated in the official DMV records. Cognitively, the ADHD group was less attentive and made more errors during a visual reaction task under rule-reversed conditions than the CC group. The ADHD group also obtained lower sceres on a test of driving rules and decision-making but not on a simple driving simulator. Both self- and other-ratings showed the CC group employed safer routine driving habits than the ADHD group. Relationships between the cognitive and driving measures and the adverse outcomes were limited or absent, calling into question their use in screening ADHD adults for driving risks. Several executive functions also were significantly yet modestly related to accident frequency and total traffic violations after controlling for severity of ADHD. These results are consistent with earlier studies showing significant driving problems are associated with ADHD. This study found that these driving difficulties were not a function of comorbid oppositional defiant disorder, depression, anxiety, or frequency of alcohol or illegal drug use. Findings to date argue for the development of interventions to reduce driving risks among adults with ADHD. PMID:12164675

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Relationship between Insulin-Resistance Processing Speed and Specific Executive Function Profiles in Neurologically Intact Older Adults.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    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. 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. 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). 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 executive function. PMID

  10. Musical Expertise, Bilingualism, and Executive Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bialystok, Ellen; DePape, Anne-Marie

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    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 correlations with adaptive functioning and co-morbid anxiety and depression symptomatology. A variable EF profile was found with prominent deficits occurring in flexibility and metacognition. Flexibility problems were associated with anxiety-related symptoms while metacognition difficulties were associated with depression symptoms and impaired adaptive functioning (though the metacognition-adaptive functioning relationship was moderated by ADHD symptoms). These persistent EF problems are predictors of broader functioning and therefore remain an important treatment target among adults with ASD. PMID:26572659

  12. 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…

  13. 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...

  14. Executive control functions in simulated driving.

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. Executive functioning in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Orellana, Gricel; Slachevsky, Andrea

    2013-01-01

    The executive function (EF) is a set of abilities, which allows us to invoke voluntary control of our behavioral responses. These functions enable human beings to develop and carry out plans, make up analogies, obey social rules, solve problems, adapt to unexpected circumstances, do many tasks simultaneously, and locate episodes in time and place. EF includes divided attention and sustained attention, working memory (WM), set-shifting, flexibility, planning, and the regulation of goal directed behavior and can be defined as a brain function underlying the human faculty to act or think not only in reaction to external events but also in relation with internal goals and states. EF is mostly associated with dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC). Besides EF, PFC is involved in self-regulation of behavior, i.e., the ability to regulate behavior according to internal goals and constraints, particularly in less structured situations. Self-regulation of behavior is subtended by ventral medial/orbital PFC. Impairment of EF is one of the most commonly observed deficits in schizophrenia through the various disease stages. Impairment in tasks measuring conceptualization, planning, cognitive flexibility, verbal fluency, ability to solve complex problems, and WM occur in schizophrenia. Disorders detected by executive tests are consistent with evidence from functional neuroimaging, which have shown PFC dysfunction in patients while performing these kinds of tasks. Schizophrenics also exhibit deficit in odor identifying, decision-making, and self-regulation of behavior suggesting dysfunction of the orbital PFC. However, impairment in executive tests is explained by dysfunction of prefronto-striato-thalamic, prefronto-parietal, and prefronto-temporal neural networks mainly. Disorders in EFs may be considered central facts with respect to schizophrenia and it has been suggested that negative symptoms may be explained by that executive dysfunction. PMID:23805107

  16. 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

  17. Associations Between Physical Performance and Executive Function in Older Adults With Mild Cognitive Impairment: Gait Speed and the Timed “Up & Go” Test

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Valerie E.; Logsdon, Rebecca G.; McCurry, Susan M.; Cochrane, Barbara B.; Engel, Joyce M.; Teri, Linda

    2011-01-01

    Background Older adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) are at higher risk for developing Alzheimer disease. Physical performance decline on gait and mobility tasks in conjunction with executive dysfunction has implications for accelerated functional decline, disability, and institutionalization in sedentary older adults with aMCI. Objectives The purpose of this study was to examine whether performance on 2 tests commonly used by physical therapists (usual gait speed and Timed “Up & Go” Test [TUG]) are associated with performance on 2 neuropsychological tests of executive function (Trail Making Test, part B [TMT-B], and Stroop-Interference, calculated from the Stroop Word Color Test) in sedentary older adults with aMCI. Design The study was a cross-sectional analysis of 201 sedentary older adults with memory impairment participating in a longitudinal intervention study of cognitive function, aging, exercise, and health promotion. Methods Physical performance speed on gait and mobility tasks was measured via usual gait speed and the TUG (at fast pace). Executive function was measured with the TMT-B and Stroop-Interference measures. Results Applying multiple linear regression, usual gait speed was associated with executive function on both the TMT-B (β=−0.215, P=.003) and Stroop-Interference (β=−0.195, P=.01) measures, indicating that slower usual gait speed was associated with lower executive function performance. Timed “Up & Go” Test scores (in logarithmic transformation) also were associated with executive function on both the TMT-B (β=0.256, P<.001) and Stroop-Interference (β=0.228, P=.002) measures, indicating that a longer time on the TUG was associated with lower executive function performance. All associations remained statistically significant after adjusting for age, sex, depressive symptoms, medical comorbidity, and body mass index. Limitations The cross-sectional nature of this study does not allow for inferences of

  18. A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study of sapropterin to treat ADHD symptoms and executive function impairment in children and adults with sapropterin-responsive phenylketonuria.

    PubMed

    Burton, B; Grant, M; Feigenbaum, A; Singh, R; Hendren, R; Siriwardena, K; Phillips, J; Sanchez-Valle, A; Waisbren, S; Gillis, J; Prasad, S; Merilainen, M; Lang, W; Zhang, C; Yu, S; Stahl, S

    2015-03-01

    Symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), particularly inattention, and impairments in executive functioning have been reported in early and continuously treated children, adolescents, and adults with phenylketonuria (PKU). In addition, higher blood phenylalanine (Phe) levels have been correlated with the presence of ADHD symptoms and executive functioning impairment. The placebo-controlled PKU ASCEND study evaluated the effects of sapropterin therapy on PKU-associated symptoms of ADHD and executive and global functioning in individuals who had a therapeutic blood Phe response to sapropterin therapy. The presence of ADHD inattentive symptoms and executive functioning deficits was confirmed in this large cohort of 206 children and adults with PKU, of whom 118 responded to sapropterin therapy. In the 38 individuals with sapropterin-responsive PKU and ADHD symptoms at baseline, sapropterin therapy resulted in a significant improvement in ADHD inattentive symptoms in the first 4 weeks of treatment, and improvements were maintained throughout the 26 weeks of treatment. Sapropterin was well-tolerated with a favorable safety profile. The improvements in ADHD inattentive symptoms and aspects of executive functioning in response to sapropterin therapy noted in a large cohort of individuals with PKU indicate that these symptoms are potentially reversible when blood Phe levels are reduced. PMID:25533024

  19. Assessment of executive functioning in children and young adults treated for frontal lobe tumours using ecologically valid tests.

    PubMed

    Longaud-Valès, A; Chevignard, M; Dufour, C; Grill, J; Puget, S; Sainte-Rose, C; Valteau-Couanet, D; Dellatolas, G

    2016-08-01

    There is a lack of studies assessing executive functions (EF) using ecologically valid tests in children with frontal lobe lesions. This study aimed to (1) evaluate EF in children, adolescents and young adults treated for childhood frontal lobe tumours, (2) identify factors influencing performance, such as age at diagnosis or type of treatment, and (3) examine correlations between intellectual ability and classical and ecological tests of EF. Twenty-one patients, aged 8-27 years, treated for a childhood benign or malignant frontal lobe tumour, and 42 healthy controls (matched for gender, age and socio-economic status) were assessed using classical tests of EF, and the BADS-C ecological battery. Patients also underwent assessment of intellectual ability and parent and teacher ratings of the BRIEF questionnaire. IQ scores ranged from 45 to 125 (mean FSIQ = 84) and were lower in case of epilepsy, hydrocephalus and lower parental education. Patients displayed deficits in most, but not all measures of EF. Most classical and ecological measures of EF were strongly correlated to IQ. This study confirms the frequency of EF deficits in this population; it also highlights the utility of ecological measures of EF and some limitations of classical tests of EF in children. PMID:26272265

  20. 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. PMID:24977716

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Post-exercise pulse pressure is a better predictor of executive function than pre-exercise pulse pressure in cognitively normal older adults.

    PubMed

    Scott, Bonnie M; Maye, Jacqueline; Jones, Jacob; Thomas, Kelsey; Mangal, Paul C; Trifilio, Erin; Hass, Chris; Marsiske, Michael; Bowers, Dawn

    2016-07-01

    Exercise "stress tests" are widely used to assess cardiovascular function and to detect abnormalities. In line with the view of exercise as a stressor, the present study examined the relationship between cognitive function and cardiovascular activity before and after light physical exercise in a sample of 84 non-demented community-dwelling older adults. Based on known relationships between hypertension, executive function and cerebral white matter changes, we hypothesized that greater post-exercise reactivity, as indexed by higher pulse pressure, would be more related to worse performance on frontal-executive tasks than pre-exercise physiologic measures. All participants were administered a comprehensive neuropsychological battery and underwent a Six Minute Walk Test (6MWT), with blood pressure (BP) measures obtained immediately before and after the walk. Pulse pressure (PP) was derived from BP as an indicator of vascular auto-regulation and composite scores were computed for each cognitive domain assessed. As predicted, worse executive function scores exhibited a stronger relationship with post-exercise PP than pre-exercise PP. Results suggest that PP following system stress in the form of walking may be more reflective of the state of vascular integrity and associated executive dysfunction in older adults than baseline physiologic measures. PMID:26629911

  4. Post-exercise pulse pressure is a better predictor of executive function than pre-exercise pulse pressure in cognitively normal older adults

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Bonnie M.; Maye, Jacqueline; Jones, Jacob; Thomas, Kelsey; Mangal, Paul C.; Trifilio, Erin; Hass, Chris; Marsiske, Michael; Bowers, Dawn

    2015-01-01

    Exercise “stress tests” are widely used to assess cardiovascular function and to detect abnormalities. In line with the view of exercise as a stressor, the present study examined the relationship between cognitive function and cardiovascular activity before and after light physical exercise in a sample of 84 non-demented community-dwelling older adults. Based on known relationships between hypertension, executive function and cerebral white matter changes, we hypothesized that greater post-exercise reactivity, as indexed by higher pulse pressure, would be more related to worse performance on frontal-executive tasks than pre-exercise physiologic measures. All participants were administered a comprehensive neuropsychological battery and underwent a Six Minute Walk Test (6MWT), with blood pressure (BP) measures obtained immediately before and after the walk. Pulse pressure (PP) was derived from BP as an indicator of vascular auto-regulation and composite scores were computed for each cognitive domain assessed. As predicted, worse executive function scores exhibited a stronger relationship with post-exercise PP than pre-exercise PP. Results suggest that PP following system stress in the form of walking may be more reflective of the state of vascular integrity and associated executive dysfunction in older adults than baseline physiologic measures. PMID:26629911

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. ASSOCIATION BETWEEN WHITE MATTER MICROSTRUCTURE, EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS AND PROCESSING SPEED IN OLDER ADULTS: THE IMPACT OF VASCULAR HEALTH

    PubMed Central

    Jacobs, Heidi I.L.; Leritz, Elizabeth C.; Williams, Victoria J.; Van Boxtel, Martin P.J.; van der Elst, Wim; Jolles, Jelle; Verhey, Frans R. J.; McGlinchey, Regina E.; Milberg, William P.; Salat, David H.

    2013-01-01

    Cerebral white matter damage is a commonly reported consequence of healthy aging, but is also associated with cognitive decline and dementia. The aetiology of this damage is unclear, however, individuals with hypertension have a greater burden of white matter signal abnormalities (WMSA) on MR imaging than those without hypertension. It is therefore possible that elevated blood pressure (BP) impacts white matter tissue structure which in turn has a negative impact on cognition. However, little information exists about whether vascular health indexed by BP mediates the relationship between cognition and white matter tissue structure. We used diffusion tensor imaging to examine the impact of vascular health on regional associations between white matter integrity and cognition in healthy older adults spanning the normotensive to moderate-severe hypertensive BP range (43–87 years; N=128). We examined how white matter structure was associated with performance on tests of two cognitive domains, executive functioning (EF) and processing speed (PS), and how patterns of regional associations were modified by BP and WMSA. Multiple linear regression and structural equation models demonstrated associations between tissue structure, EF and PS in frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital white matter regions. Radial diffusivity was more prominently associated with performance than axial diffusivity. BP only minimally influenced the relationship between white matter integrity, EF and PS. However, WMSA volume had a major impact on neurocognitive associations. This suggests that, although BP and WMSA are causally related, these differential metrics of vascular health may act via independent pathways to influence brain structure, EF and PS. PMID:21954054

  9. Association between white matter microstructure, executive functions, and processing speed in older adults: the impact of vascular health.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Heidi I L; Leritz, Elizabeth C; Williams, Victoria J; Van Boxtel, Martin P J; van der Elst, Wim; Jolles, Jelle; Verhey, Frans R J; McGlinchey, Regina E; Milberg, William P; Salat, David H

    2013-01-01

    Cerebral white matter damage is not only a commonly reported consequence of healthy aging, but is also associated with cognitive decline and dementia. The aetiology of this damage is unclear; however, individuals with hypertension have a greater burden of white matter signal abnormalities (WMSA) on MR imaging than those without hypertension. It is therefore possible that elevated blood pressure (BP) impacts white matter tissue structure which in turn has a negative impact on cognition. However, little information exists about whether vascular health indexed by BP mediates the relationship between cognition and white matter tissue structure. We used diffusion tensor imaging to examine the impact of vascular health on regional associations between white matter integrity and cognition in healthy older adults spanning the normotensive to moderate-severe hypertensive BP range (43-87 years; N = 128). We examined how white matter structure was associated with performance on tests of two cognitive domains, executive functioning (EF) and processing speed (PS), and how patterns of regional associations were modified by BP and WMSA. Multiple linear regression and structural equation models demonstrated associations between tissue structure, EF and PS in frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital white matter regions. Radial diffusivity was more prominently associated with performance than axial diffusivity. BP only minimally influenced the relationship between white matter integrity, EF and PS. However, WMSA volume had a major impact on neurocognitive associations. This suggests that, although BP and WMSA are causally related, these differential metrics of vascular health may act via independent pathways to influence brain structure, EF and PS. PMID:21954054

  10. Television and children's executive function.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Association between executive function and physical performance in older Korean adults: findings from the Korean Longitudinal Study on Health and Aging (KLoSHA).

    PubMed

    Huh, Yoonseok; Yang, Eun Joo; Lee, Seung Ah; Lim, Jae-Young; Kim, Ki Woong; Paik, Nam-Jong

    2011-01-01

    Reduced executive function and physical performance are common age-related conditions. This study evaluated the associations between executive function and physical performance in a representative sample of older adults. Cross-sectional data were analyzed from a population-based sample of 629 men and women aged 65 or older and living in one typical city in Korea. Specific aspects of executive function were assessed using the trail making test, digit span test, and lexical fluency test to measure set shifting, working memory and cognitive flexibility functions. Physical performance was measured using performance-oriented mobility assessment (POMA) scores and isokinetic muscle strength. Subjects' self-efficacy was also assessed using the activities-specific balance confidence (ABC) scale. Results of the lexical fluency test were associated with POMA scores and muscle strength, independent of age, gender, education, comorbidity, physical activity status, depression, and global cognition, suggesting that reduced cognitive flexibility is associated with reduced physical performance and muscle strength. Self-efficacy was also independently associated with physical performance and muscle strength. Clinicians need to consider the association between executive function and physical performance when working to improve physical functioning in an aged population. PMID:21075462

  12. Atomoxetine Effects on Executive Function as Measured by the BRIEF-A in Young Adults with ADHD: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study

    PubMed Central

    Adler, Lenard A.; Clemow, David B.; Williams, David W.; Durell, Todd M.

    2014-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the effect of atomoxetine treatment on executive functions in young adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Methods In this Phase 4, multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, young adults (18–30 years) with ADHD were randomized to receive atomoxetine (20–50 mg BID, N = 220) or placebo (N = 225) for 12 weeks. The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult (BRIEF-A) consists of 75 self-report items within 9 nonoverlapping clinical scales measuring various aspects of executive functioning. Mean changes from baseline to 12-week endpoint on the BRIEF-A were analyzed using an ANCOVA model (terms: baseline score, treatment, and investigator). Results At baseline, there were no significant treatment group differences in the percentage of patients with BRIEF-A composite or index T-scores ≥60 (p>.5), with over 92% of patients having composite scores ≥60 (≥60 deemed clinically meaningful for these analyses). At endpoint, statistically significantly greater mean reductions were seen in the atomoxetine versus placebo group for the BRIEF-A Global Executive Composite (GEC), Behavioral Regulation Index (BRI), and Metacognitive Index (MI) scores, as well as the Inhibit, Self-Monitor, Working Memory, Plan/Organize and Task Monitor subscale scores (p<.05), with decreases in scores signifying improvements in executive functioning. Changes in the BRIEF-A Initiate (p = .051), Organization of Materials (p = .051), Shift (p = .090), and Emotional Control (p = .219) subscale scores were not statistically significant. In addition, the validity scales: Inconsistency (p = .644), Infrequency (p = .097), and Negativity (p = .456) were not statistically significant, showing scale validity. Conclusion Statistically significantly greater improvement in executive function was observed in young adults with ADHD in the atomoxetine versus placebo group as measured by changes in the BRIEF

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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.…

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Executive function is necessary for perspective selection, not Level-1 visual perspective calculation: evidence from a dual-task study of adults.

    PubMed

    Qureshi, Adam W; Apperly, Ian A; Samson, Dana

    2010-11-01

    Previous research suggests that perspective-taking and other "theory of mind" processes may be cognitively demanding for adult participants, and may be disrupted by concurrent performance of a secondary task. In the current study, a Level-1 visual perspective task was administered to 32 adults using a dual-task paradigm in which the secondary task tapped executive function. Results suggested that the secondary task did not affect the calculation of perspective, but did affect the selection of the relevant (Self or Other) perspective for a given trial. This is the first direct evidence of a cognitively efficient process for "theory of mind" in adults that operates independently of executive function. The contrast between this and previous findings points to a distinction between simple perspective-taking and the more complex and cognitively demanding abilities more typically examined in studies of "theory of mind". It is suggested that these findings may provide a parsimonious explanation of the success of infants on 'indirect' measures of perspective-taking that do not explicitly require selection of the relevant perspective. PMID:20817158

  1. Lacking power impairs executive functions.

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

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

  2. IDE (rs6583817) Polymorphism and Pulse Pressure are Independently and Interactively Associated with Level and Change in Executive Function in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    McFall, G. Peggy; Wiebe, Sandra A.; Vergote, David; Jhamandas, Jack; Westaway, David; Dixon, Roger A.

    2013-01-01

    Objective We report a gene x environment (health) study focusing on concurrent performance and longitudinal change in a latent-variable executive function (EF) phenotype. Specifically, we tested the independent and interactive effects of a recently identified insulin degrading enzyme genetic polymorphism (IDE rs6583817) and pulse pressure (PP) (one prominent aging-related vascular health indicator) across up to 9 years of EF data in a sample of older adults from the Victoria Longitudinal Study. Both factors vary across a continuum of risk-elevating to risk-reducing and have been recently linked to normal and impaired cognitive aging. Method We assembled a genotyped and typically aging group of older adults (n=599, M age=66 years at baseline), following them for up to three longitudinal waves (M interval=4.4 years). We used confirmatory factor analyses, latent growth modeling, and path analyses to pursue three main research goals. Results First, the EF single factor model was confirmed as comprised of 4 executive function tasks and it demonstrated measurement invariance across the waves. Second, older adults with the major IDE G allele exhibited better EF outcomes than homozygotes for the minor A allele at the centering age of 75 years. Adults with higher PP performed more poorly on EF tasks at age 75 years and exhibited greater EF longitudinal decline. Third, gene x health interaction analyses showed that worsening vascular health (higher PP) differentially affected EF performance in older adults with the IDE G allele. Discussion Genetic interaction analyses can reveal differential and magnifying effects on cognitive phenotypes in aging. In the present case, pulse pressure is confirmed as a risk factor for concurrent and changing cognitive health in aging, but the effects operate differently across the risk and protective allelic distribution of this IDE gene. PMID:24660790

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  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. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Social Reasoning Skills in Adults with Down Syndrome: The Role of Language, Executive Functions and Socio-Emotional Behaviour

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hippolyte, L.; Iglesias, K.; Van der Linden, M.; Barisnikov, K.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Although the prevalence of mental illness and behaviour problems is lower in adults with Down syndrome (DS) than in other populations with intellectual disabilities, they do present emotional and relational problems, as well as social integration difficulties. However, studies reporting on specific competences known to be central in…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  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. Risk-reducing Apolipoprotein E and Clusterin genotypes protect against the consequences of poor vascular health on executive function performance and change in nondemented older adults.

    PubMed

    McFall, G Peggy; Sapkota, Shraddha; McDermott, Kirstie L; Dixon, Roger A

    2016-06-01

    We examined independent and cumulative effects of 2 Alzheimer's-related genetic polymorphisms, Apolipoprotein E (APOE) and Clusterin (CLU), in relation to the deleterious effects of poor vascular health (pulse pressure [PP]) on executive function (EF) performance and change in nondemented older adults. Using a sample (n = 593; age range = 53-95 years) from the Victoria Longitudinal Study, we applied latent growth modeling to test the effect of PP, as moderated by APOE and CLU, on an EF latent variable. EF was affected by higher levels of PP but differentially less so for carriers of low-risk alleles (APOE ɛ2+; CLU TT) than for moderate- or high-risk alleles (APOE ɛ2-; CLU C+). The cumulative genetic risk of APOE plus CLU provided similar moderation of PP level effects on EF. Future research may focus on how APOE and CLU might provide different but complementary contributions to predicting EF level and change. Vascular health risk in synergistic association with risk-related polymorphisms can elucidate the neurobiological underpinnings of cognitive trajectories in nondemented aging. PMID:27143425

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. Self versus family ratings of the frontal systems behaviour scale and measured executive functions: adult outcomes following childhood traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Robert D; McLellan, Tracey L; McKinlay, Audrey

    2013-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) frequently occurs during childhood and adolescence with long-term neuropsychological and behavioral effects. Greater personal awareness of injury is associated with better outcomes. However, personal awareness is often assessed using ratings obtained from family members or significant others. Surprisingly, the accuracy of family-ratings compared with self-ratings has not been well studied in the TBI population. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine self versus family-ratings of frontal dysfunction and secondly, the association between self/family reported frontal dysfunction and measured executive function outcomes. A total of 60 participants, approximately 10 years post-TBI, comprised 3 groups including; moderate/severe TBI (N=26; mean age 22.9, SD=3.0), mild TBI (N=20; mean age, 21.7, SD=2.7), and control (N=14: mean age, 21.6, SD=3.7). Neuropsychological testing was used to obtain domain scores for executive function and working memory/attention for each participant, and nominated family members and participants with TBI were asked to complete the Frontal Systems Behaviour Scale (FrSBe), consisting of three sub-scales; apathy, disinhibition, and executive dysfunction. Using the FrSBe there was no significant difference between the groups in executive function score, but the moderate/severe and mild groups had significantly lower working memory/attention scores compared with the control group (p<0.05). Repeated measures analysis of variance showed higher self-ratings on all sub-scales compared with family in each group (p<0.05). Scores on executive function and working memory/attention domains correlated with self, but not family reported executive dysfunction. Self-rated executive dysfunction explained 36% of the variance in executive function (p<0.001). While agreement between self-rated and family-rated total FrSBe scores was significant in all groups (p<0.001), our results showed that self-ratings were of higher

  3. Self versus Family Ratings of the Frontal Systems Behaviour Scale and Measured Executive Functions: Adult Outcomes following Childhood Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, Robert D.; McLellan, Tracey L.; McKinlay, Audrey

    2013-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) frequently occurs during childhood and adolescence with long-term neuropsychological and behavioral effects. Greater personal awareness of injury is associated with better outcomes. However, personal awareness is often assessed using ratings obtained from family members or significant others. Surprisingly, the accuracy of family-ratings compared with self-ratings has not been well studied in the TBI population. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine self versus family-ratings of frontal dysfunction and secondly, the association between self/family reported frontal dysfunction and measured executive function outcomes. A total of 60 participants, approximately 10 years post-TBI, comprised 3 groups including; moderate/severe TBI (N=26; mean age 22.9, SD=3.0), mild TBI (N=20; mean age, 21.7, SD=2.7), and control (N=14: mean age, 21.6, SD=3.7). Neuropsychological testing was used to obtain domain scores for executive function and working memory/attention for each participant, and nominated family members and participants with TBI were asked to complete the Frontal Systems Behaviour Scale (FrSBe), consisting of three sub-scales; apathy, disinhibition, and executive dysfunction. Using the FrSBe there was no significant difference between the groups in executive function score, but the moderate/severe and mild groups had significantly lower working memory/attention scores compared with the control group (p<0.05). Repeated measures analysis of variance showed higher self-ratings on all sub-scales compared with family in each group (p<0.05). Scores on executive function and working memory/attention domains correlated with self, but not family reported executive dysfunction. Self-rated executive dysfunction explained 36% of the variance in executive function (p<0.001). While agreement between self-rated and family-rated total FrSBe scores was significant in all groups (p<0.001), our results showed that self-ratings were of higher

  4. 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…

  5. Conceptualization and Operationalization of Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baggetta, Peter; Alexander, Patricia A.

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Executive Functions in Children with Dyslexia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2005-01-01

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

  7. 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…

  8. Understanding the Executive Functioning Heterogeneity in Schizophrenia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raffard, Stephane; Bayard, Sophie

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Executive Functions Development and Playing Games

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Executive Function and Early Reading Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foy, Judith G.; Mann, Virginia A.

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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)…

  15. Cross-Sectional Comparison of Executive Attention Function in Normally Aging Long-Term T'ai Chi, Meditation, and Aerobic Fitness Practitioners Versus Sedentary Adults

    PubMed Central

    Manselle, Wayne; Woollacott, Marjorie H.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract This cross-sectional field study documented the effect of long-term t'ai chi, meditation, or aerobic exercise training versus a sedentary lifestyle on executive function. It was predicted that long-term training in t'ai chi and meditation plus exercise would produce greater benefits to executive function than aerobic exercise. T'ai chi and meditation plus exercise include mental and physical training. Fifty-four volunteers were tested: t'ai chi (n=10); meditation+exercise (n=16); aerobic exercisers (n=16); and sedentary controls (n=12). A one-factor (group), one-covariate (age) multivariate analysis of covariance was performed. Significant main effects of group and age were found (group, 67.9%, p<0.001; age, 76.3%, p=0.001). T'ai chi and meditation practitioners but not aerobic exercisers outperformed sedentary controls on percent switch costs (p=0.001 and p=0.006, respectively), suggesting that there may be differential effects of training type on executive function. PMID:24286339

  16. Treatment With Lisdexamfetamine Dimesylate Improves Self- and Informant-Rated Executive Function Behaviors and Clinician- and Informant-Rated ADHD Symptoms in Adults: Data From a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study.

    PubMed

    Weisler, Richard; Ginsberg, Lawrence; Dirks, Bryan; Deas, Patrick; Adeyi, Ben; Adler, Lenard A

    2014-01-24

    Objective: To examine the level of agreement between self- and observer-reported ratings of ADHD symptoms and executive function (EF) behaviors in adults with moderate to severe ADHD and EF deficits. Method: During a 10-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the effect of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (LDX) on EF was assessed by self-report and informant report (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version), and ADHD symptoms were assessed by clinician- and informant-rated scales (ADHD Rating Scale IV with adult prompts and Conners' Adult ADHD Rating Scales-Observer Report: Short Version, respectively). Post hoc analysis used Pearson correlations to assess relationships between self- and informant-rated EF and clinician- and informant-rated ADHD symptoms. Results: Correlations between self-ratings versus informant ratings and clinician versus informant ratings were greater at Week 10/early termination (EF: placebo [0.5231-0.6085], LDX [0.3543-0.5167]; ADHD symptoms: placebo [0.4169], LDX [0.4004]) versus baseline (EF: placebo [0.3208-0.5023], LDX [0.2852-0.3439]; ADHD symptoms: placebo [0.1511], LDX [-0.0408]). Conclusion: LDX improved EF and ADHD symptoms, based on participant, informant, and clinician ratings. Increased rater agreement over time may reflect improved symptom awareness. (J. of Att. Dis. XXXX; XX(X) XX-XX). PMID:24464328

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Verbal Fluency: Language or Executive Function Measure?

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Balbi, Paula; Roussos, Andrés

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Exergaming immediately enhances children's executive function.

    PubMed

    Best, John R

    2012-09-01

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

  8. Multiple roads lead to Rome: combined high-intensity aerobic and strength training vs. gross motor activities leads to equivalent improvement in executive functions in a cohort of healthy older adults.

    PubMed

    Berryman, Nicolas; Bherer, Louis; Nadeau, Sylvie; Lauzière, Séléna; Lehr, Lora; Bobeuf, Florian; Lussier, Maxime; Kergoat, Marie Jeanne; Vu, Thien Tuong Minh; Bosquet, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    The effects of physical activity on cognition in older adults have been extensively investigated in the last decade. Different interventions such as aerobic, strength, and gross motor training programs have resulted in improvements in cognitive functions. However, the mechanisms underlying the relationship between physical activity and cognition are still poorly understood. Recently, it was shown that acute bouts of exercise resulted in reduced executive control at higher relative exercise intensities. Considering that aging is characterized by a reduction in potential energy ([Formula: see text] max - energy cost of walking), which leads to higher relative walking intensity for the same absolute speed, it could be argued that any intervention aimed at reducing the relative intensity of the locomotive task would improve executive control while walking. The objective of the present study was to determine the effects of a short-term (8 weeks) high-intensity strength and aerobic training program on executive functions (single and dual task) in a cohort of healthy older adults. Fifty-one participants were included and 47 (age, 70.7 ± 5.6) completed the study which compared the effects of three interventions: lower body strength + aerobic training (LBS-A), upper body strength + aerobic training (UBS-A), and gross motor activities (GMA). Training sessions were held 3 times every week. Both physical fitness (aerobic, neuromuscular, and body composition) and cognitive functions (RNG) during a dual task were assessed before and after the intervention. Even though the LBS-A and UBS-A interventions increased potential energy to a higher level (Effect size: LBS-A-moderate, UBS-A-small, GMA-trivial), all groups showed equivalent improvement in cognitive function, with inhibition being more sensitive to the intervention. These findings suggest that different exercise programs targeting physical fitness and/or gross motor skills may lead to equivalent improvement in

  9. 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…

  10. Executive functions predict conceptual learning of science.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  11. 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…

  12. Executive functions in borderline personality disorder.

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-30

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

  13. 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,…

  14. Executive Functions in Individuals with Williams Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  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. The hippocampus and executive functions in depression

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Imaging the genetics of executive function.

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-01

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

  2. Induced rumination dampens executive processes in dysphoric young adults.

    PubMed

    Philippot, Pierre; Brutoux, Fabienne

    2008-09-01

    Self-focused, analytical mental rumination constitutes a central process in depression. It has been hypothesized that such rumination depletes executive resources that are necessary for an efficient cognitive regulation of emotion and behavior. However, most of the research supporting this hypothesis is of correlational nature. The present study examined the effects of induced rumination versus distraction on executive capacities in dysphoric and nondsyphoric college students. Executive functioning was measured with the Stroop task. Results indicate that induced rumination decreases inhibition capacities in dysphoric individuals only. The flexibility facet of executive functioning was not affected by induced rumination. However, dysphoric individuals demonstrated a fundamental impairment in this latter capacity, independent of rumination induction. The implications for the facets of executive functioning affected by depression and by rumination are discussed. PMID:17698028

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Executive functioning in highly talented soccer players.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Adult Basic Skills and the Kansas Workforce. Executive Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krider, Charles E.; And Others

    This report considers the basic skills levels of adults in Kansas, the provision of basic skills training by public and private agencies, and policy options for improving the basic skills of Kansas's workforce. Following a detailed executive report, chapter 1 reviews the workforce challenge, economic and technological changes, and shifts in…

  7. Early executive function predicts reasoning development.

    PubMed

    Richland, Lindsey E; Burchinal, Margaret R

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Development patterns of executive functions in children.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Fayeza S; Miller, L Stephen

    2013-06-01

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

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. Acute cardiovascular exercise and executive control function.

    PubMed

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

    2003-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Preschool Executive Functioning Abilities Predict Early Mathematics Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. 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). PMID:24163327

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Executive function and language in deaf children.

    PubMed

    Figueras, Berta; Edwards, Lindsey; Langdon, Dawn

    2008-01-01

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

  4. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  9. 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,…

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25941481

  11. A Neuropsychological Study of Personality: Trait Openness in Relation to Intelligence, Fluency, and Executive Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Schretlen, David J.; van der Hulst, Egberdina J.; Pearlson, Godfrey D.; Gordon, Barry

    2010-01-01

    Openness is a personality trait that has been linked to intelligence and divergent thinking. DeYoung, Peterson, and Higgins (2005) theorized that trait Openness depends on dopamine function, especially in the prefrontal cortex. We tested their theory in 335 healthy adults by hypothesizing that individual differences in Openness would correlate more strongly with performance on tests of executive function than on tests of intelligence and fluency. However, Openness correlated more strongly with verbal/crystallized intelligence (Gc; r=0.44) than with executive functioning (r=0.16) and fluency (r=0.24). Further, the partial correlation between Openness and Gc increased from r=0.26 among young adults to r=0.53 among elderly adults. These findings suggest that Openness is more closely associated with the acquisition of broad verbal intellectual skills and knowledge than with executive abilities localized to a specific brain region or neurotransmitter system. PMID:20408002

  12. 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

  13. Depressive symptoms are more strongly related to executive functioning and episodic memory among African American compared with non-Hispanic White older adults.

    PubMed

    Zahodne, Laura B; Nowinski, Cindy J; Gershon, Richard C; Manly, Jennifer J

    2014-11-01

    We examined whether the reserve capacity model can be extended to cognitive outcomes among older African Americans. Two hundred and ninety-two non-Hispanic Whites and 37 African Americans over age 54 participated in the normative study for the NIH Toolbox for the Assessment of Neurological and Behavioral Function. Multiple-group path analysis showed that associations between depressive symptoms and cognition differed by race, independent of age, education, reading level, income, health, and recruitment site. Depressive symptoms were associated with slowed processing speed among Whites and worse task-switching, inhibition, and episodic memory among African Americans. African Americans may be more vulnerable to negative effects of depression on cognition than non-Hispanic Whites. Further research is needed to explicate the psychological and neurobiological underpinnings of this greater vulnerability. PMID:25280795

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Acute aerobic exercise may increase cognitive processing speed among tasks demanding a substantial degree of executive function. Few studies have investigated executive function after acute exercise in older adults across various exercise intensities. Healthy females 60-75 years of age (n = 11) who were not on medications completed 20-min exercise sessions at a moderate (50%VO2max) exercise intensity and a vigorous (75%VO2max) exercise intensity. Modified flanker tasks (reaction times) and d2 tests of sustained and selective attention (components of executive function) were completed before, immediately after, and 30-min post-exercise. Results indicated that older adult females had improved scores on the modified flanker task reaction times (RTT, RTI, RTC) and d2 tests immediately after both moderate and vigorous intensity aerobic exercise. Some of these effects were maintained 30 min post-exercise. These findings suggest that an acute bout of exercise, regardless of intensity, can improve performance on tests of executive function in older women. Key points Few studies have investigated the effects of the intensity of exercise on executive function in older women Executive function improved after 20-min of aerobic exercise regardless of exercise intensity in older women Findings from the study were not confounded by prescribed medications; all participants who were older women were not taking any medications PMID:26336345

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-30

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

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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)...

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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,…

  8. 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)...

  9. 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)...

  10. 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)...

  11. 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)...

  12. Rumination prospectively predicts executive functioning impairments in adolescents

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Background and objectives The current study tested the resource allocation hypothesis, examining whether baseline rumination or depressive symptom levels prospectively predicted deficits in executive functioning in an adolescent sample. The alternative to this hypothesis was also evaluated by testing whether lower initial levels of executive functioning predicted increases in rumination or depressive symptoms at follow-up. Methods A community sample of 200 adolescents (ages 12–13) completed measures of depressive symptoms, rumination, and executive functioning at baseline and at a follow-up session approximately 15 months later. Results Adolescents with higher levels of baseline rumination displayed decreases in selective attention and attentional switching at follow-up. Rumination did not predict changes in working memory or sustained and divided attention. Depressive symptoms were not found to predict significant changes in executive functioning scores at follow-up. Baseline executive functioning was not associated with change in rumination or depression over time. Conclusions Findings partially support the resource allocation hypothesis that engaging in ruminative thoughts consumes cognitive resources that would otherwise be allocated towards difficult tests of executive functioning. Support was not found for the alternative hypothesis that lower levels of initial executive functioning would predict increased rumination or depressive symptoms at follow-up. Our study is the first to find support for the resource allocation hypothesis using a longitudinal design and an adolescent sample. Findings highlight the potentially detrimental effects of rumination on executive functioning during early adolescence. PMID:23978629

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  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 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

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

    PubMed

    Kruger, Gert H J

    2011-04-01

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

  18. 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,…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    Buczylowska, Dorota; Petermann, Franz

    2016-05-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Self-Reported Executive Functioning in Everyday Life in Parkinson's Disease after Three Months of Subthalamic Deep Brain Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Pham, Uyen Ha Gia; Andersson, Stein; Toft, Mathias; Pripp, Are Hugo; Konglund, Ane Eidahl; Dietrichs, Espen; Malt, Ulrik Fredrik; Skogseid, Inger Marie; Haraldsen, Ira Ronit Hebolt; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin

    2015-01-01

    Objective. Studies on the effect of subthalamic deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) on executive functioning in Parkinson's disease (PD) are still controversial. In this study we compared self-reported daily executive functioning in PD patients before and after three months of STN-DBS. We also examined whether executive functioning in everyday life was associated with motor symptoms, apathy, and psychiatric symptoms. Method. 40 PD patients were examined with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A), the Symptom Checklist 90-Revised (SCL-90-R), and the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES-S). Results. PD patients reported significant improvement in daily life executive functioning after 3 months of STN-DBS. Anxiety scores significantly declined, while other psychiatric symptoms remained unchanged. The improvement of self-reported executive functioning did not correlate with motor improvement after STN-DBS. Apathy scores remained unchanged after surgery. Only preoperative depressed mood had predictive value to the improvement of executive function and appears to prevent potentially favorable outcomes from STN-DBS on some aspects of executive function. Conclusion. PD patients being screened for STN-DBS surgery should be evaluated with regard to self-reported executive functioning. Depressive symptoms in presurgical PD patients should be treated. Complementary information about daily life executive functioning in PD patients might enhance further treatment planning of STN-DBS. PMID:26167329

  5. 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…

  6. Adult Functional Competency: A Summary.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Texas Univ., Austin. Div. of Extension.

    The Adult Performance Level (APL) project summary specifies the competencies which are functional to economic and educational success in society and describes devices developed for assessing those competencies. The APL theory of functional competency identifies adult needs in general knowledge areas (consumer economics, occupational knowledge,…

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

    PubMed

    Kavanaugh, Brian; Holler, Karen

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-08-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-09-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    Leskin, Lorraine P; White, Patricia M

    2007-05-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-30

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Executive functioning in people with obsessive-compulsive personality traits: evidence of modest impairment.

    PubMed

    García-Villamisar, Domingo; Dattilo, John

    2015-06-01

    Investigations of executive dysfunctions among people with obsessive-compulsive personality disorders (OCPD) have yielded inconsistent results. The authors speculate that obsessive-compulsive personality traits (OCPT) from a nonclinical population may be associated with specific executive dysfunctions relative to working memory, attentional set-shifting, and planning. A sample consisting of 79 adults (39 females, 40 males) was divided into high and low scorers on the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire-4 (PDQ-4; Hyler, 1994). In addition, these participants were interviewed using the SCID-II (First, Spitzer, Gibbon & Williams, 1997) to confirm the presence of symptoms of obsessive-compulsive personality. Participants completed a battery of executive tasks associated with the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), including Spatial Working Memory, Intradimensional/Extradimensional (ID/ED), Attentional Set-Shifting, and Stockings of Cambridge. Also, self-report measures of executive functions as well as of anxiety and depressive symptoms were administered. The analysis of covariance revealed significant differences between participants with OCPT and controls on the Spatial Working Memory tasks, ID/ED tasks, Stockings of Cambridge, and the Dysexecutive Questionnaire (DEX). Nevertheless, there were no significant differences in the number of problems solved in minimum movements. These results suggest that executive dysfunctions are present in people with prominent OCPT and that there is a high convergence between clinical and ecological measures of executive functions in people with obsessive personality traits. PMID:23445476

  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. Speed and accuracy on tests of executive function in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    PubMed

    Roth, Robert M; Baribeau, Jacinthe; Milovan, Denise L; O'Connor, Kieron

    2004-04-01

    Slowness in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has been attributed to intrusive thoughts or meticulousness. Recent research suggests that slowness in OCD may be particularly evident on tests of executive function subserved by frontostriatal circuitry. In the present study, the speed and accuracy of responding on neuropsychological tests of executive functions and psychomotor speed were investigated in 27 non-depressed, unmedicated adults with OCD and 27 healthy controls. The only group difference was that patients took significantly longer to copy a complex geometric design than controls. This finding was unrelated to residual depression or overall OCD symptom severity. Results suggest that slowness in OCD may be most apparent on executive tests requiring self-initiated organizational strategies, consistent with frontostriatal abnormality. PMID:15050790

  15. White matter microstructure in the executive network associated with aggression in healthy adolescents and young adults.

    PubMed

    Karlsgodt, Katherine H; Bato, Angelica A; Blair, Melanie A; DeRosse, Pamela; Szeszko, Philip R; Malhotra, Anil K

    2015-09-01

    Predicting which individuals may engage in aggressive behavior is of interest in today's society; however, there is little data on the neural basis of aggression in healthy individuals. Here, we tested whether regional differences in white matter (WM) microstructure were associated with later reports of aggressive tendencies. We recontacted healthy young adults an average of 3 years after they underwent research MRI scans. Via electronic survey, we administered the Buss Perry Aggression Questionnaire. We divided aggression into Aggressive Thoughts (Anger and Hostility subscales) and Aggressive Acts (Verbal and Physical subscales) and used Tract-Based Spatial Statistics to test the relationship of those measures to WM microstructure. In 45 individuals age 15-30 at baseline, we observed significant relationships between Aggressive Acts and fractional anisotropy (FA) in a parietal region consistent with the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF). As the SLF has an established relationship to executive function, we performed an exploratory analysis in a subset of individuals with working memory data. Decreased FA in executive network regions, as well as working memory performance, were associated with later self-reported aggressive tendencies. This has implications for our healthy behavior understanding of as well as that of patient populations known to have executive dysfunction. PMID:25691778

  16. 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

  17. Executive function abnormalities in pathological gamblers

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

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

  18. 5-HTTLPR, victimization and ecological executive function of adolescents.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-30

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

  19. The effects of bilingualism on toddlers’ executive functioning

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Landa, Rebecca J.; Goldberg, Melissa C.

    2005-01-01

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

  1. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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,…

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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,…

  11. 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…

  12. 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,…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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).…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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.…

  3. Executive functioning in chronic alcoholism and Korsakoff syndrome.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Korsakoff syndrome (KS) is characterized by dense anterograde and retrograde amnesia. There is often a temporal gradient to the retrograde amnesia, with earlier memories more readily recalled than recent memories. Executive functioning has also been found to be impaired in KS. However, research comparing executive functioning between chronic alcoholics (AL) and patients with KS has been relatively sparse to date. In a group comparison design, executive functioning in 15 KS patients and 16 chronic alcoholic patients was assessed using the Behavioural Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome test (BADS) and other secondary measures. The KS group was found to be significantly more impaired than the AL group on overall performance on the BADS (p < .05). Korsakoff patients are significantly more impaired in executive functioning than non-Korsakoff chronic alcoholics. We thank the participants of the study and also acknowledge the support of the University of Nottingham, particularly Nadina Lincoln, and the North East London NHS Foundation Trust. We are also very grateful to the anonymous reviewers of earlier drafts of this manuscript for their invaluable comments. PMID:23656524

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. Bilingual Experience and Executive Functioning in Young Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carlson, Stephanie M.; Meltzoff, Andrew N.

    2008-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

  10. Task-based neurofeedback training: A novel approach toward training executive functions.

    PubMed

    Hosseini, S M Hadi; Pritchard-Berman, Mika; Sosa, Natasha; Ceja, Angelica; Kesler, Shelli R

    2016-07-01

    Cognitive training is an emergent approach to improve cognitive functions in various neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases. However, current training programs can be relatively lengthy, making adherence potentially difficult for patients with cognitive difficulties. Previous studies suggest that providing individuals with real-time feedback about the level of brain activity (neurofeedback) can potentially help them learn to control the activation of specific brain regions. In the present study, we developed a novel task-based neurofeedback training paradigm that benefits from the effects of neurofeedback in parallel with computerized training. We focused on executive function training given its core involvement in various developmental and neurodegenerative diseases. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) was employed for providing neurofeedback by measuring changes in oxygenated hemoglobin in the prefrontal cortex. Of the twenty healthy adult participants, ten received real neurofeedback (NFB) on prefrontal activity during cognitive training, and ten were presented with sham feedback (SHAM). Compared with SHAM, the NFB group showed significantly improved executive function performance including measures of working memory after four sessions of training (100min total). The NFB group also showed significantly reduced training-related brain activity in the executive function network including right middle frontal and inferior frontal regions compared with SHAM. Our data suggest that providing neurofeedback along with cognitive training can enhance executive function after a relatively short period of training. Similar designs could potentially be used for patient populations with known neuropathology, potentially helping them to boost/recover the activity in the affected brain regions. PMID:27015711

  11. Child Maltreatment and Executive Functioning in Middle Adulthood: A Prospective Examination

    PubMed Central

    Nikulina, Valentina; Widom, Cathy Spatz

    2013-01-01

    Objective There is extensive evidence of negative consequences of childhood maltreatment for IQ, academic achievement, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and increased attention to neurobiological consequences. However, few prospective studies have assessed the long-term effects of abuse and neglect on executive functioning. The current study examines whether childhood abuse and neglect predicts components of executive functioning and nonverbal reasoning ability in middle adulthood and whether PTSD moderates this relationship. Method Using a prospective cohort design, a large sample (N = 792) of court-substantiated cases of childhood physical and sexual abuse and neglect (ages 0-11) and matched controls were followed into adulthood (mean age = 41). Executive functioning was assessed with the Trail Making B test and non-verbal reasoning with Matrix Reasoning. PTSD (DSM-III-R lifetime diagnosis) was assessed at age 29. Data were analyzed using ordinary least squares regressions, controlling for age, sex, and race and possible confounds of IQ, depression, and excessive alcohol use. Results In multivariate analyses, childhood maltreatment overall and childhood neglect predicted poorer executive functioning and non-verbal reasoning at age 41, whereas physical and sexual abuse did not. A past history of PTSD did not mediate or moderate these relations. Conclusions Childhood maltreatment and neglect specifically have a significant long-term impact on important aspects of adult neuropsychological functioning. These findings suggest the need for targeted efforts dedicated to interventions for neglected children. PMID:23876115

  12. Executive function and cerebrovascular reactivity in pediatric hypertension.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  13. Fall risk is associated with amplified functional connectivity of the central executive network in patients with Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Rosenberg-Katz, Keren; Herman, Talia; Jacob, Yael; Mirelman, Anat; Giladi, Nir; Hendler, Talma; Hausdorff, Jeffrey M

    2015-11-01

    Falls are debilitating problems that markedly impact the health-related quality of life of many patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Numerous studies point to the role of executive function and attention in falls; however, the brain mechanisms underlying these relationships are less clear. Here, we aim to evaluate the brain mechanisms underlying the role of executive function in falls. Patients with PD who were fallers (n = 27) or non-fallers (n = 53) and 27 healthy older adults were examined in a cross-sectional study. Gray matter volumes of the caudate head and posterior putamen were evaluated, as these striatal regions play a role in the executive and the sensorimotor cortico-striatal networks, respectively. The functional connectivity of the central executive network and of the sensorimotor network was measured using intrinsic brain connectivity during resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Compared to non-fallers and healthy controls, fallers had lower gray matter volume in the caudate head, but not in the posterior putamen, and increased connectivity between posterior partial regions of the central executive network, with no difference within the sensorimotor network. Mediation analysis demonstrated that the relationships between caudate head gray matter volume and fall history and risk were mediated by increased connectivity within the central executive network, apparently via attentional changes. The above findings provide additional converging evidence for the involvement of executive-related brain changes in falls in PD and support the important role of attention and executive function in fall risk. PMID:26233691

  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. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:26652724

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Does the Iowa Gambling Task Measure Executive Function?

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1994-04-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-01

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

  4. 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,…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Executive Function Deficits in Patients after Cerebellar Neurosurgery.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. Functional decline in older adults.

    PubMed

    Colón-Emeric, Cathleen S; Whitson, Heather E; Pavon, Juliessa; Hoenig, Helen

    2013-09-15

    Functional disability is common in older adults. It is often episodic and is associated with a high risk of subsequent health decline. The severity of disability is determined by physical impairments caused by underlying medical conditions, and by external factors such as social support, financial support, and the environment. When multiple health conditions are present, they often result in greater disability than expected because the patient's ability to compensate for one problem may be affected by comorbid conditions. Evaluation of functional disability is most effective when the physician determines the course of the disability, associated symptoms, effects on specific activities, and coping mechanisms the patient uses to compensate for the functional problem. Underlying health conditions, impairments, and contextual factors (e.g., finances, social support) should be identified using validated screening tools. Interventions should focus on increasing the patient's capacity to cope with task demands and reducing the demands of the task itself. Interventions for functional decline in older adults are almost always multifactorial because they must address multiple conditions, impairments, and contextual factors. PMID:24134046

  13. 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…

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Mahone, E Mark; Hoffman, Jennifer

    2007-07-01

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

  16. Executing application function calls in response to an interrupt

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-05-11

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

  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. PMID:26108101

  18. A Comparative Study of Executive Coaching as an Alternative Adult Teaching Methodology within a Business Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dore, Roger M.

    A study compared test scores obtained by adult learners taught oral, written, and/or interpersonal communication skills by four different methods over two different lengths of time. The learners and those in a control group, which was not taught at all, were 171 bank employees. The teaching methods were executive coaching (one tutor and one…

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

    PubMed

    Buss, Aaron T; Spencer, John P

    2014-06-01

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Executive function declines with age, but engaging in aerobic exercise may attenuate decline. One mechanism by which aerobic exercise may preserve executive function is through the up-regulation of brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), which also declines with age. The present study examined BDNF as a mediator of the effects of a 1-year walking intervention on executive function in 90 older adults (mean age = 66.82). Participants were randomized to a stretching and toning control group or a moderate intensity walking intervention group. BDNF serum levels and performance on a task-switching paradigm were collected at baseline and follow-up. We found that age moderated the effect of intervention group on changes in BDNF levels, with those in the highest age quartile showing the greatest increase in BDNF after 1-year of moderate intensity walking exercise (p = 0.036). The mediation analyses revealed that BDNF mediated the effect of the intervention on task-switch accuracy, but did so as a function of age, such that exercise-induced changes in BDNF mediated the effect of exercise on task-switch performance only for individuals over the age of 71. These results demonstrate that both age and BDNF serum levels are important factors to consider when investigating the mechanisms by which exercise interventions influence cognitive outcomes, particularly in elderly populations. PMID:25566019

  2. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. 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,…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Neill, Gina; Miller, Patricia H.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Buchanan, Tom

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Wiebe, Sandra A

    2014-06-01

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

  8. Lifespan aging and belief reasoning: Influences of executive function and social cue decoding.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Louise H; Bull, Rebecca; Allen, Roy; Insch, Pauline; Burr, Kirsty; Ogg, Will

    2011-08-01

    Older adults often perform poorly on Theory of Mind (ToM) tests that require understanding of others' beliefs and intentions. The course and specificity of age changes in belief reasoning across the adult lifespan is unclear, as is the cause of the age effects. Cognitive and neuropsychological models predict that two types of processing might influence age differences in belief reasoning: executive functioning and social cue detection. In the current study we assessed 129 adults aged between 18 and 86 on novel measures of ToM (video clips and verbal vignettes), which manipulated whether true or false belief reasoning was required. On both video and verbal tasks, older adults (aged 65-88) had specific impairments in false belief reasoning, but showed no such problem in performing true belief tasks. Middle-aged adults (aged 40-64) generally performed as well as the younger adults (aged 18-39). Difficulties in updating information in working memory (but not inhibitory problems) partially mediated the age differences in false belief reasoning. Also, the ability to decode biological motion, indexing social cue detection, partially mediated age-related variance in the ability to interpret false beliefs. These results indicate that age differences in decoding social cues and updating information in memory may be important influences on the specific problems encountered when reasoning about false beliefs in old age. PMID:21624567

  9. Attention and executive functions in microsurgically treated patients after subarachnoid hemorrhage

    PubMed Central

    Koso, Maida; Dizdarevic, Kemal

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: This research aimed to assess attention and executive functions in subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) patients. Methods: The prospective, controlled, longitudinal study was conducted. There were two groups of patients (SAH and lumbar microdiscectomy groups), and all of them were operated on by a single neurosurgeon (KD) in the same institution. Preoperatively, SAH patients were in the Hunt-Hess Grade I and II. They did not develop any focal neurological deficit or hydrocephalus postoperatively. The patients were tested in 2-time points: 15 and 45 days after microsurgery with a battery of tests and questioners consisting of the Trail Making Test, the Sustained Attention to Response Task, the Hayling Sentence Completion Test, The Attention/Concentration test of Attention, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (verbal part). Results between groups were compared (sex, age; years of education and verbal IQ). Results: It was found the presence of lower attention and executive function test scores in the SAH group of patients with a trend of improving during the time. Conclusion: The detailed neuropsychological assessment of operated patients who sustained SAH and were without the focal neurological deficit postoperatively, showed declination in their attention and executive function with a trend of cognitive recovery as time passes by. PMID:26425152

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. PMID:23632808

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. The effect of aging in recollective experience: the processing speed and executive functioning hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Bugaiska, Aurélia; Clarys, David; Jarry, Caroline; Taconnat, Laurence; Tapia, Géraldine; Vanneste, Sandrine; Isingrini, Michel

    2007-12-01

    This study was designed to investigate the effects of aging on consciousness in recognition memory, using the Remember/Know/Guess procedure (Gardiner, J. M., & Richarson-Klavehn, A. (2000). Remembering and Knowing. In E. Tulving & F. I. M. Craik (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Memory. Oxford University Press.). In recognition memory, older participants report fewer occasions on which recognition is accompanied by recollection of the original encoding context. Two main hypotheses were tested: the speed mediation hypothesis (Salthouse, T. A. (1996). The processing-speed theory of adult age differences in cognition. Psychological Review, 3, 403-428) and the executive-aging hypothesis (West, R. L. (1996). An application of prefrontal cortex function theory to cognitive aging. Psychological Bulletin, 120, 272-292). A group of young and a group of older adults took a recognition test in which they classified their responses according to Gardiner, J. M., & Richarson-Klavehn, A. (2000). Remembering and Knowing. In E. Tulving & F. I. M. Craik (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Memory. Oxford University Press. remember-know-guess paradigm. Subsequently, participants completed processing speed and executive function tests. The results showed that among the older participants, R responses decreased, but K responses did not. Moreover, a hierarchical regression analysis supported the view that the effect of age in recollection experience is determined by frontal lobe integrity and not by diminution of processing speed. PMID:17251040

  8. Risky business: executive function, personality, and reckless behavior during adolescence and emerging adulthood.

    PubMed

    Pharo, Henry; Sim, Clark; Graham, Mikala; Gross, Julien; Hayne, Harlene

    2011-12-01

    Adolescence is a risky business. Despite outstanding physical health, the risk of injury or death during adolescence is 2-3 times that of childhood. The primary cause of this increase in morbidity and mortality is heightened risky behavior including drinking, driving, drug-taking, smoking, and unprotected sex. Why is it that some adolescents take big risks, while others do not? One potential source of individual differences in risk-taking behavior may lie in individual differences in executive function including judgment, impulse control, self-monitoring, and planning. Researchers have hypothesized that limited brain system integration and efficiency, particularly in the prefrontal cortex and related structures, may be involved in the range and degree of risky behavior commonly exhibited by teens. In the present study, we examined the relation between risky behavior, personality factors, and performance on neuropsychological tests of executive function. The community sample of 136 adolescents aged 13- to 17-years-old and 57 emerging adults aged 18- to 22-years-old exhibited marked individual differences in risk-taking behavior; participants' scores on a alcohol, smoking, drugs, sex, driving, and antisocial behavior questionnaire ranged from 0 to near the maximum value possible. We found that risky personality and performance on the neuropsychological tests were both significant predictors of real-world risk-taking. These data have important implications for current public policies involving adolescents and emerging adults. PMID:22004262

  9. Early-onset bipolar disorder: how about visual-spatial skills and executive functions?

    PubMed

    Lera-Miguel, Sara; Andrés-Perpiñá, Susana; Calvo, Rosa; Fatjó-Vilas, Mar; Fañanás, Lourdes; Lourdes, Fañanás; Lázaro, Luisa

    2011-04-01

    Early-onset bipolar disorder is an impairing condition that is strongly associated with genetic inheritance. Neurocognitive deficits are core traits of this disorder which seem to be present in both young and adult forms. Deficits in verbal memory and attention are persistent within euthymic phases in bipolar adults, adolescents, and children. In younger samples, including type I or II and not otherwise specified patients, executive functions are not widely impaired and the existence of visual-spatial deficits remains unclear. The main aim of this study was to compare the neurocognitive performance in young stabilized type I or II bipolar patients and healthy controls. Fifteen medicated adolescents with bipolar disorder and 15 healthy adolescents, matched in age and gender, were compared on visual-spatial skills (reasoning, memory, visual-motor accuracy) and executive functioning (attention and working memory, set-shifting, inhibition) using t-tests and MANCOVA. Correcting for verbal competence, MANCOVA showed that patients performed significantly worse than controls in letters and numbers sequencing (P = 0.003), copy (P < 0.001) and immediate recall (P = 0.007) of the Rey Complex Figure Test, interference of the Stroop Color-Word Test (P = 0.007) and non-perseverative errors on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (P = 0.038). Impaired cognitive performance was found in young bipolar patients in working memory, visual-motor skills, and inhibitory control. PMID:21086134

  10. 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

  11. Cognitive functioning of the prelingually deaf adults.

    PubMed

    Pokorski, Mieczysław; Klimańska, Sandra

    2015-01-01

    Deafness is a model of brain adaptation to sensory deprivation which entails psychomotor and cognitive domains. This study seeks to determine the level of emotional intelligence, assessed from the ability to discern emotions from facial expressions, visual and mental attention, and non-verbal fluency in the deaf people as compared with the hearing counterparts. Participants were 29 prelingually deaf, hearing loss of >70 dB, communicating only in sign language, and 30 hearing persons. The age range of all subjects was 40-50 years. Psychometric tools consisted of the Emotional Intelligence Scale-Faces, the d2 Test of Attention, and the Figural Fluency Test. Data elaboration took gender into account. The findings were that both deaf women and men defined significantly fewer emotions as known, compared with the hearing persons. However, the deaf men, but not women, were able to properly recognize a higher percentage of emotions associated with a definite face look, among the emotions they knew. There were no appreciable differences in attention indices between the deaf and hearing men, but deaf women's total performance on attention was worse. By contrast, deaf women, but not men, fared better in non-verbal fluency, compared with their hearing counterparts. We conclude that, on the whole, prelingual deafness does not impede cognitive functioning in adult age. The nature of detecting and executing of cognitive tasks, despite gender and task-specific variations, is preserved. Brain networks are able to compensate for the missing auditory input. PMID:25310953

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

  13. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Executive function and magnitude skills in preschool children.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. No clear evidence for a positive association between the interpersonal-affective aspects of psychopathy and executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Maes, Joseph H R; Brazil, Inti A

    2013-12-30

    Common psychopathy rating instruments distinguish between an interpersonal-affective and an antisocial dimension. The suggestion that the interpersonal-affective dimension, often considered to be the core feature of psychopathy, is positively associated with executive functioning is occasionally made in the literature, without reporting objective empirical data. The primary aim of the present paper was to search for empirical studies reporting relevant data, focussing on four aspects of 'cold' executive functioning: inhibition, attentional shifting, working memory, and planning. Eleven published articles were identified, reporting data of 721 individuals from incarcerated and non-incarcerated, male and female, and adult and non-adult samples. Using a heterogeneous set of tests and dependent measures across studies, the inhibition and attentional shifting components were assessed in eight and five studies, respectively; the working memory and planning components each in two studies. A small majority of the studies found positive associations with the different executive functions, although the associations were mostly non-significant. Given the scarcity of studies and the use of heterogeneous populations, tests and statistical analyses, no robust conclusions can be drawn at this stage. Therefore, caution is needed when claiming a positive association between the interpersonal-affective features of psychopathy and executive functioning. Clearly more research is needed to further validate and specify the suggested association. PMID:24140251

  20. Self-Efficacy Buffers the Relationship between Educational Disadvantage and Executive Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Zahodne, Laura B.; Nowinski, Cindy J.; Gershon, Richard C.; Manly, Jennifer J.

    2016-01-01

    Objective Previous studies showed that control beliefs are more strongly related to global cognition and mortality among adults with low education, providing preliminary evidence that self-efficacy buffers against the negative impact of educational disadvantage on physical and cognitive health. The current study extends these findings to a nationally-representative sample of men and women aged 30 to 85 and explores which cognitive domains are most strongly associated with self-efficacy, educational attainment, and their interaction. Method Data were obtained from 1,032 adult (30-85) participants in the United States norming study for the NIH Toolbox. Self-efficacy, executive functioning, working memory, processing speed, episodic memory, and vocabulary were assessed with the NIH Toolbox. Multivariate analysis of covariance and follow-up regressions tested the hypothesis that self-efficacy would be more strongly related to cognitive performance among individuals with lower education, controlling for age, sex, race, ethnicity, education, reading level, testing language, and depressive symptoms. Results Higher education was associated with higher self-efficacy and better performance on all cognitive tests. Higher self-efficacy was associated with better set-switching and attention/inhibition. Significant self-efficacy by education interactions indicated that associations between self-efficacy and executive abilities were stronger for individuals with lower education. Specifically, individuals with low education but high self-efficacy performed similarly to individuals with high education. Conclusions This study provides evidence that self-efficacy beliefs buffer against the negative effects of low educational attainment on executive functioning. These results have implications for future policy and/or intervention work aimed at reducing the deleterious effects of educational disadvantage on later cognitive health. PMID:25877284

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Numerous studies demonstrate that the Methionine variant of the catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met polymorphism, which confers less efficient catabolism of catecholamines, is associated with increased focal activation of prefrontal cortex (PFC) and higher levels of executive function abilities. By and large, however, studies of COMT Val158Met have been conducted with adult samples and do not account for the context in which development is occurring. Effects of early adversity on stress response physiology and the inverted U shape relating catecholamine levels to neural activity in PFC indicate the need to take into account early experience when considering relations between genes such as COMT and executive cognitive ability. Consistent with this neurobiology, we find in a prospective longitudinal sample of children and families (N = 1292) that COMT Val158Met interacts with early experience to predict executive function abilities in early childhood. Specifically, the Valine variant of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism, which confers more rather than less efficient catabolism of catecholamines is associated with higher executive function abilities at child ages 48 and 60 months and with faster growth of executive function for children experiencing early adversity, as indexed by cumulative risk factors in the home at child ages 7, 15, 24, and 36 months. Findings indicate the importance of the early environment for the relation between catecholamine genes and developmental outcomes and demonstrate that the genetic moderation of environmental risk is detectable in early childhood. PMID:26251232

  3. Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate augmentation in adults with persistent executive dysfunction after partial or full remission of major depressive disorder.

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Norvilitis, Jill M; Reid, Howard M

    2002-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Rule-Based Category Learning in Children: The Role of Age and Executive Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Rabi, Rahel; Minda, John Paul

    2014-01-01

    Rule-based category learning was examined in 4–11 year-olds and adults. Participants were asked to learn a set of novel perceptual categories in a classification learning task. Categorization performance improved with age, with younger children showing the strongest rule-based deficit relative to older children and adults. Model-based analyses provided insight regarding the type of strategy being used to solve the categorization task, demonstrating that the use of the task appropriate strategy increased with age. When children and adults who identified the correct categorization rule were compared, the performance deficit was no longer evident. Executive functions were also measured. While both working memory and inhibitory control were related to rule-based categorization and improved with age, working memory specifically was found to marginally mediate the age-related improvements in categorization. When analyses focused only on the sample of children, results showed that working memory ability and inhibitory control were associated with categorization performance and strategy use. The current findings track changes in categorization performance across childhood, demonstrating at which points performance begins to mature and resemble that of adults. Additionally, findings highlight the potential role that working memory and inhibitory control may play in rule-based category learning. PMID:24489658

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Taking your own path: Individual differences in executive function and language processing skills in child learners.

    PubMed

    Woodard, Kristina; Pozzan, Lucia; Trueswell, John C

    2016-01-01

    Children as old as 5 or 6 years display selective difficulties in revising initial interpretive commitments, as indicated by both online and offline measures of sentence comprehension. It is likely, however, that individual children differ in how well they can recover from misinterpretations and in the age at which they become adult-like in these abilities. To better understand the cognitive functions that support sentence processing and revision, the current work investigated how individual differences in children's ability to interpret temporarily ambiguous sentences relate to individual differences in other linguistic and domain-general cognitive abilities. Children were tested over 2 days on a battery of executive function, working memory, and language comprehension tasks. Performance on these tasks was then used to predict online and offline measures of children's ability to revise initial misinterpretations of temporarily ambiguous sentences. We found two measures of children's cognitive flexibility to be related to their ambiguity resolution abilities. These results provide converging evidence for the hypothesis that the ability to revise initial interpretive commitments is supported by domain-general executive function abilities, which are highly variable and not fully developed in children. PMID:26454180

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. 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. PMID:26599201

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hughes, Claire; Ensor, Rosie

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    [Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported in Vol 52(4) of Developmental Psychology (see record 2016-13852-001). In the article, there were two errors in Table 6. The coefficient between WM and Age was incorrectly set as .46; it should have been .46. Further, the coefficient between WM and Gender should be .00 instead of .00. The correct version is provided.] Cross-cultural research on children's theory of mind (ToM) understanding has raised questions about its developmental sequence and relationship with executive function (EF). The current study examined how ToM develops (using the tasks from Wellman & Liu, 2004) in relation to 2 EF skills (conflict inhibition, working memory) in 997 Chinese preschoolers (ages 3, 4, 5) in Chengdu, China. Compared with prior research with other Chinese and non-Chinese children, some general patterns in development were replicated in this sample. However, the children showed culture-specific reversals in the developmental sequence of ToM. For example, Chengdu children performed differently on the 2 false-belief tasks that were thought to be equivalent. Furthermore, conflict inhibition as well as working memory uniquely predicted ToM performance. We discuss the issues of ToM development as they relate to test items and cross-cultural-and subcultural-differences. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26845504

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lederman, Sheri G.

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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)…

  18. 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,…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schroeder, Valarie M.; Kelley, Michelle L.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    St. Clair-Thompson, Helen L.

    2011-01-01

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

  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. 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…

  9. 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.,…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  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. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abdelgafar, Ghada Mohammed; Moawad, Ruba AbdelMatloub

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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…

  9. 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. PMID:23211377

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-01

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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  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. Identifying Component-Processes of Executive Functioning that Serve as Risk Factors for the Alcohol-Aggression Relation

    PubMed Central

    Giancola, Peter R.; Godlaski, Aaron J.; Roth, Robert M.

    2011-01-01

    The present investigation determined how different component-processes of executive functioning (EF) served as risk factors for intoxicated aggression. Participants were 512 (246 men and 266 women) healthy social drinkers between 21 and 35 years of age. EF was measured using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive FunctioningAdult Version (BRIEF-A; Roth, Isquith, & Gioia, 2005) that assesses nine EF components. Following the consumption of either an alcohol or a placebo beverage, participants were tested on a modified version of the Taylor Aggression Paradigm (Taylor, 1967) in which mild electric shocks were received from, and administered to, a fictitious opponent. Aggressive behavior was operationalized as the shock intensities and durations administered to the opponent. Although a general BRIEF-A EF construct consisting of all nine components predicted intoxicated aggression, the best predictor involved one termed the Behavioral Regulation Index which comprises component processes such as inhibition, emotional control, flexible thinking, and self-monitoring. PMID:21875167

  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. PMID:27601977

  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. PMID:25003478

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  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. 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.…

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  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. PMID:26096194

  13. Executive function and attention in children and adolescents with depressive disorders: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Vilgis, Veronika; Silk, Timothy J; Vance, Alasdair

    2015-04-01

    Numerous studies have shown that Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in adults is associated with deficits in cognitive control. Particularly, impairment on executive function (EF) tasks has been observed. Research into EF deficits in children and adolescents with MDD has reported mixed results and it is currently unclear whether paediatric MDD is characterised by impairments in EF and attention. PsycInfo, Scopus and Medline were systematically searched to identify all studies that have investigated EF and attention in paediatric depressive disorders between 1994 and 2014. 33 studies meeting inclusion/exclusion criteria were identified. While across different domains of EF some studies identified a deficit in the clinical group, the majority of studies failed to find deficits in response inhibition, attentional set shifting, selective attention, verbal working memory, and verbal fluency. More research is needed to clarify the relationship between depressive disorders in children and adolescents and spatial working memory processing, sustaining attention, planning, negative attentional bias and measures of 'hot' EF. There is little support for EF deficits in paediatric depression. However, there are numerous methodological problems that may account for null findings. Alternatively, chronicity and/or severity of symptoms may explain discrepancies between cognitive deficits in adult and paediatric MDD. Recommendations for future studies are discussed. PMID:25633323

  14. 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

  15. Novel television-based cognitive training improves working memory and executive function.

    PubMed

    Shatil, Evelyn; Mikulecká, Jaroslava; Bellotti, Francesco; Bureš, Vladimír

    2014-01-01

    The main study objective was to investigate the effect of interactive television-based cognitive training on cognitive performance of 119 healthy older adults, aged 60-87 years. Participants were randomly allocated to a cognitive training group or to an active control group in a single-blind controlled two-group design. Before and after training interactive television cognitive performance was assessed on well validated tests of fluid, higher-order ability, and system usability was evaluated. The participants in the cognitive training group completed a television-based cognitive training programme, while the participants in the active control group completed a TV-based programme of personally benefiting activities. Significant improvements were observed in well validated working memory and executive function tasks in the cognitive training but not in the control group. None of the groups showed statistically significant improvement in life satisfaction score. Participants' reports of "adequate" to "high" system usability testify to the successful development and implementation of the interactive television-based system and compliant cognitive training contents. The study demonstrates that cognitive training delivered by means of an interactive television system can generate genuine cognitive benefits in users and these are measurable using well-validated cognitive tests. Thus, older adults who cannot use or afford a computer can easily use digital interactive television to benefit from advanced software applications designed to train cognition. PMID:24992187

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  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. 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…

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. The role of executive functions in the pragmatic skills of children age 4-5.

    PubMed

    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. PMID

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Use of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate in treatment of executive functioning deficits and chronic fatigue syndrome: a double blind, placebo-controlled study.

    PubMed

    Young, Joel L

    2013-05-15

    The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (LDX) for the treatment of executive functioning deficits in adults (ages 18-60) with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The study's primary outcome measure was the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult (BRIEF-A). Secondary outcome measures were standardized assessments of fatigue, pain and global functioning. Twenty-six adults who met criteria for CFS and had clinically significant executive functioning deficits were randomly assigned to a flexible morning dose (30, 50, 70 mg/day) of either placebo or LDX for a 6-week trial. The data were analyzed with standard analysis of variance (ANOVA) procedures. Participants in the LDX group showed significantly more positive change in BRIEF-A scores (Mchange=21.38, SD=15.85) than those in the placebo group (Mchange=3.36, SD=7.26). Participants in the active group also reported significantly less fatigue and generalized pain relative to the placebo group. Although future studies with LDX should examine whether these benefits generalize to larger, more diverse samples of patients, these results suggest that LDX could be a safe and efficacious treatment for the executive functioning deficits often associated with CFS. The possibility that dopaminergic medications could play an important role addressing the symptoms of CFS is also discussed. PMID:23062791

  9. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sipal, Rafet Firat; Bayhan, Pinar

    2010-01-01

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

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    Abdelgafar, Ghada Mohammed; Moawad, Ruba AbdelMatloub

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Garner, Joanna Kate

    2009-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-08-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  20. Exercise Improves Executive Function and Achievement and Alters Brain Activation in Overweight Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Catherine L.; Tomporowski, Phillip D.; McDowell, Jennifer E.; Austin, Benjamin P.; Miller, Patricia H.; Yanasak, Nathan E.; Allison, Jerry D.; Naglieri, Jack A.

    2010-01-01

    Objective This experiment tested the hypothesis that exercise would improve executive function. Design Sedentary, overweight 7- to 11-year-old children (N = 171, 56% female, 61% Black, M ± SD age 9.3 ± 1.0 yrs, body mass index (BMI) 26 ± 4.6 kg/m2, BMI z-score 2.1 ± 0.4) were randomized to 13 ± 1.6 weeks of an exercise program (20 or 40 minutes/day), or a control condition. Main outcome measures Blinded, standardized psychological evaluations (Cognitive Assessment System and Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement III) assessed cognition and academic achievement. Functional magnetic resonance imaging measured brain activity during executive function tasks. Results Intent to treat analysis revealed dose response benefits of exercise on executive function and mathematics achievement. Preliminary evidence of increased bilateral prefrontal cortex activity and reduced bilateral posterior parietal cortex activity due to exercise was also observed. Conclusion Consistent with results obtained in older adults, a specific improvement on executive function and brain activation changes due to exercise were observed. The cognitive and achievement results add evidence of dose response, and extend experimental evidence into childhood. This study provides information on an educational outcome. Besides its importance for maintaining weight and reducing health risks during a childhood obesity epidemic, physical activity may prove to be a simple, important method of enhancing aspects of children’s mental functioning that are central to cognitive development. This information may persuade educators to implement vigorous physical activity. PMID:21299297

  1. Failure to find executive function deficits following one night's total sleep deprivation in university students under naturalistic conditions.

    PubMed

    Pace-Schott, Edward F; Hutcherson, Cendri A; Bemporad, Brenda; Morgan, Alexandra; Kumar, Arjun; Hobson, J Allan; Stickgold, Robert

    2009-01-01

    Young adult male students participated in a naturalistic, group-design experiment to ascertain the effects of one night's total sleep deprivation (TSD) on performance of diverse executive function tasks presented as an extended, multitask battery. On the majority of component tasks in this battery, performance has been reported to be impaired following one night's TSD when tasks are administered in isolation. However, participants sleep deprived 35 to 39 hr showed few performance deficits among tests in this battery when compared with non-sleep-deprived controls. Sleep-deprived participants showed only poorer recognition memory and overconfidence in incorrect temporal judgments. Behavioral and physiological adaptation to chronically sleep-restricting lifestyles may confer resistance to the cognitive effects of sleep deprivation in high-functioning young adults. PMID:19568965

  2. The Executive Functions of Rejected Children in an Urban Elementary School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naylor, Gregory

    2013-01-01

    The relationship between Executive Functions and Peer Rejection was explored. Thirty-Five students in an urban elementary school, (mean 10.7 years of age (sd=2.8), 34% male, and 88% African American) completed measures of executive functions: KABC-II Rover, The Wisconsin Card Sort and NEPSY-II Statue (below age 9) or The Iowa Gambling Task (age 9…

  3. Executive Functioning in Children with ASD: An Analysis of the BRIEF

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blijd-Hoogewys, E. M.; Bezemer, M. L.; van Geert, P. L.

    2014-01-01

    The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions (BRIEF) screens for executive function deficits in 5- to 18-year-olds. Data of three autism subgroups, according to DSM-IV-TR criteria (N = 35 Autistic Disorder, N = 27 Asperger's Disorder and N = 65 PDD-NOS), were analyzed. The total group has elevated scores on almost all BRIEF scales.…

  4. Bilingualism and the Development of Executive Function: The Role of Attention

    PubMed Central

    Bialystok, Ellen

    2015-01-01

    This paper reviews research examining the effect of bilingualism on children’s cognitive development, and in particular, executive function. Studies reporting bilingual advantages in various tasks are described with the purpose of identifying the process or executive function component that might be responsible for this bilingual advantage. Several possibilities are discussed, such as inhibitory control. Finally, the role of attention is proposed as a fundamental process that initiates developmental differences in bilingual children from as early as infancy. PMID:26019718

  5. Fantasy Orientation Constructs and Related Executive Function Development in Preschool: Developmental Benefits to Executive Functions by Being a Fantasy-Oriented Child

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pierucci, Jillian M.; O'Brien, Christopher T.; McInnis, Melissa A.; Gilpin, Ansley Tullos; Barber, Angela B.

    2014-01-01

    This study explored unique constructs of fantasy orientation and whether there are developmental benefits for fantasy-oriented children. By age 3, children begin developing executive functions, with some children exhibiting high fantasy orientation in their cognitions and behaviors. Preschoolers ("n" = 106) completed fantasy orientation…

  6. Adult Roles & Functions. Objective Based Evaluation System.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    West Virginia State Vocational Curriculum Lab., Cedar Lakes.

    This book of objective-based test items is designed to be used with the Adult Roles and Functions curriculum for a non-laboratory home economic course for grades eleven and twelve. It contains item banks for each cognitive objective in the curriculum. In addition, there is a form for the table of specifications to be developed for each unit. This…

  7. Theory of mind and executive function during middle childhood across cultures.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhenlin; Devine, Rory T; Wong, Keri K; Hughes, Claire

    2016-09-01

    Previous studies with preschoolers have reported "East-West" contrasts in children's executive function (East>West) and theory of mind (Eastexecutive function tasks. That is, with respect to executive function, general cultural influences appear to be salient. In contrast, compared with their U.K. counterparts, children attending local schools in Hong Kong (but not those attending British-based international schools in Hong Kong) performed poorly on age-appropriate tests of theory of mind. With respect to theory of mind, therefore, pedagogical experiences appear to be more salient than factors related to the broad contrast between individualist and collectivist cultures. Our findings also contribute to the debate surrounding the relationship between theory of mind and executive function; although scores on these two sets of tasks were robustly correlated within each country, the double dissociation between delayed theory of mind but superior executive function for children in local schools in Hong Kong compared with their U.K. peers suggests that variation in executive function may be necessary but is not sufficient to explain variation in theory of mind. PMID:26592766

  8. Emotional reactivity and regulation in infancy interact to predict executive functioning in early childhood.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    The relation of observed emotional reactivity and regulation in infancy to executive function in early childhood was examined in a prospective longitudinal sample of 1,292 children from predominantly low-income and rural communities. Children participated in a fear eliciting task at ages 7, 15, and 24 months and completed an executive function battery at age 48 months. Results indicated that the relation of child negative emotional reactivity at 15 months of age to executive functioning at 48 months of age was dependent on observed emotion regulation. High levels of executive function ability were observed among children who exhibited high levels of emotional reactivity and high levels of the regulation of this reactivity. In contrast, low levels of executive function ability were observed among children who exhibited high levels of reactivity but low levels of regulation. Among children exhibiting low levels of emotional reactivity, emotion regulation was unrelated to executive functioning. Moreover, emotionally reactive infants exhibiting high levels of emotion regulation were more likely to have primary caregivers who exhibited high levels of positive parenting behavior in a parent-child interaction task. Results provide support for a neurobiologically informed developmental model in which the regulation of emotional arousal is one mechanism whereby supportive environments are associated with higher levels of self-regulation ability for highly reactive infants. Findings are discussed with implications for differential susceptibility and biological sensitivity theories of child by context interaction. PMID:22563678

  9. The Contributions of Parental Management Language to Executive Function in Preschool Children

    PubMed Central

    Bindman, Samantha W.; Hindman, Annemarie H.; Bowles, Ryan P.; Morrison, Frederick J.

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated relations between preschoolers’ emergent executive function skills and their interactions with parents, with particular focus on the verbal utterances parents use to guide children’s behavior (i.e., management language). Parent-child dyads (N = 127) were videotaped during a structured play task and the frequency of two types of management language, Direction (high control) and Suggestion (low control), was observed. Children’s executive function was assessed using the Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders (HTKS) task. Latent growth modeling was used to investigate relations between management language and the development of children’s executive function. Direction language (i.e., commands) was negatively associated with children’s age three executive function but not significantly related to the rate of executive function development over time. Conversely, Suggestion language (i.e., questions and statements that offer children some degree of choice) was positively related to executive function at age three but negatively related to growth. The potential importance of management language as a parenting behavior that contributes to various aspects of children’s self-regulation during preschool and kindergarten is discussed. PMID:23997425

  10. Family socioeconomic status and child executive functions: the roles of language, home environment, and single parenthood.

    PubMed

    Sarsour, Khaled; Sheridan, Margaret; Jutte, Douglas; Nuru-Jeter, Amani; Hinshaw, Stephen; Boyce, W Thomas

    2011-01-01

    The association between family socioeconomic status (SES) and child executive functions is well-documented. However, few studies have examined the role of potential mediators and moderators. We studied the independent and interactive associations between family SES and single parenthood to predict child executive functions of inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and working memory and examined child expressive language abilities and family home environment as potential mediators of these associations. Sixty families from diverse SES backgrounds with a school-age target child (mean [SD] age = 9.9 [0.96] years) were evaluated. Child executive functioning was measured using a brief battery. The quality of the home environment was evaluated using the Home Observation for the Measurement of the Environment inventory. Family SES predicted the three child executive functions under study. Single parent and family SES were interactively associated with children's inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility; such that children from low SES families who were living with one parent performed less well on executive function tests than children from similarly low SES who were living with two parents. Parental responsivity, enrichment activities and family companionship mediated the association between family SES and child inhibitory control and working memory. This study demonstrates that family SES inequalities are associated with inequalities in home environments and with inequalities in child executive functions. The impact of these disparities as they unfold in the lives of typically developing children merits further investigation and understanding. PMID:21073770

  11. Executive function deficits in early Alzheimer's disease and their relations with episodic memory.

    PubMed

    Baudic, Sophie; Barba, Gianfranco Dalla; Thibaudet, Marie Claude; Smagghe, Alain; Remy, Philippe; Traykov, Latchezar

    2006-01-01

    Previous research suggests that patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are impaired on executive function early in the course of disease, but negative findings were reported. To evaluate the performance on executive tasks in early AD and to determine the involvement of memory on the outcome of executive tasks. Thirty-six AD patients were divided into two subgroups on the basis of the MMSE: very mild and mild. The comparison with 17 normal controls shows that very mild AD patients had deficits on visuospatial short-term memory, episodic memory, flexibility and self-monitoring abilities, concept formation and reasoning. The mild AD patients showed additional deficits on the Similarities test. Episodic memory and executive deficits occur in the very early stage of AD and precede impairment in constructional praxis, language and sustained attention. With the progression of the disease, additional deficit is observed in abstract thinking. In mild AD, memory failure is also related to executive impairment. PMID:16125364

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-03-01

    Contrasting predictions have been made about the effects of positive mood states on the performance of frontal lobe tests that tap executive functions such as inhibition, switching, and strategy use. It has been argued that positive mood is likely to improve some cognitive processes, particularly those dependent on the frontal cortex and anterior cingulate of the brain. However, there is some evidence that happy mood may impair executive functioning. The current experiments investigated the effects of positive mood on Stoop and fluency tests, which are frequently used to assess executive function. Positive mood impaired performance on a switching condition of the Stroop test, but improved performance on a creative uses test of fluency. The effect of positive mood on an executive task may therefore depend on whether a task is inherently motivating or is impaired by diffuse semantic activation. PMID:12899364

  13. Executive functioning and the impact of a hearing loss: performance-based measures and the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF).

    PubMed

    Oberg, Elizabeth; Lukomski, Jennifer

    2011-01-01

    The impact of deafness on a child's rated executive functioning behaviors and performance capabilities on neurological, cognitive, and achievement domains were examined in a sample of 22 deaf students (ages 5 to 18). The parent and teacher ratings on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) showed significant positive correlations (p < .01) on six of the eight clinical scales. There were significant correlations between the BRIEF reports and the students' scores on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, the (Children's) Color Trails Test, and the Woodcock-Johnson: Writing Fluency subtest. The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test: Total Errors scale and the Writing Fluency subtest accounted for 70% variance of the parent BRIEF Global Executive Composite and 65% of the variance for the teacher report on this same composite scale. Students with genetic deafness were rated with significantly less challenges with executive functioning (p < .05) on BRIEF scales and performed significantly better on select student measures than students with other causes of deafness. PMID:21480012

  14. Autobiographical memory and executive function in early dementia of Alzheimer type.

    PubMed

    Greene, J D; Hodges, J R; Baddeley, A D

    1995-12-01

    We studied executive function and autobiographical memory in a cohort of 33 DAT patients [divided into minimal (MMSE 24-30) and mild (MMSE 17-23) groups] and in 30 normal controls. Autobiographical memory, as assessed by autobiographical fluency and the Autobiographical Memory Interview (AMI), was impaired in DAT patients, even those with minimal disease. There was evidence of a gentle temporal gradient on the incident but not the personal semantic component of the AMI, suggesting that the two components are dissociable. Executive function was assessed by two separate dual performance tasks and letter fluency. Although there was a trend for minimal DAT patients to be impaired on executive tasks, this only reached significance for the mild group. Regression analysis suggested that the divided attention component of working memory was involved in the retrieval of personal semantic autobiographical memory, but verbal fluency was more important in the retrieval of autobiographical incidents. There was thus a dissociation in the type of executive function implicated in different subcomponents of autobiographical memory, arguing for subcomponents within executive function and autobiographical memory. The autobiographical memory deficit in DAT reflects, we argue, both impairment in retrieval processes, linked to executive function, and a loss of memory stores. PMID:8745122

  15. Neuropsychological consequences of alcohol and drug abuse on different components of executive functions.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Serrano, María José; Pérez-García, Miguel; Schmidt Río-Valle, Jacqueline; Verdejo-García, Antonio

    2010-09-01

    Several studies have shown alterations in different components of executive functioning in users of different drugs, including cannabis, cocaine and heroin. However, it is difficult to establish a specific association between the use of each of these drugs and executive alterations, since most drug abusers are polysubstance abusers, and alcohol is a ubiquitous confounding factor. Moreover, in order to study the association between consumption of different drugs and executive functioning, the patterns of quantity and duration of drugs used must be considered, given the association between these parameters and the executive functioning alteration degree. Based on the multicomponent approach to executive functions, the aims of the present study were: (i) to analyse the differential contribution of alcohol versus cocaine, heroin and cannabis use on executive functions performance; and (ii) to analyse the contribution made by the severity of the different drugs used (quantity and duration patterns) on these functions in a sample of polysubstance abusers that requested treatment for cannabis-, cocaine- or heroin-related problems. We administered measures of fluency, working memory, analogical reasoning, interference, cognitive flexibility, decision-making and self-regulation to two groups: 60 substance-dependent individuals (SDIs) and 30 healthy control individuals (HCIs). SDIs had significantly poorer performance than HCIs across all of the executive domains assessed. Results from hierarchical regression models showed the existence of common correlates of the use of alcohol, cannabis and cocaine on verbal fluency and decision-making; common correlates of quantity of cannabis and cocaine use on verbal working memory and analogical reasoning; common correlates of duration of cocaine and heroin use on shifting; and specific effects of duration of cocaine use on inhibition measures. These findings indicate that alcohol abuse is negatively associated with fluency and

  16. Increasing the Utility of EF Assessment of Executive Function in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salimpoor, Valorie Niloufar; Desrocher, Mary

    2006-01-01

    Executive functions (EF) are a group of interrelated complex mental abilities that are involved in planning and initiating goals and carrying them through despite interruptions. As these functions are typically higher-order and involved in integrating other, more basic, lower-order functions, they are difficult to assess directly, and executive…

  17. Rehabilitation of executive functioning in patients with frontal lobe brain damage with goal management training.

    PubMed

    Levine, Brian; Schweizer, Tom A; O'Connor, Charlene; Turner, Gary; Gillingham, Susan; Stuss, Donald T; Manly, Tom; Robertson, Ian H

    2011-01-01

    Executive functioning deficits due to brain disease affecting frontal lobe functions cause significant real-life disability, yet solid evidence in support of executive functioning interventions is lacking. Goal Management Training (GMT), an executive functioning intervention that draws upon theories concerning goal processing and sustained attention, has received empirical support in studies of patients with traumatic brain injury, normal aging, and case studies. GMT promotes a mindful approach to complex real-life tasks that pose problems for patients with executive functioning deficits, with a main goal of periodically stopping ongoing behavior to monitor and adjust goals. In this controlled trial, an expanded version of GMT was compared to an alternative intervention, Brain Health Workshop that was matched to GMT on non-specific characteristics that can affect intervention outcome. Participants included 19 individuals in the chronic phase of recovery from brain disease (predominantly stroke) affecting frontal lobe function. Outcome data indicated specific effects of GMT on the Sustained Attention to Response Task as well as the Tower Test, a visuospatial problem-solving measure that reflected far transfer of training effects. There were no significant effects on self-report questionnaires, likely owing to the complexity of these measures in this heterogeneous patient sample. Overall, these data support the efficacy of GMT in the rehabilitation of executive functioning deficits. PMID:21369362

  18. Rehabilitation of Executive Functioning in Patients with Frontal Lobe Brain Damage with Goal Management Training

    PubMed Central

    Levine, Brian; Schweizer, Tom A.; O'Connor, Charlene; Turner, Gary; Gillingham, Susan; Stuss, Donald T.; Manly, Tom; Robertson, Ian H.

    2011-01-01

    Executive functioning deficits due to brain disease affecting frontal lobe functions cause significant real-life disability, yet solid evidence in support of executive functioning interventions is lacking. Goal Management Training (GMT), an executive functioning intervention that draws upon theories concerning goal processing and sustained attention, has received empirical support in studies of patients with traumatic brain injury, normal aging, and case studies. GMT promotes a mindful approach to complex real-life tasks that pose problems for patients with executive functioning deficits, with a main goal of periodically stopping ongoing behavior to monitor and adjust goals. In this controlled trial, an expanded version of GMT was compared to an alternative intervention, Brain Health Workshop that was matched to GMT on non-specific characteristics that can affect intervention outcome. Participants included 19 individuals in the chronic phase of recovery from brain disease (predominantly stroke) affecting frontal lobe function. Outcome data indicated specific effects of GMT on the Sustained Attention to Response Task as well as the Tower Test, a visuospatial problem-solving measure that reflected far transfer of training effects. There were no significant effects on self-report questionnaires, likely owing to the complexity of these measures in this heterogeneous patient sample. Overall, these data support the efficacy of GMT in the rehabilitation of executive functioning deficits. PMID:21369362

  19. Reliability, validity, and clinical utility of the Executive Function Performance Test: a measure of executive function in a sample of people with stroke.

    PubMed

    Baum, Carolyn M; Connor, Lisa Tabor; Morrison, Tracy; Hahn, Michelle; Dromerick, Alexander W; Edwards, Dorothy F

    2008-01-01

    This study examined the reliability and validity of the Executive Function Performance Test (EFPT). The EFPT assesses executive function deficits in the performance of real-world tasks. It uses a structured cueing and scoring system to assess higher-level cognitive functions, specifically initiation, organization, sequencing safety and judgment, and task completion. Seventy-three participants with mild to moderate stroke and 22 age- and education-matched controls completed the 4 EFPT tasks (cooking, using the telephone, managing medications, and paying bills). Significant differences were found between participants with mild and moderate stroke and healthy control participants. The EFPT can help occupational therapists determine the level of support needed by people with cognitive impairments to perform complex instrumental tasks. Objective information derived from this assessment is an essential part of the process of determining whether the person can live independently and helping families understand how to support the performance of their family members at home. PMID:18712007

  20. Executive (Dys)Functioning and Impulsivity as Possible Vulnerability Factors for Aggression in Forensic Patients.

    PubMed

    Tonnaer, Franca; Cima, Maaike; Arntz, Arnoud

    2016-04-01

    This study investigated whether executive dysfunction and impulsivity are both predictors of reactive aggression and is the first to use behavioral assessment of aggression in response to provocation by means of a personalized boxing body opponent bag giving harassing feedback. Aggressive behavior, self-reported aggression, executive functioning (ie, working memory, flexibility, and divided attention), and impulsivity dimensions (i.e., Sensation Seeking, Impulsive Decision Making, and [inadequate] Response Inhibition) were measured in 44 incarcerated psychiatric patients. Results show that both executive functioning (working memory) and impulsivity (Impulsive Decision Making) predicted self-reported reactive aggression, whereas Response Inhibition was the only predictor for reactive aggressive behavioral responses. The study suggests that Response Inhibition is a stronger predictor of reactive aggressive behavior than executive capacities of working memory, flexibility, and divided attention. Therefore, future research should investigate whether (inadequate) Response Inhibition could also be a valuable predictor for violent recidivism. PMID:26894312