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Sample records for engaging executive functions

  1. Acute Cognitively Engaging Exergame-Based Physical Activity Enhances Executive Functions in Adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Heinks, Theda; Eggenberger, Noëmi; Schmidt, Mirko

    2016-01-01

    The study aimed to elucidate the influence of cognitive engagement comprised in an acute bout of exergame-based physical activity on executive functions (inhibition, cognitive flexibility) in adolescents. Therefore, the level of cognitive engagement and the intensity of physical activity were systematically varied across three experimental conditions. Sixty-five healthy male adolescents (13–16 years) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (a) physical activity with high levels of cognitive engagement during active video gaming, (b) physical activity with low levels of cognitive engagement during active video gaming, (c) sedentary with low levels of cognitive engagement during passive video watching. Manipulation checks, including subjective and objective operationalizations of cognitive engagement, were applied. Executive functions were assessed before and after each condition using the D-KEFS design fluency test. Results showed that cognitive engagement, operationalized by subjects’ ratings and heart rate variability, differed between conditions. The physical activity condition with a high level of cognitive engagement resulted in significantly better performance in cognitive flexibility compared to conditions with low levels of cognitive engagement. Regarding benefits for executive functions in male adolescents, the results indicate that acute physical activity with high cognitive engagement could be more efficient than physical activity of the same intensity with low cognitive engagement. Even though further evidence is needed, these results extend previous research and suggest a methodological approach for measuring cognitive engagement. PMID:28030542

  2. Seeing conflict and engaging control: Experience with contrastive language benefits executive function in preschoolers.

    PubMed

    Doebel, Sabine; Zelazo, Philip David

    2016-12-01

    Engaging executive function often requires overriding a prepotent response in favor of a conflicting but adaptive one. Language may play a key role in this ability by supporting integrated representations of conflicting rules. We tested whether experience with contrastive language that could support such representations benefits executive function in 3-year-old children. Children who received brief experience with language highlighting contrast between objects, attributes, and actions showed greater executive function on two of three 'conflict' executive function tasks than children who received experience with contrasting stimuli only and children who read storybooks with the experimenter, controlling for baseline executive function. Experience with contrasting stimuli did not benefit executive function relative to reading books with the experimenter, indicating experience with contrastive language, rather than experience with contrast generally, was key. Experience with contrastive language also boosted spontaneous attention to contrast, consistent with improvements in representing contrast. These findings indicate a role for language in executive function that is consistent with the Cognitive Complexity and Control theory's key claim that coordinating conflicting rules is critical to overcoming perseveration, and suggest new ideas for testing theories of executive function.

  3. Lifestyle Engagement Affects Cognitive Status Differences and Trajectories on Executive Functions in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    de Frias, Cindy M.; Dixon, Roger A.

    2014-01-01

    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

  4. Mechanisms behind distracted driving behavior: The role of age and executive function in the engagement of distracted driving.

    PubMed

    Pope, Caitlin Northcutt; Bell, Tyler Reed; Stavrinos, Despina

    2017-01-01

    Performing secondary tasks, such as texting while driving, is associated with an increased risk of motor vehicle collisions (MVCs). While cognitive processes, such as executive function, are involved in driving, little is known about the relationship between executive control and willingness to engage in distracted driving. This study investigated the relationship between age, behavioral manifestations of executive function, and self-reported distracted driving behaviors. Executive difficulty (assessed with the BRIEF-A) as well as demographics (age and gender) was considered as possible predictors of engagement in distracted driving behaviors. Fifty-nine young, middle, and older adults self-reported executive difficulty and weekly engagement in distracted driving behaviors. Results revealed that while partially accounted for by age, global executive difficulty was uniquely related to engagement in distracted driving behaviors. Older age was associated with fewer weekly self-reported distracted driving behaviors while higher self-reported executive difficulty was associated with more frequent weekly engagement in distracted behavior. No significant differences were found between young and middle-aged adults on distracted driving behaviors. Findings conclude that distracted driving is a ubiquitous phenomenon evident in drivers of all ages. Possible mechanisms underlying distracted driving behavior could potentially be related to deficits in executive function.

  5. Improved executive functions in 6-12-year-old children following cognitively engaging tennis lessons.

    PubMed

    Ishihara, Toru; Sugasawa, Shigemi; Matsuda, Yusuke; Mizuno, Masao

    2016-11-16

    The aim of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the relationships between cognitively engaging exercise (i.e., game-based and coordination exercises), executive functions (i.e., inhibitory control and working memory), and physical fitness. Forty junior tennis players (6-12 years old), who regularly participated in tennis lessons (2.55 years, SD = 1.61) prior to the study, were investigated. All participants completed evaluations of executive functions (inhibitory control and working memory) at rest. The duration of each lessons' instructional activities, including coordination training, game-based exercise, rallying, and non-physical activity (explanations and breaks), was recorded. Physical fitness was evaluated using the Tennis Field Test. A longer duration of game-based exercise was positively correlated with inhibitory control and physical fitness. Coordination training was associated with improved working memory. Non-physical activity was inversely correlated with inhibitory control, working memory, and physical fitness. The results suggest that game-based tennis lessons have beneficial effects on inhibitory control and physical fitness levels, and a longer duration of coordination training is associated with better working memory. The present study indicates that shortened non-physical activity time within a sports setting is associated with the development of executive functions and physical fitness.

  6. Executive functions.

    PubMed

    Miller, Karen J

    2005-04-01

    Executive functions are higher-order cognitive processes that continue to develop well into adulthood. They are critically important to behavioral self-control and task performance, and deficits can have serious effects on a student's functioning in many areas. Primary care pediatricians can play an important role by being aware of this evolving field of research, current assessment strategies, and by encouraging families, schools, and students to adopt a positive and problem-solving approach to improve executive functions.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Executive functions in synesthesia.

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  11. Educating executive function.

    PubMed

    Blair, Clancy

    2017-01-01

    Executive functions are thinking skills that assist with reasoning, planning, problem solving, and managing one's life. The brain areas that underlie these skills are interconnected with and influenced by activity in many different brain areas, some of which are associated with emotion and stress. One consequence of the stress-specific connections is that executive functions, which help us to organize our thinking, tend to be disrupted when stimulation is too high and we are stressed out, or too low when we are bored and lethargic. Given their central role in reasoning and also in managing stress and emotion, scientists have conducted studies, primarily with adults, to determine whether executive functions can be improved by training. By and large, results have shown that they can be, in part through computer-based videogame-like activities. Evidence of wider, more general benefits from such computer-based training, however, is mixed. Accordingly, scientists have reasoned that training will have wider benefits if it is implemented early, with very young children as the neural circuitry of executive functions is developing, and that it will be most effective if embedded in children's everyday activities. Evidence produced by this research, however, is also mixed. In sum, much remains to be learned about executive function training. Without question, however, continued research on this important topic will yield valuable information about cognitive development. WIREs Cogn Sci 2017, 8:e1403. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1403 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

  12. 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

  13. Metacognitive Monitoring of Executive Control Engagement during Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chevalier, Nicolas; Blaye, Agnès

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Multiprocessor execution of functional programs

    SciTech Connect

    Goldberg, B.F.

    1988-01-01

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

  18. Executive Function in Adolescents with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

  19. Executive Control Goes to School: Implications of Preschool Executive Performance for Observed Elementary Classroom Learning Engagement.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Timothy D; Nelson, Jennifer Mize; James, Tiffany D; Clark, Caron A C; Kidwell, Katherine M; Espy, Kimberly Andrews

    2017-03-30

    The transition to elementary school is accompanied by increasing demands for children to regulate their attention and behavior within the classroom setting. Executive control (EC) may be critical for meeting these demands; however, few studies have rigorously examined the association between EC and observed classroom behavior. This study examined EC in preschool (age 5 years 3 months) as a predictor of classroom learning engagement behaviors in first grade, using a battery of performance-based EC tasks and live classroom observations in a longitudinal sample of 313 children. Multilevel modeling results indicated that stronger EC predicted more focused engagement and fewer task management and competing responses, controlling for socioeconomic status, child sex, and age at observations. Results suggest that early EC may support subsequent classroom engagement behaviors that are critical for successful transition to elementary school and long-term learning trajectories. (PsycINFO Database Record

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 29 CFR 452.19 - Executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 2 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Executive functions. 452.19 Section 452.19 Labor... DISCLOSURE ACT OF 1959 Coverage of Election Provisions § 452.19 Executive functions. The definitional phrase... other executive functions of a labor organization” brings within the term “officer” any person who...

  3. 29 CFR 452.19 - Executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Executive functions. 452.19 Section 452.19 Labor... DISCLOSURE ACT OF 1959 Coverage of Election Provisions § 452.19 Executive functions. The definitional phrase... other executive functions of a labor organization” brings within the term “officer” any person who...

  4. 29 CFR 452.19 - Executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 2 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Executive functions. 452.19 Section 452.19 Labor... DISCLOSURE ACT OF 1959 Coverage of Election Provisions § 452.19 Executive functions. The definitional phrase... other executive functions of a labor organization” brings within the term “officer” any person who...

  5. 29 CFR 452.19 - Executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 2 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Executive functions. 452.19 Section 452.19 Labor... DISCLOSURE ACT OF 1959 Coverage of Election Provisions § 452.19 Executive functions. The definitional phrase... other executive functions of a labor organization” brings within the term “officer” any person who...

  6. 29 CFR 452.19 - Executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 2 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Executive functions. 452.19 Section 452.19 Labor... DISCLOSURE ACT OF 1959 Coverage of Election Provisions § 452.19 Executive functions. The definitional phrase... other executive functions of a labor organization” brings within the term “officer” any person who...

  7. Autism Spectrum Disorder and intact executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Ferrara, R; Ansermet, F; Massoni, F; Petrone, L; Onofri, E; Ricci, P; Archer, T; Ricci, S

    2016-01-01

    Earliest notions concerning autism (Autism Spectrum Disorders, ASD) describe the disturbance in executive functioning. Despite altered definition, executive functioning, expressed as higher cognitive skills required complex behaviors linked to the prefrontal cortex, are defective in autism. Specific difficulties in children presenting autism or verbal disabilities at executive functioning levels have been identified. Nevertheless, the developmental deficit of executive functioning in autism is highly diversified with huge individual variation and may even be absent. The aim of the present study to examine the current standing of intact executive functioning intact in ASD.

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Culture, executive function, and social understanding.

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. The distinctive role of executive functions in implicit emotion regulation.

    PubMed

    Sperduti, Marco; Makowski, Dominique; Arcangeli, Margherita; Wantzen, Prany; Zalla, Tiziana; Lemaire, Stéphane; Dokic, Jérôme; Pelletier, Jérôme; Piolino, Pascale

    2017-02-01

    Several theoretical models stress the role of executive functions in emotion regulation (ER). However, most of the previous studies on ER employed explicit regulatory strategies that could have engaged executive functions, beyond regulatory processes per se. Recently, there has been renewed interest in implicit forms of ER, believed to be closer to daily-life requirements. While various studies have shown that implicit and explicit ER engage partially overlapping neurocognitive processes, the contribution of different executive functions in implicit ER has not been investigated. In the present study, we presented participants with negatively valenced pictures of varying emotional intensity preceded by short texts describing them as either fictional or real. This manipulation was meant to induce a spontaneous emotional down-regulation. We recorded electrodermal activity (EDA) and subjective reports of emotion arousal. Executive functions (updating, switching, and inhibition) were also assessed. No difference was found between the fictional and real condition on EDA. A diminished self-reported arousal was observed, however, when pictures were described as fictional for high- and mild-intensity material, but not for neutral material. The amount of down-regulation in the fictional condition was found to be predicted by interindividual variability in updating performances, but not by the other measures of executive functions, suggesting its implication even in implicit forms of ER. The relationship between down-regulation and updating was significant only for high-intensity material. We discuss the role of updating in relation to the consciousness of one's emotional state.

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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,…

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. Executive functioning and adaptive coping in healthy adults.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez Villegas, Ana Lilia; Salvador Cruz, Judith

    2015-01-01

    Middle-aged individuals encounter multiple environmental demands to which they must develop efficient solutions, thus making the study of executive functions and coping strategies within this age group important. This study evaluated the relationship between the planning and flexible organization of executive function with adaptive coping strategies (ACS) in adults aged 43 to 52 years old. The study included 104 participants, including 52 men and 52 women, with no history of neurological or psychiatric illnesses, diabetes, or hypertension. The participants engaged in the Tower of London(DX) (TOL(DX)) test, the Wisconsin Card-Sorting Test (WCST), and the Coping Strategies Inventory. A relationship was observed between the percentage of errors and conceptual-level responses (WCST) and the Problem Solving ACS. In a separate analysis performed on the men, a negative relationship was discovered between the WCST and the Emotional Expression ACS. In the female group, the dimensions of the WCST and the TOL(DX) were associated with the ACS Emotional Expression and Problem-Solving subscales and the maladaptive coping strategy Social Withdrawal subscale. The relationship between executive functioning and the ACS is multidimensional, complex, and different between men and women. This study adds a neuropsychological characterization of the relationship between executive functions and ACS with ecological validity. The study confirms a relationship between the flexible organization of executive function and the Problem-Solving ACS.

  19. Components of executive functioning in metamemory.

    PubMed

    Mäntylä, Timo; Rönnlund, Michael; Kliegel, Matthias

    2010-10-01

    This study examined metamemory in relation to three basic executive functions (set shifting, working memory updating, and response inhibition) measured as latent variables. Young adults (Experiment 1) and middle-aged adults (Experiment 2) completed a set of executive functioning tasks and the Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire (PRMQ). In Experiment 1, source recall and face recognition tasks were included as indicators of objective memory performance. In both experiments, analyses of the executive functioning data yielded a two-factor solution, with the updating and inhibition tasks constituting a common factor and the shifting tasks a separate factor. Self-reported memory problems showed low predictive validity, but subjective and objective memory performance were related to different components of executive functioning. In both experiments, set shifting, but not updating and inhibition, was related to PRMQ, whereas source recall showed the opposite pattern of correlations in Experiment 1. These findings suggest that metamemorial judgments reflect selective effects of executive functioning and that individual differences in mental flexibility contribute to self-beliefs of efficacy.

  20. 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…

  1. Balancing Automatic-Controlled Behaviors and Emotional-Salience States: A Dynamic Executive Functioning Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Kluwe-Schiavon, Bruno; Viola, Thiago W.; Sanvicente-Vieira, Breno; Malloy-Diniz, Leandro F.; Grassi-Oliveira, Rodrigo

    2017-01-01

    Recently, there has been growing interest in understanding how executive functions are conceptualized in psychopathology. Since several models have been proposed, the major issue lies within the definition of executive functioning itself. Theoretical discussions have emerged, narrowing the boundaries between “hot” and “cold” executive functions or between self-regulation and cognitive control. Nevertheless, the definition of executive functions is far from a consensual proposition and it has been suggested that these models might be outdated. Current efforts indicate that human behavior and cognition are by-products of many brain systems operating and interacting at different levels, and therefore, it is very simplistic to assume a dualistic perspective of information processing. Based upon an adaptive perspective, we discuss how executive functions could emerge from the ability to solve immediate problems and to generalize successful strategies, as well as from the ability to synthesize and to classify environmental information in order to predict context and future. We present an executive functioning perspective that emerges from the dynamic balance between automatic-controlled behaviors and an emotional-salience state. According to our perspective, the adaptive role of executive functioning is to automatize efficient solutions simultaneously with cognitive demand, enabling individuals to engage such processes with increasingly complex problems. Understanding executive functioning as a mediator of stress and cognitive engagement not only fosters discussions concerning individual differences, but also offers an important paradigm to understand executive functioning as a continuum process rather than a categorical and multicomponent structure. PMID:28154541

  2. Musical expertise, bilingualism, and executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Bialystok, Ellen; Depape, Anne-Marie

    2009-04-01

    The authors investigated whether intensive musical experience leads to enhancements in executive processing, as has been shown for bilingualism. Young adults who were bilinguals, musical performers (instrumentalists or vocalists), or neither completed 3 cognitive measures and 2 executive function tasks based on conflict. Both executive function tasks included control conditions that assessed performance in the absence of conflict. All participants performed equivalently for the cognitive measures and the control conditions of the executive function tasks, but performance diverged in the conflict conditions. In a version of the Simon task involving spatial conflict between a target cue and its position, bilinguals and musicians outperformed monolinguals, replicating earlier research with bilinguals. In a version of the Stroop task involving auditory and linguistic conflict between a word and its pitch, the musicians performed better than the other participants. Instrumentalists and vocalists did not differ on any measure. Results demonstrate that extended musical experience enhances executive control on a nonverbal spatial task, as previously shown for bilingualism, but also enhances control in a more specialized auditory task, although the effect of bilingualism did not extend to that domain.

  3. Designing pedagogy incorporating executive function.

    PubMed

    Wasserman, Theodore

    2013-01-01

    The National Academy of Neuropsychology defines clinical neuropsychology as "a sub-field of psychology concerned with the applied science of brain-behavior relationships. Clinical neuropsychologists use this knowledge in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and/or rehabilitation of patients across the lifespan with neurological, medical, neurodevelopmental and psychiatric conditions, as well as other cognitive and learning disorders" (National Academy of Neuropsychology, 2011 ). Pediatric neuropsychologists have long been concerned about another area of functionality, making their recommendations educationally relevant. This article describes accommodated metacognitive instruction, a pedagogy based on cognitive neuropsychological principles of learning and used to instruct college faculty on a methodology for teaching in all-inclusive environments.

  4. 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.

  5. A Developmental Perspective on Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Best, John R.; Miller, Patricia H.

    2010-01-01

    This review article 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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,…

  8. 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,…

  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. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. [Executive functioning in unipolar depression: a review].

    PubMed

    Fossati, P; Ergis, A M; Allilaire, J F

    2002-01-01

    While several neuropsychological studies have demonstrated that cognitive deficits are seen across a broad range of cognitive domains, executive deficits associated with frontal lobe dysfunction may be prominent in depression. Executive function refers to cognitive processes that control and integrate other cognitive activities such as episodic memory. These executive functions involve a set of cognitive behaviors which include: dealing with novelty, selecting strategies, inhibiting incorrect responses, monitoring performance and using feedback to adjust future responding. The measurement of executive function relies mainly on the use of neuropsychological tests known to be sensitive to frontal lobe damage such as the Wisconsin and California Card Sorting Tests, verbal fluency tests, Stroop-test, Tower of London Task and Trail Making Test. The present review focuses on studies investigating executive functions in primary unipolar depression with these neuropsychological tasks. Unipolar depressed patients mainly exhibit cognitive inhibition deficits, problem-solving impairments and planning deficits. Cognitive inhibition deficits in depressed patients have been related to a reduction of cognitive resources and psychomotor retardation. Inhibition disturbance could lead depressed patients to process irrelevant information and consequently reduce their capacity to control transient mood changes. Several studies have found evidence of problem solving impairments in depressed patients. Depressed subjects show with card sorting tests difficulties in hypothesis testing with a loss of spontaneous and reactive cognitive flexibility. The cognitive rigidity and hypothesis-testing associated with dorsolateral prefrontal dysfunction in depression may prevent patients to cope with life events and lead to a perpetuation of depressed mood by a continuation of stress exposure. Planning tasks, such as the Tower of London Test, also demonstrate that depressed patients fail to use

  16. 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

  17. Executive function in young Colombian adults.

    PubMed

    Pineda, David A; Merchan, Vilma

    2003-03-01

    The aim of this article was to observe the correlation between executive function (EF) variables, and to determine the factor structure of the EF in young university students, as mathematical models for supporting its multidimensional structure. Participants were both males and females, aged 16 to 21 years (N = 100) and with normal Full Scale IQ selected in a randomized and representative approach in private universities of Medellín, Colombia. They were students of verbal, visual-spatial, and mathematical careers. An executive function assessment battery was applied and which included: Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), Trail Making Test (TMT) A and B, verbal fluency test (FAS) by phonologic and semantic cues, and Stroop's conflict word/color test. The results were as follows: An orthogonal structure of five factors, which explained 74.9% of the variance, was found. Factor 1 was formed by WCST variables (organization and flexibility), and explained 25.8% of the variance. Errors from the Stroop reading and naming were assigned to factor 2, which explained 17.3% of the variance. Factor 3 was the time for executing Stroop's test, and explained 13.1% of the variance. Factor 4 was TMT A and B (10.1%). Factor 5 was verbal fluency (8.5% of the variance). In conclusion, executive function in young university students was conformed by five orthogonal cognitive dimensions.

  18. Executive functioning and visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Lepach, Anja C; Pauls, Franz; Petermann, Franz

    2015-01-01

    The matter of modality is controversially discussed in the context of working memory (WM). There is evidence that modality-specific processes are accompanied by amodal processes to some extent. We investigated the relationship between executive-functioning tasks and visual WM (VWM) and were especially interested in the issue of amodal processes. Our correlational analyses suggest modality-independent relations of the tasks. We also aimed to quantify to what extent executive functioning is meaningful for VWM performances. We therefore estimated the relationship between executive tasks and VWM performances in a healthy (n = 710) and a clinical traumatic brain injury sample (n = 151) as well as in the combined total sample. The results indicate a substantial relevance of the verbal task for VWM performances in the total and the clinical sample but a low relevance in the healthy sample. These results could support assumptions of resource-depending differences in the relations of executive functioning and VWM but need further validation due to limitations of our study.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Executive function disorders: rehabilitation challenges and strategies.

    PubMed

    Mateer, C A

    1999-01-01

    Individuals with frontal lobe impairments often demonstrate a variety of disorders of executive function that pose significant challenges to rehabilitation. Impairments in initiation, sequencing, impulse control, attention, prospective memory, and self-awareness frequently manifest in disorganized and maladaptive behaviors that severely impact many aspects of adaptive functioning. A greater awareness of the nature of these deficits, improved tools for evaluation, and an increased interest in rehabilitation have led to the development of both specific strategies and general schemas for treating and managing executive function deficits. Studies supporting the use of environmental manipulations, compensatory strategy training, and techniques to improve underlying skills, including attention and prospective memory, are described. An overarching strategy for working with individuals with impaired executive functions is proposed, based on the individual's level of awareness and context dependency. Rehabilitation is conceptualized as a set of activities, which assist the individual in moving from a more dependent, externally supported state to a more independent, internally supported and self-regulated state through the systematic shift in external to internal regulation of behavior. Successful movement along this continuum is variable across cases, but the literature suggests that significant gains in function and behavior are possible.

  2. Genetic architecture of resilience of executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Shubhabrata; Kim, Sungeun; Gibbons, Laura E; Nho, Kwangsik; Risacher, Shannon L; Glymour, M Maria; Habeck, Christian; Lee, Grace J; Mormino, Elizabeth; Ertekin-Taner, Nilüfer; Montine, Thomas J; Decarli, Charles; Saykin, Andrew J; Crane, Paul K

    2012-12-01

    The genetic basis of resilience, defined as better cognitive functioning than predicted based on neuroimaging or neuropathology, is not well understood. Our objective was to identify genetic variation associated with executive functioning resilience. We computed residuals from regression models of executive functioning, adjusting for age, sex, education, Hachinski score, and MRI findings (lacunes, cortical thickness, volumes of white matter hyperintensities and hippocampus). We estimated heritability and analyzed these residuals in models for each SNP. We further evaluated our most promising SNP result by evaluating cis-associations with brain levels of nearby (±100 kb) genes from a companion data set, and comparing expression levels in cortex and cerebellum from decedents with AD with those from other non-AD diseases. Complete data were available for 750 ADNI participants of European descent. Executive functioning resilience was highly heritable (H² = 0.76; S.E. = 0.44). rs3748348 on chromosome 14 in the region of RNASE13 was associated with executive functioning resilience (p-value = 4.31 × 10⁻⁷). rs3748348 is in strong linkage disequilibrium (D' of 1.00 and 0.96) with SNPs that map to TPPP2, a member of the α-synuclein family of proteins. We identified nominally significant associations between rs3748348 and expression levels of three genes (FLJ10357, RNASE2, and NDRG2). The strongest association was for FLJ10357 in cortex, which also had the most significant difference in expression between AD and non-AD brains, with greater expression in cortex of decedents with AD (p-value = 7 × 10⁻⁷). Further research is warranted to determine whether this signal can be replicated and whether other loci may be associated with cognitive resilience.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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... DISCLOSURE ACT OF 1959 Coverage of Election Provisions § 452.20 Nature of executive functions. (a) The... being authorized to perform the functions of president if he is the chief or principal executive...

  8. 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... DISCLOSURE ACT OF 1959 Coverage of Election Provisions § 452.20 Nature of executive functions. (a) The... being authorized to perform the functions of president if he is the chief or principal executive...

  9. 29 CFR 452.20 - Nature of executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 2 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Nature of executive functions. 452.20 Section 452.20 Labor... DISCLOSURE ACT OF 1959 Coverage of Election Provisions § 452.20 Nature of executive functions. (a) The... being authorized to perform the functions of president if he is the chief or principal executive...

  10. 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... DISCLOSURE ACT OF 1959 Coverage of Election Provisions § 452.20 Nature of executive functions. (a) The... being authorized to perform the functions of president if he is the chief or principal executive...

  11. 29 CFR 452.20 - Nature of executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 2 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Nature of executive functions. 452.20 Section 452.20 Labor... DISCLOSURE ACT OF 1959 Coverage of Election Provisions § 452.20 Nature of executive functions. (a) The... being authorized to perform the functions of president if he is the chief or principal executive...

  12. Evaluation of a differentiation model of preschoolers' executive functions.

    PubMed

    Howard, Steven J; Okely, Anthony D; Ellis, Yvonne G

    2015-01-01

    Despite the prominent role of executive functions in children's emerging competencies, there remains debate regarding the structure and development of executive functions. In an attempt to reconcile these discrepancies, a differentiation model of executive function development was evaluated in the early years using 6-month age groupings. Specifically, 281 preschoolers completed measures of working memory, inhibition, and shifting. Results contradicted suggestions that executive functions follow a single trajectory of progressive separation in childhood, instead suggesting that these functions may undergo a period of integration in the preschool years. These results highlight potential problems with current practices and theorizing in executive function research.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kotsopoulos, Donna; Lee, Joanne

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Ratings of Everyday Executive Functioning (REEF): A parent-report measure of preschoolers' executive functioning skills.

    PubMed

    Nilsen, Elizabeth S; Huyder, Vanessa; McAuley, Tara; Liebermann, Dana

    2017-01-01

    Executive functioning (EF) facilitates the development of academic, cognitive, and social-emotional skills and deficits in EF are implicated in a broad range of child psychopathologies. Although EF has clear implications for early development, the few questionnaires that assess EF in preschoolers tend to ask parents for global judgments of executive dysfunction and thus do not cover the full range of EF within the preschool age group. Here we present a new measure of preschoolers' EF-the Ratings of Everyday Executive Functioning (REEF)-that capitalizes on parents' observations of their preschoolers' (i.e., 3- to 5-year-olds) behavior in specific, everyday contexts. Over 4 studies, items comprising the REEF were refined and the measure's reliability and validity were evaluated. Factor analysis of the REEF yielded 1 factor, with items showing strong internal reliability. More important, children's scores on the REEF related to both laboratory measures of EF and another parent-report EF questionnaire. Moreover, reflecting divergent validity, the REEF was more strongly related to measures of EF as opposed to measures of affective styles. The REEF also captured differences in children's executive skills across the preschool years, and norms at 6-month intervals are reported. In summary, the REEF is a new parent-report measure that provides researchers with an efficient, valid, and reliable means of assessing preschoolers' executive functioning. (PsycINFO Database Record

  15. Getting the right grasp on executive function

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Genes Unite Executive Functions in Childhood

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Individual differences in children's executive functions (EFs) are relevant for a wide range of normal and disordered psychological outcomes across the lifespan, but the origins of variation in child EFs are not well understood. We used a racially and socioeconomically diverse sample of 505 3rd-8th grade twins from the Texas Twin Project to estimate genetic and environmental influences on a common EF factor and on variance unique to four core EF domains: Inhibition, Switching, Working Memory, and Updating. As has been previously demonstrated in young adults, the common EF factor was 100% heritable, indicating that correlations among the four EF domains are entirely attributable to shared genetic etiology. Nonshared environmental influences were evident for variance unique to individual domains. General EF may thus serve as an early life marker of genetic propensity for a range of functions and pathologies later in life. PMID:26246520

  18. 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

  19. Executive functioning and alcohol-related aggression.

    PubMed

    Giancola, Peter R

    2004-11-01

    The primary goal of this investigation was to determine whether executive functioning (EF) would moderate the alcohol-aggression relation. Participants were 310 (152 men and 158 women) healthy social drinkers between 21 and 35 years of age. EF as well as non-EF skills were measured with 13 validated neuropsychological tests. Following the consumption of either an alcoholic or a placebo beverage, participants were tested on a modified version of the Taylor Aggression Paradigm (S. Taylor, 1967), in which mild electric shocks were received from, and administered to, a fictitious opponent. Aggressive behavior was operationalized as the shock intensities administered to the fictitious opponent. EF was negatively related to aggressive behavior for men, regardless of beverage group, even when controlling for non-EF skills. Furthermore, alcohol increased aggression only for men with lower EF scores. Finally, the mere belief that alcohol was consumed suppressed aggression for women but not for men.

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

    PubMed Central

    Best, John R.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lederman, Sheri G.

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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,…

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kapa, Leah L; Plante, Elena

    2015-09-01

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

  6. Prefrontal Compensatory Engagement in TBI is due to Altered Functional Engagement Of Existing Networks and not Functional Reorganization.

    PubMed

    Turner, Gary R; McIntosh, Anthony R; Levine, Brian

    2011-01-01

    Functional neuroimaging studies of traumatic brain injury (TBI) have demonstrated altered neural recruitment, specifically within prefrontal cortex (PFC). This is manifest typically as increased recruitment of homologous regions of PFC (e.g., right ventrolateral PFC during performance of a verbal working memory task, possibly in response to damage involving the left PFC). The behavioral correlates of these functional changes are poorly understood. We used fMRI and multivariate analytic methods to investigate changes in spatially distributed activity patterns and their behavioral correlates in a sample of TBI patients with diffuse axonal injury (DAI, but without focal injury) and matched healthy controls. Participants performed working memory tasks with varying memory load and executive demand. We identified networks within left and right PFC that uniquely and positively correlated with performance in our control and TBI samples respectively, providing evidence of compensatory functional recruitment. Next we combined brain-behavior and functional connectivity analyses to investigate whether compensatory brain changes were facilitated by functional reorganization (i.e., recruitment of brain regions not engaged by our control sample) or altered functional engagement (i.e., differential recruitment of similar brain regions between the two groups based on task demands). In other words, does altered recruitment represent the instantiation of novel neural networks to support working memory performance after injury or the unmasking of extant, but behaviorally latent, functional connectivity? Our results support an altered functional engagement hypothesis. Areas within PFC that are normally coactivated during working memory are behaviorally relevant at an earlier stage of difficulty for TBI patients as compared to controls. This altered functional engagement, also evident in the aging literature, is attributable to distributed changes owing to significant DAI.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  8. Building the blocks of executive functioning: differentiating early developing processes contributing to executive functioning skills.

    PubMed

    Mandell, Dorothy J; Ward, Sarah E

    2011-12-01

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

  9. Executive Function and PTSD: Disengaging from Trauma

    PubMed Central

    Aupperle, Robin L.; Melrose, Andrew J.; Stein, Murray B.; Paulus, Martin P.

    2016-01-01

    Neuropsychological approaches represent an important avenue for identifying susceptibility and resiliency factors relating to the development and maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms post-trauma. This review will summarize results from prospective longitudinal and retrospective cross-sectional studies investigating executive function associated with PTSD. This research points specifically towards subtle impairments in response inhibition and attention regulation that may predate trauma exposure, serve as risk factors for the development of PTSD, and relate to the severity of symptoms. These impairments may be exacerbated within emotional or trauma-related contexts, and may relate to dysfunction within dorsal prefrontal networks. A model is presented concerning how such impairments may contribute to the clinical profile of PTSD and lead to the use of alternative coping styles such as avoidance. Further neuropsychological research is needed to identify the effects of treatment on cognitive function and to potentially characterize mechanisms of current PTSD treatments. Knowledge gained from cognitive and neuroscientific research may prove valuable for informing the future development of novel, more effective, treatments for PTSD. PMID:21349277

  10. Citizenship and Education in Twenty-Eight Countries: Civic Knowledge and Engagement at Age Fourteen. Executive Summary.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Torney-Purta, Judith; Lehmann, Rainer; Oswald, Hans; Schulz, Wolfram

    This is an Executive Summary for "Citizenship and Education in Twenty-eight Countries: Civic Knowledge and Engagement at Age Fourteen," the first report of the results of the second phase of the Civic Education Study conducted by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). The Executive Summary briefly…

  11. Executive Functions in Adolescence: Inferences from Brain and Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crone, Eveline A.

    2009-01-01

    Despite the advances in understanding cognitive improvements in executive function in adolescence, much less is known about the influence of affective and social modulators on executive function and the biological underpinnings of these functions and sensitivities. Here, recent behavioral and neuroscientific studies are summarized that have used…

  12. 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.

  13. Neuropsychological assessment of executive functions following pediatric traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Gaines, K Drorit; Soper, Henry V

    2016-09-27

    Assessment of executive functions in the adult is best captured at the stage where full maturation of brain development occurs. Assessment of executive functions of children, however, is considerably more complicated. First, assessment of executive functioning in children represents a snapshot of these developing functions at a particular time linked stage, which may have implications for further development. Second, neuropsychological measures available to assess executive functions in children are limited in number and scope and may not be sensitive to the gradual developmental changes. The present article provides an overview of the salient neurodevelopmental stages of executive functioning and discusses the utilization of recently developed neuropsychological measures to assess these stages. Comments on clinical implications of these findings regarding Traumatic Brain Injury will be provided.

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  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. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. Benefits of regular aerobic exercise for executive functioning in healthy populations.

    PubMed

    Guiney, Hayley; Machado, Liana

    2013-02-01

    Research suggests that regular aerobic exercise has the potential to improve executive functioning, even in healthy populations. The purpose of this review is to elucidate which components of executive functioning benefit from such exercise in healthy populations. In light of the developmental time course of executive functions, we consider separately children, young adults, and older adults. Data to date from studies of aging provide strong evidence of exercise-linked benefits related to task switching, selective attention, inhibition of prepotent responses, and working memory capacity; furthermore, cross-sectional fitness data suggest that working memory updating could potentially benefit as well. In young adults, working memory updating is the main executive function shown to benefit from regular exercise, but cross-sectional data further suggest that task-switching and post error performance may also benefit. In children, working memory capacity has been shown to benefit, and cross-sectional data suggest potential benefits for selective attention and inhibitory control. Although more research investigating exercise-related benefits for specific components of executive functioning is clearly needed in young adults and children, when considered across the age groups, ample evidence indicates that regular engagement in aerobic exercise can provide a simple means for healthy people to optimize a range of executive functions.

  7. Executive function following child stroke: the impact of lesion location.

    PubMed

    Long, Brian; Spencer-Smith, Megan M; Jacobs, Rani; Mackay, Mark; Leventer, Richard; Barnes, Chris; Anderson, Vicki

    2011-03-01

    Child stroke is a major cause of death in children, although limited information exists on neurobehavioral functioning of stroke survivors. Executive function (important for goal-directed behavior) is thought to be vulnerable to early insults such as stroke because of its widespread representation in the immature brain. This study investigated the impact of lesion location on executive skills. Twenty-eight children diagnosed with stroke at least 18 months before assessment were recruited. Lesion characteristics were coded from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Neurobehavioral assessment focused on cognitive and everyday executive skills. Deficits were found in the context of overall normal intellectual functioning (M = 91.60; SD = 19.40). Generally, insults involving frontal and extra-frontal regions impacted equally on cognitive performance. Everyday deficits were marginally more prominent following frontal insult. Subcortical frontal lesions were associated with impairments in everyday executive skills. Results provide further support for the diffuse representation of executive function in the immature brain.

  8. Improving the ecological validity of executive functioning assessment.

    PubMed

    Chaytor, Naomi; Schmitter-Edgecombe, Maureen; Burr, Robert

    2006-04-01

    The current study investigated ways to improve the ecological validity of the neuropsychological assessment of executive functioning through the formal assessment of compensatory strategies and environmental cognitive demands. Results indicated that the group of executive functioning tests (i.e., Trail Making Test, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Stroop, and Controlled Oral Word Association Test) accounted for 18-20% of the variance in everyday executive ability as measured by the Dysexecutive Questionnaire and Brock Adaptive Functioning Questionnaire. The addition of extra-test variables significantly increased the variance in everyday executive ability accounted for. The current study adds to the literature on the ecological validity of executive functioning assessment by highlighting the importance of extra-test variables when trying to understand the complex relationship between cognitive testing and real world performance.

  9. 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.

  10. Questionnaire-based assessment of executive functioning: Psychometrics.

    PubMed

    Castellanos, Irina; Kronenberger, William G; Pisoni, David B

    2016-11-14

    The psychometric properties of the Learning, Executive, and Attention Functioning (LEAF) scale were investigated in an outpatient clinical pediatric sample. As a part of clinical testing, the LEAF scale, which broadly measures neuropsychological abilities related to executive functioning and learning, was administered to parents of 118 children and adolescents referred for psychological testing at a pediatric psychology clinic; 85 teachers also completed LEAF scales to assess reliability across different raters and settings. Scores on neuropsychological tests of executive functioning and academic achievement were abstracted from charts. Psychometric analyses of the LEAF scale demonstrated satisfactory internal consistency, parent-teacher inter-rater reliability in the small to large effect size range, and test-retest reliability in the large effect size range, similar to values for other executive functioning checklists. Correlations between corresponding subscales on the LEAF and other behavior checklists were large, while most correlations with neuropsychological tests of executive functioning and achievement were significant but in the small to medium range. Results support the utility of the LEAF as a reliable and valid questionnaire-based assessment of delays and disturbances in executive functioning and learning. Applications and advantages of the LEAF and other questionnaire measures of executive functioning in clinical neuropsychology settings are discussed.

  11. Executive Functions in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Sally; Goddard, Lorna; Dritschel, Barbara; Wisley, Mary; Howlin, Pat

    2009-01-01

    Executive dysfunction is a characteristic impairment of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). However whether such deficits are related to autism per se, or to associated intellectual disability is unclear. This paper examines executive functions in a group of children with ASD (N = 54, all IQ greater than or equal to 70) in relation…

  12. An Embodied Account of Early Executive-Function Development

    PubMed Central

    Gottwald, Janna M.; Achermann, Sheila; Marciszko, Carin; Lindskog, Marcus; Gredebäck, Gustaf

    2016-01-01

    The importance of executive functioning for later life outcomes, along with its potential to be positively affected by intervention programs, motivates the need to find early markers of executive functioning. In this study, 18-month-olds performed three executive-function tasks—involving simple inhibition, working memory, and more complex inhibition—and a motion-capture task assessing prospective motor control during reaching. We demonstrated that prospective motor control, as measured by the peak velocity of the first movement unit, is related to infants’ performance on simple-inhibition and working memory tasks. The current study provides evidence that motor control and executive functioning are intertwined early in life, which suggests an embodied perspective on executive-functioning development. We argue that executive functions and prospective motor control develop from a common source and a single motive: to control action. This is the first demonstration that low-level movement planning is related to higher-order executive control early in life. PMID:27765900

  13. Intelligence and executive functions in frontotemporal dementia

    PubMed Central

    Roca, María; Manes, Facundo; Gleichgerrcht, Ezequiel; Watson, Peter; Ibáñez, Agustín; Thompson, Russell; Torralva, Teresa; Duncan, John

    2013-01-01

    Recently (Roca et al. (2010), we used the relationship with general intelligence (Spearman’s g) to define two sets of frontal lobe or “executive” tests. For one group, including Wisconsin card sorting and verbal fluency, reduction in g entirely explained the deficits found in frontal patients. For another group, including tests of social cognition and multitasking, frontal deficits remained even after correction for g. Preliminary evidence suggested a link of the latter tasks to more anterior frontal regions. Here we develop this distinction in the context of behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), a disorder which progressively affects frontal lobe cortices. In bvFTD, some executive tests, including tests of social cognition and multitasking, decline from the early stage of the disease, while others, including classical executive tests such as Wisconsin card sorting, verbal fluency or Trail Making Test part B, show deficits only later on. Here we show that, while deficits in the classical executive tests are entirely explained by g, deficits in the social cognition and multitasking tests are not. The results suggest a relatively selective cognitive deficit at mild stages of the disease, followed by more widespread cognitive decline well predicted by g. PMID:23347963

  14. 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.

  15. Development of metacognitive and emotional executive functions in children.

    PubMed

    Ardila, Alfredo

    2013-01-01

    It has been proposed that two major components of executive functions can be distinguished: (1) one related to complex cognition (metacognition, such as planning, problem solving, etc.); (2) the other related to coordinating and controlling emotional behavior. Contemporary neuroimaging techniques have demonstrated that there are two distinct functional-anatomical networks within the prefrontal cortex: one associated with cognitive control and the other associated with value based decision making-each related to specific frontal-lobe areas. Metacognitive (but not emotional) executive functions have been demonstrated to be correlated with general intellectual level (intelligence). Research has shown that emotional executive functions (such as attention control) develop earlier in life (during the 1st year), before the development of metacognitive executive functions (such as planning and verbal fluency), which develop around the age of 3 and are correlated with the development of a grammatical language.

  16. Executive Functioning in Daily Life in Parkinson's Disease: Initiative, Planning and Multi-Task Performance

    PubMed Central

    Koerts, Janneke; Van Beilen, Marije; Tucha, Oliver; Leenders, Klaus L.; Brouwer, Wiebo H.

    2011-01-01

    Impairments in executive functioning are frequently observed in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, executive functioning needed in daily life is difficult to measure. Considering this difficulty the Cognitive Effort Test (CET) was recently developed. In this multi-task test the goals are specified but participants are free in their approach. This study applies the CET in PD patients and investigates whether initiative, planning and multi-tasking are associated with aspects of executive functions and psychomotor speed. Thirty-six PD patients with a mild to moderate disease severity and thirty-four healthy participants were included in this study. PD patients planned and demonstrated more sequential task execution, which was associated with a decreased psychomotor speed. Furthermore, patients with a moderate PD planned to execute fewer tasks at the same time than patients with a mild PD. No differences were found between these groups for multi-tasking. In conclusion, PD patients planned and executed the tasks of the CET sequentially rather than in parallel presumably reflecting a compensation strategy for a decreased psychomotor speed. Furthermore, patients with moderate PD appeared to take their impairments into consideration when planning how to engage the tasks of the test. This compensation could not be detected in patients with mild PD. PMID:22206004

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

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yan Jing

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Implications of infant cognition for executive functions at age 11.

    PubMed

    Rose, Susan A; Feldman, Judith F; Jankowski, Jeffery J

    2012-01-01

    Recent work suggests that executive functions, the cornerstone of higher-level cognitive operations, are driven by basic information processing abilities. Using structural equation modeling, with latent variables, the present study provides the first evidence that this driving force begins in infancy, such that abilities in infancy predict executive functions at age 11. Information processing abilities in three domains (attention, processing speed, and memory) were assessed when participants were infants (7 and 12 months) and toddlers (24 and 36 months) and were used to predict three executive functions (working memory, inhibition, and shifting) when participants were 11 years old. A model relating infant abilities to age-11 executive functions fit well, and accounted for 9% to 19% of the variance in the executive functions. Paths from both speed and memory in infancy to age-11 working memory were significant, as was the path from Speed in infancy to age-11 Shifting. A model using abilities in toddlerhood as predictors fit similarly. These findings implicate early basic cognitive abilities in the development of executive functions.

  19. Direct and indirect influences of executive functions on mathematics achievement.

    PubMed

    Cragg, Lucy; Keeble, Sarah; Richardson, Sophie; Roome, Hannah E; Gilmore, Camilla

    2017-05-01

    Achievement in mathematics is predicted by an individual's domain-specific factual knowledge, procedural skill and conceptual understanding as well as domain-general executive function skills. In this study we investigated the extent to which executive function skills contribute to these three components of mathematical knowledge, whether this mediates the relationship between executive functions and overall mathematics achievement, and if these relationships change with age. Two hundred and ninety-three participants aged between 8 and 25years completed a large battery of mathematics and executive function tests. Domain-specific skills partially mediated the relationship between executive functions and mathematics achievement: Inhibitory control within the numerical domain was associated with factual knowledge and procedural skill, which in turn was associated with mathematical achievement. Working memory contributed to mathematics achievement indirectly through factual knowledge, procedural skill and, to a lesser extent, conceptual understanding. There remained a substantial direct pathway between working memory and mathematics achievement however, which may reflect the role of working memory in identifying and constructing problem representations. These relationships were remarkably stable from 8years through to young adulthood. Our findings help to refine existing multi-component frameworks of mathematics and understand the mechanisms by which executive functions support mathematics achievement.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-04-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Effects of Acute Laboratory Stress on Executive Functions.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Executive functions in morality, religion, and paranormal beliefs.

    PubMed

    Wain, Omar; Spinella, Marcello

    2007-01-01

    Moral, religious, and paranormal beliefs share some degree of overlap and play important roles in guiding peoples' behavior. Although partly cultural phenomena, they also have neurobiological components based on functional neuroimaging studies and research in clinical populations. Because all three show relationships to prefrontal system functioning, the current study examined whether they related to executive functions as measured by the Executive Function Inventory in a community sample. As in previous research, religious beliefs related positively to both moral attitudes and paranormal beliefs. Moral attitudes, however, did not relate to paranormal beliefs. Paranormal beliefs related inversely to impulse control and organization, whereas small positive correlations occurred between traditional religious beliefs, impulse control, and empathy. Moral attitudes, on the other hand, showed consistent positive correlations with all executive functions measured, independent of demographic influences. These findings concordantly support that prefrontal systems play a role in morality, religion, and paranormal beliefs.

  8. Lisdexamfetamine Effects on Executive Activation and Neurochemistry in Menopausal Women with Executive Function Difficulties.

    PubMed

    Shanmugan, Sheila; Loughead, James; Nanga, Ravi Prakash Reddy; Elliott, Mark; Hariharan, Hari; Appleby, Dina; Kim, Deborah; Ruparel, Kosha; Reddy, Ravinder; Brown, Thomas E; Epperson, C Neill

    2017-01-01

    Many women with no history of executive dysfunction report difficulties in this domain during the menopause transition. Lisdexamfetamine (LDX) has been suggested to be a safe and effective treatment option for these women. However, the mechanism by which LDX improves executive functioning in these women is not known. Here we investigated the effects of LDX on brain activation and neurochemistry, hypothesizing that LDX would be associated with increased activation and decreased glutamate in executive regions. Fourteen women underwent multimodal neuroimaging at 7T at three time points in this baseline-corrected, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Effects of LDX on symptom severity, blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) glutamate+glutamine (Glx) were measured using a clinician-administered questionnaire, fMRI during performance of a fractal n-back task, and (1)H-MRS, respectively. The effect of treatment (LDX minus baseline vs placebo minus baseline) on these behavioral and neural markers of executive function was examined using repeated measures mixed effects models. LDX treatment was associated with decreased symptom severity, increased activation in the insula and DLPFC, and decreased DLPFC Glx. In addition, the magnitude of LDX-induced improvement in symptom severity predicted both direction and magnitude of LDX-induced change in insular and DLPFC activation. Moreover, symptom severity was positively correlated with Glx concentration in the left DLPFC at baseline. These findings provide novel evidence that the neural mechanisms by which LDX acts to improve self-reported executive functioning in healthy menopausal women with midlife onset of executive difficulties include modulation of insular and DLPFC recruitment as well as decrease in DLPFC Glx concentration.

  9. 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

  10. Higher-Order Mentalising and Executive Functioning.

    PubMed

    2015-11-01

    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.

  11. [Memory processes and executive functioning: novel trends for research].

    PubMed

    Collette, Fabienne; Angel, Lucie

    2015-01-01

    The existence of processes common to memory systems and executive functioning was evidenced by studies in the domain of cerebral neuroimaging, individual differences (mainly in normal aging) and, to a lesser extent, neuropsychology. Executive functioning depends on a large antero-posterior brain network, some regions of which (the middle dorsolateral and ventrolateral cortex, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex) are involved in a series of executive processes, but also in encoding and retrieval of information in episodic memory and short-term memory. A consequence of lesions in frontal areas is to impair strategical organization of the information to-be-processed (an executive process) and thus leads to a lower memory capacity in frontal patients. Moreover, executive abilities will influence both memory efficiency and the associated brain networks even in people without brain pathology. These data attest to the importance of the relationships between executive and memory processes for an optimal cognitive functioning. Recent advances in neuroimaging and electrophysiology data acquisition and analysis techniques should allow us to better determine and understand the fashion in which these relationships work.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Executive functions as predictors of math learning disabilities.

    PubMed

    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 and whether these executive functions can be seen as precursors to math learning disabilities in children. Furthermore, the predictive value of working memory ability compared to preparatory mathematical abilities was examined. Two classifications were made based on (persistent) mathematical ability in first and second grade. Repeated measures analyses and discriminant analyses were used to investigate which functions predicted group membership best. Group differences in performance were found on one inhibition and three working memory tasks. The working memory tasks predicted math learning disabilities, even over and above the predictive value of preparatory mathematical abilities.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Executive Functions in Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brady, Danielle I.; Saklofske, Donald H.; Schwean, Vicki L.; Montgomery, Janine M.; Thorne, Keoma J.; McCrimmon, Adam W.

    2017-01-01

    Researchers have proposed that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized, at least in part, by executive function (EF) difficulties associated with the integrity of the frontal lobe. Given the paucity of research regarding EFs in young adults with high functioning ASD (HF-ASD), this research involves an examination of various indices of EF…

  18. Effects of Alcoholism Severity and Smoking on Executive Neurocognitive Function

    PubMed Central

    Glass, J.M.; Buu, A.; Adams, K.M.; Nigg, J.T.; Puttler, L.I.; Jester, J.M.; Zucker, R.A.

    2009-01-01

    Aims Neurocognitive deficits in chronic alcoholic men are well documented and include impairments in memory, visual-spatial processing, problem solving and executive function. The cause of these deficits is unclear, but could include direct effects of alcohol toxicity, pre-existing cognitive deficits that may predispose towards substance abuse, comorbid psychiatric disorders (e.g., depression) and comorbid abuse of substances other than alcohol. For example, cigarette smoking occurs at a much higher rate among persons with alcoholism and has been linked to poor cognitive performance. Until recently, the negative effects of smoking on cognitive function in alcoholism have been ignored. Methods The effects of alcoholism and smoking are examined in a community recruited sample of alcoholic and non-alcoholic men (N=240) using standard neuropsychological measures and reaction-time measures of executive function. Alcoholism severity was measured as an average of alcoholism diagnoses across the study duration (12 yrs). Smoking was measured in pack-years. Results Both alcoholism and smoking were negatively correlated with a composite executive function score. For component measures, alcoholism was negatively correlated with a broad range of measures, whereas smoking was negatively correlated with measures that emphasize response speed. In regression analyses, both smoking and alcoholism are significant predictors of executive function composite. However; when IQ is included in the regression analyses, alcoholism severity is no longer a significant predictor. Conclusions Both smoking and alcoholism were related to executive function. However, the effect of alcoholism on EF was not independent of IQ, suggesting that the alcoholism effect was generalized, perhaps affecting a wide range of cognitive abilities of which executive function is a component. On the other hand, the effect of smoking on measures relying on response speed were independent of IQ, suggesting a more

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

    PubMed

    Shaheen, Sandra

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Granvald, Viktor; Marciszko, Carin

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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…

  2. Language, bilingualism, and executive functioning in early development.

    PubMed

    Morton, J Bruce

    2010-12-01

    Okanda, et al. (2010) reported new evidence concerning associations between language ability, bilingualism, and executive functioning early in development. The paper adds to a growing body of literature suggesting that bilingualism is associated with advantages in executive functioning generally, and the Dimensional Change Card Sort task in particular. However, as with all findings that hinge on between-group comparisons, there is a need to exercise caution before drawing firm conclusions about the effects of bilingualism on the development of executive control. Several lines of recent evidence are outlined that challenge key assumptions underlying the standard account of the bilingual advantage. Okanda, et al.'s findings are discussed in light of this evidence.

  3. The effects of bilingualism on toddlers' executive functioning.

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

    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.

  4. 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

  5. Mining dynamic noteworthy functions in software execution sequences

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Guoyan; Wang, Yuqian; He, Haitao; Ren, Jiadong

    2017-01-01

    As the quality of crucial entities can directly affect that of software, their identification and protection become an important premise for effective software development, management, maintenance and testing, which thus contribute to improving the software quality and its attack-defending ability. Most analysis and evaluation on important entities like codes-based static structure analysis are on the destruction of the actual software running. In this paper, from the perspective of software execution process, we proposed an approach to mine dynamic noteworthy functions (DNFM)in software execution sequences. First, according to software decompiling and tracking stack changes, the execution traces composed of a series of function addresses were acquired. Then these traces were modeled as execution sequences and then simplified so as to get simplified sequences (SFS), followed by the extraction of patterns through pattern extraction (PE) algorithm from SFS. After that, evaluating indicators inner-importance and inter-importance were designed to measure the noteworthiness of functions in DNFM algorithm. Finally, these functions were sorted by their noteworthiness. Comparison and contrast were conducted on the experiment results from two traditional complex network-based node mining methods, namely PageRank and DegreeRank. The results show that the DNFM method can mine noteworthy functions in software effectively and precisely. PMID:28278276

  6. Executive Function Is Selectively Impaired in Old Age Bipolar Depression

    PubMed Central

    Caixeta, Leonardo; Soares, Vânia L. D.; Vieira, Renata T.; Soares, Cândida D.; Caixeta, Victor; Ferreira, Sandra B.; Aversi-Ferreira, Tales A.

    2017-01-01

    Background: Little is known about the cognitive signature of bipolar disorder (BD) in elderly brains. The neuropsychological features of depressive elderly with early-onset BD are largely unknown. This issue is relevant because cognitive impairment can produce an additional impact on the already compromised functionality of elderly with BD. The aim of this study is to assess executive functions (EFs) in the depressive phase of elderly outpatients with early-onset BD. Methods: Forty-nine elderly outpatients with early-onset BD were assessed with several neuropsychological tests for EF in the depressive phase of the disorder. Results: Executive dysfunction is very common in old age bipolar depression. Thirteen patients (26.5%) had a pseudodementia presentation. The worst performances were observed in the following tests: Trail Making B, Stroop Test 3, Backward Digit Span and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Conclusion: Executive dysfunction profile in elderly BD is complex and heterogeneous, but most cases display difficulties in working memory, inhibitory control, mental flexibility, and information processing speed. The performance of elderly with bipolar depression in executive assessment can be divided into two main categories: (1) Single EF domain impairment; and (2) Multiple EF domain impairment with or without a pseudodementia syndrome. Executive dysfunction in old age bipolar depression may be explained by lack of sufficient mental energy to run those cognitive processes that require larger amounts of effort to be performed. PMID:28243220

  7. Executive Function Is Selectively Impaired in Old Age Bipolar Depression.

    PubMed

    Caixeta, Leonardo; Soares, Vânia L D; Vieira, Renata T; Soares, Cândida D; Caixeta, Victor; Ferreira, Sandra B; Aversi-Ferreira, Tales A

    2017-01-01

    Background: Little is known about the cognitive signature of bipolar disorder (BD) in elderly brains. The neuropsychological features of depressive elderly with early-onset BD are largely unknown. This issue is relevant because cognitive impairment can produce an additional impact on the already compromised functionality of elderly with BD. The aim of this study is to assess executive functions (EFs) in the depressive phase of elderly outpatients with early-onset BD. Methods: Forty-nine elderly outpatients with early-onset BD were assessed with several neuropsychological tests for EF in the depressive phase of the disorder. Results: Executive dysfunction is very common in old age bipolar depression. Thirteen patients (26.5%) had a pseudodementia presentation. The worst performances were observed in the following tests: Trail Making B, Stroop Test 3, Backward Digit Span and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Conclusion: Executive dysfunction profile in elderly BD is complex and heterogeneous, but most cases display difficulties in working memory, inhibitory control, mental flexibility, and information processing speed. The performance of elderly with bipolar depression in executive assessment can be divided into two main categories: (1) Single EF domain impairment; and (2) Multiple EF domain impairment with or without a pseudodementia syndrome. Executive dysfunction in old age bipolar depression may be explained by lack of sufficient mental energy to run those cognitive processes that require larger amounts of effort to be performed.

  8. 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,…

  9. Executive Function in Preschoolers: A Review Using an Integrative Framework

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garon, Nancy; Bryson, Susan E.; Smith, Isabel M.

    2008-01-01

    During the last 2 decades, major advances have been made in understanding the development of executive functions (EFs) in early childhood. This article reviews the EF literature during the preschool period using an integrative framework. The framework adopted considers EF to be a unitary construct with partially dissociable components (A. Miyake…

  10. 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…

  11. Executive Function Impairments in High IQ Adults with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Welsh, Marilyn C.; And Others

    1990-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. 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,…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. Executive Function: Comparing Bilingual and Monolingual Iranian University Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kazemeini, Toktam; Fadardi, Javad Salehi

    2016-01-01

    The study aimed to examine whether Kurdish-Persian early Bilingual university students (EBL) and Persian Monolingual university students (ML) differ on tasks of executive function (EF). Thirty male EBL and 30 male ML students from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad completed a Persian Stroop Color-Word task (SCWT), Backward Digit Span Test (BDST),…

  1. 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,…

  2. 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…

  3. 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)…

  4. Assessment of Executive Function in Preschool-Aged Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Isquith, Peter K.; Crawford, Jennifer S.; Espy, Kimberly Andrews; Gioia, Gerard A.

    2005-01-01

    Assessment of the overarching self-regulatory mechanisms, or executive functions, in any age group is challenging, in part due to the complexity of this domain, in part due to their dynamic essence, and in part due to the inextricable links between these central processes and the associated domain-specific processes, such as language, motor…

  5. Executive Function: Implications for Education. NCER 2017-2000

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zelazo, Philip David; Blair, Clancy B.; Willoughby, Michael T.

    2016-01-01

    Executive function (EF) skills are the attention-regulation skills that make it possible to sustain attention, keep goals and information in mind, refrain from responding immediately, resist distraction, tolerate frustration, consider the consequences of different behaviors, reflect on past experiences, and plan for the future. As EF research…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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.…

  9. Executive Function and the Development of Belief-Desire Psychology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rakoczy, Hannes

    2010-01-01

    In two studies children's performance on tasks requiring the ascription of beliefs and desires was investigated in relation to their executive function. Study 1 (n = 80) showed that 3- and 4-year-olds were more proficient at ascribing subjective, mutually incompatible desires and desire-dependent emotions to two persons than they were at ascribing…

  10. 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…

  11. Supporting Executive Functions during Children's Preliteracy Learning with the Computer

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van de Sande, E.; Segers, E.; Verhoeven, L.

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined how embedded activities to support executive functions helped children to benefit from a computer intervention that targeted preliteracy skills. Three intervention groups were compared on their preliteracy gains in a randomized controlled trial design: an experimental group that worked with software to stimulate early…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Executive Functions: Insights into Ways to Help More Children Thrive

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Diamond, Adele

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions enable children to pay attention, follow instructions, apply what they have learned, have those "aha!" moments in which they grasp how multiple facts interrelate, think of creative solutions, obey social norms such as waiting their turn and not butting in line or jumping out of their seat, mentally construct a plan,…

  15. Executive Function Training in Children with SLI: A Pilot Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vugs, Brigitte; Knoors, Harry; Cuperus, Juliane; Hendriks, Marc; Verhoeven, Ludo

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a computer-based executive function (EF) training in children with specific language impairment (SLI). Ten children with SLI, ages 8 to 12 years, completed a 25-session training of visuospatial working memory, inhibition and cognitive flexibility over a 6-week period. Treatment outcome was…

  16. 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.

  17. The Effects of Bilingualism on Toddlers' Executive Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. 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…

  19. 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).…

  20. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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. 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…

  4. Could training executive function improve treatment outcomes for eating disorders?

    PubMed

    Juarascio, Adrienne S; Manasse, Stephanie M; Espel, Hallie M; Kerrigan, Stephanie G; Forman, Evan M

    2015-07-01

    Current gold standard treatments for eating disorders (EDs) lack satisfactory efficacy, and traditional psychological treatments do not directly address executive functioning deficits underpinning ED pathology. The goal of this paper is to explore the potential for enhancing ED treatment outcomes by improving executive functioning deficits that have been demonstrated to underlie eating pathology. To achieve our objective, we (1) review existing evidence for executive functioning deficits that underpin EDs and consider the extent to which these deficits could be targeted in neurocognitive training programs, (2) present the evidence for the one ED neurocognitive training program well-studied to date (Cognitive Remediation Therapy), (3) discuss the utility of neurocognitive training programs that have been developed for other psychiatric disorders with similar deficits, and (4) provide suggestions for the future development and research of neurocognitive training programs for EDs. Despite the fact that the body of empirical work on neurocognitive training programs for eating disorders is very small, we conclude that their potential is high given the combined evidence for the role of deficits in executive functioning in EDs, the initial promise of Cognitive Remediation Training, and the success in treating related conditions with neurocognitive training. Based on the evidence to date, it appears that the development and empirical evaluation of neurocognitive training programs for EDs is warranted.

  5. Executive function and diabetes mellitus--a stone left unturned?

    PubMed

    Thabit, Hood; Kyaw Tun, Tommy; McDermott, John; Sreenan, Seamus

    2012-03-01

    Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic medical condition that is dependent upon patients self-caring and managing their condition to achieve optimal control. Adherence to medical therapy, making decisions related to lifestyle changes, and self-treating hypoglycaemia for example, require planning and organisational skills that are under the control of a specific domain of cognitive function known as executive function. Executive function has been shown by functional imaging studies such as magnetic resonance imaging to be under the influence of the frontal and prefrontal cortical system. It is now recognised that even in subjects with apparently normal cognition, DM may be associated with impaired executive function (IEF). The exact cause of IEF in DM is still not fully understood. However cerebral microvascular disease and chronic dysglycaemia have been postulated as possible factors contributing to functional neuronal dysfunction leading to IEF. IEF may adversely affect patients' abilities to self-manage their diabetes care, potentially cause worsening glycaemic control and difficulty managing risk factors. Several bedside assessment tools to screen for IEF are currently available and have been shown to correlate with functional status. However, more studies are needed to validate these tests against diabetes self-care assessment tools. Until then, clinicians and healthcare workers managing patients with DM should be aware of the potential for IEF in their patients as specific behaviour and education intervention may be needed to help manage patients with diabetes and IEF.

  6. Prefrontal dopaminergic receptor abnormalities and executive functions in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Ko, Ji Hyun; Antonelli, Francesca; Monchi, Oury; Ray, Nicola; Rusjan, Pablo; Houle, Sylvain; Lang, Anthony E; Christopher, Leigh; Strafella, Antonio P

    2013-07-01

    The main pattern of cognitive impairments seen in early to moderate stages of Parkinson's disease (PD) includes deficits of executive functions. These nonmotor complications have a significant impact on the quality of life and day-to-day activities of PD patients and are not effectively managed by current therapies, a problem which is almost certainly due to the fact that the disease extends beyond the nigrostriatal system. To investigate the role of extrastriatal dopamine in executive function in PD, PD patients and a control group were studied with positron-emission-tomography using a high-affinity dopamine D2/D3 receptor tracer, [(11) C]FLB-457. All participants were scanned twice while performing an executive task and a control task. Patients were off medication for at least 12 h. The imaging analysis revealed that parkinsonian patients had lower [(11) C]FLB-457 binding than control group independently of task conditions across different brain regions. Cognitive assessment measures were positively correlated with [(11) C]FLB-457 binding in the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex only in control group, but not in PD patients. Within the control group, during the executive task (as compared to control task), there was evidence of reduced [(11) C]FLB-457 binding (indicative of increased dopamine release) in the right orbitofrontal cortex. In contrast, PD patients did not show any reduction in binding during the executive task (as compared with control task). These findings suggest that PD patients present significant abnormalities in extrastriatal dopamine associated with executive processing. These observations provide important insights on the pathophysiology of cognitive dysfunction in PD.

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. Texting while driving, executive function, and impulsivity in college students.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Yusuke; Rivera, Esteban A; Modico, James G; Foreman, Anne M; Wirth, Oliver

    2017-03-03

    The purpose of the present study was to investigate the cognitive processes underlying texting while driving. A sample of 120 college students completed a survey to assess how frequently they send and read a text message while driving. Based on this information, students were assigned to one of two groups: 20 students who frequently text while driving and 20 matched-control students who infrequently text while driving but were similar in gender, age, years of education, and years driving. The groups were compared on the extent to which they differed in self-reported measures of executive function and impulsivity. The groups were also compared on a behavioral measure of impulsivity: the extent to which they discounted hypothetical monetary rewards as a function of the delay. For this measure, the students made repeated choices between smaller monetary rewards available immediately and larger rewards available after delays ranging from 1 week to 6 months. The results show that the group of students who frequently text while driving showed (a) significantly lower levels of executive function and (b) higher levels of self-reported impulsivity, although the groups did not differ significantly on the behavioral measure of impulsivity. These results support a general conclusion that drivers with lower levels of executive function and higher levels of impulsivity are more likely to text while driving.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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,…

  13. Marijuana Use Predicts Cognitive Performance on Tasks of Executive Function

    PubMed Central

    Dahlgren, Mary Kathryn; Sagar, Kelly A.; Racine, Megan T.; Dreman, Meredith W.; Gruber, Staci A.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: Despite growing evidence that chronic marijuana use is associated with cognitive impairment, particularly when use is initiated at an early age, national trends demonstrate significant decreases in the perceived risk of marijuana corresponding with increased use, especially among youth. The current study assessed the impact of marijuana use on executive function and whether patterns of marijuana use, including earlier age at onset, higher frequency, and increased magnitude of use, predict impairment. Method: Forty-four chronic, heavy marijuana smokers (37 male, 7 female) and 32 healthy, nonsmoking control participants (20 male, 12 female) recruited from the Greater Boston area completed two assessments of executive function: the Stroop Color Word Test and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Results: Marijuana smokers had poorer executive function relative to control participants, a between-group difference that was primarily driven by individuals with early onset of marijuana use (before age 16; n = 21); significance remained even when controlling for frequency and magnitude of use. Further, earlier age at marijuana onset and increased marijuana use predicted poorer neurocognitive performance, and perseverative errors on the WCST significantly predicted marijuana group membership. Conclusions: These findings underscore the impact of early onset of marijuana use on executive function impairment independent of increased frequency and magnitude of use. In addition, poorer performance on the WCST may serve as a neuropsychological marker for heavy marijuana users. These results highlight the need for additional research to identify predictors associated with early marijuana use, as exposure to marijuana during a period of developmental vulnerability may result in negative cognitive consequences. PMID:26997188

  14. 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…

  15. Early adolescent executive functioning, intrauterine exposures and own drug use.

    PubMed

    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, and 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The effects of bilingual growth on toddlers’ executive function

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  18. Baduanjin Mind-Body Intervention Improves the Executive Control Function

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Tingting; Yue, Guang H.; Tian, Yingxue; Jiang, Changhao

    2017-01-01

    This study aims at comparing the effects of the Baduanjin mind-body (BMB) intervention with a conventional relaxation training program on enhancing the executive function. The study also attempts to explore the neural substrates underlying the cognitive effect of BMB intervention using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) technique. Forty-two healthy college students were randomly allocated into either the Baduanjin intervention group or relaxation training (control) group. Training lasted for 8 weeks (90 min/day, 5 days/week). Each participant was administered the shortened Profile of Mood States to evaluate their mood status and the flanker task to evaluate executive function before and after training. While performing the flanker task, the NIRS data were collected from each participant. After training, individuals who have participated in BMB exercise showed a significant reduction in depressive mood compared with the same measure before the intervention. However, participants in the control group showed no such reduction. The before vs. after measurement difference in the flanker task incongruent trails was significant only for the Baduanjin intervention group. Interestingly, an increase in oxygenated hemoglobin in the left prefrontal cortex was observed during the Incongruent Trails test only after the BMB exercise intervention. These findings implicate that Baduanjin is an effective and easy-to-administering mind-body exercise for improving executive function and perhaps brain self-regulation in a young and healthy population. PMID:28133453

  19. 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.

  20. The Relations Between Patterning, Executive Function, and Mathematics.

    PubMed

    Schmerold, Katrina; Bock, Allison; Peterson, Matthew; Leaf, Britney; Vennergrund, Katherine; Pasnak, Robert

    2017-02-17

    Patterning, or the ability to understand patterns, is a skill commonly taught to young children as part of school mathematics curricula. It seems likely that some aspects of executive function, such as cognitive flexibility, inhibition, and working memory, may be expressed in the patterning abilities of children. The primary objective of the present study was to examine the relationship between patterning and executive functioning for first grade children. In addition, the relations between patterning, executive functioning, mathematics, and reading were examined. The results showed that patterning was significantly related to cognitive flexibility and working memory, but not to inhibition. Patterning, cognitive flexibility, and working memory were significantly related to mathematical skills. Only patterning and working memory were significantly related to reading. Regression analyses and structural equation modeling both showed that patterning had effects on both reading and mathematics measures, and that the effects of cognitive flexibility were entirely mediated by patterning. Working memory had independent effects on reading and mathematics, and also effects moderated by patterning. In sum, these findings suggest that cognitive flexibility and working memory are related to patterning and express their effects on reading and mathematics in whole or in part through patterning.

  1. 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.

  2. Genetic overlap between schizophrenia and selective components of executive function.

    PubMed

    Owens, Sheena F; Rijsdijk, Fruhling; Picchioni, Marco M; Stahl, Daniel; Nenadic, Igor; Murray, Robin M; Toulopoulou, Timothea

    2011-04-01

    Impairments in selective components of executive function are seen in unaffected family members of patients with schizophrenia and may represent the biological expression of increased genetic risk. However no study has quantified the extent to which liability to schizophrenia overlaps genetically with that of executive dysfunction. We studied a total of 418 monozygotic and dizygotic twins, including pairs concordant and discordant for schizophrenia. Participants completed the trail making test part A and verbal fluency tasks to assess initiation, TMT part B to test mental flexibility, and the WAIS-III to assess general intellectual function. Bivariate genetic modeling was used to investigate whether selective measures of executive processing are genetically linked to schizophrenia and to quantify the genetic (i.e. heritability) and environmental contributions to their variability. Genetic influences contributed substantially to test variance for initiation and mental flexibility. Genetic factors were the main source of the phenotypic correlations between schizophrenia and these processes. Verbal fluency tasks shared a large genetic correlation with IQ whilst TMT scales did not, suggesting that they measure discreet processes, and therefore indexing discreet endophenotypes. Both verbal fluency and mental flexibility meet some of the criteria for endophenotypes, but our data suggest that mental flexibility is a purer cognitive process sharing very little common variance with general intellectual functioning. The inclusion of this mental flexibility phenotype in linkage or association analysis should improve the power to detect susceptibility genes for schizophrenia.

  3. Engaging, Retaining, and Advancing African Americans in Executive-Level Positions: A Descriptive and Trend Analysis of Academic Administrators in Higher and Postsecondary Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Jerlando F. L.

    2004-01-01

    In spite of repeated considerations and positive action to engage, retain and advance African Americans in executive positions, there are only a few African Americans in executive level administration posts in colleges and universities. An analysis of the status of African Americans in higher and post secondary education shows that legislation…

  4. 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…

  5. Memory, attention, and executive function in chronic fatigue syndrome.

    PubMed Central

    Joyce, E; Blumenthal, S; Wessely, S

    1996-01-01

    OBJECTIVES--To examine cognitive function in chronic fatigue syndrome. METHODS--Twenty patients with chronic fatigue syndrome recruited from primary care and 20 matched normal controls were given CANTAB computerised tests of visuospatial memory, attention, and executive function, and verbal tests of letter and category fluency and word association learning. RESULTS: Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome were impaired, predominantly in the domain of memory but their pattern of performance was unlike that of patients with amnesic syndrome or dementia. They were normal on tests of spatial pattern recognition memory, simultaneous and delayed matching to sample, and pattern-location association learning. They were impaired on tests of spatial span, spatial working memory, and a selective reminding condition of the pattern-location association learning test. An executive test of planning was normal. In an attentional test, eight subjects with chronic fatigue syndrome were unable to learn a response set; the remainder exhibited no impairment in the executive set shifting phase of the test. Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome were also impaired on verbal tests of unrelated word association learning and letter fluency. CONCLUSION--Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome have reduced attentional capacity resulting in impaired performance on effortful tasks requiring planned or self ordered generation of responses from memory. PMID:8778252

  6. Precursors of executive function in infants with sickle cell anemia.

    PubMed

    Hogan, Alexandra M; Telfer, Paul T; Kirkham, Fenella J; de Haan, Michelle

    2013-10-01

    Executive dysfunction occurs in sickle cell anemia, but there are few early data. Infants with sickle cell anemia (n = 14) and controls (n = 14) performed the "A-not-B" and Object Retrieval search tasks, measuring precursors of executive function at 9 and 12 months. Significant group differences were not found. However, for the A-not-B task, 7 of 11 sickle cell anemia infants scored in the lower 2 performance categories at 9 months, but only 1 at 12 months (P = .024); controls obtained scores at 12 months that were statistically comparable to the scores they had already obtained at 9 months. On the Object Retrieval task, 9- and 12-month controls showed comparable scores, whereas infants with sickle cell anemia continued to improve (P = .027); at 9 months, those with lower hemoglobin oxygen saturation passed fewer trials (R s = 0.670, P = .024) and took longer to obtain the toy (R s = -0.664, P = .013). Subtle delays in acquiring developmental skills may underlie abnormal executive function in childhood.

  7. Semantic memory and frontal executive function during transient global amnesia.

    PubMed Central

    Hodges, J R

    1994-01-01

    To assess semantic memory and frontal executive function, two patients underwent neuropsychological testing during transient global amnesia (TGA) and after an interval of 6-8 weeks. In spite of a profound deficit in anterograde verbal and non-verbal memory, semantic memory was normal, as judged by category fluency measures, picture naming, and picture-word and picture-picture matching, and reading ability was normal. Similarly, there were no deficits on a number of tests known to be sensitive to frontal executive dysfunction. A hexamethylpropyleneamine-oxime (HMPAO) single photon emission CT (SPECT) scan, obtained on one patient 24 hours post-TGA, showed focal left temporal lobe hypoperfusion which had resolved three months later. The observed dissociation between episodic and semantic memory is discussed in the light of contemporary cognitive theories of memory organisation. PMID:8201333

  8. The structure of executive function in 3-year-olds.

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

    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 differed in format and response requirements and in putative working memory and inhibitory control demands. Tasks appeared to be age appropriate, with adequate sensitivity across the range of performance and without floor or ceiling effects. Tests of the relative fit of several alternative models supported a single latent EF construct. Measurement invariance testing revealed less proficient EF in children at higher sociodemographic risk relative to those at lower risk and no differences between boys and girls. At 3years of age, when EF skills are emerging, EF appears to be a unitary, more domain-general process.

  9. Executing application function calls in response to an interrupt

    DOEpatents

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

    2010-05-11

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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2005-01-01

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

  15. 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,…

  16. 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.…

  17. 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.

  18. Prefrontal cortex and neural mechanisms of executive function.

    PubMed

    Funahashi, Shintaro; Andreau, Jorge Mario

    2013-12-01

    Executive function is a product of the coordinated operation of multiple neural systems and an essential prerequisite for a variety of cognitive functions. The prefrontal cortex is known to be a key structure for the performance of executive functions. To accomplish the coordinated operations of multiple neural systems, the prefrontal cortex must monitor the activities in other cortical and subcortical structures and control and supervise their operations by sending command signals, which is called top-down signaling. Although neurophysiological and neuroimaging studies have provided evidence that the prefrontal cortex sends top-down signals to the posterior cortices to control information processing, the neural correlate of these top-down signals is not yet known. Through use of the paired association task, it has been demonstrated that top-down signals are used to retrieve specific information stored in long-term memory. Therefore, we used a paired association task to examine the neural correlates of top-down signals in the prefrontal cortex. The preliminary results indicate that 32% of visual neurons exhibit pair-selectivity, which is similar to the characteristics of pair-coding activities in temporal neurons. The latency of visual responses in prefrontal neurons was longer than bottom-up signals but faster than top-down signals in inferior temporal neurons. These results suggest that pair-selective visual responses may be top-down signals that the prefrontal cortex provides to the temporal cortex, although further studies are needed to elucidate the neural correlates of top-down signals and their characteristics to understand the neural mechanism of executive control by the prefrontal cortex.

  19. The relation between television exposure and executive function among preschoolers.

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

    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 children began watching television. Preschoolers' EF was assessed via one-on-one interviews. We found that several indicators of television exposure were significantly related to EF. These findings suggest that EF may be an important construct for continued research on the effects of media on young children.

  20. Executive Functioning and the Metabolic Syndrome: A Project FRONTIER Study

    PubMed Central

    Falkowski, Jed; Atchison, Timothy; DeButte-Smith, Maxine; Weiner, Myron F.; O'Bryant, Sid

    2014-01-01

    Decrements in cognitive functioning have been linked to the metabolic syndrome (MetS), a risk factor for cardiovascular disease defined by the presence of three of the following: elevated blood pressure, increased waist circumference, elevated blood glucose, elevated triglycerides, and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. We examined the relationship between four measures of executive functioning (EF) and MetS as diagnosed by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-American Heart Association criteria. MetS was examined in a rural population of 395 persons with a mean age of 61.3 years, 71.4% women, 37.0% Hispanic, 53.7% White non-Hispanic. There was a 61.0% prevalence of MetS. We derived a factor score from the four executive function measures which was used to compare those with and without the syndrome, as well as any additive effects of components of the syndrome. Those with MetS exhibited significantly poorer performance than those without the syndrome. However, there was no additive effect, having more components of the syndrome was not related to lower performance. The presence of MetS was associated with poorer EF in this rural cohort of community dwelling volunteers. PMID:24152591

  1. Executive functioning in children with congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

    PubMed

    Agoston, A Monica; Gonzalez-Bolanos, Maria Teresa; Semrud-Clikeman, Margaret; Vanderburg, Nancy; Sarafoglou, Kyriakie

    2017-01-01

    Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency is a disorder characterized by impaired cortisol synthesis leading to excessive production of adrenal androgens. Prenatal and postnatal exposure to excess androgens may increase neural vulnerability to insult and affect cognitive functions, particularly dopamine-dependent neural circuits responsible for executive functioning (EF). Our study aimed to investigate relationship between more pronounced androgen exposure and EF-related behaviors in children with CAH, as well as sex differences in these associations. Parents of patients with CAH (n=41, boys=17, girls=24; age: M=8.41, SD=4.43) completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), a measure assessing behavioral manifestations of EF. Assessments of bone age advancement, a proxy of cumulative androgen exposure, were analyzed. Advanced bone age predicted more inhibition difficulties in boys but not in girls, and more difficulties in all other BRIEF domains in the total sample. Excessive androgen production affected EF such that more advanced bone age led to more EF-related difficulties. Sex differences in inhibition may result from estrogen exposure moderating the impact of androgens in girls but not in boys. Future interventions may include targeting EF in patients with CAH to enhance quality of life and reduce cognitive consequences associated with this disease.

  2. Social Maturity and Executive Function Among Deaf Learners.

    PubMed

    Marschark, Marc; Kronenberger, William G; Rosica, Mark; Borgna, Georgianna; Convertino, Carol; Durkin, Andreana; Machmer, Elizabeth; Schmitz, Kathryn L

    2017-01-01

    Two experiments examined relations among social maturity, executive function, language, and cochlear implant (CI) use among deaf high school and college students. Experiment 1 revealed no differences between deaf CI users, deaf nonusers, and hearing college students in measures of social maturity. However, deaf students (both CI users and nonusers) reported significantly greater executive function (EF) difficulties in several domains, and EF was related to social maturity. Experiment 2 found that deaf CI users and nonusers in high school did not differ from each other in social maturity or EF, but individuals who relied on sign language reported significantly more immature behaviors than deaf peers who used spoken language. EF difficulties again were associated with social maturity. The present results indicate that EF and social maturity are interrelated, but those relations vary in different deaf subpopulations. As with academic achievement, CI use appears to have little long-term impact on EF or social maturity. Results are discussed in terms of their convergence with findings related to incidental learning and functioning in several domains.

  3. Signals for the execution of Th2 effector function.

    PubMed

    Fowell, Deborah J

    2009-04-01

    Appropriate control of infection depends on the generation of lymphocytes armed with a particular array of cytokine and chemokine effector molecules. The differentiation of naïve T cells into functionally distinct effector subsets is regulated by signals from the T cell receptor (TCR) and cytokine receptors. Using gene knock-out approaches, the initiation of discrete effector programs appears differentially sensitive to the loss of individual TCR signaling components; likely due to differences in the transcription factors needed to activate individual cytokine genes. Less well understood however, are the signal requirements for the execution of effector function. With a focus on Th2 cells and the kinase ITK, we review recent observations that point to differences between the signals needed for the initiation and implementation of cytokine programs in CD4+ T cells. Indeed, Th2 effector cells signal differently from both their naïve counterparts and from Th1 effectors suggesting they may transduce activation signals differently or may be selectively receptive to different activation signals. Potential regulation points for effector function lie at the level of transcription and translation of cytokine genes. We also discuss how provision of these execution signals may be spatially segregated in vivo occurring at tissue sites of inflammation and subject to modulation by the pathogen itself.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. The neuropsychopharmacology of fronto-executive function: monoaminergic modulation.

    PubMed

    Robbins, T W; Arnsten, A F T

    2009-01-01

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

  6. Working memory and executive functions in transient global amnesia.

    PubMed

    Quinette, Peggy; Guillery, Bérengère; Desgranges, Béatrice; de la Sayette, Vincent; Viader, Fausto; Eustache, Francis

    2003-09-01

    Transient global amnesia (TGA) is usually considered to produce a profound impairment of long-term episodic memory, while at the same time sparing working memory. However, this neuropsychological dissociation has rarely been examined in detail. While a few studies have assessed some components of working memory in TGA, the results that have been obtained are far from conclusive. To clarify this issue, we carried out a comprehensive investigation of working memory in 10 patients during a TGA attack. In the first study, we report the results from three patients examined with a battery of neuropsychological tests designed to assess each of the three subcomponents of Baddeley's model of working memory. In a second study, seven different patients underwent neuropsychological investigations that focused specifically on the central executive system, using a protocol derived from a study by Miyake and colleagues. Our findings showed that subcomponents of working memory, such as the phonological loop and visuo-spatial sketch pad, were spared in TGA patients. Specific executive functions that entailed inhibitory control, dual task performance, updating and shifting mechanisms were also found to be normal. However, we found significantly impaired performance for the Brown-Peterson test, and that TGA patients were significantly impaired in the recollection of their episodic memories. They also made reduced numbers of 'remember' compared with 'know' judgments in the episodic memory test several days after TGA. On the basis of our findings, it would appear that the episodic memory deficit during TGA is not related to elementary aspects of executive functioning. Our data also highlight the nature of the cognitive mechanisms involved in the Brown-Peterson task, which may well depend on long-term memory (such as the process of semantic encoding). Lastly, the selective deficit in recollective episodic memories observed in TGA may be principally related to medial temporal lobe

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Adult Age Differences in Functional Connectivity during Executive Control

    PubMed Central

    Madden, David J.; Costello, Matthew C.; Dennis, Nancy A.; Davis, Simon W.; Shepler, Anne M.; Spaniol, Julia; Bucur, Barbara; Cabeza, Roberto

    2010-01-01

    Task switching requires executive control processes that undergo age-related decline. Previous neuroimaging studies have identified age-related differences in brain activation associated with global switching effects (dual-task blocks vs. single-task blocks), but age-related differences in activation during local switching effects (switch trials vs. repeat trials, within blocks) have not been investigated. This experiment used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), to examine adult age differences in task switching across adjacent trials (i.e., local task switching). During fMRI scanning, participants performed a cued, word categorization task. From interspersed cue-only trials, switch-related processing associated with the cue was estimated separately from the target. Activation associated with task switching, within a distributed frontoparietal network, differed for cue- and target-related processing. The magnitude of event-related activation for task switching was similar for younger adults (n = 20; 18-27 years) and older adults (n = 20; 60-85 years), although activation sustained throughout the on-tasks periods exhibited some age-related decline. Critically, the functional connectivity of switch-related regions, during cue processing, was higher for younger adults than for older adults, whereas functional connectivity during target processing was comparable across the age groups. Further, individual differences in cue-related functional connectivity shared a substantial portion of the age-related variability in the efficiency of target categorization response (drift rate). This age-related difference in functional connectivity, however, was independent of white matter integrity within task-relevant regions. These findings highlight the functional connectivity of frontoparietal activation as a potential source of age-related decline in executive control. PMID:20434565

  9. Assessing Executive Functions in Preschoolers Using Shape School Task

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Correlation between videogame mechanics and executive functions through EEG analysis.

    PubMed

    Mondéjar, Tania; Hervás, Ramón; Johnson, Esperanza; Gutierrez, Carlos; Latorre, José Miguel

    2016-10-01

    This paper addresses a different point of view of videogames, specifically serious games for health. This paper contributes to that area with a multidisciplinary perspective focus on neurosciences and computation. The experiment population has been pre-adolescents between the ages of 8 and 12 without any cognitive issues. The experiment consisted in users playing videogames as well as performing traditional psychological assessments; during these tasks the frontal brain activity was evaluated. The main goal was to analyse how the frontal lobe of the brain (executive function) works in terms of prominent cognitive skills during five types of game mechanics widely used in commercial videogames. The analysis was made by collecting brain signals during the two phases of the experiment, where the signals were analysed with an electroencephalogram neuroheadset. The validated hypotheses were whether videogames can develop executive functioning and if it was possible to identify which kind of cognitive skills are developed during each kind of typical videogame mechanic. The results contribute to the design of serious games for health purposes on a conceptual level, particularly in support of the diagnosis and treatment of cognitive-related pathologies.

  13. Bilingual experience and executive functioning in young children

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Stephanie M.; Meltzoff, Andrew N.

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Peer victimization and changes in physical and relational aggression: The moderating role of executive functioning abilities.

    PubMed

    McQuade, Julia D

    2017-04-10

    This study is the first to examine whether executive functioning (EF) abilities moderate longitudinal associations between peer victimization and engagement in physically and relationally aggressive behavior. Participants were 61 children (9-13 years, M = 10.68, SD = 1.28; 48% male) drawn from a partially clinical sample who were assessed at two time points, approximately 12 months apart. At time 1, children were administered a battery of EF tests; adult reports of children's relational and physical victimization and use of relational and physical aggression were collected. At time 2, adult-reported aggression was re-collected. Regression analyses tested whether EF ability moderated the association between peer victimization and increased engagement in aggression. Form-specific (e.g., physical victimization predicting physical aggression) and cross-form (e.g., physical victimization predicting relational aggression) models were tested. EF moderated the association between physical victimization and increases in physical aggression over time and between relational victimization and increases in relational aggression over time. Physical victimization predicted increases in physical aggression only among children with poor EF. However, relational victimization predicted increases in relational aggression for children with good EF skills but decreases in relational aggression for children with poor EF skills. Interaction effects for cross-form models were not significant. Results suggest that there are distinct risk factors implicated in children's engagement in physical and relational aggression. Established cognitive vulnerability models for engagement in physical aggression should not be assumed to apply to engagement in relational aggression.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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).

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Wisconsin card sorting test as a measure of executive function impairments in stroke patients.

    PubMed

    Jodzio, Krzysztof; Biechowska, Daria

    2010-10-01

    The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) is among the most frequently administered neuropsychological tests. It is assumed that successful completion of this test requires engagement of executive functions (EF). One of the most common origins of EF impairments is ischemic stroke. The present study intends to evaluate the diagnostic use of the WCST as a measure of these impairments in poststroke patients. Forty-four patients (8 women and 36 men) who had recent unilateral stroke (22 left hemisphere, 22 right hemisphere) participated in the study. The overall accuracy of the WCST in classifying stroke survivors as having executive disorders was poor. Nevertheless, statistical analysis revealed its negative predictive power to be greater than positive predictive power (i.e., normal scores on the WCST reliably indicated the absence of executive disorders in 8 or more out of 10). Performance on the WCST is clearly influenced by severity of the executive disorders. Namely, patients with severe impairment of EF (as measured by go/no-go, fluency, and other EF tests) performed more poorly on the WCST than patients with lesser impairment or those with no impairment at all, the latter group's results being indistinguishable. In addition, this study highlights a three-factor solution to the WCST, which accounted for 90.3% of the variance. The scores that most strongly loaded on Factors 1 to 3 were, in order: percentage of conceptual-level responses, number of trials to complete the first category, and failures to maintain the set of responses. Finally, an analysis using multivariate analysis of variance, with the anterior versus posterior site and left versus right side of the lesion as independent variables, revealed a relatively weak effect of lesion location on the WCST performance. In particular, with respect to all test scores, there is only one significant interaction between the site and side of lesion was obtained (F(₁(,)₂₄) = 4.12; p < .05; i.e., the number of

  1. 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.

  2. The Neural and Genetic Basis of Executive Function: Attention, Cognitive Flexibility, and Response Inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Logue, Sheree F; Gould, Thomas J

    2013-01-01

    Executive function is a collection of cognitive processes essential for higher order mental function. Processes involved in executive function include, but are not limited to, working memory, attention, cognitive flexibility, and impulse control. These complex behaviors are largely mediated by prefrontal cortical function but are modulated by dopaminergic, noradrenergic, serotonergic, and cholinergic input. The ability of these neurotransmitter systems to modulate executive function allows for adaption in cognitive behavior in response to changes in the environment. Because of the important role these neurotransmitter systems play in regulating executive function, changes in these systems can also have a grave impact on executive function. In addition, polymorphisms in genes associated with these neurotransmitters are associated with phenotypic differences in executive function. Understanding how these naturally occurring polymorphisms contribute to different executive function phenotypes will advance basic knowledge of cognition and potentially further understanding and treatment of mental illness that involve changes in executive function. In this review, we will examine the influence of dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and acetylcholine on the following measures of executive function: attention, cognitive flexibility, and impulse control. We will also review the effects of polymorphisms in genes associated with these neurotransmitter systems on these measures of executive function. PMID:23978501

  3. The neural and genetic basis of executive function: attention, cognitive flexibility, and response inhibition.

    PubMed

    Logue, Sheree F; Gould, Thomas J

    2014-08-01

    Executive function is a collection of cognitive processes essential for higher order mental function. Processes involved in executive function include, but are not limited to, working memory, attention, cognitive flexibility, and impulse control. These complex behaviors are largely mediated by prefrontal cortical function but are modulated by dopaminergic, noradrenergic, serotonergic, and cholinergic input. The ability of these neurotransmitter systems to modulate executive function allows for adaptation in cognitive behavior in response to changes in the environment. Because of the important role these neurotransmitter systems play in regulating executive function, changes in these systems can also have a grave impact on executive function. In addition, polymorphisms in genes associated with these neurotransmitters are associated with phenotypic differences in executive function. Understanding how these naturally occurring polymorphisms contribute to different executive function phenotypes will advance basic knowledge of cognition and potentially further understanding and treatment of mental illness that involve changes in executive function. In this review, we will examine the influence of dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and acetylcholine on the following measures of executive function: attention, cognitive flexibility, and impulse control. We will also review the effects of polymorphisms in genes associated with these neurotransmitter systems on these measures of executive function.

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

    PubMed

    Raphael-Greenfield, Emily

    2012-09-01

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

  6. One executive function never comes alone: monitoring and its relation to working memory, reasoning, and different executive functions.

    PubMed

    Gathmann, Bettina; Brand, Matthias; Schiebener, Johannes

    2017-02-01

    Monitoring is involved in many daily tasks and is described in several theoretical approaches of executive functioning. This study investigated the relative relationship of cognitive processes that are theoretically relevant to monitoring, such as concept formation, reasoning, working memory, and general cognitive control functions. Data from 699 participants who performed the Balanced Switching Task, aiming at capturing monitoring, were used. Subsamples also performed standard tasks assessing the processes assumed to be related to monitoring. Structural equation modeling revealed that general cognitive control processes are particularly relevant. They mediate the relationship between working memory, reasoning, and monitoring. Updating and maintaining information, as well as concluding from information which strategies can guide behavior toward predefined goals, is required for the ability to exert general cognitive control, which again may be relevant for implementing strategies in a goal-directed way. Together, these processes seem to be necessary to adequately monitor behavior in complex tasks.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Research suggests that executive function (EF) may distinguish between children who are well- or ill-prepared for kindergarten, however, little is known about the test-retest reliability of measures of EF for children. We aimed to establish a battery of EF measures that are sensitive to both development and individual differences across the preschool period using Conflict and Delay subtests that had a cool (abstract) or hot (extrinsic reward) focus. Results from 151 children in three age groups (2.5, 3.5, and 4.5) suggested acceptable same-day test-retest reliability on all but Delay-Cool subtasks. These findings will inform appropriate measurement selection and development for future studies. PMID:21643523

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Shaheen, Sandra

    2013-01-01

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

  12. A Short Executive Function Training Program Improves Preschoolers' Working Memory.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. Impact of IQ discrepancy on executive function in high-functioning autism: insight into twice exceptionality.

    PubMed

    Kalbfleisch, M Layne; Loughan, Ashlee R

    2012-03-01

    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 (MANCOVA, p < .003, corrected). As IQD increases to 1+, deficits are fewer, corresponding to subscales inhibit, shift, and initiate. Pearson correlations (p < .004, corrected) identify significant relationships for FSIQ and BRIEF Global Composite (r = -.66, p = .002) and Metacognition subscales plan/organize (r = -.64, p = .003) and monitor (r = -.63, p = .004). Results suggest IQD 1+ favoring verbal IQ may support these aspects of executive function in HFA.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Executive function predicts the development of play skills for verbal preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Faja, Susan; Dawson, Geraldine; Sullivan, Katherine; Meltzoff, Andrew N; Estes, Annette; Bernier, Raphael

    2016-12-01

    Executive function and play skills develop in early childhood and are linked to cognitive and language ability. The present study examined these abilities longitudinally in two groups with autism spectrum disorder-a group with higher initial language (n = 30) and a group with lower initial language ability (n = 36). Among the lower language group, concurrent nonverbal cognitive ability contributed most to individual differences in executive function and play skills. For the higher language group, executive function during preschool significantly predicted play ability at age 6 over and above intelligence, but early play did not predict later executive function. These results suggested that factors related to the development of play and executive function differ for subgroups of children with different language abilities and that early executive function skills may be critical in order for verbal children with autism to develop play. Autism Res 2016, 9: 1274-1284. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Verbal ability and executive functioning development in preschoolers at head start.

    PubMed

    Fuhs, Mary Wagner; Day, Jeanne D

    2011-03-01

    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 executive functioning during early childhood. This study examined the structure of executive functioning from fall to spring of the preschool year using a multimethod battery of measures. Confirmatory factor analyses revealed a unidimensional model fit the data well at both time points, and tests of measurement invariance across time points indicated that children's mean latent executive functioning scores significantly improved over time. Verbal ability was a significant predictor of longitudinal change in executive functioning. Theoretical implications and directions for future research are discussed.

  1. 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

  2. The contribution of executive functions to narrative writing in fourth grade children.

    PubMed

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

    The present study investigated the contribution of executive functions to narrative writing in fourth grade children, and evaluated to what extent executive functions contribute differentially to different levels of narrative composition. The written skills of 102 Dutch children in fourth grade were assessed using a narrative picture-elicitation task. In addition, a large test battery assessing transcription skills, language skills and executive functions, was administered. The results showed that executive functions contributed both directly and indirectly to narrative composition. More specifically, analyses revealed that inhibition and updating, but not planning, contributed directly to the text length of the narrative, and indirectly, through handwriting, to the text length, syntactic complexity, and story content. The findings underscore the need to assess a variety of executive functions and support the idea that in developing writers executive functions also play a role in more complex written composition tasks, such as narrative writing.

  3. Executive function in daily life: Age-related influences of executive processes on instrumental activities of daily living.

    PubMed

    Vaughan, Leslie; Giovanello, Kelly

    2010-06-01

    The present study of older adults used structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine the relationships between 3 executive processes underlying executive function (EF) (inhibition, task switching, updating in working memory), and 2 types of instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) (self-report, performance based). Experimental tasks of executive attention and self-report or performance-based IADL tests were administered to create latent constructs of EF and IADLs. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to examine the construct validity of EF and IADLs. This analysis indicated a 3-factor model of inhibition, updating, and task switching and a 2-factor model of self-report and performance-based IADLs. As predicted, when the latent variable relationships were analyzed, executive processes had a significant relationship with performance-based, but not self-report, IADLs. In addition, task switching had a strong and significant relationship with performance-based IADLs. The results of this study uniquely show a direct relationship between executive processes and performance-based IADLs, thus demonstrating the ecological utility of experimental measures of EF to predict daily function. Furthermore, these results point to areas of cognitive training that may strategically impact older adults' performance on daily life activities.

  4. Disassociation between brain activation and executive function in fragile X premutation females.

    PubMed

    Shelton, Annie L; Cornish, Kim; Clough, Meaghan; Gajamange, Sanuji; Kolbe, Scott; Fielding, Joanne

    2017-02-01

    Executive dysfunction has been demonstrated among premutation (PM) carriers (55-199 CGG repeats) of the Fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene. Further, alterations to neural activation patterns have been reported during memory and comparison based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) tasks in these carriers. For the first time, the relationships between fMRI neural activation during an interleaved ocular motor prosaccade/antisaccade paradigm, and concurrent task performance (saccade measures of latency, accuracy and error rate) in PM females were examined. Although no differences were found in whole brain activation patterns, regions of interest (ROI) analyses revealed reduced activation in the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) during antisaccade trials for PM females. Further, a series of divergent and group specific relationships were found between ROI activation and saccade measures. Specifically, for control females, activation within the right VLPFC and supramarginal gyrus correlated negatively with antisaccade latencies, while for PM females, activation within these regions was found to negatively correlate with antisaccade accuracy and error rate (right VLPFC only). For control females, activation within frontal and supplementary eye fields and bilateral intraparietal sulci correlated with prosaccade latency and accuracy; however, no significant prosaccade correlations were found for PM females. This exploratory study extends previous reports of altered prefrontal neural engagement in PM carriers, and clearly demonstrates dissociation between control and PM females in the transformation of neural activation into overt measures of executive dysfunction. Hum Brain Mapp 38:1056-1067, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  6. Directed Attention as a Common Resource for Executive Functioning and Self-Regulation.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Stephen; Berman, Marc G

    2010-01-01

    Research on executive functioning and on self-regulation have each identified a critical resource that is central to that domain and is susceptible to depletion. In addition, studies have shown that self-regulation tasks and executive-functioning tasks interact with each other, suggesting that they may share resources. Other research has focused specifically on restoring what we propose is the shared resource between self-regulation and executive functioning. Utilizing a theory-based natural environment intervention, these studies have found improvements in executive-functioning performance and self-regulation effectiveness, suggesting that the natural environment intervention restores this shared resource.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Executive Function Training for Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Shuai, Lan; Daley, David; Wang, Yu-Feng; Zhang, Jin-Song; Kong, Yan-Ting; Tan, Xin; Ji, Ning

    2017-01-01

    Background: Accumulating evidence indicates that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with core deficits in executive function (EF) which predicts poorer academic and occupational functioning. This makes early intervention targeting EF impairments important to prevent long-term negative outcomes. Cognitive training is a potential ADHD treatment target. The present study aimed to explore the efficacy, feasibility, and acceptability of a cognitive training program (targeting child's multiple EF components and involving parent support in daily life), as a nonpharmacological intervention for children with ADHD. Methods: Forty-four school -age children with ADHD and their parents participated in 12 sessions of EF training (last for 12 weeks) and 88 health controls (HC) were also recruited. Training effects were explored using both neuropsychological tests (Stroop color-word test, Rey-Osterrieth complex figure test, trail making test, tower of Hanoi, and false-belief task) and reports of daily life (ADHD rating scale-IV, Conners’ parent rating scale, and behavior rating inventory of executive function [BRIEF]) by analysis of paired sample t-test and Wilcoxon signed-rank test. The differences on EF performances between children with ADHD after training and HC were explored using multivariate analysis. Results: The results (before vs. after EF training) showed that after intervention, the children with ADHD presented better performances of EF both in neuropsychological tests (word interference of Stroop: 36.1 ± 14.6 vs. 27.1 ± 11.1, t = 4.731, P < 0.001; shift time of TMT: 194.9 ± 115.4 vs. 124.8 ± 72.4, Z = –4.639, P < 0.001; false-belief task: χ2 = 6.932, P = 0.008) and reports of daily life (global executive composite of BRIEF: 148.9 ± 17.5 vs. 127.8 ± 17.5, t = 6.433, P < 0.001). The performances on EF tasks for children with ADHD after EF training could match with the level of HC children. The ADHD symptoms (ADHD rating scale total

  10. Individual differences in executive functions are almost entirely genetic in origin.

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

    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, 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  14. The relationship between nonmedical use of prescription stimulants, executive functioning and academic outcomes.

    PubMed

    Munro, Bailey A; Weyandt, Lisa L; Marraccini, Marisa E; Oster, Danielle R

    2017-02-01

    The nonmedical use of prescription stimulants (NMUPS) is a prevalent issue among college students. The primary reason college students report NMUPS is for academic enhancement i.e., to perform better on schoolwork/tests and focus better in class. Executive functioning (EF), which includes abilities that allow for planning, cognitive flexibility, self-regulation, and goal-directed behavior, are potential mechanisms underlying academic performance. Preliminary research has revealed that college students with EF deficits are more likely to have educational difficulties and take part in risky behavior. Based on the literature, it is possible that students with EF deficits are engaging in NMUPS to help them overcome these deficits to succeed academically. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between NMUPS and EF among a sample of college students. The sample included 308 students from six public universities located in various regions of the United States. Measures used in this study were the SSQ, BDEFS and GPA. Results revealed 18.8% of the general sample reported NMUPS. Participants with clinically significant EF deficits reported significantly higher rates of NMUPS, compared to those without deficits in EF. NMUPS, however, did not moderate the relationship between EF and GPA. The present findings have implications for identifying sub-populations of college students who might be at risk for engaging in NMUPS and to improve prevention and intervention strategies aimed at reducing NMUPS. Limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turkstra, Lyn S.; Flora, Tracy L.

    2002-01-01

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

  16. 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…

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curran, R. T.

    1971-01-01

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

  18. Neural Markers of the Development of Executive Function: Relevance for Education.

    PubMed

    Shanmugan, Sheila; Satterthwaite, Theodore D

    2016-08-01

    Executive functions are involved in the development of academic skills and are critical for functioning in school settings. The relevance of executive functions to education begins early and continues throughout development, with clear impact on achievement. Diverse efforts increasingly suggest ways in which facilitating development of executive function may be used to improve academic performance. Such interventions seek to alter the trajectory of executive development, which exhibits a protracted course of maturation that stretches into young adulthood. As such, it may be useful to understand how the executive system develops normally and abnormally in order to tailor interventions within educational settings. Here we review recent work investigating the neural basis for executive development during childhood and adolescence.

  19. Executive function moderates the relationship between depressive symptoms and resting heart rate variability in heart failure.

    PubMed

    Gathright, Emily C; Walter, Fawn A; Hawkins, Misty A W; Spitznagel, Mary Beth; Hughes, Joel W; Gunstad, John

    2016-04-01

    Heart failure (HF) is associated with high rates of depression. In turn, depression is associated with reduced heart rate variability (HRV), a marker of parasympathetic dysfunction and poorer cardiac outcomes. Cognitive impairment--especially executive dysfunction--is also highly prevalent in HF, but it is unknown whether executive function (EF) impacts the depression-HRV relationship. The primary objective of this paper is to examine whether EF moderates the relationship between depression and HRV in HF. Participants were 109 HF patients. Depressive symptoms were measured using the Beck Depression Inventory-II. EF was assessed using a composite of age-adjusted T scores on the Frontal Assessment Battery, Trail Making Test B, and Stroop Color Word subtest. Parasympathetic function was assessed using resting high frequency HRV (HF-HRV). Multiple hierarchical regression was used to conduct BDI × EF moderation analyses. BDI scores were associated with reduced resting HF-HRV (p < .05). No main effects were detected between EF and resting HF-HRV (p > .05). However, EF moderated the relationship between BDI scores and resting HF-HRV (β = 0.59, p < .01). Simple slope analyses revealed that among participants with poorer EF, higher BDI scores were associated with lower resting HF-HRV (p < .001). Structural brain changes common in HF may contribute to lower EF, increased depression, and poorer autonomic functioning. Alternatively, the results may indicate that individuals with intact EF engage in self-care strategies that negate the detrimental impact of depression on autonomic function. Additional work is needed to clarify these possibilities and the potential benefits of treating depression in HF patients with different cognitive abilities.

  20. 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.

  1. Executive functions underlying multiplicative reasoning: problem type matters.

    PubMed

    Agostino, Alba; Johnson, Janice; Pascual-Leone, Juan

    2010-04-01

    We investigated the extent to which inhibition, updating, shifting, and mental-attentional capacity (M-capacity) contribute to children's ability to solve multiplication word problems. A total of 155 children in Grades 3-6 (8- to 13-year-olds) completed a set of multiplication word problems at two levels of difficulty: one-step and multiple-step problems. They also received a reading comprehension test and a battery of inhibition, updating, shifting, and M-capacity measures. Structural equation modeling showed that updating mediated the relationship between multiplication performance (controlling for reading comprehension score) and latent attentional factors M-capacity and inhibition. Updating played a more important role in predicting performance on multiple-step problems than did age, whereas age and updating were equally important predictors on one-step problems. Shifting was not a significant predictor in either model. Implications of proposing executive function updating as a mediator between mathematical cognition and chronological age and attention resources are discussed.

  2. Executive function and suicidality: a systematic qualitative review

    PubMed Central

    Bredemeier, Keith; Miller, Ivan W.

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Heterogeneity of executive functions among comorbid neurodevelopmental disorders.

    PubMed

    Dajani, Dina R; Llabre, Maria M; Nebel, Mary Beth; Mostofsky, Stewart H; Uddin, Lucina Q

    2016-11-09

    Executive functions (EFs) are used to set goals, plan for the future, inhibit maladaptive responses, and change behavior flexibly. Although some studies point to specific EF profiles in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) - prevalent and often highly comorbid neurodevelopmental disorders - others have not differentiated them. The objective of the current study was to identify distinct profiles of EF across typically developing (TD) children and children with ASD and ADHD. We employed a latent profile analysis using indicators of EF (e.g., working memory, inhibition, and flexibility) in a mixed group of 8-13 year-olds including TD children (n = 128), children with ASD without ADHD (n = 30), children with ADHD (n = 93), and children with comorbid ASD and ADHD (n = 66). Three EF classes emerged: "above average," "average," and "impaired." EF classes did not reproduce diagnostic categories, suggesting that differences in EF abilities are present within the ASD and ADHD groups. Further, greater EF dysfunction predicted more severe socioemotional problems, such as anxiety/depression. These results highlight the heterogeneity of current diagnostic groups and identify an "impaired" EF group, consisting of children with both ASD and ADHD, which could specifically be targeted for EF intervention.

  4. Structure of executive functions in typically developing kindergarteners.

    PubMed

    Monette, Sébastien; Bigras, Marc; Lafrenière, Marc-André

    2015-12-01

    Whereas studies of the past 10 years have shown the executive functions (EFs) in adults to be differentiated into at least three principal components (working memory, inhibition, and flexibility), EF structure in children is far less well understood despite a large body of research on the subject. A study was undertaken to test different structural models of EFs through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) on a large sample of typically developing kindergarteners (N = 272). The method employed sought to remedy the shortcomings of past research in this field such as absence of CFA, insufficient number of EF components tested, insufficient number of indicators per latent variable, and absence of control on processing speed. Children were assessed using a battery of EF tasks developed by the researchers to measure working memory (WM), flexibility, and inhibition (backward word span, backward block span, fruit Stroop, day-night test, hand Stroop, Trails-P, card sort, face sort, and verbal fluency shift). CFA results show the best-fitting model to comprise two factors, namely, an inhibition factor and a WM-flexibility factor. Invariance analyses suggest that this structure is the same for girls and boys and that latent variable means do not differ by sex. These results support the hypothesis of EF differentiation during development. The researchers formulate other hypotheses regarding neurophysiological development.

  5. Executive functioning, irritability, and alcohol-related aggression.

    PubMed

    Godlaski, Aaron J; Giancola, Peter R

    2009-09-01

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

  6. Executive function following child stroke: the impact of lesion size.

    PubMed

    Long, Brian; Anderson, Vicki; Jacobs, Rani; Mackay, Mark; Leventer, Richard; Barnes, Chris; Spencer-Smith, Megan

    2011-01-01

    Childhood stroke is increasingly recognized as a major cause of childhood morbidity and mortality; however, limited information exists regarding neurobehavioral sequelae. Executive function (EF), important for problem solving, reasoning, social awareness, and adaptive behavior, may be particularly vulnerable to early brain lesions such as stroke, due to its protracted development. This study investigated: (i) the impact of childhood stroke on EF; and (ii) the impact of lesion size on EF outcome. Twenty-eight children diagnosed with stroke at least 12 months prior to assessment were recruited. Neurobehavioral assessment focused on cognitive and behavioral aspects of EF. Lesion volume was determined from standard ratings of brain pathology based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Deficits in cognitive aspects of EF were detected in attentional control, cognitive flexibility and information processing. Difficulties in behavioral aspects of EF were most striking, with problems identified across a wide range of behaviors. Lesion size impacted on EF, with large lesions (greater than 25% of brain volume) proving the most detrimental.

  7. Heterogeneity of executive functions among comorbid neurodevelopmental disorders

    PubMed Central

    Dajani, Dina R.; Llabre, Maria M.; Nebel, Mary Beth; Mostofsky, Stewart H.; Uddin, Lucina Q.

    2016-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) are used to set goals, plan for the future, inhibit maladaptive responses, and change behavior flexibly. Although some studies point to specific EF profiles in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) — prevalent and often highly comorbid neurodevelopmental disorders — others have not differentiated them. The objective of the current study was to identify distinct profiles of EF across typically developing (TD) children and children with ASD and ADHD. We employed a latent profile analysis using indicators of EF (e.g., working memory, inhibition, and flexibility) in a mixed group of 8–13 year-olds including TD children (n = 128), children with ASD without ADHD (n = 30), children with ADHD (n = 93), and children with comorbid ASD and ADHD (n = 66). Three EF classes emerged: “above average,” “average,” and “impaired.” EF classes did not reproduce diagnostic categories, suggesting that differences in EF abilities are present within the ASD and ADHD groups. Further, greater EF dysfunction predicted more severe socioemotional problems, such as anxiety/depression. These results highlight the heterogeneity of current diagnostic groups and identify an “impaired” EF group, consisting of children with both ASD and ADHD, which could specifically be targeted for EF intervention. PMID:27827406

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Executive function and medical non-adherence: a different perspective.

    PubMed

    Brock, Laura L; Brock, Clive D; Thiedke, C Carolyn

    2011-01-01

    Medical non-adherence is multifactorial: cost, convenience, side effect profile, and cognitive impairment are all implicated in medical nonadherence. We explore impaired executive function (EF) as a cause for medical non-adherence when other causes can be ruled out. EF describes the coordination and manipulation of higher-order cognitive processes involved in problem-solving, planning, and decision-making. EF has three components: working memory, mental flexibility, and inhibitory control. The latter, inhibitory control, when impaired will affect an individual's ability to make choices to produce long-term benefits, in favor of short-term gratification. When applied to adults with chronic diseases, like diabetes, that require lifestyle modification and, at times, complicated medical regimens to forestall long term complications, an intact EF has a role in adherence. EF development is protracted with behavioral corollaries observable from early childhood. Thus, teachers, family physicians, and pediatricians will be the professionals to first encounter and manage such individuals. We suggest screening tests for children in the doctor's office to detect impaired EF, and postulate a cognitive behavioral therapeutic approach for adults with uncontrolled DM and impaired EF.

  11. Executive control- and reward-related neural processes associated with the opportunity to engage in voluntary dishonest moral decision making.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xiaoqing; Pornpattananangkul, Narun; Nusslock, Robin

    2015-06-01

    Research has begun to examine the neurocognitive processes underlying voluntary moral decision making, which involves engaging in honest or dishonest behavior in a setting in which the individual is free to make his or her own moral decisions. Employing event-related potentials, we measured executive control-related and reward-related neural processes during an incentivized coin-guessing task in which participants had the opportunity to voluntarily engage in dishonest behavior, by overreporting their wins to maximize earnings. We report four primary findings: First, the opportunity to deceive recruited executive control processes involving conflict monitoring and conflict resolution, as evidenced by a higher N2 and a smaller P3. Second, processing the outcome of the coin flips engaged reward-related processes, as evidenced by a larger medial feedback negativity (MFN) for incorrect (loss) than for correct (win) guesses, reflecting a reward prediction error signal. Third, elevated executive control-related neural activity reflecting conflict resolution (i.e., an attenuated executive control P3) predicted a greater likelihood of engaging in overall deceptive behavior. Finally, whereas elevated reward-related neural activity (the reward P3) was associated with a greater likelihood of engaging in overall deceptive behavior, an elevated reward prediction error signal (MFN difference score) predicted increased trial-by-trial moral behavioral adjustment (i.e., a greater likelihood to overreport wins following a previous honest loss than following a previous honest win trial). Collectively, these findings suggest that both executive control- and reward-related neural processes are implicated in moral decision making.

  12. Disordered cortical connectivity underlies the executive function deficits in children with autism spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Han, Yvonne M Y; Chan, Agnes S

    2017-02-01

    The present study examined the executive function and cortical connectivity of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and investigated whether the executive function deficits exhibited by these children were differentially affected and associated with the cortical connectivity. The present study compared high-functioning (HFA) and low-functioning (LFA) children with typically developing children (TDC) on their executive functions as measured by the Hong Kong List Learning Test, D2 Test of Concentration, Five Point Test, Children's Color Trail Test, Tower of California Test, and Go/No-Go task and neural connectivity as measured by theta coherence in the distributed fronto-parietal network. Thirty-eight children with ASD (19 HFA and 19 LFA) and 28 TDC children, aged 8-17 years, participated voluntarily in the study. The results on executive function showed that the LFA group demonstrated the poorest performance as exhibited by their Executive Composite and individual executive function scores, while the TDC group exhibited the highest. These results have extended the findings of previous studies in demonstrating that HFA and LFA children have significant differences in their degree of executive function deficits. The results on neural connectivity also showed that children with ASD demonstrated a different pattern of electroencephalography (EEG) coherence from TDC children, as demonstrated by the significantly elevated theta coherence in the fronto-parietal network, and that the severity of executive dysfunction between high- and low-functioning children with ASD was found to be associated with the disordered neural connectivity in these children.

  13. Executive functions in intellectual disabilities: a comparison between Williams syndrome and Down syndrome.

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

    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 individuals with intellectual disability. The present study is aimed at evaluating the etiological specificity hypotheses pertaining to executive functions by comparing individuals with intellectual disability of different etiology, as Williams syndrome and Down syndrome, on different aspects of executive functions. To this aim a battery evaluating attention, short-term and working memory, planning, categorization, shifting and inhibition, was administered to 15 children, adolescents and adults with Williams syndrome, to 15 children, adolescents and adults with Down syndrome and to 16 mental-age-matched typically developing children. The two groups with intellectual disability showed impairment in a set of executive functions, as auditory sustained attention, visual selective attention, visual categorization and working memory, and preserved visual sustained attention, auditory selective attention and visual inhibition. However, a distinctive profile has been found between the two syndromic groups on other executive functions. While participants with Down syndrome were poor in shifting and verbal aspects of memory and inhibition, those with Williams syndrome were poor in planning. The specific weakness and straights on executive functions may support the etiological specificity hypothesis accounting for distinctive cognitive development syndrome-specific.

  14. 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

  15. Executive function and food approach behavior in middle childhood.

    PubMed

    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-term.

  16. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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.,…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2006-01-01

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

  7. 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…

  8. Executive Functions in Elementary School Children with and without Problems in Written Expression.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hooper, Stephen R.; Swartz, Carl W.; Wakely, Melissa B.; de Kruif, Renee E. L.; Montgomery, James W.

    2002-01-01

    A study examined the executive functioning of 55 elementary school children with and without problems in written expression. A model that reflects some of the executive function domains (initiate, sustain, set shifting and inhibition/stopping) which significantly separate good writers from poor writers was used, however, none of the executive…

  9. 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,…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fuhs, Mary Wagner; Day, Jeanne D.

    2011-01-01

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

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. Executive Function Skills and Academic Achievement Gains in Prekindergarten: Contributions of Learning-Related Behaviors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nesbitt, Kimberly Turner; Farran, Dale Clark; Fuhs, Mary Wagner

    2015-01-01

    Although research suggests associations between children's executive function skills and their academic achievement, the specific mechanisms that may help explain these associations in early childhood are unclear. This study examined whether children's (N = 1,103; M age = 54.5 months) executive function skills at the beginning of prekindergarten…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heyl, Vera; Hintermair, Manfred

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. Correlation between denial of illness and executive function following stroke: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Narushima, Kenji; Moser, David J; Robinson, Robert G

    2008-01-01

    Executive function and denial of illness were examined among 24 patients who received double-blind antidepressant treatment following stroke. Between end-of-treatment at 3 months and follow-up at 2 years, significant correlation was found between improvement in executive function and decrease in denial of illness.

  6. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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)…

  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. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

  14. Complaints about impairments in executive functions in Parkinson's disease: the association with neuropsychological assessment.

    PubMed

    Koerts, Janneke; van Beilen, Marije; Leenders, Klaus L; Brouwer, Wiebo H; Tucha, Lara; Tucha, Oliver

    2012-02-01

    Impairments in executive functions are frequently reported in Parkinson's disease (PD). However, little is known about patients' experience regarding these impairments. This knowledge is crucial because if patients do not experience their cognitive impairments they do not report them to their attending neurologist. Consequently, patients might not get appropriate treatment. This study investigated if patients with a mild to moderate PD experience impairments in executive functions in daily life and whether these correspond with impairments as measured in neuropsychological assessments. Forty-three PD patients and 25 healthy participants were included. Groups did not differ in age, sex and education. All participants and their closest relatives completed a standardized questionnaire measuring executive functions in daily life. Furthermore, all participants were assessed with a test battery measuring executive functions. PD patients reported significantly more problems with executive functions in daily life than healthy participants. Furthermore, co-morbid depression had a negative impact on the number of problems with executive functions in daily life as reported by PD patients. The experienced daily life problems in executive functions were not associated with the patients' performance on objective cognitive measures. In conclusion, PD patients were aware of problems with executive functions in daily life and reported considerably more problems than healthy controls. These problems were however not reflected by neuropsychological tests and may indicate a lack of ecological validity of neuropsychological assessment.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Executive Functioning in Subtypes of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    PubMed Central

    BAHÇİVAN SAYDAM, Reyhan; AYVAŞIK, H. Belgin; ALYANAK, Behiye

    2015-01-01

    Introduction This study aims to evaluate executive functions (EF), such as inhibition, planning, working memory, and set shifting, in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by comparing three ADHD subtype groups (ADHD-Inattentive, ADHD-Combined, and ADHD-Comorbid) and a normal control group. Methods Participants included 147 children. In total, 111 children were assigned to the ADHD groups of the study. Each child was matched according to the WISC-R Full-Scale IQ-score, sex, and age and was grouped as follows: ADHD-Inattentive group (ADHD-I; n=37), ADHD-Combined (ADHD-C; n=37), ADHD-Comorbid group (ADHD-Comorbid with oppositional defiant disorder and/or conduct disorder; n=37), and control group (n=36). The tests used to assess the children were Conners’ Parent and Teacher Rating Scales; Wechsler Intelligence Scale-Revised; Tower of London test; Wisconsin Card Sorting Test; Stroop Color-Word Test, and verbal fluency test. The data were analyzed by one-way ANOVA between subjects for all dependent variables. Results Children in the ADHD-I group had significantly better performances in verbal working memory and verbal category shifting than children in the ADHD-C group. There was no significant difference between the ADHD-I and ADHD-C groups in terms of inhibition, set shifting, verbal fluency, cognitive flexibility, and planning. The ADHD-Comorbid group displayed more severe impairments in EF measures than the ADHD-C group; however, the severity was not statistically significant. EF performances of children in the control group were similar to children in the ADHD-I group but better than children in the ADHD-C and ADHD-Comorbid groups. Conclusion The outcome of the study indicated that subjects in the ADHD-Comorbid and ADHD-C groups had more severe EF deficits than subjects in the ADHD-I and control groups.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Examining the relationship between executive functions and restricted, repetitive symptoms of Autistic Disorder.

    PubMed

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

    2005-08-01

    The executive function theory was utilized to examine the relationship between cognitive process and the restricted, repetitive symptoms of Autistic Disorder (AD). Seventeen adults with AD were compared to 17 nonautistic controls on a new executive function battery (Delis-Kaplin Executive Function Scales). Restricted, repetitive symptoms were measured by a variety of instruments (i.e., the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised, Gilliam Autism Rating Scale, and the Aberrant Behavior Checklist). The study replicated the executive function profile that has been reported in adults with AD. In addition to the replication findings, the study found several executive processes (i.e., cognitive flexibility, working memory, and response inhibition) were highly related to the restrictive, repetitive symptoms of AD; whereas, other executive process (i.e., planning and fluency) were not found to be significantly correlated with restricted, repetitive symptoms. Similarly, we found an executive function model consisting of relative strengths and deficits was the best predictor of restricted, repetitive symptoms of autism. The implications for the executive function theory and how the theory predicts core symptoms of autism are discussed.

  5. Boosting brain functions: Improving executive functions with behavioral training, neurostimulation, and neurofeedback.

    PubMed

    Enriquez-Geppert, Stefanie; Huster, René J; Herrmann, Christoph S

    2013-04-01

    Cognitive enhancement is a popular topic, attracting attention both from the general public and the scientific research community. Higher cognitive functions are involved in various aspects of everyday life and have been associated with manifest behavioral and psychiatric mental impairments when deteriorated. The improvement of these so-called executive functions (EFs) is of high individual, social, and economic relevances. This review provides a synopsis of two lines of research, investigating the enhancement of capabilities in executive functioning: a) computerized behavioral trainings, and b) approaches for direct neuromodulation (neurofeedback and transcranial electrostimulation). Task switching, memory updating, response inhibition, and dual task performance are addressed in terms of cognitive functions. It has been shown that behavioral cognitive training leads to enhanced performance in task switching, memory updating, and dual tasks. Similarly, direct neurocognitive modulation of brain regions that are crucially involved in specific EFs also leads to behavioral benefits in response inhibition, task switching, and memory updating. Response inhibition performance has been shown to be improved by neurostimulation of the right inferior frontal cortex, whereas neurostimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex exerts effects on task switching and memory updating. Due to a lack of consistency in experimental methods and findings, a comparison of different training approaches concerning their effectiveness is not yet possible. So far, current data suggest that training gains may indeed generalize to untrained tasks aiming at the same cognitive process, as well as across cognitive domains within executive control.

  6. Private Speech and executive functioning among high-functioning children with autistic spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-01

    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 appear in moments of task difficulty. Unlike others, children with ASD were more likely to get items correct when they were talking than when they were silent. Group differences in performance were observed when children were silent but not when children were talking. Findings suggest that autistic children talk to themselves in relevant ways during problem-solving and that such speech is helpful in normalizing their executive performance relative to controls.

  7. The Function of Executive Function: Everyday Manifestations of Regulated Thinking in Preschool Settings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moreno, Amanda J.; Shwayder, Irena; Friedman, Ilana Dvorin

    2017-01-01

    Executive function (EF) encompasses higher-order mental processes necessary for the conscious control of thought and action in the service of goals. Once thought not to apply to children at all, EF is now at the center of a burgeoning body of research on young children over the last 10-15 years indicating that it is a critical foundation of school…

  8. Meta-analytic evidence for a superordinate cognitive control network subserving diverse executive functions

    PubMed Central

    Laird, Angela R.; Ray, Kimberly L.; Dean, Y. Monica; Glahn, David C.; Carter, Cameron S.

    2013-01-01

    Classic cognitive theory conceptualizes executive functions as involving multiple specific domains, including initiation, inhibition, working memory, flexibility, planning, and vigilance. Lesion and neuroimaging experiments over the past two decades have suggested that both common and unique processes contribute to executive functions during higher cognition. It has been suggested that a superordinate fronto–cingulo–parietal network supporting cognitive control may also underlie a range of distinct executive functions. To test this hypothesis in the largest sample to date, we used quantitative meta-analytic methods to analyze 193 functional neuroimaging studies of 2,832 healthy individuals, ages 18–60, in which performance on executive function measures was contrasted with an active control condition. A common pattern of activation was observed in the prefrontal, dorsal anterior cingulate, and parietal cortices across executive function domains, supporting the idea that executive functions are supported by a superordinate cognitive control network. However, domain-specific analyses showed some variation in the recruitment of anterior prefrontal cortex, anterior and midcingulate regions, and unique subcortical regions such as the basal ganglia and cerebellum. These results are consistent with the existence of a superordinate cognitive control network in the brain, involving dorsolateral prefrontal, anterior cingulate, and parietal cortices, that supports a broad range of executive functions. PMID:22282036

  9. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

  11. 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…

  12. A new adaptive videogame for training attention and executive functions: design principles and initial validation.

    PubMed

    Montani, Veronica; De Filippo De Grazia, Michele; Zorzi, Marco

    2014-01-01

    A growing body of evidence suggests that action videogames could enhance a variety of cognitive skills and more specifically attention skills. The aim of this study was to develop a novel adaptive videogame to support the rehabilitation of the most common consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI), that is the impairment of attention and executive functions. TBI patients can be affected by psychomotor slowness and by difficulties in dealing with distraction, maintain a cognitive set for a long time, processing different simultaneously presented stimuli, and planning purposeful behavior. Accordingly, we designed a videogame that was specifically conceived to activate those functions. Playing involves visuospatial planning and selective attention, active maintenance of the cognitive set representing the goal, and error monitoring. Moreover, different game trials require to alternate between two tasks (i.e., task switching) or to perform the two tasks simultaneously (i.e., divided attention/dual-tasking). The videogame is controlled by a multidimensional adaptive algorithm that calibrates task difficulty on-line based on a model of user performance that is updated on a trial-by-trial basis. We report simulations of user performance designed to test the adaptive game as well as a validation study with healthy participants engaged in a training protocol. The results confirmed the involvement of the cognitive abilities that the game is supposed to enhance and suggested that training improved attentional control during play.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Do people with chronic pain have impaired executive function? A meta-analytical review.

    PubMed

    Berryman, Carolyn; Stanton, Tasha R; Bowering, K Jane; Tabor, Abby; McFarlane, Alexander; Moseley, G Lorimer

    2014-11-01

    A widely held belief within the clinical community is that chronic pain is associated with cognitive impairment, despite the absence of a definitive systematic review or meta-analysis on the topic. The current systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to establish the current evidence concerning the difference in executive function between people with chronic pain and healthy controls. Six databases were searched for citations related to executive function and chronic pain from inception to June 24, 2013. Two reviewers independently assessed studies for eligibility and extracted relevant data according to the Cochrane Collaboration and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Twenty five studies were included in the review and twenty two studies in the meta-analysis. A small to moderate impairment in executive function performance was found in people with chronic pain across cognitive components, although all studies had a high risk of bias. The current evidence suggests impairment of executive function in people with chronic pain, however, important caveats exist. First, executive function involves many cognitive components and there is no standard test for it. Second, moderators of executive function, such as medication and sleep, were seldom controlled for in studies of executive function performance.

  16. 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.

  17. The relationship between executive functions and IQ in Korean children and the comparison with Chinese children.

    PubMed

    Song, Hyunjoo; Jinyu, An

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the relationship between perceived/performance-based executive function and IQ. Additionally, the relationship between perceived executive function and intelligence was investigated cross-culturally between South Korea and China. Korean children (60; M = 34, F = 26, Mean age = 10.35) were included in study 1, and Korean children (43, M = 23, F = 20, Mean age = 10.05) and Chinese children (56; M = 29, F = 27, Mean age = 10.40) were included in study 2. The Korean-Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-IV, the Stroop test, the CTT-2, and the executive function questionnaire were used for Korean subjects, and the Raven's matrix test and the executive function questionnaire were used for Korean and Chinese subjects. Multiple regression showed that CTT-2(RT), emotional control difficulty, and Color Word within a 45' Stroop test trial were significant predictors of total IQ. The cross-cultural analysis showed a statistically significant difference between the two countries in the emotional control aspect of perceived executive function. There were no interactions between country and intelligence. In conclusion, intelligence was related to overall executive function. Korean children and Chinese children showed cultural differences in processing emotion. These results are expected to contribute to developing therapeutic strategies for executive function in children and to exchanging these strategies between Korea and China.

  18. 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.…

  19. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lemaire, Patrick; Lecacheur, Mireille

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. Linking Executive Function and Peer Problems from Early Childhood through Middle Adolescence

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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 = 1,164, 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 after school 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Coordination of executive functions in monolingual and bilingual children.

    PubMed

    Bialystok, Ellen

    2011-11-01

    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 the visual and auditory tasks was presented alone, performance was comparable for children in the two groups. Combining the two modalities into a dual-task paradigm made the task more difficult, and on this combined task bilingual children maintained better accuracy than monolingual children, especially on the visual task. The results are interpreted in terms of the enhanced ability of bilingual children to coordinate the executive control components required in performing this complex task.

  10. Benefits of Sports Participation for Executive Function in Disabled Athletes

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    Abstract We investigated the effect of sports activity on physically-disabled individuals using behavioral and electrophysiological techniques. Visual go/no-go discriminative and simple response tasks were used. Participants included 17 disabled athletes, 9 from open-skill (wheelchair basketball) and eight from closed-skill (swimming) sports, and 18 healthy non-athletes. Reaction times of the disabled athletes were slower than those of healthy non-athletes on both tasks (7% and 13% difference, respectively). Intra-individual variations in reaction times, switch cost, and number of false alarms, were higher in the swimmers, but comparable to healthy non-athletes, in the basketball group. Event-related potentials (ERPs) early components P1, N1, and P2 had longer latencies in the disabled athletes. The late P3 component had longer latency and smaller amplitude in the disabled athletes only in the discriminative response task. The N2 component, which reflected inhibition/execution processing in the discriminative response task, was delayed and reduced in the swimmer group, but was comparable to healthy subjects in the basketball group. Our results show that (1) the ERP components related to perceptual processing, and late components related to executive processing, were impaired in disabled subjects; and (2) open-skill sports such as basketball may partially compensate for executive control impairment by fostering the stability of motor responses and favoring response flexibility. PMID:20925480

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-16

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

  12. Are executive functions related to emotional intelligence? A correlational study in schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder.

    PubMed

    Hurtado, M M; Triviño, M; Arnedo, M; Roldán, G; Tudela, P

    2016-12-30

    This research explored the relationship between executive functions (working memory and reasoning subtests of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Trail Making and Stroop tests, fluency and planning tasks, and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test) and emotional intelligence measured by the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test in patients with schizophrenia or borderline personality disorder compared to a control group. As expected, both clinical groups performed worse than the control group in executive functions and emotional intelligence, although the impairment was greater in the borderline personality disorder group. Executive functions significantly correlated with social functioning. Results are discussed in relation to the brain circuits that mediate executive functions and emotional intelligence and the findings obtained with other models of social cognition.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Default mode network in the effects of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on human executive function.

    PubMed

    Bossong, Matthijs G; Jansma, J Martijn; van Hell, Hendrika H; Jager, Gerry; Kahn, René S; Ramsey, Nick F

    2013-01-01

    Evidence is increasing for involvement of the endocannabinoid system in cognitive functions including attention and executive function, as well as in psychiatric disorders characterized by cognitive deficits, such as schizophrenia. Executive function appears to be associated with both modulation of active networks and inhibition of activity in the default mode network. In the present study, we examined the role of the endocannabinoid system in executive function, focusing on both the associated brain network and the default mode network. A pharmacological functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was conducted with a placebo-controlled, cross-over design, investigating effects of the endocannabinoid agonist Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on executive function in 20 healthy volunteers, using a continuous performance task with identical pairs. Task performance was impaired after THC administration, reflected in both an increase in false alarms and a reduction in detected targets. This was associated with reduced deactivation in a set of brain regions linked to the default mode network, including posterior cingulate cortex and angular gyrus. Less deactivation was significantly correlated with lower performance after THC. Regions that were activated by the continuous performance task, notably bilateral prefrontal and parietal cortex, did not show effects of THC. These findings suggest an important role for the endocannabinoid system in both default mode modulation and executive function. This may be relevant for psychiatric disorders associated with executive function deficits, such as schizophrenia and ADHD.

  17. Executive Function in the Real World: BRIEF lessons from Mark Ylvisaker.

    PubMed

    Gioia, Gerard A; Kenworthy, Lauren; Isquith, Peter K

    2010-01-01

    It is well established that brain injuries adversely affect the executive functions and their development. Mark Ylvisaker had a substantial impact on how we assess and treat children and adolescents with disrupted executive functions secondary to traumatic brain injury. He articulated core principles for effective assessment and intervention that emphasized the importance of real-world meaning and application. He taught us that assessment that captures a child's everyday functioning in the context of real-world demands is often more informative than traditional neuropsychological measures alone and that interventions that improve functioning in the real-world environment are most useful. His pragmatic model influenced our own efforts to measure executive function and to develop intervention systems for children with executive function deficits. This article reviews the development of the Behavior Rating Inventory for Executive Function as an approach to ecological assessment of children and adolescents with traumatic brain injury. As we take what we learned from Mark Ylvisaker, it becomes increasingly apparent that our assessment and intervention methods, especially as related to the executive functions, demand an everyday, real-world context.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Teachers' Understanding of the Role of Executive Functions in Mathematics Learning.

    PubMed

    Gilmore, Camilla; Cragg, Lucy

    2014-09-01

    Cognitive psychology research has suggested an important role for executive functions, the set of skills that monitor and control thought and action, in learning mathematics. However, there is currently little evidence about whether teachers are aware of the importance of these skills and, if so, how they come by this information. We conducted an online survey of teachers' views on the importance of a range of skills for mathematics learning. Teachers rated executive function skills, and in particular inhibition and shifting, to be important for mathematics. The value placed on executive function skills increased with increasing teaching experience. Most teachers reported that they were aware of these skills, although few knew the term "executive functions." This awareness had come about through their teaching experience rather than from formal instruction. Researchers and teacher educators could do more to highlight the importance of these skills to trainee or new teachers.

  3. 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.

  4. Early mastery motivation as a predictor of executive function in young adults with developmental disabilities.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

    The role of early childhood mastery motivation as a predictor of executive function 20 years later was examined in a sample of 39 individuals who had early diagnosed developmental disabilities. Multilevel modeling was used to analyze predictors of accuracy and response time on a Flanker task measuring executive function. As predicted, participants had relatively poorer performance on trials requiring inhibition and rule switches. Individuals with Down syndrome, in comparison to other participants, demonstrated longer response times. Young adults who had higher levels of persistence on mastery motivation tasks during early childhood displayed higher levels of accuracy and shorter response times on the executive function task. Possible mechanisms by which early mastery motivation relates to later executive function are discussed.

  5. Does executive function mediate the path from mothers' depressive symptoms to young children's problem behaviors?

    PubMed

    Roman, Gabriela D; Ensor, Rosie; Hughes, Claire

    2016-02-01

    This study investigated the mediation role played by children's executive function in the relationship between exposure to mild maternal depressive symptoms and problem behaviors. At ages 2, 3, and 6years, 143 children completed executive function tasks and a verbal ability test. Mothers completed the Beck Depression Inventory at each time-point, and teachers completed the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire at child age 6. Longitudinal autoregressive mediation models showed a mediation effect that was significant and quite specific; executive function (and not verbal ability) at age 3 mediated the path between mothers' depressive symptoms (but not general social disadvantage) at the first time-point and children's externalizing and internalizing problems at age 6. Improving children's executive functioning might protect them against the adverse effects of exposure to maternal depressive symptoms.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  7. Effects of Adult Age and Blood Pressure on Executive Function and Speed of Processing

    PubMed Central

    Bucur, Barbara; Madden, David J.

    2009-01-01

    Previous research has established that the effects of chronically increased blood pressure (BP) on cognition interact with adult age, but the relevant cognitive processes are not well defined. In this cross sectional study, using a sample matched for age, years of education, and sex, 134 individuals with either normal BP (n = 71) or chronically high BP (n = 63) were categorized into younger (19-39 years), middle-aged (41-58 years), and older (60-79 years) groups. Using a between-subjects ANOVA, covarying for race and years of education, composite measures of executive function and perceptual speed both exhibited age-related decline. The executive function measure, however, was associated with a differential decline in high BP older adults. This result held even when the executive function scores were covaried for speed, demonstrating an independent, age-related effect of higher BP on executive function. PMID:20209419

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

    PubMed

    Memisevic, Haris; Sinanovic, Osman

    2013-12-01

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

  9. Bilingualism as a potential strategy to improve executive function in preterm infants: a review.

    PubMed

    Head, Lauren M; Baralt, Melissa; Darcy Mahoney, Ashley E

    2015-01-01

    Preterm birth is associated with long-term deficits in executive functioning and cognitive performance. Using the model of brain plasticity as a theoretical framework, it is possible that preterm infants' neurodevelopmental sequelae can be altered. Evidence suggests that bilingualism confers cognitive advantages on executive functioning, so it is possible that bilingualism may improve preterm infants' neurodevelopment. However, bilingualism has only been studied in term children. This review examined literature that compared the performance of preterm-born children to term children and bilingual children to monolingual children on executive function tasks. To address cognitive disparities in preterm-born children, studies investigating the effect of bilingualism on preterm infants' executive functioning is warranted.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Teachers' Understanding of the Role of Executive Functions in Mathematics Learning

    PubMed Central

    Gilmore, Camilla; Cragg, Lucy

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive psychology research has suggested an important role for executive functions, the set of skills that monitor and control thought and action, in learning mathematics. However, there is currently little evidence about whether teachers are aware of the importance of these skills and, if so, how they come by this information. We conducted an online survey of teachers' views on the importance of a range of skills for mathematics learning. Teachers rated executive function skills, and in particular inhibition and shifting, to be important for mathematics. The value placed on executive function skills increased with increasing teaching experience. Most teachers reported that they were aware of these skills, although few knew the term “executive functions.” This awareness had come about through their teaching experience rather than from formal instruction. Researchers and teacher educators could do more to highlight the importance of these skills to trainee or new teachers. PMID:25674156

  13. 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

  14. Prefrontal cortex and executive functions in healthy adults: a meta-analysis of structural neuroimaging studies.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Peng; Raz, Naftali

    2014-05-01

    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.

  15. Verbal Memory Abilities in Severe Childhood Psychiatric Disorders and the Influence of Attention and Executive Functions.

    PubMed

    Kavanaugh, Brian C; Gaudet, Charles E; Dupont-Frechette, Jennifer A; Tellock, Perrin P; Maher, Isolde D; Haisley, Lauren D; Holler, Karen A

    2016-04-28

    Despite prior adult research regarding the influence of executive functions on memory performance, there has been inconsistent prior research on the role of executive functions on memory performance in children, particularly those children with severe psychiatric disorders. A medical chart review was conducted for 76 children (ages 6-12 years) who received a neuropsychological evaluation during children's psychiatric inpatient program hospitalization. A series of hierarchical regression analyses investigated the role of attention/executive and non-executive functions in verbal memory performance (immediate recall, delayed recall, and delayed recognition). Demographic and verbal measures were entered into blocks 1 and 2 for all analyses, followed by attention and executive functions (i.e., attention span, sustained attention, verbal fluency, cognitive flexibility, inhibitory control, and planning/organization). Nearly 15% of the participants displayed memory impairment. Results of regression analyses indicated attention/executive dysfunction severity predicted overall memory performance. Attention span predicted performance on all three memory conditions. Planning/organization accounted for unique variance in immediate recall condition while inhibitory control accounted for unique variance in delayed recall condition. These results indicate that verbal memory problems frequently occur in severe childhood psychiatric disorders. Further, planning/organization deficits may influence immediate recall, while inhibitory control deficits may influence delayed recall. Alternatively, delayed recognition memory may be the most resistant to the negative influence of executive deficits on verbal memory performance in childhood psychiatric disorders.

  16. 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

  17. Characterizing cognitive aging of working memory and executive function in animal models.

    PubMed

    Bizon, Jennifer L; Foster, Thomas C; Alexander, Gene E; Glisky, Elizabeth L

    2012-01-01

    Executive functions supported by prefrontal cortical (PFC) systems provide essential control and planning mechanisms to guide goal-directed behavior. As such, age-related alterations in executive functions can mediate profound and widespread deficits on a diverse array of neurocognitive processes. Many of the critical neuroanatomical and functional characteristics of prefrontal cortex are preserved in rodents, allowing for meaningful cross species comparisons relevant to the study of cognitive aging. In particular, as rodents lend themselves to genetic, cellular and biochemical approaches, rodent models of executive function stand to significantly contribute to our understanding of the critical neurobiological mechanisms that mediate decline of executive processes across the lifespan. Moreover, rodent analogs of executive functions that decline in human aging represent an essential component of a targeted, rational approach for developing and testing effective treatment and prevention therapies for age-related cognitive decline. This paper reviews behavioral approaches used to study executive function in rodents, with a focus on those assays that share a foundation in the psychological and neuroanatomical constructs important for human aging. A particular emphasis is placed on behavioral approaches used to assess working memory and cognitive flexibility, which are sensitive to decline with age across species and for which strong rodent models currently exist. In addition, other approaches in rodent behavior that have potential for providing analogs to functions that reliably decline to human aging (e.g., information processing speed) are discussed.

  18. Less-structured time in children's daily lives predicts self-directed executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Barker, Jane E; Semenov, Andrei D; Michaelson, Laura; Provan, Lindsay S; Snyder, Hannah R; Munakata, Yuko

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) in childhood predict important life outcomes. Thus, there is great interest in attempts to improve EFs early in life. Many interventions are led by trained adults, including structured training activities in the lab, and less-structured activities implemented in schools. Such programs have yielded gains in children's externally-driven executive functioning, where they are instructed on what goal-directed actions to carry out and when. However, it is less clear how children's experiences relate to their development of self-directed executive functioning, where they must determine on their own what goal-directed actions to carry out and when. We hypothesized that time spent in less-structured activities would give children opportunities to practice self-directed executive functioning, and lead to benefits. To investigate this possibility, we collected information from parents about their 6-7 year-old children's daily, annual, and typical schedules. We categorized children's activities as "structured" or "less-structured" based on categorization schemes from prior studies on child leisure time use. We assessed children's self-directed executive functioning using a well-established verbal fluency task, in which children generate members of a category and can decide on their own when to switch from one subcategory to another. The more time that children spent in less-structured activities, the better their self-directed executive functioning. The opposite was true of structured activities, which predicted poorer self-directed executive functioning. These relationships were robust (holding across increasingly strict classifications of structured and less-structured time) and specific (time use did not predict externally-driven executive functioning). We discuss implications, caveats, and ways in which potential interpretations can be distinguished in future work, to advance an understanding of this fundamental aspect of growing up.

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

    PubMed

    Bialystok, Ellen

    2015-06-01

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  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. Age-related commonalities and differences in the relationship between executive functions and intelligence: Analysis of the NAB executive functions module and WAIS-IV scores.

    PubMed

    Buczylowska, Dorota; Petermann, Franz

    2016-08-02

    Data from five subtests of the Executive Functions Module of the German Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (NAB) and all ten core subtests of the German Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale - Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV) were used to examine the relationship between executive functions and intelligence in a comparison of two age groups: individuals aged 18-59 years and individuals aged 60-88 years. The NAB subtests Categories and Word Generation demonstrated a consistent correlation pattern for both age groups. However, the NAB Judgment subtest correlated more strongly with three WAIS-IV indices, the Full Scale IQ (FSIQ), and the General Ability Index (GAI) in the older adult group than in the younger group. Additionally, in the 60-88 age group, the Executive Functions Index (EFI) was more strongly correlated with the Verbal Comprehension Index (VCI) than with the Perceptual Reasoning Index (PRI). Both age groups demonstrated a strong association of the EFI with the FSIQ and the Working Memory Index (WMI). The results imply the potential diagnostic utility of the Judgment subtest and a significant relationship between executive functioning and crystallized intelligence at older ages. Furthermore, it may be concluded that there is a considerable age-independent overlap between the EFI and general intelligence, as well as between the EFI and working memory.

  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. Neural Markers and Rehabilitation of Executive Functioning in Veterans with TBI and PTSD

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-10-01

    and connectivity in selective pathways/circuits, neuropsychological functioning, and cognitive rehabilitation response in Veterans with both...current study aims to explore the relationship between brain function and connectivity in selective pathways/circuits, neuropsychological functioning... neuropsychological functioning with respect to executive dysfunction and disinhibition in veterans with TBI and PTSD.  We have also been analyzing

  7. Motor and Executive Function Profiles in Adult Residents ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Objective: Exposure to elevated levels of manganese (Mn) may be associated with tremor, motor and executive dysfunction (EF), clinically resembling Parkinson’s disease (PD). PD research has identified tremor-dominant (TD) and non-tremor dominant (NTD) profiles. NTD PD presents with bradykinesia, rigidity, and postural sway, and is associated with EF impairment with lower quality of life (QoL). Presence and impact of tremor, motor, and executive dysfunction profiles on health-related QoL and life satisfaction were examined in air-Mn exposed residents of two Ohio, USA towns. Participants and Methods: From two Ohio towns exposed to air-Mn, 186 residents (76 males) aged 30-75 years were administered measures of EF (Animal Naming, ACT, Rey-O Copy, Stroop Color-Word, and Trails B), motor and tremor symptoms (UPDRS), QoL (BRFSS), life satisfaction (SWLS), and positive symptom distress (SCL-90-R). Air-Mn exposure in the two towns was modeled with 10 years of air-monitoring data. Cluster analyses detected the presence of symptom profiles by grouping together residents with similar scores on these measures. Results: Overall, mean air-Mn concentration for the two towns was 0.53 µg/m3 (SD=.92). Two-step cluster analyses identified TD and NTD symptom profiles. Residents in the NTD group lacked EF impairment; EF impairment represented a separate profile. An unimpaired group also emerged. The NTD and EF impairment groups were qualitatively similar, with relatively lo

  8. 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.

  9. Does increased physical activity in school affect children's executive function and aerobic fitness?

    PubMed

    Kvalø, S E; Bru, E; Brønnick, K; Dyrstad, S M

    2017-02-16

    This study seeks to explore whether increased PA in school affects children's executive function and aerobic fitness. The "Active school" study was a 10-month randomized controlled trial. The sample included 449 children (10-11 years old) in five intervention and four control schools. The weekly interventions were 2×45 minutes physically active academic lessons, 5×10 minutes physically active breaks, and 5×10 minutes physically active homework. Aerobic fitness was measured using a 10-minute interval running test. Executive function was tested using four cognitive tests (Stroop, verbal fluency, digit span, and Trail Making). A composite score for executive function was computed and used in analyses. Mixed ANCOVA repeated measures were performed to analyze changes in scores for aerobic fitness and executive function. Analysis showed a tendency for a time×group interaction on executive function, but the results were non-significant F(1, 344)=3.64, P=.057. There was no significant time×group interaction for aerobic fitness. Results indicate that increased physical activity in school might improve children's executive function, even without improvement in aerobic fitness, but a longer intervention period may be required to find significant effects.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. An integrative architecture for general intelligence and executive function revealed by lesion mapping

    PubMed Central

    Colom, Roberto; Solomon, Jeffrey; Krueger, Frank; Forbes, Chad; Grafman, Jordan

    2012-01-01

    Although cognitive neuroscience has made remarkable progress in understanding the involvement of the prefrontal cortex in executive control, the broader functional networks that support high-level cognition and give rise to general intelligence remain to be well characterized. Here, we investigated the neural substrates of the general factor of intelligence (g) and executive function in 182 patients with focal brain damage using voxel-based lesion–symptom mapping. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System were used to derive measures of g and executive function, respectively. Impaired performance on these measures was associated with damage to a distributed network of left lateralized brain areas, including regions of frontal and parietal cortex and white matter association tracts, which bind these areas into a coordinated system. The observed findings support an integrative framework for understanding the architecture of general intelligence and executive function, supporting their reliance upon a shared fronto-parietal network for the integration and control of cognitive representations and making specific recommendations for the application of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System to the study of high-level cognition in health and disease. PMID:22396393

  13. The childhood executive functioning inventory (CHEXI): a new rating instrument for parents and teachers.

    PubMed

    Thorell, Lisa B; Nyberg, Lilianne

    2008-01-01

    Poor executive functioning has been shown to be of central importance in disruptive behavior disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and a large number of laboratory measures of executive functioning have been developed. There are, however, few available questionnaires tapping executive functioning and those that exist also include items focused directly on the symptom criteria for ADHD, which makes it difficult to draw conclusions regarding executive functioning per se. In the present study, a new rating instrument, the Childhood Executive Functioning Inventory (CHEXI) was therefore introduced. This instrument was shown to have good test-retest reliability. Using factor analysis, two factors tapping working memory and inhibition emerged using parent ratings and these two factors were replicated using teacher ratings. Modest, yet mostly significant, relations to laboratory measures of working memory and inhibition were found. Ratings on the CHEXI were also found to be significantly related to ADHD symptoms as well as early academic achievement. Interestingly, ratings on the CHEXI and laboratory measures of working memory and inhibition were shown to explain independent variance in ADHD symptoms and academic achievement, which point to the importance of using a multi-assessment strategy when studying executive functioning.

  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.

  16. 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

  17. Parent-rated emotional-behavioral and executive functioning in childhood epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Kavanaugh, Brian C; Scarborough, Vanessa Ramos; Salorio, Cynthia F

    2015-01-01

    The present study examined clinical and demographic risk factors associated with parent-rated emotional-behavioral and executive functioning in children and adolescents with epilepsy. The medical records of 152 children and adolescents with epilepsy referred for neuropsychological evaluation were reviewed. Results indicated that the sample displayed significantly elevated symptoms across the emotional-behavioral and executive domains assessed. Executive functioning and behavioral symptoms had the highest rates of clinically elevated scores, with lowest rates of elevated scores in internalizing and externalizing emotional problems. Only 34% of those participants with clinically significant emotional-behavioral or executive functioning difficulties had a history of psychological or counseling services, highlighting the underserved mental health needs of this population. In regard to clinical factors, the majority of seizure-related variables were not associated with emotional-behavioral or executive functioning. However, the frequency of seizures (i.e., seizure status) was associated with behavioral regulation aspects of executive functioning, and the age at evaluation was associated with externalizing problems and behavioral symptoms. Family psychiatric history (with the exception of ADHD) was associated with all domains of executive and emotional-behavioral functioning. In summary, emotional-behavioral and executive functioning difficulties frequently co-occur with seizures in childhood epilepsy, with both seizure-related and demographic factors contributing to the presentation of such neurobehavioral comorbidities. The present findings provide treatment providers of childhood epilepsy with important information to assist in better identifying children and adolescents who may be at risk for neurobehavioral comorbidities and may benefit from intervention.

  18. Executive function and health-related quality of life in pediatric epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Schraegle, William A; Titus, Jeffrey B

    2016-09-01

    Children and adolescents with epilepsy often show higher rates of executive functioning deficits and are at an increased risk of diminished health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The purpose of the current study was to determine the extent to which executive dysfunction predicts HRQOL in youth with epilepsy. Data included parental ratings on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and the Quality of Life in Childhood Epilepsy (QOLCE) questionnaire for 130 children and adolescents with epilepsy (mean age=11years, 6months; SD=3years, 6months). Our results identified executive dysfunction in nearly half of the sample (49%). Moderate-to-large correlations were identified between the BRIEF and the QOLCE subscales of well-being, cognition, and behavior. The working memory subscale on the BRIEF emerged as the sole significant predictor of HRQOL. These results underscore the significant role of executive function in pediatric epilepsy. Proactive screening for executive dysfunction to identify those at risk of poor HRQOL is merited, and these results bring to question the potential role of behavioral interventions to improve HRQOL in pediatric epilepsy by specifically treating and/or accommodating for executive deficits.

  19. The longitudinal development of social and executive functions in late adolescence and early adulthood.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Sophie J; Barker, Lynne A; Heavey, Lisa; McHale, Sue

    2015-01-01

    Our earlier work suggests that, executive functions and social cognition show protracted development into late adolescence and early adulthood (Taylor et al., 2013). However, it remains unknown whether these functions develop linearly or non-linearly corresponding to dynamic changes to white matter density at these age ranges. Executive functions are particularly in demand during the transition to independence and autonomy associated with this age range (Ahmed and Miller, 2011). Previous research examining executive function (Romine and Reynolds, 2005) and social cognition (Dumontheil et al., 2010a) in late adolescence has utilized a cross sectional design. The current study employed a longitudinal design with 58 participants aged 17, 18, and 19 years completing social cognition and executive function tasks, Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (Wechsler, 1999), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (Watson et al., 1988), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (Zigmond and Snaith, 1983) at Time 1 with follow up testing 12-16 months later. Inhibition, rule detection, strategy generation and planning executive functions and emotion recognition with dynamic stimuli showed longitudinal development between time points. Self-report empathy and emotion recognition functions using visual static and auditory stimuli were stable by age 17 whereas concept formation declined between time points. The protracted development of some functions may reflect continued brain maturation into late adolescence and early adulthood including synaptic pruning (Sowell et al., 2001) and changes to functional connectivity (Stevens et al., 2007) and/or environmental change. Clinical implications, such as assessing the effectiveness of rehabilitation following Head Injury, are discussed.

  20. Frontotemporal Coherence and Executive Functions Contribute to Episodic Memory during Middle Childhood

    PubMed Central

    Blankenship, Tashauna L.; Bell, Martha Ann

    2016-01-01

    Contributions of differential behavioral (executive functions) and electrophysiological (frontal-temporal electroencephalogram or EEG coherence) measures to episodic memory performance were examined during middle childhood. Cognitive flexibility and right frontotemporal functional connectivity during encoding (F4/T8), as well as left frontotemporal functional connectivity during retrieval (Fp1/T7), contributed to episodic memory performance in a sample of 9–12 year olds. These results suggest that executive functions differentially influence episodic memory, as does left and right frontotemporal functional connectivity during different portions of the memory task. PMID:27043829

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    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 (a) whether RSA during rest and tasks predict both relatively low and high executive function within a larger quadratic association among the two variables, and (b) the extent to which this quadratic trend was moderated by individual differences in emotion regulation. To achieve these aims, a sample of ethnically and socioeconomically diverse women self-reported reappraisal and emotion suppression. They next experienced a 2-min resting period during which electrocardiogram (ECG) was continually assessed. In the next phase, the women completed an array of executive function and nonexecutive cognitive tasks while ECG was measured throughout. As anticipated, resting RSA showed a quadratic association with executive function that was strongest for high suppression. These results suggest that relatively high resting RSA may predict poor executive function ability when emotion regulation consumes executive control resources needed for ongoing cognitive performance.

  2. Assessment of executive functioning in childhood epilepsy: the Tower of London and BRIEF.

    PubMed

    MacAllister, William S; Bender, H Allison; Whitman, Lindsay; Welsh, Antoinette; Keller, Shari; Granader, Yael; Sherman, Elisabeth M S

    2012-01-01

    Children and adolescents with epilepsy are known to demonstrate executive function dysfunction, including working memory deficits and planning deficits. Accordingly, assessing specific executive function skills is important when evaluating these individuals. The present investigation examined the utility of two measures of executive functions-the Tower of London and the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning (BRIEF)-in a pediatric epilepsy sample. Ninety clinically referred children and adolescents with seizures were included. Both the Tower of London and BRIEF identified executive dysfunction in these individuals, but only the Tower of London variables showed significant relations with epilepsy severity variables such as age of epilepsy onset, seizure frequency, number of antiepileptic medications, etc. Further, the Tower of London and BRIEF variables were uncorrelated. Results indicate that objective measures of executive function deficits are more closely related to epilepsy severity but may not predict observable deficits, as reported by parents. Comprehensive evaluation of such deficits, therefore, should include both objective measures as well as subjective ratings from caregivers.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Interhemispheric Connectivity and Executive Functioning in Adults With Tourette Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Margolis, Amy; Donkervoort, Mireille; Kinsbourne, Marcel; Peterson, Bradley S.

    2008-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is relatively smaller, and the corpus callosum (CC) larger, in adults with Tourette syndrome (TS). The authors explored the possible roles of the PFC and the CC in mediating interhemispheric interference and coordination in TS adults. They measured performance on M. Kinsbourne and J. Cook's (1971) verbal–manual interference task and on the bimanual Purdue Pegboard in 38 adults with TS and 34 healthy adults. Compared with controls, TS subjects were impaired on the bimanual Purdue Pegboard. On the dual task, right-hand performance did not differ between groups, but the normally expected left-hand advantage (opposite hemisphere condition) was absent in TS subjects. In the control group only, better left-hand performance accompanied larger PFC volumes but not CC cross-sectional area. PFC dysfunction might have precluded executive control of interference in the TS group. PMID:16460223

  6. Interhemispheric connectivity and executive functioning in adults with Tourette syndrome.

    PubMed

    Margolis, Amy; Donkervoort, Mireille; Kinsbourne, Marcel; Peterson, Bradley S

    2006-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is relatively smaller, and the corpus callosum (CC) larger, in adults with Tourette syndrome (TS). The authors explored the possible roles of the PFC and the CC in mediating interhemispheric interference and coordination in TS adults. They measured performance on M. Kinsbourne and J. Cook's (1971) verbal-manual interference task and on the bimanual Purdue Pegboard in 38 adults with TS and 34 healthy adults. Compared with controls, TS subjects were impaired on the bimanual Purdue Pegboard. On the dual task, right-hand performance did not differ between groups, but the normally expected left-hand advantage (opposite hemisphere condition) was absent in TS subjects. In the control group only, better left-hand performance accompanied larger PFC volumes but not CC cross-sectional area. PFC dysfunction might have precluded executive control of interference in the TS group.

  7. Executive functions and adaptive functioning in young adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Stavro, Gillian M; Ettenhofer, Mark L; Nigg, Joel T

    2007-03-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with impairments in occupational, social, and educational functioning in adults. This study examined relations of adaptive impairment to ADHD symptom domains (inattentive-disorganized and hyperactive-impulsive) and to deficits in executive functioning (EF) in 195 well-characterized adults (105 ADHD, 90 non-ADHD, between ages 18 and 37). Participants completed a battery of EF measures as well as assessments of adaptive functioning. Confirmatory factor analyses were used to validate latent factors for adaptive functioning and EF. In a measurement model, weaker EF was associated with poorer adaptive functioning (r = -.30). When multi-informant composite variables for current inattentive-disorganized and hyperactive-impulsive ADHD symptoms were included in the structural model, EF no longer predicted adaptive functioning. While both symptom composites were similarly related to EF (inattentive-disorganized r = .36; hyperactive-impulsive r = .29), inattentive-disorganized symptoms accounted for more variance in adaptive functioning (67.2% vs. 3.6%). Furthermore, for retrospectively reported childhood symptoms of ADHD, only the inattentive-disorganized symptom domain was related to EF or adaptive impairment. These results suggest that, in adults with ADHD, inattentive-disorganized symptoms may be the primary contributor to key aspects of poorer adaptive function and may be the behavioral path through which EF deficits lead to adaptive impairment.

  8. Functioning in the Real World: Using Storytelling to Improve Validity in the Assessment of Executive Functions.

    PubMed

    Annotti, Lee A; Teglasi, Hedwig

    2016-08-02

    Real-world contexts differ in the clarity of expectations for desired responses, as do assessment procedures, ranging along a continuum from maximal conditions that provide well-defined expectations to typical conditions that provide ill-defined expectations. Executive functions guide effective social interactions, but relations between them have not been studied with measures that are matched in the clarity of response expectations. In predicting teacher-rated social competence (SC) from kindergarteners' performance on tasks of executive functions (EFs), we found better model-data fit indexes when both measures were similar in the clarity of response expectations for the child. The maximal EF measure, the Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment, presents well-defined response expectations, and the typical EF measure, 5 scales from the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), presents ill-defined response expectations (i.e., Abstraction, Perceptual Integration, Cognitive-Experiential Integration, and Associative Thinking). To assess SC under maximal and typical conditions, we used 2 teacher-rated questionnaires, with items, respectively, that emphasize well-defined and ill-defined expectations: the Behavior Rating Inventory: Behavioral Regulation Index and the Social Skills Improvement System: Social Competence Scale. Findings suggest that matching clarity of expectations improves generalization across measures and highlight the usefulness of the TAT to measure EF.

  9. Lamotrigine Reduces Inflammatory Response and Ameliorates Executive Function Deterioration in an Alzheimer's-Like Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Kexin; Fernandez-Escobar, Alejandro; Han, Shuhong; Zhu, Ping

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been described in the literature, to be associated with impairment of executive function which develops early in the course of disease, and an effective treatment for this clinical feature remains elusive. Preclinical studies have implied that lamotrigine, an antiepileptic agent, could be a potential treatment for executive dysfunction in AD patients. Although there have been promising results in previous studies with lamotrigine, executive function has never been measured using animal models. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of lamotrigine on executive function and determine whether lamotrigine can attenuate inflammatory response in an AD mouse model. Nontransgenic and transgenic mice were treated with lamotrigine (0 or 30 mg/kg/day) in a standard laboratory chow diet starting at 3 months of age. After 6 months of continuous lamotrigine administration, there was a marked improvement in executive function and a significant attenuation in the expression of proinflammatory cytokines. These results suggest that lamotrigine could ameliorate executive dysfunction and brain inflammatory response in the mouse model of AD and early lamotrigine intervention may be a promising therapeutic strategy for AD. PMID:28042572

  10. Blood pressure control has distinct effects on executive function, attention, memory and markers of cerebrovascular damage.

    PubMed

    Semplicini, A; Inverso, G; Realdi, A; Macchini, L; Maraffon, M; Puato, M; Zanardo, M; Tirrito, C; Amodio, P; Schiff, S; Mapelli, D; Manara, R

    2011-02-01

    Hypertension causes cognitive impairment, involving mainly executive functions, but the effect of blood pressure (BP) control on the different cognitive domains is still debated. We correlated executive function, attention and memory with BP control and cerebrovascular damage in 60 undemented middle-aged hypertensives at baseline and after 6-year follow-up. At first evaluation, the patients with poor BP control had higher score of white matter lesions, reduced cerebrovascular reserve capacity and greater carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) than those with good BP control. Performance on executive tests correlated with IMT and with performance on attention tests, which was impaired by low diastolic BP. At long-term follow-up, performance in attention and executive tests improved in spite of the minor improvement of BP control, increased IMT and worse memory. Low diastolic BP has a negative effect on attention, which affects executive performance at first cross-sectional examination. This confounding effect has to be taken into consideration when planning studies on cognitive function. Longitudinal studies are required to unravel the effect of BP control on cognitive function, as only long-term antihypertensive treatment improves both attention and executive performance.

  11. Mapping the association of global executive functioning onto diverse measures of psychopathic traits

    PubMed Central

    Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R.; Brazil, Inti A.; Ryan, Jonathan; Kohlenberg, Nathaniel J.; Neumann, Craig S.; Newman, Joseph P.

    2015-01-01

    Psychopathic individuals display a callous-coldhearted approach to interpersonal and affective situations and engage in impulsive and antisocial behaviors. Despite early conceptualizations suggesting that psychopathy is related to enhanced cognitive functioning, research examining executive functioning (EF) in psychopathy has yielded few such findings. It is possible that some psychopathic trait dimensions are more related to EF than others. Research using a two-factor or four-facet model of psychopathy highlights some dimension-specific differences in EF, but this research is limited in scope. Another complicating factor in teasing apart the EF-psychopathy relationship is the tendency to use different psychopathy assessments for incarcerated versus community samples. In this study, an EF battery and multiple measures of psychopathic dimensions were administered to a sample of male prisoners (N=377). Results indicate that using the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), the independent effect of Factor2 was related to worse EF, but neither the independent effect of Factor1 nor the unique variance of the Factors (1 or 2) were related to EF. Using a four facet model, the independent effects of Facet2 (Affect) and Facet4 (Antisocial) were related to worse EF, but when examining the unique effects, only Facet2 remained significant. Finally, the questionnaire-based measure, Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire-Brief, of Fearless Dominance was related to better EF performance, whereas PCL-R Factor1 was unrelated to EF. Overall, the results reveal the complex relationship among EF and behaviors characteristic of psychopathy-related dimensions. Moreover, they demonstrate the interpersonal and affective traits measured by these distinct assessments are differentially related to EF. PMID:26011576

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Executive Functions and the Improvement of Thinking Abilities: The Intervention in Reading Comprehension.

    PubMed

    García-Madruga, Juan A; Gómez-Veiga, Isabel; Vila, José Ó

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a preliminary theory of executive functions that address in a specific way their relationship with working memory (WM) and higher-level cognition. It includes: (a) four core on-line WM executive functions that are involved in every novel and complex cognitive task; (b) two higher order off-line executive functions, planning and revision, that are required to resolving the most complex intellectual abilities; and (c) emotional control that is involved in any complex, novel and difficult task. The main assumption is that efficiency on thinking abilities may be improved by specific instruction or training on the executive functions necessary to solving novel and complex tasks involved in these abilities. Evidence for the impact of our training proposal on WM's executive functions involved in higher-level cognitive abilities comes from three studies applying an adaptive program designed to improve reading comprehension in primary school students by boosting the core WM's executive functions involved in it: focusing on relevant information, switching (or shifting) between representations or tasks, connecting incoming information from text with long-term representations, updating of the semantic representation of the text in WM, and inhibition of irrelevant information. The results are consistent with the assumption that cognitive enhancements from the training intervention may have affected not only a specific but also a more domain-general mechanism involved in various executive functions. We discuss some methodological issues in the studies of effects of WM training on reading comprehension. The perspectives and limitations of our approach are finally discussed.

  17. Executive Functions and the Improvement of Thinking Abilities: The Intervention in Reading Comprehension

    PubMed Central

    García-Madruga, Juan A.; Gómez-Veiga, Isabel; Vila, José Ó.

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a preliminary theory of executive functions that address in a specific way their relationship with working memory (WM) and higher-level cognition. It includes: (a) four core on-line WM executive functions that are involved in every novel and complex cognitive task; (b) two higher order off-line executive functions, planning and revision, that are required to resolving the most complex intellectual abilities; and (c) emotional control that is involved in any complex, novel and difficult task. The main assumption is that efficiency on thinking abilities may be improved by specific instruction or training on the executive functions necessary to solving novel and complex tasks involved in these abilities. Evidence for the impact of our training proposal on WM's executive functions involved in higher-level cognitive abilities comes from three studies applying an adaptive program designed to improve reading comprehension in primary school students by boosting the core WM's executive functions involved in it: focusing on relevant information, switching (or shifting) between representations or tasks, connecting incoming information from text with long-term representations, updating of the semantic representation of the text in WM, and inhibition of irrelevant information. The results are consistent with the assumption that cognitive enhancements from the training intervention may have affected not only a specific but also a more domain-general mechanism involved in various executive functions. We discuss some methodological issues in the studies of effects of WM training on reading comprehension. The perspectives and limitations of our approach are finally discussed. PMID:26869961

  18. 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.

  19. Executive function on the 16-day of bed rest in young healthy men

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishizaki, Yuko; Fukuoka, Hideoki; Tanaka, Hidetaka; Ishizaki, Tatsuro; Fujii, Yuri; Hattori-Uchida, Yuko; Nakamura, Minako; Ohkawa, Kaoru; Kobayashi, Hodaka; Taniuchi, Shoichiro; Kaneko, Kazunari

    2009-05-01

    Microgravity due to prolonged bed rest may cause changes in cerebral circulation, which is related to brain function. We evaluate the effect of simulated microgravity due to a 6° head-down tilt bed rest experiment on executive function among 12 healthy young men. Four kinds of psychoneurological tests—the table tapping test, the trail making test, the pointing test and losing at rock-paper-scissors—were performed on the baseline and on day 16 of the experiment. There was no significant difference in the results between the baseline and day 16 on all tests, which indicated that executive function was not impaired by the 16-day 6° head-down tilting bed rest. However, we cannot conclude that microgravity did not affect executive function because of the possible contribution of the following factors: (1) the timing of tests, (2) the learning effect, or (3) changes in psychophysiology that were too small to affect higher brain function.

  20. Investigating executive functions in children with severe speech and movement disorders using structured tasks

    PubMed Central

    Stadskleiv, Kristine; von Tetzchner, Stephen; Batorowicz, Beata; van Balkom, Hans; Dahlgren-Sandberg, Annika; Renner, Gregor

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions are the basis for goal-directed activity and include planning, monitoring, and inhibition, and language seems to play a role in the development of these functions. There is a tradition of studying executive function in both typical and atypical populations, and the present study investigates executive functions in children with severe speech and motor impairments who are communicating using communication aids with graphic symbols, letters, and/or words. There are few neuropsychological studies of children in this group and little is known about their cognitive functioning, including executive functions. It was hypothesized that aided communication would tax executive functions more than speech. Twenty-nine children using communication aids and 27 naturally speaking children participated. Structured tasks resembling everyday activities, where the action goals had to be reached through communication with a partner, were used to get information about executive functions. The children (a) directed the partner to perform actions like building a Lego tower from a model the partner could not see and (b) gave information about an object without naming it to a person who had to guess what object it was. The executive functions of planning, monitoring, and impulse control were coded from the children's on-task behavior. Both groups solved most of the tasks correctly, indicating that aided communicators are able to use language to direct another person to do a complex set of actions. Planning and lack of impulsivity was positively related to task success in both groups. The aided group completed significantly fewer tasks, spent longer time and showed more variation in performance than the comparison group. The aided communicators scored lower on planning and showed more impulsivity than the comparison group, while both groups showed an equal degree of monitoring of the work progress. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that aided language tax

  1. Investigating executive functions in children with severe speech and movement disorders using structured tasks.

    PubMed

    Stadskleiv, Kristine; von Tetzchner, Stephen; Batorowicz, Beata; van Balkom, Hans; Dahlgren-Sandberg, Annika; Renner, Gregor

    2014-01-01

    Executive functions are the basis for goal-directed activity and include planning, monitoring, and inhibition, and language seems to play a role in the development of these functions. There is a tradition of studying executive function in both typical and atypical populations, and the present study investigates executive functions in children with severe speech and motor impairments who are communicating using communication aids with graphic symbols, letters, and/or words. There are few neuropsychological studies of children in this group and little is known about their cognitive functioning, including executive functions. It was hypothesized that aided communication would tax executive functions more than speech. Twenty-nine children using communication aids and 27 naturally speaking children participated. Structured tasks resembling everyday activities, where the action goals had to be reached through communication with a partner, were used to get information about executive functions. The children (a) directed the partner to perform actions like building a Lego tower from a model the partner could not see and (b) gave information about an object without naming it to a person who had to guess what object it was. The executive functions of planning, monitoring, and impulse control were coded from the children's on-task behavior. Both groups solved most of the tasks correctly, indicating that aided communicators are able to use language to direct another person to do a complex set of actions. Planning and lack of impulsivity was positively related to task success in both groups. The aided group completed significantly fewer tasks, spent longer time and showed more variation in performance than the comparison group. The aided communicators scored lower on planning and showed more impulsivity than the comparison group, while both groups showed an equal degree of monitoring of the work progress. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that aided language tax

  2. Executive functioning in anorexia nervosa patients and their unaffected relatives.

    PubMed

    Galimberti, Elisa; Fadda, Emma; Cavallini, Maria Cristina; Martoni, Riccardo Maria; Erzegovesi, Stefano; Bellodi, Laura

    2013-08-15

    Formal genetic studies suggested a substantial genetic influence for anorexia nervosa (AN), but currently results are inconsistent. The use of the neurocognitive endophenotype approach may facilitate our understanding of the AN pathophysiology. We investigated decision-making, set-shifting and planning in AN patients (n=29) and their unaffected relatives (n=29) compared to healthy probands (n=29) and their relatives (n=29). The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), the Tower of Hanoi (ToH) and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) were administered. Concordance rates and heritability indices were also calculated in probands/relatives. Impaired performance on the IGT and the WCST were found in both AN probands and their relatives, although planning appeared to be preserved. The IGT heritability index suggested the presence of genetic effects that influence this measure. No evidence for genetic effects was found for the WCST. The results suggest the presence of a shared dysfunctional executive profile in women with AN and their unaffected relatives, characterized by deficient decision-making and set-shifting. Concordance analysis strongly suggests that these impairments aggregate in AN families, supporting the hypothesis that they may constitute biological markers for AN. Decision-making impairment presents a moderate heritability, suggesting that decision-making may be a candidate endophenotype for AN.

  3. The use of the theory of planned behavior to predict engagement in functional behaviors in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Mausbach, Brent T; Moore, Raeanne C; Davine, Taylor; Cardenas, Veronica; Bowie, Christopher R; Ho, Jennifer; Jeste, Dilip V; Patterson, Thomas L

    2013-01-30

    In schizophrenia, low motivation may play a role in the initiation and frequency of functional behaviors. Several reviews support the efficacy of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to predict engagement in various behaviors, but little research has utilized the TPB to explain functional behavior in schizophrenia. This study tested the TPB for predicting prospective engagement in functional behaviors in a sample of 64 individuals with schizophrenia. Participants completed questionnaires assessing their attitudes toward, social norms regarding, perceived behavioral control over, and intention to engage in various functional behaviors during the upcoming week. Follow-up questionnaires assessed engagement in functional behaviors. Zero-order correlations indicated that positive attitudes, social norms, and perceived behavioral control were positively correlated with intentions to engage in functional behaviors. In turn, intentions were positively correlated with engagement in functional behaviors. Using path analysis, social norms and control were significantly related to intentions, which in turn predicted greater engagement in functional behaviors. Results suggest that patients with schizophrenia make reasoned decisions for or against engaging in functional behaviors. Skills training interventions that also target components of the TPB may be effective for increasing motivation to engage in learned behaviors.

  4. Cognitive and behavioral aspects of executive functions in children born very preterm.

    PubMed

    Ritter, Barbara Catherine; Perrig, Walter; Steinlin, Maja; Everts, Regula

    2014-03-01

    This study investigated whether children aged between 8 and 12 years born very preterm (VPT) and/or at very low birth weight (VLBW) performed lower than same-aged term-born controls in cognitive and behavioral aspects of three executive functions: inhibition, working memory, and shifting. Special attention was given to sex differences. Fifty-two VPT/VLBW children (26 girls, 50%) born in the cohort of 1998-2003 and 36 same-aged term-born children (18 girls, 50%) were recruited. As cognitive measures, children completed tasks of inhibition (Color-Word Interference Test, D-KEFS; Delis, Kaplan, & Kramer, 2001), working memory (digit span backwards, HAWIK-IV; Petermann & Petermann, 2008), and shifting (Trail Making Test, number-letter-switching, D-KEFS; Delis et al., 2001). As behavioral measures, mothers completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF; Gioia, Isquith, Guy, & Kenworthy, 2000). Scales of interest were inhibit, working memory, and shift. Analyses of the cognitive aspects of executive functions revealed that VPT/VLBW children performed significantly lower than controls in the shifting task but not in the working memory and inhibition tasks. Analyses of behavioral aspects of executive functions revealed that VPT/VLBW children displayed more problems than the controls in working memory in everyday life but not in inhibition and shifting. No sex differences could be detected either in cognitive or behavioral aspects of executive functions. To conclude, cognitive and behavioral measures of executive functions were not congruent in VPT/VLBW children. In clinical practice, the combination of cognitive and behavioral instruments is required to disclose children's executive difficulties.

  5. Changes in executive function after acute bouts of passive cycling in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Ridgel, Angela L; Kim, Chul-Ho; Fickes, Emily J; Muller, Matthew D; Alberts, Jay L

    2011-04-01

    Individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) often experience cognitive declines. Although pharmacologic therapies are helpful in treating motor deficits in PD, they do not appear to be effective for cognitive complications. Acute bouts of moderate aerobic exercise have been shown to improve cognitive function in healthy adults. However, individuals with PD often have difficulty with exercise. This study examined the effects of passive leg cycling on executive function in PD. Executive function was assessed with Trail-Making Test (TMT) A and B before and after passive leg cycling. Significant improvements on the TMT-B test occurred after passive leg cycling. Furthermore, the difference between times to complete the TMT-B and TMT-A significantly decreased from precycling to postcycling. Improved executive function after passive cycling may be a result of increases in cerebral blood flow. These findings suggest that passive exercise could be a concurrent therapy for cognitive decline in PD.

  6. Smoking during Pregnancy Is a Risk Factor for Executive Function Deficits in Preschool-aged Children

    PubMed Central

    Daseking, M.; Petermann, F.; Tischler, T.; Waldmann, H.-C.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Maternal nicotine use during pregnancy has a negative impact on the child. Numerous studies have demonstrated an association between smoking during pregnancy and psychological deficits. This study looks at deficits in executive functioning in preschool-aged children. Methods: The executive functioning of preschool children was assessed by asking parents to complete the parental form of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions – Preschool Version (BRIEF-P, German version). The results for preschool children whose mothers had smoked during pregnancy (n = 71) were compared with those of a control group. In a subsample, parental assessments of children of smokers (n = 42) and non-smokers (n = 27) were complemented by the teacher form of the BRIEF-P (German version), which allowed inter-rater agreement (parents vs. preschool teachers) to be assessed. Results: An increased incidence of executive function deficits was noted in the children of smokers, based on parental assessment. Clinically relevant deficits were particularly evident with regard to inhibition, with inhibitory deficits in children of smokers found to be almost four times higher than in the control group (p = 0.006). Inhibitory deficits were reported both by parents and by preschool teachers. Discussion: The increased percentage of executive function deficits described here, particularly the increased inhibitory deficits, confirms the current state of research on smoking during pregnancy. Poor inhibition or impulse control is a key symptom of ADHD. PMID:25684788

  7. Effects of the Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Stress Management on Executive Function Components.

    PubMed

    Santos-Ruiz, Ana; Robles-Ortega, Humbelina; Pérez-García, Miguel; Peralta-Ramírez, María Isabel

    2017-02-13

    This study aims to determine whether it is possible to modify executive function in stressed individuals by means of cognitive-behavioral therapy for stress management. Thirty-one people with high levels of perceived stress were recruited into the study (treatment group = 18; wait-list group = 13). The treatment group received 14 weeks of stress management program. Psychological and executive function variables were evaluated in both groups pre and post-intervention. The treatment group showed improved psychological variables of perceived stress (t = 5.492; p = .001), vulnerability to stress (t = 4.061; p = .001) and superstitious thinking (t = 2.961; p = .009). Likewise, the results showed statistically significant differences in personality variables related to executive function, positive urgency (t = 3.585; p = .002) and sensitivity to reward (t = -2.201; p = .042), which improved after the therapy. These variables showed a moderate to high effect size (oscillates between 1.30 for perceived stress and .566 for sensitivity to reward). The cognitive-behavioral therapy for stress management may be an appropriate strategy for improving personality construct components related to executive function, however effects of the therapy are not showed on performance on the tests of executive function applied, as presented studies previous.

  8. Drawing a dog: The role of working memory and executive function.

    PubMed

    Panesi, Sabrina; Morra, Sergio

    2016-12-01

    Previous research suggests that young children draw animals by adapting their scheme for the human figure. This can be considered an early form of drawing flexibility. This study investigated preschoolers' ability to draw a dog that is different from the human figure. The role of working memory capacity and executive function was examined. The participants were 123 children (36-73 months old) who were required to draw both a person and a dog. The dog figure was scored on a list of features that could render it different from the human figure. Regression analyses showed that both working memory capacity and executive function predicted development in the dog drawing; the dog drawing score correlated with working memory capacity and executive function, even partialling out age, motor coordination, and drawing ability (measured with Goodenough's Draw-a-Man test). These results suggest that both working memory capacity and executive function play an important role in the early development of drawing flexibility. The implications regarding executive functions and working memory are also discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  10. Executive Functioning Skills in Long-Term Users of Cochlear Implants: A Case Control Study

    PubMed Central

    Pisoni, David B.; Henning, Shirley C.; Colson, Bethany G.

    2013-01-01

    Objective To investigate differences in executive functioning between deaf children with cochlear implants (CIs) and normal-hearing (NH) peers. The cognitive effects of auditory deprivation in childhood may extend beyond speech–language skills to more domain-general areas including executive functioning. Methods Executive functioning skills in a sample of 53 prelingually deaf children, adolescents, and young adults who received CIs prior to age 7 years and who had used their CIs for ≥7 years were compared with age- and nonverbal IQ-matched NH peers and with scale norms. Results Despite having above average nonverbal IQ, the CI sample scored lower than the NH sample and test norms on several measures of short-term/working memory, fluency–speed, and inhibition–concentration. Executive functioning was unrelated to most demographic and hearing history characteristics. Conclusions Prelingual deafness and long-term use of CIs was associated with increased risk of weaknesses in executive functioning. PMID:23699747

  11. Media violence exposure and executive functioning in aggressive and control adolescents.

    PubMed

    Kronenberger, William G; Mathews, Vincent P; Dunn, David W; Wang, Yang; Wood, Elisabeth A; Giauque, Ann L; Larsen, Joelle J; Rembusch, Mary E; Lowe, Mark J; Li, Tie-Qiang

    2005-06-01

    The relationship between media violence exposure and executive functioning was investigated in samples of adolescents with no psychiatric diagnosis or with a history of aggressive-disruptive behavior. Age-, gender-, and IQ-matched samples of adolescents who had no Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-fourth edition (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) diagnosis (N = 27) and of adolescents who had DSM-IV Disruptive Behavior Disorder diagnoses (N = 27) completed measures of media violence exposure and tests of executive functioning. Moderate to strong relationships were found between higher amounts of media violence exposure and deficits in self-report, parent-report, and laboratory-based measures of executive functioning. A significant diagnosis by media violence exposure interaction effect was found for Conners' Continuous Performance Test scores, such that the media violence exposure-executive functioning relationship was stronger for adolescents who had Disruptive Behavior Disorder diagnoses. Results indicate that media violence exposure is related to poorer executive functioning, and this relationship may be stronger for adolescents who have a history of aggressive-disruptive behavior.

  12. Goal management training of executive functions in patients with spina bifida: a randomized controlled trial.

    PubMed

    Stubberud, Jan; Langenbahn, Donna; Levine, Brian; Stanghelle, Johan; Schanke, Anne-Kristine

    2013-07-01

    Executive dysfunction causes significant real-life disability for patients with spina bifida (SB). However, no previous research has been directed toward the amelioration of executive functioning deficits amongst persons with SB. Goal Management Training (GMT) is a compensatory cognitive rehabilitation approach, addressing underlying deficits in sustained attention to improve executive function. GMT has received empirical support in studies of other patient groups. The purpose of the present study was to determine the efficacy of GMT in treating subjects with SB, using inpatient intervention periods. We hypothesized post-intervention changes in scores on neuropsychological measures to reflect improved attentional control, including sustained attention and inhibitory control. Thirty-eight adult subjects with SB were included in this randomized controlled trial. Inclusion was based upon the presence of executive functioning complaints. Experimental subjects (n = 24) received 21 hr of GMT, with efficacy of GMT being compared to results of subjects in a wait-list condition (n = 14). All subjects were assessed at baseline, post-intervention, and at 6-month follow-up. Findings indicated superior effects of GMT on domain-specific neuropsychological measures and on a functional "real-life" measure, all lasting at least 6 months post-treatment. These results show that deficits in executive functioning can be ameliorated in patients with congenital brain dysfunction.

  13. Children's Elementary School Social Experience and Executive Functions Development: Introduction to a Special Section.

    PubMed

    van Lier, Pol A C; Deater-Deckard, Kirby

    2016-01-01

    Children's executive functions, encompassing inhibitory control, working memory and attention are vital for their self-regulation. With the transition to formal schooling, children need to learn to manage their emotions and behavior in a new and complex social environment that with age increases in the intensity of social interactions with peers and teachers. Stronger executive functions skills facilitate children's social development. In addition, new experiences in the social environments of school also may influence executive function development. The focus of this special section is on this potential impact of elementary school social experiences with peers and teacher on the development of children's executive functions. The collection of papers encompass various aspects of peer and teacher social environments, and cover broad as well as specific facets and measures of executive functions including neural responses. The collection of papers sample developmental periods that span preschool through mid-adolescence. In this introduction, we summarize and highlight the main findings of each of the papers, organized around social interactions with peers and interactions with teachers. We conclude our synopsis with implications for future research, and a specific focus on prevention and intervention.

  14. Linkages between childhood executive functioning and adolescent social functioning and psychopathology in girls with ADHD.

    PubMed

    Rinsky, Jenna R; Hinshaw, Stephen P

    2011-01-01

    We followed an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse sample of preadolescent girls with ADHD (n = 140) and matched comparison girls (n = 88) over a period of 5 years, from middle childhood through early/midadolescence, with the aim of determining whether childhood levels of executive function (EF) would predict adolescent multi-informant outcomes of social functioning and psychopathology, including comorbidity between externalizing and internalizing symptomatology. Predictors were well-established measures of planning, response inhibition, and working memory, along with a control measure of fine motor control. Independent of ADHD versus comparison group status, (a) childhood planning and response inhibition predicted adolescent social functioning and (b) childhood planning predicted comorbid internalizing/externalizing disorders in adolescence. Subgroup status (ADHD-Combined, ADHD-Inattentive, and comparison) moderated the relationship between childhood planning and adolescent internalizing/externalizing comorbidity, with the combined type revealing particularly strong associations between baseline planning and adolescent comorbidity. Mediation analyses indicated that adolescent social functioning mediated the prediction from childhood EF to comorbidity at follow-up; in turn, in the girls with ADHD, adolescent comorbidity mediated the prediction from childhood EF to social functioning at follow-up. We conclude that childhood interventions should target EF impairments in addition to behavioral symptoms.

  15. The impact of sustained engagement on cognitive function in older adults: the Synapse Project.

    PubMed

    Park, Denise C; Lodi-Smith, Jennifer; Drew, Linda; Haber, Sara; Hebrank, Andrew; Bischof, Gérard N; Aamodt, Whitley

    2014-01-01

    In the research reported here, we tested the hypothesis that sustained engagement in learning new skills that activated working memory, episodic memory, and reasoning over a period of 3 months would enhance cognitive function in older adults. In three conditions with high cognitive demands, participants learned to quilt, learned digital photography, or engaged in both activities for an average of 16.51 hr a week for 3 months. Results at posttest indicated that episodic memory was enhanced in these productive-engagement conditions relative to receptive-engagement conditions, in which participants either engaged in nonintellectual activities with a social group or performed low-demand cognitive tasks with no social contact. The findings suggest that sustained engagement in cognitively demanding, novel activities enhances memory function in older adulthood, but, somewhat surprisingly, we found limited cognitive benefits of sustained engagement in social activities.

  16. Executive function and depressive symptoms of retardation in nonelderly stroke patients.

    PubMed

    Sobreiro, Matildes F M; Miotto, Eliane Correa; Terroni, Luisa; Tinone, Gisela; Iosifescu, Dan V; de Lucia, Mara C S; Scaff, Milberto; Leite, Claudia da Costa; Amaro, Edson; Fraguas, Renerio

    2014-01-01

    The depression-executive dysfunction syndrome, a late-onset depression of vascular origin with executive dysfunction and psychomotor retardation, has also been described after stroke. We verified whether this syndrome also occurs in nonelderly stroke patients by investigating the association between domains of depressive symptoms with executive functions in 87 first-ever ischemic stroke patients. The retardation domain of the 31-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression was associated with decreased performance on verbal fluency (assessed with FAS). The association was maintained for younger patients (aged <60 years) after adjusting for confounders. This result supports the clinical presentation of depression-executive dysfunction syndrome in younger stroke patients. Confirmation of this finding, its neural correlates, and clinical implication deserve further investigation.

  17. Impaired executive function following ischemic stroke in the rat medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Cordova, Chris A; Jackson, Danielle; Langdon, Kristopher D; Hewlett, Krista A; Corbett, Dale

    2014-01-01

    Small (lacunar) infarcts frequently arise in frontal and midline thalamic regions in the absence of major stroke. Damage to these areas often leads to impairment of executive function likely as a result of interrupting connections of the prefrontal cortex. Thus, patients experience frontal-like symptoms such as impaired ability to shift ongoing behavior and attention. In contrast, executive dysfunction has not been demonstrated in rodent models of stroke, thereby limiting the development of potential therapies for human executive dysfunction. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n=40) underwent either sham surgery or bilateral endothelin-1 injections in the mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus or in the medial prefrontal cortex. Executive function was assessed using a rodent attention set shifting test that requires animals to shift attention to stimuli in different stimulus dimensions. Medial prefrontal cortex ischemia impaired attention shift performance between different stimulus dimensions while sparing stimulus discrimination and attention shifts within a stimulus dimension, indicating a selective attention set-shift deficit. Rats with mediodorsal thalamic lacunar damage did not exhibit a cognitive impairment relative to sham controls. The selective attention set shift impairment observed in this study is consistent with clinical data demonstrating selective executive disorders following stroke within specific sub-regions of frontal cortex. These data contribute to the development and validation of a preclinical animal model of executive dysfunction, that can be employed to identify potential therapies for ameliorating cognitive deficits following stroke.

  18. The Typical Developmental Trajectory of Social and Executive Functions in Late Adolescence and Early Adulthood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Sophie Jane; Barker, Lynne Ann; Heavey, Lisa; McHale, Sue

    2013-01-01

    Executive functions and social cognition develop through childhood into adolescence and early adulthood and are important for adaptive goal-oriented behavior (Apperly, Samson, & Humphreys, 2009; Blakemore & Choudhury, 2006). These functions are attributed to frontal networks known to undergo protracted maturation into early adulthood…

  19. Brain Structure and Executive Functions in Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Systematic Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weierink, Lonneke; Vermeulen, R. Jeroen; Boyd, Roslyn N.

    2013-01-01

    This systematic review aimed to establish the current knowledge about brain structure and executive function (EF) in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Five databases were searched (up till July 2012). Six articles met the inclusion criteria, all included structural brain imaging though no functional brain imaging. Study quality was assessed using…

  20. Familial Clustering of Executive Functioning in Affected Sibling Pair Families with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slaats-Willemse, Dorine; Swaab-Barneveld, Hanna; De Sonneville, Leo; Buitelaar, Jan

    2005-01-01

    Objective: To investigate familial clustering of executive functioning (i.e., response inhibition, fine visuomotor functioning, and attentional control) in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-affected sibling pairs. Method: Fifty-two affected sibling pairs aged 6 to 18 years and diagnosed with ADHD according to DSM-IV performed the…

  1. Benefits of Physical Exercise on Executive Functions in Older People with Parkinson's Disease

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tanaka, Katia; de Quadros, Antonio Carlos, Jr.; Santos, Ruth Ferreira; Stella, Florindo; Gobbi, Lilian Teresa Bucken; Gobbi, Sebastiao

    2009-01-01

    The benefits of physical exercise on cognitive functioning have been reported in the literature, but the potential benefits to slow the eventual decline in executive functioning (EF) caused by neurodegeneration from Parkinson's Disease (PD) have rarely been studied. Thus the objective of this study was to analyze the effects of a multimodal…

  2. Validating Neuropsychological Subtypes of ADHD: How Do Children "with" and "without" an Executive Function Deficit Differ?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lambek, Rikke; Tannock, Rosemary; Dalsgaard, Soeren; Trillingsgaard, Anegen; Damm, Dorte; Thomsen, Per Hove

    2010-01-01

    Objective: The study investigates behavioural, academic, cognitive, and motivational aspects of functioning in school-age children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with and without an executive function deficit (EFD). Method: Children with ADHD - EFD (n = 22) and children with ADHD + EFD (n = 26) were compared on aspects of…

  3. Executive Function Performance and Trauma Exposure in a Community Sample of Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DePrince, Anne P.; Weinzierl, Kristin M.; Combs, Melody D.

    2009-01-01

    Objective: Though children exposed to familial violence are reported to have difficulties with a range of emotional and behavioral problems (e.g., lower school achievement) that implicate executive function (EF) deficits, relatively little research has specifically examined EF as a function of trauma exposure in children. Methods: Based on parent…

  4. Parenting, Family Socioeconomic Status, and Child Executive Functioning: A Longitudinal Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rochette, Émilie; Bernier, Annie

    2014-01-01

    Family socioeconomic status (SES) and the quality of maternal behavior are among the few identified predictors of child executive functioning (EF), and they have often been found to have interactive rather than additive effects on other domains of child functioning. The purpose of this study was to explore their interactive effects in the…

  5. 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.…

  6. Sex-specific associations of testosterone with prefrontal-hippocampal development and executive function.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Tuong-Vi; Lew, Jimin; Albaugh, Matthew D; Botteron, Kelly N; Hudziak, James J; Fonov, Vladimir S; Collins, D Louis; Ducharme, Simon; McCracken, James T

    2017-02-01

    Testosterone is thought to play a crucial role in mediating sexual differentiation of brain structures. Examinations of the cognitive effects of testosterone have also shown beneficial and potentially sex-specific effects on executive function and mnemonic processes. Yet these findings remain limited by an incomplete understanding of the critical timing and brain regions most affected by testosterone, the lack of documented links between testosterone-related structural brain changes and cognition, and the difficulty in distinguishing the effects of testosterone from those of related sex steroids such as of estradiol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Here we examined associations between testosterone, cortico-hippocampal structural covariance, executive function (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function) and verbal memory (California Verbal Learning Test-Children's Version), in a longitudinal sample of typically developing children and adolescents 6-22 yo, controlling for the effects of estradiol, DHEA, pubertal stage, collection time, age, handedness, and total brain volume. We found prefrontal-hippocampal covariance to vary as a function of testosterone levels, but only in boys. Boys also showed a specific association between positive prefrontal-hippocampal covariance (as seen at higher testosterone levels) and lower performance on specific components of executive function (monitoring the action process and flexibly shifting between actions). We also found the association between testosterone and a specific aspect of executive function (monitoring) to be significantly mediated by prefrontal-hippocampal structural covariance. There were no significant associations between testosterone-related cortico-hippocampal covariance and verbal memory. Taken together, these findings highlight the developmental importance of testosterone in supporting sexual differentiation of the brain and sex-specific executive function.

  7. Profile of self-reported problems with executive functioning in college and professional football players.

    PubMed

    Seichepine, Daniel R; Stamm, Julie M; Daneshvar, Daniel H; Riley, David O; Baugh, Christine M; Gavett, Brandon E; Tripodis, Yorghos; Martin, Brett; Chaisson, Christine; McKee, Ann C; Cantu, Robert C; Nowinski, Christopher J; Stern, Robert A

    2013-07-15

    Repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), such as that experienced by contact-sport athletes, has been associated with the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Executive dysfunction is believed to be among the earliest symptoms of CTE, with these symptoms presenting in the fourth or fifth decade of life. The present study used a well-validated self-report measure to study executive functioning in football players, compared to healthy adults. Sixty-four college and professional football players were administered the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, adult version (BRIEF-A) to evaluate nine areas of executive functioning. Scores on the BRIEF-A were compared to published age-corrected normative scores for healthy adults Relative to healthy adults, the football players indicated significantly more problems overall and on seven of the nine clinical scales, including Inhibit, Shift, Emotional Control, Initiate, Working Memory, Plan/Organize, and Task Monitor. These symptoms were greater in athletes 40 and older, relative to younger players. In sum, football players reported more-frequent problems with executive functioning and these symptoms may develop or worsen in the fifth decade of life. The findings are in accord with a growing body of evidence that participation in football is associated with the development of cognitive changes and dementia as observed in CTE.

  8. Neuropsychology of domestic violence: a comparative preliminary study of executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Becerra-García, Juan Antonio

    2015-01-01

    In neuropsychological studies of executive functioning in domestic violence offenders, the different investigations conducted have only studied differences within this group or in relation to control groups of non-offenders. To minimize the limitations in relation to comparison groups, the purpose of this study was to compare executive functioning in domestic violence offenders in relation to different groups of offenders (i.e. sexual, violent and non-violent) and a control group of non-offenders, with all groups matched on socio-demographic and clinical characteristics. Executive functioning was tested of all participants with the Trail Making Test (direct and derived scores). Compared with the control group, the domestic violence offenders and sex offenders exhibited the poorest performance on the Trail Making Test part B (time) and on the B-A derived index; whereas, the violent offenders group (i.e. convicted of assault, wounding, homicide etc.) showed a high number of errors in part B. These findings suggest that domestic violence offenders exhibit similar performance on the TMT as sex offenders, where both have poorer cognitive flexibility and executive control. Other violent offenders exhibited different patterns of difficulty on this test (e.g. more impulsivity responses). Executive functioning may be a central psychological process that could help explain the interrelations between domestic and sexual aggression, and could be a relevant construct for common treatment of domestic batterers and sex offenders.

  9. Assessment of executive functions in patients with obsessive compulsive disorder by NeuroVR.

    PubMed

    La Paglia, Filippo; La Cascia, Caterina; Rizzo, Rosalinda; Riva, Giuseppe; La Barbera, Daniele

    2012-01-01

    Executive functions are often impaired in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). We used a Virtual Reality version of the Multiple Errand Test (VMET) - developed dusing the free NeuroVR software (http://www.neurovr.org) - to evaluate the executive functions in daily life in 10 OCD patients and 10 controls. It is performed in a shopping setting where there are items to be bought and information to be obtained. The execution time for the whole task was higher in patients with OCD compared to controls, suggesting that patients with OCD need more time in planning than controls. The same difference was found in the partial errors during the task. Furthermore, the mean rank for and for interpretation failures is higher for controls, while the values of divided attention and the of self correction seems to be lower in controls. We think that obsessive patients tend to work with greater diligence and observance of rules than controls. In conclusion, these results provide initial support for the feasibility of VMET as assessment tool of executive functions. Specifically, the significant correlation found between the VMET and the neuropsychological battery support the ecological validity of VMET as an instrument for the evaluation of executive functions in patients with OCD.

  10. Executive function deficits in congenital heart disease: why is intervention important?

    PubMed

    Calderon, Johanna; Bellinger, David C

    2015-10-01

    It is widely recognised that children with congenital heart disease (CHD) are at high risk for neurodevelopmental impairments including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder symptoms. Executive function impairments are one of the most prominent neurodevelopmental features associated with CHD. These deficits can have widespread debilitating repercussions in children's neurocognitive, behavioural, and psycho-social development. There is a crucial gap in research regarding the efficacy of preventive or treatment strategies for these important cognitive morbidities. Executive functions are complex neurocognitive skills highly amenable to improvement. Evidence-based interventions have shown promising results in other paediatric populations, strongly suggesting that they might also benefit the growing population of children with CHD. In this review, we summarise the available data on executive function impairments in children and adolescents with CHD. We underline the important co-morbidity of executive dysfunction with other cognitive and psychiatric issues in CHD, which raises awareness of the crucial need to prevent or at least mitigate these deficits. Finally, we summarise future avenues for research in terms of interventions that may help reduce executive function impairments in youth with CHD.

  11. A 12-Week Cycling Training Regimen Improves Gait and Executive Functions Concomitantly in People with Parkinson’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Nadeau, Alexandra; Lungu, Ovidiu; Duchesne, Catherine; Robillard, Marie-Ève; Bore, Arnaud; Bobeuf, Florian; Plamondon, Réjean; Lafontaine, Anne-Louise; Gheysen, Freja; Bherer, Louis; Doyon, Julien

    2017-01-01

    Background: There is increasing evidence that executive functions and attention are associated with gait and balance, and that this link is especially prominent in older individuals or those who are afflicted by neurodegenerative diseases that affect cognition and/or motor functions. People with Parkinson’s disease (PD) often present gait disturbances, which can be reduced when PD patients engage in different types of physical exercise (PE), such as walking on a treadmill. Similarly, PE has also been found to improve executive functions in this population. Yet, no exercise intervention investigated simultaneously gait and non-motor symptoms (executive functions, motor learning) in PD patients. Objective: To assess the impact of aerobic exercise training (AET) using a stationary bicycle on a set of gait parameters (walking speed, cadence, step length, step width, single and double support time, as well as variability of step length, step width and double support time) and executive functions (cognitive inhibition and flexibility) in sedentary PD patients and healthy controls. Methods: Two groups, 19 PD patients (Hoehn and Yahr ≤2) and 20 healthy adults, matched on age and sedentary level, followed a 3-month stationary bicycle AET regimen. Results: Aerobic capacity, as well as performance of motor learning and on cognitive inhibition, increased significantly in both groups after the training regimen, but only PD patients improved their walking speed and cadence (all p < 0.05; with no change in the step length). Moreover, in PD patients, training-related improvements in aerobic capacity correlated positively with improvements in walking speed (r = 0.461, p < 0.05). Conclusion: AET using stationary bicycle can independently improve gait and cognitive inhibition in sedentary PD patients. Given that increases in walking speed were obtained through increases in cadence, with no change in step length, our findings suggest that gait improvements are specific to the type

  12. A 12-Week Cycling Training Regimen Improves Gait and Executive Functions Concomitantly in People with Parkinson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Nadeau, Alexandra; Lungu, Ovidiu; Duchesne, Catherine; Robillard, Marie-Ève; Bore, Arnaud; Bobeuf, Florian; Plamondon, Réjean; Lafontaine, Anne-Louise; Gheysen, Freja; Bherer, Louis; Doyon, Julien

    2016-01-01

    Background: There is increasing evidence that executive functions and attention are associated with gait and balance, and that this link is especially prominent in older individuals or those who are afflicted by neurodegenerative diseases that affect cognition and/or motor functions. People with Parkinson's disease (PD) often present gait disturbances, which can be reduced when PD patients engage in different types of physical exercise (PE), such as walking on a treadmill. Similarly, PE has also been found to improve executive functions in this population. Yet, no exercise intervention investigated simultaneously gait and non-motor symptoms (executive functions, motor learning) in PD patients. Objective: To assess the impact of aerobic exercise training (AET) using a stationary bicycle on a set of gait parameters (walking speed, cadence, step length, step width, single and double support time, as well as variability of step length, step width and double support time) and executive functions (cognitive inhibition and flexibility) in sedentary PD patients and healthy controls. Methods: Two groups, 19 PD patients (Hoehn and Yahr ≤2) and 20 healthy adults, matched on age and sedentary level, followed a 3-month stationary bicycle AET regimen. Results: Aerobic capacity, as well as performance of motor learning and on cognitive inhibition, increased significantly in both groups after the training regimen, but only PD patients improved their walking speed and cadence (all p < 0.05; with no change in the step length). Moreover, in PD patients, training-related improvements in aerobic capacity correlated positively with improvements in walking speed (r = 0.461, p < 0.05). Conclusion: AET using stationary bicycle can independently improve gait and cognitive inhibition in sedentary PD patients. Given that increases in walking speed were obtained through increases in cadence, with no change in step length, our findings suggest that gait improvements are specific to the type

  13. 3 CFR 13598 - Executive Order 13598 of January 27, 2012. Assignment of Functions Relating to Certain Promotion...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 3 The President 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Executive Order 13598 of January 27, 2012. Assignment of Functions Relating to Certain Promotion and Appointment Actions in the Armed Forces 13598 Order 13598 Presidential Documents Executive Orders Executive Order 13598 of January 27, 2012 EO...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Independent effects of bilingualism and socioeconomic status on language ability and executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Calvo, Alejandra; Bialystok, Ellen

    2014-03-01

    One hundred and seventy-five children who were 6-years old were assigned to one of four groups that differed in socioeconomic status (SES; working class or middle class) and language background (monolingual or bilingual). The children completed tests of nonverbal intelligence, language tests assessing receptive vocabulary and attention based on picture naming, and two tests of executive functioning. All children performed equivalently on the basic intelligence tests, but performance on the language and executive functioning tasks was influenced by both SES and bilingualism. Middle-class children outperformed working-class children on all measures, and bilingual children obtained lower scores than monolingual children on language tests but higher scores than monolingual children on the executive functioning tasks. There were no interactions with either group factors or task factors. Thus, each of SES and bilingualism contribute significantly and independently to children's development irrespective of the child's level on the other factor.

  17. A neuropsychological study of personality: trait openness in relation to intelligence, fluency, and executive functioning.

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

    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 = .44) than with executive functioning (r = .16) and fluency (r = .24). Further, the partial correlation between Openness and Gc increased from r = .26 among young adults to r = .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.

  18. Differences in academic and executive function domains among children with ADHD Predominantly Inattentive and Combined Types.

    PubMed

    Riccio, Cynthia A; Homack, Susan; Jarratt, Kelly Pizzitola; Wolfe, Monica E

    2006-10-01

    Differences between the subtypes of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) continue to have a place in the clinical and research literature. The purpose of this study was to examine differences specific to academic and executive function deficits in a sample of 40 children, aged 9-15 years. Although there was a tendency for the Predominantly Inattentive (PI) group to evidence lower performance on calculation and written expression tasks, these differences dissipated when IQ was included as a covariate. For executive function domains of set shifting, interference, inhibition, and planning, differences emerged for interference, but only when girls were excluded from the analysis and no control for IQ was made. For parent ratings of executive function, expected differences were found on the Inhibit scale with the Combined Type (CT) group evidencing greater problems in this area; this difference remained even when girls were excluded and IQ was controlled. Implications for research and practice are presented.

  19. Increased executive functioning, attention, and cortical thickness in white-collar criminals.

    PubMed

    Raine, Adrian; Laufer, William S; Yang, Yaling; Narr, Katherine L; Thompson, Paul; Toga, Arthur W

    2012-12-01

    Very little is known on white-collar crime and how it differs to other forms of offending. This study tests the hypothesis that white-collar criminals have better executive functioning, enhanced information processing, and structural brain superiorities compared with offender controls. Using a case-control design, executive functioning, orienting, and cortical thickness was assessed in 21 white-collar criminals matched with 21 controls on age, gender, ethnicity, and general level of criminal offending. White-collar criminals had significantly better executive functioning, increased electrodermal orienting, increased arousal, and increased cortical gray matter thickness in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, inferior frontal gyrus, somatosensory cortex, and the temporal-parietal junction compared with controls. Results, while initial, constitute the first findings on neurobiological characteristics of white-collar criminals. It is hypothesized that white-collar criminals have information-processing and brain superiorities that give them an advantage in perpetrating criminal offenses in occupational settings.

  20. Executive functions and performance on high-stakes testing in children from urban schools.

    PubMed

    Waber, Deborah P; Gerber, Emily B; Turcios, Viana Y; Wagner, Erin R; Forbes, Peter W

    2006-01-01

    High-stakes achievement testing is a centerpiece of education reform. Children from socially disadvantaged backgrounds typically perform more poorly than their more advantaged peers. The authors evaluated 91 fifth-grade children from low-income urban schools using clinical neuropsychological tests and behavioral questionnaires and obtained fourth-grade scores on state mandated standards-based testing. Goals were to determine whether executive functions are selectively diminished in children from poor urban environments and to evaluate to what extent integrity of executive functions is associated with test scores. Neuropsychological variables (particularly executive functions) accounted for 40% of the variance in English scores and 30% in mathematics. Efforts to improve children's academic achievement should consider developmental factors as well as curricular content.

  1. Does the BRIEF-P Predict Specific Executive Function Components in Preschoolers?

    PubMed

    Garon, Nancy M; Piccinin, Claire; Smith, Isabel M

    2016-01-01

    The current study explored the association between the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool (BRIEF-P; Gioia, Espy, & Isquith, 2003 ) and a new battery of direct executive function (EF) measures designed for preschoolers. Forty-two typically developing 3- to 5-year-olds were given the Preschool Executive Function Battery (PEFB; Garon, Smith & Bryson, 2014); their mothers filled out the BRIEF-P. The findings support distinct associations between 3 BRIEF-P scales and corresponding direct EF measures. In particular, a strong association was found between the BRIEF-P Inhibition scale and children's performance on the PEFB Inhibition measure. The findings indicate that parent ratings of preschoolers' everyday EF behavior are related to performance on the PEFB, a laboratory measure. These findings have implications for early screening of children's EF difficulties as well as for future research.

  2. The scaling behavior of hand motions reveals self-organization during an executive function task

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anastas, Jason R.; Stephen, Damian G.; Dixon, James A.

    2011-05-01

    Recent approaches to cognition explain cognitive phenomena in terms of interaction-dominant dynamics. In the current experiment, we extend this approach to executive function, a construct used to describe flexible, goal-oriented behavior. Participants were asked to perform a widely used executive function task, card sorting, under two conditions. In one condition, participants were given a rule with which to sort the cards. In the other condition, participants had to induce the rule from experimenter feedback. The motion of each participant’s hand was tracked during the sorting task. Detrended fluctuation analysis was performed on the inter-point time series using a windowing strategy to capture changes over each trial. For participants in the induction condition, the Hurst exponent sharply increased and then decreased. The Hurst exponents for the explicit condition did not show this pattern. Our results suggest that executive function may be understood in terms of changes in stability that arise from interaction-dominant dynamics.

  3. The relationship between executive functions and capacity to consent to treatment in acute psychiatric hospitalization.

    PubMed

    Mandarelli, Gabriele; Parmigiani, Giovanna; Tarsitani, Lorenzo; Frati, Paola; Biondi, Massimo; Ferracuti, Stefano

    2012-12-01

    Despite the acknowledged influence of cognition on patients' capacity to consent to treatment, the specific neuropsychological domains involved remain elusive, as does the role of executive functions. We investigated possible associations between executive functions and decisional capacity in a sample of acute psychiatric inpatients. Patients were recruited and evaluated through the MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool for Treatment (MacCAT-T), the 24-item Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Patients with poor executive functioning performed worse in MacCAT understanding, appreciation, and expression of a choice, compared with good performers. These findings point to the importance of cognition in decisional capacity processes. In addition, the strong association found between learning abilities and informed consent decision-making provide empirical evidence indicating possible cognitive enhancement strategies that may improve psychiatric patients' competency.

  4. Increased Executive Functioning, Attention, and Cortical Thickness in White-Collar Criminals

    PubMed Central

    Raine, Adrian; Laufer, William S.; Yang, Yaling; Narr, Katherine L.; Thompson, Paul; Toga, Arthur W.

    2011-01-01

    Very little is known on white collar crime and how it differs to other forms of offending. This study tests the hypothesis that white collar criminals have better executive functioning, enhanced information processing, and structural brain superiorities compared to offender controls. Using a case-control design, executive functioning, orienting, and cortical thickness was assessed in 21 white collar criminals matched with 21 controls on age, gender, ethnicity, and general level of criminal offending. White collar criminals had significantly better executive functioning, increased electrodermal orienting, increased arousal, and increased cortical gray matter thickness in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, inferior frontal gyrus, somatosensory cortex, and the temporal-parietal junction compared to controls. Results, while initial, constitute the first findings on neurobiological characteristics of white-collar criminals It is hypothesized that white collar criminals have information-processing and brain superiorities that give them an advantage in perpetrating criminal offenses in occupational settings. PMID:22002326

  5. Brief report: Executive functions in adolescent offspring of mothers with a history of depression.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    Deficits in executive functions (EFs) have been documented among individuals with unipolar depression, but controversy exists as to whether such deficits are state-dependent or are trait markers that precede disorder onset. The present study examined whether maternal history of unipolar depression was associated with deficits in EFs in early adolescent offspring, a finding that would support a trait marker conceptualization of EF deficits. Participants were a diverse sample (N = 493) of adolescents and their mothers recruited through local schools. Measures included semi-structured diagnostic interviews of mother and adolescent, mother-report forms assessing demographic information, and tests of executive function. Hierarchical linear regression analyses were conducted to examine the association between maternal depression diagnosis and adolescent offspring performance on tests of EF. Maternal lifetime history of depression was not associated with offspring EF task performance. Findings are not consistent with the conceptualization of impaired executive functions as trait markers of unipolar depression.

  6. Executive function and sleep problems in childhood epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Holley, S; Whitney, A; Kirkham, F J; Freeman, A; Nelson, L; Whitlingum, G; Hill, C M

    2014-08-01

    Pediatric epilepsy has been reported to be associated with both sleep problems and cognitive deficits. In turn, in healthy children, poorer sleep has been associated with deficits in cognitive functioning. We hypothesized that poor sleep in childhood epilepsy may contribute to cognitive deficits. Using actigraphy, we objectively measured the sleep of children with epilepsy alongside that of healthy controls. In contrast to previous reports, we did not find any differences in objectively measured sleep between children with epilepsy and healthy controls. However, significant deficits in cognitive functioning were demonstrated that were not explained by differences in sleep.

  7. The Role of Executive Functions in Social Cognition among Children with Down Syndrome: Relationship Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Amadó, Anna; Serrat, Elisabet; Vallès-Majoral, Eduard

    2016-01-01

    Many studies show a link between social cognition, a set of cognitive and emotional abilities applied to social situations, and executive functions in typical developing children. Children with Down syndrome (DS) show deficits both in social cognition and in some subcomponents of executive functions. However this link has barely been studied in this population. The aim of this study is to investigate the links between social cognition and executive functions among children with DS. We administered a battery of social cognition and executive function tasks (six theory of mind tasks, a test of emotion comprehension, and three executive function tasks) to a group of 30 participants with DS between 4 and 12 years of age. The same tasks were administered to a chronological-age control group and to a control group with the same linguistic development level. Results showed that apart from deficits in social cognition and executive function abilities, children with DS displayed a slight improvement with increasing chronological age and language development in those abilities. Correlational analysis suggested that working memory was the only component that remained constant in the relation patterns of the three groups of participants, being the relation patterns similar among participants with DS and the language development control group. A multiple linear regression showed that working memory explained above 50% of the variability of social cognition in DS participants and in language development control group, whereas in the chronological-age control group this component only explained 31% of the variability. These findings, and specifically the link between working memory and social cognition, are discussed on the basis of their theoretical and practical implications for children with DS. We discuss the possibility to use a working memory training to improve social cognition in this population. PMID:27679588

  8. The Role of Executive Functions in Social Cognition among Children with Down Syndrome: Relationship Patterns.

    PubMed

    Amadó, Anna; Serrat, Elisabet; Vallès-Majoral, Eduard

    2016-01-01

    Many studies show a link between social cognition, a set of cognitive and emotional abilities applied to social situations, and executive functions in typical developing children. Children with Down syndrome (DS) show deficits both in social cognition and in some subcomponents of executive functions. However this link has barely been studied in this population. The aim of this study is to investigate the links between social cognition and executive functions among children with DS. We administered a battery of social cognition and executive function tasks (six theory of mind tasks, a test of emotion comprehension, and three executive function tasks) to a group of 30 participants with DS between 4 and 12 years of age. The same tasks were administered to a chronological-age control group and to a control group with the same linguistic development level. Results showed that apart from deficits in social cognition and executive function abilities, children with DS displayed a slight improvement with increasing chronological age and language development in those abilities. Correlational analysis suggested that working memory was the only component that remained constant in the relation patterns of the three groups of participants, being the relation patterns similar among participants with DS and the language development control group. A multiple linear regression showed that working memory explained above 50% of the variability of social cognition in DS participants and in language development control group, whereas in the chronological-age control group this component only explained 31% of the variability. These findings, and specifically the link between working memory and social cognition, are discussed on the basis of their theoretical and practical implications for children with DS. We discuss the possibility to use a working memory training to improve social cognition in this population.

  9. Effects of Physical Exercise on Executive Functions: Going beyond Simply Moving to Moving with Thought

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Adele

    2015-01-01

    Studies of the cognitive benefits of physical activity need to move beyond simple aerobic activities that require little thought (treadmill running, riding a stationary bicycle, or rapid walking) and resistance training. Many studies have looked at this in older adults, and the evidence points strongly to those activities having little or no cognitive benefit, certainly little or no improvement to the executive functions that depend on prefrontal cortex. There is encouraging evidence for other types of physical activity improving executive functions; however they have received far less study. PMID:26000340

  10. Executive functions in preschool children with ADHD and DBD: an 18-month longitudinal study.

    PubMed

    Schoemaker, Kim; Bunte, Tessa; Espy, Kimberly Andrews; Deković, Maja; Matthys, Walter

    2014-01-01

    In this longitudinal study, we examined the stability of the association between executive functions and externalizing behavior problems, and the developmental change of executive functions in a predominately clinically diagnosed preschool sample (N = 200). Inhibition and working memory performance were assessed three times in 18 months. Across time, poorer inhibition performance in young children was associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and disruptive behavior disorders (DBD), and poorer working memory performance was associated with ADHD. Inhibition and working memory performance increased over time, especially in the early preschool period. The improvement of inhibition performance was more pronounced in the clinically diagnosed children compared to the TD children.

  11. PRODH gene is associated with executive function in schizophrenic families.

    PubMed

    Li, Tao; Ma, Xiaohong; Hu, Xun; Wang, Yingcheng; Yan, Chengying; Meng, Huaqing; Liu, Xiehe; Toulopoulou, Timothea; Murray, Robin M; Collier, David A

    2008-07-05

    The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between polymorphisms in the PRODH and COMT genes and selected neurocognitive functions. Six SNPs in PRODH and two SNPs in COMT were genotyped in 167 first-episode schizophrenic families who had been assessed by a set of 14 neuropsychological tests. Neuropsychological measures were selected as quantitative traits for association analysis. The haplotype of SNPs PRODH 1945T/C and PRODH 1852G/A was associated with impaired performance on the Tower of Hanoi, a problem-solving task mainly reflecting planning capacity. There was no significant evidence for association with any other neuropsychological traits for other SNPs or haplotypes of paired SNPs in the two genes. This study takes previous findings of association between PRODH and schizophrenia further by associating variation within the gene with performance on a neurocognitive trait characteristic of the illness. It fails to confirm previous reports of an association between COMT and cognitive function.

  12. The longitudinal development of social and executive functions in late adolescence and early adulthood

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Sophie J.; Barker, Lynne A.; Heavey, Lisa; McHale, Sue

    2015-01-01

    Our earlier work suggests that, executive functions and social cognition show protracted development into late adolescence and early adulthood (Taylor et al., 2013). However, it remains unknown whether these functions develop linearly or non-linearly corresponding to dynamic changes to white matter density at these age ranges. Executive functions are particularly in demand during the transition to independence and autonomy associated with this age range (Ahmed and Miller, 2011). Previous research examining executive function (Romine and Reynolds, 2005) and social cognition (Dumontheil et al., 2010a) in late adolescence has utilized a cross sectional design. The current study employed a longitudinal design with 58 participants aged 17, 18, and 19 years completing social cognition and executive function tasks, Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (Wechsler, 1999), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (Watson et al., 1988), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (Zigmond and Snaith, 1983) at Time 1 with follow up testing 12–16 months later. Inhibition, rule detection, strategy generation and planning executive functions and emotion recognition with dynamic stimuli showed longitudinal development between time points. Self-report empathy and emotion recognition functions using visual static and auditory stimuli were stable by age 17 whereas concept formation declined between time points. The protracted development of some functions may reflect continued brain maturation into late adolescence and early adulthood including synaptic pruning (Sowell et al., 2001) and changes to functional connectivity (Stevens et al., 2007) and/or environmental change. Clinical implications, such as assessing the effectiveness of rehabilitation following Head Injury, are discussed. PMID:26441579

  13. The development of executive functioning and theory of mind. A comparison of Chinese and U.S. preschoolers.

    PubMed

    Sabbagh, Mark A; Xu, Fen; Carlson, Stephanie M; Moses, Louis J; Lee, Kang

    2006-01-01

    Preschoolers' theory-of-mind development follows a similar age trajectory across many cultures. To determine whether these similarities are related to similar underlying ontogenetic processes, we examined whether the relation between theory of mind and executive function commonly found among U.S. preschoolers is also present among Chinese preschoolers. Preschoolers from Beijing, China (N= 109), were administered theory-of-mind and executive-functioning tasks, and their performance was compared with that of a previously studied sample of U.S. preschoolers (N= 107). The Chinese preschoolers outperformed their U.S. counterparts on all measures of executive functioning, but were not similarly advanced in theory-of-mind reasoning. Nonetheless, individual differences in executive functioning predicted theory of mind for children in both cultures. Thus, the relation between executive functioning and theory of mind is robust across two disparate cultures. These findings shed light on why executive functioning is important for theory-of-mind development.

  14. Infant breastfeeding duration and mid-childhood executive function, behavior, and social-emotional development

    PubMed Central

    Belfort, Mandy B.; Rifas-Shiman, Sheryl L.; Kleinman, Ken P.; Bellinger, David C.; Harris, Maria H.; Taveras, Elsie M.; Gillman, Matthew W.; Oken, Emily

    2016-01-01

    Objective Our aim was to examine associations of breastfeeding duration and exclusivity in infancy with executive function, behavior, and social-emotional development in mid-childhood. Methods We studied 1037 participants in Project Viva, a pre-birth cohort that enrolled pregnant mothers from 1999-2002 and followed children to 7-10 years. Main exposures were: (1) duration of any breastfeeding in the first 12 months and (2) duration of exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months. Main outcomes were child executive function, behavior, and social-emotional development, assessed by (1) the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and (2) the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), completed independently by parents and teachers. Higher scores indicate greater problems. Results In linear regression models adjusted for sociodemographics, maternal intelligence, home environment, early child care, and maternal depression, longer breastfeeding duration was not associated with substantially better executive function, behavior, or social-emotional development. For example, for each additional month of any breastfeeding, the BRIEF Global Executive Composite score (parent) was 0.10 points higher (95% CI −0.01, 0.22) and the SDQ total difficulties score was 0.06 points higher (−0.01, 0.12). Breastfeeding duration was also not associated with BRIEF or SDQ subscales, nor was exclusive breastfeeding duration associated with any of the outcomes analyzed. Conclusion Despite beneficial effects on general intelligence, longer duration of any breastfeeding or of exclusive breastfeeding was not associated with better executive function, behavior, or social-emotional development in mid-childhood. PMID:26651091

  15. A review of executive function deficits in autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    PubMed Central

    Craig, Francesco; Margari, Francesco; Legrottaglie, Anna R; Palumbi, Roberto; de Giambattista, Concetta; Margari, Lucia

    2016-01-01

    Executive dysfunction has been shown to be a promising endophenotype in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This article reviewed 26 studies that examined executive function comparing ASD and/or ADHD children. In light of findings from this review, the ASD + ADHD group appears to share impairment in both flexibility and planning with the ASD group, while it shares the response inhibition deficit with the ADHD group. Conversely, deficit in attention, working memory, preparatory processes, fluency, and concept formation does not appear to be distinctive in discriminating from ASD, ADHD, or ASD + ADHD group. On the basis of neurocognitive endophenotype, the common co-occurrence of executive function deficits seems to reflect an additive comorbidity, rather than a separate condition with distinct impairments. PMID:27274255

  16. Modulation of Irisin and Physical Activity on Executive Functions in Obesity and Morbid obesity

    PubMed Central

    Fagundo, A. B.; Jiménez-Murcia, S.; Giner-Bartolomé, C.; Agüera, Z.; Sauchelli, S.; Pardo, M.; Crujeiras, A. B.; Granero, R.; Baños, R.; Botella, C.; de la Torre, R.; Fernández-Real, J. M.; Fernández-García, J. C.; Frühbeck, G.; Rodríguez, A.; Mallorquí-Bagué, N.; Tárrega, S.; Tinahones, F. J.; Rodriguez, R.; Ortega, F.; Menchón, J. M.; Casanueva, F. F.; Fernández-Aranda, F.

    2016-01-01

    Whether the executive profile is different between obesity (OB) and morbid obesity (MO) remains unclear. Recent evidence suggests that physical activity (PA) can act as a cognitive enhancer. Irisin is a recently discovered hormone associated with some of the positive effects of PA. The objective of the study was to investigate the executive profile in OB and MO, and to explore the role of PA and irisin. 114 participants were included (21 OB, 44 MO and 49 healthy controls-HC) in the study and assessed with the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Stroop Color and Word Test, and Iowa Gambling Task. All participants were female, aged between 18 and 60 years. Results showed a similar dysfunctional profile on decision making in OB and MO compared with HC. Thus, no specific neuropsychological profiles between OB and MO can be clearly observed in our sample. However, a negative correlation was found between irisin and executive functioning. These results demonstrate a specific executive profile in OB and a relevant and negative modulation of irisin on executive functioning. Although irisin might be a promising target for the treatment of obesity, its effects on cognition might be considered when thinking about its therapeutic use. PMID:27476477

  17. Executive functioning and dietary intake: Neurocognitive correlates of fruit, vegetable, and saturated fat intake in adults with obesity.

    PubMed

    Wyckoff, Emily P; Evans, Brittney C; Manasse, Stephanie M; Butryn, Meghan L; Forman, Evan M

    2017-04-01

    Obesity is a significant public health issue, and is associated with poor diet. Evidence suggests that eating behavior is related to individual differences in executive functioning. Poor executive functioning is associated with poorer diet (few fruits and vegetables and high saturated fat) in normal weight samples; however, the relationship between these specific dietary behaviors and executive functioning have not been investigated in adults with obesity. The current study examined the association between executive functioning and intake of saturated fat, fruits, and vegetables in an overweight/obese sample using behavioral measures of executive function and dietary recall. One-hundred-ninety overweight and obese adults completed neuropsychological assessments measuring intelligence, planning ability, and inhibitory control followed by three dietary recall assessments within a month prior to beginning a behavioral weight loss treatment program. Inhibitory control and two of the three indices of planning each independently significantly predicted fruit and vegetable consumption such that those with better inhibition and planning ability consumed more fruits and vegetables. No relationship was found between executive functioning and saturated fat intake. Results increase understanding of how executive functioning influences eating behavior in overweight and obese adults, and suggest the importance of including executive functioning training components in dietary interventions for those with obesity. Further research is needed to determine causality as diet and executive functioning may bidirectionally influence each other.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Dimensions of Executive Functioning in Schizophrenia and Their Relationship With Processing Speed

    PubMed Central

    Savla, Gauri N.; Twamley, Elizabeth W.; Delis, Dean C.; Roesch, Scott C.; Jeste, Dilip V.; Palmer, Barton W.

    2012-01-01

    Context: The nature of executive dysfunction in schizophrenia is nebulous, due to inconsistencies in conceptualizing and operationalizing the construct, and the broader question of whether schizophrenia is best characterized in terms of specific vs generalized cognitive deficits. The current study aimed to determine whether executive functions represent unitary vs diverse constructs in schizophrenia. Methods: Participants included 145 community-dwelling individuals with schizophrenia. Executive functions were measured with the Delis-Kaplan Executive Functioning System (D-KEFS). We conducted an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) with principal axis factoring, as well as parallel analyses to examine the latent constructs underlying the D-KEFS tasks, a second EFA on weighted residuals of the D-KEFS tasks (after accounting for processing speed measured with the Digit Symbol task), and bivariate correlations to examine relationships between the D-KEFS components and relevant demographic and clinical variables, crystallized verbal knowledge, and functional capacity. Results: EFA of the D-KEFS tasks yielded 2 factors (cognitive flexibility/timed tests and abstraction). EFA of the processing speed-weighted D-KEFS residuals also yielded 2 factors (cognitive flexibility and abstraction). Cognitive flexibility was negatively correlated with psychopathology. Better abstraction was associated with higher education, shorter illness duration, and better functional capacity. Both factors were positively correlated with crystallized verbal knowledge. Conclusions: Executive functions in schizophrenia could be parsed into 2 partially related but separable subconstructs. Future efforts to elucidate functional outcomes as well as neurobiological underpinnings of schizophrenia may be facilitated by attending to the distinction between cognitive flexibility and abstraction. PMID:21163899

  20. Integrating the switching, inhibition, and updating model of executive function with the Cattell-Horn-Carroll model.

    PubMed

    Jewsbury, Paul A; Bowden, Stephen C; Strauss, Milton E

    2016-02-01

    Executive function is an important concept in neuropsychological and cognitive research, and is often viewed as central to effective clinical assessment of cognition. However, the construct validity of executive function tests is controversial. The switching, inhibition, and updating model is the most empirically supported and replicated factor model of executive function (Miyake et al., 2000). To evaluate the relation between executive function constructs and nonexplicitly executive cognitive constructs, we used confirmatory factor reanalysis guided by the comprehensive Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) model of cognitive abilities. Data from 7 of the best studies supporting the executive function model were reanalyzed, contrasting executive function models and CHC models. Where possible, we examined the effect of specifying executive function factors in addition to the CHC factors. The results suggested that little evidence is available to support updating as a separate factor from general memory factors; that inhibition does not separate from general speed; and that switching is supported as a narrow factor under general speed, but with a more restricted definition than some clinicians and researchers have conceptualized. The replicated executive function factor structure was integrated with the larger body of research on individual difference in cognition, as represented by the CHC model.