Science.gov

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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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"…

  11. 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"…

  12. Meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging studies indicates that an increase of cognitive difficulty during executive tasks engages brain regions associated with time perception.

    PubMed

    Radua, Joaquim; Del Pozo, Natalia Ojeda; Gómez, José; Guillen-Grima, Francisco; Ortuño, Felipe

    2014-05-01

    We hypothesize that time perception and executive functions are interrelated and share neuroanatomical basis, and that fluctuations in levels of cognitive effort play a role in mediating that relation. The main goal of this study was to identify brain structures activated both by increases in cognitive activity and during time perception tasks. We performed a multimodal meta-analysis to identify common brain regions in the findings of (a) an SDM meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies assessing the brain response to increasing levels of cognitive difficulty, and (b) an ALE meta-analysis on neuroimaging of time perception (Ortuño, Guillén-Grima, López-García, Gómez, & Pla, 2011. Schizophr. Res., 125(2-3), 129-35). Consistent with results of previous, separate meta-analyses, the current study supports the hypothesis that there exists a group of brain regions engaged both in time perception tasks and during tasks requiring cognitive effort. Thus, brain regions associated with working memory and executive functions were found to be engaged during time estimation tasks, and regions associated with time perception were found to be engaged by an increase in the difficulty of non-temporal tasks. The implication is that temporal perception and cognitive processes demanding cognitive control become interlinked when there is an increase in the level of cognitive effort demanded. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Executive functioning in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Orellana, Gricel; Slachevsky, Andrea

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Assessing executive function in preschoolers.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Peter J; Reidy, Natalie

    2012-12-01

    Executive function develops at an unprecedented rate during the preschool period, yet few clinicians attempt to assess executive processes in young children. The primary objective of this article is to demonstrate that executive function can be assessed in preschoolers, and to highlight the importance of detecting executive dysfunction as early as possible. Following a description of executive function and the underlying neural systems, this article outlines some of the challenges in assessing executive function in young children. The various assessment paradigms used for assessing executive function in preschoolers are presented, and based on studies that have applied these measurement tools normal development of executive domains is described. Finally, the benefits and opportunities for executive function intervention in the preschool period are considered.

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Executive Functions in the Context of Complex Learning: Malleable Moderators?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schwaighofer, Matthias; Bühner, Markus; Fischer, Frank

    2017-01-01

    Executive functions are crucial for complex learning in addition to prior knowledge. In this article, we argue that executive functions can moderate the effectiveness of instructional approaches that vary with respect to the demand on these functions. In addition, we suggest that engagement in complex activity contexts rather than specific…

  2. 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. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Executive function after exhaustive exercise.

    PubMed

    Sudo, Mizuki; Komiyama, Takaaki; Aoyagi, Ryo; Nagamatsu, Toshiya; Higaki, Yasuki; Ando, Soichi

    2017-08-05

    Findings concerning the effects of exhaustive exercise on cognitive function are somewhat equivocal. The purpose of this study was to identify physiological factors that determine executive function after exhaustive exercise. Thirty-two participants completed the cognitive tasks before and after an incremental exercise until exhaustion (exercise group: N = 18) or resting period (control group N = 14). The cognitive task was a combination of a Spatial Delayed-Response (Spatial DR) task and a Go/No-Go task, which requires executive function. Cerebral oxygenation and skin blood flow were monitored during the cognitive task over the prefrontal cortex. Venous blood samples were collected before and after the exercise or resting period, and blood catecholamines, serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor, insulin-like growth hormone factor 1, and blood lactate concentrations were analyzed. In the exercise group, exhaustive exercise did not alter reaction time (RT) in the Go/No-Go task (pre: 861 ± 299 ms vs. post: 775 ± 168 ms) and the number of error trials in the Go/No-Go task (pre: 0.9 ± 0.7 vs. post: 1.8 ± 1.8) and the Spatial DR task (pre: 0.3 ± 0.5 vs. post: 0.8 ± 1.2). However, ΔRT was negatively correlated with Δcerebral oxygenation (r = -0.64, P = 0.004). Other physiological parameters were not correlated with cognitive performance. Venous blood samples were not directly associated with cognitive function after exhaustive exercise. The present results suggest that recovery of regional cerebral oxygenation affects executive function after exhaustive exercise.

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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…

  17. Growing up in Poverty and Civic Engagement: The Role of Kindergarten Executive Function and Play Predicting Participation in 8th Grade Extracurricular Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Astuto, Jennifer; Ruck, Martin

    2017-01-01

    In the United States a "civic engagement gap" persists between low-income youth and their higher-income counterparts. To examine the developmental origins of civic engagement in a sample of U.S. children growing up in poverty, a conceptual model was tested employing the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Class (ECLS-K)…

  18. 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.

  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

    2017-05-01

    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 (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  20. Executive functions in anorexia nervosa.

    PubMed

    Jáuregui-Lobera, Ignacio

    2014-03-01

    The pathophysiologic mechanisms that account for the development and persistence of anorexia nervosa (AN) remain unclear. With respect to the neuropsychological functioning, the executive functions have been reported to be altered, especially cognitive flexibility and decision-making processes. The aim of this study was to review the current state of the neuropsychological studies focused on anorexia nervosa, especially those highlighting the executive functions. This was done by means of a searching process covering three relevant electronic databases, as well as an additional search on references included in the analysed papers. Eventually we have to mention other published reviews and a hand-search. Comparing AN patients and healthy controls the results remain controversial and so remains the comparison of different eating disorders with respect to the neuropsychological dysfunction. The role of variables such as depression, anxiety and obsessionality needs to be clarified. There seems to be some base to state that some commonalities exist in the so-called extreme weight conditions (anorexia, obesity). The link between neuropsychological dysfunction in AN and biomarkers remains unclear. The role of neuropsychological deficits in AN, as initial factors or simply as mere consequences, remains unclear too. The link between the body image disturbances and the neuropsychological dysfunction needs to be clarified. The similarities between the AN neuropsychological dysfunction and that found in other mental disorders may be considered up to date as a mere approach. The same applies to the relationship between the AN patients' neuropsychological performance and personality or gender. Copyright AULA MEDICA EDICIONES 2014. Published by AULA MEDICA. All rights reserved.

  1. Executive Functions in Savant Artists with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. Executive Functions in Savant Artists with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. 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…

  5. Conceptualization and Operationalization of Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baggetta, Peter; Alexander, Patricia A.

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Culture, executive function, and social understanding.

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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,…

  12. 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,…

  13. [Executive function and behavior in university drinkers].

    PubMed

    Salcedo Palacios, Dii Dayana; Ramírez Nova, Yeimy Johanna; Acosta Barreto, María Rocío

    2015-01-01

    Establish the profile of executive function and behavior in fifty consumers of alcohol are located in a high-risk level according to the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and which belong to different universities in the city of Bogota. Was used analytical transverse design, and were taken as study variables executive function (inhibition, monitoring, sequencing, planning, cognitive flexibility, working memory, attentional control, categorization and concept formation) and executive behavior (decision making, impulse control, emotional feedback, empathy and theory of mind). Results showed that there is a greater number of cognitive domains of executive function involved in contrast to those of executive behavior. Such is for inhibition, sequencing, attention control (processing speed), categorization, cognitive flexibility, self monitoring and planning. Copyright © 2014 Asociación Colombiana de Psiquiatría. Publicado por Elsevier España. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. Neurocognitive insight and executive functioning in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Prouteau, Antoinette; Atzeni, Thierry; Tastet, Hélène; Bergua, Valérie; Destaillats, Jean-Marc; Verdoux, Hélène

    2015-01-01

    This study explored whether integrity of executive functioning is required for good neurocognitive insight (NI) in subjects with schizophrenia. NI was measured by subtracting executive difficulties (errors in the Modified Card Sorting Task) from executive cognitive complaints (Subjective Scale to Investigate Cognition in Schizophrenia) in 40 outpatients with schizophrenia and 42 normal controls. The schizophrenia sample was a priori divided into two subgroups on the basis of executive level. Multivariate analyses were conducted to compare groups and to control for potential confounding factors. Only the schizophrenia dysexecutive subgroup had a poorer NI compared to normal controls. Group differences remained significant after adjustment for potential confounding factors (education, depression, anxiety and self-esteem). These results provide support for the hypothesis that executive dysfunctioning is a limiting factor for NI, independently from depressive and anxiety symptoms.

  19. Executive function, episodic memory, and Medicare expenditures.

    PubMed

    Bender, Alex C; Austin, Andrea M; Grodstein, Francine; Bynum, Julie P W

    2017-07-01

    We examined the relationship between health care expenditures and cognition, focusing on differences across cognitive systems defined by global cognition, executive function, or episodic memory. We used linear regression models to compare annual health expenditures by cognitive status in 8125 Nurses' Health Study participants who completed a cognitive battery and were enrolled in Medicare parts A and B. Adjusting for demographics and comorbidity, executive impairment was associated with higher total annual expenditures of $1488 per person (P < .01) compared with those without impairment. No association for episodic memory impairment was found. Expenditures exhibited a linear relationship with executive function, but not episodic memory ($584 higher for every 1 standard deviation decrement in executive function; P < .01). Impairment in executive function is specifically and linearly associated with higher health care expenditures. Focusing on management strategies that address early losses in executive function may be effective in reducing costly services. Copyright © 2017 the Alzheimer's Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. [Prematurity: longitudinal analysis of executive functions].

    PubMed

    Sastre-Riba, S

    2009-02-27

    Understanding cognitive development requires an interdisciplinary and neuropsychological approach. Executive functions facilitates cognitive activity and they are related to progressive cerebral configuration during pregnancy and infancy. One of the aims of the actual neuropsychology is the ontogeny of executive functions and their capacity to explain differential and normative developmental trends, specially because of its consequences on mental flexibility, monitoring, planning and cognitive control; they are also essential for good performance at school. The incidence of developmental risk factors as prematurity could affect long-term executive functioning expressed in learning difficulties or behavioral control. We studied, comparatively and longitudinally, the individual activity on objects displayed by typical babies (n = 25), and preterm babies (n = 10) from 1.5 to 2 years-old. Applying systematic observational methodology, spontaneous babies' activity is registered. Double intra and inter-group analysis compare the data from the resolution of a non-verbal task through a multifaceted design. Results obtained show us differential pattern of early executive functioning among the groups studied. The growth of executive functioning is showed, too, through the ages studied for every group.

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. Executing Quality: A Grounded Theory of Child Care Quality Improvement Engagement Process in Pennsylvania

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Critchosin, Heather

    2014-01-01

    Executing Quality describes the perceived process experienced by participants while engaging in Keystone Standards, Training, Assistance, Resources, and Support (Keystone STARS) quality rating improvement system (QRIS). The purpose of this qualitative inquiry was to understand the process of Keystone STARS engagement in order to generate a…

  5. 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

  6. Longitudinal antecedents of executive function in preschoolers.

    PubMed

    Conway, Anne; Stifter, Cynthia A

    2012-01-01

    Despite an extensive history underscoring the role of social processes and child contributions to the development of executive functions (C. Lewis & J. Carpendale, 2009; L. S. Vygotsky, 1987), research on these relations is sparse. To address this gap, 68 mother-child dyads were examined to determine whether maternal attention-directing behaviors (attention maintaining, attention redirection) and toddlers' temperament predicted executive processes during preschool (mean age = 4.5 years, SD = 0.46)-delay and conflict inhibition. Maternal attention maintaining was associated with high levels of conflict inhibition for inhibited and exuberant children, whereas attention redirection was associated with low levels of delay and conflict inhibition for inhibited children. Therefore, maternal attention-directing behaviors may enhance the development of executive functions but only for children with inhibited and exuberant temperaments. © 2012 The Authors. Child Development © 2012 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

  7. Longitudinal antecedents of executive function in preschoolers

    PubMed Central

    Conway, Anne; Stifter, Cynthia A.

    2012-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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,…

  12. 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,…

  13. 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…

  14. Executive Functions in Individuals with Williams Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  15. 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…

  16. Longitudinal Antecedents of Executive Function in Preschoolers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conway, Anne; Stifter, Cynthia A.

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Examining Executive Functioning in Boys with ADHD.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

  18. 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…

  19. Infant Attention and Early Childhood Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cuevas, Kimberly; Bell, Martha Ann

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Promoting Executive Function in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meltzer, Lynn

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Executive 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. [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

  8. Fractionating Executive Functions of Adults With ADHD.

    PubMed

    Bueno, Viviane Freire; da Silva, Maria Aparecida; Alves, Tânia Maria; Louzã, Mario Rodrigues; Pompéia, Sabine

    2017-09-01

    To evaluate the performance of adults with ADHD considering the fractionation of executive functions into six different domains. Participants were adult ADHD patients who were not under the acute effects of medication ( n = 48). Their performance was compared with that of a healthy control group ( n = 20) of comparable age, education, and nonverbal intelligence quotient. The cognitive domains assessed were executive shifting, updating, inhibition of prepotent responses, dual-task performance, planning, and access to long-term memory. We also assessed the symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, anxiety, and depression by validated questionnaires. Compared with controls, patients reported more symptoms related to ADHD, anxiety and depression symptoms and were impaired in the shifting cost measure and phonemic fluency (measure of access to long-term memory). ADHD in adults selectively impaired executive shifting and access to long-term memory, domains that may alter performance in a wide range of daily tasks.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Early executive function predicts reasoning development.

    PubMed

    Richland, Lindsey E; Burchinal, Margaret R

    2013-01-01

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

  17. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2017-01-01

    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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Infant Attention and Early Childhood Executive Function

    PubMed Central

    Cuevas, Kimberly; Bell, Martha Ann

    2013-01-01

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

  1. On-line social interactions and executive functions

    PubMed Central

    Ybarra, Oscar; Winkielman, Piotr

    2012-01-01

    A successful social interaction often requires on-line and active construction of an ever-changing mental-model of another person’s beliefs, expectations, emotions, and desires. It also requires the ability to maintain focus, problem-solve, and flexibly pursue goals in a distraction-rich environment, as well as the ability to take-turns and inhibit inappropriate behaviors. Many of these tasks rely on executive functions (EF) – working memory, attention/cognitive control, and inhibition. Executive functioning has long been viewed as relatively static. However, starting with recent reports of successful cognitive interventions, this view is changing and now EFs are seen as much more open to both short- and long-term “training,” “warm-up,” and “exhaustion” effects. Some of the most intriguing evidence suggests that engaging in social interaction enhances performance on standard EF tests. Interestingly, the latest research indicates these EF benefits are selectively conferred by certain on-line, dynamic social interactions, which require participants to mentally engage with another person and actively construct a model of their mind. We review this literature and highlight its connection with evolutionary and cultural theories emphasizing links between intelligence and sociality. PMID:22509160

  2. 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…

  3. Evaluation of a differentiation model of preschoolers’ executive functions

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25852603

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Executive Function in Previously Institutionalized Children

    PubMed Central

    Merz, Emily C.; Harlé, Katia M.; Noble, Kimberly G.; McCall, Robert B.

    2016-01-01

    In studies of children adopted from institutions, being raised in an institution has been associated consistently with an increased risk of persistent cognitive, academic, and social-emotional problems. These findings raise questions about the neurocognitive mechanisms that contribute to these negative outcomes. Theory and models based on studies of animals indicate that development of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and executive function (EF) may be particularly susceptible to environmental influences during early childhood. In this article, we review recent studies of postinstitutionalized children that examined EF components such as inhibitory control, working memory, shifting, and planning. We then describe emerging research on the structure and function of the PFC. Converging evidence suggests both EF difficulties and alterations in development of the PFC following early institutionalization. We conclude by discussing possible explanations for these findings and implications for prevention and intervention, and by offering suggestions for ongoing research. PMID:27528884

  12. Executive Leadership and Physician Well-being: Nine Organizational Strategies to Promote Engagement and Reduce Burnout.

    PubMed

    Shanafelt, Tait D; Noseworthy, John H

    2017-01-01

    These are challenging times for health care executives. The health care field is experiencing unprecedented changes that threaten the survival of many health care organizations. To successfully navigate these challenges, health care executives need committed and productive physicians working in collaboration with organization leaders. Unfortunately, national studies suggest that at least 50% of US physicians are experiencing professional burnout, indicating that most executives face this challenge with a disillusioned physician workforce. Burnout is a syndrome characterized by exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced effectiveness. Physician burnout has been shown to influence quality of care, patient safety, physician turnover, and patient satisfaction. Although burnout is a system issue, most institutions operate under the erroneous framework that burnout and professional satisfaction are solely the responsibility of the individual physician. Engagement is the positive antithesis of burnout and is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption in work. There is a strong business case for organizations to invest in efforts to reduce physician burnout and promote engagement. Herein, we summarize 9 organizational strategies to promote physician engagement and describe how we have operationalized some of these approaches at Mayo Clinic. Our experience demonstrates that deliberate, sustained, and comprehensive efforts by the organization to reduce burnout and promote engagement can make a difference. Many effective interventions are relatively inexpensive, and small investments can have a large impact. Leadership and sustained attention from the highest level of the organization are the keys to making progress. Copyright © 2016 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. A developmental systems approach to executive function.

    PubMed

    Müller, Ulrich; Baker, Lesley; Yeung, Emanuela

    2013-01-01

    According to recent claims from behavior genetics, executive function (EF) is almost entirely heritable. The implications of this claim are significant, given the importance of EF in academic, social, and psychological domains. This paper critically examines the behavior genetics approach to explaining individual differences in EF and proposes a relational developmental systems model that integrates both biological and social factors in the development of EF and the emergence of individual differences in EF. Problems inherent to behavioral genetics research are discussed, as is neuroscience research that emphasizes the plasticity of the prefrontal cortex. Empirical evidence from research on stress, social interaction, and intervention and training demonstrates that individual differences in EF are experience-dependent. Taken together, these findings challenge the claim that EF is almost entirely genetic but are consistent with an approach that considers biological differences in the context of social interaction.

  15. 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

  16. The Development of Executive Function in Autism

    PubMed Central

    Pellicano, Elizabeth

    2012-01-01

    Autism is a common and often highly debilitating neurodevelopmental condition, whose core behavioral features are believed to be rooted in disrupted neurocognitive processes, including especially “executive function.” Researchers have predominantly focused upon understanding the putative causal relationship between difficulties in EF and autistic symptomatology. This paper suggests, however, that the effects of individual differences in EF should be more far-reaching, playing a significant part in the real-life outcomes of individuals with autism, including their social competence, everyday adaptive behavior, and academic achievement. It further considers the nature of the EF-outcome relationship, including the possible determinants of individual differences in EF, and makes several recommendations for future research. PMID:22934168

  17. 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,…

  18. 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,…

  19. Individual differences in executive functioning: implications for stress regulation.

    PubMed

    Williams, Paula G; Suchy, Yana; Rau, Holly K

    2009-04-01

    Executive functioning (EF) refers to the set of neurocognitive processes that facilitate novel problem solving, modification of behavior in response to environmental changes, planning and generating strategies for complex actions, and ability to override pre-potent behavioral and emotional responses to engage in goal-directed behavior. To provide an overview of research on individual differences in EF and examine the extent to which these individual differences confer risk and resilience for poor stress regulation. Review of the literature suggests that individual differences in EF are evident at multiple levels of analysis including genotype, endophenotype (e.g., performance on cognitive tasks), and phenotype (e.g., temperament and personality). These individual differences are associated with differential stress exposure, reactivity, recovery, and restorative processes. A theoretical framework that includes individual differences in EF will inform behavioral medicine research on stress risk and resilience.

  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. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. 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

  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. Executive Function in SLI: Recent Advances and Future Directions

    PubMed Central

    Plante, Elena

    2015-01-01

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

  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 Central

    Mandell, Dorothy J.; Ward, Sarah E.

    2011-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  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. 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…

  13. Patient engagement in the design and execution of urologic oncology research.

    PubMed

    Lee, Daniel J; Avulova, Svetlana; Conwill, Ralph; Barocas, Daniel A

    2017-09-01

    There have been significant effort and financial support to engage patients in the design and execution of medical research. However, little is known about the relative benefits or potential impact of involving patients in research, most efficient practices and systems to enhance their involvement, and potential barriers and challenges that are involved with engaging patients. In this review, we will discuss the value of patient centered research, review the challenges that many of these studies faced, and highlight potential future opportunities to enhance patient involvement in urologic research. An English-language literature search was performed in the electronic databases of Medline (PubMed), EMBASE, Web of Science, Google Scholar, the Cochrane Library, and on the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) website. Search items included "patient-centered research," "patient-reported outcomes" and "patient engagement" in various combinations. Although PCORI has funded almost 600 projects with $1.6 billion to improve patient centered research, the search revealed 3 studies of patient engagement in the development, management, and execution of urologic oncology research. Patient engagement in the design and execution of medical research can help align research topics to match patient priorities, improve survey and data collection tools, increase patient recruitment and participation in studies, and improve accessibility and dissemination of clinically relevant results from medical research. However, engagement patients in research requires significant investment of time, financial support, and energy from the patients, stakeholders, and researchers to provide mutual benefit. In the three studies in urologic oncology that involved patients, the patients provided a significant impact on the structure of the studies and helped improve the ability of patients to apply the results from the research studies. The benefits to involving patients in research to

  14. Adolescent inhalant use and executive cognitive functioning.

    PubMed

    Scott, K D; Scott, A A

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates the association between inhalant use and executive cognitive functioning (ECF) and processing speed (PS) in 754 adjudicated poly-substance users on a series of neuropsychological tests. Poly-substance users who used inhalants (PSI = 262) and poly-substance users who did not use inhalants (PSO = 492) neuropsychological tests scores were compared. Hispanic Americans comprised 72% of the participants; European Americans, African Americans and Asian Americans comprised 28% of the participants. Standardized neuropsychological tests were used to assess ECF and PS. Psychosocial and substance abuse standardized surveys were used to assess drug use severity and psychosocial problems associated with substance use. Multiple Analysis of Covariance shows that PSI users who used inhalants performed worse on ECF and PS measures in comparison to non-inhalant poly-substance users (PSO). PSI users were younger, used more drugs and had more psychiatric admissions than PSO users. PSI users initiate substances at a younger age and experienced more ECF and PS deficits, and behavioural problems in comparison to PSO users. The results of this study suggest that PS has direct effect on ECF and psychosocial outcomes in PSI users. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Executive functions in adults with developmental dyslexia.

    PubMed

    Smith-Spark, James H; Henry, Lucy A; Messer, David J; Edvardsdottir, Elisa; Zięcik, Adam P

    2016-01-01

    Executive functioning (EF) deficits are well recognized in developmental dyslexia, yet the majority of studies have concerned children rather than adults, ignored the subjective experience of the individual with dyslexia (with regard to their own EFs), and have not followed current theoretical perspectives on EFs. The current study addressed these shortfalls by administering a self-report measure of EF (BRIEF-A; Roth, Isquith, & Gioia, 2005) and experimental tasks to IQ-matched groups of adults with and without dyslexia. The laboratory-based tasks tested the three factors constituting the framework of EF proposed by Miyake et al. (2000). In comparison to the group without dyslexia, the participants with dyslexia self-reported more frequent EF problems in day-to-day life, with these difficulties centering on metacognitive processes (working memory, planning, task monitoring, and organization) rather than on the regulation of emotion and behaviour. The participants with dyslexia showed significant deficits in EF (inhibition, set shifting, and working memory). The findings indicated that dyslexia-related problems have an impact on the daily experience of adults with the condition. Further, EF difficulties are present in adulthood across a range of laboratory-based measures, and, given the nature of the experimental tasks presented, extend beyond difficulties related solely to phonological processing. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 29 CFR 452.20 - Nature of executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

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

  4. 29 CFR 452.20 - Nature of executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

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

  5. 29 CFR 452.20 - Nature of executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

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

  6. 29 CFR 452.20 - Nature of executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

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

  7. 29 CFR 452.20 - Nature of executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

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

  8. A Unitary Executive Function Predicts Intelligence in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Executive Function Impairment in Adolescence: TBI and ADHD.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ylvisaker, Mark; Debonis, David

    2000-01-01

    This article presents a functional understanding of the executive system, its development in childhood, its relation to communication effectiveness, and an everyday approach to intervention for adolescents with executive function impairments associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The role of…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. Executive Function in Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sinha, Preeti; Sagar, Rajesh; Mehta, Manju

    2008-01-01

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

  5. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. The role of executive functioning in children's attentional pain control: an experimental analysis.

    PubMed

    Verhoeven, Katrien; Dick, Bruce; Eccleston, Christopher; Goubert, Liesbet; Crombez, Geert

    2014-02-01

    Directing attention away from pain is often used in children's pain treatment programs to control pain. However, empirical evidence concerning its effectiveness is inconclusive. We therefore sought to understand other influencing factors, including executive function and its role in the pain experience. This study investigates the role of executive functioning in the effectiveness of distraction. School children (n=164) completed executive functioning tasks (inhibition, switching, and working memory) and performed a cold-pressor task. One half of the children simultaneously performed a distracting tone-detection task; the other half did not. Results showed that participants in the distraction group were engaged in the distraction task and were reported to pay significantly less attention to pain than controls. Executive functioning influenced distraction task engagement. More specifically, participants with good inhibition and working memory abilities performed the distraction task better; participants with good switching abilities reported having paid more attention to the distraction task. Furthermore, distraction was found to be ineffective in reducing pain intensity and affect. Executive functioning did not influence the effectiveness of distraction. However, a relationship was found between executive functioning and pain affect, indicating that participants with good inhibition and working memory abilities experienced the cold-pressor task as less stressful and unpleasant. Our findings suggest that distraction as a process for managing pain is complex. While it appears that executive function may play a role in adult distraction, in this study it did not direct attention away from pain. It may instead be involved in the overall pain experience. Copyright © 2013 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. [Ecological executive function characteristics and effects of executive function on social adaptive function in school-aged children with epilepsy].

    PubMed

    Xu, X J; Wang, L L; Zhou, N

    2016-02-23

    To explore the characteristics of ecological executive function in school-aged children with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy and examine the effects of executive function on social adaptive function. A total of 51 school-aged children with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy aged 5-12 years at our hospital and 37 normal ones of the same gender, age and educational level were included. The differences in ecological executive function and social adaptive function were compared between the two groups with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and Child Adaptive Behavior Scale, the Pearson's correlation test and multiple stepwise linear regression were used to explore the impact of executive function on social adaptive function. The scores of school-aged children with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy in global executive composite (GEC), behavioral regulation index (BRI) and metacognition index (MI) of BRIEF ((62±12), (58±13) and (63±12), respectively) were significantly higher than those of the control group ((47±7), (44±6) and (48±8), respectively))(P<0.01). The scores of school-aged children with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy in adaptive behavior quotient (ADQ), independence, cognition, self-control ((86±22), (32±17), (49±14), (41±16), respectively) were significantly lower than those of the control group ((120±12), (59±14), (59±7) and (68±10), respectively))(P<0.01). Pearson's correlation test showed that the scores of BRIEF, such as GEC, BRI, MI, inhibition, emotional control, monitoring, initiation and working memory had significantly negative correlations with the score of ADQ, independence, self-control ((r=-0.313--0.741, P<0.05)). Also, GEC, inhibition, MI, initiation, working memory, plan, organization and monitoring had significantly negative correlations with the score of cognition ((r=-0.335--0.437, P<0.05)); Multiple stepwise linear regression analysis showed that BRI

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Intelligence and executive functions in frontotemporal dementia.

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

    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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. Hot and cold executive functions in youth with psychotic symptoms.

    PubMed

    MacKenzie, L E; Patterson, V C; Zwicker, A; Drobinin, V; Fisher, H L; Abidi, S; Greve, A N; Bagnell, A; Propper, L; Alda, M; Pavlova, B; Uher, R

    2017-06-07

    Psychotic symptoms are common in children and adolescents and may be early manifestations of liability to severe mental illness (SMI), including schizophrenia. SMI and psychotic symptoms are associated with impairment in executive functions. However, previous studies have not differentiated between 'cold' and 'hot' executive functions. We hypothesized that the propensity for psychotic symptoms is specifically associated with impairment in 'hot' executive functions, such as decision-making in the context of uncertain rewards and losses. In a cohort of 156 youth (mean age 12.5, range 7-24 years) enriched for familial risk of SMI, we measured cold and hot executive functions with the spatial working memory (SWM) task (total errors) and the Cambridge Gambling Task (decision-making), respectively. We assessed psychotic symptoms using the semi-structured Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia interview, Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes, Funny Feelings, and Schizophrenia Proneness Instrument - Child and Youth version. In total 69 (44.23%) youth reported psychotic symptoms on one or more assessments. Cold executive functioning, indexed with SWM errors, was not significantly related to psychotic symptoms [odds ratio (OR) 1.36, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.85-2.17, p = 0.204). Poor hot executive functioning, indexed as decision-making score, was associated with psychotic symptoms after adjustment for age, sex and familial clustering (OR 2.37, 95% CI 1.25-4.50, p = 0.008). The association between worse hot executive functions and psychotic symptoms remained significant in sensitivity analyses controlling for general cognitive ability and cold executive functions. Impaired hot executive functions may be an indicator of risk and a target for pre-emptive early interventions in youth.

  20. Machiavellianism and executive functioning in patients with delusional disorder.

    PubMed

    Brüne, Martin; Basilowski, Miriam; Bömmer, Isabel; Juckel, Georg; Assion, Hans-Jörg

    2010-02-01

    Previous research has demonstrated that patients with Delusional Disorder are impaired in executive functioning that affects performance on social cognitive tasks. In patients with Parkinson's disease, poor executive control induces an increase in "Machiavellianism," a term that refers to opportunistic behaviors that aim at exploiting and manipulating others. Accordingly, the association between Machiavellianism in Delusional Disorder and executive functioning deficits was examined. Machiavellianism and executive functioning were measured in 22 patients with Delusional Disorder and compared with a group of 22 healthy controls matched for sex, (premorbid) intelligence, and education. Patients and controls did not differ regarding Machiavellianism scores, education level, or intelligence. However, patients with Delusional Disorder performed more poorly on an executive functioning task. Impaired executive functioning was associated with greater Machiavellianism, particularly cynical views on human nature, but not with intelligence or illness duration. Similar to findings in patients with Parkinson's disease, Machiavellianism in Delusional Disorder was associated with poorer executive functioning. This finding indicates that frontal lobe dysfunction may influence interpersonal attitudes and personality in Delusional Disorder.

  1. An Embodied Account of Early Executive-Function Development.

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. Executive functioning in high-IQ adults with ADHD.

    PubMed

    Antshel, K M; Faraone, S V; Maglione, K; Doyle, A E; Fried, R; Seidman, L J; Biederman, J

    2010-11-01

    To examine the association between psychological tests of executive functioning and functional outcomes among high-IQ adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Subjects were high-IQ adults with (n=64) and without ADHD (n=53). Subjects were administered a battery of neuropsychological tests assessing executive functioning. High-IQ adults with ADHD performed less well than those without ADHD on several psychological tests of executive functioning, including the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), Stroop Color and Word Test, Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (ROCF), California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT) and an auditory continuous performance test (CPT). Test performance in the high-IQ adult ADHD group, however, was average. In the entire sample, performance on several tests of executive functioning including the ROCF and the CVLT were significant predictors of real-world functioning. High-IQ adults with ADHD perform less well on tests of executive functioning relative to high-IQ control participants. Performance on several tests of executive functioning was a significant predictor of functioning.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Gallant, Sara N

    2016-02-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Subjective rating of executive functions in mild Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Fogarty, Jennifer; Almklov, Erin; Borrie, Michael; Wells, Jennie; Roth, Robert M

    2017-11-01

    Subjective cognitive decline is considered to be a core feature of pre-Alzheimer's disease (AD) conditions, the vast majority of literature having focused on memory concerns. Neuropsychological studies have implicated executive dysfunction on objective performance measures in AD, but no research has evaluated whether individuals with AD have concerns about their executive functions and whether it differs from their caregiver's concerns. In the present study, we sought to evaluate self- and informant ratings of executive functioning in patients with mild AD. Participants were 23 patients with mild AD and 32 healthy elderly controls (HC) and their informants who completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Adult version. Patients with AD and their informants reported greater executive dysfunction than the HC group and their informants, respectively, and patients reported greater difficulty than their informants. The largest effect size for both self- and informant ratings was obtained for the Working Memory scale. These findings indicate that subjective cognitive concerns in mild AD extend beyond the memory domain to executive functions. That greater difficulty was endorsed by patients than their informants suggests that at least in the mild stage of AD some awareness of executive dysfunction may be maintained in some patients. Implications for clinical care are discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  11. Executive functioning in obese individuals waiting for clinical treatment.

    PubMed

    Gameiro, Fátima; Perea, Maria V; Ladera, Valentina; Rosa, Beatriz; García, Ricardo

    2017-02-01

    Executive functions have an important role in human behavioural regulation and can be a determinant of eating behaviour. Our aim was to study the different components of executive functions in obese individuals waiting for clinical treatment, comparing them with normoweight subjects with similar socio-demographic characteristics. A total of 114 adults (76 obese and 38 normoweight) completed a neuropsychological battery that included tasks of conceptualization and abstraction, motor programming, response maintenance, inhibition and resistance, problem solving, cognitive flexibility, and verbal fluency. There was a statistically significant difference between groups for all the dimensions of the executive functions evaluated, with the obese group showing poorer performance compared to normoweight. Obese individuals demonstrated poorer executive functions than normoweight individuals.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. The Development of Executive Functioning and Theory of Mind

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    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 out-performed 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. PMID:16371147

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Bilingualism and age are continuous variables that influence executive function.

    PubMed

    Incera, Sara; McLennan, Conor T

    2017-04-24

    We analyzed the effects of bilingualism and age on executive function. We examined these variables along a continuum, as opposed to dichotomizing them. We investigated the impact that bilingualism and age have on two measures of executive control (Stroop and Flanker). The mouse-tracking paradigm allowed us to examine the continuous dynamics of the responses as participants completed each trial. First, we found that the Stroop effect was reduced with younger age and higher levels of bilingualism; however, no Bilingualism by Age interaction emerged. Second, after controlling for baseline, the Flanker effect was not influenced by bilingualism or age. These results support the notion that bilingualism is one way of enhancing some aspects of executive function - specifically those related to the Stroop task - across the adult life span. In sum, different levels of bilingualism, and different ages, result in varying degrees of executive function as measured by the Stroop task.

  20. The Disconnected Brain and Executive Function Decline in Aging.

    PubMed

    Fjell, Anders M; Sneve, Markus H; Grydeland, Håkon; Storsve, Andreas B; Walhovd, Kristine B

    2017-03-01

    Higher order speeded cognitive abilities depend on efficient coordination of activity across the brain, rendering them vulnerable to age reductions in structural and functional brain connectivity. The concept of "disconnected aging" has been invoked, suggesting that degeneration of connections between distant brain regions cause cognitive reductions. However, it has not been shown that changes in cognitive functions over time can be explained by simultaneous changes in brain connectivity. We followed 119 young and middle-aged (23-52 years) and older (63-86 years) adults for 3.3 years with repeated assessments of structural and functional brain connectivity and executive functions. We found unique age-related longitudinal reductions in executive function over and above changes in more basic cognitive processes. Intriguingly, 82.5% of the age-related decline in executive function could be explained by changes in connectivity over time. While both structural and functional connectivity changes were related to longitudinal reductions in executive function, only structural connectivity change could explain the age-specific decline. This suggests that the major part of the age-related reductions in executive function can be attributed to micro- and macrostructural alterations in brain connectivity. Although correlational in nature, we believe the present results constitute evidence for a "disconnected brain" view on cognitive aging. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Effects of Acute Laboratory Stress on Executive Functions

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

    Hoarding is common among youth with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), with up to 26% of OCD youth exhibiting hoarding symptoms. Recent evidence from adult hoarding and OCD cohorts suggests that hoarding symptoms are associated with executive functioning deficits similar to those observed in subjects with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, while hoarding behavior often onsets during childhood, there is little information about executive function deficits and ADHD in affected children and adolescents. The study sample included 431 youths (ages 6-17 years) diagnosed with OCD who participated in the OCD Collaborative Genetics Study and the OCD Collaborative Genetics Association Study and completed a series of clinician-administered and parent report assessments, including diagnostic interviews and measures of executive functioning (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning; BRIEF) and hoarding severity (Hoarding Rating Scale-Interview; HRS-I). 113 youths (26%) had clinically significant levels of hoarding compulsions. Youths with and without hoarding differed significantly on most executive functioning subdomains and composite indices as measured by the parent-rated BRIEF. Groups did not differ in the frequency of full DSM-IV ADHD diagnoses; however, the hoarding group had significantly greater number of inattention and hyperactivity symptoms compared to the non-hoarding group. In multivariate models, we found that overall BRIEF scores were related to hoarding severity, adjusting for age, gender and ADHD symptoms. These findings suggest an association between hoarding and executive functioning deficits in youths with OCD, and assessing executive functioning may be important for investigating the etiology and treatment of children and adolescents with hoarding and OCD. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  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. [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. © Société de Biologie, 2016.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Executive function processes predict mobility outcomes in older adults.

    PubMed

    Gothe, Neha P; Fanning, Jason; Awick, Elizabeth; Chung, David; Wójcicki, Thomas R; Olson, Erin A; Mullen, Sean P; Voss, Michelle; Erickson, Kirk I; Kramer, Arthur F; McAuley, Edward

    2014-02-01

    To examine the relationship between performance on executive function measures and subsequent mobility outcomes in community-dwelling older adults. Randomized controlled clinical trial. Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Community-dwelling older adults (N = 179; mean age 66.4). A 12-month exercise trial with two arms: an aerobic exercise group and a stretching and strengthening group. Established cognitive tests of executive function (flanker task, task switching, and a dual-task paradigm) and the Wisconsin card sort test. Mobility was assessed using the timed 8-foot up and go test and times to climb up and down a flight of stairs. Participants completed the cognitive tests at baseline and the mobility measures at baseline and after 12 months of the intervention. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine whether baseline executive function predicted postintervention functional performance after controlling for age, sex, education, cardiorespiratory fitness, and baseline mobility levels. Selective baseline executive function measurements, particularly performance on the flanker task (β = 0.15-0.17) and the Wisconsin card sort test (β = 0.11-0.16) consistently predicted mobility outcomes at 12 months. The estimates were in the expected direction, such that better baseline performance on the executive function measures predicted better performance on the timed mobility tests independent of intervention. Executive functions of inhibitory control, mental set shifting, and attentional flexibility were predictive of functional mobility. Given the literature associating mobility limitations with disability, morbidity, and mortality, these results are important for understanding the antecedents to poor mobility function that well-designed interventions to improve cognitive performance can attenuate. © 2014, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2014, The American Geriatrics Society.

  13. Neuroanatomical Substrates of Executive Functions: Beyond Prefrontal Structures

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Executive Functions and Prefrontal Cortex: A Matter of Persistence?

    PubMed Central

    Ball, Gareth; Stokes, Paul R.; Rhodes, Rebecca A.; Bose, Subrata K.; Rezek, Iead; Wink, Alle-Meije; Lord, Louis-David; Mehta, Mitul A.; Grasby, Paul M.; Turkheimer, Federico E.

    2011-01-01

    Executive function is thought to originates from the dynamics of frontal cortical networks. We examined the dynamic properties of the blood oxygen level dependent time-series measured with functional MRI (fMRI) within the prefrontal cortex (PFC) to test the hypothesis that temporally persistent neural activity underlies performance in three tasks of executive function. A numerical estimate of signal persistence, the Hurst exponent, postulated to represent the coherent firing of cortical networks, was determined and correlated with task performance. Increasing persistence in the lateral PFC was shown to correlate with improved performance during an n-back task. Conversely, we observed a correlation between persistence and increasing commission error – indicating a failure to inhibit a prepotent response – during a Go/No-Go task. We propose that persistence within the PFC reflects dynamic network formation and these findings underline the importance of frequency analysis of fMRI time-series in the study of executive functions. PMID:21286223

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Executive Function Subcomponents and their Relations to Everyday Functioning in Healthy Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    McAlister, Courtney; Schmitter-Edgecombe, Maureen

    2016-01-01

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

  20. [An approach to the executive functions in autism spectrum disorder].

    PubMed

    Martos-Pérez, Juan; Paula-Pérez, Isabel

    2011-03-01

    The psychological hypothesis of executive dysfunction plays a crucial role in explaining the behavioural phenotype of persons with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), along with other hypotheses such as the deficit in the theory of mind or the weak central coherence hypothesis. Yet, none of these hypotheses are mutually exclusive and behaviours that have their origins in one of these three hypotheses are also shaped and upheld by other processes and factors. This article reviews the behavioural manifestation and current state of research on the executive functions in persons with ASD. It also examines its impact on planning, mental flexibility and cognitive skills, generativity, response inhibition, mentalist skills and sense of activity. Although executive dysfunction has become more significant as a hypothesis explaining persons with ASD, there remain some important difficulties in need of further, more detailed research. Moreover, very few intervention programmes have been proved to be effective in minimising the effects of executive dysfunction in autism.

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Hypnosis, memory, and frontal executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Farvolden, Peter; Woody, Erik Z

    2004-01-01

    According to the dissociated-control hypothesis forwarded by Woody and Bowers (1994), the effects of hypnosis are consistent with attenuated frontal lobe functioning. The present study was designed to compare the performance of participants with high and low hypnotic ability on a variety of memory tasks thought to be sensitive to frontal lobe functioning, as well as some control memory tasks not considered to be sensitive to such functioning. Results generally indicated that participants with high hypnotic ability have more difficulty with tasks sensitive to frontal lobe functioning, including free recall, proactive interference, and source amnesia tasks, both within and outside of the context of hypnosis. These differences, which were not found for nonfrontal tasks, are generally supportive of the dissociated control theory of hypnotic responding.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    Elderly individuals with AD are more susceptible to falls, which might be associated with decrements in their executive functions and balance, among other things. We aimed to analyze the effects of a program of dual task physical activity on falls, executive functions and balance of elderly individuals with AD. We studied 21 elderly with probable AD, allocated to two groups: the training group (TG), with 10 elderly who participated in a program of dual task physical activity; and the control group (CG), with 11 elderly who were not engaged in regular practice of physical activity. The Clock Drawing Test (CDT) and the Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB) were used in the assessment of the executive functions, while the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and the Timed Up-and-Go (TUG)-test evaluated balance. The number of falls was obtained by means of a questionnaire. We observed a better performance of the TG as regards balance and executive functions. Moreover, the lower the number of steps in the TUG scale, the higher the scores in the CDT, and in the FAB. The practice of regular physical activity with dual task seems to have contributed to the maintenance and improvement of the motor and cognitive functions of the elderly with AD. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. Executive Control- and Reward-Related Neural Processes Associated with the Opportunity to Engage in Voluntary Dishonest Moral Decision Making

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Xiaoqing; Pornpattananangkul, Narun; Nusslock, Robin

    2016-01-01

    Research has begun to examine the neurocognitive processes underlying voluntary moral decision making, which involves engaging in honest or dishonest behavior in a setting where the individual is free to make his or her own moral decisions. Employing event-related potentials (ERPs), we measured executive control and reward-related neural processes during an incentivized coin-guessing task where participants had the opportunity to voluntarily engage in dishonest behavior by over-reporting 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 correct (win) guesses, reflecting a reward prediction error signal. Third, elevated executive control-related neural activity reflecting conflict resolution (i.e., attenuated executive control-P3) predicted a greater likelihood of engaging in overall deceptive behavior. Finally, whereas elevated reward-related neural activity (reward-P3) was as 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 over-report wins following a previous honest loss than a previous honest win trial). Collectively, these findings suggest that both executive control- and reward-related neural processes are implicated in moral decision making. PMID:25645507

  11. Effects of concussion on attention and executive function in adolescents.

    PubMed

    Howell, David; Osternig, Louis; Van Donkelaar, Paul; Mayr, Ulrich; Chou, Li-Shan

    2013-06-01

    Head trauma in adolescents has been linked with deficits in attention and executive function that can compromise the performance of everyday tasks. Although previous research has examined this issue using computerized neuropsychological testing, little work has been done using laboratory-based measurements of attention and executive function in this population. A longitudinal analysis of recovery patterns of these measures among adolescents is central to understanding the effects of concussions across the age spectrum. This study prospectively and longitudinally examined laboratory-based measures of attention and executive function in concussed adolescents sequentially during a 2-month period after injury. Two measures of attention and executive function, the Attentional Network Test and the Task-Switching Test, were administered to 20 concussed adolescents within 72 h postinjury as well as at 1 wk, 2 wk, 1 month, and 2 months postinjury. Twenty healthy, matched control subjects were similarly assessed at the same time intervals. Data were analyzed by two-way, mixed-effects ANOVA to determine the effect of group and time on the dependent variables. Compared with control subjects, the concussed group exhibited a significantly greater switch cost on the Task-Switching Test (P = 0.038, mean difference value = 38 ms) and a significantly greater reaction time for the Attentional Network Test conflict effect component (P = 0.015, mean difference value = 34 ms) for up to 2 months after injury. Concussed adolescents have difficulty recovering executive function after injury and may require extended recuperation time before full recovery is achieved. Evaluations focusing on attention and executive function can be useful additions in the assessment and follow-up after head injury.

  12. Executive function in fibromyalgia: Comparing subjective and objective measures.

    PubMed

    Gelonch, Olga; Garolera, Maite; Valls, Joan; Rosselló, Lluís; Pifarré, Josep

    2016-04-01

    There is evidence to suggest the existence of an executive dysfunction in people diagnosed with fibromyalgia, although there are certain inconsistencies between studies. Here, we aim to compare executive performance between patients with fibromyalgia and a control group by using subjective and objective cognitive tests, analyzing the influence of patient mood on the results obtained, and studying associations between the two measures. 82 patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia and 42 healthy controls, matched by age and years of education, were assessed using the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function - Adult Version (BRIEF-A) as a subjective measure of executive functioning. A selection of objective cognitive tests were also used to measure a series of executive functions and to identify symptoms of depression and anxiety. Patients with fibromyalgia perceived greater difficulties than the control group on all of the BRIEF-A scales. However, after adjustments were made for depression and anxiety the only differences that remained were those associated with the working memory scale and the Metacognition and Global Executive Composite index. In the case of the objective cognitive tests, a significantly worse overall performance was evidenced for the fibromyalgia patients. However, this also disappeared when adjustments were made for depression and anxiety. After this adjustment, fibromyalgia patients only performed significantly worse for the interference effect in the Stroop Test. Although there were no significant associations between most of the objective cognitive tests and the BRIEF-A scales, depression and anxiety exhibited strong associations with almost all of the BRIEF-A scales and with several of the objective cognitive tests. Patients with fibromyalgia showed executive dysfunction in subjective and objective measures, although most of this impairment was associated with mood disturbances. Exceptions to this general rule were observed in the

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-01

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

  14. Executive function and cardiac autonomic regulation in depressive disorders.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Alexandra; Ettinger, Ulrich; Reyes Del Paso, Gustavo A; Duschek, Stefan

    2017-08-18

    Executive function impairments have been frequently observed in depressive disorders. Moreover, reduced heart rate variability (HRV) has repeatedly been described, especially in the high frequency band (i.e., respiratory sinus arrhythmia, RSA), suggesting lower vagal cardiac outflow. The study tested the hypothesis of involvement of low vagal tone in executive dysfunction in depression. In addition to RSA, HRV in the low frequency (LF) band was assessed. In 36 patients with depression and 36 healthy subjects, electrocardiography recordings were accomplished at rest and during performance of five executive function tasks (number-letter task, n-back task, continuous performance test, flanker task, and antisaccade task). Patients displayed increased error rates and longer reaction times in the task-switching condition of the number-letter task, in addition to increased error rates in the n-back task and the final of two blocks of the antisaccade task. In patients, both HRV parameters were lower during all experimental phases. RSA correlated negatively with reaction time during task-switching. This finding confirms reduced performance across different executive functions in depression and suggests that, in addition to RSA, LF HRV is also diminished. However, the hypothesis of involvement of low parasympathetic tone in executive dysfunction related to depression received only limited support. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. 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…

  16. Elderly with Autism: Executive Functions and Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geurts, Hilde M.; Vissers, Marlies E.

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Dissociable executive functions in behavioral variant frontotemporal and Alzheimer dementias

    PubMed Central

    Feigenbaum, Dana; Rankin, Katherine P.; Smith, Glenn E.; Boxer, Adam L.; Wood, Kristie; Hanna, Sherrie M.; Miller, Bruce L.; Kramer, Joel H.

    2013-01-01

    Objective: The objective of this study was to determine which aspects of executive functions are most affected in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and best differentiate this syndrome from Alzheimer disease (AD). Methods: We compared executive functions in 22 patients diagnosed with bvFTD, 26 with AD, and 31 neurologically healthy controls using a conceptually driven and comprehensive battery of executive function tests, the NIH EXAMINER battery (http://examiner.ucsf.edu). Results: The bvFTD and the AD patients were similarly impaired compared with controls on tests of working memory, category fluency, and attention, but the patients with bvFTD showed significantly more severe impairments than the patients with AD on tests of letter fluency, antisaccade accuracy, social decision-making, and social behavior. Discriminant function analysis with jackknifed cross-validation classified the bvFTD and AD patient groups with 73% accuracy. Conclusions: Executive function assessment can support bvFTD diagnosis when measures are carefully selected to emphasize frontally specific functions. PMID:23658382

  18. Frequency of mentally stimulating activities modifies the relationship between cardiovascular reactivity and executive function in old age.

    PubMed

    Lin, Feng; Heffner, Kathi; Mapstone, Mark; Chen, Ding-Geng Din; Porsteisson, Anton

    2014-11-01

    Recent evidence suggests that younger and middle-age adults who show greater cardiovascular reactivity (CVR) to acute mental stress demonstrate better reasoning and memory skills. The purpose of this study was to examine whether older adults would exhibit a similar positive association between CVR and executive function and whether regular engagement in mentally stimulating activities (MSA) would moderate this association. Secondary cross-sectional analysis. Three clinical research centers in the Midwest and on the West Coast and East Coast. A total of 487 older adults participating in an ongoing national survey. Heart rate (HR) and low-frequency (LF) and high-frequency (HF) domains of heart rate variability (HRV) were measured at baseline and in response to standard mental stress tasks (Stroop color word task and mental arithmetic). Executive function was measured separately from the stress tasks by using five neuropsychological tests. MSA was measured by self-reported frequency of six common MSA. Higher HR reactivity was associated with better executive function after controlling for demographic and health characteristics and baseline HR, and the interaction between HR reactivity and MSA was significant for executive function. Higher LF-HRV reactivity was also associated with executive function, but subsequent analyses indicated that frequency of MSA was the strongest predictor of executive function in models that included LF-HRV or HF-HRV. Higher HR reactivity to acute psychological stress is related to better executive function in older adults. For those with lower HR reactivity, engaging frequently in MSA produced compensatory benefits for executive function. Copyright © 2014 American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Frequency of Mentally Stimulating Activities Modifies the Relationship between Cardiovascular Reactivity and Executive Function in Old Age

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Feng; Heffner, Kathi; Mapstone, Mark; Chen, Ding-Geng (Din); Porsteisson, Anton

    2013-01-01

    Objective Recent evidence suggests that younger- and middle-age adults who show greater cardiovascular reactivity (CVR) to acute mental stress demonstrate better reasoning and memory skills. The purpose of this study was to examine whether older adults would show a similar positive association between CVR and executive function, and whether regular engagement in mentally stimulating activities (MSA) would moderate this association. Design Secondary cross-sectional analysis. Setting Three general clinical research centers located in the West Coast, Midwest, and East Coast. Participants 487 older adults participating in an on-going national survey. Measurements Heart rate (HR) and low (LF) and high frequency (HF) domains of heart rate variability (HRV) were measured at baseline and in response to standard mental stress tasks (Stroop color word task and mental arithmetic). Executive function was measured separately from the stress tasks using five neuropsychological tests. MSA was measured by self-report frequency of six common mentally stimulating activities. Results Higher HR reactivity was associated with better executive function after controlling for demographic and health variables and baseline HR activity and the interaction between HR reactivity and MSA was significant for executive function. Higher LF-HRV reactivity was also associated with executive function, but subsequent analyses indicated that frequency of MSA was the strongest predictor of executive function in models that included LF- or HF-HRV. Conclusions Higher HR reactivity to acute psychological stress is related to better executive function in older adults. For those with lower HR reactivity, engaging frequently in MSA showed significant compensatory benefits for executive function. PMID:23891367

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Mining dynamic noteworthy functions in software execution sequences.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bing; 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  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. Does Executive Function Matter for Preschoolers' Problem Behaviors?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hughes, Claire; Ensor, Rosie

    2008-01-01

    Early problem behaviors are associated with a variety of cognitive deficits: in verbal ability, executive function (EF) and theory of mind (ToM). Previous studies with different age-groups yield contrasting results: for 2-year-olds, ToM skills appear particularly salient (Hughes & Ensor, 2006), but for 4-year-olds EF appears more important…

  8. 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…

  9. 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).…

  10. 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…

  11. 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)…

  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. 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,…

  14. 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.

  15. 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)…

  16. 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,…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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,…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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.…

  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. 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…

  12. 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…

  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. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. Executive Functions after Age 5: Changes and Correlates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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.…

  2. 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),…

  3. 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…

  4. Intellectual Ability and Executive Function in Pediatric Moyamoya Vasculopathy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. 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,…

  6. Executive Functions Contribute Uniquely to Reading Competence in Minority Youth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jacobson, Lisa A.; Koriakin, Taylor; Lipkin, Paul; Boada, Richard; Frijters, Jan C.; Lovett, Maureen W.; Hill, Dina; Willcutt, Erik; Gottwald, Stephanie; Wolf, Maryanne; Bosson-Heenan, Joan; Gruen, Jeffrey R.; Mahone, E. Mark

    2017-01-01

    Competent reading requires various skills beyond those for basic word reading (i.e., core language skills, rapid naming, phonological processing). Contributing "higher-level" or domain-general processes include information processing speed and executive functions (working memory, strategic problem solving, attentional switching).…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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,…

  11. 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…

  12. Social Maturity and Executive Function among Deaf Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  13. Executive Function in Preschoolers with Primary Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Hui-Chun; Gray, Shelley

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether preschoolers with primary language impairment (PLI) show deficits in executive function (EF) compared with their peers with typical development (TD) when inhibition, updating, and mental-set shifting are examined using both linguistically based and visually based tasks. Method: Twenty-two…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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,…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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,…

  1. Teacher Stress Predicts Child Executive Function: Moderation by School Poverty

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neuenschwander, Regula; Friedman-Krauss, Allison; Raver, Cybele; Blair, Clancy

    2017-01-01

    Research Findings: Recent research has explored relations between classroom quality and child executive function (EF), but little is known about how teachers' well-being, including stress, relates to child EF--a crucial component of self-regulation. We hypothesized that teacher stress is negatively or curvilinearly related to child EF and…

  2. 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,…

  3. 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),…

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. Executive Functioning in Children with Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. Executive functioning and behavioral impulsivity of young women who binge eat.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Nichole R; Bulik, Cynthia M; Mazzeo, Suzanne E

    2013-03-01

    To examine the link between binge eating, executive functioning, and behavioral impulsivity. Fifty women who reported engaging in weekly binge eating in the absence of regular compensatory behaviors and 66 women with no history of binge eating completed several self-report questionnaires and a brief neuropsychological battery, including the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task and Conner's Continuous Performance Task. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that groups did not differ in executive functioning after controlling for depression, anxiety, body mass, general intelligence, and psychotropic medication use. Correlation analyses suggest that individuals who endorse more frequent binge eating might have greater difficulties thinking flexibly or shifting attention. Individuals who binge eats are also more likely to behave impulsively, but only for emotional reasons. Although this study is unable to determine whether these cognitive and behavioral factors precede or follow binge-eating episodes, outcomes have implications for treatment and prevention. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. [Ecological executive function characteristics and effects of executive function on quality of life in young adult epileptics].

    PubMed

    Wang, Lanlan; Zhou, Nong

    2014-05-06

    To explore the characteristics of ecological executive function in young adults with idiopathic or probably symptomatic epilepsy and examine the effects of executive function on quality of life. Fifty-five epileptics (EP) and 39 matched healthy controls (HC) aged 18-44 years at our hospital were selected. The differences in ecological executive function and quality of life were compared between two groups with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-adult version (BRIEF-A) and QOLIE-31. Comparing with controls, the epileptics yielded higher scores significantly on most subscales of BRIEF-A (P < 0.05), including total score [(55 ± 9) vs (48 ± 7)], inhibition [(54 ± 7) vs (48 ± 7)], emotion control [(56 ± 8) vs (49 ± 7)], self-monitor [(54 ± 10) vs (47 ± 7)], initiation [(51 ± 10) vs (46 ± 9)], working memory [(56 ± 10) vs (50 ± 9)], planning [(53 ± 10) vs (47 ± 7)], behavioral regulation index (BRI) and metacognition index (MI). Pearson's correlation test showed that the total score of QOLIE-31 had significantly negative correlations with the scores of BRIEF-A, such as global executive composite (GEC), behavioral regulation index (BRI), metacogniton index (MI), inhibition, emotional control, monitoring, initiation and working memory (r = -0.284- -0.457, P < 0.05). Moreover, seizure control and seizure type were also related with the total score of QOLIE-31(r = -0.302, r = 0.268, P < 0.05). Multiple stepwise regression analysis showed that emotional control in BRIEF-A was related with seizure worry and cognitive function in QOLIE-31(t = -2.137, t = -2.427, P < 0.05) . Behavioral regulation index (BRI) was closely related with emotional well-being in QOLIE-31(t = -2.148, P < 0.05). Also, working memory was related with cognitive function, overall quality of life and total score in QOLIE-31(t = -3.138, -3.564, -2.948, P < 0.05). And inhibition was related with energy, social function and total score in QOLIE-31(t = -3.007, -3.580, -2.191, P

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1971-01-01

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

  17. Informing the Structure of Executive Function in Children: A Meta-Analysis of Functional Neuroimaging Data.

    PubMed

    McKenna, Róisín; Rushe, T; Woodcock, Kate A

    2017-01-01

    The structure of executive function (EF) has been the focus of much debate for decades. What is more, the complexity and diversity provided by the developmental period only adds to this contention. The development of executive function plays an integral part in the expression of children's behavioral, cognitive, social, and emotional capabilities. Understanding how these processes are constructed during development allows for effective measurement of EF in this population. This meta-analysis aims to contribute to a better understanding of the structure of executive function in children. A coordinate-based meta-analysis was conducted (using BrainMap GingerALE 2.3), which incorporated studies administering functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during inhibition, switching, and working memory updating tasks in typical children (aged 6-18 years). The neural activation common across all executive tasks was compared to that shared by tasks pertaining only to inhibition, switching or updating, which are commonly considered to be fundamental executive processes. Results support the existence of partially separable but partially overlapping inhibition, switching, and updating executive processes at a neural level, in children over 6 years. Further, the shared neural activation across all tasks (associated with a proposed "unitary" component of executive function) overlapped to different degrees with the activation associated with each individual executive process. These findings provide evidence to support the suggestion that one of the most influential structural models of executive functioning in adults can also be applied to children of this age. However, the findings also call for careful consideration and measurement of both specific executive processes, and unitary executive function in this population. Furthermore, a need is highlighted for a new systematic developmental model, which captures the integrative nature of executive function in children.

  18. Informing the Structure of Executive Function in Children: A Meta-Analysis of Functional Neuroimaging Data

    PubMed Central

    McKenna, Róisín; Rushe, T.; Woodcock, Kate A.

    2017-01-01

    The structure of executive function (EF) has been the focus of much debate for decades. What is more, the complexity and diversity provided by the developmental period only adds to this contention. The development of executive function plays an integral part in the expression of children's behavioral, cognitive, social, and emotional capabilities. Understanding how these processes are constructed during development allows for effective measurement of EF in this population. This meta-analysis aims to contribute to a better understanding of the structure of executive function in children. A coordinate-based meta-analysis was conducted (using BrainMap GingerALE 2.3), which incorporated studies administering functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during inhibition, switching, and working memory updating tasks in typical children (aged 6–18 years). The neural activation common across all executive tasks was compared to that shared by tasks pertaining only to inhibition, switching or updating, which are commonly considered to be fundamental executive processes. Results support the existence of partially separable but partially overlapping inhibition, switching, and updating executive processes at a neural level, in children over 6 years. Further, the shared neural activation across all tasks (associated with a proposed “unitary” component of executive function) overlapped to different degrees with the activation associated with each individual executive process. These findings provide evidence to support the suggestion that one of the most influential structural models of executive functioning in adults can also be applied to children of this age. However, the findings also call for careful consideration and measurement of both specific executive processes, and unitary executive function in this population. Furthermore, a need is highlighted for a new systematic developmental model, which captures the integrative nature of executive function in children. PMID

  19. [Executive function deficits in ADHD and Asperger syndrome].

    PubMed

    Paloscia, Claudio; Baglioni, Valentina; Alessandrelli, Riccardo; Rosa, Caterina; Guerini, Rossella; Aceti, Franca; Pasini, Augusto

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate the executive functioning of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder combined subtype (ADHD-C) and Asperger syndrome (AS) compared to a control group. A sample of 79 children (28 ADHD-C; 24 AS; 27 subjects with typical development) was tested on a wide range of tasks related to major domains of executive functioning: inhibition response (prepotent and interference), visual working memory, planning and cognitive flexibility. Patients with AS showed deficits on visual working memory and cognitive flexibility. ADHD-C children were impaired on inhibition control (prepotent response) but also showed deficits on working memory and cognitive flexibility. The only executive functioning measure that differentiated ADHD from AS was inhibition of prepotent response and a more high deficit in cognitive flexibility and working memory in AS compared to ADHD-C. This study confirms recent evidence about the identification of specific executive profiles in these disorders. Other studies are warranted to evaluate the presence and specifity of a dysexecutive syndrome in ADHD and AS in a larger sample with girls.

  20. Brain structure, executive function and appetitive traits in adolescent obesity.

    PubMed

    de Groot, C J; van den Akker, E L T; Rings, E H H M; Delemarre-van de Waal, H A; van der Grond, J

    2017-08-01

    Children with obesity show differences in brain structure, executive function and appetitive traits when compared with lean peers. Little is known on the relationship between brain structure and these traits. To investigate the relationship between differences in brain structure and executive function and appetitive traits, in obese and lean adolescents. MRI was used to measure cortical thickness and subcortical volumes. Executive function was measured by a Stop Signal-and a Choice Delay Task. Appetitive traits were measured using the Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire. Adolescents with obesity had greater volumes of the pallidum; 1.78 mL (SE 0.03, p=0.014), when compared with controls; 1.65 mL (SE 0.02). In the group with obesity, greater pallidum volume was positively associated with the ability to delay reward in the Choice Delay Task (p=0.012). The association between pallidum volumes and Choice Delay Task in obese adolescents supports the hypothesis that the pallidum plays an important role in executive dysfunction in obese children. © 2016 World Obesity Federation.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Mesocortical dopamine modulation of executive functions: beyond working memory.

    PubMed

    Floresco, Stan B; Magyar, Orsolya

    2006-11-01

    Dopamine (DA) neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is known to play an essential role in mediating executive functions such as the working memory. DA exerts these effects by acting on D1 receptors because blockade or stimulation of these receptors in the PFC can impair performance on delayed response tasks. However, comparatively less is known about dopaminergic mechanisms that mediate other executive functions regulated by the PFC. Furthermore, the functional importance of other DA receptor subtypes that reside on PFC neurons (D2 and D4) is unclear. This review will summarize previous findings and previously unpublished data addressing the contribution of PFC DA to higher-order cognition. We will compare the DA receptor mechanisms, which regulate executive functions such as working memory, behavioral flexibility, and decision-making. Whereas PFC D1 receptor activity is of primary importance in working memory, D1 and D2 receptors act in a cooperative manner to facilitate behavioral flexibility. We note that the principle of the "inverted U-shaped" function of D1 receptor activity mediating working memory does not necessarily apply to other PFC functions. DA in different subregions of the PFC also mediates decision-making assessed with delay discounting or effort-based procedures, and we report that D1, D2, and D4 receptors in the medial PFC contribute to decision-making when animals must bias the direction of behavior to avoid aversive stimuli, assessed with a conditioned punishment procedure. Thus, mesocortical DA modulation of distinct executive functions is subserved by dissociable profiles of DA receptor activity in the PFC.

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. Differential Effects of Acute Exercise on Distinct Aspects of Executive Function.

    PubMed

    Weng, Timothy B; Pierce, Gary L; Darling, Warren G; Voss, Michelle W

    2015-07-01

    To increase understanding about the effects of moderate-intensity physical activity on cognitive function, the current study examined whether a single bout of aerobic exercise exerts differential effects on distinct aspects of executive function in healthy young adults. A within-subjects study was designed where 26 young adult participants (mean age = 25.23 yr, 12 males) engaged in a 30-min bout of both (a) moderate-intensity aerobic cycling and (b) passive motor-driven cycling, occurring on two separate occasions and counterbalanced in their order. To assess changes in cognitive function, performance on two tasks of executive function-working memory and inhibitory control, counterbalanced in the order of administration-was collected before and immediately after each exercise session. Results indicate that working memory performance on the 2-back condition of a facial n-back task was acutely enhanced by moderate-intensity exercise (mean increase in accuracy = 6.4% ± 1.1%), which was significantly greater than the changes after passive exercise control (P < 0.05). This finding was not observed for inhibitory control in which neither of the exercise sessions elicited significant changes in performance on a flanker task. Acute aerobic exercise evokes differential effects on executive functions. This specificity in behavioral outcomes leads to the prediction that brain mechanisms related to working memory, compared to inhibitory control, are selectively benefited by moderate-intensity exercise.

  7. EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS WITH MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER

    PubMed Central

    Favre, Tricia; Hughes, Carroll; Emslie, Graham; Stavinoha, Peter; Kennard, Beth; Carmody, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    The present investigation examined neurocognitive functioning, focusing on executive functioning (EF), in 39 children and adolescents with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and 24 healthy control subjects all ages 8 to 17 years. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Third Edition along with several measures of executive functioning including the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task, Trail Making Test, Controlled Oral Word Association Test, and the Stroop Color Word Test were administered. The neurocognitive profiles for the group of depressed children and adolescents were grossly intact as most scores on intellectual and EF measures fell within the average range and did not differ from the comparison group. Mental processing speed was decreased in the MDD versus normal control group and 27% of the depressed group performed below average on the Trail Making Test. This investigation provided a good base from which to compare future literature on EF in outpatients with early-onset MDD. PMID:19089695

  8. On the impacts of working memory training on executive functioning

    PubMed Central

    Salminen, Tiina; Strobach, Tilo; Schubert, Torsten

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies have reported improvements in a variety of cognitive functions following sole working memory (WM) training. In spite of the emergence of several successful training paradigms, the scope of transfer effects has remained mixed. This is most likely due to the heterogeneity of cognitive functions that have been measured and tasks that have been applied. In the present study, we approached this issue systematically by investigating transfer effects from WM training to different aspects of executive functioning. Our training task was a demanding WM task that requires simultaneous performance of a visual and an auditory n-back task, while the transfer tasks tapped WM updating, coordination of the performance of multiple simultaneous tasks (i.e., dual-tasks) and sequential tasks (i.e., task switching), and the temporal distribution of attentional processing. Additionally, we examined whether WM training improves reasoning abilities; a hypothesis that has so far gained mixed support. Following training, participants showed improvements in the trained task as well as in the transfer WM updating task. As for the other executive functions, trained participants improved in a task switching situation and in attentional processing. There was no transfer to the dual-task situation or to reasoning skills. These results, therefore, confirm previous findings that WM can be trained, and additionally, they show that the training effects can generalize to various other tasks tapping on executive functions. PMID:22685428

  9. Impulsivity and executive functions in polysubstance-using rave attenders.

    PubMed

    Verdejo-García, Antonio; Del Mar Sánchez-Fernández, María; Alonso-Maroto, Luisa María; Fernández-Calderón, Fermín; Perales, Jose C; Lozano, Oscar; Pérez-García, Miguel

    2010-06-01

    Rave parties are characterized by high levels of drug use and polysubstance-using patterns that may be especially harmful for psychological and neuropsychological functioning. The aim of this study was to conduct a comprehensive assessment of different aspects of impulsivity and executive functions in a sample of polysubstance-using rave attenders. We collected data from two groups: rave attenders (RvA, n = 25) and drug-free healthy comparison individuals (HCI, n = 27). RvA were regular users of cannabis, cocaine, methampethamine, hallucinogens, and alcohol. The assessment protocol included a drug-taking interview, the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale, the delay-discounting questionnaire and a set of neuropsychological tests taxing different aspects of executive functions: response speed, working memory, reasoning, response inhibition and switching, self-regulation, decision making, and emotion perception. For impulsivity measures, RvA had significantly elevated scores on lack of perseverance and positive and negative urgency, but did not differ from controls on lack of premeditation or sensation seeking. For neuropsychological functioning, RvA had significantly poorer performance on indices of analogical reasoning, processing speed, working memory, inhibition/switching errors, and decision making, but performed similar to controls on indices of self-regulation, reversal learning, and emotion processing. Peak and binge alcohol and drug use were positively correlated with positive urgency, and negatively correlated with performance on executive indices. Rave attenders have selective alterations of impulsive personality and executive functions. These findings can contribute to delineate the neuropsychological profiles that distinguish recreational polysubstance use from substance dependence.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-05-01

    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. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Executive function in cancer patients with posttraumatic stress disorder.

    PubMed

    Yang, Juan; Guo, Juncheng; Jiang, Xiangling

    2017-03-01

    Background Cancer patients with posttraumatic stress disorder can lead to their noncompliant behaviors. However, less is known about the neurocognitive functioning of posttraumatic stress disorder in general cancer types or patient populations. The current study attempted to examine the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder and their relationships with executive function in individuals with cancer. Methods A total of 285 cancer patients with posttraumatic stress disorder and 150 healthy individuals were recruited for the present study. The Clinician Administered PTSD Scale, Tower of Hanoi, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, and Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised Chinese revision were administered to all participants. Results Significant differences in the score of Tower of Hanoi, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, and Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised Chinese revision were observed between the posttraumatic stress disorder group and the healthy control group ( p < 0.001). Significant correlations were found between all posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and executive function. Conclusions These findings suggest that individuals with cancer-related posttraumatic stress disorder exhibit more severe impairment in executive function than healthy controls do.

  13. Learning, memory and executive functions in children with hydrocephalus.

    PubMed

    Lindquist, Barbro; Persson, Eva-Karin; Uvebrant, Paul; Carlsson, Göran

    2008-05-01

    To explore learning, memory and executive abilities in children with hydrocephalus without learning disabilities, and to find out whether children with an isolated hydrocephalus differed from those with hydrocephalus in combination with myelomeningocele (MMC). Thirty-six children with an intelligence quotient (IQ) of >or=70 from a population of all the 107 children with hydrocephalus born in western Sweden in 1989-1993 were examined and compared with age- and gender-matched controls. The neuropsychological assessment of the school-aged child (NIMES) test battery was used. The children with hydrocephalus differed significantly from controls in all functions apart from registration skills and recognition. Learning, memory and executive functions were all impaired. Twenty children with infantile hydrocephalus did not differ from those with hydrocephalus associated with MMC. Also, children with an IQ of >84 performed significantly worse than controls. Despite an IQ of >or=70, children with hydrocephalus had significantly impaired learning, memory and executive functions. When major brain lesions resulting in learning disability had been excluded, the hydrocephalus, rather than the underlying aetiology, was most important for the development of cognitive functions.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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,…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. 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,…

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. Training and transfer effects of executive functions in preschool children.

    PubMed

    Thorell, Lisa B; Lindqvist, Sofia; Bergman Nutley, Sissela; 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 it is possible to train executive functions in preschoolers. In the present study, preschool children received computerized training of either visuo-spatial working memory or inhibition for 5 weeks. An active control group played commercially available computer games, and a passive control group took part in only pre- and posttesting. Children trained on working memory improved significantly on trained tasks; they showed training effects on non-trained tests of spatial and verbal working memory, as well as transfer effects to attention. Children trained on inhibition showed a significant improvement over time on two out of three trained task paradigms, but no significant improvements relative to the control groups on tasks measuring working memory or attention. In neither of the two interventions were there effects on non-trained inhibitory tasks. The results suggest that working memory training can have significant effects also among preschool children. The finding that inhibition could not be improved by either one of the two training programs might be due to the particular training program used in the present study or possibly indicate that executive functions differ in how easily they can be improved by training, which in turn might relate to differences in their underlying psychological and neural processes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    The mastery of two languages provides bilingual speakers with cognitive benefits over monolinguals, particularly on cognitive flexibility and selective attention. However, extant research is limited to comparisons between monolinguals and bilinguals at a single point in time. This study investigated whether growth in bilingual proficiency, as shown by an increased number of translation equivalents (TEs) over a 7-month period, improves executive function. We hypothesized that bilingual toddlers with a larger increase of TEs would have more practice in switching across lexical systems, boosting executive function abilities. Expressive vocabulary and TEs were assessed at 24 and 31 months of age. A battery of tasks, including conflict, delay, and working memory tasks, was administered at 31 months. As expected, we observed a task-specific advantage in inhibitory control in bilinguals. More important, within the bilingual group, larger increases in the number of TEs predicted better performance on conflict tasks but not on delay tasks. This unique longitudinal design confirms the relation between executive function and early bilingualism. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Executive Functions and Motor Ability Contribute to Children's Participation in Daily Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosenberg, Limor; Jacobi, Shani; Bart, Orit

    2017-01-01

    Executive functions are crucial for efficient daily functioning. However, the contribution of executive functions to the participation in daily life activities of children, have been inadequately studied. The study aimed to examine the unique contribution of executive functions, beyond motor ability, to the diversity and independence of children's…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Obesity-Associated Biomarkers and Executive Function in Children

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Alison L.; Jong, Hannah; Lumeng, Julie C.

    2015-01-01

    There is a growing focus on links between obesity and cognitive decline in adulthood, including Alzheimer’s disease. It is also increasingly recognized that obesity in youth is associated with poorer cognitive function, specifically executive functioning skills such as inhibitory control and working memory, which are critical for academic achievement. Emerging literature provides evidence for possible biological mechanisms driven by obesity; obesity-associated biomarkers such as adipokines, obesity-associated inflammatory cytokines, and obesity-associated gut hormones have been associated with learning, memory, and general cognitive function. To date, examination of obesity-associated biology with brain function has primarily occurred in animal models. The few studies examining such biologically-mediated pathways in adult humans have corroborated the animal data, but this body of work has gone relatively unrecognized by the pediatric literature. Despite the fact that differences in these biomarkers have been found in association with obesity in children, the possibility that obesity-related biology could affect brain development in children has not been actively considered. We review obesity-associated biomarkers that have shown associations with neurocognitive skills, specifically executive functioning skills which have far-reaching implications for child development. Understanding such gut-brain associations early in the lifespan may yield unique intervention implications. PMID:25310758

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barenberg, Jonathan; Berse, Timo; Dutke, Stephan

    2011-01-01

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

  3. 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,…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. 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…

  6. 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,…

  7. 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…

  8. 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.…

  9. 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.…

  10. Yoga practice improves executive function by attenuating stress levels.

    PubMed

    Gothe, Neha P; Keswani, Rahul K; McAuley, Edward

    2016-12-01

    Prolonged activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal system is thought to have deleterious effects on brain function. Neuroendocrine studies suggest that brain exposure to higher cortisol concentrations contribute to cognitive deficits as we age. Mind-body techniques such as yoga have shown to improve stress levels by restoring the body's sympathetic-parasympathetic balance. The objective of this study was to determine whether yoga practice moderated the stress response resulting in improved executive function. Sedentary community dwelling older adults (N=118, Mean age=62.02) were randomized to an 8-week yoga intervention or a stretching control group. At baseline and following 8 weeks, all participants completed measures of executive function, self-reported stress and anxiety and provided saliva samples before and after cognitive testing to assess cortisol. Yoga participants showed improved accuracy on executive function measures and an attenuated cortisol response compared to their stretching counterparts who showed increased cortisol levels and poor cognitive performance at follow up. The change in cortisol levels as well as self-reported stress and anxiety levels predicted performance on the running span task, n-back working memory and task switching paradigm (β's=0.27-0.38, p's≤0.05 for yoga and β's=-0.37-0.47, p's≤0.01 for stretching control). Eight weeks of regular yoga practice resulted in improved working memory performance that was mediated by an attenuated response to stress as measured by self-report stress and objective salivary cortisol measurements. This trial offers evidence for non-traditional physical activity interventions such as yoga that may be helpful in restoring HPA balance in older adults, thereby preventing cognitive decline. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. Executive Functioning in Pedophilia and Child Sexual Offending.

    PubMed

    Massau, Claudia; Tenbergen, Gilian; Kärgel, Christian; Weiß, Simone; Gerwinn, Hannah; Pohl, Alexander; Amelung, Till; Mohnke, Sebastian; Kneer, Jonas; Wittfoth, Matthias; Ristow, Inka; Schiltz, Kolja; Beier, Klaus M; Ponseti, Jorge; Walter, Martin; Kruger, Tillmann H C; Walter, Henrik; Schiffer, Boris

    2017-07-01

    Pedophilia (P) is a psychiatric disease associated with sexual attraction toward children and often accompanied by child sexual offending (CSO). Consequently, it is important to address the understanding of executive dysfunctions that may increase the probability of CSO. Moreover, this research field has been lacking to disentangle executive deficits associated with pedophilia (as a deviant sexual preference) from those associated with CSO (as a deviant sexual behavior). The German multi-sided research network NeMUP offers the opportunity to overcome these limitations. By applying the Cambridge Automated Neuropsychological Test Battery in four carefully matched groups of men: (1) pedophiles with (N=45) and (2) without (N=45) a history of sexual offending against children; (3) child molesters without pedophilia (N=19), and (4) non-offending controls (N=49), we were able to analyze executive functioning in pedophilia and CSO independently. Both CSO groups as compared to both non-CSO groups exhibited worsened response inhibition ability. However, only non-pedophilic offenders showed additionally disabled strategy use ability. Regarding set-shifting abilities, the P+CSO group showed the best performance. We also found that performances were affected by age: only in pedophiles, response inhibition worsened with age, while age-related deficits in set-shifting abilities were restricted to non-pedophilic participants. The latter also differentiated between both sexual preference groups. Our results are the first to demonstrate that executive dysfunctions are related to offense status rather than pedophilic preference. Furthermore, there was evidence for differentiating age and performance correlations between pedophiles and non-pedophiles, which warrants further investigation. (JINS, 2017, 23, 460-470).

  13. Executive functioning and alcohol binge drinking in university students.

    PubMed

    Parada, María; Corral, Montserrat; Mota, Nayara; Crego, Alberto; Rodríguez Holguín, Socorro; Cadaveira, Fernando

    2012-02-01

    Binge drinking (BD) is prevalent among college students. Studies on alcoholism have shown that the prefrontal cortex is vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of alcohol. The prefrontal cortex undergoes both structural and functional changes during adolescence and young adulthood. Sex differences have been observed in brain maturation and in alcohol-induced damage. The objective of the present study was to analyze the relationship between BD and cognitive functions subserved by the prefrontal cortex in male and female university students. The sample comprised 122 undergraduates (aged 18 to 20 years): 62 BD (30 females) and 60 non-BD (29 females). Executive functions were assessed by WMS-III (Backward Digit Span and Backward Spatial Span), SOPT (abstract designs), Letter Fluency (PMR), BADS (Zoo Map and Key Search) and WCST-3. BD students scored lower in the Backward Digit Span Subtest and generated more perseverative responses in the SOPT In relation to interaction BD by sex, BD males scored lower in the Backward Digit Span test than BD females and non-BD males. BD is associated with poorer performance of executive functions subserved by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The results do not support enhanced vulnerability of women to alcohol neurotoxic effects. These difficulties may reflect developmental delay or frontal lobe dysfunction. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Relationships between Motor and Executive Functions and the Effect of an Acute Coordinative Intervention on Executive Functions in Kindergartners.

    PubMed

    Stein, Marion; Auerswald, Max; Ebersbach, Mirjam

    2017-01-01

    There is growing evidence indicating positive, causal effects of acute physical activity on cognitive performance of school children, adolescents, and adults. However, only a few studies examined these effects in kindergartners, even though correlational studies suggest moderate relationships between motor and cognitive functions in this age group. One aim of the present study was to examine the correlational relationships between motor and executive functions among 5- to 6-year-olds. Another aim was to test whether an acute coordinative intervention, which was adapted to the individual motor functions of the children, causally affected different executive functions (i.e., motor inhibition, cognitive inhibition, and shifting). Kindergartners (N = 102) were randomly assigned either to a coordinative intervention (20 min) or to a control condition (20 min). The coordination group performed five bimanual exercises (e.g., throwing/kicking balls onto targets with the right and left hand/foot), whereas the control group took part in five simple activities that hardly involved coordination skills (e.g., stamping). Children's motor functions were assessed with the Movement Assessment Battery for Children 2 (Petermann, 2009) in a pre-test (T1), 1 week before the intervention took place. Motor inhibition was assessed with the Simon says task (Carlson and Wang, 2007), inhibition and shifting were assessed with the Hearts and Flowers task (Davidson et al., 2006) in the pre-test and again in a post-test (T2) immediately after the interventions. Results revealed significant correlations between motor functions and executive functions (especially shifting) at T1. There was no overall effect of the intervention. However, explorative analyses indicated a three-way interaction, with the intervention leading to accuracy gains only in the motor inhibition task and only if it was tested directly after the intervention. As an unexpected effect, this result needs to be treated with

  15. Relationships between Motor and Executive Functions and the Effect of an Acute Coordinative Intervention on Executive Functions in Kindergartners

    PubMed Central

    Stein, Marion; Auerswald, Max; Ebersbach, Mirjam

    2017-01-01

    There is growing evidence indicating positive, causal effects of acute physical activity on cognitive performance of school children, adolescents, and adults. However, only a few studies examined these effects in kindergartners, even though correlational studies suggest moderate relationships between motor and cognitive functions in this age group. One aim of the present study was to examine the correlational relationships between motor and executive functions among 5- to 6-year-olds. Another aim was to test whether an acute coordinative intervention, which was adapted to the individual motor functions of the children, causally affected different executive functions (i.e., motor inhibition, cognitive inhibition, and shifting). Kindergartners (N = 102) were randomly assigned either to a coordinative intervention (20 min) or to a control condition (20 min). The coordination group performed five bimanual exercises (e.g., throwing/kicking balls onto targets with the right and left hand/foot), whereas the control group took part in five simple activities that hardly involved coordination skills (e.g., stamping). Children’s motor functions were assessed with the Movement Assessment Battery for Children 2 (Petermann, 2009) in a pre-test (T1), 1 week before the intervention took place. Motor inhibition was assessed with the Simon says task (Carlson and Wang, 2007), inhibition and shifting were assessed with the Hearts and Flowers task (Davidson et al., 2006) in the pre-test and again in a post-test (T2) immediately after the interventions. Results revealed significant correlations between motor functions and executive functions (especially shifting) at T1. There was no overall effect of the intervention. However, explorative analyses indicated a three-way interaction, with the intervention leading to accuracy gains only in the motor inhibition task and only if it was tested directly after the intervention. As an unexpected effect, this result needs to be treated with

  16. 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.

  17. 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. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

  18. The effects of synthetic cannabinoids on executive function.

    PubMed

    Cohen, K; Kapitány-Fövény, M; Mama, Y; Arieli, M; Rosca, P; Demetrovics, Z; Weinstein, A

    2017-04-01

    There is a growing use of novel psychoactive substances (NPSs) including synthetic cannabinoids. Synthetic cannabinoid products have effects similar to those of natural cannabis but the new synthetic cannabinoids are more potent and dangerous and their use has resulted in various adverse effects. The purpose of the study was to assess whether persistent use of synthetic cannabinoids is associating with impairments of executive function in chronic users. A total of 38 synthetic cannabinoids users, 43 recreational cannabis users, and 41 non-user subjects were studied in two centers in Hungary and Israel. Computerized cognitive function tests, the classical Stroop word-color task, n-back task, and a free-recall memory task were used. Synthetic cannabinoid users performed significantly worse than both recreational and non-cannabis users on the n-back task (less accuracy), the Stroop task (overall slow responses and less accuracy), and the long-term memory task (less word recall). Additionally, they have also shown higher ratings of depression and anxiety compared with both recreational and non-users groups. This study showed impairment of executive function in synthetic cannabinoid users compared with recreational users of cannabis and non-users. This may have major implications for our understanding of the long-term consequences of synthetic cannabinoid based drugs.

  19. 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. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Executive Functions in Students With Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Symptoms.

    PubMed

    Ajilchi, Bita; Nejati, Vahid

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate and compare the executive functions of students with depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms with those functions in healthy ones. This study was a comparative and non-clinical analysis. The study population comprised all students of Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran. A total of 448 students were recruited using convenience sampling method. They were also screened using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) test comprising 21 items. Of study participants, 30 people were depressed, 27 had anxiety, and 15 suffered from stress. Then, 50 control people were matched with them. Next, both groups were compared using the Stroop test, Wisconsin card sorting, and cognitive ability test. Using MANOVA test, data analysis revealed no significant differences among 4 groups with regard to selective attention and shifting attention. Depressed group reacted rapidly as opposed to the anxiety group with regard to measures of shifting attention and cognitive abilities; it was observed that the memory, inhibition control, planning, and flexibility of the healthy group were better than those of the 3 other groups. The findings of this research raised specific issues in relation to the role of depression, anxiety, and stress in the disruption of the executive functions of sufferers. Selective and shifting attention and cognitive abilities are specifically affected in this regard. Meanwhile, the role of stress in impairing decision making and the major role of anxiety in impairing sustained attention was shown to be considerable.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Fluid intelligence and executive functioning more alike than different?

    PubMed

    van Aken, Loes; Kessels, Roy P C; Wingbermühle, Ellen; van der Veld, William M; Egger, Jos I M

    2016-02-01

    Fluid intelligence (Gf) has been related to executive functioning (EF) in previous studies, and it is also known to be correlated with crystallized intelligence (Gc). The present study includes representative measures of Gf, Gc, and EF frequently used in clinical practice to examine this Gf-EF relation. It is hypothesised that the Gf-EF relation is higher than the Gc-EF relation, and that working memory in particular (as a measure of EF) shows a high contribution to this relation. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed on a mixed neuropsychiatric and non-clinical sample consisting of 188 participants, using the Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test, and three executive tasks of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery, covering working memory, planning skills, and set shifting. The model fitted the data well [χ²(24)=35.25, p=0.07, RMSEA=0.050]. A very high correlation between Gf and EF was found (0.91), with working memory being the most profound indicator. A moderate to high correlation between Gc and EF was present. Current results are consistent with findings of a strong relation between Gf and working memory. Gf and EF are highly correlated. Gf dysfunction in neuropsychiatric patients warrants further EF examination and vice versa. It is discussed that results confirm the need to distinguish between specific versus general fluid/executive functioning, the latter being more involved when task complexity and novelty increase. This distinction can provide a more refined differential diagnosis and improve neuropsychiatric treatment indication.

  9. 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

  10. Endothelial Function Is Associated with White Matter Microstructure and Executive Function in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Nathan F.; Gold, Brian T.; Brown, Christopher A.; Anggelis, Emily F.; Bailey, Alison L.; Clasey, Jody L.; Powell, David K.

    2017-01-01

    Age-related declines in endothelial function can lead to cognitive decline. However, little is known about the relationships between endothelial function and specific neurocognitive functions. This study explored the relationship between measures of endothelial function (reactive hyperemia index; RHI), white matter (WM) health (fractional anisotropy, FA, and WM hyperintensity volume, WMH), and executive function (Trail Making Test (TMT); Trail B − Trail A). Participants were 36 older adults between the ages of 59 and 69 (mean age = 63.89 years, SD = 2.94). WMH volume showed no relationship with RHI or executive function. However, there was a positive relationship between RHI and FA in the genu and body of the corpus callosum. In addition, higher RHI and FA were each associated with better executive task performance. Tractography was used to localize the WM tracts associated with RHI to specific portions of cortex. Results indicated that the RHI-FA relationship observed in the corpus callosum primarily involved tracts interconnecting frontal regions, including the superior frontal gyrus (SFG) and frontopolar cortex, linked with executive function. These findings suggest that superior endothelial function may help to attenuate age-related declines in WM microstructure in portions of the corpus callosum that interconnect prefrontal brain regions involved in executive function. PMID:28824417

  11. Endothelial Function Is Associated with White Matter Microstructure and Executive Function in Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Nathan F; Gold, Brian T; Brown, Christopher A; Anggelis, Emily F; Bailey, Alison L; Clasey, Jody L; Powell, David K

    2017-01-01

    Age-related declines in endothelial function can lead to cognitive decline. However, little is known about the relationships between endothelial function and specific neurocognitive functions. This study explored the relationship between measures of endothelial function (reactive hyperemia index; RHI), white matter (WM) health (fractional anisotropy, FA, and WM hyperintensity volume, WMH), and executive function (Trail Making Test (TMT); Trail B - Trail A). Participants were 36 older adults between the ages of 59 and 69 (mean age = 63.89 years, SD = 2.94). WMH volume showed no relationship with RHI or executive function. However, there was a positive relationship between RHI and FA in the genu and body of the corpus callosum. In addition, higher RHI and FA were each associated with better executive task performance. Tractography was used to localize the WM tracts associated with RHI to specific portions of cortex. Results indicated that the RHI-FA relationship observed in the corpus callosum primarily involved tracts interconnecting frontal regions, including the superior frontal gyrus (SFG) and frontopolar cortex, linked with executive function. These findings suggest that superior endothelial function may help to attenuate age-related declines in WM microstructure in portions of the corpus callosum that interconnect prefrontal brain regions involved in executive function.

  12. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Accessory stimulus modulates executive function during stepping task

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Tatsunori; Koyama, Soichiro; Tanabe, Shigeo

    2015-01-01

    When multiple sensory modalities are simultaneously presented, reaction time can be reduced while interference enlarges. The purpose of this research was to examine the effects of task-irrelevant acoustic accessory stimuli simultaneously presented with visual imperative stimuli on executive function during stepping. Executive functions were assessed by analyzing temporal events and errors in the initial weight transfer of the postural responses prior to a step (anticipatory postural adjustment errors). Eleven healthy young adults stepped forward in response to a visual stimulus. We applied a choice reaction time task and the Simon task, which consisted of congruent and incongruent conditions. Accessory stimuli were randomly presented with the visual stimuli. Compared with trials without accessory stimuli, the anticipatory postural adjustment error rates were higher in trials with accessory stimuli in the incongruent condition and the reaction times were shorter in trials with accessory stimuli in all the task conditions. Analyses after division of trials according to whether anticipatory postural adjustment error occurred or not revealed that the reaction times of trials with anticipatory postural adjustment errors were reduced more than those of trials without anticipatory postural adjustment errors in the incongruent condition. These results suggest that accessory stimuli modulate the initial motor programming of stepping by lowering decision threshold and exclusively under spatial incompatibility facilitate automatic response activation. The present findings advance the knowledge of intersensory judgment processes during stepping and may aid in the development of intervention and evaluation tools for individuals at risk of falls. PMID:25925321

  16. 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.

  17. Affective temperament and executive functions in emergency medicine professionals.

    PubMed

    Jaracz, Marcin; Paciorek, Przemysław; Buciński, Adam; Borkowska, Alina

    2014-10-01

    Recent studies indicate that choice of profession is related to differences in affective temperament, which is probably due to various predispositions needed to efficiently perform particular professions. The aim of the present study was to assess affective temperament and executive functions in a sample of emergency medicine professionals. 75 emergency medicine professionals were enrolled in the study. Affective temperament was assessed by means of TEMPS-A. Executive functions were assessed by means of Trail Making Test and Stroop Color Word Interference Test. Subjects showed significantly higher rates of hyperthymic, compared to depressive, cyclothymic, irritable and anxious temperaments. The principal component analysis revealed that hyperthymic temperament contributes to a different factor, than the remaining ones. Higher rates of depressive, cyclothymic, irritable and anxious temperaments were related to poorer performance in Trail Making Test, whereas hyperthymic temperament had the opposite effect. Due to the size of the sample, results of the present study may have lacked power to show all the relationships between tested variables. Hyperthymic temperament promotes efficient performance of complex tasks under time pressure. Depressive, cyclothymic, irritable and anxious temperaments have the opposite effect. This makes hyperthymic temperament a desirable trait in emergency medicine professionals, performing complex medical tasks under extreme conditions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    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. 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. 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. 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.

  1. Bilingual experience and executive functioning in young children.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Stephanie M; Meltzoff, Andrew N

    2008-03-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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).

  6. The mediating role of metacognition in the relationship between executive function and self-regulated learning.

    PubMed

    Follmer, D Jake; Sperling, Rayne A

    2016-12-01

    Researchers have demonstrated significant relations among executive function, metacognition, and self-regulated learning. However, prior research emphasized the use of indirect measures of executive function and did not evaluate how specific executive functions are related to participants' self-regulated learning. The primary goals of the current study were to examine and test the relations among executive function, metacognition, and self-regulated learning as well as to examine how self-regulated learning is informed by executive function. The sample comprised 117 undergraduate students attending a large, Mid-Atlantic research university in the United States. Participants were individually administered direct and indirect measures of executive function, metacognition, and self-regulated learning. A mediation model specifying the relations among the regulatory constructs was proposed. In multiple linear regression analyses, executive function predicted metacognition and self-regulated learning. Direct measures of inhibition and shifting accounted for a significant amount of the variance in metacognition and self-regulated learning beyond an indirect measure of executive functioning. Separate mediation analyses indicated that metacognition mediated the relationship between executive functioning and self-regulated learning as well as between specific executive functions and self-regulated learning. The findings of this study are supported by previous research documenting the relations between executive function and self-regulated learning, and extend prior research by examining the manner in which executive function and self-regulated learning are linked. The findings provide initial support for executive functions as key processes, mediated by metacognition, that predict self-regulated learning. Implications for the contribution of executive functions to self-regulated learning are discussed. © 2016 The British Psychological Society.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    McQuade, Julia D

    2017-09-01

    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. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Executive function profiles of pedophilic and nonpedophilic child molesters.

    PubMed

    Eastvold, Angela; Suchy, Yana; Strassberg, Donald

    2011-03-01

    There is increasing evidence of neurocognitive dysfunction among child molesters, supporting the notion of brain anomalies among pedophiles. However, approximately half of child molesters are not pedophilic (i.e., are not primarily attracted to children), and neurocognitive differences between pedophilic (PED) and nonpedophilic (NPED) child molesters are not well understood. The purpose of this study was to assess neurocognition, specifically executive functioning (EF), among phallometrically defined PED and NPED child molesters, relative to nonsexual offenders (NSO). Participants (N = 89) were compared on seven EF domains. Results revealed that (a) child molesters exhibited an overall executive profile that was different from that of NSOs, with PEDs differing from NSOs but not from NPEDs; (b) child molesters on the whole performed better than NSOs on abstract reasoning and more poorly on inhibition; and (c) PEDs performed better than NPEDs on planning and exhibited better overall performance accuracy relative to NPEDs. These results suggest that PEDs exhibit a more deliberate, planful response style characterized by greater self-monitoring; whereas NPEDs appear to respond more impulsively. The current report further elucidates neurocognition among child molesters and highlights the need for future research examining subtypes of child molesters.

  15. Executive function and fluid intelligence after frontal lobe lesions

    PubMed Central

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

    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. PMID:19903732

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Adaptive functioning following pediatric traumatic brain injury: Relationship to executive function and processing speed

    PubMed Central

    Shultz, Emily; Robinson, Kristen E.; Keim, Madelaine; Dennis, Maureen; Taylor, H. Gerry; Bigler, Erin D.; Rubin, Kenneth H.; Vannatta, Kathryn; Gerhardt, Cynthia A.; Stancin, Terry; Yeates, Keith Owen

    2016-01-01

    Objective Pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) may affect children’s ability to perform everyday tasks (i.e., adaptive functioning). Guided by the American Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) model, we explored the association between TBI and adaptive functioning at increasing levels of specificity (global, AAIDD domains, and subscales). We also examined the contributions of executive function and processing speed as mediators of TBI’s effects on adaptive functioning. Method Children (ages 8–13) with severe TBI (STBI; n=19), mild-moderate TBI (MTBI; n=50), or orthopedic injury (OI; n=60) completed measures of executive function (TEA-Ch) and processing speed (WISC-IV) an average of 2.7 years post-injury (SD = 1.2; range: 1–5.3). Parents rated children’s adaptive functioning (ABAS-II, BASC-2, CASP). Results STBI had lower global adaptive functioning (η2 = .04–.08) than the MTBI and OI groups, which typically did not differ. Deficits in the STBI group were particularly evident in the social domain, with specific deficits in social participation, leisure, and social adjustment (η2 = .06–.09). Jointly, executive function and processing speed were mediators of STBI’s effects on global adaptive functioning and in conceptual and social domains. In the STBI group, executive function mediated social functioning, and processing speed mediated social participation. Conclusions Children with STBI experience deficits in adaptive functioning, particularly in social adjustment, with less pronounced deficits in conceptual and practical skills. Executive function and processing speed may mediate the effects of STBI on adaptive functioning. Targeting adaptive functioning and associated cognitive deficits for intervention may enhance quality of life for pediatric TBI survivors. PMID:27182708

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

    PubMed Central

    Floresco, Stan B; Jentsch, James D

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Chronic exposure to manganese (Mn) can lead to impairments in motor and cognitive functions. Several recent studies reported Mn-induced executive dysfunction. The present study compared the neural correlates of ongoing executive function of welders and healthy controls. Fifty-three welders and 44 healthy controls were enrolled. Participants were given functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans and performed two modified versions of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task (WCST) that differed in cognitive demand, and a task that established a high-level baseline (HLB) condition. Card Sorting Test and Word-Color Test were also used to assess executive performance. Neural activation of the bilateral superior-frontal cortex, right-inferior parietal cortex, and bilateral insula cortex were greater in healthy controls than in welders when contrasting the difficult version of the WCST with the HLB. There were also correlations between executive functions by the Card Sorting Test and Word-Color Test, and brain activation in the insula cortex using the WCST. Our results indicated that welders had altered neural processing related to executive function in the prefrontal cortex under conditions of high cognitive demand. Welders also had less activation of the insula cortex, a part of a larger network comprising the lateral prefrontal cortex and parietal cortex. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. High Expectations, High Support: Essential Elements of Engagement. 2008 Findings. Executive Summary

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Community College Survey of Student Engagement, 2008

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents the findings of the 2008 Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE). This year, CCSSE zeroes in on high expectations and high support as it presents the results of its 2008 survey. Both are critical to student success: Students do best when expectations are high "and" they receive support that helps them achieve at…

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

    PubMed

    Kazemeini, Toktam; Fadardi, Javad Salehi

    2016-12-01

    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), Raven Standard Progressive Matrices, and a demographic questionnaire. The results of an analysis of variance showed EBL students responded faster on the SCWT compared with ML students, suggesting an inhibition advantage for EBL students. Moreover, mean scores of BDST showed better performance of EBL students in working memory than ML students. These results provided evidence of advantaged EF among EBL and were consistent with the possibility that individuals who began speaking a second language (L2) earlier in childhood have greater advantages, due either to effects of acquiring an L2 earlier or to a longer duration of bilingual experience.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. The joint effect of bilingualism and ADHD on executive functions.

    PubMed

    Mor, Billy; Yitzhaki-Amsalem, Sarin; Prior, Anat

    2015-06-01

    The current study investigated the combined effect of ADHD, previously associated with executive function (EF) deficits, and of bilingualism, previously associated with EF enhancement, on EF. Eighty University students, Hebrew monolinguals and Russian Hebrew bilinguals, with and without ADHD participated. Inhibition tasks were a Numeric Stroop task and a Simon arrows task. Shifting tasks were the Trail Making Test (TMT) and a task-switching paradigm. Participants with ADHD performed worse than controls, but we did not find a bilingual advantage in EF. The negative impact of ADHD was more pronounced for bilinguals than for monolinguals, but only in interference suppression tasks. Bilingual participants with ADHD had the lowest performance. Bilingualism might prove to be an added burden for adults with ADHD, leading to reduced EF abilities. Alternatively, the current findings might be ascribed to over- or under-diagnosis of ADHD due to cultural differences between groups. These issues should be pursued in future research. © 2014 SAGE Publications.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    Prior investigations of relations between sibling composition and theory of mind have focused almost exclusively on false belief understanding in children 6 years of age and younger. The current work expands previous research by examining whether sibling composition predicts 4- to 11-year-olds' (N=192) more advanced mental state reasoning on interpretive theory of mind tasks. Even when controlling for age and executive function, children with a greater number of older siblings or with more same-sex siblings demonstrated stronger knowledge in both their predictions and explanations that people with different past experiences can have diverse interpretations of ambiguous stimuli. These data provide some of the first documentation of sibling constellations that predict individual differences in theory of mind during middle childhood. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. An experimental study of executive function and social impairment in Cornelia de Lange syndrome.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Lisa; Crawford, Hayley; Reid, Donna; Moss, Joanna; Oliver, Chris

    2017-09-11

    Extreme shyness and social anxiety is reported to be characteristic of adolescents and adults with Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS); however, the nature of these characteristics is not well documented. In this study, we develop and apply an experimental assessment of social anxiety in a group of adolescents and adults with CdLS to determine the nature of the social difficulties and whether they are related to impairments in executive functioning. A familiar and unfamiliar examiner separately engaged in socially demanding tasks comprising three experimental conditions with a group of individuals with CdLS (n = 25; % male = 44; mean age = 22.16; SD = 8.81) and a comparable group of individuals with Down syndrome (DS; n = 20; % male = 35; mean age = 24.35; SD = 5.97). Behaviours indicative of social anxiety were coded. The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Preschool version, an informant measure of executive function, was completed by participants' caregivers. Significantly less verbalisation was observed in the CdLS group than the DS group in conditions requiring the initiation of speech. In the CdLS group, impairments in verbalisation were not associated with a greater degree of intellectual disability but were significantly correlated with impairments in both planning and working memory. This association was not evident in the DS group. Adolescents and adults with CdLS have a specific difficulty with the initiation of speech when social demands are placed upon them. This impairment in verbalisation may be underpinned by specific cognitive deficits, although further research is needed to investigate this fully.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    Understanding the effects of acute exercise on executive function in prepubescent children may be important for the enhancement of school performance. This study assessed the effect of an acute bout of continuous (CONT) or intermittent (INT), moderate-intensity treadmill exercise on executive function in young children. Twenty healthy children, mean (SD); age: 8.8 (0.8) years; height: 140 (9) cm; weight: 36 (11) kg; boys: n = 9, performed a graded-exercise test to determine maximal oxygen uptake, and two 15-min submaximal bouts of treadmill exercise; protocols were either CONT or INT. During CONT, participants ran at 90% of gas exchange threshold. During INT, participants performed six consecutive 2.5 min blocks of exercise, which were designed to reflect children's typical activity patterns, comprising 45 s at a heavy intensity, 33 s at a moderate intensity, 10 s at a severe intensity, and 62 s at a low intensity. Participants performed the Stroop task before the submaximal exercise bouts and after, at 1-, 15-, and 30-min intervals. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) measured cerebral perfusion and oxygenation. Regardless of condition, Stroop performance was improved at 1 min after compared to before, 54.9 (9.8) s versus 57.9 (11) s, respectively, p < .01, and improvements were maintained until 30 min after. NIRS (oxyhemoglobin, total hemoglobin) explained a significant amount of variance in the change in Stroop performance for INT only (49%, p < .05). An acute bout of exercise, of either an intermittent or continuous nature, improves executive function in children, and effects are maintained for ≤ 30 min following exercise cessation. Accordingly, it is recommended that children should engage in physical activity during periods of school recess. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  16. Executive Functioning in Children and Adolescents With Perinatal HIV Infection.

    PubMed

    Nichols, Sharon L; Brummel, Sean S; Smith, Renee A; Garvie, Patricia A; Hunter, Scott J; Malee, Kathleen M; Kammerer, Betsy L; Wilkins, Megan L; Rutstein, Richard; Tassiopoulos, Katherine; Chernoff, Miriam C; Mellins, Claude A

    2015-09-01

    Perinatal HIV (PHIV) infection may place youth at risk for impairments in executive functioning (EF). We examined associations of EF with HIV infection, disease severity and other factors among youth with PHIV and perinatally HIV-exposed, uninfected youth (PHEU). Within the US-based Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study, 354 PHIV and 200 PHEU youth completed a standardized EF measure (Children's Color Trails Test, CCTT) and youth and/or caregivers completed a questionnaire measuring everyday EF (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, BRIEF). Covariates included HIV status, current and historical disease severity, demographic and caregiver variables and other cognitive measures. Analyses used linear and logistic regression and proportional odds models. No significant HIV status group differences were found on CCTT scores. Caregiver BRIEF ratings indicated significantly fewer problems for PHIV than PHEU youth. However, PHIV youth with past encephalopathy self-endorsed significantly greater metacognitive (ie, cognitive regulation) problems on the BRIEF and performed more slowly on the CCTT than PHEU youth. CCTT and caregiver BRIEF scores had significant associations with indicators of past and present disease severity. Both PHIV and PHEU had significantly worse scores than population means on CCTT and BRIEF; scores had significant associations with demographic covariates. Youth with PHIV show EF problems likely associated with risk factors other than HIV. However, cognitive slowing and self-reported metacognitive problems were evident in PHIV youth with a history of encephalopathy. Assessment and treatment of EF impairment may be important to identifying PHIV youth at particular risk for poor health and behavioral outcomes.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Brief executive function training for individuals with severe mental illness: Effects on EEG synchronization and executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Best, Michael W; Gale, Daniel; Tran, Tanya; Haque, Mashal K; Bowie, Christopher R

    2017-09-18

    Executive Functioning (EF) is an important factor for community functioning for people with severe mental illness. Cognitive remediation programs often improve EF, but do so by using multiple therapeutic techniques. Little is known regarding how individual treatment elements promote cognitive improvement. Oscillatory brain activity is a potential neurophysiological mechanism that may change as a result of targeted training on computerized exercises. The current study aimed to examine the effects of a brief EF training program on EEG and neurocognitive measures. 25 people with severe mental illness were randomized to either 2weeks of computerized EF training or control training. Training consisted of 1h training sessions 3 times per week and 40min of daily home training. Assessments examined EEG theta and alpha band oscillatory power during EF tasks and neurocognitive measures of EF. EF training resulted in greater frontal theta power and reduced posterior alpha power during computerized EF tasks than control training. Power in the alpha frequency band over frontal electrode sites did not significantly differ between the two groups as a result of training. Additionally, participants in the EF training experienced significantly greater improvement in EF ability as measured by neurocognitive tests than the control condition. Two weeks of EF training is sufficient to produce neurophysiological and neurocognitive change. Frontal theta power and posterior alpha power may be important neurophysiological markers to consider in cognitive remediation studies, and the addition of a brief executive function training procedure to other psychosocial interventions is worth examining. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Executive Functioning, Treatment Adherence, and Glycemic Control in Children With Type 1 Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    McNally, Kelly; Rohan, Jennifer; Pendley, Jennifer Shroff; Delamater, Alan; Drotar, Dennis

    2010-01-01

    OBJECTIVE The primary aim of the study was to investigate the relationship among executive functioning, diabetes treatment adherence, and glycemic control. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Two hundred and thirty-five children with type 1 diabetes and their primary caregivers were administered the Diabetes Self-Management Profile to assess treatment adherence. Executive functioning was measured using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning and glycemic control was based on A1C. RESULTS Structural equation modeling indicated that a model in which treatment adherence mediated the relationship between executive functioning and glycemic control best fit the data. All paths were significant at P < 0.01. CONCLUSIONS These results indicate that executive functioning skills (e.g., planning, problem-solving, organization, and working memory) were related to adherence, which was related to diabetes control. Executive functioning may be helpful to assess in ongoing clinical management of type 1 diabetes. PMID:20215458

  9. Frontotemporal Functional Connectivity and Executive Functions Contribute to Episodic Memory Performance

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Executive functioning among patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and their relatives.

    PubMed

    Gvirts, Hila Z; Harari, Hagai; Braw, Yoram; Shefet, Daphna; Shamay-Tsoory, Simone G; Levkovitz, Yechiel

    2012-12-20

    Studies focusing on executive functioning in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) have shown divergent results. Moreover, little attention has been paid to the potential role of deficits in executive functions as markers of familial vulnerability to BPD. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate executive functions in both patients BPD and their unaffected first-degree relatives (parents). We examined executive functions in four groups: patients with BPD (n=27), age-matched healthy controls (n=29), healthy unaffected parents of patients in the BPD group (n=20) and their respective age-matched controls (n=22). We administered tests that tapped three domains of executive functions: cognitive planning, sustained attention, and spatial working memory. All tests form part of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) battery. BPD patients displayed deficient executive functioning as compared to healthy controls in the domains of cognitive planning, sustained attention and working memory. Both BPD patients and their parents showed reduced latency to initiate the first move on the planning task [CANTAB's Tower of London]. All other measurements of executive functions did not differ significantly between parents of BPD patients and their respective healthy controls. Results should be replicated with a larger sample size. BPD patients demonstrate a generalized profile of executive dysfunction. In the group comprising their parents, however, we found a lack of evidence for executive dysfunctions. Hence, executive dysfunctions do not appear to be markers of familial vulnerability for BPD. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Executive function late effects in survivors of pediatric brain tumors and acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Cortical thickness in frontoparietal and cingulo-opercular networks predicts executive function performance in older adults.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Erica L; Burge, Wesley; Visscher, Kristina M; Ross, Lesley A

    2016-03-01

    This study examined the relationship between cortical thickness in executive control networks and neuropsychological measures of executive function. Forty-one community-dwelling older adults completed an MRI scan and a neuropsychological battery including 5 measures of executive function. Factor analysis of executive function measures revealed 2 distinct factors: (a) Complex Attention Control (CAC), comprised of tasks that required immediate response to stimuli and involved subtle performance feedback; and (b) Sustained Executive Control (SEC), comprised of tasks that involved maintenance and manipulation of information over time. Neural networks of interest were the frontoparietal network (F-P) and cingulo-opercular network (C-O), which have previously been hypothesized to relate to different components of executive function, based on functional MRI studies, but not neuropsychological factors. Linear regression models revealed that greater cortical thickness in the F-P network, but not the C-O network, predicted better performance on the CAC factor, whereas greater cortical thickness in the C-O network, but not the F-P network, predicted better performance on the SEC factor. The relationship between cortical thickness and performance on executive function measures was characterized by a double dissociation between the thickness of cortical regions hypothesized to be involved in executive control and distinct executive processes. Results indicate that fundamentally different executive processes may be predicted by cortical thickness in distinct brain networks. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Executive function in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the influence of comorbid depression.

    PubMed

    Olff, Miranda; Polak, A Rosaura; Witteveen, Anke B; Denys, Damiaan

    2014-07-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated with neurocognitive deficits, such as impaired verbal memory and executive functioning. Less is known about executive function and the role of comorbid depression in PTSD. Recently, studies have shown that verbal memory impairments may be associated with comorbid depressive symptoms, but their role in executive function impairments is still unclear. To examine several domains of executive functioning in PTSD and the potentially mediating role of comorbid depressive symptoms in the relationship between executive function and PTSD. Executive functioning was assessed in 28 PTSD patients and 28 matched trauma-exposed controls. The Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) with subtests measuring response inhibition (SST), flexibility/set shifting (IED), planning/working memory (OTS) and spatial working memory (SWM) was administered in PTSD patients and trauma-exposed controls. Regression analyses were used to assess the predictive factor of PTSD symptoms (CAPS) and depressive symptoms (HADS-D) in relation to executive function when taking into account the type of trauma. Pearson's correlations were used to examine the association between PTSD symptom clusters (CAPS) and executive function. The mediating effects of depression and PTSD were assessed using regression coefficients and the Sobel's test for mediation. Our findings indicate that PTSD patients performed significantly worse on executive function than trauma-exposed controls in all domains assessed. PTSD symptoms contributed to executive functioning impairments (SST median correct, IED total errors, OTS latency to correct, SWM total errors and SWM strategy). Adding depressive symptoms to the model attenuated these effects. PTSD symptom clusters 'numbing' and to a lesser extent 'avoidance' were more frequently associated with worse executive function (i.e., IED total errors, OTS latency to correct and SWM total errors) than

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  6. Altered executive function in the lead-exposed brain: A functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    PubMed

    Seo, Jeehye; Lee, Byung-Kook; Jin, Seong-Uk; Jang, Kyung Eun; Park, Jang Woo; Kim, Yang-Tae; Park, Sin-Jae; Jeong, Kyoung Sook; Park, Jungsun; Kim, Ahro; Kim, Yangho; Chang, Yongmin

    2015-09-01

    It is well known that lead exposure induces neurotoxic effects, which can result in dysfunction in a variety of cognitive capacities including executive function. However, few studies have used fMRI to examine the direct neural correlates of executive function in participants with past lead exposure. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate possible alterations in the neural correlates of executive function in the previously lead-exposed brain. Forty-three lead-exposed and 41 healthy participants were enrolled. During the fMRI scans, participants performed two modified versions of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task (WCST) differing in cognitive demand, and a task that established a high-level baseline condition (HLB). The neural activation of left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was greater in healthy controls than in participants with lead exposure when contrasting the difficult version of the WCST with the HLB. Moreover, cortical activation was found to be inversely associated with blood lead concentration after controlling for covariates. These data suggest that lead exposure can induce functional abnormalities in distributed cortical networks related to executive function, and that lead-induced neurotoxicity may be persistent rather than transient. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. Relationship of executive function and educational status with functional balance in older adults.

    PubMed

    Voos, Mariana Callil; Custódio, Elaine Bazilio; Malaquias, Joel

    2011-01-01

    The Berg Balance Scale (BBS) is frequently used to assess functional balance in older adults. The relationship of executive function and level of education with the BBS performance has not been described. The aim of this study was to determine whether (1) the performance on a task requiring executive function (part B of the Trail Making Test, TMT-B) influences results of motor and cognitive tests and (2) the number of years of formal education could be related to performance on BBS in older adults. We also explored whether there would be differences, based on performance on TMT-B (high vs low) in motor function (BBS, the timed up and go [TUG]) or cognitive function (TMT-A and TMTDELTA), the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), as well as years of education. Participants included 101 older adults (age range, 60-80 years) residing in São Paulo, Brazil. Functional balance was assessed using BBS and TUG. Executive function was assessed using the TMT and MMSE. Educational status was determined by self-report of participant's total number of years of formal education. The BBS scores were inversely related to TMT-A time (r = -0.63, r = 0.40, P < .001) and TMT-B time (r = -0.56, r = 0.31, P < .001). There was a similar relationship with TMTDELTA (r = -0.47, r = 0.22, P < .001). The BBS scores were positively correlated to years of formal education (r = 0.48, r = 0.23, P < .001). There was a ceiling effect on the TMT-B, with many individuals reaching maximum score of 300 seconds. Participants with high levels of executive function had higher BBS and MMSE scores, more education, and lower TMT-A, TMTDELTA and TUG scores (P < .001) than the lower functioning group. Individuals with higher capacity on tasks requiring visuospatial abilities, psychomotor speed, and executive function, such as the TMT, had better performance on BBS. Individuals with a high executive function, measured by TMT-B, also performed better on other motor and cognitive tests.

  20. Socioeconomic status, white matter, and executive function in children.

    PubMed

    Ursache, Alexandra; Noble, Kimberly G

    2016-10-01

    A growing body of evidence links socioeconomic status (SES) to children's brain structure. Few studies, however, have specifically investigated relations of SES to white matter structure. Further, although several studies have demonstrated that family SES is related to development of brain areas that support executive functions (EF), less is known about the role that white matter structure plays in the relation of SES to EF. One possibility is that white matter differences may partially explain SES disparities in EF (i.e., a mediating relationship). Alternatively, SES may differentially shape brain-behavior relations such that the relation of white matter structure to EF may differ as a function of SES (i.e., a moderating relationship). In a diverse sample of 1082 children and adolescents aged 3-21 years, we examined socioeconomic disparities in white matter macrostructure and microstructure. We further investigated relations between family SES, children's white matter volume and integrity in tracts supporting EF, and performance on EF tasks. Socioeconomic status was associated with fractional anisotropy (FA) and volume in multiple white matter tracts. Additionally, family income moderated the relation between white matter structure and cognitive flexibility. Specifically, across multiple tracts of interest, lower FA or lower volume was associated with reduced cognitive flexibility among children from lower income families. In contrast, children from higher income families showed preserved cognitive flexibility in the face of low white matter FA or volume. SES factors did not mediate or moderate links between white matter and either working memory or inhibitory control. This work adds to a growing body of literature suggesting that the socioeconomic contexts in which children develop not only shape cognitive functioning and its underlying neurobiology, but may also shape the relations between brain and behavior.

  1. Infant motor and cognitive abilities and subsequent executive function.

    PubMed

    Wu, Meng; Liang, Xi; Lu, Shan; Wang, Zhengyan

    2017-09-23

    Although executive function (EF) is widely considered crucial to several aspects of life, the mechanisms underlying EF development remain largely unexplored, especially for infants. From a behavioral or neurodevelopmental perspective, motor and general cognitive abilities are linked with EF. EF development is a multistage process that starts with sensorimotor interactive behaviors, which become basic cognitive abilities and, in turn, mature EF. This study aims to examine how infant motor and general cognitive abilities are linked with their EF at 3 years of age. This work also aims to explore the potential processes of EF development from early movement. A longitudinal study was conducted with 96 infants (55 girls and 41 boys). The infants' motor and general cognitive abilities were assessed at 1 and 2 years of age with Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Second and Third Editions, respectively. Infants' EFs were assessed at 3 years of age with Working Memory Span task, Day-Night task, and Wrapped Gift task. Children with higher scores for cognitive ability at 2 years of age performed better in working memory, and children with higher scores for gross motor ability at 2 years performed better in cognitive inhibitory control (IC). Motor ability at 1year and fine/gross motor ability at 2 years indirectly affected cognitive IC via general cognitive ability at 2 years and working memory. EF development is a multistage process that originates from physical movement to simple cognitive function, and then to complex cognitive function. Infants and toddlers can undergo targeted motor training to promote EF development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Engaging Frontline Staff in Performance Improvement: The American Organization of Nurse Executives Implementation of Transforming Care at the Bedside Collaborative.

    PubMed

    Needleman, Jack; Pearson, Marjorie L; Upenieks, Valda V; Yee, Tracy; Wolstein, Joelle; Parkerton, Melissa

    2016-02-01

    Process improvement stresses the importance of engaging frontline staff in implementing new processes and methods. Yet questions remain on how to incorporate these activities into the workday of hospital staff or how to create and maintain its commitment. In a 15-month American Organization of Nurse Executives collaborative involving frontline medical/surgical staff from 67 hospitals, Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB) was evaluated to assess whether participating units successfully implemented recommended change processes, engaged staff, implemented innovations, and generated support from hospital leadership and staff. In a mixed-methods analysis, multiple data sources, including leader surveys, unit staff surveys, administrative data, time study data, and collaborative documents were used. All units reported establishing unit-based teams, of which >90% succeeded in conducting tests of change, with unit staff selecting topics and making decisions on adoption. Fifty-five percent of unit staff reported participating in unit meetings, and 64%, in tests of change. Unit managers reported substantial increase in staff support for the initiative. An average 36 tests of change were conducted per unit, with 46% of tested innovations sustained, and 20% spread to other units. Some 95% of managers and 97% of chief nursing officers believed that the program had made unit staff more likely to initiate change. Among staff, 83% would encourage adoption of the initiative. Given the strong positive assessment of TCAB, evidence of substantial engagement of staff in the work, and the high volume of innovations tested, implemented, and sustained, TCAB appears to be a productive model for organizing and implementing a program of frontline-led improvement.

  3. “The Relationship between Executive Functioning, Processing Speed and White Matter Integrity in Multiple Sclerosis”

    PubMed Central

    Genova, Helen M.; DeLuca, John; Chiaravalloti, Nancy; Wylie, Glenn

    2014-01-01

    The primary purpose of the current study was to examine the relationship between performance on executive tasks and white matter integrity, assessed by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). A second aim was to examine how processing speed affects the relationship between executive functioning and FA. This relationship was examined in two executive tasks that rely heavily on processing speed: the Color-Word Interference Test and Trail-Making Test (Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System). It was hypothesized that reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) is related to poor performance on executive tasks in MS, but that this relationship would be affected by the statistical correction of processing speed from the executive tasks. 15 healthy controls and 25 persons with MS participated. Regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between executive functioning and FA, both before and after processing speed was removed from the executive scores. Before processing speed was removed from the executive scores, reduced FA was associated with poor performance on Color-Word Interference Test and Trail-Making Test in a diffuse network including corpus callosum and superior longitudinal fasciculus. However, once processing speed was removed, the relationship between executive functions and FA was no longer significant on the Trail Making test, and significantly reduced and more localized on the Color-Word Interference Test. PMID:23777468

  4. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. Strong Genetic Overlap Between Executive Functions and Intelligence

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) are cognitive processes that control, monitor, and coordinate more basic cognitive processes. EFs play instrumental roles in models of complex reasoning, learning, and decision-making, and individual differences in EFs have been consistently linked with individual differences in intelligence. By middle childhood, genetic factors account for a moderate proportion of the variance in intelligence, and these effects increase in magnitude through adolescence. Genetic influences on EFs are very high, even in middle childhood, but the extent to which these genetic influences overlap with those on intelligence is unclear. We examined genetic and environmental overlap between EFs and intelligence in a racially and socioeconomically diverse sample of 811 twins ages 7-15 years (M = 10.91, SD = 1.74) from the Texas Twin Project. A general EF factor representing variance common to inhibition, switching, working memory, and updating domains accounted for substantial proportions of variance in intelligence, primarily via a genetic pathway. General EF continued to have a strong, genetically-mediated association with intelligence even after controlling for processing speed. Residual variation in general intelligence was influenced only by shared and nonshared environmental factors, and there remained no genetic variance in general intelligence that was unique of EF. Genetic variance independent of EF did remain, however, in a more specific perceptual reasoning ability. These results provide evidence that genetic influences on general intelligence are highly overlapping with those on EF. PMID:27359131

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  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 Functioning, Irritability, and Alcohol-Related Aggression

    PubMed Central

    Godlaski, Aaron J.; Giancola, Peter R.

    2009-01-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Diamond, Adele

    2012-10-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Executive function and parenting in the context of homelessness.

    PubMed

    Monn, Amy R; Narayan, Angela J; Kalstabakken, Amanda W; Schubert, Erin C; Masten, Ann S

    2017-02-01

    There is mounting evidence that maternal executive function (EF) plays a critical role in parenting behavior. However, the majority of the research on this topic has been conducted in low-risk samples. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether individual differences in maternal EF are associated with parenting behavior in the high-risk, high adversity context of family homelessness. The study included 94 mothers and their children, ages 4 to 6 years, living in emergency homeless shelters. Mothers completed a battery of "hot" and "cool" EF tasks as well as a self-report questionnaire of perceived stress. Parenting measures were based on observed parent-child interactions that were later coded for harsh and positive parenting practices. Results indicated that hot EF in mothers was related to positive parenting. The relation between maternal planning ability, assessed by a cool EF task, and harsh parenting was also significant, but only for mothers reporting higher levels of stress. These findings add to a growing body of research suggesting that the influence of EF and other forms of cognitive control on parenting need to be interpreted within the context of environmental stress and adversity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Strong genetic overlap between executive functions and intelligence.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    Executive functions (EFs) are cognitive processes that control, monitor, and coordinate more basic cognitive processes. EFs play instrumental roles in models of complex reasoning, learning, and decision making, and individual differences in EFs have been consistently linked with individual differences in intelligence. By middle childhood, genetic factors account for a moderate proportion of the variance in intelligence, and these effects increase in magnitude through adolescence. Genetic influences on EFs are very high, even in middle childhood, but the extent to which these genetic influences overlap with those on intelligence is unclear. We examined genetic and environmental overlap between EFs and intelligence in a racially and socioeconomically diverse sample of 811 twins ages 7 to 15 years (M = 10.91, SD = 1.74) from the Texas Twin Project. A general EF factor representing variance common to inhibition, switching, working memory, and updating domains accounted for substantial proportions of variance in intelligence, primarily via a genetic pathway. General EF continued to have a strong, genetically mediated association with intelligence even after controlling for processing speed. Residual variation in general intelligence was influenced only by shared and nonshared environmental factors, and there remained no genetic variance in general intelligence that was unique of EF. Genetic variance independent of EF did remain, however, in a more specific perceptual reasoning ability. These results provide evidence that genetic influences on general intelligence are highly overlapping with those on EF. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).