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Sample records for engaging executive functions

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

    PubMed

    de Frias, Cindy M; Dixon, Roger A

    2014-02-01

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

  2. Executive Functions

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Adele

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Social task switching: On the automatic social engagement of executive functions.

    PubMed

    Dudarev, Veronica; Hassin, Ran R

    2016-01-01

    Humans are quintessentially social, yet much of cognitive psychology has focused on the individual, in individual settings. The literature on joint action is one of the most prominent exceptions. Joint-action research studies the sociality of our mental representations by examining how the tasks of other people around us affect our own task performance. In this paper we go beyond examining whether we represent others and their tasks, by asking whether we also automatically do their tasks with them, even if they require effortful executive functions. To this end we examine one of the core executive functions, shifting, in a new paradigm that allows us to investigate task-switching in a joint-action setup.

  5. 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"…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pichler, Joseph A.

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

  7. 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.

  8. Multisensory Executive Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hunt, Amelia R.; Kingstone, Alan

    2004-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. Television and children's executive function.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. Developmental Changes in Executive Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Executive Function in Nephropathic Cystinosis

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Metacognitive Monitoring of Executive Control Engagement During Childhood.

    PubMed

    Chevalier, Nicolas; Blaye, Agnès

    2016-07-01

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

  16. Multiprocessor execution of functional programs

    SciTech Connect

    Goldberg, B. )

    1988-10-01

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

  17. Executive function in CHARGE syndrome.

    PubMed

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

    2007-07-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Myeloperoxidase levels predict executive function.

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

  1. Myeloperoxidase levels predict executive function.

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. Executive functions in developmental dyslexia

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. 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…

  8. A simple hypothesis of executive function

    PubMed Central

    Kopp, Bruno

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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…

  10. Culture, executive function, and social understanding.

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  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 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Intergenerational Transmission of Neuropsychological Executive Functioning

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    Relationships between parent and child executive functioning were examined, controlling for the critical potential confound of IQ, in a family study involving 434 children (130 girls, 304 boys) and 376 parents from 204 community recruited families at high risk for the development of substance use disorder. Structural equation modeling found evidence of separate executive functioning and intelligence (IQ) latent variables. Mother’s and father’s executive functioning were associated with child’s executive functioning (beta = 0.34 for father-child, 0.51 for mother-child), independently of parental IQ, which as expected was associated with child’s IQ (beta = 0.52 for father-child, 0.54 for mother-child). Familial correlations also showed a significant relationship of executive functioning between parents and offspring. These findings clarify that key elements of the executive functioning construct are reliably differentiable from IQ, and are transmitted in families. This work supports the utility of the construct of executive function in further study of the mechanisms and etiology of externalizing psychopathologies. PMID:19243871

  15. Inhibition, Executive Function, and Freezing of Gait

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  17. Effect of functional overreaching on executive functions.

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate whether cognitive performance was a valid marker of overreaching. 10 well-trained male endurance athletes increased their training load by 100% for 2 weeks. They performed a maximal graded test, a constant speed test, a reaction time task and a computerized version of the Stroop color word-test before and after this overload period. Regarding performance results, five participants were considered as overreached and the five remaining were considered as well-trained. We found no significant differences between groups in performing the Stroop test. Noteworthy, we found a small increase in response time in the more complex condition in overreached athletes (1 188+/-261 to 1 297+/-231 ms, effect size=0.44), while it decreased moderately in the well-trained athletes (1 066+/-175 to 963+/-171 ms, effect size=-0.59). Furthermore, we found an interaction between time and group on initiation time of the reaction time task, since it increased in overreached athletes after the overload period (246+/-24 to 264+/-26 ms, p<0.05), while it remained unchanged in well-trained participants. Participants made very few anticipation errors, whatever the group or the period (error rate <2%).We concluded that an unaccustomed increase in training volume which is accompanied by a decrement in physical performance induces a deterioration of some executive functions. PMID:20544582

  18. Executive Function Mechanisms of Theory of Mind

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ahmed, Fayeza S.; Miller, L. Stephen

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Executive function influences sedentary behavior: A longitudinal study

    PubMed Central

    Loprinzi, Paul D.; Nooe, Allison

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Prospective memory and executive function in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Kondel, Tejinder K

    2002-01-01

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

  1. 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…

  2. EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS IN DEPRESSION: A CLINICAL REPORT

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Longitudinal antecedents of executive function in preschoolers.

    PubMed

    Conway, Anne; Stifter, Cynthia A

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Fluid intelligence, working memory and executive functioning.

    PubMed

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

    2006-11-01

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

  8. Executive functions in individuals with intellectual disability.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate executive functions in adults with intellectual disability, and compare them to a closely matched control group longitudinally for 5 years. In the Betula database, a group of adults with intellectual disability (ID, n=46) was defined from measures of verbal and non-verbal IQ. A control group, with two people for every person with intellectual disability (n=92), was chosen by matching on the following criterion in order of priority: IQ higher than 85, age, sex, sample, level of education, and years of education. Three types of tasks of executive functions were included on two occasions, with 5 years between testing sessions: The Tower of Hanoi, executively loaded dual task versions of word recall, and verbal fluency. Adults with ID showed significant impairments on verbal fluency and on the executively loaded dual task word recall task (at encoding but not at recall). There were no group differences on the Tower of Hanoi. No significant differences between the two test occasions were found. The results are interpreted in terms of individuals with ID having problems with speed of accessing lexical items and difficulties with working memory-related executive control at encoding, which includes shifting between tasks. There are, however, not necessarily problems with inhibition. The dual task results additionally imply that the adults with intellectual disability were more sensitive to strategy interruptions at encoding, but that dividing attention at recall did not have such detrimental effects. PMID:20728303

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  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. Intergenerational Transmission of Neuropsychological Executive Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. 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. 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…

  14. Executive Function in Adolescents with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

    Background: The present work is aimed at analysing executive function (EF) in adolescents with Down Syndrome (DS). So far, EF has been analysed mainly in adults with DS, showing a pattern of impairment. However, less is known about children and adolescents with this syndrome. Studying adolescents with DS might help us better understand whether…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. Unraveling Executive Functioning in Dual Diagnosis.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Unraveling Executive Functioning in Dual Diagnosis.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Executive function mechanisms of theory of mind.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Fayeza S; Stephen Miller, L

    2011-05-01

    This study examined the relationship between Executive Function (EF) and Theory of Mind (ToM) using the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) and three tests of ToM (Reading the Mind in the Eyes test (RMET), Strange Stories test, and Faux Pas test). Separate regression analyses were conducted, and EF predictors varied by ToM test. No EF domains accounted for significant variance in RMET scores; only estimated IQ scores were significant predictors of RMET performance. Verbal fluency and deductive reasoning were significant predictors of performance on the Strange Stories test, while verbal fluency, problem solving, and gender accounted for a significant variance in the Faux Pas test. Results suggest that the ToM tests each utilized differing cognitive mechanisms.

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. Getting the right grasp on executive function.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Getting the right grasp on executive function.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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

  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 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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,…

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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…

  9. Executive function treatment and intervention in schools.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-10-01

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

  11. 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…

  12. Executive Functioning and Prospective Memory in Young Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

  16. Time Monitoring and Executive Functioning in Children and Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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)...

  20. 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)...

  1. 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)...

  2. 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)...

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  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. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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,…

  9. 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)...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gallant, Sara N

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gallant, Sara N

    2016-02-01

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

  14. Executive Functions in Premanifest Huntington’s Disease

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Wu, Yan Jing; Thierry, Guillaume

    2013-08-14

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Executive function and cerebrovascular reactivity in pediatric hypertension.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-03-01

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Executive Functions in Children Who Experience Bullying Situations.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    1996-08-23

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Shaheen, Sandra

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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…

  7. 29 CFR 452.19 - Executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

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

  8. 29 CFR 452.19 - Executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

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

  9. 29 CFR 452.19 - Executive functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  11. Executive Function and Adaptive Behavior in Muenke Syndrome

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. What’s Cooking? – Cognitive Training of Executive Function in the Elderly

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Executive function involves the efficient and adaptive engagement of the control processes of updating, shifting, and inhibition (Miyake, 2000) to guide behavior toward a goal. It is associated with decrements in many other cognitive functions due to aging (West, 1996; Raz, 2000) with itself particularly vulnerable to the effect of aging (Treitz et al., 2007). Cognitive training in the form of structural experience with executive coordination demands exhibited effective enhancement in the elderly (Hertzog et al., 2008). The current study was thus aimed at the development and evaluation of a training regime for executive function in the elderly. The breakfast cooking task of Craik and Bialystok (2006) was adapted into a multitasking training task in a session (pre-test vs. post-test) by group (control vs. training). In the training condition, participants constantly switched, updated, and planned in order to control the cooking of several foods and concurrently performed a table setting secondary task. Training gains were exhibited on task related measures. Transfer effect was selectively observed on the letter–number sequencing and digit symbol coding test. The cooking training produced short term increase in the efficiency of executive control processing. These effects were interpreted in terms of the process overlap between the training and the transfer tasks. PMID:21954388

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. The 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…

  17. 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…

  18. The Role of Executive Functions in Numerical Magnitude Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  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. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  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. PMID:25347539

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozonoff, Sally; Jensen, Jenise

    1999-01-01

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

  12. 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…

  13. 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.…

  14. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Executive 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…

  17. 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

  18. 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,…

  19. 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,…

  20. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillips, David Spencer

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Guare, Richard

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Uncontrolled eating is associated with reduced executive functioning.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

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

  18. 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…

  19. 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,…

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Executive function on the Psychology Experiment Building Language tests

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Mahone, E Mark; Hoffman, Jennifer

    2007-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Eisenberg, Daniel Paul; Berman, Karen Faith

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sorel, Olivier; Pennequin, Valérie

    2008-03-01

    This study tested whether the aging of executive functioning is linked to the decline in planning performance. Participants were divided into three groups: group 1 composed of 15 adults with a mean age of 22.7 years, group 2 composed of 15 adults with a mean age of 68.1 years and group 3 composed of 16 adults with a mean age of 78.75 years. Each participant took tests for shifting, inhibition, updating and processing speed. Planning was evaluated by the Tower of Hanoi task with 3 and 4 disks. Analyses of variance showed a main age effect on the many executive functioning and planning measures assessed. Analyses of regression indicated that combined processing speed and shifting accounted for 58.33% of performance on the 3-disk version, while processing speed accounted for only 36.86% of performance on the 4-disk version. These results are discussed in relation to two levels of the planning process: formulation and execution. PMID:17884265

  9. Executing application function calls in response to an interrupt

    DOEpatents

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

    2010-05-11

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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,…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  18. Age of Onset of Marijuana Use and Executive Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Working Memory in the Service of Executive Control Functions

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Diamond, Adele; Lee, Kathleen

    2011-08-19

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  16. 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.

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

    Floresco, Stan B; Jentsch, James D

    2011-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Blakey, Emma; Carroll, Daniel J.

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive training has been shown to improve executive functions (EFs) in middle childhood and adulthood. However, fewer studies have targeted the preschool years—a time when EFs undergo rapid development. The present study tested the effects of a short four session EF training program in 54 four-year-olds. The training group significantly improved their working memory from pre-training relative to an active control group. Notably, this effect extended to a task sharing few surface features with the trained tasks, and continued to be apparent 3 months later. In addition, the benefits of training extended to a measure of mathematical reasoning 3 months later, indicating that training EFs during the preschool years has the potential to convey benefits that are both long-lasting and wide-ranging. PMID:26635710

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  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. PMID:23745952

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Executive function and endocrinological responses to acute resistance exercise

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Silver, Cheryl H

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lerner, Matthew D.; Lonigan, Christopher J.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  2. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    Diamond, Adele

    2012-10-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  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. Atlas-based diffusion tensor imaging correlates of executive function

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Executive function and food approach behavior in middle childhood

    PubMed Central

    Groppe, Karoline; Elsner, Birgit

    2014-01-01

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

  16. The functional role of working memory in the (re-)planning and execution of grasping movements.

    PubMed

    Spiegel, M A; Koester, D; Schack, T

    2013-10-01

    Three experiments were conducted to dissociate movement planning costs and movement execution costs in working memory (WM). The aim of the study was to clarify what kind of WM processes (verbal, spatial, or both) are recruited during movement planning and movement execution. Therefore, a WM task (verbal and spatial versions) was combined with a high-precision manual action. Participants initially planned a placing movement toward 1 of 2 targets, subsequently encoded verbal or spatial information in WM, and then executed the movement during the retention phase. We tested the impact of movement execution on memory performance (Experiment 1), the role of WM task difficulty as a moderating variable in motor-memory interactions (Experiment 2), and the impact of implementing a new motor plan during memory retention (Experiment 3). Our results show that movement execution disrupted spatial more than verbal memory (Experiment 1) and that this domain-specific interference pattern was independent of WM task difficulty (Experiment 2). Hence, the results of Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrate that executing a prepared movement recruits domain-specific visuospatial memory resources. Experiment 3 involved trials that required the implementation of a new motor plan. The additional planning requirement during the retention phase reduced performance in both WM tasks in equal measure beyond the relative movement execution costs observed in Experiments 1 and 2. These results provide evidence for distinct roles of WM in manual actions, with action execution requiring principally modality-specific capacities and (re-)planning engaging modality-general WM resources.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Best, John R.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heyl, Vera; Hintermair, Manfred

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moraine, Paula

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nordman, Jenny

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buckner, Elizabeth; Kim, Paul

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cartwright, Kelly B.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schroeder, Valarie M.; Kelley, Michelle L.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bevins, Shelley; Hurse, Emily

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Engelhard, George, Jr.; Wang, Jue

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warnick, Brittany; Drake, Morgan; Vidrine, Stephanie

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Thomas E.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hughes, Claire H.; Ensor, Rosie A.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fuhs, Mary Wagner; Day, Jeanne D.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Alosco, Michael L.; Spitznagel, Mary Beth; Raz, Naftali; Cohen, Ronald; Sweet, Lawrence H.; Colbert, Lisa H.; Josephson, Richard; van Dulmen, Manfred; Hughes, Joel; Rosneck, Jim; Gunstad, John

    2016-01-01

    Aims and Objectives To examine the independent association between executive function with instrumental activities of daily living and health behaviors in older adults with heart failure. Background Executive function is an important contributor to functional independence as it consists of cognitive processes needed for decision-making, planning, organizing, and behavioral monitoring. Impairment in this domain is common in heart failure patients and associated with reduced performance of instrumental activities of daily living in many medical and neurological populations. However, the contribution of executive functions to functional independence and healthy lifestyle choices in heart failure patients has not been fully examined. Design Cross-sectional analyses. Methods 175 heart failure patients completed a neuropsychological battery and echocardiogram. Participants also completed the Lawton-Brody instrumental activities of daily living scale and reported current cigarette use. Results Hierarchical regressions revealed reduced executive function was independently associated with worse instrumental activity of daily living performance with a specific association for decreased ability to manage medications. Partial correlations showed executive dysfunction was associated with current cigarette use. Conclusions Our findings suggest that executive dysfunction is associated with poorer functional independence and contributes to unhealthy behaviors in heart failure. Future studies should examine whether heart failure patients benefit from formal organization schemae (i.e., pill organizers) to maintain independence. Relevance to Clinical Practice Screening of executive function in heart failure patients may provide key insight into their ability to perform daily tasks, including management of treatment recommendations. PMID:23650879

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Coordination of Executive Functions in Monolingual and Bilingual Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bialystok, Ellen

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    A growing body of evidence suggests that action videogames could enhance a variety of cognitive skills and more specifically attention skills. The aim of this study was to develop a novel adaptive videogame to support the rehabilitation of the most common consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI), that is the impairment of attention and executive functions. TBI patients can be affected by psychomotor slowness and by difficulties in dealing with distraction, maintain a cognitive set for a long time, processing different simultaneously presented stimuli, and planning purposeful behavior. Accordingly, we designed a videogame that was specifically conceived to activate those functions. Playing involves visuospatial planning and selective attention, active maintenance of the cognitive set representing the goal, and error monitoring. Moreover, different game trials require to alternate between two tasks (i.e., task switching) or to perform the two tasks simultaneously (i.e., divided attention/dual-tasking). The videogame is controlled by a multidimensional adaptive algorithm that calibrates task difficulty on-line based on a model of user performance that is updated on a trial-by-trial basis. We report simulations of user performance designed to test the adaptive game as well as a validation study with healthy participants engaged in a training protocol. The results confirmed the involvement of the cognitive abilities that the game is supposed to enhance and suggested that training improved attentional control during play. PMID:24860529

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peterson, Eric; Welsh, Marilyn C.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lemaire, Patrick; Lecacheur, Mireille

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blair, Clancy; Knipe, Hilary; Gamson, David

    2008-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

    The relation of observed emotional reactivity and regulation in infancy to executive function in early childhood was examined in a prospective longitudinal sample of 1,292 children from predominantly low-income and rural communities. Children participated in a fear eliciting task at ages 7, 15, and 24 months and completed an executive function…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Buss, Aaron T.; Spencer, John P.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-16

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    There is uncertainty about whether respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), a cardiac marker of adaptive emotion regulation, is involved in relatively low or high executive function performance. In the present study, we investigated: (1) whether RSA during rest and tasks predict both relatively low and high executive function within a larger quadratic association among the two variables, and (2) the extent to which this quadratic trend was moderated by individual differences in emotion regulation. To achieve these aims, a sample of ethnically and socioeconomically diverse women self-reported reappraisal and emotion suppression. They next experienced a two-minute resting period during which ECG was continually assessed. In the next phase, the women completed an array of executive function and non-executive cognitive tasks while ECG was measured throughout. As anticipated, resting RSA showed a quadratic association with executive function that was strongest for high suppression. These results suggest that relatively high resting RSA may predict poor executive function ability when emotion regulation consumes executive control resources needed for ongoing cognitive performance. PMID:26018941

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Memisevic, H.; Sinanovic, O.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Latzman, Robert D.; Markon, Kristian E.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Memisevic, Haris; Sinanovic, Osman

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Gilmore, Camilla; Cragg, Lucy

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Exercise, such as cardiovascular fitness training, has been shown to have utility in improving executive function but is difficult for older adults with low mobility to perform. Accordingly, there is interest in the development of regimens other than high mobility exercises for older adults with low mobility. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the association between sensory motor function of the upper limb and executive function in community-dwelling older adults. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 57 right-handed, independent, community-dwelling older adults. Sensory motor function of upper limb, including range of motion, strength, sensation, finger dexterity, and comprehensive hand function was measured in both hands. Executive function was assessed using the Delta Trail Making Test. Multiple regression analysis indicated the finger dexterity of the non-dominant hand as independently associated with executive function (β = –0.414, P < 0.001). The findings of the present study may facilitate the development of exercise regimens for improving executive function that are more suitable for older adults with limited physical fitness levels. As this was a cross-sectional study, further studies are required to validate the efficacy of non-dominant finger dexterity training for improving executive function in older adults. PMID:27578912

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    Exercise, such as cardiovascular fitness training, has been shown to have utility in improving executive function but is difficult for older adults with low mobility to perform. Accordingly, there is interest in the development of regimens other than high mobility exercises for older adults with low mobility. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the association between sensory motor function of the upper limb and executive function in community-dwelling older adults. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 57 right-handed, independent, community-dwelling older adults. Sensory motor function of upper limb, including range of motion, strength, sensation, finger dexterity, and comprehensive hand function was measured in both hands. Executive function was assessed using the Delta Trail Making Test. Multiple regression analysis indicated the finger dexterity of the non-dominant hand as independently associated with executive function (β = -0.414, P < 0.001). The findings of the present study may facilitate the development of exercise regimens for improving executive function that are more suitable for older adults with limited physical fitness levels. As this was a cross-sectional study, further studies are required to validate the efficacy of non-dominant finger dexterity training for improving executive function in older adults.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    Exercise, such as cardiovascular fitness training, has been shown to have utility in improving executive function but is difficult for older adults with low mobility to perform. Accordingly, there is interest in the development of regimens other than high mobility exercises for older adults with low mobility. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the association between sensory motor function of the upper limb and executive function in community-dwelling older adults. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 57 right-handed, independent, community-dwelling older adults. Sensory motor function of upper limb, including range of motion, strength, sensation, finger dexterity, and comprehensive hand function was measured in both hands. Executive function was assessed using the Delta Trail Making Test. Multiple regression analysis indicated the finger dexterity of the non-dominant hand as independently associated with executive function (β = -0.414, P < 0.001). The findings of the present study may facilitate the development of exercise regimens for improving executive function that are more suitable for older adults with limited physical fitness levels. As this was a cross-sectional study, further studies are required to validate the efficacy of non-dominant finger dexterity training for improving executive function in older adults. PMID:27578912

  8. Independence of Hot and Cold Executive Function Deficits in High-Functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Zimmerman, David L.; Ownsworth, Tamara; O'Donovan, Analise; Roberts, Jacqueline; Gullo, Matthew J.

    2016-01-01

    Individuals with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) display diverse deficits in social, cognitive and behavioral functioning. To date, there has been mixed findings on the profile of executive function deficits for high-functioning adults (IQ > 70) with ASD. A conceptual distinction is commonly made between “cold” and “hot” executive functions. Cold executive functions refer to mechanistic higher-order cognitive operations (e.g., working memory), whereas hot executive functions entail cognitive abilities supported by emotional awareness and social perception (e.g., social cognition). This study aimed to determine the independence of deficits in hot and cold executive functions for high-functioning adults with ASD. Forty-two adults with ASD (64% male, aged 18–66 years) and 40 age and gender matched controls were administered The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT; emotion recognition and social inference), Letter Number Sequencing (working memory) and Hayling Sentence Completion Test (response initiation and suppression). Between-group analyses identified that the ASD group performed significantly worse than matched controls on all measures of cold and hot executive functions (d = 0.54 − 1.5). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that the ASD sample performed more poorly on emotion recognition and social inference tasks than matched controls after controlling for cold executive functions and employment status. The findings also indicated that the ability to recognize emotions and make social inferences was supported by working memory and response initiation and suppression processes. Overall, this study supports the distinction between hot and cold executive function impairments for adults with ASD. Moreover, it advances understanding of higher-order impairments underlying social interaction difficulties for this population which, in turn, may assist with diagnosis and inform intervention programs. PMID:26903836

  9. Independence of Hot and Cold Executive Function Deficits in High-Functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    PubMed

    Zimmerman, David L; Ownsworth, Tamara; O'Donovan, Analise; Roberts, Jacqueline; Gullo, Matthew J

    2016-01-01

    Individuals with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) display diverse deficits in social, cognitive and behavioral functioning. To date, there has been mixed findings on the profile of executive function deficits for high-functioning adults (IQ > 70) with ASD. A conceptual distinction is commonly made between "cold" and "hot" executive functions. Cold executive functions refer to mechanistic higher-order cognitive operations (e.g., working memory), whereas hot executive functions entail cognitive abilities supported by emotional awareness and social perception (e.g., social cognition). This study aimed to determine the independence of deficits in hot and cold executive functions for high-functioning adults with ASD. Forty-two adults with ASD (64% male, aged 18-66 years) and 40 age and gender matched controls were administered The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT; emotion recognition and social inference), Letter Number Sequencing (working memory) and Hayling Sentence Completion Test (response initiation and suppression). Between-group analyses identified that the ASD group performed significantly worse than matched controls on all measures of cold and hot executive functions (d = 0.54 - 1.5). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that the ASD sample performed more poorly on emotion recognition and social inference tasks than matched controls after controlling for cold executive functions and employment status. The findings also indicated that the ability to recognize emotions and make social inferences was supported by working memory and response initiation and suppression processes. Overall, this study supports the distinction between hot and cold executive function impairments for adults with ASD. Moreover, it advances understanding of higher-order impairments underlying social interaction difficulties for this population which, in turn, may assist with diagnosis and inform intervention programs.

  10. Independence of Hot and Cold Executive Function Deficits in High-Functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    PubMed

    Zimmerman, David L; Ownsworth, Tamara; O'Donovan, Analise; Roberts, Jacqueline; Gullo, Matthew J

    2016-01-01

    Individuals with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) display diverse deficits in social, cognitive and behavioral functioning. To date, there has been mixed findings on the profile of executive function deficits for high-functioning adults (IQ > 70) with ASD. A conceptual distinction is commonly made between "cold" and "hot" executive functions. Cold executive functions refer to mechanistic higher-order cognitive operations (e.g., working memory), whereas hot executive functions entail cognitive abilities supported by emotional awareness and social perception (e.g., social cognition). This study aimed to determine the independence of deficits in hot and cold executive functions for high-functioning adults with ASD. Forty-two adults with ASD (64% male, aged 18-66 years) and 40 age and gender matched controls were administered The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT; emotion recognition and social inference), Letter Number Sequencing (working memory) and Hayling Sentence Completion Test (response initiation and suppression). Between-group analyses identified that the ASD group performed significantly worse than matched controls on all measures of cold and hot executive functions (d = 0.54 - 1.5). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that the ASD sample performed more poorly on emotion recognition and social inference tasks than matched controls after controlling for cold executive functions and employment status. The findings also indicated that the ability to recognize emotions and make social inferences was supported by working memory and response initiation and suppression processes. Overall, this study supports the distinction between hot and cold executive function impairments for adults with ASD. Moreover, it advances understanding of higher-order impairments underlying social interaction difficulties for this population which, in turn, may assist with diagnosis and inform intervention programs. PMID:26903836

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

    PubMed

    Jarrett, Matthew A

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naylor, Gregory

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Age-related changes in executive function: A normative study with the Dutch version of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF).

    PubMed

    Huizinga, Mariëtte; Smidts, Diana P

    2011-01-01

    This study examined age-related change in executive function by using a Dutch translation of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF; Gioia et al., 2000) that was applied to a normative sample (age range 5-18 years). In addition, we examined the reliability and factorial structures of the Dutch BRIEF. Results with respect to age revealed a decrease in reported executive function problems with increasing age. On the Behavior Regulation Index (BRI), 5- to 8-year-olds showed significantly more executive function problems than 9- to 11-year-olds, as did the 12- to 14-year-olds compared to 15- to 18-year-olds (except on the Shift subscale). On the Metacognition Index, we found that 9- to 11-year-olds differed significantly from 5- to 8-year-olds on the Working Memory subscale. In addition, the current study showed that the internal consistency of the Dutch BRIEF is very high, and that this version of the BRIEF has a high test-retest stability. Item factor analysis confirmed the expected eight common factor model, and factor analysis of the eight test scores confirmed the two-factor model, as proposed by Gioia et al., in the Dutch data.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schraegle, William A; Titus, Jeffrey B

    2016-09-01

    Children and adolescents with epilepsy often show higher rates of executive functioning deficits and are at an increased risk of diminished health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The purpose of the current study was to determine the extent to which executive dysfunction predicts HRQOL in youth with epilepsy. Data included parental ratings on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and the Quality of Life in Childhood Epilepsy (QOLCE) questionnaire for 130 children and adolescents with epilepsy (mean age=11years, 6months; SD=3years, 6months). Our results identified executive dysfunction in nearly half of the sample (49%). Moderate-to-large correlations were identified between the BRIEF and the QOLCE subscales of well-being, cognition, and behavior. The working memory subscale on the BRIEF emerged as the sole significant predictor of HRQOL. These results underscore the significant role of executive function in pediatric epilepsy. Proactive screening for executive dysfunction to identify those at risk of poor HRQOL is merited, and these results bring to question the potential role of behavioral interventions to improve HRQOL in pediatric epilepsy by specifically treating and/or accommodating for executive deficits. PMID:27448239

  2. Default mode, executive function, and language functional connectivity networks are compromised in mild Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Weiler, Marina; Fukuda, Aya; Massabki, Lilian H P; Lopes, Tatila M; Franco, Alexandre R; Damasceno, Benito P; Cendes, Fernando; Balthazar, Marcio L F

    2014-03-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by mental and cognitive problems, particularly with memory, language, visuospatial skills (VS), and executive functions (EF). Advances in the neuroimaging of AD have highlighted dysfunctions in functional connectivity networks (FCNs), especially in the memory related default mode network (DMN). However, little is known about the integrity and clinical significance of FNCs that process other cognitive functions than memory. We evaluated 22 patients with mild AD and 26 healthy controls through a resting state functional MRI scan. We aimed to identify different FCNs: the DMN, language, EF, and VS. Seed-based functional connectivity was calculated by placing a seed in the DMN (posterior cingulate cortex), language (Broca's and Wernicke's areas), EF (right and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex), and VS networks (right and left associative visual cortex). We also performed regression analyses between individual connectivity maps for the different FCNs and the scores on cognitive tests. We found areas with significant decreases in functional connectivity in patients with mild AD in the DMN and Wernicke's area compared with controls. Increased connectivity in patients was observed in the EF network. Regarding multiple linear regression analyses, a significant correlation was only observed between the connectivity of the DMN and episodic memory (delayed recall) scores. In conclusion, functional connectivity alterations in mild AD are not restricted to the DMN. Other FCNs related to language and EF may be altered. However, we only found significant correlations between cognition and functional connectivity in the DMN and episodic memory performance.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Blankenship, Tashauna L.; Bell, Martha Ann

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Tonnaer, Franca; Cima, Maaike; Arntz, Arnoud

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Limbers, Christine A; Young, Danielle

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Micai, Martina; Kavussanu, Maria; Ring, Christopher

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-15

    Formal genetic studies suggested a substantial genetic influence for anorexia nervosa (AN), but currently results are inconsistent. The use of the neurocognitive endophenotype approach may facilitate our understanding of the AN pathophysiology. We investigated decision-making, set-shifting and planning in AN patients (n=29) and their unaffected relatives (n=29) compared to healthy probands (n=29) and their relatives (n=29). The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), the Tower of Hanoi (ToH) and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) were administered. Concordance rates and heritability indices were also calculated in probands/relatives. Impaired performance on the IGT and the WCST were found in both AN probands and their relatives, although planning appeared to be preserved. The IGT heritability index suggested the presence of genetic effects that influence this measure. No evidence for genetic effects was found for the WCST. The results suggest the presence of a shared dysfunctional executive profile in women with AN and their unaffected relatives, characterized by deficient decision-making and set-shifting. Concordance analysis strongly suggests that these impairments aggregate in AN families, supporting the hypothesis that they may constitute biological markers for AN. Decision-making impairment presents a moderate heritability, suggesting that decision-making may be a candidate endophenotype for AN. PMID:23122554

  18. Study Protocol: The influence of Running Therapy on executive functions and sleep of prisoners

    PubMed Central

    Meijers, Jesse; Harte, Joke; Meynen, Gerben; Cuijpers, Pim

    2015-01-01

    Background: Executive dysfunction appears to be related to increased recidivism. Of note is that sleep disturbances, which are highly prevalent in prisons, may attenuate executive functions. Thus, improving executive functions, either directly or indirectly through the improvement of sleep, may reduce recidivism. It is hypothesised that physical exercise, in the form of Running Therapy, has a direct positive effect on executive functions as well as an indirect effect through the improvement of sleep. Methods/Design: Seventy two (N = 72) detainees in various penitentiary institutions in the Netherlands will be recruited in this study. A baseline measurement, including six neuropsychological tests of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), an assessment of sleep quality and duration using the Actiwatch (Actiwatch 2, Philips Respironics, Murrysville, PA, USA) and various other measurements will be administered before the start of the treatment. After 3 months of Running Therapy, participants will be assessed again with the same tests for neuropsychological and physical functioning. Primary outcomes are executive functioning and various sleep variables. Discussion: This study will be the first to investigate the possible influence of Running Therapy on the cognitive functioning, sleep and aggression in prisoners. PMID:26664703

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  20. Sensory Processing in Preterm Preschoolers and Its Association with Executive Function

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Jenna N.; Feldman, Heidi M.; Huffman, Lynne C.; Loe, Irene M.

    2015-01-01

    Background Symptoms of abnormal sensory processing have been related to preterm birth, but have not yet been studied specifically in preterm preschoolers. The degree of association between sensory processing and other domains is important for understanding the role of sensory processing symptoms in the development of preterm children. Aims To test two related hypotheses: (1) preterm preschoolers have more sensory processing symptoms than full term preschoolers and (2) sensory processing is associated with both executive function and adaptive function in preterm preschoolers. Study Design Cross-sectional study Subjects Preterm children (≤34 weeks of gestation; n = 54) and full term controls (≥37 weeks of gestation; n = 73) ages 3-5 years. Outcome Measures Sensory processing was assessed with the Short Sensory Profile. Executive function was assessed with (1) parent ratings on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function- Preschool version and (2) a performance-based battery of tasks. Adaptive function was assessed with the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-II. Results Preterm preschoolers showed significantly more sensory symptoms than full term controls. A higher percentage of preterm than full term preschoolers had elevated numbers of sensory symptoms (37% vs. 12%). Sensory symptoms in preterm preschoolers were associated with scores on executive function measures, but were not significantly associated with adaptive function. Conclusions Preterm preschoolers exhibited more sensory symptoms than full term controls. Preterm preschoolers with elevated numbers of sensory symptoms also showed executive function impairment. Future research should further examine whether sensory processing and executive function should be considered independent or overlapping constructs. PMID:25706317

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-06-01

    The relationship between media violence exposure and executive functioning was investigated in samples of adolescents with no psychiatric diagnosis or with a history of aggressive-disruptive behavior. Age-, gender-, and IQ-matched samples of adolescents who had no Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-fourth edition (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) diagnosis (N = 27) and of adolescents who had DSM-IV Disruptive Behavior Disorder diagnoses (N = 27) completed measures of media violence exposure and tests of executive functioning. Moderate to strong relationships were found between higher amounts of media violence exposure and deficits in self-report, parent-report, and laboratory-based measures of executive functioning. A significant diagnosis by media violence exposure interaction effect was found for Conners' Continuous Performance Test scores, such that the media violence exposure-executive functioning relationship was stronger for adolescents who had Disruptive Behavior Disorder diagnoses. Results indicate that media violence exposure is related to poorer executive functioning, and this relationship may be stronger for adolescents who have a history of aggressive-disruptive behavior. PMID:15468343

  2. Emotional Regulation and Executive Function Deficits in Unmedicated Chinese Children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Wenqing; Li, Yan; Fan, Juan

    2016-01-01

    Objective This study aims to explore the feature of emotional regulation and executive functions in oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) children. Methods The emotional regulation and executive functions of adolescents with ODD, as well as the relationship between the two factors were analyzed using tools including Adolescent Daily Emotional Regulation Questionnaire (ADERQ), Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), in comparison with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) children without behavioral problem and healthy children; the ADERQ assessed emotional regulation ability and others were used to assess executive function. Results Compared to normal children, the ODD group displayed significant differences in the scores of cognitive reappraisal, rumination, expressive suppression, and revealing of negative emotions, as well as in the score of cognitive reappraisal of positive emotions. WCST perseverative errors were well correlated with rumination of negative emotions (r=0.47). Logistic regression revealed that the minimum number of moves in the Stocking of Cambridge (SOC) test (one test in CANTAB) and negative emotion revealing, were strongly associated with ODD diagnosis. Conclusion Children with ODD showed emotion dysregulation, with negative emotion dysregulation as the main feature. Emotion dysregulation and the lack of ability to plan lead to executive function deficits. The executive function deficits may guide us to understand the deep mechanism under ODD. PMID:27247593

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  4. Weaknesses in executive functioning predict the initiating of adolescents' alcohol use.

    PubMed

    Peeters, Margot; Janssen, Tim; Monshouwer, Karin; Boendermaker, Wouter; Pronk, Thomas; Wiers, Reinout; Vollebergh, Wilma

    2015-12-01

    Recently, it has been suggested that impairments in executive functioning might be risk factors for the onset of alcohol use rather than a result of heavy alcohol use. In the present study, we examined whether two aspects of executive functioning, working memory and response inhibition, predicted the first alcoholic drink and first binge drinking episode in young adolescents using discrete survival analyses. Adolescents were selected from several Dutch secondary schools including both mainstream and special education (externalizing behavioral problems). Participants were 534 adolescents between 12 and 14 years at baseline. Executive functioning and alcohol use were assessed four times over a period of two years. Working memory uniquely predicted the onset of first drink (p=.01) and first binge drinking episode (p=.04) while response inhibition only uniquely predicted the initiating of the first drink (p=.01). These results suggest that the association of executive functioning and alcohol consumption found in former studies cannot simply be interpreted as an effect of alcohol consumption, as weaknesses in executive functioning, found in alcohol naïve adolescents, predict the initiating of (binge) drinking. Though, prolonged and heavy alcohol use might further weaken already existing deficiencies.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

    Conflicting evidence has arisen from correlational studies regarding the role of executive control functions in Theory of Mind. The current study used dual-task manipulations of executive functions (inhibition, updating and switching) to investigate the role of these control functions in mental state and non-mental state tasks. The 'Eyes' pictorial test of Theory of Mind showed specific dual-task costs when concurrently performed with an inhibitory secondary task. In contrast, interference effects on a verbal 'Stories' task were general, occurring on both mental state and non-mental state tasks, and across all types of executive function. These findings from healthy functioning adults should help to guide decisions about appropriate methods of assessing ToM in clinical populations, and interpreting deficits in performance in such tasks in the context of more general cognitive dysfunction.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  8. Executive Functioning in Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roelofs, R. L.; Visser, E. M.; Berger, H. J. C.; Prins, J. B.; Van Schrojenstein Lantman-De Valk, H. M. J.; Teunisse, J. P.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Executive functioning (EF) is important for adequate behavioural functioning and crucial for explaining symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in individuals with normal intelligence, but is scarcely studied in individuals with ASD and intellectual disabilities (ID). We therefore study EF in an ID population by comparing…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Executive Functioning among Finnish Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loo, Sandra K.; Humphrey, Lorie A.; Tapio, Terttu; Moilanen, Irma K.; McGough, James J.; McCracken, James T.; Yang, May H.; Dang, Jeff; Taanila, Anja; Ebeling, Hanna; Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta; Smalley, Susan L.

    2007-01-01

    A study aims to examine cognitive functioning in a sample of adolescents with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder(ADHD) from the North Finnish Birth Cohort 1986. The results conclude that executive function deficit (EFD) was more frequent in ADHD groups than in those without ADHD.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rochette, Émilie; Bernier, Annie

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  19. Time's up! Involvement of metamemory knowledge, executive functions, and time monitoring in children's prospective memory performance.

    PubMed

    Geurten, Marie; Lejeune, Caroline; Meulemans, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    This study examined time-based prospective memory (PM) in children and explored the possible involvement of metamemory knowledge and executive functions in the use of an appropriate time-monitoring strategy depending on the ongoing task's difficulty. Specifically, a sample of 72 typically developing children aged 4, 6, and 9 years old were given an original PM paradigm composed of both an ongoing procedural activity and a PM task. Half of the participants (expert group) were trained in the ongoing activity before the prospective test. As expected, results show that time monitoring had a positive effect on children's PM performance. Furthermore, mediation analyses reveal that strategic time monitoring was predicted by metamemory knowledge in the expert group but only by executive functions in the novice group. Overall, these findings provide interesting avenues to explain how metamemory knowledge, strategy use, and executive functions interact to improve PM performance during childhood.

  20. Early Parenting and the Development of Externalizing Behavior Problems: Longitudinal Mediation Through Children's Executive Function.

    PubMed

    Sulik, Michael J; Blair, Clancy; Mills-Koonce, Roger; Berry, Daniel; Greenberg, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Path analysis was used to investigate the longitudinal associations among parenting and children's executive function and externalizing behavior problems from 36 to 90 months of age in the Family Life Project (N = 1,115), a study of child development in the context of rural poverty. While controlling for stability in the constructs, semistructured observations of parenting prospectively predicted performance on a battery of executive function tasks and primary caregivers' reports of externalizing behavior. Furthermore, the association between early parenting and later externalizing behavior was longitudinally mediated by executive function, providing support for a process model in which sensitive parenting promotes children's self-regulation, which in turn reduces children's externalizing behavior. PMID:26082032

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

    PubMed

    Calvo, Alejandra; Bialystok, Ellen

    2014-03-01

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

  2. The typical developmental trajectory of social and executive functions in late adolescence and early adulthood.

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

    Executive functions and social cognition develop through childhood into adolescence and early adulthood and are important for adaptive goal-oriented behavior (Apperly, Samson, & Humphreys, 2009; Blakemore & Choudhury, 2006). These functions are attributed to frontal networks known to undergo protracted maturation into early adulthood (Barker, Andrade, Morton, Romanowski, & Bowles, 2010; Lebel, Walker, Leemans, Phillips, & Beaulieu, 2008), although social cognition functions are also associated with widely distributed networks. Previously, nonlinear development has been reported around puberty on an emotion match-to-sample task (McGivern, Andersen, Byrd, Mutter, & Reilly, 2002) and for IQ in midadolescence (Ramsden et al., 2011). However, there are currently little data on the typical development of social and executive functions in late adolescence and early adulthood. In a cross-sectional design, 98 participants completed tests of social cognition and executive function, Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (Wechsler, 1999), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (Zigmond & Snaith, 1983), and measures of pubertal development and demographics at ages 17, 18, and 19. Nonlinear age differences for letter fluency and concept formation executive functions were found, with a trough in functional ability in 18-year-olds compared with other groups. There were no age group differences on social cognition measures. Gender accounted for differences on 1 scale of concept formation, 1 dynamic social interaction scale, and 2 empathy scales. The clinical, developmental, and educational implications of these findings are discussed. PMID:22946438

  3. Association between executive/attentional functions and caries in children with cerebral palsy.

    PubMed

    Dourado, Maurício da Rocha; Andrade, Peterson Marco Oliveira; Ramos-Jorge, Maria Letícia; Moreira, Rafaela Nogueira; Oliveira-Ferreira, Fernanda

    2013-09-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the existence of an association between attention/executive functions and the development of dental caries in individuals with cerebral palsy (CP). Seventy-six children with CP were selected from a physical rehabilitation center and a school serving children with disabilities. The control group was made up of 89 children without neurological impairment. Socioeconomic status, presence of teeth with cavities due to caries, degree of motor impairment and intellectual, executive and attentional functions were assessed. Mean age of participants was 8.9 years (SD=3.56). The CP group had a significantly lower performance (p<0.05, Mann-Whitney test) on the intelligence, attentional function and executive function tests in comparison to the control group. Controlling for the clinical diagnosis (CP or control group), motor impairment and intellectual function, the significant explanatory variables for the presence of teeth with cavities were performance on the Complex Rey figure test (OR=0.941) and the Digit Span subtest of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children in backward order (OR=0.581). After controlling for intellectual function, clinical diagnosis and motor impairment, deficits in executive and attentional functions increased the odds of developing dental caries in children with cerebral palsy.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Meta-analysis of executive functioning in ecstasy/polydrug users.

    PubMed

    Roberts, C A; Jones, A; Montgomery, C

    2016-06-01

    Ecstasy/3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) use is proposed to cause damage to serotonergic (5-HT) axons in humans. Therefore, users should show deficits in cognitive processes that rely on serotonin-rich, prefrontal areas of the brain. However, there is inconsistency in findings to support this hypothesis. The aim of the current study was to examine deficits in executive functioning in ecstasy users compared with controls using meta-analysis. We identified k = 39 studies, contributing 89 effect sizes, investigating executive functioning in ecstasy users and polydrug-using controls. We compared function-specific task performance in 1221 current ecstasy users and 1242 drug-using controls, from tasks tapping the executive functions - updating, switching, inhibition and access to long-term memory. The significant main effect demonstrated overall executive dysfunction in ecstasy users [standardized mean difference (SMD) = -0.18, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.26 to -0.11, Z = 5.05, p < 0.001, I 2 = 82%], with a significant subgroup effect (χ 2 = 22.06, degrees of freedom = 3, p < 0.001, I 2 = 86.4%) demonstrating differential effects across executive functions. Ecstasy users showed significant performance deficits in access (SMD = -0.33, 95% CI -0.46 to -0.19, Z = 4.72, p < 0.001, I 2 = 74%), switching (SMD = -0.19, 95% CI -0.36 to -0.02, Z = 2.16, p < 0.05, I 2 = 85%) and updating (SMD = -0.26, 95% CI -0.37 to -0.15, Z = 4.49, p < 0.001, I 2 = 82%). No differences were observed in inhibitory control. We conclude that this is the most comprehensive analysis of executive function in ecstasy users to date and provides a behavioural correlate of potential serotonergic neurotoxicity. PMID:26966023

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between polymorphisms in the PRODH and COMT genes and selected neurocognitive functions. Six SNPs in PRODH and two SNPs in COMT were genotyped in 167 first-episode schizophrenic families who had been assessed by a set of 14 neuropsychological tests. Neuropsychological measures were selected as quantitative traits for association analysis. The haplotype of SNPs PRODH 1945T/C and PRODH 1852G/A was associated with impaired performance on the Tower of Hanoi, a problem-solving task mainly reflecting planning capacity. There was no significant evidence for association with any other neuropsychological traits for other SNPs or haplotypes of paired SNPs in the two genes. This study takes previous findings of association between PRODH and schizophrenia further by associating variation within the gene with performance on a neurocognitive trait characteristic of the illness. It fails to confirm previous reports of an association between COMT and cognitive function. PMID:18163391

  10. A strategy for minimizing common mode human error in executing critical functions and tasks

    SciTech Connect

    Beltracchi, L. ); Lindsay, R.W. )

    1992-01-01

    Human error in execution of critical functions and tasks can be costly. The Three Mile Island and the Chernobyl Accidents are examples of results from human error in the nuclear industry. There are similar errors that could no doubt be cited from other industries. This paper discusses a strategy to minimize common mode human error in the execution of critical functions and tasks. The strategy consists of the use of human redundancy, and also diversity in human cognitive behavior: skill-, rule-, and knowledge-based behavior. The authors contend that the use of diversity in human cognitive behavior is possible, and it minimizes common mode error.

  11. A strategy for minimizing common mode human error in executing critical functions and tasks

    SciTech Connect

    Beltracchi, L.; Lindsay, R.W.

    1992-05-01

    Human error in execution of critical functions and tasks can be costly. The Three Mile Island and the Chernobyl Accidents are examples of results from human error in the nuclear industry. There are similar errors that could no doubt be cited from other industries. This paper discusses a strategy to minimize common mode human error in the execution of critical functions and tasks. The strategy consists of the use of human redundancy, and also diversity in human cognitive behavior: skill-, rule-, and knowledge-based behavior. The authors contend that the use of diversity in human cognitive behavior is possible, and it minimizes common mode error.

  12. Executive functions in mono- and bilingual children with language impairment - issues for speech-language pathology.

    PubMed

    Sandgren, Olof; Holmström, Ketty

    2015-01-01

    The clinical assessment of language impairment (LI) in bilingual children imposes challenges for speech-language pathology services. Assessment tools standardized for monolingual populations increase the risk of misinterpreting bilingualism as LI. This Perspective article summarizes recent studies on the assessment of bilingual LI and presents new results on including non-linguistic measures of executive functions in the diagnostic assessment. Executive functions shows clinical utility as less subjected to language use and exposure than linguistic measures. A possible bilingual advantage, and consequences for speech-language pathology practices and future research are discussed.

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

    PubMed Central

    Diamond, Adele

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Anti-saccade performance predicts executive function and brain structure in normal elders

    PubMed Central

    Mirsky, Jacob B.; Heuer, Hilary W.; Jafari, Aria; Kramer, Joel H.; Schenk, Ana K.; Viskontas, Indre V.; Neuhaus, John; Miller, Bruce L.; Boxer, Adam L.

    2013-01-01

    Objective To assess the neuropsychological and anatomical correlates of anti-saccade (AS) task performance in normal elders. Background The AS task correlates with neuropsychological measures of executive function and frontal lobe volume in neurological diseases, but has not been studied in a well-characterized normal elderly population. Because executive dysfunction can indicate an increased risk for cognitive decline in cognitively normal elders, we hypothesized that AS performance might be a sensitive test of age-related processes that impair cognition. Method The percentage of correct AS responses was evaluated in forty-eight normal elderly subjects and compared with neuropsychological test performance using linear regression analysis and gray matter volume measured on MRI scans using voxel-based morphometry. Results The percentage of correct AS responses was associated with measures of executive function, including modified trails, design fluency, Stroop inhibition, abstraction, and backward digit span, and correlated with gray matter volume in two brain regions involved in inhibitory control: the left inferior frontal junction and the right supplementary eye field. The association of AS correct responses with neuropsychological measures of executive function was strongest in individuals with fewer years of education. Conclusions The AS task is sensitive to executive dysfunction and frontal lobe structural alterations in normal elders. PMID:21697711

  17. Reliability and validity of the executive function and occupational routines scale (EFORTS).

    PubMed

    Frisch, Carmit; Rosenblum, Sara

    2014-09-01

    Sustainable daily routines during childhood are important both for children and their parents. Although their affective completion requires well developed executive functions (EF), this issue has not been studied until now. The current study examined the reliability and validity of the Executive Functions and Occupational Routines Scale - EFORTS (developed in Hebrew) which measures children's executive control in their daily routines. Internal consistency and construct and convergent validity were examined by applying the EFORTS and the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions/preschool version (BRIEF/P) to 261 children (129 boys, 132 girls) between the ages 3 and 10 (mean=6.1, SD=1.43). The findings indicate that the EFORTS is a reliable and valid tool for examining children's executive control in three occupational daily routines, focusing specifically on metacognitive manifestations of EF. These findings suggest that the EFORTS can be a useful tool to assess children with EF deficits, and may serve targeting intervention programs toward the accomplishment of daily occupational goals. PMID:24887646

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Functional test generation of digital LSI/VLSI systems using machine symbolic execution technique

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, T.

    1985-01-01

    Functional testing is among the promising solutions proposed in recent years for the challenging problems of testing modern digital LSI/VLSI systems. It is aimed at validating the correct operation of a digital system with respect to its functional specification. Functional test generation is performed before functional testing. In this dissertation, a functional test pattern generation algorithm is developed. This algorithm is explicit, systematic, and practical. The whole research work consists of five related topics including theoretical development and computer experiment. First, a register transfer language specially designed for the functional description of a general digital system is defined. Second, a register-transfer (RT) level fault model quite different from the conventional gate-level stuck-at fault model is established and the fault collapsing analysis is performed for better test generation efficiency. Third, the technique of register-transfer-level symbolic execution is explored. The major problems are defined, analyzed, and solved. A register-transfer-level symbolic execution system is designed and implemented. Fourth, an overall RT-level test pattern generation algorithm is developed based on the RT-level fault model and the RT-level symbolic execution technique. The symbolic executions are performed on both fault-free and fault-injected machines for symbolic results. By comparing the symbolic results and path constraints obtained from fault-free and fault-injected machines, an input test pattern which distinguishes each bad machine from the good machine is derived.

  1. Apathy in Parkinson's disease is related to executive function, gender and age but not to depression

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Antonia; Zimmermann, Ronan; Gschwandtner, Ute; Hatz, Florian; Bousleiman, Habib; Schwarz, Nadine; Fuhr, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Deficits in executive functions occur in up to 93% of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Apathy, a reduction of motivation and goal-directed behavior is an important part of the syndrome; affecting both the patients as well as their social environment. Executive functions can be subdivided into three different processes: initiation, shifting and inhibition. We examined the hypotheses, (1) that apathy in patients with Parkinson's disease is only related to initiation and not to shifting and inhibition, and (2) that depression and severity of motor signs correlate with apathy. Fifty-one non-demented patients (19 = female) with PD were evaluated for apathy, depression and executive functions. Executive function variables were summarized with an index variable according to the defined executive processes. Linear regression with stepwise elimination procedure was used to select significant predictors. The significant model (R2 = 0.41; p < 0.01) revealed influences of initiation (b = −0.79; p < 0.01), gender (b = −7.75; p < 0.01), age (b = −0.07; p < 0.05) and an age by gender interaction (b = 0.12; p < 0.01) on apathy in Parkinson's disease. Motor signs, depression and level of education did not influence the relation. These results support an association of apathy and deficits of executive function in PD. Initiation strongly correlates with apathy, whereas depression does not. We conclude, that initiation dysfunction in a patient with Parkinson's disease heralds apathy. Apathy and depression can be dissociated. Additionally, apathy is influenced by age and gender: older age correlates with apathy in men, whereas in women it seems to protect against it. PMID:25642187

  2. The Contribution of Executive Functions to Participation in School Activities of Children with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zingerevich, Chaya; Patricia D., LaVesser

    2009-01-01

    This study describes the contribution of executive functions to participation in school activities of children diagnosed with ASD ages 6-9 years while controlling for sensory processing. Twenty-four children, ages 73-112 months (S.D. = 11.4), diagnosed with high functioning ASD were assessed with the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. Their teachers…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Naturally-occurring expressive suppression in daily life depletes executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Franchow, Emilie I; Suchy, Yana

    2015-02-01

    The depleting impact of experimentally manipulated expressive suppression (ES) on cognition (especially executive functioning and related processes) has been well established (Baumeister, 2002a). However, the impact of ES that occurs naturally in the course of daily life has not been examined. Sixty two adults (M = 22.89 years old) completed questions about recent ES burden (over the past 2 weeks and on the test day) and completed cognitive measures assessing executive functioning, working memory, and speed of information processing. Individuals with higher-than-usual burden of ES on the test day exhibited poorer executive performance and those with high ES over the past 2 weeks exhibited poorer processing speed above and beyond depression, suggesting that ES burden as it occurs in the course of daily life is associated with compromised cognitive performance. PMID:25111882

  6. Behavioral inhibition, sustained attention, and executive functions: constructing a unifying theory of ADHD.

    PubMed

    Barkley, R A

    1997-01-01

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) comprises a deficit in behavioral inhibition. A theoretical model is constructed that links inhibition to 4 executive neuropsychological functions that appear to depend on it for their effective execution: (a) working memory, (b) self-regulation of affect-motivation-arousal, (c) internalization of speech, and (d) reconstitution (behavioral analysis and synthesis). Extended to ADHD, the model predicts that ADHD should be associated with secondary impairments in these 4 executive abilities and the motor control they afford. The author reviews evidence for each of these domains of functioning and finds it to be strongest for deficits in behavioral inhibition, working memory, regulation of motivation, and motor control in those with ADHD. Although the model is promising as a potential theory of self-control and ADHD, far more research is required to evaluate its merits and the many predictions it makes about ADHD. PMID:9000892

  7. The effect of electroconvulsive therapy on executive functioning in a treatment-resistant man with depression: a case report.

    PubMed

    Getz, Glen E; Edner, Benjamin J; Nickell, P V

    2014-03-01

    This case examines the executive functioning in a 42-year-old married white man before receiving and after an index course of electroconvulsive therapy for 4 weeks using right unilateral lead placement. Results indicate clear cognitive improvements on objective measures of executive functioning, attention, and memory after electroconvulsive therapy. However, the patient expressed continued elevated impairments on the subjective questionnaire examining behaviors thought to be controlled by executive functioning.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  9. Executive functions in elementary school children with and without problems in written expression.

    PubMed

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

    2002-01-01

    This study examined the executive functioning of 55 elementary school children with and without problems in written expression. Two groups reflecting children with and without significant writing problems were defined by an average primary trait rating across two separate narratives. The groups did not differ in terms of chronological age, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, special education status, or presence of attention problems or receptive vocabulary capabilities; however, they did differ in reading decoding ability, and this variable was controlled for in all analyses. Dependent measures included tasks tapping an array of executive functions grouped conceptually in accordance with a model of executive functioning reflecting the following domains: initiate, sustain, set shifting, and inhibition/stopping. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) procedures revealed statistically significant group differences on the initiation and set shift domains, with the sustaining domain approaching significance. Children with writing problems performed more poorly in each of these domains, although the effect sizes were small. A multiple regression that employed these four factors and the reading decoding variable to predict the primary trait score from the written narratives revealed a statistically significant regression function; however, reading decoding contributed most of the unique variance to the writing outcome. These findings point out the importance of executive functions in the written language process for elementary school students, but highlight the need to examine other variables when studying elementary school-age children with written expression problems. PMID:15490900

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  11. Attentional Control and Subjective Executive Function in Treatment-Naive Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Grane, Venke Arntsberg; Endestad, Tor; Pinto, Arnfrid Farbu; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin

    2014-01-01

    We investigated performance-derived measures of executive control, and their relationship with self- and informant reported executive functions in everyday life, in treatment-naive adults with newly diagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; n = 36) and in healthy controls (n = 35). Sustained attentional control and response inhibition were examined with the Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.). Delayed responses, increased reaction time variability, and higher omission error rate to Go signals in ADHD patients relative to controls indicated fluctuating levels of attention in the patients. Furthermore, an increment in NoGo commission errors when Go stimuli increased relative to NoGo stimuli suggests reduced inhibition of task-irrelevant stimuli in conditions demanding frequent responding. The ADHD group reported significantly more cognitive and behavioral executive problems than the control group on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A). There were overall not strong associations between task performance and ratings of everyday executive function. However, for the ADHD group, T.O.V.A. omission errors predicted self-reported difficulties on the Organization of Materials scale, and commission errors predicted informant reported difficulties on the same scale. Although ADHD patients endorsed more symptoms of depression and anxiety on the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) than controls, ASEBA scores were not significantly associated with T.O.V.A. performance scores. Altogether, the results indicate multifaceted alteration of attentional control in adult ADHD, and accompanying subjective difficulties with several aspects of executive function in everyday living. The relationships between the two sets of data were modest, indicating that the measures represent non-redundant features of adult ADHD. PMID:25545156

  12. Attentional control and subjective executive function in treatment-naive adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

    PubMed

    Grane, Venke Arntsberg; Endestad, Tor; Pinto, Arnfrid Farbu; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin

    2014-01-01

    We investigated performance-derived measures of executive control, and their relationship with self- and informant reported executive functions in everyday life, in treatment-naive adults with newly diagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; n = 36) and in healthy controls (n = 35). Sustained attentional control and response inhibition were examined with the Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.). Delayed responses, increased reaction time variability, and higher omission error rate to Go signals in ADHD patients relative to controls indicated fluctuating levels of attention in the patients. Furthermore, an increment in NoGo commission errors when Go stimuli increased relative to NoGo stimuli suggests reduced inhibition of task-irrelevant stimuli in conditions demanding frequent responding. The ADHD group reported significantly more cognitive and behavioral executive problems than the control group on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A). There were overall not strong associations between task performance and ratings of everyday executive function. However, for the ADHD group, T.O.V.A. omission errors predicted self-reported difficulties on the Organization of Materials scale, and commission errors predicted informant reported difficulties on the same scale. Although ADHD patients endorsed more symptoms of depression and anxiety on the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) than controls, ASEBA scores were not significantly associated with T.O.V.A. performance scores. Altogether, the results indicate multifaceted alteration of attentional control in adult ADHD, and accompanying subjective difficulties with several aspects of executive function in everyday living. The relationships between the two sets of data were modest, indicating that the measures represent non-redundant features of adult ADHD.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. The contribution of executive functions deficits to impaired episodic memory in individuals with alcoholism.

    PubMed

    Noël, Xavier; Van der Linden, Martial; Brevers, Damien; Campanella, Salvatore; Hanak, Catherine; Kornreich, Charles; Verbanck, Paul

    2012-06-30

    Individuals with alcoholism commonly exhibit impaired performance on episodic memory tasks. However, the contribution of their impaired executive functioning to poor episodic memory remains to be clarified. Thirty-six recently detoxified and sober asymptomatic alcoholic men and 36 matched non-alcoholic participants were tested for processing speed, prepotent response inhibition, mental flexibility, coordination of dual-task and a verbal episodic memory task. Compared with non-alcoholic individuals, the alcoholic patients showed impaired executive functions combined with below normal performance on both free and delayed recall. In contrast, processing speed, cued recall and recognition were preserved. Regression analyses revealed that 47% of alcoholics' episodic memory's free recall performance was predicted by mental flexibility and that 49% of their delayed recall performance was predicted by mental flexibility, manipulation of dual-task and prepotent response inhibition. Regarding participants' executive predictors of episodic memory performance, the slopes of β coefficients were significantly different between the two groups, with alcoholics requiring more their executive system than non-alcoholics. Once detoxified, alcoholic patients showed episodic memory deficits mainly characterized by impaired effortful (executive) processes. Compared with controls, patients used effortful learning strategies, which are nonetheless less efficient. PMID:22377577

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  19. Impact of executive functions on school and peer functions in youths with ADHD.

    PubMed

    Chiang, Huey-Ling; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen

    2014-05-01

    Youths with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to have social dysfunction at school. The authors explored the role of key executive functions (EF, i.e., spatial working memory and spatial planning) on school and peer functions in 511 youths with persistent ADHD according to the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria and 124 non-ADHD controls without any EF deficits. All the participants were assessed by a semi-structured psychiatric interview to confirm their previous and current diagnosis of ADHD and other psychiatric disorders and by the Spatial Working Memory (SWM) and Stocking of Cambridge (SOC) tasks. The participants and their parents reported the participants' school functions and peer relationships. There were three ADHD subgroups: (1) ADHD with deficits in both SWM and SOC tasks (n=121); (2) ADHD with deficit in either SWM or SOC task (n=185); (3) ADHD without deficits in SWM or SOC task (n=205). All the three ADHD groups, regardless of EF deficits, had lower school grade, poorer attitude toward school work, poorer school interactions, more behavioral problems at school, and more severe problems in peer relationships than non-ADHD controls. Multivariate analyses revealed positive associations between deficit in the SWM task and school and peer dysfunctions, and between deficits in the SOC task and impaired peer interactions. Older age and psychiatric comorbidity also contributed to increased risk of school and peer dysfunctions. Our findings suggest that deficits in EF, such as spatial working memory and planning, might be associated with school and peer dysfunctions.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  1. The Relationship of Intimate Partner Aggression to Head Injury, Executive Functioning, and Intelligence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walling, Sherry M.; Meehan, Jeffrey C.; Marshall, Amy D.; Holtzworth-Munroe, Amy; Taft, Casey T.

    2012-01-01

    Measures of head injury, executive functioning, and intelligence were given to a community sample composed of 102 male perpetrators of intimate partner aggression (IPA) and 62 nonaggressive men. A history of head injury and lower mean score on a measure of verbal intelligence were associated with the frequency of male-perpetrated physical IPA as…

  2. Dual-Language Education for Low-Income Children: Preliminary Evidence of Benefits for Executive Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Esposito, Alena G.; Baker-Ward, Lynne

    2013-01-01

    This investigation is an initial examination of possible enhancement of executive function through a dual-language (50:50) education model. The ethnically diverse, low-income sample of 120 children from Grades K, 2, and 4 consisted of approximately equal numbers of children enrolled in dual-language and traditional classrooms. Dual-language…

  3. Individual Differences in Executive Functioning Predict Preschoolers' Improvement from Theory-of-Mind Training

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benson, Jeannette E.; Sabbagh, Mark A.; Carlson, Stephanie M.; Zelazo, Philip David

    2013-01-01

    Twenty-four 3.5-year-old children who initially showed poor performance on false-belief tasks participated in a training protocol designed to promote performance on these tasks. Our aim was to determine whether the extent to which children benefited from training was predicted by their performance on a battery of executive functioning tasks.…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. The influence of the parents' educational level on the development of executive functions.

    PubMed

    Ardila, Alfredo; Rosselli, Monica; Matute, Esmeralda; Guajardo, Soledad

    2005-01-01

    Information about the influence of educational variables on the development of executive functions is limited. The aim of this study was to analyze the relation of the parents' educational level and the type of school the child attended (private or public school) to children's executive functioning test performance. Six hundred twenty-two participants, ages 5 to 14 years (276 boys, 346 girls) were selected from Colombia and Mexico and grouped according to three variables: age (5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, and 13-14 years), gender (boys and girls), and school type (private and public). Eight executive functioning tests taken from the Evaluacion Neuropsicologica Infantil; Matute, Rosselli, Ardila, & Ostrosky, (in press) were individually administered: Semantic Verbal Fluency, Phonemic Verbal Fluency, Semantic Graphic Fluency, Nonsemantic Graphic Fluency, Matrices, Similarities, Card Sorting, and the Mexican Pyramid. There was a significant effect of age on all the test scores and a significant effect of type of school attended on all but Semantic Verbal Fluency and Nonsemantic Graphic Fluency tests. Most children's test scores, particularly verbal test scores, significantly correlated with parents' educational level. Our results suggest that the differences in test scores between the public and private school children depended on some conditions existing outside the school, such as the parents' level of education. Implications of these findings for the understanding of the influence of environmental factors on the development of executive functions are presented.

  6. Relationship between Motor Skill Competency and Executive Function in Children with Down's Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schott, N.; Holfelder, B.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Previous studies suggest that children with Down's syndrome (DS), a genetically based neurodevelopmental disorder, demonstrate motor problems and cognitive deficits. The first aim of this study was to examine motor skills and executive functions (EFs) in school-age children with DS. The second aim was to investigate the relationship…

  7. A Latent Variable Approach to Determining the Structure of Executive Function in Preschool Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Michael R.; Giesbrecht, Gerald F.; Muller, Ulrich; McInerney, Robert J.; Kerns, Kimberly A.

    2012-01-01

    The composition of executive function (EF) in preschool children was examined using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). A sample of 129 children between 3 and 5 years of age completed a battery of EF tasks. Using performance indicators of working memory and inhibition similar to previous CFA studies with preschoolers, we replicated a unitary EF…

  8. Executive function skills and academic achievement gains in prekindergarten: Contributions of learning-related behaviors.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    Although research suggests associations between children's executive function skills and their academic achievement, the specific mechanisms that may help explain these associations in early childhood are unclear. This study examined whether children's (N = 1,103; M age = 54.5 months) executive function skills at the beginning of prekindergarten (pre-K) predict their learning-related behaviors in the classroom and whether these behaviors then mediate associations between children's executive function skills and their pre-K literacy, language, and mathematic gains. Learning-related behaviors were quantified in terms of (a) higher levels of involvement in learning opportunities; (b) greater frequency of participation in activities that require sequential steps; (c) more participation in social-learning interactions; and (d) less instances of being unoccupied, disruptive, or in time out. Results indicated that children's learning-related behaviors mediated associations between executive function skills and literacy and mathematics gains through children's level of involvement, sequential learning behaviors, and disengagement from the classroom. The implications of the findings for early childhood education are discussed.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

    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 1/2-year-old children (N = 254) was…

  10. Language Ability, Executive Functioning and Behaviour in School-Age Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karasinski, Courtney

    2015-01-01

    Background: Many children with language impairment present with deficits in other areas, including executive functioning (EF), attention and behaviour. Similarly, many children receiving services for attention or behaviour problems have deficits in language ability. Aims: To evaluate the relations among EF, language ability and behaviour problems…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cannizzaro, Michael S.; Coelho, Carl A.

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Strengths and Weaknesses in Executive Functioning in Children with Intellectual Disability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danielsson, Henrik; Henry, Lucy; Messer, David; Ronnberg, Jerker

    2012-01-01

    Children with intellectual disability (ID) were given a comprehensive range of executive functioning measures, which systematically varied in terms of verbal and non-verbal demands. Their performance was compared to the performance of groups matched on mental age (MA) and chronological age (CA), respectively. Twenty-two children were included in…

  13. Association of television violence exposure with executive functioning and white matter volume in young adult males.

    PubMed

    Hummer, Tom A; Kronenberger, William G; Wang, Yang; Anderson, Caitlin C; Mathews, Vincent P

    2014-07-01

    Prior research has indicated that self-reported violent media exposure is associated with poorer performance on some neuropsychological tests in adolescents. This study aimed to examine the relationship of executive functioning to violent television viewing in healthy young adult males and examine how brain structure is associated with media exposure measures. Sixty-five healthy adult males (ages 18-29) with minimal video game experience estimated their television viewing habits over the past year and, during the subsequent week, recorded television viewing time and characteristics in a daily media diary. Participants then completed a battery of neuropsychological laboratory tests quantifying executive functions and underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Aggregate measures of executive functioning were not associated with measures of overall television viewing (any content type) during the past week or year. However, the amount of television viewing of violent content only, as indicated by both past-year and daily diary measures, was associated with poorer scores on an aggregate score of inhibition, interference control and attention, with no relationship to a composite working memory score. In addition, violent television exposure, as measured with daily media diaries, was associated with reduced frontoparietal white matter volume. Future longitudinal work is necessary to resolve whether individuals with poor executive function and slower white matter growth are more drawn to violent programming, or if extensive media violence exposure modifies cognitive control mechanisms mediated primarily via prefrontal cortex. Impaired inhibitory mechanisms may be related to reported increases in aggression with higher media violence exposure. PMID:24836970

  14. The Development of Executive Function and Language Skills in the Early School Years

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gooch, Debbie; Thompson, Paul; Nash, Hannah M.; Snowling, Margaret J.; Hulme, Charles

    2016-01-01

    Background: The developmental relationships between executive functions (EF) and early language skills are unclear. This study explores the longitudinal relationships between children's early EF and language skills in a sample of children with a wide range of language abilities including children at risk of dyslexia. In addition, we investigated…

  15. Association of television violence exposure with executive functioning and white matter volume in young adult males.

    PubMed

    Hummer, Tom A; Kronenberger, William G; Wang, Yang; Anderson, Caitlin C; Mathews, Vincent P

    2014-07-01

    Prior research has indicated that self-reported violent media exposure is associated with poorer performance on some neuropsychological tests in adolescents. This study aimed to examine the relationship of executive functioning to violent television viewing in healthy young adult males and examine how brain structure is associated with media exposure measures. Sixty-five healthy adult males (ages 18-29) with minimal video game experience estimated their television viewing habits over the past year and, during the subsequent week, recorded television viewing time and characteristics in a daily media diary. Participants then completed a battery of neuropsychological laboratory tests quantifying executive functions and underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Aggregate measures of executive functioning were not associated with measures of overall television viewing (any content type) during the past week or year. However, the amount of television viewing of violent content only, as indicated by both past-year and daily diary measures, was associated with poorer scores on an aggregate score of inhibition, interference control and attention, with no relationship to a composite working memory score. In addition, violent television exposure, as measured with daily media diaries, was associated with reduced frontoparietal white matter volume. Future longitudinal work is necessary to resolve whether individuals with poor executive function and slower white matter growth are more drawn to violent programming, or if extensive media violence exposure modifies cognitive control mechanisms mediated primarily via prefrontal cortex. Impaired inhibitory mechanisms may be related to reported increases in aggression with higher media violence exposure.

  16. Executive Function Development and Early Mathematics: Examination of Dual Language Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harvey, Hattie A.

    2011-01-01

    This study examined the convergent validity between a third-party rating scale of executive function (EF) and a task-performance measurement of EF; examined the effects of age, gender, and dual language experience on preschool children's EF skills (inhibition, working memory (WM), and shifting) and on early mathematical skills; and investigated…

  17. Phonological Storage and Executive Function Deficits in Children with Mathematics Difficulties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peng, Peng; Congying, Sun; Beilei, Li; Sha, Tao

    2012-01-01

    Children with mathematics difficulties suffer from working memory deficits. This study investigated the deficit profile of phonological storage and executive functions in working memory among children with mathematics difficulties. Based on multiple instruments and two assessment points, 68 children were screened out of 805 fifth graders. Of these…

  18. An Examination of the Relationship between Motor Coordination and Executive Functions in Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rigoli, Daniela; Piek, Jan P.; Kane, Robert; Oosterlaan, Jaap

    2012-01-01

    Aim: Research suggests important links between motor coordination and executive functions. The current study examined whether motor coordination predicts working memory, inhibition, and switching performance, extending previous research by accounting for attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptomatology and other confounding factors,…

  19. Individual Differences in Early Numeracy: The Role of Executive Functions and Subitizing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kroesbergen, E. H.; Van Luit, J. E. H.; Van Lieshout, E. C. D. M.; Van Loosbroek, E.; Van de Rijt, B. A. M.

    2009-01-01

    In this study, the question was raised how basic cognitive processes are related to math abilities and how it can be best determined which children are at risk for developing those disabilities. The role of four distinct basic processes in the development of early mathematics was investigated: executive functions, fluid intelligence, subitizing,…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Children's Media Comprehension: The Relationship between Media Platform, Executive Functioning Abilities, and Age

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Menkes, Susan M.

    2012-01-01

    Children's media comprehension was compared for material presented on television, computer, or touchscreen tablet. One hundred and thirty-two children were equally distributed across 12 groups defined by age (4- or 6-years-olds), gender, and the three media platforms. Executive functioning as measured by attentional control, cognitive…

  2. Youths with ADHD with and without Tic Disorders: Comorbid Psychopathology, Executive Function and Social Adjustment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lin, Yu-Ju; Lai, Meng-Chuan; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen

    2012-01-01

    Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and tic disorders (TD) commonly co-occur. Clarifying the psychiatric comorbidities, executive functions and social adjustment difficulties in children and adolescents of ADHD with and without TD is informative to understand the developmental psychopathology and to identify their specific clinical…

  3. Executive Functioning Predicts Academic Achievement in Middle School: A Four-Year Longitudinal Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Samuels, William Ellery; Tournaki, Nelly; Blackman, Sheldon; Zilinski, Christopher

    2016-01-01

    Executive functioning (EF) is a strong predictor of children's and adolescents' academic performance. Although research indicates that EF can increase during childhood and adolescence, few studies have tracked the effect of EF on academic performance throughout the middle school grades. EF was measured at the end of Grades 6-9 through 21 teachers'…

  4. Predicting College Students' Positive Psychology Associated Traits with Executive Functioning Dimensions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Seth

    2016-01-01

    More research is needed that investigates how positive psychology-associated traits are predicted by neurocognitive processes. Correspondingly, the purpose of this study was to ascertain how, and to what extent, four traits, namely, grit, optimism, positive affect, and life satisfaction were predicted by the executive functioning (EF) dimensions…

  5. Executive function skills and academic achievement gains in prekindergarten: Contributions of learning-related behaviors.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    Although research suggests associations between children's executive function skills and their academic achievement, the specific mechanisms that may help explain these associations in early childhood are unclear. This study examined whether children's (N = 1,103; M age = 54.5 months) executive function skills at the beginning of prekindergarten (pre-K) predict their learning-related behaviors in the classroom and whether these behaviors then mediate associations between children's executive function skills and their pre-K literacy, language, and mathematic gains. Learning-related behaviors were quantified in terms of (a) higher levels of involvement in learning opportunities; (b) greater frequency of participation in activities that require sequential steps; (c) more participation in social-learning interactions; and (d) less instances of being unoccupied, disruptive, or in time out. Results indicated that children's learning-related behaviors mediated associations between executive function skills and literacy and mathematics gains through children's level of involvement, sequential learning behaviors, and disengagement from the classroom. The implications of the findings for early childhood education are discussed. PMID:26010383

  6. Executive Function Skills and School Success in Young Children Experiencing Homelessness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Masten, Ann S.; Herbers, Janette E.; Desjardins, Christopher David; Cutuli, J. J.; McCormick, Christopher M.; Sapienza, Julianna K.; Long, Jeffrey D.; Zelazo, Philip David

    2012-01-01

    The authors examined the role of executive function (EF) skills as a predictor of kindergarten or first-grade adjustment in 138 children living in shelters for homeless families. During the summer, children completed a battery of six EF tasks and three IQ measures. Teachers later rated children's school adjustment in five domains of achievement…

  7. The Relation between Executive Function and Theory of Mind Is More than Skin Deep

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carlson, Stephanie M.; Claxton, Laura J.; Moses, Louis J.

    2015-01-01

    A simple "expression" account of the relation between executive function (EF) and children's developing theory of mind (ToM) has difficulty accounting for the generality of the changes occurring in children's mental-state understanding during the preschool years. The current study of preschool children (N = 43) showed that…

  8. The Structure of Executive Functions in Children: A Closer Examination of Inhibition, Shifting, and Updating

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

    An increasing number of studies has investigated the latent factor structure of executive functions. Some studies found a three-factor structure of inhibition, shifting, and updating, but others could not replicate this finding. We assumed that the task choices and scoring methods might be responsible for these contradictory findings. Therefore,…

  9. Verbal Processing Speed and Executive Functioning in Long-Term Cochlear Implant Users

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    AuBuchon, Angela M.; Pisoni, David B.; Kronenberger, William G.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to report how "verbal rehearsal speed" (VRS), a form of covert speech used to maintain verbal information in working memory, and another verbal processing speed measure, perceptual encoding speed, are related to 3 domains of executive function (EF) at risk in cochlear implant (CI) users: verbal…

  10. Investigation of Cool and Hot Executive Function in ODD/CD Independently of ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hobson, Christopher W.; Scott, Stephen; Rubia, Katya

    2011-01-01

    Background: Children with oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder (ODD/CD) have shown deficits in "cool" abstract-cognitive, and "hot" reward-related executive function (EF) tasks. However, it is currently unclear to what extent ODD/CD is associated with neuropsychological deficits, independently of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder…

  11. Time Perception, Phonological Skills and Executive Function in Children with Dyslexia and/or ADHD Symptoms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gooch, Debbie; Snowling, Margaret; Hulme, Charles

    2011-01-01

    Background: Deficits in time perception (the ability to judge the duration of time intervals) have been found in children with both attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia. This paper investigates time perception, phonological skills and executive functions in children with dyslexia and/or ADHD symptoms (AS). Method: Children…

  12. Self-Report Assessment of Executive Functioning in College Students with Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grieve, Adam; Webne-Behrman, Lisa; Couillou, Ryan; Sieben-Schneider, Jill

    2014-01-01

    This study presents a unique assessment of executive functioning (EF) among postsecondary students with disabilities, with the aim of understanding the extent to which students with different disabilities and in different age groups assess their own difficulties with relevant and educationally-adaptive skills such as planning, initiating, managing…

  13. Can Executive Functions Explain the Relationship between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Social Adjustment?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang-Pollock, Cynthia L.; Mikami, Amori Yee; Pfiffner, Linda; McBurnett, Keith

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the ability of executive functions (EF) to account for the relationship between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) status and social adjustment as indexed by parent and teacher report and by performance on a standardized observational "chat room" task. Children with the Combined subtype (ADHD-C; n = 23), the…

  14. The Relationship of Everyday Executive Function and Autism Spectrum Disorder Symptoms in Preschoolers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Etemad, Pontea

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between executive functioning (EF), as manifested in everyday behavior, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms, and adaptive behaviors in a sample of preschoolers with ASD. Quantitative data from a clinical database were analyzed for this study. Participants in the ASD group (n=52) were a…

  15. Demographic and Familial Predictors of Early Executive Function Development: Contribution of a Person-Centered Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rhoades, Brittany L.; Greenberg, Mark T.; Lanza, Stephanie T.; Blair, Clancy

    2011-01-01

    Executive function (EF) skills are integral components of young children's growing competence, but little is known about the role of early family context and experiences in their development. We examined how demographic and familial risks during infancy predicted EF competence at 36 months of age in a large, predominantly low-income sample of…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilmore, Camilla; Cragg, Lucy

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive psychology research has suggested an important role for executive functions, the set of skills that monitor and control thought and action, in learning mathematics. However, there is currently little evidence about whether teachers are aware of the importance of these skills and, if so, how they come by this information. We conducted an…

  17. Development of Hot and Cool Executive Function during the Transition to Adolescence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prencipe, Angela; Kesek, Amanda; Cohen, Julia; Lamm, Connie; Lewis, Marc D.; Zelazo, Philip David

    2011-01-01

    This study examined the development of executive function (EF) in a typically developing sample from middle childhood to adolescence using a range of tasks varying in affective significance. A total of 102 participants between 8 and 15 years of age completed the Iowa Gambling Task, the Color Word Stroop, a Delay Discounting task, and a Digit Span…

  18. Personality Factors in Elementary School Children: Contributions to Academic Performance over and above Executive Functions?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neuenschwander, Regula; Cimeli, Patrizia; Rothlisberger, Marianne; Roebers, Claudia M.

    2013-01-01

    Unique contributions of Big Five personality factors to academic performance in young elementary school children were explored. Extraversion and Openness (labeled "Culture" in our study) uniquely contributed to academic performance, over and above the contribution of executive functions in first and second grade children (N = 446). Well…

  19. Mothers' Predictions of Their Son's Executive Functioning Skills: Relations to Child Behavior Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnston, Charlotte

    2011-01-01

    This study examined mothers' ability to accurately predict their sons' performance on executive functioning tasks in relation to the child's behavior problems. One-hundred thirteen mothers and their 4-7 year old sons participated. From behind a one-way mirror, mothers watched their sons perform tasks assessing inhibition and planning skills.…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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