Jelle Jolles

Universiteit Hasselt, Flanders, Belgium

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Publications (553)1323.56 Total impact

  • R Martens, P P M Hurks, J Jolles
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated psychometric properties (standardization and validity) of the Rey Complex Figure Organizational Strategy Score (RCF-OSS) in a sample of 217 healthy children aged 5-7 years. Our results showed that RCF-OSS performance changes significantly between 5 and 7 years of age. While most 5-year-olds used a local approach when copying the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure (ROCF), 7-year-olds increasingly adopted a global approach. RCF-OSS performance correlated significantly, but moderately with measures of ROCF accuracy, executive functioning (fluency, working memory, reasoning), and non-executive functioning (visual-motor integration, visual attention, processing speed, numeracy). These findings seem to indicate that RCF-OSS performance reflects a range of cognitive skills at 5 to 7 years of age, including aspects of executive and non-executive functioning.
    The Clinical neuropsychologist. 07/2014;
  • Sanne Dekker, Nikki C. Lee, Jelle Jolles
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    ABSTRACT: In onze samenleving bestaat momenteel veel aandacht en interesse voor de hersenen in relatie tot leren, ontwikkeling en ontplooiing. Leerkrachten en schoolleiders zijn geïnteresseerd geraakt in de nieuwe wetenschappelijke inzichten over het functioneren van de hersenen en zoeken naar mogelijkheden om deze toe te passen in de klas. Het is mooi dat er zo’n aandacht is ontstaan voor ‘neuropraxis’ op het gebied van educatie. Echter, het blijkt dat de overdracht van neurowetenschappelijke kennis en inzichten niet eenvoudig is: er zijn veel misvattingen in omloop over het brein, de zogenaamde ‘neuromythen’. Dit artikel gaat uitgebreid in op het fenomeen neuromythen in het onderwijs. Er wordt recent onderzoek besproken dat laat zien hoeveel en welke neuromythen er voorkomen onder docenten die geïnteresseerd zijn in het onderwerp. Daarnaast gaan we in op de mogelijke oorzaken van het ontstaan van nieuwe mythen, en geven we aanbevelingen om de verdere verspreiding van neuromythen te voorkomen.
    Neuropraxis. 04/2014; 18(2):62-66.
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the role of visual representation type, spatial ability, and reading comprehension in word problem solving in 128 sixth-grade students by using primarily an item-level approach rather than a test-level approach. We revealed that compared to students who did not make a visual representation, those who produced an accurate visual-schematic representation increased the chance of solving a word problem correctly almost six times. Inaccurate visual-schematic and pictorial representations, on the other hand, decreased students’ chance of problem solving success. Noteworthy, reading comprehension was related to word problem solving at the test-level but not at the item-level. In interpreting the results, we advocate the use of item-level analyses since they are able to disclose such level-of-analysis discrepancies.
    International Journal of Educational Research 01/2014; 68:15–26.
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    ABSTRACT: Executive functions (EF) such as self-monitoring, planning, and organizing are known to develop through childhood and adolescence. They are of potential importance for learning and school performance. Earlier research into the relation between EF and school performance did not provide clear results possibly because confounding factors such as educational track, boy-girl differences, and parental education were not taken into account. The present study therefore investigated the relation between executive function tests and school performance in a highly controlled sample of 173 healthy adolescents aged 12-18. Only students in the pre-university educational track were used and the performance of boys was compared to that of girls. Results showed that there was no relation between the report marks obtained and the performance on executive function tests, notably the Sorting Test and the Tower Test of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Functions System (D-KEFS). Likewise, no relation was found between the report marks and the scores on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Self-Report Version (BRIEF-SR) after these were controlled for grade, sex, and level of parental education. The findings indicate that executive functioning as measured with widely used instruments such as the BRIEF-SR does not predict school performance of adolescents in preuniversity education any better than a student's grade, sex, and level of parental education.
    Frontiers in Psychology 01/2014; 5:287. · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The scientific literature shows that constructive play activities are positively related to children's spatial ability. Likewise, a close positive relation is found between spatial ability and mathematical word problem-solving performances. The relation between children's constructive play and their performance on mathematical word problems is, however, not reported yet. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether spatial ability acted as a mediator in the relation between constructive play and mathematical word problem-solving performance in 128 sixth-grade elementary school children. This mediating role of spatial ability was tested by utilizing the current mediation approaches suggested by Preacher and Hayes (2008). Results showed that 38.16% of the variance in mathematical word problem-solving performance is explained by children's constructive play activities and spatial ability. More specifically, spatial ability acted as a partial mediator, explaining 31.58% of the relation between constructive play and mathematical word problem-solving performance.
    Frontiers in Psychology 01/2014; 5:782. · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examined the effects of aging and cognitive fatigue on working memory (WM) related brain activation using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Age-related differences were investigated in 13 young and 16 middle-aged male school teachers. Cognitive fatigue was induced by sustained performance on cognitively demanding tasks (compared to a control condition). Results showed a main effect of age on left dorsolateral prefrontal and superior parietal cortex activation during WM encoding; greater activation was evident in middle-aged than young adults regardless of WM load or fatigue condition. An interaction effect was found in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC); WM load-dependent activation was elevated in middle-aged compared to young in the control condition, but did not differ in the fatigue condition due to a reduction in activation in middle-aged in contrast to an increase in activation in the young group. These findings demonstrate age-related activation differences and differential effects of fatigue on activation in young and middle-aged adults.
    Biological psychology 12/2013; · 4.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In countries with high differentiation between academic and vocational education, an individual's future prospects are strongly determined by the educational track to which he or she is assigned. This large-scale, cross-sectional study focuses on low-performing students in academic tracks who face being moved to a vocational track. If more is understood about these students, measures could be taken to improve their performance and keep them within academic education. The study investigates performance patterns in academic tracks in the first three years of secondary school in the Netherlands. By identifying patterns that reveal how competence levels in different domains are related at different stages of development and by comparing low performers with other students, the study sheds light on individual and educational aspects that may be amenable to intervention. School grades were analysed for 1596 students. School performance was found to reflect three domains—languages (language of schooling and modern foreign languages), social studies and science and math—that appear to interact in a process of co-construction. General language skills were robustly related to performance in other domains—particularly social studies—throughout the first three years of secondary school. By comparison, proficiency specifically in the language of schooling was less strongly related to social studies and science and math performance after the first year. Suggestions are given as to how educators and curriculum developers could use these insights to accommodate individual and developmental differences and to develop learning materials that may help low performers keep on track.
    British Educational Research Journal 12/2013; · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated sex differences in goal orientation during adolescence. 910 adolescents aged 10–19 years read vignettes of students reflecting four goal orientations and indicated which student they resembled most. Boys and girls from two age-groups (10–14 versus 14–19 years old) were compared. Multinomial logistic regression was performed with goal orientation as dependent variable, including level of parental education as a covariate. Results showed that girls were more likely than boys to endorse mastery goals (48% vs 39%) or performance-avoidant goals (20% vs 14%). Boys more often endorsed work-avoidant or performance-approach goals. At age 14–19 years, work-avoidance was more than twice as common for boys as girls (27% vs 12%). With age, mastery goals decreased (from 52% to 36%), whereas work-avoidant goals increased (from 8% to 18%). These age and sex differences in goal orientations may be a possible explanation for boys' lower academic achievement compared to girls' and show a need for early intervention.
    Learning and Individual Differences 08/2013; 26:196-200. · 1.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two component skills are thought to be necessary for successful word problem solving: (1) the production of visual-schematic representations and (2) the derivation of the correct relations between the solution-relevant elements from the text base. The first component skill is grounded in the visual–spatial domain, and presumed to be influenced by spatial ability, whereas the latter is seated in the linguistic–semantic domain, and presumed to be influenced by reading comprehension. These component skills as well as their underlying basic abilities are examined in 128 sixth grade students through path analysis. The results of the path analysis showed that both component skills and their underlying basic abilities explained 49% of students’ word problem solving performance. Furthermore, spatial ability and reading comprehension both had a direct and an indirect relation (via the component skills) with word problem solving performance. These results contribute to the development of instruction methods that help students using these components while solving word problems.
    Contemporary Educational Psychology 07/2013; 38(3):271–279. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the relationship between individual differences in acute fatigue and endogenous cortisol changes elicited by the sustained performance of cognitively demanding tasks (fatigue condition). Healthy males provided salivary cortisol measurements and subjective fatigue ratings, and were scanned (functional magnetic resonance imaging) during memory encoding and recognition tasks in fatigue and control conditions. A group of 15 'responders' showed significantly higher cortisol levels in the fatigue condition than 12 'non-responders'. Responders showed higher subjective fatigue and reduced encoding and recognition activation than non-responders in the fatigue condition. An interaction in activation changes in the right hippocampus during encoding reflected decreased activation in responders, but somewhat increased activation in non-responders in the fatigue compared to control condition. Moreover, decreased hippocampal activation in responders was associated with increased subjective fatigue. Findings are consistent with a central role for the hippocampus in differences between responders and non-responders and also implicate the right hippocampus in individual differences in induced cognitive fatigue effects.
    Biological psychology 06/2013; · 4.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Behavioral research has demonstrated an advantage for females compared to males in social information processing. However, little is known about sex-related differences in brain activation during understanding of self and others. In the current fMRI study, this was assessed in late adolescents (aged 18 to 19) and young adults (aged 23 to 25) when making appraisals of self and other as well as reflected self-appraisals. Across all groups and for all appraisal conditions, activation was observed in the medial prefrontal cortex, medial posterior parietal cortex, left and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and left posterior parietal cortex. Males activated the medial posterior parietal cortex and bilateral temporoparietal junction more than females. The precuneus showed stronger activation in males compared to females specifically during appraisals of others. No differences between late adolescents and young adults were found. These results indicate that sex differences exist in the neural bases of social understanding.
    Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 02/2013; · 5.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Serial cognitive assessment is conducted to monitor changes in the cognitive abilities of patients over time. At present, mainly the regression-based change and the ANCOVA approaches are used to establish normative data for serial cognitive assessment. These methods are straightforward, but they have some severe drawbacks. For example, they can only consider the data of two measurement occasions. In this article, we propose three alternative normative methods that are not hampered by these problems-that is, multivariate regression, the standard linear mixed model (LMM), and the linear mixed model combined with multiple imputation (LMM with MI) approaches. The multivariate regression method is primarily useful when a small number of repeated measurements are taken at fixed time points. When the data are more unbalanced, the standard LMM and the LMM with MI methods are more appropriate because they allow for a more adequate modeling of the covariance structure. The standard LMM has the advantage that it is easier to conduct and that it does not require a Monte Carlo component. The LMM with MI, on the other hand, has the advantage that it can flexibly deal with missing responses and missing covariate values at the same time. The different normative methods are illustrated on the basis of the data of a large longitudinal study in which a cognitive test (the Stroop Color Word Test) was administered at four measurement occasions (i.e., at baseline and 3, 6, and 12 years later). The results are discussed and suggestions for future research are provided.
    Behavior Research Methods 01/2013; · 2.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The transition from late adolescence to young adulthood is marked by anatomical maturation of various brain regions. In parallel, defining life changes take place, such as entrance into college. Up till now research has not focused on functional brain differences during this particular developmental stage. The current cross-sectional fMRI study investigates age differences in cognitive control by comparing late adolescents, 18-19 years old, with young adults, 23-25 years old. Seventy-four male and female medical students carried out a combined cognitive and emotional Stroop task. Overall, lateral frontoparietal and medial parietal activation was observed during cognitive interference resolution. Young adults showed stronger activation in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, left inferior frontal gyrus, left middle temporal gyrus and middle cingulate, compared to late adolescents. During emotional interference resolution, the left precentral and postcentral gyrus were involved across age and sex. The dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and precuneus were activated more in young adults than in late adolescents. No sex-related differences were found in this homogeneous sample. The results suggest that the neural bases of cognitive control continue to change between late adolescence and young adulthood.
    Developmental cognitive neuroscience. 01/2013; 5C:63-70.
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    ABSTRACT: Underachievement in school during early adolescence predicts future economic and personal difficulties. Particular neurocognitive skills on the domain of executive functions start to mature during adolescence. This fact and the physical and psychological changes typical for the transition from childhood to adulthood make adolescents vulnerable to emotional problems. The current study investigated the relationship between mild emotional problems which are highly prevalent among adolescents and underachievement in school, and the role of neurocognitive functioning in this relation. This study was conducted in a substantial sample of typical developing young adolescents who just made the transition to secondary education. Pupils were on average 12.5 years old (standard deviation 0.5), and 45% of the included sample were girls. Emotional wellbeing was associated with underachievement [Odds ratio (OR) 5.15, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.06-8.68] after adjusting for background variables. Self-reported neurocognitive functioning partly explained the relation between emotional wellbeing and underachievement (OR 2.22, 95% CI 1.23-3.99), yet, emotional wellbeing remained statistically associated with underachievement after correcting for additional confounders (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.08-3.66). The observed findings suggest that emotional wellbeing plays an essential role in underachievement during the first year of secondary education.
    Frontiers in Psychology 01/2013; 4:673. · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined age-related changes in a specific aspect of adolescent decision-making, namely the preference for future versus immediate outcomes. A sample of 622 Dutch adolescents aged 12-17 years completed a temporal discounting task. Participants were asked to choose between a delayed reward of €50 or an immediate reward of lower value. The delay interval was varied in three blocks (1 week, 1 month, 6 months). Results showed that preferences for large delayed rewards over smaller immediate rewards increased with age: late adolescents made more long-term decisions than early adolescents. This change was related to educational track. In the lower educational track, an age-related decrease in discounting was found for all three delay intervals. In the higher educational track this decrease only occurred for the 6 month delay interval. However, across all delay intervals enrolment in a higher level educational track was associated with an increased preference for long-term rewards. These results suggest that late adolescents are less susceptible than early adolescents to the competing presence of an immediate reward when making long-term decisions, a skill which becomes increasingly important as they transition into adulthood.
    Frontiers in Psychology 01/2013; 4:993. · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It is believed that academic performance is in part determined by cognitive control, the skill of flexibly guiding behavior. Although previous neuroimaging research has demonstrated that lateral and medial prefrontal cortex, including ACC, are involved during tasks of cognitive control, little is known about the relation between brain mechanisms underlying cognitive control and academic performance in a real-world educational environment. In the current fMRI study, Freshman students from Medical College performed a Go/NoGo task and Stroop task. A positive correlation was observed between average course grades and activation of dorsal ACC during cognitive inhibition on the Stroop task. No significant correlation was found between grades and activation in rostral ACC during emotional inhibition. Grades were not associated with prefrontal activation during motor inhibition or performance monitoring on the Go/NoGo task. These findings suggest that engagement of dorsal ACC for cognitive control can be linked to individual differences in academic achievement.
    Trends in Neuroscience and Education. 01/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To cross-sectionally compare the regional white matter fractional anisotropy (FA) of cognitively normal (CN) older individuals and patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer disease (AD), separately focusing on the normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) and white matter hyperintensities (WMH), and to test the independent effects of presumed degenerative and vascular process on FA differences.$backslash$n$backslash$nMETHODS: Forty-seven patients with AD, 73 patients with MCI, and 95 CN subjects received diffusion tensor imaging and vascular risk evaluation. To properly control normal regional variability of FA, we divided cerebral white matter into 4 strata as measured from a series of young healthy individuals (H1 = highest; H2 = intermediate high; H3 = intermediate low; H4 = lowest anisotropy stratum).$backslash$n$backslash$nRESULTS: For overall cerebral white matter, patients with AD had significantly lower FA than CN individuals or patients with MCI in the regions with higher baseline anisotropy (H1, H2, and H3), corresponding to long corticocortical association fibers, but not in H4, which mostly includes heterogeneously oriented fibers. Vascular risk showed significant independent effects on FA in all strata except H1, which corresponds to the genu and splenium of the corpus callosum. Similar results were found within NAWM. FA in WMH was significantly lower than NAWM across all strata but was not associated with diagnosis or vascular risk.$backslash$n$backslash$nCONCLUSIONS: Both vascular and Alzheimer disease degenerative process contribute to microstructural injury of cerebral white matter across the spectrum of cognitive ability and have different region-specific injury patterns.
    Neurobiology of aging 01/2013; 27:101-107. · 5.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the relation between sleep and school performance in a large sample of 561 adolescents aged 11-18 years. Three subjective measures of sleep were used: sleepiness, sleep quality, and sleep duration. They were compared to three measures of school performance: objective school grades, self-reported school performance, and parent-reported school performance. Sleepiness - "I feel sleepy during the first hours at school" - appeared to predict both school grades and self-reported school performance. Sleep quality on the other hand - as a measure of (un)interrupted sleep and/or problems falling asleep or waking up - predicted parent-reported school performance. Self- and parent-reported school performance correlated only moderately with school grades. So it turns out that the measures used to measure either sleep or school performance impacts whether or not a relation is found. Further research on sleep and school performance should take this into account. The findings do underscore the notion that sleep in adolescence can be important for learning. They are compatible with the hypothesis that a reduced sleep quality can give rise to sleepiness in the first hours at school which results in lower school performance. This notion could have applied value in counseling adolescents and their parents in changing adolescents' sleep behavior.
    Frontiers in Psychology 01/2013; 4:38. · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined differences between boys and girls regarding efficiency of information processing in early adolescence. Three hundred and six healthy adolescents (50.3% boys) in grade 7 and 9 (aged 13 and 15, respectively) performed a coding task based on over-learned symbols. An age effect was revealed as subjects in grade 9 performed better than subjects in grade 7. Main effects for sex were found in the advantage of girls. The 25% best-performing students comprised twice as many girls as boys. The opposite pattern was found for the worst performing 25%. In addition, a main effect was found for educational track in favor of the highest track. No interaction effects were found. School grades did not explain additional variance in LDST performance. This indicates that cognitive performance is relatively independent from school performance. Student characteristics like age, sex, and education level were more important for efficiency of information processing than school performance. The findings imply that after age 13, efficiency of information processing is still developing and that girls outperform boys in this respect. The findings provide new information on the mechanisms underlying boy-girl differences in scholastic performance.
    Frontiers in Psychology 01/2013; 4:550. · 2.80 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

12k Citations
1,323.56 Total Impact Points


  • 2013
    • Universiteit Hasselt
      • Interuniversity Institute for Biostatistics and statistical Bioinformatics (I-BioStat)
      Flanders, Belgium
  • 2005–2012
    • Open Universiteit Nederland
      • Department of Psychology
      Heerlen, Limburg, Netherlands
    • University of Utah
      • Department of Educational Psychology
      Salt Lake City, UT, United States
  • 2000–2012
    • VU University Amsterdam
      • • Faculty of Psychology and Education
      • • Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam
      Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands
    • University of Oxford
      • Department of Pharmacology
      Oxford, ENG, United Kingdom
    • Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
      Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 1988–2012
    • Maastricht University
      • • MHeNS School for Mental Health and Neuroscience
      • • Psychiatrie en Neuropsychologie
      • • Bewegingswetenschappen
      • • Neurologie
      Maastricht, Provincie Limburg, Netherlands
  • 2011
    • University of Amsterdam
      Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands
  • 1999–2011
    • Maastricht Universitair Medisch Centrum
      Maestricht, Limburg, Netherlands
  • 2009
    • Vivium Zorggroep
      Huizen, North Holland, Netherlands
  • 2007–2009
    • Leiden University Medical Centre
      • Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics
      Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands
    • Ghent University
      Gand, Flanders, Belgium
  • 2001–2009
    • Erasmus MC
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 2008
    • Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience
      Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands
    • Kempenhaeghe
      • Center for Epilepsy
      Heeze, North Brabant, Netherlands
  • 2003–2005
    • Rigshospitalet
      • Centre of Head and Orthopaedics
      Copenhagen, Capital Region, Denmark
    • Baycrest
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol
      Badalona, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2001–2003
    • McGill University
      • Department of Psychology
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 1996
    • Katholieke Hogeschool Limburg
      Limburg, Walloon Region, Belgium
  • 1990–1995
    • Transnationale Universiteit Limburg
      Box Elder, South Dakota, United States
  • 1984–1991
    • Universiteit Utrecht
      • • Department of Neurology
      • • Department of Psychiatry
      Utrecht, Provincie Utrecht, Netherlands