Science topic

Executive Function - Science topic

A set of cognitive functions that controls complex, goal-directed thought and behavior. Executive function involves multiple domains, such as CONCEPT FORMATION, goal management, cognitive flexibility, INHIBITION control, and WORKING MEMORY. Impaired executive function is seen in a range of disorders, e.g., SCHIZOPHRENIA; and ADHD.
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Hello, good time
In the past, for my master's thesis, I worked with children with learning disorder and used exercises based on balance and coordination. I observed these exercises' positive effect on these children's executive functions. Currently, for my Ph.D. thesis, I plan to work with these children again and also re-measure executive functions in addition to motor components.
What is your suggestion regarding the choice of the independent variable for working with children with learning disorder? What kind of movement exercises or innovative tools or devices should I use?
Thank you for your advice.
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Steiner's eurythmics and HeartMath meditation may be interesting independent variables
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Currently I am searching for some reliable and valid tools for assessing preschoolers' problem solving abilities. The specific problem solving skills I intend to assess include problem representation, planning, execution, and evaluation (based on Zelazo et al. (1997)'s framework of problem solving).
Although Zelazo et al. (1997) reviewed a set of related tools, these tools were mainly used for assessing executive functioning in the literature, rather than the problem solving skills specifically. My question is: Are there any existing validated measures assessing the problem solving skills (i.e., problem representation, planning, execution, and evaluation) among preschoolers? Thanks!
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Fathia Lahwal Thanks for your kind advice!
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Hi For an assignment I need to critically evaluate social skills interventions and executive functions that are recommended specifically for children between 6 - 12 with FASD but I'm struggling to find evidence. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks
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See Adele Diamond and Kathleen Lee, INTERVENTIONS SHOWN TO AID EXEC FUNCTION DEV IN CHILDREN 4-12 YEARS OLD, (2011). As well see Deepa Singal, Chantalle Menard, Christine Neilson, et al. (2018) Effectiveness of evidence-based treatments of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in children and adolescents: a systematic review protocol.
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Hi everyone!
I'm looking for tips and tricks for efficient qualitative data coding in collaboration. We, two researchers, have data from about 8 focus groups and 3 interviews, 60-80 minutes each. We talked about what respondents do to make effective use of executive functions to solve a difficult problem or pursue a complex task. E.g.: what do you do to keep your focus when you’re studying a difficult topic for you thesis? Our goal is to make a list of 'all' possible strategies to use executive functions through coding, using Atlas.ti. So, we do have kind of a framework which consists of every executive function, but every EF can be considered as a category for which we do not have specific codes yet: these codes for ‘EF-strategies’ will emerge from the data. We aim to code in tandem or parallel. How to do this efficiently? I wonder for example: what if I'm a lumper and my partner is a splitter, while we work in the same project (Atlas.ti). We would then definitely use different codes. How can we manage this in an efficient manner? Any tips or literature are highly appreciated!
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Check out the Braun and Clarke 2006 and 2013 papers for suitable method of analysis. I suppose it depends if you intend to use TA (Thematic Analysis) or RTA (Reflexive Thematic Analysis). Also look at papers by Murray and Wilde (2010) for their use of IPA (Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis). Hope this helps :). Good luck with your research, BW Ken.
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I'm developing a research action plan for a mindfulness program to be implemented in a school with children from 3-to-6-years old, with the aim to improve their self-regulation skills. I'd like to measure preschoolers' initial self-regulation skills before and after its implementation to assess their progress on this specific executive function after the implementation of the program. Maybe it would be better to assess it through a teacher questionnaire?
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If it does not make the test battery too large, I would recommend using both a teacher rating and a performance measure of self-regulation, as the two measures often correlate poorly. As a performance measure, I would recommend the head-toes-knees-shoulders task (HTKS). This task is easy to understand even for preschoolers and has satisfactory reliability and validity (Ponitz et al., 2009). As an external rating, I would recommend the questionnaire, just like Jérémie Richard.
Ponitz, C. C., Mcclelland, M., Matthews, Jamaal. S., & Morrison, F. (2009). A Structured Observation of Behavioral Self-Regulation and Its Contribution to Kindergarten Outcomes. Developmental psychology, 45, 605–619. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0015365
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What is the method to compare the performances on two different cognitive tests (that measure different cognitive functions) of the same or different group(s)?
As two cognitive tests are inherently different from each other and many a times, have different parameters.
It will be helpful if anyone can direct me to some useful references.
Thank you
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Joan Jiménez-Balado I should have clarified above I was speaking specifically with respect to making statistical comparisons between different cognitive scales within the same sample. You are correct, however, the asker mentioned "same or different group(s)".
If there are independent groups, as described in your example, one could easily make statistical comparisons on any cognitive scale. However, I can think of no way to compare (statistically) scores on two separate cognitive scales within a single sample - unless perhaps you used some variation of a rank-order test and assessed whether individual ranks on one cognitive test are similar to the individual ranks on the other cognitive scale.
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I am doing my honors thesis on Social Skills.
The question I am trying to answer is how well do Social Skills predict Social Competence, after controlling for Personality and IQ.
For the personality measure I am using the BFI-2.
And the age range I am working on is 10-18 years old.
Can anyone suggest a measure of IQ or Executive Functioning that I could use for this age range, I am not well read on assessment as of right now.
Also, the instrument has to be available on the internet, free of cost. My thesis is not funded.
Thank you in advance.
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There are numerous ways to assess executive function. You need to decide what aspects and or skills, cognitive functions you wish to assess/you are interested in...
According to Faria et al. (2015) The most frequently used tests for assessing executive functions in aging are:
Trail Making Test (TMT) Form B;
Verbal Fluency Test (VFT) - F, A and S;
VFT Animals category;
Clock Drawing Test (CDT);
Digits Forward and Backward subtests (WAIS-R or WAIS-III);
Stroop Test; and
Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST)
NB: The WAIS-R and WAIS-III (now IV) are the most frequently used and standardised IQ scales for adults. WMS too is extremely useful in terms of measuring memory short term, long term, working memory etc....
Hope these help.
Good luck with your research.
BW
ken
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executive functioning = working memory, attention shifting and inhibition if task.
Please suggest me scale who asses all three of them or even i am ready to go with different scales. kindly mention authors also.
I want to use these tests for my m.phil thesis which is non funded and i am unable to bear expenses of publishers. 
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Yes Talha, you get free access to the Moca test at > https://www.mocatest.org
You will have to demonstrate your competence qualifications to get the required badge.
A useful example of a Functional backup is to ask the client to carry out a simple task AND report back to you through her/his nurse (or email /phone message, etc). Simple tasks like "Please send me your contact information tomorrow", or "Please draw a copy of the shape on this page, then give it to your nurse tomorrow morning", require INITIATIVE, a major executive function skill not tested by simple tests like MOCA where initiative is provided by the tester.
Note that the second task mentioned above requires LESS initiative than the first, since you leave behind a tangible cue for compliance.
Good fortune, Paul
xPsychologist Paul McGaffey, PhD(ABD)
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Intruction-based learning refers to the ability to learn from the instruction rapidly. Many recent studies have investigated the neural mechanisms of this fundemental processes. Currently, we are interested in doing a systmatic review on this topic. Please leave your email address if you are interested.
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My research is examining the relationship between language switching frequency and creative thinking.
I am looking into creative thinking performances within two bilingual groups (Korean-English and Japanese-English). I'm trying to find a control that can match my participant's executive functioning so that I make sure the performances on creative thinking is due to the language switching frequency variable not because of enhanced executive functioning.
Background info: Studies have found that bilingual people have more enhances executive functioning, and that executive functioning could impact the performance on creativity.
I found the Verbal fluency test because it is very short and convenient to implement through the Qualtrics Software. This is where you would ask participants to come up with as many words as possible if I give them a letter. However, I realized that the tip-of-tongue phenomenon might interfere with their performance because it is more relevant for bilingual participants. Does anyone know how I could solve that issue or would it still be okay to use if its not as significant?
I want to find a short executive functioning test that takes less than 10 min because of the time restriction I have for my study.
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Dear Maxim Maxim Likhanov
Thanks for sharing this and good luck with your paper. I would love to read it when it is published.
Best
Anastasia
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I'm working on a project that involves looking for the first editions of "Neuropsychological Assessment" by Lezak. Unfortunately, I'm having trouble finding the first and the second editions. Any clue of where to find them? It would be good to have access to the index at least.
Thanks!
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we have had that book for years. if you are in san diego CA you can borrow it
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I have come across various neuropsychological studies and found that most of the studies have used different neuropsychological tests (TMT, WCST, Stroop...etc) to measure executive function. So can we combine the results of different neuropsychological tests of executive function for a meta-analysis?
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Two thoughts:
1. In order to combine results across tests that use different scales, one must place the results on the same metric. The easiest thing to do here would be to convert all standard scores to z scores. (You could probably do this starting with percentiles as well, but if possible, start with standard scores.)
2. I would not automatically lump all of these tests together as "executive function tests," because executive functions are complex, multifactorial in nature, and the tests are imperfect anyhow in that they also tap into other abilities (processing speed, memory, and so forth). So begin by analyzing each test separately. Then maybe do a meta-analysis of their correlations with one another (e.g., how closely related are Trails B and the Stroop?). Only if two measures are strongly related to each other should they then be combined into a higher-order meta-analysis.
You have your work cut out for you!
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I have a project for which it would be helpful to measure executive function (& also working memory). My goal is to determine whether a certain intervention improves the exercise of executive function in a person's life. I am interested both in reduction in impairment and in improved performance by healthy adults.
I would like some test with an objectively measured outcome. However I know that Russell Barkley found back in 2010 that most of the tests used at that time were uncorrelated with impaird function in life, as measured by self-assessment or external raters. This would imply that I ought to use a history interview or something similar. But I think it would be much harder to detect changes in execution of basic life skills in response to a brief intervention.
So are there executive function tests that correlate highly to real-world functioning that might also be able to detect small improvements, given an adequate sample size? If so, what are they?
Oh, and if there is not such a test, I wonder if anyone has come across a good instrument for a structured interview on executive function in life.
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If you are going to measure performance before and after an intervention, I recommend using multiple tests to form a construct. This is explained in detail here:
Hope this helps!
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Recent studies of children's tool innovation have revealed that there is variation in children's success in middle-childhood. In two individual differences studies, we sought to identify personal characteristics that might predict success on an innovation task. In Study 1, we found that although measures of divergent thinking were related to each other they did not predict innovation success. In Study 2, we measured executive functioning including: inhibition, working memory, attentional flexibility and ill-structured problem-solving. None of these measures predicted innovation, but, innovation was predicted by children's performance on a receptive vocabulary scale that may function as a proxy for general intelligence. We did not find evidence that children's innovation was predicted by specific personal characteristics.
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I appreciate Gebre Yitayih Abyu for the valuable topic. Would be interested to know as well.
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I have two groups of participants, the High Trait Anxious (HTA) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) patients who run one executive function task. The patients were not currently depressed and do not have any other anxiety or physiological condition. I ran BDI 2 and GAD 7 also as a measure. When I run ANCOVA with depression score as covariate variable, group as the independent variable and RT/Error on task as the dependent variable, the independence of IV and Covariate variable is violated.
What analysis or step should I do next?
Will Linear Mixed Model be good for such data?
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Depression and anxiety correlates significantly according to our research. You can do a multiple standard regression analysis. I attach our paper:
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Hi. I am collaborating in a study that investigates the effects of stress in the executive functions in a longitudinal study. I have two independents variables: stress score (perceived stress scale) and salivary cortisol. And, three dependent variables (executive function measures): a working memory task, inhibitory control task, and cognitive flexibility task. Also, I have age and sex variables (covariates). In this study, I will measure the I.Vs and D.Vs in three moments (for example, three different days).
I am thinking of running a multiple regression analysis for each executive function measure. But I do not know if I should instead use MANOVA.
Please, could someone suggest a better analysis for this longitudinal study with two I.V. and three D.V.?
Thanks!
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Seems to be a prototypical case of repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). This paper might be a good starting point:
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I am working on a meta-analysis about executive function in ADHD and I have found that some papers use different measures for the same outcome, for example, they report the mean and SD for Digit Span for working memory and in the same paper they also report the mean and SD for number and letters task for working memory too. My question is ¿How do I decide which measure to use for? or ¿How di I do to take into account both measures? Thanks for your help.
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It sounds like this would be because working memory has multiple sub-components, at least according to many theories. So I suggest it depends what you are seeking to focus on. A digit span task will measure V-WM capacity, while perhaps the letters/numbers task measures processing and perhaps executive function (in line with the different sub-systems in Baddeley's model, for example). Does that fit with the paper you read?
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I hope to soon have a ridiculous amount of data from about 80 hours of 16 channel EEG recordings. I will also have 160 productivity/performance indicators along several dimensions, each associated with half an hour of recorded EEG signal. Note that the frequency of aggregate data generation is about five orders of magnitude higher than the frequency of the productivity/performance data.
Is there any halfway plausible way to extract, from this vast amount of data, features of these waveform time series that have the strongest relationship to my productivity/performance measures, without imposing strong priors on the nature of those feature? Like, I could do spectral power by electrode, but if the I impose that structure and the real best predictor is anticorrelation between two regions, I’ll never catch it. Maybe some kind of two-phase unsupervised/supervised learning structure? Or if anyone knows of a catalog of features that had been found to discriminate between those with high vs. average to low productivity, self-discipline, etc., I’d be interested in that. I have looked for, and failed to find, such a catalog in the past. (I am more interested in executive function than intelligence for this purpose).
My ultimate goal is to create a neurofeedback filter for personalized productivity enhancement. Against the desire for weak or unspecified priors, I also have a bias toward filters which are not pure black boxes; which is to say, if I am to train my one and only brain against some measurement, and maybe offer others an opportunity to do likewise, I’d like to know what that measurement is.
If I succeed in doing this, I will almost certainly be doing the data analysis with R.
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Nice Contribution Eugene Veniaminovich Lutsenko
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By the way, I recommend Diamond's (2013) article on that topic.
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I asked the question in a particular context: as you can see, this is a question about a researchgate project which is devoted to study different topics among which executive function didn’t seem to fit very well.
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I am a Speech Language Pathologist. What is the best Executive Function test- that I could administer to an adult who suffered head injury?
Thank you,
Dana Merritt MS CCC
Speech Language Pathologist and Vision Therapist
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Dear Dana M Merritt, as you surely know, there are many executives functions you need to test, with several tests (if you need a global assessment or if your patient has various executive complaints). Otherwise, you could choose to test only some specific executive functions (like switching, inhibition or planification), and you will use some specific tests (like TMT for switching). Hope my answer is useful. Best regards, Giulia
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Hello!
I have a working hypothesis that I am not sure is possible to accurately measure.
Currently, the EDI (Early Development Index) measures whether or not children ages 4 to 6 are considered "developmentally at risk" for specific domains. My hypothesis is that a low score (i.e., a score with indicates being developmentally at risk) in the COMMUNICATIONS SKILLS AND GENERAL KNOWLEDGE or EMOTIONAL MATURITY sub scales could predict a later in life (i.e., age 6 to 12) difficulties with executive functioning (which are typically measured with a WISC test or the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions (BRIEF), the Child Behavior Checklist (CBLC), and the Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC).
All of these measures a reliable, valid, and research based for measuring their designed construct...the EDI has not yet been linked to executive functioning (predictive or otherwise) because children ages 4 to 6 are simply too young for that to be measured reliably due to brain development.
Given that the age 4 to 6 metric is entirely different than the age 6 to 12 metrics, what statistically tests do I need to run in order to say with statistically significant confidence that low performance on the EDI may be predictive of later in childhood difficulties with executive functioning?
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Julia,
So, this all sounds good.
I am not sure whether the factor analytic evidence that you propose is to be created by you, or it comes from the literature. If from you, note that factor analysis needs a respectable N. I see you say "PCA," thus this may mean a planned Principal Components Analysis. If so, I would strongly encourage you to consider a common factor model; this is more aligned with what would be expected in top tier journals these days. While I am at it, I would suggest use of parallel analysis to determine dimensionality, and allowing the possibility of an oblique rotation.
As I understand it, the "kicker" you mention makes this a longitudinal study taking much more time.
In regard to the predictive relationship, I am not sure what "holds for covariates such as age, gender, and SES" means. Is it the case that you wish to determine the influence of these contextual variables on the relationship between the EDI scales and executive functioning? If so, this suggests a moderation model.
Finally, "with the ultimate criterion outcome being academic performance" may suggests a mediation question. EDI scales impact executive functioning scores which, in turn, affect academic performance.
My Best, and again, sorry for taking the conversations so far from your question.
John
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Patients with damage to the brain in areas that contain executive functions can often struggle with getting in to action and handeling a lot of information at the same time. How can these patiens best start training alternative ways of functioning?
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Jordi Serra-Mestres Thank you for your input and advice.
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It depends upon the type of review you want to write. Not always the statistics is necessary.
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  • My study is going to compare ASD and TD group on their performance in different linguistic items. Do I need to match them on EF? Why or why not?
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Executive functions are cognitive processes that control behavior, and they include, among other: attention control, working memory, cognitive inhibition, planning, problem solving. There are several batteries that assess EF, such as neuropsychological tests (Stroop test), and rating batteries, such as BRIEF(Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function). Both ASD and TD are impaired cognitive control syndromes, but I can't see much relevance in matching them on EF other than generic observations.
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Hello everyone,
I'm currently trying to make the statistical analysis of my experiment and i'm facing some troubles.
My experiment is a 2x2 repeated design in wich i'm looking to the frequency of ocular movement while subjects mentaly time travel in the past or in the future. The distance in which they can travel can either close or remote.
To looking at it i've ran a multiple linear regression with the frequency of ocular movements as my dependant variable and the Temporality(past / future)*Distance(close / remote) as my predictive variables.
Now i would like to look a this interaction in regard to the score of a third variable that is a score of executive functions. More precisely, i would like to look how this interaction behave for subjetcs who have a low score in EF and for those who have a high score in EF.
An intuitive way to to this could be to split the subject in two groups with a groupe in which subjects have a score below the median of EF score and another one in which thay have a score above the median. However, this method seems to have a lot of inconvenients (like the loss of subject who have a median score)
Someone told me to enter the EF score in my regression model and to try something like this :
Temporality + Distance*EFscore.
However, i'm not sure if this equation resolve my problem, and if it resolved it, i don't understand how.
As you can see, i'm a little bit lost, so could you help me? Do you think this last model is correct? Otherwise, could help me to find the correct solution?
Thank you very much,
Sylvain
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Hi Sylvain,
to interpret the output, it would be helpful to know the package used, the design coding (dummy coding or contrast or...). It looks like dummy coding, because you have an output for TemporalitePasse which might be one of the two levels of Temporalite.
And if this is dummy coding, you can not interpret the output as it is, but you need to reconstruct the marginal means of the model.
Because you see, with dummy coding, (and the formula ~ temporalite*distance) the cell means are estimated like:
estimate_cellmean_future&distant <- intercept
estimate_cellmean_future&near <- intercept + DistanceProche
estimate_cellmean_past&distant <- intercept + TemporalitePasse
estimate_cellmean_past&near <- intercept + TemporalitePasse + DistanceProche + TemporalitePasse:DistanceProche
And as you can see, the effect of TemporalitePasse:DistanceProche is basically not very informative on its own. So you have to reconstruct the cell estimates.
Usually, the outputs of the Bayesian or mixed models in R that I am familiar with (brm and lme4, afex) can be passed to 'emmeans' (estimated marginal means), which does exactly this, and also provide HDIs (for brm-outputs). After doing this, you can interpret your effects. However, looking at these outputs you provide, does not allow telling whether an overall effect is 'significant' or not, because this would require a model comparison, between the full model, and a model in which you remove the fixed effect that should be tested. This however is tricky in Bayesian models (if not impossible) because the change in the priors (do not ask me were I got this from :)) but the suggestions to solve this, are provided by the brm-package as well (e.g. LOO procedure, check it out).
Best, René
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I performed a neuro-psychological battery consisting of 6 tests that measures different aspects of executive function. Each test has between 3 to 15 subscores. There is no consensus on whether one test or subscore is better than the other. There are a total of 64 subscores which are all non-normally distributed.
In this condition, is it appropriate to compare patients and controls using 64 univariate comparison using Mann whitney U and then perform Bonferroni correction or is there a more appropriate statistical model that I can use?
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Hello Albert,
Sixty-four comparisons is a lot!
If you have the luxury of doing so (and in the absence of anyone else having so explored this), I would recommend factoring the subscores to determine what might be a more parsimonious set of factors/constructs that would account for the observed relationships among the subscores. Then, run statistical comparisons between groups on the factor scores. If factors are reasonably characterized as being inter-related, then a multivariate type analysis (see below for references to non-parametric multivariate tests) would make sense. If not, then a set of adjusted univariate tests could be conducted.
Good luck with your work!
References:
Hettmansperger, T. P. (1984). Statistical inferences based on ranks. New York, NY: Wiley. (See ch. 6, pp. 279-296.)
Sheu, C-F. & O'Curry, S. (1996). Implementation of nonparametric multivariate statistics with S. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments & Computers, 28(2), 315-318. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.3758%2FBF03204789.pdf
(S code will frequently run without modification in R.)
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Background:
Professional-school student with extensive ACE (child adverse events) history along with severe depression and anxiety diagnosed over previous year, presented with recent severe ADHD (I-Type) diagnosis at age 26.
Documentation confirmed maximum dose step therapy for various Amphetamine-based stimulants was completed but still not found to be fully affective.
Unexpectedly, they are currently prescribed daily 50mg Mydayis (Mixed salts of single-entity amphetamine product) along with 80mg Prozac, and consumming 300-400mg of caffeine.
Due to initial medication-only use producing very minimal stabilizing effects, but found to increase at re-introduction of SSRI and further increase with Caffeine reintroduction.
No adverse effects (cardiac, neuromuscular, neurocognitive) have been reported/measured in 4 months of aforementioned therapeutic combination.
NOTE: Adverse reaction to methylphenidate-based medications were identified early on.
Assessment of (remaining) presenting symptoms seems to overlap with tentatively defined SCT Criteria.
NOTE: Student has never been prescribed Strattera (only presently confirmed SCT-symptom relief medication)
Specific question:
Recent research has shown SCT + ADHD to correlate with much greater impairment in adults, do you think a combination of severe ADHD + SCT may result in required use of excess pharmacotherapy dosages that surpass established safe therapeutic/combination parameters?
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Remember both PTSD and major depression can produce significant cognitive impairment including issues with attention equal to ADHD.
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A 70 YOF with a hx of ulcerative colitis, lupus, anemia, chronic kidney disease, gastro-esophageal reflux disease w/ esophagitis & hyperprolactinemia, is presenting with symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bladder incontinence, rapid fine motor decline, memory loss, apathy, depression, loss of appetite, weight loss & executive functioning & cognitive impairment. It is determined that the pt has normal pressure hydrocephalus through MRI.
The pt undergoes ventriculo-peritoneal/lumbo-peritoneal shunt procedure. Initially, her symptoms improve, but 11 days later, the nursing home staff report she has a fever of 101.9 & all of her symptoms reappear (vomiting, diarrhea, no appetite, apathy, etc.). She is brought to the ER & a CT scan is done. The CT scan is unremarkable. Blood panels are ran & her stool sample is tested for c-diff & the results are negative.
Are her symptoms caused by a shunt malfunction, infection, obstruction, etc.?
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Shunt malfunction due to infection is plausible.
Not clear in the question is whether the patient underwent VP or LP shunt.
Since the patient improved initially, high volume lumbar puncture would have yielded a similar result, indicating a shunting surgery. Despite lack of any positive findings in the CT, chances are that the shunt has stopped working, likely due to infection. Antibiotics, shunt removal, and interval shunting recommended.
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Hello. I am looking for parent-reported measures of executive functions that are freely available. This is for a student project so BRIEF and CEFI are not an option due to associated cost. Are there any such questionnaires that you can recommend? Many thanks for your advice.
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Please let me know if you find any alternatives.
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Hi there,
I am currently looking to do a study on executive functions (e.g. IC, shifting) and parenting style. Does anyone know if the Children’s behaviour Questionnaire (CBQ) or BIS/BAS are available online?
Also need advice on alternative questionnaires on EF that is completed by the parents/ teachers of children participant.
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Michael Uebel thank you!
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What is the importance of "executive functions" in "searching for information on the Internet"?
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Hello,
Thank you for your answer.
Agreeing with you on the importance of the use of the Internet that you express, I would like to be able to work on the skill of searching for information online with students aged 8 to 15. I would like to take into account their executive functions (planning, inhibition and flexibility).
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In the attachment there is a paper by Zhu, where the author tries to distinguish the concept of intention from that of volition. I found this paper interesting but at the same time not very convincing. I did not find any biological grounding to this idea. What is your opinion about this topic?
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I confess that I am inundated with literature on this subject, have swallowed a good dea, am chewing on far more and alas having just discovered this issue discussed in RG.
nevertheless, please allow me to venture an idea.
the observation most amazing to me is how well a monkey tends to repeat a movement that stretches to a given length of a spring with flexion of an unseen and unfelt foream, the plot of the movement over time for a given force (length). After two days of 80% avoidance the force/stretch ratio required to avoid shock. Is raised 1/4 in. The monkeys amazingly get the hang of it, using a straight and narrow peak in a narrow up-> down limb flexion. Using grasp, the same form applies. But, leave one rootlet intact as a very effortful and unpredictable response occurs with no smooth narrow peak. It seems that sensory input greatly perturbs the movemen. This I think critical clue to distinction between intent and volition and will discuss soon.
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Hello RG community,
I was wondering if there is a test to assess children' working memory in a group setting (class room). The sample is composed by 3rd-to-5th grade italian children.
Thank you in advance for your help,
Antonio
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Dear Antonio,
I ne nepsy II, subtest figure memory is spatial memory from new visual material. I don( t know if you get it in Italian norms but you could use it it is non verbal. And in CMS, children memory scale, you could make qith Points location , visual non verbal subtest, also faces immediately remind and the optional subtest for animals and vehicles immediate visual memory.
Best regards
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Hello! I am working on a study where we are measuring executive functions in 6-7 yr old children. We would like a measure of selective attention, but I am having trouble finding a free Cancellation task. Both the Bell Cancellation Task and the WISC Cancellation are beyond our budget, but we are hoping to find something like this.
Thank you!
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Thank you so much; this is incredibly helpful!
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I am curious to know is there a way to behaviorally disassociate processing speed and executive function in a single task.
I have found one study ( ) where the authors manipulated presentation time of a list of words. The rationale was that longer presentation time would engage more executive function as more detailed encoding would be done.
Using the above mentioned rationale can be manipulate timing in a stroop task and expect more accuracy on longer presentation time than on lower presentation time?
Also can we apply the same principle to other executive function tasks??
Would be grate if someone could share their views on this
Thanks
Vatsal
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Thank you for your reply. I surely understand that EF is multifaceted and using a single measure will only produce a small image. As with processing speed which I see as a speed at which any cognitive (either higher or superficial) process functions. For instance how fast a person can calculate a given math problem in their head or how fast a person can recognize an object.
Thus, my question is: can we behaviorally test the dynamics between processing speed and different facets of executive function?
As I mentioned earlier in my question that running a stroop task with longer presentation time it is possible to expect more accuracy than at a brief presentation time. If processing speed really affects executive function the accuracy will suffer. Thus, using the same principle can we manipulate time and expect similar trend in other executive function tasks??
Thanks
Vatsal
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Are emotions and cognition( higher order executive functions) a subset of experience?i.e experience entails emotional content and cognitive processes (like memory LT/ST, associations etc.)
or
Emotions and cognition give rise to an experience?
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Thank you Dr. Schieber and Prof. Korpela for the relevant references.
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Practical intelligence concept given by Sternberg.Can anyone describes its relationship with executive functioning (working memory,inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility).
also give reference
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Thanks sir
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Dear Colleagues,
Are cognitive control and cognitive effort the same thing?
I am confused. In the neuroscientific literature on second language learning, the neural organization of cognitive control and cognitive effort seems to overlap (e.g., the anterior cingulate, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, inferior parietal regions). At the same time, I have come across some results that make me think that cognitive control and cognitive effort are not the same thing.
For instance, I have found fMRI studies that reported increased "cognitive effort" (and therefore more widespread fMRI activation) in less proficient speakers of a second language (e.g., Abutalebi et al. 2018). At the same time, several ERP studies have suggested more "cognitive/language control" in highly proficient second language users. For example, Fernandez et al. (2013) have shown that higher second language proficiency was associated with a greater mean N2 amplitude (greater inhibition) on an executive function test. Another example: Rossi et al (2018) concluded that individuals with high second language proficiency require more cognitive/language control for their first language, even before they speak their second language.
I will greatly appreciate your help.
With my best wishes,
Monika
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Dear Colleagues,
Are you familiar with neuroimaging studies or/and do you have any predictions about executive control in implicit/informal versus explicit/formal second language learning? Which type of language learning requires more executive control?
I will greatly appreciate your opinions/suggestions.
All the best,
Monika
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Dear Monika,
Results in some recent meta-analyses (e.g., by Shaofeng Li) have shown that executive control plays a more significant role in explicit/formal than in implicit/naturalistic L2 learning (SLA). Regarding implicit and explicit brain networks, a similar pattern can be detected, e.g., in the paper by Jing Yang & Ping Li (2012). Brain networks of explicit and implicit learning. PloS One, 7(8), e42993.
Hope this above information helps a bit,
Best,
Edward
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I am currently wrapping up a chapter on 'Working memory as language aptitude: the Phonological/Executive Model', in which I develop the argument based on previous research that phonological WM (PWM) is a language acquisition device that subserves L2 knowledge of vocabulary, formulaic sequences (formula), and morpho-syntactic constructions; while executive WM is a language processing device that regulates and coordinates attentional resources during L2 comprehension and production activities (esp. online and offline processes during the four sub-skills of L2 listening, speaking, reading, and writing) (more can be seen in Wen, 2015, 2016)..
Meanwhile, I also argue that it is better to implement separate WM span tasks for PWM and EWM, such that, the simple (storage-only) version of memory span tasks (e.g., the digit span, nonword span etc.), while complex (storage plus processing) span tasks (e.g., reading span task, operation span task...) should be used to measure EWM (Wen, 2012 & 2014).
These are old stuff, I am also arguing that future EWM tests should focus on more fine-grained (secondary) mechanisms and executive functions of WM. In this case, following Miyake & Friedman (2012), EWM can be demarcated into information updating, task switching, and inhibitory control. I wonder, if anyone can give me more insights, if we want to adopt well-established tasks to measure each of these executive functions in a second language/bilingualism contexts. In other words, what might be the most well-established tasks? The recent paper by Indrarathne & Kormos (2018) has provided a nice reference and a good example. Still, I wish to check if there are other key references that I can refer to (esp from cognitive psychology or psycholinguistics). For now, I am arguing for adopting the 'Running memory span' task (Bunting et al., 2006) or the 'Keep track task' for measuring updating; Task switching numbers (Linck et al., 2013) or the 'Plus minus task' for measuring task switching; Antisacade or the Stroop task for measuring inhibitory control. How would these sound (advantages and disadvantages?).
Shall be very grateful if anyone can offer me some insights or refer me to some key references (I've got some in my own repertoire of references provided in other projects, which is available for all to download), but still wish to hear more for my consideration.
Thanks in advance for your input!
Edward
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Dear all,
Many great thanks to you all for the nice answers or for the interest in this question as followers. I am glad to say that I have finished the chapter on 'Working memory as language aptitude', and it will be published in our forthcoming volume on 'Language aptitude: Advancing theory, testing, research and practice” which hopefully will be published around March 2019 (do keep an eye on that project.
That said, I am now co-authoring with Alan Juffs from Pittsburgh on a new chapter on "Measuring working memory" to be included in an edited volume "The Routledge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition and Testing". So, the answers to this question posted here are still very much welcomed!
Thanks,
Edward
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As luck would have it, I am a 25 year survivor of a cerebellar medulloblastoma and have some executive function deficits and some cognitive issues.
I'm encouraged by your work and, though I am the wrong side of the lab bench, I'd love to help in your research if possible.
My best,
Brad
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Yes, we can treat you.
Best regards
Jesús Devesa
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If the EF is linked with brain function where it can control working memory and the cognitive ability. Then, what is the connection between EF and ADHD behaviour? And how EF and ADHD are linked?
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There is a theory, that it is connected with delay of prefrontal cortex maturation. More here:
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Dear Colleagues
I would like to find readings (theoretical or experimental) about the relationships between intelligence and executive functions. And in particular in addiction context (abstinance improvements of IQ).
Thanks
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Hi Ruben,
when I was studying the relationship between IQ and EF I came across a couple of interesting articles you may find inspiring.
EF and recreational use of cocaine:
Colzato, L. S., Huizinga, M., & Hommel, B. (2009). Recreational cocaine polydrug use impairs cognitive flexibility but not working memory. Psychopharmacology, 207(2), 225.
EF and abstinence:
Janke van Holst, R., & Schilt, T. (2011). Drug-related decrease in neuropsychological functions of abstinent drug users. Current drug abuse reviews, 4(1), 42-56.
Recent review on cognitive functions and abstinence:
Schulte, M. H., Cousijn, J., den Uyl, T. E., Goudriaan, A. E., van den Brink, W., Veltman, D. J., ... & Wiers, R. W. (2014). Recovery of neurocognitive functions following sustained abstinence after substance dependence and implications for treatment. Clinical psychology review, 34(7), 531-550.
Study on abstinence, WM and Intelligence:
Rapeli, P., Kivisaari, R., Autti, T., Kähkönen, S., Puuskari, V., Jokela, O., & Kalska, H. (2006). Cognitive function during early abstinence from opioid dependence: a comparison to age, gender, and verbal intelligence matched controls. BMC psychiatry, 6(1), 9.
Hope it helps!
Cheers,
Tiziano
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Friends,
The difficulty to form and execute plans of action is diagnostic of large prefrontal lesions. The expectancy of reward activates many neurons, especially in orbital prefrontal cortex. All four major executive functions of the lateral prefrontal cortex (planning, executive attention, working memory, and decision-making) are prospective, “look” to a more or less distant future. The prefrontal cortex is rightfully called the “organ of creativity,” as it is capable of organizing novel actions and speech (it has “memory of the future,” Ingvar 1985). It is also capable of “imagining” what’s to come, and to estimate future risks and benefits. The stock market is moved up or down by the collective prefrontal cortex of countless investors. In sum, here is a brain structure that is literally driven by the future, eminently teleological. Many seem to ignore such an obvious fact. A bit of reflection is here in order, however.
For the self-respecting scientist, teleology is anathema and intolerable absurdity, because it reverses the natural temporal order between cause and effect. That reversal in the prefrontal cortex is only apparent, however, because for that cortex, as for the rest of nature, there is “nothing entirely new under the sun.” Thus, all new planning, all new creation, all new imagination, and all new decisions are based on history and prior experience. All of them are simply re-creations of the past.
Thus the absurdity is gone. But think of how dull, how witless, how plain and how barren would be a world without the prefrontal cortex!
Cheers,
Joaquín
J.M. Fuster and S.L Bressler – Past makes future: Role of pFC in prediction. J. Cogni. Neuroscience, 27: 639-654, 2015.
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I am an absolute proponent of the role of the prefrontal cortex in goal-directed behavior. I agree that the idea of goal-directed actions is neglected. In my opinion there may be two reasons for this. First, most of researchers still use paradigms in which the idea of goal-directed behavior is not used or unimportant. It is of interest that the manifestation of such paradigms can be found in the question presented because it can be derived from the question that the prefrontal cortex is only “the organ of the future” and the rest of the brain functions in a stimulus-reaction mode. This is not a case. The whole brain is the predictive organ because the function of the brain is the satisfaction of the organism’s needs and needs are always aimed at the future. For example, animals and humans feel hungry before there is a real shortage of nutrients in the organism or in novel and unusual situations humans and animals may feel stress and anxiety even if nothing happens, etc.
The other reason is that most of the mechanistic models of how pFC constructs goal-directed actions from the past and the present are still not sufficient to explain corresponding data. The article attached, to some extent, is an example of this. The article demonstrates the prefrontal cortex is strongly involved in goal-directed actions but the authors does not suggest specific mechanisms which the prefrontal cortex would use to construct and pursue goals. Such special mechanisms are necessary if pFC is the predictive system. Cognits and the PA cycle in itself obviously are not unique characteristics of pFC
My position is that the main function of the human prefrontal cortex is the formation of learned needs, which are so strong and long-term as innate needs and then the execution of goal-directed processes associated with these needs. The prefrontal cortex constructs the goal and the means of a goal-directed process jointly on the basis of the criterion of minimal construction costs.
Prudkov, P.N. (2010). A view on human goal-directed activity and the construction of artificial intelligence. Minds and Machines, 20, 363-383.
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Hi,
I would be thankful for any piece of literature introducing short, accessible and uncomputerised psychological tests for executive functioning and visual-motor processing. I am most interested in assessment of spatial and hierarchical planning.
Thank you
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Stephen, thank you for the reply. I didn't correctly express myself and have now corrected the question. I am not interested in one test which would merge all the functions but in all the tests available which cover the mentioned (not all in one test).
I am familiar with the Tower of Hanoi and I saw that the set can be bought online for a reasonable price, but was still hoping that other planning assessment tasks would be available.
Thank you for suggesting the Porteus Maze test, I will look into it.
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Hi guys! I'm intended to measure the relationship between poverty and brain executive functioning. I have read few article but still unable to comprehend how to do the test and analyze it..
Please guide...TQ
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A good textbook for non-neuropsychologist is: "A Compendium of Neuropsychological Tests Administration, Norms, and Commentary
Third Edition, by Esther Strauss, Elisabeth M. S. Sherman, and Otfried Spreen".
Their section on executive functioning is quite good.
There is also a relevant paper here on RG, see "Executive functions in children and adolescents: The types of assessment measures used and implications for their validity in clinical and educational contexts.
Also, although I have never used it myself, people tell me this tool is pretty good: Barkley deficits in executive functioning- children and adolescents (bdefs-ca)
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My grad student and I are conducting a study examining the relationship between executive functions and spatial memory/visualization. We are also looking for eprime scripts for executive function tasks: the letter memory task, color shape task, and antisaccade task (tasks often used by Friedman and Miyake)
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I have now generated a bunch, including an anti-saccade task. I will post a link to my scripts this week.
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We are conducting a meta-analysis of experimental studies looking at the impact of media form (e.g., pace) on executive function (tested post and/or pre media exposure) in children. There seems to be a limited number of studies, at present we have only identified those in the list below, if you know of any studies (including unpublished studies from your own lab) please get in touch.
Anderson, D. R., Levin, S. R., & Lorch, E. P. (1977). The effects of TV program pacing on the behavior of preschool children. Educational Technology Research and Development, 25, 159-166.
Cooper, N. R., Uller, C., Pettifer, J., & Stolc, F. (2009). Conditioning attentional skills: examining the effects of the pace of television editing on children’s attention. Acta Paediatrica, 98, 1651-1655.
Geist, E. A., & Gibson, M. (2000). The effect of network and public television programs on four and five year olds ability to attend to educational tasks. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 27, 250-261.
Kostyrka‐Allchorne, K., Cooper, N. R., Gossmann, A. M., Barber, K. J., & Simpson, A. (2017). Differential effects of film on preschool children's behaviour dependent on editing pace. Acta Paediatrica, 106, 831-836.
Lillard, A. S., Drell, M. B., Richey, E. M., Boguszewski, K., & Smith, E. D. (2015). Further examination of the immediate impact of television on children’s executive function. Developmental Psychology, 51, 792-805.
Lillard, A. S., & Peterson, J. (2011). The immediate impact of different types of television on young children's executive function. Pediatrics, 128, 644-649.
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This new paper may also be useful for your meta-analysis:
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My hypothesis is that practicing yoga provides body and mind consciousness and therefore improves the ability of regulating one's emotions and behaviours by acting on the inhibitory control.
I plan to set an experiment with children aged 5 as this is the best age for acting on the development of their executive functions, but in reality this will depend on the class level I will be affected to.
Therefore, I am looking for any research made on this subject (no matter the age of the subjects).
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I am working with my team on Effect of Yoga and Meditation on Inhibitory Control. I am going to present the results in Conference on The Science of Consciousness (TSC,2018)April 2-7,2018, in one of the concurrent sessions. You can please access the abstract at the link : https://eagle.sbs.arizona.edu/sc/abs_report_bysession.php?p=C
The subjects in the study include three level of mediationists (i) Novice meditators (ii) Intermediate Meditators (iii) Advanced Meditators
Age range is 15-49 yrs.
I will publish the paper within couple of months and let you know.
Meanwhile, the following paper may be useful:
Effect of Yoga and Meditation on Mindfulness and Consciousness
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I'm looking for working memory evaluation in adolescents.
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Look at the two manuscript, which used modern approaches to assess working memory in adolescents in a comparative perspective.
In the Attachment.
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No.
This notion or belief, and THAT is all it is, no matter what BIG impacts on thinking it has, and no matter what big effects such beliefs have in creating firm limitations on thinking (not even allowing people to think of certain phenomenon). [ In effect such false closures and thinking (and they are there) is a clear sign that something is wrong. ] This all-innate-at-birth-or-in-infancy notion of THE innate factors -- resulting in no real innate guidance thought to come up later in childhood -- and related beliefs (used as "assumptions") is from philosophy and not from ANY good observation and not related good understanding. 'Learning' explanations are given which have NO clearly related direct evidence at all, yet researchers and theorists are satisfied with what they basically just make up (and then attribute to such "self"-functioning of the organism), e.g. the fictions of 'executive' functions and all the "meta's" (a "man" within "the man") OR wild (unsupported and unsupportable) ideas about 'social learning' AND/OR the fictions of literal-supposed "EMBODIMENT" of 'action' giving us our thought -- such pure garbage being a big part of 'explanations'). [
[ Apparently, for higher learning, logic can just pop-up and pop-out when the time/circumstances are right (when earlier learnings have been well-processed); this is apparently where developmental maturation factors ORIGINATE INTERNALLY (!!???), no matter how not-environmentally based the POP-UP logic seems to be in its origin, i.e. NON-EMBEDDED. It is basically hocus-pocus. ]
Old-time philosophers can't "cut it" nowadays.
Because of these 'garbage' beliefs, we cannot differentiate different [levels of] learning -- this resulting in not defining or understanding learning well at all.
So many things work better and are seen in more understandable ways IFF one can see fundamental qualitative shifts in behavioral [response] patterns occurring (even if the beginnings of such behavior pattern changes are kind of simple and caused by seemingly simple CHANGES in VERY basic behavior patterns -- that works!). I am at the point where I basically do not need to listen much to people that think learnings are all basically the same and completely ubiquitous, operating in an "uninterrupted" way. (And, don't talk to me about "social" and "cultural" factors BECAUSE the individual organism clearly remains the "unit of analysis" and center of ALL true understanding -- if there is no account with the individual, there is NO accounting at all.)
Hey, graduate students: if you buy all the "crap", you are "tools".
[ P.S. Note how "innate action patterns" (or anything meaning that) are not even topics here on researchgate. Come on, people ]
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Sorry, important edits and some additions made to the Question 4 hr. after the original posting of the Question.
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Convergence insufficiency is often mistakenly diagnosed as dyslexia and if the right magnocellular area of the parietal lobe does not assume an executive role due to developmental delay, the child appears to have attention deficit as they are compelled to look at every movement occurring in the peripheral visual fields. Visual inattention needs to be taken into consideration before looking at such areas as the anterior cingulate, which when under functioning, can lead to mental inattention.
It is my belief that all the so-called learning and behavioural issues of childhood are not conditions in their own right but no more than symptoms of a developmental delay, itself probably due to a stressor impacting upon the epigenome causing a glitch in development.
Robin Pauc
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Convergence insufficiency is found to be present in > 50% of children thought to be dyslexic. It can be diagnosed in minutes and treated in a few weeks using a computer generated treatment program using 3D images. Convergence issues are often associated with the reversal of letters, numbers and/or words and this is probably due to a significant increase of regressive eye movements when tracking. The increase in regressions is likely due to a more powerful right cerebellar hemisphere pushing the eyes to the left and this itself may be due to the inferior olivary nuclei pulsating out of sync. As the Circuit of Guillain-Mollaret is said to set the frequency of oscillation of the thalami, this could also impact on right brain function which is typically seen in developmental delay.
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Hello all,
I am working on an RCT where we hope to measure 5-6-yr-old children's executive functioning (memory, cognitive flexibility, inhibitory control, attention, etc... exact domains not exactly nailed down yet) 3 times, 2 months apart (baseline, end of month 2, and end of month 4). I'm not finding much literature on the test re-test reliability of such tests, nor am I finding anything addressing testing effects. I know many tests (such as DCCS) have ways to change the task to avoid such effects (e.g., switch which rule you start with), but only for two measurements, not three. If anyone can point to any resources regarding this, I would be most appreciative. Also important to note; we are conducting these tests in West Africa, so would prefer to avoid screen based measures (as they might be too far out of the realm of kids' normal experiences).
Thank you in advance!
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This is trickier than one would expect, isn't it? What you really want are neuropsychological tests of executive functions that have parallel (a.k.a. equivalent) forms. Nothing will have three forms, but with two, you could start with "A", then uses "B", then go back to "A" again without worrying about effects of repeated testing.
In general, psychometric data on executive function tests tend to be scanty (and often a bit disappointing when available). Luckily, you don't need to worry too much about test-retest reliability since you are (presumably) looking for change over time due to some intervention or other. But a few measures will report test-retest findings in the Manual.
As far as domains go, you're probably best advised to break it down like this:
(1) working memory
(2) fluency
(3) response inhibition
(4) set shifting
(5) higher-order concept formation/problem-solving
Naturally, many tests will tap into more than one of these (and often other cognitive abilities as well).
The fact that you are working with very young children adds another layer of complexity, since many tests will be beyond their ken. Even a simple, useful measure like the Stroop (functions (3) and (4) above) works only after reading becomes an automatic process.
Well, anyway, here are a few possibilities:
(1) The Delis-Kaplan Executive Function Scales (D-KEFS) is an extensive executive function battery (the first one ever developed, I think). A few of the subtests even have alternate forms. Be careful extrapolating from U.S. norms, naturally, but at least the norms are based on a large, well-constructed sample. A larger problem is that the norms extend only to age 8, so it isn't clear what will happen if you administer to younger kids. It is 100% okay to use just selected subtests. It's a sophisticated measure, and will yield rich data, but your examiners will need to be very well trained.
(2) The CANTAB is probably out, since it's a computer-based measure.
(3) The Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch) is more limited in scope, but includes measures of inhibition and set shifting. The norms are weak, but do extend down to age 6.
(4) Behavioural Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome in Children mostly measures planning-related functions. A nice feature is that the subtests resemble "real world" situations, enhancing ecological validity. Again, the norms are weak, but they extend down to age 7 or so.
(5) The NEPSY-II is an extensive battery of cognitive tests that includes several executive function measures. The norms, which reach down to age 3, are reasonably good (as with every other measure, they're not based on African samples, though!).
My sense is that the D-KEFS and the NEPSY-II are probably your best bets, but that the BADS or TEA-Ch could work as well. As a final thought, you may want to use these tests to construct your own measures that are geared for the population you are studying. For example, one subtests on a couple of these batteries is Animal Sorting. Well, you'd want to use animals with which the kids in question are familiar! Similarly, if you're doing a fluency task (like the F-A-S), you'd want the initial letters to make sense in the language spoken by the kids.
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Hello the scientific community,
I would like to know if the type of activity (collective sport vs. individual sport) influences the executive functions.
Thanks you in advance for your answers.
Nounagnon
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Dear all
Thanks you for your various answers
Best regards
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Hey
I am planning a study on Hypothyroidism and executive function. In this regard I am searching for tasks that asses executive function particulaly self monitoring, planning and organization? Tower of London task involves planning but does it assess other functions that are mentioned above?
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Hey Jonaton!
Thanks for your suggestions
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I am doing a review paper, and I am looking for nonpublished but acepted papers about theory of mind, executive functiona and ADHD, if you know anyone or you are one of them, I appreciate the contact.
Thanks. 
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You could try to contact dr. Laura Traverso at the Uninversity of Genova, Italy. She is also on researchgate.
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I'm looking to run an online version of a cognitive psychology study involving executive functioning tasks and a questionnaire.
I'm happy to code the tasks myself (part of the tasks are written for DMDX but I can also use another language or program), but am not sure about how to actually get them online so that I could just send participants a link to the tasks without them needing to download anything.
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Testable.org is a very good option.
You can program a lot of different experiments for free and you can do it quickly and simply.
I have used it successfully and can only recommend that you try it.
Good luck with your research!
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The intention is to include some of these various cognitive measures alongside other survey measures that will be administered to first-year college students (at a campus where every student has a university-issued iPad, hence the need for Apple iPad compatibility).
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Tatool-web can be a good answer to requirements like yours:
it should work in any browser and I particularly like its iPad touch-screen response mode.
Their executive functioning (EF) battery is quite solid, including  Simon, Flanker, and Stroop tasks for inhibition, Shape/Color and Animacy/Size switching tasks for shifting, and Color/Letter/Number keep-track tasks for the updating segment of EF.
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I would like to have more information on executive function of bilingual children who have some problems in cognitive performance such as reading difficulties. I'll appreciate your comments, knowledge or any recommendation of what to follow or study.
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I'm in search of this Topic
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It is well known that executive functions are impaired in individuals with anxiety and mood disorders, and that such impairments remain even after successful treatments for such these disorders. Results from some studies suggest that executive function difficulties may even be present before the onset of anxiety and mood disorders and play a role in their development and maintenance. Moreover, complete remission of anxiety and depressive symptoms is not always observed after treatment, and performance on tests that measure executive functions is influenced by one's affective state (stress, fatigue, etc.).
On the other hand, other conditions are typically associated with executive dysfunction and/or can lead to such impairments (e.g. ADHD, autism, traumatic brain injury, and medical conditions such as phenylketonuria (PKU), MS, diabetes, etc.) To complicate matters even more, psychiatric disorders (e.g. anxiety, depression) and general stress, fatigue, etc. are often comorbid to such medical conditions.
That being said, are there measures, specific executive dysfunctions or deficit patterns that can help differentiate executive function difficulties primarily related to psychiatric disorders/affective state from executive function difficulties that are more primarily related to another medical and/or neurological conditions (especially in individuals who present (or may present) with such comorbidity)?
Thank you in advance!
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"are there measures, specific executive dysfunctions or deficit patterns that can help differentiate executive function difficulties primarily related to psychiatric disorders/affective state from executive function difficulties that are more primarily related to another medical and/or neurological conditions"
I do not understand why any difference is to be expected.   Symptoms like pain, hallucinations,  poor memory, etc.,  are basically similar whatever their supposed cause.
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I am trying to desing an experiment to establish the relationship between Inhibitory Control and Theory of Mind, and I would like to know if somebody has used similr experiments. My hypothesis is that Inhibitory Control modulate the expression of theory of mind. Your help will be valuable for me.
Thanks
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Dear Stephen,
Thanks for the paper, it will be helpful.
Regards
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There are several tools (e.g. WAIS, TIB, etc..) to measure cognitive reserve in patients with neurological conditions. Is there any tool (questionnaire) to measure the pre-morbid motor reserve?
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This is a really interesting question. Typically to calculate cognitive reserve you utilise a composite of several proxy's (education, job complexity, NART, WAIS, ANART, Social Network Index, Cognitive Leisure Scale etc). Perhaps you could create a motor reserve consisting of several proxy's (cardiorespiratory fitness [V02, 6MWT], compendium of physical activities or IPAQ, 1, 6 15 repetition maximum, exercise level history). This is something we are looking into for Huntington's disease. But we are similarly having trouble, particularly with proxy's.
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I am trying to create several executive function tasks on E-Prime and wondering if anyone has created either the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task or the Tower of London? Any help on these scrips or tips of where to look for some fundamentals for using E-Prime to help create these tasks would be really helpful.
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Hi Jade,
Try here:
Back when i was doing my Phd thesis i found here several clasic paradigms as tower of london, iowa gambling task, etc. 
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Searching for an instrument to measure EF and cognitive development school success examining the cultural practices that facilitates the development of Executive Function.
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Executive functions are a multi-faced construct and it is advisable to measure the different aspects with a battery of tests.
Here are three references, which are good examples of this approach:
Agostino, A., Johnson, J., & Pascual-Leone, J. (2010). Executive functions underlying multiplicative reasoning: Problem type matters. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 105, 286–305.
Lehto, J. E., Juujarvi, P., Kooistra, L., & Pulkkinen, L. (2003). Dimensions of executive functioning: Evidence from children. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 21, 59–80.
Usai M.C., Viterbori P., Traverso L., & De Franchis V. (2013). Latent structure of executive function in five- and six-year-old children: A longitudinal study, European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 11, 447-462.
These three studies cover the age range from 5 to 13.
In case you are also interested in preschoolers, please see:
Best wishes!
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I am interested in whether I should expect different interference effects (both behaviorally and in the EEG) when using 2 flankers surrounding the target compared to 4 flankers. I have found papers on different types of stimuli (arrows versus letters and so on), but I had no luck regarding the number of flankers presented.
Does anyone know of such a study, or has experience in presenting different number of flankers?
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Hi Stephanie,
I've played a bit with the number and aspect of flankers with some pilot studies. In one version I used two flankers which were also bigger than the central target, while in a different version I used four flankers which were also the same size as the target. Flanker effects (inc minus cong RT and errors) were larger for the four identical flankers versus the two big flankers. However based on that pilot I can't tell if the difference was due to the number of flankers or to their being of the same/different size relative to the target. Since you're doing EEG, you'll probably get stronger visual responses with 4 flankers, which you may or may not want based on the design of your study.
Hope this helps,
Francesco
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Hi!
I have an ERP data. after analyzing, I found two significant effect. one is over right occipito pariteal and the other one is over left frontal  area. the components are in the same shape and time window but in different polarities (one positive and the other negative). the only difference is that the amplitude difference is higher on occipito parietal.
I wonder if I should report the effect on frontal area or not. according to my research question, I should seek the difference in both of these areas but I wonder the effect on frontal cortex is something reliable or is just under the effect of posterior changes. (specially that I'm using an average montage)
Best
Shadi
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Dear Stephen
thank you again
yes I know.
but I think there is no other way to do that. 
I used CSD, LORETA and dSPM and they all showed almost the same result. I checked the amplitudes too. there was difference between amplitudes in two regions and I know that this is not a good and complete reason by itself. but in general, I think if we put all these together, we can conclude about the difference between two clusters.
am I right? 
Shadi
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The stroop test which I want to use  in my  thesis project is very expensive, I am student and unable to bear the cost as my research project is non funded. Looking for test to measure executive functioning among older adults and for the purpose i need to adapt and translate stroop test. If anyone have copy rights please share it with me to use. otherwise please suggest me some other scale.
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The Stroop Effect (Stroop, 1935) is not linked to any specific "test," though test publishers have been known to create versions of it.
You can easily create your own Stroop measure. This may be done as a compuiter-based measure or just old-fashioned paper-and-ink.
If you do it the old-style way, you'll want to prepare 3 test sheets. The first is for word reading. Type the names of the colors (in your preferred language, but always in black ink) in good-sized print, capital letters, with enough space in between so that it isn't confusing to a reader. Have about 3-4 columns, each with about 20 words (i.e., rows). The second is for color naming. This should have the same number of items (for example, 3 columns with 20 items in each). You can either use swatches of color or rows of X's printed in the colors. The third is the crucial test. Here, you once again print the names of colors - but of course, they now appear in colored inks, and the ink color does not match the word. Once again, make it the same number of items and the same layout. (Often people even use the same sequence of correct answers, though that isn't required.)
These three sheets may be printed on good stock and laminated so they can be re-used many times, or else you can print out a number of copies.
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Looking for advise on doing mixed method research following a quantitative phase on technology acceptance model, looking at expanding on the perceived usefulness black box through focus group. Any suggestions?
TAM is on intervention of using Google calendar to determine its effect on executive function.
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As Han Ping Fung  says, what you seem to have in mind is known as a Sequential Explanatory Design, which I personally would summarize as QUANT --> qual. As a sequential design, the usual goal is to obtain the results from the core, quantitative phase of the project, and then follow up on them to learn more about how and why those results came out the way they did.
That said, I also agree with Dean Whitehead that you have to tailor your results to your particular research question, and I would add, to your particular research circumstances. For example, if your research is primarily being conducted online, how will you get access to the participants for the qualitative portion of your study and how will you collect the qualitative data?
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I'm trying to find a free or very cheap assessment of EF in adults that can be administered online. If I can't get an assessment for EF, then specific areas I am looking for include working memory, shift, self-monitoring, and emotional control.
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The only free one that I'm aware of is the Executive Functions Questionnaire. I've seen it cited once (in the attached paper). It positively correlates with both the Brief-A and the DEX.
1, 13, 15, 30, 32 are reverse-coded 
Shifting is 1-11
Updating is 12-23
Inhibition is 24-36
You could also try the Attentional Control Scale (paper also attached).
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I am writing a review of executive function measures, so it would be helpful to have resources that clearly outline its theories.
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Hi Isaac Akande,
these are some interesting articles about EF.
1) Best, J. R., Miller, P. H., & Jones, L. L. (2009). Executive functions after age 5: Changes and correlates. Developmental Review, 29(3), 180–200. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.dr.2009.05.002
2) Davidson, M. C., Amso, D., Anderson, L. C., & Diamond, A. (2006). Development of cognitive control and executive functions from 4 to 13 years: Evidence from manipulations of memory, inhibition, and task switching. Neuropsychologia, 44(11), 2037–2078. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2006.02.006
3) Diamond, A. (2013). Executive functions. Annual Review of Sychology, 64(SEPTEMBER 2012), 135–68. http://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-113011-143750
4) Diamond, A. (2013). Normal Development of Prefrontal Cortex from Birth to Young Adulthood: Cognitive Functions, Anatomy, and Biochemistry. Etica e Politica (Vol. 15). http://doi.org/10.1093/acprof
5) Diamond, A. (2016). Why improving and assessing executive functions early in life is critical. Executive Function in Preschool-Age Children: Integrating Measurement, Neurodevelopment, and Translational Research., (September), 11–43. http://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.1.2644.6483
6) Diamond, A., & Ling, D. S. (2016). Conclusions about interventions, programs, and approaches for improving executive functions that appear justified and those that, despite much hype, do not. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 18, 34–48. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2015.11.005
7) Garon, N., Bryson, S. E., & Smith, I. M. (2008). Executive function in preschoolers: A review using an integrative framework. Psychological Bulletin, 134(1), 31–60. http://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.134.1.31
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I like the D-KEFS and parts of the NEPSY. This, supplemented with the BRIEF to measure adaptability of these skills, is usually helpful.
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