Executive functioning. Dr. Elizabeth Sheppard. Developmental Cognitive Neuropsychology (C8CLDC). Child Clinical Neuropsychology (C8DCHN). Objectives:. Be able to explain what is meant by executive functions (defining/problems) Give examples and explain cognitive tests used to test EF
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Dr. Elizabeth Sheppard
Developmental Cognitive Neuropsychology
Child Clinical Neuropsychology
Anderson et al. (2001) propose 3 separable but unified components of EF:
1.) Attentional control: selective attention and sustained attention
2.) Cognitive flexibility: working memory, attentional shift, self-monitoring, and conceptual transfer
3.) Goal setting: initiating, planning and organisation, generating and implementing strategies for problem solving, and strategic behaviour
1.) Behavioural features - Poor self-control, impulsivity, erratic careless responses, poor initiation of speech, inflexibility (Lezak, 1995)
2.) Cognitive features – People with Executive Dysfunction exhibit poor performance on tasks which require one to use Executive Abilities
Generate as many words as possible in one minute that begin with the letter ‘ N ’?
(1989) – animals with lesions
to parietal lobes passed A
not B task; those with frontal
lesions did not
- EEG & MRI showed damage to frontal region.
- CT scan showed bilateral frontal lobe damage.
- Dramatic changes in PIQ
- Problems with sustained attention, visuo-spatial planning, & motor control
- Inappropriate problem solving strategies, -Verbal reasoning and expressive vocabulary good, but not verbal inductive reasoning.
- Tantrums, aggressive, inappropriate laughter, eating problems
- good intellectual levels
- good simultaneous but poor sequential processing
- Verbal processing excellent, but needed instructions repeated extensively
- similar intellectual level (but reduced efficiency in learning new info)
- A number of other cognitive deficits were evident: poor anticipatory behaviour, verbal understanding, visuo-spatial organisation and production, distractible, inhibition problems, perseveration.
- down stream effects