Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2098

Search results for: executive functions

2098 Poor Cognitive Flexibility as Suggested Basis for Learning Difficulties among Children with Moderate-INTO-Severe Asthma: Evidence from WCSTPerformance

Authors: Haitham Taha

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The cognitive flexibility of 27 asthmatic children with learning difficulties was tested by using the Wisconsin card sorting test (WCST) and compared to the performances of 30 non-asthmatic children who have persistence learning difficulties also. The results revealed that the asthmatic group had poor performance through all the WCST psychometric parameters and especially the preservative errors one. The results were discussed in light of the postulation that poor executive functions and specifically poor cognitive flexibility are in the basis of the learning difficulties of asthmatic children with learning difficulties. Neurophysiologic framework was suggested for explaining the etiology of poor executive functions and cognitive flexibility among children with moderate into severe asthma.

Keywords: asthma, learning disabilities, executive functions, cognitive flexibility, WCST

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2097 The Role of Executive Functions and Emotional Intelligence in Leadership: A Neuropsychological Perspective

Authors: Chrysovalanto Sofia Karatosidi, Dimitra Iordanoglou

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The overlap of leadership skills with personality traits, beliefs, values, and the integration of cognitive abilities, analytical and critical thinking skills into leadership competencies raises the need to segregate further and investigate them. Hence, the domains of cognitive functions that contribute to leadership effectiveness should also be identified. Organizational cognitive neuroscience and neuroleadership can shed light on the study of these critical leadership skills. As the first part of our research, this pilot study aims to explore the relationships between higher-order cognitive functions (executive functions), trait emotional intelligence (EI), personality, and general cognitive ability in leadership. Twenty-six graduate and postgraduate students were assessed on neuropsychological tests that measure important aspects of executive functions (EF) and completed self-reported questionnaires about trait EI, personality, leadership styles, and leadership effectiveness. Specifically, we examined four core EF—fluency (phonemic and semantic), information updating and monitoring, working memory, and inhibition of prepotent responses. Leadership effectiveness was positively associated with phonemic fluency (PF), which involves mental flexibility, in turn, an increasingly important ability for future leaders in this rapidly changing world. Transformational leadership was positively associated with trait EI, extraversion, and openness to experience, a result that is following previous findings. The relationship between specific EF constructs and leadership effectiveness emphasizes the role of higher-order cognitive functions in the field of leadership as an individual difference. EF brings a new perspective into leadership literature by providing a direct, non-invasive, scientifically-valid connection between brain function and leadership behavior.

Keywords: cognitive neuroscience, emotional intelligence, executive functions, leadership

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2096 Cerebral Pulsatility Mediates the Link Between Physical Activity and Executive Functions in Older Adults with Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Longitudinal NIRS Study

Authors: Hanieh Mohammadi, Sarah Fraser, Anil Nigam, Frederic Lesage, Louis Bherer

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A chronically higher cerebral pulsatility is thought to damage cerebral microcirculation, leading to cognitive decline in older adults. Although it is widely known that regular physical activity is linked to improvement in some cognitive domains, including executive functions, the mediating role of cerebral pulsatility on this link remains to be elucidated. This study assessed the impact of 6 months of regular physical activity upon changes in an optical index of cerebral pulsatility and the role of physical activity for the improvement of executive functions. 27 older adults (aged 57-79, 66.7% women) with cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF) were enrolled in the study. The participants completed the behavioral Stroop test, which was extracted from the Delis-Kaplan executive functions system battery at baseline (T0) and after 6 months (T6) of physical activity. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) was applied for an innovative approach to indexing cerebral pulsatility in the brain microcirculation at T0 and T6. The participants were at standing rest while a NIRS device recorded hemodynamics data from frontal and motor cortex subregions at T0 and T6. The cerebral pulsatility index of interest was cerebral pulse amplitude, which was extracted from the pulsatile component of NIRS data. Our data indicated that 6 months of physical activity was associated with a reduction in the response time for the executive functions, including inhibition (T0: 56.33± 18.2 to T6: 53.33± 15.7,p= 0.038)and Switching(T0: 63.05± 5.68 to T6: 57.96 ±7.19,p< 0.001) conditions of the Stroop test. Also, physical activity was associated with a reduction in cerebral pulse amplitude (T0: 0.62± 0.05 to T6: 0.55± 0.08, p < 0.001). Notably, cerebral pulse amplitude was a significant mediator of the link between physical activity and response to the Stroop test for both inhibition (β=0.33 (0.61,0.23),p< 0.05)and switching (β=0.42 (0.69,0.11),p <0.01) conditions. This study suggests that regular physical activity may support cognitive functions through the improvement of cerebral pulsatility in older adults with CVRF.

Keywords: near-infrared spectroscopy, cerebral pulsatility, physical activity, cardiovascular risk factors, executive functions

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2095 A Pilot Study on the Sensory Processing Difficulty Pattern Association between the Hot and Cold Executive Function Deficits in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Deficit Child

Authors: Sheng-Fen Fan, Sung-Hui Tseng

Abstract:

Attention deficit hyperactivity deficit (ADHD) child display diverse sensory processing difficulty behaviors. There is less evidence to figure out how the association between executive function and sensory deficit. To determine whether sensory deficit influence the executive functions, we examined sensory processing by SPM and try to indicate hot/cold executive function (EF) by BRIEF2, respectively. We found that the hot executive function deficit might associate with auditory processing in a variety of settings, and vestibular input to maintain balance and upright posture; the cold EF deficit might opposite to the hot EF deficit, the vestibular sensory modulation difficulty association with emotion shifting and emotional regulation. These results suggest that sensory processing might be another consideration factor to influence the higher cognitive control or emotional regulation of EF. Overall, this study indicates the distinction between hot and cold EF impairments with different sensory modulation problem. Moreover, for clinician, it needs more cautious consideration to conduct intervention with ADHD.

Keywords: hot executive function, cold executive function, sensory processing, ADHD

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2094 Distraction from Pain: An fMRI Study on the Role of Age-Related Changes in Executive Functions

Authors: Katharina M. Rischer, Angelika Dierolf, Ana M. Gonzalez-Roldan, Pedro Montoya, Fernand Anton, Marian van der Meulen

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Even though age has been associated with increased and prolonged episodes of pain, little is known about potential age-related changes in the ˈtop-downˈ modulation of pain, such as cognitive distraction from pain. The analgesic effects of distraction result from competition for attentional resources in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), a region that is also involved in executive functions. Given that the PFC shows pronounced age-related atrophy, distraction may be less effective in reducing pain in older compared to younger adults. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of aging on task-related analgesia and the underpinning neural mechanisms, with a focus on the role of executive functions in distraction from pain. In a first session, 64 participants (32 young adults: 26.69 ± 4.14 years; 32 older adults: 68.28 ± 7.00 years) completed a battery of neuropsychological tests. In a second session, participants underwent a pain distraction paradigm, while fMRI images were acquired. In this paradigm, participants completed a low (0-back) and a high (2-back) load condition of a working memory task while receiving either warm or painful thermal stimuli to their lower arm. To control for age-related differences in sensitivity to pain and perceived task difficulty, stimulus intensity, and task speed were individually calibrated. Results indicate that both age groups showed significantly reduced activity in a network of regions involved in pain processing when completing the high load distraction task; however, young adults showed a larger neural distraction effect in different parts of the insula and the thalamus. Moreover, better executive functions, in particular inhibitory control abilities, were associated with a larger behavioral and neural distraction effect. These findings clearly demonstrate that top-down control of pain is affected in older age, and could explain the higher vulnerability for older adults to develop chronic pain. Moreover, our findings suggest that the assessment of executive functions may be a useful tool for predicting the efficacy of cognitive pain modulation strategies in older adults.

Keywords: executive functions, cognitive pain modulation, fMRI, PFC

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2093 In Search for the 'Bilingual Advantage' in Immersion Education

Authors: M. E. Joret, F. Germeys, P. Van de Craen

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Background: Previous studies have shown that ‘full’ bilingualism seems to enhance the executive functions in children, young adults and elderly people. Executive functions refer to a complex cognitive system responsible for self-controlled and planned behavior and seem to predict academic achievement. The present study aimed at investigating whether similar effects could be found in children learning their second language at school in immersion education programs. Methods: In this study, 44 children involved in immersion education for 4 to 5 years were compared to 48 children in traditional schools. All children were between 9 and 11 years old. To assess executive functions, the Simon task was used, a neuropsychological measure assessing executive functions with reaction times and accuracy on congruent and incongruent trials. To control for background measures, all children underwent the Raven’s coloured progressive matrices, to measure non-verbal intelligence and the Echelle de Vocabulaire en Images Peabody (EVIP), assessing verbal intelligence. In addition, a questionnaire was given to the parents to control for other confounding variables, such as socio-economic status (SES), home language, developmental disorders, etc. Results: There were no differences between groups concerning non-verbal intelligence and verbal intelligence. Furthermore, the immersion learners showed overall faster reaction times on both congruent and incongruent trials compared to the traditional learners, but only after 5 years of training, not before. Conclusion: These results show that the cognitive benefits found in ‘full’ bilinguals also appear in children involved in immersion education, but only after a sufficient exposure to the second language. Our results suggest that the amount of second language training needs to be sufficient before these cognitive effects may emerge.

Keywords: bilingualism, executive functions, immersion education, Simon task

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2092 Transfigurative Changes of Governmental Responsibility

Authors: Ákos Cserny

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The unequivocal increase of the area of operation of the executive power can happen with the appearance of new areas to be influenced and its integration in the power, or at the expense of the scopes of other organs with public authority. The extension of the executive can only be accepted within the framework of the rule of law if parallel with this process we get constitutional guarantees that the exercise of power is kept within constitutional framework. Failure to do so, however, may result in the lack, deficit of democracy and democratic sense, and may cause an overwhelming dominance of the executive power. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to present executive power and responsibility in the context of different dimensions.

Keywords: confidence, constitution, executive power, liabiliy, parliamentarism

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2091 A Game-Based Methodology to Discriminate Executive Function – a Pilot Study With Institutionalized Elderly People

Authors: Marlene Rosa, Susana Lopes

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There are few studies that explore the potential of board games as a performance measure, despite it can be an interesting strategy in the context of frailty populations. In fact, board games are immersive strategies than can inhibit the pressure of being evaluated. This study aimed to test the ability of gamed-base strategies to assess executive function in elderly population. Sixteen old participants were included: 10 with affected executive functions (G1 – 85.30±6.00 yrs old; 10 male); 6 with executive functions with non-clinical important modifications (G2 - 76.30±5.19 yrs old; 6 male). Executive tests were assessed using the Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB), which is a quick-applicable cognitive screening test (score<12 means impairment). The board game used in this study was the TATI Hand Game, specifically for training rhythmic coordination of the upper limbs with multiple cognitive stimuli. This game features 1 table grid, 1 set of Single Game cards (to play with one hand); Double Game cards (to play simultaneously with two hands); 1 dice to plan Single Game mode; cards to plan the Double Game mode; 1 bell; 2 cups. Each participant played 3 single game cards, and the following data were collected: (i) variability in time during board game challenges (SD); (ii) number of errors; (iii) execution speed (sec). G1 demonstrated: high variability in execution time during board game challenges (G1 – 13.0s vs G2- 0.5s); a higher number of errors (1.40 vs 0.67); higher execution velocity (607.80s vs 281.83s). These results demonstrated the potential of implementing board games as a functional assessment strategy in geriatric care. Future studies might include larger samples and statistical methodologies to find cut-off values for impairment in executive functions during performance in TATI game.

Keywords: board game, aging, executive function, evaluation

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2090 Neuropsychological Disabilities in Executive Functions and Visuospatial Skills of Juvenile Offenders in a Half-Open Program in Santiago De Chile

Authors: Gabriel Sepulveda Navarro

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Traditional interventions for young offenders are necessary but not sufficient to tackle the multiple causes of juvenile crime. For instance, interventions offered to young offenders often are verbally mediated and dialogue based, requiring important metacognitive abilities as well as abstract thinking, assuming average performance in a wide variety of skills. It seems necessary to assess a broader set of abilities and functions in order to increase the efficiency of interventions while addressing offending. In order to clarify these assumptions, Stroop Test, as well as Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test were applied to juvenile offenders tried and sentenced for violent crimes in Santiago de Chile. A random sample was drawn from La Cisterna Half-Open Program, consisting of 50 young males between 18 and 24 years old, residing in different districts of Santiago de Chile. The analysis of results suggests a disproportionately elevated incidence of impairments in executive functions and visuospatial skills. As an outcome, over 40% of the sample shows a significant low performance in both assessments, exceeding four times the same prevalence rates among young people in the general population. While executive functions entail working memory (being able to keep information and use it in some way), cognitive flexibility (to think about something in more than one way) and inhibitory control (being able to self-control, ignore distractions and delay immediate gratification), visuospatial skills permit to orientate and organize a planned conduct. All of these abilities are fundamental to the skill of avoiding violent behaviour and abiding by social rules. Understanding the relevance of neurodevelopmental impairments in the onset of violent and criminal behaviour, as well as recidivism, eventually may guide the deployment of a more comprehensive assessment and treatment for juvenile offenders.

Keywords: executive functions, half-open program, juvenile offenders, neurodisabilities, visuospatial skills

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2089 Insights into The Oversight Functions of The Legislative Power Under The Nigerian Constitution

Authors: Olanrewaju O. Adeojo

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The constitutional system of government provides for the federating units of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the States and the Local Councils under a governing structure of the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary with attendant distinct powers and spheres of influence. The legislative powers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and of a State are vested in the National Assembly and House of Assembly of the State respectively. The Local council exercises legislative powers in clearly defined matters as provided by the Constitution. Though, the executive as constituted by the President and the Governor are charged with the powers of execution and administration, the legislature is empowered to ensure that such powers are duly exercised in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. The vast areas do not make oversight functions indefinite and more importantly the purpose for the exercise of the powers are circumscribed. It include, among others, any matter with respect to which it has power to make laws. Indeed, the law provides for the competence of the legislature to procure evidence, examine all persons as witnesses, to summon any person to give evidence and to issue a warrant to compel attendance in matters relevant to the subject matter of its investigation. The exercise of functions envisaged by the Constitution seem to an extent to be literal because it lacks power of enforcing the outcome. Furthermore, the docility of the legislature is apparent in a situation where the agency or authority being called in to question is part of the branch of government to enforce sanctions. The process allows for cover up and obstruction of justice. The oversight functions are not functional in a situation where the executive is overbearing. The friction, that ensues, between the Legislature and the Executive in an attempt by the former to project the spirit of a constitutional mandate calls for concern. It is needless to state a power that can easily be frustrated. To an extent, the arm of government with coercive authority seems to have over shadowy effect over the laid down functions of the legislature. Recourse to adjudication by the Judiciary had not proved to be of any serious utility especially in a clime where the wheels of justice grinds slowly, as in Nigeria, due to the nature of the legal system. Consequently, the law and the Constitution, drawing lessons from other jurisdiction, need to insulate the legislative oversight from the vagaries of the executive. A strong and virile Constitutional Court that determines, within specific time line, issues pertaining to the oversight functions of the legislative power, is apposite.

Keywords: constitution, legislative, oversight, power

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2088 Effects of Partial Sleep Deprivation on Prefrontal Cognitive Functions in Adolescents

Authors: Nurcihan Kiris

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Restricted sleep is common in young adults and adolescents. The results of a few objective studies of sleep deprivation on cognitive performance were not clarified. In particular, the effect of sleep deprivation on the cognitive functions associated with frontal lobe such as attention, executive functions, working memory is not well known. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of partial sleep deprivation experimentally in adolescents on the cognitive tasks of frontal lobe including working memory, strategic thinking, simple attention, continuous attention, executive functions, and cognitive flexibility. Subjects of the study were recruited from voluntary students of Cukurova University. Eighteen adolescents underwent four consecutive nights of monitored sleep restriction (6–6.5 hr/night) and four nights of sleep extension (10–10.5 hr/night), in counterbalanced order, and separated by a washout period. Following each sleep period, cognitive performance was assessed, at a fixed morning time, using a computerized neuropsychological battery based on frontal lobe functions task, a timed test providing both accuracy and reaction time outcome measures. Only the spatial working memory performance of cognitive tasks was found to be statistically lower in a restricted sleep condition than the extended sleep condition. On the other hand, there was no significant difference in the performance of cognitive tasks evaluating simple attention, constant attention, executive functions, and cognitive flexibility. It is thought that especially the spatial working memory and strategic thinking skills of adolescents may be susceptible to sleep deprivation. On the other hand, adolescents are predicted to be optimally successful in ideal sleep conditions, especially in the circumstances requiring for the short term storage of visual information, processing of stored information, and strategic thinking. The findings of this study may also be associated with possible negative functional effects on the processing of academic social and emotional inputs in adolescents for partial sleep deprivation. Acknowledgment: This research was supported by Cukurova University Scientific Research Projects Unit.

Keywords: attention, cognitive functions, sleep deprivation, working memory

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2087 The Influence of Remuneration Committees, Directors' Shareholding and Institutional Ownership on the Remuneration of Directors in the Large Listed Companies in South Africa

Authors: Henriette Scholtz

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Excessive executive directors’ remuneration remains a major concern for many stakeholders and are some of the factors to blame for the recent global financial crisis. The objective of this study was to examine whether certain firm characteristics are an effective way of protecting shareholders’ interests with respect to executive directors’ remuneration. To achieve this, an ordinary least squares model was used to test the relationship between the remuneration of executive directors and a number of firm and corporate governance characteristics to determine whether these characteristics have an influence on executive directors’ remuneration of large listed companies in South Africa. It was found that corporate governance reforms relating to institutional ownership, shareholder voting on the remuneration policy and the number of remuneration committee meetings acts as an effective governance tool to protect shareholder’s interests with regard to executive remuneration. There is no evidence that the number of non-executive directors on the remuneration committee has an influence on the executive directors’ remuneration.

Keywords: executive directors’ remuneration, agency theory, corporate governance, remuneration committee, directors’ shareholding, institutional ownership

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2086 Executive Deficits in Non-Clinical Hoarders

Authors: Thomas Heffernan, Nick Neave, Colin Hamilton, Gill Case

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Hoarding is the acquisition of and failure to discard possessions, leading to excessive clutter and significant psychological/emotional distress. From a cognitive-behavioural approach, excessive hoarding arises from information-processing deficits, as well as from problems with emotional attachment to possessions and beliefs about the nature of possessions. In terms of information processing, hoarders have shown deficits in executive functions, including working memory, planning, inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility. However, this previous research is often confounded by co-morbid factors such as anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. The current study adopted a cognitive-behavioural approach, specifically assessing executive deficits and working memory in a non-clinical sample of hoarders, compared with non-hoarders. In this study, a non-clinical sample of 40 hoarders and 73 non-hoarders (defined by The Savings Inventory-Revised) completed the Adult Executive Functioning Inventory, which measures working memory and inhibition, Dysexecutive Questionnaire-Revised, which measures general executive function and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, which measures mood. The participant sample was made up of unpaid young adult volunteers who were undergraduate students and who completed the questionnaires on a university campus. The results revealed that, after observing no differences between hoarders and non-hoarders on age, sex, and mood, hoarders reported significantly more deficits in inhibitory control and general executive function when compared with non-hoarders. There was no between-group difference on general working memory. This suggests that non-clinical hoarders have a specific difficulty with inhibition-control, which enables you to resist repeated, unwanted urges. This might explain the hoarder’s inability to resist urges to buy and keep items that are no longer of any practical use. These deficits may be underpinned by general executive function deficiencies.

Keywords: hoarding, memory, executive, deficits

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2085 Computerized Cognitive Training and Psychological Resiliency among Adolescents with Learning Disabilities

Authors: Verd Shomrom, Gilat Trabelsi

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The goal of the study was to examine the effects of Computerized Cognitive Training (CCT) with and without cognitive mediation on Executive Function (EF) (planning and self- regulation) and on psychological resiliency among adolescents with Attention Deficits Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) with or without Learning Disabilities (LD). Adolescents diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and / or Learning Disabilities have multidimensional impairments that result from neurological damage. This work explored the possibility of influencing cognitive aspects in the field of Executive Functions (specifically: patterns of planning and self-regulation) among adolescents with a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder and / or Learning Disabilities who study for a 10-12 grades. 46 adolescents with ADHD and/or with LD were randomly applied to experimental and control groups. All the participants were tested (BRC- research version, Resiliency quaternaries) before and after the intervention: mediated/ non-mediated Computerized Cognitive Training (MINDRI). The results indicated significant effects of cognitive modification in the experimental group, between pre and post Phases, in comparison to control group, especially in self- regulation (BRC- research version, Resiliency quaternaries), and on process analysis of Computerized Cognitive Training (MINDRI). The main conclusion was that even short- term mediation synchronized with CCT could greatly enhance the performance of executive functions demands. Theoretical implications for the positive effects of MLE in combination with CCT indicate the ability for cognitive change. The practical implication is the awareness and understanding of efficient intervention processes to enhance EF, learning awareness, resiliency and self-esteem of adolescents in their academic and daily routine.

Keywords: attention deficits hyperactive disorder, computerized cognitive training, executive function, mediated learning experience, learning disabilities

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2084 A Single Country Comparative Contextual Description Study of the Executive Authorities in Austria

Authors: Meryl Abigail Lucasan

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The purpose of this research paper is to present a Single Country Comparative Contextual Description Study of the Executive Authorities in Austria, focusing with the Federal President, Cabinet members (Federal Chancellor, the Vice-Chancellor and the other Federal Ministers) and the State Government. In this paper, the roles and powers of the executive authorities of Austria will be enumerated and explained; and the behavior of the executive authorities of Austria will be described in detail. In addition, the researcher will provide a survey that was answered by an Austrian citizen through electronic mail to gain more concrete information about the current political condition in Austria. Based on research, Austria has a remarkable political stability. This paper will develop a conceptual framework or a sample paradigm to represent the political system in Austria, focusing on its states and Executive Authorities in achieving political stability.

Keywords: Austrian politics, executive branch of the government, federal government, political stability

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2083 Development a Fine Motor and Executive Function Assessment (FiM&EF) for Assessing School Aged Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)

Authors: Negar Miri-Lavasani

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Background: Children with Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show fine motor skills difficulties, and it is controversial whether this difficulty is based on problems in their fine motor skills or their executive function impairments. Objectives of Study: The Fine Motor and Executive Function assessment tool (FiM&EF) was developed to answer the question, ‘Do the fine motor skill deficits in children with ADHD come from their fine motor problems or is it caused by their executive function problems?’. This paper describes the development of a new assessment of Fine Motor and Executive Function (FiM &EF) needed by primary school students with ADHD aged 6-12 years with ADHD. Methods: A study on the content validity established through a survey of a panel of nine experts is explained in detail. Findings: Most the experts agreed such an assessment was needed and two items were deleted as a result of experts’ feedback. Relevance to Clinical Practice: Distinguishing the main reason of fine motor problem in these children could help the clinician for their therapy plans. Knowledge on the influence of executive functioning on fine motor ability in selected age children with ADHD would provide a clearer clinical picture of the fine motor capabilities and executive function for these children.

Keywords: children with ADHD, executive function, fine motor, test

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2082 Trainability of Executive Functions during Preschool Age Analysis of Inhibition of 5-Year-Old Children

Authors: Christian Andrä, Pauline Hähner, Sebastian Ludyga

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Introduction: In the recent past, discussions on the importance of physical activity for child development have contributed to a growing interest in executive functions, which refer to cognitive processes. By controlling, modulating and coordinating sub-processes, they make it possible to achieve superior goals. Major components include working memory, inhibition and cognitive flexibility. While executive functions can be trained easily in school children, there are still research deficits regarding the trainability during preschool age. Methodology: This quasi-experimental study with pre- and post-design analyzes 23 children [age: 5.0 (mean value) ± 0.7 (standard deviation)] from four different sports groups. The intervention group was made up of 13 children (IG: 4.9 ± 0.6), while the control group consisted of ten children (CG: 5.1 ± 0.9). Between pre-test and post-test, children from the intervention group participated special games that train executive functions (i.e., changing rules of the game, introduction of new stimuli in familiar games) for ten units of their weekly sports program. The sports program of the control group was not modified. A computer-based version of the Eriksen Flanker Task was employed in order to analyze the participants’ inhibition ability. In two rounds, the participants had to respond 50 times and as fast as possible to a certain target (direction of sight of a fish; the target was always placed in a central position between five fish). Congruent (all fish have the same direction of sight) and incongruent (central fish faces opposite direction) stimuli were used. Relevant parameters were response time and accuracy. The main objective was to investigate whether children from the intervention group show more improvement in the two parameters than the children from the control group. Major findings: The intervention group revealed significant improvements in congruent response time (pre: 1.34 s, post: 1.12 s, p<.01), while the control group did not show any statistically relevant difference (pre: 1.31 s, post: 1.24 s). Likewise, the comparison of incongruent response times indicates a comparable result (IG: pre: 1.44 s, post: 1.25 s, p<.05 vs. CG: pre: 1.38 s, post: 1.38 s). In terms of accuracy for congruent stimuli, the intervention group showed significant improvements (pre: 90.1 %, post: 95.9 %, p<.01). In contrast, no significant improvement was found for the control group (pre: 88.8 %, post: 92.9 %). Vice versa, the intervention group did not display any significant results for incongruent stimuli (pre: 74.9 %, post: 83.5 %), while the control group revealed a significant difference (pre: 68.9 %, post: 80.3 %, p<.01). The analysis of three out of four criteria demonstrates that children who took part in a special sports program improved more than children who did not. The contrary results for the last criterion could be caused by the control group’s low results from the pre-test. Conclusion: The findings illustrate that inhibition can be trained as early as in preschool age. The combination of familiar games with increased requirements for attention and control processes appears to be particularly suitable.

Keywords: executive functions, flanker task, inhibition, preschool children

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2081 Relative Composition of Executive Compensation Packages, Corporate Governance and Financial Reporting Quality

Authors: Philemon Rakoto

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Most executive compensation packages consist of four major components: base fixed salary, annual and long-term non-equity incentive plans, share-based and option-based awards and pension value. According to agency theory, the relative composition of executive compensation packages is one of the mechanisms that firms use to align the interests of executives and shareholders in order to mitigate agency costs. This paper tests the effect of the relative composition of executive compensation packages on financial reporting quality. Financial reporting quality is measured by the value relevance of accounting earnings. Corporate governance is a moderating variable in the model. Using data from Canadian firms composing S&P/TSX index of the year 2013 and governance scores based on Board Games, the analysis shows that, only for firms with good governance, there is an optimal level of the proportion of executive equity-based compensation in relation to total compensation that enhances the quality of financial reporting.

Keywords: Canada, corporate governance, executive compensation packages, financial reporting quality

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2080 Executive Functions Directly Associated with Severity of Perceived Pain above and beyond Depression in the Context of Medical Rehabilitation

Authors: O. Elkana, O Heyman, S. Hamdan, M. Franko, J. Vatine

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Objective: To investigate whether a direct link exists between perceived pain (PP) and executive functions (EF), above and beyond the influence of depression symptoms, in the context of medical rehabilitation. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Rehabilitation Hospital. Participants: 125 medical records of hospitalized patients were screened for matching to our inclusion criteria. Only 60 patients were found fit and were asked to participate. 19 decline to participate on personal basis. The 41 neurologically intact patients (mean age 46, SD 14.96) that participated in this study were in their sub-acute stage of recovery, with fluent Hebrew, with intact upper limb (to neutralize influence on psychomotor performances) and without an organic brain damage. Main Outcome Measures: EF were assessed using the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and the Stop-Signal Test (SST). PP was measured using 3 well-known pain questionnaires: Pain Disability Index (PDI), The Short-Form McGill Questionnaire (SF-MPQ) and the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS). Perceived pain index (PPI) was calculated by the mean score composite from the 3 pain questionnaires. Depression symptoms were assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Results: The results indicate that irrespective of the presence of depression symptoms, PP is directly correlated with response inhibition (SST partial correlation: r=0.5; p=0.001) and mental flexibility (WSCT partial correlation: r=-0.37; p=0.021), suggesting decreased performance in EF as PP severity increases. High correlations were found between the 3 pain measurements: SF-MPQ with PDI (r=0.62, p<0.001), SF-MPQ with PCS (r=0.58, p<0.001) and PDI with PCS (r=0.38, p=0.016) and each questionnaire alone was also significantly associated with EF; thus, no specific questionnaires ‘pulled’ the results obtained by the general index (PPI). Conclusion: Examining the direct association between PP and EF, beyond the contribution of depression symptoms, provides further clinical evidence suggesting that EF and PP share underlying mediating neuronal mechanisms. Clinically, the importance of assessing patients' EF abilities as well as PP severity during rehabilitation is underscored.

Keywords: depression, executive functions, mental-flexibility, neuropsychology, pain perception, perceived pain, response inhibition

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2079 The Effects of Cardiovascular Risk on Age-Related Cognitive Decline in Healthy Older Adults

Authors: A. Badran, M. Hollocks, H. Markus

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Background: Common risk factors for cardiovascular disease are associated with age-related cognitive decline. There has been much interest in treating modifiable cardiovascular risk factors in the hope of reducing cognitive decline. However, there is currently no validated neuropsychological test to assess the subclinical cognitive effects of vascular risk. The Brief Memory and Executive Test (BMET) is a clinical screening tool, which was originally designed to be sensitive and specific to Vascular Cognitive Impairment (VCI), an impairment characterised by decline in frontally-mediated cognitive functions (e.g. Executive Function and Processing Speed). Objective: To cross-sectionally assess the validity of the BMET as a measure of the subclinical effects of vascular risk on cognition, in an otherwise healthy elderly cohort. Methods: Data from 346 participants (57 ± 10 years) without major neurological or psychiatric disorders were included in this study, gathered as part of a previous multicentre validation study for the BMET. Framingham Vascular Age was used as a surrogate measure of vascular risk, incorporating several established risk factors. Principal Components Analysis of the subtests was used to produce common constructs: an index for Memory and another for Executive Function/Processing Speed. Univariate General Linear models were used to relate Vascular Age to performance on Executive Function/Processing Speed and Memory subtests of the BMET, adjusting for Age, Premorbid Intelligence and Ethnicity. Results: Adverse vascular risk was associated with poorer performance on both the Memory and Executive Function/Processing Speed indices, adjusted for Age, Premorbid Intelligence and Ethnicity (p=0.011 and p<0.001, respectively). Conclusions: Performance on the BMET reflects the subclinical effects of vascular risk on cognition, in age-related cognitive decline. Vascular risk is associated with decline in both Executive Function/Processing Speed and Memory groups of subtests. Future studies are needed to explore whether treating vascular risk factors can effectively reduce age-related cognitive decline.

Keywords: age-related cognitive decline, vascular cognitive impairment, subclinical cerebrovascular disease, cognitive aging

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2078 Utility of Executive Function Training in Typically Developing Adolescents and Special Populations: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Authors: Emily C. Shepard, Caroline Sweeney, Jessica Grimm, Sophie Jacobs, Lauren Thompson, Lisa L. Weyandt

Abstract:

Adolescence is a critical phase of development in which individuals are prone to more risky behavior while also facing potentially life-changing decisions. The balance of increased behavioral risk and responsibility indicates the importance of executive functioning ability. In recent years, executive function training has emerged as a technique to enhance this cognitive ability. The aim of the present systematic review was to discuss the reported efficacy of executive functioning training techniques among adolescents. After reviewing 3110 articles, a total of 24 articles were identified which examined the role of executive functioning training techniques among adolescents (age 10-19). Articles retrieved demonstrated points of comparison across psychiatric and medical diagnosis, location of training, and stage of adolescence. Typically developing samples, as well as those with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), conduct disorder, and physical health concerns were found, allowing for the comparison of the efficacy of techniques considering physical and psychological heterogeneity. Among typically developing adolescents, executive functioning training yielded nonsignificant or low effect size improvements in executive functioning, and in some cases executive functioning ability was decreased following the training. In special populations, including those with ADHD, (ASD), conduct disorder, and physical health concerns significant differences and larger effect sizes in executive functioning were seen following treatment, particularly among individuals with ADHD. Future research is needed to identify the long-term efficacy of these treatments, as well as their generalizability to real-world conditions.

Keywords: adolescence, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, executive function, executive function training, traumatic brain injury

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2077 Execution Time Optimization of Workflow Network with Activity Lead-Time

Authors: Xiaoping Qiu, Binci You, Yue Hu

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The executive time of the workflow network has an important effect on the efficiency of the business process. In this paper, the activity executive time is divided into the service time and the waiting time, then the lead time can be extracted from the waiting time. The executive time formulas of the three basic structures in the workflow network are deduced based on the activity lead time. Taken the process of e-commerce logistics as an example, insert appropriate lead time for key activities by using Petri net, and the executive time optimization model is built to minimize the waiting time with the time-cost constraints. Then the solution program-using VC++6.0 is compiled to get the optimal solution, which reduces the waiting time of key activities in the workflow, and verifies the role of lead time in the timeliness of e-commerce logistics.

Keywords: electronic business, execution time, lead time, optimization model, petri net, time workflow network

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2076 Environmental Factors and Executive Functions of Children in 5-Year-Old Kindergarten

Authors: Stephanie Duval

Abstract:

The concept of educational success, combined with the overall development of the child in kindergarten, is at the center of current interests, both in research and in the environments responsible for the education of young children. In order to promote it, researchers emphasize the importance of studying the executive functions [EF] of children in preschool education. More precisely, the EFs, which refers to working memory [WM], inhibition, mental flexibility and planning, would be the pivotal element of the child’s educational success. In order to support the EFs of the child, and even his educational success, the quality of the environments is beginning to be explored more and more. The question that arises now is how to promote EFs for young children in the educational environment, in order to support their educational success? The objective of this study is to investigate the link between the quality of interactions in 5-year-old kindergarten and child’s EFs. The sample consists of 118 children (70 girls, 48 boys) in 12 classes. The quality of the interactions is observed from the Classroom Assessment Scoring System [CLASS], and the EFs (i.e., working memory, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and planning) are measured with administered tests. The hypothesis of this study was that the quality of teacher-child interactions in preschool education, as measured by the CLASS, was associated with the child’s EFs. The results revealed that the quality of emotional support offered by adults in kindergarten, included in the CLASS tool, was positively and significantly related to WM and inhibition skills. The results also suggest that WM is a key skill in the development of EFs, which may be associated with the educational success of the child. However, this hypothesis remains to be clarified, as is the link with educational success. In addition, results showed that factors associated to the family (ex. parents’ income) moderate the relationship between the domain ‘instructional support’ of the CLASS (ex. concept development) and child’s WM skills. These data suggest a moderating effect related to family characteristics in the link between ‘quality of classroom interactions’ and ‘EFs’. This project proposes, as a future avenue, to check the distinctive effect of different environments (familial and educational) on the child’s EFs. More specifically, future study could examine the influence of the educational environment on EF skills, as well as whether or not there is a moderating effect of the family environment (ex. parents' income) on the link between the quality of the interactions in the classroom and the EFs of the children, as anticipated by this research.

Keywords: executive functions [EFs], environmental factors, quality of interactions, preschool education

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2075 Separation of Powers and Judicial Review vis-a-vis Judicial Overreach in South Africa: A Critical Analysis

Authors: Linda Muswaka

Abstract:

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 ranks the Constitution as the Supreme law of the Republic. Law or conduct, inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution is invalid to the extent of the inconsistency. The Constitution binds all persons and legislative, executive and judicial organs of the State at all levels of government. The Constitution embodies a Bill of Rights and expressly allows for judicial review. The introduction of a chapter of rights requires the judiciary to examine the decisions of the legislature and the executive. In a situation where these conflicts with the Bill of Rights, the judiciary have the constitutional power to overrule such decisions. In exercising its adjudicatory and interpretative powers, the judiciary sometimes arrives at unpopular decisions and accusations of judicial overreach are made. A problem, therefore, emerges on the issue of the separation of powers and judicial review. This paper proposes to, through the South African perspective, investigate the application of the doctrine of separation of powers and judicial review. In this regard, the qualitative method of research will be employed. The reason is that it is best suited to this type of study which entails a critical analysis of legal issues. The following findings are made: (i) a complete separation of powers is not possible. This is because some overlapping of the functions of the three branches of state are unavoidable; (ii) the powers vested in the judiciary does not make it more powerful than the executive and the legislature; (iii) interference by the judiciary in matters concerning other branches is not automatically, judicial overreach; and (iv) if both the executive and legislative organs of government adhere to their constitutional obligations there would be a decrease in the need for judicial interference through court adjudication. The researcher concludes by submitting that the judiciary should not derogate from their constitutionally mandated function of judicial review. The rationale being that that if the values contained in the Constitution are not scrupulously observed and their precepts not carried out conscientiously, the result will be a constitutional crisis of great magnitude.

Keywords: constitution, judicial review, judicial overreach, separation of powers

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2074 The Behavior of The Zeros of Bargmann Analytic Functions for Multiple-Mode Systems

Authors: Muna Tabuni

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The paper contains an investigation of the behavior of the Zeros of Bargmann functions for one and two-mode systems. A brief introduction to Harmonic oscillator formalism for one and two-mode is given. The Bargmann analytic representation for one and two-mode has been studied. The zeros of Bargmann analytic function for one-mode are considered. The Q Husimi functions are introduced. The Bargmann functions and the Husimi functions have the same zeros. The Bargmann functions f(z) have exactly q zeros. The evolution time of the zeros are discussed. The zeros of Bargmann analytic functions for two-mode are introduced. Various examples have been given.

Keywords: Bargmann functions, two-mode, zeros, harmonic oscillator

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2073 Authority and Function of Administrative Organs According to the Constitution: A Construction of Democracy in the Administrative Law of Indonesia

Authors: Andhika Danesjvara, Nur Widyastanti

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The constitution regulates the forms, types, and powers of sState organs in a government. The powers of the organs are then regulated in more detail in the legislation. One of these organs is a government organ, headed by a president or by another name that serves as the main organizer of government. The laws and regulations will govern how the organs of government shall exercise their authority and functions. In a modern state, the function of enacting laws or called executive power does not exercise the functions of government alone, but there are other organs that help the government run the country. These organs are often called government agencies, government accelerating bodies, independent regulatory bodies, commissions, councils or other similar names. The legislation also limits the power of officials within the organs to keep from abusing its authority. The main question in this paper is whether organs are the implementation of a democratic country, or as a form of compromise with the power of stakeholders. It becomes important to see how the administrative organs perform their functions. The administrative organs that are bound by government procedures work in the public service; therefore the next question is how far the function of public service is appropriate and not contradictory to the constitution.

Keywords: administrative organs, constitution, democracy, government

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2072 Estimating the Efficiency of a Meta-Cognitive Intervention Program to Reduce the Risk Factors of Teenage Drivers with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder While Driving

Authors: Navah Z. Ratzon, Talia Glick, Iris Manor

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a chronic disorder that affects the sufferer’s functioning throughout life and in various spheres of activity, including driving. Difficulties in cognitive functioning and executive functions are often part and parcel of the ADHD diagnosis, and thus form a risk factor in driving. Studies examining the effectiveness of intervention programs for improving and rehabilitating driving in typical teenagers have been conducted in relatively small numbers; while studies on similar programs for teenagers with ADHD have been especially scarce. The aim of the present study has been to examine the effectiveness of a metacognitive occupational therapy intervention program for reducing risk factors in driving among teenagers with ADHD. The present study included 37 teenagers aged 17 to 19. They included 23 teenagers with ADHD divided into experimental (11) and control (12) groups; as well as 14 non-ADHD teenagers forming a second control group. All teenagers taking part in the study were examined in the Tel Aviv University driving lab, and underwent cognitive diagnoses and a driving simulator test. Every subject in the intervention group took part in 3 assessment meetings, and two metacognitive treatment meetings. The control groups took part in two assessment meetings with a follow-up meeting 3 months later. In all the study’s groups, the treatment’s effectiveness was tested by comparing monitoring results on the driving simulator at the first and second evaluations. In addition, the driving of 5 subjects from the intervention group was monitored continuously from a month prior to the start of the intervention, a month during the phase of the intervention and another month until the end of the intervention. In the ADHD control group, the driving of 4 subjects was monitored from the end of the first evaluation for a period of 3 months. The study’s findings were affected by the fact that the ADHD control group was different from the two other groups, and exhibited ADHD characteristics manifested by impaired executive functions and lower metacognitive abilities relative to their peers. The study found partial, moderate, non-significant correlations between driving skills and cognitive functions, executive functions, and perceptions and attitudes towards driving. According to the driving simulator test results and the limited sampling results of actual driving, it was found that a metacognitive occupational therapy intervention may be effective in reducing risk factors in driving among teenagers with ADHD relative to their peers with and without ADHD. In summary, the results of the present study indicate a positive direction that speaks to the viability of using a metacognitive occupational therapy intervention program for reducing risk factors in driving. A further study is required that will include a bigger number of subjects, add actual driving monitoring hours, and assign subjects randomly to the various groups.

Keywords: ADHD, driving, driving monitoring, metacognitive intervention, occupational therapy, simulator, teenagers

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2071 Chronic Cognitive Impacts of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury during Aging

Authors: Camille Charlebois-Plante, Marie-Ève Bourassa, Gaelle Dumel, Meriem Sabir, Louis De Beaumont

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To the extent of our knowledge, there has been little interest in the chronic effects of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) on cognition during normal aging. This is rather surprising considering the impacts on daily and social functioning. In addition, sustaining a mTBI during late adulthood may increase the effect of normal biological aging in individuals who consider themselves normal and healthy. The objective of this study was to characterize the persistent neuropsychological repercussions of mTBI sustained during late adulthood, on average 12 months prior to testing. To this end, 35 mTBI patients and 42 controls between the ages of 50 and 69 completed an exhaustive neuropsychological assessment lasting three hours. All mTBI patients were asymptomatic and all participants had a score ≥ 27 at the MoCA. The evaluation consisted of 20 standardized neuropsychological tests measuring memory, attention, executive and language functions, as well as information processing speed. Performance on tests of visual (Brief Visuospatial Memory Test Revised) and verbal memory (Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test and WMS-IV Logical Memory subtest), lexical access (Boston Naming Test) and response inhibition (Stroop) revealed to be significantly lower in the mTBI group. These findings suggest that a mTBI sustained during late adulthood induces lasting effects on cognitive function. Episodic memory and executive functions seem to be particularly vulnerable to enduring mTBI effects.

Keywords: cognitive function, late adulthood, mild traumatic brain injury, neuropsychology

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2070 Some Inequalities Related with Starlike Log-Harmonic Mappings

Authors: Melike Aydoğan, Dürdane Öztürk

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Let H(D) be the linear space of all analytic functions defined on the open unit disc. A log-harmonic mappings is a solution of the nonlinear elliptic partial differential equation where w(z) ∈ H(D) is second dilatation such that |w(z)| < 1 for all z ∈ D. The aim of this paper is to define some inequalities of starlike logharmonic functions of order α(0 ≤ α ≤ 1).

Keywords: starlike log-harmonic functions, univalent functions, distortion theorem

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2069 Enhancing Critical Thinking through a Virtual Learning Environment

Authors: Diana Meeks

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The use of a virtual learning environment (VLE), via the Second Life Platform has been a positive experience to enhance critical thinking, for executive graduate nursing practicum students. Due to the interest of faculty and students, the opportunity to immerse students via a virtual learning environment to enhance critical thinking related to the nurse executive role was explored. The College of Nursing realized the potential to enhance critical thinking and incorporated the Second Life, virtual learning environment platform into their graduate nursing program within their executive practicum course. The results from students and faculty regarding this experience have been positive. Students state the VLE platform has enhanced their critical thinking and interaction with peers. To date, course refinement incorporating a Second Life, virtual learning environment for the nurse executive practicum students continues. As a result, a designated subject matter expert has been designated for this course. The development and incorporation of the VLE approach will be presented.

Keywords: nursing, virtual learning environment, critical thinking, VLE

Procedia PDF Downloads 373