Executive Functions

Question Answer
The Executive Function (EF) account of cognitive development relates changes in children's thinking and logic to _________ development (in particular the ____________ cortex/f_______ lobes brain, prefrontal, frontal
EF's refer to general abilities that underlie performance on ____ tasks including abilities that develop with ____ such as p_______, _____ memory, and _____ of processing, monitoring how you doing (_____________) and checking outcomes. cognitive, age, planning, working, speed, metacognition
Executive functions also involve the ability to d_____ responding and in________ behaviour, to shift between activities f_______ and to plan for the future, and allow us to organise and order our actions, behaviour and ________. delay, initiate, flexibly, thought
What are example of Executive Functions? Planning, WM, Speed of processing, monitoring how your doing/ur progress (metacognition) and checking outcomes, delay responding, initiate behaviour and shift between activities flexibly, and allow us to organise and order our actions, behaviour & thought
What example of an executive function is this describing? "sitting in an exam and having to block out noisy machines – so inhibiting this noise so you can focus on the task" Shifting between activities flexibly is sort of an example of this inhibition ability.
What example of executive function is this describing? "lets say you have been going one thing and you have to stop doing it and start doing something else" Shifting between tasks flexibly
Executive functions develop with ____. So the typical kid will have very poor pl_______, poor in____ and poor impulse _______ as some examples. age, planning, inhibition, impulse control
How do we measure executive functions? You can use brain scans such as _____ and ____. OR you can just give them a task and look at their performance and decide if there is a problem due to EF difficulties. What are 2 examples of tasks we learnt in class? MRI and fMRI, Wisconsin Card sorting task (WCST) and The Stroop task
One way to measure executive functions is to do a brain scan where you look at blood flow while person does an executive function task. What brain scan is this? fMRI
One way to measure executive functions is to do a brain scan where you look at the volume of white and grey matter. What brain scan is this? MRI
fMRI and MRI are example of n___________________ assessment of executive functions. Most of these tests that are sensitive to EF's assess "_________ order" cognitive processes such as _____ and _______ inhibition neuropsychological, higher, planning, response inhibition
What does WCST stand for? Wisconsin Card Sorting Task
The Wisconsin Card Sorting task (WCST) is a sorting task where subjects have to sort cards into piles according to a ___ that is unspecific or specific?. This rule is changed intermittently rule, unspecific
What does the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task measure? The ability to shift thinking in response to a changing environment (changing rule)
So with the WSCT when the examiner changes the rule (without saying anything) the subject has to l_______ the new rules learn
There are two typical frontal lobe errors that can result from the WCST. What are these? 1. Preservation where subject is persistent with a mental activity without the ability of shifting easily to another. 2. Extreme case of disconnection between intention and action
What does this refer to? " a psychological test of mental vitality and flexibility. If a word is printed or displayed in colour different from the colour it actually names" The Stroop Task
If the word green is written in blue ink what colour woud we more readily say? Why is this? And what task does this relate to? Green because it is more automatic for us to read words, we cant stop ourselves, the Stroop task
What does the the Stroop Task measure? Inhibition as you have to inhibit or stop one response and say or do something else
They continue to sort with "colour" even though rule has changed to "form" and they are getting neg. feedback for "colour". What does this refer to? One of the frontal lobe errors that results from the WSCT.
To overcome the automatic response of reading the name of the colour spelt rather than naming the colour it is printed in, what do you have to do? You have to inhibit saying/focusing on the name of the colour it is printed in.
With the Stroop Task when you inhibit the colour the word is printed in, does this make you faster at the task? NO, it makes you slower than if the words were all printed in same colour or if the ink colour was consistent with colour spelt.
The Stroop Effect is an error where there is a d_____ between the two cues and you have trouble suppressing one of these cues causing performance to be s____, mistakes such as naming the ____ rather than the s_____ colour and intrusion errors e.g….? discordance, slower, ink, spelt, saying "gred"
"In extreme cases the disconnection between intention and action" What does this refer to? One of the frontal lobe errors that results from the WSCT.
With the Stroop task you have to i______ the ink colour and this makes you s______. So you are slower at naming spelt words when they have contradictory ink colour than when they are printed all ____ colour or in colours con_____ with how each are spelt. inhibit, slower, one, consistent
So the _______ ________ ________ task and the _________ test our _____________ ____________ and people with damage to their ____________ ___________ have more difficulty in these tasks Wisconsin Card Sorting task, Stroop, Executive Functions, frontal lobes.
The frontal lobes are at the ______ of the brain. And the very front of the frontal lobes is the __________ cortex and after this is the _________ cortex. And these frontal lobes are what mediated our _____________ _____________. front, prefrontal, frontal, executive functions
The class of cogn. abilities collectively known as "EF's" (e.g. inhibitory control, WM, planning, problem-solving, selective attention, personality & a variety of "higher cogn. functions" including behaviour & emotions are thought to be localized where? The Frontal Lobes
How much percentage do the frontal lobes occupy/make up fo an adult human brain? And they are typically thought to be responsible for ________ order thought and complex thought 40%, higher
What does this refer to? "the finding that naming a colour of a set of words all in the same blue ink is easier and quicker than naming the colour printed in inconsistent ink" The Stroop effect
In terms of the physiology of the frontal lobes, it can be split into what three parts? Prefrontal area, premotor area, and motor area
In terms of the motor area in the Frontal Lobes, the bigger the body the more of this ______/_______ we need. A whale have a huge brain which is devoted to the movement of its body because the whale is so huge. cortex/area
So the anterior/________ portion of the frontal lobe is called the __________ cortex. It is very important for the "higher cognitive functions" and the determination of p__________. front, prefrontal, personality
The posterior/_____ of the frontal lobe consists of the _________ and ________ areas. Nerve cells that are located in these ______ areas and produce movement while the ________ areas serve to modify movement back, premotor and motor, motor, premotor
What do our frontal lobes do? They integrate information if there is a limited capacity system and there are rich connection between frontal lobes and lower brain and cortex so it is the most highly connected area of the brain
The frontal lobes are the most highly connected area of the brain – its has rich connection with the ______ brain and the c_______ lower, cortex
Development of the frontal lobes is slow or fast? SLOW – it is the last area of the brain to mature
Which part of the frontal lobes determines our personality? Prefrontal cortex
What type of cells produce movement and are located in the motor area? nerve cells
The development of the frontal lobes is SLOW – it is the last area of the brain to mature BUT it is the….? …first to deteriorate in old age
The Development is pr__________ (lasting for a long time). Is the last area to mature but the first to __________ in old age protracted, deteriorate
Which part of the frontal lobes determines our "higher order functions" such as behaviour and emotions and executive functioning? Prefrontal cortex
There is a spurt in development of our frontal lobes between _____ and __ years old and a smalled spurt between ____ and ___ years old. BUT then there is a slow growth until adulthood – our frontal lobes are not fully mature until about ___ to ___ years. birth, 2, 4, 7, 14. 20
What has been argued as an explanation for teenage risky behaviour? The fact that teenagers frontal lobes are not fully developed
In terms of FL physiological development there is a spurt in cell density in the frontal lobes at __ years but not elsewhere (e.g. motor cortex) 17
So at what age is there a spurt in cell density in the frontal lobes only? 17
In terms of FL physiological development EEG coherence (the n________ and st_____ of connections between spatially distant generators in dif. parts of brain) increase from age ___ to ________ in the frontal lobes number and strength, 14 to adulthood
EEG coherence refers to? The number and strength of connections between spatially different generators in different parts of the brain.
EEG coherence increases in the frontal lobes when? between 14 years to adulthood
In terms of FL physiological development myelination in the frontal lobes is not complete until about age ___ WHEREAS myelination is complete in the sensory and motor areas by age __. So huge difference! 20, 2
There is a huge difference between the development of myelination in the frontal lobes compared with in the sensory and motor areas, why is this? Because myelination in FL's does not development until 20 years old but myelination develops in sensory and motor areas by age 2!
In terms of FL physiological development, cortical fissurations spurt in the frontal lobes at ages __ and __ and this increase in cortical fissurations helps children to refine and control b_______. So this is not particularly changing. 2 and 6, behaviour
In terms of FL physiological development. synaptic density is at its peak in the frontal lobes at age __(while in the brain as a whole synaptic density is at its peak at age __). Then there is a gradual ____ and therefore our competence may depend on…? 2, 3, pruning, may depend on this elimination of unproductive/useless neural tissue (- so this is not changing particularly early either)
In video of teenagers doing risky behaviour, they said that when you take a risk there is a release in ___________ and that this release is r____________ (like a feeling of _______). They have found bigger release in ______ during teenage years dopamine, rewarding, adrenalin, dopamine
With the increase in release of _________ in teenage years which is argued to cause risky behaviour this is like being addicted to a drug where the neurotransmitter _________ is the _____. dopamine, dopamine, drug
The frontal lobes are the first parts of the brain to increase or decline with old age? decline
Cortical fissurations that spurt at ages 2 and 6 help to do what? Help children refine and control behaviour
In old age we see a decrease in what 8 things? Size. volume, cell density, mass of frontal lobes, decrease in size of frontal lobes size of neurons, horizontal dendrites, synaptic density and an accelerated decrease in cerebral blood flow.
__________ dendrites decline in frontal lobes in old age and these are thought to allow for i__________ Horizontal, inhibition
So as we age the volume of our FL increases or decreases? What do we find if we split the frontal lobes into grey and white matter? decreases. Grey matter (unmyelinated matter) decreases from our 20s! and white matter increases till 40s or 50s and then decreases due to reduction in myelination
Are reductions of white and grey matter larger or smalled in frontal lobes than anywhere else in the brain? Larger
The white matter reduction in the frontal lobes is very r_____ so that by the time you are 70 you have already lost more white matter than ________ _________ even though you started losing grey matter 30 years before you started losing white matter! rapid, grey matter
What causes reductions in grey matter (i.e. what do reductions in grey matter involve)? Shrinkage in larger neurons rather than neuron deaths
Reduction in greymatter is caused by shrinkages in ____ neurons rather than ______ ______. E.g.reduction of pyramidal neurons in the OFC (____ ____ ____)-the primary projection neurons in cortex so your losing connections between ___ ___ and other areas. larger, neuron deaths, ortical frontal lobes, frontal lobes
The time course of frontal lobe development allows us to study the relation between physiological change and __________ change – because we know the FL's are developing ____ we can look at behaviour & see how their behaviour links to their brain devel. behaviour, slower
In terms of decline in volume of our frontal lobes as we get older, our white matter increases till our ___ or ___ and then decreases after this. Why does it decreases? 40s, 50s, because of a reduction in myelination
Frontal development is taking place across periods when children can perform cognitive tasks and their performance can be related to the presumed st______ of their _______ lobes. e.g with what task? state, frontal, the A-not-B error task
So poor performance of infants on the A-not-B task has been related to the frontal lobes deficiencies and in particular to a lack of what two EF skills? inhibition and attention
So with the A-not-B error there are two _____________ function explanations which are lack in? executive, inhibition and attention
The A-not-B error could be due to attention because as you move A and B locations further apart….? the baby cannot see the A as well so the A does not capture their attention and there for they do not make the A-not B error
The A-not-B error cannot be just inhibition because the inhibitory p____ to A should be the same whether A and B are far apart or ….? pull, close together
Both lack of inhibition and attention are executive function explanations for the A-not-B error and this is not surprising because infants at this age have frontal lobes that are ….? very undeveloped
Lady in video said that the anterior prefrontal cortex shows increase in activity between __ and __ years old. And this is interesting cos this area is involved in _____ _____ e.g. moral judgment. SO more blood flow in this area & incr. in ability to….? 6 and 13 years, social evaluation, increase in ability to evaluate social acts.
The way that kids can be cruel to others has the explanation that their brain, in a particular the ______ ______ cortex has not developed fully. So they are not reasoning about their social acts in the same ways as adults anterior prefrontal
What are the four main things that can happen to someone with frontal lobe damage? Cognitive inflexibility (lack in reactive and spontaneous flexibility), Lack in self-regulation, Effects on Working Memory, Are socially inappropriate,
There are two type sof cognitive inflexibilities that people with frontal lobe damage can have. What are they and describe the task to test each Lack in reactive flexibility and use WCST to test this as errors are because they cant change their 'cognitive set', and lack in spontaneous flexibility and test this by asking them how many words they can think of beginning with F.
Lack in Self-regulation: They have poor monitoring of _____ and of incoming _____, they dont use ____-memory strategies to remember things, dont make g___ or p____, dont initiate b___, dont correct themselves and dont ____ their behaviour self, information, meta-memory, goals, plans, behaviour, inhibit
Effects on working memory from damaged frontal lobes can take many years to reveal itself. Use the example of the child to explain this.. If a child falls off bike, injures brain and is in coma, the effects of this may not be noticeable til he is an adult years later because typical kid behaviour is also typical behaviour you see in people with frontal lobe damage.
With social inappropriate effect from frontal lobe damage, people develop __________ syndrome where they are disinhibited (are i_____ and cant in______ behaviour) will say & do ____ thing that comes to mind without considering c____ or the social c_____ characteristic syndrome, impulsive, inhibit, first, consequences, correctness
If you ask someone do come up with as many words as they can starting with F and they can only come up with one such as 'fart' what could you conclude? That they have some frontal lobe damage because this is testing their spontaneous flexibility which is an executive function.
While much of their behaviour becomes antisocial, people with damaged frontal lobes are very unlikely to engage in serious crime such as premeditated murder. Why is this? Because they cannot make and carry out any long-term plans, good or bad
There are two type sof cognitive inflexibilities that people with frontal lobe damage can have. What are they and describe the task to test each Lack in reactive flexibility and use WCST to test this as errors are because they cant change their 'cognitive set', and lack in spontaneous flexibility and test this by asking them how many words they can think of beginning with F.
Phineas Gage had a tamping iron through his skull. His language, memory and physical abilities were unaffected but he became….? unreliable, disrespectful, lacked social skill, was rude and foul-mouthed. So basically his personality changed
If someone makes errors in the WCST (e.g. play by previous rule even tho they are getting neg. feedback) what can you conclude? That they have some frontal lobe damage as this is testing their reactive flexibility wich is an executive function. Instead they perseverate, cant change their 'cognitive set'
The tamping rod that went into Phineas Gage's head took out which part of the frontal lobes? The anterior portion of frontal lobes
Read through what happened over JP's childhood.
JP seemed to be developing normally at age __ where he could talk and ____ and had no r___________ 3, walk, retardation
At age ___ JP wandered long distances from home and had no _____ about being lost BUT he persisted normally in a________ a__________. So something is going on ate this age, manifesting at age ___ 3, anxiety, academic achievement, 3
At age 6 to 8 JP engage in public _________ and fl_____ people and d______ in a class mates glove 6 to 8, masturbation, flashed, defecated
At age __ he was performing poorly a___________ and his classmates disliked him 9, academically
At age __ he was referred to a clinic where he was cooperative, courteous and agreed with the clinicians interpretations and recommendations but…..? He never made any effort to implement them
JP's IQ score was ___ so in normal range 92
JP was bad at p________-type tests which required him to keep a _____ in mind and in______ overt action. He was self-confident, im______ and boastful (lack in self-____________) while performing these tests. puzzle, goal, inhibit, impulsive, self-appropriateness
In adulthood what did they find out about JP, that was causing his antisocial behaviours? That he had a cyst in his frontal lobes
JP had a cyst in his frontal lobes. This cyst did not effect his ______ area or ______ cortex so his language and physical abilities were unaffected. Broca's, motor
There have been claims that Schizophrenia are related to _________ __________? Frontal Lobes
Schizo fMRIs show that there is reduced blood flow in the _________ lobes Frontal
Schizos have a thinner ________ cortex and there is widening in _____ especially in temporal and ______ lobes frontal, sulci, frontal
The negative symptoms of schizo include loss of _________ functions such as pl______ and ________ memory. executive, planning, working memory
What reasons do we think that schizophrenia is related to frontal lobe deficits? There are five main reasons Have less blood flow in FL's, thinner frontal cortex & wider sulci in FL's, neg. symptoms include loss in EF's such as planning & WM, they are hypofrontal (less activation while doing FL tasks(WCST), they have less connectivity betw. frontal & temp. lobes
How many models of executive function are there and what are they called? two inhibition and inhibition + working memory
Dempster came up with model 1 (___________) and referred to the rise and fall of the __________ mechanism inhibition, inhibitory
Why did Dempster come up with rise and fal of inhibitory mechanism in his model? Write this out
Depster used WCST as example of rise & fall of inhibitory mechanism where categories achieved had rapid improvement between _ and _, ware adult like by ___ but 60-80 year olds much worse than 20s. Perseveration errors are adultlike by _ but decline later 6 and 7, 10, 12
Depster used Stroop task as an example of rise and fall of inhibitory mechanism where improvement until __________ and then a decline at age 65 to 80. Most common errors were _______ errors (gred) adulthood, intrusion
If you look at the response you have to inhibit, in which task is this response stronger (harder to inhibit)? Why? The Stroop Task, because we have been reading our whole lives whereas in WCST we have only been making response to rule of r10 trials.
Which task has stronger working memory demand? WCST, because have to remember previous feedback and sorts, process current feedback and infer what current rule is whereas with Stroop task only have to remember instruction – keep instruction active
The WM demands are higher or lower in WCST and inhibition demands are higher or lower on Stroop Task? Higher, Higher
In terms of the WCST and Stroop task, what does Prepotent response refer to and what does correct response refer to? Prepotent response is response you want to inhibit (sorting by previous rule, naming spelt colour) and correct response are the responses you want to make (sorting by new rule, naming ink colour)
If a kid has difficulty in the WCST but not in the Stroop tasking, using model two what could you infer? That the kid has impaired working memory while his inhibition is still all good.
If a kid does worse on Stroop task and fine in WCST task, using model two what could you infer? That his inhibition is impaired but his working memory is fine.
Is model One (inhibition) or model Two (inhibition + working memory) correct? Either, there is not enough data. Because there are actually lots of other skills involved in these tasks such as inhibition being related to attention, model one is more comprehension but niether are perfect.

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