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Empirical tests of a brain-based model of executive function development

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Abstract

Executive function (EF) plays a foundational role in development. A brain-based model of EF development is probed for the experiences that strengthen EF in the dimensional change card sort task in which children sort cards by one rule and then are asked to switch to another. Three-year-olds perseverate on the first rule, failing the task, whereas 4-year-olds pass. Three predictions of the model are tested to help 3-year-olds (N = 54) pass. Experiment 1 shows that experience with shapes and the label “shape” helps children. Experiment 2 shows that experience with colors—without a label—helps children. Experiment 3 shows that experience with colors induces dimensional attention. The implications of this work for early intervention are discussed.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-226
Number of pages17
JournalChild Development
Volume90
Issue number1
Early online date19 Jun 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
Peer-reviewedYes

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