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Enhancing the executive functions of 3-year-olds in the Dimensional Change Card Sort task

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Abstract

Executive functions enable flexible thinking, something young children are notoriously bad at. For instance, in the dimensional change card sort (DCCS) task, 3-year-olds can sort cards by one dimension (shape), but continue to sort by this dimension when asked to switch (to color). This study tests a prediction of a dynamic neural field model that prior experience with the postswitch dimension can enhance 3-year-olds' performance in the DCCS. In Experiment 1A, a matching game was used to preexpose 3-year-olds (n = 36) to color. This facilitated switching from sorting by shape to color. In , 3-year-olds (n = 18) were preexposed to shape. This did not facilitate switching from sorting by color to shape. The model was used to explain this asymmetry.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)812-827
Number of pages16
JournalChild Development
Volume86
Issue number3
Early online date1 Dec 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2015
Peer-reviewedYes

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© 2014 The Authors. Child Development © 2014 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

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