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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access permissions





Organisational units


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.


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

Bibliographic note

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

View graph of relations

ID: 64344260

Related by journal
  1. Number Representations Drive Number-Line Estimates

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Linguistic and Cultural Variation in Early Color Word Learning

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle