Tuesday, April 29, 2008

WAIS-IV available summer 2008

I haven't been paying much attention to developments regarding the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale--Fourth Edition (WAIS IV), so today I took a peak. Information is available at the publishers web site. Projected availability is summer 2008.

As expected, the revision will align the structure of the WAIS-IV to be consistent with the WPPSI-III and WISC-IV organization structures. Three new tests are available and samples can be viewed at the site. I can't wait to see some CHC-organized factor studies.

Third National School Psychology Neuropsychology Conference - July 9-12, 2008

Registration for the The Third National School Neuropsychology Conference (July 9-12; Grapevine, Texas) is now open. It looks like a very good conference with presentations/workshops on the NEPSY-II, CHC cross-battery assessment, the CAS, working memory assessment, the D-KEFS, culturally and linguistically oriented assessment, LD/RTI, etc.

The Keynote Address is by Richard Woodcock (The evolution of the assessment of cognitive functions).

Shameless plug. I'm down for an invited address (immediately following Dr. Woodcock's address) on Advances in the prediction of academic achieveming using WJ III cognitive subtests. In reality this presentation will be CHC-focused, with research derived from the WJ III serving as the primary vehicle to illuminate CHC-achievement relations. This will be similar to the first half of my NASP08 workshop were I unveiled the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) Cognitive Abilities Meta-Analysis project.

Kudos to Dr. Dan Miller for organizing an exciting conference.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Number sense can be trained. Plus Gq factor structure info

Last October I made a brief post re: the ability of number sense, an preschool skill that appears important in the development of future mathematical skill and ability development (Gq-general quantitative knowledge as per CHC theory) At that time I wondered aloud if anyone was aware of any factor analysis research of good markers of number sense abilities. This past week my prayers were answered...at least partially. Ramani and Seigler (2008) published an article in Child Development that addressed the the ability to improve number sense abilities in low-income preschool children via the playing of linear board games.

The abstract is below. The introduction provides a nice overview of the number sense literature in preschool children. Also of significant interest (to those of us working in education) was the finding that playing number board games increased number sense competencies...and...more importantly, these gains were sustained after training was completed (up to nine weeks later).

Of interest to me was the inclusion of an exploratory factor analysis of the number sense measures used in the study. The authors reported three possible number sense dimensions -- numerical magnitude, numerical identification skill, and counting skill. Currently the Gq domain in the CHC taxonomy is not well understood. Most contemporary treatments of the broad stratum II ability only lists two narrow stratum I abilities (Mathematical Knowldge, KM; Mathematical Achievement, A3). The current study suggests the Gq domain may be much more differentiated than currently understood. The three number sense factors identified in this study might represent narrow stratum I abilities in their own right, or, might represent an even narrower stratum of Gq abilities below stratum I. Only future research with a broader array of Gq variables (and other CHC ability variables) will help answer this question.

I smell some possible good dissertations.

  • Theoretical analyses of the development of numerical representations suggest that playing linear number board games should enhance young children’s numerical knowledge. Consistent with this prediction, playing such a game for roughly 1 hr increased low-income preschoolers’ (mean age 5 5.4 years) proficiency on 4 diverse numerical tasks: numerical magnitude comparison, number line estimation, counting, and numeral identification. The gains remained 9 weeks later. Classmates who played an identical game, except for the squares varying in color rather than number, did not improve on any measure. Also as predicted, home experience playing number board games correlated positively with numerical knowledge. Thus, playing number board games with children from low-income backgrounds may increase their numerical knowledge at the outset of school.

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IQ's Corner Recent LIterature of Interest 4-21-08

This weeks recent literature of interest can be found by clicking here.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

WJ III Cognitive clusters: Concurrent validity with a neuropsychological battery

I just stumbled across an interesting study in The Clinical Neuropsychologist that investigated the concurrent validity of the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics (ANAM) and the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Ability (WJ III) [Conflict of interest disclosure - I'm a co-author of the WJ III). Below is the abstract. Following the abstract are a few select findings and comments from the blogmaster. As appropriately noted by the authors (Jones et al., 2008), the results should be viewed with caution and need replication in larger and more diverse samples. The current sample was a relatively small (n=77) and homogenous/select sample of young adults (colleage undergraduate students).

  • This study examines the relationship between a computerized neuropsychological assessment battery, the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics (ANAM) and a widely used ability measure, Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Ability (WJ-III). Results indicated substantial relationship between the ANAM throughput (accuracy /response time) scores and the WJ-III Cognitive Efficiency cluster. An unexpectedly strong relationship was evident between accuracy scores on the ANAM Logical Reasoning scale and the WJ-III General Intellectual Ability score, purporting to measure the g factor. The findings support the viability of the ANAM as a time- and cost-effective tool for appraisal of cognitive function.

Although the focus of the study was validating the ANAM, given the blogmaster's interests (and most readers of this blog), I'm more interested in the validity evidence from the perspective of the WJ III measures.

First, what is the ANAM? As described by the authors, the ANAM " is a clinical subset of instruments originally developed by the Office of Military Performance Assessment Technology. The ANAM battery is comprised of a series of cognitive tasks administered and scored with a computer...the common feature in the ANAM scales is highly structured, repetitive information processing tasks with well-defined stimuli and simple response modes."

The most intriguing results, from the perspective of the WJ III, are the significant and consistent moderate to moderately high correlations between the ANAM throughput scores and the WJ-III Cognitive Efficiency (Gsm+Gs) cluster (comprised of the Visual Matching and Numbers Reversed tests). Six of these seven correlation coefficients were statistically significant (ranging from approximately .30 to .52). The authors suggest that the respective ANAM measures "appear to be tapping an underlying construct of effective initial processing of input." This finding is also consistent with the WJ III authors suggested interpretation of the Cognitive Efficiency cluster (click here for a prior post that will eventually take you, if you follow some additional links, to a more detailed discussion of cognitive efficiency and some WJ III/CHC organized studies that investigated the relations between cognitive efficiency and psychometric g)

The next intriguing finding was a .58 (when corrected for range restriction) correlation between the WJ III Fluid Reasoning (Gf) and the NAM Matching to Sample measure. As described on the official ANAM web page, the MSP test "assesses spatial processing and visuo-spatial working memory. The user views a pattern produced by eight shaded cells in a 4x4 sample grid. The sample is then removed and two comparison patterns are displayed side by side. One grid is identical to the sample grid and the other grid differs by one shaded cell. The user is instructed to press a designated button to select the grid that matches the sample." Thus, the .58 correlation, which suggests approximately 34% shared variance, suggests that performance on the WJ III Fluid Reasoning (Gf) cluster may require a significant amount of visual-spatial working memory. This would be consistent with a large body of contemporary research that suggests a strong relation between working memory and higher-order cognitive functions (often Gf and or g, general intelligence).

The third major finding of interest were the range-restricted corrected correlations of .56 and .77 bewteen the WJ III GIA (g) cluster and the ANAM Matching to Sample (MSP)and Logical Reasoning (LR) scales. According to the offical ANAM web page, the LR test "assesses abstract reasoning and verbal syntax ability by asking the user to evaluate the truth of a statement (e.g., "& comes after #") describing the order of two symbols displayed on the display (e.g., "& #"). The user presses designated buttons to indicate whether the statement is true or false."

The article also presents correlations between select individual WJ III tests and ANAM measures. I was disappointed that the authors only presented select WJ III test with ANAM measure correlations (also only select WJ III cluster with ANAM measure correlations). Additional analysis focused on the prediction of WJ III variables from the ANAM variables using multiple regression. You can read this on your own, particularly if you are interested in the ANAM.

Supplementary exploratory factor analysis (EFA) of the ANAM measures were also included. I was disappointed that the authors reported only one EFA with any WJ III measures, and then, with only the Fluid Reasoning cluster. It would have been more informative to see a joint cross-battery factor analysis that included all of the WJ III individual tests that were administered. Combined with the small and select sample size, I don't see much value in discussing the limited ANAM/WJ III EFA analysis.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Perceptual speed (Gs-P): Time to revisit CHC test classifications?

I recently read an article by Ackerman and Beier (2007) that reminded me of something I wrote in my Cattell-Horn-Caroll CHC (Gf-Gc) Theory: Past, Present and Future CIA book chapter (click here for on-line earlier version of the chapter; click here for specific section of the chapter I'm referencing).

The literature I reviewed in 2004/2005 suggested that those of us involved in the development and interpretation of intelligence tests should recognize an updated taxonomy of human speed abilities. A tentative taxonomy was presented, based on the work of others (I was just the synthesizer), that included Broad Cognitive Speed (Gs), Broad Decision Speed (Gt), and Broad Psychomotor Speed (Gps). Of particular interest to me was the suggestion that Perceptual Speed (P) may better be conceptualized as an intermediate speed ability between the broad (stratum II) and narrow (stratum I) speed abilities.

The research of Ackerman et al. suggested that the domain of Perceptual Speed might be best broken down into the sub-abilities of Perceptual Speed:Pattern Recognition (Rpr), Perceptual Speed: Scanning (Ps), Perceptual Speed: Memory (Pm), and Perceptual Speed: Complex (Pc). Definitions of these four narrow P abilities can be found at the 2004 link above, as well by visiting one of the original Ackerman et al. (2000) articles where this structure was first articulated.

In 2005, in an updated/revised CHC classification of the WJ III tests, I classified the WJ III Visual Matching and Cross Out tests as possible Ps measures. I further suggested that Pair Cancellation may be primarily a Pc test.

I would like to lay down a challenge to my fellow CHC intelligence users - how about people attempt to reclassify all P tests across the major intelligence batteries (as listed in the extensive CHC Cross-Battery publications of Flanagan et al.) as per the Ackerman four sub-P abilities? Maybe the results might help us better understand why performance on P tests often vary within test profiles and research studies. If nothing else, I'd like some feedback, challenges, revisions, suggestions, etc. to my reclassification of the three WJ III tests listed above.

Just a "Friday-afternoon-stuck-in-my-home-office-due-to-a-late-winter-storm-in-MN" idea.

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IQ's Corner Recent Literature of interest 4-10-08

This weeks (actually, the last two weeks) recent literature of interest can be found by clicking here.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Random Tidbits from Mind Blogosphere 4-9-08

  • BioBehavioral blog has a number of interesting FYI posts re: an issue of Nature that deals with "concept quantum mechanics in the brain" and the interesting and expanding field of neuroeconomics as discussed in a article in one of my favorite journals - Trends in Cognitive Sciences.
  • A nice overview of the status of traumatic brain injury ("A silent epidemic") at the GNIF Brain Blogger.
  • Thanks (as usual) to Sharp Brains for the FYI regarding a just-published 24-page publication on Preventing Memory Loss by Congressional Quarterly Researcher.
  • A self-serving plug regarding my recent post regarding a Scientific American Mind article that provides an overview of the human brain clock...over at my IQ Brain Clock blog.

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IQs Corner Book Nook APA Reviews 4-9-08

A new issue of PsycCRITIQUES is available online.

April 9, 2008
Volume 53, Issue 15

Book Reviews
1. Contingency Management in Substance Abuse Treatment
Authors: Stephen T. Higgins, Kenneth Silverman, and Sarah H. Heil (Eds.)
Reviewers: Mark S. Gold and Lisa J. Merlo

2. The Gestural Origin of Language
Authors: David F. Armstrong and Sherman E. Wilcox
Reviewer: Jason T. Ramsay

3. Rise and Shine: Sunlight, Technology and Health
Author: Simon Carter
Reviewers: Anne Moyer and Sarah K. Knapp

4. Socioemotional Development in the Toddler Years: Transitions and Transformations
Authors: Celia A. Brownell and Claire B. Kopp (Eds.)
Reviewer: Bruce B. Henderson

5. Internships: Theory and Practice
Authors: Charles H. Sides and Ann Mrvica
Reviewer: Patricia L. Wolleat

6. Criminal Profiling: International Theory, Research, and Practice
Author: Richard N. Kocsis (Ed.)
Reviewer: David L. Shapiro

7. Working Memory, Thought, and Action
Author: Alan Baddeley
Reviewer: David W. Carroll

8. Coercion as Cure: A Critical History of Psychiatry
Author: Thomas S. Szasz
Reviewer: Jay Joseph

9. Paying the Tab: The Costs and Benefits of Alcohol Control
Author: Philip J. Cook
Reviewer: Eugene H. Rubin

10. Hypothetical Thinking: Dual Processes in Reasoning and Judgement
Author: Jonathan St. B. T. Evans
Reviewer: Christopher A. Was

11. Taking America Off Drugs: Why Behavioral Therapy is More Effective for Treating ADHD, OCD, Depression, and Other Psychological Problems
Author: Stephen Ray Flora
Reviewers: Christina S. McCrae and Daniel B. Kay

Film Review
12. Once
Director: John Carney
Reviewer: Theresa A. Thorkildsen

IQ Brain Clock article in Scientific American Mind

FYI. If you are interested in the IQ Brain Clock, check out post re: recent popular press article in Scientific American Mind posted at IQ's Corner sister blog--the IQ Brain Clock.

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