Tuesday, March 16, 2010

iPost: Neuropsych res: Working memory, ADHD, aging,cbipolar

Neuropsychology - Vol 24, Iss 2
Neuropsychology focuses on (a) basic research, (b) the integration of basic and applied research, and (c) improved practice in the field of neuropsychology. The primary function of Neuropsychology is to publish original, empirical research on the relation between brain and human cognitive, emotional, and behavioral function.

Does the meaning of neurocognitive change change with age?

Sun, Mar 14 2010 10:00 PM 
by Salthouse, Timothy A.
Significant declines in longitudinal comparisons of neurocognitive performance are seldom evident until adults are in their 60s or older, but relatively little is known about the existence, or nature, of age-related changes at earlier periods in adulthood. The current research was designed to address this issue by examining characteristics of change in measures from 12 neuropsychological and cognitive tests at different periods in adulthood. Although change was largely positive for adults under about 55 years of age and frequently negative for adults at older ages, the reliabilities of the changes in the neuropsychological and cognitive variables were similar at all ages. Furthermore, there were few systematic relations of age on the reliability-adjusted correlations between the changes in composite scores representing different abilities. These results imply that although neurocognitive declines may not be apparent at young ages because of positive retest effects or other factors, at least in some respects longitudinal changes may have nearly the same meaning across all of adulthood. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

Are working memory deficits in bipolar disorder markers for psychosis?

Sun, Mar 14 2010 10:00 PM 
by Allen, Daniel N.; Randall, Carol; Bello, Danielle; Armstrong, Christina; Frantom, Linda; Cross, Chad; Kinney, Jefferson
Working memory deficits have been identified in bipolar disorder, but there is evidence suggesting that these deficits may be markers for psychosis rather than affective disorder. The current study examined this issue by comparing two groups of individuals with bipolar disorder, one with psychotic features and one without psychotic features, with a group of normal controls. Working memory was conceptualized as a multicomponent system that includes auditory and visuospatial short-term stores, executive control processes, and an episodic buffer that allows for communication between short- and long-term memory stores (Baddeley & Logie, 1999). Results indicated that only executive control processes significantly differentiated the psychotic and nonpsychotic bipolar groups, although visuospatial working memory differentiated both bipolar groups from controls. The results support the idea that some aspects of working memory performance are markers for psychosis, while others may be more general markers for bipolar disorders. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

The relationship between working memory capacity and executive functioning: Evidence for a common executive attention construct.

Sun, Mar 14 2010 10:00 PM 
by McCabe, David P.; Roediger, Henry L.; McDaniel, Mark A.; Balota, David A.; Hambrick, David Z.
Attentional control has been conceptualized as executive functioning by neuropsychologists and as working memory capacity by experimental psychologists. We examined the relationship between these constructs using a factor analytic approach in an adult life span sample. Several tests of working memory capacity and executive function were administered to more than 200 subjects between 18 and 90 years of age, along with tests of processing speed and episodic memory. The correlation between working memory capacity and executive functioning constructs was very strong (r = .97), but correlations between these constructs and processing speed were considerably weaker (rs ˜ .79). Controlling for working memory capacity and executive function eliminated age effects on episodic memory, and working memory capacity and executive function accounted for variance in episodic memory beyond that accounted for by processing speed. We conclude that tests of working memory capacity and executive function share a common underlying executive attention component that is strongly predictive of higher level cognition. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

To act or not to act, that's the problem: Primarily inhibition difficulties in adult ADHD.

Sun, Mar 14 2010 10:00 PM 
by Boonstra, A. Marije; Kooij, J. J. Sandra; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Sergeant, Joseph A.; Buitelaar, Jan K.
Forty-nine carefully diagnosed adults with persistent attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), who had never been medicated for their ADHD, were compared with 49 normal control adults matched for age and gender on a large battery of tests in five domains of executive functioning (inhibition, fluency, planning, working memory, and set shifting) and several other neuropsychological functions to control for nonexecutive test demands. After stringent controls for nonexecutive function demands and IQ, adults with ADHD showed problems in inhibition and set shifting but not in any of the other executive functioning domains tested. We argue that adult ADHD may be mainly a disorder of inhibition. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

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