Thursday, March 07, 2013

Research Byte: Implications of Infant Cognition for Executive Functions at Age 11

Implications of Infant Cognition for Executive Functions at Age 11

Rose, SA; Feldman, JF; Jankowski, JJ

*PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE*, 23 (11):1345-1355; NOV 2012

Recent work suggests that executive functions, the cornerstone of
higher-level cognitive operations, are driven by basic information
processing abilities. Using structural equation modeling, with latent
variables, the present study provides the first evidence that this
driving force begins in infancy, such that abilities in infancy predict
executive functions at age 11. Information processing abilities in three
domains (attention, processing speed, and memory) were assessed when
participants were infants (7 and 12 months) and toddlers (24 and 36
months) and were used to predict three executive functions (working
memory, inhibition, and shifting) when participants were 11 years old. A
model relating infant abilities to age-11 executive functions fit well,
and accounted for 9% to 19% of the variance in the executive functions.
Paths from both Speed and Memory in infancy to age-11 Working Memory
were significant, as was the path from Speed in infancy to age-11
Shifting. A model using abilities in toddlerhood as predictors fit
similarly. These findings implicate early basic cognitive abilities in
the development of executive functions.

No comments: