ERIC Number: EJ1139540
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 17
Validating the Electric Maze Task as a Measure of Planning
Sheppard, Kelly W.; Cheatham, Carol L.
Journal of Cognition and Development, v18 n2 p309-322 2017
The Electric Maze Task (EMT) is a novel planning task designed to allow flexible testing of planning abilities across a broad age range and to incorporate manipulations to test underlying planning abilities, such as working-memory and inhibitory control skills. The EMT was tested in a group of 63 typically developing 7- to 12-year-olds. Participants completed 4 mazes designed to alter working-memory demands (by increasing the number of steps required from 6 to 8) and inhibitory control demands (by using a modified Dimensional Change Card Sort task) and 3 standardized measures using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. The EMT was found to correlate with measures of visual memory, working memory, and planning. The 6-step mazes were simpler for participants to solve and mapped on to performance on the visual memory task. The 8-step mazes were more difficult and mapped on to performance on the spatial working-memory and planning tasks. Children who were 10 to 12 years old were also better than 7- to 9-year-olds at solving all mazes, as evidenced by fewer errors and fewer errors later in solving the mazes. Younger children also struggled more than older children after a rule switch. Performance on the maze task differentiated 7- to 12-year-old children with better planning skills, and manipulations of the maze task were successful in altering the working-memory and inhibitory control demands.
Descriptors: Planning, Children, Preadolescents, Short Term Memory, Inhibition, Correlation, Age Differences, Cognitive Development, Paired Associate Learning, Statistical Analysis, Factor Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A