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ERIC Number: EJ849438
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1363-755X
Training and Transfer Effects of Executive Functions in Preschool Children
Thorell, Lisa B.; Lindqvist, Sofia; Nutley, Sissela Bergman; Bohlin, Gunilla; Klingberg, Torkel
Developmental Science, v12 n1 p106-113 Jan 2009
Executive functions, including working memory and inhibition, are of central importance to much of human behavior. Interventions intended to improve executive functions might therefore serve an important purpose. Previous studies show that working memory can be improved by training, but it is unknown if this also holds for inhibition, and whether it is possible to train executive functions in preschoolers. In the present study, preschool children received computerized training of either visuo-spatial working memory or inhibition for 5 weeks. An active control group played commercially available computer games, and a passive control group took part in only pre- and posttesting. Children trained on working memory improved significantly on trained tasks; they showed training effects on non-trained tests of spatial and verbal working memory, as well as transfer effects to attention. Children trained on inhibition showed a significant improvement over time on two out of three trained task paradigms, but no significant improvements relative to the control groups on tasks measuring working memory or attention. In neither of the two interventions were there effects on non-trained inhibitory tasks. The results suggest that working memory training can have significant effects also among preschool children. The finding that inhibition could not be improved by either one of the two training programs might be due to the particular training program used in the present study or possibly indicate that executive functions differ in how easily they can be improved by training, which in turn might relate to differences in their underlying psychological and neural processes.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A