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Although the structure of executive function (EF) during adulthood is characterized by both unity and diversity, recent evidence suggests that preschool EF may be best described by a single factor. The latent structure of EF was examined in 228 3-year-olds using confirmatory factor analysis. Children completed a battery of executive tasks that differed in(More)
Preschoolers' lack of cognitive flexibility has often been attributed to perseverative processing. This study investigates alternative potential sources of difficulty such as deficits in activating previously ignored information and in maintaining currently relevant information. In Experiment 1, a new task tapping attentional switching was designed to(More)
Three experiments examined the difficulty of translating cues into verbal representations of task goals by varying the degree of cue transparency (auditory transparent cues, visual transparent cues, visual arbitrary cues) in the Advanced Dimensional Change Card Sort, which requires switching between color- and shape-sorting rules on the basis of cues.(More)
This study investigated the visual information that children and adults consider while switching or maintaining object-matching rules. Eye movements of 5- and 6-year-old children and adults were collected with two versions of the Advanced Dimensional Change Card Sort, which requires switching between shape- and color-matching rules. In addition to a(More)
This study addressed the respective contributions of inhibition and working memory to two underlying components of flexibility, goal representation (as assessed by mixing costs) and switch implementation (as assessed by local costs), across the preschool period. By later preschool age (4 years, 6 months and 5 years, 3 months), both inhibition and(More)
It is now well established in the adult literature that the ability to engage in flexible thought and action is a complex skill that relies on a number of underlying processes. The development of this skill has received growing interest in recent years. However, theories explaining children's ability to switch between different tasks typically focus on a(More)
Despite acknowledgement of the importance of executive control for learning and behavior, there is a dearth of research charting its developmental trajectory as it unfolds against the background of children's sociofamilial milieus. Using a prospective, cohort-sequential design, this study describes growth trajectories for inhibitory control and cognitive(More)
How do we stop ourselves during ongoing action? Recent work implies that stopping per se is easy given sufficient monitoring of contextual cues signaling the need to change action. We test key implications of this idea for improving inhibitory control. Seven- to 9-year-old children practiced stopping an ongoing action or monitoring for cues that signaled(More)
Executive control development typically has been conceptualized to result from quantitative changes in the efficiency of the underlying processes. In contrast, the present study addressed the possibility of qualitative change with age by examining how children and adults detect task switches. Participants in three age groups (5- and 10-year-old children,(More)
This study addressed the role of goal representation in preschoolers' inhibition and flexibility performance. A total of 56 4- and 5-year-olds were tested in an adapted version of the Shape School task where the difficulty of goal representation was manipulated by varying the degree of transparency of task cues. The findings showed that both age groups'(More)