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Executive function and developmental disorders: the flip side of the coin

Johnson, Mark H. (2012) Executive function and developmental disorders: the flip side of the coin. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 16 (9), pp. 454-457. ISSN 1364-6613.

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Several common developmental disorders emerge during early to middle childhood (e.g. autism, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder) and are associated with impairments in executive function (EF). Contrary to the prevailing view, I suggest that, within populations at-risk, the association with EF is found because individuals with strong EF skills are better able to compensate for atypicalities in other brain systems early in life, and are therefore less likely to receive a diagnosis later in life. I discuss evidence consistent with this view from considerations of individual variability, neuroimaging, and genetics. To the extent that this view is correct, it offers hope for remediation of some later emerging symptoms, as evidence from typical groups indicates that training programs for EF in preschoolers may be effective in improving skills.

Item Type: Article
School: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Research Centre: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2012 15:05
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2016 11:45

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