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Multitasking: Executive Functioning in Dual-Task and Task Switching Situations

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889454532 Year: Pages: 196 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-453-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-11-16 17:17:57
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Multitasking refers to performance of multiple tasks. The most prominent types of multitasking are situations including either temporal overlap of the execution of multiple tasks (i.e., dual tasking) or executing multiple tasks in varying sequences (i.e., task switching). In the literature, numerous attempts have aimed at theorizing about the specific characteristics of executive functions that control interference between simultaneously and/or sequentially active component of task-sets in these situations. However, these approaches have been rather vague regarding explanatory concepts (e.g., task-set inhibition, preparation, shielding, capacity limitation), widely lacking theories on detailed mechanisms and/ or empirical evidence for specific subcomponents. The present research topic aims at providing a selection of contributions on the details of executive functioning in dual-task and task switching situations. The contributions specify these executive functions by focusing on (1) fractionating assumed mechanisms into constituent subcomponents, (2) their variations by age or in clinical subpopulations, and/ or (3) their plasticity as a response to practice and training.

Executive Functions in Psychiatric Disorders

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889453061 Year: Pages: 142 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-306-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology --- Medicine (General) --- Psychiatry
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:45
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Executive Functions comprise a range of neuropsychological processes related to intentional behavior and cognitive control. There are several theoretical models defining and explaining the concept of Executive Functions. Most of these models consider that the term Executive Functions encompasses cognitive process as working memory, cognitive flexibility, inhibitory control and other complex functions as planning, problem-solving and abstract reasoning. Other models argue that motivational and emotional functions, such as affective decision-making, reside under the concept of Executive Function. Much evidence supports how complex cognitive functions are related to the physiological activity of brain networks, including the frontal cortex and its connections with subcortical structures. Several psychiatric disorders related to impairment in these brain networks (eg., bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and drug addiction) leading to deficits in Executive Functions. These cognitive deficits affect patients’ everyday functioning, worsening the clinical course of the disease. For example, deficits in Executive Functions are related to suicide behavior in bipolar disorder patients. Furthermore, these deficits also relate to obesity, a lack of adherence to treatment and an underperformance in the workplace and educational settings. The understanding of the role of deficits in Executive Functions, including its neurobiological basis, developmental trajectories, and relationship with clinical outcomes, is fundamental to improve clinical management of psychiatric patients. This research topic includes 13 articles with interdisciplinary contributions related to the understanding of the deficits in Executive Functions and its relationship with clinical manifestations in psychiatric disorders.

Development of executive function during childhood

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198009 Year: Pages: 457 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-800-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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Executive function refers to the goal-oriented regulation of one’s own thoughts, actions, and emotions. Its importance is attested by its contribution to the development of other cognitive skills (e.g., theory of mind), social abilities (e.g., peer interactions), and academic achievement (e.g., mathematics), and by the consequences of deficits in executive function (which are observed in wide range of developmental disorders, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism). Over the last decade, there have been growing interest in the development of executive function, and an expanding body of research has shown that executive function develops rapidly during the preschool years, with adult-level performance being achieved during adolescence or later. This recent work, together with experimental research showing the effects of interventions targeting executive function, has yielded important insights into the neurocognitive processes underlying executive function. Given the complexity of the construct of executive function, however, and the multiplicity of underlying processes, there are often inconsistencies in the way that executive function is defined and studied. This inconsistency has hampered communication among researchers from various fields. This Research Topic is intended to bridge this gap and provide an opportunity for researchers from different perspectives to discuss recent advances in understanding childhood executive function. Researchers using various methods, including, behavioral experiments, neuroimaging, eye-tracking, computer simulation, observational methods, and questionnaires, are encouraged to contribute original empirical research. In addition to original empirical articles, theoretical reviews and opinions/perspective articles on promising future directions are welcome. We hope that researchers from different areas, such as developmental psychology, educational psychology, experimental psychology, neuropsychology, neuroscience, psychiatry, computational science, etc., will be represented in the Research Topic.

Frontiers in the Acquisition of Literacy

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196562 Year: Pages: 112 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-656-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-16 10:34:25
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Learning to read, and to spell are two of the most important cultural skills that must be acquired by children, and for that matter, anyone learning a second language. We are not born with an innate ability to read. A reading system of mental representations that enables us to read must be formed in the brain. Learning to read in alphabetic orthographies is the acquisition of such a system, which links mental representations of visual symbols (letters) in print words, with pre-existing phonological (sound) and semantic (comprehension) cognitive systems for language. Although spelling draws on the same representational knowledge base and is usually correlated with reading, the acquisition processes involved are not quite the same. Spelling requires the sequential production of letters in words, and at beginning levels there may not be a full degree of integration of phonology with its representation by the orthography. Reading, on the other hand, requires only the recognition of a word for pronunciation. Hence, spelling is more difficult than reading, and learning to spell may necessitate more complete representations, or more conscious access to them. The learning processes that children use to acquire such cognitive systems in the brain, and whether these same processes are universal across different languages and orthographies are central theoretical questions. Most children learn to read and spell their language at the same time, thus the co-ordination of these two facets of literacy acquisition needs explication, as well as the effect of different teaching approaches on acquisition. Lack of progress in either reading and/or spelling is also a major issue of concern for parents and teachers necessitating a cross-disciplinary approach to the problem, encompassing major efforts from researchers in neuroscience, cognitive science, experimental psychology, and education. The purpose of this Research Topic is to summarize and review what has been accomplished so far, and to further explore these general issues. Contributions from different perspectives are welcomed and could include theoretical, computational, and empirical works that focus on the acquisition of literacy, including cross-orthographic research.

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