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Anales de Psicología

On-line version ISSN 1695-2294Print version ISSN 0212-9728


SASTRE-RIBA, Sylvia; FONSECA-PEDRERO, Eduardo  and  POCH-OLIVE, M.ª Luisa. Early development of executive functions: a differential study. Anal. Psicol. [online]. 2015, vol.31, n.2, pp.552-561. ISSN 1695-2294.

The ontogeny of executive functions is essential in explaining differential and normative developmental trends. Executive functions must be studied from an early age given their consequential effects on mental flexibility, monitoring information, planning, and cognitive control. We propose a differential study in alternative developmental courses through observing typical babies, Down syndrome babies, and babies with risk-factors at birth (due to low weight or to congenital hypothyroidism). Applymg Systematic Observational Methodology, spontaneous babies' activity was registered. The results indicated that: a) Typical babies showed better shifting and action flexibility in order to obtain a goal, thus better results; b) Among the higher risk-babies, the lower efficacy in executive functioning was observed in underweight babies. Those with hypothyroidism were more in line with the typical babies; c) Underweight babies showed a good level of combining actions but they obtained inferior results; d) Down syndrome babies displayed more executive functioning difficulty, lower flexibility, high perseveration and less error detection.

Keywords : Early development; differential trends; executive function; cognitive outcome.

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