intentional behavior; executive functions; cognitive development; prospective memory
James Clara E., Zuber Sascha, Dupuis-Lozeron Elise, Abdili Laura, Gervaise Diane, Kliegel Matthias (2020), Formal String Instrument Training in a Class Setting Enhances Cognitive and Sensorimotor Development of Primary School Children, in Frontiers in Neuroscience
, 14, 1-16.
Zuber Sascha, Mahy C. E. V., Kliegel Matthias (2019), How executive functions are associated with event-based and time-based prospective memory during childhood, in Cognitive Development
Kliegel Matthias, Hering Alexandra, Ihle Andreas, Zuber Sascha (2017), Cognitive Training to Promote Executive Functions, in Wiebe S.A. & Karbach J. (ed.), Taylor & Francis, New York, 200-213.
Mahy Caitlin E. V., Schnitzspahn Katharina, Hering Alexandra, Pagobo Jacqueline, Kliegel Matthias (2017), The delay period as an opportunity to think about future intentions: Effects of delay length and delay task difficulty on young adult’s prospective memory performance, in Psychological Research
Zuber Sascha, Ihle Andreas, Blum Anaëlle, Desrichard Olivier, Kliegel Matthias (2017), The Effect of Stereotype Threat on Age Differences in Prospective Memory Performance: Differential Effects on Focal Versus Nonfocal Tasks, in The Journals of Gerontology: Series B
Zhang Xinyuan, Zuber Sascha, Liu Si, Kliegel Matthias, Wang Lijuan (2017), The effects of task instructor status on prospective memory performance in preschoolers, in EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
, (1), 102-117.
Ballhausen N., Mahy C. E., Hering A., Voigt B., Schnitzspahn K. M., Lagner P., Ihle A., Kliegel M. (2016), Children's planning performance in the Zoo Map task (BADS-C): Is it driven by general cognitive ability, executive functioning, or prospection?, in Applied Neuropsychology: Child
Zhang X., Ballhausen N., Liu S., Kliegel M., Wang L., The Effects of Ongoing Task Absorption on Event-based Prospective Memory in Preschoolers, in European Journal of Developmental Psychology
Over the course of child development, a key developmental task is to gain independence from caregivers. One set of cognitive processes that has been argued to be closely related to the development of independence in childhood constitutes the ability to remember to perform previously planned activities after a delay and without external guidance. The interplay of cognitive processes associated with this everyday challenge has been labelled prospective memory (PM; see, e.g., Brandimonte, Einstein, & McDaniel, 1996; Ellis & Kvavilashvili, 2000). In addition to the high prevalence of PM problems in everyday life (Kliegel & Martin, 2003), children’s level of PM functioning has implications for several domains of their development including academic achievements, social relations, and personal safety. Descriptively, PM has been reported to increase over the childhood years (Kliegel & Jäger, 2007; Kvavilashvili, et al., 2001; Mahy & Moses, 2011; Wang, et al., 2008; Zimmermann & Meier, 2006) but little is known about the mechanisms that drive its development. One likely mechanism is executive functioning (EF) defined as the abilities involved in the conscious control of one’s thoughts and actions (Zelazo, Carlson, & Kesek, 2008). Individual differences in EF have been found to correlate with PM in children (Ford, et al., 2012; Kerns, 2000; Mahy & Moses, 2011; Mackinlay, Kliegel, & Mäntylä, 2009). Further, studies have documented a similar developmental timetable of PM and EF that show marked increases in performance during the early childhood years (Guarjardo & Best, 2000; Carlson & Moses, 2001; Kliegel & Jäger, 2007; Mahy & Moses, 2011) and continue to relate to PM performance in adulthood (Kliegel, Mackinlay & Jäger, 2008; West & Craik, 1999).In this proposal, we suggest taking a novel approach to studying the role of EF in PM functioning in primary school-aged children. By directly training the executive processes assumed to underlie PM using established training procedures, we aim to test the hypothesis that executive functions are among key mechanisms in the development of PM in childhood. Our study will attempt to train three core facets of EF (according to Miyake, et al., 2000): working memory, inhibition, and set shifting and examine their relative impact on PM performance. In addition to comparing training conditions with an untrained control group we will include an active control group that will mimic the EF training conditions but will lack an executive component. This study will be the first to directly train executive processes in the context of PM development. In addition to providing experimental evidence on the conceptual question regarding the role of EF in PM functioning in children in general and the specific role of three main EF facets in particular, the proposed studies will offer insights on potential target processes for interventions in children that struggle with PM.