Early executive function predicts reasoning development

December 14, 2012

Although analogical reasoning is a core cognitive skill that distinguishes humans from other animals, its origins are still not well understood. Psychological scientists Lindsey Richland of the University of Chicago and Margaret Burchinal of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill analyzed data from children who were part of the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development.

They assessed children for vocabulary knowledge, sustained attention, short-term , executive functioning skills, and analytical reasoning skills and found that children's early vocabulary knowledge and executive-functioning predicted their analytical reasoning skills at age 15.

These results indicate that composite executive-function skills make specialized contributions to the development of children's analytical reasoning. They also support the idea that language and knowledge are necessary for the development of analytical-reasoning skills.

Explore further: Early learning about spatial relationships boosts understanding of numbers

More information: pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/11/26/0956797612450883.abstract

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Elderly may face increased dementia risk after a disaster

October 24, 2016

Elderly people who were uprooted from damaged or destroyed homes and who lost touch with their neighbors after the 2011 tsunami in Japan were more likely to experience increased symptoms of dementia than those who were able ...

Research examines role of early-life stress in adult illness

October 24, 2016

Scientists have long known that chronic exposure to psychosocial stress early in life can lead to an increased vulnerability later in life to diseases linked to immune dysfunction and chronic inflammation, including arthritis, ...

Plan ahead for successful aging, researcher says

October 20, 2016

For many people, the prospect of aging is scary and uncomfortable, but Florida State University Assistant Professor Dawn Carr says that research reveals a few tips that can improve our chances of a long, healthy life.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.