Date of Completion
Executive function, multi-scale measures, fractal, diffusion
Dr. James A. Dixon
Dr. Marie Coppola
Dr. Heather Bortfeld
Field of Study
Cognitive control is a central issue in developmental psychology. Traditional theories of psychology solve this problem by positing a top-down central executive, which coordinates cognitive resources in pursuit of goals. We propose an alternative explanation: cognitive control arises from physical interactions across many different timescales within the system. We examined whether measures of individual differences of these multi-scale interactions could predict individual differences in executive function development. Preschool-aged participants were asked to complete a series of executive function tasks while we tracked the motion of their dominant hand. We found that multi-scale interactions differed depending on experimental constraints. We also found that individual differences on multi-scale interactions correlated with individual differences of behavioral measures. These results suggest that multi-scale measures can be used to measure executive function, and that changes in multi-scale effects may be the drivers of change in cognition.
Anastas, Jason, "Individual Differences on Multi-scale Measures of Executive Function" (2013). Doctoral Dissertations. 177.