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Psychology & Neuroscience

versão On-line ISSN 1983-3288


SIQUEIRA, Larissa de Sousa; SCHERER, Lilian Cristine; REPPOLD, Caroline Tozzi  e  FONSECA, Rochele Paz. Hayling Test - adult version: applicability in the assessment of executive functions in children. Psychol. Neurosci. (Online) [online]. 2010, vol.3, n.2, pp.189-194. ISSN 1983-3288.

Childhood neuropsychology is a growing scientific area in Brazil. Regarding cognitive function in infancy, executive function (EF) has been the main focus of several studies because of its importance for and complexity in human cognition and behavior. Executive functions can be considered a set of cognitive processes related to control and integration devoted to the execution of goal-directed behaviors. Research has shown that these abilities begin in infancy and progressively develop until adulthood. Although some studies on EF development in children have already been conducted, our knowledge on this topic is still incipient. Because of the relevant role of age in cognition and EF development, the present study investigated whether differences exist between children aged 6 to 12 years concerning their performance on the Hayling test-adult version, an instrument that assesses the EF components of initiation and inhibition. Pilot data are presented that verify the applicability of this test to children. Significant differences were found between comparable age groups only in three of the seven main Hayling test scores, suggesting that the adult version may not be appropriate for children, and an adaptation of the test for child assessment is necessary. The study may lead to an initial reflection on the development of these components and thus contribute to improvements in the field of child neuropsychology.

Palavras-chave : executive function; child neuropsychological assessment; Hayling test; cognitive development.

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