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The cooking task: making a meal of executive functions.

Authors
  • Doherty, T A
  • Barker, L A
  • Denniss, R
  • Jalil, A
  • Beer, M D
Type
Published Article
Journal
Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Publisher
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2015
Volume
9
Pages
22–22
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00022
PMID: 25717294
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Current standardized neuropsychological tests may fail to accurately capture real-world executive deficits. We developed a computer-based Cooking Task (CT) assessment of executive functions and trialed the measure with a normative group before use with a head-injured population. Forty-six participants completed the computerized CT and subtests from standardized neuropsychological tasks, including the Tower and Sorting Tests of executive function from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) and the Cambridge prospective memory test (CAMPROMPT), in order to examine whether standardized executive function tasks, predicted performance on measurement indices from the CT. Findings showed that verbal comprehension, rule detection and prospective memory contributed to measures of prospective planning accuracy and strategy implementation of the CT. Results also showed that functions necessary for cooking efficacy differ as an effect of task demands (difficulty levels). Performance on rule detection, strategy implementation and flexible thinking executive function measures contributed to accuracy on the CT. These findings raise questions about the functions captured by present standardized tasks particularly at varying levels of difficulty and during dual-task performance. Our preliminary findings also indicate that CT measures can effectively distinguish between executive function and Full Scale IQ abilities. Results of the present study indicate that the CT shows promise as an ecologically valid measure of executive function for future use with a head-injured population and indexes selective executive function's captured by standardized tests.

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