Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory


Date of this Version

November 1997


Age-related changes in executive function were examined on a new task, the Shape School, in 70 preschool children (32-68 months old). The Shape School is a colorful storybook designed to examine inhibition and switching processes in young children. Results confirmed that task efficiency varied significantly with age, with older age groups outperforming younger groups. Furthermore, inhibition efficiency improved significantly between 3 to 4 years of age, whereas switching skills showed developmental improvement from 4 to 5 years of age. These results suggest that the Shape School is sensitive to maturational effects and that performance can be parsed into inhibition and switching processes. The Shape School may be useful in clinical populations in order to elucidate developmental brain-behavior relations in preschool children.

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