UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

The case for the development and use of "ecologically valid" measures of executive function in experimental and clinical neuropsychology

Burgess, P.W.; Alderman, N.; Forbes, C.; Costello, A.; Coates, L.M-A.; Dawson, D.R.; Anderson, N.D.; ... Channon, S.; + view all (2006) The case for the development and use of "ecologically valid" measures of executive function in experimental and clinical neuropsychology. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society , 12 (2) pp.194 - 209. 10.1017/S1355617706060310. Green open access

[img]
Preview
PDF
2751.pdf

Download (395kB)

Abstract

This article considers the scientific process whereby new and better clinical tests of executive function might be developed, and what form they might take. We argue that many of the traditional tests of executive function most commonly in use (e.g., the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test; Stroop) are adaptations of procedures that emerged almost coincidentally from conceptual and experimental frameworks far removed from those currently in favour, and that the prolongation of their use has been encouraged by a sustained period of concentration on “construct-driven” experimentation in neuropsychology. This resulted from the special theoretical demands made by the field of executive function, but was not a necessary consequence, and may not even have been a useful one. Whilst useful, these tests may not therefore be optimal for their purpose. We consider as an alternative approach a function-led development programme which in principle could yield tasks better suited to the concerns of the clinician because of the transparency afforded by increased “representativeness” and “generalisability.” We further argue that the requirement of such a programme to represent the interaction between the individual and situational context might also provide useful constraints for purely experimental investigations. We provide an example of such a programme with reference to the Multiple Errands and Six Element tests.

Type: Article
Title: The case for the development and use of "ecologically valid" measures of executive function in experimental and clinical neuropsychology
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S1355617706060310
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1355617706060310
Language: English
Additional information: © 2006 The International Neuropsychological Society. Published by Cambridge University Press
Keywords: frontal lobes, multiple errands test, six element test, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, stroop, assessment.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2751
Downloads since deposit
4,230Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item