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The Development Of Executive Functions And Information Processing Speeds In Toddlers Born Preterm

Day, KL; (2018) The Development Of Executive Functions And Information Processing Speeds In Toddlers Born Preterm. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Cognitive impairments are commonly reported in children born preterm, with particular difficulties in executive functions, information processing and attention. Yet, children that later present with mild to moderate impairments are typically missed in earlier standard developmental assessments. The current longitudinal investigation explores the development of executive function, information processing and attentional abilities in very preterm (<32 weeks of gestation) and term-born children at 3, 6, 12 and 30 months of age, corrected for prematurity. Performances on established paradigms assessing these cognitive abilities were also compared to the cognitive composite scores of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development (third edition) at 12 months and 2 years of age. Very preterm (n = 50) and term-born (n = 81) children were assessed in a multifaceted battery of behavioural, eye-tracking and event related potential tasks, to formulate a detailed understanding of developmental trajectories for executive functions, information processing and attention. Overall, cohort performances were not differentiated within the first year and measures of attention were comparable for both groups over the two years. However, executive function and information processing differences were observed within the very preterm children during the second year assessments. These difficulties were independent of global cognitive performance, and variation on the executive function, information processing and attentional measures was poorly reflected in the Bayley-III cognitive scores at 2 years. In conclusion, very preterm children display difficulties predominantly in executive function abilities by 2 years of age, independent of global cognitive scores. Longer-term follow-up of this cohort will highlight any links between these early deficits and later academic and social outcomes, and can aid in the development of tools for earlier identification of adverse cognitive outcomes in very preterm populations.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The Development Of Executive Functions And Information Processing Speeds In Toddlers Born Preterm
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Developmental Neurosciences Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10044924
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