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Questioning the Latent Factors Approaches of the Central Executive

By M. van Rooijen


Executive functions are being studied extensively these days. However, ambiguities exist regarding the underlying structure of central executive functions. The present study had a theoretical aim in questioning the prominent latent factors approaches of the central executive. A promising alternative perspective is that executive functioning is an emergent phenomenon arising from the co-operation of lower order distributed cognitive processes which over time become increasing related, also called a mutualism model, and psychometrically appear as a latent factor model. Structural equation modeling was used to compare the fit of a latent factor and mutualism model. The results revealed that the data on shifting and updating tasks fitted a mutualism model better than a latent factors model. Moreover, simulated data based on a latent factors structure fitted a mutualism model reasonably well. The current study emphasizes that the latent factors structure of the central executive should not be taken for granted

Topics: Sociale Wetenschappen, executive functions, inhibition, shifting, updating, mutualism model, simulated data
Year: 2009
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