Relationship between executive function and general development in preterm and full-term infants
This study investigate the relationship between executive function and general development in preterm at eight months corrected age and full-term infants at eight months. The assessment of subtle developmental and behavioural delays in infants is complicated, and currently there are few sensitive measures available for the early identification of learning problems in infants. Conventional developmental assessment tools, for example, the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, only provide global indicators of development and fail to measure specific skills that may provide sensitive predictions of later learning. The assessment of specific cognitive skills, such as executive function (EF) rather than a global development score in infancy, has been advocated by a number of investigators Thirty-seven preterm infants without identified disabilities, and 74 due date and gender matched healthy full-term infants, participated in the present study. The preterm infants were all less than 32 weeks gestation and less than 1,500 grams birthweight. All infants were therefore assessed on general development, working memory, inhibition to prepotent response and inhibitioni to distraction of external stimuli, and planning tasks at 8 months after the expected date of delivery. The findings of the study showed EF was not correlated with either motor or mental scores of Bayley Infant Development Assessment. The results of this study suggests that the EF is independent of general abilities as assessed by Bayley Scales of Infant Development.
International Journal of Child and Adolescent Health