What the CERAD battery can tell us about executive function as a higher-order cognitive faculty
Executive function (EF) is believed to control or influence the integration and application of cognitive functions such as attention and memory and is an important area of research in cognitive aging. Recent studies and reviews have concluded that there is no single test for EF. Results from first-order latent variable modeling have suggested that little, if any, variability in cognitive performance can be directly (and uniquely) attributed to EF; so instead, we modeled EF, as it is conceptualized, as a higher-order function, using elements of the CERAD neuropsychological battery. Responses to subtests from two large, independent cohorts of nondemented elderly persons were modeled with three theoretically plausible structural models using confirmatory factor analysis. Robust fit statistics, generated for the two cohorts separately, were consistent and support the conceptualization of EF as a higher-order cognitive faculty. Although not specifically designed to assess EF, subtests of the CERAD battery provide theoretically and empirically robust evidence about the nature of EF in elderly adults. Copyright © 2010 Rochelle E. Tractenberg et al.
Tractenberg, RE; Fillenbaum, G; Aisen, PS; Liebke, DE; Yumoto, F; Kuchibhatla, MN
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