These changes include declines in expression of NMDA and kainate-type ionotropic glutamate receptors, as well as impaired dopaminergic function (Nicolle and Baxter, 2003; Mizoguchi et al., 2010). Once that rule is learned, the rule changes and rats need to respond to a particular side for a food reward (regardless of the light; bottom). the word RED would be printed in yellow), and requires participants to name the ink colors while ignoring the conflicting color names. [4] A crucial aim of education is to help students learn as well as appropriately apply and adapt what they have learned to novel situations. One possible explanation for the apparent association between nonverbal communication and performance on some verbal measures is that some verbal tests employ visual stimuli. Cognitive flexibility relates to a number of areas including learning theory, psychology, and neurophysiology. However, what is to be done with the applicant who has too many explanations? A response switch would require different response mapping, such as circle right button and square left button and vice versa. Or, we want to assess the cognitive flexibility of a job applicant. In forming these questions, students are actively brainstorming and recalling prior knowledge. Subsequent research found that children’s performance in the DCCS could be improved through training over the course of a laboratory session, which, in turn, reduces the amplitude of the N2 (Espinet, Anderson, & Zelazo, 2013). Under these standard conditions of the DCCS task, 3- and 5-year-old children readily sort by the first rule but only 5-year-old children flexibly switch to sort by the second rule. [21] Typically, naming the color of the word takes longer and results in more errors when the color of the ink does not match the name of the color. Regardless of the specificity of the definition, researchers have generally agreed that cognitive flexibility is a component of executive functioning, higher-order cognition involving the ability to control one's thinking. For example, those with obsessive–compulsive disorder experience difficulty shifting their attentional focus as well as inhibiting motor responses. Given that additions are generally solved faster and with fewer errors than multiplications (e.g., Campbell & Arbuthnott, 2010; Campbell & Xue, 2001; Campbell, 1994), a higher switch cost for additions just reflects the more important cost for the easier task when switching involves tasks of different difficulties (Campbell & Arbuthnott, 2010). Apparently, this developmental difference was specific to arithmetic operations as it was not observed when the same participants switched between matching figures by color or shape. For example, individuals with nonverbal learning disability are typically characterized both by affect recognition deficits (Dimitrovsky, Spector, & Levy-Shiff, 2000; Dimitrovsky, Spector, Levy-Shiff, & Vakil, 1998) and by visual–spatial deficits (Forrest, 2004; Worling, Humphries, & Tannock, 1999). [6] For example, when sorting cards based on specific rules, children are considered cognitively flexible if they are able to successfully switch from sorting cards based on the color of the object to sorting based on the type of object on the card. Cognitive flexibility has also been shown to be related to one's ability to cope in particular situations. [2] Two subcategories of cognitive flexibility are task switching and cognitive shifting, depending on whether the change happens unconsciously or consciously, respectively. The aging brain undergoes physical and functional changes including a decline in processing speed, central sensory functioning, white matter integrity, and brain volume. This is reflected in the integration of cognitive flexibility into educational policy regarding academic guidelines and expectations. For example, reading comprehension tests sometimes require that patients select a scene that corresponds to a given statement. From: Handbook of Behavioral Neuroscience, 2016, K.R. It is a generic answer, but so is the acceptable answer “blue”. But persisting, staying the course, being unbending and unyielding, that is also psychological flexibility. Somewhat surprisingly, to the best of our knowledge, such information is currently lacking. This is seen, for example, when brain frontal metabolic activity is measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during tasks that depend on frontal lobe function. For example, Ellefson et al. This carryover in neural activity may slow children’s responses and lead them to make errors on trials in which the rule has changed. Flexibility, or psychological flexibility, as it is sometimes referred to, is the ability to adapt to situational demands, balance life demands, and commit to behaviors. Performing the DCCS task in a flexible fashion requires children to resolve the conflict inherent in the bivalent stimuli. Elizabeth Will, ... Lisa A. Daunhauer, in International Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities, 2014. Espinet, Anderson, and Zelazo (2012) tested the possibility that a neural index of conflict resolution in the DCCS might be seen in the downregulation of a neural signature of conflict detection in children who resolved the conflict versus those who did not. Other research on the neural correlates of cognitive flexibility in children has focused on lateral prefrontal cortex. The Wisconsin card sorting task, which requires individuals to adapt to new rules, shows that normal aging decreases cognitive flexibility in humans (Boone et al., 1993). Cognitive flexibility varies during the lifespan of an individual. Some people’s frontal cortices are “poorly tuned” such that they require more metabolic effort, reflecting more neural activity merely to perform at the same level. Thus, research suggests if an individual is centrated in their thinking, then they will be more cognitively inflexible. Since cognitive flexibility is a vital component of learning,[4] deficits in this area might have other implications. In order to resolve this conflict, they must first detect it. Previous cross-sectional research indicates that impairments in set shift behavior correlated with age (Fisk and Sharp, 2004); however, significant differences are not observed until the age of 65–74 or older (Robbins et al., 1998; Rhodes, 2004). Cognitive flexibility can be seen from a variety of viewpoints. The key finding was that there was greater coactivation of lateral prefrontal cortex and other regions involved in cognitive control (including anterior cingulate and inferior parietal cortex) in adults than in children. Rhesus monkeys exhibit impaired attentional set shifting starting in middle-age, when examined using a conceptual set-shifting task (Moore et al., 2006); this finding suggests that impaired cognitive flexibility may occur early in this primate model. Waxer and Morton (2011) examined developmental change in the N2 in response to conflict in a variant of the DCCS that contained both conflict (bivalent) and no-conflict (univalent) stimuli. Cognitive flexibility is being able to flex a brain muscle and push the curtains aside and look out the window toward a more interesting conversation topic. For example, let’s reconsider the Red version of the Stroop test. It also refers to the ability to process multiple concepts simultaneously such as the color and shape of an object or perspectives of republicans and democrats. In the DCCS, children are presented with a pair of target cards depicting two-dimensional objects (e.g., red star, blue circle) and asked to sort a set of bivalent cards (e.g., red circle, blue star) by one rule (e.g., sort by shape) and then switch to sort by another rule (e.g., sort by color). The majority of available data, however, indicate that the ability to flexibly update behavior is compromised in advanced age and that this is linked to prefrontal cortical dysfunction. What we need is an ability to dynamically regulate the balance between cognitive flexibility and cognitive stability depending on current task demands. (2006) observed a different pattern of results in children as observed in young adults. 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