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Science. 2011 Aug 19;333(6045):959-64. doi: 10.1126/science.1204529.

Interventions shown to aid executive function development in children 4 to 12 years old.

Author information

  • 1University of British Columbia and Children's Hospital, Vancouver, BC V6T 2A1, Canada. adele.diamond@ubc.ca

Abstract

To be successful takes creativity, flexibility, self-control, and discipline. Central to all those are executive functions, including mentally playing with ideas, giving a considered rather than an impulsive response, and staying focused. Diverse activities have been shown to improve children's executive functions: computerized training, noncomputerized games, aerobics, martial arts, yoga, mindfulness, and school curricula. All successful programs involve repeated practice and progressively increase the challenge to executive functions. Children with worse executive functions benefit most from these activities; thus, early executive-function training may avert widening achievement gaps later. To improve executive functions, focusing narrowly on them may not be as effective as also addressing emotional and social development (as do curricula that improve executive functions) and physical development (shown by positive effects of aerobics, martial arts, and yoga).

Comment in

PMID:
21852486
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3159917
Free PMC Article

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