Introduction: There is a need to characterize the typically developmental trajectory of cognitive flexibility in the Portuguese preschool population and, at a global level, to explore its evolution by semesters. In parallel, there are few studies that report data on the impact of gender on cognitive flexibility in this population. This study seeks to answer these questions.Method: We recruited 90 preschoolers with typical development and submitted them to the Card Sorting task of the Early Years Toolbox, which is based on the prototypical procedure for assessing cognitive flexibility in this population.Results: We observed significant differences in the switch accuracy variable between the groups of three, four and five years old, with older ones overcoming the youngest ones.When we split the sample by semesters, there were no significant differences between children older than four and a half years of age and the younger four-year-olds. All five years old children showed a significantly higher performance than the older four-year-olds. We observed no significant effect of sex on Card Sorting performance.Conclusion: The present study supports the literature showing an increase in cognitive flexibility over the preschool period and contributes by suggesting that the inflection point of this executive function occurs in the transition between the second semester of the four years of age and the first semester of the five. This study represents a first effort to characterize the development of cognitive flexibility in the Portuguese preschool population using to the prototypical procedure for assessing this function in this age group. Considering the applicability of Card Sorting to the clinical and investigative context, further investigations are necessary to investigate the consistency of these findings in the Portuguese preschool population.
|Date of Award||23 Jan 2020|
- Universidade Católica Portuguesa
|Supervisor||Filipa Ribeiro (Supervisor)|
- Cognitive flexibility
- Card Sorting
- Set shifting
- Mestrado em Neuropsicologia