We have already spoken recently we talked about an intervention on how to strengthen executive functions in preschool; today, however, we want to take another step forward: let's talk about the possibility of implementing the same training on executive functions in schools. Unlike what done in the past, however, this time we focus on a particular age group, that is that of the primary school.

Similarly to the one we talked about in the previous article (Treatment of executive functions in preschool - part 2), a short term protocol (12 sessions of 30 minutes each) with low cost material but with one fundamental difference: this time it was a training conducted in school by a teacher. The 5-year-old children who participated in the study were also divided into two groups: one subjected to training while the other carried out routine school activities (control group). Always in analogy with the previous research, also in this case all the children were twice evaluated on executive functions (one before the start of the treatment, one later) but in this case also one was added assessment of preschool mathematics, metaphonology and writing skills.

The results

Also in this case the results were interesting although in part different from what emerged in the research previously discussed:

  • The children who had participated in the training showed improvements in the ability to inhibit interfering stimuli
  • As for math and writing skills, the improvements were mediated by the enhancement in the ability to inhibit interfering stimuli

Conclusions

In continuity with the previous research we talked about, this study also seems to suggest the possibility to enhance executive functions already in early age, with a training of short term, in low cost and, what is not secondary, in the school environment and also with positive effects on the prerequisites for learning (writing and calculation).

Dr. Ivano Anemone
He deals with neuropsychology in developmental, adult and senile age. He currently collaborates in several projects concerning the cognitive aspects in some neurodegenerative diseases.

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Work memory enhancement combined with mathematical enhancement