Neurocognitive development in 5-to 16-year-old North American children: A cross-sectional study

  • Korkman M
  • Lahti-Nuuttila P
  • Laasonen M
 et al. 
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Executive functions are thought to be the latest functions to mature.
However, this view has not been tested by assessing simultaneously
memory, perception of emotions, visuospatial perception, and
visuoconstructional skills. NEPSY II norm data from 1000 5- to
16-year-old U.S. children were obtained. Fifteen NEPSY II subtests with
no floor or ceiling effects in any age group and no major changes in
task type were selected. The 16-year level was attained at age 12 to 13
in all subtests with two exceptions: social perception (age 10 to 11)
and narrative memory (age 14). Trend analyses showed that development
was rapid in the age range 5 to 9 years followed by a deceleration in
the rate of development. Peak performances were reached at 14 to 16
years but later in some subtests representing executive functions,
verbal memory, and visuospatial performance. Thus, the study specified
developmental time tables of neurocognitive functions. It demonstrated
that not only executive functions but also verbal memory and
visuospatial performance continue to develop beyond age 16.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Children and adolescents
  • Cognitive and perceptual development
  • Executive functions
  • Memory and learning
  • Social perception
  • Visual and spatial perception

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