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1 - Association Between Specific Motor Skills and Executive Functions from Infancy Through Kindergarten age

Sat, March 23, 8:00 to 9:30am, Hilton Baltimore, Floor: Level 1, Peale A

Session Type: Paper Symposium

Integrative Statement

There is accumulated evidence for an association between motor skills and executive functions (EFs). However, not much is known about the underlying mechanisms and nature of this association or change of the association across childhood lifespan. This symposium aims to extend the knowledge of cross-sectional and longitudinal association between different motor skills and EFs from early infancy through kindergarten age, using different approaches.

Paper 1 will link prospective motor control and EFs in infancy. Results from 18-month-olds indicate that prospective motor control is correlated with simple inhibition and working memory, but not complex inhibition. These results will be discussed within an embodied-cognitive framework, together with ongoing longitudinal research. Paper 2 studies the cross-sectional and longitudinal association of fine motor skills, pure motor skills, motor inhibition and EFs in preschool children. Results show that - even when including environmental factors - fine motor skills are among the strongest predictors of EFs in 2-to-6-year-olds. Paper 3 assumes that the link between performance in motor and EFs tasks is driven by task novelty and complexity. The examination of motor control and EFs tasks in 5-to-6-year-olds seems to confirm this hypothesis, indicating that EFs are more required in high demand motor control tasks, and thus, explain the stronger correlations. Paper 4 investigates the cross lag effect of visuomotor skills and EFs between the Fall and Spring of prekindergarten, and Spring of prekindergarten to the Fall of kindergarten. Moreover, the paper will examine the interaction between visuomotor skills and EFs on growth in math.

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