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Title: Executive abilities for the planning of sequential motor actions performed under time and space constraints : a visuo-spatial tapping task
Author: Dione, Mariama
ISNI:       0000 0004 4575 165X
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2014
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In a constantly changing environment, executive abilities allow us to organize sensory information of multiple sources and to adapt to diverse situations while at the same time inhibiting inappropriate behaviors. Research on the executive functions (EFs) have historical roots on neuropsychology, with the description of frontal patients that were showing disruptions in organizing their daily behaviors independently of any impairment in long-memory, language or general intelligence. A wide range of neuropsychological tools is used today to evaluate executive abilities: Tower of London for planning, go-no-go for inhibition, etc. However, the classical tasks often present methodological limitations and they lack of correspondence between process and behavior. Furthermore, the field lacks of a compelling theory that make links between the EFs themselves. The present PhD work was an attempt to propose a novel task to assess the EFs in the place of the classical batteries of neuropsychological tasks. After offering an overview of the EF literature and presenting simple motor tasks that seem to target similar EFs to those described in neuropsychology (CH1), I present the spatial-tapping task as a challenging paradigm to understand the relationships between the different EFs (CH2), and its potential to be used in clinical settings (CH3). Then I show how a similar approach can be used to investigate how EFs intervene in the control of more complex motor sequences, e.g. bi-manual tasks (CH4). Overall, the results presented here support an embodied perspective of cognition with mental organization reflecting the way one plans motor sequences for adaptive behavior.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology