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dc.contributor.authorVoelter, Christoph J.
dc.contributor.authorReindl, Eva
dc.contributor.authorFelsche, Elisa
dc.contributor.authorCivelek, Zeynep
dc.contributor.authorWhalen, Andrew
dc.contributor.authorLugosi, Zsuzsa
dc.contributor.authorDuncan, Lisa
dc.contributor.authorHermann, Esther
dc.contributor.authorCall, Josep
dc.contributor.authorSeed, Amanda M.
dc.identifier.citationVoelter , C J , Reindl , E , Felsche , E , Civelek , Z , Whalen , A , Lugosi , Z , Duncan , L , Hermann , E , Call , J & Seed , A M 2022 , ' The structure of executive functions in preschool children and chimpanzees ' , Scientific Reports , vol. 12 , 6456 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 277844496
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 8d2076d0-d2ac-4e5d-a80f-9da116be2393
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0002-3867-3003/work/111971365
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0002-8597-8336/work/111973903
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000783915800062
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85128485332
dc.descriptionFunding: The research of A.M.S. was supported by an ‘INQMINDS’ ERC Starting Grant no. (SEP-210159400).en
dc.description.abstractExecutive functions (EF) are a core aspect of cognition. Research with adult humans has produced evidence for unity and diversity in the structure of EF. Studies with preschoolers favour a 1-factor model, in which variation in EF tasks is best explained by a single underlying trait on which all EF tasks load. How EF are structured in nonhuman primates remains unknown. This study starts to fill this gap through a comparative, multi-trait multi-method test battery with preschoolers (N = 185) and chimpanzees (N = 55). The battery aimed at measuring working memory updating, inhibition, and attention shifting with three non-verbal tasks per function. For both species the correlations between tasks were low to moderate and not confined to tasks within the same putative function. Factor analyses produced some evidence for the unity of executive functions in both groups, in that our analyses revealed shared variance. However, we could not conclusively distinguish between 1-, 2- or 3-factor models. We discuss the implications of our findings with respect to the ecological validity of current psychometric research.
dc.relation.ispartofScientific Reportsen
dc.rightsCopyright © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
dc.subjectExecutive functionsen
dc.subjectWorking memoryen
dc.subjectAttention shiftingen
dc.subjectComparative cognitionen
dc.subjectPrimate cognitionen
dc.subjectChild developmenten
dc.subjectBF Psychologyen
dc.subjectRC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatryen
dc.titleThe structure of executive functions in preschool children and chimpanzeesen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.sponsorEuropean Research Councilen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. School of Psychology and Neuroscienceen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Centre for Social Learning & Cognitive Evolutionen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. ‘Living Links to Human Evolution’ Research Centreen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Institute of Behavioural and Neural Sciencesen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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