Impact of Cognitive Inhibition training on Mental Flexibility performance of Student with Learning Disability

Document Type : Original Articles


MSc, Department of Psychology and Exceptional Education, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Tehran University, Tehran



Introduction: Executive functions, including inhibition and Flexibility are important for many of human behavior. Hence, emphasis has led to interventions to improved executive function. The aim of this study was examination of Impact of cognitive inhibition training on Flexibility performance of student with learning disability.Materials and Methods: The design of this study was a pretest-posttest with control group. The 30 students with learning disability were selected by means of convenience sampling (15 students in experimental group and 15 students in control group). The experimental group underwent a 10 session's cognitive inhibition training. All the participants were assessed through Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. The obtained data were statistically analyzed by MANCOVA using SPSS software (version 19, SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL).Result: Results showed a significant difference between experimental and control groups in Number of Categories (P= 0/001) also significant difference between experimental and control groups in Perseverative Errors (p= 0/05).Conclusion: According to these results, cognitive inhibition training have a positive effect on flexibility performance.Keywords: executive functions, cognitive inhibition, mental flexibility, learning disability

  1. Silver CH, Ruff RM, Iverson GL, Barth JT, Broshek DK, Bush SS, et al. Learning disabilities: The need for neuropsychological evaluation. Arch Clin Neuropsych 2008; 23(2): 217-9.
  2. Jeffries S, Everatt J. Working memory: Its role in dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties. Dyslexia 2004; 10 (3): 196-214.
  3. Denckla MB. Binding together the definitions of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and learning disabilities. In: Meltzer L, editor. Executive function in education: From theory to practice. New York: Guilford Press; 2007. pp. 1-18.
  4. Jurado MB, Rosselli M. The elusive nature of executive functions: a review of our current understanding. Neuropsychol Rev 2007; 17(3): 213-33.
  5. Miyake A, Friedman NP, Emerson MJ, Witzki AH, Howerter A. The unity and diversity of executive functions and their contributions to complex ‘‘Frontal Lobe’’ tasks: A latent variable analysis. Cognitive Psychol 2000; 41(1): 49-100.
  6. Visu-Petra L, Cheie L, Benga O, Miclea M. Cognitive control goes to school: The impact of executive functions on academic performance. Soc Behav Sci 2011; 11(1): 240-4.
  7. Lazar JW, Frank Y. Frontal systems dysfunction in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and learning disabilities. J Neuropsychiat Clin Neurosci 1998; 10(2): 160-70.
  8. Zelazo PD, Muller U, Frye D, Marcovitch S. The development of executive function. Monogr Soc Res Child Dev 2003; 68(3): 11-27.
  9. Peng P, Congying S, Beilei L, Sha T. Phonological storage and executive function deficits in children with mathematics difficulties. J Exp Child Psychol 2012; 112(4): 452-66.
  10. Van der Sluis S, de Joung PF, Van der Leij A. Inhibition and shifting in children with learning deficits in arithmetic and reading. J Exp Child Psychol 2004; 87(3): 239-66.
  11. Meltzer L, Krishnan K. Executive function difficulties and learning disabilities: Understandings and misunderstanding. In: Meltzer L, editor. Executive function in education: From theory to practice. New York: Guilford Press; 2007. pp. 77-105.
  12. Barkley R. Behavioural inhibition, sustained attention, and executive functions. Psychol Bull 1997; 121(1): 65-94.
  13. Dempster FN, Brainerd CJ. Interference and inhibition in cognition, chapter the development of cognitive inhibition. California: Academic press; 1995. pp. 175-203.
  14. Gorfein DS, MacLeod CM. Inhibition in cognition. Washington DC: American Psychological Association; 2007. pp. 3-23.
  15. Robinson S, Goddard L, Dritschel B, Wisley M, Howlin P. Executive functions in children with autism spectrum disorders. Brain Cognition 2009; 71(3): 362-8.
  16. Reiter A, Tucha A, Lange KW. Executive functions in children with dyslexia. Dyslexia 2005, 11(2): 116-31.
  17. Wang LC, Tasi HJ, Yang HM. Cognitive inhibition in students with and without dyslexia and dyscalculia. Res Dev Disabil 2012; 33(5): 1453-61.
  18. Valera EM, Seidman LJ. Neurobiology of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in preschoolers. Infant Young Child 2006; 19(2): 94-108.
  19. McCormack T, Atance CM. Planning in young children: A review and synthesis. Dev Rev 2011; 31(1): 1-31.
  20. Dreisbach G. Mechanisms of cognitive control: The functional role of task rules. Curr Dir Psychil Sci 2012; 21(4): 227-31.
  21. Best JR, Miller PH, Jones LL. Executive functions after age 5: Changes and correlates. Dev Rev 2009; 29(3): 180-200.
  22. Blumen HM, Gophe D, Steinerman J, Stern Y. Training cognitive control in older adults with the Space Fortress game: the role of training instructions and basic motor ability. Front Aging Neurosci 2010; 11(2): 1-13.
  23. Rafikhah M, Arjmandnia AA, Ghobari Bonab B. Impact of cognitive inhibition training on visuo-spatial working memory and planning performance of student with reading and mathematics disorders. J Psycho of Except Indiv [in press].
  24. Thorell LB, Lindqvist S, Nutley SB, Bohlin G, Klingberg T. Training and transfer effects of executive functions in preschool children. Dev Sci 2009; 12(1): 106-13.
  25. Van SH, Kroesbergen EH, Boom J, Leseman PP. The structure of executive functions in children: A closer examination of inhibition, shifting, and updating. Brit J Dev Psychol 2013; 31(1): 70-87.
  26. Blaye A, Chevalier N. The role of goal representation in preschoolers’ flexibility and inhibition. J Exp Child Psychol 2011; 108(3): 469-83.
  27. Shokohi Yekta M, Parand A. Assessment educational and psychological tests. 1st ed. Tehran: Teymoorzadeh; 2009.
  28. Lezak MD. Neuropsychological assessment. New York: Oxford University Press; 1995.
  29. Pritchard VE, Neumann E, Rucklidge JJ. Selective attention and inhibitory deficits in ADHD: Does subtype or comorbidity modulate negative priming effects? Brain Cognition 2008; 67(3): 324-39.
  30. Wodka EL, Mahone EM, Blankner JG, Gidley Larson JC, Fotedar S, Denckla MB, et al. Evidence that response inhibition is a primary deficit in ADHD. J Clin Exp Neuropsyc 2007; 29(4): 345-56.
  31. Wright I, Waterman M, Prescott H, Murdoch-Eaton D. A new stroop-like measure of inhibitory function development: typical developmental trends. J Chil Psychol Psyc 2003; 44(4): 561-75.
  32. Weede Alexander K, Goodman GS, Schaaf JM, Edelstein RS, Quas JA, Shaver PR. The role of attachment and cognitive inhibition in children’s memory and suggestibility for a stressful event. J Exp Child Psychol 2002; 83(4): 262-90.