The aim of the study was to examine the relationships of Level -1/Level -2 visual perspective -taking (VPT -1/VPT -2) with theory of mind (ToM) and executive function (EF). Seventy -six adults aged 18 to 48 years participated in the study. To compare the relationships of the two levels of perspective -taking with the aforementioned abilities, the same stimuli were used in both Level -1 and Level -2 trials of the VPT task. ToM abilities were evaluated with the Strange Story task, and EF using the TMT and WCST tests. It was found that controlling for age -related differences, VPT -1 was not associated with either ToM or such components of EF as executive control and set -shifting. VPT -2 was positively related to ToM, but it was not related to EF. The relationship between VPT -2 and ToM was specific, not mediated by domain -general processing capabilities. The obtained results provide further evidence to support the view that distinct mechanisms underlie Level -1 and Level -2 perspective -taking.
B a c k g ro u n d: Arterial hypertension (HTN) ranks among the most widespread chronic illnesses that affect adults in industrialized societies. The main goal of this study was to describe the control (inhibition) processes among HTN patients, and to evaluate the dynamics of brain activity while the patients were engaged in tasks measuring the cognitive aspect of self-control. P a r t i c i p a n t s a n d p ro c e d u re: A set of neuropsychological tests (California Verbal Learning Test, Color Trails Test, The Trail Making Test, Controlled Oral Word Association Test), and a fMRI Stroop test (rapid event design) were administered to 40 persons (20 HTN patients and 20 controls). Groups were matched in terms of age, sex, education, smoking history, and waist-to-hip ratio. R e s u l t s: As revealed by fMRI, the HTN patients demonstrate left-hemisphere asymmetry in inhibitory processes. Also around 90% of patients had problems when completing tasks which rely on verbal and graphomotor aspects of self-control. C o n c l u s i o n s: The results suggest that both cerebral hemispheres must interact correctly in order to provide successful executive control. The deficiencies in control and executive functioning, which were observed among the patients, prove that HTN negatively affects brain processes that control one’s cognitive activity.
Previous research reported about high comorbidity between asthma and neurodevelopmental disorders. Recently, asthma was associated also with executive functions poorness. The current study aimed to investigate the verbal and visual memory performances among fifteen asthmatic kindergarten children compared to the performances of other fifteen healthy kindergarten children. The results showed that the asthmatic group revealed poor performances in the immediate short term verbal memory and the verbal working memory tests but not in the verbal learning test as it was compared to the healthy group. In addition, the asthmatic group revealed poor performances in the visual memory tasks compared to the healthy group. The results were explained in light of the assumption that poor executive functions might be interfere the process of managing the attentional resources which are needed through the process of memory encoding and retrieval.