Dataset Information


Integrating verbal fluency with executive functions: Evidence from twin studies in adolescence and middle age.

ABSTRACT: The relationship of verbal fluency to executive functions (EFs) remains somewhat unclear. Verbal fluency is sometimes considered an EF ability, but is not often included in the same models as other well-studied EFs (inhibition, shifting, and working memory updating). We examined the associations between verbal fluency and EFs at 2 ages with the unity/diversity model, which includes common and domain-specific EF factors. Participants were 813 adolescent twins from the Colorado Longitudinal Twin Sample (mean age 17 years) and 1,290 middle-aged twins from the Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging (mean age 56 years) who completed multiple measures of EFs, verbal fluency, vocabulary, and nonverbal cognitive ability. Results revealed that, in both samples, a General Fluency factor (i.e., comprising both phonemic and semantic fluency measures) was associated with the Common EF factor, but also with variance unique to working memory updating, working memory span, and set-shifting. In adolescents, semantic fluency also had unique associations with shifting beyond its shared variance with phonemic fluency and Common EF. After accounting for EFs and other cognitive abilities, there were unique genetic and environmental influences on the General Fluency and Semantic-Specific latent factors. These results suggest that verbal fluency ability may best be viewed as an amalgamation of general EF variance (i.e., Common EF ability), variance shared with other EFs (e.g., Updating-Specific ability), and multiple sources of unique genetic/environmental variance (i.e., General Fluency and Semantic-Specific abilities). These associations between verbal fluency and EFs generalize to populations that differ in age by approximately 40 years. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6754807 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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