Within-individual variability in neurocognitive performance: age- and sex-related differences in children and youths from ages 8 to 21.

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TitleWithin-individual variability in neurocognitive performance: age- and sex-related differences in children and youths from ages 8 to 21.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsRoalf, DR, Gur, RE, Ruparel, K, Calkins, ME, Satterthwaite, TD, Bilker, WB, Hakonarson, H, Harris, LJulius, Gur, RC
JournalNeuropsychology
Volume28
Issue4
Pagination506-18
Date Published2014 Jul
ISSN1931-1559
KeywordsAdolescent, Aging, Analysis of Variance, Attention, Child, Child Development, Cognition, Cohort Studies, Emotions, Female, Humans, Individuality, Male, Memory, Short-Term, Neuropsychological Tests, Sex Characteristics, Spatial Navigation, Young Adult
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The transition from childhood to adulthood is characterized by improved motor and cognitive performance in many domains. Developmental studies focus on average performance in single domains but ignore consistency of performance across domains. Within-individual variability (WIV) provides an index of that evenness and is a potential marker of development.METHOD: We gave a computerized battery of 14 neurocognitive tests to 9138 youths ages 8-21 from the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort.RESULTS: As expected, performance improved with age, with both accuracy and speed peaking in adulthood. WIV, however, showed a U-shaped course: highest in childhood, declining yearly into mid-adolescence, and increasing again into adulthood. Young females outperformed and were less variable than males, but by early adulthood male performance matched that of females despite being more variable.CONCLUSION: We conclude that WIV declines from childhood to adolescence as developmental lags are overcome, and then increases into adulthood reflecting the emergence of cognitive specializations related to skill-honing and brain maturation.

DOI10.1037/neu0000067
Alternate JournalNeuropsychology
PubMed ID24773417
PubMed Central IDPMC4175525
Grant ListT32 MH019112 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
K23 MH098130 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
RC2 MH089924 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
K23MH098130 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
K01 MH102609 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
RC2MH089983 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
RC2MH089924 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
RC2 MH089983 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
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