This chapter reviews age differences in metacognitive control, defined as behaviors based on the monitoring of cognitive systems and states with the goal of improving the quality of cognition, especially the likelihood of successful remembering. Metacognitive monitoring and control are promising means of improving older adults’ cognition and can compensate for age-related cognitive decline. A prototypical type of metacognitive control studied in aging research involves the self-testing procedure to guide allocation of study time and strategic effort. Older adults often fail to use this strategy even though it can be highly effective for them. Evidence regarding age differences in metacognitive control using more complicated multitrial learning tasks is mixed. The literature is still in its formative stages and age differences in observed metacognitive control should not be taken as signifying irremediable aging-related deficits. Issues with the existing body of evidence and suggestions for future research questions are highlighted.
Alexandra Ernst, Chris J.A. Moulin, Celine Souchay, Daniel C. Mograbi, and Robin Morris
While metacognition and anosognosia have long been studied as distinct concepts, more recently we have endeavored to construct a theoretical framework for exploring how metacognition can contribute to our understanding of anosognosia and vice versa. Following this approach, with a particular focus on Alzheimer’s disease (AD), this chapter first gives an overview of the key experimental findings and issues on metacognition in AD patients: in particular, overconfidence and absolute awareness; the sensitivity approach; the fractionation of metacognition in AD; the neural substrates of metacognition in the Alzheimer brain; and metacognitive control in these patients. Second, the chapter discusses the concept of anosognosia in AD patients from a cognitive neuropsychological viewpoint. It addresses models such as the cognitive awareness model and evidence from metacognition studies, and how they contribute to disentangle the issue of measuring anosognosia in AD patients. Finally, it develops the emerging concept of “implicit awareness” in AD patients.
R. Peter Hobson
In order to understand the pathogenesis of autism, one needs to have an adequate framework within which to think about the nature of typical as well as atypical early human mental development. From a complementary perspective, the study of autism may challenge our ways of thinking about the mind itself. For example, are we justified in introducing divisions among cognition, conation, and affect in characterizing early development? What is the epistemological basis for children's understanding of others' minds? How should we think about the origins of and basis for symbolic functioning? This chapter explores the relevance of philosophy for our accounts of autism, highlighting the importance of ideas from Wittgenstein and Strawson in particular, and illustrates fresh ways in which autism might contribute to debates in philosophy of mind.
This chapter is an overview of music therapy, a healthcare profession in which music is used as a therapeutic medium to address developmental, adaptive, and rehabilitative goals in the areas of speech and language, cognition, sensorimotor, and psychosocial behavior of individuals with a variety of neurological, psychological, physical, and medical diagnoses. A music therapist must receive a referral, upon which they are responsible for completing an assessment, developing a treatment plan, documenting the progress of a client throughout treatment, evaluating progress, and developing a termination plan for their client. Over 6000 United States board-certified music therapists are employed throughout the world, serving a wide range of populations, including geriatrics, developmentally disabled adults and children, mental health populations, physically disabled, school-aged children, early childhood, substance abuse, sensory impaired, neurologically impaired, and terminally ill.
Amy Wenzel and Megan Spokas
Cognitive and information processing variables have the potential to account for the mechanisms that lead up to and operate during a suicidal crisis. This chapter evaluates the empirical research on suicide-relevant cognitive content variables (i.e., hopelessness, perfectionism, burdensomeness, low belongingness, unbearability) and information processing variables (i.e., problem-solving deficits, overgeneral memory, future thinking, attentional biases, implicit associations). It is concluded that many of these variables interact with one another during suicidal crises and can serve as both distal and proximal risk factors for suicidal behavior. In addition, five contemporary cognitive models of suicidal behavior are presented, and the manner in which they might operate at different stages in the onset of suicidal crises is considered.
Jill Lobbestael and Arnoud Arntz
The purpose of this chapter is to provide an understanding of the pathology of personality disorders from a cognitive perspective. The chapter begins by outlining cognitive schemas, particularly those developed by Drs. Beck and Young, along with a summary and discussion of the relevant empirical research. This is followed by a discussion of schema modes. Next is a discussion of cognitive biases; more specifically, biases in attention, interpretation, and memory. This is followed by a discussion of dichotomous thinking and then the implicit assessment of cognitive concepts. The chapter ends with final conclusions and suggestions for future research.
Jacqueline Zöllig, Mike Martin, and Vera Schumacher
Cognitive development in ageing is a multidimensional and multidirectional phenomenon characterized by age-related changes in the plasticity of different dimensions of cognitive functions. Gains, stability, and losses can be observed across abilities and across persons as they age. Although with the closeness to death losses are predominant, several cognitive abilities on average show stability and even increases well into extreme old age. Importantly, the individually differing uses of the ability to learn, and cognitive as well as neural plasticity can explain the heterogeneity of cognitive ageing. Based on different approaches to cognitive ageing, different training methods have been introduced over the past years focusing on cognitive processes, primary mental abilities, higher-order cognitive constructs, and global cognition involving multiple cognitive domains. They demonstrate the possibilities to improve cognitive functioning and to extend the phase of autonomous living for several years. A more recent and promising concept is the integration of the existing approaches within a functional approach to cognitive development framing elementary cognitive ability use within the context of their functional value for independent living and autonomy. Due to its applicability to resource orchestration at all levels of functioning it has implications for the understanding of everyday cognitive performances and clinical practice.
Roberta F. White
This chapter provides an overview on cognitive disorders in adults from a neuropsychological perspective. It begins with a critical review of existing taxonomies for these disorders, especially those contained in the DSM-IV and continues with a summary of neuropsychological terminology used in the chapter and the effects of focal brain lesions. A number of medical and neurological disorders are described, and their cognitive correlates are reviewed using data from clinical case studies and epidemiologic research. The conditions summarized include a brief consideration of medical disorders that do not involve primary central nervous system pathology, followed by extensive review of brain insults (trauma, infections, exposures) and primary neurological disorders (dementias, cerebrovascular disease, motor system disorders, structural lesions, epilepsy, autoimmune disorders). A concluding section describes current issues in understanding cognitive disorders and likely future approaches to research on them.
Tina H. Schweizer and Benjamin L. Hankin
This chapter focuses on how several prominent cognitive risk processes (attention bias, overgeneral autobiographical memory, executive functioning difficulties) and products (negative inferential style, dysfunctional attitudes, depressive rumination) may translate stress into different forms of prevalent psychopathologies, including internalizing (e.g., depression, anxiety) and externalizing disorders (e.g., conduct disorder). First, prominent conceptual models are presented that explain how cognitive risks relate to psychopathology and the interplay between stress and cognition in contributing to psychopathology. Second, the chapter describes how cognitive risks have typically been conceptualized and measured, and it reviews evidence on associations between each cognitive risk and different psychopathologies. Third, three conceptual models are presented that can be used to organize and understand the relations among stress, cognition, and psychopathology—(1) vulnerability-stress, (2) mechanism, and (3) transactional/bidirectional. Last, key future research directions are highlighted, including integrating cognitive risks across multiple units of analysis and establishing a taxonomy of cognitive risk.
Lauren B. Alloy, Lyn Abramson, Jonathan Stange, and Rachel Salk
Maladaptive cognitive styles, including dysfunctional attitudes about our self-worth, the tendency to make negative inferences about the causes and consequences of negative events, and the tendency to ruminate about our sad mood, have been hypothesized to provide vulnerability to depression when individuals experience stressful life events. This chapter presents an overview of the three main cognitive vulnerability theories of depression, Beck’s Cognitive Theory, the Hopelessness Theory, and Response Styles Theory, which feature these three proposed cognitive vulnerabilities, respectively. The chapter describes each of these cognitive vulnerabilities, their measurement, and the types of research designs that have been employed to test the cognitive vulnerability theories. It also reviews the empirical evidence for each of these three forms of cognitive vulnerability to depression. Finally, the chapter highlights directions for further research.
Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions for Disorders of Extreme Stress: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder
J. Gayle Beck, Allison M. Pickover, Alexandra J. Lipiniski, Han N. Tran, and Thomas S. Dodson
In this chapter, we review the current literature on cognitive-behavioral treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and acute stress disorder (ASD). Particular attention is paid to treatments for PTSD that have strong empirical support, specifically cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy. Cognitive-behavioral treatments for ASD have evolved differently, with greater emphasis on treatment packages; notably, this literature is less well developed and deserving of considerable more study, relative to the PTSD literature. Throughout the chapter, we have addressed areas for future study, as well issues that are currently salient in the treatment of these two conditions.
Michèle M. M. Mazzocco
Studies of mathematics learning disabilities (MLD) in persons with a known genetic syndrome can illustrate the heterogeneity of MLD by revealing distinct cognitive profiles linked to poor mathematics achievement. These profiles may model the development of MLD and have implications for diagnosis and intervention. This approach is evident in research on fragile X or Turner syndromes. Both syndromes have a high incidence of MLD, and their phenotypes include remarkable strengths and difficulties in select math skills. Girls with fragile X syndrome show remarkable rote knowledge that does not appear to support problem solving or conceptual mastery; at some stages, it may mask MLD. Girls with Turner syndrome have remarkably difficulty with math fluency and estimation, but untimed performance is often accurate, even under high working memory demands, suggesting unique compensatory strategies. These phenotypes have important implications for the roles of individual and developmental differences in MLD.
Wolfgang Schneider and Elisabeth Löffler
This chapter aims at depicting the development of metacognitive knowledge from early childhood through early adolescence. Children’s ability to reflect on their mental states develops rapidly in early childhood, beginning around the age of three. Thus the chapter first discusses important precursors of metacognitive knowledge, in particular, the correct use of mental verbs and the development of a “theory of mind.” Subsequently, it highlights essential stages in the acquisition of declarative metacognitive knowledge, with an emphasis on knowledge about the effectiveness of different strategies. Next, it discusses how and when important aspects of procedural metamemory, that is, monitoring and self-control, develop in childhood and how they interact. It then discusses developmental trends in the relationship between metamemory and memory in more detail. Finally, it presents attempts to assess and foster metacognitive skills in applied settings and discusses possible future directions of research on the development of metacognition.
Studies using animal models of adolescence have shown lasting consequences of adolescent exposure to alcohol, nicotine, and cannabinoids, including increases in later drug self-administration in some instances, along with alterations in cognitive and socioemotional functioning. In the case of alcohol, some evidence has also emerged for retention of immature, adolescent-typical alcohol sensitivities into adulthood. Neural alterations include relatively long-lasting changes in later neural functioning and gene expression in the neurocircuitry processing rewards, social and emotional stimuli, and cognition. Thus, although at this early stage, other aged exposure groups have not always been included to determine whether adolescence represents an especially vulnerable period, convincing data has nevertheless emerged that repeated exposure to drugs during adolescence often exerts relatively long-lasting alterations in later neurobehavioral function.
Cristina McKean, James Law, Angela Morgan, and Sheena Reilly
This chapter describes the history of research in Language Disorders (LD) outlining changes in terminology and methodology and focuses on three newer research methodologies: population studies, the characterization of longitudinal change, and neuroimaging. Population studies have identified a clear social gradient in language ability, challenged assumptions about the role of non-verbal skills, and highlighted vulnerabilities in associated developmental domains. The fluidity of pre-school language development and increasing stability in the middle school years has become apparent in longitudinal population analyses and the importance of social disadvantage and the home-learning environment underlined. Neurobiological “differences” between those with and without LD are recognized, however little is known about the developmental pathways or the role of biological and environmental mechanisms in shaping them. Fully describing and understanding the ontogony of LD remains elusive. How environmental, genetic, epigenetic, and neurobiological effects interact and unfold over developmental time and across population samples remain priorities for research.
Although music is ubiquitous across human cultures and from a very young age, a subset of the population possesses an unusual lack of musical ability, to the extent that may be disruptive to perceptual, cognitive, and socioemotional functioning in everyday life. These individuals may be construable as suffering from a constellation of musical disorders. This chapter reviews the current literature on musical disorders, with emphasis on congenital amusia, also known as tone-deafness. We begin with historical and formal definitions of musical disorders. We then review findings in human behavioral and neuroimaging studies, which disentangle various theories underlying musical disorders. We discuss the generalization of musical disorders to extra-musical domains of life, and end with hopes for rehabilitation. In summary, the evidence suggests that musical disorders affect perception and production by disrupting conscious access to sound information via frontal-temporal brain pathways, resulting in subtle but robust effects in speech and language.
Holly A. Tuokko and Colette M. Smart
The aim of this chapter is to examine the disability (or functional impairment) associated with changes in cognition in later life. In so doing, we examine the ways in which the terms ‘functional impairment’ and ‘disability’ are used in the context of cognitive decline and how they relate to everyday competence. We explore the ways in which everyday functioning has been conceptualized and measured in the extant literature. We then examine the influence age-related cognitive changes may exert on everyday functioning. Finally, we examine the measurement of cognitive functions relevant to everyday behaviours. In this context, we address intervention to maintain or improve daily functioning in both healthy older adults as well as those with cognitive impairment.
Kiara Timpano, Ashley M. Shaw, Julia C. Yang, and Demet Çek
Hoarding disorder, a complex syndrome marked by extreme difficulty discarding possessions and debilitating clutter, is increasingly recognized as a severe and impairing public health burden. Within the cognitive-behavioral model of hoarding, specific information processing difficulties have been implicated as contributing factors, including (1) attention, (2) memory, and (3) executive functioning difficulties associated with decision making, categorization abilities, and impulsivity. The authors first outline general issues and considerations relevant to the study of neuropsychological factors, followed by a more specific examination of the extant literature on hoarding. For each of the primary neurocognitive deficits hypothesized for hoarding disorder, this review outlines and evaluates past research. In summary, there is a strong indication that the attentional system is compromised in hoarding disorder, particularly with respect to inattention. Furthermore, there is suggestive evidence for recall deficits of both verbal and visual information, along with less efficient organization of visual information for encoding purposes. Data on categorization abilities also provide evidence that individuals with hoarding rely on a greater number of underinclusive categories. Less convincing evidence has been obtained for decision making, impulsivity, and planning. For each of the larger information processing domains, the authors discuss limitations and highlight unexplored avenues for future study. In general, the study of neurocognitive deficits in hoarding represents a highly promising area for future research, though one that is still in its nascent stage.
Anke Ehlers, Thomas Ehring, and Birgit Kleim
The chapter reviews the contribution of information processing models to understanding the development and maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder. Individual differences in cognitive processing during the trauma and basic memory mechanism, such as priming and associative learning, may help explain why people with PTSD involuntarily re-experience parts of the trauma in a wide range of situations. Individual differences in how people remember traumatic events may influence the likelihood of developing PTSD. Attentional bias to trauma-related cues and threatening interpretations of the trauma or its aftermath help explain why people with PTSD have many symptoms of anxiety even though the trauma is over. Cognitive strategies people use to deal with memories of the trauma, such as effortful suppression of trauma memories and rumination, help explain why some develop chronic PTSD whereas many recover from trauma. Finally, there may be cognitive vulnerability factors that increase the probability of developing PTSD in response to trauma. Directions for future research are outlined.
Richard W. J. Neufeld
This chapter begins with an introduction to the basic ideas behind clinical mathematical and computational modeling. In general, models of normal cognitive-behavioral functioning are titrated to accommodate performance deviations accompanying psychopathology; model features remaining intact indicate functions that are spared; those that are perturbed are triaged as signifying functions that are disorder affected. Distinctions and interrelations among forms of modeling in clinical science and assessment are stipulated, with an emphasis on analytical, mathematical modeling. Preliminary conceptual and methodological considerations are presented. Concrete examples illustrate the benefits of modeling as applied to specific disorders. Emphasis in each case is on clinically significant information uniquely yielded by the modeling enterprise. Implications for the functional side of clinical functional neuro-imaging are detailed. Challenges to modeling in the domain of clinical science and assessment are described, as are tendered solutions. The chapter ends with a description of continuing challenges and future opportunities.