A Pilot Study of Executive Function in School Aged Children: Auditory and Visual Stimuli in Background Noise and Quiet
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Executive function plays a big role in our everyday lives and is vital in the classroom. The current study was a pilot study that sought to determine the effect executive function plays in eye movement and comprehension. The participants were asked to watch then answer comprehension questions for 4 different videos. The 4 videos were presented under 4 different conditions in random order. The conditions were: auditory-only, auditory-visual, auditory-only in background noise, and auditory-visual in background noise After participants completed the 4 conditions, they completed the Behavioral Assessment of Dysexecutive Function in Children which is a test of executive function. The study included 8 participants, 1 female and 7 males, ranging in ages from 8 years, 3 months to 12 years, 9 months. Executive function scores ranged from 78 (categorized as borderline on the BADS-C) to 140 (categorized as superior on the BADSC), with an average score of 101.5. Unfortunately, the eye gaze data was not available due to technical difficulties. Comprehension results indicated a main effect of noise. In auditory-only conditions, participants performed significantly worse in noise than in quiet. In auditory-visual conditions, the difference in quiet and noise only approached significance. No statically significant correlations were found between comprehension and executive function. However, there was a weak positive relationship between comprehension and the auditory-only in background noise condition. Data shows trends that visuals slightly impacted comprehension in noise more so than in quiet. Future research is needed to more fully determine the effect eye gaze has on comprehension of information in noise in comparison to executive function levels.