Assessing executive dysfunction in girls with fragile X or Turner syndrome using the contingency naming test (CNT)

John W. Kirk, Michèle M.M. Mazzocco, Sara T. Kover

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The aim of this study was to examine executive function (EF) skills in girls with fragile X or Turner syndrome, using the Contingency Naming Test (CNT). The CNT is a Stroop-like task involving a 1- or 2-attribute contingency rule. We predicted that girls with fragile X would make errors reflecting poor cognitive flexibility and working memory limitations. We predicted that girls with Turner syndrome would have sufficient cognitive flexibility to perform the CNT accurately, but would have difficulty with verbal inhibition and would thus make more self-corrections than girls in a comparison group. The hypotheses were partially supported: relative to their Full Scale IQ-matched comparison group, girls with fragile X or Turner syndrome were slower on the warm-up naming task; girls with fragile X made more errors on the 1-attribute task, and girls with Turner syndrome were less efficient on both the 1- and 2-attribute tasks, without making more self-corrections. These results support previous findings of executive dysfunction associated with fragile X or Turner syndrome. The results suggest that both low IQ and fragile X status contribute to working memory limitations in girls with fragile X and that EF inefficiency in girls with Turner syndrome is due to both working memory limitations and slower response times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)755-777
Number of pages23
JournalDevelopmental Neuropsychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a National Institutes of Health Grant RO1 HD034061 to Michèle M. M. Mazzocco, and by a fellowship awarded to Sara T. Kover from the 2003 Rosen Summer Fellowship program from the National fragile X Foundation. A portion of these findings were presented at the 32nd Annual International Neuropsychological Society Meeting in Baltimore, MD, February 2004. We thank the children and parents who participated in this research. We also thank research coordinator, Gwen F. Myers. We acknowledge that each of us contributed equally to the preparation of this article.


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