NIH toolbox cognition battery (CB): Measuring executive function and attention

Philip D Zelazo, Jacob E. Anderson, Jennifer Richler, Kathleen Wallner-Allen, Jennifer L. Beaumont, Sandra Weintraub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

497 Scopus citations


In this chapter, we discuss two measures designed to assess executive function (EF) as part of the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (CB) and report pediatric data from the validation study. EF refers to the goal-directed cognitive control of thought, action, and emotion. Two measures were adapted for standardized computer administration: the Dimensional Change Card Sort (a measure of cognitive flexibility) and a flanker task (a measure of inhibitory control in the context of selective visual attention). Results reveal excellent developmental sensitivity across childhood, excellent reliability, and (in most cases) excellent convergent validity. Correlations between the new NIH Toolbox measures and age were higher for younger children (3-6 years) than for older children (8-15 years), and evidence of increasing differentiation of EF from other aspects of cognition (indexed by receptive vocabulary) was obtained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-33
Number of pages18
JournalMonographs of the Society for Research in Child Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2013


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