The Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS): A method of assessing executive function in children

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The dimensional change card sort (DCCS) is an easily administered and widely used measure of executive function that is suitable for use with participants across a wide range of ages. In the standard version, children are required to sort a series of bivalent test cards, first according to one dimension (e.g., color), and then according to the other (e.g., shape). Most 3-year-olds perseverate during the post-switch phase, exhibiting a pattern of inflexibility similar to that seen in patients with prefrontal cortical damage. By 5 years of age, most children switch when instructed to do so. Performance on the DCCS provides an index of the development of executive function, and it is impaired in children with disorders such as attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism. We describe the protocol for the standard version (duration = 5 min) and the more challenging border version (duration = 5 min), which may be used with children as old as 7 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-301
Number of pages5
JournalNature Protocols
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS? ? Preparation? of? this? article? was? supported,? in? part,? by? a? grant? from? the? Natural? Sciences? and? Engineering? Research? Council? of? Canada? and? by? a? Canada? Research? Chair.? Many? individuals? have? been? involved? the? creation? and? refinement? of? the? DCCS? and? its? many? versions,? but? the? author? would? like? to? acknowledge? in? particular? the? valuable? contributions? of? D.? Frye? and? T.? Palfai,? coauthors? of? the? article? in? which? the? protocol? was? first? described.


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