Age Related Transformations of Cognitive Functions in Children Aged 5—7 Years: A Neuropsychological Analysis

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to reveal agerelated transformations in the cognitive functions of children during the period from 5 to 7 years. The study enrolled 15 children aged 5—6 and 27 children aged 6—7 years with normal status. All children underwent full neuropsychological examination according to the classical Luria scheme adapted for children aged 6—9 by Akhutina et al. and modified for the purposes of this current research. The data obtained in the study shows that in the transitional period between 5—6 and 6—7 years there are significant changes in the cognitive sphere of children without cognitive and/or behavioural difficulties which affect both voluntary activity regulation and verbal and visualspatial information processing. Besides, there are certain improvements in children's understanding of instructions and activity algorithms. Their ability to synthesize holistic images and perceiving structuraltopological relations and proportions increases as well, and so does the efficiency of visual memorizing. Progressive changes appear in speech as well, mostly in its lexical and semantic aspects. The authors show that all these agerelated changes in the separate components of voluntary activity regulation, visual perception and speech functions are interrelated. As for other cognitive activity components, significant changes in between 5—6 and 6—7 years were not found, which indicates that there is a heterochronicity in the development of various cognitive activity elements at this stage of ontogenesis. The interrelation between the progressive changes of cognitive functions may be caused by the presence of some mutual factors affecting their development.

General Information

Keywords: children of 5—7 years, agerelated transformations of cognitive functions, neuropsychology

Journal rubric: Memorable Dates

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Semyonova O.A., Machinskaya R.I. Age Related Transformations of Cognitive Functions in Children Aged 5—7 Years: A Neuropsychological Analysis. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2012. Vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 20–28. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

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Information About the Authors

Olga A. Semyonova, PhD in Psychology, senior researcher, Institute of Age Physiology of the Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia, e-mail: semenova_neuro@yahoo.com

Regina I. Machinskaya, Doctor of Biology, professor, Нead of the Laboratory of neurophysiology of cognitive processes, Institute of Developmental Physiology, Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5846-384X, e-mail: reginamachinskaya@gmail.com

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