The Grasping Task: A 12-month predictor of 24-month delay task performance and BRIEF-P inhibition scores

26 Apr 2018

Important developments in executive function (EF) are thought to occur during the second year of life but few tools exist to assess EF in this period. We argue that, to be effective, tasks for this age range need to reduce the abstract nature of the task rules, and reduce reliance on verbal instruction. We present The Grasping Task, which uses familiar objects presented in such a way as to communicate the rules of the task to infants with no need for verbal instruction or abstraction. A longitudinal validity study of infants from 12 to 24 months old showed the Grasping Task at 12 months predicted children’s performance on delay tasks and scores on the BRIEF-P Inhibition scale at 24 months, but were unrelated to scores on the BSID-III at 18 months, suggesting the task is capturing an aspect of early inhibitory development that is distinct from general cognitive functioning.