ExFunKi - Executive Functions of Children aged 3 to 5 years old

To promote child development, it is crucial to identify and foster children’s resources and strengths to avoid risk developments. Moreover, the ability to control one's own actions with regard to the environment is of major importance. Within the project ExFunKi ("Executive Functions in Kindergarten") we investigate how well children between three and five years can monitor their thinking and their own actions. These abilities are subsumed under the term "executive functions" and are relevant already at a young age. For instance, children often have to wait for their turn, must not cross the street when the traffic light is red or have to ignore distractions to keep their attention on important things. Since good executive functions are important for a successful performance at school, research on executive functions plays a crucial role. By developing a test to measure a child’s executive functions, it is possible to gauge and eventually further develop the child’s abilities. For our current project we are developing fun computer tasks for children between the ages of three and five, which at the same time allow us to capture their executive functions. Through this process we expect to provide children with better support for their development.