Neonatal white matter abnormalities predict global executive function impairment in children born very preterm

Lianne J. Woodward, Caron A C Clark, Verena E. Pritchard, Peter J. Anderson, Terrie E. Inder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


Using prospective longitudinal data from 110 very preterm and 113 full term children, this article describes the executive functioning abilities of very preterm children at age 4, and examines relations between the extent of white matter abnormality on neonatal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and later executive function outcomes. Very preterm children performed less well than full term children on measures of planning ability, cognitive flexibility, selective attention, and inhibitory control. Executive impairments at age 4 were confined to preterm children with mild or moderate-severe white matter abnormalities on MRI. Findings support the importance of cerebral white matter integrity for later executive function. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-41
Number of pages20
JournalDevelopmental Neuropsychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

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