Set shifting

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Set shifting

Basic Characteristics

  • Description

Set Shifting is the ability to modify ongoing behavior in response to changing goals or environmental experiences. The term set shifting is similar to terms like task switching and cognitive shifting. Set shifting is a method used in describing the mental process of re-directing one’s focus of attention away from one fixation toward another fixation point. Set shifting can be done either consciously or subconsciously. Set shifting takes place in the frontal lobes, the prefrontal cortex and the basal ganglia. There are separate areas, however, for switching the task and for preparing to switch the task. Difficulty in set shifting is associated with disorders such as Schizophrenia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Anorexia-nervosa, and Parkinson’s disease.

  • History

The term related to set shifting, such as cognitive shifting, was coined by John Selby. He used the term in articles, lectures and interviews, and later in his book Quiet Your Mind. The term has come to be used regularly in therapy and meditation and more recently has been printed in medical and psychiatric journals.

  • References

Darrah et al, 2008. Interaction of N-methyl-D-aspartate and group 5 glutamate receptors on behavioral flexibility using a novel operant set-shifting paradigm. PMID 18469540

Duncan and Owen, 2000. Common regions of the human frontal lobe recruited by diverse cognitive demands. PMID 11006464

Miller and Cohen, 2001. An integrative theory of prefrontal cortex function. PMID 11283309

Monsell S, 2003. Task Switching. PMID 12639695

Tunbridge et al, 2004. Catechol-o-methyltranferase inhibition improves set-shifting performance and elevates stimulated dopamine release in rat prefrontal cortex. PMID 15190105

Related Information

  • Indicators (dependent variables, conditions, or contrasts; measurement variables used for analysis) associated with this construct (vote or nominate by editing this page):
  • Closely related pages (vote or nominate related pages by editing this page):
  • CNP Level

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