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A Time Series Approach to Random Number Generation: Using Recurrence Quantification Analysis to Capture Executive Behavior

A Time Series Approach to Random Number Generation: Using Recurrence Quantification Analysis to Capture Executive Behavior

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9: 319

The concept of executive functions plays a prominent role in contemporary experimental and clinical studies on cognition. One paradigm used in this framework is the random number generation (RNG) task, the execution of which demands aspects of executive functioning, specifically inhibition and working memory. Data from the RNG task are best seen as a series of successive events. However, traditional RNG measures that are used to quantify executive functioning are mostly summary statistics referring to deviations from mathematical randomness. In the current study, we explore the utility of recurrence quantification analysis (RQA), a non-linear method that keeps the entire sequence intact, as a better way to describe executive functioning compared to traditional measures. To this aim, 242 first- and second-year students completed a non-paced RNG task. Principal component analysis of their data showed that traditional and RQA measures convey more or less the same information. However, RQA measures do so more parsimoniously and have a better interpretation.

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Accession: 057047526

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26097449

DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00319

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