Self-Understanding of Executive Functions in Individuals With Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum

Publication Date



Researchers have associated agenesis of the corpus callosum (ACC) with a range of mild cognitive deficits, especially involving higher order executive functions. In this study, I investigated the self-understanding of executive functions in individuals with ACC by comparing laboratory-controlled, self-report, and observer-report measures. I achieved this by gathering self- and observer-reported data of executive functions and comparing these data to each other and to a normative distribution. I also examined how strongly observer-perceptions of executive functions correlate with laboratory measurement. My results indicated (a) individuals with ACC self-report fewer problems with executive functions in their daily life than observers on the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function–Adult Version (BRIEF-A), (b) several significant correlations exist between observer ratings on the BRIEF-A Metacognition Index and the performance of individuals with ACC on aspects of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS), and (c) the BRIEF-A appears to demonstrate greater sensitivity for poor executive functions associated with complex novel problems than the D-KEFS. These findings raise questions about the ecological validity of executive function instruments used for clinical assessment in the ACC population, provide evidence for a lack of self-understanding or insight in individuals with ACC, and support previous research demonstrating higher-order cognitive deficits in the clinical profile of ACC.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology (PhD)

First Advisor

Brown, Warren S.

Document Type





Executive functions, Clinical neuropsychology, Neuropsychology, Agenesis of corpus callosum




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