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The Breakfast Task (Craik & Bialystok, 2006) is a computerized task that simulates the planning and monitoring requirements involved in cooking breakfast, an everyday activity important for functional independence. In Experiment 1, 28 adults performed the Breakfast Task, and outcome measures were examined with principal component analysis to elucidate the structure of cognitive processes underlying performance. Analyses revealed a 2-component structure which putatively captured global planning and local monitoring abilities. In Experiment 2, the structure of Breakfast Task performance was cross-validated on a new sample of 59 healthy older adults who also performed tests assessing working memory, processing speed, inhibition, reasoning and prospective memory. Factor analyses showed that the global planning component from the Breakfast Task was significantly correlated with individual differences in executive functions but the local monitoring component was independent of such functions. The Breakfast Task provides a fast, enjoyable, and lifelike assessment of complex everyday planning and monitoring, and their underlying processes such as working memory and executive functions.

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Journal Article

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