• Diamond, Adele

    Affiliate Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
    Head, Program in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia
    Professor, Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia
    Canada Research Chair Tier 1 and Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, University of British Columbia
    Degrees / Designations

    BA, PhD, FRSC

    Primary Area of Research
    Brain, Behaviour & Development
    Secondary Area(s) of Research
    Lab Phone
    Daphne Ling, Lab Manager
    Assistant Phone
    Mailing Address
    Department of Psychiatry
    University of British Columbia
    Room G842
    2255 Wesbrook Mall
    Vancouver, BC V6N 3L6
    Affiliate Websites
    Research Areas
    • Cognitive neuroscience, prefrontal cortex, developmental disorders, dopamine 
    • Executive functions, working memory, attention, inhibitory control, self-regulation, reasoning, creative problem-solving 
    • Differences by sex and genotype in the effect of stress on cognition
    • ADHD 
    • Infants, preschoolers, school-age children, aging 
    • Developmental psychology, cognition, motor development
    • Interrelations among social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development
    Our work integrates behavioural, neuroanatomical, and genetic approaches to study cognitive abilities (called ‘executive functions’) dependent on prefrontal cortex (PFC) from their earliest beginnings throughout the lifespan in clinical and "normal" populations. Our methods include: neurocognitive testing, even of infants; functional neuroimaging (fMRI); preschool and school interventions; and molecular genetic analyses. We study the neural bases, genetic and neurochemical modulation, modification by the environment of executive functions and how they can become derailed in disorders. We hope our work might aid the understanding, prevention, and treatment of major mental disorders. Our work has already led to worldwide improvements in the treatment of a genetic disorder (PKU) and a developmental disorder (ADHD), thereby improving children's lives. Our research also has educational implications and has affected early education worldwide.
    Current Projects
    • Effects of Low-dose versus Normal-dose Psychostimulants on Executive Functions in Children with ADHD (click here)
    • Possible Benefits of Beloved Music with or without Social Interaction or Beloved Literature (Poetry and/or Stories) for Adults Experiencing Mild Cognitive Decline (click here)
    • What Helps and what Hinders Executive Functions during Adolescence, and do Executive Functions in Middle Childhood Predict Academic Achievement and Well-being during Adolescence (click here)
    • What is the Effect on Executive Functions, if any, of one week of being Active (for normally sedentary university students) and one week of being Sedentary (for normally active university students) (click here)
    • Sex Differences in the Effects of Mild Stress on Executive Functions (click here)
    • Role of COMT Genotype in Mediating the Effects of Mild Stress on Executive Functions (click here)
    • A Randomized Control Trial of Tools of the Mind in Kindergartens in the Lower Mainland (click here)
    • Efficacy of Modified Kangaroo Care by a Non-Relative for Outcomes of Infants in Neonatal Intensive Care (click here) 
    Selected Publications

    Diamond, A., & Ling, D.S. (2016). Conclusions about interventions, programs, and approaches for improving executive functions that appear justified and those that, despite much hype, do not. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. [Epub 2015 Dec 07 ahead of print] NIHMS:743147 (pdf)

    Diamond, A. (2015a). Research that helps us move closer to a world where each child thrives. Research in Human Development, 12, 288 - 294. (in the “Just One Wish Issue” with guest editors Richard A. Settersten Jr. & Megan McClelland.) [Epub 27 Aug. 2015 ahead of print.] NIHMS: 718503 (pdf)

    Diamond, A. (2015b). Effects of physical exercise on executive functions: Going beyond simply moving to moving with thought. Annals of Sports Medicine and Research, 2, 1-5. NIHMS:657538 (pdf)

    Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Oberle, E., Diamond, A., Lawlor, M. S., Abbott, D., Thompson, K., & Oberlander, T.F. (2015). Enhancing cognitive and social – emotional development through a simple-to-administer mindfulness-based school program for elementary school children: A randomized controlled trial. Developmental Psychology, 51, 52-66. (Special Section on Mindfulness and Compassion in Human Development) PMID:25546595 NIHMS:660668 (pdf)

    Wright, A. & Diamond, A. (2014). An effect of inhibitory load in children while keeping working memory load constant. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1-9. (Special issue on Development of Executive Function during Childhood). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00213. PMID:24672502 (abstract) (pdf)

    Diamond, A. (2014). Want to optimize executive functions and academic outcomes? Simple, just nourish the human spirit. Minnesota Symposia on Child Psychology, 37, 203-230. NIHMS:605270 (pdf)

    Diamond, A. (2013). Executive Functions. Annual Review of Psychology, 64, 135-168. [Epub Sept 27, 2012 ahead of print] PMID:23020641; NIHMS:602706 (abstract) (pdf)

    Diamond, A. (2012a). Activities and programs that improve children’s executive functions. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21, 335-341. NIHMS:602709 (abstract) (pdf)

    Diamond, A. (2012b). How I came full circle from the social end of psychology, to neuroscience, and back again, in an effort to understand the development of cognitive control. In R. F. Subotnik, A. Robinson, C. M. Callahan, & P. Johnson (Eds.), Malleable Minds: Translating Insights from Psychology and Neuroscience to Gifted Education, (pp. 55-84). Storrs, CT: The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, U. of Conn. (pdf)

    Simpson, A., Riggs, K.J., Beck, S.R., Gorniak, S.L., Wu, Y., Abbott, D., & Diamond, A. (2012). Refining the understanding of inhibitory processes: How response prepotency is created and overcome. Developmental Science, 15, 62-73. [Epub Nov 28, 2011 ahead of print]. PMID:22251293; NIHMS:393793 (abstract) (pdf)

    Diamond, A. & Lee, K. (2011). Interventions shown to aid executive function development in children 4-12 years old. Science, 333, 959-964. PMID:21852486; NIHMS:310326 (abstract) (pdf)
    see also: Supplemental material

    Diamond, A. (2011). Biological and social influences on cognitive control processes dependent on prefrontal cortex. Progress in Brain Research, 189, 319-339. (special issue entitled “Gene Expression to Neurobiology and Behavior: Human Brain Development and Developmental Disorders”) PMID:21489397; NIHMS:602710 (abstract) (pdf)

    Diamond, A. (2010). The evidence base for improving school outcomes by addressing the whole child and by addressing skills and attitudes, not just content. Early Education and Development, 21, 780-793. PMID:21274420 NIHMS:249662 (abstract) (pdf).

    Diamond, A., Barnett, W.S., Thomas, J., & Munro, S. (2007). Preschool program improves cognitive control. Science, 318, 1387-1388. PMID:18048670 ;NIHMS:36247 (abstract) (pdf)

    Diamond, A. (2007a). Consequences of variations in genes that affect dopamine in prefrontal cortex.  Cerebral Cortex 17, 161-170. NIHMS:38403 (abstract) (pdf)

    Diamond, A. (2007b). Interrelated and interdependent. Developmental Science, 10, 152-158. NIHMS:16727 (abstract) (pdf)

    Diamond, A. (2006). Bootstrapping conceptual deduction using physical connection: Rethinking frontal cortex. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10, 212-218. NIHMS:10332 (abstract) (pdf)

    Davidson, M.C., Amso, D., Anderson, L.C., & Diamond, A. (2006). Development of cognitive control and executive functions from 4-13 years: Evidence from manipulations of memory, inhibition, and task switching. Neuropsychologia, 44, 2037 - 2078. NIHMS:9720 (abstract) (pdf)

    Diamond, A., Carlson, S.M., & Beck, D.M. (2005). Preschool children's performance in task switching on the dimensional change card sort task: Separating the dimensions aids the ability to switch. Developmental Neuropsychology, 28, 689-729. NIHMS:9706 (abstract) (pdf)

    Diamond, A. (2005). ADD (ADHD without hyperactivity), a neurobiologically and behaviorally distinct disorder from ADHD (with hyperactivity). Development and Psychopathology, 17, 807-825. NIHMS:9705 (abstract) (pdf)

    Honours & Awards
    Research Group Members