Meet the Author: Robert M. Roth, Ph.D.

1. Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology?

I was 8 years old when I decided that I wanted to be a psychologist. I had come across a series of books my sister had about human nature in which the term was often mentioned. While I did not really understand what being a psychologist meant at the time, things in the books such as pictures of the brain and visual illusions made a lasting impression on me. During high school I developed an interest in the etiology and treatment of substance abuse in adolescents. While my career path eventually led largely away from that topic, it cemented my dedication to a career in psychology.

 2. What made you decide initially to develop the TEC?

During the development of the BRIEF-A, Peter Isquith, Gerry Gioia, and I had engaged in discussions about assessment and functional neuroimaging of executive functions. We became interested in the idea of developing an instrument that would involve executive function tasks often used in neuroimaging studies but that had not been standardized for use as a clinical measure.

 3. What would you like to tell people about the TEC that they may not know?

It took 7 years from the initial discussion about developing a new measure to publication of the TEC. A great deal of time was spent developing the measure, trying different parameters, selecting stimuli, making other adjustments and changes to the task and reports based on pilot testing, analyzing data, and writing and editing the manual. It was a true labor of love.

 4. What would you like to tell people about yourself that they may not know?

I have been studying executive functions, using a variety of methods (neuropsychological measures, ERPs, fMRI, questionnaires) for the past 20 years. I love writing and mentoring scientific papers. I am a trilingual Canadian from Montreal Quebec who speaks English, French, and Hungarian (the latter being my parents’ native language).

 5. How do you spend your free time? (hobbies, books are you reading, movies you enjoy, pets, etc.)

I most enjoy spending time with my two sons and other family members. Other than that, reading history and historical fiction related to Europe, tourism, watching movies (lots of kid-friendly fare, but also romantic comedies and sci-fi, as well as just about anything that has to do with historical events pre-1919), listening to hard rock and heavy metal music, and following the National Hockey League (go Habs!).

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Meet the Author: Peter K. Isquith, PhD

Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology?
As the brother of a deaf individual with developmental disabilities, I was intimately familiar with the needs of such individuals, their families, and their educators, and well aware of the paucity of services. I studied speech and hearing sciences/psychology at the University of Michigan and found myself fitting well in psychology. While working as an interpreter, interpreting everything from astrophysics to rock climbing and sailing to the courtroom, I interpreted for a psychological assessment, and quickly realized how much the interpreting process interfered with the assessment. After spending the next few years traveling with a theater of the deaf where I worked with children around the country, I decided that a doctorate in psychology would enable me to have the greatest flexibility in pursuing my goals of serving the needs of deaf children and individuals with disabilities. The program in Child Clinical Psychology and Law at the University at Buffalo was very well-suited to my goals.

What made you decide initially to develop the Tasks of Executive Control™ (TEC™)?
My colleagues and I had long been interested in executive functions from a developmental perspective. Given the challenges inherent in assessing these self-regulatory processes, we previously focused on ecological validity, resulting in the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function® (BRIEF®) family of instruments. We were also aware of the “molar,” or composite, nature of our extant performance tests of executive function, and sought a means of capturing the most fundamental aspects of executive function, namely working memory and inhibitory control, in a developmentally sensitive, easily administered, and repeatable way that took advantage of recent development in neuroscience. Some six or seven years later, the Tasks of Executive Control was launched.

What would you like to tell people about the TEC that they may not know?
The TEC is unique. It brings established neuroscience methods to clinical assessment to facilitate evaluation of how students cognitively manage increasing demands on working memory and inhibitory control over a more naturalistic, extended time period. We took advantage of current statistical methods for evaluating change over time, both within and between TEC administrations, and provided an abundance of measures that psychologists can examine. While the learning curve is likely steep given the newness of the measure and concepts, we believe it is worth the climb.

What would you like to tell people about yourself that they may not know?
I am a full-time clinician with specialty in pediatric neuropsychology, working in an independent practice and in schools. The ideas for assessment approaches come from my own clinical work and that of my colleagues. In this way, I am an “accidental” test author. Developing measures with my colleagues in practice and with PAR, Inc. has been very rewarding work.

How do you spend your free time?
Most of my free time is spent with my family, typically coaching my daughters through homework and attending their soccer, basketball, and softball games or coaching skiing. The only exception is Monday nights when I relive my youth and play bass in a rock band.

Select PAR Software Programs Available for Direct Download

PAR is proud to announce that the following software products are now available for direct download to your computer through our Web site, www.parinc.com:

Simply click on the product page link and select the Download item code or the Download with CD-ROM item code to have a backup CD mailed to you.

We hope you will enjoy being able to download software products directly from PAR and hope to make more products available in this way in the future. We are conducting a survey to see which other software products you would like to be made available in this format.

We appreciate your feedback. Thank you for helping us to understand how we can better serve you.