Executive function in typical and atypical development.

by Philip David Zelazo, Ulrich Müller


Addresses definitional issues surrounding the construct of executive function (EF), and considers research on prefrontal cortex and its development. It is argued that although EF can be studied in purely functional terms, consideration of concomitant neurological systems provides an important source of constraints on functional models of EF. The review of research on the development of EF in typically developing children will proceed according to the problem solving framework introduced by P. D. Zelazo et al (1997). In light of this review, the role of EF in 2 psychiatric conditions with childhood onset is discussed, autism and ADHD, which the authors believe illustrate the utility of the distinction between hot and cool EF. Generalizations about the development of EF, including recommendations for future research are offered.

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