Executive functions facts for kids
Executive Functions are a set of mental abilities in the human brain that are responsible and necessary for someone to be able to control their behavior. Executive Functions include:
- Attentional Control - the ability to choose what to pay attention to
- Cognitive Inhibition - the ability to tune out distractions
- Inhibitory Control - the ability to practice restraint
- Working Memory - the ability to store information temporarily in order to effectively perform complex tasks
- Cognitive Flexibility - the ability to think about multiple things at the same time, and to switch between tasks
Individual Function Descriptions
The Prefrontal Cortex
In cases of diseases and/or disorders
Executive functions are primarily controlled from a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, which relies on a regulated, adequate supply of dopamine. In cases of addiction, ADHD, autism, and other nervous-system disorders, it is possible for this part of the brain to only receive a portion of the dopamine that it needs in order to work at full capacity. As a result an individual can lose partial or even complete control of these mental abilities. It is possible that by increasing dopamine production in the brain by medication, exercise, or a variety of other methods, the prefrontal cortex can receive additional dopamine, and the person can regain control of some or all of these functions.
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Executive functions Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.