Executive Functions and Language Development/Processing

Lucy A. Henry

In: Encyclopedia of Language Development

Executive Functions and Language Development/Processing

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  • Executive functioning (EF) refers to a range of skills involved in high-level, goal-directed behavior. These skills are used for demanding thinking and learning tasks, where new responses must be generated, implemented, and monitored. EF skills are not generally involved in well-learned, routine, or automatic tasks. It is increasingly clear that EF is closely implicated in language processing, with brain regions used for EF overlapping with brain regions used for language. EF is also implicated in language development: EF skills are relatively strong in bilingual children yet weaker in those with language delays or difficulties.

    What Is Executive Functioning?

    EF is usually conceptualized as including several distinct but interrelated subskills. There is wide agreement for three domains of EF, including working memory, inhibition, and switching. Nevertheless, it is ...

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