Executive function is a general operational term employed in the human and psychological sciences to refer to the product of a host of cognitive processes mediated by activity within the prefrontal cortex and underlying one’s ability to achieve goal-directed behavior. While from a practical perspective executive function operates as a multidimensional cognitive mechanism that guides behavior toward attainment of various goals, research conducted in the cognitive sciences suggests that there are various cognitive processes that operate synergistically to produce this outcome. This entry discusses the cognitive processes involved, reviews a brief history of the study of executive function, and considers clinical relevance for clinicians who work with patients with a language disorder as well as other disorders.

There is currently no single, agreed-upon definition of executive ...

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