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What Part Of The Brain Controls Executive Function

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Effects Of Physical Activity On Cognitive Performance

Executive Function: Your Brain’s Control Center

We had seen above that cognitive exercises and motor imagery can effect overall motor performance , but does the reverse hold true? Can motor training and exercise affect cognitive performance? The mind and its attendant cognitive abilities is no longer simply conceived of as a control mechanism for logical/abstract functions, but rather as a biological system interconnecting bodily experience and action and how those functions allow interaction with other individuals. From this perspective, the physicalmental dichotomy cannot be simply understood in the context of action and representation, but must be seen as closely interrelated, perhaps even part of the same process. Action, the interaction with objects, and the co-operation with individuals in our world the representation of the world as well as perceiving what is in it, categorizing it, and understanding the significance of perceptions, are different levels of the same relational link that exist between organisms and the local surroundings in which they operate, live, and think. This is reflected both developmentally: in the effects of motor development on cognitive development and throughout life.

Castelli et al. , in a relatively large sample, found a relationship between physical fitness and achievement test performance in thirdfifth graders. Their Fitnessgram was based on aerobic capacity , muscle , and the participants bodymass index. The results are represented in Figure .

Psychological Organization Of Cc

The neuroanatomical connectivity of the PFC to most parts of the cortical and subcortical brain makes it well suited for participating in a number of neural networks and carrying out CC operations in different functional domains . Moreover, PFC functions probably depend on specializations of dendritic branching and spine density of pyramidal cells, especially in the cycloarchitectonically distinct regions of the granular PFC . The cellular physiology of these regions is characterized by rapid firing and properties of neural plasticity that may enable such functions as goal maintenance in working memory and the flexible functioning of an MD network .

Fig. 2: Major areas of the prefrontal cortex.

The top panel depicts a lateral view, and the bottom panel depicts a medial view. Numbers indicate Brodmann Areas . Note that the commonly described ventromedial prefrontal cortex potentially subsumes several BAs: 25, 32, 14, and possibly 11 and 13.

Executive Functions What Are They How Can You Help Your Child Develop These Skills

Whats inside this article:An overview of what executive functions are and how ADHD and autism often cause children to have a deficit in this area, a look at the impact of that deficit, and some general tips/activities to help improve executive functioning.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Executive functioning issues are a hallmark symptom of both ADHD and autism.

Children with executive functioning problems are more likely to act impulsively, have strong emotional reactions and outbursts, be rigid, disorganized, and unable to plan or complete a task with multiple steps.

When executive functions are well developed, a child will be able to:

  • regulate their emotions
  • understand how other people feel.

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Anatomy Of The Executive System

Historically, the executive functions have been thought to be regulated by the prefrontal regions of the frontal lobes, but this is a matter of ongoing debate. Though prefrontal regions of the brain are necessary for executive function, it seems that non-frontal regions come into play as well. The most likely explanation is that while the frontal lobes participate in all executive functions, other brain regions are necessary. The major frontal structures involved in executive function are:

  • Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex: associated with verbal and design fluency, set shifts, planning, response inhibition, working memory, organizational skills, reasoning, problem solving, and abstract thinking.
  • Anterior cingulate cortex: inhibition of inappropriate responses, decision making, and motivated behaviors.
  • Orbitofrontal cortex: impulse control, maintenance of set, monitoring ongoing behavior, socially appropriate behavior, representing the value of rewards of sensory stimuli.

The prefrontal cortex: The different parts of the prefrontal cortex are vital to executive function.

Understanding Parts Of The Brain

Executive dysfunction

Learn about the parts of the brain and how dementia damages them, as well as about the symptoms the damage causes.

Dementia is caused when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimers disease or a series of strokes. Alzheimers disease is the most common cause of dementia, but not the only one.

A person with dementia will experience symptoms depending on the parts of the brain that are damaged, and the disease that is causing the dementia.

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Effects Of Executive Functions During Everyday Events On Rgmv

ANCOVA revealed an overall positive effect of DEX scores on rGMV in an anatomical cluster that mainly spread around the posterior medial part of OFC, which included Brodmann areas 25, 11, and 12 , corrected for multiple comparisons at the non-isotropic adjusted cluster level with a cluster-determining uncorrected threshold of P < 0.0025 and raw cluster size of 4,164 mm3 Fig. a, b).

The associations between rGMV and EFEEs. a A region of positive association between rGMV and DEX scores . Results are P < 0.05, corrected for multiple comparisons at the non-isotropic adjusted cluster level with an underlying voxel level of P < 0.0025, uncorrected. The region of significant correlation is overlaid on a single-subject T1 SPM5 image. The regions with significant associations are seen mainly in the posterior and medial parts of OFC, which include BAs 25, 11, and 12. b The panel shows a scatter plot of the relationship between DEX scores and mean rGMV within a significant cluster in OFC. The blue line represents the regression line for males, and the red line represents the line for females. r values and P values are for the correlation between DEX scores and mean rGMV within the significant cluster of OFC for males and females

What Are Executive Functioning Issues

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What are signs of poor executive functioning?

People with executive function issues may have the following symptoms:

  • trouble controlling emotions or impulses.
  • problems with starting, organizing, planning, or completing tasks.
  • trouble listening or paying attention.
  • short-term memory issues.
  • inability to multitask or balance tasks.
  • socially inappropriate behavior.

what does executive functioning mean?executive functionsdo


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Which Part Of The Brain Controls Executive Functions

Executive functions are controlled by the frontal lobes of the brain. The frontal lobes are connected with many other brain areas and co-ordinate the activities of these other regions. They can be thought of as the conductor of the brain’s orchestra. Injury to the frontal lobes is the most common cause of executive dysfunction. Occasionally, damage to other brain areas which are connected to the frontal lobes can also impair executive functions.

The frontal lobes cover a large part of the front of the brain, directly behind the forehead. The diagram below shows their location:

The frontal lobes can be damaged by any form of acquired brain injury, such as stroke, tumour, encephalitis and meningitis. They are particularly vulnerable to traumatic brain injury, due to their location at the front of the brain and their large size. Even a blow to the back of the head can cause frontal lobe injury because the brain is knocked back and forth in the skull and the frontal lobes bang against bony ridges above the eyes.

Fractionation And Integration Of Cc Within Pfc

How your brain’s executive function works — and how to improve it | Sabine Doebel

The main methodologies employed for examining how PFC mediates CC have been the anatomical localization of specific aspects of CC/EF, based for example on evidence of lesions in conjunction with correlative neurophysiological or neuroimaging methods and the analysis of task performance using the mapping of neural network methodology aimed at elucidating the sequencing and overall integration of CC processes. With respect to the latter, resting state and functional connectivity data suggest several distinct configurations of PFC and other brain regions, reviewed by Menon and DEsposito : the lateral fronto-parietal network , anchored in the dorsolateral and dorsomedial PFC and posterior parietal cortex the cingulo-opercular network , which overlaps with a salience network and includes the ACC, the insula, and subcortical regions the ventral attention network, which includes inferior frontal gyrus, regions of the insula, and the temporoparietal junction the dorsal attention network, which includes the frontal eye fields and intraparietal sulcus and the default mode network comprising medial PFC regions interacting with certain posterior cortical regions . The DMN typically shows inverse levels of activity in relation to the other networks during external task performance, with the DMN being more active at rest, and consequently associated with internal control processes .

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Executive Functions And The Frontal Lobe

Human beings dont come to this world with all their executive functions ready to be used. A curious fact is that many ofthese processes acquire their full functionality around the age of 25. The reason for this is that these cognitive capacities are located mostly in the prefrontal structures and those are the last ones to develop.

The first neurologist who spoke about these functions was Alexander Luria. Within the evolution of our species, they suppose a new aspect thats linked to two specific milestones: the acquisition of language and the expansion of the frontal lobes. These events caused a whole revolution back then.

Social groups were more sophisticated and there were many advances that led us to where we are now. However, its important to note an essential aspect. Although the fact that these processes evolve as we mature is due to our genetic code, the full acquisition of executive functions depends on several elements.

Our mission isnt to locate a mans superior psychological processes in limited areas of the cortex. Its to find out, through a thorough analysis, the groups of concerted areas of the brain that are responsible for the execution of complex mental activities.

-Alexander Luria-

When were two years old, the types of interaction we receive, as well as their quality, is key. Stressful experiences due to insecure attachments also difficult proper development.

Where Is The Prefrontal Cortex

The prefrontal cortex is the section of the frontal cortex that lies at the very front of the brain, in front of the premotor cortex.

The prefrontal cortex can be divided into several subregions. The method of anatomically subdividing the prefrontal cortex varies depending on the source, but common demarcations include the dorsolateral, dorsomedial, ventrolateral, ventromedial, and orbitofrontal regions.

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Executive Function And The Adhd Brain

The What Circuit: Goes from the frontal lobe especially the outer surface back into an area of the brain called the basal ganglia, particularly a structure called the striatum. The What Circuit is linked to working memory, so its in this circuit that what we think starts to guide what we do. This is particularly true when it comes to plans, goals, and the future.

The When Circuit: This second circuit goes from the same prefrontal area back into a very ancient part of the brain called the cerebellum, at the very backmost part of your head. The When Circuit is the timing circuit of the brain it coordinates not just how smooth behavior will be and the sequence of behavior, but also the timeliness of your actions and when you do certain things. An improperly functioning When Circuit in a person with ADHD explains why we often have problems with time management.

The Why Circuit: The third circuit also originates from the frontal lobe, going through the central part of the brain to the amygdala the gateway to the limbic system. Its often referred to as the hot circuit because its linked to our emotions its where what we think controls how we feel, and vice versa. Its the final decision maker in all our plans. When thinking about multiple things we could be doing, this is the circuit that eventually chooses among the options based on how we feel about them and their emotional and motivational properties.

Miyake And Friedman’s Model


Miyake and Friedman’s theory of executive functions proposes that there are three aspects of executive functions: updating, inhibition, and shifting. A cornerstone of this theoretical framework is the understanding that individual differences in executive functions reflect both unity and diversity of each component . In other words, aspects of updating, inhibition, and shifting are related, yet each remains a distinct entity. First, updating is defined as the continuous monitoring and quick addition or deletion of contents within one’s working memory. Second, inhibition is one’s capacity to supersede responses that are prepotent in a given situation. Third, shifting is one’s cognitive flexibility to switch between different tasks or mental states.

Miyake and Friedman also suggest that the current body of research in executive functions suggest four general conclusions about these skills. The first conclusion is the unity and diversity aspects of executive functions. Second, recent studies suggest that much of one’s EF skills are inherited genetically, as demonstrated in twin studies. Third, clean measures of executive functions can differentiate between normal and clinical or regulatory behaviors, such as ADHD. Last, longitudinal studies demonstrate that EF skills are relatively stable throughout development.

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Attentional Biasing In Sensory Regions

Electrophysiology and functional neuroimaging studies involving human subjects have been used to describe the neural mechanisms underlying attentional biasing. Most studies have looked for activation at the ‘sites’ of biasing, such as in the visual or auditory cortices. Early studies employed event-related potentials to reveal that electrical brain responses recorded over left and right visual cortex are enhanced when the subject is instructed to attend to the appropriate side of space.

Disorders Of Executive Functions

Because these skills integrate information at a higher level across cognitive domains, damage to the executive system typically involves a cluster of deficiencies, not just one ability. The loss of that administrative control affects the ability to organize and regulate multiple types of information and often cause behavioral change.

Damage to the executive system often leads to:

  • Difficulty organizing
  • Difficulty in planning and initiation
  • Inability to multitask
  • Trouble planning for the future
  • Difficulty processing, storing, and/or retrieving information
  • Mood swings
  • Lack of concern for people and animals
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Socially inappropriate behavior
  • Inability to learn from consequences from past actions
  • Difficulty with abstract concepts
  • Unawareness or denial that their behavior is a problem

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Hippocampus And Classical Conditioning

In eyeblink conditioning, neuronal unit cluster recordings in hippocampal fields CA1 and CA3 increase in discharge frequency in paired training trials very rapidly, shift forward in time as learning develops, and form a predictive temporal model of the learned behavioral response, both within trials and over the trials of training . To summarize a large body of research, the growth of the hippocampal unit response is, under normal conditions, an invariable and strongly predictive concomitant of subsequent behavioral learning . This increase in neuronal activity in the hippocampus becomes significant by the second or third trial of training, long before behavioral signs of learning develop, as would be expected of a declarative memory system. This initial hippocampal unit increase is in the US period increases in the CS period appear at about the time point in training when behavioral conditioned responses appear.

There are strikingly parallel and persisting increases in glutamate -amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor binding on hippocampal membranes in the hippocampal subfields in both eyeblink conditioning and in in vivo expression of LTP by stimulation of the perforant path projection to hippocampal dentate gyrus. The pattern of increased binding is similar in both paradigms . GlutamateN-methyl-d-aspartate receptors play the critical role in induction of LTP and also appear to be involved in acquisition of the trace eyeblink CR .

The Lobes Of The Brain

Our Brainâs Air Traffic Control (Executive Function) | NSPCC

Each hemisphere of the cerebrum is divided into four lobes: frontal, temporal, occipital and parietal. The frontal lobes are the largest sections of the brain and make up the front portion of the cerebrum. The frontal lobes are the main thought processing center and control reasoning, problem solving, decision making, language and personality traits.

The temporal lobes are found on the sides of the brain, just above the ears. This part of the brain is responsible for short-term memory, understanding speech and recognizing sounds. Together with the frontal lobes, they identify and process smells.

The back portion of the cerebrum are the occipital lobes, which control vision. Lying interior to the frontal, temporal and occipital lobes are the parietal lobes. The parietals are the sensory processing center of the brain and are responsible for spoken language and learning.

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How Does The Brain Work

The brain sends and receives chemical and electrical signals throughout the body. Different signals control different processes, and your brain interprets each. Some make you feel tired, for example, while others make you feel pain.

Some messages are kept within the brain, while others are relayed through the spine and across the bodys vast network of nerves to distant extremities. To do this, the central nervous system relies on billions of neurons .

Development Of Working Memory

The ability to hold information in mind develops very early even infants and young children can hold one or two things in mind for quite a long time . Infants of only 9 to 12 months can update the contents of their WM, as seen on tasks such as A-not-B . However, being able to hold many things in mind or do any kind of mental manipulation is far slower to develop and shows a prolonged developmental progression .

WM declines during aging . Much of that appears to be due to declining inhibitory control making older adults more vulnerable to proactive and retroactive interference and to distraction . Remember that young children, too, are disproportionately challenged by inhibition compared to young adults . Improved ability to inhibit interference appears critical to age-related improvements in WM in children , just as impaired ability to inhibit interference may underlie WM decline in older adults.

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