Executive Functions after Age 5: Changes and Correlates.

University of Georgia.
Developmental Review (Impact Factor: 3.23). 09/2009; 29(3):180-200. DOI: 10.1016/j.dr.2009.05.002
Source: PubMed


Research and theorizing on executive function (EF) in childhood has been disproportionately focused on preschool age children. This review paper outlines the importance of examining EF throughout childhood, and even across the lifespan. First, examining EF in older children can address the question of whether EF is a unitary construct. The relations among the EF components, particularly as they are recruited for complex tasks, appear to change over the course of development. Second, much of the development of EF, especially working memory, shifting, and planning, occurs after age 5. Third, important applications of EF research concern the role of school-age children's EF in various aspects of school performance, as well as social functioning and emotional control. Future research needs to examine a more complete developmental span, from early childhood through late adulthood, in order to address developmental issues adequately.


Available from: Lara Jones
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    • "In typically - developing children , executive control develops very rapidly during the preschool period , with more gradual improvements evident through late adolescence ( Best et al . , 2009 ; Garon et al . , 2008 ) . These advancements appear to be supported by a progressive honing of the neural circuitry underlying executive control , including the frontal - parietal , dorsal - anterior and cingulo - opercular loops . The overproduction of neural spines in the prefrontal cortex is greater than in other neural regions , wh"
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    • "Development in Prospective Memory, Executive Functions, and Metacognition Recently, the body of research on prospective memory has been accumulating (Ellis & Kvavilashvili, 2000), but most studies have focused on prospective memory abilities in adults (Henry, MacLeod, Philips, & Crawford, 2004; Smith & Bayen, 2006; Zimmermann & Meier, 2010; Zöllig, Martin , & Kliegel, 2010). Comparatively little research has been conducted on prospective memory abilities in children and developmental studies are still scarce (Guajardo & Best, 2000; Kerns, 2000; Kliegel et al., 2013; Kvavilashvili, Messer, & Ebdon, 2001; Mackinlay et al., 2009; Mahy & Moses, 2011; Rendell, Vella, Kliegel, & Terrett, 2009; Voigt, Aberle, Schönfeld, & Kliegel, 2011; Yang et al., 2011). However, there is accumulating evidence that prospective memory performance increases gradually during childhood (Kvavilashvili et al., 2001; Ward, Shum, McKinlay, Baker-Tweeney, & Wallace, 2005; Yang et al., 2011; Zimmermann & Meier, 2006). "
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    • "Ample evidence exists indicating that both children's EF abilities and their ability to remember bound details undergo dramatic developmental changes during childhood. Specifically, developmental studies of EF consistently report age-related improvements across a variety of subdomains (e.g., inhibition, shifting, working memory), from infancy through young adulthood (e.g., Anderson, 2002; for review, see Best et al., 2009). There is less consistency, "
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