On the evolutionary origins of executive functions

  title={On the evolutionary origins of executive functions},
  author={Alfredo Ardila},
  journal={Brain and Cognition},
  • A. Ardila
  • Published 1 October 2008
  • Psychology, Biology
  • Brain and Cognition

On the Phylogenesis of Executive Functions and Their Connection with Language Evolution

The issue of the relationship between EFs and language evolution is treated in a different manner to the models that assigned a prominent role to grammar and it is hypothesized that language could have had a narrative origin and that the study of the evolution ofEFs together with the investigation of the role of EFs in language processing can corroborate this hypothesis.

Origins of Executive Functions

The behavioral and cognitive consequences of frontal lobe damage were initially described during the nineteenth century. During the twentieth century, the term “frontal” or “prefrontal” syndrome was

Development of Metacognitive and Emotional Executive Functions in Children

  • A. Ardila
  • Psychology
    Applied neuropsychology. Child
  • 2013
Abstract It has been proposed that two major components of executive functions can be distinguished: (1) one related to complex cognition (metacognition, such as planning, problem solving, etc.); (2)

The Physiology of Executive Functioning

Executive function (EF) has been defined as a multifaceted construct that involves a variety of high-level cognitive abilities (De Frias, Dixon, & Strauss, 2006). For most of the last century,

The Frontal Lobes and Executive Functioning

The frontal lobes are often referred to as the seat of cognition and higher-order processing that play a role in virtually all domains of neuropsychological functioning; however, the examination of

Nature, neurophysiological mechanisms and developmental changes of executive functions

The paper presents an overview of basic issues related to executive functions, the phe- nomenon being the center of interest to psychologists at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, discussed

Balancing Automatic-Controlled Behaviors and Emotional-Salience States: A Dynamic Executive Functioning Hypothesis

An executive functioning perspective that emerges from the dynamic balance between automatic-controlled behaviors and an emotional-salience state is presented, and an adaptive role of executive functioning is to automatize efficient solutions simultaneously with cognitive demand, enabling individuals to engage such processes with increasingly complex problems.

Is intelligence equivalent to executive functions?

It is proposed that two major executive functions could be separated: metacognitive -or intelectual- and emotional/motivational -or simply non-intellectual-executive functions, and it becomes evident that general intelligence can be equated with metac cognitive executive functions but not with emotional/ motivational executive functions.

Executive Functions and Cerebellar Development in Children

The role of the cerebellum in processing executive functions in developmental age is examined and it is found that there is an important link between motor development and the development of many higher-order cognitive and functional domains.

The Integrative Neuropsychological Theory of Executive-Related Abilities and Component Transactions ( INTERACT ) : Best Predictors of Performance Across the Adult Lifespan

Supervisory Committee Dr. Mauricio A. Garcia-Barrera, Department of Psychology Supervisor Dr. Holly Tuokko, Department of Psychology Departmental Member Recent neuropsychological research has



The Unity and Diversity of Executive Functions and Their Contributions to Complex “Frontal Lobe” Tasks: A Latent Variable Analysis

The results suggest that it is important to recognize both the unity and diversity ofExecutive functions and that latent variable analysis is a useful approach to studying the organization and roles of executive functions.

Executive functions and their disorders.

  • R. Elliott
  • Psychology, Biology
    British medical bulletin
  • 2003
The emerging view suggests that executive function is mediated by dynamic and flexible networks, that can be characterised using functional integration and effective connectivity analyses, compatible with the clinical presentation of executive dysfunction associated with a range of pathologies, and with evidence that recovery of executive function can occur after traumatic brain injury.

[The contribution of the cerebellum to cognitive processes].

Clinical observation of patients with cerebellar lesion or dysfunction, which are related to a deficit in the cognitive functions, suggests a model with which to understand these mechanisms.

Working Memory, its Executive Functions, and the Emergence of Modern Thinking

This article examines the possible origins of modern thinking by evaluating the cognitive models of working memory, executive functions and their interrelationship. We propose that a genetic mutation

Assessing executive functions in children: biological, psychological, and developmental considerations

The aim of this paper is to review current theories of development of executive functions throughout childhood, and three critical dimensions will be evaluated; biological factors, psychological dimensions, and developmental trajectories.


Edited by A. C. Roberts, T. W. Robbins and L. Weiskrantz . 1998. Pp. 248. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Price £22.99. ISBN 0-19-852441-2. The function of the prefrontal cortex is as fascinating

Executive Functions of the Frontal Lobes and the Evolutionary Ascendancy of Homo Sapiens

A core question of cognitive archaeology is the evolution of modern thinking. In this article, it is argued that a cluster of specific cognitive abilities, / executive functions', was one of the key

Intelligence and the Frontal Lobe: The Organization of Goal-Directed Behavior

It is suggested that g is largely a reflection of the control functions of the frontal lobe, and behavior in any task is structured by a set of action constraints or requirements, derived in part from verbal instructions and specified at multiple levels of abstraction.