Executive Dysfunction During Normal and Abnormal Aging

  • Mónica RosselliEmail author
  • Valeria L. Torres


This chapter describes executive function (EF) and the dysexecutive syndrome (DES) during normal and abnormal aging. The relationship between EFs and the frontal lobes in the context of aging is explained, particularly in relation to the frontal lobe hypothesis of aging. We discuss the main EF components and present neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies that compare these abilities across healthy young and normally aging older adults. In healthy older adults, deficits are traditionally observed in planning, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and emotional regulation. We subsequently explore EF changes and DES resulting from neurological conditions that are prevalent in the elderly (e.g., Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, amnestic and vascular Mild Cognitive Impairment, the behavioral variant of Frontotemporal dementia, and vascular disorders). Common neuropsychological tasks used to assess these impairments are discussed, as well as the neural correlates that underlie some of these functions.


Aging Dementia Executive function Dysexecutive syndrome Alzheimer’s disease Subcortical Frontal lobe Prefrontal Planning Mild cognitive impairment 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyFlorida Atlantic UniversityDavieUSA

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