Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

Living Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Executive Functioning

  • Casey R. Shannon
  • Laura Shank
  • Claire Thomas-Duckwitz
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-56782-2_1435-2



A multifaceted construct involving a collection of interrelated, higher-level mental abilities believed to underlie independent goal-directed behavior, problem solving, and efficiency of knowledge acquisition. Abilities commonly associated with executive functioning include: initiation, planning, organization, working memory, attention, mental flexibility or shifting, inhibition, emotional regulation, and self-monitoring. Historically, this set of abilities was believed to be narrowly associated with the frontal lobe region of the brain; however, more recent research suggests that executive functioning relies on a number of networks that extend to other regions of the brain, including the frontal and posterior regions of the cerebral cortex, and the subcortex.

See Also

References and Readings

  1. Goldstein, S., & Naglieri, J. A. (Eds.). (2014). Handbook of executive functioning. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  2. Jurado, M. B., & Rosselli, M. (2007). The elusive nature of executive functions: A review of our current understanding. Neuropsychology Review, 17(3), 213–233. doi: 10.1007/s11065-007-9040-z.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Lezak, M. D., Howieson, D. B., Bigler, E. D., & Tranel, D. (2012). Neuropsychological assessment (5th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Casey R. Shannon
    • 1
  • Laura Shank
    • 2
  • Claire Thomas-Duckwitz
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Northern ColoradoGreeleyUSA
  2. 2.Rehabilitation Psychology and NeuropsychologyPhysical Medicine & Rehabilitation University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA