Hot and Cool Executive Function in Childhood and Adolescence: Development and Plasticity

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Abstract

Executive function (EF), which refers to the more deliberate, top-down neurocognitive processes involved in self-regulation, develops most rapidly during the preschool years, together with the growth of neural networks involving prefrontal cortex but continues to develop well into adulthood. Both EF and the neural systems supporting EF vary as a function of motivational significance, and this article discusses the distinction between the top-down processes that operate in motivationally and emotionally significant situations ("hot EF") and the top-down processes that operate is more affectively neutral contexts ("cool EF"). Emerging evidence indicates that both hot and cool EF are surprisingly malleable, with implications for intervention and prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-360
Number of pages7
JournalChild Development Perspectives
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Keywords

  • Emotion
  • Executive function
  • Intervention
  • Neural plasticity
  • Prefrontal cortex

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