A series by Philip David Zelazo, Ph.D.
How do we learn to think? How does an easily distracted baby become an adult who can evaluate a problem, make a plan to solve it, and carry out the plan? Executive function – the conscious control of what we think and do – takes years to develop fully and affects many different facets of children’s mental development, from their understanding of other people’s points of view to their ability to focus on a task. If executive function goes awry, it may result in disorders such as autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
In this series, Dr. Philip Zelazo takes an in-depth look at how executive function develops in infancy, childhood, and adolescence; disorders of executive function; and how to foster its development.
Dr. Zelazo is the Nancy M. and John E. Lindahl Professor at the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota.