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date: 18 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the different theoretical conceptualizations of executive functions and how neuroimaging can reveal their neuroanatomical mechanisms. After briefly considering various definitions and descriptions of executive function, it discusses the results of lesion studies that look into specific executive functions; namely, attention, working memory, inhibition, decision-making, planning and organization, processing speed, and cognitive flexibility or shifting. It also evaluates measures that are used to capture the executive functions just cited, along with the advances that have been achieved with the help of neuroimaging studies. On the basis of neuroimaging evidence, the authors show that the right prefrontal cortex, as well as the parietal and temporal lobes, plays an important role in executive function.

Keywords: executive function, neuroimaging, lesion studies, attention, working memory, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, prefrontal cortex, parietal lobe, temporal lobe

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