Executive function (EF) is a term used to describe a set of higher order thinking skills that enable planning, problem solving, focusing on a task, and completing goal-directed behaviors. EF involves three types of brain function.
· Working memory is the ability to focus on and manipulate information for a short period of time.
· Mental flexibility helps maintain or shift attention to different demands, revise plans as needed, and follow different rules in different situations.
· Self-control is the ability to inhibit or control initial impulses rather than acting on them immediately. It is a crucial skill for carrying out plans and progressing toward goals.
Executive function skills begin developing in early childhood, and continues to develop through adolescence.