What is executive function?
Good question. Executive Function (EF) is a crucial part of college success and most students know so little about it. But understanding is power; if you know how your brain works you are empowered to make it work the best for you.
Executive Function is a package of interrelated mental processes. It resides in the prefrontal cortex of the brain and executes functions such as emotional regulation, logical & critical thinking, time management, and initiating & sustaining attention.
George McCloskey, researcher & publisher in the area of Executive Function uses this metaphor:
Think of your brain as a multinational corporation with many different divisions. EF is the overall management structure; it is the manager that tells the workers when and how to work.
It's not possible to use EF to manage workers if the workers are uninformed, unskilled, or underperforming. These workers need some form of external control.
EF support at F&M is really about this external control: the development of skills, strategies to support the underskilled managers in your brain.
Another good question. A few answers:
The prefrontal cortex is not fully developed until about age 25 .
The prefrontal cortex is severely impacted by stress.
Executive Function is impacted by mental health difficulties and learning disabilities.