, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 101-105
Date: 17 Apr 2009

Executive Functioning and Health: Introduction to the Special Series

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Introduction

Advances in the fields of neuropsychology and neuroscience have fueled a renewed interest in the association between brain functioning and health. This burgeoning activity is clearly due in part to the development and refinement of cognitive assessment techniques and brain imaging technology. Of particular relevance to health psychology and behavioral medicine has been recent research on the set of brain functions collectively termed “executive” (alternately termed executive functioning, executive cognitive functioning, or executive functions). This issue of Annals of Behavioral Medicine presents a series of papers that illustrate how research on central topics in health psychology and behavioral medicine may be informed by considering the role of executive functioning (EF), including maintenance and change of health behavior, stress regulation, developmental trajectories of aging and mortality, and management of chronic illness.

What is Executive Functioning?