University of Colorado at Boulder CU: Home | Search | A - Z | Map

Center Overview

Our center brings together leading researchers in the field known for their testable theories of executive function at each of three levels of analysis - the computational, psychological, and neurobiological.


Coming Events: DEFD Annual Conference

Title: Modes and meta-control of executive function
Time: January 17th-January 18th, 2013
The NIMH Interdisciplinary Behavioral Science Center will be hosting a conference to consider the questions: "What are the distinct functional modes of executive control (e.g., proactive vs. reactive, internally-directed vs. externally-driven)?" and the question "How are these modes coordinated by meta-control processes?" Participants are invited to present a poster.

Please click here for more information.

Executive Function

Executive Function is a broad term, encompassing many mental abilities related to goal-directed behavior, such as:
Currently there is no clear consensus as to which mental processes and which neural structures are critical for executive function. Our center is designed to test different perspectives to create an integrated understanding of executive function and the brain systems that support it. Understanding executive function has broad implications for mental health as executive functions are disrupted in most all psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Our Goal is to Examine 3 Major Questions:

  1. What types of mental representations and processes support and enable executive function?
  2. How do neural systems, most notably those of prefrontal cortex, support and enable executive function?
  3. How can our understanding of executive function be linked across computational, psychological, and neurobiological levels of analysis?