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Neurocognitive Executive Functions: Development and Interaction with Environmental Factors

نویسندگان

  • Alizade, Hamid Department of Psychology and Education of Exceptional Children, Faculty of Psychology and Education, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran
  • Dastjerdi Kazemi, Mahdi Department of Psychology and Education of Exceptional Children, Faculty of Psychology and Education, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran
  • Rezayi , Saeed Department of Psychology and Education of Exceptional Children, Faculty of Psychology and Education, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran
  • Sharifi Daramadi, Parviz Department of Psychology and Education of Exceptional Children, Faculty of Psychology and Education, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran

چکیده

Background and Purpose: "Executive functions" is a general term and contains components which form a common pattern while being distinctive form each other at the same time. These functions imply the ability to use higher cognitive processes to focus on the significant aspects of the task and to plan for its completion. During the recent years, a general view has been developed indicating that executive functions evolve through interaction with the environment and the effects of socio-environmental factors on the development of executive functions should not be overlooked. Therefore, the present study aimed to introduce the developmental and environmental factors effective on the executive functions. Method: Data analysis in the present study has been conducted as a systematic review; so its methodology is based on the collection, categorization, and summarization of the findings of scientific research papers pertinent to environmental factors affecting the development of executive functions from 2008 to 2018. These articles were all retrieved from internal and external databases, including SID, Magiran, Google Scholar, Scopus, Science Direct, and PubMed with keywords of Executive functions, Motor development, Language development, Attachment, Preterm Birth, Socioeconomic Status, Parenting styles, Anxiety, and Prefrontal­ cortex. Afterward, in the initial search, 52 papers were selected, amongst which 9, due to being old, 13, due to their poor quality, 6, due to being in review form, and 6 for being repetitive in several databases were deleted, and ultimately 18 articles were selected. Results: The results showed that despite the fact that from the time of attention to executive functions, mostly their biological foundations have been raised, environmental factors such as socioeconomic status, parenting style, anxiety, motor evolution, language development, attachment, and preterm birth play a determinant role in the development of executive functions. In other words, the development of executive functions starts from infancy and its process continues until adolescence, and during this period, the development of executive functions is heavily affected by environmental factors. Conclusion: Through investigating the studies done, it can be concluded that research is still underway in the process of determining the environmental factors affecting the development of children's executive functions, and the scientific community needs to endeavor harder to characterize these factors in detail. However, limited research conducted in recent years, which has been conducted scientifically and impartially, demonstrates the significant impact of environmental conditions on the development of executive functions. For this reason, professionals and parents need to pay particular attention to environmental factors in the process of developing and reinforcing the executive functions.  

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