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In neuropsychology and cognitive psychology, cognitive ability, or intelligence or executive functioning is the level of functioning in intellectual tasks demonstrating the capacity to control and planfully apply one's own mental skills.

Different executive functions may include: the ability to sustain or flexibly redirect attention, the inhibition of inappropriate behavioral or emotional responses, the planning of strategies for future behavior, the initiation and execution of these strategies, and the ability to flexibly switch among problem-solving strategies.

Associated abilities studied include:

Assessment of cognitive ability

Cognitive assessment tools include:

Theoretical approaches

Neurobiological basis of cognitive abilities

Current research evidence suggests that executive functioning in the human brain is mediated by the prefrontal lobes of the cerebral cortex.[citation needed]

See also

References & Bibliography

Key texts



  • Logan, GD. (1985)"Executive control of thought and action." Acta Psychol. 60: 193, .
  • Logan, G. D. (in press). Attention, automaticity, and executive control. In A. F. Healy (Ed.), Experimental cognitive psychology and its applications: Festschrift in honor of Lyle Bourne, Walter Kintsch, and Thomas Landauer. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association Press

Additional material



  • Google Scholar
  • Logan, G. D., Schachar, R. J., & Tannock, R. (2000). Executive control problems in childhood psychopathology: Stop-signal studies of attention deficit disorder. In S. Monsell & J. Driver (Eds.), Attention and Performance XVIII. (pp. 653-677). Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

External links