Three types of executive function

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    • Published: 03-06-2016 02:11 am
      Updated: 03-06-2016 08:19 am
    • It's problematic that executive function and working memory are such general terms that when focusing on individual differences it's hard to capture the differences between individuals. In NJT the main difference in working-memory and executive function between individuals are not their overall general performance in executive function or working memory but rather it's the strengths and weaknesses of their type of executive function and working memory.

      Judgers have slower prefrontal degradation of dopamine which produces a more stable working-memory, using more D1 prefrontal receptors and this also creates a less flexible working-memory compared to Perceivers who have a faster prefrontal degradation of dopamine and uses more prefrontal D2 receptors. This means Judgers have a more stable working-memory compared to Perceivers who have a more flexible working-memory.

      In our expanded model we also have different types of executive function and working-memory (task-related and social-related working memory) related to Organic Execution (OE), Organic Processing (OP) or Mechanistic Execution (ME), Mechanistic Processing (MP) which is about individual differences in context-dependent functional connectivity.

      If we look at this article:

      Individual differences in executive functions are almost entirely genetic in origin. - 2008

      "Using this approach, Miyake et al. (2000) demonstrated that the three executive functions they examined—prepotent response in- hibition (Inhibiting), updating working memory (Updating), and set shifting (Shifting)—were moderately correlated (i.e., showed unity) but were separable (i.e., showed diversity) at the level of latent variables. This general pattern of unity and diversity has since been replicated in other samples including young adults (Friedman et al., 2006), older adults (Fisk & Sharp, 2004; Hedden & Yoon, 2006), children (Huizinga, Dolan, & van der Molen, 2006; Lehto, Juuja ̈rvi, Kooistra, & Pulkkinen, 2003; van der Sluis, de Jong, & van der Leij, 2007), and clinical populations selected for problems such as ADHD (Willcutt et al., 2001). Recent neu- roimaging studies also indicate unity and diversity of executive functions in terms of brain localization (Collette et al., 2005; Sylvester et al., 2003). For example, Collette et al. used positron emission tomography to examine the brain areas that are common to as well as unique to inhibiting, updating, and shifting. These researchers used multiple tasks for each of the three executive functions, hence implementing the equivalent of latent variable analysis in a brain mapping context. They found common frontal and parietal areas activated by all three executive functions as well as frontal and/or posterior areas unique to updating and shifting." [p. 202]

      They divide executive function into three categories which are easily mapped onto NJT:

      1. Inhibition (Judgers would be better at this and Perceivers worse)
      2. Updating
      3. Set shifting (Perceivers would be better at this and Judgers worse)

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