Executive control of actions across time and space
Current Directions in Psychological Science
Many popular psychological accounts attribute adaptive human behavior to an ‘executive control’ system that regulates a lower-level ‘impulsive’ or ‘associative’ system. However, recent findings argue against this strictly hierarchical view. Instead, control of impulsive and inappropriate actions depends on an interplay between multiple basic cognitive processes. The outcome of these processes can be biased in advance. Action control is also strongly influenced by personal experiences in the recent and distant past. Thus, executive control emerges from an interactive and competitive network. Main challenges for future research are to describe and understand these interactions, and to put executive action control in a wider socio-cultural and evolutional context.
The author is currently supported by a starting grant from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)/ ERC Grant Agreement No. 312445.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Sage via the DOI in this record.
Vol 25, Iss. 6, pp. 399-404