Executive function development: Making sense of the environment to behave adaptively

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emerging executive function in childhood, one of the main predictors of major life success, is goal-directed in nature. Yet, children’s ability to identify goals (i.e., what should be done) has been under-researched, often implicitly assuming that it is trivial even in early childhood. In contrast, I review evidence for goal identification as a major force behind developing executive function. Both increasing attention to environmental cues and increased goal inferencing from these cues drive goal identification improvement with age. This framework has important implications for assessing and supporting childhood executive function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-368
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


  • executive function
  • cognitive control
  • goals
  • cues
  • cognitive development
  • children

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Executive function development: Making sense of the environment to behave adaptively'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this