ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

›› 2004, Vol. 12 ›› Issue (5): 693-705.

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A Review on Research Methods of Executive Function

Li Hong,Gao Shan,Wang Naiyi   

  1. Key Laboratory of Basic Psychology, School of Psychology, Southwest China Normal University, Beibei, Chongqing, 400715
  • Received:2004-08-30 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2004-09-15 Published:2004-09-15
  • Contact: Li Hong

Abstract: Researches about Executive Function (EF) have been based on neuropsychology for a long time. However, recently a lot of researches appeared in the field of developmental psychology, and new research methods appeared constantly. This essay analyzes common methods to research “hot” EF and “cool” EF from the view of developmental psychology, includes Search Tasks, Rule Use Tasks, Inhibit Dominant Response Tasks, Conflict tasks, Problem Solving Tasks, Picture Working Memory Tasks, Tasks of Theory of Mind, Delay of Gratification Task, Children’s Gambling Task and Object Reversal Task. From these analyses, we find that the concept of EF has gradually extended to contain the whole cognitive processes. The existing theories emphasized one or several aspects of EF, yet there has not been a theory which can sum up all the aspects of EF researched by the above methods. The nature of EF has not been clear to us.

Key words: executive function, research methods, inhibitory control, working memory, cognitive complexity

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