Executive functions in adolescence: inferences from brain and behavior


Eveline A. Crone, Leiden University, Department of Developmental Psychology, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333AK Leiden, The Netherlands; e-mail: ecrone@fsw.leidenuniv.nl


Despite the advances in understanding cognitive improvements in executive function in adolescence, much less is known about the influence of affective and social modulators on executive function and the biological underpinnings of these functions and sensitivities. Here, recent behavioral and neuroscientific studies are summarized that have used different approaches (cognition, emotion, individual differences and training) in the study of adolescent executive functions. The combination of these different approaches gives new insight into this complex transitional phase in life, and marks adolescence as not only a period of vulnerabilities, but also great opportunities in terms of training possibilities and interventions.