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Executive Attention and Effortful Control: Linking Temperament, Brain Networks, and Genes
Article first published online: 19 SEP 2007
2007, Society for Research in Child Development
Child Development Perspectives
Volume 1, Issue 1, pages 2–7, July 2007
How to Cite
Rothbart, M. K., Sheese, B. E. and Posner, M. I. (2007), Executive Attention and Effortful Control: Linking Temperament, Brain Networks, and Genes. Child Development Perspectives, 1: 2–7. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-8606.2007.00002.x
- Issue published online: 19 SEP 2007
- Article first published online: 19 SEP 2007
- effortful control;
- molecular genetics;
- executive attention;
- imaging studies;
- anterior cingulate gyrus
ABSTRACT—Young children’s increasing ability to regulate their thoughts, feelings, and behavior is a hallmark of development that is of critical importance to their socialization. Recent advances in neuroimaging and molecular genetics hold promise for drawing together different levels of analysis of the emergence and growth of self-regulation. In this article, we review research relevant to our approach to understanding self-regulation, beginning with an examination of the temperament construct of Effortful Control (EC). We trace the development of EC and its links to an anatomically defined attentional network and identify genes that may contribute to individual differences in the efficiency of this network. We also report on how intervention may influence a central component of self-regulation, the executive attention network. Although much more work remains to be done, we believe that the importance of the questions addressed and the recent progress in understanding self-regulation make this a very exciting area of research.