Executive Network and Self-Regulation

Michael I. Posner

in Attention in a Social World

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199791217
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932207 | DOI:

Series: Social Cognition and Social Neuroscience

Executive Network and Self-Regulation

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A major factor in allowing coherent behavior in the social world is the ability to suppress brain activity that conflicts with current goals. This mechanism allows for what is called self-control (in adult studies) and self-regulation (in child studies), which is essential to survival. The idea of conflict resolution fits well within the usual meaning of attention's involvement with selection. This chapter first examines behavioral data that led to the idea of a bottleneck in information processing that produces interference, even from widely different mental operations. Next, evidence is examined for a functional anatomy revealed by imaging tasks dealing with the resolution of conflict. This functional anatomy seems to fit well with what is known from human and animal studies of the evolutionary specialization undergone by brain areas related to conflict resolution.

Keywords: information processing; conflict resolution; functional anatomy; self-control

Chapter.  7339 words. 

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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