Executive function and attention. The ability to make effective decisions requires integrative and sustained attention. The ability to search memory, to link current sensation to immediate context and connect this experience to past memories, is the quintessential attentional task.[3] Planning and working memory are essential components of executive function.[1,2] The capacity to do what we intend requires sustain attention, even in an environment of distractions and through phases of weakening interest or mounting fatigue.[29]

The cognitive aspects of executive function are primarily located in the anterior frontal cortex, whereas spatial organization occurs more dorsally; verbal memory and organization are localized more internally. Anticipatory, or expectant waiting, aspects of executive function are managed in the cingulate gyrus. The ability to interpret visual experience — an important component in executive learning — is processed in the posterior visual cortex.

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