Executive functions training

The term Executive Functions (EF) originated in the early eighties to describe the set of cognitive skills needed to assess, establish, maintain, supervise, correct, and perform any activity of our daily lives.

EFs are therefore higher-level cognitive processes that enable us to achieve a goal by planning and implementing projects aimed at achieving it. In addition, EFs are required to monitor and change one’s behaviour when necessary or to adapt it to new contextual conditions.

From these statements, it can be deduced that executive functioning is a key element for success in school, work, and relationships. When EFs do not work properly, many processes are affected: attention, pulse control, self-regulation, initiative, working memory, cognitive flexibility, use of feedback, planning, and problem solving become less effective (see fig. 1).

Figure 1 The image shows a diagram of the executive functions

This group of cognitive skills involves well-identifiable physical processes, mostly delineated by the prefrontal structures of the brain. Scientific advances in recent years have demonstrated the ability to assess the functional integrity of these areas to improve their efficiency through practice and specific cognitive training.

In evaluating a subject it is important to keep in mind that what may appear as laziness or a lack of motivation may be a pure manifestation of executive dysfunction. These deficits affect not only academic success, but generally also daily functioning: it is common to see alterations in EFs accompanied by depression and anxiety.

Executive Functions training is useful for everyone who has problems of self-management and therefore problems of:

  • procrastination;
  • bad time management
  • difficulty in starting important tasks
  • priority given to fun rather than responsibilities
  • "Stress" due to school or work

Training the executive functions can certainly help people with cognitive deficits to develop their areas of weakness, so using the BRAINHQ platform is an important help. BRAIN HQ enables training planning, attention, control, and working memory capabilities, through specific exercises designed to help achieve goals in a stimulating and fun way.

WITTY SEM can also play an important role in the development of EFs, thanks to the possibility of combining purely cognitive training with motor training. The exercises offered enable training attention, cognitive speed and intelligence, in a stimulating and involving way also for a demotivated subject.

OptoJump, through the module dedicated to biofeedback, can help in training EFs by providing a stimulus for subjects in the form of biomechanical parameters to be regulated and kept under control during motor performance typical of daily activities, such as running and walking.