The empirical and theoretical analysis of executive control processes, dormant for many years, has grown to become one of the most fertile areas of research in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Because executive functions are thought to have a pervasive role in maintaining optimal information processing across many processing situations, issues related to executive control cut across many traditional research divides. Unique among many other areas of research in cognition, questions about the influence of ageing have figured prominently in executive control research. There is accumulating evidence of age-related changes in frontal/executive functions. The union of research on executive functioning with research on the cognitive effects of ageing could provide the theoretical framework for understanding the widespread influence of ageing on cognition.
This special issue brings together well-known researchers in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience who approach the question of executive control using a wide range of methods from traditional behavioural studies, quantitative and computational modelling, and functional neuroimaging. The emphasis of these contributions is on a concise overview and integration of relevant theoretical ideas and empirical findings. By bringing together a diverse group of contributors, this special issue can serve researchers and students both as a summary of current research and as a starting point toward further explorations on the relations between executive control and the cognitive influences of ageing.