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Sabine Doebel's Talk on Executive Function Breaks a Common Myth

 - May 15, 2019
References: sabinedoebel & ted
Sabine Doebel's talk on executive function is quite interesting as it reveals a common myth and contradicts it. The speaker is a cognitive scientist with a Ph.D. from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota.

She begins her talk by identifying what executive function is -- the "ability to consciously control our thoughts, emotions, and actions in order to achieve goals." This is needed in our every day as we attempt to complete easy or complex tasks. Doebel warns that the term 'executive function' has become quite the buzz world for self-improvement. However, contrary to popular belief, engaging in "brain-training" mobile applications, playing cognitive-forward computer games or engaging in a good game of chess will do little for boosting the precision and efficiency at which one's brain completes tasks. Improvement in such areas is closely influenced by context. Sabine Doebel attempts to show this to her audience through playing videos of her case studies where she was observing the cognitive behavior of children through exercises like the "dimensional change card" and "the marshmallow game."

The scientist reveals that success in the real world depends on other factors like motivation, peer-to-peer interaction, strategies and more. The context allows for individuals to use their executive function better.