Abstract

Executive function mediated by prefrontally driven distributed networks is frequently impaired by traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a result of diffuse axonal injury and focal lesions. In addition to executive cognitive functions such as planning and working memory, the effects of TBI impact social cognition and motivation processes. To encourage application of cognitive neuroscience methods to studying recovery from TBI, associated reorganization of function, and development of interventions, this article reviews the pathophysiology of TBI, critiques currently employed methods of assessing executive function, and evaluates promising interventions that reflect advances in cognitive neuroscience. Brain imaging to identify neural mechanisms mediating executive dysfunction and response to interventions following TBI is also discussed.

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