View Full Version : Emotions regulate EF or EF regulate emotions?


mildadhd
06-05-16, 01:08 PM
During early infancy do emotions regulate executive function (EF), or, do executive function (EF) regulate emotions?







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Fuzzy12
06-05-16, 01:25 PM
Interesting question and I don't know too much a out it. I'm guessing there should be some research on it. Without having done any research I imagine that there is a continuous feedback loop, ie emotions regulate executive functions, which might affect your emotions, etc.

I guess that during early infancy emotions regulate ef maybe more than the other way round. As the infant grows older and learns executive functions they might not be so much affected by emotions as during early infancy (unless maybe you have adhd).

What do you think?

mildadhd
06-05-16, 01:46 PM
Interesting question and I don't know too much a out it. I'm guessing there should be some research on it. Without having done any research I imagine that there is a continuous feedback loop, ie emotions regulate executive functions, which might affect your emotions, etc.

I guess that during early infancy emotions regulate ef maybe more than the other way round. As the infant grows older and learns executive functions they might not be so much affected by emotions as during early infancy (unless maybe you have adhd) .

I agree.

Bottom up emotions regulate top down EF, in early life.

Early positive and negative emotional experiences stimulate bottom up positive and negative primary emotional response systems, shaping development of implicit positive and negative emotional memories and top down executive function (aka, self-regulation).

As we mature top down executive function (self-regulation) learn to emotional-self-regulate raw bottom up emotions.





m

Fuzzy12
06-05-16, 03:37 PM
So do you think that if an infant has emotional problems it could lead to problems with executive function such as underdeveloped ef?

What kind of emotional problems and what might cause these emotional problems?

Also, what do you mean by early infancy. When is this?

Cyllya
06-05-16, 07:00 PM
My personal hypothesis is that neither of them regulate the other but problems with either one will cause problems with the other.

(Sometimes I see "emotional regulation" as part of EF, but I think it refers to stuff like being able to control your actions in spite of your emotions.)

This page on the Harvard website (http://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/key-concepts/executive-function/) says this:
Children aren’t born with these skills[executive function]—they are born with the potential to develop them. If children do not get what they need from their relationships with adults and the conditions in their environments—or (worse) if those influences are sources of toxic stress—their skill development can be seriously delayed or impaired. Adverse environments resulting from neglect, abuse, and/or violence may expose children to toxic stress, which disrupts brain architecture and impairs the development of executive function.
So apparently early trauma/stress will cause brain development problems that result in poor executive function. (This is consistent with what I already knew, that early trauma/stress causes brain changes that make a person more prone to mood disorders as an adult.)

Fun fact: One of the things that cause the later mood problems is leaving a baby in a separate room and ignoring them crying when you want them to sleep. Fortunately this is falling out of vogue, but it's still a very common parenting practice in the USA.