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I suspect that the difference between these terms may vary from researcher to researcher, since the wikipedia page treats them as synonymous. What's the difference between executive functioning and cognitive control? Is cognitive control a type of executive function?

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You are right to suspect that cognitive control and executive function are essentially interchangeable, at least for most purposes. Among researchers in the area, I would say there is a slight difference, however.

Cognitive control refers to the more abstract concept and affords researchers more degrees of freedom in defining what that means operationally speaking. Here is a fairly representative example of its use, from Botvinick et al. (2001), found on a quick Scholar search:

A remarkable feature of the human cognitive system is its ability to configure itself for the performance of specific tasks through appropriate adjustments in perceptual selection, response biasing and the on-line maintenance of contextual information. The processes behind such adaptability, referred to collectively as cognitive control ...

Executive function, meanwhile, tends to either depend directly or conceptually on the seminal paper by Miyake et al. (2000), which more explicitly models this sort of control in terms of shifting, updating and inhibition functions. This is an extremely influential and productive model, and at least within the context of working memory research, I would say it sees more use than the more conceptual 'cognitive control'.

References

  • Botvinick, M. M., Braver, T. S., Barch, D. M., Carter, C. S., & Cohen, J. D. (2001). Conflict monitoring and cognitive control. Psychological review, 108(3), 624.
  • Miyake, A., Friedman, N. P., Emerson, M. J., Witzki, A. H., Howerter, A., & Wager, T. D. (2000). The unity and diversity of executive functions and their contributions to complex “frontal lobe” tasks: A latent variable analysis. Cognitive psychology, 41(1), 49-100.
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