Executive functions (also known as cognitive control) are responsible for controlling cognitive processes like reasoning, problem solving, attention, organizing, planning, and timing. These controls are responsible for the management and regulation of mental processes. The frontal lobe is the brain area that is responsible for executive functions, in particular the anterior cingulate cortex.
There are the two main areas involved with cognitive control: organization and regulation.
When the executive functions are not working properly it can cause abnormal behavior in individuals that can interfere with work and social situations and cause difficulty with independence, planning, and organizing. Depression, attentional disorders like ADHD, and learning difficulties can result from abnormal cognitive control functioning.