The nervous system consists of
nerves, cells, and connections that carry messages to and from the brain and
spinal cord, which affect different body parts and organs. The nervous system
has many functions that cause behaviors to occur. Behavior is defined, by the
Merriam-Webster Dictionary, as “the ways in which someone conducts oneself,”
and “the response of an individual, group, or species to its environment”
(2018). Behavior is influenced and processed by the brain, which are converted
into functions that the body uses. Function is defined by the Merriam-Webster
Dictionary as “any of a group of related actions contributing to a larger
action” (2018). The body relies on executive functions to carry out tasks and
activities.

            Executive function and
self-regulation skills are established within the dorsolateral prefrontal
cortex. Executive functions include deciding on a goal, planning out the goal
and how to complete the goal, executing the plan, and monitoring the execution
of the plan (Chapter 17: Cerebrum PowerPoint). The skills that are essential to
life “are the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention,
remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully,” which allow for
development and growth (“Executive Function & Self-Regulation,” 2017).
Executive function and self-regulation are based off of three types of
function, which include working memory, mental flexibility, and self-control (“Executive
Function & Self-Regulation,” 2017). Working memory has to do with temporary
storage, such as what you ate for dinner or breakfast. Mental flexibility
allows the mind to prioritize, react appropriately, and manage demands.
Self-control can be used to steer away from bad or impulsive decisions and make
good choices. The behavior that people exert can be developed through the three
types of function. 

            Functions, such as planning, multi
tasking, attending, and following or remembering instructions, cause new
behaviors to be learned and developed. Through development and growth,
functions are understood and new behaviors are learned. According the The Science of Early Childhood Development
video, “healthy development provides a foundation for social problems” (“The
Science of Early Childhood Development,” 
2009). According to the video, “the brain is shaped through experiences,”
such as learning to ride a bike, which allows behaviors to be learned, because “it
is built into our biology” (2009). Relationships that children have with adults
can have positive or negative impacts. Relationships cause functions and
behaviors to be learned through the impact and growth in the relationship. The
nature vs. nurture idea is brought up in the video that suggests if the child
is able to process emotion and cognitive functions, then their behaviors will be
more positive when it comes to learning, however, if the child is preoccupied
with fears or anxiety, or is more exposed to stressful situations, his or her
learning will be impaired (2009). This concept makes sense in this situation
because the development of a child is based on their environment and parental
guidance. 

            Executive function and behavior
affect each other in many ways. Executive functions allow a person to execute
certain behaviors. The functions of the nervous system can cause normal behaviors
or abnormal behaviors. Patterns of abnormalities, or syndromes “involve
abnormal functions” that are caused by “neurological disorders or psychiatric
disorders,” affect an individual’s behavior (Functions of the Nervous System).
The brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system perform the executive
functions of the body.  The ability to
perform a function will directly affect the behavior of an individual. When
people become frustrated or unable to do something, their behaviors change. The
behaviors change because the simplicity of a task or function is no longer
present.

            Executive function and behaviors can
greatly affect an individual. The functions of an individual cause a behavior to
conduct. The environment can play a great role on a child’s development and
behaviors. It is an interesting concept to consider nature versus nurture while
observing a child’s development. Early learning and growth can greatly affect a
child’s life, which is why examining function and behavior is important. The planning,
attending, deciding, executing, and monitoring one’s self and goal is a concept
that needs to be mastered in order to be successful independently.