Chapter

The Human Frontal Lobes: Transcending the Default Mode through Contingent Encoding

M.-Marsel Mesulam

in Principles of Frontal Lobe Function

Published in print August 2002 | ISBN: 9780195134971
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199864157 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195134971.003.0002
The Human Frontal Lobes: Transcending the Default Mode through Contingent Encoding

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This chapter sets the stage for the rest of the book, presenting anatomical and clinical distinctions that serve as organizational and memory “hooks” for reading many of the other chapters. It discusses how massive damage to the frontal lobes can cause dramatic changes in personality and comportment while keeping sensation, movement, consciousness, and most cognitive faculties. It addresses questions such as: Is there a unitary “frontal lobe syndrome” encompassing all signs and symptoms? Are there regional segregations of function within the frontal lobes? Is it possible to identify a potentially unifying principle of organization which cuts across the heterogeneous specializations attributed to the frontal lobes?

Keywords: Phineas Gage; frontal lobes; prefrontal cortex; damage; personality

Chapter.  13946 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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