Emotion, Decision Making, and the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex

Daniel Tranel

in Principles of Frontal Lobe Function

Published in print August 2002 | ISBN: 9780195134971
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199864157 | DOI:
Emotion, Decision Making, and the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex

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This chapter discusses the role of the orbital prefrontal cortex in behavior, with emphasis on the involvement of the ventromedial prefrontal (VMPF) lobe in emotions and decision making. It focuses on three aspects: (1) the development and application of a laboratory task to measure decision making and related emotional influences; (2) the development of a set of rating scales aimed at characterizing the personality attributes of patients with acquired VMPF dysfunction and decision-making impairments; and (3) studies conducted in patients who have sustained damage to VMPF cortices very early in life, and who manifested lifelong social conduct and decision-making deficits. The main features of the somatic marker framework are summarized.

Keywords: prefrontal cortex; behavior; emotions; personality; decision-making impairment; somatic marker

Chapter.  9207 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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