Architecture of Counterfactual Thought in the Prefrontal Cortex

Aron K. Barbey, Frank Krueger and Jordan Grafman

in Predictions in the Brain

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780195395518
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897230 | DOI:
Architecture of Counterfactual Thought in the Prefrontal Cortex

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This chapter develops an integrative cognitive neuroscience framework for understanding counterfactual reasoning on the basis of structured event complexes (SECs) in the human prefrontal cortex (PFC). The reviewed evidence in support of the SEC framework confirms the importance and uniqueness of the human PFC for representing knowledge in the form of cognitive events and action sequences. It is argued that SECs are the key to understanding the human ability to represent mental models of events, which guide the selection of goal-directed action sequences and the on-line updating of behavior based on past outcomes or anticipated future events.

Keywords: integrative cognitive neuroscience framework; counterfactual reasoning; structure event complexes; prefrontal cortex

Chapter.  9671 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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