Rostral Prefrontal Cortex

Paul W. Burgess, Gil Gonen-Yaacovi and Emmanuelle Volle

in Mind and the Frontal Lobes

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199791569
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919215 | DOI:
Rostral Prefrontal Cortex

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One of the great successes of functional neuroimaging as a method has been to generate theories concerning the cognitive functions supported by rostral PFC (approximating Brodmann Area 10). But these ideas have developed largely without regard to the existing data available from human lesion studies, which should have provided valuable constraints on theorising. These data are outlined here, augmented by a meta-analysis of the work of Donald T. Stuss and colleagues. Rostral PFC lesions do not typically cause widespread cognitive deficits. But they often do cause marked deficits in a range of cognitive abilities which have hitherto received little attention from cognitive scientists. These include (but are not restricted to) prospective memory, multitasking, “metacognitive” control, and social behaviour. It is argued that functional neuroimaging practitioners of functional neuroimaging might wish to consider these data when interpreting, post-hoc, findings of haemodynamic change in rostral PFC.

Keywords: frontal lobes; rostral PFC; multitasking; prospective memory; meta-analysis; lesion studies; functional neuroimaging

Chapter.  17086 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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