Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Anterior prefrontal function

Koechlin, E. & Hyafil, A. (October 26, 2007). Anterior prefrontal function and the limits of human decision making. Science, Vol. 318, 594-598.

Based on recent empirical findings and predictions from a neurocomputational model, the authors of this review propose a role for the not-yet-well-understood frontopolar cortex (FPC), also known as the anterior prefrontal cortex or Brodmann's area 10. They argue that processing of 'cognitive branching' is the core function of the FPC. Cognitive branching enables a previously running task to be maintained in a pending state for subsequent retrieval and execution upon completion of the ongoing one. Many of our complex behaviors and mental activities require simultaneous engagement of multiple tasks, and the FPC may perform a domain-general function in these scheduling operations.

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