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Encyclopedia > Prefrontal cortex
Brain: Prefrontal cortex
Brodmann areas of lateral surface. Per BrainInfo, parts of #8, #9, #10, #11, #44, #45, #46, and #47 are all in frontal region.
Part of Frontal lobe
Components Superior frontal gyrus
Middle frontal gyrus
Inferior frontal gyrus
Artery Anterior cerebral
Middle cerebral
Vein Superior sagittal sinus
NeuroNames ancil-101
MeSH Prefrontal+Cortex

The prefrontal cortex is the anterior part of the frontal lobes of the brain, lying in front of the motor and premotor areas. Cytoarchitectonically, it is defined by the presence of an internal granular layer IV (in contrast to the agranular premotor cortex). Divided into the lateral, orbitofrontal and medial prefrontal areas, this brain region has been implicated in planning complex cognitive behaviors, personality expression and moderating correct social behavior. For other uses of Skull, see Skull (disambiguation). ... This article is about the skeletal organs. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (960x720, 184 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Brodmann area Brodmann area 4 Prefrontal cortex Poles of cerebral hemispheres ... A Brodmann area is a region in the brain cortex defined by its cytoarchitectonic characteristics. ... The frontal lobe is an area in the brain of mammals. ... Superior frontal gyrus of the human brain. ... Middle frontal gyrus of the human brain. ... Inferior frontal gyrus of the human brain. ... The anterior cerebral artery supplies oxygen to most medial portions of frontal lobes and superior medial parietal lobes. ... The middle cerebral artery (MCA) is one of the three major arteries that supplies blood to the brain. ... The superior sagittal sinus lies within the superior border of the falx cerebri, a two-layered dural structure separating the two cerebral hemispheres. ... NeuroNames is a system of nomenclature for the brain and related structures. ... Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) is a huge controlled vocabulary (or metadata system) for the purpose of indexing journal articles and books in the life sciences. ... In zootomy, several terms are used to describe the location of organs and other structures in the body of bilateral animals. ... The frontal lobe is an area in the brains of vertebrates. ... The primary motor area is a group of networked cells in mammalian brains that controls movements of specific body parts associated with cell groups in that area of the brain. ... The premotor cortex is an area of motor cortex in the frontal lobe of the brain, located in front of the primary motor cortex and behind the prefrontal cortex. ... Cytoarchitectonics represents the study of the microscopic, cellular composition of structures within the body. ... Location of the cerebral cortex Slice of the cerebral cortex, ca. ... Categories: Stub | Cerebrum ...


The basic activity of this brain region is considered to be orchestration of thoughts and actions in accordance with internal goals.


The most typical neurologic term for functions carried out by the pre-frontal cortex area is Executive Function. Executive Function relates to abilities to differentiate among conflicting thoughts, determine good and bad, better and best, same and different, future consequences of current activities, working toward a defined goal, prediction of outcomes, expectation based on actions, and social "control" (the ability to suppress urges that, if not suppressed, could lead to socially unacceptable outcomes). This article is about the branch of medicine. ... The executive system is a theorised cognitive system in psychology that controls and manages other cognitive processes. ...


Many authors have indicated an integral link between a person's personality and the functions of the prefrontal cortex.

Contents

Brain linkages

The prefrontal cortex has a high number of interconnections both between the brainstem's Reticular Activating System (RAS) and the limbic system. As a result, the centers in the prefrontal cortex depend significantly on high levels of alertness, and emotional linkages with deeper brain structures related to control of pleasure, pain, anger, rage, panic, aggression (fight-flight-freeze responses), and basic sexual responses. The brain stem is the lower part of the brain, adjoining and structurally continuous with the spinal cord. ... The reticular activating system is the name given to part of the brain (the Reticular Formation and its connections) believed to be the centre of arousal and motivation in animals (including humans). ... The limbic system (Latin limbus: border or edge) includes the structures in the human brain involved in emotion, motivation, and emotional association with memory. ...


Studies

The classic case of earlier studies of prefrontal cortex function involved a railroad supervisor of construction—one Phineas Gage—who in 1848, despite a metal rod piercing his left cheek and exiting the top of his head, survived the incident and healed. After the event he had normal memory and abilities to walk and talk, but because of the prefrontal injury could no longer behave correctly, often getting into fights or acting shockingly. The remainder of his life was a tragedy of knowing what was right and wrong, but never choosing the right and instead always picking what sounded pleasurable and easy. Phineas P. Gage (1823 – May 21, 1860) was a railroad construction foreman who suffered a traumatic brain injury when a tamping iron accidentally passed through his skull, damaging the frontal lobes of his brain. ...


Subsequent studies on patients with prefrontal injuries have shown that, in testing, they verbalize what the most appropriate social responses would be under certain circumstances, yet when actually performing, they will still pursue behavior which is aimed at immediate gratification even if they know the longer term results will be self-defeating.


This data indicates that not only are skills of comparison and understanding of eventual outcomes harbored in the prefrontal cortex, but that the prefrontal cortex (when functioning correctly) controls the mental option to delay immediate gratification for a better or more rewarding longer term gratification result. This ability to wait for a reward is one of the key pieces that defines optimal executive function of the human brain.


In 2005, University of Toronto researchers traced the origin of fear memories to the prefrontal cortex.[1] The University of Toronto (U of T) is a public research university in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... For other uses, see Fear (disambiguation). ...


Other disorders

In the last few decades, brain imaging systems have been used to determine brain region volumes and nerve linkages. Several studies have indicated that reduced volume and interconnections of the frontal lobes with other brain regions is common in those with depression, people subjected to repeated stressors,[2] suicide victims,[3] incarcerated criminals, sociopaths, and drug addicts. It is felt that at least some of the human abilities to feel guilt or remorse, and to interpret reality, lie in the prefrontal cortex (reference please). It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with functional neuroimaging. ...


References

  1. ^ http://www.news.utoronto.ca/bin6/050915-1631.asp
  2. ^ Liston C et al (2006). "Stress-induced alterations in prefrontal cortical dendritic morphology predict selective impairments in perceptual attentional set-shifting". J Neurosci 26 (30): 7870-4. PMID 16870732. 
  3. ^ Rajkowska G. "Morphometric methods for studying the prefrontal cortex in suicide victims and psychiatric patients". Ann N Y Acad Sci 836: 253-68. PMID 9616803. 
  • Richard M. Burton, The Anatomy, Chemistry and Genetics of Human Behavior, Newport. 1996.
  • Miller EK, Cohen JD (2001). "An integrative theory of prefrontal cortex function". Annu Rev Neurosci 24: 167-202. PMID 11283309. 
  • Lebedev M et al (2004). "Representation of attended versus remembered locations in prefrontal cortex". PLoS Biology 2 (11): e365. PMID 15510225. 
  • Fuster JM (1997) The Prefrontal Cortex: Anatomy, physiology, and neuropsychology of the frontal lobe, 2 Edition: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

António C. R. Damásio (IPA: //) (b. ... Descartes Error: a book by neurologist Antonio R. Damasio, in which the author presents an argument that emotion and reason are not completely separate and, in fact, are quite dependent upon one another and essential to rational thinking. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) The year 1994 was designated as the International Year of the Family and the International Year of the Sport and the Olympic Ideal by the United Nations. ... PLoS Biology is a scientific journal covering the full spectrum of the biological sciences it began operation on October 13, 2003. ...

See also

A widely accepted idea regarding the function of prefrontal cortex (PF) is that it serves as a storage of short-term memory. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Do rats have prefrontal cortex? (875 words)
A re-evaluation of rat frontal cortex suggests that the medial frontal cortex, usually considered to homologous to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of primates, actually consists of cortex homologous to primate premotor and anterior cingulate cortex.
Furthermore, it has been argued the the same basic subdivisions of prefrontal cortex present in primates could be identified in nonprimate mammals such as rats and cats, including specifically the frontal eyefield and principalis cortex (the latter being named for its location along the banks of the principal sulcus of macaque monkeys).
The region of rat frontal cortex usually considered homologous to the dorsolateral PFC of primates is located along the dorsomedial edge ("shoulder") of the hemisphere and the medial wall, anterior to the corpus callosum.
Betrayal by the Brain, by Dr Goldstein (6374 words)
Prefrontal cortex glutaminergic hyposecretion to the amygdala may decrease CRH levels.
Prefrontal cortex glutamate hyposecretion appears to be related to most neurosomatic disorders.
There are two-way communications between the cortex and the cerebellum, as there are between the cortex and the thalamus, to improve the co-ordination for performance of cognitiveand language tasks.
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