Prefrontal cortex

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The prefrontal cortex is a well-studied but, in terms of understanding what it is for, deeply divisive part of the brain located at the front of the head. Perhaps the least controversial feature of the prefrontal cortex is its complexity. The prefrontal cortex is anatomically, functionally, and computationally complex. It is anatomically complex, containing a number of subregions each sending and receiving projections to a unique set of other cortical and subcortical areas. This interconnectivity presents a serious challenge to efforts to localize function to prefrontal cortex, because it can seem as though information flows everywhere all at once in prefrontal networks. Perhaps as a result, prefrontal cortex is also computationally complex: working memory, abstraction, sensory attention, value-based decision making, planning, and motor control are all functions that have been attributed to the prefrontal cortex. This diversity of functions is likely to reflect the diversity of brain regions that prefrontal cortex communicates with while carrying out the computations it performs to influence behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R346-R351
JournalCurrent biology : CB
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 25 2022

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Copyright © 2022. Published by Elsevier Inc.


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