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Principles of Frontal Lobe Function$
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Donald T. Stuss and Robert T. Knight

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195134971

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195134971.001.0001

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The Theatre of the Mind: Physiological Studies of the Human Frontal Lobes

The Theatre of the Mind: Physiological Studies of the Human Frontal Lobes

(p.109) 7 The Theatre of the Mind: Physiological Studies of the Human Frontal Lobes
Principles of Frontal Lobe Function

Terence W. Picton

Claude Alain

Anthony R. McIntosh

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the frontal lobes, and in particular the prefrontal cortices, enact the “theatre of the mind.” The frontal regions of the human brain are crucial elements in the interacting networks that instantiate representational processing. A representational processor interprets what is occurring by making explanatory models, and adjusts behavior to fit with desired goals. At its highest levels the representational processor can be separated from reality and can operate on hypothetical contents. The processing involves simultaneous activities in multiple regions of the brain, which are essentially linked through prefrontal neurons. The concurrence of these activities makes it difficult to disentangle the individual processes. The neuropsychology of the frontal lobes must consider the disruption of networks rather than the localization of function.

Keywords:   prefrontal cortices, cognition, perception, behavior, learning, memory

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