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Matter of MindA Neurologist's View of Brain-Behavior Relationships$
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Kenneth M. Heilman

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195144901

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195144901.001.0001

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Conation and Intention

Conation and Intention

Matter of Mind

Kenneth M. Heilman

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses intentional systems. Cognitive systems such as language (speech, reading, and writing), spatial skills, and motor skills provide the knowledge of how to interact and operate within the environment, but they do not provide the knowledge of when to interact. There are three intentional, or “when,” decisions a normal person must make: when to act, when to continue acting or persist, and when not to act. The frontal lobes play a critical role in these decisions. The ability to carry out goal-oriented behavior requires both cognitive knowledge (stored primarily in the temporal and parietal lobes) and motivation or biological drives.

Keywords:   initiative, abulia, akinesia, brain, cognitive systems, impersistence, intention

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