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The Prefrontal CortexExecutive and Cognitive Functions$
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A. C. Roberts, T. W. Robbins, and L. Weiskrantz

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198524410

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524410.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
The Prefrontal Cortex

A. C. Roberts

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the major debates on the studies of the prefrontal cortex either to consider it as unitary or heterogeneous in function. It discusses the early ablation studies done on monkeys and humans highlighting one of the discrepancies that unlike humans, it has been relatively easy to obtain deficits in performance of standard laboratory tests following damage to ventral regions of prefrontal cortex in monkeys. Another discrepancy between monkey and human studies has been that cognitive inflexibility is associated with damage to dorsolateral regions of prefrontal cortex in humans, while perseverative deficits in monkeys are associated primarily with damage to ventral regions of the prefrontal cortex. The chapter further explores the technical advances made to deal with these inconsistencies both within species as well as between species, with respect to the functional organization of the prefrontal cortex.

Keywords:   prefrontal cortex, unitary, heterogeneous, ablation, monkeys, humans

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