Prefrontal cortex and cognitive control: motivating functional hierarchies.

Nature Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 14.98). 08/2009; 12(7):821-2. DOI: 10.1038/nn0709-821
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    ABSTRACT: Insights into neurobiological mechanisms of depression are increasingly being sought via brain imaging studies. Our aim was to quantitatively summarize overlap and diver-gence in regions of altered brain activation associated with depression under emotionally valenced compared to cognitively demanding task conditions, and with reference to intrin-sic functional connectivity. We hypothesized differences reflective of task demands. A co-ordinate-based meta-analysis technique, activation likelihood estimation, was used to analyze relevant imaging literature. These studies compared brain activity in depressed adults relative to healthy controls during three conditions: (i) emotionally valenced (cog-nitively easy) tasks (n = 29); (ii) cognitively demanding tasks (n = 15); and (iii) resting conditions (n = 21). The meta-analyses identified five, eight, and seven significant clus-ters of altered brain activity under emotion, cognition, and resting conditions, respectively, in depressed individuals compared to healthy controls. Regions of overlap and divergence between pairs of the three separate meta-analyses were quantified. There were no sig-nificant regions of overlap between emotion and cognition meta-analyses, but several divergent clusters were found. Cognitively demanding conditions were associated with greater activation of right medial frontal and insula regions while bilateral amygdala was more significantly altered during emotion (cognitively undemanding) conditions; consistent with task demands. Overlap was present in left amygdala and right subcallosal cingulate between emotion and resting meta-analyses, with no significant divergence. Our meta-analyses highlight alteration of common brain regions, during cognitively undemanding emotional tasks and resting conditions but divergence of regions between emotional and cognitively demanding tasks. Regions altered reflect current biological and system-level models of depression and highlight the relationship with task condition and difficulty.
    Frontiers in Psychology 02/2015; 8. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2014.01045 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present article promotes a formal executive model of frontal functions underlying speech production, bringing together hierarchical theories of adaptive behavior in the (pre-)frontal cortex (pFC) and psycho- and neurolinguistic approaches to spoken language within an information-theoretic framework. Its biological plausibility is revealed through two Activation Likelihood Estimation meta-analyses carried out on a total of 41 hemodynamic studies of overt word and continuous speech production respectively. Their principal findings, considered in light of neuropsychological evidence and earlier models of speech-related frontal functions, support the engagement of a caudal-to-rostral gradient of pFC activity operationalized by the nature and quantity of speech-related information conveyed by task-related external cues (i.e., cue codability) on the one hand, and the total informational content of generated utterances on the other. In particular, overt reading or repetition and picture naming recruit primarily caudal motor-premotor regions involved in the sensorimotor and phonological aspects of speech; word and sentence generation engage mid- ventro- and dorsolateral areas supporting its basic predicative and syntactic functions; finally, rostral- and fronto-polar cortices subsume domain-general strategic processes of discourse generation for creative speech. These different levels interact in a top-down fashion, ranging representationally and temporally from the most general and extended to the most specific and immediate. The end-result is an integrative theory of pFC as the main executive component of the language cortical network, which supports the existence of areas specialized for speech communication and articulation and regions subsuming internal reasoning and planning. Prospective avenues of research pertaining to this model's principal predictions are discussed.
    Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 10/2014; 47:431-444. DOI:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.09.008 · 10.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The anticipation of pain has been investigated in a variety of brain imaging studies. Importantly, today there is no clear overall picture of the areas that are involved in different studies and the exact role of these regions in pain expectation remains especially unexploited. To address this issue, we used activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis to analyze pain anticipation in several neuroimaging studies. A total of 19 functional magnetic resonance imaging were included in the analysis to search for the cortical areas involved in pain anticipation in human experimental models. During anticipation, activated foci were found in the dorsolateral prefrontal, midcingulate and anterior insula cortices, medial and inferior frontal gyri, inferior parietal lobule, middle and superior temporal gyrus, thalamus, and caudate. Deactivated foci were found in the anterior cingulate, superior frontal gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus and in the claustrum. The results of the meta-analytic connectivity analysis provide an overall view of the brain responses triggered by the anticipation of a noxious stimulus. Such a highly distributed perceptual set of self-regulation may prime brain regions to process information where emotion, action and perception as well as their related subcategories play a central role. Not only do these findings provide important information on the neural events when anticipating pain, but also they may give a perspective into nocebo responses, whereby negative expectations may lead to pain worsening. Hum Brain Mapp, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Human Brain Mapping 12/2014; 36(5). DOI:10.1002/hbm.22727 · 6.92 Impact Factor

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