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Anterior portion of the cingulate
cortex, located below the frontal love along the medial surface. This
region is characterized by a primitive cytoarchitecture (three-layered
cortex) and is part of the interface between the frontal lobe and the
limbic system. The anterior cingulate cortex is implicated in various
executive functions, such as response monitoring, error detection, and
Also referred to as "executive
function." Allows us to use our perceptions, knowledge, and goals to
bias the selection of action and thoughts from a multitude of
possibilities. Cognitive control processes allow us to override
automatic thoughts and behavior and step out of the realm of habitual
responses. They give us cognitive flexibility, letting us think and act
in novel and creative ways. Essential for purposeful goal-oriented
behavior and decision making.
A task in which the correct
response must be produced after a delay period of several seconds. Such
tasks require the operation of working memory because the animal or
person must maintain a record of the stimulus information during the
The hypothesis that a key
component of working memory involves the selection of information that
is most relevant, given current task demands. This selection is thought
to be accomplished through the filtering, or exclusion of, potentially
interfering and irrelevant information.
Actions based on the assessment
of an expected reward or value and the knowledge that there is a causal
relationship between the action and the reward. Goal-oriented actions
stand in contrast to more habitually or stimulus driven behavior and are
strongly under the control of reinforcement.
The hypothesis that one aspect of
executive functions is the regulation of habitual responses or
environmentally dictated actions bty active inhibition. A loss of
inhibitory control is assumed to underlie the tendency of some patients
with prefrontal lesions to produce socially inappropriate behavior.
The region of the cerebral cortex
that lies anterior to Broadmann area 6, along the lateral surface. This
region has been implicated in various executive functions, such as
working memory and response selection.
The medial region of the frontal
cortex that includes parts of areas 24, 32, and inferior aspects of 6
and 8. The medial frontal cortex is associated with cognitive control
--- in particular, monitoring functions for error detection and
The executive function associated
with evaluating whether current representations and/or actions are
conducive to the achievement of current goals. Errors can be avoided or
corrected by a monitoring system. One of the hypothesized operations of a
supervisory attentional system.
Ventral striatum of the basal
ganglia, important in emotional processing. Associated with the reward
system of the brain, showing changes in activity in response to both
primary and secondary reinforcers.
A region of the frontal love,
located above the orbits of the eyes, that is implicated in a range of
functions. Including perceptual processes associated with olfaction and
taste, as well as those associated with monitoring whether one's
behavior is appropriate.
Persisting in a response even
after being told that it is incorrect. The tendency to produce a
particular response on successive trials, even when the context has
changed such that response is no longer appropriate. Commonly observed
in patients with prefrontal damage, perseveration is thought to reflect a
loss of inhibitory control.
A signal that represents the
difference between the obtained reward and the expected reward. A
theoretical construct in theories of reinforcement learning that is
defined as the difference between an expected and actual outcome or
reward. If the reward is greater than expected, a positive prediction
occurs which can be used to increase the likelihood of the behavior. If
the reward is less than expected, the negative prediction can be used to
decrease the likelihood of the behavior.
A region of the cortex that takes
part in the higher aspects of motor control and the planning and
execution of behavior, perhaps especially tasks that require the
integration of information over time and thus mandate the involvement of
working memory mechanisms.
The ability to organize and
segregate the timing or order of events in memory. Recency is a form of
episodic memory in that it involves remembering when a specific event
took place. Patients with prefrontal lesions do poorly on tests of
recency memory, even though their long-term memory is relatively intact.
A situation in which more than
one response is activated, usually because of some ambiguity in the
stimulus information. It has been hypothesized that the anterior
cingulate monitors the level of response conflict and modulates
processing in active systems when conflict is high.
One of the nuclei of the basal
ganglia. The striatum is the main receiving zone of the basal ganglia,
receiving extensive inputs from the cerebral cortex and other
subcortical structures. The striatum in humans is composed of the
caudate and putamen nuclei.
This can supersede contention
scheduling. The SAS is essential for ensuring that behavior is flexible
by allowing us to override automatic behavior. It is a mechanism for
favoring certain schema control units to reflect the demands of the
situation or to emphasize some goals over others. The SAS is a
psychological model of cognitive control.
An abstract entity referring to
the overall preference given to a stimulus or action. The value is
assumed to reflect the combination of a number of different attributes
such as how much reward will be received , the likelihood of that
reward, and the efforts and costs required to achieve the reward.
A type of short-term memory. It
is the transient representation of task-relevant information. The
"blackboard of the mind." Working memory refers to the temporary
maintenance of this information, providing an interface between
perception, long-term memory, and action and thus, enabling
goal-oriented behavior and decision making. Working memory integrates
current perceptual information with stored knowledge from long-term
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