Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex (ventrolateral + prefrontal_cortex)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Preference judgements involve a network of structures within frontal, cingulate and insula cortices

Amir M. Chaudhry
Abstract Environmental stimuli constantly compete for human attention and in many cases decisions are made based on the affective meaning they convey. Although the network of structures involved in processing affective value has been well described, the specific contribution of these structures to the process by which affective value guides decision making is less well understood and is the focus of the present study. Thus, subjects read descriptions of individually tailored holidays, varying in incentive value and then made preference judgements, cognitive judgements or no decision. Choices made from an affective perspective, compared with those made from a cognitive perspective, activated a region of the anterior insula/operculum and also the anterior cingulate cortex. Furthermore, activity in perigenual, anterior cingulate cortex was correlated with subjective ratings of incentive value. In contrast, medial orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and a region of posterior ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC), bordering on the insula, were found to be more active when affective stimuli guided response selection than when no selection was made. However, only the activity in the ventrolateral PFC was specific to response selection based on affective compared with cognitive judgements. It is proposed that the necessary introspection required to make subjective preference judgements is provided by the insula and cingulate cortices, while the medial OFC and posterior ventrolateral PFC/insula cortices contribute to stimulus evaluation and motivational aspects of response selection, respectively. [source]

Comparative cytoarchitectonic analysis of the human and the macaque ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and corticocortical connection patterns in the monkey

M. Petrides
A comparison of the cytoarchitecture of the human and the macaque monkey ventrolateral prefrontal cortex demonstrated a region in the monkey that exhibits the architectonic characteristic of area 45 in the human brain. This region occupies the dorsal part of the ventrolateral prefrontal convexity just below area 9/46v. Rostroventral to area 45 in the human brain lies a large cortical region labelled as area 47 by Brodmann. The ventrolateral component of this region extending as far as the lateral orbital sulcus has architectonic characteristics similar to those of the ventrolateral prefrontal region labelled by Walker as area 12 in the macaque monkey. We designated this region in both the human and the monkey ventrolateral prefrontal cortex as area 47/12. Thus, area 47/12 designates the specific part of the zone previously labelled as area 47 in the human brain that has the same overall architectonic pattern as that of Walker's area 12 in the macaque monkey brain. The cortical connections of these two areas were examined in the monkey by injecting fluorescent retrograde tracers. Although both area 45 and area 47/12 as defined here had complex multimodal input, they could be differentiated in terms of some of their inputs. Retrograde tracers restricted to area 47/12 resulted in heavy labelling of neurons in the rostral inferotemporal visual association cortex and in temporal limbic areas (i.e. perirhinal and parahippocampal cortex). In contrast, injections of tracers into dorsally adjacent area 45 demonstrated strong labelling in the superior temporal gyrus (i.e. the auditory association cortex) and the multimodal cortex in the upper bank of the superior temporal sulcus. [source]

Selective activation of the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex in the human brain during active retrieval processing

Geneviève Cadoret
Abstract The present study examined the role of the prefrontal cortex in retrieval processing using functional magnetic resonance imaging in human subjects. Ten healthy subjects were scanned while they performed a task that required retrieval of specific aspects of visual information. In order to examine brain activity specifically associated with retrieval, we designed a task that had retrieval and control conditions that were perfectly matched in terms of depth of encoding, decision making and postretrieval monitoring and differed only in terms of whether retrieval was required. In the retrieval condition, based on an instructional cue, the subjects had to retrieve either the particular stimulus that was previously presented or its location. In the control condition, the cue did not instruct retrieval but shared with the instructional cues the function of alerting the subjects of the impending test phase. The comparison of activity between the retrieval and control conditions demonstrated a significant and selective increase in activity related to retrieval processes within the ventrolateral prefrontal cortical region, more specifically within area 47/12. These activity increases were bilateral but stronger in the right hemisphere. The present study by strictly controlling the level of encoding, postretrieval monitoring, and decision making has demonstrated a specific increase in the ventrolateral prefrontal region that could be clearly related to active retrieval processing, i.e. the active selection of particular stored visual representations. [source]

Auditory orienting and inhibition of return in mild traumatic brain injury: A FMRI study

Andrew R. Mayer
Abstract The semiacute phase of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is associated with deficits in the cognitive domains of attention, memory, and executive function, which previous work suggests may be related to a specific deficit in disengaging attentional focus. However, to date, there have only been a few studies that have employed dynamic imaging techniques to investigate the potential neurological basis of these cognitive deficits during the semiacute stage of injury. Therefore, event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to investigate the neurological correlates of attentional dysfunction in a clinically homogeneous sample of 16 patients with mTBI during the semiacute phase of injury (<3 weeks). Behaviorally, patients with mTBI exhibited deficits in disengaging and reorienting auditory attention following invalid cues as well as a failure to inhibit attentional allocation to a cued spatial location compared to a group of matched controls. Accordingly, patients with mTBI also exhibited hypoactivation within thalamus, striatum, midbrain nuclei, and cerebellum across all trials as well as hypoactivation in the right posterior parietal cortex, presupplementary motor area, bilateral frontal eye fields, and right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex during attentional disengagement. Finally, the hemodynamic response within several regions of the attentional network predicted response times better for controls than for patients with mTBI. These objective neurological findings represent a potential biomarker for the behavioral deficits in spatial attention that characterize the initial recovery phase of mTBI. Hum Brain Mapp, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Fronto-striatal dysfunction and potential compensatory mechanisms in male adolescents with fragile X syndrome

Fumiko Hoeft
Abstract Response inhibition is an important facet of executive function. Fragile X syndrome (FraX), with a known genetic etiology (fragile X mental retardation-1 (FMR1) mutation) and deficits in response inhibition, may be an ideal condition for elucidating interactions among gene-brain-behavior relationships. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have shown evidence of aberrant neural activity when individuals with FraX perform executive function tasks, though the specific nature of this altered activity or possible compensatory processes has yet to be elucidated. To address this question, we examined brain activation patterns using fMRI during a go/nogo task in adolescent males with FraX and in controls. The critical comparison was made between FraX individuals and age, gender, and intelligent quotient (IQ)-matched developmentally delayed controls; in addition to a control group of age and gender-matched typically developing individuals. The FraX group showed reduced activation in the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) and right caudate head, and increased contralateral (left) VLPFC activation compared with both control groups. Individuals with FraX, but not controls, showed a significant positive correlation between task performance and activation in the left VLPFC. This potential compensatory activation was predicted by the interaction between FMR1 protein (FMRP) levels and right striatal dysfunction. These results suggest that right fronto-striatal dysfunction is likely an identifiable neuro-phenotypic feature of FraX and that activation of the left VLPFC during successful response inhibition may reflect compensatory processes. We further show that these putative compensatory processes can be predicted by a complex interaction between genetic risk and neural function. Hum Brain Mapp, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Frontoparietal cortical activity of methamphetamine-dependent and comparison subjects performing a delay discounting task

John R. Monterosso
Abstract Relative to individuals who do not have addictive disorders, drug abusers exhibit greater devaluation of rewards as a function of their delay ("delay discounting"). The present study sought to extend this finding to methamphetamine (MA) abusers and to help understand its neural basis. MA abusers (n = 12) and control subjects who did not use illicit drugs (n = 17) participated in tests of delay discounting with hypothetical money rewards. We then used a derived estimate of each individual's delay discounting to generate a functional magnetic resonance imaging probe task consisting of three conditions: "hard choices," requiring selections between "smaller, sooner" and "larger, later" alternatives that were similarly valued given the individual's delay discounting; "easy choices," in which alternatives differed dramatically in value; and a "no choice" control condition. MA abusers exhibited more delay discounting than control subjects (P < 0.05). Across groups, the "hard choice > no choice" contrast revealed significant effects in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, and areas surrounding the intraparietal sulcus (IPS). With group comparisons limited to these clusters, the "hard choice > easy choice" contrast indicated significant group differences in task-related activity within the left DLPFC and right IPS; qualitatively similar nonsignificant effects were present in the other clusters tested. Whereas control subjects showed less recruitment associated with easy than with hard choices, MA abusers generally did not. Correlational analysis did not indicate a relationship between this anomaly in frontoparietal recruitment and greater degree of delay discounting exhibited by MA abusers. Therefore, while apparent inefficiency of cortical processing related to decision-making in MA abusers may contribute to the neural basis of enhanced delay discounting by this population, other factors remain to be identified. Hum. Brain Mapp, 2007. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Successfully overcoming the inhibitory impact of the "forget" instruction: A voxel-based morphometric study of directed forgetting

Anna Nowicka
Abstract In directed-forgetting studies, test items are followed by an instruction either to "remember" or to "forget" (F). Many to-be-forgotten (TBF) stimuli are not retrieved at the recognition phase. However, some subjects are able to correctly recollect a high number of TBF stimuli. We examined whether this ability is reflected in the structure of brain regions involved in memory and the control of retrieval processes. In subjects with high recognition rates for TBF stimuli, voxel-based morphometry revealed increased gray matter (GM) volume in the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) and the right hippocampus (H). GM volume in these regions correlated positively with the TBF recognition rate. No significant differences were detected in subjects who forgot many TBF stimuli. Our findings indicate that the right H and left VLPFC are of particular relevance in releasing TBF items from inhibition caused by the F instruction. [source]