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Localization of Mental Functions

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In the now famous case of "Phineas Gage", the damage in his prefrontal cortex (in the orbital and medial regions) resulted in a loss of reasoning abilities and an alteration of personality. On the other hand, confabulation (a type of memory disorder) has been associated with damage in different parts of the prefrontal cortex. How do we reconcile these findings to understand the functional localization in the brain?

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It seems that the ventromedial part of the frontal cortex governs questions of doubt and belief. This part of the cortex degenerates after age 60. This might be related to confabulation because the truth and falsehood of claims becomes fuzzier as this part of the cortex gets damaged or aged (MN, 2012).

There is also an article dealing specifically with the Lateral part of the prefrontal. This part seems to govern basic behavioral planning. What is affected here is our ability to attend to important things at the expense of less important (Tasji and Hoshi, 2008).

It is also clear that damage to the dorsolateral part of the prefrontal is associated with dysexecutive syndrome. This is not entirely unrelated to the Lateral section above. The general concept with damage to this region is based around the inability to think rationally, especially when it comes to behavior choices. This can ...

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