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Disorganisation of behaviour after frontal lobe damage.
Cognitive Neuropsychology, 3, 271-290.
Year of publication:
This paper presents a theory of the disorganisation in activity that can follow frontal lobe damage. This disorganisation is charcterised by fragmented sequences of action, relevant parts being omitted and irrelevant parts introduced. Concepts from human and machine problem solving are used to develop the idea of a deficit in control of action by its goals. An attempt is then made to show which aspects of frontal impairment are relevant to assessment of this idea. Evidence includes the generality of impairment - its appearance across the range of information-processing domains - and the detailed behaviour surrounding failure to achieve known goals. An important point is that the role of search for a structure of action optimising achievement of listed goals may be minimized when familiar sequences of action are repeated in familiar settings. This may correspond to the common idea of a distinction between two models of processing, active/controlled and passive/automatic.