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Attention, intelligence and the frontal lobes.
In M.S. Gazzaniga (Ed.), The New Cognitive Neurosciences. The MIT Press, 721-733
Year of publication:
A distinction between "active" or "controlled" and "passive" or "automatic" behavior has been separately used to explain frontal lobe impairments, differences in "general intelligence" or Spearman's g, and interference between (dissimilar) concurrent tasks. It is suggested that all three concern a process of goal or abstract action selection under conditions of novelty and/or weak environmental prompts to behavior. One source of evidence concerns goal neglect, or disregard of a (comprehended) task requirement. Characteristic of frontal patients, such neglect also occurs in normal people with low g scores, especially under dual task conditions. A second source of evidence concerns poor performance of frontal patients on tests of fluid intelligence. In general, across any set of tasks or performance measures, profiles of frontal lobe impairment, g correlation and dual task decrement should agree. It remains an open question whether g and dual task decrements reflect the functions of specific frontal areas, including dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and/or the anterior cingulate.