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Task models in prefrontal cortex.
In U. Mayr, E. Awh & S. Keele (Eds.), Developing individuality in the human brain: A tribute to Michael Posner, p 87-108
Year of publication:
The crucial role of prefrontal cortex in human cognition is shown by the broad disorganization of thought and behaviour that can follow prefrontal lesions. Single cell studies in the behaving monkey show how prefrontal cells are selectively tuned to information of current task relevance, producing a dense, distributed description of inputs, outputs, rewards and other relevant events. By such flexible information coding, it is proposed that prefrontal cells produce an active internal model of some aspect of the world and what actions it affords; this model is crucial in guiding effective, organized behaviour. Correspondingly, neuroimaging data similar prefrontal involvement in tasks from a wide range of cognitive domains, with activation of specific regions in and around the inferior frontal sulcus, the frontal operculum, and the anterior cingulate. New experiments on "goal neglect" suggest that active task requirements compete for representation in the frontal task model. Goal neglect is strongly related to general intelligence or Spearman's g, suggesting an account of g in terms of this task modelling function.