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Prefrontal cortex

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Prefrontal cortex

  1. 1. PREFRONTAL CORTEX TIIU, ALEX, MCIHELLE
  2. 2. DESCRIPTION AND LOCATION · The shaded region is the prefrontal cortex · Just behind the forehead · It is in front of the motor and premotor areas http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-prefrontal-cortex.htm
  3. 3. FUNCTIONS • The prefrontal cortex is used in abstract thinking, thought analysis, problem solving, emotion and complex thought. • The prefrontal cortex’s functions are often referred to as executive function. The executive function refers to the abilities to differentiate among conflicting thoughts, determine good and bad, future consequences of current activities, working toward a specific aim, predicted expectation based on actions, and social behavior.
  4. 4. PHINEAS AND GAGE • 25 year old in an accident where a metal pole went through his skull (went through the front of his brain) • Awake and alert • No noticeable difficulty with speech or language • Behavioral changes • Balance between intellectual abilities and emotional control destroyed • Became agitated • Used lots of profanity and pornographic language • Findings: found evidence that the frontal cortex affects personality and social behaviors • Issues: There was no real scientific method because it was an unexpected accident http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phineas_Gage
  5. 5. PREFRONTAL CORTEX AND ADDICTION • Aim: To investigate the relationship between cocaine-induces brain defects in the prefrontal cortex and addiction • Method: Rats were engineered to carry light activated neurons in a part of their prefrontal cortex called the prelimbic cortex • Took rats that were chronically addicted to cocaine. Rats would press a lever and receive a hit of cocaine but also an electric shock. Their need for the drug was so strong they ignored the electric shock. • Scientists used laser light pulses to activate the neurons in the prelimbic cortex • Findings: The rat’s fear of the shock returned, cocaine seeking lessened • The scientists also reduced activity in the same brain region with rats that had been previously deterred by the foot shock and they then became chronic cocaine junkies http://directorsblog.nih.g ov/2013/04/16/shininga-bright-light-oncocaine-addiction/
  6. 6. PREFRONTAL CORTEX AND SYMBOLS AND NUMBERS • Aim: To research the relationship between the prefrontal cortex and relating symbols with abstract concepts • Trained two monkeys to link the number of dots with Arabic numbers • during tests the monkeys were trained to pull a lever when the number of dots matched the numeral • Findings: 23% of prefrontal neurons increased activity during the task • Prefrontal cortex plays a role in making connections between numerical quantities and the symbols that represent them http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-the-brain-mapssymbol
  7. 7. WHAT HAPPENS DURING DYSFUNCTION? • Reduces interconnections between frontal lobe and other brain regions is also seen in patients diagnosed with mental disorders, suicide victims, criminals, sociopaths and drug addicts • Schizophrenia • Bipolar disorder • ADHD

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