Hierarchical cognitive control deficits following damage to the human frontal lobe.

Published

Journal Article

Cognitive control permits us to make decisions about abstract actions, such as whether to e-mail versus call a friend, and to select the concrete motor programs required to produce those actions, based on our goals and knowledge. The frontal lobes are necessary for cognitive control at all levels of abstraction. Recent neuroimaging data have motivated the hypothesis that the frontal lobes are organized hierarchically, such that control is supported in progressively caudal regions as decisions are made at more concrete levels of action. We found that frontal damage impaired action decisions at a level of abstraction that was dependent on lesion location (rostral lesions affected more abstract tasks, whereas caudal lesions affected more concrete tasks), in addition to impairing tasks requiring more, but not less, abstract action control. Moreover, two adjacent regions were distinguished on the basis of the level of control, consistent with previous functional magnetic resonance imaging results. These results provide direct evidence for a rostro-caudal hierarchical organization of the frontal lobes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Badre, D; Hoffman, J; Cooney, JW; D'Esposito, M

Published Date

  • April 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 12 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 515 - 522

PubMed ID

  • 19252496

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19252496

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1546-1726

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/nn.2277

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States