Prefrontal cortex and executive functioning Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Prefrontal cortex and executive functioning Deck (27):
1

How much of the brain volume is occupied by the frontal lobe?

30%

2

What are the principles of subdivision of the frontal lobe?

Subdivision based on:

cytoarchitecture

thalamic connections

functional properties 

3

Which types of connections are generally used in the subdivision of the frontal lobe based on thalamic connections?

Afferent connections

Efferent connections

4

Are afferent or efferent connections usued more commonly to subdivide the frontal lobe based on thalamic connections?

Afferent connections

Broadly map onto Brodmann areas

5

Describe some examples of subdivision of the frontal lobe based on functional distinctions?

Motor area

Premotor area

Prefrontal area

Broca's area

 

PICTURE FROM SLIDE 7

6

What was the Phineas Gage lesion study useful for?

Understanding frontal lobe functioning 

7

Which part of Luria's functional system corresponds to the frontal lobe?

Which functions is it responsible for?

Anterior unit

Planning, executing and verifying behaviour 

8

What is executive functioning?

Which lobe of the brain is it associated with?

An umbrella term to describe the inter-related processes responsible for goal-directed, purposeful behaviour 

Incudes emotional and social behaviour as well as cognition 

Considered a frontal lobe function 

9

What are the major subdivisions of the the pre-frontal cortex?

Dorsolateral pre-frontal cortex

Medial pre-frontal cortex

Orbitofrontal prefrontal cortex

10

What are the major functions of the dorsolateral PFC?

Traditional executive functions:

Working memory

Response selection

Plannig and organising

Hypothesis generation

Flexibility maintaining 

Insight 

Moral judgement 

 

11

What is the major arterial supply to the dorsolateral PFC?

Middle cerebral artery 

12

Decsribe the functions of the medial PFC?

Emotional-motivational interface:

Apathy

Initiative

Indifference

Akinetic mutism at most extreme

13

What is the major arterial supply to the medial PFC?

Anterior cerebral artery 

14

Issues with self-awareness can arise from lesions in which part of the frontal lobe?

Medial PFC 

Anterior cingulate

 

 

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15

Which deep brain strucutres is the orbitofrontal PFC highly connected to?

Limbic areas

16

Describe the functions of the orbitofrontal PFC?

Inhibiton (emotional, social, cognitive)

Impulsivity

 

17

What is the major arterial supply to the orbitofrontal PFC?

Anterior cerebral and middle cerebral arteries 

18

Problems with impulsivity are evident in individuals with lesions in which part of the frontal lobe?

Orbitofrontal PFC

 

 

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19

Describe the maturation of the frontal lobes?

Last area of the brain to develop

First part of brain to degenerate in ageing

Development is a dynamic process, involving both positive and negative processes (eg. proliferation vs pruning)

 

20

What is the functional consequence of the frontal lobe being the last area of the brain to develop?

Executive functions are among the last abilities to reach maturity

Lower order functions develop first 

Higher order functions develop later

 

 

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21

What is executive dysfunction?

Problem with execuitve functioning

POSITIVE SYMPTOMS: distractibility, social disinhibition, emotional instability, etc.

NEGATIVE SYMPTOMS: lack of concern, restricted emotion, deficient empathy, etc.

22

Are executive dysfunction and frontal lobe dysfunction the same thing?

NO

Pathology of executive dysfunction is likely to be in the frontal lobe, but not necessarily 

Prefrontal cortex is just a 'coordinator' of executive functioning 

23

Which lesions are formal neuropsychological tests most sensitive to? 

Whic types of lesions are more difficult to test?

DLPFC lesions 

Medial and orbitofrontal are difficult to formally assess

24

How can DLPFC lesions be assessed?

Formal neuropsychological tests

25

How can medial and orbitofrontal lesions be assessed?

Clinical judgement and history taking 

26

Give three examples of tasks that may be included in a formal neuropsychological test?

Tower of London (4 moves)

Stroop test (reading colours)

Rey complex figure test (copy drawing, assess planning)

27

What are some common causes of executive dysfunction?

CHI
Stroke

Psychiatric conditions (eg. schizophrenia)

Dementias

Focal lesions

Inflammatory

Developmental (eg. autism)