European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 408–416

The prefrontal cortex: insights from functional neuroimaging using cognitive activation tasks

Authors

    • Division of Nuclear Medicine, Polikliniek 7Ghent University Hospital
  • Kurt Audenaert
    • Department of Psychiatry and Medical PsychologyGhent University Hospital
  • Christophe Van de Wiele
    • Division of Nuclear Medicine, Polikliniek 7Ghent University Hospital
  • Rudi Dierckx
    • Division of Nuclear Medicine, Polikliniek 7Ghent University Hospital
Occasional Survey

DOI: 10.1007/s00259-003-1382-z

Cite this article as:
Goethals, I., Audenaert, K., Van de Wiele, C. et al. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging (2004) 31: 408. doi:10.1007/s00259-003-1382-z

Abstract

This review presents neuroimaging studies which have explored the functional anatomy of a variety of cognitive processes represented by the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Overall, these studies have demonstrated that standard prefrontal neuroactivation tasks recruit a widely distributed network within the brain of which the PFC consistently forms a part. As such, these results are in keeping with the notion that executive functions within the PFC rely not only on anterior (mainly prefrontal) brain areas, but also on posterior (mainly parietal) brain regions. Moreover, intervention of similar brain regions in a large number of different executive tasks suggests that higher-level cognitive functions may best be understood in terms of an interactive network of specialised anterior as well as posterior brain regions.

Keywords

Prefrontal cortex Functional neuroimaging Cognitive activation

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004