Higher Brain Functions

  • Daniel Tranel
  • Gregory Cooper
  • Robert L. Rodnitzky


Higher brain functions are the operations of the brain that stand at the pinnacle of evolution and are largely unique to humans. Verbal communication, the ability to “think in the future,” and the capacity to hold multiple tracks of complex information “on-line” at the same time, are examples of higher mental functions that are subserved by various structures in the brain. The higher-order capacities of the human brain can be captured under the terms “cognition” and “behavior.” Cognition is composed of intellectual function, memory, speech and language, complex perception, orientation, attention, judgment, planning, and decision-making. Behavior is the manifestation of these cognitive functions. Behavior is guided by another facet of higher brain function—namely, personality, which describes the psychological make-up, traits, and response styles that typify a person’s behaviors across a range of situations and circumstances.


Left Hemisphere Primary Visual Cortex Prefrontal Region Primary Auditory Cortex Sylvian Fissure 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Tranel
  • Gregory Cooper
  • Robert L. Rodnitzky

There are no affiliations available

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