Physiology of the Frontal Cortex

  • O. D. Creutzfeldt
  • H. G. Wieser
Conference paper


The frontal association cortex comprises the homo-typical granular cortex of the frontal lobe, i. e., Brodmann’s areas 9–12, 45, and 46 (Fig. l). These areas are also labelled the “prefrontal” cortex in order to separate them from the agranular frontal cortex consisting of the premotor areas 6 and 8 and the motor speech area (Brodmann’s area 44) in the language-dominant hemisphere. Phylogenetically, the frontal granular and agranular cortex and their connections are already present in lower mammals but achieve prominence only in primates, exceeding other neo-cortical areas in relative growth, with the dorsolateral prevailing over the ventromedial aspect (Bianchi 1923; Feuchtwanger 1923; Luria 1969, 1973; Nauta 1971; Warren 1972).


Prefrontal Cortex Frontal Cortex Supplementary Motor Area Premotor Cortex Contingent Negative Variation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Akert K (1964) Comparative anatomy of frontal cortex and thalamofrontal connections. In: Warren JM, Akert K (eds) The frontal granular cortex and behavior. McGraw-Hill, New York, pp 372–396Google Scholar
  2. Bianchi L (1923) The mechanisms of the brain and the function of the frontal lobes. Livingstone, EdinburghGoogle Scholar
  3. Bizzi E, Schiller PH (1970) Single unit activity in the frontal eye fields of unanesthetized monkeys during eye and head movements. Exp Brain Res 10: 151–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bruce CJ, Goldberg M, (1985) Primate frontal eye fields: I. Single neurons discharging before saccades. J Neurophysiol 53: 603–635PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Creutzfeldt OD (1983) Cortex cerebri. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Feuchtwanger E (1923) Die Funktionen des Stirnhirns, ihre Pathologie und Psychologie. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  7. Flechsig P (1896) Gehirn und Seele. Verlag Veit, LeipzigGoogle Scholar
  8. Foerster O (1936) Motorische Felder und Bahnen. In: Bumke O, Foerster O (eds) Handbuch der Neurologie, vol 6. Springer, Berlin, pp 1–357Google Scholar
  9. Fuster JM (1980) The prefrontal cortex. Anatomy, physiology and neuropsychology. Raven, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Goldberg G (1985) Supplementary motor area structure and function: review and hypothesis. Behav Brain Sci 8: 567–615CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jouandet M, Gazzaniga MS (1979) The frontal lobes. In: Gaz- zaniga MS (ed) Handbook of behavioral neurobiology, vol 2: Neuropsychology. Plenum, New York, pp 25–59Google Scholar
  12. Latto R, Cowey A (1971) Visual field defect after frontal eye-field lesions in monkeys. Brain Res 30: 1–24PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lhermitte F, Derouesne J, Signoret JL (1972) Analyse neuro- psychologiques du syndrome frontale. Rev Neurol 172: 415–440Google Scholar
  14. Luria AR (1969) Frontal lobe syndromes. In: VinkenPJ, Bruyn GW (eds) Handbook of clinical neurology, vol 2: localization in clinical neurology. North Holland, Amsterdam, pp 725–757Google Scholar
  15. Luria AR (1973) The frontal lobes and the regulation of behaviour. In: Pribram KH, Luria AR (eds) Psychophysiology of the frontal lobes. Academic, New York, pp 3–26Google Scholar
  16. Munk H (1881) Uber die Funktion der Grofihirnrinde. Hirsch- wald, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  17. Nauta WJH (1971) The problem of the frontal lobe. A reinterpretation. J Psychiatr Res 8: 167–187PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Nauta WJH (1972) Neural association of the frontal cortex. Act Neurobiol Exp (Warsz) 32: 125–140Google Scholar
  19. Perret E (1974) The left frontal lobe of man and the suppression of habitual responses in verbal categorical behavior. Neuropsychologia 12: 323–330PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pribram KH (1960) The intrinsic system of the forebrain. In: Field J (ed) Handbook of physiology, neurophysiology, Sectl, vol II. American Physiological Society, Washington DC, pp 1323–1344Google Scholar
  21. Pribram KH (1973) The primate frontal cortex — executive of the brain. In: Pribram KH, Luria AR (eds) Psychophysiology of the frontal lobes. Academic, New York, pp 293–314Google Scholar
  22. Rosenkilde CE (1979) Functional heterogeneity of the pre-frontal cortex in the monkey: a review. Behav Neural Biol 25: 301–345PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Silva-Comte C, Velluti J, Menini C (1982) Characteristics and origin of frontal paroxysmal responses induced by light stimulation in Papio papio under allylglycine. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 53: 479–490PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Walter WG, Cooper R, Aldridge VJ, McCallum WC, Winter AL (1964) Contingent negative variation: an electric sign of sensory motor association and expectancy in the human brain. Nature 23: 380–384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Warren JM (1972) Evolution, behavior and the prefrontal cortex. Acta Neurobiol Exp (Warsz) 32: 581–593Google Scholar
  26. Warren JM, Akert K (1964) (ed) The frontal granular cortex and behavior. McGraw Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  27. Wise SP (1985) The primate premotor cortex: past, present and preparatory. Ann. Rev neurosci 8:1–19PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wise SP, Strick PL (1984) Anatomical and physiological organization of the non-primary motor cortex. Trends Neurosci 7: 442–446CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. D. Creutzfeldt
    • 1
  • H. G. Wieser
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of NeurobiologyMax-Planck-Institute for Biophysical ChemistryGöttingenFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyUniversity HospitalZürichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations