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Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):265-73.

FMRI evidence for an organization of prefrontal cortex by both type of process and type of information.

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  • 1Departments of Psychology and Diagnostic Radiology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8205, USA.


Neuroimaging evidence is conflicting regarding whether human prefrontal cortex (PFC) shows functional organization by type of processes engaged or type of information processed. Most studies use complex working or long-term memory tasks requiring multiple processes and the combinations of processes recruited for different materials may vary. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and simple tasks suggested by a component process approach, we found activity in left PFC when participants thought about (refreshed) a just-seen item and in right PFC when participants noted whether an item had been presented previously. Furthermore, the distribution of activation in left or right PFC varied with type of information. Thus, at the component process level, PFC shows functional organization by both process and type of information.

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