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Brain Cogn. 2012 Nov;80(2):237-49. doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2012.07.008. Epub 2012 Aug 27.

Anterior cingulate cortex and cognitive control: neuropsychological and electrophysiological findings in two patients with lesions to dorsomedial prefrontal cortex.

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  • 1Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital, Nesoddtangen, Norway. Marianne.lovstad@sunnaas.no

Abstract

Whereas neuroimaging studies of healthy subjects have demonstrated an association between the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and cognitive control functions, including response monitoring and error detection, lesion studies are sparse and have produced mixed results. Due to largely normal behavioral test results in two patients with medial prefrontal lesions, a hypothesis has been advanced claiming that the ACC is not involved in cognitive operations. In the current study, two comparably rare patients with unilateral lesions to dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) encompassing the ACC were assessed with neuropsychological tests as well as Event-Related Potentials in two experimental paradigms known to engage prefrontal cortex (PFC). These included an auditory Novelty Oddball task and a visual Stop-signal task. Both patients performed normally on the Stroop test but showed reduced performance on tests of learning and memory. Moreover, altered attentional control was reflected in a diminished Novelty P3, whereas the posterior P3b to target stimuli was present in both patients. The error-related negativity, which has been hypothesized to be generated in the ACC, was present in both patients, but alterations of inhibitory behavior were observed. Although interpretative caution is generally called for in single case studies, and the fact that the lesions extended outside the ACC, the findings nevertheless suggest a role for MPFC in cognitive control that is not restricted to error monitoring.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
22935543
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4067454
Free PMC Article

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