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Cognition. 2004 Oct;93(3):B109-21.

Differential involvement of left prefrontal cortex in inductive and deductive reasoning.

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Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience, Institute of Neurology, UCL, Queens Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK.


While inductive and deductive reasoning are considered distinct logical and psychological processes, little is known about their respective neural basis. To address this issue we scanned 16 subjects with fMRI, using an event-related design, while they engaged in inductive and deductive reasoning tasks. Both types of reasoning were characterized by activation of left lateral prefrontal and bilateral dorsal frontal, parietal, and occipital cortices. Neural responses unique to each type of reasoning determined from the Reasoning Type (deduction and induction) by Task (reasoning and baseline) interaction indicated greater involvement of left inferior frontal gyrus (BA 44) in deduction than induction, while left dorsolateral (BA 8/9) prefrontal gyrus showed greater activity during induction than deduction. This pattern suggests a dissociation within prefrontal cortex for deductive and inductive reasoning.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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