Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 18 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

The prefrontal cortex is a source of internal control of attention as it captures three important components of an executive controller. First, it provides top-down selection of neural representations through descending projections, This top-down input may act by increasing the synchrony of local neural populations, enhancing their connectivity, and boosting the transmission of information. Second, intelligent top-down control of behaviour requires integrating diverse information. Neural representations in prefrontal cortex capture this breadth of information: representing anything from the specific contents of working memory to abstract categories and rules. Third, through reciprocal connections with the basal ganglia, prefrontal cortex neurons are ideally situated to learn the ‘rules’ of behaviour that allow us to know what to attend to in a given situation. These connections may support an iterative, bootstrapping, process that allows for increasingly complex rules to be learned. The prefrontal cortex acts as a generalized executive controller, acting through mechanisms such as attention, to guide thoughts and behaviour.

Keywords: neurophysiology, executive control, prefrontal cortex, parietal cortex, basal ganglia, synchrony, oscillations, dopamine, attention

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.