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Dissociating the Role of the Dorsolateral Prefrontal and Anterior Cingulate Cortex in Cognitive Control

Science  09 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5472, pp. 1835-1838
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5472.1835

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Abstract

Theories of the regulation of cognition suggest a system with two necessary components: one to implement control and another to monitor performance and signal when adjustments in control are needed. Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging and a task-switching version of the Stroop task were used to examine whether these components of cognitive control have distinct neural bases in the human brain. A double dissociation was found. During task preparation, the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann's area 9) was more active for color naming than for word reading, consistent with a role in the implementation of control. In contrast, the anterior cingulate cortex (Brodmann's areas 24 and 32) was more active when responding to incongruent stimuli, consistent with a role in performance monitoring.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: cartercs{at}msx.upmc.edu

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