Interactions of Prefrontal Cortex in Relation to Awareness in Sensory Learning

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Science  28 May 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5419, pp. 1531-1533
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5419.1531

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In an associative learning paradigm, human subjects could be divided based on whether they were aware that one tone predicted a visual event and another did not. Only aware subjects acquired a differential behavioral response to the tones. Regional cerebral blood flow in left prefrontal cortex showed learning-related changes only in aware subjects. Left prefrontal cortex also showed changes in functional connectivity with contralateral prefrontal cortex, sensory association cortices, and cerebellum. Several of the interacting areas correlated with aware subjects' behavior. These results suggest cerebral processes underlying awareness are mediated through interactions of large-scale neurocognitive systems.

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