Managing competing goals - A key role for the frontopolar cortex

Farshad Alizadeh Mansouri, Etienne Koechlin, Marcello G. P. Rosa, Mark J. Buckley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Humans are set apart from other animals by many elements of advanced cognition and behaviour, including language, judgement and reasoning. What is special about the human brain that gives rise to these abilities? Could the foremost part of the prefrontal cortex (the frontopolar cortex), which has become considerably enlarged in humans during evolution compared with other animals, be important in this regard, especially as, in primates, it contains a unique cytoarchitectural field, area 10? The first studies of the function of the frontopolar cortex in monkeys have now provided critical new insights about its precise role in monitoring the significance of current and alternative goals. In human evolution, the frontopolar cortex may have acquired a further role in enabling the monitoring of the significance of multiple goals in parallel, as well as switching between them. Here, we argue that many other forms of uniquely human behaviour may benefit from this cognitive ability mediated by the frontopolar cortex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-657
Number of pages13
JournalNature Reviews Neuroscience
Volume18
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

Keywords

  • cognitive neuroscience
  • human behaviour
  • prefrontal cortex

Cite this

@article{0f2d8c3b481344df86df0901d26d55df,
title = "Managing competing goals - A key role for the frontopolar cortex",
abstract = "Humans are set apart from other animals by many elements of advanced cognition and behaviour, including language, judgement and reasoning. What is special about the human brain that gives rise to these abilities? Could the foremost part of the prefrontal cortex (the frontopolar cortex), which has become considerably enlarged in humans during evolution compared with other animals, be important in this regard, especially as, in primates, it contains a unique cytoarchitectural field, area 10? The first studies of the function of the frontopolar cortex in monkeys have now provided critical new insights about its precise role in monitoring the significance of current and alternative goals. In human evolution, the frontopolar cortex may have acquired a further role in enabling the monitoring of the significance of multiple goals in parallel, as well as switching between them. Here, we argue that many other forms of uniquely human behaviour may benefit from this cognitive ability mediated by the frontopolar cortex.",
keywords = "cognitive neuroscience, human behaviour, prefrontal cortex",
author = "Mansouri, {Farshad Alizadeh} and Etienne Koechlin and Rosa, {Marcello G. P.} and Buckley, {Mark J.}",
year = "2017",
month = "11",
doi = "10.1038/nrn.2017.111",
language = "English",
volume = "18",
pages = "645--657",
journal = "Nature Reviews Neuroscience",
issn = "1471-003X",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
number = "11",

}

Managing competing goals - A key role for the frontopolar cortex. / Mansouri, Farshad Alizadeh; Koechlin, Etienne; Rosa, Marcello G. P.; Buckley, Mark J.

In: Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Vol. 18, No. 11, 11.2017, p. 645-657.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Managing competing goals - A key role for the frontopolar cortex

AU - Mansouri, Farshad Alizadeh

AU - Koechlin, Etienne

AU - Rosa, Marcello G. P.

AU - Buckley, Mark J.

PY - 2017/11

Y1 - 2017/11

N2 - Humans are set apart from other animals by many elements of advanced cognition and behaviour, including language, judgement and reasoning. What is special about the human brain that gives rise to these abilities? Could the foremost part of the prefrontal cortex (the frontopolar cortex), which has become considerably enlarged in humans during evolution compared with other animals, be important in this regard, especially as, in primates, it contains a unique cytoarchitectural field, area 10? The first studies of the function of the frontopolar cortex in monkeys have now provided critical new insights about its precise role in monitoring the significance of current and alternative goals. In human evolution, the frontopolar cortex may have acquired a further role in enabling the monitoring of the significance of multiple goals in parallel, as well as switching between them. Here, we argue that many other forms of uniquely human behaviour may benefit from this cognitive ability mediated by the frontopolar cortex.

AB - Humans are set apart from other animals by many elements of advanced cognition and behaviour, including language, judgement and reasoning. What is special about the human brain that gives rise to these abilities? Could the foremost part of the prefrontal cortex (the frontopolar cortex), which has become considerably enlarged in humans during evolution compared with other animals, be important in this regard, especially as, in primates, it contains a unique cytoarchitectural field, area 10? The first studies of the function of the frontopolar cortex in monkeys have now provided critical new insights about its precise role in monitoring the significance of current and alternative goals. In human evolution, the frontopolar cortex may have acquired a further role in enabling the monitoring of the significance of multiple goals in parallel, as well as switching between them. Here, we argue that many other forms of uniquely human behaviour may benefit from this cognitive ability mediated by the frontopolar cortex.

KW - cognitive neuroscience

KW - human behaviour

KW - prefrontal cortex

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85031743369&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/nrn.2017.111

DO - 10.1038/nrn.2017.111

M3 - Review Article

C2 - 28951610

AN - SCOPUS:85031743369

VL - 18

SP - 645

EP - 657

JO - Nature Reviews Neuroscience

JF - Nature Reviews Neuroscience

SN - 1471-003X

IS - 11

ER -