Frontal Lobes and Voluntary Action

Frontal Lobes and Voluntary Action

by Richard Passingham

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This book succinctly demonstrates how the brain's frontal lobe is specialized for directing voluntary action. Using data from monkeys, neurological patients, and normal subjects, the author presents a flow diagram of frontal lobe operations at the systems level. Topics include the various definitions of the term "voluntary" in a neuropsychological context, how the motor cortex provides a mechanism for the execution of voluntary behavioral actions, and how the premotor areas play a role in the selection of the movements to be performed. The text also shows how the prefrontal cortex is engaged when the subject has to make new voluntary decisions, and how the basal ganglia play a critical role in response learning. The author considers how, in humans, the prefrontal cortex has been refined to allow for trial-and-error decision making, and how the premotor and prefrontal areas select between verbal responses. Psychologists, neuropsychologists, and neurophysiologists will all want to read this pathbreaking book.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780198523642
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 07/20/1995
Series: Oxford Psychology Series , #21
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 328
Product dimensions: 6.13(w) x 9.13(h) x 0.71(d)

Table of Contents

1. Voluntary action
2. Motor cortex (area 4)
3. Lateral premotor cortex (area 6)
4. Medial premotor cortex (area 6)
5. Premotor area 8
6. Dorsal prefrontal cortex (areas 4, 6, and 9)
7. Ventral prefrontal cortex (areas 11, 12, 13, and 14)
8. Basal ganglia
9. The organisation of the frontal lobe
10. Thought and voluntary action
11. Speech

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