About this Research Topic
The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is a vital region of the brain proposed to be crucially important for cognitive processes such as memory, attention, abstract representations, reasoning, mathematical representations and rule-learning. Despite this, prefrontal cortex organisation is relatively poorly defined both at a structural and functional level. In contrast many regions of the cerebral cortex have a clearly defined organisation at a number of different levels: Topographic organisation of physiological maps occurs widely in sensory (visual, auditory and somatosensory), motor and association cortex (notably the entorhinal cortex). These functional maps are associated with topographic organisation of input and output connections and pathways. Modular organisation associated with vertical groupings of neurons with similar structural or functional characteristics is also common within cortical regions, notably visual cortex, auditory cortex and entorhinal cortex. Interestingly there have been reports of both functional and structural organisation of the prefrontal cortex however convincing evidence for a widespread, clearly defined organisation has yet to be produced. Several investigators have pointed to the evidence that prefrontal cortex has a ubiquitous role in different functions: this could have important implications for defining a specific prefrontal functional organisation.
The aim of this Research Topic is to provide a forum for discussing both the structural and functional organisation of the prefrontal cortex and to present research addressing this topic. An additional aim is to address how PFC organisation compares to the rest of the cerebral cortex. We particularly welcome contributions addressing the following key questions regarding prefrontal cortex organisation:
• How do cytoarchitectural studies inform us about prefrontal cortex organisation?
• How are prefrontal connections organised?
• How are prefrontal lateral connections organised?
• How are functional responses organised across prefrontal cortex?
• What is the evidence for functional mapping in prefrontal cortex?
• What is the evidence for structural columnar organisation within prefrontal cortex?
• What is the evidence for functional modular organisation within prefrontal cortex?
• How does prefrontal cortex interact with the rest of the brain in terms of connections, neuronal activity and functioning?
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