About this Research Topic
The prefrontal cortex contains Brodmann areas BA8, BA9, BA10, BA11, BA12, BA13, BA14, BA24, BA25, BA32, BA44, BA45, BA46, and BA47, and it is thought to be involved in psychological functions such as executive tasks, attention, and memory. This Research Topic concerns BA8, BA9, BA10, and BA11 only, since they are the most rostral and might be involved in more elementary computations as compared to, say, BA46, which is clearly involved in working memory.
This region of the brain is often treated as an undifferentiated structure, on the one hand, or as a mosaic of psychological faculties, on the other. A third option is to address the landscape of the prefrontal cortex anatomically and functionally, based on the premise that structure and function are inextricably related. This Research Topic sees itself as a descendant of Goldman-Rakic's horizontal division of the prefrontal cortex into spatial, "where", more output-oriented areas in the dorsal prefrontal cortex, and object, "what", more input-oriented areas in the ventral prefrontal cortex.
More specifically, and starting with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Ben Shalom (2009) conceived of some core deficits in ASD in terms of 4 types of integration (medial BA 8 - motor integration; medial BA 9 - emotion integration; medial BA 10 - memory integration; medial BA 11 – sensory integration). Ronel (2018) conducted a similar analysis for ADHD, in terms of 4 types of selection/inhibition (lateral BA 8 - motor selection/inhibition; lateral BA 9 – emotion selection/inhibition; lateral BA 10 - memory selection/inhibition; lateral BA 11 - sensory selection/inhibition). This initiated a discussion of ASD in terms of integration, which is connected to a long tradition of conceptualizing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in terms of inhibition.
Combining these two ideas, Ben Shalom and Bonneh (2019) suggested a model of the narrow prefrontal cortex (BA 8, BA 9, BA 10, BA 11), in terms of 4 streams of information: motor (BA 8), emotion (BA 9), memory (BA 10), and perception (BA 11). For this Research Topic, we, therefore, solicit reviews, original research articles, opinion and method papers, which address these 4 streams of processing, including:
- The anatomy of these 4 streams of processing (motor, emotion, memory, sensory) in typical (human and animal) cognition
But also, atypicalities in ASD and ADHD, such as:
- Atypicalities in ASD (dyspraxia, body agnosia, deficits in episodic memory, and sensory agnosias)
- Atypicalities in ADHD (hyperactivity, impulsivity, lack of organization, and inattention)
This Research Topic is important as it could elucidate the functional anatomy of the prefrontal cortex and guide future experiments into the inter-relations between its function and structure. In addition, it will advance our understanding of some of the core symptoms of developmental disorders of the prefrontal cortex such as ASD and ADHD.
Keywords: prefrontal, motor, emotion, memory, sensory, autism, ADHD
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