The executive functions in frontal and in temporal cortices. A flanker task intracerebral recording study



Year of publication 2011
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Field Neurology, neurosurgery, neurosciences
Keywords generator of P3; temporal neocortex; orbitofrontal cortex; flanker test; neurocognitive network
Description The occurrence of the local generators of P3 like potentials, elicited by a noise-compatibility flanker test was used in order to study the processing of executive functions, particularly in the frontal and temporal cortices. The test performed with arrows comprised a simpler congruent and a more difficult incongruent task.The two tasks activated the attention and several particular executive functions i.e. working memory, time perception, initiation and motor control of executed task. The incongruent task increased demand on executive functions, and beside the functions common for both tasks, an inhibition of automatic responses, the reversal of incorrect response tendency, the internal ordering of the correct response and the initiation of the target-induced correct response was involved. In seven epilepsy surgery candidates (4 males and 3 females), ranging in age from 26 to 38 years, multi-contact depth electrodes were implanted in 590 cortical sites. In the two tasks, the P3 like potential sources were displayed in the mesial temporal structures; the lateral temporal neocortex; the anterior and posterior cingulate; the orbitofrontal cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. The P3 like potentials occurred more frequently with the inocongruent than with congruent stimuli in all these areas. This more frequent occurrence of P3 sources elicited by the incongruent task appeared significant in temporal lateral neocortex and orbitofrontal cortex. The executive functions are processed in a widespread frontotemporal neurocognitive network. The present study confirms the involvement of the temporal neocortex in the executive functions.

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