Perseveration, inhibition and the prefrontal cortex: a new look

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 1999 Apr;9(2):214-22. doi: 10.1016/s0959-4388(99)80030-0.


Perseverative actions are often the result of inhibitory problems; however, inhibitory problems do not always lead to perseverative actions. Some problems of inhibition have been attributed to immaturity of, or severe damage to, the prefrontal cortex. Research in this area has generally failed both to take into account species differences in prefrontal function that lead to different perseverative errors and to distinguish between perseverative errors that arise from a failure to inhibit salient emotions or motivational drives and errors that arise from an inability to engage in conceptual change. Recent studies on humans, chimpanzees, rhesus macaques, Japanese macaques, cotton-top tamarins and marmosets support this notion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Affective Symptoms
  • Animals
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Macaca / physiology
  • Neural Inhibition*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Saguinus / physiology