Behavioral planning in the prefrontal cortex

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2001 Apr;11(2):164-70. doi: 10.1016/s0959-4388(00)00192-6.


Recent studies have presented evidence that the prefrontal cortex plays a crucial role in every aspect of the cognitive processes necessary for behavioral planning: processing and integration of perceived or memorized information, associative learning, reward-based behavioral control, behavioral selection/decision-making and behavioral guidance. We propose that the creation of novel information is the means by which the prefrontal cortex operates to achieve executive control over behavioral planning. The prefrontal cortex is the site of operation of nodal points, where neural circuits integrate currently available or memorized information to generate the information that is necessary to perform an action. The prefrontal cortex also regulates the flow of information through multiple nodes to meet behavioral demands.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Association Learning / physiology*
  • Behavior / physiology*
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Haplorhini
  • Humans
  • Mental Processes / physiology
  • Models, Psychological
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Reward