Cognitive control in the posterior frontolateral cortex: evidence from common activations in task coordination, interference control, and working memory

Neuroimage. 2004 Oct;23(2):604-12. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2004.06.007.


Cognitive control has often been associated with activations of middorsolateral prefrontal cortex. However, recent evidence highlights the importance of a more posterior frontolateral region around the junction of the inferior frontal sulcus and the inferior precentral sulcus (the inferior frontal junction area, IFJ). In the present experiment, we investigated the involvement of the IFJ in a task-switching paradigm, a manual Stroop task, and a verbal n-back task in a within-session within-group design. After computing contrasts for the individual tasks, the resulting z maps were overlaid to identify areas commonly activated by these tasks. Common activations were found in the IFJ, in the pre-SMA extending into mesial BA 8, in the middle frontal gyrus bordering the inferior frontal sulcus, in the anterior insula, and in parietal and thalamic regions. These results indicate the existence of a network of prefrontal, parietal, and subcortical regions mediating cognitive control in task coordination, interference control, and working memory. In particular, the results provide evidence for the assumption that, in the frontolateral cortex, not only the middorsolateral region but also the IFJ plays an important role in cognitive control.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Color Perception
  • Cues
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology*
  • Motor Cortex / physiology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology