Searching for "the top" in top-down control

Neuron. 2005 Nov 23;48(4):535-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2005.11.002.


Although numerous theoretical models implicate the prefrontal cortex (PFC) as a source of top-down control signals, empirical support is limited. In this review, we highlight direct evidence for this view of PFC function and discuss several lines of other supportive findings. Most evidence to-date is only suggestive due to methodological challenges in tracking the spatiotemporal dynamics of cortical networks. However, we discuss several promising approaches that could further our understanding of the role of the PFC in goal-directed behavior.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior / physiology
  • Efferent Pathways / physiology
  • Goals
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Reaction Time
  • Signal Transduction / physiology