Resisting the power of temptations: the right prefrontal cortex and self-control

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 May:1104:123-34. doi: 10.1196/annals.1390.004. Epub 2007 Mar 7.


Imagine you are overweight and you spot your favorite pastry in the storefront of a bakery. How do you manage to resist this temptation? Or to give other examples, how do you manage to restrain yourself from overspending or succumbing to sexual temptations? The present article summarizes two recent studies stressing the fundamental importance of inhibition in the process of decision making. Based on the results of these studies, we dare to claim that the capacity to resist temptation depends on the activity level of the right prefrontal cortex (PFC).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping
  • Decision Making*
  • Frontal Lobe
  • Humans
  • Identification, Psychological
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Models, Neurological
  • Motivation*
  • Power, Psychological
  • Prefrontal Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexuality
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation*
  • Volition