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Review
. 2016 Nov;68(11):1253-1261.
doi: 10.11477/mf.1416200588.

[Neuroanatomy of Frontal Association Cortex]

[Article in Japanese]
Affiliations
Review

[Neuroanatomy of Frontal Association Cortex]

[Article in Japanese]
Masahiko Takada. Brain Nerve. .

Abstract

The frontal association cortex is composed of the prefrontal cortex and the motor-related areas except the primary motor cortex (i.e., the so-called higher motor areas), and is well-developed in primates, including humans. The prefrontal cortex receives and integrates large bits of diverse information from the parietal, temporal, and occipital association cortical areas (termed the posterior association cortex), and paralimbic association cortical areas. This information is then transmitted to the primary motor cortex via multiple motor-related areas. Given these facts, it is likely that the prefrontal cortex exerts executive functions for behavioral control. The functional input pathways from the posterior and paralimbic association cortical areas to the prefrontal cortex are classified primarily into six groups. Cognitive signals derived from the prefrontal cortex are conveyed to the rostral motor-related areas to transform them into motor signals, which finally enter the primary motor cortex via the caudal motor-related areas. Furthermore, it has been shown that, similar to the primary motor cortex, areas of the frontal association cortex form individual networks (known as "loop circuits") with the basal ganglia and cerebellum via the thalamus, and hence are extensively involved in the expression and control of behavioral actions.

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