Posterior medial frontal cortex

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A graphic of subregions of the brain taken from the website of the American Physiological Society.[1] The subregion of the brain called the posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC) is shown in the above diagram. (Click graphic to enlarge)

An abstract for the medical journal article Posterior medial frontal cortex activity predicts post-error adaptations in task-related visual and motor areas which was published in The Journal of Neuroscience describes the Posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC) thusly:

As Seneca the Younger put it, "To err is human, but to persist is diabolical." To prevent repetition of errors, human performance monitoring often triggers adaptations such as general slowing and/or attentional focusing. The posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC) is assumed to monitor performance problems and to interact with other brain areas that implement the necessary adaptations. Whereas previous research showed interactions between pMFC and lateral-prefrontal regions, here we demonstrate that upon the occurrence of errors the pMFC selectively interacts with perceptual and motor regions and thereby drives attentional focusing toward task-relevant information and induces motor adaptation observed as post-error slowing.[2]

The medical journal article Neurophysiology of Performance Monitoring and Adaptive Behavior published in Physiological Reviews declares:

In addition to own, self-generated errors, humans can also detect when other persons make mistakes, adjust their own behavior accordingly, and learn to avoid similar mistakes. The observation of mistakes committed by others elicits a frontocentrally distributed negative ERP deflection similar to the FRN to visual feedback (134, 302, 354, 544). Source localization of this observed-error-related negativity (oERN) again hints at the pMFC.[3]

An abstract for the medical journal article A Causal Role for Posterior Medial Frontal Cortex in Choice-Induced Preference Change which was published in The Journal of Neuroscience indicates:

After a person chooses between two items, preference for the chosen item will increase and preference for the unchosen item will decrease because of the choice made. In other words, we tend to justify or rationalize our past behavior by changing our attitude. This phenomenon of choice-induced preference change has been traditionally explained by cognitive dissonance theory. Choosing something that is disliked or not choosing something that is liked are both cognitively inconsistent and, to reduce this inconsistency, people tend to change their subsequently stated preference in accordance with their past choices. Previously, human neuroimaging studies identified posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC) as a key brain region involved in cognitive dissonance. However, it remains unknown whether the pMFC plays a causal role in inducing preference change after cognitive dissonance. Here, we demonstrate that 25 min, 1 Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation applied over the pMFC significantly reduces choice-induced preference change compared with sham stimulation or control stimulation over a different brain region, demonstrating a causal role for the pMFC.[4]

Notes

  1. [Neurophysiology of Performance Monitoring and Adaptive Behavior], Markus Ullsperger, Claudia Danielmeier, Gerhard Jocham, Physiological Reviews Published 1 January 2014 Vol. 94 no. 1, 35-79 DOI: 10.1152/physrev.00041.2012
  2. J Neurosci. 2011 Feb 2;31(5):1780-9. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4299-10.2011.
  3. [Neurophysiology of Performance Monitoring and Adaptive Behavior], Markus Ullsperger, Claudia Danielmeier, Gerhard Jocham, Physiological Reviews Published 1 January 2014 Vol. 94 no. 1, 35-79 DOI: 10.1152/physrev.00041.2012
  4. The Journal of Neuroscience, 25 February 2015, 35(8): 3598-3606; doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4591-14.2015