Chapter 9: Higher Cortical Functions: Association and also Executive Processing

Anthony Wideal, Ph.D., Department of Neurobiology and also Anatomy, McGovern Medical School Last Review 20 Oct 2020

Higher-order integrative cortical areas, referred to as association locations, intervene in between the sensory inputs and also motor outputs. Hierarchical organization of the cortex was proposed in the 1870s by the famed British neurologist, John Hughlings Jackkid. These association areas are the website of cognitive processing and also are the focal areas in the quickly developing field of cognitive neuroscientific research.

Figure 9.1 Locations of primary, unimodal, and also multimodal (Anterior, Limbic, Posterior) locations. Select any kind of label to highlight.

You are watching: A person with a damaged visual association area may be

Three multimodal association areas will be debated in conjunction through three unimodal association locations and 3 main sensory areas.

Limbic association location Located in the anterior-ventral portion of the temporal lobe, the parahippocampal gyrus. Links emovement via many sensory inputs. Important in finding out and memory. Posterior association location Located at the junction of occipital, tempdental and also parietal lobes. Links information from major and also unimodal sensory locations Important in perception and language. Anterior association location Located in the prefrontal cortex. Links indevelopment from various other association locations. Important in memory, planning, and higher-order idea development. Three unimodal association areas are situated surrounding to their particular primary sensory cortical areas as presented in the figure. The general principle to be learned below is that as one gets better ameans from the primary sensory locations the associative attributes become even more basic.

Sensory indevelopment is processed and sent out from receptors along parallel pathmeans through major sensory cortex and also unimodal association cortex to the posterior multimodal association cortex of each hemisphere—the posterior parietal and tempdental cortices.

The posterior multimodal association cortex is extremely associated to the anterior association areas which subsequently are responsible for conceptual cognitive functions and planning motor actions.

After planning motor actions in the anterior association location, the actual processing of the motor response output is the reverse of handling in the sensory (input) mechanism. The premotor cortex is rostral to the motor cortex—Brodmann’s locations 6 and 8.

Figure 9.2 Flow of indevelopment in the motor device is the reverse of that in the sensory devices.

Retrieval of indevelopment that has actually been learned apparently is also a reverse of the routes and also structures provided in storing this information.

Figure 9.3 Schematic of successively higher-order processing of sensory input information and also the reverse in the motor pecking order resulting in output responses that connect with the atmosphere. (Adapted from Fuster, J.M. The Prefrontal Cortex: Anatomy, Physiology, and also Neuropsychology of the Frontal Lobe, third ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven, 1997.)

9.1 Posterior Association Area


Damage to posterior association locations also sometimes consisting of parts of the unimodal association areas have the right to bring about agnosia, a Greek word definition “not discovering.” Lesions of the visual posterior association area can cause the incapability to acknowledge acquainted deals with or learn new faces while at the exact same time leave various other elements of visual recognition intact—a deficit called prosopagnosia. These patients deserve to recognize a face as a challenge, its components, and certain emotions from facial expressions, yet they cannot identify a challenge as a particular perkid. They regularly cannot identify family members such as parental fees or kids and in some instances cannot identify their very own challenge. They have actually not lost knowledge around their cshed relatives and also friends bereason they usage sound of the voice and also various other cues to identify them. Lesions causing prosopagnosia are constantly bilateral on the inferior surface of both occipital lobes and also extend forward to the inner surface of the temporal lobes.

Patients via lesions in the posterior multimodal association cortex (i.e., posterior parietal cortex) can perceive and also attract objects, however they cannot name them—a deficit called associative agnosia. They haven’t forgotten the names of these objects bereason they can correctly name them by touch. Other damage to the occipital lobes and also surrounding area can render patients unable to attract objects, however remarkably deserve to still name them—a deficit called apperceptive agnosia.

Figure 9.4 Patients via associative agnosia can copy illustrations, yet cannot name the objects, while patients via apperceptive agnosia are unable to copy illustrations, however can name the objects.

Figure 9.5 Animation mirroring exactly how a patient through left or ideal TPJ damage might attempt to copy a illustration.

Tbelow are various other instances wbelow lesions in equivalent areas of the appropriate and also left hemispright here develop virtually complementary perceptual differences. Right hemisphere damage disrupts perception of worldwide objects, while left hemispbelow damages disrupts percept of regional objects. This is uncovered only in acute stperiods automatically after a stroke and just with lesions focused in the temporal-parietal junction (TPJ).

9.2 Contralateral Neglect

Figure 9.6 Animation reflecting just how a patient with ideal posterior parietal lesions mirrors left visual overlook.

Agnosias of appropriate posterior parietal visuocortex are some of the a lot of remarkable. The multimodal posterior association area receives inputs from the visual and also auditory systems and from the hippocampus. They result from an inability to perceive objects despite commonly functioning sensory devices. These patients disregard things on the left including the left halves of objects and the left fifty percent of their very own body. This is called contralateral neglect syndrome.

Contralateral disregard is a deficit in the self-image on the left side of their body and a deficit in perceiving the civilization on the left side. Typically, patients suffering from contralateral disregard syndrome will have paralysis on their left side.

Some patients will certainly not wash or dress their left side—personal overlook syndrome. This ignore may extend to disowning the left side of their body. They will certainly make remarks such as “Who put this arm in my bed” once referring to their left arm.

The overlook can extfinish from their individual area to the civilization roughly them. They may draw a freduced, for example, with the petals only on the right-hand side, or clock numbers only on the right-hand side, etc.

A little thought will certainly convince you that it is not a sensory trouble. Not just the best fifty percent of all objects in the environment have actually input into such a patients sensory mechanism. Most objects are made up of multiple parts. You deserve to think of these parts as objects. So for instance, each petal of the freduced is a things. They don’t “see” just the best fifty percent of each petal. This is the infinite regress trouble.

To show you exactly how complex and facility this visual overlook problem have the right to become tbelow was a research of a team of visual-ignore patients in Milan, Italy. They were asked in the hospital studying room to imagine the famous public square, the Piazza del Duomo. They were told that they must imagine that they were facing the cathedral. They were then asked to recall every one of the structures on the square. They rereferred to as just the buildings on their (imagined) ideal. Then they were told that they were standing on the measures of the cathedral, and also imagine that they were dealing with in the opposite direction. Once aget, they were asked to recontact all of the buildings on the square. What they did was to recall every one of the buildings that they had fairesulted in recontact in the time of their initially respeak to because the structures that were previously on their left are currently on their imagined right. Remember this is all in their imagination—their memory.

Figure 9.7 Piazza del Duomo cathedral in Milan, Italy.

This is dramatic evidence of a handling deficit. These patients’ memory of the Piazza del Duomo is complete; they don’t have memory deficits around any portion of the square. They additionally have complete access to their memory of the square. But depending on their imagined perspective they have actually a deficit in recalling objects on the left side of their framework of referral. In addition, they are supposedly unaware of this deficit. Their framework of reference is focused with respect to their body, in memory and in actual life. Apparently, memories prefer actual human being scenes are accessed with the contralateral hemispbelow. It is not that the memories were laid down via objects on the left lacking because they prospered up discovering this square long before their brain lesions arisen. This raises concerns of consciousness, self-awareness, executive manage of memory.

To further complicate matters unilateral visual neglect deserve to be centered with respect to the object instead of the patient’s body. A patient through object-focused unilateral visual overlook. Left: patient atoften tends to examiner’s left hand also even when rotated. Right: patient neglects examiner’s appropriate hand even when examiner’s body is rotated 90 levels.

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Bilateral parietal damage can develop what is referred to as Balint’s syndrome. This is an amazing syndrome bereason fairly than neglecting both sides of objects and also seeing nothing as one can suppose via bilateral hemiarea overlook, they watch one object at a time—simultaneous agnosia. These patients report that an item shows up immediately and also is replaced at random with one more object and also they have actually no manage over what object will be regarded. These patients have ADL troubles had gaining lost, inability to master items and they cannot eat, dress, or move approximately a room without assistance. They have the right to, but, effectively touch components of their own bodies.

9.3 Limbic Association Area

The limbic association location receives information from practically eincredibly other association area and therefore have the right to relate all the stimuli of an event, consisting of its emotional context. The eactivity associated with an event can determine whether or how lengthy it is remembered. This is necessary for survival of all organisms. Indeed, this is what is intended by finding out. You can’t have discovering without memory. When hungry it is a good relief to find food and also then one is even more most likely to remember the food area later. When one narrowly escapes hazard, one is even more most likely to prevent such predators and places wright here they reside. The patient HM had his limbic association locations rerelocated bilaterally, he could not develop any new explicit memories which rely on context memory, consisting of location, time, and emovement.