What makes the prefrontal cortex so appealing in the era of brain imaging? A network analytical perspective

L. Négyessy, M. Bányai, T. Nepusz, F. Bazsó

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


It is thought that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) subserves cognitive control processes by coordinating the flow of information in the cerebral cortex. In the network of cortical areas the central position of the PFC makes difficult to dissociate processing and the cognitive function mapped to this region, especially when using whole brain imaging techniques, which can detect frequently activated regions. Accordingly, the present study showed particularly high rate of increase of published studies citing the PFC and imaging as compared to other fields of the neurosciences on the PubMed. Network measures used to characterize the role of the areas in signal flow indicated specialization of the different regions of the PFC in cortical processing. Notably, areas of the dorsolateral PFC and the anterior cingulate cortex, which received the highest number of citations, were identified as global convergence points in the network. These prefrontal regions also had central position in the dominant cluster consisted exclusively by the associational areas of the cortex. We also present findings relevant to models suggesting that control processes of the PFC are depended on serial processing, which results in bottleneck effects. The findings suggest that PFC is best understood via its role in cortical information processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-53
Number of pages16
JournalActa biologica Hungarica
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2012


  • Cognitive control
  • bridgeness
  • convergence degree
  • cortical dynamics
  • database
  • directed graph
  • information bottleneck
  • network topology
  • signal flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Neurology

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