Ventromedial prefrontal cortex


Ventromedial prefrontal cortex

The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is a part of the prefrontal cortex in the human brain. Its function has not been fully determined, but experiments suggest that it may have a role in the processing of risk and fear.

Note that different researchers use the term 'Ventromedial prefrontal cortex' differently. Sometimes, the term is saved for the area above the medial orbitofrontal cortex, while others, 'ventromedial prefrontal cortex' is used to describe a broad area in the lower (ventral) central (medial) region of the prefrontal cortex, of which the medial orbitofrontal cortex constitutes the lower-most part.

As of yet, functional differences between the orbitofrontal and ventromedial areas of the pre-frontal cortex are not clearly established, although the areas of the ventromedial cortex superior to the orbitofrontal cortex are much less associated with social functions and more with pure emotion regulation.

One particularly notable theory of VMPFC function is the somatic marker hypothesis, accredited to António Damásio. By this hypothesis, the VMPFC has a central role in adapting somatic markers - emotional associations, or associations between mental objects and visceral (bodily) feedback - for use in natural decision making. This account also gives the VMPFC a role in moderating emotions and emotional reactions.

External links

* [http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/a/a_08/a_08_cr/a_08_cr_anx/a_08_cr_anx.html The Brain from Top to Bottom: Brain Abnormalities Associated With Anxiety Disorders]
* [http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/123/11/2189 Characterization of the decision-making deficit of patients with ventromedial prefrontal cortex lesions] PMID 11050020
* [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=10934272 The role of ventromedial prefrontal cortex in the recovery of extinguished fear.] PMID 10934272
* [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117884235401499300-search.html?KEYWORDS=hauser&COLLECTION=wsjie/6month Scientists Draw Link Between Morality And Brain's Wiring]
* [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/22/science/22brain.html?ex=1332216000&en=f5bb061d194af5fa&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss Brain Injury Said to Affect Moral Choices]


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