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My amygdala-orbitofrontal-circuit made me do it

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I have suggested that the prefrontal cortex constitutes an “executive committee” with five streams coming from posterior cortex and subcortical areas to five pre-frontal executive regions, each of which chairs at least one on-going “sub-committee” and vies with the other executives for taking over central control of conscious attention and willed action. It is through the dynamic interaction of this executive committee that unified conscious experiences and a sense of continuous self-identity are created. There is growing evidence that the amygdala-orbitofrontal brain circuit, in particular, is crucial to impulse control, “knowledge of good and evil,” personality, personhood, and even “how X-me made Y-me do something.” There are striking examples of the ways that orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate “committee members” can stage an insurrection against the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex executive chair.

Keywords: amygdala; executive functions; impulsive control; orbitofrontal; pre-frontal; schizophrenia

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Brewton-Parker College

Publication date: 2000-09-01

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