The anterior cingulate cortex - The evolution of an interface between emotion and cognition

Allman, J. M., Hakeem, A., Erwin, J. M., Nimchinsky, E., Hof, P. (2001) The anterior cingulate cortex - The evolution of an interface between emotion and cognition. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 935. pp. 107-117. ISSN 0077-8923

DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2001.tb03476.x


We propose that the anterior cingulate cortex is a specialization of neocortex rather than a more primitive stage of cortical evolution. Functions central to intelligent behavior, that is, emotional self-control, focused problem solving, error recognition, and adaptive response to changing conditions, are juxtaposed with the emotions in this structure. Evidence of an important role for the anterior cingulate cortex in these functions has accumulated through single-neuron recording, electrical stimulation, EEG, PET, fMRI, and lesion studies. The anterior cingulate cortex contains a class of spindle-shaped neurons that are found only in humans and the great apes, and thus are a recent evolutionary specialization probably related to these functions. The spindle cells appear to be widely connected with diverse parts of the brain and may have a role in the coordination that would be essential in developing the capacity to focus on difficult problems. Furthermore, they emerge postnatally and their survival may be enhanced or reduced by environmental conditions of enrichment or stress, thus potentially influencing adult competence or dysfunction in emotional self-control and problem-solving capacity.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: anterior cingulate cortex cognition emotion problem solving self control spindle cells brain evolution SCRIPT-DRIVEN IMAGERY POSITRON EMISSION TOMOGRAPHY MIDLINE THETA-ACTIVITY CEREBRAL BLOOD-FLOW SYMPTOM PROVOCATION OLFACTORY-BULB DISORDER NEURONS BRAIN PET
Subjects: organism description > animal behavior
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions > cerebral cortex
organism description > animal behavior > perception > cognition
organism description > animal behavior > perception
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Svoboda lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: 2001
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2014 20:34
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2014 20:34
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