Supriya Ghosh

Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex

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Acronym(s)  VLPFC
Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex
Latin  Cortex praefrontalis ventrolateralis

Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), part of the prefrontal cortex, is located on the inferior frontal gyrus, is bounded superiorly by the inferior frontal sulcus and inferiorly by the lateral sulcus, being attributed to the anatomical structures of Brodmann's area (BA) 47, 45 and 44 (considered the subregions of the VLPFC – the anterior, mid and posterior subregions). Specific functional distinctions have been presented between these three subregions. There are also specific functional differences in activity in the right and left VLPFC. Neuroimaging studies employing various cognitive tasks have shown that right VLPFC region is a critical substrate of control. At present, two prominent theories feature right VLPFC as a key functional region. From one perspective, right VLPFC is thought to play a critical role in motor inhibition, where control is engaged to stop or override motor responses. Alternatively, Corbetta and Shulman have advanced the hypothesis that there are two distinct fronto-parietal networks involved in spatial attention, with right VLPFC being a component of a right-lateralized ventral attention network that governs reflexive reorienting. From this perspective, right lateral PFC, along with a region spanning right temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and the inferior parietal lobule, are engaged when abrupt onsets occur in the environment, suggesting that these regions are involved in re-orienting attention to perceptual events that occur outside the current focus of attention. Also, VLPFC is the end point of the Ventral Pathway (Stream) that brings information about the stimuli's characteristics.

Functions

The whole right VLPFC is active during motor inhibition having a critical role, meaning when the person is walking, and suddenly stops – the VLPFC activates to stop or to override the motor activity in the cortex. The right posterior VLPFC (BA 44) is active during the updating of action plans. The right middle VLPFC (BA 45) is responding to decision uncertainty. (presumably in right-handed individuals)

References

Ventrolateral prefrontal cortex Wikipedia


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