Hierarchical organization of the lateral frontal cortex in dependency of stimulus information and motivation

Project: DFG ProjectsDFG Individual Projects

Project Details


The lateral frontal cortex is important for controlled behavior that requires complex and abstract thoughts, such as applying sensory information from traffic signs to actions planning. Recent findings demonstrated a rostro-caudal (anterior-posterior) gradient of function in lateral frontal cortex during the processing of increasingly complex representations. The broad goal of the proposed research is to advance our understanding of the functional architecture of the lateral frontal cortex, with regards to regional distinctions and the principles by which these regions interact to produce controlled behavior. In particular, this project will test the influence of stimulus domain (e.g. language domain: extract the meaning of a word, spatial domain: locate an object) and reward signals (e.g. gain of money if a task was successfully executed) on the interaction of the lateral frontal cortex with other brain regions. To do so, I will investigate multiple populations (healthy young subjects and Parkinson's Disease patients), and will utilize multiple methods (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)). The combination of these methodologies will overcome the limitations of each, and will lead to convergent evidence regarding the neural mechanisms underlying goal-directed behavior. The achievement of this proposal would inform clinical models of cognitive control and frontal cortex dysfunction, that are central to our understanding of psychiatric and neurological disorders of the frontal lobe, as well as normal cognitive aging.
Effective start/end date01.04.1331.03.16

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 206-08 Cognitive and Systemic Human Neuroscience


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