Farshad will mainly discuss he and his collaborators' findings which have led to a theoretical model. If students need a background they can consider related recent publications mentioned in "More Info" section.
 In a complex and changing environment, the validity of rules or goals might change in terms of their associated reward and cost, and we often face the necessity to make a strategic decision to adaptively shift between these behavioural rules or goals. Such a decision entails assessment of the value (cost and benefit) of current and alternative rules or reward resources for the individual, and also for the group, in socially advanced species. A distributed neural network involving prefrontal and medial frontal cortices regulates the use of cognitive resources to optimize exploitation of current reward resources, while minimizing the associated cost. This is referred to as executive control of goal directed behaviour. Recent studies suggest that dorsolateral prefrontal, orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortices are involved in optimizing the exploitation of the current reward sources however, the most rostral part of the prefrontal cortex (frontopolar cortex) plays a crucial role in adjusting the tendency for exploitation, versus exploration of other alternative resources, by assessing the value of alternative tasks/goals and re-distribution of our cognitive resources.

Related Publications:
  • Mansouri, Farshad Alizadeh, et al. "Managing competing goals [mdash] a key role for the frontopolar cortex." Nature Reviews Neuroscience 18.11 (2017): 645-657.
  • Mansouri, Farshad A., et al. "Behavioral consequences of selective damage to frontal pole and posterior cingulate cortices." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112.29 (2015): E3940-E3949.
  • Buckley, Mark J., et al. "Dissociable components of rule-guided behavior depend on distinct medial and prefrontal regions." Science 325.5936 (2009): 52-58.
  • Mansouri, Farshad A., Keiji Tanaka, and Mark J. Buckley. "Conflict-induced behavioural adjustment: a clue to the executive functions of the prefrontal cortex." Nature Reviews Neuroscience 10.2 (2009): 141-152.
  • Mansouri, Farshad A., Mark J. Buckley, and Keiji Tanaka. "Mnemonic function of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in conflict-induced behavioral adjustment." Science 318.5852 (2007): 987-990.
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