Prefrontal contributions to delayed spatial and object alternation: A positron emission tomography study

David H. Zald, Clayton Curtis, Bradley S. Folley, José V. Pardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Delayed alternation tasks are frequently used as probes of frontal lobe functioning. To clarify the neural substrates of delayed alternation performance in humans, the authors measured regional cerebral blood flow with H2 15O positron emission tomography in healthy subjects as they performed delayed spatial and object alternation. Consistent with the monkey lesion literature, increased dorsolateral prefrontal activity emerged during delayed spatial alternation but not delayed object alternation, whereas orbitofrontal activations emerged in both alternation tasks. The possible cognitive processes contributing to the orbitofrontal and dorsolateral prefrontal involvement in delayed alternation are discussed. Additional activations localized to several nonfrontal regions suggest caution in interpreting alternation deficits in patients as strictly reflecting frontal lobe impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-189
Number of pages8
JournalNeuropsychology
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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