Differential functions of lateral and medial rostral prefrontal cortex (area 10) revealed by brain-behavior associations.


We analyzed the behavioral data from 104 neuroimaging studies using positron emission tomography or functional magnetic resonance imaging that reported activation peaks in rostral prefrontal cortex (PFC), approximating Brodmann's area 10. The distribution of absolute x coordinates of activation peaks (i.e., x coordinate regardless of hemisphere) differed significantly from a unimodal normal distribution, reflecting distinct clusters of activation in lateral and medial subregions. These 2 clusters were associated with different patterns of behavioral data. Lateral activations were associated with contrasts between experimental and control conditions where response times (RTs) were slower in the experimental condition. Medial activations were associated with contrasts where RTs were, if anything, faster in experimental than control conditions. These findings place important constraints on theories of rostral PFC functions.