The Human Frontal Lobes: Transcending the Default Mode through Contingent Encoding

M. Marsel Mesulam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

22 Scopus citations


This chapter sets the stage for the rest of the book, presenting anatomical and clinical distinctions that serve as organizational and memory "hooks" for reading many of the other chapters. It discusses how massive damage to the frontal lobes can cause dramatic changes in personality and comportment while keeping sensation, movement, consciousness, and most cognitive faculties. It addresses questions such as: Is there a unitary "frontal lobe syndrome" encompassing all signs and symptoms? Are there regional segregations of function within the frontal lobes? Is it possible to identify a potentially unifying principle of organization which cuts across the heterogeneous specializations attributed to the frontal lobes?.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPrinciples of Frontal Lobe Function
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199864157
ISBN (Print)0195134974, 9780195134971
StatePublished - May 1 2009


  • Damage
  • Frontal lobes
  • Personality
  • Phineas gage
  • Prefrontal cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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