The Human Prefrontal Cortex Stores Structured Event Complexes

Frank Krueger*, Jordan Grafman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Event sequence knowledge is necessary for learning, planning, and performing activities of daily living. Clinical observations suggest that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is crucial for goal-directed behavior such as carrying out plans, controlling a course of actions, or organizing everyday life routines. This chapter proposes a "representational" approach to PFC function, which assumes that the PFC (a) stores long-term memories of goaloriented event sequence knowledge and (b) seeks to establish the format and categories according to which such information is stored. It argues that the human PFC stores a unique type of knowledge in the form of structured event complexes (SECs). SECs are representations composed of higher-order goal-oriented sequences of events that are involved in the planning and monitoring of complex behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationUnderstanding Events
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Perception to Action
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199870462
ISBN (Print)9780195188370
StatePublished - May 1 2008


  • Even sequence
  • Event perception
  • Goal-directd behavior
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Structured event complexes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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