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Disturbances of higher cerebral function 

Disturbances of higher cerebral function
Disturbances of higher cerebral function

Peter J. Nestor

and John R. Hodges



Chapter reviewed; minor changes made and further reading added.

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date: 19 September 2021

Clinico-pathological and imaging studies indicate strong associations between particular disorders of cognition and focal disease in the brain, but not all focal lesions induce specific loss of higher functions. Neuropsychological research has deepened our understanding by suggesting organizational frameworks for human cognitive faculties.

The neocortex around the primary sensory and motor cortices is made up of unimodal association areas, which link to heteromodal association areas, with the linkage of topographical region to specific functional attribute becoming progressively less tightly defined. Other areas of the brain that interact with these association areas in a critical way for cognition include (1) limbic system—particularly in the domains of memory and emotion; (2) basal forebrain nuclei—important to the successful encoding of memory; (3) basal ganglia—relating to attention and speed of cognitive processing; (4) brainstem reticular formation—determining the level of arousal....

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