Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details


Organ der Neurowissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft

Editor-in-Chief: Luhmann, Heiko

4 Issues per year

See all formats and pricing
Volume 17, Issue 4 (Dec 2011)


The medial frontal cortex and the subjective control of behaviour

Prof. Dr. R.J. Seitz
  • Corresponding author
  • Neurologische Klinik, Universitätsklinikum Düsseldorf Moorenstrasse 5, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
  • Email:
Published Online: 2017-02-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13295-011-0022-5


The role of the cortex at the medial aspect of the frontal lobe for the subjective control of behaviour has been elaborated in re­cent years. As apparent from meta-analy­ses of functional imaging studies, the medial frontal cortex accommodates critical nodes in a caudo-rostral gradient that are involved in the evaluation of sensorimotor, empathic and abstract information. Brain electrical activity was found to be changed in the medial frontal cortex as early as 120 ms after stimu­lus presentation in relation to the modulation of perception. These functions become estab­lished during adolescence, mediating subjective perspective in a social context. They are most likely brought about by dedicated neurons of the mirror neuron system, but sub­cortical connections suggest a relationship to the reward system. While lesions of the medial frontal cortex such as brain infarction and brain tumours are rare, impairments of me­dial frontal cortex functions occur quite frequently in neurological, psychiatric and psy­chosomatic disorders. Essentially, the medial frontal cortex is closely connected to the concept of personality, opening up an approach for an interdisciplinary scientific discourse.

About the article

Prof. Dr. R.J. Seitz

Studied medicine at the University of Hamburg, obtaining his doctorate in 1981. Following a post-doctoral period at the PET Center at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, he obtained his post-doctoral lecturing qualification in 1991 at the Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf, where he has since been head of the working group“Funktionelles Neuroimaging” (functional neuroimaging). He has held the post of Deputy Clinic Director at the Neurological Clinic since 1998 and was awarded a C3 professorship in 2001. In 2006/2007 he was a Distinguished Fellow at the LaTrobe University and the National Stroke Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia. He was awarded the Hugo-Spatz Prize in 1992 by the German Society of Neurology and has been an honorary professor of the Florey Neuroscience Institutes in Melbourne since 2010.

Published Online: 2017-02-25

Published in Print: 2011-12-01

Citation Information: e-Neuroforum, ISSN (Online) 1868-856X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13295-011-0022-5. Export Citation

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in