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Reviews in the Neurosciences

Editor-in-Chief: Huston, Joseph P.

Editorial Board: Topic, Bianca / Adeli, Hojjat / Buzsaki, Gyorgy / Crawley, Jacqueline / Crow, Tim / Gold, Paul / Holsboer, Florian / Korth, Carsten / Li, Jay-Shake / Lubec, Gert / McEwen, Bruce / Pan, Weihong / Pletnikov, Mikhail / Robbins, Trevor / Schnitzler, Alfons / Stevens, Charles / Steward, Oswald / Trojanowski, John

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Volume 23, Issue 3


Processes of believing — a review and conceptual account

Rüdiger J. Seitz
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Neurology and Biomedical Research Centre, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Moorenstrasse 5, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
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/ Hans-Ferdinand Angel
  • Corresponding author
  • Institute of Catechetics and Religious Education, Karl-Franzens-University Graz, Heinrichstraße 78/II, A-8010 Graz, Austria
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Published Online: 2012-05-03 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/revneuro-2012-0034


Processes of believing are thought to have an important impact on the control of human behavior. Recently, neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies have shown that believe processes involve brain areas known to be involved in emotion-related and cognitive processing. But there is a discrepancy between the increasing interest in empirical research and the lack of coherent terminology and conceptualization. We will show that in processes of believing, the medial frontal cortex plays a critical role within a widespread cortico-subcortical network owing to its role in valuation of internal and external events and in subjective control of action. Also, we will describe a model of processes of believing that integrates the divergent neurophysiological and conceptual aspects as a starting point for further interdisciplinary research questions.

Keywords: cognition; credition; emotion; functional imaging; medial frontal cortex; valuation

About the article

Rüdiger J. Seitz

Rüdiger J. Seitz is Professor of Neurology and Vice Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany. He was awarded the Hugo-Spatz-Award of the German Neurological Society in 1992 and served as Chairman of the 5th International Conference on Functional Mapping of the Human Brain, Düsseldorf in 1999. He was Distinguished Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study, LaTrobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia in 2006–2007 and became Honorary Professorial Fellow, Florey Neuroscience Institutes, Melbourne, Australia, in 2009.

Hans-Ferdinand Angel

Hans-Ferdinand Angel was Professor at the Technical University Dresden and, since 1997, is Professor of Catechetics and Religious Education at the Karl-Franzens University Graz. He was the organizer and leader of an international and interdisciplinary research project (2002–2006) “Understanding Religiosity”. He is a member of the advisory committee of the Initiative of Brain Research in Styria, Austria.

Corresponding authors

Received: 2012-03-12

Accepted: 2012-03-21

Published Online: 2012-05-03

Published in Print: 2012-06-01

Citation Information: , Volume 23, Issue 3, Pages 303–309, ISSN (Online) 2191-0200, ISSN (Print) 0334-1763, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/revneuro-2012-0034.

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©2012 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston. This content is open access.

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