"Brain is to thought as stomach is to??": Investigating the role of rostrolateral prefrontal cortex in relational reasoning

Carter Wendelken, Denis Nakhabenko, Sarah E. Donohue, Cameron S Carter, Silvia A. Bunge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

128 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Brain imaging studies suggest that the rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC), is involved in relational reasoning. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies involving Raven's Progressive Matrices or verbal propositional analogies indicate that the RLPFC is engaged by tasks that require integration across multiple relational structures. Several studies have shown that the RLPFC is more active when people must evaluate an analogy (e.g., Is shoe to foot as glove is to hand?) than when they must simply evaluate two individual semantic relationships, consistent with the hypothesis that this region is important for relational integration. The current fMRI investigation further explores the role of the RLPFC in reasoning and relational integration by comparing RLPFC activation across four different propositional analogy conditions. Each of the four conditions required either relation completion (e.g., Shoe is to foot as glove is to WHAT? → "hand") or relation comparison (e.g., Is shoe to foot as glove is to hand? → "yes"). The RLPFC was engaged more strongly by the comparison subtask relative to completion, suggesting that the RLPFC is particularly involved in comparing relational structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)682-693
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2008

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Prefrontal Cortex
Stomach
Brain
Shoes
Foot
Hand
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Crows
Semantics
Neuroimaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Cite this

"Brain is to thought as stomach is to??" : Investigating the role of rostrolateral prefrontal cortex in relational reasoning. / Wendelken, Carter; Nakhabenko, Denis; Donohue, Sarah E.; Carter, Cameron S; Bunge, Silvia A.

In: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Vol. 20, No. 4, 04.2008, p. 682-693.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wendelken, Carter ; Nakhabenko, Denis ; Donohue, Sarah E. ; Carter, Cameron S ; Bunge, Silvia A. / "Brain is to thought as stomach is to??" : Investigating the role of rostrolateral prefrontal cortex in relational reasoning. In: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 2008 ; Vol. 20, No. 4. pp. 682-693.
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