The neural correlates of inductive reasoning are still poorly understood. In order to explore them, we administered a revised version of the Brixton test, a rule attainment task, to a group of 40 patients with a focal frontal brain lesion of mixed aetiology and to 43 control subjects. To interpret an impairment on the test as suggesting an inductive reasoning deficit a number of alternative hypotheses need first to be considered, namely whether the Brixton impairment could be explained by: (i) a working memory deficit; (ii) a monitoring deficit; (iii) a difficulty in applying an already induced rule; (iv) greater impulsivity. The patients with left lateral (LL) frontal lesions were significantly impaired on the Brixton test; more importantly they were the only group in which none of the alternative hypotheses we explored proved able to explain the flawed performance. In sharp contrast, right lateral lesion patients did not make significantly more errors on the Brixton test than controls, but they produced three times more capture errors (a sign of impaired monitoring processes). The results were interpreted as suggesting functional dissociations between inductive reasoning, monitoring and working memory and a localisation of key processes for induction in left lateral frontal cortex and in right lateral cortex for monitoring and checking.

Specific impairments of rule induction in different frontal lobe subgroups.

GIGLI, Gian Luigi;
2005

Abstract

The neural correlates of inductive reasoning are still poorly understood. In order to explore them, we administered a revised version of the Brixton test, a rule attainment task, to a group of 40 patients with a focal frontal brain lesion of mixed aetiology and to 43 control subjects. To interpret an impairment on the test as suggesting an inductive reasoning deficit a number of alternative hypotheses need first to be considered, namely whether the Brixton impairment could be explained by: (i) a working memory deficit; (ii) a monitoring deficit; (iii) a difficulty in applying an already induced rule; (iv) greater impulsivity. The patients with left lateral (LL) frontal lesions were significantly impaired on the Brixton test; more importantly they were the only group in which none of the alternative hypotheses we explored proved able to explain the flawed performance. In sharp contrast, right lateral lesion patients did not make significantly more errors on the Brixton test than controls, but they produced three times more capture errors (a sign of impaired monitoring processes). The results were interpreted as suggesting functional dissociations between inductive reasoning, monitoring and working memory and a localisation of key processes for induction in left lateral frontal cortex and in right lateral cortex for monitoring and checking.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/857540
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