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      Differential role of prefrontal, temporal and parietal cortices in verbal and figural fluency: Implications for the supramodal contribution of executive functions

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          Abstract

          Verbal and figural fluency are related to executive functions (EFs), but the extent to which they benefit from executive resources and their respective cortical representations is not clear. Moreover, different brain areas and cognitive functions are involved in fluency processing. This study investigated effects of modulation of cortical excitability in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (l-DLPFC), left temporal area and right posterior parietal cortex (r-PPC) with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), on verbal and figural fluency. Fifteen healthy adult participants received anodal l-DLPFC (F3), anodal left temporal (T3), anodal r-PPC (P4) and sham tDCS (15 min, 1.5 mA). After five minutes of stimulation, participants underwent the verbal fluency (i.e., semantic and phonemic fluency tasks) and figural fluency tasks. Participants significantly generated more words with phonemic cues during anodal l-DLPFC tDCS and more words with semantic cues during both anodal left temporal and anodal l-DLPFC tDCS. In contrast, they generated more unique figures under anodal r-PPC and anodal l-DLPFC tDCS. Our results implicate that prefrontal regions and EFs are shared anatomical correlates and cognitive processes relevant for both, verbal and figural fluency (supramodal contribution of DLPFC activation), whereas r-PPC and left temporal cortex are more specifically involved in figural and semantic fluency (modality-specific contribution).

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          Most cited references 54

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          Physiological basis of transcranial direct current stimulation.

          Since the rediscovery of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) about 10 years ago, interest in tDCS has grown exponentially. A noninvasive stimulation technique that induces robust excitability changes within the stimulated cortex, tDCS is increasingly being used in proof-of-principle and stage IIa clinical trials in a wide range of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Alongside these clinical studies, detailed work has been performed to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the observed effects. In this review, the authors bring together the results from these pharmacological, neurophysiological, and imaging studies to describe their current knowledge of the physiological effects of tDCS. In addition, the theoretical framework for how tDCS affects motor learning is proposed.
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            Executive function and the frontal lobes: a meta-analytic review.

            Currently, there is debate among scholars regarding how to operationalize and measure executive functions. These functions generally are referred to as "supervisory" cognitive processes because they involve higher level organization and execution of complex thoughts and behavior. Although conceptualizations vary regarding what mental processes actually constitute the "executive function" construct, there has been a historical linkage of these "higher-level" processes with the frontal lobes. In fact, many investigators have used the term "frontal functions" synonymously with "executive functions" despite evidence that contradicts this synonymous usage. The current review provides a critical analysis of lesion and neuroimaging studies using three popular executive function measures (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Phonemic Verbal Fluency, and Stroop Color Word Interference Test) in order to examine the validity of the executive function construct in terms of its relation to activation and damage to the frontal lobes. Empirical lesion data are examined via meta-analysis procedures along with formula derivatives. Results reveal mixed evidence that does not support a one-to-one relationship between executive functions and frontal lobe activity. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of construing the validity of these neuropsychological tests in anatomical, rather than cognitive and behavioral, terms.
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              The prefrontal cortex--an update: time is of the essence.

               J. Fuster (2001)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                salehinejad@ifado.de
                nejati@sbu.ac.ir
                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2045-2322
                6 March 2019
                6 March 2019
                2019
                : 9
                Affiliations
                [1 ]GRID grid.472472.0, Department of Psychology, , Islamic Azad University, Science & Research Branch, ; Tehran, Iran
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2285 956X, GRID grid.419241.b, Department of Psychology and Neurosciences, , Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors, ; Dortmund, Germany
                [3 ]GRID grid.411600.2, Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, ; Tehran, Iran
                [4 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0490 981X, GRID grid.5570.7, International Graduate School of Neuroscience, , Ruhr University Bochum, ; Bochum, Germany
                [5 ]ISNI 0000 0001 0686 4748, GRID grid.412502.0, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Department of Psychology, , Shahid Beheshti University, ; Tehran, Iran
                [6 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2190 5763, GRID grid.7727.5, Department of Psychology, , University of Regensburg, ; Regensburg, Germany
                [7 ]Department of Neurology, University Medical Hospital Bergmannsheil, Bochum, Germany
                Article
                40273
                10.1038/s41598-019-40273-7
                6403289
                30842493
                9e0cc175-c128-4fc2-a91b-76f35963a8ec
                © The Author(s) 2019

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                Funding
                Funded by: Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors
                Funded by: National Organization of Science, Research & Technology, Deputy of Scholarship and Students Affairs, Iran, grant number: 95000171.
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