Parts of this paper were presented as the plenary lecture for the 1990 Nagae Symposium in Rokko Mountain, Japan.
Large-scale neurocognitive networks and distributed processing for attention, language, and memory†
Article first published online: 8 OCT 2004
Copyright © 1990 American Neurological Association
Annals of Neurology
Volume 28, Issue 5, pages 597–613, November 1990
How to Cite
Mesulam, M.-M. (1990), Large-scale neurocognitive networks and distributed processing for attention, language, and memory. Ann Neurol., 28: 597–613. doi: 10.1002/ana.410280502
- Issue published online: 8 OCT 2004
- Article first published online: 8 OCT 2004
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 JUN 1990
- Manuscript Revised: 8 JUN 1990
- Manuscript Received: 16 APR 1990
Cognition and comportment are subserved by interconnected neural networks that allow high-level computational architectures including parallel distributed processing. Cognitive problems are not resolved by a sequential and hierarchical progression toward predetermined goals but instead by a simultaneous and interactive consideration of multiple possibilities and constraints until a satisfactory fit is achieved. The resultant texture of mental activity is characterized by almost infinite richness and flexibility. According to this model, complex behavior is mapped at the level of multifocal neural systems rather than specific anatomical sites, giving rise to brain-behavior relationships that are both localized and distributed. Each network contains anatomically addressed channels for transferring information content and chemically addressed pathways for modulating behavioral tone. This approach provides a blueprint for reexploring the neurological foundations of attention, language, memory, and frontal lobe function.