Asymmetrical involvement of frontal lobes in social reasoning

Vinod Goel, Jeffrey Shuren, Laura Sheesley, Jordan Grafman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The frontal lobes are widely implicated in logical reasoning. Recent neuroimaging studies suggest that frontal lobe involvement in reasoning is asymmetric (L>R) and increases with the presence of familiar, meaningful content in the reasoning situation. However, neuroimaging data can only provide sufficiency criteria. To determine the necessity of prefrontal involvement in logical reasoning, we tested 19 patients with focal frontal lobe lesions and 19 age- and education-matched normal controls on the Wason Card Selection Task, while manipulating social knowledge. Patients and controls performed equivalently on the arbitrary rule condition. Normal controls showed the expected improvement in the social knowledge conditions, but frontal lobe patients failed to show this facilitation in performance. Furthermore, left hemisphere patients were more affected than right hemisphere patients, suggesting that frontal lobe involvement in reasoning is asymmetric (L>R) and necessary for reasoning about social situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-790
Number of pages8
JournalBrain
Volume127
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004

Keywords

  • Frontal lobes
  • Reasoning
  • Social knowledge
  • Wason selection task

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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