CNV evidence for the distinctiveness of frontal and posterior neural processes in a traumatic brain-injured population
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The association between certain behavioral tests of executive functions in humans and the integrity of the prefrontal lobes has rested primarily on studies comparing subjects with frontal versus other loci of damage. Another approach is to compare the within-group variation on a physiological index of frontal functioning with the behavioral tests of interest. In the present study, subjects with traumatic brain injury (TBI) were given four behavioural measures of executive function, two measures of posterior nonexecutive function, and a Contingent Negative Variation (CNV) task, a proposed electrophysiological index of frontal-lobe functioning. We found that three of the four executive function tests were significantly related to the CNV, accounting for 23-52% of the variance, while the CNV did not correlate at all with the posterior tasks.
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