Posterior Cingulate Cortex

Last update: September 17, 2022
By BrainMatters

This area is involved in auditory associations and the adjustment of behavior in response to a dynamic environment. It is also associated with words that have negative or positive connotations, episodic memory and pain.

The exact function of this area is still unclear. In some studies, the area is associated with making associations. Other researchers have associated this brain area with adjusting behavior in response to the dynamic world we live in. Activity in this area increases during learning, remembering and dedication to a task. It is thought that these processes underlie the detection of changes in the environment, and the adjustment of behavior in response to these changes. Sometimes the area is even related to our consciousness. All in all, this area is an example of how we do not yet understand everything about the brain: more research is needed! We do not yet know exactly what this area does.

BA 31 is part of the posterior cingulate cortex. The area receives inputs from the thalamus, and the hippocampus.

This area also becomes active in the presentation of emotional stimuli, especially emotionally charged words. Compared to the presentation of neutral words, the area becomes active primarily with very pleasant words or very unpleasant words.

Damage to this area can cause problems with verbal and auditory memory. Also, a patient has been described who, following damage to BA 31, suddenly lost her nicotine addiction.

Author: Myrthe Princen (translated by Pauline van Gils)

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