John Duncan provides an excellent review of the role of the frontal and parietal cortex in higher level cognition.  He argues that they form a multiple-demand (MD) network.  Neurons in this MD network have multiple functions, flexibly adapting their coding to signal different things in different tasks.    Duncan argues that they play a critical role in subdividing complex problems and organizing a coherent sequence of focused parts or subgoals.  The MD network construction of these attentional episodes is thought to be a core function for complex cognition and this function is central to fluid intelligence.

About the Author

The Miller Lab uses experimental and theoretical approaches to study the neural basis of the high-level cognitive functions that underlie complex goal-directed behavior.