Frontal-Subcortical Circuits in Psychiatric and Neurological Disorders

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From our regular book review column.

The frontal lobes and their functions have been the source of confusion and controversy for a least a century. It is still not uncommon to hear some professionals use the terms executive functions and frontal functions interchangeably, as if the executive functions were all that the frontal lobes do, or as if executive functions were fully “housed” within the frontal cortex. In part, the problem with such a view has been apparent to many clinicians who see patients who have clear and known frontal lesions, and even behavioral and/or affective disturbances that appear related to those lesions, yet who perform normally on neuropsychological tests purportedly sensitive to frontal deficits, such as the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test.

J Clin Psychiatry 2002;63(10):952 [book review]