The somatic marker hypothesis and the possible functions of the prefrontal cortex.

  title={The somatic marker hypothesis and the possible functions of the prefrontal cortex.},
  author={Antonio R. Damasio},
  journal={Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences},
  volume={351 1346},
  • A. Damasio
  • Published 29 October 1996
  • Psychology, Biology
  • Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences
In this article I discuss a hypothesis, known as the somatic marker hypothesis, which I believe is relevant to the understanding of processes of human reasoning and decision making. The ventromedial sector of the prefrontal cortices is critical to the operations postulated here, but the hypothesis does not necessarily apply to prefrontal cortex as a whole and should not be seen as an attempt to unify frontal lobe functions under a single mechanism. The key idea in the hypothesis is that 'marker… 

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Frontal cortex is by far the largest area of cortex in the human brain, it has increased the most in size (and in the proportion of brain mass devoted to it) over the course of evolution, and it takes longer to reach maturity than any other area of the brain.