Constraints on task-based control of behaviour following frontal lobe damage: A single-case study

Alex Bahrami-Balani, D Soto, Glyn Humphreys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


What factors determine stimulus-driven responses in patients with utilization behaviour? We examined this question by assessing the influence of an irrelevant cue on visual search in a patient showing evidence of utilization behaviour (F.K.), following bilateral damage to the medial frontal and temporal lobes. Despite being able to repeat the instructions, F. K. often responded to an item in the search display that matched the cue rather than the target. This effect was reduced under certain conditions: (a) when the cue-search interval increased, (b) when F. K. paid less attention to the cue, and (c) when the target discrimination task was made more difficult. On the other hand, the effect arose even when the cue was always invalid. We suggest that information from the cue competed with the top-down set to determine search. F.K.'s lesion makes it difficult for him to impose top-down knowledge rapidly, leading to responses automatically being based on attended, but irrelevant, cues under short cue-display intervals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-654
Number of pages20
JournalCognitive Neuropsychology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Visual search
  • Selective attention
  • Frontal lobe
  • Task-based control
  • Utilization behaviour


Dive into the research topics of 'Constraints on task-based control of behaviour following frontal lobe damage: A single-case study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this