Prefrontal Cortex

The Prefrontal Cortex is that part of the brain located behind our forehead that is responsible for the executive function, meaning that it acts like a conductor communicating, guiding, and coordinating the functions of the different parts of the brain. It is responsible for higher cognitive functions like planning, distinguishing right from wrong, determining what is socially appropriate behavior, decision-making, and producing insights.

One example of how the prefrontal cortex operates is when we come up with ""Aha!"" moments. Sometimes when we try to solve a particularly difficult problem, such as figuring out a puzzle, we reach a dead end and need to set it aside for a little while. As we go about our day doing other things, it would seem as if we had forgotten about the puzzle. In reality, the prefrontal cortex continues to work on it behind the scenes, pulling information from the analytical left side of the brain and integrating it with relevant data from the more intuitive and emotional right side of the brain. At some point, a lightbulb goes off and all of a sudden, we have a solution. That is the end-product of what the Prefrontal Cortex has been doing all along.

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