Talk:Ventromedial prefrontal cortex

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To improve this article here is a bibliography of the sources I intend to cite:

Carlson, N. (2012). Physiology of Behavior (11th ed.). Harlow: Prentice Hall.

Hu C and Jiang X (2014) An emotion regulation role of ventromedial prefrontal cortex in moral judgment. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 8:873. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00873

Nicolle, A. & Goel, V. (2013). What is the role of ventromedial prefrontal cortex in emotional influences on reason? In I. Blanchette (Ed.), Emotion and Reasoning. Psychology Press.

Tranel, D. (08/08/2002). Principles of frontal lobe function: Emotion, decision making, and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195134971.003

Dylanlescure (talk) 16:07, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Please clarify the anatomical relationship between ventromedial prefrontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex. Do they overlap? Are they based on different naming systems? Is the orbitofrontal cortex entirely contained within the ventromedial cortex? To what extent are the terms synonymous?

I did a bit of research into this area but some time ago. However, I think I can help to answer these questions. To me, VMPFC is both A) a general and not particularly tight description of anatomical location meaning "the parts of the PFC overlapping medially and ventrally" and B) a term coined by Antonio Damasio to describe an area of the brain to which individuals with a particular set of decision making impairments have damage. There is a reference in the article to "other researchers use the term differently" - which other researchers is the author referring to? Do these authors have a tight definition of VMPFC or are they just referring to my looser definition A)?
I do have some graphics of the area of ventromedial prefrontal cortex identified by Damasio in various neuropsychological studies which I am completely redrawing into an SVG format high-level-schematic and non-copyright-infringing form and intend to upload (when I've worked out how to do that). The diagram I have shows the location Damasio identifies as having Ventromedial PFC from the lesions of patients with decision making deficits. Damsio's patients had lesions extendeding up the medial wall beyond the gyrus rectus (i.e. outside the OFC), into the cingulate gyrus and the medial frontal gyrus. The whole of the ventral surface of the PFC appears to be included in definitions of the orbitofrontal cortex (I am not an expert), however Damasio's patients did not have much damage to the lateral OFC, for example the lateral orbital gyrus was intact. A diagram would make this clearer, and I will try to upload one. Does anyone have a better reference than Damasio for defining how far dorsally and how far laterally this "region" extends?Finereach (talk) 09:32, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Also, this page really needs development in general. Connectivity, other studies suggesting function...

Found an abstract for an article that goes over different connectivity in ventral and orbital PFC networks No time to go through it now, myself, but I thought I'd share. --Xttina.Garnet (talk) 11:16, 10 June 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Xttina.Garnet (talkcontribs) 10:50, 10 June 2011 (UTC)


An image would be extremely useful.

I am working on a non-copyright infringing graphic of approximate location of Damasio areas. Need to work out the process for uploading when its done.Finereach (talk) 09:32, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
I have adapted some commons images to depict the approximate location of VMPFC, according to those areas damaged in Damasio and Bechara's VMPFC patients (since easily verifiable). I am happy to edit & re-upload additional and/or changed versions of the diagram to reflect alternative views of the location. Finally, I've tried to adhere to all licensing and conventions on images on the commons. As a new wikipedian and amateur neuroscientist please let me know if you have any views or if I have missed anything.Finereach (talk) 22:02, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
The green region thought to indicate OFC is not consistent with the region that is depicted in Wikipedia's Article on Orbitofrontal Cortex as linked in the article. ( (talk) 16:22, 22 September 2009 (UTC))
First I would not profess to be an expert in this area, (the image was based on some research into the vmPFC I did some time ago, although based on some journal articles about the Damasio research). However there are three diagrams involved here.
File:Ventromedial_prefrontal_cortex.png Original ventromedial prefrontal cortex  : a diagram I patched together which shows the vmPFC as the pink area. I am relatively confident that the pink area correctly depicts the area which Bechara and Damasio call the vmPFC since I have checked it against several of their articles.
File:Ventromedial_prefrontal_cortex_orb.png Current ventromedial prefrontal cortex image with green blob added by User:mabhobs.
File:OFC.JPG Orbitofrontal cortex image showing approximate location of orbitofrontal cortex by User:PaulWicks.
I am not sure why the diagrams are inconsistent; anatomical designations like "orbitofrontal cortex" refer to a wide areas that can mean slightly different things to different people; the orbitofrontal image says "approximate area" but this page refers specifically to the "medial orbitofrontal cortex" so the two diagrams are not necessarily contradictory if you think the approximation might not include the medial orbitofrontal cortex.
One option could be reverting to the diagram without the green area - since this article is about the ventromedial prefrontal cortex - or I'm happy to edit the image again to remedy the inconsistency if someone who can resolve it. I will leave messages on the talk pages of the users who created the other diagrams to see what they think.Finereach (talk) 21:16, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Dear all, thought I'd comment as I was invited to by Finereach and its my brain in OFC.JPG! I made this image a while back whilst working at the Institute of Psychiatry and I contacted a few colleagues to enquire about the image (I could be misremembering but I think I might have even asked Damasio by email???), they told me it was near enough for a vague blob. I am the first to put my hands up and say it is a "rough" blob (in fMRI they all are...), and I far prefer the other images for a localization of the ventromedial PFC as they show other landmarks and don't feature my wonky nose in cross section. Back in the day I made that my intention was to give some vague sense of where the OFC was, but I certainly wouldn't complain if someone else wanted to take a more accurate crack at it. Best wishes, Paul Wicks--PaulWicks (talk) 10:11, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Paul - thanks for the rapid response. I think your image shows the approximate area of the OFC just fine. I don't have any evidence either way on the green area which has been added to File:Ventromedial_prefrontal_cortex_orb.png so more info required. If I get time at some point I will try to research and/or resolve and amend the various images. I know different researchers use the same anatomical names in slightly different ways - even vmPFC can be interpreted differently, so if anyone else is reading and has any suggestions please shout...Finereach (talk) 20:14, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
I have done a little further research on this. The article cited at the end of this comment contradicts the placing of the green area on File:Ventromedial_prefrontal_cortex_orb.png[1]. Based on this, the depiction of the green area seems to be at best ambiguous, and at worst misleading. I have therefore reverted it, since I can't find any evidence in support of it; but I am no expert, so please chip in... I will try to reconstruct the diagram with the area Elliott et al refer to as the medial orbitofrontal cortex when I have some more time.Finereach (talk) 22:00, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
  1. ^ Elliott, R (2000). "Dissociable Functions in the Medial and Lateral Orbitofrontal Cortex: Evidence from Human Neuroimaging Studies". Cerebral Cortex. 10(3): 308–317.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)

The sagittal view has the vmPFC extending into the limbic cortex (see This is not part of the prefrontal cortex, all of which is part of the Neocortex. Nice job with the image though. Honestly, I'm a year away from a BA in Neuroscience and my adviser really drills us in anatomy and I still use the vmPFC and OFC interchangeably. They're both related to decision making, epically emotional mediation of social decisions.--Xttina.Garnet (talk) 11:17, 10 June 2011 (UTC)


Would it be correct to make a redirect from Ventromedial prefrontal gyrus to this article? Lova Falk talk 12:06, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

I'll make the redirect, and if any of you think it is wrong, please redirect elsewhere. Lova Falk talk 08:22, 3 January 2013 (UTC)