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A central circuit of the mind
The methodologies of cognitive architectures and functional magnetic resonance imaging can mutually inform each other. For example, four modules of the ACT-R (adaptive control of thought – rational) cognitive architecture have been associated with four brain regions that are active in complex tasks. Activity in a lateral inferior prefrontal region reflects retrieval of information in a declarative module; activity in a posterior parietal region reflects changes to problem representations in an imaginal module; activity in the anterior cingulate cortex reflects the updates of control information in a goal module; and activity in the caudate nucleus reflects execution of productions in a procedural module. Differential patterns of activation in such central regions can reveal the time course of different components of complex cognition.