, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 258–276 | Cite as

The economy of centre within the aneconomy of neurological architecture

  • Clifford van OmmenEmail author
  • Vasi van Deventer
Original Article


Neuroscience may be read as part of a historical search for an integrative and agentive centre. The prefrontal cortices, the dominant locus of the executive functions, which includes the control of cognitive processes and the regulation of self in the process of fulfilling intentions, is currently such a centre. This attribution is complexified through a deconstructive reading of texts by the neuropsychologist Elkhonon Goldberg. What emerge are dynamics that decentre attempts to determine a point from which agency may proceed. It is argued that the grounds for centric claims simultaneously undermine such ambitions.


agency deconstruction executive functions frontal lobes neuroscience 



This article draws from a doctorate completed via the University of South Africa. Funding and other support received from Rhodes University and the National Research Foundation assisted in its completion.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyRhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Centre for Psychology, Massey UniversityAucklandNew Zealand
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of South AfricaSouth Africa

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