This chapter describes a model of frontal lobe organization based on the idea that the symptoms of a frontal lobe lesion can be understood as disruptions in the microgenetic unfolding of an action. According to the microgenetic account, every behavior or mental state has a submerged infrastructure distributed over evolutionary planes in the forebrain. Cognitive processing retraces the direction of phyletic growth, so that evolutionary levels, and correlated processing stages, are entrained in behavior in the order of their evolutionary appearance. In a very real sense, microgeny recapitulates phylogeny as cognition rapidly unfolds over evolutionary structure.
We can begin by defining an action as a cognitive structure consisting of multiple representational planes, each of which is reconstituted moment to moment in the flow of behavior. In the course of the unfolding of an action, movements are deposited at successive points. However, there is a difference between an action and a movement. Movements are what actually happen in the behavior; they are physical events or chains of events that are extrinsic to cognition (mind). In contrast, an action is a mental event that participates in private experience. Actions are representations that are read off into movements. An action is a cognitive precursor that lays down or instantiates a movement in physical space, in the same way that a perception is a mental event that is configured by, or modeled through, external (physical) sensory experience.
An action unfolds over a stratified system of levels that retraces the pattern of evolutionary growth. These levels instantiate the action through discharge into____________________