Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

Special Request

Call for abstracts
Prefrontal cortex and executive functions
Special issue of Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience in Honor of Donald T Stuss
Edited by Brian Levine, Shayna Rosenbaum, and Anne-Kristin Solbakk

Dr. Don Stuss was a key figure in establishing the role of the prefrontal cortex in the scientific study of behavior, cognition, memory, and consciousness. In 1986, following on his series of studies in prefrontal lobotomy patients, as well as seminal studies on confabulation and Capgras syndrome, Stuss and Benson published The Frontal Lobes. Deeply rooted in anatomy, this volume served as a key resource for interpretation of lesion effects as well as for the explosion of functional neuroimaging findings on the prefrontal cortex that followed in the 1990s.

Dr. Stuss’s research contributions always started with clinical observations of patients. His work in traumatic brain injury formed some of the earliest neuroscientific studies of intra-individual variability, later validated in focal lesion patients and neuroimaging. Using lesion-symptom mapping, he refined functional fractionation of the prefrontal cortex (again anticipating influential work on the fractionation of executive functions). This theoretical work was complemented by clinical studies documenting the effects of focal frontal lesions on so-called “frontal” tests of executive functioning used in clinics, as well as more advanced measures of higher-level constructs such as emotion and humor, theory of mind, the self, consciousness, and rehabilitation.

Dr. Stuss was the Director of the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest from its founding in 1989 through 2008. Dr. Stuss cultivated an atmosphere of excellence that made the Rotman Research Institute a world-leading centre for cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging, launching the careers of dozens of scientists and trainees, with substantial impacts in multimodal neuroimaging, cognitive science theory, neuropsychology, and neurorehabilitation.

As founding President and Scientific Director of the Ontario Brain Institute (2011-2015), Dr. Stuss created integrated, province-wide research platforms for brain disorders that brought together scientists and clinicians with industry towards treating patients with brain disorders and improving overall understanding of brain function.

In recognition of his achievements, Dr. Stuss won lifetime achievement awards from the International Neuropsychological Society, the National Academy of Neuropsychology, the Canadian Society for Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science, and the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. He was recognized by the Order of Ontario, the Order of Canada, the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and as University Professor of the University of Toronto.

Dr. Stuss’s career encompasses interdisciplinary themes of cognitive neuroscience and brain-behavior relationships. It is thus fitting that the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience is hosting this special issue. Reviews and empirical papers related to the above-mentioned research themes or otherwise inspired by Dr. Stuss are welcome, as long as they address the biological bases of mental events (see

Please submit a tentative title and abstract of no more than 250 words to with the subject line “Don Stuss Special Issue.” Proposals will be accepted immediately on a rolling basis until October 18, 2019.  Proposed manuscripts will be evaluated for scientific rigour, fit to the special issue, and for balance of topics within the special issue, as determined by the special issue editors. Invitations to submit full manuscripts will be sent by December 2, 2019. The deadline to submit full manuscripts will be May15, 2020. All submissions will be evaluated according to standard criteria maintained by the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. Publication of this special issue is planned for August, 2020; articles will appear online as they become available.