The function of the PFC involves the ability to project future consequences that result from current actions. PFC functions also include override and suppression of socially unacceptable responses as well as differentiation of tasks.
The PFC also plays an important part in integrating longer non-task based memories stored across the brain. These are often memories associated with emotions derived from input from the brain's limbic system. The frontal lobe modifies those emotions, generally to fit socially acceptable norms.
Theories of frontal lobe function can be separated into four categories:
It may be highlighted that the theories described above differ in their focus on certain processes/systems or construct-lets. Stuss (1999) remarks that the question of homogeneity (single construct) or heterogeneity (multiple processes/systems) of function "may represent a problem of semantics and/or incomplete functional analysis rather than an unresolvable dichotomy" (p. 348). However, further research will show if a unified theory of frontal lobe function that fully accounts for the diversity of functions will be available.