When taking into consideration the outcome of a thermal electrocyclic reaction, why do we focus specifically on the HOMO of the conjugated polyene? Why does it seemingly have the highest contribution on the product?

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    $\begingroup$ Can you give an example of what you mean? Woodward Hoffman rules for example take into account all pi orbitals. Some great work by Gerald Knizia also shows how electrons flow through all the orbitals; see for example DOI 10.1002/anie.201410637 $\endgroup$ – Cody Aldaz Apr 17 at 18:04

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