Numerous functional neuroimaging studies reported increased activity in the middorsolateral prefrontal cortex (MDLFC) and the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) during the performance of working memory tasks. However, the role of the PPC in working memory is not understood and, although there is strong evidence that the MDLFC is involved in the monitoring of information in working memory, it is also often stated that it is involved in the manipulation of such information. This event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging study compared brain activity during the performance of working memory trials in which either monitoring or manipulation of information was required. The results show that the PPC is centrally involved in manipulation processes, whereas activation of the MDLFC is related to the monitoring of the information that is being manipulated. This study provides dissociation of activation in these two regions and, thus, succeeds in further specifying their relative contribution to working memory.
Figure: Activity in the manipulation minus monitoring and in the monitoring minus manipulation comparisons. Cortical surface renderings in standard stereotaxic space of a subject's brain are shown on the left. (a) Increased activity in the left IPS obtained from the manipulation minus monitoring comparison. The vertical blue line on the left hemisphere cortical surface rendering indicates the anteroposterior level of the coronal section illustrated on the right. (b) Increased activity in the right MDLFC obtained from the monitoring minus manipulation comparison. The vertical green line on the right hemisphere cortical surface rendering indicates the anteroposterior level of the coronal section illustrated on the right side. CS, central sulcus; PoCS, postcentral sulcus; PCS, precentral sulcus; SFS, superior frontal sulcus; IFS, inferior frontal sulcus; MFS, middle frontal sulcus.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Roles of parietal and prefrontal cortex in working memory
Champod and Petrides distinguish monitoring and manipulation tasks carried out by working memory and demonstrate different brain correlates. Their abstract, and a figure: