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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Jun 22;96(13):7514-9.

The neural substrate and temporal dynamics of interference effects in working memory as revealed by event-related functional MRI.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Abstract

Research on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of monkeys and humans indicates that this region supports a heterogeneous repertoire of mental processes that contribute to many complex behaviors, such as working memory. Anatomical evidence for some of these processes derives from functional neuroimaging experiments using blocked experimental designs, which average signal across all components of many trials and therefore cannot dissociate distinct processes with different time courses. Using event-related functional MRI, we were able to isolate temporally the neural correlates of processes contributing to the target presentation, delay, and probe portions of an item-recognition task. Two types of trials were of greatest interest: those with Recent Negative probes that matched an item from the target set of the previous, but not the present, two trials, and those with Nonrecent Negative probes that did not match a target item from either the present or the two previous trials. There was no difference between the two trial types in target presentation (i.e., encoding) or delay-period (i.e., active maintenance) PFC activation, but there was significantly greater activation for Recent Negatives than Nonrecent Negative activation associated with the probe period within left ventrolateral PFC. These findings characterize spatially and temporally a proactive interference effect that may reflect the operation of a PFC-mediated response-inhibition mechanism that contributes to working memory performance.

PMID:
10377446
PMCID:
PMC22117
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.96.13.7514
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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