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Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci. 2001 Jun;1(2):161-71.

Dissociation of the neural systems for working memory maintenance of verbal and nonspatial visual information.

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Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.


Working memory for names and faces was investigated to ascertain whether verbal and nonspatial visual information is maintained in working memory by separate neural systems. The subjects performed a delayed match-to-sample task for famous or unfamous faces and names and a sensorimotor control task. Several occipital, temporal, parietal, and prefrontal areas were activated during all memory delays, in comparison with the control delays. Greater delay activity for unfamous faces than for names was obtained in the right fusiform gyrus, right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), right IFG/precentral gyrus, and right medial superior frontal gyrus, whereas greater delay activity for unfamous names than for faces was observed in the precuneus, left insula/postcentral gyrus, and left IFG/precentral gyrus. There was no significant difference in the prefrontal activity in the comparison between famous faces and names. Greater delay activity for famous names than for faces was obtained in visual association and parietal areas. The results indicate that there is a functional dissociation based on information type within the neural system that is responsible for working memory maintenance of verbal and nonspatial visual information.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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