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Brain Res Cogn Brain Res. 2005 Dec;25(3):747-59. Epub 2005 Oct 20.

Double dissociation in neural correlates of visual working memory: a PET study.

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1
INSERM and CNRS-Cognitive Sciences Institute-UMR5015, 67 Bd Pinel, 69500 Bron, France. ventre@isc.cnrs.fr

Abstract

Using positron emission tomography (PET), we investigated the organisation of spatial versus object-based visual working memory in 11 normal human subjects. The paradigm involved a conditional colour-response association task embedded within two visual working memory tasks. The subject had to remember a position (spatial) or shape (object-based) and then use this to recover the colour of the matching element for the conditional association. Activation of the nucleus accumbens and the anterior cingulate cortex was observed during the conditional associative task, indicating a possible role of these limbic structures in associative memory. When the 2 memory tasks were contrasted, we observed activation of 2 distinct cortical networks: (1) The spatial task activated a dorsal stream network distributed in the right hemisphere in the parieto-occipital cortex and the dorsal prefrontal cortex, and (2) The non spatial task activated a ventral stream network distributed in the left hemisphere in the temporo- occipital cortex, the ventral prefrontal cortex and the striatum. These results support the existence of a domain-specific dissociation with dorsal and ventral cortical systems involved respectively in spatial and non spatial working memory functions.

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