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Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2008 Sep;90(2):475-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2008.06.001. Epub 2008 Jul 25.

The effect of motivation on working memory: an fMRI and SEM study.

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Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Department of Neurophysiology, 3 Pasteur Street, Warsaw, Poland.


This study investigated the effective connectivity between prefrontal regions of human brain supporting motivational influence on working memory. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and structural equation modeling (SEM) were used to examine the interaction between the lateral orbitofrontal (OFC), medial OFC, and dorsolateral prefrontal (DLPFC) regions in the left and right hemisphere during performance of the verbal 2-back working memory task under two reinforcement conditions. The "low-motivation" condition was not associated with monetary reinforcement, while the "high-motivation" condition involved the probability of winning a certain amount of money. In the "low-motivation" condition, the OFC regions in both hemispheres positively influenced the left DLPFC activity. In the "high-motivation" condition, the connectivity in the network including the right OFC regions and left DLPFC changed from positive to negative, whereas the positive connectivity in the network composed of the left OFC and left DLPFC became slightly enhanced compared with the "low-motivation" condition. However, only the connection between the right lateral OFC and left DLPFC showed a significant condition-dependent change in the strength of influence conveyed through the pathway. This change appears to be the functional correlate of motivational influence on verbal working memory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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