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Brain Res. 2009 Feb 23;1256:92-100. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2008.12.001. Epub 2008 Dec 9.

Mapping interference resolution across task domains: a shared control process in left inferior frontal gyrus.

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Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, 1012 East Hall, 530 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1043, USA.


Work in functional neuroimaging has mapped interference resolution processing onto left inferior frontal regions for both verbal working memory and a variety of semantic processing tasks. The proximity of the identified regions from these different tasks suggests the existence of a common, domain-general interference resolution mechanism. The current research specifically tests this idea in a within-subject design using fMRI to assess the activation associated with variable selection requirements in a semantic retrieval task (verb generation) and a verbal working memory task with a trial-specific proactive interference manipulation (recent-probes). High interference trials on both tasks were associated with activity in the midventrolateral region of the left inferior frontal gyrus, and the regions activated in each task strongly overlapped. The results indicate that an elemental component of executive control associated with interference resolution during retrieval from working memory and from semantic memory can be mapped to a common portion of the left inferior frontal gyrus.

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