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Overlapping functional anatomy for working memory and visual search

Anderson, E.J.; Mannan, S.K.; Rees, G.; Sumner, P.; Kennard, C.; (2010) Overlapping functional anatomy for working memory and visual search. Experimental Brain Research , 200 (1) pp. 91-107. 10.1007/s00221-009-2000-5. Green open access

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Abstract

Recent behavioural findings using dual-task paradigms demonstrate the importance of both spatial and non-spatial working memory processes in inefficient visual search (Anderson et al. in Exp Psychol 55:301-312, 2008). Here, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we sought to determine whether brain areas recruited during visual search are also involved in working memory. Using visually matched spatial and non-spatial working memory tasks, we confirmed previous behavioural findings that show significant dual-task interference effects occur when inefficient visual search is performed concurrently with either working memory task. Furthermore, we find considerable overlap in the cortical network activated by inefficient search and both working memory tasks. Our findings suggest that the interference effects observed behaviourally may have arisen from competition for cortical processes subserved by these overlapping regions. Drawing on previous findings (Anderson et al. in Exp Brain Res 180:289-302, 2007), we propose that the most likely anatomical locus for these interference effects is the inferior and middle frontal cortex of the right hemisphere. These areas are associated with attentional selection from memory as well as manipulation of information in memory, and we propose that the visual search and working memory tasks used here compete for common processing resources underlying these mechanisms.

Type: Article
Title: Overlapping functional anatomy for working memory and visual search
Identifier: PMID:19756551
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s00221-009-2000-5
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00221-009-2000-5
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2009. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com. The article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited; please see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5
Keywords: fMRI, attention, dual-task interference, frontal cortex
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/19600
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