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Mapping brain activation and information during category-specific visual working memory

Linden, David Edmund Johannes, Oosterhof, Nikolaas N., Klein, Christoph and Downing, Paul E. 2012. Mapping brain activation and information during category-specific visual working memory. Journal of Neurophysiology 107 (2) , pp. 628-639. 10.1152/jn.00105.2011

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Abstract

How is working memory for different visual categories supported in the brain? Do the same principles of cortical specialization that govern the initial processing and encoding of visual stimuli also apply to their short-term maintenance? We investigated these questions with a delayed discrimination paradigm for faces, bodies, flowers, and scenes and applied both univariate and multivariate analyses to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. Activity during encoding followed the well-known specialization in posterior areas. During the delay interval, activity shifted to frontal and parietal regions but was not specialized for category. Conversely, activity in visual areas returned to baseline during that interval but showed some evidence of category specialization on multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA). We conclude that principles of cortical activation differ between encoding and maintenance of visual material. Whereas perceptual processes rely on specialized regions in occipitotemporal cortex, maintenance involves the activation of a frontoparietal network that seems to require little specialization at the category level. We also confirm previous findings that MVPA can extract information from fMRI signals in the absence of suprathreshold activation and that such signals from visual areas can reflect the material stored in memory.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Medicine
Psychology
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: functional magnetic resonance imaging; prefrontal cortex; parahippocampal gyrus; faces
Publisher: American Physiological Society
ISSN: 0022-3077
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:57
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/29842

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