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Title: Causal evidence supporting functional dissociation of verbal and spatial working memory in the human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
Author: Fried, Peter J.
Rushmore, Richard Jarrett
Moss, Mark B.
Valero Cabré, Antoni
Pascual Leone, Álvaro
Others: Boston University
Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)
Keywords: rTMS
working memory
functional specialization
functional neuroanatomy
Issue Date: 9-Apr-2014
Publisher: European Journal of Neuroscience
Citation: Fried, P.J., Rushmore, R.J., Moss, M.B., Valero-Cabré, A. & Pascual-Leone, A. (2014). Causal evidence supporting functional dissociation of verbal and spatial working memory in the human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. European Journal of Neuroscience, 39(11), 1973-1981. doi: 10.1111/ejn.12584
Project identifier: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/UL1 RR025758
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Abstract: The human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) is crucial for monitoring and manipulating information in working memory, but whether such contributions are domain-specific remains unsettled. Neuroimaging studies have shown bilateral dlPFC activity associated with working memory independent of stimulus domain, but the causality of this relationship cannot be inferred. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has the potential to test whether the left and right dlPFC contribute equally to verbal and spatial domains, however this is the first study to investigate the interaction of task domain and hemisphere using offline rTMS to temporarily modulate dlPFC activity. In separate sessions, twenty healthy right-handed adults received 1HzrTMS to left dlPFC, right dlPFC, plus the vertex as a control site. Working memory performance was assessed pre- and post-rTMS using both verbal-'letter' and spatial-'location' versions of the 3-back task. Response times were faster post-rTMS, independent of task domain or stimulation condition, indicating the influence of practice or other nonspecific effects. For accuracy, rTMS of the right dlPFC, but not the left dlPFC or vertex, led to a transient dissociation: reducing spatial, but increasing verbal accuracy. A post-hoc correlation analysis found no relationship between these changes indicating the substrates underlying verbal and spatial domains are functionally independent. Collapsing across time, there was a trend towards a double dissociation, suggesting a potential laterality in functional organization of verbal and spatial working memory. At a minimum, these findings provide human evidence for domain-specific contributions of the dlPFC to working memory and reinforce the potential of rTMS to ameliorate cognition.
Language: English
ISSN: 0953-816XMIAR
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