Evidence for a double dissociation of articulatory rehearsal and non-articulatory maintenance of phonological information in human verbal working memory.
ABSTRACT Recent functional neuroimaging studies have provided evidence that human verbal working memory is represented by two complementary neural systems, a left lateralized premotor-parietal network implementing articulatory rehearsal and a presumably phylogenetically older bilateral anterior-prefrontal/inferior-parietal network subserving non-articulatory maintenance of phonological information. In order to corroborate these findings from functional neuroimaging, we performed a targeted behavioural study in patients with very selective and circumscribed brain lesions to key regions suggested to support these different subcomponents of human verbal working memory.
Within a sample of over 500 neurological patients assessed with high-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging, we identified 2 patients with corresponding brain lesions, one with an isolated lesion to Broca's area and the other with a selective lesion bilaterally to the anterior middle frontal gyrus. These 2 patients as well as groups of age-matched healthy controls performed two circuit-specific verbal working memory tasks. In this way, we systematically assessed the hypothesized selective behavioural effects of these brain lesions on the different subcomponents of verbal working memory in terms of a double dissociation.
Confirming prior findings, the lesion to Broca's area led to reduced performance under articulatory rehearsal, whereas the non-articulatory maintenance of phonological information was unimpaired. Conversely, the bifrontopolar brain lesion was associated with impaired non-articulatory phonological working memory, whereas performance under articulatory rehearsal was unaffected.
The present experimental neuropsychological study in patients with specific and circumscribed brain lesions confirms the hypothesized double dissociation of two complementary brain systems underlying verbal working memory in humans. In particular, the results demonstrate the functional relevance of the anterior prefrontal cortex for non-articulatory maintenance of phonological information and, in this way, provide further support for the evolutionary-based functional-neuroanatomical model of human working memory.
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ABSTRACT: Neuroimaging studies have repeatedly reported findings of activation in frontoparietal regions that largely overlap across various cognitive functions. Part of this frontoparietal activation has been interpreted as reflecting attentional mechanisms that can adaptively be directed towards external stimulation as well as internal representations (internal attention), thereby generating the experience of distinct cognitive functions. Nevertheless, findings of material- and task-specific activation in frontal and parietal regions challenge this internal attention hypothesis and have been used to support more modular hypotheses of cognitive function. The aim of this review is twofold: First, it discusses evidence in support of the concept of internal attention and the so-called dorsal attention network (DAN) as its neural source with respect to three cognitive functions (working memory, episodic retrieval, and mental imagery). While DAN activation in all three functions has been separately linked to internal attention, a comprehensive and integrative review has so far been lacking. Second, the review examines findings of material- and process-specific activation within frontoparietal regions, arguing that these results are well compatible with the internal attention account of frontoparietal activation. A new model of cognition is presented, proposing that supposedly different cognitive concepts actually rely on similar attentional network dynamics to maintain, reactivate and newly create internal representations of stimuli in various modalities. Attentional as well as representational mechanisms are assigned to frontal and parietal regions, positing that some regions are implicated in the allocation of attentional resources to perceptual or internal representations, but others are involved in the representational processes themselvesProgress in Neurobiology 01/2014; · 9.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Working memory is the structure devoted to the maintenance of information at short term during concurrent processing activities. In this respect, the question regarding the nature of the mechanisms and systems fulfilling this maintenance function is of particular importance and has received various responses in the recent past. In the time-based resource-sharing (TBRS) model, we suggest that only two systems sustain the maintenance of information at the short term, counteracting the deleterious effect of temporal decay and interference. A non-attentional mechanism of verbal rehearsal, similar to the one described by Baddeley in the phonological loop model, uses language processes to reactivate phonological memory traces. Besides this domain-specific mechanism, an executive loop allows the reconstruction of memory traces through an attention-based mechanism of refreshing. The present paper reviews evidence of the involvement of these two independent systems in the maintenance of verbal memory items.Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 01/2014; 8:900. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Patients suffering from bipolar affective disorder show deficits in working memory functions. In a previous functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we observed an abnormal hyperactivity of the amygdala in bipolar patients during articulatory rehearsal in verbal working memory. In the present study, we investigated the dynamic neurofunctional interactions between the right amygdala and the brain systems that underlie verbal working memory in both bipolar patients and healthy controls. In total, 18 euthymic bipolar patients and 18 healthy controls performed a modified version of the Sternberg item-recognition (working memory) task. We used the psychophysiological interaction approach in order to assess functional connectivity between the right amygdala and the brain regions involved in verbal working memory. In healthy subjects, we found significant negative functional interactions between the right amygdala and multiple cortical brain areas involved in verbal working memory. In comparison with the healthy control subjects, bipolar patients exhibited significantly reduced functional interactions of the right amygdala particularly with the right-hemispheric, i.e., ipsilateral, cortical regions supporting verbal working memory. Together with our previous finding of amygdala hyperactivity in bipolar patients during verbal rehearsal, the present results suggest that a disturbed right-hemispheric "cognitive-emotional" interaction between the amygdala and cortical brain regions underlying working memory may be responsible for amygdala hyperactivation and affects verbal working memory (deficits) in bipolar patients.European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 08/2014; · 3.36 Impact Factor