Postle BR, D'Esposito M. Dissociation of human caudate nucleus activity in spatial and nonspatial working memory: an event-related fMRI study. Cognitive Brain Res 8: 107-115

Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, 3 West Gates, Area 9 3400 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
Cognitive Brain Research (Impact Factor: 3.77). 08/1999; 8(2):107-15. DOI: 10.1016/S0926-6410(99)00010-5
Source: PubMed


We employed a novel event-related fMRI design and analysis technique to explore caudate nucleus contributions to spatial and nonspatial working memory. The spatial condition of a delayed-response task revealed greater mnemonic activation in four of six subjects when the delay period preceded immediately a probe stimulus requiring an overt motor response, as contrasted with a probe requiring no response. This effect was not seen in frontal or parietal cortical areas, and was seen in the caudate nucleus in a formally identical object condition in just one of six subjects. We hypothesized that this pattern of activity represented spatially dependent motor preparation. A second experiment confirmed this hypothesis: delay-period activity of the caudate nucleus showed greater time dependence in a task that featured spatial and motoric memory demands than in a comparable nonspatial task that featured the same response contingencies. These results suggest an important subcortical locus of the dissociation between spatial and nonspatial working memory, and a role for the human caudate nucleus in the integration of spatially coded mnemonic information with motor preparation to guide behavior.

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    • "In reward-related contexts, the caudate is suggested to play a role in maintaining the reward outcomes of actions to optimize future choices potentially leading to rewards (O'doherty et al., 2004). The caudate also plays a role in learning and memory, where a more active role in obtaining the reward is taken by the participant (Postle & D'esposito, 1999; Ziermans et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Motivation is important for learning and cognition. While dopaminergic (D2) transmission in the ventral striatum (VS) is associated with motivation, learning and cognition are more strongly associated with function of the dorsal striatum, including activation in the caudate nucleus. A recent study found an interaction between intrinsic motivation and the DRD2/ANKK1 polymorphism (rs1800497), suggesting that A-carriers of rs1800497 are significantly more sensitive to motivation in order to improve during working memory (WM) training. Using data from the two large-scale imaging genetic datasets - IMAGEN (n=1080, age 13-15 years) and BrainChild (n~300, age 6-27) - we investigated whether rs1800497 is associated with WM. In the IMAGEN-dataset, we tested whether VS/caudate activation during reward anticipation was associated with WM performance and whether rs1800497 and VS/caudate activation interact to affect WM performance. We found that rs1800497 was associated with WM performance in IMAGEN and BrainChild. Higher VS and caudate activation during reward processing were significantly associated with higher WM performance (p<0.0001). An interaction was found between the DRD2/ANKK1 polymorphism rs1800497 and VS activation during reward anticipation on WM (p<0.01), such that carriers of the minor allele (A) showed a significant correlation between VS activation and WM, while the GG homozygotes did not, suggesting that the effect of VS BOLD on WM is modified by inter-individual genetic differences related to D2 dopaminergic transmission.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article peview online, 09 April 2014; doi:10.1038/npp.2014.83.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
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    • "Several functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies published toward the end of 20th century focused primarily on identifying a domain-based segregation of working memory within the prefrontal cortex for objects and locations (Courtney et al., 1996, 1997, 1998; McCarthy et al., 1996; Belger et al., 1998; Kelley et al., 1998; Smith and Jonides, 1999). However, other fMRI studies, also published during this time, reported results contradictory to domain-based segregation (McCarthy et al., 1994; D'Esposito et al., 1998a; Owen et al., 1998; Petit et al., 1998; Postle and D'Esposito, 1999a,b). In the period that followed, investigators began shifting their focus to other brain regions in an attempt to elucidate what domain-specificity (object vs. location) might exist within working memory. "
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    ABSTRACT: Content-specific sub-systems of visual working memory (VWM) have been explored in many neuroimaging studies with inconsistent findings and procedures across experiments. The present study employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a change detection task using a high number of trials and matched stimulus displays across object and location change (what vs. where) conditions. Furthermore, individual task periods were studied independently across conditions to identify differences corresponding to each task period. Importantly, this combination of task controls has not previously been described in the fMRI literature. Composite results revealed differential frontoparietal activation during each task period. A separation of object and location conditions yielded a distributed system of dorsal and ventral streams during the encoding of information corresponding to bilateral inferior parietal lobule (IPL) and lingual gyrus activation, respectively. Differential activity was also shown during the maintenance of information in middle frontal structures bilaterally for objects and the right IPL and left insula for locations. Together, these results reflect a domain-specific dissociation spanning several cortices and task periods. Furthermore, differential activations suggest a general caudal-rostral separation corresponding to object and location memory, respectively.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
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    • "Our study thus provides evidence for reduced stimulus-driven triggering of activation within the cortical motor system by highly associative action-related spatial stimuli. Furthermore, the reduced activation in the putamen during both encoding and subsequent recall is well in accordance with earlier fMRI studies linking this region to impaired spatial motor WM [91], [92]. The putamen was shown to actively contribute to stimulus maintenance [93] and also associated with episodic memory encoding [94]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by typical extrapyramidal motor features and increasingly recognized non-motor symptoms such as working memory (WM) deficits. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated differences in neuronal activation during a motor WM task in 23 non-demented PD patients and 23 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Participants had to memorize and retype variably long visuo-spatial stimulus sequences after short or long delays (immediate or delayed serial recall). PD patients showed deficient WM performance compared to controls, which was accompanied by reduced encoding-related activation in WM-related regions. Mirroring slower motor initiation and execution, reduced activation in motor structures such as the basal ganglia and superior parietal cortex was detected for both immediate and delayed recall. Increased activation in limbic, parietal and cerebellar regions was found during delayed recall only. Increased load-related activation for delayed recall was found in the posterior midline and the cerebellum. Overall, our results demonstrate that impairment of WM in PD is primarily associated with a widespread reduction of task-relevant activation, whereas additional parietal, limbic and cerebellar regions become more activated relative to matched controls. While the reduced WM-related activity mirrors the deficient WM performance, the additional recruitment may point to either dysfunctional compensatory strategies or detrimental crosstalk from "default-mode" regions, contributing to the observed impairment.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · PLoS ONE
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