Correspondence between stimulus encoding-and maintenance-related neural processes underlies successful working memory

Jessica R. Cohen, Kartik K. Sreenivasan, Mark D'Esposito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The ability to actively maintain information in working memory (WM) is vital for goal-directed behavior, but the mechanisms underlying this process remain elusive. We hypothesized that successful WM relies upon a correspondence between the neural processes associated with stimulus encoding and the neural processes associated with maintenance. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we identified regional activity and inter-regional connectivity during stimulus encoding and the maintenance of those stimuli when they were no longer present. We compared correspondence in these neural processes across encoding and maintenance epochs with WM performance. Critically, greater correspondence between encoding and maintenance in 1) regional activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) and 2) connectivity between lateral PFC and extrastriate cortex was associated with increased performance. These findings suggest that the conservation of neural processes across encoding and maintenance supports the integrity of representations in WM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-599
Number of pages7
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014

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Keywords

  • fMRI
  • functional connectivity
  • individual differences
  • working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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