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29 March 2005 Verbal working memory load affects prefrontal cortices activation: evidence from a functional NIRS study in humans
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Abstract
Working memory (WM) refers to the temporary maintenance of information that is no longer accessible in the environment, and the manipulation of this information for subsequent use. PET and functional MRI studies suggest that prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in WM. Here, we report a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) study on the PFC activation caused by a WM task, a verbal n-back task. During performance of the task, concentration changes of oxy-Hb (HbO2), deoxy-Hb (Hb), and total-Hb (HbT) in subjects’ prefrontal cortex were monitored by a 24-channel functional NIRS imager. The behavioral performances (accuracy and response time) were recorded simultaneously. Results revealed that as memory load increased, subjects showed poorer behavioral performance as well as monotonously increasing magnitudes of the activations in the left ventrolateral PFC (VLPFC) and bilateral dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC). In addition, the analysis of comparison between subjects showed that certain relations likely exist between the cerebral activation and the performance parameters for an individual subject: lower accuracy is accompanied by longer response time and further activation. Such means that the subject with difficulty in solving a problem will demonstrate more significant hemodynamic changes compared with the subject without difficulty in solving the same problem.
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Chengjun Li, Hui Gong, Shaoqun Zeng, and Qingming Luo "Verbal working memory load affects prefrontal cortices activation: evidence from a functional NIRS study in humans", Proc. SPIE 5696, Complex Dynamics and Fluctuations in Biomedical Photonics II, (29 March 2005); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.590222
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