Neural signatures of stimulus features in visual working memory - a spatiotemporal approach

  • We examined the neural signatures of stimulus features in visual working memory (WM) by integrating functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and event-related potential data recorded during mental manipulation of colors, rotation angles, and color–angle conjunctions. The N200, negative slow wave, and P3b were modulated by the information content of WM, and an fMRI-constrained source model revealed a progression in neural activity from posterior visual areas to higher order areas in the ventral and dorsal processing streams. Color processing was associated with activity in inferior frontal gyrus during encoding and retrieval, whereas angle processing involved right parietal regions during the delay interval. WM for color–angle conjunctions did not involve any additional neural processes. The finding that different patterns of brain activity underlie WM for color and spatial information is consistent with ideas that the ventral/dorsal “what/where” segregation of perceptual processing influences WM organization. The absence of characteristic signatures of conjunction-related brain activity, which was generally intermediate between the 2 single conditions, suggests that conjunction judgments are based on the coordinated activity of these 2 streams. Keywords: EEG, fMRI, source analysis, visual, working memory

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Author:Helen M. Morgan, Margaret C. Jackson, Christoph Klein, Harald Mohr, Kimron L. Shapiro, David Linden
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):Cerebral cortex
Publisher:Oxford Univ. Press
Place of publication:Oxford
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2009/05/08
Year of first Publication:2009
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2010/11/12
Tag:EEG; fMRI; source analysis; visual; working memory
Page Number:11
First Page:187
Last Page:197
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. © 2009 The Authors
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Psychologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell 3.0