Connectivity of the human working memory system
Faraco, Carlos Cesar
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The working memory system is vital to performing everyday functions that require attentive, non-automatic processing of information. Cortical regions associated with the human working memory system have been determined through postmortem investigation of lesioned brains, through neuropsychological studies of lesioned patients, and most recently through neuroimaging of healthy and patient populations. Regions typically involved in working memory are the prefrontal cortex (PFC), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), superior parietal lobule (SPL), and inferior parietal lobule (IPL). However, much less is known about the structural connectivity of this system. To attempt to characterize this, fMRI was performed on participants while they performed the operation span (OSPAN) task. Regions of activation were then used as seeds and targets for DTI based tractography. Activated regions were in accordance with those typically found in the literature. Structural connectivity was observed mainly through the superior longitudinal fasciculus II (SLF II) and the fronto-occipital fasciculus (FOF).