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Proceedings Paper

Investigation of verbal and visual working memory by multi-channel time-resolved functional near-infrared spectroscopy
Author(s): D. Contini; M. Caffini; R. Re; L. Zucchelli; L. Spinelli; S. Basso Moro; S. Bisconti; M. Ferrari; V. Quaresima; S. Cutini; A. Torricelli
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Paper Abstract

Working memory (WM) is fundamental for a number of cognitive processes, such as comprehension, reasoning and learning. WM allows the short-term maintenance and manipulation of the information selected by attentional processes. The goal of this study was to examine by time-resolved fNIRS neural correlates of the verbal and visual WM during forward and backward digit span (DF and DB, respectively) tasks, and symbol span (SS) task. A neural dissociation was hypothesised between the maintenance and manipulation processes. In particular, a dorsolateral/ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC/VLPFC) recruitment was expected during the DB task, whilst a lateralised involvement of Brodmann Area (BA) 10 was expected during the execution of the DF task. Thirteen subjects were monitored by a multi-channel, dual-wavelength (690 and 829 nm) time-resolved fNIRS system during 3 minutes long DF and DB tasks and 4 minutes long SS task. The participants’ mean memory span was calculated for each task: DF: 6.46±1.05 digits; DB: 5.62±1.26 digits; SS: 4.69±1.32 symbols. No correlation was found between the span level and the heart rate data (measured by pulse oximeter). As expected, DB elicited a broad activated area, in the bilateral VLPFC and the right DLPFC, whereas a more localised activation was observed over the right hemisphere during either DF (BA 10) or SS (BA 10 and 44). The robust involvement of the DLPFC during DB, compared to DF, is compatible with previous findings and with the key role of the central executive subserving in manipulating processes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 March 2013
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 8578, Optical Tomography and Spectroscopy of Tissue X, 85782Z (25 March 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2003777
Show Author Affiliations
D. Contini, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
M. Caffini, Univ. degli Studi dell'Aquila (Italy)
R. Re, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
L. Zucchelli, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
L. Spinelli, Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie, CNR (Italy)
S. Basso Moro, Univ. degli Studi dell'Aquila (Italy)
S. Bisconti, Univ. degli Studi dell'Aquila (Italy)
M. Ferrari, Univ. degli Studi dell'Aquila (Italy)
V. Quaresima, Univ. degli Studi dell'Aquila (Italy)
S. Cutini, Univ. degli Studi di Padova (Italy)
A. Torricelli, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8578:
Optical Tomography and Spectroscopy of Tissue X
Bruce J. Tromberg; Arjun G. Yodh; Eva Marie Sevick-Muraca, Editor(s)

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