Common and unique components of inhibition and working memory: an fMRI, within-subjects investigation.
Neuropsychologia. 2008-09-01; 46(11): 2668-2682
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Behavioural findings indicate that the core executive functions of inhibition and
working memory are closely linked, and neuroimaging studies indicate overlap
between their neural correlates. There has not, however, been a comprehensive
study, including several inhibition tasks and several working memory tasks,
performed by the same subjects. In the present study, 11 healthy adult subjects
completed separate blocks of 3 inhibition tasks (a stop task, a go/no-go task and
a flanker task), and 2 working memory tasks (one spatial and one verbal).
Activation common to all 5 tasks was identified in the right inferior frontal
gyrus, and, at a lower threshold, also the right middle frontal gyrus and right
parietal regions (BA 40 and BA 7). Left inferior frontal regions of interest
(ROIs) showed a significant conjunction between all tasks except the flanker
task. The present study could not pinpoint the specific function of each common
region, but the parietal region identified here has previously been consistently
related to working memory storage and the right inferior frontal gyrus has been
associated with inhibition in both lesion and imaging studies. These results
support the notion that inhibitory and working memory tasks involve common neural
components, which may provide a neural basis for the interrelationship between
the two systems.
PMID: 18573510 [Indexed for MEDLINE]