Help Privacy Policy Disclaimer
  Advanced SearchBrowse




Journal Article

Motor affordance and its role for visual working memory: evidence from fMRI studies

There are no MPG-Authors in the publication available
External Resource
No external resources are shared
Fulltext (restricted access)
There are currently no full texts shared for your IP range.
Fulltext (public)
Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available

Mecklinger, A., Gruenewald, C., Weiskopf, N., & Doeller, C. F. (2004). Motor affordance and its role for visual working memory: evidence from fMRI studies. Experimental Psychology, 51(4), 258-269. doi:10.1027/1618-3169.51.4.258.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-66E6-7
We examined the role of motor affordances of objects for working memory retention processes. Three experiments are reported in which participants passively viewed pictures of real world objects or had to retain the objects in working memory for a comparison with an S2 stimulus. Brain activation was recorded by means of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Retaining information about objects for which hand actions could easily be retrieved (manipulable objects) in working memory activated the hand region of the ventral premotor cortex (PMC) contralateral to the dominant hand. Conversely, nonmanipulable objects activated the left inferior frontal gyrus. This suggests that working memory for objects with motor affordance is based on motor programs associated with their use. An additional study revealed that motor program activation can be modulated by task demands: Holding manipulable objects in working memory for an upcoming motor comparison task was associated with left ventral PMC activation. However, retaining the same objects for a subsequent size comparison task led to activation in posterior brain regions. This suggests that the activation of hand motor programs are under top down control. By this they can flexibly be adapted to various task demands. It is argued that hand motor programs may serve a similar working memory function as speech motor programs for verbalizable working memory contents, and that the premotor system mediates the temporal integration of motor representations with other task-relevant representations in support of goal oriented behavior.