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Separable neuronal circuitries for manipulable and non-manipulable objects in working memory

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Mecklinger,  Axel
MPI of Cognitive Neuroscience (Leipzig, -2003), The Prior Institutes, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Grünewald,  Christin
MPI of Cognitive Neuroscience (Leipzig, -2003), The Prior Institutes, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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von Cramon,  D. Yves
MPI of Cognitive Neuroscience (Leipzig, -2003), The Prior Institutes, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Mecklinger, A., Grünewald, C., Besson, M., Magnie, M. N., & von Cramon, D. Y. (2002). Separable neuronal circuitries for manipulable and non-manipulable objects in working memory. Cerebral Cortex, 12(11), 1115-1123. doi:10.1093/cercor/12.11.1115.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-D8CC-4
Abstract
Previous work using single-cell recordings in monkeys and neuro-imaging studies in humans has shown that perceiving an object or imaging the action associated with the object recruits the same brain regions in the ventral premotor cortex as performing an action with the object. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) for examining whether similar brain regions are also activated while maintaining information about manipulable objects in working memory. Holding information about manipulable objects in working memory activated the left ventral premotor cortex and the left inferior frontal gyrus (Broca's area). Conversely, non-manipulable objects to be held in working memory co-activated Broca's area and the left angular gyrus. When contrasted directly, manipulable relative to non-manipulable objects activated the left ventral premotor cortex and the anterior intraparietal sulcus, a circuitry that is assumed to mediate the transformation of movement-relevant object properties into hand actions. These results indicate that visual working memory for manipulable objects is based on motor programmes associated with their use. Similar to speech motor programmes in verbal memory tasks, hand motor programmes may allow the maintenance of objects in working memory over short intervals.