Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Recent behavioural findings using dual-task paradigms demonstrate the importance of both spatial and non-spatial working memory processes in inefficient visual search (Anderson et al. in Exp Psychol 55:301-312, 2008). Here, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we sought to determine whether brain areas recruited during visual search are also involved in working memory. Using visually matched spatial and non-spatial working memory tasks, we confirmed previous behavioural findings that show significant dual-task interference effects occur when inefficient visual search is performed concurrently with either working memory task. Furthermore, we find considerable overlap in the cortical network activated by inefficient search and both working memory tasks. Our findings suggest that the interference effects observed behaviourally may have arisen from competition for cortical processes subserved by these overlapping regions. Drawing on previous findings (Anderson et al. in Exp Brain Res 180:289-302, 2007), we propose that the most likely anatomical locus for these interference effects is the inferior and middle frontal cortex of the right hemisphere. These areas are associated with attentional selection from memory as well as manipulation of information in memory, and we propose that the visual search and working memory tasks used here compete for common processing resources underlying these mechanisms.

Original publication

DOI

10.1007/s00221-009-2000-5

Type

Journal article

Journal

Exp Brain Res

Publication Date

01/2010

Volume

200

Pages

91 - 107

Keywords

Adult, Attention, Brain Mapping, Cerebral Cortex, Fixation, Ocular, Functional Laterality, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Memory, Short-Term, Neuropsychological Tests, Oxygen, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Photic Stimulation, Reaction Time, Space Perception, Time Factors, Verbal Behavior, Visual Pathways, Visual Perception, Young Adult