Mapping of Semantic, Phonological, and Orthographic Verbal Working Memory in Normal Adults With Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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Twelve neurologically normal participants (4 men and 8 women) performed semantic, phonological, and orthographic working memory tasks and a control task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Divergent regions of the posterior left hemisphere used for decoding and storage of information emerged in each working memory versus control task comparison. These regions were consistent with previous literature on processing mechanisms for semantic, phonological, and orthographic information. Further, working memory versus control task differences extended into the left frontal lobe, including premotor cortex, and even into subcortical structures. Findings were consistent with R. C. Martin and C. Romani's (1994) contention that different forms of verbal working memory exist and further suggest that a reconceptualization of premotor cortex functions is needed.

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