Intraparietal Sulcus Activity and Functional Connectivity Supporting Spatial Working Memory Manipulation
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The intraparietal sulcus (IPS) is recruited during tasks requiring attention, maintenance and manipulation of information in working memory (WM). While WM tasks often show broad bilateral engagement along the IPS, topographic maps of contralateral (CL) visual space have been identified along the IPS, similar to retinotopic maps in visual cortex. In the present study, we asked how these visuotopic IPS regions are differentially involved in the maintenance and manipulation of spatial information in WM. Visuotopic mapping was performed in 26 participants to define regions of interest along the IPS, corresponding to previously described IPS0-4. In a separate task, we showed that while maintaining the location of a briefly flashed target in WM preferentially engaged CL IPS, manipulation of spatial information by mentally rotating the target around a circle engaged bilateral IPS, peaking in IPS1 in most participants. Functional connectivity analyses showed increased interaction between the IPS and prefrontal regions during manipulation, as well as interhemispheric interactions. Two control tasks demonstrated that covert attention shifts, and nonspatial manipulation (arithmetic), engaged patterns of IPS activation and connectivity that were distinct from WM manipulation. These findings add to our understanding of the role of IPS in spatial WM maintenance and manipulation.
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