Frontal cortex activation associated with speeded processing of visuospatial working memory revealed by multichannel near-infrared spectroscopy during Advanced Trail Making Test performance

Journal article


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Publication Details

Author list: Canuet L
Publisher: Elsevier
Publication year: 2010
Journal: Behavioural Brain Research (0166-4328)
Volume number: 215
Issue number: 1
Start page: 21
End page: 27
Number of pages: 7
ISSN: 0166-4328
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


Although visuospatial working memory (VSWM) is commonly used during
speeded and unconscious memory processing in daily life, most
neuroimaging studies on VSWM use tasks that impose motor restrictions
onto the examinees to avoid movement-related artifacts. Multichannel
near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), however, can measure cortical
activation during cognitive processing without interfering with task
procedure. The purpose of this study is to determine whether
multichannel NIRS can detect VSWM-induced frontal cortex activation
similar to that seen in VSWM performance in daily-life activity. Using
NIRS, we measured relative changes in the concentration of oxygenated
hemoglobin as an index of frontal activation in 52 measurement points
(channels) on the frontal area during the Advanced Trail Making Test
(ATMT), a tool used to assess VSWM. The ATMT consists of two tasks, R
and F, with the former assessing motor factors and the latter relating
to both motor and cognitive factors involved in speeded and unconscious
VSWM operations. Twenty-six healthy volunteers were enrolled in this
study. Channel activation during Task F performance was observed
bilaterally over the dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex.
This distribution may reflect central executive function of working
memory. Channel activation during Task R was circumscribed to part of
the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex partially overlapping with
areas active during Task F performance, likely representing task-related
motor factor activation. Our findings suggest that multichannel NIRS
during ATMT performance is an appropriate means of measuring cortical
activation induced by VSWM operations during daily activity.


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Last updated on 2019-13-08 at 00:16