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Abstract : Working memory refers to the temporary representation of information that was just experienced. This capacity to represent information allows the emergence of high‐level cognitive functions like planning, reasoning and adaptive goal‐directed behaviours. Working memory is a set of components, specific to the domain of information being processed (visual, verbal) or specific to the type of process to perform (short term maintenance, manipulation, action). Thus, the concept of working memory allows to: 1) formalize and study the link between stimulus and forthcoming action and 2) determine the neural correlates of the different components. Working memory implies a large cerebral network in which the lateral prefrontal cortex plays a key role. Actual theories support a division of this region in different functional sub‐regions. The aim of this work is to clarify: 1) what is the specific role of the lateral prefrontal cortex in the operations linking stimulus to response and 2) how this region is organized in relation to the different components of working memory. In the first part of this work, we developed a cognitive paradigm called ʺthe double delay tasksʺ and coupled with functional MRI. We show that the dorsal part of the lateral prefrontal cortex is specifically involved in preparation of the forthcoming action. Moreover, its involvement in maintenance is load dependant, and probably related to the strategies needed to maintain more information. In the second part, we combined lesion studies and functional MRI studies to determine if the functional organization of the lateral prefrontal cortex is domain‐dependant, process‐dependant or both. We developed a voxel‐based method called AnaCOM to correlate structures to functions. We show that the posterior lateral prefrontal cortex is involved for high levels of processing, and can be divided in sub‐regions. Some sub‐regions are specialized for different domains of information (posterior inferior frontal gyrus is verbally‐oriented and posterior superior frontal sulcus is spatially‐oriented), and others seem cross‐domain and dependant on the level of processing. Taken as a whole, and convergent with other data in the literature, these results argue that: 1) the lateral prefrontal cortex is not a pure maintenance structure, but rather is oriented toward the manipulation of maintained information and their use for the response, and 2) this region is divided in domain‐oriented and non domain‐oriented sub‐regions.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 11:06:57 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, July 2, 2022 - 3:52:14 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00803140, version 1


Emmanuelle Volle. ORGANISATION ANATOMO-FONCTIONNELLE DU CORTEX PREFRONTAL LATERAL POUR LA MEMOIRE DE TRAVAIL. Neurosciences. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2007. Français. ⟨NNT : 2007PA066383⟩. ⟨tel-00803140⟩



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