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Maro Machizawa, Ryota Kanai, Garaint Rees, Jon Driver; Cortical anatomy relates to individual differences in dissociable aspects of attention and visual working memory capacity. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):775. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/10.7.775.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Attention and working memory are important aspects of visual cognition, for which brain networks and individual differences have been studied extensively with functional neuroimaging. Here we instead related behavioural measures of these functions to brain anatomy . We studied 39 healthy adult participants who performed five tasks : the Attentional Network Test (ANT) , two separate measures of visual working memory precision, a measure of visual working memory capacity, and a test of filtering efficiency. A principal component analysis on behavioural measures yielded three main components: precision of visual working memory; executive function that loaded with filtering inefficiency; and working memory capacity that loaded with attentional measures. Each participant also underwent structural MRI scanning. Voxel Based Morphometry analyses revealed that gray matter density in basal ganglia, anterior intraparietal sulcus, middle frontal gyrus and visual cortex were positively correlated with precision of visual working memory; executive function with gray matter density in precentral gyrus; and visual working memory capacity with gray matter density in middle frontal gyrus and frontal eye field. A negative correlation was found between gray matter density in the mid-cingulate gyrus and visual working memory precision. These findings identify separable contributory components to visual working memory and attention, both behaviourally and in the structural anatomy of the human brain
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