Organization of mnemonic and response operations within prefrontal cortex

Amishi P. Jha, Melissa B. Ranucci, Nicole R. Giuliani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


There is mounting evidence that prefrontal cortex (PFC) is activated during mnemonic operations such as working memory maintenance and also during response-related operations. In the current study, we examine the neural organization of mnemonic and response operations with respect to each other within PFC. Stimulus-evoked and sustained functional MRI activity was recorded during performance of a mental calculation task. The presence or absence of mnemonic and response demands was manipulated in a 2 × 2 factorial design with conditions requiring: (1) memory encoding and maintenance (M+); (2) response selection and execution (R+); (3) encoding, maintenance, and response execution (M+R+); (4) neither mnemonic nor response-related processes (M-R-). The first step of the analyses identified PFC voxels exhibiting differential activity during (M+) vs. (R+) trials. Within these voxels, we then examined activity during multiple phases of (M+R+) trials. Greater stimulus-evoked and sustained activity was observed within the anterior extent of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (BA 46) during R+ vs. M+ trials. In contrast, greater activity was observed in the posterior extent of dorsolateral PFC during M+ vs. R+ trials. Importantly, both regions were activated during (M+R+) trials. Activity levels during all of these conditions exceeded levels observed during (M-R-) control trials. These results suggest that integrative functions of PFC that allow past information to guide future actions may emerge from communication between discrete subregions supporting mnemonic and response operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-141
Number of pages9
JournalBrain research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 30 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Delayed-recognition task
  • Encoding
  • Functional MRI
  • Maintenance
  • Mental calculation
  • Response execution
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Organization of mnemonic and response operations within prefrontal cortex'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this