Brain map could be key in understanding working memory

Brain map could be key in understanding working memory

One of the largest ever attempts to map the way the brain structures intelligence could be key to understanding working memory.

Researchers at the University of Illinois used brain injury data from 182 Vietnam War veterans that sustained penetrating head injuries to understand the role played by certain brain structures in performance.

Professor Aron Barbey, leader of the study, commented: "By studying how damage to particular brain regions produces specific forms of cognitive impairment, we can map the architecture of the mind, identifying brain structures that are critically important for specific intellectual abilities."

Using CT scans, researchers scanned the brains of participants and used extensive cognitive testing.

Functioning of particular regions was then compared, revealing that intelligence and working memory depend on a circumscribed neural system.

The discovery has important implications for those with dementia, where memory function is significantly impaired.

Understanding which parts of the brain can continue to function when damaged is also important for stroke research and those with traumatic brain injury.

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