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Repertoire of timescales in uni - and transmodal regions mediate working memory capacity.

NeuroImage 2024 April 4
Working memory (WM) describes the dynamic process of maintenance and manipulation of information over a certain time delay. Neuronally, WM recruits a distributed network of cortical regions like the visual and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex as well as the subcortical hippocampus. How the input dynamics and subsequent neural dynamics impact WM remains unclear though. To answer this question, we combined the analysis of behavioral WM capacity with measuring neural dynamics through task-related power spectrum changes, e.g., median frequency (MF) in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We show that the processing of the input dynamics, e.g., the task structure's specific timescale, leads to changes in the unimodal visual cortex's corresponding timescale which also relates to working memory capacity. While the more transmodal hippocampus relates to working memory capacity through its balance across multiple timescales or frequencies. In conclusion, we here show the relevance of both input dynamics and different neural timescales for WM capacity in uni - and transmodal regions like visual cortex and hippocampus for the subject's WM performance.

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