Brain pathways of verbal working memory. A lesion-function correlation study

Jorge Sepulcre, Joseph C. Masdeu, Maria A. Pastor, Joaquín Goñi, Carla Barbosa, Bartolomé Bejarano, Pablo Villoslada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Working memory relies on information processing by several well-identified gray matter regions. However, the white matter regions and pathways involved in this cognitive process remain unknown. An attractive and underexplored approach to study white matter connectivity in cognitive functions is through the use of non-aprioristic models, which specifically search disrupted white matter pathways. For this purpose, we used voxel-based lesion-function mapping to correlate white matter lesions on the magnetic resonance images of 54 multiple sclerosis patients with their performance on a verbal working memory task. With this approach, we have identified critical white matter regions involved in verbal working memory in humans. They are located in the cingulum, parieto-frontal pathways and thalamo-cortical projections, with a left-sided predominance, as well as the right cerebellar white matter. Our study provides direct evidence on the white matter pathways subserving verbal working memory in the human brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-778
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 15 2009


  • Gray matter atrophy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Verbal working memory
  • Voxel-based morphometry
  • White matter lesions
  • White matter pathways

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology


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