Connectivity properties in the prefrontal cortex during working memory: a near-infrared spectroscopy study
Springer Science and Business Media LLC -- Journal of Biomedical Optics
DOI 10.1117/1.JBO.24.5.051410
  1. near-infrared spectroscopy
  2. working memory
  3. brain connectivity
  4. prefrontal cortex
  5. n-back


Working memory (WM) plays a crucial role in human brain functions. The application of brain connectivity analysis helps to understand the brain network properties in WM. Combination of functional and effective connectivity can provide new insights for exploring network attributes. Nevertheless, few studies have combined these two modes in WM. Near-infrared spectroscopy was used to investigate the connectivity properties in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) during n-back (0-back and 2-back) tasks by combining functional and effective connectivity analysis. Our results demonstrated that the PFC network showed small-world properties in both WM tasks. The characteristic path length was significantly longer in the 2-back task than in the 0-back task, while there was no obvious difference in the clustering coefficient between two tasks. Regarding the effective connectivity, the Granger causality (GC) was higher for right PFC→left PFC than for left PFC→right PFC in the 2-back task. Compared with the 0-back task, GC of right PFC→left PFC was higher in the 2-back task. Our findings show that, along with memory load increase, long range connections in PFC are enhanced and this enhancement might be associated with the stronger information flow from right PFC to left PFC.