Schlegel A, Kohler P, Fogelson S, Alexander S, Tse PU (2013). Network structure and dynamics of the mental workspace. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(40):16277-82.
[ DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1311149110. ]
The conscious manipulation of mental representations is central to many creative and uniquely human abilities. How does the human brain mediate such flexible mental operations? Here, multivariate pattern analysis of functional MRI data reveals a widespread neural network that performs specific mental manipulations on the contents of visual imagery. Evolving patterns of neural activity within this mental workspace track the sequence of informational transformations carried out by these manipulations. The network switches between distinct connectivity profiles as representations are maintained or manipulated.