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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 18, Issue 1, Pages 37-43

Testing Conclusions From Functional Imaging of Working Memory with Data From Acute Stroke

Lisa E. Philipose,1 Hannah Alphs,1 Vivek Prabhakaran,1,3 and Argye E. Hillis1,2,4

1Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
2Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
3Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD,, USA
4Department of Cognitive Science, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine,Baltimore, MD, USA

Received 26 January 2007; Accepted 26 January 2007

Copyright © 2007 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Functional imaging studies indicate that the left hemisphere mediates verbal working memory, while the right hemisphere mediates both verbal and spatial working memory. We evaluated acute stroke patients with working memory tests and imaging to identify whether unilateral dysfunction causes deficits in spatial and/or verbal working memory deficits. While left cortical stroke patients had verbal working memory impairments (p < 0.003), right cortical stroke patients had both verbal (p < 0.007) and spatial working memory (p < 0.03) impairments, confirming functional imaging results. Patients with transient ischemic stroke and patients with non-cortical stroke did not have significant deficits in working memory in either modality.