This page accompanies our Trends in Neuroscience review on the evidence for working memory-related activity across different regions of the brain. To gain a bird’s-eye perspective on the state of the research, we generated a database of electrophysiological working memory studies involving tasks that incorporate a delay period between a stimulus and a response. We then determined the cortical areas examined in each study and whether the authors positively or negatively reported activity that encoded memory for locations, features, or objects.

The bar plot on the right displays the positive and negative reports of working memory-related activity in different macaque brain regions. The criterion defining a positive report was the presence of delay activity during a working memory task, while the criterion for a negative report was the absence of delay activity (i.e. a negative result).

The data from the bar plot are projected on to an inflated map of the macaque cortex on the left. Each region is color-coded according to the number of studies positively or negatively reporting working memory-related activity. Note the tendency toward more negative reports in early sensory cortices, and more positive reports in association cortices. Also note that the color map is scaled by the largest total number of studies in any single area. Inflated macaque cortical map courtesy of Dr. Henry Kennedy (original publication available here).

We would like your help in keeping this database up-to-date and accurate, so please contact us about publications we missed or errors in the database. If you use this database, please cite our review. The source code can be found here.