Recent studies in both monkeys and humans indicate that the dorsal premotor cortex participates in spatial attention and working memory, in addition to its well known role in movement planning and execution. One important question is whether these functions overlap or are segregated within this frontal area. Singlecell recordings in monkeys suggest a relative specialization of the rostral portion of dorsal premotor cortex for attention and/or memory and of the caudal region for motor preparation. To test whether this possibility also holds true in humans, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare, in the same set of subjects, brain activation related to strong spatial attention and memory demands to that elicited by long motor preparatory periods. The behavioral protocol was based on a task that had proved effective for dissociating neuronal properties related t
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