We investigated working memory in patients with focal brain damage involving subregions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Lesions in the dorsal portion of lateral PFC or the ventromedial portion of orbital PFC did not impair performance in tasks that required maintenance and monitoring of object or spatial information. Larger lesions involving both ventral and dorsal parts of the lateral PFC impaired maintenance and monitoring of spatial and object information, with more severe deficits observed in the spatial tasks. The results support a distributed localization of function in lateral PFC during working memory.

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