Comparison of Resting-State Brain Activation between Healthy Normal and Low Auditory-Verbal Working Memory Capacity Participants


  • Nur Ruzainah Gafoor Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
  • Ahmad Nazlim Yusoff Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
  • Elza Azri Othman Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin
  • Nurul Hanim Nasaruddin Universiti Malaysia Sarawak



Auditory, fMRI, healthy adults, resting-state, verbal-auditory working memory capacity


Working memory (WM) capacity is the ability to maintain attention and store information briefly in the mind. However, each individual has a limited WM capacity that varies from one person to another. An individual can be categorized as having either normal or low WM capacity. This study aimed to evaluate and compare brain activations of healthy individuals with low and normal auditory-verbal WM capacity. A total of 39 healthy male young adults were recruited from local universities for this study. They were categorized into the normal and low auditory-verbal WM capacity group based on their score in the Malay Version of Auditory Verbal Learning Test (MVAVLT). All participants underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) scans. The functional data were analyzed using Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM) and Wake Forest University (WFU) Pickatlas softwares. Brain activations and resting-state amplitude fluctuation (rsAF) were contrasted between groups to determine whether there were any significant differences caused by the different auditory-verbal WM capacity. The findings indicated that the low auditory-verbal WM capacity group showed significantly higher cortical activations in the left lingual gyrus, bilateral middle temporal gyrus, left calcarine, left superior frontal gyrus, and left precuneus as compared to normal auditory-verbal WM capacity group. It is suggested that the higher activation of these brain areas in low verbal-auditory WM capacity participants was attributed to the lower neural adaptability of the brain at rest.

Author Biographies

Nur Ruzainah Gafoor, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

A final year student at the Diagnostic Imaging and Radiotherapy Program, Faculty of Health Science, UKM

Ahmad Nazlim Yusoff, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

A researcher at the Center for Diagnostic, Therapeutic and Investigative Studies, Faculty of Health Science, UKM

Elza Azri Othman, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin

A lecturer at the School of Medical Imaging, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Gong Badak Campus, 21300 Terengganu, Malaysia

Nurul Hanim Nasaruddin, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

A lecturer at the Department of Cognitive Science, Faculty of Cognitive Science and Human Development, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia


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