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Sample records for 2-back working memory

  1. Working Memory and Attitudes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jung, Eun Sook; Reid, Norman

    2009-01-01

    Working memory capacity has been shown to be an important factor in controlling understanding in the sciences. Attitudes related to studies in the sciences are also known to be important in relation to success in learning. It might be argued that if working memory capacity is a rate controlling feature of learning and success in understanding…

  2. Working Memory and Neurofeedback.

    PubMed

    YuLeung To, Eric; Abbott, Kathy; Foster, Dale S; Helmer, D'Arcy

    2016-01-01

    Impairments in working memory are typically associated with impairments in other cognitive faculties such as attentional processes and short-term memory. This paper briefly introduces neurofeedback as a treatment modality in general, and, more specifically, we review several of the current modalities successfully used in neurofeedback (NF) for the treatment of working memory deficits. Two case studies are presented to illustrate how neurofeedback is applied in treatment. The development of Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography (LORETA) and its application in neurofeedback now makes it possible to specifically target deep cortical/subcortical brain structures. Developments in neuroscience concerning neural networks, combined with highly specific yet practical NF technologies, makes neurofeedback of particular interest to neuropsychological practice, including the emergence of specific methodologies for treating very difficult working memory (WM) problems. PMID:27191218

  3. Memory Retrieval and Interference: Working Memory Issues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Radvansky, Gabriel A.; Copeland, David E.

    2006-01-01

    Working memory capacity has been suggested as a factor that is involved in long-term memory retrieval, particularly when that retrieval involves a need to overcome some sort of interference (Bunting, Conway, & Heitz, 2004; Cantor & Engle, 1993). Previous work has suggested that working memory is related to the acquisition of information during…

  4. A Nimble Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Bhandari, Apoorva; Badre, David

    2016-08-01

    In this issue of Neuron, Sprague et al. (2016) report fMRI evidence that a degraded working memory representation can be restored by a later cue. The findings raise new questions about the neural mechanisms that underlie such dynamic representational shifts. PMID:27497219

  5. Working Memory and Reactivity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goo, Jaemyung

    2010-01-01

    The present study explores the relationship between working memory capacity (WMC) and think-alouds, focusing on the issue of reactivity. Two WM span tasks (listening span and operation span) were administered to 42 English-speaking learners of Spanish. Learner performance on reading comprehension and written production was measured under two…

  6. Effects of facial expression on working memory.

    PubMed

    Stiernströmer, Emelie S; Wolgast, Martin; Johansson, Mikael

    2016-08-01

    In long-term memory (LTM) emotional content may both enhance and impair memory, however, disagreement remains whether emotional content exerts different effects on the ability to maintain and manipulate information over short intervals. Using a working-memory (WM) recognition task requiring the monitoring of faces displaying facial expressions of emotion, participants judged each face as identical (target) or not (non-target) to that presented 2 trials back (2-back). Negative expression was better and faster recognised, illustrated by higher target discriminability and target detection. Positive and negative expressions also induced a more liberal detection bias compared with neutral. Taking the preceding item into account, additional accuracy impairment (negative preceding negative target) and enhancement effects (negative or positive preceding neutral target) appeared. This illustrates a differential modulation of WM based on the affective tone of the target (mirroring LTM enhancement- and recognition bias effects), and of the preceding item (enhanced and impaired target detection). PMID:26238683

  7. Detailed sensory memory, sloppy working memory.

    PubMed

    Sligte, Ilja G; Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R E; Scholte, H Steven; Lamme, Victor A F

    2010-01-01

    Visual short-term memory (VSTM) enables us to actively maintain information in mind for a brief period of time after stimulus disappearance. According to recent studies, VSTM consists of three stages - iconic memory, fragile VSTM, and visual working memory - with increasingly stricter capacity limits and progressively longer lifetimes. Still, the resolution (or amount of visual detail) of each VSTM stage has remained unexplored and we test this in the present study. We presented people with a change detection task that measures the capacity of all three forms of VSTM, and we added an identification display after each change trial that required people to identify the "pre-change" object. Accurate change detection plus pre-change identification requires subjects to have a high-resolution representation of the "pre-change" object, whereas change detection or identification only can be based on the hunch that something has changed, without exactly knowing what was presented before. We observed that people maintained 6.1 objects in iconic memory, 4.6 objects in fragile VSTM, and 2.1 objects in visual working memory. Moreover, when people detected the change, they could also identify the pre-change object on 88% of the iconic memory trials, on 71% of the fragile VSTM trials and merely on 53% of the visual working memory trials. This suggests that people maintain many high-resolution representations in iconic memory and fragile VSTM, but only one high-resolution object representation in visual working memory. PMID:21897823

  8. Individual differences in working memory.

    PubMed

    Jarrold, C; Towse, J N

    2006-04-28

    Working memory can be defined as the ability to hold in mind information in the face of potentially interfering distraction in order to guide behavior. The experimental manipulation of working memory tasks has shed considerable light on the probable structure of the human working memory system, and, to a lesser extent, the specific processes captured by working memory paradigms. However, individual differences research has also had a crucial role to play in the development of theories of working memory. In particular, correlational approaches have been particularly informative in three areas of working memory research, each of which is reviewed here. These are, first, the importance of working memory measures as correlates of high-level cognitive skills such as reading, mathematics, reasoning, and fluid intelligence; second, the extent to which human working memory relies on domain-general or domain-specific component subsystems, and third, the precise reasons why working memory measures do relate to other important indices of human cognitive functioning. The findings from each of these areas suggest that working memory depends on a combination of domain-specific representational systems and domain-general processing and control systems, and that working memory measures capture individuals' ability to combine maintenance and processing demands in a manner that limits information loss from forgetting or distraction. PMID:16325344

  9. Evolution of working memory.

    PubMed

    Carruthers, Peter

    2013-06-18

    Working memory (WM) is fundamental to many aspects of human life, including learning, speech and text comprehension, prospection and future planning, and explicit "system 2" forms of reasoning, as well as overlapping heavily with fluid general intelligence. WM has been intensively studied for many decades, and there is a growing consensus about its nature, its components, and its signature limits. Remarkably, given its central importance in human life, there has been very little comparative investigation of WM abilities across species. Consequently, much remains unknown about the evolution of this important human capacity. Some questions can be tentatively answered from the existing comparative literature. Even studies that were not intended to do so can nonetheless shed light on the WM capacities of nonhuman animals. However, many questions remain. PMID:23754428

  10. Evolution of working memory

    PubMed Central

    Carruthers, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is fundamental to many aspects of human life, including learning, speech and text comprehension, prospection and future planning, and explicit “system 2” forms of reasoning, as well as overlapping heavily with fluid general intelligence. WM has been intensively studied for many decades, and there is a growing consensus about its nature, its components, and its signature limits. Remarkably, given its central importance in human life, there has been very little comparative investigation of WM abilities across species. Consequently, much remains unknown about the evolution of this important human capacity. Some questions can be tentatively answered from the existing comparative literature. Even studies that were not intended to do so can nonetheless shed light on the WM capacities of nonhuman animals. However, many questions remain. PMID:23754428

  11. Functional Imaging of Working Memory and Peripheral Endothelial Function in Middle-Aged Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gonzales, Mitzi M.; Tarumi, Takashi; Tanaka, Hirofumi; Sugawara, Jun; Swann-Sternberg, Tali; Goudarzi, Katayoon; Haley, Andreana P.

    2010-01-01

    The current study examined the relationship between a prognostic indicator of vascular health, flow-mediated dilation (FMD), and working memory-related brain activation in healthy middle-aged adults. Forty-two participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while completing a 2-Back working memory task. Brachial artery…

  12. Working Memory: A Selective Review.

    PubMed

    Kent, Phillip L

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to provide a selective overview of the evolution of the concept and assessment of working memory, and how its assessment has been confused with the assessment of some components of attention. A literature search using PsychNet Gold was conducted using the terms working memory. In addition, the writer reviewed recommendations from a sampling of recent neuropsychology texts in regard to the assessment of attention and working memory, as well as the two most recent editions of the Wechsler Memory Scale. It is argued that many clinicians have an incomplete understanding of the relationship between attention and working memory, and often conflate the two in assessment and treatment. Suggestions were made for assessing these abilities. PMID:27191213

  13. Working Memory Goes to School.

    PubMed

    Prince, Pauline; Gifford, Kathleen

    2016-01-01

    This article endeavors to provide a comprehensive developmental perspective of Working Memory in the classroom. Instructional implications will be discussed as they apply to preschool, elementary and secondary education. It is the intent of this paper to also provide food for thought about working memory as it applies to other aspects of the school day, such as physical education and social, emotional, and behavioral functioning. PMID:27191216

  14. Neurocomputational models of working memory.

    PubMed

    Durstewitz, D; Seamans, J K; Sejnowski, T J

    2000-11-01

    During working memory tasks, the firing rates of single neurons recorded in behaving monkeys remain elevated without external cues. Modeling studies have explored different mechanisms that could underlie this selective persistent activity, including recurrent excitation within cell assemblies, synfire chains and single-cell bistability. The models show how sustained activity can be stable in the presence of noise and distractors, how different synaptic and voltage-gated conductances contribute to persistent activity, how neuromodulation could influence its robustness, how completely novel items could be maintained, and how continuous attractor states might be achieved. More work is needed to address the full repertoire of neural dynamics observed during working memory tasks. PMID:11127836

  15. Memory systems interaction in the pigeon: working and reference memory.

    PubMed

    Roberts, William A; Strang, Caroline; Macpherson, Krista

    2015-04-01

    Pigeons' performance on a working memory task, symbolic delayed matching-to-sample, was used to examine the interaction between working memory and reference memory. Reference memory was established by training pigeons to discriminate between the comparison cues used in delayed matching as S+ and S- stimuli. Delayed matching retention tests then measured accuracy when working and reference memory were congruent and incongruent. In 4 experiments, it was shown that the interaction between working and reference memory is reciprocal: Strengthening either type of memory leads to a decrease in the influence of the other type of memory. A process dissociation procedure analysis of the data from Experiment 4 showed independence of working and reference memory, and a model of working memory and reference memory interaction was shown to predict the findings reported in the 4 experiments. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:25734757

  16. Dynamics of auditory working memory

    PubMed Central

    Kaiser, Jochen

    2015-01-01

    Working memory denotes the ability to retain stimuli in mind that are no longer physically present and to perform mental operations on them. Electro- and magnetoencephalography allow investigating the short-term maintenance of acoustic stimuli at a high temporal resolution. Studies investigating working memory for non-spatial and spatial auditory information have suggested differential roles of regions along the putative auditory ventral and dorsal streams, respectively, in the processing of the different sound properties. Analyses of event-related potentials have shown sustained, memory load-dependent deflections over the retention periods. The topography of these waves suggested an involvement of modality-specific sensory storage regions. Spectral analysis has yielded information about the temporal dynamics of auditory working memory processing of individual stimuli, showing activation peaks during the delay phase whose timing was related to task performance. Coherence at different frequencies was enhanced between frontal and sensory cortex. In summary, auditory working memory seems to rely on the dynamic interplay between frontal executive systems and sensory representation regions. PMID:26029146

  17. Can Interactive Working Memory Training Improve Learning?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alloway, Tracy

    2012-01-01

    Background: Working memory is linked to learning outcomes and there is emerging evidence that training working memory can yield gains in working memory and fluid intelligence. Aims: The aim of the present study was to investigate whether interactive working memory training would transfer to acquired cognitive skills, such as vocabulary and…

  18. Working Memory and Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baddeley, A.; Jarrold, C.

    2007-01-01

    A brief account is given of the evolution of the concept of working memory from a unitary store into a multicomponent system. Four components are distinguished, the phonological loop which is responsible for maintaining speech-based information, the visuospatial sketchpad performing a similar function for visual information, the central executive…

  19. Is Working Memory Training Effective?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shipstead, Zach; Redick, Thomas S.; Engle, Randall W.

    2012-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is a cognitive system that strongly relates to a person's ability to reason with novel information and direct attention to goal-relevant information. Due to the central role that WM plays in general cognition, it has become the focus of a rapidly growing training literature that seeks to affect broad cognitive change through…

  20. Working and strategic memory deficits in schizophrenia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stone, M.; Gabrieli, J. D.; Stebbins, G. T.; Sullivan, E. V.

    1998-01-01

    Working memory and its contribution to performance on strategic memory tests in schizophrenia were studied. Patients (n = 18) and control participants (n = 15), all men, received tests of immediate memory (forward digit span), working memory (listening, computation, and backward digit span), and long-term strategic (free recall, temporal order, and self-ordered pointing) and nonstrategic (recognition) memory. Schizophrenia patients performed worse on all tests. Education, verbal intelligence, and immediate memory capacity did not account for deficits in working memory in schizophrenia patients. Reduced working memory capacity accounted for group differences in strategic memory but not in recognition memory. Working memory impairment may be central to the profile of impaired cognitive performance in schizophrenia and is consistent with hypothesized frontal lobe dysfunction associated with this disease. Additional medial-temporal dysfunction may account for the recognition memory deficit.

  1. Heritability of working memory brain activation.

    PubMed

    Blokland, Gabriëlla A M; McMahon, Katie L; Thompson, Paul M; Martin, Nicholas G; de Zubicaray, Greig I; Wright, Margaret J

    2011-07-27

    Although key to understanding individual variation in task-related brain activation, the genetic contribution to these individual differences remains largely unknown. Here we report voxel-by-voxel genetic model fitting in a large sample of 319 healthy, young adult, human identical and fraternal twins (mean ± SD age, 23.6 ± 1.8 years) who performed an n-back working memory task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at a high magnetic field (4 tesla). Patterns of task-related brain response (BOLD signal difference of 2-back minus 0-back) were significantly heritable, with the highest estimates (40-65%) in the inferior, middle, and superior frontal gyri, left supplementary motor area, precentral and postcentral gyri, middle cingulate cortex, superior medial gyrus, angular gyrus, superior parietal lobule, including precuneus, and superior occipital gyri. Furthermore, high test-retest reliability for a subsample of 40 twins indicates that nongenetic variance in the fMRI brain response is largely due to unique environmental influences rather than measurement error. Individual variations in activation of the working memory network are therefore significantly influenced by genetic factors. By establishing the heritability of cognitive brain function in a large sample that affords good statistical power, and using voxel-by-voxel analyses, this study provides the necessary evidence for task-related brain activation to be considered as an endophenotype for psychiatric or neurological disorders, and represents a substantial new contribution to the field of neuroimaging genetics. These genetic brain maps should facilitate discovery of gene variants influencing cognitive brain function through genome-wide association studies, potentially opening up new avenues in the treatment of brain disorders. PMID:21795540

  2. Multiple gates on working memory

    PubMed Central

    Chatham, Christopher H; Badre, David

    2015-01-01

    The contexts for action may be only transiently visible, accessible, and relevant. The corticobasal ganglia (BG) circuit addresses these demands by allowing the right motor plans to drive action at the right times, via a BG-mediated gate on motor representations. A long-standing hypothesis posits these same circuits are replicated in more rostral brain regions to support gating of cognitive representations. Key evidence now supports the prediction that BG can act as a gate on the input to working memory, as a gate on its output, and as a means of reallocating working memory representations rendered irrelevant by recent events. These discoveries validate key tenets of many computational models, circumscribe motor and cognitive models of recurrent cortical dynamics alone, and identify novel directions for research on the mechanisms of higher-level cognition. PMID:26719851

  3. Control of Interference during Working Memory Updating

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Szmalec, Arnaud; Verbruggen, Frederick; Vandierendonck, Andre; Kemps, Eva

    2011-01-01

    The current study examined the nature of the processes underlying working memory updating. In 4 experiments using the n-back paradigm, the authors demonstrate that continuous updating of items in working memory prevents strong binding of those items to their contexts in working memory, and hence leads to an increased susceptibility to proactive…

  4. Atypical frontal lobe activity during verbal working memory in youth with a family history of alcoholism

    PubMed Central

    Cservenka, Anita; Herting, Megan M.; Nagel, Bonnie J.

    2011-01-01

    Background Abnormal brain functioning during verbal working memory tasks has been shown in individuals with alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Since adolescents with a familial history of alcoholism (FHP) are at high risk for developing an AUD, it is important to consider whether atypical brain activity during verbal working memory may help to explain FHP vulnerability toward developing alcoholism. Methods To that end, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined brain response during a verbal working memory 2-back task in 19 FHP adolescents and 16 age and gender-matched family history negative (FHN) controls. Results Despite no group differences in task accuracy, FHP youth had significantly slower average reaction time when making correct responses during the 2-back condition than FHN youth. In contrast to a vigilance control condition, while covarying for reaction time, FHP adolescents showed less activation during verbal working memory than FHN youth in multiple areas of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) – a brain region crucial to intact working memory skills. Conclusions These results suggest that even prior to heavy alcohol use, FHP adolescents show atypical executive brain functioning during verbal working memory, and that these differences are independent of slower working memory reaction time in FHP youth. Given the importance of working memory in numerous areas of day-to-day functioning, such as adaptive decision-making, these abnormalities may contribute to FHP youth vulnerability toward developing AUDs. PMID:22088655

  5. What limits working memory capacity?

    PubMed

    Oberauer, Klaus; Farrell, Simon; Jarrold, Christopher; Lewandowsky, Stephan

    2016-07-01

    We review the evidence for the 3 principal theoretical contenders that vie to explain why and how working memory (WM) capacity is limited. We examine the possibility that capacity limitations arise from temporal decay; we examine whether they might reflect a limitation in cognitive resources; and we ask whether capacity might be limited because of mutual interference of representations in WM. We evaluate each hypothesis against a common set of findings reflecting the capacity limit: The set-size effect and its modulation by domain-specificity and heterogeneity of the memory set; the effects of unfilled retention intervals and of distractor processing in the retention interval; and the pattern of correlates of WM tests. We conclude that-at least for verbal memoranda-a decay explanation is untenable. A resource-based view remains tenable but has difficulty accommodating several findings. The interference approach has its own set of difficulties but accounts best for the set of findings, and therefore, appears to present the most promising approach for future development. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26950009

  6. What works in auditory working memory? A neural oscillations perspective.

    PubMed

    Wilsch, Anna; Obleser, Jonas

    2016-06-01

    Working memory is a limited resource: brains can only maintain small amounts of sensory input (memory load) over a brief period of time (memory decay). The dynamics of slow neural oscillations as recorded using magneto- and electroencephalography (M/EEG) provide a window into the neural mechanics of these limitations. Especially oscillations in the alpha range (8-13Hz) are a sensitive marker for memory load. Moreover, according to current models, the resultant working memory load is determined by the relative noise in the neural representation of maintained information. The auditory domain allows memory researchers to apply and test the concept of noise quite literally: Employing degraded stimulus acoustics increases memory load and, at the same time, allows assessing the cognitive resources required to process speech in noise in an ecologically valid and clinically relevant way. The present review first summarizes recent findings on neural oscillations, especially alpha power, and how they reflect memory load and memory decay in auditory working memory. The focus is specifically on memory load resulting from acoustic degradation. These findings are then contrasted with contextual factors that benefit neural as well as behavioral markers of memory performance, by reducing representational noise. We end on discussing the functional role of alpha power in auditory working memory and suggest extensions of the current methodological toolkit. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory. PMID:26556773

  7. Working memory dysfunction in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Goldman-Rakic, P S

    1994-01-01

    Recent advances in anatomical, behavioral, and physiological techniques have produced new information about the nature of prefrontal function, its cellular basis, and its anatomical underpinnings in nonhuman primates. These findings are changing our views of prefrontal function and providing insight into possible bases for human mental disorder. A major advance is the recognition that various prefrontal areas are engaged in holding information "on line" and updating past and current information on a moment-to-moment basis. Studies of animals and of cognitive function in normal, brain-injured, and schizophrenic subjects support the theory that a defect in working memory--the ability to guide behavior by representations--may be the fundamental impairment leading to schizophrenic thought disorder. PMID:7841806

  8. Transfer after Working Memory Updating Training

    PubMed Central

    Waris, Otto; Soveri, Anna; Laine, Matti

    2015-01-01

    During the past decade, working memory training has attracted much interest. However, the training outcomes have varied between studies and methodological problems have hampered the interpretation of results. The current study examined transfer after working memory updating training by employing an extensive battery of pre-post cognitive measures with a focus on near transfer. Thirty-one healthy Finnish young adults were randomized into either a working memory training group or an active control group. The working memory training group practiced with three working memory tasks, while the control group trained with three commercial computer games with a low working memory load. The participants trained thrice a week for five weeks, with one training session lasting about 45 minutes. Compared to the control group, the working memory training group showed strongest transfer to an n-back task, followed by working memory updating, which in turn was followed by active working memory capacity. Our results support the view that working memory training produces near transfer effects, and that the degree of transfer depends on the cognitive overlap between the training and transfer measures. PMID:26406319

  9. Working Memory Capacity and Resistance to Interference

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oberauer, Klaus; Lange, Elke; Engle, Randall W.

    2004-01-01

    Single-task and dual-task versions of verbal and spatial serial order memory tasks were administered to 120 students tested for working memory capacity with four previously validated measures. In the dual-task versions, similarity between the memory material and the material of the secondary processing task was varied. With verbal material, three…

  10. Working Memory in Children with Developmental Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam; Rajendran, Gnanathusharan; Archibald, Lisa M. D.

    2009-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to directly compare working memory skills across students with different developmental disorders to investigate whether the uniqueness of their diagnosis would impact memory skills. The authors report findings confirming differential memory profiles on the basis of the following developmental disorders: Specific…

  11. Atypical spatiotemporal signatures of working memory brain processes in autism.

    PubMed

    Urbain, C M; Pang, E W; Taylor, M J

    2015-01-01

    Working memory (WM) impairments may contribute to the profound behavioural manifestations in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, previous behavioural results are discrepant as are the few functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) results collected in adults and adolescents with ASD. Here we investigate the precise temporal dynamics of WM-related brain activity using magnetoencephalography (MEG) in 20 children with ASD and matched controls during an n-back WM task across different load levels (1-back vs 2-back). Although behavioural results were similar between ASD and typically developing (TD) children, the between-group comparison performed on functional brain activity showed atypical WM-related brain processes in children with ASD compared with TD children. These atypical responses were observed in the ASD group from 200 to 600 ms post stimulus in both the low- (1-back) and high- (2-back) memory load conditions. During the 1-back condition, children with ASD showed reduced WM-related activations in the right hippocampus and the cingulate gyrus compared with TD children who showed more activation in the left dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex and the insulae. In the 2-back condition, children with ASD showed less activity in the left insula and midcingulate gyrus and more activity in the left precuneus than TD children. In addition, reduced activity in the anterior cingulate cortex was correlated with symptom severity in children with ASD. Thus, this MEG study identified the precise timing and sources of atypical WM-related activity in frontal, temporal and parietal regions in children with ASD. The potential impacts of such atypicalities on social deficits of autism are discussed. PMID:26261885

  12. Relating color working memory and color perception.

    PubMed

    Allred, Sarah R; Flombaum, Jonathan I

    2014-11-01

    Color is the most frequently studied feature in visual working memory (VWM). Oddly, much of this work de-emphasizes perception, instead making simplifying assumptions about the inputs served to memory. We question these assumptions in light of perception research, and we identify important points of contact between perception and working memory in the case of color. Better characterization of its perceptual inputs will be crucial for elucidating the structure and function of VWM. PMID:25038028

  13. Working memory capacity and controlled serial memory search.

    PubMed

    Mızrak, Eda; Öztekin, Ilke

    2016-08-01

    The speed-accuracy trade-off (SAT) procedure was used to investigate the relationship between working memory capacity (WMC) and the dynamics of temporal order memory retrieval. High- and low-span participants (HSs, LSs) studied sequentially presented five-item lists, followed by two probes from the study list. Participants indicated the more recent probe. Overall, accuracy was higher for HSs compared to LSs. Crucially, in contrast to previous investigations that observed no impact of WMC on speed of access to item information in memory (e.g., Öztekin & McElree, 2010), recovery of temporal order memory was slower for LSs. While accessing an item's representation in memory can be direct, recovery of relational information such as temporal order information requires a more controlled serial memory search. Collectively, these data indicate that WMC effects are particularly prominent during high demands of cognitive control, such as serial search operations necessary to access temporal order information from memory. PMID:27135712

  14. Mental Imagery and Visual Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Keogh, Rebecca; Pearson, Joel

    2011-01-01

    Visual working memory provides an essential link between past and future events. Despite recent efforts, capacity limits, their genesis and the underlying neural structures of visual working memory remain unclear. Here we show that performance in visual working memory - but not iconic visual memory - can be predicted by the strength of mental imagery as assessed with binocular rivalry in a given individual. In addition, for individuals with strong imagery, modulating the background luminance diminished performance on visual working memory and imagery tasks, but not working memory for number strings. This suggests that luminance signals were disrupting sensory-based imagery mechanisms and not a general working memory system. Individuals with poor imagery still performed above chance in the visual working memory task, but their performance was not affected by the background luminance, suggesting a dichotomy in strategies for visual working memory: individuals with strong mental imagery rely on sensory-based imagery to support mnemonic performance, while those with poor imagery rely on different strategies. These findings could help reconcile current controversy regarding the mechanism and location of visual mnemonic storage. PMID:22195024

  15. Working memory effects in speeded RSVP tasks.

    PubMed

    Gil-Gómez de Liaño, Beatriz; Potter, Mary C; Rodríguez, Carmen

    2014-01-01

    The present paper examines the effects of memory contents and memory load in rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) speeded tasks, trying to explain previous inconsistent results. We used a one target (Experiment 1) and a two-target (Experiment 2) RSVP task with a concurrent memory load of one or four items, in a dual-task paradigm. A relation between material in working memory and the target in the RSVP impaired the identification of the target. In Experiments 3 and 4, the single task was to determine whether any information in memory matched the target in the RSVP, while varying the memory load. A match was detected faster than a non-match, although only when there was some distance between targets in the RSVP (Experiment 4). The results suggest that memory contents automatically capture attention, slowing processing when the memory contents are irrelevant to the task, and speeding processing when they are relevant. PMID:23397260

  16. Effects of prolonged head-down bed rest on working memory

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Qing; Zhou, Renlai; Zhao, Xin; Oei, Tian Po S

    2015-01-01

    Background The weightlessness caused by prolonged bed rest results in changes in cerebral circulation and thus, brain functions, which is of interest. Methods We investigated the effects of 45-day, −6° head-down bed rest, which stimulated microgravity, on working memory in 16 healthy male participants. The 2-back task was used to test the working memory variations on the 2nd day before bed rest (R−2); on the 11th (R11), 20th (R20), 32nd (R32), and 40th (R40) days of bed rest; and on the eighth day after bed rest (R+8). The cognitive response and the physiological reactivity (such as galvanic skin response, heart rate, and heart rate variability) under the 2-back task were recorded simultaneously. Results The results showed that compared with R−2, on the R+8, the participants’ galvanic skin response increased significantly, and the high frequency of heart rate variability (HF), low frequency of heart rate variability (LF), and reaction time in the 2-back task decreased significantly. There were positive correlations between the participants’ reaction time of working memory and the LF/HF under head-down bed rest (at R11, R20, and R32). Conclusion The results suggested that the prolonged head-down bed rest may have a detrimental effect on individual physiology and working memory. Physiology indices, such as galvanic skin response and heart rate variability, were sensitive to the prolonged bed rest. PMID:25848281

  17. Attention and Working Memory in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Functional MRI Study.

    PubMed

    Rahko, Jukka S; Vuontela, Virve A; Carlson, Synnöve; Nikkinen, Juha; Hurtig, Tuula M; Kuusikko-Gauffin, Sanna; Mattila, Marja-Leena; Jussila, Katja K; Remes, Jukka J; Jansson-Verkasalo, Eira M; Aronen, Eeva T; Pauls, David L; Ebeling, Hanna E; Tervonen, Osmo; Moilanen, Irma K; Kiviniemi, Vesa J

    2016-06-01

    The present study examined attention and memory load-dependent differences in the brain activation and deactivation patterns between adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and typically developing (TD) controls using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Attentional (0-back) and working memory (WM; 2-back) processing and load differences (0 vs. 2-back) were analysed. WM-related areas activated and default mode network deactivated normally in ASDs as a function of task load. ASDs performed the attentional 0-back task similarly to TD controls but showed increased deactivation in cerebellum and right temporal cortical areas and weaker activation in other cerebellar areas. Increasing task load resulted in multiple responses in ASDs compared to TD and in inadequate modulation of brain activity in right insula, primary somatosensory, motor and auditory cortices. The changes during attentional task may reflect compensatory mechanisms enabling normal behavioral performance. The inadequate memory load-dependent modulation of activity suggests diminished compensatory potential in ASD. PMID:26323584

  18. Further Evidence of Intact Working Memory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ozonoff, Sally; Strayer, David L.

    2001-01-01

    This study compared working memory in 28 high-functioning autistic individuals (ages 7-18) with that of 30 individuals with Tourette Syndrome or typically developing. No group differences were found. Performance was significantly correlated only with age and IQ. Results suggest that working memory is not an executive function seriously impaired in…

  19. Teaching Political Science through Memory Work

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jansson, Maria; Wendt, Maria; Ase, Cecilia

    2009-01-01

    In this article, we present the results of a research project where we have tried to elaborate more socially inclusive ways of teaching and learning political science by making use of a specific feminist method of analyzing social relations--memory work. As a method, memory work involves writing and interpreting stories of personal experience,…

  20. Working Memory Intervention: A Reading Comprehension Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perry, Tracy L.; Malaia, Evguenia

    2013-01-01

    For any complex mental task, people rely on working memory. Working memory capacity (WMC) is one predictor of success in learning. Historically, attempts to improve verbal WM through training have not been effective. This study provided elementary students with WM consolidation efficiency training to answer the question, Can reading comprehension…

  1. Working Memory Costs of Task Switching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liefooghe, Baptist; Barrouillet, Pierre; Vandierendonck, Andre; Camos, Valerie

    2008-01-01

    Although many accounts of task switching emphasize the importance of working memory as a substantial source of the switch cost, there is a lack of evidence demonstrating that task switching actually places additional demands on working memory. The present study addressed this issue by implementing task switching in continuous complex span tasks…

  2. Executive Functions and Working Memory Behaviours in Children with a Poor Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    St. Clair-Thompson, Helen L.

    2011-01-01

    Previous research has suggested that working memory difficulties play an integral role in children's underachievement at school. However, working memory is just one of several executive functions. The extent to which problems in working memory extend to other executive functions is not well understood. In the current study 38 children with a poor…

  3. A Brain System for Auditory Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Joseph, Sabine; Gander, Phillip E.; Barascud, Nicolas; Halpern, Andrea R.; Griffiths, Timothy D.

    2016-01-01

    The brain basis for auditory working memory, the process of actively maintaining sounds in memory over short periods of time, is controversial. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging in human participants, we demonstrate that the maintenance of single tones in memory is associated with activation in auditory cortex. In addition, sustained activation was observed in hippocampus and inferior frontal gyrus. Multivoxel pattern analysis showed that patterns of activity in auditory cortex and left inferior frontal gyrus distinguished the tone that was maintained in memory. Functional connectivity during maintenance was demonstrated between auditory cortex and both the hippocampus and inferior frontal cortex. The data support a system for auditory working memory based on the maintenance of sound-specific representations in auditory cortex by projections from higher-order areas, including the hippocampus and frontal cortex. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In this work, we demonstrate a system for maintaining sound in working memory based on activity in auditory cortex, hippocampus, and frontal cortex, and functional connectivity among them. Specifically, our work makes three advances from the previous work. First, we robustly demonstrate hippocampal involvement in all phases of auditory working memory (encoding, maintenance, and retrieval): the role of hippocampus in working memory is controversial. Second, using a pattern classification technique, we show that activity in the auditory cortex and inferior frontal gyrus is specific to the maintained tones in working memory. Third, we show long-range connectivity of auditory cortex to hippocampus and frontal cortex, which may be responsible for keeping such representations active during working memory maintenance. PMID:27098693

  4. Developmental aspects of working and associative memory.

    PubMed

    Thaler, Nicholas S; Goldstein, Gerald; Pettegrew, Jay W; Luther, James F; Reynolds, Cecil R; Allen, Daniel N

    2013-06-01

    Developmental differences between working and long-term associative memory were evaluated through a cross-sectional age difference study based on data from a memory battery's standardization sample. The scores of 856 children and adolescents ranging from 5 to 17 years of age were compared on memory subtests that assess verbal working and long-term memory. Data were examined using curve fitting and ANOVA procedures that evaluated age group and years of age differences. The major finding was that the developmental trajectories across age differed substantially between the two memory domains. The working memory trajectory was linear until age 11, whereas the long-term memory trajectory was curvilinear with an inflection point at age 8. Both trajectories plateaued after age 11. ANOVAs produced significant interactions between tests of working and associative memory with age, supporting the view that the age trajectories had differing courses. The results are discussed in terms of neurobiological implications for the two memory systems studied. PMID:23341435

  5. What's Working in Working Memory Training? An Educational Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Redick, Thomas S.; Shipstead, Zach; Wiemers, Elizabeth A.; Melby-Lervåg, Monica; Hulme, Charles

    2015-01-01

    Working memory training programs have generated great interest, with claims that the training interventions can have profound beneficial effects on children's academic and intellectual attainment. We describe the criteria by which to evaluate evidence for or against the benefit of working memory training. Despite the promising results of initial…

  6. The nature of working memory for Braille.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Henri; Voss, Patrice; Lepore, Franco; Scherzer, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Blind individuals have been shown on multiple occasions to compensate for their loss of sight by developing exceptional abilities in their remaining senses. While most research has been focused on perceptual abilities per se in the auditory and tactile modalities, recent work has also investigated higher-order processes involving memory and language functions. Here we examined tactile working memory for Braille in two groups of visually challenged individuals (completely blind subjects, CBS; blind with residual vision, BRV). In a first experimental procedure both groups were given a Braille tactile memory span task with and without articulatory suppression, while the BRV and a sighted group performed a visual version of the task. It was shown that the Braille tactile working memory (BrWM) of CBS individuals under articulatory suppression is as efficient as that of sighted individuals' visual working memory in the same condition. Moreover, the results suggest that BrWM may be more robust in the CBS than in the BRV subjects, thus pointing to the potential role of visual experience in shaping tactile working memory. A second experiment designed to assess the nature (spatial vs. verbal) of this working memory was then carried out with two new CBS and BRV groups having to perform the Braille task concurrently with a mental arithmetic task or a mental displacement of blocks task. We show that the disruption of memory was greatest when concurrently carrying out the mental displacement of blocks, indicating that the Braille tactile subsystem of working memory is likely spatial in nature in CBS. The results also point to the multimodal nature of working memory and show how experience can shape the development of its subcomponents. PMID:20520807

  7. Working memory in children with reading disabilities.

    PubMed

    Gathercole, Susan Elizabeth; Alloway, Tracy Packiam; Willis, Catherine; Adams, Anne-Marie

    2006-03-01

    This study investigated associations between working memory (measured by complex memory tasks) and both reading and mathematics abilities, as well as the possible mediating factors of fluid intelligence, verbal abilities, short-term memory (STM), and phonological awareness, in a sample of 46 6- to 11-year-olds with reading disabilities. As a whole, the sample was characterized by deficits in complex memory and visuospatial STM and by low IQ scores; language, phonological STM, and phonological awareness abilities fell in the low average range. Severity of reading difficulties within the sample was significantly associated with complex memory, language, and phonological awareness abilities, whereas poor mathematics abilities were linked with complex memory, phonological STM, and phonological awareness scores. These findings suggest that working memory skills indexed by complex memory tasks represent an important constraint on the acquisition of skill and knowledge in reading and mathematics. Possible mechanisms for the contribution of working memory to learning, and the implications for educational practice, are considered. PMID:16293261

  8. Differences between Presentation Methods in Working Memory Procedures: A Matter of Working Memory Consolidation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ricker, Timothy J.; Cowan, Nelson

    2014-01-01

    Understanding forgetting from working memory, the memory used in ongoing cognitive processing, is critical to understanding human cognition. In the past decade, a number of conflicting findings have been reported regarding the role of time in forgetting from working memory. This has led to a debate concerning whether longer retention intervals…

  9. Working from Memory: Artists and Actors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hurwitz, Al

    2004-01-01

    In this article, the author discusses the art of memory-based drawing. Memory-based drawing represents but one part of a broad range of activities used in drawing instruction. Other sources involve the use of fantasy, doodling, problem-solving, and illustrating. Other ways of working from one's personal history involve keeping illustrated…

  10. Working Memory and Binding in Sentence Recall

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baddeley, A. D.; Hitch, G. J.; Allen, R. J.

    2009-01-01

    A series of experiments explored whether chunking in short-term memory for verbal materials depends on attentionally limited executive processes. Secondary tasks were used to disrupt components of working memory and chunking was indexed by the sentence superiority effect, whereby immediate recall is better for sentences than word lists. To…

  11. Neural Underpinnings of Working Memory in Adult Survivors of Childhood Brain Tumors.

    PubMed

    King, Tricia Z; Na, Sabrina; Mao, Hui

    2015-08-01

    Adult survivors of childhood brain tumors are at risk for cognitive performance deficits that require the core cognitive skill of working memory. Our goal was to examine the neural mechanisms underlying working memory performance in survivors. We studied the working memory of adult survivors of pediatric posterior fossa brain tumors using a letter n-back paradigm with varying cognitive workload (0-, 1-, 2-, and 3-back) and functional magnetic resonance imaging as well as neuropsychological measures. Survivors of childhood brain tumors evidenced lower working memory performance than demographically matched healthy controls. Whole-brain analyses revealed significantly greater blood-oxygen level dependent (BOLD) activation in the left superior / middle frontal gyri and left parietal lobe during working memory (2-back versus 0-back contrast) in survivors. Left frontal BOLD response negatively correlated with 2- and 3-back working memory performance, Auditory Consonant Trigrams (ACT), and Digit Span Backwards. In contrast, parietal lobe BOLD response negatively correlated with 0-back (vigilance task) and ACT. The results revealed that adult survivors of childhood posterior fossa brain tumors recruited additional cognitive control resources in the prefrontal lobe during increased working memory demands. This increased prefrontal activation is associated with lower working memory performance and is consistent with the allocation of latent resources theory. PMID:26234757

  12. Brain Activation and Deactivation during Location and Color Working Memory Tasks in 11-13-Year-Old Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vuontela, Virve; Steenari, Maija-Riikka; Aronen, Eeva T.; Korvenoja, Antti; Aronen, Hannu J.; Carlson, Synnove

    2009-01-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and n-back tasks we investigated whether, in 11-13-year-old children, spatial (location) and nonspatial (color) information is differentially processed during visual attention (0-back) and working memory (WM) (2-back) tasks and whether such cognitive task performance, compared to a resting state,…

  13. Gamma and Beta Bursts Underlie Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Lundqvist, Mikael; Rose, Jonas; Herman, Pawel; Brincat, Scott L; Buschman, Timothy J; Miller, Earl K

    2016-04-01

    Working memory is thought to result from sustained neuron spiking. However, computational models suggest complex dynamics with discrete oscillatory bursts. We analyzed local field potential (LFP) and spiking from the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of monkeys performing a working memory task. There were brief bursts of narrow-band gamma oscillations (45-100 Hz), varied in time and frequency, accompanying encoding and re-activation of sensory information. They appeared at a minority of recording sites associated with spiking reflecting the to-be-remembered items. Beta oscillations (20-35 Hz) also occurred in brief, variable bursts but reflected a default state interrupted by encoding and decoding. Only activity of neurons reflecting encoding/decoding correlated with changes in gamma burst rate. Thus, gamma bursts could gate access to, and prevent sensory interference with, working memory. This supports the hypothesis that working memory is manifested by discrete oscillatory dynamics and spiking, not sustained activity. PMID:26996084

  14. Working memory of emotional stimuli: Electrophysiological characterization.

    PubMed

    Kessel, Dominique; García-Rubio, María J; González, E Kirstin; Tapia, Manuel; López-Martín, Sara; Román, Francisco J; Capilla, Almudena; Martínez, Kenia; Colom, Roberto; Carretié, Luis

    2016-09-01

    Memorizing emotional stimuli in a preferential way seems to be one of the adaptive strategies brought on by evolution for supporting survival. However, there is a lack of electrophysiological evidence on this bias in working memory. The present study analyzed the influence of emotion on the updating component of working memory. Behavioral and electrophysiological indices were measured from a 3-back task using negative, neutral, and positive faces. Electrophysiological data evidenced an emotional influence on the working memory sensitive P3 component, which presented larger amplitudes for negative matching faces compared to neutral ones. This effect originated in the superior parietal cortex, previously reported to be involved in N-back tasks. Additionally, P3 results showed a correlation with reaction times, where higher amplitudes were associated with faster responses for negative matching faces. These findings indicate that electrophysiological measures seem to be very suitable indices of the emotional influence on working memory. PMID:27402441

  15. Do Computerised Training Programmes Designed to Improve Working Memory Work?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Apter, Brian J. B.

    2012-01-01

    A critical review of working memory training research during the last 10 years is provided. Particular attention is given to research that has attempted to investigate the efficacy of commercially marketed computerised training programmes such as "Cogmed" and "Jungle Memory". Claimed benefits are questioned on the basis that research methodologies…

  16. Shielding cognition from nociception with working memory.

    PubMed

    Legrain, Valéry; Crombez, Geert; Plaghki, Léon; Mouraux, André

    2013-01-01

    Because pain often signals the occurrence of potential tissue damage, nociceptive stimuli have the capacity to capture attention and interfere with ongoing cognitive activities. Working memory is known to guide the orientation of attention by maintaining goal priorities active during the achievement of a task. This study investigated whether the cortical processing of nociceptive stimuli and their ability to capture attention are under the control of working memory. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded while participants performed primary tasks on visual targets that required or did not require rehearsal in working memory (1-back vs 0-back conditions). The visual targets were shortly preceded by task-irrelevant tactile stimuli. Occasionally, in order to distract the participants, the tactile stimuli were replaced by novel nociceptive stimuli. In the 0-back conditions, task performance was disrupted by the occurrence of the nociceptive distracters, as reflected by the increased reaction times in trials with novel nociceptive distracters as compared to trials with standard tactile distracters. In the 1-back conditions, such a difference disappeared suggesting that attentional capture and task disruption induced by nociceptive distracters were suppressed by working memory, regardless of task demands. Most importantly, in the conditions involving working memory, the magnitude of nociceptive ERPs, including ERP components at early latency, were significantly reduced. This indicates that working memory is able to modulate the cortical processing of nociceptive input already at its earliest stages, and could explain why working memory reduces consequently ability of nociceptive stimuli to capture attention and disrupt performance of the primary task. It is concluded that protecting cognitive processing against pain interference is best guaranteed by keeping out of working memory pain-related information. PMID:23026759

  17. Working memory, situation models, and synesthesia

    SciTech Connect

    Radvansky, Gabriel A.; Gibson, Bradley S.; McNerney, M. Windy

    2013-03-04

    Research on language comprehension suggests a strong relationship between working memory span measures and language comprehension. However, there is also evidence that this relationship weakens at higher levels of comprehension, such as the situation model level. The current study explored this relationship by comparing 10 grapheme–color synesthetes who have additional color experiences when they read words that begin with different letters and 48 normal controls on a number of tests of complex working memory capacity and processing at the situation model level. On all tests of working memory capacity, the synesthetes outperformed the controls. Importantly, there was no carryover benefit for the synesthetes for processing at the situation model level. This reinforces the idea that although some aspects of language comprehension are related to working memory span scores, this applies less directly to situation model levels. As a result, this suggests that theories of working memory must take into account this limitation, and the working memory processes that are involved in situation model construction and processing must be derived.

  18. Working memory, situation models, and synesthesia.

    PubMed

    Radvansky, Gabriel A; Gibson, Bradley S; McNerney, M Windy

    2014-01-01

    Research on language comprehension suggests a strong relationship between working memory span measures and language comprehension. However, there is also evidence that this relationship weakens at higher levels of comprehension, such as the situation model level. The current study explored this relationship by comparing 10 grapheme-color synesthetes who have additional color experiences when they read words that begin with different letters and 48 normal controls on a number of tests of complex working memory capacity and processing at the situation model level. On all tests of working memory capacity, the synesthetes outperformed the controls. Importantly, there was no carryover benefit for the synesthetes for processing at the situation model level. This reinforces the idea that although some aspects of language comprehension are related to working memory span scores, this applies less directly to situation model levels. This suggests that theories of working memory must take into account this limitation, and the working memory processes that are involved in situation model construction and processing must be derived. PMID:25588274

  19. Working memory, situation models, and synesthesia

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Radvansky, Gabriel A.; Gibson, Bradley S.; McNerney, M. Windy

    2013-03-04

    Research on language comprehension suggests a strong relationship between working memory span measures and language comprehension. However, there is also evidence that this relationship weakens at higher levels of comprehension, such as the situation model level. The current study explored this relationship by comparing 10 grapheme–color synesthetes who have additional color experiences when they read words that begin with different letters and 48 normal controls on a number of tests of complex working memory capacity and processing at the situation model level. On all tests of working memory capacity, the synesthetes outperformed the controls. Importantly, there was no carryover benefitmore » for the synesthetes for processing at the situation model level. This reinforces the idea that although some aspects of language comprehension are related to working memory span scores, this applies less directly to situation model levels. As a result, this suggests that theories of working memory must take into account this limitation, and the working memory processes that are involved in situation model construction and processing must be derived.« less

  20. Lead-Induced Impairments in the Neural Processes Related to Working Memory Function

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Seong-Uk; Park, Jang Woo; Kim, Yang-Tae; Ryeom, Hun-Kyu; Lee, Jongmin; Suh, Kyung Jin; Kim, Suk Hwan; Park, Sin-Jae; Jeong, Kyoung Sook; Ham, Jung-O; Kim, Yangho; Chang, Yongmin

    2014-01-01

    Background It is well known that lead exposure induces neurotoxic effects, which can result in a variety of neurocognitive dysfunction. Especially, occupational lead exposures in adults are associated with decreases in cognitive performance including working memory. Despite recent advances in human neuroimaging techniques, the neural correlates of lead-exposed cognitive impairment remain unclear. Therefore, this study was aimed to compare the neural activations in relation to working memory function between the lead-exposed subjects and healthy controls. Methodology/Principal Findings Thirty-one lead-exposed subjects and 34 healthy subjects performed an n-back memory task during MRI scan. We performed fMRI using the 1-back and 2-back memory tasks differing in cognitive demand. Functional MRI data were analyzed using within- and between-group analysis. We found that the lead-exposed subjects showed poorer working memory performance during high memory loading task than the healthy subjects. In addition, between-group analyses revealed that the lead-exposed subjects showed reduced activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, pre supplementary motor areas, and inferior parietal cortex. Conclusions/Significance Our findings suggest that functional abnormalities in the frontoparietal working memory network might contribute to impairments in maintenance and manipulation of working memory in the lead-exposed subjects. PMID:25141213

  1. The cognitive neuroscience of working memory.

    PubMed

    D'Esposito, Mark; Postle, Bradley R

    2015-01-01

    For more than 50 years, psychologists and neuroscientists have recognized the importance of a working memory to coordinate processing when multiple goals are active and to guide behavior with information that is not present in the immediate environment. In recent years, psychological theory and cognitive neuroscience data have converged on the idea that information is encoded into working memory by allocating attention to internal representations, whether semantic long-term memory (e.g., letters, digits, words), sensory, or motoric. Thus, information-based multivariate analyses of human functional MRI data typically find evidence for the temporary representation of stimuli in regions that also process this information in nonworking memory contexts. The prefrontal cortex (PFC), on the other hand, exerts control over behavior by biasing the salience of mnemonic representations and adjudicating among competing, context-dependent rules. The "control of the controller" emerges from a complex interplay between PFC and striatal circuits and ascending dopaminergic neuromodulatory signals. PMID:25251486

  2. Working memory capacity in Generalized Social Phobia

    PubMed Central

    Amir, Nader; Bomyea, Jessica

    2011-01-01

    Research suggests that understanding complex social cues depends on the availability of cognitive resources (e.g., Phillips, Channon, Tunstall, Hedenstrom, & Lyons, 2008). In spite of evidence suggesting that executive control functioning may impact anxiety (e.g., Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007), relatively few studies have examined working memory in individuals with Generalized Social Phobia (GSP). Moreover, few studies have examined the role of threat-relevant content in working memory performance in clinically anxious populations. To this end, the present study assessed working memory capacity (WMC) in individuals with Generalized Social Phobia and non-anxious controls using an Operation Span task using threat relevant and neutral stimuli. Results revealed that non-anxious individuals demonstrated better WMC than individuals with GSP for neutral words, but not for social threat words. Individuals with GSP demonstrated better WMC performance for threat words relative to neutral words. These results suggest that individuals with GSP may have relatively enhanced working memory performance for salient, socially-relevant information. This enhanced working memory capacity for threat relevant information may be the result of practice with this information in GSP. PMID:21381805

  3. Working memory capacity in generalized social phobia.

    PubMed

    Amir, Nader; Bomyea, Jessica

    2011-05-01

    Research suggests that understanding complex social cues depends on the availability of cognitive resources (e.g., Phillips, Channon, Tunstall, Hedenstrom, & Lyons, 2008). In spite of evidence suggesting that executive control functioning may impact anxiety (e.g., Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007), relatively few studies have examined working memory in individuals with generalized social phobia. Moreover, few studies have examined the role of threat-relevant content in working memory performance in clinically anxious populations. To this end, the present study assessed working memory capacity (WMC) in individuals with generalized social phobia and nonanxious controls using an operation span task with threat-relevant and neutral stimuli. Results revealed that nonanxious individuals demonstrated better WMC than individuals with generalized social phobia for neutral words but not for social threat words. Individuals with generalized social phobia demonstrated better WMC performance for threat words relative to neutral words. These results suggest that individuals with generalized social phobia may have relatively enhanced working memory performance for salient, socially relevant information. This enhanced working memory capacity for threat-relevant information may be the result of practice with this information in generalized social phobia. PMID:21381805

  4. Working on Memories of Abuse....

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Horsman, Jenny

    1994-01-01

    Through working with a woman abused as a child, a teacher concluded that the violence of sexual, physical, and psychological abuse is common among many adults who read and write poorly. Their experiences should be acknowledged in literacy programs that encourage people to develop skills with which to tell their stories. (SK)

  5. Is the Link from Working Memory to Analogy Causal? No Analogy Improvements following Working Memory Training Gains

    PubMed Central

    Richey, J. Elizabeth; Phillips, Jeffrey S.; Schunn, Christian D.; Schneider, Walter

    2014-01-01

    Analogical reasoning has been hypothesized to critically depend upon working memory through correlational data [1], but less work has tested this relationship through experimental manipulation [2]. An opportunity for examining the connection between working memory and analogical reasoning has emerged from the growing, although somewhat controversial, body of literature suggests complex working memory training can sometimes lead to working memory improvements that transfer to novel working memory tasks. This study investigated whether working memory improvements, if replicated, would increase analogical reasoning ability. We assessed participants’ performance on verbal and visual analogy tasks after a complex working memory training program incorporating verbal and spatial tasks [3], [4]. Participants’ improvements on the working memory training tasks transferred to other short-term and working memory tasks, supporting the possibility of broad effects of working memory training. However, we found no effects on analogical reasoning. We propose several possible explanations for the lack of an impact of working memory improvements on analogical reasoning. PMID:25188356

  6. The Working Memory Rating Scale: A Classroom-Based Behavioral Assessment of Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam; Gathercole, Susan Elizabeth; Kirkwood, Hannah; Elliott, Julian

    2009-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the potential of the Working Memory Rating Scale (WMRS), an observer-based rating scale that reflects behavioral difficulties of children with poor working memory. The findings indicate good internal reliability and adequate psychometric properties for use as a screening tool by teachers. Higher…

  7. Assessing Working Memory in Spanish-Speaking Children: Automated Working Memory Assessment Battery Adaptation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Injoque-Ricle, Irene; Calero, Alejandra D.; Alloway, Tracy P.; Burin, Debora I.

    2011-01-01

    The Automated Working Memory Assessment battery was designed to assess verbal and visuospatial passive and active working memory processing in children and adolescents. The aim of this paper is to present the adaptation and validation of the AWMA battery to Argentinean Spanish-speaking children aged 6 to 11 years. Verbal subtests were adapted and…

  8. CNTRICS Final Task Selection: Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Barch, Deanna M.; Berman, Marc G.; Engle, Randy; Jones, Jessica Hurdelbrink; Jonides, John; MacDonald, Angus; Nee, Derek Evan; Redick, Thomas S.; Sponheim, Scott R.

    2009-01-01

    The third meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (CNTRICS) was focused on selecting promising measures for each of the cognitive constructs selected in the first CNTRICS meeting. In the domain of working memory, the 2 constructs of interest were goal maintenance and interference control. CNTRICS received 3 task nominations for each of these constructs, and the breakout group for working memory evaluated the degree to which each of these tasks met prespecified criteria. For goal maintenance, the breakout group for working memory recommended the AX-Continuous Performance Task/Dot Pattern Expectancy task for translation for use in clinical trial contexts in schizophrenia research. For interference control, the breakout group recommended the recent probes and operation/symmetry span tasks for translation for use in clinical trials. This article describes the ways in which each of these tasks met the criteria used by the breakout group to recommend tasks for further development. PMID:18990711

  9. Does working memory load facilitate target detection?

    PubMed

    Fruchtman-Steinbok, Tom; Kessler, Yoav

    2016-02-01

    Previous studies demonstrated that increasing working memory (WM) load delays performance of a concurrent task, by distracting attention and thus interfering with encoding and maintenance processes. The present study used a version of the change detection task with a target detection requirement during the retention interval. In contrast to the above prediction, target detection was faster following a larger set-size, specifically when presented shortly after the memory array (up to 400 ms). The effect of set-size on target detection was also evident when no memory retention was required. The set-size effect was also found using different modalities. Moreover, it was only observed when the memory array was presented simultaneously, but not sequentially. These results were explained by increased phasic alertness exerted by the larger visual display. The present study offers new evidence of ongoing attentional processes in the commonly-used change detection paradigm. PMID:26705899

  10. Working Memory and Reasoning: The Processing Loads Imposed by Analogies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halford, Graeme S.

    The proposals concerning working memory outlined in this paper involve the architecture of working memory, the reasoning mechanisms that draw on it, and the ways in which working memory may develop with age. Ways of assessing task demands and children's working memory capacities are also considered. It is noted that there is long-standing evidence…

  11. Spike-Timing Theory of Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Szatmáry, Botond; Izhikevich, Eugene M.

    2010-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is the part of the brain's memory system that provides temporary storage and manipulation of information necessary for cognition. Although WM has limited capacity at any given time, it has vast memory content in the sense that it acts on the brain's nearly infinite repertoire of lifetime long-term memories. Using simulations, we show that large memory content and WM functionality emerge spontaneously if we take the spike-timing nature of neuronal processing into account. Here, memories are represented by extensively overlapping groups of neurons that exhibit stereotypical time-locked spatiotemporal spike-timing patterns, called polychronous patterns; and synapses forming such polychronous neuronal groups (PNGs) are subject to associative synaptic plasticity in the form of both long-term and short-term spike-timing dependent plasticity. While long-term potentiation is essential in PNG formation, we show how short-term plasticity can temporarily strengthen the synapses of selected PNGs and lead to an increase in the spontaneous reactivation rate of these PNGs. This increased reactivation rate, consistent with in vivo recordings during WM tasks, results in high interspike interval variability and irregular, yet systematically changing, elevated firing rate profiles within the neurons of the selected PNGs. Additionally, our theory explains the relationship between such slowly changing firing rates and precisely timed spikes, and it reveals a novel relationship between WM and the perception of time on the order of seconds. PMID:20808877

  12. Effects of sleep reduction on the phonological and visuospatial components of working memory

    PubMed Central

    del Angel, Jacqueline; Cortez, Juventino; Juárez, Diana; Guerrero, Martha; García, Aída; Ramírez, Candelaria; Valdez, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Sleep reduction impairs the performance of many tasks, so it may affect a basic cognitive process, such as working memory, crucial for the execution of a broad range of activities. Working memory has two storage components: a phonological and a visuospatial component. The objective of this study was to analyze the effects of sleep reduction for 5 days on the storage components of working memory. Thirteen undergraduate students (18.77±2.20 years of age), 5 men and 8 women, responded two N-Back tasks (auditory and visual), with three sections each (0-Back, 1-Back, and 2-Back). These tasks were performed at 13:00 h under the following conditions: before sleep reduction (control; C); on the first (SR1), fourth (SR4), and fifth (SR5) days of sleep reduction (4 h of sleep per night); and one day after they slept freely (recovery, R). Sleep reduction produced a decrement in accuracy on the auditory 2-Back section the fifth day of sleep reduction (C=87.86±13.35%; SR5=74.76±16.37%; F=14.57, p<0.01). In the visual 2-Back section accuracy decreased (C=88.10±9.95%; SR1=82.45±11.57%; SR5=77.76±14.14%; F=10.80, p<0.05), and reaction time increased (C=810.02±173.96 ms; SR1=913.51±172.25 ms; SR5=874.78±172.27 ms; F=10.80, p<0.05) on the first and fifth day of sleep reduction. In conclusion, five days of sleep reduction produces a decrease in the phonological and visuospatial storage components of working memory, which may interfere with processing verbal information and solving problems that require spatial analysis. PMID:26483947

  13. Effects of sleep reduction on the phonological and visuospatial components of working memory.

    PubMed

    Del Angel, Jacqueline; Cortez, Juventino; Juárez, Diana; Guerrero, Martha; García, Aída; Ramírez, Candelaria; Valdez, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Sleep reduction impairs the performance of many tasks, so it may affect a basic cognitive process, such as working memory, crucial for the execution of a broad range of activities. Working memory has two storage components: a phonological and a visuospatial component. The objective of this study was to analyze the effects of sleep reduction for 5 days on the storage components of working memory. Thirteen undergraduate students (18.77±2.20 years of age), 5 men and 8 women, responded two N-Back tasks (auditory and visual), with three sections each (0-Back, 1-Back, and 2-Back). These tasks were performed at 13:00 h under the following conditions: before sleep reduction (control; C); on the first (SR1), fourth (SR4), and fifth (SR5) days of sleep reduction (4 h of sleep per night); and one day after they slept freely (recovery, R). Sleep reduction produced a decrement in accuracy on the auditory 2-Back section the fifth day of sleep reduction (C=87.86±13.35%; SR5=74.76±16.37%; F=14.57, p<0.01). In the visual 2-Back section accuracy decreased (C=88.10±9.95%; SR1=82.45±11.57%; SR5=77.76±14.14%; F=10.80, p<0.05), and reaction time increased (C=810.02±173.96 ms; SR1=913.51±172.25 ms; SR5=874.78±172.27 ms; F=10.80, p<0.05) on the first and fifth day of sleep reduction. In conclusion, five days of sleep reduction produces a decrease in the phonological and visuospatial storage components of working memory, which may interfere with processing verbal information and solving problems that require spatial analysis. PMID:26483947

  14. Neurophysiological correlates of age-related changes in working memory capacity.

    PubMed

    Mattay, Venkata S; Fera, Francesco; Tessitore, Alessandro; Hariri, Ahmad R; Berman, Karen F; Das, Saumitra; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Goldberg, Terry E; Callicott, Joseph H; Weinberger, Daniel R

    2006-01-01

    Cognitive abilities such as working memory (WM) capacity decrease with age. To determine the neurophysiological correlates of age-related reduction in working memory capacity, we studied 10 young subjects (<35 years of age; mean age=29) and twelve older subjects (>55 years of age; mean age=59) with whole brain blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) fMRI on a 1.5 T GE MR scanner using a SPIRAL FLASH pulse sequence (TE=24 ms, TR=56 ms, FA=60 degrees , voxel dimensions=3.75 mm(3)). Subjects performed a modified version of the "n" back working memory task at different levels of increasing working memory load (1-Back, 2-Back and 3-Back). Older subjects performed as well as the younger subjects at 1-Back (p=0.4), but performed worse than the younger subjects at 2-Back (p<0.01) and 3-Back (p=0.06). Older subjects had significantly longer reaction time (RT) than younger subjects (p<0.04) at all levels of task difficulty. Image analysis using SPM 99 revealed a similar distribution of cortical activity between younger and older subjects at all task levels. However, an analysis of variance revealed a significant group x task interaction in the prefrontal cortex bilaterally; within working memory capacity, as in 1-Back when the older subjects performed as well as the younger subjects, they showed greater prefrontal cortical (BA 9) activity bilaterally. At higher working memory loads, however, when they performed worse then the younger subjects, the older subjects showed relatively reduced activity in these prefrontal regions. These data suggest that, within capacity, compensatory mechanisms such as additional prefrontal cortical activity are called upon to maintain proficiency in task performance. As cognitive demand increases, however, they are pushed past a threshold beyond which physiological compensation cannot be made and, a decline in performance occurs. PMID:16213083

  15. Precision of working memory for speech sounds.

    PubMed

    Joseph, Sabine; Iverson, Paul; Manohar, Sanjay; Fox, Zoe; Scott, Sophie K; Husain, Masud

    2015-01-01

    Memory for speech sounds is a key component of models of verbal working memory (WM). But how good is verbal WM? Most investigations assess this using binary report measures to derive a fixed number of items that can be stored. However, recent findings in visual WM have challenged such "quantized" views by employing measures of recall precision with an analogue response scale. WM for speech sounds might rely on both continuous and categorical storage mechanisms. Using a novel speech matching paradigm, we measured WM recall precision for phonemes. Vowel qualities were sampled from a formant space continuum. A probe vowel had to be adjusted to match the vowel quality of a target on a continuous, analogue response scale. Crucially, this provided an index of the variability of a memory representation around its true value and thus allowed us to estimate how memories were distorted from the original sounds. Memory load affected the quality of speech sound recall in two ways. First, there was a gradual decline in recall precision with increasing number of items, consistent with the view that WM representations of speech sounds become noisier with an increase in the number of items held in memory, just as for vision. Based on multidimensional scaling (MDS), the level of noise appeared to be reflected in distortions of the formant space. Second, as memory load increased, there was evidence of greater clustering of participants' responses around particular vowels. A mixture model captured both continuous and categorical responses, demonstrating a shift from continuous to categorical memory with increasing WM load. This suggests that direct acoustic storage can be used for single items, but when more items must be stored, categorical representations must be used. PMID:25607721

  16. Evidence against decay in verbal working memory.

    PubMed

    Oberauer, Klaus; Lewandowsky, Stephan

    2013-05-01

    The article tests the assumption that forgetting in working memory for verbal materials is caused by time-based decay, using the complex-span paradigm. Participants encoded 6 letters for serial recall; each letter was preceded and followed by a processing period comprising 4 trials of difficult visual search. Processing duration, during which memory could decay, was manipulated via search set size. This manipulation increased retention interval by up to 100% without having any effect on recall accuracy. This result held with and without articulatory suppression. Two experiments using a dual-task paradigm showed that the visual search process required central attention. Thus, even when memory maintenance by central attention and by articulatory rehearsal was prevented, a large delay had no effect on memory performance, contrary to the decay notion. Most previous experiments that manipulated the retention interval and the opportunity for maintenance processes in complex span have confounded these variables with time pressure during processing periods. Three further experiments identified time pressure as the variable that affected recall. We conclude that time-based decay does not contribute to the capacity limit of verbal working memory. PMID:22866686

  17. When Higher Working Memory Capacity Hinders Insight

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeCaro, Marci S.; Van Stockum, Charles A., Jr.; Wieth, Mareike B.

    2016-01-01

    Higher working memory capacity (WMC) improves performance on a range of cognitive and academic tasks. However, a greater ability to control attention sometimes leads individuals with higher WMC to persist in using complex, attention-demanding approaches that are suboptimal for a given task. We examined whether higher WMC would hinder insight…

  18. Visual Working Memory for Observed Actions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wood, Justin N.

    2007-01-01

    Human society depends on the ability to remember the actions of other individuals, which is information that must be stored in a temporary buffer to guide behavior after actions have been observed. To date, however, the storage capacity, contents, and architecture of working memory for observed actions are unknown. In this article, the author…

  19. Measuring Working Memory Deficits in Aphasia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayer, Jamie F.; Murray, Laura L.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: Many adults with aphasia demonstrate concomitant deficits in working memory (WM), but such deficits are difficult to quantify because of a lack of validated measures as well as the complex interdependence between language and WM. We examined the feasibility, reliability, and internal consistency of an "n"-back task for evaluating WM in…

  20. A Neural Region of Abstract Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowan, Nelson; Li, Dawei; Moffitt, Amanda; Becker, Theresa M.; Martin, Elizabeth A.; Saults, J. Scott; Christ, Shawn E.

    2011-01-01

    Over 350 years ago, Descartes proposed that the neural basis of consciousness must be a brain region in which sensory inputs are combined. Using fMRI, we identified at least one such area for working memory, the limited information held in mind, described by William James as the trailing edge of consciousness. Specifically, a region in the left…

  1. Reconceptualizing Working Memory in Educational Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fenesi, Barbara; Sana, Faria; Kim, Joseph A.; Shore, David I.

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, research from cognitive science has provided a solid theoretical framework to develop evidence-based interventions in education. In particular, research into reading, writing, language, mathematics and multimedia learning has been guided by the application of Baddeley's multicomponent model of working memory. However, an…

  2. Evidence against Decay in Verbal Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oberauer, Klaus; Lewandowsky, Stephan

    2013-01-01

    The article tests the assumption that forgetting in working memory for verbal materials is caused by time-based decay, using the complex-span paradigm. Participants encoded 6 letters for serial recall; each letter was preceded and followed by a processing period comprising 4 trials of difficult visual search. Processing duration, during which…

  3. Working Memory and Language: An Overview.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baddeley, Alan

    2003-01-01

    This article introduces the concept of a multi-component working memory. Emphasis is placed on the phonological loop component, its fractionation into a storage and processing component, and implications for native and second language learning. An overview of the visual spatial sketchpad and its possible role in language is provided. (Contains…

  4. Intelligence, Working Memory, and Multitasking Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colom, Roberto; Martinez-Molina, Agustin; Shih, Pei Chun; Santacreu, Jose

    2010-01-01

    Multitasking performance is relevant in everyday life and job analyses highlight the influence of multitasking over several diverse occupations. Intelligence is the best single predictor of overall job performance and it is also related to individual differences in multitasking. However, it has been shown that working memory capacity (WMC) is…

  5. Changes in global and regional modularity associated with increasing working memory load

    PubMed Central

    Stanley, Matthew L.; Dagenbach, Dale; Lyday, Robert G.; Burdette, Jonathan H.; Laurienti, Paul J.

    2014-01-01

    Using graph theory measures common to complex network analyses of neuroimaging data, the objective of this study was to explore the effects of increasing working memory processing load on functional brain network topology in a cohort of young adults. Measures of modularity in complex brain networks quantify how well a network is organized into densely interconnected communities. We investigated changes in both the large-scale modular organization of the functional brain network as a whole and regional changes in modular organization as demands on working memory increased from n = 1 to n = 2 on the standard n-back task. We further investigated the relationship between modular properties across working memory load conditions and behavioral performance. Our results showed that regional modular organization within the default mode and working memory circuits significantly changed from 1-back to 2-back task conditions. However, the regional modular organization was not associated with behavioral performance. Global measures of modular organization did not change with working memory load but were associated with individual variability in behavioral performance. These findings indicate that regional and global network properties are modulated by different aspects of working memory under increasing load conditions. These findings highlight the importance of assessing multiple features of functional brain network topology at both global and regional scales rather than focusing on a single network property. PMID:25520639

  6. Age differences in visuospatial working memory.

    PubMed

    Rowe, Gillian; Hasher, Lynn; Turcotte, Josée

    2008-03-01

    In two visuospatial working memory (VSWM) span experiments, older and young participants were tested under conditions of either high or low interference, using two different displays: computerized versions of a 3 x 3 matrix or the standard (randomly arrayed) Corsi block task (P. M. Corsi, 1972). Older adults' VSWM estimates were increased in the low-interference, compared with the high-interference, condition, replicating findings with verbal memory span studies. Young adults showed the opposite pattern, and together the findings suggest that typical VSWM span tasks include opposing components (interference and practice) that differentially affect young and older adults. PMID:18361657

  7. A Probabilistic Model of Visual Working Memory: Incorporating Higher Order Regularities into Working Memory Capacity Estimates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brady, Timothy F.; Tenenbaum, Joshua B.

    2013-01-01

    When remembering a real-world scene, people encode both detailed information about specific objects and higher order information like the overall gist of the scene. However, formal models of change detection, like those used to estimate visual working memory capacity, assume observers encode only a simple memory representation that includes no…

  8. Working memory still needs verbal rehearsal.

    PubMed

    Lucidi, Annalisa; Langerock, Naomi; Hoareau, Violette; Lemaire, Benoît; Camos, Valérie; Barrouillet, Pierre

    2016-02-01

    The causal role of verbal rehearsal in working memory has recently been called into question. For example, the SOB-CS (Serial Order in a Box-Complex Span) model assumes that there is no maintenance process for the strengthening of items in working memory, but instead a process of removal of distractors that are involuntarily encoded and create interference with memory items. In the present study, we tested the idea that verbal working memory performance can be accounted for without assuming a causal role of the verbal rehearsal process. We demonstrate in two experiments using a complex span task and a Brown-Peterson paradigm that increasing the number of repetitions of the same distractor (the syllable ba that was read aloud at each of its occurrences on screen) has a detrimental effect on the concurrent maintenance of consonants whereas the maintenance of spatial locations remains unaffected. A detailed analysis of the tasks demonstrates that accounting for this effect within the SOB-CS model requires a series of unwarranted assumptions leading to undesirable further predictions contradicted by available experimental evidence. We argue that the hypothesis of a maintenance mechanism based on verbal rehearsal that is impeded by concurrent articulation still provides the simplest and most compelling account of our results. PMID:26446777

  9. Attentional Priority Determines Working Memory Precision

    PubMed Central

    Klyszejko, Zuzanna; Rahmati, Masih; Curtis, Clayton E

    2014-01-01

    Visual working memory is a system used to hold information actively in mind for a limited time. The number of items and the precision with which we can store information has limits that define its capacity. How much control do we have over the precision with which we store information when faced with these severe capacity limitations? Here, we tested the hypothesis that rank-ordered attentional priority determines the precision of multiple working memory representations. We conducted two psychophysical experiments that manipulated the priority of multiple items in a two-alternative forced choice task (2AFC) with distance discrimination. In Experiment 1, we varied the probabilities with which memorized items were likely to be tested. To generalize the effects of priority beyond simple cueing, in Experiment 2, we manipulated priority by varying monetary incentives contingent upon successful memory for items tested. Moreover, we illustrate our hypothesis using a simple model that distributed attentional resources across items with rank-ordered priorities. Indeed, we found evidence in both experiments that priority affects the precision of working memory in a monotonic fashion. Our results demonstrate that representations of priority may provide a mechanism by which resources can be allocated to increase the precision with which we encode and briefly store information. PMID:25240420

  10. Liar, liar, working memory on fire: Investigating the role of working memory in childhood verbal deception.

    PubMed

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam; McCallum, Fiona; Alloway, Ross G; Hoicka, Elena

    2015-09-01

    The aim of the current study was to investigate the role of working memory in verbal deception in children. We presented 6- and 7-year-olds with a temptation resistance paradigm; they played a trivia game and were then given an opportunity to peek at the final answers on the back of a card. Measures of both verbal and visuospatial working memory were included. The good liars performed better on the verbal working memory test in both processing and recall compared with the bad liars. However, there was no difference in visuospatial working scores between good liars and bad liars. This pattern suggests that verbal working memory plays a role in processing and manipulating the multiple pieces of information involved in lie-telling. PMID:25913892

  11. Working memory retrieval as a decision process

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, Benjamin; Raškevičius, Julius; Bays, Paul M.; Pertzov, Yoni; Husain, Masud

    2014-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is a core cognitive process fundamental to human behavior, yet the mechanisms underlying it remain highly controversial. Here we provide a new framework for understanding retrieval of information from WM, conceptualizing it as a decision based on the quality of internal evidence. Recent findings have demonstrated that precision of WM decreases with memory load. If WM retrieval uses a decision process that depends on memory quality, systematic changes in response time distribution should occur as a function of WM precision. We asked participants to view sample arrays and, after a delay, report the direction of change in location or orientation of a probe. As WM precision deteriorated with increasing memory load, retrieval time increased systematically. Crucially, the shape of reaction time distributions was consistent with a linear accumulator decision process. Varying either task relevance of items or maintenance duration influenced memory precision, with corresponding shifts in retrieval time. These results provide strong support for a decision-making account of WM retrieval based on noisy storage of items. Furthermore, they show that encoding, maintenance, and retrieval in WM need not be considered as separate processes, but may instead be conceptually unified as operations on the same noise-limited, neural representation. PMID:24492597

  12. Does Working Memory Training Lead to Generalized Improvements in Children with Low Working Memory? A Randomized Controlled Trial

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunning, Darren L.; Holmes, Joni; Gathercole, Susan E.

    2013-01-01

    Children with low working memory typically make poor educational progress, and it has been speculated that difficulties in meeting the heavy working memory demands of the classroom may be a contributory factor. Intensive working memory training has been shown to boost performance on untrained memory tasks in a variety of populations. This first…

  13. Resource allocation models of auditory working memory.

    PubMed

    Joseph, Sabine; Teki, Sundeep; Kumar, Sukhbinder; Husain, Masud; Griffiths, Timothy D

    2016-06-01

    Auditory working memory (WM) is the cognitive faculty that allows us to actively hold and manipulate sounds in mind over short periods of time. We develop here a particular perspective on WM for non-verbal, auditory objects as well as for time based on the consideration of possible parallels to visual WM. In vision, there has been a vigorous debate on whether WM capacity is limited to a fixed number of items or whether it represents a limited resource that can be allocated flexibly across items. Resource allocation models predict that the precision with which an item is represented decreases as a function of total number of items maintained in WM because a limited resource is shared among stored objects. We consider here auditory work on sequentially presented objects of different pitch as well as time intervals from the perspective of dynamic resource allocation. We consider whether the working memory resource might be determined by perceptual features such as pitch or timbre, or bound objects comprising multiple features, and we speculate on brain substrates for these behavioural models. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory. PMID:26835560

  14. Emotional Working Memory in Alzheimer's Disease Patients

    PubMed Central

    Satler, Corina; Tomaz, Carlos

    2011-01-01

    Background Few studies have assessed whether emotional content affects processes supporting working memory in Alzheimer disease (AD) patients. Methods We assessed 22 AD patients and 40 elderly controls (EC) with a delayed matching and non-matching to sample task (DMST/DNMST), and a spatial-delayed recognition span task (SRST; unique/varied) using emotional stimuli. Results AD patients showed decreased performance on both tasks compared with EC. With regard to the valence of the stimuli, we did not observe significant performance differences between groups in the DMST/DNMST. However, both groups remembered a larger number of negative than positive or neutral pictures on unique SRST. Conclusion The results suggest that AD patients show a relative preservation of working memory for emotional information, particularly for negative stimuli. PMID:22163239

  15. DRD2/CHRNA5 Interaction on Prefrontal Biology and Physiology during Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Fazio, Leonardo; D'Ambrosio, Enrico; Gelao, Barbara; Tomasicchio, Aldo; Selvaggi, Pierluigi; Taurisano, Paolo; Quarto, Tiziana; Masellis, Rita; Rampino, Antonio; Caforio, Grazia; Popolizio, Teresa; Blasi, Giuseppe; Sadee, Wolfgang; Bertolino, Alessandro

    2014-01-01

    Background Prefrontal behavior and activity in humans are heritable. Studies in animals demonstrate an interaction between dopamine D2 receptors and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on prefrontal behavior but evidence in humans is weak. Therefore, we hypothesize that genetic variation regulating dopamine D2 and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor signaling impact prefrontal cortex activity and related cognition. To test this hypothesis in humans, we explored the interaction between functional genetic variants in the D2 receptor gene (DRD2, rs1076560) and in the nicotinic receptor α5 gene (CHRNA5, rs16969968) on both dorsolateral prefrontal cortex mediated behavior and physiology during working memory and on prefrontal gray matter volume. Methods A large sample of healthy subjects was compared for genotypic differences for DRD2 rs1076560 (G>T) and CHNRA5 rs16969968 (G>A) on prefrontal phenotypes, including cognitive performance at the N-Back task, prefrontal physiology with BOLD fMRI during performance of the 2-Back working memory task, and prefrontal morphometry with structural MRI. Results We found that DRD2 rs1076560 and CHNRA5 rs16969968 interact to modulate cognitive function, prefrontal physiology during working memory, and prefrontal gray matter volume. More specifically, CHRNA5-AA/DRD2-GT subjects had greater behavioral performance, more efficient prefrontal cortex activity at 2Back working memory task, and greater prefrontal gray matter volume than the other genotype groups. Conclusions The present data extend previous studies in animals and enhance our understanding of dopamine and acetylcholine signaling in the human prefrontal cortex, demonstrating interactions elicited by working memory that are modulated by genetic variants in DRD2 and CHRNA5. PMID:24819610

  16. Substantial SNP-based heritability estimates for working memory performance

    PubMed Central

    Vogler, C; Gschwind, L; Coynel, D; Freytag, V; Milnik, A; Egli, T; Heck, A; de Quervain, D J-F; Papassotiropoulos, A

    2014-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is an important endophenotype in neuropsychiatric research and its use in genetic association studies is thought to be a promising approach to increase our understanding of psychiatric disease. As for any genetically complex trait, demonstration of sufficient heritability within the specific study context is a prerequisite for conducting genetic studies of that trait. Recently developed methods allow estimating trait heritability using sets of common genetic markers from genome-wide association study (GWAS) data in samples of unrelated individuals. Here we present single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based heritability estimates (h2SNP) for a WM phenotype. A Caucasian sample comprising a total of N=2298 healthy and young individuals was subjected to an N-back WM task. We calculated the genetic relationship between all individuals on the basis of genome-wide SNP data and performed restricted maximum likelihood analyses for variance component estimation to derive the h2SNP estimates. Heritability estimates for three 2-back derived WM performance measures based on all autosomal chromosomes ranged between 31 and 41%, indicating a substantial SNP-based heritability for WM traits. These results indicate that common genetic factors account for a prominent part of the phenotypic variation in WM performance. Hence, the application of GWAS on WM phenotypes is a valid method to identify the molecular underpinnings of WM. PMID:25203169

  17. Supramodal parametric working memory processing in humans.

    PubMed

    Spitzer, Bernhard; Blankenburg, Felix

    2012-03-01

    Previous studies of delayed-match-to-sample (DMTS) frequency discrimination in animals and humans have succeeded in delineating the neural signature of frequency processing in somatosensory working memory (WM). During retention of vibrotactile frequencies, stimulus-dependent single-cell and population activity in prefrontal cortex was found to reflect the task-relevant memory content, whereas increases in occipital alpha activity signaled the disengagement of areas not relevant for the tactile task. Here, we recorded EEG from human participants to determine the extent to which these mechanisms can be generalized to frequency retention in the visual and auditory domains. Subjects performed analogous variants of a DMTS frequency discrimination task, with the frequency information presented either visually, auditorily, or by vibrotactile stimulation. Examining oscillatory EEG activity during frequency retention, we found characteristic topographical distributions of alpha power over visual, auditory, and somatosensory cortices, indicating systematic patterns of inhibition and engagement of early sensory areas, depending on stimulus modality. The task-relevant frequency information, in contrast, was found to be represented in right prefrontal cortex, independent of presentation mode. In each of the three modality conditions, parametric modulations of prefrontal upper beta activity (20-30 Hz) emerged, in a very similar manner as recently found in vibrotactile tasks. Together, the findings corroborate a view of parametric WM as supramodal internal scaling of abstract quantity information and suggest strong relevance of previous evidence from vibrotactile work for a more general framework of quantity processing in human working memory. PMID:22399750

  18. Working memory for time intervals in auditory rhythmic sequences

    PubMed Central

    Teki, Sundeep; Griffiths, Timothy D.

    2014-01-01

    The brain can hold information about multiple objects in working memory. It is not known, however, whether intervals of time can be stored in memory as distinct items. Here, we developed a novel paradigm to examine temporal memory where listeners were required to reproduce the duration of a single probed interval from a sequence of intervals. We demonstrate that memory performance significantly varies as a function of temporal structure (better memory in regular vs. irregular sequences), interval size (better memory for sub- vs. supra-second intervals), and memory load (poor memory for higher load). In contrast memory performance is invariant to attentional cueing. Our data represent the first systematic investigation of temporal memory in sequences that goes beyond previous work based on single intervals. The results support the emerging hypothesis that time intervals are allocated a working memory resource that varies with the amount of other temporal information in a sequence. PMID:25477849

  19. Genetic modulation of working memory deficits by ankyrin 3 gene in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chen; Cai, Jun; Zhang, Jiangtao; Li, Zezhi; Guo, Zhongwei; Zhang, Xu; Lu, Weihong; Zhang, Yi; Yuan, Aihua; Yu, Shunying; Fang, Yiru

    2014-04-01

    Neuropsychological endophenotype approach is an emerging strategy in schizophrenia research to understand and identify the functional importance of genetically transmitted, brain-based deficits present in this disorder. Accumulating evidence indicated that working memory deficit is a core neuropsychological dysfunction in schizophrenia and a primary endophenotype indexing the liability to develop schizophrenia. Genetic variation in ankyrin 3 gene (ANK3) is likely to have widespread cognitive effects. Our previous study has identified a significant association of ANK3 SNPs and schizophrenia. In this study, we aimed to examine whether the schizophrenia-risk SNPs within ANK3 may affect working memory deficits in schizophrenia patients. Herein, we assess the working memory performance in 163 patients with first-episode, antipsychotic-naïve schizophrenia and 42 sex, age-matched healthy subjects using N-back task. Two SNPs rs10761482 and rs10994336 were genotyped among the patients and 209 controls. Our results showed that schizophrenia patients showed significantly poorer performance than healthy controls on N-back task (ps<0.01). After adjusting for the scores of intelligence quotient, memory quotient and the demographic factors, there was a significant genotype effect of the rs10994336 on the accuracy rate and reaction time of 2-back item (p=0.048 and 0.024, respectively). Post-hoc analyses showed that patients with rs10994336T/T genotype had significantly lower accuracy rate and more reaction time at 2-back task than those with T/C and C/C genotypes. The association of SNP rs10994336 with schizophrenia was replicated in our sample (genotypic p=0.024 and allelic p=0.006). However, we did not find any significant association of rs10761482 with schizophrenia and parameters in N-back task. Our results indicated that genetic variation within ANK3 may exert gene-specific modulating effects on working memory deficits in schizophrenia. PMID:24361380

  20. THE COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE OF WORKING MEMORY

    PubMed Central

    D’Esposito, Mark; Postle, Bradley R.

    2015-01-01

    For over 50 years, psychologists and neuroscientists have recognized the importance of a “working memory” to coordinate processing when multiple goals are active, and to guide behavior with information that is not present in the immediate environment. In recent years, psychological theory and cognitive neuroscience data have converged on the idea that information is encoded into working memory via the allocation of attention to internal representations – be they semantic long-term memory (e.g., letters, digits, words), sensory, or motoric. Thus, information-based multivariate analyses of human functional MRI data typically find evidence for the temporary representation of stimuli in regions that also process this information in nonworking-memory contexts. The prefrontal cortex, on the other hand, exerts control over behavior by biasing the salience of mnemonic representations, and adjudicating among competing, context-dependent rules. The “control of the controller” emerges from a complex interplay between PFC and striatal circuits, and ascending dopaminergic neuromodulatory signals. PMID:25251486

  1. Verbal declarative memory impairments in specific language impairment are related to working memory deficits

    PubMed Central

    Lum, Jarrad A.G.; Ullman, Michael T.; Conti-Ramsden, Gina

    2015-01-01

    This study examined verbal declarative memory functioning in SLI and its relationship to working memory. Encoding, recall, and recognition of verbal information was examined in children with SLI who had below average working memory (SLILow WM), children with SLI who had average working memory (SLIAvg. WM) and, a group of non-language impaired children with average working memory (TDAvg. WM). The SLILow WM group was significantly worse than both the SLIAvg. WM and TDAvg. WM groups at encoding verbal information and at retrieving verbal information following a delay. In contrast, the SLIAvg. WM group showed no verbal declarative memory deficits. The study demonstrates that verbal declarative memory deficits in SLI only occur when verbal working memory is impaired. Thus SLI declarative memory is largely intact and deficits are likely to be related to working memory impairments. PMID:25660053

  2. A probabilistic model of visual working memory: Incorporating higher order regularities into working memory capacity estimates.

    PubMed

    Brady, Timothy F; Tenenbaum, Joshua B

    2013-01-01

    When remembering a real-world scene, people encode both detailed information about specific objects and higher order information like the overall gist of the scene. However, formal models of change detection, like those used to estimate visual working memory capacity, assume observers encode only a simple memory representation that includes no higher order structure and treats items independently from one another. We present a probabilistic model of change detection that attempts to bridge this gap by formalizing the role of perceptual organization and allowing for richer, more structured memory representations. Using either standard visual working memory displays or displays in which the items are purposefully arranged in patterns, we find that models that take into account perceptual grouping between items and the encoding of higher order summary information are necessary to account for human change detection performance. Considering the higher order structure of items in visual working memory will be critical for models to make useful predictions about observers' memory capacity and change detection abilities in simple displays as well as in more natural scenes. PMID:23230888

  3. Distinctions between orthographic long-term memory and working memory

    PubMed Central

    Buchwald, Adam; Rapp, Brenda

    2011-01-01

    Research in the cognitive and neural sciences has long posited a distinction between the long-term memory (LTM) storage of information and the short-term buffering of information that is being actively manipulated in working memory (WM). This basic type of distinction has been posited in a variety of domains, including written language production—spelling. In the domain of spelling, the primary source of empirical evidence regarding this distinction has been cognitive neuropsychological studies reporting deficits selectively affecting what the cognitive neuropsychological literature has referred to as the orthographic lexicon (LTM) or the graphemic buffer (WM). Recent papers have reexamined several of the hallmark characteristics of impairment affecting the graphemic buffer, with implications for our understanding of the nature of the orthographic LTM and WM systems. In this paper, we present a detailed case series study of 4 individuals with acquired spelling deficits and report evidence from both error types and factors influencing error rates that support the traditional distinction between these cognitive systems involved in spelling. In addition, we report evidence indicating possible interaction between these systems, which is consistent with a variety of recent findings in research on spelling. PMID:20425660

  4. Differential Age Effects on Spatial and Visual Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oosterman, Joukje M.; Morel, Sascha; Meijer, Lisette; Buvens, Cleo; Kessels, Roy P. C.; Postma, Albert

    2011-01-01

    The present study was intended to compare age effects on visual and spatial working memory by using two versions of the same task that differed only in presentation mode. The working memory task contained both a simultaneous and a sequential presentation mode condition, reflecting, respectively, visual and spatial working memory processes. Young…

  5. Working Memory Limitations in Children with Severe Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Daal, John; Verhoeven, Ludo; van Leeuwe, Jan; van Balkom, Hans

    2008-01-01

    In the present study, the relations of various aspects of working memory to various aspects of language problems in a clinical sample of 97 Dutch speaking 5-year-old children with severe language problems were studied. The working memory and language abilities of the children were examined using an extensive battery of tests. Working memory was…

  6. Reflections on Working Memory: Are the Two Models Complementary?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pascual-Leone, Juan

    2000-01-01

    Compares and contrasts working memory theory of Baddeley and theory of constructive operators of Pascual- Leone. Concludes that although the theory of constructive operators is complementary with working memory theory (explains developmental and individual differences that working memory theory cannot), the converse is not true; theory of…

  7. Teachers' Perceptions of Classroom Behaviour and Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam

    2012-01-01

    Working memory, ability to remember and manipulate information, is crucial to academic attainment. The aim of the present study was to understand teachers' perception of working memory and how it impacts classroom behaviour. A semi-structured interview was used to explore teachers' ability to define working memory, identify these difficulties in…

  8. Working Memory and Learning: A Practical Guide for Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gathercole, Susan E.; Alloway, Tracy Packiam

    2008-01-01

    A good working memory is crucial to becoming a successful leaner, yet there is very little material available in an easy-to-use format that explains the concept and offers practitioners ways to support children with poor working memory in the classroom. This book provides a coherent overview of the role played by working memory in learning during…

  9. Verbal Working Memory in Children with Mild Intellectual Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van der Molen, M. J.; Van Luit, J. E. H.; Jongmans, M. J.; Van der Molen, M. W.

    2007-01-01

    Background: Previous research into working memory of individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) has established clear deficits. The current study examined working memory in children with mild ID (IQ 55-85) within the framework of the Baddeley model, fractionating working memory into a central executive and two slave systems, the phonological…

  10. Predictors of Verbal Working Memory in Children with Cerebral Palsy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peeters, Marieke; Verhoeven, Ludo; de Moor, Jan

    2009-01-01

    The goal of the present study was to examine the precursors of verbal working memory in 52 children with cerebral palsy with varying degrees of speech impairments in the first grade of special education. Following Baddeley's model of working memory, children's verbal working memory was measured by means of a forced-recognition task. As precursors…

  11. Pitch Perception, Working Memory, and Second-Language Phonological Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Posedel, James; Emery, Lisa; Souza, Benjamin; Fountain, Catherine

    2012-01-01

    Previous research has suggested that training on a musical instrument is associated with improvements in working memory and musical pitch perception ability. Good working memory and musical pitch perception ability, in turn, have been linked to certain aspects of language production. The current study examines whether working memory and/or pitch…

  12. Spatial Working Memory Effects in Early Visual Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munneke, Jaap; Heslenfeld, Dirk J.; Theeuwes, Jan

    2010-01-01

    The present study investigated how spatial working memory recruits early visual cortex. Participants were required to maintain a location in working memory while changes in blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signals were measured during the retention interval in which no visual stimulation was present. We show working memory effects during the…

  13. Forward scanning in verbal working memory updating.

    PubMed

    Kessler, Yoav; Oberauer, Klaus

    2015-12-01

    Effective use of working memory (WM) for high-level cognitive tasks requires coordinating two conflicting requirements: robust maintenance and rapid updating. Models of WM suggest that these demands are coordinated by a gate between perceptual input and WM. Previous work with a letter-updating paradigm (Kessler & Oberauer, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 40, 738-754, 2014) supported a scanning and gate-switching (SGS) model of WM updating. The present work provides further evidence for the SGS model. Participants were required to keep track of the last letter that appeared in each of a row of frames on the screen. On each updating step, a variable subset of letters in varying positions in the row had to be updated. The SGS model assumes that on each updating step, participants scan through the memory set sequentially, opening the gate when a letter requires updating, and closing the gate when the next letter needs to be maintained. As is predicted by the SGS model, the reaction times for each updating step increased with the number of updated items and with the number of gate switches. In addition, the present experiment provides direct evidence supporting the scanning assumption of the model. Hebrew-speaking participants performed the task with either Hebrew or English letter stimuli, in different blocks. As was predicted, the scanning direction of the stimulus set was from left to right in English and from right to left in Hebrew. The SGS model fit the data only when the scanning direction was taken into account, establishing the role of item-based forward scanning during WM updating. PMID:25962687

  14. Happiness increases verbal and spatial working memory capacity where sadness does not: Emotion, working memory and executive control.

    PubMed

    Storbeck, Justin; Maswood, Raeya

    2016-08-01

    The effects of emotion on working memory and executive control are often studied in isolation. Positive mood enhances verbal and impairs spatial working memory, whereas negative mood enhances spatial and impairs verbal working memory. Moreover, positive mood enhances executive control, whereas negative mood has little influence. We examined how emotion influences verbal and spatial working memory capacity, which requires executive control to coordinate between holding information in working memory and completing a secondary task. We predicted that positive mood would improve both verbal and spatial working memory capacity because of its influence on executive control. Positive, negative and neutral moods were induced followed by completing a verbal (Experiment 1) or spatial (Experiment 2) working memory operation span task to assess working memory capacity. Positive mood enhanced working memory capacity irrespective of the working memory domain, whereas negative mood had no influence on performance. Thus, positive mood was more successful holding information in working memory while processing task-irrelevant information, suggesting that the influence mood has on executive control supersedes the independent effects mood has on domain-specific working memory. PMID:25947579

  15. Working Memory Underpins Cognitive Development, Learning, and Education

    PubMed Central

    Cowan, Nelson

    2014-01-01

    Working memory is the retention of a small amount of information in a readily accessible form. It facilitates planning, comprehension, reasoning, and problem-solving. I examine the historical roots and conceptual development of the concept and the theoretical and practical implications of current debates about working memory mechanisms. Then I explore the nature of cognitive developmental improvements in working memory, the role of working memory in learning, and some potential implications of working memory and its development for the education of children and adults. The use of working memory is quite ubiquitous in human thought, but the best way to improve education using what we know about working memory is still controversial. I hope to provide some directions for research and educational practice. PMID:25346585

  16. Changes in Effective Connectivity According to Working Memory Load: An fMRI Study of Face and Location Working Memory Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Joon Shik; Jung, Wi Hoon; Kang, Do-Hyung; Park, Ji-Young; Jang, Joon Hwan; Choi, Jung-Seok; Choi, Chi-Hoon; Kim, Jejoong

    2012-01-01

    Objective The functional strategic mechanisms in the brain during performing visuospatial working memory tasks, especially tasks with heavy load, are controversial. We conducted the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while sixteen subjects were performing face- and location-matching n-back tasks to examine causal relations within the frontoparietal networks. Methods We applied a sophisticated method, the structural equation modeling (SEM), to the fMRI data. The imaging data were analyzed by extracting the task-related eigenseries using the principal component analysis (PCA) and then by applying a form of data-driven model called the automated search method. Results The SEM analyses revealed a functional shift of network connectivity from the right to the left hemisphere with increasing load in the face-matching n-back tasks while the location-matching tasks required bilateral activation. In the locating matching n-back tasks, a pattern of parallel processing was observed in the left phonological loop and the right inferior parietal regions. Furthermore, object working memory-related activities in the left hemisphere reliably contributed to performance of both the face- and location-matching 2-back tasks. Conclusion Our results are consistent with previous reports in terms of demonstrating parallel and distributed information processing during performing working memory tasks with heavy loads. Our results additionally suggest a dynamic shift between the fast imagery circuit (right hemisphere) and the stable verbal circuit (left hemisphere), depending on task load. PMID:22993529

  17. Rethinking the Connection between Working Memory and Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Archibald, Lisa M. D.; Harder Griebeling, Katherine

    2016-01-01

    Background: Working memory deficits have been found for children with specific language impairment (SLI) on tasks imposing increasing short-term memory load with or without additional, consistent (and simple) processing load. Aims: To examine the processing function of working memory in children with low language (LL) by employing tasks imposing…

  18. Are Working Memory Measures Free of Socioeconomic Influence?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Engel, Pascale Marguerite Josiane; Santos, Flavia Heloisa; Gathercole, Susan Elizabeth

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: This study evaluated the impact of socioeconomic factors on children's performance on tests of working memory and vocabulary. Method: Twenty Brazilian children, aged 6 and 7 years, from low-income families, completed tests of working memory (verbal short-term memory and verbal complex span) and vocabulary (expressive and receptive). A…

  19. Training Planning and Working Memory in Third Graders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goldin, Andrea Paula; Segretin, Maria Soledad; Hermida, Maria Julia; Paz, Luciano; Lipina, Sebastian Javier; Sigman, Mariano

    2013-01-01

    Working memory and planning are fundamental cognitive skills supporting fluid reasoning. We show that 2 games that train working memory and planning skills in school-aged children promote transfer to 2 different tasks: an attentional test and a fluid reasoning test. We also show long-term improvement of planning and memory capacities in…

  20. Working Memory, Long-Term Memory, and Medial Temporal Lobe Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jeneson, Annette; Squire, Larry R.

    2012-01-01

    Early studies of memory-impaired patients with medial temporal lobe (MTL) damage led to the view that the hippocampus and related MTL structures are involved in the formation of long-term memory and that immediate memory and working memory are independent of these structures. This traditional idea has recently been revisited. Impaired performance…

  1. The Development of Working Memory: Further Note on the Comparability of Two Models of Working Memory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de Ribaupierre, Anik; Bailleux, Christine

    2000-01-01

    Summarizes similarities and differences between the working memory models of Pascual-Leone and Baddeley. Debates whether each model makes a specific contribution to explanation of Kemps, De Rammelaere, and Desmet's results. Argues for necessity of theoretical task analyses. Compares a study similar to that of Kemps et al. in which different…

  2. The Development of Attention Systems and Working Memory in Infancy

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, Greg D.; Romano, Alexandra C.

    2016-01-01

    In this article, we review research and theory on the development of attention and working memory in infancy using a developmental cognitive neuroscience framework. We begin with a review of studies examining the influence of attention on neural and behavioral correlates of an earlier developing and closely related form of memory (i.e., recognition memory). Findings from studies measuring attention utilizing looking measures, heart rate, and event-related potentials (ERPs) indicate significant developmental change in sustained and selective attention across the infancy period. For example, infants show gains in the magnitude of the attention related response and spend a greater proportion of time engaged in attention with increasing age (Richards and Turner, 2001). Throughout infancy, attention has a significant impact on infant performance on a variety of tasks tapping into recognition memory; however, this approach to examining the influence of infant attention on memory performance has yet to be utilized in research on working memory. In the second half of the article, we review research on working memory in infancy focusing on studies that provide insight into the developmental timing of significant gains in working memory as well as research and theory related to neural systems potentially involved in working memory in early development. We also examine issues related to measuring and distinguishing between working memory and recognition memory in infancy. To conclude, we discuss relations between the development of attention systems and working memory. PMID:26973473

  3. The influence on individual working memory during 15 days -6° head-down bed rest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Xin; Wang, YiXue; Zhou, RenLai; Wang, LinJie; Tan, Cheng

    2011-12-01

    The research evaluated the changes of verbal and spatial working memory with females during 15 days -6° head-down bed rest. We used 2-back task to evaluate the working memory ability on four time points: the fifth day before the rest, the fifth day and the tenth day in the rest and the fifth day after the rest, as well as record the participants' depression and anxiety feelings using Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) simultaneously. The results demonstrated that the trends of verbal and spatial working memory performance were consistent with that of the control group during the rest. Moreover, in the -6° head-down bed rest conditions, the participants have performed no damage on the working memory ability, and any clinically salient anxiety and depression. The research considered that, compared to the real space environment, individuals' undamaged cognitive functions probably have something to do with the failure of evoking clinical anxiety and depression in the stimulated weightless environment.

  4. Brain Activity in Cigarette Smokers Performing a Working Memory Task: Effect of Smoking Abstinence

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Jiansong; Mendrek, Adrianna; Cohen, Mark S.; Monterosso, John; Rodriguez, Paul; Simon, Sara L.; Brody, Arthur; Jarvik, Murray; Domier, Catherine P.; Olmstead, Richard; Ernst, Monique; London, Edythe D.

    2009-01-01

    Background When nicotine-dependent human subjects abstain from cigarette smoking, they exhibit deficits in working memory. An understanding of the neural substrates of such impairments may help to understand how nicotine affects cognition. Our aim, therefore, was to identify abnormalities in the circuitry that mediates working memory in nicotine-dependent subjects after they initiate abstinence from smoking. Methods We used blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study eight smokers while they performed a letter version of the N-Back working memory task under satiety (≤1.5 hours abstinence) and abstinence (≥14 hours abstinence) conditions. Results Task-related activity in the left dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) showed a significant interaction between test session (satiety, abstinence) and task load (1-back, 2-back, and 3-back). This interaction reflected the fact that task-related activity in the satiety condition was relatively low during performance of the 1-back task but greater at the more difficult task levels, whereas task-related activity in the abstinence condition was relatively high at the 1-back level and did not increase at the more difficult task levels. Conclusions We conclude that neural processing related to working memory in the left DLPFC is less efficient during acute abstinence from smoking than at smoking satiety. PMID:16038685

  5. Cerebellar fMRI Activation Increases with Increasing Working Memory Demands.

    PubMed

    Küper, M; Kaschani, P; Thürling, M; Stefanescu, M R; Burciu, R G; Göricke, S; Maderwald, S; Ladd, M E; Hautzel, H; Timmann, D

    2016-06-01

    The aim of the present study was to explore cerebellar contributions to the central executive in n-back working memory tasks using 7-T functional magnetic imaging (fMRI). We hypothesized that cerebellar activation increased with increasing working memory demands. Activations of the cerebellar cortex and dentate nuclei were compared between 0-back (serving as a motor control task), 1-back, and 2-back working memory tasks for both verbal and abstract modalities. A block design was used. Data of 27 participants (mean age 26.6 ± 3.8 years, female/male 12:15) were included in group statistical analysis. We observed that cerebellar cortical activations increased with higher central executive demands in n-back tasks independent of task modality. As confirmed by subtraction analyses, additional bilateral activations following higher executive demands were found primarily in four distinct cerebellar areas: (i) the border region of lobule VI and crus I, (ii) inferior parts of the lateral cerebellum (lobules crus II, VIIb, VIII, IX), (iii) posterior parts of the paravermal cerebellar cortex (lobules VI, crus I, crus II), and (iv) the inferior vermis (lobules VI, VIIb, VIII, IX). Dentate activations were observed for both verbal and abstract modalities. Task-related increases were less robust and detected for the verbal n-back tasks only. These results provide further evidence that the cerebellum participates in an amodal bilateral neuronal network representing the central executive during working memory n-back tasks. PMID:26202670

  6. The relation between prospective memory and working memory: Evidence from event-related potential data.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ya; Cao, Xiao-Yan; Cui, Ji-Fang; Shum, David H K; Chan, Raymond C K

    2013-08-01

    Event-related potentials were used in this study to investigate the neural correlates of prospective memory and whether working memory is involved in prospective remembering. Thirty undergraduate or graduate students participated in the study. All participants completed a working memory test, namely, the Chinese Letter-Number Span Test, and were divided into two groups: the longer and shorter working memory span groups. They also undertook a prospective memory task while electrophysiological data were recorded. The results showed that participants in the longer working memory span group had shorter reaction times and smaller amplitudes in prospective positivity than participants in the shorter working memory span group. The results suggested that working memory resources are involved in the intention retrieval process of prospective remembering. PMID:26271181

  7. Working-memory training improves developmental dyslexia in Chinese children.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yan; Wang, Jing; Wu, Hanrong; Zhu, Dongmei; Zhang, Yu

    2013-02-15

    Although plasticity in the neural system underlies working memory, and working memory can be improved by training, there is thus far no evidence that children with developmental dyslexia can benefit from working-memory training. In the present study, thirty dyslexic children aged 8-11 years were recruited from an elementary school in Wuhan, China. They received working-memory training, including training in visuospatial memory, verbal memory, and central executive tasks. The difficulty of the tasks was adjusted based on the performance of each subject, and the training sessions lasted 40 minutes per day, for 5 weeks. The results showed that working-memory training significantly enhanced performance on the nontrained working memory tasks such as the visuospatial, the verbal domains, and central executive tasks in children with developmental dyslexia. More importantly, the visual rhyming task and reading fluency task were also significantly improved by training. Progress on working memory measures was related to changes in reading skills. These experimental findings indicate that working memory is a pivotal factor in reading development among children with developmental dyslexia, and interventions to improve working memory may help dyslexic children to become more proficient in reading. PMID:25206687

  8. Manipulations of attention dissociate fragile visual short-term memory from visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R E; Sligte, Ilja G; Lamme, Victor A F

    2011-05-01

    People often rely on information that is no longer in view, but maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM). Traditionally, VSTM is thought to operate on either a short time-scale with high capacity - iconic memory - or a long time scale with small capacity - visual working memory. Recent research suggests that in addition, an intermediate stage of memory in between iconic memory and visual working memory exists. This intermediate stage has a large capacity and a lifetime of several seconds, but is easily overwritten by new stimulation. We therefore termed it fragile VSTM. In previous studies, fragile VSTM has been dissociated from iconic memory by the characteristics of the memory trace. In the present study, we dissociated fragile VSTM from visual working memory by showing a differentiation in their dependency on attention. A decrease in attention during presentation of the stimulus array greatly reduced the capacity of visual working memory, while this had only a small effect on the capacity of fragile VSTM. We conclude that fragile VSTM is a separate memory store from visual working memory. Thus, a tripartite division of VSTM appears to be in place, comprising iconic memory, fragile VSTM and visual working memory. PMID:21236273

  9. Psychotic Experiences and Working Memory: A Population-Based Study Using Signal-Detection Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Rossi, Rodolfo; Zammit, Stanley; Button, Katherine S.; Munafò, Marcus R.; Lewis, Glyn; David, Anthony S.

    2016-01-01

    Psychotic Experiences (PEs) during adolescence index increased risk for psychotic disorders and schizophrenia in adult life. Working memory (WM) deficits are a core feature of these disorders. Our objective was to examine the relationship between PEs and WM in a general population sample of young people in a case control study. 4744 individuals of age 17–18 from Bristol and surrounding areas (UK) were analyzed in a cross-sectional study nested within the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) birth cohort study. The dependent variable was PEs, assessed using the semi-structured Psychosis-Like Symptom Interview (PLIKSi). The independent variable was performance on a computerized numerical n-back working memory task. Signal-Detection Theory indices, including standardized hits rate, false alarms rate, discriminability index (d’) and response bias (c) from 2-Back and 3-Back tasks were calculated. 3576 and 3527 individuals had complete data for 2-Back and 3-Back respectively. Suspected/definite PEs prevalence was 7.9% (N = 374). Strongest evidence of association was seen between PEs and false alarms on the 2-Back, (odds ratio (OR) = 1.17 [95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.01, 1.35]) and 3-back (OR = 1.35 [1.18, 1.54]) and with c (OR = 1.59 [1.09, 2.34]), and lower d’ (OR = 0.76 [0.65, 0.89]), on the 3-Back. Adjustment for several potential confounders, including general IQ, drug exposure and different psycho-social factors, and subsequent multiple imputation of missing data did not materially alter the results. WM is impaired in young people with PEs in the general population. False alarms, rather than poor accuracy, are more closely related to PEs. Such impairment is consistent with different neuropsychological models of psychosis focusing on signal-to-noise discrimination, probabilistic reasoning and impaired reality monitoring as a basis of psychotic symptoms. PMID:27120349

  10. Working memory and intelligibility of hearing-aid processed speech.

    PubMed

    Souza, Pamela E; Arehart, Kathryn H; Shen, Jing; Anderson, Melinda; Kates, James M

    2015-01-01

    Previous work suggested that individuals with low working memory capacity may be at a disadvantage in adverse listening environments, including situations with background noise or substantial modification of the acoustic signal. This study explored the relationship between patient factors (including working memory capacity) and intelligibility and quality of modified speech for older individuals with sensorineural hearing loss. The modification was created using a combination of hearing aid processing [wide-dynamic range compression (WDRC) and frequency compression (FC)] applied to sentences in multitalker babble. The extent of signal modification was quantified via an envelope fidelity index. We also explored the contribution of components of working memory by including measures of processing speed and executive function. We hypothesized that listeners with low working memory capacity would perform more poorly than those with high working memory capacity across all situations, and would also be differentially affected by high amounts of signal modification. Results showed a significant effect of working memory capacity for speech intelligibility, and an interaction between working memory, amount of hearing loss and signal modification. Signal modification was the major predictor of quality ratings. These data add to the literature on hearing-aid processing and working memory by suggesting that the working memory-intelligibility effects may be related to aggregate signal fidelity, rather than to the specific signal manipulation. They also suggest that for individuals with low working memory capacity, sensorineural loss may be most appropriately addressed with WDRC and/or FC parameters that maintain the fidelity of the signal envelope. PMID:25999874

  11. Working memory and intelligibility of hearing-aid processed speech

    PubMed Central

    Souza, Pamela E.; Arehart, Kathryn H.; Shen, Jing; Anderson, Melinda; Kates, James M.

    2015-01-01

    Previous work suggested that individuals with low working memory capacity may be at a disadvantage in adverse listening environments, including situations with background noise or substantial modification of the acoustic signal. This study explored the relationship between patient factors (including working memory capacity) and intelligibility and quality of modified speech for older individuals with sensorineural hearing loss. The modification was created using a combination of hearing aid processing [wide-dynamic range compression (WDRC) and frequency compression (FC)] applied to sentences in multitalker babble. The extent of signal modification was quantified via an envelope fidelity index. We also explored the contribution of components of working memory by including measures of processing speed and executive function. We hypothesized that listeners with low working memory capacity would perform more poorly than those with high working memory capacity across all situations, and would also be differentially affected by high amounts of signal modification. Results showed a significant effect of working memory capacity for speech intelligibility, and an interaction between working memory, amount of hearing loss and signal modification. Signal modification was the major predictor of quality ratings. These data add to the literature on hearing-aid processing and working memory by suggesting that the working memory-intelligibility effects may be related to aggregate signal fidelity, rather than to the specific signal manipulation. They also suggest that for individuals with low working memory capacity, sensorineural loss may be most appropriately addressed with WDRC and/or FC parameters that maintain the fidelity of the signal envelope. PMID:25999874

  12. Autobiographical memory and daily schemas at work.

    PubMed

    Eldridge, M A; Barnard, P J; Bekerian, D A

    1994-03-01

    This exploratory study examines how daily schemas for work activities influence retrospective memory. Twelve subjects were asked to describe their 'typical day' at work, and to recall their work activities of yesterday and of the same day a week ago. The number of basic activities occurring in each description was counted, and the number of basic activities occurring in the typical day description was viewed as an index of the degree of elaboration of the schema. There were three major findings. First, people recalled fewer activities from last week than they did from yesterday, and those activities that were recalled from last week tended to be those that were in the daily schema. Second, there was a tendency for people with highly elaborated daily schemas to recall more activities from last week than people with poorly elaborated schemas. And third, there were more schematic references in the recalls from last week than in those from yesterday. Taken together, these findings indicate that there are strong schematic influences on the recall of activities from last week, but not on those from yesterday. The discussion points to a number of research issues, both applied and theoretical, which arise from this preliminary investigation of daily work schemas. PMID:7584285

  13. Time and interference: Effects on working memory.

    PubMed

    Botto, Marta; Palladino, Paola

    2016-05-01

    This study tested predictions from the time-based resource-sharing (TBRS) model with a classical verbal working memory (WM) task, where target and non-target information interfere strongly with each other. Different predictions can be formulated according to the dominant perspectives (TBRS and interference hypothesis) on the role of inhibitory control in WM task performance. Here, we aimed to trace the activation of irrelevant information, examining priming effects in a lexical decision task immediately following WM recall. Results indicate the roles of both time and interference constraints in determining task performance. In particular, the role of time available seemed crucial at the highest WM loads (i.e., 3 and 4 memoranda). These were also associated with a higher activation of no-longer-relevant information but, in this case, independently from time available for processing. PMID:26085338

  14. Taxing working memory with syntax: bihemispheric modulations.

    PubMed

    Santi, Andrea; Grodzinsky, Yosef

    2007-11-01

    Motivated by claims that relegate the syntactic functions of Broca's region to working memory (WM) and not to language-specific mechanisms, we conducted an fMRI and an aphasia study that featured two varieties of intrasentential dependency relations: One was syntactic movement (e.g., Which boy does the girl think [symbol in text] examined Steven?), the other was antecedent-reflexive binding (e.g., Jill thinks the boy examined himself). In both, WM is required to link two nonadjacent positions. Syntactically, they are governed by distinct rule systems. In health, the two dependencies modulated activity in distinct brain regions within the left inferior frontal gyrus and the left middle temporal gyrus. Binding uniquely modulated activation in the right frontal lobe. Receptive abilities in brain damaged patients likewise distinguished among these syntactic types. The results indicate that sentence comprehension is governed by syntactically carved neural chunks and provide hints regarding a language related region in the right hemisphere. PMID:17133392

  15. Working memory capacity and overgeneral autobiographical memory in young and older adults.

    PubMed

    Ros, Laura; Latorre, José Miguel; Serrano, Juan Pedro

    2010-01-01

    The objectives of this study are to compare the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT) performance of two healthy samples of younger and older adults and to analyse the relationship between overgeneral memory (OGM) and working memory executive processes (WMEP) using a structural equation modelling with latent variables. The AMT and sustained attention, short-term memory and working memory tasks were administered to a group of young adults (N = 50) and a group of older adults (N = 46). On the AMT, the older adults recalled a greater number of categorical memories (p = .000) and fewer specific memories (p = .000) than the young adults, confirming that OGM occurs in the normal population and increases with age. WMEP was measured by reading span and a working memory with sustained attention load task. Structural equation modelling reflects that WMEP shows a strong relationship with OGM: lower scores on WMEP reflect an OGM phenomenon characterized by higher categorical and lower specific memories. PMID:19626477

  16. The Development of Time-Based Prospective Memory in Childhood: The Role of Working Memory Updating

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Voigt, Babett; Mahy, Caitlin E. V.; Ellis, Judi; Schnitzspahn, Katharina; Krause, Ivonne; Altgassen, Mareike; Kliegel, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    This large-scale study examined the development of time-based prospective memory (PM) across childhood and the roles that working memory updating and time monitoring play in driving age effects in PM performance. One hundred and ninety-seven children aged 5 to 14 years completed a time-based PM task where working memory updating load was…

  17. Working Memory and Intelligence: The Same or Different Constructs?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ackerman, Phillip L.; Beier, Margaret E.; Boyle, Mary O.

    2005-01-01

    Several investigators have claimed over the past decade that working memory (WM) and general intelligence (g) are identical, or nearly identical, constructs, from an individual-differences perspective. Although memory measures are commonly included in intelligence tests, and memory abilities are included in theories of intelligence, the identity…

  18. Spatial Working Memory and Gender Differences in Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geiger, John F.; Litwiller, Robert M.

    2005-01-01

    One reason for the lack of female participation in science could be due to cognitive differences between males and females. The present study measured verbal and spatial working memory for 15 males and 48 females. Males were found to have both a larger verbal memory and a larger spatial memory. Participants then read texts that either presented…

  19. Evidence for Two Attentional Components in Visual Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allen, Richard J.; Baddeley, Alan D.; Hitch, Graham J.

    2014-01-01

    How does executive attentional control contribute to memory for sequences of visual objects, and what does this reveal about storage and processing in working memory? Three experiments examined the impact of a concurrent executive load (backward counting) on memory for sequences of individually presented visual objects. Experiments 1 and 2 found…

  20. Children's Working Memory: Investigating Performance Limitations in Complex Span Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conlin, J.A.; Gathercole, S.E.; Adams, J.W.

    2005-01-01

    Three experiments investigated the roles of resource-sharing and intrinsic memory demands in complex working memory span performance in 7- and 9-year-olds. In Experiment 1, the processing complexity of arithmetic operations was varied under conditions in which processing times were equivalent. Memory span did not differ as a function of processing…

  1. The importance of working memory updating in the Prisoner's dilemma.

    PubMed

    Soutschek, Alexander; Schubert, Torsten

    2016-03-01

    Successful cooperation requires that humans can flexibly adjust choices to their partner's behaviour. This, in turn, presupposes a representation of a partner's past decisions in working memory. The aim of the current study was to investigate the role of working memory processes in cooperation. For that purpose, we tested the effects of working memory updating (Experiment 1) and working memory maintenance demands (Experiments 2 and 3) on cooperative behaviour in the Prisoner's dilemma game. We found that demands on updating, but not maintenance, of working memory contents impaired strategy use in the Prisoner's dilemma. Thus, our data show that updating a partner's past behaviour in working memory represents an important precondition for strategy use in cooperation. PMID:25691370

  2. Controlling working memory with learned instructions.

    PubMed

    Sylvester, J C; Reggia, J A; Weems, S A; Bunting, M F

    2013-05-01

    Many neural network models of cognition rely heavily on the modeler for control over aspects of model behavior, such as when to learn and whether an item is judged to be present in memory. Developing neurocomputational methods that allow these cognitive control mechanisms to be performed autonomously has proven to be surprisingly difficult. Here we present a general purpose framework called GALIS that we believe is amenable to developing a broad range of cognitive control models. Models built using GALIS consist of a network of interacting "regions" inspired by the organization of primate cerebral cortex. Each region is an attractor network capable of learning temporal sequences, and the individual regions not only exchange task-specific information with each other, but also gate the others' functions and interactions. As a result, GALIS models can learn both task-specific content and also the necessary cognitive control procedures (instructions) needed to perform a task in the first place. As an initial test of this approach, we use GALIS to implement a model that is trained simultaneously to perform five versions of the n-Back task. Not only does the resulting n-Back model function correctly, determining when to learn or remove items in working memory, but its accuracy and response times correlate strongly with those of human subjects performing the same task. The n-Back model also makes testable predictions about how human accuracy would be affected by intra-trial changes in n's value. We conclude that GALIS opens a potentially effective pathway toward developing a range of cognitive control models with improved autonomy. PMID:23465563

  3. Stress Effects on Working Memory, Explicit Memory, and Implicit Memory for Neutral and Emotional Stimuli in Healthy Men

    PubMed Central

    Luethi, Mathias; Meier, Beat; Sandi, Carmen

    2008-01-01

    Stress is a strong modulator of memory function. However, memory is not a unitary process and stress seems to exert different effects depending on the memory type under study. Here, we explored the impact of social stress on different aspects of human memory, including tests for explicit memory and working memory (for neutral materials), as well as implicit memory (perceptual priming, contextual priming and classical conditioning for emotional stimuli). A total of 35 young adult male students were randomly assigned to either the stress or the control group, with stress being induced by the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). Salivary cortisol levels were assessed repeatedly throughout the experiment to validate stress effects. The results support previous evidence indicating complex effects of stress on different types of memory: A pronounced working memory deficit was associated with exposure to stress. No performance differences between groups of stressed and unstressed subjects were observed in verbal explicit memory (but note that learning and recall took place within 1 h and immediately following stress) or in implicit memory for neutral stimuli. Stress enhanced classical conditioning for negative but not positive stimuli. In addition, stress improved spatial explicit memory. These results reinforce the view that acute stress can be highly disruptive for working memory processing. They provide new evidence for the facilitating effects of stress on implicit memory for negative emotional materials. Our findings are discussed with respect to their potential relevance for psychiatric disorders, such as post traumatic stress disorder. PMID:19169362

  4. Impulsive Choice Predicts Poor Working Memory in Male Rats

    PubMed Central

    Renda, C. Renee; Stein, Jeffrey S.; Madden, Gregory J.

    2014-01-01

    A number of maladaptive behaviors and poor health outcomes (e.g., substance abuse, obesity) correlate with impulsive choice, which describes the tendency to prefer smaller, immediate rewards in lieu of larger, delayed rewards. Working memory deficits are often reported in those diagnosed with the same maladaptive behaviors. Human studies suggest that impulsive choice is associated with working memory ability but, to date, only one study has explored the association between working memory and impulsive choice in rats and no relation was reported. The current study reevaluated the association between working memory and impulsive choice in 19 male Long-Evans rats. Psychophysical adjusting procedures were used to quantify working memory (titrating-delay match-to-position procedure) and impulsive choice (adjusting delay procedure). Rats were partitioned into low- and high-impulsive groups based on performance in the impulsive choice task. Low-impulsive rats performed significantly better in the working memory assessment. Across all rats, impulsive choice was negatively correlated with working memory performance. These findings support the hypothesis that prefrontal cortex function, specifically, working memory, is related to impulsive choice. Future research might profitably examine the experimental variables designed to influence working memory to evaluate the effects of these variables on impulsive choice and maladaptive behaviors with which it is correlated. PMID:24732895

  5. Visual Working Memory in Human Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Barton, Brian; Brewer, Alyssa A.

    2016-01-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) is the ability to maintain visual information in a readily available and easily updated state. Converging evidence has revealed that VWM capacity is limited by the number of maintained objects, which is about 3 - 4 for the average human. Recent work suggests that VWM capacity is also limited by the resolution required to maintain objects, which is tied to the objects' inherent complexity. Electroencephalogram (EEG) studies using the Contralateral Delay Activity (CDA) paradigm have revealed that cortical representations of VWM are at a minimum loosely organized like the primary visual system, such that the left side of space is represented in the right hemisphere, and vice versa. Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) work shows that the number of objects is maintained by representations in the inferior intraparietal sulcus (IPS) along dorsal parietal cortex, whereas the resolution of these maintained objects is subserved by the superior IPS and the lateral occipital complex (LOC). These areas overlap with recently-discovered, retinotopically-organized visual field maps (VFMs) spanning the IPS (IPS-0/1/2/3/4/5), and potentially maps in lateral occipital cortex, such as LO-1/2, and/or TO-1/2 (hMT+). Other fMRI studies have implicated early VFMs in posterior occipital cortex, suggesting that visual areas V1-hV4 are recruited to represent information in VWM. Insight into whether and how these VFMs subserve VWM may illuminate the nature of VWM. In addition, understanding the nature of these maps may allow a greater investigation into individual differences among subjects and even between hemispheres within subjects. PMID:26881188

  6. Working memory constraints on imitation and emulation.

    PubMed

    Subiaul, Francys; Schilder, Brian

    2014-12-01

    Does working memory (WM) constrain the amount and type of information children copy from a model? To answer this question, preschool-age children (N=165) were trained and then tested on a touch-screen task that involved touching simultaneously presented pictures. Prior to responding, children saw a model generate two target responses: Order (touching all of the pictures on the screen in a target sequence three consecutive times) and Multi-Tap (consistently touching one of the pictures two times). Children's accuracy copying Order and Multi-Tap was assessed on two types of sequences: low WM load (2 pictures) and high WM load (3 pictures). Results showed that more children copied both Order and Multi-Tap on 2-picture sequences than on 3-picture sequences. Children who copied only one of the two target responses tended to copy only Order on 2-picture sequences but only Multi-Tap on 3-picture sequences. Instructions to either copy or ignore the Multi-Tap response did not affect this overall pattern of results. In sum, results are consistent with the hypothesis that WM constrains not just the amount but also the type of information children copy from models, potentially modulating whether children imitate or emulate in a given task. PMID:25161051

  7. When higher working memory capacity hinders insight.

    PubMed

    DeCaro, Marci S; Van Stockum, Charles A; Wieth, Mareike B

    2016-01-01

    Higher working memory capacity (WMC) improves performance on a range of cognitive and academic tasks. However, a greater ability to control attention sometimes leads individuals with higher WMC to persist in using complex, attention-demanding approaches that are suboptimal for a given task. We examined whether higher WMC would hinder insight problem solving, which is thought to rely on associative processes that operate largely outside of close attentional control. In addition, we examined whether characteristics of the insight problems influence whether this negative relationship will be revealed. In Experiment 1, participants completed matchstick arithmetic problems, which require a similar initial problem representation for all problems. Higher WMC was associated with less accurate insight problem solving. In Experiment 2, participants completed insight word problems, which require substantially different representations for each problem. Higher WMC was again negatively associated with insight, but only after statistically controlling for shared variance between insight and incremental problem-solving accuracy. These findings suggest that WMC may benefit performance on fundamental processes common to both incremental and insight problem solving (e.g., initial problem representation), but hinder performance on the processes that are unique to insight (e.g., solution and restructuring). By considering the WMC of the individual, and the nature of the insight task, we may better understand the process of insight and how to best support it. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26120772

  8. Somatic markers, working memory, and decision making.

    PubMed

    Hinson, John M; Jameson, Tina L; Whitney, Paul

    2002-12-01

    The somatic marker hypothesis formulated by Damasio (e.g., 1994; Damasio, Tranel, & Damasio, 1991) argues that affective reactions ordinarily guide and simplify decision making. Although originally intended to explain decision-making deficits in people with specific frontal lobe damage, the hypothesis also applies to decision-making problems in populations without brain injury. Subsequently, the gambling task was developed by Bechara (Bechara, Damasio, Damasio, & Anderson, 1994) as a diagnostic test of decision-making deficit in neurological populations. More recently, the gambling task has been used to explore implications of the somatic marker hypothesis, as well as to study suboptimal decision making in a variety of domains. We examined relations among gambling task decision making, working memory (WM) load, and somatic markers in a modified version of the gambling task. Increased WM load produced by secondary tasks led to poorer gambling performance. Declines in gambling performance were associated with the absence of the affective reactions that anticipate choice outcomes and guide future decision making. Our experiments provide evidence that WM processes contribute to the development of somatic markers. If WM functioning is taxed, somatic markers may not develop, and decision making may thereby suffer. PMID:12641178

  9. Working Memory Capacity as a Dynamic Process

    PubMed Central

    Simmering, Vanessa R.; Perone, Sammy

    2013-01-01

    A well-known characteristic of working memory (WM) is its limited capacity. The source of such limitations, however, is a continued point of debate. Developmental research is positioned to address this debate by jointly identifying the source(s) of limitations and the mechanism(s) underlying capacity increases. Here we provide a cross-domain survey of studies and theories of WM capacity development, which reveals a complex picture: dozens of studies from 50 papers show nearly universal increases in capacity estimates with age, but marked variation across studies, tasks, and domains. We argue that the full pattern of performance cannot be captured through traditional approaches emphasizing single causes, or even multiple separable causes, underlying capacity development. Rather, we consider WM capacity as a dynamic process that emerges from a unified cognitive system flexibly adapting to the context and demands of each task. We conclude by enumerating specific challenges for researchers and theorists that will need to be met in order to move our understanding forward. PMID:23335902

  10. Auditory Discrimination Learning: Role of Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yu-Xuan; Moore, David R.; Guiraud, Jeanne; Molloy, Katharine; Yan, Ting-Ting; Amitay, Sygal

    2016-01-01

    Perceptual training is generally assumed to improve perception by modifying the encoding or decoding of sensory information. However, this assumption is incompatible with recent demonstrations that transfer of learning can be enhanced by across-trial variation of training stimuli or task. Here we present three lines of evidence from healthy adults in support of the idea that the enhanced transfer of auditory discrimination learning is mediated by working memory (WM). First, the ability to discriminate small differences in tone frequency or duration was correlated with WM measured with a tone n-back task. Second, training frequency discrimination around a variable frequency transferred to and from WM learning, but training around a fixed frequency did not. The transfer of learning in both directions was correlated with a reduction of the influence of stimulus variation in the discrimination task, linking WM and its improvement to across-trial stimulus interaction in auditory discrimination. Third, while WM training transferred broadly to other WM and auditory discrimination tasks, variable-frequency training on duration discrimination did not improve WM, indicating that stimulus variation challenges and trains WM only if the task demands stimulus updating in the varied dimension. The results provide empirical evidence as well as a theoretic framework for interactions between cognitive and sensory plasticity during perceptual experience. PMID:26799068

  11. Working Memory, Language Skills, and Autism Symptomatology

    PubMed Central

    Schuh, Jillian M.; Eigsti, Inge-Marie

    2012-01-01

    While many studies have reported working memory (WM) impairments in autism spectrum disorders, others do not. Sample characteristics, WM domain, and task complexity likely contribute to these discrepancies. Although deficits in visuospatial WM have been more consistently documented, there is much controversy regarding verbal WM in autism. The goal of the current study was to explore visuospatial and verbal WM in a well-controlled sample of children with high-functioning autism (HFA) and typical development. Individuals ages 9–17 with HFA (n = 18) and typical development (n = 18), were carefully matched on gender, age, IQ, and language, and were administered a series of standardized visuospatial and verbal WM tasks. The HFA group displayed significant impairment across WM domains. No differences in performance were noted across WM tasks for either the HFA or typically developing groups. Over and above nonverbal cognition, WM abilities accounted for significant variance in language skills and symptom severity. The current study suggests broad WM limitations in HFA. We further suggest that deficits in verbal WM are observed in more complex tasks, as well as in simpler tasks, such as phonological WM. Increased task complexity and linguistic demands may influence WM abilities. PMID:25379222

  12. Auditory Discrimination Learning: Role of Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yu-Xuan; Moore, David R; Guiraud, Jeanne; Molloy, Katharine; Yan, Ting-Ting; Amitay, Sygal

    2016-01-01

    Perceptual training is generally assumed to improve perception by modifying the encoding or decoding of sensory information. However, this assumption is incompatible with recent demonstrations that transfer of learning can be enhanced by across-trial variation of training stimuli or task. Here we present three lines of evidence from healthy adults in support of the idea that the enhanced transfer of auditory discrimination learning is mediated by working memory (WM). First, the ability to discriminate small differences in tone frequency or duration was correlated with WM measured with a tone n-back task. Second, training frequency discrimination around a variable frequency transferred to and from WM learning, but training around a fixed frequency did not. The transfer of learning in both directions was correlated with a reduction of the influence of stimulus variation in the discrimination task, linking WM and its improvement to across-trial stimulus interaction in auditory discrimination. Third, while WM training transferred broadly to other WM and auditory discrimination tasks, variable-frequency training on duration discrimination did not improve WM, indicating that stimulus variation challenges and trains WM only if the task demands stimulus updating in the varied dimension. The results provide empirical evidence as well as a theoretic framework for interactions between cognitive and sensory plasticity during perceptual experience. PMID:26799068

  13. Working memory for pitch, timbre, and words.

    PubMed

    Schulze, Katrin; Tillmann, Barbara

    2013-04-01

    Aiming to further our understanding of fundamental mechanisms of auditory working memory (WM), the present study compared performance for three auditory materials (words, tones, timbres). In a forward recognition task (Experiment 1) participants indicated whether the order of the items in the second sequence was the same as in the first sequence. In a backward recognition task (Experiment 2) participants indicated whether the items of the second sequence were played in the correct backward order. In Experiment 3 participants performed an articulatory suppression task during the retention delay of the backward task. To investigate potential length effects the number of items per sequence was manipulated. Overall findings underline the benefit of a cross-material experimental approach and suggest that human auditory WM is not a unitary system. Whereas WM processes for timbres differed from those for tones and words, similarities and differences were observed for words and tones: Both types of stimuli appear to rely on rehearsal mechanisms, but might differ in the involved sensorimotor codes. PMID:23116413

  14. The Auditory-Visual Speech Benefit on Working Memory in Older Adults with Hearing Impairment.

    PubMed

    Frtusova, Jana B; Phillips, Natalie A

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the effect of auditory-visual (AV) speech stimuli on working memory in older adults with poorer-hearing (PH) in comparison to age- and education-matched older adults with better hearing (BH). Participants completed a working memory n-back task (0- to 2-back) in which sequences of digits were presented in visual-only (i.e., speech-reading), auditory-only (A-only), and AV conditions. Auditory event-related potentials (ERP) were collected to assess the relationship between perceptual and working memory processing. The behavioral results showed that both groups were faster in the AV condition in comparison to the unisensory conditions. The ERP data showed perceptual facilitation in the AV condition, in the form of reduced amplitudes and latencies of the auditory N1 and/or P1 components, in the PH group. Furthermore, a working memory ERP component, the P3, peaked earlier for both groups in the AV condition compared to the A-only condition. In general, the PH group showed a more robust AV benefit; however, the BH group showed a dose-response relationship between perceptual facilitation and working memory improvement, especially for facilitation of processing speed. Two measures, reaction time and P3 amplitude, suggested that the presence of visual speech cues may have helped the PH group to counteract the demanding auditory processing, to the level that no group differences were evident during the AV modality despite lower performance during the A-only condition. Overall, this study provides support for the theory of an integrated perceptual-cognitive system. The practical significance of these findings is also discussed. PMID:27148106

  15. The Auditory-Visual Speech Benefit on Working Memory in Older Adults with Hearing Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Frtusova, Jana B.; Phillips, Natalie A.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the effect of auditory-visual (AV) speech stimuli on working memory in older adults with poorer-hearing (PH) in comparison to age- and education-matched older adults with better hearing (BH). Participants completed a working memory n-back task (0- to 2-back) in which sequences of digits were presented in visual-only (i.e., speech-reading), auditory-only (A-only), and AV conditions. Auditory event-related potentials (ERP) were collected to assess the relationship between perceptual and working memory processing. The behavioral results showed that both groups were faster in the AV condition in comparison to the unisensory conditions. The ERP data showed perceptual facilitation in the AV condition, in the form of reduced amplitudes and latencies of the auditory N1 and/or P1 components, in the PH group. Furthermore, a working memory ERP component, the P3, peaked earlier for both groups in the AV condition compared to the A-only condition. In general, the PH group showed a more robust AV benefit; however, the BH group showed a dose-response relationship between perceptual facilitation and working memory improvement, especially for facilitation of processing speed. Two measures, reaction time and P3 amplitude, suggested that the presence of visual speech cues may have helped the PH group to counteract the demanding auditory processing, to the level that no group differences were evident during the AV modality despite lower performance during the A-only condition. Overall, this study provides support for the theory of an integrated perceptual-cognitive system. The practical significance of these findings is also discussed. PMID:27148106

  16. Everyday Memory and Working Memory in Adolescents with Mild Intellectual Disability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van der Molen, M. J.; Van Luit, J. E. H.; Van der Molen, Maurits W.; Jongmans, Marian J.

    2010-01-01

    Everyday memory and its relationship to working memory was investigated in adolescents with mild intellectual disability and compared to typically developing adolescents of the same age (CA) and younger children matched on mental age (MA). Results showed a delay on almost all memory measures for the adolescents with mild intellectual disability…

  17. Working Memory and Short-Term Memory Abilities in Accomplished Multilinguals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Biedron, Adriana; Szczepaniak, Anna

    2012-01-01

    The role of short-term memory and working memory in accomplished multilinguals was investigated. Twenty-eight accomplished multilinguals were compared to 36 mainstream philology students. The following instruments were used in the study: three memory subtests of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale (Digit Span, Digit-Symbol Coding, and Arithmetic,…

  18. The Role of Working Memory in Multimedia Instruction: Is Working Memory Working during Learning from Text and Pictures?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schuler, Anne; Scheiter, Katharina; van Genuchten, Erlijn

    2011-01-01

    A lot of research has focused on the beneficial effects of using multimedia, that is, text and pictures, for learning. Theories of multimedia learning are based on Baddeley's working memory model (Baddeley 1999). Despite this theoretical foundation, there is only little research that aims at empirically testing whether and more importantly how…

  19. Pathological effects of cortical architecture on working memory in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Gore, C D; Bányai, M; Gray, P J; Diwadkar, V; Erdi, P

    2010-05-01

    Neural connectivity of the prefrontal cortex is essential to working memory. Reduction of prefrontal connectivity and abnormal prefrontal dopamine modulation are common characteristics associated with schizophrenia. Two experiments separately modeled the effects of exaggerated pruning and of synaptic depression to imitate schizophrenic performance in a prefrontal neural network. In the first model, effects of cortical pruning were simulated with a set of scale-free networks of neurons and compared with empirical results from the Sternberg working memory task. The second set of simulations were based on the synaptic theory of working memory. Simulations of this model measured memory duration in relation to synaptic facilitation and depression constants and in relation to the level of neural connectivity. In the first set of simulations, modulating levels of cortical pruning resulted in a gain or loss in accuracy and speed of memory recollection. In the second set of simulations, increased facilitation time constants and decreased inhibitory time constants resulting in longer memory durations, and overly connected networks resulted in very low memory durations. In the first model, the decline in memory performance can be attributed to the emergence of pathological memory behavior brought about by the warping of the basins of attraction. Collectively, the simulations demonstrate that a reduction of prefrontal cortical hubs can lead to schizophrenia like performance in neural networks, and may account for pathological working memory in the disorder. PMID:20480449

  20. Attention, Working Memory, and Long-Term Memory in Multimedia Learning: An Integrated Perspective Based on Process Models of Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schweppe, Judith; Rummer, Ralf

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive models of multimedia learning such as the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (Mayer 2009) or the Cognitive Load Theory (Sweller 1999) are based on different cognitive models of working memory (e.g., Baddeley 1986) and long-term memory. The current paper describes a working memory model that has recently gained popularity in basic…

  1. Neural Correlates Associated with Successful Working Memory Performance in Older Adults as Revealed by Spatial ICA

    PubMed Central

    Saliasi, Emi; Geerligs, Linda; Lorist, Monicque M.; Maurits, Natasha M.

    2014-01-01

    To investigate which neural correlates are associated with successful working memory performance, fMRI was recorded in healthy younger and older adults during performance on an n-back task with varying task demands. To identify functional networks supporting working memory processes, we used independent component analysis (ICA) decomposition of the fMRI data. Compared to younger adults, older adults showed a larger neural (BOLD) response in the more complex (2-back) than in the baseline (0-back) task condition, in the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) and in the right fronto-parietal network (FPN). Our results indicated that a higher BOLD response in the VLPFC was associated with increased performance accuracy in older adults, in both the baseline and the more complex task condition. This ‘BOLD-performance’ relationship suggests that the neural correlates linked with successful performance in the older adults are not uniquely related to specific working memory processes present in the complex but not in the baseline task condition. Furthermore, the selective presence of this relationship in older but not in younger adults suggests that increased neural activity in the VLPFC serves a compensatory role in the aging brain which benefits task performance in the elderly. PMID:24911016

  2. Cerebellar Damage Produces Selective Deficits in Verbal Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ravizza, Susan M.; Mccormick, Cristin A.; Schlerf, John E.; Justus, Timothy; Ivry, Richard B.; Fiez, Julie A.

    2006-01-01

    The cerebellum is often active in imaging studies of verbal working memory, consistent with a putative role in articulatory rehearsal. While patients with cerebellar damage occasionally exhibit a mild impairment on standard neuropsychological tests of working memory, these tests are not diagnostic for exploring these processes in detail. The…

  3. Working Memory Development in Monolingual and Bilingual Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morales, Julia; Calvo, Alejandra; Bialystok, Ellen

    2013-01-01

    Two studies are reported comparing the performance of monolingual and bilingual children on tasks requiring different levels of working memory. In the first study, 56 5-year-olds performed a Simon-type task that manipulated working memory demands by comparing conditions based on two rules and four rules and manipulated conflict resolution demands…

  4. Aging Effect on Visual and Spatial Components of Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beigneux, Katia; Plaie, Thierry; Isingrini, Michel

    2007-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of aging on the storage of visual and spatial working memory according to Logie's model of working memory (1995). In a first experiment young, elderly, and very old subjects carried out two tasks usually used to measure visual span (Visual Patterns Test) and spatial span (Corsi Block Tapping test).…

  5. Preterm Infant Hippocampal Volumes Correlate with Later Working Memory Deficits

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beauchamp, Miriam H.; Thompson, Deanne K.; Howard, Kelly; Doyle, Lex W.; Egan, Gary F.; Inder, Terrie E.; Anderson, Peter J.

    2008-01-01

    Children born preterm exhibit working memory deficits. These deficits may be associated with structural brain changes observed in the neonatal period. In this study, the relationship between neonatal regional brain volumes and working memory deficits at age 2 years were investigated, with a particular interest in the dorsolateral prefrontal…

  6. Sentence Complexity and Working Memory Effects in Ambiguity Resolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Ji Hyon; Christianson, Kiel

    2013-01-01

    Two self-paced reading experiments using a paraphrase decision task paradigm were performed to investigate how sentence complexity contributed to the relative clause (RC) attachment preferences of speakers of different working memory capacities (WMCs). Experiment 1 (English) showed working memory effects on relative clause processing in both…

  7. Working Memory, Motivation, and Teacher-Initiated Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brooks, David W.; Shell, Duane F.

    2006-01-01

    Working memory is where we "think" as we learn. A notion that emerges as a synthesis from several threads in the research literatures of cognition, motivation, and connectionism is that motivation in learning is the process whereby working memory resource allocation is instigated and sustained. This paper reviews much literature on motivation and…

  8. Taking Working Memory Training from the Laboratory into Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holmes, Joni; Gathercole, Susan Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    Working memory skills have been shown to be enhanced by adaptive training in several randomised controlled trials. Here, two field trials were conducted in which teachers administered working memory training to their own pupils in school. Twenty-two children aged 8-9?years participated in Trial 1. In Trial 2, 50 children aged 9-11?years with the…

  9. Vocabulary and Working Memory in Children Fit with Hearing Aids

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stiles, Derek J.; McGregor, Karla K.; Bentler, Ruth A.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To determine whether children with mild-to-moderately severe sensorineural hearing loss (CHL) present with disturbances in working memory and whether these disturbances relate to the size of their receptive vocabularies. Method: Children 6 to 9 years of age participated. Aspects of working memory were tapped by articulation rate, forward…

  10. Working Memory Underpins Cognitive Development, Learning, and Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowan, Nelson

    2014-01-01

    Working memory is the retention of a small amount of information in a readily accessible form. It facilitates planning, comprehension, reasoning, and problem solving. I examine the historical roots and conceptual development of the concept and the theoretical and practical implications of current debates about working memory mechanisms. Then, I…

  11. Working Memory and Educational Achievement in Children with Intellectual Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henry, L.; Winfield, J.

    2010-01-01

    Background: There is little previous research examining whether measures of working memory are related to educational achievement in children with intellectual disabilities (ID). Methods: A battery of working memory and achievement measures was administered to 11- to 12-year-old children with ID; younger typically developing children of comparable…

  12. Neural Correlates of Sublexical Processing in Phonological Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGettigan, Carolyn; Warren, Jane E.; Eisner, Frank; Marshall, Chloe R.; Shanmugalingam, Pradheep; Scott, Sophie K.

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated links between working memory and speech processing systems. We used delayed pseudoword repetition in fMRI to investigate the neural correlates of sublexical structure in phonological working memory (pWM). We orthogonally varied the number of syllables and consonant clusters in auditory pseudowords and measured the neural…

  13. Working Memory Weaknesses in Students with ADHD: Implications for Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martinussen, Rhonda; Major, Ashley

    2011-01-01

    Students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at risk for academic underachievement. Children and youth with ADHD have been found to exhibit impairments on neuropsychological measures of executive functions, including working memory. Working memory is important to attentional control and learning. This article defines working…

  14. The Impact of Persistent Pain on Working Memory and Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Alexander; Ayres, Paul

    2014-01-01

    The study reviewed the evidence that persistent pain has the capacity to interrupt and consume working memory resources. It was argued that individuals with persistent pain essentially operate within a compromised neurocognitive paradigm of limited working memory resources that impairs task performance. Using cognitive load theory as a theoretical…

  15. The Development of Mental Processing: Efficiency, Working Memory, and Thinking.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Demetriou, Andreas; Christou, Constantinos; Spanoudis, George; Platsidou, Maria

    2002-01-01

    Examined, over 1 year, relations between information processing efficiency, working memory, and problem solving in sample of 8-, 10-, 12-, and 14-year-olds. Identified three-stratus hierarchy with individual dimensions organized in three constructs: processing efficiency, working memory, and problem solving. Found that individual dimensions were…

  16. Escaping Capture: Bilingualism Modulates Distraction from Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hernandez, Mireia; Costa, Albert; Humphreys, Glyn W.

    2012-01-01

    We ask whether bilingualism aids cognitive control over the inadvertent guidance of visual attention from working memory and from bottom-up cueing. We compare highly-proficient Catalan-Spanish bilinguals with Spanish monolinguals in three visual search conditions. In the working memory (WM) condition, attention was driven in a top-down fashion by…

  17. Evidence for Different Components in Children's Visuospatial Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mammarella, Irene C.; Pazzaglia, Francesca; Cornoldi, Cesare

    2008-01-01

    There are a large number of studies demonstrating that visuospatial working memory (VSWM) involves different subcomponents, but there is no agreement on the identity of these dimensions. The present study attempts to combine different theoretical accounts by measuring VSWM. A battery composed of 13 tests was used to assess working memory and, in…

  18. Working Memory and Fluid Intelligence in Young Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Engel de Abreu, Pascale M. J.; Conway, Andrew R. A.; Gathercole, Susan E.

    2010-01-01

    The present study investigates how working memory and fluid intelligence are related in young children and how these links develop over time. The major aim is to determine which aspect of the working memory system--short-term storage or cognitive control--drives the relationship with fluid intelligence. A sample of 119 children was followed from…

  19. FMRI of visual working memory in high school football players.

    PubMed

    Shenk, Trey E; Robinson, Meghan E; Svaldi, Diana O; Abbas, Kausar; Breedlove, Katherine M; Leverenz, Larry J; Nauman, Eric A; Talavage, Thomas M

    2015-01-01

    Visual working memory deficits have been observed in at-risk athletes. This study uses a visual N-back working memory functional magnetic resonance imaging task to longitudinally assess asymptomatic football athletes for abnormal activity. Athletes were increasingly "flagged" as the season progressed. Flagging may provide early detection of injury. PMID:25961587

  20. Working Memory Capacity and Categorization: Individual Differences and Modeling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewandowsky, Stephan

    2011-01-01

    Working memory is crucial for many higher-level cognitive functions, ranging from mental arithmetic to reasoning and problem solving. Likewise, the ability to learn and categorize novel concepts forms an indispensable part of human cognition. However, very little is known about the relationship between working memory and categorization, and…

  1. Working Memory Does Not Dissociate between Different Perceptual Categorization Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewandowsky, Stephan; Yang, Lee-Xieng; Newell, Ben R.; Kalish, Michael L.

    2012-01-01

    Working memory is crucial for many higher level cognitive functions, ranging from mental arithmetic to reasoning and problem solving. Likewise, the ability to learn and categorize novel concepts forms an indispensable part of human cognition. However, very little is known about the relationship between working memory and categorization. This…

  2. Blurring of emotional and non-emotional memories by taxing working memory during recall.

    PubMed

    van den Hout, Marcel A; Eidhof, Marloes B; Verboom, Jesse; Littel, Marianne; Engelhard, Iris M

    2014-01-01

    Memories that are recalled while working memory (WM) is taxed, e.g., by making eye movements (EM), become blurred during the recall + EM and later recall, without EM. This may help to explain the effects of Eye Movement and Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in which patients make EM during trauma recall. Earlier experimental studies on recall + EM have focused on emotional memories. WM theory suggests that recall + EM is superior to recall only but is silent about effects of memory emotionality. Based on the emotion and memory literature, we examined whether recall + EM has superior effects in blurring emotional memories relative to neutral memories. Healthy volunteers recalled negative or neutral memories, matched for vividness, while visually tracking a dot that moved horizontally ("recall + EM") or remained stationary ("recall only"). Compared to a pre-test, a post-test (without concentrating on the dot) replicated earlier findings: negative memories are rated as less vivid after "recall + EM" but not after "recall only". This was not found for neutral memories. Emotional memories are more taxing than neutral memories, which may explain the findings. Alternatively, transient arousal induced by recall of aversive memories may promote reconsolidation of the blurred memory image that is provoked by EM. PMID:24199660

  3. The Influence of Acute Physical Activity on Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Zach, Sima; Shalom, Eyal

    2016-04-01

    The effect of three types of physical activity on two types of working memory were investigated. Participants were 20 adult males who trained twice a week in volleyball two hours per session. Procedures included two pre and post intervention tests of working memory: the Digit span and Visual Memory Span subtests of the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised. Interventions included tactical volleyball formation, body-weight resistance exercises, 15 minutes of running, and sub-maximal aerobic activity. Volleyball activity improved memory performance to a greater extent than the other two activities. Results indicate that immediately after acute exercise there is an increase in working memory function, more evident after physical activity in which cognitive functioning is inherent. PMID:27166321

  4. Visual working memory for line orientations and face identities

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Yuhong V.; Shim, Won Mok; Makovski, Tal

    2009-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that the number of objects we can actively hold in visual working memory is smaller for more complex objects. However, complex objects are not just more complex but are often more similar to other complex objects used as test probes. To separate effects of complexity from effects of similarity, we measured visual memory following a 1s delay for complex and simple objects at several levels of memory-to-test similarity. When memory load was 1 object, memory accuracy for a face (a complex attribute) was similar to a line orientation (a simple attribute) when the face changed in steps of 10% along a morphing continuum and the line changed in steps of 5° in orientation. Performance declined with increasing memory load and increasing memory-to-test similarity. Remarkably, when memory load was 3 or 4 objects, face memory was better than orientation memory at similar changed steps. These results held when comparing memory for line orientations with that for inverted faces. We conclude that complex objects do not always exhaust visual memory more quickly than simple objects do. PMID:19064500

  5. The role of working memory in decoding emotions.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Louise H; Channon, Shelley; Tunstall, Mary; Hedenstrom, Anna; Lyons, Kathryn

    2008-04-01

    Decoding facial expressions of emotion is an important aspect of social communication that is often impaired following psychiatric or neurological illness. However, little is known of the cognitive components involved in perceiving emotional expressions. Three dual task studies explored the role of verbal working memory in decoding emotions. Concurrent working memory load substantially interfered with choosing which emotional label described a facial expression (Experiment 1). A key factor in the magnitude of interference was the number of emotion labels from which to choose (Experiment 2). In contrast the ability to decide that two faces represented the same emotion in a discrimination task was relatively unaffected by concurrent working memory load (Experiment 3). Different methods of assessing emotion perception make substantially different demands on working memory. Implications for clinical disorders which affect both working memory and emotion perception are considered. PMID:18410192

  6. Hippocampal-prefrontal input supports spatial encoding in working memory

    PubMed Central

    Spellman, Timothy; Rigotti, Mattia; Ahmari, Susanne E.; Fusi, Stefano; Gogos, Joseph A.; Gordon, Joshua A.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Spatial working memory, the caching of behaviorally relevant spatial cues on a timescale of seconds, is a fundamental constituent of cognition. While the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus are known to jointly contribute to successful spatial working memory, the anatomical pathway and temporal window for interaction of these structures critical to spatial working memory has not yet been established. Here, we find that direct hippocampal-prefrontal afferents are critical for encoding, but not for maintenance or retrieval, of spatial cues. These cues are represented by the activity of individual prefrontal units in a manner that is dependent on hippocampal input only during the cue-encoding phase of a spatial working memory task. Successful encoding of these cues appears to be mediated by gamma-frequency synchrony between the two structures. These findings indicate a critical role for the direct hippocampal-prefrontal afferent pathway in the continuous updating of task-related spatial information during spatial working memory. PMID:26053122

  7. Working memory and early numeracy training in preschool children.

    PubMed

    Passolunghi, Maria Chiara; Costa, Hiwet Mariam

    2016-01-01

    Many factors influence children's performance in mathematical achievement, including both domain-specific and domain-general factors. This study aimed to verify and compare the effects of two types of training on early numerical skills. One type of training focused on the enhancement of working memory, a domain-general precursor, while the other focused on the enhancement of early numeracy, a domain-specific precursor. The participants were 48 five-year-old preschool children. Both the working memory and early numeracy training programs were implemented for 5 weeks. The results showed that the early numeracy intervention specifically improved early numeracy abilities in preschool children, whereas working memory intervention improved not only working memory abilities but also early numeracy abilities. These findings stress the importance of performing activities designed to train working memory abilities, in addition to activities aimed to enhance more specific skills, in the early prevention of learning difficulties during preschool years. PMID:25366543

  8. Center-Surround Inhibition in Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Kiyonaga, Anastasia; Egner, Tobias

    2016-01-11

    Directing visual attention toward a particular feature or location in the environment suppresses processing of nearby stimuli [1-4]. Echoing the center-surround organization of retinal ganglion cell receptive fields [5], and biasing of competitive local neuronal dynamics in favor of task-relevant stimuli [6], this "inhibitory surround" attention mechanism accentuates the demarcation between task-relevant and irrelevant items. Here, we show that internally maintaining a color stimulus in working memory (WM), rather than visually attending the stimulus in the external environment, produces an analogous pattern of inhibition for stimuli that are nearby in color space. Replicating a well-known effect of attentional capture by stimuli that match WM content [7], visual attention was biased toward (task-irrelevant) stimuli that exactly matched a WM item. This bias was curtailed, however, for stimuli that were very similar to the WM content (i.e., within the inhibitory zone surrounding the focus of WM) and recovered for less similar stimuli (i.e., beyond the bounds of the inhibitory surround). Moreover, the expression of this inhibition effect was positively associated with WM performance across observers. In a second experiment, inhibition also occurred between two similar items simultaneously held in WM. This suggests that maintenance in WM is characterized by an excitatory peak centered on the focus of (internal) attention, surrounded by an inhibitory zone to limit interference by irrelevant and confusable representations. Here, thus, we show for the first time that the same center-surround selection mechanism that focuses visual attention on sensory stimuli also selectively maintains internally activated representations in WM. PMID:26711496

  9. Deficits in Verbal Working Memory among College Students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Traits: An Event-related Potential Study

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Seulki; Kim, Myung-Sun

    2016-01-01

    Objective This study investigated verbal working memory in college students with traits of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) using event-related potentials and the 2-back task. Methods Based on scores on the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale and Conners’ Adult ADHD Rating Scale, participants were assigned to the normal control (n=28) or ADHD-trait (n=29) group. The 2-back task, which was administered to evaluate working memory, consists of a congruent condition, under which the current stimulus is the same as the one presented two trials earlier, and an incongruent condition, under which the current stimulus is not the same as the one presented two trials earlier. The numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 were used as stimuli. Results On the 2-back task, the ADHD-trait group committed significantly more errors in response to congruent stimuli and showed a smaller P300 amplitude than did the control group. Conclusion These results indicate that college students with ADHD traits have deficits in verbal working memory, possibly due to difficulties in memory updating or attentional allocation. PMID:26792042

  10. Functional Genetic Variation of the Cannabinoid Receptor 1 and Cannabis Use Interact on Prefrontal Connectivity and Related Working Memory Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Colizzi, Marco; Fazio, Leonardo; Ferranti, Laura; Porcelli, Annamaria; Masellis, Rita; Marvulli, Daniela; Bonvino, Aurora; Ursini, Gianluca; Blasi, Giuseppe; Bertolino, Alessandro

    2015-01-01

    Cannabinoid signaling is involved in different brain functions and it is mediated by the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CNR1), which is encoded by the CNR1 gene. Previous evidence suggests an association between cognition and cannabis use. The logical interaction between genetically determined cannabinoid signaling and cannabis use has not been determined. Therefore, we investigated whether CNR1 variation predicts CNR1 prefrontal mRNA expression in postmortem prefrontal human tissue. Then, we studied whether functional variation in CNR1 and cannabis exposure interact in modulating prefrontal function and related behavior during working memory processing. Thus, 208 healthy subjects (113 males) were genotyped for the relevant functional SNP and were evaluated for cannabis use by the Cannabis Experience Questionnaire. All individuals performed the 2-back working memory task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. CNR1 rs1406977 was associated with prefrontal mRNA and individuals carrying a G allele had reduced CNR1 prefrontal mRNA levels compared with AA subjects. Moreover, functional connectivity MRI demonstrated that G carriers who were also cannabis users had greater functional connectivity in the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and reduced working memory behavioral accuracy during the 2-back task compared with the other groups. Overall, our results indicate that the deleterious effects of cannabis use are more evident on a specific genetic background related to its receptor expression. PMID:25139064

  11. Can learning disabilities be determined from working memory performance?

    PubMed

    Swanson, H L; Cochran, K F; Ewers, C A

    1990-01-01

    This study assumes that children of various academic abilities may be characterized by different patterns of memory function. To test this assumption, subgroups of children were identified through a hierarchical cluster analysis based upon a test battery of sentence span, preload, and concurrent memory demand tasks. One subtype presented a profile of children with learning disabilities showing severe memory performance deficits, while another subgroup yielded high memory and high academic performance. Four additional subtypes had variations in memory performance, which in turn reflected variations in external criteria related to reading, mathematics, and spelling performance. For each subtype, performance strengths and weaknesses were characterized within Baddeley's (1986) working memory model. The study provides partial validation for the classification of children with learning disabilities on psychometric measures according to patterns of memory performance. PMID:2295872

  12. Modulation of inferotemporal cortex activation during verbal working memory maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Fiebach, Christian J.; Rissman, Jesse; D'Esposito, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Summary Regions of the left inferotemporal cortex are involved in visual word recognition and semantics. We utilized functional magnetic resonance imaging to localize an inferotemporal language area and to demonstrate that this area is involved in the active maintenance of visually presented words in working memory. Maintenance activity in this inferotemporal area showed an effect of memory load for words, but not pseudowords. The selective modulation of this language-related inferotemporal area for the maintenance of words, in the absence of visual input, is accompanied by an increased functional connectivity with left prefrontal cortex. These results are the first demonstration of an involvement of inferotemporal cortex in verbal working memory. They provide neurophysiological support for the notion that nonphonological language representations can be recruited in the service of verbal working memory. More generally, they suggest that verbal working memory should be conceptualized as the frontally-guided, sustained activation of pre-existing cortical language representations. PMID:16846859

  13. Maintaining information in visual working memory: Memory for bindings and memory for features are equally disrupted by increased attentional demands.

    PubMed

    Vergauwe, Evie; Langerock, Naomi; Barrouillet, Pierre

    2014-09-01

    This study examined the role of attention in maintaining information between visual features in visual working memory. In a change detection paradigm, two different memory conditions were created: one that required the maintenance of features and one that required the maintenance of how the features were bound together. During the short retention interval that separated the study display and test display, a tone discrimination task was to be performed. The attentional demand of the tone discrimination task was manipulated to test whether memory for binding was more disrupted than memory for features when the proportion of time during which attention is unavailable for maintenance is increased. We observed that memory for features and memory for bindings were equally disrupted by increasing the attentional demands of the tone discrimination task. This suggests that attention does not play a special role in the maintenance of feature bindings in visual working memory. PMID:25383473

  14. Media multitasking and memory: Differences in working memory and long-term memory.

    PubMed

    Uncapher, Melina R; K Thieu, Monica; Wagner, Anthony D

    2016-04-01

    Increasing access to media in the 21st century has led to a rapid rise in the prevalence of media multitasking (simultaneous use of multiple media streams). Such behavior is associated with various cognitive differences, such as difficulty filtering distracting information and increased trait impulsivity. Given the rise in media multitasking by children, adolescents, and adults, a full understanding of the cognitive profile of media multitaskers is imperative. Here we investigated the relationship between chronic media multitasking and working memory (WM) and long-term memory (LTM) performance. Four key findings are reported (1) heavy media multitaskers (HMMs) exhibited lower WM performance, regardless of whether external distraction was present or absent; (2) lower performance on multiple WM tasks predicted lower LTM performance; (3) media multitasking-related differences in memory reflected differences in discriminability rather than decision bias; and (4) attentional impulsivity correlated with media multitasking behavior and reduced WM performance. These findings suggest that chronic media multitasking is associated with a wider attentional scope/higher attentional impulsivity, which may allow goal-irrelevant information to compete with goal-relevant information. As a consequence, heavy media multitaskers are able to hold fewer or less precise goal-relevant representations in WM. HMMs' wider attentional scope, combined with their diminished WM performance, propagates forward to yield lower LTM performance. As such, chronic media multitasking is associated with a reduced ability to draw on the past-be it very recent or more remote-to inform present behavior. PMID:26223469

  15. Neural bases of orthographic long-term memory and working memory in dysgraphia.

    PubMed

    Rapp, Brenda; Purcell, Jeremy; Hillis, Argye E; Capasso, Rita; Miceli, Gabriele

    2016-02-01

    Spelling a word involves the retrieval of information about the word's letters and their order from long-term memory as well as the maintenance and processing of this information by working memory in preparation for serial production by the motor system. While it is known that brain lesions may selectively affect orthographic long-term memory and working memory processes, relatively little is known about the neurotopographic distribution of the substrates that support these cognitive processes, or the lesions that give rise to the distinct forms of dysgraphia that affect these cognitive processes. To examine these issues, this study uses a voxel-based mapping approach to analyse the lesion distribution of 27 individuals with dysgraphia subsequent to stroke, who were identified on the basis of their behavioural profiles alone, as suffering from deficits only affecting either orthographic long-term or working memory, as well as six other individuals with deficits affecting both sets of processes. The findings provide, for the first time, clear evidence of substrates that selectively support orthographic long-term and working memory processes, with orthographic long-term memory deficits centred in either the left posterior inferior frontal region or left ventral temporal cortex, and orthographic working memory deficits primarily arising from lesions of the left parietal cortex centred on the intraparietal sulcus. These findings also contribute to our understanding of the relationship between the neural instantiation of written language processes and spoken language, working memory and other cognitive skills. PMID:26685156

  16. Double dissociation of working memory load effects induced by bilateral parietal modulation

    PubMed Central

    Sandrini, Marco; Fertonani, Anna; Cohen, Leonardo G.; Miniussi, Carlo

    2016-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation and neuroimaging data have revealed bilateral posterior parietal cortex (PPC) involvement during verbal n-back working memory (WM). In this task as n (i.e., WM load) increases, subjects show poorer behavioral performance as well as greater activation of this brain area. Moreover, there is evidence that a brief period of practice or even increased familiarity with the task can improve WM performance and lead to activation changes in the PPC. The aim of this study was to investigate, using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), the effects on WM load performance induced by different PPC modulation after increased familiarity with the task. After a short practice, we tested verbal WM using an n-back task (1-back vs. 2-back) before and after the application of bilateral tDCS over PPCs (left anodal-right cathodal, left cathodal-right anodal or sham). ANOVA showed a significant interaction between tDCS and task. In the 1-back task, left anodal-right cathodal modulation abolished improvement in reaction times observed in the other two modulation conditions. Conversely, in the 2-back task the same effect was observed after left cathodal-right anodal modulation relative to the other two modulation conditions. This double dissociation demonstrates either a differential engagement of each PPC or changes in the interhemispheric balance of activity across this brain region. Neuroimaging studies show parametric activation of the PPC as difficulty increases, but activation does not switch sides. Thus, our observed effects cannot be attributed to increased task difficulty, the stimuli used, or the response requirements. Rather, we suggest that these findings reflect the use of different processing strategies to perform these two tasks. In conclusion, after increased familiarity with the task, different tDCS modulations lead to changes in a task-related region depending on differences in processing strategies in 1-back vs. 2-back. PMID

  17. Developmental Differences in Prefrontal Activation during Working Memory Maintenance and Manipulation for Different Memory Loads

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jolles, Dietsje D.; Kleibeuker, Sietske W.; Rombouts, Serge A. R. B.; Crone, Eveline A.

    2011-01-01

    The ability to keep information active in working memory is one of the cornerstones of cognitive development. Prior studies have demonstrated that regions which are important for working memory performance in adults, such as dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), and superior parietal cortex, become…

  18. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex enhances working memory.

    PubMed

    Bagherzadeh, Yasaman; Khorrami, Anahita; Zarrindast, Mohammad Reza; Shariat, Seyed Vahid; Pantazis, Dimitrios

    2016-07-01

    Neuroimaging and electrophysiological studies have unequivocally identified the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) as a crucial structure for top-down control of working memory (WM) processes. By modulating the excitability of neurons in a targeted cortical area, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) offers a unique way to modulate DLPFC function, opening the possibility of WM facilitation. Even though TMS neuromodulation effects over the left DLPFC have successfully improved WM performance in patients with depression and schizophrenia in a multitude of studies, raising the potential of TMS as a safe efficacious treatment for WM deficits, TMS interventions in healthy individuals have produced mixed and inconclusive results. Here, we stimulated the left DLPFC of healthy individuals using a high-frequency repetitive TMS protocol and evaluated behavioral performance in a battery of cognitive tasks. We found that TMS treatment enhanced WM performance in a verbal digit span and a visuospatial 2-back task. PMID:26884132

  19. The relationship between sustained inattentional blindness and working memory capacity.

    PubMed

    Beanland, Vanessa; Chan, Esther Hiu Chung

    2016-04-01

    Inattentional blindness, whereby observers fail to detect unexpected stimuli, has been robustly demonstrated in a range of situations. Originally research focused primarily on how stimulus characteristics and task demands affect inattentional blindness, but increasingly studies are exploring the influence of observer characteristics on the detection of unexpected stimuli. It has been proposed that individual differences in working memory capacity predict inattentional blindness, on the assumption that higher working memory capacity confers greater attentional capacity for processing unexpected stimuli. Unfortunately, empirical investigations of the association between inattentional blindness and working memory capacity have produced conflicting findings. To help clarify this relationship, we examined the relationship between inattentional blindness and working memory capacity in two samples (Ns = 195, 147) of young adults. We used three common variants of sustained inattentional blindness tasks, systematically manipulating the salience of the unexpected stimulus and primary task practice. Working memory capacity, measured by automated operation span (both Experiments 1 & 2) and N-back (Experiment 1 only) tasks, did not predict detection of the unexpected stimulus in any of the inattentional blindness tasks tested. Together with previous research, this undermines claims that there is a robust relationship between inattentional blindness and working memory capacity. Rather, it appears that any relationship between inattentional blindness and working memory is either too small to have practical significance or is moderated by other factors and consequently varies with attributes such as the sample characteristics within a given study. PMID:26754810

  20. Role of Prefrontal Persistent Activity in Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Riley, Mitchell R.; Constantinidis, Christos

    2016-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex is activated during working memory, as evidenced by fMRI results in human studies and neurophysiological recordings in animal models. Persistent activity during the delay period of working memory tasks, after the offset of stimuli that subjects are required to remember, has traditionally been thought of as the neural correlate of working memory. In the last few years several findings have cast doubt on the role of this activity. By some accounts, activity in other brain areas, such as the primary visual and posterior parietal cortex, is a better predictor of information maintained in visual working memory and working memory performance; dynamic patterns of activity may convey information without requiring persistent activity at all; and prefrontal neurons may be ill-suited to represent non-spatial information about the features and identity of remembered stimuli. Alternative interpretations about the role of the prefrontal cortex have thus been suggested, such as that it provides a top-down control of information represented in other brain areas, rather than maintaining a working memory trace itself. Here we review evidence for and against the role of prefrontal persistent activity, with a focus on visual neurophysiology. We show that persistent activity predicts behavioral parameters precisely in working memory tasks. We illustrate that prefrontal cortex represents features of stimuli other than their spatial location, and that this information is largely absent from early cortical areas during working memory. We examine memory models not dependent on persistent activity, and conclude that each of those models could mediate only a limited range of memory-dependent behaviors. We review activity decoded from brain areas other than the prefrontal cortex during working memory and demonstrate that these areas alone cannot mediate working memory maintenance, particularly in the presence of distractors. We finally discuss the discrepancy between

  1. Effect of glutamate transporter EAAT2 gene variants and gray matter deficits on working memory in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Poletti, S; Radaelli, D; Bosia, M; Buonocore, M; Pirovano, A; Lorenzi, C; Cavallaro, R; Smeraldi, E; Benedetti, F

    2014-05-01

    Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, with up to 40% of all synapses being glutamatergic. An altered glutamatergic transmission could play a critical role in working memory deficts observed in schizophrenia and could underline progressive changes such as grey matter loss throughout the brain. The aim of the study was to investigate if gray matter volume and working memory could be modulated by a genetic polymorphism related to glutamatergic function. Fifty schizophrenia patients underwent magnetic resonance and working memory testing outside of the scanner and were genotyped for rs4354668 EAAT2 polymorphism. Carriers of the G allele had lower gray matter volumes than T/T homozygote and worse working memory performance. Poor working memory performance was associated with gray matter reduction. Differences between the three genotypes are more relevant among patients showing poor performance at the 2-back task. Since glutamate abnormalities are known to be involved in excitotoxic processes, the decrease in cortical thickness observed in schizophrenia patients could be linked to an excess of extracellular glutamate. The differential effect of EAAT2 observed between good and poor performers suggests that the effect of EEAT2 on gray matter might reveal in the presence of a pathological process affecting gray matter. PMID:24076156

  2. Binding biological motion and visual features in working memory.

    PubMed

    Ding, Xiaowei; Zhao, Yangfan; Wu, Fan; Lu, Xiqian; Gao, Zaifeng; Shen, Mowei

    2015-06-01

    Working memory mechanisms for binding have been examined extensively in the last decade, yet few studies have explored bindings relating to human biological motion (BM). Human BM is the most salient and biologically significant kinetic information encountered in everyday life and is stored independently from other visual features (e.g., colors). The current study explored 3 critical issues of BM-related binding in working memory: (a) how many BM binding units can be retained in working memory, (b) whether involuntarily object-based binding occurs during BM binding, and (c) whether the maintenance of BM bindings in working memory requires attention above and beyond that needed to maintain the constituent dimensions. We isolated motion signals of human BM from non-BM sources by using point-light displays as to-be-memorized BM and presented the participants colored BM in a change detection task. We found that working memory capacity for BM-color bindings is rather low; only 1 or 2 BM-color bindings could be retained in working memory regardless of the presentation manners (Experiments 1-3). Furthermore, no object-based encoding took place for colored BM stimuli regardless of the processed dimensions (Experiments 4 and 5). Central executive attention contributes to the maintenance of BM-color bindings, yet maintaining BM bindings in working memory did not require more central attention than did maintaining the constituent dimensions in working memory (Experiment 6). Overall, these results suggest that keeping BM bindings in working memory is a fairly resource-demanding process, yet central executive attention does not play a special role in this cross-module binding. PMID:25893683

  3. Developmental Differences in Working Memory: Where Do They Come from?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gaillard, Vinciane; Barrouillet, Pierre; Jarrold, Christopher; Camos, Valerie

    2011-01-01

    Several models assume that working memory development depends on age-related increases in efficiency and speed of processing. However, age-related increases in the efficiency of the mechanisms that counteract forgetting and restore memory traces may also be important. This hypothesis was tested in three experiments by manipulating both the…

  4. Working Memory in the Service of Executive Control Functions.

    PubMed

    Mansouri, Farshad A; Rosa, Marcello G P; Atapour, Nafiseh

    2015-01-01

    Working memory is a type of short-term memory which has a crucial cognitive function that supports ongoing and upcoming behaviors, allowing storage of information across delay periods. The content of this memory may typically include tangible information about features such as the shape, color or texture of an object, and its location and motion relative to the body, as well as phonological information. The neural correlate of working memory has been found in different brain areas that are involved in organizing perceptual or motor functions. In particular, neuronal activity in prefrontal areas encodes task-related information corresponding to working memory across delay periods, and lesions in the prefrontal cortex severely affect the ability to retain this type of memory. Recent studies have further expanded the scope and possible role of working memory by showing that information of a more abstract nature (including a behavior-guiding rule, or the occurrence of a conflict in information processing) can also be maintained in short-term memory, and used for adjusting the allocation of executive control in dynamic environments. It has also been shown that neuronal activity in the prefrontal cortex encodes and maintains information about such abstract entities. These findings suggest that the prefrontal cortex plays crucial roles in the organization of goal-directed behavior by supporting many different mnemonic processes, which maintain a wide range of information required for the executive control of ongoing and upcoming behaviors. PMID:26696841

  5. Trade-Offs between Gaze and Working Memory Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Droll, Jason A.; Hayhoe, Mary M.

    2007-01-01

    Eye movements during natural tasks suggest that observers do not use working memory to capacity but instead use eye movements to acquire relevant information immediately before needed. Results here however, show that this strategy is sensitive to memory load and to observers' expectations about what information will be relevant. Depending upon the…

  6. Dynamic Search and Working Memory in Social Recall

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hills, Thomas T.; Pachur, Thorsten

    2012-01-01

    What are the mechanisms underlying search in social memory (e.g., remembering the people one knows)? Do the search mechanisms involve dynamic local-to-global transitions similar to semantic search, and are these transitions governed by the general control of attention, associated with working memory span? To find out, we asked participants to…

  7. Working Memory in the Service of Executive Control Functions

    PubMed Central

    Mansouri, Farshad A.; Rosa, Marcello G. P.; Atapour, Nafiseh

    2015-01-01

    Working memory is a type of short-term memory which has a crucial cognitive function that supports ongoing and upcoming behaviors, allowing storage of information across delay periods. The content of this memory may typically include tangible information about features such as the shape, color or texture of an object, and its location and motion relative to the body, as well as phonological information. The neural correlate of working memory has been found in different brain areas that are involved in organizing perceptual or motor functions. In particular, neuronal activity in prefrontal areas encodes task-related information corresponding to working memory across delay periods, and lesions in the prefrontal cortex severely affect the ability to retain this type of memory. Recent studies have further expanded the scope and possible role of working memory by showing that information of a more abstract nature (including a behavior-guiding rule, or the occurrence of a conflict in information processing) can also be maintained in short-term memory, and used for adjusting the allocation of executive control in dynamic environments. It has also been shown that neuronal activity in the prefrontal cortex encodes and maintains information about such abstract entities. These findings suggest that the prefrontal cortex plays crucial roles in the organization of goal-directed behavior by supporting many different mnemonic processes, which maintain a wide range of information required for the executive control of ongoing and upcoming behaviors. PMID:26696841

  8. Functional Neuroanatomy of Spatial Working Memory in Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Charles A.; Monk, Christopher S.; Lin, Joseph; Carver, Leslie J.; Thomas, Kathleen M.; Truwit, Charles L.

    2000-01-01

    Used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine spatial working memory in 8- to 11-year-olds tested under 3 conditions. Found that subtracting activation of the motor condition from the memory condition revealed activity in dorsal aspects of the prefrontal cortex and in the posterior parietal and anterior cingulate cortex. Analysis of…

  9. An Ideal Observer Analysis of Visual Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sims, Chris R.; Jacobs, Robert A.; Knill, David C.

    2012-01-01

    Limits in visual working memory (VWM) strongly constrain human performance across many tasks. However, the nature of these limits is not well understood. In this article we develop an ideal observer analysis of human VWM by deriving the expected behavior of an optimally performing but limited-capacity memory system. This analysis is framed around…

  10. Prefrontal Control of Familiarity and Recollection in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feredoes, Eva; Postle, Bradley R.

    2010-01-01

    Left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) is a critical neural substrate for the resolution of proactive interference (PI) in working memory. We hypothesized that left IFG achieves this by controlling the influence of familiarity- versus recollection-based information about memory probes. Consistent with this idea, we observed evidence for an "early" (200…

  11. Deficits in Working Memory in Young Adults with Reading Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen-Mimran, Ravit; Sapir, Shimon

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to assess the extent to which reading disabilities (RD) in young adults are related to deficits in specific aspects of temporary storage of verbal information, namely, memory span and the central executive (CE) component of working memory. Thirty-two native Hebrew-speaking young adults with and without RD were…

  12. Improving working memory in children with low language abilities

    PubMed Central

    Holmes, Joni; Butterfield, Sally; Cormack, Francesca; van Loenhoud, Anita; Ruggero, Leanne; Kashikar, Linda; Gathercole, Susan

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated whether working memory training is effective in enhancing verbal memory in children with low language abilities (LLA). Cogmed Working Memory Training was completed by a community sample of children aged 8–11 years with LLA and a comparison group with matched non-verbal abilities and age-typical language performance. Short-term memory (STM), working memory, language, and IQ were assessed before and after training. Significant and equivalent post-training gains were found in visuo-spatial short-term memory in both groups. Exploratory analyses across the sample established that low verbal IQ scores were strongly and highly specifically associated with greater gains in verbal STM, and that children with higher verbal IQs made greater gains in visuo-spatial short-term memory following training. This provides preliminary evidence that intensive working memory training may be effective for enhancing the weakest aspects of STM in children with low verbal abilities, and may also be of value in developing compensatory strategies. PMID:25983703

  13. Collective Biography and Memory Work: Girls Reading Fiction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gannon, Susanne

    2015-01-01

    Collective biography draws on memory work methods developed initially by feminist sociologists (Haug et al., 1987) where people collaboratively examined the social and discursive resources through which they take themselves up as particular gendered subjects in the world. Their own memories become resources to investigate processes of…

  14. Working Memory and Intelligence in Children: What Develops?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swanson, H. Lee

    2008-01-01

    This study explored the contribution of the phonological and executive working memory (WM) systems to 205 (102 girls, 103 boys, 6 to 9 years old) elementary school children's fluid and crystallized intelligence. The results show that (a) a 3-factor structure (phonological short-term memory [STM], visual-spatial WM, and verbal WM) was comparable…

  15. Individual Differences in Children's Working Memory and Writing Skill.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swanson, H. Lee; Berninger, Virginia W.

    1996-01-01

    Examined whether writing and working memory (WM) were related to general or process-specific system, whether WM tasks operated independently of phonological short-term memory (STM), and whether WM predicted writing variance beyond that predicted by reading. Found a four-factor model reflecting phonological STM, verbal WM span, executive…

  16. The Dynamics of Access to Groups in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farrell, Simon; Lelievre, Anna

    2012-01-01

    The finding that participants leave a pause between groups when attempting serial recall of temporally grouped lists has been taken to indicate access to a hierarchical representation of the list in working memory. An alternative explanation is that the dynamics of serial recall solely reflect output (rather than memorial) processes, with the…

  17. A Working Memory System With Distributed Executive Control.

    PubMed

    Vandierendonck, André

    2016-01-01

    Working memory consists of domain-specific storage facilities and domain-general executive control processes. In some working memory theories, these control processes are accounted for via a homunculus, the central executive. In the present article, the author defends a mechanistic view of executive control by adopting the position that executive control is situated in the context of goal-directed behavior to maintain and protect the goal and to select an action to attain the goal. On the basis of findings in task switching and dual tasking, he proposes an adapted multicomponent working memory model in which the central executive is replaced by three interacting components: an executive memory that maintains the task set, a collection of acquired procedural rules, and an engine that executes the procedural rules that match the ensemble of working memory contents. The strongest among the rules that match the ensemble of working memory contents is applied, resulting in changes of the working memory contents or in motor actions. According to this model, goals are attained when the route to the goals is known or can be searched when the route is unknown (problem solving). Empirical evidence for this proposal and new predictions are discussed. PMID:26817727

  18. Neural Anatomy of Primary Visual Cortex Limits Visual Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Bergmann, Johanna; Genç, Erhan; Kohler, Axel; Singer, Wolf; Pearson, Joel

    2016-01-01

    Despite the immense processing power of the human brain, working memory storage is severely limited, and the neuroanatomical basis of these limitations has remained elusive. Here, we show that the stable storage limits of visual working memory for over 9 s are bound by the precise gray matter volume of primary visual cortex (V1), defined by fMRI retinotopic mapping. Individuals with a bigger V1 tended to have greater visual working memory storage. This relationship was present independently for both surface size and thickness of V1 but absent in V2, V3 and for non-visual working memory measures. Additional whole-brain analyses confirmed the specificity of the relationship to V1. Our findings indicate that the size of primary visual cortex plays a critical role in limiting what we can hold in mind, acting like a gatekeeper in constraining the richness of working mental function. PMID:25100854

  19. Impaired inhibition and working memory in response to internet-related words among adolescents with internet addiction: A comparison with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Nie, Jia; Zhang, Wei; Chen, Jia; Li, Wendi

    2016-02-28

    Impairments in response inhibition and working memory functions have been found to be closely associated with internet addiction (IA) symptoms and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. In this study, we examined response inhibition and working memory processes with two different materials (internet-related and internet-unrelated stimuli) among adolescents with IA, ADHD and co-morbid IA/ADHD. Twenty-four individuals with IA, 28 individuals with ADHD, 17 individuals with IA/ADHD, and 26 matched normal controls (NC) individuals were recruited. All participants were measured with a Stop-Signal Task and 2-Back Task under the same experimental conditions. In comparison to the NC group, subjects with IA, ADHD and IA/ADHD demonstrated impaired inhibition and working memory. In addition, in comparison to internet-unrelated conditions, IA and co-morbid subjects performed worse on the internet-related condition in the Stop trials during the stop-signal task, and they showed better working memory on the internet-related condition in the 2-Back Task. The findings of our study suggest individuals with IA and IA/ADHD may be impaired in inhibition and working memory functions that might be linked to poor inhibition specifically related to internet-related stimuli, which will advance our understanding of IA and contribute to prevention and intervention strategies. PMID:26778632

  20. Time causes forgetting from working memory.

    PubMed

    Barrouillet, Pierre; De Paepe, Annick; Langerock, Naomi

    2012-02-01

    Although forgetting in the short term is a ubiquitous phenomenon, its exact causes remain undecided. The aim of the present study was to test the temporal decay hypothesis according to which memory traces fade away with time when attention is diverted by concurrent activities. In two experiments involving complex span tasks, adults were asked to remember series of items (either letters or spatial locations) while verifying multiplications. The duration of processing was manipulated by presenting multiplications either in word (three    ×    four    =    twelve) or digit (3    ×    4    =    12) format, the former taking longer to solve, while the time available to restore memory traces after each operation was kept constant across conditions. In line with the temporal decay hypothesis, the longer solution times elicited by solving word multiplications resulted in poorer recall performance. The fact that longer processing times had a comparable effect on both verbal and visuospatial memory and that the difference between conditions remained stable from the first to the last trials makes it difficult to account for these findings by assuming that forgetting is exclusively due to representation-based interference or buildup of proactive interference. PMID:22184034

  1. Short Term Memory, Working Memory, and Syntactic Comprehension in Aphasia

    PubMed Central

    Caplan, David; Michaud, Jennifer; Hufford, Rebecca

    2013-01-01

    Sixty one people with aphasia were tested on ten tests of short term memory (STM) and for the ability to use syntactic structure to determine the meanings of eleven types of sentences in three tasks – object manipulation, picture matching and picture matching with self-paced listening. Multilevel models showed relationships between measures of the ability to retain and manipulate item and order information in STM and accuracy and RT, and a greater relationship between these STM measures and accuracy and RT for several more complex sentence types in individual tasks. There were no effects of measures of STM that reflect the use of phonological codes or rehearsal on comprehension. There was only one effect of STM measures on self-paced listening times. There were double dissociations between performance on STM and individual comprehension tasks, indicating that normal STM is not necessary to perform normally on these tasks. The results are most easily related to the view that STM plays a facilitatory role in supporting the use of the products of the comprehension process to accomplish operations related to tasks. PMID:23865692

  2. When visual and verbal memories compete: evidence of cross-domain limits in working memory.

    PubMed

    Morey, Candice C; Cowan, Nelson

    2004-04-01

    Recently, investigators have suggested that visual working memory operates in a manner unaffected by the retention of verbal material. We question that conclusion on the basis of a simple dual-task experiment designed to rule out phonological memory and to identify a more central faculty as the source of a shared limitation. With a visual working memory task in which two arrays of color squares were to be compared, performance was unaffected by concurrent recitation of a two-digit list or a known seven-digit sequence. However, visual working memory performance decreased markedly when paired with a load of seven random digits. This was not a simple tradeoff, inasmuch as errors on the visual array and high digit load tasks tended to co-occur. Working memory for digits and visual information thus are both subject to at least one type of shared limit, not just domain-specific limitations. The nature of the shared limit is discussed. PMID:15260196

  3. Competition between items in working memory leads to forgetting

    PubMed Central

    Lewis-Peacock, Jarrod A.; Norman, Kenneth A.

    2014-01-01

    Switching attention from one thought to the next propels our mental lives forward. However, it is unclear how this thought-juggling affects our ability to remember these thoughts. Here we show that competition between the neural representations of pictures in working memory can impair subsequent recognition of those pictures. We use pattern classifiers to decode functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from a retro-cueing task where participants juggle two pictures in working memory. Trial-by-trial fluctuations in neural dynamics are predictive of performance on a surprise recognition memory test: trials that elicit similar levels of classifier evidence for both pictures (indicating close competition) are associated with worse memory performance than trials where participants switch decisively from thinking about one picture to the other. This result is consistent with the non-monotonic plasticity hypothesis, which predicts that close competition can trigger weakening of memories that lose the competition, leading to subsequent forgetting. PMID:25519874

  4. Attending to items in working memory: evidence that refreshing and memory search are closely related.

    PubMed

    Vergauwe, Evie; Cowan, Nelson

    2015-08-01

    Refreshing refers to the use of attention to reactivate items in working memory (WM). In the present study, we aimed to test the hypothesis that refreshing is closely related to memory search. The assumption is that refreshing and memory search both rely on a basic covert memory process that quickly retrieves the memory items into the focus of attention, thereby reactivating the information (Cowan, 1992; Vergauwe & Cowan, 2014). Consistent with the idea that people use their attention to prevent loss from WM, previous research has shown that increasing the proportion of time during which attention is occupied by concurrent processing, thereby preventing refreshing, results in poorer recall performance in complex span tasks (Barrouillet, Portrat, & Camos, Psychological Review, 118, 175-192, 2011). Here, we tested whether recall performance is differentially affected by prolonged attentional capture caused by memory search. If memory search and refreshing both rely on retrieval from WM, then prolonged attentional capture caused by memory search should not lead to forgetting, because memory items are assumed to be reactivated during memory search, in the same way that they would be if that period of time were used for refreshing. Consistent with this idea, prolonged attentional capture had a disruptive effect when it was caused by the need to retrieve knowledge from long-term memory, but not when it was caused by the need to search through the content of WM. The present results support the idea that refreshing operates through a process of retrieval of information into the focus of attention. PMID:25361821

  5. Attending to items in working memory: Evidence that refreshing and memory search are closely related

    PubMed Central

    Vergauwe, Evie; Cowan, Nelson

    2014-01-01

    Refreshing refers to the use of attention to reactivate items in working memory (WM). The current study aims at testing the hypothesis that refreshing is closely related to memory search. The assumption is that refreshing and memory search both rely on a basic covert memory process that quickly retrieves the memory items into the focus of attention, thereby reactivating the information (Cowan, 1992; Vergauwe & Cowan, 2014). Consistent with the idea that people use their attention to prevent loss from WM, previous research has shown that increasing the proportion of time during which attention is occupied by concurrent processing, thereby preventing refreshing, results in poorer recall performance in complex span tasks (Barrouillet, Portrat, & Camos, 2011). Here, we tested whether recall performance is differentially affected by prolonged attentional capture caused by memory search. If memory search and refreshing both rely on retrieval from WM, then prolonged attentional capture caused by memory search should not lead to forgetting because memory items are assumed to be reactivated during memory search, in the same way as they would if that period of time were to be used for refreshing. Consistent with this idea, prolonged attentional capture had a disruptive effect when it was caused by the need to retrieve knowledge from long-term memory but not when it was caused by the need to search through the content of WM. The current results support the idea that refreshing operates through a process of retrieval of information into the focus of attention. PMID:25361821

  6. Release of Inattentional Blindness by High Working Memory Load: Elucidating the Relationship between Working Memory and Selective Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de Fockert, Jan W.; Bremner, Andrew J.

    2011-01-01

    An unexpected stimulus often remains unnoticed if attention is focused elsewhere. This inattentional blindness has been shown to be increased under conditions of high memory load. Here we show that increasing working memory load can also have the opposite effect of reducing inattentional blindness (i.e., improving stimulus detection) if stimulus…

  7. Paradoxical Facilitation of Working Memory after Basolateral Amygdala Damage

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Barak; Terburg, David; Thornton, Helena B.; Stein, Dan J.; van Honk, Jack

    2012-01-01

    Working memory is a vital cognitive capacity without which meaningful thinking and logical reasoning would be impossible. Working memory is integrally dependent upon prefrontal cortex and it has been suggested that voluntary control of working memory, enabling sustained emotion inhibition, was the crucial step in the evolution of modern humans. Consistent with this, recent fMRI studies suggest that working memory performance depends upon the capacity of prefrontal cortex to suppress bottom-up amygdala signals during emotional arousal. However fMRI is not well-suited to definitively resolve questions of causality. Moreover, the amygdala is neither structurally or functionally homogenous and fMRI studies do not resolve which amygdala sub-regions interfere with working memory. Lesion studies on the other hand can contribute unique causal evidence on aspects of brain-behaviour phenomena fMRI cannot “see”. To address these questions we investigated working memory performance in three adult female subjects with bilateral basolateral amygdala calcification consequent to Urbach-Wiethe Disease and ten healthy controls. Amygdala lesion extent and functionality was determined by structural and functional MRI methods. Working memory performance was assessed using the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III digit span forward task. State and trait anxiety measures to control for possible emotional differences between patient and control groups were administered. Structural MRI showed bilateral selective basolateral amygdala damage in the three Urbach-Wiethe Disease subjects and fMRI confirmed intact functionality in the remaining amygdala sub-regions. The three Urbach-Wiethe Disease subjects showed significant working memory facilitation relative to controls. Control measures showed no group anxiety differences. Results are provisionally interpreted in terms of a ‘cooperation through competition’ networks model that may account for the observed paradoxical functional

  8. Evolution of Models of Working Memory and Cognitive Resources.

    PubMed

    Wingfield, Arthur

    2016-01-01

    The goal of this article is to trace the evolution of models of working memory and cognitive resources from the early 20th century to today. Linear flow models of information processing common in the 1960s and 1970s centered on the transfer of verbal information from a limited-capacity short-term memory store to long-term memory through rehearsal. Current conceptions see working memory as a dynamic system that includes both maintaining and manipulating information through a series of interactive components that include executive control and attentional resources. These models also reflect the evolution from an almost exclusive concentration on working memory for verbal materials to inclusion of a visual working memory component. Although differing in postulated mechanisms and emphasis, these evolving viewpoints all share the recognition that human information processing is a limited-capacity system with limits on the amount of information that can be attended to, remain activated in memory, and utilized at one time. These limitations take on special importance in spoken language comprehension, especially when the stimuli have complex linguistic structures or listening effort is increased by poor acoustic quality or reduced hearing acuity. PMID:27355768

  9. Working memory and reward association learning impairments in obesity

    PubMed Central

    Coppin, Géraldine; Nolan-Poupart, Sarah; Jones-Gotman, Marilyn; Small, Dana M.

    2014-01-01

    Obesity has been associated with impaired executive functions including working memory. Less explored is the influence of obesity on learning and memory. In the current study we assessed stimulus reward association learning, explicit learning and memory and working memory in healthy weight, overweight and obese individuals. Explicit learning and memory did not differ as a function of group. In contrast, working memory was significantly and similarly impaired in both overweight and obese individuals compared to the healthy weight group. In the first reward association learning task the obese, but not healthy weight or overweight participants consistently formed paradoxical preferences for a pattern associated with a negative outcome (fewer food rewards). To determine if the deficit was specific to food reward a second experiment was conducted using money. Consistent with experiment 1, obese individuals selected the pattern associated with a negative outcome (fewer monetary rewards) more frequently than healthy weight individuals and thus failed to develop a significant preference for the most rewarded patterns as was observed in the healthy weight group. Finally, on a probabilistic learning task, obese compared to healthy weight individuals showed deficits in negative, but not positive outcome learning. Taken together, our results demonstrate deficits in working memory and stimulus reward learning in obesity and suggest that obese individuals are impaired in learning to avoid negative outcomes. PMID:25447070

  10. Optimizing working memory with heterogeneity of recurrent cortical excitation.

    PubMed

    Kilpatrick, Zachary P; Ermentrout, Bard; Doiron, Brent

    2013-11-27

    A neural correlate of parametric working memory is a stimulus-specific rise in neuron firing rate that persists long after the stimulus is removed. Network models with local excitation and broad inhibition support persistent neural activity, linking network architecture and parametric working memory. Cortical neurons receive noisy input fluctuations that cause persistent activity to diffusively wander about the network, degrading memory over time. We explore how cortical architecture that supports parametric working memory affects the diffusion of persistent neural activity. Studying both a spiking network and a simplified potential well model, we show that spatially heterogeneous excitatory coupling stabilizes a discrete number of persistent states, reducing the diffusion of persistent activity over the network. However, heterogeneous coupling also coarse-grains the stimulus representation space, limiting the storage capacity of parametric working memory. The storage errors due to coarse-graining and diffusion trade off so that information transfer between the initial and recalled stimulus is optimized at a fixed network heterogeneity. For sufficiently long delay times, the optimal number of attractors is less than the number of possible stimuli, suggesting that memory networks can under-represent stimulus space to optimize performance. Our results clearly demonstrate the combined effects of network architecture and stochastic fluctuations on parametric memory storage. PMID:24285904

  11. Working memory capacity and redundant information processing efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Endres, Michael J.; Houpt, Joseph W.; Donkin, Chris; Finn, Peter R.

    2015-01-01

    Working memory capacity (WMC) is typically measured by the amount of task-relevant information an individual can keep in mind while resisting distraction or interference from task-irrelevant information. The current research investigated the extent to which differences in WMC were associated with performance on a novel redundant memory probes (RMP) task that systematically varied the amount of to-be-remembered (targets) and to-be-ignored (distractor) information. The RMP task was designed to both facilitate and inhibit working memory search processes, as evidenced by differences in accuracy, response time, and Linear Ballistic Accumulator (LBA) model estimates of information processing efficiency. Participants (N = 170) completed standard intelligence tests and dual-span WMC tasks, along with the RMP task. As expected, accuracy, response-time, and LBA model results indicated memory search and retrieval processes were facilitated under redundant-target conditions, but also inhibited under mixed target/distractor and redundant-distractor conditions. Repeated measures analyses also indicated that, while individuals classified as high (n = 85) and low (n = 85) WMC did not differ in the magnitude of redundancy effects, groups did differ in the efficiency of memory search and retrieval processes overall. Results suggest that redundant information reliably facilitates and inhibits the efficiency or speed of working memory search, and these effects are independent of more general limits and individual differences in the capacity or space of working memory. PMID:26074828

  12. PERK Regulates Working Memory and Protein Synthesis-Dependent Memory Flexibility.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Siying; Henninger, Keely; McGrath, Barbara C; Cavener, Douglas R

    2016-01-01

    PERK (EIF2AK3) is an ER-resident eIF2α kinase required for memory flexibility and metabotropic glutamate receptor-dependent long-term depression, processes known to be dependent on new protein synthesis. Here we investigated PERK's role in working memory, a cognitive ability that is independent of new protein synthesis, but instead is dependent on cellular Ca2+ dynamics. We found that working memory is impaired in forebrain-specific Perk knockout and pharmacologically PERK-inhibited mice. Moreover, inhibition of PERK in wild-type mice mimics the fear extinction impairment observed in forebrain-specific Perk knockout mice. Our findings reveal a novel role of PERK in cognitive functions and suggest that PERK regulates both Ca2+ -dependent working memory and protein synthesis-dependent memory flexibility. PMID:27627766

  13. Age differences in proactive interference, working memory, and abstract reasoning.

    PubMed

    Emery, Lisa; Hale, Sandra; Myerson, Joel

    2008-09-01

    It has been hypothesized that older adults are especially susceptible to proactive interference (PI) and that this may contribute to age differences in working memory performance. In young adults, individual differences in PI affect both working memory and reasoning ability, but the relations between PI, working memory, and reasoning in older adults have not been examined. In the current study, young, old, and very old adults performed a modified operation span task that induced several cycles of PI buildup and release as well as two tests of abstract reasoning ability. Age differences in working memory scores increased as PI built up, consistent with the hypothesis that older adults are more susceptible to PI, but both young and older adults showed complete release from PI. Young adults' reasoning ability was best predicted by working memory performance under high PI conditions, replicating M. Bunting (2006). In contrast, older adults' reasoning ability was best predicted by their working memory performance under low PI conditions, thereby raising questions regarding the general role of susceptibility to PI in differences in higher cognitive function among older adults. PMID:18808252

  14. Working Memory, Motivation, and Teacher-Initiated Learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brooks, David W.; Shell, Duane F.

    2006-03-01

    Working memory is where we "think" as we learn. A notion that emerges as a synthesis from several threads in the research literatures of cognition, motivation, and connectionism is that motivation in learning is the process whereby working memory resource allocation is instigated and sustained. This paper reviews much literature on motivation and working memory, and concludes that the apparent novelty of the proposal offered to describe motivation in terms of working memory results from the apparent lack of cross-channel exchange among these research traditions. The relation between working memory and motivation is explored in the context of the interactive compensatory model of learning (ICML) in which learning is considered to result from the interaction of ability, motivation, and prior learning. The ICML is recast in light of the revised definition of motivation offered here. This paper goes on to suggest ways in which a range of teaching and learning issues and activities may be reconceptualized in the context of a model emphasizing a learner's working memory that makes use of chunks of previously acquired knowledge.

  15. Dissociable systems of working memory for rhythm and melody.

    PubMed

    Jerde, Trenton A; Childs, Stephanie K; Handy, Sarah T; Nagode, Jennifer C; Pardo, José V

    2011-08-15

    Specialized neural systems are engaged by the rhythmic and melodic components of music. Here, we used PET to measure regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in a working memory task for sequences of rhythms and melodies, which were presented in separate blocks. Healthy subjects, without musical training, judged whether a target rhythm or melody was identical to a series of subsequently presented rhythms or melodies. When contrasted with passive listening to rhythms, working memory for rhythm activated the cerebellar hemispheres and vermis, right anterior insular cortex, and left anterior cingulate gyrus. These areas were not activated in a contrast between passive listening to rhythms and a non-auditory control, indicating their role in the temporal processing that was specific to working memory for rhythm. The contrast between working memory for melody and passive listening to melodies activated mainly a right-hemisphere network of frontal, parietal, and temporal cortices: areas involved in pitch processing and auditory working memory. Overall, these results demonstrate that rhythm and melody have unique neural signatures not only in the early stages of auditory processing, but also at the higher cognitive level of working memory. PMID:21645625

  16. Control of Working Memory in Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mulatta).

    PubMed

    Tu, Hsiao-Wei; Hampton, Robert R

    2014-10-01

    Cognitive control is critical for efficiently using the limited resources in working memory. It is well established that humans use rehearsal to increase the probability of remembering needed information, but little is known in nonhumans, with some studies reporting the absence of active control and others subject to alternative explanations. We trained monkeys in a visual matching-to-sample paradigm with a post-sample memory cue. Monkeys either saw a remember cue that predicted the occurrence of a matching test that required memory for the sample, or a forget cue that predicted a discrimination test that did not require memory of the sample. Infrequent probe trials on which monkeys were given tests of the type not cued on that trial were used to assess whether memory was under cognitive control. Our procedures controlled for reward expectation and for the surprising nature of the probes. Monkeys matched less accurately after forget cues, while discrimination accuracy was equivalent in the two cue conditions. We also tested monkeys with lists of two consecutive sample images that shared the same cue. Again, memory for expected memory tests was superior to that on unexpected tests. Together these results show that monkeys cognitively control their working memory. PMID:25436219

  17. Control of working memory in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta).

    PubMed

    Tu, Hsiao-Wei; Hampton, Robert R

    2014-10-01

    Cognitive control is critical for efficiently using the limited resources in working memory. It is well established that humans use rehearsal to increase the probability of remembering needed information, but little is known in nonhumans, with some studies reporting the absence of active control and others subject to alternative explanations. We trained monkeys in a visual matching-to-sample paradigm with a post-sample memory cue. Monkeys either saw a remember cue that predicted the occurrence of a matching test that required memory for the sample, or a forget cue that predicted a discrimination test that did not require memory of the sample. Infrequent probe trials on which monkeys were given tests of the type not cued on that trial were used to assess whether memory was under cognitive control. Our procedures controlled for reward expectation and for the surprising nature of the probes. Monkeys matched less accurately after forget cues, whereas discrimination accuracy was equivalent in the 2 cue conditions. We also tested monkeys with lists of 2 consecutive sample images that shared the same cue. Again, memory for expected memory tests was superior to that on unexpected tests. Together these results show that monkeys cognitively control their working memory. PMID:25546104

  18. Working memory constrains human cooperation in the Prisoner's Dilemma.

    PubMed

    Milinski, M; Wedekind, C

    1998-11-10

    Many problems in human society reflect the inability of selfish parties to cooperate. The "Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma" has been used widely as a model for the evolution of cooperation in societies. Axelrod's computer tournaments and the extensive simulations of evolution by Nowak and Sigmund and others have shown that natural selection can favor cooperative strategies in the Prisoner's Dilemma. Rigorous empirical tests, however, lag behind the progress made by theorists. Clear predictions differ depending on the players' capacity to remember previous rounds of the game. To test whether humans use the kind of cooperative strategies predicted, we asked students to play the iterated Prisoner's Dilemma game either continuously or interrupted after each round by a secondary memory task (i.e., playing the game "Memory") that constrained the students' working-memory capacity. When playing without interruption, most students used "Pavlovian" strategies, as predicted, for greater memory capacity, and the rest used "generous tit-for-tat" strategies. The proportion of generous tit-for-tat strategies increased when games of Memory interfered with the subjects' working memory, as predicted. Students who continued to use complex Pavlovian strategies were less successful in the Memory game, but more successful in the Prisoner's Dilemma, which indicates a trade-off in memory capacity for the two tasks. Our results suggest that the set of strategies predicted by game theorists approximates human reality. PMID:9811873

  19. Dynamic interactions between visual working memory and saccade target selection.

    PubMed

    Schneegans, Sebastian; Spencer, John P; Schöner, Gregor; Hwang, Seongmin; Hollingworth, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Recent psychophysical experiments have shown that working memory for visual surface features interacts with saccadic motor planning, even in tasks where the saccade target is unambiguously specified by spatial cues. Specifically, a match between a memorized color and the color of either the designated target or a distractor stimulus influences saccade target selection, saccade amplitudes, and latencies in a systematic fashion. To elucidate these effects, we present a dynamic neural field model in combination with new experimental data. The model captures the neural processes underlying visual perception, working memory, and saccade planning relevant to the psychophysical experiment. It consists of a low-level visual sensory representation that interacts with two separate pathways: a spatial pathway implementing spatial attention and saccade generation, and a surface feature pathway implementing color working memory and feature attention. Due to bidirectional coupling between visual working memory and feature attention in the model, the working memory content can indirectly exert an effect on perceptual processing in the low-level sensory representation. This in turn biases saccadic movement planning in the spatial pathway, allowing the model to quantitatively reproduce the observed interaction effects. The continuous coupling between representations in the model also implies that modulation should be bidirectional, and model simulations provide specific predictions for complementary effects of saccade target selection on visual working memory. These predictions were empirically confirmed in a new experiment: Memory for a sample color was biased toward the color of a task-irrelevant saccade target object, demonstrating the bidirectional coupling between visual working memory and perceptual processing. PMID:25228628

  20. Dynamic interactions between visual working memory and saccade target selection

    PubMed Central

    Schneegans, Sebastian; Spencer, John P.; Schöner, Gregor; Hwang, Seongmin; Hollingworth, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Recent psychophysical experiments have shown that working memory for visual surface features interacts with saccadic motor planning, even in tasks where the saccade target is unambiguously specified by spatial cues. Specifically, a match between a memorized color and the color of either the designated target or a distractor stimulus influences saccade target selection, saccade amplitudes, and latencies in a systematic fashion. To elucidate these effects, we present a dynamic neural field model in combination with new experimental data. The model captures the neural processes underlying visual perception, working memory, and saccade planning relevant to the psychophysical experiment. It consists of a low-level visual sensory representation that interacts with two separate pathways: a spatial pathway implementing spatial attention and saccade generation, and a surface feature pathway implementing color working memory and feature attention. Due to bidirectional coupling between visual working memory and feature attention in the model, the working memory content can indirectly exert an effect on perceptual processing in the low-level sensory representation. This in turn biases saccadic movement planning in the spatial pathway, allowing the model to quantitatively reproduce the observed interaction effects. The continuous coupling between representations in the model also implies that modulation should be bidirectional, and model simulations provide specific predictions for complementary effects of saccade target selection on visual working memory. These predictions were empirically confirmed in a new experiment: Memory for a sample color was biased toward the color of a task-irrelevant saccade target object, demonstrating the bidirectional coupling between visual working memory and perceptual processing. PMID:25228628

  1. Variation in Working Memory Capacity and Temporal-Contextual Retrieval from Episodic Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spillers, Gregory J.; Unsworth, Nash

    2011-01-01

    Unsworth and Engle (2007) recently proposed a model of working memory capacity characterized by, among other things, the ability to conduct a strategic, cue-dependent search of long-term memory. Although this ability has been found to mediate individual variation in a number of higher order cognitive tasks, the component processes involved remain…

  2. Modulation of working memory updating: Does long-term memory lexical association matter?

    PubMed

    Artuso, Caterina; Palladino, Paola

    2016-02-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate how working memory updating for verbal material is modulated by enduring properties of long-term memory. Two coexisting perspectives that account for the relation between long-term representation and short-term performance were addressed. First, evidence suggests that performance is more closely linked to lexical properties, that is, co-occurrences within the language. Conversely, other evidence suggests that performance is linked more to long-term representations which do not entail lexical/linguistic representations. Our aim was to investigate how these two kinds of long-term memory associations (i.e., lexical or nonlexical) modulate ongoing working memory activity. Therefore, we manipulated (between participants) the strength of the association in letters based on either frequency of co-occurrences (lexical) or contiguity along the sequence of the alphabet (nonlexical). Results showed a cost in working memory updating for strongly lexically associated stimuli only. Our findings advance knowledge of how lexical long-term memory associations between consonants affect working memory updating and, in turn, contribute to the study of factors which impact the updating process across memory systems. PMID:26323831

  3. Human temporal cortical single neuron activity during working memory maintenance.

    PubMed

    Zamora, Leona; Corina, David; Ojemann, George

    2016-06-01

    The Working Memory model of human memory, first introduced by Baddeley and Hitch (1974), has been one of the most influential psychological constructs in cognitive psychology and human neuroscience. However the neuronal correlates of core components of this model have yet to be fully elucidated. Here we present data from two studies where human temporal cortical single neuron activity was recorded during tasks differentially affecting the maintenance component of verbal working memory. In Study One we vary the presence or absence of distracting items for the entire period of memory storage. In Study Two we vary the duration of storage so that distractors filled all, or only one-third of the time the memory was stored. Extracellular single neuron recordings were obtained from 36 subjects undergoing awake temporal lobe resections for epilepsy, 25 in Study one, 11 in Study two. Recordings were obtained from a total of 166 lateral temporal cortex neurons during performance of one of these two tasks, 86 study one, 80 study two. Significant changes in activity with distractor manipulation were present in 74 of these neurons (45%), 38 Study one, 36 Study two. In 48 (65%) of those there was increased activity during the period when distracting items were absent, 26 Study One, 22 Study Two. The magnitude of this increase was greater for Study One, 47.6%, than Study Two, 8.1%, paralleling the reduction in memory errors in the absence of distracters, for Study One of 70.3%, Study Two 26.3% These findings establish that human lateral temporal cortex is part of the neural system for working memory, with activity during maintenance of that memory that parallels performance, suggesting it represents active rehearsal. In 31 of these neurons (65%) this activity was an extension of that during working memory encoding that differed significantly from the neural processes recorded during overt and silent language tasks without a recent memory component, 17 Study one, 14 Study two

  4. Oculomotor preparation as a rehearsal mechanism in spatial working memory.

    PubMed

    Pearson, David G; Ball, Keira; Smith, Daniel T

    2014-09-01

    There is little consensus regarding the specific processes responsible for encoding, maintenance, and retrieval of information in visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM). One influential theory is that VSWM may involve activation of the eye-movement (oculomotor) system. In this study we experimentally prevented healthy participants from planning or executing saccadic eye-movements during the encoding, maintenance, and retrieval stages of visual and spatial working memory tasks. Participants experienced a significant reduction in spatial memory span only when oculomotor preparation was prevented during encoding or maintenance. In contrast there was no reduction when oculomotor preparation was prevented only during retrieval. These results show that (a) involvement of the oculomotor system is necessary for optimal maintenance of directly-indicated locations in spatial working memory and (b) oculomotor preparation is not necessary during retrieval from spatial working memory. We propose that this study is the first to unambiguously demonstrate that the oculomotor system contributes to the maintenance of spatial locations in working memory independently from the involvement of covert attention. PMID:24908341

  5. Working memory of identification of emotional vocal expressions: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Rämä, P; Martinkauppi, S; Linnankoski, I; Koivisto, J; Aronen, H J; Carlson, S

    2001-06-01

    The distribution of brain activation during working memory processing of emotional vocal expressions was studied using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in eight female subjects performing n-back tasks with three load levels (0-back, 1-back, and 2-back tasks). The stimuli in the n-back tasks were the Finnish female name [Saara] uttered in an astonished, angry, frightened, commanding, and scornful mode, and the subjects were instructed to memorize the emotional connotation of the stimuli. Subregions in the prefrontal, parietal, and visual association areas were load-dependently activated during the performance of the n-back tasks. The most consistently activated areas in the prefrontal region were detected in the inferior frontal gyrus corresponding to Brodmann's areas (BAs) 44 and 45 and in the middle and superior frontal gyri (BAs 6/8). Activation was also found in the inferior parietal lobe and intraparietal sulcus (BAs 40/7) and visual association areas including the lingual and fusiform gyri. The results suggest that a distributed neuronal network in occipital, parietal, and frontal areas is involved in working memory processing of emotional content of aurally presented information. PMID:11352614

  6. Effects of prenatal marijuana on visuospatial working memory: an fMRI study in young adults.

    PubMed

    Smith, Andra M; Fried, Peter A; Hogan, Matthew J; Cameron, Ian

    2006-01-01

    The long lasting neurophysiological effects of prenatal marijuana exposure on visuospatial working memory were investigated in 18-22 year olds using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The participants are members of the Ottawa Prenatal Prospective Study (OPPS), a longitudinal study that provides a unique body of information collected from each participant over 20 years, including prenatal drug history, detailed cognitive/behavioral performance from infancy to young adulthood, and current and past drug usage. This information allowed for the control of potentially confounding drug exposure variables in the statistical analyses. Thirty-one offspring from the OPPS (16 prenatally exposed and 15 nonexposed) performed a visuospatial 2-back task while neural activity was imaged with fMRI. Cognitive performance data were also collected. No significant performance differences were observed when comparing controls versus exposed participants. Multiple regression analyses (including controls with no exposure) revealed that as the amount of prenatal marijuana exposure increased, there was significantly more neural activity in the left inferior and middle frontal gyri, left parahippocampal gyrus, left middle occipital gyrus and left cerebellum. There was also significantly less activity in right inferior and middle frontal gyri. These results suggest that prenatal marijuana exposure alters neural functioning during visuospatial working memory processing in young adulthood. PMID:16473495

  7. Effects of AKAP5 Pro100Leu genotype on working memory for emotional stimuli.

    PubMed

    Richter, Sylvia; Gorny, Xenia; Machts, Judith; Behnisch, Gusalija; Wüstenberg, Torsten; Herbort, Maike C; Münte, Thomas F; Seidenbecher, Constanze I; Schott, Björn H

    2013-01-01

    Recent investigations addressing the role of the synaptic multiadaptor molecule AKAP5 in human emotion and behavior suggest that the AKAP5 Pro100Leu polymorphism (rs2230491) contributes to individual differences in affective control. Carriers of the less common Leu allele show a higher control of anger as indicated by behavioral measures and dACC brain response on emotional distracters when compared to Pro homozygotes. In the current fMRI study we used an emotional working memory task according to the n-back scheme with neutral and negative emotional faces as target stimuli. Pro homozygotes showed a performance advantage at the behavioral level and exhibited enhanced activation of the amygdala and fusiform face area during working memory for emotional faces. On the other hand, Leu carriers exhibited increased activation of the dACC during performance of the 2-back condition. Our results suggest that AKAP5 Pro100Leu effects on emotion processing might be task-dependent with Pro homozygotes showing lower control of emotional interference, but more efficient processing of task-relevant emotional stimuli. PMID:23383244

  8. Effects of AKAP5 Pro100Leu Genotype on Working Memory for Emotional Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Richter, Sylvia; Gorny, Xenia; Machts, Judith; Behnisch, Gusalija; Wüstenberg, Torsten; Herbort, Maike C.; Münte, Thomas F.; Seidenbecher, Constanze I.; Schott, Björn H.

    2013-01-01

    Recent investigations addressing the role of the synaptic multiadaptor molecule AKAP5 in human emotion and behavior suggest that the AKAP5 Pro100Leu polymorphism (rs2230491) contributes to individual differences in affective control. Carriers of the less common Leu allele show a higher control of anger as indicated by behavioral measures and dACC brain response on emotional distracters when compared to Pro homozygotes. In the current fMRI study we used an emotional working memory task according to the n-back scheme with neutral and negative emotional faces as target stimuli. Pro homozygotes showed a performance advantage at the behavioral level and exhibited enhanced activation of the amygdala and fusiform face area during working memory for emotional faces. On the other hand, Leu carriers exhibited increased activation of the dACC during performance of the 2-back condition. Our results suggest that AKAP5 Pro100Leu effects on emotion processing might be task-dependent with Pro homozygotes showing lower control of emotional interference, but more efficient processing of task-relevant emotional stimuli. PMID:23383244

  9. Effects of overnight fasting on working memory-related brain network: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Chechko, Natalia; Vocke, Sebastian; Habel, Ute; Toygar, Timur; Kuckartz, Lisa; Berthold-Losleben, Mark; Laoutidis, Zacharias G; Orfanos, Stelios; Wassenberg, Annette; Karges, Wölfram; Schneider, Frank; Kohn, Nils

    2015-03-01

    Glucose metabolism serves as the central source of energy for the human brain. Little is known about the effects of blood glucose level (BGL) on higher-order cognitive functions within a physiological range (e.g., after overnight fasting). In this randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind study, we assessed the impact of overnight fasting (14 h) on brain activation during a working memory task. We sought to mimic BGLs that occur naturally in healthy humans after overnight fasting. After standardized periods of food restriction, 40 (20 male) healthy participants were randomly assigned to receive either glucagon to balance the BGL or placebo (NaCl). A parametric fMRI paradigm, including 2-back and 0-back tasks, was used. Subclinically low BGL following overnight fasting was found to be linked to reduced involvement of the bilateral dorsal midline thalamus and the bilateral basal ganglia, suggesting high sensitivity of those regions to minimal changes in BGLs. Our results indicate that overnight fasting leads to physiologically low levels of glucose, impacting brain activation during working memory tasks even when there are no differences in cognitive performance. PMID:25393934

  10. Individual differences in children's working memory and writing skill.

    PubMed

    Swanson, H L; Berninger, V W

    1996-11-01

    The purpose of this research is to address (a) whether individual differences in working memory (WM) and writing are related to a general or process-specific system, (b) whether WM tasks operate independently of phonological short-term memory (STM) on measures of writing and reading, and (c) whether working memory predicts variance in writing beyond that predicted by reading alone. The present study correlated several WM and phonological STM measures with writing and reading measures. The study showed among the memory measures that a four-factor model reflecting phonological STM, verbal WM span, executive processing, and visual-spatial WM span best fit the multivariate data set. Working memory was correlated significantly with a number of writing measures, particularly those related to text generation. WM measures contributed unique variance to writing that was independent of reading skill, and STM measures best predicted transcription processes and reading recognition, whereas WM measures best predicted text generation and reading comprehension. Both verbal and visual-spatial working memory measures predicted reading comprehension, whereas only WM measures that reflect executive processing significantly predicted writing. In general, the results suggest that individual differences in children's writing reflect a specific capacity system, whereas reading comprehension draws upon a multiple capacity system. PMID:8923751

  11. ERP effects of methylphenidate and working memory load in healthy adults during a serial visual working memory task.

    PubMed

    Studer, Petra; Wangler, Susanne; Diruf, Martin S; Kratz, Oliver; Moll, Gunther H; Heinrich, Hartmut

    2010-09-27

    The objective of the study was to investigate neuronal processing during the encoding, retention and retrieval phases of a serial visual working memory task. Particularly, we were interested in how these phases are affected by working memory load and how processing is modulated by methylphenidate. Healthy adults were asked to memorize the order of four, five or six pictures under methylphenidate (20mg) and under placebo while brain electrical activity was recorded. On the performance level, the number of correct responses decreased with increasing working memory load. Concerning brain electrical activity, in the encoding phase P3 amplitudes increased at midline electrodes with increasing memory load while load had no effect in the retention and retrieval phase. Medication neither influenced performance nor the different processing stages significantly. Our data provide evidence that during the encoding phase more attentional resources are allocated in trials with higher load as reflected by larger P3 amplitudes. PMID:20643186

  12. Intensive cognitive training in schizophrenia enhances working memory and associated prefrontal cortical efficiency in a manner that drives long-term functional gains

    PubMed Central

    Luks, Tracy L.; Garrett, Coleman; Chung, Cleo; Fisher, Melissa; Nagarajan, Srikantan; Vinogradov, Sophia

    2014-01-01

    We investigated whether intensive computerized cognitive training in schizophrenia could improve working memory performance and increase signal efficiency of associated middle frontal gyri (MFG) circuits in a functionally meaningful manner. Thirty schizophrenia participants and 13 healthy comparison participants underwent fMRI scanning during a letter N-back working memory task. Schizophrenia participants were then randomly assigned to either 80 hours (16 weeks) of cognitive training or a computer games control condition. After this intervention, participants completed a second fMRI N-back scanning session. At baseline, during 2-back working memory trials, healthy participants showed the largest and most significant activation in bilateral MFG, which correlated with task performance. Schizophrenia participants showed impaired working memory, hypoactivation in left MFG, and no correlation between bilateral MFG signal and task performance. After training, schizophrenia participants improved their 2-back working memory performance and showed increased activation in left MFG. They also demonstrated a significant association between enhanced task performance and right MFG signal, similar to healthy participants. Both task performance and brain activity in right MFG after training predicted better generalized working memory at 6-month follow-up. Furthermore, task performance and brain activity within bilateral MFG predicted better occupational functioning at 6-month follow-up. No such findings were observed in the computer games control participants. Working memory impairments in schizophrenia and its underlying neural correlates in MFG can be improved by intensive computerized cognitive training; these improvements generalize beyond the trained task and are associated with enduring effects on cognition and functioning 6 months after the intervention. PMID:24867353

  13. Computational principles of working memory in sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Richard L; Vasishth, Shravan; Van Dyke, Julie A

    2006-10-01

    Understanding a sentence requires a working memory of the partial products of comprehension, so that linguistic relations between temporally distal parts of the sentence can be rapidly computed. We describe an emerging theoretical framework for this working memory system that incorporates several independently motivated principles of memory: a sharply limited attentional focus, rapid retrieval of item (but not order) information subject to interference from similar items, and activation decay (forgetting over time). A computational model embodying these principles provides an explanation of the functional capacities and severe limitations of human processing, as well as accounts of reading times. The broad implication is that the detailed nature of cross-linguistic sentence processing emerges from the interaction of general principles of human memory with the specialized task of language comprehension. PMID:16949330

  14. Making working memory work: A meta-analysis of executive control and working memory training in younger and older adults

    PubMed Central

    Karbach, Julia; Verhaeghen, Paul

    2015-01-01

    This meta-analysis examined the effects of process-based cognitive training (49 studies) in the domains of executive function and working memory in older adults (>60 years). The interventions resulted in significant effects on the trained task (pre-to-posttest net gain: MSD = 0.5 compared to active control, MSD = 0.8 compared to passive control; net posttest effect: MSD = 1.2 compared to active control, MSD = 1.1 compared to passive control), significant near transfer (pre-post: MSD = 0.3, 0.3; posttest: MSD = 0.6, 0.4); far-transfer effects were significant in 3 out of 4 comparisons (pre-post: MSD = 0.2, 0.2; net gain at posttest: MSD = 0.3, 0.2, ns). We detected small differences in training-induced improvements between working-memory and executive-functioning training, but none between older adults and the younger-adult samples included in these studies, adaptive and non-adaptive training, or active and passive control conditions. Gains did not vary with total training time. PMID:25298292

  15. Focused, Unfocused, and Defocused Information in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rerko, Laura; Oberauer, Klaus

    2013-01-01

    The study investigated the effect of selection cues in working memory (WM) on the fate of not-selected contents of WM. Experiments 1A and 1B showed that focusing on 1 cued item in WM does not impair memory for the remaining items. The nonfocused items are maintained in WM even when this is not required by the task. Experiments 2 and 3 showed that…

  16. The effect of rehearsal rate and memory load on verbal working memory.

    PubMed

    Fegen, David; Buchsbaum, Bradley R; D'Esposito, Mark

    2015-01-15

    While many neuroimaging studies have investigated verbal working memory (WM) by manipulating memory load, the subvocal rehearsal rate at these various memory loads has generally been left uncontrolled. Therefore, the goal of this study was to investigate how mnemonic load and the rate of subvocal rehearsal modulate patterns of activity in the core neural circuits underlying verbal working memory. Using fMRI in healthy subjects, we orthogonally manipulated subvocal rehearsal rate and memory load in a verbal WM task with long 45-s delay periods. We found that middle frontal gyrus (MFG) and superior parietal lobule (SPL) exhibited memory load effects primarily early in the delay period and did not exhibit rehearsal rate effects. In contrast, we found that inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), premotor cortex (PM) and Sylvian-parietal-temporal region (area Spt) exhibited approximately linear memory load and rehearsal rate effects, with rehearsal rate effects lasting through the entire delay period. These results indicate that IFG, PM and area Spt comprise the core articulatory rehearsal areas involved in verbal WM, while MFG and SPL are recruited in a general supervisory role once a memory load threshold in the core rehearsal network has been exceeded. PMID:25467303

  17. The Effect of Rehearsal Rate and Memory Load on Verbal Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Fegen, David; Buchsbaum, Bradley R.; D’Esposito, Mark

    2014-01-01

    While many neuroimaging studies have investigated verbal working memory (WM) by manipulating memory load, the subvocal rehearsal rate at these various memory loads has generally been left uncontrolled. Therefore, the goal of this study was to investigate how mnemonic load and the rate of subvocal rehearsal modulate patterns of activity in the core neural circuits underlying verbal working memory. Using fMRI in healthy subjects, we orthogonally manipulated subvocal rehearsal rate and memory load in a verbal WM task with long 45-second delay periods. We found that middle frontal gyrus (MFG) and superior parietal lobule (SPL) exhibited memory load effects primarily early in the delay period and did not exhibit rehearsal rate effects. In contrast, we found that inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), premotor cortex (PM) and Sylvian-parietal-temporal region (area Spt) exhibited approximately linear memory load and rehearsal rate effects, with rehearsal rate effects lasting through the entire delay period. These results indicate that IFG, PM and area Spt comprise the core articulatory rehearsal areas involved in verbal WM, while MFG and SPL are recruited in a general supervisory role once a memory load threshold in the core rehearsal network has been exceeded. PMID:25467303

  18. Does learning to read shape verbal working memory?

    PubMed

    Demoulin, Catherine; Kolinsky, Régine

    2016-06-01

    Many experimental studies have investigated the relationship between the acquisition of reading and working memory in a unidirectional way, attempting to determine to what extent individual differences in working memory can predict reading achievement. In contrast, very little attention has been dedicated to the converse possibility that learning to read shapes the development of verbal memory processes. In this paper, we present available evidence that advocates a more prominent role for reading acquisition on verbal working memory and then discuss the potential mechanisms of such literacy effects. First, the early decoding activities might bolster the development of subvocal rehearsal, which, in turn, would enhance serial order performance in immediate memory tasks. In addition, learning to read and write in an alphabetical system allows the emergence of phonemic awareness and finely tuned phonological representations, as well as of orthographic representations. This could improve the quality, strength, and precision of lexical representations, and hence offer better support for the temporary encoding of memory items and/or for their retrieval. PMID:26438254

  19. Dopamine D1 signaling organizes network dynamics underlying working memory

    PubMed Central

    Roffman, Joshua L.; Tanner, Alexandra S.; Eryilmaz, Hamdi; Rodriguez-Thompson, Anais; Silverstein, Noah J.; Ho, New Fei; Nitenson, Adam Z.; Chonde, Daniel B.; Greve, Douglas N.; Abi-Dargham, Anissa; Buckner, Randy L.; Manoach, Dara S.; Rosen, Bruce R.; Hooker, Jacob M.; Catana, Ciprian

    2016-01-01

    Local prefrontal dopamine signaling supports working memory by tuning pyramidal neurons to task-relevant stimuli. Enabled by simultaneous positron emission tomography–magnetic resonance imaging (PET-MRI), we determined whether neuromodulatory effects of dopamine scale to the level of cortical networks and coordinate their interplay during working memory. Among network territories, mean cortical D1 receptor densities differed substantially but were strongly interrelated, suggesting cross-network regulation. Indeed, mean cortical D1 density predicted working memory–emergent decoupling of the frontoparietal and default networks, which respectively manage task-related and internal stimuli. In contrast, striatal D1 predicted opposing effects within these two networks but no between-network effects. These findings specifically link cortical dopamine signaling to network crosstalk that redirects cognitive resources to working memory, echoing neuromodulatory effects of D1 signaling on the level of cortical microcircuits. PMID:27386561

  20. How Does Working Memory Enable Number-Induced Spatial Biases?

    PubMed Central

    Abrahamse, Elger; van Dijck, Jean-Philippe; Fias, Wim

    2016-01-01

    Number-space associations are a robust observation, but their underlying mechanisms remain debated. Two major accounts have been identified. First, spatial codes may constitute an intrinsic part of number representations stored in the brain – a perspective most commonly referred to as the Mental Number Line account. Second, spatial codes may be generated at the level of working memory when number (or other) representations are coordinated in function of a specific task. The aim of the current paper is twofold. First, whereas a pure Mental Number Line account cannot capture the complexity of observations reported in the literature, we here explore if and how a pure working memory account can suffice. Second, we make explicit (more than in our earlier work) the potential building blocks of such a working memory account, thereby providing clear and concrete foci for empirical efforts to test the feasibility of the account. PMID:27445937

  1. How Does Working Memory Enable Number-Induced Spatial Biases?

    PubMed

    Abrahamse, Elger; van Dijck, Jean-Philippe; Fias, Wim

    2016-01-01

    Number-space associations are a robust observation, but their underlying mechanisms remain debated. Two major accounts have been identified. First, spatial codes may constitute an intrinsic part of number representations stored in the brain - a perspective most commonly referred to as the Mental Number Line account. Second, spatial codes may be generated at the level of working memory when number (or other) representations are coordinated in function of a specific task. The aim of the current paper is twofold. First, whereas a pure Mental Number Line account cannot capture the complexity of observations reported in the literature, we here explore if and how a pure working memory account can suffice. Second, we make explicit (more than in our earlier work) the potential building blocks of such a working memory account, thereby providing clear and concrete foci for empirical efforts to test the feasibility of the account. PMID:27445937

  2. Intact working memory in non-manifesting LRRK2 carriers--an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Thaler, Avner; Helmich, Rick C; Or-Borichev, Ayelet; van Nuenen, Bart F L; Shapira-Lichter, Irit; Gurevich, Tanya; Orr-Urtreger, Avi; Marder, Karen; Bressman, Susan; Bloem, Bastiaan R; Giladi, Nir; Hendler, Talma; Mirelman, Anat

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive impairments are prevalent in patients with Parkinson's disease. Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene are the most common cause of genetic Parkinsonism. Non-manifesting carriers of the G2019S mutation in the LRRK2 gene were found to have lower executive functions as measured by the Stroop task. This exploratory study aimed to assess whether the cognitive impairment in non-manifesting carriers is specific for executive functions or includes other cognitive domains such as working memory. We recruited 77 non-manifesting first-degree relatives of Parkinson's disease patients (38 carriers). A block-design fMRI N-back task, with 0-back, 2-back and 3-back conditions, was used in order to assess working memory. Participants were well matched on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale part III, digit span, age, gender and Beck Depression Inventory. The task achieved the overall expected effect in both groups with longer reaction times and lower accuracy rates with increasing task demands. However, no whole-brain or region-of-interest between-groups differences were found on any of the task conditions. These results indicate that non-manifesting carriers of the G2019S mutation in the LRRK2 gene have a specific cognitive profile with executive functions, as assessed by the Stroop task, demonstrating significant impairment but with working memory, as assessed with the N-back task, remaining relatively intact. These finding shed light on the pre-motor cognitive changes in this unique 'at risk' population and should enable more focused cognitive assessments of these cohorts. PMID:26536050

  3. Genetic predictor of working memory and prefrontal function in women with HIV.

    PubMed

    Sundermann, Erin E; Bishop, Jeffrey R; Rubin, Leah H; Little, Deborah M; Meyer, Vanessa J; Martin, Eileen; Weber, Kathleen; Cohen, Mardge; Maki, Pauline M

    2015-02-01

    The Val158Met (rs4680) single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) influences executive function and prefrontal function through its effect on dopamine (DA) metabolism. Both HIV and the Val allele of the Val158Met SNP are associated with compromised executive function and inefficient prefrontal function. The present study used behavioral and neuroimaging techniques to determine independent and interactive associations between HIV serostatus and COMT genotype on working memory and prefrontal function in women. For the behavioral study, 54 HIV-infected and 33 HIV-uninfected women completed the 0-, 1-, and 2-back conditions of the verbal N-back, a working memory test. For the imaging study, 36 women (23 HIV-infected, 13 HIV-uninfected) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) assessments while completing the N-back task. HIV-infected women demonstrated significantly worse N-back performance compared with HIV-uninfected women (p < 0.05). A significant serostatus by genotype interaction (p < 0.01) revealed that, among Val/Val, but not Met allele carriers, HIV-infected women performed significantly worse than HIV-uninfected controls across N-back conditions (p < 0.01). Analogous to behavioral findings, a serostatus by genotype interaction revealed that HIV-infected Val/Val carriers showed significantly greater prefrontal activation compared with HIV-uninfected Val/Val carriers (p < 0.01). Conversely, HIV-uninfected Met allele carriers demonstrated significantly greater prefrontal activation compared with HIV-infected Met allele carriers. Findings suggest that the combination of HIV infection and the Val/Val COMT genotype leads to working memory deficits and altered prefrontal function in HIV-infected individuals. PMID:25515329

  4. Genetic Predictor of Working Memory and Prefrontal Function in Women with HIV

    PubMed Central

    Sundermann, Erin E.; Bishop, Jeffrey R.; Rubin, Leah H.; Little, Deborah M.; Meyer, Vanessa J.; Martin, Eileen; Weber, Kathleen; Cohen, Mardge; Maki, Pauline M.

    2014-01-01

    The Val158Met (rs4680) single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) influences executive function and prefrontal function through its effect on dopamine (DA) metabolism. Both HIV and the Val allele of the Val158Met SNP are associated with compromised executive function and inefficient prefrontal function. The present study used behavioral and neuroimaging techniques to determine independent and interactive associations between HIV serostatus and COMT genotype on working memory and prefrontal function in women. For the behavioral study, 54 HIV-infected and 33 HIV-uninfected women completed the 0-, 1- and 2-back conditions of the verbal N-back, a working memory test. For the imaging study, 36 women (23 HIV-infected, 13 HIV-uninfected) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) assessments while completing the N-back task. HIV-infected women demonstrated significantly worse N-back performance compared to HIV-uninfected women (p<0.05). A significant serostatus by genotype interaction (p<0.01) revealed that, among Val/Val, but not Met allele carriers, HIV-infected women performed significantly worse than HIV-uninfected controls across N-back conditions (p<0.01). Analogous to behavioral findings, a serostatus by genotype interaction revealed that HIV-infected, Val/Val carriers showed significantly greater prefrontal activation compared to HIV-uninfected, Val/Val carriers (p<0.01). Conversely, HIV-uninfected, Met allele carriers demonstrated significantly greater prefrontal activation compared to HIV-infected, Met allele carriers. Findings suggest that the combination of HIV infection and the Val/Val COMT genotype leads to working memory deficits and altered prefrontal function in HIV-infected individuals. PMID:25515329

  5. Failure of Working Memory Training to Enhance Cognition or Intelligence

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Todd W.; Waskom, Michael L.; Garel, Keri-Lee A.; Cardenas-Iniguez, Carlos; Reynolds, Gretchen O.; Winter, Rebecca; Chang, Patricia; Pollard, Kiersten; Lala, Nupur; Alvarez, George A.; Gabrieli, John D. E.

    2013-01-01

    Fluid intelligence is important for successful functioning in the modern world, but much evidence suggests that fluid intelligence is largely immutable after childhood. Recently, however, researchers have reported gains in fluid intelligence after multiple sessions of adaptive working memory training in adults. The current study attempted to replicate and expand those results by administering a broad assessment of cognitive abilities and personality traits to young adults who underwent 20 sessions of an adaptive dual n-back working memory training program and comparing their post-training performance on those tests to a matched set of young adults who underwent 20 sessions of an adaptive attentional tracking program. Pre- and post-training measurements of fluid intelligence, standardized intelligence tests, speed of processing, reading skills, and other tests of working memory were assessed. Both training groups exhibited substantial and specific improvements on the trained tasks that persisted for at least 6 months post-training, but no transfer of improvement was observed to any of the non-trained measurements when compared to a third untrained group serving as a passive control. These findings fail to support the idea that adaptive working memory training in healthy young adults enhances working memory capacity in non-trained tasks, fluid intelligence, or other measures of cognitive abilities. PMID:23717453

  6. Working memory in multilingual children: is there a bilingual effect?

    PubMed

    Engel de Abreu, Pascale M J

    2011-07-01

    This research investigates whether early childhood bilingualism affects working memory performance in 6- to 8-year-olds, followed over a longitudinal period of 3 years. The study tests the hypothesis that bilinguals might exhibit more efficient working memory abilities than monolinguals, potentially via the opportunity a bilingual environment provides to train cognitive control by combating interference and intrusions from the non-target language. A total of 44 bilingual and monolingual children, matched on age, sex, and socioeconomic status, completed assessments of working memory (simple span and complex span tasks), fluid intelligence, and language (vocabulary and syntax). The data showed that the monolinguals performed significantly better on the language measures across the years, whereas no language group effect emerged on the working memory and fluid intelligence tasks after verbal abilities were considered. The study suggests that the need to manage several language systems in the bilingual mind has an impact on children's language skills while having little effects on the development of working memory. PMID:21864216

  7. Hippocampal-prefrontal input supports spatial encoding in working memory.

    PubMed

    Spellman, Timothy; Rigotti, Mattia; Ahmari, Susanne E; Fusi, Stefano; Gogos, Joseph A; Gordon, Joshua A

    2015-06-18

    Spatial working memory, the caching of behaviourally relevant spatial cues on a timescale of seconds, is a fundamental constituent of cognition. Although the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus are known to contribute jointly to successful spatial working memory, the anatomical pathway and temporal window for the interaction of these structures critical to spatial working memory has not yet been established. Here we find that direct hippocampal-prefrontal afferents are critical for encoding, but not for maintenance or retrieval, of spatial cues in mice. These cues are represented by the activity of individual prefrontal units in a manner that is dependent on hippocampal input only during the cue-encoding phase of a spatial working memory task. Successful encoding of these cues appears to be mediated by gamma-frequency synchrony between the two structures. These findings indicate a critical role for the direct hippocampal-prefrontal afferent pathway in the continuous updating of task-related spatial information during spatial working memory. PMID:26053122

  8. Working memory in preterm-born adults: load-dependent compensatory activity of the posterior default mode network.

    PubMed

    Daamen, Marcel; Bäuml, Josef G; Scheef, Lukas; Sorg, Christian; Busch, Barbara; Baumann, Nicole; Bartmann, Peter; Wolke, Dieter; Wohlschläger, Afra; Boecker, Henning

    2015-03-01

    Premature birth is associated with an increased risk of cognitive performance deficits that are dependent on working memory (WM) load in childhood. Less clear is whether preterm-born adults show similar WM impairments, or develop compensatory brain mechanisms that help to overcome prematurity-related functional deficits, for example, by a workload-dependent over-recruitment of WM-typical areas, and/or engagement of alternative brain networks. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging study, 73 adults born very preterm and/or with very low birth weight (VP/VLBW) and 73 term-born controls (CON, mean age: 26.5 years) performed a verbal N-Back paradigm with varying workload (0-back, 1-back, 2-back). Generally, both groups showed similar performance accuracy and task-typical patterns of brain activations (especially in fronto-cingulo-parietal, thalamic, and cerebellar areas) and deactivations (especially in mesial frontal and parietal aspects of the default mode network [DMN]). However, VP/VLBW adults showed significantly stronger deactivations (P < 0.05, cluster-level corrected) than CON in posterior DMN regions, including right ventral precuneus, and right parahippocampal areas (with adjacent cerebellar areas), which were specific for the most demanding 2-back condition. Consistent with a workload-dependent effect, VP/VLBW adults with stronger deactivations (1-back > 2-back) in the parahippocampal/cerebellar cluster also presented a greater slowing of response latencies with increasing WM load (2-back > 1-back), indicative of higher effort. In conclusion, VP/VLBW adults recruited similar anatomical networks as controls during N-back performance, but showed an enhanced suppression of posterior DMN regions during higher workload, which may reflect a temporary suppression of stimulus-independent thoughts that helps to maintain adequate task performance with increasing attentional demands. PMID:25413496

  9. Catha edulis deteriorates spatial working memory in rats, but spares reference memory.

    PubMed

    Alfadly, Saeed Obeid; Batarfi, Ali Mohamed; Veetil, Praveen Kottath

    2014-01-01

    The effects of Catha edulis, a CNS stimulant, on humans and animals have been studied on various aspects like anorectic effect, self-administration, stereotyped behavior, aggressive behavior, operant task, locomotor sensitization, psychosis etc., but how C. edulis influence spatial learning and memory in rats is not clear. C. edulis contains amphetamine like substances, which enhances spatial learning and memory. So, we hypothesize C. edulis will also influence spatial learning and memory. In the aim to assess this effect of C.edulis, a comparative study is conceded using another CNS stimulant, methylphenidate (MPD), which is currently used, for treatment of attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), instead of amphetamine. Spatial learning and memory was assessed using radial arm maze, by analyzing five dependent measures obtained on every trial: time to complete a trial, latency to first arm entry, number of reference memory errors, number of working memory correct and incorrect errors. Our results show that C. edulis and not MPD fed rats had impaired learning and memory, implicated by increased time to complete a trial. But both C. edulis and MPD increased attention in rats, as in both groups latency to first arm entry was less. Further analysis showed that C. edulis fed rats were more effected in the working memory component and reference memory was intact. These results highlight the importance of restricting the widespread use of C. edulis in humans. The use of MPD as a choice of drug in treatment of ADHD is also supported by this study as it did not deteriorate the learning and memory, in spite of increased attention and alertness. These results are further discussed on the basis of differential action of C. edulis and MPD on neurotransmitter systems of brain, and this reveals the need for detailed analysis in future studies for the effect of C. edulis on hippocampal network. PMID:25906607

  10. Working memory capacity and categorization: individual differences and modeling.

    PubMed

    Lewandowsky, Stephan

    2011-05-01

    Working memory is crucial for many higher-level cognitive functions, ranging from mental arithmetic to reasoning and problem solving. Likewise, the ability to learn and categorize novel concepts forms an indispensable part of human cognition. However, very little is known about the relationship between working memory and categorization, and modeling in category learning has thus far been largely uninformed by knowledge about people's memory processes. This article reports a large study (N = 113) that related people's working memory capacity (WMC) to their category-learning performance using the 6 problem types of Shepard, Hovland, and Jenkins (1961). Structural equation modeling revealed a strong relationship between WMC and category learning, with a single latent variable accommodating performance on all 6 problems. A model of categorization (the Attention Learning COVEring map, ALCOVE; Kruschke, 1992) was fit to the individual data and a single latent variable was sufficient to capture the variation among associative learning parameters across all problems. The data and modeling suggest that working memory mediates category learning across a broad range of tasks. PMID:21417512

  11. Working Memory and the Revision of Syntactic and Discourse Ambiguities

    PubMed Central

    Evans, William S.; Caplan, David; Ostrowski, Adam; Michaud, Jennifer; Guarino, Anthony; Waters, Gloria

    2015-01-01

    Two hundred participants, 50 in each of four age ranges (19 – 29; 30 – 49, 50 – 69, 70 – 90) were tested for short term working memory, speed of processing and on-line processing of three types of sentences in which an initially assigned syntactic structure and/or semantic interpretation had to be revised. Self-paced reading times were longer for the segments which signaled the need for revision, and there were interactions of age and sentence type and of speed of processing and sentence type, but not of working memory and sentence type, on reading times for these segments. The results provide evidence that working memory does not support the processes that revise the structure and interpretation of sentences and discourse. PMID:25485458

  12. Are the anterior negativities to grammatical violations indexing working memory?

    PubMed

    Martín-Loeches, Manuel; Muñoz, Francisco; Casado, Pilar; Melcón, A; Fernández-Frías, C

    2005-09-01

    Anterior negativities obtained when a grammatical rule is violated may reflect highly automatic first-pass parsing processes, the detection of a morphosyntactic mismatch, and/or the inability to assign the incoming word to the current phrase structure. However, for some theorists these negativities rather reflect some aspect of working memory processes. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) obtained for word category and morphosyntactic violations were directly compared with effects obtained when working memory is particularly demanded (embedding subject- or object-relative clauses), yielding a significant dissociation in terms of topography. Even though, the anterior negativities for grammatical violations vanished when relative clauses were embedded, suggesting that the processes reflected by anterior negativities related to grammatical violations and those related to working memory manipulations, even if different, are placing demands on a common pool of limited resources. PMID:16176373

  13. Knowledge Cannot Explain the Developmental Growth of Working Memory Capacity

    PubMed Central

    Cowan, Nelson; Ricker, Timothy J.; Clark, Katherine M.; Hinrichs, Garrett A.; Glass, Bret A.

    2014-01-01

    According to some views of cognitive growth, the development of working memory capacity can account for increases in the complexity of cognition. It has been difficult to ascertain, though, that there actually is developmental growth in capacity that cannot be attributed to other developing factors. Here we assess the role of item familiarity. We document developmental increases in working memory for visual arrays of English letters versus unfamiliar characters. Although letter knowledge played a special role in development between the ages of 6 to 8 years, children with adequate letter knowledge showed practically the same developmental growth in normalized functions for letters and unfamiliar characters. The results contribute to a growing body of evidence that the developmental improvement in working memory does not wholly stem from supporting processes such as encoding, mnemonic strategies, and knowledge. PMID:24942111

  14. Reconciling Two Computational Models of Working Memory in Aging.

    PubMed

    Hoareau, Violette; Lemaire, Benoît; Portrat, Sophie; Plancher, Gaën

    2016-01-01

    It is well known that working memory performance changes with age. Two recent computational models of working memory, TBRS* and SOB-CS, developed from young adults WM performances are opposed regarding the postulated causes of forgetting, namely time-based decay and interference for TBRS* and SOB-CS, respectively. In the present study, these models are applied on a set of complex span data produced by young and older adults. As expected, these models are unable to account for the older adult data. An investigation on the effect of the main parameters of these models showed that the poorer performance of older adults does not come from a weaker encoding of item but rather from difficulties during the free time that immediately follows each distractor, as well as from a higher level of confusion between items. These results are discussed with respect to the current theories of working memory and aging. PMID:26748955

  15. Individual differences in working memory capacity and workload capacity

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Ju-Chi; Chang, Ting-Yun; Yang, Cheng-Ta

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the relationship between working memory capacity (WMC) and workload capacity (WLC). Each participant performed an operation span (OSPAN) task to measure his/her WMC and three redundant-target detection tasks to measure his/her WLC. WLC was computed non-parametrically (Experiments 1 and 2) and parametrically (Experiment 2). Both levels of analyses showed that participants high in WMC had larger WLC than those low in WMC only when redundant information came from visual and auditory modalities, suggesting that high-WMC participants had superior processing capacity in dealing with redundant visual and auditory information. This difference was eliminated when multiple processes required processing for only a single working memory subsystem in a color-shape detection task and a double-dot detection task. These results highlighted the role of executive control in integrating and binding information from the two working memory subsystems for perceptual decision making. PMID:25566143

  16. The impact of bilingualism on working memory in pediatric epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Veenstra, Amy L; Riley, Jeffrey D; Barrett, Lauren E; Muhonen, Michael G; Zupanc, Mary; Romain, Jonathan E; Lin, Jack J; Mucci, Grace

    2016-02-01

    Impairments in executive skills broadly span across multiple childhood epilepsy syndromes and can adversely affect quality of life. Bilingualism has been previously shown to correlate with enhanced executive functioning in healthy individuals. This study sought to determine whether the bilingual advantage in executive functioning exists in the context of pediatric epilepsy. We retrospectively analyzed neuropsychological data in 52 children with epilepsy and compared executive function scores in monolingual versus bilingual children with epilepsy while controlling for socioeconomic status and ethnicity. Bilingual children performed significantly better on the Working Memory Index than did monolingual children. There were no significant differences on the remaining executive function variables. The bilingual advantage appears to persist for working memory in children with epilepsy. These findings suggest that bilingualism is potentially a protective variable in the face of epilepsy-related working memory dysfunction. PMID:26720703

  17. When do negative and positive emotions modulate working memory performance?

    PubMed Central

    Osaka, Mariko; Yaoi, Ken; Minamoto, Takehiro; Osaka, Naoyuki

    2013-01-01

    The present study investigated when emotion modulates working memory from the perspective of neural activation. Using fMRI, we measured brain activity during the encoding and retrieval phases of a reading span test (RST) that used emotional contexts. The emotional RST required participants to read sentences that elicited negative, neural or positive emotional states while they were memorizing target words from the sentences. Compared with the neutral RST, the negative RST activated the right amygdala during the reading phase. Significant activation was also found in the parahippocampal gyrus, albeit only after activation of the amygdala became comparable to that in the neutral RST. In contrast, the positive RST activated the substantia nigra during the reading phase relative to the neutral RST. These findings suggest that negative and positive emotions modulate working memory through distinctive neural circuits. We also discuss possible relationships between emotional modulation and working memory capacity. PMID:23459220

  18. Knowledge cannot explain the developmental growth of working memory capacity.

    PubMed

    Cowan, Nelson; Ricker, Timothy J; Clark, Katherine M; Hinrichs, Garrett A; Glass, Bret A

    2015-01-01

    According to some views of cognitive growth, the development of working memory capacity can account for increases in the complexity of cognition. It has been difficult to ascertain, though, that there actually is developmental growth in capacity that cannot be attributed to other developing factors. Here we assess the role of item familiarity. We document developmental increases in working memory for visual arrays of English letters versus unfamiliar characters. Although letter knowledge played a special role in development between the ages of 6 and 8 years, children with adequate letter knowledge showed practically the same developmental growth in normalized functions for letters and unfamiliar characters. The results contribute to a growing body of evidence that the developmental improvement in working memory does not wholly stem from supporting processes such as encoding, mnemonic strategies, and knowledge. A video abstract is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJdqErLR2Hs&feature=youtu.be. PMID:24942111

  19. Contextual effects in visual working memory reveal hierarchically structured memory representations.

    PubMed

    Brady, Timothy F; Alvarez, George A

    2015-01-01

    Influential slot and resource models of visual working memory make the assumption that items are stored in memory as independent units, and that there are no interactions between them. Consequently, these models predict that the number of items to be remembered (the set size) is the primary determinant of working memory performance, and therefore these models quantify memory capacity in terms of the number and quality of individual items that can be stored. Here we demonstrate that there is substantial variance in display difficulty within a single set size, suggesting that limits based on the number of individual items alone cannot explain working memory storage. We asked hundreds of participants to remember the same sets of displays, and discovered that participants were highly consistent in terms of which items and displays were hardest or easiest to remember. Although a simple grouping or chunking strategy could not explain this individual-display variability, a model with multiple, interacting levels of representation could explain some of the display-by-display differences. Specifically, a model that includes a hierarchical representation of items plus the mean and variance of sets of the colors on the display successfully accounts for some of the variability across displays. We conclude that working memory representations are composed only in part of individual, independent object representations, and that a major factor in how many items are remembered on a particular display is interitem representations such as perceptual grouping, ensemble, and texture representations. PMID:26575192

  20. Cognitive Control in Auditory Working Memory Is Enhanced in Musicians

    PubMed Central

    Pallesen, Karen Johanne; Brattico, Elvira; Bailey, Christopher J.; Korvenoja, Antti; Koivisto, Juha; Gjedde, Albert; Carlson, Synnöve

    2010-01-01

    Musical competence may confer cognitive advantages that extend beyond processing of familiar musical sounds. Behavioural evidence indicates a general enhancement of both working memory and attention in musicians. It is possible that musicians, due to their training, are better able to maintain focus on task-relevant stimuli, a skill which is crucial to working memory. We measured the blood oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) activation signal in musicians and non-musicians during working memory of musical sounds to determine the relation among performance, musical competence and generally enhanced cognition. All participants easily distinguished the stimuli. We tested the hypothesis that musicians nonetheless would perform better, and that differential brain activity would mainly be present in cortical areas involved in cognitive control such as the lateral prefrontal cortex. The musicians performed better as reflected in reaction times and error rates. Musicians also had larger BOLD responses than non-musicians in neuronal networks that sustain attention and cognitive control, including regions of the lateral prefrontal cortex, lateral parietal cortex, insula, and putamen in the right hemisphere, and bilaterally in the posterior dorsal prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate gyrus. The relationship between the task performance and the magnitude of the BOLD response was more positive in musicians than in non-musicians, particularly during the most difficult working memory task. The results confirm previous findings that neural activity increases during enhanced working memory performance. The results also suggest that superior working memory task performance in musicians rely on an enhanced ability to exert sustained cognitive control. This cognitive benefit in musicians may be a consequence of focused musical training. PMID:20559545

  1. Dynamics of the Human Structural Connectome Underlying Working Memory Training

    PubMed Central

    Metzler-Baddeley, Claudia; Foley, Sonya; Jones, Derek K.

    2016-01-01

    Brain region-specific changes have been demonstrated with a variety of cognitive training interventions. The effect of cognitive training on brain subnetworks in humans, however, remains largely unknown, with studies limited to functional networks. Here, we used a well-established working memory training program and state-of-the art neuroimaging methods in 40 healthy adults (21 females, mean age 26.5 years). Near and far-transfer training effects were assessed using computerized working memory and executive function tasks. Adaptive working memory training led to improvement on (non)trained working memory tasks and generalization to tasks of reasoning and inhibition. Graph theoretical analysis of the structural (white matter) network connectivity (“connectome”) revealed increased global integration within a frontoparietal attention network following adaptive working memory training compared with the nonadaptive group. Furthermore, the impact on the outcome of graph theoretical analyses of different white matter metrics to infer “connection strength” was evaluated. Increased efficiency of the frontoparietal network was best captured when using connection strengths derived from MR metrics that are thought to be more sensitive to differences in myelination (putatively indexed by the [quantitative] longitudinal relaxation rate, R1) than previously used diffusion MRI metrics (fractional anisotropy or fiber-tracking recovered streamlines). Our findings emphasize the critical role of specific microstructural markers in providing important hints toward the mechanisms underpinning training-induced plasticity that may drive working memory improvement in clinical populations. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT This is the first study to explore training-induced changes in the structural connectome using a well-controlled design to examine cognitive training with up-to-date neuroimaging methods. We found changes in global integration based on white matter connectivity within a

  2. The neuroscience of working memory capacity and training.

    PubMed

    Constantinidis, Christos; Klingberg, Torkel

    2016-07-01

    Working memory - the ability to maintain and manipulate information over a period of seconds - is a core component of higher cognitive functions. The storage capacity of working memory is limited but can be expanded by training, and evidence of the neural mechanisms underlying this effect is accumulating. Human imaging studies and neurophysiological recordings in non-human primates, together with computational modelling studies, reveal that training increases the activity of prefrontal neurons and the strength of connectivity in the prefrontal cortex and between the prefrontal and parietal cortex. Dopaminergic transmission could have a facilitatory role. These changes more generally inform us of the plasticity of higher cognitive functions. PMID:27225070

  3. Models of Verbal Working Memory Capacity: What Does It Take to Make Them Work?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowan, Nelson; Rouder, Jeffrey N.; Blume, Christopher L.; Saults, J. Scott

    2012-01-01

    Theories of working memory (WM) capacity limits will be more useful when we know what aspects of performance are governed by the limits and what aspects are governed by other memory mechanisms. Whereas considerable progress has been made on models of WM capacity limits for visual arrays of separate objects, less progress has been made in…

  4. Maternal working memory and reactive negativity in parenting.

    PubMed

    Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Sewell, Michael D; Petrill, Stephen A; Thompson, Lee A

    2010-01-01

    We examined the role of working memory in observed reactive parenting in a sample of 216 mothers and their same-sex twin children. The mothers and their children were observed completing two frustrating cooperation tasks during a visit to the home. The mothers worked one-on-one with each child separately. Mothers completed the Vocabulary (verbal), Block Design (spatial), and Digit Span (working memory) subtests of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Third Edition. We used a within-family quasi-experimental design to estimate the magnitude of the association between sibling differences in observed challenging behaviors (i.e., opposition and distractibility) and the difference in the mother's negativity toward each child. As hypothesized, reactive negativity was evident only among mothers with poorer working memory. Verbal and spatial ability did not show this moderating effect. The effect was replicated in a post hoc secondary data analysis of a sample of adoptive mothers and sibling children. Results implicate working memory in the etiology of harsh reactive parenting. PMID:20424026

  5. Top-down modulation: Bridging selective attention and working memory

    PubMed Central

    Gazzaley, Adam; Nobre, Anna C.

    2012-01-01

    Selective attention, the ability to focus our cognitive resources on information relevant to our goals, influences working memory (WM) performance. Indeed, attention and working memory are increasingly viewed as overlapping constructs. Here, we review recent evidence from human neurophysiological studies demonstrating that top-down modulation serves as a common neural mechanism underlying these two cognitive operations. The core features include activity modulation in stimulus-selective sensory cortices with concurrent engagement of prefrontal and parietal control regions that function as sources of top-down signals. Notably, top-down modulation is engaged during both stimulus-present and stimulus-absent stages of WM tasks, i.e., expectation of an ensuing stimulus to be remembered, selection and encoding of stimuli, maintenance of relevant information in mind and memory retrieval. PMID:22209601

  6. Situated navigational working memory: the role of positive mood.

    PubMed

    Palmiero, Massimiliano; Nori, Raffaella; Rogolino, Carmelo; D'Amico, Simonetta; Piccardi, Laura

    2015-09-01

    The perspective of situated cognition assumes that cognition is not separated from the context. In the present study, the issue if visuospatial memory and navigational working memory are situated was explored by manipulating participants' mood (positive, negative and neutral) while performing two different tasks. College students were randomly assigned to the group of positive, negative or neutral music. Participants filled out the positive and negative affect schedule (PANAS) before and after carrying out the Corsi Test and the Walking Corsi Test. Both tasks were performed forward and backward. Music was played throughout the memory tasks. Firstly, comparing pre-mood induction PANAS scores to post-mood induction PANAS scores, results showed that only positive affects were manipulated: After mood induction, the Positive Music Group produced higher scores, whereas the Negative Music Group produced lower scores than before mood induction; the Neutral Music Group produced no effect. Secondly, the Positive Music Group produced higher scores than Negative and Neutral Music Groups both at the Corsi Test and at the Walking Corsi Test. These results show that situational contexts that induce a specific mood can affect visuospatial memory and navigational working memory, and open to the idea that positive emotions may play a crucial role in enhancing navigational strategies. PMID:26216759

  7. How do musical tonality and experience affect visual working memory?

    PubMed

    Yang, Hua; Lu, Jing; Gong, Diankun; Yao, Dezhong

    2016-01-20

    The influence of music on the human brain has continued to attract increasing attention from neuroscientists and musicologists. Currently, tonal music is widely present in people's daily lives; however, atonal music has gradually become an important part of modern music. In this study, we conducted two experiments: the first one tested for differences in perception of distractibility between tonal music and atonal music. The second experiment tested how tonal music and atonal music affect visual working memory by comparing musicians and nonmusicians who were placed in contexts with background tonal music, atonal music, and silence. They were instructed to complete a delay matching memory task. The results show that musicians and nonmusicians have different evaluations of the distractibility of tonal music and atonal music, possibly indicating that long-term training may lead to a higher auditory perception threshold among musicians. For the working memory task, musicians reacted faster than nonmusicians in all background music cases, and musicians took more time to respond in the tonal background music condition than in the other conditions. Therefore, our results suggest that for a visual memory task, background tonal music may occupy more cognitive resources than atonal music or silence for musicians, leaving few resources left for the memory task. Moreover, the musicians outperformed the nonmusicians because of the higher sensitivity to background music, which also needs a further longitudinal study to be confirmed. PMID:26619232

  8. Phonological Working Memory of Children in Two German Special Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hasselhorn, Marcus; Mahler, Claudia

    2007-01-01

    In two studies, 10-year-olds from 2 German special schools as well as typically developing children of the same chronological age (CA controls) or the same mental age (MA controls) were compared on several aspects of working memory functions (i.e., size and input quality of the phonological store, speed and automatic activation of the subvocal…

  9. Working Memory Deficits and Social Problems in Children with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kofler, Michael J.; Rapport, Mark D.; Bolden, Jennifer; Sarver, Dustin E.; Raiker, Joseph S.; Alderson, R. Matt

    2011-01-01

    Social problems are a prevalent feature of ADHD and reflect a major source of functional impairment for these children. The current study examined the impact of working memory deficits on parent- and teacher-reported social problems in a sample of children with ADHD and typically developing boys (N = 39). Bootstrapped, bias-corrected mediation…

  10. A Working Memory Model Applied to Mathematical Word Problem Solving

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alamolhodaei, Hassan

    2009-01-01

    The main objective of this study is (a) to explore the relationship among cognitive style (field dependence/independence), working memory, and mathematics anxiety and (b) to examine their effects on students' mathematics problem solving. A sample of 161 school girls (13-14 years old) were tested on (1) the Witkin's cognitive style (Group Embedded…

  11. Working-Memory-Triggered Dynamic Adjustments in Cognitive Control

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jha, Amishi P.; Kiyonaga, Anastasia

    2010-01-01

    Dynamic adjustments in cognitive control are well documented in conflict tasks, wherein competition from irrelevant stimulus attributes intensifies selection demands and leads to subsequent performance benefits. The current study investigated whether mnemonic demands, in a working memory (WM) task, can drive similar online control modifications.…

  12. Development of Visual Working Memory Precision in Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burnett Heyes, Stephanie; Zokaei, Nahid; van der Staaij, Irene; Bays, Paul M.; Husain, Masud

    2012-01-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) is the facility to hold in mind visual information for brief periods of time. Developmental studies have suggested an increase during childhood in the maximum number of complete items that can simultaneously be stored in VWM. Here, we exploit a recent theoretical and empirical innovation to investigate instead the…

  13. Multisensory Integration Affects Visuo-Spatial Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Botta, Fabiano; Santangelo, Valerio; Raffone, Antonino; Sanabria, Daniel; Lupianez, Juan; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti

    2011-01-01

    In the present study, we investigate how spatial attention, driven by unisensory and multisensory cues, can bias the access of information into visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM). In a series of four experiments, we compared the effectiveness of spatially-nonpredictive visual, auditory, or audiovisual cues in capturing participants' spatial…

  14. The role of working memory in motor learning and performance.

    PubMed

    Maxwell, J P; Masters, R S W; Eves, F F

    2003-09-01

    Three experiments explore the role of working memory in motor skill acquisition and performance. Traditional theories postulate that skill acquisition proceeds through stages of knowing, which are initially declarative but later procedural. The reported experiments challenge that view and support an independent, parallel processing model, which predicts that procedural and declarative knowledge can be acquired separately and that the former does not depend on the availability of working memory, whereas, the latter does. The behaviour of these two processes was manipulated by providing or withholding visual (and auditory) appraisal of outcome feedback. Withholding feedback was predicted to inhibit the use of working memory to appraise success and, thus, prevent the formation of declarative knowledge without affecting the accumulation of procedural knowledge. While the first experiment failed to support these predictions, the second and third experiments demonstrated that procedural and declarative knowledge can be acquired independently. It is suggested that the availability of working memory is crucial to motor performance only when the learner has come to rely on its use. PMID:12941284

  15. Enhancing Mobile Working Memory Training by Using Affective Feedback

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaaff, Kristina

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to propose a novel approach to enhance working memory (WM) training for mobile devices by using information about the arousal level of a person. By the example of an adaptive n-back task, we combine methodologies from different disciplines to tackle this challenge: mobile learning, affective computing and cognitive…

  16. Imagery and visual working memory: one and the same?

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Frank

    2013-01-01

    Although visual imagery and visual working memory are both defined by the ability to actively represent and manipulate visual information, it is not known whether they rely on common mechanisms. A recent study by Albers and colleagues directly investigates this issue, finding evidence of common internal representations in early visual areas. PMID:23958465

  17. Music Training and Working Memory: An ERP Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    George, Elyse M.; Coch, Donna

    2011-01-01

    While previous research has suggested that music training is associated with improvements in various cognitive and linguistic skills, the mechanisms mediating or underlying these associations are mostly unknown. Here, we addressed the hypothesis that previous music training is related to improved working memory. Using event-related potentials…

  18. Contributions of Spatial Working Memory to Visuomotor Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anguera, Joaquin A.; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A.; Willingham, Daniel T.; Seidler, Rachael D.

    2010-01-01

    Previous studies of motor learning have described the importance of cognitive processes during the early stages of learning; however, the precise nature of these processes and their neural correlates remains unclear. The present study investigated whether spatial working memory (SWM) contributes to visuomotor adaptation depending on the stage of…

  19. Development of Working Memory for Verbal-Spatial Associations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowan, Nelson; Saults, J. Scott; Morey, Candice C.

    2006-01-01

    Verbal-to-spatial associations in working memory may index a core capacity for abstract information limited in the amount concurrently retained. However, what look like associative, abstract representations could instead reflect verbal and spatial codes held separately and then used in parallel. We investigated this issue in two experiments on…

  20. The Endurance of Children's Working Memory: A Recall Time Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Towse, John N.; Hitch, Graham J.; Hamilton, Z.; Pirrie, Sarah

    2008-01-01

    We analyze the timing of recall as a source of information about children's performance in complex working memory tasks. A group of 8-year-olds performed a traditional operation span task in which sequence length increased across trials and an operation period task in which processing requirements were extended across trials of constant sequence…

  1. Working Memory Enhances Visual Perception: Evidence from Signal Detection Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soto, David; Wriglesworth, Alice; Bahrami-Balani, Alex; Humphreys, Glyn W.

    2010-01-01

    We show that perceptual sensitivity to visual stimuli can be modulated by matches between the contents of working memory (WM) and stimuli in the visual field. Observers were presented with an object cue (to hold in WM or to merely attend) and subsequently had to identify a brief target presented within a colored shape. The cue could be…

  2. No Role for Motor Affordances in Visual Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pecher, Diane

    2013-01-01

    Motor affordances have been shown to play a role in visual object identification and categorization. The present study explored whether working memory is likewise supported by motor affordances. Use of motor affordances should be disrupted by motor interference, and this effect should be larger for objects that have motor affordances than for…

  3. Reasoning and Working Memory as Predictors of School Grades

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krumm, Stefan; Ziegler, Matthias; Buehner, Markus

    2008-01-01

    The present paper contributes to individual difference research in the field of working memory (WM) and reasoning and their contribution to the prediction of real-life criteria. Therefore, a broad WM test battery, a well-established measure of reasoning, and school grades were applied. It is argued that abilities as assessed with the WM component…

  4. Is Working Memory Training Effective? A Meta-Analytic Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Melby-Lervag, Monica; Hulme, Charles

    2013-01-01

    It has been suggested that working memory training programs are effective both as treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other cognitive disorders in children and as a tool to improve cognitive ability and scholastic attainment in typically developing children and adults. However, effects across studies appear to be…

  5. Proactive Interference and Item Similarity in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bunting, Michael

    2006-01-01

    Proactive interference (PI) may influence the predictive utility of working memory span tasks. Participants in one experiment (N=70) completed Ravens Advanced Progressive Matrices (RAPM) and multiple versions of operation span and probed recall, modified for the type of memoranda (digits or words). Changing memoranda within- or across-trials…

  6. Assessing Working Memory Capacity in a Non-Native Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sanchez, Christopher A.; Wiley, Jennifer; Miura, Timothy K.; Colflesh, Gregory J. H.; Ricks, Travis R.; Jensen, Melinda S.; Conway, Andrew R. A.

    2010-01-01

    The present studies directly test the usefulness of two English-language working memory capacity (WMC) assessments with two samples of students whose native language was not English. Participants completed two widely used complex span tasks, Reading Span (RSpan) and Operation Span (OSpan), in English. To determine whether the well-established…

  7. Effects of Skill Training on Working Memory Capacity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Yuh-shiow; Lu, Min-ju; Ko, Hsiu-ping

    2007-01-01

    In this study we examined the effects of skill training, in particular mental abacus and music training, on working memory. Two groups of participants--children who had received mental abacus training and their controls--participated in Experiment 1. All participants performed the following span tasks: forward digit span, backward digit span,…

  8. Central and Peripheral Components of Working Memory Storage

    PubMed Central

    Cowan, Nelson; Saults, J. Scott; Blume, Christopher L.

    2014-01-01

    This study re-examines the issue of how much of working memory storage is central, or shared across sensory modalities and verbal and nonverbal codes, and how much is peripheral, or specific to a modality or code. In addition to the exploration of many parameters in 9 new dual-task experiments and re-analysis of some prior evidence, the innovations of the present work compared to previous studies of memory for two stimulus sets include (1) use of a principled set of formulas to estimate the number of items in working memory, and (2) a model to dissociate central components, which are allocated to very different stimulus sets depending on the instructions, from peripheral components, which are used for only one kind of material. We consistently find that the central contribution is smaller than was suggested by Saults and Cowan (2007), and that the peripheral contribution is often much larger when the task does not require the binding of features within an object. Previous capacity estimates are consistent with the sum of central plus peripheral components observed here. We consider the implications of the data as constraints on theories of working memory storage and maintenance. PMID:24867488

  9. Two Maintenance Mechanisms of Verbal Information in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Camos, V.; Lagner, P.; Barrouillet, P.

    2009-01-01

    The present study evaluated the interplay between two mechanisms of maintenance of verbal information in working memory, namely articulatory rehearsal as described in Baddeley's model, and attentional refreshing as postulated in Barrouillet and Camos's Time-Based Resource-Sharing (TBRS) model. In four experiments using complex span paradigm, we…

  10. Working Memory Updating as a Predictor of Academic Attainment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lechuga, M. Teresa; Pelegrina, Santiago; Pelaez, Jose L.; Martin-Puga, M. Eva; Justicia, M. Jose

    2016-01-01

    There is growing evidence supporting the importance of executive functions, and specifically working memory updating (WMU), for children's academic achievement. This study aimed to assess the specific contribution of updating to the prediction of academic performance. Two updating tasks, which included different updating components, were…

  11. Hemispheric Lateralization of Verbal and Spatial Working Memory during Adolescence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nagel, Bonnie J.; Herting, Megan M.; Maxwell, Emily C.; Bruno, Richard; Fair, Damien

    2013-01-01

    Adult functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) literature suggests that a left-right hemispheric dissociation may exist between verbal and spatial working memory (WM), respectively. However, investigation of this type has been obscured by incomparable verbal and spatial WM tasks and/or visual inspection at arbitrary thresholds as means to…

  12. Working Memory Training: Improving Intelligence--Changing Brain Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jausovec, Norbert; Jausovec, Ksenija

    2012-01-01

    The main objectives of the study were: to investigate whether training on working memory (WM) could improve fluid intelligence, and to investigate the effects WM training had on neuroelectric (electroencephalography--EEG) and hemodynamic (near-infrared spectroscopy--NIRS) patterns of brain activity. In a parallel group experimental design,…

  13. Updating Positive and Negative Stimuli in Working Memory in Depression

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levens, Sara M.; Gotlib, Ian H.

    2010-01-01

    Difficulties in the ability to update stimuli in working memory (WM) may underlie the problems with regulating emotions that lead to the development and perpetuation of mood disorders such as depression. To examine the ability to update affective material in WM, the authors had diagnosed depressed and never-disordered control participants perform…

  14. Similarity, Not Complexity, Determines Visual Working Memory Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Margaret C.; Linden, David E. J.; Roberts, Mark V.; Kriegeskorte, Nikolaus; Haenschel, Corinna

    2015-01-01

    A number of studies have shown that visual working memory (WM) is poorer for complex versus simple items, traditionally accounted for by higher information load placing greater demands on encoding and storage capacity limits. Other research suggests that it may not be complexity that determines WM performance per se, but rather increased…

  15. Verbal, Visual, and Spatial Working Memory Demands during Text Composition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olive, Thierry; Kellogg, Ronald T.; Piolat, Annie

    2008-01-01

    Two experiments examined whether text composition engages verbal, visual, and spatial working memory to different degrees. In Experiment 1, undergraduate students composed by longhand a persuasive text while performing a verbal, visual, or spatial concurrent task that was presented visually. In Experiment 2, participants performed a verbal or…

  16. Knowledge Cannot Explain the Developmental Growth of Working Memory Capacity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowan, Nelson; Ricker, Timothy J.; Clark, Katherine M.; Hinrichs, Garrett A.; Glass, Bret A.

    2015-01-01

    According to some views of cognitive growth, the development of working memory capacity can account for increases in the complexity of cognition. It has been difficult to ascertain, though, that there actually is developmental growth in capacity that cannot be attributed to other developing factors. Here we assess the role of item familiarity. We…

  17. Opposite Effects of Working Memory on Subjective Visibility and Priming

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Loof, Esther; Verguts, Tom; Fias, Wim; Van Opstal, Filip

    2013-01-01

    Cognitive theories on consciousness propose a strong link between consciousness and working memory (WM). This link is also present at the neural level: Both consciousness and WM have been implicated in a prefrontal parietal network. However, the link remains empirically unexplored. The present study investigates the relation between consciousness…

  18. Reduced Functional Connectivity during Working Memory in Turner Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Dunkin, Bria; Hong, David S.; Reiss, Allan L.

    2011-01-01

    Turner syndrome (TS) is a genetic disorder affecting females, resulting from the complete or partial absence of an X chromosome. The cognitive profile of TS shows relative strengths in the verbal domain and weaknesses in the procedural domain, including working memory. Neuroimaging studies have identified differences in the morphology of the parietal lobes, and white matter pathways linking frontal and parietal regions, as well as abnormal activation in dorsal frontal and parietal regions. Taken together these findings suggest that abnormal functional connectivity between frontal and parietal regions may be related to working memory impairments in TS, a hypothesis we tested in the present study. We scanned TS and typically developing participants with functional magnetic resonance imaging while they performed visuospatial and phonological working memory tasks. We generated a seed region in parietal cortex based on structural differences in TS and found that functional connectivity with dorsal frontal regions was reduced during working memory in TS. Finally, we found that connectivity was correlated with task performance in TS. These findings suggest that structural brain abnormalities in TS affect not only regional activity but also the functional interactions between regions and that this has important consequences for behavior. PMID:21441396

  19. No Evidence for Temporal Decay in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewandowsky, Stephan; Oberauer, Klaus

    2009-01-01

    What drives forgetting in working memory? Recent evidence suggests that in a complex-span task in which an irrelevant processing task alternates with presentation of the memoranda, recall declines when the time taken to complete the processing task is extended while holding the time for rehearsal in between processing steps constant (Portrat,…

  20. Working Memory Deficits in Children with Specific Learning Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schuchardt, Kirsten; Maehler, Claudia; Hasselhorn, Marcus

    2008-01-01

    This article examines working memory functioning in children with specific developmental disorders of scholastic skills as defined by ICD-10. Ninety-seven second to fourth graders with a minimum IQ of 80 are compared using a 2 x 2 factorial (dyscalculia vs. no dyscalculia; dyslexia vs. no dyslexia) design. An extensive test battery assesses the…

  1. Etiological Distinction of Working Memory Components in Relation to Mathematics

    PubMed Central

    Lukowski, Sarah L.; Soden, Brooke; Hart, Sara A.; Thompson, Lee A.; Kovas, Yulia; Petrill, Stephen A.

    2014-01-01

    Working memory has been consistently associated with mathematics achievement, although the etiology of these relations remains poorly understood. The present study examined the genetic and environmental underpinnings of math story problem solving, timed calculation, and untimed calculation alongside working memory components in 12-year-old monozygotic (n = 105) and same-sex dizygotic (n = 143) twin pairs. Results indicated significant phenotypic correlation between each working memory component and all mathematics outcomes (r = 0.18 – 0.33). Additive genetic influences shared between the visuo-spatial sketchpad and mathematics achievement was significant, accounting for roughly 89% of the observed correlation. In addition, genetic covariance was found between the phonological loop and math story problem solving. In contrast, despite there being a significant observed relationship between phonological loop and timed and untimed calculation, there was no significant genetic or environmental covariance between the phonological loop and timed or untimed calculation skills. Further analyses indicated that genetic overlap between the visuo-spatial sketchpad and math story problem solving and math fluency was distinct from general genetic factors, whereas g, phonological loop, and mathematics shared generalist genes. Thus, although each working memory component was related to mathematics, the etiology of their relationships may be distinct. PMID:25477699

  2. Working Memory and Intelligence Are Highly Related Constructs, but Why?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colom, Roberto; Abad, Francisco J.; Quiroga, M. Angeles; Shih, Pei Chun; Flores-Mendoza, Carmen

    2008-01-01

    Working memory and the general factor of intelligence (g) are highly related constructs. However, we still don't know why. Some models support the central role of simple short-term storage, whereas others appeal to executive functions like the control of attention. Nevertheless, the available empirical evidence does not suffice to get an answer,…

  3. Working memory load improves early stages of independent visual processing.

    PubMed

    Cocchi, Luca; Toepel, Ulrike; De Lucia, Marzia; Martuzzi, Roberto; Wood, Stephen J; Carter, Olivia; Murray, Micah M

    2011-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that working memory and perceptual processes are dynamically interrelated due to modulating activity in overlapping brain networks. However, the direct influence of working memory on the spatio-temporal brain dynamics of behaviorally relevant intervening information remains unclear. To investigate this issue, subjects performed a visual proximity grid perception task under three different visual-spatial working memory (VSWM) load conditions. VSWM load was manipulated by asking subjects to memorize the spatial locations of 6 or 3 disks. The grid was always presented between the encoding and recognition of the disk pattern. As a baseline condition, grid stimuli were presented without a VSWM context. VSWM load altered both perceptual performance and neural networks active during intervening grid encoding. Participants performed faster and more accurately on a challenging perceptual task under high VSWM load as compared to the low load and the baseline condition. Visual evoked potential (VEP) analyses identified changes in the configuration of the underlying sources in one particular period occurring 160-190 ms post-stimulus onset. Source analyses further showed an occipito-parietal down-regulation concurrent to the increased involvement of temporal and frontal resources in the high VSWM context. Together, these data suggest that cognitive control mechanisms supporting working memory may selectively enhance concurrent visual processing related to an independent goal. More broadly, our findings are in line with theoretical models implicating the engagement of frontal regions in synchronizing and optimizing mnemonic and perceptual resources towards multiple goals. PMID:20974157

  4. Attention to Attributes and Objects in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowan, Nelson; Blume, Christopher L.; Saults, J. Scott

    2013-01-01

    It has been debated on the basis of change-detection procedures whether visual working memory is limited by the number of objects, task-relevant attributes within those objects, or bindings between attributes. This debate, however, has been hampered by several limitations, including the use of conditions that vary between studies and the absence…

  5. Binding of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Features in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ecker, Ullrich K. H.; Maybery, Murray; Zimmer, Hubert D.

    2013-01-01

    There is ongoing debate concerning the mechanisms of feature binding in working memory. In particular, there is controversy regarding the extent to which these binding processes are automatic. The present article demonstrates that binding mechanisms differ depending on whether the to-be-integrated features are perceived as forming a coherent…

  6. Spatial Working Memory Is Necessary for Actions to Guide Thought

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Laura E.

    2013-01-01

    Directed actions can play a causal role in cognition, shaping thought processes. What drives this cross-talk between action and thought? I investigated the hypothesis that representations in spatial working memory mediate interactions between directed actions and problem solving. Participants attempted to solve an insight problem while…

  7. Using Explicit and Systematic Instruction to Support Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Jean Louise M.; Sáez, Leilani; Doabler, Christian T.

    2016-01-01

    Students are frequently expected to complete multistep tasks within a range of academic or classroom routines and to do so independently. Students' ability to complete these tasks successfully may vary as a consequence of both their working-memory capacity and the conditions under which they are expected to learn. Crucial features in the design or…

  8. Working Memory in Aphasia: Theory, Measures, and Clinical Implications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, Heather Harris; Shisler, Rebecca J.

    2005-01-01

    Recently, researchers have suggested that deficits in working memory capacity contribute to language-processing difficulties observed in individuals with aphasia (e.g., I. Caspari, S. Parkinson, L. LaPointe, & R. Katz, 1998; R. A. Downey et al., 2004; N. Friedmann & A. Gvion, 2003; H. H. Wright, M. Newhoff, R. Downey, & S. Austermann, 2003). A…

  9. Speed of Processing, Working Memory, and Language Impairment in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leonard, Laurence B.; Weismer, Susan Ellis; Miller, Carol A.; Francis, David J.; Tomblin, J. Bruce; Kail, Robert V.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: Children with language impairment (LI) often perform below the level of typically developing peers on measures of both processing speed and working memory. This study examined the relationship between these 2 types of measures and attempted to determine whether such measures can account for the LI itself. Method: Fourteen-year-old…

  10. Effects of Methylphenidate on Working Memory Components: Influence of Measurement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bedard, Anne-Claude; Jain, Umesh; Hogg-Johnson, Sheilah; Tannock, Rosemary

    2007-01-01

    Background: To investigate the effects of methylphenidate (MPH) on components of working memory (WM) in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and determine the responsiveness of WM measures to MPH. Methods: Participants were a clinical sample of 50 children and adolescents with ADHD, aged 6 to 16 years old, who participated in an acute…

  11. Anxiety, Methylphenidate Response, and Working Memory in Children with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bedard, Anne-Claude; Tannock, Rosemary

    2008-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the effects of methylphenidate (MPH) on components of working memory (WM) in children with ADHD and determine whether MPH produces differential effects on WM in children with comorbid anxiety (ANX). Method: Participants were a clinical sample of 130 children with ADHD, aged 6 to 12 years old (32% comorbid ANX). Each child…

  12. A Core Knowledge Architecture of Visual Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wood, Justin N.

    2011-01-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) is widely thought to contain specialized buffers for retaining spatial and object information: a "spatial-object architecture." However, studies of adults, infants, and nonhuman animals show that visual cognition builds on core knowledge systems that retain more specialized representations: (1) spatiotemporal…

  13. Modeling Working Memory Tasks on the Item Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luo, Dasen; Chen, Guopeng; Zen, Fanlin; Murray, Bronwyn

    2010-01-01

    Item responses to Digit Span and Letter-Number Sequencing were analyzed to develop a better-refined model of the two working memory tasks using the finite mixture (FM) modeling method. Models with ordinal latent traits were found to better account for the independent sources of the variability in the tasks than those with continuous traits, and…

  14. Addressing Working Memory in Children with Autism through Behavioral Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baltruschat, Lisa; Hasselhorn, Marcus; Tarbox, Jonathan; Dixon, Dennis R.; Najdowski, Adel C.; Mullins, Ryan D.; Gould, Evelyn R.

    2011-01-01

    Children with autism often struggle with executive function (EF) deficits, particularly with regard to working memory (WM). Despite the documented deficits in these areas, very little controlled research has evaluated treatments for remediation of EF or WM deficits in children with autism. This study examined the use of positive reinforcement for…

  15. Linking Developmental Working Memory and Early Academic Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Decker, Janice E.

    2011-01-01

    Brain-based initiatives and school readiness mandates in education have prompted researchers to examine the biological mechanisms associated with learning in the hope that understanding empirical evidence can maximize learning potential. Current research has examined working memory skills in relationship to early learning. The function of working…

  16. Difficulties in Working Memory Updating in Individuals with Intellectual Disability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carretti, B.; Belacchi, C.; Cornoldi, C.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Despite the critical role attributed to working memory (WM) updating for executive functions and fluid intelligence, no research has yet been carried out on its specific role in the vital case of fluid intelligence weakness, represented by individuals with intellectual disability (ID). Furthermore, the relationship between updating and…

  17. Children's Working Memory: Its Structure and Relationship to Fluid Intelligence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hornung, Caroline; Brunner, Martin; Reuter, Robert A. P.; Martin, Romain

    2011-01-01

    Working memory (WM) has been predominantly studied in adults. The insights provided by these studies have led to the development of competing theories on the structure of WM and conflicting conclusions on how strongly WM components are related to higher order thinking skills such as fluid intelligence. However, it remains unclear whether and to…

  18. Etiological Distinction of Working Memory Components in Relation to Mathematics.

    PubMed

    Lukowski, Sarah L; Soden, Brooke; Hart, Sara A; Thompson, Lee A; Kovas, Yulia; Petrill, Stephen A

    2014-11-01

    Working memory has been consistently associated with mathematics achievement, although the etiology of these relations remains poorly understood. The present study examined the genetic and environmental underpinnings of math story problem solving, timed calculation, and untimed calculation alongside working memory components in 12-year-old monozygotic (n = 105) and same-sex dizygotic (n = 143) twin pairs. Results indicated significant phenotypic correlation between each working memory component and all mathematics outcomes (r = 0.18 - 0.33). Additive genetic influences shared between the visuo-spatial sketchpad and mathematics achievement was significant, accounting for roughly 89% of the observed correlation. In addition, genetic covariance was found between the phonological loop and math story problem solving. In contrast, despite there being a significant observed relationship between phonological loop and timed and untimed calculation, there was no significant genetic or environmental covariance between the phonological loop and timed or untimed calculation skills. Further analyses indicated that genetic overlap between the visuo-spatial sketchpad and math story problem solving and math fluency was distinct from general genetic factors, whereas g, phonological loop, and mathematics shared generalist genes. Thus, although each working memory component was related to mathematics, the etiology of their relationships may be distinct. PMID:25477699

  19. Gender Identification Moderates Social Identity Threat Effects on Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaiser, Cheryl R.; Hagiwara, Nao

    2011-01-01

    This investigation examined whether gender identification moderates women's working memory following exposure to situations that threaten the integrity of their gender group. Young adults read sentences that either threatened women's gender identity (in the social identity threat condition) or did not threaten this identity (in the control…

  20. Serial and Parallel Processes in Working Memory after Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oberauer, Klaus; Bialkova, Svetlana

    2011-01-01

    Six young adults practiced for 36 sessions on a working-memory updating task in which 2 digits and 2 spatial positions were continuously updated. Participants either did 1 updating operation at a time, or attempted 1 numerical and 1 spatial operation at the same time. In contrast to previous research using the same paradigm with a single digit and…

  1. A Working Memory, Not Bilingual Advantage, in Controlled Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Namazi, Mahchid; Thordardottir, Elin

    2010-01-01

    We explored the relationship between working memory (WM) and visually controlled attention (CA) in young bilingual and monolingual children. Previous research has shown that balanced bilingual children outperform monolinguals in CA. However, it is unclear whether this advantage is truly associated with bilingualism or whether potential WM and/or…

  2. Individual Differences in the Fan Effect and Working Memory Capacity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bunting, M.F.; Conway, A.R.A.; Heitz, R.P.

    2004-01-01

    In opposition to conceptualizing working memory (WM) in terms of a general capacity, we present four experiments that favor the view that individual differences in WM depend on attentional control. High- and low-WM participants, as assessed by the operation span task, learned unrelated sentences for which the subject and predicate of the sentences…

  3. Aspects of Working Memory in L2 Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Juffs, Alan; Harrington, Michael

    2011-01-01

    This article reviews research on working memory (WM) and its use in second language (L2) acquisition research. Recent developments in the model and issues surrounding the operationalization of the construct itself are presented, followed by a discussion of various methods of measuring WM. These methods include word and digit span tasks, reading,…

  4. Working Memory Is (Almost) Perfectly Predicted by "g"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colom, Roberto; Rebollo, Irene; Palacios, Antonio; Juan-Espinosa, Manuel; Kyllonen, Patrick C.

    2004-01-01

    This article analyzes if working memory (WM) is especially important to understand "g." WM comprises the functions of focusing attention, conscious rehearsal, and transformation and mental manipulation of information, while "g" reflects the component variance that is common to all tests of ability. The centrality of WM in individual differences in…

  5. Sentence complexity and working memory effects in ambiguity resolution.

    PubMed

    Kim, Ji Hyon; Christianson, Kiel

    2013-10-01

    Two self-paced reading experiments using a paraphrase decision task paradigm were performed to investigate how sentence complexity contributed to the relative clause (RC) attachment preferences of speakers of different working memory capacities (WMCs). Experiment 1 (English) showed working memory effects on relative clause processing in both offline RC attachment preferences and in online reading time measures, but no effects of syntactic complexity. In Experiment 2 (Korean), syntactic complexity due to greater distance between integrating heads, as measured by the dependency locality theory (Gibson in Cognition 68:1-76, 1998), significantly increased the proportion of attachment to NP1. However, no effects of working memory were found. The difference in results between English and Korean is proposed to be due to head-directionality effects. The results of our study support the conclusion that working memory-based accounts provide a better explanation than previous language-dependent accounts for differences in RC attachment preferences. We propose that previous language dependent-accounts of cross-linguistic differences in RC processing have overlooked the interaction between individual WMC and a language's general structure, which is a central factor in RC attachment. PMID:22752849

  6. Working Memory Compensates for Hearing Related Phonological Processing Deficit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Classon, Elisabet; Rudner, Mary; Ronnberg, Jerker

    2013-01-01

    Acquired hearing impairment is associated with gradually declining phonological representations. According to the Ease of Language Understanding (ELU) model, poorly defined representations lead to mismatch in phonologically challenging tasks. To resolve the mismatch, reliance on working memory capacity (WMC) increases. This study investigated…

  7. The development of time-based prospective memory in childhood: the role of working memory updating.

    PubMed

    Voigt, Babett; Mahy, Caitlin E V; Ellis, Judi; Schnitzspahn, Katharina; Krause, Ivonne; Altgassen, Mareike; Kliegel, Matthias

    2014-10-01

    This large-scale study examined the development of time-based prospective memory (PM) across childhood and the roles that working memory updating and time monitoring play in driving age effects in PM performance. One hundred and ninety-seven children aged 5 to 14 years completed a time-based PM task where working memory updating load was manipulated within individuals using a dual task design. Results revealed age-related increases in PM performance across childhood. Working memory updating load had a negative impact on PM performance and monitoring behavior in older children, but this effect was smaller in younger children. Moreover, the frequency as well as the pattern of time monitoring predicted children's PM performance. Our interpretation of these results is that processes involved in children's PM may show a qualitative shift over development from simple, nonstrategic monitoring behavior to more strategic monitoring based on internal temporal models that rely specifically on working memory updating resources. We discuss this interpretation with regard to possible trade-off effects in younger children as well as alternative accounts. PMID:25111770

  8. Twisting tongues and memories: Explorations of the relationship between language production and verbal working memory

    PubMed Central

    Acheson, Daniel J.; MacDonald, Maryellen C.

    2010-01-01

    Many accounts of working memory posit specialized storage mechanisms for the maintenance of serial order. We explore an alternative, that maintenance is achieved through temporary activation in the language production architecture. Four experiments examined the extent to which the phonological similarity effect can be explained as a sublexical speech error. Phonologically similar nonword stimuli were ordered to create tongue twister or control materials used in four tasks: reading aloud, immediate spoken recall, immediate typed recall, and serial recognition. Dependent measures from working memory (recall accuracy) and language production (speech errors) fields were used. Even though lists were identical except for item order, robust effects of tongue twisters were observed. Speech error analyses showed that errors were better described as phoneme rather than item ordering errors. The distribution of speech errors was comparable across all experiments and exhibited syllable-position effects, suggesting an important role for production processes. Implications for working memory and language production are discussed. PMID:21165150

  9. I. WORKING MEMORY CAPACITY IN CONTEXT: MODELING DYNAMIC PROCESSES OF BEHAVIOR, MEMORY, AND DEVELOPMENT.

    PubMed

    Simmering, Vanessa R

    2016-09-01

    Working memory is a vital cognitive skill that underlies a broad range of behaviors. Higher cognitive functions are reliably predicted by working memory measures from two domains: children's performance on complex span tasks, and infants' performance in looking paradigms. Despite the similar predictive power across these research areas, theories of working memory development have not connected these different task types and developmental periods. The current project takes a first step toward bridging this gap by presenting a process-oriented theory, focusing on two tasks designed to assess visual working memory capacity in infants (the change-preference task) versus children and adults (the change detection task). Previous studies have shown inconsistent results, with capacity estimates increasing from one to four items during infancy, but only two to three items during early childhood. A probable source of this discrepancy is the different task structures used with each age group, but prior theories were not sufficiently specific to explain how performance relates across tasks. The current theory focuses on cognitive dynamics, that is, how memory representations are formed, maintained, and used within specific task contexts over development. This theory was formalized in a computational model to generate three predictions: 1) capacity estimates in the change-preference task should continue to increase beyond infancy; 2) capacity estimates should be higher in the change-preference versus change detection task when tested within individuals; and 3) performance should correlate across tasks because both rely on the same underlying memory system. I also tested a fourth prediction, that development across tasks could be explained through increasing real-time stability, realized computationally as strengthening connectivity within the model. Results confirmed these predictions, supporting the cognitive dynamics account of performance and developmental changes in real

  10. Context controls access to working and reference memory in the pigeon (Columba livia).

    PubMed

    Roberts, William A; Macpherson, Krista; Strang, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    The interaction between working and reference memory systems was examined under conditions in which salient contextual cues were presented during memory retrieval. Ambient colored lights (red or green) bathed the operant chamber during the presentation of comparison stimuli in delayed matching-to-sample training (working memory) and during the presentation of the comparison stimuli as S+ and S- cues in discrimination training (reference memory). Strong competition between memory systems appeared when the same contextual cue appeared during working and reference memory training. When different contextual cues were used, however, working memory was completely protected from reference memory interference. PMID:26781056

  11. A particular effect of sleep, but not pain or depression, on the blood-oxygen-level dependent response during working memory tasks in patients with chronic pain

    PubMed Central

    Elvemo, Nicolas A; Landrø, Nils I; Borchgrevink, Petter C; Håberg, Asta K

    2015-01-01

    Background Patients with chronic pain (CP) are often reported to have deficits in working memory. Pain impairs working memory, but so do depression and sleep problems, which are also common in CP. Depression has been linked to changes in brain activity in CP during working memory tasks, but the effect of sleep problems on working memory performance and brain activity remains to be investigated. Methods Fifteen CP patients and 17 age-, sex-, and education-matched controls underwent blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging at 3T while performing block design 0-back, 2-back, and paced visual serial addition test paradigms. Subjects also reported their level of pain (Brief Pain Inventory), depression (Beck Depression Inventory II), and sleep problems (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index) and were tested outside the scanner with neuropsychological tests of working memory. Results The CP group reported significantly higher levels of pain, depression, and sleep problems. No significant performance difference was found on the neuropsychological tests in or outside the scanner between the two groups. There were no correlations between level of pain, depression, and sleep problems or between these and the neuropsychological test scores. CP patients exhibited significantly less brain activation and deactivation than controls in parietal and frontal lobes, which are the brain areas that normally show activation and deactivation during working memory tasks. Sleep problems independently and significantly modulated the BOLD response to the complex working memory tasks and were associated with decreased brain activation in task-positive regions and decreased deactivation in the default mode network in the CP group compared to the control group. The pain and depression scores covaried with working memory activation. Discussion Sleep problems in CP patients had a significant impact on the BOLD response during working memory tasks, independent of pain

  12. Contrasting single and multi-component working-memory systems in dual tasking.

    PubMed

    Nijboer, Menno; Borst, Jelmer; van Rijn, Hedderik; Taatgen, Niels

    2016-05-01

    Working memory can be a major source of interference in dual tasking. However, there is no consensus on whether this interference is the result of a single working memory bottleneck, or of interactions between different working memory components that together form a complete working-memory system. We report a behavioral and an fMRI dataset in which working memory requirements are manipulated during multitasking. We show that a computational cognitive model that assumes a distributed version of working memory accounts for both behavioral and neuroimaging data better than a model that takes a more centralized approach. The model's working memory consists of an attentional focus, declarative memory, and a subvocalized rehearsal mechanism. Thus, the data and model favor an account where working memory interference in dual tasking is the result of interactions between different resources that together form a working-memory system. PMID:26859518

  13. Prefrontal Cortical GABA Modulation of Spatial Reference and Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Auger, Meagan L.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Dysfunction in prefrontal cortex (PFC) GABA transmission has been proposed to contribute to cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia, yet how this system regulates different cognitive and mnemonic functions remains unclear. Methods: We assessed the effects of pharmacological reduction of GABAA signaling in the medial PFC of rats on spatial reference/working memory using different versions of the radial-arm maze task. We used a massed-trials procedure to probe how PFC GABA regulates susceptibility to proactive interference. Male rats were well-trained to retrieve food from the same 4 arms of an 8-arm maze, receiving 5 trials/day (1–2min intervals). Results: Infusions of the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline (12.5–50ng) markedly increased working and reference memory errors and response latencies. Similar treatments also impaired short-term memory on an 8-baited arm task. These effects did not appear to be due to increased susceptibility to proactive interference. In contrast, PFC inactivation via infusion of GABA agonists baclofen/muscimol did not affect reference/working memory. In comparison to the pronounced effects on the 8-arm maze tasks, PFC GABAA antagonism only causes a slight and transient decrease in accuracy on a 2-arm spatial discrimination. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that prefrontal GABA hypofunction severely disrupts spatial reference and short-term memory and that disinhibition of the PFC can, in some instances, perturb memory processes not normally dependent on the frontal lobes. Moreover, these impairments closely resemble those observed in schizophrenic patients, suggesting that perturbation in PFC GABA signaling may contribute to these types of cognitive deficits associated with the disorder. PMID:25552433

  14. Making working memory work: a computational model of learning in the prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia.

    PubMed

    O'Reilly, Randall C; Frank, Michael J

    2006-02-01

    The prefrontal cortex has long been thought to subserve both working memory (the holding of information online for processing) and executive functions (deciding how to manipulate working memory and perform processing). Although many computational models of working memory have been developed, the mechanistic basis of executive function remains elusive, often amounting to a homunculus. This article presents an attempt to deconstruct this homunculus through powerful learning mechanisms that allow a computational model of the prefrontal cortex to control both itself and other brain areas in a strategic, task-appropriate manner. These learning mechanisms are based on subcortical structures in the midbrain, basal ganglia, and amygdala, which together form an actor-critic architecture. The critic system learns which prefrontal representations are task relevant and trains the actor, which in turn provides a dynamic gating mechanism for controlling working memory updating. Computationally, the learning mechanism is designed to simultaneously solve the temporal and structural credit assignment problems. The model's performance compares favorably with standard backpropagation-based temporal learning mechanisms on the challenging 1-2-AX working memory task and other benchmark working memory tasks. PMID:16378516

  15. Working Memory Training in Schizophrenia and Healthy Populations

    PubMed Central

    Lawlor-Savage, Linette; Goghari, Vina M.

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive deficits are consistently demonstrated in individuals with schizophrenia. Cognitive training involves structured exercises prescribed and undertaken with the intention of enhancing cognitive abilities such as attention, memory, and problem solving. Thus, cognitive training represents a potentially promising intervention for enhancing cognitive abilities in schizophrenia. However, cognitive training programs are numerous and heterogeneous, hence, the generalizability of training related outcomes can be challenging to assess. This article will provide a brief overview of current literature on cognitive training and explore how knowledge of working memory training in healthy populations can potentially be applied to enhance cognitive functioning of individuals with schizophrenia. PMID:25379283

  16. Nocturnal Hypoxia Exposure With Simulated Altitude For 14 Days Does Not Significantly Alter Working Memory or Vigilance in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Robert Joseph; Tamisier, Renaud; Boucher, Judith; Kotlar, Yana; Vigneault, Kevin; Weiss, J. Woodrow; Gilmartin, Geoffrey

    2007-01-01

    Study Objectives: To assess the effect of 2 weeks of nocturnal hypoxia exposure using simulated altitude on attention and working memory in healthy adult humans. Design: Prospective experimental physiological assessment. Setting: General Clinical Research Center. Participants: Eleven healthy, nonsmoking, subjects (7 men, 4 women). The subjects had a mean age of 27 ± 1.5 years and body mass index of 23 ± 0.9 kg/m2 Interventions: Subjects were exposed to 9 hours of continuous hypoxia from 2200 to 0700 hours in an altitude tent. Acclimatization was accomplished by graded increases in “altitude” over 3 nights (7700, 10,000 and 13,000 feet), followed by 13,000 feet for 13 consecutive days (FIO2 0.13). Measurements and Results: Polysomnography that included airflow measurements with a nasal cannula were done at baseline and during 3 time points across the protocol (nights 3, 7, and 14). Attention (10-minute Psychomotor Vigilance Task) and working memory (10-minute verbal 2-back) were assessed at baseline and on day 4, 8, 9, and 15. Nocturnal hypoxia was documented using endpoints of minimum oxygen saturation, oxygen desaturation index, and percentage of total sleep time under 90% and 80%. Total sleep time was reduced, stage 1 sleep was increased, and both obstructive and nonobstructive respiratory events were induced by altitude exposure. There was no difference in subjective mood, attention, or working memory. Conclusions: Two weeks of nocturnal continuous hypoxia in an altitude tent did not induce subjective sleepiness or impair objective vigilance and working memory. Caution is recommended in the extrapolation to humans the effects of hypoxia in animal models. Citation: Thomas RJ; Ramisier R; Boucher J; Kotlar Y; Vigneault K; Weiss JW; Gilmartin G. Nocternal hypoxia exposure with simulated altitude for 14 days does not significantly alter working memory or vigilance in humans. SLEEP 2007;30(9):1195-1203. PMID:17910391

  17. Adaptive Training Leads to Sustained Enhancement of Poor Working Memory in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holmes, Joni; Gathercole, Susan E.; Dunning, Darren L.

    2009-01-01

    Working memory plays a crucial role in supporting learning, with poor progress in reading and mathematics characterizing children with low memory skills. This study investigated whether these problems can be overcome by a training program designed to boost working memory. Children with low working memory skills were assessed on measures of working…

  18. A Specialized Language System in Working Memory: Evidence from American Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Losiewicz, Beth L.

    1999-01-01

    Investigates whether users of a visual spatial language, American Sign Language, also have a separate working memory subsystem for their visual spatial language, or whether their language working memory is part of their general visual-spatial memory. Results suggest prelingually deaf signers of ASL have a sign language working memory system that…

  19. Lifelong caloric restriction increases working memory in mice.

    PubMed

    Kuhla, Angela; Lange, Sophie; Holzmann, Carsten; Maass, Fabian; Petersen, Jana; Vollmar, Brigitte; Wree, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    Caloric restriction (CR) is argued to positively affect general health, longevity and the normally occurring age-related reduction of cognition. This issue is well examined, but most studies investigated the effect of short-term periods of CR. Herein, 4 weeks old female mice were fed caloric restricted for 4, 20 and especially for 74 weeks. CR mice received 60% of food eaten by their ad libitum (AL) fed littermates, and all age-matched groups were behaviorally analyzed. The motor coordination, which was tested by rotarod/accelerod, decreased age-related, but was not influenced by the different periods of CR. In contrast, the age-related impairment of spontaneous locomotor activity and anxiety, both being evaluated by open field and by elevated plus maze test, was found aggravated by a lifelong CR. Measurement of cognitive performance with morris water maze showed that the working memory decreased age-related in AL mice, while a lifelong CR caused a better cognitive performance and resulted in a significantly better spatial memory upon 74 weeks CR feeding. However, a late-onset CR feeding in 66 weeks old mice did not ameliorate the working memory. Therefore, a lifelong CR seems to be necessary to improve working memory. PMID:23874758

  20. Contextual Knowledge Reduces Demands on Working Memory during Reading

    PubMed Central

    Soederberg Miller, Lisa M.; Cohen, Jason A.; Wingfield, Arthur

    2009-01-01

    An experiment is reported in which young, middle-aged, and older adults read and recalled ambiguous texts either with or without the topic title which supplied contextual knowledge. Within each of the age groups, participants were divided into those with high or low working memory (WM) spans, with available WM capacity further manipulated by the presence or absence of an auditory target detection task concurrent with the reading task. Differences in reading efficiency (reading time per proposition recalled) between low WM span and high WM span groups were greater among readers who had access to contextual knowledge relative to those who did not, suggesting that contextual knowledge reduces demands on working memory capacity. This position was further supported by the finding that increased age and attentional demands, two factors associated with reduced WM capacity, exaggerated the benefits of contextual knowledge on reading efficiency. The relative strengths of additional potential predictors of reading efficiency (e.g., interest, effort, and memory beliefs) along with knowledge, working memory span, and age are reported. Findings showed that contextual knowledge was the strongest predictor of reading efficiency even after controlling for the effects of all of the other predictors. PMID:17225514

  1. Children's inference generation: The role of vocabulary and working memory.

    PubMed

    Currie, Nicola Kate; Cain, Kate

    2015-09-01

    Inferences are crucial to successful discourse comprehension. We assessed the contributions of vocabulary and working memory to inference making in children aged 5 and 6years (n=44), 7 and 8years (n=43), and 9 and 10years (n=43). Children listened to short narratives and answered questions to assess local and global coherence inferences after each one. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) confirmed developmental improvements on both types of inference. Although standardized measures of both vocabulary and working memory were correlated with inference making, multiple regression analyses determined that vocabulary was the key predictor. For local coherence inferences, only vocabulary predicted unique variance for the 6- and 8-year-olds; in contrast, none of the variables predicted performance for the 10-year-olds. For global coherence inferences, vocabulary was the only unique predictor for each age group. Mediation analysis confirmed that although working memory was associated with the ability to generate local and global coherence inferences in 6- to 10-year-olds, the effect was mediated by vocabulary. We conclude that vocabulary knowledge supports inference making in two ways: through knowledge of word meanings required to generate inferences and through its contribution to memory processes. PMID:25930678

  2. Restoring Latent Visual Working Memory Representations in Human Cortex.

    PubMed

    Sprague, Thomas C; Ester, Edward F; Serences, John T

    2016-08-01

    Working memory (WM) enables the storage and manipulation of limited amounts of information over short periods. Prominent models posit that increasing the number of remembered items decreases the spiking activity dedicated to each item via mutual inhibition, which irreparably degrades the fidelity of each item's representation. We tested these models by determining if degraded memory representations could be recovered following a post-cue indicating which of several items in spatial WM would be recalled. Using an fMRI-based image reconstruction technique, we identified impaired behavioral performance and degraded mnemonic representations with elevated memory load. However, in several cortical regions, degraded mnemonic representations recovered substantially following a post-cue, and this recovery tracked behavioral performance. These results challenge pure spike-based models of WM and suggest that remembered items are additionally encoded within latent or hidden neural codes that can help reinvigorate active WM representations. PMID:27497224

  3. Body image, visual working memory and visual mental imagery

    PubMed Central

    Uytman, Clare; Allen, Richard J.; Havelka, Jelena; Pearson, David G.

    2015-01-01

    Body dissatisfaction (BD) is a highly prevalent feature amongst females in society, with the majority of individuals regarding themselves to be overweight compared to their personal ideal, and very few self-describing as underweight. To date, explanations of this dramatic pattern have centred on extrinsic social and media factors, or intrinsic factors connected to individuals’ knowledge and belief structures regarding eating and body shape, with little research examining links between BD and basic cognitive mechanisms. This paper reports a correlational study in which visual and executive cognitive processes that could potentially impact on BD were assessed. Visual memory span and self-rated visual imagery were found to be predictive of BD, alongside a measure of inhibition derived from the Stroop task. In contrast, spatial memory and global precedence were not related to BD. Results are interpreted with reference to the influential multi-component model of working memory. PMID:25737815

  4. Rehearsing biological motion in working memory: an EEG study.

    PubMed

    Gao, Zaifeng; Bentin, Shlomo; Shen, Mowei

    2015-01-01

    Holding biological motion (BM), the movements of animate entities, in working memory (WM) is important to our daily social life. However, how BM is maintained in WM remains unknown. The current study investigated this issue and hypothesized that, analogous to BM perception, the human mirror neuron system (MNS) is involved in rehearsing BM in WM. To examine the MNS hypothesis of BM rehearsal, we used an EEG index of mu suppression (8-12 Hz), which has been linked to the MNS. Using a change detection task, we manipulated the BM memory load in three experiments. We predicted that mu suppression in the maintenance phase of WM would be modulated by the BM memory load; moreover, a negative correlation between the number of BM stimuli in WM and the degree of mu suppression may emerge. The results of Experiment 1 were in line with our predictions and revealed that mu suppression increased as the memory load increased from two to four BM stimuli; however, mu suppression then plateaued, as WM could only hold, at most, four BM stimuli. Moreover, the predicted negative correlation was observed. Corroborating the findings of Experiment 1, Experiment 2 further demonstrated that once participants used verbal codes to process the motion information, the mu suppression or modulation by memory load vanished. Finally, Experiment 3 demonstrated that the findings in Experiment 1 were not limited to one specific type of stimuli. Together, these results provide evidence that the MNS underlies the process of rehearsing BM in WM. PMID:25061930

  5. Evidence for modality-independent order coding in working memory.

    PubMed

    Depoorter, Ann; Vandierendonck, André

    2009-03-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the representation of serial order in working memory, more specifically whether serial order is coded by means of a modality-dependent or a modality-independent order code. This was investigated by means of a series of four experiments based on a dual-task methodology in which one short-term memory task was embedded between the presentation and recall of another short-term memory task. Two aspects were varied in these memory tasks--namely, the modality of the stimulus materials (verbal or visuo-spatial) and the presence of an order component in the task (an order or an item memory task). The results of this study showed impaired primary-task recognition performance when both the primary and the embedded task included an order component, irrespective of the modality of the stimulus materials. If one or both of the tasks did not contain an order component, less interference was found. The results of this study support the existence of a modality-independent order code. PMID:18609385

  6. An ideal observer analysis of visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Sims, Chris R; Jacobs, Robert A; Knill, David C

    2012-10-01

    Limits in visual working memory (VWM) strongly constrain human performance across many tasks. However, the nature of these limits is not well understood. In this article we develop an ideal observer analysis of human VWM by deriving the expected behavior of an optimally performing but limited-capacity memory system. This analysis is framed around rate-distortion theory, a branch of information theory that provides optimal bounds on the accuracy of information transmission subject to a fixed information capacity. The result of the ideal observer analysis is a theoretical framework that provides a task-independent and quantitative definition of visual memory capacity and yields novel predictions regarding human performance. These predictions are subsequently evaluated and confirmed in 2 empirical studies. Further, the framework is general enough to allow the specification and testing of alternative models of visual memory (e.g., how capacity is distributed across multiple items). We demonstrate that a simple model developed on the basis of the ideal observer analysis-one that allows variability in the number of stored memory representations but does not assume the presence of a fixed item limit-provides an excellent account of the empirical data and further offers a principled reinterpretation of existing models of VWM. PMID:22946744

  7. Negative emotion boosts quality of visual working memory representation.

    PubMed

    Xie, Weizhen; Zhang, Weiwei

    2016-08-01

    Negative emotion impacts a variety of cognitive processes, including working memory (WM). The present study investigated whether negative emotion modulated WM capacity (quantity) or resolution (quality), 2 independent limits on WM storage. In Experiment 1, observers tried to remember several colors over 1-s delay and then recalled the color of a randomly picked memory item by clicking a best-matching color on a continuous color wheel. On each trial, before the visual WM task, 1 of 3 emotion conditions (negative, neutral, or positive) was induced by having observers to rate the valence of an International Affective Picture System image. Visual WM under negative emotion showed enhanced resolution compared with neutral and positive conditions, whereas the number of retained representations was comparable across the 3 emotion conditions. These effects were generalized to closed-contour shapes in Experiment 2. To isolate the locus of these effects, Experiment 3 adopted an iconic memory version of the color recall task by eliminating the 1-s retention interval. No significant change in the quantity or quality of iconic memory was observed, suggesting that the resolution effects in the first 2 experiments were critically dependent on the need to retain memory representations over a short period of time. Taken together, these results suggest that negative emotion selectively boosts visual WM quality, supporting the dissociable nature quantitative and qualitative aspects of visual WM representation. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27078744

  8. Symbiosis of executive and selective attention in working memory

    PubMed Central

    Vandierendonck, André

    2014-01-01

    The notion of working memory (WM) was introduced to account for the usage of short-term memory resources by other cognitive tasks such as reasoning, mental arithmetic, language comprehension, and many others. This collaboration between memory and other cognitive tasks can only be achieved by a dedicated WM system that controls task coordination. To that end, WM models include executive control. Nevertheless, other attention control systems may be involved in coordination of memory and cognitive tasks calling on memory resources. The present paper briefly reviews the evidence concerning the role of selective attention in WM activities. A model is proposed in which selective attention control is directly linked to the executive control part of the WM system. The model assumes that apart from storage of declarative information, the system also includes an executive WM module that represents the current task set. Control processes are automatically triggered when particular conditions in these modules are met. As each task set represents the parameter settings and the actions needed to achieve the task goal, it will depend on the specific settings and actions whether selective attention control will have to be shared among the active tasks. Only when such sharing is required, task performance will be affected by the capacity limits of the control system involved. PMID:25152723

  9. Treating verbal working memory in a boy with intellectual disability

    PubMed Central

    Orsolini, Margherita; Melogno, Sergio; Latini, Nausica; Penge, Roberta; Conforti, Sara

    2015-01-01

    The present case study investigates the effects of a cognitive training of verbal working memory that was proposed for Davide, a 14-year-old boy diagnosed with mild intellectual disability. The program stimulated attention, inhibition, switching, and the ability to engage either in verbal dual tasks or in producing inferences after the content of a short passage had been encoded in episodic memory. Key elements in our program included (1) core training of target cognitive mechanisms; (2) guided practice emphasizing concrete strategies to engage in exercises; and (3) a variable amount of adult support. The study explored whether such a complex program produced “near transfer” effects on an untrained dual task assessing verbal working memory and whether effects on this and other target cognitive mechanisms (i.e., attention, inhibition, and switching) were long-lasting and produced “far transfer” effects on cognitive flexibility. The effects of the intervention program were investigated with a research design consisting of four subsequent phases lasting 8 or 10 weeks, each preceded and followed by testing. There was a control condition (phase 1) in which the boy received, at home, a stimulation focused on the visuospatial domain. Subsequently, there were three experimental training phases, in which stimulation in the verbal domain was first focused on attention and inhibition (phase 2a), then on switching and simple working memory tasks (phase 2b), then on complex working memory tasks (phase 3). A battery of neuropsychological tests was administered before and after each training phase and 7 months after the conclusion of the intervention. The main finding was that Davide changed from being incapable of addressing the dual task request of the listening span test in the initial assessment to performing close to the normal limits of a 13-year-old boy in the follow-up assessment with this test, when he was 15 years old. PMID:26284014

  10. Working memory differences in long-distance dependency resolution

    PubMed Central

    Nicenboim, Bruno; Vasishth, Shravan; Gattei, Carolina; Sigman, Mariano; Kliegl, Reinhold

    2015-01-01

    There is a wealth of evidence showing that increasing the distance between an argument and its head leads to more processing effort, namely, locality effects; these are usually associated with constraints in working memory (DLT: Gibson, 2000; activation-based model: Lewis and Vasishth, 2005). In SOV languages, however, the opposite effect has been found: antilocality (see discussion in Levy et al., 2013). Antilocality effects can be explained by the expectation-based approach as proposed by Levy (2008) or by the activation-based model of sentence processing as proposed by Lewis and Vasishth (2005). We report an eye-tracking and a self-paced reading study with sentences in Spanish together with measures of individual differences to examine the distinction between expectation- and memory-based accounts, and within memory-based accounts the further distinction between DLT and the activation-based model. The experiments show that (i) antilocality effects as predicted by the expectation account appear only for high-capacity readers; (ii) increasing dependency length by interposing material that modifies the head of the dependency (the verb) produces stronger facilitation than increasing dependency length with material that does not modify the head; this is in agreement with the activation-based model but not with the expectation account; and (iii) a possible outcome of memory load on low-capacity readers is the increase in regressive saccades (locality effects as predicted by memory-based accounts) or, surprisingly, a speedup in the self-paced reading task; the latter consistent with good-enough parsing (Ferreira et al., 2002). In sum, the study suggests that individual differences in working memory capacity play a role in dependency resolution, and that some of the aspects of dependency resolution can be best explained with the activation-based model together with a prediction component. PMID:25852623

  11. Working memory differences in long-distance dependency resolution.

    PubMed

    Nicenboim, Bruno; Vasishth, Shravan; Gattei, Carolina; Sigman, Mariano; Kliegl, Reinhold

    2015-01-01

    There is a wealth of evidence showing that increasing the distance between an argument and its head leads to more processing effort, namely, locality effects; these are usually associated with constraints in working memory (DLT: Gibson, 2000; activation-based model: Lewis and Vasishth, 2005). In SOV languages, however, the opposite effect has been found: antilocality (see discussion in Levy et al., 2013). Antilocality effects can be explained by the expectation-based approach as proposed by Levy (2008) or by the activation-based model of sentence processing as proposed by Lewis and Vasishth (2005). We report an eye-tracking and a self-paced reading study with sentences in Spanish together with measures of individual differences to examine the distinction between expectation- and memory-based accounts, and within memory-based accounts the further distinction between DLT and the activation-based model. The experiments show that (i) antilocality effects as predicted by the expectation account appear only for high-capacity readers; (ii) increasing dependency length by interposing material that modifies the head of the dependency (the verb) produces stronger facilitation than increasing dependency length with material that does not modify the head; this is in agreement with the activation-based model but not with the expectation account; and (iii) a possible outcome of memory load on low-capacity readers is the increase in regressive saccades (locality effects as predicted by memory-based accounts) or, surprisingly, a speedup in the self-paced reading task; the latter consistent with good-enough parsing (Ferreira et al., 2002). In sum, the study suggests that individual differences in working memory capacity play a role in dependency resolution, and that some of the aspects of dependency resolution can be best explained with the activation-based model together with a prediction component. PMID:25852623

  12. The Effects of Valence and Arousal on Associative Working Memory and Long-Term Memory

    PubMed Central

    Bergmann, Heiko C.; Rijpkema, Mark; Fernández, Guillén; Kessels, Roy P. C.

    2012-01-01

    Background Emotion can either facilitate or impair memory, depending on what, when and how memory is tested and whether the paradigm at hand is administered as a working memory (WM) or a long-term memory (LTM) task. Whereas emotionally arousing single stimuli are more likely to be remembered, memory for the relationship between two or more component parts (i.e., relational memory) appears to be worse in the presence of emotional stimuli, at least in some relational memory tasks. The current study investigated the effects of both valence (neutral vs. positive vs. negative) and arousal (low vs. high) in an inter-item WM binding and LTM task. Methodology/Principal Findings A five-pair delayed-match-to-sample (WM) task was administered. In each trial, study pairs consisted of one neutral picture and a second picture of which the emotional qualities (valence and arousal levels) were manipulated. These pairs had to be remembered across a delay interval of 10 seconds. This was followed by a probe phase in which five pairs were tested. After completion of this task, an unexpected single item LTM task as well as an LTM task for the pairs was assessed. As expected, emotional arousal impaired WM processing. This was reflected in lower accuracy for pairs consisting of high-arousal pictures compared to pairs with low-arousal pictures. A similar effect was found for the associative LTM task. However, the arousal effect was modulated by affective valence for the WM but not the LTM task; pairs with low-arousal negative pictures were not processed as well in the WM task. No significant differences were found for the single-item LTM task. Conclusions/Significance The present study provides additional evidence that processes during initial perception/encoding and post-encoding processes, the time interval between study and test and the interaction between valence and arousal might modulate the effects of “emotion” on associative memory. PMID:23300724

  13. Robust sequential working memory recall in heterogeneous cognitive networks

    PubMed Central

    Rabinovich, Mikhail I.; Sokolov, Yury; Kozma, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Psychiatric disorders are often caused by partial heterogeneous disinhibition in cognitive networks, controlling sequential and spatial working memory (SWM). Such dynamic connectivity changes suggest that the normal relationship between the neuronal components within the network deteriorates. As a result, competitive network dynamics is qualitatively altered. This dynamics defines the robust recall of the sequential information from memory and, thus, the SWM capacity. To understand pathological and non-pathological bifurcations of the sequential memory dynamics, here we investigate the model of recurrent inhibitory-excitatory networks with heterogeneous inhibition. We consider the ensemble of units with all-to-all inhibitory connections, in which the connection strengths are monotonically distributed at some interval. Based on computer experiments and studying the Lyapunov exponents, we observed and analyzed the new phenomenon—clustered sequential dynamics. The results are interpreted in the context of the winnerless competition principle. Accordingly, clustered sequential dynamics is represented in the phase space of the model by two weakly interacting quasi-attractors. One of them is similar to the sequential heteroclinic chain—the regular image of SWM, while the other is a quasi-chaotic attractor. Coexistence of these quasi-attractors means that the recall of the normal information sequence is intermittently interrupted by episodes with chaotic dynamics. We indicate potential dynamic ways for augmenting damaged working memory and other cognitive functions. PMID:25452717

  14. Reexamining the Relationship between Working Memory and Comprehension: The Role of Available Long-Term Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Was, Christopher A.; Woltz, Dan J.

    2007-01-01

    Two individual differences studies tested relationships between listening comprehension and two conceptualizations of working memory (WM) capacity. Recently, some theorists have stressed that the empirically indicated limits of rehearsal-based WM storage components are inconsistent with the amounts of information needed to accomplish complex…

  15. Reasoning and Memory: People Make Varied Use of the Information Available in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hardman, Kyle O.; Cowan, Nelson

    2016-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is used for storing information in a highly accessible state so that other mental processes, such as reasoning, can use that information. Some WM tasks require that participants not only store information, but also reason about that information to perform optimally on the task. In this study, we used visual WM tasks that had…

  16. Working Memory Deficits in Children with Reading Difficulties: Memory Span and Dual Task Coordination

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Shinmin; Gathercole, Susan E.

    2013-01-01

    The current study investigated the cause of the reported problems in working memory in children with reading difficulties. Verbal and visuospatial simple and complex span tasks, and digit span and reaction times tasks performed singly and in combination, were administered to 46 children with single word reading difficulties and 45 typically…

  17. Compression in Visual Working Memory: Using Statistical Regularities to Form More Efficient Memory Representations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brady, Timothy F.; Konkle, Talia; Alvarez, George A.

    2009-01-01

    The information that individuals can hold in working memory is quite limited, but researchers have typically studied this capacity using simple objects or letter strings with no associations between them. However, in the real world there are strong associations and regularities in the input. In an information theoretic sense, regularities…

  18. Twisting Tongues and Memories: Explorations of the Relationship between Language Production and Verbal Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Acheson, Daniel J.; MacDonald, Maryellen C.

    2009-01-01

    Many accounts of working memory posit specialized storage mechanisms for the maintenance of serial order. We explore an alternative, that maintenance is achieved through temporary activation in the language production architecture. Four experiments examined the extent to which the phonological similarity effect can be explained as a sublexical…

  19. Phonological Short-Term Memory, Working Memory and Foreign Language Performance in Intensive Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kormos, Judit; Safar, Anna

    2008-01-01

    In our research we addressed the question what the relationship is between phonological short-term and working memory capacity and performance in an end-of-year reading, writing, listening, speaking and use of English test. The participants of our study were 121 secondary school students aged 15-16 in the first intensive language training year of…

  20. Orienting Attention in Visual Working Memory Reduces Interference from Memory Probes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Makovski, Tal; Sussman, Rachel; Jiang, Yuhong V.

    2008-01-01

    Given a changing visual environment, and the limited capacity of visual working memory (VWM), the contents of VWM must be in constant flux. Using a change detection task, the authors show that VWM is subject to obligatory updating in the face of new information. Change detection performance is enhanced when the item that may change is…

  1. Feature-Based Memory-Driven Attentional Capture: Visual Working Memory Content Affects Visual Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olivers, Christian N. L.; Meijer, Frank; Theeuwes, Jan

    2006-01-01

    In 7 experiments, the authors explored whether visual attention (the ability to select relevant visual information) and visual working memory (the ability to retain relevant visual information) share the same content representations. The presence of singleton distractors interfered more strongly with a visual search task when it was accompanied by…

  2. Emotion Processing Influences Working Memory Circuits in Pediatric Bipolar Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Passarotti, Alessandra M.; Sweeney, John A.; Pavuluri, Mani N.

    2010-01-01

    Objective This fMRI study examined how working memory circuits are affected by face emotion processing in pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Methods Twenty-three patients with bipolar disorder, 14 patients with ADHD and 19 healthy controls (HC) (mean age = 13.36 ± 2.55) underwent an affective 2-back fMRI task with blocks of happy, angry and neutral faces. Results For angry vs neutral faces PBD patients, relative to ADHD patients, exhibited increased activation in subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and orbitofrontal cortex, and reduced activation in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and premotor cortex. Relative to HC the PBD group showed no increased activation and reduced activation at the junction of DLPFC and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC). Relative to HC the ADHD patients exhibited greater activation in DLPFC and reduced activation in ventral and medial PFC, pregenual ACC, striatum and temporo-parietal regions. For happy vs neutral faces, relative to ADHD the PBD group exhibited greater activation in bilateral caudate, and relative to HC it showed increased activation in DLPFC, striatal and parietal regions, and no reduced activation. The ADHD group, compared to HC, showed no reduced activation and increased activation in regions that were under-active for the angry face condition. Conclusions Relative to the ADHD group the PBD group exhibited greater deployment of the emotion processing circuitry and reduced deployment of working memory circuitry. Commonalities across PBD and ADHD patients, relative to HC, entailed cortico-subcortical activity that is reduced under negative emotional challenge, and increased under positive emotional challenge. PMID:20855051

  3. Attention and Working Memory-Related EEG Markers of Subtle Cognitive Deterioration in Healthy Elderly Individuals.

    PubMed

    Deiber, Marie-Pierre; Meziane, Hadj Boumediene; Hasler, Roland; Rodriguez, Cristelle; Toma, Simona; Ackermann, Marine; Herrmann, François; Giannakopoulos, Panteleimon

    2015-01-01

    Future treatments of Alzheimer's disease need the identification of cases at high risk at the preclinical stage of the disease before the development of irreversible structural damage. We investigated here whether subtle cognitive deterioration in a population of healthy elderly individuals could be predicted by EEG signals at baseline under cognitive activation. Continuous EEG was recorded in 97 elderly control subjects and 45 age-matched mild cognitive impairment (MCI) cases during a simple attentional and a 2-back working memory task. Upon 18-month neuropsychological follow-up, the final sample included 55 stable (sCON) and 42 deteriorated (dCON) controls. We examined the P1, N1, P3, and PNwm event-related components as well as the oscillatory activities in the theta (4-7 Hz), alpha (8-13 Hz), and beta (14-25 Hz) frequency ranges (ERD/ERS: event-related desynchronization/synchronization, and ITC: inter-trial coherence). Behavioral performance, P1, and N1 components were comparable in all groups. The P3, PNwm, and all oscillatory activity indices were altered in MCI cases compared to controls. Only three EEG indices distinguished the two control groups: alpha and beta ERD (dCON >  sCON) and beta ITC (dCON <  sCON). These findings show that subtle cognitive deterioration has no impact on EEG indices associated with perception, discrimination, and working memory processes but mostly affects attention, resulting in an enhanced recruitment of attentional resources. In addition, cognitive decline alters neural firing synchronization at high frequencies (14-25 Hz) at early stages, and possibly affects lower frequencies (4-13 Hz) only at more severe stages. PMID:26401557

  4. Brain dynamics of attention and working memory engagement in subitizing.

    PubMed

    Pagano, Silvia; Lombardi, Luigi; Mazza, Veronica

    2014-01-16

    This study addressed the engagement of attention and working memory, as inferred from electrophysiological measurements, in the processing of small sets of objects. We recorded N2pc and CDA, two lateralized components of the EEG signal associated respectively with individuation and visual working memory, while participants enumerated a variable number (1-9) of uniquely colored targets among distractors. Behavioral results showed a clear subitizing effect, with lower error rates for smaller (1-3 targets) than larger sets. ERP results showed that both N2pc and CDA amplitudes increased as a function of target numerosity up to approximately three targets. However, individual differences in the enumeration efficiency were correlated only with the individual variation in the N2pc modulations. The results suggest that the constraints of the attentional individuation system play a significant role in the occurrence of the subitizing phenomenon. PMID:24309139

  5. Maintenance of auditory-nonverbal information in working memory.

    PubMed

    Soemer, Alexander; Saito, Satoru

    2015-12-01

    According to the multicomponent view of working memory, both auditory-nonverbal information and auditory-verbal information are stored in a phonological code and are maintained by an articulation-based rehearsal mechanism (Baddeley, 2012). Two experiments have been carried out to investigate this hypothesis using sound materials that are difficult to label verbally and difficult to articulate. Participants were required to maintain 2 to 4 sounds differing in timbre over a delay of up to 12 seconds while performing different secondary tasks. While there was no convincing evidence for articulatory rehearsal as a main maintenance mechanism for auditory-nonverbal information, the results suggest that processes similar or identical to auditory imagery might contribute to maintenance. We discuss the implications of these results for multicomponent models of working memory. PMID:25962688

  6. Parental Perceptions of the Efficacy of Cogmed Working Memory Training.

    PubMed

    Graham, Alan R; Benninger, William B

    2016-01-01

    Many articles have been written about the effectiveness of Cogmed Working Memory Training (CWMT). As Cogmed licensees, we have provided CWMT to more than 350 trainees and have collected pre- and post-training assessment data and parental feedback from about 280 child and adolescent trainees and their parents. On all nine measures of working memory and other selected executive functions, we have found statistically significant improvement. We also offer many of the comments and feedback that we have received from families about the changes they have experienced. There are limitations to the one group pre-test post-test design used in this study that need to be considered as the results are reviewed. PMID:27191214

  7. The allocation of attention and working memory in visual crowding

    PubMed Central

    Bacigalupo, Felix; Luck, Steven J.

    2014-01-01

    When the distance between a visual target and nearby flankers falls below a critical distance, target discrimination declines precipitously. This is called crowding. Many researchers have proposed that selective attention plays a role in crowding. However, although some research has examined the effects of directing attention toward versus away from the targets, no previous research has assessed how attentional allocation varies as a function of target-flanker distance in crowding. Here, we used event-related potentials to assess the operation of attention during crowding, focusing on the attention-related N2pc component. We used a typical crowding task in which participants were asked to report the category (vowel/consonant) of a lateralized target letter flanked by distractor letters at different distances. We tested the hypothesis that attention fails when the target-flanker distance becomes too small for attention to operate effectively. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that N2pc amplitude was maximal at intermediate target-flanker distances and decreased substantially when crowding became severe. In addition, we examined the sustained posterior contralateral negativity (SPCN), which reflects the amount of information being maintained in working memory. Unlike the N2pc component, the SPCN increased in amplitude at small target-flanker distances, suggesting that observers stored information about the target and flankers in working memory when attention failed to select the target. Together, the N2pc and SPCN results suggest that attention and working memory play distinctive roles in crowding: attention operates to minimize interference from the flankers at intermediate target-flanker distances, whereas working memory may be recruited when attention fails to select the target at small target-flanker distances. PMID:25514655

  8. Molecular influences on working memory circuits in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Arnsten, Amy F T; Jin, Lu E

    2014-01-01

    The working memory circuits of the primate dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) are modulated in a unique manner, often opposite to the molecular mechanisms needed for long-term memory consolidation. Working memory, our "mental sketch pad" is an ephemeral process, whereby transient, mental representations form the foundation for abstract thought. The microcircuits that generate mental representations are found in deep layer III of the dlPFC, where pyramidal cells excite each other to keep information "in mind" through NMDA receptor synapses on spines. The catecholaminergic and cholinergic arousal systems have rapid and flexible influences on the strength of these connections, thus allowing coordination between arousal and cognitive states. These modulators can rapidly weaken connectivity, for example, as occurs during uncontrollable stress, via feedforward calcium-cAMP signaling opening potassium (K(+)) channels near synapses on spines. Lower levels of calcium-cAMP-K(+) channel signaling provide negative feedback within recurrent excitatory circuits, and help to gate inputs to shape the contents of working memory. There are also explicit mechanisms to inhibit calcium-cAMP signaling and strengthen connectivity, for example, postsynaptic α2A-adrenoceptors on spines. This work has led to the development of the α2A agonist, guanfacine, for the treatment of a variety of dlPFC disorders. In mental illness, there are a variety of genetic insults to the molecules that normally serve to inhibit calcium-cAMP signaling in spines, thus explaining why so many genetic insults can lead to the same phenotype of impaired dlPFC cognitive function. Thus, the molecular mechanisms that provide mental flexibility may also confer vulnerability when dysregulated in cognitive disorders. PMID:24484703

  9. The direction of word stress processing in German: evidence from a working memory paradigm.

    PubMed

    Domahs, Frank; Grande, Marion; Huber, Walter; Domahs, Ulrike

    2014-01-01

    There are contradicting assumptions and findings on the direction of word stress processing in German. To resolve this question, we asked participants to read tri-syllabic non-words and stress ambiguous words aloud. Additionally, they also performed a working memory (WM) task (2-back task). In non-word reading, participants' individual WM capacity was positively correlated with assignment of main stress to the antepenultimate syllable, which is most distant to the word's right edge, while a (complementary) negative correlation was observed with assignment of stress to the ultimate syllable. There was no significant correlation between WM capacity and stress assignment to the penultimate syllable, which has been claimed to be the default stress pattern in German. In reading stress ambiguous words, a similar but non-significant pattern was observed as in non-word reading. In sum, our results provide first psycholinguistic evidence supporting leftward stress processing in German. Our results do not lend support to the assumption of penultimate default stress in German. A specification of the lemma model is proposed which seems able to reconcile our findings and apparently contradicting assumptions and evidence. PMID:24966845

  10. Competition between frontoparietal control and default networks supports social working memory and empathy.

    PubMed

    Xin, Fei; Lei, Xu

    2015-08-01

    An extensive body of literature has indicated that there is increased activity in the frontoparietal control network (FPC) and decreased activity in the default mode network (DMN) during working memory (WM) tasks. The FPC and DMN operate in a competitive relationship during tasks requiring externally directed attention. However, the association between this FPC-DMN competition and performance in social WM tasks has rarely been reported in previous studies. To investigate this question, we measured FPC-DMN connectivity during resting state and two emotional face recognition WM tasks using the 2-back paradigm. Thirty-four individuals were instructed to perform the tasks based on either the expression [emotion (EMO)] or the identity (ID) of the same set of face stimuli. Consistent with previous studies, an increased anti-correlation between the FPC and DMN was observed during both tasks relative to the resting state. Specifically, this anti-correlation during the EMO task was stronger than during the ID task, as the former has a higher social load. Intriguingly, individual differences in self-reported empathy were significantly correlated with the FPC-DMN anti-correlation in the EMO task. These results indicate that the top-down signals from the FPC suppress the DMN to support social WM and empathy. PMID:25556209

  11. The direction of word stress processing in German: evidence from a working memory paradigm

    PubMed Central

    Domahs, Frank; Grande, Marion; Huber, Walter; Domahs, Ulrike

    2014-01-01

    There are contradicting assumptions and findings on the direction of word stress processing in German. To resolve this question, we asked participants to read tri-syllabic non-words and stress ambiguous words aloud. Additionally, they also performed a working memory (WM) task (2-back task). In non-word reading, participants’ individual WM capacity was positively correlated with assignment of main stress to the antepenultimate syllable, which is most distant to the word’s right edge, while a (complementary) negative correlation was observed with assignment of stress to the ultimate syllable. There was no significant correlation between WM capacity and stress assignment to the penultimate syllable, which has been claimed to be the default stress pattern in German. In reading stress ambiguous words, a similar but non-significant pattern was observed as in non-word reading. In sum, our results provide first psycholinguistic evidence supporting leftward stress processing in German. Our results do not lend support to the assumption of penultimate default stress in German. A specification of the lemma model is proposed which seems able to reconcile our findings and apparently contradicting assumptions and evidence. PMID:24966845

  12. Working memory capacity and suppression of intrusive thoughts.

    PubMed

    Brewin, Chris R; Smart, Laura

    2005-03-01

    We sought to show that individual differences in working memory capacity are related to the ability to intentionally suppress personally relevant intrusive thoughts, and that this effect cannot be explained by differences in negative mood. Sixty participants identified their most frequent intrusive thought and then completed a thought suppression task. Better performance on a measure of working memory capacity (OSPAN) was related to having fewer intrusions in the suppression condition but was unrelated to number of intrusions in the expression condition, suggesting a specific association with attempts to inhibit unwanted thoughts. In contrast, a more negative mood was related to having more intrusions in both conditions, suggestive of a more general influence on the accessibility of unwanted thoughts. Working memory capacity was not associated with negative mood or with the frequency of intrusive thoughts reported in everyday life. The findings extend previous results to the domain of personally relevant intrusive thoughts and support the idea that individual differences in the cognitive abilities supporting inhibitory mechanisms are relevant to clinical conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder. PMID:15687010

  13. Working Memory Capacity Predicts Effects of Methylphenidate on Reversal Learning

    PubMed Central

    van der Schaaf, Marieke E; Fallon, Sean J; ter Huurne, Niels; Buitelaar, Jan; Cools, Roshan

    2013-01-01

    Increased use of stimulant medication, such as methylphenidate, by healthy college students has raised questions about its cognitive-enhancing effects. Methylphenidate acts by increasing extracellular catecholamine levels and is generally accepted to remediate cognitive and reward deficits in patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, the cognitive-enhancing effects of such ‘smart drugs' in the healthy population are still unclear. Here, we investigated effects of methylphenidate (Ritalin, 20 mg) on reward and punishment learning in healthy students (N=19) in a within-subject, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over design. Results revealed that methylphenidate effects varied both as a function of task demands and as a function of baseline working memory capacity. Specifically, methylphenidate improved reward vs punishment learning in high-working memory subjects, whereas it impaired reward vs punishment learning in low-working memory subjects. These results contribute to our understanding of individual differences in the cognitive-enhancing effects of methylphenidate in the healthy population. Moreover, they highlight the importance of taking into account both inter- and intra-individual differences in dopaminergic drug research. PMID:23612436

  14. Emotional working memory capacity in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    PubMed

    Schweizer, Susanne; Dalgleish, Tim

    2011-08-01

    Participants with a lifetime history of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and trauma-exposed controls with no PTSD history completed an emotional working memory capacity (eWMC) task. The task required them to remember lists of neutral words over short intervals while simultaneously processing sentences describing dysfunctional trauma-related thoughts (relative to neutral control sentences). The task was designed to operationalise an everyday cognitive challenge for those with mental health problems such as PTSD; namely, the ability to carry out simple, routine tasks with emotionally benign material, while at the same time tackling emotional laden intrusive thoughts and feelings. eWMC performance, indexed as the ability to remember the word lists in the context of trauma sentences, relative to neutral sentences, was poorer overall in the PTSD group compared with controls, suggestive of a particular difficulty employing working memory in emotion-related contexts in those with a history of PTSD. The possible implications for developing affective working memory training as an adjunctive treatment for PTSD are explored. PMID:21684525

  15. Working memory contributions to reinforcement learning impairments in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Collins, Anne G E; Brown, Jaime K; Gold, James M; Waltz, James A; Frank, Michael J

    2014-10-01

    Previous research has shown that patients with schizophrenia are impaired in reinforcement learning tasks. However, behavioral learning curves in such tasks originate from the interaction of multiple neural processes, including the basal ganglia- and dopamine-dependent reinforcement learning (RL) system, but also prefrontal cortex-dependent cognitive strategies involving working memory (WM). Thus, it is unclear which specific system induces impairments in schizophrenia. We recently developed a task and computational model allowing us to separately assess the roles of RL (slow, cumulative learning) mechanisms versus WM (fast but capacity-limited) mechanisms in healthy adult human subjects. Here, we used this task to assess patients' specific sources of impairments in learning. In 15 separate blocks, subjects learned to pick one of three actions for stimuli. The number of stimuli to learn in each block varied from two to six, allowing us to separate influences of capacity-limited WM from the incremental RL system. As expected, both patients (n = 49) and healthy controls (n = 36) showed effects of set size and delay between stimulus repetitions, confirming the presence of working memory effects. Patients performed significantly worse than controls overall, but computational model fits and behavioral analyses indicate that these deficits could be entirely accounted for by changes in WM parameters (capacity and reliability), whereas RL processes were spared. These results suggest that the working memory system contributes strongly to learning impairments in schizophrenia. PMID:25297101

  16. Self-regulation and working memory in musical performers

    PubMed Central

    Killough, Cynthia M.; Thompson, Laura A.; Morgan, Gin

    2013-01-01

    Performing music in front of others can be stressful, even for experienced performers. The physiological effects of stress, namely, increases in cortisol and sympathetic nervous system activity, have been shown to have detrimental effects on cognition, particularly working memory. This study used an audition-like performance scenario to elicit a stress response in performers who differed in their degree of musical experience. We expected that participants with more musical experience would be better able to regulate their stress response, would report lower levels of anxiety, insecurity, and nervousness, and would show better working memory following the stressor, compared to participants with less musical experience. Although we did not find differences between more and less experienced performers in their sympathetic nervous system activity or their self-reported feelings of anxiety and nervousness, we did find some important differences: following the stressor, more experienced performers were less insecure, they showed better regulation of their cortisol response, and they demonstrated better working memory. PMID:26392676

  17. Brain Injury Impairs Working Memory and Prefrontal Circuit Function

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Colin J.; Xiong, Guoxiang; Elkind, Jaclynn A.; Putnam, Brendan; Cohen, Akiva S.

    2015-01-01

    More than 2.5 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. Even mild to moderate TBI causes long-lasting neurological effects. Despite its prevalence, no therapy currently exists to treat the underlying cause of cognitive impairment suffered by TBI patients. Following lateral fluid percussion injury (LFPI), the most widely used experimental model of TBI, we investigated alterations in working memory and excitatory/inhibitory synaptic balance in the prefrontal cortex. LFPI impaired working memory as assessed with a T-maze behavioral task. Field excitatory postsynaptic potentials recorded in the prefrontal cortex were reduced in slices derived from brain-injured mice. Spontaneous and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents onto layer 2/3 neurons were more frequent in slices derived from LFPI mice, while inhibitory currents onto layer 2/3 neurons were smaller after LFPI. Additionally, an increase in action potential threshold and concomitant decrease in firing rate was observed in layer 2/3 neurons in slices from injured animals. Conversely, no differences in excitatory or inhibitory synaptic transmission onto layer 5 neurons were observed; however, layer 5 neurons demonstrated a decrease in input resistance and action potential duration after LFPI. These results demonstrate synaptic and intrinsic alterations in prefrontal circuitry that may underlie working memory impairment caused by TBI. PMID:26617569

  18. Working memory development in monolingual and bilingual children.

    PubMed

    Morales, Julia; Calvo, Alejandra; Bialystok, Ellen

    2013-02-01

    Two studies are reported comparing the performance of monolingual and bilingual children on tasks requiring different levels of working memory. In the first study, 56 5-year-olds performed a Simon-type task that manipulated working memory demands by comparing conditions based on two rules and four rules and manipulated conflict resolution demands by comparing conditions that included conflict with those that did not. Bilingual children responded faster than monolinguals on all conditions and bilinguals were more accurate than monolinguals in responding to incongruent trials, confirming an advantage in aspects of executive functioning. In the second study, 125 children 5- or 7-year-olds performed a visuospatial span task that manipulated other executive function components through simultaneous or sequential presentation of items. Bilinguals outperformed monolinguals overall, but again there were larger language group effects in conditions that included more demanding executive function requirements. Together, the studies show an advantage for bilingual children in working memory that is especially evident when the task contains additional executive function demands. PMID:23059128

  19. Elevations of endogenous kynurenic acid produce spatial working memory deficits.

    PubMed

    Chess, Amy C; Simoni, Michael K; Alling, Torey E; Bucci, David J

    2007-05-01

    Kynurenic acid (KYNA) is a tryptophan metabolite that is synthesized and released by astrocytes and acts as a competitive antagonist of the glycine site of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors at high concentrations and as a noncompetitive antagonist of the alpha7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor at low concentrations. The discovery of increased cortical KYNA levels in schizophrenia prompted the hypothesis that elevated KYNA concentration may underlie the working memory dysfunction observed in this population that has been attributed to altered glutamatergic and/or cholinergic transmission. The present study investigated the effect of elevated endogenous KYNA on spatial working memory function in rats. Increased KYNA levels were achieved with intraperitoneal administration of kynurenine (100 mg/kg), the precursor of KYNA synthesis. Rats were treated with either kynurenine or a vehicle solution prior to testing in a radial arm maze task at various delays. Elevations of endogenous KYNA resulted in increased errors in the radial arm maze. In separate experiments, assessment of locomotor activity in an open field and latency to retrieve food reward from one of the maze arms ruled out the possibility that deficits in the maze were attributable to altered locomotor activity or motivation to consume food. These results provide evidence that increased KYNA levels produce spatial working memory deficits and are among the first to demonstrate the influence of glia-derived molecules on cognitive function. The implications for psychopathological conditions such as schizophrenia are discussed. PMID:16920787

  20. Language, visual working memory, and dot subtraction: What counts?

    PubMed

    Briere, Jennifer L; Campbell, Jamie I D

    2016-03-01

    To investigate cognitive factors affecting subtraction of visual objects, we adapted the dot subtraction task developed by Pica, Lemer, Izard, and Dehaene (2004), who used it to investigate calculation by the Mundurukú, an indigene group in Brazil that has a limited number word vocabulary. In the dot subtraction task, briefly displayed arrays of moving dots are used to represent the quantities for subtraction. We tested 40 Canadian university students' dot enumeration, Arabic digit subtraction, visual working memory, and performance on the dot subtraction task with dot display durations of 2, 1.5, 1, and .5 s. In the 2 s condition, error rates were uniformly low, whereas in the .5 s condition, error rates increased sharply as the minuend increased from 4 to 8, as was observed with the Mundurukú. Individual differences in dot subtraction accuracy were predicted by dot enumeration skill with longer dot display durations but were predicted by visual working memory efficiency with shorter durations. Pica et al. (2004) attributed the Mundurukú participants' very poor subtraction to the absence of counting words, but our results show that a shift to reliance on visual working memory is a nonlinguistic factor that comes into play in the dot subtraction task when time to encode the dot arrays is limited. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26372056

  1. Asymmetrical access to color and location in visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Rajsic, Jason; Wilson, Daryl E

    2014-10-01

    Models of visual working memory (VWM) have benefitted greatly from the use of the delayed-matching paradigm. However, in this task, the ability to recall a probed feature is confounded with the ability to maintain the proper binding between the feature that is to be reported and the feature (typically location) that is used to cue a particular item for report. Given that location is typically used as a cue-feature, we used the delayed-estimation paradigm to compare memory for location to memory for color, rotating which feature was used as a cue and which was reported. Our results revealed several novel findings: 1) the likelihood of reporting a probed object's feature was superior when reporting location with a color cue than when reporting color with a location cue; 2) location report errors were composed entirely of swap errors, with little to no random location reports; and 3) both colour and location reports greatly benefitted from the presence of nonprobed items at test. This last finding suggests that it is uncertainty over the bindings between locations and colors at memory retrieval that drive swap errors, not at encoding. We interpret our findings as consistent with a representational architecture that nests remembered object features within remembered locations. PMID:25190322

  2. Forgetting from working memory: does novelty encoding matter?

    PubMed

    Plancher, Gaën; Barrouillet, Pierre

    2013-01-01

    The sources of forgetting in working memory remain the matter of intense debate. According to the SOB model (serial order in a box; Farrell & Lewandowsky, 2002), forgetting in complex span tasks does not result from temporal decay but from interference produced by the encoding of distractors that are superimposed over memory items onto a composite memory. The main tenet of the model is that the encoding strength of a distractor is a function of its novelty, with novel distractors being encoded with a large encoding weight that interferes with other memories, whereas repeated distractors would result in negligible encoding weight and no further forgetting. In the present study, we tested the 2 main predictions issuing from this model. First, recall performance should be better in complex span tasks in which distractors are repeated than in tasks in which every distractor is novel. Second, increasing the number of novel distractors should lead to more interference and poorer recall. In 5 experiments in which we controlled for attentional demand and temporal factors, none of these predictions were verified, whereas a strong effect of the pace at which distracting tasks were performed testified that they involved forgetting. We conclude that, contrary to the SOB model, the novelty of distractors plays no role per se in forgetting. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved). PMID:22563635

  3. Evidence for two attentional components in visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Allen, Richard J; Baddeley, Alan D; Hitch, Graham J

    2014-11-01

    How does executive attentional control contribute to memory for sequences of visual objects, and what does this reveal about storage and processing in working memory? Three experiments examined the impact of a concurrent executive load (backward counting) on memory for sequences of individually presented visual objects. Experiments 1 and 2 found disruptive concurrent load effects of equivalent magnitude on memory for shapes, colors, and colored shape conjunctions (as measured by single-probe recognition). These effects were present only for Items 1 and 2 in a 3-item sequence; the final item was always impervious to this disruption. This pattern of findings was precisely replicated in Experiment 3 when using a cued verbal recall measure of shape-color binding, with error analysis providing additional insights concerning attention-related loss of early-sequence items. These findings indicate an important role for executive processes in maintaining representations of earlier encountered stimuli in an active form alongside privileged storage of the most recent stimulus. PMID:24564541

  4. Video Game Training Enhances Visuospatial Working Memory and Episodic Memory in Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Toril, Pilar; Reales, José M; Mayas, Julia; Ballesteros, Soledad

    2016-01-01

    In this longitudinal intervention study with experimental and control groups, we investigated the effects of video game training on the visuospatial working memory (WM) and episodic memory of healthy older adults. Participants were 19 volunteer older adults, who received 15 1-h video game training sessions with a series of video games selected from a commercial package (Lumosity), and a control group of 20 healthy older adults. The results showed that the performance of the trainees improved significantly in all the practiced video games. Most importantly, we found significant enhancements after training in the trained group and no change in the control group in two computerized tasks designed to assess visuospatial WM, namely the Corsi blocks task and the Jigsaw puzzle task. The episodic memory and short-term memory of the trainees also improved. Gains in some WM and episodic memory tasks were maintained during a 3-month follow-up period. These results suggest that the aging brain still retains some degree of plasticity, and that video game training might be an effective intervention tool to improve WM and other cognitive functions in older adults. PMID:27199723

  5. Video Game Training Enhances Visuospatial Working Memory and Episodic Memory in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Toril, Pilar; Reales, José M.; Mayas, Julia; Ballesteros, Soledad

    2016-01-01

    In this longitudinal intervention study with experimental and control groups, we investigated the effects of video game training on the visuospatial working memory (WM) and episodic memory of healthy older adults. Participants were 19 volunteer older adults, who received 15 1-h video game training sessions with a series of video games selected from a commercial package (Lumosity), and a control group of 20 healthy older adults. The results showed that the performance of the trainees improved significantly in all the practiced video games. Most importantly, we found significant enhancements after training in the trained group and no change in the control group in two computerized tasks designed to assess visuospatial WM, namely the Corsi blocks task and the Jigsaw puzzle task. The episodic memory and short-term memory of the trainees also improved. Gains in some WM and episodic memory tasks were maintained during a 3-month follow-up period. These results suggest that the aging brain still retains some degree of plasticity, and that video game training might be an effective intervention tool to improve WM and other cognitive functions in older adults. PMID:27199723

  6. Reconstructions of information in visual spatial working memory degrade with memory load.

    PubMed

    Sprague, Thomas C; Ester, Edward F; Serences, John T

    2014-09-22

    Working memory (WM) enables the maintenance and manipulation of information relevant to behavioral goals. Variability in WM ability is strongly correlated with IQ [1], and WM function is impaired in many neurological and psychiatric disorders [2, 3], suggesting that this system is a core component of higher cognition. WM storage is thought to be mediated by patterns of activity in neural populations selective for specific properties (e.g., color, orientation, location, and motion direction) of memoranda [4-13]. Accordingly, many models propose that differences in the amplitude of these population responses should be related to differences in memory performance [14, 15]. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging and an image reconstruction technique based on a spatial encoding model [16] to visualize and quantify population-level memory representations supported by multivoxel patterns of activation within regions of occipital, parietal and frontal cortex while participants precisely remembered the location(s) of zero, one, or two small stimuli. We successfully reconstructed images containing representations of the remembered-but not forgotten-locations within regions of occipital, parietal, and frontal cortex using delay-period activation patterns. Critically, the amplitude of representations of remembered locations and behavioral performance both decreased with increasing memory load. These results suggest that differences in visual WM performance between memory load conditions are mediated by changes in the fidelity of large-scale population response profiles distributed across multiple areas of human cortex. PMID:25201683

  7. The Roles of Phonological Short-Term Memory and Working Memory in L2 Grammar and Vocabulary Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Katherine I.; Ellis, Nick C.

    2012-01-01

    This study analyzed phonological short-term memory (PSTM) and working memory (WM) and their relationship with vocabulary and grammar learning in an artificial foreign language. Nonword repetition, nonword recognition, and listening span were used as memory measures. Participants learned the singular forms of vocabulary for an artificial foreign…

  8. Working Memory Capacity: Attention Control, Secondary Memory, or Both? A Direct Test of the Dual-Component Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Unsworth, Nash; Spillers, Gregory J.

    2010-01-01

    The current study examined the extent to which attention control abilities, secondary memory abilities, or both accounted for variation in working memory capacity (WMC) and its relation to fluid intelligence. Participants performed various attention control, secondary memory, WMC, and fluid intelligence measures. Confirmatory factor analyses…

  9. Autobiographical Memory in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: The role of Depressed Mood, Rumination, Working Memory and Theory of Mind

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crane, Laura; Goddard, Lorna; Pring, Linda

    2013-01-01

    Autobiographical memory difficulties have been widely reported in adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The aim of the current study was to explore the potential correlates of autobiographical memory performance (including depressed mood, rumination, working memory and theory of mind) in adults with ASD, relative to a group of typical adults…

  10. The Contributions of Primary and Secondary Memory to Working Memory Capacity: An Individual Differences Analysis of Immediate Free Recall

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Unsworth, Nash; Spillers, Gregory J.; Brewer, Gene A.

    2010-01-01

    The present study tested the dual-component model of working memory capacity (WMC) by examining estimates of primary memory and secondary memory from an immediate free recall task. Participants completed multiple measures of WMC and general intellectual ability as well as multiple trials of an immediate free recall task. It was demonstrated that…

  11. Specificity of the bilingual advantage for memory: examining cued recall, generalization, and working memory in monolingual, bilingual, and trilingual toddlers

    PubMed Central

    Brito, Natalie H.; Grenell, Amanda; Barr, Rachel

    2014-01-01

    The specificity of the bilingual advantage in memory was examined by testing groups of monolingual, bilingual, and trilingual 24-month-olds on tasks tapping cued recall, memory generalization and working memory. For the cued recall and memory generalization conditions, there was a 24-h delay between time of encoding and time of retrieval. In addition to the memory tasks, parent-toddler dyads completed a picture-book reading task, in order to observe emotional responsiveness, and a parental report of productive vocabulary. Results indicated no difference between language groups on cued recall, working memory, emotional responsiveness, or productive vocabulary, but a significant difference was found in the memory generalization condition with only the bilingual group outperforming the baseline control group. These results replicate and extend results from past studies (Brito and Barr, 2012, 2014; Brito et al., 2014) and suggest a bilingual advantage specific to memory generalization. PMID:25520686

  12. The Differential Relations between Verbal, Numerical and Spatial Working Memory Abilities and Children's Reading Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oakhill, Jane; Yuill, Nicola; Garnham, Alan

    2011-01-01

    Working memory predicts children's reading comprehension but it is not clear whether this relation is due to a modality-specific or general working memory. This study, which investigated the relations between children's reading skills and working memory (WM) abilities in 3 modalities, extends previous work by including measures of both reading…

  13. Spatial Working Memory Interferes with Explicit, but Not Probabilistic Cuing of Spatial Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Won, Bo-Yeong; Jiang, Yuhong V.

    2015-01-01

    Recent empirical and theoretical work has depicted a close relationship between visual attention and visual working memory. For example, rehearsal in spatial working memory depends on spatial attention, whereas adding a secondary spatial working memory task impairs attentional deployment in visual search. These findings have led to the proposal…

  14. Examining factors involved in stress-related working memory impairments: Independent or conditional effects?

    PubMed

    Banks, Jonathan B; Tartar, Jaime L; Tamayo, Brittney A

    2015-12-01

    A large and growing body of research demonstrates the impact of psychological stress on working memory. However, the typical study approach tests the effects of a single biological or psychological factor on changes in working memory. The current study attempted to move beyond the standard single-factor assessment by examining the impact of 2 possible factors in stress-related working memory impairments. To this end, 60 participants completed a working memory task before and after either a psychological stressor writing task or a control writing task and completed measures of both cortisol and mind wandering. We also included a measure of state anxiety to examine the direct and indirect effect on working memory. We found that mind wandering mediated the relationship between state anxiety and working memory at the baseline measurement. This indirect relationship was moderated by cortisol, such that the impact of mind wandering on working memory increased as cortisol levels increased. No overall working memory impairment was observed following the stress manipulation, but increases in state anxiety and mind wandering were observed. State anxiety and mind wandering independently mediated the relationship between change in working memory and threat perception. The indirect paths resulted in opposing effects on working memory. Combined, the findings from this study suggest that cortisol enhances the impact of mind wandering on working memory, that state anxiety may not always result in stress-related working memory impairments, and that high working memory performance can protect against mind wandering. PMID:26098727

  15. The effects of long-term stress on neural dynamics of working memory processing: An investigation using ERP

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Yiran; Leung, Ada W. S.; Duan, Hongxia; Zhang, Liang; Zhang, Kan; Wu, Jianhui; Qin, Shaozheng

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the neural dynamics of working memory (WM) processing under long-term stress. Forty participants who had been exposed to a long period of major exam preparation (six months) and twenty-one control participants performed a numerical n-back task (n = 1, 2) while electroencephalograms were recorded. Psychological and endocrinal measurements confirmed significantly higher levels of long-term stress for participants in the exam group. The exam group showed significantly increased P2 amplitude in the frontal-central sites in the 1-back and 2-back conditions, whereas other ERP components, including the P1, N1 and P3 and behavioral performance, were unchanged. Notably, the P2 effect was most pronounced in participants in the exam group who reported perceiving high levels of stress. The perceived stress scores positively correlated with the P2 amplitude in the 1-back and 2-back conditions. These results suggest that long-term stress has an impact on attention and the initiation of the updating process in WM. PMID:27000528

  16. The effects of long-term stress on neural dynamics of working memory processing: An investigation using ERP.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Yiran; Leung, Ada W S; Duan, Hongxia; Zhang, Liang; Zhang, Kan; Wu, Jianhui; Qin, Shaozheng

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the neural dynamics of working memory (WM) processing under long-term stress. Forty participants who had been exposed to a long period of major exam preparation (six months) and twenty-one control participants performed a numerical n-back task (n = 1, 2) while electroencephalograms were recorded. Psychological and endocrinal measurements confirmed significantly higher levels of long-term stress for participants in the exam group. The exam group showed significantly increased P2 amplitude in the frontal-central sites in the 1-back and 2-back conditions, whereas other ERP components, including the P1, N1 and P3 and behavioral performance, were unchanged. Notably, the P2 effect was most pronounced in participants in the exam group who reported perceiving high levels of stress. The perceived stress scores positively correlated with the P2 amplitude in the 1-back and 2-back conditions. These results suggest that long-term stress has an impact on attention and the initiation of the updating process in WM. PMID:27000528

  17. The influence of verbal and spatial working memory load on the time course of the Simon effect.

    PubMed

    Clouter, Andrew; Wilson, Ryan; Allen, Stefan; Klein, Raymond M; Eskes, Gail A

    2015-04-01

    The Simon effect refers to the relatively poorer response times and accuracy when responding to targets that appear in a task-irrelevant spatial location that is incongruent with the location of the correct response key, compared with targets that appear in spatially congruent locations. Like Stroop and flanker effects, the Simon effect is thought to result from conflict between an irrelevant response tendency and an intended response. Because attentional control has been linked to conflict resolution, the Simon task has been proffered as a possible tool for measuring the efficacy of executive control mechanisms. These mechanisms are also involved in working memory (WM) processes, and are thought to be responsible for maintaining information in the presence of continued processing or distraction. The present study investigated the interface between WM and attention by examining the time course of the Simon effect over the response time distributions under varying WM load conditions. Participants completed verbal 0-back, spatial 0-back, verbal 2-back, and spatial 2-back tasks. Results show that the Simon effect is diminished in high WM load tasks compared with low-load tasks, and that the Simon effect interacts with the spatial task domain such that the effect persists across the distribution of response times. In contrast, the Simon effect peaks and decays in verbal tasks. The results demonstrate that the Simon effect interacts with WM load and task domain. The results suggest that the effect is more modifiable than expected, and support a complex interface between WM and attentional control. PMID:25621577

  18. Phonological working memory and reading in students with dyslexia

    PubMed Central

    de Carvalho, Carolina A. F.; Kida, Adriana de S. B.; Capellini, Simone A.; de Avila, Clara R. B.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: To investigate parameters related to fluency, reading comprehension and phonological processing (operational and short-term memory) and identify potential correlation between the variables in Dyslexia and in the absence of reading difficulties. Method: One hundred and fifteen students from the third to eighth grade of elementary school were grouped into a Control Group (CG) and Group with Dyslexia (GDys). Reading of words, pseudowords and text (decoding); listening and reading comprehension; phonological short-term and working memory (repetition of pseudowords and Digit Span) were evaluated. Results: The comparison of the groups showed significant differences in decoding, phonological short-term memory (repetition of pseudowords) and answers to text-connecting questions (TC) on reading comprehension, with the worst performances identified for GDys. In this group there were negative correlations between pseudowords repetition and TC answers and total score, both on listening comprehension. No correlations were found between operational and short-term memory (Digit Span) and parameters of fluency and reading comprehension in dyslexia. For the sample without complaint, there were positive correlations between some parameters of reading fluency and repetition of pseudowords and also between answering literal questions in listening comprehension and repetition of digits on the direct and reverse order. There was no correlation with the parameters of reading comprehension. Conclusion: GDys and CG showed similar performance in listening comprehension and in understanding of explicit information and gap-filling inference on reading comprehension. Students of GDys showed worst performance in reading decoding, phonological short-term memory (pseudowords) and on inferences that depends on textual cohesion understanding in reading. There were negative correlations between pseudowords repetition and TC answers and total score, both in listening comprehension. PMID

  19. Guanfacine ameliorates hypobaric hypoxia induced spatial working memory deficits.

    PubMed

    Kauser, H; Sahu, S; Kumar, S; Panjwani, U

    2014-01-17

    Hypobaric hypoxia (HH) observed at high altitude causes mild cognitive impairment specifically affecting attention and working memory. Adrenergic dysregulation and neuronal damage in prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been implicated in hypoxia induced memory deficits. Optimal stimulation of alpha 2A adrenergic receptor in PFC facilitates the spatial working memory (SWM) under the conditions of adrenergic dysregulation. Therefore the present study was designed to test the efficacy of alpha 2A adrenergic agonist, Guanfacine (GFC), to restore HH induced SWM deficits and PFC neuronal damage. The rats were exposed to chronic HH equivalent to 25,000ft for 7days in an animal decompression chamber and received daily treatment of GFC at a dose of 1mg/kg body weight via the intramuscular route during the period of exposure. The cognitive performance was assessed by Delayed Alternation Task (DAT) using T-Maze and PFC neuronal damage was studied by apoptotic and neurodegenerative markers. Percentage of correct choice decreased significantly while perseverative errors showed a significant increase after 7days HH exposure, GFC significantly ameliorated the SWM deficits and perseveration. There was a marked and significant increase in chromatin condensation, DNA fragmentation, neuronal pyknosis and fluoro Jade positive cells in layer II of the medial PFC in hypoxia exposed group, administration of GFC significantly reduced the magnitude of these changes. Modulation of adrenergic mechanisms by GFC may serve as an effective countermeasure in amelioration of prefrontal deficits and neurodegenerative changes during HH. PMID:24184415

  20. EEG correlates of verbal and nonverbal working memory

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Grace; Jacobs, Joshua; Geller, Aaron; Danker, Jared; Sekuler, Robert; Kahana, Michael J

    2005-01-01

    Background Distinct cognitive processes support verbal and nonverbal working memory, with verbal memory depending specifically on the subvocal rehearsal of items. Methods We recorded scalp EEG while subjects performed a Sternberg task. In each trial, subjects judged whether a probe item was one of the three items in a study list. Lists were composed of stimuli from one of five pools whose items either were verbally rehearsable (letters, words, pictures of common objects) or resistant to verbal rehearsal (sinusoidal grating patterns, single dot locations). Results We found oscillatory correlates unique to verbal stimuli in the θ (4–8 Hz), α (9–12 Hz), β (14–28 Hz), and γ (30–50 Hz) frequency bands. Verbal stimuli generally elicited greater power than did nonverbal stimuli. Enhanced verbal power was found bilaterally in the θ band, over frontal and occipital areas in the α and β bands, and centrally in the γ band. When we looked specifically for cases where oscillatory power in the time interval between item presentations was greater than oscillatory power during item presentation, we found enhanced β activity in the frontal and occipital regions. Conclusion These results implicate stimulus-induced oscillatory activity in verbal working memory and β activity in the process of subvocal rehearsal. PMID:16287504

  1. Visual working memory for amplitude-modulated shapes.

    PubMed

    Salmela, Viljami R; Lähde, Meri; Saarinen, Jussi

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the trade-off between capacity and precision in visual working memory with two different tasks: delayed discrimination and recall. The stimuli were radial frequency patterns that require global pooling of local visual features. The thresholds in delayed amplitude discrimination were measured with a two-interval, forced-choice setup using the Quest procedure. In the recall experiment, the observers' task was to adjust the amplitude of a probe to match the amplitude of a cued item. For one item, the amplitude thresholds were low (0.01-0.05) and the adjustments precise (standard deviations, 0.03-0.05). As the number of items increased from one to six, there was a linear, 6-to-14-fold increase in the thresholds (0.14-0.29) and a 1.5-to-3-fold increase in the standard deviations (0.06-0.11). No sudden or complete breakdown in performance was observed for any subject. The results show a continuous trade-off between memory capacity and precision; six items can be discriminated with the same performance level (75% correct) as one item if the difference between the stimuli is set accordingly. Thus, the stimulus discriminability determines the capacity of visual working memory, and the trade-off between the capacity and precision is linear. PMID:22661608

  2. Subjective aspects of working memory performance: memoranda-related imagery.

    PubMed

    Jantz, Tiffany K; Tomory, Jessica J; Merrick, Christina; Cooper, Shanna; Gazzaley, Adam; Morsella, Ezequiel

    2014-04-01

    Although it is well accepted that working memory (WM) is intimately related to consciousness, little research has illuminated the liaison between the two phenomena. To investigate this under-explored nexus, we used an imagery monitoring task to investigate the subjective aspects of WM performance. Specifically, in two experiments, we examined the effects on consciousness of (a) holding in mind information having a low versus high memory load, and (b) holding memoranda in mind during the presentation of distractors (e.g., visual stimuli associated with a response incompatible with that of the memoranda). Higher rates of rehearsal (conscious imagery) occurred in the high load and distractor conditions than in comparable control conditions. Examination of the temporal properties of the rehearsal-based imagery revealed that, across subjects, imagery events occurred evenly throughout the delay. We hope that future variants of this new imagery monitoring task will reveal additional insights about WM, consciousness, and action control. PMID:24583457

  3. Insightful Imagery is Related to Working Memory Updating

    PubMed Central

    Nęcka, Edward; Żak, Piotr; Gruszka, Aleksandra

    2016-01-01

    Available body of evidence concerning the relationship between insight problem solving and working memory (WM) is ambiguous. Several authors propose that restructuring of the problem representation requires controlled search processes, which needs planning and involvement of WM. Other researchers suggest that the restructuring is achieved through the automatic spread of activation in long-term memory, assigning a limited role to WM capacity. In the present study we examined the correlations between insight problem solving performance and measures of WM updating function (n-back task), including general intelligence (as measured by Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices). The results revealed that updating function shared up to 30% of variance with the insight problem task performance, even when the influence of general mental ability was controlled for. These results suggest that insight problem solving is constrained by individual ability to update the content of WM. PMID:26973549

  4. Insightful Imagery is Related to Working Memory Updating.

    PubMed

    Nęcka, Edward; Żak, Piotr; Gruszka, Aleksandra

    2016-01-01

    Available body of evidence concerning the relationship between insight problem solving and working memory (WM) is ambiguous. Several authors propose that restructuring of the problem representation requires controlled search processes, which needs planning and involvement of WM. Other researchers suggest that the restructuring is achieved through the automatic spread of activation in long-term memory, assigning a limited role to WM capacity. In the present study we examined the correlations between insight problem solving performance and measures of WM updating function (n-back task), including general intelligence (as measured by Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices). The results revealed that updating function shared up to 30% of variance with the insight problem task performance, even when the influence of general mental ability was controlled for. These results suggest that insight problem solving is constrained by individual ability to update the content of WM. PMID:26973549

  5. Multiple component networks support working memory in prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Markowitz, David A; Curtis, Clayton E; Pesaran, Bijan

    2015-09-01

    Lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) is regarded as the hub of the brain's working memory (WM) system, but it remains unclear whether WM is supported by a single distributed network or multiple specialized network components in this region. To investigate this problem, we recorded from neurons in PFC while monkeys made delayed eye movements guided by memory or vision. We show that neuronal responses during these tasks map to three anatomically specific modes of persistent activity. The first two modes encode early and late forms of information storage, whereas the third mode encodes response preparation. Neurons that reflect these modes are concentrated at different anatomical locations in PFC and exhibit distinct patterns of coordinated firing rates and spike timing during WM, consistent with distinct networks. These findings support multiple component models of WM and consequently predict distinct failures that could contribute to neurologic dysfunction. PMID:26283366

  6. Taboo: Working memory and mental control in an interactive task

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Whitney A.; Goldinger, Stephen D.

    2014-01-01

    Individual differences in working memory (WM) predict principled variation in tasks of reasoning, response time, memory, and other abilities. Theoretically, a central function of WM is keeping task-relevant information easily accessible while suppressing irrelevant information. The present experiment was a novel study of mental control, using performance in the game Taboo as a measure. We tested effects of WM capacity on several indices, including perseveration errors (repeating previous guesses or clues) and taboo errors (saying at least part of a taboo or target word). By most measures, high-span participants were superior to low-span participants: High-spans were better at guessing answers, better at encouraging correct guesses from teammates, and less likely to either repeat themselves or produce taboo clues. Differences in taboo errors occurred only in an easy control condition. The results suggest that WM capacity predicts behavior in tasks requiring mental control, extending this finding to an interactive group setting. PMID:19827699

  7. Attentional blink magnitude is predicted by the ability to keep irrelevant material out of working memory.

    PubMed

    Arnell, Karen M; Stubitz, Shawn M

    2010-09-01

    Participants have difficulty in reporting the second of two masked targets if the second target is presented within 500 ms of the first target-an attentional blink (AB). Individual participants differ in the magnitude of their AB. The present study employed an individual differences design and two visual working memory tasks to examine whether visual working memory capacity and/or the ability to exclude irrelevant information from visual working memory (working memory filtering efficiency) could predict individual differences in the AB. Visual working memory capacity was positively related to filtering efficiency, but did not predict AB magnitude. However, the degree to which irrelevant stimuli were admitted into visual working memory (i.e., poor filtering efficiency) was positively correlated with AB magnitude over and above visual working memory capacity. Good filtering efficiency may benefit the AB by not allowing irrelevant RSVP distractors to gain access to working memory. PMID:19937451

  8. Working Memory Differences Between Children Living in Rural and Urban Poverty

    PubMed Central

    Tine, Michele

    2014-01-01

    This study was designed to investigate if the working memory profiles of children living in rural poverty are distinct from the working memory profiles of children living in urban poverty. Verbal and visuospatial working memory tasks were administered to sixth-grade students living in low-income rural, low-income urban, high-income rural, and high-income urban developmental contexts. Both low-income rural and low-income urban children showed working memory deficits compared with their high-income counterparts, but their deficits were distinct. Low-income urban children exhibited symmetrical verbal and visuospatial working memory deficits compared with their high-income urban counterparts. Meanwhile, low-income rural children exhibited asymmetrical deficits when compared with their high-income rural counterparts, with more extreme visuospatial working memory deficits than verbal working memory deficits. These results suggest that different types of poverty are associated with different working memory abilities. PMID:25554726

  9. Is Emotional Working Memory Training a New Avenue of AD Treatment? A review.

    PubMed

    Mammarella, Nicola

    2014-02-01

    Emotional working memory training is a new area of research. In this study, we review a series of recent works describing a range of emotional working memory interventions that go from training single affective working memory function to teaching emotion regulation strategies. Generally speaking, research to date has established that emotional working memory may be preserved in Alzheimer's disease. However, much work remains to be done in clarifying what aspects of affective domain is preserved, and testing short- and long-term effects of the trainings as well as their generalization to everyday affective functioning. We conclude by offering suggestions about the development of emotional working memory training for Alzheimer's patients. PMID:24490115

  10. Neural Correlates of Visual Short-term Memory Dissociate between Fragile and Working Memory Representations.

    PubMed

    Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R E; Sligte, Ilja G; de Vries, Jade G; Cohen, Michael X; Lamme, Victor A F

    2015-12-01

    Evidence is accumulating that the classic two-stage model of visual STM (VSTM), comprising iconic memory (IM) and visual working memory (WM), is incomplete. A third memory stage, termed fragile VSTM (FM), seems to exist in between IM and WM [Vandenbroucke, A. R. E., Sligte, I. G., & Lamme, V. A. F. Manipulations of attention dissociate fragile visual STM from visual working memory. Neuropsychologia, 49, 1559-1568, 2011; Sligte, I. G., Scholte, H. S., & Lamme, V. A. F. Are there multiple visual STM stores? PLoS One, 3, e1699, 2008]. Although FM can be distinguished from IM using behavioral and fMRI methods, the question remains whether FM is a weak expression of WM or a separate form of memory with its own neural signature. Here, we tested whether FM and WM in humans are supported by dissociable time-frequency features of EEG recordings. Participants performed a partial-report change detection task, from which individual differences in FM and WM capacity were estimated. These individual FM and WM capacities were correlated with time-frequency characteristics of the EEG signal before and during encoding and maintenance of the memory display. FM capacity showed negative alpha correlations over peri-occipital electrodes, whereas WM capacity was positively related, suggesting increased visual processing (lower alpha) to be related to FM capacity. Furthermore, FM capacity correlated with an increase in theta power over central electrodes during preparation and processing of the memory display, whereas WM did not. In addition to a difference in visual processing characteristics, a positive relation between gamma power and FM capacity was observed during both preparation and maintenance periods of the task. On the other hand, we observed that theta-gamma coupling was negatively correlated with FM capacity, whereas it was slightly positively correlated with WM. These data show clear differences in the neural substrates of FM versus WM and suggest that FM depends more on

  11. Exploring age differences in visual working memory capacity: is there a contribution of memory for configuration?

    PubMed

    Cowan, Nelson; Saults, J Scott; Clark, Katherine M

    2015-07-01

    Recent research has shown marked developmental increases in the apparent capacity of working memory. This recent research is based largely on performance on tasks in which a visual array is to be retained briefly for comparison with a subsequent probe display. Here we examined a possible theoretical alternative (or supplement) to a developmental increase in working memory in which children could improve in the ability to combine items in an array to form a coherent configuration. Elementary school children and adults received, on each trial, an array of colored spots to be remembered. On some trials, we provided structure in the probe display to facilitate the formation of a mental representation in which a coherent configuration is encoded. This stimulus structure in the probe display helped younger children, and thus reduced the developmental trend, but only on trials in which the participants were held responsible for the locations of items in the array. We conclude that, in addition to the development of the ability to form precise spatial configurations from items, the evidence is consistent with the existence of an actual developmental increase in working memory capacity for objects in an array. PMID:25841172

  12. Object-based Encoding in Visual Working Memory: Evidence from Memory-driven Attentional Capture

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Zaifeng; Yu, Shixian; Zhu, Chengfeng; Shui, Rende; Weng, Xuchu; Li, Peng; Shen, Mowei

    2016-01-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) adopts a specific manner of object-based encoding (OBE) to extract perceptual information: Whenever one feature-dimension is selected for entry into VWM, the others are also extracted. Currently most studies revealing OBE probed an ‘irrelevant-change distracting effect’, where changes of irrelevant-features dramatically affected the performance of the target feature. However, the existence of irrelevant-feature change may affect participants’ processing manner, leading to a false-positive result. The current study conducted a strict examination of OBE in VWM, by probing whether irrelevant-features guided the deployment of attention in visual search. The participants memorized an object’s colour yet ignored shape and concurrently performed a visual-search task. They searched for a target line among distractor lines, each embedded within a different object. One object in the search display could match the shape, colour, or both dimensions of the memory item, but this object never contained the target line. Relative to a neutral baseline, where there was no match between the memory and search displays, search time was significantly prolonged in all match conditions, regardless of whether the memory item was displayed for 100 or 1000 ms. These results suggest that task-irrelevant shape was extracted into VWM, supporting OBE in VWM. PMID:26956084

  13. Memory-based attention capture when multiple items are maintained in visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Hollingworth, Andrew; Beck, Valerie M

    2016-07-01

    Efficient visual search requires that attention is guided strategically to relevant objects, and most theories of visual search implement this function by means of a target template maintained in visual working memory (VWM). However, there is currently debate over the architecture of VWM-based attentional guidance. We contrasted a single-item-template hypothesis with a multiple-item-template hypothesis, which differ in their claims about structural limits on the interaction between VWM representations and perceptual selection. Recent evidence from van Moorselaar, Theeuwes, and Olivers (2014) indicated that memory-based capture during search, an index of VWM guidance, is not observed when memory set size is increased beyond a single item, suggesting that multiple items in VWM do not guide attention. In the present study, we maximized the overlap between multiple colors held in VWM and the colors of distractors in a search array. Reliable capture was observed when 2 colors were held in VWM and both colors were present as distractors, using both the original van Moorselaar et al. singleton-shape search task and a search task that required focal attention to array elements (gap location in outline square stimuli). In the latter task, memory-based capture was consistent with the simultaneous guidance of attention by multiple VWM representations. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27123681

  14. Object-based Encoding in Visual Working Memory: Evidence from Memory-driven Attentional Capture.

    PubMed

    Gao, Zaifeng; Yu, Shixian; Zhu, Chengfeng; Shui, Rende; Weng, Xuchu; Li, Peng; Shen, Mowei

    2016-01-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) adopts a specific manner of object-based encoding (OBE) to extract perceptual information: Whenever one feature-dimension is selected for entry into VWM, the others are also extracted. Currently most studies revealing OBE probed an 'irrelevant-change distracting effect', where changes of irrelevant-features dramatically affected the performance of the target feature. However, the existence of irrelevant-feature change may affect participants' processing manner, leading to a false-positive result. The current study conducted a strict examination of OBE in VWM, by probing whether irrelevant-features guided the deployment of attention in visual search. The participants memorized an object's colour yet ignored shape and concurrently performed a visual-search task. They searched for a target line among distractor lines, each embedded within a different object. One object in the search display could match the shape, colour, or both dimensions of the memory item, but this object never contained the target line. Relative to a neutral baseline, where there was no match between the memory and search displays, search time was significantly prolonged in all match conditions, regardless of whether the memory item was displayed for 100 or 1000 ms. These results suggest that task-irrelevant shape was extracted into VWM, supporting OBE in VWM. PMID:26956084

  15. As Working Memory Grows: A Developmental Account of Neural Bases of Working Memory Capacity in 5- to 8-Year Old Children and Adults.

    PubMed

    Kharitonova, Maria; Winter, Warren; Sheridan, Margaret A

    2015-09-01

    Working memory develops slowly: Even by age 8, children are able to maintain only half the number of items that adults can remember. Neural substrates that support performance on working memory tasks also have a slow developmental trajectory and typically activate to a lesser extent in children, relative to adults. Little is known about why younger participants elicit less neural activation. This may be due to maturational differences, differences in behavioral performance, or both. Here we investigate the neural correlates of working memory capacity in children (ages 5-8) and adults using a visual working memory task with parametrically increasing loads (from one to four items) using fMRI. This task allowed us to estimate working memory capacity limit for each group. We found that both age groups increased the activation of frontoparietal networks with increasing working memory loads, until working memory capacity was reached. Because children's working memory capacity limit was half of that for adults, the plateau occurred at lower loads for children. Had a parametric increase in load not been used, this would have given an impression of less activation overall and less load-dependent activation for children relative to adults. Our findings suggest that young children and adults recruit similar frontoparietal networks at working memory loads that do not exceed capacity and highlight the need to consider behavioral performance differences when interpreting developmental differences in neural activation. PMID:25961641

  16. Influence of Response Prepotency Strength, General Working Memory Resources, and Specific Working Memory Load on the Ability to Inhibit Predominant Responses: A Comparison of Young and Elderly Participants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grandjean, Julien; Collette, Fabienne

    2011-01-01

    One conception of inhibitory functioning suggests that the ability to successfully inhibit a predominant response depends mainly on the strength of that response, the general functioning of working memory processes, and the working memory demand of the task (Roberts, Hager, & Heron, 1994). The proposal that inhibition and functional working memory…

  17. Working Memory Deficit in Children with Mathematical Difficulties: A General or Specific Deficit?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andersson, Ulf; Lyxell, Bjorn

    2007-01-01

    This study examined whether children with mathematical difficulties (MDs) or comorbid mathematical and reading difficulties have a working memory deficit and whether the hypothesized working memory deficit includes the whole working memory system or only specific components. In the study, 31 10-year-olds with MDs and 37 10-year-olds with both…

  18. Working Memory Subsystems and Task Complexity in Young Boys with Fragile X Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, S.; Hooper, S.; Skinner, M.; Hatton, D.; Schaaf, J.; Ornstein, P.; Bailey, D.

    2011-01-01

    Background: Working memory problems have been targeted as core deficits in individuals with Fragile X syndrome (FXS); however, there have been few studies that have examined working memory in young boys with FXS, and even fewer studies that have studied the working memory performance of young boys with FXS across different degrees of complexity.…

  19. The Development of Working Memory: Exploring the Complementarity of Two Models.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kemps, Eva; De Rammelaere, Stijn; Desmet, Timothy

    2000-01-01

    Assessed 5-, 6-, 8- and 9-year-olds on two working memory tasks to explore the complementarity of working memory models postulated by Pascual-Leone and Baddeley. Pascual-Leone's theory offered a clear explanation of the results concerning central aspects of working memory. Baddeley's model provided a convincing account of findings regarding the…

  20. Working Memory Functioning in Children with Learning Disorders and Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schuchardt, Kirsten; Bockmann, Ann-Katrin; Bornemann, Galina; Maehler, Claudia

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: On the basis of Baddeley's working memory model (1986), we examined working memory functioning in children with learning disorders with and without specific language impairment (SLI). We pursued the question whether children with learning disorders exhibit similar working memory deficits as children with additional SLI. Method: In…

  1. Improving Working Memory Efficiency by Reframing Metacognitive Interpretation of Task Difficulty

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Autin, Frederique; Croizet, Jean-Claude

    2012-01-01

    Working memory capacity, our ability to manage incoming information for processing purposes, predicts achievement on a wide range of intellectual abilities. Three randomized experiments (N = 310) tested the effectiveness of a brief psychological intervention designed to boost working memory efficiency (i.e., state working memory capacity) by…

  2. Investigating the Predictive Roles of Working Memory and IQ in Academic Attainment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam; Alloway, Ross G.

    2010-01-01

    There is growing evidence for the relationship between working memory and academic attainment. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether working memory is simply a proxy for IQ or whether there is a unique contribution to learning outcomes. The findings indicate that children's working memory skills at 5 years of age were the best…

  3. Working Memory Training Does Not Improve Intelligence in Healthy Young Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chooi, Weng-Tink; Thompson, Lee A.

    2012-01-01

    Jaeggi and her colleagues claimed that they were able to improve fluid intelligence by training working memory. Subjects who trained their working memory on a dual n-back task for a period of time showed significant improvements in working memory span tasks and fluid intelligence tests such as the Raven's Progressive Matrices and the Bochumer…

  4. Working Memory and Strategy Use Contribute to Gender Differences in Spatial Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Lu; Carr, Martha

    2014-01-01

    In this review, a new model that is grounded in information-processing theory is proposed to account for gender differences in spatial ability. The proposed model assumes that the relative strength of working memory, as expressed by the ratio of visuospatial working memory to verbal working memory, influences the type of strategies used on spatial…

  5. Working Memory Differences between Children Living in Rural and Urban Poverty

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tine, Michele

    2014-01-01

    This study was designed to investigate if the working memory profiles of children living in rural poverty are distinct from the working memory profiles of children living in urban poverty. Verbal and visuospatial working memory tasks were administered to sixth-grade students living in low-income rural, low-income urban, high-income rural, and…

  6. The Development of Working Memory from Kindergarten to First Grade in Children with Different Decoding Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nevo, Einat; Breznitz, Zvia

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated the development of working memory ability (measured by tasks assessing all four working memory components) from the end of kindergarten to the end of first grade--the first year reading is taught in school--and the relationship between working memory abilities in kindergarten and first grade and reading skills in first…

  7. Is Working Memory Involved in the Transcribing and Editing of Texts?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayes, John R.; Chenoweth, N. Ann

    2006-01-01

    Generally, researchers agree that verbal working memory plays an important role in cognitive processes involved in writing. However, there is disagreement about which cognitive processes make use of working memory. Kellogg has proposed that verbal working memory is involved in translating but not in editing or producing (i.e., typing) text. In…

  8. Verbal and Visuospatial Short-Term and Working Memory in Children: Are They Separable?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam; Gathercole, Susan Elizabeth; Pickering, Susan J.

    2006-01-01

    This study explored the structure of verbal and visuospatial short-term and working memory in children between ages 4 and 11 years. Multiple tasks measuring 4 different memory components were used to capture the cognitive processes underlying working memory. Confirmatory factor analyses indicated that the processing component of working memory…

  9. Distinct Transfer Effects of Training Different Facets of Working Memory Capacity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    von Bastian, Claudia C.; Oberauer, Klaus

    2013-01-01

    The impact of working memory training on a broad set of transfer tasks was examined. Each of three groups of participants trained one specific functional category of working memory capacity: storage and processing, relational integration, and supervision. A battery comprising tests to measure working memory, task shifting, inhibition, and…

  10. Lexicality and Interference in Working Memory in Children and in Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conlin, Juliet A.; Gathercole, Susan E.

    2006-01-01

    Four experiments investigated the impact of the lexical status of memory and processing stimuli on complex memory performance, with the aim of exploring mechanisms of interference in working memory. In a complex memory task, participants recalled words or nonwords while either monitoring words or nonwords for phonological content, or suppressing…

  11. Spatial working memory is enhanced in children by differential outcomes.

    PubMed

    Esteban, Laura; Vivas, Ana B; Fuentes, Luis J; Estévez, Angeles F

    2015-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is essential to academic achievement. Any enhancement of WM abilities may improve children's school performance. We tested the usefulness of the differential outcomes procedure (DOP) to enhance typically developing children's performance on a spatial WM task. The DOP involves a conditional discriminative learning task in which a correct choice response to a specific stimulus-stimulus association is reinforced with a particular reinforcer (outcome). We adapted a spatial memory task to be used with the DOP. Participants had to learn and retain in their WM four target locations of eight possible locations where a shape could be presented. Two groups of 5- and 7-year-old children performed the low-attentional version of the spatial task, and an additional group of 7-year-old children performed the high-attentional version. The results showed that compared with the standard non-differential outcomes procedure (NOP), the DOP produced better memory-based performance in 5-year-old children with the low-attentional task and in 7-year-old children with the high-attentional task. Additionally, delay intervals impaired performance in the NOP but not in the DOP. These findings suggest that the DOP may be a useful complement to other WM intervention programs targeted to improve children's academic performance at school. PMID:26596777

  12. Spatial working memory is enhanced in children by differential outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Esteban, Laura; Vivas, Ana B.; Fuentes, Luis J.; Estévez, Angeles F.

    2015-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is essential to academic achievement. Any enhancement of WM abilities may improve children’s school performance. We tested the usefulness of the differential outcomes procedure (DOP) to enhance typically developing children’s performance on a spatial WM task. The DOP involves a conditional discriminative learning task in which a correct choice response to a specific stimulus-stimulus association is reinforced with a particular reinforcer (outcome). We adapted a spatial memory task to be used with the DOP. Participants had to learn and retain in their WM four target locations of eight possible locations where a shape could be presented. Two groups of 5- and 7-year-old children performed the low-attentional version of the spatial task, and an additional group of 7-year-old children performed the high-attentional version. The results showed that compared with the standard non-differential outcomes procedure (NOP), the DOP produced better memory-based performance in 5-year-old children with the low-attentional task and in 7-year-old children with the high-attentional task. Additionally, delay intervals impaired performance in the NOP but not in the DOP. These findings suggest that the DOP may be a useful complement to other WM intervention programs targeted to improve children´s academic performance at school. PMID:26596777

  13. Differential effects of alcohol on working memory: distinguishing multiple processes.

    PubMed

    Saults, J Scott; Cowan, Nelson; Sher, Kenneth J; Moreno, Matthew V

    2007-12-01

    The authors assessed effects of alcohol consumption on different types of working memory (WM) tasks in an attempt to characterize the nature of alcohol effects on cognition. The WM tasks varied in 2 properties of materials to be retained in a 2-stimulus comparison procedure. Conditions included (a) spatial arrays of colors, (b) temporal sequences of colors, (c) spatial arrays of spoken digits, and (d) temporal sequences of spoken digits. Alcohol consumption impaired memory for auditory and visual sequences but not memory for simultaneous arrays of auditory or visual stimuli. These results suggest that processes needed to encode and maintain stimulus sequences, such as rehearsal, are more sensitive to alcohol intoxication than other WM mechanisms needed to maintain multiple concurrent items, such as focusing attention on them. These findings help to resolve disparate findings from prior research on alcohol's effect on WM and on divided attention. The results suggest that moderate doses of alcohol impair WM by affecting certain mnemonic strategies and executive processes rather than by shrinking the basic holding capacity of WM. PMID:18179311

  14. Competition increases binding errors in visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Emrich, Stephen M; Ferber, Susanne

    2012-01-01

    When faced with maintaining multiple objects in visual working memory, item information must be bound to the correct object in order to be correctly recalled. Sometimes, however, binding errors occur, and participants report the feature (e.g., color) of an unprobed, non-target item. In the present study, we examine whether the configuration of sample stimuli affects the proportion of these binding errors. The results demonstrate that participants mistakenly report the identity of the unprobed item (i.e., they make a non-target response) when sample items are presented close together in space, suggesting that binding errors can increase independent of increases in memory load. Moreover, the proportion of these non-target responses is linearly related to the distance between sample items, suggesting that these errors are spatially specific. Finally, presenting sample items sequentially decreases non-target responses, suggesting that reducing competition between sample stimuli reduces the number of binding errors. Importantly, these effects all occurred without increases in the amount of error in the memory representation. These results suggest that competition during encoding can account for some of the binding errors made during VWM recall. PMID:22523399

  15. Volume memory mechanism for continuous work with sound and graphics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pitsyuga, Vitaly V.; Petrov, Viacheslav V.; Pitsyuga, Volodimir G.

    1997-02-01

    A work by a computer with input analog signals like a sound and graphics has some features in contrast to work with other forms of information. And one of the very essential differences is a data transfer continuity. Pauses when being transferred a sound or stoppages of frames take place owing to warm backup in up-to-date compact hard disk drives (HDD). HDD suspends its work and gives read-write heads an opportunity to adjust themselves to changed thermal conditions. Every time this procedure breaks a data transfer continuity in a computer. It is known, that the famous manufacturer such as 'MICROPOLIS' (from 1993) and 'SEAGATE' (from 1994) produce some specialized (with cache memory) HDD with capacity up to 9 Gb to audio and video applications. As one of such problem solutions there is proposed a new volume memory mechanism based on using of the energy thin structure in organic molecular crystals such as anthracene, tetracene, and pentacene. These crystals are solid state systems and have more complicated structural organization than inorganic, covalent andion crystals. The modern level of organic chemistry development give almost unlimited opportunities of such crystals synthesis.

  16. Transfer of training from one working memory task to another: behavioural and neural evidence

    PubMed Central

    Beatty, Erin L.; Jobidon, Marie-Eve; Bouak, Fethi; Nakashima, Ann; Smith, Ingrid; Lam, Quan; Blackler, Kristen; Cheung, Bob; Vartanian, Oshin

    2015-01-01

    N-back working memory (WM) tasks necessitate the maintenance and updating of dynamic rehearsal sets during performance. The delayed matching-to-sample (dMTS) task is another WM task, which in turn involves the encoding, maintenance, and retrieval of stimulus representations in sequential order. Because both n-back and dMTS engage WM function, we hypothesized that compared to a control task not taxing WM, training on the n-back task would be associated with better performance on dMTS by virtue of training a shared mental capacity. We tested this hypothesis by randomly assigning subjects (N = 43) to train on either the n-back (including 2-back and 3-back levels) or an active control task. Following training, dMTS was administered in the fMRI scanner. The n-back group performed marginally better than the active control group on dMTS. In addition, although the n-back group improved more on the less difficult 2-back level than the more difficult 3-back level across training sessions, it was improvement on the 3-back level that accounted for 21% of the variance in dMTS performance. For the control group, improvement in training across sessions was unrelated to dMTS performance. At the neural level, greater activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus, right posterior parietal cortex, and the cerebellum distinguished the n-back group from the control group in the maintenance phase of dMTS. Degree of improvement on the 3-back level across training sessions was correlated with activation in right lateral prefrontal and motor cortices in the maintenance phase of dMTS. Our results suggest that although n-back training is more likely to improve performance in easier blocks, it is improvement in more difficult blocks that is predictive of performance on a target task drawing on WM. In addition, the extent to which training on a task can transfer to another task is likely due to the engagement of shared cognitive capacities and underlying neural substrates—in this case WM

  17. Transfer of training from one working memory task to another: behavioural and neural evidence.

    PubMed

    Beatty, Erin L; Jobidon, Marie-Eve; Bouak, Fethi; Nakashima, Ann; Smith, Ingrid; Lam, Quan; Blackler, Kristen; Cheung, Bob; Vartanian, Oshin

    2015-01-01

    N-back working memory (WM) tasks necessitate the maintenance and updating of dynamic rehearsal sets during performance. The delayed matching-to-sample (dMTS) task is another WM task, which in turn involves the encoding, maintenance, and retrieval of stimulus representations in sequential order. Because both n-back and dMTS engage WM function, we hypothesized that compared to a control task not taxing WM, training on the n-back task would be associated with better performance on dMTS by virtue of training a shared mental capacity. We tested this hypothesis by randomly assigning subjects (N = 43) to train on either the n-back (including 2-back and 3-back levels) or an active control task. Following training, dMTS was administered in the fMRI scanner. The n-back group performed marginally better than the active control group on dMTS. In addition, although the n-back group improved more on the less difficult 2-back level than the more difficult 3-back level across training sessions, it was improvement on the 3-back level that accounted for 21% of the variance in dMTS performance. For the control group, improvement in training across sessions was unrelated to dMTS performance. At the neural level, greater activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus, right posterior parietal cortex, and the cerebellum distinguished the n-back group from the control group in the maintenance phase of dMTS. Degree of improvement on the 3-back level across training sessions was correlated with activation in right lateral prefrontal and motor cortices in the maintenance phase of dMTS. Our results suggest that although n-back training is more likely to improve performance in easier blocks, it is improvement in more difficult blocks that is predictive of performance on a target task drawing on WM. In addition, the extent to which training on a task can transfer to another task is likely due to the engagement of shared cognitive capacities and underlying neural substrates-in this case WM. PMID

  18. Working Memory and Arithmetic Calculation in Children: The Contributory Roles of Processing Speed, Short-Term Memory, and Reading

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berg, Derek H.

    2008-01-01

    The cognitive underpinnings of arithmetic calculation in children are noted to involve working memory; however, cognitive processes related to arithmetic calculation and working memory suggest that this relationship is more complex than stated previously. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the relative contributions of processing…

  19. Working Memory in the Classroom: An Inside Look at the Central Executive.

    PubMed

    Barker, Lauren A

    2016-01-01

    This article provides a review of working memory and its application to educational settings. A discussion of the varying definitions of working memory is presented. Special attention is given to the various multidisciplinary professionals who work with students with working memory deficits, and their unique understanding of the construct. Definitions and theories of working memory are briefly summarized and provide the foundation for understanding practical applications of working memory to assessment and intervention. Although definitions and models of working memory abound, there is limited consensus regarding universally accepted definitions and models. Current research indicates that developing new models of working memory may be an appropriate paradigm shift at this time. The integration of individual practitioner's knowledge regarding academic achievement, working memory and processing speed could provide a foundation for the future development of new working memory models. Future directions for research should aim to explain how tasks and behaviors are supported by the substrates of the cortico-striatal and the cerebro-cerebellar systems. Translation of neurobiological information into educational contexts will be helpful to inform all practitioners' knowledge of working memory constructs. It will also allow for universally accepted definitions and models of working memory to arise and facilitate more effective collaboration between disciplines working in educational setting. PMID:27191215

  20. Depressive Symptoms Affect Working Memory in Healthy Older Adult Hispanics

    PubMed Central

    Salazar-Villanea, Monica; Liebmann, Edward; Garnier-Villarreal, Mauricio; Montenegro-Montenegro, Esteban; Johnson, David K.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives Low and middle income nations will experience an unprecedented growth of the elderly population and subsequent increase in age-related neurological disorders. Worldwide prevalence and incidence of all-types of neurological disorders with serious mental health complications will increase with life expectancy across the globe. One-in- ten individuals over 75 has at least moderate cognitive impairment. Prevalence of cognitive impairment doubles every 5 years thereafter. Latin America’s population of older adult’s 65 years and older is growing rapidly, yet little is known about cognitive aging among healthy older Latinos. Clinically significant depressive symptomatology is common among community-dwelling older adults and is associated with deficits across multiple cognitive domains, however much of the literature has not modeled the unique effects of depression distinct from negative and low positive affect. Our objective was to understand how mental health affects cognitive health in healthy aging Latinos. Methods The present study used confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine the relative effects of Negative Affect, Positive Affect and Geriatric Depression on Verbal Memory, Verbal Reasoning, Processing Speed, and Working Memory in healthy aging Latinos. Data was collected from a sample of healthy community dwelling older adults living in San Jose, Costa Rica. Modeling of latent variables attenuated error and improved measurement reliability of cognition, affect, and depression variables. Results Costa Ricans enjoy a notoriety for being much happier than US citizens and are renowned as one of the happiest nations in the world in global surveys. This was born out in these data. Costa Rican affective profiles differed substantively from US profiles. Levels of negative affect and depression were similar to US samples, but their levels of positive affect were much higher. Cognitive performance of these Costa Rican

  1. Retrieval from long-term memory reduces working memory representations for visual features and their bindings.

    PubMed

    van Lamsweerde, Amanda E; Beck, Melissa R; Elliott, Emily M

    2015-02-01

    The ability to remember feature bindings is an important measure of the ability to maintain objects in working memory (WM). In this study, we investigated whether both object- and feature-based representations are maintained in WM. Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that retaining a greater number of feature representations (i.e., both as individual features and bound representations) results in a more robust representation of individual features than of feature bindings, and that retrieving information from long-term memory (LTM) into WM would cause a greater disruption to feature bindings. In four experiments, we examined the effects of retrieving a word from LTM on shape and color-shape binding change detection performance. We found that binding changes were more difficult to detect than individual-feature changes overall, but that the cost of retrieving a word from LTM was the same for both individual-feature and binding changes. PMID:25301564

  2. Working-memory capacity, proactive interference, and divided attention: limits on long-term memory retrieval.

    PubMed

    Kane, M J; Engle, R W

    2000-03-01

    Two experiments examined how individual differences in working-memory capacity (WM) relate to proactive interference (PI) susceptibility. We tested high and low WM-span participants in a PI-buildup task under single-task or dual-task ("load") conditions. In Experiment 1, a finger-tapping task was imposed during encoding and retrieval of each list; in Experiment 2, tapping was required during encoding or retrieval. In both experiments, low spans showed greater PI than did high spans under no load, but groups showed equivalent PI under divided attention. Load increased PI only for high spans, suggesting they use attention at encoding and retrieval to combat PI. In Experiment 2, only low spans showed a dual-task cost on List 1 memory, before PI built up. Results indicate a role for attentional processing, perhaps inhibitory in nature, at encoding and retrieval, and are discussed with respect to theories of WM and prefrontal cortex function. PMID:10764100

  3. When do Visual and Verbal Memories Conflict? The Importance of Working-Memory Load and Retrieval

    PubMed Central

    Morey, Candice C.; Cowan, Nelson

    2008-01-01

    Examinations of interference between verbal and visual materials in working memory have produced mixed results. If there is a central form of storage (e.g., the focus of attention; Cowan, 2001) then cross-domain interference should be obtained. We examined this question with a visual-array comparison task (Luck & Vogel, 1997) combined with various verbal memory load conditions. Interference between tasks occurred if there was explicit retrieval of the verbal load during maintenance of a visual array. The effect was localized in the maintenance period of the visual task, and was not the result of articulation per se. Interference occurred also when especially large silent verbal and visual loads were held concurrently. These results suggest central storage along with code-specific, passive storage. PMID:16060774

  4. Characteristics of visual interference with visuospatial working memory.

    PubMed

    Toms, M; Morris, N; Foley, P

    1994-02-01

    Recent discussions of visuospatial working memory have suggested that this subsystem may incorporate a visual buffer which holds visuospatial information relatively passively. Empirical investigations of visual interference with information held within a visuospatial subsystem have yielded somewhat equivocal results. Nonetheless, evidence from Logie (1986) has indicated that visuospatial processing can be disrupted by passive exposure to irrelevant visual material in a manner analogous to the disruption of serial verbal recall by exposure to irrelevant speech. This paper reports two experiments which explore whether such irrelevant visual input is disruptive to storage of imaginal information in a primarily spatial task--the Brooks spatial matrix task. Experiment 1 shows that exposure to irrelevant visual input during encoding selectively disrupts performance on a spatial, but not a verbal, version of the task. The extent of such disruption is shown to be independent of the visual complexity of the material, its similarity to the to-be-remembered information, or a change in state, with a static white square pattern yielding equivalent disruption to that produced by changing matrix patterns. The second experiment indicates that this pattern of effects is robust, and that such disruption is evident at an equivalent level when the visual material is present only during a 20-second retention interval. These results are interpreted as evidence of obligatory access of external visual material to a passive visual buffer. Implications for the nature of a visuospatial subsystem in working memory are discussed. PMID:8167974

  5. Training counting skills and working memory in preschool.

    PubMed

    Kyttälä, Minna; Kanerva, Kaisa; Kroesbergen, Evelyn

    2015-08-01

    Previous studies have shown that early numeracy skills predict later mathematics learning and that they can be improved by training. Cognitive abilities, especially working memory (WM), play an important role in early numeracy, as well. Several studies have shown that working memory is related to early numeracy. So far, existing literature offers a good few examples of studies in which WM training has led to improvements in early numerical performance as well. In this study, we aim at investigating the effects of two different training conditions: (1) counting training; and (2) simultaneous training of WM and counting on five- to six-year-old preschoolers' (N = 61) counting skills. The results show that domain-specific training in mathematical skills is more effective in improving early numerical performance than WM and counting training combined. Based on our results, preschool-aged children do not seem to benefit from short period group training of WM skills. However, because of several intervening factors, one should not conclude that young children's WM training is ineffectual. Instead, future studies should be conducted to further investigate the issue. PMID:26011162

  6. The influence of working memory load on semantic priming.

    PubMed

    Heyman, Tom; Van Rensbergen, Bram; Storms, Gert; Hutchison, Keith A; De Deyne, Simon

    2015-05-01

    The present research examines the nature of the different processes that have been proposed to underlie semantic priming. Specifically, it has been argued that priming arises as a result of automatic target activation and/or the use of strategies like prospective expectancy generation and retrospective semantic matching. This article investigates the extent that these processes rely on cognitive resources by experimentally manipulating working memory load. To disentangle prospective and retrospective processes, prime-target pairs were selected such that they were symmetrically associated (e.g., answer-question; SYM) or asymmetrically associated in either the forward direction (e.g., panda-bear; FA) or the backward direction (e.g., ball-catch; BA). The results showed that priming for FA pairs completely evaporated under a high working memory load but that it remained stable for BA and SYM pairs. This was taken to mean that prospective processes, which are assumed to cause FA priming, require cognitive resources, whereas retrospective processes, which lead to BA priming, are relatively effortless. PMID:25329088

  7. Estimating Working Memory Capacity for Lists of Nonverbal Sounds

    PubMed Central

    Li, Dawei; Cowan, Nelson; Saults, J. Scott

    2012-01-01

    Working memory (WM) capacity limit has been extensively studied in the domains of visual and verbal stimuli. Previous studies have suggested a fixed WM capacity of typically about 3 or 4 items, based on the number of items in working memory reaching a plateau after several items as the set size increases. However, the fixed WM capacity estimate appears to rely on categorical information in the stimulus set (Olsson & Poom, 2005). We designed a series of experiments to investigate nonverbal auditory WM capacity and its dependence on categorical information. Experiments 1 and 2 used simple tones and revealed capacity limit of up to 2 tones following a 6-s retention interval. Importantly, performance was significantly higher at set sizes 2, 3, and 4 when the frequency difference between target and test tones was relatively large. In Experiment 3, we added categorical information to the simple tones, and the effect of tone change magnitude decreased. Maximal capacity for each individual was just over 3 sounds, in the range of typical visual procedures. We propose that two types of information, categorical and detailed acoustic information, are kept in WM, and that categorical information is critical for high WM performance. PMID:23143913

  8. Pantomimes are special gestures which rely on working memory.

    PubMed

    Bartolo, A; Cubelli, R; Della Sala, S; Drei, S

    2003-12-01

    The case of a patient is reported who presented consistently with overt deficits in producing pantomimes in the absence of any other deficits in producing meaningful gestures. This pattern of spared and impaired abilities is difficult to reconcile with the current layout of cognitive models for praxis. This patient also showed clear impairment in a dual-task paradigm, a test taxing the co-ordination aspect of working memory, though performed normally in a series of other neuropsychological measures assessing language, visuo-spatial functions, reasoning function, and executive function. A specific working memory impairment associated with a deficit of pantomiming in the absence of any other disorders in the production of meaningful gestures suggested a way to modify the model to account for the data. Pantomimes are a particular category of gestures, meaningful, yet novel. We posit that by their very nature they call for the intervention of a mechanism to integrate and synthesise perceptual inputs together with information made available from the action semantics (knowledge about objects and functions) and the output lexicon (stored procedural programmes). This processing stage conceived as a temporary workspace where gesture information is actively manipulated, would generate new motor programmes to carry out pantomimes. The model of gesture production is refined to include this workspace. PMID:14642299

  9. Inhibitory Control and Working Memory in Post-Institutionalized Children

    PubMed Central

    Merz, Emily C.; McCall, Robert B.; Wright, Amanda J.; Luna, Beatriz

    2013-01-01

    Inhibitory control and working memory were examined in post-institutionalized (PI) children adopted into United States families from Russian institutions. The PI sample originated from institutions that were less severely depriving than those represented in previous studies and approximated the level of psychosocial deprivation, which is characterized by adequate physical resources but a lack of consistent and responsive caregiving. PI children (N=75; 29 male) ranged in age from 8–17 years (M=12.97; SD=3.03) and were grouped according to whether they were adopted after 14 months or before 9 months. A non-adopted comparison group (N=133; 65 male) ranged in age from 8–17 years (M=12.26; SD=2.75). PI children adopted after 14 months of age displayed poorer performance on the stop-signal and spatial span tasks relative to PI children adopted before 9 months of age after controlling for age at assessment. The two PI groups did not differ in their performance on a spatial self-ordered search task. Older-adopted PI children also showed poorer spatial span task performance compared to non-adopted children, but younger-adopted PI children did not. Task performance was significantly associated with parent-rated hyperactive-impulsive behavior in everyday contexts. These findings suggest that exposure to prolonged early institutional deprivation may be linked with inhibitory control and working memory difficulties years after adoption. PMID:23519375

  10. Working memory in children with specific arithmetical learning difficulties.

    PubMed

    Hitch, J G; McAuley, E

    1991-08-01

    Siegel & Ryan (1989) reported that children with specific arithmetical learning difficulties (ALD) were impaired if they had to retain temporary information concurrently with counting visual arrays, but not if the concurrent operations were non-mathematical. This selective deficit was attributed to an impaired arithmetical working memory system. In the present study 15 children aged eight to nine with ALD were compared with 15 normally achieving controls. Experiment 1 examined performance on a number of tasks assessing span for information storage during concurrent operations. The results confirmed that children with ALD are impaired on concurrent span only when the operations involve counting and showed that this holds independently of the visuospatial or auditory-verbal characteristics of the task. Experiment 2 went on to investigate the possibility that children with ALD might be impaired at counting or retaining temporary information when each is assessed in isolation. The ALD group tended to count more slowly than controls and had lower auditory digit spans. It is argued that these deficits can account for the selective impairment of ALD children on concurrent counting span, without appealing to a special, arithmetical working memory system. Possible interpretations of the cognitive deficits associated with ALD and their implications for the ability to perform arithmetical skills are discussed. PMID:1954527

  11. Development and evaluation of an online, multicomponent working memory battery.

    PubMed

    Englund, Julia A; Decker, Scott L; Woodlief, Darren T; DiStefano, Christine

    2014-10-01

    Research has demonstrated strong connections among working memory (WM), higher-level cognition, and academic achievement. Despite the importance of WM, currently available WM tests have practical limitations and lack comprehensive coverage of multiple WM components. The Working Memory Battery (WOMBAT) includes nine subtests measuring multiple content domains and processing demands, in accordance with contemporary WM theoretical frameworks. The current study evaluated the WOMBAT factor structure and identified misfitting items using confirmatory factor analysis and Rasch modeling with scores from 125 adolescents and 177 adults (N = 302). Overall, results indicated the WOMBAT measures separate Verbal, Static Visual-Spatial, and Dynamic Visual-Spatial dimensions, and that more than 98% of items contribute to measurement of those dimensions. This provides support for the theoretical organization of WM into three distinct content domains in the WOMBAT. Misfitting items were identified using infit and outfit indices for further review to improve reliability and stability. Results also demonstrated adequate person separation and Rasch person reliability and item reliability. Test-retest reliability and internal consistency coefficients suggest adequate reliability for early-stage research, but further refinement is needed before the WOMBAT can be used for individual decision making. Implications for future test development and research on the WM construct are provided. PMID:24577309

  12. Time-dependent corticosteroid modulation of prefrontal working memory processing

    PubMed Central

    Henckens, Marloes J. A. G.; van Wingen, Guido A.; Joëls, Marian; Fernández, Guillén

    2011-01-01

    Corticosteroids are potent modulators of human higher cognitive function. They are released in response to stress, and are thought to be involved in the modulation of cognitive function by inducing distinct rapid nongenomic, and slow genomic changes, affecting neural plasticity throughout the brain. However, their exact effects on the neural correlates of higher-order cognitive function as performed by the prefrontal cortex at the human brain system level remain to be elucidated. Here, we targeted these time-dependent effects of corticosteroids on prefrontal cortex processing in humans using a working memory (WM) paradigm during functional MRI scanning. Implementing a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design, 72 young, healthy men received 10 mg hydrocortisone either 30 min (rapid corticosteroid effects) or 240 min (slow corticosteroid effects), or placebo before a numerical n-back task with differential load (0- to 3-back). Corticosteroids’ slow effects appeared to improve working memory performance and increased neuronal activity during WM performance in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex depending on WM load, whereas no effects of corticosteroids’ rapid actions were observed. Thereby, the slow actions of corticosteroids seem to facilitate adequate higher-order cognitive functioning, which may support recovery in the aftermath of stress exposure. PMID:21436038

  13. Modeling Working Memory Tasks on the Item Level

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Dasen; Chen, Guopeng; Zen, Fanlin; Murray, Bronwyn

    2009-01-01

    Item responses to Digit Span and Letter-Number Sequencing were analyzed to develop a better-refined model of the two working memory tasks using the finite mixture (FM) modeling method. Models with ordinal latent traits were found to better account for the independent sources of the variability in the tasks than those with continuous traits, and the discretely distributed factors appeared to represent short-term storage (STS), general attention control (GAC), and the specific control mechanisms initiated by the interfering operations of mental sorting (MS) and backward ordering (BO). When related to the general ability factor (G) defined by the WISC-R verbal and performance scores and the total achievement score, the general working memory factors STS and GAC both seemed to share substantial variances with G, but the roles of specific factors MS and BO were less definitive. These WM factors accounted for the majority of the variability in G, with the multiple correlation between the factor mean scores of the WM factors and that of G above 0.80. Moreover, there seemed to be a discontinuity in the distribution of the ordinal GAC factor, as the two lowest subcategories of GAC were separated from the rest of the overall sample by the virtually empty third lowest subcategory, and the two outlying low subcategories contained the majority (80%) of the cases with mild mental retardation. The theoretical implications of these results were discussed. PMID:20190871

  14. Feedback associated with expectation for larger-reward improves visuospatial working memory performances in children with ADHD.

    PubMed

    Hammer, Rubi; Tennekoon, Michael; Cooke, Gillian E; Gayda, Jessica; Stein, Mark A; Booth, James R

    2015-08-01

    We tested the interactive effect of feedback and reward on visuospatial working memory in children with ADHD. Seventeen boys with ADHD and 17 Normal Control (NC) boys underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing four visuospatial 2-back tasks that required monitoring the spatial location of letters presented on a display. Tasks varied in reward size (large; small) and feedback availability (no-feedback; feedback). While the performance of NC boys was high in all conditions, boys with ADHD exhibited higher performance (similar to those of NC boys) only when they received feedback associated with large-reward. Performance pattern in both groups was mirrored by neural activity in an executive function neural network comprised of few distinct frontal brain regions. Specifically, neural activity in the left and right middle frontal gyri of boys with ADHD became normal-like only when feedback was available, mainly when feedback was associated with large-reward. When feedback was associated with small-reward, or when large-reward was expected but feedback was not available, boys with ADHD exhibited altered neural activity in the medial orbitofrontal cortex and anterior insula. This suggests that contextual support normalizes activity in executive brain regions in children with ADHD, which results in improved working memory. PMID:26142072

  15. The Influence of Recency of Use on fMRI Response During Spatial Working Memory in Adolescent Marijuana Users

    PubMed Central

    Schweinsburg, Alecia D.; Schweinsburg, Brian C.; Medina, Krista Lisdahl; McQueeny, Tim; Brown, Sandra A.; Tapert, Susan F.

    2010-01-01

    Some neurocognitive recovery occurs within a month of abstinence from heavy marijuana use, yet functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has revealed altered activation among recent and abstinent adult users. Here, we compared fMRI response during a spatial working memory (SWM) task between adolescent marijuana users with brief and sustained durations of abstinence. Participants were 13 recent users (2 – 7 days abstinent), 13 abstinent users (27 – 60 days abstinent), and 18 non-using controls, all ages 15 – 18. Groups were similar on demographics, had no psychiatric or medical disorders, and user groups were similar on substance histories. Teens performed a 2-back SWM task during fMRI. Groups performed similarly on the task, but recent users showed greater fMRI response in medial and left superior prefrontal cortices, as well as bilateral insula. Abstinent users had increased response in the right precentral gyrus (clusters ≥1328 μl, p<.05). This cross-sectional study did not examine changes in brain response among the same participants over time. Yet results suggests that adolescents who recently used marijuana show increased brain activity in regions associated with working memory updating and inhibition, compared to users with weeks to months of abstinence. This study preliminarily suggests that (1) recent marijuana use may disrupt neural connections associated with SWM and result in compensatory brain response, and (2) sustained abstinence from marijuana may be associated with improvements in SWM response among adolescents. PMID:21053763

  16. Dissociation of working memory impairments and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in the brain

    PubMed Central

    Mattfeld, Aaron T.; Whitfield-Gabrieli, Susan; Biederman, Joseph; Spencer, Thomas; Brown, Ariel; Fried, Ronna; Gabrieli, John D.E.

    2015-01-01

    Prevailing neuropsychological models of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) propose that ADHD arises from deficits in executive functions such as working memory, but accumulating clinical evidence suggests a dissociation between ADHD and executive dysfunctions. This study examined whether ADHD and working memory capacity are behaviorally and neurobiologically separable using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants diagnosed with ADHD in childhood who subsequently remitted or persisted in their diagnosis as adults were characterized at follow-up in adulthood as either impaired or unimpaired in spatial working memory relative to controls who never had ADHD. ADHD participants with impaired spatial working memory performed worse than controls and ADHD participants with unimpaired working memory during an n-back working memory task while being scanned. Both controls and ADHD participants with unimpaired working memory exhibited significant linearly increasing activation in the inferior frontal junction, precuneus, lingual gyrus, and cerebellum as a function of working-memory load, and these activations did not differ significantly between these groups. ADHD participants with impaired working memory exhibited significant hypoactivation in the same regions, which was significantly different than both control participants and ADHD participants with unimpaired working memory. These findings support both a behavioral and neurobiological dissociation between ADHD and working memory capacity. PMID:26900567

  17. EXPLORING THE POSSIBLE AND NECESSARY IN WORKING MEMORY DEVELOPMENT.

    PubMed

    Cowan, Nelson

    2016-09-01

    This commentary considers Vanessa Simmering's monograph on a dynamic-systems theoretical approach to understanding working memory development, with reference to the past, present, and future. In the section on the past, I attempt to provide a further historical context for the work, discussing from where it stemmed and how it is unique. In a second section, I contemplate the purpose of the present modeling. The aim of the monograph may be primarily to establish a simple possible account of development based on neural connection strength and dynamic principles; it should not be judged as a proposal of what is necessarily true. Finally, in the section on the future, I suggest some phenomena that dissociate performance levels from stability over time and, therefore, appear to require modifications of the theory. Several suggestions are made as to where further refinement of the modeling effort could lead. PMID:27500819

  18. Visuospatial Working Memory Capacity Predicts Physiological Arousal in a Narrative Task.

    PubMed

    Smithson, Lisa; Nicoladis, Elena

    2016-06-01

    Physiological arousal that occurs during narrative production is thought to reflect emotional processing and cognitive effort (Bar-Haim et al. in Dev Psychobiol 44:238-249, 2004). The purpose of this study was to determine whether individual differences in visuospatial working memory and/or verbal working memory capacity predict physiological arousal in a narrative task. Visuospatial working memory was a significant predictor of skin conductance level (SCL); verbal working memory was not. When visuospatial working memory interference was imposed, visuospatial working memory was no longer a significant predictor of SCL. Visuospatial interference also resulted in a significant reduction in SCL. Furthermore, listener ratings of narrative quality were contingent upon the visuospatial working memory resources of the narrator. Potential implications for educators and clinical practitioners are discussed. PMID:26718206

  19. No Evidence for a Fixed Object Limit in Working Memory: Spatial Ensemble Representations Inflate Estimates of Working Memory Capacity for Complex Objects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brady, Timothy F.; Alvarez, George A.

    2015-01-01

    A central question for models of visual working memory is whether the number of objects people can remember depends on object complexity. Some influential "slot" models of working memory capacity suggest that people always represent 3-4 objects and that only the fidelity with which these objects are represented is affected by object…

  20. Working memory capacity and retrieval limitations from long-term memory: an examination of differences in accessibility.

    PubMed

    Unsworth, Nash; Spillers, Gregory J; Brewer, Gene A

    2012-01-01

    In two experiments, the locus of individual differences in working memory capacity and long-term memory recall was examined. Participants performed categorical cued and free recall tasks, and individual differences in the dynamics of recall were interpreted in terms of a hierarchical-search framework. The results from this study are in accordance with recent theorizing suggesting a strong relation between working memory capacity and retrieval from long-term memory. Furthermore, the results also indicate that individual differences in categorical recall are partially due to differences in accessibility. In terms of accessibility of target information, two important factors drive the difference between high- and low-working-memory-capacity participants. Low-working-memory-capacity participants fail to utilize appropriate retrieval strategies to access cues, and they also have difficulty resolving cue overload. Thus, when low-working-memory-capacity participants were given specific cues that activated a smaller set of potential targets, their recall performance was the same as that of high-working-memory-capacity participants. PMID:22800472

  1. Magnetic stimulation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex dissociates fragile visual short-term memory from visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Sligte, Ilja G; Wokke, Martijn E; Tesselaar, Johannes P; Scholte, H Steven; Lamme, Victor A F

    2011-05-01

    To guide our behavior in successful ways, we often need to rely on information that is no longer in view, but maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM). While VSTM is usually broken down into iconic memory (brief and high-capacity store) and visual working memory (sustained, yet limited-capacity store), recent studies have suggested the existence of an additional and intermediate form of VSTM that depends on activity in extrastriate cortex. In previous work, we have shown that this fragile form of VSTM can be dissociated from iconic memory. In the present study, we provide evidence that fragile VSTM is different from visual working memory as magnetic stimulation of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) disrupts visual working memory, while leaving fragile VSTM intact. In addition, we observed that people with high DLPFC activity had superior working memory capacity compared to people with low DLPFC activity, and only people with high DLPFC activity really showed a reduction in working memory capacity in response to magnetic stimulation. Altogether, this study shows that VSTM consists of three stages that have clearly different characteristics and rely on different neural structures. On the methodological side, we show that it is possible to predict individual susceptibility to magnetic stimulation based on functional MRI activity. PMID:21168424

  2. Relations between Working Memory and Emergent Writing among Preschool-Aged Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoskyn, Maureen; Tzoneva, Irina

    2008-01-01

    The authors examined the nature of the working memory system that underlies age differences of young, preschool-aged children. Measures of working memory, short-term memory, articulation speed, general intelligence, and writing were administered to 166 Canadian preschool-aged children aged 3 to 5 years. Findings generally support the hypothesis…

  3. Visual Working Memory Capacity for Objects from Different Categories: A Face-Specific Maintenance Effect

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wong, Jason H.; Peterson, Matthew S.; Thompson, James C.

    2008-01-01

    The capacity of visual working memory was examined when complex objects from different categories were remembered. Previous studies have not examined how visual similarity affects object memory, though it has long been known that similar-sounding phonological information interferes with rehearsal in auditory working memory. Here, experiments…

  4. The Phenotypic and Genotypic Relation between Working Memory Speed and Capacity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Polderman, Tinca J. C.; Stins, John F.; Posthuma, Danielle; Gosso, M. Florencia; Verhulst, Frank C.; Boomsma, Dorret I.

    2006-01-01

    This study examined the phenotypic and genotypic relationship between working memory speed (WMS) and working memory capacity (WMC) in 12-year-old twins and their siblings (N = 409). To asses WMS all children performed a reaction time task with three memory loads from which a basic mental speed measure and the derived slope were used. WMC was…

  5. The Effect of Rehearsal Training on Working Memory Span of Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loomes, Carly; Rasmussen, Carmen; Pei, Jacqueline; Manji, Shazeen; Andrew, Gail

    2008-01-01

    A key area of weakness in individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is working memory, thus the goal of this study was to determine whether teaching children (aged 4-11) with FASD verbal rehearsal would increase their memory. Rehearsal training has been effective in other populations with working memory difficulties, so we…

  6. Working Memory Training for Children with Cochlear Implants: A Pilot Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kronenberger, William G.; Pisoni, David B.; Henning, Shirley C.; Colson, Bethany G.; Hazzard, Lindsey M.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: This study investigated the feasibility and efficacy of a working memory training program for improving memory and language skills in a sample of 9 children who are deaf (age 7-15 years) with cochlear implants (CIs). Method: All children completed the Cogmed Working Memory Training program on a home computer over a 5-week period.…

  7. Complex Span versus Updating Tasks of Working Memory: The Gap Is Not that Deep

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmiedek, Florian; Hildebrandt, Andrea; Lovden, Martin; Wilhelm, Oliver; Lindenberger, Ulman

    2009-01-01

    How to best measure working memory capacity is an issue of ongoing debate. Besides established complex span tasks, which combine short-term memory demands with generally unrelated secondary tasks, there exists a set of paradigms characterized by continuous and simultaneous updating of several items in working memory, such as the n-back, memory…

  8. Working Memory Involved in Predicting Future Outcomes Based on Past Experiences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dretsch, Michael N.; Tipples, Jason

    2008-01-01

    Deficits in working memory have been shown to contribute to poor performance on the Iowa Gambling Task [IGT: Bechara, A., & Martin, E.M. (2004). "Impaired decision making related to working memory deficits in individuals with substance addictions." "Neuropsychology," 18, 152-162]. Similarly, a secondary memory load task has been shown to impair…

  9. Neuronal synchrony reveals working memory networks and predicts individual memory capacity

    PubMed Central

    Palva, J. Matias; Monto, Simo; Kulashekhar, Shrikanth; Palva, Satu

    2010-01-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) is used to maintain sensory information for cognitive operations, and its deficits are associated with several neuropsychological disorders. VWM is based on sustained neuronal activity in a complex cortical network of frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal areas. The neuronal mechanisms that coordinate this distributed processing to sustain coherent mental images and the mechanisms that set the behavioral capacity limit have remained unknown. We mapped the anatomical and dynamic structures of network synchrony supporting VWM by using a neuro informatics approach and combined magnetoencephalography and electroencephalography. Interareal phase synchrony was sustained and stable during the VWM retention period among frontoparietal and visual areas in α- (10–13 Hz), β- (18–24 Hz), and γ- (30–40 Hz) frequency bands. Furthermore, synchrony was strengthened with increasing memory load among the frontoparietal regions known to underlie executive and attentional functions during memory maintenance. On the other hand, the subjects’ individual behavioral VWM capacity was predicted by synchrony in a network in which the intraparietal sulcus was the most central hub. These data suggest that interareal phase synchrony in the α-, β-, and γ-frequency bands among frontoparietal and visual regions could be a systems level mechanism for coordinating and regulating the maintenance of neuronal object representations in VWM. PMID:20368447

  10. The sensory strength of voluntary visual imagery predicts visual working memory capacity.

    PubMed

    Keogh, Rebecca; Pearson, Joel

    2014-01-01

    How much we can actively hold in mind is severely limited and differs greatly from one person to the next. Why some individuals have greater capacities than others is largely unknown. Here, we investigated why such large variations in visual working memory (VWM) capacity might occur, by examining the relationship between visual working memory and visual mental imagery. To assess visual working memory capacity participants were required to remember the orientation of a number of Gabor patches and make subsequent judgments about relative changes in orientation. The sensory strength of voluntary imagery was measured using a previously documented binocular rivalry paradigm. Participants with greater imagery strength also had greater visual working memory capacity. However, they were no better on a verbal number working memory task. Introducing a uniform luminous background during the retention interval of the visual working memory task reduced memory capacity, but only for those with strong imagery. Likewise, for the good imagers increasing background luminance during imagery generation reduced its effect on subsequent binocular rivalry. Luminance increases did not affect any of the subgroups on the verbal number working memory task. Together, these results suggest that luminance was disrupting sensory mechanisms common to both visual working memory and imagery, and not a general working memory system. The disruptive selectivity of background luminance suggests that good imagers, unlike moderate or poor imagers, may use imagery as a mnemonic strategy to perform the visual working memory task. PMID:25301015

  11. Home sweet home: does where you live matter to working memory and other cognitive skills?

    PubMed

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam; Alloway, Ross G; Wootan, Samantha

    2014-08-01

    Learning outcomes are associated with a variety of environmental and cognitive factors, and the aim of the current study was to compare the predictive power of these factors in longitudinal outcomes. We recruited children in kindergarten and tested their learning outcomes 2 years later. In kindergarten, children completed tests of IQ, phonological awareness, and memory (sentence memory, short-term memory, and working memory). After 2 years, they took national assessments in reading, writing, and math. Working memory performance was not affected by socioeconomic status (SES), whereas IQ, phonological awareness, and sentence memory scores differed as a function of SES. A series of hierarchical regression analyses indicated that working memory and phonological awareness were better predictors of learning than any other factors tested, including SES. Educational implications include providing intervention during the early years to boost working memory and phonological awareness so as to prevent subsequent learning difficulties. PMID:24508377

  12. Memory systems in the rat: effects of reward probability, context, and congruency between working and reference memory.

    PubMed

    Roberts, William A; Guitar, Nicole A; Marsh, Heidi L; MacDonald, Hayden

    2016-05-01

    The interaction of working and reference memory was studied in rats on an eight-arm radial maze. In two experiments, rats were trained to perform working memory and reference memory tasks. On working memory trials, they were allowed to enter four randomly chosen arms for reward in a study phase and then had to choose the unentered arms for reward in a test phase. On reference memory trials, they had to learn to visit the same four arms on the maze on every trial for reward. Retention was tested on working memory trials in which the interval between the study and test phase was 15 s, 15 min, or 30 min. At each retention interval, tests were performed in which the correct WM arms were either congruent or incongruent with the correct RM arms. Both experiments showed that congruency interacted with retention interval, yielding more forgetting at 30 min on incongruent trials than on congruent trials. The effect of reference memory strength on the congruency effect was examined in Experiment 1, and the effect of associating different contexts with working and reference memory on the congruency effect was studied in Experiment 2. PMID:26914457

  13. Action Planning Mediates Guidance of Visual Attention from Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Feldmann-Wüstefeld, Tobias; Schubö, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Visual search is impaired when a salient task-irrelevant stimulus is presented together with the target. Recent research has shown that this attentional capture effect is enhanced when the salient stimulus matches working memory (WM) content, arguing in favor of attention guidance from WM. Visual attention was also shown to be closely coupled with action planning. Preparing a movement renders action-relevant perceptual dimensions more salient and thus increases search efficiency for stimuli sharing that dimension. The present study aimed at revealing common underlying mechanisms for selective attention, WM, and action planning. Participants both prepared a specific movement (grasping or pointing) and memorized a color hue. Before the movement was executed towards an object of the memorized color, a visual search task (additional singleton) was performed. Results showed that distraction from target was more pronounced when the additional singleton had a memorized color. This WM-guided attention deployment was more pronounced when participants prepared a grasping movement. We argue that preparing a grasping movement mediates attention guidance from WM content by enhancing representations of memory content that matches the distractor shape (i.e., circles), thus encouraging attentional capture by circle distractors of the memorized color. We conclude that templates for visual search, action planning, and WM compete for resources and thus cause interferences. PMID:26171241

  14. Causes and consequences of limitations in visual working memory

    PubMed Central

    Zokaei, Nahid; Husain, Masud

    2016-01-01

    Recent methodological and conceptual advances have led to a fundamental reappraisal of the nature of visual working memory (WM). A large corpus of evidence now suggests that there might not be a hard limit on the number of items that can be stored. Instead, WM may be better captured by a highly limited––but flexible––resource model. More resource can be allocated to prioritized items but, crucially, at a cost of reduced recall precision for other stored items. Expectations may modulate resource distribution, for example, through neural oscillations in the alpha band increasing inhibition of irrelevant cortical regions. Our understanding of the neural architecture of WM is also undergoing radical revision. Whereas the prefrontal cortex has previously dominated research endeavors, other cortical regions, such as early visual areas, are now considered to make an essential contribution, for example holding one or more items in a privileged state or “focus of attention” within WM. By contrast, the striatum is increasingly viewed as crucial in determining why and how items are gated into memory, while the hippocampus, it has controversially been argued, might be critical in the formation of temporally resilient conjunctions across features of stored items in WM. PMID:26773268

  15. Age and synchrony effects in visuospatial working memory.

    PubMed

    Rowe, Gillian; Hasher, Lynn; Turcotte, Josée

    2009-10-01

    Younger and older adults were administered a computerized version of the Corsi Block visuospatial working memory (VSWM) span task at either their peak or off-peak time of day and in either a high-interference (ascending order of administration, starting with short lists first) or low-interference (descending order, starting with longest lists first) format. Young adults' span scores were highest in the ascending format. By contrast, older adults performed better in the low-interference format, replicating findings with verbal memory span studies. Although both age groups benefited from being tested at their peak time, the advantage was far greater for older adults, but only in the low-interference format; their scores on the high-interference format were not helped by peak-time testing. These findings are consistent with the suggestion that young adults' performance on span tasks is influenced by practice and strategies, but the performance of older adults is heavily influenced by interference-which is best controlled at peak times of day. Our findings suggest that both time of testing and interference play critical roles in determining age differences in VSWM span, and both a reduction in interference and peak-time testing may be necessary to optimize older adults' performance and to maximize the reduction in age differences. PMID:19459136

  16. Supraliminal but not subliminal distracters bias working memory recall.

    PubMed

    Wildegger, Theresa; Myers, Nicholas E; Humphreys, Glyn; Nobre, Anna C

    2015-06-01

    Information of which observers are not consciously aware can nevertheless influence perceptual processes. Whether subliminal information might exert an influence on working memory (WM) representations is less clear, and relatively few studies have examined the interactions between subliminal and supraliminal information in WM. We present 3 experiments examining this issue. Experiments 1a and b replicated the finding that orientation stimuli can influence behavior subliminally in a visuomotor priming task. Experiments 2 and 3 used the same orientation stimuli, but participants had to remember a target orientation and report it back by adjusting a probe orientation after a memory delay. Before or after presentation of the target orientation, a subliminal or supraliminal distracter orientation was presented that was either irrelevant for task completion and never had to be reported (Experiment 2), or was relevant for task completion because it had to be reported on some trials (Experiment 3). In both experiments, presentation of a supraliminal distracter influenced WM recall of the target orientation. When the distracter was presented subliminally, however, there was no bias in orientation recall. These results suggest that information stored in WM is protected from influences of subliminal stimuli, while online information processing is modulated by subliminal information. PMID:25867502

  17. Working memory, fluid intelligence, and impulsiveness in heavy media multitaskers.

    PubMed

    Minear, Meredith; Brasher, Faith; McCurdy, Mark; Lewis, Jack; Younggren, Andrea

    2013-12-01

    Ophir, Nass, and Wagner (Proceedings of the National Association of Sciences 106:15583-15587, 2009) reported that individuals who routinely engage in multiple forms of media use are actually worse at multitasking, possibly due to difficulties in ignoring irrelevant stimuli, from both external sources and internal representations in memory. Using the media multitasking index (MMI) developed by Ophir et al., we identified heavy media multitaskers (HMMs) and light media multitaskers (LMMs) and tested them on measures of attention, working memory, task switching, and fluid intelligence, as well as self-reported impulsivity and self-control. We found that people who reported engaging in heavy amounts of media multitasking reported being more impulsive and performed more poorly on measures of fluid intelligence than did those who did not frequently engage in media multitasking. However, we could find no evidence to support the contention that HMMs are worse in a multitasking situation such as task switching or that they show any deficits in dealing with irrelevant or distracting information, as compared with LMMs. PMID:23722949

  18. Supraliminal But Not Subliminal Distracters Bias Working Memory Recall

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Information of which observers are not consciously aware can nevertheless influence perceptual processes. Whether subliminal information might exert an influence on working memory (WM) representations is less clear, and relatively few studies have examined the interactions between subliminal and supraliminal information in WM. We present 3 experiments examining this issue. Experiments 1a and b replicated the finding that orientation stimuli can influence behavior subliminally in a visuomotor priming task. Experiments 2 and 3 used the same orientation stimuli, but participants had to remember a target orientation and report it back by adjusting a probe orientation after a memory delay. Before or after presentation of the target orientation, a subliminal or supraliminal distracter orientation was presented that was either irrelevant for task completion and never had to be reported (Experiment 2), or was relevant for task completion because it had to be reported on some trials (Experiment 3). In both experiments, presentation of a supraliminal distracter influenced WM recall of the target orientation. When the distracter was presented subliminally, however, there was no bias in orientation recall. These results suggest that information stored in WM is protected from influences of subliminal stimuli, while online information processing is modulated by subliminal information. PMID:25867502

  19. Causes and consequences of limitations in visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Fallon, Sean James; Zokaei, Nahid; Husain, Masud

    2016-04-01

    Recent methodological and conceptual advances have led to a fundamental reappraisal of the nature of visual working memory (WM). A large corpus of evidence now suggests that there might not be a hard limit on the number of items that can be stored. Instead, WM may be better captured by a highly limited--but flexible--resource model. More resource can be allocated to prioritized items but, crucially, at a cost of reduced recall precision for other stored items. Expectations may modulate resource distribution, for example, through neural oscillations in the alpha band increasing inhibition of irrelevant cortical regions. Our understanding of the neural architecture of WM is also undergoing radical revision. Whereas the prefrontal cortex has previously dominated research endeavors, other cortical regions, such as early visual areas, are now considered to make an essential contribution, for example holding one or more items in a privileged state or "focus of attention" within WM. By contrast, the striatum is increasingly viewed as crucial in determining why and how items are gated into memory, while the hippocampus, it has controversially been argued, might be critical in the formation of temporally resilient conjunctions across features of stored items in WM. PMID:26773268

  20. Dynamical systems analysis applied to working memory data.

    PubMed

    Gasimova, Fidan; Robitzsch, Alexander; Wilhelm, Oliver; Boker, Steven M; Hu, Yueqin; Hülür, Gizem

    2014-01-01

    In the present paper we investigate weekly fluctuations in the working memory capacity (WMC) assessed over a period of 2 years. We use dynamical system analysis, specifically a second order linear differential equation, to model weekly variability in WMC in a sample of 112 9th graders. In our longitudinal data we use a B-spline imputation method to deal with missing data. The results show a significant negative frequency parameter in the data, indicating a cyclical pattern in weekly memory updating performance across time. We use a multilevel modeling approach to capture individual differences in model parameters and find that a higher initial performance level and a slower improvement at the MU task is associated with a slower frequency of oscillation. Additionally, we conduct a simulation study examining the analysis procedure's performance using different numbers of B-spline knots and values of time delay embedding dimensions. Results show that the number of knots in the B-spline imputation influence accuracy more than the number of embedding dimensions. PMID:25071657