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Sample records for ability working memory

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. Genome-Wide Analyses of Working-Memory Ability: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Knowles, E. E. M.; Mathias, S. R.; McKay, D. R.; Sprooten, E.; Blangero, John; Almasy, Laura; Glahn, D. C.

    2015-01-01

    Working memory, a theoretical construct from the field of cognitive psychology, is crucial to everyday life. It refers to the ability to temporarily store and manipulate task-relevant information. The identification of genes for working memory might shed light on the molecular mechanisms of this important cognitive ability and—given the genetic overlap between, for example, schizophrenia risk and working-memory ability—might also reveal important candidate genes for psychiatric illness. A number of genome-wide searches for genes that influence working memory have been conducted in recent years. Interestingly, the results of those searches converge on the mediating role of neuronal excitability in working-memory performance, such that the role of each gene highlighted by genome-wide methods plays a part in ion channel formation and/or dopaminergic signaling in the brain, with either direct or indirect influence on dopamine levels in the prefrontal cortex. This result dovetails with animal models of working memory that highlight the role of dynamic network connectivity, as mediated by dopaminergic signaling, in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Future work, which aims to characterize functional variants influencing working-memory ability, might choose to focus on those genes highlighted in the present review and also those networks in which the genes fall. Confirming gene associations and highlighting functional characterization of those associations might have implications for the understanding of normal variation in working-memory ability and also for the development of drugs for mental illness. PMID:25729637

  6. 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,…

  7. The Effects of Presentation Method and Information Density on Visual Search Ability and Working Memory Load

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chang, Ting-Wen; Kinshuk; Chen, Nian-Shing; Yu, Pao-Ta

    2012-01-01

    This study investigates the effects of successive and simultaneous information presentation methods on learner's visual search ability and working memory load for different information densities. Since the processing of information in the brain depends on the capacity of visual short-term memory (VSTM), the limited information processing capacity…

  8. Working Memory Capacity and Fluid Abilities: Examining the Correlation between Operation Span and Raven

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Unsworth, N.; Engle, R.W.

    2005-01-01

    The correlation between a measure of working memory capacity (WMC) (Operation Span) and a measure of fluid abilities (Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices) was examined. Specifically, performance on Raven problems was decomposed by difficulty, memory load, and rule type. The results suggest that the relation between Operation Span and Raven is…

  9. The Relations between Early Working Memory Abilities and Later Developing Reading Skills: A Longitudinal Study from Kindergarten to Fifth Grade

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nevo, Einat; Bar-Kochva, Irit

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated the relations of early working-memory abilities (phonological and visual-spatial short-term memory [STM] and complex memory and episodic buffer memory) and later developing reading skills. Sixty Hebrew-speaking children were followed from kindergarten through Grade 5. Working memory was tested in kindergarten and reading in…

  10. Sensitivity to Referential Ambiguity in Discourse: The Role of Attention, Working Memory, and Verbal Ability

    PubMed Central

    Boudewyn, Megan A.; Long, Debra L.; Traxler, Matthew J.; Lesh, Tyler A.; Dave, Shruti; Mangun, George R.; Carter, Cameron S.; Swaab, Tamara Y.

    2016-01-01

    The establishment of reference is essential to language comprehension. The goal of this study was to examine listeners’ sensitivity to referential ambiguity as a function of individual variation in attention, working memory capacity, and verbal ability. Participants listened to stories in which two entities were introduced that were either very similar (e.g., two oaks) or less similar (e.g., one oak and one elm). The manipulation rendered an anaphor in a subsequent sentence (e.g., oak) ambiguous or unambiguous. EEG was recorded as listeners comprehended the story, after which participants completed tasks to assess working memory, verbal ability, and the ability to use context in task performance. Power in the alpha and theta frequency bands when listeners received critical information about the discourse entities (e.g., oaks) was used to index attention and the involvement of the working memory system in processing the entities. These measures were then used to predict an ERP component that is sensitive to referential ambiguity, the Nref, which was recorded when listeners received the anaphor. Nref amplitude at the anaphor was predicted by alpha power during the earlier critical sentence: Individuals with increased alpha power in ambiguous compared with unambiguous stories were less sensitive to the anaphor's ambiguity. Verbal ability was also predictive of greater sensitivity to referential ambiguity. Finally, increased theta power in the ambiguous compared with unambiguous condition was associated with higher working-memory span. These results highlight the role of attention and working memory in referential processing during listening comprehension. PMID:26401815

  11. Age-related changes in working memory and the ability to ignore distraction.

    PubMed

    McNab, Fiona; Zeidman, Peter; Rutledge, Robb B; Smittenaar, Peter; Brown, Harriet R; Adams, Rick A; Dolan, Raymond J

    2015-05-19

    A weakened ability to effectively resist distraction is a potential basis for reduced working memory capacity (WMC) associated with healthy aging. Exploiting data from 29,631 users of a smartphone game, we show that, as age increases, working memory (WM) performance is compromised more by distractors presented during WM maintenance than distractors presented during encoding. However, with increasing age, the ability to exclude distraction at encoding is a better predictor of WMC in the absence of distraction. A significantly greater contribution of distractor filtering at encoding represents a potential compensation for reduced WMC in older age. PMID:25941369

  12. 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…

  13. Are Early Grammatical and Phonological Working Memory Abilities Affected by Preterm Birth?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sansavini, Alessandra; Guarini, Annalisa; Alessandroni, Rosina; Faldella, Giacomo; Giovanelli, Giuliana; Salvioli, Gianpaolo

    2007-01-01

    There have been few investigations of the effects of very immature preterm birth on specific linguistic competencies and phonological working memory at preschool age. Study 1 aimed to investigate early grammatical abilities in very immature healthy preterms, taking into account their cognitive development and biological and social factors. The…

  14. Early Adolescent Sexual Debut: The Mediating Role of Working Memory Ability, Sensation Seeking, and Impulsivity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Khurana, Atika; Romer, Daniel; Betancourt, Laura M.; Brodsky, Nancy L.; Giannetta, Joan M.; Hurt, Hallam

    2012-01-01

    Although deficits in working memory ability have been implicated in suboptimal decision making and risk taking among adolescents, its influence on early sexual initiation has so far not been examined. Analyzing 2 waves of panel data from a community sample of adolescents (N = 347; Mean age[subscript baseline] = 13.4 years), assessed 1 year apart,…

  15. Interference Control, Working Memory Capacity, and Cognitive Abilities: A Latent Variable Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Unsworth, Nash

    2010-01-01

    The present study examined whether various indices of interference control were related to one another and to other cognitive abilities. It was found that the interference control measures were weakly correlated and could form a single factor that was related to overall memory performance on the tasks as well as to measures of working memory…

  16. Individual Differences in Spatial Text Processing: High Spatial Ability Can Compensate for Spatial Working Memory Interference

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meneghetti, Chiara; Gyselinck, Valerie; Pazzaglia, Francesca; De Beni, Rossana

    2009-01-01

    The present study investigates the relation between spatial ability and visuo-spatial and verbal working memory in spatial text processing. In two experiments, participants listened to a spatial text (Experiments 1 and 2) and a non-spatial text (Experiment 1), at the same time performing a spatial or a verbal concurrent task, or no secondary task.…

  17. Early adolescent sexual debut: the mediating role of working memory ability, sensation seeking, and impulsivity.

    PubMed

    Khurana, Atika; Romer, Daniel; Betancourt, Laura M; Brodsky, Nancy L; Giannetta, Joan M; Hurt, Hallam

    2012-09-01

    Although deficits in working memory ability have been implicated in suboptimal decision making and risk taking among adolescents, its influence on early sexual initiation has so far not been examined. Analyzing 2 waves of panel data from a community sample of adolescents (N = 347; Mean age[baseline] = 13.4 years), assessed 1 year apart, the present study tested the hypothesis that weak working memory ability predicts early sexual initiation and explored whether this relationship is mediated by sensation seeking and 2 forms of impulsivity, namely acting-without-thinking and temporal discounting. The 2 forms of impulsivity were expected to be positively associated with early sexual initiation, whereas sensation seeking was hypothesized to be unrelated or to have a protective influence, due to its positive association with working memory. Results obtained from structural equation modeling procedures supported these predictions and in addition showed that the effects of 3 prominent risk factors (Black racial identity, low socioeconomic background, and early pubertal maturation) on early sexual initiation were entirely mediated by working memory and impulsivity. The findings are discussed in regard to their implications for preventing early sexual onset among adolescents. PMID:22369334

  18. Variability in visual working memory ability limits the efficiency of perceptual decision making

    PubMed Central

    Ester, Edward F.; Ho, Tiffany C.; Brown, Scott D.; Serences, John T.

    2014-01-01

    The ability to make rapid and accurate decisions based on limited sensory information is a critical component of visual cognition. Available evidence suggests that simple perceptual discriminations are based on the accumulation and integration of sensory evidence over time. However, the memory system(s) mediating this accumulation are unclear. One candidate system is working memory (WM), which enables the temporary maintenance of information in a readily accessible state. Here, we show that individual variability in WM capacity is strongly correlated with the speed of evidence accumulation in speeded two-alternative forced choice tasks. This relationship generalized across different decision-making tasks, and could not be easily explained by variability in general arousal or vigilance. Moreover, we show that performing a difficult discrimination task while maintaining a concurrent memory load has a deleterious effect on the latter, suggesting that WM storage and decision making are directly linked. PMID:24695991

  19. How do working-memory-related demand, reasoning ability and aversive reinforcement modulate conflict monitoring?

    PubMed Central

    Leue, Anja; Weber, Bernd; Beauducel, André

    2014-01-01

    Conflict monitoring is a process of stimulus evaluation and a pre-requisite for subsequent recruitment of cognitive control and behavioral adaptations. This study investigated how experimentally manipulated working-memory-related cognitive demand and aversive reinforcement modulate individual differences of conflict monitoring intensity and behavioral adjustments. Individual differences were assessed by means of an anxiety-related trait dimension (trait-BIS) and by means of reasoning abilities—a core determinant of intelligence. Moreover, we investigated the special role of verbal reasoning ability and figural reasoning ability for the modulation of the conflict monitoring intensity. Ninety participants performed a go/nogo task with four conditions each comprising a combination of low vs. high working-memory-related cognitive demand and low vs. high aversive reinforcement. No effect of aversive reinforcement was observed for the N2 amplitude. The fronto-central nogo N2 amplitude was more pronounced for high demand vs. low demand suggesting that cognitive demand served as an aversive costly event. Higher total reasoning abilities were associated with more intense conflict monitoring and shorter response times with increasing aversive reinforcement (defined as verbal error-feedback vs. monetary loss). Individuals with higher trait-BIS scores demonstrated a more intense conflict monitoring even in conditions with low aversive reinforcement and also a more cautious responding (i.e., response times slowing) with increasing aversive reinforcement indicating a focus on negative feedback prevention. The findings provide evidence for the conflict monitoring theory and suggest that working-memory-related demand overrules the impact of aversive reinforcement on conflict monitoring intensity. Reasoning abilities and anxiety-related traits go along with an intensification of conflict monitoring but differences in the flexibility of behavioral adjustment. PMID:24782739

  20. Dopamine D1 Sensitivity in the Prefrontal Cortex Predicts General Cognitive Abilities and is Modulated by Working Memory Training

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wass, Christopher; Pizzo, Alessandro; Sauce, Bruno; Kawasumi, Yushi; Sturzoiu, Tudor; Ree, Fred; Otto, Tim; Matzel, Louis D.

    2013-01-01

    A common source of variance (i.e., "general intelligence") underlies an individual's performance across diverse tests of cognitive ability, and evidence indicates that the processing efficacy of working memory may serve as one such source of common variance. One component of working memory, selective attention, has been reported to…

  1. Sex Differences in Mental Rotation and Spatial Visualization Ability: Can They Be Accounted for by Differences in Working Memory Capacity?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaufman, Scott Barry

    2007-01-01

    Sex differences in spatial ability are well documented, but poorly understood. In order to see whether working memory is an important factor in these differences, 50 males and 50 females performed tests of three-dimensional mental rotation and spatial visualization, along with tests of spatial and verbal working memory. Substantial differences…

  2. Improving working memory abilities in individuals with Down syndrome: a treatment case study

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Hiwet Mariam; Purser, Harry R. M.; Passolunghi, Maria Chiara

    2015-01-01

    Working memory (WM) skills of individuals with Down’s syndrome (DS) tend to be very poor compared to typically developing children of similar mental age. In particular, research has found that in individuals with DS visuo-spatial WM is better preserved than verbal WM. This study investigated whether it is possible to train short-term memory (STM) and WM abilities in individuals with DS. The cases of two teenage children are reported: EH, 17 years and 3 months, and AS, 15 years and 11 months. A school-based treatment targeting visuo-spatial WM was given to EH and AS for six weeks. Both prior to and after the treatment, they completed a set of assessments to measure WM abilities and their performance was compared with younger typically developing non-verbal mental age controls. The results showed that the trained participants improved their performance in some of the trained and non-trained WM tasks proposed, especially with regard to the tasks assessing visuo-spatial WM abilities. These findings are discussed on the basis of their theoretical, educational, and clinical implications. PMID:26441713

  3. No age deficits in the ability to use attention to improve visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Souza, Alessandra S

    2016-08-01

    Maintenance of information in mind to the moment-to-moment cognition is accomplished by working memory (WM). WM capacity is reduced in old age, but the nature of this decline is yet not clear. The current study examined the hypothesis that the decline in visual WM performance with age is related to a reduced ability to use attention to control the contents of WM. Young (M = 26 years) and old (M = 71 years) adults performed a color reproduction task in which the precise color of a set of dots had to be maintained in mind over a brief interval and later reproduced using a continuous color wheel. Attention was manipulated by presenting a spatial cue before the onset of the memory array (a precue) or during the maintenance phase (retro-cue). The cue indicated with 100% certainty the item to be tested at the end of the trial. A precue allows the selective encoding of only the relevant item to WM, whereas a retro-cue allows WM contents to be updated by refreshing the relevant (cued) item and removing nonrelevant (noncued) items. Aging was associated with a lower capacity in the baseline (no-cue) condition. Precues and (to a smaller extent) retro-cues improved WM performance (in terms of probability of recall and memory precision). Critically, the benefits of cueing were of similar magnitude in young and older adults showing that the ability to use attention to selectively encode and update the contents of WM is preserved with aging. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27253868

  4. Interactive Effects of Working Memory Self-Regulatory Ability and Relevance Instructions on Text Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hamilton, Nancy Jo

    2012-01-01

    Reading is a process that requires the enactment of many cognitive processes. Each of these processes uses a certain amount of working memory resources, which are severely constrained by biology. More efficiency in the function of working memory may mediate the biological limits of same. Reading relevancy instructions may be one such method to…

  5. The Development of Early Numeracy Ability in Kindergartners with Limited Working Memory Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Toll, Sylke W. M.; Van Luit, Johannes E. H.

    2013-01-01

    Research has proven limited working memory skills to be a high risk factor for educational underachievement in mathematics across the primary school years. Less is known, however, about the performance of children with limited working memory skills in early numeracy tasks. The main purpose of the two studies reported in this article is to explore…

  6. Spatial Working Memory Ability in Individuals at Ultra High Risk for Psychosis

    PubMed Central

    Goghari, Vina M.; Brett, Caroline; Tabraham, Paul; Johns, Louise; Valmaggia, Lucia; Broome, Matthew; Woolley, James; Bramon, Elvira; Howes, Oliver

    2014-01-01

    The goal of this investigation was to clarify the nature of spatial working memory difficulties in individuals at ultra high risk (UHR) for psychosis. We evaluated spatial working memory and intelligence in 96 individuals at UHR for psychosis, 28 patients with first episode psychosis (FEP), and 23 healthy controls. Fourteen UHR individuals developed a psychotic disorder during follow-up. Compared to controls, the UHR group was impaired in both the short-term maintenance of material and in the effective use of strategy, but not more immediate memory. These impairments were not as severe as those in the FEP group, as the UHR group performed better than the FEP group. A similar pattern of results was found for the intelligence measures. Discriminant function analyses demonstrated short-term maintenance of material significantly differentiated the UHR and healthy control groups even when accounting for full scale intelligence quotient (IQ); whereas full scale IQ significantly differentiated the UHR and FEP groups and FEP and control groups. Notably, within the UHR group, impaired spatial working memory performance was associated with lower global functioning, but not full scale IQ. The subgroup of UHR individuals who later developed psychosis was not significantly more impaired on any aspect of working memory performance than the group of UHR individuals who did not develop psychosis. Given, the relationship between spatial working memory deficits and functional outcome, these results indicate that cognitive remediation could be useful in individuals at UHR for psychosis to potentially improve functioning. PMID:24398256

  7. Individual Differences in Young Children's Suggestibility: Relations to Event Memory, Language Abilities, Working Memory, and Executive Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roebers, C.M.; Schneider, W.

    2005-01-01

    In this paper, two empirical studies are presented in which an attempt was made to explain individual differences in two different aspects of 4-year-olds' suggestibility, that is, their ability to resist false suggestions and memory impairments due to prior misinformation. As sources of individual differences cognitive skills along the information…

  8. The influence of cognitive reasoning level, cognitive restructuring ability, disembedding ability, working memory capacity, and prior knowledge on students' performance on balancing equations by inspection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Staver, John R.; Jacks, Tom

    Eighty-three (83) high school chemistry students were administered tests of cognitive reasoning level, cognitive restructuring ability, disembedding ability, working memory capacity, and prior knowledge before a learning segment on balancing chemical equations by inspection. After a four-day instructional segment utilizing direct teaching methodology, participants were given a posttest on balancing equations. Initial regression analysis indicated that a multicollinearity problem existed. Factor analysis and correlational data indicated that the reasoning, restructuring, and disembedding variables could be collapsed and redefined as a single restructuring variable. A hierarchial regression analysis was then performed, and the following conclusions were derived: (1) when prior knowledge alone is considered, students' understanding of chemical formulas significantly (p < 0.05) influences overall equation balancing performance; (2) when prior knowledge, restructuring, and working memory are considered, only restructuring ability significantly (p < 0.05) influences overall performance; (3) working memory capacity does not significantly (p < 0.05) influence overall performance but does on certain posttest items; (4) prior knowledge and restructuring ability also significantly (p < 0.05) influence performance on certain posttest items. Discussion includes the rationale for identifying the collapsed variable as restructuring and the absence of working memory capacity as a significant influence on overall performance.

  9. The Role of Working Memory in Spatial Text Processing: What Benefit of Imagery Strategy and Visuospatial Abilities?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gyselinck, Valerie; Meneghetti, Chiara; De Beni, Rossana; Pazzaglia, Francesca

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated the construction of a spatial model in relation to working memory (WM) and visuospatial abilities. Participants were trained to use either imagery or verbal strategies to process route spatial texts. Results obtained on a free recall task, a verification test and a graphic representation task showed the beneficial effect of…

  10. Relative Effects of Explicit and Implicit Feedback: The Role of Working Memory Capacity and Language Analytic Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yilmaz, Yucel

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of two cognitive factors (i.e. working memory capacity [WMC] and language analytic ability [LAA]) in the extent to which L2 learners benefit from two different types of feedback (i.e. explicit correction and recasts). Forty-eight adult native speakers of English, who had no previous exposure to…

  11. Working memory, reading ability and the effects of distance and typicality on anaphor resolution in children

    PubMed Central

    Joseph, Holly S. S. L.; Bremner, Georgina; Liversedge, Simon P.; Nation, Kate

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the time course of anaphor resolution in children and whether this is modulated by individual differences in working memory and reading skill. The eye movements of 30 children (10–11 years) were monitored as they read short paragraphs in which (1) the semantic typicality of an antecedent and (2) its distance in relation to an anaphor were orthogonally manipulated. Children showed effects of distance and typicality on the anaphor itself and also on the word to the right of the anaphor, suggesting that anaphoric processing begins immediately but continues after the eyes have left the anaphor. Furthermore, children showed no evidence of resolving anaphors in the most difficult condition (distant atypical antecedent), suggesting that anaphoric processing that is demanding may not occur online in children of this age. Finally, working memory capacity and reading comprehension skill affect the magnitude and time course of typicality and distance effects during anaphoric processing. PMID:26246891

  12. Test Anxiety Among College Students With Specific Reading Disability (Dyslexia): Nonverbal Ability and Working Memory as Predictors.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Jason M; Lindstrom, Will; Foels, Patricia A

    2015-01-01

    Test anxiety and its correlates were examined with college students with and without specific reading disability (RD; n = 50 in each group). Results indicated that college students with RD reported higher test anxiety than did those without RD, and the magnitude of these differences was in the medium range on two test anxiety scales. Relative to college students without RD, up to 5 times as many college students with RD reported clinically significant test anxiety. College students with RD reported significantly higher cognitively based test anxiety than physically based test anxiety. Reading skills, verbal ability, and processing speed were not correlated with test anxiety. General intelligence, nonverbal ability, and working memory were negatively correlated with test anxiety, and the magnitude of these correlations was medium to large. When these three cognitive constructs were considered together in multiple regression analyses, only working memory and nonverbal ability emerged as significant predictors and varied based on the test anxiety measure. Implications for assessment and intervention are discussed. PMID:24153402

  13. Phonological Working Memory in German Children with Poor Reading and Spelling Abilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steinbrink, Claudia; Klatte, Maria

    2008-01-01

    Deficits in verbal short-term memory have been identified as one factor underlying reading and spelling disorders. However, the nature of this deficit is still unclear. It has been proposed that poor readers make less use of phonological coding, especially if the task can be solved through visual strategies. In the framework of Baddeley's…

  14. Disentangling the effects of working memory, language, parental education, and non-verbal intelligence on children’s mathematical abilities

    PubMed Central

    Pina, Violeta; Fuentes, Luis J.; Castillo, Alejandro; Diamantopoulou, Sofia

    2014-01-01

    It is assumed that children’s performance in mathematical abilities is influenced by several factors such as working memory (WM), verbal ability, intelligence, and socioeconomic status. The present study explored the contribution of those factors to mathematical performance taking a componential view of both WM and mathematics. We explored the existing relationship between different WM components (verbal and spatial) with tasks that make differential recruitment of the central executive, and simple and complex mathematical skills in a sample of 102 children in grades 4–6. The main findings point to a relationship between the verbal WM component and complex word arithmetic problems, whereas language and non-verbal intelligence were associated with knowledge of quantitative concepts and arithmetic ability. The spatial WM component was associated with the subtest Series, whereas the verbal component was with the subtest Concepts. The results also suggest a positive relationship between parental educational level and children’s performance on Quantitative Concepts. These findings suggest that specific cognitive skills might be trained in order to improve different aspects of mathematical ability. PMID:24847306

  15. The Ability of Conceptual Monitoring and the Quality of Working Memory at Children With Calculation Difficulties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arsic, Sladjana; Eminovic, Fadilj; Stankovic, Ivona

    2011-01-01

    Calculia is considered to be the ability of performing arithmetic operations, the preconditions for the development of mathematical skills in the complex functioning of psychological functions represented in neuro-anatomical systems, as well in the interaction with the environment. Problems in acquiring arithmetic skills can be described as…

  16. On the Division of Short-Term and Working Memory: An Examination of Simple and Complex Span and Their Relation to Higher Order Abilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Unsworth, Nash; Engle, Randall W.

    2007-01-01

    Research has suggested that short-term memory and working memory (as measured by simple and complex span tasks, respectively) are separate constructs that are differentially related to higher order cognitive abilities. This claim is critically evaluated by reviewing research that has compared simple and complex span tasks in both experimental and…

  17. Transcoding abilities in typical and atypical mathematics achievers: the role of working memory and procedural and lexical competencies.

    PubMed

    Moura, Ricardo; Wood, Guilherme; Pinheiro-Chagas, Pedro; Lonnemann, Jan; Krinzinger, Helga; Willmes, Klaus; Haase, Vitor Geraldi

    2013-11-01

    Transcoding between numerical systems is one of the most basic abilities acquired by children during their early school years. One important topic that requires further exploration is how mathematics proficiency can affect number transcoding. The aim of the current study was to investigate transcoding abilities (i.e., reading Arabic numerals and writing dictation) in Brazilian children with and without mathematics difficulties, focusing on different school grades. We observed that children with learning difficulties in mathematics demonstrated lower achievement in number transcoding in both early and middle elementary school. In early elementary school, difficulties were observed in both the basic numerical lexicon and the management of numerical syntax. In middle elementary school, difficulties appeared mainly in the transcoding of more complex numbers. An error analysis revealed that the children with mathematics difficulties struggled mainly with the acquisition of transcoding rules. Although we confirmed the previous evidence on the impact of working memory capacity on number transcoding, we found that it did not fully account for the observed group differences. The results are discussed in the context of a maturational lag in number transcoding ability in children with mathematics difficulties. PMID:24007971

  18. The Predictive Ability of IQ and Working Memory Scores in Literacy in an Adult Population

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam; Gregory, David

    2013-01-01

    Literacy problems are highly prevalent and can persist into adulthood. Yet, the majority of research on the predictive nature of cognitive skills to literacy has primarily focused on development and adolescent populations. The aim of the present study was to extend existing research to investigate the roles of IQ scores and Working Memory…

  19. 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

  20. Working Memory Capacity and Recall from Long-Term Memory: Examining the Influences of Encoding Strategies, Study Time Allocation, Search Efficiency, and Monitoring Abilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Unsworth, Nash

    2016-01-01

    The relation between working memory capacity (WMC) and recall from long-term memory (LTM) was examined in the current study. Participants performed multiple measures of delayed free recall varying in presentation duration and self-reported their strategy usage after each task. Participants also performed multiple measures of WMC. The results…

  1. The Cognitive Building Blocks of Emotion Regulation: Ability to Update Working Memory Moderates the Efficacy of Rumination and Reappraisal on Emotion

    PubMed Central

    Pe, Madeline Lee; Raes, Filip; Kuppens, Peter

    2013-01-01

    The ability to regulate emotions is a critical component of healthy emotional functioning. Therefore, it is important to determine factors that contribute to the efficacy of emotion regulation. The present article examined whether the ability to update emotional information in working memory is a predictor of the efficacy of rumination and reappraisal on affective experience both at the trait level (Study 1) and in daily life (Study 2). In both studies, results revealed that the relationship between use of reappraisal and high arousal negative emotions was moderated by updating ability. Specifically, use of reappraisal was associated with decreased high arousal negative emotions for participants with high updating ability, while no significant relationship was found for those with low updating ability. In addition, both studies also revealed that the relationship between rumination and high arousal negative emotions was moderated by updating ability. In general, use of rumination was associated with elevated high arousal negative emotions. However, this relationship was blunted for participants with high updating ability. That is, use of rumination was associated with less elevated high arousal negative emotions for participants with high updating ability. These results identify the ability to update emotional information in working memory as a crucial process modulating the efficacy of emotion regulation efforts. PMID:23874872

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Investigating the Improvement of Decoding Abilities and Working Memory in Children with Incremental or Entity Personal Conceptions of Intelligence: Two Case Reports.

    PubMed

    Alesi, Marianna; Rappo, Gaetano; Pepi, Annamaria

    2015-01-01

    One of the most significant current discussions has led to the hypothesis that domain-specific training programs alone are not enough to improve reading achievement or working memory abilities. Incremental or Entity personal conceptions of intelligence may be assumed to be an important prognostic factor to overcome domain-specific deficits. Specifically, incremental students tend to be more oriented toward change and autonomy and are able to adopt more efficacious strategies. This study aims at examining the effect of personal conceptions of intelligence to strengthen the efficacy of a multidimensional intervention program in order to improve decoding abilities and working memory. Participants included two children (M age = 10 years) with developmental dyslexia and different conceptions of intelligence. The children were tested on a whole battery of reading and spelling tests commonly used in the assessment of reading disabilities in Italy. Afterwards, they were given a multimedia test to measure motivational factors such as conceptions of intelligence and achievement goals. The children took part in the T.I.R.D. Multimedia Training for the Rehabilitation of Dyslexia (Rappo and Pepi, 2010) reinforced by specific units to improve verbal working memory for 3 months. This training consisted of specific tasks to rehabilitate both visual and phonological strategies (sound blending, word segmentation, alliteration test and rhyme test, letter recognition, digraph recognition, trigraph recognition, and word recognition as samples of visual tasks) and verbal working memory (rapid words and non-words recognition). Posttest evaluations showed that the child holding the incremental theory of intelligence improved more than the child holding a static representation. On the whole this study highlights the importance of treatment programs in which both specificity of deficits and motivational factors are both taken into account. There is a need to plan multifaceted intervention

  7. Investigating the Improvement of Decoding Abilities and Working Memory in Children with Incremental or Entity Personal Conceptions of Intelligence: Two Case Reports

    PubMed Central

    Alesi, Marianna; Rappo, Gaetano; Pepi, Annamaria

    2016-01-01

    One of the most significant current discussions has led to the hypothesis that domain-specific training programs alone are not enough to improve reading achievement or working memory abilities. Incremental or Entity personal conceptions of intelligence may be assumed to be an important prognostic factor to overcome domain-specific deficits. Specifically, incremental students tend to be more oriented toward change and autonomy and are able to adopt more efficacious strategies. This study aims at examining the effect of personal conceptions of intelligence to strengthen the efficacy of a multidimensional intervention program in order to improve decoding abilities and working memory. Participants included two children (M age = 10 years) with developmental dyslexia and different conceptions of intelligence. The children were tested on a whole battery of reading and spelling tests commonly used in the assessment of reading disabilities in Italy. Afterwards, they were given a multimedia test to measure motivational factors such as conceptions of intelligence and achievement goals. The children took part in the T.I.R.D. Multimedia Training for the Rehabilitation of Dyslexia (Rappo and Pepi, 2010) reinforced by specific units to improve verbal working memory for 3 months. This training consisted of specific tasks to rehabilitate both visual and phonological strategies (sound blending, word segmentation, alliteration test and rhyme test, letter recognition, digraph recognition, trigraph recognition, and word recognition as samples of visual tasks) and verbal working memory (rapid words and non-words recognition). Posttest evaluations showed that the child holding the incremental theory of intelligence improved more than the child holding a static representation. On the whole this study highlights the importance of treatment programs in which both specificity of deficits and motivational factors are both taken into account. There is a need to plan multifaceted intervention

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. Self-reported strategies in decisions under risk: role of feedback, reasoning abilities, executive functions, short-term-memory, and working memory.

    PubMed

    Schiebener, Johannes; Brand, Matthias

    2015-11-01

    In decisions under objective risk conditions information about the decision options' possible outcomes and the rules for outcomes' occurrence are provided. Thus, deciders can base decision-making strategies on probabilistic laws. In many laboratory decision-making tasks, choosing the option with the highest winning probability in all trials (=maximization strategy) is probabilistically regarded the most rational behavior. However, individuals often behave less optimal, especially in case the individuals have lower cognitive functions or in case no feedback about consequences is provided in the situation. It is still unclear which cognitive functions particularly predispose individuals for using successful strategies and which strategies profit from feedback. We investigated 195 individuals with two decision-making paradigms, the Game of Dice Task (GDT) (with and without feedback), and the Card Guessing Game. Thereafter, participants reported which strategies they had applied. Interaction effects (feedback × strategy), effect sizes, and uncorrected single group comparisons suggest that feedback in the GDT tended to be more beneficial to individuals reporting exploratory strategies (e.g., use intuition). In both tasks, the self-reported use of more principled and more rational strategies was accompanied by better decision-making performance and better performances in reasoning and executive functioning tasks. The strategy groups did not significantly differ in most short-term and working-memory tasks. Thus, particularly individual differences in reasoning and executive functions seem to predispose individuals toward particular decision-making strategies. Feedback seems to be useful for individuals who rather explore the decision-making situation instead of following a certain plan. PMID:26289475

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. Relationships among selected physical science misconceptions held by preservice elementary teachers and four variables: Formal reasoning ability, working memory capacity, verbal intelligence, and field dependence/independence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffin, Leslie Little

    The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship of selected cognitive abilities and physical science misconceptions held by preservice elementary teachers. The cognitive abilities under investigation were: formal reasoning ability as measured by the Lawson Classroom Test of Formal Reasoning (Lawson, 1978); working memory capacity as measured by the Figural Intersection Test (Burtis & Pascual-Leone, 1974); verbal intelligence as measured by the Acorn National Academic Aptitude Test: Verbal Intelligence (Kobal, Wrightstone, & Kunze, 1944); and field dependence/independence as measured by the Group Embedded Figures Test (Witkin, Oltman, & Raskin, 1971). The number of physical science misconceptions held by preservice elementary teachers was measured by the Misconceptions in Science Questionnaire (Franklin, 1992). The data utilized in this investigation were obtained from 36 preservice elementary teachers enrolled in two sections of a science methods course at a small regional university in the southeastern United States. Multiple regression techniques were used to analyze the collected data. The following conclusions were reached following an analysis of the data. The variables of formal reasoning ability and verbal intelligence were identified as having significant relationships, both individually and in combination, to the dependent variable of selected physical science misconceptions. Though the correlations were not high enough to yield strong predictors of physical science misconceptions or strong relationships, they were of sufficient magnitude to warrant further investigation. It is recommended that further investigation be conducted replicating this study with a larger sample size. In addition, experimental research should be implemented to explore the relationships suggested in this study between the cognitive variables of formal reasoning ability and verbal intelligence and the dependent variable of selected physical science misconceptions

  16. Event Segmentation Ability Uniquely Predicts Event Memory

    PubMed Central

    Sargent, Jesse Q.; Zacks, Jeffrey M.; Hambrick, David Z.; Zacks, Rose T.; Kurby, Christopher A.; Bailey, Heather R.; Eisenberg, Michelle L.; Beck, Taylor M.

    2013-01-01

    Memory for everyday events plays a central role in tasks of daily living, autobiographical memory, and planning. Event memory depends in part on segmenting ongoing activity into meaningful units. This study examined the relationship between event segmentation and memory in a lifespan sample to answer the following question: Is the ability to segment activity into meaningful events a unique predictor of subsequent memory, or is the relationship between event perception and memory accounted for by general cognitive abilities? Two hundred and eight adults ranging from 20 to 79 years old segmented movies of everyday events and attempted to remember the events afterwards. They also completed psychometric ability tests and tests measuring script knowledge for everyday events. Event segmentation and script knowledge both explained unique variance in event memory above and beyond the psychometric measures, and did so as strongly in older as in younger adults. These results suggest that event segmentation is a basic cognitive mechanism, important for memory across the lifespan. PMID:23942350

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. [Rheumatic diseases and work ability].

    PubMed

    Minisola, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    Musculoskeletal diseases are tile most frequent cause of pain in the working population. Rheumatic diseases are chronic illnesses, cause of functional impairnment, relevant working disability and absence from work; however, affected patients maintain a significant functional ability. In this context, the "Fit for work" project, operating in Italy since 2012, promotes the management of chronic musculoskeletal conditions through the realization, also in our country, of a rheumatic medical assistance network in behalf of workers affected by rheumatic diseases and other musculoskeletal disabiliting conditions. PMID:25558722

  2. The contributions of memory and attention processes to cognitive abilities.

    PubMed

    Rockstroh, S; Schweizer, K

    2001-01-01

    In two experiments, the contributions of memory and attention processes to the cognitive abilities of reasoning and perceptual speed were investigated. Two measures of speed of information retrieval from long-term and short-term memory (Posner paradigm, Sternberg paradigm) and two attention measures (continuous attention test, attention switching test) were included in the first experiment (N = 220). The memory tests led to correlations with the measures of cognitive abilities, whereas the attention test did not. The same tests as well as one additional memory test and one attention test (working memory test, test of covert orientation) were administered in the second experiment (N = 116). Again, the memory tests led to the larger correlations with the measures of cognitive abilities. Two components were obtained in components analysis, of which the first was characterized by high loadings of the memory tests and the second by high loadings of the attention tests. Only the memory component contributed to the prediction of cognitive abilities. PMID:11277445

  3. 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

  4. 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

  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. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. Working memory capacity accounts for the ability to switch between object-based and location-based allocation of visual attention.

    PubMed

    Bleckley, M Kathryn; Foster, Jeffrey L; Engle, Randall W

    2015-04-01

    Bleckley, Durso, Crutchfield, Engle, and Khanna (Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 10, 884-889, 2003) found that visual attention allocation differed between groups high or low in working memory capacity (WMC). High-span, but not low-span, subjects showed an invalid-cue cost during a letter localization task in which the letter appeared closer to fixation than the cue, but not when the letter appeared farther from fixation than the cue. This suggests that low-spans allocated attention as a spotlight, whereas high-spans allocated their attention to objects. In this study, we tested whether utilizing object-based visual attention is a resource-limited process that is difficult for low-span individuals. In the first experiment, we tested the uses of object versus location-based attention with high and low-span subjects, with half of the subjects completing a demanding secondary load task. Under load, high-spans were no longer able to use object-based visual attention. A second experiment supported the hypothesis that these differences in allocation were due to high-spans using object-based allocation, whereas low-spans used location-based allocation. PMID:25421317

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. Memory styles and related abilities in presentation of self.

    PubMed

    Sehulster, J R

    1995-01-01

    The notion of a person's memory style (elaborated in Sehulster, 1988) was investigated as it relates to the presentation of self. A memory style is defined as a combination of a subject's (perceived) ability in verbal memory, auto- biographical memory, and prospective memory, as measured by the Memory Scale (Sehulster, 1981b). In addition to filling out the Memory Scale, 325 subjects completed a 72-item questionnaire that tapped descriptions of abilities and experiences. The range of abilities and experiences was drawn loosely from Gardner's (1985) notion of multiple intelligences. Distinct patterns of self-report were observed for different memory styles. For instance, a love of listening to music was associated with the memory style that is high in both verbal and autobiographical memory but low in prospective memory; a love for numbers and mathematics was associated with the memory style that is high in both verbal and prospective memory but low in autobiographical memory. The results suggest broad individual differences in information processing. Gender differences are discussed in relation to memory styles. PMID:7733413

  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. 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.

  20. [Occupational complexity and late-life memory and reasoning abilities].

    PubMed

    Ishioka, Yoshiko; Gondo, Yasuyuki; Masui, Yukie; Nakagawa, Takeshi; Tabuchi, Megumi; Ogawa, Madoka; Kamide, Kei; Ikebe, Kazunori; Arai, Yasumichi; Ishizaki, Tatsuro; Takahashi, Ryutaro

    2015-08-01

    This study examined the associations between the complexity of an individual's primary lifetime occupation and his or her late-life memory and reasoning performance, using data from 824 community-dwelling participants aged 69-72 years. The complexity of work with data, people, and things was evaluated based on the Japanese job complexity score. The associations between occupational complexity and participant's memory and reasoning abilities were examined in multiple regression analyses. An association was found between more comple work with people and higher memory performance, as well as between more complex work with data and higher reasoning performance, after having controlled for gender, school records, and education. Further, an interaction effect was observed between gender and complexity of work with data in relation to reasoning performance: work involving a high degree of complexity with data was associated with high reasoning performance in men. These findings suggest the need to consider late-life cognitive functioning within the context of adulthood experiences, specifically those related to occupation and gender. PMID:26402953

  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. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. False memory susceptibility is correlated with categorisation ability in humans

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, Kathryn; Chittka, Lars

    2014-01-01

    Our memory is often surprisingly inaccurate, with errors ranging from misremembering minor details of events to generating illusory memories of entire episodes. The pervasiveness of such false memories generates a puzzle: in the face of selection pressure for accuracy of memory, how could such systematic failures have persisted over evolutionary time? It is possible that memory errors are an inevitable by-product of our adaptive memories and that semantic false memories are specifically connected to our ability to learn rules and concepts and to classify objects by category memberships. Here we test this possibility using a standard experimental false memory paradigm and inter-individual variation in verbal categorisation ability. Indeed it turns out that the error scores are significantly negatively correlated, with those individuals scoring fewer errors on the categorisation test being more susceptible to false memory intrusions in a free recall test. A similar trend, though not significant, was observed between individual categorisation ability and false memory susceptibility in a word recognition task. Our results therefore indicate that false memories, to some extent, might be a by-product of our ability to learn rules, categories and concepts. PMID:25254105

  6. 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

  7. Work Ability of Finnish Physical Education Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mäkelä, Kasper; Hirvensalo, Mirja

    2015-01-01

    In the physical education (PE) teachers' profession, physical tasks comprise a large part of the job. PE teachers identify their health as good, and they are satisfied with their job. Nevertheless, the work ability of PE teachers may be decreasing. Purpose: The purpose of this article was to explore the work ability of Finnish PE teachers. What…

  8. Neuropsychological assessment in illiterates: visuospatial and memory abilities.

    PubMed

    Ardila, A; Rosselli, M; Rosas, P

    1989-11-01

    A basic neuropsychological battery of visuospatial and memory abilities was administered to extreme educational groups (illiterates and professionals). Subjects were matched according to sex and age. The following visuospatial tasks were included: figure copy (cube, house, and Rey-Osterrieth complex figure), telling time, recognition of superimposed figures, recognition of a map, and drawing of the plan of the room. The following memory tasks were used: basic information, digit retention (forward and backward), memory curve, delayed verbal recall, sentence repetition, logical memory, delayed logical memory, immediate recall of the Rey-Osterrieth complex figure, immediate reproduction of a cube, visuospatial memory, and sequential memory. In visuospatial tasks all differences between the two groups were statistically significant. Five of the seven visuospatial tasks (all but telling time and recognition of superimposed figures) showed differences between age groups with a better performance found in the younger groups and four of the tasks (cube, house, Rey-Osterrith complex figure copying, and telling time) were significant between sexes with a better performance in men. In memory tasks, with the exception of the immediate memory of sentences, all tasks showed statistically significant differences between educational groups. Eight of the 13 memory tasks (digits forward and backward, delayed memory of words, immediate and delayed logical memory, Rey-Osterrieth immediate memory, cube immediate memory, and sequential memory) showed significant differences for age while 4 of the tasks (digits backward, memory curve, Rey-Osterrieth immediate memory, and cube immediate memory) were significant for sex. Results are analyzed with regard to current theories in cognitive psychology and anthropology. Emphasis is placed on the finding that cognitive skills usually examined by neuropsychological tests represent learned and highly trained abilities. PMID:2803759

  9. 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…

  10. Age-Related Declines in General Cognitive Abilities of Balb/C Mice and General Activity Are Associated with Disparities in Working Memory, Body Weight, and General Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matzel, Louis D.; Grossman, Henya; Light, Kenneth; Townsend, David; Kolata, Stefan

    2008-01-01

    A defining characteristic of age-related cognitive decline is a deficit in general cognitive performance. Here we use a testing and analysis regimen that allows us to characterize the general learning abilities of young (3-5 mo old) and aged (19-21 mo old) male and female Balb/C mice. Animals' performance was assessed on a battery of seven diverse…

  11. 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…

  12. Basic Structure of Work-Relevant Abilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prediger, Dale J.

    This study sought to determine whether the dimensions underlying a comprehensive set of 15 work-relevant abilities were similar to the Data/Ideas and Things/People Work Task Dimensions (D. J. Prediger, 1996) underlying J. L. Holland's (1997) hexagonal model of interest and occupational types. The work task dimensions and a general ability…

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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,…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Effects of Age and Ability on Self-Reported Memory Functioning and Knowledge of Memory Aging

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reese, Celinda M.; Cherry, Katie E.

    2006-01-01

    The authors examined the effects of age and ability (as measured by education and verbal ability) on self-reported memory functioning in adulthood. In Study 1, the age and ability groups responded similarly to the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (D. E. Broadbent, P. F. Cooper, P. Fitzgerald, & K. R. Parkes, 1982), but differences emerged when the…

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Memory Abilities in Williams Syndrome: Dissociation or Developmental Delay Hypothesis?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sampaio, Adriana; Sousa, Nuno; Fernandez, Montse; Henriques, Margarida; Goncalves, Oscar F.

    2008-01-01

    Williams syndrome (WS) is a neurodevelopmental genetic disorder often described as being characterized by a dissociative cognitive architecture, in which profound impairments of visuo-spatial cognition contrast with relative preservation of linguistic, face recognition and auditory short-memory abilities. This asymmetric and dissociative cognition…

  4. 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

  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. 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

  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. Mutation of Dcdc2 in mice leads to impairments in auditory processing and memory ability.

    PubMed

    Truong, D T; Che, A; Rendall, A R; Szalkowski, C E; LoTurco, J J; Galaburda, A M; Holly Fitch, R

    2014-11-01

    Dyslexia is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired reading ability despite normal intellect, and is associated with specific difficulties in phonological and rapid auditory processing (RAP), visual attention and working memory. Genetic variants in Doublecortin domain-containing protein 2 (DCDC2) have been associated with dyslexia, impairments in phonological processing and in short-term/working memory. The purpose of this study was to determine whether sensory and behavioral impairments can result directly from mutation of the Dcdc2 gene in mice. Several behavioral tasks, including a modified pre-pulse inhibition paradigm (to examine auditory processing), a 4/8 radial arm maze (to assess/dissociate working vs. reference memory) and rotarod (to examine sensorimotor ability and motor learning), were used to assess the effects of Dcdc2 mutation. Behavioral results revealed deficits in RAP, working memory and reference memory in Dcdc2(del2/del2) mice when compared with matched wild types. Current findings parallel clinical research linking genetic variants of DCDC2 with specific impairments of phonological processing and memory ability. PMID:25130614

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Language and memory abilities of internationally adopted children from China: evidence for early age effects.

    PubMed

    Delcenserie, Audrey; Genesee, Fred

    2014-11-01

    The goal of the present study was to examine if internationally adopted (IA) children from China (M = 10;8) adopted by French-speaking families exhibit lags in verbal memory in addition to lags in verbal abilities documented in previous studies (Gauthier & Genesee, 2011). Tests assessing verbal and non-verbal memory, language, non-verbal cognitive ability, and socio-emotional development were administered to thirty adoptees. Their results were compared to those of thirty non-adopted monolingual French-speaking children matched on age, gender, and socioeconomic status. The IA children scored significantly lower than the controls on language, verbal short-term memory, verbal working memory, and verbal long-term memory. No group differences were found on non-verbal memory, non-verbal cognitive ability, and socio-emotional development, suggesting language-specific difficulties. Despite extended exposure to French, adoptees may experience language difficulties due to limitations in verbal memory, possibly as a result of their delayed exposure to that language and/or attrition of the birth language. PMID:24168794

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Suppressing Irrelevant Information from Working Memory: Evidence for Domain-Specific Deficits in Poor Comprehenders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pimperton, Hannah; Nation, Kate

    2010-01-01

    Previous research has suggested that children with specific reading comprehension deficits (poor comprehenders) show an impaired ability to suppress irrelevant information from working memory, with this deficit detrimentally impacting on their working memory ability, and consequently limiting their reading comprehension performance. However, the…

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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)

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Simple and Complex Memory Spans and Their Relation to Fluid Abilities: Evidence from List-Length Effects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Unsworth, Nash; Engle, Randall W.

    2006-01-01

    Complex (working memory) span tasks have generally shown larger and more consistent correlations with higher-order cognition than have simple (or short-term memory) span tasks. The relation between verbal complex and simple verbal span tasks to fluid abilities as a function of list-length was examined. The results suggest that the simple…

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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. 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

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Effects of aging on interference control in selective attention and working memory.

    PubMed

    Cansino, Selene; Guzzon, Daniela; Martinelli, Massimiliano; Barollo, Michele; Casco, Clara

    2011-11-01

    Working memory decay in advanced age has been attributed to a concurrent decrease in the ability to control interference. The present study contrasted a form of interference control in selective attention that acts upon the perception of external stimuli (access) with another form that operates on internal representations in working memory (deletion), in order to determine both of their effects on working memory efficiency in younger and older adults. Additionally, we compared memory performance under these access and deletion functions to performance in their respective control conditions. The results indicated that memory accuracy improved in both age groups from the access functions, but that only young adults benefited from the deletion functions. In addition, intrusion effects in the deletion condition were larger in older than in younger adults. The ability to control the irrelevant perception- and memory-elicited interference did not decline in general with advancing age; rather, the control mechanisms that operate on internal memory representations declined specifically. PMID:21557003

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Working memory, reading, and mathematical skills in children with developmental coordination disorder.

    PubMed

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam

    2007-01-01

    The aim of the present study was investigate the relationship between working memory and reading and mathematical skills in 55 children diagnosed with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). The findings indicate a pervasive memory deficit in all memory measures. In particular, deficits observed in visuospatial short-term and working memory tasks were significantly worse than in the verbal short-term memory ones. On the basis of these deficits, the sample was divided into high and low visuospatial memory ability groups. The low visuospatial memory group performed significantly worse on the attainment measures compared to the high visuospatial memory group, even when the contribution of IQ was taken into account. When the sample was divided into high and low verbal working memory ability groups, verbal working memory skills made a unique contribution to attainment only when verbal IQ was taken into account, but not when performance IQ was statistically controlled. It is possible that the processing demands of the working memory tasks together with the active motor component reflected in the visuospatial memory tasks and performance IQ subtest both play a crucial role in learning in children with DCD. PMID:17010988

  8. 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…

  9. Rehabilitation of verbal memory by means of preserved nonverbal memory abilities after epilepsy surgery

    PubMed Central

    Mosca, C.; Zoubrinetzy, R.; Baciu, M.; Aguilar, L.; Minotti, L.; Kahane, P.; Perrone-Bertolotti, M.

    2014-01-01

    We present a patient with epilepsy who underwent left anterior temporal cortex resection, sparing the hippocampus, to stop drug-refractory seizures. Given that one year after surgery the patient showed verbal memory difficulties, we proposed a short (twelve weeks) and intensive (two times a week) training based on visual imagery strategies as the nonverbal memory abilities were preserved. Neuropsychological and fMRI assessments were performed before and after rehabilitation to evaluate the cognitive progress and cerebral modifications induced by this rehabilitation program. Our results showed that the rehabilitation program improved both scores for verbal memory and the everyday quality of life. Changes in cerebral activity highlighted by fMRI suggest that the program might have facilitated the development of compensatory strategies, as reflected by the shift of activation from the anterior to the posterior cerebral network during a verbal memory task. One year after the rehabilitation program, the patient reported using mental imagery in everyday life for routine and professional activities. Although supplementary evidence is necessary to increase the robustness of these findings, this case report suggests that an efficient rehabilitation program is feasible and (a) should be based on the individual cognitive profile and on the preserved cognitive abilities, (b) can be short but intensive, (c) can be applied even months after the lesion occurrence, and (d) can induce a positive effect which may be sustainable over time. PMID:25667899

  10. Rehabilitation of verbal memory by means of preserved nonverbal memory abilities after epilepsy surgery.

    PubMed

    Mosca, C; Zoubrinetzy, R; Baciu, M; Aguilar, L; Minotti, L; Kahane, P; Perrone-Bertolotti, M

    2014-01-01

    We present a patient with epilepsy who underwent left anterior temporal cortex resection, sparing the hippocampus, to stop drug-refractory seizures. Given that one year after surgery the patient showed verbal memory difficulties, we proposed a short (twelve weeks) and intensive (two times a week) training based on visual imagery strategies as the nonverbal memory abilities were preserved. Neuropsychological and fMRI assessments were performed before and after rehabilitation to evaluate the cognitive progress and cerebral modifications induced by this rehabilitation program. Our results showed that the rehabilitation program improved both scores for verbal memory and the everyday quality of life. Changes in cerebral activity highlighted by fMRI suggest that the program might have facilitated the development of compensatory strategies, as reflected by the shift of activation from the anterior to the posterior cerebral network during a verbal memory task. One year after the rehabilitation program, the patient reported using mental imagery in everyday life for routine and professional activities. Although supplementary evidence is necessary to increase the robustness of these findings, this case report suggests that an efficient rehabilitation program is feasible and (a) should be based on the individual cognitive profile and on the preserved cognitive abilities, (b) can be short but intensive, (c) can be applied even months after the lesion occurrence, and (d) can induce a positive effect which may be sustainable over time. PMID:25667899

  11. Children's Use of Semantic Organizational Strategies Is Mediated by Working Memory Capacity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schleepen, Tamara M. J.; Jonkman, Lisa M.

    2012-01-01

    In adults, the ability to apply semantic grouping strategies has been found to depend on working memory. To investigate this relation in children, two sort-recall tasks (one without and one with a grouping instruction) were administered to 6-12-year-olds. The role of working memory was examined by means of mediation analyses and by assessing…

  12. Involvement of Working Memory in Longitudinal Development of Number-Magnitude Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kolkman, Meijke E.; Kroesbergen, Evelyn H.; Leseman, Paul P. M.

    2014-01-01

    The ability to connect numbers and magnitudes is an important prerequisite for math learning, here referred to as number-magnitude skills. It has been proposed that working memory plays an important role in constructing these connections. The aim of the current study was to examine if working memory accounts for constructing these connections by…

  13. A Common Neural Substrate for Language Production and Verbal Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Acheson, Daniel J.; Hamidi, Massihullah; Binder, Jeffrey R.; Postle, Bradley R.

    2011-01-01

    Verbal working memory (VWM), the ability to maintain and manipulate representations of speech sounds over short periods, is held by some influential models to be independent from the systems responsible for language production and comprehension [e.g., Baddeley, A. D. "Working memory, thought, and action." New York, NY: Oxford University Press,…

  14. Working Memory and Literacy as Predictors of Performance on Algebraic Word Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Kerry; Ng, Swee-Fong; Ng, Ee-Lynn; Lim, Zee-Ying

    2004-01-01

    Previous studies on individual differences in mathematical abilities have shown that working memory contributes to early arithmetic performance. In this study, we extended the investigation to algebraic word problem solving. A total of 151 10-year-olds were administered algebraic word problems and measures of working memory, intelligence quotient…

  15. Task Experience and Children's Working Memory Performance: A Perspective from Recall Timing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Towse, John N.; Cowan, Nelson; Horton, Neil J.; Whytock, Shealagh

    2008-01-01

    Working memory is an important theoretical construct among children, and measures of its capacity predict a range of cognitive skills and abilities. Data from 9- and 11-year-old children illustrate how a chronometric analysis of recall can complement and elaborate recall accuracy in advancing our understanding of working memory. A reading span…

  16. Utilizing Computerized Cognitive Training to Improve Working Memory and Encoding: Piloting a School-Based Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiest, Dudley J.; Wong, Eugene H.; Minero, Laura P.; Pumaccahua, Tessy T.

    2014-01-01

    Working memory has been well documented as a significant predictor of academic outcomes (e.g., reading and math achievement as well as general life outcomes). The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of computerized cognitive training to improve both working memory and encoding abilities in a school setting. Thirty students…

  17. How Quickly They Forget: The Relationship between Forgetting and Working Memory Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bayliss, Donna M.; Jarrold, Christopher

    2015-01-01

    This study examined the contribution of individual differences in rate of forgetting to variation in working memory performance in children. One hundred and twelve children (mean age 9 years 4 months) completed 2 tasks designed to measure forgetting, as well as measures of working memory, processing efficiency, and short-term storage ability.…

  18. 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

  19. 20 CFR 604.4 - Application-ability to work.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 3 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Application-ability to work. 604.4 Section... ELIGIBILITY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION § 604.4 Application—ability to work. (a) A State may consider an individual to be able to work during the week of unemployment claimed if the individual is able to work...

  20. 20 CFR 604.4 - Application-ability to work.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 3 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Application-ability to work. 604.4 Section... ELIGIBILITY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION § 604.4 Application—ability to work. (a) A State may consider an individual to be able to work during the week of unemployment claimed if the individual is able to work...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. The role of speed versus working memory in predicting learning new information in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Chiaravalloti, Nancy D; Stojanovic-Radic, Jelena; DeLuca, John

    2013-01-01

    The most common cognitive impairments in multiple sclerosis (MS) have been documented in specific domains, including new learning and memory, working memory, and information processing speed. However, little attempt has been made to increase our understanding of their relationship to one another. While recent studies have shown that processing speed impacts new learning and memory abilities in MS, the role of working memory in this relationship has received less attention. The present study examines the relative contribution of impaired working memory versus processing speed in new learning and memory functions in MS. Participants consisted of 51 individuals with clinically definite MS. Participants completed two measures of processing speed, two measures of working memory, and two measures of episodic memory. Data were analyzed via correlational and multiple regression analysis. Results indicate that the variance in new learning abilities in this sample was primarily associated with processing speed, with working memory exerting much less of an influence. Results are discussed in terms of the role of cognitive rehabilitation of new learning and memory abilities in persons with MS. PMID:23350959

  5. The development of working memory from kindergarten to first grade in children with different decoding skills.

    PubMed

    Nevo, Einat; Breznitz, Zvia

    2013-02-01

    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 grade. A sample of 97 children who participated in Nevo and Breznitz's earlier study [Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 109 (2011) 73-90] were divided into two groups according to their decoding skills, resulting in 24 poor decoders and 73 typical decoders. The entire cohort improved significantly on all of the working memory measures from kindergarten to first grade, with the phonological complex memory at both time points showing the highest correlations with reading skills at first grade. However, there were differences found between the two decoding groups, with poor decoders exhibiting lower working memory abilities in most working memory measures, performing significantly lower on tests of all three reading skills (decoding, reading comprehension, and reading speed), and showing higher correlation coefficients between reading skills. Findings suggest that even before formal teaching of reading begins, it is important to reinforce working memory abilities in order to maximize future reading achievements. PMID:23073369

  6. 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

  7. Effective Visual Working Memory Capacity: An Emergent Effect from the Neural Dynamics in an Attractor Network

    PubMed Central

    Dempere-Marco, Laura; Melcher, David P.; Deco, Gustavo

    2012-01-01

    The study of working memory capacity is of outmost importance in cognitive psychology as working memory is at the basis of general cognitive function. Although the working memory capacity limit has been thoroughly studied, its origin still remains a matter of strong debate. Only recently has the role of visual saliency in modulating working memory storage capacity been assessed experimentally and proved to provide valuable insights into working memory function. In the computational arena, attractor networks have successfully accounted for psychophysical and neurophysiological data in numerous working memory tasks given their ability to produce a sustained elevated firing rate during a delay period. Here we investigate the mechanisms underlying working memory capacity by means of a biophysically-realistic attractor network with spiking neurons while accounting for two recent experimental observations: 1) the presence of a visually salient item reduces the number of items that can be held in working memory, and 2) visually salient items are commonly kept in memory at the cost of not keeping as many non-salient items. Our model suggests that working memory capacity is determined by two fundamental processes: encoding of visual items into working memory and maintenance of the encoded items upon their removal from the visual display. While maintenance critically depends on the constraints that lateral inhibition imposes to the mnemonic activity, encoding is limited by the ability of the stimulated neural assemblies to reach a sufficiently high level of excitation, a process governed by the dynamics of competition and cooperation among neuronal pools. Encoding is therefore contingent upon the visual working memory task and has led us to introduce the concept of effective working memory capacity (eWMC) in contrast to the maximal upper capacity limit only reached under ideal conditions. PMID:22952608

  8. Effective visual working memory capacity: an emergent effect from the neural dynamics in an attractor network.

    PubMed

    Dempere-Marco, Laura; Melcher, David P; Deco, Gustavo

    2012-01-01

    The study of working memory capacity is of outmost importance in cognitive psychology as working memory is at the basis of general cognitive function. Although the working memory capacity limit has been thoroughly studied, its origin still remains a matter of strong debate. Only recently has the role of visual saliency in modulating working memory storage capacity been assessed experimentally and proved to provide valuable insights into working memory function. In the computational arena, attractor networks have successfully accounted for psychophysical and neurophysiological data in numerous working memory tasks given their ability to produce a sustained elevated firing rate during a delay period. Here we investigate the mechanisms underlying working memory capacity by means of a biophysically-realistic attractor network with spiking neurons while accounting for two recent experimental observations: 1) the presence of a visually salient item reduces the number of items that can be held in working memory, and 2) visually salient items are commonly kept in memory at the cost of not keeping as many non-salient items. Our model suggests that working memory capacity is determined by two fundamental processes: encoding of visual items into working memory and maintenance of the encoded items upon their removal from the visual display. While maintenance critically depends on the constraints that lateral inhibition imposes to the mnemonic activity, encoding is limited by the ability of the stimulated neural assemblies to reach a sufficiently high level of excitation, a process governed by the dynamics of competition and cooperation among neuronal pools. Encoding is therefore contingent upon the visual working memory task and has led us to introduce the concept of effective working memory capacity (eWMC) in contrast to the maximal upper capacity limit only reached under ideal conditions. PMID:22952608

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Relations between prospective memory, cognitive abilities, and brain structure in adolescents who vary in prenatal drug exposure

    PubMed Central

    Robey, Alison; Buckingham-Howes, Stacy; Salmeron, Betty Jo; Black, Maureen M.; Riggins, Tracy

    2014-01-01

    This investigation examined how prospective memory (PM) relates to cognitive abilities (i.e., executive function, attention, working memory, and retrospective memory), and brain structure in adolescents who vary in prenatal drug exposure (PDE). The sample included 105 (55 female, 50 male) urban, primarily African American adolescents (mean age 15.5 years) from low socioeconomic status (SES) families; 56% (n=59) were prenatally exposed to drugs (heroin and/or cocaine) and 44% (n=46) were not prenatally exposed, but similar in age, gender, race, and SES. Executive functioning, attentional control, working memory, retrospective memory, and overall cognitive ability were assessed by validated performance measures. Executive functioning was also measured by caregiver report. A subset of 52 adolescents completed MRI scans, which provided measures of subcortical gray matter volumes and thickness of prefrontal, parietal and temporal cortices. Results revealed no differences in PM performance by PDE status, even after adjusting for age and IQ. Executive function, retrospective memory, cortical thickness in frontal and parietal regions, and volume of subcortical regions (i.e., putamen and hippocampus) were related to PM performance in the sample overall, even after adjusting for age, IQ, and total gray matter volume. Findings suggest that variations in PM ability during adolescence are robustly related to individual differences in cognitive abilities, in particular executive function and retrospective memory, and brain structure, but do not vary by PDE status. PMID:24630759

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Intensive Working Memory Training Produces Functional Changes in Large-scale Frontoparietal Networks.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Todd W; Waskom, Michael L; Gabrieli, John D E

    2016-04-01

    Working memory is central to human cognition, and intensive cognitive training has been shown to expand working memory capacity in a given domain. It remains unknown, however, how the neural systems that support working memory are altered through intensive training to enable the expansion of working memory capacity. We used fMRI to measure plasticity in activations associated with complex working memory before and after 20 days of training. Healthy young adults were randomly assigned to train on either a dual n-back working memory task or a demanding visuospatial attention task. Training resulted in substantial and task-specific expansion of dual n-back abilities accompanied by changes in the relationship between working memory load and activation. Training differentially affected activations in two large-scale frontoparietal networks thought to underlie working memory: the executive control network and the dorsal attention network. Activations in both networks linearly scaled with working memory load before training, but training dissociated the role of the two networks and eliminated this relationship in the executive control network. Load-dependent functional connectivity both within and between these two networks increased following training, and the magnitudes of increased connectivity were positively correlated with improvements in task performance. These results provide insight into the adaptive neural systems that underlie large gains in working memory capacity through training. PMID:26741799

  19. Improving Reasoning Skills in Secondary History Education by Working Memory Training

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ariës, Roel Jacobus; Groot, Wim; van den Brink, Henriette Maassen

    2015-01-01

    Secondary school pupils underachieve in tests in which reasoning abilities are required. Brain-based training of working memory (WM) may improve reasoning abilities. In this study, we use a brain-based training programme based on historical content to enhance reasoning abilities in history courses. In the first experiment, a combined intervention…

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Expertise, Working Memory and Articulatory Suppression Effect: Their Relation with Simultaneous Interpreting Performance

    PubMed Central

    Injoque-Ricle, Irene; Barreyro, Juan Pablo; Formoso, Jesica; Jaichenco, Virginia I.

    2015-01-01

    Simultaneous interpreting is a complex bilingual verbal activity that involves the auditory perception of an oral communication and the production of a coherent discourse. One of the cognitive functions underlying simultaneous interpreting is working memory. The aim of this work was to study the relationship between expertise, working memory capacity and articulatory suppression effect, and the ability to perform simultaneous interpreting. For this purpose, four working memory tasks and one simultaneous interpreting task were administered to thirty Spanish-speaking professional English interpreters. Results showed that simultaneous interpreting ability might be supported by the working memory´s capacity to store or process information, but also by the ability of the interpreter to cope with the articulatory suppression effect. We conclude that interpreters may have or develop resources to support the effect caused by articulatory suppression. PMID:26207153

  3. 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

  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. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  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. Life-Span Development of Visual Working Memory: When Is Feature Binding Difficult?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowan, Nelson; Naveh-Benjamin, Moshe; Kilb, Angela; Saults, J. Scott

    2006-01-01

    We asked whether the ability to keep in working memory the binding between a visual object and its spatial location changes with development across the life span more than memory for item information. Paired arrays of colored squares were identical or differed in the color of one square, and in the latter case, the changed color was unique on…

  13. Impaired Discourse Gist and Working Memory in Children after Brain Injury

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chapman, Sandra B.; Gamino, Jacquelyn F.; Cook, Lori G.; Hanten, Gerri; Li, Xiaoqi; Levin, Harvey S.

    2006-01-01

    Emerging evidence suggests that a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in childhood may disrupt the ability to abstract the central meaning or gist-based memory from connected language (discourse). The current study adopts a novel approach to elucidate the role of immediate and working memory processes in producing a cohesive and coherent gist-based text…

  14. Effectiveness of a Computerised Working Memory Training in Adolescents with Mild to Borderline Intellectual Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

    Background: The goal of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a computerised working memory (WM) training on memory, response inhibition, fluid intelligence, scholastic abilities and the recall of stories in adolescents with mild to borderline intellectual disabilities attending special education. Method: A total of 95 adolescents with…

  15. The Relationship between Working Memory, IQ, and Mathematical Skills in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam; Passolunghi, Maria Chiara

    2011-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the contribution of working memory and verbal ability (measured by vocabulary) to mathematical skills in children. A sample of 206 seven- and eight-year-olds was administered tests of these cognitive skills. A different pattern emerged that was dependent on both the memory task and the math skill. In…

  16. 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

  17. Assessment of working memory components at 6years of age as predictors of reading achievements a year later.

    PubMed

    Nevo, Einat; Breznitz, Zvia

    2011-05-01

    The ability of working memory skills (measured by tasks assessing all four working memory components), IQ, language, phonological awareness, literacy, rapid naming, and speed of processing at 6years of age, before reading was taught, to predict reading abilities (decoding, reading comprehension, and reading time) a year later was examined in 97 children. Among all working memory components, phonological complex memory contributed most to predicting all three reading abilities. A capacity measure of phonological complex memory, based on passing a minimum threshold in those tasks, contributed to the explained variance of decoding and reading comprehension. Findings suggest that a minimal ability of phonological complex memory is necessary for children to attain a normal reading level. Adding assessment of phonological complex memory, before formal teaching of reading begins, to more common measures might better estimate children's likelihood of future academic success. PMID:21115182

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. Subjective Memory Ability and Long-Term Forgetting in Patients Referred for Neuropsychological Assessment

    PubMed Central

    van der Werf, Sieberen P.; Geurts, Sofie; de Werd, Maartje M. E.

    2016-01-01

    It has been suggested that the memory complaints of patients who are not impaired on formal memory tests may reflect accelerated forgetting. We examined this hypothesis by comparing the 1-week delayed recall and recognition test performance of outpatients who were referred for neuropsychological assessment and who had normal memory performance during standard memory assessment with that of a non-patient control group. Both groups performed equally in verbal learning and delayed recall. However, after 1 week, the patients performed worse than controls on both recall and recognition tests. Although subjective memory ability predicted short-term memory function in patients, it did not predict long-term delayed forgetting rates in either the patients or controls. Thus, long-term delayed recall and recognition intervals provided no additional value to explain poor subjective memory ability in the absence of objective memory deficits. PMID:27199838

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. Awareness of Memory Ability and Change: (In)Accuracy of Memory Self-Assessments in Relation to Performance

    PubMed Central

    Rickenbach, Elizabeth Hahn; Agrigoroaei, Stefan; Lachman, Margie E.

    2015-01-01

    Little is known about subjective assessments of memory abilities and decline among middle-aged adults or their association with objective memory performance in the general population. In this study we examined self-ratings of memory ability and change in relation to episodic memory performance in two national samples of middle-aged and older adults from the Midlife in the United States study (MIDUS II in 2005-06) and the Health and Retirement Study (HRS; every two years from 2002 to 2012). MIDUS (Study 1) participants (N=3,581) rated their memory compared to others their age and to themselves five years ago; HRS (Study 2) participants (N=14,821) rated their current memory and their memory compared to two years ago, with up to six occasions of longitudinal data over ten years. In both studies, episodic memory performance was the total number of words recalled in immediate and delayed conditions. When controlling for demographic and health correlates, self-ratings of memory abilities, but not subjective change, were related to performance. We examined accuracy by comparing subjective and objective memory ability and change. More than one third of the participants across the studies had self-assessments that were inaccurate relative to their actual level of performance and change, and accuracy differed as a function of demographic and health factors. Further understanding of self-awareness of memory abilities and change beginning in midlife may be useful for identifying early warning signs of decline, with implications regarding policies and practice for early detection and treatment of cognitive impairment. PMID:25821529

  8. Methylphenidate does not enhance visual working memory but benefits motivation in macaque monkeys.

    PubMed

    Oemisch, Mariann; Johnston, Kevin; Paré, Martin

    2016-10-01

    Working memory is a limited-capacity cognitive process that retains relevant information temporarily to guide thoughts and behavior. A large body of work has suggested that catecholamines exert a major modulatory influence on cognition, but there is only equivocal evidence of a direct influence on working memory ability, which would be reflected in a dependence on working memory load. Here we tested the contribution of catecholamines to working memory by administering a wide range of acute oral doses of the dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor methylphenidate (MPH, 0.1-9 mg/kg) to three female macaque monkeys (Macaca mulatta), whose working memory ability was measured from their performance in a visual sequential comparison task. This task allows the systematic manipulation of working memory load, and we therefore tested the specific hypothesis that MPH modulates performance in a manner that depends on both dose and memory load. We found no evidence of a dose- or memory load-dependent effect of MPH on performance. In contrast, significant effects on measures of motivation were observed. These findings suggest that an acute increase in catecholamines does not seem to affect the retention of visual information per se. As such, these results help delimit the effects of MPH on cognition. PMID:27329555

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. To Switch or Not to Switch: Role of Cognitive Control in Working Memory Training in Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Basak, Chandramallika; O'Connell, Margaret A

    2016-01-01

    It is currently not known what are the best working memory training strategies to offset the age-related declines in fluid cognitive abilities. In this randomized clinical double-blind trial, older adults were randomly assigned to one of two types of working memory training - one group was trained on a predictable memory updating task (PT) and another group was trained on a novel, unpredictable memory updating task (UT). Unpredictable memory updating, compared to predictable, requires greater demands on cognitive control (Basak and Verhaeghen, 2011a). Therefore, the current study allowed us to evaluate the role of cognitive control in working memory training. All participants were assessed on a set of near and far transfer tasks at three different testing sessions - before training, immediately after the training, and 1.5 months after completing the training. Additionally, individual learning rates for a comparison working memory task (performed by both groups) and the trained task were computed. Training on unpredictable memory updating, compared to predictable, significantly enhanced performance on a measure of episodic memory, immediately after the training. Moreover, individuals with faster learning rates showed greater gains in this episodic memory task and another new working memory task; this effect was specific to UT. We propose that the unpredictable memory updating training, compared to predictable memory updating training, may a better strategy to improve selective cognitive abilities in older adults, and future studies could further investigate the role of cognitive control in working memory training. PMID:26973554

  14. To Switch or Not to Switch: Role of Cognitive Control in Working Memory Training in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Basak, Chandramallika; O’Connell, Margaret A.

    2016-01-01

    It is currently not known what are the best working memory training strategies to offset the age-related declines in fluid cognitive abilities. In this randomized clinical double-blind trial, older adults were randomly assigned to one of two types of working memory training – one group was trained on a predictable memory updating task (PT) and another group was trained on a novel, unpredictable memory updating task (UT). Unpredictable memory updating, compared to predictable, requires greater demands on cognitive control (Basak and Verhaeghen, 2011a). Therefore, the current study allowed us to evaluate the role of cognitive control in working memory training. All participants were assessed on a set of near and far transfer tasks at three different testing sessions – before training, immediately after the training, and 1.5 months after completing the training. Additionally, individual learning rates for a comparison working memory task (performed by both groups) and the trained task were computed. Training on unpredictable memory updating, compared to predictable, significantly enhanced performance on a measure of episodic memory, immediately after the training. Moreover, individuals with faster learning rates showed greater gains in this episodic memory task and another new working memory task; this effect was specific to UT. We propose that the unpredictable memory updating training, compared to predictable memory updating training, may a better strategy to improve selective cognitive abilities in older adults, and future studies could further investigate the role of cognitive control in working memory training. PMID:26973554

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Assessment of the Relationship between Physical Working Conditions and Different Levels of Work Ability

    PubMed Central

    Attarchi, Mirsaeed; Ghaffari, Mostafa; Abdi, Alireza; Mirzamohammadi, Elham; Seyedmehdi, Seyed Mohammad; Rahimpour, Farzaneh; Fazlalizadeh, Maryam; Mohammadi, Saber

    2014-01-01

    Early leaving of workplace by work forces is one of the fundamental problems worldwide. Maintenance and enhancement of employees work ability are important for raising productivity. This study investigated the relationship between work ability index and physical working conditions and was carried out in 2013 on 641 workers at a manufacturing plant in Tehran. Work ability was assessed by the questionnaire of work ability index and the participants were classified into four work ability groups of poor, moderate, good, and excellent. Physical working conditions were evaluated by the MUSIC-Norrtalje questionnaire and the participants were classified into two groups with proper and poor physical working conditions. The mean score of work ability questionnaire was 42.40; and 2.5% (16 persons), 9.2% (59 persons), 38.2% (245 persons), and 50.1% (321 persons) of the participants were in poor, moderate, good, and excellent work ability groups, respectively. The mean score of physical working conditions questionnaire was 20.06. The results of logistic regression analysis showed that even after adjusting the confounding variables, a significant correlation existed between work ability and physical working conditions (p<0.05). According to the results of this study, there may be a correlation between physical working conditions such as awkward postures, repetitive movements, load lifting, exposure to whole body vibration and so on with work ability. Therefore it seems that enhancement of the quality of physical working conditions may increase work ability. PMID:24999133

  18. Assessment of the relationship between physical working conditions and different levels of work ability.

    PubMed

    Attarchi, Mirsaeed; Ghaffari, Mostafa; Abdi, Alireza; Mirzamohammadi, Elham; Seyedmehdi, Seyed Mohammad; Rahimpour, Farzaneh; Fazlalizadeh, Maryam; Mohammadi, Saber

    2014-07-01

    Early leaving of workplace by work forces is one of the fundamental problems worldwide. Maintenance and enhancement of employees work ability are important for raising productivity. This study investigated the relationship between work ability index and physical working conditions and was carried out in 2013 on 641 workers at a manufacturing plant in Tehran. Work ability was assessed by the questionnaire of work ability index and the participants were classified into four work ability groups of poor, moderate, good, and excellent. Physical working conditions were evaluated by the MUSIC-Norrtalje questionnaire and the participants were classified into two groups with proper and poor physical working conditions. The mean score of work ability questionnaire was 42.40; and 2.5% (16 persons), 9.2% (59 persons), 38.2% (245 persons), and 50.1% (321 persons) of the participants were in poor, moderate, good, and excellent work ability groups, respectively. The mean score of physical working conditions questionnaire was 20.06. The results of logistic regression analysis showed that even after adjusting the confounding variables, a significant correlation existed between work ability and physical working conditions (p < 0.05). According to the results of this study, there may be a correlation between physical working conditions such as awkward postures, repetitive movements, load lifting, exposure to whole body vibration and so on with work ability. Therefore it seems that enhancement of the quality of physical working conditions may increase work ability. PMID:24999133

  19. 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

  20. Lessons Learned from Working with High-Ability Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pfeiffer, Steven I.

    2013-01-01

    This article discusses three lessons that stand out as particularly poignant in the author's career working with high-ability students. The author recounts personal and professional experiences that influenced his thinking. The three lessons are that identifying high-ability students is not an easy business, the development of talent requires more…

  1. 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

  2. Musical Ability and the Drake Music Memory Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Griffin, Lawrence R.; Eisenman, Russell

    1972-01-01

    Results show that the Drake Music Memory Test should be able to discriminate between the poorest and strongest prospects for success in profiting from musical instruction, although it may not be particularly useful in individual counseling. (Authors)

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. The relation between receptive grammar and procedural, declarative, and working memory in specific language impairment

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    What memory systems underlie grammar in children, and do these differ between typically developing (TD) children and children with specific language impairment (SLI)? Whilst there is substantial evidence linking certain memory deficits to the language problems in children with SLI, few studies have investigated multiple memory systems simultaneously, examining not only possible memory deficits but also memory abilities that may play a compensatory role. This study examined the extent to which procedural, declarative, and working memory abilities predict receptive grammar in 45 primary school aged children with SLI (30 males, 15 females) and 46 TD children (30 males, 16 females), both on average 9;10 years of age. Regression analyses probed measures of all three memory systems simultaneously as potential predictors of receptive grammar. The model was significant, explaining 51.6% of the variance. There was a significant main effect of learning in procedural memory and a significant group × procedural learning interaction. Further investigation of the interaction revealed that procedural learning predicted grammar in TD but not in children with SLI. Indeed, procedural learning was the only predictor of grammar in TD. In contrast, only learning in declarative memory significantly predicted grammar in SLI. Thus, different memory systems are associated with receptive grammar abilities in children with SLI and their TD peers. This study is, to our knowledge, the first to demonstrate a significant group by memory system interaction in predicting grammar in children with SLI and their TD peers. In line with Ullman’s Declarative/Procedural model of language and procedural deficit hypothesis of SLI, variability in understanding sentences of varying grammatical complexity appears to be associated with variability in procedural memory abilities in TD children, but with declarative memory, as an apparent compensatory mechanism, in children with SLI. PMID:26284013

  6. 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…

  7. Contribution of Psychological, Social, and Mechanical Work Exposures to Low Work Ability

    PubMed Central

    Knardahl, Stein

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To determine the contribution of specific psychological, social, and mechanical work exposures to the self-reported low level of work ability. Methods: Employees from 48 organizations were surveyed over a 2-year period (n = 3779). Changes in 16 work exposures and 3 work ability measures—the work ability index score, perceived current, and future work ability—were tested with Spearman rank correlations. Binary logistic regressions were run to determine contribution of work exposures to low work ability. Results: Role conflict, human resource primacy, and positive challenge were the most consistent predictors of low work ability across test designs. Role clarity and fair leadership were less consistent but prominent predictors. Mechanical exposures were not predictive. Conclusions: To protect employee work ability, work place interventions would benefit from focusing on reducing role conflicts and on promoting positive challenges and human resource primacy. PMID:25470453

  8. Assessment of Working Memory in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Messina, Lucinete de Freitas; Tiedemann, Klaus Bruno; de Andrade, Enio Roberto; Primi, Ricardo

    2006-01-01

    Objective: This research investigated the cognitive abilities and the working memory in children and youngsters with three different types of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): (a) mainly with attention-deficit, (b) hyperactive and impulsive, and (c) combined. Method: A computerized test called Infant Cognitive Abilities Test, which…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Is functional integration of resting state brain networks an unspecific biomarker for working memory performance?

    PubMed

    Alavash, Mohsen; Doebler, Philipp; Holling, Heinz; Thiel, Christiane M; Gießing, Carsten

    2015-03-01

    Is there one optimal topology of functional brain networks at rest from which our cognitive performance would profit? Previous studies suggest that functional integration of resting state brain networks is an important biomarker for cognitive performance. However, it is still unknown whether higher network integration is an unspecific predictor for good cognitive performance or, alternatively, whether specific network organization during rest predicts only specific cognitive abilities. Here, we investigated the relationship between network integration at rest and cognitive performance using two tasks that measured different aspects of working memory; one task assessed visual-spatial and the other numerical working memory. Network clustering, modularity and efficiency were computed to capture network integration on different levels of network organization, and to statistically compare their correlations with the performance in each working memory test. The results revealed that each working memory aspect profits from a different resting state topology, and the tests showed significantly different correlations with each of the measures of network integration. While higher global network integration and modularity predicted significantly better performance in visual-spatial working memory, both measures showed no significant correlation with numerical working memory performance. In contrast, numerical working memory was superior in subjects with highly clustered brain networks, predominantly in the intraparietal sulcus, a core brain region of the working memory network. Our findings suggest that a specific balance between local and global functional integration of resting state brain networks facilitates special aspects of cognitive performance. In the context of working memory, while visual-spatial performance is facilitated by globally integrated functional resting state brain networks, numerical working memory profits from increased capacities for local processing

  15. Working Memory Training Does Not Improve Performance on Measures of Intelligence or Other Measures of “Far Transfer”

    PubMed Central

    Melby-Lervåg, Monica; Redick, Thomas S.; Hulme, Charles

    2016-01-01

    It has been claimed that working memory training programs produce diverse beneficial effects. This article presents a meta-analysis of working memory training studies (with a pretest-posttest design and a control group) that have examined transfer to other measures (nonverbal ability, verbal ability, word decoding, reading comprehension, or arithmetic; 87 publications with 145 experimental comparisons). Immediately following training there were reliable improvements on measures of intermediate transfer (verbal and visuospatial working memory). For measures of far transfer (nonverbal ability, verbal ability, word decoding, reading comprehension, arithmetic) there was no convincing evidence of any reliable improvements when working memory training was compared with a treated control condition. Furthermore, mediation analyses indicated that across studies, the degree of improvement on working memory measures was not related to the magnitude of far-transfer effects found. Finally, analysis of publication bias shows that there is no evidential value from the studies of working memory training using treated controls. The authors conclude that working memory training programs appear to produce short-term, specific training effects that do not generalize to measures of “real-world” cognitive skills. These results seriously question the practical and theoretical importance of current computerized working memory programs as methods of training working memory skills. PMID:27474138

  16. Working memory training to improve speech perception in noise across languages

    PubMed Central

    Ingvalson, Erin M.; Dhar, Sumitrajit; Wong, Patrick C. M.; Liu, Hanjun

    2015-01-01

    Working memory capacity has been linked to performance on many higher cognitive tasks, including the ability to perceive speech in noise. Current efforts to train working memory have demonstrated that working memory performance can be improved, suggesting that working memory training may lead to improved speech perception in noise. A further advantage of working memory training to improve speech perception in noise is that working memory training materials are often simple, such as letters or digits, making them easily translatable across languages. The current effort tested the hypothesis that working memory training would be associated with improved speech perception in noise and that materials would easily translate across languages. Native Mandarin Chinese and native English speakers completed ten days of reversed digit span training. Reading span and speech perception in noise both significantly improved following training, whereas untrained controls showed no gains. These data suggest that working memory training may be used to improve listeners' speech perception in noise and that the materials may be quickly adapted to a wide variety of listeners. PMID:26093435

  17. Working memory training to improve speech perception in noise across languages.

    PubMed

    Ingvalson, Erin M; Dhar, Sumitrajit; Wong, Patrick C M; Liu, Hanjun

    2015-06-01

    Working memory capacity has been linked to performance on many higher cognitive tasks, including the ability to perceive speech in noise. Current efforts to train working memory have demonstrated that working memory performance can be improved, suggesting that working memory training may lead to improved speech perception in noise. A further advantage of working memory training to improve speech perception in noise is that working memory training materials are often simple, such as letters or digits, making them easily translatable across languages. The current effort tested the hypothesis that working memory training would be associated with improved speech perception in noise and that materials would easily translate across languages. Native Mandarin Chinese and native English speakers completed ten days of reversed digit span training. Reading span and speech perception in noise both significantly improved following training, whereas untrained controls showed no gains. These data suggest that working memory training may be used to improve listeners' speech perception in noise and that the materials may be quickly adapted to a wide variety of listeners. PMID:26093435

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Theory of Mind and Emotion Recognition Skills in Children with Specific Language Impairment, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Typical Development: Group Differences and Connection to Knowledge of Grammatical Morphology, Word-Finding Abilities and Verbal Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loukusa, Soile; Mäkinen, Leena; Kuusikko-Gauffin, Sanna; Ebeling, Hanna; Moilanen, Irma

    2014-01-01

    Background: Social perception skills, such as understanding the mind and emotions of others, affect children's communication abilities in real-life situations. In addition to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), there is increasing knowledge that children with specific language impairment (SLI) also demonstrate difficulties in their social…

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. Elicited Imitation Performance at 20 Months Predicts Memory Abilities in School-Aged Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riggins, Tracy; Cheatham, Carol L.; Stark, Emily; Bauer, Patricia J.

    2013-01-01

    During the first decade of life, there are marked improvements in mnemonic abilities. An important question from both a theoretical and applied perspective is the extent of continuity in the nature of memory during this period. The present longitudinal investigation examined declarative memory during the transition from toddlerhood to school age…

  8. Relationship between Work Ability Index and Cognitive Failure among Nurses

    PubMed Central

    Abbasi, Milad; Zakerian, Abolfazl; Kolahdouzi, Malihe; Mehri, Ahmad; Akbarzadeh, Arash; Ebrahimi, Mohammad Hossein

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Frequent nursing errors are considered as factors that affect the quality of healthcare of patients. Capable nurses who are compatible with work conditions are more focused on their tasks, and this reduces their errors and cognitive failures. Therefore, this study was conducted with the aim of investigating the relationship between work ability index (WAI) and cognitive failures (CFs) as well as some factors that affect them in nurses working in the ICU, CCU, and emergency wards. Methods This descriptive-analytical and cross-sectional study was conducted with 750 nurses at educational hospitals affiliated with the Tehran University of Medical Sciences in 2015. A questionnaire of work ability index and cognitive failures was used to collect data. The data were analyzed using SPSS 20 and the Pearson and Spearman correlation coefficients, chi-squared, ANOVA, and the Kruskal-Wallis tests. Results Using the Pearson correlation test, the results of this study showed that there is a significant, inverse relationship between WAI, personal prognosis of work ability, and mental resources with CFs along with all its subscales in nurses (p < 0.05). In addition, there was an inverse and significant relationship between the total score of CFs and the estimated work impairment due to diseases (p < 0.05). There was a significant positive correlation of CFs with age and experience, while WAI was inversely related to age, work experience, and body mass index (BMI) (p < 0.05). WAI and CFs were related significantly to working units (p < 0.05). Conclusion Considering the results obtained in this study, WAI and the cognitive status of nurses were lower than the specified limit. It is suggested that the work ability of nurses be improved and that their CFs be reduced through various measures, including pre-employment examinations, proper management of work-shift conditions, and using engineering and administrative strategies to ensure the safety of hospitalized patients

  9. 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…

  10. Suppression of intrusive thoughts and working memory capacity in repressive coping.

    PubMed

    Geraerts, Elke; Merckelbach, Harald; Jelicic, Marko; Habets, Petra

    2007-01-01

    Previous research using a thought suppression paradigm found that repressors are more skilled in suppressing anxious autobiographical thoughts than low anxious, high anxious, and defensive high anxious people. Another line of research showed that individual differences in working memory capacity are related to the ability to intentionally suppress intrusive thoughts. This study aimed at combining these findings and sought to investigate whether repressors' superior ability to suppress intrusive thoughts is related to a larger working memory capacity. Results indicate that in a thought suppression paradigm, repressors report fewer intrusive thoughts for their most anxious experiences than participants in the 3 other subgroups. Furthermore, the superior ability of repressors to avoid intrusive thoughts can be explained largely by their higher working memory capacity. PMID:17650918

  11. 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

  12. Working Memory and Hearing Aid Processing: Literature Findings, Future Directions, and Clinical Applications.

    PubMed

    Souza, Pamela; Arehart, Kathryn; Neher, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Working memory-the ability to process and store information-has been identified as an important aspect of speech perception in difficult listening environments. Working memory can be envisioned as a limited-capacity system which is engaged when an input signal cannot be readily matched to a stored representation or template. This "mismatch" is expected to occur more frequently when the signal is degraded. Because working memory capacity varies among individuals, those with smaller capacity are expected to demonstrate poorer speech understanding when speech is degraded, such as in background noise. However, it is less clear whether (and how) working memory should influence practical decisions, such as hearing treatment. Here, we consider the relationship between working memory capacity and response to specific hearing aid processing strategies. Three types of signal processing are considered, each of which will alter the acoustic signal: fast-acting wide-dynamic range compression, which smooths the amplitude envelope of the input signal; digital noise reduction, which may inadvertently remove speech signal components as it suppresses noise; and frequency compression, which alters the relationship between spectral peaks. For fast-acting wide-dynamic range compression, a growing body of data suggests that individuals with smaller working memory capacity may be more susceptible to such signal alterations, and may receive greater amplification benefit with "low alteration" processing. While the evidence for a relationship between wide-dynamic range compression and working memory appears robust, the effects of working memory on perceptual response to other forms of hearing aid signal processing are less clear cut. We conclude our review with a discussion of the opportunities (and challenges) in translating information on individual working memory into clinical treatment, including clinically feasible measures of working memory. PMID:26733899

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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).…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Role of Working Memory in Explaining the Performance of Individuals with Specific Reading Comprehension Difficulties: A Meta-Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carretti, Barbara; Borella, Erika; Cornoldi, Cesare; De Beni, Rossana

    2009-01-01

    It is well established that working memory is related to reading comprehension ability. However, its role in explaining specific reading comprehension difficulties is still under debate: the issue mainly concerns whether the contribution of working memory is dependent on task modality (verbal tasks being more predictive than visuo-spatial tasks)…

  2. Working Memory Deficits in Boys with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): The Contribution of Central Executive and Subsystem Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rapport, Mark D.; Alderson, R. Matt; Kofler, Michael J.; Sarver, Dustin E.; Bolden, Jennifer; Sims, Valerie

    2008-01-01

    The current study investigated contradictory findings from recent experimental and meta-analytic studies concerning working memory deficits in ADHD. Working memory refers to the cognitive ability to temporarily store and mentally manipulate limited amounts of information for use in guiding behavior. Phonological (verbal) and visuospatial…

  3. Working Memory and Dynamic Measures of Analogical Reasoning as Predictors of Children's Math and Reading Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevenson, Claire E.; Bergwerff, Catharina E.; Heiser, Willem J.; Resing, Wilma C. M.

    2014-01-01

    Working memory and inductive reasoning ability each appear related to children's achievement in math and reading. Dynamic measures of reasoning, based on an assessment procedure including feedback, may provide additional predictive value. The aim of this study was to investigate whether working memory and dynamic measures of analogical…

  4. Working memory capacity, controlled attention and aiming performance under pressure.

    PubMed

    Wood, Greg; Vine, Samuel J; Wilson, Mark R

    2016-07-01

    This study explored the possibility that individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) could predict those individuals who would experience attentional disruptions and performance decrements under pressure. Two WMC groups performed a Stroop handgun task under counterbalanced conditions of threat whilst wearing eye-tracking equipment that measured visual search activity and quiet eye (QE) aiming duration. Performance was measured in terms of shooting accuracy. Low-WMC individuals experienced impaired visual search time to locate the target and reduced QE durations when shooting at incongruent target words. Furthermore, the low-WMC group experienced significant reductions in shooting accuracy when anxious. Conversely, high-WMC individuals experienced no significant differences in attentional control or performance across congruency or threat conditions. Results support the suggestion that WMC is not only a good predictor of an individual's ability to control their attention but can also predict those likely to fail under pressure. PMID:26021749

  5. Balanced cortical microcircuitry for spatial working memory based on corrective feedback control.

    PubMed

    Lim, Sukbin; Goldman, Mark S

    2014-05-14

    A hallmark of working memory is the ability to maintain graded representations of both the spatial location and amplitude of a memorized stimulus. Previous work has identified a neural correlate of spatial working memory in the persistent maintenance of spatially specific patterns of neural activity. How such activity is maintained by neocortical circuits remains unknown. Traditional models of working memory maintain analog representations of either the spatial location or the amplitude of a stimulus, but not both. Furthermore, although most previous models require local excitation and lateral inhibition to maintain spatially localized persistent activity stably, the substrate for lateral inhibitory feedback pathways is unclear. Here, we suggest an alternative model for spatial working memory that is capable of maintaining analog representations of both the spatial location and amplitude of a stimulus, and that does not rely on long-range feedback inhibition. The model consists of a functionally columnar network of recurrently connected excitatory and inhibitory neural populations. When excitation and inhibition are balanced in strength but offset in time, drifts in activity trigger spatially specific negative feedback that corrects memory decay. The resulting networks can temporally integrate inputs at any spatial location, are robust against many commonly considered perturbations in network parameters, and, when implemented in a spiking model, generate irregular neural firing characteristic of that observed experimentally during persistent activity. This work suggests balanced excitatory-inhibitory memory circuits implementing corrective negative feedback as a substrate for spatial working memory. PMID:24828633

  6. Multi-Voxel Decoding and the Topography of Maintained Information During Visual Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Sue-Hyun; Baker, Chris I.

    2016-01-01

    The ability to maintain representations in the absence of external sensory stimulation, such as in working memory, is critical for guiding human behavior. Human functional brain imaging studies suggest that visual working memory can recruit a network of brain regions from visual to parietal to prefrontal cortex. In this review, we focus on the maintenance of representations during visual working memory and discuss factors determining the topography of those representations. In particular, we review recent studies employing multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) that demonstrate decoding of the maintained content in visual cortex, providing support for a “sensory recruitment” model of visual working memory. However, there is some evidence that maintained content can also be decoded in areas outside of visual cortex, including parietal and frontal cortex. We suggest that the ability to maintain representations during working memory is a general property of cortex, not restricted to specific areas, and argue that it is important to consider the nature of the information that must be maintained. Such information-content is critically determined by the task and the recruitment of specific regions during visual working memory will be both task- and stimulus-dependent. Thus, the common finding of maintained information in visual, but not parietal or prefrontal, cortex may be more of a reflection of the need to maintain specific types of visual information and not of a privileged role of visual cortex in maintenance. PMID:26912997

  7. Training Working Memory in Childhood Enhances Coupling between Frontoparietal Control Network and Task-Related Regions

    PubMed Central

    Barnes, Jessica J.; Nobre, Anna Christina; Woolrich, Mark W.; Baker, Kate

    2016-01-01

    Working memory is a capacity upon which many everyday tasks depend and which constrains a child's educational progress. We show that a child's working memory can be significantly enhanced by intensive computer-based training, relative to a placebo control intervention, in terms of both standardized assessments of working memory and performance on a working memory task performed in a magnetoencephalography scanner. Neurophysiologically, we identified significantly increased cross-frequency phase amplitude coupling in children who completed training. Following training, the coupling between the upper alpha rhythm (at 16 Hz), recorded in superior frontal and parietal cortex, became significantly coupled with high gamma activity (at ∼90 Hz) in inferior temporal cortex. This altered neural network activity associated with cognitive skill enhancement is consistent with a framework in which slower cortical rhythms enable the dynamic regulation of higher-frequency oscillatory activity related to task-related cognitive processes. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Whether we can enhance cognitive abilities through intensive training is one of the most controversial topics of cognitive psychology in recent years. This is particularly controversial in childhood, where aspects of cognition, such as working memory, are closely related to school success and are implicated in numerous developmental disorders. We provide the first neurophysiological account of how working memory training may enhance ability in childhood, using a brain recording technique called magnetoencephalography. We borrowed an analysis approach previously used with intracranial recordings in adults, or more typically in other animal models, called “phase amplitude coupling.” PMID:27559180

  8. Multi-Voxel Decoding and the Topography of Maintained Information During Visual Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sue-Hyun; Baker, Chris I

    2016-01-01

    The ability to maintain representations in the absence of external sensory stimulation, such as in working memory, is critical for guiding human behavior. Human functional brain imaging studies suggest that visual working memory can recruit a network of brain regions from visual to parietal to prefrontal cortex. In this review, we focus on the maintenance of representations during visual working memory and discuss factors determining the topography of those representations. In particular, we review recent studies employing multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) that demonstrate decoding of the maintained content in visual cortex, providing support for a "sensory recruitment" model of visual working memory. However, there is some evidence that maintained content can also be decoded in areas outside of visual cortex, including parietal and frontal cortex. We suggest that the ability to maintain representations during working memory is a general property of cortex, not restricted to specific areas, and argue that it is important to consider the nature of the information that must be maintained. Such information-content is critically determined by the task and the recruitment of specific regions during visual working memory will be both task- and stimulus-dependent. Thus, the common finding of maintained information in visual, but not parietal or prefrontal, cortex may be more of a reflection of the need to maintain specific types of visual information and not of a privileged role of visual cortex in maintenance. PMID:26912997

  9. Elicited Imitation Performance at 20 Months Predicts Memory Abilities in School-Age Children

    PubMed Central

    Riggins, Tracy; Cheatham, Carol L.; Stark, Emily; Bauer, Patricia J.

    2012-01-01

    Over the first decade of life there are marked improvements in mnemonic abilities. An important question from both a theoretical and applied perspective is the extent of continuity in the nature of memory over this period. The present longitudinal investigation examined declarative memory during the transition from toddlerhood to school-age using both experimental and standardized assessments. Results indicate significant associations between immediate nonverbal recall at 20 months (measured by elicited imitation) and immediate verbal and nonverbal memory (measured by standardized and laboratory-based tasks) at 6 years in typically developing children. Regression models revealed this association was specific, as measures of language abilities and temperament were not predictive of later memory performance. These findings suggest both continuity and specificity within the declarative memory system over the first years of life. Theoretical and applied implications of these findings are discussed. PMID:24436638

  10. Working memory performance inversely predicts spontaneous delta and theta-band scaling relations.

    PubMed

    Euler, Matthew J; Wiltshire, Travis J; Niermeyer, Madison A; Butner, Jonathan E

    2016-04-15

    Electrophysiological studies have strongly implicated theta-band activity in human working memory processes. Concurrently, work on spontaneous, non-task-related oscillations has revealed the presence of long-range temporal correlations (LRTCs) within sub-bands of the ongoing EEG, and has begun to demonstrate their functional significance. However, few studies have yet assessed the relation of LRTCs (also called scaling relations) to individual differences in cognitive abilities. The present study addressed the intersection of these two literatures by investigating the relation of narrow-band EEG scaling relations to individual differences in working memory ability, with a particular focus on the theta band. Fifty-four healthy adults completed standardized assessments of working memory and separate recordings of their spontaneous, non-task-related EEG. Scaling relations were quantified in each of the five classical EEG frequency bands via the estimation of the Hurst exponent obtained from detrended fluctuation analysis. A multilevel modeling framework was used to characterize the relation of working memory performance to scaling relations as a function of general scalp location in Cartesian space. Overall, results indicated an inverse relationship between both delta and theta scaling relations and working memory ability, which was most prominent at posterior sensors, and was independent of either spatial or individual variability in band-specific power. These findings add to the growing literature demonstrating the relevance of neural LRTCs for understanding brain functioning, and support a construct- and state-dependent view of their functional implications. PMID:26872594

  11. The Contribution of Attentional Lapses to Individual Differences in Visual Working Memory Capacity

    PubMed Central

    Adam, Kirsten C. S.; Mance, Irida; Fukuda, Keisuke; Vogel, Edward K.

    2015-01-01

    Attentional control and working memory capacity are important cognitive abilities that substantially vary between individuals. Although much is known about how attentional control and working memory capacity relate to each other and to constructs like fluid intelligence, little is known about how trial-by-trial fluctuations in attentional engagement impact trial-by-trial working memory performance. Here, we employ a novel whole-report memory task that allowed us to distinguish between varying levels of attentional engagement in humans performing a working memory task. By characterizing low-performance trials, we can distinguish between models in which working memory performance failures are caused by either (1) complete lapses of attention or (2) variations in attentional control. We found that performance failures increase with set-size and strongly predict working memory capacity. Performance variability was best modeled by an attentional control model of attention, not a lapse model. We examined neural signatures of performance failures by measuring EEG activity while participants performed the whole-report task. The number of items correctly recalled in the memory task was predicted by frontal theta power, with decreased frontal theta power associated with poor performance on the task. In addition, we found that poor performance was not explained by failures of sensory encoding; the P1/N1 response and ocular artifact rates were equivalent for high- and low-performance trials. In all, we propose that attentional lapses alone cannot explain individual differences in working memory performance. Instead, we find that graded fluctuations in attentional control better explain the trial-by-trial differences in working memory that we observe. PMID:25811710

  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. Attentional interference in judgments of musical timbre: individual differences in working memory.

    PubMed

    Hall, Michael D; Blasko, Dawn G

    2005-01-01

    Researchers have shown that working memory is related to a variety of high-level cognitive processes. However, the results of recent research have suggested that may be because of its role in attentional control. In the present experiment, the authors investigated that hypothesis by using an attentional interference task with musical stimuli. Listeners were asked to monitor one ear for either a clarinet or violin tone and to ignore any information in the other ear. On some of the trials, they heard only one tone and on other trials, either the same instrument in both ears or different instruments. Individual differences were measured in working memory and musical experience. The results showed more attentional interference in the different-instrument condition for participants with lower working memory scores, which suggested that working memory involves the ability to control attention to inhibit irrelevant information. PMID:15685962

  15. Working Memory and Hearing Aid Processing: Literature Findings, Future Directions, and Clinical Applications

    PubMed Central

    Souza, Pamela; Arehart, Kathryn; Neher, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Working memory—the ability to process and store information—has been identified as an important aspect of speech perception in difficult listening environments. Working memory can be envisioned as a limited-capacity system which is engaged when an input signal cannot be readily matched to a stored representation or template. This “mismatch” is expected to occur more frequently when the signal is degraded. Because working memory capacity varies among individuals, those with smaller capacity are expected to demonstrate poorer speech understanding when speech is degraded, such as in background noise. However, it is less clear whether (and how) working memory should influence practical decisions, such as hearing treatment. Here, we consider the relationship between working memory capacity and response to specific hearing aid processing strategies. Three types of signal processing are considered, each of which will alter the acoustic signal: fast-acting wide-dynamic range compression, which smooths the amplitude envelope of the input signal; digital noise reduction, which may inadvertently remove speech signal components as it suppresses noise; and frequency compression, which alters the relationship between spectral peaks. For fast-acting wide-dynamic range compression, a growing body of data suggests that individuals with smaller working memory capacity may be more susceptible to such signal alterations, and may receive greater amplification benefit with “low alteration” processing. While the evidence for a relationship between wide-dynamic range compression and working memory appears robust, the effects of working memory on perceptual response to other forms of hearing aid signal processing are less clear cut. We conclude our review with a discussion of the opportunities (and challenges) in translating information on individual working memory into clinical treatment, including clinically feasible measures of working memory. PMID:26733899

  16. 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

  17. Memory and Cognitive Strategies of High Ability Students in a Rural Secondary School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ali, Fuziana; Yunus, Melor Md

    2013-01-01

    This study was conducted to examine language learning strategies employed by the high ability students in a rural secondary school. Memory and cognitive strategies employed by the high ability students were the main focus in this study. A survey design was used and data was collected using Oxford's questionnaires. Findings reveal that the high…

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Individual and Work Factors Related to Perceived Work Ability and Labor Force Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    McGonagle, Alyssa K.; Fisher, Gwenith G.; Barnes-Farrell, Janet L.; Grosch, James W.

    2015-01-01

    Perceived work ability refers to a worker's assessment of his or her ability to continue working in his or her job, given characteristics of the job along with his or her personal resources. Perceived work ability is a critical variable to study in the U.S., given an aging workforce, trends to delay retirement, and U.S. policy considerations to delay the age at which full Social Security retirement benefits may be obtained. Based on the Job Demands-Resources Model, cognitive appraisal theory of stress and push/pull factors related to retirement, we proposed and tested a conceptual model of antecedents and outcomes of perceived work ability using three independent samples of U.S. working adults. Data regarding workers’ job characteristics were from self-report and O*NET measures. Results from relative importance analysis indicated that health and sense of control were consistently and most strongly related to work ability perceptions relative to other job demands and job resources when perceived work ability was measured concurrently or two weeks later in samples with varying occupations. Job demands (along with health and sense of control) were most strongly related to work ability perceptions when perceived work ability was measured in a manufacturing worker sample 1.6 years later. Perceived work ability also predicted lagged labor force outcomes (absence, retirement, and disability leave) while controlling for other known predictors of each. Consistent indirect effects were observed from health status and sense of control to all three of these outcomes via perceived work ability. PMID:25314364

  1. Individual and work factors related to perceived work ability and labor force outcomes.

    PubMed

    McGonagle, Alyssa K; Fisher, Gwenith G; Barnes-Farrell, Janet L; Grosch, James W

    2015-03-01

    Perceived work ability refers to a worker's assessment of his or her ability to continue working in his or her job, given characteristics of the job along with his or her resources. Perceived work ability is a critical variable to study in the United States, given an aging workforce, trends to delay retirement, and U.S. policy considerations to delay the age at which full Social Security retirement benefits may be obtained. Based on the job demands-resources model, cognitive appraisal theory of stress, and push/pull factors related to retirement, we proposed and tested a conceptual model of antecedents and outcomes of perceived work ability using 3 independent samples of U.S. working adults. Data regarding workers' job characteristics were from self-report and Occupational Information Network measures. Results from relative importance analysis indicated that health and sense of control were consistently and most strongly related to work ability perceptions relative to other job demands and job and personal resources when perceived work ability was measured concurrently or 2 weeks later in samples with varying occupations. Job demands (along with health and sense of control) were most strongly related to work ability perceptions when perceived work ability was measured in a manufacturing worker sample 1.6 years later. Perceived work ability also predicted lagged labor force outcomes (absence, retirement, and disability leave) while controlling for other known predictors of each. Consistent indirect effects were observed from health status and sense of control to all 3 of these outcomes via perceived work ability. PMID:25314364

  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 Abilities to Form Chunks in Immediate Memory and Its Non-Relationship to Span Development

    PubMed Central

    Mathy, Fabien; Fartoukh, Michael; Gauvrit, Nicolas; Guida, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    Both adults and children –by the time they are 2–3 years old– have a general ability to recode information to increase memory efficiency. This paper aims to evaluate the ability of untrained children aged 6–10 years old to deploy such a recoding process in immediate memory. A large sample of 374 children were given a task of immediate serial report based on SIMON®, a classic memory game made of four colored buttons (red, green, yellow, blue) requiring players to reproduce a sequence of colors within which repetitions eventually occur. It was hypothesized that a primitive ability across all ages (since theoretically already available in toddlers) to detect redundancies allows the span to increase whenever information can be recoded on the fly. The chunkable condition prompted the formation of chunks based on the perceived structure of color repetition within to-be-recalled sequences of colors. Our result shows a similar linear improvement of memory span with age for both chunkable and non-chunkable conditions. The amount of information retained in immediate memory systematically increased for the groupable sequences across all age groups, independently of the average age-group span that was measured on sequences that contained fewer repetitions. This result shows that chunking gives young children an equal benefit as older children. We discuss the role of recoding in the expansion of capacity in immediate memory and the potential role of data compression in the formation of chunks in long-term memory. PMID:26941675

  4. Developmental Abilities to Form Chunks in Immediate Memory and Its Non-Relationship to Span Development.

    PubMed

    Mathy, Fabien; Fartoukh, Michael; Gauvrit, Nicolas; Guida, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    Both adults and children -by the time they are 2-3 years old- have a general ability to recode information to increase memory efficiency. This paper aims to evaluate the ability of untrained children aged 6-10 years old to deploy such a recoding process in immediate memory. A large sample of 374 children were given a task of immediate serial report based on SIMON®, a classic memory game made of four colored buttons (red, green, yellow, blue) requiring players to reproduce a sequence of colors within which repetitions eventually occur. It was hypothesized that a primitive ability across all ages (since theoretically already available in toddlers) to detect redundancies allows the span to increase whenever information can be recoded on the fly. The chunkable condition prompted the formation of chunks based on the perceived structure of color repetition within to-be-recalled sequences of colors. Our result shows a similar linear improvement of memory span with age for both chunkable and non-chunkable conditions. The amount of information retained in immediate memory systematically increased for the groupable sequences across all age groups, independently of the average age-group span that was measured on sequences that contained fewer repetitions. This result shows that chunking gives young children an equal benefit as older children. We discuss the role of recoding in the expansion of capacity in immediate memory and the potential role of data compression in the formation of chunks in long-term memory. PMID:26941675

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  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. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. Creativity and working memory capacity in sports: working memory capacity is not a limiting factor in creative decision making amongst skilled performers

    PubMed Central

    Furley, Philip; Memmert, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The goal of the study was to investigate the relationship between domain-general working memory capacity and domain-specific creativity amongst experienced soccer players. We administered the automated operation span task in combination with a domain-specific soccer creativity task to a group of 61 experienced soccer players to address the question whether an athlete’s domain-specific creativity is restricted by their domain-general cognitive abilities (i.e., working memory capacity). Given that previous studies have either found a positive correlation, a negative correlation, or no correlation between working memory capacity and creativity, we analyzed the data in an exploratory manner by following recent recommendations to report effect-size estimations and their precision in form of 95% confidence intervals. The pattern of results provided evidence that domain-general working memory capacity is not associated with creativity in a soccer-specific creativity task. This pattern of results suggests that future research and theorizing on the role of working memory in everyday creative performance needs to distinguish between different types of creative performance while also taking the role of domain-specific experience into account. PMID:25713552

  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. 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

  20. Ageing and feature binding in visual working memory: The role of presentation time.

    PubMed

    Rhodes, Stephen; Parra, Mario A; Logie, Robert H

    2016-01-01

    A large body of research has clearly demonstrated that healthy ageing is accompanied by an associative memory deficit. Older adults exhibit disproportionately poor performance on memory tasks requiring the retention of associations between items (e.g., pairs of unrelated words). In contrast to this robust deficit, older adults' ability to form and temporarily hold bound representations of an object's surface features, such as colour and shape, appears to be relatively well preserved. However, the findings of one set of experiments suggest that older adults may struggle to form temporary bound representations in visual working memory when given more time to study objects. However, these findings were based on between-participant comparisons across experimental paradigms. The present study directly assesses the role of presentation time in the ability of younger and older adults to bind shape and colour in visual working memory using a within-participant design. We report new evidence that giving older adults longer to study memory objects does not differentially affect their immediate memory for feature combinations relative to individual features. This is in line with a growing body of research suggesting that there is no age-related impairment in immediate memory for colour-shape binding. PMID:25993530

  1. 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

  2. Working memory deficits in developmental dyscalculia: The importance of serial order.

    PubMed

    Attout, Lucie; Majerus, Steve

    2015-01-01

    Although a number of studies suggests a link between working memory (WM) storage capacity of short-term memory and calculation abilities, the nature of verbal WM deficits in children with developmental dyscalculia (DD) remains poorly understood. We explored verbal WM capacity in DD by focusing on the distinction between memory for item information (the items to be retained) and memory for order information (the order of the items within a list). We hypothesized that WM for order could be specifically related to impaired numerical abilities given that recent studies suggest close interactions between the representation of order information in WM and ordinal numerical processing. We investigated item and order WM abilities as well as basic numerical processing abilities in 16 children with DD (age: 8-11 years) and 16 typically developing children matched on age, IQ, and reading abilities. The DD group performed significantly poorer than controls in the order WM condition but not in the item WM condition. In addition, the DD group performed significantly slower than the control group on a numerical order judgment task. The present results show significantly reduced serial order WM abilities in DD coupled with less efficient numerical ordinal processing abilities, reflecting more general difficulties in explicit processing of ordinal information. PMID:24873984

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. Exploratory study of the relations between spatial ability and drawing from memory.

    PubMed

    Czarnolewski, Mark Y; Eliot, John

    2012-04-01

    Test scores of 119 students, attending either a public four-year college or a technical school, were related to their proportionality and detail drawing scores on the Memory for Designs Test. In regression models, the ETS Maze Tracing, Eliot-Price Mental Rotations, and Bender-Gestalt tests were consistent predictors of proportionality scores, with the latter two tests uniquely related to these. The ETS Shapes Memory Test and the Form Board Test were the strongest predictors for detail accuracy scores. The Shapes test predicted proportionality when the CTY Visual Memory Test BB was excluded. The models then provided support for the hypothesis that drawing designs from memory, a critical skill in drawing, regardless of whether one focuses on accuracy for proportionality scores or for detail scores, is jointly related to the measures of recognition, production, and traditional spatial ability measures. This study identified multifaceted skills in drawing from memory. PMID:22755465

  7. Implicit Working Memory: Implications for Assessment and Treatment.

    PubMed

    Joyce, Arthur W

    2016-01-01

    Working memory (WM) impacts a gamut of cognitive abilities, but implicit WM is typically not considered in assessment or treatment, which may explain the variability of results in reviews of WM training. The role of implicit WM in adaptive behavior is reviewed. All we do is action based. Explicit WM plays a major role when we are required to "think"; that is, when we apply previously learned perception-action linkages in new ways to unique situations. Implicit WM is involved in the automation of behavior, which occurs through interaction with cortical and subcortical systems that guide sensory-motor anticipation and the prediction of reward. This article reviews evidence that implicit WM interacts with cortical-cerebellar and cortical-basal ganglia connections to form perception-action linkages. The cerebellum forms an internal model of cortical WM, corrects the content of this internal model, and then projects the improved representation back to the cortex, where it is retained for future use. The basal ganglia also form an anticipatory system, controlling cortical access to WM by allowing or restricting the information that is released based on the probability of reward. This framework is applied to the assessment and treatment of individuals with WM deficits. The ability to automate behavior can be assessed through repeated trials of existing testing instruments, such as the Trails B and Stroop tasks. Application of skill learning emphasizing automation as an end goal offers a model for the development of new types of WM training. PMID:27191219

  8. Working Memory Impairment in People with Williams Syndrome: Effects of Delay, Task and Stimuli

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Hearn, Kirsten; Courtney, Susan; Street, Whitney; Landau, Barbara

    2009-01-01

    Williams syndrome (WS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with impaired visuospatial representations subserved by the dorsal stream and relatively strong object recognition abilities subserved by the ventral stream. There is conflicting evidence on whether this uneven pattern in WS extends to working memory (WM). The present studies…

  9. The Relationship between Working Memory for Serial Order and Numerical Development: A Longitudinal Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Attout, Lucie; Noël, Marie-Pascale; Majerus, Steve

    2014-01-01

    Despite numerous studies, the link between verbal working memory (WM) and calculation abilities remains poorly understood. The present longitudinal study focuses specifically on the role of serial order retention capacities, based on recent findings suggesting a link between ordinal processing in verbal WM and numerical processing tasks. Children…

  10. Magnitude Representation and Working Memory Updating in Children with Arithmetic and Reading Comprehension Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pelegrina, Santiago; Capodieci, Agnese; Carretti, Barbara; Cornoldi, Cesare

    2015-01-01

    It has been argued that children with learning disabilities (LD) encounter severe problems in working memory (WM) tasks, especially when they need to update information stored in their WM. It is not clear, however, to what extent this is due to a generally poor updating ability or to a difficulty specific to the domain to be processed. To examine…

  11. Is Working Memory Fractionated onto Different Components of Intelligence? A Reply to Mackintosh and Bennett (2003)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colom, Roberto; Shih, Pei Chun

    2004-01-01

    A study was conducted in which 226 participants performed 12 tests, 6 thought to reflect verbal, quantitative, and spatial working memory (WM), and 6 of crystallized (Gc), fluid (Gf), and spatial (Gv) cognitive abilities. Confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) were computed to test the unitary nature of the WM system. Six primary latent factors were…

  12. Developmental Change in Proactive Interference across the Life Span: Evidence from Two Working Memory Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loosli, Sandra V.; Rahm, Benjamin; Unterrainer, Josef M.; Weiller, Cornelius; Kaller, Christoph P.

    2014-01-01

    Working memory (WM) as the ability to temporarily maintain and manipulate various kinds of information is known to be affected by proactive interference (PI) from previously relevant contents, but studies on developmental changes in the susceptibility to PI are scarce. In the present study, we investigated life span development of item-specific…

  13. Articulatory Suppression in Language Interpretation: Working Memory Capacity, Dual Tasking and Word Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Padilla, Francisca; Bajo, Maria Teresa; Macizo, Pedro

    2005-01-01

    How do interpreters manage to cope with the adverse effects of concurrent articulation while trying to comprehend the message in the source language? In Experiments 1-3, we explored three possible working memory (WM) functions that may underlie the ability to simultaneously comprehend and produce in the interpreters: WM storage capacity,…

  14. Exploring Expressive Vocabulary Variability in Two-Year-Olds: The Role of Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newbury, Jayne; Klee, Thomas; Stokes, Stephanie F.; Moran, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: This study explored whether measures of working memory ability contribute to the wide variation in 2-year-olds' expressive vocabulary skills. Method: Seventy-nine children (aged 24-30 months) were assessed by using standardized tests of vocabulary and visual cognition, a processing speed measure, and behavioral measures of verbal working…

  15. Theorizing and Measuring Working Memory in First and Second Language Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wen, Zhisheng

    2014-01-01

    Working memory (WM) generally refers to the human ability to temporarily maintain and manipulate a limited amount of information in immediate consciousness when carrying out complex cognitive tasks such as problem-solving and language comprehension. Though much controversy has surrounded the WM concept since its inception by Baddeley & Hitch…

  16. Text Comprehension Mediates Morphological Awareness, Syntactic Processing, and Working Memory in Predicting Chinese Written Composition Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guan, Connie Qun; Ye, Feifei; Wagner, Richard K.; Meng, Wanjin; Leong, Che Kan

    2014-01-01

    The goal of the present study was to test opposing views about 4 issues concerning predictors of individual differences in Chinese written composition: (a) whether morphological awareness, syntactic processing, and working memory represent distinct and measureable constructs in Chinese or are just manifestations of general language ability; (b)…

  17. Computational Skills, Working Memory, and Conceptual Knowledge in Older Children with Mathematics Learning Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mabbott, Donald J.; Bisanz, Jeffrey

    2008-01-01

    Knowledge and skill in multiplication were investigated for late elementary-grade students with mathematics learning disabilities (MLD), typically achieving age-matched peers, low-achieving age-matched peers, and ability-matched peers by examining multiple measures of computational skill, working memory, and conceptual knowledge. Poor…

  18. Why Does Working Memory Capacity Predict RAPM Performance? A Possible Role of Distraction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jarosz, Andrew F.; Wiley, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    Current theories concerning individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) suggest that WMC reflects the ability to control the focus of attention and resist interference and distraction. The current set of experiments tested whether susceptibility to distraction is partially responsible for the established relationship between…

  19. The Role of Statistical Learning and Working Memory in L2 Speakers' Pattern Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McDonough, Kim; Trofimovich, Pavel

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated whether second language (L2) speakers' morphosyntactic pattern learning was predicted by their statistical learning and working memory abilities. Across three experiments, Thai English as a Foreign Language (EFL) university students (N = 140) were exposed to either the transitive construction in Esperanto (e.g., "tauro…

  20. What Makes a Skilled Writer? Working Memory and Audience Awareness during Text Composition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alamargot, Denis; Caporossi, Gilles; Chesnet, David; Ros, Christine

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated the role of working memory capacity as a factor for individual differences in the ability to compose a text with communicative efficiency based on audience awareness. We analyzed its differential effects on the dynamics of the writing processes, as well as on the content of the finished product. Twenty-five graduate…

  1. The Components of Working Memory Updating: An Experimental Decomposition and Individual Differences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ecker, Ullrich K. H.; Lewandowsky, Stephan; Oberauer, Klaus; Chee, Abby E. H.

    2010-01-01

    Working memory updating (WMU) has been identified as a cognitive function of prime importance for everyday tasks and has also been found to be a significant predictor of higher mental abilities. Yet, little is known about the constituent processes of WMU. We suggest that operations required in a typical WMU task can be decomposed into 3 major…

  2. Genetic Variance in Processing Speed Drives Variation in Aging of Spatial and Memory Abilities

    PubMed Central

    Finkel, Deborah; McArdle, John J.; Reynolds, Chandra A.; Hamagami, Fumiaki; Pedersen, Nancy L.

    2013-01-01

    Previous analyses have identified a genetic contribution to the correlation between declines with age in processing speed and higher cognitive abilities. The goal of the current analysis was to apply the biometric dual change score model to consider the possibility of temporal dynamics underlying the genetic covariance between aging trajectories for processing speed and cognitive abilities. Longitudinal twin data from the Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging, including up to 5 measurement occasions covering a 16-year period, were available from 806 participants ranging in age from 50 to 88 years at the 1st measurement wave. Factors were generated to tap 4 cognitive domains: verbal ability, spatial ability, memory, and processing speed. Model-fitting indicated that genetic variance for processing speed was a leading indicator of variation in age changes for spatial and memory ability, providing additional support for processing speed theories of cognitive aging. PMID:19413434

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Motor Subtype as a Predictor of Future Working Memory Performance in Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Andrew R.; Bucks, Romola S.; Kane, Robert T.; Thomas, Meghan G.; Gasson, Natalie; Loftus, Andrea M.

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder associated with reduced spatial and verbal working memory ability. There are two established motor subtypes of PD, tremor dominant (TD) and postural instability and gait difficulty (PIGD). This study used structural equation modelling to explore the longitudinal relationship between the two subtypes and working memory assessed at a 2-year follow-up. The study comprised 84 males and 30 females (N = 114), aged between 39 and 85 (M = 64.82, SD = 9.23) with confirmed PD. There was no significant relationship between motor subtype at Time 1 and working memory at Time 2. Postural symptom severity at Time 1 predicted Time 2 spatial working memory for the PIGD subtype (p = .011) but not the TD subtype. Tremor symptoms were not associated with Time 2 working memory in either subtype. Predictive significance of Time 1 postural symptoms only in the PIGD subtype suggests an interaction between symptom dominance (subtype) and symptom severity that future subtyping should consider. This study demonstrates a predictive relationship between postural difficulties and working memory performance assessed at a 2-year follow-up. Establishing physical symptoms as predictors of cognitive change could have significant clinical importance. PMID:27015637

  9. Motor Subtype as a Predictor of Future Working Memory Performance in Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Andrew R; Bucks, Romola S; Kane, Robert T; Thomas, Meghan G; Gasson, Natalie; Loftus, Andrea M

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder associated with reduced spatial and verbal working memory ability. There are two established motor subtypes of PD, tremor dominant (TD) and postural instability and gait difficulty (PIGD). This study used structural equation modelling to explore the longitudinal relationship between the two subtypes and working memory assessed at a 2-year follow-up. The study comprised 84 males and 30 females (N = 114), aged between 39 and 85 (M = 64.82, SD = 9.23) with confirmed PD. There was no significant relationship between motor subtype at Time 1 and working memory at Time 2. Postural symptom severity at Time 1 predicted Time 2 spatial working memory for the PIGD subtype (p = .011) but not the TD subtype. Tremor symptoms were not associated with Time 2 working memory in either subtype. Predictive significance of Time 1 postural symptoms only in the PIGD subtype suggests an interaction between symptom dominance (subtype) and symptom severity that future subtyping should consider. This study demonstrates a predictive relationship between postural difficulties and working memory performance assessed at a 2-year follow-up. Establishing physical symptoms as predictors of cognitive change could have significant clinical importance. PMID:27015637

  10. 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

  11. Effect of Zhuang Jing Decoction on Learning and Memory Ability in Aging Rats.

    PubMed

    Cai, Hao-Bin; Wu, Guang-Liang; Huang, Cen-Han; Huang, Zhong-Shi; Chen, Yun-Bo; Wang, Qi

    2016-08-01

    With the average life span of humans on the rise, aging in the world has drawn considerable attentions. The monoamine neurotransmitters and neurotrophic factors in brain areas are involved in learning and memory processes and are an essential part of normal synaptic neurotransmission and plasticity. In the present study, the effect of Zhuang Jing Decoction (ZJD) on the learning and memory ability in aging rats was examined in vivo using Morris water maze. Furthermore, the levels of monoamine neurotransmitters and neurotrophic factors in brain were detected by high-performance liquid chromatography with a fluorescence detector and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively. These data showed that oral administration with ZJD at the dose of 30 g·kg(-1) exerted an improved effect on learning and memory ability in aging rats. The results revealed that ZJD could effectively adjust the monoamine neurotransmitters and neurotrophic factors, restore the balance of the level of monoamine neurotransmitters and neurotrophic factors in brain, and finally attenuate the degeneration of learning and memory ability. These findings suggested that ZJD might be a potential agent as cognitive-enhancing drug in improving learning and memory ability. It may exert through regulating the levels of monoamine neurotransmitters and neurotrophic factors in brain, which demonstrated that ZJD had certain antiaging effects. PMID:26649780

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Vestibular involvement in cognition: Visuospatial ability, attention, executive function, and memory.

    PubMed

    Bigelow, Robin T; Agrawal, Yuri

    2015-01-01

    A growing body of literature suggests the inner ear vestibular system has a substantial impact on cognitive function. The strongest evidence exists in connecting vestibular function to the cognitive domain of visuospatial ability, which includes spatial memory, navigation, mental rotation, and mental representation of three-dimensional space. Substantial evidence also exists suggesting the vestibular system has an impact on attention and cognitive processing ability. The cognitive domains of memory and executive function are also implicated in a number of studies. We will review the current literature, discuss possible causal links between vestibular dysfunction and cognitive performance, and suggest areas of future research. PMID:26410672

  19. The effect of feeding enrichment upon reported working ability and behavior of kenneled working dogs.

    PubMed

    Gaines, Samantha A; Rooney, Nicola J; Bradshaw, John W S

    2008-11-01

    It is widely recommended that kenneled dogs are provided with environmental enrichment such as toys or feeding devices. However, the adoption of enrichment for military working dogs is impeded by a widespread belief that it reduces their motivation to work. Handlers of 22 working German Shepherd dogs were asked to rate their dogs on 11 attributes pertaining to working ability, related behavioral traits, and health. Eight of the dogs were then provided with daily feeding enrichment for 4 months, while the remainder were given equivalent human attention. The same 11 traits were scored again following the enrichment period: 10 changed little over the period while handlers' reports of their dogs' Ability to learn from being rewarded increased significantly. Changes for all attributes were virtually identical in enriched and control dogs. We conclude that if correctly managed, feeding enrichment can be introduced to kenneled working dogs without any reported detrimental effects upon working ability, health, or behavior. PMID:18808374

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Working memory training in children: Effectiveness depends on temperament.

    PubMed

    Studer-Luethi, Barbara; Bauer, Catherine; Perrig, Walter J

    2016-02-01

    Studies revealing transfer effects of working memory (WM) training on non-trained cognitive performance of children hold promising implications for scholastic learning. However, the results of existing training studies are not consistent and provoke debates about the potential and limitations of cognitive enhancement. To examine the influence of individual differences on training outcomes is a promising approach for finding causes for such inconsistencies. In this study, we implemented WM training in an elementary school setting. The aim was to investigate near and far transfer effects on cognitive abilities and academic achievement and to examine the moderating effects of a dispositional and a regulative temperament factor, neuroticism and effortful control. Ninety-nine second-graders were randomly assigned to 20 sessions of computer-based adaptive WM training, computer-based reading training, or a no-contact control group. For the WM training group, our analyses reveal near transfer on a visual WM task, far transfer on a vocabulary task as a proxy for crystallized intelligence, and increased academic achievement in reading and math by trend. Considering individual differences in temperament, we found that effortful control predicts larger training mean and gain scores and that there is a moderation effect of both temperament factors on post-training improvement: WM training condition predicted higher post-training gains compared to both control conditions only in children with high effortful control or low neuroticism. Our results suggest that a short but intensive WM training program can enhance cognitive abilities in children, but that sufficient self-regulative abilities and emotional stability are necessary for WM training to be effective. PMID:26353877

  3. How to Assess Gaming-Induced Benefits on Attention and Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Jyoti; Bavelier, Daphne; Gazzaley, Adam

    2012-06-01

    Our daily actions are driven by our goals in the moment, constantly forcing us to choose among various options. Attention and working memory are key enablers of that process. Attention allows for selective processing of goal-relevant information and rejecting task-irrelevant information. Working memory functions to maintain goal-relevant information in memory for brief periods of time for subsequent recall and/or manipulation. Efficient attention and working memory thus support the best extraction and retention of environmental information for optimal task performance. Recent studies have evidenced that attention and working memory abilities can be enhanced by cognitive training games as well as entertainment videogames. Here we review key cognitive paradigms that have been used to evaluate the impact of game-based training on various aspects of attention and working memory. Common use of such methodology within the scientific community will enable direct comparison of the efficacy of different games across age groups and clinical populations. The availability of common assessment tools will ultimately facilitate development of the most effective forms of game-based training for cognitive rehabilitation and education. PMID:24761314

  4. Effects of action video game training on visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Blacker, Kara J; Curby, Kim M; Klobusicky, Elizabeth; Chein, Jason M

    2014-10-01

    The ability to hold visual information in mind over a brief delay is critical for acquiring information and navigating a complex visual world. Despite the ubiquitous nature of visual working memory (VWM) in our everyday lives, this system is fundamentally limited in capacity. Therefore, the potential to improve VWM through training is a growing area of research. An emerging body of literature suggests that extensive experience playing action video games yields a myriad of perceptual and attentional benefits. Several lines of converging work suggest that action video game play may influence VWM as well. The current study utilized a training paradigm to examine whether action video games cause improvements to the quantity and/or the quality of information stored in VWM. The results suggest that VWM capacity, as measured by a change detection task, is increased after action video game training, as compared with training on a control game, and that some improvement to VWM precision occurs with action game training as well. However, these findings do not appear to extend to a complex span measure of VWM, which is often thought to tap into higher-order executive skills. The VWM improvements seen in individuals trained on an action video game cannot be accounted for by differences in motivation or engagement, differential expectations, or baseline differences in demographics as compared with the control group used. In sum, action video game training represents a potentially unique and engaging platform by which this severely capacity-limited VWM system might be enhanced. PMID:25068696

  5. Effects of Work-Related Stress on Work Ability Index among Iranian Workers

    PubMed Central

    Gharibi, Vahid; Mokarami, Hamidreza; Taban, Abrahim; Yazdani Aval, Mohsen; Samimi, Kazem; Salesi, Mahmood

    2015-01-01

    Background Work Ability Index (WAI) is a well-known and valid self-report tool that has been widely used in various studies to identify and avoid early retirement and work-related disability. Nevertheless, very few studies have been carried out to evaluate work ability in Iran. We aimed to investigate the WAI and the effect of work-related stress on it among Iranian workers. Methods A cross-sectional, descriptive and analytic study was carried out among 449 workers from five working sectors in three big cities of Iran. Work ability and work-related stress were measured using the Persian version of WAI and the Persian version of Health and Safety Executive Stress Indicator Tool. Results More than a third of the workers surveyed (34.70%) did not have an appropriate level of work ability (WAI < 37). There was a significant correlation between subscales of work-related stress and the mean score of WAI. Furthermore, the variables of body mass index, sleep quality, exercise activity, job tenure, and three subscales of work-related stress including demands, supervisor support, and role were significant predictors of WAI. Conclusion According to the results of this study, the interventional programs must be focused on improving supervisors support, eliminating ambiguity and conflicts in the role of workers in their job and organization, reducing job demands, improving sleep quality, and increasing exercise activity. PMID:27014490

  6. Functional Brain Network Modularity Captures Inter- and Intra-Individual Variation in Working Memory Capacity

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Alexander A.; Tappon, Sarah C.; Garg, Arun; Fair, Damien A.

    2012-01-01

    Background Cognitive abilities, such as working memory, differ among people; however, individuals also vary in their own day-to-day cognitive performance. One potential source of cognitive variability may be fluctuations in the functional organization of neural systems. The degree to which the organization of these functional networks is optimized may relate to the effective cognitive functioning of the individual. Here we specifically examine how changes in the organization of large-scale networks measured via resting state functional connectivity MRI and graph theory track changes in working memory capacity. Methodology/Principal Findings Twenty-two participants performed a test of working memory capacity and then underwent resting-state fMRI. Seventeen subjects repeated the protocol three weeks later. We applied graph theoretic techniques to measure network organization on 34 brain regions of interest (ROI). Network modularity, which measures the level of integration and segregation across sub-networks, and small-worldness, which measures global network connection efficiency, both predicted individual differences in memory capacity; however, only modularity predicted intra-individual variation across the two sessions. Partial correlations controlling for the component of working memory that was stable across sessions revealed that modularity was almost entirely associated with the variability of working memory at each session. Analyses of specific sub-networks and individual circuits were unable to consistently account for working memory capacity variability. Conclusions/Significance The results suggest that the intrinsic functional organization of an a priori defined cognitive control network measured at rest provides substantial information about actual cognitive performance. The association of network modularity to the variability in an individual's working memory capacity suggests that the organization of this network into high connectivity within modules

  7. The cognitive and behavioral characteristics of children with low working memory.

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

    This study explored the cognitive and behavioral profiles of children with working memory impairments. In an initial screening of 3,189 five- to eleven-year-olds, 308 were identified as having very low working memory scores. Cognitive skills (IQ, vocabulary, reading, and math), classroom behavior, and self-esteem were assessed. The majority of the children struggled in the learning measures and verbal ability. They also obtained atypically high ratings of cognitive problems/inattentive symptoms and were judged to have short attention spans, high levels of distractibility, problems in monitoring the quality of their work, and difficulties in generating new solutions to problems. These data provide rich new information on the cognitive and behavioral profiles that characterize children with low working memory. PMID:19467014

  8. 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

  9. Deconstructing Spatial Working Memory and Attention Deficits in Multiple Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Gmeindl, Leon; Courtney, Susan M.

    2011-01-01

    Objective To investigate whether spatial working memory (WM) is impaired in multiple sclerosis (MS), and, if it is, to localize impairment to specific cognitive subprocess(es). Method In Experiment 1, MS and control participants performed computerized memory-span and visuomotor tasks. WM subprocesses were taxed by manipulating (1) the requirement to remember serial order, (2) delay duration, and (3) the presence of irrelevant stimuli during target presentation. In Experiment 2, recall and recognition tests varied the difficulty of WM retrieval. In Experiment 3, an attention-cueing task tested the ability to voluntarily and rapidly reorient attention. Results Performance was worse for MS than for control participants in both spatial recall (Exp. 1 span: 95% CIMS = [5.11, 5.57], 95% CIControls = [5.58, 6.03], p = 0.003, 1-tailed; Exp. 2 span: 95% CIMS = [4.44, 5.54], 95% CIControls = [5.47, 6.57], p = 0.006, 1-tailed) and recognition (accuracy: 95% CIMS = [0.71, 0.81], 95% CIControls = [0.79, 0.88], p = 0.01, 1-tailed) tests. However, there was no evidence for deficits in spatiotemporal binding, maintenance, retrieval, distractor suppression, or visuomotor processing. In contrast, MS participants were abnormally slow to reorient attention (cueing effect (ms): 95% CIMS: [90, 169], 95% CIControls: [29, 107], p = 0.015, 1-tailed). Conclusions Results suggest that, whereas spatial WM is impaired in MS, once spatial information has been adequately encoded into WM, individuals with MS are, on average, able to maintain and retrieve this information. Impoverished encoding of spatial information, however, may be due to inefficient voluntary orienting of attention. PMID:22059650

  10. Attention and working memory: two basic mechanisms for constructing temporal experiences

    PubMed Central

    Marchetti, Giorgio

    2014-01-01

    Various kinds of observations show that the ability of human beings to both consciously relive past events – episodic memory – and conceive future events, entails an active process of construction. This construction process also underpins many other important aspects of conscious human life, such as perceptions, language, and conscious thinking. This article provides an explanation of what makes the constructive process possible and how it works. The process mainly relies on attentional activity, which has a discrete and periodic nature, and working memory, which allows for the combination of discrete attentional operations. An explanation is also provided of how past and future events are constructed. PMID:25177305

  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. 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

  13. Working memory and executive functions: effects of training on academic achievement.

    PubMed

    Titz, Cora; Karbach, Julia

    2014-11-01

    The aim of this review is to illustrate the role of working memory and executive functions for scholastic achievement as an introduction to the question of whether and how working memory and executive control training may improve academic abilities. The review of current research showed limited but converging evidence for positive effects of process-based complex working-memory training on academic abilities, particularly in the domain of reading. These benefits occurred in children suffering from cognitive and academic deficits as well as in healthy students. Transfer of training to mathematical abilities seemed to be very limited and to depend on the training regime and the characteristics of the study sample. A core issue in training research is whether high- or low-achieving children benefit more from cognitive training. Individual differences in terms of training-related benefits suggested that process-based working memory and executive control training often induced compensation effects with larger benefits in low performing individuals. Finally, we discuss the effects of process-based training in relation to other types of interventions aimed at improving academic achievement. PMID:24389706

  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 Developmental Influence of Primary Memory Capacity on Working Memory and Academic Achievement

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we investigate the development of primary memory capacity among children. Children between the ages of 5 and 8 completed 3 novel tasks (split span, interleaved lists, and a modified free-recall task) that measured primary memory by estimating the number of items in the focus of attention that could be spontaneously recalled in serial order. These tasks were calibrated against traditional measures of simple and complex span. Clear age-related changes in these primary memory estimates were observed. There were marked individual differences in primary memory capacity, but each novel measure was predictive of simple span performance. Among older children, each measure shared variance with reading and mathematics performance, whereas for younger children, the interleaved lists task was the strongest single predictor of academic ability. We argue that these novel tasks have considerable potential for the measurement of primary memory capacity and provide new, complementary ways of measuring the transient memory processes that predict academic performance. The interleaved lists task also shared features with interference control tasks, and our findings suggest that young children have a particular difficulty in resisting distraction and that variance in the ability to resist distraction is also shared with measures of educational attainment. PMID:26075630

  17. The developmental influence of primary memory capacity on working memory and academic achievement.

    PubMed

    Hall, Debbora; Jarrold, Christopher; Towse, John N; Zarandi, Amy L

    2015-08-01

    In this study, we investigate the development of primary memory capacity among children. Children between the ages of 5 and 8 completed 3 novel tasks (split span, interleaved lists, and a modified free-recall task) that measured primary memory by estimating the number of items in the focus of attention that could be spontaneously recalled in serial order. These tasks were calibrated against traditional measures of simple and complex span. Clear age-related changes in these primary memory estimates were observed. There were marked individual differences in primary memory capacity, but each novel measure was predictive of simple span performance. Among older children, each measure shared variance with reading and mathematics performance, whereas for younger children, the interleaved lists task was the strongest single predictor of academic ability. We argue that these novel tasks have considerable potential for the measurement of primary memory capacity and provide new, complementary ways of measuring the transient memory processes that predict academic performance. The interleaved lists task also shared features with interference control tasks, and our findings suggest that young children have a particular difficulty in resisting distraction and that variance in the ability to resist distraction is also shared with measures of educational attainment. PMID:26075630

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Inactivation of Primate Prefrontal Cortex Impairs Auditory and Audiovisual Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Jaewon; Romanski, Lizabeth M.

    2015-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex is associated with cognitive functions that include planning, reasoning, decision-making, working memory, and communication. Neurophysiology and neuropsychology studies have established that dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is essential in spatial working memory while the ventral frontal lobe processes language and communication signals. Single-unit recordings in nonhuman primates has shown that ventral prefrontal (VLPFC) neurons integrate face and vocal information and are active during audiovisual working memory. However, whether VLPFC is essential in remembering face and voice information is unknown. We therefore trained nonhuman primates in an audiovisual working memory paradigm using naturalistic face-vocalization movies as memoranda. We inactivated VLPFC, with reversible cortical cooling, and examined performance when faces, vocalizations or both faces and vocalization had to be remembered. We found that VLPFC inactivation impaired subjects' performance in audiovisual and auditory-alone versions of the task. In contrast, VLPFC inactivation did not disrupt visual working memory. Our studies demonstrate the importance of VLPFC in auditory and audiovisual working memory for social stimuli but suggest a different role for VLPFC in unimodal visual processing. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The ventral frontal lobe, or inferior frontal gyrus, plays an important role in audiovisual communication in the human brain. Studies with nonhuman primates have found that neurons within ventral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) encode both faces and vocalizations and that VLPFC is active when animals need to remember these social stimuli. In the present study, we temporarily inactivated VLPFC by cooling the cortex while nonhuman primates performed a working memory task. This impaired the ability of subjects to remember a face and vocalization pair or just the vocalization alone. Our work highlights the importance of the primate VLPFC in the processing of faces and

  6. Reentrainment Impairs Spatial Working Memory until Both Activity Onset and Offset Reentrain.

    PubMed

    Ruby, Norman F; Patton, Danica F; Bane, Shalmali; Looi, David; Heller, H Craig

    2015-10-01

    Compression of the active phase (α) during reentrainment to phase-shifted light-dark (LD) cycles is a common feature of circadian systems, but its functional consequences have not been investigated. This study tested whether α compression in Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) impaired their spatial working memory as assessed by spontaneous alternation (SA) behavior in a T-maze. Animals were exposed to a 1- or 3-h phase delay of the LD cycle (16 h light/8 h dark). SA behavior was tested at 4 multiday intervals after the phase shift, and α was quantified for those days. All animals failed at the SA task while α was decompressing but recovered spatial memory ability once α returned to baseline levels. A second experiment exposed hamsters to a 2-h light pulse either early or late at night to compress α without phase-shifting the LD cycle. SA behavior was impaired until α decompressed to baseline levels. In a third experiment, α was compressed by changing photoperiod (LD 16:8, 18:6, 20:4) to see if absolute differences in α were related to spatial memory ability. Animals performed the SA task successfully in all 3 photoperiods. These data show that the dynamic process of α compression and decompression impairs spatial working memory and suggests that α modulation is a potential biomarker for assessing the impact of transmeridian flight or shift work on memory. PMID:26224657

  7. An examination of the seductive details effect in terms of working memory capacity.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Christopher A; Wiley, Jennifer

    2006-03-01

    Previous work on learning from text has demonstrated that although illustrated text can enhance comprehension, illustrations can also sometimes lead to poor learning outcomes when they are not relevant to understanding the text This phenomenon is known as the seductive details effect. The first experiment was designed to test whether the ability to control one's attention, as measured by working memory span tasks, would influence the processing of a scientific text that contained seductive (irrelevant) images, conceptually relevant images, or no illustrations. Understanding was evaluated using both an essay response and an inference verification task. Results indicated that low working memory capacity readers are especially vulnerable to the seductive details effect. In the second experiment, this issue was explored further, using eye-tracking methodology to evaluate the reading patterns of individuals who differed in working memory capacity as they read the same seductively illustrated scientific text Results indicated that low working memory individuals attend to seductive illustrations more often than not and, also, for a longer duration than do those individuals high in working memory capacity. PMID:16752598

  8. Working memory updating and the development of rule-guided behavior.

    PubMed

    Amso, Dima; Haas, Sara; McShane, Lauren; Badre, David

    2014-10-01

    The transition from middle childhood into adolescence is marked by both increasing independence and also extensive change in the daily requirements of familial demands, social pressures, and academic achievement. To manage this increased complexity, children must develop the ability to use abstract rules that guide the choice of behavior across a range of circumstances. Here, we tested children through adults in a task that requires increasing levels of rule abstraction, while separately manipulating competition among alternatives in working memory. We found that age-related differences in rule-guided behavior can be explained in terms of improvement in rule abstraction, which we suggest involves a working memory updating mechanism. Furthermore, family socioeconomic status (SES) predicted change in rule-guided behavior, such that higher SES predicted better performance with development. We discuss these results within a working memory gating framework for abstract rule-guided behavior. PMID:25044248

  9. The Implications of the Working Memory Model for the Evolution of Modern Cognition

    PubMed Central

    Wynn, Thomas; Coolidge, Frederick L.

    2011-01-01

    What distinguishes the cognition of biologically modern humans from that of more archaic populations such as Neandertals? The norm in paleoanthropology has been to emphasize the role of language and symbolism. But the modern mind is more than just an archaic mind enhanced by symbol use. It also possesses an important problem solving and planning component. In cognitive neuroscience these advanced planning abilities have been extensively investigated through a formal model known as working memory. The working memory model is now well-enough established to provide a powerful lens through which paleoanthropologists can view the fossil and archaeological records. The challenge is methodological. The following essay reviews the controversial hypothesis that a recent enhancement of working memory capacity was the final piece in the evolution of modern cognition. PMID:21716664

  10. Effects of impoverished environmental conditions on working memory performance.

    PubMed

    Engel de Abreu, Pascale M J; Puglisi, Marina L; Cruz-Santos, Anabela; Befi-Lopes, Debora M; Martin, Romain

    2014-01-01

    This cross-cultural study investigates the impact of background experience on four verbal and visuo-spatial working memory (WM) tasks. A total of 84 children from low-income families were recruited from the following groups: (1) Portuguese immigrant children from Luxembourg impoverished in terms of language experience; (2) Brazilian children deprived in terms of scholastic background; (3) Portuguese children from Portugal with no disadvantage in either scholastic or language background. Children were matched on age, gender, fluid intelligence, and socioeconomic status and completed four simple and complex span tasks of WM and a vocabulary measure. Results indicate that, despite large differences in their backgrounds and language abilities, the groups exhibited comparable performance on the visuo-spatial tasks dot matrix and odd-one-out and on the verbal simple span task digit recall. Group differences emerged on the verbal complex span task counting recall with children from Luxembourg and Portugal outperforming children from disadvantaged schools in Brazil. The study suggests that whereas contributions of prior knowledge to digit span, dot matrix, and odd-one-out are likely to be minimal, background experience can affect performance on counting recall. Implications for testing WM capacity in children growing up in poverty are discussed. PMID:23531204

  11. Working memory capacity predicts conflict-task performance.

    PubMed

    Gulbinaite, Rasa; Johnson, Addie

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between the ability to maintain task goals and working memory capacity (WMC) is firmly established, but evidence for WMC-related differences in conflict processing is mixed. We investigated whether WMC (measured using two complex-span tasks) mediates differences in adjustments of cognitive control in response to conflict. Participants performed a Simon task in which congruent and incongruent trials were equiprobable, but in which the proportion of congruency repetitions (congruent trials followed by congruent trials or incongruent trials followed by incongruent trials) and thus the need for trial-by-trial adjustments in cognitive control varied by block. The overall Simon effect did not depend on WMC capacity. However, for the low-WMC participants the Simon effect decreased as the proportion of congruency repetitions decreased, whereas for the high- and average-WMC participants it was relatively constant across conditions. Distribution analysis of the Simon effect showed more evidence for the inhibition of stimulus location in the low- than in the high-WMC participants, especially when the proportion of congruency repetitions was low. We hypothesize that low-WMC individuals exhibit more interference from task-irrelevant information due to weaker preparatory control prior to stimulus presentation and, thus, stronger reliance on reactive recruitment of cognitive control. PMID:24199908

  12. The relationship among geometry, working memory, and intelligence in children.

    PubMed

    Giofrè, David; Mammarella, Irene Cristina; Cornoldi, Cesare

    2014-07-01

    Although geometry is one of the main areas of mathematical learning, the cognitive processes underlying geometry-related academic achievement have not been studied in detail. This study explored the relationship among working memory (WM), intelligence (g factor), and geometry in 176 typically developing children attending school in their fourth and fifth grades. Structural equation modeling showed that approximately 40% of the variance in academic achievement and in intuitive geometry (which is assumed to be independent of a person's cultural background) was explained by WM and the g factor. After taking intelligence and WM into account, intuitive geometry was no longer significantly related to academic achievement in geometry. We also found intuitive geometry to be closely related to fluid intelligence (as measured by Raven's colored progressive matrices) and reasoning ability, whereas academic achievement in geometry depended largely on WM. These results were confirmed by a series of regressions in which we estimated the contributions of WM, intelligence, and intuitive geometry to the unique and shared variance explaining academic achievement in geometry. Theoretical and educational implications of the relationship among WM, intelligence, and academic achievement in geometry are discussed. PMID:24709286

  13. Task-based working memory guidance of visual attention.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhe; Tsou, Brian H

    2011-05-01

    Previous research has established that holding a stimulus in working memory (WM) facilitates the deployment of visual attention to that stimulus relative to other stimuli. The present study examined whether maintaining a specific task in WM would also bias the allocation of attention to the stimuli associated with that task. Participants performed a speeded letter search task while simultaneously keeping in WM one of two task cues shown at the beginning of each trial. The results showed that task-based WM guidance of attention was modulated by response latencies. Whereas the participants with fast reaction times showed little influence of WM contents, the participants with slow reaction times took longer to respond when the letter target appeared in a distractor stimulus consistent with the task cue held in mind. A subsequent Stroop experiment found a larger Stroop interference effect from the participants in the slow group compared with those in the fast group, suggesting that the differential WM effect between the two groups may be associated with an individual's ability to inhibit task-irrelevant information. Taken together, these results expanded the realm of previous research and provided further evidence for a close link between attention and WM. PMID:21264740

  14. The role of working memory in inferential sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Pérez, Ana Isabel; Paolieri, Daniela; Macizo, Pedro; Bajo, Teresa

    2014-08-01

    Existing literature on inference making is large and varied. Trabasso and Magliano (Discourse Process 21(3):255-287, 1996) proposed the existence of three types of inferences: explicative, associative and predictive. In addition, the authors suggested that these inferences were related to working memory (WM). In the present experiment, we investigated whether WM capacity plays a role in our ability to answer comprehension sentences that require text information based on these types of inferences. Participants with high and low WM span read two narratives with four paragraphs each. After each paragraph was read, they were presented with four true/false comprehension sentences. One required verbatim information and the other three implied explicative, associative and predictive inferential information. Results demonstrated that only the explicative and predictive comprehension sentences required WM: participants with high verbal WM were more accurate in giving explanations and also faster at making predictions relative to participants with low verbal WM span; in contrast, no WM differences were found in the associative comprehension sentences. These results are interpreted in terms of the causal nature underlying these types of inferences. PMID:24668068

  15. Enhancing Working Memory Training with Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation.

    PubMed

    Au, Jacky; Katz, Benjamin; Buschkuehl, Martin; Bunarjo, Kimberly; Senger, Thea; Zabel, Chelsea; Jaeggi, Susanne M; Jonides, John

    2016-09-01

    Working memory (WM) is a fundamental cognitive ability that supports complex thought but is limited in capacity. Thus, WM training interventions have become very popular as a means of potentially improving WM-related skills. Another promising intervention that has gained increasing traction in recent years is transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a noninvasive form of brain stimulation that can modulate cortical excitability and temporarily increase brain plasticity. As such, it has the potential to boost learning and enhance performance on cognitive tasks. This study assessed the efficacy of tDCS to supplement WM training. Sixty-two participants were randomized to receive either right prefrontal, left prefrontal, or sham stimulation with concurrent visuospatial WM training over the course of seven training sessions. Results showed that tDCS enhanced training performance, which was strikingly preserved several months after training completion. Furthermore, we observed stronger effects when tDCS was spaced over a weekend break relative to consecutive daily training, and we also demonstrated selective transfer in the right prefrontal group to nontrained tasks of visual and spatial WM. These findings shed light on how tDCS may be leveraged as a tool to enhance performance on WM-intensive learning tasks. PMID:27167403

  16. The benefit of amplification on auditory working memory function in middle-aged and young-older hearing impaired adults.

    PubMed

    Doherty, Karen A; Desjardins, Jamie L

    2015-01-01

    Untreated hearing loss can interfere with an individual's cognitive abilities and intellectual function. Specifically, hearing loss has been shown to negatively impact working memory function, which is important for speech understanding, especially in difficult or noisy listening conditions. The purpose of the present study was to assess the effect of hearing aid use on auditory working memory function in middle-aged and young-older adults with mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss. Participants completed two objective measures of auditory working memory in aided and unaided listening conditions. An aged matched control group followed the same experimental protocol except they were not fit with hearing aids. All participants' aided scores on the auditory working memory tests were significantly improved while wearing hearing aids. Thus, hearing aids worn during the early stages of an age-related hearing loss can improve a person's performance on auditory working memory tests. PMID:26097461

  17. The benefit of amplification on auditory working memory function in middle-aged and young-older hearing impaired adults

    PubMed Central

    Doherty, Karen A.; Desjardins, Jamie L.

    2015-01-01

    Untreated hearing loss can interfere with an individual’s cognitive abilities and intellectual function. Specifically, hearing loss has been shown to negatively impact working memory function, which is important for speech understanding, especially in difficult or noisy listening conditions. The purpose of the present study was to assess the effect of hearing aid use on auditory working memory function in middle-aged and young-older adults with mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss. Participants completed two objective measures of auditory working memory in aided and unaided listening conditions. An aged matched control group followed the same experimental protocol except they were not fit with hearing aids. All participants’ aided scores on the auditory working memory tests were significantly improved while wearing hearing aids. Thus, hearing aids worn during the early stages of an age-related hearing loss can improve a person’s performance on auditory working memory tests. PMID:26097461

  18. 12-Mo Intervention of Physical Exercise Improved Work Ability, Especially in Subjects with Low Baseline Work Ability

    PubMed Central

    Kettunen, Oili; Vuorimaa, Timo; Vasankari, Tommi

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: This study’s objective was to assess the effects of a 12-month physical exercise intervention on work ability (WAI) and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in healthy working adults. Methods: The study group had 371 participants, of which 338 (212 women and 126 men) were allocated in the exercise group and 33 (17 women and 16 men) in the control group. The exercise group underwent a 12-month exercise program followed by a 12-month follow-up. WAI and CRF were evaluated at baseline, and at 4, 8, 12, and 24 study months, in both exercise and control groups. The exercise group was divided into subgroups according to baseline WAI classifications (poor/moderate, good, excellent). Results: During the 12-month exercise intervention, the exercise group increased their leisure-time physical activity by 71% (p = 0.016) and improved the mean WAI by 3% and CRF by 7% (p < 0.0001, in both), while WAI and CRF decreased in the control group (ANCOVA using age, sex and BMI as covariates, for WAI, p = 0.013 and for CRF, p = 0.008). The changes in WAI and CRF between the exercise group and control group were significantly different during the intervention (baseline vs. 12-months, p = 0.028 and p = 0.007) and after the follow-up (p = 0.001 and p = 0.040), respectively. A light positive correlation between the changes in WAI and in CRF (r = 0.19, p < 0.01) existed. WAI improvement was the highest (13%, p < 0.0001) in the subgroup having poor/moderate WAI at baseline (ANCOVA, p < 0.001). Conclusions: The improvement of WAI associated with CRF. These results suggest that a physical exercise intervention may improve work ability. PMID:24714059

  19. 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

  20. The role of working memory and verbal fluency in autobiographical memory in early Alzheimer's disease and matched controls.

    PubMed

    Benjamin, Maxwell J; Cifelli, Alberto; Garrard, Peter; Caine, Diana; Jones, Fergal W

    2015-11-01

    Retrieval of autobiographical memories (AMs) is important for "sense of self". Previous research and theoretical accounts suggest that working memory (WM) and semantic and phonemic fluency abilities facilitate the hierarchical search for, and reliving of past, personal events in the mind's eye. However, there remains a lack of consensus as to the nature of the relationships between these cognitive functions and the truly episodic aspects of AM. The present study therefore aimed to explore the associations between these variables in a sample with a wide range of cognitive abilities. The study incorporated a between-groups component, and a correlational component with multiple regression. Participants with Alzheimer's disease (n=10) and matched healthy controls (n=10) were assessed on measures of semantic and episodic AM search and retrieval, auditory and spatial WM, and semantic and phonemic fluency. The AD group produced less episodic AM content compared to controls. Semantic fluency predicted episodic AM retrieval independent of age effects but there were no significant relationships between measures of phonemic fluency, WM and episodic AM. The results suggest that the ability to maintain hierarchical search of the semantic knowledge-base is important for truly episodic reliving, and interventions for people with AM impairment might therefore benefit from incorporating structured, individualised external memory-aids to facilitate AM search and retrieval. PMID:26443928

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. [The change of learning and memory ability in the rat model of depression].

    PubMed

    Gao, Liang Cai; Wang, Yu Ting; Lao, Xun; Wang, Cong; Wang, Feng Yi; Yuan, Chong Gang

    2009-02-01

    The present study was performed to explore learning and memory ability in the depression models of rats. The chronic unpredictable stress and olfactory bulbectomy model of rats were adopted. Open-field test was used to detect the locomotion activity and HPLC-UV was employed to analyze the level of blood serum cortisol. The method of Morris water Maze was used to measure learning and memory ability and the results of LTP and LTD in hippocampus CA1 were recorded to observe the synaptic plasticity of hippocampus neurons. The results showed that compared with control group, the locomotion activity and learning ability for two models decreased extremely, while there was no apparent difference in the feedback of memory. Meanwhile, the synaptic plasticity of hippocampus neurons for two models decreased significantly and the level of serum cortisol increased evidently. These results suggested that both methods employed to build the models could cause rats depression and learning inhibition, but do no effects on the feedback of memory. PMID:19306685

  11. Following instructions in a virtual school: Does working memory play a role?

    PubMed

    Jaroslawska, Agnieszka J; Gathercole, Susan E; Logie, Matthew R; Holmes, Joni

    2016-05-01

    Accumulating evidence that working memory supports the ability to follow instructions has so far been restricted to experimental paradigms that have greatly simplified the practical demands of performing actions to instructions in everyday tasks. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether working memory is involved in maintaining information over the longer periods of time that are more typical of everyday situations that require performing instructions to command. Forty-two children 7-11 years of age completed assessments of working memory, a real-world following-instructions task employing 3-D objects, and two new computerized instruction-following tasks involving navigation around a virtual school to complete a sequence of practical spoken commands. One task involved performing actions in a single classroom, and the other, performing actions in multiple locations in a virtual school building. Verbal working memory was closely linked with all three following-instructions paradigms, but with greater association to the virtual than to the real-world tasks. These results indicate that verbal working memory plays a key role in following instructions over extended periods of activity. PMID:26680246

  12. Working Memory Load Affects Processing Time in Spoken Word Recognition: Evidence from Eye-Movements.

    PubMed

    Hadar, Britt; Skrzypek, Joshua E; Wingfield, Arthur; Ben-David, Boaz M

    2016-01-01

    In daily life, speech perception is usually accompanied by other tasks that tap into working memory capacity. However, the role of working memory on speech processing is not clear. The goal of this study was to examine how working memory load affects the timeline for spoken word recognition in ideal listening conditions. We used the "visual world" eye-tracking paradigm. The task consisted of spoken instructions referring to one of four objects depicted on a computer monitor (e.g., "point at the candle"). Half of the trials presented a phonological competitor to the target word that either overlapped in the initial syllable (onset) or at the last syllable (offset). Eye movements captured listeners' ability to differentiate the target noun from its depicted phonological competitor (e.g., candy or sandal). We manipulated working memory load by using a digit pre-load task, where participants had to retain either one (low-load) or four (high-load) spoken digits for the duration of a spoken word recognition trial. The data show that the high-load condition delayed real-time target discrimination. Specifically, a four-digit load was sufficient to delay the point of discrimination between the spoken target word and its phonological competitor. Our results emphasize the important role working memory plays in speech perception, even when performed by young adults in ideal listening conditions. PMID:27242424

  13. Longitudinal working memory development is related to structural maturation of frontal and parietal cortices.

    PubMed

    Tamnes, Christian K; Walhovd, Kristine B; Grydeland, Håkon; Holland, Dominic; Østby, Ylva; Dale, Anders M; Fjell, Anders M

    2013-10-01

    Parallels between patterns of brain maturation and cognitive development have been observed repeatedly, but studies directly testing the relationships between improvements in specific cognitive functions and structural changes in the brain are lacking. Working memory development extends throughout childhood and adolescence and likely plays a central role for cognitive development in multiple domains and in several neurodevelopmental disorders. Neuroimaging, lesion, and electrophysiological studies indicate that working memory emerges from coordinated interactions of a distributed neural network in which fronto-parietal cortical regions are critical. In the current study, verbal working memory function, as indexed by performance on the Keep Track task, and volumes of brain regions were assessed at two time points in 79 healthy children and adolescents in the age range of 8-22 years. Longitudinal change in cortical and subcortical volumes was quantified by the use of Quantitative Anatomical Regional Change. Improvement in working memory was related to cortical volume reduction in bilateral prefrontal and posterior parietal regions and in regions around the central sulci. Importantly, these relationships were not explained by differences in gender, age, or intelligence level or change in intellectual abilities. Furthermore, the relationships did not interact with age and were not significantly different in children, young adolescents, and old adolescents. The results provide the first direct evidence that structural maturation of a fronto-parietal cortical network supports working memory development. PMID:23767921

  14. Working Memory Load Affects Processing Time in Spoken Word Recognition: Evidence from Eye-Movements

    PubMed Central

    Hadar, Britt; Skrzypek, Joshua E.; Wingfield, Arthur; Ben-David, Boaz M.

    2016-01-01

    In daily life, speech perception is usually accompanied by other tasks that tap into working memory capacity. However, the role of working memory on speech processing is not clear. The goal of this study was to examine how working memory load affects the timeline for spoken word recognition in ideal listening conditions. We used the “visual world” eye-tracking paradigm. The task consisted of spoken instructions referring to one of four objects depicted on a computer monitor (e.g., “point at the candle”). Half of the trials presented a phonological competitor to the target word that either overlapped in the initial syllable (onset) or at the last syllable (offset). Eye movements captured listeners' ability to differentiate the target noun from its depicted phonological competitor (e.g., candy or sandal). We manipulated working memory load by using a digit pre-load task, where participants had to retain either one (low-load) or four (high-load) spoken digits for the duration of a spoken word recognition trial. The data show that the high-load condition delayed real-time target discrimination. Specifically, a four-digit load was sufficient to delay the point of discrimination between the spoken target word and its phonological competitor. Our results emphasize the important role working memory plays in speech perception, even when performed by young adults in ideal listening conditions. PMID:27242424

  15. Different Roles of Direct and Indirect Frontoparietal Pathways for Individual Working Memory Capacity.

    PubMed

    Ekman, Matthias; Fiebach, Christian J; Melzer, Corina; Tittgemeyer, Marc; Derrfuss, Jan

    2016-03-01

    The ability to temporarily store and manipulate information in working memory is a hallmark of human intelligence and differs considerably across individuals, but the structural brain correlates underlying these differences in working memory capacity (WMC) are only poorly understood. In two separate studies, diffusion MRI data and WMC scores were collected for 70 and 109 healthy individuals. Using a combination of probabilistic tractography and network analysis of the white matter tracts, we examined whether structural brain network properties were predictive of individual WMC. Converging evidence from both studies showed that lateral prefrontal cortex and posterior parietal cortex of high-capacity individuals are more densely connected compared with low-capacity individuals. Importantly, our network approach was further able to dissociate putative functional roles associated with two different pathways connecting frontal and parietal regions: a corticocortical pathway and a subcortical pathway. In Study 1, where participants were required to maintain and update working memory items, the connectivity of the direct and indirect pathway was predictive of WMC. In contrast, in Study 2, where participants were required to maintain working memory items without updating, only the connectivity of the direct pathway was predictive of individual WMC. Our results suggest an important dissociation in the circuitry connecting frontal and parietal regions, where direct frontoparietal connections might support storage and maintenance, whereas subcortically mediated connections support the flexible updating of working memory content. PMID:26961945

  16. The Influence of Attention Set, Working Memory Capacity, and Expectations on Inattentional Blindness.

    PubMed

    Kreitz, Carina; Furley, Philip; Memmert, Daniel; Simons, Daniel J

    2016-04-01

    The probability of inattentional blindness, the failure to notice an unexpected object when attention is engaged on some primary task, is influenced by contextual factors like task demands, features of the unexpected object, and the observer's attention set. However, predicting who will notice an unexpected object and who will remain inattentionally blind has proven difficult, and the evidence that individual differences in cognition affect noticing remains ambiguous. We hypothesized that greater working memory capacity might modulate the effect of attention sets on noticing because working memory is associated with the ability to focus attention selectively. People with greater working memory capacity might be better able to attend selectively to target items, thereby increasing the chances of noticing unexpected objects that were similar to the attended items while decreasing the odds of noticing unexpected objects that differed from the attended items. Our study (N = 120 participants) replicated evidence that task-induced attention sets modulate noticing but found no link between noticing and working memory capacity. Our results are largely consistent with the idea that individual differences in working memory capacity do not predict noticing of unexpected objects in an inattentional blindness task. PMID:26562879

  17. Memory ability and hippocampal volume in adolescents with prenatal drug exposure.

    PubMed

    Riggins, Tracy; Cacic, Kelsey; Buckingham-Howes, Stacy; Scaletti, Laura A; Salmeron, Betty Jo; Black, Maureen M

    2012-07-01

    The objective of the present study was to examine the influence of prenatal drug exposure (PDE) on memory performance and supporting brain structures (i.e., hippocampus) during adolescence. To achieve this goal, declarative memory ability and hippocampal volume were examined in a well-characterized sample of 138 adolescents (76 with a history of PDE and 62 from a non-exposed comparison group recruited from the same community, mean age=14 years). Analyses were adjusted for: age at time of the assessments, gender, IQ, prenatal exposure to alcohol and tobacco, and indices of early childhood environment (i.e., caregiver depression, potential for child abuse, and number of caregiver changes through 7 years of age). Results revealed that adolescents with a history of PDE performed worse on the California Verbal Learning Test-Child Version (CVLT-C), and story recall from the Children's Memory Scale (CMS), and had larger hippocampal volumes, even after covariate adjustment. Hippocampal volume was negatively correlated with memory performance on the CVLT-C, with lower memory scores associated with larger volumes. These findings provide support for long-term effects of PDE on memory function and point to neural mechanisms that may underlie these outcomes. PMID:22652523

  18. Sound-Induced Activity in Voice-Sensitive Cortex Predicts Voice Memory Ability

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Rebecca; Latinus, Marianne; Bestelmeyer, Patricia E. G.; Crabbe, Frances; Belin, Pascal

    2012-01-01

    The “temporal voice areas” (TVAs; Belin et al., 2000) of the human brain show greater neuronal activity in response to human voices than to other categories of non-vocal sounds. However, a direct link between TVA activity and voice perception behavior has not yet been established. Here we show that a functional magnetic resonance imaging measure of activity in the TVAs predicts individual performance at a separately administered voice memory test. This relation holds when general sound memory ability is taken into account. These findings provide the first evidence that the TVAs are specifically involved in voice cognition. PMID:22485101

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. Short-term memory, working memory, and executive functioning in preschoolers: longitudinal predictors of mathematical achievement at age 7 years.

    PubMed

    Bull, Rebecca; Espy, Kimberly Andrews; Wiebe, Sandra A

    2008-01-01

    This study examined whether measures of short-term memory, working memory, and executive functioning in preschool children predict later proficiency in academic achievement at 7 years of age (third year of primary school). Children were tested in preschool (M age = 4 years, 6 months) on a battery of cognitive measures, and mathematics and reading outcomes (from standardized, norm-referenced school-based assessments) were taken on entry to primary school, and at the end of the first and third year of primary school. Growth curve analyses examined predictors of math and reading achievement across the duration of the study and revealed that better digit span and executive function skills provided children with an immediate head start in math and reading that they maintained throughout the first three years of primary school. Visual-spatial short-term memory span was found to be a predictor specifically of math ability. Correlational and regression analyses revealed that visual short-term and working memory were found to specifically predict math achievement at each time point, while executive function skills predicted learning in general rather than learning in one specific domain. The implications of the findings are discussed in relation to further understanding the role of cognitive skills in different mathematical tasks, and in relation to the impact of limited cognitive skills in the classroom environment. PMID:18473197

  2. Effects of work-related stress on work ability index among refinery workers

    PubMed Central

    Habibi, Ehsanollah; Dehghan, Habibollah; Safari, Shahram; Mahaki, Behzad; Hassanzadeh, Akbar

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: Work-related stress is one of the basic problems in industrial also top 10 work-related health problems and it is increasingly implicated in the development a number of problems such as cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal diseases, early retirement to employees. On the other hand, early retirement to employees from the workplace has increased on the problems of today's industries. Hereof, improving work ability is one of the most effective ways to enhance the ability and preventing disability and early retirement. The aim of This study is determine the relationship between job stress score and work ability index (WAI) at the refinery workers. Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study in which 171 workers from a refinery in isfahan in 2012 who were working in different occupational groups participated. Based on appropriate assignment sampling, 33 office workers, 69 operational workers, and 69 maintenance workers, respectively, were invited to participate in this study. Two questionnaires including work related-stress and WAI were filled in. Finally, the information was analyzed using the SPSS-20 and statistic tests namely, analysis of covariance Kruskal-Wallis test. Pearson correlation coefficient, ANOVA and t-test. Results: Data analysis revealed that 86% and 14% of participants had moderate and severe stress respectively. Average score of stress and standard deviation was 158.7 ± 17.3 that was in extreme stress range. Average score and standard deviation of WAI questionnaire were 37.18 and 3.86 respectively. That placed in a good range. Pearson correlation coefficient showed that WAI score had significant reversed relationship with a score of stress. Conclusion: According to the results, mean stress score among refinery worker was high and one fator that affect work abiity was high stress, hence training on communication skills and safe working environment in order to decreses stress, enhance the work ability of workers. PMID

  3. The influence of input and output modality on following instructions in working memory

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Tian-xiao; Allen, Richard J.; Yu, Qi-jing; Chan, Raymond C. K.

    2015-01-01

    Following instructions is an important component of learning and has been shown to rely on working memory. This study examined the ability to follow instructions within working memory under varying input and output modalities. In Experiment 1, participants heard, read, or viewed demonstration of short sequences of instructions, and recalled either by oral repetition or physical enactment. There was a significant main effect of encoding, showing superior recall performance when instructions were demonstrated relative to spoken or written presentation. Experiment 2 examined whether recall is further improved when instructions are presented both in spoken and demonstrated form, relative to single modality presentation. The advantage for demonstration over spoken instructions was replicated, and dual input was superior to spoken instructions. However, dual input did not bring extra benefit compared to demonstration of instructions. We also observed a significant enacted-retrieval recall advantage. These findings suggest effects of both input and output modalities on the ability to remember and follow instructions in working memory. Outcomes substantially inform the underexplored but important new area of action-based working memory and its links to embodied cognition, with implications for pedagogic practice. PMID:26634694

  4. The influence of input and output modality on following instructions in working memory.

    PubMed

    Yang, Tian-xiao; Allen, Richard J; Yu, Qi-jing; Chan, Raymond C K

    2015-01-01

    Following instructions is an important component of learning and has been shown to rely on working memory. This study examined the ability to follow instructions within working memory under varying input and output modalities. In Experiment 1, participants heard, read, or viewed demonstration of short sequences of instructions, and recalled either by oral repetition or physical enactment. There was a significant main effect of encoding, showing superior recall performance when instructions were demonstrated relative to spoken or written presentation. Experiment 2 examined whether recall is further improved when instructions are presented both in spoken and demonstrated form, relative to single modality presentation. The advantage for demonstration over spoken instructions was replicated, and dual input was superior to spoken instructions. However, dual input did not bring extra benefit compared to demonstration of instructions. We also observed a significant enacted-retrieval recall advantage. These findings suggest effects of both input and output modalities on the ability to remember and follow instructions in working memory. Outcomes substantially inform the underexplored but important new area of action-based working memory and its links to embodied cognition, with implications for pedagogic practice. PMID:26634694

  5. 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.

  6. Working Memory Training Does Not Improve Performance on Measures of Intelligence or Other Measures of "Far Transfer": Evidence From a Meta-Analytic Review.

    PubMed

    Melby-Lervåg, Monica; Redick, Thomas S; Hulme, Charles

    2016-07-01

    It has been claimed that working memory training programs produce diverse beneficial effects. This article presents a meta-analysis of working memory training studies (with a pretest-posttest design and a control group) that have examined transfer to other measures (nonverbal ability, verbal ability, word decoding, reading comprehension, or arithmetic; 87 publications with 145 experimental comparisons). Immediately following training there were reliable improvements on measures of intermediate transfer (verbal and visuospatial working memory). For measures of far transfer (nonverbal ability, verbal ability, word decoding, reading comprehension, arithmetic) there was no convincing evidence of any reliable improvements when working memory training was compared with a treated control condition. Furthermore, mediation analyses indicated that across studies, the degree of improvement on working memory measures was not related to the magnitude of far-transfer effects found. Finally, analysis of publication bias shows that there is no evidential value from the studies of working memory training using treated controls. The authors conclude that working memory training programs appear to produce short-term, specific training effects that do not generalize to measures of "real-world" cognitive skills. These results seriously question the practical and theoretical importance of current computerized working memory programs as methods of training working memory skills. PMID:27474138

  7. Dual N-Back Working Memory Training in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Comparison to Processing Speed Training

    PubMed Central

    Lawlor-Savage, Linette; Goghari, Vina M.

    2016-01-01

    Enhancing cognitive ability is an attractive concept, particularly for middle-aged adults interested in maintaining cognitive functioning and preventing age-related declines. Computerized working memory training has been investigated as a safe method of cognitive enhancement in younger and older adults, although few studies have considered the potential impact of working memory training on middle-aged adults. This study investigated dual n-back working memory training in healthy adults aged 30–60. Fifty-seven adults completed measures of working memory, processing speed, and fluid intelligence before and after a 5-week web-based dual n-back or active control (processing speed) training program. Results: Repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance failed to identify improvements across the three cognitive composites, working memory, processing speed, and fluid intelligence, after training. Follow-up Bayesian analyses supported null findings for training effects for each individual composite. Findings suggest that dual n-back working memory training may not benefit working memory or fluid intelligence in healthy adults. Further investigation is necessary to clarify if other forms of working memory training may be beneficial, and what factors impact training-related benefits, should they occur, in this population. PMID:27043141

  8. Ontogeny of spatial working memory in the subterranean rodent ctenomys talarum.

    PubMed

    Schleich, Cristian E

    2010-09-01

    While several works analyzed the spatial learning and memory capacities in adults of subterranean rodents, no study was done examining the development of these cognitive processes in pups of any of those species. Therefore, the development of spatial working memory in the South American subterranean rodent Ctenomys talarum was investigated by analyzing the pups' spatial performance in a delayed alternation task. When a short delay of 1 min was interposed between runs in the Y-maze, 20-day-old pups made more errors than 40- and 60-day-old pups. When longer intervals (10 min) were elapsed between runs, younger pups made approximately twice as many errors as the ones committed by 60-day-old pups, showing the age-dependent development of spatial working memory in this species of subterranean rodent. Increased space use by C. talarum pups, caused first by the appearance of independent exploratory behavior and later by the need of leaving maternal territory and construct a new burrow system, showed some correspondence with the improvements in the pups' spatial working memory performance, suggesting for the importance of this cognitive capacity in developing pups for which spatial learning and memory constitute essential abilities for survival and fitness. PMID:20806332

  9. Working Memory and Impulsivity Predict Marijuana-Related Problems Among Frequent Users

    PubMed Central

    Day, Anne M.; Metrik, Jane; Spillane, Nichea S.; Kahler, Christopher W.

    2012-01-01

    Background Although marijuana is the most commonly used illicit substance in the US, only a small portion of users go on to develop dependence, suggesting that there are substantial individual differences in vulnerability to marijuana-related problems among users. Deficits in working memory and high trait impulsivity are two factors that may place marijuana users at increased risk for experiencing related problems. Methods Using baseline data from an experimental study that recruited 104 frequent marijuana users (M=71.86% of prior 60 days, SD=22%), we examined the associations of working memory and trait impulsivity with marijuana-related problems. Results Lower working memory, as measured by Trail Making Test B, but not short-term memory capacity, predicted more marijuana-related problems. Higher trait impulsivity scores were independently associated with greater number of problems. Conclusions Results suggest that marijuana users with reduced executive cognitive ability are more susceptible to developing problems related to their use. Trait impulsivity and executive working memory appear to be independent risk factors for experiencing marijuana-related problems. PMID:23312340

  10. Temporal dynamics of encoding, storage, and reallocation of visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Bays, Paul M; Gorgoraptis, Nikos; Wee, Natalie; Marshall, Louise; Husain, Masud

    2011-01-01

    The process of encoding a visual scene into working memory has previously been studied using binary measures of recall. Here, we examine the temporal evolution of memory resolution, based on observers' ability to reproduce the orientations of objects presented in brief, masked displays. Recall precision was accurately described by the interaction of two independent constraints: an encoding limit that determines the maximum rate at which information can be transferred into memory and a separate storage limit that determines the maximum fidelity with which information can be maintained. Recall variability decreased incrementally with time, consistent with a parallel encoding process in which visual information from multiple objects accumulates simultaneously in working memory. No evidence was observed for a limit on the number of items stored. Cuing one display item with a brief flash led to rapid development of a recall advantage for that item. This advantage was short-lived if the cue was simply a salient visual event but was maintained if it indicated an object of particular relevance to the task. These cuing effects were observed even for items that had already been encoded into memory, indicating that limited memory resources can be rapidly reallocated to prioritize salient or goal-relevant information. PMID:21911739

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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.…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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,…

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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,…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. 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,…