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Sample records for ability working memory

  1. Working memory, worry, and algebraic ability.

    PubMed

    Trezise, Kelly; Reeve, Robert A

    2014-05-01

    Math anxiety (MA)-working memory (WM) relationships have typically been examined in the context of arithmetic problem solving, and little research has examined the relationship in other math domains (e.g., algebra). Moreover, researchers have tended to examine MA/worry separate from math problem solving activities and have used general WM tasks rather than domain-relevant WM measures. Furthermore, it seems to have been assumed that MA affects all areas of math. It is possible, however, that MA is restricted to particular math domains. To examine these issues, the current research assessed claims about the impact on algebraic problem solving of differences in WM and algebraic worry. A sample of 80 14-year-old female students completed algebraic worry, algebraic WM, algebraic problem solving, nonverbal IQ, and general math ability tasks. Latent profile analysis of worry and WM measures identified four performance profiles (subgroups) that differed in worry level and WM capacity. Consistent with expectations, subgroup membership was associated with algebraic problem solving performance: high WM/low worry>moderate WM/low worry=moderate WM/high worry>low WM/high worry. Findings are discussed in terms of the conceptual relationship between emotion and cognition in mathematics and implications for the MA-WM-performance relationship.

  2. Working memory delay activity predicts individual differences in cognitive abilities.

    PubMed

    Unsworth, Nash; Fukuda, Keisuke; Awh, Edward; Vogel, Edward K

    2015-05-01

    A great deal of prior research has examined the relation between estimates of working memory and cognitive abilities. Yet, the neural mechanisms that account for these relations are still not very well understood. The current study explored whether individual differences in working memory delay activity would be a significant predictor of cognitive abilities. A large number of participants performed multiple measures of capacity, attention control, long-term memory, working memory span, and fluid intelligence, and latent variable analyses were used to examine the data. During two working memory change detection tasks, we acquired EEG data and examined the contralateral delay activity. The results demonstrated that the contralateral delay activity was significantly related to cognitive abilities, and importantly these relations were because of individual differences in both capacity and attention control. These results suggest that individual differences in working memory delay activity predict individual differences in a broad range of cognitive abilities, and this is because of both differences in the number of items that can be maintained and the ability to control access to working memory. PMID:25436671

  3. Working Memory Delay Activity Predicts Individual Differences in Cognitive Abilities

    PubMed Central

    Unsworth, Nash; Fukuda, Keisuke; Awh, Edward; Vogel, Edward K.

    2015-01-01

    A great deal of prior research has examined the relation between estimates of working memory and cognitive abilities. Yet, the neural mechanisms that account for these relations are still not very well understood. The current study explored whether individual differences in working memory delay activity would be a significant predictor of cognitive abilities. A large number of participants performed multiple measures of capacity, attention control, long-term memory, working memory span, and fluid intelligence, and latent variable analyses were used to examine the data. During two working memory change detection tasks, we acquired EEG data and examined the contra-lateral delay activity. The results demonstrated that the contralateral delay activity was significantly related to cognitive abilities, and importantly these relations were because of individual differences in both capacity and attention control. These results suggest that individual differences in working memory delay activity predict individual differences in a broad range of cognitive abilities, and this is because of both differences in the number of items that can be maintained and the ability to control access to working memory. PMID:25436671

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. Grammaticality Judgments in Children: The Role of Age, Working Memory and Phonological Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McDonald, Janet L.

    2008-01-01

    This paper examines the role of age, working memory span and phonological ability in the mastery of ten different grammatical constructions. Six- through eleven-year-old children (n = 68) and adults (n = 19) performed a grammaticality judgment task as well as tests of working memory capacity and receptive phonological ability. Children showed…

  7. 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,…

  8. Mathematical Skills in Ninth-graders: Relationship with Visuo-spatial Abilities and Working Memory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reuhkala, Minna

    2001-01-01

    Investigates the relationship between working memory (WM) capacity (particularly visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM)), the ability to mentally rotate three-dimensional objects, and mathematical skills. Explains that in experiment 1, VSWM was examined; and in experiment 2, contributions of other WM components to mathematical skills was examined.…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Development of the ability to inhibit a prepotent response: influence of working memory and processing speed.

    PubMed

    Urben, Sébastien; Van der Linden, Martial; Barisnikov, Koviljka

    2011-11-01

    This study aimed to examine developmental trends in response inhibition during childhood and to control for possible developmental influence of other basic cognitive processes (such as working memory and processing speed). In addition, we explored the relationships between response inhibition, working memory, and processing speed, as they are thought to be integral to cognitive control. Therefore, we assessed these three cognitive abilities in 159 children aged from 5 to 12. Results showed an improvement in response inhibition ability from 5 to 10 years of age. This improvement remained significant after controlling for the influence of working memory and processing speed. Furthermore, the developmental relationships showed an early differentiation between response inhibition, working memory, and processing speed. Thus, these processes were independent and need to be treated as such in further studies. PMID:21995748

  12. Effects of working memory and reading acceleration training on improving working memory abilities and reading skills among third graders.

    PubMed

    Nevo, Einat; Breznitz, Zvia

    2014-01-01

    Working memory (WM) plays a crucial role in supporting learning, including reading. This study investigated the influence of reading acceleration and WM training programs on improving reading skills and WM abilities. Ninety-seven children in third grade were divided into three study groups and one control group. The three study groups each received a different combination of two training programs: only reading acceleration, WM followed by reading acceleration, and reading acceleration followed by WM. All training programs significantly improved reading skills and WM abilities. Compared with the control group, the group trained with only the reading acceleration program improved word accuracy, whereas the groups trained with a combination of reading and WM programs improved word and pseudo-word fluency. The reading-acceleration-alone group and the WM-program-followed-by-reading-acceleration group improved phonological complex memory. We conclude that a training program that combines a long reading acceleration program and a short WM program is the most effective for improving the abilities most related to scholastic achievement.

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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,…

  17. 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.…

  18. Undergraduate Students' Ability to Revise Text Effectively: Relationships with Topic Knowledge and Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adams, Anne-Marie; Simmons, Fiona; Willis, Catherine; Pawling, Ralph

    2010-01-01

    In order to communicate understanding, students are often required to produce texts which present an explicit, coherent argument. This study examined the extent to which individual differences in undergraduates' topic knowledge and working memory skills were related to their ability to revise texts to better fulfil these goals. Forty-seven…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-02

    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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  2. Working-Memory Capacity Explains Reasoning Ability--and a Little Bit More.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Suss, Heinz-Martin; Oberauer, Klaus; Wittman, Werner W.

    2002-01-01

    Administered a battery of 17 working memory tasks and a test for the Berlin Intelligence Structure Model (1982) to 128 young adults in Germany. General working memory capacity was highly related to general intelligence, and findings also suggest that specific working memory resources, as opposed to a general capacity, are the limiting factors for…

  3. Spatial anxiety relates to spatial abilities as a function of working memory in children.

    PubMed

    Ramirez, Gerardo; Gunderson, Elizabeth A; Levine, Susan C; Beilock, Sian L

    2012-01-01

    Spatial ability is a strong predictor of students' pursuit of higher education in science and mathematics. However, very little is known about the affective factors that influence individual differences in spatial ability, particularly at a young age. We examine the role of spatial anxiety in young children's performance on a mental rotation task. We show that even at a young age, children report experiencing feelings of nervousness at the prospect of engaging in spatial activities. Moreover, we show that these feelings are associated with reduced mental rotation ability among students with high but not low working memory (WM). Interestingly, this WM × spatial anxiety interaction was only found among girls. We discuss these patterns of results in terms of the problem-solving strategies that boys versus girls use in solving mental rotation problems.

  4. Differential Constraints on the Working Memory and Reading Abilities of Individuals with Learning Difficulties and Typically Developing Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bayliss, Donna M.; Jarrold, Christopher; Baddeley, Alan D.; Leigh, Eleanor

    2005-01-01

    This study examined the factors that constrain the working memory span performance and reading ability of individuals with generalized learning difficulties. In the study, 50 individuals with learning difficulties (LD) and 50 typically developing children (TD) matched for reading age completed two working memory span tasks. Participants also…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. Relationship of Verbal Ability and Working Memory to Spelling Achievement and Learning to Spell.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ormrod, Jeanne E.; Cochran, Kathryn F.

    1988-01-01

    Tests hypotheses that reading styles of good spellers and dysgraphic spellers differs. Concludes that an underlying source of difficulty for dysgraphic spellers, one that may be related to the reading style they exhibit, is a more limited working memory capacity. (MS)

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Assessing the Working Memory Abilities of ADHD Children Using the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, Fifth Edition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marusiak, Christopher W.; Janzen, Henry L.

    2005-01-01

    The present study investigated the working memory abilities of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as measured by the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, Fifth Edition (SBV). In a retrospective causal-comparative design, the archival data of 46 ADHD children were compared to 59 nondiagnosed children. The ADHD children…

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. Working memory capacity and recall from long-term memory: Examining the influences of encoding strategies, study time allocation, search efficiency, and monitoring abilities.

    PubMed

    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 suggested that WMC and LTM recall were related, and part of this relation was due to effective strategy use. However, adaptive changes in strategy use and study time allocation were not related to WMC. Examining multiple variables with structural equation modeling suggested that the relation between WMC and LTM recall was due to variation in effective strategy use, search efficiency, and monitoring abilities. Furthermore, all variables were shown to account for individual differences in LTM recall. These results suggest that the relation between WMC and recall from LTM is due to multiple strategic factors operating at both encoding and retrieval. (PsycINFO Database Record

  1. The role of vocabulary, working memory and inference making ability in reading comprehension in Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Nash, Hannah; Heath, James

    2011-01-01

    Thirteen children and young adults with Down syndrome (DS) completed tests of language and reading and their performance was compared to that of three control groups. Reading comprehension was confirmed to be a specific deficit in DS and found to be strongly correlated with underlying language skills. Although reading comprehension was more strongly related to language ability in the DS group, this was shown to be a function of more advanced word recognition rather than a characteristic of DS per se. Individuals with DS were found to have greater difficulty with inferential comprehension questions than expected given their overall comprehension ability and the reading profile associated with DS was found to be similar to that of children known as poor comprehenders. It is recommended that oral language training programs, similar to those that have been shown to improve reading comprehension in poor comprehenders, be trialed with children who have DS.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. DRD2 C957T polymorphism interacts with the COMT Val158Met polymorphism in human working memory ability.

    PubMed

    Xu, Haiyan; Kellendonk, Christoph B; Simpson, Eleanor H; Keilp, John G; Bruder, Gerard E; Polan, H Jonathan; Kandel, Eric R; Gilliam, T Conrad

    2007-02-01

    The C957T polymorphism in the dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) gene and the Val158Met polymorphism in the Catechol-O-Methyl-Transferase (COMT) gene affect dopamine transmission and have been found to be associated with schizophrenia. Since DRD2 in mice and the COMT gene in humans modulate working memory, we examined the relationship and possible interaction of both polymorphisms to working memory performance in 188 healthy adults. Subjects having the DRD2 C/C allele showed the poorest performance in a word serial position test. Moreover, the effect of the C957T genotype was strengthened when interaction with the COMT Val158Met polymorphism was included in the analysis. We propose that an interaction of the DRD2 C957T and COMT Val158Met may be involved in the generation of some working memory deficits in schizophrenia.

  5. 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…

  6. Storage and Non-Storage Components of Working Memory Predicting Reasoning: A Simultaneous Examination of a Wide Range of Ability Factors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krumm, Stefan; Schmidt-Atzert, Lothar; Buehner, Markus; Ziegler, Matthias; Michalczyk, Kurt; Arrow, Katrin

    2009-01-01

    The current study examined basic cognitive abilities that are related to or included in the concept of working memory (WM): different WM components, three executive functions, simple short-term storage (STM), and sustained attention. Tasks were selected from well-established models and balanced in terms of content. The predictive power of storage…

  7. The Relationships of Working Memory, Secondary Memory, and General Fluid Intelligence: Working Memory Is Special

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shelton, Jill Talley; Elliott, Emily M.; Matthews, Russell A.; Hill, B. D.; Gouvier, Wm. Drew

    2010-01-01

    Recent efforts have been made to elucidate the commonly observed link between working memory and reasoning ability. The results have been inconsistent, with some work suggesting that the emphasis placed on retrieval from secondary memory by working memory tests is the driving force behind this association (Mogle, Lovett, Stawski, & Sliwinski,…

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. The "working" of working memory.

    PubMed

    Miller, Earl K

    2013-12-01

    This review examines the evidence for a neurobiological explanation of executive functions of working memory. We suggest that executive control stems from information about task rules acquired by mixed selective, adaptive coding, multifunctional neurons in the prefrontal cortex. The output of these neurons dynamically links the cortex-wide networks needed to complete the task. The linking may occur via synchronizing of neural rhythms, which may explain why we have a limited capacity for simultaneous thought.

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Ageing, working hours and work ability.

    PubMed

    Costa, G; Sartori, S

    2007-11-01

    The current paper reports the main results of several studies carried out on Italian workers using the work ability index as a complementary tool for workers' periodical health surveillance. The work ability index shows a general decreasing trend over the years, but it changes differently according to working conditions and personal health status. In jobs with higher mental involvement and autonomy, but lower physical constraint, it remains quite constant and high over the years, while it significantly decreases with a steeper trend the higher the physical work load and the lower the job control are. Sex and working hours appear to act concurrently in influencing work ability, particularly in association with more physically demanding jobs. It is therefore necessary to adopt flexible interventions, able to give ageing shift workers a proper support for maintaining a satisfactory work ability, by means of actions addressed both to work organization and psycho-physical conditions.

  17. [Work ability: a literature review].

    PubMed

    Martinez, Maria Carmen; Latorre, Maria do Rosário Dias de Oliveira; Fischer, Frida Marina

    2010-06-01

    The aim of this article is to present a literature review on work ability and functional ageing. An extensive search of publications from 1966 to 2006 was conducted using the databases MEDLINE, LILACS and SciELO. Several aspects of work ability are presented in this manuscript: the historical context when the theme emerged, the theoretical framework, the determinant factors and an explanatory model, the current methodology to evaluate and monitor the work ability, the importance of its promotion. Highlights of the current situation about the research, practice and future perspectives regarding the theme are also discussed. In the context of the workforce aging, the work ability became an important indicator because their consequences to the worker's health, well-being and employability, with impacts to the individuals, organizations and society. In spite of their relevance, there is a lack of attention to the issues about work ability and functional ageing.

  18. Effect of preschool working memory, language, and narrative abilities on inferential comprehension at school-age in children with spina bifida myelomeningocele and typically developing children.

    PubMed

    Pike, Meredith; Swank, Paul; Taylor, Heather; Landry, Susan; Barnes, Marcia A

    2013-04-01

    Children with spina bifida myelomeningocele (SBM) are more likely to display a pattern of good-decoding/poor comprehension than their neurologically intact peers. The goals of the current study were to (1) examine the cognitive origins of one of the component skills of comprehension, bridging inferences, from a developmental perspective and (2) to test the effects of those relations on reading comprehension achievement. Data from a sample of children with SBM and a control group (n = 78) who participated in a longitudinal study were taken from age 36-month and 9.5-year time points. A multiple mediation model provided evidence that three preschool cognitive abilities (working memory/inhibitory control, oral comprehension, narrative recall), could partially explain the relation between group and bridging inference skill. A second mediation model supported that each of the 36-month abilities had an indirect effect on reading comprehension through bridging inference skill. Findings contribute to an understanding of both typical and atypical comprehension development, blending theories from the developmental, cognitive, and neuropsychological literature.

  19. Effect of Preschool Working Memory, Language, and Narrative Abilities on Inferential Comprehension at School-Age in Children with Spina Bifida Myelomeningocele and Typically Developing Children

    PubMed Central

    Pike, Meredith; Swank, Paul; Taylor, Heather; Landry, Susan; Barnes, Marcia A.

    2014-01-01

    Children with spina bifida myelomeningocele (SBM) are more likely to display a pattern of good-decoding/poor comprehension than their neurologically intact peers. The goals of the current study were to (1) examine the cognitive origins of one of the component skills of comprehension, bridging inferences, from a developmental perspective and (2) to test the effects of those relations on reading comprehension achievement. Data from a sample of children with SBM and a control group (n = 78) who participated in a longitudinal study were taken from age 36-month and 9.5-year time points. A multiple mediation model provided evidence that three preschool cognitive abilities (working memory/inhibitory control, oral comprehension, narrative recall), could partially explain the relation between group and bridging inference skill. A second mediation model supported that each of the 36-month abilities had an indirect effect on reading comprehension through bridging inference skill. Findings contribute to an understanding of both typical and atypical comprehension development, blending theories from the developmental, cognitive, and neuropsychological literature. PMID:23388065

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Which Working Memory Functions Predict Intelligence?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oberauer, Klaus; Sub, Heinz-Martin; Wilhelm, Oliver; Wittmann, Werner W.

    2008-01-01

    Investigates the relationship between three factors of working memory (storage and processing, relational integration, and supervision) and four factors of intelligence (reasoning, speed, memory, and creativity) using structural equation models. Relational integration predicted reasoning ability at least as well as the storage-and-processing…

  3. 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…

  4. [Working memory: neuropsychological and neurobiological issues].

    PubMed

    Borkowska, Alina; Wiłkość, Monika; Tomaszewska, Marta; Rybakowski, Janusz

    2006-01-01

    Working memory denotes an ability to remember information for a short-time and to manipulate it. The memory allows including correct information depending on the situation, to keep the information on present activities for a while and enables changing the reaction according to new criteria. The relation between working memory and efficiency of complex cognitive processes and also with the control of emotional processes, plasticity of behaviour and consciousness was demonstrated. Working memory is connected with the activity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of the brain. Recently, it has been shown, that working memory disturbances play an important role in the aetiopathogenesis of psychiatric disturbances such as schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Working memory disturbances are also shown in a proportion of healthy first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorders. Working memory disturbances are presently regarded as a cognitive endophenotypic marker of vulnerability to these illnesses. In recent years, an association between working memory abilities and activity of different neurotransmitters, especially with the dopaminergic system in the brain, has been shown. Molecular genetic studies show an association between working memory abilities and polymorphism of the dopaminergic system genes in schizophrenia and polymorphism of BDNF gene in bipolar affective disorders. So far not much data about the genetics of working memory in healthy subjects has been gathered. Currently in Poland such research is carried on in the Clinical Neuropsychology Unit Nicolaus Copernicus University, Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz in cooperation with the Department of Adult Psychiatry and Laboratory of Psychiatric Genetics University of Medical Sciences in Poznań.

  5. Can reading ability be measured with tests of memory and processing speed?

    PubMed

    Tirre, W C

    1992-04-01

    The author investigated the possibility of estimating reading ability using tests of memory and processing speed that have significantly reduced reading requirements. Four hundred three air force trainees were given tests of their working memory and long-term memory processes, as well as a standardized reading test. A multiple correlation of .79 indicated that global reading ability is substantially correlated with memory processes. Additional analyses indicated that word knowledge and comprehension, the two major components of reading ability, were both explained by the same set of memory process factors, namely, long-term memory processes, semantic memory retrieval speed, and working memory capacity. These results, which are consistent with the view that memory ability underlies reading ability, support the endeavor of measuring reading ability with memory and processing speed tasks.

  6. The nature of working memory for Braille.

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-26

    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.

  7. Working memory's workload capacity.

    PubMed

    Heathcote, Andrew; Coleman, James R; Eidels, Ami; Watson, Jason M; Houpt, Joseph; Strayer, David L

    2015-10-01

    We examined the role of dual-task interference in working memory using a novel dual two-back task that requires a redundant-target response (i.e., a response that neither the auditory nor the visual stimulus occurred two back versus a response that one or both occurred two back) on every trial. Comparisons with performance on single two-back trials (i.e., with only auditory or only visual stimuli) showed that dual-task demands reduced both speed and accuracy. Our task design enabled a novel application of Townsend and Nozawa's (Journal of Mathematical Psychology 39: 321-359, 1995) workload capacity measure, which revealed that the decrement in dual two-back performance was mediated by the sharing of a limited amount of processing capacity. Relative to most other single and dual n-back tasks, performance measures for our task were more reliable, due to the use of a small stimulus set that induced a high and constant level of proactive interference. For a version of our dual two-back task that minimized response bias, accuracy was also more strongly correlated with complex span than has been found for most other single and dual n-back tasks.

  8. Working memory training improves visual short-term memory capacity.

    PubMed

    Schwarb, Hillary; Nail, Jayde; Schumacher, Eric H

    2016-01-01

    Since antiquity, philosophers, theologians, and scientists have been interested in human memory. However, researchers today are still working to understand the capabilities, boundaries, and architecture. While the storage capabilities of long-term memory are seemingly unlimited (Bahrick, J Exp Psychol 113:1-2, 1984), working memory, or the ability to maintain and manipulate information held in memory, seems to have stringent capacity limits (e.g., Cowan, Behav Brain Sci 24:87-185, 2001). Individual differences, however, do exist and these differences can often predict performance on a wide variety of tasks (cf. Engle What is working-memory capacity? 297-314, 2001). Recently, researchers have promoted the enticing possibility that simple behavioral training can expand the limits of working memory which indeed may also lead to improvements on other cognitive processes as well (cf. Morrison and Chein, Psychol Bull Rev 18:46-60 2011). However, initial investigations across a wide variety of cognitive functions have produced mixed results regarding the transferability of training-related improvements. Across two experiments, the present research focuses on the benefit of working memory training on visual short-term memory capacity-a cognitive process that has received little attention in the training literature. Data reveal training-related improvement of global measures of visual short-term memory as well as of measures of the independent sub-processes that contribute to capacity (Awh et al., Psychol Sci 18(7):622-628, 2007). These results suggest that the ability to inhibit irrelevant information within and between trials is enhanced via n-back training allowing for selective improvement on untrained tasks. Additionally, we highlight a potential limitation of the standard adaptive training procedure and propose a modified design to ensure variability in the training environment.

  9. Working, declarative and procedural memory in specific language impairment.

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

    According to the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH), abnormalities of brain structures underlying procedural memory largely explain the language deficits in children with specific language impairment (SLI). These abnormalities are posited to result in core deficits of procedural memory, which in turn explain the grammar problems in the disorder. The abnormalities are also likely to lead to problems with other, non-procedural functions, such as working memory, that rely at least partly on the affected brain structures. In contrast, declarative memory is expected to remain largely intact, and should play an important compensatory role for grammar. These claims were tested by examining measures of working, declarative and procedural memory in 51 children with SLI and 51 matched typically-developing (TD) children (mean age 10). Working memory was assessed with the Working Memory Test Battery for Children, declarative memory with the Children's Memory Scale, and procedural memory with a visuo-spatial Serial Reaction Time task. As compared to the TD children, the children with SLI were impaired at procedural memory, even when holding working memory constant. In contrast, they were spared at declarative memory for visual information, and at declarative memory in the verbal domain after controlling for working memory and language. Visuo-spatial short-term memory was intact, whereas verbal working memory was impaired, even when language deficits were held constant. Correlation analyses showed neither visuo-spatial nor verbal working memory was associated with either lexical or grammatical abilities in either the SLI or TD children. Declarative memory correlated with lexical abilities in both groups of children. Finally, grammatical abilities were associated with procedural memory in the TD children, but with declarative memory in the children with SLI. These findings replicate and extend previous studies of working, declarative and procedural memory in SLI. Overall, we

  10. Is working memory training effective?

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

    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 prolonged training on WM tasks. Recent work has suggested that the effects of WM training extend to general fluid intelligence, attentional control, and reductions in symptoms of ADHD. We present a theoretically motivated perspective of WM and subsequently review the WM training literature in light of several concerns. These include (a) the tendency for researchers to define change to abilities using single tasks, (b) inconsistent use of valid WM tasks, (c) no-contact control groups, and (d) subjective measurement of change. The literature review highlights several findings that warrant further research but ultimately concludes that there is a need to directly demonstrate that WM capacity increases in response to training. Specifically, we argue that transfer of training to WM must be demonstrated using a wider variety of tasks, thus eliminating the possibility that results can be explained by task specific learning. Additionally, we express concern that many of the most promising results (e.g., increased intelligence) cannot be readily attributed to changes in WM capacity. Thus, a critical goal for future research is to uncover the mechanisms that lead to transfer of training.

  11. Does working memory training lead to generalized improvements in children with low working memory? A randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    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 randomized controlled trial with low working memory children investigated whether the benefits of training extend beyond standard working memory tasks to other more complex activities typical of the classroom in which working memory plays a role, as well as to other cognitive skills and developing academic abilities. Children aged 7–9 years received either adaptive working memory training, non-adaptive working memory training with low memory loads, or no training. Adaptive training was associated with selective improvements in multiple untrained tests of working memory, with no evidence of changes in classroom analogues of activities that tax working memory, or any other cognitive assessments. Gains in verbal working memory were sustained one year after training. Thus the benefits of working memory training delivered in this way may not extend beyond structured working memory tasks. PMID:24093880

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Distinguishing short-term memory from working memory.

    PubMed

    Kail, R; Hall, L K

    2001-01-01

    The aim of the present research was to determine whether short-term memory and working memory could be distinguished. In two studies, 7- to 13-year-olds (N = 155, N = 132) were administered tasks thought to assess short-term memory as well as tasks thought to assess working memory. Both exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses distinguished short-term memory tasks from working memory tasks. In addition, performance on working memory tasks was related to word decoding skill but performance on short-term memory tasks was not. Finally, performance on both short-term memory and working memory tasks were associated with age-related increases in processing speed. Results are discussed in relation to models of short-term and working memory.

  16. 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

  17. Conceptualizing and Measuring Working Memory and its Relationship to Aphasia

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Heather Harris; Fergadiotis, Gerasimos

    2011-01-01

    Background General agreement exists in the literature that individuals with aphasia can exhibit a working memory deficit that contributes to their language processing impairments. Though conceptualized within different working memory frameworks, researchers have suggested that individuals with aphasia have limited working memory capacity, impaired attention-control processes as well as impaired inhibitory mechanisms. However, across studies investigating working memory ability in individuals with aphasia, different measures have been used to quantify their working memory ability and identify the relationship between working memory and language performance. Aims The primary objectives of this article are to (1) review current working memory theoretical frameworks, (2) review tasks used to measure working memory, and (3) discuss findings from studies that have investigated working memory as they relate to language processing in aphasia. Main Contribution Though findings have been consistent across studies investigating working memory ability in individuals with aphasia, discussion of how working memory is conceptualized and defined is often missing, as is discussion of results within a theoretical framework. This is critical, as working memory is conceptualized differently across the different theoretical frameworks. They differ in explaining what limits capacity and the source of individual differences as well as how information is encoded, maintained, and retrieved. When test methods are considered within a theoretical framework, specific hypotheses can be tested and stronger conclusions that are less susceptible to different interpretations can be made. Conclusions Working memory ability has been investigated in numerous studies with individuals with aphasia. To better understand the underlying cognitive constructs that contribute to the language deficits exhibited by individuals with aphasia, future investigations should operationally define the cognitive

  18. 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…

  19. Can verbal working memory training improve reading?

    PubMed

    Banales, Erin; Kohnen, Saskia; McArthur, Genevieve

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the current study was to determine whether poor verbal working memory is associated with poor word reading accuracy because the former causes the latter, or the latter causes the former. To this end, we tested whether (a) verbal working memory training improves poor verbal working memory or poor word reading accuracy, and whether (b) reading training improves poor reading accuracy or verbal working memory in a case series of four children with poor word reading accuracy and verbal working memory. Each child completed 8 weeks of verbal working memory training and 8 weeks of reading training. Verbal working memory training improved verbal working memory in two of the four children, but did not improve their reading accuracy. Similarly, reading training improved word reading accuracy in all children, but did not improve their verbal working memory. These results suggest that the causal links between verbal working memory and reading accuracy may not be as direct as has been assumed.

  20. Short-term memory impairment and arithmetical ability.

    PubMed

    Butterworth, B; Cipolotti, L; Warrington, E K

    1996-02-01

    We document the dissociation of preserved calculation skills in a patient with impaired auditory short-term memory. The patient (MRF) had a memory span of three digits. Furthermore, he showed rapid decrement in performance of single digits and letters with both auditory and visual presentation in the Brown-Peterson forgetting task. Analysis of his calculation skills revealed a normal ability to solve auditorily presented multidigit addition and subtraction problems such as 173 + 68 and to execute the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (Sampson, 1956, 1958; Gronwall, 1977). In addition, his performance on other tests, including arithmetic manipulation of natural numbers, decimals and fractions, approximation, magnitude, ratio, and percentage, appeared to be normal (Hitch, 1978b). It is argued that these findings require a revision of Baddeley and Hitch's (1974) concept of the function of working memory. PMID:8920104

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. Effects of facial expression on working memory.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  7. Working Memory and Cognitive Styles in Adolescents' Attainment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Packiam Alloway, Tracy; Banner, Gloria E.; Smith, Patrick

    2010-01-01

    Background: Working memory, the ability to store and process information, is strongly related to learning outcomes. Aims: The aim of the present study is to extend previous research on early learning and investigate the relationship between working memory, cognitive styles, and attainment in adolescents using both national curriculum tests and…

  8. 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…

  9. [The elderly and memory complaints. A study of self-knowledge about memory, depression and memory abilities].

    PubMed

    Ponds, R W; Bruning, H A; Jolles, J

    1992-10-01

    A group of 24 elderly persons who applied for a memory training because of memory complaints is compared with a control group of 24 healthy persons (matched for age, sex, and education). The comparison concerned several memory tests, complaints above everyday memory, depression and aspects of meta-memory. Before training, the memory training group had more complaints about everyday memory and depression compared to the control group. The training group reported more decline in memory capacity and functioning compared to their earlier days. They also reported feelings of stress and anxiety related to memory performance in daily life. Before training, the training group had more general knowledge about basic memory processes and used memory strategies more frequently. On most memory tests no differences were found. Memory complaints of elderly people may therefore not only be related to memory abilities according to tests but also to individual (negative) beliefs in memory capacity and abilities. PMID:1440759

  10. [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

  11. 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…

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

    PubMed

    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

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  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. 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

  1. 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…

  2. Working-memory performance is related to spatial breadth of attention.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Working memory and attention are closely related constructs. Models of working memory often incorporate an attention component, and some even equate working memory and attentional control. Although some attention-related processes, including inhibitory control of response conflict and interference resolution, are strongly associated with working memory, for other aspects of attention the link is less clear. We examined the association between working-memory performance and attentional breadth, the ability to spread attention spatially. If the link between attention and working memory is broader than inhibitory and interference resolution processes, then working-memory performance might also be associated with other attentional abilities, including attentional breadth. We tested 123 participants on a variety of working-memory and attentional-breadth measures, finding a strong correlation between performances on these two types of tasks. This finding demonstrates that the link between working memory and attention extends beyond inhibitory processes.

  3. Working-memory performance is related to spatial breadth of attention.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Working memory and attention are closely related constructs. Models of working memory often incorporate an attention component, and some even equate working memory and attentional control. Although some attention-related processes, including inhibitory control of response conflict and interference resolution, are strongly associated with working memory, for other aspects of attention the link is less clear. We examined the association between working-memory performance and attentional breadth, the ability to spread attention spatially. If the link between attention and working memory is broader than inhibitory and interference resolution processes, then working-memory performance might also be associated with other attentional abilities, including attentional breadth. We tested 123 participants on a variety of working-memory and attentional-breadth measures, finding a strong correlation between performances on these two types of tasks. This finding demonstrates that the link between working memory and attention extends beyond inhibitory processes. PMID:25468209

  4. Working Memory Capacity, Confidence and Scientific Thinking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al-Ahmadi, Fatheya; Oraif, Fatima

    2009-01-01

    Working memory capacity is now well established as a rate determining factor in much learning and assessment, especially in the sciences. Most of the research has focussed on performance in tests and examinations in subject areas. This paper outlines some exploratory work in which other outcomes are related to working memory capacity. Confidence…

  5. Memory for Words and Reading Ability.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pike, Ruth

    This paper examines the relationship between strategies for recall of verbal material and the reading ability of 10-to-13-year-old children. Sixty-five fifth and sixth graders, whose reading levels were determined by the Gates-MacGinitie Comprehension Test (1964), were given an orally presented word-string repetition task. While performance on…

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Mental imagery and visual working memory.

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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.

  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. Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, working memory and episodic memory processes: insight through transcranial magnetic stimulation techniques.

    PubMed

    Balconi, Michela

    2013-06-01

    The ability to recall and recognize facts we experienced in the past is based on a complex mechanism in which several cerebral regions are implicated. Neuroimaging and lesion studies agree in identifying the frontal lobe as a crucial structure for memory processes, and in particular for working memory and episodic memory and their relationships. Furthermore, with the introduction of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) a new way was proposed to investigate the relationships between brain correlates, memory functions and behavior. The aim of this review is to present the main findings that have emerged from experiments which used the TMS technique for memory analysis. They mainly focused on the role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in memory process. Furthermore, we present state-of-the-art evidence supporting a possible use of TMS in the clinic. Specifically we focus on the treatment of memory deficits in depression and anxiety disorders. PMID:23385388

  12. 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…

  13. Immune stimulation reduces sleep and memory ability in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Alghamdi, Akram; Holdbrook, Robert T.K.; Rosato, Ezio

    2014-01-01

    Psychoneuroimmunology studies the increasing number of connections between neurobiology, immunology and behaviour. We demonstrate the effects of the immune response on two fundamental behaviours: sleep and memory ability in Drosophila melanogaster. We used the Geneswitch system to upregulate peptidoglycan receptor protein (PGRP) expression, thereby stimulating the immune system in the absence of infection. Geneswitch was activated by feeding the steroid RU486, to the flies. We used an aversive classical conditioning paradigm to quantify memory and measures of activity to infer sleep. Immune stimulated flies exhibited reduced levels of sleep, which could not be explained by a generalised increase in waking activity. Immune stimulated flies also showed a reduction in memory abilities. These results lend support to Drosophila as a model for immune–neural interactions and provide a possible role for sleep in the interplay between the immune response and memory. PMID:24949247

  14. 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…

  15. Discrete Resource Allocation in Visual Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barton, Brian; Ester, Edward F.; Awh, Edward

    2009-01-01

    Are resources in visual working memory allocated in a continuous or a discrete fashion? On one hand, flexible resource models suggest that capacity is determined by a central resource pool that can be flexibly divided such that items of greater complexity receive a larger share of resources. On the other hand, if capacity in working memory is…

  16. 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,…

  17. Fluid intelligence, working memory and executive functioning.

    PubMed

    Colom, Roberto; Rubio, Víctor J; Shih, Pei Chun; Santacreu, José

    2006-11-01

    The causes underlying the correlation between working memory and fluid intelligence remain unknown. There are some researchers who argue that the answer can be found on the presumed executive component of working memory. However, the available empirical evidence is far from conclusive. The present study tested a sample of 229 participants. Intelligence, working memory, and executive functioning were measured by one analytic reasoning test (TRASI), a dual task combining a primary task of deductive reasoning with a secondary task of counting, and the Tower of Hanoi task, respectively. All the 3 measures were computer administered. The results indicate that the shared variance between executive functioning and working memory do not account for the relationship between intelligence and working memory. Some theoretical implications are discussed. PMID:17296123

  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. Working Memory Performance of Italian Students with Foreign Language Learning Difficulties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Palladino, Paola; Cornoldi, Cesare

    2004-01-01

    It has been suggested that the ability to learn a foreign language is related to working memory. However, there is no clear evidence about which component of working memory may be involved. Two experiments investigated working memory problems in groups of seventh and eighth grade Italian children with difficulties in learning English as a second…

  20. Directed forgetting and directed remembering in visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Williams, Melonie; Woodman, Geoffrey F

    2012-09-01

    A defining characteristic of visual working memory is its limited capacity. This means that it is crucial to maintain only the most relevant information in visual working memory. However, empirical research is mixed as to whether it is possible to selectively maintain a subset of the information previously encoded into visual working memory. Here we examined the ability of participants to use cues to either forget or remember a subset of the information already stored in visual working memory. In Experiment 1, participants were cued to either forget or remember 1 of 2 groups of colored squares during a change-detection task. We found that both types of cues aided performance in the visual working memory task but that observers benefited more from a cue to remember than a cue to forget a subset of the objects. In Experiment 2, we show that the previous findings, which indicated that directed-forgetting cues are ineffective, were likely due to the presence of invalid cues that appeared to cause observers to disregard such cues as unreliable. In Experiment 3, we recorded event-related potentials and show that an electrophysiological index of focused maintenance is elicited by cues that indicate which subset of information in visual working memory needs to be remembered, ruling out alternative explanations of the behavioral effects of retention-interval cues. The present findings demonstrate that observers can focus maintenance mechanisms on specific objects in visual working memory based on cues indicating future task relevance. PMID:22409182

  1. 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

  2. Competition between items in working memory leads to forgetting.

    PubMed

    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

  3. Competition between items in working memory leads to forgetting

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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…

  5. How Does Working Memory Work in the Classroom?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam

    2006-01-01

    Working memory plays a key role in supporting children's learning over the school years, and beyond this into adulthood. It is proposed here that working memory is crucially required to store information while other material is being mentally manipulated during the classroom learning activities that form the foundations for the acquisition of…

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. Dissociation of function between the dorsal and the ventral hippocampus in spatial learning abilities of the rat: a within-subject, within-task comparison of reference and working spatial memory.

    PubMed

    Pothuizen, Helen H J; Zhang, Wei-Ning; Jongen-Rêlo, Ana L; Feldon, Joram; Yee, Benjamin K

    2004-02-01

    Lesions restricted to the dorsal, but not the ventral, hippocampus severely impair the formation of spatial memory. This dissociation was first demonstrated using the water maze task. The present study investigated whether the dorsal and the ventral hippocampus are involved differentially in spatial reference and spatial working memory using a four-baited/four-unbaited version of the eight-arm radial maze task. This test allows the concurrent evaluation of reference and working memory with respect to the same set of spatial cues, and thereby enables a within-subjects within-task comparison between the two forms of memory functions. Rats with N-methyl-d-aspartic acid-induced excitotoxic lesions of the dorsal hippocampus, ventral hippocampus or both were compared with sham and unoperated controls. We showed that dorsal lesions were as effective as complete lesions in severely disrupting both reference and working spatial memory, whereas rats with ventral lesions performed at a level comparable with controls. These results lend further support to the existence of a functional dissociation between the dorsal and the ventral hippocampus, with the former being preferentially involved in spatial learning.

  12. Some Forgotten Work on Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stigler, Stephen M.

    1978-01-01

    Nine years before the publication of Ebbinghaus's classic 1885 book on memory, an American physicist, Francis E. Nipher, published brief accounts of his own investigations on this topic. These accounts are reprinted, with commentary and a brief note about Nipher. (Editor)

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Working Memory, Fluid Intelligence, and Science Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yuan, Kun; Steedle, Jeffrey; Shavelson, Richard; Alonzo, Alicia; Oppezzo, Marily

    2006-01-01

    A review of the history of working memory (WM) studies finds that the concept of WM evolved from short-term memory to a multi-component system. Comparison between contemporary WM models reveals: (1) consensus that the content of WM includes not only task-relevant information, but also task-irrelevant information; (2) consensus that WM consists of…

  16. 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…

  17. A potential spatial working memory training task to improve both episodic memory and fluid intelligence.

    PubMed

    Rudebeck, Sarah R; Bor, Daniel; Ormond, Angharad; O'Reilly, Jill X; Lee, Andy C H

    2012-01-01

    One current challenge in cognitive training is to create a training regime that benefits multiple cognitive domains, including episodic memory, without relying on a large battery of tasks, which can be time-consuming and difficult to learn. By giving careful consideration to the neural correlates underlying episodic and working memory, we devised a computerized working memory training task in which neurologically healthy participants were required to monitor and detect repetitions in two streams of spatial information (spatial location and scene identity) presented simultaneously (i.e. a dual n-back paradigm). Participants' episodic memory abilities were assessed before and after training using two object and scene recognition memory tasks incorporating memory confidence judgments. Furthermore, to determine the generalizability of the effects of training, we also assessed fluid intelligence using a matrix reasoning task. By examining the difference between pre- and post-training performance (i.e. gain scores), we found that the trainers, compared to non-trainers, exhibited a significant improvement in fluid intelligence after 20 days. Interestingly, pre-training fluid intelligence performance, but not training task improvement, was a significant predictor of post-training fluid intelligence improvement, with lower pre-training fluid intelligence associated with greater post-training gain. Crucially, trainers who improved the most on the training task also showed an improvement in recognition memory as captured by d-prime scores and estimates of recollection and familiarity memory. Training task improvement was a significant predictor of gains in recognition and familiarity memory performance, with greater training improvement leading to more marked gains. In contrast, lower pre-training recollection memory scores, and not training task improvement, led to greater recollection memory performance after training. Our findings demonstrate that practice on a single

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

    PubMed Central

    Truong, Dongnhu T.; Che, Alicia; Rendall, Amanda R.; Szalkowski, Caitlin E.; LoTurco, Joseph J.; Galaburda, Albert M.; Fitch, R. Holly

    2014-01-01

    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, visual attention, and working memory. Genetic variants in 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 versus 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 rapid auditory processing, working memory, and reference memory in Dcdc2del2/del2 mice as compared to matched wild types. Current findings parallel clinical research linking genetic variants of DCDC2 with specific impairments of phonological processing and memory ability. PMID:25130614

  19. 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.

  20. Working Memory at Work: How the Updating Process Alters the Nature of Working Memory Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yanmin; Verhaeghen, Paul; Cerella, John

    2011-01-01

    In three N-Back experiments, we investigated components of the process of working memory (WM) updating, more specifically access to items stored outside the focus of attention and transfer from the focus to the region of WM outside the focus. We used stimulus complexity as a marker. We found that when WM transfer occurred under full attention, it was slow and highly sensitive to stimulus complexity, much more so than WM access. When transfer occurred in conjunction with access, however, it was fast and no longer sensitive to stimulus complexity. Thus the updating context altered the nature of WM processing: The dual-task situation (transfer in conjunction with access) drove memory transfer into a more efficient mode, indifferent to stimulus complexity. In contrast, access times consistently increased with complexity, unaffected by the processing context. This study reinforces recent reports that retrieval is a (perhaps the) key component of working memory functioning. PMID:22105718

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. Working Memory Resources and Interference in Directed Forgetting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soriano, Maria Felipa; Bajo, Maria Teresa

    2007-01-01

    Recent research has shown that the ability to inhibit irrelevant information is related to Working Memory (WM) capacity. In three experiments, we explored this relationship by using a list-method directed-forgetting task (DF) in participants varying in WM capacity. Contrary to predictions, in Experiment 1, DF effects were only found for…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. Social Working Memory: Neurocognitive Networks and Directions for Future Research

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Meghan L.; Lieberman, Matthew D.

    2012-01-01

    Navigating the social world requires the ability to maintain and manipulate information about people’s beliefs, traits, and mental states. We characterize this capacity as social working memory (SWM). To date, very little research has explored this phenomenon, in part because of the assumption that general working memory systems would support working memory for social information. Various lines of research, however, suggest that social cognitive processing relies on a neurocognitive network (i.e., the “mentalizing network”) that is functionally distinct from, and considered antagonistic with, the canonical working memory network. Here, we review evidence suggesting that demanding social cognition requires SWM and that both the mentalizing and canonical working memory neurocognitive networks support SWM. The neural data run counter to the common finding of parametric decreases in mentalizing regions as a function of working memory demand and suggest that the mentalizing network can support demanding cognition, when it is demanding social cognition. Implications for individual differences in social cognition and pathologies of social cognition are discussed. PMID:23267340

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Working memory, situation models, and synesthesia

    DOE PAGES

    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

  12. 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

  13. Working memory predicts the rejection of false memories.

    PubMed

    Leding, Juliana K

    2012-01-01

    The relationship between working memory capacity (WMC) and false memories in the memory conjunction paradigm was explored. Previous research using other paradigms has shown that individuals high in WMC are not as likely to experience false memories as low-WMC individuals, the explanation being that high-WMC individuals are better able to engage in source monitoring. In the memory conjunction paradigm participants are presented at study with parent words (e.g., eyeglasses, whiplash). At test, in addition to being presented with targets and foils, participants are presented with lures that are composed of previously studied features (e.g., eyelash). It was found that high-WMC individuals had lower levels of false recognition than low-WMC individuals. Furthermore, recall-to-reject responses were analysed (e.g., "I know I didn't see eyelash because I remember seeing eyeglasses") and it was found that high-WMC individuals were more likely to utilise this memory editing strategy, providing direct evidence that one reason that high-WMC individuals are not as prone to false memories is because they are better able to engage in source monitoring.

  14. Temporal dynamics of visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Sobczak-Edmans, M; Ng, T H B; Chan, Y C; Chew, E; Chuang, K H; Chen, S H A

    2016-01-01

    The involvement of the human cerebellum in working memory has been well established in the last decade. However, the cerebro-cerebellar network for visual working memory is not as well defined. Our previous fMRI study showed superior and inferior cerebellar activations during a block design visual working memory task, but specific cerebellar contributions to cognitive processes in encoding, maintenance and retrieval have not yet been established. The current study examined cerebellar contributions to each of the components of visual working memory and presence of cerebellar hemispheric laterality was investigated. 40 young adults performed a Sternberg visual working memory task during fMRI scanning using a parametric paradigm. The contrast between high and low memory load during each phase was examined. We found that the most prominent activation was observed in vermal lobule VIIIb and bilateral lobule VI during encoding. Using a quantitative laterality index, we found that left-lateralized activation of lobule VIIIa was present in the encoding phase. In the maintenance phase, there was bilateral lobule VI and right-lateralized lobule VIIb activity. Changes in activation in right lobule VIIIa were present during the retrieval phase. The current results provide evidence that superior and inferior cerebellum contributes to visual working memory, with a tendency for left-lateralized activations in the inferior cerebellum during encoding and right-lateralized lobule VIIb activations during maintenance. The results of the study are in agreement with Baddeley's multi-component working memory model, but also suggest that stored visual representations are additionally supported by maintenance mechanisms that may employ verbal coding.

  15. Failure of working memory training to enhance cognition or intelligence.

    PubMed

    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.

  16. Working memory components in written sentence generation.

    PubMed

    Kellogg, Ronald T

    2004-01-01

    College students wrote either simple or complex sentences using 2 prompt nouns while components of working memory were distracted with a concurrent task. Loads on the visual and spatial components of working memory (retain a shape) and verbal component (retain 3 or 6 digits) were compared with a no-load control. Only the 6-digit load reliably reduced sentence length relative to the control, suggesting that unimpeded sentence generation requires verbal working memory. The sentence length effect may arise from a failure to retrieve and maintain lexical representations during grammatical encoding. Memory load had no effect on grammatical and spelling errors, implying that syntactic and orthographic processing were undisturbed. Other possibilities locate the difficulty in planning conceptual content or in phonological encoding, but some evidence speaks against them.

  17. Working Memory Load Attenuates Emotional Enhancement in Recognition Memory

    PubMed Central

    Miendlarzewska, Ewa A.; van Elswijk, Gijs; Cannistraci, Carlo V.; van Ee, Raymond

    2013-01-01

    Emotionally arousing stimuli are perceived and remembered better than neutral stimuli. Under threat, this negativity bias is further increased. We investigated whether working memory (WM) load can attenuate incidental memory for emotional images. Two groups of participants performed the N-back task with two WM load levels. In one group, we induced anxiety using a threat of shock paradigm to increase attentional processing of negative information. During task performance we incidentally and briefly flashed emotional distracter images which prolonged response times in both load conditions. A subsequent unannounced immediate recognition memory test revealed that when load at exposure had been low, recognition was better for negative items in both participant groups. This enhancement, however, was attenuated under high load, leaving performance on neutral items unchanged regardless of the threat of shock manipulation. We conclude that both in threat and in normal states WM load at exposure can attenuate immediate emotional memory enhancement. PMID:23515565

  18. Associations Between White Matter Microstructure and Infants’ Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Short, Sarah J.; Elison, Jed T.; Goldman, Barbara Davis; Styner, Martin; Gu, Hongbin; Connelly, Mark; Maltbie, Eric; Woolson, Sandra; Lin, Weili; Gerig, Guido; Reznick, J. Steven; Gilmore, John H.

    2013-01-01

    Working memory emerges in infancy and plays a privileged role in subsequent adaptive cognitive development. The neural networks important for the development of working memory during infancy remain unknown. We used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and deterministic fiber tracking to characterize the microstructure of white matter fiber bundles hypothesized to support working memory in 12-month-old infants (n=73). Here we show robust associations between infants’ visuospatial working memory performance and microstructural characteristics of widespread white matter. Significant associations were found for white matter tracts that connect brain regions known to support working memory in older children and adults (genu, anterior and superior thalamic radiations, anterior cingulum, arcuate fasciculus, and the temporal-parietal segment). Better working memory scores were associated with higher FA and lower RD values in these selected white matter tracts. These tract-specific brain-behavior relationships accounted for a significant amount of individual variation above and beyond infants’ gestational age and developmental level, as measured with the Mullen Scales of Early Learning. Working memory was not associated with global measures of brain volume, as expected, and few associations were found between working memory and control white matter tracts. To our knowledge, this study is among the first demonstrations of brain-behavior associations in infants using quantitative tractography. The ability to characterize subtle individual differences in infant brain development associated with complex cognitive functions holds promise for improving our understanding of normative development, biomarkers of risk, experience-dependent learning and neuro-cognitive periods of developmental plasticity. PMID:22989623

  19. 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…

  20. Memory abilities in children with subtypes of dyscalculia.

    PubMed

    Rosselli, Mónica; Matute, Esmeralda; Pinto, Noemí; Ardila, Alfredo

    2006-01-01

    This study examines (a) mathematical skills of 2 subgroups of children with developmental dyscalculia (DD)--1 group with DD only and a second group with DD plus reading disorders (RDD)-and (b) analyzes the memory skills of both groups of children. Fifty 11- and 12-year-old children were selected from public schools in Guadalajara, Mexico. Seventeen children had DD only, 13 had RDD, and 20 were normal controls. Testing included 10 calculation and 6 memory subtests taken from the Evaluación Neuropsicológica Infantil (Matute, Rosselli, Ardila, and Ostrosky, in press). Results indicated that children with DD and children with RDD show a similar pattern of mathematical impairment. Both subgroups had significantly lower scores than the control group in working memory tasks. In addition, the RDD group had significantly lower scores than the control group in visual learning and semantic memory. Although the RDD group scored lower than the DD group in most memory tests, this difference did not reach significance. Working memory tests (digits backwards and sentence repetition) appeared to be the best predictors of mathematical test scores and may represent a major cognitive defect in children with specific defects in mathematics.

  1. Memory abilities in children with subtypes of dyscalculia.

    PubMed

    Rosselli, Mónica; Matute, Esmeralda; Pinto, Noemí; Ardila, Alfredo

    2006-01-01

    This study examines (a) mathematical skills of 2 subgroups of children with developmental dyscalculia (DD)--1 group with DD only and a second group with DD plus reading disorders (RDD)-and (b) analyzes the memory skills of both groups of children. Fifty 11- and 12-year-old children were selected from public schools in Guadalajara, Mexico. Seventeen children had DD only, 13 had RDD, and 20 were normal controls. Testing included 10 calculation and 6 memory subtests taken from the Evaluación Neuropsicológica Infantil (Matute, Rosselli, Ardila, and Ostrosky, in press). Results indicated that children with DD and children with RDD show a similar pattern of mathematical impairment. Both subgroups had significantly lower scores than the control group in working memory tasks. In addition, the RDD group had significantly lower scores than the control group in visual learning and semantic memory. Although the RDD group scored lower than the DD group in most memory tests, this difference did not reach significance. Working memory tests (digits backwards and sentence repetition) appeared to be the best predictors of mathematical test scores and may represent a major cognitive defect in children with specific defects in mathematics. PMID:17083294

  2. Aggressiveness and memory: subordinate crabs present higher memory ability than dominants after an agonistic experience.

    PubMed

    Kaczer, Laura; Pedetta, Silvia; Maldonado, Héctor

    2007-01-01

    A relationship between aggressiveness and memory has been proposed in several studies with different animal species. Here, we study this possibility in the crab Chasmagnathus granulatus, using the context-signal memory model (CSM) that involves an association between the learning context and a visual danger stimulus. Each experiment consisted of an agonistic phase and a memory one. During the former, matched pairs of male crabs were staged in two 10-min encounters and the dominant or subordinate condition of each member of the dyad was determined. During the memory phase, crabs were trained to acquire CSM and tested 24 h later. Results showed that the agonistic encounter, staged 48 h before the acquisition of CSM, can modulate memory according to the dominance condition of the fighter; in such a way that memory retention of subordinates results higher than that of dominants. By contrast, when the memory phase preceded the agonist one, forthcoming dominants and subordinates did not differ in their memory ability. The memory modulation would not be linked to a dominance status but to a persistent dominance relationship fully reconstructed in each encounter between the same opponents. Therefore, the crab's CSM would not depend directly on predetermined intrinsic properties, but on the outcome of the fight, which would be determined in turn by the relative aggressiveness of the fighters. The finding that the agonistic episode modulates memory opens the possibility of using this episodic interference to probe the function of diverse phases of CSM.

  3. 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

  4. Is working memory training effective? A meta-analytic review.

    PubMed

    Melby-Lervåg, Monica; Hulme, Charles

    2013-02-01

    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 variable, and a systematic meta-analytic review was undertaken. To be included in the review, studies had to be randomized controlled trials or quasi-experiments without randomization, have a treatment, and have either a treated group or an untreated control group. Twenty-three studies with 30 group comparisons met the criteria for inclusion. The studies included involved clinical samples and samples of typically developing children and adults. Meta-analyses indicated that the programs produced reliable short-term improvements in working memory skills. For verbal working memory, these near-transfer effects were not sustained at follow-up, whereas for visuospatial working memory, limited evidence suggested that such effects might be maintained. More importantly, there was no convincing evidence of the generalization of working memory training to other skills (nonverbal and verbal ability, inhibitory processes in attention, word decoding, and arithmetic). The authors conclude that memory training programs appear to produce short-term, specific training effects that do not generalize. Possible limitations of the review (including age differences in the samples and the variety of different clinical conditions included) are noted. However, current findings cast doubt on both the clinical relevance of working memory training programs and their utility as methods of enhancing cognitive functioning in typically developing children and healthy adults. PMID:22612437

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Working memory and reference memory tests of spatial navigation in mice (Mus musculus).

    PubMed

    Lee, Sang Ah; Tucci, Valter; Sovrano, Valeria Anna; Vallortigara, Giorgio

    2015-05-01

    Researchers in spatial cognition have debated for decades the specificity of the mechanisms through which spatial information is processed and stored. Interestingly, although rodents are the preferred animal model for studying spatial navigation, the behavioral methods traditionally used to assess spatial memory do not effectively test the predictions of specificity in their representation. To address such issues, the present study tested the ability of mice to use boundary geometry and features to remember a goal location across 2 types of tasks--a working memory task with a changing goal location, and a reference memory task with 1 rewarded goal location. We show for the first time that mice, like other animals, can successfully encode boundary geometry in a working memory spatial mapping task, just as they do in a reference memory task. Their use of a nongeometric featural cue (striped pattern), in contrast, was more limited in the working memory task, although it quickly improved in the reference memory task. We discuss the implications of these findings for future research on the neural and genetic underpinnings of spatial representations.

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. Task rules, working memory, and fluid intelligence.

    PubMed

    Duncan, John; Schramm, Moritz; Thompson, Russell; Dumontheil, Iroise

    2012-10-01

    Many varieties of working memory have been linked to fluid intelligence. In Duncan et al. (Journal of Experimental Psychology:General 137:131-148, 2008), we described limited working memory for new task rules: When rules are complex, some may fail in their control of behavior, though they are often still available for explicit recall. Unlike other kinds of working memory, load is determined in this case not by real-time performance demands, but by the total complexity of the task instructions. Here, we show that the correlation with fluid intelligence is stronger for this aspect of working memory than for several other, more traditional varieties-including simple and complex spans and a test of visual short-term memory. Any task, we propose, requires construction of a mental control program that aids in segregating and assembling multiple task parts and their controlling rules. Fluid intelligence is linked closely to the efficiency of constructing such programs, especially when behavior is complex and novel.

  13. Language representation and working memory with bilinguals.

    PubMed

    Ardila, Alfredo

    2003-01-01

    Working memory (WM) plays a crucial role in learning a second language (L2). The ability to repeat words in an unknown language has been observed to predict success in learning that language. Conversely, decreased digit span and inability to repeat pseudowords have been related with failure in L2 acquisition. Not only digit span, but also "word span" and "semantic span" should be considered in WM analysis. In addition to the phonological system, a semantic system is proposed in the WM model for language. In bilinguals, brain activation patterns during WM tasks have been observed to be more complex when using a L2. Processing information in L2 is more demanding, and WM may be less efficient. It can be conjectured that language understanding defects in L2 are at least partially due to this decreased efficiency of WM in its phonological as well as in its semantic subsystem. The reader will be introduced to the basic assumptions of WM. It will be emphasized that WM is significantly involved in the ability to learn a L2. Cross-linguistic differences in digit span will be analyzed. It will be concluded that despite digit span and word span are affected by different variables, "semantic span" may be similar across languages. Words in a L2 function as low frequency words, and hence, semantic search takes longer and WM is less efficient. It will be concluded that in addition to the "phonological system," the WM model should include a "semantic system," involving a "semantic store" and a "semantic search" process.

  14. How quickly they forget: the relationship between forgetting and working memory performance.

    PubMed

    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. Individual differences in forgetting rate accounted for unique variance in working memory performance over and above variance explained by measures of processing efficiency and storage ability. In addition, the nature of the variation in forgetting was more consistent with a nonexecutive forgetting parameter than an executive ability associated with resistance to interference. These findings indicate that individual differences in the rate at which information is lost from memory is an important constraint on children's working memory performance, which has implications for current models of working memory that do not incorporate such a factor. PMID:25089742

  15. How quickly they forget: the relationship between forgetting and working memory performance.

    PubMed

    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. Individual differences in forgetting rate accounted for unique variance in working memory performance over and above variance explained by measures of processing efficiency and storage ability. In addition, the nature of the variation in forgetting was more consistent with a nonexecutive forgetting parameter than an executive ability associated with resistance to interference. These findings indicate that individual differences in the rate at which information is lost from memory is an important constraint on children's working memory performance, which has implications for current models of working memory that do not incorporate such a factor.

  16. Differences between presentation methods in working memory procedures: a matter of working memory consolidation.

    PubMed

    Ricker, Timothy J; Cowan, Nelson

    2014-03-01

    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 necessarily result in more forgetting. An obstacle to directly comparing conflicting reports is a divergence in methodology across studies. Studies that find no forgetting as a function of retention-interval duration tend to use sequential presentation of memory items, while studies that find forgetting as a function of retention-interval duration tend to use simultaneous presentation of memory items. Here, we manipulate the duration of retention and the presentation method of memory items, presenting items either sequentially or simultaneously. We find that these differing presentation methods can lead to different rates of forgetting because they tend to differ in the time available for consolidation into working memory. The experiments detailed here show that equating the time available for working memory consolidation equates the rates of forgetting across presentation methods. We discuss the meaning of this finding in the interpretation of previous forgetting studies and in the construction of working memory models. PMID:24059859

  17. 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…

  18. Illumination influences working memory: an EEG study.

    PubMed

    Park, Jin Young; Min, Byoung-Kyong; Jung, Young-Chul; Pak, Hyensou; Jeong, Yeon-Hong; Kim, Eosu

    2013-09-01

    Illumination conditions appear to influence working efficacy in everyday life. In the present study, we obtained electroencephalogram (EEG) correlates of working-memory load, and investigated how these waveforms are modulated by illumination conditions. We hypothesized that illumination conditions may affect cognitive performance. We designed an EEG study to monitor and record participants' EEG during the Sternberg working memory task under four different illumination conditions. Illumination conditions were generated with a factorial design of two color-temperatures (3000 and 7100 K) by two illuminance levels (150 and 700 lx). During a working memory task, we observed that high illuminance led to significantly lower frontal EEG theta activity than did low illuminance. These differences persisted despite no significant difference in task performance between illumination conditions. We found that the latency of an early event-related potential component, such as N1, was significantly modulated by the illumination condition. The fact that the illumination condition affects brain activity but not behavioral performance suggests that the lighting conditions used in the present study did not influence the performance stage of behavioral processing. Nevertheless, our findings provide objective evidence that illumination conditions modulate brain activity. Further studies are necessary to refine the optimal lighting parameters for facilitating working memory.

  19. Coordinating information from perception and working memory.

    PubMed

    Carlson, R A; Wenger, J L; Sullivan, M A

    1993-06-01

    Individuals must often coordinate information in working memory with information from perception. The demands of coordination have been analyzed in terms of the cost to switch attention. Coordination is considered in terms of the organization of control processes. Ss in 4 experiments performed list-processing tasks that sometimes required alternation between sets of items that were held in working memory or were currently displayed. Experiment 1 demonstrated that performance was slower and more error-prone when alternating between sets than when reporting a single set. On alternation tasks, latency varied with serial position, indicating that Ss paused between pairs of responses. In Experiment 2, this serial position function was observed for tasks requiring alternation between sets of information in the same modality (memory or perception). Experiments 3 and 4 demonstrate that this effect depends on the requirement to generate a new sequence of responses. A model of control processes for coordination is developed and tested.

  20. 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

  1. Working Memory Tasks Differ in Factor Structure across Age Cohorts: Implications for Dedifferentiation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Wendy; Logie, Robert H.; Brockmole, James R.

    2010-01-01

    Researchers interested in working memory have debated whether it should be considered a single latent cognitive ability or a set of essentially independent latent abilities distinguished by domain-specific memory and/or processing resources. Simultaneously, researchers interested in cognitive aging have established that there are substantial…

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. Intelligence, Working Memory, and Multitasking Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Working Memory and Children's Mental Addition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adams, John W.; Hitch, Graham J.

    1997-01-01

    Two experiments investigated extent to which English- and German-speaking childrens' mental arithmetic was constrained by working memory. Found higher mental addition spans when numbers were visible throughout calculation than when not. Variation in addition span with age and arithmetical operation difficulty approximated to a linear function of…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. Working Memory Components and Intelligence in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tillman, Carin M.; Nyberg, Lilianne; Bohlin, Gunilla

    2008-01-01

    This study investigated, in children aged 6-13 years, how different components of the working memory (WM) system (short-term storage and executive processes), within both verbal and visuospatial domains, relate to fluid intelligence. We also examined the degree of domain-specificity of the WM components as well as the differentiation of storage…

  9. 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…

  10. Familiarity Enhances Visual Working Memory for Faces

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Margaret C.; Raymond, Jane E.

    2008-01-01

    Although it is intuitive that familiarity with complex visual objects should aid their preservation in visual working memory (WM), empirical evidence for this is lacking. This study used a conventional change-detection procedure to assess visual WM for unfamiliar and famous faces in healthy adults. Across experiments, faces were upright or…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. Long-term working memory in text production.

    PubMed

    Kellogg, R T

    2001-01-01

    In reading and other high-level cognitive tasks, Ericsson and Kintsch (1995) proposed that the limited capacity of short-term working memory (STWM) is supplemented by long- term working memory (LTWM) for individuals with a high degree of domain-specific knowledge. In Experiment 1, college students (N = 80) wrote persuasive and narrative texts concerning baseball; domain-specific knowledge about baseball and verbal ability was assessed. The results showed that verbal ability and domain-specific knowledge independently affected writing skill, supporting the view that literacy depends on both knowledge sources and refuting one argument raised in support of the LTWM hypothesis. Experiment 2 (N = 42) replicated this outcome and tested the prediction that a high degree of domain-specific knowledge would lessen interference on a secondary task. The data supported the interference prediction, offering evidence that LTWM plays a role in the production of text.

  14. 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…

  15. The effects of imagery on problem-solving ability and autobiographical memory.

    PubMed

    Dennis, Ashley A; Astell, Arlene; Dritschel, Barbara

    2012-12-01

    Williams et al. (2006) found that increased imageability of cue words during an autobiographical memory task increased specificity of autobiographical memory (ABM) and improved subsequent social problem-solving (SPS). This study explored whether imagery during SPS improved SPS skill, perceived SPS ability, and the specificity of ABMs retrieved in the process of SPS in dysphoric students. Additionally, this study hypothesised that both memory specificity and perceived SPS ability would positively correlate with SPS skill. Dysphoric and non-dysphoric students solved hypothetical social problems on a modified version of the Means-End Problem-Solving task with a verbal or an imagery focus. Participants also completed a questionnaire about ABMs retrieved during SPS and rated their perceived effectiveness of their solutions. Contrary to Williams et al. (2006), the imagery focus did not improve SPS skill or influence perceived effectiveness. Additionally, in contrast to the hypothesis, the imagery group retrieved more overgeneral memories. Finally, ABM specificity did not correlate with SPS skill. However, dysphoric participants perceived specific memories to be significantly less helpful to SPS whereas non-dysphoric participants perceived specific memories to be helpful potentially supporting work on overgeneral ABM and functional avoidance.

  16. Attentional priority determines working memory precision.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    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.

  17. Attentional priority determines working memory precision.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Neural suppression of irrelevant information underlies optimal working memory performance

    PubMed Central

    Zanto, Theodore P.; Gazzaley, Adam

    2009-01-01

    Our ability to focus attention on task-relevant information and ignore distractions is reflected by differential enhancement and suppression of neural activity in sensory cortex (i.e., top-down modulation). Such selective, goal-directed modulation of activity may be intimately related to memory, such that the focus of attention biases the likelihood of successfully maintaining relevant information by limiting interference from irrelevant stimuli. Despite recent studies elucidating the mechanistic overlap between attention and memory, the relationship between top-down modulation of visual processing during working memory (WM) encoding and subsequent recognition performance has not yet been established. Here, we provide neurophysiological evidence in healthy, young adults that top-down modulation of early visual processing (< 200 ms from stimulus onset) is intimately related to subsequent WM performance, such that the likelihood of successfully remembering relevant information is associated with limiting interference from irrelevant stimuli. The consequences of a failure to ignore distractors on recognition performance was replicated for two types of feature-based memory, motion direction and color. Moreover, attention to irrelevant stimuli was reflected neurally during the WM maintenance period as an increased memory load. These results suggest that neural enhancement of relevant information is not the primary determinant of high-level performance, but rather, optimal WM performance is dependent on effectively filtering irrelevant information through neural suppression to prevent overloading a limited memory capacity. PMID:19279242

  2. 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…

  3. 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,…

  4. 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.…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Perceptual expertise enhances the resolution but not the number of representations in working memory.

    PubMed

    Scolari, Miranda; Vogel, Edward K; Awh, Edward

    2008-02-01

    Despite its central role in cognition, capacity in visual working memory is restricted to about three or four items. Curby and Gauthier (2007) examined whether perceptual expertise can help to overcome this limit by enabling more efficient coding of visual information. In line with this, they observed higher capacity estimates for upright than for inverted faces, suggesting that perceptual expertise enhances visual working memory. In the present work, we examined whether the improved capacity estimates for upright faces indicates an increased number of "slots" in working memory, or improved resolution within the existing slots. Our results suggest that perceptual expertise enhances the resolution but not the number of representations that can be held in working memory. These results clarify the effects of perceptual expertise in working memory and support recent suggestions that number and resolution represent distinct facets of working memory ability.

  13. [Working memory and work with memory: visual-spatial and further components of processing].

    PubMed

    Velichkovsky, B M; Challis, B H; Pomplun, M

    1995-01-01

    Empirical and theoretical evidence for the concept of working memory is considered. We argue that the major weakness of this concept is its loose connection with the knowledge about background perceptive and cognitive processes. Results of two relevant experiments are provided. The first study demonstrated the classical chunking effect in a speeded visual search and comparison task, the proper domain of a large-capacity very short term sensory store. Our second study was a kind of extended levels-of-processing experiment. We attempted to manipulate visual, phonological, and (different) executive components of long-term memory in the hope of finding some systematic relationships between these forms of processing. Indeed, the results demonstrated a high degree of systematicity without any apparent need for a concept such as working memory for the explanation. Accordingly, the place for working memory is at all the interfaces where our metacognitive strategies interfere with mostly domain-specific cognitive mechanisms. Working memory is simply our work with memory.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Socioaffective factors modulate working memory in schizophrenia patients.

    PubMed

    Park, S; Gibson, C; McMichael, T

    2006-04-28

    Working memory deficit in schizophrenia is a core cognitive feature of the disorder and is reliably associated with abnormalities of the prefrontal circuitry. Working memory deficits are also associated with impaired social functioning and present a major obstacle toward successful rehabilitation in schizophrenia. Although the role of prefrontal cortex in working memory has been extensively investigated, the intricate relations among the prefrontal circuitry, working memory and social behaviors are not clearly understood. In this study, we manipulated social context and observed its effects on spatial working memory. In experiment 1, the effects of social and asocial reinforcements on spatial working memory were examined in schizophrenic patients and healthy controls. The results show that social but not asocial reinforcements facilitated spatial working memory in schizophrenic patients. In experiment 2, the effects of human voice reinforcements (with or without affect) on working memory was investigated. Voice reinforcements did not facilitate working memory relative to the no-reinforcement condition. There was no difference between high-affect vs flat-affect voice conditions. In experiment 3, the effects of direct and indirect social interactions on spatial working memory were studied. Direct but not indirect social interaction facilitated working memory in schizophrenic patients. These results suggest that social context might facilitate working memory in schizophrenic patients perhaps by activating frontal lobe systems. In addition, the possibility of improving cognitive functions such as working memory using seemingly non-cognitive methods might lead to potential remediation strategies.

  20. 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.

  1. Asymmetrical access to color and location in visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Rajsic, Jason; Wilson, Daryl E

    2014-10-01

    Models of visual working memory (VWM) have benefitted greatly from the use of the delayed-matching paradigm. However, in this task, the ability to recall a probed feature is confounded with the ability to maintain the proper binding between the feature that is to be reported and the feature (typically location) that is used to cue a particular item for report. Given that location is typically used as a cue-feature, we used the delayed-estimation paradigm to compare memory for location to memory for color, rotating which feature was used as a cue and which was reported. Our results revealed several novel findings: 1) the likelihood of reporting a probed object's feature was superior when reporting location with a color cue than when reporting color with a location cue; 2) location report errors were composed entirely of swap errors, with little to no random location reports; and 3) both colour and location reports greatly benefitted from the presence of nonprobed items at test. This last finding suggests that it is uncertainty over the bindings between locations and colors at memory retrieval that drive swap errors, not at encoding. We interpret our findings as consistent with a representational architecture that nests remembered object features within remembered locations. PMID:25190322

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. A neurodynamical model for working memory.

    PubMed

    Pascanu, Razvan; Jaeger, Herbert

    2011-03-01

    Neurodynamical models of working memory (WM) should provide mechanisms for storing, maintaining, retrieving, and deleting information. Many models address only a subset of these aspects. Here we present a rather simple WM model in which all of these performance modes are trained into a recurrent neural network (RNN) of the echo state network (ESN) type. The model is demonstrated on a bracket level parsing task with a stream of rich and noisy graphical script input. In terms of nonlinear dynamics, memory states correspond, intuitively, to attractors in an input-driven system. As a supplementary contribution, the article proposes a rigorous formal framework to describe such attractors, generalizing from the standard definition of attractors in autonomous (input-free) dynamical systems.

  5. Working memory capacity as controlled attention in tactical decision making.

    PubMed

    Furley, Philip A; Memmert, Daniel

    2012-06-01

    The controlled attention theory of working memory capacity (WMC, Engle 2002) suggests that WMC represents a domain free limitation in the ability to control attention and is predictive of an individual's capability of staying focused, avoiding distraction and impulsive errors. In the present paper we test the predictive power of WMC in computer-based sport decision-making tasks. Experiment 1 demonstrated that high-WMC athletes were better able at focusing their attention on tactical decision making while blocking out irrelevant auditory distraction. Experiment 2 showed that high-WMC athletes were more successful at adapting their tactical decision making according to the situation instead of relying on prepotent inappropriate decisions. The present results provide additional but also unique support for the controlled attention theory of WMC by demonstrating that WMC is predictive of controlling attention in complex settings among different modalities and highlight the importance of working memory in tactical decision making.

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Past Experience Influences Object Representation in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wagar, B.M.; Dixon, M.J.

    2005-01-01

    The nature of object representation in working memory is vital to establishing the capacity of working memory, which in turn shapes the limits of visual cognition and awareness. Although current theories discuss whether representations in working memory are feature-based or object-based, no theory has considered the role of past experience.…

  12. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

    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 consisted of 105 (55 female and 50 male) urban, primarily African American adolescents (mean age=15.5 years) from low socioeconomic status (SES) families. Approximately 56% (n=59) were prenatally exposed to drugs (heroin and/or cocaine) and 44% (n=46) were not prenatally exposed, but the adolescents were 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 (magnetic resonance imaging) 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  17. 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

  18. Value conditioning modulates visual working memory processes.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Paul M J; FitzGibbon, Lily; Raymond, Jane E

    2016-01-01

    Learning allows the value of motivationally salient events to become associated with stimuli that predict those events. Here, we asked whether value associations could facilitate visual working memory (WM), and whether such effects would be valence dependent. Our experiment was specifically designed to isolate value-based effects on WM from value-based effects on selective attention that might be expected to bias encoding. In a simple associative learning task, participants learned to associate the color of tinted faces with gaining or losing money or neither. Tinted faces then served as memoranda in a face identity WM task for which previously learned color associations were irrelevant and no monetary outcomes were forthcoming. Memory was best for faces with gain-associated tints, poorest for faces with loss-associated tints, and average for faces with no-outcome-associated tints. Value associated with 1 item in the WM array did not modulate memory for other items in the array. Eye movements when studying faces did not depend on the valence of previously learned color associations, arguing against value-based biases being due to differential encoding. This valence-sensitive value-conditioning effect on WM appears to result from modulation of WM maintenance processes.

  19. The multi-component model of working memory: explorations in experimental cognitive psychology.

    PubMed

    Repovs, G; Baddeley, A

    2006-04-28

    There are a number of ways one can hope to describe and explain cognitive abilities, each of them contributing a unique and valuable perspective. Cognitive psychology tries to develop and test functional accounts of cognitive systems that explain the capacities and properties of cognitive abilities as revealed by empirical data gathered by a range of behavioral experimental paradigms. Much of the research in the cognitive psychology of working memory has been strongly influenced by the multi-component model of working memory [Baddeley AD, Hitch GJ (1974) Working memory. In: Recent advances in learning and motivation, Vol. 8 (Bower GA, ed), pp 47-90. New York: Academic Press; Baddeley AD (1986) Working memory. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press; Baddeley A. Working memory: Thought and action. Oxford: Oxford University Press, in press]. By expanding the notion of a passive short-term memory to an active system that provides the basis for complex cognitive abilities, the model has opened up numerous questions and new lines of research. In this paper we present the current revision of the multi-component model that encompasses a central executive, two unimodal storage systems: a phonological loop and a visuospatial sketchpad, and a further component, a multimodal store capable of integrating information into unitary episodic representations, termed episodic buffer. We review recent empirical data within experimental cognitive psychology that has shaped the development of the multicomponent model and the understanding of the capacities and properties of working memory. Research based largely on dual-task experimental designs and on neuropsychological evidence has yielded valuable information about the fractionation of working memory into independent stores and processes, the nature of representations in individual stores, the mechanisms of their maintenance and manipulation, the way the components of working memory relate to each other, and the role they play in other

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. BOLD Frequency Power Indexes Working Memory Performance.

    PubMed

    Balsters, Joshua Henk; Robertson, Ian H; Calhoun, Vince D

    2013-01-01

    Electrophysiology studies routinely investigate the relationship between neural oscillations and task performance. However, the sluggish nature of the BOLD response means that few researchers have investigated the spectral properties of the BOLD signal in a similar manner. For the first time we have applied group ICA to fMRI data collected during a standard working memory task (delayed match-to-sample) and using a multivariate analysis, we investigate the relationship between working memory performance (accuracy and reaction time) and BOLD spectral power within functional networks. Our results indicate that BOLD spectral power within specific networks (visual, temporal-parietal, posterior default-mode network, salience network, basal ganglia) correlated with task accuracy. Multivariate analyses show that the relationship between task accuracy and BOLD spectral power is stronger than the relationship between BOLD spectral power and other variables (age, gender, head movement, and neuropsychological measures). A traditional General Linear Model (GLM) analysis found no significant group differences, or regions that covaried in signal intensity with task accuracy, suggesting that BOLD spectral power holds unique information that is lost in a standard GLM approach. We suggest that the combination of ICA and BOLD spectral power is a useful novel index of cognitive performance that may be more sensitive to brain-behavior relationships than traditional approaches.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Cowan, Nelson

    2014-06-01

    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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. Working memory storage is intrinsically domain specific.

    PubMed

    Fougnie, Daryl; Zughni, Samir; Godwin, Douglass; Marois, René

    2015-02-01

    A longstanding debate in working memory (WM) is whether information is maintained in a central, capacity-limited storage system or whether there are domain-specific stores for different modalities. This question is typically addressed by determining whether concurrent storage of 2 different memory arrays produces interference. Prior studies using this approach have shown at least some cost to maintaining 2 memory arrays that differed in perceptual modalities. However, it is not clear whether these WM costs resulted from competition for a central, capacity-limited store or from other potential sources of dual-task interference, such as task preparation and coordination, overlap in representational content (e.g., object vs. space based), or cognitive strategies (e.g., verbalization, chunking of the stimulus material in a higher order structure). In the present study we assess dual-task costs during the concurrent performance of a visuospatial WM task and an auditory object WM task when such sources of interference are minimized. The results show that performance of these 2 WM tasks are independent from each another, even at high WM load. Only when we introduced a common representational format (spatial information) to both WM tasks did dual-task performance begin to suffer. These results are inconsistent with the notion of a domain-independent storage system, and suggest instead that WM is constrained by multiple domain-specific stores and central executive processes. Evidently, there is nothing intrinsic about the functional architecture of the human mind that prevents it from storing 2 distinct representations in WM, as long as these representations do not overlap in any functional domain.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Gender and age do not influence the ability to work.

    PubMed

    Padula, Rosimeire Simprini; da Silva Valente, Luciana do Socorro; de Moraes, Mônica Vasconcelos; Chiavegato, Luciana Dias; Cabral, Cristina Maria Nunes

    2012-01-01

    Work capacity is related to physical, environmental and psychosocial factors and is influenced by individual characteristics and occupations. The aim of this study was to evaluated the relationship between work capacity, gender and age. 360 people employed at an institution of higher education of both genders and similar age were asked to participate in this study. The ability to work was analyzed using Work Ability Index (WAI). Descriptive statistical, Pearson correlations and ANOVA test was applied. Of these, 197 workers who participated in the study completed and returned the questionnaire. The results show there weren't any significant differences between work ability in relation to gender and age, but we observed an increase variability of responses for WAI score in older workers. No significant differences in the perception of the ability of work between men and women..

  15. Selection History Modulates Working Memory Capacity

    PubMed Central

    Kuo, Bo-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that past selection history affects the allocation of attention on target selection. However, it is unclear whether context-driven selection history can modulate the efficacy of attention allocation on working memory (WM) representations. This study tests the influences of selection history on WM capacity. A display of one item (low load) or three/four items (high load) was shown for the participants to hold in WM in a delayed response task. Participants then judged whether a probe item was in the memory display or not. Selection history was defined as the number of items attended across trials in the task context within a block, manipulated by the stimulus set-size in the contexts with fewer possible stimuli (4-item or 5-item context) or more possible stimuli (8-item or 9-item context) from which the memorized content was selected. The capacity measure (i.e., the K measure) was estimated to reflect the number of items that can be held in WM. Across four behavioral experiments, the results revealed that the capacity was significantly reduced in the context with more possible stimuli relative to the context with fewer possible stimuli. Moreover, the reduction in capacity was significant for high WM load and not observed when the focus was on only a single item. Together, these findings indicate that context-driven selection history and focused attention influence WM capacity. PMID:27774082

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Application of new WAIS-III/WMS-III discrepancy scores for evaluating memory functioning: relationship between intellectual and memory ability.

    PubMed

    Lange, Rael T; Chelune, Gordon J

    2006-05-01

    Analysis of the discrepancy between memory and intellectual ability has received some support as a means for evaluating memory impairment. Recently, comprehensive base rate tables for General Ability Index (GAI) minus memory discrepancy scores (i.e., GAI-memory) were developed using the WAIS-III/WMS-III standardization sample (Lange, Chelune, & Tulsky, in press). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical utility of GAI-memory discrepancy scores to identify memory impairment in 34 patients with Alzheimer's type dementia (DAT) versus a sample of 34 demographically matched healthy participants. On average, patients with DAT obtained significantly lower scores on all WAIS-III and WMS-III indexes and had larger GAI-memory discrepancy scores. Clinical outcome analyses revealed that GAI-memory scores were useful at identifying memory impairment in patients with DAT versus matched healthy participants. However, GAI-memory discrepancy scores failed to provide unique interpretive information beyond that which is gained from the memory indexes alone. Implications and future research directions are discussed.

  20. Application of new WAIS-III/WMS-III discrepancy scores for evaluating memory functioning: relationship between intellectual and memory ability.

    PubMed

    Lange, Rael T; Chelune, Gordon J

    2006-05-01

    Analysis of the discrepancy between memory and intellectual ability has received some support as a means for evaluating memory impairment. Recently, comprehensive base rate tables for General Ability Index (GAI) minus memory discrepancy scores (i.e., GAI-memory) were developed using the WAIS-III/WMS-III standardization sample (Lange, Chelune, & Tulsky, in press). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical utility of GAI-memory discrepancy scores to identify memory impairment in 34 patients with Alzheimer's type dementia (DAT) versus a sample of 34 demographically matched healthy participants. On average, patients with DAT obtained significantly lower scores on all WAIS-III and WMS-III indexes and had larger GAI-memory discrepancy scores. Clinical outcome analyses revealed that GAI-memory scores were useful at identifying memory impairment in patients with DAT versus matched healthy participants. However, GAI-memory discrepancy scores failed to provide unique interpretive information beyond that which is gained from the memory indexes alone. Implications and future research directions are discussed. PMID:16624786

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

    PubMed

    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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  4. Past experience influences object representation in working memory.

    PubMed

    Wagar, Brandon M; Dixon, Mike J

    2005-04-01

    The nature of object representation in working memory is vital to establishing the capacity of working memory, which in turn shapes the limits of visual cognition and awareness. Although current theories discuss whether representations in working memory are feature-based or object-based, no theory has considered the role of past experience. However, work with humans and non-human primates suggests that once participants learn which features are important for category membership, these diagnostic features become more salient than non-diagnostic features in long-term memory and object recognition. Critically, the brain areas involved in this diagnosticity effect are also recruited during working memory tasks. We report two experiments testing whether a diagnosticity effect exists in working memory; and whether it is present when visual information is encoded into working memory, or if it is the result of maintenance within working memory. Results showed a diagnosticity effect which was present at encoding. Maintenance did not influence the nature of object representation in working memory. These findings show that the meaning we glean from our past experience has a profound influence on the nature of object representation in working memory.

  5. Working memory for speech and music.

    PubMed

    Schulze, Katrin; Koelsch, Stefan

    2012-04-01

    The present paper reviews behavioral and neuroimaging findings on similarities and differences between verbal and tonal working memory (WM), the influence of musical training, and the effect of strategy use on WM for tones. Whereas several studies demonstrate an overlap of core structures (Broca's area, premotor cortex, inferior parietal lobule), preliminary findings are discussed that imply, if confirmed, the existence of a tonal and a phonological loop in musicians. This conclusion is based on the findings of partly differing neural networks underlying verbal and tonal WM in musicians, suggesting that functional plasticity has been induced by musical training. We further propose a strong link between production and auditory WM: data indicate that both verbal and tonal auditory WM are based on the knowledge of how to produce the to-be-remembered sounds and, therefore, that sensorimotor representations are involved in the temporary maintenance of auditory information in WM.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Is Working Memory Training Effective? A Study in a School Setting

    PubMed Central

    Rode, Catrin; Robson, Robby; Purviance, Andy; Geary, David C.; Mayr, Ulrich

    2014-01-01

    We tested the effectiveness of an intensive, on average 17-session, adaptive and computerized working-memory training program for improving performance on untrained, paper and pencil working memory tasks, standardized school achievement tasks, and teacher ratings of classroom behavior. Third-grade children received either a computerized working memory training for about 30 minutes per session (n = 156) or participated in regular classroom activities (n = 126). Results indicated strong gains in the training task. Further, pretest and posttest transfer measures of working memory and school achievement, as well as teacher ratings, showed substantial correlations with training task performance, suggesting that the training task captured abilities that were relevant for the transfer tasks. However, effect sizes of training-specific transfer gains were very small and not consistent across tasks. These results raise questions about the benefits of intensive working-memory training programs within a regular school context. PMID:25162637

  9. Is working memory training effective? A study in a school setting.

    PubMed

    Rode, Catrin; Robson, Robby; Purviance, Andy; Geary, David C; Mayr, Ulrich

    2014-01-01

    We tested the effectiveness of an intensive, on average 17-session, adaptive and computerized working-memory training program for improving performance on untrained, paper and pencil working memory tasks, standardized school achievement tasks, and teacher ratings of classroom behavior. Third-grade children received either a computerized working memory training for about 30 minutes per session (n = 156) or participated in regular classroom activities (n = 126). Results indicated strong gains in the training task. Further, pretest and posttest transfer measures of working memory and school achievement, as well as teacher ratings, showed substantial correlations with training task performance, suggesting that the training task captured abilities that were relevant for the transfer tasks. However, effect sizes of training-specific transfer gains were very small and not consistent across tasks. These results raise questions about the benefits of intensive working-memory training programs within a regular school context.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

    2014-04-20

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. Phonology, working memory, and foreign-language learning.

    PubMed

    Service, E

    1992-07-01

    Three tasks were used to predict English learning by Finnish children over a three-year period. In the pseudoword repetition task the pupils had to repeat aloud tape-recorded pseudowords sounding like Finnish or English. In the pseudoword copying task the pupils saw strings of letters resembling Finnish or English words and copied them when they had disappeared from view. When comparing syntactic-semantic structures, the pupils had to find the syntactically matching pairs from two sets of Finnish sentences. Repetition and copying accuracy and the ability to compare syntactic-semantic structures predicted English learning. Intercorrelations between test scores and English and mathematics grades suggest that repetition and copying accuracy were specifically related to language learning. It is concluded that the ability to represent unfamiliar phonological material in working memory underlies the acquisition of new vocabulary items in foreign-language learning.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. Working memory and comprehension in children with specific language impairment: what we know so far.

    PubMed

    Montgomery, James W

    2003-01-01

    Many children with specific language impairments (SLI) demonstrate deficits in the areas of verbal working memory and language learning/processing. In this article, evidence is reviewed suggesting that the lexical/morphological learning and sentence comprehension/processing problems of many of these children are associated with their deficient working memory functioning. Evidence is also reviewed for the possibility that deficient working memory provides a clinical marker of SLI. A number of potentially useful assessment and intervention techniques are offered, as well as several directions for future research. The reader will be introduced to two prominent models of verbal working memory (phonological working memory model, functional working memory) and how each model potentially relates to (a) various language abilities in typically developing children, (b) the morphological and lexical learning abilities in children with specific language impairment (SLI), and (c) the sentence comprehension of children with SLI. The reader will also be provided a variety of clinical suggestions on how to assess and treat the working memory and language processing problems of children with SLI. Finally, some suggestions for future research will also be offered.

  4. Working memory for braille is shaped by experience.

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

    Tactile working memory was found to be more developed in completely blind (congenital and acquired) than in semi-sighted subjects, indicating that experience plays a crucial role in shaping working memory. A model of working memory, adapted from the classical model proposed by Baddeley and Hitch1 and Baddeley2 is presented where the connection strengths of a highly cross-modal network are altered through experience.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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)

  8. 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

  9. Phonetic recalibration does not depend on working memory

    PubMed Central

    Baart, Martijn

    2010-01-01

    Listeners use lipread information to adjust the phonetic boundary between two speech categories (phonetic recalibration, Bertelson et al. 2003). Here, we examined phonetic recalibration while listeners were engaged in a visuospatial or verbal memory working memory task under different memory load conditions. Phonetic recalibration was—like selective speech adaptation—not affected by a concurrent verbal or visuospatial memory task. This result indicates that phonetic recalibration is a low-level process not critically depending on processes used in verbal- or visuospatial working memory. PMID:20437168

  10. Spatial working memory in asymptomatic HIV-infected subjects.

    PubMed

    Grassi, B; Garghentini, G; Campana, A; Grassi, E; Bertelli, S; Cinque, P; Epifani, M; Lazzarin, A; Scarone, S

    1999-01-01

    Many clinical and research findings converge to indicate that frontal lobe, basal ganglia, and related neuronal connections are primarily involved in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection; frontal lobe, mainly the prefrontal cortex, has a specialized role in working memory processes. This study focused on neuropsychological evaluation of the spatial component of working memory in a sample of 34 asymptomatic HIV-infected subjects as compared with 34 age- and sex-matched seronegative control subjects. A computer-administered test assessing spatial working memory was used for the neuropsychological evaluation. The findings did not show any spatial working memory impairment during the asymptomatic phase of HIV infection.

  11. Memorial stone (R. Norris and Son Locomotive Works), level 270 ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    Memorial stone (R. Norris and Son Locomotive Works), level 270 - Washington Monument, High ground West of Fifteenth Street, Northwest, between Independence & Constitution Avenues, Washington, District of Columbia, DC

  12. Spatial working memory is enhanced in children by differential outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Esteban, Laura; Vivas, Ana B.; Fuentes, Luis J.; Estévez, Angeles F.

    2015-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is essential to academic achievement. Any enhancement of WM abilities may improve children’s school performance. We tested the usefulness of the differential outcomes procedure (DOP) to enhance typically developing children’s performance on a spatial WM task. The DOP involves a conditional discriminative learning task in which a correct choice response to a specific stimulus-stimulus association is reinforced with a particular reinforcer (outcome). We adapted a spatial memory task to be used with the DOP. Participants had to learn and retain in their WM four target locations of eight possible locations where a shape could be presented. Two groups of 5- and 7-year-old children performed the low-attentional version of the spatial task, and an additional group of 7-year-old children performed the high-attentional version. The results showed that compared with the standard non-differential outcomes procedure (NOP), the DOP produced better memory-based performance in 5-year-old children with the low-attentional task and in 7-year-old children with the high-attentional task. Additionally, delay intervals impaired performance in the NOP but not in the DOP. These findings suggest that the DOP may be a useful complement to other WM intervention programs targeted to improve children´s academic performance at school. PMID:26596777

  13. 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.

  14. Visual long-term memory has the same limit on fidelity as visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Brady, Timothy F; Konkle, Talia; Gill, Jonathan; Oliva, Aude; Alvarez, George A

    2013-06-01

    Visual long-term memory can store thousands of objects with surprising visual detail, but just how detailed are these representations, and how can one quantify this fidelity? Using the property of color as a case study, we estimated the precision of visual information in long-term memory, and compared this with the precision of the same information in working memory. Observers were shown real-world objects in random colors and were asked to recall the colors after a delay. We quantified two parameters of performance: the variability of internal representations of color (fidelity) and the probability of forgetting an object's color altogether. Surprisingly, the fidelity of color information in long-term memory was comparable to the asymptotic precision of working memory. These results suggest that long-term memory and working memory may be constrained by a common limit, such as a bound on the fidelity required to retrieve a memory representation. PMID:23630219

  15. Attention allocation: Relationships to general working memory or specific language processing.

    PubMed

    Archibald, Lisa M D; Levee, Tyler; Olino, Thomas

    2015-11-01

    Attention allocation, updating working memory, and language processing are interdependent cognitive tasks related to the focused direction of limited resources, refreshing and substituting information in the current focus of attention, and receiving/sending verbal communication, respectively. The current study systematically examined the relationship among executive attention, working memory executive skills, and language abilities while adjusting for individual differences in short-term memory. School-age children completed a selective attention task requiring them to recall whether a presented shape was in the same place as a previous target shape shown in an array imposing a low or high working memory load. Results revealed a selective attention cost when working above but not within memory span capacity. Measures of general working memory were positively related to overall task performance, whereas language abilities were related to response time. In particular, higher language skills were associated with faster responses under low load conditions. These findings suggest that attentional control and storage demands have an additive impact on working memory resources but provide only limited evidence for a domain-general mechanism in language learning.

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Working memory management and predicted utility.

    PubMed

    Chatham, Christopher H; Badre, David

    2013-01-01

    Given the limited capacity of working memory (WM), its resources should be allocated strategically. One strategy is filtering, whereby access to WM is granted preferentially to items with the greatest utility. However, reallocation of WM resources might be required if the utility of maintained information subsequently declines. Here, we present behavioral, computational, and neuroimaging evidence that human participants track changes in the predicted utility of information in WM. First, participants demonstrated behavioral costs when the utility of items already maintained in WM declined and resources should be reallocated. An adapted Q-learning model indicated that these costs scaled with the historical utility of individual items. Finally, model-based neuroimaging demonstrated that frontal cortex tracked the utility of items to be maintained in WM, whereas ventral striatum tracked changes in the utility of items maintained in WM to the degree that these items are no longer useful. Our findings suggest that frontostriatal mechanisms track the utility of information in WM, and that these dynamics may predict delays in the removal of information from WM.

  20. Working Memory and Recollection Contribute to Academic Achievement

    PubMed Central

    Blankenship, Tashauna L.; O’Neill, Meagan; Ross, Alleyne; Bell, Martha Ann

    2015-01-01

    The contributions of working memory and recollection to academic achievement are typically examined separately and most often with children who have learning difficulties. This study is the first to observe both types of memory in the same study and in typically developing children. Academic achievement focused on standardized assessments of math fluency, calculation, reading fluency, and passage comprehension. As noted in previous studies, working memory was associated with each assessed measure of academic achievement. Recollection, however, specifically contributed to math fluency and passage comprehension. Thus, recollection should be considered alongside working memory in studies of academic achievement. PMID:26644761

  1. Prefrontal Cortical GABAergic Dysfunction Contributes to Age-Related Working Memory Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Bañuelos, Cristina; Beas, B. Sofia; McQuail, Joseph A.; Gilbert, Ryan J.; Frazier, Charles J.; Setlow, Barry

    2014-01-01

    Working memory functions supported by the prefrontal cortex decline in normal aging. Disruption of corticolimbic GABAergic inhibitory circuits can impair working memory in young subjects; however, relatively little is known regarding how aging impacts prefrontal cortical GABAergic signaling and whether such changes contribute to cognitive deficits. The current study used a rat model to evaluate the effects of aging on expression of prefrontal GABAergic synaptic proteins in relation to working memory decline, and to test whether pharmacological manipulations of prefrontal GABAergic signaling can improve working memory abilities in aged subjects. Results indicate that in aged medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), expression of the vesicular GABA transporter VGAT was unchanged; however, there was a significant increase in expression of the GABA synthesizing enzyme GAD67, and a significant decrease in the primary neuronal GABA transporter GAT-1 and in both subunits of the GABA(B) receptor (GABA(B)R). Expression of VGAT, GAD67, and GAT-1 was not associated with working memory ability. In contrast, among aged rats, GABA(B)R expression was significantly and negatively associated with working memory performance, such that lower GABA(B)R expression predicted better working memory. Subsequent experiments showed that systemic administration of a GABA(B)R antagonist, CGP55845, dose-dependently enhanced working memory in aged rats. This enhancing effect of systemic CGP55845 was reproduced by direct intra-mPFC administration. Together, these data suggest that age-related dysregulation of GABAergic signaling in prefrontal cortex may play a causal role in impaired working memory and that targeting GABA(B)Rs may provide therapeutic benefit for age-related impairments in executive functions. PMID:24599447

  2. 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…

  3. Introduction to the special issue on visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Wolfe, Jeremy M

    2014-10-01

    Visual working memory is a volatile, limited-capacity memory that appears to play an important role in our impression of a visual world that is continuous in time. It also mediates between the contents of the mind and the contents of that visual world. Research on visual working memory has become increasingly prominent in recent years. The articles in this special issue of Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics describe new empirical findings and theoretical understandings of the topic.

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. Updating Working Memory and Arithmetical Attainment in School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iuculano, Teresa; Moro, Raffaella; Butterworth, Brian

    2011-01-01

    Here we wished to determine how the sub-components of Working Memory (Phonological-Loop and Central Executive) influence children's arithmetical development. Specifically, we aimed at distinguishing between Working Memory inhibition and updating processes within the Central Executive, and the domain-specificity (words and numbers) of both…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. Spatial Working Memory Capacity Predicts Bias in Estimates of Location

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crawford, L. Elizabeth; Landy, David; Salthouse, Timothy A.

    2016-01-01

    Spatial memory research has attributed systematic bias in location estimates to a combination of a noisy memory trace with a prior structure that people impose on the space. Little is known about intraindividual stability and interindividual variation in these patterns of bias. In the current work, we align recent empirical and theoretical work on…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. On the Law Relating Processing to Storage in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrouillet, Pierre; Portrat, Sophie; Camos, Valerie

    2011-01-01

    "Working memory" is usually defined in cognitive psychology as a system devoted to the simultaneous processing and maintenance of information. However, although many models of working memory have been put forward during the last decades, they often leave underspecified the dynamic interplay between processing and storage. Moreover, the account of…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. Exploring Working Memory in Children with Low Arithmetical Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    D'Amico, A.; Guarnera, M.

    2005-01-01

    This research aimed at exploring the working memory functions in children with low arithmetical achievement and normal reading, compared to age matched controls (mean age 9 years). All the children completed a series of working memory tasks, involving the central executive functions (using both linguistic and numerical material), the phonological…

  4. 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…

  5. 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).…

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  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. 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.

  10. Inhibition control and working memory capacity in children with SLI

    PubMed Central

    Marton, Klara; Kelmenson, Lyudmyla; Pinkhasova, Milana

    2007-01-01

    This study examined the “inefficient inhibition hypothesis” (IIH; Bjorklund & Harnishfeger, 1990; Wilson & Kipp, 1998) in three groups: children with specific language impairment (SLI), age-matched and language-matched controls. The IIH suggests that individuals with efficient inhibition skills perform better on working memory tasks because they are able to keep out irrelevant information from working memory. Children with SLI show processing capacity limitations. This study examined whether the working memory limitations are impacted by inhibition problems in this population. Working memory capacity was measured with a listening span task and children’s inhibition errors were categorized. These errors reflected either immediate or delayed inhibition problems and they indicated either contextual distractions or perseverations. Children with SLI produced more inhibition errors than their peers in most categories. The results show an association between inhibition control and working memory capacity, but the direction of causality is not clear. PMID:18545677

  11. 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.

  12. [Work ability in hospital housekeeping services and associated factors].

    PubMed

    Beltrame, Marlize Tatsch; Magnago, Tânia Solange Bosi de Souza; Kirchhof, Ana Lúcia Cardoso; Marconato, Cintia da Silva; Moraise, Bruna Xavier

    2014-12-01

    This study aimed to measure the Work Ability Index of workers of a hospital housekeeping staff and identify the associated factors. Cross-sectional study conducted in 201 with 157 workers of the housekeeping staff of a university hospital in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. A questionnaire containing sociodemographic, labor and health variables and the Brazilian version of the Work Ability Index was used. As a result, 79.6% of the workers were classified as having good/great work capacity. Mild mental (31.8%) and musculoskeletal disorders (15.9%) were the most prevalent medical diagnoses. After some adjustments, the workers that did not have time for leisure showed a 2.67 times higher prevalence of having the work ability reduced (CI95%=1.23-5.82). The other variables lost their association with the outcome. Measures aimed at the maintenance of work ability and the practice of physical activity and training for postural care are indicated. PMID:25842780

  13. Mathematics anxiety and working memory: support for the existence of a deficient inhibition mechanism.

    PubMed

    Hopko, D R; Ashcraft, M H; Gute, J; Ruggiero, K J; Lewis, C

    1998-01-01

    A current theory of anxiety effects in cognition claims that anxiety disrupts normal processing within the working memory system. We examined this theory in the context of a reading task, for participants who were high or low in assessed mathematics anxiety. The task was designed to measure the ability to inhibit attention to distracting information and the effects of this ability on explicit memory performance. The results suggested that math-anxious individuals have a deficient inhibition mechanism whereby working memory resources are consumed by task-irrelevant distracters. A consequence of this deficiency was that explicit memory performance was poorer for high-anxious individuals. Based on these results, the recommendation is made that Eysenck and Calvo's (1992) processing efficiency theory be integrated with Connelly, Hasher, and Zack's (1991) inhibition theory to portray more comprehensively the relation between anxiety and performance. PMID:9699118

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Balanced Cortical Microcircuitry for Spatial Working Memory Based on Corrective Feedback Control

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Arousal, working memory, and conscious awareness in contingency learning.

    PubMed

    Cosand, Louise D; Cavanagh, Thomas M; Brown, Ashley A; Courtney, Christopher G; Rissling, Anthony J; Schell, Anne M; Dawson, Michael E

    2008-12-01

    There are wide individual differences in the ability to detect a stimulus contingency embedded in a complex paradigm. The present study used a cognitive masking paradigm to better understand individual differences related to contingency learning. Participants were assessed on measures of electrodermal arousal and on working memory capacity before engaging in the contingency learning task. Contingency awareness was assessed both by trial-by-trial verbal reports obtained during the task and by a short post-task recognition questionnaire. Participants who became aware had fewer non-specific skin conductance responses and tended to score higher on a digit span assessment. Skin conductance level was not significantly lower in the aware group than in the unaware group. These findings are consistent with studies showing that lower arousal and greater cognitive processing capacity facilitate conscious perception of a greater breadth of information within a scene or a task. PMID:18573667

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Negative affect improves the quality of memories: trading capacity for precision in sensory and working memory.

    PubMed

    Spachtholz, Philipp; Kuhbandner, Christof; Pekrun, Reinhard

    2014-08-01

    Research has shown that negative affect reduces working memory capacity. Commonly, this effect has been attributed to an allocation of resources to task-irrelevant thoughts, suggesting that negative affect has detrimental consequences for working memory performance. However, rather than simply being a detrimental effect, the affect-induced capacity reduction may reflect a trading of capacity for precision of stored representations. To test this hypothesis, we induced neutral or negative affect and concurrently measured the number and precision of representations stored in sensory and working memory. Compared with neutral affect, negative affect reduced the capacity of both sensory and working memory. However, in both memory systems, this decrease in capacity was accompanied by an increase in precision. These findings demonstrate that observers unintentionally trade capacity for precision as a function of affective state and indicate that negative affect can be beneficial for the quality of memories.

  5. The contribution of attentional lapses to individual differences in visual working memory capacity.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

    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.

  6. Internet and everyday life: the perceived implications of internet use on memory and ability to concentrate.

    PubMed

    Näsi, Matti; Koivusilta, Leena

    2013-02-01

    The growing role of Internet in all aspects of everyday life has led to speculations over the impacts beyond the traditional questions of access or sociability. This in mind, the main focus in this article was to examine how Finns, for majority of whom Internet use has become commonplace activity, perceive the impacts of Internet use since first adopting the technology. In this study, we examine how Internet user history and perceived computer skills, along with different sociodemographic factors, appear to reflect on the perceived impacts of Internet adoption in terms of memory and ability to concentrate. According to the results, almost one in five of the respondents reported changes concerning their memory or ability to concentrate, with skilled computer users and nonworkers, in particular, perceiving the change. Factors such as age-related differences and exposure to potential information overload at work were identified to explain the perceived change. Our data were collected in a survey-gathering information on the everyday life and well-being of Finns. The sample consisted of 2000 Finnish speakers aged 15 to 64 years. The response rate was 46 percent (N=908).

  7. 20 CFR 604.4 - Application-ability to work.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... constitute a withdrawal from the labor market. (b) If an individual has previously demonstrated his or her... 20 Employees' Benefits 3 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Application-ability to work. 604.4 Section 604.4 Employees' Benefits EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR REGULATIONS...

  8. 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

  9. Gait performance is not influenced by working memory when walking at a self-selected pace.

    PubMed

    Grubaugh, Jordan; Rhea, Christopher K

    2014-02-01

    Gait performance exhibits patterns within the stride-to-stride variability that can be indexed using detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA). Previous work employing DFA has shown that gait patterns can be influenced by constraints, such as natural aging or disease, and they are informative regarding a person's functional ability. Many activities of daily living require concurrent performance in the cognitive and gait domains; specifically working memory is commonly engaged while walking, which is considered dual-tasking. It is unknown if taxing working memory while walking influences gait performance as assessed by DFA. This study used a dual-tasking paradigm to determine if performance decrements are observed in gait or working memory when performed concurrently. Healthy young participants (N = 16) performed a working memory task (automated operation span task) and a gait task (walking at a self-selected speed on a treadmill) in single- and dual-task conditions. A second dual-task condition (reading while walking) was included to control for visual attention, but also introduced a task that taxed working memory over the long term. All trials involving gait lasted at least 10 min. Performance in the working memory task was indexed using five dependent variables (absolute score, partial score, speed error, accuracy error, and math error), while gait performance was indexed by quantifying the mean, standard deviation, and DFA α of the stride interval time series. Two multivariate analyses of variance (one for gait and one for working memory) were used to examine performance in the single- and dual-task conditions. No differences were observed in any of the gait or working memory dependent variables as a function of task condition. The results suggest the locomotor system is adaptive enough to complete a working memory task without compromising gait performance when walking at a self-selected pace.

  10. Working memory resources are shared across sensory modalities.

    PubMed

    Salmela, V R; Moisala, M; Alho, K

    2014-10-01

    A common assumption in the working memory literature is that the visual and auditory modalities have separate and independent memory stores. Recent evidence on visual working memory has suggested that resources are shared between representations, and that the precision of representations sets the limit for memory performance. We tested whether memory resources are also shared across sensory modalities. Memory precision for two visual (spatial frequency and orientation) and two auditory (pitch and tone duration) features was measured separately for each feature and for all possible feature combinations. Thus, only the memory load was varied, from one to four features, while keeping the stimuli similar. In Experiment 1, two gratings and two tones-both containing two varying features-were presented simultaneously. In Experiment 2, two gratings and two tones-each containing only one varying feature-were presented sequentially. The memory precision (delayed discrimination threshold) for a single feature was close to the perceptual threshold. However, as the number of features to be remembered was increased, the discrimination thresholds increased more than twofold. Importantly, the decrease in memory precision did not depend on the modality of the other feature(s), or on whether the features were in the same or in separate objects. Hence, simultaneously storing one visual and one auditory feature had an effect on memory precision equal to those of simultaneously storing two visual or two auditory features. The results show that working memory is limited by the precision of the stored representations, and that working memory can be described as a resource pool that is shared across modalities.

  11. Working memory resources are shared across sensory modalities.

    PubMed

    Salmela, V R; Moisala, M; Alho, K

    2014-10-01

    A common assumption in the working memory literature is that the visual and auditory modalities have separate and independent memory stores. Recent evidence on visual working memory has suggested that resources are shared between representations, and that the precision of representations sets the limit for memory performance. We tested whether memory resources are also shared across sensory modalities. Memory precision for two visual (spatial frequency and orientation) and two auditory (pitch and tone duration) features was measured separately for each feature and for all possible feature combinations. Thus, only the memory load was varied, from one to four features, while keeping the stimuli similar. In Experiment 1, two gratings and two tones-both containing two varying features-were presented simultaneously. In Experiment 2, two gratings and two tones-each containing only one varying feature-were presented sequentially. The memory precision (delayed discrimination threshold) for a single feature was close to the perceptual threshold. However, as the number of features to be remembered was increased, the discrimination thresholds increased more than twofold. Importantly, the decrease in memory precision did not depend on the modality of the other feature(s), or on whether the features were in the same or in separate objects. Hence, simultaneously storing one visual and one auditory feature had an effect on memory precision equal to those of simultaneously storing two visual or two auditory features. The results show that working memory is limited by the precision of the stored representations, and that working memory can be described as a resource pool that is shared across modalities. PMID:24935809

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Levels of processing and language modality specificity in working memory.

    PubMed

    Rudner, Mary; Karlsson, Thomas; Gunnarsson, Johan; Rönnberg, Jerker

    2013-03-01

    Neural networks underpinning working memory demonstrate sign language specific components possibly related to differences in temporary storage mechanisms. A processing approach to memory systems suggests that the organisation of memory storage is related to type of memory processing as well. In the present study, we investigated for the first time semantic, phonological and orthographic processing in working memory for sign- and speech-based language. During fMRI we administered a picture-based 2-back working memory task with Semantic, Phonological, Orthographic and Baseline conditions to 11 deaf signers and 20 hearing non-signers. Behavioural data showed poorer and slower performance for both groups in Phonological and Orthographic conditions than in the Semantic condition, in line with depth-of-processing theory. An exclusive masking procedure revealed distinct sign-specific neural networks supporting working memory components at all three levels of processing. The overall pattern of sign-specific activations may reflect a relative intermodality difference in the relationship between phonology and semantics influencing working memory storage and processing. PMID:23287569

  15. Flexibility of representational states in working memory.

    PubMed

    Zokaei, Nahid; Ning, Shen; Manohar, Sanjay; Feredoes, Eva; Husain, Masud

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between working memory (WM) and attention is a highly interdependent one, with evidence that attention determines the state in which items in WM are retained. Through focusing of attention, an item might be held in a more prioritized state, commonly termed as the focus of attention (FOA). The remaining items, although still retrievable, are considered to be in a different representational state. One means to bring an item into the FOA is to use retrospective cues ("retro-cues") which direct attention to one of the objects retained in WM. Alternatively, an item can enter a privileged state once attention is directed towards it through bottom-up influences (e.g., recency effect) or by performing an action on one of the retained items ("incidental" cueing). In all these cases, the item in the FOA is recalled with better accuracy compared to the other items in WM. Far less is known about the nature of the other items in WM and whether they can be flexibly manipulated in and out of the FOA. We present data from three types of experiments as well as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to early visual cortex to manipulate the item inside FOA. Taken together, our results suggest that the context in which items are retained in WM matters. When an item remains behaviorally relevant, despite not being inside the FOA, re-focusing attention upon it can increase its recall precision. This suggests that a non-FOA item can be held in a state in which it can be later retrieved. However, if an item is rendered behaviorally unimportant because it is very unlikely to be probed, it cannot be brought back into the FOA, nor recalled with high precision. Under such conditions, some information appears to be irretrievably lost from WM. These findings, obtained from several different methods, demonstrate quite considerable flexibility with which items in WM can be represented depending upon context. They have important consequences for emerging state-dependent models of

  16. The odour span task: a novel paradigm for assessing working memory in mice.

    PubMed

    Young, Jared W; Kerr, Lorraine E; Kelly, John S; Marston, Hugh M; Spratt, Christopher; Finlayson, Keith; Sharkey, John

    2007-02-01

    Impoverished odour recognition and memory are amongst the earliest symptoms observed in mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia, and have been advocated as early disease bio-markers. Although transgenic animals modelling disease pathologies continually emerge, there remains a paucity of tasks to examine olfactory working memory in mice. The present studies describe a mouse odour span task, which assesses the ability to remember increasing numbers of odours. Since caspase-3 is highly expressed throughout the olfactory system, we postulated that mice over-expressing this apoptogenic protein would exhibit impaired performance in the odour span task. Mice over-expressing human caspase-3 (Tg) exhibited age-independent deficits in olfactory working memory (6-18 months) compared with wild-type littermates, requiring longer for task acquisition and exhibiting impaired asymptotic performance, with reduced span lengths, lower accuracy and increased error rates. These impairments appeared to be selective for working memory, as Tg mice had no deficits in odour discriminatory ability or in locomotor measures. Importantly, nicotine, which improves working memory span in man, reversed the deficits exhibited by Tg mice. In conclusion, the mouse odour span task can detect subtle changes in olfactory working memory induced by genetic manipulation and drug administration and therefore should be applied to animal models of neurological disease.

  17. Worrying Thoughts Limit Working Memory Capacity in Math Anxiety

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Zhan; Liu, Peiru

    2016-01-01

    Sixty-one high-math-anxious persons and sixty-one low-math-anxious persons completed a modified working memory capacity task, designed to measure working memory capacity under a dysfunctional math-related context and working memory capacity under a valence-neutral context. Participants were required to perform simple tasks with emotionally benign material (i.e., lists of letters) over short intervals while simultaneously reading and making judgments about sentences describing dysfunctional math-related thoughts or sentences describing emotionally-neutral facts about the world. Working memory capacity for letters under the dysfunctional math-related context, relative to working memory capacity performance under the valence-neutral context, was poorer overall in the high-math-anxious group compared with the low-math-anxious group. The findings show a particular difficulty employing working memory in math-related contexts in high-math-anxious participants. Theories that can provide reasonable interpretations for these findings and interventions that can reduce anxiety-induced worrying intrusive thoughts or improve working memory capacity for math anxiety are discussed. PMID:27788235

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Dysfunctional neural network of spatial working memory contributes to developmental dyscalculia.

    PubMed

    Rotzer, S; Loenneker, T; Kucian, K; Martin, E; Klaver, P; von Aster, M

    2009-11-01

    The underlying neural mechanisms of developmental dyscalculia (DD) are still far from being clearly understood. Even the behavioral processes that generate or influence this heterogeneous disorder are a matter of controversy. To date, the few studies examining functional brain activation in children with DD mainly focus on number and counting related tasks, whereas studies on more general cognitive domains that are involved in arithmetical development, such as working memory are virtually absent. There are several studies showing a close relationship between DD and spatial working memory [Camos, V. (2008). Low working memory capacity impedes both efficiency and learning of number transcoding in children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 99(1), 37-57; McLean, J. F., & Hitch, G. J. (1999). Working memory impairments in children with specific arithmetic learning difficulties. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 74(3), 240-260; Rosselli, M., Matute, E., Pinto, N., & Ardila, A. (2006). Memory abilities in children with subtypes of dyscalculia. Developmental Neuropsychology, 30(3), 801-818; Siegel, L. S., & Ryan, E. B. (1989). The development of working memory in normally achieving and subtypes of learning disabled children. Child Development, 60(4), 973-980]. The relationship between these two mechanisms is still matter of debate, but this study follows the assumption that poor spatial working memory capacity may hinder the acquisition of spatial number representations in children with DD [Geary, D. C. (1993). Mathematical disabilities: Cognitive, neuropsychological, and genetic components. Psychological Bulletin, 114(2), 345-362; von Aster, M., & Shalev, R. S. (2007). Number development and developmental dyscalculia. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 49(11), 868-873]. Using functional MRI the current study compares brain activity associated with spatial working memory processes in 8-10-year-old children with DD and normally achieving controls

  3. 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…

  4. Forgetting from Working Memory: Does Novelty Encoding Matter?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Plancher, Gaen; Barrouillet, Pierre

    2013-01-01

    The sources of forgetting in working memory remain the matter of intense debate. According to the SOB model (serial order in a box; Farrell & Lewandowsky, 2002), forgetting in complex span tasks does not result from temporal decay but from interference produced by the encoding of distractors that are superimposed over memory items onto a composite…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  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. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. A Metacognitive Visuospatial Working Memory Training for Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caviola, Sara; Mammarella, Irene C.; Cornoldi, Cesare; Lucangeli, Daniela

    2009-01-01

    The paper studies whether visuospatial working memory (VSWM) and, specifically, recall of sequential-spatial information, can be improved by metacognitive training. Twenty-two fourth-grade children were involved in seven sessions of sequential-spatial memory training, while twenty-four children attended lessons given by their teacher. The…

  11. 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…

  12. Automatic Guidance of Visual Attention from Verbal Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soto, David; Humphreys, Glyn W.

    2007-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that visual attention can be captured by stimuli matching the contents of working memory (WM). Here, the authors assessed the nature of the representation that mediates the guidance of visual attention from WM. Observers were presented with either verbal or visual primes (to hold in memory, Experiment 1; to verbalize,…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. The role of working memory in carrying and borrowing.

    PubMed

    Imbo, Ineke; Vandierendonck, André; Vergauwe, Evie

    2007-07-01

    The present study analyzed the role of phonological and executive components of working memory in the borrow operation in complex subtractions (Experiments 1 and 2) and in the carry operation in complex multiplications (Experiments 3 and 4). The number of carry and borrow operations as well as the value of the carry were manipulated. Results indicated that both the number of carry/borrow operations and the value of the carry increased problem difficulty, resulting in higher reliance on phonological and executive working-memory components. Present results are compared with those obtained for the carry operation in complex addition and are further discussed in the broader framework of working-memory functions.

  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.

  18. Music training and working memory: an ERP study.

    PubMed

    George, Elyse M; Coch, Donna

    2011-04-01

    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 (ERPs) and a standardized test of working memory, we investigated both neural and behavioral aspects of working memory in college-aged, non-professional musicians and non-musicians. Behaviorally, musicians outperformed non-musicians on standardized subtests of visual, phonological, and executive memory. ERPs were recorded in standard auditory and visual oddball paradigms (participants responded to infrequent deviant stimuli embedded in lists of standard stimuli). Electrophysiologically, musicians demonstrated faster updating of working memory (shorter latency P300s) in both the auditory and visual domains and musicians allocated more neural resources to auditory stimuli (larger amplitude P300), showing increased sensitivity to the auditory standard/deviant difference and less effortful updating of auditory working memory. These findings demonstrate that long-term music training is related to improvements in working memory, in both the auditory and visual domains and in terms of both behavioral and ERP measures.

  19. Age-related differences in updating working memory.

    PubMed

    Van der Linden, M; Brédart, S; Beerten, A

    1994-02-01

    Age-related differences in updating working memory were investigated in two experiments using a running memory task. In the first experiment, the task of the young and elderly subjects was to watch strings of four to 10 consonants and then to recall serially the four most recent items. Results revealed no age effect. A second experiment was then carried out using a memory load that was close to memory span: lists of six to 12 consonants were presented and subjects had to recall the last six items. Age interacted with list length but not with serial position. This dissociation is discussed in terms of Baddeley's (1986) model.

  20. The sensory components of high-capacity iconic memory and visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Claire; Pearson, Joel

    2012-01-01

    EARLY VISUAL MEMORY CAN BE SPLIT INTO TWO PRIMARY COMPONENTS: a high-capacity, short-lived iconic memory followed by a limited-capacity visual working memory that can last many seconds. Whereas a large number of studies have investigated visual working memory for low-level sensory features, much research on iconic memory has used more "high-level" alphanumeric stimuli such as letters or numbers. These two forms of memory are typically examined separately, despite an intrinsic overlap in their characteristics. Here, we used a purely sensory paradigm to examine visual short-term memory for 10 homogeneous items of three different visual features (color, orientation and motion) across a range of durations from 0 to 6 s. We found that the amount of information stored in iconic memory is smaller for motion than for color or orientation. Performance declined exponentially with longer storage durations and reached chance levels after ∼2 s. Further experiments showed that performance for the 10 items at 1 s was contingent on unperturbed attentional resources. In addition, for orientation stimuli, performance was contingent on the location of stimuli in the visual field, especially for short cue delays. Overall, our results suggest a smooth transition between an automatic, high-capacity, feature-specific sensory-iconic memory, and an effortful "lower-capacity" visual working memory.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Working memory mechanism in proportional quantifier verification.

    PubMed

    Zajenkowski, Marcin; Szymanik, Jakub; Garraffa, Maria

    2014-12-01

    The paper explores the cognitive mechanisms involved in the verification of sentences with proportional quantifiers (e.g., "More than half of the dots are blue"). The first study shows that the verification of proportional sentences is more demanding than the verification of sentences such as: "There are seven blue and eight yellow dots". The second study reveals that both types of sentences are correlated with memory storage, however, only proportional sentences are associated with the cognitive control. This result suggests that the cognitive mechanism underlying the verification of proportional quantifiers is crucially related to the integration process, in which an individual has to compare in memory the cardinalities of two sets. In the third study we find that the numerical distance between two cardinalities that must be compared significantly influences the verification time and accuracy. The results of our studies are discussed in the broader context of processing complex sentences. PMID:24374596

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. A Latent Variables Examination of Processing Speed, Response Inhibition, and Working Memory during Typical Development

    PubMed Central

    McAuley, Tara; White, Desirée

    2010-01-01

    The present study addressed three related aims: (1) to replicate and extend previous work regarding the non-unitary nature of processing speed, response inhibition, and working memory during development, (2) to quantify the rate at which processing speed, response inhibition, and working memory develop and the extent to which the development of these latter abilities reflect general changes in processing speed, and (3) to evaluate whether commonly used tasks of processing speed, response inhibition, and working memory are valid and reliable when used with a developmentally diverse group. To address these aims, a latent variables approach was used to analyze data from 147 participants 6 to 24 years of age. Results showed that processing speed, response inhibition, and working memory were separable abilities and that the extent of this separability was stable cross the age range of participants. All three constructs improved as a function of age; however, only the effect of age on working memory remained significant after processing speed was controlled. The psychometric properties of tasks used to assess the constructs were age invariant, thus validating their use in studies of executive development. PMID:20888572

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Spatial context learning survives interference from working memory load

    PubMed Central

    Vickery, Timothy J.; Sussman, Rachel S.; Jiang, Yuhong V.

    2010-01-01

    The human visual system is constantly confronted with an overwhelming amount of information, only a subset of which can be processed in complete detail. Attention and implicit learning are two important mechanisms that optimize vision. This study addresses the relationship between these two mechanisms. Specifically we ask: Is implicit learning of spatial context affected by the amount of working memory load devoted to an irrelevant task? We tested observers in visual search tasks where search displays occasionally repeated. Observers became faster searching repeated displays than unrepeated ones, showing contextual cueing. We found that the size of contextual cueing was unaffected by whether observers learned repeated displays under unitary attention or when their attention was divided using working memory manipulations. These results held when working memory was loaded by colors, dot patterns, individual dot locations, or multiple potential targets. We conclude that spatial context learning is robust to interference from manipulations that limit the availability of attention and working memory. PMID:20853996

  16. fMRI characterization of visual working memory recognition.

    PubMed

    Rahm, Benjamin; Kaiser, Jochen; Unterrainer, Josef M; Simon, Juliane; Bledowski, Christoph

    2014-04-15

    Encoding and maintenance of information in visual working memory have been extensively studied, highlighting the crucial and capacity-limiting role of fronto-parietal regions. In contrast, the neural basis of recognition in visual working memory has remained largely unspecified. Cognitive models suggest that recognition relies on a matching process that compares sensory information with the mental representations held in memory. To characterize the neural basis of recognition we varied both the need for recognition and the degree of similarity between the probe item and the memory contents, while independently manipulating memory load to produce load-related fronto-parietal activations. fMRI revealed a fractionation of working memory functions across four distributed networks. First, fronto-parietal regions were activated independent of the need for recognition. Second, anterior parts of load-related parietal regions contributed to recognition but their activations were independent of the difficulty of matching in terms of sample-probe similarity. These results argue against a key role of the fronto-parietal attention network in recognition. Rather the third group of regions including bilateral temporo-parietal junction, posterior cingulate cortex and superior frontal sulcus reflected demands on matching both in terms of sample-probe-similarity and the number of items to be compared. Also, fourth, bilateral motor regions and right superior parietal cortex showed higher activation when matching provided clear evidence for a decision. Together, the segregation between the well-known fronto-parietal activations attributed to attentional operations in working memory from those regions involved in matching supports the theoretical view of separable attentional and mnemonic contributions to working memory. Yet, the close theoretical and empirical correspondence to perceptual decision making may call for an explicit consideration of decision making mechanisms in

  17. Chronic exercise keeps working memory and inhibitory capacities fit

    PubMed Central

    Padilla, Concepción; Pérez, Laura; Andrés, Pilar

    2014-01-01

    Padilla et al. (2013) recently showed that chronic aerobic exercise in young adults is associated with better inhibitory control as measured by the strategic Stop Signal Task (SST). The aim of the current study was to explore whether better inhibitory abilities, associated with high levels of physical fitness, were also associated with higher working memory capacity (WMC) in young healthy adults. Participants aged between 18 and 30 years and showing different levels of fitness confirmed by the Rockport 1-mile walking fitness test took part in this study. Active and passive participants were administered the SST to measure inhibitory control, and the Automatic Operation Span (AOSPAN) to measure verbal WMC. We first replicated Padilla et al.'s results showing that exercise specifically modulates strategic inhibitory processes. Our results also showed that active participants presented with better WMC than sedentary ones, showing a better capacity to manage simultaneously two verbal tasks and to inhibit interference. The results point to an association between chronic exercise, inhibitory abilities, and WMC. The theoretical relationship between these variables will be discussed. PMID:24653684

  18. 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

  19. Musicians' working memory for tones, words, and pseudowords.

    PubMed

    Benassi-Werke, Mariana E; Queiroz, Marcelo; Araújo, Rúben S; Bueno, Orlando F A; Oliveira, Maria Gabriela M

    2012-01-01

    Studies investigating factors that influence tone recognition generally use recognition tests, whereas the majority of the studies on verbal material use self-generated responses in the form of serial recall tests. In the present study we intended to investigate whether tonal and verbal materials share the same cognitive mechanisms, by presenting an experimental instrument that evaluates short-term and working memories for tones, using self-generated sung responses that may be compared to verbal tests. This paradigm was designed according to the same structure of the forward and backward digit span tests, but using digits, pseudowords, and tones as stimuli. The profile of amateur singers and professional singers in these tests was compared in forward and backward digit, pseudoword, tone, and contour spans. In addition, an absolute pitch experimental group was included, in order to observe the possible use of verbal labels in tone memorization tasks. In general, we observed that musical schooling has a slight positive influence on the recall of tones, as opposed to verbal material, which is not influenced by musical schooling. Furthermore, the ability to reproduce melodic contours (up and down patterns) is generally higher than the ability to reproduce exact tone sequences. However, backward spans were lower than forward spans for all stimuli (digits, pseudowords, tones, contour). Curiously, backward spans were disproportionately lower for tones than for verbal material-that is, the requirement to recall sequences in backward rather than forward order seems to differentially affect tonal stimuli. This difference does not vary according to musical expertise.

  20. 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,…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. Lipreading, Processing Speed, and Working Memory in Younger and Older Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feld, Julia E.; Sommers, Mitchell S.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: To examine several cognitive and perceptual abilities--including working memory (WM), information processing speed (PS), perceptual closure, and perceptual disembedding skill--as factors contributing to individual differences in lipreading performance and to examine how patterns in predictor variables change across age groups. Method:…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  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. 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…

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Suppressed working memory on the WMS-III as a marker for poor effort.

    PubMed

    Lange, Rael T; Iverson, Grant L; Sullivan, Karen; Anderson, Debbie

    2006-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the clinical utility of memory minus Working Memory Index (memory-WMI) discrepancy scores on the WMS-III for detecting poor effort in 145 personal injury litigants (19 poor effort, 126 adequate effort). On average, participants in the poor effort group performed significantly lower on all WMS-III memory indexes and demonstrated larger memory-WMI discrepancy scores compared to participants in the adequate effort group. Discriminant function analyses using memory-WMI discrepancy scores as independent variables revealed poor overall classification rates (60.0% to 63.4%). Based on the prevalence of unusually suppressed attention-concentration ability relative to memory functioning using unidirectional memory-WMI discrepancy scores, high specificity and negative predictive power values were found. However, there was unacceptably low sensitivity and positive predictive power. These results suggest that memory-WMI discrepancy scores on the WMS-III do not provide clinically useful information regarding response set and should be used cautiously as an indicator of poor effort.

  15. Suppressed working memory on the WMS-III as a marker for poor effort.

    PubMed

    Lange, Rael T; Iverson, Grant L; Sullivan, Karen; Anderson, Debbie

    2006-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the clinical utility of memory minus Working Memory Index (memory-WMI) discrepancy scores on the WMS-III for detecting poor effort in 145 personal injury litigants (19 poor effort, 126 adequate effort). On average, participants in the poor effort group performed significantly lower on all WMS-III memory indexes and demonstrated larger memory-WMI discrepancy scores compared to participants in the adequate effort group. Discriminant function analyses using memory-WMI discrepancy scores as independent variables revealed poor overall classification rates (60.0% to 63.4%). Based on the prevalence of unusually suppressed attention-concentration ability relative to memory functioning using unidirectional memory-WMI discrepancy scores, high specificity and negative predictive power values were found. However, there was unacceptably low sensitivity and positive predictive power. These results suggest that memory-WMI discrepancy scores on the WMS-III do not provide clinically useful information regarding response set and should be used cautiously as an indicator of poor effort. PMID:16618621

  16. No evidence of intelligence improvement after working memory training: a randomized, placebo-controlled study.

    PubMed

    Redick, Thomas S; Shipstead, Zach; Harrison, Tyler L; Hicks, Kenny L; Fried, David E; Hambrick, David Z; Kane, Michael J; Engle, Randall W

    2013-05-01

    Numerous recent studies seem to provide evidence for the general intellectual benefits of working memory training. In reviews of the training literature, Shipstead, Redick, and Engle (2010, 2012) argued that the field should treat recent results with a critical eye. Many published working memory training studies suffer from design limitations (no-contact control groups, single measures of cognitive constructs), mixed results (transfer of training gains to some tasks but not others, inconsistent transfer to the same tasks across studies), and lack of theoretical grounding (identifying the mechanisms responsible for observed transfer). The current study compared young adults who received 20 sessions of practice on an adaptive dual n-back program (working memory training group) or an adaptive visual search program (active placebo-control group) with a no-contact control group that received no practice. In addition, all subjects completed pretest, midtest, and posttest sessions comprising multiple measures of fluid intelligence, multitasking, working memory capacity, crystallized intelligence, and perceptual speed. Despite improvements on both the dual n-back and visual search tasks with practice, and despite a high level of statistical power, there was no positive transfer to any of the cognitive ability tests. We discuss these results in the context of previous working memory training research and address issues for future working memory training studies.

  17. 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

  18. Effect on work ability after team evaluation of functioning regarding pain, self-rated disability, and work ability assessment.

    PubMed

    Norrefalk, Jan-Rickard; Littwold-Pöljö, Agneta; Ryhle, Leif; Jansen, Gunilla Brodda

    2010-08-26

    To evaluate the effect of a 1-2 week multiprofessional team assessment, without a real rehabilitation effort, 60 patients suffering from long-standing pain and on long-lasting time on sick leave were studied. A questionnaire concerning their daily activities, quality of life, pain intensity, sick-leave level, and their work state was filled out by all patients before starting the assessment and at a 1-year follow-up. The results from the assessment period and the multiprofessional team decision of the patient's working ability were compared with the actual working rate after 1 year. The follow-up showed a significant reduction of sick leave and a higher level of activity (P < 0.001). One year after the initial evaluation, 40% showed a reduction in sickness benefit level and 12% resumed full-time work. However, the team evaluation of the patient's work ability did not correlate to predict the actual outcome. The patient's pain intensity, life satisfaction, gender, age, ethnic background, and time absent from work before the start of the evaluation showed no correlation to reduction on time on sickness benefit level. These parameters could not be used as predictors in this study.

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

    PubMed Central

    Tu, Hsiao-Wei; Hampton, Robert R.

    2014-01-01

    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

  20. 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

  1. Does strategic memory training improve the working memory performance of younger and older adults?

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

    The paper examines the effect of strategic training on the performance of younger and older adults in an immediate list-recall and a working memory task. The experimental groups of younger and older adults received three sessions of memory training, teaching the use of mental images to improve the memorization of word lists. In contrast, the control groups were not instructed to use any particular strategy, but they were requested to carry out the memory exercises. The results showed that strategic training improved performance of both the younger and older experimental groups in the immediate list recall and in the working memory task. Of particular interest, the improvement in working memory performance of the older experimental group was comparable to that of the younger experimental group.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-16

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. A study on the relationships between age, work experience, cognition, and work ability in older employees working in heavy industry.

    PubMed

    Chung, Jaeyeop; Park, Juhyung; Cho, Milim; Park, Yunhee; Kim, DeokJu; Yang, Dongju; Yang, Yeongae

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to examine the correlation of age, work experience, cognition, and work ability in older employees working in heavy industry. [Subjects and Methods] The study was conducted using 100 subjects who were over 55 years old and worked in heavy industry. To obtain data, we first had the subjects complete the MoCA-K test and Work Ability Index (WAI). The data were then analyzed by frequency and correlation using statistical software (SPSS 21.0). [Results] Through this study, we discovered a significant positive correlation between WAI and MoCA-K, age, and work experience. [Conclusion] This study revealed that work ability in older employees increases not with the number of years worked but with the enhancement of cognitive ability. Special management that focuses on cognition is therefore required for senior employees working in the field of heavy industry.

  8. Parietal and early visual cortices encode working memory content across mental transformations.

    PubMed

    Christophel, Thomas B; Cichy, Radoslaw M; Hebart, Martin N; Haynes, John-Dylan

    2015-02-01

    Active and flexible manipulations of memory contents "in the mind's eye" are believed to occur in a dedicated neural workspace, frequently referred to as visual working memory. Such a neural workspace should have two important properties: The ability to store sensory information across delay periods and the ability to flexibly transform sensory information. Here we used a combination of functional MRI and multivariate decoding to indentify such neural representations. Subjects were required to memorize a complex artificial pattern for an extended delay, then rotate the mental image as instructed by a cue and memorize this transformed pattern. We found that patterns of brain activity already in early visual areas and posterior parietal cortex encode not only the initially remembered image, but also the transformed contents after mental rotation. Our results thus suggest that the flexible and general neural workspace supporting visual working memory can be realized within posterior brain regions.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Mishra, Jyoti; Bavelier, Daphne

    2012-01-01

    Abstract 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Is a search template an ordinary working memory? Comparing electrophysiological markers of working memory maintenance for visual search and recognition.

    PubMed

    Gunseli, Eren; Meeter, Martijn; Olivers, Christian N L

    2014-07-01

    Visual search requires the maintenance of a search template in visual working memory in order to guide attention towards the target. This raises the question whether a search template is essentially the same as a visual working memory representation used in tasks that do not require attentional guidance, or whether it is a qualitatively different representation. Two experiments tested this by comparing electrophysiological markers of visual working memory maintenance between simple recognition and search tasks. For both experiments, responses were less rapid and less accurate in search task than in simple recognition. Nevertheless, the contralateral delay activity (CDA), an index of quantity and quality of visual working memory representations, was equal across tasks. On the other hand, the late positive complex (LPC), which is sensitive to the effort invested in visual working memory maintenance, was greater for the search task than the recognition task. Additionally, when the same target cue was repeated across trials (Experiment 2), the amplitude of visual working memory markers (both CDA and LPC) decreased, demonstrating learning of the target at an equal rate for both tasks. Our results suggest that a search template is qualitatively the same as a representation used for simple recognition, but greater effort is invested in its maintenance.

  18. 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

  19. Effects of occupationally-oriented rehabilitation on farmers' work techniques, musculoskeletal symptoms, and work ability.

    PubMed

    Nevala-Puranen, N

    1996-09-01

    Changes in work techniques, musculoskeletal symptoms and work ability were studied after occupationally-oriented rehabilitation courses for farmers experiencing low back or shoulder pain. Fifty-two women and 43 men participated. The OWAS analysis of work postures, biomechanical modeling of lifting techniques, and a questionnaire were used before and after the courses and after 1 year of follow-up. Bent and twisted postures or postures with the arms over the shoulders occurred more seldom after the courses and the follow-up. Changes in lifting techniques were minor. The musculoskeletal pain index decreased by 12 and 3 points for the women and men, respectively. The mean work ability index increased from 33.5 (men and women) to 36.5 (women) and 35.1 (men). This study showed that rehabilitation can produce significant, long-lasting effects on rehabilitees' work techniques, work ability, and subjective well-being.

  20. 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.

  1. Modeling the role of working memory and episodic memory in behavioral tasks.

    PubMed

    Zilli, Eric A; Hasselmo, Michael E

    2008-01-01

    The mechanisms of goal-directed behavior have been studied using reinforcement learning theory, but these theoretical techniques have not often been used to address the role of memory systems in performing behavioral tasks. This work addresses this shortcoming by providing a way in which working memory (WM) and episodic memory may be included in the reinforcement learning framework, then simulating the successful acquisition and performance of six behavioral tasks, drawn from or inspired by the rat experimental literature, that require WM or episodic memory for correct performance. With no delay imposed during the tasks, simulations with WM can solve all of the tasks at above the chance level. When a delay is imposed, simulations with both episodic memory and WM can solve all of the tasks except a disambiguation of odor sequences task.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Noise in neural populations accounts for errors in working memory.

    PubMed

    Bays, Paul M

    2014-03-01

    Errors in short-term memory increase with the quantity of information stored, limiting the complexity of cognition and behavior. In visual memory, attempts to account for errors in terms of allocation of a limited pool of working memory resources have met with some success, but the biological basis for this cognitive architecture is unclear. An alternative perspective attributes recall errors to noise in tuned populations of neurons that encode stimulus features in spiking activity. I show that errors associated with decreasing signal strength in probabilistically spiking neurons reproduce the pattern of failures in human recall under increasing memory load. In particular, deviations from the normal distribution that are characteristic of working memory errors and have been attributed previously to guesses or variability in precision are shown to arise as a natural consequence of decoding populations of tuned neurons. Observers possess fine control over memory representations and prioritize accurate storage of behaviorally relevant information, at a cost to lower priority stimuli. I show that changing the input drive to neurons encoding a prioritized stimulus biases population activity in a manner that reproduces this empirical tradeoff in memory precision. In a task in which predictive cues indicate stimuli most probable for test, human observers use the cues in an optimal manner to maximize performance, within the constraints imposed by neural noise. PMID:24599462

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Making working memory work: a meta-analysis of executive-control and working memory training in older adults.

    PubMed

    Karbach, Julia; Verhaeghen, Paul

    2014-11-01

    This meta-analysis examined the effects of process-based executive-function and working memory training (49 articles, 61 independent samples) in older adults (> 60 years). The interventions resulted in significant effects on performance on the trained task and near-transfer tasks; significant results were obtained for the net pretest-to-posttest gain relative to active and passive control groups and for the net effect at posttest relative to active and passive control groups. Far-transfer effects were smaller than near-transfer effects but were significant for the net pretest-to-posttest gain relative to passive control groups and for the net gain at posttest relative to both active and passive control groups. We detected marginally significant differences in training-induced improvements between working memory and executive-function training, but no differences between the training-induced improvements observed in older adults and younger adults, between the benefits associated with adaptive and nonadaptive training, or between the effects in active and passive control conditions. Gains did not vary with total training time.

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. Do negative views of aging influence memory and auditory performance through self-perceived abilities?

    PubMed

    Chasteen, Alison L; Pichora-Fuller, M Kathleen; Dupuis, Kate; Smith, Sherri; Singh, Gurjit

    2015-12-01

    Memory and hearing are critical domains that interact during older adults' daily communication and social encounters. To develop a more comprehensive picture of how aging influences performance in these domains, the roles of social variables such as views of aging and self-perceived abilities need greater examination. The present study investigates the linkages between views of aging, self-perceived abilities, and performance within and across the domains of memory and hearing, connections that have never been examined together within the same sample of older adults. For both domains, 301 older adults completed measures of their views of aging, their self-perceived abilities and behavioral tests. Using structural equation modeling, we tested a hypothesized model in which older adults' negative views of aging predicted their performance in the domains of memory and hearing through negatively affecting their self-perceived abilities in those domains. Although this model achieved adequate fit, an alternative model in which hearing performance predicted self-perceived hearing also was supported. Both models indicate that hearing influences memory with respect to both behavioral and self-perception measures and that negative views of aging influence self-perceptions in both domains. These results highlight the importance of views of aging and self-perceptions of abilities within and across these domains.

  15. Unexpected improvements of spatial learning and memory abilities in chronic rotenone intoxicated mice.

    PubMed

    Jia, Fengju; Song, Ning; Zhao, Chenyang; Xie, Junxia; Jiang, Hong

    2014-01-01

    The liposoluble insecticide rotenone is commonly used as a mitochondrial complex I inhibitor to replicate Parkinson's disease (PD) pathological features. However, there was no assessment of the spatial learning and memory abilities in chronic rotenone-induced PD models. In the present study, by rotarod test and Thioflavine T staining, we first noted the impairment of motor coordination in rotenone-treated group for 3 months, as well as alpha-synuclein inclusions in the nigral dopaminergic neurons in C57BL/6 mice with intragastrical delivery of rotenone (5 mg/Kg) for 3 months rather than 1 month. We then evaluated spatial learning and memory abilities by Morris water maze task in this model. The results showed escape latency reduced in rotenone-intoxicated mice for 3 months, indicating an improvement of learning ability. However, it was delayed slightly but not significantly in rotenone-intoxicated mice for 1 month. Similarly, we demonstrated that spatial memory ability was enhanced in 3-month-treatment group, but impaired in 1-month-treatment group. There were no proliferating cell nuclear antigen and doublecortin positive cells in the hippocampus by double immunofluorescent staining, indicating the absence of hippocampal neurogenesis in rotenone-intoxicated mice. These results suggest that spatial learning and memory abilities are disturbed in chronic rotenone-intoxicated PD model.

  16. 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

  17. Perspectives on working memory: introduction to the special issue.

    PubMed

    Logie, Robert H; Cowan, Nelson

    2015-04-01

    More than 40 years ago, Baddeley and Hitch (1974) published an article with a wealth of experimentation and theorization on working memory, the small amount of information held in mind and often used within cognitive processes such as language comprehension and production, reasoning, and problem solving. We honor this seminal accomplishment in the present special issue, and take this opportunity to provide an introduction to our perspectives on the origin of the theory of working memory, how it has affected our work, what may be coming in the near future, and how the research articles in the present issue contribute to several related themes within the clearly thriving field of working memory.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Working memory failures in children with arithmetical difficulties.

    PubMed

    Passolunghi, Maria Chiara; Cornoldi, Cesare

    2008-09-01

    A large body of literature has examined the relationship between working memory and arithmetic achievement, but results are still ambiguous. To examine this relationship, we compared the performance of third and fifth graders with arithmetic difficulties (AD) and controls of the same age, grade, and verbal intelligence on a battery of working memory tasks, differentiating between different aspects of working memory. Children with AD scored significantly lower on active working memory tasks requiring manipulation of the to-be-recalled information (Listening Completion task, Corsi Span Backwards, Digit Backwards), but not in passive working memory tasks, requiring the recall of information in the same format in which it had been presented (Digit, Word, and Corsi Forwards Span tasks), nor in tasks involving word processing (word articulation rate, forwards and backwards word spans). A regression analysis showed that the best predictors of differences between AD children and the control group were the Corsi Span Backwards, the Listening Completion task, and the rate of articulation of pseudowords. The analysis of strategies used by children in mental calculation revealed the greater tendency of children with AD to rely on more primitive strategies: finger use never appeared as the most frequent strategy in skilled children, whereas it was the most used strategy in children with AD. Verbal and visual strategies appeared associated with successful performance in third graders, but in fifth grade, the most successful strategy was verbalization. PMID:18608224

  4. 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

  5. Searching while loaded: Visual working memory does not interfere with hybrid search efficiency but hybrid search uses working memory capacity.

    PubMed

    Drew, Trafton; Boettcher, Sage E P; Wolfe, Jeremy M

    2016-02-01

    In "hybrid search" tasks, such as finding items on a grocery list, one must search the scene for targets while also searching the list in memory. How is the representation of a visual item compared with the representations of items in the memory set? Predominant theories would propose a role for visual working memory (VWM) either as the site of the comparison or as a conduit between visual and memory systems. In seven experiments, we loaded VWM in different ways and found little or no effect on hybrid search performance. However, the presence of a hybrid search task did reduce the measured capacity of VWM by a constant amount regardless of the size of the memory or visual sets. These data are broadly consistent with an account in which VWM must dedicate a fixed amount of its capacity to passing visual representations to long-term memory for comparison to the items in the memory set. The data cast doubt on models in which the search template resides in VWM or where memory set item representations are moved from LTM through VWM to earlier areas for comparison to visual items.

  6. 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.

  7. A layered neural architecture for the consolidation, maintenance, and updating of representations in visual working memory

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Jeffrey S.; Spencer, John P.; Schöner, Gregor

    2009-01-01

    Many everyday tasks rely on our ability to hold information about a perceived stimulus in mind after that stimulus is no longer visible and to compare this information with incoming perceptual information. This ability has been shown to rely on a short-term form of visual memory that has come to be known as visual working memory. Research and theory at both the behavioral and neural levels has begun to provide important insights into the basic properties of the neuro-cognitive systems underlying specific aspects of this form of memory. However, to date, no neurally-plausible theory has been proposed that addresses both the storage of information in working memory and the comparison process in a single framework. The present paper presents a layered neural field architecture that addresses these limitations. In a series of simulations, we show how the model can be used to capture each of the components underlying performance in simple visual comparison tasks—from the encoding, consolidation, and maintenance of information in working memory, to comparison and updating in response to changed inputs. Importantly, the proposed model demonstrates how these elementary perceptual and cognitive functions emerge from the coordinated activity of an integrated, dynamic neural system. PMID:19607817

  8. Reentrainment impairs spatial working memory until both activity onset and offset reentrain

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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 four multi-day intervals after the phase shift and α was quantified for those days. All of the 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 three 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

  9. 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.

  10. A layered neural architecture for the consolidation, maintenance, and updating of representations in visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Jeffrey S; Spencer, John P; Schöner, Gregor

    2009-11-24

    Many everyday tasks rely on our ability to hold information about a perceived stimulus in mind after that stimulus is no longer visible and to compare this information with incoming perceptual information. This ability has been shown to rely on a short-term form of visual memory that has come to be known as visual working memory. Research and theory at both the behavioral and neural levels has begun to provide important insights into the basic properties of the neuro-cognitive systems underlying specific aspects of this form of memory. However, to date, no neurally-plausible theory has been proposed that addresses both the storage of information in working memory and the comparison process in a single framework. The present paper presents a layered neural field architecture that addresses these limitations. In a series of simulations, we show how the model can be used to capture each of the components underlying performance in simple visual comparison tasks--from the encoding, consolidation, and maintenance of information in working memory, to comparison and updating in response to changed inputs. Importantly, the proposed model demonstrates how these elementary perceptual and cognitive functions emerge from the coordinated activity of an integrated, dynamic neural system. PMID:19607817

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Working memory, age and hearing loss: susceptibility to hearing aid distortion

    PubMed Central

    Arehart, Kathryn H.; Souza, Pamela; Baca, Rosalinda; Kates, James M.

    2012-01-01

    Objectives Hearing aids use complex processing intended to improve speech recognition. While many listeners benefit from such processing, it can also introduce distortion that offsets or cancels intended benefits for some individuals. The purpose of the present study was to determine the effects of cognitive ability (working memory) on individual listeners’ responses to distortion caused by frequency compression applied to noisy speech. Design The present study analyzed a large dataset of intelligibility scores for frequency-compressed speech presented in quiet and at a range of signal-to-babble ratios. The intelligibility dataset was based on scores from 26 adults with hearing loss with ages ranging from 62 to 92 years. The listeners were grouped based on working memory ability. The amount of signal modification (distortion) due to frequency compression and noise was measured using a sound quality metric. Analysis of variance and hierarchical linear modeling were used to identify meaningful differences between subject groups as a function of signal distortion caused by frequency compression and noise. Results Working memory was a significant factor in listeners’ intelligibility of sentences presented in babble noise and processed with frequency compression based on sinusoidal modeling. At maximum signal modification (caused by both frequency compression and babble noise), the factor of working memory (when controlling for age and hearing loss) accounted for 29.3% of the variance in intelligibility scores. Combining working memory, age, and hearing loss accounted for a total of 47.5% of the variability in intelligibility scores. Furthermore, as the total amount of signal distortion increased, listeners with higher working memory performed better on the intelligibility task than listeners with lower working memory. Conclusions Working memory is a significant factor in listeners’ responses to total signal distortion caused by cumulative effects of babble noise

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Individual differences in working memory capacity and attentional control.

    PubMed

    Hiebel, Nina; Zimmer, Hubert D

    2015-03-01

    Visual working memory (WM) has a very limited online capacity making it considerably important to control the gating of encoding into WM. Recent studies have suggested that attention control is of importance in doing so, especially the time needed to disengage. However, the disengagement mechanism operates on a later stage of processing after the initial selection of information has already been initiated. We assume that individual differences in WM capacity are also driven by individual variations in the voluntary engagement of attention. In 2 experiments we investigated whether individuals with high- and low-WM capacity differ in the efficiency and speed of this attention control process. We realised different versions of the task in which different amounts of attention control were necessary, a more automatically triggered allocation of attention and a voluntary initiation of attention engagement, respectively. We further manipulated the time course to look for differences in the latency of attention control. The results revealed that participants with low-WM capacity were less effective to exhibit voluntary attention control processes and they were also slower in doing so compared with high-WM capacity individuals. However, this effect seems to be partly moderated by the ability to update the current task set. If the trial structure did not require task set updating smaller individual differences involving WM capacity could be found. PMID:25730638

  19. Simultaneous interpretation selectively influences working memory and attentional networks.

    PubMed

    Morales, Julia; Padilla, Francisca; Gómez-Ariza, Carlos J; Bajo, M Teresa

    2015-02-01

    Recent research has shown that becoming an expert in a certain domain may lead to a transfer of the acquired skills to other domains requiring similar abilities. Thus, the cognitive skills acquired by professional interpreters after intensive training may also transfer to other domains. Simultaneous interpreters are known to develop high working memory capacity (e.g., Christoffels, de Groot, & Kroll, 2006; Signorelli, Haarmann, & Obler, 2012). However, little is known about transfer of other processes such us updating and some aspects of attention also involved in interpretation. In Experiment 1, we found that interpreters outperformed a control group in updating skills, as measured through a dual version of the n-back task (Jaeggi et al., 2007). In Experiment 2, use of the ANTI-V allowed us to reveal that interpreting differentially modulates the interactions between attentional networks. Thus, we found no group differences in conflict resolution, but the interaction between the alertness and orienting networks differed between interpreters and non-interpreters. Taken together, these results suggest that experience in simultaneous interpreting transfers to other domains, but this transfer seems specific to the cognitive processes more closely involved in the interpreting tasks.

  20. 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.

  1. Training and maintaining memory abilities in healthy older adults: traditional and novel approaches.

    PubMed

    Rebok, George W; Carlson, Michelle C; Langbaum, Jessica B S

    2007-06-01

    This article reviews both traditional and novel approaches for training and maintaining memory abilities in older adults. Despite variations in training methods and participant samples, growing evidence suggests that healthy, nondemented elders can improve and maintain their memory skills. However, traditional approaches have not been as successful in demonstrating transfer of training, and there are constraints on widescale dissemination of trainer-led, group-based formats. We discuss novel platforms, including collaborative training, videotapes and audiotapes, and online and CD-ROM-based training. We also consider approaches that combine multiple training modalities and that embed memory enhancement within cognitively stimulating activities of everyday life, such as Experience Corps. These newer approaches may enhance the accessibility, affordability, and applicability of memory training and cognitive stimulation programs. PMID:17565165

  2. Working memory and decision processes in visual area v4.

    PubMed

    Hayden, Benjamin Y; Gallant, Jack L

    2013-01-01

    Recognizing and responding to a remembered stimulus requires the coordination of perception, working memory, and decision-making. To investigate the role of visual cortex in these processes, we recorded responses of single V4 neurons during performance of a delayed match-to-sample task that incorporates rapid serial visual presentation of natural images. We found that neuronal activity during the delay period after the cue but before the images depends on the identity of the remembered image and that this change persists while distractors appear. This persistent response modulation has been identified as a diagnostic criterion for putative working memory signals; our data thus suggest that working memory may involve reactivation of sensory neurons. When the remembered image reappears in the neuron's receptive field, visually evoked responses are enhanced; this match enhancement is a diagnostic criterion for decision. One model that predicts these data is the matched filter hypothesis, which holds that during search V4 neurons change their tuning so as to match the remembered cue, and thus become detectors for that image. More generally, these results suggest that V4 neurons participate in the perceptual, working memory, and decision processes that are needed to perform memory-guided decision-making.

  3. Development of WAIS-III General Ability Index Minus WMS-III memory discrepancy scores.

    PubMed

    Lange, Rael T; Chelune, Gordon J; Tulsky, David S

    2006-09-01

    Analysis of the discrepancy between intellectual functioning and memory ability has received some support as a useful means for evaluating memory impairment. In recent additions to Wechlser scale interpretation, the WAIS-III General Ability Index (GAI) and the WMS-III Delayed Memory Index (DMI) were developed. The purpose of this investigation is to develop base rate data for GAI-IMI, GAI-GMI, and GAI-DMI discrepancy scores using data from the WAIS-III/WMS-III standardization sample (weighted N = 1250). Base rate tables were developed using the predicted-difference method and two simple-difference methods (i.e., stratified and non-stratified). These tables provide valuable data for clinical reference purposes to determine the frequency of GAI-IMI, GAI-GMI, and GAI-DMI discrepancy scores in the WAIS-III/WMS-III standardization sample.

  4. Development of WAIS-III General Ability Index Minus WMS-III memory discrepancy scores.

    PubMed

    Lange, Rael T; Chelune, Gordon J; Tulsky, David S

    2006-09-01

    Analysis of the discrepancy between intellectual functioning and memory ability has received some support as a useful means for evaluating memory impairment. In recent additions to Wechlser scale interpretation, the WAIS-III General Ability Index (GAI) and the WMS-III Delayed Memory Index (DMI) were developed. The purpose of this investigation is to develop base rate data for GAI-IMI, GAI-GMI, and GAI-DMI discrepancy scores using data from the WAIS-III/WMS-III standardization sample (weighted N = 1250). Base rate tables were developed using the predicted-difference method and two simple-difference methods (i.e., stratified and non-stratified). These tables provide valuable data for clinical reference purposes to determine the frequency of GAI-IMI, GAI-GMI, and GAI-DMI discrepancy scores in the WAIS-III/WMS-III standardization sample. PMID:16895854

  5. The effects of two types of sleep deprivation on visual working memory capacity and filtering efficiency.

    PubMed

    Drummond, Sean P A; Anderson, Dane E; Straus, Laura D; Vogel, Edward K; Perez, Veronica B

    2012-01-01

    Sleep deprivation has adverse consequences for a variety of cognitive functions. The exact effects of sleep deprivation, though, are dependent upon the cognitive process examined. Within working memory, for example, some component processes are more vulnerable to sleep deprivation than others. Additionally, the differential impacts on cognition of different types of sleep deprivation have not been well studied. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of one night of total sleep deprivation and 4 nights of partial sleep deprivation (4 hours in bed/night) on two components of visual working memory: capacity and filtering efficiency. Forty-four healthy young adults were randomly assigned to one of the two sleep deprivation conditions. All participants were studied: 1) in a well-rested condition (following 6 nights of 9 hours in bed/night); and 2) following sleep deprivation, in a counter-balanced order. Visual working memory testing consisted of two related tasks. The first measured visual working memory capacity and the second measured the ability to ignore distractor stimuli in a visual scene (filtering efficiency). Results showed neither type of sleep deprivation reduced visual working memory capacity. Partial sleep deprivation also generally did not change filtering efficiency. Total sleep deprivation, on the other hand, did impair performance in the filtering task. These results suggest components of visual working memory are differentially vulnerable to the effects of sleep deprivation, and different types of sleep deprivation impact visual working memory to different degrees. Such findings have implications for operational settings where individuals may need to perform with inadequate sleep and whose jobs involve receiving an array of visual information and discriminating the relevant from the irrelevant prior to making decisions or taking actions (e.g., baggage screeners, air traffic controllers, military personnel, health care providers).

  6. A neural measure of precision in visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Ester, Edward F; Anderson, David E; Serences, John T; Awh, Edward

    2013-05-01

    Recent studies suggest that the temporary storage of visual detail in working memory is mediated by sensory recruitment or sustained patterns of stimulus-specific activation within feature-selective regions of visual cortex. According to a strong version of this hypothesis, the relative "quality" of these patterns should determine the clarity of an individual's memory. Here, we provide a direct test of this claim. We used fMRI and a forward encoding model to characterize population-level orientation-selective responses in visual cortex while human participants held an oriented grating in memory. This analysis, which enables a precise quantitative description of multivoxel, population-level activity measured during working memory storage, revealed graded response profiles whose amplitudes were greatest for the remembered orientation and fell monotonically as the angular distance from this orientation increased. Moreover, interparticipant differences in the dispersion-but not the amplitude-of these response profiles were strongly correlated with performance on a concurrent memory recall task. These findings provide important new evidence linking the precision of sustained population-level responses in visual cortex and memory acuity.

  7. V. NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (CB): measuring working memory.

    PubMed

    Tulsky, David S; Carlozzi, Noelle E; Chevalier, Nicolas; Espy, Kimberly A; Beaumont, Jennifer L; Mungas, Dan

    2013-08-01

    This chapter focuses on the NIH Toolbox List Sorting Working Memory Test, which was developed to assess processing speed within the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (CB). This test is a sequencing task requiring children and adults to process stimuli (presented both visually and auditorily) and sequence the stimuli according to size. We describe the development of the NIH Toolbox List Sorting Working Memory Test, highlighting its utility in children. We examine descriptive data, test-retest reliability, and convergent and discriminant validity. Results indicated that List Sorting performance was positively correlated with age indicating that performance on the task improved throughout childhood and early adolescence. Further, test-retest reliability coefficients were high and there was support for both convergent and discriminant validity. These data suggest that the NIH Toolbox List Sorting Working Memory Test is reliable and shows evidence of construct validity.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Acute stress and working memory in older people.

    PubMed

    Pulopulos, Matias M; Hidalgo, Vanesa; Almela, Mercedes; Puig-Perez, Sara; Villada, Carolina; Salvador, Alicia

    2015-01-01

    Several studies have shown that acute stress affects working memory (WM) in young adults, but the effect in older people is understudied. As observed in other types of memory, older people may be less sensitive to acute effects of stress on WM. We performed two independent studies with healthy older men and women (from 55 to 77 years old) to investigate the effects of acute stress (Trier Social Stress Test; TSST) and cortisol on WM. In study 1 (n = 63), after the TSST women (but not men) improved their performance on Digit Span Forward (a measure of the memory span component of WM) but not on Digit Span Backward (a measure of both memory span and the executive component of WM). Furthermore, in women, cortisol levels at the moment of memory testing showed a positive association with the memory span component of WM before and after the TSST, and with the executive component of WM only before the stress task. In study 2 (n = 76), although participants showed a cortisol and salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) response to the TSST, stress did not affect performance on Letter-Number Sequencing (LNS; a task that places a high demand on the executive component of WM). Cortisol and sAA were not associated with WM. The results indicate that circulating cortisol levels at the moment of memory testing, and not the stress response, affect memory span in older women, and that stress and the increase in cortisol levels after stress do not affect the executive component of WM in older men and women. This study provides further evidence that older people may be less sensitive to stress and stress-induced cortisol response effects on memory processes.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.