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Sample records for active working memory

  1. 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.

  2. Neural activity reveals perceptual grouping in working memory.

    PubMed

    Rabbitt, Laura R; Roberts, Daniel M; McDonald, Craig G; Peterson, Matthew S

    2017-03-01

    There is extensive evidence that the contralateral delay activity (CDA), a scalp recorded event-related brain potential, provides a reliable index of the number of objects held in visual working memory. Here we present evidence that the CDA not only indexes visual object working memory, but also the number of locations held in spatial working memory. In addition, we demonstrate that the CDA can be predictably modulated by the type of encoding strategy employed. When individual locations were held in working memory, the pattern of CDA modulation mimicked previous findings for visual object working memory. Specifically, CDA amplitude increased monotonically until working memory capacity was reached. However, when participants were instructed to group individual locations to form a constellation, the CDA was prolonged and reached an asymptote at two locations. This result provides neural evidence for the formation of a unitary representation of multiple spatial locations.

  3. 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

  4. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jausovec, Norbert; Jausovec, Ksenija

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Rhythmic Working Memory Activation in the Human Hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Leszczyński, Marcin; Fell, Juergen; Axmacher, Nikolai

    2015-11-10

    Working memory (WM) maintenance is assumed to rely on a single sustained process throughout the entire maintenance period. This assumption, although fundamental, has never been tested. We used intracranial electroencephalography (EEG) recordings from the human hippocampus in two independent experiments to investigate the neural dynamics underlying WM maintenance. We observed periodic fluctuations between two different oscillatory regimes: Periods of "memory activation" were reflected by load-dependent alpha power reductions and lower levels of cross-frequency coupling (CFC). They occurred interleaved with periods characterized by load-independent high levels of alpha power and CFC. During memory activation periods, a relevant CFC parameter (load-dependent changes of the peak modulated frequency) correlated with individual WM capacity. Fluctuations between these two periods predicted successful performance and were locked to the phase of endogenous delta oscillations. These results show that hippocampal maintenance is a dynamic rather than constant process and depends critically on a hierarchy of oscillations.

  7. The Nature of Individual Differences in Working Memory Capacity: Active Maintenance in Primary Memory and Controlled Search from Secondary Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Unsworth, Nash; Engle, Randall W.

    2007-01-01

    Studies examining individual differences in working memory capacity have suggested that individuals with low working memory capacities demonstrate impaired performance on a variety of attention and memory tasks compared with individuals with high working memory capacities. This working memory limitation can be conceived of as arising from 2…

  8. Frontal theta activity during working memory in test anxiety.

    PubMed

    Shi, Zhan; Gao, Xin; Zhou, Renlai

    2015-03-04

    Previous studies have shown that working memory (WM) processes are related to frontal-midline theta (FM-theta) activity (4-8 Hz) and test anxiety impairs WM performance. However, the effect of test anxiety on FM-theta activity during WM has not been investigated as yet. To examine this question, 37 undergraduates were asked to complete a modified reading span task involving neutral working memory capacity (WMC) and emotional WMC while their electroencephalography was measured. The results showed that relative to neutral WMC performance (the ability to remember the letter lists in the context of valence-neutral sentences), emotional WMC performance (the ability to remember the letter lists in the context of test-related sentences) was poorer for highly test anxious participants compared with lowly test anxious participants. Relative to FM-theta activity during remembering the letter lists in the valence-neutral context, FM-theta activity was weaker during remembering the letter lists in the test-related context for highly test anxious participants compared with lowly test anxious participants. These findings indicate that FM-theta is an index not only for successful WM manipulation but also for efficient prefrontal cortex functioning during WM.

  9. Assessing working memory capacity through time-constrained elementary activities.

    PubMed

    Lucidi, Annalisa; Loaiza, Vanessa; Camos, Valérie; Barrouillet, Pierre

    2014-01-01

    Working memory (WM) capacity measured through complex span tasks is among the best predictors of fluid intelligence (Gf). These tasks usually involve maintaining memoranda while performing complex cognitive activities that require a rather high level of education (e.g., reading comprehension, arithmetic), restricting their range of applicability. Because individual differences in such complex activities are nothing more than the concatenation of small differences in their elementary constituents, complex span tasks involving elementary processes should be as good of predictors of Gf as traditional tasks. The present study showed that two latent variables issued from either traditional or new span tasks involving time-constrained elementary activities were similarly correlated with Gf. Moreover, a model with a single unitary WM factor had a similar fit as a model with two distinct WM factors. Thus, time-constrained elementary activities can be integrated in WM tasks, permitting the assessment of WM in a wider range of populations.

  10. Dissociable Memory- and Response-Related Activity in Parietal Cortex During Auditory Spatial Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Alain, Claude; Shen, Dawei; Yu, He; Grady, Cheryl

    2010-01-01

    Attending and responding to sound location generates increased activity in parietal cortex which may index auditory spatial working memory and/or goal-directed action. Here, we used an n-back task (Experiment 1) and an adaptation paradigm (Experiment 2) to distinguish memory-related activity from that associated with goal-directed action. In Experiment 1, participants indicated, in separate blocks of trials, whether the incoming stimulus was presented at the same location as in the previous trial (1-back) or two trials ago (2-back). Prior to a block of trials, participants were told to use their left or right index finger. Accuracy and reaction times were worse for the 2-back than for the 1-back condition. The analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging data revealed greater sustained task-related activity in the inferior parietal lobule (IPL) and superior frontal sulcus during 2-back than 1-back after accounting for response-related activity elicited by the targets. Target detection and response execution were also associated with enhanced activity in the IPL bilaterally, though the activation was anterior to that associated with sustained task-related activity. In Experiment 2, we used an event-related design in which participants listened (no response required) to trials that comprised four sounds presented either at the same location or at four different locations. We found larger IPL activation for changes in sound location than for sounds presented at the same location. The IPL activation overlapped with that observed during the auditory spatial working memory task. Together, these results provide converging evidence supporting the role of parietal cortex in auditory spatial working memory which can be dissociated from response selection and execution. PMID:21833258

  11. Working Memory-Related Neural Activity Predicts Future Smoking Relapse

    PubMed Central

    Loughead, James; Wileyto, E Paul; Ruparel, Kosha; Falcone, Mary; Hopson, Ryan; Gur, Ruben; Lerman, Caryn

    2015-01-01

    Brief abstinence from smoking impairs cognition, particularly executive function, and this has a role in relapse to smoking. This study examined whether working memory-related brain activity predicts subsequent smoking relapse above and beyond standard clinical and behavioral measures. Eighty treatment-seeking smokers completed two functional magnetic resonance imaging sessions (smoking satiety vs 24 h abstinence challenge) during performance of a visual N-back task. Brief counseling and a short-term quit attempt followed. Relapse during the first 7 days was biochemically confirmed by the presence of the nicotine metabolite cotinine. Mean percent blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal change was extracted from a priori regions of interest: bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), medial frontal/cingulate gyrus, posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Signal from these brain regions and additional clinical measures were used to model outcome status, which was then validated with resampling techniques. Relapse to smoking was predicted by increased withdrawal symptoms, decreased left DLPFC and increased PCC BOLD percent signal change (abstinence vs smoking satiety). Receiver operating characteristic analysis demonstrated 81% area under the curve using these predictors, a significant improvement over the model with clinical variables only. The combination of abstinence-induced decreases in left DLPFC activation and reduced suppression of PCC may be a prognostic marker for poor outcome, specifically early smoking relapse. PMID:25469682

  12. Baseline activity predicts working memory load of preceding task condition.

    PubMed

    Pyka, Martin; Hahn, Tim; Heider, Dominik; Krug, Axel; Sommer, Jens; Kircher, Tilo; Jansen, Andreas

    2013-11-01

    The conceptual notion of the so-called resting state of the brain has been recently challenged by studies indicating a continuing effect of cognitive processes on subsequent rest. In particular, activity in posterior parietal and medial prefrontal areas has been found to be modulated by preceding experimental conditions. In this study, we investigated which brain areas show working memory dependent patterns in subsequent baseline periods and how specific they are for the preceding experimental condition. During functional magnetic resonance imaging, 94 subjects performed a letter-version of the n-back task with the conditions 0-back and 2-back followed by a low-level baseline in which subjects had to passively observe the letters appearing. In a univariate analysis, 2-back served as control condition while 0-back, baseline after 0-back and baseline after 2-back were modeled as regressors to test for activity changes between both baseline conditions. Additionally, we tested, using Gaussian process classifiers, the recognition of task condition from functional images acquired during baseline. Besides the expected activity changes in the precuneus and medial prefrontal cortex, we found differential activity in the thalamus, putamen, and postcentral gyrus that were affected by the preceding task. The multivariate analysis revealed that images of the subsequent baseline block contain task related patterns that yield a recognition rate of 70%. The results suggest that the influence of a cognitive task on subsequent baseline is strong and specific for some areas but not restricted to areas of the so-called default mode network.

  13. Dissociation of Active Working Memory and Passive Recognition in Rhesus Monkeys

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Basile, Benjamin M.; Hampton, Robert R.

    2013-01-01

    Active cognitive control of working memory is central in most human memory models, but behavioral evidence for such control in nonhuman primates is absent and neurophysiological evidence, while suggestive, is indirect. We present behavioral evidence that monkey memory for familiar images is under active cognitive control. Concurrent cognitive…

  14. Persistently active neurons in human medial frontal and medial temporal lobe support working memory.

    PubMed

    Kamiński, Jan; Sullivan, Shannon; Chung, Jeffrey M; Ross, Ian B; Mamelak, Adam N; Rutishauser, Ueli

    2017-04-01

    Persistent neural activity is a putative mechanism for the maintenance of working memories. Persistent activity relies on the activity of a distributed network of areas, but the differential contribution of each area remains unclear. We recorded single neurons in the human medial frontal cortex and medial temporal lobe while subjects held up to three items in memory. We found persistently active neurons in both areas. Persistent activity of hippocampal and amygdala neurons was stimulus-specific, formed stable attractors and was predictive of memory content. Medial frontal cortex persistent activity, on the other hand, was modulated by memory load and task set but was not stimulus-specific. Trial-by-trial variability in persistent activity in both areas was related to memory strength, because it predicted the speed and accuracy by which stimuli were remembered. This work reveals, in humans, direct evidence for a distributed network of persistently active neurons supporting working memory maintenance.

  15. The Effects of an Afterschool Physical Activity Program on Working Memory in Preadolescent Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kamijo, Keita; Pontifex, Matthew B.; O'Leary, Kevin C.; Scudder, Mark R.; Wu, Chien-Ting; Castelli, Darla M.; Hillman, Charles H.

    2011-01-01

    The present study examined the effects of a 9-month randomized control physical activity intervention aimed at improving cardiorespiratory fitness on changes in working memory performance in preadolescent children relative to a waitlist control group. Participants performed a modified Sternberg task, which manipulated working memory demands based…

  16. Physical activity and working memory in healthy older adults: an ERP study.

    PubMed

    Chang, Yu-Kai; Huang, Chung-Ju; Chen, Kuan-Fu; Hung, Tsung-Min

    2013-11-01

    This study examined the effects of physical activity on working memory in older adults using both behavioral and neuroelectric measures. Older adults were assigned to either a higher or lower physical activity group, and event-related potentials were recorded during assessments of a modified Sternberg task. The results indicated that older adults in the higher physical activity group exhibited shorter response times, independent of the working memory load. Enhanced P3 and N1 amplitudes and a decreased P3 latency were observed in the higher physical activity group. These findings suggested that physical activity facilitates working memory by allocating more attentional resources and increasing the efficiency of evaluating the stimulus during the retrieval phase as well as engaging more attentional resources for the early discriminative processes during the encoding phase of a working memory task.

  17. Stimulus-dependent EEG activity reflects internal updating of tactile working memory in humans.

    PubMed

    Spitzer, Bernhard; Blankenburg, Felix

    2011-05-17

    Despite recent advances in uncovering the neural signature of tactile working memory processing in animals and humans, the representation of internally modified somatosensory working memory content has not been studied so far. Here, recording EEG in human participants (n = 25) performing a modified delayed match-to-sample task allowed us to disambiguate internally driven memory processing from encoding-related delay activity. After presentation of two distinct vibrotactile frequencies to different index fingers, a visual cue indicated which of the two previous stimuli had to be maintained in working memory throughout a retention interval for subsequent frequency discrimination against a probe stimulus. During cued stimulus maintenance, α activity (8-13 Hz) over early somatosensory cortices was lateralized according to the cued tactile stimulus, even though the location of the stimuli was task irrelevant. The task-relevant memory content, in contrast, was found to be represented in right prefrontal cortex. The key finding was that the visually presented instructions triggered systematic modulations of prefrontal β-band activity (20-25 Hz), which selectively reflected the to-be-maintained frequency of the cued tactile vibration. The results expand previous evidence for parametric representations of vibrotactile frequency in the prefrontal cortex and corroborate a central role of dynamic β-band synchronization during active processing of an analog stimulus quantity in human working memory. In particular, our findings suggest that such processing supports not only sustained maintenance but also purposeful modification and updating of the task-relevant working memory contents.

  18. Structural maturation and brain activity predict future working memory capacity during childhood development.

    PubMed

    Ullman, Henrik; Almeida, Rita; Klingberg, Torkel

    2014-01-29

    Human working memory capacity develops during childhood and is a strong predictor of future academic performance, in particular, achievements in mathematics and reading. Predicting working memory development is important for the early identification of children at risk for poor cognitive and academic development. Here we show that structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging data explain variance in children's working memory capacity 2 years later, which was unique variance in addition to that predicted using cognitive tests. While current working memory capacity correlated with frontoparietal cortical activity, the future capacity could be inferred from structure and activity in basal ganglia and thalamus. This gives a novel insight into the neural mechanisms of childhood development and supports the idea that neuroimaging can have a unique role in predicting children's cognitive development.

  19. Decreased activity with increased background network efficiency in amnestic MCI during a visuospatial working memory task.

    PubMed

    Lou, Wutao; Shi, Lin; Wang, Defeng; Tam, Cindy W C; Chu, Winnie C W; Mok, Vincent C T; Cheng, Sheung-Tak; Lam, Linda C W

    2015-09-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated the working memory impairment in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). However, the neurophysiological basis of the working memory deficit in aMCI is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to explore the abnormal activity during encoding and recognition procedures, as well as the reorganization of the background network maintaining the working memory state in aMCI. Using event-related fMRI during a visuospatial working memory task with three recognition difficulty levels, the task-related activations and network efficiency of the background network in 17 aMCI patients and 19 matched controls were investigated. Compared with cognitively healthy controls, patients with aMCI showed significantly decreased activity in the frontal and visual cortices during the encoding phase, while during the recognition phase, decreased activity was detected in the frontal, parietal, and visual regions. In addition, increased local efficiency was also observed in the background network of patients with aMCI. The results suggest patients with aMCI showed impaired encoding and recognition functions during the visuospatial working memory task, and may pay more effort to maintain the cognitive state. This study extends our understanding of the impaired working memory function in aMCI and provides a new perspective to investigate the compensatory mechanism in aMCI.

  20. The effect of transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on gamma activity and working memory in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Hoy, Kate E; Bailey, Neil W; Arnold, Sara L; Fitzgerald, Paul B

    2015-08-15

    Working memory impairments in schizophrenia have been strongly associated with abnormalities in gamma oscillations within the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLFPC). We recently published the first ever study showing that anodal transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) to the left DLPFC was able to significantly improve working memory performance in schizophrenia. In the current paper we present a secondary analysis from this study, specifically looking at the effect of tDCS on gamma activity and its relationship to working memory. In a repeated measures design we assessed the impact of anodal tDCS (1mA, 2mA, sham) on gamma activity in the left DLPFC at three time-points post-stimulation (0min, 20min, 40min). EEG data was available for 16 participants in the 2mA condition, 13 in the 1mA condition and 12 in the sham condition. Following 2mA stimulation we found a significant increase in gamma event-related synchronisation in the left DLPFC, this was in the context of a significantly improved working memory performance. There was also a significant decrease in gamma event-related synchronisation, with no changes in working memory, following sham stimulation. The current study provides preliminary evidence that tDCS may enhance working memory in schizophrenia by restoring normal gamma oscillatory function.

  1. Stronger activation and deactivation in archery experts for differential cognitive strategy in visuospatial working memory processing.

    PubMed

    Seo, Jeehye; Kim, Yang-Tae; Song, Hui-Jin; Lee, Hui Joong; Lee, Jongmin; Jung, Tae-Du; Lee, Gunyoung; Kwon, Eunjin; Kim, Jin Gu; Chang, Yongmin

    2012-04-01

    It is well known that elite athletes have higher performance in perception, planning, and execution in sports activities relative to novices. It remains controversial, however, whether any differences in basic cognitive functions between experts and novices exist. Furthermore, few studies have directly used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate neural activation and deactivation differences between experts and novices while performing visuospatial working memory (WM) tasks. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine possible differences in neural activation and deactivation associated with working memory components in processing visuospatial information between archery experts and novices. To this end, we employed a judgment of line orientation (JLO) task, which has a strong WM component. With regard to brain activation, archery experts displayed higher activation in cortical areas associated with visuospatial attention and working memory, including the middle frontal cortex, supplemental motor area, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex than that of the novices during the performance of the JLO task. With regard to brain deactivation, archery experts exhibited stronger task-related deactivation in cortical areas, such as the paracentral cortex/precuneus and the anterior and posterior cingulate cortex related to the default network, than that of the novices. These results suggest that the archery experts have a strategy that demands greater use of neural correlates associated with visuospatial working memory and attention in addition to greater use of DMN in visuospatial working memory task not directly tied to their domain of expertise.

  2. Dissociated sequential activity and stimulus encoding in the dorsomedial striatum during spatial working memory

    PubMed Central

    Akhlaghpour, Hessameddin; Wiskerke, Joost; Choi, Jung Yoon; Taliaferro, Joshua P; Au, Jennifer; Witten, Ilana B

    2016-01-01

    Several lines of evidence suggest that the striatum has an important role in spatial working memory. The neural dynamics in the striatum have been described in tasks with short delay periods (1–4 s), but remain largely uncharacterized for tasks with longer delay periods. We collected and analyzed single unit recordings from the dorsomedial striatum of rats performing a spatial working memory task with delays up to 10 s. We found that neurons were activated sequentially, with the sequences spanning the entire delay period. Surprisingly, this sequential activity was dissociated from stimulus encoding activity, which was present in the same neurons, but preferentially appeared towards the onset of the delay period. These observations contrast with descriptions of sequential dynamics during similar tasks in other brains areas, and clarify the contribution of the striatum to spatial working memory. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19507.001 PMID:27636864

  3. Gaming is related to enhanced working memory performance and task-related cortical activity.

    PubMed

    Moisala, M; Salmela, V; Hietajärvi, L; Carlson, S; Vuontela, V; Lonka, K; Hakkarainen, K; Salmela-Aro, K; Alho, K

    2017-01-15

    Gaming experience has been suggested to lead to performance enhancements in a wide variety of working memory tasks. Previous studies have, however, mostly focused on adult expert gamers and have not included measurements of both behavioral performance and brain activity. In the current study, 167 adolescents and young adults (aged 13-24 years) with different amounts of gaming experience performed an n-back working memory task with vowels, with the sensory modality of the vowel stream switching between audition and vision at random intervals. We studied the relationship between self-reported daily gaming activity, working memory (n-back) task performance and related brain activity measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The results revealed that the extent of daily gaming activity was related to enhancements in both performance accuracy and speed during the most demanding (2-back) level of the working memory task. This improved working memory performance was accompanied by enhanced recruitment of a fronto-parietal cortical network, especially the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. In contrast, during the less demanding (1-back) level of the task, gaming was associated with decreased activity in the same cortical regions. Our results suggest that a greater degree of daily gaming experience is associated with better working memory functioning and task difficulty-dependent modulation in fronto-parietal brain activity already in adolescence and even when non-expert gamers are studied. The direction of causality within this association cannot be inferred with certainty due to the correlational nature of the current study.

  4. Persistent Single-Neuron Activity during Working Memory in the Human Medial Temporal Lobe.

    PubMed

    Kornblith, Simon; Quian Quiroga, Rodrigo; Koch, Christof; Fried, Itzhak; Mormann, Florian

    2017-04-03

    Working memory is an essential component of human cognition. Persistent activity related to working memory has been reported in many brain areas, including the inferior temporal and prefrontal cortex [1-8]. The medial temporal lobe (MTL) contains "concept cells" that respond invariantly to specific individuals or places whether presented as images, text, or speech [9, 10]. It is unknown, however, whether the MTL also participates in working memory processes. We thus sought to determine whether human MTL neurons respond to images held in working memory. We recorded from patients with chronically intractable epilepsy as they performed a task that required them to remember three or four sequentially presented pictures across a brief delay. 48% of visually selective neurons continued to carry image-specific information after image offset, but most ceased to encode previously presented images after a subsequent presentation of a different image. However, 8% of visually selective neurons encoded previously presented images during a final maintenance period, despite presentation of further images in the intervening interval. Population activity of stimulus-selective neurons predicted behavioral outcome in terms of correct and incorrect responses. These findings indicate that the MTL is part of a brain-wide network for working memory.

  5. Cross-modal activation of auditory regions during visuo-spatial working memory in early deafness.

    PubMed

    Ding, Hao; Qin, Wen; Liang, Meng; Ming, Dong; Wan, Baikun; Li, Qiang; Yu, Chunshui

    2015-09-01

    Early deafness can reshape deprived auditory regions to enable the processing of signals from the remaining intact sensory modalities. Cross-modal activation has been observed in auditory regions during non-auditory tasks in early deaf subjects. In hearing subjects, visual working memory can evoke activation of the visual cortex, which further contributes to behavioural performance. In early deaf subjects, however, whether and how auditory regions participate in visual working memory remains unclear. We hypothesized that auditory regions may be involved in visual working memory processing and activation of auditory regions may contribute to the superior behavioural performance of early deaf subjects. In this study, 41 early deaf subjects (22 females and 19 males, age range: 20-26 years, age of onset of deafness < 2 years) and 40 age- and gender-matched hearing controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging during a visuo-spatial delayed recognition task that consisted of encoding, maintenance and recognition stages. The early deaf subjects exhibited faster reaction times on the spatial working memory task than did the hearing controls. Compared with hearing controls, deaf subjects exhibited increased activation in the superior temporal gyrus bilaterally during the recognition stage. This increased activation amplitude predicted faster and more accurate working memory performance in deaf subjects. Deaf subjects also had increased activation in the superior temporal gyrus bilaterally during the maintenance stage and in the right superior temporal gyrus during the encoding stage. These increased activation amplitude also predicted faster reaction times on the spatial working memory task in deaf subjects. These findings suggest that cross-modal plasticity occurs in auditory association areas in early deaf subjects. These areas are involved in visuo-spatial working memory. Furthermore, amplitudes of cross-modal activation during the maintenance stage were

  6. Differential associations between impulsivity and risk-taking and brain activations underlying working memory in adolescents.

    PubMed

    Panwar, Karni; Rutherford, Helena J V; Mencl, W Einar; Lacadie, Cheryl M; Potenza, Marc N; Mayes, Linda C

    2014-11-01

    Increased impulsivity and risk-taking are common during adolescence and relate importantly to addictive behaviors. However, the extent to which impulsivity and risk-taking relate to brain activations that mediate cognitive processing is not well understood. Here we examined the relationships between impulsivity and risk-taking and the neural correlates of working memory. Neural activity was measured in 18 adolescents (13-18 years) while they engaged in a working memory task that included verbal and visuospatial components that each involved encoding, rehearsal and recognition stages. Risk-taking and impulsivity were assessed using the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART) and the adolescent version of the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11 (BIS-11A), respectively. We found overlapping as well as distinct regions subserving the different stages of verbal and visuospatial working memory. In terms of risk-taking, we found a positive correlation between BART scores and activity in subcortical regions (e.g., thalamus, dorsal striatum) recruited during verbal rehearsal, and an inverse correlation between BART scores and cortical regions (e.g., parietal and temporal regions) recruited during visuospatial rehearsal. The BIS-11A evidenced that motor impulsivity was associated with activity in regions recruited during all stages of working memory, while attention and non-planning impulsivity was only associated with activity in regions recruited during recognition. In considering working memory, impulsivity and risk-taking together, both impulsivity and risk-taking were associated with activity in regions recruited during rehearsal; however, during verbal rehearsal, differential correlations were found. Specifically, positive correlations were found between: (1) risk-taking and activity in subcortical regions, including the thalamus and dorsal striatum; and, (2) motor impulsivity and activity in the left inferior frontal gyrus, insula, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Therefore

  7. A Role for Prefrontal Calcium-Sensitive Protein Phosphatase and Kinase Activities in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Runyan, Jason D.; Moore, Anthony N.; Dash, Pramod K.

    2005-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex is involved in the integration and interpretation of information for directing thoughts and planning action. Working memory is defined as the active maintenance of information in mind and is thought to lie at the core of many prefrontal functions. Although dopamine and other neurotransmitters have been implicated, the…

  8. Persistent neural activity during the maintenance of spatial position in working memory.

    PubMed

    Srimal, Riju; Curtis, Clayton E

    2008-01-01

    The mechanism for the short-term maintenance of information involves persistent neural activity during the retention interval, which forms a bridge between the cued memoranda and its later contingent response. Here, we used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify cortical areas with activity that persists throughout working memory delays with the goal of testing if such activity represents visuospatial attention or prospective saccade goals. We did so by comparing two spatial working memory tasks. During a memory-guided saccade (MGS) task, a location was maintained during a delay after which a saccade was generated to the remembered location. During a spatial item recognition (SIR) task identical to MGS until after the delay, a button press indicated whether a newly cued location matched the remembered location. Activity in frontal and parietal areas persisted above baseline and was greater in the hemisphere contralateral to the cued visual field. However, delay-period activity did not differ between the tasks. Notably, in the putative frontal eye field (FEF), delay period activity did not differ despite that the precise metrics of the memory-guided saccade were known during the MGS delay and saccades were never made in SIR. Persistent FEF activity may therefore represent a prioritized attentional map of space, rather than the metrics for saccades.

  9. Effect of Mild Thyrotoxicosis on Performance and Brain Activations in a Working Memory Task

    PubMed Central

    Göbel, Anna; Heldmann, Marcus; Göttlich, Martin; Dirk, Anna-Luise; Brabant, Georg; Münte, Thomas F.

    2016-01-01

    Aims Disturbed levels of thyroid hormones are associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, including memory impairments. The aim of this study was to evaluate effects of mild induced thyrotoxicosis on working memory and its neural correlates. Methods Twenty-nine healthy, male subjects with normal thyroid state participated in the study. Functional MRI was acquired during a working memory task (n-back task) before and after ingesting 250 μg L-thyroxin per day for a period of eight weeks. In addition, neuropsychological tests were performed. Results In the hyperthyroid condition the subjects showed slower reaction times, but a higher accuracy in the 0-back version of the memory tasks. Fewer differences between euthyroid and hyperthyroid state were seen for the more difficult conditions of the n-back task. FMRI revealed effects of difficulty in the parahippocampal gyrus, supplementary motor area, prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, posterior cerebellum, rolandic operculum and insula (p<0.05, FWE corrected). When comparing euthyroid and hyperthyroid condition in relation to task-induced activation, differences of activation were found in the right prefrontal cortex as well as in the right parahippocampal area. In the psychological assessment, the alerting effect in the Attention Network Task (ANT) and four out of five parameters of the auditory verbal learning test (AVLT) showed an increase from euthyroid to hyperthyroid state. Conclusions It can be concluded that even a short-term intake of thyroid hormones leads to an activation of brain areas associated with working memory and to an improvement of accuracy of working memory tasks. PMID:27536945

  10. Frequency-specific electrocorticographic correlates of working memory delay period fMRI activity.

    PubMed

    Khursheed, Faraz; Tandon, Nitin; Tertel, Kathrin; Pieters, Thomas A; Disano, Michael A; Ellmore, Timothy M

    2011-06-01

    Electrocorticography (ECoG) and functional MRI (BOLD-fMRI) have been used previously to measure brain activity during working memory delay periods. These studies have separately reported oscillation changes in the theta (4-8 Hz) band and BOLD-fMRI increases during delay periods when information is maintained in memory. However, it is not known how intracranial cortical field potential (CFP) changes relate to BOLD-fMRI responses during delay periods. To answer this question, fMRI was obtained from six epilepsy patients during a visual working memory task. Then, following subdural macroelectrode implant, continuous ECoG was used to record CFPs during the same task. Time-frequency analyses showed delay period gamma band oscillation amplitude increases on electrodes located near fMRI activity, while in the theta band changes were higher for electrodes located away from fMRI activation. The amplitude of the ECoG gamma band response was significantly positively correlated with the fMRI response, while a negative correlation was found for the theta band. The findings are consistent with previous reports of local field potential (LFP) coupling in the gamma band with BOLD-fMRI responses during visual stimulation in monkeys, but are novel in that the relationship reported here persists after the disappearance of visual stimuli while information is being maintained in memory. We conclude that there is a relationship between BOLD-fMRI increases and human working memory delay period gamma oscillation increases and theta decreases. The spectral profile change provides a basis for comparison of working memory delay period BOLD-fMRI with field potential recordings in animals and other human intracranial EEG studies.

  11. Implicit working memory

    PubMed Central

    Hassin, Ran R.; Bargh, John A.; Engell, Andrew D.; McCulloch, Kathleen C.

    2009-01-01

    Working Memory (WM) plays a crucial role in many high-level cognitive processes (e.g., reasoning, decision making, goal pursuit and cognitive control). The prevalent view holds that active components of WM are predominantly intentional and conscious. This conception is oftentimes expressed explicitly, but it is best reflected in the nature of major WM tasks: All of them are blatantly explicit. We developed two new WM paradigms that allow for an examination of the role of conscious awareness in WM. Results from five studies show that WM can operate unintentionally and outside of conscious awareness, thus suggesting that the current view should be expanded to include implicit WM. PMID:19442537

  12. Updating working memory in aircraft noise and speech noise causes different fMRI activations.

    PubMed

    Saetrevik, Bjørn; Sörqvist, Patrik

    2015-02-01

    The present study used fMRI/BOLD neuroimaging to investigate how visual-verbal working memory is updated when exposed to three different background-noise conditions: speech noise, aircraft noise and silence. The number-updating task that was used can distinguish between "substitution processes," which involve adding new items to the working memory representation and suppressing old items, and "exclusion processes," which involve rejecting new items and maintaining an intact memory set. The current findings supported the findings of a previous study by showing that substitution activated the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the posterior medial frontal cortex and the parietal lobes, whereas exclusion activated the anterior medial frontal cortex. Moreover, the prefrontal cortex was activated more by substitution processes when exposed to background speech than when exposed to aircraft noise. These results indicate that (a) the prefrontal cortex plays a special role when task-irrelevant materials should be denied access to working memory and (b) that, when compensating for different types of noise, either different cognitive mechanisms are involved or those cognitive mechanisms that are involved are involved to different degrees.

  13. Updating working memory in aircraft noise and speech noise causes different fMRI activations

    PubMed Central

    Sætrevik, Bjørn; Sörqvist, Patrik

    2015-01-01

    The present study used fMRI/BOLD neuroimaging to investigate how visual-verbal working memory is updated when exposed to three different background-noise conditions: speech noise, aircraft noise and silence. The number-updating task that was used can distinguish between “substitution processes,” which involve adding new items to the working memory representation and suppressing old items, and “exclusion processes,” which involve rejecting new items and maintaining an intact memory set. The current findings supported the findings of a previous study by showing that substitution activated the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the posterior medial frontal cortex and the parietal lobes, whereas exclusion activated the anterior medial frontal cortex. Moreover, the prefrontal cortex was activated more by substitution processes when exposed to background speech than when exposed to aircraft noise. These results indicate that (a) the prefrontal cortex plays a special role when task-irrelevant materials should be denied access to working memory and (b) that, when compensating for different types of noise, either different cognitive mechanisms are involved or those cognitive mechanisms that are involved are involved to different degrees. PMID:25352319

  14. Feature integration in visual working memory: parietal gamma activity is related to cognitive coordination

    PubMed Central

    Muthukumaraswamy, Suresh D.; Hibbs, Carina S.; Shapiro, Kimron L.; Bracewell, R. Martyn; Singh, Krish D.; Linden, David E. J.

    2011-01-01

    The mechanism by which distinct subprocesses in the brain are coordinated is a central conundrum of systems neuroscience. The parietal lobe is thought to play a key role in visual feature integration, and oscillatory activity in the gamma frequency range has been associated with perception of coherent objects and other tasks requiring neural coordination. Here, we examined the neural correlates of integrating mental representations in working memory and hypothesized that parietal gamma activity would be related to the success of cognitive coordination. Working memory is a classic example of a cognitive operation that requires the coordinated processing of different types of information and the contribution of multiple cognitive domains. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), we report parietal activity in the high gamma (80–100 Hz) range during manipulation of visual and spatial information (colors and angles) in working memory. This parietal gamma activity was significantly higher during manipulation of visual-spatial conjunctions compared with single features. Furthermore, gamma activity correlated with successful performance during the conjunction task but not during the component tasks. Cortical gamma activity in parietal cortex may therefore play a role in cognitive coordination. PMID:21940605

  15. Feature integration in visual working memory: parietal gamma activity is related to cognitive coordination.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Helen M; Muthukumaraswamy, Suresh D; Hibbs, Carina S; Shapiro, Kimron L; Bracewell, R Martyn; Singh, Krish D; Linden, David E J

    2011-12-01

    The mechanism by which distinct subprocesses in the brain are coordinated is a central conundrum of systems neuroscience. The parietal lobe is thought to play a key role in visual feature integration, and oscillatory activity in the gamma frequency range has been associated with perception of coherent objects and other tasks requiring neural coordination. Here, we examined the neural correlates of integrating mental representations in working memory and hypothesized that parietal gamma activity would be related to the success of cognitive coordination. Working memory is a classic example of a cognitive operation that requires the coordinated processing of different types of information and the contribution of multiple cognitive domains. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), we report parietal activity in the high gamma (80-100 Hz) range during manipulation of visual and spatial information (colors and angles) in working memory. This parietal gamma activity was significantly higher during manipulation of visual-spatial conjunctions compared with single features. Furthermore, gamma activity correlated with successful performance during the conjunction task but not during the component tasks. Cortical gamma activity in parietal cortex may therefore play a role in cognitive coordination.

  16. Persistent neural activity in the prefrontal cortex: a mechanism by which BDNF regulates working memory?

    PubMed

    Galloway, Evan M; Woo, Newton H; Lu, Bai

    2008-01-01

    Working memory is the ability to maintain representations of task-relevant information for short periods of time to guide subsequent actions or make decisions. Neurons of the prefrontal cortex exhibit persistent firing during the delay period of working memory tasks. Despite extensive studies, the mechanisms underlying this persistent neural activity remain largely obscure. The neurotransmitter systems of dopamine, NMDA, and GABA have been implicated, but further investigations are necessary to establish their precise roles and relationships. Recent research has suggested a new component: brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its high-affinity receptor, TrkB. We review the research on persistent activity and suggest that BDNF/TrkB signaling in a distinct class of interneurons plays an important role in organizing persistent neural activity at the single-neuron and network levels.

  17. Working memory is not fixed-capacity: More active storage capacity for real-world objects than for simple stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Brady, Timothy F.; Störmer, Viola S.; Alvarez, George A.

    2016-01-01

    Visual working memory is the cognitive system that holds visual information active to make it resistant to interference from new perceptual input. Information about simple stimuli—colors and orientations—is encoded into working memory rapidly: In under 100 ms, working memory ‟fills up,” revealing a stark capacity limit. However, for real-world objects, the same behavioral limits do not hold: With increasing encoding time, people store more real-world objects and do so with more detail. This boost in performance for real-world objects is generally assumed to reflect the use of a separate episodic long-term memory system, rather than working memory. Here we show that this behavioral increase in capacity with real-world objects is not solely due to the use of separate episodic long-term memory systems. In particular, we show that this increase is a result of active storage in working memory, as shown by directly measuring neural activity during the delay period of a working memory task using EEG. These data challenge fixed-capacity working memory models and demonstrate that working memory and its capacity limitations are dependent upon our existing knowledge. PMID:27325767

  18. Individual Differences in Neural Activity During A Facial Expression vs. Identity Working Memory Task

    PubMed Central

    Neta, Maital; Whalen, Paul J.

    2011-01-01

    Facial expressions of emotion constitute a critical portion of our non-verbal social interactions. In addition, the identity of the individual displaying this expression is critical to these interactions as they embody the context in which these expressions will be interpreted. To identify any overlapping and/or unique brain circuitry involved in the processing of these two information streams in a laboratory setting, participants performed a working memory (WM) task (i.e., N-back) in which they were instructed to monitor either the expression (EMO) or the identity (ID) of the same set of face stimuli. Consistent with previous work, during both the EMO and ID tasks, we found a significant increase in activity in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) supporting its generalized role in WM. Further, individuals that showed greater DLPFC activity during both tasks also showed increased amygdala activity during the EMO task and increased lateral fusiform gyrus activity during the ID task. Importantly, the level of activity in these regions significantly correlated with performance on the respective tasks. These findings provide support for two separate neural circuitries, both involving the DLPFC, supporting working memory for these two distinct aspects of face processing/memory. PMID:21349341

  19. Prefrontal cortex activity associated with source monitoring in a working memory task.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Karen J; Johnson, Marcia K; Raye, Carol L; Greene, Erich J

    2004-01-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity during remembering specific source information (format, location judgments) versus remembering that could be based on undifferentiated information, such as familiarity (old/new recognition [ON], recency judgments). A working memory (WM) paradigm with an immediate test yielded greater activation in the lateral PFC for format and location source memory (SM) tasks than ON recognition; this SM-related activity was left lateralized. The same regions of PFC were recruited in Experiment 2 when information was tested immediately and after a filled delay. Substituting recency for location judgments (Experiment 3) resulted in an overall shift in task context that produced greater right PFC activity associated with ON and recency tasks compared to the format task, in addition to left SM-related activity. These data extend to WM previous findings from long-term memory (LTM) indicating that the left and right PFC may be differentially involved in memory attributions depending on the specificity of information evaluated. The findings also provide evidence for the continuity of evaluative processes recruited in WM and LTM.

  20. Pre-stimulus BOLD-network activation modulates EEG spectral activity during working memory retention.

    PubMed

    Kottlow, Mara; Schlaepfer, Anthony; Baenninger, Anja; Michels, Lars; Brandeis, Daniel; Koenig, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Working memory (WM) processes depend on our momentary mental state and therefore exhibit considerable fluctuations. Here, we investigate the interplay of task-preparatory and task-related brain activity as represented by pre-stimulus BOLD-fluctuations and spectral EEG from the retention periods of a visual WM task. Visual WM is used to maintain sensory information in the brain enabling the performance of cognitive operations and is associated with mental health. We tested 22 subjects simultaneously with EEG and fMRI while performing a visuo-verbal Sternberg task with two different loads, allowing for the temporal separation of preparation, encoding, retention and retrieval periods. Four temporally coherent networks (TCNs)-the default mode network (DMN), the dorsal attention, the right and the left WM network-were extracted from the continuous BOLD data by means of a group ICA. Subsequently, the modulatory effect of these networks' pre-stimulus activation upon retention-related EEG activity in the theta, alpha, and beta frequencies was analyzed. The obtained results are informative in the context of state-dependent information processing. We were able to replicate two well-known load-dependent effects: the frontal-midline theta increase during the task and the decrease of pre-stimulus DMN activity. As our main finding, these two measures seem to depend on each other as the significant negative correlations at frontal-midline channels suggested. Thus, suppressed pre-stimulus DMN levels facilitated later task related frontal midline theta increases. In general, based on previous findings that neuronal coupling in different frequency bands may underlie distinct functions in WM retention, our results suggest that processes reflected by spectral oscillations during retention seem not only to be "online" synchronized with activity in different attention-related networks but are also modulated by activity in these networks during preparation intervals.

  1. Working Memory and Neurofeedback.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Memory Retrieval and Interference: Working Memory Issues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Radvansky, Gabriel A.; Copeland, David E.

    2006-01-01

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

  4. Dynamics of gamma-band activity during an audiospatial working memory task in humans.

    PubMed

    Lutzenberger, Werner; Ripper, Barbara; Busse, Laura; Birbaumer, Niels; Kaiser, Jochen

    2002-07-01

    The representation of visual objects in short-term memory has been shown to be related to increased gamma-band activity in the electroencephalogram. Using a similar paradigm, we investigated oscillatory magnetoencephalographic activity in human subjects during a delayed matching-to-sample task requiring working memory of auditory spatial information. The memory task involved same-different judgments about the lateralization angle of pairs of filtered noise stimuli (S1 and S2) separated by 800 msec delays of background noise. This was compared with a control condition requiring the detection of a possible change in the background noise volume appearing instead of S2 (volume task). Statistical probability mapping revealed increased spectral activity at 59 Hz over left parietal cortex during the delay phase of the memory condition. In addition, 59 Hz coherence was enhanced between left parietal and right frontal sensors. During the end of the delay and during the presentation of S2, enhanced gamma-band activity at 67 Hz was observed over right frontal and later over midline parietal areas. In contrast, the volume task was characterized by increased left inferior frontotemporal 59 Hz spectral amplitude after S1. Apparently representation of the spatial position of a sound source is associated both with synchronization of networks in parietal areas involved in the auditory dorsal stream and with increased coupling between networks serving representation of audiospatial information and frontal executive systems. The comparison with S2 seemed to activate frontal and parietal neuronal ensembles. Gamma-band activity during the volume task may reflect auditory pattern encoding in auditory ventral stream areas.

  5. Dynamics of gamma-band activity in human magnetoencephalogram during auditory pattern working memory.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, Jochen; Ripper, Barbara; Birbaumer, Niels; Lutzenberger, Werner

    2003-10-01

    Both electrophysiological research in animals and human brain imaging studies have suggested that, similar to the visual system, separate cortical ventral "what" and dorsal "where" processing streams may also exist in the auditory domain. Recently we have shown enhanced gamma-band activity (GBA) over posterior parietal cortex belonging to the putative auditory dorsal pathway during a sound location working memory task. Using a similar methodological approach, the present study assessed whether GBA would be increased over auditory ventral stream areas during an auditory pattern memory task. Whole-head magnetoencephalogram was recorded from N = 12 subjects while they performed a working memory task requiring same-different judgments about pairs of syllables S1 and S2 presented with 0.8-s delays. S1 and S2 could differ either in voice onset time or in formant structure. This was compared with a control task involving the detection of possible spatial displacements in the background sound presented instead of S2. Under the memory condition, induced GBA was enhanced over left inferior frontal/anterior temporal regions during the delay phase and in response to S2 and over prefrontal cortex at the end of the delay period. gamma-Band coherence between left frontotemporal and prefrontal sensors was increased throughout the delay period of the memory task. In summary, the memorization of syllables was associated with synchronously oscillating networks both in frontotemporal cortex, supporting a role of these areas as parts of the putative auditory ventral stream, and in prefrontal, possible executive regions. Moreover, corticocortical connectivity was increased between these structures.

  6. Contralateral delay activity tracks the influence of Gestalt grouping principles on active visual working memory representations.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Dwight J; Gözenman, Filiz; Arciniega, Hector; Berryhill, Marian E

    2015-10-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that factors influencing perception, such as Gestalt grouping cues, can influence the storage of information in visual working memory (VWM). In some cases, stationary cues, such as stimulus similarity, lead to superior VWM performance. However, the neural correlates underlying these benefits to VWM performance remain unclear. One neural index, the contralateral delay activity (CDA), is an event-related potential that shows increased amplitude according to the number of items held in VWM and asymptotes at an individual's VWM capacity limit. Here, we applied the CDA to determine whether previously reported behavioral benefits supplied by similarity, proximity, and uniform connectedness were reflected as a neural savings such that the CDA amplitude was reduced when these cues were present. We implemented VWM change-detection tasks with arrays including similarity and proximity (Experiment 1); uniform connectedness (Experiments 2a and 2b); and similarity/proximity and uniform connectedness (Experiment 3). The results indicated that when there was a behavioral benefit to VWM, this was echoed by a reduction in CDA amplitude, which suggests more efficient processing. However, not all perceptual grouping cues provided a VWM benefit in the same measure (e.g., accuracy) or of the same magnitude. We also found unexpected interactions between cues. We observed a mixed bag of effects, suggesting that these powerful perceptual grouping benefits are not as predictable in VWM. The current findings indicate that when grouping cues produce behavioral benefits, there is a parallel reduction in the neural resources required to maintain grouped items within VWM.

  7. Contralateral delay activity tracks the influence of Gestalt grouping principles on active visual working memory representations

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, Dwight J.; Gözenman, Filiz; Arciniega, Hector; Berryhill, Marian E.

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that factors influencing perception, such as Gestalt grouping cues, can influence the storage of information in visual working memory (VWM). In some cases, stationary cues such as stimulus similarity lead to superior VWM performance. However, the neural correlates underlying these benefits to VWM performance remain unclear. One neural index, the contralateral delay activity (CDA) is an event-related potential that shows increased amplitude according to the number of items held in VWM and asymptotes at an individual’s VWM capacity limit. Here, we applied the CDA to determine whether previously reported behavioral benefits supplied by similarity, proximity and uniform connectedness were reflected as a neural savings such that the CDA amplitude was reduced when these cues were present. We implemented VWM change detection tasks with arrays including similarity and proximity (Experiment 1); uniform connectedness (Experiments 2a and 2b); similarity/proximity and uniform connectedness (Experiment 3). The results indicated that when there was a behavioral benefit to VWM, this was echoed by a reduction in CDA amplitude, which suggests more efficient processing. However, not all perceptual grouping cues provided a VWM benefit in the same measure (e.g., accuracy) or of the same magnitude. We also found unexpected interactions between cues. We observed a mixed bag of effects, suggesting that these powerful perceptual grouping benefits are not as predictable in VWM. The current findings indicate that, when grouping cues produce behavioral benefits, there is a parallel reduction in the neural resources required to maintain grouped items within VWM. PMID:26018644

  8. Disruption of caudate working memory activation in chronic blast-related traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Newsome, Mary R; Durgerian, Sally; Mourany, Lyla; Scheibel, Randall S; Lowe, Mark J; Beall, Erik B; Koenig, Katherine A; Parsons, Michael; Troyanskaya, Maya; Reece, Christine; Wilde, Elisabeth; Fischer, Barbara L; Jones, Stephen E; Agarwal, Rajan; Levin, Harvey S; Rao, Stephen M

    2015-01-01

    Mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to blast exposure is frequently diagnosed in veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, it is unclear whether neural damage resulting from blast TBI differs from that found in TBI due to blunt-force trauma (e.g., falls and motor vehicle crashes). Little is also known about the effects of blast TBI on neural networks, particularly over the long term. Because impairment in working memory has been linked to blunt-force TBI, the present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study sought to investigate whether brain activation in response to a working memory task would discriminate blunt-force from blast TBI. Twenty-five veterans (mean age = 29.8 years, standard deviation = 6.01 years, 1 female) who incurred TBI due to blast an average of 4.2 years prior to enrollment and 25 civilians (mean age = 27.4 years, standard deviation = 6.68 years, 4 females) with TBI due to blunt-force trauma performed the Sternberg Item Recognition Task while undergoing fMRI. The task involved encoding 1, 3, or 5 items in working memory. A group of 25 veterans (mean age = 29.9 years, standard deviation = 5.53 years, 0 females) and a group of 25 civilians (mean age = 27.3 years, standard deviation = 5.81 years, 0 females) without history of TBI underwent identical imaging procedures and served as controls. Results indicated that the civilian TBI group and both control groups demonstrated a monotonic relationship between working memory set size and activation in the right caudate during encoding, whereas the blast TBI group did not (p < 0.05, corrected for multiple comparisons using False Discovery Rate). Blast TBI was also associated with worse performance on the Sternberg Item Recognition Task relative to the other groups, although no other group differences were found on neuropsychological measures of episodic memory, inhibition, and general processing speed. These results could not be

  9. Disruption of caudate working memory activation in chronic blast-related traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Newsome, Mary R.; Durgerian, Sally; Mourany, Lyla; Scheibel, Randall S.; Lowe, Mark J.; Beall, Erik B.; Koenig, Katherine A.; Parsons, Michael; Troyanskaya, Maya; Reece, Christine; Wilde, Elisabeth; Fischer, Barbara L.; Jones, Stephen E.; Agarwal, Rajan; Levin, Harvey S.; Rao, Stephen M.

    2015-01-01

    Mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to blast exposure is frequently diagnosed in veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, it is unclear whether neural damage resulting from blast TBI differs from that found in TBI due to blunt-force trauma (e.g., falls and motor vehicle crashes). Little is also known about the effects of blast TBI on neural networks, particularly over the long term. Because impairment in working memory has been linked to blunt-force TBI, the present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study sought to investigate whether brain activation in response to a working memory task would discriminate blunt-force from blast TBI. Twenty-five veterans (mean age = 29.8 years, standard deviation = 6.01 years, 1 female) who incurred TBI due to blast an average of 4.2 years prior to enrollment and 25 civilians (mean age = 27.4 years, standard deviation = 6.68 years, 4 females) with TBI due to blunt-force trauma performed the Sternberg Item Recognition Task while undergoing fMRI. The task involved encoding 1, 3, or 5 items in working memory. A group of 25 veterans (mean age = 29.9 years, standard deviation = 5.53 years, 0 females) and a group of 25 civilians (mean age = 27.3 years, standard deviation = 5.81 years, 0 females) without history of TBI underwent identical imaging procedures and served as controls. Results indicated that the civilian TBI group and both control groups demonstrated a monotonic relationship between working memory set size and activation in the right caudate during encoding, whereas the blast TBI group did not (p < 0.05, corrected for multiple comparisons using False Discovery Rate). Blast TBI was also associated with worse performance on the Sternberg Item Recognition Task relative to the other groups, although no other group differences were found on neuropsychological measures of episodic memory, inhibition, and general processing speed. These results could not be

  10. Modality specific cerebro-cerebellar activations in verbal working memory: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Kirschen, Matthew P; Chen, S H Annabel; Desmond, John E

    2010-01-01

    Verbal working memory (VWM) engages frontal and temporal/parietal circuits subserving the phonological loop, as well as, superior and inferior cerebellar regions which have projections from these neocortical areas. Different cerebro-cerebellar circuits may be engaged for integrating aurally- and visually-presented information for VWM. The present fMRI study investigated load (2, 4, or 6 letters) and modality (auditory and visual) dependent cerebro-cerebellar VWM activation using a Sternberg task. FMRI revealed modality-independent activations in left frontal (BA 6/9/44), insular, cingulate (BA 32), and bilateral inferior parietal/supramarginal (BA 40) regions, as well as in bilateral superior (HVI) and right inferior (HVIII) cerebellar regions. Visual presentation evoked prominent activations in right superior (HVI/CrusI) cerebellum, bilateral occipital (BA19) and left parietal (BA7/40) cortex while auditory presentation showed robust activations predominantly in bilateral temporal regions (BA21/22). In the cerebellum, we noted a visual to auditory emphasis of function progressing from superior to inferior and from lateral to medial regions. These results extend our previous findings of fMRI activation in cerebro-cerebellar networks during VWM, and demonstrate both modality dependent commonalities and differences in activations with increasing memory load.

  11. Mapping brain activation and information during category-specific visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Linden, David E J; Oosterhof, Nikolaas N; Klein, Christoph; Downing, Paul E

    2012-01-01

    How is working memory for different visual categories supported in the brain? Do the same principles of cortical specialization that govern the initial processing and encoding of visual stimuli also apply to their short-term maintenance? We investigated these questions with a delayed discrimination paradigm for faces, bodies, flowers, and scenes and applied both univariate and multivariate analyses to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. Activity during encoding followed the well-known specialization in posterior areas. During the delay interval, activity shifted to frontal and parietal regions but was not specialized for category. Conversely, activity in visual areas returned to baseline during that interval but showed some evidence of category specialization on multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA). We conclude that principles of cortical activation differ between encoding and maintenance of visual material. Whereas perceptual processes rely on specialized regions in occipitotemporal cortex, maintenance involves the activation of a frontoparietal network that seems to require little specialization at the category level. We also confirm previous findings that MVPA can extract information from fMRI signals in the absence of suprathreshold activation and that such signals from visual areas can reflect the material stored in memory.

  12. Converging genetic and functional brain imaging evidence links neuronal excitability to working memory, psychiatric disease, and brain activity.

    PubMed

    Heck, Angela; Fastenrath, Matthias; Ackermann, Sandra; Auschra, Bianca; Bickel, Horst; Coynel, David; Gschwind, Leo; Jessen, Frank; Kaduszkiewicz, Hanna; Maier, Wolfgang; Milnik, Annette; Pentzek, Michael; Riedel-Heller, Steffi G; Ripke, Stephan; Spalek, Klara; Sullivan, Patrick; Vogler, Christian; Wagner, Michael; Weyerer, Siegfried; Wolfsgruber, Steffen; de Quervain, Dominique J-F; Papassotiropoulos, Andreas

    2014-03-05

    Working memory, the capacity of actively maintaining task-relevant information during a cognitive task, is a heritable trait. Working memory deficits are characteristic for many psychiatric disorders. We performed genome-wide gene set enrichment analyses in multiple independent data sets of young and aged cognitively healthy subjects (n = 2,824) and in a large schizophrenia case-control sample (n = 32,143). The voltage-gated cation channel activity gene set, consisting of genes related to neuronal excitability, was robustly linked to performance in working memory-related tasks across ages and to schizophrenia. Functional brain imaging in 707 healthy participants linked this gene set also to working memory-related activity in the parietal cortex and the cerebellum. Gene set analyses may help to dissect the molecular underpinnings of cognitive dimensions, brain activity, and psychopathology.

  13. Working memory and lexical ambiguity resolution as revealed by ERPs: a difficult case for activation theories.

    PubMed

    Gunter, Thomas C; Wagner, Susanne; Friederici, Angela D

    2003-07-01

    This series of three event-related potential experiments explored the issue of whether the underlying mechanism of working memory (WM) supporting language processing is inhibitory or activational in nature. These different cognitive mechanisms have been proposed to explain the more efficient processing of subjects with a high WM span compared to those with a low WM span. Participants with high and low WM span were presented with sentences containing a homonym followed three words later by a nominal disambiguation cue and a final disambiguation using a verb. At the position of the disambiguation cue, inhibitory or activational WM mechanisms predict contrasting results. When activation is the underlying mechanism for efficient processing, the prediction is that high memory span persons activate both meanings of the homonym equally in WM, whereas low memory span persons only have one meaning present. When inhibition is the underlying mechanism, the predictions are the reverse. The ERP data, in particular, the variations of the meaning related N400 component, showed clear evidence for inhibition as the underlying cognitive mechanism in high-span readers. For low-span participants the cueing towards the dominant or the subordinate meaning elicited an equivalently large N400 component suggesting that both meanings are active in WM. In high-span subjects, the dominant disambiguation cue elicited a smaller N400 than the subordinate one, indicating that for these subjects particularly the dominant meaning is active. The experiments showed that inhibitory processes are probably underlying WM used during language comprehension in high-span subjects. Moreover, they demonstrate that these subjects can use their inhibition in a more flexible manner than low-span subjects. The effects that these processing differences have on the efficiency of language parsing are discussed.

  14. Layer-specificity in the effects of attention and working memory on activity in primary visual cortex

    PubMed Central

    van Kerkoerle, Timo; Self, Matthew W.; Roelfsema, Pieter R.

    2017-01-01

    Neuronal activity in early visual cortex depends on attention shifts but the contribution to working memory has remained unclear. Here, we examine neuronal activity in the different layers of the primary visual cortex (V1) in an attention-demanding and a working memory task. A current-source density analysis reveales top-down inputs in the superficial layers and layer 5, and an increase in neuronal firing rates most pronounced in the superficial and deep layers and weaker in input layer 4. This increased activity is strongest in the attention task but it is also highly reliable during working memory delays. A visual mask erases the V1 memory activity, but it reappeares at a later point in time. These results provide new insights in the laminar circuits involved in the top-down modulation of activity in early visual cortex in the presence and absence of visual stimuli. PMID:28054544

  15. Differential neural activation for updating rule versus stimulus information in working memory

    PubMed Central

    Montojo, Caroline; Courtney, Susan M.

    2008-01-01

    Summary Establishing what information is actively maintained in working memory (WM) and how it is represented and controlled is essential to understanding how such information guides future behavior. WM has traditionally been investigated in terms of the maintenance of stimulus-specific information, such as locations or words. More recently, investigators have emphasized the importance of rules that establish relationships between those stimuli and the pending response. The current study used a mental arithmetic task with fMRI to test whether updating of numbers (i.e. stimuli) and updating of mathematical operations (i.e. rules) in WM relies on the same neural system. Results indicate that while a common network is activated by both types of updating, rule updating preferentially activates prefrontal cortex while number updating preferentially activates parietal cortex. The results suggest that both numbers and rules are maintained in WM, but they are different types of information that are controlled independently. PMID:18614038

  16. Modulation of medial temporal lobe activity in epilepsy patients with hippocampal sclerosis during verbal working memory.

    PubMed

    Campo, Pablo; Maestú, Fernando; García-Morales, Irene; Gil-Nagel, Antonio; Strange, Bryan; Morales, Manuel; Ortiz, Tomás

    2009-07-01

    It has been traditionally assumed that medial temporal lobe (MTL) is not required for working memory (WM). However, animal lesion and electrophysiological studies and human neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies have provided increasing evidences of a critical involvement of MTL in WM. Based on previous findings, the central aim of this study was to investigate the contribution of the MTL to verbal WM encoding. Here, we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to compare the patterns of MTL activation of 9 epilepsy patients suffering from left hippocampal sclerosis with those of 10 healthy matched controls while they performed a verbal WM task. MEG recordings allow detailed tracking of the time course of MTL activation. We observed impaired WM performance associated with changes in the dynamics of MTL activity in epilepsy patients. Specifically, whereas patients showed decreased activity in damaged MTL, activity in the contralateral MTL was enhanced, an effect that became significant in the 600- to 700-ms interval after stimulus presentation. These findings strongly support the crucial contribution of MTL to verbal WM encoding and provide compelling evidence for the proposal that MTL contributes to both episodic memory and WM. Whether this pattern is signaling reorganization or a normal use of a damaged structure is discussed.

  17. Developmental Change in Working Memory Strategies: From Passive Maintenance to Active Refreshing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Camos, Valerie; Barrouillet, Pierre

    2011-01-01

    Change in strategies is often mentioned as a source of memory development. However, though performance in working memory tasks steadily improves during childhood, theories differ in linking this development to strategy changes. Whereas some theories, such as the time-based resource-sharing model, invoke the age-related increase in use and…

  18. Verbal working memory load affects prefrontal cortices activation: evidence from a functional NIRS study in humans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Chengjun; Gong, Hui; Zeng, Shaoqun; Luo, Qingming

    2005-03-01

    Working memory (WM) refers to the temporary maintenance of information that is no longer accessible in the environment, and the manipulation of this information for subsequent use. PET and functional MRI studies suggest that prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in WM. Here, we report a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) study on the PFC activation caused by a WM task, a verbal n-back task. During performance of the task, concentration changes of oxy-Hb (HbO2), deoxy-Hb (Hb), and total-Hb (HbT) in subjects" prefrontal cortex were monitored by a 24-channel functional NIRS imager. The behavioral performances (accuracy and response time) were recorded simultaneously. Results revealed that as memory load increased, subjects showed poorer behavioral performance as well as monotonously increasing magnitudes of the activations in the left ventrolateral PFC (VLPFC) and bilateral dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC). In addition, the analysis of comparison between subjects showed that certain relations likely exist between the cerebral activation and the performance parameters for an individual subject: lower accuracy is accompanied by longer response time and further activation. Such means that the subject with difficulty in solving a problem will demonstrate more significant hemodynamic changes compared with the subject without difficulty in solving the same problem.

  19. Frontal brain activation during a working memory task: a time-domain fNIRS study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molteni, E.; Baselli, G.; Bianchi, A. M.; Caffini, M.; Contini, D.; Spinelli, L.; Torricelli, A.; Cerutti, S.; Cubeddu, R.

    2009-02-01

    We evaluated frontal brain activation during a working memory task with graded levels of difficulty in a group of 19 healthy subjects, by means of time-resolved fNIRS technique. Brain activation was computed, and was then separated into a "block-related" and a "tonic" components. Load-related increases of blood oxygenation were studied for the four different levels of task difficulty. Generalized Linear Models were applied to the data in order to explore the metabolic processes occurring during the mental effort and, possibly, their involvement in short term memorization. Results attest the presence of a persistent attentional-related metabolic activity, superimposed to a task-related mnemonic contribution. Moreover, a systemic component probably deriving from the extra-cerebral capillary bed was detected.

  20. Effects of aging and working memory demands on prospective memory.

    PubMed

    West, Robert; Bowry, Ritvij

    2005-11-01

    The current study used event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to examine the effects of aging, increasing the working memory demands of the ongoing activity, and a prospective memory load on the neural correlates of prospective remembering and target recognition. The behavioral data revealed that the success of prospective memory was sensitive to working memory load in younger, but not older, adults and that a prospective memory load had a greater effect on the performance of older adults than that of younger adults. The ERP data revealed age-related differences in the neural correlates of the detection of prospective cues, post-retrieval processes that support prospective memory, and target recognition. Our results support the hypothesis that there are age-related differences in the ability to recruit preparatory attentional processes that underlie prospective memory, and demonstrate that younger and older adults may recruit somewhat different neural generators to support prospective memory and working memory.

  1. Neurocognitive architecture of working memory

    PubMed Central

    Eriksson, Johan; Vogel, Edward K.; Lansner, Anders; Bergström, Fredrik; Nyberg, Lars

    2015-01-01

    The crucial role of working memory for temporary information processing and guidance of complex behavior has been recognized for many decades. There is emerging consensus that working memory maintenance results from the interactions among long-term memory representations and basic processes, including attention, that are instantiated as reentrant loops between frontal and posterior cortical areas, as well as subcortical structures. The nature of such interactions can account for capacity limitations, lifespan changes, and restricted transfer after working-memory training. Recent data and models indicate that working memory may also be based on synaptic plasticity, and that working memory can operate on non-consciously perceived information. PMID:26447571

  2. Isolating age-group differences in working memory load-related neural activity: assessing the contribution of working memory capacity using a partial-trial fMRI method.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Ilana J; Rivera, Hannah G; Rypma, Bart

    2013-05-15

    Previous studies examining age-group differences in working memory load-related neural activity have yielded mixed results. When present, age-group differences in working memory capacity are frequently proposed to underlie these neural effects. However, direct relationships between working memory capacity and working memory load-related activity have only been observed in younger adults. These relationships remain untested in healthy aging. Therefore, the present study examined patterns of working memory load-related activity in 22 younger and 20 older adults and assessed the contribution of working memory capacity to these load-related effects. Participants performed a partial-trial delayed response item recognition task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. In this task, participants encoded either 2 or 6 letters, maintained them during a delay, and then indicated whether a probe was present in the memory set. Behavioral results revealed faster and more accurate responses to load 2 versus 6, with age-group differences in this load condition effect for the accuracy measure. Neuroimaging results revealed one region (medial superior frontal gyrus) that showed age-group differences in load-related activity during the retrieval period, with less (greater) neural activity for the low versus high load condition in younger (older) adults. Furthermore, for older adults, load-related activity did not vary as a function of working memory capacity. Thus, working memory-related activity varies with healthy aging, but these patterns are not due solely to working memory capacity. Neurocognitive aging theories that feature capacity will need to account for these results.

  3. Complexin2 modulates working memory-related neural activity in patients with schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Hass, Johanna; Walton, Esther; Kirsten, Holger; Turner, Jessica; Wolthusen, Rick; Roessner, Veit; Sponheim, Scott R; Holt, Daphne; Gollub, Randy; Calhoun, Vince D; Ehrlich, Stefan

    2015-03-01

    The specific contribution of risk or candidate gene variants to the complex phenotype of schizophrenia is largely unknown. Studying the effects of such variants on brain function can provide insight into disease-associated mechanisms on a neural systems level. Previous studies found common variants in the complexin2 (CPLX2) gene to be highly associated with cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia patients. Similarly, cognitive functioning was found to be impaired in Cplx2 gene-deficient mice if they were subjected to maternal deprivation or mild brain trauma during puberty. Here, we aimed to study seven common CPLX2 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and their neurogenetic risk mechanisms by investigating their relationship to a schizophrenia-related functional neuroimaging intermediate phenotype. We examined functional MRI and genotype data collected from 104 patients with DSM-IV-diagnosed schizophrenia and 122 healthy controls who participated in the Mind Clinical Imaging Consortium study of schizophrenia. Seven SNPs distributed over the whole CPLX2 gene were tested for association with working memory-elicited neural activity in a frontoparietal neural network. Three CPLX2 SNPs were significantly associated with increased neural activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and intraparietal sulcus in the schizophrenia sample, but showed no association in healthy controls. Since increased working memory-related neural activity in individuals with or at risk for schizophrenia has been interpreted as 'neural inefficiency,' these findings suggest that certain variants of CPLX2 may contribute to impaired brain function in schizophrenia, possibly combined with other deleterious genetic variants, adverse environmental events, or developmental insults.

  4. Complexin2 modulates working memory-related neural activity in patients with schizophrenia

    SciTech Connect

    Hass, Johanna; Walton, Esther; Kirsten, Holger; Turner, Jessica; Wolthusen, Rick; Roessner, Veit; Sponheim, Scott R.; Holt, Daphne; Gollub, Randy; Calhoun, Vince D.; Ehrlich, Stefan

    2014-10-09

    The specific contribution of risk or candidate gene variants to the complex phenotype of schizophrenia is largely unknown. Studying the effects of such variants on brain function can provide insight into disease-associated mechanisms on a neural systems level. Previous studies found common variants in the complexin2 (CPLX2) gene to be highly associated with cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia patients. Similarly, cognitive functioning was found to be impaired in Cplx2 gene-deficient mice if they were subjected to maternal deprivation or mild brain trauma during puberty. Here, we aimed to study seven common CPLX2 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and their neurogenetic risk mechanisms by investigating their relationship to a schizophrenia-related functional neuroimaging intermediate phenotype. In this paper, we examined functional MRI and genotype data collected from 104 patients with DSM-IV-diagnosed schizophrenia and 122 healthy controls who participated in the Mind Clinical Imaging Consortium study of schizophrenia. Seven SNPs distributed over the whole CPLX2 gene were tested for association with working memory-elicited neural activity in a frontoparietal neural network. Three CPLX2 SNPs were significantly associated with increased neural activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and intraparietal sulcus in the schizophrenia sample, but showed no association in healthy controls. Finally, since increased working memory-related neural activity in individuals with or at risk for schizophrenia has been interpreted as ‘neural inefficiency,’ these findings suggest that certain variants of CPLX2 may contribute to impaired brain function in schizophrenia, possibly combined with other deleterious genetic variants, adverse environmental events, or developmental insults.

  5. Complexin2 modulates working memory-related neural activity in patients with schizophrenia

    DOE PAGES

    Hass, Johanna; Walton, Esther; Kirsten, Holger; ...

    2014-10-09

    The specific contribution of risk or candidate gene variants to the complex phenotype of schizophrenia is largely unknown. Studying the effects of such variants on brain function can provide insight into disease-associated mechanisms on a neural systems level. Previous studies found common variants in the complexin2 (CPLX2) gene to be highly associated with cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia patients. Similarly, cognitive functioning was found to be impaired in Cplx2 gene-deficient mice if they were subjected to maternal deprivation or mild brain trauma during puberty. Here, we aimed to study seven common CPLX2 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and their neurogenetic risk mechanisms bymore » investigating their relationship to a schizophrenia-related functional neuroimaging intermediate phenotype. In this paper, we examined functional MRI and genotype data collected from 104 patients with DSM-IV-diagnosed schizophrenia and 122 healthy controls who participated in the Mind Clinical Imaging Consortium study of schizophrenia. Seven SNPs distributed over the whole CPLX2 gene were tested for association with working memory-elicited neural activity in a frontoparietal neural network. Three CPLX2 SNPs were significantly associated with increased neural activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and intraparietal sulcus in the schizophrenia sample, but showed no association in healthy controls. Finally, since increased working memory-related neural activity in individuals with or at risk for schizophrenia has been interpreted as ‘neural inefficiency,’ these findings suggest that certain variants of CPLX2 may contribute to impaired brain function in schizophrenia, possibly combined with other deleterious genetic variants, adverse environmental events, or developmental insults.« less

  6. Persistent neural activity in auditory cortex is related to auditory working memory in humans and nonhuman primates

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Ying; Matysiak, Artur; Heil, Peter; König, Reinhard; Brosch, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Working memory is the cognitive capacity of short-term storage of information for goal-directed behaviors. Where and how this capacity is implemented in the brain are unresolved questions. We show that auditory cortex stores information by persistent changes of neural activity. We separated activity related to working memory from activity related to other mental processes by having humans and monkeys perform different tasks with varying working memory demands on the same sound sequences. Working memory was reflected in the spiking activity of individual neurons in auditory cortex and in the activity of neuronal populations, that is, in local field potentials and magnetic fields. Our results provide direct support for the idea that temporary storage of information recruits the same brain areas that also process the information. Because similar activity was observed in the two species, the cellular bases of some auditory working memory processes in humans can be studied in monkeys. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.15441.001 PMID:27438411

  7. Brain functional correlates of working memory: reduced load-modulated activation and deactivation in aging without hyperactivation or functional reorganization.

    PubMed

    Kaup, Allison R; Drummond, Sean P A; Eyler, Lisa T

    2014-10-01

    We aimed to identify brain functional correlates of working memory performance in aging, in hopes of facilitating understanding of mechanisms that promote better versus worse working memory in late-life. Among 64 healthy adults, aged 23 to 78, we examined the relationship between age, working memory performance, and brain functional response during task performance. We focused on the association between working memory load-modulated functional response and individual differences in performance and whether these function-performance relationships differed with age. As expected, older age was associated with poorer working memory performance. Older age was also associated with reduced load-modulated activation including in bilateral prefrontal and parietal regions and left caudate as well as reduced deactivation including in the medial prefrontal cortex. Contrary to findings of hyperactivation in aging, we found no evidence of increased activation with older age. Positive associations identified between brain response and performance did not differ with age. Our findings suggest that the neural mechanisms underlying better versus worse working memory performance are age-invariant across adulthood, and argue against a pattern of functional reorganization in aging. Results are discussed within the broader literature, in which significant heterogeneity in findings between studies has been common.

  8. The contralateral delay activity as a neural measure of visual working memory

    PubMed Central

    Luria, Roy; Balaban, Halely; Awh, Edward; Vogel, Edward K.

    2016-01-01

    The contralateral delay activity (CDA) is a negative slow wave sensitive to the number of objects maintained in visual working memory (VWM). In recent years, a growing number of labs started to use the CDA in order to investigate VWM, leading to many fascinating discoveries. Here, we discuss the recent developments and contribution of the CDA in various research fields. Importantly, we report two meta-analyses that unequivocally validate the relationship between the set-size increase in the CDA amplitude and the individual VWM capacity, and between the CDA and filtering efficiency. We further discuss how the CDA was used to study the role of VWM in visual search, multiple object tracking, grouping, binding, and whether VWM capacity allocation is determined by the items’ resolution or instead by the number of objects regardless of their complexity. In addition, we report how the CDA has been used to characterize specific VWM deficits in special populations. PMID:26802451

  9. The contralateral delay activity as a neural measure of visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Luria, Roy; Balaban, Halely; Awh, Edward; Vogel, Edward K

    2016-03-01

    The contralateral delay activity (CDA) is a negative slow wave sensitive to the number of objects maintained in visual working memory (VWM). In recent years, a growing number of labs started to use the CDA in order to investigate VWM, leading to many fascinating discoveries. Here, we discuss the recent developments and contribution of the CDA in various research fields. Importantly, we report two meta-analyses that unequivocally validate the relationship between the set-size increase in the CDA amplitude and the individual VWM capacity, and between the CDA and filtering efficiency. We further discuss how the CDA was used to study the role of VWM in visual search, multiple object tracking, grouping, binding, and whether VWM capacity allocation is determined by the items' resolution or instead by the number of objects regardless of their complexity. In addition, we report how the CDA has been used to characterize specific VWM deficits in special populations.

  10. Inefficient Preparatory fMRI-BOLD Network Activations Predict Working Memory Dysfunctions in Patients with Schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Baenninger, Anja; Diaz Hernandez, Laura; Rieger, Kathryn; Ford, Judith M; Kottlow, Mara; Koenig, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Patients with schizophrenia show abnormal dynamics and structure of temporally -coherent networks (TCNs) assessed using fMRI, which undergo adaptive shifts in preparation for a cognitively demanding task. During working memory (WM) tasks, patients with schizophrenia show persistent deficits in TCNs as well as EEG indices of WM. Studying their temporal relationship during WM tasks might provide novel insights into WM performance deficits seen in schizophrenia. Simultaneous EEG-fMRI data were acquired during the performance of a verbal Sternberg WM task with two load levels (load 2 and load 5) in 17 patients with schizophrenia and 17 matched healthy controls. Using covariance mapping, we investigated the relationship of the activity in the TCNs before the memoranda were encoded and EEG spectral power during the retention interval. We assessed four TCNs - default mode network (DMN), dorsal attention network (dAN), left and right working memory networks (WMNs) - and three EEG bands - theta, alpha, and beta. In healthy controls, there was a load-dependent inverse relation between DMN and frontal midline theta power and an anti-correlation between DMN and dAN. Both effects were not significantly detectable in patients. In addition, healthy controls showed a left-lateralized load-dependent recruitment of the WMNs. Activation of the WMNs was bilateral in patients, suggesting more resources were recruited for successful performance on the WM task. Our findings support the notion of schizophrenia patients showing deviations in their neurophysiological responses before the retention of relevant information in a verbal WM task. Thus, treatment strategies as neurofeedback -targeting prestates could be beneficial as task performance relies on the preparatory state of the brain.

  11. Inefficient Preparatory fMRI-BOLD Network Activations Predict Working Memory Dysfunctions in Patients with Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Baenninger, Anja; Diaz Hernandez, Laura; Rieger, Kathryn; Ford, Judith M.; Kottlow, Mara; Koenig, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Patients with schizophrenia show abnormal dynamics and structure of temporally ­coherent networks (TCNs) assessed using fMRI, which undergo adaptive shifts in preparation for a cognitively demanding task. During working memory (WM) tasks, patients with schizophrenia show persistent deficits in TCNs as well as EEG indices of WM. Studying their temporal relationship during WM tasks might provide novel insights into WM performance deficits seen in schizophrenia. Simultaneous EEG-fMRI data were acquired during the performance of a verbal Sternberg WM task with two load levels (load 2 and load 5) in 17 patients with schizophrenia and 17 matched healthy controls. Using covariance mapping, we investigated the relationship of the activity in the TCNs before the memoranda were encoded and EEG spectral power during the retention interval. We assessed four TCNs – default mode network (DMN), dorsal attention network (dAN), left and right working memory networks (WMNs) – and three EEG bands – theta, alpha, and beta. In healthy controls, there was a load-dependent inverse relation between DMN and frontal midline theta power and an anti-correlation between DMN and dAN. Both effects were not significantly detectable in patients. In addition, healthy controls showed a left-lateralized load-dependent recruitment of the WMNs. Activation of the WMNs was bilateral in patients, suggesting more resources were recruited for successful performance on the WM task. Our findings support the notion of schizophrenia patients showing deviations in their neurophysiological responses before the retention of relevant information in a verbal WM task. Thus, treatment strategies as neurofeedback ­targeting prestates could be beneficial as task performance relies on the preparatory state of the brain. PMID:27047395

  12. Fronto-temporo-occipital activity changes with age during a visual working memory developmental study in children, adolescents and adults.

    PubMed

    Barriga-Paulino, Catarina Isabel; Rojas Benjumea, Ma Ángeles; Rodríguez-Martínez, Elena Isabel; Gómez González, Carlos M

    2015-07-10

    The present report analyzes differences in cerebral sources among several age groups with respect to the encoding, maintenance and recognition of stimuli during a visual working memory task. Differential intensity of involvement of anterior and posterior areas during working memory processing is expected at different ages. For that, 168 subjects between 6 and 26 years old performed a visual delayed match-to-sample task. The sample was subdivided into 5 age groups, and the cerebral sources were analyzed with sLORETA, comparing the groups two-by-two. The results showed that at younger ages more posterior regions are involved in working memory processing, while in adulthood more anterior regions are involved. Maintaining the visual item in memory showed some common activated areas with stimulus matching, indicating similar neural mechanisms involved in holding and selecting the target stimulus.

  13. Dissociation in human prefrontal cortex of affective influences on working memory-related activity.

    PubMed

    Perlstein, William M; Elbert, Thomas; Stenger, V Andrew

    2002-02-05

    Although neural activity associated with emotion is becoming better understood, the influence of affective parameters on brain activity reflecting cognitive functioning in humans remains poorly characterized. We examined affective influences on working memory (WM) and tested the hypotheses that (i) dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) activity reflecting WM is influenced by the emotion-evoking qualities of task-relevant stimuli, but only when brought "on-line" by task demands, and (ii) DLPFC and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) activities are inversely related as a function of emotional valence. Participants performed two tasks while event-related functional MRI measured brain activity; one task required active maintenance of stimulus representations in WM, and the other task required target detection responses with no demand for WM. Stimuli were standardized emotional (pleasant and unpleasant) and neutral pictures. Emotional stimuli differentially influenced DPFC and OFC activity during WM; DLPFC was influenced by emotional valence, enhanced by pleasant and reduced by unpleasant, compared to neutral stimuli, only when task conditions required WM. OFC was valence-sensitive during both tasks, greater to arousing than neutral stimuli when WM demand was low and in inverse relationship to DLPFC with high WM demand. Further, DLPFC and OFC activities are inversely related with respect to emotional valence during the WM task. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that the intrinsic valence of task-relevant stimuli maintained in WM modulates DLPFC activity but only when the DLPFC is required for task demands. Findings suggest a conceptualization of DLPFC and its involvement in WM that takes into account a role for affective parameters.

  14. Brain Network Activation (BNA) reveals scopolamine-induced impairment of visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Reches, Amit; Levy-Cooperman, Naama; Laufer, Ilan; Shani-Hershkovitch, Revital; Ziv, Keren; Kerem, Dani; Gal, Noga; Stern, Yaki; Cukierman, Guy; Romach, Myroslava K; Sellers, Edward M; Geva, Amir B

    2014-09-01

    The overarching goal of this event-related potential (ERP) study was to examine the effects of scopolamine on the dynamics of brain network activation using a novel ERP network analysis method known as Brain Network Activation (BNA). BNA was used for extracting group-common stimulus-activated network patterns elicited to matching probe stimuli in the context of a delayed matching-to-sample task following placebo and scopolamine treatments administered to healthy participants. The BNA extracted networks revealed the existence of two pathophysiological mechanisms following scopolamine, disconnection, and compensation. Specifically, weaker frontal theta and parietal alpha coupling was accompanied with enhanced fronto-centro-parietal theta activation relative to placebo. In addition, using the characteristic BNA network of each treatment as well as corresponding literature-guided selective subnetworks as combined biomarkers managed to differentiate between individual responses to each of the treatments. Behavioral effects associated with scopolamine included delayed response time and impaired response accuracy. These results indicate that the BNA method is sensitive to the effects of scopolamine on working memory and that it may potentially enable diagnosis and treatment assessment of dysfunctions associated with cholinergic deficiency.

  15. Interaction Effects of BDNF and COMT Genes on Resting-State Brain Activity and Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Wen; Chen, Chunhui; Xia, Mingrui; Wu, Karen; Chen, Chuansheng; He, Qinghua; Xue, Gui; Wang, Wenjing; He, Yong; Dong, Qi

    2016-01-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) genes have been found to interactively influence working memory (WM) as well as brain activation during WM tasks. However, whether the two genes have interactive effects on resting-state activities of the brain and whether these spontaneous activations correlate with WM are still unknown. This study included behavioral data from WM tasks and genetic data (COMT rs4680 and BDNF Val66Met) from 417 healthy Chinese adults and resting-state fMRI data from 298 of them. Significant interactive effects of BDNF and COMT were found for WM performance as well as for resting-state regional homogeneity (ReHo) in WM-related brain areas, including the left medial frontal gyrus (lMeFG), left superior frontal gyrus (lSFG), right superior and medial frontal gyrus (rSMFG), right medial orbitofrontal gyrus (rMOFG), right middle frontal gyrus (rMFG), precuneus, bilateral superior temporal gyrus, left superior occipital gyrus, right middle occipital gyrus, and right inferior parietal lobule. Simple effects analyses showed that compared to other genotypes, subjects with COMT-VV/BDNF-VV had higher WM and lower ReHo in all five frontal brain areas. The results supported the hypothesis that COMT and BDNF polymorphisms influence WM performance and spontaneous brain activity (i.e., ReHo). PMID:27853425

  16. Working memory training is associated with lower prefrontal cortex activation in a divergent thinking task.

    PubMed

    Vartanian, O; Jobidon, M-E; Bouak, F; Nakashima, A; Smith, I; Lam, Q; Cheung, B

    2013-04-16

    Working memory (WM) training has been shown to lead to improvements in WM capacity and fluid intelligence. Given that divergent thinking loads on WM and fluid intelligence, we tested the hypothesis that WM training would improve performance and moderate neural function in the Alternate Uses Task (AUT)-a classic test of divergent thinking. We tested this hypothesis by administering the AUT in the functional magnetic resonance imaging scanner following a short regimen of WM training (experimental condition), or engagement in a choice reaction time task not expected to engage WM (active control condition). Participants in the experimental group exhibited significant improvement in performance in the WM task as a function of training, as well as a significant gain in fluid intelligence. Although the two groups did not differ in their performance on the AUT, activation was significantly lower in the experimental group in ventrolateral prefrontal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices-two brain regions known to play dissociable and critical roles in divergent thinking. Furthermore, gain in fluid intelligence mediated the effect of training on brain activation in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. These results indicate that a short regimen of WM training is associated with lower prefrontal activation-a marker of neural efficiency-in divergent thinking.

  17. Reward expectancy-related prefrontal neuronal activities: are they neural substrates of "affective" working memory?

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Masataka; Hikosaka, Kazuo; Sakagami, Masamichi; Shirakawa, Shu-ichiro

    2007-01-01

    Primate prefrontal delay neurons are involved in retaining task-relevant cognitive information in working memory (WM). Recent studies have also revealed primate prefrontal delay neurons that are related to reward/omission-of-reward expectancy. Such reward-related delay activities might constitute "affective WM" (Davidson, 2002). "Affective" and "cognitive" WM are both concerned with representing not what is currently being presented, but rather what was presented previously or might be presented in the future. However, according to the original and widely accepted definition, WM is the "temporary storage and manipulation of information for complex cognitive tasks". Reward/omission-of-reward expectancy-related neuronal activity is neither prerequisite nor essential for accurate task performance; thus, such activity is not considered to comprise the neural substrates of WM. Also, "affective WM" might not be an appropriate usage of the term "WM". We propose that WM- and reward/omission-of-reward expectancy-related neuronal activity are concerned with representing which response should be performed in order to attain a goal (reward) and the goal of the response, respectively. We further suggest that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a crucial role in the integration of cognitive (for example, WM-related) and motivational (for example, reward expectancy-related) operations for goal-directed behaviour. The PFC could then send this integrated information to other brain areas to control the behaviour.

  18. Type 1 Diabetes Modifies Brain Activation in Young Patients While Performing Visuospatial Working Memory Tasks

    PubMed Central

    Gallardo-Moreno, Geisa B.; González-Garrido, Andrés A.; Gudayol-Ferré, Esteban; Guàrdia-Olmos, Joan

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to the effects of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) on cognitive functions. T1D onset usually occurs during childhood, so it is possible that the brain could be affected during neurodevelopment. We selected young patients of normal intelligence with T1D onset during neurodevelopment, no complications from diabetes, and adequate glycemic control. The purpose of this study was to compare the neural BOLD activation pattern in a group of patients with T1D versus healthy control subjects while performing a visuospatial working memory task. Sixteen patients and 16 matched healthy control subjects participated. There was no significant statistical difference in behavioral performance between the groups, but, in accordance with our hypothesis, results showed distinct brain activation patterns. Control subjects presented the expected activations related to the task, whereas the patients had greater activation in the prefrontal inferior cortex, basal ganglia, posterior cerebellum, and substantia nigra. These different patterns could be due to compensation mechanisms that allow them to maintain a behavioral performance similar to that of control subjects. PMID:26266268

  19. Transfer after Working Memory Updating Training.

    PubMed

    Waris, Otto; Soveri, Anna; Laine, Matti

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Dynamics of brain activity underlying working memory for music in a naturalistic condition.

    PubMed

    Burunat, Iballa; Alluri, Vinoo; Toiviainen, Petri; Numminen, Jussi; Brattico, Elvira

    2014-08-01

    We aimed at determining the functional neuroanatomy of working memory (WM) recognition of musical motifs that occurs while listening to music by adopting a non-standard procedure. Western tonal music provides naturally occurring repetition and variation of motifs. These serve as WM triggers, thus allowing us to study the phenomenon of motif tracking within real music. Adopting a modern tango as stimulus, a behavioural test helped to identify the stimulus motifs and build a time-course regressor of WM neural responses. This regressor was then correlated with the participants' (musicians') functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signal obtained during a continuous listening condition. In order to fine-tune the identification of WM processes in the brain, the variance accounted for by the sensory processing of a set of the stimulus' acoustic features was pruned from participants' neurovascular responses to music. Motivic repetitions activated prefrontal and motor cortical areas, basal ganglia, medial temporal lobe (MTL) structures, and cerebellum. The findings suggest that WM processing of motifs while listening to music emerges from the integration of neural activity distributed over cognitive, motor and limbic subsystems. The recruitment of the hippocampus stands as a novel finding in auditory WM. Effective connectivity and agglomerative hierarchical clustering analyses indicate that the hippocampal connectivity is modulated by motif repetitions, showing strong connections with WM-relevant areas (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex - dlPFC, supplementary motor area - SMA, and cerebellum), which supports the role of the hippocampus in the encoding of the musical motifs in WM, and may evidence long-term memory (LTM) formation, enabled by the use of a realistic listening condition.

  1. Brain activation during visual working memory correlates with behavioral mobility performance in older adults.

    PubMed

    Kawagoe, Toshikazu; Suzuki, Maki; Nishiguchi, Shu; Abe, Nobuhito; Otsuka, Yuki; Nakai, Ryusuke; Yamada, Minoru; Yoshikawa, Sakiko; Sekiyama, Kaoru

    2015-01-01

    Functional mobility and cognitive function often decline with age. We previously found that functional mobility as measured by the Timed Up and Go Test (TUG) was associated with cognitive performance for visually-encoded (i.e., for location and face) working memory (WM) in older adults. This suggests a common neural basis between TUG and visual WM. To elucidate this relationship further, the present study aimed to examine the neural basis for the WM-mobility association. In accordance with the well-known neural compensation model in aging, we hypothesized that "attentional" brain activation for easy WM would increase in participants with lower mobility. The data from 32 healthy older adults were analyzed, including brain activation during easy WM tasks via functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and mobility performance via both TUG and a simple walking test. WM performance was significantly correlated with TUG but not with simple walking. Some prefrontal brain activations during WM were negatively correlated with TUG performance, while positive correlations were found in subcortical structures including the thalamus, putamen and cerebellum. Moreover, activation of the subcortical regions was significantly correlated with WM performance, with less activation for lower WM performers. These results indicate that older adults with lower mobility used more cortical (frontal) and fewer subcortical resources for easy WM tasks. To date, the frontal compensation has been proposed separately in the motor and cognitive domains, which have been assumed to compensate for dysfunction of the other brain areas; however, such dysfunction was less clear in previous studies. The present study observed such dysfunction as degraded activation associated with lower performance, which was found in the subcortical regions. We conclude that a common dysfunction-compensation activation pattern is likely the neural basis for the association between visual WM and functional mobility.

  2. Brain activation during visual working memory correlates with behavioral mobility performance in older adults

    PubMed Central

    Kawagoe, Toshikazu; Suzuki, Maki; Nishiguchi, Shu; Abe, Nobuhito; Otsuka, Yuki; Nakai, Ryusuke; Yamada, Minoru; Yoshikawa, Sakiko; Sekiyama, Kaoru

    2015-01-01

    Functional mobility and cognitive function often decline with age. We previously found that functional mobility as measured by the Timed Up and Go Test (TUG) was associated with cognitive performance for visually-encoded (i.e., for location and face) working memory (WM) in older adults. This suggests a common neural basis between TUG and visual WM. To elucidate this relationship further, the present study aimed to examine the neural basis for the WM-mobility association. In accordance with the well-known neural compensation model in aging, we hypothesized that “attentional” brain activation for easy WM would increase in participants with lower mobility. The data from 32 healthy older adults were analyzed, including brain activation during easy WM tasks via functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and mobility performance via both TUG and a simple walking test. WM performance was significantly correlated with TUG but not with simple walking. Some prefrontal brain activations during WM were negatively correlated with TUG performance, while positive correlations were found in subcortical structures including the thalamus, putamen and cerebellum. Moreover, activation of the subcortical regions was significantly correlated with WM performance, with less activation for lower WM performers. These results indicate that older adults with lower mobility used more cortical (frontal) and fewer subcortical resources for easy WM tasks. To date, the frontal compensation has been proposed separately in the motor and cognitive domains, which have been assumed to compensate for dysfunction of the other brain areas; however, such dysfunction was less clear in previous studies. The present study observed such dysfunction as degraded activation associated with lower performance, which was found in the subcortical regions. We conclude that a common dysfunction—compensation activation pattern is likely the neural basis for the association between visual WM and functional

  3. Frontal activations associated with accessing and evaluating information in working memory: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Zhang, John X; Leung, Hoi-Chung; Johnson, Marcia K

    2003-11-01

    To investigate the involvement of frontal cortex in accessing and evaluating information in working memory, we used a variant of a Sternberg paradigm and compared brain activations between positive and negative responses (known to differentially tax access/evaluation processes). Participants remembered two trigrams in each trial and were then cued to discard one of them and maintain the other one as the target set. After a delay, a probe letter was presented and participants made decisions about whether or not it was in the target set. Several frontal areas--anterior cingulate (BA32), middle frontal gyrus (bilateral BA9, right BA10, and right BA46), and left inferior frontal gyrus (BA44/45)--showed increased activity when participants made correct negative responses relative to when they made correct positive responses. No areas activated significantly more for the positive responses than for the negative responses. It is suggested that the multiple frontal areas involved in the test phase of this task may reflect several component processes that underlie more general frontal functions.

  4. Working memory-related frontal theta activity is decreased under acute stress.

    PubMed

    Gärtner, Matti; Rohde-Liebenau, Lea; Grimm, Simone; Bajbouj, Malek

    2014-05-01

    Acute stress impairs prefrontal cortex (PFC) function and has detrimental effects on working memory (WM) performance. Converging evidence from electrophysiological studies suggests a close link between WM processes and frontal theta (FT) activity (4-8 Hz). However, the effect of stress on WM-related FT activity has not been investigated yet. To shed light on this topic we acquired EEG data from 31 healthy male subjects who underwent a stressful and a neutral control condition. In both conditions, they performed an n-back WM task at two different difficulty levels. Our results showed that WM-related FT activity was decreased under stress. Behaviorally, we found performance impairments under stress in the difficult task condition that were related to FT decreases. Increased cortisol levels indicated a successful moderate stress induction. These findings indicate that FT is a potential neurobiological marker for intact PFC functioning during WM and further supports the recently made assumption that FT acts in the PFC to optimize performance.

  5. Evolution of working memory

    PubMed Central

    Carruthers, Peter

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Working Memory Influences on Cross-Language Activation during Bilingual Lexical Disambiguation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Areas da Luz Fontes, Ana B.; Schwartz, Ana I.

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated the role of verbal working memory on bilingual lexical disambiguation. Spanish-English bilinguals read sentences that ended in either a cognate or noncognate homonym or a control word. Participants decided whether follow-up target words were related in meaning to the sentences. On critical trials, sentences biased the…

  7. Abnormal Functional Activation and Connectivity in the Working Memory Network in Early-Onset Schizophrenia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kyriakopoulos, Marinos; Dima, Danai; Roiser, Jonathan P.; Corrigall, Richard; Barker, Gareth J.; Frangou, Sophia

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Disruption within the working memory (WM) neural network is considered an integral feature of schizophrenia. The WM network, and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in particular, undergo significant remodeling in late adolescence. Potential interactions between developmental changes in the WM network and disease-related…

  8. Sources of Variability in Working Memory in Early Childhood: A Consideration of Age, Temperament, Language, and Brain Electrical Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolfe, Christy D.; Bell, Martha Ann

    2007-01-01

    This study investigated age-related differences in working memory and inhibitory control (WMIC) in 3 1/2-, 4-, and 4 1/2-year-olds and how these differences were associated with differences in regulatory aspects of temperament, language comprehension, and brain electrical activity. A series of cognitive control tasks was administered to measure…

  9. Retro-Active Emotion: Do Negative Emotional Stimuli Disrupt Consolidation in Working Memory?

    PubMed Central

    Kandemir, Güven; Akyürek, Elkan G.; Nieuwenstein, Mark R.

    2017-01-01

    While many studies have shown that a task-irrelevant emotionally arousing stimulus can interfere with the processing of a shortly following target, it remains unclear whether an emotional stimulus can also retro-actively interrupt the ongoing processing of an earlier target. In two experiments, we examined whether the presentation of a negative emotionally arousing picture can disrupt working memory consolidation of a preceding visual target. In both experiments, the effects of negative emotional pictures were compared with the effects of neutral pictures. In Experiment 1, the pictures were entirely task-irrelevant whereas in Experiment 2 the pictures were associated with a 2-alternative forced choice task that required participants to respond to the color of a frame surrounding the pictures. The results showed that the appearance of the pictures did not interfere with target consolidation when the pictures were task-irrelevant, whereas such interference was observed when the pictures were associated with a 2-AFC task. Most importantly, however, the results showed no effects of whether the picture had neutral or emotional content. Implications for further research are discussed. PMID:28103267

  10. Intraparietal sulcus activity and functional connectivity supporting spatial working memory manipulation.

    PubMed

    Bray, Signe; Almas, Ramsha; Arnold, Aiden E G F; Iaria, Giuseppe; MacQueen, Glenda

    2015-05-01

    The intraparietal sulcus (IPS) is recruited during tasks requiring attention, maintenance and manipulation of information in working memory (WM). While WM tasks often show broad bilateral engagement along the IPS, topographic maps of contralateral (CL) visual space have been identified along the IPS, similar to retinotopic maps in visual cortex. In the present study, we asked how these visuotopic IPS regions are differentially involved in the maintenance and manipulation of spatial information in WM. Visuotopic mapping was performed in 26 participants to define regions of interest along the IPS, corresponding to previously described IPS0-4. In a separate task, we showed that while maintaining the location of a briefly flashed target in WM preferentially engaged CL IPS, manipulation of spatial information by mentally rotating the target around a circle engaged bilateral IPS, peaking in IPS1 in most participants. Functional connectivity analyses showed increased interaction between the IPS and prefrontal regions during manipulation, as well as interhemispheric interactions. Two control tasks demonstrated that covert attention shifts, and nonspatial manipulation (arithmetic), engaged patterns of IPS activation and connectivity that were distinct from WM manipulation. These findings add to our understanding of the role of IPS in spatial WM maintenance and manipulation.

  11. Reduced anterior prefrontal cortex activation in young binge drinkers during a visual working memory task.

    PubMed

    Crego, Alberto; Rodriguez-Holguín, Socorro; Parada, María; Mota, Nayara; Corral, Montserrat; Cadaveira, Fernando

    2010-06-01

    Working memory (WM) is a major cognitive function that is altered by chronic alcohol consumption. This impairment has been linked to alterations in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Animal and human studies have shown that the adolescent brain is more sensitive to the neurotoxic effects of alcohol than the adult brain, particularly those structures that mature late on in development, such as the hippocampus and prefrontal brain. The aim of the present study was to assess visual working memory and its neural correlates in young university students who partake in intermittent consumption of large amounts of alcohol (binge drinkers). A sample of 42 binge drinkers and 53 corresponding control subjects performed an identical pairs continuous performance task (IP-CPT) in a combined event-related potential (ERP) and exact low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (eLORETA) study. The results revealed that, despite adequate performance, binge drinkers showed a smaller late positive component (LPC) associated with hypoactivation of the right anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC) for matching stimuli, in comparison with control subjects. These findings may reveal binge drinking-related functional alteration in recognition working memory processes and suggest that impaired prefrontal cortex function may occur at an early age in binge drinkers.

  12. 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…

  13. Changes in Neural Activity Underlying Working Memory after Computerized Cognitive Training in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Tusch, Erich S.; Alperin, Brittany R.; Ryan, Eliza; Holcomb, Phillip J.; Mohammed, Abdul H.; Daffner, Kirk R.

    2016-01-01

    Computerized cognitive training (CCT) may counter the impact of aging on cognition, but both the efficacy and neurocognitive mechanisms underlying CCT remain controversial. In this study, 35 older individuals were randomly assigned to Cogmed adaptive working memory (WM) CCT or an active control CCT, featuring five weeks of five ∼40 min sessions per week. Before and after the 5-week intervention, event-related potentials were measured while subjects completed a visual n-back task with three levels of demand (0-back, 1-back, 2-back). The anterior P3a served as an index of directing attention and the posterior P3b as an index of categorization/WM updating. We hypothesized that adaptive CCT would be associated with decreased P3 amplitude at low WM demand and increased P3 amplitude at high WM demand. The adaptive CCT group exhibited a training-related increase in the amplitude of the anterior P3a and posterior P3b in response to target stimuli across n-back tasks, while subjects in the active control CCT group demonstrated a post-training decrease in the anterior P3a. Performance did not differ between groups or sessions. Larger overall P3 amplitudes were strongly associated with better task performance. Increased post-CCT P3 amplitude correlated with improved task performance; this relationship was especially robust at high task load. Our findings suggest that adaptive WM training was associated with increased orienting of attention, as indexed by the P3a, and the enhancement of categorization/WM updating processes, as indexed by the P3b. Increased P3 amplitude was linked to improved performance; however. there was no direct association between adaptive training and improved performance. PMID:27877122

  14. Mood symptoms contribute to working memory decrement in active-duty soldiers being treated for posttraumatic stress disorder

    PubMed Central

    Dretsch, Michael N; Thiel, Kenneth J; Athy, Jeremy R; Irvin, Clinton R; Sirmon-Fjordbak, Bess; Salvatore, Anthony

    2012-01-01

    A significant proportion of military veterans of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have been diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Growing evidence suggests that neuropsychological deficits are a symptom of PTSD. The current study investigated neurocognitive functioning among soldiers diagnosed with PTSD. Specifically, active-duty soldiers with and without a diagnosis of PTSD were assessed for performance on tests of attention and working memory. In addition, factors such as combat experience, depression, anxiety, PTSD symptom severity, and alcohol consumption were explored as possible mediators of group differences in neurocognitive functioning. Twenty-three active-duty soldiers diagnosed with PTSD were matched with 23 healthy Soldier controls; all were administered the Attention Network Task (ANT), Backward Digit Span (BDS) task, Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory, PTSD Checklist—Military Version, Combat Exposure Scale, and Modified Drinking Behavior Questionnaire. Soldiers diagnosed with PTSD performed significantly worse on the working memory task (BDS) than healthy controls, and reported greater levels of PTSD symptoms, combat exposure, depression, and anxiety. However, after controlling for depression and anxiety symptoms, the relationship between PTSD and working memory was no longer present. The results indicate that PTSD is accompanied by deficits in working memory, which appear to be partially attributed to anxiety and depression symptoms. PMID:22950039

  15. Training of working memory impacts structural connectivity.

    PubMed

    Takeuchi, Hikaru; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Taki, Yasuyuki; Yokoyama, Satoru; Yomogida, Yukihito; Komuro, Nozomi; Yamanouchi, Tohru; Suzuki, Shozo; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2010-03-03

    Working memory is the limited capacity storage system involved in the maintenance and manipulation of information over short periods of time. Individual capacity of working memory is associated with the integrity of white matter in the frontoparietal regions. It is unknown to what extent the integrity of white matter underlying the working memory system is plastic. Using voxel-based analysis (VBA) of fractional anisotropy (FA) measures of fiber tracts, we investigated the effect of working memory training on structural connectivity in an interventional study. The amount of working memory training correlated with increased FA in the white matter regions adjacent to the intraparietal sulcus and the anterior part of the body of the corpus callosum after training. These results showed training-induced plasticity in regions that are thought to be critical in working memory. As changes in myelination lead to FA changes in diffusion tensor imaging, a possible mechanism for the observed FA change is increased myelination after training. Observed structural changes may underlie previously reported improvement of working memory capacity, improvement of other cognitive functions, and altered functional activity following working memory training.

  16. Development of Active Control within Working Memory: Active Retrieval versus Monitoring in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blain-Brière, Bénédicte; Bouchard, Caroline; Bigras, Nathalie; Cadoret, Geneviève

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed to compare children's performance on two mnemonic functions that engage the lateral prefrontal cortex. Brain imaging studies in adults have shown that the mid-ventrolateral prefrontal cortex is specifically involved in active controlled retrieval, and the mid-dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is specifically involved in monitoring…

  17. Alterations in visual cortical activation and connectivity with prefrontal cortex during working memory updating in major depressive disorder.

    PubMed

    Le, Thang M; Borghi, John A; Kujawa, Autumn J; Klein, Daniel N; Leung, Hoi-Chung

    2017-01-01

    The present study examined the impacts of major depressive disorder (MDD) on visual and prefrontal cortical activity as well as their connectivity during visual working memory updating and related them to the core clinical features of the disorder. Impairment in working memory updating is typically associated with the retention of irrelevant negative information which can lead to persistent depressive mood and abnormal affect. However, performance deficits have been observed in MDD on tasks involving little or no demand on emotion processing, suggesting dysfunctions may also occur at the more basic level of information processing. Yet, it is unclear how various regions in the visual working memory circuit contribute to behavioral changes in MDD. We acquired functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 18 unmedicated participants with MDD and 21 age-matched healthy controls (CTL) while they performed a visual delayed recognition task with neutral faces and scenes as task stimuli. Selective working memory updating was manipulated by inserting a cue in the delay period to indicate which one or both of the two memorized stimuli (a face and a scene) would remain relevant for the recognition test. Our results revealed several key findings. Relative to the CTL group, the MDD group showed weaker postcue activations in visual association areas during selective maintenance of face and scene working memory. Across the MDD subjects, greater rumination and depressive symptoms were associated with more persistent activation and connectivity related to no-longer-relevant task information. Classification of postcue spatial activation patterns of the scene-related areas was also less consistent in the MDD subjects compared to the healthy controls. Such abnormalities appeared to result from a lack of updating effects in postcue functional connectivity between prefrontal and scene-related areas in the MDD group. In sum, disrupted working memory updating in MDD was revealed by

  18. Walking while Performing Working Memory Tasks Changes the Prefrontal Cortex Hemodynamic Activations and Gait Kinematics

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Ming-I B.; Lin, Kuan-Hung

    2016-01-01

    Background: Increasing evidence suggests that walking while performing a concurrent task negatively influences gait performance. However, it remains unclear how higher-level cognitive processes and coordination of limb movements are altered in challenging walking environments. This study investigated the influence of cognitive task complexity and walking road condition on the neutral correlates of executive function and postural control in dual-task walking. Methods: Twenty-four healthy young adults completed a series of overground walks with three walking road conditions (wide, narrow, with obstacles) with and without the concurrent n-back working memory tasks of two complexity levels (1-back and 3-back). Prefrontal brain activation was assessed by functional near-infrared spectroscopy. A three-dimensional motion analysis system was used simultaneously to measure gait performance and lower-extremity kinematics. Repeated measures analysis of variance were performed to examine the differences between the conditions. Results: In comparison with standing still, participants showed lower n-back task accuracy while walking, with the worst performance from the road with obstacles. Spatiotemporal gait parameters, lower-extremity joint movements, and the relative changes in oxygenated hemoglobin (HbO) concentration levels were all significantly different across the task complexity and walking path conditions. While dual-tasking participants were found to flex their hips and knees less, leading to a slower gait speed, longer stride time, shorter step length, and greater gait variability than during normal walking. For narrow-road walking, smaller ankle dorsiflexion and larger hip flexion were observed, along with a reduced gait speed. Obstacle negotiation was mainly characterized by increased gait variability than other conditions. HbO levels appeared to be lower during dual-task walking than normal walking. Compared to wide and obstacle conditions, walking on the narrow

  19. Activation and Binding in Verbal Working Memory: A Dual-Process Model for the Recognition of Nonwords

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oberauer, Klauss; Lange, Elke B.

    2009-01-01

    The article presents a mathematical model of short-term recognition based on dual-process models and the three-component theory of working memory [Oberauer, K. (2002). Access to information in working memory: Exploring the focus of attention. "Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 28", 411-421]. Familiarity arises…

  20. Pre-encoding gamma-band activity during auditory working memory.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, Jochen; Rieder, Maria; Abel, Cornelius; Peters, Benjamin; Bledowski, Christoph

    2017-02-15

    Previous magnetoencephalography (MEG) studies have revealed gamma-band activity at sensors over parietal and fronto-temporal cortex during the delay phase of auditory spatial and non-spatial match-to-sample tasks, respectively. While this activity was interpreted as reflecting the memory maintenance of sound features, we noted that task-related activation differences might have been present already prior to the onset of the sample stimulus. The present study focused on the interval between a visual cue indicating which sound feature was to be memorized (lateralization or pitch) and sample sound presentation to test for task-related activation differences preceding stimulus encoding. MEG spectral activity was analyzed with cluster randomization tests (N = 15). Whereas there were no differences in frequencies below 40 Hz, gamma-band spectral amplitude (about 50-65 and 90-100 Hz) was higher for the lateralization than the pitch task. This activity was localized at right posterior and central sensors and present for several hundred ms after task cue offset. Activity at 50-65 Hz was also increased throughout the delay phase for the lateralization compared with the pitch task. Apparently cortical networks related to auditory spatial processing were activated after participants had been informed about the task.

  1. Pre-encoding gamma-band activity during auditory working memory

    PubMed Central

    Kaiser, Jochen; Rieder, Maria; Abel, Cornelius; Peters, Benjamin; Bledowski, Christoph

    2017-01-01

    Previous magnetoencephalography (MEG) studies have revealed gamma-band activity at sensors over parietal and fronto-temporal cortex during the delay phase of auditory spatial and non-spatial match-to-sample tasks, respectively. While this activity was interpreted as reflecting the memory maintenance of sound features, we noted that task-related activation differences might have been present already prior to the onset of the sample stimulus. The present study focused on the interval between a visual cue indicating which sound feature was to be memorized (lateralization or pitch) and sample sound presentation to test for task-related activation differences preceding stimulus encoding. MEG spectral activity was analyzed with cluster randomization tests (N = 15). Whereas there were no differences in frequencies below 40 Hz, gamma-band spectral amplitude (about 50–65 and 90–100 Hz) was higher for the lateralization than the pitch task. This activity was localized at right posterior and central sensors and present for several hundred ms after task cue offset. Activity at 50–65 Hz was also increased throughout the delay phase for the lateralization compared with the pitch task. Apparently cortical networks related to auditory spatial processing were activated after participants had been informed about the task. PMID:28198413

  2. 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.

  3. Caffeine, extraversion and working memory.

    PubMed

    Smith, Andrew P

    2013-01-01

    Research has shown that extraverts performing a working memory task benefit more from caffeine than do introverts. The present study aimed to replicate this and extend our knowledge by using a lower dose of caffeine (65 mg) and a range of tasks related to different components of working memory. In addition, tasks assessing psychomotor speed and the encoding of new information were included to determine whether caffeine-extraversion interactions were restricted to working memory tasks. A double-blind design was used, with 128 participants being randomly assigned to caffeinated or de-caffeinated coffee conditions. The results showed that caffeine interacted with extraversion in the predicted direction for serial recall and running memory tasks. Caffeine improved simple reaction time and the speed of encoding of new information, effects which were not modified by extraversion. These results suggest possible biological mechanisms underlying effects of caffeine on cognitive performance.

  4. Acute aerobic exercise increases cortical activity during working memory: a functional MRI study in female college students.

    PubMed

    Li, Lin; Men, Wei-Wei; Chang, Yu-Kai; Fan, Ming-Xia; Ji, Liu; Wei, Gao-Xia

    2014-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that acute aerobic exercise is associated with improved cognitive function. However, neural correlates of its cognitive plasticity remain largely unknown. The present study examined the effect of a session of acute aerobic exercise on working memory task-evoked brain activity as well as task performance. A within-subjects design with a counterbalanced order was employed. Fifteen young female participants (M = 19.56, SD = 0.81) were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing a working memory task, the N-back task, both following an acute exercise session with 20 minutes of moderate intensity and a control rest session. Although an acute session of exercise did not improve behavioral performance, we observed that it had a significant impact on brain activity during the 2-back condition of the N-back task. Specifically, acute exercise induced increased brain activation in the right middle prefrontal gyrus, the right lingual gyrus, and the left fusiform gyrus as well as deactivations in the anterior cingulate cortexes, the left inferior frontal gyrus, and the right paracentral lobule. Despite the lack of an effect on behavioral measures, significant changes after acute exercise with activation of the prefrontal and occipital cortexes and deactivation of the anterior cingulate cortexes and left frontal hemisphere reflect the improvement of executive control processes, indicating that acute exercise could benefit working memory at a macro-neural level. In addition to its effects on reversing recent obesity and disease trends, our results provide substantial evidence highlighting the importance of promoting physical activity across the lifespan to prevent or reverse cognitive and neural decline.

  5. Working memory plasticity and aging.

    PubMed

    Rhodes, Rebecca E; Katz, Benjamin

    2017-02-01

    The present research explores how the trajectory of learning on a working memory task changes throughout the life span, and whether gains in working memory performance are exclusively a question of initial working memory capacity (WMC) or whether age exerts an independent effect. In a large, cross-sectional study of younger, middle-aged, and older adults, we examined learning on a widely used working memory task-the dual n-back task-over 20 sessions of practice. We found that, while all age groups improved on the task, older adults demonstrated less improvement on the task, and also reached a lower asymptotic maximum performance than younger adults. After controlling for initial WMC, we found that age exerted independent effects on training gains and asymptotic performance; older adults tended to improve less and reached lower levels of performance than younger adults. The difference between younger and older adults' rates of learning depended in part on initial WMC. These results suggest that age-related effects on working memory include not only effects on capacity, but also plasticity and the ability to improve on a task. (PsycINFO Database Record

  6. 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

  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. Exposure to Blue Light Increases Subsequent Functional Activation of the Prefrontal Cortex During Performance of a Working Memory Task

    PubMed Central

    Alkozei, Anna; Smith, Ryan; Pisner, Derek A.; Vanuk, John R.; Berryhill, Sarah M.; Fridman, Andrew; Shane, Bradley R.; Knight, Sara A.; Killgore, William D.S.

    2016-01-01

    Study Objectives: Prolonged exposure to blue wavelength light has been shown to have an alerting effect, and enhances performance on cognitive tasks. A small number of studies have also shown that relatively short exposure to blue light leads to changes in functional brain responses during the period of exposure. The extent to which blue light continues to affect brain functioning during a cognitively challenging task after cessation of longer periods of exposure (i.e., roughly 30 minutes or longer), however, has not been fully investigated. Methods: A total of 35 healthy participants (18 female) were exposed to either blue (469 nm) (n = 17) or amber (578 nm) (n = 18) wavelength light for 30 minutes in a darkened room, followed immediately by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while undergoing a working memory task (N-back task). Results: Participants in the blue light condition were faster in their responses on the N-back task and showed increased activation in the dorsolateral (DLPFC) and ventrolateral (VLPFC) prefrontal cortex compared to those in the amber control light condition. Furthermore, greater activation within the VLPFC was correlated with faster N-back response times. Conclusions: This is the first study to suggest that a relatively brief, single exposure to blue light has a subsequent beneficial effect on working memory performance, even after cessation of exposure, and leads to temporarily persisting functional brain changes within prefrontal brain regions associated with executive functions. These findings may have broader implication for using blue-enriched light in a variety of work settings where alertness and quick decision-making are important. Citation: Alkozei A, Smith R, Pisner DA, Vanuk JR, Berryhill SM, Fridman A, Shane BR, Knight SA, Killgore WD. Exposure to blue light increases subsequent functional activation of the prefrontal cortex during performance of a working memory task. SLEEP 2016;39(9):1671–1680. PMID:27253770

  9. Age-related differences in cortical activity during a visuo-spatial working memory task with facial stimuli.

    PubMed

    Belham, Flávia Schechtman; Satler, Corina; Garcia, Ana; Tomaz, Carlos; Gasbarri, Antonella; Rego, Artur; Tavares, Maria Clotilde H

    2013-01-01

    Emotion, importantly displayed by facial expressions, is one of the most significant memory modulators. The interaction between memory and the different emotional valences change across lifespan, while young adults (YA) are expected to better recall negative events (Negativity Bias Hypothesis), older adults (OA) tend to focus on positive stimuli (Positivity Effect Hypothesis). This research work aims at verifying whether cortical electrical activity of these two age groups would also be differently influenced by emotional valences in a visuo-spatial working memory task. 27 YA (13 males) and 25 OA (14 males), all healthy volunteers, underwent electroencephalographic recordings (21 scalp electrodes montage), while performing the Spatial Delayed Recognition Span Task using a touch screen with different stimuli categories: neutral, positive and negative faces and geometric pictures. YA obtained higher scores than OA, and showed higher activation of theta and alpha bands in the frontal and midline regions, besides a more evident right-hemispheric asymmetry on alpha band when compared to OA. For both age groups, performance in the task was worse for positive faces than to negative and to neutral faces. Facial stimuli induced a better performance and higher alpha activation on the pre-frontal region for YA, and on the midline, occipital and left temporal regions for OA when compared to geometric figures. The superior performance of YA was expected due to the natural cognitive deficits connected to ageing, as was a better performance with facial stimuli due to the evolutionary importance of faces. These results were related to cortical activity on areas of importance for action-planning, decision making and sustained attention. Taken together, they are in accordance with the Negativity Bias but do not support the Positivity Effect. The methodology used was able to identify age-related differences in cortical activity during emotional mnemonic processing and may be

  10. Age-Related Differences in Cortical Activity during a Visuo-Spatial Working Memory Task with Facial Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Belham, Flávia Schechtman; Satler, Corina; Garcia, Ana; Tomaz, Carlos; Gasbarri, Antonella; Rego, Artur; Tavares, Maria Clotilde H.

    2013-01-01

    Emotion, importantly displayed by facial expressions, is one of the most significant memory modulators. The interaction between memory and the different emotional valences change across lifespan, while young adults (YA) are expected to better recall negative events (Negativity Bias Hypothesis), older adults (OA) tend to focus on positive stimuli (Positivity Effect Hypothesis). This research work aims at verifying whether cortical electrical activity of these two age groups would also be differently influenced by emotional valences in a visuo-spatial working memory task. 27 YA (13 males) and 25 OA (14 males), all healthy volunteers, underwent electroencephalographic recordings (21 scalp electrodes montage), while performing the Spatial Delayed Recognition Span Task using a touch screen with different stimuli categories: neutral, positive and negative faces and geometric pictures. YA obtained higher scores than OA, and showed higher activation of theta and alpha bands in the frontal and midline regions, besides a more evident right-hemispheric asymmetry on alpha band when compared to OA. For both age groups, performance in the task was worse for positive faces than to negative and to neutral faces. Facial stimuli induced a better performance and higher alpha activation on the pre-frontal region for YA, and on the midline, occipital and left temporal regions for OA when compared to geometric figures. The superior performance of YA was expected due to the natural cognitive deficits connected to ageing, as was a better performance with facial stimuli due to the evolutionary importance of faces. These results were related to cortical activity on areas of importance for action-planning, decision making and sustained attention. Taken together, they are in accordance with the Negativity Bias but do not support the Positivity Effect. The methodology used was able to identify age-related differences in cortical activity during emotional mnemonic processing and may be

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. Individuals with low working memory spans show greater interference from irrelevant information because of poor source monitoring, not greater activation.

    PubMed

    Lilienthal, Lindsey; Rose, Nathan S; Tamez, Elaine; Myerson, Joel; Hale, Sandra

    2015-04-01

    Although individuals with high and low working memory (WM) span appear to differ in the extent to which irrelevant information interferes with their performance on WM tasks, the locus of this interference is not clear. The present study investigated whether, when performing a WM task, high- and low-span individuals differ in the activation of formerly relevant, but now irrelevant items, and/or in their ability to correctly identify such irrelevant items. This was done in two experiments, both of which used modified complex WM span tasks. In Experiment 1, the span task included an embedded lexical decision task designed to obtain an implicit measure of the activation of both currently and formerly relevant items. In Experiment 2, the span task included an embedded recognition judgment task designed to obtain an explicit measure of both item and source recognition ability. The results of these experiments indicate that low-span individuals do not hold irrelevant information in a more active state in memory than high-span individuals, but rather that low-span individuals are significantly poorer at identifying such information as irrelevant at the time of retrieval. These results suggest that differences in the ability to monitor the source of information, rather than differences in the activation of irrelevant information, are the more important determinant of performance on WM tasks.

  16. Effects of tolcapone on working memory and brain activity in abstinent smokers: A proof-of-concept study

    PubMed Central

    Ashare, Rebecca L.; Wileyto, E. Paul; Ruparel, Kosha; Goelz, Patricia M.; Hopson, Ryan D.; Valdez, Jeffrey N.; Gur, Ruben C.; Loughead, James; Lerman, Caryn

    2014-01-01

    Background Dopamine levels in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) are thought to play an important role in cognitive function and nicotine dependence. The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitor tolcapone, an FDA-approved treatment for Parkinson’s disease, increases prefrontal dopamine levels, with cognitive benefits that may vary by COMT genotype. We tested whether tolcapone alters working memory-related brain activity and performance in abstinent smokers. Methods In this double-blind crossover study, 20 smokers completed 8 days of treatment with tolcapone and placebo. In both medication periods, smokers completed blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI scans while performing a working memory N-back task after 24 h of abstinence. Smokers were genotyped prospectively for the COMT val158met polymorphism for exploratory analysis. Results Compared to placebo, tolcapone modestly improved accuracy (p = 0.017) and enhanced suppression of activation in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) (p = 0.002). There were no effects of medication in other a priori regions of interest (dorsolateral PFC, dorsal cingulate/medial prefrontal cortex, or posterior cingulate cortex). Exploratory analyses suggested that tolcapone led to a decrease in BOLD signal in several regions among smokers with val/val genotypes, but increased or remained unchanged among met allele carriers. Tolcapone did not attenuate craving, mood, or withdrawal symptoms compared to placebo. Conclusions Data from this proof-of-concept study do not provide strong support for further evaluation of COMT inhibitors as smoking cessation aids. PMID:24095246

  17. Age-related differences on event-related potentials and brain rhythm oscillations during working memory activation.

    PubMed

    Missonnier, Pascal; Herrmann, François R; Rodriguez, Christelle; Deiber, Marie-Pierre; Millet, Phiippe; Fazio-costa, Lara; Gold, Gabriel; Giannakopoulos, Panteleimon

    2011-06-01

    Previous functional imaging studies have pointed to the compensatory recruitment of cortical circuits in old age in order to counterbalance the loss of neural efficiency and preserve cognitive performance. Recent electroencephalographic (EEG) analyses reported age-related deficits in the amplitude of an early positive-negative working memory (PN(wm)) component as well as changes in working memory (WM)-load related brain oscillations during the successful performance of the n-back task. To explore the age-related differences of EEG activation in the face of increasing WM demands, we assessed the PN(wm) component area, parietal alpha event-related synchronization (ERS) as well as frontal theta ERS in 32 young and 32 elderly healthy individuals who successfully performed a highly WM demanding 3-back task. PN(wm) area increased with higher memory loads (3- and 2-back > 0-back tasks) in younger subjects. Older subjects reached the maximal values for this EEG parameter during the less WM demanding 0-back task. They showed a rapid development of an alpha ERS that reached its maximal amplitude at around 800 ms after stimulus onset. In younger subjects, the late alpha ERS occurred between 1,200 and 2,000 ms and its amplitude was significantly higher compared with elders. Frontal theta ERS culmination peak decreased in a task-independent manner in older compared with younger cases. Only in younger individuals, there was a significant decrease in the phasic frontal theta ERS amplitude in the 2- and 3-back tasks compared with the detection and 0-back tasks. These observations suggest that older adults display a rapid mobilization of their neural generators within the parietal cortex to manage very low demanding WM tasks. Moreover, they are less able to activate frontal theta generators during attentional tasks compared with younger persons.

  18. Development of a computational model on the neural activity patterns of a visual working memory in a hierarchical feedforward Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, Soyoung; Choi, Woochul; Paik, Se-Bum

    2015-11-01

    Understanding the mechanism of information processing in the human brain remains a unique challenge because the nonlinear interactions between the neurons in the network are extremely complex and because controlling every relevant parameter during an experiment is difficult. Therefore, a simulation using simplified computational models may be an effective approach. In the present study, we developed a general model of neural networks that can simulate nonlinear activity patterns in the hierarchical structure of a neural network system. To test our model, we first examined whether our simulation could match the previously-observed nonlinear features of neural activity patterns. Next, we performed a psychophysics experiment for a simple visual working memory task to evaluate whether the model could predict the performance of human subjects. Our studies show that the model is capable of reproducing the relationship between memory load and performance and may contribute, in part, to our understanding of how the structure of neural circuits can determine the nonlinear neural activity patterns in the human brain.

  19. The effect of caffeine on working memory load-related brain activation in middle-aged males.

    PubMed

    Klaassen, Elissa B; de Groot, Renate H M; Evers, Elisabeth A T; Snel, Jan; Veerman, Enno C I; Ligtenberg, Antoon J M; Jolles, Jelle; Veltman, Dick J

    2013-01-01

    Caffeine is commonly consumed in an effort to enhance cognitive performance. However, little is known about the usefulness of caffeine with regard to memory enhancement, with previous studies showing inconsistent effects on memory performance. We aimed to determine the effect of caffeine on working memory (WM) load-related activation during encoding, maintenance and retrieval phases of a WM maintenance task using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). 20 healthy, male, habitual caffeine consumers aged 40-61 years were administered 100 mg of caffeine in a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover design. Participants were scanned in a non-withdrawn state following a workday during which caffeinated products were consumed according to individual normal use (range = 145-595 mg). Acute caffeine administration was associated with increased load-related activation compared to placebo in the left and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during WM encoding, but decreased load-related activation in the left thalamus during WM maintenance. These findings are indicative of an effect of caffeine on the fronto-parietal network involved in the top-down cognitive control of WM processes during encoding and an effect on the prefrontal cortico-thalamic loop involved in the interaction between arousal and the top-down control of attention during maintenance. Therefore, the effects of caffeine on WM may be attributed to both a direct effect of caffeine on WM processes, as well as an indirect effect on WM via arousal modulation. Behavioural and fMRI results were more consistent with a detrimental effect of caffeine on WM at higher levels of WM load, than caffeine-related WM enhancement. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Cognitive Enhancers'.

  20. An interference model of visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Oberauer, Klaus; Lin, Hsuan-Yu

    2017-01-01

    The article introduces an interference model of working memory for information in a continuous similarity space, such as the features of visual objects. The model incorporates the following assumptions: (a) Probability of retrieval is determined by the relative activation of each retrieval candidate at the time of retrieval; (b) activation comes from 3 sources in memory: cue-based retrieval using context cues, context-independent memory for relevant contents, and noise; (c) 1 memory object and its context can be held in the focus of attention, where it is represented with higher precision, and partly shielded against interference. The model was fit to data from 4 continuous-reproduction experiments testing working memory for colors or orientations. The experiments involved variations of set size, kind of context cues, precueing, and retro-cueing of the to-be-tested item. The interference model fit the data better than 2 competing models, the Slot-Averaging model and the Variable-Precision resource model. The interference model also fared well in comparison to several new models incorporating alternative theoretical assumptions. The experiments confirm 3 novel predictions of the interference model: (a) Nontargets intrude in recall to the extent that they are close to the target in context space; (b) similarity between target and nontarget features improves recall, and (c) precueing-but not retro-cueing-the target substantially reduces the set-size effect. The success of the interference model shows that working memory for continuous visual information works according to the same principles as working memory for more discrete (e.g., verbal) contents. Data and model codes are available at https://osf.io/wgqd5/. (PsycINFO Database Record

  1. Brain Activation Patterns Associated with the Effects of Emotional Distracters during Working Memory Maintenance in Patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

    PubMed

    Park, Jong-Il; Kim, Gwang-Won; Jeong, Gwang-Woo; Chung, Gyung Ho; Yang, Jong-Chul

    2016-01-01

    Few studies have assessed the neural mechanisms of the effects of emotion on cognition in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) patients. In this functional MRI (fMRI), we investigated the effects of emotional interference on working memory (WM) maintenance in GAD patients. Fifteen patients with GAD participated in this study. Event-related fMRI data were obtained while the participants performed a WM task (face recognition) with neutral and anxiety-provoking distracters. The GAD patients showed impaired performance in WM task during emotional distracters and showed greater activation on brain regions such as DLPFC, VLPFC, amygdala, hippocampus which are responsible for the active maintenance of goal relevant information in WM and emotional processing. Although our results are not conclusive, our finding cautiously suggests the cognitive-affective interaction in GAD patients which shown interfering effect of emotional distracters on WM maintenance.

  2. Medial temporal lobe activity at recognition increases with the duration of mnemonic delay during an object working memory task.

    PubMed

    Picchioni, Marco; Matthiasson, Pall; Broome, Matthew; Giampietro, Vincent; Brammer, Mick; Mathes, Birgit; Fletcher, Paul; Williams, Steven; McGuire, Philip

    2007-11-01

    Object working memory (WM) engages a disseminated neural network, although the extent to which the length of time that data is held in WM influences regional activity within this network is unclear. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study a delayed matching to sample task in 14 healthy subjects, manipulating the duration of mnemonic delay. Across all lengths of delay, successful recognition was associated with the bilateral engagement of the inferior and middle frontal gyri and insula, the medial and inferior temporal, dorsal anterior cingulate and the posterior parietal cortices. As the length of time that data was held in WM increased, activation at recognition increased in the medial temporal, medial occipito-temporal, anterior cingulate and posterior parietal cortices. These results confirm the components of an object WM network required for successful recognition, and suggest that parts of this network, including the medial temporal cortex, are sensitive to the duration of mnemonic delay.

  3. Inhibition of propofol on single neuron and neuronal ensemble activity in prefrontal cortex of rats during working memory task.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xinyu; Tian, Yu; Wang, Guolin; Tian, Xin

    2014-08-15

    Working memory (WM) refers to the temporary storage and manipulation of information necessary for performance of complex cognitive tasks. There is a growing interest in whether and how propofol anesthesia inhibits WM function. The aim of this study is to investigate the possible inhibition mechanism of propofol anesthesia from the view of single neuron and neuronal ensemble activities. Adult SD rats were randomly divided into two groups: propofol group (0.9 mg kg(-1)min(-1), 2h via a tail vein catheter) and control group. All the rats were tested for working memory performances in a Y-maze-rewarded alternation task (a task of delayed non-matched-to-sample) at 24, 48, 72 h after propofol anesthesia, and the behavior results of WM tasks were recorded at the same time. Spatio-temporal trains of action potentials were obtained from the original signals. Single neuron activity was characterized by peri-event time histograms analysis and neuron ensemble activities were characterized by Granger causality to describe the interactions within the neuron ensemble. The results show that: comparing with the control group, the percentage of neurons excited and related to WM was significantly decreased (p<0.01 in 24h, p<0.05 in 48 h); the interactions within neuron ensemble were significantly weakened (p<0.01 in 24h, p<0.05 in 48 h), whereas no significant difference in 72 h (p>0.05), which were consistent with the behavior results. These findings could lead to improved understanding of the mechanism of anesthesia inhibition on WM functions from the view of single neuron activity and neuron ensemble interactions.

  4. Illumination influences working memory: an EEG study.

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-05

    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.

  5. Distractor devaluation requires visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Goolsby, Brian A; Shapiro, Kimron L; Raymond, Jane E

    2009-02-01

    Visual stimuli seen previously as distractors in a visual search task are subsequently evaluated more negatively than those seen as targets. An attentional inhibition account for this distractor-devaluation effect posits that associative links between attentional inhibition and to-be-ignored stimuli are established during search, stored, and then later reinstantiated, implying that distractor devaluation may require visual working memory (WM) resources. To assess this, we measured distractor devaluation with and without a concurrent visual WM load. Participants viewed a memory array, performed a simple search task, evaluated one of the search items (or a novel item), and then viewed a memory test array. Although distractor devaluation was observed with low (and no) WM load, it was absent when WM load was increased. This result supports the notions that active association of current attentional states with stimuli requires WM and that memory for these associations plays a role in affective response.

  6. An exploratory study of the effects of spatial working-memory load on prefrontal activation in low- and high-performing elderly

    PubMed Central

    Vermeij, Anouk; van Beek, Arenda H. E. A.; Reijs, Babette L. R.; Claassen, Jurgen A. H. R.; Kessels, Roy P. C.

    2014-01-01

    Older adults show more bilateral prefrontal activation during cognitive performance than younger adults, who typically show unilateral activation. This over-recruitment has been interpreted as compensation for declining structure and function of the brain. Here we examined how the relationship between behavioral performance and prefrontal activation is modulated by different levels of working-memory load. Eighteen healthy older adults (70.8 ± 5.0 years; MMSE 29.3 ± 0.9) performed a spatial working-memory task (n-back). Oxygenated ([O2Hb]) and deoxygenated ([HHb]) hemoglobin concentration changes were registered by two functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) channels located over the left and right prefrontal cortex. Increased working-memory load resulted in worse performance compared to the control condition. [O2Hb] increased with rising working-memory load in both fNIRS channels. Based on the performance in the high working-memory load condition, the group was divided into low and high performers. A significant interaction effect of performance level and hemisphere on [O2Hb] increase was found, indicating that high performers were better able to keep the right prefrontal cortex engaged under high cognitive demand. Furthermore, in the low performers group, individuals with a larger decline in task performance from the control to the high working-memory load condition had a larger bilateral increase of [O2Hb]. The high performers did not show a correlation between performance decline and working-memory load related prefrontal activation changes. Thus, additional bilateral prefrontal activation in low performers did not necessarily result in better cognitive performance. Our study showed that bilateral prefrontal activation may not always be successfully compensatory. Individual behavioral performance should be taken into account to be able to distinguish successful and unsuccessful compensation or declined neural efficiency. PMID:25414665

  7. An exploratory study of the effects of spatial working-memory load on prefrontal activation in low- and high-performing elderly.

    PubMed

    Vermeij, Anouk; van Beek, Arenda H E A; Reijs, Babette L R; Claassen, Jurgen A H R; Kessels, Roy P C

    2014-01-01

    Older adults show more bilateral prefrontal activation during cognitive performance than younger adults, who typically show unilateral activation. This over-recruitment has been interpreted as compensation for declining structure and function of the brain. Here we examined how the relationship between behavioral performance and prefrontal activation is modulated by different levels of working-memory load. Eighteen healthy older adults (70.8 ± 5.0 years; MMSE 29.3 ± 0.9) performed a spatial working-memory task (n-back). Oxygenated ([O2Hb]) and deoxygenated ([HHb]) hemoglobin concentration changes were registered by two functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) channels located over the left and right prefrontal cortex. Increased working-memory load resulted in worse performance compared to the control condition. [O2Hb] increased with rising working-memory load in both fNIRS channels. Based on the performance in the high working-memory load condition, the group was divided into low and high performers. A significant interaction effect of performance level and hemisphere on [O2Hb] increase was found, indicating that high performers were better able to keep the right prefrontal cortex engaged under high cognitive demand. Furthermore, in the low performers group, individuals with a larger decline in task performance from the control to the high working-memory load condition had a larger bilateral increase of [O2Hb]. The high performers did not show a correlation between performance decline and working-memory load related prefrontal activation changes. Thus, additional bilateral prefrontal activation in low performers did not necessarily result in better cognitive performance. Our study showed that bilateral prefrontal activation may not always be successfully compensatory. Individual behavioral performance should be taken into account to be able to distinguish successful and unsuccessful compensation or declined neural efficiency.

  8. Prenatal drug exposure to illicit drugs alters working memory-related brain activity and underlying network properties in adolescence.

    PubMed

    Schweitzer, Julie B; Riggins, Tracy; Liang, Xia; Gallen, Courtney; Kurup, Pradeep K; Ross, Thomas J; Black, Maureen M; Nair, Prasanna; Salmeron, Betty Jo

    2015-01-01

    The persistence of effects of prenatal drug exposure (PDE) on brain functioning during adolescence is poorly understood. We explored neural activation to a visuospatial working memory (VSWM) versus a control task using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in adolescents with PDE and a community comparison group (CC) of non-exposed adolescents. We applied graph theory metrics to resting state data using a network of nodes derived from the VSWM task activation map to further explore connectivity underlying WM functioning. Participants (ages 12-15 years) included 47 adolescents (27 PDE and 20 CC). All analyses controlled for potentially confounding differences in birth characteristics and postnatal environment. Significant group by task differences in brain activation emerged in the left middle frontal gyrus (BA 6) with the CC group, but not the PDE group, activating this region during VSWM. The PDE group deactivated the culmen, whereas the CC group activated it during the VSWM task. The CC group demonstrated a significant relation between reaction time and culmen activation, not present in the PDE group. The network analysis underlying VSWM performance showed that PDE group had lower global efficiency than the CC group and a trend level reduction in local efficiency. The network node corresponding to the BA 6 group by task interaction showed reduced nodal efficiency and fewer direct connections to other nodes in the network. These results suggest that adolescence reveals altered neural functioning related to response planning that may reflect less efficient network functioning in youth with PDE.

  9. Differences in cortico-striatal-cerebellar activation during working memory in syndromal and nonsyndromal children with prenatal alcohol exposure.

    PubMed

    Diwadkar, Vaibhav A; Meintjes, Ernesta M; Goradia, Dhruman; Dodge, Neil C; Warton, Christopher; Molteno, Christopher D; Jacobson, Sandra W; Jacobson, Joseph L

    2013-08-01

    Although children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure may exhibit the distinctive facial dysmorphology seen in full or partial fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS/PFAS), many lack that dysmorphology. This study examined the functional organization of working memory in the brain in three groups of children-those meeting diagnostic criteria for FAS or PFAS, heavily exposed (HE) nonsyndromal children, and healthy controls. A verbal n-back task (1-back and 0-back) was administered to 47 children (17 with FAS/PFAS, 13 HE, and 17 controls) during fMRI. Intra-group one-sample t-tests were used to identify activity regions of interest central to verbal working memory including the dorsal prefrontal cortex (dPFC), inferior frontal gyrus, caudate/putamen, parietal cortex, and cerebellar Crus I/lobule VI and lobule VIIB-IX. Whereas groups did not differ in task sensitivity, fMRI analyses suggested different patterns of sub-network recruitment across groups. Controls primarily recruited left inferior frontal gyrus (Broca's area). By contrast, HE primarily recruited an extensive set of fronto-striatal regions, including left dPFC and left caudate, and the FAS/PFAS group relied primarily on two cerebellar subregions and parietal cortex. This study is, to our knowledge, the first to demonstrate differential recruitment of critical brain regions that subserve basic function in children with different fetal alcohol spectrum disorders compared to controls. The distinct activation patterns seen in the two exposed groups may be related to substantial differences in alcohol dose/occasion to which these groups were exposed in utero.

  10. Spatial Working Memory Deficits in Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steele, Shelly D.; Minshew, Nancy J.; Luna, Beatriz; Sweeney, John A.

    2007-01-01

    Previous studies have reported working memory deficits in autism, but this finding has been inconsistent. One possibility is that deficits in this domain may be present only when working memory load exceeds some limited capacity. High-functioning individuals with autism performed the CANTAB computerized test of spatial working memory. Individuals…

  11. Control of Interference during Working Memory Updating

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Decrease in fMRI brain activation during working memory performed after sleeping under 10 lux light

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Seung-Gul; Yoon, Ho-Kyoung; Cho, Chul-Hyun; Kwon, Soonwook; Kang, June; Park, Young-Min; Lee, Eunil; Kim, Leen; Lee, Heon-Jeong

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of exposure to dim light at night (dLAN) when sleeping on functional brain activation during a working-memory tasks. We conducted the brain functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) analysis on 20 healthy male subjects. All participants slept in a polysomnography laboratory without light exposure on the first and second nights and under a dim-light condition of either 5 or 10 lux on the third night. The fMRI scanning was conducted during n-back tasks after second and third nights. Statistical parametric maps revealed less activation in the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) after exposure to 10-lux light. The brain activity in the right and left IFG areas decreased more during the 2-back task than during the 1- or 0-back task in the 10-lux group. The exposure to 5-lux light had no significant effect on brain activities. The exposure to dLAN might influence the brain function which is related to the cognition. PMID:27827445

  13. A multisensory perspective of working memory

    PubMed Central

    Quak, Michel; London, Raquel Elea; Talsma, Durk

    2015-01-01

    Although our sensory experience is mostly multisensory in nature, research on working memory representations has focused mainly on examining the senses in isolation. Results from the multisensory processing literature make it clear that the senses interact on a more intimate manner than previously assumed. These interactions raise questions regarding the manner in which multisensory information is maintained in working memory. We discuss the current status of research on multisensory processing and the implications of these findings on our theoretical understanding of working memory. To do so, we focus on reviewing working memory research conducted from a multisensory perspective, and discuss the relation between working memory, attention, and multisensory processing in the context of the predictive coding framework. We argue that a multisensory approach to the study of working memory is indispensable to achieve a realistic understanding of how working memory processes maintain and manipulate information. PMID:25954176

  14. Improving Children's Working Memory and Classroom Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    St Clair-Thompson, Helen; Stevens, Ruth; Hunt, Alexandra; Bolder, Emma

    2010-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated close relationships between working memory and children's scholastic attainment. The aim of the present study was to explore a method of improving working memory, using memory strategy training. Two hundred and fifty-four children aged five to eight years were tested on measures of the phonological loop,…

  15. Specific and Nonspecific Neural Activity during Selective Processing of Visual Representations in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oh, Hwamee; Leung, Hoi-Chung

    2010-01-01

    In this fMRI study, we investigated prefrontal cortex (PFC) and visual association regions during selective information processing. We recorded behavioral responses and neural activity during a delayed recognition task with a cue presented during the delay period. A specific cue ("Face" or "Scene") was used to indicate which one of the two…

  16. What's working in working memory training? An educational perspective.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    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 research studies, the current review of all of the available evidence of working memory training efficacy is less optimistic. Our conclusion is that working memory training produces limited benefits in terms of specific gains on short-term and working memory tasks that are very similar to the training programs, but no advantage for academic and achievement-based reading and arithmetic outcomes.

  17. Differences in Induced Brain Activity during the Performance of Learning and Working-Memory Tasks Related to Intelligence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jausovec, Norbert; Jausovec, Ksenija

    2004-01-01

    Thirteen high intelligent (H-IQ) and 13 low intelligent (L-IQ) individuals solved two figural working-memory (WM) tasks and two figural learning tasks while their EEG was recorded. For the WM tasks, only in the theta band group related differences in induced event-related desynchronization/synchronization (ERD/ERS) were observed. L-IQ individuals…

  18. Supramodal parametric working memory processing in humans.

    PubMed

    Spitzer, Bernhard; Blankenburg, Felix

    2012-03-07

    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.

  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.

  20. The working memory networks of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Linden, David E J

    2007-06-01

    Working memory and short-term memory are closely related in their cognitive architecture, capacity limitations, and functional neuroanatomy, which only partly overlap with those of long-term memory. The author reviews the functional neuroimaging literature on the commonalities and differences between working memory and short-term memory and the interplay of areas with modality-specific and supramodal representations in the brain networks supporting these fundamental cognitive processes. Sensory stores in the visual, auditory, and somatosensory cortex play a role in short-term memory, but supramodal parietal and frontal areas are often recruited as well. Classical working memory operations such as manipulation, protection against interference, or updating almost certainly require at least some degree of prefrontal support, but many pure maintenance tasks involve these areas as well. Although it seems that activity shifts from more posterior regions during encoding to more anterior regions during delay, some studies reported sustained delay activity in sensory areas as well. This spatiotemporal complexity of the short-term memory/working memory networks is mirrored in the activation patterns that may explain capacity constraints, which, although most prominent in the parietal cortex, seem to be pervasive across sensory and premotor areas. Finally, the author highlights open questions for cognitive neuroscience research of working memory, such as that of the mechanisms for integrating different types of content (binding) or those providing the link to long-term memory.

  1. Evidence for a dopaminergic link between working memory and agentic extraversion: an analysis of load-related changes in EEG alpha 1 activity.

    PubMed

    Chavanon, Mira-Lynn; Wacker, Jan; Leue, Anja; Stemmler, Gerhard

    2007-01-01

    Several lines of research point to the possibility of a partially overlapping dopaminergic foundation of the trait of agentic extraversion and individual differences in working memory functioning. This study investigates interactive effects of agentic extraversion and dopamine on spectral EEG measures of working memory. Using EEG activity in the alpha 1 band (8-10.25 Hz) as a dependent variable, we tested in a randomized double-blind design the effects of the D2-dopamine antagonist sulpiride during the performance of four load-graded n-back working memory tasks in participants high versus low in agentic extraversion. We expected extraversion-related differences in the load-responsivity pattern to be reversed by sulpiride, and the alpha 1 anterior-posterior difference actually depicted this reversal effect. However, in contrast to our expectations this effect was largely due to parietal instead of frontal sites.

  2. Tracking object number or information load in visual working memory: revisiting the cognitive implication of contralateral delay activity.

    PubMed

    Gao, Zaifeng; Yin, Jun; Xu, Haokui; Shui, Rende; Shen, Mowei

    2011-05-01

    Two accounts prevail for the ERP component contralateral delay activity (CDA). One is that CDA tracks the number of objects stored in visual working memory (VWM), the more objects the higher amplitude (object number account). The other is that CDA reflects the maintained information load (information load account), the higher load the higher amplitude. The two accounts were tested by manipulating the information load and the object number of stored objects. Two or four arrows with low- or high-resolution information were remembered in separate blocks. In two experiments we found that the CDA-amplitude was higher for 4 arrows than for 2 arrows in low-resolution condition, yet no difference in high-resolution condition. Critically, there was no difference on CDA-amplitude among 2 low- and high-resolution objects, as well as 4 high-resolution objects, yet all were significantly lower than 4 low-resolution arrows. These results supported the object number account of CDA.

  3. Working Memory in Children with Reading Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2006-01-01

    This study investigated associations between working memory (measured by complex memory tasks) and both reading and mathematics abilities, as well as the possible mediating factors of fluid intelligence, verbal abilities, short-term memory (STM), and phonological awareness, in a sample of 46 6- to 11-year-olds with reading disabilities. As a…

  4. Working Memory in Children with Developmental Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Working Memory Capacity: An Individual Differences Approach.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-02-11

    a % - AV ~ ~ 2 a . a’* - Working memory capacity -54- Experiment 5 Some researchers (e.g, Klapp , et al. (1983) and Brainerd and Kingma (1984, 1985...Psychological Review. 85,363-394. Klapp , S. T., Marshbum, E. A & Lester, P. T. (1983). Short term memory does not Involve the ’Worklng memory,* of

  6. Working Memory Capacity and Resistance to Interference

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

  7. The Distributed Nature of Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Christophel, Thomas B; Klink, P Christiaan; Spitzer, Bernhard; Roelfsema, Pieter R; Haynes, John-Dylan

    2017-02-01

    Studies in humans and non-human primates have provided evidence for storage of working memory contents in multiple regions ranging from sensory to parietal and prefrontal cortex. We discuss potential explanations for these distributed representations: (i) features in sensory regions versus prefrontal cortex differ in the level of abstractness and generalizability; and (ii) features in prefrontal cortex reflect representations that are transformed for guidance of upcoming behavioral actions. We propose that the propensity to produce persistent activity is a general feature of cortical networks. Future studies may have to shift focus from asking where working memory can be observed in the brain to how a range of specialized brain areas together transform sensory information into a delayed behavioral response.

  8. Frontal GABA levels change during working memory.

    PubMed

    Michels, Lars; Martin, Ernst; Klaver, Peter; Edden, Richard; Zelaya, Fernando; Lythgoe, David J; Lüchinger, Rafael; Brandeis, Daniel; O'Gorman, Ruth L

    2012-01-01

    Functional neuroimaging metrics are thought to reflect changes in neurotransmitter flux, but changes in neurotransmitter levels have not been demonstrated in humans during a cognitive task, and the relationship between neurotransmitter dynamics and hemodynamic activity during cognition has not yet been established. We evaluate the concentration of the major inhibitory (GABA) and excitatory (glutamate + glutamine: Glx) neurotransmitters and the cerebral perfusion at rest and during a prolonged delayed match-to-sample working memory task. Resting GABA levels in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex correlated positively with the resting perfusion and inversely with the change in perfusion during the task. Further, only GABA increased significantly during the first working memory run and then decreased continuously across subsequent task runs. The decrease of GABA over time was paralleled by a trend towards decreased reaction times and higher task accuracy. These results demonstrate a link between neurotransmitter dynamics and hemodynamic activity during working memory, indicating that functional neuroimaging metrics depend on the balance of excitation and inhibition required for cognitive processing.

  9. Rehearsal of to-be-remembered items is unnecessary to perform directed forgetting within working memory: Support for an active control mechanism.

    PubMed

    Festini, Sara B; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A

    2017-01-01

    Directed forgetting tasks instruct people to forget targeted memoranda. In the context of working memory, people attempt to forget representations that are currently held in mind. Here, we evaluated candidate mechanisms of directed forgetting within working memory, by (a) testing the influence of articulatory suppression, a rehearsal-reducing and attention-demanding secondary task, on directed forgetting efficacy, and by (b) assessing the ability of people to perform forgetting in the absence of to-be-remembered competitors to rehearse. In Experiment 1, articulatory suppression interfered with directed forgetting, increasing the proportion of false alarms to to-be-forgotten probes in the working memory phase and decreasing the magnitude of the directed forgetting effect as assessed by an incidental long-term memory recognition test. Experiment 2 replicated the effects of articulatory suppression and tested whether the simultaneous requirement to retain, and presumably rehearse, to-be-remembered items was necessary for successful forgetting. The long-term directed forgetting effect was equivalent whether or not participants had to-be-remembered items to rehearse during the working memory phase. Experiment 3 included an additional comparison condition and confirmed that articulatory suppression interfered with directed forgetting and that participants were as efficient at directed forgetting with and without competitors to remember. In combination, these experiments suggest that directed forgetting in working memory requires an active control process that is limited by articulatory suppression, and that the demand to remember a concurrent memory set is unnecessary for this control process to operate. (PsycINFO Database Record

  10. 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…

  11. Reasoning=working Memory<>attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buehner, M.; Krumm, S.; Pick, M.

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to clarify the relationship between attention, components of working memory, and reasoning. Therefore, twenty working memory tests, two attention tests, and nine intelligence subtests were administered to 135 students. Using structural equation modeling, we were able to replicate a functional model of working memory…

  12. Cerebellar Damage Produces Selective Deficits in Verbal Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2006-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Training working memory updating in young adults.

    PubMed

    Linares, Rocío; Borella, Erika; Lechuga, M Teresa; Carretti, Barbara; Pelegrina, Santiago

    2017-03-09

    Working memory updating (WMU) is a core mechanism in the human mental architecture and a good predictor of a wide range of cognitive processes. This study analyzed the benefits of two different WMU training procedures, near transfer effects on a working memory measure, and far transfer effects on nonverbal reasoning. Maintenance of any benefits a month later was also assessed. Participants were randomly assigned to: an adaptive training group that performed two numerical WMU tasks during four sessions; a non-adaptive training group that performed the same tasks but on a constant and less demanding level of difficulty; or an active control group that performed other tasks unrelated with working memory. After the training, all three groups showed improvements in most of the tasks, and these benefits were maintained a month later. The gain in one of the two WMU measures was larger for the adaptive and non-adaptive groups than for the control group. This specific gain in a task similar to the one trained would indicate the use of a better strategy for performing the task. Besides this nearest transfer effect, no other transfer effects were found. The adaptability of the training procedure did not produce greater improvements. These results are discussed in terms of the training procedure and the feasibility of training WMU.

  15. Functional Neuroanatomy of Spatial Working Memory in Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Passolunghi, Maria Chiara; Costa, Hiwet Mariam

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Working Memory and Developmental Language Impairments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henry, Lucy A.; Botting, Nicola

    2017-01-01

    Children with developmental language impairments (DLI) are often reported to show difficulties with working memory. This review describes the four components of the well-established working memory model, and considers whether there is convincing evidence for difficulties within each component in children with DLI. The emphasis is on the most…

  18. Representation and Working Memory in Early Arithmetic

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rasmussen, C.; Bisanz, J.

    2005-01-01

    Working memory has been implicated in the early acquisition of arithmetic skill, but the relations among different components of working memory, performance on different types of arithmetic problems, and development have not been explored. Preschool and Grade 1 children completed measures of phonological, visual-spatial, and central executive…

  19. 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…

  20. Working Memory Intervention: A Reading Comprehension Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perry, Tracy L.; Malaia, Evguenia

    2013-01-01

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

  1. 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,…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    St. Clair-Thompson, Helen L.

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Activation of serotonin2A receptors in the medial septum-diagonal band of Broca complex enhanced working memory in the hemiparkinsonian rats.

    PubMed

    Li, Li-Bo; Zhang, Li; Sun, Yi-Na; Han, Ling-Na; Wu, Zhong-Heng; Zhang, Qiao-Jun; Liu, Jian

    2015-04-01

    Serotonin2A (5-HT2A) receptors are highly expressed in the medial septum-diagonal band of Broca complex (MS-DB), especially in parvalbumin (PV)-positive neurons linked to hippocampal theta rhythm, which is involved in cognition. Cognitive impairments commonly occur in Parkinson's disease. Here we performed behavioral, electrophysiological, neurochemical and immunohistochemical studies in rats with complete unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine lesions of the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) to assess the importance of dopamine (DA) depletion and MS-DB 5-HT2A receptors for working memory. The MFB lesions resulted in working memory impairment and decreases in firing rate and density of MS-DB PV-positive neurons, peak frequency of hippocampal theta rhythm, and DA levels in septohippocampal system and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) compared to control rats. Intra-MS-DB injection of high affinity 5-HT2A receptor agonist TCB-2 enhanced working memory, increased firing rate of PV-positive neurons and peak frequency of hippocampal theta rhythm, elevated DA levels in the hippocampus and mPFC, and decreased 5-HT level in the hippocampus in control and lesioned rats. Compared to control rats, the duration of the excitatory effect produced by TCB-2 on the firing rate of PV-positive neurons was markedly shortened in lesioned rats, indicating dysfunction of 5-HT2A receptors. These findings suggest that unilateral lesions of the MFB in rats induced working memory deficit, and activation of MS-DB 5-HT2A receptors enhanced working memory, which may be due to changes in the activity of septohippocampal network and monoamine levels in the hippocampus and mPFC.

  4. Functional MR Imaging of Working Memory in the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Ryu, Jae Wook; Byun, Hong Sik; Choi, Dae Seob; Lee, Eun Jeong; Chung, Woo In; Cho, Jae Min; Han, Boo Kyung

    2000-01-01

    Objective In order to investigate the functional brain anatomy associated with verbal and visual working memory, functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed. Materials and Methods In ten normal right handed subjects, functional MR images were obtained using a 1.5-T MR scanner and the EPI BOLD technique. An item recognition task was used for stimulation, and during the activation period of the verbal working memory task, consonant letters were used. During the activation period of the visual working memory task, symbols or diagrams were employed instead of letters. For the post-processing of images, the SPM program was used, with the threshold of significance set at p < .001. We assessed activated brain areas during the two stimulation tasks and compared the activated regions between the two tasks. Results The prefrontal cortex and secondary visual cortex were activated bilaterally by both verbal and visual working memory tasks, and the patterns of activated signals were similar in both tasks. The superior parietal cortex was also activated by both tasks, with lateralization to the left in the verbal task, and bilaterally without lateralization in the visual task. The inferior frontal cortex, inferior parietal cortex and temporal gyrus were activated exclusively by the verbal working memory task, predominantly in the left hemisphere. Conclusion The prefrontal cortex is activated by two stimulation tasks, and this is related to the function of the central executive. The language areas activated by the verbal working memory task may be a function of the phonological loop. Bilateral prefrontal and superior parietal cortices activated by the visual working memory task may be related to the visual maintenance of objects, representing visual working memory. PMID:11752924

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. The nature of working memory for Braille.

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-26

    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. The Nature of Working Memory for Braille

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Quantifying the heritability of task-related brain activation and performance during the N-back working memory task: A twin fMRI study

    PubMed Central

    Blokland, Gabriëlla A.M.; McMahon, Katie L.; Hoffman, Jan; Zhu, Gu; Meredith, Matthew; Martin, Nicholas G.; Thompson, Paul M.; de Zubicaray, Greig I.; Wright, Margaret J.

    2008-01-01

    Working memory-related brain activation has been widely studied, and impaired activation patterns have been reported for several psychiatric disorders. We investigated whether variation in N-back working memory brain activation is genetically influenced in 60 pairs of twins, (29 monozygotic (MZ), 31 dizygotic (DZ); mean age 24.4 ± 1.7S.D.). Task-related brain response (BOLD percent signal difference of 2 minus 0-back) was measured in three regions of interest. Although statistical power was low due to the small sample size, for middle frontal gyrus, angular gyrus, and supramarginal gyrus, the MZ correlations were, in general, approximately twice those of the DZ pairs, with non-significant heritability estimates (14–30%) in the low-moderate range. Task performance was strongly influenced by genes (57–73%) and highly correlated with cognitive ability (0.44–0.55). This study, which will be expanded over the next 3 years, provides the first support that individual variation in working memory-related brain activation is to some extent influenced by genes. PMID:18423837

  11. Altered likelihood of brain activation in attention and working memory networks in patients with multiple sclerosis: An ALE meta-analysis☆

    PubMed Central

    Kollndorfer, K.; Krajnik, J.; Woitek, R.; Freiherr, J.; Prayer, D.; Schöpf, V.

    2013-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurological disease, frequently affecting attention and working memory functions. Functional imaging studies investigating those functions in MS patients are hard to compare, as they include heterogeneous patient groups and use different paradigms for cognitive testing. The aim of this study was to investigate alterations in neuronal activation between MS patients and healthy controls performing attention and working memory tasks. Two meta-analyses of previously published fMRI studies investigating attention and working memory were conducted for MS patients and healthy controls, respectively. Resulting maps were contrasted to compare brain activation in patients and healthy controls. Significantly increased brain activation in the inferior parietal lobule and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was detected for healthy controls. In contrast, higher neuronal activation in MS patients was obtained in the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and the right premotor area. With this meta-analytic approach previous results of investigations examining cognitive function using fMRI are summarized and compared. Therefore a more general view on cognitive dysfunction in this heterogeneous disease is enabled. PMID:24056084

  12. 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…

  13. Age-related changes in brain activity are specific for high order cognitive processes during successful encoding of information in working memory.

    PubMed

    Pinal, Diego; Zurrón, Montserrat; Díaz, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Memory capacity suffers an age-related decline, which is supposed to be due to a generalized slowing of processing speed and to a reduced availability of processing resources. Information encoding in memory has been demonstrated to be very sensitive to age-related changes, especially when carried out through self-initiated strategies or under high cognitive demands. However, most event-related potentials (ERP) research on age-related changes in working memory (WM) has used tasks that preclude distinction between age-related changes in encoding and retrieval processes. Here, we used ERP recording and a delayed match to sample (DMS) task with two levels of memory load to assess age-related changes in electrical brain activity in young and old adults during successful information encoding in WM. Age-related decline was reflected in lower accuracy rates and longer reaction times in the DMS task. Beside, only old adults presented lower accuracy rates under high than low memory load conditions. However, effects of memory load on brain activity were independent of age and may indicate an increased need of processing after stimulus classification as reflected in larger mean voltages in high than low load conditions between 550 and 1000 ms post-stimulus for young and old adults. Regarding age-related effects on brain activity, results also revealed smaller P2 and P300 amplitudes that may signal the existence of an age dependent reduction in the processing resources available for stimulus evaluation and categorization. Additionally, P2 and N2 latencies were longer in old than in young participants. Furthermore, longer N2 latencies were related to greater accuracy rates on the DMS task, especially in old adults. These results suggest that age-related slowing of processing speed may be specific for target stimulus analysis and evaluation processes. Thus, old adults seem to improve their performance the longer they take to evaluate the stimulus they encode in visual WM.

  14. Age-related changes in brain activity are specific for high order cognitive processes during successful encoding of information in working memory

    PubMed Central

    Pinal, Diego; Zurrón, Montserrat; Díaz, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Memory capacity suffers an age-related decline, which is supposed to be due to a generalized slowing of processing speed and to a reduced availability of processing resources. Information encoding in memory has been demonstrated to be very sensitive to age-related changes, especially when carried out through self-initiated strategies or under high cognitive demands. However, most event-related potentials (ERP) research on age-related changes in working memory (WM) has used tasks that preclude distinction between age-related changes in encoding and retrieval processes. Here, we used ERP recording and a delayed match to sample (DMS) task with two levels of memory load to assess age-related changes in electrical brain activity in young and old adults during successful information encoding in WM. Age-related decline was reflected in lower accuracy rates and longer reaction times in the DMS task. Beside, only old adults presented lower accuracy rates under high than low memory load conditions. However, effects of memory load on brain activity were independent of age and may indicate an increased need of processing after stimulus classification as reflected in larger mean voltages in high than low load conditions between 550 and 1000 ms post-stimulus for young and old adults. Regarding age-related effects on brain activity, results also revealed smaller P2 and P300 amplitudes that may signal the existence of an age dependent reduction in the processing resources available for stimulus evaluation and categorization. Additionally, P2 and N2 latencies were longer in old than in young participants. Furthermore, longer N2 latencies were related to greater accuracy rates on the DMS task, especially in old adults. These results suggest that age-related slowing of processing speed may be specific for target stimulus analysis and evaluation processes. Thus, old adults seem to improve their performance the longer they take to evaluate the stimulus they encode in visual WM. PMID

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Dysfunctional Activation and Brain Network Profiles in Youth with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Focus on the Dorsal Anterior Cingulate during Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Diwadkar, Vaibhav A.; Burgess, Ashley; Hong, Ella; Rix, Carrie; Arnold, Paul D.; Hanna, Gregory L.; Rosenberg, David R.

    2015-01-01

    Brain network dysfunction is emerging as a central biomarker of interest in psychiatry, in large part, because psychiatric conditions are increasingly seen as disconnection syndromes. Understanding dysfunctional brain network profiles in task-active states provides important information on network engagement in an experimental context. This in turn may be predictive of many of the cognitive and behavioral deficits associated with complex behavioral phenotypes. Here we investigated brain network profiles in youth with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), contrasting them with a group of age-comparable controls. Network interactions were assessed during simple working memory: in particular, we focused on the modulation by the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) of cortical, striatal, and thalamic regions. The focus on the dACC was motivated by its hypothesized role in the pathophysiology of OCD. However, its task-active network signatures have not been investigated before. Network interactions were modeled using psychophysiological interaction, a simple directional model of seed to target brain interactions. Our results indicate that OCD is characterized by significantly increased dACC modulation of cortical, striatal, and thalamic targets during working memory, and that this aberrant increase in OCD patients is maintained regardless of working memory demand. The results constitute compelling evidence of dysfunctional brain network interactions in OCD and suggest that these interactions may be related to a combination of network inefficiencies and dACC hyper-activity that has been associated with the phenotype. PMID:25852529

  18. Septal serotonin depletion in rats facilitates working memory in the radial arm maze and increases hippocampal high-frequency theta activity.

    PubMed

    López-Vázquez, Miguel Ángel; López-Loeza, Elisa; Lajud Ávila, Naima; Gutiérrez-Guzmán, Blanca Erika; Hernández-Pérez, J Jesús; Reyes, Yoana Estrada; Olvera-Cortés, María Esther

    2014-07-05

    Hippocampal theta activity, which is strongly modulated by the septal medial/Broca׳s diagonal band neurons, has been linked to information processing of the hippocampus. Serotonin from the medial raphe nuclei desynchronises hippocampal theta activity, whereas inactivation or a lesion of this nucleus induces continuous and persistent theta activity in the hippocampus. Hippocampal serotonin depletion produces an increased expression of high-frequency theta activity concurrent with the facilitation of place learning in the Morris maze. The medial septum-diagonal band of Broca complex (MS/DBB) has been proposed as a key structure in the serotonin modulation of theta activity. We addressed whether serotonin depletion of the MS/DBB induces changes in the characteristics of hippocampal theta activity and whether the depletion is associated with learning in a working memory spatial task in the radial arm maze. Sprague Dawley rats were depleted of 5HT with the infusion of 5,7-dihydroxytriptamine (5,7-DHT) in MS/DBB and were subsequently trained in the standard test (win-shift) in the radial arm, while the CA1 EEG activity was simultaneously recorded through telemetry. The MS/DBB serotonin depletion induced a low level of expression of low-frequency (4.5-6.5Hz) and a higher expression of high-frequency (6.5-9.5Hz) theta activity concomitant to a minor number of errors committed by rats on the working memory test. Thus, the depletion of serotonin in the MS/DBB caused a facilitator effect on working memory and a predominance of high-frequency theta activity.

  19. A working memory test battery for MATLAB.

    PubMed

    Lewandowsky, Stephan; Oberauer, Klaus; Yang, Lee-Xieng; Ecker, Ullrich K H

    2010-05-01

    We present a battery of four working memory tasks that are implemented using MATLAB and the free Psychophysics Toolbox. The package includes preprocessing scripts in R and SPSS to facilitate data analysis. The four tasks consist of a sentence-span task, an operation-span task, a spatial short-term memory test, and a memory updating task. These tasks were chosen in order to provide a heterogeneous set of measures of working memory capacity, thus reducing method variance and tapping into two content domains of working memory (verbal, including numerical, vs. spatial) and two of its functional aspects (storage in the context of processing and relational integration). The task battery was validated in three experiments conducted in two languages (English and Chinese), involving more than 350 participants. In all cases, the tasks were found to load on a single latent variable. In a further experiment, the latent working memory variable was found to correlate highly but not perfectly with performance on Raven's matrices test of fluid intelligence. We suggest that the battery constitutes a versatile tool to assess working memory capacity with either English- or Chinese-speaking participants. The battery can be downloaded from www.cogsciwa.com ("Software" button).

  20. Content Specific Fronto-Parietal Synchronization during Visual Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Salazar, RF; Dotson, NM; Bressler, SL; Gray, CM

    2014-01-01

    Lateral prefrontal and posterior parietal cortical areas exhibit task-dependent activation during working memory tasks in humans and monkeys. Neurons in these regions become synchronized during attention demanding tasks, but the contribution of these interactions to working memory is largely unknown. Using simultaneous recordings of neural activity from multiple areas in both regions, we find widespread, task-dependent and content specific synchronization of activity across the fronto-parietal network during visual working memory. The patterns of synchronization are prevalent among stimulus selective neurons and are governed by influences arising in parietal cortex. These results indicate that short-term memories are represented by large-scale patterns of synchronized activity across the fronto-parietal network. PMID:23118014

  1. 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…

  2. Semantic memory and verbal working memory correlates of N400 to subordinate homographs.

    PubMed

    Salisbury, Dean F

    2004-07-01

    N400 is an event-related brain potential that indexes operations in semantic memory conceptual space, whether elicited by language or some other representation (e.g., drawings). Language models typically propose three stages: lexical access or orthographic- and phonological-level analysis; lexical selection or word-level meaning and associate activation; and lexical integration, sentence- and discourse-level operations. The exact stage that N400 reflects is unknown, although opinion favors lexical integration over lexical selection. Surprisingly, little research has assessed relationships between neuropsychological measures of semantic memory fund of information or verbal working memory capacity and N400. Subjects performed a homograph disambiguation comprehension task with minimal working memory load. Short sentences read: The noun was adjective/verb. The nouns were either homographs or unambiguous. The adjective/verb was disambiguating for the homograph, and congruent or incongruent for the unambiguous noun. The primary noun of interest was the subordinate homograph. Comprehension of the subordinate meaning should correlate with semantic memory stores, reflecting greater knowledge. If N400 primarily reflects lexical access operations, it should also correlate with measures of semantic knowledge. If N400 reflects lexical integration, it should correlate with measures of working memory capacity. Comprehension errors were associated with semantic memory stores, but not working memory capacity. N400 was related to working memory capacity, but not semantic knowledge, suggesting that N400 primarily reflects late-stage working memory operations. N400 to subordinate disambiguating words was larger with greater working memory capacity, and thus may index the absolute capacity of working memory rather than difficulty in contextual integration.

  3. Neuronal activity in primate prefrontal cortex related to goal-directed behavior during auditory working memory tasks.

    PubMed

    Huang, Ying; Brosch, Michael

    2016-06-01

    Prefrontal cortex (PFC) has been documented to play critical roles in goal-directed behaviors, like representing goal-relevant events and working memory (WM). However, neurophysiological evidence for such roles of PFC has been obtained mainly with visual tasks but rarely with auditory tasks. In the present study, we tested roles of PFC in auditory goal-directed behaviors by recording local field potentials in the auditory region of left ventrolateral PFC while a monkey performed auditory WM tasks. The tasks consisted of multiple events and required the monkey to change its mental states to achieve the reward. The events were auditory and visual stimuli, as well as specific actions. Mental states were engaging in the tasks and holding task-relevant information in auditory WM. We found that, although based on recordings from one hemisphere in one monkey only, PFC represented multiple events that were important for achieving reward, including auditory and visual stimuli like turning on and off an LED, as well as bar touch. The responses to auditory events depended on the tasks and on the context of the tasks. This provides support for the idea that neuronal representations in PFC are flexible and can be related to the behavioral meaning of stimuli. We also found that engaging in the tasks and holding information in auditory WM were associated with persistent changes of slow potentials, both of which are essential for auditory goal-directed behaviors. Our study, on a single hemisphere in a single monkey, reveals roles of PFC in auditory goal-directed behaviors similar to those in visual goal-directed behaviors, suggesting that functions of PFC in goal-directed behaviors are probably common across the auditory and visual modality. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Working memory and blood lactate levels.

    PubMed

    Perciavalle, Valentina; Maci, Tiziana; Perciavalle, Vincenzo; Massimino, Simona; Coco, Marinella

    2015-11-01

    The accumulation of lactate in the blood after a high-intensity exercise is associated with an increase of lactate extractions by the brain. Previously, a negative influence of blood lactate on attentional processes has been observed. The present study was carried out to examine the association of high blood lactate levels, induced with a maximal cycling, with another cognitive domain: working memory. For evaluation of working memory two different protocols were used: the first (Self-Ordered Pointing Task) capable of analyzing non-spatial working memory requiring the ability to generate and monitor a sequence of responses and the second for evaluating motor working memory necessary to perform a motor task. The study was carried out in 30 students (15 males and 15 females) who performed exhaustive exercise. In each subject, blood lactate was measured and motor as well as non-motor forms of working memory were evaluated before the exercise, at its end as well as 15 min after the exhaustion. It was observed that an increase of blood lactate levels is associated with a worsening of both types of working memory.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-27

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

  10. Load-dependent brain activation assessed by time-domain functional near-infrared spectroscopy during a working memory task with graded levels of difficulty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molteni, Erika; Contini, Davide; Caffini, Matteo; Baselli, Giuseppe; Spinelli, Lorenzo; Cubeddu, Rinaldo; Cerutti, Sergio; Bianchi, Anna Maria; Torricelli, Alessandro

    2012-05-01

    We evaluated frontal brain activation during a mixed attentional/working memory task with graded levels of difficulty in a group of 19 healthy subjects, by means of time-domain functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Brain activation was assessed, and load-related oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin changes were studied. Generalized linear model (GLM) was applied to the data to explore the metabolic processes occurring during the mental effort and, possibly, their involvement in short-term memorization. GLM was applied to the data twice: for modeling the task as a whole and for specifically investigating brain activation at each cognitive load. This twofold employment of GLM allowed (1) the extraction and isolation of different information from the same signals, obtained through the modeling of different cognitive categories (sustained attention and working memory), and (2) the evaluation of model fitness, by inspection and comparison of residuals (i.e., unmodeled part of the signal) obtained in the two different cases. Results attest to the presence of a persistent attentional-related metabolic activity, superimposed to a task-related mnemonic contribution. Some hemispherical differences have also been highlighted frontally: deoxy-hemoglobin changes manifested a strong right lateralization, whereas modifications in oxy- and total hemoglobin showed a medial localization. The present work successfully explored the capability of fNIRS to detect the two neurophysiological categories under investigation and distinguish their activation patterns.

  11. 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.

  12. Load-related brain activation predicts spatial working memory performance in youth aged 9-12 and is associated with executive function at earlier ages.

    PubMed

    Huang, Anna S; Klein, Daniel N; Leung, Hoi-Chung

    2016-02-01

    Spatial working memory is a central cognitive process that matures through adolescence in conjunction with major changes in brain function and anatomy. Here we focused on late childhood and early adolescence to more closely examine the neural correlates of performance variability during this important transition period. Using a modified spatial 1-back task with two memory load conditions in an fMRI study, we examined the relationship between load-dependent neural responses and task performance in a sample of 39 youth aged 9-12 years. Our data revealed that between-subject differences in task performance was predicted by load-dependent deactivation in default network regions, including the ventral anterior cingulate cortex (vACC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). Although load-dependent increases in activation in prefrontal and posterior parietal regions were only weakly correlated with performance, increased prefrontal-parietal coupling was associated with better performance. Furthermore, behavioral measures of executive function from as early as age 3 predicted current load-dependent deactivation in vACC and PCC. These findings suggest that both task positive and task negative brain activation during spatial working memory contributed to successful task performance in late childhood/early adolescence. This may serve as a good model for studying executive control deficits in developmental disorders.

  13. Activation of matrix metalloproteinase in dorsal hippocampus drives improvement in spatial working memory after intra-VTA nicotine infusion in rats.

    PubMed

    Shu, Hui; Zheng, Guo-qing; Wang, Xiaona; Sun, Yanyun; Liu, Yushan; Weaver, John Michael; Shen, Xianzhi; Liu, Wenlan; Jin, Xinchun

    2015-10-01

    The hippocampus receives dopaminergic projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra. These inputs appear to provide a modulatory signal that influences hippocampus-dependent behaviors. Enhancements in working memory performance have been previously reported following acute smoking/nicotine exposure. However, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. This study investigated the effects of nicotine on spatial working memory (SWM) and the mechanisms involved. Delayed alternation T-maze task was used to assess SWM. In situ and gel gelatin zymography were used to detect matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in SWM. Systemic or local (intra-VTA) administration of nicotine significantly improves SWM, which was accompanied by increased MMP-9 activity in dorsal hippocampus (dHPC). Intra-dHPC administration of MMP inhibitor FN-439 abolished the memory enhancement induced by intra-VTA nicotine infusion. FN-439 had no effect on locomotor behavior. Our data suggest that intra-VTA nicotine infusion activates MMP-9 in dHPC to improve SWM in rats.

  14. Damage of GABAergic neurons in the medial septum impairs spatial working memory and extinction of active avoidance: effects on proactive interference.

    PubMed

    Pang, Kevin C H; Jiao, Xilu; Sinha, Swamini; Beck, Kevin D; Servatius, Richard J

    2011-08-01

    The medial septum and diagonal band (MSDB) are important in spatial learning and memory. On the basis of the excitotoxic damage of GABAergic MSDB neurons, we have recently suggested a role for these neurons in controlling proactive interference. Our study sought to test this hypothesis in different behavioral procedures using a new GABAergic immunotoxin. GABA-transporter-saporin (GAT1-SAP) was administered into the MSDB of male Sprague-Dawley rats. Following surgery, rats were trained in a reference memory water maze procedure for 5 days, followed by a working memory (delayed match to position) water maze procedure. Other rats were trained in a lever-press avoidance procedure after intraseptal GAT1-SAP or sham surgery. Intraseptal GAT1-SAP extensively damaged GABAergic neurons while sparing most cholinergic MSDB neurons. Rats treated with GAT1-SAP were not impaired in acquiring a spatial reference memory, learning the location of the escape platform as rapidly as sham rats. In contrast, GAT1-SAP rats were slower than sham rats to learn the platform location in a delayed match to position procedure, in which the platform location was changed every day. Moreover, GAT1-SAP rats returned to previous platform locations more often than sham rats. In the active avoidance procedure, intraseptal GAT1-SAP impaired extinction but not acquisition of the avoidance response. Using a different neurotoxin and behavioral procedures than previous studies, the results of this study paint a similar picture that GABAergic MSDB neurons are important for controlling proactive interference.

  15. Neural correlates of working memory development in adolescent primates

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Xin; Zhu, Dantong; Qi, Xue-Lian; Li, Sihai; King, Samson G.; Salinas, Emilio; Stanford, Terrence R.; Constantinidis, Christos

    2016-01-01

    Working memory ability matures after puberty, in parallel with structural changes in the prefrontal cortex, but little is known about how changes in prefrontal neuronal activity mediate this cognitive improvement in primates. To address this issue, we compare behavioural performance and neurophysiological activity in monkeys as they transitioned from puberty into adulthood. Here we report that monkeys perform working memory tasks reliably during puberty and show modest improvement in adulthood. The adult prefrontal cortex is characterized by increased activity during the delay period of the task but no change in the representation of stimuli. Activity evoked by distracting stimuli also decreases in the adult prefrontal cortex. The increase in delay period activity relative to the baseline activity of prefrontal neurons is the best correlate of maturation and is not merely a consequence of improved performance. Our results reveal neural correlates of the working memory improvement typical of primate adolescence. PMID:27827365

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

    PubMed

    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.

  17. Gestalt Effects in Visual Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Kałamała, Patrycja; Sadowska, Aleksandra; Ordziniak, Wawrzyniec; Chuderski, Adam

    2017-01-01

    Four experiments investigated whether conforming to Gestalt principles, well known to drive visual perception, also facilitates the active maintenance of information in visual working memory (VWM). We used the change detection task, which required the memorization of visual patterns composed of several shapes. We observed no effects of symmetry of visual patterns on VWM performance. However, there was a moderate positive effect when a particular shape that was probed matched the shape of the whole pattern (the whole-part similarity effect). Data support the models assuming that VWM encodes not only particular objects of the perceptual scene but also the spatial relations between them (the ensemble representation). The ensemble representation may prime objects similar to its shape and thereby boost access to them. In contrast, the null effect of symmetry relates the fact that this very feature of an ensemble does not yield any useful additional information for VWM.

  18. Working memory load strengthens reward prediction errors.

    PubMed

    Collins, Anne G E; Ciullo, Brittany; Frank, Michael J; Badre, David

    2017-03-20

    Reinforcement learning in simple instrumental tasks is usually modeled as a monolithic process in which reward prediction errors are used to update expected values of choice options. This modeling ignores the different contributions of different memory and decision-making systems thought to contribute even to simple learning. In an fMRI experiment, we asked how working memory and incremental reinforcement learning processes interact to guide human learning. Working memory load was manipulated by varying the number of stimuli to be learned across blocks. Behavioral results and computational modeling confirmed that learning was best explained as a mixture of two mechanisms: a fast, capacity-limited, and delay-sensitive working memory process together with slower reinforcement learning. Model-based analysis of fMRI data showed that striatum and lateral prefrontal cortex were sensitive to reward prediction error, as shown previously, but critically, these signals were reduced when the learning problem was within capacity of working memory. The degree of this neural interaction related to individual differences in the use of working memory to guide behavioral learning. These results indicate that the two systems do not process information independently, but rather interact during learning.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTReinforcement learning theory has been remarkably productive at improving our understanding of instrumental learning as well as dopaminergic and striatal network function across many mammalian species. However, this neural network is only one contributor to human learning, and other mechanisms such as prefrontal cortex working memory, also play a key role. Our results show in addition that these other players interact with the dopaminergic RL system, interfering with its key computation of reward predictions errors.

  19. Rehearsal of To-Be-Remembered Items Is Unnecessary to Perform Directed Forgetting within Working Memory: Support for an Active Control Mechanism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Festini, Sara B.; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A.

    2017-01-01

    Directed forgetting tasks instruct people to forget targeted memoranda. In the context of working memory, people attempt to forget representations that are currently held in mind. Here, we evaluated candidate mechanisms of directed forgetting within working memory, by (a) testing the influence of articulatory suppression, a rehearsal-reducing and…

  20. Similarity effects in visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yuhong V; Lee, Hyejin J; Asaad, Anthony; Remington, Roger

    2016-04-01

    Perceptual similarity is an important property of multiple stimuli. Its computation supports a wide range of cognitive functions, including reasoning, categorization, and memory recognition. It is important, therefore, to determine why previous research has found conflicting effects of inter-item similarity on visual working memory. Studies reporting a similarity advantage have used simple stimuli whose similarity varied along a featural continuum. Studies reporting a similarity disadvantage have used complex stimuli from either a single or multiple categories. To elucidate stimulus conditions for similarity effects in visual working memory, we tested memory for complex stimuli (faces) whose similarity varied along a morph continuum. Participants encoded 3 morphs generated from a single face identity in the similar condition, or 3 morphs generated from different face identities in the dissimilar condition. After a brief delay, a test face appeared at one of the encoding locations for participants to make a same/different judgment. Two experiments showed that similarity enhanced memory accuracy without changing the response criterion. These findings support previous computational models that incorporate featural variance as a component of working memory load. They delineate limitations of models that emphasize cortical resources or response decisions.

  1. Goal-neglect links Stroop interference with working memory capacity.

    PubMed

    Morey, Candice C; Elliott, Emily M; Wiggers, Jody; Eaves, Sharon D; Shelton, Jill T; Mall, Jonathan T

    2012-10-01

    Relationships between Stroop interference and working memory capacity may reflect individual differences in resolving conflict, susceptibility to goal neglect, or both of these factors. We compared relationships between working memory capacity and three Stroop tasks: a classic, printed color-word Stroop task, a cross-modal Stroop, and a new version of cross-modal Stroop with a concurrent auditory monitoring component. Each of these tasks showed evidence of interference between the semantic meaning of the color word and the to-be-named color, suggesting these tasks each require resolution of interference. However, only Stroop interference in the print-based task with high proportions of congruent trials correlated significantly with working memory capacity. This evidence suggests that the relationships observed between Stroop interference and working memory capacity are primarily driven by individual differences in the propensity to actively maintain a goal.

  2. Neural Networks for Time Perception and Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Üstün, Sertaç; Kale, Emre H; Çiçek, Metehan

    2017-01-01

    Time is an important concept which determines most human behaviors, however questions remain about how time is perceived and which areas of the brain are responsible for time perception. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between time perception and working memory in healthy adults. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used during the application of a visual paradigm. In all of the conditions, the participants were presented with a moving black rectangle on a gray screen. The rectangle was obstructed by a black bar for a time period and then reappeared again. During different conditions, participants (n = 15, eight male) responded according to the instructions they were given, including details about time and the working memory or dual task requirements. The results showed activations in right dorsolateral prefrontal and right intraparietal cortical networks, together with the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), anterior insula and basal ganglia (BG) during time perception. On the other hand, working memory engaged the left prefrontal cortex, ACC, left superior parietal cortex, BG and cerebellum activity. Both time perception and working memory were related to a strong peristriate cortical activity. On the other hand, the interaction of time and memory showed activity in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). These results support a distributed neural network based model for time perception and that the intraparietal and posterior cingulate areas might play a role in the interface of memory and timing.

  3. Neural Networks for Time Perception and Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Üstün, Sertaç; Kale, Emre H.; Çiçek, Metehan

    2017-01-01

    Time is an important concept which determines most human behaviors, however questions remain about how time is perceived and which areas of the brain are responsible for time perception. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between time perception and working memory in healthy adults. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used during the application of a visual paradigm. In all of the conditions, the participants were presented with a moving black rectangle on a gray screen. The rectangle was obstructed by a black bar for a time period and then reappeared again. During different conditions, participants (n = 15, eight male) responded according to the instructions they were given, including details about time and the working memory or dual task requirements. The results showed activations in right dorsolateral prefrontal and right intraparietal cortical networks, together with the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), anterior insula and basal ganglia (BG) during time perception. On the other hand, working memory engaged the left prefrontal cortex, ACC, left superior parietal cortex, BG and cerebellum activity. Both time perception and working memory were related to a strong peristriate cortical activity. On the other hand, the interaction of time and memory showed activity in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). These results support a distributed neural network based model for time perception and that the intraparietal and posterior cingulate areas might play a role in the interface of memory and timing. PMID:28286475

  4. Is the link from working memory to analogy causal? No analogy improvements following working memory training gains.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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…

  6. CNTRICS Final Task Selection: Working Memory

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Impairing somatosensory working memory using rTMS.

    PubMed

    Auksztulewicz, Ryszard; Spitzer, Bernhard; Goltz, Dominique; Blankenburg, Felix

    2011-09-01

    Numerous studies in animals and humans have related central aspects of somatosensory working memory function to neural activity in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). However, as previous studies have almost exclusively used correlational analyses, the question whether sustained neural activity in the IFG is causally involved in successful maintenance of somatosensory information remains unanswered. We used an online repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) protocol to disrupt neuronal activity in the IFG while participants were maintaining tactile information throughout the delay for later comparison against a probe stimulus. rTMS impaired participants' performance in the working memory task, but not in a physically matched perceptual control task. Targeting the IFG in either hemisphere led to comparable working memory impairment. Our results show that the neural activity in the IFG plays a causal role in successful maintenance of somatosensory information.

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brooks, David W.; Shell, Duane F.

    2006-03-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Comparative Overview of Visuospatial Working Memory in Monkeys and Rats

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui, Ken-Ichiro; Oyama, Kei; Nakamura, Shinya; Iijima, Toshio

    2016-01-01

    Neural mechanisms of working memory, particularly its visuospatial aspect, have long been studied in non-human primates. On the other hand, rodents are becoming more important in systems neuroscience, as many of the innovative research methods have become available for them. There has been a question on whether primates and rodents have similar neural backgrounds for working memory. In this article, we carried out a comparative overview of the neural mechanisms of visuospatial working memory in monkeys and rats. In monkeys, a number of lesion studies indicate that the brain region most responsible for visuospatial working memory is the ventral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (vDLPFC), as the performance in the standard tests for visuospatial working memory, such as delayed response and delayed alternation tasks, are impaired by lesions in this region. Single-unit studies revealed a characteristic firing pattern in neurons in this area, a sustained delay activity. Further studies indicated that the information maintained in the working memory, such as cue location and response direction in a delayed response, is coded in the sustained delay activity. In rats, an area comparable to the monkey vDLPFC was found to be the dorsal part of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), as the delayed alternation in a T-maze is impaired by its lesion. Recently, the sustained delay activity similar to that found in monkeys has been found in the dorsal mPFC of rats performing the delayed response task. Furthermore, anatomical studies indicate that the vDLPFC in monkeys and the dorsal mPFC in rats have much in common, such as that they are both the major targets of parieto-frontal projections. Thus lines of evidence indicate that in both monkeys and rodents, the PFC plays a critical role in working memory. PMID:28018186

  12. Comparative Overview of Visuospatial Working Memory in Monkeys and Rats.

    PubMed

    Tsutsui, Ken-Ichiro; Oyama, Kei; Nakamura, Shinya; Iijima, Toshio

    2016-01-01

    Neural mechanisms of working memory, particularly its visuospatial aspect, have long been studied in non-human primates. On the other hand, rodents are becoming more important in systems neuroscience, as many of the innovative research methods have become available for them. There has been a question on whether primates and rodents have similar neural backgrounds for working memory. In this article, we carried out a comparative overview of the neural mechanisms of visuospatial working memory in monkeys and rats. In monkeys, a number of lesion studies indicate that the brain region most responsible for visuospatial working memory is the ventral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (vDLPFC), as the performance in the standard tests for visuospatial working memory, such as delayed response and delayed alternation tasks, are impaired by lesions in this region. Single-unit studies revealed a characteristic firing pattern in neurons in this area, a sustained delay activity. Further studies indicated that the information maintained in the working memory, such as cue location and response direction in a delayed response, is coded in the sustained delay activity. In rats, an area comparable to the monkey vDLPFC was found to be the dorsal part of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), as the delayed alternation in a T-maze is impaired by its lesion. Recently, the sustained delay activity similar to that found in monkeys has been found in the dorsal mPFC of rats performing the delayed response task. Furthermore, anatomical studies indicate that the vDLPFC in monkeys and the dorsal mPFC in rats have much in common, such as that they are both the major targets of parieto-frontal projections. Thus lines of evidence indicate that in both monkeys and rodents, the PFC plays a critical role in working memory.

  13. 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…

  14. Joint Attention Enhances Visual Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gregory, Samantha E. A.; Jackson, Margaret C.

    2017-01-01

    Joint attention--the mutual focus of 2 individuals on an item--speeds detection and discrimination of target information. However, what happens to that information beyond the initial perceptual episode? To fully comprehend and engage with our immediate environment also requires working memory (WM), which integrates information from second to…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Bays, Paul M

    2014-03-05

    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.

  2. CNTRICS imaging biomarkers selection: Working memory.

    PubMed

    Barch, Deanna M; Moore, Holly; Nee, Derek E; Manoach, Dara S; Luck, Steven J

    2012-01-01

    The sixth meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (CNTRICS) consortium was focused on selecting promising imaging biomarker measures for each of the cognitive constructs selected in the first CNTRICS meeting. In the domain of working memory (WM), the 2 constructs of interest were "goal maintenance" and "interference control." CNTRICS received 7 task nominations for goal maintenance and 3 task nominations for interference control. For goal maintenance, the breakout group for WM recommended the AX Continuous Performance Test/Dot Pattern Expectancy (DPX) and the Switching Stroop task for translation and further development for use in clinical trial contexts in schizophrenia research. Notably, these same 2 paradigms were recommended for "rule generation and selection" in executive control, a highly related construct. For interference control, the breakout group recommended the Suppress Task and the Sternberg Item Recognition Paradigm for translation for use in clinical trials. This manuscript describes the ways in which each of these tasks met the criteria used by the breakout group to recommend tasks for further development. In addition, the group revisited the construct of WM capacity. Since the initial CNTRICS meeting, a growing body of work has emerged on the neurobiological substrates of WM capacity, making measure of this construct ready for translation. The group suggested a promising imaging biomarker measure for capacity, a version of the change detection task that measures delay activity over posterior parietal and occipital cortex.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. Computational principles of working memory in sentence comprehension

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  6. Selective attention, working memory, and animal intelligence.

    PubMed

    Matzel, Louis D; Kolata, Stefan

    2010-01-01

    Accumulating evidence indicates that the storage and processing capabilities of the human working memory system co-vary with individuals' performance on a wide range of cognitive tasks. The ubiquitous nature of this relationship suggests that variations in these processes may underlie individual differences in intelligence. Here we briefly review relevant data which supports this view. Furthermore, we emphasize an emerging literature describing a trait in genetically heterogeneous mice that is quantitatively and qualitatively analogous to general intelligence (g) in humans. As in humans, this animal analog of g co-varies with individual differences in both storage and processing components of the working memory system. Absent some of the complications associated with work with human subjects (e.g., phonological processing), this work with laboratory animals has provided an opportunity to assess otherwise intractable hypotheses. For instance, it has been possible in animals to manipulate individual aspects of the working memory system (e.g., selective attention), and to observe causal relationships between these variables and the expression of general cognitive abilities. This work with laboratory animals has coincided with human imaging studies (briefly reviewed here) which suggest that common brain structures (e.g., prefrontal cortex) mediate the efficacy of selective attention and the performance of individuals on intelligence test batteries. In total, this evidence suggests an evolutionary conservation of the processes that co-vary with and/or regulate "intelligence" and provides a framework for promoting these abilities in both young and old animals.

  7. Working memory still needs verbal rehearsal.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. As Working Memory Grows: A Developmental Account of Neural Bases of Working Memory Capacity in 5- to 8-Year Old Children and Adults.

    PubMed

    Kharitonova, Maria; Winter, Warren; Sheridan, Margaret A

    2015-09-01

    Working memory develops slowly: Even by age 8, children are able to maintain only half the number of items that adults can remember. Neural substrates that support performance on working memory tasks also have a slow developmental trajectory and typically activate to a lesser extent in children, relative to adults. Little is known about why younger participants elicit less neural activation. This may be due to maturational differences, differences in behavioral performance, or both. Here we investigate the neural correlates of working memory capacity in children (ages 5-8) and adults using a visual working memory task with parametrically increasing loads (from one to four items) using fMRI. This task allowed us to estimate working memory capacity limit for each group. We found that both age groups increased the activation of frontoparietal networks with increasing working memory loads, until working memory capacity was reached. Because children's working memory capacity limit was half of that for adults, the plateau occurred at lower loads for children. Had a parametric increase in load not been used, this would have given an impression of less activation overall and less load-dependent activation for children relative to adults. Our findings suggest that young children and adults recruit similar frontoparietal networks at working memory loads that do not exceed capacity and highlight the need to consider behavioral performance differences when interpreting developmental differences in neural activation.

  10. Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Nicotine on Working Memory, Activity, Sensory Gating, and Dopamine Receptor Binding in Adolescent and Adult Male and Female Rats

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1999-01-08

    by female rats during agonistic interactions : Effects of morphine and naltrexone. Psychopharmacology. 114, 441-448. Hardy, J.B., & Mellits, ED...Rakic and colleagues in primates. Particularly of interest in spatial working memory is the connection of the hippocampus with the prefrontal cortex...Early work of Olton and others have identified the key role that the hippocampus plays in spatial memory processing (Olton, 1983; Olton et aI., 1979a

  11. Longitudinal study of spatial working memory development in young children.

    PubMed

    Tsujii, Takeo; Yamamoto, Eriko; Masuda, Sayako; Watanabe, Shigeru

    2009-05-27

    This study longitudinally compared activity in the frontal cortex during a spatial working memory task between 5-year-old and 7-year-old children using near-infrared spectroscopy. Eight children participated in this study twice, once at 5 years and once at 7 years of age. Behavioral analysis showed that older children performed the working memory task more precisely and more rapidly than younger children. Near-infrared spectroscopy analysis showed that right hemisphere dominance was observed in older children, whereas no hemispheric difference was apparent in younger children. Children with strengthened lateralization showed improved performance from 5 to 7 years. We therefore offer the first demonstration of the developmental changes in frontal cortical activation during spatial working memory tasks during the preschool period.

  12. Retrieval Deficiency in Brain Activity of Working Memory in Amnesic Mild Cognitive Impairment Patients: A Brain Event-Related Potentials Study

    PubMed Central

    Li, Bin-Yin; Tang, Hui-Dong; Chen, Sheng-Di

    2016-01-01

    In the early stage of Alzheimer disease (AD) or mild cognitive impairment (MCI), working memory (WM) deficiency is prominent and could be attributed to failure in encoding, maintenance or retrieval of information. However, evidence for a retention or retrieval deficit remains equivocal. It is also unclear what cognitive mechanism in WM is impaired in MCI or early AD. We enrolled 46 subjects from our Memory Clinics and community, with 24 amnesic MCI patients and 22 normal subjects. After neurological and cognitive assessments, they performed a classic delayed match to sample (DMS) task with simultaneous event-related potential (ERP) recorded. The ERPs in encoding and retrieval epoch during WM were analyzed separately. The latency and amplitude of every ERP component were compared between two groups, and then analyzed to explore their relationship with neuropsychological performance. Finally, the locations of maximal difference in cortex were calculated by standard low-resolution tomographic analysis. A total of five components were found: P1, N1, P2, N2, and P300. The amplitude of P2 and P300 was larger in normal subjects than in MCI patients only during retrieval, not encoding epoch, while the latency did not show statistical difference. The latency and amplitude of P1 and N1 were similar in two groups. P2 amplitude in the retrieval epoch positively correlated with memory test (auditory verbal learning test) and visual spatial score of Chinese Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination-Revised (ACE-R), while P300 amplitude correlated with ACE-R. The activation difference in P2 time range was maximal at medial frontal gyrus. However, the difference in cortex activation during P300 time range did not show significance. The amplitude of P2 indicated deficiency in memory retrieval process, potentially due to dysfunction of central executive in WM model. Regarding the location of P2 during WM task, medial frontal plays important role in memory retrieval. The findings in the

  13. Retrieval Deficiency in Brain Activity of Working Memory in Amnesic Mild Cognitive Impairment Patients: A Brain Event-Related Potentials Study.

    PubMed

    Li, Bin-Yin; Tang, Hui-Dong; Chen, Sheng-Di

    2016-01-01

    In the early stage of Alzheimer disease (AD) or mild cognitive impairment (MCI), working memory (WM) deficiency is prominent and could be attributed to failure in encoding, maintenance or retrieval of information. However, evidence for a retention or retrieval deficit remains equivocal. It is also unclear what cognitive mechanism in WM is impaired in MCI or early AD. We enrolled 46 subjects from our Memory Clinics and community, with 24 amnesic MCI patients and 22 normal subjects. After neurological and cognitive assessments, they performed a classic delayed match to sample (DMS) task with simultaneous event-related potential (ERP) recorded. The ERPs in encoding and retrieval epoch during WM were analyzed separately. The latency and amplitude of every ERP component were compared between two groups, and then analyzed to explore their relationship with neuropsychological performance. Finally, the locations of maximal difference in cortex were calculated by standard low-resolution tomographic analysis. A total of five components were found: P1, N1, P2, N2, and P300. The amplitude of P2 and P300 was larger in normal subjects than in MCI patients only during retrieval, not encoding epoch, while the latency did not show statistical difference. The latency and amplitude of P1 and N1 were similar in two groups. P2 amplitude in the retrieval epoch positively correlated with memory test (auditory verbal learning test) and visual spatial score of Chinese Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination-Revised (ACE-R), while P300 amplitude correlated with ACE-R. The activation difference in P2 time range was maximal at medial frontal gyrus. However, the difference in cortex activation during P300 time range did not show significance. The amplitude of P2 indicated deficiency in memory retrieval process, potentially due to dysfunction of central executive in WM model. Regarding the location of P2 during WM task, medial frontal plays important role in memory retrieval. The findings in the

  14. Processing distinct linguistic information types in working memory in aphasia.

    PubMed

    Wright, Heather Harris; Downey, Ryan A; Gravier, Michelle; Love, Tracy; Shapiro, Lewis P

    2007-06-01

    BACKGROUND: Recent investigations have suggested that adults with aphasia present with a working memory deficit that may contribute to their language-processing difficulties. Working memory capacity has been conceptualised as a single "resource" pool for attentional, linguistic, and other executive processing-alternatively, it has been suggested that there may be separate working memory abilities for different types of linguistic information. A challenge in this line of research is developing an appropriate measure of working memory ability in adults with aphasia. One candidate measure of working memory ability that may be appropriate for this population is the n-back task. By manipulating stimulus type, the n-back task may be appropriate for tapping linguistic-specific working memory abilities. AIMS: The purposes of this study were (a) to measure working memory ability in adults with aphasia for processing specific types of linguistic information, and (b) to examine whether a relationship exists between participants' performance on working memory and auditory comprehension measures. METHOD #ENTITYSTARTX00026; PROCEDURES: Nine adults with aphasia participated in the study. Participants completed three n-back tasks, each tapping different types of linguistic information. They included the PhonoBack (phonological level), SemBack (semantic level), and SynBack (syntactic level). For all tasks, two n-back levels were administered: a 1-back and 2-back. Each level contained 20 target items; accuracy was recorded by stimulus presentation software. The Subject-relative, Object-relative, Active, Passive Test of Syntactic Complexity (SOAP) was the syntactic sentence comprehension task administered to all participants. OUTCOMES #ENTITYSTARTX00026; RESULTS: Participants' performance declined as n-back task difficulty increased. Overall, participants performed better on the SemBack than PhonoBack and SynBack tasks, but the differences were not statistically significant. Finally

  15. Activation of dopaminergic D2/D3 receptors modulates dorsoventral connectivity in the hippocampus and reverses the impairment of working memory after nerve injury.

    PubMed

    Cardoso-Cruz, Helder; Dourado, Margarida; Monteiro, Clara; Matos, Mariana R; Galhardo, Vasco

    2014-04-23

    Dopamine plays an important role in several forms of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, a crucial brain structure for working memory (WM) functioning. In this study, we evaluated whether the working-memory impairment characteristic of animal models of chronic pain is dependent on hippocampal dopaminergic signaling. To address this issue, we implanted multichannel arrays of electrodes in the dorsal and ventral hippocampal CA1 region of rats and recorded the neuronal activity during a food-reinforced spatial WM task of trajectory alternation. Within-subject behavioral performance and patterns of dorsoventral neuronal activity were assessed before and after the onset of persistent neuropathic pain using the Spared Nerve Injury (SNI) model of neuropathic pain. Our results show that the peripheral nerve lesion caused a disruption in WM and in hippocampus spike activity and that this disruption was reversed by the systemic administration of the dopamine D2/D3 receptor agonist quinpirole (0.05 mg/kg). In SNI animals, the administration of quinpirole restored both the performance-related and the task-related spike activity to the normal range characteristic of naive animals, whereas quinpirole in sham animals caused the opposite effect. Quinpirole also reversed the abnormally low levels of hippocampus dorsoventral connectivity and phase coherence. Together with our finding of changes in gene expression of dopamine receptors and modulators after the onset of the nerve injury model, these results suggest that disruption of the dopaminergic balance in the hippocampus may be crucial for the clinical neurological and cognitive deficits observed in patients with painful syndromes.

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. Correlation of within-individual fluctuation of depressed mood with prefrontal cortex activity during verbal working memory task: optical topography study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sato, Hiroki; Aoki, Ryuta; Katura, Takusige; Matsuda, Ryoichi; Koizumi, Hideaki

    2011-12-01

    Previous studies showed that interindividual variations in mood state are associated with prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity. In this study, we focused on the depressed-mood state under natural circumstances and examined the relationship between within-individual changes over time in this mood state and PFC activity. We used optical topography (OT), a functional imaging technique based on near-infrared spectroscopy, to measure PFC activity for each participant in three experimental sessions repeated at 2-week intervals. In each session, the participants completed a self-report questionnaire of mood state and underwent OT measurement while performing verbal and spatial working memory (WM) tasks. The results showed that changes in the depressed-mood score between successive sessions were negatively correlated with those in the left PFC activation for the verbal WM task (ρ = -0.56, p < 0.05). In contrast, the PFC activation for the spatial WM task did not co-vary with participants' mood changes. We thus demonstrated that PFC activity during a verbal WM task varies depending on the participant's depressed mood state, independent of trait factors. This suggests that using optical topography to measure PFC activity during a verbal WM task can be used as a potential state marker for an individual's depressed mood state.

  19. Does learning to read shape verbal working memory?

    PubMed

    Demoulin, Catherine; Kolinsky, Régine

    2016-06-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Emotional Working Memory in Alzheimer's Disease Patients

    PubMed Central

    Satler, Corina; Tomaz, Carlos

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Factorial Comparison of Working Memory Models

    PubMed Central

    van den Berg, Ronald; Awh, Edward; Ma, Wei Ji

    2014-01-01

    Three questions have been prominent in the study of visual working memory limitations: (a) What is the nature of mnemonic precision (e.g., quantized or continuous)? (b) How many items are remembered? (c) To what extent do spatial binding errors account for working memory failures? Modeling studies have typically focused on comparing possible answers to a single one of these questions, even though the result of such a comparison might depend on the assumed answers to both others. Here, we consider every possible combination of previously proposed answers to the individual questions. Each model is then a point in a 3-factor model space containing a total of 32 models, of which only 6 have been tested previously. We compare all models on data from 10 delayed-estimation experiments from 6 laboratories (for a total of 164 subjects and 131,452 trials). Consistently across experiments, we find that (a) mnemonic precision is not quantized but continuous and not equal but variable across items and trials; (b) the number of remembered items is likely to be variable across trials, with a mean of 6.4 in the best model (median across subjects); (c) spatial binding errors occur but explain only a small fraction of responses (16.5% at set size 8 in the best model). We find strong evidence against all 6 documented models. Our results demonstrate the value of factorial model comparison in working memory. PMID:24490791

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Frank

    2013-01-01

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

  5. What "works" in working memory? Separate systems for selection and updating of critical information.

    PubMed

    Bledowski, Christoph; Rahm, Benjamin; Rowe, James B

    2009-10-28

    Cognition depends critically on working memory, the active representation of a limited number of items over short periods of time. In addition to the maintenance of information during the course of cognitive processing, many tasks require that some of the items in working memory become transiently more important than others. Based on cognitive models of working memory, we hypothesized two complementary essential cognitive operations to achieve this: a selection operation that retrieves the most relevant item, and an updating operation that changes the focus of attention onto it. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, high-resolution oculometry, and behavioral analysis, we demonstrate that these two operations are functionally and neuroanatomically dissociated. Updating the attentional focus elicited transient activation in the caudal superior frontal sulcus and posterior parietal cortex. In contrast, increasing demands on selection selectively modulated activation in rostral superior frontal sulcus and posterior cingulate/precuneus. We conclude that prioritizing one memory item over others invokes independent mechanisms of mnemonic retrieval and attentional focusing, each with its distinct neuroanatomical basis within frontal and parietal regions. These support the developing understanding of working memory as emerging from the interaction between memory and attentional systems.

  6. Working Memory and Decision Processes in Visual Area V4

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23550043

  7. Visuospatial working memory in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed Central

    Bradley, V A; Welch, J L; Dick, D J

    1989-01-01

    Visuospatial impairment is frequently reported in Parkinson's disease but the psychological mechanisms which subserve the impaired abilities and the way in which breakdown of the mechanisms leads to performance deficits have not been precisely delineated. This paper reports experimental investigations designed to test the hypothesis that the locus of the impairment is the visuospatial subsystem of working memory. Subjects were a group of sixteen patients with Parkinson's disease of mild to moderate severity and a matched control group. They performed complex visuospatial and verbal memory tasks. The Parkinsonian group were significantly slower than the control group when performing the visuospatial task. They were not significantly slower and made no more errors than the control group on the verbal task. The findings are compatible with the hypothesis that the visuospatial subsystem of working memory is impaired in Parkinson's disease. It is demonstrated that the impairment is not the result of a reduction in the capacity of this subsystem but is due to difficulty in utilising information stored in the subsystem to perform complex visuospatial tasks. PMID:2592967

  8. Differential roles of delay-period neural activity in the monkey dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in visual–haptic crossmodal working memory

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Liping; Li, Xianchun; Hsiao, Steven S.; Lenz, Fred A.; Bodner, Mark; Zhou, Yong-Di

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that neurons of monkey dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) integrate information across modalities and maintain it throughout the delay period of working-memory (WM) tasks. However, the mechanisms of this temporal integration in the DLPFC are still poorly understood. In the present study, to further elucidate the role of the DLPFC in crossmodal WM, we trained monkeys to perform visuo–haptic (VH) crossmodal and haptic–haptic (HH) unimodal WM tasks. The neuronal activity recorded in the DLPFC in the delay period of both tasks indicates that the early-delay differential activity probably is related to the encoding of sample information with different strengths depending on task modality, that the late-delay differential activity reflects the associated (modality-independent) action component of haptic choice in both tasks (that is, the anticipation of the behavioral choice and/or active recall and maintenance of sample information for subsequent action), and that the sustained whole-delay differential activity likely bridges and integrates the sensory and action components. In addition, the VH late-delay differential activity was significantly diminished when the haptic choice was not required. Taken together, the results show that, in addition to the whole-delay differential activity, DLPFC neurons also show early- and late-delay differential activities. These previously unidentified findings indicate that DLPFC is capable of (i) holding the coded sample information (e.g., visual or tactile information) in the early-delay activity, (ii) retrieving the abstract information (orientations) of the sample (whether the sample has been haptic or visual) and holding it in the late-delay activity, and (iii) preparing for behavioral choice acting on that abstract information. PMID:25540412

  9. Differential roles of delay-period neural activity in the monkey dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in visual-haptic crossmodal working memory.

    PubMed

    Wang, Liping; Li, Xianchun; Hsiao, Steven S; Lenz, Fred A; Bodner, Mark; Zhou, Yong-Di; Fuster, Joaquín M

    2015-01-13

    Previous studies have shown that neurons of monkey dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) integrate information across modalities and maintain it throughout the delay period of working-memory (WM) tasks. However, the mechanisms of this temporal integration in the DLPFC are still poorly understood. In the present study, to further elucidate the role of the DLPFC in crossmodal WM, we trained monkeys to perform visuo-haptic (VH) crossmodal and haptic-haptic (HH) unimodal WM tasks. The neuronal activity recorded in the DLPFC in the delay period of both tasks indicates that the early-delay differential activity probably is related to the encoding of sample information with different strengths depending on task modality, that the late-delay differential activity reflects the associated (modality-independent) action component of haptic choice in both tasks (that is, the anticipation of the behavioral choice and/or active recall and maintenance of sample information for subsequent action), and that the sustained whole-delay differential activity likely bridges and integrates the sensory and action components. In addition, the VH late-delay differential activity was significantly diminished when the haptic choice was not required. Taken together, the results show that, in addition to the whole-delay differential activity, DLPFC neurons also show early- and late-delay differential activities. These previously unidentified findings indicate that DLPFC is capable of (i) holding the coded sample information (e.g., visual or tactile information) in the early-delay activity, (ii) retrieving the abstract information (orientations) of the sample (whether the sample has been haptic or visual) and holding it in the late-delay activity, and (iii) preparing for behavioral choice acting on that abstract information.

  10. Amodal completion in visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Chen, Siyi; Müller, Hermann J; Conci, Markus

    2016-09-01

    Amodal completion refers to the perceptual "filling-in" of partly occluded object fragments. Previous work has shown that object completion occurs efficiently, at early perceptual stages of processing. However, despite efficient early completion, at a later stage, the maintenance of complete-object representations in visual working memory (VWM) may be severely restricted due to limited mnemonic resources being available. To examine for such a limitation, we investigated whether the structure of to-be-remembered objects influences what is encoded and maintained in VWM using a change detection paradigm. Participants were presented with a memory display that contained either "composite" objects, that is, notched shapes abutting an occluding square, or equivalent unoccluded, "simple" objects. The results showed overall increased memory performance for simple relative to composite objects. Moreover, evidence for completion in VWM was found for composite objects that were interpreted as globally completed wholes, relative to local completions or an uncompleted mosaic (baseline) condition. This global completion advantage was obtained only when the "context" of simple objects also supported a global object interpretation. Finally, with an increase in memory set size, the global object advantage decreased substantially. These findings indicate that processes of amodal completion influence VWM performance until some overall-capacity limitation prevents completion. VWM completion processes do not operate automatically; rather, the representation format is determined top-down based on the simple object context provided. Overall, these findings support the notion of VWM as a capacity-limited resource, with storage capacity depending on the structured representation of to-be-remembered objects. (PsycINFO Database Record

  11. Dissociation of working memory impairments and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in the brain.

    PubMed

    Mattfeld, Aaron T; Whitfield-Gabrieli, Susan; Biederman, Joseph; Spencer, Thomas; Brown, Ariel; Fried, Ronna; Gabrieli, John D E

    2016-01-01

    Prevailing neuropsychological models of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) propose that ADHD arises from deficits in executive functions such as working memory, but accumulating clinical evidence suggests a dissociation between ADHD and executive dysfunctions. This study examined whether ADHD and working memory capacity are behaviorally and neurobiologically separable using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants diagnosed with ADHD in childhood who subsequently remitted or persisted in their diagnosis as adults were characterized at follow-up in adulthood as either impaired or unimpaired in spatial working memory relative to controls who never had ADHD. ADHD participants with impaired spatial working memory performed worse than controls and ADHD participants with unimpaired working memory during an n-back working memory task while being scanned. Both controls and ADHD participants with unimpaired working memory exhibited significant linearly increasing activation in the inferior frontal junction, precuneus, lingual gyrus, and cerebellum as a function of working-memory load, and these activations did not differ significantly between these groups. ADHD participants with impaired working memory exhibited significant hypoactivation in the same regions, which was significantly different than both control participants and ADHD participants with unimpaired working memory. These findings support both a behavioral and neurobiological dissociation between ADHD and working memory capacity.

  12. 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.

  13. Selective transfer of visual working memory training on Chinese character learning.

    PubMed

    Opitz, Bertram; Schneiders, Julia A; Krick, Christoph M; Mecklinger, Axel

    2014-01-01

    Previous research has shown a systematic relationship between phonological working memory capacity and second language proficiency for alphabetic languages. However, little is known about the impact of working memory processes on second language learning in a non-alphabetic language such as Mandarin Chinese. Due to the greater complexity of the Chinese writing system we expect that visual working memory rather than phonological working memory exerts a unique influence on learning Chinese characters. This issue was explored in the present experiment by comparing visual working memory training with an active (auditory working memory training) control condition and a passive, no training control condition. Training induced modulations in language-related brain networks were additionally examined using functional magnetic resonance imaging in a pretest-training-posttest design. As revealed by pre- to posttest comparisons and analyses of individual differences in working memory training gains, visual working memory training led to positive transfer effects on visual Chinese vocabulary learning compared to both control conditions. In addition, we found sustained activation after visual working memory training in the (predominantly visual) left infero-temporal cortex that was associated with behavioral transfer. In the control conditions, activation either increased (active control condition) or decreased (passive control condition) without reliable behavioral transfer effects. This suggests that visual working memory training leads to more efficient processing and more refined responses in brain regions involved in visual processing. Furthermore, visual working memory training boosted additional activation in the precuneus, presumably reflecting mental image generation of the learned characters. We, therefore, suggest that the conjoint activity of the mid-fusiform gyrus and the precuneus after visual working memory training reflects an interaction of working memory and

  14. Working memory maintenance is sufficient to reduce state anxiety.

    PubMed

    Balderston, Nicholas L; Quispe-Escudero, David; Hale, Elizabeth; Davis, Andrew; O'Connell, Katherine; Ernst, Monique; Grillon, Christian

    2016-11-01

    According to the attentional control theory (ACT) proposed by Eysenck and colleagues, anxiety interferes with cognitive processing by prioritizing bottom-up attentional processes over top-down attentional processes, leading to competition for access to limited resources in working memory, particularly the central executive (Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, ). However, previous research using the n-back working memory task suggests that working memory load also reduces state anxiety. Assuming that similar mechanisms underlie the effect of anxiety on cognition, and the effect of cognition on anxiety, one possible implication of the ACT would suggest that the reduction of state anxiety with increasing working memory load is driven by activation of central executive attentional control processes. We tested this hypothesis using the Sternberg working memory paradigm, where maintenance processes can be isolated from central executive processes (Altamura et al., ; Sternberg, ). Consistent with the n-back results, subjects showed decreased state anxiety during the maintenance period of high-load trials relative to low-load trials, suggesting that maintenance processes alone are sufficient to achieve this state anxiety reduction. Given that the Sternberg task does not require central executive engagement, these results are not consistent with an implication of the ACT where the cognition/anxiety relationship and anxiety/cognition relationship are mediated by similar central executive mechanisms. Instead, we propose an extension of the ACT such that engaging working memory maintenance suppresses state anxiety in a load-dependent manner. Furthermore, we hypothesize that the efficacy of this effect may moderate the effect of trait anxiety on cognition.

  15. Altered brain activation and functional connectivity in working memory related networks in patients with type 2 diabetes: An ICA-based analysis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yang; Lu, Shan; Liu, Chunlei; Zhang, Huimei; Zhou, Xuanhe; Ni, Changlin; Qin, Wen; Zhang, Quan

    2016-03-29

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) can cause multidimensional cognitive deficits, among which working memory (WM) is usually involved at an early stage. However, the neural substrates underlying impaired WM in T2DM patients are still unclear. To clarify this issue, we utilized functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and independent component analysis to evaluate T2DM patients for alterations in brain activation and functional connectivity (FC) in WM networks and to determine their associations with cognitive and clinical variables. Twenty complication-free T2DM patients and 19 matched healthy controls (HCs) were enrolled, and fMRI data were acquired during a block-designed 1-back WM task. The WM metrics of the T2DM patients showed no differences compared with those of the HCs, except for a slightly lower accuracy rate in the T2DM patients. Compared with the HCs, the T2DM patients demonstrated increased activation within their WM fronto-parietal networks, and activation strength was significantly correlated with WM performance. The T2DM patients also showed decreased FC within and between their WM networks. Our results indicate that the functional integration of WM sub-networks was disrupted in the complication-free T2DM patients and that strengthened regional activity in fronto-parietal networks may compensate for the WM impairment caused by T2DM.

  16. Altered brain activation and functional connectivity in working memory related networks in patients with type 2 diabetes: An ICA-based analysis

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yang; Lu, Shan; Liu, Chunlei; Zhang, Huimei; Zhou, Xuanhe; Ni, Changlin; Qin, Wen; Zhang, Quan

    2016-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) can cause multidimensional cognitive deficits, among which working memory (WM) is usually involved at an early stage. However, the neural substrates underlying impaired WM in T2DM patients are still unclear. To clarify this issue, we utilized functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and independent component analysis to evaluate T2DM patients for alterations in brain activation and functional connectivity (FC) in WM networks and to determine their associations with cognitive and clinical variables. Twenty complication-free T2DM patients and 19 matched healthy controls (HCs) were enrolled, and fMRI data were acquired during a block-designed 1-back WM task. The WM metrics of the T2DM patients showed no differences compared with those of the HCs, except for a slightly lower accuracy rate in the T2DM patients. Compared with the HCs, the T2DM patients demonstrated increased activation within their WM fronto-parietal networks, and activation strength was significantly correlated with WM performance. The T2DM patients also showed decreased FC within and between their WM networks. Our results indicate that the functional integration of WM sub-networks was disrupted in the complication-free T2DM patients and that strengthened regional activity in fronto-parietal networks may compensate for the WM impairment caused by T2DM. PMID:27021340

  17. Working-memory load and dimensional complexity of the EEG.

    PubMed

    Sammer, G

    1996-11-01

    This investigation shows that a working-memory load induced by a memory scanning task has an effect on nonlinear descriptors of the EEG dynamics. The effect was locally specific above the fronto-temporal (right) cortex and it may be described as a reduction in the dimensional complexity of cortical brain activity. The meaning of the effects seems to differ from that of EEG spectral power, which varied with time during the experiment and not with changes in the working-memory load conditions. Behaviorally controlled over- and underload led to increased variance of the dimensional complexity, thus indicating that dimensional complexity correlates more closely with actual performance than with more general descriptions of brain states. Habitual response speed had an effect at the parietal lead, thus indicating that fast responders reduced their dimensional complexity as the task demand increased. In contrast, the slower responders showed no such definite trend.

  18. Brain Connectivity Variation Topography Associated with Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Ma, Xiaofei; Huang, Xiaolin; Ge, Yun; Hu, Yueming; Chen, Wei; Liu, Aili; Liu, Hongxing; Chen, Ying; Li, Bin; Ning, Xinbao

    2016-01-01

    Brain connectivity analysis plays an essential role in the research of working memory that involves complex coordination of various brain regions. In this research, we present a comprehensive view of trans-states brain connectivity variation based on continuous scalp EEG, extending beyond traditional stimuli-lock averaging or restriction to short time scales of hundreds of milliseconds after stimulus onset. The scalp EEG was collected under three conditions: quiet, memory, and control. The only difference between the memory and control conditions was that in the memory condition, subjects made an effort to retain information. We started our investigation with calibrations of Pearson correlation in EEG analysis and then derived two indices, link strength and node connectivity, to make comparisons between different states. Finally, we constructed and studied trans-state brain connectivity variation topography. Comparing memory and control states with quiet state, we found that the beta topography highlights links between T5/T6 and O1/O2, which represents the visual ventral stream, and the gamma topography conveys strengthening of inter-hemisphere links and weakening of intra-hemisphere frontal-posterior links, implying parallel inter-hemisphere coordination combined with sequential intra-hemisphere coordination when subjects are confronted with visual stimuli and a motor task. For comparison between memory and control states, we also found that the node connectivity of T6 stands out in gamma topography, which provides strong proof from scalp EEG for the information binding or relational processing function of the temporal lobe in memory formation. To our knowledge, this is the first time for any method to effectively capture brain connectivity variation associated with working memory from a relatively large scale both in time (from a second to a minute) and in space (from the scalp). The method can track brain activity continuously with minimal manual interruptions

  19. Brain Connectivity Variation Topography Associated with Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Xiaofei; Huang, Xiaolin; Ge, Yun; Hu, Yueming; Chen, Wei; Liu, Aili; Liu, Hongxing; Chen, Ying; Li, Bin; Ning, Xinbao

    2016-01-01

    Brain connectivity analysis plays an essential role in the research of working memory that involves complex coordination of various brain regions. In this research, we present a comprehensive view of trans-states brain connectivity variation based on continuous scalp EEG, extending beyond traditional stimuli-lock averaging or restriction to short time scales of hundreds of milliseconds after stimulus onset. The scalp EEG was collected under three conditions: quiet, memory, and control. The only difference between the memory and control conditions was that in the memory condition, subjects made an effort to retain information. We started our investigation with calibrations of Pearson correlation in EEG analysis and then derived two indices, link strength and node connectivity, to make comparisons between different states. Finally, we constructed and studied trans-state brain connectivity variation topography. Comparing memory and control states with quiet state, we found that the beta topography highlights links between T5/T6 and O1/O2, which represents the visual ventral stream, and the gamma topography conveys strengthening of inter-hemisphere links and weakening of intra-hemisphere frontal-posterior links, implying parallel inter-hemisphere coordination combined with sequential intra-hemisphere coordination when subjects are confronted with visual stimuli and a motor task. For comparison between memory and control states, we also found that the node connectivity of T6 stands out in gamma topography, which provides strong proof from scalp EEG for the information binding or relational processing function of the temporal lobe in memory formation. To our knowledge, this is the first time for any method to effectively capture brain connectivity variation associated with working memory from a relatively large scale both in time (from a second to a minute) and in space (from the scalp). The method can track brain activity continuously with minimal manual interruptions

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Working memory differences in long-distance dependency resolution

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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.…

  7. Teachers' Perceptions of Classroom Behaviour and Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Working Memory Limitations in Children with Severe Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

  9. Spatial Working Memory Effects in Early Visual Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. 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…

  11. Twisting Tongues and Memories: Explorations of the Relationship between Language Production and Verbal Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Acheson, Daniel J.; MacDonald, Maryellen C.

    2009-01-01

    Many accounts of working memory posit specialized storage mechanisms for the maintenance of serial order. We explore an alternative, that maintenance is achieved through temporary activation in the language production architecture. Four experiments examined the extent to which the phonological similarity effect can be explained as a sublexical…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-03

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

  13. An fMRI Study of the Influence of a History of Substance Abuse on Working Memory-Related Brain Activation in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Wojtalik, Jessica A.; Barch, Deanna M.

    2014-01-01

    There has been little investigation of the effects of past substance abuse (SA) on working memory (WM) impairments in schizophrenia. This study examined the behavioral and neurobiological impact of past SA (6 months or longer abstinence period) on WM in schizophrenia. Thirty-seven schizophrenia patients (17 with past SA and 20 without) and 32 controls (12 with past SA and 20 without) completed two versions of a two-back WM task during fMRI scanning on separate days. Analyses focused on regions whose patterns of activation replicated across both n-back tasks. Schizophrenia patients were significantly less accurate than controls on both n-back tasks. No main effects or interactions with past SA on WM performance were observed. However, several fronto-parietal-thalamic regions showed an interaction between diagnostic group and past SA. These regions were significantly more active in controls with past SA compared to controls without past SA. Schizophrenia patients with or without past SA either showed no significant differences, or patients with past SA showed somewhat less activation compared to patients without past SA during WM. These results suggest robust effects of past SA on WM brain functioning in controls, but less impact of past SA in schizophrenia. This is consistent with previous literature indicating less impaired neurocognition in schizophrenia with SA. PMID:24478729

  14. Obsessive-compulsivity and working memory are associated with differential prefrontal cortex and insula activation in adolescents with a recent diagnosis of an eating disorder.

    PubMed

    Brooks, Samantha J; Solstrand Dahlberg, Linda; Swenne, Ingemar; Aronsson, Marianne; Zarei, Sanaz; Lundberg, Lina; Jacobsson, Josefin A; Rask-Andersen, Mathias; Salonen-Ros, Helena; Rosling, Agneta; Larsson, Elna-Marie; Schiöth, Helgi B

    2014-12-30

    The role of rumination at the beginning of eating disorder (ED) is not well understood. We hypothesised that impulsivity, rumination and restriction could be associated with neural activity in response to food stimuli in young individuals with eating disorders (ED). We measured neural responses with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), tested working memory (WM) and administered the eating disorders examination questionnaire (EDE-Q), Barratt impulsivity scale (BIS-11) and obsessive-compulsive inventory (OCI-R) in 15 adolescent females with eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) (mean age 15 years) and 20 age-matched healthy control females. We found that EDNOS subjects had significantly higher scores on the BIS 11, EDE-Q and OCI-R scales. Significantly increased neural responses to food images in the EDNOS group were observed in the prefrontal circuitry. OCI-R scores in the EDNOS group also significantly correlated with activity in the prefrontal circuitry and the cerebellum. Significantly slower WM responses negatively correlated with bilateral superior frontal gyrus activity in the EDNOS group. We conclude that ruminations, linked to WM, are present in adolescent females newly diagnosed with EDNOS. These may be risk factors for the development of an eating disorder and may be detectable before disease onset.

  15. Verbal working memory performance correlates with regional white matter structures in the frontoparietal regions.

    PubMed

    Takeuchi, Hikaru; Taki, Yasuyuki; Sassa, Yuko; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Fukushima, Ai; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2011-10-01

    Working memory is the limited capacity storage system involved in the maintenance and manipulation of information over short periods of time. Previous imaging studies have suggested that the frontoparietal regions are activated during working memory tasks; a putative association between the structure of the frontoparietal regions and working memory performance has been suggested based on the analysis of individuals with varying pathologies. This study aimed to identify correlations between white matter and individual differences in verbal working memory performance in normal young subjects. We performed voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analyses using T1-weighted structural images as well as voxel-based analyses of fractional anisotropy (FA) using diffusion tensor imaging. Using the letter span task, we measured verbal working memory performance in normal young adult men and women (mean age, 21.7 years, SD=1.44; 42 men and 13 women). We observed positive correlations between working memory performance and regional white matter volume (rWMV) in the frontoparietal regions. In addition, FA was found to be positively correlated with verbal working memory performance in a white matter region adjacent to the right precuneus. These regions are consistently recruited by working memory. Our findings suggest that, among normal young subjects, verbal working memory performance is associated with various regions that are recruited during working memory tasks, and this association is not limited to specific parts of the working memory network.

  16. Does working memory training work? The promise and challenges of enhancing cognition by training working memory.

    PubMed

    Morrison, Alexandra B; Chein, Jason M

    2011-02-01

    A growing body of literature shows that one's working memory (WM) capacity can be expanded through targeted training. Given the established relationship between WM and higher cognition, these successful training studies have led to speculation that WM training may yield broad cognitive benefits. This review considers the current state of the emerging WM training literature, and details both its successes and limitations. We identify two distinct approaches to WM training, strategy training and core training, and highlight both the theoretical and practical motivations that guide each approach. Training-related increases in WM capacity have been successfully demonstrated across a wide range of subject populations, but different training techniques seem to produce differential impacts upon the broader landscape of cognitive abilities. In particular, core WM training studies seem to produce more far-reaching transfer effects, likely because they target domain-general mechanisms of WM. The results of individual studies encourage optimism regarding the value of WM training as a tool for general cognitive enhancement. However, we discuss several limitations that should be addressed before the field endorses the value of this approach.

  17. Acute caffeine administration impact on working memory-related brain activation and functional connectivity in the elderly: a BOLD and perfusion MRI study.

    PubMed

    Haller, S; Rodriguez, C; Moser, D; Toma, S; Hofmeister, J; Sinanaj, I; Van De Ville, D; Giannakopoulos, P; Lovblad, K-O

    2013-10-10

    In young individuals, caffeine-mediated blockade of adenosine receptors and vasoconstriction has direct repercussions on task-related activations, changes in functional connectivity, as well as global vascular effects. To date, no study has explored the effect of caffeine on brain activation patterns during highly demanding cognitive tasks in the elderly. This prospective, placebo-controlled crossover design comprises 24 healthy elderly individuals (mean age 68.8 ± 4.0 years, 17 females) performing a 2-back working memory (WM) task in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Analyses include complimentary assessment of task-related activations (general linear model, GLM), functional connectivity (tensorial independent component analysis, TICA), and baseline perfusion (arterial spin labeling). Despite a reduction in whole-brain global perfusion (-22.7%), caffeine-enhanced task-related GLM activation in a local and distributed network is most pronounced in the bilateral striatum and to a lesser degree in the right middle and inferior frontal gyrus, bilateral insula, left superior and inferior parietal lobule as well as in the cerebellum bilaterally. TICA was significantly enhanced (+8.2%) in caffeine versus placebo in a distributed and task-relevant network including the pre-frontal cortex, the supplementary motor area, the ventral premotor cortex and the parietal cortex as well as the occipital cortex (visual stimuli) and basal ganglia. The inverse comparison of placebo versus caffeine had no significant difference. Activation strength of the task-relevant-network component correlated with response accuracy for caffeine yet not for placebo, indicating a selective cognitive effect of caffeine. The present findings suggest that acute caffeine intake enhances WM-related brain activation as well as functional connectivity of blood oxygen level-dependent fMRI in elderly individuals.

  18. Working Memory Impairment in Calcineurin Knock-out Mice Is Associated with Alterations in Synaptic Vesicle Cycling and Disruption of High-Frequency Synaptic and Network Activity in Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Cottrell, Jeffrey R.; Levenson, Jonathan M.; Kim, Sung Hyun; Gibson, Helen E.; Richardson, Kristen A.; Sivula, Michael; Li, Bing; Ashford, Crystle J.; Heindl, Karen A.; Babcock, Ryan J.; Rose, David M.; Hempel, Chris M.; Wiig, Kjesten A.; Laeng, Pascal; Levin, Margaret E.; Ryan, Timothy A.

    2013-01-01

    Working memory is an essential component of higher cognitive function, and its impairment is a core symptom of multiple CNS disorders, including schizophrenia. Neuronal mechanisms supporting working memory under normal conditions have been described and include persistent, high-frequency activity of prefrontal cortical neurons. However, little is known about the molecular and cellular basis of working memory dysfunction in the context of neuropsychiatric disorders. To elucidate synaptic and neuronal mechanisms of working memory dysfunction, we have performed a comprehensive analysis of a mouse model of schizophrenia, the forebrain-specific calcineurin knock-out mouse. Biochemical analyses of cortical tissue from these mice revealed a pronounced hyperphosphorylation of synaptic vesicle cycling proteins known to be necessary for high-frequency synaptic transmission. Examination of the synaptic vesicle cycle in calcineurin-deficient neurons demonstrated an impairment of vesicle release enhancement during periods of intense stimulation. Moreover, brain slice and in vivo electrophysiological analyses showed that loss of calcineurin leads to a gene dose-dependent disruption of high-frequency synaptic transmission and network activity in the PFC, correlating with selective working memory impairment. Finally, we showed that levels of dynamin I, a key presynaptic protein and calcineurin substrate, are significantly reduced in prefrontal cortical samples from schizophrenia patients, extending the disease relevance of our findings. Our data provide support for a model in which impaired synaptic vesicle cycling represents a critical node for disease pathologies underlying the cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. PMID:23825400

  19. 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.

  20. Angular default mode network connectivity across working memory load.

    PubMed

    Vatansever, D; Manktelow, A E; Sahakian, B J; Menon, D K; Stamatakis, E A

    2017-01-01

    Initially identified during no-task, baseline conditions, it has now been suggested that the default mode network (DMN) engages during a variety of working memory paradigms through its flexible interactions with other large-scale brain networks. Nevertheless, its contribution to whole-brain connectivity dynamics across increasing working memory load has not been explicitly assessed. The aim of our study was to determine which DMN hubs relate to working memory task performance during an fMRI-based n-back paradigm with parametric increases in difficulty. Using a voxel-wise metric, termed the intrinsic connectivity contrast (ICC), we found that the bilateral angular gyri (core DMN hubs) displayed the greatest change in global connectivity across three levels of n-back task load. Subsequent seed-based functional connectivity analysis revealed that the angular DMN regions robustly interact with other large-scale brain networks, suggesting a potential involvement in the global integration of information. Further support for this hypothesis comes from the significant correlations we found between angular gyri connectivity and reaction times to correct responses. The implication from our study is that the DMN is actively involved during the n-back task and thus plays an important role related to working memory, with its core angular regions contributing to the changes in global brain connectivity in response to increasing environmental demands. Hum Brain Mapp 38:41-52, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Lack of the Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Subtype 7 Selectively Modulates Theta Rhythm and Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holscher, Christian; Schmid, Susanne; Pilz, Peter K. D.; Sansig, Gilles; van der Putten, Herman; Plappert, Claudia F.

    2005-01-01

    Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) are known to play a role in synaptic plasticity and learning. We have previously shown that mGluR7 deletion in mice produces a selective working memory (WM) impairment, while other types of memory such as reference memory remain unaffected. Since WM has been associated with Theta activity (6-12 Hz) in…

  2. Working memory test battery for young adults: Computerized working memory assessment

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Liang; Chang, Lei; Chen, Xiaoying

    2017-01-01

    This study developed a battery of computerized working memory (WM) tests and a scoring system suitable for young adult users. The tests comprised five classic tasks derived from Baddeley’s model of WM, reflecting each of the five WM functions. We recruited 115 undergraduate and graduate students from various academic fields and constructed a preliminary WM scoring norm for young adults. The scoring norm was used as a basis for developing a computerized assessment system. The results of correlation analysis show that the fluid intelligence of young adults is related to the memory function of WM, but not to the central executive system. The proposed working memory test battery for young adults comprehensively reflects the WM capacity of adults. PMID:28362867

  3. 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

  4. Symbiosis of executive and selective attention in working memory

    PubMed Central

    Vandierendonck, André

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Evaluating the Validity of the Automated Working Memory Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alloway, Tracy; Gathercole, Susan E.; Kirkwood, Hannah; Elliott, Julian

    2008-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the construct stability and diagnostic validity of a standardised computerised tool for assessing working memory: the Automated Working Memory Assessment (AWMA). The purpose of the AWMA is to provide educators with a quick and effective tool to screen for and support those with memory impairments.…

  6. 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…

  7. Are Working Memory Measures Free of Socioeconomic Influence?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

  8. A Formal Model of Capacity Limits in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oberauer, Klaus; Kliegl, Reinhold

    2006-01-01

    A mathematical model of working-memory capacity limits is proposed on the key assumption of mutual interference between items in working memory. Interference is assumed to arise from overwriting of features shared by these items. The model was fit to time-accuracy data of memory-updating tasks from four experiments using nonlinear mixed effect…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  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. 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

  13. Working memory contents revive the neglected, but suppress the inhibited.

    PubMed

    Han, Suk Won

    2015-12-01

    It is well known that attention is biased toward a stimulus matching working memory contents. However, it remains unknown whether the maintenance of information in working memory by itself is sufficient to create memory-driven attentional capture. Notably, in many previous studies showing the memory-driven attentional capture, the task settings might have explicitly or implicitly incentivized participants to strategically attend to a memory-matching stimulus. By innovating an experimental paradigm, the present study overcame this challenge and directly tested whether working memory contents capture attention in the absence of task-level attentional bias toward a memory-matching stimulus. I found that a stimulus that is usually outside the focus of attention, powerfully captured attention when it matched working memory contents, whereas a match between working memory and an inhibited stimulus suppressed attentional allocation toward the memory-matching stimulus. These findings suggest that in the absence of any task-level attentional bias toward memory-matching stimuli, attention is biased toward a memory-matching stimulus, but this memory-driven attentional capture is diminished when top-down inhibition is imposed on the stimulus.

  14. Abnormal brain activation during working memory in children with prenatal exposure to drugs of abuse: the effects of methamphetamine, alcohol, and polydrug exposure.

    PubMed

    Roussotte, Florence F; Bramen, Jennifer E; Nunez, S Christopher; Quandt, Lorna C; Smith, Lynne; O'Connor, Mary J; Bookheimer, Susan Y; Sowell, Elizabeth R

    2011-02-14

    Structural and metabolic abnormalities in fronto-striatal structures have been reported in children with prenatal methamphetamine (MA) exposure. The current study was designed to quantify functional alterations to the fronto-striatal circuit in children with prenatal MA exposure using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Because many women who use MA during pregnancy also use alcohol, a known teratogen, we examined 50 children (age range 7-15), 19 with prenatal MA exposure, 15 of whom had concomitant prenatal alcohol exposure (the MAA group), 13 with heavy prenatal alcohol but no MA exposure (ALC group), and 18 unexposed controls (CON group). We hypothesized that MA exposed children would demonstrate abnormal brain activation during a visuospatial working memory (WM) "N-Back" task. As predicted, the MAA group showed less activation than the CON group in many brain areas, including the striatum and frontal lobe in the left hemisphere. The ALC group showed less activation than the MAA group in several regions, including the right striatum. We found an inverse correlation between performance and activity in the striatum in both the CON and MAA groups. However, this relationship was significant in the caudate of the CON group but not the MAA group, and in the putamen of the MAA group but not the CON group. These findings suggest that structural damage in the fronto-striatal circuit after prenatal MA exposure leads to decreased recruitment of this circuit during a WM challenge, and raise the possibility that a rewiring of cortico-striatal networks may occur in children with prenatal MA exposure.

  15. The modeling and simulation of visuospatial working memory

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Lina; Zhang, Zhikang

    2010-01-01

    Camperi and Wang (Comput Neurosci 5:383–405, 1998) presented a network model for working memory that combines intrinsic cellular bistability with the recurrent network architecture of the neocortex. While Fall and Rinzel (Comput Neurosci 20:97–107, 2006) replaced this intrinsic bistability with a biological mechanism-Ca2+ release subsystem. In this study, we aim to further expand the above work. We integrate the traditional firing-rate network with Ca2+ subsystem-induced bistability, amend the synaptic weights and suggest that Ca2+ concentration only increase the efficacy of synaptic input but has nothing to do with the external input for the transient cue. We found that our network model maintained the persistent activity in response to a brief transient stimulus like that of the previous two models and the working memory performance was resistant to noise and distraction stimulus if Ca2+ subsystem was tuned to be bistable. PMID:22132045

  16. Direct access to working memory contents.

    PubMed

    Bialkova, Svetlana; Oberauer, Klaus

    2010-01-01

    In two experiments participants held in working memory (WM) three digits in three different colors, and updated individual digits with the results of arithmetic equations presented in one of the colors. In the memory-access condition, a digit from WM had to be used as the first number in the equation; in the no-access condition, complete equations were presented so that no information from WM had to be accessed for the computation. Updating a digit not updated in the preceding step took longer than updating the same digit as in the preceding step, a time difference referred to as object-switch costs. Object-switch costs were equal in access and no-access equations, implying that they did not reflect the time to retrieve a new digit from WM. Access equations were completed as fast as no-access equations, implying that access to information in WM is as fast as reading the same information. No-access equations were slowed by a mismatch between the first digit of the presented equation and the to-be-updated digit in WM, showing that this digit is automatically accessed even when not needed. It is concluded that contents and their contexts form composites in WM that are necessarily accessed together.

  17. 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

  18. Changes in brain network efficiency and working memory performance in aging.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Working memory is a complex psychological construct referring to the temporary storage and active processing of information. We used functional connectivity brain network metrics quantifying local and global efficiency of information transfer for predicting individual variability in working memory performance on an n-back task in both young (n = 14) and older (n = 15) adults. Individual differences in both local and global efficiency during the working memory task were significant predictors of working memory performance in addition to age (and an interaction between age and global efficiency). Decreases in local efficiency during the working memory task were associated with better working memory performance in both age cohorts. In contrast, increases in global efficiency were associated with much better working performance for young participants; however, increases in global efficiency were associated with a slight decrease in working memory performance for older participants. Individual differences in local and global efficiency during resting-state sessions were not significant predictors of working memory performance. Significant group whole-brain functional network decreases in local efficiency also were observed during the working memory task compared to rest, whereas no significant differences were observed in network global efficiency. These results are discussed in relation to recently developed models of age-related differences in working memory.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Reconstructions of information in visual spatial working memory degrade with memory load

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Summary 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, 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 (fMRI) 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 0, 1, or 2 small stimuli. We successfully reconstructed images containing representations of the remembered – but not forgotten – locations within regions of occipital, parietal, and frontal cortex using delay-period activation patterns. Critically, the amplitude of representations of remembered locations and behavioral performance both decreased with increasing memory load. These results suggest that differences in visual WM performance between memory load conditions are mediated by changes in the fidelity of large-scale population response profiles distributed across multiple areas of human cortex. PMID:25201683

  2. Age-related changes to the neural correlates of working memory which emerge after midlife.

    PubMed

    Macpherson, Helen N; White, David J; Ellis, Kathryn A; Stough, Con; Camfield, David; Silberstein, Richard; Pipingas, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Previous research has indicated that the neural processes which underlie working memory change with age. Both age-related increases and decreases to cortical activity have been reported. This study investigated which stages of working memory are most vulnerable to age-related changes after midlife. To do this we examined age-differences in the 13 Hz steady state visually evoked potential (SSVEP) associated with a spatial working memory delayed response task. Participants were 130 healthy adults separated into a midlife (40-60 years) and an older group (61-82 years). Relative to the midlife group, older adults demonstrated greater bilateral frontal activity during encoding and this pattern of activity was related to better working memory performance. In contrast, evidence of age-related under activation was identified over left frontal regions during retrieval. Findings from this study suggest that after midlife, under-activation of frontal regions during retrieval contributes to age-related decline in working memory performance.

  3. Single-Item and Associative Working Memory in Stroke Patients

    PubMed Central

    van Geldorp, Bonnie; Kessels, Roy P. C.; Hendriks, Marc P. H.

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we examined working memory performance of stroke patients. A previous study assessing amnesia patients found deficits on an associative working memory task, although standard neuropsychological working memory tests did not detect any deficits. We now examine whether this may be the case for stoke patients as well. The current task contained three conditions: one spatial condition, one object condition and one binding condition in which both object and location had to be remembered. In addition, subsequent long-term memory was assessed. The results indicate that our sample of stroke patients shows a working memory deficit, but only on the single-feature conditions. The binding condition was more difficult than both single-feature conditions, but patients performed equally well as compared to matched healthy controls. No deficits were found on the subsequent long-term memory task. These results suggest that associative working memory may be mediated by structures of the medial temporal lobe. PMID:22713422

  4. Components of working memory and visual selective attention.

    PubMed

    Burnham, Bryan R; Sabia, Matthew; Langan, Catherine

    2014-02-01

    Load theory (Lavie, N., Hirst, A., De Fockert, J. W., & Viding, E. [2004]. Load theory of selective attention and cognitive control. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133, 339-354.) proposes that control of attention depends on the amount and type of load that is imposed by current processing. Specifically, perceptual load should lead to efficient distractor rejection, whereas working memory load (dual-task coordination) should hinder distractor rejection. Studies support load theory's prediction that working memory load will lead to larger distractor effects; however, these studies used secondary tasks that required only verbal working memory and the central executive. The present study examined which other working memory components (visual, spatial, and phonological) influence visual selective attention. Subjects completed an attentional capture task alone (single-task) or while engaged in a working memory task (dual-task). Results showed that along with the central executive, visual and spatial working memory influenced selective attention, but phonological working memory did not. Specifically, attentional capture was larger when visual or spatial working memory was loaded, but phonological working memory load did not affect attentional capture. The results are consistent with load theory and suggest specific components of working memory influence visual selective attention.

  5. 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

  6. Interference control in working memory: comparing groups of children with atypical development.

    PubMed

    Palladino, Paola; Ferrari, Marcella

    2013-01-01

    The study aimed to test whether working memory deficits in children at risk of Learning Disabilities (LD) and/or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be attributed to deficits in interference control, thereby implicating prefrontal systems. Two groups of children known for showing poor working memory (i.e., children with poor comprehension and children with ADHD) were compared to a group of children with specific reading decoding problems (i.e., having severe problems in phonological rather than working memory) and to a control group. All children were tested with a verbal working memory task. Interference control of irrelevant items was examined by a lexical decision task presented immediately after the final recall in about half the trials, selected at random. The interference control measure was therefore directly related to working memory performance. Results confirmed deficient working memory performance in poor comprehenders and children at risk of ADHD + LD. More interestingly, this working memory deficit was associated with greater activation of irrelevant information than in the control group. Poor decoders showed more efficient interference control, in contrast to poor comprehenders and ADHD + LD children. These results indicated that interfering items were still highly accessible to working memory in children who fail the working memory task. In turn, these findings strengthen and clarify the role of interference control, one of the most critical prefrontal functions, in working memory.

  7. Working memory load-dependent spatio-temporal activity of single-trial P3 response detected with an adaptive wavelet denoiser.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiushi; Yang, Xueqian; Yao, Li; Zhao, Xiaojie

    2017-03-27

    Working memory (WM) refers to the holding and manipulation of information during cognitive tasks. Its underlying neural mechanisms have been explored through both functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG). Trial-by-trial coupling of simultaneously collected EEG and fMRI signals has become an important and promising approach to study the spatio-temporal dynamics of such cognitive processes. Previous studies have demonstrated a modulation effect of the WM load on both the BOLD response in certain brain areas and the amplitude of P3. However, much remains to be explored regarding the WM load-dependent relationship between the amplitude of ERP components and cortical activities, and the low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the EEG signal still poses a challenge to performing single-trial analyses. In this paper, we investigated the spatio-temporal activities of P3 during an n-back verbal WM task by introducing an adaptive wavelet denoiser into the extraction of single-trial P3 features and using general linear model (GLM) to integrate simultaneously collected EEG and fMRI data. Our results replicated the modulation effect of the WM load on the P3 amplitude. Additionally, the activation of single-trial P3 amplitudes was detected in multiple brain regions, including the insula, the cuneus, the lingual gyrus (LG), and the middle occipital gyrus (MOG). Moreover, we found significant correlations between P3 features and behavioral performance. These findings suggest that the single-trial integration of simultaneous EEG and fMRI signals may provide new insights into classical cognitive functions.

  8. The effect of moderate acute psychological stress on working memory-related neural activity is modulated by a genetic variation in catecholaminergic function in humans.

    PubMed

    Qin, Shaozheng; Cousijn, Helena; Rijpkema, Mark; Luo, Jing; Franke, Barbara; Hermans, Erno J; Fernández, Guillén

    2012-01-01

    Acute stress has an important impact on higher-order cognitive functions supported by the prefrontal cortex (PFC) such as working memory (WM). In rodents, such effects are mediated by stress-induced alterations in catecholaminergic signaling, but human data in support of this notion is lacking. A common variation in the gene encoding Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is known to affect basal catecholaminergic availability and PFC functions. Here, we investigated whether this genetic variation (Val158Met) modulates effects of stress on WM-related neural activity in humans. In a counterbalanced crossover design, 41 healthy young men underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing a numerical N-back WM task embedded in a stressful or neutral context. Moderate psychological stress was induced by a well-controlled procedure involving viewing strongly aversive (versus emotionally neutral) movie material in combination with a self-referencing instruction. Acute stress resulted in genotype-dependent effects on WM performance and WM-related activation in the dorsolateral PFC, with a relatively negative impact of stress in COMT Met-homozygotes as opposed to a relatively positive effect in Val-carriers. A parallel interaction was found for WM-related deactivation in the anterior medial temporal lobe (MTL). Our findings suggest that individuals with higher baseline catecholaminergic availability (COMT Met-homozygotes) appear to reach a supraoptimal state under moderate levels of stress. In contrast, individuals with lower baselines (Val-carriers) may reach an optimal state. Thus, our data show that effects of acute stress on higher-order cognitive functions vary depending on catecholaminergic availability at baseline, and thereby corroborate animal models of catecholaminergic signaling that propose a non-linear relationship between catecholaminergic activity and prefrontal functions.

  9. 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.

  10. Inhibition of Connexin43 Hemichannels Impairs Spatial Short-Term Memory without Affecting Spatial Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Walrave, Laura; Vinken, Mathieu; Albertini, Giulia; De Bundel, Dimitri; Leybaert, Luc; Smolders, Ilse J.

    2016-01-01

    Astrocytes are active players in higher brain function as they can release gliotransmitters, which are essential for synaptic plasticity. Various mechanisms have been proposed for gliotransmission, including vesicular mechanisms as well as non-vesicular ones, for example by passive diffusion via connexin hemichannels (HCs). We here investigated whether interfering with connexin43 (Cx43) HCs influenced hippocampal spatial memory. We made use of the peptide Gap19 that blocks HCs but not gap junction channels and is specific for Cx43. To this end, we microinfused transactivator of transcription linked Gap19 (TAT-Gap19) into the brain ventricle of male NMRI mice and assessed spatial memory in a Y maze. We found that the in vivo blockade of Cx43 HCs did not affect the locomotor activity or spatial working memory in a spontaneous alternation Y maze task. Cx43 blockade did however significantly impair the spatial short-term memory in a delayed spontaneous alternation Y maze task. These results indicate that Cx43 HCs play a role in spatial short-term memory. PMID:28066184

  11. Neural correlates of adaptive working memory training in a glycogen storage disease type-IV patient.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kristin; Ernst, Thomas; Løhaugen, Gro; Zhang, Xin; Chang, Linda

    2017-03-01

    Glycogen storage disease type-IV has varied clinical presentations and subtypes. We evaluated a 38-year-old man with memory complaints, common symptoms in adult polyglucosan body disease subtype, and investigated cognitive and functional MRI changes associated with two 25-sessions of adaptive working memory training. He showed improved trained and nontrained working memory up to 6-months after the training sessions. On functional MRI, he showed increased cortical activation 1-3 months after training, but both increased and decreased activation 6-months later. Working memory training appears to be beneficial to patients with adult polyglucosan body disease, although continued training may be required to maintain improvements.

  12. 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…

  13. Visuospatial and verbal working memory load: effects on visuospatial vigilance.

    PubMed

    Helton, William S; Russell, Paul N

    2013-02-01

    In this study, we examined the impact of concurrent verbal and visuospatial working memory demands on performance of a visuospatial successive target detection task. Three hundred and four participants performed a visuospatial vigilance task while simultaneously performing either a spatial or verbal working memory task that either required a memory load during the vigil or did not require a memory load during the vigil. Perceptual sensitivity A' to vigilance target stimuli was reduced by concurrent memory load, both verbal and visuospatial. The decline in perceptual sensitivity to vigilance targets, the vigilance decrement, was steeper for a visuospatial memory task than a verbal memory task, regardless of concurrent memory load. Memory performance after vigilance detection trials was much lower for visuospatial than verbal items, even though memory performance before vigilance detection trials was higher for visuospatial than verbal items. Together, this indicates increased interference when a visuospatial vigilance task is paired with a visuospatial memory task, than when paired with a verbal memory task. Overall, the visuospatial and verbal working memory loads both impacted vigilance target detection, suggesting utilization of common executive resources. There may, however, be domain specific interference, and this may be exacerbated for two visuospatial tasks.

  14. The role of interference control in working memory: a study with children at risk of ADHD.

    PubMed

    Palladino, Paola

    2006-12-01

    The study aimed to test whether the impairment in a working memory task observed in children at risk of ADHD was due to a lack of control of interfering information being processed whilst carrying out the memory task. Two groups of children at risk of ADHD with or without a learning disability (reading impairment) were compared to a control group in a working memory task. Activation of irrelevant items was tested with a lexical decision task presented immediately after the final recall in about half of the trials. Results showed a poor working memory performance in children at risk of ADHD and reading disability associated with a larger activation of irrelevant information than that of control children. Results indicated that the to-be-excluded and interfering items are still highly accessible to working memory in children that fail the working memory task. The examination of working memory and interference control of children at risk of ADHD with a learning disability revealed a counterintuitive picture of children with poor working memory showing better recall/activation of processed information. This picture is consistent with a view of working memory related to an efficient inhibitory control that influences cognitive functioning.

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

    PubMed

    Soutschek, Alexander; Schubert, Torsten

    2016-03-01

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

  16. 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…

  17. Functional correlates of distractor suppression during spatial working memory encoding.

    PubMed

    Toepper, M; Gebhardt, H; Beblo, T; Thomas, C; Driessen, M; Bischoff, M; Blecker, C R; Vaitl, D; Sammer, G

    2010-02-17

    Executive working memory operations are related to prefrontal regions in the healthy brain. Moreover, neuroimaging data provide evidence for a functional dissociation of ventrolateral and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Most authors either suggest a modality-specific or a function-specific prefrontal cortex organization. In the present study we particularly aimed at the identification of different prefrontal cerebral areas that are involved in executive inhibitory processes during spatial working memory encoding. In an fMRI study (functional magnetic resonance imaging) we examined the neural correlates of spatial working memory processing by varying the amount of executive demands of the task. Twenty healthy volunteers performed the Corsi Block-Tapping test (CBT) during fMRI. The CBT requires the storage and reproduction of spatial target sequences. In a second condition, we presented an adapted version of the Block-Suppression-Test (BST). The BST is based on the original CBT but additionally requires the active suppression of visual distraction within the target sequences. In comparison to the CBT performance, particularly the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (BA 9) showed more activity during the BST condition. Our results show that the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex plays a crucial role for executive controlled inhibition of spatial distraction. Furthermore, our findings are in line with the processing model of a functional dorsolateral-ventrolateral prefrontal cortex organization.

  18. 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.

  19. The interaction of working memory performance and episodic memory formation in patients with Korsakoff's amnesia.

    PubMed

    van Geldorp, Bonnie; Bergmann, Heiko C; Robertson, Johanna; Wester, Arie J; Kessels, Roy P C

    2012-01-18

    Both neuroimaging work and studies investigating amnesic patients have shown involvement of the medial temporal lobe during working memory tasks, especially when multiple items or features have to be associated. However, so far no study has examined the relationship between working memory and subsequent episodic memory in patients using similar tasks. In this study, we compared patients with amnesia due to Korsakoff's syndrome (n=19) with healthy controls (n=18) on an associative working memory task followed by an unexpected subsequent episodic memory task. The computerized working memory task required participants to maintain two pairs of faces and houses for either short (3s) or long (6s) delays. Approximately 5 minutes after completion of the working memory task, an unexpected subsequent recognition task with a two-alternative forced choice paradigm was administered. By directly comparing working memory and subsequent episodic memory, we were able to examine long-term encoding processes that may take place after longer delays. As expected, patients performed at chance level on the episodic memory task. Interestingly, patients also showed significantly impaired working memory performance (p<.01), even at short delays. Longer delays did not result in better subsequent memory, indicating that they do not facilitate long-term encoding processes. Our results are discussed in relation to Baddeley's working memory model as the episodic buffer is assumed to be a short-term store for maintaining bound representations. In light of these results, the long-standing view that working memory and long-term memory are strictly dissociated may need to be revisited.

  20. 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

  1. Working memory training improves emotion regulation ability: Evidence from HRV.

    PubMed

    Xiu, Lichao; Zhou, Renlai; Jiang, Yihan

    2016-03-01

    Emotion regulation during social situations plays a pivotal role in health and interpersonal functioning. In this study, we propose a working memory training approach to improve emotion regulation ability. This training promotes an updating function that is a crucial modulated process for emotion regulation. In the present study, the participants in the training group completed a running memory task over 20 days of training. Their working memory capability and high-frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV) data on pretest and posttest were assessed and analyzed. Compared with the control group, the training group's reaction time in the 2-back working memory task was reduced significantly. In addition, the HF-HRV in the emotion regulation condition was increased after the 20-day training, which indicates that the working memory training effect could transfer to emotion regulation. In other words, working memory training improved emotion regulation ability.

  2. The relationships among working memory, math anxiety, and performance.

    PubMed

    Ashcraft, M H; Kirk, E P

    2001-06-01

    Individuals with high math anxiety demonstrated smaller working memory spans, especially when assessed with a computation-based span task. This reduced working memory capacity led to a pronounced increase in reaction time and errors when mental addition was performed concurrently with a memory load task. The effects of the reduction also generalized to a working memory-intensive transformation task. Overall, the results demonstrated that an individual difference variable, math anxiety, affects on-line performance in math-related tasks and that this effect is a transitory disruption of working memory. The authors consider a possible mechanism underlying this effect--disruption of central executive processes--and suggest that individual difference variables like math anxiety deserve greater empirical attention, especially on assessments of working memory capacity and functioning.

  3. Verbal Working Memory Performance Correlates with Regional White Matter Structures in the Frontoparietal Regions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Takeuchi, Hikaru; Taki, Yasuyuki; Sassa, Yuko; Hashizume, Hiroshi; Sekiguchi, Atsushi; Fukushima, Ai; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2011-01-01

    Working memory is the limited capacity storage system involved in the maintenance and manipulation of information over short periods of time. Previous imaging studies have suggested that the frontoparietal regions are activated during working memory tasks; a putative association between the structure of the frontoparietal regions and working…

  4. Deaf Children and Children with ADHD in the Inclusive Classroom: Working Memory Matters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cockcroft, Kate; Dhana-Dullabh, Hansini

    2013-01-01

    This study compared the working memory functioning of deaf children, children with ADHD and typically developing children. Working memory is involved in the storage and mental manipulation of information during classroom learning activities that are crucial for the acquisition of complex skills and knowledge. Thus, it is important to determine how…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Working Memory and Mathematics: A Review of Developmental, Individual Difference, and Cognitive Approaches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raghubar, Kimberly P.; Barnes, Marcia A.; Hecht, Steven A.

    2010-01-01

    Working memory refers to a mental workspace, involved in controlling, regulating, and actively maintaining relevant information to accomplish complex cognitive tasks (e.g. mathematical processing). Despite the potential relevance of a relation between working memory and math for understanding developmental and individual differences in…

  7. Working memory and older adults: implications for occupational therapy.

    PubMed

    Andiel, C; Liu, L

    1995-01-01

    Atkinson and Shiffrin's (1968) modal model of memory is still commonly used by rehabilitation professionals to evaluate memory impairment in older adults. However, research to date has been unable to indicate that short-term memory declines with age. These findings have led some rehabilitation professionals to mistakenly conclude that short-term memory is not affected by the aging process. This article reviews both the traditional concept of short-term memory, as outlined by Atkinson and Shiffrin, and the more recent conceptualization of short-term memory in terms of Baddeley and Hitch's (1974) model of working memory. The implications of the concept of working memory has implications for occupational therapy interventions for older adults. For example, clients with dementia may experience difficulties in performing tasks that require drawing inferences. Similarly, language that contains vague references may present problems for these clients. In addition, changes in working memory in older adults suggest that they may experience difficulties with medication management and what Rule, Milke, and Dobbs (1992) called wayfinding. Therefore, evaluations of working memory would provide a better indication of older adults' memory performance than the modal model.

  8. Executive functioning and visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Lepach, Anja C; Pauls, Franz; Petermann, Franz

    2015-01-01

    The matter of modality is controversially discussed in the context of working memory (WM). There is evidence that modality-specific processes are accompanied by amodal processes to some extent. We investigated the relationship between executive-functioning tasks and visual WM (VWM) and were especially interested in the issue of amodal processes. Our correlational analyses suggest modality-independent relations of the tasks. We also aimed to quantify to what extent executive functioning is meaningful for VWM performances. We therefore estimated the relationship between executive tasks and VWM performances in a healthy (n = 710) and a clinical traumatic brain injury sample (n = 151) as well as in the combined total sample. The results indicate a substantial relevance of the verbal task for VWM performances in the total and the clinical sample but a low relevance in the healthy sample. These results could support assumptions of resource-depending differences in the relations of executive functioning and VWM but need further validation due to limitations of our study.

  9. Working Memory Capacity as a Dynamic Process

    PubMed Central

    Simmering, Vanessa R.; Perone, Sammy

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Verbal working memory in bilingual children.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Clellen, Vera F; Calderón, Janet; Ellis Weismer, Susan

    2004-08-01

    The present study compared the performance of 44 Latino children on the Competing Language Processing Task (CLPT; C. Gaulin and T. Campbell, 1994) and the Dual Processing Comprehension Task (DPCT; S. Ellis Weismer, 1996). First, it was of interest to know if there were significant differences between children with and without bilingual proficiency on processing tasks that were assumed to require limited vocabulary knowledge. The second goal of this research was to determine whether there were cross-linguistic differences in verbal working memory by examining performance within bilinguals and between children with limited proficiency in a second language. The performance of the participating children was also examined in the context of research with other English-speaking groups. Finally, given that the CLPT and the DPCT may differ in their processing demands (from a relative focus on storage to one of attention inhibition or resistance to interference), it was important to know the extent to which these tasks were related or involved similar cognitive-linguistic operations. Results revealed shared processing skills as well as differences related to individual attainments in bilingual acquisition.

  11. Working memory constraints on imitation and emulation.

    PubMed

    Subiaul, Francys; Schilder, Brian

    2014-12-01

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

  12. Auditory Discrimination Learning: Role of Working Memory

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Visuospatial working memory in very preterm and term born children--impact of age and performance.

    PubMed

    Mürner-Lavanchy, I; Ritter, B C; Spencer-Smith, M M; Perrig, W J; Schroth, G; Steinlin, M; Everts, R

    2014-07-01

    Working memory is crucial for meeting the challenges of daily life and performing academic tasks, such as reading or arithmetic. Very preterm born children are at risk of low working memory capacity. The aim of this study was to examine the visuospatial working memory network of school-aged preterm children and to determine the effect of age and performance on the neural working memory network. Working memory was assessed in 41 very preterm born children and 36 term born controls (aged 7-12 years) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and neuropsychological assessment. While preterm children and controls showed equal working memory performance, preterm children showed less involvement of the right middle frontal gyrus, but higher fMRI activation in superior frontal regions than controls. The younger and low-performing preterm children presented an atypical working memory network whereas the older high-performing preterm children recruited a working memory network similar to the controls. Results suggest that younger and low-performing preterm children show signs of less neural efficiency in frontal brain areas. With increasing age and performance, compensational mechanisms seem to occur, so that in preterm children, the typical visuospatial working memory network is established by the age of 12 years.

  14. A randomized controlled trial of the effects of working memory training in methadone maintenance patients

    PubMed Central

    Rass, Olga; Schacht, Rebecca L.; Buckheit, Katherine; Johnson, Matthew W.; Strain, Eric C.; Mintzer, Miriam Z.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Working memory impairment in individuals with chronic opioid dependence can play a major role in cognitive and treatment outcomes. Cognitive training targeting working memory shows promise for improved function in substance use disorders. To date, cognitive training has not been incorporated as an adjunctive treatment for opioid dependence. Methods Methadone maintenance patients were randomly assigned to experimental (n = 28) or active control (n = 28) 25-session computerized training and run in parallel. Cognitive and drug use outcomes were assessed before and after training. Results Participants in the experimental condition showed performance improvements on two of four working memory measures, and both groups improved on a third measure of working memory performance. Less frequent drug use was found in the experimental group than in the control group post-training. In contrast to previous findings with stimulant users, no significant effect of working memory training on delay discounting was found using either hypothetical or real rewards. There were no group differences on working memory outcome measures that were dissimilar from the training tasks, suggesting that another mechanism (e.g., increased distress tolerance) may have driven drug use results. Conclusions Working memory training improves performance on some measures of working memory in methadone maintenance patients, and may impact drug use outcomes. Working memory training shows promise in patients with substance use disorders; however, further research is needed to understand the mechanisms through which performance is improved and drug use outcomes are impacted. PMID:26404954

  15. 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

  16. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Biedron, Adriana; Szczepaniak, Anna

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Functional Brain Activity Changes after 4 Weeks Supplementation with a Multi-Vitamin/Mineral Combination: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial Exploring Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Steady-State Visual Evoked Potentials during Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    White, David J.; Cox, Katherine H. M.; Hughes, Matthew E.; Pipingas, Andrew; Peters, Riccarda; Scholey, Andrew B.

    2016-01-01

    This study explored the neurocognitive effects of 4 weeks daily supplementation with a multi-vitamin and -mineral combination (MVM) in healthy adults (aged 18–40 years). Using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design, participants underwent assessments of brain activity using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI; n = 32, 16 females) and Steady-State Visual Evoked Potential recordings (SSVEP; n = 39, 20 females) during working memory and continuous performance tasks at baseline and following 4 weeks of active MVM treatment or placebo. There were several treatment-related effects suggestive of changes in functional brain activity associated with MVM administration. SSVEP data showed latency reductions across centro-parietal regions during the encoding period of a spatial working memory task following 4 weeks of active MVM treatment. Complementary results were observed with the fMRI data, in which a subset of those completing fMRI assessment after SSVEP assessment (n = 16) demonstrated increased BOLD response during completion of the Rapid Visual Information Processing task (RVIP) within regions of interest including bilateral parietal lobes. No treatment-related changes in fMRI data were observed in those who had not first undergone SSVEP assessment, suggesting these results may be most evident under conditions of fatigue. Performance on the working memory and continuous performance tasks did not significantly differ between treatment groups at follow-up. In addition, within the fatigued fMRI sample, increased RVIP BOLD response was correlated with the change in number of target detections as part of the RVIP task. This study provides preliminary evidence of changes in functional brain activity during working memory associated with 4 weeks of daily treatment with a multi-vitamin and -mineral combination in healthy adults, using two distinct but complementary measures of functional brain activity. PMID:27994548

  19. Functional Brain Activity Changes after 4 Weeks Supplementation with a Multi-Vitamin/Mineral Combination: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial Exploring Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Steady-State Visual Evoked Potentials during Working Memory.

    PubMed

    White, David J; Cox, Katherine H M; Hughes, Matthew E; Pipingas, Andrew; Peters, Riccarda; Scholey, Andrew B

    2016-01-01

    This study explored the neurocognitive effects of 4 weeks daily supplementation with a multi-vitamin and -mineral combination (MVM) in healthy adults (aged 18-40 years). Using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design, participants underwent assessments of brain activity using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI; n = 32, 16 females) and Steady-State Visual Evoked Potential recordings (SSVEP; n = 39, 20 females) during working memory and continuous performance tasks at baseline and following 4 weeks of active MVM treatment or placebo. There were several treatment-related effects suggestive of changes in functional brain activity associated with MVM administration. SSVEP data showed latency reductions across centro-parietal regions during the encoding period of a spatial working memory task following 4 weeks of active MVM treatment. Complementary results were observed with the fMRI data, in which a subset of those completing fMRI assessment after SSVEP assessment (n = 16) demonstrated increased BOLD response during completion of the Rapid Visual Information Processing task (RVIP) within regions of interest including bilateral parietal lobes. No treatment-related changes in fMRI data were observed in those who had not first undergone SSVEP assessment, suggesting these results may be most evident under conditions of fatigue. Performance on the working memory and continuous performance tasks did not significantly differ between treatment groups at follow-up. In addition, within the fatigued fMRI sample, increased RVIP BOLD response was correlated with the change in number of target detections as part of the RVIP task. This study provides preliminary evidence of changes in functional brain activity during working memory associated with 4 weeks of daily treatment with a multi-vitamin and -mineral combination in healthy adults, using two distinct but complementary measures of functional brain activity.

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martinussen, Rhonda; Major, Ashley

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 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).…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2002-01-01

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

  9. 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…

  10. Attention and Working Memory as Predictors of Intelligence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schweizer, Karl; Moosbrugger, Helfried

    2004-01-01

    The paper reports on an investigation of attention and working memory as sources of intelligence. The investigation was concentrated on the relatedness of attention and working memory as predictors of intelligence and on the structure underlying the prediction. In a sample of 120 participants, intelligence was assessed by the Advanced Progressive…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

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

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. Working Memory, Age, Crew Downsizing, System Design and Training

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-08-01

    UNCLASSIFIED Defense Technical Information Center Compilation Part Notice ADP010568 TITLE: Working Memory, Age, Crew Downsizing , System Design and...comprise the compilation report: ADP010557 thru ADP010582 UNCLASSIFIED 15-1 Working Memory, Age, Crew Downsizing , System Design and Training Dr Malcolm J

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewandowsky, Stephan

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Working Memory 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…

  2. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lim, Sukbin; Goldman, Mark S

    2014-05-14

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

  5. 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

  6. Have We Forgotten Auditory Sensory Memory? Retention Intervals in Studies of Nonverbal Auditory Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Nees, Michael A.

    2016-01-01

    Researchers have shown increased interest in mechanisms of working memory for nonverbal sounds such as music and environmental sounds. These studies often have used two-stimulus comparison tasks: two sounds separated by a brief retention interval (often 3–5 s) are compared, and a “same” or “different” judgment is recorded. Researchers seem to have assumed that sensory memory has a negligible impact on performance in auditory two-stimulus comparison tasks. This assumption is examined in detail in this comment. According to seminal texts and recent research reports, sensory memory persists in parallel with working memory for a period of time following hearing a stimulus and can influence behavioral responses on memory tasks. Unlike verbal working memory studies that use serial recall tasks, research paradigms for exploring nonverbal working memory—especially two-stimulus comparison tasks—may not be differentiating working memory from sensory memory processes in analyses of behavioral responses, because retention interval durations have not excluded the possibility that the sensory memory trace drives task performance. This conflation of different constructs may be one contributor to discrepant research findings and the resulting proliferation of theoretical conjectures regarding mechanisms of working memory for nonverbal sounds. PMID:27994565

  7. Aberrant Neuronal Dynamics during Working Memory Operations in the Aging HIV-Infected Brain

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Tony W.; Proskovec, Amy L.; Heinrichs-Graham, Elizabeth; O’Neill, Jennifer; Robertson, Kevin R.; Fox, Howard S.; Swindells, Susan

    2017-01-01

    Impairments in working memory are among the most prevalent features of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), yet their origins are unknown, with some studies arguing that encoding operations are disturbed and others supporting deficits in memory maintenance. The current investigation directly addresses this issue by using a dynamic mapping approach to identify when and where processing in working memory circuits degrades. HIV-infected older adults and a demographically-matched group of uninfected controls performed a verbal working memory task during magnetoencephalography (MEG). Significant oscillatory neural responses were imaged using a beamforming approach to illuminate the spatiotemporal dynamics of neuronal activity. HIV-infected patients were significantly less accurate on the working memory task and their neuronal dynamics indicated that encoding operations were preserved, while memory maintenance processes were abnormal. Specifically, no group differences were detected during the encoding period, yet dysfunction in occipital, fronto-temporal, hippocampal, and cerebellar cortices emerged during memory maintenance. In addition, task performance in the controls covaried with occipital alpha synchronization and activity in right prefrontal cortices. In conclusion, working memory impairments are common and significantly impact the daily functioning and independence of HIV-infected patients. These impairments likely reflect deficits in the maintenance of memory representations, not failures to adequately encode stimuli. PMID:28155864

  8. Electrophysiological evidence that top-down knowledge controls working memory processing for subsequent visual search.

    PubMed

    Kawashima, Tomoya; Matsumoto, Eriko

    2016-03-23

    Items in working memory guide visual attention toward a memory-matching object. Recent studies have shown that when searching for an object this attentional guidance can be modulated by knowing the probability that the target will match an item in working memory. Here, we recorded the P3 and contralateral delay activity to investigate how top-down knowledge controls the processing of working memory items. Participants performed memory task (recognition only) and memory-or-search task (recognition or visual search) in which they were asked to maintain two colored oriented bars in working memory. For visual search, we manipulated the probability that target had the same color as memorized items (0, 50, or 100%). Participants knew the probabilities before the task. Target detection in 100% match condition was faster than that in 50% match condition, indicating that participants used their knowledge of the probabilities. We found that the P3 amplitude in 100% condition was larger than in other conditions and that contralateral delay activity amplitude did not vary across conditions. These results suggest that more attention was allocated to the memory items when observers knew in advance that their color would likely match a target. This led to better search performance despite using qualitatively equal working memory representations.

  9. Aberrant Neuronal Dynamics during Working Memory Operations in the Aging HIV-Infected Brain.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Tony W; Proskovec, Amy L; Heinrichs-Graham, Elizabeth; O'Neill, Jennifer; Robertson, Kevin R; Fox, Howard S; Swindells, Susan

    2017-02-03

    Impairments in working memory are among the most prevalent features of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), yet their origins are unknown, with some studies arguing that encoding operations are disturbed and others supporting deficits in memory maintenance. The current investigation directly addresses this issue by using a dynamic mapping approach to identify when and where processing in working memory circuits degrades. HIV-infected older adults and a demographically-matched group of uninfected controls performed a verbal working memory task during magnetoencephalography (MEG). Significant oscillatory neural responses were imaged using a beamforming approach to illuminate the spatiotemporal dynamics of neuronal activity. HIV-infected patients were significantly less accurate on the working memory task and their neuronal dynamics indicated that encoding operations were preserved, while memory maintenance processes were abnormal. Specifically, no group differences were detected during the encoding period, yet dysfunction in occipital, fronto-temporal, hippocampal, and cerebellar cortices emerged during memory maintenance. In addition, task performance in the controls covaried with occipital alpha synchronization and activity in right prefrontal cortices. In conclusion, working memory impairments are common and significantly impact the daily functioning and independence of HIV-infected patients. These impairments likely reflect deficits in the maintenance of memory representations, not failures to adequately encode stimuli.

  10. Effects of Physical Exercise on Working Memory and Prefrontal Cortex Function in Post-Stroke Patients.

    PubMed

    Moriya, M; Aoki, C; Sakatani, K

    2016-01-01

    Physical exercise enhances prefrontal cortex activity and improves working memory performance in healthy older adults, but it is not clear whether this remains the case in post-stroke patients. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the acute effect of physical exercise on prefrontal cortex activity in post-stroke patients using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). We studied 11 post-stroke patients. The patients performed Sternberg-type working memory tasks before and after moderate intensity aerobic exercise (40 % of maximal oxygen uptake) with a cycling ergometer for 15 min. We measured the NIRS response at the prefrontal cortex during the working memory task. We evaluated behavioral performance (response time and accuracy) of the working memory task. It was found that physical exercise improved behavioral performance of the working memory task compared with the control condition (p < 0.01). In addition, NIRS analysis indicated that physical exercise enhanced prefrontal cortex activation, particularly in the right prefrontal cortex (p < 0.05), during the working memory task compared with the control condition. These findings suggest that the moderate-intensity aerobic exercise enhances prefrontal cortex activity and improves working memory performance in post-stroke patients.

  11. 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

  12. Gender differences in episodic memory and visual working memory including the effects of age.

    PubMed

    Pauls, Franz; Petermann, Franz; Lepach, Anja Christina

    2013-01-01

    Analysing the relationship between gender and memory, and examining the effects of age on the overall memory-related functioning, are the ongoing goals of psychological research. The present study examined gender and age group differences in episodic memory with respect to the type of task. In addition, these subgroup differences were also analysed in visual working memory. A sample of 366 women and 330 men, aged between 16 and 69 years of age, participated in the current study. Results indicate that women outperformed men on auditory memory tasks, whereas male adolescents and older male adults showed higher level performances on visual episodic and visual working memory measures. However, the size of gender-linked effects varied somewhat across age groups. Furthermore, results partly support a declining performance on episodic memory and visual working memory measures with increasing age. Although age-related losses in episodic memory could not be explained by a decreasing verbal and visuospatial ability with age, women's advantage in auditory episodic memory could be explained by their advantage in verbal ability. Men's higher level visual episodic memory performance was found to result from their advantage in visuospatial ability. Finally, possible methodological, biological, and cognitive explanations for the current findings are discussed.

  13. Time-course of cortical networks involved in working memory

    PubMed Central

    Luu, Phan; Caggiano, Daniel M.; Geyer, Alexandra; Lewis, Jenn; Cohn, Joseph; Tucker, Don M.

    2014-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is one of the most studied cognitive constructs. Although many neuroimaging studies have identified brain networks involved in WM, the time course of these networks remains unclear. In this paper we use dense-array electroencephalography (dEEG) to capture neural signals during performance of a standard WM task, the n-back task, and a blend of principal components analysis and independent components analysis (PCA/ICA) to statistically identify networks of WM and their time courses. Results reveal a visual cortex centric network, that also includes the posterior cingulate cortex, that is active prior to stimulus onset and that appears to reflect anticipatory, attention-related processes. After stimulus onset, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, lateral prefrontal prefrontal cortex, and temporal poles become associated with the prestimulus network. This second network appears to reflect executive control processes. Following activation of the second network, the cortices of the temporo-parietal junction with the temporal lobe structures seen in the first and second networks re-engage. This third network appears to reflect activity of the ventral attention network involved in control of attentional reorientation. The results point to important temporal features of network dynamics that integrate multiple subsystems of the ventral attention network with the default mode network in the performance of working memory tasks. PMID:24523686

  14. Body Mass Index, Physical Activity, and Working Memory in a Sample of Children with Down Syndrome: Can Physical Activity Improve Learning in Children with Intellectual Disabilities?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Geertina Houthuijzen

    2013-01-01

    Research has suggested that in typical developing children a positive relationship exists between physical activity level and cognitive functioning. For some children, academic performance may increase when levels of physical activity are increased. Moreover, some studies have supported the idea that physical activity seems to improve attention.…

  15. Working memory and new learning following pediatric traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Mandalis, Anna; Kinsella, Glynda; Ong, Ben; Anderson, Vicki

    2007-01-01

    Working memory (WM), the ability to monitor, process and maintain task relevant information on-line to respond to immediate environmental demands, is controlled by frontal systems (D'Esposito et al., 2006), which are particularly vulnerable to damage from a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This study employed the adult-based Working Memory model of Baddeley and Hitch (1974) to examine the relationship between working memory function and new verbal learning in children with TBI. A cross-sectional sample of 36 school-aged children with a moderate to severe TBI was compared to age-matched healthy Controls on a series of tasks assessing working memory subsystems: the Phonological Loop (PL) and Central Executive (CE). The TBI group performed significantly more poorly than Controls on the PL measure and the majority of CE tasks. On new learning tasks, the TBI group consistently produced fewer words than Controls across the learning and delayed recall phases. Results revealed impaired PL function related to poor encoding and acquisition on a new verbal learning task in the TBI group. CE retrieval deficits in the TBI group contributed to general memory dysfunction in acquisition, retrieval and recognition memory. These results suggest that the nature of learning and memory deficits in children with TBI is related to working memory impairment.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Purcell, Jeremy; Hillis, Argye E.; Capasso, Rita; Miceli, Gabriele

    2016-01-01

    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

  18. 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.

  19. Worrying Thoughts Limit Working Memory Capacity in Math Anxiety.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Beanland, Vanessa; Chan, Esther Hiu Chung

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Directed Forgetting and Directed Remembering in Visual Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Melonie; Woodman, Geoffrey F.

    2013-01-01

    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 subjects 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 one of two 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 appear to cause observers to disregard such cues as unreliable. In Experiment 3, we recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) 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

  2. 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

  3. Working memory and executive functions in transient global amnesia.

    PubMed

    Quinette, Peggy; Guillery, Bérengère; Desgranges, Béatrice; de la Sayette, Vincent; Viader, Fausto; Eustache, Francis

    2003-09-01

    Transient global amnesia (TGA) is usually considered to produce a profound impairment of long-term episodic memory, while at the same time sparing working memory. However, this neuropsychological dissociation has rarely been examined in detail. While a few studies have assessed some components of working memory in TGA, the results that have been obtained are far from conclusive. To clarify this issue, we carried out a comprehensive investigation of working memory in 10 patients during a TGA attack. In the first study, we report the results from three patients examined with a battery of neuropsychological tests designed to assess each of the three subcomponents of Baddeley's model of working memory. In a second study, seven different patients underwent neuropsychological investigations that focused specifically on the central executive system, using a protocol derived from a study by Miyake and colleagues. Our findings showed that subcomponents of working memory, such as the phonological loop and visuo-spatial sketch pad, were spared in TGA patients. Specific executive functions that entailed inhibitory control, dual task performance, updating and shifting mechanisms were also found to be normal. However, we found significantly impaired performance for the Brown-Peterson test, and that TGA patients were significantly impaired in the recollection of their episodic memories. They also made reduced numbers of 'remember' compared with 'know' judgments in the episodic memory test several days after TGA. On the basis of our findings, it would appear that the episodic memory deficit during TGA is not related to elementary aspects of executive functioning. Our data also highlight the nature of the cognitive mechanisms involved in the Brown-Peterson task, which may well depend on long-term memory (such as the process of semantic encoding). Lastly, the selective deficit in recollective episodic memories observed in TGA may be principally related to medial temporal lobe

  4. The Relationship between Processing and Storage in Working Memory Span: Not Two Sides of the Same Coin

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maehara, Yukio; Saito, Satoru

    2007-01-01

    In working memory (WM) span tests, participants maintain memory items while performing processing tasks. In this study, we examined the impact of task processing requirements on memory-storage activities, looking at the stimulus order effect and the impact of storage requirements on processing activities, testing the processing time effect in WM…

  5. Brain Bases of Working Memory for Time Intervals in Rhythmic Sequences

    PubMed Central

    Teki, Sundeep; Griffiths, Timothy D.

    2016-01-01

    Perception of auditory time intervals is critical for accurate comprehension of natural sounds like speech and music. However, the neural substrates and mechanisms underlying the representation of time intervals in working memory are poorly understood. In this study, we investigate the brain bases of working memory for time intervals in rhythmic sequences using functional magnetic resonance imaging. We used a novel behavioral paradigm to investigate time-interval representation in working memory as a function of the temporal jitter and memory load of the sequences containing those time intervals. Human participants were presented with a sequence of intervals and required to reproduce the duration of a particular probed interval. We found that perceptual timing areas including the cerebellum and the striatum were more or less active as a function of increasing and decreasing jitter of the intervals held in working memory respectively whilst the activity of the inferior parietal cortex is modulated as a function of memory load. Additionally, we also analyzed structural correlations between gray and white matter density and behavior and found significant correlations in the cerebellum and the striatum, mirroring the functional results. Our data demonstrate neural substrates of working memory for time intervals and suggest that the cerebellum and the striatum represent core areas for representing temporal information in working memory. PMID:27313506

  6. Oscillatory Brain State Predicts Variability in Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Stokes, Mark G.; Walther, Lena; Nobre, Anna C.

    2014-01-01

    Our capacity to remember and manipulate objects in working memory (WM) is severely limited. However, this capacity limitation is unlikely to be fixed because behavioral models indicate variability from trial to trial. We investigated whether fluctuations in neural excitability at stimulus encoding, as indexed by low-frequency oscillations (in the alpha band, 8–14 Hz), contribute to this variability. Specifically, we hypothesized that the spontaneous state of alpha band activity would correlate with trial-by-trial fluctuations in visual WM. Electroencephalography recorded from human observers during a visual WM task revealed that the prestimulus desynchronization of alpha oscillations predicts the accuracy of memory recall on a trial-by-trial basis. A model-based analysis indicated that this effect arises from a modulation in the precision of memorized items, but not the likelihood of remembering them (the recall rate). The phase of posterior alpha oscillations preceding the memorized item also predicted memory accuracy. Based on correlations between prestimulus alpha levels and stimulus-related visual evoked responses, we speculate that the prestimulus state of the visual system prefigures a cascade of state-dependent processes, ultimately affecting WM-guided behavior. Overall, our results indicate that spontaneous changes in cortical excitability can have profound consequences for higher visual cognition. PMID:24899697

  7. Effects of proactive interference on non-verbal working memory.

    PubMed

    Cyr, Marilyn; Nee, Derek E; Nelson, Eric; Senger, Thea; Jonides, John; Malapani, Chara

    2017-02-01

    Working memory (WM) is a cognitive system responsible for actively maintaining and processing relevant information and is central to successful cognition. A process critical to WM is the resolution of proactive interference (PI), which involves suppressing memory intrusions from prior memories that are no longer relevant. Most studies that have examined resistance to PI in a process-pure fashion used verbal material. By contrast, studies using non-verbal material are scarce, and it remains unclear whether the effect of PI is domain-general or whether it applies solely to the verbal domain. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of PI in visual WM using both objects with high and low nameability. Using a Directed-Forgetting paradigm, we varied discriminability between WM items on two dimensions, one verbal (high-nameability vs. low-nameability objects) and one perceptual (colored vs. gray objects). As in previous studies using verbal material, effects of PI were found with object stimuli, even after controlling for verbal labels being used (i.e., low-nameability condition). We also found that the addition of distinctive features (color, verbal label) increased performance in rejecting intrusion probes, most likely through an increase in discriminability between content-context bindings in WM.

  8. Modality specificity in the cerebro-cerebellar neurocircuitry during working memory.

    PubMed

    Ng, H B Tommy; Kao, K-L Cathy; Chan, Y C; Chew, Effie; Chuang, K H; Chen, S H Annabel

    2016-05-15

    Previous studies have suggested cerebro-cerebellar circuitry in working memory. The present fMRI study aims to distinguish differential cerebro-cerebellar activation patterns in verbal and visual working memory, and employs a quantitative analysis to deterimine lateralization of the activation patterns observed. Consistent with Chen and Desmond (2005a,b) predictions, verbal working memory activated a cerebro-cerebellar circuitry that comprised left-lateralized language-related brain regions including the inferior frontal and posterior parietal areas, and subcortically, right-lateralized superior (lobule VI) and inferior cerebellar (lobule VIIIA/VIIB) areas. In contrast, a distributed network of bilateral inferior frontal and inferior temporal areas, and bilateral superior (lobule VI) and inferior (lobule VIIB) cerebellar areas, was recruited during visual working memory. Results of the study verified that a distinct cross cerebro-cerebellar circuitry underlies verbal working memory. However, a neural circuitry involving specialized brain areas in bilateral neocortical and bilateral cerebellar hemispheres subserving visual working memory is observed. Findings are discussed in the light of current models of working memory and data from related neuroimaging studies.

  9. 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…

  10. Working Memory and Processing Efficiency in Children's Reasoning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halford, Graeme S.; And Others

    A series of studies was conducted to determine whether children's reasoning is capacity-limited and whether any such capacity, if it exists, is based on the working memory system. An N-term series (transitive inference) was used as the primary task in an interference paradigm. A concurrent short-term memory load was employed as the secondary task.…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Motor threshold predicts working memory performance in healthy humans.

    PubMed

    Schicktanz, Nathalie; Schwegler, Kyrill; Fastenrath, Matthias; Spalek, Klara; Milnik, Annette; Papassotiropoulos, Andreas; Nyffeler, Thomas; de Quervain, Dominique J-F

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive functions, such as working memory, depend on neuronal excitability in a distributed network of cortical regions. It is not known, however, if interindividual differences in cortical excitability are related to differences in working memory performance. In the present transcranial magnetic stimulation study, which included 188 healthy young subjects, we show that participants with lower resting motor threshold, which is related to higher corticospinal excitability, had increased 2-back working memory performance. The findings may help to better understand the link between cortical excitability and cognitive functions and may also have important clinical implications with regard to conditions of altered cortical excitability.

  19. Proactive interference and item similarity in working memory.

    PubMed

    Bunting, Michael

    2006-03-01

    Proactive interference (PI) may influence the predictive utility of working memory span tasks. Participants in one experiment (N=70) completed Ravens Advanced Progressive Matrices (RAPM) and multiple versions of operation span and probed recall, modified for the type of memoranda (digits or words). Changing memoranda within- or across-trials released PI, but not doing so permitted PI buildup. Scores from PI-build trials, but not PI-release trials, correlated with RAPM and accounted for as much variance in RAPM as unmodified tasks. These results are consistent with controlled attention and inhibition accounts of working memory, and they elucidate a fundamental component of working memory span tasks.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Activating Attachments Reduces Memories of Traumatic Images

    PubMed Central

    Foord, Rachael

    2016-01-01

    Emotional memories, and especially intrusive memories, are a common feature of many psychological disorders, and are overconsolidated by stress. Attachment theory posits that activation of mental representations of attachment figures can reduce stress and boost coping. This study tested the proposition that attachment activation would reduce consolidation of emotional and intrusive memories. Sixty-seven undergraduate students viewed subliminal presentations of traumatic and neutral images, which were preceded by subliminal presentations of either attachment-related images or non-attachment-related images; free recall and intrusive memories were assessed two days later. Participants with low avoidant attachment tendencies who received the attachment primes recalled fewer memories and reported fewer intrusions than those who received the non-attachment primes. Unexpectedly, those with high anxious attachment tendencies reported fewer memories. These findings generally accord with attachment theory, and suggest that consolidation of emotional memories can be moderated by activation of attachment representations. PMID:27631498

  3. Weight and see: loading working memory improves incidental identification of irrelevant faces.

    PubMed

    Carmel, David; Fairnie, Jake; Lavie, Nilli

    2012-01-01

    Are task-irrelevant stimuli processed to a level enabling individual identification? This question is central both for perceptual processing models and for applied settings (e.g., eye-witness testimony). Lavie's load theory proposes that working memory actively maintains attentional prioritization of relevant over irrelevant information. Loading working memory thus impairs attentional prioritization, leading to increased processing of task-irrelevant stimuli. Previous research has shown that increased working memory load leads to greater interference effects from response-competing distractors. Here we test the novel prediction that increased processing of irrelevant stimuli under high working memory load should lead to a greater likelihood of incidental identification of entirely irrelevant stimuli. To test this, we asked participants to perform a word-categorization task while ignoring task-irrelevant images. The categorization task was performed during the retention interval of a working memory task with either low or high load (defined by memory set size). Following the final experimental trial, a surprise question assessed incidental identification of the irrelevant image. Loading working memory was found to improve identification of task-irrelevant faces, but not of building stimuli (shown in a separate experiment to be less distracting). These findings suggest that working memory plays a critical role in determining whether distracting stimuli will be subsequently identified.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Development of a superior frontal-intraparietal network for visuo-spatial working memory.

    PubMed

    Klingberg, Torkel

    2006-01-01

    Working memory capacity increases throughout childhood and adolescence, which is important for the development of a wide range of cognitive abilities, including complex reasoning. The spatial-span task, in which subjects retain information about the order and position of a number of objects, is a sensitive task to measure development of spatial working memory. This review considers results from previous neuroimaging studies investigating the neural correlates of this development. Older children and adolescents, with higher capacity, have been found to have higher brain activity in the intraparietal cortex and in the posterior part of the superior frontal sulcus, during the performance of working memory tasks. The structural maturation of white matter has been investigated by diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DTI). This has revealed several regions in the frontal lobes in which white matter maturation is correlated with the development of working memory. Among these is a superior fronto-parietal white matter region, located close to the grey matter regions that are implicated in the development of working memory. Furthermore, the degree of white matter maturation is positively correlated with the degree of cortical activation in the frontal and parietal regions. This suggests that during childhood and adolescence, there is development of networks related to specific cognitive functions, such as visuo-spatial working memory. These networks not only consist of cortical areas but also the white matter tracts connecting them. For visuo-spatial working memory, this network could consist of the superior frontal and intraparietal cortex.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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…

  8. Taking working memory training from the laboratory into schools

    PubMed Central

    Holmes, Joni; Gathercole, Susan Elizabeth

    2013-01-01

    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 lowest academic performance completed training. They were matched with a group of 50 children who were not trained. Following training, children in Trial 1 improved significantly in both trained and untrained working memory tasks, with effect sizes comparable to those reported in research studies. Improvements on the trained tasks in Trial 2 were comparable, and training was associated with significantly greater progress at school across the academic year in maths and English. These findings indicate that teacher-administered training leads to generalised and robust gains in working memory and educationally significant gains in academic performance. PMID:26494933

  9. The role of working memory in tactile selective attention.

    PubMed

    Dalton, Polly; Lavie, Nilli; Spence, Charles

    2009-04-01

    Load theory suggests that working memory controls the extent to which irrelevant distractors are processed (e.g., Lavie, Hirst, De Fockert, & Viding, 2004). However, so far this proposal has only been tested in vision. Here, we examine the extent to which tactile selective attention also depends on working memory. In Experiment 1, participants focused their attention on continuous target vibrations while attempting to ignore pulsed distractor vibrations. In Experiment 2, targets were always presented to a particular hand, with distractors being presented to the other hand. In both experiments, a high (vs. low) load in a concurrent working memory task led to greater interference by the tactile distractors. These results establish the role of working memory in the control of tactile selective attention, demonstrating for the first time that the principles of load theory also apply to the tactile modality.

  10. Effects of working memory demand on neural mechanisms of motor response selection and control.

    PubMed

    Barber, Anita D; Caffo, Brian S; Pekar, James J; Mostofsky, Stewart H

    2013-08-01

    Inhibitory control commonly recruits a number of frontal regions: pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA), frontal eye fields (FEFs), and right-lateralized posterior inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), dorsal anterior insula (DAI), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and inferior frontal junction (IFJ). These regions may directly implement inhibitory motor control or may be more generally involved in executive control functions. Two go/no-go tasks were used to distinguish regions specifically recruited for inhibition from those that additionally show increased activity with working memory demand. The pre-SMA and IFG were recruited for inhibition in both tasks and did not have greater activation for working memory demand on no-go trials, consistent with a role in inhibitory control. Activation in pre-SMA also responded to response selection demand and was increased with working memory on go trials specifically. The bilateral FEF and right DAI were commonly active for no-go trials. The FEF was also recruited to a greater degree with working memory demand on go trials and may bias top-down information when stimulus-response mappings change. The DAI, additionally responded to increased working memory demand on both go and no-go trials and may be involved in accessing sustained task information, alerting, or autonomic changes when cognitive demands increase. DLPFC activation was consistent with a role in working memory retrieval on both go and no-go trials. The inferior frontal junction, on the other hand, had greater activation with working memory specifically for no-go trials and may detect salient stimuli when the task requires frequent updating of working memory representations.

  11. Paradoxical Facilitation of Working Memory after Basolateral Amygdala Damage

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  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. 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

  14. Sandia Cognitive Runtime Engine with Active Memory

    SciTech Connect

    Xavier, Patrick; Chen, Michael C.; Hart, Brian; Hart, Derek; Lippitt, Carl; Wolfenbarger, Paul; Waymire, Russel

    2005-12-01

    The SCREAM (Sandia Cognitive Runtime Engine with Active memory) software implements a subset of a Cognitive Famework developed at Sandia National Laboratories. The software is implemented in the Umbra simulation and modular software framework, which is C++-based. SCREAM components include a Concept Instance Driver, Semantic Activation Network, Concept Database, Context Recognizer, Context Database, Episodic Memory, Egocentric Spatial Memory, Allocentric Spatial Memory, Comparator, and a Context to Abstract Action converter. At initialization, modules load the data files that together specify all the components of a particular cognitive model, such as concept declarations, context declarations, spreading activation weights, and context/situation-cue-patterns.

  15. Effects of working memory training on children born preterm.

    PubMed

    Lee, Clara S C; Pei, Jacqueline; Andrew, Gail; A Kerns, Kimberly; Rasmussen, Carmen

    2016-06-03

    Researchers have reported benefits of working memory training in various populations, however, the training gains in preterm population is still inadequately studied. This study aimed to investigate the transfer and lasting effects of an online working memory training program on a group of preterm children aged between 4 and 6 years (mean gestational age = 28.3 weeks; mean birth weight = 1153 grams). Children were asked to perform the Cogmed JM at home for approximately 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week for 5 weeks. Their nontrained working memory and attention were assessed pre-training, post-training, and at 5-week follow-up. Parent ratings on children's executive functions were obtained at the three time points. Results revealed that significant improvements in verbal working memory was emerging in preterm children at 5-week follow-up, while significant gains in visuospatial working memory was found post-training and at 5-week follow-up in age-matched term-born children. These results indicated that working memory training has benefits on preterm children; however, the gains are different from those observed in term-born children. No significant differences in attention and parent-rated EF were found in either group across time. The possible explanations for the training benefits observed in preterm children were discussed.

  16. Working Memory Load Modulates Distractor Competition in Primary Visual Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Lavie, Nilli

    2011-01-01

    When stimuli compete for sensory processing and response selection, coherent goal-guided behavior requires cognitive control so that task-relevant “targets” rather than irrelevant distractors are selected. It has been shown that reduced cognitive control under high working memory load increases distractor competition for selection. It remains unknown, though, whether cognitive control by working memory has an effect on the earliest levels of sensory processing in primary visual cortex. The present study addressed this question by having subjects perform a selective attention task involving classification of meaningful target objects while also ignoring congruent and incongruent distractor images. The level of cognitive control over distractor competition was varied through a concurrent working memory task of either low (1 digit) or high (6 digits) load. Functional magnetic resonance imaging revealed greater distractor competition effects not only on behavior but also on the sensory correlates in primary visual cortex (areas V1–V2) in conditions of high (vs. low) working memory load. In addition, high working memory load resulted in increased congruency-related functional connectivity between anterior cingulate cortex and V1. These results are the first to establish the neural correlates of distractor competition effects in primary visual cortex and the critical role of working memory in their cognitive control. PMID:20699229

  17. Longitudinal Changes in Component Processes of Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Rieckmann, Anna; Pudas, Sara; Nyberg, Lars

    2017-01-01

    Working memory (WM) entails maintenance and manipulation of information in the absence of sensory input. This study investigated the trajectories and neural basis of these component processes of WM functions in aging. Longitudinal human functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data are presented from 136 older individuals (55-80 years) who were scanned at baseline and again 4 years later. We obtained evidence that age-related changes in parietal and frontal components of the WM core network are dissociable in terms of their role in maintenance of perceptual representations and further manipulation of this information, respectively. Individual difference analyses in performance subgroups showed that only prefrontal changes in fMRI activation were accompanied by changes in performance, but parietal brain activity was related to study dropout. We discuss the results in terms of possible neurobiological causes underlying separable aging-related declines in inferior parietal cortex and lateral prefrontal cortex that differentially affect WM functions.

  18. Manipulating stored phonological input during verbal working memory.

    PubMed

    Cogan, Gregory B; Iyer, Asha; Melloni, Lucia; Thesen, Thomas; Friedman, Daniel; Doyle, Werner; Devinsky, Orrin; Pesaran, Bijan

    2017-02-01

    Verbal working memory (vWM) involves storing and manipulating information in phonological sensory input. An influential theory of vWM proposes that manipulation is carried out by a central executive while storage is performed by two interacting systems: a phonological input buffer that captures sound-based information and an articulatory rehearsal system that controls speech motor output. Whether, when and how neural activity in the brain encodes these components remains unknown. Here we read out the contents of vWM from neural activity in human subjects as they manipulated stored speech sounds. As predicted, we identified storage systems that contained both phonological sensory and articulatory motor representations. Unexpectedly, however, we found that manipulation did not involve a single central executive but rather involved two systems with distinct contributions to successful manipulation. We propose, therefore, that multiple subsystems comprise the central executive needed to manipulate stored phonological input for articulatory motor output in vWM.

  19. Longitudinal Changes in Component Processes of Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Working memory (WM) entails maintenance and manipulation of information in the absence of sensory input. This study investigated the trajectories and neural basis of these component processes of WM functions in aging. Longitudinal human functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data are presented from 136 older individuals (55–80 years) who were scanned at baseline and again 4 years later. We obtained evidence that age-related changes in parietal and frontal components of the WM core network are dissociable in terms of their role in maintenance of perceptual representations and further manipulation of this information, respectively. Individual difference analyses in performance subgroups showed that only prefrontal changes in fMRI activation were accompanied by changes in performance, but parietal brain activity was related to study dropout. We discuss the results in terms of possible neurobiological causes underlying separable aging-related declines in inferior parietal cortex and lateral prefrontal cortex that differentially affect WM functions. PMID:28374009

  20. Spike-Based Population Coding and Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Boerlin, Martin; Denève, Sophie

    2011-01-01

    Compelling behavioral evidence suggests that humans can make optimal decisions despite the uncertainty inherent in perceptual or motor tasks. A key question in neuroscience is how populations of spiking neurons can implement such probabilistic computations. In this article, we develop a comprehensive framework for optimal, spike-based sensory integration and working memory in a dynamic environment. We propose that probability distributions are inferred spike-per-spike in recurrently connected networks of integrate-and-fire neurons. As a result, these networks can combine sensory cues optimally, track the state of a time-varying stimulus and memorize accumulated evidence over periods much longer than the time constant of single neurons. Importantly, we propose that population responses and persistent working memory states represent entire probability distributions and not only single stimulus values. These memories are reflected by sustained, asynchronous patterns of activity which make relevant information available to downstream neurons within their short time window of integration. Model neurons act as predictive encoders, only firing spikes which account for new information that has not yet been signaled. Thus, spike times signal deterministically a prediction error, contrary to rate codes in which spike times are considered to be random samples of an underlying firing rate. As a consequence of this coding scheme, a multitude of spike patterns can reliably encode the same information. This results in weakly correlated, Poisson-like spike trains that are sensitive to initial conditions but robust to even high levels of external neural noise. This spike train variability reproduces the one observed in cortical sensory spike trains, but cannot be equated to noise. On the contrary, it is a consequence of optimal spike-based inference. In contrast, we show that rate-based models perform poorly when implemented with stochastically spiking neurons. PMID:21379319

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Evidence for Working Memory Storage Operations in Perceptual Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Sreenivasan, Kartik K.; Gratton, Caterina; Vytlacil, Jason; D’Esposito, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Isolating the short-term storage component of working memory (WM) from the myriad of associated executive processes has been an enduring challenge. Recent efforts have identified patterns of activity in visual regions that contain information about items being held in WM. However, it remains unclear (i) whether these representations withstand intervening sensory input and (ii) how communication between multimodal association cortex and unimodal perceptual regions supporting WM representations is involved in WM storage. We present evidence that the features of a face held in WM are stored within face processing regions, that these representations persist across subsequent sensory input, and that information about the match between sensory input and memory representation is relayed forward from perceptual to prefrontal regions. Participants were presented with a series of probe faces and indicated whether each probe matched a Target face held in WM. We parametrically varied the feature similarity between probe and Target faces. Activity within face processing regions scaled linearly with the degree of feature similarity between the probe face and the features of the Target face, suggesting that the features of the Target face were stored in these regions. Furthermore, directed connectivity measures revealed that the direction of information flow that was optimal for performance was from sensory regions that stored the features of the Target face to dorsal prefrontal regions, supporting the notion that sensory input is compared to representations stored within perceptual regions and relayed forward. Together, these findings indicate that WM storage operations are carried out within perceptual cortex. PMID:24436009

  4. Prenatal tobacco exposure predicts differential brain function during working memory in early adolescence: a preliminary investigation.

    PubMed

    Bennett, David S; Mohamed, Feroze B; Carmody, Dennis P; Malik, Muhammed; Faro, Scott H; Lewis, Michael

    2013-03-01

    Children prenatally exposed to tobacco exhibit higher rates of learning and emotional-behavioral problems related to worse working memory performance. Brain function, however, among tobacco exposed children while performing a working memory task has not previously been examined. This study compared the brain function of tobacco-exposed (n = 7) and unexposed (n = 11) 12-year-olds during a number N-back working memory task using an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) design. Prenatal alcohol exposure, neonatal medical problems, environmental risk, and sex were statistically controlled. Tobacco-exposed children showed greater activation in inferior parietal regions, whereas unexposed children showed greater activation in inferior frontal regions. These differences were observed in the context of correct responses, suggesting that exposed and unexposed children use different brain regions and approaches to succeed in working memory tasks. Implications for future research and intervention are discussed.

  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. Training on Working Memory and Inhibitory Control in Young Adults.

    PubMed

    Maraver, Maria J; Bajo, M Teresa; Gomez-Ariza, Carlos J

    2016-01-01

    Different types of interventions have focused on trying to improve Executive Functions (EFs) due to their essential role in human cognition and behavior regulation. Although EFs are thought to be diverse, most training studies have targeted cognitive processes related to working memory (WM), and fewer have focused on training other control mechanisms, such as inhibitory control (IC). In the present study, we aimed to investigate the differential impact of training WM and IC as compared with control conditions performing non-executive control activities. Young adults were divided into two training (WM/IC) and two (active/passive) control conditions. Over six sessions, the training groups engaged in three different computer-based adaptive activities (WM or IC), whereas the active control group completed a program with low control-demanding activities that mainly involved processing speed. In addition, motivation and engagement were monitored through the training. The WM-training activities required maintenance, updating and memory search processes, while those from the IC group engaged response inhibition and interference control. All participants were pre- and post-tested in criterion tasks (n-back and Stroop), near transfer measures of WM (Operation Span) and IC (Stop-Signal). Non-trained far transfer outcome measures included an abstract reasoning test (Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices) and a well-validated experimental task (AX-CPT) that provides indices of cognitive flexibility considering proactive/reactive control. Training results revealed that strongly motivated participants reached higher levels of training improvements. Regarding transfer effects, results showed specific patterns of near transfer effects depending on the type of training. Interestingly, it was only the IC training group that showed far transfer to reasoning. Finally, all trained participants showed a shift toward a more proactive mode of cognitive control, highlighting a general

  7. Training on Working Memory and Inhibitory Control in Young Adults

    PubMed Central

    Maraver, Maria J.; Bajo, M. Teresa; Gomez-Ariza, Carlos J.

    2016-01-01

    Different types of interventions have focused on trying to improve Executive Functions (EFs) due to their essential role in human cognition and behavior regulation. Although EFs are thought to be diverse, most training studies have targeted cognitive processes related to working memory (WM), and fewer have focused on training other control mechanisms, such as inhibitory control (IC). In the present study, we aimed to investigate the differential impact of training WM and IC as compared with control conditions performing non-executive control activities. Young adults were divided into two training (WM/IC) and two (active/passive) control conditions. Over six sessions, the training groups engaged in three different computer-based adaptive activities (WM or IC), whereas the active control group completed a program with low control-demanding activities that mainly involved processing speed. In addition, motivation and engagement were monitored through the training. The WM-training activities required maintenance, updating and memory search processes, while those from the IC group engaged response inhibition and interference control. All participants were pre- and post-tested in criterion tasks (n-back and Stroop), near transfer measures of WM (Operation Span) and IC (Stop-Signal). Non-trained far transfer outcome measures included an abstract reasoning test (Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices) and a well-validated experimental task (AX-CPT) that provides indices of cognitive flexibility considering proactive/reactive control. Training results revealed that strongly motivated participants reached higher levels of training improvements. Regarding transfer effects, results showed specific patterns of near transfer effects depending on the type of training. Interestingly, it was only the IC training group that showed far transfer to reasoning. Finally, all trained participants showed a shift toward a more proactive mode of cognitive control, highlighting a general

  8. An Ideal Observer Analysis of Visual Working Memory

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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 paper we develop an ideal observer analysis of human visual working memory, by deriving the expected behavior of an optimally performing, but limited-capacity memory system. This analysis is framed around rate–distortion theory, a branch of information theory that provides optimal bounds on the accuracy of information transmission subject to a fixed information capacity. The result of the ideal observer analysis is a theoretical framework that provides a task-independent and quantitative definition of visual memory capacity and yields novel predictions regarding human performance. These predictions are subsequently evaluated and confirmed in two empirical studies. Further, the framework is general enough to allow the specification and testing of alternative models of visual memory (for example, how capacity is distributed across multiple items). We demonstrate that a simple model developed on the basis of the ideal observer analysis—one which allows variability in the number of stored memory representations, but does not assume the presence of a fixed item limit—provides an excellent account of the empirical data, and further offers a principled re-interpretation of existing models of visual working memory. PMID:22946744

  9. Working Memory Maturation: Can We Get at the Essence of Cognitive Growth?

    PubMed

    Cowan, Nelson

    2016-03-01

    The theoretical and practical understanding of cognitive development depends on working memory, the limited information temporarily accessible for such daily activities as language processing and problem solving. In this article, I assess many possible reasons that working memory performance improves with development. A first glance at the literature leads to the weird impression that working memory capacity reaches adult levels during infancy but then regresses during childhood. In place of that unlikely explanation, I consider how infant studies may lead to overestimates of capacity if one neglects supports that the tasks provide, compared with adult-level tasks. Further development of working memory during the school years is also considered. Many investigators have come to suspect that working memory capacity may be constant after infancy because of various factors such as developmental increases in knowledge, filtering out of irrelevant distractions, encoding and rehearsal strategies, and pattern formation. With each of these factors controlled, though, working memory still improves during the school years. Suggestions are made for research to bridge the gap between infant and child developmental research, to understand the focus and control of attention in working memory and how these skills develop, and to pinpoint the nature of capacity and its development from infancy forward.

  10. Working Memory Maturation: Can We Get At the Essence of Cognitive Growth?

    PubMed Central

    Cowan, Nelson

    2015-01-01

    Our theoretical and practical understanding of cognitive development depends on working memory, the limited information temporarily accessible for such daily activities as language processing and problem-solving. Here I assess many possible reasons why working memory performance improves with development. A first glance at the literature leads to the weird impression that working memory capacity reaches adult-like levels during infancy but then regresses during childhood. In place of that unlikely surmise, I consider how infant studies may lead to overestimates of capacity if one neglects supports that the tasks provide, compared to adult-like tasks. Further development of working memory during the school years is also considered. Various confounding factors have led many investigators to suspect that working memory capacity may be constant after infancy; the factors include developmental increases in knowledge, filtering out of irrelevant distractions, encoding and rehearsal strategies, and pattern formation. With each of these factors controlled, though, working memory still improves during the school years. Suggestions are made for research to bridge the gap between infant and child developmental research, to understand the focus and control of attention in working memory and how they develop, and to pinpoint the nature of capacity and its development from infancy on. PMID:26993277

  11. Field Articulation and Working Memory. Lektos: Interdisciplinary Working Papers in Language Sciences, Vol. 2, No. 2.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, John A.; Bennink, Carl D.

    A study was conducted to provide an assessment of the general efficiency of working memory in relation to level of field articulation. The task required a subject to retain a series of digits for subsequent report while performing a semantic modification of a target phrase. The working memory hypothesis predicts that the joint impact of high…

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Working memory deficits in adults with ADHD: is there evidence for subtype differences?

    PubMed Central

    Schweitzer, Julie B; Hanford, Russell B; Medoff, Deborah R

    2006-01-01

    Background Working memory performance is important for maintaining functioning in cognitive, academic and social activities. Previous research suggests there are prevalent working memory deficits in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There is now a growing body of literature characterizing working memory functioning according to ADHD subtypes in children. The expression of working memory deficits in adults with ADHD and how they vary according to subtype, however, remains to be more fully documented. Methods This study assessed differences in working memory functioning between Normal Control (NC) adults (N = 18); patients with ADHD, Combined (ADHD-CT) Type ADHD (N = 17); and ADHD, Inattentive (ADHD-IA) Type (N = 16) using subtests from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III and Wechsler Memory Scale-III and the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT). Results The ADHD groups displayed significant weaknesses in contrast to the NC group on working memory tests requiring rapid processing and active stimulus manipulation. This included the Letter-Number-Sequencing test of the Wechsler scales, PASAT omission errors and the longest sequence of consecutive correct answers on the PASAT. No overall ADHD group subtype differences emerged; however differences between the ADHD groups and the NC group varied depending on the measure and the gender of the participants. Gender differences in performance were evident on some measures of working memory, regardless of group, with males performing better than females. Conclusion In general, the data support a dimensional interpretation of working memory deficits experienced by the ADHD-CT and ADHD-IA subtypes, rather than an absolute difference between subtypes. Future studies should test the effects of processing speed and load on subtype performance and how those variables interact with gender in adults with ADHD. PMID:17173676

  15. Examining Brain-Cognition Effects of Ginkgo Biloba Extract: Brain Activation in the Left Temporal and Left Prefrontal Cortex in an Object Working Memory Task

    PubMed Central

    Silberstein, R. B.; Pipingas, A.; Song, J.; Camfield, D. A.; Nathan, P. J.; Stough, C.

    2011-01-01

    Ginkgo Biloba extract (GBE) is increasingly used to alleviate symptoms of age related cognitive impairment, with preclinical evidence pointing to a pro-cholinergic effect. While a number of behavioral studies have reported improvements to working memory (WM) associated with GBE, electrophysiological studies of GBE have typically been limited to recordings during a resting state. The current study investigated the chronic effects of GBE on steady state visually evoked potential (SSVEP) topography in nineteen healthy middle-aged (50-61 year old) male participants whilst completing an object WM task. A randomized double-blind crossover design was employed in which participants were allocated to receive 14 days GBE and 14 days placebo in random order. For both groups, SSVEP was recorded from 64 scalp electrode sites during the completion of an object WM task both pre- and 14 days post-treatment. GBE was found to improve behavioural performance on the WM task. GBE was also found to increase the SSVEP amplitude at occipital and frontal sites and increase SSVEP latency at left temporal and left frontal sites during the hold component of the WM task. These SSVEP changes associated with GBE may represent more efficient processing during WM task completion. PMID:21941584

  16. Spatial working memory capacity predicts bias in estimates of location.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    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 working memory capacity limits and spatial memory bias to generate the prediction that those with lower working memory capacity will show greater bias in memory of the location of a single item. Reanalyzing data from a large study of cognitive aging, we find support for this prediction. Fitting separate models to individuals' data revealed a surprising variety of strategies. Some were consistent with Bayesian models of spatial category use, however roughly half of participants biased estimates outward in a way not predicted by current models and others seemed to combine these strategies. These analyses highlight the importance of studying individuals when developing general models of cognition. (PsycINFO Database Record

  17. 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

  18. A Latent Variable Analysis of Working Memory Capacity, Short-Term Memory Capacity, Processing Speed, and General Fluid Intelligence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conway, Andrew R. A.; Cowan, Nelsin; Bunting, Michael F.; Therriault, David J.; Minkoff, Scott R. B.

    2002-01-01

    Studied the interrelationships among general fluid intelligence, short-term memory capacity, working memory capacity, and processing speed in 120 young adults and used structural equation modeling to determine the best predictor of general fluid intelligence. Results suggest that working memory capacity, but not short-term memory capacity or…

  19. Working memory and two-digit number processing.

    PubMed

    Macizo, Pedro; Herrera, Amparo

    2011-11-01

    The processing of two-digit numbers in comparison tasks involves the activation and manipulation of magnitude information to decide which number is larger. The present study explored the role of different working memory (WM) components and skills in the processing of two-digit numbers by examining the unit-decade compatibility effect with Arabic digits and number words. In the study, the unit-decade compatibility effect and different WM components were evaluated. The results indicated that the unit-decade compatibility effect was associated to specific WM skills depending on the number format (Arabic digits and number words). We discussed the implications of these results for the decomposed view of two-digit numbers.

  20. Motor expertise modulates movement processing in working memory.

    PubMed

    Moreau, David

    2013-03-01

    A substantial amount of literature has demonstrated individuals' tendency to code verbally a series of movements for subsequent recall. However, the mechanisms underlying movement encoding remain unclear. In this paper, I argue that sensorimotor expertise influences the involvement of motor processes to store movements in working memory. Experts in motor activities and individuals with limited motor expertise were compared in three experimental conditions assessing movement recall: (a) without suppression task, (b) with verbal suppression, and (c) with motor suppression. Athletes outperformed controls in movement recall, but the suppression tasks affected the two groups differently. Verbal suppression affected controls more than athletes, whereas the effect was reversed with motor suppression. Together, these findings suggest that controls and athletes favor different mechanisms to encode movements, either based on verbal or on motor processes, providing further evidence for a tight relationship between sensorimotor and cognitive processes.

  1. A Short Executive Function Training Program Improves Preschoolers' Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Blakey, Emma; Carroll, Daniel J

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive training has been shown to improve executive functions (EFs) in middle childhood and adulthood. However, fewer studies have targeted the preschool years-a time when EFs undergo rapid development. The present study tested the effects of a short four session EF training program in 54 four-year-olds. The training group significantly improved their working memory from pre-training relative to an active control group. Notably, this effect extended to a task sharing few surface features with the trained tasks, and continued to be apparent 3 months later. In addition, the benefits of training extended to a measure of mathematical reasoning 3 months later, indicating that training EFs during the preschool years has the potential to convey benefits that are both long-lasting and wide-ranging.

  2. Working memory contributes to the encoding of object location associations: Support for a 3-part model of object location memory.

    PubMed

    Gillis, M Meredith; Garcia, Sarah; Hampstead, Benjamin M

    2016-09-15

    A recent model by Postma and colleagues posits that the encoding of object location associations (OLAs) requires the coordination of several cognitive processes mediated by ventral (object perception) and dorsal (spatial perception) visual pathways as well as the hippocampus (feature binding) [1]. Within this model, frontoparietal network recruitment is believed to contribute to both the spatial processing and working memory task demands. The current study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to test each step of this model in 15 participants who encoded OLAs and performed standard n-back tasks. As expected, object processing resulted in activation of the ventral visual stream. Object in location processing resulted in activation of both the ventral and dorsal visual streams as well as a lateral frontoparietal network. This condition was also the only one to result in medial temporal lobe activation, supporting its role in associative learning. A conjunction analysis revealed areas of shared activation between the working memory and object in location phase within the lateral frontoparietal network, anterior insula, and basal ganglia; consistent with prior working memory literature. Overall, findings support Postma and colleague's model and provide clear evidence for the role of working memory during OLA encoding.

  3. Negative emotional experiences arouse rumination and affect working memory capacity.

    PubMed

    Curci, Antonietta; Lanciano, Tiziana; Soleti, Emanuela; Rimé, Bernard

    2013-10-01

    Following an emotional experience, individuals are confronted with the persistence of ruminative thoughts that disturb the undertaking of other activities. In the present study, we experimentally tested the idea that experiencing a negative emotion triggers a ruminative process that drains working memory (WM) resources normally devoted to other tasks. Undergraduate participants of high versus low WM capacity were administered the operation-word memory span test (OSPAN) as a measure of availability of WM resources preceding and following the presentation of negative emotional versus neutral material. Rumination was assessed immediately after the second OSPAN session and at a 24-hr delay. Results showed that both the individual's WM capacity and the emotional valence of the material influenced WM performance and the persistence of ruminative thoughts. Following the experimental induction, rumination mediated the relationship between the negative emotional state and the concomitant WM performance. Based on these results, we argue that ruminative processes deplete WM resources, making them less available for concurrent tasks; in addition, rumination tends to persist over time. These findings have implications for the theoretical modeling of the long-term effects of emotions in both daily life and clinical contexts.

  4. The working memory Ponzo illusion: Involuntary integration of visuospatial information stored in visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Shen, Mowei; Xu, Haokui; Zhang, Haihang; Shui, Rende; Zhang, Meng; Zhou, Jifan

    2015-08-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) has been traditionally viewed as a mental structure subsequent to visual perception that stores the final output of perceptual processing. However, VWM has recently been emphasized as a critical component of online perception, providing storage for the intermediate perceptual representations produced during visual processing. This interactive view holds the core assumption that VWM is not the terminus of perceptual processing; the stored visual information rather continues to undergo perceptual processing if necessary. The current study tests this assumption, demonstrating an example of involuntary integration of the VWM content, by creating the Ponzo illusion in VWM: when the Ponzo illusion figure was divided into its individual components and sequentially encoded into VWM, the temporally separated components were involuntarily integrated, leading to the distorted length perception of the two horizontal lines. This VWM Ponzo illusion was replicated when the figure components were presented in different combinations and presentation order. The magnitude of the illusion was significantly correlated between VWM and perceptual versions of the Ponzo illusion. These results suggest that the information integration underling the VWM Ponzo illusion is constrained by the laws of visual perception and similarly affected by the common individual factors that govern its perception. Thus, our findings provide compelling evidence that VWM functions as a buffer serving perceptual processes at early stages.

  5. 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

  6. Distinct critical cerebellar subregions for components of verbal working memory

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Freya E.; Grube, Manon; Von Kriegstein, Katharina; Kumar, Sukhbinder; English, Philip; Kelly, Thomas P.; Chinnery, Patrick F.; Griffiths, Timothy D.

    2014-01-01

    A role for the cerebellum in cognition has been proposed based on studies suggesting a profile of cognitive deficits due to cerebellar stroke. Such studies are limited in the determination of the detailed organisation of cerebellar subregions that are critical for different aspects of cognition. In this study we examined the correlation between cognitive performance and cerebellar integrity in a specific degeneration of the cerebellar cortex: Spinocerebellar Ataxia type 6 (SCA6). The results demonstrate a critical relationship between verbal working memory and grey matter density in superior (bilateral lobules VI and crus I of lobule VII) and inferior (bilateral lobules VIIIa and VIIIb, and right lobule IX) parts of the cerebellum. We demonstrate that distinct cerebellar regions subserve different components of the prevalent psychological model for verbal working memory based on a phonological loop. The work confirms the involvement of the cerebellum in verbal working memory and defines specific subsystems for this within the cerebellum. PMID:22133495

  7. 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

  8. Differential age effects on spatial and visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Oosterman, Joukje M; Morel, Sascha; Meijer, Lisette; Buvens, Cléo; 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 and older participants had to remember the locations of five equal objects under three different conditions: a baseline (immediate recall), a maintenance (including a delay of 5 seconds), and a manipulation (e.g., relocate all objects one column to the right) condition. Only older adults performed worse on the sequential compared to the simultaneous baseline condition and only this group revealed lower performance on the sequential delay compared to the simultaneous delay condition. However, in both groups the manipulation condition affected performance on the simultaneous and sequential presentation modes to the same extent. The findings of this study therefore partially support an age-related differentiation between visual and spatial working memory, with a stronger age effect on spatial than on visual working memory.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Working Memory Capacity and Fluid Intelligence: Maintenance and Disengagement.

    PubMed

    Shipstead, Zach; Harrison, Tyler L; Engle, Randall W

    2016-11-01

    Working memory capacity and fluid intelligence have been demonstrated to be strongly correlated traits. Typically, high working memory capacity is believed to facilitate reasoning through accurate maintenance of relevant information. In this article, we present a proposal reframing this issue, such that tests of working memory capacity and fluid intelligence are seen as measuring complementary processes that facilitate complex cognition. Respectively, these are the ability to maintain access to critical information and the ability to disengage from or block outdated information. In the realm of problem solving, high working memory capacity allows a person to represent and maintain a problem accurately and stably, so that hypothesis testing can be conducted. However, as hypotheses are disproven or become untenable, disengaging from outdated problem solving attempts becomes important so that new hypotheses can be generated and tested. From this perspective, the strong correlation between working memory capacity and fluid intelligence is due not to one ability having a causal influence on the other but to separate attention-demanding mental functions that can be contrary to one another but are organized around top-down processing goals.

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

    PubMed

    Engel de Abreu, Pascale M J

    2011-07-01

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

  13. A neurophysiological analysis of working memory in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Hammer, Anke; Vielhaber, Stefan; Rodriguez-Fornells, Antoni; Mohammadi, Bahram; Münte, Thomas F

    2011-11-03

    Frontal lobe functions, in particular working memory (WM) and verbal fluency, have been found to be deficient in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). To study the neural correlates of WM-impairment, ALS patients and healthy age-matched controls were subjected to two working memory tasks following the 2-back paradigm, one requiring the storage of figural information, the other storage of spatial information. A significant proportion of ALS patients were unable to perform the WM-tasks. Those who could showed worse performance in the spatial task than the controls. Event-related brain potentials recorded during the task revealed a topographical change of the working memory effect in the ALS patients. Thus, behavioral and electrophysiological data suggest an alteration of working memory, in particular for spatial information, in ALS. Additionally, the patients also took part in two Go/Nogo tasks (spatial, figural) using the same stimulus material but defining targets prior to the experiment instead of a working memory manipulation. Here, an anteriorization of the nogo-P3 was found which has been established as an index of impaired inhibitory functions.

  14. Separate Capacities for Storing Different Features in Visual Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Benchi; Cao, Xiaohua; Theeuwes, Jan; Olivers, Christian N. L.; Wang, Zhiguo

    2017-01-01

    Recent empirical and theoretical work suggests that visual features such as color and orientation can be stored or retrieved independently in visual working memory (VWM), even in cases when they belong to the same object. Yet it remains unclear whether different feature dimensions have their own capacity limits, or whether they compete for shared…

  15. Revealing hidden states in visual working memory using electroencephalography.

    PubMed

    Wolff, Michael J; Ding, Jacqueline; Myers, Nicholas E; Stokes, Mark G

    2015-01-01

    It is often assumed that information in visual working memory (vWM) is maintained via persistent activity. However, recent evidence indicates that information in vWM could be maintained in an effectively "activity-silent" neural state. Silent vWM is consistent with recent cognitive and neural models, but poses an important experimental problem: how can we study these silent states using conventional measures of brain activity? We propose a novel approach that is analogous to echolocation: using a high-contrast visual stimulus, it may be possible to drive brain activity during vWM maintenance and measure the vWM-dependent impulse response. We recorded electroencephalography (EEG) while participants performed a vWM task in which a randomly oriented grating was remembered. Crucially, a high-contrast, task-irrelevant stimulus was shown in the maintenance period in half of the trials. The electrophysiological response from posterior channels was used to decode the orientations of the gratings. While orientations could be decoded during and shortly after stimulus presentation, decoding accuracy dropped back close to baseline in the delay. However, the visual evoked response from the task-irrelevant stimulus resulted in a clear re-emergence in decodability. This result provides important proof-of-concept for a promising and relatively simple approach to decode "activity-silent" vWM content using non-invasive EEG.

  16. 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.

  17. A Connectionist/Control Architecture for Working Memory and Workload: Why Working Memory Is Not 7+ /-2

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-09-29

    major should be called into question. Klapp . Marshburu. and i experimental effects are often cited as supporting buffer Lester (1983) have clearly...effect found In digit and word Sternberg scanning task (experiment #7). Klapp and span. Buffers are reflected in the connectlonist/control Philipoff...ofcaulto.Cgion1.9510 Klapp , S.T.. Marshburn. E.A.. & P.T. Lester (193). Short-term memory does not Involve the 8working memory* of Information processlng

  18. Case studies in working memory: a case for single cases?

    PubMed

    Della Sala, S; Logie, R H; Marchetti, C; Wynn, V

    1991-06-01

    Patterns of cognitive deficit in single neuropsychological cases are common sources of evidence for theories of normal cognition. In particular, the working memory model has benefited from data obtained from a number of contrasting patients, in some cases resulting in modifications of the working memory model. In this paper, patterns of data from short-term memory patients and anarthric patients are compared with patterns of data from normal subjects. The patterns of patient data that were unlike those patterns typically found for groups of normal subjects, could be incorporated within a modified version of the articulatory loop component of the working memory model. However a small number of individual normal subjects also did not show the pattern that is reported on the basis of average performance of groups of normal subjects. This causes some difficulty in interpreting those data from such 'aberrant normal' patterns, and those data from single patients with functional cognitive deficits. The implications of these findings for the interpretation of neuropsychological data are discussed in the context of the working memory model, but with the intention of making a general point pertaining to the development of functional models of cognition. It is argued that single case studies should continue to provide a useful source of evidence, providing that care is exercised in considering the implications of such data for models of normal cognition.

  19. Tactile perception and working memory in rats and humans

    PubMed Central

    Fassihi, Arash; Akrami, Athena; Esmaeili, Vahid; Diamond, Mathew E.

    2014-01-01

    Primates can store sensory stimulus parameters in working memory for subsequent manipulation, but until now, there has been no demonstration of this capacity in rodents. Here we report tactile working memory in rats. Each stimulus is a vibration, generated as a series of velocity values sampled from a normal distribution. To perform the task, the rat positions its whiskers to receive two such stimuli, “base” and “comparison,” separated by a variable delay. It then judges which stimulus had greater velocity SD. In analogous experiments, humans compare two vibratory stimuli on the fingertip. We demonstrate that the ability of rats to hold base stimulus information (for up to 8 s) and their acuity in assessing stimulus differences overlap the performance demonstrated by humans. This experiment highlights the ability of rats to perceive the statistical structure of vibrations and reveals their previously unknown capacity to store sensory information in working memory. PMID:24449850

  20. Tactile perception and working memory in rats and humans.

    PubMed

    Fassihi, Arash; Akrami, Athena; Esmaeili, Vahid; Diamond, Mathew E

    2014-02-11

    Primates can store sensory stimulus parameters in working memory for subsequent manipulation, but until now, there has been no demonstration of this capacity in rodents. Here we report tactile working memory in rats. Each stimulus is a vibration, generated as a series of velocity values sampled from a normal distribution. To perform the task, the rat positions its whiskers to receive two such stimuli, "base" and "comparison," separated by a variable delay. It then judges which stimulus had greater velocity SD. In analogous experiments, humans compare two vibratory stimuli on the fingertip. We demonstrate that the ability of rats to hold base stimulus information (for up to 8 s) and their acuity in assessing stimulus differences overlap the performance demonstrated by humans. This experiment highlights the ability of rats to perceive the statistical structure of vibrations and reveals their previously unknown capacity to store sensory information in working memory.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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 seeks 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 scale than did monolingual children. There were no significant differences on the remaining executive function variables. The bilingual advantage appears to persist for working memory in children with epilepsy. These findings suggest that bilingualism is potentially a protective variable in the face of epilepsy-related working memory dysfunction. PMID:26720703

  5. Working memory and intelligence: the same or different constructs?

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

    Several investigators have claimed over the past decade that working memory (WM) and general intelligence (g) are identical, or nearly identical, constructs, from an individual-differences perspective. Although memory measures are commonly included in intelligence tests, and memory abilities are included in theories of intelligence, the identity between WM and intelligence has not been evaluated comprehensively. The authors conducted a meta-analysis of 86 samples that relate WM to intelligence. The average correlation between true-score estimates of WM and g is substantially less than unity (p=.479). The authors also focus on the distinction between short-term memory and WM with respect to intelligence with a supplemental meta-analysis. The authors discuss how consideration of psychometric and theoretical perspectives better informs the discussion of WM-intelligence relations.

  6. Working Memory Processing In Normal Subjects and Subjects with Dyslexia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowyer, S. M.; Lajiness-O'Neill, R.; Weiland, B. J.; Mason, K.; Tepley, N.

    2004-10-01

    Magnetoencephalography (MEG) was used to determine the neuroanatomical location of working memory (WM) processes. Differences between subjects with dyslexia (SD; n=5) and normal readers (NR; n=5) were studied during two WM tasks. A spatial WM task (SMW) consisted of blocks visually presented in one of 12 positions for 2 s each. Subjects were to determine if the current position matched the position presented 2 slides earlier (N-Back Test). The verbal task (VMW) consisted of presentation of a single letter. The location of cortical activity during SWM in NR (determined with MR-FOCUSS analysis) was in the right superior temporal gyrus (STG) and right angular gyrus (AG). Similar activation was seen in SD with a slight delay of approximately 20 ms. During VWM activity was seen in LEFT STG and LEFT AG in NR. In contrast for SD, activation was in the RIGHT STG and RIGHT AG. This study demonstrates the possibility to differentiate WM processing in subjects with and without learning disorders.

  7. The contribution of working memory to divided attention.

    PubMed

    Santangelo, Valerio; Macaluso, Emiliano

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have indicated that increasing working memory (WM) load can affect the attentional selection of signals originating from one object/location. Here we assessed whether WM load affects also the selection of multiple objects/locations (divided attention). Participants monitored either two object-categories (vs. one category; object-based divided attention) or two locations (vs. one location; space-based divided attention) while maintaining in WM either a variable number of objects (object-based WM load) or locations (space-based WM load). Behavioural results showed that WM load affected attentional performance irrespective of divided or focused attention. However, fMRI results showed that the activity associated with object-based divided attention increased linearly with increasing object-based WM load in the left and right intraparietal sulcus (IPS); while, in the same areas, activity associated with space-based divided attention was not affected by any type of WM load. These findings support the hypothesis that WM contributes to the maintenance of resource-demanding attentional sets in a domain-specific manner. Moreover, the dissociable impact of WM load on performance and brain activity suggests that increased IPS activation reflects a recruitment of additional, domain-specific processing resources that enable dual-task performance under conditions of high WM load and high attentional demand.

  8. 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.

  9. Luteolin Inhibits Microglia and Alters Hippocampal-Dependent Spatial Working Memory in Aged Mice123

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Saebyeol; Dilger, Ryan N.; Johnson, Rodney W.

    2010-01-01

    A dysregulated overexpression of inflammatory mediators by microglia may facilitate cognitive aging and neurodegeneration. Considerable evidence suggests the flavonoid luteolin has antiinflammatory effects, but its ability to inhibit microglia, reduce inflammatory mediators, and improve hippocampal-dependent learning and memory in aged mice is unknown. In initial studies, pretreatment of BV-2 microglia with luteolin inhibited the induction of inflammatory genes and the release of inflammatory mediators after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation. Supernatants from LPS-stimulated microglia caused discernible death in Neuro.2a cells. However, treating microglia with luteolin prior to LPS reduced neuronal cell death caused by conditioned supernatants, indicating luteolin was neuroprotective. In subsequent studies, adult (3–6 mo) and aged (22–24 mo) mice were fed control or luteolin (20 mg/d)-supplemented diet for 4 wk and spatial working memory was assessed as were several inflammatory markers in the hippocampus. Aged mice fed control diet exhibited deficits in spatial working memory and expression of inflammatory markers in the hippocampus indicative of increased microglial cell activity. Luteolin consumption improved spatial working memory and restored expression of inflammatory markers in the hippocampus compared with that of young adults. Luteolin did not affect either spatial working memory or inflammatory markers in young adults. Taken together, the current findings suggest dietary luteolin enhanced spatial working memory by mitigating microglial-associated inflammation in the hippocampus. Therefore, luteolin consumption may be beneficial in preventing or treating conditions involving increased microglial cell activity and inflammation. PMID:20685893

  10. Thalamic mediodorsal nucleus and its participation in spatial working memory processes: comparison with the prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Funahashi, Shintaro

    2013-01-01

    Working memory is a dynamic neural system that includes processes for temporarily maintaining and processing information. Working memory plays a significant role in a variety of cognitive functions, such as thinking, reasoning, decision-making, and language comprehension. Although the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is known to play an important role in working memory, several lines of evidence indicate that the thalamic mediodorsal nucleus (MD) also participates in this process. While monkeys perform spatial working memory tasks, MD neurons exhibit directionally selective delay-period activity, which is considered to be a neural correlate for the temporary maintenance of information in PFC neurons. Studies have also shown that, while most MD neurons maintain prospective motor information, some maintain retrospective sensory information. Thus, the MD plays a greater role in prospective motor aspects of working memory processes than the PFC, which participates more in retrospective aspects. For the performance of spatial working memory tasks, the information provided by a sensory cue needs to be transformed into motor information to give an appropriate response. A population vector analysis using neural activities revealed that, although the transformation of sensory-to-motor information occurred during the delay period in both the PFC and the MD, PFC activities maintained sensory information until the late phase of the delay period, while MD activities initially represented sensory information but then started to represent motor information in the earlier phase of the delay period. These results indicate that long-range neural interactions supported by reciprocal connections between the MD and the PFC could play an important role in the transformation of maintained information in working memory processes.

  11. Modeling visual working memory with the MemToolbox.

    PubMed

    Suchow, Jordan W; Brady, Timothy F; Fougnie, Daryl; Alvarez, George A

    2013-08-20

    The MemToolbox is a collection of MATLAB functions for modeling visual working memory. In support of its goal to provide a full suite of data analysis tools, the toolbox includes implementations of popular models of visual working memory, real and simulated data sets, Bayesian and maximum likelihood estimation procedures for fitting models to data, visualizations of data and fit, validation routines, model comparison metrics, and experiment scripts. The MemToolbox is released under the permissive BSD license and is available at http://memtoolbox.org.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Grammatical sensitivity and working memory in children with language impairment

    PubMed Central

    Marton, Klara; Campanelli, Luca; Farkas, Lajos

    2013-01-01

    Children with primary language impairment (LI) show a deficit in processing different grammatical structures, verb inflections, and syntactically complex sentences among other things (Clahsen–Hansen 1997; Leonard et al. 1997). Cross-linguistic research has shown that the pattern of performance is language-specific. We examined grammatical sensitivity to word order and agreement violations in 50 Hungarian-speaking children with and without LI. The findings suggest a strong association between sensitivity to grammatical violations and working memory capacity. Variations in working memory performance predicted grammatical sensitivity. Hungarian participants with LI exhibited a weakness in detecting both agreement and word order violations. PMID:23440891

  14. Neural Basis of Working Memory Enhancement after Acute Aerobic Exercise: fMRI Study of Preadolescent Children.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ai-Guo; Zhu, Li-Na; Yan, Jun; Yin, Heng-Chan

    2016-01-01

    Working memory lies at the core of cognitive function and plays a crucial role in children's learning, reasoning, problem solving, and intellectual activity. Behavioral findings have suggested that acute aerobic exercise improves children's working memory; however, there is still very little knowledge about whether a single session of aerobic exercise can alter working memory's brain activation patterns, as assessed by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Therefore, we investigated the effect of acute moderate-intensity aerobic exercise on working memory and its brain activation patterns in preadolescent children, and further explored the neural basis of acute aerobic exercise on working memory in these children. We used a within-subjects design with a counterbalanced order. Nine healthy, right-handed children were scanned with a Siemens MAGNETOM Trio 3.0 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging scanner while they performed a working memory task (N-back task), following a baseline session and a 30-min, moderate-intensity exercise session. Compared with the baseline session, acute moderate-intensity aerobic exercise benefitted performance in the N-back task, increasing brain activities of bilateral parietal cortices, left hippocampus, and the bilateral cerebellum. These data extend the current knowledge by indicating that acute aerobic exercise enhances children's working memory, and the neural basis may be related to changes in the working memory's brain activation patterns elicited by acute aerobic exercise.

  15. Effects of working memory contents and perceptual load on distractor processing: When a response-related distractor is held in working memory.

    PubMed

    Koshino, Hideya

    2017-01-01

    Working memory and attention are closely related. Recent research has shown that working memory can be viewed as internally directed attention. Working memory can affect attention in at least two ways. One is the effect of working memory load on attention, and the other is the effect of working memory contents on attention. In the present study, an interaction between working memory contents and perceptual load in distractor processing was investigated. Participants performed a perceptual load task in a standard form in one condition (Single task). In the other condition, a response-related distractor was maintained in working memory, rather than presented in the same stimulus display as a target (Dual task). For the Dual task condition, a significant compatibility effect was found under high perceptual load; however, there was no compatibility effect under low perceptual load. These results suggest that the way the contents of working memory affect visual search depends on perceptual load.

  16. Different Roles of COMT and HTR2A Genotypes in Working Memory Subprocesses

    PubMed Central

    Kondo, Hirohito M.; Nomura, Michio; Kashino, Makio

    2015-01-01

    Working memory is linked to the functions of the frontal areas, in which neural activity is mediated by dopaminergic and serotonergic tones. However, there is no consensus regarding how the dopaminergic and serotonergic systems influence working memory subprocesses. The present study used an imaging genetics approach to examine the interaction between neurochemical functions and working memory performance. We focused on functional polymorphisms of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met and serotonin 2A receptor (HTR2A) -1438G/A genes, and devised a delayed recognition task to isolate the encoding, retention, and retrieval processes for visual information. The COMT genotypes affected recognition accuracy, whereas the HTR2A genotypes were associated with recognition response times. Activations specifically related to working memory were found in the right frontal and parietal areas, such as the middle frontal gyrus (MFG), inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and inferior parietal lobule (IPL). MFG and ACC/IPL activations were sensitive to differences between the COMT genotypes and between the HTR2A genotypes, respectively. Structural equation modeling demonstrated that stronger connectivity in the ACC-MFG and ACC-IFG networks is related to better task performance. The behavioral and fMRI results suggest that the dopaminergic and serotonergic systems play different roles in the working memory subprocesses and modulate closer cooperation between lateral and medial frontal activations. PMID:25974269

  17. Refreshing memory traces: thinking of an item improves retrieval from visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Souza, Alessandra S; Rerko, Laura; Oberauer, Klaus

    2015-03-01

    This article provides evidence that refreshing, a hypothetical attention-based process operating in working memory (WM), improves the accessibility of visual representations for recall. "Thinking of", one of several concurrently active representations, is assumed to refresh its trace in WM, protecting the representation from being forgotten. The link between refreshing and WM performance, however, has only been tenuously supported by empirical evidence. Here, we controlled which and how often individual items were refreshed in a color reconstruction task by presenting cues prompting participants to think of specific WM items during the retention interval. We show that the frequency with which an item is refreshed improves recall of this item from visual WM. Our study establishes a role of refreshing in recall from visual WM and provides a new method for studying the impact of refreshing on the amount of information we can keep accessible for ongoing cognition.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Theories of working memory (WM) capacity limits will be more useful when we know what aspects of performance are governed by the limits and what aspects are governed by other memory mechanisms. Whereas considerable progress has been made on models of WM capacity limits for visual arrays of separate objects, less progress has been made in understanding verbal materials, especially when words are mentally combined to form multi-word units or chunks. Toward a more comprehensive theory of capacity limits, we examine models of forced-choice recognition of words within printed lists, using materials designed to produce multi-word chunks in memory (e.g., leather brief case). Several simple models were tested against data from a variety of list lengths and potential chunk sizes, with test conditions that only imperfectly elicited the inter-word associations. According to the most successful model, participants retained about 3 chunks on average in a capacity-limited region of WM, with some chunks being only subsets of the presented associative information (e.g., leather brief case retained with leather as one chunk and brief case as another). The addition to the model of an activated long-term memory (LTM) component unlimited in capacity was needed. A fixed capacity limit appears critical to account for immediate verbal recognition and other forms of WM. We advance a model-based approach that allows capacity to be assessed despite other important processing contributions. Starting with a psychological-process model of WM capacity developed to understand visual arrays, we arrive at a more unified and complete model. PMID:22486726

  19. Active forgetting of olfactory memories in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Berry, Jacob A; Davis, Ronald L

    2014-01-01

    Failure to remember, or forgetting, is a phenomenon familiar to everyone and despite more than a century of scientific inquiry, why we forget what we once knew remains unclear. If the brain marshals significant resources to form and store memories, why is it that these memories become lost? In the last century, psychological studies have divided forgetting into decay theory, in which memory simply dissipates with time, and interference theory, in which additional learning or mental activity hinders memory by reducing its stability or retrieval (for review, Dewar et al., 2007; Wixted, 2004). Importantly, these psychological models of forgetting posit that forgetting is a passive property of the brain and thus a failure of the brain to retain memories. However, recent neuroscience research on olfactory memory in Drosophila has offered evidence for an alternative conclusion that forgetting is an "active" process, with specific, biologically regulated mechanisms that remove existing memories (Berry et al., 2012; Shuai et al., 2010). Similar to the bidirectional regulation of cell number by mitosis and apoptosis, protein concentration by translation and lysosomal or proteomal degradation, and protein phosphate modification by kinases and phosphatases, biologically regulated memory formation and removal would be yet another example in biological systems where distinct and separate pathways regulate the creation and destruction of biological substrates.

  20. Maternal working memory and reactive negativity in parenting.